Letters to the editor, Week of September 22, 2016

Responds to letters

To the editor:

To the folks of China, I am from away – all the way from Winthrop. Living there until I graduated from Winthrop High and then I was off to the Marines.   I’ve lived in other areas of Maine and also, for five years, in Nevada, North Carolina and California.  Call that ‘from away’ if you want.

I do want change in China.  I was one of the more adamant supporters of purchasing the Cabins property, as I know from experience (Winthrop) what it means to a kid and a family to have access to a beach and lake, year-round.  I had the best childhood, greatly, because of time on the beach/lake.

I moved to China six years ago because of the lake.  I wanted my grandkids to have the same wonderful experiences I had in Winthrop and we’ve been well-blessed they are here frequently.  The town ultimately decided not to purchase The Cabins for about $550,000, which I believe was from bad/false information passed around town.  I was told the property just appraised for $1.3 million.  I know our town could have made great use of the property and it was shame to see it slip away.  Just one cabin recently sold for $145,000.

Also, I started my own nonprofit to try and acquire The Cabins property, privately.  I wanted Hannaford, FairPoint, TimeWarner, etc…  to sponsor weeks for autistic children, survivors of domestic abuse, Wounded Warriors, etc… and more important to me – to give free weeks to less-fortunate families from the Harold Alfond Cancer Center or Center for Grieving Children , providing a week of ‘Life on China Lake’ so they could enjoy a week with those they loved, before they were too sick.   I couldn’t make it go, but I’m pleased that at least I did try to do something for my community.

As a member of the China Volunteer Fire Department, I secured a $46,000 grant for new air packs (instead of it coming out of your taxes). Trust me when I say there are some really fine people, with whom I’m proud to be associated, on China Fire/Rescue.  They give their time to protect and serve the people in this town, without reward.

I often go to selectmen’s meetings because I’m interested in what’s happening in town, and I think more folks should attend and offer their support of the board member’s endeavors.   I’m on several committees because I want to do my part in making China a better place to live.  Having lived and experienced other places, I hope to help bring a few good experiences to town.

We have $5 million in TIF money to spend in 20 years and I would like to see the town do something ambitious, that the majority of voters can support.  The TIF committee would love to hear suggestions from the people in town.  Anyone can email, call or visit the town office with your suggestions or better yet, come to a TIF meeting and share your thoughts.

My suggestion of shops and a place for folks to retire is simply a suggestion, but I feel will make China a better, friendlier place to live and also help with our ever-increasing taxes – similar to how Hannaford is a  wonderful addition to our community.  Really, nothing stays the same and we can purposely put something in place that benefits people or – live with what someone else puts in place, which we may not want at all.  Try stopping Irving/Circle K.

Frankly, I like to think I’ve been doing my part for China since I moved here, when many aren’t.  Sadly, while China calls itself, ‘The friendliest town in Maine,’ I can’t say that I’ve always found that to be true – especially in the pages of The Town Line.

Dale Worster

Ben Twitchell Will Get Things Done

To the editor:

I’ve known Ben for many years and I respect him. He’s a great family man and a generous neighbor. He’s been attentive and works hard in our community as a Winslow Town Councilor. Additionally, he’s a person who’s always willing to help neighbors in need.

Ben is a friendly person. As a representative he’ll listen to the concerns, and be active for the citizens he represents. People need to know that their representative is there for them.

A subject that’s very important to me is the terrible drug problem that claims the lives and effects many families within our communities. Ben promises that finding a solution to this growing problem will be a top priority.

We need a representative who will represent all citizens. He wants to make a difference working for us in Augusta. I know he’ll work hard. That’s what Ben does!

Please vote Ben Twitchell,  state representative for Winslow and part of Benton

Linda Lemieux

Think before you speak

To the editor:

I must preface this letter by first saying, in my opinion, Governor Paul LePage is not a racist but an honorable man who has and will continue to serve Maine.

Yes, he is provocative but also says what many Mainers and Americans think, but due to political correctness, are afraid to speak.

An old friend of the Marine Corps and my mentor, who years later signed my teaching certificate, once told me to read certain scriptures. With that in mind, I now relate my friend’s advice.

Dear governor, please read Proverbs 13:3: “Those who control their tongue will have a long life. Opening your mouth can ruin everything.” My friend added, “When we speak, we do well to pause a moment to think, sometimes even pray first.”

Frank Slason

Letters to the editor, Week of September 15, 2016

Don’t take the bait

To the editor:

An open letter to the 90-plus military generals who signed a letter of support for Donald Trump. All are retired as required by military law.

Most are my age or younger and shouldn’t have taken the bait when Trump said, “I will listen to my generals when president.”

Anyone recall the weapons of mass destruction? One general spoke against an Afghanistan invasion and ended up on involuntary retirement. The commander-in-chief makes the ultimate decision no matter if there is opposition from generals.

This is important and necessary, and my favorite general, Douglas MacArthur, learned the hard way who his boss was. Colin Powell, on the other hand, was dubbed by civilians.

Bottom line is that I’m a Trump supporter but talk is cheap and those 90 generals should have known better, or are they hungry for war?

Frank Slason

China not destination place

To the editor:

This is in response to Dale Worster’s letter to the editor, “Ideas for Local Development.” It is very apparent to me that since you moved to our town you have not been happy. Since your arrival in town you have done nothing but try to change everything. You want to make our small, quiet town a “destination” place. The town of China should not be in the real estate business buying property to create retirement community centers with fancy stores, eateries and other attractions. With every new concept that you have suggested there will be increased resources needed by the town which will only increase our property taxes. You also state that “some people might just have to learn to live with progress.” You are dead wrong on that statement. We don’t have to learn to live with progress and we won’t. Have you forgotten that the citizens of the town overwhelmingly rejected the China Lake Park idea?

Laura Pierce

What is happening to our small town?

To the editor:

People come and people go all the time but for a lot of us who have been here our whole life – stay because we liked it here.

Those who come from away – well I would think before you buy something you must do a little research and must have liked what you saw or you would not have bought here, and done so in a different town that offered what you want this town to become.

Why do you want us to become a destination place with all these grand ideas?

I do not see why the town wants to be in the real estate business or the lending money business. I think buying land at the head of China Lake and filling it in is a huge mistake for the good of the lake, and all that is associated with the wetland area. I can see no need of fishing platforms or walkways. We have all fished on the bridge and had no need of a platform. We can walk along the side of the tar and respect that the roads are made for cars and not people, and step off the pavement while a car goes by. Can you, as a taxpaying property owner fill in your wetlands? I see buying more land by the town office is of no purpose. It all takes away tax dollars. We do not need to buy land and put in specialty shops and restaurants.

A Senior Center: I really doubt, if you took a poll of the seniors in the town of China, there would be very few who would go to a senior center on a regular basis.

Senior housing: Yes, I have felt for a long time that we needed a place for seniors who have been left alone or just are not able to keep their house anymore, but would like to stay in their hometown. My husband tried that with the grange hall in China Village, but ultimately the town shut that down.

So people, we all really need to take a good hard look at what we really want for our small town.

Do you want to become a destination town? I for one do not.

Susan White

Supports governor on drug issue

To the editor:

How much longer will the armchair critics dog the governor over “racism.” Criminal activity including illegal drugs most certainly has a disproportionate number of young black men involved. For someone who doubts this let him check prison populations nationwide or drive a taxi in Boston as I did for a number of years. The high crime rate there is in Roxbury. Most white drivers refuse to take fares there.

One night my cab broke down on Sinoma Street, a neighborhood in Roxbury known for drug activity. It was a black couple who picked me up to drive me to where I could get a cab out of there.

During the spring of the year, Gov. LePage gave a speech at Thomas College, in Waterville, which I attended. He spoke from knowledgeable sources of information. It was a well-organized speech. With a business education, he is well aware that funds for superficial drug treatment facilities and costs for law enforcement are limited. This reflects the increase in the drug epidemic and a decline in productivity. He stressed the need for jobs to hold young people in Maine.

A successful war against illegal drugs must strike at root causes. The overwhelming number of broken facilities, black and white; chemical residue in the environment and food chain. The culprit is agri-business; family neglect out of balance with a workforce flooded with women.
Nelson Mandella marks the coming of age of the black man. When elected president of South Africa, he said, “We will measure our success by the wellbeing and happiness of our children.”
Also to quote [Abraham] Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time. But you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Russell Vesecky

Letters to the editor, Week of September 8, 2016

Changes not wanted

To the editor:

Mr. Worster, this reply is in regards to your Letter to the Editor (Aug. 25, 2016) on your suggestions on the TIF committee reports.
I don’t know you or just where you came from, but my question to you is why, if you bought a place in our little town, are you trying to change it into a place more like what you left? I have lived in this town, in China Village, on Main St., for 85 years, all except for the last 15-16 years, only then moved about a quarter of a mile down the road. We brought up our family here, five children. They were taught to always use the pathways (yes, we had pathways) until out-of-town folks moved here, and started using the road for themselves and their children, and the pathways became part of lawns. We walked to the library, store, post office, etc., always on pathways, not the road.
My husband was road commissioner for several years, we bought the ice cream stand at the head of the lake before the road was rebuilt, built the China General Store and operated it for 13 years, and did many other varied jobs. Our children went to China schools and Erskine Academy. Our 10 grandchildren graduated from Erskine.
Please, people from away, our select board, various town committees and our esteemed town manager, stop trying to make our town into something other than small town China, which makes our taxes unaffordable for many of our citizens.
Carolyn Dow

A vote for Glowa

To the editor:

I checked the roll call votes that my State Representative, Tim Theriault, made in this last legislative session. I was dismayed to learn he was absent for 18.6 percent of the votes. These unexcused absences add up to 126 times Rep. Theriault removed himself from the House Chamber rather than cast his vote. My Senator [Roger] Katz, on the other hand, votes around 99 percent of the time. I know from my own experience as a state representative there are no shortages of difficult and controversial decisions to be made. But, not voting just stonewalls the legislature and makes a difficult job even more trying for those good people working to do what is right. I just don’t think Rep. Theriault’s heart is in it, and I don’t think Theriault’s voice (our voice?) is being heard in the Maine House. I will not vote for Theriault this go-around, come November, my vote goes to John Glowa. I am convinced that John will be a responsible and engaged member of the legislature.
Judd Thompson

Letters to the editor, Week of August 25, 2016

Legion a place for camaraderie

To the editor:

Growing up in South China there were 2 places I would hang out with my parents. Church, of course, (most of the time with just mom) and the Legion Hall. You never know how good you have it until you look back at those times at the hall.

I never got close to my dad growing up. He always felt distant and strong. All I ever wanted to do is copy that behavior to be just like him. He’s been gone 26 years now and I’m finally understanding his behavior. It was the war. He went in as an innocent boy of 19 and returned a hardened man filled with nightmares of seeing his friends die in front of him. We seem to learn to connect with people who have also experienced the same things.

This brings me back to one of dad’s safe places. The American Legion was like a 12-step program for many of the veterans returning from combat. Their PTSD was called battle fatigue or shell shocked. Their nightmares could be shared with others at the Post.  They all recognized when they returned how safe and secure our little town was compared to war torn areas they saw overseas. They also didn’t want to get too close to people who wouldn’t understand.

Today’s legion has the same mission its had for the last 100 years. To bring veterans together to heal the wounds of war. We also use our membership dues to pay the Washington lobbyist to fight for veterans in Congress.  This is why we will have a membership drive during the Windsor Fair sponsored by The Town Line. We welcome and encourage all eligible veterans to join.   So, all you veterans, stop sitting on the bench, put your glove on and get in the game.

By the way, your spouse can join the Ladies Auxiliary, too!

Neil Farrington
American Legion Post 179
South China

Ideas for local development

To the editor:

I was pleased to see that my suggestion of a South China Village/Shops & retirement community made it into the August 18 edition.  As a member of the TIF committee, this is a suggestion that I would like the folks in China to consider and also, to offer their opinions.   Route 3 is a busy road, as is Lakeview Drive, and I believe the town’s people should look into developing this area, as the most commercially-viable location in China.  It’s only a matter of time before someone sees the full value of this location, whether it be in five years or 20 years.

We have the rare opportunity to specifically put something in place that the town wants, vs. someone putting ‘whatever’ in place, which we’d have to live with and have little say on its use.   I don’t know if this is the best use of the TIF funds, which can only be used for economic development, but I think it’s a good way to start some chit-chat mill in China.

In regards to the retirement community, I’d like to see a group of houses, specifically made for ease of access and maintenance, within walking distance of the proposed  South China shops and Hannaford.

I also wouldn’t mind a central lodge, similar to the Granite Hill Estates, in Augusta.  Not only will this help with the inevitable increasing taxes in town, I strongly believe that when folks get to the last year’s of their life, when a new car or gadget has lost its appeal — the most important thing is to have, is a safe and comfortable retirement with the one you love.  If one needs more care than the other can provide, a central assisted-living will provide the extra care they need, while the more self-sufficient person can still be independent, close by and most importantly, continue to be the love of their life.

There are some really cool things China can do with five million TIF Simoleons over 20 years.  Progress has been – and will continue on Rte. 3.  We can be on the organizing side of it or on the ‘live with it’ side.  I’d much rather see an area where we can get a Green Bean coffee and muffin on their patio, (where someone’s playing Jim Croce and The Eagles songs on an acoustic guitar) then walk to a Reny’s, maybe a pet store, kitchen store, Sweet Frog, chocolate shop, etc.,  because I personally don’t think we need another large, heavily-lighted business with a big red circle and a ‘K’ in the middle of it.  Let’s think big and do something remarkable with that TIF cheddar, shall we?
Kind regards.

Dale Worster

Letters to the editor, Week of August 18, 2016

Not seeking re-election

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to notify the residents and voters of the Town of China that I have chosen not to run for re-election for a position as one of our two representatives on the RSU #18 School Board. I hope that one or more interested and committed China citizens will seek the post.

I ran for and was elected to this position three years ago with the intent of trying to ensure that China’s students from pre-K to eighth grade level are receiving the best education available to them. As a retired teacher and concerned citizen, I believed I was qualified to make this decision. I found the attempt to be both extremely rewarding and definitely challenging. I got to meet and interact with great people on the RSU board and in the schools’ staff and administration. In addition, I had many opportunities to interact with and observe a large number of our town’s students and see their excellent achievements, both in and outside of the classroom.

The position also brought with it some factors that I did not anticipate and that were most certainly daunting in some respects. This was especially true during budget season and I pass on to you my absolute belief that while the quality of education cannot be measured in dollars and cents, our childrens’ learning must be supported by our tax dollars. I am totally convinced that the RSU #18 administrators do their utmost to provide the best educational results at the lowest feasible cost.

And so, I leave this position with very mixed feelings. I believe that I have done my job in validating our kids’ learning at the lowest possible price. While the time spent has at times been frustrating, I enjoyed it in almost all respects. My fervent hope is that another individual with a passion for young people, and their education, will come forward to follow in my footsteps.

Bob Bennett

Letters to the Editor, Week of August 4, 2016

Ben Twitchell for State Representative

To the editor:

Ben Twitchell has my vote to represent Winslow and Benton in the House of Representatives. Choosing a candidate to represent me in Augusta is never a decision I take lightly. Ben Twitchell is a candidate I know and who I can trust to do what’s best for Winslow, Benton and the State of Maine.

Ben is a proven leader who has served our community for years as a member of the Town Council. He’s been a mentor for our local kids as a Scout leader for many years. Ben will work hard to lower the tax burden on our working families and small businesses. He’ll work to enact real Welfare Reform, to clean up Fraud and Abuse and to make sure our State’s scarce resources go to those who are truly in need.

We need to send a Representative to Augusta who will not do the bidding of special interest groups and their lobbyists who line the halls of the State House.

It’s time we send someone to Augusta in November who’ll work for the people of Winslow and Benton. This is why I’m voting Ben Twichelll for House of Representatives, District #78.

Ray Lemieux

Letters to the editor, Week of July 28, 2016

Never trust again

To the editor:

My husband and I own the Locust Grove, in Albion. We have a U-Pick raspberry and blueberry operation.

Last Friday, an elderly lady came to pick blueberries. She filled some containers with blueberries and left them with her prescription sunglasses and went to pick in another section of the field. When she came back her berries and glasses were gone. She and I assisted her as she looked but no berries or glasses were to be found. Why would anyone steal her berries and sunglasses?  This lady was so distraught, and she had to drive home without her glasses. If you are out there and have this lady’s glasses please return them; you can leave them anywhere we can find them.

Most people we deal with are honest, but what happened to this lady is sad and what is saddest, is this elderly lady will never trust anyone again.

Marilyn C. Kenyon
the Locust Grove

Letters to the Editor Week of April 28, 2016

It’s clean-up time

The official “Earth Day” is over with not so good results. Very, very few volunteers.

Thank you so much Goodine family, Barbara F., Irene Belanger and all of you who have done the roadside cleanup in your own neighborhoods. Things are looking better with the “ winter uglies” being picked up.

Thank you also for the town (Kevin Rhodes) picking up bags along the pickup trails. It isn’t too late to get on board with this endeavor to keep our town looking clean and in good health.

We would like to extend this good cause through to May 2016.

Please! we invite all who can to join us. We can even supply some bags if you need, and to have the  filled bags picked up if necessary. Also, large pieces such as tires, metal, tree branches, etc may be picked up.t together

Get the neighborhood involved and have a  fun get together  after the work is done.

Call Irene at 445-2349 if you need to adopt a roadside to cleanup.

Irene Belanger
China selectman

Maine needs lower energy costs

To the editor:

Governor Paul LePage’s final address at the Republican State Convention Saturday afternoon identified the source wreaking havoc on the Maine economy: high energy costs.

“We are facing a crisis!  The number one challenge to the Maine economy is energy.  We have an energy crisis!” the governor revealed.

The governor then illustrated his wooing of Airbus to retool the Brunswick Air Station came to an abrupt halt.  Airbus informed the governor the cost of energy in the DIrigo state was too high and they were better off in Alabama.  The price that tipped the scale 14 cents a kilowatt hour.

Airbus could build their manufacturing plant for $300 million in Maine, or  $600 million in Alabama.  Yet, Airbus could get 4  cents a kilowatt hour in Alabama.  This 10 cent difference in the cost of energy means Airbus could get a return on their investment in half the time in Alabama than Maine.  How many jobs did Airbus envision, 3000?

Airbus is not the only examples of companies taking a pass on Maine because of expensive energy the governor informed.  Taiwan General Counsel also wanted to bring manufacturing to Maine, but high energy costs made other states more attractive.

Governor LePage blamed the Natural Resource Council of Maine for making the business landscape a desert, because of their promotion of alternative energy.  NRCM is misguided as alternative energy as a primary source of energy was unsustainable, too expensive, and currently requires government subsidy to exist.

The governor mentioned lifting the cap on renewable energy allowing Hydro-Quebec to transmit power into the state would drastically lower energy costs.  If this were to happen, Maine would be very competitive with other states offering low cost energy to attract companies; bringing new job opportunities.

What the governor left out was lower energy costs would greatly promote growth of Maine based businesses also.  Energy is always needed and always a challenge.  Lower costs would trickle down or up depending on how you look at it and create more jobs, higher paying jobs.  Then the Maine economy would get the lift it so desperately needs.

Dale Fegel Jr.
Delegate to the Republican State Convention from China