Week of October 15, 2020

Celebrating 32 years of local news

From Madawaska to Kittery: Journey of two cyclists

After plans to cycle across the U.S., from Maine to Washington, were scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic, John Benziger and I decided to stay in Maine and tackle a safer, Maine challenge: riding our bicycles from Madawaska to Kittery… [941 words] by Steve Ball

Your Local News

Public hearing planned on medical marijuana growing request

VASSALBORO — Faced with a four-item agenda that included three pre-application reviews, Vassalboro Planning Board members have scheduled public hearings on two of them, for Leo Barnett’s requested medical marijuana growing facilities…

Virtual community candidates forum slated for Oct. 18

CHINA — The China Library Association invites China residents to a virtual candidates’ forum hosted by the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China Village. The ZOOM event will take place on Sunday, October 18, 2020, at 2 p.m…

41st annual China Maine craft show happening virtually

CHINA — It’s the resourcefulness of parents and crafters that’s making the 41st Annual China Maine Craft Show possible this year. Raigen Messier York and Melissa Clement, both of the China Schools PTO recreated the fair experience online, bringing crafters and consumers, together at ChinaMaineCraftSho.wixsite.com, from October 7 to November 7… by Jeanne Marquis

China broadband committee meets virtually

CHINA — China’s Broadband Committee meets virtually at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15, to continue discussion of expanding internet service in town. People interested in watching or participating in the meeting should contact the town office for information…

Turkey pie sale planned in Madison

MADISON — A turkey pie sale, curbside only, will be held at the back entrance of the Madison American Legion Hall, on Saturday, November 7, 2020, from 3 to 6 p.m., at 20 S. Maple Street. Each pie is $10, and pre-orders are encouraged, call Charlotte at 696-3375 by October 30…

Film center marks domestic violence awareness month

CENTRAL ME — The next event in the “Cinema in Conversation” series will take place on Sunday, October 18 at 2:00 p.m., and will be led by filmmakers Anna-Sophia Richards and Astrid Schäfer (IN MY SKIN), and founder/president of Finding Our Voices Patrisha McLean (producer, “Women in Windows”)…

Life Scout presents schools with 13 benches

AUGUSTA — During these Covid-19 times, many schools are finding it useful to have as many classrooms and activities outside. Stephen Labbe led five adults and two Scouts to construct 13 benchtables for the Cony Middle and High schools…

Some teachers, administrators wear too many hats

by Peg Pellerin — There are times when some folks wear too many hats and usually it’s not because they want to but because they are so good at what they do that they’re handed yet another hat to wear. Those handing over those hats forget that they can give someone many hats to wear but the individual has only one head…

Are you ready for ranked-choice voting?

To mark the ballot for your first-choice candidate – the person who you would most like to see win the office – simply fill in the oval next to their name in the “1st Choice” column. If you wish to rank some or all of the remaining candidates in order of your preference, you may do so, or you can choose to vote for only your first choice…

LETTERS: Supports Preston, again

from Neil Farrington (South China) — Janet Preston won the open China select board position in March. Knowing her as a strong supporter of both education and emergency services in our town, she will have my vote once again this November…

LETTERS: Two votes for Koch

from Mike Hein (Fairfield) — I spoke to an ironworker from Waterville at an actual in-person event this month in Clinton. We talked about our local State Senate race. He was undecided whom to vote for. This surprised me. I told him that in our Senate District #16, Democratic candidate Hilary Koch was the way to go. And when it comes to supporting workers, that it wasn’t even close..

LETTERS: What are plans for nursing homes?

from Frank Slason (Somerville) — Could this letter possibly slip in between all the pros and cons relative to who is running for office? Yes, I know politics are important and time is short, so everyone is getting their two cents in for their favorite. Just a thought: How many running for office have even touched on the terrible toll this virus is wracking on nursing homes and their devoted staff? Not one, I wager…

Become a member: An open letter to our readers

Dear Reader: For the past 32 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…

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Mail delivery – Part 1 (New)

MAINE HISTORY — Intercolonial mail started in the early 1700s in the major cities on the east coast of the future United States, and had reached Maine’s coastal towns before the Revolution. The national postal service was organized during the Revolution, with Benjamin Franklin the first Postmaster General. Alma Pierce Robbins wrote in her history of Vassalboro that mail service reached the central Kennebec Valley in the 1790s… by Mary Grow [1829 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Trolleys

MAINE HISTORY — Not long after finishing the piece about street railways that appeared in The Town Line, Sept. 10, this writer came across a small paperback book published in 1955. Written by O. R. (Osmond Richard) Cummings, it is titled Toonervilles of Maine The Pine Tree State. (The title refers to Fontaine Fox’s comic strip called Toonerville Folks that Wikipedia says first appeared in the Chicago Post in 1908 and last appeared in 1955… by Mary Grow [1608 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Transportation: roads

MAINE HISTORY — Previous articles have discussed transportation by water and overland by railroads, local and long-distance. This article discusses aspects of the evolution of roads and travel over them. Laying out roads was a major task for local governments in the late 18th and early 19th centuries… by Mary Grow [1877 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Railway transportation

MAINE HISTORY — Although the narrow-gauge railroad that was built inland from Wiscasset starting in 1894 never reached either Québec (its first name was the Wiscasset and Québec) or Waterville or Farmington (later it was the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington), as the WW&F it was an integral part of towns along its route. Reminiscences from Palermo include the WW&F… by Mary Grow [2155 words]

Give Us Your Best Shot!

The best recent photos from our readers!

PHOTO: Another gorgeous sunset

Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, captured this gorgeous sunset over China Lake recently.

Webber’s Pond

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


VASSALBORO – John Ronald Whalen, 73, passed away Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at his home, in Vassalboro. He was born October 8, 1946, in Calais, the son of Grayson G. and Evelyn P. (Sherrard) Whalen… and remembering 7 others.

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Friday, November 13, 2020

Identify the objects 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: Kay Pooler, Vassalboro.

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | We’ve all heard them. The honking sounds overhead as the Canada geese move south in their familiar V formation. Let’s learn a little more about these large birds that at one time were considered extinct. The Canada goose, Branta canadensis, is a large wild goose species…

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy | Looking back to last spring …. late February when spring skiing at the “Loaf” was in full swing, the mountain had just received a substantial amount of snow and many skiers were looking forward to skiing into May…But that was then … and this is now. Although many changes will greet us when opening season arrives, be prepared for new regulations both inside the lodges and on the slopes…


by Peter Cates | During this political season, I was re-reading the rambunctious Baltimore Sun correspondent H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) on one of our great former occupants of the White House ­– the, for me, ever-fascinating Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) whose administration was beset by challenges of a unique nature, in particular the Teapot Dome scandal…


by Debbie Walker | I know all this will sound “Polly-Anna”, (It means to be excessively or blindly optimistic). What the heck, we can all use some positives right now. Do you remember the little saying about, “If life throws you lemons, make lemonade?” What a simple saying but how important…

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull | This is the second time that I have had to write two columns in one week for one reason or another. This one is for October 15 and I didn’t get what little recent news I have received in time to get them in the paper they should have been in. Anyway: in order to let you know what has been going on I am going to print them…


(NAPSI) — Vinnie Jones and Boyd Pearce put their heads together and designed a simple, free and user-friendly mobile app that lets families share and re-live at will their daily experiences, as well as special moments with loved ones even thousands of miles apart. Called My Grandkids, it works with a simple click or two of a button…