Friday, September 30, 2011

York Land Trust Members Host Highland Farm Grand Opening Ceremony

The York Land Trust Annual Members’ Meeting and Highland Farm Grand Opening Ceremony were rescheduled from September’s Hurricane Irene weekend to this Sunday, October 2, 2011, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday’s activities will take place under a tent at the Highland Farm Preserve at 321 Cider Hill Road (Rte. 91) in York. A one-hour Members’ Meeting will begin at 3 p.m. and will be followed at 4 p.m. by a Grand Opening and Trails Dedication Ceremony. The public is welcome.
The program will include remarks by long time York Land Trust Executive Director Doreen MacGillis. In addition to highlighting the scope of the effort, MacGillis will thank key project leaders, supporters and the community of York for unanimously approving a $500,000 bond appropriation that was critical to acquiring the 151-acre property in 2009. With assistance from David Mallard, Stewardship Director, a new information Kiosk will be unveiled near the entrance to the property’s ADA (handicapped-access) trail, a first in this region. To enhance the visitor’s experience, the 24 sq. ft. sign features a large map of the Preserve’s trail system, use guidelines and ecology facts. In addition, as a tribute to four years of hard work, millions of dollars, and thousands of volunteer hours, a comprehensive list of contributors is included on the Kiosk to acknowledge that the Preserve is forever protected and open for public access thanks to the generosity of many individuals, foundations, partner organizations and the Town of York.
At the conclusion of the Grand Opening Ceremony, attendees will enjoy a guided interpretive walk to explore the property’s rich history and biodiversity.
Led by the York Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the Kittery Water District, the Highland Farm Preserve was purchased in 2009 as part of the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative. Conservation of the property is considered significant for water quality based on its proximity to the York River and Boulter Pond, which serves as a drinking water source for the Town of Kittery and parts of York and Eliot. In addition, through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 30 acres of the property are being managed as early successional habitat (thickets) to support the return of the state-endangered New England Cottontail (NEC) to the property. With as few as 300 individual NEC rabbits thought to be left in the state, restoration efforts at the Highland Farm Preserve may prove to be critical to the species survival in Maine.
Photo caption: Highland Farm Preserve view overlooking the York River. (Photo by Karen Arsenault)

Blue Star Service Banner Presented to Mother of Three Servicemen

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the American Legion reestablished a tradition dating back to World War I, when banners were given to parents as an unofficial symbol that they had a child in active military service. The blue star on the flag represents one family member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and a banner can have up to five stars.
While many one and two star service banners have been given out over the years, it is very rare for a parent to have three or more children serving simultaneously in the service.
The members of Charles S. Hatch Post #79 recently presented a “3” Star Service Banner to Ms. Tracy Steeves of Cape Neddick, Maine. Tracy has three sons serving on active duty in the Air National Guard, the Army and the Marine Corps, respectively. They are: Staff Sgt Jeffrey Greenlaw, currently stationed at Pease International Trade Port in Portsmouth, NH; SPEC4 Jake Greenlaw, currently serving at Ft. Drum, NY and Pvt Jared Greenlaw, stationed at Camp LaJune, NC.
The members of Charles S. Hatch Post #79 salute Jeffrey, Jake and Jared for their patriotism and service and thank Tracy for instilling in these young men the courage and character to serve our country.
Photo caption: Recently, members of Charles S. Hatch Post #79, The American Legion, presented a three Star Service Banner to Ms. Tracy Steeves. Shown from left to right: Post Commander Ronald Vigue, Tracy’s mother Ginny, Tracy and her father, Mr. Warren Steeves. (Photo by Robert Place)

USS Pasadena Arrives in Portsmouth

Attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and her crew of 18 officers and 126 enlisted personnel arrived recently at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
While at the Shipyard, Pasadena will complete various maintenance work and several system upgrades. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is committed to maximizing the material readiness of the Fleet by ensuring every ship is ready to respond to the Navy’s missions.
Pasadena is the U.S. Navy’s second “Improved” Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine. Originally assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Pasadena conducted an inter-fleet transfer in October 1990 to San Diego, Calif. and became an integral part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force. In April 1996, Pasadena changed homeports to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where she was assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron Seven.
Throughout the submarine’s proud and illustrious 20-year history, Pasadena has conducted operations in virtually every part of the Pacific Ocean, from the west coasts of North and South America to Australia. Pasadena’s participation in exercises with various foreign navies from around the Pacific Rim has produced numerous firsts for U.S. nuclear-powered submarines and solidified the United States’ important role in international maritime operations.
Pasadena’s Commanding Officer, Commander Luis Molina, earned a bachelor’s of science in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Commissioned in May 1993, Cmdr. Molina reported to USS Grayling (SSN 646). During this tour, he completed two Eastern Pacific deployments, a Mediterranean deployment, and a ship inactivation. Cmdr. Molina then served as an instructor at Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit, Charleston, S.C., where he was assigned as a Shift Engineer and Staff Training Officer.
Cmdr. Molina then reported to USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) as the Combat Systems Officer in November 2000. During this tour, he completed a Western Pacific deployment.
In January 2003, he reported as the initial manning Engineer Officer, PCU Hawaii (SSN 776), and was reassigned in November 2003 as Engineer Officer on board USS Virginia (SSN 774). In August of 2005 Cmdr. Molina attended the Naval War College, Newport, RI where he graduated with distinction and earned a master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies and certification as a Joint Planner.
In March 2007, Cmdr. Molina reported to USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (BLUE) as Executive Officer, completing two strategic deterrent patrols. Following this tour, in December 2008, Cmdr. Molina reported to Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, where he served as a future Operations Joint Planner.
On July 22, 2011, Cmdr. Molina assumed command of USS Pasadena (SSN 752).
Pasadena’s host community is the town of Eliot, Maine.