Friday, September 30, 2011

York Land Trust Members Host Highland Farm Grand Opening Ceremony

The York Land Trust Annual Members’ Meeting and Highland Farm Grand Opening Ceremony were rescheduled from September’s Hurricane Irene weekend to this Sunday, October 2, 2011, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday’s activities will take place under a tent at the Highland Farm Preserve at 321 Cider Hill Road (Rte. 91) in York. A one-hour Members’ Meeting will begin at 3 p.m. and will be followed at 4 p.m. by a Grand Opening and Trails Dedication Ceremony. The public is welcome.
The program will include remarks by long time York Land Trust Executive Director Doreen MacGillis. In addition to highlighting the scope of the effort, MacGillis will thank key project leaders, supporters and the community of York for unanimously approving a $500,000 bond appropriation that was critical to acquiring the 151-acre property in 2009. With assistance from David Mallard, Stewardship Director, a new information Kiosk will be unveiled near the entrance to the property’s ADA (handicapped-access) trail, a first in this region. To enhance the visitor’s experience, the 24 sq. ft. sign features a large map of the Preserve’s trail system, use guidelines and ecology facts. In addition, as a tribute to four years of hard work, millions of dollars, and thousands of volunteer hours, a comprehensive list of contributors is included on the Kiosk to acknowledge that the Preserve is forever protected and open for public access thanks to the generosity of many individuals, foundations, partner organizations and the Town of York.
At the conclusion of the Grand Opening Ceremony, attendees will enjoy a guided interpretive walk to explore the property’s rich history and biodiversity.
Led by the York Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the Kittery Water District, the Highland Farm Preserve was purchased in 2009 as part of the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative. Conservation of the property is considered significant for water quality based on its proximity to the York River and Boulter Pond, which serves as a drinking water source for the Town of Kittery and parts of York and Eliot. In addition, through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 30 acres of the property are being managed as early successional habitat (thickets) to support the return of the state-endangered New England Cottontail (NEC) to the property. With as few as 300 individual NEC rabbits thought to be left in the state, restoration efforts at the Highland Farm Preserve may prove to be critical to the species survival in Maine.
Photo caption: Highland Farm Preserve view overlooking the York River. (Photo by Karen Arsenault)

Blue Star Service Banner Presented to Mother of Three Servicemen

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the American Legion reestablished a tradition dating back to World War I, when banners were given to parents as an unofficial symbol that they had a child in active military service. The blue star on the flag represents one family member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and a banner can have up to five stars.
While many one and two star service banners have been given out over the years, it is very rare for a parent to have three or more children serving simultaneously in the service.
The members of Charles S. Hatch Post #79 recently presented a “3” Star Service Banner to Ms. Tracy Steeves of Cape Neddick, Maine. Tracy has three sons serving on active duty in the Air National Guard, the Army and the Marine Corps, respectively. They are: Staff Sgt Jeffrey Greenlaw, currently stationed at Pease International Trade Port in Portsmouth, NH; SPEC4 Jake Greenlaw, currently serving at Ft. Drum, NY and Pvt Jared Greenlaw, stationed at Camp LaJune, NC.
The members of Charles S. Hatch Post #79 salute Jeffrey, Jake and Jared for their patriotism and service and thank Tracy for instilling in these young men the courage and character to serve our country.
Photo caption: Recently, members of Charles S. Hatch Post #79, The American Legion, presented a three Star Service Banner to Ms. Tracy Steeves. Shown from left to right: Post Commander Ronald Vigue, Tracy’s mother Ginny, Tracy and her father, Mr. Warren Steeves. (Photo by Robert Place)

USS Pasadena Arrives in Portsmouth

Attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and her crew of 18 officers and 126 enlisted personnel arrived recently at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
While at the Shipyard, Pasadena will complete various maintenance work and several system upgrades. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is committed to maximizing the material readiness of the Fleet by ensuring every ship is ready to respond to the Navy’s missions.
Pasadena is the U.S. Navy’s second “Improved” Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine. Originally assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Pasadena conducted an inter-fleet transfer in October 1990 to San Diego, Calif. and became an integral part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force. In April 1996, Pasadena changed homeports to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where she was assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron Seven.
Throughout the submarine’s proud and illustrious 20-year history, Pasadena has conducted operations in virtually every part of the Pacific Ocean, from the west coasts of North and South America to Australia. Pasadena’s participation in exercises with various foreign navies from around the Pacific Rim has produced numerous firsts for U.S. nuclear-powered submarines and solidified the United States’ important role in international maritime operations.
Pasadena’s Commanding Officer, Commander Luis Molina, earned a bachelor’s of science in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Commissioned in May 1993, Cmdr. Molina reported to USS Grayling (SSN 646). During this tour, he completed two Eastern Pacific deployments, a Mediterranean deployment, and a ship inactivation. Cmdr. Molina then served as an instructor at Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit, Charleston, S.C., where he was assigned as a Shift Engineer and Staff Training Officer.
Cmdr. Molina then reported to USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) as the Combat Systems Officer in November 2000. During this tour, he completed a Western Pacific deployment.
In January 2003, he reported as the initial manning Engineer Officer, PCU Hawaii (SSN 776), and was reassigned in November 2003 as Engineer Officer on board USS Virginia (SSN 774). In August of 2005 Cmdr. Molina attended the Naval War College, Newport, RI where he graduated with distinction and earned a master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies and certification as a Joint Planner.
In March 2007, Cmdr. Molina reported to USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (BLUE) as Executive Officer, completing two strategic deterrent patrols. Following this tour, in December 2008, Cmdr. Molina reported to Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, where he served as a future Operations Joint Planner.
On July 22, 2011, Cmdr. Molina assumed command of USS Pasadena (SSN 752).
Pasadena’s host community is the town of Eliot, Maine.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mills and Valente Named Semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

Wells High School seniors Jesse Mills and Michael Valente have learned that they are Semifinalists in the 57th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) formally made the list of Semifinalists public September 14th.
Last year, 1.5 million high school juniors throughout the United States took the 2010 PSAT/NMSQT. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation then selected 16,000 Semifinalists based on the PSAT/NMSQT results.
As Semifinalists, Mills and Valente have the opportunity to compete to become Finalists and qualify for over 8,300 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $34 million. These scholarships will be available in the spring of 2012. To become a Finalist, students must meet high academic standards and all other requirements. According to the NMSC, “…more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.”
“I am pretty excited,” said Valente in an interview about becoming a Semifinalist. Mills shared Valente’s excitement and added that he found it hard to take a test at school after learning the news.
Mills is a member of the National Honor Society, the Math Team and plays club tennis, a non-varsity sport at WHS, in the spring. He indicated that he would like to attend Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania next fall. As of now he is undecided about a college major. Mills is the son of Wesley J. Mills and Cheryl Dearman Mills of Wells.
Valente is the Treasurer for the Class of 2012 and for the National Honor Society chapter at WHS. He says he would like to attend Boston University or Tufts University to major in pre-med. Valente is the son of Dawn Valente of Wells.
Photo caption: Michael Valente and Jesse Mills. (Photo by Reg Bennett)

Emmy Award Winner Richard Kahn Presents ‘An Arctic Wilderness Journey’

Emmy award-winner and documentary filmmaker Richard Kahn will offer “Travels by Canoe in Alaska’s Western Arctic,” a wilderness journey of words and pictures, at the Kennebunk UU Church at 7 p.m., Friday, September 30. Sponsored by the Sierra Club, the event is free and open to the public. Dessert will be served at 6:30.
An independent filmmaker, Kahn has had his work presented on The Discovery Channel, CBS, WGBH-TV and WBZ-TV in Boston, as well as Vermont Public Television.
Kahn has spent the last twelve summers paddling wilderness rivers in the Brooks Range and North Slope in Northwestern Alaska. He has traveled extensively in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, spending more than 300 days on the Colville River and its tributaries.
His talk will focus on spending time traveling wilderness rivers, in an area with which few people are familiar. A question-and-answer period will follow his presentation.
The inappropriately named National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) is 23.5 million acres of wilderness. It is home to the Western and Central Caribou herds, wolves, bears, wolverines and a rich assortment of raptors, songbirds and waterfowl. Kahn’s photographs and journals record intense light, an ocean of unnamed mountains, crystal clear rivers, delicate wild flowers and glimpses of the animals whose lives are woven into the fabric of the place.
Kahn’s credits also include MSNBC, NOVA, Frontline, and Bill Moyers Journal. The filmmaker received an Emmy in 1983 for “7 North,” a documentary on nurses in a neurological unit and in 1973 for “A New Beginning,” about four teenage patients in a spinal cord injury unit. While he has made films on a great variety of topics, Kahn has spent the most time and feels the strongest connection to films concerning health care and ethical decision-making as well as end-of-life issues.
The Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 14 Main Street (Route One) in Kennebunk.
Photo caption: A lone caribou grazes on the Brooks Range in Northwestern Alaska. Filmmaker and ardent canoeist Richard Kahn will share his photographs and observations in “Travels by Canoe in Alaska’s Western Arctic,” a Sierra Club presentation, at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 30, at the Kennebunk Unitarian Universalist Church at 114 Main Street. (Photo by Richard Kahn)

What the…? A Review of Stephen King’s ‘Mile 81’

By Chip Schrader
Book Reviewer
Stephen King continues his experiment with publishing with “Mile 81,” a story that is published strictly as an eBook to be downloaded to a Nook, iPad, Kindle or any of the other e-readers edging their way into the market. King is known to play with publishing formats: electronic, serial (“The Green Mile”), and comic and graphic novel re-releases (“The Dark Tower”), to name a few. With this eBook, it is evident that King is still having fun writing and publishing his stories, and he is taking his fans with him for the joyride.
As any Maine resident knows, Exit 81, under the new exit naming system, stands at 81 miles north of the Maine border on I-95. The whole story takes place at the abandoned rest area on this exit.
Long-time readers will be taken back a few years with this story. King’s main character is a ten-year-old boy, Pete Simmons, who wants to prove he is rough enough to hang out with his brother’s gang. With a half-full bottle of vodka and his favorite magnifying glass packed in his bag, he decides to hide out in the abandoned shack at this exit. For a ten-year-old, Pete has a precocious knowledge of the female anatomy, and a sense of mischief that is almost impossible to believe.
The chapters of this novella, clocking in at the equivalent of 80 print pages, are divided into the characters that will meet their untimely demise at this exit, and the make of their car. For example, Chapter 3 is named “Julianne Vernon (’05 Dodge Ram).” Known as the horse lady, Julianne stops at the exit curious about a Prius parked with a mucky station wagon. As time moves along, she gets eaten by that muddy wagon. Yes, she is eaten by a car.
The story is strange, not unlike “Christine,” which he references in this story, but it works. “Mile 81” is gruesome, bizarre, and silly, but also inventive and fun. King has an imagination that makes most of his contemporaries scoff in envy, perhaps the reason for the literary snobbery that he has been the target of in the past. Sometimes King goes out to the edge – a car eating people isn’t exactly in our realm of believability – but he weaves the campiest concepts into the kind of fun storytelling that hearkens back to old Americana.
Moreover, as he did in “Under the Dome,” he doesn’t just mercilessly slaughter character after character without a care. The characters in each segment are believable, and the reader pities their demise. In each character’s backstory, King reminds us these are loved ones with real souls who have reached out to others in their lifetimes. There is a sense of tragedy in their passing, this is where King’s genius as a horror writer shines through. He never forgets these people are human. The grisly horrific occurrences are actually episodes of high drama that ends these everyday lives.
The narration is quirky, preadolescent, filthy and very funny. At times the pop culture references and youthful tone seem a little forced, but still attention grabbing. To figure out why in the world (and how) this car is eating people is the driving force to finish reading the story, the answer is pure campy delight, and possibly predictable to select King fans. The style of storytelling and bizarre plot are classic Stephen King that references to the early short stories, novellas and novels that put him and the state of Maine on the modern literary map. Not his best work to date, but highly recommended!
File Size: 213 KB. Print Length: 80 pages. Publisher: Scribner (September 1, 2011).
Photo caption: (Courtesy e-book cover image of Stephen King’s “Mile 81”)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kennebunk Elementary School’s Harvest Fair to Bring the Community Together

Members of the public are invited to attend a Harvest Fair at Kennebunk Elementary School on Thursday, September 22, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. The Fair, part of RSU 21’s celebration of Maine Harvest Lunch, will be held rain or shine in the garden area behind the school gym. The Harvest Fair is an opportunity for students, families, and community members to meet many of the farmers who have grown and raised food for the school cafeterias.
A Farmer’s Market, where fairgoers can purchase produce, will feature a number of farms including: Archer Angus (beef), Chick Farm (organic chicken and vegetables), Fenderson Farms (fresh produce), Groundwork Farm (organic and heirloom vegetables), Pullen Manor Farms (with goats and other live animals), Santoro’s Honey, and Tibbetts Family Farm (corn, tomatoes, winter squash & pumpkins).
The Fair will also include tours of the K.E.S. vegetable garden, storytelling, a scavenger hunt, and a craft project for kids. Admission to the Fair is free.
The Harvest Fair is part of a larger event RSU 21 students will participate in during the school day. This is the 10th year that the district has participated in Maine Harvest Lunch, an event promoted by the Maine School Nutrition Association. RSU 21’s Food Services Director Ellen Demmons and her staff are busy preparing recipes for this year’s celebration. Demmons has created a full week of school lunch menus around the Maine Harvest theme—although the original goal was to develop only a single lunch menu.
Throughout the week of September 19th, school staff will be demonstrating that healthful eating can be done with locally available foods. “It is a lot of extra work,” says Demmons, “but well worth the effort.” On Monday, students will be served Sloppy Joes with Archer Angus Farm’s beef, Maine broccoli, and blueberries and cream. Menu options later in the week include Maine fish tacos with Harris Farms corn on the cob on Tuesday; and baked ziti with summer vegetables and a tossed salad made from Maine Romaine lettuce on Friday.
Although this is a special occasion, Demmons works with local Maine suppliers whenever she can. Giles Farm Apples, potato products from Penobscot McCrum, and Hood dairy products, for example, are staples in the cafeterias. In addition, Tibbetts Family Farm in Lyman collects food waste from the District’s cafeterias to help create compost for use in gardens such as those at the Nonantum Hotel in Kennebunkport.
Mary Gaucher, whose two children attend K.E.S., is working with teachers and parents to plan additional events for the Harvest Week. First graders will be harvesting vegetables from the KES garden to make their own vegetable soup, tying in with the book they are reading, “Stone Soup.”
Gaucher says, “We are excited to invite Tom Reagan, a chef from the community, to give a cooking lesson to the entire grade.”
Additional in-school activities will include a discussion with a local farmer and a “taste-test contest” of different recipes for zucchini and tomatoes to be held during lunches. Nutritious, kid-friendly recipes for the contest were researched by Kennebunk High School student Laura Broderick.
For more information, contact Jennifer Niese, 985-1656 H or 294-2961 cell,
Photo caption: John Tibbetts of Tibbetts Family Farm will be among the farmers at the Kennebunk Elementary School Harvest Fair on Thursday, September 22, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Tibbetts provides pork for pulled pork sandwiches in the school cafeterias and collects leftover food waste to create compost. (Courtesy photo)

South Berwick Girl Donates 125-Year-Old Clay Pipe to Museum

Sarah Arenberg, 10, was swimming off the Rollinsford boat ramp in the Salmon Falls River this summer, when she saw something white glint on the muddy bottom.
“I thought at first that it was a shark’s tooth,” said the Marshwood Great Works School fifth grader, who lives in South Berwick.
To local historians, Sarah’s find was no less interesting: a clay pipe that someone may have smoked near that spot over 125 years ago.
Sarah and her mother, Debbie Arenberg, researched the pipe on the Internet. The name of the maker, W. White, was stamped on the pipe bowl. The Arenbergs learned that the Whites’ factory building in Glasgow, Scotland, was built in 1877 and still stands. It produced pipes through the 1890s.
Sarah recently donated the pipe to the Counting House Museum, owned by the Old Berwick Historical Society.
“We are delighted to have such an interesting object,” said Pat Laska, the society’s president. “Clay pipes were in common use in South Berwick and Rollinsford before the 20th century.”
The pipe, in good condition except that the stem appears shortened, is now on display on the second floor of South Berwick Town Hall, where the society maintains a display case of historical objects.
Photo caption: Sarah Arenberg, age 10, holds an old clay pipe she found this summer while swimming in the Salmon Falls River. Made in Scotland, the pipe is likely more than 125 years old, and is now on display in the Old Berwick Historical Society’s display case on the second floor of South Berwick Town Hall. (Courtesy photo)

DAR Promotes Constitution Awareness

September 17, 2011, begins the national celebration of Constitution Week. The weeklong commemoration of America’s most important document is one of our country’s least known official observances. Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom, and to ensure those inalienable rights to every American.
The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In 1955, the Daughters petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into Public Law #915 on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The aims of the celebration are to (1) emphasize citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, preserving it for posterity; (2) inform the people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life; and (3) encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.
The United States of America functions as a Republic under the Constitution, which is the oldest document still in active use that outlines the self-government of a people. This landmark idea that men had the inalienable right as individuals to be free and live their lives under their own governance was the impetus of the American Revolution. Today, the Constitution stands as an icon of freedom for people around the world.
“We must remember and teach that those who wrote the Constitution believed that no government can create freedom, but that government must guard freedom rather than encroach upon the freedoms of its people,” stated Merry Ann T. Wright, President General of the DAR. “The Constitution by itself cannot guarantee liberty. A nation’s people can remain free only by being responsible citizens who are willing to learn about the rights of each arm of government and require that each is accountable for its own function. Therefore, Constitution Week is the perfect opportunity to read and study this great document, which is the safeguard of our American liberties. We encourage all citizens across the country to take time this week to guard that which is committed to us by our forefathers... our freedom.”
DAR has served America for 121 years as its foremost cheerleader. In 1928, the Daughters began work on a building as a memorial to the Constitution. John Russell Pope, architect of the Jefferson Memorial, was commissioned to design the performing arts center, known as DAR Constitution Hall. Today, DAR Constitution Hall is the only structure erected in tribute to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Known as the largest women’s patriotic organization in the world, DAR has over 165,000 members with approximately 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and 11 foreign countries. The DAR has long promoted patriotism through commemorative celebrations, memorials, scholarships and activities for children, and programs for new immigrants. For more information about DAR and its programs visit or call (202) 628-1776.

Friday, September 9, 2011

To Our Readers

This week, we at The Weekly Sentinel bring you a very special edition.
In recognition of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we have compiled an 8-page editorial feature commemorating this anniversary. Staff reporters have covered stories that are both close to home, as well as national in scale, paying tribute to America’s loss ten years ago and its rebirth in the wake of those tragedies.
The memorial section also includes photos, information regarding educational resources, and a special events section to keep you informed of local, regional, national and televised programs that are taking place during this solemn anniversary.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this special issue. We are proud to bring it to your community, and we appreciate your taking the time to remember with us.
The Staff at The Weekly Sentinel
Note: This section can be downloaded as a PDF on our web site. Additionally, photos taken by Molly McCoy during her trip to the 9-11 Memorial in NYC, can be viewed at this link:
Photo caption: The National September 11 Memorial in New York City is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the Center bombing in February 1993. The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools, which sit in the footprints of the Twin Towers, are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest man-made waterfalls in the North America. (Artist’s rendering courtesy of

Center for Wildlife to Host Annual Open House

Every year Center for Wildlife quietly treats 1,700 animals, presents 200 educational programs, partners with diagnostics labs and land trusts, fields over 10,000 wildlife phone calls, and hosts 20 college interns and 70 volunteers at the base of Mount Agamenticus. Our mission is to promote respect for wildlife and the environment through our medical, research, and educational programs. We are very excited to celebrate and share our work in the community with our annual “Wild About Our Community” open house event on Sunday, September 11 from 11 to 3 p.m. These open houses have been very popular in the past with hundreds of people in attendance, and we are hoping for another great turnout and event this year.
Take a scenic trolley ride up Mountain Road to Center for Wildlife and enjoy the beautiful habitat and sounds of summer along the way. Staff, volunteers, and live animal ambassadors will welcome participants with a map of the property and a schedule of events for the day. Learn and explore New England wildlife and habitats, how to support our work, and our hopes and dreams for the future; including a Welcome Center and Admissions Building, growth in wildlife diagnostics and research, and public education, workshops, and trainings. There is a $5 admission for adults, and kids are FREE! All proceeds from the event will go directly to our work medically treating and spreading awareness about local wildlife. The schedule of events for the day includes:
11:30-12:00 p.m. - “Migration Sensation”- focusing on migrating raptors and identifying those flying right over CFW this time of year!
12:30-1:00 p.m. - “Going Batty”- introduction to our native bats, and the wonderful work that is being done locally to help save them from White Nosed Syndrome.
2:00-2:30 p.m. - “Edna’s Edible Plant Walk”- Take a walk with Edna our albino porcupine ambassador and learn about what she forages on during different times of the year and why. We’ll also spotlight some local plants and benefits to people
In between programs visitors can enjoy ongoing baby bird room tours and feeding demonstrations, nature-based activities, songbird releases, ice cream from Lone Oak, pizza, and raffles (including gift certificates to Flatbread Pizza, When Pigs Fly Bakery, and The Wellington Room). There is a $5 admission, and kids are free! If you have any questions feel free to email
The Center for Wildlife receives no state or federal funding and treats injured or orphaned wild animals within approximately 100-mile radius of Cape Neddick, ME. Consider supporting CFW’s work along with local wildlife and habitats by making a monetary donation, hosting an intern, applying for a volunteer position, donating blueberries or other items from our wish-list, or in other creative ways! To find out more please visit our website at
Photo caption: Wood thrush being released back into the wild. (Courtesy photo)

Protection of Merriland River Parcel Gets Boost from Federal Grant

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve has received a $287,000 federal grant to assist with the permanent protection of a 130-acre parcel with high conservation value along the Merriland River in Wells. The Wells Reserve and the Wells Conservation Commission collaborated in requesting the grant, which was awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program.
“Protecting land along the rivers that flow into our estuaries is a conservation priority,” says Paul Dest, director of the Wells Reserve. “This grant will greatly assist the Town of Wells in acquiring an ecologically significant parcel that will protect water quality and provide public access for low-impact recreation.”
The Merriland River purchase will protect, through fee simple acquisition by the Town of Wells, 130 acres of uplands and forested wetlands including 5,250 feet of river frontage. The parcel will connect with 410 acres of adjacent Town-owned land to create a 540-acre conserved area.
In June 2010, Wells citizens approved a ballot measure to release funds from the Land Bank Account that will be used as the local match required to receive the federal grant.
“The voters of Wells once again acted responsibly in planning for the Town’s future,” says Owen Grumbling, chair of the Wells Conservation Commission. “Conserving the clean water in this beautiful river system is a fine investment.”
While the federal grant and matching funds have been secured, a survey, an appraisal, deed research, and other due diligence tasks must be completed before the sale is complete. Closing is anticipated by the end of the year.
The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program is a national competitive program meant to protect important coastal and estuarine areas with significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural or recreational state to other uses. States, municipalities, and national estuarine research reserves compete annually for the funds.
The Merriland River proposal, submitted by the Wells Reserve and the Wells Conservation Commission in 2010, was ranked 4th of the 42 proposals submitted from across the country. “The high ranking by a national review committee underscores the tremendous conservation value this property possesses,” says Dest.
This is the second such grant received by the Wells Reserve. The first helped protect over 400 acres of land in Kittery, York, and South Berwick in 2005.
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is a 2,250-acre National Estuarine Research Reserve with its headquarters listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wells Reserve’s goal is to protect and restore coastal ecosystems around the Gulf of Maine. Staff and volunteers expand knowledge about coasts and estuaries, engage people in environmental learning, and involve communities in conserving natural resources.
The work of the Wells Reserve and the care of its historic site are made possible by Laudholm Trust. Organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1982, member-supported Laudholm Trust provides vital monetary and in-kind support to the Wells Reserve. This local support enables the Wells Reserve to receive additional funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is located on Laudholm Farm Road, just off U.S. Route 1 near the Wells-Kennebunk line.

Friday, September 2, 2011

York Hospital Celebrates Groundbreaking in Kittery

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
More than 150 people gathered in what has been a vacant lot at the intersection of State Road and Walker Street Tuesday to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new York Hospital medical facility.
On a site which has been a parking lot for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers and a long-gone car wash, the hospital will build a walk-in care center with diagnostic laboratory and imaging services, and will house Kittery Family Practice and also specialty physician offices including Family Ear, Nose and Throat, the practice of surgeons Brett Rankin and Christopher Sarno.
The project, estimated to cost $7,725,000 is expected to be up and operating in late fall of 2012. It will be a 22,000 square foot facility.
Some of the services now located on the Route 1 Bypass will be moved to the new location but others will remain where they are.
“This project has been a long time in the works,” Jud Knox, president of York Hospital said at the close of the brief ceremony. “We bought this property years ago with the intent of creating a new kind of presence in Kittery, but things just didn’t seem to come together.”
Kittery Family Practice, now located at 22 Shapleigh Road, began in half of the Kittery Water District Building on an opposite corner of the intersection, and has outgrown its current home. Dr. Fred Thaler, one of the physicians involved with that practice, said, “It’s going to be great to be back in the old neighborhood.”
“We know we must do a better job [in Kittery] and that’s why we’re here today,” said Lorraine Boston, chairwoman of the York Hospital Board of Trustees.
She said the trustees have committed the financial resources for the project but part of the financing will be a $500,000 fund drive within the local communities.
That drive, she said, will be headed by Jeff Pelkey of J. S. Pelkey Funeral Home, and current chairman of the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce.
Knox said the new facility is York Hospital’s “commitment to the residents of Kittery. We are here, in fact, to serve you today and in the future. And why is York Hospital here? Because you are very important to us.”
Knox said this project is “part of our philosophy of trying to get medical care into communities and trying to get as close to neighborhoods and as close to patients and their families as possible.”
Judith Spiller, chairwoman of the Kittery Town Council, said the York Hospital facility on the site will create “more business” for local establishments and, hopefully, “more businesses” in the future.
The Kittery facility joins facilities in South Berwick, Wells, Berwick, North Berwick and York, as well as the 79-bed hospital in York Village.
The design team for the project includes Lassell Architects of South Berwick, and Attar Engineering of Eliot. The building contractor is Eckman Construction of Bedford, N.H.
Photo caption: From left to right: Lisle Rankin, Family Ear, Nose and Throat; Jeff Pelkey, Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Ed McAbee, Kittery Family Practice; Lorraine Boston, chairwoman, York Hospital Board of Trustees; Henry Warner, treasurer, York Hospital Board of Trustees; Judith Spiller, chairwoman, Kittery Town Council; and Jud Knox, president, York Hospital. (Photo by Larry Favinger)

Ogunquit Conservation Commission Cleans Up

On Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 9:30 a.m., the Town of Ogunquit’s Conservation Commission will host its seventh annual Ogunquit Beach, Dune and River Clean-Up Day.
As in past years, volunteer citizens, tourists, Ogunquit Selectmen, Town Manager, and others will join Commission members to rally at 9:30 a.m. at the Main Beach Bathhouse to form sectional teams to spruce up the length of the dunes, beach and riverside from the Main Parking Lot to the Moody Car Park.
The Commission is pleased to have the assistance of the six-member work force from Laudholm Farm’s International Volunteers for Peace. Thanks to Judy Cohen, this year’s group will consist of helpers from France, Greece, Romania, Croatia and So. Korea.
Clean-up efforts will result in removal of amounts of litter and refuse: bottles, cans, broken glass, clothing, beach chairs, damaged lobster traps, rope, metal, driftwood, etc.
Refuse will be bagged, separated as to recyclables and deposited at the dune crossovers for pickup in the afternoon by the Ogunquit Public Works Department.
Further protection for the dunes will commence in the spring, when new fencing will be installed along the face of the dune. Fencing is vital to curtail pedestrian traffic plus reducing refuse on the dunes, actions, which are extremely detrimental to the health and development of the dune system. People walking and camping on the dunes destroy the beach grasses that are essential to dune stability, growth and movement.
Beyond adding a handsome back-up to the beach, coastal sand dunes are nature’s way of protecting significant river estuaries (such as the Ogunquit River Estuary), which provide essential habitat; breeding and nesting ground for aquatic species, shorebirds and animal wildlife, plus sanctuary for Endangered and Threatened species and plants.
The Conservation Commission is greatly appreciative of the assistance and cooperation provided by Town Manager, Tom Fortier; Public Works Department Director, Steve Shepard; Fire Chief Ed Smith; Ogunquit Lifeguards, and the many Ogunquit citizens who gave of their time and efforts planning this event.
Snacks and refreshments will be offered at the completion of the cleanup. Greening of Ogunquit Tote Bags will be available for donation.
An open invitation to assist in the clean up is extended to all who enjoy and appreciate Ogunquit’s immaculate beach and surroundings, recently voted (for the 2nd year) the Number One Beach in New England in a NECN poll! Come on down and give us a hand!