Noël Bonam named new state director of AARP Maine

Noël Bonam

AARP Maine has announced that Noël Bonam joins the organization as the new state director. He succeeds Lori Parham, who served in the role for nearly ten years and accepted a new position in AARP’s national Government Affairs office in May.

Noël Bonam brings extensive experience in leadership development, stakeholder engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion practice and civic leadership. Before joining AARP, Bonam had been the head of The Global Institute, a public benefit organization (with operational hubs in Denmark, India and the US), specializing in social equity, leadership development and organizational sustainability.

“I am thrilled to join AARP and look forward to being a forceful voice on behalf of its 200,000 members in the state and all Mainers 50 and older,” said Bonam. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime to advance the quality of life of older people in our state and cultivate appreciation of the important contributions that we make to our community. I look forward to leading AARP’s vital work to build livable, age-friendly communities and to fostering social connection and inclusion..”

Bonam has worked extensively with diverse partners from across the world, particularly in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Formerly, he was the Director for the Bureau of Multicultural Affairs for the State of Maine. In that role, he oversaw systemic changes through diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by working closely with inter-departmental stakeholders and with key community partners from across the state. He practices collaborative facilitative leadership and is committed to stakeholder engagement and empowerment, long-term sustainability and dialogue for action.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Immature bald eagles sometimes mistaken for golden eagles

Bald eagle, left, and golden eagle.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

Sitting with friends around a camp fire a while back, one of the neighbors said, that while kayaking that afternoon, she had seen a Golden eagle. I immediately chimed in that they were an endangered species, and were not known to exist in Maine (according to something I had read years ago).

The following day, while taking a boat ride around Webber Pond with some friends who are year-round residents on the pond, he asked if we had seen the Golden eagles. That did it.

Was it possible for Golden eagles to exist on Webber Pond. My friend went on to say he had witnessed them on the ice during the winter, actually devouring some fish that had been left on the ice by fishermen.

To prove his point, he steered the party boat toward the west shore of Webber Pond, where, high in the top of a tree, was this large nest, occupied by some rather large birds. We were not able to discern what was occupying the nest from that distance. Bald eagles were circling in the area. I was still not sold.

Well, research taught me that Golden eagles, one of the largest and fastest of raptors in North America, do exist in Maine, although a rarity, mainly to the west and north of Moosehead Lake. So, now are they moving east in our state? Maine hosts golden eagles in all seasons, but is currently on the edge of both the breeding and wintering range in the East. Most migrants in the East pass west of Maine. Very few golden eagles are in the state at any time of year.

Golden eagles, Equila chrysaetos, can be found throughout the northern hemisphere. A large population exists in the western Rockies and north into Alaska. In the east, a small breeding population occurs in Maine, Labrador and Québec Province, although its range is greatly reduced from its former extent down the Appalachians to North Carolina.

According to Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, Golden eagle populations appear to have been stable between 1966 and 2014. Partners in Flight estimates their global breeding population to be 300,000, with 35 percent spending some part of the year in the U.S.

Golden eagles are listed as an endangered species in Maine. The decline in their numbers is directly attributed to environmental contaminants, especially DDT, that caused reproductive impairment during the post World War II era. Although these contaminants are now banned, they still persist in the birds’ bodies. Maine’s golden eagles depend heavily on wading birds as prey, which had high levels of contaminants. Five dead golden eagles have been found since 1985. Golden eagle eggs recovered from a nest in 1996 showed high levels of DDE, a variant of DDT.

Golden eagle populations have declined in the east throughout the 20th century, and were extirpated 20-40 years ago in the eastern states. Only 10 nesting territories have been documented with certainty, but at least 18 more locations are suspected. Six successful nesting attempts were recorded at three Maine eyries [nests of birds of prey] from 1955-1967. Goldens disappeared from Oxford, Franklin and Somerset counties during the 1980s. The last known nesting pair in Maine existed until 1999, then disappeared completely. That pair was heavily contaminated and had not produced young since 1986.

Today, Golden eagles can fall prey to collisions with automobiles, wind turbines, and other structures or from electrocution at power poles. Urbanization, agricultural development and changes in wildfire regimes have compromised nesting and hunting grounds.

There have been sporadic sightings of Golden eagles in recent years, and it is hoped that individual eagles from Canada may be moving into previously unoccupied eyries. Counts at hawk watch sites seem to indicate the Eastern population is slowly recovering. Golden eagles still nest in Québec and Labrador. As a result, they are spotted annually in Maine during migration season.

Adults may live 15 – 20 years in the wild, although they have been known to live 46 years in captivity. The oldest recorded Golden eagle in the wild was at least 31 years, 8 months old when it was found in Utah in 2012.

Once I was almost convinced the two friends thought they had seen golden eagles, I asked if they had misidentified immature bald eagles, which resemble each other. Both told me the birds they saw were much larger than bald eagles. My skepticism continues. Golden eagle wingspans can extend up to six feet, with a 40-inch body, and can weigh 8 – 13 pounds. Bald eagles have a body length of up to 40 inches, with wingspans of 6 – 7.5 feet, and a body weight of between 6.5 – 14 pounds. Many sources say the bald eagle has sometimes been considered the largest true raptor in North America, outsizing the Golden eagle. I summary, Bald eagles are larger than Golden eagles.

Golden eagles are uniformly brown throughout their lives. They get their name from amber or golden highlights on the head and neck. Golden eagles have shorter hawk-like bills, their lower legs are feathered to the ankles, and they soar with slightly uplifted wings, whereas a bald eagle flies with its wings stretched straight out so you can see their “fingers.” Golden eagles remain with the same mate for life. The female is larger than the male, otherwise, they look identical.

Sightseers and photographers should stay away from the nest during the nesting season, which is February through August. Like bald eagles, golden eagles are disturbed by human activities near the nests. Humans should avoid the nests during the nesting period.

Wintering areas for Maine golden eagles can stretch to the Maritime Provinces, depending on the availability of food. Their normal diet consists of ground squirrels, marmots, ptarmigan and seabirds.

I’m still not convinced they saw Golden eagles on Webber Pond.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Who holds the Boston Red Sox career record for being hit by a pitch, Mo Vaughn, Kevin Youkilis or Jim Rice?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, July 29, 2019

Trivia QuestionsWho holds the Boston Red Sox career record for being hit by a pitch, Mo Vaughn, Kevin Youkilis or Jim Rice?

Answer:

Kevin Youkilis was hit 86 times in 3,974 plate appearances.

OBITUARIES for Thursday, July 29, 2021

ROBERT J. BOLDUC

ENGLEWOOD, Florida – Robert J “Bob” Bolduc, 94, of Englewood, Florida, passed away Tuesday afternoon, July 13, 2021, at Heritage Oaks Assisted Living Community, in Englewood. He was born on April 18, 1927, in Hartford, Conn., the son of Emile and Ruby (Drury) Bolduc.

Bob was a graduate of Winslow High School class of 1947. He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1946. He graduated from Gorham State Teacher’s College, in 1951, with a degree in Industrial Arts and began his teaching career in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He taught in Lewiston, from 1952-1954 moving to Madawaska as their Industrial Arts teacher from 1954 – 1968 and to Skowhegan High School from 1968-1972. In 1972 Bob moved back to Winslow where he was Department Head for Industrial Arts, retiring from there in 1982. In those years Bob dedicated his life to education and during his many years teaching he touched thousands of students lives. In addition to teaching Bob built and/or remodeled many homes in the Skowhegan and Winslow area during the summer months.

Bob was married to his high school sweetheart, Dorothy “Dottie” Bolduc for 57 years. Dottie passed away in 2007. Bob and Dottie spent their retirement years in Englewood, Florida, and were avid golfers and members of Myakka Pines Golf Club. For many years they lived in the Foxwood Community where Bob was the local “handyman” to many of the residents. Bob loved woodworking and building model airplanes and when he was not golfing or being a handyman, you could find him flying his model airplanes with his Englewood flying club. Bob and Dot continued to enjoy spending most summers in Maine.

He is survived by his two daughters: Jane and her husband Roger, of Skowhegan, and Joan and her husband David, of St. Augustine, Florida, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Donations may be made in Bob’s memory to Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center, 7318 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243 or Suncoast Humane Society, 6781 San Casa Drive, Englewood, FL 34224.

JAMES W. ALLEN

JEFFERSON – James W. Allen, 78, died unexpectedly Friday, July 16, 2021, at his home, in Jefferson. James was born March 2, 1943, in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Edward Knight Allen, Jr. and Althea Weldon Allen.

He grew up in Worcester and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and graduated from Tilton Boarding School, in New Hampshire.

James was a construction worker for five years until he was injured and could no longer work. He enjoyed taking computers, engines, solar panels apart and putting them back together better than he found them. He also enjoyed making small steam engines.

He was a character, loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He liked to go moose hunting, fishing, woodworking, farming, watching wildlife outside his home, and feeding his pet chipmunk, Chipee. He was also a HAM radio operator, KQ1H.

He was predeceased by his parents, and by a son, James Edward Allen, in June 2019.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Allen, of Jefferson, of 57 years; daughters, Kristina DeRaps and her husband Christopher, of Jefferson, Althea Harris and her fiancé Doug Wharton, of West Gardiner; daughter-in-law, Shannon Allen, of Missouri; grandchildren, Shelby, Paige, Stephanie, Adam, Justin, Trace, Audryanna, and Emelyn.

A service to celebrate James’s life was held at the Windsor Christian Fellowship Church, 9 Reed Road, Windsor on July 22, with Pastor Brandon Dyer officiating.

Arrangements are entrusted to Hall Funeral and Cremation Services, 949 Main Street, Waldoboro.

Condolences may be shared with the family at http://www.hallfuneralhomes.com.

Should friends desire, contributions in James’s memory may be made to Kennebec Valley Humane Society, 10 Pethaven Lane, Augusta, ME 04330.

MERVIN L. TUTTLE JR.

CLINTON – Mervin L. Tuttle Jr., 72, of Clinton, passed away Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Alfond Center for Health, in Augusta, after a seven-month battle with COVID-19 respiratory complications. He was born in Waterville, on January 19, 1949, to Mervin L. Tuttle Sr. and Lenora A. Bickford Tuttle.

Mervin attended school in Clinton and Fairfield, where we graduated with honors from Lawrence High School in 1968. While in high school, he was active in the bowling and ski clubs and was selected to attend the Dirigo Boys State his junior year. After high school, Mervin joined the U.S. Navy where he learned his trade as an electrician aboard the USS Orion and the USS Gilmore while stationed in Virginia and South Carolina, respectively.

On July 5, 1969, he married his true love and adventure partner, Sally Marie Shores, and together they rode life’s roller coaster for over 52 years. Mervin and Sally moved into their new home in Clinton in January 1972, where they raised two children and he resided until his death.

There he also quickly made an impression on the local community by volunteering with the Boy Scouts and the Rod and Gun Club where he taught youths and adults the Maine Hunter Safety course. After his military service, Mervin worked as a licensed electrician on many Central Maine construction projects until he was hired by MaineGeneral Health where he faithfully worked for over 34 years. He was also a strong golf player on his company golf team, even scoring a 159-yard hole-in-one at Unity’s Lakeview Golf Course in 1998.

Mervin was not only a dedicated employee, father, and husband, but he also pursued several passionate hobbies. He enjoyed woodworking and was admired for his keen skills in which he built many pieces of furniture for his home and clocks for his family. Mervin also had a strong adventurous spirit and loved to travel. He would meticulously plan annual family vacations that spanned from Maine to Florida and all states in between. Mervin’s love of family and thirst for travel continued when his son joined the U.S. Air Force, and he and Sally would travel each year to Texas or California to explore those states.

He also enjoyed hiking many trails throughout Maine, but especially the trails of Acadia National Park with friends and family. A patriot at his core, Mervin was a proud supporter of the men and women of the U.S. military. He was a member of the American Legion, Willett-McKenney Post #186, and the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) of Maine. Mervin participated in numerous PGR events, providing honors to our Nation’s Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged veterans. Furthermore, he volunteered with Wreaths Across America where he helped lay thousands of wreaths each year at Veteran’s Memorial Cemeteries in Augusta and Chelsea.

Mervin also continued his selfless dedication to the local community, where he cleaned, and power washed aged cemetery tombstones for veterans and civilians throughout Central Maine. After retiring from MaineGeneral in 2013, Mervin and Sally did not waste any time pursuing their lifelong goal of traveling the United States in their motorhome. Together they made two coast-to-coast journeys, visiting 48 states along the way – even taking their two young grandsons once. They also traveled to Hawaii where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their son, daughter-in-law and grandsons.

Closer to home, Mervin greatly enjoyed traveling the off-road trails of Maine with his wife and close friends in the Madison-Anson ATV Club. Mervin is lovingly missed by his wife, Sally; his son, Mervin Tuttle, III and his wife Jeanne, and his grandsons; Aiden and Andrew Tuttle. He will also be greatly missed by his Tuttle, Bickford, and Shores family members, close friends, and neighbors that meant so much to him.

Mervin was predeceased by his daughter, Cheryl Tuttle, his parents, Mervin Sr. and Lenora Tuttle, and his father-in-law, Wilson Shores.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 31, at 1 p.m., at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main Street, Fairfield, burial to follow at the Greenlawn Rest Cemetery, Route 100, Clinton.

Arrangements are in the care of the Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main Street, Fairfield where condolences to the family may be shared on the obituary page of the website at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Northern New England Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis at http://www.cff.org/northern-newengland or the Make-a-Wish Maine Foundation at http://www.wish.org/maine.

DONALD C. COLSON

BENTON – Donald Clyde Colson, 75, of Benton, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, July 22, 2021. He was born in Waterville on September 12, 1945, the son of Sherwin Clyde and Mable Alice (German) Colson.

Donald worked at Northern New England Feed and Ware-Butler Co., in Waterville, for many years and then went to work as a custodian for SAD #49 and retired in 2020 after 22 years.

He was an avid four-wheeler, and loved hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and taking rides in his car. Donald was a member of the Elks and Messalonskee Riding Club.

He was predeceased by his parents, wife Margaret Colson, brother, Robert Colson and wife Sherry, and brother-in-law, Bud Bessey.

Donald is survived by his partner, Cindy Nelson; son, Michael Colson and wife Mary, of Benton; daughter, Cheryl Richards and husband Rodney, of Albion; sister, Carolyn Bessy, of Waterville; four granddaughters, Jenny Bolduc and husband Adam, Christina Colson and boyfriend Corey Martin, Sierra Richards and fiancé Benjamin Barber, and Allison Colson; three great-grandchildren, Parker, Ainsley, and Dexter.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, July 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, July 30, at 1 p.m., at the Brown Cemetery in Benton.

Arrangements are in the care of the Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield where condolences to the family may be shared on the obituary page of the website at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations in Don’s name to Waterville Elks Lodge#905, 76 Industrial St., Waterville, ME 04901.

FAYLENE M. FERLAND

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Faylene M. Ferland, 85, of Palo Alto, California, passed away peacefully in the early morning of Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following her battle with Alzheimer’s and cancer. She was born on October 18, 1935, in North Vassalboro, to Charles Arsenault and Martha Rogers, and lived the majority of her life happily in Waterville.

She relocated to California in 2018 to be closer to her son, daughter-in-law, grandson and wife.

Faye was a graduate of Waterville Senior High School and enjoyed a long career in the medical field for over 35 years. Upon retirement, she also enjoyed volunteering at Inland Hospital, in Waterville, in day surgery.

She and her husband Bob enjoyed bowling, playing golf together, dancing, and spending time with their many friends and family. Faye also enjoyed cooking and baking, especially for others, and tending to the garden flowers around her home.

Faye was predeceased by her mother and father Charles and Martha, step-father Harry Rogers, loving husband Robert (Bob) Ferland, brother-in-law Joseph Savarin, nephew Michael Savarin.

She is survived by her son Charles Godin of Palo Alto, California (and wife Lori), grandson Nicholas Godin, of Mountain View, California (and wife Jennifer), and sister Eleanor Savarin, of Memphis, Tennessee; along with numerous relatives.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on July 20, 2021, at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 116 Silver Street, Waterville, ME.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at http://www.gallantfh.com.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Alzheimer’s Association at http://www.alz.org.

ARTHUR W. REED

FAIRFIELD – Arthur “Joe” W. Reed, 79, passed away Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at Oak Grove Nursing Home, in Waterville. He was born January 30, 1942, in Union, the fourth child of Arthur and Dorothy (Gerald) Reid.

He worked at Buck’s Taxi as a dispatcher and Hillman’s Bakery, in Fairfield. He enjoyed being a PAL and Little League coach, listening to country music and Lawrence Welk, fishing and always wanting to catch “the big one”. Later in life, he had his own ham radio shack. He could talk to anyone around the world. He also assisted with ham radio tests when needed.

Arthur is survived by his family; George Reid and wife Judy, Alan Reid and wife Sandy, Shirley Gifford and husband David, Jane Chamberlain, Betty Whitaker, Verna Goodwin and husband Wyman, Gail Dudley and husband Sheldon; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents; brother, Paul and wife Kim Reid; brother-in-law, Sherwood Chamberlain; nieces, Vicky Reid, Lisa Robinson; nephew, Burton “Sonny” Danforth.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 10 a.m., at Maplewood Cemetery, in Fairfield. A Celebration of Life will be held following the graveside service from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., p.m., at the Waterville Elks Lodge, Industrial St., Waterville.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan ME 04976

SPIRO YOTIDES

WATERVILLE – Spiro (Spike) Yotides, of Waterville, passed away peacefully at Maine­General Medical Center, in Augusta, on Saturday, June 26, 2021, following a brief illness. Spike was born in Winslow, son of Olga and James Yotides on June 20, 1928.

Spike graduated from Winslow High School in 1946 where he was a three-sport athlete – football, basketball and baseball – and he always wore his lucky number 13 on all his jerseys! As Spike was a stand-out athlete, he earned two scholarships to attend both Maine Central Institute, in Pittsfield, and Oak Grove School, in Vassalboro. Spike was drafted into the Army in 1950 and served during the Korean War. On Valentine’s Day in 1954 Spike married Gerrie Rackleff. Together they raised three children, Tim, Tony and Kelly. They were married for 66 years before Gerrie’s death in 2020.

Spike was a well-known car dealer in Waterville for over 28 years. He was employed by Furbush Chevrolet, in Waterville, for years, and later with Frame Chevrolet, also in Waterville. In 1982, Spike semi-retired, and would be seen at Christy’s Country Store, in Belgrade, a business he shared with his two sons.

As Spike was an avid sports fan, he never missed any of his sons’ games and even was often seen at their practices. He was always heard in the stands yelling words of encouragement. He was very loyal to both the Patriots and Red Sox, and even got his wife Gerrie to become a dedicated follower of the Red Sox. In his later years, he became a golf enthusiast and played several area courses around Waterville. He was especially keen on Natanis Golf Course, in Vassalboro, and Belgrade Lakes Golf Course. He participated in every one of the 10 Patriot’s Day Open tournaments at Belgrade Lakes Golf Course with his sons, Tim and Tony, and son-in-law, Jeff, rounding out his foursome.

Spike attended several of Engelbert Humperdinck concerts with his wife, Gerrie, who was a huge fan of the singer. Although he wouldn’t admit it, he too became a fan. In addition, Spike and Gerrie went to Las Vegas, Foxwoods and Atlantic City whenever they could. Gerrie loved the shows and entertainment while Spike would often be spotted at a poker table. Gerrie and Spike were regulars at the Friday night BBQ at the Waterville Elks Club and had lots of good times with their many friends.

Spike will be remembered for his quiet disposition and his quick one-liners. He was very giving and generous – he was selfless and always put others before himself.

Spike was predeceased by his wife Gerrie; his parents, Olga and James Yotides; and brothers George, Thomas and Antonio.

He is survived by his two sons Anthony Yotides and his wife Tonia, and Timothy Yotides and his wife Lori, his daughter Kelly Johnston and her husband Jeffrey; six grandchildren, Christy Yotides, Jenna Yotides and fiancé Chad LePage, Kara Simmons and her husband Jake, Ryan Johnston and his fiancée Taylor Murphy, Spiro Yotides and Jordan Stolt; two great-grandchildren, Isabella Allarie and Kayden Lane; his sister Maria Yotides; as well as several nieces, nephews.

A committal service was held on July 20, 2021, the Maine Veterans Cemetery, Mount Vernon Road, in Augusta.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home in Waterville.

Please visit http://www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com to view a video gallery and share your condolences with Spike’s family.

RONALD H. LEE

PALERMO – Ronald H. Lee, 82, passed away from heart failure on Monday, March 16, 2021, at his home, in Pal­ermo. Ronald was born December 27, 1938, was raised, and spent most of his adult life in Albion. He was the son of Frank and Mildred Lee.

He graduated from Besse High School , in Albion, (1957) and worked for Lee Brother’s Construction, in Albion. A few years later he and his wife Diana established Ronald H. Lee Trucking. Ron was an owner-operator and took to the road hauling potatoes from Aroostook County to Boston. Over time they bought several more trucks and he began hauling across the country. His drivers, mechanics, business owners, trucker friends, and their families became an important part of his day and life.

Ronald was a sports enthusiast who coached and played baseball and softball. He was involved in Lawrence High School Football Boosters. Ron enjoyed his racing days with his Moon Eyes race team where he took his fair share of checkered flags.

He enjoyed his years skiing both at Sugarloaf, where they owned a home, and trips out west to Colorado and Lake Tahoe.

Ron was a fan of New England sports and classic movies.

He was a gentle, loving, caring and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather and always had a special place in his heart for his dogs.

He is survived by his three sons, Christopher and wife Alice, of Bethel, Matthew and partner Dawn, of Palermo, Derek, of Albion; and grandchildren Gavin, Morgan, Alex, Claudia, and Owen; nieces, nephews, and many wonderful friends.

He was predeceased by his wife Diana of 62 years, and his sister Brenda.

A service and celebration of life in honor of Ron and Diana will be held at the Palermo Christian Church, on Saturday, August 14, at 10 a.m. All friends and family are welcome to attend.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

SYLVIA L. POULIOTT

WINSLOW – Sylvia L. Poulliot, 81, of Winslow, passed away Sunday, July 18, 2021, at home, following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. She was born February 22, 1940, in Waterville, the youngest child of Hector and Rose (Breton) Lefebvre.

Sylvia was educated in Waterville and Winslow schools, graduating from Winslow High School, class of 1958. She made many lifelong friends in high school and also met the love of her life, Milton Poulliot.

Sylvia worked at many community-oriented companies throughout her career, including Winslow Community Federal Credit Union, Winslow Insurance, and Maine Savings Credit Union, in Vassalboro. She especially enjoyed helping people while she was a loan officer.

Along with her husband, she owned and operated the former Winslow Maytag Highlander Laundromat and she did the bookkeeping for Milton’s construction business. She was involved with the Winslow Family Fourth of July event, organizing the legendary street dance in the first years of the celebration. She was also a Notary Public and performed a few marriages.

She enjoyed supporting her children and then her grandchildren at their various activities. She loved to travel, which included too many camping trips to mention, cruises, bus trips, visits to Florida, a cross country trip to various national parks, and a trip to Italy to see her exchange student “son” ordained a Greek Orthodox priest. She loved visiting her relatives and having company over, Christmas parties with her friends, the annual Poulliot summer lobster cookout and the Christmas party in December, and Monday lunches with the girls. If Sylvia was there, a good time was bound to be had.

Sylvia was predeceased by her parents Hector and Rose, her father- and mother-in-law Frederic and Eleanor Poulliot; her sister-in-law Judith Poulliot, brother-in-law Laurier Bouchard, and brother-in-law Frank Wilson.

She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Milton (Mickey), of Winslow; daughter Shelly Selwood and her husband Joel, of Winslow, and their children David, of New York City, and Carrie, of Winslow; and her son Brian Poulliot and his wife Kristy and their children, Natalie and Ashley, of Grafton, Massachusetts; her “adopted son”, Archimandrite Igumen Gabriele Invernizzi of Revello, Italy, who joined the family as an exchange student in 1985-1986; her brother Joseph (Reggie) Lefebvre and his wife Sheila, of Benton; her sister Rose Marie Wilson of Jacksonville, North Carolina; her brother-in-law Norbert Poulliot, of Fairfield; sister-in-law Sherril Bouchard, and brother- and sister-in-law Ronald and Sandra Poulliot, all of Winslow; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews; and more relatives in the extended Breton-Lefebvre-Poulliot families.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, July 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., at Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm St., Waterville, Maine.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, July 31, 2021, at 9 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 26 Monument St., Winslow. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery, Grove Street, Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at http://www.gallantfh.com

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sylvia’s memory to MaineGeneral Hospice, P.O. Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903-0828.

RAY C. JOHNSTON

ALBION – Ray ‘Cap’ Johnston, 80, passed peacefully at his home, in Albion, on Wednesday, July 21, following a brave year-long battle with cancer. Ray was born on March 16, 1941, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He was a person who valued quiet, privacy, and was an avid salmon and togue fisherman. He enjoyed classic science fiction paperback books, walks down unbeaten paths and family.

He graduated high school in Lake Forrest, Illinois, earned a bachelor of bcience degree from Marquette University in Pre-Med, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of West Florida.

Having flown only once in an airplane as a senior in high school, Ray decided he wanted to be a pilot. He went on to be a Navy Aviator as a lieutenant flying helicopters from aircraft carriers, chasing Russian submarines during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and volunteering for the Vietnam War.

One of Ray’s proudest moments was his last day of SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) training for Vietnam, when the American flag was raised and the Star-Spangled Banner played while 100 men stood at attention, saluting with tears running down their cheeks. He was a proud American, who as a war veteran, was always dismayed with any disrespect given to the flag of the United States.

After nine years in the Navy, and Honorable Resignation of Commission, Ray became a dedicated and commended cost controller and analyst, for several major companies including Scott Paper Co., General Electric, Cole Haan Shoes, and Bath Iron Works, from which he retired.

Ray is survived by his wife of 28 years, Cynthia Johnston; sons James (Evelyn) and Joseph (Sandy); a daughter Jacqueline Fanning (Tom); grandchildren Nicholas, Matthew, Ryan, Andrea, Emily, Benjamin, Patrick and Daniel and great-granddaughter Kaleigh; his brothers, Jay, Michael, Thomas; and sister Kathleen.

A private family ceremony of life will be held at a future date.

Memorial donations may be made to: MaineGeneral Hospice & Volunteers of Kennebec Valley, P.O. Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903-0828, www.mainegeneral.org/hospice.

LINDA A. PELOTTE

BELGRADE – Linda Anne (Letourneau) Pelotte, 73, died peacefully at her home in Belgrade on Thursday, July 22, 2021. She was born in Waterville, March 18, 1948, the daughter of the late Gerald and Mary (Perry) Letourneau.

She graduated from Waterville High School in 1966 and furthered her career at Bernards School of Cosmetology. Linda owned and operated Linda’s Beauty Shoppe for over 40 years. Linda also worked at Happy Wheels Roller Skating Rink in Winslow and then retired from Chasse Chiropractic Office after 23 years.

Linda enjoyed doing puzzles, 4-wheeling, camping, rides in the car and golf cart and frequent stops for ice cream with her fiancé Ted. In her earlier years she was a movie buff and enjoyed writing to her pen pal, Deanne, in Australia, in which they wrote back and forth for over 61 years. She was a wonderful, sweet caring person that loved her children, family and friends.

Linda is survived by her fiancé Howard (Ted) Wadleigh Jr.; three children and their spouses: Timothy Pelotte and wife Debbie, Irene (Pelotte) Richards and husband Scott, Anthony Pelotte and wife Jaime; grandchildren, Cody Pelotte, Jacob Stinson and fiancée Ashley, Zachary Dionne, Shawna Pelotte and fiancé Brian, Lucas Pelotte, Trevor Pelotte, Jaimie Jolotta, Melanie Thurston and husband Ben and Stephanie Gaddar and husband Nick; great-grandchildren, Colton and Camden Pelotte, Joseph Dionne and Mavin Gaddar; the Wadleigh families, aunts Gloria Etchie, and Irene Burke and spouse William; an uncle, Vincent Letourneau; as well as several nieces, nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held Monday, August 2, 2021, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service (Adams Chapel), 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at 10 a.m., at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 116 Silver Street, Waterville, with interment to follow at St. Francis Cemetery, in Waterville.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations in Linda’s memory to Alzheimer’s Association Maine, 383 U.S. Route 1 Suite 2C, Scarborough ME 04074.

LETTERS: Seniors program does incredible work

To the editor:

As the Senior Program Director of Spectrum Generations, the Area Agency on Aging that serves six counties in central Maine, I get to see firsthand the incredible work this organization does to support Maine’s disabled and aging population.

During the month of May, our community case managers provided social work services to 261 seniors and adults with disabilities, additionally, Spectrum Generations manages the finances for 80 of those most in need.

Through the Adult Day & Community Support program, 35 staff members at four of our facilities provided 1,434 hours of center-based care, and 1,817 hours of individual care to 67 people. This program creates a path to community inclusion and employment for consumers and it provides a safe place so family caregivers can work.

Our staff and dedicated volunteers also prepared and delivered 29,866 meals through the Meals on Wheels Program, and our Community Services staff provided support to 763 people calling for help.

Here at Spectrum Generations, our mission is to promote and advance the well-being and independence of older and disabled adults, with the support of their care partners, to live in their community of choice. I am proud to report that, thanks to our hardworking staff and caring volunteers, the month of May was an incredibly productive one.

If you would like to get involved, or you have any questions about the services that we provide, please give us a call at (800) 639-1553 or visit us online at www.spectrumgenerations.org.

Nate Miller, Senior Program Director
Spectrum Generations

LETTERS: Caretakers deserve higher pay

To the editor:

I would like to mention a loyal and dedicated group of people who are caregivers for our loved ones in nursing home and other homes, too. In my opinion, these caregivers don’t consider what they do work, and as far as I’m concerned, I always tell them your work is really a calling that not every person could do, i.e., show love and compassion to someone who is not a relative. That in itself says a lot.

But let’s examine how their dedication is rewarded. First, the lowest of pay, overworked and not appreciated. In my humble opinion, management and corporate should be on their knees and showing them how much they are appreciated by first complimenting them, giving them a must deserved raise and double that $300 stipend for working under hazardous conditions. And last, but not least, by any means explain why you can’t pay a much higher wage considering how much you charge a month for room and board. Yes, it also covers nursing care, too, but do the math and show me where you are losing money, and we could all get a good belly chuckle for a change.

One last thing, people are so spoiled by federal and state government that I know of a home where my beloved wife is who can’t hire an entertainment director/therapist, physical and occupational, even though they are advertising. Very sad for us all.

I hope this letter wakes up the corporations that run these homes and does something so people would be standing in line to work for you. How about it?

Frank Slason
Somerville

China Broadband Committee to hold public informational meeting

by Mary Grow

China Broadband Committee (CBC) members spent much of their July 22 meeting planning for July 29, the next step in a schedule they hope will lead to voters approving a Nov. 2 bond issue to expand and improve broadband service throughout town.

The major event Thursday, July 29, is Brownies and Broadband, a public informational meeting on committee plans accompanied by refreshments. The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m., in the China Middle School gymnasium.

There will indeed be brownies, gluten-free, selectman and ex officio CBC member Janet Preston promised; and high-fiber cookies from CBC Chairman Robert O’Connor.

John Dougherty, vice-president and general manager of consultant Mission Broadband, based in Bangor, is expected to bring an as-yet-unspecified dessert. Attendees who would like something other than water to drink should bring their own (non-alcoholic only).

Immediately after Brownies and Broadband, probably around 8 p.m., Thursday, CBC members have scheduled a committee meeting, open to interested residents, to finish their planned presentation at the Aug. 2 China selectmen’s meeting.

The presentation will be in two parts: a proposed article for the Nov. 2 local ballot that committee members hope selectmen will approve for forwarding to the budget committee; and an explanatory statement supporting the article.

The draft article asks voters to authorize selectmen to issue a bond to finance construction of expanded internet infrastructure. CBC members do not yet have a firm cost estimate; by July 22 they had begun to hope to have one by late August.

Costs depend partly on the condition of existing infrastructure, especially telephone poles. Through Axiom Technologies, the CBC’s recommended future internet service provider, CBC members intend to contract with Hawkeye Fiber Optics (also called Hawkeye Connections), of Poland, Maine, to survey the town.

At the July 22 meeting, Axiom President Mark Ouellette said Hawkeye crews have started their survey, although the contract remains unsigned (see The Town Line, July 22, p. 3). Since Ouellette, Dougherty and Mission Broadband Network Engineer Mark Van Loan have already developed financial models showing effects of different costs, Ouellette said once Hawkeye provides information, calculating final figures will not take long.

CBC members’ goal is to have internet subscriber fees cover bond repayments, operating and maintenance costs and Axiom’s profit, so expanded broadband will not increase taxes. They pointed out that future state and federal grant funds might help; and O’Connor suggested asking selectmen to take out a 25- or 30-year bond, instead of one for 20 years, to make annual payments smaller.

CBC members plan to attend the Aug. 2 selectmen’s meeting. They scheduled the initial August committee meeting for 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5. They hope to meet with budget committee members the week of Aug. 9 and plan to attend the Aug. 16 and Aug. 30 selectmen’s meetings.

They discussed which members will be available to answer questions at a CBC booth on the ballfields Saturday, Aug. 7, during China Community Days. CBC member Neil Farrington, in charge of the booths for local businesses and organizations, said they open at 10 a.m. and continue through the afternoon.

In addition to the July 29 Brownies and Broadband presentation, residents are invited to visit the CBC website, chinabroadband.net, for updated information and to sign up for email reports.

CHINA: Half dozen questions may be on November ballot

by Mary Grow

If relevant town committees’ plans work out, China selectmen will be asked in early August to approve half a dozen Nov. 2 local ballot questions. China’s elections for selectboard, planning board, budget committee and Regional School Unit #18 board will also be held Nov. 2.

The planning board is working on two draft ordinances, a Solar Energy Systems Ordinance and a Shoreland Stabilization Ordinance.
At their June 28 and July 13 meetings, planning board members developed a separate question related to the proposed solar ordinance.
Planning board members also intend to propose amendments to the shoreland regulations in China’s Land Use Ordinance, as required by a May letter from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The China Broadband Committee plans to ask selectmen to ask voters to approve a bond issue to build new broadband infrastructure.
The 2020 revision of China’s Comprehensive Plan is ready for voter action.

The Solar Energy Systems Ordinance is planned as a new chapter in the Land Use Ordinance, to guide planning board members as they review applications for solar installations, from rooftop or backyard panels serving one house to fields of panels generating electricity to be sold. At the June 13 meeting, board Chairman Randall Downer said the draft ordinance had been forwarded to the selectboard.

The related question members want to hand on to voters is whether the amount of a lot that can be covered by solar panels can be limited, and if it can, how strict the limit should be (see The Town Line, July 22, p. 2).

Projects approved in China so far, on Route 32 North (Vassalboro Road), off Route 32 South (Windsor Road) and on Route 3 (Belfast Road), have been limited to a maximum 20 percent lot coverage. Board members cite the development on Route 3 just east of Augusta as a local example of unlimited lot coverage.

The Shoreline Stabilization Ordinance is intended to clarify requirements for constructed barriers, as differentiated from buffer strips, intended to limit shoreline erosion.

China voters approved an amended Shoreland Zoning Ordinance in the spring of 2019. State regulators wrote that they need changes before they can give the document full approval.

The broadband committee has no firm estimate of construction costs; committee members expect to have one before the Nov. 2 vote. Previous estimates started at around $9 million and have decreased to around $6 million, a figure committee members think might still be high.

The revised Comprehensive Plan – 160 pages plus 14 pages of maps – is on the town website, www.china.govoffice.org, under the Comprehensive Planning Committee (which is under Officials, Boards & Committees). It is currently under review by state officials.

According to the website, the following local positions will be open in November 2021:

On the Board of Selectmen, seats currently held by Irene Belanger and Wayne Chadwick. Selectmen are elected from the town at large.
On the planning board, District One (incumbent Randall Downer), District Three (vacant) and the alternate at-large position (incumbent Natale Tripodi).
On the budget committee, District One (incumbent Kevin Maroon), District Three (incumbent Dana Buswell) and the chairman, elected from anywhere in town (incumbent Robert Batteese).
On the Regional School Unit (RSU) #18 Board, the position held by Neil Farrington. Farrington said in an email he does not intend to seek re-election.

For the planning board and budget committee, District One is northwestern China, District Three southeastern China. Copies of the district map are on the website under the Budget Committee and the Planning Board (which are under Officials, Boards & Committees).

Selectmen, planning board and budget committee members are elected for two-year terms. RSU directors are elected for three-year terms.

Nomination papers have been available at the town office since Monday, July 26. For a candidate’s name to be on the Nov. 2 ballot, signed papers must be returned to the town office by 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 3.

Reaction to announcement of possible closing of Albion Elementary School

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY

by Katrina Dumont, Kara Kugelmeyer, Billy-Jo Woods

Dear Fellow Albion Resident(s),

Our town has had its own school(s) since its founding in 1804.

Today, we are faced with the reality that the MSAD #49 School Board has decided to close the Albion Elementary School, as part of the MSAD #49 new school construction project.

Closing our only school will have many impacts (listed below) on our town both socially and economically.

Fortunately, as citizens of Albion, we have many options that we can explore and take action on in response to this decision (options below). The purpose of this letter is to inform fellow residents of our options, and invite all Albion residents to join future discussions on what option(s) the town should pursue.

After discussion with the Albion Selectboard, the residents (listed below) have started a committee that has been exploring:

  • What realistic options does the town have in response to the school closing: keep school, close school, school choice, etc. (see options below).
  • What would be the impacts (positive and negative) on the students, residents, and town with the closing of the Albion Elementary school.

An overview of the information that we have gathered to date is below. Detailed information can be found at https://albionschoolfutures.squarespace.com/ Also sometime in the next few months there will be a special public meeting to discuss our options (to be scheduled).

Below is more about the school closing and options:

On March 18, 2021, the MSAD #49 School Board accepted the recommendation of the new school building committee to close the Fairfield Primary building, consolidate the elementary schools, and close the Albion and Clinton Elementary Schools. While the purpose of the new building has not been fully envisioned, it will house some if not all of the elementary grades.

The vote on the motion passed 10-2-1, with the Albion School Board members voting against the motion. The closing of our school, which does not need or have to happen, will be tied to a vote to fund the new school. The final vote to try and close our school, which is a district wide vote (so even if Albion votes no the school can still be closed), will most likely be held in June of 2022 (next year).

It is fair to say that receiving state funding for a new school can be seen as a win for MSAD49, yet it is equally true that closing the Albion elementary school will have many harmful and long term negative impacts on our residents, young students, and our town.

While the location of the new school has not been posted on the district’s school consolidation webpage, all evidence points to that it will not be in Albion or in Clinton. Also while a large part of the cost of the new school will be paid for by the state, the towns in the district will need to pay the remaining costs to build the new school. Finally, while our current school building in Albion is older, it’s still an adequate building for our students, even by the state’s ratings and standards.

So what does closing our school mean for our town?

Sadly the vast majority of studies (educational, social, and economic) on rural school closings conducted across the U.S., including in Maine, show that when a rural town loses its only school to consolidation, especially an elementary school, even when residents have access to a new school in a nearby town, the following negative outcomes occur.

  • For young children, longer bus rides and larger class size, often negatively impacts their overall academic performance, (reading, writing, and math), and lessens their connection to the people in their local community
  • The sense of community and town identity is hugely diminished for all residents and many people stop wanting to move to the town
  • For students and families who don’t live near the school, the ability to easily participate in school related extracurricular activities, like sports, becomes much harder
  • The future of the town as a inviting place to live and raise a family is hugely diminished, and the town’s population decreases, increasing the tax burden on the remaining citizens (you still have to pay school taxes no matter what)
  • In rural towns the farther a residence is from a school, the value homes and property decreases, as does the ability to attract future buyers for homes
  • Taxes increase as home and property values decrease
  • Local school related taxes (the biggest part of tax bills) increase regardless of cost savings with a new
    building, as the major portion of the school budget is salaries
    Fortunately, as citizens of Albion, we have options that we can explore and take action on. It is fair to say that all of these
    options have some upsides and downsides. Our options include:

    • Vote NO! When the district wide vote to close the school(s) happens next year, vote against closing the school(s). *This a district wide vote so all towns in the district get to vote on closing our school, so if Albion votes no and the rest of the towns vote yes, the school still closes.
    • Withdraw from the MSAD #49 district with three different possible options:
    1. Keep our elementary school (home rule) and have school choice (children can go to any schools in the area) for middle and high school. The school would have different leadership. Children could still go to Lawrence or Benton elementary. We can afford to do this at the current tax rate.
    2. Close our elementary school but have school choice (can go to any schools in the area, including MSAD #49) for all grades. Children can still go to Lawrence or Benton elementary. We can afford to do this at the current tax rate.
    3. Join another district and negotiate to keep our elementary school and school choice.
    • Stay in the district and support the closing of our elementary school.

You can learn more details about the options, the impacts, and the new school project at https://albionschoolfutures.squarespace.com/ If you wish to join the committee looking at the options, have questions etc. please email: albionschoolfutures@gmail.com.

Community Commentary is a forum The Town Line makes available for citizens to express their opinions on subjects of interest to our readers, and is not necessarily the views of the staff or the board of directors. The Town Line welcomes, and encourages, supportive comments, differing opinions, counterpoints or opposing views. Keep the rebuttals positive, and informative. Submissions containing personal attacks will be rejected.

18th annual China Community Days set for Aug. 6-8, 2021

The China Community Days are set for Friday, August 6 through Sunday, August 8.

On Friday, there will be a free BBQ dinner, lawn games and movie night. These activities will be hosted by the Central Church, 627 Rte. 3. Dinner and games will be held from 6:15 – 7:30 p.m., and the movie will begin at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be a guided tour of the China School Forest, at 10 a.m. It will begin at the kiosk off the bus circle beside the Primary School.

From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., there will be community organizations and vendors at the China ballfields, 763 Lakeview Dr. A list of participating organizations will be available on the town’s website, Facebook page and China Community Days Facebook page. Vendors or organizations interested are asked to contact Neil Farrington at 207-462-4321 or peachclassof68@gmail.com.

All weekend there will be a yard sale trail. Just follow the map that will be posted on the China Community Days Facebook page, town of China Facebook and the town of China website. Anyone wanting their yard sale location to be included should contact the town office.

Also, there will be a Story Trails of Maine. Begin the journey of discovering China’s history by downloading the app for Story Trails of Maine. China Community Days kicks off the interactive adventure of a tour of China. All teams who complete the challenge by August 13, will be in the drawing for the grand prize of $150 in gift cards to local businesses.