LETTERS: To prevent false rumors

Dr. David Austin

To the editor:

I want to thank all my patients at Lovejoy Health Center who made my return to work there so rewarding. I worked at Lovejoy from 1993 to 2010, and returned last July, happy to reconnect with many of you. As some of you probably know, I am no longer working at the health center. The reasons are not for discussion here, but I do want to mention something which is not a reason, to prevent any false rumors. As many of you know, and as I am happy to share with anyone, I am a recovering alcoholic, a problem that blossomed in my life after my first tenure at Lovejoy. My recovery continues one sweet day at a time without interruption.

I have deeply enjoyed sharing my life and medical skills with you, my patients. You are the reason I followed this calling in the first place. Be well, prosper, and may God bless.

Dr. David Austin

Local Town Meetings Schedule 2020

Town meetings 2020


Town Meeting
Sat., June 27, 10:00 am
Albion Fire Station

Those attending the Town Meeting should park in the field behind the Besse Building or in the Besse Building parking lot. No one will be allowed to park at the Fire Station. Attendees should also practice social distancing and we ask that you wear a face mask.

Copy of the Town Meeting Warrant is on the Town web page under Government – Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes


Tues., June 9, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Chelsea Elementary School
Town Meeting
Thurs., June 11, 6:30 p.m.
Chelsea Elementary School


Town meeting
Tuesday, July 14, 9 a.m.
Written ballot only
Former portable classroom near town office.
7 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Annual town budget meeting
Mon., June 15, 7 p.m.
Fairfield Community Ctr.
61 Water St.


Town Meeting
Saturday, March 7, 1:30 p.m.
Solon Elementary School.


Town Meeting
Mon., June 22, 6:30 p.m.
Vassalboro Community School
1116 Webber Pond Road
Municipal Election
Tues., June 23, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Town Office
682 Main St.

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To be included in this list, visit our Contact Us page or send an email to The Town Line at townline@townline.org.

Lovejoy Health Center welcomes Brandy LeClair

Brandy LeClair, LCSW

The staff at Lovejoy Health Center will be welcoming Brandy LeClair, clinical social worker, to the practice this winter. With the addition of Brandy to the team, the practice is expanding its counseling services as patients have been pleased with the opportunity to work on issues such as managing a chronic condition and other life stressors and crises right at the health center. Brandy brings experience in outpatient, community and residential social work.

Brandy obtained both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work at the University of Southern Maine. Her areas of expertise include children and adolescent individual and group therapy.

Brandy recently shared, “I have decided to join the team at Lovejoy due to my passion for holistic care. Lovejoy provides an environment to combine medical and social work, which has great benefits for patients.”

Brandy will be joining clinical social worker Deb Daigle as well as physicians Dean Chamberlain and David Austin, physician assistant Bobby Keith, family nurse practitioners Kaitlynn Read and Keiko Kurita, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner Marta Hall.

Dr. David Austin talks about Doctors Without Borders in African countries

Dr. David Austin

by Mary Grow

In a Feb. 5 talk at the Albion Public Library, Dr. David Austin described some of his experiences as a physician in three African countries in 2010 and 2011. He read from his book, Therese’s Dream, a collection of emails he sent to Dr. Paul Forman at the Lovejoy Health Center, and answered audience questions

Under the auspices of Doctors Without Borders (DWB), also known by its French name, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Austin worked in Darfur, a region in western Sudan; in Ngila, a village in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and in Djibouti Ville, capital of Djibouti. Sudan is the northernmost of the three countries, on Egypt’s southern border. The DRC is a large country in central Africa; Djibouti is a tiny country on the African side of the southern entrance to the Red Sea, the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.

Austin usually worked with three or four other expats and a larger number of local doctors, nurses, midwives and other personnel. A typical DWB team would include a doctor, nurses, a logistician (the person responsible for supplies of all sorts, like making sure drinkable water was available) and sometimes a psychologist or social worker. The Therese in his book’s title was a local social worker in the DRC.

DWB did not provide cooks, so a good local cook was always welcome, Austin said.

Most of Austin’s patients were infants and children. His emails describe severe malnutrition and a variety of diseases, including malaria and tuberculosis (Djibouti has the world’s highest rate of childhood tuberculosis, he said). Many of the children he wrote about died, in spite of his and his colleagues’ efforts.

He tells the story of driving a family to their home after a child died, something commonly done. The family lived in a slum he left undescribed. While they were there, neighbors asked if they would drive a young woman with appendicitis back to the hospital. Had they not happened to come, Austin said, the woman would have had an hour’s walk to get help.

Despite the deaths, Austin enjoyed his work and the people he worked with. His emails often mention the high spirits, hopefulness and resilience of local people.

The idea of DWB began with people Austin described as “A few crazy Frenchmen who smuggled themselves into Biafra.”

In 1968 the province of Biafra seceded from Nigeria. According to DWB’s website, the International Committee of the Red Cross was asked to help victims of the ensuing civil war, and doctors Max Recamier and Bernard Kouchner led a six-person team. The website explains that seeing results of the Nigerian government attacking and starving the Biafran rebels led the doctors and their followers to publicize what they considered governmental atrocities.

Their reaction spread, and in December 1971 Doctors Without Borders was founded, with 300 volunteer members.

Its website calls DWB an independent, neutral organization that provides medical aid where it’s most needed and speaks out against injustice. It currently operates in more than 70 countries. DWB needs governmental approval to send in personnel, Austin said.

Austin worked with local people and volunteers from all over the world – Americans and Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, Europeans. Asked about becoming a DWB volunteer, he commented that in his opinion it’s “harder than it should be” to get accepted. However, he commended the program, especially its very effective polio and measles vaccination initiatives.

Currently Austin is back on the staff at Lovejoy Health Center, where he worked from 1993 to 2008, with brief stints in Haiti that sparked his interest in third-world countries.

2020 Census meeting in Albion

Albion Public Library

The Albion Public Library will host a Census Day on Monday evening December 23. The United States Census Bureau will be hiring for 2020 census jobs, a great chance to do enjoyable work with paid training and very flexible hours, right in your local community. Albion Public Library will have a member of the census bureau available onsite to help people fill out an application, or to answer any questions about these local job opportunities. The session will be held at the Library, 18 Main Street, on December 23 from 5 to 7 p.m.

If interested, visit www.2020census.gov/jobs for more information or to apply online. For more details on the application assistance session, please contact the Albion Public Library, at 437-2220, or email albion@albion.lib.me.us.

See also: The 2020 Census comes to central Maine

New books at the Albion Public Library

Albion Public Library


A Story of Maine in 112 Objects from Prehistory to Modern Times, by Bernard Fishman, Director Maine State Museum.

The Great Halifax Explosion, A WWI Story of Treachery, Tragedy and Extraordinary Heroism, by John U. Bacon.

A Senator’s Eye, by Sen. Angus S. King, Jr.


The Pioneers, by David McCullough.

The Dead Samaritan, by Emily Westbrooks.

Long Forgotten Tales of Downeast Maine, by Jim Harnedy.


Call of the Wraith, by Kevin Sands.

The Night Country, by Melissa Albright.

Mckenzie graduates from basic military training

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kenneth R. Mckenzie Jr. graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Mckenzie is the son of Julie A. and Kenneth R. Mckenzie, of Albion.

2019 Real Estate Tax Due Dates


Monday, September 30


(pay all up front or semi-annually)
Friday, September 27
Friday, March 27, 2020


Thursday, October 17


(pay all up front or quarterly)
Monday, September 23
Monday, November 25
Monday, February 24, 2020
Monday, April 27, 2020


(pay all up front or quarterly)
October 11
December 13
March 13, 2020
June 12, 2020


(pay all up front or biannually)
September 30 or
Half on Sept. 30
and half March 31, 2020

Lovejoy Center welcomes back Dr. Austin

Dr. David Austin

The staff at Lovejoy Health Center recently welcomed David Austin, MD, back to the practice. He previously joined Lovejoy in 1993. David brings over 30 years experience providing medical care both in Maine and globally through volunteer organizations including Médecins Sans Frontières. He obtained a doctorate at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine, in 1985 and completed Family Medicine Residency in 1988 at Highland Hospital, University of Rochester, New York. Previously, he graduated from Bowdoin College, in Brunswick.

David recently shared: “I believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. After deeply enjoying my fifteen plus years of work at Lovejoy and four years of work abroad, I feel that it is time for me to return to Maine, land of my birth. There is no better workplace for me today than Lovejoy Health Center.”

David will be joining physician Dean Chamberlain, physician assistants Gretchen Morrow and Bobby Keith, family nurse practitioner Kaitlynn Read, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner Marta Hall. In addition, Deb Daigle offers behavioral health services to patients of the practice.

Ryan Pellerin named to Springfield College dean’s list

Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts, has named Ryan Pellerin, of Albion, to the dean’s list for academic excellence for the spring 2019 term. Pellerin is studying Sport Management.

Criteria for selection to the dean’s list requires that the student must have a minimum semester grade point average of 3.500 for the semester.