Friday, December 25, 2009

Plant-A-Row for the Hungry collects 37,765 Pounds of Food

It was a wet, unusually difficult growing season, but the farmers and gardeners of York County managed a record contribution of 37,765 pounds of fresh nutritious vegetables (and 4 1/3 gallons of apple cider) to the Plant-A-Row for the Hungry (PAR) program to benefit hunger relief agencies throughout the county. York County leads the Maine effort of the program, which began in Alaska and now operates nationwide.
The program, administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, with the efforts of Master Gardener Volunteers, ended the season last week with the delivery of over 1,000 pounds of winter squash to the York County Shelter by master gardener volunteers working with the Ben Grant Farm of Saco.
The Spiller Farm of Wells, operated by Bill and Anna Spiller, a major contributor to the program since its local inception nine years ago, is featured in the November/December 2009 issue of Yankee Magazine, and on Yankee’s streaming video at Again this year, the Spillers worked with two teams of master gardener volunteers to contribute nearly one-third of the York County PAR total.
Frosty nights ended the apple harvest by master gardeners at Smith’s Farm in Acton and the MacDougall Orchards in Springvale, but not before nearly 10,000 pounds of apples were picked and delivered to the York County Shelter programs and the Sanford Food Pantry.
At Zach’s Farm Stand in York, volunteers from local food pantries and master gardener volunteers faithfully collected the unsold produce at the end of each day of operation to distribute nearly 2,500 pounds of ‘picked in the morning’ vegetables to various area agencies. John Zacharias also generously supported the efforts of the Coastal Clovers 4-H Club by donating land space and support for the 4-Hers to grow almost 4,000 pounds of vegetables to share with local food pantries.
Berry Best Farm, operated by John and Chris Bozak, continued a Labor Day tradition they began two years ago, and opened their blueberry patches to volunteers, allowing them to pick one quart for themselves and one for the food pantries. Open picking resulted in a contribution of nearly 115 pounds of the precious fruit to hunger relief agencies.
Other contributing commercial farms include Harris Farm of Dayton, Riverside Farm of North Berwick, the Rick Grant Farm of Saco, and the Tibbetts Family Farm of Waterboro. A number of individual gardeners also participated in the program by sharing their excess produce with their local food pantries.
Joan Sylvester of York County shelter notes the importance of so much fresh local produce being donated at a time when government commodities are increasingly scarce and the number of needy people facing food shortages is on the increase. Sylvester notes that produce from Plant a Row for the Hungry makes up to more than 80% of what they are able to give out to those who need it in food baskets,
Frank Wertheim, of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, notes that the work of the Master Gardener Volunteers has been incredible in making this happen and especially appreciates the efforts of Zelda Kenney who has led the volunteer effort and whose tireless work has helped our program to expand.
Photo caption: The Plant-A-Row for the Hungry program collected nearly 10,000 pounds of apples this year. (Courtesy photo)

Connor Submits Bill to Examine Education Commissioner’s Rule-making Authority

State Rep. Gary Connor, D-Kennebunk, has submitted legislation to examine the state Education Commissioner’s rule-making authority, following the Education Department’s decision last week to cut the state’s special education funding.
Connor, who represents Arundel, Dayton and parts of Lyman and Kennebunk, said he submitted the legislation in response to Commissioner Susan Gendron’s recently proposed rule changes that will have the effect of reducing Maine’s special education funding to local schools throughout Maine.
“Reducing special education funding to minimal standards simply won’t provide special needs students with adequate care and education,” said Connor. “Twice, over the last several years, the Legislature has decided that the state should allow local schools control when it comes to special education spending. I am concerned that Commissioner Gendron’s rule changes are not reflective of the Legislature’s intent and could significantly impact our children’s future.”
“Over the next several months, the Legislature will have to make many painful decisions as it deals with a budget hole of nearly $400 million,” said Connor, who serves on the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee. “But these decisions should be made by the Legislature, in concert with government departments, not solely by those departments through emergency rule-making.”
Connor’s bill is currently being drafted and, if accepted by the Legislative Council, which is made up of Legislative leadership, will be taken up by the Legislature during the coming session.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wreaths Across America Stops at Wells Junior High School

By Reg Bennett
On Dec. 7th, the convoy known as Wreaths Across America stopped briefly at Wells Junior High School to take part in a wreath laying ceremony at Ocean View Cemetery. This stop has become a part of the journey that this organization takes on its annual 750-mile trip from Harrington, Maine, where the wreaths are made at the Worcester Wreath Company, to Arlington National Cemetery. The convoy was carrying over 100,000 “remembrance” wreaths to be placed at gravesites of veterans in Arlington and at many other cemeteries in the country.
Around 8 a.m., a portion of Route 1 in Wells was cordoned off by the Wells Police Department. Soon after, semi-tractor trailers carrying balsam fir wreaths parked adjacent to the front of the school and across from Ocean View Cemetery. The convoy, consisting of dozens of cars and other vehicles, was led by John O’Leary and his wife Bunny of the Patriot Guard Riders, an organization that escorts the convoy to the Washington D.C. area.
At Ocean View Cemetery Principal Chris Chessie introduced Cassidy Healey and Brittany Stutes who led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Chessie also acknowledged Cindy Roche, Sally Morse and student volunteers who made the wreaths placed at Ocean View. There were many in attendance including the entire student body of WJHS, Karen and Morrill Worcester of the Worcester Wreath Company, numerous veterans including Commander James Kilbride of the Wells-Ogunquit American Legion Post 143 and Kennebunk VFW Post 6545 and American Legion Commander Ken Kingsley. Commander Kilbride was also a part of the ceremony’s honor guard.
As Taps was played on the trumpet by WHS student Justin Lareau, eight students placed wreaths at memorials to veterans. Those students included Kayla Looper, Charlotte Merrifield, Tim Barnard, Abby Ford, Barry White, Juliane Fitzpatrick, Anthony Crawford and Desirae Kuhn.
After the ceremony, guests were invited back to the school’s cafeteria for refreshments and a brief performance of one song by the 7th and 8th grade chorus entitled, Song for the Unsung Hero.
Winners of the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen contest were also acknowledged and photographed.
“It’s great that the Wells Junior High participates in this. It is a good cause. It is rewarding to them and to the veterans,” said Commander Ken Kingsley who served with the Navy Seabees in Vietnam.
“This is a wonderful, wonderful event,” said U.S. Army veteran and Director of Emergency Management for York County Robert Bohlman, who was at the wreath laying ceremony and at the reception. “Wells has a chance to participate in this and it brings out what the whole program across the nation is really about and we’re glad Mr. Worcester was able to stop here.”
The tradition of bringing wreaths from Harrington to Arlington by Mr. Worcester began in 1992 when he had wreaths left over during the holiday season. He decided to drive 5,000 wreaths to Arlington. That was 18 trips ago.
Photo caption: Leading the honor guard to Ocean View Cemetery from WJHS is Commander James Kilbride of the Wells-Ogunquit American Legion Post 143 and WHS student Justin Lareau. (Reg Bennett photo)

Drive-Through Nativity to highlight Christmas in York

York-area residents and holiday visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a special Christmas celebration this year as members of First Parish Church present a Drive-Through Nativity, The Journey To Bethlehem.
Staged as a living tableau with live actors portraying all the characters of the original Christmas story, the program will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday evening, Dec. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the loop around Town Hall and the church in York Village. Admission will be free, and all are invited.
Dozens of volunteers have been working for several months, according to Janet and Larry Cassidy, co-chairs of the event, and many more are signed up to work as the date draws nearer. “The committees range from set design, props and costumes to carpentry, lighting and even live animals,” he said.
“There will be seven distinct sets,” Janet explained. “The first will be the annunciation of Mary by the angel Gabriel, which will be right behind Town Hall.
“Then there will follow a series of scenes including Caesar’s Palace, travelers on the road to Bethlehem, the wise men, the overcrowded inn, shepherds and angels in the field and, of course, the manger.” More than 70 church members will be portraying the authentically costumed characters in the nativity story, according to the Cassidys.
The audience will be able to view each scene from the comfort – and warmth – of their vehicles, entering from York Street and slowly traversing the loop around to the exit between the church and the Parish House.
The sets are being built, painted and decorated in Long Sands Shopping Center space donated by Ellen Baldwin. “We’re getting help from many corners,” said Larry. “Live animals from Triple G Farm in York, assistance from Eldredge Lumber, a beautiful three-dimensional camel created by artist Maiken Kunces of Thomaston, props – including a pair of golden lion statues – from Steve and Janet Erickson of York Beach…the list goes on and on. An anonymous donor is covering our out-of-pocket expenses. It’s just amazing.”
“We’re planning to make this an annual event,” Janet said. “We’re hoping we can make Christmas in York even more special than it already is. And, of course, we’re hoping that this event will serve to remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.”
“We’re not doing this for ourselves,” Larry added, “although the participants are certainly enthusiastic about the project. We’re doing it for the community. It’s a gift to our neighbors.”
Photo caption: Teams of designers, carpenters and painters have been working on the sets in space in Long Sands Shopping Center. Mike Lawlor (left) and Bill Dunn recently applied finishing touches to the framework of the throne room in Caesar’s Palace. (Per Jonas photo)

Pease Greeters Roll Out the Welcome Mat for Arriving Troops

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
A tradition begun in 2005 continues today to impact the lives of many veterans, men and woman on active military duty, and civilians.
It was in that spring that the Seacoast Detachment, Marine Corps League met the first flight of troops landing at Pease and returning from the battlefront in the Near East. Since then, according to Jack P. Savastano of North Hampton, the Pease Greeters public affairs officer, more than 320 flights of men and women, going to and coming from the battlefront, have been met.
“This is not a small piece of Americana,” Savastano said earlier this week. “It’s a big piece of Americana.”
Back in 2005, the Pease Development Authority noticed the situation with the troops coming in and contacted the Marine Corps League. It has grown from there.
“We started basically with an empty air terminal,” Savastano said. “Now you’re talking overflow parking.”
Since it began, the Pease Greeters group has not missed a single flight and has grown to well over 100 elders and youths, all offering their thanks and greetings for these heroes, said Ed Johnson, chairman of the group, in a letter on the Greeters’ website.
Now, veterans and civilians of all ages join the Greeters, who come from throughout the Seacoast area of Southern Maine and Southeastern New Hampshire and beyond. “The kids are very happy to come meet the troops,” Savastano said.
Even as the reputation of the Pease Greeters grows, there is, Savastano said, “Still a little bit of shock and awe” once they arrive here.
Many of them bring gifts, especially those retuning from overseas. These artifacts presented by the troops are on display in the terminal.
One of the main displays is from a different era, a 48-star American flag that hit the beach at Guadalcanal in 1942. One of the Greeters, Jerry McConnell, Savastano said, was with that flag when it went ashore.
With the crowds growing, at times even including a high school band, new sound equipment was needed, so a group of students from Marshwood Middle School raised $1,600 to buy a new, bigger system in two hours at a bowl-a-thon.
The Greeters don’t know what services those arriving are from, but as soon as they find out, that service’s song is played in the terminal as the troops enter and they are greeted by handshakes, cheers and flashing cameras.
While on the ground they are welcome to call anywhere they wish on a special bank of phones. Initially, Johnson said, cell phones were freely offered by the Greeters for the troops to call home with news. Now a bank of phones may be used free of charge, exclusively for the veterans, courtesy of Whaleback Systems, a company located in the Pease Tradeport.
There are refreshments available and, if by chance a soldier comes from the area, efforts are made to get the family together for at least a few minutes.
Savastano noted that parents of one arrival were contacted and brought to the terminal by police escort. Another troop mentioned he had a brother in the Coast Guard serving “at the shipyard up here.”
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Security was contacted. They located the young man and he was brought to Pease for a short but heart-felt reunion with his twin brother.
There have been troops come through who were born here while a parent was serving at the now closed Pease Air Force Base or the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
The stories are endless.
Each group that comes through is photographed and those pictures are displayed in the terminal and on a website the troops can access.
In a short ceremony they are welcomed, there is a short session where old warriors meet the young warriors, and each of the troops is given gifts, most of which are donated by people and businesses in the area.
Lindt Chocolate and the Bose Corporation have donated items, among others, area women have baked thousands of cookies, and the commander of each unit is presented a sweatshirt signed by the Greeters.
Savastano has been impressed by the faces of the young Americans who have come through the terminal.
“You look at the faces of these kids,” he said. “It’s infectious. It is an eagerness to serve their country. That’s what you see in their faces.”
Information on arriving flights and the nationally known and honored Pease Greeters is available at the group’s website,

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cyber Safety Expert Visits Marshwood Middle School: An 8th Grader’s Perspective

By Suzannah Blass
& Rosie Alleva
Marshwood Middle School

Cyberbullying, predators, sexting, and social networking - do you really know what your kids are being exposed to on the web? Many parents don’t, but Jayne A. Hitchcock does, and it’s her job to help educate parents, kids, and teachers about these topics. She is the president of Working to Halt Online Abuse, WHO@. Jayne travels to different schools, businesses, and other organizations to train and inform the public about these significant issues. She has appeared on popular T.V. programs such as Primetime Thursday with Diane Sawyer, CNN, and Good Morning America, as well as in Time Magazine. She has also written a book related to her work entitled Net Crimes and Misdemeanors. On Nov. 19, Jayne visited our school to inform us about these types of issues.
Some kids may think that they know everything there is to know about the Internet, but at the assembly we, the students of Marshwood, realized this wasn’t true at all. Few of us actually realized how easy it is for people we don’t know to look us up online and how susceptible to predators we are. The point of this assembly was in no way to discourage kids from using social networking sites but rather to simply warn us of what could happen and how to be safe while using them.
Sexting, a term used to describe sending explicit photos to one another through texts or computers, may seem like no big deal. But it is. If the picture is of someone under age, both the sender and people who look at the picture can be charged with child pornography. When pictures are posted on the web, the person posting them might not realize that the picture they posted would stay on the web forever, that it would travel so fast, or that they could be fired in the future because of it! It’s not only pictures, though. When you type a status or post a comment on Facebook, or really anything else online, it will stay there forever and is open to the whole Internet. Friends, family, supervisors, co-workers, and even people you don’t know could see these things. As we learned in the assembly, you should never put anything onto the Internet that you will later regret.
Everything in the assembly just seemed like fact after fact, real life problems that were happening to kids just like us, but still, they weren’t us. Jayne said something that caught everyone’s ear, teachers and kids alike. She revealed to us that she had made an alter ego on Facebook. Jayne “friend requested” 60 MMS honor students. Of those 60, 58 kids had accepted and became her friend (even though they had no knowledge of who she was). When she said this instantly murmurs spread throughout the gym as people racked their brains to remember if they had accepted anyone they didn’t really know. Many people were probably regretting it now. She, as her alter ego, then had easy access to phone numbers, emails, pictures, videos, and even addresses. Yes, it is just that simple. This was a major eye opener. These weren’t only facts; they were statistics about us. They actually made everything seem all the more real. Things went from, “That could never be me!” to “This is real and I should be more cautious.”
The assembly ended shortly after, when the students and teachers were dismissed out of the gym to carry on the school day. Even though this may have been the end of the assembly, it wasn’t the end of predators on the web or sexting. Many of the ideas, facts, and statistics that Jayne had told us were scary, but they were all true. They affected many of us and got us thinking for the rest of the day. Many kids were trying to figure out who Jayne’s alter ego was, and were scared that they may have befriended her. Some said that when they got home they would change their profile settings to make themselves safer, some said they would check to make sure their friends were truly their friends, and some said that they would put less information in their profiles. The assembly showed all of us how important it is to go out of our way and make sure we are safe. In addition, it warned us never to sext. Overall, even if some kids shrugged off what was told to us during this assembly, many didn’t and thanks to this assembly those kids will now be safer.
Photo caption: L-R, Rosie Alleva, Jayne Hitchcock, and Suzannah Blass after a recent seminar on cyber safety at Marshwood Middle School. (Courtesy photo)

The “Spirit of Giving” is once again alive and well in Ogunquit

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
Ogunquit Spirit of Giving is an annual local event to collect gifts for needy children who otherwise would have no presents at Christmas. Now in its 5th year, it was begun and is still largely run by local business owners.
“We either have our own businesses or we work in businesses,” explained OSG committee member Irene Crocker, who runs Watercress Cottages & Motel in Wells. “We adopted an agency, the Kinship Program.”
The Kinship Program matches up OSG donors with underprivileged kids who are being raised by their grandparents. “These grandparents are bringing up their grandchildren because the kids parents are either dead, drug addicts, or in prison,” explained Bette Hoxie, Director of Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine and the Kinship Program. “The grandparents don’t have a lot of money, and they can’t give (the kids) Christmas gifts.”
That’s where OSG comes in. People who want to help these kids sign up to buy $35-$50 worth of gifts for a specific child. “Most people spend more than that,” said Crocker. “I know I do. We get a list from the Kinship Program. It says ‘This is your child. This is what they would like.’ Some kids want a toothbrush, some want underwear, basic essentials. But we go above and beyond that.”
“When we started out we wanted to serve 50 kids. We did 89 in the first year,” Crocker reflected. “Every year since OSG has added more kids to its list. This year we’re up to 403 kids.”
On Dec. 6 at Mainestreet in Ogunquit, donors dropped off their gifts for the 403 kids. All the gifts were already wrapped and individually addressed. On Dec. 7, gifts were distributed to the homes of the kids free of charge thanks to Bow Street Distribution. Gifts were sent to children from Kittery all the way to Damariscotta, Maine.
“Most of these families are on low income or even no income,” said a grateful Hoxie. “Ogunquit Spirit of Giving means that these kids will have Christmas, that’s really what it means.”
Other OSG committee members include Jason Corbin, Jimmy Lucibello, Michael Maler, Jim Morgan, Normand Paquin, Jerry Peppe, Jeff Porter, Frances Reed, David Sullivan, Suzanne Thompson, and Mike Zamojski. For more information visit
Photo caption: Spirit of Giving committee member David Sullivan puts presents under the Christmas tree at Spirit of Giving at Mainestreet in Ogunquit on Dec. 6. (Devin Beliveau photo)

York High Graduate wins YAA Scholarship

The first recipient of the York Art Association’s Letitia Moore Scholarship is Katie Rasche, a sophomore at Skidmore College. Ms. Rasche, who attended York High School, and was salutatorian at her 2008 graduation, has been on the Dean’s list both semesters of her college freshman year. She is intending to major in Studio Art with a focus on photography. A reception in Ms. Rasche’s honor was held at York Art Association on Saturday, Nov. 28th.
The $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Ms Rasche on the basis of recommendations from her high school art teachers, her academic standing at high school and at Skidmore and her essay which noted “ my educational and career goals are quite simple: I want to make it out of college with an education in something that I can see myself enjoying for the rest of my life, and I want my career to follow suit… It was never really a question that art was always the field of study that I wanted to pursue later in life.”
The Scholarship was established as a part of a trust left to York Art Association by Ms. Moore, who was an artist and member of the Association. The award is given to a deserving college student who has completed their first year at an accredited college or university and is majoring in art or art history. YAA’s scholarship committee was most impressed by what Ms. Rasche had already achieved academically and her positive view of what she expected to accomplish with art as her career focus. Ms. Rasche is hoping to exhibit at YAA in 2010.
Photo caption: L to R: Lou Hargan (Scholarship Committee, YAA), Katie Rasche, and Priscilla Schwartz (VP, YAA). (Gloria Gottlieb photo)

Friday, December 4, 2009

4th Annual 2009 Festival of “Fostering” Trees

The Festival of “Fostering” Trees is back for another year and we’ll continue our mission of joining the entire community together by providing a beautiful festival of decorated Christmas Trees for your viewing pleasure while giving back to our community - all at the same time.
How it works:
The Festival of “Fostering” Trees raffles off decorated artificial Christmas Trees that were donated from the community! Come stroll through our enchanted forest of beautiful trees and take a chance on your favorites, no two trees are alike!
All proceeds will help youth living in York County Foster care.
Location, dates, and times: American Legion Post #56 function facility.
Friday – Dec. 4th – 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday – Dec. 5th – 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday – Dec. 6th – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday - Dec. 6th - Raffle @ 4:15 p.m.; Calls placed to winners 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; Monday - Dec. 7th - Pick up of all trees 8 a.m.-noon.
Entry Fee: Support the American Legion’s Toys for Tots Program by donating a new, unwrapped toy and/or gift card or support the York Food Pantry by donating a non-perishable food item or support both by making a monetary donation at the door and this will serve as your entry fee to the Festival. You do not have to purchase raffle tickets in order to stroll around and view all of the beautifully decorated trees and enjoy the Spirit of the Season.
Refreshments served each day. Raffle Tickets are 25 for only $5.FMI Call Janalee @ 361-2116 or 423-4281, or Email @
Photo caption: The 4th annual Festival of “Fostering” Trees kicks off Dec. 4. (Courtesy photo)

Bashaw named Chairwoman of
Ogunquit Chamber Board of Directors

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
Carla Bashaw has added some new responsibilities to the ones she routinely executes as the owner of Genesis Day Spa in Ogunquit. She was recently named Chairwoman of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce’s 12-member Board of Directors. She takes the post at a time when the Chamber is taking on some new things.
“We want to do fun and family oriented things to get businesses and residents together,” Bashaw said. “Our focus is pulling the community together as well.”
Most immediately, Bahsaw, Chamber President/Executive Director Karen Arel, and their colleagues on the Board are looking to the upcoming Christmas by the Sea weekend on Dec. 11 - 13. “We’re looking for it to be one of our best events,” said Bashaw. “We’ve added a bell choir concert and will continue with carolers at different locations. The carolers will be at the Tree Lighting at Veteran’s Park on Friday night. The Village Spirit Committee is putting on the parade again. We’re still having the chowder and chocolate fest. It’s always fun.”
Bashaw noted that the Chamber puts on events throughout the year, including the OgunquitFest weekend in October, the Patriot’s Day weekend in April, and the Sidewalk Art Show in August.
“In the past few years, we’ve started the Mardi Gras event in the winter and Cinco de Mayo in May,” Bashaw said. “We just did Celebrations by the Sea, where the Dunaway was transformed into an Expo. We’re currently working on a restaurant week in the spring, a new and different way to showcase restaurants. It may be a progressive supper. We’re hoping it will culminate with a wait staff Olympics, with events like hurdles for food servers. We think it will be fun.”
The events aren’t the only thing the Chamber does, Bashaw said. “The Chamber facilitates interactions among members, through things like our monthly Business After Hours,” she said. “We have put on seminars in the past, that have been free to members. We’re working on getting promoted in places like Boston. We use co-op ads that allow members to have exposure at lower cost. We have a calendar of events on our website where members can post events. We try to keep members informed about anything political that might affect them. We offer different services and benefits.”
In the past in Ogunquit, as in many resort communities, there have been some tensions between businesses and the police, particularly over things like parking and traffic enforcement. Bashaw said that situation was much improved. “It’s going great,” she said. “The police and fire chiefs and the Town Manager have taken great strides in creating more of a feeling of unity. The selectmen have been a big part of it as well. It was apparent this summer when we put the fireworks on again.”
Looking to the future, Bashaw said the Chamber wanted to take advantage of the growth its experienced. “The Chamber has grown in the past three years,” she said. “We need the members to get involved and give us their ideas. The Board looks to members for ideas on what would help them.”
Photo caption: Carla Bashaw (Jim Kanak photo)

Christmas on the Coast in Kittery

The Seacoast Kiwanis Club for the 16th year is sponsoring the Kittery Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 5th. The parade theme is Christmas on the Coast.
The parade begins at 3 p.m. from the Post Office Square on Shapleigh Road, with judging of various units beginning at 2:40 p.m. (Late arrivals will be accepted but may not be judged.) We recommend that participants arrive at around 2 p.m. to allow time for set-up and alignment. Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each division of the parade.
When the parade leaves Post Office Square it will turn left on Shapleigh, right on Whipple, left on Wentworth, then through the Square, right on Government and finally circling John Paul Jones Park finishing at the Christmas Tree.
At the Park a musical selection will be played by the combined Traip and Shapleigh School Bands followed by the announcement of award winners and lighting of the Tree by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The Kittery Rotary will serve hot cocoa and cookies. Every one is invited to stay and enjoy the refreshments.
Additional information is available at and or by contacting any Kiwanis Member or Glen Philbrook at 439-0721 or Norm Leon at 439-9292.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Golden Harvest named Employer of the Year by Center for Entrepreneurship

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
For an old business, a new accolade.
Golden Harvest, a local produce market and specialty foods store, has been named Employer of the Year at York County Community College’s 5th Annual Entrepreneur Awards.
“I was really shocked. It was wonderful. We were flattered,” said co-owner Carla Spencer, who has owned and run Golden Harvest with her husband Jim since September 1998.
The Spencers received the award from the Center for Entrepreneurship at a ceremony at The Coastal House in Wells on Nov. 4th. Other finalists for the award were Province Automation in Sanford, and this newspaper, The Weekly Sentinel.
Eligibility for the award required that a business “maintained or added to staff levels in the past 12 months, and demonstrates stability as an employer.”
“We have a lot of long-term employees, some that have been with us 30 years,” said Jim Spencer. “We don’t turn over a lot of people. We bring people in, they stay with us. We bring them along. That’s been really good for us. That’s the key to what we do.”
Golden Harvest has continued to add employees over the past year despite the difficult economy. “We’ve added a couple of management positions and a couple of wholesale positions,” said Jim.
Since May 2006 the Spencers have also owned Carl’s Meat Market, which is located next door to Golden Harvest. “Between the two places it’s about 50 employees right now, and around 55 or 58 in the summer,” said Carla.
The economy has been a concern for the Spencers. “The economy effects the way things are. People spend less money,” said Carla. “But we are consistent with our numbers from last year, which is good,” added Jim.
Golden Harvest is a landmark business in Kittery’s “Gourmet Alley” on Route 1. “The community is very supportive, and they tell us what they think frequently, which is nice because it tells you how you’re doing,” said Carla.
Golden Harvest was nominated for Employer of the Year by Sen. Peter Bowman (D-Kittery). Jim Spencer believes that Golden Harvest’s willingness to go the extra mile for customers is what inspired Sen. Bowman’s nomination. “If you want something special, a unique bottle of wine, we’ll bring it in. People will ask for this and that and we’ll try to accommodate them,” said Jim.
Golden Harvest has been around “since the late 50s,” according to Jim. The Spencers purchased the business from Dominick Peluso, who started and ran the business for its first 40 years.
Carl’s Meat Market has been in and out of Carla’s family since the 1930s. “Carl Peschel, my great-grandfather, started it,” Carla explained. “After Carl Peschel passed away his son Ken took the business over. Then he sold it to Frank Belleville, who worked for him. Then we bought it from Frank.”
The Spencers are clearly proud of the long local histories of these two community markets. “Our goal is to always maintain what the Golden Harvest was, but also keep changing with the times,” Carla said. Jim nodded in agreement, and also added that as Employer of the Year, “We’re happy just the way it is.”
Golden Harvest and Carl’s Meat Market are located at 47 and 25 State Road (Route 1) in Kittery.
Photo caption: Carla and Jim Spencer of Golden Harvest in Kittery. (Devin Beliveau photo)

Collaboration in the Air with Libraries in the Berwicks

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
In the face of shrinking resources and a desire to maximize library services for their constituents, Librarians Sandy Broomfield (Berwick), Mamie Ney (South Berwick) and Beth Sweet (D.A. Hurd, North Berwick) took an historic step recently. They agreed formally to a reciprocal arrangement that allows legal residents of each of the three towns to sign up for free library cards at all three libraries.
“We have been collaborating, but not formally,” said Ney.
“We decided the three of us could have patrons from each town share the library,” said Broomfield.
It wasn’t a simple matter, however. To complete the agreement, the librarians had to get their boards (in the case of Berwick and D.A. Hurd) and town officials (in the case of South Berwick) to go along with the idea. The different organizational structures of the three facilities complicated things. Only the South Berwick library is a town department; Berwick and Hurd are non-profits directed by boards of directors.
They convinced folks that collaboration was a good thing.
“For example, it saves us from inter-library loan costs,” Sweet said. “Usually, books are mailed between libraries and $2.45 is the average mailing fee. So giving people cards helps with that. We’re also all small libraries, so jointly hosting events can draw larger audiences.”
In fact, joint events are already on the drawing board, thanks to a grant the group got from the Maine Humanities Council to support the formation of a book discussion group.
“The grant will provide a facilitator to run five book discussions,” Sweet said. “It will also provide the books to lend.”
“The Council was looking for libraries to work together, so that worked in our favor,” said Ney.
“The hope is that we’ll alternate the discussions among all three libraries, so people will get familiar with (ones outside their towns),” Sweet said.
The discussion groups will likely begin in March. But that’s not the only shared activity. Museum passes is another area of collaboration.
“We got a $2,500 grant from Kennebunk Savings Bank for all three to get museum passes, to places like the Maine Children’s Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Portland Museum of Art, Strawbery Banke and Willowbrook,” Broomfield said.
The trio continues to explore other possibilities. “There are so many ways to cooperate, like ordering supplies together (to get better prices),” Ney said. “There’s a lot we can do internally and externally. It also gives us a good excuse to get together, to see how we’re dealing with similar things.”
Sweet agreed. “We could do staff training together and fundraising,” she said. “Maybe we could do an annual golf tournament. If we combined forces, we could see larger fundraising events.”
Like many industries, the landscape for public libraries is changing and that motivates the need for creative thinking.
“Our mission is changing,” said Ney. “We’re becoming an information town commons. That’s been important to all libraries.”
And that also drives the desire to collaborate. “We’re trying to unite so that we can present the greatest opportunities for all our residents,” Broomfield said.

New Owners Re-Open Litchfield’s

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
There’s a new dining and entertainment venue in Wells at a familiar old location. Litchfield’s Bar and Grill, under new owners Elaine and Bob Stone and Execuitve Chef Tom Perron (Elaine’s brother), opened its doors on Nov. 18. Located at the site of the former Litchfield’s Restaurant, the new operation offers not only an extensive dining menu and full bar, but also a video game room and pizza parlor that offers a variety of pizzas, subs, appetizers, salads, and Italian dishes.
“We make almost everything from scratch,” Perron said. “We make our own burgers, pizza sauce, ribs, even the batter for fried chicken. All our soups and stews are homemade. We try to do as much as we can.”
Indeed, the dinner menu is five pages long, and offers everything from soups to salads to sandwiches to steaks, chicken and seafood. And the menu is reasonably priced, with no entrée above $20.
And there is full bar service as well. “We have a new tap system, with 14 beers on tap and two separate taps,” said Perron, noting also that the bar was fully stocked with wine and other spirits.
Separating the dining area from the pizza parlor is a game room, with a multitude of game options. “It’s a full game room,” Perron said. “There’s Guitar Hero, poker, classic Pac-man, NBA Showtime, things like that.”
There’s even a game that offers an opportunity to win Coach bags.
The pizza parlor also offers specialty pizzas like shrimp and sweet sausage, clams casino (clams, bacon, and bell peppers), eggplant and feta cheese, and Hawaiian ham and pineapple, to name just a few.
“People can dine in, carry out, use curbside pick-up, or have delivery,” said Perron. For now, delivery is limited to Wells only, though that could change in the future.
The operation uses the shell of the former restaurant, with the interior fully renovated. The dining area seats 150, with the familiar atrium room still an attractive feature of the dining room, giving it a bright and airy feel. The bathrooms were completely redone also and are handicap accessible.
Perron said there are plans to expand in the future. The plan is to use the land to the rear of the building to put another, adjoining structure with a capacity of 150 that would allow the restaurant to handle functions, and offer music and entertainment.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the restaurant, though, has nothing to do with food. There’s a memorial to the victims of the 9-11attacks – a fountain – that sits between the entrances to the restaurant and the pizza parlor. Perron said it will be dedicated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, at 2 p.m. The dedication will be attended by firefighters from throughout southern Maine.
Litchfield’s, 2135 Post Road in Wells, is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.
Photo caption: Bartender Deb Vaughn at the new 14 beer tap system at Litchfield’s Bar and Grill in Wells. (Jim Kanak photo)

Friday, November 20, 2009

$1 Million Federal Award advances
Conservation of York River

York Land Trust (YLT) and the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea conservation partners (MtA2C) announce the protection of an ecologically significant property on the York River in York. In 2005, aided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Program, the partners made a “federal case” for supporting York River conservation and won a million dollar North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) award. It was recently used to purchase 240 acres of pristine saltmarsh, shorelands, field and forested uplands from the Davis family, one or York’s founding families and long time supporters of community conservation.
“Our family settled this land in the 1600’s and lived on it continuously until 1963, when our great aunt Alice R. McIntire died and our mother Mary McIntire Davis inherited the land. Before her death, it was our mother’s fondest wish that the land remain undeveloped and in its natural state in-perpetuity. We believe conveying the land to the good stewards of the York Land Trust will ensure our mother’s legacy and provide for the enjoyment of the citizens and visitors of York. My brothers, Dan and Jim, and I are pleased to be able to continue our family’s affiliation with the York Land Trust,” said Mal Davis.
“We are grateful to the Davis Family for working with us to protect this spectacular property and for their generosity in selling the land for less than its market value, as a donation to the York Land Trust. The success of the project was due in part to this important gift,” said Doreen MacGillis, Executive Director of York Land Trust. “In addition, the value of a partially donated conservation easement to Maine Coast Heritage Trust by the Delano family on a 390-acre parcel on Gerrish Island in Kittery last year provided critical match necessary to secure the federal NAWCA grant.”
The NAWCA proposal was a rigorous process that focused national attention on the York River System’s distinctive preservation arguments including 1) that the River’s estuary, shoreland and contiguous forested uplands provide priority habitat for 100 types of waterbirds, or nearly every species regularly seen in the entire Atlantic Flyway, 2) that conserving the lands connected to the River and its source wetlands and streams protects many non-bird species including half of the entire possible diversity for estuarine fishes in Maine, rare turtles, amphibians, invertebrates, and mammals, and 3) that the rich marshes of the York River comprise one of the largest intact coastal wetland areas in southern Maine. Project leader Stewart Fefer with the USFWS Gulf of Maine Program said, “This York River project protects forever a diversity of nationally significant coastal wetland habitats for fish, wildlife and people. We are delighted to have been able to assist in this important conservation partnership.”
According to aquatic biologist Michele Dionne, PhD. director of research at the Wells Reserve (WNERR), “from harbor to headwaters, the York River, an exemplary New England coastal watershed has retained an impressive degree of ecological integrity. The ecology of the River is directly connected to the ecology of its surrounding landscape. If the shorelands lose their natural functions, so do the brooks, streams, creeks and channels of the watershed and estuary. As an aquatic scientist, I greatly appreciate the timely and critically important work of the Mt A to the Sea Coalition in protecting the lands that protect the River. As a local resident, I understand the depth of commitment required to pursue this far-from-simple mission. As a parent, I am truly grateful for the Coalition’s growing natural legacy - a gift beyond measure to us all.
This is one of 45 projects, representing a total of 2,746 acres that the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Coalition has completed since its inception in 2002.
Photo caption: Conservation lands conserved by the Mt. A to the Sea project (Courtesy photo)

Master Yarnspinner’s Latest Yarn

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
Joyce Tracksler has made for herself a loyal readership and a place in Kittery lore with her mysteries that often feature local personalities and a smorgasbord of evil plots from criminal masterminds. Her eagerly anticipated tenth novel, Home of the Brave, stretches the mystery genre to historical fiction that buzzes with World War II era lingo, and laughable old world etiquette that is juxtaposed by Portsmouth’s infamous red light district.
In the opening chapters, we are introduced to a colorful array of characters from ladies of the night to upstanding locals who work together to put on a USO show for the homeward and war-ward bound troops. But, we are also introduced to a puzzler involving the charred remains of a dog name “Pal” found on Seapoint Beach by a runner.
Dodging through the Atlantic, a ship full of injured soldiers and love struck nurses makes its way toward the Naval Yard. Among the passengers is the handsome and heroic Joe Martin and a plain Jane nurse Eunice, who burned her re-grown curly red locks saving soldiers from a blaze. Nurses Michelle and Carol do some creative paperwork to tip the scales to their comrade’s favor hoping the blinded soldier will see love in Eunice. As a result, rather than going across the country to be treated, Joe happens to have been reassigned to receive his treatment right in York hospital where Eunice would be by his side.
As the arsons claim more lives, and more of the street walkers turn up missing, an unhappily married police chief, Randy, teams up with Inga, a criminal psychologist, to profile any suspicious locals and to trace the patterns within the crimes. The town of Kittery holds an assortment of motley and curious characters, many of whom could be just cagy enough to commit such heinous crimes.
Tracksler adopts some playful uses of text by starting each chapter with news headlines from local and national papers regarding the war, the arsons, a prison escape, and the USO show. She nicely plots a firm historical context with these headlines, and inserts several USO playbills that feature the name of actual modern day Kittery residents. Tracksler successfully fleshes out the bawdy and prudish characters in all their glory, and weaves a very believable World War II era Seacoast using some local history as a weapon in her arsenal.
The only piece of this work that readers might struggle with is the barrage of characters. The first fifty pages might make the reader feel like the new kid in school, but as each character returns in later chapters, the reader will find themselves thoroughly rewarded as they are acquainted and acclimated with this little town. Furthermore, once the ship comes in to port and the soldiers file in among the locals, the story begins to flow into a single narrative and the fun begins.
In Home of the Brave, Joyce Tracksler shows she has paid her dues writing good yarns about eccentric characters that seem too much fun to be true, and masterfully plots them into an entertaining read that gets deeper into your skin with every page.
Photo caption: Cover of Home of the Brave by Joyce Tracksler. (Courtesy photo)

The New School To Help Winterize Homes of Those in Need

The New School devotes two days in November to community service called Giving Back Days. This November, the days are the 23rd and 24th. Teachers, students and volunteers will work in the Kennebunk area winterizing the homes of older or disabled people, or low- income families.
Students and teachers worked with United Way several years ago with the Keep ME Warm program, which distributed and installed winterization kits to low income families in York County. The kits contained shrink-wrap for sealing the older style, single- paned windows, weather stripping for doors and windows and insulation for electrical outlets. Thus many of the students and teachers have been trained in weatherization. There will be five New School teams made up of a skilled volunteer leader, and five students.
For those who live in older homes and can’t afford to purchase new, insulated windows winterizing the house is the way to save energy this winter. An Indoor Window Insulator Kit costs about $16, will insulate five 3 x 5 windows and can increase the R-value of a single pane of glass by 90 percent. Felt or foam weather stripping is inexpensive and saves a lot of energy when applied to cracks or crevices between doors and doorjambs – a 1/8” space between an exterior door and its threshold is equivalent to a two square inch hole in the wall so imagine the amount of heat that escapes. Another inexpensive and easy way to reduce heating costs is to insulate the electrical outlets on your exterior walls. While most people don’t consider this to be a major source of energy loss, keep in mind that behind every faceplate that covers a light switch or electrical outlet is a hole in your wall. Adding a foam insulating gasket allows you to create a tight seal between the wall and the faceplate without altering the appearance of the socket.
The New School expects to be able to winterize between 15 and 20 homes during the two days. With donations from the Town of Kennebunk, the Southern Maine Church of Christ, Lowes and Home Depot, there are some kits available at no cost for those who can’t afford them. If anyone would like to volunteer to help with the project or donate materials you can contact The New School. Regardless of whether you can afford to buy the materials, the teams are willing to do the labor and can provide some materials. If you’d like help winterizing your home on November 23rd or 24th please call 985-3745.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kittery celebrates the lives
of the Pepperrells

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
275 years later, the Pepperrell Family was once again at the center of attention in Kittery Point.
Local residents gathered at the tomb of Colonel William Pepperrell in Kittery Point on Saturday to see the work that has recently been completed by the Pepperell Project. Led by former state senator Steve Estes, The Pepperrell Project has cleaned up the area surrounding the tomb. “It’s to make the site more visible. People couldn’t find it,” Estes explained in his opening remarks to a crowd of several dozen.
The event began with several songs by maritime folk performers The Dog Watch. Estes then welcomed the crowd, and stated that the goal of the Pepperrell Project was to “reveal again for the first time in 30 years this wonderful site.” Estes noted that 2009 is the 275th anniversary of the death of Colonel Pepperrell, and asked if there were any Pepperrell descendants in the crowd. About 6 people raised their hands.
After a blessing by Reverend Jeff Gallagher, historian, author, and former state legislator Neil Rolde took the podium. “Today we are celebrating once again the lives and the contributions to American history of the two Pepperrells,” said Rolde, referring to Colonel William Pepperell and his son Sir William Pepperrell. Rolde is the author of the book Sir William Pepperrell of Colonial New England.
Colonel Pepperrell arrived at the Isles of Shoals in 1676 from Devonshire, England. He married Margery Bray of Kittery Point, the local tavern keeper’s daughter, and the couple had 8 children, including William Jr. “The William Pepperrell Company” found success in shipping, trade, forestry and especially real estate.
“With his father’s help, William Jr. went about acquiring Maine real estate,” Rolde explained. “From Kittery all the way north to Scarborough. It was later said he could get on his horse here in Kittery Point, ride to Scarborough, and never get off his own land.” At one point William Jr. was known as the richest man in Maine.
William Pepperrell Jr. went on to serve in the Massachusetts Legislature. “He seemed to excel at everything he did. He was apparently extremely personable,” said Rolde. “Everybody liked him.”
William Pepperrell Jr.earned his fame for his leadership in capturing the French Fortress Louisburg on Cape Breton Island (Canada) during King George’s War in 1745. “He was chosen to lead an armada of colonists against the French,” said Rolde. “Pepperrell’s leadership led to the capture, after a short siege, of a supposedly impregnable French fortification.”
“Pepperrell’s victory was wildy celebrated in England. And he went there, not to be knighted by the king, but actually ennobled, which means he was made a Baronet, which is a much higher rank than a knight,” Rolde explained. William Pepperrell Jr. thus became Sir William Pepperrell.
After Rolde’s history lesson, Shapleigh School eighth grader Jackson Yeaton read the poem “With Pepperrell’s.” The restored memorial tablet was then unveiled, and the “Pepperrell Brigade” colonial re-enactors fired a musket salute over the Pepperrell tomb.
Work on the Pepperrell Project began in the summer and benefitted from the time given by several volunteers. Additional support for the Pepperell Project was given by The Friends of Fort McClary, The Kittery Cemetery Committee, and The Kittery Historical and Naval Museum. The museum also hosted a reception following Saturday’s celebration.
The Pepperrell Tomb and Memorial can be found on Route 103 in Kittery Point, across the street from Frisbee’s Market.
Photo caption: Part of the ceremony in Kittery Point on Nov. 7 celebrating restoration of the Pepperrell Tomb and Memorial. (Devin Beliveau photo)

The First 75 Years of Skiing in Maine

The Ski Museum is offering a Fireside Chat at the York Public Library on Nov. 19.
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. Maine manufacturers were leading producers of skis in the early years of the 20th century. That’s the starting point for a Fireside Chat that was recently produced by the Ski Museum of Maine.
It’s titled, “An Avalanche of Interest: The First 75 Years of Skiing in Maine,” and the program will be offered free of charge as part of the York Public Library’s Brown Bag Lunch lecture series at noon on Nov. 19. The York Public Library is located at 15 Long Sands Road. Call 363-2818. Website: This is a co-presentation with the Museums of Old York.
Approximately 100 photos and other graphic images, some more than a century old, will be projected on a screen. The pictures were loaned to the Ski Museum of Maine by historical societies and private individuals around the state, then converted to digital slides for the Fireside Chat.
The narrator will be Scott Andrews, a Portland-based ski journalist and Museum director who assembled the photos and performed much of the research. Andrews has been a snowsports journalist for 23 years and is a writer for several magazines, including Skiing Heritage.
Andrews notes that the story of Maine skiing starts in the late 19th century with the arrival of Scandinavian immigrants in Aroostook and Oxford counties. Immigrant craftsmen made the first skis used in this state ─ but they were used strictly for transportation during that era.
Skiing evolved into a sport in the early years of the 20th century. Paris Manufacturing Company started making recreational skis in 1900. A Portland man wrote America’s first book on the sport of skiing in 1905, and the Poland Spring resort began promoting winter sports getaways in 1909.
Winter carnivals were common in dozens of Maine towns in the 1920s and 1930s, helping to popularize skiing. Ski jumping was the marquee spectator event, but cross-country skiing became a popular participant sport. School competition grew out of these winter carnivals.
Downhill skiing became especially popular in the 1930s when rope tows proliferated all over Maine, including two in western York County: Bauneg Beg and Powderhouse Hill. (The latter is still operating.)
The Hussey Manufacturing Company (predecessor of today’s Hussey Seating) of North Berwick was a pioneer builder of chairlifts as well as the towering scaffolds used in jumping competitions.
“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. “Our 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.”
Fireside Chats are traveling outreach programs of the Ski Museum of Maine, a nonprofit organization located in Kingfield. There is no charge for the program, but donations are gratefully accepted. “An Avalanche of Interest: The First 75 Years of Skiing in Maine” is sponsored by the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club and the Ski Maine Association.
Photo caption: Poland Spring Postcard ca 1915. (Courtesy photo)

Ogunquit’s Spirit of Giving
Campaign is Underway

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
In just five years, the Ogunquit Spirit of Giving Committee has established their holiday gift drive as one of the signature events in town. Since 2005, the committee has organized a campaign that ensures that many needy kids get not only Christmas presents, but ones they actually have asked for.
“Some organizations are doing great things (with Christmas giving),” said committee member Jeff Porter. “Our group makes it a little more personal. We get a wish list for a particular child, their name, age, and what they want. Then we go shop for it.”
It’s not just the 12 committee members that do the shopping, although they certainly do their share. It’s people they’ve recruited from Ogunquit, York, Cape Neddick, and Wells that take the wish lists and make them come true.
The committee’s campaign provided gifts for 350 children in 2008. That’s up from 80 in 2005, 203 in 2006, and 299 in 2007. This year they expect to do even better.
The committee works with Old Town-based Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, specifically their Kinship Program. That program works with kids who are being raised by relatives other than their natural parents, primarily grandparents.
“It’s primarily grandparents raising their grand kids,” said Bette Hoxie, the program’s director. “Sometimes it’s an aunt or uncle. Most are on fixed incomes and most don’t get reimbursement from DHHS as foster parents do.”
Without that support, the families sometimes have problems affording Christmas presents. That’s where the committee comes in. Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine solicits wish lists from the families and then gives them to the committee. And that’s when the shopping begins.
“People sign up for how many kids they want to ‘adopt’,” Porter said. “We send information about the gifts (requested). They bring the gift wrapped with the kid’s name on it. Everyone makes an effort to make sure all the kids on the list are covered.”
The drive culminates this year on Dec. 6, with a 4 p.m. party at Maine Street in Ogunquit. That’s when people bring in all the gifts, which then are packed into trucks and taken to their destinations.
The committee members encourage volunteers to join the effort. To sign up, visit the website at or, if you don’t have access to the website, call 646-8158 and leave a message.
“We’re not really set up to accept money,” said Porter. “That’s not really the point of what we’re trying to do. We want to make that extra step to ensure a child gets what they really want to make their holiday happy.
Committee members include Porter, Jason Corbin, Irene Crocker, Jimmy Lucibello, Jim Morgan, Normand Paquin, Michael Maler, Jerry Peppe, Frances Reed, David Sullivan, Suzanne Thompson, and Mike Zamojski.
Hoxie said the committee does a great job. “They have made it possible for our families to have an amazing Christmas,” she said. “The packages are wrapped beautifully. Some who do the shopping go above and beyond. And the event they put on is wonderful.”

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Cricket Speaks Out

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
Roland Glenn’s wartime memoir, The Hawk and the Dove: World War II at Okinawa and Korea, lifts the code of silence that many veterans have been known to keep, from the World Wars through Vietnam. Even though World War II was a popular war where soldiers received an overwhelmingly positive reception upon returning home, the casualties were great, and Glenn sheds a great deal of light on the torment he endured after serving as an infantry commander.
Glenn was born and raised in rural Western Pennsylvania, a place, to those who have been there, that is every bit of America’s heartland as Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Indiana. Known as “Cappy” to his family, Glenn was raised equally by his parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles. He learned to hunt and “hug the land like a reptile” from his uncle, and would remember to keep his mouth shut after his target was hit so he would not give away his position to other prey.
After applying these hunting lessons to combat, he earned the name “Cricket” because of the style in which he gave his orders. Unknown to many people, the platoons often were multicultural, and Glenn commanded over several Mexican immigrants, including John Garcia, who would save Cricket numerous times during their tour.
Glenn recalls his father’s insistence that Cappy befriend an African American child in his school, in spite of the prevalence of racism within the community. Later, in boot camp, Glenn was thankful for his father’s forward thinking as a black man was introduced to his barracks who would eventually become a good friend. Glenn ponders all of the friendships he would have missed had his father never removed the stigma of racism from him.
Roland Glenn’s reflections take us to Seattle, Oahu, Okinawa, Saipei, Korea, and the lower depths of human conflict, and the moral lapses of good kids growing up in a battlefield. His deeply religious parents displayed a faith that is nearly extinct today, a faith cemented by unconditional love, and understanding. We also are shown a close father and son bond that Roland has cherished through the years.
The most stunning aspects of this memoir are, of course, the amount of lives the war cost and Glenn’s firsthand account of losing several friends over a mere few days. Glenn eases us into battle after chapters of the colorful pursuits of cadets in training, and warm tales of rural home life. All the while, the landscape of Okinawa and the outskirts of Latrobe are similar, which allowed him to successfully lead his Platoon, in spite of the fact that Okinawa is all harsh jungle.
As Glenn earned a purple heart, survived intense combat, and returned home with nightmares requiring psychotherapy, he endured and championed a happy life. While he exposes the hell and inhumanity of war, he also depicts the bravery, humanity and heroism of soldiers on both sides of the war. Glenn is haunted by the lives he was ordered to take, but brings these demons to the world hoping so that we might see what it is like to walk in a soldier’s fatigues.
This book is tightly written with letters from his family, and his own letters to them from the field to more succinctly capture the mood of the war, and the voices of his family. The Hawk and the Dove is a revelation, and a philosophical read that should not be passed up. This belongs among the greats of wartime literature, fiction and non-fiction. Roland Glenn lives in Kittery.
Photo caption: Cover of The Hawk and the Dove: World War II at Okinawa and Korea by Roland Glenn. (Courtesy photo)

Kittery’s Roland Glenn reflects on WWII

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
World War II veteran Roland Glenn knows that combat soldiers face unimaginable challenges both on the battlefield and when they return home following their service. With his new book, The Hawk and the Dove, Glenn hopes his own life story will illuminate those challenges.
Glenn, an 85-year old Kittery resident, served in the US Army from 1943-1946. As an Infantry Combat Company Commander, Glenn saw significant action at the Battle of Okinawa Island, Japan, the last battle of WWII. “I was in charge of about 200 soldiers, an enormous amount of responsibility for someone 20 years old,” Glenn reflected.
Asked about his most vivid memories, Glenn doesn’t hesitate. “The killing of fellow human beings in the name of democracy. I was brainwashed to think of the Japanese as sub-human monkey runts. At the time that I served I totally believed in the mission to obliterate the Japs.” Over 109,000 Japanese soldiers were killed at Okinawa, and 12,000 American lives were lost.
As fate would have it, Glenn’s next mission after Okinawa would not be to kill Japanese soldiers, but to help them. After Japan’s surrender following the dropping of two atomic bombs by the US, Glenn was sent to North Korea to repatriate the occupying Japanese soldiers back to Japan.
“I had the fortunate experience during the time I was in Korea, getting to know the Japanese as fellow human beings rather than the enemy. In the matter of a few weeks I went from killing the Japs on Okinawa to collaborating with them in Korea, and I was able to see them as fellow human beings and develop some friendships, and I’ve written about that transition from killing to collaborating in my book.”
Glenn began what would eventually become The Hawk and the Dove back in the 1985. Following a major heart attack, “a friend suggested I start writing stories about my life. I got up very early and just wrote whatever came into my head, stuck it in a file folder and stuck it away. In 1995, we had the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and I realized I had written a number of stories about my life in the 1940s. I pulled those stories together into a manuscript and that ‘s how the book got started.”
As his narrative progressed, the scope of Glenn’s story expanded beyond the 1940s. “The onset of the Middle East wars brought to my attention that I was writing about my own recovery from the massive killing I experienced on Okinawa. As we saw the thousands of personnel returning from the Middle East wars returning with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), my publisher and I began to see that I had written a story about my own recovery from the traumas of combat,” Glenn explained. “There’s nothing in our training that prepares us for the taking of another human life, or observing that happening. I was trained to kill, and that’s exactly what I did on Okinawa Island.
“One of my major concerns right now is all the veterans returning with the same condition (PTSD). This has got to be one of the biggest stories to come out of the Middle East wars. These veterans will require medical and psychological care for the remainder of their lives.”
Asked what he hopes readers will take away from his book, the retired educator stresses “I do not think that wars solve problems. I strongly believe that stronger diplomatic efforts should be undertaken to resolve international problems. I’m hoping that youth who are considering careers in the military will have the opportunity to read my book. I’m not advocating that young people not have careers in the military, but I am suggesting to our youth that there are many more options to serve our country and our communities than going to war.”
The Hawk and the Dove is now available at, Barnes & Noble, and through orders at local bookstores.
Photo caption: Kittery’s Roland Glenn. (Courtesy photo)

USS Helena (SSN 725) Begins
Community Partnership

The crew of USS Helena (SSN 725) began a relationship with the community during a Meet and Greet sponsored by the Helena Committee of South Berwick on Oct. 28.
The event, held at the South Berwick Community Center, was an opportunity for crew members and their families to meet members of the community. After the Meet and Greet, Sailors and their families were treated to a turkey supper at First Parish Federated Church.
Helena, a Los Angeles-class submarine homeported in San Diego, arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Sept. 2 for extended maintenance including several system upgrades.
Time in the shipyard can include long hours and extended periods of time away from family. So, the Meet and Greet was an opportunity for the community to roll out the welcome mat to the crew.
“I’m a veteran with 26 years in the business. I know what it is to be deployed in a new area. We want to make it fun for them. We want to be the surrogate family for these guys and the youngsters,” said Helena Committee Chairman Mal Kenney, who served in the Marine Corps and Air Force. “We want them to be welcomed here. Hopefully, we’ll have a good joint relationship.”
Master Chief Dave DiPietro thanked the group on behalf of the captain and crew for hosting the event.
“This is excellent. We feel so welcomed in your community. We really appreciate it,” said Master Chief Dave DiPietro, the Chief of the boat. “We want to thank you for making us feel so at home here, and making our families feel so appreciated. Being in the shipyard is never an easy job, but the community support is making it a lot easier.”
“I think it is great. The hospitality is just amazing,” said Machinist Mate Chief Mike Haraburda, of Erie, Pa. “To get all the support we have from the shipyard community is definitely uplifting.”
Prior to departing for the turkey dinner, Sailors received gift bags, which included cards decorated by 1st through 3rd grade students of South Berwick Central School.
“On the front of the card is a picture or drawing of a place in South Berwick that means a lot to the students,” said Kate Smith, a music teacher at the school. “Inside of the card is blank so that sailors can write a note inside and mail them home. The students wanted everyone to feel welcome and know why this community is a special place.”
The host committee, which has 27 volunteer members, has compiled a calendar of events and will work with the submarine to involve Sailors and family members in those activities. Some of those activities include a Halloween parade, a joint Christmas party with the American Legion and activities with the local ski club.
Helena, named after Helena, Mont., was commissioned on July 11, 1987. Her motto is “Proud and Fearless.”
Article by Lt. Patrick Evans, Public Affairs Officer, Submarine Group Two.
Photo caption: The crew of USS Helena (SSN 725) began a relationship with the community during a Meet and Greet sponsored by the Helena Committee of South Berwick. Oct. 28. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Regular Folks Cast Aside Modesty
for Men of York 2010 Calendar

The Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce has produced a humorous calendar that features a diverse group of local businessmen who have agreed to cast aside their modesty to raise funds to benefit non-profit organizations in York. The Men of York 2010 Calendar models range in age from 20 to 70+.
The calendar will be unveiled for the first time publicly on Wednesday, Nov. 18th at the American Legion function hall at Hannaford Plaza in York beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to attend the Men of York Revealed! event are $35 which includes a calendar ($20 value) or $15 without the calendar. Tickets also include refreshments and a chance to meet the models, view the pictures for the first time, and get autographs of the models. There will be a cash bar featuring special drink deals. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the chamber at 207-363-4422. This event makes a great “Ladies Night Out” and the calendars will make great gifts for the holidays. Only 1500 calendars will be sold.
The models will be introduced on stage in a humorous show that incorporates music and dancing. Their photos will be simultaneously revealed by calendar month. The photos show men in various stages of undress, often with a “prop” that relates to their business. “These men have really been great sports in the interest of raising funds for charity. The calendar will promote their business and their sense of humor,” said Chamber President Cathy Goodwin. “We’re raising funds and raising eyebrows! It’s all done in good taste, and in reality, the photos show no more than you’d see on a sunny summer day at the beach! It’s all in the imagination.”
Four professional photographers have donated their time and talent to this project including Anne Sweeney, Tim Rotman, Geneve Hoffman, and Shane Corcoran. Examples of their “regular” work will be on display at the Reveal Party along with information about the non-profit organizations that will benefit from the proceeds of the calendar sales. Following the event, calendars will be sold throughout the community at chamber businesses and at the chamber Visitors’ Center on Route 1.
Profits from the calendar sales will be shared with The American Legion, Kiwanis Children’s programs, York Hospital “For Every Patient” Campaign, Think Again, and the chamber’s scholarship fund. These groups will receive $10 of each calendar they sell. The project is being coordinated by the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, and all expenses are being incurred by The Chamber.
Calendars such as this one have been produced successfully in communities all over the country. They include the Men of Maple Corner in Vermont, the Women of Tamworth in N.H., The Men of Westerly in RI, and the Steel Magnolias in Aiken, South Carolina.
For more information call the chamber at 207-363-4422.

Voters face Seven Statewide
Ballot Questions on Nov. 3

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
On Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, Mainers go to the polls to vote on the seven questions included in the statewide referendum. The following are the seven questions that will be on the ballot, and what voting “yes” or “no” would mean for each of the questions. All information comes from the Maine Secretary of State’s website:
Question 1: People’s Veto
Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?
A “YES” vote would reject the new law and continue to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying.
A “NO” vote would allow the new law to take effect, permitting same-sex couples to marry.
Question 2: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to cut the rate of the municipal excise tax by an average of 55% on motor vehicles less than six years old and exempt hybrid and other alternative-energy and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from sales tax and three years of excise tax?
A “YES” vote favors enactment of the initiated legislation.
A “NO” vote opposes enactment of the initiated legislation.
Question 3: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school district consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?
A “YES” vote favors repeal of the 2007 school district consolidation law and its amendments.
A “NO” vote opposes repeal and favors leaving the 2007 school district consolidation law and its amendments in effect.
Question 4: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?
A “YES” vote favors enactment of the initiated legislation.
A “NO” vote opposes enactment of the initiated legislation.
Question 5: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?
A “YES” vote favors enactment of the initiated legislation.
A “NO” vote opposes enactment of the initiated legislation.
Question 6: Bond Issue
Do you favor a $71,250,000 bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, airports, public transit facilities, ferry and port facilities, including port and harbor structures, as well as funds for the LifeFlight Foundation that will make the State eligible for over $148,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?
A “YES” vote favors authorizing the $71,250,000 bond issue to finance all of the above activities.
A “NO” vote opposes the bond issue in its entirety.
Question 7: Constitutional Amendment
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to increase the amount of time that local officials have to certify the signatures on direct initiative petitions?
A “YES” vote favors adoption of this constitutional amendment.
A “NO” vote opposes adoption of this constitutional amendment.

Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story

On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Kennebunk Free Library in conjunction with the Brick Store Museum is proud to present the powerful new documentary Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story which premiered nationwide on Sept. 6 on the Smithsonian Channel. This video explores the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the most controversial public assistance programs of the Great Depression. The screening will take place at 7 p.m. in the Library’s Reading Room located at 112 Main Street. Admission is free and the screening is open to the public. The companion book to the documentary is also available for checkout at the Library.
The 1930s was a time when millions of Americans faced unemployment, vanishing life savings, banks foreclosing on homes and a general loss of hope. However, through government grants for programs such as the Federal Writers’ Project, the Great Depression also created opportunities for thousands of unemployed writers including Richard Wright, Saul Bellow and John Cheever. These writers fanned out across America, interviewing its citizens and producing a portrait of the USA from the ground up in a series of state travel guides. But the Federal Writers’ Project also ignited a storm of controversy when writers portrayed not only the triumphs of America, but also its tragedies.
At its peak, the Project employed over 6,600 people including a handful of published authors, old newspaper reporters, former school teachers and others. Two of its better-known workers, Studs Terkel (in one of his last interviews before passing away in October 2008) and Stetson Kennedy, appear in this documentary. In addition, the documentary features interviews with a diverse group of leading authors, poets, and historians, including Douglas Brinkley and David Bradley, who provide witty and heartbreaking insights into the Project.
Filmed entirely in high definition, Soul of a People”is a Spark Media Production produced for Smithsonian Networks™ with a major funding grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is produced and directed by Andrea Kalin and based on the book, Soul of a People, by David A. Taylor. Taylor also serves as co-producer and co-writer for the documentary. Award winning actress Patricia Clarkson is the narrator.
For more information on this program contact the Library at 207-985-2173 or the Museum at 207-985-4802 or visit or

Wells Voters to decide
on Water Extraction Regulation

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
Voters in Wells will decide on Nov. 3 whether the town will have an ordinance that allows and regulates large scale water extraction in the town. Question 1 includes a proposed regulation that is the product of a year-long process carried out by the town’s Ordinance Review Committee.
The proposed ordinance adds large scale water extraction as a permitted use in the town’s land use code in certain districts in town. It defines large scale water extraction as “extraction of water from ground water sources, aquifers, springs, wells, and similar sources in a total amount on any given day of 20,000 gallons or more.” Such extraction would require a permit. However, the proposed ordinance exempts extraction of water to be used within the town of Wells for “agricultural purposes, drinking water and domestic water supply to private residences and commercial users (that do not sell water for ultimate consumption outside the Town of Wells); water supply for public facilities such as schools within the Town of Wells; fire suppression; or for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes with the Town of Wells.”
The ordinance establishes an application process involving the Planning Board that requires the applicant to, among other things, detail the total maximum daily quantity of water to be extracted; the purpose of the extraction; identify the rates of drawdown and recharge of the aquifer or other ground water sources used, and other potential environmental impacts on the surrounding area; a traffic analysis by a professional engineer in Maine of the expected daily average vehicular trips, peak hour volumes, access at the site and other activities related to moving the water to the place it is ultimately processed; and site plans detailing the area of the extraction, including, but not limited to, the location of extraction points, roads, pipelines, and test and monitoring wells.
The Planning Board would have the ability to approve, deny or approve with conditions any application. Any approval would specify that it be only for extraction up to the maximum daily amount in the application. The approval would be for a period of three years, with renewal possible upon another review. That approval also would be good for three years before another review. An approval would be granted only if the applicant demonstrated that its activity would not cause “unreasonable changes in ground water flow patterns relating to the aquifer, any surface waters within the Town, any ground subsidence beyond the property lines of the applicant’s property, adversely affect the long term sustainability of the aquifer, or create a health risk.” The applicant also would be required to demonstrate an ongoing follow up monitoring system of the operation.
The ordinance includes a clause in which the applicant would agree that it would abide by the codes and ordinances of the town and “at no time rely on any national or international trade agreements, treaties or other instruments of legal means to abridge the rights of the citizens” of Wells.
Finally, the ordinance gives the Board of Selectmen the right to revoke or suspend the extraction permit under certain circumstances.
The debate about the question emanated largely from negotiations in the summer of 2008 between Poland Spring (and its parent corporation Nestle) and the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District to allow the extraction of water for bottling purposes. While no agreement was reached, opponents to large scale water extraction in Wells urged that the town enact a ban on such activity. The town implemented a temporary ban, which has been twice extended, while it determined how best to approach the issue. The proposed ordinance was the approach the town chose to take.
Opponents (those who encourage a “no” vote on Question 1) argue that enacting an ordinance would open the way for a company like Nestle to begin extraction, and that the town would soon lose control of the situation. Ed Pare, a Wells resident who is a member of the group Protect Wells Water, said that the town code should be left unchanged.
“In the code there’s a section for each district with a list of permitted uses,” Pare said. “If (the use) is not listed, it is not permitted in the district. Now, large scale ground water extraction is not a permitted use. For large scale extraction, you must apply to the DEP and also have a permit from the town. Since it is not listed as a permitted use the Planning Board would have to deny a permit.”
Pare said he asked Andrew Fisk, a Bureau Director at DEP what would happen if DEP issued a permit and the town did not. Fisk responded in an email that the two permits “are not related as they are different laws. That does not mean that our permit trumps the town’s denial - so in your example the project could not proceed as it didn’t have all necessary permits. We condition permits to that end.”
Supporters of the ordinance (those who encourage a “yes” vote) argue that a tight regulation offers the town the best protection for its water resources. “The ordinance very clearly allows the town to control the amount of water to be extracted,” said Selectman Jim Spiller. “Great care was taken by the ORC to allow owners to use what is justifiably their’s without taking from anybody else. They’ve largely achieved that goal.”
Spiller disagreed that not having the use listed as permitted in the current regulation would prevent it from happening. He said the enactment of the temporary bans on extraction might have taken that protection away. “Not passing this will not prohibit water extraction,” he said. “Water extraction is a permitted use in the state of Maine. If we turn down the ordinance, it would be easy for an applicant to come in and say they have the right to extract. If or when that occurs, the town would have no regulation whatsoever. DEP regulations are nowhere near as tight as this. To protect itself, the town has to pass this.”