To the editor:

Many, many thanks to the South China Volunteer Fire Department volunteers. Recent storms have certainly caused huge problems – sometimes very dangerous problems. Twice in the last few months on the road I live on, multiple trees have downed wires across our narrow, windy road with its blind spots, making travel on the road hazardous to say the least. On both occasions a call to 911 resulted in someone from the department being on the scene within only a matter of minutes, assessing the scene, communicating with others as needed, and then helping to ensure cones were put out and drivers provided warning of the danger so they stayed safe.

These volunteers have work, families, and a host of other obligations, just like the rest of us. But they add to their busy lives serving their community. Indeed, they literally drop what they are doing day or night to provide assistance for a wide range of situations, all of which are focused on helping the rest of us stay safe or get needed help.

I am so very grateful to these folks. I hope others will join me in not only thanking them but supporting them in whatever possible. And for those of you outside of South China, I hope you will do the same for your local fire department volunteers. We are all in their debt.

Susan Cottle
South China

LETTERS: CMP, PUC should treat all customers equally

To the editor:

An open letter to Central Maine Power Co. and the Public Utilities Commission respectively, as a retired electrical/contractor/engineer. We had trouble with both entities just after moving to Maine in 1988. [We] built two homes with baseboard electric heat and was told by a CMP field engineer that we were stupid to go with electric heat.

This was long before the new green energy fad, so all us electric people using baseboard heat were ahead of the curve when it came to zero carbon emissions. CMP and the PUC were so anti-electric heat that we were hit with a 12 percent luxury tax, and, to make things worse, were given a TOU meter which is a punitive meter because we used more than 2,000 KWH in one month.

Now, to my gripe. I got a flyer from CMP stating that heat pump users may get a special rate? What about us loyal electric heat people who have paid dearly for heat with no complaints. I lived in a state where the power company had a special rate for all electric homes. But not in Maine. I never saw such a company that punishes you for being carbon neutral, plus is CMP a business where the more you use they give you a discount? Of course not!

Gone are the good old days when Paul Flannagan was president of CMP and Steve Ward was the chairman of the PUC. In closing, I’m hoping my letter wakes up some of our legislators and push CMP and PUC to treat all electric heat homeowners fairly.

Frank Slason

LETTERS: Select board urged to reach agreement about trash

To the editor:

I’m writing in support of Gary Mazoki’s points published in The Town Line issue of November 23. 2023, on the possibility of Palermo losing access to the China Transfer station because of a couple of unresolved issues. Losing this access would place a huge burden on our citizens, especially the elderly and unwell as they would likely have to travel a much greater distance to dispose of their waste, incurring fuel cost and time lost.

Yes, there are local haulers and one can always rent a dumpster. However, these do not come cheap and can be limited in what they will take. If Palermo residents are being uncooperative and rude, can’t they be identified and their privileges revoked? And arguing over $2 sticker fees just isn’t reasonable in light of the problems with no local access – like more dumping beside our roads or accumulating in dooryards to name a couple. I hope the Palermo Select Board will continue to try to reach an agreement with China town officials.

Pat Clark

LETTERS: What’s so wrong? Work it out.

To the editor:

When I speak with my friends and ask them if they heard the latest news from China ? They say did President Xi order the invasion of Taiwan? I say it’s worse, the town of Palermo has received notice that the town of China, Maine, has given notice to terminate the contract for Palermo residents to utilize the China Transfer Station!

What’s so wrong? Are Palermo residents not paying their fair share of the cost? Will a few rude individuals ruin the capability for all the residents?

While I’m just a part time resident of Maine, I find bringing my trash, recyclables, and swap shop gems to the China transfer station to be a great solution. It’s the next town over so it’s convenient…. I don’t mind buying Blue Palermo bags at Tobey’s … the employees at the transfer station are always pleasant and friendly to me. When I visit the transfer station it’s not crowded or overwhelmed.

So what’s so wrong? It’s a business and, of course, Palermo residents should pay their fair share of the cost to include not only the disposal but operating and capital depreciation. Everyone including Palermo residents need to follow the rules in the disposal of their trash. So what’s the issue?

I would hope that a workable solution could be found to allow Palermo residents the privilege to continue to use the China Transfer Station. Thank you!

Gary Mazoki

LETTERS: More volunteers needed at Window Dressers workshop

Damaris Mayans at the China build in 2022. (photo by Eric W. Austin)

To the editor:

Last year The Town Line ran a piece about Window Dressers, a grassroots, volunteer-run, nonprofit organization that trains, supplies, and supports volunteers to construct Insulating Window Inserts for residents who need help in keeping their homes warm.

Even though I did not get a response last year when I applied, this year volunteers came to my house and measured my windows for the inserts I desperately need.

I volunteered to construct my inserts and inserts for others for three days in the November 6 – 11 period that they will be doing this at the Olde Mill Place, 934 Main St., No. Vassalboro.

As the saying goes, “life happens”, and I had to call today to see if I could go in on November 7, at 12:30 p.m., instead of the 8:30 a.m. shift that I had signed up for in October.

During the conversation I heard that more volunteers are very much needed.

If you know anyone who has a few hours in a morning or afternoon, from November 7 – 11, to help construct insulating window inserts for those people who need help keeping Maine’s cold winter days and night outside, it will be very much appreciated.

Anyone who has the time can get contact details at https://windowdressers.org/

Another one of those great nonprofit positive things happening in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

You know more people than I do in this area, so thank you for contacting anyone who might have the time.

Roberta Barnes

LETTERS: Here it Comes

To the editor:

Tired of pricey TV ads trying to mislead us about the clear benefits of Pine Tree Power? We haven’t seen anything yet. We complain a lot about big money controlling our lives. The question is, are we going to do anything about it when we have the chance?

Versant and CMP have the bucks to hire high-priced lawyers and pump thousands into slick ads, trying to confuse us into voting against our own best interests. CMP has the worst customer satisfaction of any utility in our country four years in a row. We have the most frequent power outages of any state in the nation. Nebraska – just like 25 percent of Americans – has public power and some of the most reliable electric service in the country. How obviously bad does it have to get before we stop being hoodwinked by the corporate bull?

Remember, every message we get from them has been professionally designed to push our fear buttons. Pine Tree Power has lots of bipartisan support. That’s right, this is not a left / right fight: It’s the average citizen against foreign corporations who send our money out of Maine.

One last thing: The line workers we’ve seen for decades replacing poles, and stringing power lines 30 feet up in the air in the swirling snow; they’re not going anywhere. The Pine Tree Power proposal that we will vote on next November not only protects those worker’s jobs, wages, bargaining rights, benefits, pensions, etc., it improves on them.

Please support Maine, not foreign corporations, by voting for Pine Tree Power in November. Thanks.

Chris Wright

LETTERS: Why are we selling bricks?

To the editor:

Our American Legion Post #179 is selling veteran bricks to raise funds for a new heating/cooling system at the South China Legion building. This is the monetary reason but there is also a personal reason.

Our monument in the village (across the street from the famous direction sign) has a monument stone dedicated to all veterans. We are placing a brick walkway up to the monument and recognizing our local veteran’s. Each brick will have name, rank, branch of service, time served and unit served/stationed.

This includes current or past veterans from revolutionary war to the present day. We now place hundreds of American flags on Memorial Day in our cemeteries to recognize our fallen veterans. This brick walkway gives additional recognition to you or a relative. I have personally purchased one for myself and my dad.

If you wish to recognize yourself or a relative veteran, please contact me by phone/text or email and I can attach a brick form to fill out or mail. Unlike the old requirement which limited eligibility to any local past or present veteran can participate. I would like to end this letter by stating that a majority of the charter members of Post #179 enlisted in the National Guard and were activated for World War II.

Neil Farrington
Commander American Legion Post 179

LETTERS: It’s all in the salsa!

To the editor:

I read with interest the column ‘More Salsa Please’ by Dan Beaulieu.

I just arrived for my 52nd summer stay on China Lake, but my permanent residence is in Corpus Christi,Texas,100 miles north of the Mexican border. We take pride in the many authentic “Tex/Mex “restaurants north of Mexico.

I completely agree with Mr. Beaulieu that salsa is the defining feature of each establishment. A basket of warm chips and a large bowl of usually homemade salsa arrives on the table as the guests sit down. They never run out and are never charged for. It calls for good coffee in the morning and ice cold margaritas and beer later in the day. This encourages leisurely stays and great reputations.

If the salsas are good and the chips are hot the mood is fiesta time!

I anxiously look forward every week to the great articles in The Town Line.

Susan Thiem,
Corpus Christi,TX

LETTERS: A warm thank you

To the editor:

The family of Alia Coombs Singh would like to thank our friends and neighbors for their kindness and generosity after Alia’s unexpected passing.

The benefit supper put on by the American Legion post #163, the Branch Mills Grange #336, the Palermo Community Library, Tobey’s Grocery and the efforts of Kathy Neenan, Mary Haskell and many, many others, was a resounding success. The attendance was great, the pie auction was fantastic (never bid against a four-year-old), the winner of the 50/50 generously donated the money back, and to cap it all Robert Potter announced his company, Modern Woodmen of America, was putting up a very nice matching fund. WOW!

It was one of those nights that helps you realize how special our town is. We cannot express how appreciative we are by this outpouring from so many, All we can say is thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The family of Alia Coombs Singh:
parents Michael and Sheila McCarty
husband Dheeraj Singh and sisters Maygen Hardy and Paula Doucette

LETTERS: The health of China Lake benefits everyone

To the editor:

On July 31 there was a public hearing at Town Hall so residents could share their thoughts on the future of the South China Town Landing.

A wide range of opinions were expressed, but the one that stood out for me came from former select board member Joann Austin, who concluded, “We should leave these decisions up to the engineers.” I wholeheartedly agree. Luckily, engineers have already been consulted and reported to the town Manager Becky Hapgood on their findings.

In their report, dated May 2023, the engineers wrote, “Our recommendation for this site is to keep it as a gravel road and make improvements to help eliminate or minimize the run-off to the lake. Although the town would like to see a maintenance free facility [paving], it may not be the best thing for the lake.” Furthermore, the report stated, “We recommend that the town make the site a carry-in site only, and develop nearby off-site parking for the people that will use the site.”

The health of China Lake benefits everyone in the town. Let’s choose the responsible course of action and listen to the experts.

Geoff Hargadon
South China