Friday, September 25, 2009

Maine Equestrian Competes in European
Para-Equestrian Dressage Championship

FEI Para Dressage Equestrian Mary Jordan of Wells successfully competed at the 2009 FEI European Para-Equestrian Dressage Championship held in Kristiansand, Norway Aug. 19-23, competing with 78 riders from 22 countries. Her scores there qualify her to ride in the United States selection trials for the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games to be held in Kentucky next year.
Para-Equestrian dressage is an international and Olympic equestrian discipline for riders with disabilities. Jordan became the third person in her family diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2002 and is classified at the Grade IV level –the highest level for Para riders. Jordan competed on “Bohmer’s As,” a Hanoverian stallion (Brentano II- Weltmeyer) loaned to her by Martina Bohmer of Bohmerhof in Lingen, Germany. The pair was coached overseas by Paulien Alberts, an FEI dressage trainer, competitor and musical freestyle specialist from Emmen, Holland. In the United States Jordan trains with FEI Competitor Susan Jaccoma.
“This truly was a dream come true to compete internationally, and I had help getting there from every corner of the world! With a German horse, a Dutch and US coach, being an American rider, and having supporters from Kansas City to Great Britain we dubbed ourselves ‘Team International.’ I could not have achieved this without everyone’s help, it truly was a team effort!” Jordan said. “Being diagnosed with MS seven years ago I never imagined at the time I would one day be riding in competition internationally. We truly live in a new age of hope with MS, and I am riding for a reason to show what a person with MS can do.”
In Para-Equestrian Dressage, riders compete by doing three non-jumping riding tests from memory: a team test, an individual championship test, and a musical freestyle. At Grade IV, the highest level for Para riders, the technical requirements are the equivalent to the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) third level, although the musical freestyle may have more technical requirements incorporated. According to Hope Hand, Executive Director of the U.S. Para Equestrian Association (USPEA), Jordan earned the highest scores of any American to compete at the Grade IV 4**** level internationally.
“Changing disciplines from eventing to competing at the international level in dressage in a few short months is not an easy task. I found out when Mary makes up her mind that she is going to do something there is no stopping her. Off to Holland she went to learn all she could to ready herself for the challenge of a lifetime. The competition was tough against some of the best Para dressage riders in the world. I am very proud of Mary’s accomplishments and know with her determination that she would make a great addition to our Team,” Hand said.
Jordan, who has ridden in dressage and eventing (a three-phase horse triathlon) at the regional and national levels competitively since childhood, was introduced to Para Dressage this year. She won her first two tests at the Mystic Valley Hunt Club dressage show in Connecticut, which qualified her to compete at the National U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Championship and CPEDI 3 * (international level) competition in Chicago aboard her horse Paxton Abbey. From there she was encouraged to compete in Norway, and Alberts helped her locate a European horse to compete upon to help defray the expenses of an international trip. To prepare for the European Championship, Jordan spent the summer training in Holland and Germany.
For more information, visit
Photo caption: Mary Jordan of Wells successfully competed in the European Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships this summer. ( photo)

South Berwick Welcomes USS HELENA Crew

By Barbara Leech
Staff Columnist
The crew of the USS Helena submarine received a warm welcome from South Berwick’s newly formed Welcoming Committee on Sept. 16, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Town Manager John Schempf said his community’s Town Council recently approved formation of the committee to participate in the Shipyard’s program.
“This is basically a group of our citizens that are going to make this crew feel connected to our community and be invited to our events,” Schempf said. “The crew is away from home and we are going to make them feel welcome by including them in our happenings like the Halloween parade and the big Strawberry Festival. We are still coming together with ideas, but we will keep them connected to all our town activities.”
According to Gary Hildreth, Public relations officer for the shipyard, the host community program was created to provide submarine crews the opportunity to be “adopted” by a Seacoast community while their vessel undergoes maintenance or upgrades at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
“The community welcomes the officers, crew and families of the ship and includes them as part of their community. It is a partnership,” Hildreth stated. “The submarine crew enjoys the community’s hospitality and in return, the community receives a helping hand and a unique feeling of involvement in the lives of Naval personnel.”
Hildreth said, for example, crewmembers may be invited to join in a civic project, tutor in the schools, or participate in holiday events. It provides, according to Hildreth, an opportunity for the community to get to know the Navy and their sailors and introduces the crews and their families to the unique atmosphere of the Seacoast communities. “There is a special relationship that is built as a result of the Host Community Program,” he said.
Schempf said that South Berwick residents are excited about the opportunity to be a host community and several more people are expected to join the committee to participate in the committee’s activities planning.
“We have a lot of ideas for them including going to Powderhouse Hill for skiing,” he said. “I am sure our list will grow as we get more organized and our group grows.”
The USS Helena will be at the Shipyard for extended maintenance including several system upgrades.
The Helena’s crew consists of 18 officers and 126 enlisted personnel based out of San Diego, according to the shipyard public affairs office. The Helena is considered a fast attack “front line” submarine and has completed numerous deployments in the Western Pacific and weapons and tactical training in the Arctic.
Commanding officer of the Helena is Vermont resident Cmdr. Paul L. Dinius. He has served on several submarines and as Executive Officer on the USS Jefferson City from 2004 to 2006. Prior to his assignment as commander of the Helena, he served as a special assistant to the commander, U.S. Strategic Command, and as the deputy director of the Commander’s Action Group.
Photo caption: On Wednesday, Sept. 16, USS HELENA (SSN 725) ship’s plaque was ceremoniously hung in Tirante Tavern at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard welcoming the ship, her crew and family members to the Seacoast area. South Berwick is the ship’s host community. Shown (l to r) are Scott Kimmel, Project Superintendent; Commander Paul Dinius, Commanding Officer USS HELENA; Captain Robert Mazzone, Shipyard Commander; and John Schempf, South Berwick Town Manager. (U.S. Navy photo by Jim Cleveland)

York Churches Sponsor Tenth
Annual CROP Hunger Walk

This year will mark the 10th anniversary of York’s annual four-mile walk to raise funds for the hungry and needy around the world. On Sunday, Oct. 4, at 1 p.m., walkers will set out from St. George’s Episcopal Church on York Street in the Tenth Annual York Community CROP Hunger Walk (CROP - Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty).
Sponsored by local churches, the CROP Hunger Walk is conducted in cooperation with Church World Service (CWS), a multi-church agency that combats poverty and hunger and provides emergency disaster relief in some 80 countries.
Church World Service coordinates CROP Hunger Walks in communities throughout the United States. Last year, funds from the various CROP Hunger Walks and events raised $17 million dollars for such needs as emergency medical supplies for flood victims in the United States, for health services and safe water for the displaced in Darfur, and for vocational training for indigenous communities in Latin America - to mention three CWS activities. During the local floods of spring 2006, CWS was in York.
“We can be proud that over the last nine years our community has raised about $35,700 to help suffering families in our own country and abroad, ” commented Ted Little, chairman and coordinator of this year’s CROP Hunger Walk and a member of St. George’s Episcopal Church. “Last year’s CROP Hunger Walk raised nearly $4,000,” he said, “and we hope to do as well or better this tenth year as we move toward the $50,000 mark.”
The York Community Food Pantry, the Table of Plenty, which serves the Yorks and the Berwicks, and the Footprints Food Pantry in Kittery will receive 25 percent of the funds raised by York’s CROP Hunger Walk. Last year, these food relief groups shared about $1,000.
The walk route is the same as last year. Walkers will start out from St. George’s parking lot at 1 p.m. (registration is at 12:15 p.m.) and will pass through York Village on Long Sands Road to the ocean, and then back into York Harbor and along York Street, returning to the church, where refreshments will be available. Along the way, there will be at least three water stations, and a van will follow the walkers to pick up individuals who want to ride back to St. George’s.
Everyone is welcome, including walkers with strollers and those who want to do at least part of the walk in wheelchairs. Young people are particularly welcome. The more sponsors for each walker, the more money is raised. Walkers and sponsors of walkers are asked to make donations in amounts of their choice. Checks should be made payable to CWS/CROP. Prior to Oct. 4, registration forms will be available at the sponsoring local churches. FMI: Ted Little at (207) 363-7527.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Team Trevor Fights for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis

By Barbara Leech
Staff Columnist
Christie Clifford Salema looks at life and motherhood differently than she did ten years ago. The change began for the Kittery mom of three with a phone call from her son’s pediatrician informing her that her then five-month old baby, Trevor, tested positive for cystic fibrosis.
“Our entire world axis shifted in one second,” Salema says of the fateful day in 1999. “What followed was a dark and ominous year filled with tears, fear of the future and feeling powerless to change anything.”
But from that fear, a power to change the future was born. Salema says after dealing with the diagnosis it became clear she had to do something to fight it, even if it was in a small way. Today, with the help of family and friends, Salema now leads Team Trevor, which since its inception in 2000 has raised more than $900,000 for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). In 2008 proceeds from fundraising and donations collected by Team Trevor, including small change from collection cans left at local establishments, totaled $101,000. That money has gone toward research, which over the last decade has produced amazing results in increasing the life expectancy of a child with CF.
Salema says that ten years ago, when Trevor was diagnosed with CF, it was described to her by doctors as a terminal childhood disease. Children rarely lived past their teens or early adulthood. CF affects the lungs making them prone to infection. Scaring from the numerous infections can critically impact the functioning of the lungs. CF also impairs the pancreas, disrupting normal digestion and the absorption of nutrients into the body. Over time other issues such as diabetes can occur.
In the last decade advancements in treatments and medications have increased the chances of children with CF living into their 30s or 40s. But this is thanks to the millions of dollars raised by the national cystic fibrosis foundation and families like the Salemas.
“It cost about $800 million for researchers to finally bring a new drug to market, so what we have done is just a small, small part of that…but it is our part and there are so many of us out there,” she says. “Together it all adds up and we are making a difference.”
Salema says she and her husband Durval did not know the success Team Trevor would have in raising money when they first began. She started after Trevor’s first birthday by taking part in the annual Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis walk in York, which raises money for a cure. That day, she says, she realized she had to do more.
“It is so much better to feel you have contributed somehow to finding a cure rather than succumbing to the depression and the ‘how can this happen to me’ attitude,” Salema says. “This does happen. And raising money for CF gives us hope…and without hope you have nothing.”
So Salema began to organize monthly fundraising events and Team Trevor was formed. Friends and family joined her cause and each year the dollar amount grew, with 100 percent of the money raised going to fight CF. Salema said it was only after the addition of her last two children, Cooper, 6, and Gracie, 4, that she has pulled back on the number of fundraisers because of lack of time. But for the last five years, Salema’s former employer, Oceanside Properties, which operates with Wentworth Charities, joined Trevor’s Team and began hosting a charity golf event each year at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine.
“I have never seen such amazing generosity and such a beautiful event,” Salema says. “It is crazy the help this brings us, because since they operate the place, the expenses are low and the proceeds are amazing. I can not say enough about the kindness of some people who help just because they can…it reaffirms one’s belief in people.”
As for Trevor, Salema says he is an athletic, happy boy. Though his typical day begins very early to use a nebulizer to keep his lungs clear, the Shapleigh Middle school fifth grader does not complain. Each day Trevor requires an average of 21 pills to help with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Salema says her son takes it all in stride.
“To date it has taken something close to 30,000 pills to keep Trevor’s lungs healthy and he understands this is for his health,” she says. “That is my goal as a parent…to keep his lungs unscarred so that the new medications that are close to being released can do their job. My other goal is to raise as much (money) as I can to help those life saving medications make it to market soon.”
For more information or to make a donation please contact or For information on the Annual Wentworth Charities Golf Classic set for Sept. 25-27 visit
Photo caption: Trevor Salema, 10, of Kittery, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was five months old. Team Trevor, a group lead by his mom Christie, has raised more than $900,000 to date for Cystic Fibrosis. (Courtesy photo)

102-Year-Old Nursing Home Resident
is ‘Back in the Saddle’ Again

Nursing home resident Betty Libbey was back in the saddle when her dream of riding a horse again came true at the Equest Therapeutic Riding Center at Spring Creek Farm in Lyman. An avid rider as a child and throughout her teenage years, Libbey, now 102, is officially the oldest rider at Equest. With the assistance of a mechanical lift and the able hands of Equest staff, Libbey was positioned onto a gentle Appendix Quarter horse named Dee who patiently obliged as Libbey and Equest staff members led them around an indoor ring and then for a walk outside. After the ride, Libbey celebrated her accomplishment with a champagne toast with family members who came to share in her dream.
A former resident of Eliot, Libbey currently resides at Sentry Hill at York Harbor in York. She recalls her father taking her horseback riding faithfully for many years and her passion for it never waned. Says Libbey, “Horses have always represented freedom to me. I wanted to be a jockey but women didn’t do those kinds of things back then. I can’t believe all this production today is just for me. This is a day I shall remember with great pleasure!”
Libbey’s wish was submitted to the Maine Health Care Association’s (MHCA) Live Your Dreams program by the staff of Sentry Hill at York Harbor. Live Your Dreams is designed specifically to encourage and help Maine’s long term care residents realize their hopes and dreams at any age, despite health challenges. MHCA member facilities submit requests to the program on behalf of their residents but ideas and wishes must be meaningful to the resident and come specifically from them. Examples of dreams are relationship-based wishes or lifelong aspirations like learning to dance, riding in a race car, riding in a hot air balloon, or going to a sporting event.
Dream fulfillment is made possible through a combination of long term care facility staff and volunteer support, corporate sponsorships, and individual donations of time and resources. This wish was coordinated by Sentry Hill, Equest, and MHCA.
Photo caption: Betty Libbey got her wish to ride a horse again fulfilled. (Courtesy photo)

Olde Woolen Mill Renovation Nears Completion

By Barbara Leech
Staff Columnist
October 1 is move in day at the Olde Woolen Mill building in downtown North Berwick. The $9 million renovation project conducted by the Massachusetts based Caleb Foundation, is nearing completion creating 40 unique apartments for low-and moderate income age 55 and older.
Debra Nutter, Executive Director of the Caleb Foundation, an interfaith organization that develops, preserves and manages rental communities for low to moderate income residents, says that half of the units have been rented leaving about 20 units still available. She says the final result of the renovation is well worth all the hard work that went into it.
“It really is an amazing transformation from the building we first saw two years ago, which had not been used for so many years, to these beautiful apartments,” she says. “Each apartment is different, due to the floor plan of the original building and some are so close to overlooking the river you could fly fish out of your apartment….not that I am recommending that.”
The Olde Woolen Mill Building was once alive with activity, producing woolen blankets, beginning with those that were made for soldiers in the Civil War. It closed its doors in 1955 and has been untouched except for being filmed for scenes in the 1995 film Jumanji.
Nutter says the Caleb Foundation found several big challenges in this project, buying the dilapidated structure for $960,000 with the hopes that they could meet the costly demands of renovation.
“It was in horrible condition. Trees were growing up through the floor and it really needed a complete gutting,” she said. “It seems like a miracle to see it looking as it does now, preserved and renovated. It is just beautiful.”
The apartments have been constructed in the shell of the historic building, each fitting their own niche in the original architectural design. This is why no two units are identical. Original brickwork remains and molding and exposed beams highlight each unit as well as floor to ceiling windows, with many units overlooking the Great Works River.
The criteria for qualifying to rent one of the units is being 55 and older and making no more than $39,000 a year. Rental is being offered starting at $629 to $829 a month, heat included. According to Kim Eastman, who heads up qualifying tenants in the application process, income and assets for the past three years have to be verified. Though the building is intended for those 55 and over, parents over 55 with children under 18 are invited to apply. The point is to help provide a safe, comfortable home for low- to moderate income people.
“I started out working with my dad on projects such as this thirty years ago,” Nutter says of the Caleb Foundation. “We became non-profit fifteen years ago and we search for projects like this, some that nobody else would take on and hope we can help make a difference in that community.”
The foundation, according to their website, was named after a biblical character named Caleb, who was unafraid of challenges, obstacles and overwhelming odds. Caleb’s determination and sense of purpose enabled him to see opportunity where others saw only difficulty.
One of the difficulties encountered with the Olde Woolen Mill renovation project was finding funding for the $9 million needed to complete the plans.
The Northern New England Housing Investment Fund purchased nearly $2 million in tax credits. TD BankNorth pur-chased a combined total of $3.6 million in two different tax credits available for low income housing and historic renovation, and Maine State Housing Authority gave a subsidy of $1.3 million.
“We had a number of investors that came along and bought tax credits that took care of more than half the projected costs,” she said. “The remainder, about $1.5 million, we have in a low interest loan. Thankfully it all came together.”
For more information about the Olde Woolen Mill, call (207) 282-7177. To learn more about the Caleb foundation visit
Photo caption: October 1 is move in day at the Olde Woolen Mill building in downtown North Berwick. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Conservation Commission Conducts Annual Clean Up of Ogunquit Beach

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
The Ogunquit Conservation Commission conducted its sixth annual Beach Clean Up Day on Sept. 5, and the turnout of volunteers was the best it’s ever been. Close to 30 volunteers joined the commission members to conduct the sweep, which covered the beach area from the Main Beach to Moody, the area along the Ogunquit River, and the parking area.
“This looks like the biggest turnout ever,” said commission Chairman Mike Horn. “There’s a lot of people here that we don’t know.”
One familiar group was the international Volunteers for Peace, a group of young people from around the world that visits the United States to engage in various community service projects. Housed at Laudholm Farm during their stay in southern Maine, the group annually helps with the clean up. This year, five young people were involved, including Yuna Saito from Japan, Youcef from France, Craig Smeaton from Scotland, Jens Widany from Germany, and Minjeong Kook from South Korea.
Youcef said the group liked the area. “It’s very nice here,” he said. “I’d like to come back.”
Commission member Doug Mayer assigned volunteers to different parts of the clean up. He asked member Bob Joyner to take the young people and cover the area from Footbridge Beach to Moody.
The young people had plenty of help. The first volunteers arrived before the scheduled 9:30 a.m. start. They included Matt Dunn, a Massachusetts resident with a home on Ogunquit, Linda Parrish of Perkins Cove, and Chris Poirier and Jeff Davis of Wells.
Dunn said it was his first time at the clean up. “I don’t usually do this but I saw the sign for the clean up in town,” he said. “I hate litter. When I see it on the beach, I hate it even more.”
Parrish said she was a veteran of the clean up. “I like to do this because we love our beach,” she said. “It’s astounding what people leave behind. The beach is pristine and we want to keep it that way.”
Poirier echoed Parrish’s words. “This is the most beautiful beach,” he said. “I come to the beach all the time and use it. This is a great way to give back to it.”
Davis made reference to the gorgeous weather that dawned on Saturday. “It’s not really volunteering,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful day. It’s great to be outside.”
Other early arrivals included Ogunquit brothers Peter and Chris Woodbury and Jack Connerty. Mayer sent them off to pull weeds near the entrance to the parking lot there.
Commission member Madeline Brown was in charge of transporting the abundance of donated food that was available to the volunteers. She delivered product from the Village Food Market, Jackie’s Too, Hannaford’s, Congdon’s Doughnuts, the Bread and Roses Bakery, and Amore Breakfast and Café.
Member Brad Sterl manned the registration table. The final volunteers to head out were Emily Enos of Beverly, Mass. and her daughter, Alexandra (8) and niece Sarah Towle (12). Emily saw the registration table and went to gather the two girls to come back and help. “We come here every Labor Day,” she said. “This morning I saw them setting up. I like to get the kids involved in things like this. I think this is the most beautiful beach in the world. I want to keep it that way.”
Photo caption: Volunteers for Peace helped again at the Ogunquit Beach Clean up. From left, Minjeong Kook, Jens Widany, Craig Smeaton, Youcef, and Yuna Saito. (Jim Kanak photo)

Seashore Trolley Museum Debuts Restoration of Historic Electric Locomotive

It takes 600 volts of electricity to power the locomotive known as ASL No. 100 down Seashore Trolley Museum’s tracks; beginning on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 the public can view this fully restored, century-old locomotive in operation for the first time in more than five decades. Descendants of the men who operated this locomotive after it was built in 1906 will attend a private dedication ceremony on Sept. 25, along with state senators and representatives, museum members, and educators, to celebrate the completion of a $180,000 project funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Department of Transportation, as well as several railway societies, local businesses, and individuals. The ceremony also commemorates the opening of a new gallery exhibit History in Motion: Public Transportation Connecting Maine Communities and the launch of an elementary school science and technology educational initiative.
“The ASL-100 project has fully restored the last surviving, original piece of rolling stock from the historic Atlantic Shore Line Railway system, one of only two locomotives of its style to survive in North America. This locomotive tells the history of both the textile industry in the Sanford-Springvale area and the resort industry in the Kennebunks,” said Phil Morse, Project Manager. The Atlantic Shore Line (ASL) moved freight back and forth between the mills and the Boston & Maine Railroad, transported coal from Cape Porpoise, Maine’s harbor to power the looms of the Sanford mills, and carried passengers to a number of southern Maine resort destinations. “ASL No.100 is one of the Museum’s ten Maine vehicles listed in the National Historic Register. It is a significant landmark in the history of public transportation; its restoration is one of a dozen projects underway in the Museum’s Town House Restoration Shop,” said Jim Schantz, Board of Trustees Chairman. Over the past three years, more than fifty Museum volunteers have contributed more than 3,500 hours to the success of the ASL No. 100 project. Individuals and business donated valuable services and materials.
The ASL No. 100 project helped forge the Museum’s partnership with the Engineering is Elementary Program at the Museum of Science’s National Center for Technological Literacy. “Third to fifth grade teachers need more curricular materials aligned with the new Learning Results in Science and Technology,” said Anita Bernhardt of Maine’s Department of Education, “particularly the standards directed at scientific inquiry and technological design.”
“Seashore Trolley Museum has responded to this curricular need by designing curricular materials that integrate science and social studies and assist teachers in meeting the new Maine Learning Results. By partnering with Boston’s Museum of Science Engineering is Elementary program, we ensure that we offer the best national practices in instructional design,” said exhibit curator and educational consultant, Patricia Erikson.
Founded in 1939, Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport is a museum of mass transit whose mission is to collect, restore, preserve, exhibit and demonstrate the operation of its collection of more than 250 transit vehicles. Over 20,000 visitors each year view, and often ride, the Museum’s streetcars, interurbans, transit, school, and coach buses, and trackless trolleys from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, Scotland, Italy, and the U.K. The Museum is the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world with a satellite exhibit in Lowell, Mass.
Photo caption: Part of the ASL No. 100 exhibit at the Seashore Trolley Museum. (Phil Morse photo)

Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival is Sept. 12-13

The twenty-second Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival will be held at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm on Sept. 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission is $7 per person ($5 for Laudholm Trust members). The Wells Reserve at Laudholm has a no pets, no smoking policy. FMI 207-646-4521 or
The Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival boasts 100 of New England’s finest artists and craftspeople in a spectacular historic setting. Sculpture, jewelry, pottery, paintings, clothing, and photography are among the crafts selected by jury for this prestigious event.
Festival proceeds benefit Laudholm Trust, the nonprofit organization that supports research, education, and stewardship programs at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Many artists contribute a handcrafted item to the Laudholm Raffle, which also features a beautiful handmade quilt made by Laudholm volunteers. Raffle tickets can be purchased online.
A network of trails entices visitors to explore the fields, forest, marsh, and beach of the Wells Reserve.
Dr. Chifuru Noda will fill the seaside air with tunes played on his acoustic guitar. Lunch fare will feature chowder, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, and lots of scrumptious desserts.
Savings Bank of Maine is the lead sponsor for the crafts festival. Additional contributors include The Bull and Claw House, Wells Hannaford, Jake’s Seafood, Lyons Coffee Service, Lovell Design, and Scoop Deck.
The Wells Reserve is located at 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells, just off Route 1 near the Kennebunk line. From U.S. Route 1, turn at the flashing traffic signal south of the Maine Diner and north of Lighthouse Depot. Visit for directions.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Capriccio, Celebration of the Arts
Starts This Weekend

“You can never have too much of a good thing” observes Stuart Nudelman, Chairman of Ogunquit Performing Arts as he describes the expanded lineup for Capriccio 2009, Ogunquit’s extended Festival of the Arts. He adds, “Ogunquit Performing Arts starts two days earlier this year with “Prelude to Capriccio” which comprises two additional events:
Almost Labor Day Auction at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art on Saturday Sept. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m., replete with food, wine, a silent auction, and a live art auction. For more information call 207-646-4909.
With just a little time to get a little shuteye and brush your teeth, the Prelude moves along to the Capriccio Keyboard Concert, one great hour of organ and piano music featuring six pianists and organists taking place at the Ogunquit Baptist Church on Sunday Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. For more information: 207-646-2160.
Capriccio officially starts on Labor Day (Sept. 7) at 7:30 p.m. at the Barn Gallery at Bourne Lane and Shore Road with Poets in Person, a delightful evening of readings by local and regional poets including Vincent Larkin of Ogunquit, author of numerous books of his poetry. Roberta Mescavage, also from Ogunquit, will be joined by the return by popular demand of a delightful club of poets from Portland.
If you enjoy visiting the Ogunquit Playhouse for their stellar productions, Capriccio provides the opportunity to see two outstanding productions! Singing in the Rain will be on stage through Sept. 12, to be followed by All Shook Up starting on the 16th, a new musical about Elvis Presley starring Ogunquit’s favorite, Sally Struthers, and many of Elvis’ song hits including Love Me Tender, Heartbreak Hotel, and Hound Dog. For more information: 207-646-5511.
On Tuesday Sept. 8 there will be a Walking Tour of Ogunquit departing from Katie’s Café on Shore Road at 9:30 a.m., followed by Open Houses at many of Ogunquit’s Historic Places from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and later, a Gallery Talk at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art at 7 p.m. by guest curators Sam and Sheila Robbins.
On Wednesday the 9th at 7 p.m. at the Dunaway Center on School Street, enjoy the classic film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, the 1938 film starring Errol Flynn.
Return to the Dunaway Center on Thursday the 10th at 7:30 p.m. for a special performance by the a cappella ensemble, The York Singers, conducted by Dr. William Whieting presenting a rich program of English Folk and Part-Songs.
Bright and early on Friday the 11th the Walking Tour of Ogunquit will depart at 9:30 p.m. from Katie’s Café on Shore Road. Then at 8 p.m. at the Dunaway Center a Comedy Readers Theatre presentation.
Saturday Sept. 12 may not be the longest day of the year, but there will be enough time to spend much of the day at Ogunquit Beach enjoying the spectacular Kite Festival sponsored by Ogunquit Rotary Club. Then at 5 p.m. (until 8), join the artists of the Ogunquit Art Association in one of their legendary gala receptions to celebrate the Fall Exhibitions and meet the newest artists of the Association.
At 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday the 15th, the Chamber of Commerce will again sponsor a Walking Tour of Ogunquit departing from Katie’s Café on Shore Road. And while you are in the walking mood, tour the many excellent art galleries of Ogunquit during Open House at the Galleries, a special Capriccio feature, on the same day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join the new members of the Ogunquit Art Association on Thursday Sept. 17 at the Barn Gallery as they discuss their approach to creating the exciting art that won them membership in this prestigious organization.
As it is often said, Capriccio has something for everyone. For those who are interested in the word, there will be a series of readings and book signings at the Ogunquit Baptist Church by local authors who have written books about the area on Friday Sept. 16, noon to 2 p.m.
And for those who appreciate antiques and some of the finer things in life, Capriccio ends with the 36th Annual Antique Show and Sale at the Dunaway Center on School Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
There will also be performances at local clubs and restaurants and movies at the Leavitt Fine Arts Theatre on Main Street. Don’t miss this exciting festival.
Photo caption: A sample of kites from the Kite Festival sponsored by Ogunquit Rotary Club held two years ago during Capriccio. (Paul LaCedra photo)

2009 York Citizen of the Year Announced

At the Annual Member Appreciation BBQ held at the Visitor Center on Rte. 1 in York on Wed., August 26, the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced that Dexter and Virginia Spiller are the recipients of the 2009 Citizen of the Year Award. “It is quite fitting that these two individuals were selected this year. Their family dates back to the 1600’s in York, and the theme for our member celebration this year is exactly that, Back to Our Roots,” said Chamber Board Chairman Chris Kehl. “Ginny and Dexter are York’s unofficial historians. They served as editors of the 350th York Anniversary celebration book—350 Years As York, Focusing on the Twentieth Century 2001. The Spillers are likely best known locally as the owners of the former Spiller’s Restaurant at York Beach for 23 years.
The Spillers met in college and have been married for 50 years. They have three children and six grandchildren. Dexter Talpey Spiller is a descendant of nine of the original settlers that signed the York Submission to Massachusetts in 1652. Ginny is a descendant of William and Dorothy Dixon Moore who were residents of York in the 1640’s. Dexter and Virginia share a common York tenth great grandmother, Sarah Moore Welcome Spiller, a resident of the Isles of Shoals in 1680.
Ginny, who works as docent and librarian for the Museums of Old York, has been involved in many community activities including 2 terms and six years as chair of both the York School Board and the York Board of Selectmen. She was elected for 15 years to serve as the first woman York Town Moderator. She was appointed by Governor John McKernan to serve for 6 years on the Maine State Board of Education, during which time she was chair of the School Construction Committee, Higher Education Committee, and elected liaison to the University of Maine Board of Trustees for six years. Together Ginny and Dexter have assisted 15 boys in achieving the Eagle Scout award, the highest level of scouting for young men. Ginny is also a lifelong member of the Girls Scouts including her service as a member of the Kennebec Council Board of Directors and Maine State Representative to the National Girl Scouts for 2 terms. She was appointed by Governor Angus King to serve for six years on the Maine State Museum Commission.
Dexter continues to serve in the US Army as Quartermaster Corp Captain Reserve, since 1959. He is a former Trustee of the York Water District for fifteen years, serving as its President for eleven years. He was a Scout Master for Troop 301 as well as Den Dad for Troop 301. He has been an Old York Historical Society volunteer for over 25 years with involvement on the Building and Grounds Committee, Showhouse Committee, and Librarian Archive Assistant. He also served as a Trustee of the Ellis Park Trust at Short Sands Beach for 10 years. He is active in Trinity Anglican Church, St. Aspinquid Masonic Lodge for 50 years, Kora Shrine Temple, Maine Historical Society, and York Land Trust. Both Ginny and Dexter have been life long members of the Piscataqua Pioneers Society.
“Ginny and Dexter have been outstanding models of community service for decades,” said Scott Stevens, Executive Director of the Museums of Old York upon hearing the news of their selection. “To document all the ways they have contributed to life in this area would require a historian and archivist as skilled as Ginny, but she’s too modest. It is a true honor to work and share a community with Ginny and Dexter.”
The Citizen of the Year nominations are vetted through the Festival of Lights Committee, which forwards up to five nominations to the chamber’s board of directors for selection of a final recipient. Ginny and Dexter join the ranks of fifteen previous honorees including: Bill & Phoebe Foster, Verna Rundlett, Rosi Lent, Bainbridge Parsons, Pat Bacon, Harold Radochia, Leo & Diane Flynn, Rita Turner, Michael Lee, Alan Junkins, Gordon & Donna Lewis, Rick Mace, Russell Peterson, Marianne Quinn & Fran Koerschner, and Betty Kehoe.
The Spillers will be the guests of honor at the Harvestfest Volunteer Recognition party on Thursday, October 15, part of the opening ceremonies of Harvestfest on Sat., October 17, and Grand Marshalls of the Festival of Lights Parade on Sat., Dec. 5. For more information please contact Cathy Goodwin at the chamber at 207-363-4422.
Photo caption: Dexter and Virginia Spiller at the Annual Member Appreciation BBQ that was held recently by the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy photo)

USS Helena Arrives at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

USS Helena (SSN 725) and her crew of 18 officers and 126 enlisted personnel arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard today for an extended maintenance period. While at the Shipyard, Helena will receive several system upgrades. Built by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, Helena was commissioned in July 1987. She is the fourth United States Naval ship to bear the name Helena.
Helena is assigned to Submarine Squadron ELEVEN, and operates from her homeport of San Diego, California, where she has earned her reputation as a “front line” fast attack submarine. Helena has completed numerous exercises and nine Western Pacific deployments.
In early 2009, Helena participated in ICEX 2009, surfacing under ice and conducting various weapons and tactics training in the Arctic environment.
Helena has won numerous unit awards, including three Battle Efficiency “E” awards.
Helena’s Commanding Officer is Commander Paul L. Dinius. A resident of Vermont, Commander Dinius graduated from Norwich University, the Military College of Vermont in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned through the Naval ROTC program at Norwich.
Commander Dinius’ first shipboard assignment was USS Pargo (SSN 650), where he served as the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Assistant and Communications Officer. While on board he completed a North Atlantic deployment and arctic operations. Upon the decommissioning of USS Pargo, he transferred to USS Alabama (SSBN 731 )(Gold) where he completed four strategic deterrent patrols and earned his first Battle Efficiency “E” award. From 1996 to 1999, he served as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science, NROTC, University of Oklahoma.
Commander Dinius then served as the Combat Systems Officer on USS Hampton (SSN 767) from 1999 to 2002. completing one North Atlantic deployment and earning his second Battle Efficiency “E.” His next assignment was as the Submarine Department Head detailer (PERS-42), Navy Personnel Command, in Millington. TN. from 2002 to 2004.
Commander Dinius was then assigned as Executive Officer of USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) from 2004 to 2006 where he completed one Western Pacific deployment and earned a third Battle “E”. In 2006. he transferred to and served as a Special Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, and as the Deputy Director of the Commander’s Action Group until 2008.
Commander Dinius holds Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College Correspondence Course and Joint Forces Staff College. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer with the State of Oklahoma. His awards include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (six awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards). and various unit awards.
USS Helena’s host community is the Town of South Berwick, Maine.
Photo caption: USS Helena (SSN 725) makes her way up the Piscataqua River towards Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. While at the Shipyard, Helena will complete various maintenance work and receive several system upgrades. (U.S. Navy photo)