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