China planners spend time on final Solar Energy System ordinance review

by Mary Grow

China Planning Board members ignored most of their June 22 agenda to spend time on a final review of the Solar Energy Systems Ordinance they hope selectmen will present to voters on Nov. 2 and voters will approve.

Running out of time to finish, they scheduled a special meeting Monday evening, June 28. At that meeting, they agreed, non-unanimously, on a version to forward to the selectboard.

An early (May 2021) draft of the ordinance is on the town website,, under the Planning Board. Board members intend to publicize their final draft after they submit it to the selectboard.

Most of the June 22 and June 28 work was grammatical; major substantive issues have been resolved. The exception, discussed June 28 and at several prior meetings, was how to treat solar panels when determining lot coverage by impervious surfaces.

The panels have two parts, the relatively small bases on which the supporting poles stand and the much larger panels themselves. Since the panels are tilted, they cover slightly less ground than their actual size.

To help control erosion, state and town regulations limit the amount of ground area on a lot that can be covered by structures with impervious surfaces. If an ordinance treats a solar panel as a structure, the area covered by panels is limited – in the Town of China, to 20 percent of the lot in rural areas and 15 percent in shoreland zones (the two areas where the draft ordinance would allow rows of solar panels).

The state Department of Environmental Protection and many Maine towns do not call solar panels structures. A solar array that covers a lot almost completely, like the one on Route 3 outside Augusta that was repeatedly referenced by planning board members, is allowed.

China Planning Board members have called a solar panel a structure. They have thereby limited the amount of ground covered by installations they have approved under existing ordinances. Solar developers have asked them to change their approach.

The draft ordinance slightly modifies previous practice by providing that the tilt of the panels be considered in determining the area covered.

Board member Scott Rollins proposed a further compromise: count only one-half of the area of the panels as structures or impervious. The change would let a developer cover up to 40 percent of a lot, board member James Wilkens quickly calculated.

Rollins made three main points:

The ground under solar panels is covered with grass and other low plants that absorb water dripping from the panels, rather than letting it run off. A solar array thus does not cause erosion.
Since China’s lot coverage limit is one of the lowest around (to help protect the town’s lakes, people have said at previous meetings), making solar panels follow structure regulations is an unnecessarily restrictive provision that discourages solar development in town.
Solar is a form of renewable energy that should be encouraged.

Wilkens and board Chairman Randall Downer were primarily concerned about the appearance of a field of panels like the one on Route 3, having heard multiple negative comments.

Downer fears too little restriction on lot coverage would lead China voters to reject the ordinance. He wants it approved Nov. 2; his goal is “never [again] to have to make it up as we go along on solar applications” to match them to ordinances written for buildings.

Wilkens added that even with the restrictions, China has attracted solar projects.

Rollins’ motion to include the 50 percent rule in the draft ordinance was rejected on a vote of one in favor (Rollins) to three opposed (Downer, Wilkens and Natale Tripodi).

Downer proposed a different compromise: ask selectmen to put a second question to voters about how limited the size of solar arrays should be. Rollins did not object. He and Downer intend to work on the wording of such a question before the planning board’s July 12 meeting.

As the June 28 meeting ended, board members voted 3-0-1 to forward the ordinance to the selectboard, with Rollins abstaining.

The only other issue covered on the June 22 agenda was resident Brent Chesley’s request for a clarification of a section of the minutes from the Feb. 23 planning board meeting. Codes Officer Jaime Hanson recommended adding Chesley’s suggested explanation, and board members approved unanimously.

Give Us Your Best Shot! for Thursday, July 1, 2021

To submit a photo for this section, please visit our contact page or email us at!

PASSING THE TIME: Emily Poulin, of South China, captured this male bluebird sitting and passing the time away.

FOGGY SUNRISE: Andy Pottle photographed this foggy sunrise over Branch Pond on old-fashioned film.

THREE HUNGRY SQUIRRELS: Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, snapped these three squirrels chowing down at a feeder.

PHOTO: Waterville tennis team captures northern Maine title

The Waterville High School boys varsity tennis team recently captured the Northern Maine Tennis Championship following an undefeated season. From left to right, Athletic Director Heidi Bernier, head coach Jason Tardif, Logan Tardif, Jay Brock, Kaden Works, Owen Evans, Charlie Haberstock, Josiah Bloom, Cole Bazakas, Nick Poulin, assistant coach Jim Begin and athletic trainer Emily Staples. (photo by Jim Evans)

Fairfield Historical Society quilt show tradition resumes

Example of a friendship quilt that was created by the 1986-1987 second grade class of Fairfield’s South Grammar School with the assistance of their art teacher.

by Marion Foster

The Fairfield Historical Society announces the resumption of the FHS Quilt Show which they have hosted every other year, until the Covid Pandemic interfered. On Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., more than 50 quilts will be displayed at the Victor Grange, in Fairfield Center. These quilts belong to either the FHS or local residents. Others who have quilts of local interest that they would like to show are invited to call the FHS at 453-2998.

Although both antique and contemporary quilts will be included, all are relatively new when viewed through the history of quilting. There is evidence that quilting was done in 3400BCE when layers of fabric and padding were stitched together. Initially such quilts were of totally practical purposes of warmth and insulation. By the 12th century, quilted clothing was introduced to Europe by the Crusaders who wore it beneath their armor. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, quilt making came to America.

In Colonial America quilting was often a leisure time activity for those of wealth. The quilts of this time were very decorative and displayed the exquisite stitchery, needlework, and creativity which did their makers proud. Many Baltimore Album quilts still exist as examples of these fine quilts. After 1840, less grand but often time consuming, pieced or patchwork quilts of printed fabrics became more common. During the Civil War Era of the 1860s many quilts were fashioned and sold to raise money for the Abolitionist cause. Many more were made and donated to the troops on both sides to honor their cause and keep them warm. Very few of these beautiful tributes have survived. Most commonly, simple but practical quilts were made from leftover fabric scraps or worn out clothing and tied together for everyday bed covers.

During the Victorian Era, Crazy Quilts became very popular. These quilts were comprised of irregular shapes of fancy fabric, luxuriously decorated with fine stitchery and elaborate embellishments. Due to this popular 19th century fad, many examples of these lovely quilts have survived.

Many, many other variations and styles of quilt have endured or evolved through the ages: some of these are Wholecloth, Amish, Feed Sack, Medallion, Block, Album, Sampler, Applique, Patchwork and Friendship quilts. Quilting Guilds continue to flourish in Maine and many are eager to see what has been created during the isolation imposed by the Covid pandemic. On display this year will be an antique “postage stamp” patchwork quilt made of tiny squares pieced together. Also of interest is an example of a friendship quilt that was created by the 1986-1987 second grade class of Fairfield’s South Grammar School with the assistance of their art teacher. This quilt was gifted to their teacher, Mrs. Duplessis, and remains a treasured possession.

In an effort to foster post-pandemic community spirit, the Victor Grange will provide seating and sell food during the two-day event. This event is open to the public and all donations are very much appreciated.

FOR YOUR HEALTH – Be aware: any dog can bite

Annapolis, MD letter carrier Thomas Tyler takes a protective stance against an approaching dog.

(NAPSI)—Most people would probably agree that having a dog charge at them and bite is a frightening experience. The Postal Service reports that is exactly what happened to over 5,800 letter carriers in 2020. That represented an increase over the previous year. Several things added to the mix; more people were at home, more packages were being delivered and more dogs had been adopted.

The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority and dedicates a week each year to dog bite awareness. “Raising awareness about dog bite prevention and how to protect our letter carriers as we deliver the mail is paramount,” said USPS Acting Employee Safety and Health Awareness Manager Jamie Seavello. “Dogs are instinctive animals that may act to protect their turf. “

Here are some tips to prevent dog bite injuries. They should be enforced year ‘round:

  • If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs can burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Always keep the family pet secured.
  • If your dog is in the yard when a carrier is delivering the mail, do not let them run free. Make sure they are properly restrained on a leash away from where your mail carrier makes delivery. Mail delivery service can be interrupted at an address or in a neighborhood that the carrier deems unsafe because of an unrestrained dog. When service is interrupted at an address or neighborhood, all parties involved will need to pick up mail at their local Post Office.
  • Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as making a threatening gesture.
  • A great way for customers to know if their carrier may be knocking on their door to deliver a package is through a free USPS service called Informed Delivery. Customers get a daily email with digital scans of the mail and packages that are scheduled to be delivered that day. You can easily sign up for Informed Delivery by going to: By knowing about deliveries in advance you can take precautions to keep your carrier safe.

It is important to know that if a dog attacks a letter carrier, the dog owner could be held liable for all medical expenses, repayment of lost work hours and the replacement of the carrier’s uniform and other costs. This can run into thousands of dollars.

It is in the best interest of all parties, including our dogs’, for pet parents to heed these safety tips irrespective of their dog’s breed, because ultimately, any dog can bite.

LEGAL NOTICES for Thursday, June 24, 2021

18-A MRSA sec. 3-801

The following Personal Representatives have been appointed in the estates noted. The first publication date of this notice June 17, 2021. If you are a creditor of an estate listed below, you must present your claim within four months of the first publication date of this Notice to Creditors by filing a written statement of your claim on a proper form with the Register of Probate of this Court or by delivering or mailing to the Personal Representative listed below at the address published by his name, a written statement of the claim indicating the basis therefore, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed or in such other manner as the law may provide. See 18-C M.R.S.A. §3-80

2020-316 – Estate of MARYANN I. KULP, late of Lexington Township, Me deceased. William D. Megarry, PO Box 6331, Manchester, NH 03108 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-132 – Estate of FLOYD A. ELLER, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Dorothy Campbell, 636 Ridge Road, Fairfield, Me 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-134 – Estate of GUY J. WILLIAMS, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Lawrence E. Williams, 72 Harvest Hill Road, Windham, Me 04062 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-136 – Estate of DAVID M. McGOWAN, late of Hartland, Me deceased. Deborah Lynne Jeske, 1161 William Penn Avenue, Johnstown, PA 15906 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-137 – Estate of ALFRED S. MENENDEZ, late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Crystal A. DeWitt aka Crystal A. Menendez, 5716 NE Sumner Street, Portland, OR 97218 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-138 – Estate of ALICE E. EMERY, late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Theodore B. Alfond, 1 Chestnut Street, Weston, MA 02493 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-140 – Estate of RICHARD BLAIR CLARK, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Eric B. Clark, 19 Kelley Street, Fairfield, Me 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-142 – Estate of CALEB J. HUTCHISON, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Paul Hutchison, 6 Pleasant Hill Dr., Waterville, Me 04901 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-145 – Estate of EDITH S. BOOKER, late of Madison, Me deceased. Nancy Paine, 127 Park Street, Madison, Me 04950 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-144 – Estate of EVELYN B. WORTH, late of Smithfield, Me deceased. Craig N. Worth, 22 Stonewall Way, Westbrook, Me 04092 and Nancy W. Labbe, PO Box 129, Smithfield, Me 04978 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2021-148 – Estate of KIMBERLY ANN RUSSELL, late of Palmyra, Me deceased. Loren m. Russell, 71 A Warren Hill Road, Palmyra, Me 04965 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-149 – Estate of DEBORAHL. LAMSON, late of Hartland, Me deceased. Jared A. Thompson, 105 Academy Street, Hartland, Me 04943 appointed Personal Representative.

To be published on June 17 & 24, 2021.
Dated June 14, 2021 /s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate

NEWS FROM THE VA: Vets should be made aware of the changes that are being made

Veterans Administration facility at Togus. (Internet photo)

by Gary Kennedy

Well, it seems most of our veterans have received the vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer were the vaccines used. It seems all reacted well to both shots. In most cases the significant other had to wait a bit but all in all it was accomplished. Supposedly VA is in phase 3 of the shut down. I have been told that during this phase physical therapy should reopen. Most of we vets have noticed it has become very difficult to go inside of the VA. I for one believe that this is part of the master plan. VA is being transformed into a different place than what we old timers are use to. When you walk through the doors you are met with, “What brings you here today”? An appointment is what they are looking for. Under Director Ryan Lilly’s watch security and restriction seems to have become necessary and it seems to have been planned out very well. You don’t see this in Jamaica Plains or Boston. Time to speak with President Biden.

There are four booths for processing inside Building 200 and two at Building 205. There you are still screened for Covid and questioned regarding your purpose for being there. When you see all the great things that are being given the vets it would lead one to believe all is good. I noticed that Covid has been addressed and as the last shots were given the construction trucks started rolling in. They are now blocking things in and tearing up the road. Some vets notice and worry about the restriction. VA doesn’t share what they are doing with the vets. I firmly believe the vets should be made aware about the changes that are being made for their sake. VA is sacred ground for many veterans who have depended on it as a life line. Some vets have nervous disorder such as PTSD and change can upset them. Only trained, loving eyes would realize this. During this Covid ordeal many changes have been conveniently implemented. Perhaps some will turn out OK.

One of the big concerns has been the violation of the “Duck Habitat” next to the new hospitality house. We counted as many as 100 geese feeding on the rich habitat pond. The Canada Geese have felt so secure there that they have decided to nest. So far we have counted a dozen chicks. It is a wonderful place but it is getting very crowded. There have been some complaints made to the state but there seems to be no response. Still more construction goes on around the pond. With 500 acres you would think the imagination of the Lilly’s team could spread out a little. It takes more than brick and mortar to comfort the sick, wounded and weary. Some people don’t see the big picture. They don’t get into the heads of those they are supposed to be serving.

Togus is a wildlife lover’s paradise and that all adds to the healing process. I for one love watching the deer frolic in the meadow in the evening hours. My wife and I park there and just relax and watch. The folks who bring loved ones to have procedures stay in the hospitality houses and get to enjoy this beauty while waiting for their loved ones to be returned. Still not all is as great as Washington would have us believe.

During this pandemic veterans have been OK’d for outside doctors. This was always desired by vets, especially those living in remote areas. However, accepting this brought about teleconference VA appointments and has lightened the in-house load at VA. V.A. likes this procedure as it requires less time. I believe it will only last so long and the quality of the veterans care will deteriorate.

I spoke with a couple of doctors and found out VA was only paying between 35-51 percent of the billed accounts. At that reduced rate quality care will not last very long. Have a good week my friends and God bless.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, June 24, 2021

Trivia QuestionsName the last NFL team to win back-to-back Super Bowls.


New England Patriots (2004-2005)

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The best time to…

by Debbie Walker

I was reading an article the other night from an HGTV magazine titled “when’s the Best Time to…” by Marie Masters. I have heard people talk about the best time to buy a new vehicle being in December, especially that last week of the year. Reason being dealers want to get rid of older models before inventory and sales associates want to meet that end of year goals.

There are many more “better times to” buy or use products. An automobile is only one “Best Time to ….:”

I, for one, wrestle with choosing paint colors. I now know not to choose my paint colors in the early-morning or late afternoon sun. You should narrow down to several colors. Put two coats of paints on white foam board and keep moving around the room to make a well-informed decision.

Did you know there is a “better” time to go to the Post Office? No, it’s not when the doors open for business unless you are the first or second in line at the door. Wait till about 30 minutes after opening and Tuesday and Thursday are usually lower traffic days. Avoid lunch hour on weekdays and any time on Saturday.

Keep in mind I do not have a green thumb; this is only what I read. Plant a shrub, for you northerners, that would be mid-April. (Ooops, too late for this year.} This way the shrub’s roots will have a few months to spread out before the drier summer season.

Shopping for shoes after 5p.m.: Feet swell as the day progresses, trying on shoes when your feet are largest will be a more accurate, comfortable, size. Dad used to tell my mom to take me shoe shopping, come home and throw the shoes out, the boxes will work better than the shoes in my case. Dad’s can be funny that way.

Going for a run is said to be better if done between 4 and 8 p.m. That’s when we are our strongest. That’s when our internal body temperature peaks. Also, you’re most flexible since muscles are warmed up and elastic from daily chores.

Telling your child, the tooth fairy isn’t real should be determined for each child. They will let you know when it’s time to tell them. You will know when they ask you, but you defend the tooth fairy. Probably someone has already told them. Unless you’re like me and are hanging onto the fairies at 68! They are real, ya’ know.

I still try to remember to do the moisturizing ritual directly after my shower. That is the recommendation, apply body lotion 1 -2 minutes after showering. It will seal in the water. The idea is to keep the skin hydrated.

I’m just curious what you are curious about. Let me know and we will see what we can find. Contact me at . Thanks for reading and have a great week!!

I wanted to add these little Philosofacts from the Farmer’s Almanac. I love some of these sayings. So many of them are just common sense.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Aspire to inspire before you expire.
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Optimism is when a tea kettle can be up to its neck in hot water and still whistle.

REVIEW POTOURRI: Record rescue operation

Miliza Korjus

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Record rescue operation

I have been receiving avalanches of free 78s the last few Sundays from a friend who needs to empty his locker. I call it a rescue operation of these records. Otherwise they end up in dumpsters because too many folks want everything modernized. As far as I am concerned, they are missing out on real listening experiences.

A few choice shellac examples: RCA Victor 12829 features the then very popular and now forgotten soprano Miliza Korjus singing two different waltzes usually played by the orchestra by itself – Johann Strauss Jr.’s Voices of Spring and Carl Maria von Weber’s Invitation to the Waltz. She was noted for brilliantly swooping high notes and other vocal acrobatics, along with beautiful phrasing and articulation.

Another of her records, Victor 12021, features her vibrantly alive renditions of two Rimsky-Korsakov arias; the well-known Hymn to the Sun from his opera The Golden Cockerel and the lesser known Martha’s Aria from the Tsar’s Bride.

Geraldine Farrar

Another soprano Geraldine Farrar recorded the Ethelbert Nevin classic Mighty Lak’ a Rose with violinist Fritz Kreisler’s delectable violin obliggato and accompanying orchestra on an acoustic Victrola one sided shellac, 89108, and quite lovely on its own terms but not equal to the absolutely beautiful 1929 electrically recorded Victor of Nathaniel Shilkret’s arrangement with soprano Olive Kline in an album devoted to Nevin’s Songs.

Alma Gluck

Farrar also recorded the very popular F.E. Weatherly/Stephen Adams special church number, The Holy City, also with orchestra on the acoustic Victor 88569 but, again, my favorite performances are three later ones from the electrical era – the 1930s Victor of tenor Richard Crooks with Sir John Barbirolli conducting, a late 1940s Decca 45 with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians, and the early 1980s Phillips LP featuring the late soprano Jessye Norman with a superb organist. However, Farrar did sing with beauty and conviction.

The last one was a most unexpected charmer; Aloha Oe, which has been given more ghastly overblown performances than I care to remember, was sung sublimely by the wonderful soprano Alma Gluck (1884-1938) whose records sold by the millions. Her acoustic Victrola shellac, 74534, featured her with the Orpheus Male Quartet and orchestra. She was married to violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr. and their son was the well-known actor best remembered for his starring roles on TV’s 77 Sunset Strip and The FBI.

* * * * * *

Kate Winslett

Highly recommended TV viewing – Mare of Easttown starring Kate Winslett. Filmed near Philadelphia, Winslett gives the performance of her life as a small town police detective investigating the murder of a young mother while battling her own issues at home and elsewhere.