giveIT getIT offers electronics recycling service

Community Electronics Recycling update from give IT get IT (formerly SKILLS recycling and eWaste Alternatives) – has announced that all Maine businesses, schools and households are welcome to participate in this service:

They’ve opened their front drop off shed seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., on a free, self-serve basis for televisions, desktop printers, monitors and set-top boxes such as cable or satellite boxes, network gear, VCRs, game consoles. Please, no other materials are accepted in the drop off/self-serve area at this time.

If you have stereo equipment, computers, mobile devices, batteries, anything they might be able to reuse, contains personal data (and other types of electronics not listed above), they can accept those in the main facility on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Just call 872-2615 when you arrive at the facility and a staff member will assist you.

They ask that visitors please respect these limitations by only dropping off acceptable materials in the appropriately marked containers, or on the proper day/time for that item. They want to encourage proper management of these environmentally-unfriendly materials, but can only continue to offer this community service if everyone does their part.

Please call (207) 872-2615 if you need more information and like/share the efforts on or google places and tell others about this free and convenient resource.

Waterville farmers market open every Thursday…rain or shine!

The Waterville Farmers Market is now open every Thursday, from 2 – 6 p.m., at the Head of Falls, off Front Street. You must order ahead.

Contact your farmer to order your goods ahead of time. Here is a list of all members – and whether and how they handle ordering ahead for pickup at market. For more info about each market member, visit the market members page at the market’s website.

To order ahead for pickup at market, order from each market member who you want to buy from. Since the farmers’ market is a group of individual producers, they each have their own way of going about placing a pre-order with them. Most of them are pretty easy and straightforward, and many even allow you to pay online via a credit/debit card, paypal, etc. Here is a list of all of the members and whether and how they handle ordering ahead for pickup at market. For more info about each market member, visit the market members page at the market’s website. It is noted below which members are attending market now.

Apple Farm, 207-453-7656, email

Burke Hill Farm, 207-460-6215, We are not at market until harvest time, but we deliver frozen organic Maine wild blueberries all year long. If you would like a delivery, contact me by phone, email, Facebook, or telepathy.

Cornerstone Farm, cell: 207-416-2676, email:

Eagle View, 207-660-5179, email

Good Bread, cell 207-368-4788, email Attending market now.

Heald Farm, 948-2111, email

The Highlands, 207-938-2710, email Check out our FaceBook page, The Highlands & Gracie’s Food Truck, for a current list of available meats, prepared meals, etc. Attending market now.

Hridaya Hermitage, see Sat Manav Yoga Ashram.

Humble Forge, 207-877-5963, email

Junction Garden,, 207-518-8661, email Attending market now.

Kennebec Cheesery, 207-480-0431, email

LOMAH,, 207-924-0954, email

Marr Pond Farm. Pre-orders (and a great new website!) coming soon.

Marr Pond Farm will be attending market in late May with greens, storage crops, and seedlings. Check our Facebook, Instagram, and website for the most up-to-date info. Traditional ‘Pick-up CSA’ shares available at market this year, limited availability – sign up here. Market Shares can be used for pre-order sales, email to sign up, 207-717-3571, email

Sat Manav Yoga Ashram, 207-485-1228,

Snakeroot Organic Far. Early Seedlings Order Form for 2020, Warm Weather Seedling Order Form for 2020. Online Organic Produce Store for delivery to Orono or Waterville Farmers’ Markets or pickup at the farm. CSA members, please check what’s available at the above online store, then email us your order directly and tell us your preferred pickup location (Orono, Waterville, or our farm). Attending market now.

Stone Fox Creamery, 207-323-2850, email

Winterberry Farm, Attending market now.

Wise Acre Farm,

Worcester’s Wild Blueberries,

Please be aware that the information booth will only be processing EBT/SNAP cards.

The first half hour of market is dedicated to seniors and immunocompromised folks.

Vendors will be taking cash, check and most of them will be processing their own credit/debit.

Maine-Japan printmaking exchange celebrates 5 years

Image Credit: Michiko Kusakabe, Grape Hunting, 2019, Woodblock print

Common Street Arts, in Waterville, will host a collection of prints by artists from Maine and Aomori, Japan, beginning May 18 through July 18, at the Hathaway Creative Center, in downtown Waterville. The traveling exhibition is part of MAPS (Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society), a cultural exchange program sharing art and artists between Maine and Aomori. The MAPS initiative is celebrating five years of collaborative exhibitions and artist exchanges. MAPS will be on view virtually through Common Street Arts’ social media channels including Facebook and Instagram. Common Street Arts will provide associated virtual programming through its Afterschool Art Club Facebook series and provide additional video content to share the exhibition with viewers. There will also be opportunities to purchase prints through the Maine Aomori Printmaking Society.

Since 2015, curators Jeff Badger and Jiro Ono have coordinated the exchange of ten prints each year from artists in Maine and Aomori. The prints have been exhibited in Maine and Japan and now the collection numbers over a hundred works. The prints exchanged in 2019-2020 will be exhibited at Common Street Arts in Waterville from May 18 through July 18. The same collection was shown at the Aomori Arts Pavilion in Japan during the Citizen Culture Days in October 2019. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with MAPS and look forward to showcasing this beautiful collection of prints. It’s a wonderful partnership and we are so pleased to be able to serve as a virtual venue,” says Patricia King, Vice President of Waterville Creates.

The official relationship between Maine and Aomori has been in place for over 20 years, but the fascinating connection between the two states goes back to the wreck of a ship from Bath off the Japanese coast in 1889, resulting in a daring rescue of American sailors by Japanese villagers. In addition to MAPS, Friends of Aomori – the all-volunteer non-profit that supports the partnership – also supports high-school exchange programs, educational workshops and events, and economic development opportunities. “The MAPS print collection has grown into a beautiful representation of the diversity and excellence in printmaking that can be found in both Maine and Aomori. Our goal is to exhibit this dynamic and growing collection all over the State of Maine. We are proud to partner with Common Street Arts to share the work with the people of Waterville and neighboring communities,” says Badger.
h MAPS is presented by Friends of Aomori and made possible by the generous support of the Rines-Thomspon fund of the Maine Community Foundation and Ocean House Gallery and Frame.

Mid-Maine Chamber leads the way during downtown reconstruction

Waterville Works is a construction update and comprehensive marketing plan for downtown Waterville, developed by Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce with input and involvement from downtown business owners and geared to provide continued growth and vitality during the coming months. Downtown partners will include the City of Waterville, Waterville Public Library, Small Business Waterville and Waterville Creates! – each sharing coordinated messaging to reinforce a thriving downtown.

This program is being introduced as construction work began on April 20 on water main installation, beginning at the intersection of Main, Front and Spring Streets then heading north on Main Street past the new Lockwood Hotel. Once it reaches Common Street, it will relocate to the northern part of Main Street downtown where Main and College Avenue intersect and then head south. Throughout the project there will always be one lane of traffic open on Main Street. Kennebec Water District is responsible for the new water project and has contracted with Ranger Contracting, of Fairfield, to replace the water mains.

One of the goals of Waterville Works is to keep downtown businesses informed so they may communicate to employees and customers regarding changing traffic patterns, minimizing disruptions to productivity and business. Secondly, the Chamber wants to engage the entire business community and consumers in efforts to bolster sales, assure continuation of foot traffic, build excitement over cross-promotion capabilities, and offer valid solutions to parking and other concerns for the duration of the project.

When Waterville Works, everyone wins. Mid-Maine Chamber has some exciting and positive ways to assure residents and visitors that the city will remain very much open for business, and open to success. Plans include communications of construction timelines, coordination of marketing programs and constructive dialogue among the various organizations involved in the promotion of Waterville.

Specific traffic-building promotions may include creation of frequent-buyer cards, cross-promotion among businesses, scavenger hunts, a display window contest and more. Mid-Maine Chamber will develop the framework for this plan working with Mix 107.9 and Townsquare Media, along with the Morning Sentinel and The Town Line newspaper, – in addition to utilizing various social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. With anticipated involvement from downtown businesses this plan can assure that Waterville Works, for everyone.

To provide input or ideas, please reach out to Chamber CEO Kimberly Lindlof –, or call 873-3315.

Local municipal offices set to re-open

Vassalboro town office


The Albion Town Office is open regular business hours. Monday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday 12 p.m – 6 p.m. Limit 2 customers in the building.


The Benton Town Office is currently open to the public Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Limit two customers in office at a time.


The China Town Office is currently open for walk-up service Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.


The Fairfield Town Office will be re-opening to the public on Tuesday, May 26. We will be limiting members of the public allowed in the building to no more than two at a time. The hours will be shortened to 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Masks, gloves and own pens required. Residents may call for an appointment or curb side service if they are unable to meet the PPE requirements. The Lawrence Public Library is working on a plan to re-open on June 1. This plan is still being finalized but may entail no public in the building, pre-ordered books, shortened times to sign out new releases, curbside pick-up, and seven-day quarantine of returned materials.


The Town of Palermo is discussing plans to re-open but nothing has been finalized.


The Vassalboro Town Office will re-open to the public on Monday, June 1, at 8 a.m., with a few restrictions.

All town office visitors will be asked to wear a face mask and that no more than two customers enter the lobby at the same time, all while practicing social distancing. If possible, do not bring friends or family members with you. It is understood that some will need to have children with them. Hand sanitizers have been installed and residents are encouraged to use them when entering the building. Plexiglas has been installed at work stations and people are asked to bring their own pens.

Remember that most transactions can be done online by visiting, scroll to the bottom and click on the purple house. The public restroom will be closed until further notice.


All departments at City Hall, in Waterville, will re-open on Monday, June 1, at 8 a.m., with social distancing requirements in place.

UPDATE: This story has been updated for additional town office information.

GHM Insurance’s Bill Mitchell wins Rough Notes Community Service Award

Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell, President and CEO of GHM Insurance, was recently selected to receive the Rough Notes Community Service Award. Chosen from over 35,000 independent insurance agencies from across the country, Mitchell’s commitment to community service is reflected in the Rough Notes award.

Mitchell was nominated for the Rough Notes Community Service Award by Ken Walsh, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club YMCA of the Waterville Area at the Alfond Youth and Community Center (AYCC). Walsh highlights many of the ways that Mitchell has given back including being a volunteer project manager for the construction of the AYCC’s current building to hosting the annual GHM Golf Classic to benefit the AYCC’s after school programs. According to Walsh, “unlike some donors who simply lend their name to an event and appear once the work is done to accept congratulations, Bill runs this (golf tournament) event from start to finish, we just show up to accept the check on the 18th hole. The grand total of the event’s contributions tops $500,000 to date.” Read more in the Rough Notes’ digital Publication here.

“I am very grateful and humbled in receiving the Rough Notes Community Service Award. GHM is very fortunate to have a great group of employees who work hard every day to deliver exceptional service, and who volunteer time supporting many local organizations. And equally important we have an amazing customer base that supports GHM with their business, which allows us to give back to the communities in which we live and work. My late father, Paul Mitchell, was my mentor, who always urged me to give back to the community whenever possible”, said Bill Mitchell.

GHM has been serving the insurance needs of Maine families and business owners since 1901 through representing several of the finest insurance carriers in the marketplace, who also support a wide range of non-profit organizations across the State of Maine.

 Since 1878, The Rough Notes Company has proudly served the independent insurance agent market, responding to the evolving needs of agents as they work to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s insurance buyers.

South China’s Al Kramer to celebrate 100th birthday May 21

Al Kramer’s Lone Wolf, B-17 Flying Fortress in World War II, being readied by engineer and top gunner, Eugene Martin, in preparation of their next mission. (photo from The Town Line files)

by Craig Poulin

A truly special man turns 100 years old on May 21, 2020! And a remarkable 100 years it has been for Alfred “Al” Kramer who currently resides at Woodlands Park Residences, in Waterville. Al was born and raised in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York City. World War II found Al a squadron leader in the 8th Army Air Corps, flying a B-17 Flying Fortress. He was shot down over occupied France, along with his entire squadron while returning from a mission over Stuttgart, Germany. Al was sheltered by the French resistance movement and over a period of several weeks, at times looking up at the soles of Nazi boots walking on floorboards under which he was hiding, made his way on a fishing boat back across the English Channel to safety. The complete story is the stuff of which fiction writers dream of creating; but for Al it was all too real.

Al graduated from City College, in New York City, and after the war graduated from the University of Michigan Law School. While working at a firm in New York City, Uncle Sam came calling again, literally at his desk; it was the Korean “Conflict” and he found himself once again in the left seat of another military aircraft, this time a Boeing KC97 Stratofreighter. And as only Al can tell it, he was never officially discharged. So he figured what the heck, he figured if he was still “active” he must be owed a pension. Needless to say after considerable discussions, Uncle Sam politely rebuffed him, but it always remained a source of amusement.

100-year-old Alfred Kramer

Upon return from this second stint in uniform, Al practiced law in Springfield, Massachusetts, with the exception of a few years back in New York City, until his retirement in 1985. To back up a bit, Al started coming to South China in the late 1950s to hunt and fish and became close friends with Al and Barb Poulin, Ed and Alice Dowe and many others in the community. And now, all these years later Al is not only a cherished friend but he is family, with no quotations marks needed.

In the early 1960s, Al had a hunting camp built on Route 3 and upon retiring had it made a year round residence to which he moved permanently in 1985. During “retirement” Al maintained three distinct passions; hunting, golf and a great meal in a fine restaurant (and by the way, he’s a fantastic cook himself)! Perhaps one of the more memorable hunting experiences occurred while duck hunting on a cold October morning on a beaver flowage with a skim of ice on it. Craig Poulin was paddling slowly along with Al in the bow when a group of wood ducks came straight on. They curved to the left and before Craig could shout, “NO! DON’T SHOOT!!”, Al swung for a passing shot and yep, over they went! Shotguns, ammo, coffee, decoys, everything. Right to the bottom and into the muck. With a never to be forgotten look on his face, gear was all retrieved. Luckily, it was only 20 minutes from home, so after an expedited trip back, everybody and everything dried out in front of his woodstove. Not to say they wanted to repeat it, it made for a lot of laughs afterwards.

If Al’s name isn’t memorialized someplace at Natanis Golf Course, in Vassalboro, it should be, because he golfed every day except Sunday (he didn’t want to hog all the time!) from the time he retired into his early 90s, never once using a golf cart. Guess there’s a lesson there for gaining longevity.
Certainly volumes could be written about anyone who achieves 100 years but Al’s is a remarkable story which makes him a truly unique, remarkable man; a man who is always grateful for what he has; not regretful for what is lost or what he never had; a man appreciative of others and generous to a fault with his gratitude and thankfulness. And a man with a philosophy of life that is borne from his vast experiences, both pleasant and difficult. We could all take a page from his book.

If you know Al or simply want to send a card to wish him a happy birthday, I’m sure he would appreciate it. He is truly a member of the greatest generation; someone who gave a lot of himself to his country in trying times. And this, too, is a good lesson for today. Cards and wishes may be sent to Al at Woodlands Park Residence, 141 West River Rd., Waterville, ME 04901.

In an article published in The Town Line on May 24, 2012, Al’s final mission was described by his friend Don Pauley.

September 6, 1943, became known as “Black Thursday” in the 8th Air Force annals. Al was a member of the 563rd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group. There were three squadrons to a group, each squadron consisted of 12 bombers, and Al, on this misson, was assigned the lead bomber squadron of the low position, “tail end Charlie.” It also meant they would be the first targets of the German fighters who always picked up the low group to attack first because the German fighter pilots knew the higher bomber groups would not fire down on them for fear of hitting their own bombers.

All told, the mission consisted of multiple groups with a total of 338 bombers taking off on the mission. Due to terrible weather conditions, aborted flights and fire from German anti-aircraft battery, and fighter fire, only 150 reached the target. the target was almost totally obscured and mission commander, a Col. Travis, ordered the whole armada to do a figure eight three times trying to get better visibility. All this time, and the anti-aircraft fire took a terrible toll on the bombers as well as using precious fuel. Losses were heavy and 45 B-17s were shot down. Lone Wolf sustained heavy damage and all planes were finally ordered to head back to England after dropping their bomb loads near Stuttgart. Al’s Lone Wolf made it back to France before finally being shot down by a German fighter pilot named Horst Sternberg, who had recorded 23 victories in the air.

Al’s escape on this mission are recounted in the book about his mission, To Kingdom Come, by author Robert J. Mrazek.

With the loss of Lone Wolf, all 12 B-17s of his squadron had been shot down. Al and eight of his crew members bailed out. The ball turret gunner did not make it. Al and seven others of the crew were picked up by different groups of the French underground. The ninth, the navigator, had been wounded and ended up in a German hospital, and spent the rest of the war in a prison camp.

Thus began a series of close calls and narrow escapes that lasted 21 days.

Maine Film Center launches new Railroad Square Cinema website

The Maine Film Center (MFC) is making the most of its unscheduled COVID-19 “intermission” (aka temporary closure) by launching a new website for the Railroad Square Cinema, Maine’s only Sundance Art House Project theatre. The new and enhanced website features a more mobile-friendly interface for visitors, allows for a greater diversity of content sharing, and for the first time ever includes streaming film recommendations from the Maine Film Center staff. The new website can be found at

“All of us at the Maine Film Center are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support during these difficult times that have literally reshaped the way we entertain, educate, and build community,” says Mike Perreault, executive director of the Maine Film Center. “While watching at home can in no way rival the experience of the cinema, the new Railroad Square Cinema website will feature a curated selection of titles available for streaming.”

Established in 1978, Railroad Square Cinema is a three-screen independent movie theater boasting the “best popcorn in the known universe.” Saluted by the Sundance Film Institute as one of the first theaters in the country to be included in its Art House Project, Railroad Square Cinema is consistently recognized as one of the region’s top theaters and according to Yankee Magazine is Maine’s “Best Art-House Theater.”

Art kits available for kids

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and the need to keep social distance, Waterville Creates! has launched a new collaborative program, Art Kits for All, an effort to help keep our community’s families engaged and entertained during this public health crisis by providing free art supplies and instructions for art projects that can be created at home. Beginning the week of May 11 the kits will be distributed at the Alfond Youth and Community Center (AYCC) and the Downtown Waterville Farmers’ Market. Waterville Creates! is seeking community donations to fund this ongoing program. Kit distribution dates and information on how to donate to the Art Kits for All program can be found at:

The Art Kits for All are assembled at the Colby Museum of Art; masks and gloves are worn during kit assembly and all art materials are disinfected to remove any risk of contamination. While Waterville Creates! developed the Art Kits for All concept, many local nonprofits are collaborating in this effort by providing volunteers and supplies.

Commemorating Shakespeare’s 456th birthday

Emily and Josh Fournier, of Recycled Shakespeare Company, stroll the Riverwalk, in Waterville, on William Shakespeare’s 456th birthday on April 23, 2020. (photo by Lyn Rowden)