Issue for March 9, 2023

Celebrating 35 years of local news

Lawrence girls basketball claims state championship

The Lawrence High School girls basketball team won the Class A state championship on March 3, at the Augusta Civic Center, defeating Brunswick, 58-43… (Photos by Central Maine Photography)

Town News

Planners vote unanimously to forward new version of appeals board ordinance, following another fight

CHINA – At a March 2 meeting, China Planning Board members unanimously voted to forward their recommended version of the Board of Appeals Ordinance to the select board, scheduled to meet March 6. The decision was not reached without yet another argument – they started in January – about the relationship between the select board and the planning board, with planning board co-chairman James Wilkens and select board member Brent Chesley squaring off again…

More discussions take place on appeals board ordinance

CHINA – China select board members spent the first hour and a half of their two-hour March 6 special meeting talking about the Board of Appeals Ordinance that they, planning board members, board of appeals members and other residents have been discussing since early January…

Transfer station committee recommends purchase of utility vehicle

CHINA – China transfer station committee members voted at their March 7 meeting to recommend to the select board purchase of a utility vehicle for transfer station staff use…

Legislative Report as of Friday, March 3, 2023

CENTRAL ME – List of legislative bills sponsored by local senators and representatives…

ICE OUT 2023? Take a guess. Win a prize!

CHINA — Write down your best guess (one per person) and send it to The Town Line, PO Box 89, South China, ME 04358, or email us at with the subject “ICE OUT 2023“. If more than one person guesses the correct date, a drawing will be held to determine the winner. Get your guess to The Town Line office by noon, Friday, March 17, 2023…

Name that film!

Identify the film in which this famous line originated and qualify to win FREE passes to Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville: “Go ahead, make my day.” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is March 9, 2023…

Local happenings

Maine DEP has announced new grant awards for municipal stream crossings

CENTRAL ME – Maine DEP’s Municipal Stream Crossing Grant Program provides grants that match local funding for the upgrade of culverts at stream crossings on municipal roads. Projects funded through this program will benefit public infrastructure and safety by replacing failing culverts that are at risk of complete washout or collapse…

SRLT hires program manager

UNITY – Sebasticook Regional Land Trust (SRLT) has announced the hiring of Cheryl Daigle as program manager. The membership-supported conservation association works to conserve and restore the lands and waters of the Sebasticook River Watershed in Central Maine, and has been all-volunteer for more than six years…

Long Covid can kill you

NATIONAL – The CDC has just provided guidance for certifying deaths from “long COVID”—the first official confirmation that the long-haul phase following the acute phase of COVID-19 can kill you…

LETTERS: Moving too fast to electrification

from Frank Slason (Somerville) A few ideas on what I see coming due to the electrification of America. First, within a decade the government will require all citizens to own electric cars which will mean upgrading everybody’s electric service….

EVENTS: Maine Film Center announces 2023 Oscar Party

CENTRAL ME – Dress to impress or come as you are to the Maine Film Center’s 2023 Oscar Party, on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Attendees can walk the red carpet and enjoy catered refreshments at a gala reception prior to a live broadcast of the 95th Academy Awards, celebrating the best films of 2022…

EVENTS: Waterville Creates announces youth art month exhibition

WATERVILLE – Ticonic Gallery, a division of Waterville Creates, is delighted to partner with Greene Block + Studios to celebrate Youth Art Month (YAM) with a spectacular, multi-site exhibition of artwork by local students in grades K–12. The 9th annual YAM exhibition will be on view at both locations March 3 – 31, with an opening reception on March 3 from 4­­ – 7 p.m…

EVENTS: Gaslight Theater announces audition dates for Black Comedy

HALLOWELL – Gaslight Theater announces audition dates for their upcoming show, Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy, directed by Lucille Rioux. Auditions will be held 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 14, at Hallowell City Hall, located at 1 Winthrop Street, in Hallowell…


Erskine Academy announces school calendar change

CHINA – Parents and students should be advised of a change to Erskine Academy’s school calendar. Due to excessive snow days, Friday, March 17, will now be an Early Release Day for all Erskine Academy students. Students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m….

FICTION: The House, part 7: A couple more diaries

Having gotten over his chilling experience, Dave went to the cellar to look for parts of items stored there that would make the renovated bedrooms unique. In the process, he opened a drawer to what appeared to be a woman’s vanity. He found a packet bound in cloth and closed with ribbon. “I wonder if this contains more of the diaries like Miri found in the antique desk a couple of months ago,” he said to himself… by Peg Pellerin

Webber’s Pond

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

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Augusta families – Part 5 (new)

AUGUSTA HISTORY – Last week’s article on Henry Sewall (Oct. 24, 1752 – Sept. 4, 1845) omitted (or rather postponed) an important aspect of his life: he was a deeply religious man. James North, in his history of Augusta, summarized: “He was upright, conscientious, pious and rigidly orthodox in his religious views. Towards the close of his life his religious rigor was much softened…” by Mary Grow [1892 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Augusta families – Part 4

AUGUSTA HISTORY – The fourth early Augusta settler, prominent citizen and diarist your writer promised to introduce was Henry Sewall (Oct. 24, 1752 – Sept. 4, 1845). His diary poses a puzzle. James North, whose history of Augusta was published in 1870, relied heavily on it from the 1780s through the late 1790s, and mentioned it in footnotes to events in 1820 and 1828, but not thereafter… by Mary Grow [2042 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Augusta families – Part 3

AUGUSTA HISTORY – Daniel Cony (Aug. 3, 1752 – Jan. 21, 1842) has been mentioned in previous articles in this series in various contexts, including as the founder of Augusta’s Cony Female Academy and the man after whom Cony High School is named… by Mary Grow [2162 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Early Augusta Families – Part 2

AUGUSTA HISTORY – Last week readers met James Howard, one of the first settlers at Cushnoc (which became Hallowell, which divided into Hallowell and Augusta) and some of his family members; and your writer promised information on other pre-Augusta settlers, Ephraim Ballard, Daniel Cony and Henry Sewall… by Mary Grow [1758 words]

Listing of local town meetings

CENTRAL ME — Listing of 2023 local town meetings in central Maine. To have your town listed, please email us at…

2022-’23 Real Estate Tax Due Dates

Real estate tax due dates for the towns of Albion, China, Fairfield, Oakland, Palermo, Sidney, Vassalboro, Waterville, Windsor and Winslow…

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Spring fling craft fair set

AUGUSTA — All are invited free of charge to shop over 30 vendors at Spring Fling Craft Fair, hosted by Recycled Shakespeare Company, on Saturday, March 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at South Parish Congregational Church, in Augusta… and many other local events!


VASSALBORO – Cathy (White) Fisher, 66, passed away Thursday, February 23, 2023, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta. She was born December 30, 1956, in Waterville, the daughter of Floyd “Ikey” and Theresa (Landry) White… and remembering 10 others.

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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: Ann Budris, Winslow

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | There it is! That familiar odor in the wind that reminds you of a warm, summer night. It is unmistakable, and sometimes can be a sort of positive sign of spring. That odor was definitely in the air at our house this past weekend. Essence of skunk…


by Melinda Myers | Bring the beauty of your favorite gemstones into the garden and your outdoor living space with the help of jewel-toned plants. Even a pot of these beauties placed on the balcony can provide bold color, vibrancy, and lushness to any space…


by Peter Cates | During the late 1980s to early ’90s, I taught American lit survey classes for the Houston Community College System in the Lone Star State and used the humongous two-volume Harper American Literature anthology, each consisting of 2,500 pages…


by Norma Best-Boucher | I heard their singing through my closed windows and knew that I had to see them right then as they would leave the next morning before first light. I opened the gate from my patio, and there they were, hundreds of beautiful red breasted robins scattered all over the grounds. For those few short hours when they landed in our complex resting on their journey north, I once again enjoyed the company of one of my favorite birds…


Eye disease affects more than your ability to see the world clearly. People with impaired vision face an increased risk of falls, fractures, injuries, depression, anxiety, cognitive deficits and social isolation…