Friday, April 24, 2009

20th Annual Decorator Show House

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
The 20th Annual Decorator Show House of The Old York Historical Society sits atop a hill overlooking a huge meadow and the York River.
It is a 1920s farmhouse on the historic McIntire Farm on Cider Hill Road, one of York’s most historic sites.
Over the next weeks more than 20 professional decorators from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York will bring their own specific ideas to assigned areas of the house. Working alone or in teams they will transform the house into a show place to be displayed to the public from July 18 through Aug. 15th.
To be selected as a show house, the property must be “of particular interest to Old York,” Marianne Bauman, chairwoman of the Publicity Committee said this week. “It has to have some kind of historic value.”
This site clearly fits those criteria.
The McIntire Homestead, which has been in the same family for over 300 years, located in the Scotland District of York, dates to the late 1600s.
Next to the farmhouse is the McIntire Garrison that was built in 1707 and is the oldest documented house in Maine. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Much of the surrounding property is protected by conservation easements held by the York Land Trust and the Museums of Old York.
According to Old York officials there are no deeds to help identify the exact date of the original structure. By 1872 the York County Atlas identified a second house on the Homestead property.
Where this structure was located and in what style it was built is unknown as it burned in 1922 and again in 1942.
Following the 1922 fire, a Portsmouth architect was hired to build a house there, resulting in an intriguing combination of Greek Revival architecture and 1920s stylistic flair.
While the mantles surrounding the fireplaces are modeled after Greek columns, the interior woodwork was stained instead of painted, a stylish choice typical of a 1920s home.
The event, the largest single fund-raising event for Old York, is made possible by the work of dedicated designers and visual artists, a corps of more than 300 volunteers, and the support of museum members and the community.
McIntire Farm will be open for a “Before Tour” May 2-3 from 11 AM to 4 PM On-site parking is available and a donation of $5 is requested.
The annual Preview Gala will be July 17. The event will feature a live band, food and an open bar. Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by calling (207) 363-4974. Patrons who donate $250 will receive two tickets to the event, reserved seating at the Patrons’ Table and special recognition.
The Show House will be open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM, Thursday to 7 PM and Sunday from 1 to 4 PM It is closed on Tuesdays.
On-site parking is available and admission is $20. Tickets to the Show House are good for $2 off the cost of admission to the Museums of Old York.
Photo caption: The McIntire farm on Cider Hill Road is this year’s Decorator Show House of the Old York Historical Society. (Courtesy photo)

Ogunquit Welcomes the Season with
its Patriots Day Celebration

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
The crowds were out in Ogunquit this weekend as the Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Patriots Day festival. The event, which celebrates the midnight ride of Paul Revere and also the return of good weather, has activities that offer something for everyone. Saturday served as a case in point, highlighted by the craft bazaar on the grounds of the Ogunquit Playhouse, the Taste of the Town at the Dunaway Center, and a treasure hunt that led interested scavenger hunters all across town.
Denise Sopchyk and Carole Aaron spent Saturday staffing the chamber’s concession stand at the bazaar. They had a firsthand look at how things went in the crowded tent, where visitors had their choices of jewelry, photography, massage, clothes, and basket crafts to name just a few of the attractions.
“Things are going great this morning,” Sopchyk said. “We have not been able to keep up with coffee and the vendors are happy. That’s a good sign.”
Tammy Heon staffed the Ogunquit Playhouse’s table, stocked with copies of the written history of the Playhouse as well as schedules of the coming season’s plays. “We just cast Lorenzo Lamas as Zack in ‘A Chorus Line’,” Heon said. “He just loved it here (when he starred in ‘The King and I’ two years ago) and has been wanting to come back. And Sally Struthers will be back in ‘All Shook Up’, playing the mayor – the resident bad girl.”
Ken Bartuka of the Names Project, the group that brings the AIDS Quilt to town each spring, manned a table as well. “We have had quite a lot of people coming through,” he said. “I was surprised. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s been a good crowd so far this morning. I think the free trolley is helping.”
At one end of the tent, members of Cub Scout Troop 357 were selling rubber ducks for Sunday morning’s duck race. Three kids, Ryan Shackford, Marcus Tufts and Sarah Shackford, worked the booth with their moms, Beth Tufts and Pam Shackford. They were nothing if not enthusiastic in their sales pitch.
“You can get an adorable little duck and win $1, 000,” Ryan told passers-by. And all for just $10 a chance.
By late morning, the Dunaway Center was abuzz as staff from the nine participants and the chamber set up in the Great Hall for the taste test.
But, there was additional action, as well. The treasure hunt ended there. Joe Scicchitano and his kids Dominic and Nadia, in town from Berwick, Penn., had traced the clues across town to find the final in a series of lanterns that had been hidden.
“We got everything,” the elder Scicchitano said. “The kids went like crazy, starting at Veterans Park. There was one color of each paper lantern placed in shops.”
“Each one gave a clue for where the next color was,” said Nadia.
Scicchitano said the family frequently visited Ogunquit. “It’s our home away from home,” he said.
As noon approached, the line for the taste of the town event swelled. Visitors could choose among a great variety of treats from chowders to black beans and sausages to vegetable spring rolls to pulled pork sandwiches to spinach salad. There were desserts as well, including chocolate truffles, gelato, and fudge.
Vera and Tom Scolastico of Wilmington, Mass. tried some clam chowder. “The chowder is delicious,” Tom said. “We’re having a lovely time.”
For Bernice and Robert McNichols of Foxborough, Mass. the pulled pork was a treat but so was the entire event.
“The pulled pork is very good,” Robert said. “It has cole slaw on top. We try to make this weekend every year.”
Photo caption: Pack 357 of the Cub Scouts sold rubber ducks for the Patriots Day weekend Duck Race in Ogunquit. Proceeds went to the Cub Scouts. Front, L to R: Sarah Shackford, Marcus Tufts, and Ryan Shackford. Back, Beth Tufts (l) and Pam Shackford. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Southern York County to Get
Federal Stimulus Funds

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
Federal stimulus money is in the pipeline for the state, but other than some reinstated previously cut education funds, the programs have had little impact on southern Maine.
The Baldacci administration trimmed back state aid to education twice, but with the arrival of $27 million in federal funds the second of those cuts, the smaller of the two, have been returned. These funds have been earmarked for stabilization in that they are to retain current jobs and programs.
Maine Department of Education spokesman David Connerty-Marin said in a telephone interview that additional money earmarked strictly for Special Education and Title I are in the pipeline and could be announced this week.
Mr. Connerty-Marin said another $27 million will be distributed for the ‘09-10 school year.
All the education money will be distributed through the state’s current education formula that will direct the bulk of it to northern Maine.
York received $133,000 this year and could receive $157,336 next year.
“That’s what I know we’re getting,” Superintendent of York Schools Henry Scipione said of the $133,000.
Earlier the state had reduced York’s aid to education by $937,000 the first time and $133,00 the second.
Other estimates for next year include $605,844 for School Administrative District 60 (Noble), $583,362 for SAD 35 (Marshwood), $993,816 for Kennebunk, $53,389 for Wells/Ogunquit and $929,988 for Biddeford.
Little federal money has been seen as yet on the municipal side.
The town of Berwick was originally awarded $1.7 million for five Water Department projects but that has since been adjusted to $1.2 million for four projects, Town Manager Keith Trefethen said.
Mr. Trefethen said he’s not aware of any more awards “at this juncture” but added the town will be “aggressively pursuing money for fire stations projects” when it becomes available.
The Water Department money will be used to “replace decrepit water lines,” he said.
These projects must be accomplished in a defined time frame and he hopes “local contractors will be competitive to get the work” so he can “keep a lot of the money right here in town” to further benefit local taxpayers.
Things aren’t as bright for the town of Kennebunk according to Joel Downs, the town’s financial director.
The town hasn’t received any funds thus far and looking ahead Downs said he’s not aware of anything in the future.
“We haven’t seen any,” York Town Manager Rob Yandow said. “But in all honesty I didn’t expect any.”
York has been working with the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission and hopes some projects may eventually be funded.
Mr. Yandow said the Maine Department of Transportation has received some funds but there are “a lot more by way of requests than there is money available.”
Projects he hopes to see receive stimulus funding includes $750,000 for York Beach drainage. “We’re not done yet,” he said.
South Berwick Town Manager John B. Schempf said his town hasn’t received any federal money and “we have no idea” if any is on the way.
He said with the federal funding becoming available “your odds are better than they were” to receive funds from the state but added, “There’s no spigot for stimulus money.”

Chamber Hosts Patriots Day
Festivities in Ogunquit

Plan to be in Ogunquit April 17-19 for Patriots Weekend and experience an exciting mix of ‘18th Century Meets 21st Century’ life. Historical and modern-day happenings will abound all around town for all ages.
The Schedule
Friday, April 17:
9 a.m. -5 p.m. - Library Book Sale (Shore Road); 8 p.m. - Fife. and Drum Concert (Baptist Church-Shore Road); 9:30 p.m. - Reading of “Paul Revere’s Ride” (Revelations Gift Shop-Shore Road); 10 p.m - Re-enactment of Paul Revere’s Ride (Cottage St. to Shore Rd to School St. back)
Saturday, April 18:
9 a.m.-5 p.m. - Craft Bazaar (at the Kennebunk Savings Bank tent on the Playhouse grounds); 9.a.m-5 p.m. - Library Book Sale (Shore Road); 10a.m.-3 p.m. - Hay Rides (weather permitting); 10 a.m.-5 p.m. - Kidstown Amusements (on the Playhouse grounds); 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. - Tours of the Ogunquit Playhouse; 10:30 a.m. - Tory Treasure Hunt (meet at Veteran’s Park); Noon-2 p.m. - “Taste of the Town” (Dunaway Center); 2 p.m. -3:30 p.m. - Meet our Forefathers and Mothers (throughout town); 8 p.m.-Midnight - Casino Night (Dunaway Center)
Sunday, April 19:
9 a.m.-4 p.m. - Craft Bazaar (under the tent on the Playhouse grounds); 9:30 a.m. - Cub Scout Pack 356 Duck Race (Beach St. Bridge); 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Hay Rides (weather permitting); 10 a.m.-4 p.m. - Kidstown Amusements (on the Playhouse Grounds); 10 a.m., noon, & 2 p.m. - Tours of the Ogunquit Playhouse; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. - Cookout (on the Playhouse grounds)
All around town get to chat with such luminaries as Ben Franklin, Abigail Adams, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Littlefield, Betsy Ross and Sally Hemings. Even get your picture taken in the stocks!
There will be a free Patriots Day Shuttle running 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, from the Main Beach to Veteran’s Park, Taste of the Town, the Craft Fair and Perkins Cove, with stops in between.
A complete schedule of events will be strategically placed at many locations around town, including the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce. Or visit: to download the Schedule of Events.
Photo caption: Revolutionary War re-enacters will be visible around Ogunquit this weekend as the town celebrates Patriots Day. (Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce photo)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Local Students Shine in Odyssey
of the Mind Competition

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
Students from school districts serving Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, and York had great success at the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament in Sanford on Saturday, Mar. 28. Together, the three districts qualified 10 teams to participate in the World Finals in Ames, Iowa in late May. In all, 29 teams from the school districts participated in the event.
“We had nine teams altogether that competed,” said Susan Onion, one of the Wells-Ogunquit coaches. “Five teams qualified for the Worlds, four placed first and one second.”
Students participate in five different divisions and in different problem areas in the Odyssey of the Mind competition. Divisions include primary (Kindergarten through grade two), division one (grades three through five), division two (grades six through eight), division three (high school) and division four (college).
The primary division teams do not compete but rather use the tournament to get oriented to the Odyssey of the Mind program. The other four divisions compete in categories of pre-assigned projects where they must create something and also must complete a spontaneous project given the day of the event. The former is worth 250 points, the latter worth 100. Despite having coaches, the students must come up with the completed projects themselves. Only first and second place finishers move on to the next phase.
For example, the team Onion coaches, a division two group of seven eighth graders, competed in a category called Shock Waves. “Using balsa wood, they created a structure that weighed less than 18 grams and was eight inches high,” Onion said. “The goal is to have it hold as much weight as possible. Theirs held 840 pounds. Then they had to create a skit about it.”
That team finished first. Other first place finishers in Wells-Ogunquit included division two teams coached by Matt McDonnell and Shannon Emerton (Earth Trek), Colleen Forde and Patti Brann (Teach Yer Creature), and Gail Moulton (Superstition). Mark Kafkas’ division one team finished second with its problem of the Lost Labor of Heracles.
“They created a skit eight minutes long to explain one of his labors and then created a new (labor) of their own,” Onion explained.
MSAD 71 (Kennebunk, Kennebunkport) District Coordinator Stacy Schatzabel said two teams had qualified. “We had 12 teams participate,” she said. “The Middle School of the Kennebunk’s took second place for its Superstition team (coached by Iris Sherman) and the high school took second for its Earth Trek team (coached by Carrie Tracy). We had more teams this year participate. We had five primary teams. They’re not judged but are here for the experience.”
York has the distinction of having three teams qualify, including the only division four team competing. That team included District Coordinator Michele Freitag, a Masters candidate at the University of Southern Maine, two of her sons, students at York County Community College, and two other college students. They competed under the name of the community college.
“In order for us to use YCCC’s name, my son had to start a club to organize the team,” Freitag said. “Division four teams automatically go to the Worlds because there aren’t many of them. Maybe there are 20 in total.”
The York Middle School Superstition team, coached by Julie Eneman and Dani Stevenson, garnered a first place finish. The Coastal Ridge Elementary School Shockwaves team, also coached by Eneman, grabbed a second place. In total eight teams from York participated at Sanford.
Qualifying is just one hurdle, however. Teams now have to find a way to cover the expenses of getting to Iowa and staying there for four or five days.
“The coaches are discussing that with the parents and families of the kids,” said Onion. Onion noted that last year, her team engaged groups like the Wells Rotary Club to help raise money.
Schatzabel identified the same issue in Kennebunk. “The Middle School team is going for sure,” she said. “I don’t know about the high school team.”
Regardless, York’s Freitag said the program was an invaluable one for the students. “The kids would tell you the best part is that adults can’t tell you what to do,” she said. ‘The (problem solving) totally belongs to them. Other benefits are that it gives the creative kids a chance to shine. It’s a great place for kids who think differently and outside the box. OM cherishes that.”
Team Rosters for Odyssey on the Mind World Finals
MSAD71 Qualifiers
Second Place Teams
Middle School of the Kennebunk’s - division 2 - Superstition: Matthew Sherman, Matthew Rimmer, Noah Ciminean, Tyler Dumas, Caleb Voisine-Addis, Katherine Richard, Victoria Cabral, Coach: Iris Sherman.
Kennebunk High School - division 3 - Earth Trek: Caitlin Dalrymple, Jessica Langlais, Dylan Corrao, Evan Clough, Ashley Haroldson, Coach: Carrie Tracy.
York Qualifiers
First Place Teams
York Middle School - division 1 - Superstition Team: Abigail Eneman, Emily Knoettner, Rachel Stevenson, Christine Ellis, Tressa Ellis, Marina McCarthy, Sadie Arsenault, Coaches: Julie Eneman and Dani Stevenson.
YCCC - division 4 - Heracles Team: Michele Freitag, Michael Freitag, Thomas Freitag, Allison Novak, Nicholas Trent.
Second Place Team
Coastal Ridge Elementary - division 1 - Shockwaves Team: Brooks Kennedy, Mairead Murphy, Emma DiMuzio, Benjamin Eneman, Elliott Gear, Jesse Bettencourt, Coach: Julie Eneman.
Wells-Ogunquit Qualifiers
First Place Teams
Division 2 - Earth Trek: Ben Wright, Hunter McDonnell, Zachary Pierce, Tyler Bartlett, Cody Cousins, Nick Cousins, Coaches: Matt McDonnell and Shannon Emerton.
Division 2 - Teach Yer Creature: Mike Stivaletta, Joey DeFelice, Connor Heyland, Robert Brann, Justin Villemaire, Zachary Villemaire, Dylan Cody, Coaches: Colleen Forde/Patti Brann.
Division 2 - Superstition: Abigail Moulton, Emily Borkowski, Lexy Haye, Hannah Bragdon, Maddie Taylor, Jenna Ingalls, Ashley Szcsapas, Coach: Gail Moulton.
Division 2 - Shock Waves: Maddie Andrews, Madison Moore, Sean Roche, Paul Michaud, Zoe Onion, Kaitlin Devlin, Ashley Hussey, Coach: Susan Onion.
Second Place Team
Division 1 - Lost Labor of Heracles: Charlie Bell, Kent Kellar, Sam Onion, Kate Macolini, Ian Hussey, Melodie Godin, Taryn Lambert, Coach: Mark Kafkas.

Kennebunk’s Marty Ryan to Retire
After 40-year Career in Education

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist

Kennebunk High School’s Marty Ryan, a local sports icon, is retiring after eight years as the Athletic Director with the Rams. His career as an educator spanned 40 years, 21 of it as a coach, teacher, and athletic director at Wells High School. The last eight have allowed Ryan to fulfill a career dream: that of being a full time athletics only athletic director.
“I had a goal to work as an athletic director in just athletics,” Ryan said. “That’s the case at Kennebunk High. It has just worked out nicely. I’ve had a very good and supportive administration and a very good, hard working staff.”
Ryan started his career as a coach and business teacher at Narragansett High School in his native Massachusetts. He coached basketball, baseball, and football there – a time consuming endeavor.
“I remember the days in coaching where there was no such thing as a microwave,” Ryan said. “When I got home at 7:30 after practice, sometimes dinners were very well done or cold. I was smart enough not to complain.”
Indeed, Ryan credits his family for offering consistent and strong support as he pursued his career. He lives in Wells with his wife, Judy. Daughter Amy lives in Nashville, where she teaches English as a second language to Somali children. Son Tim is the assistant athletic director at Bowdoin, from whence he graduated.
“I deeply appreciate the support from my family, especially my wife Judy,” Ryan said. “They’ve been very good to me.”
The Ryan’s departed Massachusetts in 1980 after a tax cap law took effect, severely impacting school budgets there. “There was a coach and business teacher opening in Wells,” said Ryan. “The following year, the athletic director position opened up and I got the job.”
Ryan combined his teaching and athletic department functions until 1987, when the AD position morphed into the Director of Student Activities. That change broadened the position’s responsibilities beyond athletics into areas like facilities and scholarship programs. With those additional responsibilities, Ryan no longer had time for teaching.
Over the course of his tenure at the Maine schools, Ryan has had a number of notable achievements. “It’s hard to pick out just one or two,” he said. “I’m proud of the state champions we had in Wells in basketball and football. We installed bleachers at the football field and the synthetic track at Forbes Field. The crown jewel was the fitness center. The community supported those and that was important. “
Of course, there are also great memories in Kennebunk. “I’m quite proud of our successes here, in lacrosse and tennis,” said Ryan. “The move to the SMAA from the Western Maine Conference was a big one. Now the kids just take it for granted but at first there was an intimidation factor. They weren’t used to playing at Biddeford or at Fitzpatrick Stadium or in Sanford. We’ve come a long way. We also had significant facility improvements. Again, the community supported them.”
Ryan noted also that the Rams have won four straight sportsmanship awards, selected by the teams KHS competes against. “No one else has won more than two,” Ryan said.
Over the course of four decades, high school sports have changed, not surprisingly. Ryan made note of some of the important things he’s seen, though he didn’t make any value judgments about them.
“The amount of involvement by parents is much greater,” he said. “They have more of a handle on the child’s development than my parents did, so they’re more involved. That becomes the greatest change. Also, there’s the influence of outside programs. The AAU and others are now quite prevalent.”
Ryan has been active in broader areas of athletic administration and has gained acknowledgement for his work. He was named the National Athletic Director of the Year in 2005 by the National Council of Secondary School Athletic Directors, the only director from New England to win the award. He was inducted in 2007 to the Narragansett High School Hall of Fame as a coach and also to the Wells High Hall of Fame as an athletic administrator. He served as the President of the National Athletic Director’s group in 2001.
“I’ve been fortunate to be able to do things outside my own environment,” said Ryan. “That makes me a better athletic director.”
In retirement, Ryan said he plans to play golf and pursue his passion of fly-fishing. He doesn’t rule out part time work, possibly even some coaching.
He said he’s leaving a good situation for his successor. “This is a good school system, with a balance of academics, athletics, and citizenship,” said Ryan. “The coaches work very hard.”
Photo caption: Marty Ryan retires after lengthy career in education. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Wells’ Tomaszewski Wins National
Junior Adaptive Alpine Championship

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
Alex Tomaszewski, 15, is the 2009 Junior Adaptive Alpine Champion in the United States.
Tomaszewski earned the title by sweeping five events at the International Paralympic Committee’s national meet last week in Winter Park, Colo.
“It felt nice,” Tomaszewski said. “I was relieved after every run and would look at my times and the place I was in.”
In his class, that was first in each of the downhill, Super G, slalom, grand slalom, and combined (super G and slalom) events, earning him five gold medals. In addition, Tomaszewski said he placed in the top 10 in every overall event, racing against the nation’s top adaptive skiers.
Tomaszewski also competed in a NORAM downhill race in Winter Park and won that race also, earning a sixth gold medal.
The son of John and Chris Tomaszewski of Wells, Alex was born in Russia without the lower part of his right leg and with only one and a half fingers on his left hand. The Tomaszewski’s adopted Alex when he was 15 months old and brought him to Wells. He skis for Maine Handicap Skiing under coaches Diane Barras and John Freeman.
This is a follow-up to last week’s front page article on Tomaszewski.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wells’ Alex Tomaszewski Competes
in National Ski Competition

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
Wells resident Alex Tomaszewski, 15, faced a big challenge this week. He represented Maine at the International Paralympic Committee’s Alpine Skiing National Championships in Winter Park, Colo. But the current challenge pales in comparison to the significant challenges Alex already has overcome. Born in Russia, Alex was missing the lower part of his right leg and had only one-and-a-half fingers on his left hand. He was placed in an orphanage and lived there for the first months of his life.
Despite that beginning, he has become an alpine skier of some stature in the United States.
“Colorado is a big step for him,” said John Freeman, Alex’s coach for the past four years. “I think he’ll do fairly well. He’s one of the top juniors in the country right now. I have worked with other national level athletes before and he’s got what it takes.”
John and Chris Tomaszewski of Wells adopted Alex when he was 15 months old and brought him to the United States. The Tomaszewski’s live with Alex and his 11 brothers and sisters. Alex started skiing when he was eight.
“A man down the road got us started with Maine Handicapped Skiing,” Alex said. “I spent two years as a trainer and then joined the race team. I’ve been doing that for four or five years.”
The Maine team competes in a race circuit known as the Diana Golden series, named for a Paralympian skier from New England. It consists of races staged across New England and New York. Since Alex has won the series already, he now races in it but does not compete.
“The races in New England are pretty entry level,” said Diane Barras, the head coach of the Maine team. “Alex has developed well beyond that. He’s definitely ready for the national adaptive championships. He’ll be competing against the best athletes in the country, including the National Adaptive Team.”
In Colorado, Alex said he’ll compete in five categories of races, the slalom, grand slalom, super G, downhill, and combined (grand slalom and slalom).
“As I train, I think I’ll be better at the super G,” he said. “It’s a lower step from the fastest speed event, which is the downhill. But the super G is pretty fast.”
Barras will accompany Alex to the race. “He’s excellent on all fronts,” she said. “He knows he’s good but he doesn’t flaunt it. He’s confident and really supportive of his teammates. He’s really come into his own this year.”
In addition to honing his physical skiing skills, Alex also had a challenge finding the right equipment. When he began skiing, his prosthetic leg and foot was fit into a regular ski boot. Because that prosthetic leg itself was rigid, Alex couldn’t have the slight forward inclination for his right leg that a ski boot normally provides. The leg also didn’t fit well into a regular boot. It made it hard to keep the right ski in synch with the left one.
That changed, however, when Alex was able to obtain special ski prostheses that attaches to his leg and fits directly into the binding. The device is shaped at the proper angle thus allowing better control of the ski.
“It works just like a ski boot,” Alex said.
Alex doesn’t limit himself to the Golden series of races. Recently, he skied in an able bodied race against college age skiers and other teens. “I beat 10 college kids (on Mar. 20) at Attitash,” he said. “It was my first ever super G. I think I did pretty well.”
Alex said he skis “60 or so” times a year. “I ski every Saturday with MHS and then on school vacation weeks I go up to my coach’s house at Sugarloaf,” he said.
Beyond Colorado, Alex has his sights set on the 2014 Paralympics, which will be staged, ironically, in Russia. “Hopefully, I can compete in that,” he said. “If I make the U.S. Adaptive team, I have a good chance of going. If I’m on the team, they will pay for me to go.”
Money is something of an issue, given the need for equipment, competitor licenses, and travel expenses. For now, Alex claims two sponsors: Freedom Innovations (they provided the prosthetic boot) and Ski Maine (they provided a free pass usable at any mountain in Maine).
Ultimately, Alex hopes to be a professional skier. Freeman said that’s entirely possible.
“He’s got all the makings to have it happen,” Freeman said. “If he continues to work hard, he’s on track to go as far as he wants.”
Photo caption: Wells teen Alex Tomaszewski in action. Alex competed in a national ski competition in Colorado Mar. 28 through Apr. 2. (Courtesy photo)

York Hospital Gains a New Helipad

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
A new helipad is up and operational at York Hospital.
The $150,000 recently completed project at the end of Williams Avenue adjacent to the hospital parking area provides a safer and more convenient operations area when helicopter evacuation is necessary for a hospital patient.
“Because minutes can make the difference in their recovery, having a dedicated helipad for emergency transport is essential” to some patients, Jud Knox, hospital president said after a Maine LifeFlight Helicopter landed on the pad late last week.
The hospital has been using LifeFlight for patient transfer for some time. There are helicopters based in Lewiston and Bangor that can be in York between 20 and 30 minutes after being called. The exact number of flights from York isn’t known but the number has increased since the inception of the TeleStroke program in cooperation with Massachusetts General Hospital.
York Hospital utilizes helicopter air medical transport services to transfer seriously ill or injured patients from the hospital when necessary. The hospital provides advanced care for most situations but the need for air transports proves vital.
As an example, Knox said: “When a patient arrives at York Hospital presenting symptoms of stroke it is imperative that we act quickly and decisively. Our neurologists and ER physicians often confer with stroke specialists from Massachusetts General Hospital through our TeleStroke program. If a patient needs highly specialized stroke treatment that is not available at York Hospital, we immediately transfer the patient.”
Patients are also transferred for specialized care in other situations as well. Some are taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Last week’s landing of the Italian - built Agusta 109 simulated the landing to pick up a patient. Once it was on the ground and shut down, there was an orientation and demonstrations for York Hospital staff.
Barbara Green, an emergency room nurse, said it is important that ER staff “does everything we can for the patient before they get here” and LifeFlight is very helpful in providing guidance in that area.
Two-thirds of the cost of the new helipad was paid for by a grant from LifeFlight Foundation. “We need to give them credit,” Knox said. “We thank the LifeFlight Foundation for their support.”
The old helipad was located in the hospital’s parking lot and required moving 30 to 50 cars when a flight was needed. There are 17 spaces at the new location, which will make removal much faster if those spaces are in use, a hospital spokesperson said.
York Hospital is a not-for-profit 79-bed hospital located on the southern coast of Maine. It is a modern facility with medical/surgical units, an emergency care center, extensive inpatient and outpatient services and many year-round community programs.
York Hospital recently kicked off the For Every Patient Campaign to renovate and expand the Surgical Center, renovate and privatize patient rooms, and build a dedicated helipad for emergency patient transport.
The LifeFlight Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that provides fundraising and public relations support to LifeFlight of Maine.
The Foundation is supported by the generosity of the many friends of LifeFlight, raising funds for statewide aviation improvements, aircraft, helipads, and the many training outreach programs offered by LifeFlight staff include trauma and critical care, brain injury, ground safety, cardiac care and injury prevention programs at elementary schools.
For more information about the services offered by York Hospital, please visit their website at or call the Friendraising Office at (207) 351-2385.
Photo caption: The new helipad, a $150,000 project at York Hospital, is now up and running. (Weekly Sentinel photo)