Knizeske, Hollander receive LakeSmart designation

The China Lake Association is proud to announce that Justine Knizeske and Alan Hollander have been awarded the LakeSmart Award for their lake front property on China Lake. Instead of mowing, they have left the land facing the lake natural with only a lovely set of wooden steps leading to the shore front. This natural buffer is more than 200 feet deep and helps to protect China Lake from pollutants. If you would like a LakeSmart visit from an experienced volunteer, contact us at We can provide ideas for you to protect the lake.

Former China fire chief remembered

by Dale Worster

Former China Fire Chief George Studley

It is with greatest of regrets and the heaviest of hearts, the China Village Volunteer Fire Department honors the memory of our good friend and former Chief of 35 years – George Studley.

While it can be a challenge to find the right words to convey how much someone will be missed, no matter what I put in print today, I am going to fall terribly short on conveying what George meant to the China Village Volunteer Fire Department. Joining the China Village Department in 1967 and becoming chief in 1977. George led by example, by working the problem and simply getting things done. Whether it was showing a “newbie” to the department – how to run equipment or if he was trudging fire hose through deep snow to save a home, he was a glowing example of what each of us are losing, each time one more of ‘The Greatest Generation’ slips away.

Over the 50 years George responded to fires, car accidents, rescue calls, community events, etc…. he truly was and still is the heart and soul of the China Village Fire Department. I can’t imagine how someone might try and account for all of the lives he touched in those 50 years, unselfishly giving thousands & thousands of hours of his time to the people and families in our community. In his 70s George was still quick to reply to a fire tone/page and also, very frequently, the first on-scene.

I can say with all honesty that George was one of those very few folks that you meet and not only instantly liked, but simply enjoyed being around. He had a witty way of stating his opinion on many things and was kind to those who didn’t necessarily share his point of view. If you weren’t close, he was a courteous person with his opinion and respected yours. If you were a friend, he had his own unique and thoughtful way of courteously conveying how wrong you were. I was always pleased to have chance meetings with people who knew George – whether I had on a China Fire T-shirt or someone saw my plate, it was always a pleasure when someone would say – “Oh, You must know George!,” and friendly smirk would appear on their face. I might reply with a grin: “Yes, unfortunately – I do.” and our laugher would last a short while.

Often, we would follow-up with short stories of George and how we knew him. At a recent car accident, another firefighter was sharing how he had come up onto a fire scene years earlier and he was trying to make out a blurry image showing from the fading smoke – – it was George, walking out of the smoke, wearing only his shorts and fire boots. I can’t think of a better analogy to describe George’s ability to answer the call while also, maintaining the unique style of Mr. George Studley.

While I don’t have the long history that most in China had with George, nor the amount of stories that many folks hold in their memories and hearts, in the six years I knew him, I’m thankful to have had the privilege to know him and to call him friend. As word spreads of this unfortunate news, I encourage everyone to share their stories of George, because in them, we all get to have George in our lives a while longer, even if he won’t be there to laugh along with us. I do have faith that George and Sheldon, (his best friend of many, many years who passed recently) are once again, sharing their morning coffee and catching up on who’s doing what in town and discussing what they’ll be doing together, this upcoming weekend.

Please, join me in spirit and in the memory of George, as the CVVFD must again, ring the bell three times – which in the fire service, signifies the end of a shift and George’s completion of duties with the China Village Volunteer Fire Department.

In closing, I wish that I was somehow able to really convey to everyone, what George meant to me in the short time I knew him and how very much I’m going to miss him. I think the best I can do, is to say with all honesty: I couldn’t be more pleased or proud, if my own grandson grew up to be just like George Studley.

The Firefighter’s Prayer
– Author Unknown –

When I am called to duty, God,
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life,
whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
and hear the weakest shout,
quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling,
to give the best in me,
to guard my friend and neighbor,
and protect his property.
And if according to Your will
I must answer death’s call,
bless with your protecting hand,
my children, my wife, one and all.

A celebration of George’s life will be held at the China Conference Center, 283 Neck Rd., China, on Sunday, August 27, beginning at 1 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the China Village Volunteer Fire Dept., PO Box 6035, China Village, ME 04926.

China selectmen, firefighters discuss auditing requirements

by Mary Grow

China selectmen and representatives of the South China Volunteer Fire Department spent part for the Aug. 7 selectmen’s meeting sorting out auditing requirements, with specific reference to the importance of the transition from one fiscal year to the next. China’s fiscal year ends June 30 and the new one – 2017-18 currently – begins July 1.

Fire Department Treasurer Fred Glidden told selectmen he presented several invoices dated in June for payment after July 1 and was told they could not be paid. They were 2016-17 bills and according to auditing practice, that year’s books are closed and cannot be reopened, and prior-year bills can’t be paid from current-year funds.

Had the department ended FY 2016-17 with a surplus that went into its reserve fund, the bills might have been paid from reserve in July, Town Manager and Treasurer Daniel L’Heureux said; but there was not an adequate balance carried forward.

Glidden said he already paid two of the bills from departmental funds, raised through donations and fundraisers, and intended to bill the town for reimbursement in this fiscal year. Fine, L’Heureux said, as long as the bill to the town is itemized.

For the remaining bills, the manager recommended getting new invoices dated in July. They would then fall under the current year’s budget.

When Glidden and Fire Chief Richard Morse objected that they had carried bills forward in past years, L’Heureux said sometimes there are such irregularities, until the town’s auditor spots them and requires correction.

In a related matter, Glidden said LD 150, sponsored by State Representative and China Village Fire Chief Tim Theriault, takes effect Nov. 1 (90 days after the state legislature adjourned for the year). LD 150 repeals the $1,000 limit on the municipal appropriation that can be given to an organized volunteer fire department in a lump sum and adds a requirement that the purposes of the appropriation be itemized.

In other words, after Nov. 1 this year, and at the beginning of subsequent fiscal years, China’s three volunteer fire departments can request a check for their annual appropriation and do their own spending, instead of submitting bills bi-weekly to the town office.

Neil Farrington, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, advised Glidden and Morse to make sure if they choose that option, they will continue to share the town’s discount on purchases like diesel fuel and heating oil. Selectmen asked L’Heureux to investigate the question.

In other business, L’Heureux said he hopes to be able to recommend the 2017-18 tax rate at the selectmen’s Aug. 21 meeting. He is waiting to hear whether the state will approve China’s application to add the new Central Maine Power Company substation off Route 3 to the town’s Tax Increment Financing Program. Whether the value of the new substation is in the TIF program or the regular tax base will affect the rate he recommends.

Selectmen reaffirmed their intention to offer the basement of the old town house beside the town office for rent to a nonprofit group. They authorized L’Heureux to do necessary repairs and maintenance.

L’Heureux said the Thurston Park II Committee did not endorse the proposal for selective timber cutting on an additional approximately five acres in the town-owned park, so only the work originally planned will be done.

L’Heureux and Farrington repeated their request for volunteers for the vacant budget committee position, the 2018 Bicentennial committee and other town boards and committees.

Davidson family receives LakeSmart designation

The Davidson family

The descendants of the Davidson Family have enjoyed a camp on China Lake for five generations. Their property was purchased in the early 1900s from the original settler, Rufus Jones. Like many properties on China Lake, theirs slopes toward the lake. On the lakeside of their property they maintain a thick lawn at least three inches or more tall that has other natural vegetation growing. They have chosen to only cut that lawn once or twice a year to help protect the lake.

Also, because they have a dog, they make sure to pick up all the pet waste so it will not affect the lake quality. At the lake’s edge, their effective buffer is full of tall trees, native shrubs, ground cover and leaves and pine needles. With the entire buffer, they still enjoy a nice view of the lake.

If you would like a free LakeSmart visit from a volunteer to see what you can do to protect the lake, please contact Marie Michaud at or 207-2020240.

South China Library aided from exhibit of late Howard Comfort II

Some of the paintings in the gallery.

Martha Comfort, David Kesel, and Laura Coffin, descendants of Howard Comfort II.

Photos & text courtesy of Geoff Hargadon

A barn in South China was the setting for an artist’s retrospective on August 12. The late Howard Comfort II, scholar, cricketeer, painter, and a part of the South China community for decades, was the subject of an exhibition of his paintings. Over 30 paintings, many from South China and elsewhere in Maine, were borrowed from a number of families as far away as Charlotte and Seattle. Nearly 100 visitors enjoyed refreshments as they passed through the gallery on that Saturday evening, including several of Comfort’s descendants.

Comfort lived to the age of 89, and spent many summers with family and friends in South China. His father was a colleague of Rufus Jones while at Haverford College, and it is believed Jones was influential in what has become a five-generation legacy in the town. There were many paintings buildings in South China on view, including Spearon’s General Store and the South China Inn, two buildings that no longer exist.

The exhibit doubled as a fundraiser for the South China Library and its plans to move to Jones Road. Over $2,500 was raised from attendees, with help from a matching grant offered for the occasion.

“We were very pleased with the turnout, to meet new friends, and to see old acquaintances. I am particularly glad we could share this beautiful body of work with the community that could probably appreciate it the most,” said Geoff Hargadon, organizer of the event. “We have long admired Howard Comfort’s work and was excited to be able to see so much of it in one place. But this has also encouraged me to investigate other opportunities in the future that could connect us with South China’s history through the eyes of others.”

Residents visit the gallery.

CHINA NEWS: Erskine announces schedules, bus routes for Fall 2017

Fall 2017

Erskine Academy schedules and bus routes:

FRESHMEN ORIENTATION will be held on August 28, at 6:30 p.m., in the Erskine Academy gymnasium. Parents and freshmen students are encouraged to attend.

Freshmen parents are reminded that the school does require a current freshmen entrance physical prior to the first day of school. Any questions please call the school nurse at 445-2962.

Tuesday, August 29, – First day of school – Freshmen only;
Wednesday, August 30, – all students will attend;
Friday, September 1, – Erskine will not hold classes;
Monday, September 4, – Labor Day Holiday – no classes;
Thursday, September 14, – school picture day.

NEW STAFF MEMBERS: Megan Childs – Family & Consumer Economics teacher; Katherine Newcombe – English teacher & Ed Tech III; Rebecca Sellers – art teacher.


Students should be at their pick-up points 5 – 10 minutes before the stated pick-up times for the first few days of school. Bus fare is $10 per week. Parents of freshmen are advised to check the bus schedule at New Student Orientation.

Pat Vigue – Bus 13 (Palermo Area)

6:25 – Palermo School
6:30 – Turner Ridge Road
6:35 – Banton Road
6:40 – Level Hill Road
6:45 – North Palermo Road
7:00 – Weston Ridge
7:15 – Tobey’s
7:20 – Frontier Village
7:25 – Leave Frontier Village
7:30 – Arrive at Erskine Academy

Sheila Wescott – Bus 11 (Chelsea/Windsor Area)

6:12 – Leave Erskine to Tyler Road
6:17 – Weeks Mills Road
6:20 – Legion Park Road/

Lamson Road (turn-a-round)

6:23 – Barton Road
6:25 – 105 to Spring Road
6:50 – Chelsea School
6:53 – Wellman Road
6:55 – Route 17 to Windsor
7:00 – Hunts Meadow Road
7:10 – Route 126
7:15 – Vigue Road
7:20 – Route 17 to Route 32 Windsor
7:25 – Route 32 (Rideout’s Store)
7:35 – Arrive at Erskine Academy

Wayne Lacey – Bus 1 (Whitefield-Jefferson Area)

6:25 – Leave Country Corners Store
6:30 – Travel down Route 215
6:35 – Route 126 to Jefferson
6:40 – Jefferson Post Office
7:00 – Intersection of Route 32 & 17
7:10 – Intersection of Route 17 & 206
7:20 – Intersection of Route 105 & 32
7:23 – Choate Road
7:25 – Windsor Neck Road/South Road
7:30 – Kidder Road
7:30 – Arrive at Erskine Academy

Janice Cook – Bus 16 (Windsor/Whitefield/Coopers Mills Area)

6:18 – Leave Erskine- Rte 32 South
6:26 – Maxcy’s Mills Rd
6:28 – Griffin Road
6:33 – Vigue Road
6:37 – Townhouse Road
6:44 – 218N/194N
6:46 – Heath Road
6:50 – Hilton Road
6:52 – 218N //Mills Road
6:59 – Coopers Mills Main Street
7:00 – Windsor Road/Coopers Mills
7:02 – Erskine Road
7:04 – Wingood Road
7:08 – Erskine Road
7:09 – Windsor Road/Coopers Mills
7:15 – Route 105 to Rte 32
7:18 – Route 32 to Erskine Academy
7:30 – Arrive at Erskine Academy

Routes, drivers and bus numbers subject to change

Kostrons receive LakeSmart recognition

Ron and Sandra Kostron, of China, are awarded the LakeSmart Award for their undeveloped lot on China Lake. They have owned the property for 18 years and have kept it completely natural. The shoreline is composed of rocks along with vegetation covering the entire length of the shore. There are five layers of buffer on the property including duff (leaves and pine needles left on the ground), ground cover, shrubs, understory (young trees) and canopy (mature trees). All the plants are native. Native plants have a better chance to survive especially during times of extreme weather. For more information about the LakeSmart Program go to the China Lake Association website or contact

Historic presence of alewives in China Lake’s Outlet Stream reconfirmed

Original letters written by Stacy Blish and others, of Vassalborough, in 1799, submitted to the Massachusetts legislature. The decision of the governing body sealed the fate of the stream for more than 200 years, as numerous mills and factories were located along the banks of Mile Stream and little attention paid to its ecological health or fisheries. Photo of the letters from the State Archives, in Boston.

Submitted by Landis Hudson, executive director Maine Rivers.

Documents recently found in Massachusetts Archives have shed light on the early history of China Lake’s Outlet Stream, reconfirming the historic presence of native alewives. Petitions and letters, signed and dated from 1798 and 1799, state that alewives were known to make their way up the stream to China Lake, but the presence of sawmills and grist mills prevented the migratory fish from completing their journey to spawning areas. The letters and petitions were written requesting that the Outlet Stream be exempted from fish passage laws to allow water-powered industries to flourish.

As was typical for the colonial period, smaller waterways like Outlet Stream were harnessed for power first because their flows were easier to control. Later, as the technology advanced, dams were built on larger rivers, like the former Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River, first built in 1837.

Letters and petitions from residents along the Outlet Stream were submitted in response to fish passage laws enacted in Massachusetts requiring dam owners to provide fish passage, due to local concerns about the declining populations of migratory fish, notably salmon, shad and alewives. In 1797, just one year before the residents along Outlet Stream sent in their letters and petitions, a law was passed requiring fish passage in Cumberland and Lincoln Counties. Maine was then a part of Massachusetts; records from this period can be found in Massachusetts State Archives, in Boston.

One letter written by Stacy Blish in January 1799 states:

“Stacy Blish, of Vassalborough, in the County of Lincoln, of lawfull age testify and say that I have lived near a Stream called Mile brook which empties itself into Sebasticook river for eighteen years last past that before any mills were built on said Stream Alewives used to pass up said Stream into a pond out of which it flows but no Salmon or Shad ever frequented it and for fifteen years last past since mills have been erected on it no alewives have been known to pass up into the pond.”

Another petition signed by 40 individuals noted, “the carrying on and Improvements of those Mills Are the principle if not the only means upon which a large number of respectable and industrious citizens depend on for acquiring property… That formerly the fish called Alewives (only) used to pass up said stream but for more than ten years None have been seen to pass up said stream…”

The letters and petitions were successful and resulted in the passage of a law titled, “An Act Exempting Mile Stream in the Towns of Vassalborough, Winslow and Harlem from the Operations of All Laws Regulating the Salmon Shad and Alewife Fisheries in Said Towns.” This act sealed the fate of the stream for more than 200 years, as numerous mills and factories were located along its banks and little attention paid to its ecological health or fisheries.

China police log for June 2017

Friday, June 2

9 a.m., harassment complaint, Village Rd.

Saturday, June 3

4:30 p.m., property check, Neck Rd.
4:45 p.m., property check, Old Waterville Rd.
5:10 p.m., business check, Lakeview Dr.
5:30 p.m., business check, Dunton Rd.
6 p.m., property check, Thurston Rd.
6:50 p.m., radar detail, Dirigo Rd.
8:10 p.m., business check, Vassalboro Rd.

Monday, June 5

9 a.m., traffic complaint, Weeks Mills Rd.

Friday, June 9

2:20 p.m., assist Rescue, Tyler Rd.
2:45 p.m., property dispute, Village Rd.
3:15 p.m., property check, South China boat landing
3:30 p.m., radar detail, Vassalboro Rd.
5:10 p.m., business check, Vassalboro Rd.
5:20 p.m., business check, Rte. 3.
5:30 p.m., business check, Rte. 3.
6:05 p.m., property check, Branch Mills Rd.

Sunday, June 11

8 a.m., animal complaint, Bog Rd.

Wednesday, June 14

2 p.m., civil dispute, Nana’s Way.

Thursday, June 15

3 p.m., hit and run complaint, Windsor Road.

Friday, June 16

8:30 p.m., neighborhood dispute, Colwell Boulevard.

Saturday, June 17

4 p.m., traffic stop, Aldere Park Road, warning for registration violation.
4:15 p.m., traffic stop, Dirigo Road, speeding warning.
5:10 p.m., traffic stop Dirigo Road, warning for inspection violation.
5:30 p.m., traffic stop, Weeks Mills Road, warning for stop sign violation.
7 p.m., property check, Neck Road
7:20 p.m., property check, Old Waterville Road.

Monday, June 19

4:40 p.m., traffic stop Rte. 3, warning for inspection violation.
4:58 p.m., traffic stop, Lakeview Drive, speeding warning.
5 p.m., business check, Rte. 3.
5:45 p.m., business check, Lakeview Dr.
5:55 p.m., property check, Causeway Road
6:30 p.m., property check, Nana’s Way
6:45 p.m., intoxicated male, Causeway Road. Warning for disorderly conduct, transported home.

Wednesday, June 21

10 a.m., criminal mischief, Main Street.

Friday, June 23

4:40 p.m., traffic stop, Rte. 3, speeding warning.
4:51 p.m., traffic stop, Rte. 3, speeding warning.
5:04 p.m., traffic stop, Rte. 3, speeding warning.
5:30 p.m., traffic stop, Lakeview Drive, summons for speeding.
5:45 p.m., traffic stop, Lakeview Drive, warning for expired inspection sticker.
6:17 p.m., trespass by motor vehicle complaint, Old Waterville Road.
6:45 p.m., traffic complaint, Cross Road.

Saturday, June 24

6 p.m., civil dispute, Nana’s Way.

Sunday, June 25

12:15 p.m., neighborhood dispute over unsafe gunfire, Fire Road 54.

Wednesday, June 28

4 p.m., suspicious vehicle, Main Street.
4:30 p.m., traffic complaint, Causeway Road.

Friday, June 30

2 p.m., traffic complaint, South Road.
3:55 p.m., traffic complaint, Neck Road.

China VFD thanks supporters

The China Village Volunteer Fire Department extends a sincere “Thank You” to the folks that participated in their annual Chicken BBQ & Raffle on Saturday July 8.

They were again blessed with a beautiful Saturday and very pleased to see all the people that came out to the BBQ – bringing friends and family, smiles and memories – which made for a another memorable day for us. They also extend a heartfelt appreciation to their spouses, who unselfishly donated their time, again.

They enjoyed seeing many friends again and sincerely appreciated the kind words, shared on Saturday. For all the fire department folks, events like this are a pleasant reminder of the caring and giving people in the community.

They also thank all the business that donated to the raffle: Maine Boat Rental, Wildwood, LaVerdiere’s, Circle K, Lakeview Lumber, Toby’s, The Landing, Cedar Springs golf, MJEK Seafood & Grill, Boivin’s Plumbing, Bob’s Glass, Adams Insurance, New England Imports, China Lake Auto, Raider’s Sugar Shack, Courtney’s Hot Dogs, and KFC Waterville.