Issue for February 15, 2024

Celebrating 35 years of local news

China celebrates the 5th Annual China Lake Ice Fishing Derby

The China Four Seasons Club and the China Village Fire Department are co-hosting the 5th Annual China Lake Ice Fishing Derby to be held on Sunday, February 18, during Maine’s Free Fishing Weekend. “We are excited to be celebrating our fifth year in the partnership with the China Village Volunteer Fire Department”, said China Four Seasons Club President Tom Rumpf. “These last few years have been amazing and a great way to see the community come out and celebrate Winter on China Lake. This is also Maine’s free fishing weekend which is a nice bonus. We will be following all State of Maine ice fishing laws and rules.”… by Sandra Isaac

SMASH delivers exuberant performance in Monmouth

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the opening night performance of the Southern Maine Association of Shakespearean Homeschoolers’ production of As You Like It at the Cumston Hall theater, in Monmouth. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most accessible comedies and the plot rushes forward on the wings of witty dialogue, clever plot twists and engaging characters. Its story centers around young Orlando, played ably by Peter Maxwell, who exudes a youthful and relatable vulnerability appropriate to the character… by Eric W. Austin

Town News

Select board begins review of 2024-25 budget

VASSALBORO – Vassalboro select board members began review of the draft 2024-25 town budget, prepared by Town Manager Aaron Miller, at a Feb. 6 meeting that lasted almost three hours. They continued discussion for an hour before their regular Feb. 8 meeting…

New town park officially named Eagle Park

VASSALBORO – It’s official: Vassalboro’s new town park on Outlet Stream and Route 32, a bit north of East Vassalboro village, is named Eagle Park…

Planners take up three issues

VASSALBORO – Vassalboro planning board members discussed three very different issues at their Feb. 6 meeting, none needing a yes or no decision…

Select board spends much time on new budget

CHINA – China select board members spent much of their Feb. 12 meeting going over the draft 2024-25 municipal budget. They gave Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood questions and comments about proposed expenditures, but made no decisions…

Council hears explanation of physicians assisting emergency response calls

WINSLOW – The Winslow town council met Monday, February 12, to hear presentations from two local groups and vote on various resolutions carried over from previous meetings… by Jonathan Strieff

Absent board members delays building codes review

WINDSOR – With two of the five select board members absent at their January 16 meeting prevented the select board from reviewing the building code. The building code is to be reviewed in its entirety. Selectman Thomas McNaughton has asked the board to review page 6 closely when the review takes place. Select board members present were Ray Bates, Andrew Ballantyne and Thomas McNaughton. Absent were William Appel Jr., and Chester D. Barnes Jr…

Council accepts changes to general assistance ordinance

PALERMO – Two thirds of the Palermo Town Council met Thursday, February 8, to vote on changes to the towns General Assistance Ordinance. Codes Enforcement Officer, Darryl McKenney, read six minor changes to definitions in the 2023-2024 ordinance, included “earned income, unearned income, and appropriate uses.” The present council members voted unanimously in favor of adopting the changes… by Jonathan Strieff

LS Power letter to China residents

CHINA – LS Power Grid Maine LLC, submitted this letter to the China select board on February 6, 2024: Dear China Select Board: On December 22, 2023, the Maine Public Utilities Commission terminated their procurement to develop a transmission line to connect renewable energy resources located in northern Maine…

Webber’s Pond

Webber’s Pond is a comic drawn by an anonymous central Maine resident (click thumbnail to enlarge)…

Laura Jones announces candidacy for House

VASSALBORO – Laura Jones, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, and Vassalboro native, has announced her election campaign for House District #61, in Vassalboro and part of Sidney…

Towns seek Spirit of America nominations

CENTRAL ME – Several area towns, including China and Vassalboro, are seeking nominations for 2024 Spirit of America awards. According to its website, the nonprofit Spirit of American Foundation was established in Augusta in 1990 to honor volunteerism. Initially, municipalities presented awards “to local individuals, organizations and projects for commendable community service”…

Name that film!

Identify the film in which this famous line originated and qualify to win FREE passes to The Maine Film Center, in Waterville: “Toga! Toga!” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is March 7, 2024…

Local happenings

EVENTS: Spectrum Generations ice fishing derby this weekend

WATERVILLE – The 26th annual Gene and. Lucille Letourneau Ice Fishing Derby will take place on Sunday, February 18, at the Muskie Community Center, 38 Gold Street, in Waterville. This mid-winter tradition for ice fishing enthusiasts and families was established by Maine’s great outdoorsman and his wife, Gene and Lucille Letourneaus…

EVENTS: Maple Sunday weekend slated for March 23-24

CENTRAL ME – The Maine Maple Producers Association (MMPA) is pleased to announce the 41st Maine Maple Sunday Weekend on March 23-24, 2024. A favorite annual event, visitors are welcomed at local sugarhouses to celebrate Maine’s maple syrup in as many ways as possible…

EVENTS: Chelsea to hold special Valentine’s free informational luncheon on dementia

CHELSEA – Residents of Chelsea and neighboring towns are invited to attend a special Valentine’s session of Chelsea’s free monthly Informational Luncheons. This luncheon will be the same format that community members are familiar with from previous events, but with an added emphasis on creating a welcoming and accessible environment for people living with dementia. The place settings, decorations, and menu have all been designed to create a safe and comfortable sensory experience for all…

EVENTS: AARP Tax-Aide program available in central Maine

CENTRAL ME – The AARP Tax-Aide program provides free federal and state income tax preparation and electronic filing to low-and moderate-income individuals. Returns are prepared by IRS-certified volunteers. The program is funded by the AARP Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable organization, and the IRS…

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Shakespearean homeshoolers to perform

MONMOUTH — Southern Maine Association of Shakespearean Homeschoolers (SMASH) presents: As You Like It, at Cumston Hall Theater, in Monmouth. Showtimes are February 16, at 6:30 p.m., and February 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or online… and many other local events!


WINDSOR – Jerry T. Rideout, Jr., 53, of Windsor, passed away suddenly Sunday, February 4, 2024, in Massachusetts. He was born in Augusta on August 19, 1970, the son of Jerry Totman Rideout, Sr. and Bonita (Glidden) Rideout… and remembering 11 others.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named – Part 4 (new)

WINDSOR HISTORY — Windsor is the southeasternmost of the dozen municipalities this series has included in the central Kennebec Valley. Henry Kingsbury called its shape unique in Kennebec County, with “four equal sides and four right angles”… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named – Part 3

CHINA/ALBION HISTORY — A small pond shared between Albion and its southern neighbor, China, has been known as Dutton Pond for as long as your writer has lived in China. But the map of China in the 1856 and 1879 atlases of Kennebec County names it Pickerel Pond… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named – Part 2

ALBION HISTORY — Moving east from Winslow to Albion, that town has Lovejoy Pond, named after an early family who settled beside it. Which family member came first is debated. Henry Kingsbury, in his Kennebec County history, named Rev. Daniel Lovejoy. Ruby Crosby Wiggin, in her history of Albion, said no, Daniel’s father, Francis Lovejoy, came first… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named

WINSLOW HISTORY — Previous articles have mentioned ponds and lakes in central Kennebec Valley towns with people’s names, like Pattee or Pattee’s Pond, in Winslow. Some of these water bodies are named for early settlers. Your writer intends for the next few weeks to match ponds and people, to the extent permitted by available resources… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 15, 2024

Identify the people in these three photos, and tell us what they have in common. You could win a $10 gift certificate to Hannaford Supermarket! Email your answer to or through our Contact page. Include your name and address with your answer. Use “Common Ground” in the subject!

Previous winner: Diana Gardner, Windsor

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | Just the other day a friend told me she thought robins went south for the winter. That is the common thought. The American robin, Turdus migratorius, is a migratory songbird. While robins occasionally overwinter in the northern United States and southern Canada, most migrate to Florida and the Gulf Coast to central Mexico. Most will depart south by the beginning of September and begin their northern migration in February and March, which gives the illusion that they don’t migrate during a regular winter, when snow covers the ground during those times…


by Norma Best Boucher | I locked up my car and walked to the sidewalk leading to the thrift shop. When I looked up, the child’s eyes met mine. We both smiled…


by Peter Cates | Still living at 87, Italian soprano Anna Maria Alberghetti gave her first concert as a child prodigy singer at the age of six years old with an orchestra of 100 musicians on the Greek island of Rhodes, achieved fame in the 1960 Broadway musical Carnival and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show more than 50 times…


(HEALTH) | From learning in the classroom to playing in the schoolyard and at home, vision is vital to how kids grow and develop – so vital in fact, that up to 80 percent of early learning is visual. Whether you’re two or 102, vision plays a key part in quality of life…