M u n joy Hil l
M u n joy Hil l
Non Profit Org US Postage
MHNO, 92 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
Change Service Requested
Portland, ME Permit No. 824
FREE Published by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization Vol. 32, No. 3 • April 2012
April Stools Day is No Joke Friends of the Eastern Promenade make the spring cleanup serious fun!
By Kristin Rapinac
Clean Green Scene
In the early spring of 1993, warm breezes began to melt the towering snow banks on the Eastern Promenade—revealing not only a carpet of grass, but pile after unpleasant pile of dog doo. Diane Demos, the owner of a black golden retriever-poodle mix named Lucy, was appalled. “It’s disgusting,” Demos was quoted in a Portland Press Herald story at the time. “Even as a dog owner, I was pretty grossed out by it.” So the Munjoy Hill resident put up posters throughout the neighborhood, with a call to duty for dog owners to help clean up the Prom. She dubbed the event April Stools Day, a clever pun suggested by her boyfriend and future husband, Jeff. The first April Stools Day brought out dozens of volunteer poop scoopers to clear the Eastern Prom of the malodorous landmines. And the rest, as they say, is history. April Stools Day turned into a yearly event, spreading to other parks throughout the city and even to Belfast, Maine. Saturday, April 21, will mark the 20th annual April Stools Day. Dem-
os, who is now Diane Davison, is proud of the milestone as well as the awareness the event has helped create. These days, with more people picking up after their pets, the task on April Stools Day isn’t quite so daunting. Although there is still plenty of poop to scoop, much of the focus has turned to picking up litter and debris scattered throughout the Eastern Prom. “Compliance with the poop scoop ordinance has come a long way in 20 years,” Davison says. “Through education, peer pressure among
dog owners and ongoing cleanup efforts, responsible dog ownership is now more consistent – resulting in a cleaner park.” In its eighth year, Kathy Palmer, owner of Fetch Pet Supply, offered to help Davison with April Stools
Day. Past events have included the dog mascot, Scoop, lemonade and brownie stands (get it?) and contests for the most pounds of waste collected. And Davison and Palmer came up with the “Golden Turd,” a gilded facsimile to be hidden for
a prize. The pair still jokingly call each other the Duchess of Doodie and the Princess of Poop. Davison’s love for the Prom has since spurred her to found Friends See back page, April Stools
Cool Fuel: Need heating help? “We Love Munjoy Moms” Mhno Essay Contest
MHNO still has funds for heating fuel for low-income Hill residents. It’s free. If you or someone you know needs it, please email elaine.mullin@ munjoyhill.org, or leave a message at 775-3050. Contact is confidential— we respect your privacy.
Events to get excited about
MHNO Quarterly Meeting: Getting to Know Your Neighbors On Thursday, April 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the MHNO will host our next Quarterly Meeting at Hill House, 92 Congress Street. The theme for the night is Getting to Know Your Neighbors. There will be a few brief announcements and updates, followed by time to relax and socialize with fellow Munjoy Hill residents in the recently renovated Hill House. The MHNO Board of Directors will provide a potluck of home cooked food and an assortment of beverages. Attendees are encouraged to bring a favorite dish to share if they wish. The MHNO will also be collecting donations of non perishable food items to donate to a local food bank. Please come, and bring a friend!
Hill House First Friday On Friday, May 4, the MHNO will welcome visitors to Hill House, 92 Congress Street, for our first “First Friday.” As a participant in Portland’s First Friday Art Walk (firstfridayartwalk.com), we will be opening the doors of Hill House from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Each month we will feature the works of a different local artist. This will be an opportunity to gather with friends and neighbors, enjoy light refreshments, get to know the Board of Directors of the MHNO, and support the talented artists of our community. Please visit our website, munjoyhill.org, or like us on Facebook to get updated information about monthly exhibits. If you are an artist interested in participating, please email us at: email@example.com, subject line, “First Friday.”
MHNO Annual Meeting & Elections On Thursday, June 28, the MHNO will hold our Annual Meeting and Election of the Board of Directors. The meeting will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Cafeteria at East End Community School, 195 North Street. Watch for more information on our website and Facebook and in upcoming issues of the Munjoy Hill Observer. In the meantime, save the date!
Please join us in thanking the generous businesses who contributed the prizes for this event: Hilltop Coffee, J. Kelley Salon, and Otto Pizza.
The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization is teaming up with J.Kelley Salon, Otto Pizza, and Hilltop Coffee to sponsor an essay writing contest about Moms on Munjoy Hill. We want to hear from you!
Here are the basics (and the Prizes!) • The contest is open to children who are in the third through fifth grades and live on Munjoy Hill. • Essays should be anywhere between 100-300 words and should explain why you think YOUR mom is the best mom on Munjoy Hill (or in the world!). • The deadline to submit an entry for the We Love Munjoy Moms essay contest is Friday, April 13, 2012. • All entries become the property of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO), and entrants agree that their essays may be reproduced in print and online media by the MHNO as it sees fit to promote the contest and the purpose of the contest: to honor Moms on Munjoy Hill. • One Grand Prize winning essay will be selected and the writer’s mother will receive a $50 gift certificate and gift basket from
J.Kelley Salon , and a $50 Gift Certificate from Otto Pizza. • One Second Place Prize winner will be selected and the writer’s mother will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to Hilltop Coffee. • One Third Place Prize winner will be selected and the writer’s mother and the writer will receive “We Love Munjoy Hill” t-shirts. • Winning essays will be featured in the May issue of the Munjoy Hill Observer. • Essays may be submitted via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and must include the words “We Love Munjoy Moms Essay Contest” in the subject line. Additionally, essays may be submitted in writing via us mail to: Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, 92 Congress St. Portland, ME 04101.
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
At the Helm
The Munjoy Hill Observer is published
by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO) at 92 Congress Street Portland, Maine 04101 email@example.com 207-775-3050 Editor: Lisa Peñalver
firstname.lastname@example.org (207) 766-5077 munjoyhill.org Observer Committee Andrea Myhaver, Tamera Edison, Sam Cohen, Kristin Rapinac, Lisa Peñalver advertising Tamera Edison email@example.com 939-7998, Lisa Peñalver, Layout, 239-1604
3,000 Circulation 8,000+ Readership About our paper The Munjoy Hill Observer is published by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO) as a service to its members and to the community as a whole, to inform Portland’s East End residents of local issues and events, and of the services that can be found here. The Observer serves as a vehicle to connect and inform our neighbors, while enlisting community partners to help us help those who need it most. The Munjoy Hill Observer was first published in May of 1979. Circulation is 3000, distributed free in Portland at over 100 locations. Nearly 300 copies are mailed to current and former members of the MHNO.
MHNO Board 2012 Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization
Andrea Myhaver, President.......................... . ......... firstname.lastname@example.org Kristin Rapinac, Vice President...................... . ............ email@example.com Elaine Mullin, Treasurer............................... firstname.lastname@example.org..671-6132 Sam Cohen, Secretary..... email@example.com Eben Albert-Knopp....................................... . ................... firstname.lastname@example.org Ralph Carmona............................................ email@example.com.........518-9177 Nova Ewers........ firstname.lastname@example.org Christina Feller . ............ email@example.com . ............................................ 773-4336 Ross Fields...........firstname.lastname@example.org Jamie Lane-Fitzgerald.................................. . .. email@example.com
MHNO President, Andrea Myhaver
The Long-Awaited Objectives To Go With Our Goals For several months the MHNO Board of Directors has been working on establishing a set of goals and objectives for 2011/2012. I have previously shared with you the goals we approved in September. This month I am very pleased to finally be able to also share our objectives, which we approved at our March meeting. What is exciting is that although it took us a long time to approve this final list, we have actually been working at achieving many of these objectives already and have made great progress. We’re proud of our efforts thus far, and look forward to rounding out 2012 in a successful way! The MHNO Goals and Objectives for 2011/2012 are as follows:
MHNO Goals* 2011/2012 (adopted 09/11)
1. To ensure that the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization remains sustainable. 2. To provide assistance and services to families, youth, and elders on Munjoy Hill. 3. To build community. 4. To serve as a clearinghouse for information that involves residents of Munjoy Hill. 5. To develop a strong voice in all matters that affect Munjoy Hill, including development, security, safety, and infrastructure.
MHNO Objectives* 2011/2012 (adopted 03/12) 1. Continue publishing the Munjoy Hill Observer and maintain advertising revenue to support and sustain it. (Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) 2. Bring MHNO Board of Directors to capacity by end of fiscal year. (Goals 1,2,3,4,5) 3. Revive the Membership Committee and engage all MHNO members in activities and Events that help build community. (Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
On Yard Work and 911 April—it’s still not too late for a Maine snow storm. March had us ready to stow all the winter gear, only to fake us out with dropping temperatures toward the end of the month. If you aren’t cautious at this point, you haven’t been paying attention! Despite its capricious nature, April is one of my favorite months. It brings so many spring flowers, longer days, frogs, GARDEN time! Time to get the yard in shape if you have a yard. Time to get out and meet the neighbors. In contemplating our new MHNO initiative to develop a senior support program, I am becoming increasingly conscious of the elders around me—and noticing that they are a feisty and strong-willed bunch!
The situation that struck me involved a friend in his 80s who fell from a significant height while doing outdoor work that would have given a much younger person the heebie-jeebies. So this fellow, I’ll call him “Jed,” was lying on the ground after having fallen about 25 feet, stunned. His wife did NOT see the accident; she just turned around to see him lying there. A neighbor who DID see the fall hurried over to suggest they call 911. Now comes my OMG moment: The injured man, upon overhear-
organization committed to improving the quality of life for the residents of Munjoy Hill and the East End, by strengthening the sense of community, maintaining the current diversity of social and economic groups, encouraging self-sufficiency, and enriching the lives of all residents.
Editor’s note: “Definition of Goals and Objectives: Goals are long-term aims that you want to accomplish; Objectives are concrete attainments that can be achieved by following a certain number of steps. Goals and objectives are often used interchangeably, but the main difference comes in their level of concreteness. Objectives are very concrete, whereas Goals are less structured.” For a more detailed explanation, go to Difference Between Goals and Objectives at www.differencebetween.net.
ing this conversation, uttered, “DON’T call 911!” and the other two (both also seniors), out of respect, did not call for help. Though he might (and actually DID) have spinal injuries, broken bones and potential head trauma, “Jed” was helped into the house and onto the couch. (The ambulance came later.) Okay, now would be a good time to review one of the most basic tenets of First Aid—NEVER-EVER move someone who has suffered a trauma that might have injured the head or neck. Not even if that person is grumpy, or your boss, the police chief, or ANYONE! Apologize later, because this is one of those rare occasions you can legitimately say it’s life or death. DO
call 911!! In this case, the uber-independent gentleman was lucky: he will recover—after surgery and rehab. It could easily have gone the other way. So I am making it my personal mission to share this information with my family members, neighbors and anyone else who will listen. We can certainly be independent and get work done, but let’s do it smarter, not harder, and please, be SAFE out there.
WHO YOU GONNA CALL? You can help prevent crime on the Hill! If you see a crime happening or see/hear anything suspicious in your neighborhood, please call the police! 1)
Ann Quinlan..... firstname.lastname@example.org
in January 1979, our purpose is to
5. Revive and expand the Safe and Walkable Neighborhoods Committee. (Goals 3, 4, 5) a. Maintain involvement in the Avesta Adams School project. b. Participate and lend our support to the Fort Allen restoration effort. c. Actively participate in the Franklin Street redevelopment effort. d. Champion activities that encourage neighborhood cleanliness and pride. 6. Revamp our website, and strengthen online social media presence. (Goals 1,3,4,5)
Send Your Letters and Hill news to observer@ MunjoyHill.org
Katie Brown...... email@example.com
4. Expand and strengthen the Services Committee. (Goals 2,3,4,5) a. Maintain and expand the Clynk Assistance Program. b. Build a program for elder support. c. Explore ways to address hunger on Munjoy Hill. Work with organizations that have systems in place to identify and distribute assistance to those in need.
From the Editor, Lisa Peñalver
One incident recently made me realize that we could use some sort of “buddy system” among neighbors to watch out for each other, and especially for our seniors.
Joan Sheedy.....firstname.lastname@example.org . ............................................. 774-7616
Incorporated as a nonprofit organization
a. Double our membership numbers by end of 2012. b. Host monthly social events beginning in May 2012. c. Establish “open” hours at Hill House. d. Host the We Love Munjoy Hill! Festival during the fall of 2012.
Show your neighborhood pride! Munjoy HilL t-shirts are available: S-XL@$16, XXXL@$20, Tees come in black or white. Or get this bumper sticker! (measures 6”x 4”) $3 per sticker. Buy one and support your Neighborhood group. Send your check to MHNO, 92 Congress St, Portland ME 04101. For info, email info@ munjoyhill.org.
756-8135 Daytimes: Janine Kaserman with Community Policing
2) 650-8770 cell: 11am thru the night, new Senior Lead Officer Tony Ampezzan (at right) 3)
4) Emergencies: 9-1-1 Anonymous Crimes tips Program: Phone Tip—Dial 874-8584 | Online: tipsubmit.com Text-A-Tip: Text “GOTCHA” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES) Clip and save these numbers!
BULLETIN Board the munjoy Hill neighborhood Organization MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
YOU can make a difference—WE WANT YOU!
Open MEETINGS: The MHNO Board meets every 2nd Monday of the month, at 7 pm at the Hill House at 92 Congress St. — All are welcome!
The MHNO has several active committees and we are always seeking new members. Do any of the areas below interest you? Please drop in to a meeting (times and days for each committee listed below) at Hill House, 92 Congress St, to find out more! All meeting times listed are subject to change. Please visit our website for most current meeting schedule.
It’s all about our members By Andrea Myhaver, MHNO President
I sat down with new Board Member, Ross Fields, to talk about his recent move from the North East Kingdom of Vermont to Munjoy Hill and what he hopes to accomplish as the newly appointed chair of the MHNO Membership Committee. Our conversation is below. (AM) Ross, I know that you and your wife have lived in many places throughout the US, including Vermont, New Hampshire, Colorado, Tennessee and Minnesota. What made you pick Portland, Maine, and Munjoy Hill as your new hometown? (Ross Fields) We have visited France quite a bit, and were considering moving there, but decided to stay in the states to be closer to our daughters. We wanted to be by the ocean and wanted a place with a European feel and Portland was the closest thing we could find stateside. Also we intentionally don’t have vehicles, and we love that on Munjoy Hill you can walk everywhere. We visited Portland a few times and picked up the local papers and were impressed with the Munjoy Hill Observer. We read articles about the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization and the India Street Neighborhood Organization, and were drawn here because any place where people are committed to their community is a place we want to be.
Membership Committee oversees the expansion, maintenance and involvement of members (works with Events Committee as needed). Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of every month, at 7 p.m. Chair: Ross Fields (email@example.com)
some more awareness to the organization through some membership appreciation activities that we are working on. One thing we’re going to start right away is to have a presence during the First Friday Art Walk starting in May. The MHNO plans to open Hill House, serve refreshments, and feature a new local artist each month. We will have representatives from the Membership Committee there to register new members and renew memberships for existing members. We see this as a great opportunity for people in the neighborhood to get to know Board Members and each other, and to share ideas about how to build community.
E v en t s Commi t t ee Events Committee coordinates and implements all MHNO sponsored events such as quarterly and annual meetings, the We LOVE Munjoy Hill Festival, and beginning in May 2012, First Fridays. Meetings: 2nd Thursday of every month, at 6:30 p.m., and ad hoc as needed. Chair: Andrea Myhaver (andrea.myhaver@ munjoyhill.org)
Ser v ices Commi t t ee
(AM) That sounds great! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Services Committee initiates and implements all service and assistance programs, such as Fuel Assistance, Youth
(RF) As a new resident and member of MHNO, I have a lot of respect and pride for my new chosen home, and I encourage others to just appreciate Portland for what it is and can be. (AM) Thank you, Ross!
Enter MHNO’s Essay Contest for kids!! Win a Prize!! Details on front page.
The Membership Committee meets on the third
Safe and Walkable Neighborhood Committee oversees MHNO involvement in all matters affecting street, sidewalk and neighborhood environments (includes safe sidewalks, street clean up, parking and traffic issues, maintenance and use of the Hill House). Meetings: 4th Tuesday of every month, at 7 p.m. Chair: Eben AlbertKnopp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
T he Obser ver Commi t t ee The Observer Committee provides oversight to the MHNO’s monthly newspaper, the Munjoy Hill Observer. Meetings: 3rd Wed of every month, at 6:45 p.m., 4th Wed of every month, at 6:30 p.m. Chair: Andrea Myhaver (andrea. email@example.com)
Name(s)_ ____________________________________________________________ Street Address________________________________________________________ City________________________________________State_______ Zip___________ Email (for MHNO updates)_____________________________________________ Day Phone (____)________________ Eve Phone (____)______________________
Individual: $10 Family: $20 Business: $35
munjoyhill.org to receive alerts on events and issues pertaining to the East End (fyi: we do not share our list.). Get the first glimpse of the each month's Observer. "Like" the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization on Facebook! Just visit us online at munjoyhill.org and click on our Facebook link. Follow our updates, join the conversation, post photos and share
Tuesday of each month from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Hill House, 92 Congress St. Meetings are open to the public, and all Hill residents are encouraged to attend. For more information, email Ross, at ross.fields@munjoyhill. org.
“LIKE” us & STAY INFORMED! Sign up for our email list at
links, all on our FB page.
S a f e and Walk able Neighbor hood Commi t t ee
In addition, the membership committee is looking at ways to acknowledge the existing members and to bring
Community Services, Holiday Gifts and our new program for elder assistance. Meetings: 3rd Wed of every month, at 5 p.m. Chair: Elaine Mullin (elaine. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Join the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization
(AM) We are glad you picked Munjoy Hill and we’re excited to have you as a new board member! You recently took on the role of Chair for the Membership Committee and I know you have many great ideas for building our membership. Can you tell me a bit about that? (RF) Our first and most important goal is to get more members. No organization can survive without members. One of the easiest, most effective ways to gain new members is to have existing members reach out as spokespeople for the organization and encourage their friends and neighbors to join.
Additional Donation $25 $50 $75 $100 $250 $500 Other Amount: ($______) wish my gift to be anonymous
Volunteer for a Committee! We need your help to make Munjoy Hill an even better place to live! Get involved by joining one or more of our committees:
Membership Events Services Safe and Walkable Neighborhood Observer
We want all members of our community to join the MHNO regardless of financial circumstances. If you are unable to pay the suggested minimum amount, please pay what you can. If you are able to contribute more, we encourage you to do so. We thank you for your support, and we’re excited to have you on board! Please send this form along with your check to:
MHNO, 92 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101 Questions? Call (207) 775-3050, email email@example.com or visit munjoyhill.org Welcome to the MHNO!
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
Statehouse Update | Senator JusTin Alfond
Metro Bus is making changes to
DHHS—No Clear Answers In last month’s Observer, I shared the proposed cuts to the 2012 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and $25 million streamlining budget (cuts to many parts of government). On February 23rd, the legislature passed this combined budget. I voted against the budget because of its potential for job losses, the 14,000 Mainers who would lose their basic MaineCare, and because I did not believe the DHHS numbers that were given to us. It takes a lot to surprise me, but on March 13th, almost three weeks after we passed the budget, the LePage administration managed to do it. In an update to the Appropriations Committee, the Commissioner of DHHS admitted that there was a problem with their numbers, and that she had known about it since at least January. One of the things we count on in the legislature is receiv-
Route #1 that runs through the East End—certain pickup times will change, stops will be added, and stops at Mercy at the Fore will be reduced, all effective May 14. For details and a copy of the new schedule, go online to gpmetrobus.com
ing full and accurate data when we ask for information from various state agencies. Nowhere is this more important than in preparing a state budget.
committee members were told that they had all the information they needed.
This was not a small inconsequential mistake either. Although the Commissioner said it was just a computer glitch, she said that the State had improperly covered 19,000 people who didn’t qualify for the program. This error not only cost the State millions of dollars, but also the Commissioner and Administration knowingly withheld information from the legislature. They allowed the legislature to use data that was known to be faulty to prepare a budget that required 14,000 Mainers to lose access to needed services. This is simply inexcusable.
This whole episode has shaken my ability to believe anything we are told by the administration, and especially DHHS. Currently, there is an audit happening in DHHS to understand the true cost and scope of their mismanagement.
What made this even worse was the attitude of the administration while we were preparing the budget. When the sharp-eyed analysts from the non-partisan Office of Fiscal and Policy Review, who are responsible for verifying the information used in preparing budgets, raised questions about the DHHS numbers to the Appropriations Committee, these questions were dismissed as being political, and the
Finally, to date there has been no sincere effort by the governor to take accountability of the situation or to rebuild the trust that has been damaged. Rather, his administration has dismissed the episode as a minor error and has moved on. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 287-1515. See you around town!
Ask the Money Prof: Protecting Yourself and Your Family, Things to Consider Sometimes, it’s good to have high expectations about things. This certainly holds true about the way you think of yourself. A positive attitude is the key to success. What’s better than having a “cando” mentality? Thinking positively, being with positive people, looking toward the future, that’s the best way to protect yourself. But, let’s discuss some of the more pragmatic risk management planning that can protect you from potentially catastrophic events (these are not numbered in any order of priority). 1. Career development — What can be more important than investing in yourself? Spending money on education/training can lead to greater future earning power.
2. Emergency reserves — Maintain enough cash (and cash substitutes) in case you become unemployed or have unexpected expenditures. A rough guideline is to have 3-6 months of your necessary (non-discretionary) monthly expenses saved.
3. Insurance products — There are many categories (life, disability income, long term care, health, dental, property, liability) and they all cost (premiums). Find out which ones are necessary, the amounts needed and the type of policies which are most appropriate. 4. Goal setting - Be proactive; plan your future and the required financial costs needed that will improve your quality
of life (downpayment on a home, business, vacation, etc.)
5. Retirement — The key to easier retirement planning success is to begin saving and investing when you are younger. Small monthly contributions are a good start. It will motivate you to make larger contributions as you see your financial wealth increase. Older folks also can accumulate vast amounts of assets as well. They just have to be a bit more careful and make sure they are making the right type of investments. 6. Happiness — Take care of yourself by being healthy, having a job you enjoy, having healthy relationships with friends and family, being proactive
By Joel I. Gold
with your finances leading to a sense of financial security, and taking time off and relaxing once in a while is behavior that will in the end protect you and your family. Joel Ira Gold has been a Finance Professor in the School of Business, University of Southern Maine since 1973. He teaches personal financial planning and other finance courses. Joel also is a licensed investment adviser, dba The Gold Company since 1995. (www.thegoldcompanyfinancialplanning.com. Joel’s approach is that of practical and mindful financial and investment advising at modest fees. Dr. Gold lived on the Eastern Promenade when he moved to Maine and now has an office on Newbury Street.
Local Writer to Read from Book of Poetry Poetry Reading at the Portland Public Library, Saturday, April 7, 11 am Writer and Observer contributor Andrew Lapham-Fersch will be reading from his recent book of poetry on Saturday, April 7 at 11 am His first collection of poems, “The Rough Draft of My Life Story,” a collaboration with artist Phil Ashworth, was published in December 2011. The goal of the work is to donate this book to as many public elementary schools and youth organizations as possible, in
order to share a love of poetry with young readers throughout New England. The first fifty people attending the reading will get a free copy of the book. Connect with the author through Facebook for new poems and updates about readings/events: w w w. f ac e b o ok .c om /p a ge s/A nd re wLapham-Fersch/388113107879228. The full book is now available electronically as an eBook through amazon.com.
April Astrology The Dreaded Mercury Retrograde—it’s here again. Don’t neglect the joys of this time! By Delores Lanai, M.Ed. Beginning Astrology Teacher Many folks not very knowledgeable about astrology or astronomy (which used to be one discipline) have nonetheless heard of “Mercury Retrograde.” Retrograde means that a planet looks, to the naked eye, like it is going backward, though, of course, both the Sun and Mercury are going forward. The common example is when you are on a train and another passes in the same direction; the second train may appear to be going backward, and you can’t get your brain to “know” it because your eyes are telling you otherwise. Mercury went retrograde on March 12 at 6 degrees of Aires for a period of three weeks, going “direct” on April 4th. You may think you’ve missed it, but not so fast. When you get on a highway you are going “direct” as you enter traffic but you’re not
yet going 55 mph. Likewise, Mercury is not “full speed ahead” until it gets back to the place where it turned retrograde at 6 Aires which is April 23rd. Quick—you still have some time left to enjoy what retrograde Mercury is all about, things that start with “re:” Re-lax, re-negotiate, re-design, etc. But don’t schedule mechanical work until after April 23, as this is the “backward” time of our minds. Mistakes are more easily made at this time. Because Mercury is so close to the Sun, it goes retrograde three times a year. The next time it goes retrograde is July 15th, it turns direct August 8th, and is back to full speed on August 22nd at 12 degrees of Leo. Another sign, another story. Delores is putting together a 5-session Beginner’s Astrology class. If interested, please email her at email@example.com for more details.
On Hill New Produce Company MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
final Fort Allen Park Project hearing: April 18 Portland’s Historic Preservation Board will hold the final public hearing on the Fort Allen Park Rehabilitation Project at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 at City Hall.
plantings are established. Many comments call for additional landscaping as a buffer between the park and the Portland House condominium building.
Friends of the Eastern Promenade is sponsoring the project, working with landscape designers Martha Lyon and Regina Leonard, the Historic Preservation Board and staff from the City of Portland. The April 18 hearing is the culmination of design development and public process providing opportunity for feedback from throughout the community.
Fort Allen Park, located at the southeastern end of the Eastern Promenade, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 4.5-acre park is a prominent gathering place for folks to enjoy views of the Portland harbor and Casco Bay, its iconic bandstand and its two Civil War-era cannons, which rest on the remains of the original earthen berm of Fort Allen. The park is also home to several monuments, including the USS Portland, the USS Maine and the 9/11 monuments.
The Historic Preservation Board has held three public workshops offering guidance on the design of the park and receiving public input. In addition, Friends of the Eastern Promenade sponsored a March 8 public meeting on the project, which was attended by about 75 people. The Parks Commission also reviewed the project at its March meeting. While most of the plan has been well received—including the central walkway, pathways, redesigned overlook and realigned carriage drive—the majority of public comment has centered on trees. Nearby residents have expressed concerns about trees blocking views. Others approve of the tree plan, which the designers have evolved and compromised over time to balance views with attractive and historically appropriate species. Some oppose removal of the evergreens, feeling that they should live out their useful life or at least remain until new
To view the current concept plan and details of the project, visit easternpromenade.org. You can express your views in several ways: • Attend the April 18 Historic Preservation Board hearing • Email Friends of the Eastern Promenade at firstname.lastname@example.org • Send a message through the contact form at easternpromenade.org • Mail a letter to Friends of the Eastern Promenade, P.O. Box 16025, Portland, ME 04101 • Contact the Historic Preservation Board: Deborah Andrews, Historic Preservation Program Manager, City of Portland, 389 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101, email@example.com
What Lies Beneath? Exploring Fort Allen’s Archeological History Monday, April 2, 5:30-6 pm (Rain date 9:30-10 am Tuesday, April 3), Fort Allen Park, Portland, Sponsored by Friends of the Eastern Promenade
Meet Seth Van Dam, an archeology graduate student conducting a survey of the remains of Fort Allen, at 5:30 pm Monday, April 2 at Fort Allen Park. Van Dam, a Portland resident and graduate student in applied archeology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will present a free talk, “”What Lies Beneath? Exploring Fort Allen’s Archeological History,” discussing his research project and geophysical survey methods. Fort Allen is known to be a War of 1812 fortification, completed in 1814 to protect the entrance to Portland’s harbor. The remains of its raised earthen batteries still exist today at the top of Fort Allen Park. Van Dam seeks to verify written claims that Fort Allen’s batteries actually date to Nov. 1, 1775, two weeks after the British bombardment led by
Capt. Henry Mowat destroyed most of the town. Throughout April and May, Van Dam will use geophysical survey methods, including ground-penetrating radar and magnetic susceptibility, to collect data for his research. Small core samples will be taken from areas of interest identified in the survey. Van Dam hopes to learn how and when Fort Allen’s batteries were built and perhaps discover evidence of a fire pit, structures or historical artifacts. His research will culminate in a master’s thesis report, which will be made available to the public. For more information, visit easternpromenade.org.
Brings More Food Options to Peninsula
By Markos Miller A handful of years ago, peninsula residents had few consistent options for buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh Approach has provided some of the basics to West End neighbors for well over a decade, but other local markets focusing on fresh, creative food have come and gone, for example the Good Day Market, of long ago, or Commercial Street’s Green Grocer. Residents were pretty dependent on getting in their cars and driving out to one of the chain supermarkets. Well, times have changed, and as Portland’s reputation as a ‘foodie’ town has grown, so have the options for fresh produce, both locally-grown and exotic foods from afar, and other high quality healthy foods. On the East End, this means interesting ingredients from all over the world thanks to markets such as Mittapheap World Market, and high quality local produce from our beloved Rosemont Market at the top of the Hill. Munjoy Hill residents now enjoy a wide range of produce options just a short walk from their front doors. Rosemont Market and Bakery owner, John Naylor, has now added another
option for residents and visitors of the East End and downtown. 5 Commercial Street, right around the corner from BenKay Sushi on India Street, is now home to the Rosemont Produce Company. With a large garage door that can be opened to the street, the airy space has the feel of an impromptu market, with produce spilling out of crates and boxes, and chalk boards over the counter listing the ever-changing produce available. In addition to providing another retail venue, which is managed by Heather Ridley, they are serving many of Portland’s restaurants.
Joe Fournier, who also manages the Munjoy Hill market, will continue to focus on increasing the availability of locally-grown produce through the Rosemont Produce Company. Joe mentioned the significant growth that the Rosemont stores have been experiencing in the past couple of years. “We were bursting at the seams.”, Joe shared, “So, the idea came from relieving the stresses of finding storage for See back page, Rosemont
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
East End Business Focus Bakery on the Hill In a conversation with lifelong Hill resident Dan Haley, I learned that at one point in recent history, Munjoy Hill was host to no fewer that 17 grocery stores & markets! The East End continues to be an inviting
By Lisa Peñalver
the shop opened for business just before Thanksgiving. The owners, bakers and longtime friends, Wolf Gosier and Cecelia Vasquez have been cooking up confections for over ten years, most recently in a bake shop in North Conway, New Hampshire. They had been eyeing Portland as a new location, and the space along Congress fit the bill. It has more than lived up to their expectations. “I don’t know where all the people came from!” commented Wolf, shortly after Valentine’s Day. “Portlanders really seem to like this holiday,” she went on. “When we closed up shop that night (on February 14), our shelves were bare; nothing but crumbs.”
location for markets, cafés, restaurants and bakeries. Of the latter, our newest addition is the Bakery on the Hill, bringing desserts and pastries to the row of shops lining Congress just above India Street. The hand-painted sign first appeared in the window in the fall of 2011, and
It may be more than the holidays at Bakery on the Hill that Portlanders seem to like. You can find here all manner of cakes, crisp pastries, and cookies, frosted and fruity. I can personally vouch for their scrumptious Christmas “Yule Log, ” which I bought to take with me to our family Holiday dinner. It was a rolled yellow cake with a hazelnut chocolate cream filling and chocolate
frosting and decorated to LOOK like a log, complete with a frosted branch stump. and frosted leaves and berries. It was a huge hit, and despite the overeating that came BEFORE the dessert, it disappeared amidst hums of appreciation. My art teachers drilled into me the importance of presentation—and this is a lesson these bakers have taken to heart. Their foods are as appealing to the eye as to the taste. The atmosphere of the bakery itself, with it’s sparse decor, bare wood floors, vintage elements and gentle background music, is tastefully crafted to create a calm, warm and welcoming environment that invites the visitor to stay a while. Having perused the desserts displayed on the shelves, I asked Wolf what she would recommend; whether they had a special trademark item. She just shrugged, and with out a trace of irony said, “It’s ALL special.” and the warm gaze with which she took in the broad assortment of pastries spoke of the fondness she has for both the work and the things she creates. It comes down to the adage: do what you love; love what you do. As I paused to ponder this, I realized that the shop was filling up with people (it was approaching lunchtime) and that they were not just headed to
the dessert counter. They were lining up at a long solidlooking old wooden table on which sat a cash register, a big pot of evergreen boughs and a big pot of... soup! (How could I have missed that!?) Turns out, Cecelia and Wolf make a mean gluten-free vegan soup every day for the lunch crowd, and fresh bread to go with it, On my way out, after my own soup and bread, I discovered yet another treat— a fruit piebar., a blueberry or apple pie you can eat like a cookie. It looks like the Bakery on the Hill is going fit right in with our other beloved stopping points. You will find them at 253 Congress St. They take a spring break in late March, but will be back open by Monday, April 2. They can be reached at 653.5341.
See puzzle on page 12
Ready, Set, CULL! By Solange Kellermann, aka The Clutter Doc When it comes to organizing, many people get stuck when they consider what to keep and what to get rid of. Here are some hints to help move you through this process. POSITIVE CULLING: A helpful approach is to make positive decisions, rather than negative ones. Deciding what to keep is a positive decision. Taking everything off the shelves, out of the cabinet or closet and deciding what items
Photo Copyright ©2012 iStockphoto, by christie & cole studio inc., www.stevecole.com
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
I love it, I love it not; I n e e d it, I n e e d it not; I want it, I want it not. . .
will go back in are positive decisions. This is easier psychologically than making decision after decision to throw something away. Removing everything lets you clean out all those nooks and crannies. Once you’ve culled outof-date and no longer used items you’ll find you have more room for the things you are keeping. Put your most frequently used items where they will be easiest to access. Less frequently used items can go in more remote spots; infrequently-used items can be stored elsewhere (in clearly labeled boxes). A Lazy Susan is one of my favorite gizmos for almost any room– kitchen, craft shelves, bathroom supply closet, or workroom. It lets you get to things that would otherwise be cumbersome to reach. LOVE IT! Ready to tackle your clothes closet? The secret to doing this is advice a friend gave me years ago when I cleaned out my clothes closet. Keep only what you really love. I did that. Many bags went to Goodwill. I never missed a single item. In reality, they were only taking up useful real estate and not helping me get dressed easily or look good.
READY? Take everything out of the closet. Try on everything. Keep what you really love. That means it fits properly; is stylish enough for you. and gets compliments whenever you wear it. Yes, you may have to decide that those pants are never going to fit again (and if they do you’ll want a more stylish pair); accept the fact that although you’ve paid a lot of money, or gotten the bargain of a lifetime for that sweater, it never did look good on you; realize that your favorite skirt is beyond outof-style and could only be worn to a retro party. You’ll end up with clothes you wear and feel good in.
how much more quickly you can find what you want to wear. Put the culled clothes in the donation bag and get it to your favorite donation center; someone will be going there soon and needs what’s in that bag!
Solange Kellerman is a resident of Munjoy Hill and is active in the Friends of the Eastern Promenade. She offers clutter-taming consultations as the Clutter Doc. She can be reached at Solange@ clutterdoc.com
Put clothes back in this order (trust me, it works): • rarely-worn items in the wayback; • gardening/messy work clothing in one place, possibly in another closet or drawer; • shirts and sweaters by sleeve length and within that by color, with prints together; • pants and skirts by weight and color. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it, or at least a bit compulsive. I’ve used it myself and with clients and you’ll be surprised
Compassion in the Garden By Nini McManamy After working my garden for a few years, my focus shifted from trying to fill the place with fascinating plants, or imitating the fabulous borders in the garden magazines (can’t be done without land to devote to each season), to learning to share the space more compatibly with things that I had previously tried to control. Bugs, for example. It finally occurred to me that bugs have a role to play in nature and even in my garden. They transport pollen, they eat other bugs, and they circulate in their particular orbit in the web of life, supporting the mammals and birds who eat them, and entertaining those of us who watch them. Never, when I first began my garden, would I have predicted that one day I would take a course in Integrated Pest Management (a term of art for managing pests by controlling their environment and tolerating enough of them to support those who eat them). And that I would fall in love with the fabulous designs, both mechanical and decorative, that the microscope revealed. This winter, I bought myself a wonderful new garden toy, the handheld Active Eye 100-power microscope. I’ve looked at snow fleas in the snow and white flies on my house plants, and am anxiously awaiting the permanent arrival of warm weather so I can watch the migrating waves of insects move through my yard, the annual spring jet stream of protoplasm. This awareness didn’t come easily, and I fought mightily for years to keep aphids off my roses (they now disappear on their own after 2 or 3 days, since I have learned that’s how long it takes aphid predators to ratchet up their reproductive rate to match the food supply). Sometimes stepping back isn’t enough: I’ve had to stop growing some non-native plants. By growing lilies, I was just drawing red lily leaf beetles to their deaths. They would play possum when I tried to pinch them and then drop into my killing jar of neem below. But they reproduced at an amazing rate, and always chewed up my lilies in the end. So I found other perennials for those spots. I’ve also allowed some plants to proliferate in my
garden, notably members of the compositae family (anything that looks like a daisy is probably in that group) because they draw bees, pollinators and other predators, notably beneficial wasps. These are not my favorite plants, but they are necessary and do an important job. Mostly, I’ve learned to notice, and then wait, before taking action. This causes me to listen more intently to what is occurring in my garden and to pay attention to my role in it. I didn’t set out to be compassionate. But the more I learned about the ways in which we are confusing the natural systems on the planet by importing plants and pests from other continents, the more it humbled me. Like Alice of Wonderland fame, I could feel my human self shrinking after drinking the tonic of plant knowledge. I’m not perfect. I still swear at and pinch Japanese beetles though I let them have their way in the grape arbor in the hope of distracting them from the roses. I’ve heard that they prefer pole beans even to roses, and mean to try that strategy. And the squirrels. Squirrels are the most challenging pest I’ve been up against—mine have tasty peach-flavored flesh, I’m sure, from all the fruit they’ve enjoyed from my trees. I’ve tried poisoning them with D-Con (really cruel, I admit) and trapping them in Havaharts (they go to live in a nice town across a bridge, with good habitat and excellent school systems). Finally, last year, I bought a huge bird net and draped it over my peach tree. Difficult, but I got a peach crop. I now see my garden as a giant terrarium, with all kinds of interacting life and mineral matter. I would love to understand the energy flows, how sunlight and heat are translated into plant food and bug growth that eventually supports those baby birds my cat is after. I’ve read about entropy, and wonder if the loop is running downhill. But I think that will remain beyond me. The most important lesson I’ve learned from having compassion for pests is compassion for myself. I’m just a passing actor on this piece of territory but I’m resolved to pass it on to the next inhabitant in better shape than when it found me.
Now located right on Munjoy Hill!
Falmouth Flowers and Gifts 58 Washington Ave. | Portland Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough. ~ A. E. Houseman, Shropshire Lad
Falmouth Flowers and Gifts is a fullservice florist offering first quality, fresh cut flowers and arrangements. We will exceed your expectations for all occasions. We can create one-of-a-kind arrangements for newborns, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, and special events of all kinds. We also create unique holiday decorations and wreaths as well as theme-specific gift baskets. For this cheerful spring season, we have: • beautiful spring & Easter arrangements; • fresh wreaths and candle rings; • fruit and gourmet baskets; • live seasonal plants; • gift certificates in all denominations and a lovely selection of gifts from which to choose. • In-home decorating available.
*Easter is on April 8th ~ Be sure to order early!
We are located at the corner of Washington Ave. and Oxford Ave. (on the Silly’s side of the street.) Making floral deliveries throughout the greater Portland and Falmouth area. Like us on Facebook
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The King and I ReadersWrite ReadersWrite ReadersWrite R e ad
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
An essay by Elizabeth Miller, Waterville Street
Stephen King and I have two things in common. We share a birthday in September, although I should point out that Mr. King is my senior. More importantly, we are partners in World Book Night. I’m of the “See Puff run” generation. Once I learned to read, I got my very own library card, which I proudly wielded at the Allegheny County (Pa.) Bookmobile that arrived on Friday afternoons. Imagine: I could borrow any book in that marvelous green vehicle. As the Bobbsey Twins’ escapades and Nancy Drew mysteries (I pictured myself as sidekick Bess) fostered daydreams of my own adventures, I became hooked as a reader. By high school, it was not unusual for me to check out 4-5 books on a Friday and have at least two read by Sunday night. Then came years of university studies when I plowed my way through long history and literature syllabi. It wasn’t until my late 20s when I rediscovered the joy of reading for reading’s sake. Books have power: the power to inform, entertain, provide solace, calm anxious moments, transport to
magical times and places. Each time I open a book, I savor the possibilities in that moment. But not everyone shares this mania for books. It’s not unusual for my adult ed students to admit that the book we’re reading is the first book they have ever completed. So when Longfellow Books announced the launching of World Book Night in the USA, I quickly applied, indicated my three preferred books, and eagerly awaited news of whether my plans measured up to World Book Night’s mission to reach non and light readers. Which brings me to Stephen King and that other item we have in common. On April 23, I will join more than 50,000 volunteers in distributing over one million books in the UK, Ireland and the USA. Stephen (by now I feel we should be on a first name basis) is one of thirty authors who, along with their publishers, generously agreed to provide free copies of their books for distribution through World Book Night. In his case, it’s his postapocalyptic novel The Stand.
Proud to be part of this transatlantic force to encourage literacy, a local contingent of more than two dozen volunteers will pick up their boxes at Longfellow Books and head off into the evening to spread the joy of reading. Distribution plans include Preble Street Resource Center, Maine Center for Cancer Medicine, the Saint Elizabeth Pantry, and Portland Adult Education, among others. What joys will World Book Night deliver? As the Jimmy Durante song croaks:
I’ll never forget the day I read a book. It was contagious, seventy pages. There were pictures here and there, So it wasn’t hard to bear, The day I read a book. It’s a shame I don’t recall the name of the book. It wasn’t a history, I know, because it had no plot. It wasn’t a mystery, because nobody there got shot. The day I read a book. I can’t remember when, But one o’ these daaaays, I’m gonna do it again.
A Day in the Life of a Raw Foodie
You’ve heard of raw food, but do you know what it means to eat a raw food diet? It is so much more than carrot sticks and salads! The raw vegan lifestyle includes eating fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains and nothing is heated over 118 degrees. By not heating the food, the enzymes remain intact--enzymes are life force that make us feel vibrant and alive. The food is really creative, colorful and packed with flavor. I live a high raw vegan lifestyle which means I eat mostly raw food, but on occasion enjoy some cooked vegan food with my friends and family. Today I am going to share with you a typical day of food for me. I begin each day with a glass of water followed by a quart of green smoothie or green juice. My green smoothie includes 3-4 cups of leafy greens blended with water and 3-4 cups of fruit, like banana, strawberries or mango. A green juice would include juicing celery, cucumber, leafy greens, apple, carrots, ginger, beet and lime. I never miss my morning green drink—it sets the tone for my day!
By Elizabeth Fraser of Girl Gone Raw Mid-morning I enjoy a piece of fruit or a shew based “cheeze” cake or anything chochandful of my trail mix: a mixture of rai- olate … like the chocolate strawberry birthsins, mulberries, gogi berries, shredded day cake I made for my niece’s 5th birthday. coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds and So why eat more raw food? There are so pistachios. many reason to add MORE raw food to your When lunch calls, I love to eat a warm soup, life: increased energy, mental like carrot ginger soup, with a large kale clarity, weight loss, detoxifisalad. To make a warm soup, I just add hot cation, an overall improved sense of well-being, and it’s a water to my blender and blend. planet friendly way of living I am a big snacker too, so I often enjoy anwith less waste. other piece of fruit or some sliced veggies with a nut paté in the afternoon. Or a glass The easiest way to enjoy more of green smoothie or green juice makes for a raw food is to start making green smoothies or green great pick-me-up too! juices. Dust off your blenders Dinner time can be anything from a Mexiand juicers and join me for can burrito to a plate of spaghetti. The burmy April Green Drink Chalrito is a cabbage leaf stuffed with shredded lenge where I ask that you lettuce, a walnut-sundried tomato “meat,” add one quart of green drink a tomato, mango salsa, avocado, corn and to your day, each day, for 30 sprouts. And spaghetti is zucchini turned days. Recipes are posted daily. into gorgeous noodles with a spiralizer, Just by adding this one thing topped with a fresh marinara sauce and to your life, you will feel the marinated vegetables. difference! Or join me for And desserts … they are absolutely to live my “Day in the Life of a Raw for! My favorites include fruit sorbet, a ca-
Foodie” class on Tues, April 10th from 6-8 to experience a full day of raw food eating. Visit www.girlgoneraw.com for details on the Green Drink challenge and to sign up for a class. Keep on rawkin’!
Art Soul Good Neighbor of the Month Dan Haley
By: Lisa Peñalver The good neighbors featured in this column come from all walks of life, and often came to the Hill from various parts of the country, and some even from abroad, like so many residents here today. But every now and again we feature a life-long resident. This month I had the opportunity to speak with Dan Haley, retired insurance agent (among many other titles). Dan is a fourth-generation Hill resident. Dan Haley’s great grandfather was born in Ireland and lived on Ponce Street on Munjoy Hill. Dan points out that his daughter, who was born in the driveway of their home on the Eastern Promenade, can actually boast FIFTH-generation status!
“We just put in a photo-voltaic system (solar panels) that will save the Boys & Girls Clubs $32,000 a year,” he said, rightfully pleased with the achievement. The swimming pool takes a tremendous amount of energy to heat, and this system will significantly lower those costs. Beyond community activism, Dan Haley has an extensive appreciation of the history of this neighborhood, “Portland’s Old-
You probably recognize the name if you have been around the Hill for any length of time: it is still part of the insurance agency that Above (left to right): Dan, daughter Danielle, wife Connie, daughter bears the Haley name. This busi- Brooke, taken at the Portland Club gym prior to their running in the ness, begun by Dan’s father, has five mile Patriot Day Road Race that raised $15,000 for scholarships for the Club members. since morphed to become a separate entity with the name “United Insurance Haley Agency.” Dan has moved on est.” Ask him what the neighborhood was like before the Portland House to other interests. apartments went up on the Prom, he If you wanted to paint a picture of a model can tell you. Dan is an enthusiastic procommunity activist, you need not look moter of the city of Portland, not just of further than Dan. He has lent his mind, Munjoy Hill. time, efforts and expertise to everything from the Adams School Reuse Commit- Some of his current “projects” include tee (a long process), the 2003 Eastern being a Portland Harbor Commissioner Prom Master Planning Committee, to the (one of 5) and an Aide-de-Camp (VeterPortland History Docents program, to the an Affairs Advisor) to the Governor. As Friends of the Eastern Promenade, and to Aide to Camp, working on the Advisory professional groups such as the Board of Board for Veterans Affairs, Dan noted Governors of the National Alliance for In- “I’ve found the Governor to be remarksurance Education & Research. The list of ably supportive of veterans, and pro-active about their needs. This is something titles goes on. you don’t hear about in the media.” Dan’s most long-term involvement has got to be with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Regardless of the issues, Dan Haley brings to the table an unusual degree of underSouthern Maine (bgcmaine.org). standing of the Munjoy Hill community, “I used to go there when I was a kid, and a very personal sense of its history after school,” he told me. “I’ve been in- and the changes it has experienced and volved with them all my life.” Dan at- continues to undergo. His energy, enthutended the Portland Clubhouse during siasm and willingness to share his time the ’50s and ’60s. after college and the and talents all make us grateful to have USMC I became active in BGC Alumni him as OUR neighbor! Association, then later on as President of the Alumni Association (600 members), on the Board, and most recently as Facilities Chair.
PPL is celebrating Poetry Month in April! Poetry Contest: Adults, Teens and Children can submit poems until April 20th! One City, One Poem: The Library encourages everyone in Portland to read “City Trees” by Edna St. Vincent Millay Edible Book Festival: Friday, April 6th from 5 -8 pm Poetry Month Finale! Saturday, April 28th 12 -1 pm, Performance by Lady Zen and Poetry Contest winners announced
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
El Camino de Santiago By Kate Campbell Strauss
Kate Campbell Strauss moved to Munjoy Hill in February of 2012, one month after returning from her pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago. She grew up in Western Massachusetts and attended Pomona College in Claremont, California. She set out on the trek shortly after graduating. She had traveled a little bit with her family as a child and studied abroad in Ghana during her junior year in college, but her pilgrimage was the first time she had traveled alone for an extended period of time. Kate would love to be a resource to anyone who is thinking of embarking on the Camino de Santiago. Please send emails to Observer@munjoyhill.org
In September, I began a four-month journey walking on El Camino de Santiago—the Way of Saint James, a network of ancient pilgrimage routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I left the U.S. with no return ticket and without knowing how long it would take to complete my planned route: from Le Puy en Velay, southwest across France, over the Pyrenees, and west across Northern Spain to the Galician coast. I had begun training in Portland last summer by taking my hiking boots, pack, and trekking poles up and down the hills in Fort Allen Park and making circles around the Back Cove on Baxter Boulevard. It worried me a little that, as much as I loved the scenery, I felt undeniably bored by the walking. But I had been called to the way, so I figured I just needed to get my body there. Once I arrived in Le Puy, I asked a local for directions to the campground. It didn’t take much for her to convince me that it was too far to walk. I was tired. So I followed some backpacked gentlemen up one of the steep cobblestone streets toward the cathedral and the pilgrim hostel they were planning to stay in. I lost them but eventually found the hostel and staggered into the reception room sweaty and out of breath. When I asked if they had a bed for me, a concerned-looking
French volunteer told me he was sure they would figure something out for me. During the next three days, I rested in Le Puy, adjusted to the time difference and to sleeping in a room with about 25 other people. Each morning, I watched people tie up their boots, pack their bags, and leave town. Some of them were walking for the first time and many were on their third or fourth camino, at least. I knew I wasn’t there to compete with anyone, but I felt intimidated by them and was apprehensive about my imminent departure. The last day in Le Puy, I met a woman from Quebec who had walked part of the way to Santiago from Le Puy and returned on foot. So, unlike most of the people I met during those first few days, she was at the end of her journey. She offered advice about where to stay and about how to empty my pack, teasing me for considering packing a pound bag of peanuts: “You’ll feed those to the horses!” But what inspired me beyond my fears about starting the journey was her joy. As I walked down the cathedral steps, out of Le Puy, and into the countryside that Saturday, (with still far too many things in my backpack,) that stayed with me. Whatever it was that made her face glow like that—I wanted it, too. (To be continued ...)
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MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER Spotlight on Non-Profits is a regular feature. To feature your favorite non-profit, please contact Lisa Peñalver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project–ILAP When I received a colorful postcard in the mail recently, inviting me to a celebration for a group called ILAP, I decided to learn more. On the website, I found this description: Immigrants have helped shape Maine’s culture and
economy even prior to its statehood. Today’s immigrants from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East follow in the footsteps of those from Africa, Canada, China and Europe who have come to our state for centuries. Immigrants have long appreciated Maine for its welcoming people and its way of life, and have made vital contributions to every aspect of Maine’s economy, including Maine’s agriculture, hospitality, and professional sectors. Today, ILAP estimates Maine’s immigrant population to be over 55,000 persons. Each year, we assist clients originating from dozens of countries, who come to us from all 16 of Maine’s counties. As Maine’s only provider of immigration and related legal aid to low-income Maine residents, ILAP helps immigrants stabilize and upgrade their immigration status so that they can improve their lives and those of their families, and so that, like the immigrants before them, they can participate fully and meaningfully in Maine society.
By Lisa Peñalver
I spoke with Hayden Anderson, ILAP’s Interim Executive Director, to learn more about the work of this organization.
eral funding of immigrant services.
Q: How long has ILAP been in existence?
HA: We are seeing more people from Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo seeking green cards and asylum.
HA: We’ve been around since 2000. Our founder, attorney Beth Stickney, saw a need in Portland and established this organization to meet that need. Q: Is ILAP part of a national organization? Where do you get your funding? HA: ILAP is unique—we’re the only such group in the state, though I am sure there are outfits across the country that do the sort of work that we do. As for funding, we receive no government money at all. We rely on generous individuals in the state and to a lesser degree on foundation grants. Individuals are key to our funding structure. In the wake of the 1996 Welfare Reform signed into law by the Clinton Administration, a lot of organizations which used to be able to serve immigrants no longer could do so. Constraints were put on fed-
Q: What populations are you seeing more of these days?
Q: So, do you provide just immigrationrelated legal help, or do you provide the full-spectrum of legal assistance? HA: We just work on immigration issues. Immigrations forms are very complex, even knowing the language, the average person would be hard-pressed to fill them out correctly. And an incorrectly-filed form can delay approval by months! As it is, it takes at least 6 months to be approved for asylum, and the seeker cannot legally get a job during this time. For legal issues beyond immigration, we work closely with our friends over at Pine Tree Legal Assistance (ptla.org). But even they are not allowed to represent undocumented individuals, by virtue of their funding structure with the federal government, so asylum seekers face special challenges. These are people who have fled persecution in their home country. Usually they leave
with practically nothing in the way of possessions, and in this country, they are not permitted to work until they successfully complete the paperwork and are granted legal status. ILAP seeks to offer support to these most vulnerable people in the community. We see a paradox among our asylum seekers. In the U.S., you associate poverty with lack of education, but those seeking asylum have often already earned advanced degrees; they are doctors, and judges, and engineers, but when they get here, they are starting over. They are educated and skilled but facing extreme poverty. See page 11, ILAP Maine
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
Electronics Recycling Event: April 7, 8am - 2pm @ Lyman Moore Middle School
Five Fun Facts about Earth Day
Posted on Hollywire.com by loretta, used with permission April 22, 2012 is the 42nd annual Earth Day! Here are five fun facts about the day that already has and will continue to change the way people think about conservation. 5. Earth Day’s Start Earth Day was founded by US
Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970. 20 million Americans took part in the first Earth Day. In 1990 Earth Day went global, reaching 200 million people in 141 countries. 4. Why April 22? Nelson chose April 22 for Earth Day
because he wanted to maximize participation from college students. He narrowed the date down to the week of April 19-25 because it wasn’t during spring breaks or college exams and there weren’t any religious holidays that week. Nelson then chose Wednesday, April 22, because students would be in class and there was a lower chance of other events because it was the middle of the week 3. Earth Day Birthdays Saint Francis of Assisi, whom
many believe to be the world’s first environmentalist, was born on April 22, as was Queen Isabella, Vladimir Lenin, and Julius Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day.
ILAP maine continued from page 10 Q: It sounds like there are some very basic needs that must be met in the interim—food, shelter, clothing, security. ILAP can’t offer these… so, who does? HA: This is where the folks over at Preble Street come in. We also have a handful of caring individuals who volunteer their time, and the community of faith has been very great in helping meet these immediate needs. Q: So, what is coming up for ILAP this spring? HA: Our annual Fundraiser is coming up-the CeleSoirée, Friday April 13, 6:30, general admission, see www.ilapmaine.org/celesoiree.html. It’s a lot of fun, and family-friendly. Good music, great international foods, and artwork generously donated by artists in the community, all in the impressive setting of the Portland Company on Fore Street. I invite everyone to attend and get to know our staff and supporters. For more information, visit ilapmaine.org; Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, 309 Cumberland Avenue, Suite 201, Phone 207.780.1593, Toll Free Helpline: 1.800.497.8505 E-mail, email@example.com
2. Earth Day Flag Earth Day has its
own flag. The Ecology Flag was created by Ron Cobb, a cartoonist, and was first published on October 25, 1969. 1. Earth Day 2009 2009 marked the
beginning of The Green Generation Campaign. which consists of three core principles:
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Earth Day Network’s Green Generation campaign launched in 2009 and culminated on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2010. It is similar to “The Greatest Generation” that confronted the challenge of World War II and inspired the major societal changes that followed. The Green Generation includes ordinary people who are engaged in individual and collective activities to improve their health, to improve their schools, and to participate in building a solution to urgent national and global issues, such as climate change or the world’s water crises. Visit earthday.org for a full list of Earth Day events and ways for you to get involved. See page 14 of this Observer for local Earth Day event
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Living With Peace
Living With Peace is a dynamic local grassroots community support organization investing in the future of our immigrants by providing information, resources, and training to newcomers to the community and culture.
Urumuri, Lighting the Way for Rwandese Women By Christina Feller, President, Living With Peace
Photo by Annunciata Urujeni
Two years ago, a small group of Rwandese women came together to start an organization dedicated to helping Rwandese women acculturate their families into Maine life and work while maintaining and supporting the heritage of their culture. And so, Urumuri was formed. As Annonciata Urujeni, president, explains, “Urumuri in our language Kinyarwandan means a lighted way that inspires hope, so we feel that this name is a symbol for us. We are determined to be good American citizens but we are also grounded in our culture which means that certain aspects of our lives must be strengthened, honored, and respected.”
Urumuri’s Daughters, a group of young Rwandese girls who are learning to dance in the cultural traditions of Rwanda.
Urumuri’s organizing document states the purpose of the nonprofit: To inform, assist, educate and support women of Rwandese descent, and their families, to acculturate to life in Maine and in the USA, and to assimilate into the social, economic and civic life of their communities, while maintaining the integrity of the Rwandese traditional culture including, but not limited to, art, music, dance, language, food and dress. More than 20 women are members of this organization now. The women meet monthly to discuss social problems or challenges to the community that must be dealt with. When people are sick, they organize
round the clock care; when there’s a new baby, a wedding, a death, graduation, moving—important life events—the women plan the community’s response. The group has a Youth Committee made up of young Rwandese that meets every month and reports back to the mothers about their ideas, needs, and concerns. The mothers build up the children in the ways of their culture and the good parts of our new country. Annunciata continued, “We teach our children that like all cultures, there are good things about America and some things that are not so good. So we teach our children right from wrong and what is good to learn from America. We want them to copy the good examples and give away the bad ones. We are teaching them life skills.” The mothers have regular meetings and are focusing on wellness and nutrition, raising their children well, educational needs of the members, and emotional and psychological support for these Survivors of the Genocide. Every month, the members pay dues and the collection is given to those women who are having financial difficulties. “We help each other just like back home.” Living With Peace and Urumuri have formed a partnership to begin dialogues among American mothers and Urumuri mothers to discuss common topics about raising children and being successful in America. Women interested in taking part in these dialogues should contact Christina Feller at 939-3800. Urumuri’s Daughters is a group of young Rwandese girls who are learning to dance in the cultural traditions of Rwanda. Thanks to an anonymous donation, the group was able to buy appropriate clothing and other items important to the traditions. Photo at left is the group in costume. Anyone who wishes to have the girls dance can contact Urumuri at email@example.com.
Moore Sixth Graders Host Naturalization Ceremony Sixth graders at Portland’s Lyman Moore Middle School will host a U.S. naturalization ceremony on April 6 at 10 a.m. at the school, located at 171 Auburn Street. Thirty-eight area residents from 19 countries of origin will be sworn in as citizens. For more info, contact David Hilton, teacher at Lyman Moore Middle School, firstname.lastname@example.org, (207) 874-8150
Crossword ACross Across 1- “Power Lunch” network 5- Rocky hilltop 8- Arabian Sea gulf 12- ___ avis 13- Thin as ___ 15- Antitoxins 16- Auricular 17- Brief brawl 18- ___ expert, but... 19- Frail boat 22- CIA forerunner 23- Unit of illumination 24- Crazy as a ___ 26- Mark used in ancient manuscripts 29- Young swan 31- Hindu honorific 32- “See ya!” 34- Consumed 36- Hamlet, e.g. 38- Toil
40- Baseball team 41- ___ und Drang 43- Norwegian dramatist 45- Mark of Zorro 46- Cream cake 48- Potpourri bag 50- Carson’s successor 51- Aussie hopper 52- Chemical ending 54- Needless 61- River to the Moselle 63- Herbert Hoover, for one 64- Pipe 65- Commedia dell’___ 66- Change for the better 67- “___ Brockovich” 68- Chilled 69- Baseball stat 70- Miss;
Down 1- Gator’s cousin 2- Defense grp. since 1949 3- ___-a-brac 4- Chatter noisily 5- Very, in Versailles 6- Swear words 7- Baptism, e.g. 8- Faulkner’s “___ Lay Dying” 9- Withdraw money from use 10- Sea eagles 11- Greek temple 13- Neuter 14- Hard candy 20- Soothe 21- Expensive seating area 25- Son of Judah 26- Declaim 27- Having two nuclei 28- Flight of steps 29- Crucifix
30- Belief 31- Radical ‘60s org. 33- Backward tidal movement 35- Born 37- Della’s creator 39- Hindmost part 42- Hindu lawgiver 44- Sgts., e.g. 47- Ancient region of Asia Minor 49- Inn 52- Actor Morales 53- Bust maker 55- Iditarod terminus 56- Large jug or pitcher 57- Injectable diazepam, in military lingo 58- Ambience 59- Diamond stats 60- Cravings 62- Roulette bet; BestCrosswords.com
Solution on page 6
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
St. Lawrence Arts Center Your neighborhood arts center is at 76 Congress Street, stlawrencearts.org, 347-7177
MOOSE Droppings—Open Mic/Spoken Word Maine Organization of Storytelling Enthusiasts meet Every second Wednesday of the month. Drop by the Portland Public Library for our Monthly MOOSE Open Mic / Spoken Word Story Telling Event! Adult original and traditional stories, 10 minutes or less at the open mic hosted each by a different MOOSE Member. Suggested $5 donation. moosetellers.ning.com/
Mayo Street Arts, Performances & Classes 10 Mayo Street, mayostreetarts. org —Times vary. Classes: Tango, Belly Dancing, Kids Yoga, Juggling, Zumba and Pilates. Artist Studios, theater, poetry, music and more. Contact 615-3609, or email@example.com
links. Participants must have an email account. Space is is limited for these trainings –participants must register in advance at the Library’s Public Computing desk or by calling 871-1700 ext. 708.
Children’s Museum Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 7, Before Hours Easter Egg Hunt 9-10am Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine 828-1234.
Electronics Recycling Event April 7, 8am - 2pm @ Lyman Moore Middle School
April 8—Easter Sunday Historical Walk–Fort Allen Park
Public Library Events Free Workshops thru the Library: Wisdom at Work, a lunchtime professional development series at the Portland Public Library, details at www.portlandlibrary.com/
Thursday, April 12, 7 PM-9 PM, Venue: Merill Auditorium, Portland
Saturday, April 7, 2012, from 1 to 5 pm, Gerald Talbot Hall in Luther Bonney Hall on the USM Portland Campus. In remembrance of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. FMI, contact Thierry at 405-882-6855 or Robert at 207-766-6962
Poetry Readings, Every Tuesday 7-10 pm, @ Local Sprouts, 649 Congress St., Portland, All Ages,Gil Helmick, 400.7543,
Now indoor: Interested in playing SOCCER in the East End? Pick-up games—No fancy leagues, no super-competitive play - just have fun, keep in shape, and have fun. All ages/skill levels welcome! Contact Andrew: 670-8041 or drewleadley@ gmail.com
USM Youth Ensembles Perform Spring Instrumental Concert
18th Annual Genocide Commemoration
Port Veritas Spoken Word Night
Soccer Pick-Up Games
Monday, April 2, 5:30-6 pm What Lies Beneath? Exploring Fort Allen’s Archeological History (Rain date 9:30-10 am Tuesday, April 3), Fort Allen Park, Portland, Sponsored by Friends of the Eastern Promenade
PSO Kinderkonzert: The Story of Abbie Burgess Thursday, April 12, 9:30 AM-10:15 AM; (Please arrive early to purchase tickets at the door or get tickets in advance at www.portlandsymphony.org), Additional performance on April 12, 10:30 AM-11:15 AM and Venue: East End Community School, Portland
Portland Winter Farmers’ Market Continues on Saturdays through April 21, after which the outdoor Portland Farmers’ Market returns. On now at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, on the corner of State and Gray Streets, one block from Mercy Hospital.
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Poetry Reading–New Work
Saturday, April 7 at 11 am at the Portland Public Library, Saturday, April 7, 11 am, Writer and Observer contributor Andrew Lapham-Fersch will be reading from his first collection of poems, “The Rough Draft of My Life Story.” see Andrew-Lapham-
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Cesar Chavez Observance Saturday, March 31, 3-5 PM, First Parish of Portland Maine, 425 Congress Street. In observance of Chavez’s birthday and 50th Anniversary of United Farm Workers of America. FMI: Dr. Ralph Carmona: ralphcarmona@ gmail.com, 518-9177.
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Portland Public Library to host “Facebook for Seniors”, Wednesdays, April 4th, 11th and 25th from 1-4pm, in Meeting Room #3. Advanced registration is required, The Portland Public Library will continue to offer three-session “Facebook for Seniors” workshops for folks wanting to learn how to use the popular social media tool. Will cover building a Facebook account, privacy settings and advanced settings like uploading videos and sharing web MHNO is a proud member of Portland BuyLocal
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
Friday, April 13, 7 PM-9 PM, Venue: Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland
ILAP’s 8th annual CeleSoirée Friday, April 13, 6:30 PM-10 PM; Celebrating Immigration through the Arts (Limited admission preview starts at 5:30 PM. Gen. admission starts at 6:30 PM.), Venue: The Portland Company, 58 Fore Street, Portland, ilapmaine. org/celesoiree.html
Portland Flea-for-All Opening Weekend Saturday, April 14-15, 10 AM-5 PM; 25 Kennebec St., West Bayside (located in old Asia West Building), 482-9053, E: email@example.com , portlandfleaforall.com
Final Fort Allen Park Restoration Public Hearing Wednesday, April 18, 7 pm, Room 209, Portland City Hall
Saturday, April 21—Earth Day! Green Neighbor Family Fest Saturday, April 21, 2012 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Deering High School. Urban Runoff 5K race and walk 9 a.m. Saturday, April 21, 2012 Deering High School. Earth Day Celebrations! Sunday, April 22, 2012 11am-3 pm: Monument Square events, & 2:30-4pm: Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine 828-1234. See p 11.
Portland Trails’ Happy Trails Big Bash & Silent Auction Friday April 27 5:30-10 PM, music with Sean Mencher and his Rhythm Kings. $25 members/$35. FMI trails.org, 775-2411.
Great Portland Bike Swap Sunday, April 29, 10 AM-2 PM, Cyclists of all ages and ability levels will have the chance to buy and sell bicycles – or do both with a percentage of the sales going to support the programming and educational efforts of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.. Drop off bikes to sell between 8 and 9:30 a.m. Hosted by Bicycle Coalition of Maine, at University of Southern Maine’s Sullivan Gymnasium.
East End Maypole Celebration ”The Sun & The Moon,” event on Saturday, May 5, 5 pm, at Fort Sumner Park on North Street. A celebration of rebirth and renewal, springtime and community. A Maypole will be erected in the center of the park. Come to decorate the maypole with streamers, enjoy lawn games, live acoustic music by local artists, and interact with nature-based art. At 7:30 pm, the Maypole will be wrapped by the streamers/ dancers. Free to all.
Maine Comics Arts Festival Sunday, May 19-20 from 10-5 at Ocean Gateway in Portland, Come meet over 100 FMI: Casablanca Comics of Portland, mecaf.blogspot.
April Stools Day & Prom Pickup Saturday, April 21, 9 to Noon, The 20th annual April Stools Day Eastern Promenade Cleanup, rain or shine. Sponsored by Friends of the Eastern Promenade.
18th Annual 2012 HOPE Festival & Green Expo Orono, Maine, Saturday April 21st, 11 am to 4 pm, Student Recreation & Fitness Center UMaine Orono: Bill McKibben, Keynote Speaker, Innana, Sisters in Rhythm, drumming & vocals, Timbered Lake, Music for Mother Earth, Zachary Field, Amazing Juggler, HOPE Festival Singers, as well as children’s activities, local food & 70 social change groups, Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, peacectr.org/
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MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
Real EstatE Up on Munjoy Hill
Considering Renting Out Your Home or Condo? By Colleen Bedard The rental market on Munjoy Hill continues to be strong—not only for leased apartments but also for short-term condos and single family homes. 2011 saw a low turnover in rental apartments, and we expect that 2012 will be approximately the same. Tenants seem to be content knowing what their rent and utilities will cost in their existing apartment. The average 2-bedroom apartment on the peninsula rents for $900; a better-than-average apartment, however, will command a higher monthly rent. An expanding rental market is shortterm, sometimes called “executive-rentals.” Short-term rentals are furnished condos, single family homes or apartments and, because they are fully furnished, and are available for a short period of time; they command premium weekly and monthly rents. The rentals commanding the highest prices are
newly renovated, freshly painted, professionally “staged” and cleaned homes. A 2-bedroom, 1 or 2-bath condo on the East End can rent, in the summer, for $1,000-1,400/week or $2,000-4,000/ month. These units are in “like new” condition. For a homeowner on the Hill who will be away for a few weeks this summer, a short-term rental can generate income at a time that the home would otherwise be vacant. Working with a real estate agent knowledgeable in the short-term rental market can help make renting your home a pleasant experience. Obtaining quality tenants is important for you, the homeowner. Clear expectations around condition of the home when the tenant arrives and leaves should be established as well as any other rules and tips spelled out. Colleen Bedard lives on Munjoy Hill and is a Realtor/Broker with Townsend Real Estate.
MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER
April Stools Day, from front page
of the Eastern Promenade, which now sponsors April Stools Day. Davison has served as president of the nonprofit organization since its inception in 2006, and has been the leading force behind various park projects, including the Fort Allen and Loring Memorial Trails, the summer concerts in Fort Allen Park and the current Fort Allen Park Rehabilitation Project.
products, mainly produce, by putting together a central distribution space for the three retail locations and our bakery/production kitchen.” They were on the verge of renting a warehouse space out on the edge of the city when the Commercial Street space became available. The location and easy access allow them to be open to the public as well.
And while her beloved dog Lucy has since departed, Davison still walks the Eastern Prom daily with her current pack, Russell and Alice. “We are truly fortunate to be able to share the enjoyment of our trails, beaches and grassy slopes here on the Eastern Promenade, both with our furry friends and with so many members of the community and beyond,” Davison says. The 20th annual April Stools Day will be held from 9 to noon, rain or shine Saturday, April 21, in conjunction with Litter Pickup Day. Volunteers can choose to pick up litter, dog droppings or both. Gloves, trash bags and litter tongs will be provided. The event is sponsored by Friends of the Eastern Promenade and Portland’s locally owned Fetch Pet Supply. The traditional Golden Turd will again be hidden in each April Stools Day location, with the lucky finder winning a gift certificate to Fetch. This year’s Portland locations include the Eastern Promenade, Fort Sumner Park, Reiche Park and Baxter Woods as well as Fort Foster and Seapoint/ Crescent Beach in Kittery. On the Eastern Promenade, volunteers can report to one of five stations: near the top of Cutter Street, the Cleeves Monument at Congress Street, at the playground & ballfields, Loring Memorial Circle, and East End Beach. For more information on April Stools Day, visit easternpromenade.org or facebook.com/ AprilStoolsDay.
continued from page 5
The idea of the produce market actually goes back some years. Rosemont founder, John Naylor, who also piloted the Green Grocer of years ago, had proposed a produce market as part of the redevelopment plans of the Maine State Pier. The new market is stocked in part by a fa-
ther/son team who make daily runs to the Chelsea Market in Boston, and will be providing more local produce starting this summer. The market should also increase pedestrian activity at the bottom of In-
dia Street. A new cafe, Crema, is slated to open up next door to the market in the weeks ahead. The market’s regular hours are 11-5 Monday through Friday; however, it was also open on a recent Saturday afternoon, so it’s worth swinging by to see.