Friday, June 29, 2012

Air Show Offers Sky Delights, Airplane Pull for Wounded Warriors

United States Navy Blue Angels, flying inverted (courtesy photo)
By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist

PORTSMOUTH – The sky will be filled with modern and historic aircraft this weekend as Pease International Airport welcomes the Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show.
The annual aerial extravaganza will be headlined for the second time in three years by the United States Navy Blue Angels and will also feature some of the most renowned War Birds of World War II vintage. These planes include a Navy F4U-5 Corsair, a P-51 Mustang, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, and a TBM-3E Avenger.
The show is produced by the Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America, and the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire, which, along with more than thirty other local not-for-profit groups, will benefit from it. The show is scheduled at Pease Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1, and will be a fitting start to Fourth of July week.
According to a show spokesperson, the F4U-5 Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter primarily during WWII and Korea. Daniel McCue, who was born in Maine and raised in New Hampshire, will be flying the aircraft. McCue has been an air show performer for more than twenty-five years. The P-51 is an American made long-range single-seat fighter aircraft. This plane celebrates the nation’s armed forces. Each paint feature on it represents and honors those who have served our country and who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Father and son team Bill and Scott “Scooter” Yoak spent thirteen years working to make this Mustang a reality.
The Disabled American Veterans Flight Team brings the B-25  to this year’s show. The B-25, probably remembered as the plane used in the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, Japan seventy years ago, shares a mission with DAV - reminding people of the sacrifices veterans make for freedom. DAV representatives will be on hand throughout the weekend to meet and greet veterans and answer questions about DAV benefits.
The Avenger is a torpedo bomber that made its debut at the Battle of Midway during World War II. These unique acts join the Blue Angels and the show’s second jet demonstration team, the Black Diamond Jet Team.
Other performers include the U.S. Army Parachute Team “Golden Knights”, air show legend Sean D. Tucker, aerobatic superstar Michael Goulian, Wingwalker Jane Wicker and the KC-135 Stratotanker.
And while the United States Navy Blue Angels perform their high-flying act in the sky, hundreds of participants will be on the ground helping support our nation’s wounded warriors.  The show will host the VW Pull for Wounded Warriors July 1 at the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease. The VW Pull for Wounded Warriors will raise funds to benefit the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire (BIANH).
The VW Pull for Wounded Warriors is a giant tug-of-war where teams of up to twenty-five members pull an enormous aircraft weighing more than 130,000 pounds.  Previous teams have consisted of co-workers, college students, sports teams, military units, and other groups that wish to have fun and support the BIANH.  Teams need to register for the pull and must raise $1,500 to participate.  BIANH hopes to raise at least $50,000 at the Service Credit Union Boston – Portsmouth Air Show.
These are but a few of the attractions coming to the show. Fans can receive performer updates via social media on and
Advanced general admission for the show is $20 for adults and $15 for youth ages 6-11. Ticket prices will increase to $25 for adults and $20 for youth the week of the event. There is a $10 fee for parking. There are several premium seating options and private chalets that include VIP parking passes available for purchase in advance. All tickets can be purchased at

Local Beach Towns Named New England’s Best

Ogunquit was named the best beach town in New England, with Kennebunkport, York, and Old Orchard Beach also making the top twenty.
“We are honored,” said Karen Arel, president of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce. “We know about the beauty of this place, and now the world knows. We have wonderful people who live and work here, and we just open our hearts to visitors.”
Yankee Magazine’s July/August  2012 issue names the top beach towns in New England. To determine the winners, writer Stephen Jermanok and Yankee’s editors researched, visited, and rated New England beach towns on a 0 to 10 point scale in fourteen categories including: picturesque quality, thriving town center, traffic, parking, clam shacks/ice cream stands, lodging, shopping, rainy day activities, accessibility, public access to beaches, natural life, solitude, kid-friendly, and water temperature. Ogunquit, Maine, won with the highest total score of 115 points. Kennebunkport (#7), York Beach (#11) and Old Orchard Beach (#17) also made the list. New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach is ranked #19.
“To determine the 25 best beach towns in New England, we asked which beachfront communities offer the quintessential summer joys of unfurling a blanket on sand, listening to the waves and jumping them—and then, sun-kissed and eager for sundown, strolling the streets, and poking into shops,” says Yankee’s editor Mel Allen. “Which places give you the wonderful experience of a blissful summer day stretching slowly into the next, and the next?  We’ve ranked towns according to 14 criteria, ranging from the availability of essential ‘beach food’ (like ice cream and fried clams) to how close the beach is to town to the accessibility of lodging for all budgets.”

The following towns are included on the list:
11. York Beach, Maine

Football Coach Hosts 16 Senate Pages from Across Country

Sixteen Senate pages from across the country joined Sean Roche and family in Wells Beach (Cindy Roche photo)
WELLS – As a football coach, Tim Roche is used to dealing with line-ups and formations. Those personnel skills came in handy this week as his family hosted sixteen students from across the country. They all served as pages for the United States Senate this past year, and were in Wells Beach for a reunion with Roche’s son, Sean, a page sponsored by Senator Olympia Snowe.
Sean applied to be a page early last year, but there are so many applicants for the thirty positions available across the country that he didn’t figure he would be selected. Sean, who used to play football for his dad, was in Washington when Wells won the high school football state championship last fall. He spent September 1 through February 1 in Washington, where he stayed at a dorm called Daniel Webster Hall with the other pages. They attended school from 6 to 9 a.m. each day before heading to the Capitol for the day’s work.
Tim and Cindy Roche hosted the sixteen pages at their family beach house at the corner of Church and Gilman Streets in Wells for four days. The students represented fifteen different states. They are all going to be seniors this fall. They spent time at Wells Beach, Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, and Kennebunkport. The Roches had a lobster bake for them and taught them how to eat lobster. They took a lobster cruise on the Finestkind and visited the Bush compound at Walker’s Point.
The pages were ecstatic to be back together again, Cindy Roche said, and the parents enjoyed listening to the kids talk politics.
“He didn’t have huge political aspirations when he went down there,” Tim said. “But when he came back he did. He’d like to be a senator from Maine one day, or maybe president.”
The following students stayed in Maine last week: JR Miller, Ohio, Lea Graber, South Dakota, Liam Haviv, Arizona, Mitchell Bustillo, Texas, Chloe Barz, New Jersey, Susanna Billings, Vermont, Shawn Allen, Kentucky, Matt Haarer, Michigan, Ian Trotta, Illinois, Gretta Schultz, Wisconsin, Helen Hathaway, Arkansas, Kristina Biddle, Delaware, Karin Fuller, Utah, Hunter Moak, Louisiana, Shelby Oney, Kentucky, and Maddie Twomey, the other Mainer who lives in South Portland.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Maine Diner Serves 6 Millionth Customer

Sally and Dick Henry, of the Maine Diner, pose with Clyde Raymond Curry, their 6 millionth customer, as he pretends to take a call from the White House. (Photo by Tim Gillis)
By Timothy Gillis
Staff Columnist

The Maine Diner on Route 1 in Wells served its six millionth meal Wednesday to Clyde Raymond Curry, a retired ATF agent from Dover, New Hampshire. Curry reveled in the attention, while he ate with four friends. “I can really ham this up,” he said, as photographers vied to get a good shot in the packed restaurant.
Dick Henry, owner for 29 years, offered Curry a smorgasbord of prizes, including ham, steak, turkey, gift cards, and a golf bag. Curry also drew the names of the $1,000 AAA travel voucher winners – Kati and John Maiuccoro, regulars to the Maine Diner from Albany, New York, who summer at their house in Kennebunkport.
Open since 1983, the classic blue-and-white diner is a local landmark on Route 1. With their devoted staff of seventy-five employees serving up equal parts of great food and warm hospitality, the diner has become famous around the world. Dick’s brother, Myles, a co-owner who passed away in December of 2010, always said, “We’re often imitated, but never duplicated.”
It took the Maine Diner twelve years to hit the one-million customer mark, but it has averaged a million customers every three-and-a-half years since then. Among its most recent accolades, the diner was named “Favorite Diner in New England” by Yankee magazine in 2011. The diner also earned the Phantom Gournet’s rating of a “90,” making it one of about seventy restaurants our of 2,500 rated in New England to earn such a high score.

First Glimpse Inside Famous Maine Author’s House

By Larry Favinger
(photo by Jeffrey Stevensen)
Staff Columnist

KENNEBUNKPORT – The home of celebrated Maine author Kenneth Roberts will be open for public view starting Saturday, June 23, at this year’s Designer Show House sponsored by the Kennebunkport Historical Society.
Roberts, who was born in December 1885 in Kennebunk and died in Kennebunkport in July 1951, built Rocky Pastures in 1938. It has never before been open to the public.
The house will be open for tours through July 12. It is a major fund-raiser for the historical society.
This is the first show house sponsored by the society and is “a big undertaking” for the group, according to Susan Edwards, the society’s executive director.
The estate will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be closed July 4.
Tickets are available at the Kennebunkport Historical Society or online at The cost is $20 per person.
Designers taking part in the show house have been assigned one of the twelve rooms or a portion of the grounds to decorate. The designers come from throughout New England.
The eighteen firms include Aisthesis, All About Kitchens and Baths, Anniebell’s, Coastal Organizing, Dan Viehmann Landscaping, Days Gone By Interiors, Fiore Interiors, Frank Hodge Interiors, Interiors with Provenance, Krista Stokes, Paula Rossouw, Snug Harbor Farm, Spaces, TJ’s at the Sign of the Goose, Well Dressed Interiors, Wright Interiors, and King’s Wharfe.
“Some are paying tribute to Kenneth Roberts,” Edwards said. As an example, in the living room there will be “a collection of books” that Roberts had in his own library, including those he authored. “There is a very period feel.”
Roberts built the estate in 1938 after writing  “Arundel,” “Rabble In Arms,” and “Northwest Passage.”
The latter book was the story of Roger’s Rangers and was made into an MGM motion picture in 1940 starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young and Walter Brennan.
“Kenneth Roberts was an intensely private man,” Edwards said in a prepared release. “This is a very rare opportunity for the public to see this historic home and to enjoy the stunning work of these designers.”
Rocky Pastures burned in 1976 and was “rebuilt but not actually as Kenneth Roberts built it,” Edwards said, but in the same footprint as the original structure.
The show house activities begin with an Opening Night Soiree Saturday (June 22) under a tent on the estate grounds from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be catered by Kitchen Chicks with entertainment provided by the Chris Humphrey Trio.
Shuttle transportation will be provided from the Consolidated School in Kennebunkport. Tickets are $60 for Kennebunkport Historical Society members and $75 for non-members and are available at the Historical Society at 25 North Street, Kennebunkport, 207-967-2751.
Other activities scheduled include a Lunch & Learn Series at noon on three separate dates.
On Monday, June 25, Joyce Butler, historian, archivist/curator, and writer, will explore the colorful personality of Roberts and chronicle his life in her presentation on Kenneth Roberts: The Man  at The Colony Hotel.
On Monday, July 2, food historian and writer Sandy Oliver, will highlight Roberts’ interest in food in her presentation about Kenneth Roberts’ Chapter on Food in His Trending Into Maine,  also held at The Colony Hotel.
The final Lunch & Learn will be held at the Nonantum Resort with etiquette specialist Andrea Pastore providing thoughtful and useful solutions to various etiquette situations in Navigating a Place Setting.
The $45 ticket for each session includes admission to the Show House, lunch, and the speaking event. Tickets are available at the Historical Society.

Town Clock Dedication Ceremony Set

The Wells Rotary Club is pleased to announce a Dedication Ceremony for the Town Clock on Saturday, June 23,  at 11 a.m.   The Clock is located at the park adjacent to the Wells Fire Station at the intersection of Routes 1 and 109.  Members of the public are cordially invited to attend.
The Clock project was started in 2010 under the auspices of the Gateway to Wells/ Route 1 Beautification.  The Wells Rotary raised approximately $40,000 through private donations, Rotary funds and site work donated by the Town of Wells.    
The Wells Rotary has a rich history within the community as the lead on local fundraising projects such as the Wells Activity Center, Wells Harbor Park Pavilion, Wells High School Concession Stand, and the Wells Parks and Recreation Pavilion.  They have doubled scholarship charitable donations to the Wells High School and the York County Community College.  The Wells Rotary Club meets for breakfast every Monday at 7:30 a.m at the Coastal House on Route 1 in Wells.
Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.  In more than 200 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 Rotary clubs.  The main objective of Rotary is service - in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.  The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Two Towns Receive Special Recognition for Efforts Combating Obesity

Louise Cole Anderson and Sharon Brassard of the South Berwick Recreation Department and Natalie Gould of Eliot Community Service Department receive Redy awards from Sue Patterson of the Choose To Be Healthy Partnership (courtesy photo)
Sharon Brassard and Louise Cole Anderson of South Berwick Recreation and Natalie Gould of Eliot CSD received “Redy” awards at the recent Choose To Be Healthy Annual Meeting. All three serve on the Choose To Be Healthy Community Health Action Team that implemented an obesity prevention program called Let’s Go 5210 throughout the Eliot and South Berwick community this past year.
Choose To Be Healthy received a prestigious American Medical Association Healthy Living grant of $4000 last fall. The goal of the Action Team was to provide training to community partners and have partners implement strategies that promote healthier eating and more physical activity for children. Partners included Eliot Elementary School, Central School, Marshwood Great Works School, Little Buddies Family Child Care, South Berwick Recreation, Eliot CSD and Great Works Family Practice.
The Let’s Go 5210 model has four important daily messages: five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less recreational screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks with an emphasis on drinking water and low fat or skim milk.
The strategies chosen by the partners were providing healthy choices for snacks and celebrations and to provide opportunities for children to get physical activity every day.
A survey assessing parents’ knowledge and implementation of Let’s Go 5210 strategies was distributed in May with 172 parents providing feedback. Sixty seven percent are familiar with the Let’s Go 5210 message and 78 percent have implemented healthy behaviors at home.
Choose To Be Healthy (CTBH) is one of twenty-seven local Healthy Maine Partnerships that work to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease and substance abuse. CTBH staff, members and partners work in the towns of Berwick, Eliot, Kittery, North Berwick, South Berwick, Wells, Ogunquit, Lebanon, and York.
Choose To Be Healthy is largely funded with tobacco settlement money from the Fund for a Healthy Maine through the Maine DHHS (Maine CDC and Office of Substance Abuse) and DOE. Additional financial and in-kind support comes from federal and state grants, foundations, local organizations and our lead agency, York Hospital. For more information, please contact Sue Patterson at 439-9473 or visit our website at
The AMA Foundation is committed to improving the health of Americans through philanthropic support of quality programs in public health and medical education. Visit to learn more.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bush Family Holds Birthday Bash, Visits Namesake Ship

(courtesy photo)
By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
OFF KENNEUNKPORT – The crew of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) got a special treat Sunday when two former Presidents, including the ship’s namesake, came on board for a visit.
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush (41) and George W. Bush (43) took part in special ceremonies and their party toured the Navy’s newest carrier as it lay off Kennebunkport near Martin’s Point, summer home of the Bush family.
“It’s a great honor to be out here,” said George H.W. Bush. “I’m thrilled to be on this vessel that bears my name, and I’m very proud of all of those that re-upped for the service to our great country.”
One of the activities aboard the ship was a mass reenlistment, enlisted advancements, and officer promotions ceremony.
“Today we are honored to have our namesake available to reenlist 77 George H.W. Bush Sailors, promote seven officers to the next rank, and advance Sailors through our Command Advancement Program (CAP),” said Capt. Brian E. Luther, the ship’s commanding officer. “They are the true spirit of this great ship, and as with their namesake, represent the past, the present and the future of our Navy.”
George H.W. Bush was a naval aviator during World War II and was shot down during action in the Pacific. He was 19 at the time of his commissioning and was, at the time, the youngest Naval aviator in the history of the service.
According to Navy spokesmen, Doro Bush Koch, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and other members of the Bush family accompanied the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier during a scheduled training evolution to encourage the crew and heighten their morale.
According to the ship’s web site, the keel for the USS George H.W. Bush was laid in September 2003 and she was commissioned in October of 2006. The carrier is 1,092 feet in length, nearly as long as the Empire State Building is high.
 Following the ceremony, both former presidents took time for photographs with the crew before George W. Bush and family members toured the ship.
The spokesman said that for many crewmembers, this was not only their first opportunity to meet the ship’s namesake, but also two former U.S. presidents.
 “I have been in the Navy for five years and this is something that will go down as one of the top moments of my life,” said Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Zachery McKenzie.
“It’s an honor to be reenlisted by our ship’s namesake. Not many people can say they’ve been re-enlisted by a President. It’s rare.”
The ship is currently in the Atlantic Ocean training for upcoming inspections and certifications.
The helicopter trip to the ship is one of several special occasions for the Bush family during the last week. Friday was Barbara Bush’s 87th birthday and former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 88th birthday Tuesday. He invited 200 friends and family members to a special screening of the new HBO documentary "41," about his time in the White House. He was joined by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
The group watched the film at a makeshift theater built on the grounds of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, now known as the Kennebunkport Playhouse.

(Seaman Benjamin Kelly, public affairs mass communication specialist aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) contributed to this report.)

Strawberry Festival Features Food, Face-Painting & Hayrides

Anna Spiller on the potato planter that caused an eye injury recently (photo by Tim Gillis)
By Timothy Gillis

WELLS – The Wells Rotary Strawberry Festival will be held Saturday, June 16, at Spillers’ Farm, Route 9A, Branch Road, in Wells. Bill and Anna Spiller, who own the farm, say they have been getting ready for the festival for weeks now, and look forward to annual event. Jim Spiller, their son, started the festival five years ago when he was president of the rotary. He and his wife Jeannine own Spillers’ Farm Store, and they have also been gearing up, baking all the homemade biscuits and shortcakes that will be for sale to help raise money for local rotary projects. They will also be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage and peppers. And it continues to be a family affair, as their daughter, Michelle, will be doing free face-painting for children.
“She’s a (University of Maine at) Farmington grad, with a degree in early childhood education,” Jim Spiller said. “She’s awesome with the kids.”
Bill and Anna raise the berries and will be conducting the pick-your-own aspect of the festival. Also, they will be giving free hayrides on the hour, at 11 a.m., 12 noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
“The strawberries are early this year,” Anna said. “People have been picking their own here for more than a week.” The Spillers get up at 5 a.m. each day to begin the daily labors of life on a farm. They have a new chore, as well. There are two baby geese who joined the fourteen adults recently. Caring for them has added to the tasks, and made for some dangerous times, in fact.
“I hurt my ear when I was trying to help one of the babies through the fence,” Anna said. “The mother attacked me. Bill got hurt too when trying to get a goose out of the area. He smacked his head on the woodwork.”
Anna was popped a good one by the handle of a potato planter when hauling it out for re-use. Luckily, she had her safety goggles on, so the injury was minimized. They had put it away for the season, but needed to get it back out again when the local food pantry told them how much they would need. “We got the call, and I knew right away we would need to plant more,” Bill said. The Spillers donate food to the York County Shelter.
All the pain is worth it to the Spillers. “It’s all part of farming,” Anna said.
Folks attending the Festival should be prepared to park on grass. There will be parking attendants to help guide people to the pick-your-own area, as well as other Festival events.

2nd Annual Kittery Block Party Hits the Streets

(courtesy photo)
Once again the streets of downtown Kittery will be filled with thousands of people enjoying a variety of vendors, foods and entertainment as the 2012 Kittery Block Party kicks off on Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This year the block party is expanding into the evening with four venues featuring live music and dancing from 8 to 11 p.m.  This year’s Block Party theme is “Rock the Block” – and the KBP Committee is hoping that the community will do just that. 
Sponsored by Bob’s Clam Hut, York Hospital, Kennebunk Savings Bank, and The Black Birch, the Kittery Block Party is a celebration of local art, culture, and food that fosters lasting relationships and strengthens community in a fun neighborhood atmosphere, enjoyable to all ages. Proceeds from this year’s party will benefit Fair Tide Inc. and the Kittery Recreation Department.
Held in the heart of downtown Kittery Foreside, daytime Block Party activities will feature a Main Stage with a variety of live entertainers from 10:30 to 4:00, a special children’s area with a second entertainment stage along with games, spin art, sand art, balloon sculptures, face painting, an inflatable bounce house, and more; and a varied assortment of non-profit organizations, artists/artisans and food/commercial vendors.  There is no admission fee to attend any of the daytime events. 
Starting at 10:30 a.m., the Main Stage in will be ablaze with a sampling of the Seacoast’s finest entertainment.  The Tardy Brothers will kick off the morning with their amazing juggling.  Then our own Drika Overton of The Kittery Dance Hall will light up the stage along with the guys behind BUOY for a show that will command the attention of all ages.  If you haven’t seen them before, The Serfs with their Eastern Bloc accordion-driven rock quartet can’t be missed – you’ll be surfing for information on their next show before the sun goes down.  I-Level Reggae with Matt Jensen will rejuvenate the senses with their cool afro-cubano reggae sound as you saunter into the afternoon.  Continuing the cool notes, Watkinsonic will take you where you need to be with their pop sound cultivated with jazz, r&b, and soul qualities.  Last, but certainly not least, One Hand Free will bring you to your feet as you feel the touch of the hand of rock.
The evening will see four venues hosting more music and dancing: The Kittery Dance Hall, BUOY, the 2nd Christian Congregational United Church of Christ, and the former Masonic Hall.  Tickets are $10 and will give you access to all four venues.  The entertainment line-up can be found on the website.   
Rian Bedard from EcoMovement will be on hand once again this year with recycling and composting stations throughout the Block Party.  All vendors are to utilize compostable and recyclable materials to make this a Zero Waste event.
The Rice Public Library will feature a Memorial Bridge photographic retrospective through the month of June. This show will feature images of the Memorial Bridge spanning its 89 years.  For more information go to
Anyone interested in booth space can go to, e-mail or call 207-439-3800 for further information.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Seacoast Ride Helps Orphanage Near Completion in Grand Guave, Haiti.

Bowdoin College participants are among many friends, families and schools from around the state who participate in the "Annual Beach Bike Ride for Charity" at Wells Beach.   The ride has become a huge success as it enters its third year. (courtesy photo)
The 3rd Annual Beach Bike Ride for Charity will held on Saturday, June 16, at 7 a.m. The ten-mile ride will begin and end at Wells Beach Harbor, at the end of Atlantic Avenue. Refreshments will be served at the finish. The cost for registration is only $35 per person. Free parking will be available at the Wells Beach Harbor until 9 a.m.
The event is a bicycle ride, not a race and is for the enjoyment of all bicycle enthusiasts ages 12 and older. Folks can join in the fun by riding, becoming a donor or volunteering to help work during the ride.
“The Beach Bike Ride has become a great event for all who join in,“ said Mike Fairweather, an event volunteer. “We hope that people from Wells and all surrounding communities will join together for this great cause.”
Last year 100 riders and sponsor/donors generated over $11,000 for the “Be Like Brit Fund” in memory of Wells summer resident, Britney Gengel, a Lynn University student who was tragically killed in the Haiti earthquake. Britney’s family, friends and community are building the “Be Like Brit Orphanage” in her honor in Grand Guave, Haiti. Construction is scheduled for completion in December, 2012 thanks to the generosity of so many.
“Britney loved growing up on Wells Beach” said her mom, Cherylann Gengel. “We are very grateful to all who are helping us honor her memory.”
The ten-mile route will be well marked with water stops along the way. It will start and finish at the Wells Harbor and go to the end of Ocean Avenue (Moody/Ogunquit Beach) and then return.
Donations may be made online or by check mailed to “Beach Bike Ride for Charity” PO Box 68, Wells, ME 04090.
The first 100 riders to register online will receive a free T shirt. Complete ride information and promotional materials for downloading may be found at

Central School Gets Grant for “Arts Tell a Story”

Schools across the country are currently facing budget cuts, which leaves many arts and cultural programs by the wayside. However, the Central School, an elementary school in South Berwick, finds ways year after year to make sure their Fine Arts Celebration remains an annual tradition.
The theme of this year’s celebration was “The Arts Tell A Story”, and PreK to 3rd grade students learned how to express stories through movement, song, art, theater and expression. The school also brought in guest artists to help facilitate students’ learning. Vicki Stewart, principal of Central School, worked closely with volunteers and pursued a $5,000 grant through Bob's Discount Furniture’s Celebrate the Arts contest in order to continue the school’s tradition of cultural development.
“This is an easy way for schools to get a chance to win money,” said Cathy Poulin, outreach director at Bob’s Discount Furniture. “This is our 8th year, trying to let community schools know that programs are being cut everywhere, with arts usually the first to go. We give $5,000 awards to schools in nine different states.
The staff at Central School really came together to make this year’s Fine Arts Celebration an interdisciplinary event. Tina Polichronopoulos, a librarian, Kate Smith, a music teacher, Kristan Tiede, a physical education teacher, and Casey Everett, an art teacher worked collaboratively with students, teachers, and parents on this year’s seven-day celebration, whose theme is “The Arts Tell a Story.”
“We found out about the grant opportunity and told our parents. Actually, it was a parent whose name was drawn to win,” Smith said. “This was the first year we didn’t have to actively look for a grant because we won the $5,000 so early.”
The group added eleven artists and musicians and six staff members to work with the kids all during the week of the Celebration. There were fourteen activities at the school and the Town Hall. “The focus was to give the kids kinesthetic opportunities. These kids learn by doing,” Smith said. “Students who tend to be very quiet were benefiting just as much. It really gave them a way out of their shells, to be recognized for their strengths. This grant makes for great opportunities for Maine students.”

Local Author Speaks about Overcoming Abuse

Katherine Mayfield, local author, will discuss her memoir at York Public Library (courtesy photo)

How can a person recover from the strain of coping with a dysfunctional family and create a more authentic life?  Award-winning local author Katherine Mayfield will answer this question and talk about her caregiving experience and her new memoir, “The Box of Daughter: Overcoming a Legacy of Emotional Abuse,” at the York Public Library on Tuesday, June 12, at 7 p.m.  Books will be available for purchase following the author’s presentation.
”We all live in boxes, letting ourselves be defined by the limits others place on us, as well as those we place on ourselves. The boxes keep us from living fully, from making choices that are right for us, and from experiencing our own strength and power,” Mayfield said. “I grew up in a dysfunctional family, with fundamentalist, emotionally abusive parents who were raised during the Depression. I lived in an emotional and mental box practically from birth, creating my life and myself based on who my parents wanted me to be. But over the years, I've climbed out of the box and discovered who I was meant to be. Life is just incredible, outside the box of daughter.”
“The Box of Daughter” is a compassionate, inspiring portrayal of Mayfield’s quest to raise her self-esteem and create a more authentic life after growing up in a dysfunctional family.  Entering therapy in her thirties in response to a divorce, she began to unravel the threads of dysfunction in her family of origin.  More than a decade later, armed with the truth about her family, Katherine sought to understand the challenges her parents faced and to recover from the trauma they inflicted on her, while simultaneously acting as the family caregiver for her parents in their late 80s and early 90s.  After the deaths of her parents in 2005 and 2008, she began an inspiring journey to wholeness—developing self-esteem, uncovering her true self, and finally creating a life that is truly her own.
Mayfield, a former actress who appeared off-Broadway and on the daytime drama “Guiding Light,” said she started journaling while she was acting in her 20’s. “My first book, “Smart Actors, Foolish Choices,” came out as I was leaving the business,” she said.
“In our generation, we were all programmed to be a certain way, especially women. Writing “Box of Daughter” was a catharsis. When my parents passed away, I felt an incredible freedom to tell the truth about dysfunctional families and the stuff that goes on behind closed doors.”
Mayfield wrote poems in the 1990’s when she was going through the process of recovery. It was one of those poems that gave her the title for her memoir. “The poems just kind of came out of a feeling or an insight. They were written somewhere in the cosmos; I was just the conduit,” she said. “The memoir is more from my own experience.”
Mayfield urges readers to make it to the conclusion of her memoir. “That’s the most important part – the process of overcoming the abuse. I want my readers to know there is hope.” Mayfield said she has about four more books in her, all on similar topics. One she envisions will be on bullying.
The York Public Library is located at 15 Long Sands Road in York and is open on Tuesdays from 10 to 7, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 to 5, and on Saturdays from 10 to 2.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pumpkinman Triathlon Raises Money, Awareness

The Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival sponsored the Step Out to Stop Diabetes Walk at Marshwood Great Works School on May 24. Pumpkinman provided t-shirts and medals for the participants. The fourth and fifth grade students from Great Works raised $467 for the American Diabetes Association by walking or running laps of the half-mile trail on the school grounds for an hour. The event encouraged the students to remain in “constant motion” and promoted heath and fitness in addition to raising funds in the fight against diabetes.
Kyle Burnell, Pumpkinman Social Media Director, of South Berwick, commended the students for their efforts.
“It was special to see so many students supporting their community and the fight against diabetes,” he said. “These students are also working to improve their own health in the process of helping others and that is something we at Pumpkinman are thrilled to see,” Burnell elaborated.
Since its inception in 2007, the Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival has awarded and donated more than $150,000 back to the communities in Southern Maine. The Festival which takes place on September 8 and 9, 2012, hosts more than 1,100 multisport athletes and 2,000 spectators. Its success is due in part to the participation and volunteerism of over 250 local volunteers.

The Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival also recently awarded seven student athlete scholarships to Marshwood High School students.
Luke Fernandes, Eliot; Troy Pappas, Eliot; Megan Maguire, South Berwick; Sam Morrison, South Berwick;  Kate Pouliot, South Berwick; Natalia Bachelder, South Berwick; and Ryan Grogan, South Berwick, were all awarded the Fourth Annual Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival  Student Athlete Scholarship Award in the amount of $500.  These students displayed not only high academic achievements but also displayed leadership on the playing field and within their communities through their volunteer efforts.
Each recipient was a varsity level athlete for a minimum of two years, displayed an exemplary record of positive athletic and non-athletic citizenship through volunteerism, as well as success in the classroom. Event director, Kat Donatello, of Eliot, praised these local student athletes.
“In this very busy environment where so many students lose focus, it was exciting to see how diligent these seven students were in maintaining such high academic standards, as well as being incredible leaders on both the playing field and within their communities,” she said. (courtesy photo)

Safety Matters to Area Girl Scouts


Eighty-six Girl Scouts from York, Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick and Kennebunk recently attended “Safety Matters,” an event designed to help Daisy, Brownie and Junior girls earn the Girl Scout Safety Award. York Beach Fire Captain Ferris Boardman, along with Kittery Police Officers Jay Durgin, Chris Kondos and K-9 officer “Emma” presented a fun an informative evening explaining how girls can stay safe at home and how to make safe choices when encountering strangers and other outside influences.
Captain Boardman explained how fire alarms work and how important it is to make sure batteries are fresh and that alarms are properly maintained. “How many of you hear the smoke alarm at your house and say ‘It must be Dad cooking again?’” Boardman asked the girls. He explained that even if you think it might just be Dad burning toast, families should get in the habit of exiting the house and gathering at a predetermined “family meeting spot” in the yard to make sure everyone is safe.
In addition to demonstrating “Stop, Drop and Roll” and explaining what to do if someone were choking,  he also covered the importance of knowing where the emergency exits are in your home or in public buildings. He emphasized making sure emergency exits, especially in your home, are not blocked. Not only will the occupants of the home not be able to get out, but firefighters and rescue workers will not be able to get in to help. Sound advice.
Officer Chris Kondos discussed playground, school bus and bicycle safety, what to do if a stranger approaches or if you are lost in the woods or in a shopping mall. He emphasized that girls should know their home telephone number and street address, and the importance of having family contact information available. The contact information should include telephone numbers where parents can be reached including work and cell phone numbers as well as the phone numbers of trusted neighbors the girls could call if there were an emergency in the home and their parents were away. The Gundalow Service Unit, sponsor of the Girl Scout safety award event, provided each girl with a Family Contact packet to take home which also included a mini first aid kit for minor scrapes and burns.
While the girls were very attentive and interacted throughout each of the presentations, they were particularly interested in Emma the German Shepard K-9 officer. Emma’s “dad,” Officer Jay Durgin explained the search work Emma performs and her importance to the police department. He demonstrated how well she is able to find items, which generated many excited squeals from amazed girls (and adults). Emma was rewarded for her success with a special toy, which she absolutely loved.
(courtesy photo)

Silent Spring’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

This year, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its namesake’s seminal work, “Silent Spring.” Join the Refuge in its celebration kickoff on Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Refuge headquarters on 321 Port Road in Wells. Bring the whole family for guided tours along the Rachel Carson Trail, nature crafts, exhibits from local organizations, live animal demonstrations and performances from local artists. Make your own bird feeder, take home a tree to plant, explore the tidal critters touch tank, design your own nature-inspired t-shirt, learn about local flora and fauna, participate in the Wildlife Olympics, and more. Guided tours along the Carson Trail and events include Bird Identification at 7 a.m., Salt Marsh Ecology at 10 a.m., York Center for Wildlife’s “Raptors and Reptiles” live animal show from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Flora of Maine Walk at 1 p.m., a local 6th grader’s National History Day performance of “Reactions to Silent Spring and Reforms to the Environment” at 1:30 p.m., and the Sense of Wonder walk at 2 p.m.. Purchase sandwiches and baked goods from Borealis Breads.
If you would like to learn more about Silent Spring’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and Rachel Carson, visit for more information. (photo courtesy of wikipedia)