FOR YOUR HEALTH: Talk To Your Kids About The Dangers Of Flavored Tobacco

It’s possible to create a better, tobacco-free future in California. You can start by talking to your kids about the dangers of flavored tobacco.

(NAPSI)—After a year and a half of remote learning and social distancing, kids are back to socializing after school and between classes. A return to school also means kids are once again exposed to the dangers of vaping and flavored tobacco products, which could worsen with a return to in-person learning.

The Problem

The tobacco industry knows flavored tobacco is highly addictive—and that’s why it targets kids. Among high school kids in California, 96% of teens who vape use flavored products. By giving vapes and smokeless tobacco products such kid-friendly flavors as Blue Razz, Pegasus Milk, and Menthol Freeze, the tobacco industry falsely markets them as less harmful than cigarettes.

Flavors might mask the harsh taste of tobacco but they don’t hide the toxic chemicals that can damage lungs and the nicotine that is poisonous to developing brains.

Nicotine addiction is especially dangerous for kids. It rewires the brain to crave more of it, creating nicotine withdrawal symptoms including headaches, mood swings and the inability to concentrate. Nicotine even changes the way connections form in the brain and can also interfere with attention and learning.

Big Tobacco understands these harms, yet it still uses flavored products to target youth to turn them into lifetime addicts. Many vape brands now use a highly concentrated form of nicotine called nicotine salts that’s engineered for vaping. These ‘salts’ let higher concentrations be inhaled more easily, and absorbed more quickly, than regular nicotine—addicting kids even faster.

The tobacco industry also experiments with new ways to push nicotine onto youth. In rural communities, it markets smokeless tobacco called chew, and snus—a new product that’s a smokeless tobacco pouch. More than 80% of youth ages 12 to 17 who have ever used snus indicated that the first type of the product they used was flavored.

The industry markets these products, particularly to young men, by showcasing images of rugged cowboys, hunters, and race-car drivers—presenting tobacco use as a rite of passage. This specific targeting may explain why students at rural and town schools have more than double the rates of smokeless tobacco use as those in city or suburban schools.

The Good News

The rate of teens in California who want to quit vaping doubled from 2018 to 2020, and the majority of California teens believe their close friends view vape use negatively. Education about the harms of flavored tobacco products is working, but with kids going back to in-person learning, it is crucial to continue making progress.

Learn More

Kids need support to quit the addictive and deadly products pushed on them by the tobacco industry. Parents and families who want further facts about the dangers of flavored tobacco use or to find quit resources, can visit Californians looking to quit can text “I Can Quit” to 66819 or visit to join the free quit program.

MY POINT OF VIEW: The evolution of Halloween

by Gary Kennedy

Halloween will occur on October 31, 2021. This holiday occurs the day before the Christian holy days of All Hallows’ Day. In some countries this is known as All Saints Day or Hallowmas which occur on November 1 and 2, respectively.

In Germany, when I was assigned there, it was also re­ferred to as Totensonntag or Blue Christmas, Thursday of the Dead. Costume parties, jack-o-lanterns and huge festive bon fires were part of the fanfare. The why of that is unclear but it just seemed to be part of the evolution of the holiday. Trick or treat just seemed to jump in there as well.

By today’s standards, I don’t believe we would consider this a religious holiday. The advent of costumes seems to me to be a competition between good and evil, for the most part, in a fun, peaceful way. However, many of we ancients can remember 1950-70 in which if you didn’t give a treat then you stood a good chance of having your house, car and other personal property pulverized with eggs or bad things being written on your walls with crayons, magic markers and even paint, by the real evil ones. Some of us with hopes of avoiding this would keep a light on, maintain a smile and give treats to the little monsters and some not so little.

The police were always on high-alert during this time. I should add it wasn’t all bad as some of the children were adorable and sweet. Some of us even loved the event so as to enjoy the children and to say hello to their parents. For the most part the event was territorial. Some of the older unaccompanied children figured out that the more affluent sections of the town gave the best treats, some even money. So, they being mobile and unattended would head for these locations to cash in on the better goodies. Those that would cause the damage were usually of the older groups with no adult supervision.

All Hallow tide, the time in the liturgical year (relating to liturgy or public worship) in which the dead are acknowledged, especially saints, martyrs and other revered individuals. This is strongly a religious attempt of defining this holiday. Obviously, Jesus and testimony for him were death sentences which consisted of swains, burning at the stake, crucifixion as well as various forms of torture. The first Christian martyr was Saint Stephen who was taken out of the city of Jerusalem and stoned to death. Final words echoed those of Jesus, a prayer of forgiveness for his attackers. (Acts of Apostles 7:60) Jesus (Luke 23:24) Stephen is the patron saint of deacons and stone masons both Christian and Secular.

So as you can see, Halloween is not just a day of door knocking and treats giving, but also has religious overtones far more significant than the Halloween we celebrate. We have allowed it to evolve into something totally different from what it was intended. There is so much more to this holiday than what I have given you here.

In any case we are still under the influence of this terrible Covid epidemic and that leaves us with many questions to resolve before we knock on doors and accept food stuff from strangers. Some folks known to each other will have small gatherings at their homes where there is some semblance of safely. In my opinion, all should not be lost during these hard times regarding our children.

This is a time when memories are created and shared throughout the years to come. It’s up to us to make them good and safe. God bless and enjoy your holiday. Also, remember there are more than just treats; we have family, friends and the one who makes all things possible. I’m not sure exactly what he thinks of this holiday but he reads the heart. So I am pretty sure he knows we mean no harm or disrespect.

Time to order citrus fruit

Once again, it is time to order your sweet, sparkling citrus fruit in time for Christmas or Thanksgiving. The fruit is picked and shipped within 24 hours and is guaranteed to be in peak condition and flavor, or your money back. Shipping costs only $6.95 per box, and can be delivered anywhere in the continental U.S.

Orders are taken online only. To see the mouth-watering fruit, please go to Please make sure the ID number, 1018996, is on your order. This sale benefits the Palermo Community Center, which, in turn, provides a venue, freezer space, and utilities for the Palermo Food Pantry. This is a safe, no-contact delivery. Thank you for helping to support the Community Center and Food Pantry!

For more information, please contact Connie Bellet at or call 993-2294.

Vassalboro select board cancels October 28, 2021 meeting

Vassalboro select board members have canceled the meeting scheduled for Thursday evening, Oct. 28. Their next regular meeting would have fallen on Nov. 4, but that evening they plan to attend the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce awards banquet where former bookkeeper Jean Poulin will be recognized as municipal employee of the year. The next regular select board meeting is therefore scheduled for Thursday evening, Nov. 18.

MAINE MEMORIES: Life’s experiences

Photo credit:

by Evangeline T.

Hello and welcome to Maine Memories, little snippets of life from our home state. This week, I’m going to talk about my childhood and an interesting thing I experienced. Enjoy!

From ages 10 to 17, I grew up with foster kids. Since I was an only child, this presented quite a challenge. And an adjustment.

My mother explained to me before any children arrived how they either had parents who didn’t love them or that they didn’t know how to behave. That was an understatement!

If children got in trouble, they had two choices: reform school or a foster home. At foster homes, they were expected to accept positive changes. If, at any time, the foster parents decided they weren’t “making the grade,” so to speak, they’d be removed and sent to reform school.

The first two foster children who arrived at our house were 6 and 15 years old, both boys. The 15 year old wanted everything his way. The 6 year old still did baby things and had absolutely no interest in school, which he ran away from more times than I could count.

I, as a 10 year old, tried to somehow accept these boys; they needed what our house had to offer.

Mom instinctively knew how to deal with their problems. She had great compassion and talked in such a way that we understood. Neither parent hit us or gave us spankings. It just wasn’t in them to be unkind.

The punishment I remember most vividly happened if we got into a squabble. She’d take two chairs, place them face to face – our knees almost touching – and we would have to sit there until we were willing to give in and be friends. Believe me, we’d sometimes prefer a spanking!

One day, the school called. The 6 year old had run away with a big dog from next door. Mom found him hugging the dog. She stayed on the opposite side of the road and said, “I’m afraid of that big dog, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m not,” he replied.

Well, Mom talked that little boy into helping her to not be afraid of the dog. Likewise, he promised not to be afraid of school. She’d be at the house when he got off the bus each day. That was all he needed, no further running away or calls from the teacher.

I could write a book about fostering kids. We met many others through those years, and bless my mother, she helped them all. The 6 year old grew up and visited my parents many times. One girl became like a sister to me, and we kept in touch for years, even after we married.

It was a rewarding part of my life, and later, I took in foster children myself. But that’s a story for another day.

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Two books and a string quartet

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

William Huie

The Klansman

by William Bradford Huie

A 1965 novel The Klansman, by William Bradford Huie (1910-1986), depicted the exacerbated racial tensions in a Deep South town in Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. What particularly distinguished it from other novels was Huie’s ability to convey the attitude of the sheriff, himself a racist; a childhood friend who is not; and a host of other characters ranging from members of the KKK to civil rights workers risking their lives.

Most importantly, Huie was one incredible storyteller; I read the 400 and more pages in less than 24 hours while the plots and sub-plots moved right along.

Huie also wrote a non-fiction book Three Lives for Mississippi dealing with the 1964 murders of Civil Rights workers Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman by the Klan and local law enforcement officers. A book which is also recommended.

J. B. Priestley

An Inspector Calls

by J. B. Priestley

An Inspector Calls is a suspenseful 1945 play by J.B. Priestley (1894-1984) in which a British police inspector calls on a wealthy family at their country estate during a dinner party celebrating the daughter’s engagement. The year is 1912 and each family member is smug and selfish.

The inspector is investigating the suicide of a young woman and shows her photo to the parents, son, daughter and her fiancé. From the looks on every face, he correctly ascertains that all five crossed paths with the young woman and may have contributed to her destruction.

A 2015 BBC film assembled a very good cast led by David Thewlis as the inspector is available on Pluto TV and DVD.

Haydn String Quartets

Two very beautiful Haydn String Quartets – the Opus 20 #4 D major one and the Opus 76 #2 D minor – were recorded in 1961 on a Concert Disc LP by the then Chicago-based Fine Arts Quartet consisting of first violinist Leonard Sorkin, second violinist Abram Loft, violist Irving Ilmer and cellist George Sopkin .

By the late 1970s, Sopkin (1914-2008) would retire from the group after almost 40 years to live in Surrey, Maine, not too far from Ellsworth. I met him in 1980 at the Blue Hill Congregational Church where he performed as part of the Maine Trio with violinist Werner Torkanowsky, who had also been music director of the New Orleans Philharmonic and in later years led the Bangor Symphony before his death in 1992, and with pianist Mike Ikemiya.

The Trio was formed for the purpose of giving free chamber music concerts in small Maine villages that had never experienced these events. One very worthwhile endeavor.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Windsor & Winslow schools

The second Fort School in Winslow was constructed on the east side of Lithgow Street during the summer of 1909 to replace the one-room original Fort School across from the church. The school had two very large rooms. In this image, the school is facing Lithgow Street. The school, the school lot, and land for a playground cost $4,500.00. It was part of the Winslow Public School system through 1937-38. In 1963, Waterville Window Company purchased the school and renovated it to serve their purposes.

by Mary Grow

Windsor residents are fortunate to have a well-researched town history by Linwood H. Lowden, published in 1993, that includes an equally well-researched chapter on schools by C. Arlene Barton Gilbert.

From this book, we learn that Windsor, like many other nearby towns, began funding primary schools early in the 1800s.

Windsor’s first teacher, and first resident preacher, was Rev. Job Chadwick, who had previously taught in China. In 1804, Lowden wrote, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel sought a teacher for two small settlements, Hunts Meadow (later included in Whitefield) and Pinhook (in the southern part of what became Windsor).

The Wiscasset minister who recommended Chadwick explained that he had experience and a good reputation, and added, “Through a variety of misfortunes he has lately been stripped of all his worldly property, & I imagine would keep school at as easy a rate as any.”

Chadwick, once he met the residents of the two settlements, commented on the difference between the two jobs. Windsor residents, he wrote, “appear fond of the gift of a school if they might have it separate from the Gospel which they discover an uncommon aversion to…& treat it with entire neglect & a degree of contempt.”

Gilbert wrote that Chadwick’s first term of school was two month long, with an average attendance of 15 to 20 youngsters.

The earliest record of a Windsor town meeting that Lowden found was on April 3, 1809, at Chadwick’s house. Voters approved a $50 appropriation for education – and $700 “to be wrought upon the road or highways.” The latter was supplemented by approval of paying $1 a day for a man’s work on the roads and 66 cents a day for oxen.

A year later, voters approved five school districts and appropriated $150. Gilbert copied from the town records: “this money for schooling be paid in lumber and produce.”

Another year later, in April 1811, Gilbert wrote that the appropriation went up to $200, and voters started rearranging the districts. Later in the century, Windsor had at least 16 school districts, and possibly 18. When Henry Kingsbury finished his Kennebec County history in 1892, there were 12.

The first free high school of which Gilbert found a record started in 1867. According to Kingsbury, town officials bought “seats and desks” for the second floor of the town house to open the school, with Horace Colburn the teacher.

(Kingsbury said that Colburn [1812-1885], left three sons. Two of them taught school, starting in their teens; and each of those two served as Windsor’s supervisor of schools, Joseph from 1871 to 1886 and Frank in 1888 and 1889.)

Gilbert wrote that after offering two high-school terms for each of five years, in March 1873 town meeting voters appropriated $200 to continue it, but rescinded the vote in April.

Nonetheless, she quoted from the 1877 school report that the prior year’s free high school terms, eight weeks in the spring and 10 weeks in the fall, were “very profitable to the district [District 1] and vicinity, giving the scholars who attended an opportunity for improvement that they could not otherwise have had.” The state subsidy amounted to $85.50, the report added.

The 1878 school supervisor’s report was equally enthusiastic. By then the free high school had 34 students, he wrote, “most of them being well advanced and quite a good number having had experience as teachers.”

Windsor’s free high school operated until 1902, Gilbert wrote. It was usually, but not always, in District 1. In 1902, there was a spring term, but the town was also paying tuition for students attending an out-of-town four-year high school (she did not say where the school was).

Winslow’s schools, at all levels, were of little interest to Kingsbury. He devoted one paragraph to the topic, talking about the situation in 1892. Fortunately, local historian Jack Nivison has approached the subject with more enthusiasm.

Nivison emailed that through his research, “particularly of very old Town Reports,” he found Winslow’s earliest schoolhouse for students up to eighth grade was the Fort School, built in 1819 on the west (river) side of Lithgow Street. Lithgow Street roughly parallels the Augusta Road (also Routes 100 and 201) along the Kennebec River, for a short distance south of the Sebasticook-Kennebec junction.

The 1819 school was named the Village School (and the area is designated on an 1879 map as Winslow Village). Nivison wrote the schoolhouse was diagonally across from and a little south of the Congregational Church, which was on the east side of Lithgow Street.

George Jones Varney’s 1881 Gazetteer of the State of Maine said Winslow had 15 schoolhouses by then. He valued them at $3,500.

In 1892, Kingsbury wrote, there were 16 school districts, but still only 15 schoolhouses, and only 11 districts held classes.

There were two free high schools in 1892, Kingsbury wrote. One was “at the village of Winslow”; the other was “in the eastern part of the town, near the Baptist church.” The Baptist Church had been built in 1850, he said, but he gave no more specific location.

In 1892, Kingsbury wrote, the town paid $250 to support the free high schools, which enrolled 80 students. There might have been additional state funding for the high schools; he said that the $250 was in addition to $1,400 “public money” and $1,500 from local taxes for 604 pre-high-school students.

Nivison says there were “attempts to formalize some post 8th grade courses in a couple of the existing schools,” perhaps the “high schools” Kingsbury mentioned.

Winslow’s Sand Hill School

The first Winslow High School, Nivison says, was in a disused Methodist Chapel on Birch (now Monument) Street, which runs between Clinton Avenue and Halifax Street (Route 100), along the top of the hill east of the Kennebec, parallel to Bay Street.

In 1899, he said, the Town of Winslow signed a lease with the Waterville Methodist Church “to renovate their unused Chapel” into a high school. He has a copy of the lease; as further evidence, he points out that Winslow High School graduation programs and the wall display in the present high school building date the school to 1899.

Nivison says the first freshman class had 18 students. By graduation in 2003, at the Congregational Church, the class was down to three students.

The original Fort School closed in 1909 or 1910, Nivison said, because more space was needed and because spring floods on the Kennebec had become a problem. A second Fort School, “built across the street on a higher level,” served as an elementary school well into the 1930s.

In 1904, Nivison continued, town officials had a three-story wooden school built on Halifax Street. The lower grades were on the first floor and the upper grades on the second and third floors.

“During the winter break in 1915 this school burned flat to the ground,” he wrote. It was replaced by a brick building that opened for classes in February 1916, again with lower grades on the first floor and upper grades upstairs.

The “new” Winslow High School, was built in 1928. It has since been replaced with a new building.

Winslow’s student population continued to grow, and in the spring of 1928, Nivison wrote, a new Winslow High School opened on Danielson Street. This school was about half a mile north of the previous ones; Danielson Street runs east off Benton Avenue, roughly parallel to Clinton Avenue.

Initially for grades seven through 12, the new high school quickly changed to grades eight through 12, Nivison wrote. The Halifax Street School became one of Winslow’s two brick elementary-school buildings (the other was the Boston Avenue School, built in 1921).

The Danielson Street site now hosts a complex that includes the current Winslow high and junior high schools and sports fields. Winslow Elementary School is adjacent, on the east side of Benton Avenue a short distance north of the other two schools.

Nivison says the Boston Avenue and Halifax Street schools were both demolished in the early 1990s. The Halifax Street School was considered as a new public library after the 1987 flood destroyed the Lithgow Street library building, but voters defeated the proposal.

Instead, town officials acquired the former roller-skating rink, also on Halifax Street, and converted it into the present library.

Rev. Job Chadwick

According to the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia, found on line, Rev. Job Chadwick was born about 1770, in Maine. An on-line Chadwick genealogy gives his birthdate as Dec. 4, 1756, “the fourth child of James and Ruth (Hatch) Chadwick.” The latter date matches his marriage date, also in the genealogy.

That source says James and Ruth brought their family to what would become China in the spring of 1782, establishing a farm at Chadwick’s Corner (near present-day Erskine Academy).

In 1796, according to the Biblical Cyclopedia, Chadwick “was ordained an evangelist” in Vassalboro, and a year later began eight years as pastor of China’s Second Baptist Church (once called the First Harlem Baptist Church), in South China Village at the south end of China Lake.

Another website, quoting Joshua Millet’s 1845 “History of the Baptists in Maine”, says this newly organized church was an offshoot of the Vassalboro Baptists. Starting with 19 initial members, who worshipped in a “neat and commodious brick edifice,” it grew slowly over the years, with Chadwick occasionally filling in as its preacher after he left in 1804.

Yet another on-line source records one of Chadwick’s actions: on Feb. 24, 1799, he “Joined in Marriage” Joseph Eveans or Evens (the Harlem clerk’s records have one spelling for the marriage intentions in January and the second for the actual marriage in February; your writer suspects the correct spelling is Evans) of Harlem and Jean Johnson of Ballston. (Ballston Plantation became the towns of Jefferson and Whitefield.)

The Biblical Cyclopedia says that after about 11 years as a missionary “under the direction of the Massachusetts Home Mission Society, in the destitute regions of Maine and on Cape Cod,” Chadwick took a pastorate in Gouldsborough, where he served from 1816 to 1831.

The genealogy says Chadwick married another emigree from Falmouth, Mercy Weeks (born Dec. 5, 1757), in Harlem (later China) on Sept. 13, 1784. They had a daughter and three sons. Mercy died in March 1826.

Chadwick died on Dec. 25, 1831, in Windsor, according to the Biblical Cyclopedia, or in January 1832, with no town specified, according to the genealogy. The latter claims he lived in China, saying nothing of missionary work or Gouldsboro. However, it also says he was the first and only teacher in town and was for years “the only spiritual guide the people of the town had of their own number,” making it clear all sources are describing the same man.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Lowden, Linwood H., good Land & fine Contrey but Poor roads a history of Windsor, Maine (1993)
Nivison, Jack, personal communications.

Websites, miscellaneous.

Four candidates for China select board present their views in interviews

The four candidates vying for the two seats on the China select board were asked the following questions:

Do you believe that our lakes are an important resource for the Town of China? Why?

Or, if our lakes are not a primary important resource, then please explain your thinking.

Regardless of how you rank the value of our lakes to the future economy and welfare of China, what specific actions would you support or initiate to protect lake resources?

Do you support the broadband project?

Do you support the People’s Park initiative?

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing China over the next five years?

How would you attract new families to move to China? Do you think taxes in China are too low, too high or just right? Why?

What qualities would you bring to the China selectboard if you are elected?

In your opinion, what decisions has the China selectboard made recently that were wrongly decided? Correctly decided?

CLARIFICATION: A question posed above to China Select Board candidates in the October 28, 2021, issue of The Town Line, was not intended to be directed at the members of the People’s Park or their organization, but rather to see what the candidates’ position were regarding a park for the enjoyment of the public, or to sell it to a private developer. China voters decided in June to put the Lakeview Drive lots for sale to the highest bidder. Brent Chesley, of China, was the successful bidder for the land.


Age: 55
Education: Graduate of Erskine Academy.
Occupation: Self-employed excavation contractor.
Place of birth: Waterville
Past political experience: Served on the budget committee and is the one-term incumbent on the select board.

I think the lakes are important to the town, for recreation, tourism, and the homes and camps on them are a big part of our tax base. I think the projects that have been in place for the past few years are doing a good job of helping restore the lakes and reduce algae.

No, I do not support the broadband project. I think a town-owned system is a bad ide, with the speed that technology changes a 25-year bond of 5-plus million dollars has too much risk for the taxpayers. No, I do not support the people’s park, if this ever happens it will be tax exempt. I would much prefer to see a lake view home go on the property that would help contribute to the tax base. We already have Thurston Park and the school forest. I think our biggest challenge is to control town spending while still providing the services that our citizens require and have become accustomed to .

As far as attracting new families to move here I think we are already doing well. We have a good school system, are located conveniently near Augusta and Waterville and offer a nice rural country setting. As far as taxes go, I do think they are too high. We have had tax increases in the last two years, that puts more strain on the budgets of families, especially people on a fixed income.

Common sense, and trying to keep spending to a responsible level while still providing necessary services.

Wrong decisions in past years, First Park. So far we are in the red $460,000, plus or minus; Fiberight trash plant, we have around $200,000 tied up in a trash plant that sits idle because the operator went bankrupt, and buying an excavator and a trailer to haul it around, $170,000 when it was cheaper to subcontract the work that is done with it, that’s a few bad and expensive decisions. As for correct decisions I think continued work to help restore the lake quality is one, and I think listening to the will of the voters and selling the Lakeview Drive property for a reasonable price to put it back on the tax role.


Brent Chesley

Age: 52
Education: Civil Engineering Technology, University of Maine.
Occupation: Half owner of Wyman & Simpson, Inc., of Richmond, heavy construction industry.
Place of birth: Millinocket. Moved to China 17 years ago.
Family: Married to Cathy; two stepchildren and four step-grandchildren.
Prior political experience: None.

I have attended every planning board meeting and select board meeting since that time. That attendance has gained me a knowledge of how town business is conducted and a perception of the issues that have arisen now and in the past. Always with respect, I have expressed my opinions and given advice through public comments and written letters to the Municipal Officers. I know that some of those have ruffled a few feathers, but I find it important to speak out and then let them use it as they will. A good selectman is one that can speak their mind and vote their conscience knowing that you can’t please everyone all the time. In order to volunteer and get involved, I made the requests and became an appointed member of both the Appeals Board and the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Committee for the Town of China.

I believe that our lakes are an important resource and investing in those resources is a benefit to all China residents for the following reasons:

  • The lakes give all of the local residents the opportunity to recreate with family and friends which adds to their quality of life.
  • The lakes promote tourism for people in the surrounding area and from away to come spend time and money in China.
  • The lakes bring in a number of seasonal lakefront property owners from nearby and far away
  • Investment in the lakes increases the value of lakefront homes which protects the investments made by lakefront property owners
  • Keeping the values of the lakefront properties high, lowers the property taxes on those properties that are not on the lakes

Through the TIF Committee, I have voted to recommend that the select board grant funding for the efforts of the China Lake Association (CLA) and the China Regions Lake Alliance (CRLA). I supported recommending TIF funding to Maine Rivers for the Alewife Restoration Initiative (ARI) but abstained from that vote due to a conflict of interest. That conflict was that Wyman & Simpson was contracted to build the Outlet Dam Fishway. In strong support of this last hurdle and to keep the ARI project on track, Wyman & Simpson agreed to finance a portion for Maine Rivers if their funding fell short. The ARI project is complete, and we will be seeing Alewives migrating freely into China Lake next season.

Cathy and I love China Lake and have personally put a lot of our own money, time, and effort into protecting the resource. Undoubtedly, the two largest threats to lake water quality are soil erosion and surface water flowing directly into the lake. Our lakefront property had both of those issues. To do our part, we put my construction experience and available resources together, thought outside of the box and devised a plan to stabilize our shoreline using sheet piling faced with granite and to regrade our yard with well-draining soils. It took a full year to get through the DEP permitting process, which included a thorough 90-day review.

We faced a lot of opposition from concerned residents because this isn’t a method used regularly by private homeowners. I guess they were OK with the status quo that had already failed. Sheet piling is nothing new, is used by public entities frequently and has proven to be the best method of shoreline stabilization. We did find it ironic that most of the folks that were in strong opposition of our project were in favor and support of the causeway project. Al Hodsdon, a consulting engineer from Waterville, was involved with both projects and made a comparison of the two. His comparison was that the two projects are very similar, only Brent’s is a better method with less impacts on the resource.

DEP recognized an individual that had the resources to get it done with the knowledge to do it right and issued us the Natural Resources Protection Act permit late in 2019. We spent the better part of 2020, fighting a legal battle with the former Codes Enforcement Officer, Mr. Butler. He devised a deceitful scheme with an attempt to prohibit us from continuing even though the Town has no jurisdiction over shoreline stabilization. This scheme was initiated by a handful of residents, supported by the planning board and a majority of the appeals board. While we defended against his deceitful lies and scheme, he followed up with personal attacks and harassment.

We couldn’t help but think about all the folks that have been denied an allowable activity or harassed but gave up because they didn’t have the ability or the means to defend their rights. I bet it happens a lot and his leaving was a blessing to all of China. Our battle was won, and we have since stabilized our shoreline and regraded our yard. The final landscaping that includes a vegetated buffer will be completed next season. We found it gratifying during the six-inch rainstorm we had a few weeks ago that we had no erosion and no unfiltered surface runoff going directly into the lake.

I have also heard that with the lake level being so high that some properties are seeing erosion due to scour. Prior, we would be having the same issue, but our shoreline is now fully protected from scour. I may not be a limnologist, but I do know how to stabilize a shoreline and direct the flow of water. We also found it interesting to have witnessed surface runoff traveling across the manicured lawn and going directly into the lake from the property owned by those that were the most opposed to our methods. We’re glad that we followed through and didn’t give up on helping the lake!

We also spent seven years relentlessly working to purchase the 48-acre parcel adjacent to Fire Rd 9. That property includes a large field, wooded area, and most of the bog that all flows directly into Black Duck Cove behind Wentworth Point. We wanted to have control over any future development of the land and to make sure that the practice of spreading cow manure on that field so close to the lake would never happen again.

Do you support the broadband project?

This is not a simple yes or no answer for me. I do have reservations about the project but am not fully opposed to it. My concern is that there is no guarantee that taxpayers won’t be on the hook for the bond at some point. I will be voting yes on the ballot question, but that does not mean that I will support signing a bond. The estimates show that there needs to be a minimum of 834 households enrolled in the program to pay for the bond. I don’t believe that I could support signing a bond with the bare minimum of 834. The numbers would need to be much higher than that to provide a buffer in case some enrollees back out or decide soon into it that they want out. There would need to be around 1,100-1,200 enrolled for me to support signing a bond. More would be better.

I do not support the People’s Park initiative. I have attended all of the select board meetings and have heard all of the arguments. My stance on it is this; the residents voted overwhelmingly in June to authorize the select board to hire a broker and to sell the property on Lakeview Drive to reduce taxes. I find the intent was to market the property to its fullest and sell it for as much money as possible. The ballot question did not indicate anything about seeking a buyer with a certain intent.

The People’s Park didn’t want to see any of the property built on or developed, but further preserved for the use of walking and hiking trails with a turnoff from Route 202 that included a few picnic tables. They gathered private donations and made an offer to purchase the land for $10,000. Selling it for so little, in my opinion, would be doing so on the backs of the taxpayers. Then, who’s going to pay to make it into a park and maintain it. The Town has already committed to maintain Thurston Park and the School Forest through TIF funds. TIF funds are limited and don’t forget, that is taxpayer money. One argued, “it’s not all about the money.”

I don’t fully disagree with that in some cases, but I do in this one. The selectboard did the right thing by backing the will of the voters and not just those that kick and scream the loudest. Anything to do with that property needs to be funded with private money.

Cathy and I are under contract as the buyers and I’m sure people are curious as to our plans. We have discussed a few ideas and would like to do some things with it that would benefit the community and hopefully bring people together. It is in a good location and does have the potential to do just that. This country is so divided, and it would be nice to work towards keeping our community close. Whatever we do with it, before we spend our money, time, and effort we would like to seek interest and support from others to help in the volunteer effort. We have also discussed possibly needing to development a portion of it to offset the cost. 39 acres is enough land to support both development and nature, and I don’t know why it has to be black and white. If we can’t get interest in it and volunteer support, then we’re not sure what we will do with it.

I see the biggest challenge will be trying to lower taxes or even keep them the same. The cost of everything is increasing and greater inflation is looming. The town budget will not be insulated from this and an increase in taxes is the last thing that hardworking families need in an economy with inflation.

Another challenge that I see is attracting businesses that pay living wages to move to or start up in China. China does not have a good reputation as being business friendly. This starts with our ordinances and our planning board. A number of our existing ordinances, as well as the latest ones drafted are more restrictive than State of Maine guidelines and statutes. Many are with no good reason and without consideration of what’s best for all of China. I know that we have lakes with water quality that needs help, but there is a way to encourage growth and development in a responsible manner. Like I said earlier, this issue doesn’t need to be black and white. We need some citizens that have good common sense and will put the best interest of all of China out front to step up to fill vacancies and take over some of the existing seats on the planning board. I offered to fill a vacancy last year, but there was concern that there were already three members from the Neck Road area. Membership is based on districts and District 1 would have been overweighted with four members.

I have been helping my stepdaughter look for a house here in Maine so they can move back from Pennsylvania, so I am familiar with what attracts families. The most important thing to families with children is the quality of the schools. I do believe we have good schools right in China and we need to continue to support them, especially the teachers.

Second is a close-knit community. You know the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Growing up in Lincoln in a time when neighbors knew neighbors, I can’t agree more.

Third, attracting businesses that pay a living wage with benefits, other than establishments that peddle marijuana, would be a helpful way to attract families.

Taxes are too high. The only way to lower taxes is to either cut spending or increase the tax base. As I said before, cutting the budget with the rate of inflation we’re facing is going to be tough. To increase the tax base, we need to attract people and businesses to move to China.

China is one municipality that is too aggressive with their personal property tax program compared to other municipalities. That adds difficulty in attracting new businesses to come to China over other towns that are less aggressive with their personal property tax.

I am a native Mainer that understands Maine values, the value of hard work and the value of a close community. I understand that all opinions matter and that one person may not have all the answers. I know how to listen to others, make decisions using good common sense, lead by example and follow through to get things done. I’m not afraid of hard work, I still wear work boots to work and will help out whenever needed. I’m the only non-incumbent candidate that has been to all of the select board meetings for the last two years. I would like to believe that I have gained the respect of all the current members and that attending all the meetings would allow me to step right in and get to work.

It is my opinion that the select board has made the wrong decision to place a recommendation on the broadband ballot question. They should have left it blank. I don’t have many negative opinions on the decisions of the select board. I may not agree with all of the selectmen all of the time, but I do believe that all of them have the best interest of the residents, businesses, and town employees in mind. I would like to make sure that continues, so as a selectman, I would certainly put those three sets first. I will advocate in the best interest of all of China and fairness for all.

I would like to thank Irene Belanger for her 22 years of service and further thank The Town Line for the opportunity to participate in this interview.

I would appreciate your vote on November 2


Age: 54
Occupation: O’Connor Motors, Augusta.
Place of birth: Bangor. China resident since 1987.
Past political experience: Served on the planning board, select board and the RSU #18 Cost Share Committee. Also served as president of the China Youth League.
Family: Children and grandchildren all reside in China.

The lakes are a very important resource for our town. They’re a real community asset. Apart from China lake providing drinking water to Kennebec Water District, all of the lakes provide sporting and recreation opportunities virtually all year round, and they are critical for our property values. The lakes attract tourism and visitors, which helps the local economy.

I think we have to preserve the health of the lakes. That’s how we’ll keep being able to enjoy them for years to come. I appreciate and agree with the initiative to check all boats for milfoil to keep that invasive plant from taking over. And I think the China Region Lakes Alliance’s program and the Lake Smart program to work with homeowners to protect the health of the lake is excellent. We have a lot of great volunteer organizations looking out for the health of the lake – the China Lake Association comes to mind – and I think the Select Board should continue to work closely with them.

I think broadband is a good idea and I appreciate the committee’s due diligence in researching costs and benefits, especially because so many people can work remotely now, but I don’t think the town should be involved in running a utility company. I think the project should be more regionalized to spread the cost and the benefit. This is a complex problem, and it’s one facing many rural communities.

I do not support the People’s Park initiative. The voters decided to sell the land, and while I understand that people would like community space near the lake, China already has Thurston Park, which is underused. Infrastructure is necessary to build and maintain parks, and it’s unclear whose responsibility that would be.

Right now, everyone is unsure of everything, and it feels like the world is off its axis due to the pandemic. It’s hard to say what the challenges will be, but the regular challenges are the same: taxes, quality of schools, quality of life, quality of infrastructure. It would be nice to get more conveniences here, but I also think that expansion should not interrupt the rural quality of life in China. I think we’ll also have to be vigilant about protecting the quality of the lakes’ water. And finally, our Fire and Rescue workers are very dedicated, and I hope we can encourage new volunteers to join them.

China already attracts new families. The schools are good, the lake is beautiful, the location between Augusta and Waterville is really good. The taxes are a little too high, but they support our schools and services.

I have served on a lot of boards and committees in China, and I was 100 percent committed to my work on them. I have experience with the budget process, land development codes, fire and rescue operations, and so on. I tried to have good, respectful relationships with my fellow committee members, and to understand their points of view. I am unfazed by personal attacks or false rumors, and I just try to do the best I can for the town. I care about China’s future; my kids went through the China schools and my family uses the lake for recreation.

I feel that over the years the China select board, planning board, the budget committee, and the town manager have all tried to serve the town’s best interests. We need to work with what we have and build each other up.


Jeanne Marquis

My family has been here for generations since the mid-1800s on the Neck Rd. What keeps us coming back is the unique quality of life in China, Maine. Here you wake up to the sounds of loons on the lake, yet you’re in close proximity to education, medical providers and jobs. That’s why I am running for selectman to help maintain this balance while we prepare for the future.

I am certain that most of our citizens would agree the China Lake system is the crowning jewel of this area. Our lakes provide year-round recreational opportunities from boating to ice fishing bringing families outdoors to create multi-generational memories. Beyond these obvious benefits of our lakes, we also need to look further to how the many waterways and estuaries feeding into these lakes benefit the Town of China. These vital waterways supply our ground water wells, water our gardens, maintain our wildlife and keep our families healthy. Yes, the China Lake system is an extremely important resource for the Town of China as it has an essential role in supporting our property values, health and the lifestyle balance we enjoy with the greater outdoors.

The lake quality has improved since the ‘80s due to the programs and partnerships with state environmental experts established through the work of the China Lake Association (CLA) and China Regional Lakes Alliance (CRLA). Although much progress has been made, China Lake is still listed on the State and Federal List of impaired lakes. We need to diligently monitor the lake quality status reports and watershed surveys, and we need to act on the information in these reports when it is required to do so. We need to maintain the programs set into place by the CLA and CRLA , which are mostly volunteer driven. In addition to supporting what is already in motion, town leadership is in a position to encourage more awareness and participation in China Lake Association activities. Most importantly, community leaders need to ask themselves before making key decisions “How will this impact the lake?” The decisions we make today will impact this area for generations.

Our experience with remote work and classrooms this past year has shown us how important a stable network is to every household. Unfortunately, not every household has the internet and many of those who do have internet find it to be an unstable version and expensive. The current status quo is unacceptable now and definitely not acceptable into the future.

Now the program that is proposed by the broadband committee is not mandatory. Don’t worry, you are free to keep your current provider. The broadband service will not be managed by the town either. The service will be managed by a private firm. The Town of China will own the fiber network, which will future proof our system for 30-40 years.

The bond will be paid for by subscribers, without adding to our taxes. There are also unprecedented amounts of broadband funding available through the state and federal resources to enable us to pay off the bond more quickly. If we don’t have a plan in place to capture these dollars, we will miss out. Communities in our region recognizing this opportunity are busy developing their broadband initiatives: MidCoast Internet Coalition (MIDC) and Southwestern Waldo Broadband Coalition (SWCBC).

A few years back, before there was a People’s Park initiative, a comprehensive plan was created with input from citizens on how they envisioned the future of China, Maine. The citizens drafting this plan agreed that as China grew they saw a need to retain land for public access and recreation. The comprehensive plan for China 2020 on page 67 states, “As the town develops in the long term, access to private lands for passive recreation will diminish in some capacity. The town could choose to address this with a long term open space plan for acquisition of conservation and public access lands or rights.”

A comprehensive plan is a blueprint of how the citizens of a town wish to see their leaders act on their behalf. If the majority of our current selectboard had read this plan, they would not have been so quick as to sell the 39-acre parcel of land on Lakeview Drive. The land was put on the market quickly with the justification of lowering our collective taxes. The tax revenue to be earned from this land divided among our 2,000 plus households in China is a pittance compared to what could have been a park that could be enjoyed for generations and provide access to the Narrow Gauge Trail. This could have been a park funded through grants at no additional expense to taxpayers. The People’s Park initiative was formed in frustration to a selectboard who turned a deaf ear to the voices of the citizens.

As a big part of my campaign, I went door to door handing out flyers and got the opportunity to speak to many residents and find out what was on their minds. These were some of the concerns I heard:

Taxes and rising property values: The biggest concern was the recent tax increase that we all received, myself included. In the next five years, we will have to work hard to keep taxes manageable, especially for those on fixed incomes, despite the rising property values.

School Budget: Are we getting our fair share of the RSU budget for our schools in China? I heard this concern loud and clear, which is an item I would investigate if elected to the selectboard.

Health Challenges: We will continue to be challenged by threats to our local health – Browntail moths for example. These challenges will need to be monitored and addressed as needed through public awareness and state grants if available. Becky Hapgood did an excellent job of keeping us informed on the Browntail Moth issue this year.

Community Involvement: I heard repeatedly that people did not feel their voices were heard in our local government. You can see this in the decline in committee and volunteer participation over the last few years. We need leadership who listens.

Maine is experiencing a renewed popularity with new residents from out of state. I met some of our newest citizens at China Days this year, so I think a better question is “Are we providing what new and established citizens need/expect in China, Maine?”

Growth is inevitable, but as we grow we need to maintain the balance of rural/abundantly natural life that attracted us all to this area. We need to protect the water quality of our China Lake system. We need to offer the best possible broadband at an economical rate so citizens, new or established, can remotely work or study for the best economic opportunities possible. We need to build back the community engagement which seems to be slipping away.

I was concerned about the recent tax increase as many of you were, so I visited with [Town Manager] Becky Hapgood to find out how our tax bills were calculated. She followed our state law exactly. In preparing for this increase, our selectboard lowered the mil rate – a decision I completely support.

What concerns me more is a trend we may be facing in which the influx of new residents to Maine may be inflating our property values. If this trend continues, it would put unfair financial pressure on established residents as it has in Southern Maine. It would take a change in state law to provide property tax relief, something we could consider advocating for in the next legislative session.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from University of Wisconsin and a masters degree from Medill School of Journalism from Northwestern University. During my career, I have worked for mid-size to Fortune 500 companies, taught in universities and volunteered in the nonprofit sector. I understand the importance of the bottom line and making the most efficient use of a budget. As a journalist, I feel strongly about basing decisions on solid research and keeping the channels of communication open. My career has taught me to listen intently to all sides and that building bridges between people gets more accomplished. That’s what I will bring to the selectboard.

Instead of critiquing the current board, I’d prefer to tell you my thought process if I were to be elected to the board. On major decisions, the factors I would take into consideration: 1. Input from the public both pro and con. 2. Available research. 3. Keep taxes low and seek other funding sources when available. 4. How does the decision impact the China Lake system. 5. Does the decision follow our Comprehensive Plan?

Other candidates

Other open positions on China’s local election ballot are:

  • Three planning board members, with no candidates for District 1 or District 3 and Natale Tripodi unopposed for re-election as member at large.
  • Three budget committee members, with Thomas Rumpf running for chairman, Kevin Maroon running for re-election from District 1 and no candidate for District 3.
  • One representative to Regional School Unit #18, with no candidate on the ballot.

District 1 is the northwestern part of China, District 3 the southeastern part. The RSU representative is elected from anywhere in town.

LETTERS: Turn the wheel for ourselves

To the editor:

The market economy is one of mankind’s greatest achievements but it works best for society when there is competition. Starting in the 1980s the application of anti-trust laws switched from “anti-competition” to “anti-price fixing”. Since then we experienced an explosion of mergers and acquisitions that has resulted in fewer providers of goods and services and fewer employers to choose from.

For example, 73 percent of all meat sold in chain grocery stores are provided by only four giant companies, like Tyson Foods. Here in our local area we saw cable company Adelphia bought by Time Warner Cable, which lied to us thousands of times per day. Remember, “high speed internet starting at $14.95”? Then TWC was bought by Spectrum, which is owned by Charter Communications. How long will it be before all of that is owned by Amazon, Disney, or Google? In the past year Spectrum has raised my monthly subscription twice, the last time by 28 percent. “He who owns controls” – and we have no control. Working with small companies we can create the competition that Spectrum doesn’t have.

Due to the hard work of some local citizens who have experienced, “Taken Enough Already” and, like those Boston “Sons of Liberty,” who were sick and tired of dealing with a giant corporation, the East India Company, we have the opportunity to be free of the tyranny of Spectrum. Instead of dumping tea we can be dumping the burden of making some financial elites even wealthier. We can own, and therefore control, the infrastructure that provides internet service.

Once in place, rates will rise only if we say so. The quality of maintenance will be determined by us, the local community. We need not be the frogs in the boiling water.

Everyone knows that owning a house is less expensive than renting. Renters always have the risk that their home will be sold to some distant owner that will keep raising the rent. Let’s break free from this system that sends our local wealth to people who care nothing for us. Let’s take a hold of the wheel and turn it for ourselves.

Vote Yes for our own Fiber Optics internet.

Brad Sherwood

Children’s book author to hold book signing at Retail Therapy in Waterville

Jeanine Deas

Local children’s book author Jeanine Deas will be signing copies of her new book, We’re All in the Kitchen, at an appearance, at Retail Therapy Consignment Boutique, 270 Kennedy Memorial Drive, Waterville, on Saturday, November 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Personally-signed copies of We’re All in the Kitchen, along with the author’s previous books, Anna’s Little Buddy and Twinkle, Twinkle, Where You Are, will be available for $10 each.

Throughout We’re All in the Kitchen, Jeanine Deas and illustrator Rebecca Reinhart bring their unforgettable storytelling magic to the pages of a delightfully infectious, sing-songy story about one diverse family’s rib-tickling kitchen experience. It’s too-much-fun—and PERFECT to share with the wee readers you love!

For more information, please call Retail Therapy Consignment Boutique at (207) 213-4600.