Friday, July 4, 2008

After 33 Years North Berwick Town Clerk
Set To Retire

By Ron Long
Staff Columnist

Janet Belmain who is North Berwick’s first full time Town Clerk is set to retire on July 18, 2008 after 33 years of dedicated service.
Janet, who is better known as Jan, was born in York and moved to North Berwick as a very young child. Raised and educated in North Berwick, Jan has seen her share of changes. Jan’s mom Merriam Cole served as the North Berwick tax collector and treasurer from 1964 to 1988. Merriam would hand write the tax bills and then line up the children and grandchildren to lick stamps and stuff envelopes. Jan would go in and help out, just to help out. Some of the other changes Jan has seen since becoming Town Clerk include the use of computers, the change from paper ballots and hand counting to optical scanners, the number of town selectmen from 3 to 5, the hiring of the first Town Manager, and the refurbishing of her old school building into what is now the North Berwick Town Hall. Jan, who was first elected to the position, has seen that change to an appointed position. Jan commented, “I have seen the Town Clerk position change from a job into a profession.”
North Berwick resident and Selectmen Elaine Folsom worked for Jan as a Deputy Town Clerk. She said, “Jan means a lot to the Town of North Berwick and she will surely be missed.” Friendly, hardworking, dedicated, and she knows her job – is how Folsom describes Jan. “When you had a question on elections or whatever, Jan knew the answer,” Folsom concluded.
Jan has been married to husband Dick for 45 years. The couple has two children, a son Steven and daughter Chris. Steven has a PhD in Entomology and lives in London, England with his wife who is a lawyer. They have two sons, the oldest of which sings in “The Queens Choir” at the Savoy Chapel. Chris is now Deputy Town Clerk for the Town of North Berwick. She lives in Berwick with her husband who is in the biotech industry and their son.
While Jan and Dick love to travel, they have no immediate plans except to watch their three grandsons grow up. Spending family time and enjoying life is their only plan.
Jan’s co-workers, friends, and family want to invite everyone to join them in celebration of Janet Belmain’s 33 years of service as Town Clerk. The celebration will be held on Sunday, July 27 from 3-6 pm at The North Berwick Community Center, 264 Lebanon Road, North Berwick. Cake, coffee and punch will be served.

Caption: Dick and Jan Belmain. (Courtesy photo)

Vacationers Enjoy Southern Maine in Spite of Tough Economic Circumstances

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist

The number of cars that drove to southern Maine this June is down compared to June 2007, but Carrie Eisner, Vice President of The Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce doesn’t see that as a bad thing. Eisner points out that business has not slowed for local merchants that rely on tourists and that some businesses are actually doing better this year than last.
“The York Harbor Inn – they’re right in line with their average June of the last few years,” Eisner said. The same is true of Sun & Surf Restaurant in York Beach, and “Seaside Vacation Rentals’ (a business specializing in cottage rentals) business is up 10%,” a figure that Eisner feels points to a trend in this years tourists.
They are “vacationing smarter” this year, Eisner said, “people are going on vacations with other families and friends,” and more tourists are renting cottages which give them an opportunity to enjoy a home-made snack before hitting the beach. Those extra pennies allow vacationers to indulge in delicious dinners at local restaurants that night just like they did the year before.
The population of The Yorks (York Village, York Harbor, York Beach, Cape Neddick) approximately doubles during the summer tourist season, and this year there were concerns that gas prices could keep many tourists away. “Gas prices are scary,” Eisner said, but “reservations are good, people are still vacationing.”
The York Chamber represents The Yorks, Kittery, Eliot and South Berwick. Its mission is to promote the growth and prosperity of the southern Maine region. It also serves as a resource center for “anyone visiting the area or wanting area info,” said Eisner who has been with the Chamber for seven years.

Second Annual Striper Tournament

A 10-year-old New Hampshire boy was the grand prizewinner in the 2nd Annual Dockside Striper Tournament.
Niko Alexandropoulos of North Hampton captured the top prize with a striper measuring 43 inches.
In addition to the youth winner, others taking top prizes included Jeremy Reynolds of York in Adult Bait/Tackle with a 42- ¾” fish and Bob Hoy of York Harbor in Fly Fishing competition with a 38 inch catch.
The tournament began with wild weather but that didn’t dampen the fishermen’s zeal or the overall success of the event that raised over $40,000 through registrations, sponsorships, a raffle and auction.
Proceeds are shared by York Hospital’s Caring for All Program and The Coastal Conservation Association of Maine (CCA).
“York Hospital is fortunate to be part of such a generous community…one who values, enjoys and supports all of the resources that surround them,” Judd Knox, president of the hospital said.
Both the hospital and CCA thanked the Lusty family, owners of the Dockside Guest Quarters & Restaurant and York Harbor Marine Services for donating the venue for the two-day event.
More than 150 fisherman and guests attended Sunday afternoon’s Captain’s Party.
The silent auction and raffle included items from a Honda motor and framed prints of Portsmouth Harbor to rods, reels and Red Sox tickets.
All youth fishermen were surprised with a Quantum Reel & Rod donated by Brian Noyes and a fully stocked Cabela’s Tackle & Tote bag.
Winners in the York Division included Adam Brown, 12, Pepperell, Mass., 39 ½”; Matt Brown, 8, Pepperell, 38”; Alex Boulous, 14, Middleton, Mass., 32.5”; and Matt Webber, 12, York, 20.5”.
Following Reynolds in the Adult Bait/Tackle Division were Michael Leatherman, Dover, N.H., 42 ½”; Brett Camplin, South Portland, 42”; Jared Webber, York, 42”; and Tom Brown, York, 41 ¾”.
In back of Hoy in the Fly Fishing Division were John Carlson, Kittery Point, 24”; Julius Ciembroniewicz, Portland, 23”; Joe Kozak of Manchester, 22 ¾”; and Ben Lowenstein, York, 21 ½”.
Sponsors included Dedicated Mortgage Associates, Dockside Guest Quarters & Restaurant, Jay Peak Resort-Vermont, Kimberly-Clark Health Care, Kozak & Gayer, P.A., L.L. Bean, Owens & Minor, Prime Motor Group, West Marine, York Harbor Marine Service, Bragdon Insurance, Century 21/Atlantic Realty, Cummings, Lamont & McNamee, P.A., Honda Marine, Jackson’s Hardware & Marine, Kennebunk Savings Bank, Navtronics, Orvis, Seacoast YMCA, South End Charter Company, Wilcox Industries/Jim & Laurie Teetzel.

Caption: Winners of the three divisions in the 2nd Annual Dockside Striper Tournament: (left to right) Jeremy Reynolds of York, Niko Alexandropoulos of North Hampton, NH, and Bob Hoy of York Harbor. (Courtesy photo)