Friday, December 26, 2008

Down-Mountain and Cross Country: 140 Years of Skiing in Maine

Maine’s skiing history goes back farther than any other New England state. A Mainer wrote America’s first book on skiing. A Maine company built the world’s tallest ski jump and the first chairlift in the East. Two Maine manufacturers were leading producers of skis in the mid-20th century. Two dozen Maine skiers have competed or coached at the Olympics. Maine has hosted five ski, snowboard and biathlon competitions at the World Championship and World Cup level.
These are a few facets of a narrated digital slideshow recently produced by the Ski Museum of Maine. The show, titled “Down-Mountain and Cross-Country: 140 Years of Skiing in Maine,” will be presented Thursday, January 8 from noon to 1 p.m. and again from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Museums of Old York’s Remick Barn, 3 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. For directions, visit their website at
Approximately 130 photos – some more than a century old – have been assembled from the Farmington-based museum’s collections and more than 40 other sources, including the Museums of Old York.
Photos to be presented cover the entire span of skiing in Maine, from the founding of Aroostook County’s Swedish Settlement in 1870 to present-day happenings all over the state. Locations that were historically important to the development of skiing include Aroostook County, Auburn, Bethel, Bridgton, Carrabassett Valley, Farmington, Fryeburg, North Berwick, Portland and York. Competition subjects include ski jumping, cross-country, alpine, freestyle and biathlon.
The story of Big A, the ski area that operated on Mount Agamenticus during the 1960s and 1970s, will be a prominent subject. The 692-foot mountain was proposed as a ski area shortly after World War II. When actually developed during the 1960s, Big A sported a chairlift, T-bar and rope tow. Other local subjects include Hussey Manufacturing Company of North Berwick, which built the first chairlift in the East and the world’s tallest ski jump.
The narrator will be Scott Andrews, a Portland-based ski journalist and director of the Ski Museum of Maine who assembled the photos and performed much of the research.
“Skiing has been part of the Maine way of life since the late 1800s, offering recreation and competition to both residents and visitors,” says Andrews. “The museum’s objective is to feed the passion of Maine skiers and to illustrate the significance of our sport to our state’s lifestyle and economy.”
“Down-Mountain and Cross-Country: 140 Years of Skiing in Maine” is sponsored by the Maine Community Foundation, the Ski Maine Association and the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club. It is presented by the Museums of Old York and the York Public Library.
Photo Caption: The building at the top of Mount Agamenticus was once a thriving ski lodge in the 1960s and 1970s. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Perfect Gift for Christmas, Maine Diner Hits Two Major Milestones

By Magen Petit
Staff Columnist

Despite a time of hardship and an economic meltdown, Governor John Baldacci helped the Maine Diner, located on Route 1 in Wells, celebrate its 25th anniversary as well as its five millionth customer on Wednesday morning.
“To have our five millionth customer while we are celebrating 25 years of business is pretty amazing,” said Myles Henry, co-owner of Maine Diner with his brother, Dick. “Dick and I never fathomed it would be this way when we first opened.”
What a wonderful surprise it was for South Berwick residents Dick Dionne and wife of 49 years, Dede, to become the Diner’s five millionth customer. The two were without power since last Friday and finally regained it Tuesday night due to last week’s ice storm.
“It was a complete surprise,” said a very thrilled Dede. “Someone came out to greet us and I thought maybe we parked in the wrong parking spot! This really makes it though, because we had to throw out a lot of food [with the power outage]...”
Upon walking through the doors of the Maine Diner, the Dionne’s were instructed to pick a name from a box for the month-long drawing of a $1,000 travel voucher from AAA of New England. Dave Randall, Jr. of Wells was the lucky winner.
The Dionne’s received a big prize packet from different sponsors of the event. Pepsi donated a snowboard, the Front Porch Restaurant donated a $100 gift certificate, Shield’s Meats and Produce and Video Creations each donated a $50 gift certificate, both New England Coffee and Remember the Maine Gifts donated gift baskets, US Foodservice donated a spiral cut ham, PFG Northcenter donated a turkey breast, Downeast Flowers donated a floral centerpiece, and Café Lafayette donated a $25 gift certificate.
When Gov. Baldacci arrived for the special event, he expressed his gratitude toward Myles and Dick.
“I think it’s wonderful what you guys are doing and I love your spirit,” said Gov. Baldacci. “It’s good food and reasonable prices. I congratulate you guys, this is terrific!”
Myles is astonished by the Diner’s success and being able to celebrate the five millionth customer.
“I’m amazed we’ve served that many people in a small building,” said Myles. “We are consistent. We have good food, family recipes, and we retain all of our employees. We take care of them and they get benefits. They like working here and they get treated well.”
The family-owned restaurant opened its doors for business in 1983 with the mission of “serving the tastiest home-cooked meals made from family recipes at a good price with the friendliest staff available,” according to a recent press release.
The Diner has bragging rights as it’s been featured on NBC’s Today Show and The Phantom Gourmet.
“Twelve years ago we hit our first millionth customer and just four years later we hit our second millionth,” explained Myles. “We’ve averaged a million customers every three-and-a-half years since then.”
Gov. Baldacci thinks the Maine Diner is a good representation of the spirit of Maine.
“What you’ve done at the Diner, how you treat your employees, help each other out, and are active in the community is the backbone of the state of Maine,” said Gov. Baldacci.
This is the Remember the Maine Gift Shoppe Manager Kristin Johnson’s second millionth celebration at the Diner.
“I think it’s incredible in one year’s time we are celebrating a 25th anniversary and five millionth customer,” said Johnson. “I’m proud to be part of it. It’s a nice thing for Gov. Baldacci to recognize a small business. I’m astounded! I even rearranged for an extra day of daycare so I could be here!”
Congratulations Maine Diner on a successful 25 years and on your five millionth customer!

Photo caption:
Dick (left) and Myles Henry (right) stand with Gov. Baldacci (center) as the Maine Diner celebrates 25 years. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Despite Bad Weather, Ogunquit Merchants Prepare for Last Big Holiday Weekend Shopping

The Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce announces that Christmas by the Sea will occur on December 19-21, 2008. Originally scheduled for December 12-14, the power outages caused a delay in the celebration. The schedule of events will be virtually the same as was planned for last weekend, but the delay has allowed new events to be added to the weekend.
Newly scheduled, will be a Friday night concert with the Patriot Fife and Drum duo. This duo visited Ogunquit in April for our Patriots Day celebration, and were so popular that they were asked to join us for Christmas by the Sea. The duo will perform a mixture of traditional Christmas and American music, using their fife and drum, as well as other instruments.
A minstrel will also be wandering throughout Perkins Cove and various venues in Ogunquit on Saturday night, caroling with his guitar. Wandering Minstrel Dave Peliquin is very popular in the southern Maine area, although this will be his first performance in Ogunquit.
Our members are sched-uling special events for the weekend to augment Christmas by the Sea, including wine tastings, special entertainment, signings, and open houses, for a full weekend of activities. Many businesses that planned to close after last weekend are staying open through the 21st, offering unprecedented sales. Extended sales include 20 percent off any order at Raspberrie’s Restaurant, 15 percent off gift baskets, Maine products and more at Village Food Market, and 10 percent off purchses of six bottles of wine or more at Perkins & Perkins, and special sales at Amore Breakfast, Oceanside Printers and so many more!
Revised schedule of events:
Friday, December 19

CONCERT. 7pm - 8pm. Patriot Fife and Drum Duo. Ogunquit Baptist Church. Sponsored by Seacastles Resort and Anchorage by the Sea.
Saturday, December 20

HAY RIDES. 9am - 3pm. (Weather permitting.)

SANTA ARRIVES AT PERKINS COVE. 9am. Watch as Santa sails into Ogunquit! Then Santa will be whisked away by fire truck to the Fire Station for a 9:30 appointment with waiting children.

VISIT WITH SANTA. 9:30am - 11am. Upstairs at the Fire Station. Have your picture taken with Santa! Photos courtesy of Ogunquit Camera Shop. Treats courtesy of Harbor Candy. Santa courtesy of Revelations Gift Shop.

BASEMENT BAZAAR. 10am - 3pm. Dunaway Center, downstairs. Craft show with a free raffle.

THE “GIVING TREE” SILENT AUCTION. 10:30am - 2pm. Dunaway Center, downstairs. Theme-decorated artificial trees have been donated by local businesses, groups, and individuals, to be silent auctioned. Come bid on the popular Lottery Tree.

KIDS’ ORNAMENT MAKING. 11am - noon. Ogunquit Baptist Church, downstairs. Sponsored by Raspberri’s Restaurant.

CHOWDER & CHOCOLATEFEST. 11:30am - 1:30pm. 19th Annual Chowder Tasting Competition. Dunaway Center, upstairs. Area restaurants compete - you are the judge! Bring a non-perishable food item for our local food pantry. Admission: $10.
Chowder Contenders: Anchorage by the Sea, Beach House Grill, Bintliff’s Ogunquit, Clay Hill Farm, Five-O Shore Road, Hayloft Restaurant, Old Village Inn, Post Road Tavern. Chocolate Contenders: Anchorage by the Sea, Angelina’s Ristorante, Five-O Shore Road, Sundaes at the Beach, Post Road Tavern.

CALENDAR SIGNING. 11 am - 4pm. Nationally known artist Dana Heacock will sign his artwork on the 2009 Abacus calendar at Abacus.

OPEN HOUSE. 1pm - 5pm. Ogunquit Heritage Museum. 18th century decorations, special Santa and angel exhibit, menorah exhibit and holiday refreshments.

STORYTELLING. 2pm - 3pm. Ogunquit Library. Sponsored by Abacus and Almost Home Inn Ogunquit.

THE OLS OCEAN “PLUNGE” - 2:00pm. to 2:15pm. Main Beach, Watch the Ogunquit Lifeguard Service parade into the chilly Atlantic Ocean in their lifeguard gear and with their lifeguard equipment in order to raise toys for disadvantaged kids. All proceeds to benefit Toys for Tots.

CHRISTMAS PARADE. 3pm. Presented by the Village Spirit Committee. Beginning at the Main Beach and ending at Perkins Cove. Chamber float sponsored by Peoples Insurance and Stoneybrook Landscaping.

WINE TASTING. 3pm-6pm. Perkins & Perkins Wine & Cheese Shop will host a free wine tasting highlighting wines for the holidays.

US MARINES & SANTA. 4pm. Ogunquit Ocean Rescue (lifeguards) will join Santa and the US Marines at Bessie’s to collect donations for Toys for Tots!

WANDERING MINSTREL. 4:30pm - 5:30pm. Wandering in and out of the shops in Perkins Cove, the Wandering Minstrel will delight you with familiar and traditional Christmas songs. Sponsored by Jonathan’s Ogunquit.
TREE LIGHTING & CAROLING. 5:30pm - 6:00pm. Rotary Park, Perkins Cove. Tree decorated by Ogunquit Rotary Club. Cookies provided by Blue Willow Gift Shop. Hot cider provided by Village Food Market & Fancy That.

CANDLELIGHT WALK to the LIVING MANGER. 6:00pm - 6:30pm. Led by the Wandering Minstrel. Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Baptist Church. Sponsored by Perkins & Perkins Fine Wine & Cheese.

LIVING MANGER. 6:30pm-6:45pm. Sponsored and performed by Ogunquit Baptist Church.
CONCERT. 7pm - 8pm. Back by popular demand, “Melodies & Memories” Barbershop Quartet. Ogunquit Baptist Church. Doors open at 6:50pm. Sponsored by Seacastles Resort.

TOWN TREE LIGHTING. 8:15pm. Veteran’s Park. Announcement of the town-wide decorating contest winners. Tree decorated by Keith Shubert of Floral Concepts. Cookies provided by Raspberri’s Restaurant. Hot cider provided by Village Food Market & Fancy That.

SING-A-LONG. 9pm. Clay Hill Farm hosts a holiday sing-a-long with pianist David Hollis. Join in the festivities!
Sunday, December 21

HAY RIDES. 10am - 2pm. (Weather permitting.)

FREE GIFT WRAPPING. 11am - 1pm. Gypsy Sweethearts Restaurant. Purchase your holiday gifts at our members’ shops; we’ll wrap for free! Sponsored by Harbor Candy Shop, Gypsy Sweethearts, and Rockmere Lodge.

OPEN HOUSE. 11 am - 2 pm. Julie’s Ristorante & Provisto.

OPEN HOUSE. 1pm - 5pm. Ogunquit Heritage Museum; Anchorage by the Sea;Beachmere Inn; Gazebo Inn Ogunquit; Gorges Grant; Juniper Hill Inn; Meadowmere Resort.

While Remembering Home this Holiday Season, Local Soldiers Save Lives in Iraq

By Magen Petit
Staff Columnist

While most people are wrapping up with holiday shopping, Captain Mark C. Stevens and 1st Lieutenant Platoon Leader Brian F. McClellan both part of Charlie Company 1-126th Medevac (C/1-126 Medevac) is thousands of miles away completing critical missions and fighting for their country.
A 1987 graduate of Kennebunk High School, Capt. Stevens never thought he’d be on his second tour in Iraq just 22 years later.
“It goes to show how many surprises life can throw at you,” wrote Stevens in an e-mail interview with The Weekly Sentinel’s Staff Columnist Devin Beliveau. “It’s been a great 22 years and I’m looking forward to the next 22.”
Stevens has been in Iraq for nine months and his deployment is expected to end in about a month. He is currently stationed in Tallil, Iraq with many responsibilities.
“I am the company’s executive officer and I ensure the overall operation for the unit runs smoothly and efficiently,” wrote Stevens in a recent e-mail. “I am also a medical evacuation pilot-in-command of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.”
Eliot native and Marshwood High School graduate, 1st Lt. McClellan has spent about two-and-a-half years in the military and is stationed to the Tallil Air Base as well. He has spent about 10 months in Iraq and his deployment should end by January 2009. McClellan is the flight operation’s platoon leader and officer in charge (OIC) of one of their MEDEVAC sites.
Capt. Katherine Zyla of unit TF 449 interviewed McClellan and wrote a press release regarding the MEDEVAC Company and what their mission is about. During her interview, McClellan told her how he views MEDEVAC.
‘“One of the greatest things about a MEDEVAC unit, whether you’re transporting patients, maintaining aircraft, facilitating logistics, etc., is we work as a team and put our mission first,” said McClellan. “MEDEVAC is based on speed, and it is critical our sites are fully operational at all times, so we can respond to those on the ground.”’
As the OIC, McClellan receives all daily briefs and MEDEVAC status reports as well as requests, mission planning, and launch authority to the requesting party such as the soldier or medical facility requesting MEDEVAC.
“My most memorable moment was a MEDEVAC operation for a Special Forces team that struck an IED (improvised explosive device),” wrote McClellan in an e-mail to Beliveau. “One soldier was killed and the other two were severely injured. The weather was restricting aircraft from flying, but MEDEVAC crews requested launch authority in order to rescue the soldiers. The crews flew in horrible weather conditions to reach the soldiers and bring them to a Combat Support Hospital (CSH). Their decision to fly in weather conditions that would cause most aircraft to be grounded saved the lives of those two wounded soldiers. For their action, the aircrews received Army Air Medals.”
Stevens backs up McClellan’s memorable moment.
“Being in a MEDEVAC unit is rewarding every day,” wrote Stevens. “Our job is to save people’s lives. Everything else is secondary.”
Stevens ensures timely evacuation of all soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, local nationals, civilians, and other patients to a higher level of medical care.
“We also transport medical clinicians, blood, medical supplies and working dogs,” according to Stevens.
Through everything, McClellan and Stevens believe the people in their unit are “great Americans and we couldn’t be as successful as we are without each and every one of them. Teamwork is key.”
Another thought the Captain and 1st Lieutenant have in common when asked what they miss most about home, they both miss their families very much.
“I miss my family and friends the most,” wrote McClellan.
“I miss my wife and kids more than anything in the world,” added Stevens. “It can be very depressing to see how much the kids have grown and to realize how much I’ve missed.”
After the military, McClellan would like to “take a vacation with my family, return to work, and try to regain a normal lifestyle” while Stevens wants to “be a good husband and dad and stay with C/1-126, a National Guard Aviation Unit, out of Bangor.”
Even though the two men will be missing the holiday season, McClellan and Stevens will be home soon, giving their families the best gift they can receive.
The Weekly Sentinel’s Staff Columnist Devin Beliveau conducted the e-mail interviews between Capt. Stevens and 1st Lt. McClellan.

First photo caption:
First Lt. Brain F. McClellan, a native of Eliot and Marshwood High School graduate, is stationed in Tallil Iraq and expects his deployment should end by January 2009. (1st. Lt. McClellan photo)

Second photo caption: On the right is Capt. Mark C. Stevens, a native of Kennebunk who currently resides in Biddeford. Pictured with him is his father Mark Stevens Sr. of Kennebunk. Capt. Stevens is also presently stationed in Tallil Iraq but his deployment is expected to end in about a month.. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Maine’s Pearl Harbor Survivor Honored in Lebanon

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
North Berwick native and who is believed to be Maine’s last Pearl Harbor survivor Bernie Hall was honored this past Sunday with an award from American Legion Post 214 in Lebanon.
Sixty-seven years ago, while being stationed in Honolulu, HI, Hall was out getting a morning cup of coffee when he heard two explosions that would forever change his life, and the course of world history.
“I heard BOOM, BOOM! “ explained the 93-year-old World War II veteran, “while I was at the Scolfield Barracks.”
Hall is describing the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, the “date that will live in infamy” when Japan attacked the US naval forces stationed at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu.
“It was a terrible, terrible incident,” said Hall. He remembered, “I lost my helmet getting into the back of the truck, and I was ordered to go quick and get one that fits!”
A pancake breakfast was held at the Lebanon Elementary School and about 139 people, including many veterans, were in attendance. As the winter’s first snowfall descended lazily outside, Hall was in good spirits, joking, laughing and shaking hands with the many well-wishers on the inside.
Once the official program began, several speakers took the podium to honor Mr. Hall, now a Lebanon resident. Speakers included Commander of Post 214 Steven White, 4th District Commander Charles Bennett, State Senator Richard Nass, State Representative Joan Nass, and representatives from Governor Baldacci, Senator Snowe and Senator Collins. Mr. Hall also received a letter of appreciation from the President of the United States of America.
Hall’s date with history may never have happened if he had not seen the Uncle Sam army recruitment poster on a particularly cold day in North Berwick 68 years ago.
“He saw that sign and said: That’s what I’m going to do,” said his daughter, June Boivin. “His cousin then drove him to Portland, they put him up in a nice hotel, and asked him: where do you want to go? He said: Hawaii!”
The events at Pearl Harbor led the United States to enter into World War II hostilities.

Caption: Commander of Post 214 Steven White presents Pearl Harbor survivor Bernie Hall with an award of honor from the American Legion Post 214 in Lebanon. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Maine Veteran Organizations “Remember, Honor and Teach” with Wreaths

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist

Two southern Maine American veterans organizations are taking part in the Wreaths Across America program with ceremonies Saturday.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6548 in Kennebunk and the Owen Davis American Legion Post 96 of Saco are among those nationwide to participate.
Kenneth Kingsley of Kennebunk and David Walker of Saco said wreaths honoring the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marine Navy, and MIAs/POWs will be placed at veterans’ memorials in their respective towns.
This is the second year the VFW Post 6548 has been part of the observance. Kingsley. a Navy Seabee who served in Vietnam and the current commander of the Saco VFW, said he learned of it reading the VFW magazine and “thought it would be a good idea” to be part of it.
The simple ceremony will be held at noon at the Veterans Memorial at Washington Park, he said, at the same time similar ceremonies are being conducted throughout the country.
Walker, an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War, said the noon ceremony in Saco will be at the Veterans Memorial at the Laurel Hill Cemetery.
This is the third year the Owen Davis Post has been involved. People interested in taking part this year should arrive at 11:30 a.m., he said. All are welcome to take part.
The Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, originated the program and this year Wreaths Across America will send more than 100,000 wreaths to more than 350 sites across the nation and over 20 more sites overseas including Iraq, according to an Associated Press report.
A convoy of trucks carrying wreaths made in Maine left Harrington last weekend en route to Arlington National Cemetery. The convoy is scheduled to arrive Saturday.
The convoy makes a series of stop along the way. Those stops included Old Orchard Beach, Portland, and Wells High School earlier this week where a small ceremony was held to honor veterans.
Morrill Worcester of Worcester Wreath began the program placing wreaths on veterans’ graves in 1992 at Arlington, and it has grown steadily over the years. This year his company will donate 18,000 wreaths to what has become a national effort during the holiday season.
“On behalf of everyone at Worcester Wreath, my wife Karen, our family, and all the people who have made the Arlington Wreath Project their work for so many years, we wish to express our appreciation for the many phone calls, email, and letters of thanks,” Worcester writes on the program website.
“It provides the inspiration for all of us to renew our commitment to honor the men and women of the armed forces who have served, and those who are currently serving our country,” he continues. “To each, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we owe unwavering support and a profound debt of gratitude for preserving the way of life we all enjoy here in the United States of America.”
Caption: Wreaths have been placed at veteran’s markers all across America. (James Varhegyi photo)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas by the Sea Comes to Ogunquit for 22nd Year

The Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce announces the schedule for the annual Christmas by the Sea celebration, December 12-14, 2008. Many of the favorite events will come back, but we have also made some new additions, including the sailing of Santa in the Ogunquit Dory, and a craft show. Also added this year is a special event from the Ogunquit Lifeguards. Please take a look at the schedule, and join us for an exciting, fun-filled weekend!
Friday, December 12
CAROLERS. 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Stopping throughout town.
CONCERT. 7pm - 8pm. Barbershop quartet. Ogunquit Baptist Church.
BONFIRE. 8:30pm. Ogunquit Main Beach. By Meadowmere Resort.
Saturday, December 13
HAY RIDES. 9am - 3pm.
SANTA ARRIVES AT PERKINS COVE. 9am. Watch as the Ogunquit Heritage Museum’s dory sails Santa into Ogunquit! Then Santa will be whisked away by fire truck to the Fire Station for a 9:30 appointment with children.
VISIT WITH SANTA. 9:30am - 11am. Upstairs at the Fire Station. Have your picture taken with Santa! Photos courtesy of Ogunquit Camera Shop. Treats courtesy of Harbor Candy. Santa courtesy of Clay Hill Farm.
4TH ANNUAL ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW. 10am - 4pm. Fire Station, downstairs. Free admission. Proceeds benefit Ogunquit Fire Rescue.
BASEMENT BAZAAR. 10am - 3pm. Dunaway Center, downstairs. Craft show with a free raffle.
THE “GIVING TREE” SILENT AUCTION. 10:30am - 2pm. Dunaway Center, downstairs. Theme-decorated artificial trees have been donated by local businesses, groups, and individuals, to be silent auctioned. Come bid on the popular Lottery Tree.
KIDS’ ORNAMENT MAKING. 11am - noon. Ogunquit Baptist Church, downstairs.
CHOWDER & CHOCOLATEFEST. 11:30am - 1:30pm. 19th Annual Chowder Tasting Competition. Dunaway Center, upstairs. Area restaurants compete - you are the judge! Bring a non-perishable food item to enter to win a prize. Admission: $10.
OPEN HOUSE. 1pm - 5pm. Ogunquit Heritage Museum. 18th century decorations, special Santa and angel exhibit, menorah exhibit and holiday refreshments.
STORYTELLING. 2pm - 3pm. Ogunquit Library.
THE OLD OCEAN “PLUNGE” - 2:00pm to 2:15pm. Main Beach, Watch the Ogunquit Lifeguard Service parade into the chilly Atlantic Ocean in their lifeguard gear in order to raise toys for disadvantaged kids. All proceeds to benefit Toys for Tots.
CHRISTMAS PARADE. 3pm. Presented by the Village Spirit Committee. Beginning at the Main Beach and ending at Perkins Cove.
TREE LIGHTING & CAROLING. 5:30pm - 6:00pm. Rotary Park, Perkins Cove.
CANDLELIGHT WALK to the LIVING MANGER. 6:00pm - 6:30pm. Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Baptist Church.
LIVING MANGER. 6:30pm-6:45pm. Sponsored and performed by Ogunquit Baptist Church.
CONCERT. 7pm - 8pm. Barbershop Quartet. Ogunquit Baptist Church. Doors open at 6:50pm.
TOWN TREE LIGHTING. 8:15pm. Veteran’s Park. Announcement of the town-wide decorating contest winners.
Sunday, December 14
HAY RIDES. 10am - 2pm.
FREE GIFT WRAPPING. 11am - 1pm. Gypsy Sweethearts Restaurant. Purchase your holiday gifts at our members’ shops; we’ll wrap for free! Sponsored by Harbor Candy Shop, Gypsy sweethearts, and Rockmere Lodge.
OPEN HOUSE. 1pm - 5pm. Ogunquit Heritage Museum.

Christmas Prelude Celebrates 27th Anniversary

This year’s Christmas Prelude will be held from December 5th through December 14th in the Lower Village of Kennebunk as well as in Cape Porpoise and the Dock Square of Kennebunkport. The following is a summary of events for the second weekend, provided by the event’s website Please note that programs and events are subject to change.

Photo caption: Tree Lighting Ceremony in Dock Square ( photo)

Commander Roberts and The USS Dallas Arrive at Shipyard

PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD: USS Dallas (SSN 700) and her crew of 18 officers and 126 enlisted personnel arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on December 3, 2008. While at the Shipyard, Dallas will complete various maintenance work and receive several system upgrades. Built by the Electric Boats Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, Dallas is the first United States Naval Ship to bear the name of the City of Dallas, Texas.
Dallas’ Commanding Officer, Commander David Roberts is a native of New Providence, New Jersey and a 1985 graduate of Westerville North High School in Westerville, Ohio. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Architecture. In 1996, he received a Master of Engineering Management degree from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Following nuclear propulsion and basic submarine training, Commander Roberts reported to USS New York City (SSN 696) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he served in a variety of division officer assignments during three western Pacific deployments. In February 1994, he was assign to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Arlington, Virginia as a submarine Junior Officer Detailer. In 1996, Commander Roberts reported to USS Miami (SSN 755) in Groton, Connecticut as Engineer Officer. During this tour, the ship completed three deployments to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf and participated in Operation Desert Fox, conducting Tomahawk missile strikes against Iraq. From 1999 to 2001, Commander Roberts was assigned to the staff of Commander, Submarine development Squadron Twelve as the Material Officer. Commander Roberts’ Executive Officer tour was aboard USS Nebraska (SSBN 739 Gold) in Kings Bay, Georgia. He completed three strategic deterrent patrols on Nebraska and was then assigned to the Operations Directorate on the Joint Staff in November 2003. Most recently following the Submarine Command Course, he was assigned as a Middle East liaison officer in the Center for Submarine Counter-Terrorism Operations.
Commander Roberts’ awards include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards) and various campaign and unit awards.

Photo caption:
USS Dallas (SSN 700) and her crew of 18 officers and 126 enlisted personnel arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on December 3, 2008. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, November 28, 2008

FEI Equestrian Susan Jaccoma Awarded Educational Training Scholarship by New England Dressage Association

The New England Dressage Association recently named nationally-ranked dressage competitor Susan Jaccoma as the 2008 award recipient of a $2,000 educational scholarship to further her riding education in training sessions with an Olympic coach this winter in Florida.
Jaccoma, who placed 5th at the 2008 National Intermediare Dressage Championship in San Juan Capistrano, California this season, was selected from a pool of finalists for this prestigious honor. Intermediare is one of the top levels of dressage -only Grand Prix is higher. With her eye on the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, Jaccoma will utilize the funding to train intensively with renowned Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) trainer Lars Petersen of Denmark with her two horses Wadamur and Donatella. Petersen, a 5-time Danish National Champion, has competed in an Olympiad, two World Cup Finals, and three World Equestrian Games and was recently ranked #2 in the world.
“I am so excited to have this wonderful opportunity to further my education and work toward my competitive goals; I can’t wait!” Jaccoma said. “Lars possesses an amazing depth of knowledge in training Grand Prix horses and riders and has a program that is in sync with my own. When he recently helped me at the national championship our personalities just clicked and the chemistry felt right.”
The mission of the 15-member New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Scholarship Committee is to provide educational opportunities to its members who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to and excellence in the sport, as well as service and ambassadorship within the association. The program exists to further two specific objectives - to provide the widest possible range of dressage education to the greatest number of members, and to support the development of dressage in the field of international competition. Scholarships are awarded to professionals and amateurs alike.
“Our committee looked very hard at numerous objective criteria regarding each individual application, from the competition level of the rider, their length of time with the organization and their degree of volunteerism,” NEDA President Paul Cormier said. “Sue fit the criteria extremely well.”
That sentiment was echoed by Scholarship Committee Chairwoman Sue Edelen.
“Sue is a wonderful rider who has an exciting and successful young horse coming along. While our selection of candidates is strictly objective based on points awarded for factors we weigh, Sue is the type of person and professional we like to help if we can,” Edelen said.
Jaccoma heads to Florida in December and will invest her time into both of her horses in four sessions with Petersen a week. Her California partner is the superstar Wadamur, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Weltmeyer and Sandro Hit. Six-time US Olympian Robert Dover calls “Moe” a “world-class horse” who showed Grand Prix potential right from the start. This past season the young horse competed in the high performance classes and qualifiers at the United Equestrian Team Headquarters at Gladstone in the Pan-Am Selection Trials and at the Intermediare championships. They are currently named on the United States Equestrian Team Developing Young Horse list, and are ranked third on the high performance list for Intermediare with a score of 68.583%.
Her second horse Donatella, 9, is an Oldenburg mare by Donnerhall out of Nina Ricci. As her established Grand Prix partner, Donatella is ranked 12th in the country by the United States Dressage Federation this year.
“It is extremely exciting to have two young Grand Prix horses poised to advance and compete at Grand Prix in this stage of our careers together,” Jaccoma said. “I feel blessed.”
About Susan Jaccoma: Susan Jaccoma, a native New Englander, has competed at the highest FEI levels in the sport of dressage, winning numerous championships at many levels up to Grand Prix on horses she has trained herself. She has been on the United States Equestrian Team long list since 2000 and is a United States Dressage Federation Gold Medalist. Over the years Jaccoma has represented the United States in Sydney, Australia at the Nation’s Cup in 2000, earning team and individual gold medals; has successfully competed at several Can-Am Challenges; and competed as a member of the US Team Quadrille for the Challenge of the Americas to benefit breast cancer. When not competing, Jaccoma shares her knowledge and experience by coaching other horses and riders from Maine to Florida.
Caption: Susan Jaccoma on her horse.

Quaint South Berwick Village Launches Holidays in Style

South Berwick’s 2008 Home for the Holidays celebration on the first weekend in December will feature for the first time a caroling parade run by a church, the opening of the Sarah Orne Jewett House and an artist’s reception at the newly opened South Berwick Art Gallery.
The fourth annual South Berwick Home for the Holidays, led by local volunteers with the group SmartGrowth South Berwick, has grown from a small grassroots operation into a mainstay of the town’s holiday season. Dozens of business owners – retailers, restaurants and realtors -- open their doors to the public in one of the village’s most festive occasions.
Just a few weeks after 200 people packed town hall to hear a national speaker address the importance of small independent businesses, downtown South Berwick will hold its holiday festivities. From 5 - 8pm on Friday December 5, businesses from the toy store and yoga center to the florist and the framer will offer food, crafts, raffles and merry-making.
The celebration annually draws hundreds of people to stroll the village sidewalks. Home For the Holidays reminds residents that shopping downtown is more fun, more efficient and a better way to support the local economy.
At the heart of the celebration is the Women’s Holiday Art Sale. Now in its 9th year, the sale will open Friday from 5 - 8pm, featuring the work of two dozen women on the third floor of town hall. The sale continues Saturday from 10am - 3pm. The jewelry, leather goods, pottery, soap and other items for sale are all made by women from the area.
The Sarah Orne Jewett House will open its doors Friday and Saturday to visitors to visit the first floor and to browse for unique gift items, including redware pottery, glassware, books and stationery. At 10am Saturday, the Jewett House will invite children to a special children’s program featuring the reading of Jewett’s1884 Christmas story, “The Becket Girls’ Tree”. Children will be invited to stay and make simple Victorian ornaments and use them to decorate a tree. Refreshments will be served. Reservations are requested and can be made at 384-2454.
The South Berwick Art Gallery at the South Berwick Yoga Center will hold an exhibit reception in conjunction with the open house at the yoga center. The artist’s reception will be for local artists Rose Theriault of southern New Hampshire who works includes watercolor, gouache, printmaking, and drawing, and John Klossner, a cartoonist from South Berwick.
Santa Claus will welcome children at P. Gagnon; Ocean Bank will set up areas for children to write and decorate letters to Santa; Edward Jones will host Mrs. Claus reading stories, and The Little Hat Co. will have children making ornaments and helping to decorate the store’s Christmas tree. York Hospital invites children into the community room for face painting.
Strollers are invited to enjoy spiced wine at Abby Chic flower shop, cider at the Little Hat. Co. apple-cranberry cider at the Catered Event and homemade treats at the South Berwick Pharmacy.
The Masiello Group will host local videographer Tim Benoit’s work, “South Berwick” featuring montages of present day scenes and photos from the Old Berwick Historical Society.
The brochure is online at
Caption: Logo from Home for the Holidays Brochure (Courtesy photo)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oldest School in Maine Receives Largest Single Gift in its 217-Year History

Berwick Academy Head of School, Greg Schneider, recently announced that the Academy has received the largest single cash gift in its 217-year history. The bequest totals $3.5 million dollars, and has been left to the School with no restrictions. The gift speaks to the passion of Berwick alumni, a group that the institution has been engaging with renewed vigor in recent years.
Berwick Academy was named a beneficiary to the estate of Helen Hasty Perreault, widow of Berwick Academy alumnus, Victor Perreault ‘33. Victor was a Navy veteran of World War II, and he spent the bulk of his career as a proofreader at a government printing office in the Washington, D.C. area until his passing in 1962. His widow, Helen, continued to live in Arlington, Virginia, until her death in the summer of 2007. Helen was an editor at the Bureau of National Affairs and a member of the Maine State Society, a “home away from home” for Mainers living and working in the Washington area.
Born in South Berwick, Maine, Helen had three siblings who, like her husband, are Berwick Academy alumni. She is survived by her sisters Zana Littlefield ’35, of Ogunquit, ME and Carolyn Bragdon ’49, of Wells, ME. Her brother Wesley Hasty ’41, of South Berwick, passed away in December 2001. Mrs. Perreault’s decision to donate to Berwick in honor of her husband, reflects their great commitment to the community of South Berwick and Berwick Academy.
Head of School, Greg Schneider commented, “The Perreault bequest is transformational for the Berwick Academy community on many levels. It embodies the lasting power of the Berwick experience, and it is inspiring to see an alumni family moved to make such an extraordinary planned gift. This gift, the largest single gift in the School’s 217-year history, sets the stage for additional gifts of this significance in the future. Beyond the immediate financial impact of the Perreault bequest, it has served as a catalyst for the Board of Trustees to discuss increasing financial aid resources.”
Founded in 1791, Berwick Academy is an independent, coeducational country day school located in South Berwick, Maine.
Caption: Victor and Helen Perreault (Courtesy photo)

The “Help is Here Express” Offers Help While Raising Awareness on Chronic Ills

By Larry Favinger Staff Columnist
The “Help is Here Express” bus was in Maine last week.
The tour, whose national spokesman is television star Montel Williams, is part of a nationwide effort sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical research companies to help financially-struggling Americans access information on various programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free while at the same time raising awareness of patient assistance programs.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) also seeks to “raise the awareness of chronic diseases in the United States,” Jeff Gilbert, director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said sitting in the conference room at The Weekly Sentinel. He said there is “a very big rate” of chronic illnesses in Maine.
Jerry Mathers of “Leave it to Beaver” Fame, who suffers from diabetes, was with the crew on the bus for part of the journey through Maine with stops in Fort Kent, Presque Isle, Bangor, Houlton, Lewiston, Rumford and Bridgeton.
Gilbert said the program, signified by the bus that is stocked with phones and laptop computers, has worked with thousands of people “getting their prescriptions” for free or at reduced rates directly from the pharmaceutical companies.
“Many of these programs have been around for years,” Gilbert said, but have gone unpublicized. The program as it now stands help people cut through the process to make it easy for them. “It is easy and fast,” he said.
In fact, he added, since the program began in 2005, the two buses have helped an estimated 5.3 million people, including more 21,000 Mainers.
Since its inception in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited over 2,000 cities and towns in all 50 states. Upon leaving The Sentinel, the bus was going to Rhode Island for its next stop.
Specially trained staff members provide help in many ways ways, Gilbert said. People can visit the bus and receive first hand help in making application by laptop computer and learn quickly what programs they may be qualified for.
If they qualify, the forms needed to send to the company are printed right there for them to take home, attach the necessary prescriptions and send to the company. The medicine can be obtained in a matter of days.
There is no age limits in the program. “Everyone can apply,” Gilbert said. About 70 percent of program applicants are under the age of 65. Many applicants are covered by Medicare Part D but, Gilbert said, “We’re still able to help some people over the age of 65.
Income levels are based on 200 percent of the federal government poverty level.
Gilbert said if a single person is making $19,500, without prescription medication insurance, “there’s a very good chance you’ll qualify for” some of the programs. A family of four with an income level somewhere in the $38,000 to $39,500 would qualify.
There are more than 475 patient assistance programs, including nearly 200 offered by pharmaceutical companies, Gilbert said.
The two buses involved with the program have traveled an estimated quarter of a million miles including more then 850 in Maine. They have visited the state four times.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that many of these programs, if not all of them, have been around for 50 years,” Gilbert said.
The effort to make more people aware came “because we wanted to cut through the process and make it simpler for people,” Gilbert said.
There appears to be no limit on the how long these program will be available. “It won’t go away,” Gilbert said. “As I said it’s been around for 50 years of more. It’s not going to go away. If may change form, we may have a bus, we may not have a bus, but may do it differently, but we’re always going to try to come up with new ways to reach people we haven’t yet reached.”
Gilbert said there are rewards for those working on the bus.
“We see a lot of sad faces coming on the bus, people looking down,” Gilbert said. “To see that same person coming off the bus smiling” because of the help received is a very good feeling.
When the “Help is Here Express” bus moves on, people can visit PPA’s Web site ( 24 hours a day or call the toll-free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW) during business hours when trained operators field calls in 150 languages.
Caption: The “Help is Here Express” bus visited the office of the Weekly Sentinel while touring Maine to raise awareness on prescription assistance and chronic ills. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Local World War II Veterans of the “Greatest Generation” to Speak

America is losing World War II veterans at a rate of 1200 a day. Several veterans of this war who live in and near South Berwick will take part in a panel discussion at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 20 at Berwick Academy.
Moderated by Ernie Wood of South Berwick, panelists will share experiences and photos of the war and the era in which they and our country came of age. The discussion was put together as part of the Old Berwick Historical Society’s monthly lecture series.
Representatives of the US Army, Navy, Marines, Merchant Marine, and Air Force will share stories and answer questions about the challenging times in which they lived and served. These veterans that have been called the “greatest generation” and this panel will give audience members a glimpse of why.
Among those invited are Bob Perham, former teacher in the Marshwood school district; Phil Lawrence, who was interviewed by Tom Brokaw of NBC news; Franklin West, who served in both theatres; Charles Colwell, who served under General George Patton; Paul Colburn, who served in the Merchant Marine and traveled the Atlantic and the Pacific, and Tom Keelty, who knew most of the South Berwick young people who served during WWII as he did.
Moderator Wood indicated that “time is running out to hear, honor, and bear witness to those who history has rightfully labeled the ‘greatest generation’”.
The program will be held upstairs in Berwick Academy’s Fogg Memorial building on Academy Street. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served by volunteers. This program is part of the Old Berwick Historical Society’s 2008 series of talks, walks, and historical events. The series, supported by a grant from Kennebunk Savings Bank, includes seven monthly Thursday presentations, all starting at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy, as well as other local history events around South Berwick, including the society’s Counting House Museum.
FMI: On all the Old Berwick Historical Society’s programs,, or call 207-384-0000.
Caption: Albert Jalbert, James Doherty and Donat Parent stand before the roll of honor in South Berwick ceremony, November 1, 1944. (Courtesy photo)

Best Investment for Maine’s Future May Lie in Childhood

By York County Sheriff Maurice Ouellette, Ogunquit Chief of Police Patricia Arnaudin, Kennebunkport Chief of Police Joe Bruni, Kennebunk Chief of Police Robert MacKenzie, Saco Chief of Police Brad Paul, and Wells Chief of Police Jo-Ann Putnam; all members of Fight Crime: Invest In Kids.
As the state of Maine and our nation elect our future leaders, it is important that we communicate to them why greater investments in quality early child care and education must be a priority. By providing children with solid social and educational foundations, they have a far better chance of graduating and staying away from a life of crime, making our communities safer for everyone.
During a recent York county-wide community conversation, we sat down with area business leaders, educators, legislators, providers and community leaders to work toward public policy changes needed to focus targeted resources to support Maine’s youngest citizens – our future workforce and leaders.
As federal, state and local budgets get tighter, it is important that we prioritize the investments that will yield the highest return. Invest money in quality programs to give children a better start in life, and we will see a tremendous return on that investment in the future. In fact, it is in the first three years of a child’s life that they develop the foundations for all their future physical, cognitive, emotional, and social developmental needs.
If we wait until our youngsters become teens to intervene, the results are much more expensive and not nearly as effective.
As law enforcement leaders, we have watched as too many young people are sent away to juvenile facilities.
Consider this alarming statistic: in the next hour, across America, law enforcement officers will arrest approximately 250 teens. That translates to more than 2 million teens per year.
While Maine does not experience the same rate of serious crimes as most other states, in 2006 there were still 78 young men and 16 young women in our state sent to state juvenile facilities following sentencing because of either the repeated or serious nature of the crimes they committed.
Here’s another shocking fact: preventing one child from adopting a life of crime saves $1.7 million in jail, court and other law enforcement costs.
When we consider the loss of human capital as well as the millions of dollars spent on juvenile detention and incarceration in Maine, it is more important than ever that we begin to invest wisely in our children.
Maine’s law enforcement community knows that one of the best investments the state can make is in high quality early education programs like Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-Kindergarten and quality child care.
A long-term study at the Perry Preschool* found great success for its participants in curbing future crime. By the time at-risk kids who were kept out of the program turned 27 years old, they were five times more likely to have become chronic lawbreakers than similar kids who participated in the program.
In addition, a recent national survey found that adults who attended Head Start as children were nearly 10 percent less likely to be arrested or charged with a crime than their siblings who did not attend Head Start.
By starting early, we set our children on a path to a brighter future. The right tools at an early age make all the difference. Maine’s wisest investment in our future generation and crime reduction is investing when we can have the greatest impact – in the first years of a child’s life.
*High/Scope Education Research Foundation’s Perry Preschool Project is a longitudinal preschool-effectiveness study now in its third decade. It reviews the study’s cumulative findings and most recent conclusions, and considers why some early childhood programs have long-term effects. It also examines the generalizability of this study’s findings to other children living in poverty and to other high-quality, active learning preschool programs. The program is defined as a high-quality, active learning program for 3- and 4-year olds. High/Scope’s Home Page is
Caption: Today’s children are our future leaders and workforce, and therefore perhaps the best investment for Maine. (Metro Creative photo)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Syndicate19 Drummer Wins Maine, Heads for Massachusetts

Leigh Leavitt, 28, of Wells, will be representing Maine in the Guitar Center’s Drum Off competition in Natick, MA on November 11th.
Leavitt is one of 4,000 drummers across the country that began competing this past September at Guitar Center stores nationwide. He is now one of the 214 contestants competing at a district level at 24 locations. The Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion will be crowned next January after 2 more rounds of competition – regional and grand finals.
Each contestant performs on a 5-piece acoustic drum kit complete with hardware, cymbals, cowbell and throne. The only personal pieces of gear each contestant can use are their own drumsticks, bass pedal, drum throne and snare drum.
Those who saw Leavitt playing at the South Portland store preliminaries and store finals a few weeks ago could witness his diverse and powerful drum solos. With only 5 minutes to set up and 3 minutes to perform, Leavitt had the audience’s attention captured from the second his drumsticks hit the drums. In Natick, MA, Leavitt will perform another 3 minutes solo.
Born in Hawaii, but raised in Northern Maine to New Hmpshire, Leavitt began playing drums at the age of 14. His father Jay Leavitt taught him how to play drums, inspired and encouraged him in every step. His practicing and persistence paid off within a few years when he joined a few different local bands such as Sanguinus Feminae (NH), Mourningside (MA), Psyren (ME), and a Boston hardcore punk band Toxic Narcotic for a very short time.
Leavitt’s friends call him Affable Maverick not without a reason. It is common to see him with vivid zebra contacts, a mohawk or a shaved head on a regular basis. His over spilling individuality and creativity makes him stand out of the crowd. The musician’s drumming style is a mix of metal, funk, jazz and progressive. His influences are Terry Bozzio, Dennis Chambers, Mike Portnoy, Danny Carrey, and a few more.
Now the South Portland store Drum Off winner is a full time drummer for a local Southern Maine (Wells) band called Syndicate19. Leavitt and his band mates Paul Chase, Randy Runnels and Mike Tomasini can be seen playing at some local venues on a regular basis. You can find their schedule and also watch Leavitt’s solo videos on
The Drum Off grand finals winner will walk away with a prize package that includes $25,000 Cash, $2,000 Guitar Center Shopping Spree, a write up in Modern Drummer magazine, Monster Energy Drink Endorsement Deal and a lot of different drum equipment with a total prize value of $45,000.
Previous Drum Off winners have gone on to enjoy successful music careers, record albums and tour the world with noteworthy artists. Drum Off Champion 2002, Cora Coleman, is currently performing with legendary recording artist Prince. Eric Moore II, Drum Off 2003 Champion, has also achieved notoriety by performing with psychedelic funk band Sly and the Family Stone as well as singer Bobby Brown.
This article was submitted by Vaida Lowell, freelance journalist.
Caption: Leigh Leavitt plays at the Guitar Center’s Drum Off competition, South Portland store finals. (Bridgett Owen-Chase)

East Impresses the Nation

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Reporter
East may be a relatively new local Chinese restaurant, but it has already garnered national recognition. This visually stunning Wells restaurant, which opened in June, recently received notice that it ranked among the 100 best Chinese restaurants in the US according to Chinese Restaurant News (CRN). CRN, based out of San Francisco, distributes its monthly magazine to over 43,000 restaurants, and September’s cover featured East’s proud owner Ri Teng Li standing in front of his business.
“I am very excited,” commented Li. “We are the first Chinese restaurant in Maine history to win this honor. Usually it’s only the restaurants in California and New York and places with large Chinatowns.”
CRN sends undercover diners to its subscriber restaurants to secretly evaluate the restaurant in 8 categories: décor and atmosphere, exterior, interior, cleanliness, sanitation, service, food, and server. East received a perfect score in every category, earning a 100% rating in the comprehensive 172-point undercover evaluation.
Asked about CRN’s evaluation process, Mr. Li said, “the food quality is very important, and I think they were particularly impressed with the décor.”
In addition to gracing the cover of CRN’s magazine and receiving a framed award to display in his restaurant, Mr. Li has been invited to CRN’s convention in Las Vegas, Nevada in January, where he will find out exactly which number ranking East received within the top 100 Chinese restaurants.
More information is available at CRN’s website:
Caption: The proud owner of East Restaurant, Ri Teng Li, standing in front of his business. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Maine Bureau of Veterans Services Seeking

By Larry Favinger
Staff Reporter
Veterans who have served their country since the beginning of World War II and received the Purple Heart and former prisoners of war or their surviving families are eligible for Maine’s Silver Star Honorable Service Medal.
The Maine Bureau of Veterans Services has awarded nearly 550 medals but there are many who deserve the medal who are not known, Peter Ogden, director of Veterans Services, said.
Ogden said he has a lit of 435 names of people who could qualify for the state award.
“They’re looking for people who have been missed,” Janet Hooke of North Berwick, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 87 who is aiding in the search in southern York County, said. She said many lists have been gone over looking for veterans to honor, including those with Purple Heart license plates.
One veteran who qualifies but has not yet been honored was found in North Berwick.
Ogden said formal awards ceremonies are being scheduled “in local communities whenever possible” throughout the state as it is often difficult for veterans to get to Augusta. The next ceremony will be held in Farmington. Gov. John Baldacci attends the ceremonies if possible.
The Silver Star Medal was first awarded to Maine veterans in August of 2006. It came into being with the legislature and financial support of Gov. Balducci along with the 122nd Legislature that gave the authority to the director of the Bureau of Veterans’ Services to strike medals, coins and certificates to honor Maine’s veterans.
Ogden said at this time only living veterans with the Purple Heart are eligible but the families of former POW’s who have died are to be honored because of the “life changing event” of having a loved one captured. “Their lives were a lot harder because of that,” Ogden said, noting that many families had situations to deal with for years after their family member returned.
Ogden said the bureau “loves people who help us” get the word out but approval of the award comes from his office
Info and application forms are available online or by calling the Bureau of Veterans Services at (207) 626-4464 or by contacting Hooke at (207) 676-9409.
Caption: Maine’s Silver Star Honorable Service Medal. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Newest Submarine USS New Hampshire Receives Commissioning at Shipyard

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist

The USS New Hampshire has sailed down the Piscataqua River, taking another step toward becoming a working member of the fleet.
New Hampshire, a Virginia Class submarine, was officially commissioned Saturday at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She is the fifth in the Virginia class and the fourth Navy vessel to carry the state’s name.
The boat’s sponsor is Cheryl McGuinness of Portsmouth who lost her husband, Tom, a Navy veteran, on Sept 11, 2001. He was the co-pilot of the hijacked American Airlines plane that crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.
John P. Casey, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat that built the New Hampshire, said McGuinness was “an inspiration to us all” and noted that the New Hampshire was delivered under budget and early.
It was Mrs. McGuinness’ honor to be the one who called the ship’s crew onto the newly commissioned ship at the close of the ceremonies.
“Thank you for this honor,” she said. “It is truly a privilege.”
She said, “We appreciate you very much” for “putting your lives and dreams on the line” and reminded the crew that when they are at sea “we’re standing with you. We celebrate you, our heroes.”
She then offered the simple order, “Crew of New Hampshire, come aboard and bring this ship to life.”
The commissioning took place across the river from Portsmouth and in the area where the first United States Navy ship, the Ranger, was built.
Cmdr. Michael Stevens, New Hampshire’s captain, said it was fitting that the commissioning of this “remarkable warship” should take place “in a historic location.”
Cmdr. Stevens is a native of Tacoma, Wash., and a 1990 graduate of the Naval Academy. He has served on the USS San Francisco, the USS Alaska, and the USS Kamehameha. He assumed command of New Hampshire (SSN778) on Sept. 5, 2007.
Stevens said the first vessel was manned by young volunteers, just like the USS New Hampshire, and said his crew is “in many ways like those who manned the Ranger” and contributed “to what was to become the world’s greatest sea power.
“I am honored and humbled to be their commanding officer,” he said.
Turning to Mrs. McGuinness, he said she was “a worthy sponsor” and the officers and men are “proud you have sponsored us.”
Adm. Kirkland Donald, director, Naval reactors, said the USS New Hampshire is “worthy of all the pomp and circumstance we can put into it (the ceremony)” and cited the state of New Hampshire as “a truly unique state.”
He said the officers and crew of the New Hampshire were “ready to take on the call to take the ship to sea and into Harm’s way. Our expectations are high, our confidence supreme.”
Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly, the commissioning officer, said since the Navy was established it has protected “freedom of the seas in the four corners of the earth” and all vessels, including the New Hampshire, serve “in the prevention of conflict while standing ready to respond in case of hostilities.
U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., was the keynote speaker and told the gathering of more than 2,500 that it was “a great honor to have this boat named after our state.”
He noted the history of the more than 200-year-old shipyard and said it was “absolutely appropriate this is being held in Portsmouth.”
The USS New Hampshire, an attack submarine, joins a fleet that already includes a submarine named for her sister state, Maine. The USS Maine is an Ohio Class submarine commissioned in the mid-1990’s.
Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, also attended the ceremony.
The USS New Hampshire is 377 feet long and 34 feet wide, displacing 7,835 tons and travels through water faster than 25 knots. She can dive to depths greater than 800 feet.
She carries a payload of 40 weapons, including Tomahawk missiles and Mark 48 ADCAPO Torpedoes.
The other ships named New Hampshire included a battleship built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and launched in 1864. In 1904 she was renamed the Granite State to make room for the second New Hampshire, a battleship finished in 1906 in Camden, N.J. She was decommissioned in 1921.
The third New Hampshire, a Montana-class battleship, was authorized in 1940 but cancelled in 1943 before her keel was laid.
Caption: The crew of the USS New Hampshire line the the top of the submarine presently in the Piscataqua River. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Marshwood Middle School to hold Veteran’s Day Celebration

On November 7, 2008, Marshwood Middle School will commemorate its 7th Annual Veteran’s Day Celebration. The school-wide assembly, which starts at 9:30 AM, features various tributes from our students and faculty to our local veterans. Last year over 170 veterans attended their gathering. Many veterans are invited by Marshwood students because they are grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors or community members who have served our country and/or active duty as full-time military or are part of active reserve units.
Local dignitaries including town officials and selectmen, local politicians such as past and present state representatives, school board members and members of the South Berwick, Eliot, Kittery and Berwick Fire, Emergency and Police Departments will also attend the celebration to honor our veterans. All guests form a reception line at 9 AM down the corridor to the entrance of the gymnasium (where the celebration will be held). As students are called down to the celebration, they enter the reception line and greet our guests with handshakes and small talk. The reception line emphasizes a personal touch for every student to actually meet our guests and sets the respectful tone of our event.
As everyone gathers in the gym, patriotic music will play on the sound system. Once everyone is seated, the veteran guests will enter. For the next hour, various tributes are presented to the guests in form of song, music, poem, readings, power point presentations and writing.
Our school is made up of six communities (two per grade level). Each community presents a tribute at the assembly. Academic teachers in these communities work with students and are necessary to make this celebration occur. The teachers have been very supportive with their time, energy and creativity which is reflected in the tributes presented by the children. After the event, there is a reception in the library.
It is extremely important for students to understand the sacrifices made by our veterans. The veterans are touched by the sincerity and respect and enjoy the school-wide assembly. We all take our freedom for granted. This celebration encourages us to remember that “Freedom is never free.”

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ogunquit News

Members of Ogunquit Rotary created this and other scarecrows for Rotary Park in Perkins Cove. It was entered in the annual Chamber of Commerce Scarecrow Contest for OgunquitFest October 24-26. (Pete Woodbury photo)

Central School “Dungeon” Receives Make-Over

When it comes to supporting her third grade son’s education, Robin Pastor is getting creative. The week before school began this year, Pastor completed a comprehensive mural that adorns the walls of the South Berwick Central School cafeteria. “I wanted to make the cafeteria an enjoyable place for the kids to eat in,” she explained. “They should be able to come in here and have a cheerful place to have their lunch.”
The hot air balloon-themed mural covers almost every part of the long cafeteria walls, and it took Pastor a solid week in August to complete. “It was supposed to be a joint project, but it ended up just being me. My husband Peter helped twice. And it included at least a couple long 11-hour days.”
The reactions by members of the school community have been positive. “The kids sent me letters. One little girl said: ‘It’s just so beautiful!’ and just to hear that was so priceless! To hear them say how much they love it and enjoy it just made the whole thing worth it.”
This is not the first time Pastor has made South Berwick Central School a more colorful place to be. During the summer of 2007, she painted a mural inside the school library. Her first mural, depicting children enjoying some outdoor summer reading, stretches from the library floor all the way up and onto the ceiling tiles.
Pastor has been recognized for her valuable artistic contributions to the school not only by the students and teachers, but also in a letter from her local state legislator Bonnie Gould. “This is addressed to me?” was Pastor’s initial reaction. “It turned out her kids went to school here ‘when it was a dungeon’. Then she thanked me for doing the mural, and that was so cool – It meant a lot.”
The school is hoping Pastor has at least one more project left in her. “I was approached for a large one that I’m not sure about – they’re looking for an athletic-type mural to go over some large windows that are now covered over in the gym.”
Pastor is a graphic design artist by trade, but is currently enrolled in courses to become a medical assistant. Why not paint full time? “I’m not sure how much demand there would be in this economy. But I love to do it, so I volunteer.”
Caption: The Central School cafeteria, or “the dungeon” as Bonnie Gould recalls from her childhood, was recently brightened by Robin Pastor’s handiwork. (Weekly Sentinel photo)

Petition On School Consolidation Carries over 61,000 Signatures

The first step in the possible repeal of the school consolidation act has been taken.
A citizens initiated petition with over 61,000 certified signatures has been filed by the Maine Coalition to Save Schools, according to Lawrence “Skip” Greenlaw, the coalition’s chairman.
“Our message is quite simple,” Greenlaw said in filing the petition. “The governor, the commissioner of education, and some members of the legislature told us that school consolidation would save us millions of taxpayer dollars. Having worked with the law for a year, we now know that there will be no net savings. In fact school consolidation will cost local taxpayers millions more in increased property taxes.”
The legislation, passed in June 2007 as part of the budget resolution, calls for a reduction in the number of school districts in Maine. One of its stated purposes was to reduce the amount of money spent on administration.
The legislation has impacted the Kittery School District that is still seeking a district with which to partner. Unsuccessful talks have been held with York and Well-Ogunquit but no suitable agreement has been reached.
The original legislation called for the reduction in school districts from the 290 to 80. The idea was to combine administrative operations, not to close schools.
“In such stressful economic times, why are our elected leaders in Augusta so adamant about imposing a law which costs more than it saves?” Greenlaw asked. “This insanity must stop. The law must be repealed.”
“We trust that the members of the 124th Maine Legislature will enact our petition and repeal the school consolidation law as soon as possible,” Greenlaw said.
Depending on the action of the legislature the process begun with the presentation of the petition with over 6,000 more signatures than required by state law, could end with the voters having an opportunity to vote for or against the repeal in November of next year.
Greelaw thanked “all the volunteers who have worked so hard and who are committed to protecting the education of our children” and well as coalition members.

Friday, October 17, 2008

OgunquitFest Returns for the Fifth Time

An entry from last year’s OgunquitFest Scarecrow Contest.
Ogunquit celebrates the Fall season with the 5th Annual OgunquitFest on October 24-26, 2008. The event will begin with the annual scarecrow contest from October 10 to October 26. This year will be the first with a theme, “The Greening of Ogunquit” as the Ogunquit Chamber and the Ogunquit Conservation Commission have joined forces to make Ogunquit a “greener” town. While scarecrows do not have to adhere to the theme, visitors will be able to vote on the “greenest” scarecrow as well as their overall favorite. Previous scarecrows have rowed gondolas, climbed trees, played chess, sung gospel and more.
While the 5th Annual OgunquitFest brings back some of the previous favorite events such as a craft fair, pumpkin decorating, storytelling and the costume parade, several new events are also planned. The Ogunquit Chamber introduces a new children’s event each year, and this year that will be cookie decorating. In place of the hour-long treasure hunt, the Ogunquit businesses will host a weekend long “Painted Pumpkin Pursuit” as oddly painted pumpkins will be hidden in seasonal displays with merchandise, or merely on check-in counters. Participants will keep track of where they saw the pumpkins so that the team that finds the most will win a prize. Also, the Ogunquit Playhouse Theatre Guild is bringing the Don Campbell Band to the Ogunquit Playhouse on Saturday night.
But perhaps the new event which is generating the most “buzz,” is the Bridge to Beach Bed Race scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Up to 16 teams will decorate double beds, put them on wheels and race them, complete with someone riding, up and down Beach Street! Participants will be dressed in costume – and to make it even more interesting, halfway through the race, the rider will be required to change clothes and positions with a racer before they can finish the course. Participants have the opportunity to win cash prizes, while visitors will be able to vote on their favorite bed decorations, with proceeds from the voting to fund Ogunquit Chamber member charities.
The Ogunquit Chamber invites everyone to join us October 24-26 at the 5th Annual OgunquitFest weekend. More information, including the brochure, Scarecrow Contest ballots, and the Bridge to Beach Bed Race registration forms can be found at
OgunquitFest 2008
Schedule of Events
We’re kicking off our festivities on October 10 with the start of the Scarecrow Contest. Vote for your favorites! Our theme this year is “The Greening of Ogunquit” to celebrate the Ogunquit Chamber and Ogunquit Conservation Committee’s dual effort to make Ogunquit “green”. “Green” scarecrows may be made of recycled materials, they may have a conservation theme, or they may literally be the color green! Scarecrow Contest sponsored by Kennebunk Savings Bank.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Ghostly Tours 6:30pm & 7:30pm. A ghostly walk through the streets of Ogunquit and the Marginal Way. Are they myths or is there more to Ogunquit’s nightlife than meets the eye? Tours conducted by the Friends of the Winn House. Bring your flashlight - it’s dark out there! Tours originate at the Ogunquit Heritage Museum, 86 Obeds Lane. $5 adults, children under 10 free. Sponsored by Meadowmere Resort.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Monster Mall Marketplace 10am-4pm, Dunaway Center. Find that one-of-a-kind special item from crafters, artists and local retailers - get an early jump on your holiday shopping! Bring an item for our local food pantry or pet food for the Animal Welfare Society, and receive a free cup of coffee/soda.
Pony Rides 10am-2pm. At King’s Court Motel on Beach Street. Sponsored by Walker Stables at Johnson Farm. $5 per ride.
Horse Drawn Wagon Rides 10am-4pm. $5 per person.
Great Pumpkin Patch Presentation 10am-Noon. Upstairs at the Ogunquit Firehouse. An autumn delight for kids of all ages. Pumpkins, paints, markers, stickers, etc. supplied. No carving please. All parents will receive a ChildPrint ID Kit. Sponsored by The Milestone, Gorges Grant Hotel, Raspberri’s Restaurant and Juniper Hill Inn.
Cookie Monster Decorating Noon-2:30pm. Downstairs at the Dunaway Center. Kids can decorate their favorite cookie, and eat it too! Cookies and decorations will be provided. Sponsored by Sparhawk Resort and Barrel Stave.
Graveyard Golf 2:30pm. Footbridge Beach. Miniature nine-hole golf for adults, on the beach! Bring your putter. Prizes will be awarded. $5 per person. Weather permitting. Sponsored by Ogunquit Rental Properties & Scotch Hill Inn.
Children’s Fall Story Telling 3-4pm. Ogunquit Library. Listen to local storyteller Diana Abbott tell seasonal tales. All parents will receive a ChildPrint ID Kit. Sponsored by Animal Instinct & Baby Instinct.
Bridge to Beach Bed Race 4pm-5:30pm. Beach Street bridge to the Main Beach parking lot and back. It’s utter bedlam as teams of bedfellows and their beds zoom down Beach Street. Vote on the bedazzling bedspreads and costumed bedclothes! Prizes will be awarded at 6pm at the Front Porch. Sponsored by Peoples Insurance, Village Food Market, Team Wunder (RE/MAX Realty One),
Julie’s Ristorante & Provisto, Front Porch and Mariner Resort.
Don Campbell Band 7:30pm.Presented by the Ogunquit Playhouse Theatre Guild at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Tickets $19 each.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monster Ball Marketplace 10am-3pm, Dunaway Center. See Saturday description.
Pony Rides 2pm-4pm. At King’s Court Motel on Beach Street. Sponsored by Walker Stables at Johnson Farm.
Costume Parade 11:30am-12:30pm. Costumed kids, adults, and canines welcome! Ogunquit Square to the Winn House. (Weather permitting. Rain location: Upstairs at Fire Station - sorry, dogs are not allowed at the Fire Station). Sponsored by Yardarm Village Inn Wine, Cheese & Gift Shop and Walker Stables at Johnson Farm.
Painted Pumpkin Pursuit 12pm. You have been noticing painted pumpkins throughout town all weekend. Now hand in your tracking sheet by 12pm at the Monster Mall Marketplace. If you find the most painted pumpkins, you win the prize! Sponsored by Norseman Resort, Captain’s Quarters and Kreative Paintworks.
Caption: An entry from last year’s OgunquitFest Scarecrow Contest. (Courtesy photo)

South Berwick Determined to Keep Everyone Warm

Soups and breads from nine local restaurateurs and bakers, raffle prizes from local merchants and a bucket at the front door for cash donations… On October 29, the people of South Berwick are holding a very special supper at Spring Hill. It is an old-fashioned community fundraiser being held by townspeople working with Social Services to help local families deal with sky-high heating costs this winter.
Just like days gone by, there’s no set donation or entry fee. There will be a bucket by the door where people can give whatever they can to help their neighbors get through this difficult time.
Vicki Desilets, Social Services Director, says “We believe that many more families in town will face the prospect of not being able to afford heating oil this winter. At this point, whatever help the community – we, neighbors – can offer is desperately needed.”
To that end, restaurants in South Berwick and York are pitching in and providing soups and breads for the event. Among them are: Nature’s Way Market, Pepperland, Fogarty’s, The Catered Event, The Red Barn at Outlook Farm, The Brixham General Store, Spring Hill Restaurant, Muddy River Smokehouse and When Pigs Fly Bread. The South Berwick Senior Center and the Red Hat Hotties are hosting a bake sale. Local merchants like The Little Hat Company, The Kittery Trading Post, Salmon Falls Gardens, Sobo Book and Bean, Vacuum Village, South Berwick Yoga and Childlight Yoga are providing prizes for raffles to be held during the event. Tickets are also available ahead of time from SoBo Book and Bean and The South Berwick Pharmacy.
“With the help of a $1000 donation from Steve Lizio of South Berwick and the money we raise from this supper, the raffle and the donations that are made directly to the town, we will give some families a few hours of heat,” says Pat Robinson, one of the key organizers. “The support we’ve gotten from the local restaurants and merchants has been very enthusiastic. If we see that the community responds the same way, the event should really make a difference in local families’ lives this winter. If people can’t come, we hope they’ll mail in a donation. We really hope to make sure that all of the families of South Berwick stay warm this winter.”
If you can’t make it to the dinner, donations can also be made directly to the Town of South Berwick, c/o Fuel Fund, 180 Main Street, South Berwick, ME 03908. For more information, call Pat Robinson at 207-337-2792.

Friday, October 10, 2008

24th Annual Harvestfest Returns to York

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist

A year ago, those estimating the crowd attending Harvestfest set the number at about 35,000. A similar or even larger crowd is anticipated this year.
This will be the 24th annual celebration sponsored by the Greater York Regional Chamber of Commerce and, as always, even though some events won’t be repeated there are new ones to take their place.
Events are scheduled throughout the Oct. 17-19 weekend in York and York Beach. A complete listing of events, times and places is included in this week’s edition of The Weekly Sentinel.
The weekend begins Friday night with one of the new events, the first annual Lobsterfest, sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank under the tent at the baseball field in York Beach. The gates open at 5:30 with serving beginning 30 minutes later. The cost is $30 per person.
Another new event is the Corn Toss Challenge, described by Carrie Eisner, the Chamber’s program development coordinator, as a beanbag toss meets horseshoes.
She said 25 teams have already registered for the event but “we welcome more” to come aboard.
The registration fee for the event supports the York Education Foundation. It will be held Saturday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the big tent in York Beach.
Fireworks will also be part of the celebration, thanks to the sponsorship of the Woods Family Inc. The display is set for Saturday night at 7:30 in York Beach.
The popular pumpkin stroll will be held Saturday at York Beach from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with decorated pumpkins for all sizes and shapes on display. “Every year it grows,” Esiner said of the event.
Seniorfest featuring entertainment, information, displays and live entertainment is scheduled on the green in York Village “just for our senior citizens,” Eisner said.
There will also be an Old Fashioned Marketplace/Food Festival on the green Friday. Those events will be featured from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The celebration begins with the Annual Sidewalk Sales at Short Sands at York Beach this Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11, 12 and 13, where the shops move their merchandise to the sidewalks for their end of the season sales.
Other Saturday activities in the village include Kidsfest and the Esplanade, showcasing non-profit organizations of York.
The highlight for the celebration Sunday in York Beach will be a Classic Car Show, crafts at the ballpark, and a Native American POW-WOW under the big tent at the Short Sands ball field.
More than 200 crafters from all over New England will present their wares during the weekend on the village green and at York Beach.
Parking will be available at Ellis Park in York Beach, at the York Middle School on Organug Road, Coastal Ridge Elementary School and York High School with a trolley shuttle providing transportation from those sites to the activities.
More than 150 volunteers will be working at the various sites over the long weekend.
For more information call the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce at (207- 363-4422. Major sponsors for the event are Kennebunk Savings Bank, the Cutty Sark Motel and Guest Suites, Tapley Insurance Agency, and Woods Family, Inc.
Caption: Last year the grounds of York were covered with the many tents of vendors and held demonstrations such as this parade of militia. (Courtesy photos)

Fire Department Receives New Waterproof Defibrillators

By Ron Long Staff Columnist and Cindy Hunt
The story starts about a year ago. It was Monday, October 22, 2008 in Cocoa Beach, Fla when Ted and his wife Cindy were vacationing staying at a friend’s condo. They had been in town for just three days and were spending as much time as they could at the beach, knowing they wouldn’t seeing weather like that in Berwick for a very long time. Ted and Cindy were walking along the sidewalk adjacent to Cocoa Beach eventually passing a riptide warning sign. Then a man came running up, exasperated, pleading that he needed help because his wife was caught out in a riptide current and couldn’t to make it back to shore.
Ted didn’t say anything; he just looked at his wife, took his wallet and cell phone out of his pocket and headed into the water. Cindy hollered “Well, at least take off your sandals,” Ted kicked off the sandals and took off his shirt, and dove right in.
Cindy watched as Ted and the other man reached the stranded woman, who was Maureen Jennings, a Canadian novelist. At first, everything seemed to be going fine. Ted and the other man reached Jennings, and swam with her sideways, parallel to shore, to get out of the riptide — right by the book.
But all of a sudden, the other man got pulled back by the riptide and became separated from the group.
Fred started to get pulled back, too. As the current was taking him back, Ted gave Jennings a final push sideways. The effort forced Jennings past the edge of the riptide, and she was able to swim back to shore.
Cindy started getting nervous as she saw Ted was struggling to stay afloat with all the waves crashing down. She watched him float on his stomach, trying to save energy.
Rescue workers arrived a few minutes later. They got the other man out of the water, but took longer to reach Fred. When they finally found him, it was too late. Seeing the rescue workers bring him back on shore and try to give him CPR, Cindy knew Ted was gone.
The loss of Fred Hunt also known as Ted has brought the communities of Berwick Me, Cocoa Beach Fla., and Wells Me all a little bit closer.
It was a beautiful night, perfect for a “Sunset Kayak Paddle” fundraiser on August 28, 2008 for the Ted Hunt, Jr. Memorial Fund. Plum Island Kayak,, in Newburyport, Massachusetts generously donated their time, kayaks, life vests, and transportation. Fifteen participants set off in kayaks up the Merrimack River into the tranquil waters of the Joppa Flats for an evening of memories, stories and plenty of laughs.
Guide, Ken Taylor gave everyone a warm welcome, an introduction and the purpose of the first Sunset Paddle in memory of Ted Hunt who lost his life saving another caught in a rip current in Cocoa Beach, Florida, on October 22, 2007. Ken followed this with a short orientation about paddling, steering and communication on the water, and then everyone made their way to a colorful kayak. It was a little tricky maneuvering past the moored boats at the launch site, but under the careful supervision of John, Ken and Carrie Metcalf we were headed in the right direction on the open river.
After rescheduling twice due to inclement weather from the original June 17th date, it seemed the night was meant to be. Ted’s youngest daughter, Lauren was home from Texas for the weekend and his oldest daughter, Chelsea and fiancé Jay, all paddled together with Cindy, Ted’s wife of 30 years.
Ken and Danny Sullivan, Ted’s co-worker/friend, found a common family connection as well as a Plum Island Kayak employee previously employed by Textron, leading to “who knew who” and a session of ‘six degrees of separation’. It was a mix of family, friends and friends/coworkers of Ted’s former employer Textron, and Cindy’s employer at UNH coming together to honor the memory of a great friend, father and husband. It was a special evening of bonding, stories, water fun, and an elegant sunset.
All monies generated benefits the memorial fund in honor of Ted Hunt. Funds are being donated to the Wells Fire Department for one of the two needed waterproof AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator) for the Wells Beach area where the Hunt family spent many days and evenings with friends, family and as a couple savoring the soft, sandy beaches, waves and canoeing up the river side. Books on ocean currents and water safety are also being donated to the Berwick Public Library in Ted’s memory.
The memorial fund will merge with the Sea of Dreams organization, ( in Cocoa Beach, Florida as founder Randy Smith, a long time family friend, along with many dedicated volunteers have strived to make changes on their Florida beaches in Brevard County. Currently, Brevard County Commissioners have approved 12 fulltime lifeguards, 5 year round lifeguard towers and 13 seasonal towers. Brevard’s force was terribly inadequate compared to other counties along the East-Central Florida coast with just two full-time staffers.
Thirty part-time seasonal lifeguards, mostly high school or college students with about one year of experience have been on Cocoa Beach in Brevard County comparing with an average of eight to 15 years’ experience for full-time lifeguards in other counties. Commissioners finally began to act in late August, 2008 when they approved hiring 12 full-time lifeguards through Sept. 30 during their final budget votes.
“Ted lost his life saving another in Cocoa Beach, and I feel this is the best honor to Ted’s sacrifice, where the money will improve safety for many others. He would smile to see our friends gathered on the water in his memory” says Cindy Hunt, Fred/Ted’s wife of 30 years. Ken summed up the evening as he and Cindy floated down the river and Ken commented that it was a perfect evening with a perfect sunset and it was as if Ted was looking down and enjoying it with us.
Caption: Molly the dog, Carrie Metcalf, Lauren Hunt, Ken Taylor, Cindy Hunt, and Chelsea Hunt. (Courtesy photo)