Issue for July 22, 2021

Celebrating 33 years of local news

China Lake residents receive LakeSmart awards

LakeSmart Award earned by Peter and Sandra Nelson

China Lake Association’s LakeSmart Volunteer Program has recently awarded Peter and Sandra Nelson the LakeSmart Award. On their property there is a wide row of flowers and shrubs lining one entire side of their lawn. This vegetation absorbs any sheet flow from heavy rainstorms that accumulate on the lawn. They also have low, uneven areas on the lawn that hold any rainwater headed to the lake… by Marie Michaud, LakeSmart Coordinator

Downer and Stone are LakeSmart award recipients

Randy Downer and Judy Stone have over 14 acres of undeveloped property on the west side of China Lake. Randy took me on an amazing tour of the property, and I will share some of the experience with you in this article. We started at the camp road where we saw a low area that in springtime pools water… by Marie Michaud, LakeSmart Coordinator

Your Local News

Selectmen review mass gathering ordinance

VASSALBORO — Vassalboro selectmen made decisions on two of the three major items on their July 14 agenda. They spent three-quarters of an hour on the third, reviewing a draft Mass Gathering Ordinance, and decided they should continue working on it at their next meeting…

Planners discuss ballot questions for November

CHINA — China Planning Board members used their July 13 meeting to continue to work on planned questions to submit to voters on a Nov. 2 local ballot…

Transfer station to postpone revising fee schedule for special items

CHINA — China Transfer Station Committee members have postponed action on revising the fee schedule for special items – furniture, electronics, tires, fluorescent bulbs; the list is on the town website under Transfer Station – or adding a fee for brush disposal…

CBC members seek ways to publicize progress

CHINA — China Broadband Committee (CBC) members spent their July 15 meeting planning more ways to publicize their progress as they seek expanded and improved broadband service for town residents…

Selectmen approve $10,000 grant request from CBC

CHINA — China selectmen spent most of a short July 19 meeting discussing the China Broadband Committee’s request that they approve a $10,000 grant from the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund. They ultimately approved the request on a 4-1 vote…

TIF committee hears financial reports

CHINA — China Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee members heard reports on how some of the town’s TIF money has been spent and approved a new $10,000 grant at their July 14 meeting. Four Seasons Club President Tom Rumpf reported his group spent more than $65,000 out of $75,000 allocated from TIF, mostly on trail improvements…

Only half dozen attend first broadband committee information meeting

CHINA — Only half a dozen residents came in person to the China Broadband Committee’s (CBC) first public informational meeting July 11, with three or four more watching virtually; but discussion was lively and varied during and after the committee’s slideshow…

Vassalboro Sestercentennial Scavenger Hunt
Item #14:

An item representing any scouting program from Vassalboro.

China Community Food Pantry: Nonprofit Spotlight

CHINA — Nearly 30 years ago, Lee and Ann Austin founded the China Community Food Pantry with one goal in mind: to help reduce food insecurity in central Maine. The couple had owned and operated the Willow Beach Camps Resort on China Lake for more than a decade, and after closing the establishment, they were looking for a way to give back to a community that had been so supportive of them over the years… by Eric W. Austin

Palermo Community Foundation: Nonprofit Spotlight

PALERMO — Originally known as the Palermo Community Foundation, the organization was chartered in 1996 by a group of friends led by John Potter, Jim Osier, Dennis Sturgis, Ted Bigos, Mike McCarty, Eben Bradstreet, and Herb Flint. Their plan was to serve the needs of the community by providing a building for local groups to meet, learn, share ideas and talent, and to create a more sustainable community… submitted by Connie Bellet

The South China Public Library: Nonprofit Spotlight

SOUTH CHINA — As I believe most of we humans are aware, especially in these difficult times, change is inevitable. For the most part, the results of these events are positive, at least in the long run, and we look back with gratitude and acceptance… by Bob Bennett

China Lake Association; Protecting the Lake and Land Owners: Nonprofit Spotlight

CHINA — Many China residents likely remember the algae blooms resulting in low fish counts, few lake birds, limited lakeside wildlife, and sparse or distorted shore plant life. All these are indications that the health of the lake is failing… by Steve Ball

China Four Seasons Club: Non-profit Spotlight

CHINA — Founded in 1970, the China Four Seasons Club is a growing nonprofit club organized to bring together enthusiasts of outdoor activities of all sorts. The club was organized after a merger between the China Lake Association and the China Regional Snowmobilers organizations… by Steve Ball

Troop #417 member earns Eagle Scout status

WATERVILLE — Eagle Scout Wyatt Henry DeGrasse, of Troop #417, in Waterville, Kennebec Valley District, received the great honor of Eagle Scout on June 15 at a ceremony attended by former Maine Governor Paul LePage, who had been a Cub Scout himself, in Waterville, years earlier. The ceremony was held at the Waterville Church of Latter Day Saints…

China to hold WindowDressers workshop this fall

CHINA — The China for a Lifetime Committee is busy planning for a WindowDressers workshop that will take place this November 3 – 7. The initiative is a volunteer-led, “barn-raising” effort to construct low-cost “window inserts” to reduce residential energy bills…

PHOTO: Cal Ripken tourney

WATERVILLE — Members of the Waterville CAL Ripken 11-year old team marching onto the Purnell Wrigley Field, in Waterville, on Friday, July 16. Opening Ceremonies began at 4 p.m., followed by Skills Competitions and a Home Run Derby…

Vassalboro Historical Society to hold local art contest

VASSALBORO — The Vassalboro Historical Society is requesting your original artwork for use as the Society’s thank you notes and to have available for sale at the Society. Entries must be received by August 31, 2021…

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Oak Grove School (new)

VASSALBORO HISTORY — We now digress – for a change – from descriptions of churches on the National Register of Historic Places to the Oak Grove School, because of its association with the Sophia D. Bailey Chapel discussed last week (and also known as the Oak Grove Chapel)…. by Mary Grow [1801 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Churches – Part 5

VASSALBORO HISTORY — Returning to the list of churches on the National Register of Historic Places, the next to be discussed is one that readers met briefly last week. The Sophia D. Bailey Chapel, at Oak Grove School, (the school had several names; Oak Grove School is simplest) was originally known as the River Meeting House. It was where China Quakers worshipped before the East Vassalboro meeting house and then China’s own Pond Meeting House were constructed… by Mary Grow [1595 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Rufus Jones houses

CHINA HISTORY — Moving sideways (as this series so often does) on a temporary detour from churches on the National Register of Historic Places, this article will describe three National Register properties in the Town of China recognized for their association with Rufus Jones or members of his family, plus China’s other two National Register properties (one demolished, the other mostly intact)… by Mary Grow [1856 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Churches – Part 4

CHINA HISTORY — Two churches in the Town of China were added to the National Register of Historic Places on Aug. 4, 1983. The earlier is the Pond Meeting House, on Lakeview Drive, built in 1807. The South China Meeting House, now South China Community Church, on Village Street, dates from 1884… by Mary Grow [1910 words]

Webber’s Pond

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

Lake Association Annual Meetings 2021

CENTRAL ME — Listing of local area Lake Association meetings. (To include your town in this listing, please email us at…

Become a member: An open letter to our readers

Dear Reader: For the past 33 years, The Town Line has pledged a mission statement to “create a vibrant rural community connecting our towns, organizations and individuals through communication, education and public dialogue.” It’s all part of The Town Line’s mission to be a positive force in our community…


SOUTH CHINA – Cynthia L. Dickens, 77, of Dickens Way died Saturday, July 3, 2021, at the home that she shared with her daughter Laurie, son-in-law Thomas and grandson Colby. She was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on January 26, 1944, the daughter of Gordon W. Thomas and Bertha
(Singer) Thomas… and remembering 13 others.

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Friday, August 13, 2021

Identify the people in these three photos, and tell us what they have in common. You could win a $10 gift certificate to Retail Therapy Boutique in Waterville! 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: B.J Bradstreeet, Palermo.

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | The browntail moth continues to be in a lot of conversations. Now that the caterpillar is all but gone, the moth is abundant, and is the carrier of the next generation. That is why experts say they need to be dealt with now before the next round of caterpillars are hatched…


by Gary Kennedy | As some of you are aware from reading my articles through the past quarter century, I have served throughout the world as a humanitarian both with Rotary International and with the Knights of Rizal…


by Peter Cates | Now 88, singer Petula Clark achieved fame in England and Europe before hitting paydirt over here. Downtown, This Is My Song, and Don’t Sleep in the Subway are megahits for the best reasons — they are beautiful songs beautifully sung…

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy | Don’t know how many of you may have seen my grandson, Zander Walz in the commercial on TV promoting education and its importance, and I admit I’m really proud of him and perhaps a trifle biased. Anyway, he showed me this true story he wrote, and I thought it was so good that it should be shared…


by Debbie Walker | Every year I try to think of a unique Christmas gift for my grandchildren who are both now adults with their own families. However, I am still Nana Daffy (they named me that when Blake was learning to talk) just as when they were children. I see no reason to change either the name nor this tradition…


(NAPSI) | More than 6 million people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s, and that number continues to increase each year. In 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts those costs will rise to $1.1 trillion by 2050…