Friday, April 29, 2011

American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks to Appear in Ogunquit

Alabama’s favorite son continues to be in “The Right Place” since becoming the fifth-season winner of American Idol. Fascinating to note, Season 5 of Idol was the #1 most watched television program in the past decade, with an average of 31 million viewers tuning in each Tuesday and Wednesday. During the last few years, Taylor Hicks has seen his Arista debut album certified platinum, performed with the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, The Allman Brothers and Willie Nelson, toured through Asia, penned a brisk-selling Random House memoir, made his Broadway debut in “Grease” and will now be making his second appearance on the Maine Seacoast at Jonathan’s Ogunquit for a very special Mother’s Day Concert on Sunday, May 8, 2011.
Taylor released his latest album titled “The Distance” in March of 2009, and is supported by the single, “Seven Mile Breakdown.” Along with the album, his own DVD was just released. “Whomp at the Warfield” offers fans exhilarating live performances by Taylor and his band at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco.
His personal twist of fate came in New Orleans at the wedding of an Auburn friend, the night before Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. With his flight cancelled, he was given a free airplane voucher. Earlier that summer, he had considered auditioning for American Idol in Memphis, but the auditions were cancelled, as the city became one of hubs of the Katrina relief effort. Through the summer and fall, however, auditions proceeded in eight cities across the country. Taylor eventually used his voucher to travel for a Las Vegas holiday, coincidentally American Idol was auditioning there during his vacation.
A lifetime steeped in the blues, soul and R&B of his native Southern heroes - Ray Charles, Otis Redding, James Brown and Sam Cooke, to name a few - culminated in no uncertain terms as Taylor Hicks won the fifth season of American Idol. It was an emotionally uplifting night - May 24, 2006 - when 36.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the season finale, the year’s third-largest audience for a televised event after the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. More than 63 million votes were cast in crowning a gritty, down-home, white soul singer the new winner.
“I thought about who Taylor Hicks would attract to the show if we had him for a concert and I said, hey let’s give it a try! He is not our typical folk type but I am excited to branch out to different types of music and personalities this season and Taylor Hicks is a fine representation of that!” stated Jonathan West about Taylor Hick’s upcoming appearance at his venue in Ogunquit.
Taylor Hicks will be playing live at Jonathan’s Ogunquit on Sunday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are now available. Jonathan’s Ogunquit is located at 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit, ME, just around the corner from the Ogunquit Playhouse. For more information contact, visit our website at or
Photo caption: American Idol winner Taylor Hicks will make his second appearance at Jonathan’s Ogunquit on May 8. (Photo by Nancy L. Kent, courtesy Jonathan’s Ogunquit)

New Use Sought for Historic House

With the departure of South Berwick Public Library expected next year, the Jewett Eastman Memorial Committee is now exploring the future of the Jewett-Eastman House.
The property has been a community center since the death of Theodore Eastman, Sarah Orne Jewett’s nephew, in 1931. The author herself had lived here more than half her life, writing over 140 stories, novels and poems during the 33 years before she moved to the Jewett House, her birthplace next door, in 1887.
After the Jewett Eastman House was bequeathed to Historic New England, it was at different times a tea room, a gathering place for bridal showers and other festivities, and a meeting hall for such organizations as the South Berwick Rotary, the South Berwick Woman’s Club, and even a 1950’s group called the Sarah Orne Jewett Garden Club. In 1971, volunteers organized the South Berwick Public Library on the first floor.
Community organizations who would be interested in occupying this local landmark, either as a renter or an owner, are invited to contact the JEM Committee with proposals by August 1. The current use is to house the 1,500 square foot library and an apartment on the second floor.
The committee expects to make a decision within the next nine months. The JEM Committee can be reached at PO Box 35, South Berwick, ME 03908, or at
Photo caption: The Jewett Eastman Memorial Committee, owner of the Jewett Eastman House, is seeking proposals for a new use for the building now that it is being vacated by South Berwick Public Library. The building has been a community center since 1931. It was built by the family of author Sarah Orne Jewett and served as her home. (Courtesy photo)

Kennebunk’s May Day Festival Plans are Set

Kennebunk’s 13th Annual May Day Festival will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2011 and promises to be a full day of family-friendly fun activities throughout Downtown Kennebunk. Look for our maps on Main Street to plot your course and join us for some or all the excitement that day!
Start off at Duffy’s Tavern & Grill who will once again host a pancake breakfast to benefit the May Day Festival. Advance tickets can be purchased at The Closet Boutique at 42 Main Street; they are recommended, but not required – cash sales only. Afterward, there will be lots to do up and down Main Street and in Lafayette Park!
Visit the Brick Store Museum to make your own May-basket and see the Maine Women in the Arts exhibit. Attend the faerie garden planting at the Kennebunk Free Library and while there, check out the book/bake sale put on by the Friends of the Library. Celebrate opening day for The Kennebunk Farmers Market and shop the craft market booths with artists/craftspeople on Main Street. Climb the rock wall – its 25’ high and there are 5 climbing paths to keep traffic moving. In between there will be live music, safety demonstrations, wagon rides, a teddy bear clinic and white elephant sales.
Lafayette Park will be hosting May Pole dancing and face painting, pottery wheel and Tai Chi demonstrations. Non-profits will set up here to provide information and creative ways to support them. You’ll also find another collection of artists/crafts people along with more live music later in the afternoon.
The May Day Parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. and includes many of our Little Leaguers in full uniform. You’ll also see some well-known mascots, classic cars, the Shoe String Puppet Theater, Gym Dandies and Shriners!
Please remember that all our Downtown shops, restaurants and businesses will be open that day and they help to make this event possible, so stop in to thank them with your business.
For a complete schedule of events, and list of sponsors, please visit - just scroll down to May!

Friday, April 22, 2011

25th WOCSD Literary Achievement Award Winners Announced

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) will recognize sixty-five winners in this year’s 25th Literary Achievement Awards program at an awards night on April 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Olenn Auditorium at Wells High School. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for the Silver Anniversary of the Awards.
In April, students from kindergarten through grade 12 received notification they had placed in the contest. Thirteen first place winners were named including Kathleen Pyburn, who will take home the top prize of $500 for her entry in the senior category entitled “A Someday Rendezvous.” Other first place winners will receive $100. Second place winners receive $50, third place receive $25 and honorable mentions receive gift certificates to the Steakhouse in Wells.
Entries for the contest, which can be either fiction or non-fiction, may be written in several styles including poetry, biographical, essay or short story.
This year’s first place winners include Alivia Boucher (kindergarten), Grace Boucher (1st grade), Hayden Barker (2nd), Hannah Bradish (3rd), Brianna Michaud-Nolan (4th), Madison Szcygiel (5th), Adia Montagna (6th), Talia Auen (7th), Julianne Fitzpatrick (8th), Corey Zinck (9th), Laura Kirol (10th), Patrick Menard (11th), and Kathleen Pyburn (12th). On April 28, first place winners are invited to read all or a portion of their writing before the audience.
In all, 236 entries were received. By means of a two-step judging process, that number was reduced to 84 by a group of “in-house” judges including Sue Olsson, Lil Connelly, Cheryl Oakes, Bob Sprankle, Betsy Littlefield, Karen Westerberg, Kim McDonough, Carolyn Beecher, Julie Esch, Cathy Abbott, Alice Meader, Lynn Mercier, Susan Condon, Liz Bell, Wendy Cowan, Becca Murphy, Jody Selsberg and Rebecca Follansbee.
On March 26, a panel of community judges gathered to determine the 65 winners. Outside judges included Marilyn Cate, Jack Ford, John Madden, Ina Toth, Ellen Aromando, Carolyn Walker, Connie Griffin, Mary Goulland and Diana Abbott.
This contest, sponsored by the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District and People’s United Bank, is coordinated by Maryanne Foley and Reg Bennett.
Students are encouraged to submit their winning entries to be posted on the District’s website, for public viewing. Awards night will also be videotaped and played on Time-Warner cable Channel 3 in Wells and Ogunquit at a time TBA.
Photo caption: This year’s community judges for the WOCSD Literary Achievement Awards 2011. (Photo by Reg Bennett)

South Berwick Cleans Up for Earth Day

The South Berwick Conservation Commission invites South Berwick residents to join the local Earth Day Clean Up on Saturday, April 30, 2011.
“The snow and ice are melting, birds are singing, people are getting outside, but we forget what is underneath all that snow,” observes Pat Robinson, the commission’s chair.
Residents are encouraged to team up with friends and family to “adopt” a road and make it the cleanest in town. Last year, approximately 55 children and adults pitched in to remove a winter’s worth of trash from South Berwick roads.
Roadside trash often washes into rivers and streams where it can choke or disable wildlife, such as ducks, fish, turtles and birds. In one study, researchers found that 18 percent of all litter ends up in our streams and waterways as pollution.
The transfer station will accept trash from the clean up between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. All participants should wear gloves and bright or reflective clothing. For more information call 384-3300 ext. 336 (conservation commission voice mail) or email

Patriots’ Day Festivities Mix History with Humor

By Molly McCoy
Staff Columnist
From Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18, Ogunquit was transformed as the town celebrated its 21st Annual Patriots’ Day Celebration. Visitors and locals alike delighted at a variety of activities ranging from concerts to a beach bazaar to a slew of historical reenactments. The weekend kicked off downstairs at the Ogunquit Baptist Church with a comical portrayal of the Sons of Liberty meeting, at which many famous patriots - played by a few brave locals - decided to undertake the Boston Tea Party. The evening continued upstairs at the Church, featuring an educational fife and drum concert and a costumed reading of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.
Luckily for all involved, the inclement weather held off during the daytime festivities, and the remainder of the weekend was pleasant for both indoor and outdoor events. Costumed characters could be seen throughout the town, interacting with both visitors and each other. Benjamin Franklin flew his kite on the beach, Abigail Adams and Betsy Ross exchanged pleasantries at Clay Hill Farm’s Patriots’ Dinner, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed presidential receptions wherever they went, and even Sacagawea made an appearance on Sunday at the Dunaway Center as Lewis and Clarke reported back about their arduous journey west. A real cannon signaled the end of the weekend’s events at the Dorathea Jacobs Grant Common on Sunday afternoon, and everyone involved was grateful for the wonderful turnout and the enthusiasm of all the volunteers.
To learn more about this event, visit You can also find more on the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page at
Photo caption: Historical reenactment supervisor Gordon Lewis is pictured in costume at right, mustering his “new recruits” in Veterans’ Park in Ogunquit on Saturday, April 17. (Photo by Molly McCoy)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Maine Revolutionary War Fort is Site for PBS ‘History Detectives’ Shoot

A Revolutionary War fort that once protected the approaches to the Piscataqua River in Kittery was the location recently for an investigation and taping by a crew from the popular PBS series, “History Detectives.”
A group of 20 Revolutionary War re-enactors from the Friends of Fort McClary joined the Lion TV crew at Fort McClary State Historic Site in Kittery to tell the story of an unusual wooden telescope discovered by a Kittery Point man and shared with television show. The fort is managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, under the Maine Department of Conservation.
“History Detectives” host Elyse Luray joined the crew to track down the original owner and to find out whether the telescope was used during the American Revolution. During the daylong taping, Luray also interviewed Dr. Steven Eames, professor of history at Mount Ida College, Newton, Mass., about the 1745 Battle of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, which plays a part in the story.
The episode is expected to air during the show’s ninth season sometime this summer, according to Lion TV producers. Because the show involves a mystery and revelation about the artifact, some of it remains confidential, they said.
“Shooting at Fort McClary was such a treat,” Robin Hutchins, Lion TV associate producer, said. “The park staff went above and beyond, and their help made the day run smoothly. Fort McClary is an amazing piece of early American history, and we were lucky enough to get a chance to see it brought to life by the Friends of Fort McClary! I hope we will get an opportunity return soon.”
“Fort McClary was amazing -- it was like a cinematographer’s dream come true,” Shervin Hess, Lion TV producer, said. “Each shot was better than the last. I think this will be one of the prettiest interviews we have shot all season. The park staff was incredibly gracious and made sure the day went smoothly. I hope ‘History Detectives’ will bring us back to Fort McClary one day in the near future.”
“We were happy to host ‘History Detectives’ at Fort McClary, and we hope the many people watching the show will want to visit this and our other historic sites and parks,” Will Harris, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands director, said. “It’s great to be able to showcase one of our premier historic sites on a national television show.”
“We had a good, long Sunday at the fort, with the 20 re-enactors and the ‘History Detectives’ crew,” Park Manager Glenn Dochtermann said. “All in all, it went well, great weather, nice people and all had a great time. Many people visiting the fort were interested in the filming, and everyone was very understanding and just watched a few minutes before going back to their sightseeing.”
“History Detectives” is a popular PBS series in which history investigators examine the history behind potentially extraordinary objects in everyday American homes, cities and small towns. During the process, they also review legends, folklore and personal histories related to the objects. The series is co-produced by Lion Television and Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Fort McClary was used for this episode to represent the Nova Scotia battleground site. The fort, named for New Hampshire native Major Andrew McClary, who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill, has stood at its Kittery location for more than 275 years. It is one of the state’s most important historic forts, as it represents several different periods of military fortification. It was garrisoned during five U.S. wars, but saw little conflict.
The show’s investigation involves a wooden telescope discovered by a Kittery man when he moved into his great-aunt’s house. Antique dealers are unfamiliar with the object, according to the show’s producers, and can’t date the telescope. The Kittery man hopes the telescope belonged to his ancestor who served on the Raleigh, one of America’s first naval war ships during the American Revolution.
The taping of the show is the second one to take place in recent months at a one of Maine’s 17 state historic sites. In February, a crew from SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” taped a segment at Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect.
For more information about “History Detectives,” visit and
Photo caption: A Lion TV crew shoots a segment of “History Detectives” recently at Fort McClary State Historic Site, Kittery, as show host Elyse Luray interviews Dr. Steven Eames, professor of history at Mount Ida College, Newton, Mass. (Courtesy photo)

Student Qualifies for Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Finals

Berwick Academy Upper School sophomore, Camden Carter of York, ME, who rides with the York Equestrian Team, placed 4th in the Varsity Intermediate Over Fences Hunt Seat class against eleven other riders at Zone 1 Finals held at Mount Holyoke College recently. This placement qualifies her for National Finals at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, at the end of April. Camden rides with trainer and coaches, Kate McDaniel, Stephanie Plaisted and Deanna Kravetz at Greystone Stables in Berwick, Maine.
In addition, there were twelve competing IEA upper school teams at this event. The top five teams proceed to the Nationals. The York Team placed 4th, qualifying them also to compete at Nationals. The team includes members from several surrounding seacoast communities. Riders at an IEA competition do not use their own horses or tack. Host teams supply all horses and equipment for students at the show. The horse is new to the rider and scores are based on rider skill and horsemanship, not the horse.
The Interscholastic Equestrian Association objectives are designed to promote upper and middle school equestrians as athletes with organized competitive opportunities, education in equine sports, safe riding instruction and competition as well as some opportunities to earn scholarships toward college education. For more information about IEA riding you can visit their website at
Camden participates on the Berwick Academy JV hockey and soccer teams in addition to the York Equestrian team. Camden and her teammates will compete in the national finals on Thursday, April 28 in Maryland.
Photo caption: Berwick Academy sophomore Camden Carter of York recently qualified to participated in a National Finals equestrian competition in Maryland. (Courtesy photo)

Opening Scenes: ‘Arthur’

By Chip Schrader
Movie Reviewer
“Arthur” begins with a close up of a man putting on Batman’s gloves followed by a scanning shot of liquor bottles. The montage continues with scenes of Russell Brand dressing as Batman and an impressive collection of bottled hard liquor. After blowing bubbles, Brand greets “cheers” and downs a strong drink before enter the Batmobile with a man dressed in green bikini briefs posing as Robin. A high-speed chase down New York City ensues, and comes to a hilarious and symbolic end with the Wall Street bull crashed on the hood. Brand answers the officer, “I have remained drunk since our last encounter.”
While these first scenes are well covered in the previews and commercial spots, there is plenty of fun left for the rest of the movie. Russell Brand reprises the role of Arthur with the expected manic and witty persona that makes him the cross-comedic offspring of Robin Williams and Monty Python. He delivers his lines clean as the cut of a scalpel, but brings an emotional depth that was lacking in Dudley Moore’s portrayal.
Brand’s personal struggle with addiction seems to allow him to bring a sense of tragedy to the role, and expands his range as an actor as he can be serious, heartbroken, and hilarious at the turn of a scene. He is well balanced by Helen Mirren’s role of Ms. Hobson, Arthur’s nanny. The man who never grew up is well matched by her wit and her maternal wisdom while his own mother keeps him at arm’s length.
Arthur’s love interest, Naomi, has an interesting story with her dream to write children’s stories and rise above poverty. The character is not far from the original version portrayed by Liza Minnelli, but sadly, she comes off as simple-minded and sappy, rather than as a real person. It makes for a nice contrast to Arthur, whereas his moral match, Susan, is played adequately by Jennifer Garner. Like Naomi, Susan doesn’t seem like a very challenging character, but amusing at the very least.
While the most important elements of the story from the original version are intact, along with one or two vital scenes, the majority of the film takes a different sequence and completely different scenes to update the story. The economic decline, Paris Hilton-like faux pas, and seventies and eighties film references bring a great deal of interest to the new version.
Bottom line: while “Arthur” is neither beautifully shot nor does it have strong supporting characters, Brand and Mirren are dynamite. If anything, “Arthur” is proof that Brand is ready to have top billing, and is capable of carrying a two-hour movie from beginning to end. He keeps the audience laughing and believing every scene. Even with Naomi being an oversweet character, their romance works. The humor is quick, thoughtful, and most importantly, funny. The elements of humanity and human struggle Brand brings to Arthur is sincere, but doesn’t bring the mood of the movie down. This human element was woefully missing from the original. 3.5 out of 5.
Photo caption: (Courtesy movie poster from “Arthur”)

Friday, April 8, 2011

1858 Surprise During Raitt Renovations

During roof renovations to the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum’s 1896 Main Farmhouse, a relic from years gone by literally fell out of the soffit, much to the surprise of everyone at the Farm Museum.
Tom Raitt, caretaker of the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum, was handed the 1858 revolver by JT, one of building contractor JD MacDougall’s crew, who was working on the soffitt when the revolver fell out.
“In addition to the 1858 revolver, two glass bottles and a powder horn were also found in the soffitt,” stated Tom.
The revolver was taken to the Kittery Trading Post where David Michniewicz, who was working in the gun department, instantly recognized the make of the revolver as an 1858 Beals Remington Revolver.
“I believe the revolver will still work even though it is in ‘relic’ condition,” stated David after checking the revolver over.
“He located a book that contained a description of the gun, how many were made and many other details about the revolver, so we could have the information and would be able to do some more research,” stated Tom.
According to Steve Beckert, President of the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum, the Museum plans to display the revolver at the 16th Eliot Antique Tractor and Engine Show in July and at the Mainely Grillin’ & Chillin’ BBQ Festival in early August are being discussed by the Board of Trustees.
“Every once in a while something occurs here at the Farm that takes you back in time to an earlier life of simpler times,” stated Trustee Alan Watson. “Finding that old firearm was such an event. Whose was it? Why was it hidden in the eave? One can’t help but wonder what part this revolver played in the lives of our predecessors here at the Homestead. I suppose we are left only to speculate what those events might have been.”
Photo caption: Relics discovered during renovations at the 1896 Main Farmhouse at Raitt Homestead Farm Museum. (Courtesy photo)

Ogunquit Playhouse Announces Open Call Auditions

The Ogunquit Playhouse is holding auditions for its non-Equity and Actors’ Equity Association Summer productions. The 2011 season auditions are for “Avenue Q” (May 25 - June 18, Rehearsals begin May 17) All Roles Open; “Summer of Love” (June 22 - July 16, Rehearsals begin June 7) All Roles Open; “The Music Man” (July 20 - Aug. 20, Rehearsals begin July 5) All Roles Open; “Legally Blonde The Musical” (Aug. 24 - Sept. 17, Rehearsals begin Aug. 9) All Roles Open Except Paulette; and “Miss Saigon” (Sept. 21 - Oct. 23, Rehearsals begin Sept. 6) All Roles Open. The Playhouse is also casting for the Theatre for Young Audiences production of “Pinkalicious” (July 9 & 10, Aug. 13 & 14, Sept. 3 & 4, Rehearsals begin June 27).
Auditions are Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 10 a.m. for children and at 4 p.m. for adults age 18 and older, and Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. for both children and adults at Seacoast Repertory Theatre, 125 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH. This is an open call; therefore appointments will not be taken in advance, however, they will be scheduled for the day, on-site at 10 a.m. for children and 4 p.m. for adults. For those asked to return, the callbacks are scheduled for Sunday, April 10 at 4 p.m. Please do not call Seacoast Repertory for information.
AEA and non-Equity performers age 18 and older should prepare 16-32 bars of an up-tempo musical theatre song in their key and be prepared to dance for the open casting call. Bring sheet music, as an accompanist will be provided. The Ogunquit Playhouse is particularly seeking character roles and the Mother and Father in “Pinkalicious,” the parents who learn more about themselves and give in to pink power.
Children auditioning for the Children’s Ensemble in “The Music Man” (ages 9-15) should prepare a short song in their key and bring sheet music as an accompanist will be provided. They should also bring comfortable clothes and shoes in case they are asked to dance. The Ogunquit Playhouse is particularly seeking the following roles: for “The Music Man” - Winthrop Paroo (age 8-10), brother of Marian Paroo who is brought out of his shell by Harold Hill, strong young actor and singer who moves well; Amaryllis (age 8-12), piano student of Marian Paroo and friend of Winthrop, strong young actress and singer who moves well; Gracie Shinn (age 12-14), Mayor’s younger daughter, strong dancer; seeking for “Miss Saigon” - Tam (age 5-7), the Asian-American child of the strong Vietnamese woman, Kim and Chris, the conflicted American G.I.; seeking for “Pinkalicious” - Pinkalicious (age 10-13), learns that more is not always better, as well as the power of pink; Peter (age 9-12), Pinkalicious’ little brother who secretly desires to enjoy pink like his sister and to express himself creatively; Alison (age 10-13), Pinkalicous’ friend who learns not to be jealous, and that the grass is not always greener.
Children called back for the roles of Winthrop, Amaryllis and Gracie in “The Music Man” should all be prepared to read from the script and sing from the score. Children called back for “Pinkalicious” should be prepared to read from the script. Music and sides are available to download at All will sing first, however, all may not be asked to stay to dance or read. Children selected for the ensemble in “The Music Man” will be required to participate in the Children’s Theatre Summer Program: a tuition-required, two-week rehearsal and theatre camp experience. All invited callbacks occur on Sunday, April 10 at 4:00 p.m. Children must be available for all rehearsals and performances.
For more info, visit Directions to Seacoast Repertory: From 95 take exit seven and head into downtown Portsmouth on Market Street. Take a left on Bow Street, at the fork in the road, you must bear right past at St. John’s Church. Go two blocks to State Street, take a left, then take another left so that you loop around without going over the bridge to Maine. Then take your first right and the Seacoast Repertory Theatre is on your right.
Photo caption: The Ogunquit Playhouse has officially announced its 2011 season, along with auditions to take place April 9 and 10. (Photo courtesy

Wells Reserve EcoDay Promotes Healthy Planet, Healthy You

Get active, be fit, and go green is the message for Wells Reserve EcoDay, to be held April 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm. As Earth Day approaches, begin or renew your commitment to a healthy planet and a healthy you. From alternative energy to sustainable gardening and from aquatic sports to Zumba, EcoDay promises hours of opportunities for you to try something new.
EcoDay activities will include the third Laudholm 5K, a volleyball tourney, a beach cleanup, and demonstrations or try-its for paddle surfing, kayaking, biking, fishing, hiking, geocaching, and yoga.
“The Wells Reserve is already a great place for exercise and connecting to nature,” said Diana Joyner, president of Laudholm Trust, the nonprofit that is offering EcoDay as a benefit for the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. “By bringing in green businesses, conservation groups, and wellness practitioners, we hope to help people discover new ways to improve both their own quality of life and the quality of local environments.”
In the EcoDay keynote, Dr. John E. Carroll, professor of natural resources at the University of New Hampshire, will address food sustainability for New England. What is the future of local food? Is Maine on your dinner plate? Do you know your farmer? Dr. Carroll’s EcoDay presentation is sponsored by the Garden Club Federation of Maine.
EcoDay will have face painting, art projects, and other activities for kids, bluesy funk-rock music by Velourosaurus, giant kites flown by the Nor’easters Kite Flying Club and Kites Over New England, and good food and drink available for sale. The Wells Reserve at Laudholm also boasts miles of trails through a variety of habitats and an undeveloped sandy beach.
“Wells Reserve EcoDay will be as well suited to singles as it is to families,” Joyner explained. “It should be fun for everyone.”
In celebration of the Wells Reserve’s 25th anniversary, no admission will be charged for EcoDay, but free-will donations are welcomed.
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is located on Laudholm Farm Road, just off U.S. Route 1 near the Wells-Kennebunk line.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Two Weddings and a Coronation

From 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2011, join the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Columbary House Antiques and Nancy Marshall Communications, at the Cliff House and Spa on Shore Road in Ogunquit for an Evening Gala Event of “Two Weddings and a Coronation.” This is to be a semiformal affair as if all were actual wedding guests.
The evening’s events are in celebration of the two Royal Weddings occurring this year in Europe. First, the wedding in England of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, followed by the marriage in Monaco of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock on July 1 & 2.
The highlight of the evening will be the preview of a previously undiscovered, one of a kind home movie of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. This will be the first time this film footage has ever been seen by the public. The home movie provides a unique personal perspective rarely seen. It includes footage of the preparations in the days leading up to the Coronation and many of the decorations that adorned the Procession route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. This film footage transports the viewer back to 1953, showing the streets busy with period automobiles and pedestrians dressed in the current attire. The view of the procession is from the front row in the grand stands directly opposite the entrance to the Abbey. A vintage official film of the coronation will also be shown. The combination of these two films has a magical way of making the viewer feel like he or she is actually in attendance.
The movies are part of a prominent Massachusetts estate that is currently being offered for sale at Columbary House Antiques. A member of the family was the wife of a Consul of Monaco. For many years, she and her husband resided in the palace of Monaco with the royal family. Because of their diplomatic status, they attended many major social functions including the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the marriage of Prince Rainier III of Monaco to American film star Grace Kelly.
In addition to the movies, other items from this estate will be on display at the Cliff House on the night of the event. Some of these items are a collection of jewelry that includes a 22Kt. gold Egyptian necklace with diamonds, rubies and sapphires, a 33Ct., aquamarine broach, a pair of platinum earrings with emeralds and diamonds, a 18Kt. gold floral broach with 16 center diamonds, and a 14Kt., gold diamond and pearl ring; the guest passes to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II noting the seating in the grand stands at Central Hall Westminster opposite the entrance to the Abbey, and including the vouchers for a buffet breakfast, box luncheon served on the stands, and also the tickets to the Royal Opera House at Covent Gardens for the Gala Performance of “Gloriana” in honor of the Coronation of Her Majesty, the Queen; a large group of documents and correspondences that include a hand written note signed by Princess Grace, all of the announcements and invitations to the many events of the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III, and the invitation to the Baptism of Prince Albert II, the current Sovereign Prince of Monaco; a selection of artwork that includes well know Ogunquit artist William Columbus Ehrig and George Carpenter.
Tickets for this event are available at The Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, 1 Stonewall Lane, York, Columbary House Antiques, 1286 US Route 1, Cape Neddick or online by going to Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres appropriate to the occasion will be served.
Please contact the Chamber with any questions at (207) 363-4422 or email Elaine Burnham at Proceeds from the ticket sales of this event will be used to promote Artfest and Antiquefest, two events planned for later on this year. Additional info can be found with Columbary House Antiques in Cape Neddick, 207-363-5496.
Photo caption: Pictured are historical items that will be on display at the “Two Weddings and a Coronation” event on April 15. (Photo courtesy Don Poland at Columbary House Antiques)

Run for the Fallen Maine Accepts Quilt, Proposes Gold Star Plate

Sandra Troutt and her husband, James, recently presented a handmade quilt to John Mixon and the Run for the Fallen Maine nonprofit organization. Sandra made the quilt to thank the organization for all they have done for our Fallen Heroes. Sandra and James are the proud grandparents of SPC. Dustin J. Harris of Patten, Maine who was killed in action in Iraq on April 6, 2006. They do whatever they can do to keep his memory alive.
The quilt will be displayed throughout the Town of Ogunquit this summer, at the Dunaway Center and at Veterans’ Park on Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July weekend. It will also be displayed at Knight’s Quilt Shop on Route 1 in York as part of their Memorial Day display in May.
Most of the squares in the Quilt were hand painted by Sandra. She has agreed to make another quilt (different than this one) with a similar theme that will be raffled during our fundraising efforts. You can see the quilt and other fundraising items soon at
In other news, Run for the Fallen Maine has recently proposed a new Gold Star License plate design to the State House, designed by Wells High School Student Emily Knight. As Maine is one of only two states in the U.S. that do not offer Gold Star family license plates, Run for the Fallen Maine is working with Governor LePage to reintroduce a bill to the current Legislature that would offer this honor to eligible family members. Run for the Fallen Maine has offered to offset the roughly $10,700 it would take to produce the plates. The organization is also working to establish a fund to pay for the plates of any eligible family member that cannot afford the license fees assessed by the State. For more information, visit
Photo caption: Bottom: Sandra and James Troutt hold up a quilt Sandra made in honor of the efforts of the Run for the Fallen Maine. Top: The proposed Gold Star Plate for Maine designed by Wells High School student Emily Knight. (Courtesy photos)

6th Graders Learn Research Tools at the Brick Store Museum

When choosing subjects for biographical research, middle school students often choose sports figures or heroes from American history. The Kennebunk names William Lord, Isaac Emery, Eliza Bourne, and Nathaniel Lord Thompson do not make the list. However, in early March, two of Mrs. Laurie Jacques’ 6th grade Language Arts classes and the Brick Store Museum approached biography research from a unique perspective. Students learned about a wealthy merchant (Lord), a Civil War soldier (Emery), a famous mother and seamstress (Bourne), and a young ship captain and ship builder (Thompson).
The program began with a visit to each class from the Museum’s Acting Director, Cheryl Price, who introduced the topic of primary/secondary/tertiary sources and ways to glean information from photographs, newspapers, and other sources. Students were also introduced to the Museum’s website and finding aids for materials available in the Museum’s Archives.
The next day, members of the Museum’s Education Committee brought archival resources and artifact images to the classroom and helped students discover information about local historical figures. The class was divided into four groups, and each group investigated a different person with the help of a Museum instructor. The students read journal entries, personal letters, reference books, etc. to find answers to a series of guiding questions about their person.
The following Saturday, students attended a special open house at the Museum. They were given the opportunity to see many of the actual artifacts they’d seen in pictures during class, toured the Museum’s Archives, and at least one student asked a research question and observed the process in finding the answer.
“This was a wonderful way to reach out to a number of students in an age group that we haven’t worked with as much in the past,” said Price. “We offer vacation workshops, summer programs, and have taught a ‘Hands on History’ class through the RSU 21 Stretch Beyond program, but usually these programs are attended by younger kids. It’s important for the older students to know that we can be a resource for them.”
The program was declared a success by all involved, and Jacques would like to offer it next year to all of her Language Arts classes.
Photo caption: Students in Mrs. Laurie Jacques’ sixth grade Language Arts class investigate merchant William Lord with help from Brick Store Museum Education Committee chairperson Jackie Campbell. MSK Principal Jeff Rodman looks on. (Photo courtesy Brick Store Museum)