Waterville scouts do clean up work at Fort Knox as a service project

Waterville Boy Scout Troop #436 members, from left to right, Dresden Laqualia, Sam Bernier, Malakhi Kornsey, Josh Knight, Nick Tibbetts (behind), Tobias Crocker and Xander (who was a guest), stand next to the Fort Knox sign at the entrance. (contributed photo)

by Chuck Mahaleris

On April 24, Boy Scout Troop #436, of Waterville, traveled to Fort Knox Historic Site and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory (America’s Original Fort Knox), in Prospect, as part of a service project to ready the park for opening for its season which began on May 1.

Three adults, Bruce Rueger, Jim Kornsey and Dan Bernier, provided support and guidance to the eight youth who took part. The youth were Nick Tibbetts, Tobias Crocker, Malakhi Kornsey, Dresden Laqualia, Sam Bernier, and Josh Knight and a guest.

“Our first assignment was picking up trash in, around and on the fort! The Scouts enjoyed climbing all over the historic fort while doing their good deed. They had fun while lending a hand. That is a win,” said Scouting leader Bruce Rueger. “Our second assignment was going down to the west tower of the Penobscot Narrow Bridge to rake the leaves in the landscaped areas of the parking area near that tower (where the elevator is located).”

Afterwards, the Scouts enjoyed a visit to Camden Hills State Park for a hike. The hike selected was Maiden Cliff. “We did the hike, played on a lot of huge boulders, and found a geocache at the top,” Rueger said. “It was a long day, but a great day for Scouting in Waterville.”

Cleaning up around the fort. (contributed photo)

Eagle Scout rank awarded to Hunter Praul, of China

From left to right, Hunter Praul with his parents Erika and Darryl Praul, of China. (contributed photo)

by Scott Adams

Boy Scout Troop #479, in China, held a small ceremony to honor its newest Eagle Scout, Hunter Praul. The ceremony was held at the China Baptist Church on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Hunter was presented Scouting’s highest honor by his parents Erika and Darryl Praul, of China, and in turn presented them with Eagle Scout Mother and Father Pins.

“Hunter is an amazing young man,” said Troop #479 Scout­master Scott Adams. “He never seeks to be in the spotlight but is always the first to try to make easier the lives of others. Hunter’s Eagle Scout project – building a home for a needy man in Costa Rica – was incredible. He raised the money needed here, assembled a team, coordinated efforts both here and in Costa Rica, led and took part in the building of the home and gave someone he barely knew a significant help up.”

Hunter is the 44th Eagle Scout from Troop #479 since Scott Adams became Scoutmaster in 1989. The troop was formed in 1959.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Types of home care services

Home health aides are professionals who can help with self-care, housework, cooking and more. They might also perform some basic medical tasks. Home health aides sometimes have medical training, so they might be certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs). However, there aren’t any specific standards requiring a home health aide to have particular training or certification. If you’re looking for someone to help with any medical-related tasks, ask about certifications when choosing your provider. Medicare or Medicaid might pay for help from a home health aide.


Home care nurses often handle the basic medical needs of those aging in place, like tracking their vitals, giving them IV medications and changing bandages. These professionals could either be licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). The higher level of care a person needs, the more likely their nurse will be an RN. Sometimes, a nurse will visit a patient less frequently but will manage a team of home health aides that visits the person every day. Medicare or Medicaid might pay for help from a home care nurse.

Geriatric care managers

Geriatric care managers are professionals that help caregivers figure out how much care their loved one needs and what living situation might be best for them. They also help caregivers and families navigate the medical system and figure out how to pay for care and hire appropriate home care professionals. Geriatric care managers often have backgrounds in gerontology, social work, nursing, psychology or another related field. You’ll often have to pay out-of-pocket to hire a care manager, but it could be worth the investment if they help you save money in other ways.

Companion services

Companion services vary a lot. Companions might just be someone who keeps your loved one company, or they might also offer transportation and housekeeping services. Companions don’t handle any medical tasks, and they don’t usually help with bathing, grooming or other activities of daily living (ADLs). Because these individuals don’t provide medical care, Medicaid and Medicare won’t pay for them. You may be able to find a community service organization, like Volunteers of America, that provides these services for free.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a national organization that operates in most communities in the United States. It works with local businesses and volunteers to serve meals to people over 60. The organization delivers meals to people in their homes, and the volunteers who drop meals off provide some companionship to seniors. The group also serves meals in local community centers, so people who can drive can get out of the house to socialize. These services are free or low-cost, depending on where you live.

Community villages

Villages are nonprofit organizations designed to help people age in place. Villages coordinate volunteers and paid workers to organize social and educational activities. Villages typically offer transportation services and limited in-home assistance as well as discounted services from health professionals. Each village is independently operated, so the services offered in your area will vary. To find out about a village near you and learn more about these organizations, visit the Village to Village Network’s website.

PACE programs

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, is a part of Medicare and Medicaid. The programs provide as much care as feasibly possible to people in their own homes. For example, someone in a state with PACE might be eligible for in-home care, social work counseling and many other services.

Programs in different parts of the country have slightly different offerings, but the overall goal is to keep people in their own homes as long as possible. These programs currently exist in just over 30 states, but they don’t necessarily cover the entire state. To find out about PACE programs in your area, visit the PACE page on the Medicare website.

Article shared by ConsumerAffairs.com

EVENTS: Bird migration walk set for May 15

Ecology Learning Center (photo: Unity College)

Enjoy a walk through the Unity wetlands along the raised esker at the Pine Preserve, in Unity, in conjunction with the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, on Saturday, May 15, from 7 – 9:30 a.m.

The round trip walk is a mile and a half long and departs at the trailhead parking lot on Rte. 139, 2.3 miles west of Main St. Participation is limited and pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, visit https://www.ecologylearningcenter.org/workshops.

EVENTS: Branch Mills flea market opens May 15

Branch Mills Grange #336. (photo courtesy of the Kennebec Journal)

The flea market at the Branch Mills Grange #336 will be open on Saturday, May 15, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

EVENTS: Permaculture in the Park begins new season

Ecology Learning Center (photo: Unity College)

Plant Giveaway and Permaculture Bed Building will kick off the Permaculture in the Park series at the Ecology Learning Center CommUNITY programming in partnership with the Unity Barn Raisers. The initial session will be held on Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m., at Triplet Park, Wood Lane, in Unity. This month will feature learning permaculture gardening techniques such as building swales for water catchment, hugelkultur for using organic landscape debris, etc.

June will feature hot weather crop planting. July will be garden maintenance and August will cover harvesting.

There is a suggested donation of $15. RSVP at https://www.ecologylearningcenter.org/workshops.

EVENTS: St. Michael Walk-a-Thon rescheduled

Travis Mills, center, and students of St. Michael School, in Augusta, make preparations for the annual walk-a-thon. (contributed photo)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the annual St. Michael School and Travis Mills Walk-A-Thon, originally scheduled for May 5, will now be held on Wednesday, May 19. Pledges and donations will continue to be accepted through May 19. For more information about the event, email jennsparda1@gmail.com or legalboxerz@hotmail.com.

In addition to the running, walking and activities, students will be collecting items to donate to military service members stationed away from their families, writing thank you notes to our service members, and creating flags to hang up for the day of the event.”

Mills, a retired United States Army Staff Sergeant of the 82nd Airborne, is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was wounded by an improvised explosive device during his third tour in Afghanistan in 2012.

All proceeds from the walk-a-thon benefit the school and the Travis Mills Foundation.

SOLON & BEYOND: Solon elementary school news

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

I was very pleased to receive the Solon School newspaper for this week’s column, with a pretty picture of a flower and the words HAPPY SPRING; it made my day!

Will start with the Third Quarter Honor Roll: All A’s, Lane Frost, Olive MacDonald and Jayden McKenney. All A’s & B’s, Isabella Atwood, Maxx Caplin, Charlotte Hamilton, Ethan Plourd, Martin Plourd, Hunter Pouliot, Dylan Priest, Spencer Rogers and Rowdy Taylor. Congratulations! Now for the Principal’s Message: Spring is upon us, and our students are enjoying more time outside. We are happy to be able to open windows wider to bring in the fresh air and to engage our students in some outdoor learning activities.

Many of our remote learners have returned to in-person learning, and we are happy to have them back. After not seeing all of our students last spring, it is so nice to have them here this year!

Next week is Staff Appreciation Week. I want to celebrate the wonderful teachers and staff that we have here at Solon Elementary School. You can be sure that our children are their top priority!Thanks to them to them for their hard work and dedication in this unique and challenging school year.

Plans are already in the works for summer! We are in the process of planning our Summer School programs, and more specific information will be forthcoming. Mrs. Laura Layman is also planning a Summer Rec program sponsored by the town of Solon for three weeks in July here at the school. We’ll share that information with families once we receive it. Families have already received forms to register their children for the town of Solon’s summer sports programs.

Important dates for spring are the public hearing on the school budget, scheduled for May 27, at 6: p.m., at Carrabec High School, and the budget referendum in each town on June 8. Another date the students are looking forward to is the last day of school, June 10! Enjoy this beautiful Maine spring and please contact us with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your support.

Solon School Participates in Walking School Bus. On April 7, students and staff participated in a Walking School Bus activity. They met at the Solon Thrift Store and walked to school, respecting social distancing guidelines. Once at school everyone enjoyed a great breakfast prepared by school cook Cindy Lawrence.

Walking School Bus activities are part of our 5-2-1-0 wellness plan. Our 5-2-1-0 School Champion, Ms. Rich, organized the activity for us. Another Walking School Bus activity is scheduled for May 12.

Solon Elementary School To Benefit From Sales of Shopping Bags: During the month of May, Hannaford Supermarket, in Skowhegan, will donate $1 for every purchase of its $2.50 reusable Fight Hunger Bags to our school for our food pantry. Every month Hannaford chooses a nonprofit organization to benefit from the sale of these bags.

Solon Celebrates the Week of the Young Child; Our school celebrates the Week of the Young Child, April 12-16, with special activities organized by our preschool staff. Our students enjoyed “Tasty Tuesday” with delicious fruit and yogurt parfaits on April 13 and helped clean up the school grounds on Work Together Wednesday, April 14.

Solon holds spring fever festival week: During the week of March 22-26, Solon Elementary School celebrated the arrival of spring with a Spring Fever Festival. Here are some of the special activities organized by Mrs. LaChance: Guest readers videotaped themselves reading spring books, and teachers showed these videos to their students. Our superintendent, Mr. Tracy, came to read to them during lunch time. Each day had a dress-up theme for students to follow such as Tie-Dye Tuesday and Time to Shine Thursday. Students played “What’s in My Egg” using riddles to help them guess what was in two big eggs sitting on the counter by Mrs. McFadyyen’s desk. During one period each day, teachers switched classes. Each one read a spring book and did a spring craft or other activity with that class. Thus, students got to work with four different teachers besides their own during the week. An outside Easter egg hunt was planned for Friday but postponed due to rain until March 31. After the hunt, students received Easter treat bags.

I’m afraid I have used up most of the space for this column already, and there was still more about the Solon School that I will print next week. There will also be some crazy news about our bird friend that is driving us crazy! …and the wonderful week of celebrating my birthday. Many of you know how old I am and I feel blessed to have reached that elderly number!

And here is one of my thoughts, (which I found on the cover of a book that I have, and it says “Age doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese”

And now for Percy’s memoir: “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack. ( those words were from Statesman Winston Churchill.)

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Let’s start with the “firsts”

by Debbie Walker

Yes, today let’s start with “Firsts”. First such as diets (shoot that guy), first electric car (it wasn’t recently), First bottled water, First 911 call, and First UFO sighting (my grandmother had her theories).

So, the first diet printed was from William Banting in 1863. Mr. Banting was struggling with his 5-foot 4-inch body weighing in at 202 pounds. The food plan that worked for him was a low carbohydrate, high protein diet. He published a pamphlet, Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public. (Corpulence is another word for fat! Why not just say fat, we all recognize that word! I can say such because I suffer from it as well.) Diet experts are still tweaking the Banting Diet to this day. There are many new diets offered every day.

Did you know that 130 years ago, electric cars outsold gas powered vehicles? The first U.S. car dealership in 1896 sold only electric cars. It seems like there is a question as to who created them, one of three from 1832 to 1834. In 1907 there was an illustrated guide to autos that listed 69 different electric vehicles from around the country. It looked as if the electric car would become the new standard. Toyota Prius was not the first hybrid. It was Ferdinand Porsche nearly 100 years before using the same charging principle.

It’s likely a combination of cheap gasoline, the electric starter for gas powered cars, improved roads and perhaps the failure of the electric vehicle joint ventures between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

All right then, we will move onto the First Bottled Water. Bottling water for sale goes back to 1622 north of London, United Kingdom. Water was coming up through the cracks of granite, what became the Holy Well Bottling plant. It was thought this water had healing properties. It was bottled and sold. In Switzerland in the late 1700s selling carbonated spring water was successful. After that it lost its popularity until plastic bottles were invented. And since 2009 the original Holy Well was purchased and restored and is back in production if you would like to try some.

Next, I’m passing on some information about the First 9-1-1 call. It was February 16, 1968, in Haleyville, Alabama. The National Association of Fire Chiefs called for the creation of a universal emergency number in 1957.

Next up is the First UFO sighting. Would you believe Puritan settlers in 1639 were the first to report the strange flashes of light in the night skies after watching for about two to three hours. In 1897, in Texas, a reporter reported sightings. The term flying saucer originated in 1947 when a pilot reported seeing nine boomerang-like objects flying through the sky.

If you are interested in more information on these Firsts, use your computer and go to FarmersAlmanac.com. I have had more fun reading their huge variety of subjects and info. They are not all weather and gardening, as you can tell from reading my little excerpts of their Fabulous Firsts. Type in a subject of interest and see if one of their writers was interested as well.

I’m just curious what you will look for. Please, any and all comments or questions send to DebbieWalker@townline.org. Thank you for reading and have a great week!

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) and Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) are, for me, the three most outstanding 20th century composers to have emerged from Russia. I have written previously of Rachmani­noff and Shostako­vich and would like to focus on Prokofiev.

He was a child prodigy as a composer and pianist, dazzling many but also antagonizing them with his arrogance. For example, in performance classes, he would keep lists of his classmates’ mistakes.

His first ballet Chout earned praise from Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel; later he and Stravinsky had a falling out for a few years but Stravinsky considered Prokofiev the greatest 20th century composer, next to himself.

In 1918, he left Russia because the chaos from the Revolution was leaving Prokofiev with little means of earning a living. With the permission of the People’s Commissar, he headed for the United States and achieved success as a pianist. He would also reside in France for several years but, for some mysterious reason, moved back to the Soviet Union in 1936, just as Stalin’s bloodbaths were cranking up.

His music did find favor with the authorities most of the time. However, in 1948, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) were severely criticized by the government for ‘degenerate formalism’ in their music, the kind of criticism that could have deadly implications for them and their supporters. Such attacks were random, depending on Stalin’s fickleness and paranoia. Prokofiev made a sincere apology and then went on composing as he pleased.

During the early 1920s in Paris, Prokofiev met and married a Spanish singer, Lina Codina (1897-1989) with whom he had two sons, Sviatoslav (1924-2010) and Oleg (1928-1998). Starting in 1940, he began an affair with writer and librettist Mira Mendelson (1915-1968) and divorced Lina in 1947 to marry Mira (the courts ruled his first marriage as null and void because Prokofiev married his first wife in Germany and never asked the Communist government for permission.).

Three months after the divorce, Lina was arrested for espionage because she tried to send money to her mother in Spain. After nine months of interrogation, she was sentenced to 20 years of hard labor in Siberia and released in 1956, leaving Russia for good in 1974.

Because of high blood pressure and other health problems, Prokofiev suffered from frequent dizzy spells and, in 1945, fell, hitting his head on a staircase. He was forced to cut his composing activities down to one hour a day. He died on March 5, 1953, the same day as Stalin. Only 30 people attended his funeral, Shostakovich among them, while his coffin had to be carried by hand to the burial site because no hearse was available due to the lavish spectacle of Stalin’s funeral (among his pallbearers were Mao Zhedong (1893-1976) visiting from China, and KGB chief Laventiy Beria (1899-1953) who would be shot nine months later.).

The composer’s music was distinguished by tart, caustic and bracing rhythms, uniquely captivating harmonies and shimmering melodic beauty. For getting acquainted purposes, I would recommend his very famous Peter and the Wolf, 3rd Piano Concerto, 5th Symphony and Romeo and Juliet ballet. My special favorites are the sizzling Scythian Suite and 3rd Symphony from his earlier years and the magnificent 6th and 7th Symphonies from after World War II. Youtubes of his music are in plentiful supply.

Before he returned to Russia for good in 1936, the composer visited Walt Disney studios, in Hollywood, and was filmed playing music from Peter and the Wolf.

He became a devout Christian Scientist in 1924, believing it beneficial to his high strung personality.

He was also an accomplished chess player.

A quote – “I detest imitation!”

Robert P. T. Coffin

Next paragraph from Robert P.T. Coffin’s essay, Kennebec Crystals:

“February came in murky. But the trotting horses of the Kennebec barns swung around at last and headed north: the thermometer went below zero and stayed there. Everybody began to breathe, again, and the grindstones started singing.”

Take note of the author’s ability to vivify the local scene of more than 150 years ago. One can picture the icicles hanging off beards, lips and nostrils, the inhalations of ‘murky’ air and the grindstones lifting their grating voices in harmony as the sparks fly in those work spaces.

More next week.