Issue for September 7, 2023

Celebrating 35 years of local news

“Never stop hoping” is mantra of cancer survivor

“Never stop hoping” mantra keys Bonnie Collins’ cancer journey through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Before July 2022, Bonnie Collins never thought she’d one day wear an inexpensive pink rubber bracelet that has far greater significance than its actual value. That was before the 20-year registered nurse and master gardener volunteer knew of a family history of breast cancer. It also was before she discovered a lump on her rib cage, under her arm… by John D. Begin

Town News

Board updated on school summer improvements

VASSALBORO – Vassalboro School Board members began their fall/winter meetings on Aug. 29 with the usual updates on summer improvements; approval of new staff and other appointments for the coming school year; and financial report…

School board members hold responsibility workshop

VASSALBORO – Before the Aug. 29 Vassalboro school board meeting, Steven Bailey, executive director of the Maine School Management Association (MSMA), led a workshop on board members’ responsibilities, including reminders of what they should not do. Although school board members are elected by town voters, their roles and responsibilities are defined by state law, Bailey said…

Erskine Academy student creates environmental club that’s leading school sustainability initiatives

CHINA – Eighteen-year-old Carson Appel is featured in Rustic Spirit Spotlights for his amazing impact work – Carson co-founded an environmental club that’s dedicated to sustainability projects. Their initiatives include installing energy-efficient light switches, promoting energy efficiency, revitalizing the school’s paper recycling program and planting trees to capture carbon from the environment…

Luke Parks receives Elmira College Key Award

SIDNEY – Luke Parks, of Sidney, received the Elmira College Key Award for academic and community leadership, in Elmira, New York. A tradition that goes back to 1935, the EC Key Award is presented to outstanding students in their junior year of high school or preparatory school…

New pastor welcomed at Fairfield United Methodist Church

FAIRFIELD – Fairfield United Methodist Church welcomes Brenda E. Haskell, as pastor. Though she has always felt a calling for the ministry, she was told at an early age that women are not ministers. After graduating from Winthrop High School, she attended the University of Southern Maine for art education…

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: “They call me Mister Tibbs!” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is September 7, 2023…

Local happenings

EVENTS: China Historical Society VP to conduct cemetery tour

VASSALBORO – The vice president of the China Historical Society, Tim Hatch, will be conducting a tour of the Chadwick Hill Cemetery this Saturday morning, September 9, beginning at 9 a.m….

EVENTS: Event schedule for VASSALBORO DAYS 2023

VASSALBORO – A schedule of events for upcoming Vassalboro Days, September 8-10…

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Community yard sale

CHINA — The Greater Neck Road Neighborhood Association is having their fifth annual community yard sale on Saturday, September 9, 2023, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the China Baptist Church parking lot, China, Maine. The proceeds from the fundraiser will help area people in need this winter… and many other local events!


OAKLAND – Myron A. Smith, 94, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at Northern Light Inland Hospital, in Waterville. Myron was born on October 25, 1928, in Mercer, at his family home, to Alton and Helen Grace Smith (Owens)… and remembering 6 others.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Agriculture – Part 1 (new)

KV HISTORY — Families who settled the central Kennebec Valley in the 1700s were, of necessity, farmers: one of the first actions was to clear enough land to raise food crops, for both people and livestock. Alice Hammond wrote in her history of Sidney, “In the late 18th century, almost every Sidney home would have been a self-sufficient farm, with oxen, dairy cows, sheep, chickens, and steadily expanding fields that provided food for people and livestock…” by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Music in the Kennebec Valley – Part 5

KV HISTORY — In the course of reading about the history of music in the central Kennebec Valley, specifically George Thornton Edwards’ 1928 Music and Musicians of Maine, your writer came across two intertwined musical families who lived in Hallowell, before and after Augusta became a separate town in 1897… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Music in the Kennebec Valley – Part 4

KV HISTORY — Kennebec County historian Henry Kingsbury provided a minor exception to the general lack of interest in music in local histories when he included a section headed “MUSIC” in his history of Waterville and wrote two whole paragraphs… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Slave trade in Vassalboro

VASSALBORO HISTORY — Maine, including to some extent small inland towns like Vassalboro, was more heavily involved in the international slave trade than many residents realize, both before and after slave-trading was made illegal in the United States in 1808… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, September 14, 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: Eleanor Bilodeau, Unity

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | I’ve always been interested in folklore. It is intriguing how older generations and cultures came up with them, with most dealing with nature. While sitting around a campfire with friends once in late summer, we heard a cricket chirp in the distance. One of the friends, we’ll call her Lauri, groaned at the sound. “What’s the matter?” I asked. Lauri responded, “Hearing a cricket means the end of summer.” Interesting!…


by Elaine Philbrook | As I listen to fewer loon calls at night and watch them gathering in social groups during the day, I am aware summer’s coming to a close. By the time you read this final Lake Life article of the season Meteorological Autumn will have begun…


by Peter Cates | James Thurber (1894-1961) achieved a much deserved hilarious notoriety for his writings and cartoons via the New Yorker. With respect to his cartoons, Maine’s own E.B. White, while still working at the magazine’s Manhattan office as an assistant editor, found some of Thurber’s sketches in the wastebasket and published them, later commenting that they could stand on their own as artistic expressions…


by Debbie Walker | This column will make some folks happy and some probably not so happy. I am going to start with beer: For some who the thought of using beer for anything other than drinking could cause them painful thoughts, this might make you feel a little better: Do you have any yellow patches in your lawn (possibly from a fungus)? IF you have any flat beer in the house, feed it to the yellow (finding flat beer a problem?) and watch it improve…


by Gary Kennedy | Those of us who have been in the VA system for some time assume that everyone knows how to apply for help from the VA. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I meet people all the time that don’t have a clue on how to become part of the system. That is exactly what you must do to begin with, become part of the system…


(NAPSI) — Ah, coffee. Whether you’re cradling a travel mug on your way to work or dashing out after spin class to refuel with a skinny latte, it’s hard to imagine a day without it. The caffeine perks you up, and there’s something incredibly soothing about sipping a steaming cup of joe. But is drinking coffee good for you?…