Week of March 19, 2020

Celebrating 33 years of local news

Although we are keeping regular hours over the next two weeks (March 16 – March 30), we ask that you not stop by the office unless absolutely necessary. Instead, please contact us by email at townline@townline.org or phone at 445-2234. Don’t worry, we will be publishing this week’s issue on Thursday like always!

A look at what Maine was like before it became a state

In March 15, 1820, Maine became the 23rd state of the United States. Last Sunday, was Maine’s 200th anniversary of admission to the union. There is no definitive explanation for the origin of the name “Maine,” but the most likely origin is that the name was given by early explorers after the former province of Maine, in France. Whatever the origin, the name was fixed for English settlers in 1665 when the English King’s Commissioners ordered that the “Province of Maine” be entered from then on in official records… [2557 words] by Roland D. Hallee

Local Coronavirus Updates

China town manager updates facilities’ schedules

CHINA — This update provides actions approved for local implementation to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While not all-inclusive, we are taking specific actions that will help our residents and town employees to be better prepared as the outbreak becomes more present…

COVID-19 Closures & Cancellations

CENTRAL ME — Check here for local cancellations and postponements. This page will be regularly updated. If you have a temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us at townline@townline.org

New procedures at Vassalboro Food Pantry

VASSALBORO — The Vassalboro Food Pantry will remain open on Thursdays with the following changes to procedures. These procedures will remain in effect until further notice…

China Food Pantry to implement new procedures for safety

CHINA — When you arrive, please form a line on the shoulder of the road starting at the rock wall and extending back toward The Landing. It is important that you stay in your car to avoid contact with others…

Your Local News

Planners OK re-opening repair garage

VASSALBORO — After a thorough review and detailed information from applicant Olin C. Charette, Vassalboro Planning Board members unanimously approved his application to reopen his Riverside Drive repair garage, with vehicle sales and a state inspection station…

Public works foreman presents budget request

VASSALBORO — Vassalboro Budget Committee members spent most of their March 12 meeting talking with Public Works Foreman Eugene Field about his 2020-21 plans and budget request, a major piece of the annual municipal budget…

Annual town meeting rescheduled to May 2

CHINA — At their March 16 meeting, China selectmen unanimously approved Town Manager Dennis Heath’s recommendations for balancing staff and residents’ safety with necessary town services in the coronavirus age…

Self-storage facility gets approval

CHINA — China Codes Officer William Butler reported the planning board, meeting March 10, approved Jamie Nichols’ application for a self-storage facility on Vassalboro Road…

Recycling suspended 14 days in China

CHINA — Recycling operations suspended for 14 days at the Town of China Transfer Station effective immediately. This brief suspension should not create too much of a burden on users, but we appreciate everyone’s patience. We will update as appropriate.

Trash, recyclables should be placed at curbside for weekly pick up

ALBION — Albion Fire Chief Andy Clark reported that he has applied for several grants for items needed by the fire department, including a new tank truck and fire hose. When the department receives these grants, said Croft, “it is a great financial benefit to the town and helps to keep taxes down”…

Take our weekly survey!

[democracy id=”182″]

ICE OUT 2020? Take a guess. Win a prize!

CHINA — When will the last of the ice disappear from China Lake? Email us your guess by noon, Friday, April 10 and you could win a prize! To help you out, here are dates for the last 145 years…

Central Maine Youth Hockey Association Black Mites team photo

CENTRAL ME — Team photo by Central Maine Photography…

Margaret Chase Smith essay contest announced

SKOWHEGAN — As the Pine Tree State commemorates the past during its bicentennial year of 2020, we invite Maine high school seniors to propose how to make the state “the way life should be” for young people…Entries are due by April 1, 2020 and decisions will be announced by May 4…

Local Town Meetings Schedule 2020

Local town meetings schedule for 2020 for Albion, China, Fairfield, Vassalboro and Solon. To add your town to this list, email us at townline@townline.org

2019-’20 Real Estate Tax Due Dates

Real Estate tax due dates for the following towns: CHELSEA, CHINA, VASSALBORO, WATERVILLE and WINDSOR…

Give Us Your Best Shot!

Spring means…eagles and raccoons and pussy willows? The best recent photos from our readers!

Webber’s Pond

Webber’s Pond is a comic drawn by an anonymous central Maine resident…


BOOK SALE: Vassalboro Public Library, March 23 – April 4, during open hours, Mon.-Fri., noon – 6 p.m., Wed. & Sat., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 940 Bog Rd…. (…and many other local events!)


WEEKS MILLS – Brian A. French, 36, son of Leslie and Darlene French, passed away Thursday, March 5, 2020, following a brief illness. Brian was born in Augusta on February 10, 1984… and remembering 13 others.

Common Ground – Round 15: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Friday, April 10, 2020

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 townline@townline.org or through our Contact page. Include your name and address with your answer. Use “Common Ground” in the subject!

Previous winner: Paige Richardson, of So. China.

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | It’s official. Today, on the first day of spring, reports are out that black bears are awakening from their winter hibernation. The American black bear, Ursus americanus, is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent’s smallest and most widely distributed bear species…


by Jayne Winters | If we’re to believe the groundhog’s prediction that spring will come early this year, it seems appropriate to share a post written by the late Carleen Cote, published in May 1997. Seasons change, but often planning for the next one remains the same. I leave it to Carleen to remind readers what March is like for wildlife rehabbers…


by Dan Beaulieu | You’re proud of your company. You’re proud of the company logo on the side of that shiny new white truck. On your employees’ shirts, on all of your equipment. Everything you own, everything you do is all about protecting your image. That company logo represents everything you have worked so hard for…


by Peter Cates | Henry Wadsworth Longfelloow had a gift for dramatic tension as well as a unique sense of the potential narrative possibilities in a descriptive poetic setting. An example was his 1866 poem, God’s Acre, yet another term for cemetery, and the starker words, graveyard and burial ground. I offer the poem before further comments…


by Debbie Walker | Hi! For a few minutes let’s make believe you can’t get any of your cleaning products. Oh, my whatever will we do? If this really happened and all you had was kitchen supplies, your home would not be without hope. Think about all those years before we had Mr. Clean and the following generations of cleaners, “the best cleaner ever” can be replaced by vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, alcohol, etc….

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull | It is with great pleasure that I have some recent news to share with you this morning! I would like to thank all of you who took the time to send it along to me to share, it means so much! The Solon Pine Tree Club met at the Solon Fire Station on March 14. There were nine members, three leaders and five visitors in attendance….


(NAPSI) — As you develop your retirement plans and think about how a potential need for long-term care may impact those plans and your loved ones, certain misconceptions may prevent you from taking action. So – let’s dispel these seven common long-term care myths…