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.