China committee gets update from Fiberight

by Mary Grow

China Transfer Station Committee members focused on various forms of recycling at their May 11 meeting, talking about China’s Free for the Taking building; regional hazardous waste disposal and alternatives; and additional recycling possibilities.

They also got an update on plans to reopen the Fiberight disposal facility in Hampden from Michael Carroll, executive director of the Municipal Review Committee (MRC). MRC consists of representatives from Maine municipalities that contracted to bring waste to the Fiberight facility, which closed a year ago. The committee owns the land on which the facility stands, has contracted to supply waste and is named on the waste permit, Carroll said.

The building in which Fiberight intended to process waste, until the company ran out of funds, is owned by bond-holders, Carroll said. Fiberight did the “configuring and dial-setting” for the process that separates and reuses recyclables; the components are off the shelf and can be used and replaced as needed by a successor.

MRC plans to have Pennsylvania-based Delta Thermo Energy (DTE) reopen the plant. Restart date remains undetermined. Meanwhile, most of China’s mixed waste is being landfilled in Norridgewock, to the dismay of local environmentalists.

China Committee Chairman Larry Sikora questioned whether DTE was the best buyer for the closed plant.

Carroll said the MRC didn’t have a choice: two other potentially interested parties dropped out. To Sikora’s questions about how thoroughly DTE had been vetted. Carroll replied, “We did our due diligence.”

DTE has experience with other waste facilities, has more capital than Fiberight started with, is inheriting a building and equipment and when the transfer is final will get rights and operating manuals from the bondholders. The company’s lack of experience with the Fiberight process is not a unique problem, Carroll said, because the process is new; no one has experience with it.

Fiberight “has kind of disappeared on us,” he added. The MRC has been “keeping boots on the ground” to maintain the facility.

Proposed changes in the contract between the plant operator and MRC include giving DTE the option to buy the land, which Carroll said the company is unlikely to exercise for at least two years; and “resetting the clock” so the building lease and the waste supply agreement, now more than a year old, will start over as 15-year arrangements.

After Carroll zoomed out of the meeting, committee members turned to the selectboard’s decision not to participate in the annual hazardous waste disposal day, in Winslow, this year. Winslow charges other towns, and in recent years too few China and Palermo residents have disposed of hazardous waste to justify the cost, selectmen said.

Both the selectmen and the Transfer Station Committee members discussed ways to inform residents about alternative legal disposal places (which probably charge fees), so hazardous wastes will not be combined with mixed waste or dumped into the environment.

Sikora raised the desirability of recycling all batteries, not just big ones. Committee members Ashley Farrington and Karen Hatch think providing separate boxes for small batteries is feasible; they will look into options.

Town Manager Becky Hapgood would like to see the Free for the Taking building reopen in June, but protective measures need to be in place first. She and committee members talked about ways to limit the number of people in and around the building and to limit donations.

Hatch, who manages the building, said sometimes so much is dropped off she can’t get in the door until she rearranges things. She proposed no longer accepting clothing, because, she said, people looking through clothing spend more time inside.

Farrington suggested limiting hours, to provide time to sort items without customers; or charging a deposit that people could get back only by reclaiming items no one else had taken.

Sikora approved Hapgood’s idea that she, Farrington, Hatch and Transfer Station Manager Ronald Marois become a subcommittee to propose procedures.

Farrington has already taken on the project of analyzing information from the Radio Frequency Identification system to detect usage patterns, busy and slack times and other useful factors. Palermo resident Chris Diesch, attending at the invitation of Palermo committee member Robert Kurek, volunteered to help; her offer was accepted with enthusiasm.

The RFID system does not identify users by name. It can record how many times the same person comes in, but not who the person is.

The next regular Transfer Station Committee meeting would have fallen on election day, so members tentatively rescheduled it to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 9.

Windsor selectmen work through routine agenda

by The Town Line staff

The Windsor board of selectmen worked through a routine agenda at their April 27 meeting, approving all motions unanimously. All selectmen were present for the meeting.

Interim Transfer Station Supervisor Sean Tekeema reported to the board that the transfer station has been busy the last couple of weeks. He said large items – television sets, grills and appliances – have been coming in lately. He also suggested a stand-up sign or magnetic sign on the side of the bin for pizza boxes.

Cemetery Sexton Joyce Perry said the gates to the cemetery were open May 2. The selectmen approved lot conveyances for Jeff Stuart and Sharon Cormier, and Heidi Winslow and Jerry Rideout.

Perry also noted that large chunks of sod were dug up during winter plowing on the right of way road between Resthaven Cemetery and The Fusion. The owner of The Fusion has been contacted and repairs will be made.

Selectmen also approved warrants #43 and #44, as well as approving the 2021 town meeting warrant, as amended.

Selectmen also approved appointing Arthur Strout as the Building Official.

Town Clerk Kelly McGlothlin informed the board of candidates on this year’s ballot: Dustin Mellor for RSU #12 committee member, and William Appel Jr. and Ray Bates for board of selectmen. There are three spots available for the budget committee and one for alternate budget committee.

The board of selectmen then recessed and reconvened as the board of assessors. A request for an additional extension, if needed, on the road frontage variance was submitted by Brian Wall. The board felt there will not be a need to extend the request and unanimously denied any additional extension on the road frontage variance.

The assessors adjourned and reconvened as the board of selectmen.

The fire department completed an application for a grant in the amount of $2,879 for equipment and is requesting for half of the amount of $1,439.50 to be reimbursed from the Forestry Fire Reserve account to the fire department. The assessors approved the request, and then unanimously voted to allow town treasurer, Theresa Haskell, to request the payment from the Forest Fire Reserve Account, payable to the fire department.

A CMP pole permit was approved for the Greeley Road.

Selectmen William Appel Jr. read a letter from MMTCTA congratulating Town Manager Theresa Haskell on her recertification of tax collector and certification as treasurer.

The minutes of the April 13 meeting were amended to read as, “Andrew Ballantyne made a motion to approve the proposed Employee Manual update”.

Animal Control Officer Kim Bolduc-Bartlett said the town may receive a bill for a cat that had to be taken to Lewiston to be euthanized.

The next regular meeting of the board of selectmen was scheduled for May 11, at the Windsor Town Hall.

Vassalboro library, town-sponsored rec coordination gets conditional interest

by Mary Grow 

At their May 13 meeting, Vassalboro selectmen talked about coordinating Vassalboro’s town-sponsored recreation program with the Vassalboro Public Library, with library Director Brian Stanley expressing conditional interest.

The recreation program, which focuses mainly but not entirely on organizing use of the town ballfields in East Vassalboro, is run by a director, who receives a modest stipend, and a committee. Leadership changes often – not surprising, selectmen said, because as children age out of the program, their parents also move on.

John Melrose, chairman of the selectboard, said the president and treasurer of the library’s board of trustees are willing to explore options. No commitments have been made, and Melrose, who will leave the selectboard after June 8 local elections, is handing the issue to the next board.

Barring unexpected events, that board’s members will be incumbents Robert Browne and Barbara Redmond and Christopher J. French. French is the only candidate for selectman on the June 8 local ballot.

Selectmen reached no conclusion on another issue, where (if anywhere) to hold fireworks in September as part of Vassalboro’s 250th anniversary celebration. Possibilities they discussed included a town-funded display, somewhere, or a contest among private displays.

Yet another undecided issue was how Vassalboro can spend federal funds allocated to the town, or its share of the Kennebec County allocation. Town Manager Mary Sabins said only specific purposes are eligible, and she is not sure Vassalboro can meet any of the criteria.

For example, money could be used to “make whole” businesses damaged by the pandemic, if a Vassalboro business can show damage. Expansion of broadband service or water or sewer systems are also possibilities, but with limitations.

Addressing his fellow board members, Melrose said, “You guys have an unusual problem. You’re going to receive $435,000, and you need to figure out if there’s anything you can spend it for.”

Selectmen did make a decision on one agenda item: they should try to develop a new town ordinance to govern mass gatherings, like the requested music festival in July 2022 that Sabins told them about at their April 29 meeting (see The Town Line, May 6, 2021, p. 8).

Town Attorney Kristin Collins had provided a copy of Readfield’s ordinance as a guide. Redmond volunteered to work with Sabins and Collins to adjust it to Vassalboro.

In other business, Melrose thanked Road Commissioner Eugene Field and the public works crew for installing a dock off Monument Park, in East Vassalboro. Sabins said East Vassalboro resident Holly Wiedner, who asked for a safe place for fishing, called the town office to express her appreciation.

Sabins said School Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer will work to find money in the school budget to help the town pay for the generator that will make the school usable as an emergency shelter. The sole bid for installing the generator, accepted by selectmen at the April 29 meeting, was over $6,000 more than available funds.

Board members agreed the town auditor should be invited to the June 10 selectmen’s meeting to review the audit for the year ended June 30, 2020. Melrose proposed the presentation, on principle, not because he saw any problem, he said.

The next two regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m., May 27 and June 10, in person at the town office.

The annual town meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., Monday, June 7, in person, at Vassalboro Community School, with decisions on Articles 1 (election of a moderator) through 37 (the final school budget article). The meeting continues at 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 8, with written-ballot voting on Articles 38 through 41. Polls close at 8 p.m.

The warrant for the June 7 and 8 town meeting is on the Town of Vassalboro website,, after several other items in the center column, under the heading “Town Meeting and Election Information.”

May 28 is National Poppy Day

Members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit #39, Madison, will be distributing bright red poppies in exchange for a donation throughout the Month of May at various businesses in Madison. The Flanders Fields poppy has become an internationally-known and recognized symbol of the lives sacrificed in war and the hope that none died in vain. The American Legion Family called upon Congress to proclaim the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day, which was officially designated as such in 2017.

Honor the country’s fallen warriors and contribute to the continuing needs of our veterans on National Poppy Day, May 28, 2021.

“Wearing the poppy on National Poppy Day and throughout Memorial Day weekend is one small way to honor and remember our fallen warriors who willingly served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit #39 President Robin Turek. “We must never forget.”

The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who handcraft many of the red, crepe paper flowers. Making the poppies provides a financial and therapeutic benefit to the veterans, as well as a benefit to thousands of other veterans.

When The American Legion Family adopted the poppy as its memorial flower in the early 1920s, the blood-red icon became an enduring symbol of honor for the sacrifices of our veterans from the battlefields of France in World War I to today’s global war on terror. The American Legion Auxiliary raises about $4 million each year distributing poppies throughout the nation, with 100 percent of the funds raised going directly to help veterans, military, and their families.

The American Legion Auxiliary is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. Members also support the mission of The American Legion in improving the quality of life for our nation’s veterans. More than 600,000 ALA members across the country volunteer millions of hours annually and raise millions of dollars in service to veterans, military, and their families. Founded in 1919, the ALA is one of the oldest patriotic membership organizations in the U.S.A.

To learn more and to volunteer, join, and donate, visit or our local unit at

Rena Harding receives Boston Post Cane

Rena Harding, 99, center, of Albion, receives the Boston Post Cane from Albion selectmen Brent Brockway, left, and Jerry Keay, right. (contributed photo)

Rena Zelia Harding, of Harding Road, Albion, was presented the Boston Post Cane Award on May 1, 2021, at her residence. She will be 99 years old on October 29 this year. Rena’s maiden name was Bailey and formerly was from Palermo. She attended Palermo School as well as studying a general course from International Correspondence Course.

She married Warren Harding on May 16, 1942. Before they married, Rena cared for Warren’s mother up to the time they moved to the Harding Road, in Albion, and there started a farm. Rena mentioned she thought
the invention of the washing machine was the most valuable machine to her, but was thankful for the invention of milking machines. Milking cows by hand and pouring the milk into the milk can was a time consuming process.

Rena had four children: Eugene, Athene, Sheldon and Neil.

Contributed photo

Madison Legion Auxiliary donates backpacks to needy children

Pictured, front row, from left to right, Cindy Savoy, Wanda Kranz, Ann Cody, Merrilyn Vieira, Pauline Bell, Nancy Drew and Betty Price. Back Row, Robin Turek, Amy Washburn, Irma Fluet, Nancy Misiaszek, Harriet Bryant, Shirley Emery and Diane Pinkham. (contributed photo)

submitted by Harriet Bryant

In observance of April as Children and Youth Month, members of the Tardiff-Belanger American Legion Auxiliary, Unit #39, Madison, donated backpacks filled with essential items such as clothes, pj’s, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other toiletries, hats, mittens, hygiene products for the older children and toys. Included this year are many socks from their “Drive-Thru Sock Hop” which was held back in February.

These items benefit the children who will enter the Department of Health and Human Services System. Most children enter with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. These backpacks provide them with items they can call their own in hopes that it makes the transition a little easier for them. This year, with the generous donations of items from the membership and the Auxiliary purchases, the Auxiliary donated over $800 worth of items which included 25 backpacks for this program.

To learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit Or contact Robin Turek, president – American Legion Auxiliary Tardiff-Belanger Unit #39, PO Box 325, Madison, ME 04950, or – 696-8289.

Controversy over China Police Department heats up

The following is a reprint of a letter sent to the Morning Sentinel writer Greg Levinsky, from China Police Chief Craig Johnson, provided to The Town Line by Chief Johnson.

Dear Greg:

China town manager’s April 30 letter on China policing.

I find the matter discouraging and dispiriting. However, I do not want this issue to seem like or turn into a political matter. The China Police Department is currently allotted up to 26 hours of coverage a week. The China Police Department is a part-time agency. We have a total of five officers, each of which are certified by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy as full-time law enforcement officers and each one is a law enforcement veteran. Two of our officers are Advisors to the Chief (Chief Michael Tracy and Sgt. Jerry Haynes of the Oakland Police Department). Our law enforcement training is continuous and up to date. The understanding between the department and the town is that we will cover as many hours as possible each week up to 26 hours.

In January of 2021 I received an email from the town manager and learned that she was asked to look into the cost of 40 hours a week coverage from the sheriff’s department. I also learned the town already had an initial meeting with Sheriff Mason. Although, I was told that no final decision had been made, however, there were three options:

  1. Keep China Police Department as it is;
  2. Add a 40-hour chief and keep part-time hours;
  3. Disband and hire KSO for 40 hours a week.

After receiving this email I became concerned about hiring anymore officers to provide more coverage up to the allotted 26 hours. I didn’t and don’t feel it would be appropriate to hire more officers with the departments existence being in jeopardy. It wouldn’t be fair to the officers or the taxpayers, should we have to disband.

Chief Johnson’s response was:

I believe the Town of China, its residents and its police officers have quite a vested interest in the China Police Department. I have personally devoted a great deal of time and effort into updating equipment, updating the Standard Operating Procedures, establishing China P.D.’s own IMC reporting system and doing police work for China, all while representing the town. Also, I speak with people / residents all of the time whom are glad to see that China has its own police department. Additionally the C.P.D. 2021 / 2022 budget proposal provides up to 66 hours a week coverage.

This past week I received a letter dated April 30, 2021, from the town manager, which is attached.

give IT. get IT recognized as sole nonprofit certified electronics reuse and recycling service in New England

Founded in 2002, in Searsport and Belfast, as the PCs for Maine computer access and literacy program and recently renamed ‘give IT. get IT.’, the organization has continued to provide businesses, nonprofits, and schools with sustainable electronics recycling practices as the only service of its kind in New England.

give IT. get IT. is certified to the R2 International Best Practices Standard, the highest industry standard for data security, environmental impact, compliance, and health safety in electronics reuse and recycling and has been recognized as the only third-party nonprofit program with this credential throughout New England. By removing e-waste, or electronic waste, from landfills and the environment, the company concentrates its efforts and recognizes the inherent value of reusable tech for community benefit via refurbishing computers for low-income families who need computers to achieve their educational and employment goals.

“At Sappi, sustainability encompasses the three elements of social, environmental and economic responsibility. However, sustainability is not about philanthropy or saving the planet at any cost, it’s about making responsible decisions in the context of running a profitable business,” articulates give IT. get IT. Board Chair and former Sappi Paper IT Service Center Manager Marty Duggan. “give IT. get IT. helps organizations be sustainable. Companies’ e-waste supports people in the community, helps the planet with responsible reuse and recycling, and reduces disposal costs with donations of reusable equipment.”

The improper handling of e-waste can lead to environmental pollution and injurious human health effects, with some scrap components containing chemicals such as lead, barium, and mercury. Considering the environmental impact of the issue, these chemicals have the potential to contribute to site disposal degradation and can leach into permeable surfaces such as lawns and porous asphalt. By employing recycling practices within the organization’s procedures, give IT. get IT. has processed 6.6 million pounds of electronics and diverted 1.7 million pounds of electronic refuse toward community betterment, refurbishing technology for general and educational uses.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Another “embarrassing” adventure

by Debbie Walker

This adventure is a little different than previous ones. Not much mileage involved in this one. I decided to share this adventure with you as another personal Public Service Announcement. It may seem a bit embarrassing to tell, yet that is exactly why I am sharing. Please do share the information.

Some of us girls and guys may have never shared any of the steps of this little adventure. It’s a shame something so natural is so embarrassing. My hopes, for my experience, is to shed some light on this subject. Any groups who would like me to speak on this subject just let me know.

For years this whole process has been building. It all started with little leaks from sneezing, coughing, or laughing. Now that is embarrassing enough but after awhile my friends and I would laugh and share stories about the experience (don’t know if guys ever do). And of course, life with panty liners became important. My secrets became an issue with traveling on land and air, that’s when the more substantial pads were worn for travel and anytime, I was to be from home for too many hours.

Time moves on, the matter appears to get worse, and I begin to realize I don’t always have much of a warning or urge. Then it gets worse. It builds up, I guess, I didn’t feel my bladder fill but did feel it when I would stand, and realize it was too late to get to the lady’s room before it released. As time rolls on and you are still too embarrassed to have an intelligent conversation with a doctor or anyone else, you move into the “monster rag” (Oops, proper language is pad. It should be no surprise to you that sometimes I can be sarcastic.)

I did chat with my primary care doctor at one point, and she put me on a medication that I think helped for a little while. Everyone is different. Recently, I became desperate.

It was one thing to avoid shopping. The panic of not being able to go to a grandchild’s function or not being able to overnight in someone else’s bed because the unthinkable happens is what sent me to a urologist.

The doctor asked a lot of questions about medical history and medications. Something from all these questions could possibly be the answer to my problems. I believe it’s thought that a medication I take could possibly be the answer, but it wasn’t.

The doctor told me I had two options to consider. I really can’t tell you much about the option I did not choose, just that it did not appeal to me. I would like to continue with information about the process I chose in the next couple of columns. But I will tell you that I can already see improvement.

I can’t tell you how important communication is, in so many parts of our lives. This is just another one of the important ones. Communication is discussing the real problem, and listening is also a big part of the process.

I am just curious if this is a subject you need to talk about. Contact me with questions and comments at I’ll be waiting. Have a wonderful week. Thank you for reading.


Edi Gathegi

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

The Startup

A Netflix series, The Startup involves a cast of characters who are way too connected with each other for their own good. The locale is contemporary Miami, Florida, with its exotic palm trees and beaches, the year round weather ranging from balmy to scorching hot, and cesspools of criminality all too often on both sides of the law. Otmara Marrero portrays a skilled computer hacker, Adam Brody is a financial manager laundering money for his corrupt father, Edi Gathegi is a Haitian gang leader who threatens them with harm but then collaborates with them in a nefarious scheme (Gathegi was very good as the evil Mr. Robinson on NBC’s Black List), Martin Freeman is an FBI agent involved in his own racket on the wrong side of the law and murders a fellow agent who knows too much, while Aaron Yoo is a multi-billionaire who invests lots of money in the group scheme and who has a dangerous security chief named Vera who’s not as trusting as her boss.

Very, very highly recommended!

André Previn

André Previn

A wonderful YouTube features the late André Previn (1930-2019) conducting the London Symphony in Dvorak’s incredibly beautiful 7th Symphony, a 2002 broadcast.

Robert P.T. Coffin

Next paragraph from Robert P. Tristram Coffin’s Kennebec Crystals:

“The Kennebec was gray glass again, next dawn and next and next. It grew blacker as the days went by. In the third night the drums began, a single stroke, now and then, low bass and far away, rolling and reverating along the hills. Next morning there were white cracks on the dark drumhead to show where the drumsticks had struck. All at once, at four o’clock, the whole stretch of the river below the Augusta falls blossomed out with children in bright scarves, just out of school. A thousand young farmers and townsmen ground bark, cut figure eights, and yelled themselves hoarse at Ring-Leavo. Fat boys of six on their first skates stared wide-eyed at the green water weeds hanging still and going down into fearful darkness under their toes. At night bonfires ran down the river from bend to bend. Flame answered flame from Skowhegan to Swan Island. Everybody but those in slippers and those in the cradle was out on the ice. And next afternoon the horses had taken to the new ice highway that connected all the Kennebec towns. Men flew along behind them, mountains of robes in narrow sleighs. Their big mustaches smoked, and their breaths clung to them like mufflers straining out behind.”

More next week.