China to hold WindowDressers workshop this fall

Volunteers prepare window inserts at the 2019 WindowDressers workshop, two years ago, in Vassalboro. (photo courtesy of Vassalboro Historical Society)

by Eric W. Austin

The China for a Lifetime Committee is busy planning for a WindowDressers workshop that will take place this November 3 – 7. The initiative is a volunteer-led, “barn-raising” effort to construct low-cost “window inserts” to reduce residential energy bills.

The window inserts are constructed of pine wood frames, covered in thin plastic film and can usually be ordered in natural wood or painted white, however, because of pandemic-related difficulties in the lumber industry, they may not be available in white this year. (Please inquire at the time you place your order.) There is a maximum order limit of 10 frames, and no minimum. Orders are open to residents in China, Vassalboro, Palermo, Albion and Windsor.

The price of the window inserts will vary depending on the size of the frame requested, but generally range from $30-$70 per frame for natural pine, with an additional $5-$10 if painted white. There is financial help available for those who qualify.

The committee is working with the statewide WindowDressers organization, described on their website as a “volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to helping Maine residents reduce heating costs, fossil fuel consumption, and CO-2 emissions by lowering the amount of heat loss through windows.” WindowDressers is based out of Rockland.

The China for a Lifetime Committee, a local group which supports community initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for residents, has been meeting for several months to discuss having a WindowDressers workshop in China this fall. Vassalboro hosted a workshop two years ago, and the China for a Lifetime Committee had discussed organizing a workshop in China last year before plans were scrapped because of the pandemic.

As the workshop will take place during the first week of November, orders should be placed no later than October 1. Committee volunteers will need to visit your home to take window measurements which will then be sent to the WindowDressers organization, who will cut the wood for the frames. All volunteers doing the measuring will be vaccinated for COVID-19, and can also wear a mask if the homeowner requests. Measurers need to complete their task and submit data to WindowDressers by mid-October, so to avoid “crunch time”, please make sure to get your order in and set up a measuring appointment as soon as possible.

There is a great need for local community volunteers in order to make this a successful WindowDressers workshop. It is requested that anyone ordering frames also sign up for a four-hour shift on one of the workshop days. The committee is also looking for anyone willing to supply food to the teams working during the workshop.

To submit an order for window inserts, or to volunteer, please call the China town office at 445-2014, send an email to the China for a Lifetime Committee at chinaforalifetime@gmail.com, or visit the WindowDressers website and fill out the form located at windowdressers.org/sign-up-for-inserts.

For more information about the China for a Lifetime Committee, please visit their website at chinaforalifetime.com.

Troop #417 member earns Eagle Scout status

Eagle Scout Wyatt Henry DeGrasse, of Troop #417, in Waterville (contributed photo)

Eagle Scout Wyatt Henry DeGrasse, of Troop #417, in Waterville, Kennebec Valley District, received the great honor of Eagle Scout on June 15 at a ceremony attended by former Maine Governor Paul LePage, who had been a Cub Scout himself, in Waterville, years earlier. The ceremony was held at the Waterville Church of Latter Day Saints.

Downer and Stone are LakeSmart award recipients

Randy Downer

by Marie Michaud
LakeSmart Coordinator

Randy Downer and Judy Stone have over 14 acres of undeveloped property on the west side of China Lake. Randy took me on an amazing tour of the property, and I will share some of the experience with you in this article.

We started at the camp road where we saw a low area that in springtime pools water. It is home to 100 to 500 wood frog larvae and the water is called an “ephemeral pool”. Ephemeral means that the pool of water lasts only a short time. This undisturbed land is a bird sanctuary for local and migratory birds. While we were there, we could hear the songs of the American Kestrel, Wood duck and Spotted Sandpiper to name a few. I had never heard of a Veery Bird, but these birds breed here!

There are two streams that travel through this property. The land is heavily forested and has low areas to help slow down the flow heading to the lake. The tall, vegetated berm located at the waterfront is a good example of a natural barrier that can prevent any harmful pollutants from entering the lake. In the past 12 years, I have seen few properties that have such a berm.

The variety of natural plants on the property was amazing. It was truly uplifting just to walk among the trees, shrubs, understory, and the ground cover of various grasses. The red oaks and white oaks stood majestically.

This property is a good example of natural and wild. It welcomes wildlife. Sometimes it is good to just walk on such land to remember Mother Earth; natural and unbroken.

You too can help our land if you are willing. Feel free to contact China LakeSmart for some ideas and assistance at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com.

LakeSmart Award earned by Peter and Sandra Nelson

Peter Nelson

 

by Marie Michaud
LakeSmart Coordinator

China Lake Association’s LakeSmart Volunteer Program has recently awarded Peter and Sandra Nelson the LakeSmart Award. On their property there is a wide row of flowers and shrubs lining one entire side of their lawn. This vegetation absorbs any sheet flow from heavy rainstorms that accumulate on the lawn. They also have low, uneven areas on the lawn that hold any rainwater headed to the lake. Their lakeside buffer is composed of shrubs, duff, ground cover that is framed with tall trees. The buffer vegetation prevents any pollutants from entering the lake during heavy rains without affecting their wonderful view of the lake!

If you are a lakeside property owner, would you like to invite our volunteers to offer ideas on how you can help our lake? We also have a Youth Conservation Program that can get any of the proposed ideas completed for you. They can plant shrubs, shade trees, and low growing vegetations. They also build infiltration steps, infiltration trenches, walkways, help with erosion issues at the waterfront like rip rap work and a host of other best management practices that you may be interested in adding to your lake buffer.

To contact LakeSmart you can call 207-242-0240 or email ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com today! We are looking to accumulate work for the YCC’s 2022 season.

Vassalboro Historical Society to hold local art contest

Vassalboro Historical Society

The Vassalboro Historical Society is requesting your original artwork for use as the Society’s thank you notes and to have available for sale at the Society. Entries must be received by August 31, 2021.

The artwork (drawn, painted, or photographed) must feature historical buildings and sites of Vassalboro (stop by the museum for ideas – we have lots of photographs) which are suitable for printing on 4 1⁄4” x 5 1⁄2” note cards.

Four entries will be selected and artists will receive: $100 for first place; $75 for second place; $50 for third place; and $25 for fourth place.

TO ENTER:

Send your artwork or photograph to ART CONTEST @ VHS, PO Box #13, North Vassalboro, ME 04962, or by email to: vhspresident@gmail.com.

If you would like your artwork returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

New Dimensions FCU named as one of Forbes’ Best-In-State credit unions in 2021

Ryan Poulin, center, CEO of New Dimensions FCU, prepares to cut the ribbon at a special ceremony commemorating the opening of the credit union’s new Waterville location in 2020. (contributed photo)

New Dimensions FCU has been named as one of Forbes Best-In-State Credit Unions in 2021. Forbes and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider has released the awards list on June 24, 2021, located on the Forbes website.

Forbes Best-In-State Credit Unions 2021 bases the top credit unions on the results of surveys involving approximately 25,000 U.S. consumers who rated their relationships with financial institutions with the 2020 pandemic in mind. Participants made recommendations regarding overall satisfaction; they also assessed credit unions in the areas of trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services, and financial advice. Based on the results of 5,068 credit unions nationwide, just 3.6 percent made their list—with New Dimensions FCU listed among the Best-In-State.

Ryan G. Poulin, Chief Executive Officer, proudly states, “On behalf of the credit union, I was thrilled to find out that our credit union has achieved this great honor again for a second year. We strive to enhance the financial well-being of our members by providing solutions for anything life throws their way. We strive to provide accurate superior service with empathy and offer the latest digital products in a secure way.”

Three Mile Pond Association president presented with appreciation award

Tom Whittaker (contributed photo)

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY

by Scott Pierz
President, China Region Lakes Alliance

As President of the China Region Lakes Alliance (CRLA), it was my privilege to be the keynote speaker at the Three Mile Pond (TMP) Association’s annual meeting held on Saturday, July 10, 2021. The TMP Association is comprised of residents of China, Vassalboro and Windsor, Maine.

An audience of around 55 people attended and information was presented about the programs offered by the CRLA, including its Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program, the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Program, as well as the statewide LakeSmart Program.

During the final portion of the meeting a formal presentation was made to the TMP Association President, Thomas Whittaker, for his leadership and commitment to the TMP Association.

Seen in the photo is Tom Whittaker receiving a hand-made woodcut of Three Mile Pond and its watershed created by George Gunning, a master woodcarver who, along with his wife Donna, have been members of the Three Mile Pond Association for over 50 years. Seen in the background is Bob Moore, TMP Vice President.

Congratulations Tom Whittaker and the rest of the TMP Association’s Board of Directors for their great work!

Mid-Maine Chamber golf fundraiser draws many players

First place gross, Damon’s Beverage, Jeff Damon, Mark McGowan, Flint Collier and Luke Collier. (contributed photo)

Central Maine’s most prize-laden golf tournament fundraiser was held under clear skies on Monday, June 21, at Natanis Golf Course, in Vassalboro. Thirty-five teams took part in the shotgun start scramble.

Nearly 50 businesses provided sponsorships or in-kind donations for the tournament.

“We were thrilled with the participation in this year’s event once again – and had a waiting list of teams wishing to participate,” said Kim Lindlof, president & CEO of Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. “We were also happy that the weather cooperated, with a beautiful Chamber of Commerce day of sunshine and an enjoyable day for all involved.”

Prize Winners:

Summer Sizzler BBQ Package: Gary Levesque, New York Life.

50/50 Winner: Andrew Dailey, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.

First Place Gross Team Score: Damon’s Beverage—Jeff Damon, Mark McGowan, Flint Collier, Luke Collier.

Second Place Gross Team Score: Pine Tree Cellular—Marc Girard, Glen Pound, Tim Merwin, Trevor Olivadoti.

Third Place Gross Team Score: Skowhegan Savings—Brian Fitzpatrick, Sam Hight, Adam Orser, Lou Hight.

First Place Net Team Score: Bar Harbor Bank & Trust—Jennifer Seekins, Jeff Charland, Mark Breton, Andrew Dailey.

Second Place Net Team Score: Maine State Credit Union-Team 2—Matt Doane, Michelle Martin, Keith McPherson.

Third Place Net Team Score: Pepsi Co.—Tony Dessent, Mark Watson, Roger Williams, Chris Low.

Longest Drive—Hole #15: Male: Adam Orser—Skowhegan Savings; Female: Theresa Thompson—Standard Waterproofing.

Closest to the Pin—Hole #4 and #7: Steve Whitney—Cornerstone Insurance.

Closest to the Pin—Hole #10: Jeff Meinhert—Paul White Co.

Closest to the Pin—Hole #13: Trevor Fogarty—AAA Northern New England.

Highest Team Score: Standard Waterproofing—Isaac Thompson, Theresa Thompson, Tom Michaud, Marie Michaud.

  Chairman of the Chamber Golf Classic Committee, Rick Whalen added, “We would like to thank all of the area businesses for their participation – whether with posting a team, providing volunteers or in-kind donations, or being a sponsor. Your support makes this a successful fundraiser.”

The Mid-Maine Chamber Golf Classic is made possible by major sponsors Central Maine Power and Maine State Credit Union and multiple additional sponsors.

First place net, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Jennifer Seekins, Jeff Charland, Mark Breton and Andrew Dailey. Names not necessarily in order. (contributed photo)

Local scouts attend opening weekend at Camp Bomazeen

(contributed photo)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Camp Bomazeen Director Bruce Rueger had one message for the Scouts and leaders who attended camp on their opening weekend of program for the 2021 season, “Welcome Home! Camp Bomazeen is open for the summer and we welcome you back!”

“This is very exciting for us,” Rueger, of Waterville, said. “I’m not sure if the staff or the Scouts are more excited that Camp Bomazeen is open but I know I am really eager for a great summer.”

Scouts from China, Winthrop, Augusta, Jackman and Skowhegan were among those in attendance for opening weekend on July 10 & 11. “We had one Scout who came all the way from Connecticut specifically to take part in Bomazeen’s unique Bushcraft program,” he said. Chris Bernier and his staff dress in 1840 period costumes to teach Scouts how their ancestors and Native Americans lived, cooked, and made craft items such as baskets and lanterns.

Meanwhile, other Scouts earned traditional Scouting offerings such as crafts, the new Scout program, Rifle Shooting and Canoeing Merit Badges but also Merit Badges not normally offered at a Scout camp such as Electricity, Finge rprinting and Welding. “Our staff are the very best and worked hard to meet the rigid requirements for safety and knowledge of subject set by Scouting. We have gotten off to a great start and look forward to a great 2021 season.”

Brock Merrill, of Fairfield, enjoying some down time at Camp Bomazeen. (contributed photo)

The camp planned to celebrate its 75th anniversary last summer, but Covid-19 put a hold on the festivities for an entire year and the pandemic made planning for this summer nearly all but impossible. “We didn’t know for sure if we would be able to hold camp this summer until just a few weeks ago or what restrictions we would be operating under, but when you see the Scouts having fun and learning and enjoying camp, it makes everything worthwhile,” Rueger said. Emma Hodgdon, of Palmyra, is working on the Waterfront at Bomazeen this summer. “I love being outdoors and working at Camp,” Emma said. “I like helping younger Scouts learn new skills and have fun.”

Brock Merrill lives in Fairfield but is a member of the Oakland Scout Troop. “My favorite part of camp is swimming,” he said during the perfect July day. The camp is located on Great Pond and boasts a sandy beach unrivaled at many such camps. Connor Poirier, of Augusta Troop #631, agreed. He has been coming to Bomazeen since he was a Cub Scout and was very much looking forward to refreshing himself in the pond.

There is another Scout weekend on July 16-18 followed by Family Adventure Weekend on July 24 and 25, and Cub Scout Day Camp the week of July 26-30. Rueger pointed out that this year, non-Cub Scouts can attend Day Camp at Camp Bomazeen. To sign up or if you have questions, please call Pine Tree Council at 207-797-5252 or email Bruce at bfrueger@colby.edu.

Nick Choate (far side of canoe), and Cameron Rossignol, both of China Troop #479, practice a canoe rescue during Canoeing Merit Badge. (contributed photos)

Winslow Community Cupboard to benefit from Hannaford shopping bag promotion

Hannaford “Fight Hunger” Reusable Shopping Bag. (Image courtesy of Hannaford Bros. Company, LLC.)

Looking for an easy, effective way to support a local food pantry? For the month of July, Winslow Community Cupboard food pantry will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable “Fight Hunger” Shopping Bag sold at the Hannaford supermarket located at 140 Elm Plaza, Waterville, ME.

Every dollar donated will go directly to assist food-insecure children, seniors, and other adults in Winslow, Waterville, Clinton, and Benton—more than 225 families in all, with demand still steadily rising.

Those unable to purchase the Hannaford “Fight Hunger” Shopping Bag, or who wish to make a direct donation, may do so by mailing a check payable to “Winslow Community Cupboard” to: Winslow Community Cupboard, 12 Lithgow St., Winslow, ME 04901. Credit card or PayPal donations are also greatly appreciated at this link: https://winslowucc.org/winslow-community-cupboard/

“Winslow Community Cupboard” food pantry is a ministry of Winslow Congregational Church, 12 Lithgow Street, Winslow, which has served the local community since 1828.

For more information, please contact Winslow Community Cupboard at Winslow Cupboard@Gmail.com.