Friday, October 1, 2010

International Coastal Cleanup Scheduled for Maine Beaches

Andrew Hayford, Adopt-A-Beach Coordinator for Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation of Southern Maine, will be coordinating the International Coastal Cleanup for Long Beach and Ogunquit, Maine beaches. The International Coastal Cleanup is a cleanup of oceans, rivers and waterways all over the world.
Every year, countless marine mammals, seabirds, and other animals are sickened, injured, or killed because of dangerous items we allow into the sea. They are poisoned, choked, or entangled in the trash we leave behind, from plastic bags, to balloons and cast-off fishing line.
“Thousands of volunteers help to clean up the water, with every piece of trash recorded, to determine the extent of the ocean pollution as well as ways to reduce the sources of garbage”, says Hayford.
“This is the single largest event of its kind”, says Hayford. “Last year’s data showed that volunteers picked up 240 pounds at Long Sands and 44 pounds in Ogunquit. The single largest item in 2009 was 444 cigarette butts at Long Sands and 297 at Ogunquit. Hayford is hopeful that this year York beaches will be much cleaner as a result of the new smoke-free beaches ordinance.
“As in prior cleanups, we will also have prizes for most interesting items found on the beaches. It’s fun to see what people find and it’s not unusual to find jewelry, coins or silly things that make you laugh. It seems like every year someone goes home with a full set of plastic toy army men”.
Hayford concludes, “I can’t do it alone. Please consider giving just a little bit of your time to do something locally that has a global impact”.
Our local cleanup will be October 2 at Long Beach in York (meet at bathhouse at 11:00 a.m. with a rain date of Oct. 3) and October 9 at Ogunquit Beach (meet at front entrance at 2:00 p.m. with a rain date of Oct. 10).
For more information, contact Andrew Hayford at andrewblueocean@yahoo or 361-1790.
Photo caption: Andrew Waring (L) and Andrew Hayford (R) pick up beach debris for the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy. Lobster traps are put aside for fisherman pick up. (Courtesy photo)

Randy Price to host York Hospital’s Fashion Fling

York Hospital announced today that popular morning news anchor Randy Price will host the upcoming Fashion Fling event to be held at the Ogunquit Playhouse on Tuesday, October 5 at 5pm. The event, to raise funds for an addition to the Breast Care center at York Hospital that will house state-of-the-art Breast MRI imaging equipment, includes an evening full of fashion, food, fun and even a red carpet! Over 75 models – from near and afar – will grace a custom-made runway in the historic theater while 25 area restaurants will serve up tempting treats for ticket holders. Fashions from stores along the historic New England coastline – from Newburyport, MA to Freeport, ME will be featured. The ever popular event, last held in 2001, comes back this year bigger and better as it also boasts of a large silent and live auction with items that include a stay at an exclusive resort in Jamaica, tickets to the Daytona 500, and autographed memorabilia including a guitar from musician Daryl Hall and a football signed by Superbowl MVP Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at York Hospital or online at or Please call 207-351-2385 for details.
Photo caption: Randy Price (Courtesy photo)

At a Theater Near You

By Chip Schrader
Movie Review Editor
Ben Affleck’s “The Town” opens with an aerial shot of Metropolitan Boston, and cuts to a busy street that is about to be the epicenter of a bank robbery. The masked villains charge inside the bank dumping Blackberries into a fishbowl to be drowned in water after the standard “get on the floor” commands. As a shaken Bank Manager named Claire Keesey tries to get the combination right, one of the robbers consoles her with a touch, reassuring her to take her time.
The thief with a delicate touch is Doug MacRay, played by Ben Affleck, who also shares the screenwriting credit for “The Town.” Doug is a lifer in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the Boston suburb famous for being a breeding ground for bank robbers, and like McKray, survives within the stranglehold of the Irish Mafia.
Afleck plays a gritty role with a strongly understated charm. But, from the first scene, we are dared to consider him to be the good guy, while the manipulative FBI agent and his felonious brotherhood are swimming in sleaze. The tough guys are out muscled by the women who often suffer at the hands of these men, namely Blake Lively’s portrayal of Christa Coughlin.
While the story is strong and engrossing, the romance that brews between villain and victim is ultimately forgettable. There are few clever lines or tender moments that convince viewers that MacRay and Keesey have any chemistry. The film at the forty five minute point holds a solid three and a half out of five rating carried by the acting and anticipation of the next action scene.
The turning point for the film is a car chase that follows an armored car heist. This chase scene rivals those from any Steve McQueen’s or Al Pacino’s film, and begins the neck breaking ride. The near misses and near hits are puzzling, brutal, and riveting. From here on, the audience is in the front seat with MacRay as his back story fills out to a complete character.
Many good films have twists, but the best films give you details that develop into sharp turns that are both logical and unexpected. MacRay’s life is a story that unfolds, it doesn’t twist, and his depths are endless as are the conflicted emotions of his love interest Keesey.
Every caper must end with a big heist. MacRay’s crew is slated to heist Boston’s crown jewel, Fenway Park. This coup de grace of heists presents one of the many elements in “The Town” where cinema hasn’t taken us. As the heist proceeds, there is much to go wrong, and old ties scorned. And the details that were once delivered as casual conversation turn into lynch pins that will make or break this plot of plots.
Bottom line. The romance, as stated was forgettable, it needed more memorable moments that brought MacRay and Keesey together, and to show more of Affleck’s charming side. The police had to take some stretching leaps to get their suspects, but this was a forgivable detail. Some of the supporting cast needed some entertaining quirks to reveal what makes them tick, and to bring some more lively dialog. However, the flaws really end there.
While the dialog doesn’t pop, it is realistic and it serves the story with staunch loyalty. The characters and imagery are dank and gray, but the story of Charlestown and its people is hardly rosy, so the muted colors and gritty shots fit the story. The action and suspense are so good they suffocate, and the conclusion just might be classic.
The story is tight and every scene has a purpose, there is no flab or filler to carry the film to two hours.Jeremy Renner’s Cagney-like portrayal of Coughlin adds some color, and the previously mentioned Blake Lively’s portrayal will draw attention to her as we might see her move closer to top billing in future films outside of the adolescent themed “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Gossip Girl” series.
As far as Affleck, he needs to keep the goatee shaved and ditch the schmaltzy Hollywood roles to write his own material suited to his stone face delivery. Hack job cinema like Armageddon and Gigli will not do Affleck justice. “The Town” will make every Ben Afleck naysayer reconsider, and may put the name “Gigli” out of their vocabulary once and for all.
Rating: 4 out of 5, and will likely get better ratings with multiple viewings.
Photo caption: Movie poster for Ben Affleck’s “The Town” (Courtesy photo)