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M u n joy H il 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

s s it e t ra y! eleb ersar C NO niv MH 0th An 3

FREE Published by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization Vol. 29, No. 7 • December 2009

Appreciating the Humble

Triple-Deckers of Munjoy Hill

Christopher Glass and Brain Vanden Brink’s recently released Historic Maine Homes celebrates Portland’s noteworthy Federal, Greek Revival, and Italianate houses. What you won’t find among the full-color spreads of the elegant Peleg Wadsworth, McLellan Sweat, and Morse-Libby mansions is the story of a humbler housing form. One that played a central role in Portland’s history and contributes to its current vitality: the triple-decker apartment building. These simple, sturdy New England icons, long accustomed to being left out of glossy coffee table volumes, have been an essential part of life on Munjoy Hill for over 100 years. A triple-decker on Sheridan Street housed John Feeney while he was earning the nickname “Bull” for his prowess on the gridiron at Portland High. That was before he changed his name to Ford and achieved fame as a film director in Hollywood.

COMMUNITY POLICING ON MUNJOY HILL A Look at the Senior Lead Officer Program by Cliff Gallant

The iconic New England three-story homes known as triple-deckers are seen all over the Hill. The one above is on Congress Street just beyond the Breggy Oil building. At right, a home on Cumberland Avenue as seen from the top of the Portland Observatory. Photos by Lisa Peñalver.

Creating a Land of Enchantment on the East End This year, Portland’s Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad (MNGRR) and the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine (CMTM) have partnered to bring the Polar Express experience back for a second year, and their plan includes several enhancements, both on the train and off.

Above, Senior Lead Officer Gayle Petty on patrol on the East End. Photo ©2009 by Rose Marasco.

When Chief James Craig came to Portland from Los Angeles last Spring he did so, he says, based on a “quality of life” decision. The twelve square mile area of West Los Angeles that he supervised, for instance, is home to some some ten thousand documented gang members. It was a big-city scenario quite different than the one he expected to find in Portland. But one night shortly after his arrival here he visited the Old Port at bar closing time—and was quoted as saying that he had never seen a scene like it in all of his twenty-nine years as a police officer (fights!). A sobering commentary that should be noted by anyone still under the impression that problems hitherto associated with larger urban areas of the country have not made their way here.

arrival in Portland that some of the programs he had introduced in West Los Angeles would be just as applicable here. The Senior Lead Officer program, for example, is a development coming out of the broad concept of Community Policing, which has at its core the return of policing to the days of the neighborhood cop who walked the beat, knew everyone’s name, had people’s trust, and could solve problems on a person-to-person basis. The approach is intended to counter the police officer being perceived as personally detached, speeding by with the siren screeching and the blue light flashing, and coming into contact with citizens only when the law has been broken. The Senior Lead Officer Program entails an officer being assigned to a specific neighborhood, not only be responsible for coordinating the Department’s policing of that

A highly decorated officer known for his innovative and imaginative approach to policing, Chief Craig soon came to realize after his See page 7, Community Policing

“Partnering with the Museum & Theatre has given us an opportunity to add a theatrical element that’s unique to the Maine Narrow Gauge’s Polar Express experience,” says Susan Davis, Executive Director of MNGRR.

A triple-decker on Kellogg Street was the childhood home of Joseph Brennan who ultimately made his home in the Blaine House from 1979-1987. He was the second Governor of Maine to come from Munjoy Hill. “Triple-deckers define the character of the neighborhood and reflect a very important chapter in the history of Portland,” according to Earle Shettleworth, Maine State Historian. Today there are seventy-five triple-deckers within the bounds of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization area. The triple-decker owned by Drew Masterman and Nan Cumming sits among a stand of eleven triple-deckers that lines both sides of Vesper Street in the block south of Congress. It was built the year Fenway Park opened and has lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars. Prior to gently restoring their building and making a home on the third floor, Masterman and Cumming rattled around in a ten-room, three story, single family house. In a triple-decker “the layout means we’re together more than in the single family house,” says Masterman. See page 8, Triple-

In this issue Triple-Deckers on Munjoy Hill. . . 1 Community Policing. . . . . . . . . . . 1 Polar Express Event. . . . . . . . . . . . 1 New Community Health Center 1 MHNO President’s Letter. . . . . . . 2

“Each car will feature a live performance of the story,” says Davis. “No other railroad in the country is doing this.” Instead of a recording over the sound system, a pair of actors, dressed in their pajamas, will act out the story on each coach. Once the train reaches the North Pole, passengers will feast their eyes on Cole’s creation: a North Pole outpost for Santa and his elves. In a nod to the Polar Express and the Maine Narrow Gauge, this North Pole will be created from two railroad cars. Cole will be hard at work all day on Friday turning his vision from a sketch on the page See page 4, Polar Express


Letter from the Editor. . . . . . . . . . 2 Crime Safety Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 MHNO Bulletin Board. . . . . . . . . . 3 MHNO Membership Form. . . . 3

Now Open—Portland

Community Health Center In late October, the Portland Community Health Center began scheduling appointments for people of all ages. This new federally-qualified health center is the first of its kind in Cumberland County and it expected to provide health care to as many as five thousand patients in the Greater Portland area. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for $1.3 million for the next two See page 4, Health Center

Capitol & City Legislative News. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Art & Soul­—Poetry. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Good Neighbor of the Month Barbara Doyle Feltes. . . . . . . . . 6 Gardeners’ Dirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 School Report by Jenna Vendil . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Munjoy Hill Library News. . . . . . 10 A Day in the Life of Morgan (fiction). . . . . . . . . . 10 Spotlight on Nonprofits Society for East End Arts. . . . . 11 EE Business Focus Law Offices of Chester & Vestal. . 13 Tree of Life Foundation. . . . . . . . 14 Tips for Staying Healthy/Flu. . . . 14 MHNO Thanks Suppoters . . . . . 14 Local Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

December 2009


From the Helm

MHNO President, Katie Brown

Trash and Treasure

The Munjoy Hill Observer is published by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO) at 92 Congress Street Portland, Maine 04101 Editor Lisa Peñalver (207) 766-5077, 775-3050 Observer Committee Katie Brown & Cliff Gallant, Co-Chairs; Jeanne Bull, Frank Kadi, Alison Nason, Liz McMahon, Tracey Menard advertising Turner Kruysman or 332-4355 The Observer is Portland’s East End monthly paper, supporting projects within our community. It is is published the first week of the month. 3,000 Circulation 8,000+ Readership About our paper The Munjoy Hill Observer is published 12 times a year 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 400 copies are mailed to current and former members of the MHNO.

LIVING WITH PEACE is on hiatus this month. Stay tuned for more developments within the immigrant community. Writings by Christina Feller, President of Living With Peace,which helps immigrants acculturate to life in Maine, can be found at http://livingwithpeace

NOTES FROM THE TOWER is also on hiatus this month.Although the Portland Observatory Tower is closed for the season, writer Jeanne Bull will continue spin yarns (true ones!) of Munjoy Hill history in upcoming months. Stay tuned!

“ONE WOMAN’S TRASH is another man’s treasure.” [quote paraphrased for modern consumption.] This is true for many of us, especially for a recovering packrat like myself. Some people get rich on other peoples’ cast-offs. Some just like the way a three-legged chair rocks on the floor. But nobody likes dog poop. And accumulating dead furniture, broken appliances and nearempty toxic and flammable cans piling up in the basement is a fire hazard for the neighbors. Few of us like litter, but I’ve been shocked by the levels of it I see around sometimes (and don’t get me started on how crazy it makes me that people think it’s ok to leave their empty coffee and soda cups on top of a snow bank—as if it’s an accepted receptacle! You’ll see what I mean in a few weeks.) So, like any healthy, normal neighborhood, we have some trash issues. I stepped in dog poop today – while walking a lovely dog I pick up after – and I’ve received at least one e-mail from someone who’s outraged by the piles of it she sees at the

MHNO Mission

On a lighter note, I want to wish everyone a carefree and enriching holiday season coming up. Some day soon, we’ll see you amidst the snow piles. (Please discard your cups responsibly.) Finally, please go see our yearend thank-you list on page 14. To all the individuals, businesses, and organizations that have supported this newspaper since it was re-born in May, and who have supported the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, and who do so much for your neighbors on and around the Hill, thank you.

From the Editor, Lisa Peñalver

Less is More

MHNO Board 2009-10

Incorporated as a nonprofit organization

So clearly, there are problems with trash we CAN address. We could never buy anything, feed our dogs less, taser offend-

ers, send volunteer posses into basements to clear out the accumulating rubble. Or come up with thoughtful solutions. Surely these troubles aren’t going to end the world, but working toward solving them will lighten the load of sharing this great hill. Send your ideas to us at – we’ll toss them in the pile. (a neat and tidy pile.)

Halleluia! We are now online at

Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization Katie Brown, President Jaime Parker, Vice President 329-6180 Christina Feller, Secretary Delores Lanai, Treasurer 773-9235 Fred Brancato . .......................774-3163 Cynthia Fitzgerald .......................................................... 774-3526 Cliff Gallant 221-5446 Will Gorham 774-0768 Ali (Ndabaruta) Kabirigi 772-4539 Frank Kadi Markos Miller Elaine Mullin   Anne Rand 772-7704 Joan Sheedy 774-7616

A d a m s S c h o o l site. A survey we at the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization have been making available at our events polls folks on their top 3 concerns for Munjoy Hill, and the majority include the loss of the annual big trash pick-up. Sheri Withers, our thoughtful neighbor with the white owl earrings at Rosemont, thought it would be nice to get a big metal garbage can from Regional Waste Systems and put it out in front of the Hilltop Coffee Shop and the market for people to have a place to put their sandwich wrappers and such after enjoying their lunch and coffee outside. She volunteered to be in charge of replacing the garbage bags. In just one week that can was sent packing back to its orphanage because people were stuffing it with their household trash, presumably because they don’t want to buy, or can’t afford, the City’s more-recyclable blue bags.

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” — Buddha

in January 1979, our purpose is to be a broad-based, representative organization

EVERY YEAR at about this time, I begin to wonder (with some consternation) why the heck we have so many holidays crammed into so short a time! Of course, there’s the Capitalist justification: the better to go shopping, my dear. (I did see some very lovely jewelry at Willa Wirth on Congress, and I simply must get over to Eli Phant and Angela Adam’s shops!!) But mostly, I find the whole season overwhelming. Especially THIS year, with money so tight, widespread joblessness, and the ever-present threat of the Big Bad Flu (WASH those hands!)—why DO we have all these holidays?! Seems like lousy timing. Looking back though, to preChristian times, you can see one of the practical reasons. When humanity was mostly farmers, this was a time of year when

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

things began to look, well, bleak. Folks whose walls had R-values in the negative digits were faced with the onset of winter, knowing that cold and hunger were just around the corner. What better time to have a party? And not just ONE party… LOTS of parties! Let’s get our minds off our troubles!

option for most of us anyway), we could look to the OTHER tradition of the season—that of helping those less fortunate and giving of oneself. Our community is blessed with an abundance of talent, creativity and generosity. Let’s stretch those muscles and see what amazing things happen. The New Year is coming— Let it shine!

So here we are, in modern day Munjoy Hill, facing our own winter, and troubles, coming up on the end of what’s been a challenging year (for most of The first line of the Marge Piercy poem us). On the bright side, which appeared on page 6 of the Noour homes are fairly vember issue was not spaced correctly. It warm, the weather has should read as follows: been kind, we have a v i s ion a r y pre s ident , and things are moving Marge Piercy in the right direction. We are living through What can they do to you? times that will someday Whatever they want... be an exclamation point in the history books.


The low road

Perhaps this year, instead of indulging in the usual orgy of spending (not really an

“The low road” by Marge Piercy. Copyright © 1977, 1980 by Marge Piercy and Middlemarsh, Inc. From THE MOON IS ALWAYS FEMALE (Alfred A. Knopf, New York) Used by permission of the author.

Sends us Your Letters!

groups, encouraging self-sufficiency, and enriching the lives of all residents.

Cover Your Cough!

Please JOIN the MHNO or renew your membership today! (Your membership expiration date is indicated on your paper’s mailing label.)

Your support makes a huge difference! See page 3 for the membership form.

BULLETIN Board the munjoy Hill neighborhood Organization MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

Seniors , Thin k S NOW ! F REE

“CLYNK” procedure UPDATE

SNO W -S H OVELING Getting Org

P roje ct is anized

Dear Neighbors, There’s a change in the drop-off process for our MHNO Heat Assistance “CLYNK” account at Hannafords. Since the drop-off area at Hannaford’s is now un-staffed, when you drop off a bag, you need to scan the barcode tag, already stuck on the bags, to open the small deposit door at the regular Hannaford’s drop-off area. You may leave securely-tied bags on the floor near the larger door : just tell the customer service desk that they are there.

Now is the ti me to sign u p! Joan Sheedy ’s Project, FR EE Snow -Shoveling f or Seniors, is b ein the coming w g scheduled for inter. If you are 65 or over, and live within th e Cit y of Portland, you may sign u for this free service. To re p g is ter, please ca ll Jo an Sheedy @ 774 -7616. Th a n k y ou !

Or use the scanner: To the bottom right of the small door is a small, round, red glass scanning window. Hold the barcode tag on the bag up to that red spot and the door will unlock. Then just let the bags slide down the ramp into the room. If the door does NOT open, leave the bag on the floor near the larger door and tell the customer service desk that the small access door didn’t open. Everyone—Thank you all for your efforts to support our heat assistance efforts on the Hill! Every bag yields $3-4.00 and we are creeping up toward the $100 mark for this fall! If you need more bags, look for them in the new box at the MHNO office/Hill House (92 Congress St), or call Louise Little @ 780-0860.


IME ALER T • CR IME ALER T • CR Update Report

The MHNO is seeking donations (tax-deductible) to fund its annual fuel assistance and weatherization programs. Please mail your contributions to:

fro m Co mmun ity

Polic ing :

ide nve be en ma de on the Se ve ral arr es ts ha you mu st T BU es, cas ry rgla tity -th eft /ho me bu k yo ur do ors —th ese stil l be vig ilan t and loc Us e commo n sen se IL! BA fol ks are OU T ON ple ase ! car en ma de yet on the No arr es ts ha ve be er few en be re ha ve bre ak- ins , tho ug h the the Hil l, wit h mo re on ed ort rep nts ide inc an d in loc king the ir car s reside nts usi ng car e s. ble sec uri ng the ir val ua

MOTOR VEHICLE PREVENT HOME & the se sim ple bu t ke Ta : BURGLARIES ain yo ur

December 2009

Re c yc MHNO le HeatAND help As fu D ona t e yo u s i s t anc nd t he e r rec y C LY N Fund c l a b l e P r o g ra m K! a s ra s

t Han i sed “War na for t hr u m H support M d e H art NO’s s Ca l l L Fuel A ouise s, Warm ssista N Little green nc at 780 eighbors” bag s . Keep - 0 860 progr e those a cans & to pick up m. your bottle s com ing!

School Flu Shot Info As of Nov 19, 2009

http://blogs.portlandschools. org/fluinformation/

Local Flu Updates Weekly updates about the flu can be found at or by calling the National General Information Line at 1-888-257-0990. If you have questions related to flu prevention in the Portland Public Schools, please contact Amanda Rowe, the school nurse coordinator, at 939-4756 or e-mail Visit and

Flu shot clinics for Portland Schools are nearly complete. Those immunized at Moore Middle, Casco Bay High School, Deering High School and Lincoln Middle School received H1N1 (swine) flu shots only. We have no more seasonal flu vaccine. We hope to get more seasonal vaccine in the coming weeks and will try to accommodate those who did not receive it. Over 4,000 students will have been vaccinated against Email inquiries about Fuel Assistance to seasonal, H1N1, or both by the end of Nov. Christina at, See school blog (above) for a schedule of boosters for elementary students. If your Elaine at, or child was younger than 9 years of age on the Ali at day of the clinic and has never had a seasonOr leave a msg. at 775-3050 al flu shot before, the child needs a second seasonal shot. If your child was younger than For Weatherization questions, please contact 10 years old on the day of the clinic, the child Katie at will need a second H1N1 shot. We will be scheduling these shots in mid December . There must be 28 days between the initial shot and the booster, but that is a minimum. (There is no problem if the interval is longer.)

MHNO—FA/W 92 Congress St., Portland ME 04108 Please make your check payable to the MHNO and write FA/W in the memo line. This program fulfills a critical need in our community. We thank you for your help.

ma int im po rta nt ste ps to y: fet sa ve hic le’s get ing GP S devices. • Suspects are tar be le items out of sight ab ove rem ce • Pla n, or move atio stin de r you ng fore reachi y. This includes any them inconspicuousl cell phones, GP S packages, gym bags, d compact discs. an s ter devices, compu r car windows . • Always roll up you a. ious people in the are pic sus of • Be aware n to pla you if n eve , ors do • Always lock ALL time. be gone for a short anti-theft device. • Set any alarm or with the r vehicle unattended • NE VER leave you te.” nu mi a for n if “just engine running, eve your car in s ble ua val or s • NE VER leave key change/money out and don’t keep loose in the open. as. • Park in well-lit are

Be the first on your street to sport this fab new bumper sticker! (measures 6”x 4”). GET ONE FREE with your paid membership!! Or you may buy one and support your Neighborhood Org. Send us $2.50 with your mailing address,and we’ll mail it out to you (MHNO address below). Generously donated by East End Screenprinting.

se call 911 For emergencies plea ergenem nor 874-8575 for no ation. m for in cies and with any

Youth Service Team by Jaime Parker MHNO is preparing to undertake a new program! The Youth Service Team is a project designed to bring neighborhood youth into positive contact with their local environment. As Service Group members, participants will become stewards of their own neighborhood by taking part in its maintenance and improvement. Members will learn valuable skills, gain work experience, earn money, work with peers and neighbors, and interact with community members, while making a tangible, rewarding impact on their neighborhood. WE WILL BE HIRING: —a Youth Service Group Team Leader, as well as —neighborhood kids, ages 11-17. For more info., contact Jaime Parker at This project is funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant and MHNO.


Weatherization Resources

www.mainehou Call Jo-Ann Choate, Assist ant Direc tor of Energ y & Housing Services, 624-5708 or www.hourexchange Weatherizat m, 470 Fores t Ave. 3rd Floor, Portland, ME 04101, 874-9868 email: PROP • People’s Regional Opportunit y Program • 510 Cumberland Avenue, Portland, Maine 04101 • 553-5800.

Happy Anniversary to MHNO member business:

Please clip and mail in to MHNO Enclosed are my annual membership dues. Count me In! I support the mission, events and services offered by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization! (Membership includes a subscription to the Observer newspaper, to be delivered by Bulk Mail. Your membership runs for one year from the month dues are received. Your membership expiration date will be indicated on your mailing label.)

MHNO Membership Form


If renewing, please tape your mailing label here!


Phone (day)



Renewal -or-

New Membership

Individual $5 Ind/low-income $3

$______ $______

Family* $10 Fam/low income $6

$______ $______

Business/Organization $25


Tax-deductible contribution


MHNO Is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit

Volunteer Opportunities

We need your HELP! Please check your areas of interest Observer News: stories photography distribution Immigrant Inclusion Fund raising Wind Study Special events Mailings, occasional volunteer activities Membership We receive City funds and need to provide statistics. Please circle those that apply (for statistical purposes only) African American | Asian | Hispanic | Native American White American | Other

Please mail the Observer to me by First Class Mail I am enclosing an additional $13 to cover postage & handling for the year (optional) $______

Total ................................................. $______

Please mail your membership form & dues to: MHNO 92 Congress Street Portland, Maine 04101

Dec.1, 2009

Get Involved! Support Your Neighborhood Organization Volunteer!!

December 2009


Health Center, from front page years, the Portland Community Health Center will be providing a wide range of services including primary care, behavioral health, and limited dental services. The health center will be accessible to all, and will accept insurance, MaineCare and Medicare, and for those with no insurance, services will be available with a sliding fee scale based upon the individual’s income level and family size. “With one in seven Americans living without health insurance, now is a critical time for Portland to take a leadership role in expanding access and removing barriers to health care,� stated Kathleen Stokes, Portland Community Health Center Governing Board President. “Community health centers are the medical home for more than seventeen million people in the US. They provide high quality, affordable primary and preventive health care to all people who need it, regardless of their ability to pay and during these difficult economic times with so many people unemployed or working without insurance, opening the doors to this clinic is going to save lives.� With $18 billion a year wasted on avoidable visits to the emergency room in the US, the Portland Community Health Center will satisfy a critical need for people. Currently seventeen million people depend upon community health centers for primary and preventative care saving the health care system between $10 and

$17.6 million a year. The White House Office of Management and Budget has ranked community health centers as one of the ten most effective government programs in the US.

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The Portland Community Health Center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm, with plans to expand to early morning, evening and Saturday hours. Located at 180 Park Avenue, the health center will have a highly skilled medical staff, including medical director Patricia David, MD, nurse practitioner Sarah Andel, and nurse Lauren RoseCohen, as well as a part-time pediatric physician. Additional staff will be added in the next few months. There are seven exam rooms with additional space dedicated to dental care. Federally qualified health centers receive higher reimbursement rates for MaineCare covered patients. Currently a number of private practices in the Portland area are closed to MaineCare patients and the new clinic will remove an existing barrier for these men, women and children. The health center is also committed to outreach to Portland’s immigrant community and has representatives that serve on its board of directors. Located at 180 Park Avenue, the Portland Community Health Center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Patients can call 207482-5000 to schedule appointments.

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Polar Express, from front page to a reality on the Eastern Prom. Starting with The Polar Express’s first run on November 27th, passengers will catch their first glimpse of Santa and his elves at work in their North Pole outpost. Santa and the elves will then greet the children and families on the train. Once onboard, Santa will give out the “First Gift of Christmas� —a special bell—to one of the child actors. Elves and actors will make sure all the other children get their bells on the train. Guests will meet the conductor, sing carols and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.

Another notable new feature is the First Class Coach with limited seating in which guests will drink hot chocolate in official Polar Express mugs, which will be theirs to keep. The Polar Express schedule starts the day after Thanksgiving and includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for three long weekends, then runs for seven straight days from Dec. 17 through Dec. 23 for a total of 18 days and as many as 67 excursions leading up to Christmas Eve. Tickets are available at the PortTix window in Merrill Auditorium at City Hall in Portland. online at www. or call 8420800 (phone and online orders are subject to a service fee). Learn more about The Polar Express Train Ride Event by calling the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine at 828-1234 x233, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad at 828-0814 or by visiting (Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book and characters TM & Š 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. TM & Š Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., (2009).

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45-47 Quebec St - 3 unit Sold 7/31/09 - $415,000


67 Quebec St - 2 unit 6/22/09 - $300,000


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Capitol City

Senator Justin Alfond

Pondering election Results As I write this column in midNovemb er, it’s close to 60 degrees outside and winter seems months away. But by the time you read this, winter will probably be here for the duration. In my last column, I wrote about the Nov. 3rd referendum questions and told you how I would vote. I thought we were marching toward equal rights and justice! Today we all know the results, and many of us are still reeling from the loss on Question 1, Marriage Equality. Justin Ellis, a reporter from the Portland Press Herald, paraphrased a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The moral arc of the universe is long and it bends toward justice.” Right now, this long-term view is not sitting well with many who want equality now. I know that our state will eventually pass a marriage equality law, and it is uplifting to know that that there are already over 260,000 voters in support of this measure. I received many emails following the November 3rd vote. All of them were constructive. Most have two themes: why can a minority of Mainers continue to put forward statewide ballot initiatives that threaten fundamental civic rights? —and how do we change or eliminate our ballot initiative process? I am going to focus on the second theme here, but before I do, let me share a brief history of how Maine formed the initiative and referendum process. In 1908, Maine became the first state east of the Mississippi to adopt a constitutional provision for statewide initiative and referendum, with the adoption in a statewide vote. The constitutional amendment providing for initiative and referendum is the 29th amendment to the Maine Constitution. State Senator Roland Patten, a Republican from Skowhegan and editor of the Skowhegan Somerset Reporter, is credited with getting all four parties – Republican, Democratic, Socialist, and Prohibitionist – to endorse the amendment. But it certainly complicates matters, as this early-November email from one constituent shows: “I would like to work on getting rid of the ballot measure process. I am sick of fighting off TABOR again and again and the very act of being asked to vote on who gets rights within our state was repugnant to me. Do you have any suggestions for how to change Maine law and either make it much more difficult to get a measure on the ballot, set criteria for which kind of issues should not be legislated by ballot, or get rid of the process altogether? I’d appreciate any help in this regard.” I contacted Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap with these questions, and he sent back this answer: “If your constituent is truly interested in ‘getting rid’ of the initiative and veto processes, it would require a resolution amending Maine’s Constitution to strike out those enabling sections (Article IV, Part Third, Sections 17 and 18). Such a resolution would require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all members elected to the Legislature, and then signed by the Governor; such a resolution would then

be effective upon ratification at a statewide public election.” Many constituents have asked me how to eliminate or reform the citizen’s initiative and people’s veto process, and some have asked me to introduce a bill to that effect. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. If a particular party or group can’t muster the votes in the Legislature to pass a law, the next option is to use the ballot. If an interest group has enough money, they can hire professional signature-gatherers to collect signatures (usually around 60,000) to place anything on the ballot. To repeal or make any reform, we would need a two-thirds majority vote in both legislative chambers, and a majority vote by the people. It is likely these political interest groups would spend a lot of money to oppose elimination of these current laws. And while I recognize the need for serious reform, I am wary of fully repealing the citizen’s initiative and people’s veto. What about governing the process better —for instance, making the signature threshold higher to get on the ballot or prohibiting paid signature-gatherers? Both have been tried with mixed results. Additionally, the law court has consistently been protective of the right of citizens to petition their government. So where does this leave us? For now, the best protection you have from initiatives you dislike is to educate yourself and everyone around you to vote against them. Thank you for the privilege of serving you and I will see you around the Hill!


Three More Years, More With

December 2009


Kevin Donoghue, City Councilor Thank you, Munjoy Hill, for supporting my re-election to the Portland City Council with better than a two-thirds majority on Nov. 3rd. Of those who voted at the East End Community School, 67.5% of you endorsed a platform of affordable housing, transportation choice, community development, and more public participation in the city planning process. Councilors Marshall and Mavodones might be envied for having run unopposed, but I’m grateful to have run a competitive race that served effectively as a referendum on my first term as the City Councilor for District One. While we have enjoyed several successes in each of the broad policies under my platform, there remain still some particular goals where results have not come as quickly as we desired. The Adams School has not yet been redeveloped into traditional mixed-income residences and we still do not enjoy the convenience of nighttime or extended bus service on Munjoy Hill. Nevertheless, I am confident that we will make at least incremental process on these projects and others despite the slump in the residential markets and funding challenges at METRO. The next term carries with it challenges for budgets, but also opportunities for efficiencies. How do we continue to curb taxes yet still provide responsive government services? On November 10th, following the quarterly meeting of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, I played host to the District One Annual Meeting at the East End Community School. These citizen-driven meetings are remarkable for the low-cost

nature of the sug ge s t ion s they yield. The meeting began with multiple expressions of thanks for several new stop signs, low-cost traffic calming tools (even if they are considered somewhat inelegant by traffic engineers). Councilor Anton then asked residents to speak to the merits of our brick sidewalks. While many conceded that brick sidewalks are very attractive, many more countered that most of our brick sidewalks offer inferior traction, not to mention their considerable expense. Director of Public Services, Mike Bobinsky, described a new higher-traction brick, and I related that we have exempted steeper sidewalks (above 10% grade) from the brick ordinance. Finally, residents voiced concern about the loss of snow ban parking at the former Adams School and wondered how we would replace such a valuable neighborhood resource if lost. Rather than seek expensive solutions such as building more parking or prohibiting development, we resolved to pursue snow ban parking on the outer perimeter of Eastern Promenade. Whether we happen to object to more stop signs, adore brick sidewalks, or advocate other solutions to winter parking, we can certainly appreciate that we can do more with less. Certainly, I appreciate this need to continue to make progress on policies that sustain our quality of life, yetwhile not overtaxing the standards of living we all struggle to maintain.

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104 Washington Avenue • Portland, ME 04101 • 207.773.8198

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December 2009


Art Soul

Good Neighbor of the Month

Each month we feature members of our community whose actions embody the qualities of a “good neighbor”—kindness, consideration, helpfulness, cheer.… Please tell us who YOUR good neighbors are! Email your nominations to

Barbara Doyle Feltes


by Cliff Gallant Not often does a single project present the opportunity to pursue multiple passions, but when it does, it’s time to jump to it and git ‘er done. That’s just what Barbara Feltes did when it occurred to her that creating a “Dogs Of Munjoy Hill” calendar would combine her love for dogs, her fascination with photography, and her connection to Munjoy Hill. Add to it that the profits from the sale of the calendar go to the Animal Refuge League and you’ve come up with what might be called a compelling mission. What really started all of this was when Callie came into Barbara’s life. As near as can be determined, Callie is a Bassett-coon hound-beagle-mix, with whom Barbara connected through Almost Home Rescue, a dog rescue service that is doing wonderful work and which you can find out more about by going to: Callie is, sadly, typical of the dogs that are being helped by Almost Home Rescue. She was found in an abandoned chicken coop with eight puppies, and was in the shelter for about a year before she went to a home in New Hampshire for about a year, during which she had an operation, which left her without hearing in one of her ears. Then Barbara came along. It was walking Callie on the Eastern Prom that gave Barbara the idea for the calendar. “You see so many dogs on the Prom and each one is so unique,” she says, “I try to capture what’s special about each dog in my photos of them. It might be their color or the way they move, or it might be the way they tilt their head when they hear something. There’s always something that charms you.” The calendar features a particular dog for each month, and after you’ve gone through all of the months of the year you find, as an unexpected bonus, a two page collage of pictures of Munjoy Hill dogs of all shapes and sizes, each with their own manner and way of being. Barbara’s lived on the Hill for twenty years and has always had an eye out for ways to make life a little better for others. She worked for the Department of Human Services for many years as the person in charge of Medicaid enrollment for the State of Maine, and currently does volunteer work assisting the elderly at St. Joseph’s Manor. She’s also excited at the prospect of becoming a member of the Blue Lobster Troupe, a choral group founded by Liz McMahon, the theater manager at the St. Lawrence Arts Center. Barbara and Liz met while they were voting at the East End Community School, got to talking, and discovered that they have a lot of common interests. Liz has helped Barbara by taking responsibility for getting the calendar printed and for promoting its sale. And, of course, Barbara has become a big supporter of anything having to do with the St. Lawrence Arts Center. So, the calendars are only $10, they’ll be on sale by early December—in time for Christmas!—and they’ll be available at the St. Lawrence and elsewhere. And, of course, don’t forget that the proceeds go to the Animal Refuge League. Callie and all of her buddies would really appreciate your picking one up, or two, or maybe more—you never know when, in the course of the year, someone you know might need a little inspiration.

Poetryon the Hill

“Love Song with Departure” was the first in a series of broadsides, called Waterproof Poems, that are posted beside the entrance to the St. Lawrence Arts Center, at 76 Congress Street. The Munjoy Hill Observer is beginning a new poetry column edited by Martin Steingesser, with poems from this series for readers who may have missed them while posted, to encourage passersby to read the most recent broadside.

Love Song with Departure


Betsy Sholl

Martin Steingesser

The ocean dips and surges in the heat, heaves its breast, I almost said, like any earnest suppliant at the altar of longing. The bemused mystic who is half my mind— well, maybe an eighth—asks why it isn’t enough just to breathe, to sit among beach roses beside the changing tide. If it’s all light in the end, why not practice now, bleaching out the shadows of the mind? Even stones become light, you said last night, your love voice heating up, free-falling through the atmospheres of our desire. What I understood was your breath falling warm on my ear, melting my clamorous thoughts. Did I say anything back? This morning, watching your tail pipe’s cloud dissolve in the air, I wanted to eat stones, dress myself in a shark’s slinky scales that will slice anyone who runs his hands along my thigh the wrong way, which is any way that isn’t yours. Tomorrow, I’ll feel the same. Betsy Sholl is Poet Laureate of Maine and lives in Portland. “Love Song with Departure” (Copyright © 2009 Betsy Sholl) is published by permission from the author and appears in the poet’s new book, Rough Cradle, available locally at Longfellow Books and at the Campus Bookstore of the University of Southern Maine. All poems in the series are from books of poems published by Maine authors.

We did not eat our oatmeal alone, so it was already a good thing, unlike what Galway Kinnell said in the poem you read me Christmas morning. His was glutinous, lumpy, had “a hint of slime.” You mixed apricots, Monukka raisins and almonds, poured in some cream. “This poem goes with it,” you said, and the couch where we ate the oatmeal thickened with poets. First, of course, Galway. He brought in Keats for companionship, and lickety-split there was Edmund Spenser and John Milton. Spenser and Milton didn’t say anything, but Keats was telling Galway about “Ode to a Nightingale,” if you can believe it. No, we did not eat alone. There were friends and friends of friends not even present — ghosts, you can even say, not a phoneme less real than those disembodied poets — bearing food and stories improbable and exotic, like Sally’s dead sculptor, a World War II ESP agent. “The government used them, you know,” she said. When the Germans caught him, he rolled bread rations into small figures before eating them. Every sculpture he made, he told Sally, was formed first then, in bread. And your friend Skye, the vibrational medicine


badly in NEED

of literate

people to write articles on just about

ANY subject that relates to Munjoy Hill and the East End—human interest, the arts, local history, favorite eatery, beer, your dog or cat, the stars


therapist, explaining the inexplicable Jin Shin Jyutsu. Who could notice the snow, which had begun its own prodigious story, while we wrapped words and smiles around each other. No, we did not eat oatmeal alone. “Better for your mental health,” Galway said, “if somebody eats it with you.” The good snow fell long and long Christmas night, whistling, sibilant, sensual, urgent white, like the Yes Yes Yeses we gave and opened for each other.

Local Author Signs Books Set On Munjoy Hill


you just can’t decide WHAT

Martin Steingesser is author of a book of poems,

Give a personalized, autographed copy of The Cutting by James Hayman—or any of more than thirty other books by Maine authors—as a holiday gift, and help aspiring Maine writers at the same time. Just order a copy of the book from the University of Southern Maine bookstore at the link below and indicate how you’d like the author to sign it. IM PORTANT: ORDER BEFORE NOV. 30TH. Bookstore will be shipping on Dec. 10th.

%$#@#$* to write, just call

Brothers of Morning. He lives on Munjoy Hill and is

us up and we can GIVE you

for which he will be selecting poems used in the

an assignment! (Please submit

pear regularly beside the entrance of the St. Lawrence

your work by Nov. 15, or sooner! To

Arts Center, at 76 Congress Street. Martin Steingesser

Go to books/mwpa.html 10% of your purchase price will go to the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, a terrific non-profit dedicated to helping aspiring writers get their works in print (tax deductible).

CALL TODAY!! 766-5077

the new poetry editor for the Munjoy Hill Observer, broadside series called Waterproof Poems that ap-

is Portland’s first Poet Laureate (2007-09). All poems in the series are from books of poems published by Maine authors. “Oatmeal” (Copyright © 2004 The Writers’ Center at Chautauqua, Inc.) is used by permission of the author.


Gardener’s Dirt

December 2009

Rose, below: late November bloom; this Jackson & Perkins’ Sterling Silver is an old lavender favorite. It pairs nicely with an Apricot Nectar rose, burgundy hydrangea leaves, rudbeckia, and fragrant white cimicifuga in a Thanksgiving flower arrangement. At right, Thanksgiving still life. Photos by by Nini McManamy

by Nini McManamy

INALLY. The last two nights (November 17 and 18) have brought the first frosts of the year to my yard, meaning I will be able to do some serious cutting back, raking, and spreading compost to prepare for spring. This marks the latest recorded frost date on Munjoy Hill by nearly two weeks—the previous record was November 8, set a couple of years ago. When I bought my house 25 years ago, first frosts came reliably during the first week in October—a whole month’s worth of global warming. Global warming is something gardeners have mixed feelings about. It enables us to push the envelope with some exotic plant material—I have several “Zone 6” plants in my yard which are doing nicely, despite of warnings from Jeff O’Donal when I bought them years ago that they wouldn’t make it. My Florida dogwood makes an amazing show the last two weeks of May. My redbud is glorious at the end of April, for three weeks. My caryopteris, my hybrid tea roses, my grapes, and my lacecap hydrangea are right on the edge of their survival range. And I have a couple of helianthemums (sun roses) that really shouldn’t be living here. At the same time, global warming means diseases that used to be killed by a good Maine winter are now with us permanently: anthracnose on dogwoods and maples, cedar apple rust on crabapples, and a host of pesky insects. It’s the insects that concern me: each plant in our environment that is native has co-evolved in harmony with its food supply, whether leaf or critter, and with its predators up the food chain—birds, mammals, or reptiles. Left to its own devices, nature maintains a wonderful balance. A few days after the first aphid hatch, ladybugs and lacewings increase their production of offspring to take advantage of

the new food supply (hold that rose spray for a few days). And the migration of songbirds comes right afterwards, to eat the predator insects off our trees and shrubs. The monarch migration occurs each September at the same time nature provides a wonderful food supply for these amazing travelers—milkweed and other favored plants. Global warming, however, hits these phenological (interaction of climate and biology) partnerships hard. Accelerated flowering of milkweed, or its displacement by climate-induced invasives, means the monarchs’ critical food supply isn’t there for them at the time of migration. When trees or shrubs leaf out early, followed by an early bloom of insect larvae, the larvae have matured into inedible adults at the regular time for bird migrations. Although some species can adapt and change their times for migration or reproduction, they may no longer be synchronized with their food supplies or predators. One thing that hasn’t changed over the last two decades is the time of leaf fall for the maples on my street: it happens reliably two days before Halloween, making a mess for Trick-or-Treaters, because it is light- , not climate-dependent. What can we do in the garden to mitigate the effects of

Community Policing, From front page neighborhood, but to also meet and get to know residents through other than emergency circumstances. Central to the Senior Lead Officer Program, too, is the Community Policing Coordinator component, whereby a civilian employed by the City acts as a liaison between citizens and the police. The Senior Lead Officer assigned to Munjoy Hill is Officer Gayle Petty, a sixteen-year veteran of the Portland Police Department; the Community Services Coordinator for Munjoy Hill is Janine Kaserman, who has worked for the City of Portland for twenty-one years. Shr currently works in conjunction not only with Officer Petty but with representatives of various social service agencies which serve the neighborhood. Officer Petty says that she feels a lot of satisfaction in the knowledge that people on the Hill seem to feel comfortable talking to her. She’s a tough-minded officer of the law, no question about it, but she understands that her mission goes beyond just apprehending wrong-doers. For her, preventing crime and generally establishing a feeling of safety and well-being on the part of neighborhood residents are where the real job satisfaction comes from. Janine Kaserman, for her part, draws on her intimate knowledge of the neighborhood and its people to be of help to Officer Petty in any way she can be. She knows that, due to both personnel cuts in the po-

lice department and an increased amount of illegal activity overall, Officer Petty is out straight most of the time, and anything Janine can do to lighten her load or provide insight into a particular situation will be much valued and appreciated. Much of what Janine contributes concerns more effective communication between Officer Petty and residents, but there’s really no end to what effective coordination between the Senior Lead Officer and the Community Policing Coordinator can bring about. A good example of this was seen during the recent rash of car break-ins in the East End. Officer Petty commented to Janine that a brick was used by one perpetrator to break a car window, so Janine contacted Portland Public Works and had some left-over bricks from the repair of a sidewalk removed. Just the sort of practical thing that can make a real difference. Both Officer Petty and Janine Kaserman have a real feeling for Portland and for Munjoy Hill in particular. Janine was born and raised in Portland and says that she’s now relating to parents who she once knew as kids. Officer Petty is origi-

global warming? Try to avoid tools or products made from petrochemicals. Get our garden nutrients from the sun, compost, manure, seaweed, or other natural products. Buy wooden and metal tools when you can. Use a bamboo or metal rake. Use integrated pest management, and kill pests only when natural defenses aren’t working. Grow our food when practical. Never use products harmful to bees, like Merit—the containers must tell you when products are harmful to fish or insects. And on the positive side, plant native plants that nourish our insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals, though I have my limits when it comes to nourishing squirrels. With winter approaching, Gardener’s Dirt will be on holiday for a few months, checking out the wonderful gardening books and videos available at the Portland Public Library (Did you know you can search the catalog online and order books to be delivered for you to pick up at the East End Library branch? The Library is a wonderful thing!).

Nini McManamy is a Master Gardener and MHNO member who works part time at O’Donal’s and has a garden design business, Gardener’s Dirt. Please send your ideas for future columns to Nini at

Janine Kaserman, Community Policing Coordinator, at left and the sign near the entrance of the office on St Laurence St. Photos by Lisa Peñalver

cruiser from 4 pm to 2 am, when she’s not at a neighborhood meeting or doing something like helping to facilitate an event at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, where the staff raves about all that she has done there to support them.

nally from Massachusetts, but has wholeheartedly embraced her life in Portland since coming here seventeen years ago. with the original intention of attending the Maine College of Art. Fell in love with Portland, she says, and is still captivated by it’s beauty, particularly the Eastern Prom, which continues to provide inspiration for not only her photography, but also for the poetry she writes. She took photos for the Department’s 2009 calendar, and wrote poems for the 2010 calendar created in honor of the late Sergeant Rick Betters, a long-time and greatly respected Portland police officer. The Munjoy Hill Community Policing station is located in the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Association’s building at the corner of Atlantic and Congress Streets, at the peak of Munjoy Hill. Janine can be found there throughout the day, most days through the work week; Officer Petty patrols the Hill in her

Janine Kaserman can be reached by telephone at 756-8135, and Officer Petty can be reached at 650-8770, on a device she calls her “Bat Phone.” Officer Petty says that in emergencies, or if a crime is in progress, a citizen is still advised to call 911, as she is not always able to respond immediately. She is very eager to encourage people to contact her though, citing a recent case of a string of burglaries that was broken up as a result of a tip received from a citizen. Emailing is often more effective than telephoning, she says, since she can retrieve text messages on her Bat Phone. To send a message to either Officer Gayle Petty or Janine Kaserman by email go to portlandmaine. gov and type the appropriate name in the message line. If you don’t get an immediate response it’s because they’re busy at the moment doing what they do, but you can be sure that getting back to you is high on their list of priorities.

Play it Safe

This Just IN: 2010 Police Calendar The Portland Police Department’s new 2010 calendar is now on sale. Featuring photography and poetry by members of the Department and local poets, including Maine State Poet Laureate Betsy Sholl, the calendar provides a glimpse into the world of police work; and also benefits the family of late Sgt. Rick Betters, a longtime and greatly respected Portland Police officer who dedicated his life to the City through his work. The calendar is for sale at Longfellow Books, Nonesuch Books, Books Etc, USM Bookstore, SMCC Bookstore, Northstar Cafe, and Hilltop Coffee Shop. The poets featured on the calendar will be reading from their work at the Portland Public Library‘s Brown Bag Lunch noon-time series held at the the Community Television Network on Congress Street on Wed., Dec. 2, from noon to 1 pm; and at One Longfellow Square on Wed., Dec. 9, from 6 to 7 pm. A discussion with audience members will follow each reading. The events are free and open to the public. For more information call Marty at: 874-8681.


911 for emergency

756-8135 for Info

from the friendly staff at Community Policing

December 2009


Triple-Deckers, from front page Additionally, interacting with their tenants—a mother and her two children on the first floor, and a revolving cast of younger renters in their twenties on the second floor—allows them to share in the dynamic Munjoy Hill vibe that Masterman describes as, “professional, slouching toward hipsterdom.” The story of Munjoy’s triple-deckers starts in the crowded city-center before the Civil War. “Prior to the Great Fire you had this highly concentrated mixture of uses. You might have a tenement, a beautiful residence, a blacksmith, and a commercial block all on the same street. There was no zoning, things just evolved” explained Shettleworth. After the Civil War and the Great Fire, planning became more purposeful. Triple-deckers met the requirements of new fire and health codes that required a perimeter of space to serve as a fire break and a defense against the spread of contagious diseases. Operations like the Portland Company and the Grand Trunk Railroad’s grain storage elevators on the eastern waterfront were hitting their prime. Portland’s population swelled from 50,145 in 1900 to 69,272 in 1920 as an influx of immigrants landed at the base of Munjoy Hill. Mass-milled lumber, factory produced nails, and the new technique of balloon-frame construction meant that erecting a triple-decker was a straightforward task. This presented an opportunity for middle class Portland residents to develop open lots on the city’s east and west ends. They could escape the landlords of the cold water tenements in the teeming city center. The goals of builders and architects of triple-deckers “were to maximize the rental capabilities of small development tracts by building a frame, three-family dwelling vertically,” writes architecture professor Kingston Heath, whose book, Patina of Place, is one of the most compre-

hensive studies of tripledeckers. “One cellar, one water and gas main, [and] one plumbing shaft for three families.” Enoch C. Richards, who resided at 160 Eastern Promenade, was Portland’s premier builder of triple-decker style apartment buildings, according to Portland Landmarks’ “Munjoy Hill Historic Guide.” The Vesper Street triple-deckers were built between 1879 and 1916. John Bauman, a visiting professor at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Policy conducted a study of Parkside triple-deckers. He found that in 1920 their occupants were native born and “pursued such middle-class vocations as the law, engineering, merchandizing, sales, stock brokering, accounting, teaching, or serving as a company assistant treasurer or as a federal customs agent.” It’s probable that Munjoy’s Hill’s triple-deckers attracted a similar cast. Then, by 1920, the age of tripledecker construction was over. The peninsula was almost completely built out. Banking practices began to favor the construction of single family homes, and Portland’s burgeoning population found an outlet in the Deering neighborhood that had been annexed to the city at the turnof-the-century. The ethnicity of the occupants of the Vesper Street triple-deckers changed. Long established names like Willis and Strout become less frequent on lists of Vesper Street residents in the city directories after 1920 and Irish and Eastern European names like Fitzpatrick and Blumenthal become more frequent. The triple-decker found itself under assault by housing reformers who associated it with the “immigrant menace,” according to Heath. Critics fretted that it

Triple-deckers on Cumberland Avenue, as seen from the top of the Portland Observatory. Photo by Lisa Peñalver.

stacked unrelated families on top of each other like dresser drawers. Some worried that this “vertical housing” allowed delinquent children to escape a mother’s observation. Massachusetts proposed legislation banning tripledecker construction. In the 1950s, fully assimilated and newly affluent immigrants joined the exodus to the suburbs. Restrictions on immigration from southern and eastern Europe that had been in place since 1924 assured that there was no one behind them to fill in the peninsula. The triple-deckers suffered. When Masterman and Cumming acquired their Vesper Street building it “was a real wreck.” The roof leaked and a hole through the third floor bathroom gaped all the way to the basement, said Cumming. The building had declined to the point that “it was the scary b u i l d i n g  o n the block,” said Masterman. A similar fate s t i l l   h a u n t s

triple-deckers in many New England areas where absentee landlords have bought up large swaths of buildings as investment properties. But on Munjoy Hill, more than half of all triple-deckers are owner-occupied, according to records on the Portland Tax Assessor’s Office website. As a result, the three-deckers on Munjoy Hill are standing proud and are having a much easier time riding out the current economic storm. Buildings that two decades ago would have sold for little more than their inflationadjusted construction cost are selling for over $200,000 per floor

to urbanites anxious to avoid car commutes and eager to live near downtown attractions. While still not the flashiest properties, any Munjoy Hill resident who recalls piling into their first post-college apartment, grilling out on the back deck while waiting for fireworks, or spending a decade’s worth of weekends scraping and painting one of these triple-deckers would appreciate the effort Masterman and Cumming dedicate to what they call their “biggest recycling project.” They are not alone in their love for Munjoy’s triple-deckers.

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Donations Pour into Portland High for Two New Rwandan Students

Portland Public School Report Jenna Vendil District 1 School Committee Member-Elect District 1 Residents, I’m excited to send my School Report for the Observer so soon after the November elections! I’m a proud resident of Munjoy Hill and excited to represent my neighborhood on the School Committee for the next three years. The last six months was a great learning opportunity for me as I sought input from residents about Portland’s educational future. I don’t become an official voting member of the Committee until December; by then, the Superintendent will have already taken the unusual step of announcing the budget-cut recommendations for the current school year. The recession has taken a $200 million toll on our state with every area of government feeling its impact. Anticipating this loss in funding, the Portland School Committee directed the Superintendent to find $2.7 million in the budget to protect us from this curtailment. Next year, our schools are told to anticipate no less than $7 million cut from state educational funding.

Making tough choices may be the most difficult part of being a public servant. In his weekly column for The Portland Forecaster, new superintendent Dr. Jim Morse states, “every cut will result in some loss of student services, materials and a better-prepared workforce.” I believe this is true, but in the face of these challenging times, I’m fortunate to live in such a resilient community. Communities find ways to support each other during hard times. The School Committee, City Council, and Portland legislators have found ways to work together. The motivation that I’ve seen in our community for education has been an inspiration. I will continue to seek your input regarding finances and future direction of schools. The Portland School Committee is accepting budget suggestions here: http:// budgetsurvey.php On the website, you can also find more information on the dates of future School Committee meetings.

December 2009

Vague Surrenders BJ Fleming-Moore 1987

Oct 23, 2009. Portland, ME Portland High School Principal Michael Johnson saw firsthand on Friday morning that the spirit of helping out neighbors is alive and well in the Portland Public Schools.

with every beginning, there is an ending,

At 8:42 a.m., Johnson sent the following message to the district’s 1400 employees:

with every chance we choose to endeavor,

“Good Morning, I have two brothers who recently arrived from Rwanda. They are wonderful young men with an incredible desire to learn and make their new country their home. Unfortunately, they are in need. Government assistance has set them up with an apartment. In the apartment is a sofa. That’s right, a sofa, period. The 19-year-old is completely devoted to his 15-year-old brother and will not work so he can help his brother with school, keep him out of trouble and concentrate on his own schooling. Can we help?!” Johnson then listed several items that the brothers need, including furniture, household supplies and food. A mere 43 minutes later (9:25 a.m.), Johnson wrote back: “OK. Time out. Donations have been pouring in. I need to take a breath and regroup. I will send a follow-up with a new list soon. You guys are unbelievable. True Portland Public Schools spirit. Just so happens that today is Spirit Day at Portland High. Interesting. I can’t think of a better distraction from curtailments and such.” By 9:48 a.m., Johnson had heard from staff members who were donating a couch, love seat, large chair, lamp, television, radio, two mattresses, linens, pots, pans and glassware. Donation offers continue to flow in. “This is the most heartening experience I have had in weeks,” said Johnson. “And nothing will go to waste. Whatever the brothers can’t use will be donated to the Refugee Resettlement Program.”

with every end, a change;

our lives we rearrange; with every moment we dare to remember, there are at least two that fade; in every heart still burns an ember— for every love we’ve ever made; with every night there falls a silence, with every day, yet another start; with every painful embrace is a serenity— someday the twain must part; with every fantasy, comes a reality; with every laughter,… a sigh; with every hello, we so desperately cling to, we eventually must say good bye. This poem by Munjoy Hill resident Barbara Moore was selected for The American Poetry Anthology, in the Library of Congress

For more informaion, contact Michael Johnson, Portland High School Principal, 874-8250


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December 2009


Munjoy Library Branch News


of Reading

Season’s Greetings! As we enter the gift-giving season, the staff at Munjoy would like to share with you our recommendations for books that will delight children of all ages on your holiday list.

Illustrator unknown, from an out-of-print book: My Bookhouse in the Nursery by Olive Dupre Miller, Pub. circa 1920

A Neighborhood Veterinary Clinic on the Portland Peninsula

We welcome Dr. Sarah Tassé to our practice!

Scott Nash has many books you can choose from, but one of our favorites, which he wrote & illustrated, is Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie’s Missing Brain. When Duckie, a terry cloth duck, loses his brain and can no longer tell stories to the other toys, Tuff Fluff the private investigator must solve the case. Nash’s gumshoe writing style and bright, humorous illustrations make this a great picture book choice. Another local children’s illustrator, Kevin Hawkes, has many books to his credit, but we chose Library Lion (written by Michelle Knudsen), a picture book that tells the story of the uproar which occurs when a lion visits the library and that sometimes rules are meant to be broken. A picture book biography about the first woman to run for President from a major political party is Lynn Plourde’s, Margaret Chase Smith: A Woman for President. Cathryn Falwell’s stunning collage illustrations in Scoot! portray a sunny summer day at a woodland pond as six silent turtles sit still as stones on a log, as energetic movement by the other animals in the ~HOURS~ pond happens all around Monday 9:30 am – 6 pm them. Tuesday CLOSED Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

9:30 am – 8 pm 9:30 am – 6 pm 9:30 am – 6 pm 11 am – 4 pm CLOSED

For the dog lovers on your list, pick up Melissa Sweet’s Tupelo Rides the Rails, a playfully illustrated picture book about an abandoned dog that meets up with a gang of dogs who are all looking for new homes. It’s about the power of wishful thinking and kindness towards others and lots of dog lore! In Memory of Gorfman T. Frog, Gail Donovan writes about what happens when fifth-grader Josh finds a five-legged frog in his backyard pond and brings it to school. For cat lovers, Dahlov Ipcar’s Cat at Night is about all the things that a cat sees at night that humans cannot. Jamie Hogan’s bold black & white illustrations are integral to Rickshaw Girl (by Mitali Perkins), a novel about a young Bangladeshi girl who challenges the traditional role of women. Lisa Jahn Clough has written and illustrated numerous picture books, the most recent, Little Dog, about a lonely dog that befriends a struggling artist. Me, Penelope, is her latest teen coming of age novel. Beth Cadena’s, new picture book, Supersister is a perfect story of sibling revelry. Thanks to the Animals, by Allen Sockabasin and illustrated by Rebekah Raye takes place during the 1900 Passamaquoddy winter migration in Maine. A child falls off the family bobsled and the forest animals hearing his cries, gather to protect him until his father returns to find him. Maria Testa’s, Something about America is poetically narrated by a 13 year old refugee from Kosova. During this season, as we reflect on issues of peace and justice, two books come to mind that would make excellent additions to any family’s library. The first is Phillip Hoose’s, National Book Award winner Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, which tells the story of this courageous teenager and her remarkable contribution to the U.S. civil rights movement. Mother and son team, Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmond O’Brien in After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance highlight some of the people and events that were inspired by Gandhi’s actions such as Rosa

Dr. Tassé offers acupuncture and herbal medicine expertise, as well as alternative therapy for cancer treatments for your pets.

Library Holiday Closures Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day) Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) closing at 1 pm Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve) closing at 1 pm January 1, 2010 (New Year’s Day!)

Brackett Street Veterinary Clinic 192 Bracket Street Monday — Friday, 8 am to 6pm / Saturday, 8 am to 1 pm


A Day in the Life of Morgan This is a continuing episode in the fictional series by Kathleen Carr Bailey, featuring “Morgan.” Who is Morgan? She’s any single, over-40 woman, just living her life. Broken hearts, lost hopes, found dreams, chances taken, opportunities missed ...

Wind and weather, continued

Parks, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, and Wangari Maathai. Finally, don’t forget about to consider the many wonderful Maine classics for children such as Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey, and of course, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.

Woman and dog, they made their way to the small beach that blessed their neighborhood. Visibility at zero, even her lungs was invaded by the dampness.

The library staff is happy to suggest even more books for that special young person on your list. And don’t forget the invaluable help that’s available at your local and independent bookstores!

She looked for tell tale signs of life on the beach. Only she, her ever faithful friend, and a few grounded seagulls occupied the sandy shore.

P.S. Just a reminder that our story times will remain the same during the month of December. We will also be having a “Make Your Own Gift Wrap” program on Wednesday, Dec. 9th @ 3 pm. The Munjoy Adult Book Group will be meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 23rd to discuss Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Contact us for more information.

The symphony of the distant fog horn, splashing surf and simultaneous clang and moan of the buoy were the perfect accompaniment for a melancholy mood such as hers. Morgan closed her eyes and just listened.


Maine is blessed with a wealth of wonderful children’s book authors and illustrators. Whether you’re sending a present far or near, there are many choices to give local literary talent! Chris Van Dusen’s new picture book, The Circus Ship is based on a true event of a ship that runs aground off the coast of Maine, told with humor, rhyme and whimsical illustrations. Sarah Thomson’s picture book, Pirates, Ho! is perfect for the young pirate to be and Dragon’s Egg, a novel for a bit older crowd, is a lively adventure and coming of age story for the fantasy reader on your list.

The gray became darker. She was facing east and the sun had made its way down the other side of the hill, west.

Morgan felt so blessed.

Soon the tears would come; her already wet face was now warmed by her tears. Salted air filled her nostrils, salty tears touched her lips.

She was happy, the dampness of the day couldn’t dampen her spirits.

Kathleen Carr Bailey Kathleen Carr Bailey, author of the Morgan series, is a recently restored Hill resident.


December 2009


Spotlight on Non-Profits is a regular feature. To feature your favorite East End non-profit, please contact Liz at or call 775-5568 ext. 102.

on Non-Profits Society for East End Arts by Liz McMahon Most of us who live on Munjoy Hill pass by Elizabeth Fraser’s art studio every day. It’s got the white picket fence and she often has her sign out announcing that the studio is open for visitors. If you haven’t yet stopped in, you MUST! Elizabeth has converted her house into a colorful and cozy art studio and gallery space. It’s there that I sat down and spoke with her about the Society for East End Arts, or SEA. SEA is a Munjoy Hill based organization of artists that seeks to promote awareness of East End Arts in Portland through networking and community. SEA was founded 4 years ago when Colleen Bedard, glass bead artist & printmaker, and Dennis Sheehy, maker of gnome homes, planned an informal meeting at Dennis’ home to talk about starting an arts organization on the East End. A handful of Munjoy Hill artists attended; ideas were exchanged about what artists sought from a neighborhood arts organization. With the efforts of founding members Colleen Bedard, Dennis Sheehy, Elizabeth Fraser, Mike Libby, Abby Sadauckas, and the input of many East End artists, the Society for East End Arts was underway. Meetings continued throughout the winter and spring of 2005 and SEA began to define its mission and build a membership base. June of 2005 marked SEA’s first event, the East End Artists Open Studios Tour. Elizabeth told me that the group tried different things at first, testing out what the artist community wanted from SEA. They held monthly artist talks and monthly social hours, but eventually they decided there wasn’t a demand for quite that much activity. SEA now holds 2 annual events, the Open Studios Tour in July & the SEA

Holiday Art Sale in December. Solange Kellerman is the event coordinator for the Holiday Art Sale. This is her third year doing it, and Elizabeth says that Solange does such a great job that everything feels under control. They have monthly meetings for an hour or so to plan out the events. She explains that each of the core organizers take on different tasks, and it all runs smoothly.

SEA has approximately 60 members, but there are many more artists and craftspeople living and working in the East End than that! If you are one of them, you should join SEA! To join, artists should go to the web site and fill out the application. The benefits to becoming a member are * Participating in the SEA sponsored Open Studios Tour & SEA Holiday Art Sale at the East End Community School * Being listed on the SEA members webpage with examples of your work and contact information * Getting inspiration & motivation from being a part of this hip Art community on the Hill! Elizabeth clarified for me that another benefit of membership is that if you are an artist who does not have a studio space to open to the public, but you want to participate in the Open Studio Tour in the spring/summer, they will find you a studio to share! Elizabeth, for example, will have several other artists share her studio at that event. If you are not an artist but would like to become involved, please contact SEA to find out how to volunteer. They always need help with their events. Tasks may include: bringing food; serving food; helping hand out maps and helping put up posters for the events. SEA also has a Facebook page. The link is: Amazing things can come out of the Open Studio Tours; one artist tells this sweet story:

Photo from the 2008 SEA Holiday Art Sale. Above top, Michelle Roberts; center, Claudia Diller and friend; below, John Morrill. Photos courtesy of SEA

“I had a print of a painting of a yellow lab and a woman stopped by to say how much she liked it. I told her that when I used to walk around the hill in the early morning about 12 years ago there was a kid, maybe 10 years old

that I used to encounter who had a yellow lab. They’d be walking along just as happy as could be – the lab sometimes with a stick in its mouth. I told her first of all that I love yellow labs because they seem to be so spirited and secondly that the memory of the little boy and his dog just seemed to stick with me all of these years. She told me that the little boy was her son and that his dog had just passed away—it was pretty old. She also said that son was going to be coming home from college to see the new little yellow lab puppy she had just got. I thought that was pretty cool.” -Claudia Diller, SEA member Don’t forget to stop by the Holiday Sale!

SEA Holiday Art Sale 2009

at the East End Community School Friday & Saturday, December 4th & 5th—Fri, 6 -9 pm & Sat, 10 am – 6 pm

At left, a holiday shopping ad from a 1940’s newspaper


December 2009



December 2009


MHNO is a proud member of Portland BuyLocal

East End Business Focus The Law Offices of CHESTER & VESTAL Husband and W i fe Team were Founder s o f the Munjoy H ill Obser ver

by Leanne Krudner Rarely do you hear of people moving from a place they call home to another locale simply because it somehow resonated with them. That was the case, though, with Ned Chester and Barbara Vestal, who moved to Maine in 1977 after growing up in the Mid-West simply because they were captivated by the thought of living and working on Munjoy Hill. “When you’re from Kansas, the ocean is pretty special,” Ned recalls about his first encounter with the Eastern Promenade, where he stood watching the evening settle upon the water. It took them a second visit and some soul searching, but they then decided, “This is it!” and have been here for thirty-two years now. Their practice began as a husband and wife venture, but they later added a third lawyer, Caroline Wilshusen, to their team. Ned and Caroline focus on juvenile law, and Barbara focuses on

real estate, social security disability, wills, and estate law. They also have a secretary, long-time Hill resident Ann Jordan, who has been with them for around twenty-five years. If you try to find them and are looking for a typical-looking law

office, you will miss them entirely. They are located on the street level of 107 Congress Street in a greensided building that fits in perfectly with neighboring businesses and residences. Their location is noted by a sign that was hand painted by neighborhood artist Don Ogier, and is just now beginning to show the effects of the salt air.

They bought the building soon after they moved to Munjoy Hill, and with a lot of sweat equity, renovated it. Their offices are now very professionally done, with a pleasant and welcoming feeling and good local art displayed on the walls. Both Barbara and Ned themselves are very personable, and it doesn’t take long before it is apparent that they know a lot about the East End community, both past and present. Ned can discuss Indian raids and the effects of The Great Portland Fire of 1866, then switch to the modern day issues of the sewer treatment plant and the changing demographics of the neighborhoods. They have been active community members ever since their arrival. Ned became the first elected Neighborhood Organization president in 1979. They also worked with neighbors to start the Munjoy Hill Observer as a way to communicate with the community. They smile as they reminisce, saying the Observer was quite different because there were “a lot more characters” around back

then. They also got themselves into trouble from time to time. One of the more notable events was an “Observant Consumer” column featuring a blind taste test comparison of Italian sandwiches from several neighborhood shops which caused quite a controversy. Over the years, Ned and Barbara have found that they have played a part in some of the major events of their neighbors’ lives—marriages, divorces, drawing up wills, buying and selling real estate, and helping teens and their families navigate the juvenile justice system—and

have come to feel themselves very much a part of their community. So, if you are looking for excellent legal service provided by good and trusted neighbors, stop by and have a chat with the good folks at Chester and Vestal. You can find Chester & Vestal, P.A. at 107 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101, or call 772-7426.


December 2009


Tips To Staying Healthy Advice from the professionals at the Martin’s Point Health Center • • • • •

Local Etz Chaim Synagogue Gets a Facelift Tree of Life Foundation at Work Staff Report Work has begun on the Maine Jewish Museum to be housed in the Etz Chaim Synagogue at 267 Congress Street, at the top of india Stree, next to Angela Adams. On Oct.25th, Gary Berenson, the Executive Director of the Tree of Life Foundation, was one of the speakers at the Bates Conference on Maine’s Jewish History. He explained that the development of the Maine Jewish Museum will have three phases: Phase 1 will rescue the Etz Chaim Synagogue building by restoring its past simple elegance. In Phase 2, the restored building will be used to host a museum

of Maine Jewish history, art and culture, reflecting the contributions and accomplishments made by Maine is original Jewish immigrants and their families. The museum will also showcase current art and changing exhibits by Maine’s Jewish artists, including photography and historical presentations among other displays. In the final phase, Phase 3, the museum will provide educational outreach and opportunities for Munjoy Hill’s newest immigrants. The collection and restoration of historical Maine Jewish artifacts and documents are outcomes of the Maine Jewish History Ini-

• •

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands OFTEN with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you get the flu, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school for 7 days after symptoms begin or until you are symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. If you get the H1N1 flu, antiviral drugs can treat the flu. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid, or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body.

tiative, a statewide project of the Maine Historical Society (MHS) in cooperation with Documenting Old Maine Jewry (DOMJ), designed to promote the preservation and interpretation of Maine’s long and significant Jewish history. The project was initiated by gifts from Kenneth, Leonard, Andrew and Bruce Nelson, in memory of their parents, and by Dr. Harold Osher. To learn more, or to lend your much

• • •

Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter and are different than antibiotics. Antiviral drugs may be especially important for people who are very sick (hospitalized) or people who are sick with the flu and who are at increased risk of serious flu complications, such as pregnant women, young children, and those with chronic health conditions. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started within the first 2 days of symptoms.

needed support, please contact Susan Cummings-Lawrence at, or Bonnie Vance at A copy of the brochure describing the Maine Jewish Museum is available at TreeOf LifeBrochureJune2009. pdf. FMI: contact Gary Berenson at 329-9854,, or Jody Sataloff, presi-

dent of the Tree of Life Foundation at 799-6100, or email jody@ Join the fun on Dec. 13th, from 1–4 pm, Synagogue Etz Chaim will host an Open House Hanukkah Celebration, with refreshments, tours and festive Klezmer music by the Casco Bay Tumlers, in honor of the holiday and of the work that’s being done in the Synagogue. Free and open to the public.

We Appreciate your commitment and effort... The good work of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization would not be possible without the help of our many supporters and volunteers: OBSERVER WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Jake McNally Cliff Gallant Jeanne Bull Christina Feller Liz McMahon Frank Kadi Nini MacNanamy Tracey Menard Martin Steingresser Doug Cowie Kathleen Carr Bailey Barbara Moore Leanne Krudner Troy Hull Senator Justin Alfond City Councilor Kevin Donoghue Jenna Vendil Janine Kasserman & the Munjoy Hill Community Policing Center Jerri Blatt & the Munjoy Hill Branch of the Portland Public Library Munjoy Hill Fire Department & Lt. Creed Ray The Root Cellar & Chrisitine Ming Portland Parks & Recreation Illustrator Cap Pannell,

WEB DESIGN Steve Pogson First Pier Technology Partners

TALENTED PHOTGRAPHERs Frank Kadi Kirk Rogers James O’Reilly Alison Nason Gabrielle Dumas

OUR FAILTHFUL ADVERTISERS & LOCAL NONPROFIT groups Ari’s East End Market The Body Architect Fitness Center Blue Spoon Martin’s Point Health Care

Benchmark Residential and Investment Real Estate Sullivan Multi Family Realty Norway Savings Bank Shipyard Brewing Company Donatelli’s Custom Tailor Aurora Contracting Brackett Street Veterinary Clinic Cumberland Ave. Garage Katie Made Bakery Massage & Bodywork Therapy Mittapheap World Market Old Port Pharmacy Three Monkeys World Food Cafe Liliana’s Dry Cleaning & Laundromat Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum Greater Portland Landmarks Maine Historical Society The Portland Observatory Mike Rand & Dale Rand Printing Promenade Towers The Root Cellar John Serrage & the Saint Paul’s Anglican Church United Insurance Haley Agency Bar Lola Restaurant Debrah Yale with Bay Realty Rhonda Berg with Harborview Properties Colucci’s Hilltop Superette Eli Phant Munjoy Hidden Gardens group Loco Pollo WILLA WIRTH Silver Design Stone Meadow Woodworks Oliver Outerbridge, Water District Board Candidate Eastside Screen Printing Residence Inn St. Lawrence Arts Center Friends of the Eastern Promenade Society for East End Arts Portland Trails Spirits Alive--Friends of the Eastern Cemetery

Diane Russell Sam Cousins Robbi Lipsman Alex Landry Leah Cross Heidi Kendrick Ted Musgrave Tad Jacks Kathy Palmer of Fetch Melissa Letourneau of Portland’s Paws Pet Sitting & Walking Cloud Morris Dan Haley Chris Miller Curtis Robinson

MUNJFEST SPONSORS Martin’s Point Healthcare Norways Savings Bank United Insurance Haley Agency FairPoint Communications Residence Inn at the Marriott Chester & Vestal, PA Donatelli’s Custom Tailor Hilltop Coffee Shop Rosemont Market Shipyard Brewery

support & VOLUNTEERS East Side Screenprinting Anita LaChance Bob Lipps Liz MacMahon Ed King Turner Kruysman, MHNO Advertising Rep George Aponte Clarke & family Louise Little David Cowie Gary Marcisso Alison Nason Charles Bragdon

Music Talent Blue Lobster Troupe chorale & director Tom Kovacevic Maine Academy of Modern Music Singer Scott Ryan Chris Busby, a.k.a. The Soul Proprietor Adam Kurtz The Maine Squeeze Accordion Ensemble & Nancy 3 Hoffman

Munjfest RAFFLE PRIZE DONORS Our gratitude goes out to Angela Adams, Cobwebs, KatieMade Bakery, Blue Spoon, DAVANTI Hair Salon, KnitWit Yarn Shop, Breggy Oil Service, Ferdinand Studio & Storefront, ENVY Hair Salon, North Star Cafe, Dean’s Sweets, Ember Grove, St. Lawrence Arts Center, Colucci’s Market, Cynthia Fitzgerald,

MHNO BOARD 2009-10 Katie Brown, President Jaime Parker, Vice President

Christina Feller, Secretary Delores Lanai, Treasurer Fred Brancato Cynthia Fitzgerald Cliff Gallant Will Gorham Ali (Ndabaruta) Kabirigi Frank Kadi Markos Miller Elaine Mullin Anne Rand Joan Sheedy

OUR PRINTER Times Record in Brunswick & Jeff Hewitt—for going above & beyond the call of duty This cannot possibly be a comprehensive list, as there are many who work quietly behind the scenes. If you see anyone we have missed, please understand it is purely unintentional. Send additions to this list to the Editor, Lisa Peñalver at

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

— Albert Einstein



Local Events


Schedule of Events for December 76 Congress St. Portland, Me. • 775.5568 •

Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday Nov. 27, 5:30 pm

Monument Square, Downtown Portland

Players & Puppets Theatre Two performances on Nov 28. All-children cast. Taught by professional theatre artists. FMI and for tickets, go to or call 773-0333. The Old Port Playhouse, 19 Temple St.

east end HOLIDAY STROLL Sat. Dec. 5, 11 am to 6 pm in Portland’s East End. Join us for our Annual Holiday Stroll! Participating businesses will be celebrating the holidays with special deals, yummy treats, music and more! Visit more than 5 locations to be entered in a raffle at your favorite East End Shop! http://

SEA Holiday Art Sale 2009 at the East End Community School Friday & Saturday, Dec. 4th & 5th Fri, 6 -9 pm & Sat, 10 am – 6 pm

The Society for East End Arts pulls out all the stops. fmi:

Seaport Yarn &ORE3T ND&LRs0ORTLAND -%s   Yarns, knitting & crochet accessories, just a short walk Yarns, needles, patterns, notions and free parking. down the hill.

Maine Academy of Modern Music presents:

First Annual Boys Rock! Music Festival Friday Dec. 4, 6-8pm

Storytelling events by MOOSE (Maine Organization of Storytelling Enthusiasts)

Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 7-9 pm At the North Star Cafe • 225 Congress Street, Portland, ME 207-699-2994 •, moosetellers.ning. com, Admission FREE; $5.00 suggested donation. FMI: Lynne Cullen, 207-846-1321 Dec. Special! Featured Teller, Janet Lynch will perform at 7pm. OPEN MIC from 8:10 to the end of the evening! In the Middle Ages, the Yuletide season was a time to turn everything topsy turvy, and tonight we’re keeping that tradition!

Music and Arts Festival Sat. Dec. 12, 1 to 8 pm 34 Gray Street Portland, Irish Heritage Center FMI:

OPEN HOUSE at Etz Haim Synagogue Hanukkah Celebration And Synagogue Tours

Sunday Dec. 13, 1–4 pm Etz Chaim Synagogue, 267 Congress St, 773-2339. Free and open to the public. Refreshments, tours and festive Klezmer music by the Casco Bay Tumlers, in honor of the holiday and of the work that’s being done in the Synagogue. Wonder what’s brewing? Come see what we’re doing! We’re restoring our building, making it handicapped-accessible— a place for worship, discussions, community activities, exploring our heritage and history, as well as deepening our education and spiritual growth. We are also creating a Museum of the Art and History of Maine Jews. Come take a look around; look for the volunteers with ribbons on their name-tags.

Where: The Empire Dine and Dance. Tickets $8 Adults; $5 kids. Boys Rock! will feature four bands and two solo performances by young men from Portland, South Portland, Freeport, Falmouth, and Windham. MAMM and Boys to Men (B2M) are both local non-profit organizations with a mission to support the healthy development of Maine’s youth. The show will begin at 6 p.m. and will also feature the local and well known adult band Headstart. FMI: http://www., 207.899.3433

Christmas Fair

The Polar Express Train Ride Event Nov. 27th - Dec. 23rd Coming to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad near YOU. Experience the Magic!! http://www.mngrr. org/polar_express.html. TICKETS: call PortTix at 842-0800, online at (phone and online orders are subject to a service fee). Tickets can also be purchased at the PortTix window in Merrill Auditorium at City Hall in Portland. FMI: call the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine at 828-1234 ext. 233, the Maine Narrow Gauge at 828-0814 , or see or

PHYZGIG 2009 Dec 26 - 31, $8 to $18 Portland’s own celebration of the spirit of vaudeville, now offering our twelfth year of Phyzgiggles for the entire family!

$8 Yoga Classes

Saturday, Dec. 12 10 am – 2 pm

• BAKE GOODS • RAFFLES • • HOLIDAY CRAFTS • •CHRISTMAS GIFTS • Now offering Baked Goods and Sandwiches! 147 Cumberland Ave • Email:

Open Monday thru Saturday

Tuesdays, 5:45-7 pm Yoga for all levels with Jen Micoleau of Well-Being Basics. Tuesdays, East End Community School. Drop in!

New York City and grandmother-trained, Katie Capron has been producing decadent desserts for Portland area restaurants, caterers, and coffee houses since she opened the bakery in 2000. Fresh, delicious, and beautiful—these desserts are available to the public by advance order.

Think of Katie Made for your next special day.

Call us today! 771.0994 KatieMadeBake_Sept09-0807.indd 1

8/8/09 9:17:40 AM


LIST your East End events HERE— send your listings to

The St Lawrence Theater Presents... Dec 3-6 Broadway at Good Theater Broadway star Norm Lewis joins a dozen of your Good Theater favorites. FMI contact Good Theater at 885-5883 or Dec 5 The Saturday Show with Martin Swinger 11 am $8 Adults; $5 Kids. Martin Swinger has been singing and writing songs for 30 years. He has national songwriting and performance awards to his credit and is a well known and much loved personality and family entertainer in schools and festivals and appears on cable television throughout Maine. Dec 7 The Blue Lobster Troupe Holiday Recital 7:30 pm $10. The Blue Lobster Troupe is a community chorus is open to all who want to sing. FMI, pls contact Liz at or 7755568 ext. 102 Dec 9 Secret Lives of Comedians 7:30pm $10. Secret Lives is a monthly show produced by Brian Brinegar, Cloud Morris, and Bo McMichael. Expect top-notch stand-up comics, special guests, and surprises. Dec 10 Lesbian All-Stars 7:30pm $20.The Lesbian All-Stars are back! Get your tix early - this show will sell out! Dec 11 Sean Mencher 7:30 pm $12 Sean Mencher performs an assortment of original songs blended with American standards and classics. Sean’s five-piece combo blends the best of traditional American music including rock n’ roll, western swing, bluegrass, jazz, blues and rockabilly. Dec 12 &13 Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair at the St. Lawrence 9am-4pm. Do your last-minute holiday shopping here at The St. Lawrence Arts Center and Buy Local! We will have vendors selling handmade goods from pottery, jewelry, clothing, bags, magnets, paintings, cards, knit goods, candy, pillows, stone and steel work, and stained glass! Dec 17 – 21 Vivid Motion presents The Nutcracker Burlesque. The show that started it all returns...

December 2009

Luncheon 11 am- 1 pm

SAINT PAUL’S CHURCH 279 Congress Street Congress & Locust Streets 207 828 2012


December 2009


Medicare Beneficiaries who live in Maine please read this important message about your Medicare Health Plan options.

FOR OUR MEDICARE HEALTH PLANS* Martin’s Point Generations Advantage plans are the ONLY Medicare Advantage plans offered in Maine that currently have a 5-star summary rating of health plan quality from Medicare—the highest possible rating!*

Join Us at a Free Sales Seminar in Your Neighborhood—RSVP Today! PORTLAND Martin’s Point Health Care Administrative Offices, 901 Washington Ave. Dec. 1, 10 am, Dec. 8, 10 am and 1 pm, Dec. 15, 10 am and 1 pm

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Dec. 9, 11 am

Please join us for a free sales seminar to learn about our three plans: Prime (HMOPOS), Select (PPO), and Value (HMO).

RSVP by calling 1-866-653-5345 (TTY/TDD 1-866-544-7502) We’re available 8 am–8 pm, seven days a week. For accommodation of persons with special needs at these presentations, please call the RSVP phone numbers above. A Martin’s Point Generations Advantage representative will be present with information and applications. These events are sponsored by Martin’s Point Generations, LLC, and are not affiliated with the venues in which they are held. *, 2010 Plan Quality and Performance Ratings. Applies to Prime (HMOPOS) and Value (HMO) plans only. The Select (PPO) plan is too new to have current Medicare ratings. You must have Medicare Part A and B to enroll in Martin’s Point Generations Advantage. Serving all of Maine except Washington County. Martin’s Point Generations Advantage is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. This is an advertisement; for more information contact the plan. H5591_2010_512 H1365_2010_512

Dec 2009 - Munjoy Hill Observer  

December Munjoy Hill Observer

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