SOLON & BEYOND: Goofed…and went camping

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

This week I’m using some of a column I wrote back on December 19, 2019 . It starts with these words: Good morning, my friends, Don’t worry, be happy!

Don’t worry, be happy! Received a most welcome letter this week that pleased me greatly. It was from the National Resources Council of Maine… and it starts with these words: “Thank you for submitting your letter to the editor titled, Thankful for Strong Opposition to CMP Corridor that ran on November 17, in the Kennebec Journal. We value your commitment to make the public aware of this critical environmental issue,

We welcome you to become an NRCM member. Your letter to the editor is aligned with the work that we do. You are helping safeguard large tracts of land that are home to treasured wildlife and are our solace. “United we can do what no person can do alone.” Thank you again for everything.

This week my column may be a short one, but most of it will be from an old August 9, 1996 Somerset Gazette . My humble apologies for the lack of this column last week but I goofed and went camping  When someone commented about it not being in I said that I thought everyone should have a vacation once in a while , this person said the reporters need to be on the job all the time. A Rogers family reunion was held at the home of Betsy and Arthur Rogers on the River Road last Sunday with 60 family members and friends present. A delicious pot luck lunch was enjoyed at noon. followed by an auction with Lee Turcotte of Cornville doing a great job as auctioneer.

This will be a short one today with Christmas right around the corner. I do hope all of you have a very happy Christmas with family and friends.

I am going to end this with a few words from a special book called Sunny Thoughts (I used it many times in my writing. I used the following 4 –02–09 hope you like it. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most: the song of a bird, a warm breeze blowing through the trees, a friendly voice on the other end of a telephone ,a note written by a friend to us when we need encouragement, the wag of a dog,s tail as we come home from a hard day at work. These things are intangible — we cannot put a price tag on what they mean to us or how they help us to feel abiding peace even in the midst of turmoil. written by Heather Parkins .

OBITUARIES for Thursday, December 23, 2021


WINDSOR – Lawrence “Larry” Erving, Sr., 84, passed away on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, following a brief illness. Larry was born in Chelsea, grew up in Gardiner, and raised his family and worked as an electrician at Digital Equipment Corporation, for 20 years, in Ashland, Massachusetts, before returning to Maine with his wife and youngest son in 1993.

Larry loved hunting and fishing and camping with family. He enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles and you could always find a puzzle in progress in his home. He liked old-school country music, such as Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. He loved taking pictures of family and friends, as evidenced by the dozens of crates of photo albums in his home. He was an avid fan of the Wiscasset Speedway. A typical Leo, he loved being the center of attention. More than anything, he loved to laugh and to try to make others laugh and smile too.

Larry was predeceased by his wife Linda, in September 2020.

He is survived by his children, daughter Angela Erving and her fiancé “Cowboy” John Lindsey, of Oregon; sons Larry Erving Jr. and his wife Sarah, of Massachusetts, and John Erving and his wife Linda, of Maine; his grandchildren, Shawn and Hannah Busker (and Hannah’s fiancé Mark Eyssalem), of Massachusetts, Lily and Holly Erving, of Massachusetts, Lee Cole and Tyrah Erving, of Maine, Justin (and his family) and John Lindsey Jr (and John Jr’s fiancée Michaela Grenham), of Oregon; one brother, Charlie Erving, of Indiana, and many brothers- and sisters-in-law, cousins, nephews, and nieces.


VASSALBORO – Amy J. Messier, 59, passed away following a brief illness on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, in Bangor. She was born June 7, 1962, in Providence, Rhode Island, the daughter of Raymond and Lucille (Charnock) Messier.

During her life, she held various clerical and administrative positions, working her way up to Human Resources Director, but most loved and was proud of her work as wildlife rehabilitation technician. Amy had a deep love for all animals and had a special connection with Native American culture. She volunteered at many wildlife rehabilitation centers thoughout the country including North Carolina and Wisconsin, but mostly here in Maine at The Wildlife Care Center, in Vassalboro. She spent her time daily cleaning cages, feeding abandoned, sick, and injured animals, nursing them to health so they could be released back into the wild.

Amy is survived by sisters, Cindy Laforge, of Clinton, Diane Myers and husband Jimmy, of Ocala, Florida; brothers, Raymond Messier and wife Susan, of Ft. Pierce, Florida, Allan Kennedy, of Rutland, Vermont; nieces, Andrea Howe and husband Bob, of Pleasant Ridge Plantation, Amber Costa and husband Chris, of Florida, Zoe Kennedy Aumick and husband Chris, of New Jersey, Meghan Kennedy, of Vermont; nephews, Josh Edmundson, of Orlando, Florida, Chris Santos, of Surprise, Arizona, Corey Kennedy, of Vermont, William Kennedy, of Vermont, and Wyatt Howe, of Pleasant Ridge Plantation.

A Celebration of Life will be held in June 2022 at the convenience of the family. Notification will be via Facebook and all who loved her are welcome.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976. In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations in Amy’s memory to The Wildlife Care Center, 1787 N. Belfast Ave., Vassalboro, ME 04989.


FAIRFIELD – Mark Edward McPheters, 90, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 6, 2021. Mark was born January 8, 1931, in Waterville, to Carroll and Gertrude McPheters.

Mark attended and graduated from Lawrence High School, in Fairfield. He served in the U.S. Army and in the Korean War. In 1955 he married Roberta “Bobbie” Dunn, and were married for 62 years.

Mark was the owner of McPheters Garage, a landmark in downtown Fairfield for many years. Mark was a member of the Free Masons and The Shriners, as well as the Clinton Lions Club and the Waterville Chess Club. His passion late in life was for the Fairfield Historical Society and the First Baptist Church, in Waterville. If he wasn’t home cooking, gardening or reading, you could find him lending a helping hand at the “history house” or at church.

Mark had a love of books and art. He kept his most treasured books by author, poet Holman Day of Vassalboro by his side until his final days.

Mark was preceded in death by his wife Bobbie McPheters.

He is survived by his son, Mark McPheters II and his wife Lynn, of Richmond; his daughter, Mary Scanlon and her husband Neil, of Bethel; his sister-in-law, Mary Merrick and her husband Jimmy, of Fairfield; and nieces Barbara Guimond and Lenette MacDonald and their families; his grandchildren Kaitlin Hilchey, Benjamin McPheters, Cody-Ann Scanlon and Cassidy Scanlon; and four great-grandchildren.

You are invited to offer your condolences and share fond memories with the family by visiting Mark’s guestbook at

Committal services will be held at a future date in the spring at Pine Grove Cemetery, in Waterville.

A service of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home, 8 Elm St., Waterville, ME 04901. 207-872-7676

In remembrance of Mark’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the Fairfield Historical Society, 42 High St, Fairfield, Maine.


BENTON – Eugene A. Morrison, 84, died peacefully on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at Glenridge Nursing Home, in Augusta. Eugene was born on May 5, 1937, in Hartland, a son of the late Stillman and Mildred (Wade) Morrison.

He graduated from Hartland Academy with the class of 1955 and went on to work as an oil truck driver for John McMann. He began his under graduate work and received his master’s degree from the University of Maine in Orono. He served as a principal for many years with MSAD #49.

Gene was a very likable guy and social. He had many friends. A terrific painter and collector of Civil War memorabilia. He was also a very good carpenter and built his own home with the help of his three sons. He was a long-time member of the Masonic Lodge, Fairfield Chapter, Siloam #92, A.F. & A.M.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Judith Sawtelle Morrison, of Benton; three sons, Eugene “Allen” Morrison II, of Benton, Todd Morrison and wife Lynne, of North Yarmouth, and Trevor Morrison, of De’Pere, Wisconsin; six grandchildren, Connor, Dylan, Hailee, Katie, Maghan, and Jack; brother, Donald Morrison and wife Virginia, of Palmyra; and nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; and a brother, Franklin Morrison.

A memorial service will be held in the summer of 2022 at the Shorey-Nichols Funeral Home, in Pittsfield, with a committal following at the Pine Grove Cemetery, in Hartland.

To leave a message of kindness or to share a memory, please visit

Care has been provided by Shorey-Nichols Funeral Home, Pittsfield.


OAKLAND – Dorothy Alice Brown, 90, passed away on Sunday, December 12, 2021, in Waterville. She was born December 27, 1930, to Gordon and Evelyn Boyles, in Fairfield.

She began her education in a one room schoolhouse in Weeks Mills and then North Belgrade until fourth grade when she transferred to Oakland. She graduated from Williams High School, in Oakland, in 1948. While in high school she worked after school and Saturdays at Diamond International, in the mill, in Oakland. Shortly after graduation she became the private secretary to the mill manager.

Dorothy married Russell P. Brown on March 19, 1950. She continued to work for a few years until her family grew at which time she retired from the workforce. With Russell by her side, they operated the family dairy farm on the Belgrade Road until 1972 when they finally sold the herd. She continued to work side by side with her husband as a team in construction, building many lovely homes in Oakland and across the state.

She was a member of the Oakland Extension and served on the Kennebec County Extension board for several years. She belonged to the United Baptist Church where she sang in the choir and was chairman of the Ladies Circle for many years. She joined Cascade Grange in 1945 and was very active her entire life. She will be remembered as “the pie lady” at the public suppers that the Grange put on. She was also a member of Kennebec Pomona No 4. She was secretary of the Pomona and Cascade Grange for 26 years. Russell and Dorothy were State Youth Directors for the Maine State Grange for eight years. She was program Director of the State Grange for eight years and State Grange Treasurer for ten years. She was a member of the National Grange Lecturers Advisory Committee for four years. She has been active in both Mt. Philip Grange No. 545 and Somerset Pomona Grange No. 6.

Russell and Dorothy enjoyed taking the motor home and seeing the continental U.S., managing to make it to most all of them over the years.

Dorothy was always doing handwork, knitting, crocheting Afghans and sweaters for the family. She made beautiful crewel and counted cross stitch pieces and made quilts for family members or wedding gifts for friends. She enjoyed spending time with Kelly teaching her the craft of quilting and trips to 5 Guys.

She was predeceased by husband Russell; daughter Susan Church; grandson Andrew Brown; and her youngest sister Norma Rice and Clyde Berry close family friend.

She is survived by her children, son Roger Brown and wife Patricia, daughter Ellen Clarke, son Peter Brown and wife Patricia, all of Oakland; seven grandchildren, Julie Damico and husband Anthony, Geoffrey Church and wife Elizabeth, Nicholas Jurdak and wife Lynn, Jonathan Brown and wife Lindsey, Brandon Brown and wife Ashley, Ryan Brown, and Katelyn Lovejoy; sister, Patricia Towne and husband Charles; many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and great nieces/nephews.

Services will be private. Dorothy will be laid to rest next to her husband, Russell, at Lakeview Cemetery, in Oakland.

Arrangements are in the care of the Wheeler Funeral Home, 26 Church St. Oakland, where condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Oakland Public Library or charity of your choice.


WATERVILLE – Barbara Jean Maskell, 77, passed away Sunday, December 12, 2021, at home. Barbara was born June 5, 1944, in Waterville, the daughter of Edward and Madeline Jolicoeur (Giguere).

She married Donald Maskell in 1974 in Waterville. They resided in Oakland for many years before building their dream retirement home in Waterville.

Barbara worked for Budget Rent a Car at the Waterville airport for many years, and later worked for the State of Maine, in Augusta, for eight years prior to retiring.

Barbara, affectionately known as Nana to her 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, will be sorely missed. Always the caring, compassionate wife, mother and grandmother, Nana accepted everyone, and always made people feel comfortable. A woman of strong Catholic faith, she was an example of how to live a Christian life. She will be remembered by family and friends as a humble and loving soul who always treated others with dignity and respect.

Barbara enjoyed gardening and taking day trips to the coast or through the countryside. She valued family time above all and visiting with and hearing all about the children and grandchildren. She was always focusing on someone other than herself. Even during her last days, she was concerned solely about her family’s well-being.

Barbara was predeceased by her father, Edward Jolicoeur; her mother, Madeline Jolicoeur; and her son, Scott Raymond Landry.

Barbara is survived by her husband, Donald Maskell; her sons, Randall Landry and his wife Jeannine, and Marc Landry and his wife Lynn; her 11 grandchildren; three-great grandchildren; her brothers, Thomas Jolicoeur and his wife, Marlene, and Kenneth Jolicoeur and his wife Sharon, Daniel Jolicoeur; her sister Betty Gomm; and ten nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at Notre Dame Catholic Church, in Waterville, Maine.

Arrangements are in the care of the Wheeler Funeral Home, 26 Church St. Oakland, where condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at


NAPA, Calif. – Camilla Gauthier, 78, passed away on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, in Napa, California. Camilla was born on January 28, 1943, in Waterville, to Lucien (Happy) and Rose Rodrigue Gregoire.

She spent her childhood years in Waterville and Winslow and graduated from Mt. Merci Academy, in Waterville, in 1961. Upon her graduation, she worked at Federal Trust Co., in Waterville, until her marriage in November 1962 to Roger Gauthier, whom she joined through a 20-year military career. They lived in Maryland, Germany, Florida and Massachusetts.

For many years she was a homemaker, after which she worked for Equitable Trust, in Maryland, and Hodges Theater, in Massachusetts. Upon her return to Maine, she worked for 18 years at Key Bank, in Winslow and Fairfield. For the last several years, she worked with Sodexo in the catering department of Colby College, in Waterville. She was also a volunteer at Maine General Medical Center, in Waterville.

Camilla was a devoted wife and mother, always concerned about the well being of her family. She especially enjoyed visiting with all her children and grandchildren and joining them on many trips. She also enjoyed spending time with her cousins and friends.

She was predeceased by her parents.

Surviving are her sons, Rodney and wife Maria, of Martinez, California, Paul and wife Kimberly, of Elk Grove, California, John and wife Jill, of Fort Collins, Colorado, and daughter Rachel McDaniel and husband Douglas, of Napa, California; ten grandchildren, Anthony, Kelsey, Olivia, Gabriel, Jacob, Jessica, Jenna, Jocelyn, Jared and Jayce Gauthier; five great-grandchildren, Bentley and Beckham Gauthier, Reagan and Oakley Connor and Denali Rodriguez; her bother Ronald and sister-in-law Brenda, of Peoria, Arizona.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. John Catholic Church, in Winslow, on Thursday, December 23, after which burial took place at St. Francis Cemetery, Waterville.

Arrangements are in the care of the Lawry Brother’s Funeral Home, 107 Main Street, Fairfield, where condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at

Donations in her memory may be made to the Harold Alfond Cancer Center, 361 Old Belgrade, Augusta, ME 04330 or St. Jude’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.


JEFFERSON – Jerry T. Rideout Sr., 74, died unexpectedly at his home. He was born in Augusta on February 19, 1947, a son of the late James T. and Charlotte E. (Davis) Rideout.

Mr. Rideout attended Augusta schools and had been employed by DeCoster Egg Farms for over 16 years.

He was a member of the Fellowship Christian Church.

Mr. Rideout is survived by his wife of 53 years, Bonita E. (Glidden) Rideout, of Jefferson; two sons, Jerry T. Rideout, Jr. and his wife Georgene, of Pittston, and James Rideout, of Jefferson; his daughter, Lori Hesseltine, of Corinth; four brothers, Robert Rideout, of Whitefield, James Rideout, of Belgrade, Benny Rideout, of Chelsea, and Maurice Rideout, of Norridgewock; two sisters, Nora and Ruby Rideout, both of South Carolina; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

There will be no public visiting hours or funeral services.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Plummer Funeral Home, Windsor Chapel, 983 Ridge Rd., Rt. 32, Windsor, Maine.

Condolences, stories and photos may be shared at


WATERVILLE – Melanie Anne (Greenleaf) Edwards, 73, passed away unexpectedly at her home on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Born in Waterville on March 25, 1948, she was the youngest of the four children of Geraldine D. (Condee} Greenleaf and Jesse T. Greenleaf, of Oakland. She would graduate from Williams High School in 1966, and go on to working her way through the University of Maine, Orono. When partly through, she would meet Bradford W. Edwards, of Greenville, at her brother’s wedding, and they would marry and have two sons, Daemon W. Edwards, and Adam T. Edwards, both serving their country and working for their higher educations.

In Greenville, Melanie and Brad raised their family, including their part-wolf dog, Zelda; made maple syrup; participated in skiing and other outdoor recreation, Brad was involved in the white-water rafting business, summers, when he wasn’t teaching. Melanie volunteered for community affairs, worked outside her home at times, helped a carpenter build their home from an outbuilding of what had originally been the Blair Hill self-sustaining manor off Lily Bay Road, high on the eastern side of Moosehead Lake, belonging then to her in-laws, while also caring for her two young sons. She and Brad lived in various Maine places other than Greenville and the Bangor area, Winterport, Milbridge, Vinalhaven, this later being a particular happiness for Melanie.

When her sons were nearly grown, Melanie’s marriage ended. Therefore, in her mid-to-later 30s, she moved to Bangor to go to Beal College and, by doing classes full-time and working full-time, she earned both an associate degree and the training to become a medical assistant. In fact, Melanie helped Beal begin a school/work program, from her own needs at that time. And when working at an emergency walk-in clinic while in school, she met a girlfriend Mary and a doctor they both admired, such that they would help him start his practice in New Hampshire, remain with him for several years and learn much from him.

However, just prior to finishing college, Melanie met her significant other, Lawrence A. Davis, originally from Athens/Dexter, and they would actually have a daughter, Alexi E. Edwards-Davis (now Alexi Draconis, with husband Peter, in Waterville). A generation later, Melanie and Larry would help Alexi and her first husband, Robert Kaczorowski, to raise their daughter, Melanie’s and Larry’s granddaughter, Joclynn Amber. But when their daughter was a young child, Melanie and Larry would move to Massachusetts where her older sister lived and where Melanie would work long years in another doctor’s practice until he went elsewhere in Massachusetts. Melanie chose then for employment at Walmart pharmacy down there until Alexi graduated high school and she would retire from working. At this point, Melanie and Larry wanted to return to Maine, and they relocated in Waterville. At the time of her death, Melanie and Larry had been partners for 37 years.

Melanie is survived by her sister Shannon M. G. Pyne, Augusta; sisters-in-law Carla A. (Traves) Greenleaf, of Oakland, and Linda J. (Atwood) Greenleaf ,of Farmington; cousins Sheila B. (York) Lewis and Linda (Wing) Kinney, both of Tennessee; and Leslie Luther of Missouri; also, other family in Maine, Georgia and Texas.

She was predeceased by her parents; her two older brothers, Gaylon D. Greenleaf and Reigh M. Greenleaf, of Oakland, and Farmington; her maternal aunt Bertha York(and uncle Earl); and the other Luther half-siblings of her mother, aunt Lorena Simons/ Stevens/Scranton; uncle Lloyd and aunt Angie; aunt Loretta Wing and uncle Cliff; her paternal aunt Violet (Greenleaf) Vieta/Norton/Watson, her father’s half-sister; and any other children of the former, not mentioned, but if known of, not forgotten; her maternal and paternal grandmothers, Goldie M. (Bubier) Luther/Condee and Ella F. (Brown) Greenleaf, both last of Oakland.

Melanie was an able homemaker who so loved her children, a wise lady with quiet and gentle ways who always strove for excellence. She loved to read and to design the lovely quilts she endlessly made for others. Giving all she could to her family, when she left us, she had borne her full measure of enough for herself. She wanted no funeral. Instead, her ashes will be simply shared by her family members who will honor and celebrate her as they wish. A portion of her cremains will join her parents’ burial plot in the Oakland Lakeview Cemetery, on Snow Pond, where some of her siblings’ remains will also join their parents, or be nearby, marked by separate stones.

Arrangements are in the care of the Wheeler Funeral Home, 26 Church St., Oakland, where condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at


A memorial service will be held for Robert “Bob” Foster, on Tuesday, December 28, at 1 p.m., at the MacCrillis-Rousseau VFW Post #3385, on Veterans Dr., in Winslow.

Bob, 88, passed away suddenly on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at JFK International Airport, in New York City, New York. He and his wife Marion were on their way to visit their grandson in Washington state.





China planners settle three issues

by Mary Grow

China Planning Board members settled all three issues on their Dec. 14 meeting agenda.

They approved a revised subdivision plan for Fire Road 19, updating records to show a relocated road.

They agreed the former subdivision on the Lakeview Drive lot that Brent Chesley recently bought from the Town of China had expired before the town sold the land, and the town is therefore responsible for notifying the Registry of Deeds that the land is no longer subdivided.

They voted that the new owner of Little Learners Child Development Center, 166 Tyler Road, needs to file a new application to continue the business, even though she plans no changes.

The next China Planning Board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28.

China TIF committee receives first 2022-23 application

by Mary Grow

Members of China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee received their first applications for 2022-23 TIF funds at their Dec. 13 meeting. They postponed action until more applications are in, they hope by the Jan. 3, 2022, deadline.

Scott Pierz, executive director of the China Region Lakes Alliance, talked about plans for the rest of the current fiscal year and next year and about longer-range plans, which might involve an expensive alum treatment for part of China Lake (see The Town Line, Dec. 9, 2021, p. 1).

China Lake Association President Stephen Greene intends to submit a complementary application for funds to pay for additional analysis of bottom sediments in the north part of the lake’s east basin, a preliminary step toward determining whether the alum treatment is a good idea.

Greene said he has no firm cost estimate yet. He hopes to have one in time to meet the Jan. 3 deadline.

Four Seasons Club President Thomas Rumpf is asking for 2022-23 TIF funds for trail work and for the annual ice fishing derby, now expanded into China Ice Days and scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 18-20, 2022.

In addition to reviewing the applications, TIF Committee members discussed the program in general: how much money they have and how it is budgeted, what types of projects are eligible, whether they can legally create an emergency fund and similar topics.

They are currently operating under the TIF Second Amendment, approved by China voters in June 2021 and by the state Department of Economic and Community Development in November. Changes in project types or fund allocations would require a third amendment, with the same approval process, Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood said.

The next regular TIF Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

China transfer station committee agrees to budget $1,500 for travel expenses

by Mary Grow

China Transfer Station Committee members used their Dec. 14 meeting to discuss, and in some cases re-discuss, a variety of waste disposal questions.

They made two decisions.

They will reduce the 2022-23 budget request for the committee from the $2,500 agreed on at their November meeting to $1,500. They will meet again at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.

The funds requested from the town are intended to cover registration and mileage when committee members attend meetings, training sessions and similar relevant events. Committee Chairman Lawrence Sikora thinks $1,500 should be enough.

The major news from the meeting was that Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood and other town officials are considering – nothing is definite yet, Hapgood emphasized – reducing hours at the town office and the transfer station.

Currently, she said, China’s hours are among the most generous in Maine: the town office is open 45.5 hours a week and the transfer station 42.5 hours a week. Because of after-hours work, staff illness and other factors, overtime pay is frequent.

One suggestion is that the transfer station be open four days a week instead of five: Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday and Saturday. She again emphasized that the whole idea is in the conversation stage only; there has been no discussion at a select board meeting.

Other topics discussed Dec. 14 included:

  • The still-not-operating waste recycling facility in Hampden which China and many other Maine municipalities support. Hapgood repeated town attorney Amanda Meader’s advice not to try to get out of the contract.
  • How much the fee charged to Palermo residents for trash bags should be increased. Consensus was China has enough bags on hand for the next few months, and the earlier decision to wait for early 2022 information on bag prices and the consumer price index was sound.
  • Updating the five-year plan for transfer station equipment and other needs: no need to act immediately, committee members said.
  • Non-residents using China’s transfer station with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to which they have no right. Committee members considered, without making any recommendation, checking each vehicle as it enters, or going back to the vehicle sticker system.

China Lake association president lays out 10-year plan to select board

by Mary Grow

China Lake Association President Stephen Greene is thinking in millions of dollars these days – but not to be spent immediately.

At the Dec. 20 China select board meeting, Greene updated board members on the draft 10-year China Lake Watershed-Based Management Plan, which he expects the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to approve early in 2022 (see The Town Line, Dec. 9, p. 1).

Stephen Greene

The goal is to continue improving water quality in China Lake, for environmental and economic benefits. The plan has six components, Greene said: reducing internal loading, the excess nutrients (especially phosphorus) already in the lake; reducing external loading by controlling run-off; preventing future external loading; informing and educating area residents; raising funds, locally and from other sources; and monitoring progress and results.

Absent specific plans, cost estimates are crude. Greene expects the external work to cost about a million dollars and the internal to add another $1.4 million.

One possibility for internal work is an alum treatment, a process in which aluminum sulfate would be added to the north end of China Lake’s east basin. The alum carries phosphorus in the water to the bottom of the lake and creates a barrier above phosphorus that is already in the bottom sediments.

Alum has been used in other lakes in Maine, including East Pond, in Smithfield, and in other states. Greene said more study, including more bottom sampling, is needed before a decision is made on whether a treatment would help China Lake.

He told selectmen the China Lake Association has turned over its ongoing programs – LakeSmart, Courtesy Board Inspectors, Youth Conservation Corps and Gravel Road Rehabilitation Program – to the China Region Lakes Alliance, so the Lake Association can focus on the management plan. He intends to ask for town funds in the 2022-23 budget.

Greene listed numerous cooperating groups and potential funding sources, from local organizations to state and federal governmental agencies. Asked if he had contacted the Town of Vassalboro, which surrounds part of China Lake’s west basin, he said no, but Vassalboro should be included.

Greene did not ask selectmen to take any action at the Dec. 20 meeting.

Other issues did require action, including voting to:

  • Appoint Trishea Story a full member of the Tax Increment Financing Committee, on which she has been the alternate member.
  • Appoint Stephen Nichols China’s Emergency Preparedness Director, with approval from Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood, who has had the position with Nichols as her deputy.
  • Maintain the present employees’ health plan for another year, with four board members in favor and Blane Casey dissenting (see The Town Line, Dec. 9, p. 3).

Hapgood called board members’ attention to the DEP’s Dec. 15 notice that PFAS testing will be conducted in China, to see if any land is contaminated with the “forever chemicals,” (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

The letter says DEP staff are working with Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry staff to locate any farmland in China where sludge or septic waste might have been applied. A state law that became effective in October prescribes and describes the investigation.

A copy of the letter is on the Town of China website,, under the sub-heading “Public Notices” under the “About” tab.

As part of 2022-23 budget preparations, Hapgood asked whether the current police services are satisfactory. China is now paying $65 an hour to the Kennebec Sheriff’s Office for 10 hours a week extra coverage, in addition to the service provided by KSO and the state police.

Select board members are satisfied. Wayne Chadwick asked whether a contract could be signed, to help with longer-range budgeting.

Deputy Ivano Stefanizzi said coverage is provided 24 hours a day; there is no change-over gap between shifts. He and his colleagues continue to stop many speeders between 4 and 7 a.m., he said.

If select board members decide not to revive the town police department, they are likely to ask voter’ permission to sell the town-owned police vehicle.

Hapgood said no bids had been received on the Harley-Davidson motorcycle the town has taken as part repayment of a loan from the Tax Increment Financing Revolving Loan Fund. She recommends trying again in the spring.

The next regular China select board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

Give Us Your Best Shot! for Thursday, December 23, 2021

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FOGGY SUNRISE: Andrew Pottle, of Palermo, photographed, on film, two ducks gliding in the water during a foggy sunrise on Branch Pond.

STRUTTING: This male cardinal seems to be displaying his best profile, recently captured by Pat Clark, of Palermo.

Benjamin Lagasse earns rank of Eagle Scout

Recently, Kristie Lagasse, left, pinned the rank of Eagle Scout on her son, Benjamin Lagasse, from Troop #479, China, at his family home in Windsor. Several attempts to have a traditional Eagle Ceremony were canceled for concerns because of Covid-19. Benjamin is the 44th Scout to earn the Eagle Rank in Troop #479, in China. Benjamin’s Eagle project was to pre-plan and create a bench and sign placard for the north side of the Grange to provide a respite to enjoy watching the alewife returning to the stream near the Grange, in Vassalboro. Benjamin is the son of Keith and Kristie Lagasse, of Windsor. He is a sophomore at UMA, in Augusta, and is in the biology program. He is working towards a physical therapy degree. (contributed photo)

State to initiate an investigation into the presence of PFAS chemicals in China

Photo: Richard Hurd (internet photo)

China Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood has received a letter from Susanne Miller, director of the Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management, relative to initiating an investigation into the presence of PFAS chemicals in the town. The letter follows:

China town manager Rebecca Hapgood. (photo by Eric W. Austin)

This letter is to inform you that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is initiating an investigation into the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the land application of sludge and/or septage in China. This is part of the DEP’s statewide investigation for the implementation of 2021 Public Law Chapter 478, An Act To Investigate Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Contamination of Land and Groundwater, effective October 18, 2021.

Sites have been identified based on DEP licensing information. To designate the approximate schedule for sampling, the DEP prioritized all sludge sites across the state into four Tiers (I, II, III, IV) based upon the following criteria:

  • The anticipated presence of high levels of PFAS substances in sludge or septage applied at a location; and/or
  • The volume of sludge or septage applied at a location; and/or
  • The proximity of a site to drinking water supplies.

The DEP is working closely with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) to identify sites with historical sludge application which are currently being used for the production of agricultural products. As a first step, DEP and DACF will work to verify application history and locations of spreading and stockpiles. DEP and DACF staff may reach out to municipalities to gather information that will help in our investigation. DEP will request permission to sample soils and groundwater from properties where sludge and/or septage may have been land applied.

DEP will also request permission to sample and test drinking water supplies from individual homeowners in the direct vicinity of the site(s) for certain PFAS. The purpose of DEP’s investigation is to identify sites statewide that are impacted by PFAS, identify drinking water supplies that are impacted above Maine’s Interim Drinking Water Standard for PFAS, and provide impacted individuals with water that is below the standard.

DEP will share the sample results with DACF who may recommend modifications to farming practices based on a careful review of the data. DACF may also recommend additional sampling, including the testing of feed and other on-farm products, and the testing of additional soils to gain insight into any potential impacts that PFAS may have at farms.

PFAS are considered emerging contaminants and are not currently regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). As an interim step, U.S. EPA has established a Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion in drinking water for the combined total of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which are two of the most common forms of PFAS.

In Maine however, emergency legislation became effective June 21, 2021, setting forth an interim drinking water standard of 20 parts per trillion for the sum of six PFAS (PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, PFHpA, and PFDA). This is described in 2021 Public Law Chapter 82 Resolve, To Protect Consumers of Public Drinking Water by Establishing Maximum Contaminant Levels for Certain Substances and Contaminants. The DEP is using Maine’s more stringent standard for its investigation.

We understand that you may have questions and concerns regarding our investigation. General questions about the investigation by DEP or that are being conveyed to you through your constituents should be directed to David Madore, Deputy Commissioner and Communications Director,, 207-287-5842. You can also visit our webpage located at:

Any questions about an investigation by DEP at a specific property should be directed to Jim Pollock at 207-592-8343 or

If you have agricultural-related questions, please contact Nancy McBrady, Director of the Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources,, 207-287-7522.

Thank you for your assistance in this important investigation.

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BLAZING SKY: Tina Richard, of Clinton, photographed this fiery sunset from her backyard.

COLORFUL SUNSET: Summer resident Susan Thiem, of Corpus Christi, Texas, snapped the beautiful colors and sunset on China Lake.