Friday, December 31, 2010

Local Elves Make Annual Donation Trip

“Elves” from Wells and Ogunquit recently made their annual trip to the Waban Child Development Center in Sanford. Armed with plush toys and the man in the red suit, the group visited with the classes where the children had an opportunity to chat with Santa and relay their wishes.
This annual tradition started in 1991. Participants have included members of the Wells and Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce staff and Board of Directors, Rotarians from the Wells and Ogunquit clubs and residents who wish to get involved.
The group travels to Waban in a trolley from the York County Community Action, donated by the Board of Directors of the Wells Chamber of Commerce. The toys are provided by Animal Instinct in Ogunquit with the help of the Ogunquit Rotary Club and Santa.
Photo caption: Elves from Wells and Ogunquit recently made their annual trip to the Waban Child Development Center in Sanford. (Courtesy photo)

Opening Scenes

By Chip Schrader
Movie Review Editor
The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, opens with surveillance equipment set within a van that oversees a Paris estate. Elise Ward, played by Jolie, struts through the gate of the estate, and the van slowly follows her seductive stride to a cafe in a populated square where she awaits breakfast and a note. Upon reading the note, she burns it, causing the agents to scramble after it.
From scene one, Jolie’s character is identical to numerous other roles she has played in the past. She mostly goes through the motions of the stock role of femme fatale in this updated noir. The character is somewhat convincing, but very Hollywood at the same time. Jolie’s makeup does a majority of the acting for her as she keeps the run of the mill stone faced performance. While Jolie fans will get what they expect, she does not contribute anything new to the screen.
Depp’s role, on the other hand, has some nuance. “Frank” is quite the gentleman, who hands people luggage off of a train for them, smokes electronic cigarettes, and teaches math for a small college in the Midwest. Depp plays a very serious role in this film, but in line with his signature style, he adds some fanciful humor to his body language and persona in suspenseful scenes.
One example comes during a chase where Frank is pursued among the terracotta roofs of Venice. Depp daintily flails his arms out like a juvenile ballerina wearing striped pajamas as he leaps and bounds across the Italian rooftops. His character also tries to speak Spanish with Italian officials after getting nabbed for dumping an officer in the canal. Long time Johnny Depp fans get another treat to his self-mocking style in this film.
The cinematography is exquisite, traversing from one European city street to another. The action takes place on foot, by car, plane, and by boat in the canals of Venice and are shot masterfully with the evening lights reflecting off of the water, and in the midday amongst the many exotic street sides and bridges. The gadgets and technology are a fun piece of the film, and the supporting cast does a crack job holding down a great deal of screen time playing as government agents and organized crime members.
Fans of classic Hitchcock’s mistaken man and espionage thrillers will enjoy this cliffhanger. The suspense is drawn out in believable ways that don’t appear as obvious devices to delay the story. Another notable element is the quotable dialog that establishes a playful chemistry between Depp and Jolie as they challenge each other’s intelligence. Some films also make the mistake of using dialog to make obvious cues as to what is happening, and what the conflict is. The Tourist is clearly written while viewers don’t depend on obnoxious story points made in the dialog.
The scenes are long, giving the film a deep attention span affording the audience to get acquainted with the intrigue that keeps them guessing until the last scene. Duplicity, twists, and action without gore make The Tourist a tasteful international thriller that is reminiscent of a weekend getaway in an Italian villa. There is a good reason this film brings Oscar buzz in Depp’s direction despite Jolie’s standard performance. 4 out of 5.
Photo caption: (Courtesy movie poster image for “The Tourist”)

Severe Winter Storm Impacts Blood Collections

The severe winter storm causing hazardous snow conditions in the Northeast is impacting American Red Cross blood collection efforts across New England. Approximately 780 units of blood are likely to be uncollected due to blood drive closures and low turnout at drives that were able to run. The current weather and cancellations comes at a challenging time to collect blood, as donations typically decline during the winter holiday season.
All blood types are needed. Type O-negative blood donors are especially needed as the inventory has dropped to critical levels. O-Negative blood is the universal blood type. It can be transfused to anyone and is often used in emergency situations when there is no time to obtain the patient’s blood type. Since Type O-negative blood can be used for all patients in need, it is critical that there is a sufficient supply.
The American Red Cross needs the help of all who are eligible to donate blood to please make an appointment to donate now to help ensure blood is available for patients. Also, the Red Cross urges all those who were unable to keep their appointments due to weather conditions to please reschedule. The only source of blood is a generous, volunteer blood donor.
In the U.S., someone needs blood every two seconds. Every day, the Northeast Division must collect approximately 3,000 units of blood just to meet the basic needs of patients.
Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
All presenting donors in Maine will receive a buy one get one ski pass to either Shawnee Peak or Mt. Abram. Prizes are non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. To schedule an appointment or to sponsor a blood drive, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit today.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Power Line Construction in Maine Set to Add up to 1,000 New Jobs

Central Maine Power Company has selected three contractors to lead the transmission line construction of the company’s $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP). The contracts, worth a total $524 million, were awarded to MYR Group, Inc., Irby Construction Co., and Hawkeye, LLC.
These contractors will share responsibility for the construction of nearly 440 miles of high voltage transmission lines as part of a project team of more than 150 consulting firms, contractors, and suppliers, including nearly 120 Maine-based companies. CMP plans to host a job fair for individuals, contractors, and suppliers in mid-January.
“We’re building a stronger, smarter grid for Maine,” said Sara Burns, president of Central Maine Power Company. “Nearly 1,000 people have worked on this project to date, and we expect as many as 1,000 jobs will be added in this next phase of construction. The Maine Power Reliability Program is creating jobs when Maine really needs them, and it ensures Maine will have an efficient, reliable grid with benefits for consumers and the environment long into the future.”
The Maine Power Reliability Program is the largest construction project ever undertaken in Maine. A 2009 study of the economic impacts of the project by the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine estimated that direct employment on the project could spur as many as 800 more jobs in indirect employment. Signs of these indirect benefits have already spread quickly to communities along the transmission route as local businesses began catering to the workers preparing transmission corridors for construction.
CMP’s Maine Power Reliability Program includes the construction of five new 345-kilovolt substations and related facilities linked by approximately 440 miles of new transmission lines. The company broke ground on the project in September after a two-year review by local, state, and federal agencies. The lines run through 75 cities and towns from Eliot to Orrington, providing reinforcement for the company’s 40-year-old system and creating greater capacity for the integration of new generation in the New England region. The company expects to complete the project by mid-2015.
“While the MPRP is first and foremost a reliability investment, it’s also part of a broader strategy to add transmission capacity, improve efficiency, and integrate new technologies in our system,” said Burns. “With the support of our parent company Iberdrola, we’re making investments in Maine’s infrastructure that will produce enormous benefits for consumers and the environment.”
CMP expects the new contractors to start work soon, beginning with an effort to find local subcontractors and employees to fill out their workforce. CMP has scheduled a daylong MPRP Business and Employment Expo to be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

Students Take Downeaster to Bring Toys to Children

Excitement was in the cold air in Wells on the morning of December 14 as the second grade class and multi-age 1-2 students from Wells Elementary School boarded the Amtrak Downeaster at the Wells Transportation Center. They were embarking on a rail journey to Portland to deliver new toys to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The students, their teachers and 35 chaperones (mostly parents) were invited to take this free round trip excursion courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Amtrak. Each student was carrying one toy to donate to a child in need this holiday season.
“I am not sure all of our students have been on the Amtrak,” said Principal Marianne Horne about children under her watchful eye minutes before they boarded the train. Horne indicated the trip was not just a train ride but also an opportunity for students to demonstrate one of the school’s core values, compassion. “So today is our day, December 14th,” added Horne.
The trip to Portland took about 40 minutes with a couple of stops along the way. At the Portland Transportation Center in Portland, students handed their gifts to representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Once the toys were transferred, students had about an hour’s wait before their return trip to Wells. They boarded their waiting train, ate lunch and listened to stories, such as the “Polar Express.”
Photo caption: An Amtrak conductor looks on as elementary students, teachers and parents board a train to Portland from Wells to deliver toys to Toys for Tots on December 14. (Photo by Reg Bennett)

York Art Association Awards Scholarship to Local College Student

The York Art Association’s scholarship committee is pleased to announce that York resident, Isabella Rotman, was selected to receive the 2010 Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship in the amount of $7,500. Rotman is a sophomore Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Letitia Moore passed away in 2007 and named York Art Association as her primary beneficiary. The Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship was established by the York Art Association in 2009. The scholarship honors Moore’s wish to provide tuition scholarships to deserving art, and/or art history students. Moore was an artist herself, a member of YAA, and a generous benefactor. Recipients of the Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship must have completed one year at an accredited college or university, be enrolled in a studio art or art history program, and have a GPA of at least 3.0.
Rotman is a graduate of York High School, and was the recipient of York Art Association’s scholarship for high school graduates in 2009. Despite her young age, Rotman has already received many accolades, including: being a recipient of a School of the Art Institute of Chicago Merit Award, The Maine Arts Education Award upon graduation from high school, Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (both national and state-level awards), a Seacoast Art Association Scholarship, an Ogunquit Playhouse Scholarship, and even a Haystack Student Weekend Scholarship. Rotman works in many mediums, but is especially passionate about drawing. Rotman hopes to someday work in the exhibits department of a science and natural history museum. She recently interned at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago where she was able to gain experience in creating models, working on dioramas, and an overall understanding of the realities of her chosen career path.
Rotman exemplifies an excellent work ethic and is already giving back to her community. In order to offset her college expenses, Rotman worked three jobs this past summer. One of these jobs involved teaching art classes through the York Parks and Recreation Department to children ages three through ten.
The York Art Association feels confident that it has successfully chosen a candidate that Letitia Moore would have been proud to have helped reach their educational goals. Rotman is extremely thankful to all the members of the York Art Association scholarship committee for selecting her as this year’s Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship recipient. She says that, “It is going to do more for me than any of them could possibly know.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

Festival of “Fostering” Trees a Success

The 5th Annual Festival of “Fostering” Trees was a tree-mendous success once again this year, raising over $5,000 for youth in foster care, over $500 for the York Food Pantry, and an overflowing box of toys for Toys for Tots. The American Legion Hall was transformed into a magical enchanted forest of 140 Christmas trees, including every shape, color, size and theme that could be imagined, and bringing smiles and joy to all who attended. Organizer Janalee Moquin states, “I would like to personally thank everyone who participated this year, all the families, children, businesses, school groups, church groups, scout troops, and more; we couldn’t have done it without you!”
Photo caption: This year’s Festival of “Fostering” Trees was a big success, raising more then $5,000 for local charities. (Courtesy photo)

Christmas by the Sea Parade Celebrates the Season

On Saturday, December 11, a variety of local businesses and organizations came together to celebrate Christmas by the Sea by participating in the Christmas parade associated with the annual festivities. Awards were given to the best-decorated floats. First place went to Five-O Shore Road, Second Place to The Ogunquit Playhouse, Third Place to Coastal Contractors and 5 Honorable Mentions to: Bread and Roses Bakery, Eldredge Lumber, The Gazebo Inn, Maine Street and the Snow Queen, and the Meadowmere Resort. Special thanks to The Beachmere Inn, The Gazebo Inn, Genesis Day Spa, John Mixon and Spoiled Rotten, who all sponsored the annual parade.
Photo caption: Five-O Shore Road’s float won first place in the Christmas by the Sea parade that took place on Saturday, Dec. 11 in Ogunquit. (Photo by Molly McCoy)

All the Lonely People

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
In “The Tower, The Zoo, and the Tortoise,” Julia Stuart puts forth a fun and fantastical novel set in modern day England, but decorated with its checkered and humorous history.
Balthazar Jones is Beefeater. In England, this is a distinguished post held by retirees of the Queen’s guard. Part of Balthazar’s duty is to guard and live in the old tower that held many prisoners, and consequently many beheadings and other grizzly executions handed down by the monarchy. While he stands guard awaiting any question from the tourists, he developed the curious hobby of studying the rainfall of England. He has classified numerous types of rainfall, and collects them in perfume vials, much to his wife’s displeasure.
In the first one hundred pages, we get acquainted with Balthazar and his wife, Hebe, and even more interestingly, the history of this tower. Hebe works for the London Underground, and holds the many items lost on the tube train by the travelers. Everything including ashes of the deceased and a glass eye, which Hebe’s coworker indulges a game of marbles with, have been lost and reclaimed. But, Hebe and Balthazar lost one piece of their lives that cannot be retraced: their young child Milo, who took them twenty hard years to conceive.
While the quirky characters with quirky names all seem like a part of the Beatles’ song Eleanor Rigby, the book does not fall too deeply into pity or drama. Even though there is plenty of suffering, the prose has a typically stiff upper lip and offbeat humor the English are noted for. In the beginning, some of the jokes are easily missed, they are so subtle, but as the reader gets a rhythm for the prose, the chuckles roll forth. This reads like a classic Jane Austin novel, and is in the same league as Peter Mayle’s works that include “A Year in Provence” and “The Vintage Caper.”
As the marriage hits some rocky spots, other characters fall in love and perform exorcisms on the haunted portions of the tower, the story lines kick into high gear after a hundred pages. Every character is delightfully strange, the tower seems to collect sad and strange histories, and at the same time, the reader wonders if it is the tower that makes these lives so strange. As a menagerie of the Queen’s pets are moved in, and under Balthazar’s care, this quirky and humane “dramedy” deepens.
“The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise” is a clever means to scale back at life’s challenges. It allows the distractions and absurd details we all encounter to distract us from the difficulties that life often imposes, and permits the reader to laugh in the face of despair. The prose is playful, light and frothy, and with a bite just like a fine chocolate mousse. It takes a little time to get used to the English humor and style, but any history or Jane Austin fan will devour this with delight. This is Stuart’s follow up novel to “Matchmaker of Perigord.” (August 2010, Double Day Books)
Photo caption: Book cover for “The Tower, The Zoo, and the Tortoise” by Julia Stuart. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wells Resident to be Remembered Dearly

Myles Kingsley Henry
Age 54
Myles Kingsley Henry, 54 years, a resident of Wells, Maine died unexpectedly on a golfing trip with his lifelong friends in Marco Island, Florida. He was born in Biddeford, Maine on August 22, 1956, and grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. He graduated from Bishop Guertin High School and studied Hotel Administration at the University of New Hampshire. Myles began an illustrious restaurant career as a bus boy at Lord’s Restaurant in Wells, worked as a chef at several New England eateries and managed several Red Lobster Restaurants throughout the country.
He and his brother Dick became co-owners of the Maine Diner in 1983. The popular Wells restaurant was recently featured on the nationally televised Food Network program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and was recently recognized as the 2010 Maine Restaurateur of the year by the Maine Restaurant Association. Myles had a unique marketing talent that helped promote the Diner with appearances on the Today Show, The Phantom Gourmet and enjoyed participating in the New Orleans Food Festival. He created the Diner’s award winning Seafood Chowder, which has become one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant.
Myles was an avid surfer, golfer and New England sports fan. His love of the Rolling Stones connected him and his wife, Trish, with a network of fans called the Shidoobees. They traveled around the world following the Stones and their Shidoobee friends.
Myles was loved by so many people, including several employees who have worked at the Diner since he and Dick started the business. They have been supportive of many charities and Myles will be remembered for his generosity.
Myles is the son of the late Claude and Phoebe Henry. He is survived by his loving wife, Trisha Wilson Henry and his two children Sara Henry of Watertown, MA and Derek Henry of Kennebunk, ME, four brothers, Karl, of National Park, NJ, Dick, of Wells, ME, Bruce of Kennebunk, ME, Todd of Freeport, ME and two sisters, Claudia of Brunswick, ME and Tala of Queensbury, NY.
Visiting hours will be on Friday, December 10 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road in Wells. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 11 from 12 – 3 p.m. at the Coastal House on Route 1 in Wells. Officiating the memorial service will be Rev. Peter W. Leon, Pastor of Wells Branch Baptist Church.
Should friends desire, memorial donations may be made to the Myles Henry Scholarship Fund c/o Wells High School – 200 Sanford Rd., Wells, ME. 04090. The scholarship will recognize a Wells High School student athlete senior “who exhibits honesty, sportsmanship and passion on and off the field of play.”
Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043,
Photo caption: Myles Henry, well-known co-owner of the Maine Diner in Wells, died unexpectedly on Friday, Dec. 3, in Marco Island, FL. (Courtesy photo)

Nortonlights Returns to Wells, Makes Dreams Come True

By Molly McCoy
Staff Columnist
What began as a sibling rivalry in 2006 has escalated to remarkable proportions. This year, the aptly named “Nortonlights” is returning to Wells for another season, and the Norton family is thrilled to share the holiday magic right outside their door.
Each year, Stan and his family (wife, Melissa, and two sons) decorate their yard for the holidays. Now, we’ve all started seeing the satiric holiday commercials for one product or another, each playing on the classic neighborly competition for the most decorated house. Take those commercials and turn them up a notch…or ten.
As you head off to the Norton’s home in Wells, prepare yourself for the real deal. According to Stan, approximately 34,000 lights illuminate their yard, and passersby can take in a choreographed music and light show lasting just over ten minutes and featuring a variety of Christmas music favorites.
“Last year’s song was the fireworks song from Epcot. This year, we found one song early, actually another Disney one, ‘Illuminations.’ We kind of went with that,” says Stan.
The song they focused on was shorter than last year’s, allowing them to include “Everybody Loves Christmas” by Eddie Money, The Carpenters rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Wizards of Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and another Disney classic, “When You Wish Upon A Star.”
“‘Wizards of Winter’ is one of my father-in-law’s favorite Christmas songs, so we included that as sort of a tribute to him. He’s helped out a lot with setting everything up,” says Stan. “The second Disney song is in honor of our partnership with the Make A Wish Foundation.”
Every year since its beginning, Nortonlights has worked to benefit a local cause. The first year they did an animated show, the Nortons collected cans for the St. Mary’s food bank right here in Wells. Last year, the Nortons expanded to a Halloween show and can drive, dubbed “Operation: Scare ‘n Share.”
“We didn’t want to do two can drives back-to-back,” says Stan. “We wanted to have a bigger impact in the community and do something different.”
They found a partner in the Make A Wish Foundation of Maine. Working at the Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire, Stan was familiar with the organization because of their presence at the base, often granting wishes to aspiring pilots and firefighters. “They’re a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful group of people that work down there. It just seemed like the perfect fit,” says Stan, glowing about the work that this organization is able to do. Last year, Nortonlights raised just over $6,000 for the Foundation, making them official “Wishmakers” for Make A Wish of Maine, and inspiring them to give again.
You can find an official cash donation box on the Norton’s property when you come to view the show, and Stan even makes “Stanta” rounds to visit cars, collecting donations on those colder nights. “You can stay in your car where it’s warm,” says Stan, laughing, “and you’re still able to give.”
While he might miss some cars on slower nights, Stan remains outside from 5 p.m. until the show ends on busy Friday and Saturday nights, welcoming people, collecting donations, and handing out candy canes.
“There was an hour-long wait [to see the show] at one point last year,” Stan recalls.
This year, the Nortons are estimating about 3,000 to 3,500 people will view their decorated home over the course of its December – January run. “That’s what we’re figuring for candy canes, anyway,” says Stan. The Nortons stop collecting Make A Wish donations on December 31, and find out soon after whose wish they are granting.
To view this spectacular show, simply visit the Norton’s home at 213 Canterbury Road in Wells, Maine, tune your car radio to 88.9FM, and wait for the next performance in the loop to begin. Sometimes Stan puts out speakers for his walking guests, but he comments, “They’re more for me, so I know where we’re at in the show.”
Anything else? As my interview ended, Stan wanted to make one thing very clear: “I just want to make sure that everyone is courteous to my neighbors. They are a wonderful group of people and they put up with a lot with the shows I do.” Stan asks that visitors drive carefully and keep one lane of the street open for traffic at all times, so his kind and patient neighbors can get in and out. “They pull their blinds, but it’s because they can’t see their TVs!” remarks Stan. “When the show starts, they can actually just turn on their radios and sit in their windows. They get a front row seat!”
For more information, directions, and to view a video of last year’s show, visit
Photo caption: Stan Norton and his family present “Nortonlights,” a choreographed holiday light show on the Norton’s front lawn in Wells. Last year’s light show raised just over $6,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation of Maine. (Courtesy photo)

Howe Brothers “Keeping Busy” in Waterboro

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
It seems there’s never a dull moment for Howe and Howe Technologies.
Mike and Geoff Howe are the designers and builders of Ripsaw MS-1, the world’s fastest dual track vehicle that goes from zero to 50 miles-per-hour in 5.5 seconds and can crash through buildings and over sand dunes. It is controlled remotely and designed to aid the military in scouting areas without endangering the lives of the combat troops involved. It is currently under testing by the military.
But the brothers aren’t the kinds who sit around and wait to see what happens to their inventions.
They are working on an aquatic version of the Ripsaw, named Riptide, that has been tested in Ogunquit. “We do a lot of our work in Maine,” Geoff Howe said in a telephone interview. “Maine is very important to us.”
“We’ll do everything we can do to make sure anything we develop stays in Maine,” Mike Howe said.
They’ve been contacted by firefighters and are working on a robot specifically for firefighting applications.
In addition, a New Zealand mining company has asked about developing a robot to aid in disasters.
“Here’s a Maine based company being called, the international spotlight being put on us,” Mike Howe said. “We’re going to be developing a robotic platform” basically for search and rescue in mining situations.
Oh, yes, then there is a vehicle they designed and built for an Augusta man who is confined to a wheelchair and wanted to go fishing with his son for the first time in 20 years.
In there somewhere the Howes have done one season of a reality show on the Discovery Network, Black Ops Brothers, that had, Geoff Howe said, the best premiere numbers in the Discovery Channel’s history.
The brothers will debut a second season of Black Ops Brothers Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 10 p.m.
Geoff Howe said the show is “like no other show in the history of television” because it is “real, about two brothers who are trying to make it in business. You’re going to see the real deal.”
The Howes have appeared on other channels as well as Discovery, including the military and history channels and were courted by others but settled on doing the show for Discovery.
Mike said doing the show “was a double edged sword” because “it could help us or hurt us but we decided to do it. We’re innovators and part of innovation is in getting your technology out there. That’s the end result.”
While accomplishing all that, the company has relocated from its 4,000 square foot facility in Eliot to a 55,000 square foot site in Waterboro that includes a retail store to give people access to all kinds of merchandise featuring their company logo.
Howe and Howe’s employment level varies with the contacts they are working on.
After the first season on Discovery, the Howes received what they termed “a lot of contacts from all around the world saying ‘can you guys build a wheelchair for me,’” Mike Howe said, including one from Augusta.
It was a Navy veteran confined to a wheelchair who said he hadn’t been able to go fishing with his son for 20 years. Rocky told the brothers the wheelchair he was in couldn’t even go on gravel roads.
Mike and Geoff Howe decided to build an off road wheelchair. What they designed and built was a platform onto which a normal wheelchair could be rolled and strapped in.
The brothers said the day Rocky arrived at their facility with his son and was able to go fishing in the Ripchair was one of the most profound days they’ve experienced.
Mike Howe noted that the chair gave Rocky back some of the freedom he has lost fighting for freedom for the rest of us.
“He can actually go out to the woods, go hiking, go hunting, go fishing, and nobody has to wheel him around,” Mike Howe said.
In the near future, thanks to the Discovery Channel, Rocky will own the prototype the Howes built.
“It brought Geoff and I outside of our box,” Mike said. “Outside the commercial, capitalistic box and said let’s do something for someone else.”
Photo caption: The Howe brothers, of Howe and Howe Technologies, designed this vehicle for a man in Augusta who is confined to a wheelchair. The so-called “Ripchair” allowed the user to go fishing with his son for the first time in 20 years. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, December 3, 2010

“Wreaths Across America” to Stop at Wells Junior High

Christopher Chessie, Principal of Wells Junior High School (WJHS), has announced that “Wreaths Across America” will make a stop at WJHS at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, December 6. This stop has become 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 will be carrying thousands of “remembrance” wreaths to be placed at gravesites of veterans in Arlington and at many other cemeteries in the country.
After the convoy arrives at WJHS, there will be a brief wreath laying ceremony to honor deceased veterans at Ocean View Cemetery. All local veterans and the general public are invited to attend. For more information, please call Principal Chessie at WJHS at 207-646-5142.
Photo caption: From left to right are Mrs. Laura Bohlmann; fifth grade students Kayla Looper and Charlotte Merrifield; Gerald “Gerry” Dillon, a veteran of the U.S. Army and Navy; and Robert Bohlmann, Director of the York County Emergency Management Agency and a veteran of the U.S. Army, at the Dec. 7, 2009 “Wreaths Across America.” This year’s exhibit will be on Dec. 6. (Photo by Reg Bennett)

Local Library Seeks New Ground

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
The Rice Public Library is interested in moving its operation onto the Frisbee School property, and has taken the first step in that direction.
The library, established 1888, currently operates out of two buildings in downtown Kittery, neither of which is handicapped accessible.
The library Board of Directors has voted unanimously to make the move. The town has already proposed that the Kittery Community Center, a theater, and the library be located on the former school site.
Rachel Dennis, chairwoman of the library trustees, said the Frisbee Revitalization Committee has given the library until the end of December to make a final decision.
She said several things had to be done before that decision could be made. These included getting an estimate on the value of the current facilities, a process that is ongoing, and hiring a consultant to look at the options. The buildings are mortgage free.
These options include doing nothing, putting an addition onto the current Rice building, and moving to the Frisbee site.
Ms. Dennis said the consultant’s report is not finalized as yet, “but it was finished enough to give us enough information that we could comfortably vote unanimously that we wanted to move.”
She said the final report will probably be presented to the revitalization committee early in January.
The library is now located in two separate buildings, neither of which is handicapped accessible.
“We’ve had phone calls and letters over the years from people who are in wheel chairs … they can’t get into our buildings,” Ms. Dennis said. “It’s been very, very difficult for us to say ‘there’s nothing we can do.’ The time is right, Frisbee closed. There is something we can do about it now.”
“We’re far away from that,” she said, “but at least we’ve gone that first hurdle and voted that we’re wanting to do this.”
She said the Rice building itself is a wonderful structure but it is “not a library for the 21st century.”
Ms. Dennis said having the community center, the theater and the library on the same property would create “sort of a one stop shop” for the people of the town.
Ms. Dennis said that being in one building is “a big piece for all of us” who have been working with the library over the years.
The library is not a town department but receives about 97 percent of its operating cost from the town.
Kittery Town Manager Jon Carter said the library is one of the “three participants envisioned moving to the property” but noted, “They will have a long way to go.”
Voters have already approved a bond issue for work to begin on the Community Center project.
According to its web site, the library currently contains 54,765 volumes and circulates an average of 71,769 items each year. The web site sets Kittery’s population at just over 9,000 people.
Photo caption: The Rice Public Library in Kittery is beginning the process of moving to a new facility. The Library has until the end of December to make a final decision. (Photo courtesy

Points in History

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
“Decision Points” is former President George W. Bush memoir surrounding one of the most turbulent periods of American History. His presidency endured 9/11, two wars, and ended during an economic meltdown. As with any presidency during turbulent times, many of his decisions were questioned and criticized.
“Decision Points” is an attempt to get beyond the soundbites that satisfy the Television World’s attention span, and he details how his background, knowledge, friends and associates shaped his decisions. Rather than doing a chronological account of his presidency, he breaks the memoir up around pivotal issues he faced serving his term to allow for a clear extraction of incidents and anecdotes that lead to his decision.
While avid Bush supporters are sure to desire this read, critics will have plenty of interest in what Bush has to say. Some incidents, like his decision on stem cell research, or to go to war with Iraq will remain controversial after reading this. However, there is an opportunity for understanding why he made these decisions. Rather from shooting from the hip, as it appeared, Bush weighed every opinion regarding using stem cells.
Eventually, he decided to compromise and allow the current stem cells to be used, but after that, to allow research find another way to get these cells. As the current administration has learned, compromise only makes both sides angry.
One issue that takes up a bulk of the book, as it should, is the war in Iraq. Bush recalls the unilateral call to deal with Iraq after Afghanistan. He stated in a debate in 1999, in opposition to Gore, that nation building should not be a priority of our foreign policy. He admits that during the Afghan War, his opinion had switched upon seeing the liberated people rejoice and stand in line for their first free election. According to Bush, 80% of registered voters showed up to the poles facing threats from extremists.
While Iraq and Afghanistan were completely different situations, it’s apparent that Bush had the same vision for a free Iraq. This war began, Bush assures, after several sanctions Hussein failed to abide by, and using UN money intended to feed his people to build weapons. Whether one agrees with him or not, he lays out his thoughts, feelings, and knowledge of the issue so that skeptics can at least see it was a very difficult decision, and a great deal of reason was applied to the decision process. At the beginning of the book, Bush admits that time will tell with some of these decisions.
Decision Points is a forum where Bush uses Abe Lincoln’s advice to convince readers they’re his friends to make allies. His anecdotes are sensitive, funny, and told with colorful language at times. His writing is enjoyable, even when the reader doesn’t see eye to eye with all of his decisions. What he does achieve, though, is he paints himself as a compassionate, fiery, and caring person who spent a great deal of his time weighing the hefty consequences of his decisions. This book could well serve as a great document of our nation’s history beside the writings of Kennedy and Clinton. Recommended for righties and lefties!
Photo caption: Book cover for Decision Points by George W. Bush (Courtesy photo)

Friday, November 26, 2010

York Announces 2010 Citizens of the Year

The Board of Directors of the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce selected Lorea and Howard Merrill as the winners of the 2010 Citizens of the Year Award. Howard and Lorea are the past owners of Inn Between the Beaches. As an example of their willingness to help their neighbors and as owners of the Inn, Howie and Lo would open their doors to a local person or family in need of a roof over their heads, regardless of the season.
They are very active in the York Lions Club, the St. Aspinquid Masonic Lodge, the York Senior Center and the Union Congregational Church.
Howie has been an active member of the Lions Club since 1983, the same year he received the “Rookie of the Year” award. They have coordinating and/or volunteering at numerous fundraising events for the Lions. They can be seen each Holiday season during the day selling Christmas trees in the village. This year, Howie was awarded the Melvin Jones Award. Lions International recognizes outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an award that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones. This Fellowship Award LCIF is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of the Lions. The recipient of this award becomes a model because of the exemplary service to his club and the community that it serves.
At the Masonic Lodge, they are involved in diverse projects including blood drives and the operation of the kitchen to coordinating transportation of their lobster bisque to Harvestfest each year. They are involved in preparing and serving community meals throughout the year. They provide lunch for the kids when they come back from the Shriner’s Circus. They started and now coordinate a run each week to the food bank in Alfred to deliver bread from When Pigs Fly and Pepperidge Farm. They recently helped raise $1150 at a Rummage Sale.
Lorea’s individual contributions make their way around our community and literally halfway around the world. She’s always knitting. Whether it’s a blanket for the hospital or dozens and dozens of hats for troops going overseas, the two of them are always reaching out to make the world a better place.
Dr. Nancy Flolid, a member of the Chamber’s board, said, “This couple is the best example of what is great about our town. They have flown under the radar for many years doing good deeds. They never sought recognition for their acts of kindness---they simply believed it’s just what you do---you help each other, whatever it takes! And that is exactly what they have done, quietly and without fanfare.”
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. Nine individuals were nominated this year. The Merrills join the ranks of previous Citizens of the Year including Bill & Phoebe Foster, Verna Rundlett, Rosie 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, Betty Kehoe, and Ginny and Dexter Spiller.
The announcement was made at the Chamber’s monthly Icebreaker, which took place on Wednesday, November 17 at Savings Bank of Maine. The Merrills will be the Grand Marshalls of the Festival of Lights Parade on Saturday, December 4 at 4:30pm. The public is invited to attend a reception for the Merrills on Sunday, December 5, from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at The York High School Commons. Past recipients will also be invited. This is an opportunity for the community to come out to congratulate and thank the Merrills for their service to the townspeople of York and beyond. For more information, please contact Cathy Goodwin, President/CEO of the Chamber at 207-363-4422.
Photo caption: Lorea and Howard Merrill, 2010 York Citizens of the Year. (Courtesy photo)

Holiday Celebration Comes of Age in South Berwick

South Berwick’s annual Home for the Holidays festivities set for December 3 and 4 have taken another leap forward this year with more groups than ever working together on the community celebration of the town’s artists, merchants, citizens and children.
Artists from the Women’s Holiday Art Sale will be in Town Hall, as always, but also will sell their wares on Main Street. And downtown storekeepers have boosted the celebration with the fullest lineup yet of song, food, art, children’s activities and music since Home for the Holidays began six years ago.
Friday evening’s stroll will include cookie decorating, a visit with Santa, holiday karaoke, a boxing demonstration, craft fairs and Hanukkah games. Also this year, strollers will be able to make stained glass or lantern ornaments and see the premiere of a short video about the history and future of the South Berwick Public Library. Free treats and warm beverages will be offered at all the shops.
Downtown decorations also have been enhanced this year. Dozens of merchants and individuals purchased signature Home for the Holidays woodpecker flags to hang throughout the village, and the South Berwick Eliot Rotary Club donated luminaries to shine on sidewalks and lead strollers from one happening to the next.
In the last six years, Home for the Holidays has become a centerpiece of community life in the holiday season, as downtown business owners keep their doors open into the evening and hundreds of residents fill the streets with cheer.
The Home for the Holiday’s umbrella sponsor, SoBo Central, will share space on Main Street with Stained Glass Stained Images studio, a new stained glass gallery and supply shop on Lower Main, to host a variety of ornament making.
The festival originally grew out of the Women’s Holiday Art Sale, now in its 12th year. This year, the artists have expanded into downtown’s newest business, Film Barn Studios at 245 Main St. Film Barn will serve as a creative community space, showcasing local art, music and films, and will house Pip Productions, a video and multimedia design company.
Local videographer Tim Benoit will be at Vacuum Village showing his video on the South Berwick Public Library, featuring photos from the Old Berwick Historical Society, interviews with founding members of the Library, and a glimpse of future plans for the Young Street property.
In addition to Santa Claus welcoming children for a photo op at P. Gagnon & Son, Mrs. Claus will read stories at the Library. People’s United Bank will help children write letters to Santa, and York Hospital Medical Services is inviting children for face painting and snacks.
On Saturday, December 4, the Women’s Holiday Art Sale, craft sales at the First Parish Federated Church and First Baptist Church, the holiday bazaar at Marshwood High School and the Jewett House all will be open.
For a complete listing of activities, the Home for the Holidays brochure is online at
Photo caption: Kristen Wiese-Adelman of Rollinsford and 28 other local craftswomen will participate in the 12th Annual Holiday Women’s Art Sale, Dec. 3 and 4. (Courtesy photo)

Prelude Trolley Rides Offered at Seashore Trolley Museum

Seashore Trolley Museum will offer holiday railway rides, shopping, and complimentary refreshments during both of Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude weekends, starting on Friday afternoons and continuing all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Museum will offer railway rides on Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. The rides continue on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Visitors during Prelude weekends enjoy the winter scenery of the Maine woods and a glimpse of history, while keeping warm in comfortably heated, restored historic trolleys.
Seashore’s historic railway runs for 3 miles along the Kennebunkport-to-Biddeford portion of the Atlantic Shore line Railway, which operated from 1904 to 1927.
Throughout that time, the Atlantic Shore Line was an essential transportation link carrying residents and tourists to work, school, as well as recreation and shopping destinations.
Refreshments and holiday shopping complete a Prelude visit at Seashore Trolley Museum.
The Museum store will be open from noon until 4 p.m. on Friday’s and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays of the festive Prelude holiday weekends.
The store features a huge selection of rail-related gifts including books, toys, collectibles, DVDs and memorabilia. Parents and grandparents delight in the full selection of Take-along Thomas and Friends toys.
Admission to the Museum Store and Visitors’ Center is free. Tickets are $4 per ride, per person (all ages). The trolley rides are contingent on weather conditions.
Seashore Trolley Museum is located at 195 Log Cabin Road in Kennebunkport (3 miles north of Dock Square). For more Information, call 207-967-2800 or go online to
Seashore Trolley Museum is the oldest and largest museum of its type in the world and has been in operation since 1939. The museum is owned and operated by New England Electric Railway Historical Society, a 501c3 non-profit educational institution.
Photo caption: The Seashore Trolley Museum will offer holiday railway rides, shopping, and complimentary refreshments during both of Kennebunkport’s Prelude weekends, beginning Friday, December 3. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bridge Plans Move Forward

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
Projects to deal with two of the three bridges over the Piscataqua River that joins Maine and New Hampshire are proceeding.
Decisions have been made on replacing the Memorial Bridge that links downtown Portsmouth with Kittery, while three options are under study and consideration for the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge. These include rehabilitation, replacement with a low-level structure, or replacement with a hybrid structure that would allow some of the ships coming up the river to pass beneath it. It would, however, still be a drawbridge as it would lower as well for the railroad that runs under it.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is taking the lead on the Memorial Bridge project, while the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) is leading the Sarah Mildred Long project.
“Right now New Hampshire is in the process of obtaining the permits and preparing the documents to proceed with Memorial Bridge,” Kenneth Sweeney, MDOT’s chief engineer said.
“Maine is taking the lead looking at the three alternates that remain on the table for Sarah Mildred Long and doing some more engineering work to determine which one of those remaining alternates we should proceed with,” Sweeney said.
A Tiger II grant of $20 million from the Federal Department of Transportation has been received “basically for that project,” for the replacement of the Memorial Bridge at its current site, according to Bill Boynton, a NHDOT spokesman. “That was a big deal. It certainly was a shot in the arm.”
The project is estimated to cost $90 million overall. The New Hampshire Legislature has earmarked $44 million for the project.
“Maine and New Hampshire are on the same page that we have to replace that bridge,” Boynton said, noting studies are under way to determine “how we’re going to pay for it. There are still some challenges here.”
In October Maine Gov. John Baldacci and New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch co-signed an executive order authorizing the creation of a task force charged with aggressively formulating plans that will allow the two states to develop funding for the projects, identifying joint financing options and proposing any necessary legislation to accommodate bridge construction. Among the two governor’s assurances is a commitment to a full vehicular replacement of the Memorial Bridge.
It is hoped that work on the Memorial Bridge will begin “next construction season,” Sweeney said, noting Maine “still has to go through the legislative process as to funding” for the project. The work is expected to take two years during which time the bridge would be closed to traffic.
Boynton said there is a 16-month waiting period for parts to that structure and some of the units needed would have to be brought in on the river.
Sweeney said work on the Sarah Mildred Long structure would not be done until the Memorial Bridge project was completed so traffic could use it while the other bridge is closed.
Estimates for the work on the Sarah Mildred Long span depends on which of the three projects is finally approved. Refurbishing would be the least expensive and the hybrid would be the most expensive, Sweeney said.
The Memorial Bridge is dedicated to the Sailors and Soldiers of New Hampshire who fought in World War I. It was constructed between 1920 and 1923. It is the only bridge that has provisions for pedestrians and bicycles.
Boynton said a public hearing to discuss the replacement of the Memorial Bridge will be held Tuesday, Nov. 23, in the City Council Chambers at Portsmouth City Hall. That meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Photo caption: Memorial Bridge, one of the three bridges connecting Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME over the Piscataqua River, will be rebuilt based on recent decisions including both states. (Photo courtesy

Tree Festival Returns to York

The time has once again arrived for the 5th Annual Festival of Fostering Trees, taking place this year at the American Legion Function Hall at 9 Hannaford Drive in York during the first weekend of December.
The Festival’s mission is to encourage the community to join each other in not only viewing the “fostered” trees, but also working together to decorate them. The Festival of “Fostering” Trees (FOFT) donation collections support York County youth in foster care settings. Their goal is to serve the unique needs of each youth in a responsible and cost effective manner while easing the difficulties that these youth experience, with support and dignity. The Festival was started in 2006 with the specific goal to bring the “magic” that this Festival provides to the town of York!
How do you participate? Contact Janalee at or at 351-1988 by Monday, November 22 to complete an entry form. Once registered, families or individuals donate a decorated artificial Christmas tree, any style or fashion, traditional or non-traditional, using any type of materials, and the tree will be raffled off at the end of the festival. All trees will be set-up and decorated by the participants, and all participants are asked to write your tree’s name on your tree box. Extension cords are provided.
If you don’t have an artificial tree to donate, a limited number of artificial trees are available for a minimal cost, and can be secured by inquiring at the time of entry. If you wish to donate something else instead of a tree, monetary donations and gift certificates are great ways to participate in the Festival, and all items will be used appropriately to contribute to the community. Free refreshments will be available, as well as many items to purchase provided by Pub 56 in the lounge area of the American Legion.
For those decorating trees, you could create your own masterpiece by creating a specific theme for your tree (ocean, hand-made ornaments, specific colors), create a non-traditional tree by utilizing non-specific Christmas items (tools, household items, collectables), create a money tree with scratch tickets, advertise your business with products, items or gift certificates from your establishment, dedicate a tree in someone’s memory and use their inspiration to decorate your tree, or stick with a classic Christmas theme.
Tree set-up by participants will take place on Thursday, December 2 from 9am-3pm. The viewing of the trees will take place on Friday, December 3 from 10am-8pm, Saturday, December 4 from 10am-8pm, and Sunday, December 5, from 10am-4pm. A raffle will take place at 4:15pm with calls placed from 6-9pm. Pick up of all trees must take place on Monday, December 6 from 8am-12pm. Admission is free, but a voluntary donation for the York Food Pantry (a non-perishable item), a Toys for Tots gift (new and unwrapped), or a monetary donation for either organization are encouraged. You do not have to purchase raffle tickets in order to view the beautiful trees, so come and enjoy the Festival along with your community and celebrate the season!
Photo caption: A few of the trees at a previous Festival of Fostering Trees event in York. This year’s participants must register by Monday, November 22. The event will take place the first weekend of December. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Spirit of Giving: A True Community Event

By Molly McCoy
Staff Columnist
Deck the halls! As unbelievable as it seems, it’s getting to be that time of year again. The time for turkeys and trees, coats and sweaters, and the dreaded, dreaded receipt season. In the past few weeks, I have become increasingly excited about the coming holidays – even a 22-year-old can look forward to the proverbial “Santa” – and yet, the adults around me seem to concur on a general complaint. “Oh, it’s all about money,” one woman says in response to my glee. “It’s all about expensive presents and expensive food and I wish we could all just be together without all the commotion and expectation. You’ll learn when you have kids…”
But for one organization in Ogunquit, receipts are the last things on their minds.
In its sixth year, Ogunquit Spirit of Giving – a small, local, non-profit organization – is endeavoring to bring holiday cheer to more than 400 deserving children across the state of Maine. This year, Spirit of Giving donations are benefiting children associated with the organization’s long-time partner, Adoptive & Foster Families of Maine, Inc., in addition to the children of Frannie Peabody Center, a new charitable commitment for the Giving committee. With five years of positive response and happy kids behind them, the expectations on the part of these organizations could be, I imagine, pretty high.
“We’re concerned we’ll have to turn kids away that have already made requests,” says Spirit of Giving committee member, Frances Reed. “Sponsors’ budgets are tight, too.”
When a child makes a “request” through AFFM or Frannie Peabody Center, the Spirit of Giving Committee receives a first name, age, sizes, and a few gift requests. For example: Brittany, 14, medium, and “anything girly, teen pop music, likes pink, hair accessories.” Sure, some kids throw in the occasional X-box or iPod, but Reed says, “It’s just because they have no idea how much those things cost.”
A more heart-wrenching request goes like this: Sam, 10, size 3, grateful for anything, needs boots.
Hearing that, the woman complaining about gifts and expenses at the holidays comes back to my mind. For many of these kids, boots could be the best, if only, present under their tree. No manic shopping trips. No overbearing mothers-in-law complaining about your casserole. Just a child content with their warm shoes.
Ogunquit Spirit of Giving is looking for help. With a tall order ahead of them, they have already begun assigning kids and families to sponsors, but the ratio is not in their favor. Like Reed said, they are worried they won’t meet their goal, and 5-year-old Sarah, who perhaps benefited last year and has already asked for a Polly Pocket, will be turned away.
For just $35-$50, you can sponsor one of these children in need, and contribute to a great cause that is gaining momentum in not only a town, but a community. As a sponsor, you receive information about a child (or children), you get to wrap the presents yourself, and you bring them to a party on Sunday, December 5 at MaineStreet Bar, 195 Main Street, Ogunquit. There, you place your gifts under one of the color-coded trees, and the rest of the night is spent celebrating together with the community of sponsors. It sounds to me like the perfect remedy to those Ebenezer complaints.
“This group takes the adage that it ‘takes a village to raise a child’ to a new and higher meaning,” says Bette Hoxie, director of AFFM, commenting about the 2007 event. Considering Ogunquit itself is home to less than 50 children, that comment seems particularly appropriate, as individuals – not businesses – “adopt” multiple children each year through this event. “In spite of the high costs of fuel and the cold weather, we are truly blessed in the richness of citizens who really care and are not afraid to let it show,” adds Hoxie.
So, when you look around at the turkeys and the trees, the sweaters and the coats, and anticipate your own, dreaded receipt season, consider how thirty-five extra dollars on that bill might put a pair of boots under Sam’s tree. It might be the best-spent $35 on that list.
Child and family sponsor assignments have already begun. To learn more about Ogunquit Spirit of Giving and how to sponsor a child or family, visit, or contact the committee at
Photo caption: Sponsors taking a look at all the presents donated at last year’s Ogunquit Spirit of Giving event, which benefit children throughout the state. This year’s event is on Sunday, December 5. (Courtesy photo)

SeaCoast Trail Riders Give Back

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
A number of local organizations benefited when the SeaCoast Trail Riders hosted part of the AMA National Enduro series in Berwick.
SeaCoast Trail Riders is a non-profit club promoting responsible off- road motorcycling. The event, the first of its kind in Maine according to a club spokesman, drew riders from across the United States and is the first such event held in New England for more than a decade. The series, of which this was the ninth round, determines the best off- road rides within the discipline.
Profits from the event were donated to the North Berwick Police Department, North Berwick Rescue, Berwick Public Library, Berwick Police Benevolent, Noble High School Health Center, Noble High School girls’ basketball and lacrosse, Charles Hatch VFW Post, Lebanon Rescue, Acton Ambulance, Newfield Rescue, and Pease Greeters
The host club upped its number of entries from an average of 100 to over 400 for this event, raising over $11,500 that was distributed among the local agencies and charities.
“Each year we donate all monies collected from rider fees and sponsorships after expenses,” Peter Anania said. “Including these events, we have raised nearly $70,000 that has been given back to our communities.”
An enduro is a long distance off-road motorcycle endurance event with a timed element that includes going slow on roads, the spokesman said. The route of this event covered about 75 miles.
As a followup to this event, the SeaCoast Trail Riders hosted the Noble Woods Turkey Run. This event started at the Acton Fairgrounds and raised an additional $3,600 that was given back to the community.
The Trail Riders expressed their thanks to the Berwick and North Berwick Police Departments, the staff at Noble High School, North Berwick Rescue, Berwick Library, Acton Ambulance, Lebanon Rescue, Newfield Rescue, town administrators, and countless others.
The club issues a special thanks to the landowners and townspeople who graciously allowed it to use land and roads to stage the event.
“You all deserve special recognition and we look forward to the possibility of working with you in the future,” the spokesman said.
Photo caption: Funds raised by The SeaCoast Trail Riders were presented to several groups recently. Those attending the ceremony included, left to right, Lebanon Emergency Assistant Chief Jason Cole, Acton Chief Denise DeAngelis, Newfield Assistant Chief Wendy Elliott, Berwick Police Sgt. Jeff Scott, Trail Riders member Paul Boisvert, Trail Riders president Peter Anania. (Courtesy photo)

North Berwick Students Score Top 10% in National Math Contest

This fall, three students from Mrs. Carter’s third grade class at North Berwick Elementary School participated in the Noetic Learning Math Contest: a national contest for students grades 2-5. Over 4,000 students representing 262 teams participated in the contest.
Madison Momenee, Jackson Hett, and William DoByns from North Berwick Elementary School scored in the top 10% and were put in the National Honor Roll. William DoByns tied for 1st place in the nation, missing only one problem.
These students met after school to practice and prepare with their teacher before taking this challenging test. These students will be participating again in the spring with the hope that they have inspired their classmates to stretch themselves and participate with them.
Photo caption: Madison Momenee, William DoByns, and Jackson Hett, all third-graders at North Berwick Elementary School, were recently recognized for their performance in a national math competition. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, November 5, 2010

10th Annual Veterans’ Day Celebration

On November 5, Marshwood Middle School commemorates its Tenth Annual Veteran’s Day Celebration. The school-wide assembly, which starts at 9:00 a.m., features various tributes from students and faculty to local veterans. Last year, over 200 veterans attended the celebration. Several veterans are from local American Legion and VFW posts. Many veterans invited are relatives and friends of Marshwood students who have served our country past and present.
Local dignitaries including town officials and selectmen, local politicians, state representatives, school board members, and members of the South Berwick, Eliot, Kittery and Berwick police, fire and emergency departments also attend the celebration to honor the veterans.
All guests form a reception line at 8:30 a.m. down the corridor to the entrance of the gymnasium. As students are called down to the celebration, they enter the reception line and greet our guests with handshakes and small talk. The reception line emphasizes a personal touch for every student to actually meet our guests and sets a respectful tone for the celebration.
As everyone gathers in the gymnasium, patriotic music is played on the sound system. Once everyone has been seated, the veteran guests enter the gymnasium. For the next hour, various tributes are presented to guests in form of song, poems, readings, and PowerPoint presentations.
Marshwood Middle School is made up of six communities (two per grade level). Each community presents a tribute at the assembly. Teachers work with students in their communities, and this celebration could never occur without their collaboration. After the celebration, there is a reception in the library for guests and faculty.
It is extremely important for students to understand the sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to make for our country. This celebration encourages us to stop and realize again that “Freedom is never free.”
For more information about this event, contact Catherine Locke at Marshwood Middle School is located at 626 H. L. Dow Highway, Eliot.
Photo caption: Veterans lining up for last year’s Veterans’ Day Celebration at Marshwood Middle School. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the school-wide assembly. (Courtesy photo)

Berwick Academy to Circulate Kindles

Berwick Academy is proud to announce that the Jackson Library has become the first school in Maine to circulate Amazon Kindles to its faculty, staff, and Upper School students.
The Kindle is a portable electronic reading device, which uses the latest technology to deliver a unique reading experience. The school will carry six Kindles, which were purchased for the library by the Technology Department, the Berwick Academy Parents Association, and the BA Administration. The availability of the Kindles has several advantages to the Berwick community, including the immediate access to any number of titles including books the library does not carry.
The Kindles will be loaded with hundreds of books, including popular fiction and non-fiction bestsellers. In addition to these titles, millions of out-of-copyright titles are available for free download via the web through organizations like Open Library, Project Gutenberg, and Internet Archive. Currently available on all six Kindles are titles like The Host by Stephenie Meyer, Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz, The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and multiple works by Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe. It is the goal of the librarians to ensure that the collection grows, evolves, and responds directly to student needs.
Upper School Librarian Darcy Coffta commented, “We are thrilled to be the first school in the state of Maine to circulate Kindles and to have this opportunity available for the Berwick community. Upper School students will be able to come to Jackson Library and check out a Kindle for two weeks. Reading on a Kindle can be a lot of fun and it greatly increases their immediate access to the written word. I see it being used for both research purposes as well as for leisure reading.”
Founded in 1791, Berwick Academy is an independent, coeducational country day school located in South Berwick, Maine. For over 200 years, the Academy has pursued its mission through a purposeful blend of strong academics, arts, and athletics. Berwick serves nearly 580 students in grades K-12 from the seacoast area of southern Maine, New Hampshire, and northeastern Massachusetts.
Photo caption: Berwick Academy students with two of the six Kindles now available to students and staff, making Berwick Academy the first school in Maine to circulate Kindles. (Courtesy photo)

Maine Recycles Week at Hannaford Market

The Kennebunk Energy Efficiency Committee (EEC) and the Kennebunk High School Green Club, eKo, will be celebrating Maine Recycles Week with exhibits, workshops and films at Kennebunk’s Hannaford Market from November 10th through the 13th.
On Saturday the 13th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be two workshops in the morning and the same two in the afternoon--along with a variety of videos--in the old Starbucks area adjacent to the Red Box.
George Herman, Master Gardener, will be speaking on the how-to’s of composting and taking questions on the subject during his presentations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Herman, a graduate of the College of Forestry at Syracuse, is a member of the York County Master Gardeners and on the board of the York County Cooperative Extension. Herman will also show “Turning Your Spoils to Soil,” a how-to film on compositing.
Suzanne Duplissis, Recycling Outreach Coordinator for the Maine State Planning Office for Waste Management and Recycling, will present at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Duplissis educates the Maine public on recycling through social media, print and television outlets and manages the matching grants for recycling promotion for municipalities. In addition to her talk and Q and A session, Duplissis will show the documentary film “Re: Think Re: Cycle,” which gives insight into the origins of our products and their various methods of disposal.
On Wednesday through Friday, November 10th, 11th and 12th, from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 to 4, the EEC and eKo will have an exhibit showing which plastic bags and film should be recycled and which should not. The eKo students will also be displaying clothing made from recycled goods.
Educational information on recycling and composting will also be available. Other freebees include pens and pencils made from recycled products and informative refrigerator magnets, while the supplies last.
Anyone bringing five empty, clean plastic grocery bags to the EEC table, will get one free Hannaford cloth bag, while the supply lasts. The exhibit will be set up next to the Camden National Bank branch in Hannaford Market.
Photo caption: Members of the Kennebunk High School eKo are shown in the KHS cafeteria holding the reusable tableware they purchased with a grant from Hannaford Market. The eKo students made the signs shown here, color-coded for tableware, bottles, compost and trash. From left: Emily Flaherty, faculty advisor, Amanda Sparks, Hannah Rolland, Faye Heisch-Lewis, Beth Ash, Emily Mokler, and Stephanie Conzelman, co-advisor and member of the Energy Efficiency Committee. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Joseph Littlefield Named Ogunquit Outstanding Citizen

The Board of Directors of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce has announced that Joseph Littlefield has been selected as Ogunquit Outstanding Citizen.
Littlefield will be recognized for his contributions to the Town of Ogunquit on Wednesday, November 3 at the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, which will be held at the Dunaway Center in Ogunquit.
The public is welcome to join us as we honor the man who is quick to give to people in need. Joseph is perhaps best known for his generous donation of Beach Plum Farm to the Great Works Regional Land Trust.
As one person so nicely noted, “It is a rare person who considers the beauty and environmental health of his town over his opportunity for financial gain. Current and future generations of Ogunquit residents will reap immeasurable benefit from Joe’s single act of charity.”
For those interested in learning more about attending the dinner, please contact Frances Reed at the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce at 207-646-1279 X11, or email by Friday, October 29.
Photo caption: Joseph Littlefield is Ogunquit Outstanding Citizen 2010. (Courtesy photo)

Walk for Ashley: Fundraiser Celebrates Homecoming of Student

Ashley Dubois is an 18-year-old senior at Kennebunk High School. She is described by friends and family as “your average, all-American teenage girl,” but Ashley is anything but average.
She made High Honors for multiple semesters, competed with her dance team, Stepping Out, trained for the Maine Marathon, won a competition to participate in an Outward Bound hiking trip in Utah, worked at The BuffleHead Cove Inn on weekends, and still found time to participate in day-to-day activities with her family and friends.
On Saturday morning, September 4, Ashley pulled out of Hillside Drive on her way to work, as usual. Moments later, she was struck by a vehicle, and her life - and the lives of many friends and family - monumentally changed.
Ashley suffered severe injuries, and only recently returned from the hospital to her home on October 12. Between the medical bills already incurred, and the extensive occupational and physical therapy she will soon undergo, the Dubois family is straining to make ends meet. Their lives have been indefinitely put on hold.
In an effort to help their daughter, sister, student, and friend, local supporters are hosting “A Walk for Ashley is a Walk for Hope” at Kennebunk High School on Sunday, November 7 at 1pm. The cost is $15 per student, $25 per adult, tee shirts sold on site, and additional donations being graciously accepted. All proceeds will be deposited into a tax-exempt fund, going straight to the family.
Come celebrate Ashley’s return home, and help fund her recovery, so she can return to the life she was so vivaciously living.
For more information about the walk, email, or call Ted Nichols at 207-604-8216.
Photo caption: Ashley Dubois recently returned home from hospitalization after a serious auto accident. (Courtesy photo)

Marshwood Middle School Thinks Reading is Dynamite

On October 20, Marshwood Middle School made its first ever music video to express the importance of reading. The video kicks off the school-wide reading challenge.
For the past three years, students at Marshwood Middle School have begun the school year with a reading challenge. As a school, encouraging students to be lifelong readers is one of Marshwood Middle School’s major goals.
What better way to get them pumped up to read than to make a connection to their world: music. This year’s challenge theme is music genres, so the Battle of the Bands has begun.
Each of the six teams are comprised of about 100 students, and each team is challenged to read approximately 500 books. The challenge will continue until a team reaches this goal. Students are documenting the reading process by completing a bookmark as they read.
Jamie Gagner of Fusion Dance Academy in Dover volunteered to lead and choreograph the whole school (580 students and 60 adults) in a hip-hop rendition of the song “Dynamite” by Taoi Cruz. The song lyrics were changed to represent the importance of reading at Marshwood Middle School.
Students learned about their challenge and then performed a hip-hop routine, dancing and singing along.
Marshwood Middle School principal, John Caverly, warmed up the students by dressing as a hip-hop artist and explaining the reading challenge to the student body. It was an afternoon filled with music, books, and laughter.
Photo caption: Marshwood Middle School students dancing in a school-produced music video, the kickoff event for this year’s reading challenge. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making a Difference in Haiti

The story of how residents, students, and Rotarians in southern Maine have helped build and support a school in Haiti will be told in a slide presentation on Friday, October 22, at 7pm at the York Public Library.
Paul Salacain of York and Amy Miller of South Berwick, who have both traveled to Haiti, will present slides showing how the Eben Ezer School in Milot, Haiti, has thrived since first South Berwick, then Kittery, and most recently, York residents have become involved. Thirteen-year-old Georgia Barlow of South Berwick, who led a student effort to raise $18,000 for Eben Ezer, also will show a short video based on her trip there.
The York Rotary Club, which donated the money for a generator for the school, sent Salacain to Haiti in August to set it up. Traveling with Life and Hope, the organization that founded the school, Salacain became part of a team that hooked up electricity so students can have refrigeration, lights, and, most importantly, computers to connect them to the outside world.
Miller, a freelance writer, has traveled annually to Milot since 2007, when her family first stumbled upon the school while living in the Dominican Republic.
Since then, hundreds of Maine residents, several schools, and three local Rotary clubs have become committed to making a difference in Haiti through the Eben Ezer School. With so many people from this area already involved in Haiti when the January 2010 earthquake struck, this community responded quickly and with great generosity.
In the two months after the earthquake, South Berwick and Eliot students and teachers raised more than $30,000 for Life and Hope. Classes at both Berwick Academy and public schools are sponsoring students in Milot.
Southern Maine residents now sponsor several dozen children at Life and Hope Eben Ezer School in Milot. The South Berwick Eliot Rotary in 2008 raised $4,300 to pay for schoolbooks for the school.
Miller’s slides will include pictures of the earthquake devastation, taken in February when she accompanied Eben Ezer School founder Lucia Anglade to the epicenter, where Anglade’s sister runs a compound for the destitute.
The York Public Library is located at 15 Long Sands Road in York, Maine. For additional information or directions, please call 207-363-2818 or visit the Library’s website at For more about Life and Hope, go to
Photo caption: A slide presentation will be shown at the Library about local support for a school in Haiti. (Courtesy photo)