Friday, February 10, 2012

Boston’s Chronicle Travels to Maine Diner

By Joe Hebert

Staff Columnist


Popular news magazine show, Chronicle, visited Wells, Maine, landmark, The Maine Dinner, on Wednesday, February 8, as a part of their news feature, “A Tank Away.”

“A Tank Away” is a running news segment that allows Chronicle to highlight great getaways that will only cost Boston-area residents a tank of gas. And, at a mere hour-or-so drive away from the city, The Maine Diner certainly qualifies for this interesting segment.

Since its foundation in 1983, the Diner has become one of southern Maine’s preeminent vacation destinations. The restaurant was co-owned by Myles and Dick Henry for 28 years until Myles’ passing in December 20120. Since then, Dick has strove to maintain the legacy and reputation that the family worked so hard to create. After reaching many milestones through their hard work at the restaurant, it’s the icing on the cake to know that Dick and his dedicated staff have been able to both maintain Myles’ dream and further the Diner’s legacy. All of which helped to make their most recent success, a spotlight on the Boston-based news show Chronicle, a great start to the New Year.

With quite the turnaround, Ted Reinstein—full-time Chronicle correspondent and weekly online-columnist for the—and his crew arrived in Wells early in the afternoon this past Wednesday. Settling in to a cozy corner booth, Reinstein discussed with Dick the true allure of a real authentic diner in such a popular tourist destination.

Besides for filming their discussion for the popular news show, Dick gave Reinstein and his crew the opportunity to try some of their famous “Lobster Pie,” a dish that Dick’s wife, Sally Henry, swears is the best she’s ever had. Reinstein responded with a quick, “Twist my arm…” The family’s secret recipe serves up tender chunks of fresh lobster—something you would be hard-pressed to find outside of the Seacoast—mixed together with delicious stuffing, and ultimately baked to perfection.

The air-date for the segment has yet to be announced, but in continuing with the storied legacy that Myles and Dick have created, it’s easy to expect other great opportunities for this historic Wells institution.

Chronicle airs weeknights at 7:30pm on Cannel 5 Boston. The Maine Diner open daily at 7am and is located at 2265 Post Rd., Wells.

Photo Caption: Pictured is Ted Reinstein (left) of Chronicle and Maine Diner owner, Dick Henry.

York Lady Wildcats Raise $16K Toward Breast Cancer Awareness


For the second year in a row, the York High School Girls Basketball Team’s “Hoops for a Cure” event helped motivate the entire community, raising over $16,000 for the Breast Cancer Living Well Program at York Hospital.

The event, described as “part winter carnival, part sporting event, part food festival and part fundraiser,” featured a Free Throw Shootout and an evening of entertainment. The night’s events included dozens of raffle baskets donated by York sport teams, along with many silent auction items, the popular "chuck-a-duck" and three basketball games against Traip Academy. In between, the spectators were treated to a show by York’s fourth grade dribbling teams with a dinner and dessert donated by Ruby’s Wood Grill and York Hospital's Dining Room.

Jud Knox, President of York Hospital, was “thrilled with the overwhelming turnout and enthusiastic support shown that evening by the girls…coaches, parents and certainly the other teams who contributed immeasurably to the evening’s success.”

The money they raised will help to support the hospital’s Breast Cancer Living Well programs, designed to improve the quality of life for women diagnosed with, undergoing treatment for and recovering from breast cancer. These funds support programs, services and support systems, including rehabilitation exercise programs, integrative therapies like massage, Reiki and Art Hope, emergency funds for gas and food, assistance with prosthetics, etc.

For more information about York Hospital’s Breast Cancer Living Well Program, contact 207-351-2385 or

Photo Caption: York Hospital representatives receive check for $16,000 at the recent Hoops For A Cure event at York High School: (left to right) Boys' Varsity Coach Randy Small, Susan Kelly Westman, Laurie Knox, Girls' Varsity Coach Rick Clark, Crystal Butler RN, Jud Knox, Amanda Demetri Lewis DO, Addie LaBonte, Karen Cribby, Kira Wendorf MD, Andrea Mountford, Ruby Cribby, Robin LaBonte, Marquis MacGlashing, Emily Campbell

Oscar Season 2012 Has Arrived!

By Chip Schrader

Staff Columnist

As spring approaches, film buffs and movie fans alike have an annual event to look forward to that rivals the Christmas season DVD releases in November. The Oscars are quickly arriving, and it’ll delight many to hear names like Scorsese and Clooney mentioned. Conversely, though, is the hoopla surrounding two relatively new and unknown movies. One of which is a modern, nearly 100 percent-silent film from Harvey and Bob Weinstein. The second film is the English-American adaptation of one of the most successful novels of the last two years.

Martin (Marty) Scorsese was featured on CBS Sunday Morning two weeks ago implying that fatherhood has perhaps has mellowed him over the last few years. His wife suggested that Marty make a film that their daughter could watch, which ultimately resulted in Scorsese’s first real foray into three-dimensional cinema—Hugo, a family-friendly film based upon the children’s book, “The Adventures of Hugo Cabaret.”

The book itself boasts amazing visual elements that undoubtedly helped to inspire and challenge Scorsese to transition the story into film. The test—come Oscar-time—will be whether the Academy prefers the angry Scorsese of The Departed or the kid-friendly Scorsese that’s emerged this past year. Scorsese has competition for the Director category, though, as he is just one director amongst a staggering eleven nominations for Best Direction.

The Oscars began in 1929, just one year after the true end of the silent film era in 1928. French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist is the first full-length feature silent film to enter the Oscar race in several decades. After winning big at the Screen Actors Guild Award, Hazanavicius could very well the one to beat come Sunday, February 26—though, it should be said that Scorsese received the award at this year’s Golden Globes. Regardless, though, of past awards this season, it seems pretty divisive between the two-time Oscar-winning director the relatively unseasoned Hazanavicius.

The Artist is an evocation of an era that audiences can probably identify as the Roaring Twenties—complete with a stock market crash. Taking place in the final years of the silent film industry, Artist focuses upon silent-film star George Valentin—who fears that he will vanish from the public eye as the motion picture industry abandons silent film in favor of sound. Conversely, the film also focuses upon an up-and-rising starlet named Peppy Miller. The dichotomy between the two provides a solid plot point through the duration of the film. Inspired by silent film legend Rudolph Valentino, known simply as “Valentino,” Hazanavicius’ film has arrived at quite the appropriate time—considering the influx of horribly produced 3D-films like Clash of The Titans.

The Help, adapted from Katherine Stockett’s tremendously successful novel of the same name, has come out of almost nowhere as one of the Oscar favorites. Detailing the story of southern housemaids during the 1950s and 60s, The Help highlights the plight of women who helped to raise generations of southern children. After the cast’s recent numerous honors at the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes, the film is being touted as the one to beat—especially in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. The Help stands to win a fairly large percentage of their nominations, with Viola Davis for Best Actress, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain both for Best Supporting Actress, and the film itself up for Best Picture.

With film nominations running the gamut of family-friendly 3D fare to one writer’s experience in 1920s Paris—but, only at midnight—it really is anyone’s guess on which way the Academy will lean. With a wide variety of actors and directors nominated for their work, it’s impossible to say who deserves the award more than their peers—though with seasoned actors and directors facing off with young ingĂ©nues, it’s sure to be an exciting race.

The 84th annual Academy Awards air Sunday, February 26, at seven o’clock on AB

“Float Out” Planned for Memorial Bridge


The first major event associated with the demolition of the Memorial Bridge that crosses the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, was schedules to take place during the daytime hours of Wednesday, February 8, with the possibility of continuing into the morning hours of Thursday, February 9.

Weather permitting and barge setup, the removal and “float out” of the lift span of the nearly 90-year old lift bridge is expected to take place between February 8 and 9. The operation—as high tide approaches—will involve the use of a barge upon which the estimated two million pound truss lift span will rest after it is disconnected from cables that support it. The barge “Cape Cod” will likely be put into place between 8am and 1pm on February 8, while the actual float-out will likely take place in the following 16-hours. The barge will then be floated out of the channel, secured near the New Hampshire shoreline, and then floated down the Piscataqua River.

The public is welcome to observe the lift span removal and “float out” operations from safe nearby locations. While the work zone itself is not open to the public, good views can be obtained from Prescott Park, Badger Island, Four Tree Island and Peirce Island. Interested persons are asked to be especially careful when driving near the bridge location as an increased number of pedestrians are expected.

Archer Western Contractors, of Canton, Massachusetts, is the general contractor for the $81.4 million project, which has a completion date of July 2013 to open the new bridge to vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Estes Oil Celebrates Fifty Years

By Larry Favinger

Staff Columnist


Fifty years ago, the late Clarence Estes worked out a deal with two local oil companies to handle their burner repair work, thus establishing Estes Oil Burner Service.

“That’s how Estes Oil Company started,” Michael Estes, Clarence’s son and now president of the businesses, said early this week, sitting in his office at its Route 1 building.

Now, 50 years later, the business is in its third generation, employs 17 fulltime people, has five oil delivery trucks, two propane trucks and covers an area that includes the Seacoast of New Hampshire to Kennebunk and Sanford.

Michael Estes, flanked by his daughter, Kate (Estes) Cavanagh, the company’s service manager, said the company now services approximately 5,000 people.

Company growth has been steady over the years. Estes Oil bought their first oil truck in 1981 and its initial propane truck in 2005.

Michael said the business has grown from about $50,000 at the start to over $10 million at its high point. “When we took this company on I probably had a base of 50 or 60 customers that signed on for oil with us.”

As a teenager Michael worked with his father, but decided it was “not something I’d be interested in” once out of school. Upon graduating from York High School he went to work for Watts Regulator.

But in January of 1987 he joined his Dad and six months later they bought their first truck.

Two years later they hired their first employee and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kate’s entry into the business was a bit like her Dad’s, in that she wasn’t interested when graduating from York High School. She went to the University of Vermont to study to be a physical therapist.

“Two years into school I realized I didn’t like blood and I didn’t want to be a doctor and changed my major,” Kate said. She graduated from UVM with a major in mathematics and a minor in business.

Upon graduation, she said, “I was still on the fence” and went to work for a catering company for about six months. But when her Dad came to her and said he had a place for her, she thought she’d “give it a whirl.” She’s been with the company since 2009.

Over the years, Michael said, “We’ve tried to stay a full service oil company. I like to tell people I built this company from the basement. I mean I went in and fixed your burner, put in your heat.”

The business was also built on one-on-one service.

“There was a time when I could answer the phone and 90 percent of the people would tell me their name and I could drive to their house,” he said.

Kate said there’s a lot of training involved in the business and it, unlike many others, is really a generational business. “It’s really a family affair here,” she said, noting her mother, Terry, is a secretary/treasurer.

Over the years Michael has been active in town affairs, having served with many civic groups including the School Committee, Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Recreation Committee, and Budget Committee.

Looking down the road as the company moves into its second 50 years, Michael sees more changes in the business with the continued improvement in burners, the inclusion of the bio-fuels and other moves to make burning oil a greener proposition.

“I think our future is strong,” he concluded.