Friday, December 30, 2011

New Perkinstown Commons Preserve in Wells

Residents of Wells, North Berwick and the greater region will be enjoying a new nature preserve in the New Year. After more than a decade of community efforts, the town of Wells purchased the former Granite State lands from Unitil Corporation on Thursday, December 22. Great Works Regional Land Trust will hold a conservation easement on the 288-acre property, which was renamed Perkinstown Commons.
“It was a team effort between the Land Trust, the Town of Wells Conservation Commission, Unitil, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, and other dedicated partners,” said Tin Smith, who is Stewardship Coordinator for the Wells Reserve and a Great Works’ Board Member. “More than 112 donors from 19 different communities, along with granting agencies, made this success possible.”
According to Unitil’s Media Relations Manager, Alec O’Meara, the company had inherited this tract of land as part of its purchase of Northern Utilities in 2008.
“Protecting open space, where possible, can have such value to a community and the quality of life of its residents,” said O’Meara. “We are thrilled to see the property end up in the hands of the Town of Wells and Great Works, where it will remain open and available for recreational use.”
Perkinstown Commons, named after one of the area’s historical families, is located off the Perry Oliver and Quarry roads in western Wells with a few acres in North Berwick. It is crossed on its southern boundary by a leg of the Eastern Trail, a scenic pathway being developed from Kittery to South Portland. The preserve features woodlands, wetlands, vernal pool and significant wildlife.
“The conservation easement with Great Works will help the town manage Perkinstown Commons for open space, recreation, education and ecotourism. I envision people of all ages enjoying its natural rural quality and abundant wildlife,” said Jon Carter, Wells’ Town Manager.
Wells Conservation Committee and a fundraising committee worked with Great Works Regional Land Trust and Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to fund the $425,000 project. Town voters approved $200,000 from the town’s Open Space Fund.
Perkinstown Commons contains a mile of shoreline on West and Perkins brooks, both headwater streams for the Great Works River Watershed. A grant of $100,000 was awarded from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP) through a voluntary mitigation program managed by The Nature Conservancy on behalf of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the US Army Corps of Engineers. “This program allows us to focus wetland mitigation funds in high priority areas like Perkinstown Commons,” said Alex Mas, Director of Strategic Partnerships at The Nature Conservancy, who manages the MNRCP program.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded a $75,000 grant for creating a New England cottontail (NEC) rabbit habitat on 75 acres. The non-profit Wildlife Management Institute submitted the grant. According to Kate O’Brien, Wildlife Biologist at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, other endangered or diminishing species, such as the Blue-winged Warbler, Eastern Towhee, and American Woodcock, will also benefit.
Another $2,500 grant was awarded by the John Sage Foundation. The remaining funds were raised in a grass-roots campaign by individuals, businesses and organizations with a $20,000 challenge grant from a local real estate developer, Howard Hall.
“So many people devoted countless hours over the years, and they are all to be congratulated on this significant contribution to the town,” said Karl Ekstedt, chairman of the Board of Selectmen for Wells.
Community collaboration on Perkinstown Commons stems back to the late 1990s, when the so-called Granite State land was permitted, against local opposition, for the largest liquefied natural gas tank in the US. It was never built. Great Works, inspired by local support, secured the purchase and sale agreement from Unitil in 2010.
Perkinstown Commons will be improved with public trails and remain accessible for multiple educational outings and recreation, including skiing, hunting, and fishing. A public hike has already been scheduled for the early new year.
For more information, visit the Great Works Regional Land Trust site at To become a member, contact Patti Mitchem or Anne Gamble at
Photo caption: Left to right — Richard Clark, selectman; Larry Walden, town attorney; Jack Kareckas, board president of Great Works; Jon Carter, town manager; Patty Quinn, Unitil; Mike Livingston, town engineer; David Clark, neighbor who granted trail easement; Tin Smith, Wells Reserve’s stewardship coordinator and Great Works’ board member; Owen Grumbling, chair of Wells Conservation Commission. (Photo courtesy Great Works)

Benefit Being Held for Local Father Fighting Brain Cancer

Local Businesses, Artists, and Friends Band Together
Living Every Moment, a benefit concert for Paul Agakian, will be held at the Regatta Banquet and Conference Center off Rte 236 in Eliot, ME on Sunday, January 8, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Paul Agakian, a 34-year-old Durham native and South Berwick resident was recently diagnosed with an extremely rare and malignant form of brain cancer. The benefit is to help offset extensive medical expenses and assist in covering critical day-to-day costs for Paul’s two young children and wife Bailey, currently teaching social studies at Rochester Middle School.
The following musicians have donated their time to perform: Dan Blakeslee, TJ Wheeler, Dave Gerard, The New England Bluegrass Band Trio, Carri Coltrane, Full Chord Press, Bob Halperin and Mike Rogers, The Shaw Brothers with Taylor Whiteside, Billy Butler, Tim Theriault, Josh Jones, Dylan Schwartz-Wallach, and Paul’s brother, Roger Martin.
In addition to live music, Living Every Moment will feature a silent auction and raffles. Donated items include an exciting selection of artwork, crafts from local artisans, concert/game tickets, and gift certificates from seacoast establishments such as Cava, The Black Trumpet, Brazo, The Flower Kiosk, Pepperland Café, Indoor Ascent and many more.
This event is generously sponsored by The Regatta Banquet and Conference Center and Paul’s employer, NAPA Auto Parts, with poster art donated by Dan Blakeslee.
Tickets for the benefit are limited, and can be purchased in advance only for a suggested $25 donation, from Ganesh Imports in Portsmouth, NH, and Newburyport, MA, Seacoast Sewing on Route 1 in Portsmouth (Bowl-a-Rama Plaza), Flatbread Company (Sunday -Thursday) in downtown Portsmouth, NAPA Auto Parts in York, ME, or directly through Erin Tuveson, one of the event coordinators.
Donation cans have also been placed inside various businesses around the Seacoast. Please help us support this incredible family. Direct contributions are also welcome. For more information, please visit or contact (Courtesy photo of Paul and Bailey Agakian)

Jessica Lindgren Named Rider of the Year at Carlisle Academy

Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports recently celebrated the end of its 2011 inaugural season with a holiday party for its students, families, apprentices and friends. Year-end awards were celebrated amidst the cheerily decorated riding ring.
Jessica Lindgren, daughter of Leslie and Carl Lindgren of Kennebunk, was named 2011 Rider of the Year. A framed award honored Jessica’s commitment to riding, noting her perseverance, hard work and growth. Jess has been riding in the program since 1998, participating in both hippotherapy and adaptive riding.
“It is so important to acknowledge the incredible gains our students make,” said Sarah Armentrout, co-founder of the riding academy. “Overcoming multiple challenges, Jess arrives at the farm week after week. The moment she begins grooming her horse Onyx, a bright smile spreads across her face and all is right with the world. She has gone from needing the assistance of two sidewalkers in the early years to now working on riding independently.”
Awards were also given to Diane Zaitlin, of Saco, who received the Apprentice of the Year award, and two equine awards: Horse of the Year “Mabel” owned by Jessi Standish of Wells, and Rookie Horse of the Year “Zoe” who was recently donated to the program by Mary Giftos of Cape Elizabeth and Florida.
Carlisle Academy (formerly Equest) is a comprehensive riding school offering hippotherapy and adaptive programs, Para-Equestrian sports, as well as traditional equestrian training opportunities for educators, practitioners and riders alike. Carlisle Academy’s mission is to transform lives through horses through its distinctive services – rehabilitative through recreational – within an inclusive environment that fosters learning, growth and overall well-being. FMI visit
Photo caption: Jessica Lindgren of Kennebunk with her horse, Onyx. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Frozen Fenway Matchup to Feature UNH vs. Maine

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
The ice hockey arch rivalry between the University of New Hampshire and the University of Maine will take to a new venue early in 2012, as they travel to Massachusetts to renew their storied rivalry.
The Frozen Fenway offering this time around will feature the Wildcats and the Black Bears on Jan. 7, according to school officials, Hockey East and Fenway Sports Management.
The historic doubleheader at the summer home of the Boston Red Sox will see the UNH-Maine game begin at 7:30 p.m., following a 4 p.m. contest between the University of Vermont Catamounts and the University of Massachusetts Minutemen.
“Few experiences in my four decades in college hockey were as special as the first Frozen Fenway in 2010,” Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna said in announcing the twin bill. “It was a once in a lifetime experience for our four schools the first time around and I expect the same in 2012. Given that we will help launch Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary season, we are doubly grateful for this opportunity.”
“We look forward to kicking off Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary celebrations with Frozen Fenway 2012, which is a great way for thousands of families to come and enjoy favorite winter pastimes as we begin celebrating its milestone year,” said Red Sox Executive Vice President Sam Kennedy. “We want to thank Mayor Menino for his continued support, and welcome back Joe Bertagna and Hockey East to America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled for UNH men’s hockey to be part of the Frozen Fenway doubleheader,” said UNH 22nd-year head coach Dick Umile, a native of Melrose, Mass., when the doubleheader was announced. “I believe the UNH/Maine rivalry is as good as any in college hockey and bringing this game to a venue like Fenway Park is huge.”
The 111th meeting in the series between the neighboring states’ schools will be broadcast live in high definition on New England Sports Network (NESN).
“Being from Boston, it doesn’t get any better than playing at Fenway Park,” Umile said. “We are honored to be a part of this experience and we are looking forward to the opportunity, as I’m sure Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine are.”
New Hampshire owns the nation’s second-longest active streak of National Collegiate Athletic Association post-season appearances at 10, and had advanced to post-season play in 17 of the last 21 seasons. UNH has been to the Frozen Four seven times during Umile’s tenure as coach.
The Black Bears have appeared in 11 Frozen Fours, have a 28–18 record in NCAA Tournament games, and have won two national championships—in 1993 and 1999.
Photo caption: (Photo courtesy

Wells Family Awarded for Community Spirit

Norton Lights of Wells, Maine, is at it again. The Norton family house is aglow with perfectly timed Christmas lights that accompany their own holiday mix of music on the radio.
Stan Norton and his wife, Melissa, are better known this holiday season as “Stanta” and “Mrs. Claus” as they dress the part while running their light show and handing out candy canes.
For the third year, the Nortons decorated their home with custom-made lights that are programmed to change with holiday music broadcast through a FM transmitter station in their living room. By listening to the radio, people are able to enjoy the 9-minute show as they drive by the house at 213 Canterbury Road in Wells.
“The light show is spectacular and what’s even more impressive is the constant effort put forward by this generous family to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine,” said Kate Vickery, Make-A-Wish Program Director, who was at the show on recently to help hand out candy canes and present the family with the 2011 Community Spirit Award. This award is given in recognition of organizations or individuals outside of Make-A-Wish that make significant contributions to our cause over a period of time.
In total, the Nortons have raised $17,000 for the wish granting organization – enough to grant nearly three wishes. They are hoping to raise enough this year to grant another wish - $6,000.
The Norton family initially became familiar with Make-A-Wish through Stan’s job at Pease Air National Guard Base, where he sees many Make-A-Wish recipients. Witnessing children’s wishes at the base inspired Stan to make a difference using his talent of programming lights to music.
“We are touched beyond words. It truly is amazing what Make-A-Wish and its staff does,” said Stan. “Thank you so much! It means a lot to us to be associated with this great organization.”
The whole family works hard to help raise money. Ryan, age 11, manages the spreadsheets and Reed, age 14, helps with programming.
“The boys have learned a great deal about electrical engineering as well as how to give back to the community at large,” said Melissa Norton.
Norton Lights will be up and running every night through December 25, with a donation box to accept donations.
“All of us at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine thank the Norton family from the bottom of our hearts!” said Vickery.
Photo caption: Staff and volunteers of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine present the Norton family of Wells with a 2011 Community Spirit Award for their past and current efforts of raising money through their holiday light and music display. From left to right: Kate Vickery of Make-A-Wish, Volunteer Shay Lattari, Reed Norton, Ryan Norton, Melissa Norton, Stan Norton and Volunteer Tracey Hansen. (Courtesy photo)

Fire Department to Receive More Than $118K in Grant Funding

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, recently announced that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded $118,750 in grant funding to the Berwick Fire Department. The funding is provided through the “Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program,” or FIRE Act.
“Our career and volunteer firefighters are among our bravest public servants. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is an extremely critical source of funds for our fire and rescue personnel,” said Senator Collins. “Since the creation of this program, Maine fire departments have been awarded more than $54 million to help purchase new, used, or refurbished vehicles, and to obtain equipment for firefighting, interoperable communications, chemical detection, and other purposes that are essential to first responders.”
Funding for the Berwick Fire Department will be distributed through the Vehicle Acquisition Program, which helps local departments purchase equipment such as pumpers, brush trucks, tankers/tenders, rescue vehicles, ambulances, aerials, foam units and fire boats.
These grants are awarded to fire departments across the United States to increase the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, emergency medical service programs, Fire Prevention and Safety programs, and to purchase new fire equipment. So far, in calendar year 2011, fire departments across Maine have received more than $1 million in AFG funding.

Opening Scenes: ‘Young Adult’

By Chip Schrader
Staff Movie Critic
“Young Adult” begins with an aerial shot of Minneapolis followed by a shot of a multilevel tenement building scaling up. Inside lays a woman face down on her bed with the television still on. She rolls out of bed to drink diet soda out of the bottle. When she sits down to her computer, a Word document is up with only “Chapter 1” written. Meanwhile, her agent left a message asking for the first draft of her book. She writes one sentence then opens an email that announces the birth of a baby. This baby’s picture will haunt her for the next several scenes.
The woman faced down is “Mavis Gary” played by Charlize Theron in another role where she forgoes her off screen glamour for the role of an aging woman who made it big. Making it big in Mercury, Minnesota, her hometown, is ghostwriting novels for a popular series. When she returns home from “the Mini-Apple,” Mavis’ intentions for a married ex, who recently became a father, begin to unravel in an unsavory plot.
The scene stealing Matt Freehauf is played by King of Queens alum Patton Oswalt. Throughout the film, Freehauf, a disabled former classmate of Mavis’, portrays the voice of a conscience that she seems so deeply lacking. Physically mangled from a high school bullying incident that earned him the nickname “hate crime guy,” he holds an inner morality that equals Mavis external beauty as her inner flaws prove beyond damaged and more toward grotesque.
The biting chemistry between these two actors provides most of the comic relief from the otherwise morally destitute theme of her journey. Diablo Cody, the award-winning “Juno” screenwriter, creates another successful and memorable story for indie filmgoers with this pseudo-indie release. Cody’s use of dialog in “Young Adult” has matured from frequent word plays and zingers to more realistic and meaningful exchanges between characters with the occasional one liner to spice it up.
While there are plenty of opportunities for dramatic highs and lows, there is a great deal of restraint in the acting and the writing. It is debatable whether this increases the quality of the film, or is detrimental to the development of the film and its characters. The deepest flaw in the writing might stem from the point that, although most movies have heroes and villains, this film seems like an act of revenge Cody has plotted against an old foe. Thus, Cody breaks the writer’s rule of never judging the characters, but rules are meant to be broken in art.
Bottom line: Director Jason Reitman masterfully shoots this subdued character based drama with fast paced cross shots, like close-ups of a cassette tape playing cut by Mavis driving across the state. These fast-paced sequences are followed by hypnotic and gritty documentary style shots to give the film the feel of classic Scorsese updated with a hip, shabby chic aesthetic. The acting all the way from extras to leads is spot on, but “Young Adult” is more cutting, serious and subdued than the ads would have viewers believe, which is a disservice to its achievements and target audience expectations. 4 out of 5. (Courtesy movie poster image)

Friday, December 16, 2011

3rd Annual Drive-Through Nativity Again to Highlight Christmas in York


York-area residents and holiday visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a special Christmas celebration again this year as members of First Parish Church present the Third Annual Drive-Through Nativity, “The Journey to Bethlehem.”

Staged as a living tableau with live, authentically costumed actors portraying all the characters of the original Christmas story, the program will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday evening, Dec. 17, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., in the loop around Town Hall and the church in York Village. Admission will be free, and all are invited.

Dozens of volunteers have worked for several months preparing for the event, according to Janet and Larry Cassidy, its co-chairs, and many more will perform as actors on the evening of the performance. “Besides the actors,” he said, “the committees range from set design, props and costumes to carpentry, lighting and even live animals.”

“There will be seven distinct scenes,” Janet explained. “The first is the annunciation of Mary by the angel Gabriel, which will be right behind Town Hall. Then, there will follow a series of scenes including Caesar’s Palace, travelers on the road to Bethlehem, the wise men, the overcrowded inn, shepherds and angels in the field and, of course, the manger.”

Church members, children and adults, will be portraying the more than 70 characters in the nativity story, according to the Cassidys.

The audience will be able to view each scene from the comfort – and warmth – of their vehicles, entering from York Street next to Town Hall and slowly traversing the loop around to the exit between the church and the Parish House. For safety reasons, no walk-through pedestrians will be allowed during the event.

The annual event draws hundreds of vehicles, the occupants of which find the experience especially moving, according to the Cassidys.

“We’re hoping to again make Christmas in York even more special than it already is,” said Janet. “And, of course, we’re hoping that this event will serve to remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.”

“We’re not doing this for ourselves,” Larry added, “although the participants are certainly enthusiastic about the project. We’re doing it for the people of York. It’s our gift to our community.”

Photo Caption: The angel Gabriel's annunciation of Mary (scene 1 of 7). (Courtesy photo)

Local Communities Celebrate the Season


Many towns in York County have been celebrating the holiday season in style with a variety of events over the past few weeks. In particular, the last two weekends featured Ogunquit’s 25th annual Christmas by the Sea and Kennebunkport’s 30th annual Christmas Prelude™. Both visitors and local residents enjoyed festivities, including Santa’s Village at Ogunquit Village School (pictured). The weather provided an excellent occasion for multiple parades, and put everyone in the spirit for the upcoming holidays. (Photo by Molly McCoy)

Marshwood Education Foundation Awards Fall Grants


The Marshwood Education Foundation (MEF) announced the recipients of its fall grants at the December 7 MSAD 35 Board meeting. The grants, totaling $8,742.80, were awarded to three recipients whose proposals will benefit elementary and middle school-aged Marshwood students.

“With each grant cycle, we are excited to see so many new ideas proposed by our educators, along with ideas that will enhance current programs,” said Rachel Martin, MEF President. “One school is trying out a brand new concept, while a previous grant project is being expanded upon as the children share what they learned through the outdoor classroom at Central Elementary School,” added Martin. “Another grant is helping to further develop a long-standing community event that students and their families will enjoy for generations to come.”

The Marshwood Education Foundation was established in 2009 and raises funds solely through community events and private donations. MEF is committed to supporting public education in Eliot and South Berwick through funding innovative educational opportunities that fall outside of the responsibility of the school budget. Grants are awarded twice annually, in the spring and fall.

MEF grants awarded December 7, 2011:

From The Ground Up – proposed by Kate Smith, Music teacher at Central School. Students will work with Ruth Baker, Jane Cowen-Fletcher and other community volunteers to develop a cookbook and guide for successfully creating an outdoor classroom and hoop house garden project. Students will create their own recipes to be included in the book as well as develop creative ways to document the creation of the outdoor classroom. $1500.00

Standing and Swinging – proposed by Beth Werker, Math teacher at Marshwood Middle School. $2242.80 will be awarded to purchase seven Stand and Swing desks. These innovative desks allow students to either stand or sit and swing their legs while learning. By offering students an outlet for their excess energy, these desks help students stay focused on learning. Each student in Mrs. Werker's classes will get an opportunity to try the desk and give their feedback.

Revitalizing Local History Education – proposed by Nina Maurer, Consulting Curator of the Old Berwick Historical Society and Vicki Stewart, Principal at Central Elementary School. Through this grant and funds being sought from other sources, the current Hike through History program will be greatly enhanced. MEF will grant $5,000.00 to purchase new tour artifacts and pay for the services of a curriculum planner. This grant will provide new local history resources to teachers, develop a program for teaching middle school students who help present the hike material, and create an online Hike through History resource.

The MEF is now accepting applications for the spring 2012 grants. For more information on how to submit a grant application, contact Janice Hastings, MEF Grants Committee Chairperson at

The Marshwood Education Foundation was established as a non-profit corporation, wholly dedicated to enriching and supplementing the educational programs of the Maine School Administrative District 35, representing the communities of South Berwick and Eliot. The MEF has granted more than $40,000 to the district, funding creative and innovative ideas brought forth by school administrators, teachers and staff. To learn more about the MEF or to donate online, visit

Lebanon Rescue Department Announces Operation Red Light


The Lebanon Rescue Department encourages residents to invite Santa to their house on Friday, December 23. Santa and his elves will be driving around in the ambulances delivering one gift to every child age 1-16 that would like to get one. Santa will drop off a wrapped gift to each child, thanks to Santa’s helpers. Lebanon Girl Scouts will help wrap the gifts for Santa to hand out.

“This is our first year chauffeuring Santa around town to deliver a gift to the children in town,” said Chief Samantha Cole. “We have been very fortunate to have such great community support and this is another way for the rescue volunteers to thank the community for their support of our department over the past thirty years. We are really excited to get out into the community with Santa and see the children.”

This is part of the rescue department’s holiday programs being offered. Rescue volunteers collected and donated several large thanksgiving baskets to Lebanon families. The Department is also once again collecting Coats for Kids, a program where residents can donate new or used coats, snow pants, hats and mittens to help children have a warmer winter. Last year, 857 coats were collected and donated. Lebanon Rescue is also collecting new toys for Operation Santa. The toys are donated to children in Lebanon who have suffered a traumatic event, like a loss of a parent or families with financial hardships.

Any family that would like Santa to drop off a present for their child is encouraged to contact the rescue department by calling (207) 608-5615. You can also email us at Each family that requests a toy will receive an age appropriate toy for their child. There are no eligibility requirements for Operation Red Light; it is open to any Lebanon child.

“We cannot thank the community enough for their support to allow us to do programs like this. It is the best feeling seeing the kids so happy to receive a toy, or a new coat. We are very fortunate to live in such a great community,” Chief Samantha Cole added.

The rescue department continues to collect new, unwrapped toys for Operation Santa through December 24 and new or used coats, snow pants, snow suits, hats and gloves through December 31 for the Coats for Kids campaign. There are three drop-off locations, including Kenney Automotive located at the corner of Little River Road and Carl Broggi Highway, at Train’s Quick Stop located at 245 Carl Broggi Highway and a large blue donation box at the rescue station located at 1524 Carl Broggi Highway. Additionally, monetary donations are needed to buy gifts and coats. You can make a secure online donation by clicking on the picture of Santa at or by sending a donation to Lebanon Rescue, 323 Depot Road, Lebanon, Maine 04027.

Anyone with questions can contact Chief Samantha Cole at (207) 608-5615.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wreaths Across America Visits York County

Convoy stops in Kittery for special ceremony before continuing to Arlington National Cemetery.

By Molly McCoy
Staff Reporter


On Monday morning, December 5, the Wreaths Across America (WAA) convoy traveled through York County, making stops at Kennebunk Town Hall, Wells Middle School and Kittery Trading Post (KTP) before continuing the journey to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The large group of trucks, busses, cars, motorcycles and police escorts began on Sunday, December 4 in Harrington, Maine, and will reach the Cemetery on Saturday, December 10.

According to its website, Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded “to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, in 1992.” The organization’s mission, “Remember, Honor, Teach,” is carried out with the help of thousands of volunteers who aid at local, regional and national levels. This year’s convoy included the annual participants (wreath trucks, local and state police, Patriot Guard Riders and retired and active military personnel), in addition to the American Gold Star Mothers, Wives, Fathers, Husbands and Children, and Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage, all of whom joined the trip for the first time this year.

At 10 a.m. on December 5, the entire “parade” came to a halt outside of Kittery Trading Post on Route 1 before passing the Maine border into New Hampshire. Once the trucks had turned off their engines, the sirens had ceased, and the many Patriot Guard Riders had dismounted their rumbling motorcycles, the group proceeded inside KTP for a special ceremony and wreath dedication.

John and Bunny O’Leary of the Patriot Guard Riders started the program and thanked both the participants and visitors for their support. Founder and coordinator of Run for the Fallen Maine (RFTFM) John Mixon presented Karen and Morrill Worcester of WAA with sweatshirts, tee-shirts, 2011 ornaments and a commemorate DVD of this summer’s event. Mixon also presented Ann LePage with a 2011 ornament on behalf of RFTFM. The ceremony continued with wreath dedications, words from the Worcesters, Ann LePage, and other participants, and music by Don Campbell and his wife Tonya. Don and Tonya performed their original song, “The Snow at Arlington,” which was inspired by WAA and is available on their latest Christmas Album, “A Don Campbell Christmas, Volume 2.”

Maine First Lady Ann LePage, who joined the convoy for the first time this year, is traveling with WAA the entire length of the trip. “This is so incredible,” she said. “I have never done anything of which I have been more proud or honored to be even a small part. I’ve never been to Arlington, and this is such a meaningful way to make the trip.” Governor LePage will join the group in Virginia on Saturday, December 10 for the wreath laying ceremony.

For more information on Wreaths Across America, visit

Photo Caption: Among the wreaths dedicated at the Monday morning ceremony was a special wreath for Kittery Trading Post (KTP), accepted by Vice President, Specialty Sports Division, Jon Morrill. Wreaths Across America thanked KTP for hosting the ceremony and for their ongoing support of veterans’ causes. Pictured (left to right): Executive Director of WAA Karen Worcester, WAA Founder Morrill Worcester, Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage, and Jon Morrill. (Photo by Molly McCoy)

Local Para-Equestrian Travels to Australia to Compete


With a Team Gold under their belt earned at the 2011 CPEDI3*in Mexico City, the United States Para-Equestrian Team have taken to the air headed to beautiful Melbourne, Australia. The 2011 CPEDI3* in Werribee, Victoria, Australia began Thursday, December 8 with a horse inspection, followed by the Team Test on Friday, Individual Test on Saturday, and finally the Freestyle competition on Sunday, December 11, 2011. This international competition is held in conjunction with the Saddle World Dressage Festival held at the Werribee Park National Equestrian Center located southwest of Melbourne, Australia. The United States Para-Equestrian Team consists of Donna Ponessa from New Windsor, NY for Grade Ia, Rebecca Hart of Unionville, PA for Grade II, Erin Alberda of Woodinville, WA for Grade III, and Mary Jordan from Wells, ME representing Grade IV. Each rider will compete throughout the weekend against Para-Equestrian team members from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. This competition is one more stride on the road to the 2012 Paralympics held in London, England.
The United States Para-Equestrian Team members selected for Australia have been padding their resumes for months for this competition. At the CPEDI3* Saugerties held in September 2011 team members Jonathan Wentz, Dale Dedrick, Rebecca Hart, and Mary Jordan led their team to win Gold for U.S.A. Two months later, team members Jonathan Wentz, Dale Dedrick, and Donna Ponessa secured another Team Gold at the CPEDI3* Mexico City. This week, Team USA is hoping to achieve additional success in front of international judges Mr. Kjell Myhre (NOR), Dr. Ulf Wilken (SWE), Ms. Jan Geary (AUS), Ms. Sue Cunningham (AUS), and Ms. Wendy Barker (AUS).
Team member Mary Jordan noted, "Riding in Australia is an incredible opportunity to once again ride in front of top international judges and build competitive mileage on the heels of our excellent recent experience of competing at the CPEDI3* in Saugerties, NY."
Traveling abroad is not a new concept to top-level equestrian athletes. Mary and her teammates’ past competitions have included four star European Championships in Norway, three stars in Canada, New York, California, Mexico, and Chicago, and teammate Rebecca Hart went to the 2008 Hong Kong Paralympics where she placed fourth individually. Most recently, in 2010 Rebecca Hart, Erin Alberda, and Mary Jordan competed at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, KY where the Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline made their first World Equestrian Games debut. For the United States competing abroad gives riders an opportunity to be judged on foreign soil. Mary explained, "I find competing overseas in challenging pressure situations and unusual circumstances an invaluable tool as it builds competitive experience, seasoning, and confidence. I know our team has embraced this opportunity to gain competitive international mileage and in the long run that type of commitment by the riders will benefit future United States Para-Equestrian teams."
The F.E.I. team selections for the 2012 London Paralympics will be on the mind of each Para-Equestrian during the Australia competition. With only months left to build team slots for the 2012 London Paralympics the riders will have to give their best performances. Due to the financial responsibility and logistics of flying horses to Australia the United States Para-Equestrian Team has been generously given horses to use during the CPEDI3*. "The Australian horse owners have been truly kind and generous in this process of allowing us to use their very talented horses," smiled Mary. "Our team looks forward to competing in Australia."
For more information about the 2011 Melbourne CPEDI3* or the Saddle World Dressage Festival or please visit

Photo Caption: Mary Jordan and Sebastian. (Photo by Lindsay McCall, courtesy USPEA)

Local Students Nominated to United States Service Academies


Congresswoman Chellie Pingree has announced her office’s nominees to the United States Service Academies—the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, applicants must be nominated by an authorized nominating source, which includes members of Congress.

“This strong group of students represent some of Maine’s best and brightest,” said Pingree. “We are very lucky that they have chosen to offer their talents in service to the country and it’s an honor to nominate them.”

The nominees were interviewed by a panel of six on their academic record, test scores, leadership ability, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and exemplified commitment to serving their country.

Nominees from York County include Eric Arnold of Saco (nominated to U.S. Naval & Air Force Academies), Colin Bartlett of North Berwick (nominated to U.S. Naval Academy), Matthew Beatrice of Lebanon (nominated to U.S. Military & Merchant Marine Academies), Briana Eaton of York (nominated to U.S. Naval Academy), Zachariah Jacques of Saco (nominated to U.S. Air Force & Military Academies), and Adam Neubert of Lebanon (nominated to U.S. Military Academy).

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Weekly Sentinel Remembers Pearl Harbor Day

On December 7, 1941 – “A day that will live in infamy.” – the United States was brutally attacked by the Empire of Japan at the American naval base in Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 were wounded. The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II. On August 23, 1994, United States Congress designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The Weekly Sentinel remembers those who were lost and affected by this attack and the entirety of WWII.

Photo Caption: Archival newspaper courtesy of Carol Brennan. (Photo by Molly McCoy)

Holly Roberts Named New Chamber Director


Jeffrey Pelkey, Chairman of the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, recently announced that the Board of Directors has promoted Holly Roberts to the position of Director.

Holly has most recently served the chamber members as the interim manager since the departure of Cathy Goodwin eight months ago. During her time as interim manager, Holly continued to perform her duties as business manager, a position she has held with the chamber for three years. Holly was originally hired in 2004 as the Kittery Welcome Center manager.

When the Board of Directors weighed the prospect of bringing in a new person, Holly’s wealth of experience at the chamber made the decision an easy one; the last several months have allowed the board to look at the position and the chamber as a whole, and it made good sense to promote from within.

“We have had wonderful success with the new venue for Harvestfest, our Icebreakers are a great opportunity for our members, our web presence (along with our Chamber App) has been wildly successful and our product remains a wonderful value for our members; much of this is due to the good work by Holly and the staff behind the scenes,” wrote Pelkey.

He continued, “We look forward to the changes coming in the future, and supporting Holly as she continues to work hard for our members and the Greater York Region as a whole.”

Photo Caption: Holly Roberts has been appointed as the new director of the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy photo)

Berwick Holiday Parade Honors Three Local Leaders as Grand Marshalls

Local firefighters also accepting Toys for Tots donations.


Berwick’s holiday parade, “Winter Toyland,” will take place on Saturday, December 3, starting at 2 p.m. The parade route will start from Wilson St., continuing straight across to Allen St. (Rte. 236), proceed right onto Sawmill Hill Rd. down by the bridge crossing onto Sullivan St. by the Town Hall (with the regular flow of traffic) and turn right onto Wilson St., disbanding in the parking lot. The parade organizers expect to have a number of floats including Berwick Village Preschool & Daycare, Noble High School Student Council, Tri-City Christian Academy, and more. Other groups that will be in the parade include Berwick Boy, Cub and Girl Scouts, and some from neighboring towns including Lebanon. Southern Maine Tractor Club, WTSN/WBYY van, Noble Middle School Marching Band, Marshwood High School Marching Band, Noble High Jazz Band, Farwell's Auto Service, Berwick Public Library, Berwick Youth Wrestling, and Noble Travel Soccer are some of the groups also participating again this year. Of course, there will be many Fire and Rescue apparatus from neighboring communities joining the parade, and escoring a special visitor from the North Pole.

Leading the Winter Toyland parade as Grand Marshalls this year will be Sandy Guptill, and Judy and Don Burgess.

Sandy Guptill has worked for the Town of Berwick since 1996 starting part-time in the Customer Service Department. She became full time the following year and in 2003 moved on to the Deputy Town Clerk. She is retiring in December this year and plans to enjoy her retirement caring for her new granddaughter. She will also find time to enjoy her many hobbies including quilting and photography. One of her quilts is on display at the Town Hall where raffle tickets can be purchase until 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2. Proceeds are going to help families in need. Sandy will be missed by her fellow employees and residents that she greeted with her friendly smile.

Judy Burgess retired in 2010 after 25 years of service to the Town of Berwick with most of those years as the Planning Coordinator but she also took on many other duties as needed. She now volunteers her time and experience as a member of the Planning Board. She and her husband, Don, volunteered their time and skills to renovate and finish the new meeting room (the old Police Station) of the Town Hall. Countless hours were spent on renovating, hanging wallboard, painting and finishing the room. Thanks to others who contributed also. Don shared his carpentry skills to build the table and podium that will be there for years to come. Thank you for this lasting contribution to the Town, The Town Boards and the residents of Berwick.

Berwick Volunteer Firefighters Association is now accepting new unwrapped toys for all ages for out Toys for Tots program. Items can be dropped off at the following locations: Berwick Fire Dept, Town Hall, Transfer Station, Stone Agency, Halls Auto Center, Farwells Auto Service, Kennebunk Savings Bank, Coffee House, and Berwick Public Library. This program provides toys for children and gift cards are provided to teens, as well. Applications for Toys for Tots can be picked up at the Berwick Town Hall. If you have any questions you can call Sandy Guptill at 698-1101 # 116. Financial donations can be mailed to BVFA Toys for Tots P.O. Box 1214, Berwick, Me 03901 or dropped off of at the Town Hall.

Opening Scenes: ‘The Muppets’

By Chip Schrader

Staff Movie Critic

“The Muppets” opens with the clicking sound of an old super 8 projector and a clip from a home movie with brothers Walter and Gary playing with squirt guns. Walter, the narrator, is a puppet and his brother is human. As Walter insists, they were like twins, and you couldn’t tell them apart. The opening sequence cuts to where Walter discovers the Muppets as he finds himself not growing like his brother. For the first time, his life makes sense after he became a lifelong Muppet fan.

Writer and star Jason Segal plays the gentle and sweet Gary who always looks out for his brother who either never noticed or never let on his brother is a puppet. Segal’s quirky portrayal of Gary brings movie fans back to James Stewart’s portrayal of Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey.” His genuine love for the Muppet legacy shines through to his performance and his song and dance scenes are riotous and spirited, not unlike Dick Van Dyke.

The very busy Amy Adams plays Mary, the saccharine sweet love interest of Gary. Perhaps raised reading too many fairytales, she is a perfect match for Gary, although she finds herself cast aside with the tight bind between brothers Gary and Walter. Adams’ wide-eyed portrayal and heavenly singing makes her the perfect fit, as she will no doubt charm audiences.

Just before a very funny opening musical number, Gary invites his brother to join him and Mary for their anniversary trip to Hollywood to see the Muppet Theater. When they get there, they are unpleasantly surprised and must reunite the Muppets in order to save the theater from an evil oil tycoon who found a reservoir under the property.

The best part is the writing. Segal doesn’t forget the original Muppet Show fans for a single scene. From 80s references where Kermit’s Robot offers a Tab soda and “New Coke” to references of classic Muppet-isms like “Mahna Mahna,” they provide a great deal of humor, back story and clean fun that adult audiences can enjoy with or without kids in tow. Plus, the movie is packed with fun action, silly gags, and a fun story that ends with a telethon where cameo star Jack Black is fit to be tied, literally.

Bottom line: with the opening sequence of home movies and a musical number just after makes the film start like a blitzkrieg. It quickly settles down into a story of passing greatness, true love, being accepted and coming of age. While it seems there are many themes coalescing, the transitions are smooth and the movie is written in a manner where they don’t clutter the story. The cameos are too numerous to mention, the new songs are clever and funny, and this is the first Muppet Movie in years that does not abandon adult audiences with shoddy or childish plotting. It will leave audiences with only one thing to say: Mahna Mahna! 4 out of 5.

Photo Caption: (Courtesy movie poster)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Congrats Wells Warriors!

Seacoast Communities Ready for Two Weekends of Holiday Revelry


This December marks important anniversaries for two of the biggest holiday festivities on the southern Maine seacoast. In their 25th and 30th years, respectively, the Ogunquit and Kennebunkport communities are hauling out the holly and lighting the lights, readying for the Christmas season with fun and flair. During the first two weekends of December, the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce will present their silver anniversary “Christmas by the Sea,” while the Kennebunkport Business Association’s diamond anniversary “Christmas Prelude™” will likewise provide a full schedule of seasonal splendor. Both communities have grown their festivities over the years, adding multiple craft fairs, community luncheons, children’s activities, parades and lively entertainment, set to please both visitors and locals alike. With both events kicking off in just one short week, it is clear that the holiday season is finally upon us! For more information on Ogunquit’s Christmas by the Sea, visit For more information on Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude™, visit And to all a good night!

Photo Caption: Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude™ features the iconic lobster trap Christmas tree as a centerpiece of the annual festivities. (Photo by Sheila Matthews-Bull)

Photo Caption: Santa makes an appearance at the 2010 Christmas by the Sea in Ogunquit. You can be sure to see the big guy celebrating at the 25th anniversary events. (Photo by Molly McCoy)

Spirit of Giving Helps Bring Holiday Joy to 500 Maine Children


As of Monday, November 21, the Ogunquit Spirit of Giving Committee had successfully matched 500 worthy Maine children to generous sponsors throughout the country. The Committee's campaign, which was set into motion for the 2011 season in early July, seeks to bring holiday cheer to Maine children associated with either the Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, Inc. (AFFM), or The Frannie Peabody Center (FPC). Since 2005, the Spirit of Giving Committee has worked to connect these children with sponsors, and has to date helped make almost 2,500 Christmas dreams come true.

Despite this great success, the need is real and grows every year. In addition to the 500 children already matched through Ogunquit Spirit of Giving, both AFFM and FPC have long lists of children and families who are still in need this holiday season. With Christmas right around the corner, many would-be sponsors think it is too late to make a difference. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.

If you want to help bring Christmas to a deserving household in Maine, bring a gift card to the Spirit of Giving Gift Collection Party on Sunday, December 4 at 4 p.m. This annual holiday gathering at MaineStreet on Route 1 in Ogunquit gives sponsors the opportunity to drop off their pre-wrapped donations. In addition, the Committee ensures that any gift card donations made at the door will help an unsponsored child. These gift cards also help provide for any children whose sponsors are unable to deliver their gifts and who would otherwise be left behind. If you would like to sponsor a child but cannot attend the Party, please email to learn how you can help. The event may be held in Ogunquit, but the impact of this campaign is felt statewide.

For more information on Ogunquit Spirit of Giving, AFFM and FPC, visit

EES and Project Share


On Monday, October 31, students at Eliot Elementary School began collecting canned and boxed non-perishable goods for Project Share, which works in conjunction with the local Lions Club to distribute these items to help feed hungry families within the community. A truck from the highway department picked up the donations on Thursday morning, November 17. Once all the goods are collected and sorted, a task that takes hours, the Lions Club volunteers assemble the baskets and prepare them for the delivery to local families in need.

For every non-perishable good a student brought in, they glued a feather to our big turkey that remains on display, so that students and families were able to see our generous donations growth. This year, the students of Eliot Elementary School raised a generous amount of food for local families.

Photo Caption: (Courtesy photo)

Friday, November 18, 2011

So. Berwick Festival Offers A Bounty of New Events


Ice sculptures, a wandering minstrel, miniature horse-and-carriage rides, and a hand bell choir are among the new attractions at the annual Home for the Holidays downtown celebration from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec 2.

This year nearly 30 merchants will host activities for the whole family, stretching around the corner for the first time to include festivities on Lower Main Street.

“We decided the event had reached critical mass along the main drag, and it was time to broaden our scope,” said Jayne Morrell, one of the key volunteer organizers.

In addition to the traditional appearance of Santa Claus, Rock my Soul carolers, Phil the Karaoke master and cookie decorating, there will be concerts by the High School Select Choir and Quint-Essential Winds; free mini checkups at Great Works Chiropractic and Wellness; and local Boy Scouts selling wreaths. The newest restaurant on the square, Isidore on the Rocks, will offer a custom local beverage, the SoBotini.

Fogarty’s Restaurant and the Academy Street Inn are sponsoring a minstrel, Dave Peloquin, an internationally known folk musician who will serenade strollers on Lower Main in his trademark top hat. Founder of the group Christmas in New England and lead singer for New England Christmastide Musicians, Peloquin has appeared on “Good Morning America.”

SoBo Central, the non-profit group that provides an umbrella for Home for the Holidays and six other local programs, will run a scavenger hunt beginning at Bob’s Trophies. The hunt will challenge families to find hidden objects at retail outlets around town, and those who succeed will win a prize at the new SoBotique second-hand shop on Lower Main.

The Women’s Holiday Art Sale, the original cornerstone of the annual celebration, this year will have three locations: Film Barn Studio, Lassel Architects and the Jewett House. Thirteen juried artists will be offering fine jewelry, handcrafted cards, felted animals, fused glass, metalwork, art quilts, children’s books and more.

The Art Sale also will be open Saturday, Dec. 3, as will a new artisan show at Curves, craft sales at the First Parish Federated Church and First Baptist Church, and the holiday bazaar at Marshwood High School. The weekend will conclude with a Community Chorus at South Berwick concert, “Laud to the Nativity,” at 3 p.m. Sunday at Marshwood High School.

In the last seven years, Home for the Holidays has become a centerpiece of community life in the holiday season as downtown business owners keep their doors open into the evening on Friday and hundreds of residents fill the streets with cheer.

In addition to Santa Claus welcoming children for a photo op at P. Gagnon & Son, Mrs. Claus will read stories at the Public Library, People’s United Bank will help children write letters to Santa, and York Hospital is inviting children for face painting and snacks.

For a complete listing of activities, the Home for the Holidays brochure is online at

Photo Caption: This horse-drawn carriage, owned by Central School teacher Leigh Robinson, is one of many new attractions at this year’s Home for the Holidays downtown celebration Dec. 2 in South Berwick. Here, children drive the carriage at Eliot Farm Camp. (Courtesy photo)

Warriors Prepare for Battle

The undefeated Wells football team heads to Portland on Saturday with hopes of a championship title.

By Larry Favinger

Staff Columnist


Two undefeated football teams will battle Saturday in Portland for the 2011 Class B state championship.

Unbeaten Wells and Leavitt will square off at 6 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium for the state crown.

“We’re excited to be playing in the game,” Wells Coach Tom Roche said in a telephone interview early this week.

The Warriors (11-0), the Western Maine Class B champion, are seeking their first state football title since 1997 when they beat Belfast 32-30 for the crown.

Leavitt (11-0), the Eastern Maine champion, last won the state title in 2009 when it beat Cape Elizabeth 35-21.

Roche’s team defeated neighboring rival York 32-7, Westbrook 22-6, and defending champion Mountain Valley 10-0 to reach the state championship game.

In the East, Coach Mike Hathaway’s Hornets were beating Morse High of Bath, 61-12; Hamden Academy, 47-22; and Mt. Blue 22-21 in double overtime.

Playing in the state championship game “was the goal” from the start of pre-season, Roche said in a telephone interview. The Warriors were in the regional championship game in 2010.

He said it was the sixth game of the season where Wells began to understand it was a good football team. In that game Wells defeated Mountain Valley 28-12. Mountain Valley has been in the regional title game in 13 of the last 19 years.

The Warriors feature 17 seniors on this year’s team, backed up by a good crop of underclassmen. Roche said it’s “hard for me to single out key players. We have a lot of good players.”

Looking forward to the game, Roche had praise for Leavitt.

“I think they do a great job up there,” he said. “They’re a tough football team.”

“I think we match up well,” he continued. “We’ll see what happens. I think we can move the ball. If we can just shut them down we’ll be fine.”

Leavitt has shown a powerful offense, scoring more than 50 points five times during the season and more than 60 twice.

On the other side of the ball, Wells shut out four opponents, including the defending state champion Mountain Valley.

This is Roche’s 13th year as head coach of the Warriors, his 19th on the football staff.

Opening Scenes: ‘J. Edgar’

By Chip Schrader

Staff Movie Critic

“J. Edgar” begins with an exterior shot of the FBI headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. A man’s voice laments the “disease” of communism that plagues this country. After the shot of the building pans up showing its looming presence, the scene changes to a shot of Dillinger’s death mask and a confiscated machine gun. The voice continues to rant about radicals and their danger to society in an almost Nixon-esque manner. We finally see J. Edgar Hoover pacing in his office while narrating his life story just beyond the machine gun and death mask on display.

At first, it is difficult to match Leonardo DiCaprio’s nearly child-like voice with the elderly Hoover he is made up to portray. For the first scene or two, he isn’t believable. Once the film settles into Hoover’s recollections, and DiCaprio plays the younger Hoover, the seeds of believability are planted and begin to flourish. Scenes after this, DiCaprio fits the elderly Hoover as well as he does the young one.

Eventually, we are introduced to a young Helen Gandy, played by Naomi Watts, whom Hoover unsuccessfully courts as a mate, but successfully finds her to be a lifelong secretary and confidant. Watts transforms herself in this role to the point she is unrecognizable, but the most interesting, and possibly most important introduction in Hoover’s life was when he met Clyde Tolson. Skillfully portrayed by Armie Hammer, the depth of Tolson’s connection to Hoover was subtly portrayed, and as they grow together, there is a tenderness between these men that has never been seen before in cinema.

“J. Edgar” is among many of director Clint Eastwood’s fine films: “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” “Mystic River,” “Unforgiven” and “Bird” to name a few. The cinematography is haunting and hypnotic, two qualities that have been Clint Eastwood’s signature.

Drawing from a bright gray color scheme and heavy use of shadows, “J. Edgar” might have an evenly paced story line, but the intensity of the imagery is where some of the greatest drama is created. Hoover’s career spans Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Massacre, the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby, and takes America through the turbulent Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

With “J. Edgar” being one of the earlier Oscar contenders, it is hard to speculate how it will be recognized. The acting is excellent, particularly with the performance of Armie Hammer. The screenplay and cinematography deserve a nod, as does the direction. Watts and DiCaprio turn out excellent performances, but Watts’ performance represents a fuller transformation. The film’s slow pace and lack of edginess may cause it to be overlooked.

Bottom line, “J. Edgar” is a rock solid film by a director whose career is as distinguished as a director as Eastwood is an actor. Like with many biopics, the action is slow but the intrigue and unraveling of world history outside of the walls is gripping. While the quietness of the film might come off boring to casual filmgoers, those who love classic film noir and American history need to see this movie. It is finely crafted and deserves savoring. 4 out of 5.

Photo Caption: (Courtesy movie poster image)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Scenic Landscaping Project to Begin on Mount A


A scenic landscaping project at the summit of Mount Agamenticus is on target to begin this month.

The project will restore and enhance views of the eastern seacoast, inland ponds and distant mountain ranges for the over 30,000 people that visit the area each year.

The cutting is scheduled to begin November 14 and is expected to take approximately three weeks to complete. Mount A’s summit, road, and trails will be closed to public use Monday through Friday during this time. The area will be re-opened for public access on weekends throughout the operational period with the exception of temporary trail closures in sections as needed.

The Town of York and the York Water District have partnered with five other landowners in the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region to protect the scenic and natural resources of the area including wildlife habitat and water quality while continuing to provide for safe and enjoyable access and sustainable recreation. These partners make up the Mount Agamenticus Steering Committee and include the Towns of York and South Berwick, the York Water District, the Nature Conservancy, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the York Land Trust, and the Great Works Regional Land Trust.

In 2009, the “Mt. Agamenticus Summit Guidelines for Usage” was developed by the Mt. Agamenticus Steering Committee with assistance from the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission and the Piscataqua Garden Club to create a vision and help guide the management of the summit area. The summit views were a major focus of this plan and approved recommendations included seeking the assistance of certified foresters for developing and/or maintaining the viewshed.

Wadsworth Woodlots, Inc., a consulting forestry firm and Murdough Logging N’ Excavation have been hired to conduct the work and will ensure good forest practices while improving the aesthetic scenic values at the summit of Mount Agamenticus.

Funding for this project comes in part from the Nathaniel Wheeler Trust.