Fairfield postpones meetings, pushes back budget hearing, closes public buildings

Downtown Fairfield. (Contributed photo)

According to Fairfield Town Manager Michelle Flewelling, all previously posted measures will remain in effect until April 30, 2020, unless otherwise noted. If circumstances warrant, this time period will be adjusted.

The annual town budget meeting public hearing, following a vote by the town council on March 25, will be postponed until May 27, 2020, with the annual town budget meeting moved to June 15, 2020. These dates are tentative and subject to change.

Persons seeking General Assistance/Welfare should call the Town Office at 453-7911 x106 and we will process applications over the phone.

Access to the Fire Station and Police Department will be closed to all except emergency needs. If you have a non-emergency request such as a burn permit or a police report, please call, fire station-453-2429 or police station, 453-9321, and they will assist you in obtaining what you need. Emergency needs for EMS, fire, and police should be treated as normal by calling 911 for assistance.

Regularly scheduled town council meetings will continue and participants are strongly encouraged to attend virtually ONLY. Watch for participation instructions in the agenda and on our social media platforms.

The Town Office will be closed to the public. At this time, staff are working and actively responding to calls and e-mails during our normal business hours. The town office can be reached at 453-7911 or info@fairfieldme.com. Please refer to our website at www.fairfieldme.com for online services.

Local student named semifinalist in National Geographic’s GeoBee

Anderson Buck

The results are in! The National Geographic Society named Anderson Buck, an eighth grade student at Lawrence Junior High School, in Fairfield, as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Competition. The contest will be held at the University of Maine in Farmington on Friday, March 27, 2020.

This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 32nd year. To determine each school champion, GeoBee competitions were held in schools throughout the state with students in the fourth through eighth grades. This year, an estimated 2.4 million students competed in the GeoBee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions. School champions also took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. Up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories were invited to compete in the State GeoBees.

State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash, and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Championship where they will compete for additional cash, awards and college scholarships. The second- and third-place State GeoBee winners will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.

The 2020 National Championship will take place May 18-21, 2020, at National Geographic headquarters. The National Champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. The second-place finisher will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; the student finishing in third place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; and seven runners-up will each receive $1,000 in cash. Visit www.natgeobee.org for more information on the National Geographic GeoBee.

Anderson is the son of Sharon Hood and Daniel Buck.

How would you fare as a National Geographic GeoBee contestant? At the school GeoBees this year, students had to answer questions like these:

  1. Which state is located west of Lake Huron—Minnesota or Vermont?
  2. Known for the tree nuts resembling deer eyes, which Midwestern state is called the Buckeye State—California or Ohio?
  3. A savanna elephant’s daily amount of dung contains more than 3,000 seeds. Savanna elephants can be found in Namibia and Mozambique on what continent?
  4. Volcanic activity under Yellowstone National Park creates great spouts of heated water that erupt out of the ground. These water eruptions are called what—geysers or cyclones?
  5. Which country does not border the Atlantic Ocean—Moldova, Angola, or Ireland?
  6. The ancient Babylonians of Mesopotamia developed an early example of what basic counting machine that is still in use today—abacus or sundial?
  7. Host of the 1984 Winter Olympics, Sarajevo is the most populous city in which European country that was once a part of Yugoslavia?
  8. Once the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Tacoma is a major port and industrial city in which northwestern state?
  9. Government designated preserves have helped protect giant tortoises in the Seychelles, a country made up of over one hundred islands located north of Madagascar in what ocean?
  10. The Matterhorn is an iconic peak in the Alps on the border between Switzerland and what other country?

Answers: 1. Minnesota; 2. Ohio; 3. Africa; 4. Geysers; 5. Moldova; 6. abacus; 7. Bosnia and Herzegovina; 8. Washington; 9. Indian Ocean; 10. Italy.

March 3, 2020 election results for Vassalboro & Fairfield

VASSALBORO

Unofficial election results from the town of Vassalboro, according to town clerk Catherine Coyne:

President – Democrats

Joe Biden, 167; Bernie Sanders, 148; Mike Bloomberg, 81; Elizabeth Warren, 68; Pete Buttigieg, 9; Amy Klobuchar, 8; Tulsi Gabbard, 7; Andrew Yang, 2; Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Thomas Steyer and Marianne Williamson, all with 0.

President – Republican

Donald Trump 385.

Referendum, People’s Veto:

No, 749; Yes, 422.

FAIRFIELD

Unofficial election results from the town of Fairfield, according to town clerk Christine Keller.

President – Democrats

Joe Biden, 203; Bernie Sanders, 184; Mike Bloomberg, 89; Elizabeth Warren, 55; Pete Buttigeig, 17; Amy Klobuchar, 9; Tulsi Gabbard, 8; Andrew Yang, 3; Tom Steyer, 2; Marianne Williamson, 1; Cory Booker and Deval Patrick, 0 each.

President – Republican

Donald Trump, 409.

Referendum – People’s Veto

No, 826; Yes, 478.

Local Town Meetings Schedule 2020

Town meetings 2020

ALBION

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

CHELSEA

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

CHINA

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

FAIRFIELD

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

SOLON

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

VASSALBORO

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.

Local teen wins preliminary round of “Lights, Camera, Save”

Keisha Small, left, and Allan Rancourt, President of Kennebec Federal Savings, congratulating Keisha upon being the preliminary round winner in the Lights, Camera, Save, video competition. (photo courtesy of Kennebec Federal Savings)

Submitted by Dave Carew

Keisha Small, an 18-year-old senior at Lawrence High School, in Fairfield, who is also enrolled in Mass Media Communications at Mid-Maine Technical Center, in Waterville, has been selected by Kennebec Federal Savings as the winner of the local round of the “Lights, Camera, Save!” video competition sponsored by the American Bankers Association. The competition, open to those from 13 to 18 years of age, solicits original short videos from teens nationwide; each video must promote the value of saving money and using money wisely among teens. Keisha worked with her MMTC teammate, Mason Cormier, to create the video. Keisha’s teacher at MMTC is Dave Boardman, Mass Media Communications Instructor.

Keisha submitted the 90-second video to Kennebec Federal Savings, the local participating financial institution for the “Lights, Camera, Save!” video competition. Kennebec Federal Savings selected Keisha’s video to advance to the national competition, and also announced at a ceremony held in Waterville on January 15 that they were awarding Keisha a new GoPro camera.

“We chose a storyline approach to the video, to draw people in,” Keisha said. “We wanted to show that smart, regular saving can not only help you pay bills, but also help you do really enjoyable things, like taking trips.”

Keisha’s video, along with all the entries submitted by banks across the country, now advances to the national competition, where it will be reviewed by ABA Foundation judges. They will select up to 6 videos as finalists to be shown for the Savers’ Choice social media contest and Bankers’ Choice contest.

The Savers’ Choice Social Media Contest will run from noon February 12 through noon February 19, and all are welcome to vote. (More information is available here.)

The Banker’s Choice contest will take place at the Conference for Community Bankers, in Orlando, Florida, from February 9-12, where bankers will vote on the finalists.

National winners will be announced Wednesday, February 26, at 2 p.m. ET, via ABA’s YouTube Channel.

The first place, second place, and third place winners will receive cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000, respectively, to fund their savings goals. Each winner’s school also will receive a scholarship for a teacher to attend the 2020 Jump$tart National Educator Conference.

View the winning video entry below:

Dave Carew, of Waterville, is a freelance book editor, publicist and copywriter, and can be contacted at (615) 540-7457.

First Sci-Fi and Family Nerd fest planned

Contributed photo

The first ever Maine Sci-Fi & Fantasy Nerd Fest will take place Sunday, January 26, at the Fairfield Community Center, in Fairfield. There will be a bevy of fun things going on which include, light saber fighting, a D&D battle royale to win a real fantasy sword, amazing cosplay characters for great picture taking, tons of vendors like artists, crafts, toys, authors and books, not to mention, comics, jewelry, fortune telling, face painting, and so much more.

Fairfield Police Department holds another successful toy drive

From left to right, Sgt. Matthew Wilcox, Officer Dakota Willhoite, Sgt. Patrick Mank, Officer Nolan Allen, Officer Jarrett Hill, Officer Shanna Blodgett, Chief Thomas Gould, Ret. Officer William Beaulieu, Officer Timothy MacArthur, Officer Matthew Bard, Officer Casey Dugas and The Grinch. Photo by Tawni Lively, Central Maine Photography

13th annual Cops for Kids program delivers toys to children at Christmas

This is the 13th year that the officers of the Fairfield Police Department have put on their Santa hats and gotten into their “sleighs” to spread Christmas cheer to the boys and girls of Fairfield. The officers prepare for this program all year long, making sure they check their lists once, twice and again once more. Pulling into a driveway and seeing the kids in a window with excited faces and huge smiles warms our hearts and reminds us what Christmas is truly all about. They all look forward to this one night, all year long.

Graduates from military basic training

PVT Jordaan Harris

Parents Ben and Patrice Harris, of Fairfield, have announced their daughter, PVT Jordaan Harris, has graduated from Army Bootcamp, on November 15, 2019. She successfully completed 10 weeks of intensive basic training. She has reported to Fort Huachuca, in Arizona, to complete her AIT before heading to her duty station.

2019 Lawrence High School boys varsity soccer

The 2019 Lawrence High School boys varsity soccer team, Front row, from left to right Colin Day, Ethan Timmins, Camron Jordan, Jake Ryder, Noah Webber, Dylan Hardenburg, Cody Dixon, Hunter Roy, Tucker Roy and Rodney Smart. Back, Bob Towne, Tyler Harris, Ben Nadeau, Nate Pierce, Gabe York, Evan Craig, Dylan Martin-Hachey, Riley Sinclair, Ryan Bourque, Braden Nadeau and Ryan Mountain. (Photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

Area roads not affected by questionable pavement sealant

by Roland D. Hallee

Recent awareness of several motor vehicle crashes on Route 225, in Rome, has prompted the Maine Department of Transportation to suspend the use of an asphalt sealant that has been used. The investigation will focus on the mixture used in the sealant and whether that is the cause of the slippery road conditions. It has been described as resembling the effects of black ice. It is not exclusive to Maine, but has occurred throughout the United States.

“Fogging,” as it is called, is an inexpensive way of slowing the break down of pavement that is commonly used on certain spots or stretches of road.

The material and its use is normally a light application of a diluted asphalt that gets its name from the way it is applied.

The next step in the investigation will be to see if the sealant was properly applied. The company that did the work is Down East Emulsions LLC and applied by SHOem Roadway Services LLC, under the direction of the MDOT.

Locally, it was noticed this past summer that some sort of sealant was applied along the breakdown lanes on Route 3, as it passes through China, because of its shiny, wet-looking surface during dry conditions.

China Town Manager Dennis Heath said, “I do not believe the sealant is part of the process for our roads.” The town contracted for hot-mix asphalt shim and overlay. Heath continued, “As I understand it, the sealant at issue is ‘fogged’ onto the road surface as a low-cost separate application to extend the life of a road’s pavement until it can be repaved.”

Heath also interjected, “Our friends in Ireland can attest to why it is important to slow down on wet roads. The water alone presents the possibility of lost traction, but when mixed with the build-up of oil and tire residue, you have the makings of an oil slick that is treacherous.”

Vassalboro Town Manager Mary Sabins stated, “I am not aware of this sealant problem in our area. I only became aware of it when I saw the story on the news.”

Fairfield Town Manager Michelle Flewelling confirmed that “nothing like this product has been applied by the town of Fairfield in the town of Fairfield.”

However, MDOT has a project on Rte. 201 that starts in Fairfield and goes to Skowhegan. This project was contracted to Pike Industries. The breakdown lanes do appear to have had a similar application.

Flewelling then added, “My public works director did mention that he spun a bit when he attempted to leave the Good Will-Hinckley campus this morning to go back onto Rte. 201.”

According to the three town managers, the sealant in question has not been used on town roads by their respective road crews.

It seems that only state roads have had the sealant applied in various locations.

An email sent to the Maine Department of Transportation was not returned by press time.