Friday, August 12, 2011

Reid Sacco Family Regatta Sets Sail This Sunday

Sailors and spectators alike are invited to the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association’s second annual Reid Sacco Family Regatta this Sunday, August 14.
The morning starts with a skipper meeting at 9:30 a.m. followed by sailing at 10. Interested participants should sign up in the KBIA office and bring their own boat to launch between 285 and 292 Beach Avenue. Due to the shallow nature of the cove, even at thigh tide, sailors should use an Opti, Laser, Taz or Chickadee watercraft.
A $10 donation per sailor will benefit the Reid Sacco Foundation. The regatta honors a longtime KBIA student and instructor who died of sarcoma at age 20 in 2005. In addition to a little friendly competition, we will serve up lunch ($6) and provide a festive afternoon for those on and off the water.
Sailors and spectators are asked to wear red, which was Reid’s favorite color, and help KBIA make this a “green” event by bringing their own water bottle.
For registration information, call 967-2180 or visit For information on the Reid Sacco Foundation, visit
Photo caption: Young sailors participating in the 2010 Reid Sacco Family Regatta. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, August 14. (Photo courtesy the Reid Sacco Memorial Foundation)

Run for the Fallen Maine Gears Up for Fourth Annual Event

On August 21, 2011 the 4th annual Run for the Fallen Maine event will be held. The run consists of a 65-kilometer tribute from Ogunquit to Monument Square in Portland. Every kilometer along the route has a picture and biography of each of the 79 men and women with ties to Maine that have died in the service of our country since September 11, 2001. The celebration of their lives will begin in Ogunquit Center at 7:45 a.m. with a ceremony, including a Marine Corps 21 gun salute. The route will be lined with the families of fallen soldiers, American Legion Post members and individuals that would like to show their support. Trolleys will be following the runners, and will be available for rest and hydration along the course.
After the finish and a short closing ceremony in Monument Square, a private lobster bake will be held at historic Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. This year, the first Gold Star Family Plates for the State of Maine will be introduced and distributed. Please join us in honoring the soldiers by running, or cheering along the route to show your support for Maine’s fallen heroes.
For more information, visit
Photo caption: The 4th Annual Run for the Fallen Maine will take place Sunday, August 21. Opening ceremonies begin at 7:45 a.m. in Ogunquit Center. (Photo by Molly McCoy)

Memorial Bridge Subject of Recent Meeting in Kittery

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
Officials from Maine and New Hampshire have been aware of the problems connected with the closing of the Memorial Bridge that spans the Piscataqua River connecting Portsmouth and Kittery, and those were underlined by local residents at a meeting last week at the Kittery Town Hall.
Nearly 75 people attended the meeting set up by the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce to hear Commissioner David Bernhardt of the Maine Department of Transportation and Keith A. Cota, chief project manager for the replacement of the Memorial Bridge from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.
After a discussion of generalities, the speakers got down to specific concerns about dealing with the closure of the bridge, including how people who do not drive would get back and forth to work from the two municipalities, the possibility of a public transportation system being put in place for the duration of the closure and beyond, and even the possibility of establishing some kind of ferry service across the river.
Steps have already been taken for signage to help travelers get from one side of the river to the other and hence to the business communities. More than 30 signs were scheduled to be erected the beginning of this week to address that issue.
The bridge, which is now closed to vehicular traffic, is to be replaced under the guidance of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. If all goes well the replacement bridge is scheduled to be open in late 2013.
Cota said at present pedestrian and bicycle traffic will continue to use the bridge, but cautions there is “always the chance that it may not be available to any traffic” if the pace of deterioration continues. It will be inspected periodically to make sure it remains safe for that limited use.
He said approximately $1.3 million has already been spent to keep the bridge together.
As to transportation between Portsmouth and Kittery, he said the firm that finally lands the design/build contract would be charged with developing a transportation plan as well. “A lot of information is being developed,” he said.
The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge on the Route 1 Bypass and the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95 remain open, although there is a weight limit on the Long span.
A project addressing that renovation of the Long Bridge will be under the auspices of the Maine Department of Transportation once the Memorial bridge project is completed.
Work will be done to continue to help customers find their way to local businesses, Bernhardt said. “We don’t want anyone to be hurt or anyone to fail.”
As to the closing of the bridge at a much earlier date than originally planned, he noted, “It’s melting before your eyes” and there was no way to continue to allow vehicles to cross the bridge safely.
Jeff Pelkey, chairman of the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, said he was “very pleased” with the meeting that provided “a lot of good feedback from both sides of the river.”
He said there was a tone of working together at the meeting as people from both Maine and New Hampshire listened, expressed their concerns and offered suggestions.
He said the Chamber stands ready to show businesses to “think out of the box” during the replacement of the bridge and with the help of state agencies will help businesses “rethink the way they do business to get them over the hump.”
The Chamber web site notes: “Our goal, as the Chamber of Commerce officially representing Kittery, is to minimize any possible negative impact of this closure on our Kittery businesses.”