Category Archives: Maine stuff

Mainers to be thankful for | Portland Press Herald

As Mainers gather around loaded tables and greet family members who come from afar, we also take a moment to give thanks to those among us who give their time and their energy to the larger community, sharing their humanity and enriching the world around us. Here are 10 people who have worked diligently, often without recognition, to comfort, protect, nurture and inspire others who need a helping hand.

Read the rest of this story.

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Stalking Stephen King in Bangor, the world capital of horror | Independent

[Note: Can tell Mr. MacLeacheran must be “from away,” because he writes in the third paragraph the “northern Maine town of Bangor.” I was born and raised in The County. That’s northern Maine! I suppose we can all let it pass this time.]

By Mike MacLeacheran

“That’s where they found the eyeball in the fortune cookie,” says Stu Tinker, turning to point out a suburban Chinese restaurant from the window of his tour van. “Steve used to go with his wife Tabby to the Oriental Jade and it’s the inspiration for the scene in It. But you know he renamed it the Jade of the Orient, right?”

Stu Tinker is undeniably America’s biggest Stephen King fanboy, having owned a book shop for nine years that only sold titles by the horror author, and he’s once again stepped through the looking glass to chew over his favourite scene. It’s 9am on a dreary Saturday and we are sat in his van, the windscreen wipers adding a syncopated Psycho-like stab, while Stu obsesses over the devilish plot lines of It that lurk on the streets he grew up on.

The northern Maine town of Bangor is justifiably famous for its association with King, an author with more than 60 novels and close to 200 short stories, and it’s getting in the mood for two new film adaptations this summer. The first, The Dark Tower, starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, arrived last week while an updated version of his cult classic It (famous for Pennywise the clown, whose chuckling, rotten voice still scares the bejesus out of plenty of adults) is out next month. “The producers wanted to film the new It here,” says Stu, noticeably irritated. “But they couldn’t get the money together, so they shot in Ottawa instead. Still, Bangor is Derry.”

Read the rest of the story.

Portland rolls out new business center for immigrant entrepreneurs | MaineBiz

By Renee Cordese

As of this week, immigrant entrepreneurs in Portland have a modern workspace and business incubator at their disposal downtown.

The nonprofit Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, at 24 Preble St., officially opened its doors on Monday at a packed ribbon-cutting event attended by U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and Portland City Council member Pious Ali, the first African-born Muslim American elected to public office in Maine.

“After three years of hard work, the dream has finally become a reality,” said Damas Rugaba, an immigrant from Rwanda who came up with the idea for the center three years ago with Alain Nahimana, who hails from Burundi and serves as the center’s interim executive director.

Rugaba said the goal was to create a place where people could collaborate and share resources they would otherwise not be able to afford.

Besides acting as a business hub, the center plans to connect entrepreneurs with mentors and lending institutions to help them finance the path to citizenship, and offer English lessons in a digital language laboratory.

The center is being financed by grants from the Maine Community Foundation through its Broad Reach Fund, more than a dozen corporate sponsors including Coffee By Design and cPort Credit Union, and individual donors (all of whom are listed on the center’s website).

Read the rest of this story.

Pun for the road may keep drivers from being distracted | Portland Press Herald

BY STAFF WRITER

Unlike some states, Maine can take a witty approach to highway safety.

Danger lurks around every corner when you’re whizzing along behind the wheel at 70 mph. Road safety is no laughing matter.

Then from around the next bend in the road, it appears – 12 feet high and flashing in yellow LEDs. A state-sponsored dad joke.

“GET YOUR HEAD … OUT OF YOUR APPS”

Along Interstate 295, electronic roadside signs sponsored by the state Department of Transportation have been doling out gentle reminders, good advice and pun-filled witticisms, all while hewing to the usually drab responsibility of reinforcing road safety expectations.

Read the rest of this story by Matt Byrne.

“New” Potatoes – A Taste of the County | Aroostook County Tourism blog

There are many food seasons for foodies to enjoy in the county!  Fiddleheads, local strawberries, fresh peas, beet greens…YUM!

But the very best of all, and you are welcome to come to Aroostook and join us – new potatoes!

All along Route 1 and other roads as you drive throughout the county, you will see simple farm stands with the (usually) hand painted sign saying “new potatoes”.  These kiosks are typically on the honor system.  You simply put your money into the container and grab a bag.

Read the rest of this blog entry.

“Summer Art Preview: New shows opening in Portland, Rockport and Ogunquit” | Maine Today

We’ve heard for years that painting is dead.

Not so fast.

The early-summer season at Maine museums is full of what should be terrific art exhibitions spotlighting some of Maine’s best known and most accomplished painters. There are other exhibitions as well, including a major examination of Shaker objects and lifestyle, a focus on art and jazz and a deep examination of sculptor Bernard Langlais.

Follow this link to read the rest of this piece by Bob Keyes in Maine Today.

Deadline nears for Life is Better Contest

Deadline nears for Life is Better Contest

Only one day left to be entered in the Life is Better with MPBN Contest. Please don’t miss your chance!

Make a gift to MPBN before 8:30pm May 31 and you will automatically be entered in MPBN’s Sixth Annual Life is Better with MPBN Contest.

There will be one Grand Prize winner of a 2014 Nissan Juke S, generously donated by Lee Auto Malls of Maine, and two Second Prize winners of a Sugarloaf Weekend getaway and golf package.

You can be entered in the contest and support MPBN right now by clicking on the support button below and making a safe and secure on-line donation to MPBN.

Thanks and good luck!

An ominous warning about a regional icon | The Boston Globe

This is unfortunate. Something must be done to protect and restore the loon.maine-loon-wildlife-tour-neoc

 

Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 13 – Porter beer from Maine in my apartment

Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter in my California apartment. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter in my California apartment. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

Stopped by the Trader Joe’s the other day and came across a display for Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter.

Yes, Maine beer in California. More importantly, now Maine beer in my California apartment.

Porter is not my go-to brew, but I was interested in this Maine-brewed beverage found in a Trader Joe’s in Northern California. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

Porter is not my go-to brew, but I was interested in this Maine-brewed beverage found in a Trader Joe’s in Northern California. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

As you can tell from these photos, I didn’t take much time in tasting the beer. I’m not a huge porter fan. I’m more for pale and amber ales and European lagers and other lighter beers. Guinness is the only deep dark beer that I enjoy.

However, I found the Kennebunkport Brewing Co. – brewed and bottled in Portland by Pubgsley Brewing LLC – was much lighter than I would have expected and flavorful. I enjoyed it – as the photos below might suggest – and I intend to purchase more of the beverage.

The porter is brewed and bottled by Bugsley Brewing LLC in Portland, Maine. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

The porter is brewed and bottled by Bugsley Brewing LLC in Portland, Maine. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

I had to give it a try. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

I had to give it a try. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

The Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter was light and flavorful. I most definitely will consider purchasing the KBC Porter again. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

The Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter was light and flavorful. I most definitely will consider purchasing the KBC Porter again. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

I have to say, BevMo and Trader Joe’s are keeping me in touch with Maine brews. And I am impressed.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Will write for food! … Or walk your dog!

Hey there! Hey there! I’m still trying to line up a freelance gig or two for the coming weeks. Please let me know if you are in need or know someone in need of a writer-editor-blogger-dog walker-house-sitter-dishwasher. Cheers!

Maine in your words | DownEast.com

Maine in your words | DownEast.com

Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 12 – Maine Black Bears T-shirt and Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt

The other day I was wearing Maine stuff on my sleeve – and back and front and … . Well, you get the idea.

I woke a couple of days ago, had breakfast, showered and pulled on a T-shirt that just happened to be Maine stuff in my California apartment.

It is a gray University of Maine Black Bears T-shirt.

University of Maine Black Bears T-shirt.

University of Maine Black Bears T-shirt.

The university in Orono is the largest in the state system, I believe, and has a fine reputation as a state institution of higher learning and for some of its sports teams. It also is involved with research in alternative energy and providing housing – tents – for deployed servicemen and women that are more resistant to explosives than current housing.

The T-shirt was sent to me by my sister, as I recall, several years ago. I’m not sure exactly why she sent it since she and I both attended the University of Southern Maine with campuses in Portland and Gorham. (I believe there is now a satellite campus in Lewiston, as well.)

It’s a cool enough shirt, as you can see from the photo.

Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt.

Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt.

And as I was stepping out the door, I pulled on a Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt that my sister sent me a couple of years ago. Fryeburg Academy, in Fryeburg, Maine, is a college prep school and has a fine reputation. I like the sweatshirt very much.

So, I have plenty of Maine stuff.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

 

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Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 11 — wild blueberries, moose and lobster

These dish towels, about 16 inches by 24 ½ inches, are decorated with the image of one of Maine’s most iconic images, wild blueberries. I received these as a gift from my family years ago. Photo by Keith Michaud

These dish towels, about 16 inches by 24 ½ inches, are decorated with the image of one of Maine’s most iconic images, wild blueberries. I received these as a gift from my family years ago. Photo by Keith Michaud

I have not added an installment of this feature for quite some time. That does not mean that I have run out of Maine stuff in my California apartment; it just means I have been distracted by other things.

But I wanted to add this entry before we moved too far beyond the blueberry season, which probably ended about a month or so ago.

Beginning years ago and over the course of several Christmas seasons, my family sent along to me several aprons, oven mitts, and dish towels printed with reminders of Maine. Several, of course, were printed with the famed Maine wild blueberry.

Blueberries are as much a symbol of Maine as are lobster, moose, L.L. Bean, and Patrick Dempsey. (Yes, Dr. McDreamy grew up in Maine and regularly returns to help raise funds for a cancer center in Central Maine.)

It may still be the case – I’m not sure – but once Maine wild blueberries accounted for very nearly all wild blueberries. And by “all,” I mean the entire world’s annual harvest.

So blueberries are something we Mainers, whether living in our homeland or “from away,” discuss with a certain amount of pride.

Here is a closer look at the image on the dish towels. They look nearly good enough to eat. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here is a closer look at the image on the dish towels. They look nearly good enough to eat. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is one of two oven mitts decorated with wild blueberries that I received from family over the years. There’s a matching mitt … somewhere in my apartment. I’m not exactly sure where it is. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is one of two oven mitts decorated with wild blueberries that I received from family over the years. There’s a matching mitt … somewhere in my apartment. I’m not exactly sure where it is. Photo by Keith Michaud

An apron decorated with wild blueberries also was among the gifts over the years. Photo by Keith Michaud

An apron decorated with wild blueberries also was among the gifts over the years. Photo by Keith Michaud

Today’s photos include the apron, dish towels and an oven mitt on which Maine blueberries are printed. For full disclosure, the dish towels never have been used as dish towels, simply as ornamental accents in my apartment’s kitchen. And the lone – and rather well used – mitt has a mate, but I cannot seem to find it. I know it is here somewhere, but I’m just not sure where.

By the way, I do have two other aprons on which Maine symbols – on one, lobster, and on the other, moose – are printed.

Wild blueberries are not the only iconic Maine images. Moose are big in Maine, not just in size but in state image value. Here’s an apron decorated with the tall antlered creature. Photo by Keith Michaud

Wild blueberries are not the only iconic Maine images. Moose are big in Maine, not just in size but in state image value. Here’s an apron decorated with the tall antlered creature. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the moose apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the moose apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Among the most familiar icons of Maine, of course, is the lobster. And what kind of family would I have if they had not mailed to me an apron decorated with lobster. Photo by Keith Michaud

Among the most familiar icons of Maine, of course, is the lobster. And what kind of family would I have if they had not mailed to me an apron decorated with lobster. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the lobster apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the lobster apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 10 – hearing ‘Acadia’

Scan of a CD by Jim Chappell inspired by Maine's Acadia National Park.

Today’s photos – scans really – are of a CD cover and a couple of pages from the accompanying booklet. It is an instrumental CD by Jim Chappell that came out in 1996, I believe, and was inspired by Acadia National Park.

The CD, of course, is called “Acadia.”

My mother gave me the CD as a gift many years ago. I don’t recall if it was a birthday gift or a Christmas gift or just a gift from out the blue. Moms do that from time to time, give gifts for no reason at all.

The music is very soothing, relaxing and comfortable to listen to – piano, violins, cello, French horn, flute, that sort of thing. It’s not Radiohead or The White Stripes, but not everything has to be.

The CD had been lost among other CDs on a bookshelf that I recently went through. I’m listening to the CD at the very moment that I am writing this entry and I’ll very probably hit replay once it plays through.

Part of the booklet reads:

“The quiet solitude of the deep woods … the rumbling roar of surf crashing on the rocky coast of Maine … the silent sweep of a falcon high above a shimmering lake and the whelping sound of seals on tiny inlets. This is Acadia National Park. It is a meeting of mountain and valley, forest and meadow, ocean and land in a symphonic splash of salt, spray and foam. It is sunrise from the glacier-flattened top of Cadillac Mountain, bathing the sea and nearby cliffs with a caress of soft pink and gold as lighthouses flash like fireflies from the surrounding headlands.”

Scan of one of the pages from a booklet that came with the CD by Jim Chappell.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to Acadia National Park, but that passage hits it pretty well on the head. I don’t recall the part of “lighthouses flash like fireflies,” but it was a pretty long time ago. It is Maine, after all, with lighthouses on nearly every other coastal bluff.

The CD carries song titles that will be familiar to those who have visited Acadia National Park: “Cadillac Mountain,” “The Carriage Road,” “Southwest Harbor,” “Long Pond Canoe,” “The Loop Road,” and “Jordan Pond,” among others.

Scan of another page from a booklet that came with the CD "Acadia" by Jim Chappell. The CD was inspired by Acadia National Park.

For total disclosure, I am again stretching the whole Maine-stuff-in-my-California-apartment thing with this entry. The album was inspired by Acadia National Park as Chappell spent a week hiking around Acadia and humming into a cassette recorder – remember, this was in 1996 and it was a little early for digital recorders – the melodies that became “Acadia.” But the booklet indicates the music was recorded in California – Sebastopol and San Anselmo. Let’s just agree that it is Maine-inspired stuff in my California apartment.

I tracked down what seems to be Jim Chappell’s official website, where you can find more information about the guy and order his music. Apparently, he’s still at it and his latest CD is being released later this month.

The booklet also mentions Friends of Acadia, a nonprofit organization working to preserve Acadia National Park. According to the booklet, 15 percent of the profits from the sale of the CD go to the group. Donations to Friends of Acadia can be made by mailing them to the group at 43 Cottage Street, P.O. Box 45, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609. There’s also information about the park, how to join Friends of Acadia, and more on its website.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 9 – One more moose with a taste for south of the border

Today’s photos are of a moose shot glass. I really should have included it with the other moose entry, but I forgot I had this shot glass. I don’t do shots quite like I did in my younger day.

Found moose shot glass rinsed and ready for tequila.

I don’t recall where or how I received this shot glass. I very probably purchased it on one of my last visits to Maine and I very probably purchased one like it for my friends Rick and Michele.

I was pulling down another glass from a high shelf in my glass cabinet in my California apartment when I spotted this shot glass and another with an image of the University of Arkansas hog. That was a treasure from Rick and Michele following a visit to his native Arkansas.

Moose shot glass filled and at the ready.

Since I had some Jose Cuervo Especial left over from margaritas I decide to use the glass for a single shot of tequila. (And, yes, it was just one shot.) It went down nicely.

Aww, just a slight bit of tequila residue left behind.

 This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Maine Stuff in My California Apartment No. 8 … At least, until I consume them

Today’s photos are of a package from home and its contents.

My Mom and The Sis – probably with the fine assistance of nephew Max and niece Sophie – put it together for my birthday, which was a little over a month ago. Procrastination runs in the family. 🙂

But in all fairness to The Sis, she is a wife, mother of two very active children, Max and Sophie, and has a full-time job. She’s busy. My Mom – known as Mems to The Sis’s two very active children – is busy on her own what with grandchildren to spoil, friends to visit, bowling balls to throw, books to read, a dog’s ears to scratch, and box wine to drink.

Don’t get me wrong. It was a lovely surprise. I knew the package was coming and that it might be a while longer, so it truly was a lovely surprise nonetheless. And very much appreciated.

Here’s the package straight from Fryeburg, Maine. Well, perhaps not straight-arrow straight, but close enough.

Yes, that is me using a corkscrew to open the package from home. It was handy and recently had been used, so I knew it worked.

The package from home was waiting for me yesterday when I returned from a day at empresso coffeehouse, the coffeehouse I frequent the most. It is located in Empire Theater on the Miracle Mile in Stockton, Calif., and hence the name of the coffeehouse. I go there for the reasonably priced and reasonably tasty caffeinated beverages, friendly baristas, and WiFi I use for the protracted job search and to keep in touch with personal and professional contacts.

The package from home is opened. Inside were chocolate chip cookies, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Jam, Captain Mowatt’s Blue Flame and Captain Mowatt’s Fireberry Sauce. Apparently, my request for “no sugar” went unheeded … again. 

Inside the package from home were three Ziploc bags of chocolate cookies, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Jam, Captain Mowatt’s Blue Flame and Captain Mowatt’s Fireberry Sauce. Trust me on this, it is all yummy stuff and I will enjoy it all.

However – and it’s only a small “however” – I have asked several times for no more sugary treats. I’m closer to 50 than I would like and it is getting harder and harder to keep the weight off. The last thing I need is sugary treats.

To Mom and The Sis I thank you.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 6

Here's another Maine thing in my California apartment -- a Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt. It was a gift from my nephew Max and niece Sophie.

Today’s photo is of a Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt I received as a present from my nephew Max and niece Sophie. The long-term plan is for Max and Sophie to attend Fryeburg Academy, a private preparatory school located in Fryeburg, Maine, the White Mountains. I say “long-term” since they are not quite old enough yet to attend.

Fryeburg has a long and rich history. John Hancock – yeah, a signer of the Declaration of Independence – signed the charter in 1792 and Daniel Webster was a headmaster of the school.

Here’s Fryeburg Academy’s mission from the school’s website:

“Fryeburg Academy is an independent secondary school that serves a widely diverse population of local day students and boarding students from across the nation and around the world. The Academy believes that a strong school community provides the best conditions for learning and growth. Therefore, we strive to create a supportive school environment that promotes respect, tolerance, and cooperation, and prepares students for responsible citizenship. Within this context, the Academy’s challenging and comprehensive academic program, enriched by a varied co-curriculum, provides the knowledge and skills necessary for success in higher education and the workplace.”

And here’s a link for the school’s history.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 5

These to Maine magnets hang on my Caifornia refrigerator.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in my California apartment. Today’s photo is of two refrigerator magnets. (Hey, they can’t all be grand.)

The one on the left is a miniature potato bag. (Fear not, no potatoes were harmed in the making of this blog.)

Potato farming is big in Maine. It was even bigger when I was a kid, I believe. I’m pretty sure farmers have moved to other crops such as sugar beats and soybeans over the years. My Mom sent me the potato bag magnet years and years ago in a Christmas or birthday package.

The other magnet is of Nubble Light in York, Maine. I know I didn’t visit Nubble Light or purchase the magnet and have no idea how I came to have the magnet. I have had it for years; it used to hang from a metal light shade above my desk when I worked at The Reporter in Vacaville, Calif. Not sure why I keep it around; it has no sentimental value, except perhaps because it is something from Maine. Well, something made in China from Maine.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. Keith Michaud shot today’s photos

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Cookbook Corner: ‘Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Book’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Cookbook Corner: ‘Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Book’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 4

Some blueberry stuff in my California apartment -- Guzman’s Gourmet Blueberry Salsa, Captain Mowatt’s Blue Flame, and The New England Cupboard Blueberry Pancake Mix.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in my California apartment. Today’s photo is of some blueberry stuff in my California apartment — Guzman’s Gourmet Blueberry Salsa, Captain Mowatt’s Blue Flame, and The New England Cupboard Blueberry Pancake Mix. The items came to me in a Christmas package from my family in Maine. Christmas packages always contain Maine foods.

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