Friday, June 10, 2011

Governor Signs Gold Star Plate Legislation

On Tuesday, June 7, Governor Paul LePage signed a bill that honors Maine military members that have given the ultimate sacrifice. The Governor signed LD 1529, “An Act Honoring Gold Star Families through Special Registration Plates,” making Maine the 48th State to designate such a license plate.
“This act is long overdue,” said Governor LePage. “Our service members and their families give so much on our behalf to keep us safe and to secure our freedoms. It is our duty to recognize those who have sacrificed all. This plate pays tribute to the families saluting our fallen heroes who have died in the line of duty and I am proud to see it finally become available in Maine.”
Family members of the fallen, bill sponsor Representative Bradley Moulton, R-York and Secretary of State Charles E. Summers joined the Governor during the signing.
“This is a fitting tribute to the families who have sacrificed their loved one and, in turn, we recognize the sacrifice through this important measure,” said Rep. Moulton.
In 2009, a similar bill failed to pass through the legislature due to the cost of manufacturing the plates. John Mixon of Ogunquit is ensuring the current effort is paid for without the use of taxpayer dollars. Mixon, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has raised funds for the Gold Star plates through his organization, Run for the Fallen. Governor Paul LePage has personally donated $1,000 to the cause. Emily Knight, a Wells High School senior, designed the license plate and 3M has generously donated the first roll of material to produce the plates.
The Gold Star Family registration plates are expected to be made available by the end of the summer to families who qualify.
“Some have said that this is a special plate; it is not. It is, however, a way to recognize those members of the Armed Forces, who, as President Abraham Lincoln said, gave their ‘last full measure of devotion.’ This plate will be a solemn, dignified tribute to those who have given their life in service to their country. I am very grateful to all of those who worked together to make the Gold Star plates possible,” said Secretary Summers.
For more information about the Run for the Fallen event visit
Photo caption: On Tuesday, June 7, Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill designating Gold Star license plates in the state of Maine. (Courtesy image)

Berwick Students Place First in Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Berwick Academy Middle School students took home the top prize at the 32nd Odyssey of the Mind World Finals Competition, besting 38 other teams in their age division, including squads from China, India, and Mexico.
The students and their faculty and parent coaches drove ten hours to the University of Maryland during the Memorial Day weekend to present their “Extreme Mousemobile” for competition. They joined 27 other Maine teams and 883 teams in total from all over the world.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level.
The Berwick students designed and built vehicles that use mousetraps as their only source of energy. For the project, the team created a skit about saving the earth from an oil company. Their mousemobiles were made into various animals that performed several tasks for different point values such as landing in a taped off square, moving trash into a recycling container, spinning a wheel, raising a flag, planting a tree, and delivering a package. The cars were required to “travel an obstacle course and complete a variety of tasks while giving a performance” that tied together the obstacles and the tasks.
In addition to the creative problem solving, there is a requirement that all teams participate in “spontaneous” problem solving, which can be totally verbal. Students who participated on the “Extreme Mousemobile” team were Jess Hebert ’16 of South Berwick, ME, Zoe Albion ’16 of Dover, NH, Emily Borkowski ’15 of Wells, ME, Hirsh Agarwal ’15 of Exeter, NH, and Abby Donoghue ’15 of Kittery Point, ME.
Founded in 1791, Berwick Academy is an independent, coeducational country day school located in South Berwick, Maine.
Photo caption: From left to right: Fern Brown (Maine coordinator for Odyssey of the Mind), Emily Borkowski of Wells, Abby Donoghue of Kittery Point, Jessica Hebert of South Berwick, Jason Wheeler (WCSH, Ch. 6 and a judge for OM), Zoe Albion of Dover, NH, and Hirsh Agarwal of Exeter, NH. (Courtesy photo)

Kittery Block Party Celebrates Local Cuisine and Entertainment

Not since June of 2000 has the town of Kittery welcomed the community to the downtown Foreside district for a traditional community block party. This year, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, event organizers are planning a new and exciting community project that celebrates local art, culture and culinary extravagance. As many locals will remember from years ago, the Kittery Block Party was created to build community relationships, while this year hoping to expand awareness in Kittery regarding the impact of bridge closures – thus, this year’s theme of “Building Bridges.”
The June 18 event will feature artisans, entertainers, non-profits, area farmers, and restaurants – with an emphasis on “local” – as well as other community involvement. This event is sure to entice, educate and entertain all ages.
The Main Stage will showcase children’s entertainment from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. including the Shapleigh School’s Little Amps and magician Peter Boie, and all-ages entertainment from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. includes The Stairwells, Hank & Dixie & The Knotty Pine Boys, Seasmoke and more.
A special children’s area offers live family entertainment throughout the day, demonstrations and educational exhibits. In addition, kids can enjoy face painting, a bounce house, and spin and sand art.
The food area highlights the “talents and cuisines of Kittery.” A number of Kittery restaurateurs will be presenting foods from their establishments for your eating pleasure. Keeping it clean, EcoMovement will also be on hand with recycling stations throughout the area, as well as having stations set up to collect compostable material. Participants in the Block Party will be asked to use recyclable materials as organizers aim for a Zero Waste event.
Admission to this event is free, promising to be fun for all ages! Free parking will be available in many area lots and shuttle services into the Foreside area will also be offered.
For more information about the Kittery Block Party, please contact Janice Grady at 207-439-3800, email View our website at for an event schedule, listing of vendors and restaurants. For up-to-the-minute news, visit our Facebook page at