Issue for March 28, 2024

Celebrating 36 years of local news

China residents share memories of winters past

On the afternoon of Sunday, March 17, I parked in a puddle across from the China Baptist Church on Causeway Road. The day was cold and gray, but notably, China Lake was almost entirely free of ice, marking an unusually warm and (mostly) snow-sparse midwinter in Maine. I was attending a memory-session at the Baptist church, organized by the China Historical Society, dedicated to reminiscing about winters past. Inside, several tables were set up with historic items brought by attendees or provided by the historical society, alongside a collection of photos… by Eric W. Austin

Judson Smith accepted at Maine School of Science and Mathematics

Judson Smith, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Vassalboro Community School (VCS), has been accepted for high school at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM), in Limestone. Jud is an honor roll student at VCS, a member of the JMG (Jobs for Maine Graduates) program and the Gifted and Talented Program and president of the student council. He played soccer last fall… by Mary Grow

Town News

A gathering year for the improbables

CHINA – Few humans understand that a year in which two digits in our current Gregorian calendar add up to a third digit – like 2024, because 2 +2 = 4 — is a Gathering Year for the Improbables. The last such year was 2013 (2 + 1 = 3). The next will be 2035 (2 + 3 = 5). No human understands what criteria the Improbables use to choose their gathering place. There have been many theories and surmises over the centuries; none has had predictive value. It is clear, however, that this year the small town of China, Maine, has been honored…

Select board continues prep work for June 11 town meeting

CHINA – At their March 25 meeting, China select board members continued preparations for the June 11 annual town business meeting. They scheduled a special meeting Monday evening, April 1, to review the town meeting warrant (if Brent Chesley, who was absent March 25, is able to attend); their regular meeting April 8 is the deadline for a final warrant…

WPA officials explain work planned for Webber Pond

VASSALBORO – Vassalboro select board members’ March 21 meeting featured a discussion with John Reuthe and Rebecca Lamey, from the Webber Pond Association (WPA), about the health of Webber Pond and associated water bodies…

School board decides on two “leftover” issues

VASSALBORO – At their March 19 meeting, Vassalboro school board members decided the two issues left undecided in February and continued review of the draft 2024-25 school budget…

Schedule of Holy Week services at local churches

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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: “A martini. Shaken not stirred.” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is April 4, 2024…

Area scout leaders recognized for efforts in reorganizations

CENTRAL ME – William D. Boyce signed the papers to make the Boy Scouts of America official at exactly 11:03 a.m., on February 8, 1910. On March 24, volunteers from across the area gathered at the Winslow Parks and Recreation Hall to honor three Scouting leaders who helped get two new Scouting programs off the ground to benefit their respective communities…

CORRECTION: The Cape Racer misidentified

CHINA – In the March 21, 2024, issue of The Town Line, the Cape Racer was misidentified. The Cape Racer is the object on the left. Center is a 1960s “flying saucer” like sled, and the right is a traditional flex sled. It was an editing error…

Sophie Wheeler named to the dean’s list at Bates College

SKOWHEGAN – Sophie Wheeler, of Skowhegan, was named to the dean’s list at Bates College, in Lewiston, for the fall/winter semester ending in December 2023. This is a distinction earned by students whose grade point average is 3.92 or higher.
Wheeler is majoring in Theater and Rhetoric, Film, Screen Studies, at Bates.

Erskine Academy second trimester honor roll

CHINA – List of students on the honor roll at Erskine Academy for the second trimester…

Local happenings

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: Pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny to benefit Winslow Community Cupboard Food Pantry

WINSLOW – Winslow Community Cupboard food pantry – which serves food-insecure children, seniors, and other adults from Winslow, Waterville, and 22 surrounding towns – will hold a very special “Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” event on Saturday, March 30, from 8:30 to 11 a.m., at Winslow Congregational Church, 12 Lithgow Street. Cost of the breakfast is just a $5 donation, with all proceeds benefiting Winslow Community Cupboard food pantry… and many other local events!

Local town meetings schedule for 2024

Schedule for town meetings in 2024 for Albion, China, Palermo & Vassalboro..

Give Us Your Best Shot! for March 28

The best recent photos from our readers!…


WINDSOR – Paul Francis Zibura, 64, passed away on Saturday, March 16, 2024. Paul was born on June 1, 1959 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, to Mary and Francis (Frank) Zibura… and remembering 9 others.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Some early Maine poets (new)

CENTRAL HISTORY — As promised last week, no more ponds for a while. Instead, your writer turned to Thomas Addison’s chapter on Literature and Literary People, in Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history. She hopes you will enjoy meeting a few of the writers mentioned… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Sidney ponds

SIDNEY HISTORY — Here is the last article (for a while) on central Kennebec Valley ponds and people for whom they might have been named. This week’s topic is ponds in the Town of Sidney (which was until Jan. 30, 1792, part of Vassalboro, despite being on the other – west – side of the Kennebec River)… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Ponds named after people

VASSALBORO HISTORY — Returning to early settlers who had ponds named after them and related topics (discussed in many recent articles in this series), your writer starts with a reader’s question: is Webber Pond in Vassalboro named for Charles Webber, mentioned at the end of the Jan. 11 article?… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Malta War, 1809

WINDSOR HISTORY — There are still some left-over ponds and related information to continue the previous subseries, but your writer is ready to take – and to give her readers – a break from maps, water bodies and genealogies. Instead, she will present the story of an often-mentioned, but in detail long avoided, historical event, the Malta War. (From 1809 to 1820, the present Town of Windsor was named Malta.)… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, April 11, 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: Wayne Morris, Norridgewock

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | A strange phenomenon occurs every spring in the north Atlantic. Large icebergs come floating down the south shore near Ferryland, Newfoundland, Canada. People journey to the site – some traveling thousands of miles – to see this spectacle. For the locals, it’s no big deal. But for others, seeing them for the first time, it’s a breath taking sight…


by Jayne Winters | At several recent visits with Don Cote at Duck Pond Wildlife rehab, I couldn’t help but notice that the resident chipmunk has seemed more “chipper” (pun intended) than usual. Despite his rehab stint in the living room, I suspect his natural internal clock is nudging him about the warmer weather, signaling him to become more active, seek food, prepare for nesting and maybe even find a mate…


by Peter Cates | Among my many childhood memories were the innumerable Sunday drives, when gas was inexpensive, down to Pemaquid, Rockport, Port Clyde, Belfast, Owl’s Head, St. George…


HEALTH | If your children are like most, they get anxious from time to time—but you can help them get over it…