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M u n joy H il l

M u n joy Hil l

OBSERVER

OBSERVER

Non Profit Org US Postage

MHNO, 92 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

Change Service Requested

PAID

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. 2 June 2009

Still Standing

Discovering the Passionate Soul of Portland’s Abyssinian Meeting House By Lisa Peñalver The historic 181 year old Abyssinian Meeting House at 75 Newbury Street on Munjoy Hill is well on its way to becoming a pearl of the Old Port. The restoration process is revealing that its very existence is somewhat of a miracle. Against nearly impossible odds—devastating fires that consumed most of the surrounding city, a persistent freshwater stream that flows under the foundation, a temporary stint as tenement apartments, and years of neglect (until very recently)—astoundingly, this building has endured to the present with nearly 90 percent of its structure intact. Surely, there must be reason—it has a story to tell, a story that is still unfolding. Now recognized—officially—as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site by the US Department of the Interior, the structure on Munjoy Hill is one of only three (count ‘em: 3!) such meeting houses remaining in the U.S. It was built in 1828 by free blacks as a cultural center of their community—not only for African Americans, but for Jewish and Irish immigrants as well. Right from the start, many members of the congregation were activists in the abolitionist movement determined to help escaped slaves reach the safety and freedom of Canada and Europe. This is the stuff of high drama; it’s a place where its occupants lived with both fear and relief; joy and outrage—and you can feel the energy inside the building to this day. This spring, the Abyssinian Restoration Project has turned a corner in the painstaking structural restoration. In a partnership of young people from the Portland West’s Youth Building Alternatives Program with the skilled artisans of Preservation Timber Framing, Inc, the roof framing has been carefully recreated by integrating many of the original old timbers with new beams constructed of the same type of wood, and the walls have largely been leveled and repaired. The group’s hard work and craftsmanship will be on display throughout the summer, after a series of Open Houses at the site in late May unveils the artistry of the restoration work. The very fact that this building survived, and did NOT crumble to ash or collapse in utter disrepair, is a testament to the determination and passion of all those who have seen and believed in the good that has passed through its walls. The Abyssinian Meeting House of Portland now stands as a symbol of the rich history of Mainers—of all colors—who rejected racial inequality and injustice—and who persisted in forging the basic freedoms we all enjoy today. Now we must listen carefully, for the rest of the story is gradually being revealed. Thank you to David Paul and Leonard Cummings of the Abyssinian Restoration Project for sharing valuable information and insights. For updates and news on the Restoration Project, or to contribute to the cause, go to www.abyme.org. For more about the Youth Build program, see www.portlandwest.org/programs_youthbuilding.html Photos courtesy of the Abyssinian Restoration Project

The Pink Tulip Project garden located at the top of Cutter Street on the Prom is a community fund raising and awareness project that benefits the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Fund. Above, tulips blooming on the Eastern Prom. Photo ©2009 Frank Kadi. All Rights Reserved.

Friends of the Eastern Promenade See Pink

MHNO Annual Meeting Sunday June 28, 5 pm S ( e ( e page 14 for details)

In October ‘08, volunteers from Friends of the Eastern Promenade planted hope. Hope for early detection and better awareness of breast cancer. The Eastern Prom garden is one of over 60 Pink Tulip Gardens in Maine blooming this May. Volunteers planted 300 bulbs and raised $1,627 as part of the Pink Tulip Project, a program of the Maine Cancer Foundation. For more info., see www.pinktulipproject.org, www.friendsofeasternpromenade or contact the Maine Cancer Foundation: 773-2533. See photo on page 15.

Charter Commission Redux Portland Charter Commission District 1 Candidates, Ben Monaghan and Ben Chipman Answer Our Questions

by Katie Brown On Tuesday, June 9, Portlanders will elect nine members to the Portland Charter Commission for a total of 12 to study whether our city’s bylaws are up to par. Three members have already been appointed by the City Council to serve on the Commission. One elected member will represent each of the five districts, and four of eight candidates will be elected to represent Portland atlarge. (We hope you were able to attend the May 31 debate among the at-largers hosted by the MHNO at the St. Lawrence. For more information on them and the other district candidates, watch the Community Television Network televised debates hosted by The League of Young Voters at theleague.com/me.) Two candidates are running for District 1 (neighborhoods east of High Street—to the Burger King line on Forest—and the Portland islands): Ben Chipman and Joel “Ben” Monaghan. The Portland Charter Commission group will study, perhaps among other items in our charter (including the Council’s relationship with the School Committee), whether or not Portland will be best served by an elected mayor­—i.e., a mayor by popular vote of Portland residents, rather than a mayor-by-default as elected chairperson for a one-year

Joel “Ben” Monaghan, Photo by Alison Nason

term by and of the City Council, whose currently only authority is to appoint committee members and to really be sure to show up for parades. The Portland Charter was first incorporated in 1832 and revised several times in just about every decade of our first 130 years. Attempts to update it were made in 1986, and before that 1969, so we’re on a roll of generally being able to live with the status quo. Portland used to have a city-wide elected mayor, until around 1923, when it seems some Ku Klux Klanners (7,000) wanted to ensure control of city politics for their O.X.C.D.s (Obsessive Xenophobia Compulsive Disorder) by way of a weakened mayor and a stronger City Manager (see “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” Portland Magazine, Feb-Mar 2009,

See page 12, Charter Commission

Ben Chipman, Photo by Abigail Wellman

In this issue Letter from the Editor. . . . . . . . . . 2 Capitol & City Legislative News. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Notes from the Tower . . . . . . . . . 4 Street Beat: Life on the Hill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Gardeners’ Dirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Community Policing News. . . . . . 5 Living with Peace Maine African Film Festival. . . . 6 Art & Soul Laura Fuller Interview. . . . . . . . . 7 Good Neighbor of the Month. . . 7 Root Cellar News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Munjoy Hill Library News. . . . . . 10 A Day in the Life of Morgan (fiction). . . . . . . . . . 10 Spotlight on Nonprofits Portland Trails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 EE Business Focus Colucci’s Market. . . . . . . . . . . . 13 MNHO Announcements. . . . . . 14 MHNO Membership Form. . . 14 Around Town/Local Events. . . . 15




June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

It’s a Hard-Knock Life (or, “The Rise and Fall…and Rise Again!—of a Neighborhood”)

From the Editor, Lisa Peñalver

The Munjoy Hill Observer is published by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO) at 92 Congress Street Portland, Maine 04101 Editor Lisa Peñalver, mjh.observer@gmail.com (207) 766-5077 / 775-3050 www.munjoyhill.org/observer/ www.munjoyhill.org Observer Committee Katie Brown & Cliff Gallant, Co-Chairs; Jeanne Bull, Douglas Cowie, Frank Kadi, Alison Nason, Liz McMahon, Tracey Menard, Lisa Peñalver 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.

Despite being a newcomer myself, I simply must toot the horn for the MHNO—this organization quietly celebrated its 30th year in May. I guess this means it’s all grown up! It’s had its share of bumps in the road, but it’s still rolling along, even picking up steam. This painting, and other works by local ar tists, will be on display during the June 28 East End Open Studio Tour & Art Sale (see page 10 for more). Visit www.SEAportland.org/ for details. Painting by Elizabeth-Fraser: www. d a i l y p a i n te r s.c o m /a r t i s ts /a r t i s t _ galler y/532/Elizabeth-Fraser.

You are invited to attend the MHNO’s Annual Meeting, June 28th, at the East End School, when we will be electing board members for the coming year. Please join us! Details on page 14. You too could be a member of the Board! MHNO needs energetic people who care about this communit y on the Hill! Interested in being a candidate? Contact Dave Cowie at dave@maine.rr.com, or call 780-0860. And come on up to the Annual meeting!

Picture

Can you tell from my metaphors that I took my 8-year old daughter to see the production of “Annie” recently? (at the Merrill). I’d seen the film long ago, so maybe I shouldn’t have been so affected, but I was struck by the ironic echoes of current events in so many of those hardship songs. The Great Depression; my grandfather spun stories about it; my grandmother’s family slid out of High Society during that period. It did make me think. Periods of hardship have punctuated human existence throughout history. In this country, we’ve gone several generations without it—could be we were thinking we were immune. A friend once told me it just dawned on her that whenever she found herself utterly frustrated with her situation, if she looked at her expectations, invariably they were unrealistic; when she revised her expectations, she was a happier person. If we accept that a certain amount of suffering goes with the territory of being alive (as we’re told by so many religions) it allows us to see how precious a sparkling clear day and generous people around us really are. It’s all about being grateful for every bit of good in your life, especially when we see neighbors helping neighbors, as we are increasingly seeing in our community. The Munjoy Hill area has seen its own wheel of fortune go around a few times (I’ve been reading up!)

According to Howard Reiche, Jr. in his book Closeness; Memories Photo by Gabrielle Dumas of Mrs. Munjoy’ Hill, the 1930’s saw an upsurge of optimism and status on the Hill as working class immigrants “moved up” literally, to a cleaner and more civilized community on the peninsula. This, despite the simultaneous Great Depression slide being felt by those in surrounding neighborhoods. Later, in the 60’s and 70’s, the area suffered a period of degeneration and neglect from which it’s taken some time to recover. But here we are again, and remarkably the East End’s star is on the rise. Can’t keep a great place down! Seems that the Mainers around here are smart, durable and imaginative—good old American virtues. By looking at the big picture, the greater good, and keep our wits about us, we WILL eventually come up with a way out of the current economic morass (and hopefully soon, before too many of us are living under bridges warming our hands over trashcan fires!) But regardless of the size of our bank accounts, with a place as lovely and accessible as Munjoy Hill, we can’t help but be optimistic. The trees are blooming and the winds are warm. Like Annie, let’s try to believe in that bright “tomorrow” when we have set ourselves on a healthy course again. Why not? But let’s believe in today as well, because it’s the bird in our hand: enjoy this day—it’s a gift… and it’s free!

mjh.observer@gmail.com

The Clean Team

Your Name HERE!

MHNO Board 2008-09 Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization Will Gorham, President wrgorham@maine.rr.com........................774-0768 Katie Brown, Vice President....... katiebrown@maine.rr.com Christina Feller, Secretary cfeller@maine.rr.com............................. 773-4336 Delores Lanai, Treasurer terra@maine.rr.com................................773-9235 Ali (Ndabaruta) Kabirigi ndabaruta@yahoo.co.uk.........................772-4539 Cynthia Fitzgerald.............................................774-3526 Cliff Gallant Gallant.Cliff555@yahoo.com..................221-5446 Dave Cowie dcowie@maine.rr.com............................ 780-0860 David Wilson.....................................................773-2625 Frank Kadi....................................KadiFranks@msn.com Fred Brancato opus2@maine.rr.com...............................774-3163 George Aponte Clarke ggac@gwi.net..........................................773-3727 Jaime Parker ParkerOnTheHill @yahoo.com.................329-6180 Joan Sheedy joaniesheedy670@yahoo.com................ 774-7616 Munjoy Hill Community Policing.......................756-8135

Incorporated as a nonprofit organization in Januar y 1979, our purpose is to be a broad-based, representative organization committed to improving the qualit y of life for the residents of Munjoy Hill and the East End, strengthening

the

sense

of

communit y, maintaining the current diversit y of social and economic groups, encouraging self-suf ficienc y, and

enriching

residents .

the

lives

(he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty!)

Front row (left to right): Jill Sady, Kerry (from Home Depot), Maryna Smolnikava, Will Gorham (MNHO President), Lauren Chaney, Heather Laverriere, and mystery man from the Eastern Prom (sorry); Back row (left to right): Marshall Johnson, Kelly Kirchner, Courtney Beer, Molly McSweeney, and Emily Helliesen. Photo courtesy of Jill Sady.

Neighborhood Cleanup on the HIll

MHNO Mission

by

Our President!

of

all

By Jill Sady Saturday, May 2: We had a great turnout, around 35 people—and fantastic weather! We received donations from Coffee By Design (coffee), Home Depot (trash bags), and Fetch (pooper scoopers). Thank you!! Will Gorham and Anton Warde both used their trucks to drive around and collect the trash. Frank Hall used his bike/rickshaw to ride along the Prom trail and pick up bags of trash. Good work, Team! By all accounts, a huge success!

Please renew your membership with the MHNO today! Your support makes a huge difference! ~ see page 14 for membership form. ~


Capitol City Senator Justin Alfond

Hello neighbors! It’s been a monumental month in Augusta. Two weeks ago, Governor Baldacci signed into law LD 1020, a law granting equal marriage rights to same-gendered couples. I received over 3,250 postcards asking me to vote for marriage equality, and I was proud to add my name to the list of pro-equality legislators. Thank you for writing, emailing and calling me. It truly was one of my greatest experiences to vote for full marriage equality for all Mainers! With all of the big issues facing the State, a lot of the day-to-day work of a legislator flies under the radar, but the bills that are worked on in the background can have some of the biggest effects on our State. Here are some the bills and issues I’ve worked on in the Legislature:

LD 1264, “An Act to Stabilize Funding and Enable DirigoChoice to Reach More Uninsured,” an important bill to Portland and Maine, was passed by a majority vote in the Insurance and Financial Services Committee. Currently, over 500 people in State Senate District 8 are enrolled in DirigoChoice. This bill changes how Dirigo is funded. The proposed legislation ends the controversial Savings-Offset Payment (SOP) and replaces it with fixed 2.14% charge to carriers on paid claims. The change brings long sought-after financial stability to the program. If enacted by the legislature, the DirigoChoice product will continue helping people in the district, and current projections will allow the program to reopen enrollment to individuals, sole proprietors, and small businesses in the near future. LD 1446, “An Act To Create the Maine Online Learning Program,” was another bill of mine to pass out of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee. The bill would expand high-quality, online distance teaching and learning opportunities for students and schools across the State. The Department of Education would be the clearinghouse for online learning companies and courses, making it easier for schools and students.

Movin’ on Over

Kevin Donoghue, City Councilor

To be sure, District One includes several other neighborhoods: Peaks Island, Cliff Island, Great Diamond, Eastern Waterfront, Old Port, Gorham’s Corner, Arts District, West Bayside, East Bayside, and a part of Back Cove, in addition to Munjoy Hill. Besides meeting the competing challenge of maintaining a livelihood while in office, one of the great challenges of holding this office is remaining responsive to each of these neighborhoods while still making progress on policies that benefit the district and city as a whole. Though it is true that Munjoy Hill has long dominated District One, priorities within the neighborhood are varied,

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

I have also been spending time working on a Portland transportation issue that will affect Munjoy Hill: the redesign of Exit 7 on I295. Portland advocates (Franklin Reclamation Authority, Portland Trails and Bayside Neighborhood Organization) are pushing for a more pedestrian-friendly area around the Exit 7 off-ramps. Proposed changes include creating pedestrian access to the Back Cove Trail, installing a traffic light, and adding additional lanes on both the north and southbound off-ramps. More to come on this soon. On a completely different note, the State’s revenues are struggling. On April 30th, the Appropriations Committee received the actual revenue projections for the State, and they are not good. The information gathered since April 15th indicates that sales and income taxes are down substantially. Revenues will be down $129 million for 2009, $195.9 million for 2010, and $247.7 million for 2011. This $573 million represents 10% of the of proposed biennial expenditures in the 2010-2011 budget. As you read this, the State’s biennial budget will be in the final stages. The budget cuts deep into Health and Human Services and Education because these two agencies account for almost 80% of the State’s budget. There were many hurdles in the budget and the final three being: paycuts to Maine State Employees where they will take 20 shutdown down days during the next two years, indexing all income tax brackets over the next two years and finally the scheduled payments from the milk commission for our 240+ dairy farmers across the state. The legislature will be voting during the week of May 26th on the final biennial budget.

June 2009



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at Maine Historical Society Visit the

LONGFELLOW HOUSE

Explore original exhibits on Maine history at the MHS Museum MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY www.mainehistory.org 489 Congress St. Portland 207-774-1822

I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this, and encourage you to contact me about anything in this article or any other issue that concerns you. Please send me an email at Justin@JustinAlfond.com or visit my website, www.JustinAlfond.com. Your email or fax reply is required

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blocks, the interconnecting nuisance crimes. Thanks from your teampersistent at Discover Maine Magaz

With voters preparing to elect the members of the Charter Commission on June 9, several questions are seeing renewed interest throughout Portland and here in Munjoy Hill. Should voters di-

rectly elect their Mayor, who is currently selected by a majority of the City Council? Should something be done to change the role of the School Committee, which sometimes itself in a zero-sum bargaining exercise with the City Council? Should there be a shift toward greater district representation—on both the School Committee and the City Counci—and a corollary question: are the five voting districts too big?

Client Pro

depending on our experiences, perspectives, and even the street we live on. Nothing has made this fact more plain than my recent move from North Street to Beckett Street. Indeed, my own sense of neighborhoods priorities is shifting before my own eyes. For over three years, I rented a first-floor apartment on the west side of North Street, where I lived with a host of roommates who helped to offset the cost of the luxurious city view. The shifting winds brought the smells of fermenting wort at Shipyard Brewing and roasting beans at Coffee by Design and turned the volume up and down on the drone of traffic on I-295. Behind the house, I began blazing some trails over what had felt like a backyard, but was really a series of publiclyowned paper streets and unbuildable house lots according to city maps. This exploration illustrated for me the potential of new trail connections to Sheridan Street and Washington Avenue and even reopening the Jack Path to the East End Community School. Out front, I could not help but to notice the many children walk-

ing to and from school and the dangerous crossings they faced at both Cumberland Avenue and Walnut Street. So far, no obvious solution has surfaced to improve this school walking route; it’s just the latest page in an epic struggle between common sense and the mad science of traffic engineering. I tried; at least I was successful in winning a pair of grants for the school grounds greening project and for building a sidewalk along the Eastern Promenade up from Washington Avenue. If my focus on the north side of the hill has centered on connecting to the East End School, my focus on the south side is centering on the connections around the former Adams School. For just a month, I’ve been renting a third-floor apartment on the east side of Beckett Street, where I live with my soon-to-be wife, on the corner by the St. Lawrence. The winds are now much softer, the smells are those of tree blossoms, and the sounds are sooner those of the Maine Narrow Gage Railroad and the ferry horn blasts from Casco Bay Lines. From the rear windows, I have a clear view of former schoolyard and a faint view of Diamond Pass, which is unfortunately a place I count among the least-visited reaches of District One. From the front door, I am now a short walk to just about everywhere, thanks to the small

driveways that guide me quickly to the back doors of good friends, planned trails from Vesper Street to the East End Trail and Monument Street to Mountfort Street, and the promise of reconnecting a pathway between Beckett Street and O’Brion Street. To be sure, challenges remain for the redevelopment proposal known as Beckett Green, a cluster of mixed-income duplexes that is facing challenges from scarce credit and federal funds. (I intend to write a progress report on this issue for the next edition of the Munjoy Hill Observer). However, short-term imperatives include keeping the school property safe and secure, as well as pursuing driving visibility and traffic calming initiatives around its perimeter and beyond. Paraphrasing former City Councilor Jim Cohen: the issues are traffic, traffic, and traffic.

Naturally, many issues are specific to neither a street, nor a neighborhood, nor even a voting district. For that reason, some seek at-large representation and others a directly-elected Mayor. Peaks Island residents are asking for more affordable ferry tickets and better emergency response; East Bayside residents are asking for long-overdue investments in public infrastructure; West Bayside residents are asking for enforcement and prosecution of

I will leave it to you to tell me what it is that you are asking for to improve Munjoy Hill. I described above what issues were apparent to me as I see them in my own neighborhood and what issues are identified by many of my constituents who live in neighborhoods I do not. Whether I am succeeding or falling short in my attempts to listen and take action on these issues, there remains a question of how our city government can come to be more responsive. Are there things that our government is particular good at or particularly bad at? What are they? Do these points reflect more on our structure of government or its current leadership? Just as some issues differ from any neighborhood to the next within any given voting district, so, too, will those addressed from any election cycle to the next by any given office holder. The Charter Commission presents an opportunity to engage these issues of representation and governance at a level more fundamental than any other city election cycle. I urge you to vote on June 9. City Councilor Kevin Donoghue can be reached at kjdonoghue@ portlandmaine.gov




June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

Notes from the Tower

Street Beat

Word on thE Street

By Jeanne Bull You might have seen the little troops of children and their grownups heading up and down the Hill between the Observatory and the Eastern Cemetery. Gilbert Doughty, Manager of Education Programs with Greater Portland Landmarks, reports that as of the end of April, 763 school children from Portland and surrounding communities are scheduled to tour the Observatory in 2009. This number does not even include the 151 students whose schools have separately reserved our Historic Walking Tours. It’s expected that both numbers will continue to rise, based on the flurry of calls coming in each day from teachers asking for available dates and times. In 2008, docents welcomed more than 1000 area students from third grade age through high school to the Observatory; plus well over 200 students took walking tours. The many visitors could exceed those numbers this season, given the level of interest thus far. Part of that increase can be attributed to area schools stretch-

ing their budgets by taking more localized field trips to cut travel expenses. Teachers often submit requests for us to discuss specific subjects their class is currently studying and we can accommodate those requests thanks to the dedication of our excellent volunteer guides. Our docents work hard to deliver high quality tours for school groups and we tailor each tour to meet the age specific needs of each visiting class. There are many excellent learning opportunities for school groups right here in our community. The Portland History Collaborative is a group of non-profit organizations working together to serve the needs of our constituents by preserving the unique quality of place that residents of Portland currently enjoy. The collaborative is comprised of Greater Portland Landmarks with our Observatory Museum and Historic Architecture Walking Tours, Maine Historical Society with Longfellow House, Portland Harbor Museum, Tate House and Victoria Mansion.

This month, Munjoy Hill residents were asked:

What do you love about

Being on the Hill?

For third graders, the Portland School Department includes in its curriculum a block for the study of local history, and many teachers will combine their classroom work with a field trip to one of the sites in the Portland History Collaborative. It is an excellent program designed to give kids an early appreciation of the long history of our fair city. For the youngsters, a chance to be out of the classroom on a warm spring day is in itself an exciting adventure, and the opportunity to view their world from dizzying heights of the tower always makes a lasting impression.

Street interviews by Tracey Menard “I love being near the water. You’re in the city, but not quite.” - Greg Shilling “It has everything I need. I never have to leave the Hill if I don’t want to. I often don’t.” - Anonymous “…Being near the ocean and the Old Port. It has a nice neighborhood feel, a variety of people and architecture.” - Elizabeth Miller

Don’t miss the Flag Day Celebration at the Observatory, Sunday, June 14, 10 am - 5 pm.

“Dog walking is great here. Within two minutes I am seeing the water. Oh, and I love Bar Lola.” - Larry

The Tower opened for the season on Memorial Day weekend. For hours of operation and contact info., go to portlandlandmarks.org, then to the Observatory page.

“I can walk anywhere from here like downtown, the Back Cove, or my school, Portland High.” - Abby Menard (15)

Captain Moody’s Lookout

“…coasting downhill to work in the morning. I love Rosemont Market.” - Ben

The Origins of a Landmark

By Cliff Gallant Constucted in 1807 by Captain Lemuel Moody, the Portland Observatory is the last surviving signal tower in the United States. Eighty-six feet tall, seven stories high, and two-hundred and twenty-two feet above sea level, the octagonal lighthouse-shaped structure stands on the highest point on the peninsula of Portland, at the very top of Munjoy Hill, and for the more than twohundred years that it has stood it has been the most recognizable symbol of “The city that is seated by the sea”.

The Observatory was erected as a means of communicating with ships on their way into Portland Harbor and passing information on to dockworkers, merchants, and families of crew members several hours before the ship pulled in. Captain Moody made contact with ships as far as thirty miles out to sea by using both a telescope and a two-way lantern. He determined which ship was arriving via his knowledge of their respective flags and markings and was able to communicate the information he obtained all around the peninsula by flying sets of specifically designed flags from three flagpoles, enabling dockworkers to reserve space on the wharf, merchants to be prepared to receive the ship’s cargo, and families of crew members to rush to the waterfront to greet loved ones who had been out to sea for weeks, months, or even years. Captain Moody’s venture was more than a signal tower though. It has to be kept in mind that in 1807 when the Observatory was built it was not only the tallest structure that anyone had ever seen, it was also virtually the only structure on Munjoy Hill, which had been used exclusively as a sheep and cow pasture up until the time of the tower’s appearance. So the sight of the Observatory was dramatic and was an attraction from the very beginning. Not only did

it exist as Portland’s first tourist draw but it was also made into a focal point of community gatherings by local residents. Ever the entrepreneur, Captain Moody built a banquet hall, a dance pavilion, and a bowling alley at the base of the tower. For a fee, twelve and one-half-cents, actually, he even allowed people to climb the one-hundred and three steps to the top to look out over the ocean and the western mountain ranges, a treat that could be experienced in no other way at the time. The Observatory was used to identify approaching vessels until 1923, when the advent of the two-way radio rendered the communications aspect of the tower obsolete. At that time the structure was closed and fell into disrepair. In 1937 Lemeul Moody’s great-granddaughter deeded the landmark structure to the City of Portland. Renovations were made and the tower was reopened on Flag Day, 1939. The Observatory remained open to the public until 1994 when inspections revealed damage from powder-post beetles, rendering some of the beams almost hollow and presenting a danger to the public. The tower remained closed for repairs and renovations until the Spring of 2000, when, due largely to the efforts of the people at Greater Portland Landmarks, it was reopened to the public. Today the Portland Observatory stands as one of the most historically significant sites to be found anywhere. Volunteer docents from Greater Portland Landmarks regularly lead legions of school children and tourists from everywhere up the stairs to the observation deck where they look out and marvel at the scene before them in the way that people have been doing for over the more than two-hundred years since Captain Lemuel Moody conceived of and constructed his tower at the very top of Munjoy Hill.

“I like the close proximity to the ocean and the close knit community. I like when it’s spring time and I walk down the street and see lots of people that I know.” - Joe “I like being near the Promenade to go for walks.” - David (10) “I love that when you’re on top of the hill it’s like you’re on an island.” - Laura Fuller “I like the location and I like to go to Coluccis for monster drinks and stuff.” - Joe M. (13) Well, the consensus is, “location, location, location!” – after all, the Hill is a destination, and wherever you go, there you are.”

Next month - Tell us about your favorite memory of the Fourth of July on the Hill. ~~~~~~~~

Send us your ideas for future Street Beat topics—mjh.observer@gmail.com

At left, an African symbol for “wisdom.”

That’s All We Do! 306 Congress Street, Portland 771-5556 Bill Sullivan Chris Sullivan

Brit Vitalius Marc Foster

John Graham Francine O’Donnell

Munjoy Hill Multi News All sold by Sullivan Multi:

SOLD

40 Waterville St - 2 unit Sold 5/13/09 - $348,500

SOLD

63 Kellogg St - 3 unit Sold 4/20/09 - $280,000

Never hit the market!!

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141 Congress St - 2 unit Sold 1/22/09 - $225,000

SOLD

201 Congress St - 3 unit Sold 12/22/08 - $424,525

Never hit the market!!

Pending 67 Quebec St - 2 unit

www.SullivanMulti.com


MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

June 2009



The Gardener’s Dirt By Nini McManamy The venerable apple trees found all over the Hill link us with times when families routinely grew fruit for homemade ciders and wines, and fresh eating or pie-making. The Hill is still an excellent location for home fruit-growing, and, with the exception of ground-hugging strawberries and low-bush blueberries, fruit-growing need not be restricted by the presence of lead in your soil.

Grapes, raspberries and blueberries also do well on the hill. Blueberries can get by on less sun, as little as 5 hours a day, but lowbush blueberries, like strawberries, should be grown in raised beds or large containers with imported, organic or other lead-free soil. If you choose high bush blueberries, buy two species that have overlapping bloom times to ensure pollination—again, your garden center staff can help you with this.

Fruit trees such as cherries, peaches, apples, pears, apricots, and plums are found today on the Hill wherever they can catch the required 6-8 hour minimum of sun per day. To succeed with fruit, you need adequate light, adequate space, plus the willingness to feed them twice a year and do spring pruning and spraying. Most nurseries sell semi-dwarf fruit trees, which reach an eventual height of 1518 feet and diameter the same size. The exception are pears: even semi-dwarf pears will reach 25 feet in height. (True dwarf stock is subject to viruses and should be avoided.)

Always check out the mature size of the plant and give it plenty of room. Grapes will need a fence or trellis on which to grow and expose their delicious clusters of fruit to the sun.

Some fruit trees, and all highbush blueberries, require two different species for pollination (and it’s pollination that makes the fruit). Ask the nursery where you buy the tree for advice on whether you need to buy another, and check your neighborhood to see if there’s already a pollinator nearby. Aside from local garden centers, Miller Nurseries in New York state is an excellent source of fruit trees, and their web site has great advice on planting and care of fruit trees. Trees rated for USDA Zone 5 will do well here, and I’ve had a Zone 6 peach for 30 years. Expect to wait at least two years for a crop of fruit.

All fruit trees and shrubs or vines need lots of food to produce healthy and delicious fruit, and a natural food rich in micronutrients like boron, sulfur, and chlorine should be given to the tree in the early spring and again in early summer. Seaweed and composted cow manures are excellent additions, but use a complete organic tree food, too. Fruit trees are infamously susceptible to certain diseases, and while beginner’s luck will probably protect your orchard for the first couple of years, you will eventually need to treat your trees with sprays. Every fruit-bearing woody plant (trees, shrubs, vines) should be sprayed with horticultural oil in the early spring, before bud break (when the flowers or leaves unfold). Horticultural oils suffocate sucking insects and can be used throughout the growing season if necessary; the best are made from food-grade canola oil.

bring a leaf or twig to a garden center for identification and organic pesticide guidance. Don’t wait though—some diseases can kill your tree or grapevine before you ever get to enjoy a luscious crop of tree-ripened fruit, and the most troubling are viruses carried onto the plant by insects. You may never have a problem with insects, but your fruit are likely to attract Munjoy Hill’s squirrels, opossums, and birds. Netting helps keep birds off small fruits and squirrels and possums away from peaches, but eventually your fruit trees will be too large to protect with netting and you will need to either trap the beast, or share. Pruning is also a complex topic, and different for each type of fruit. The web has excellent resources published by the cooperative extension services of several states. In general, pruning is done in early spring before bud break. I’m a fan of Hale Haven peaches, Bosc pears, Sparkle strawberries, wild lowbush blueberries, and Canadice grapes. I’ve grown them for years and highly recommend them for taste: Red Haven peaches (similar to Hale Havens) ripen earlier; both are so juicy you have to eat them over the sink! They also can or freeze extremely well. Happy Planting! 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. Send your ideas for future columns to Nini at ninimaine@aol.com

Because the list of insect pests and bacterial diseases affecting fruit is long, the best course is to wait until you see damage, then

Cherry blossoms grace sidewalks and side yards around Munjoy Hill. Photo ©2009 Frank Kadi. All Rights Reserved.

There’s always space for a grapevine on a sunny wall or fence between two yards. Photo by Nini McManamy.

Play it Safe

from the friendly staff at Community Policing Pedestrian Tips: With the weather getting warmer, people are spending more time outside and walking to their destinations. Here are some safety tips for pedestrians. Stay alert and tuned into your surroundings. Stand tall and walk confidently. Choose busy streets and avoid passing vacant lots, alleys, or deserted construction sites. At night, stick to well-lighted areas. Don’t walk or jog alone. Take a friend or neighbor along if possible. Get to know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Find out what stores and restaurants are open late and where the police and fire stations are located. Carry your purse close to your body, and keep a firm grip on it. Carry a wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket. Don’t overload yourself with packages, and avoid wearing shoes or clothing that restrict your movements. For more information and additional resources visit the National Crime Prevention Council webpage: www.ncpc.org

You can go online for information about any crime in your neighborhood

Let’s talk plants!!

Wondering about suspicious activity in your neighborhood? Reported incidents are now included under the neighborhood activity links on the PPD internet site. Go to http://police.portlandmaine.gov/crimecurrent.asp and click on crime in your neighborhood at the top right.




June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

Living With Peace­—Welcoming New Neighbors to the Community This page is a regular feature. Living With Peace is a dynamic local grassroots community support organization investing in the future of our immigrants by providing information, resources, and training to newcomers to the community and culture.

The Maine African Film Festival Bringing Africa to Life in Portland

By Christina Feller During one week in mid-April, many Portlanders enjoyed the rich opportunity to experience films from across the African continent. Organized by Kazeem Adesina Lawal, the Maine African Film Festival (TMAFF. org) offered up more than 25 films forming a memorable celebration of the rich and textured cultures and peoples of Africa. Screenings were held at the Nickelodeon Theater, at the Children’s Museum of Maine, at Piper Shores, a continuum of care community, and at the Cumberland County jail. I had the chance to sit down with Kazeem and ask him about the Festival. My first questions were, “why this festival and why Kazeem?” “I have an inherited passion for films,” Kazeem replied. “The power of film, I believe, comes from the fact that it is the best medium available to give a very good snapshot of different cultures, through fiction or non-fiction.” Kazeem goes on to say, “I feel strongly that this is my job to bring these films to this new community I am gradually embracing. This is what I hope would be the beginning of a unique way of bridging the gap between Africa and the United States­—bringing out a new, heightened sense of compassion, empathy and love for each other, reminding us that we are all one.” Q. Which films were most popular? Kazeem: There are a few films that stood out to me : This is my Africa, Shoot the Messenger, Awaiting For Men. Heartlines, and Sweet Crude. This is My Africa Mainly due to the positive nature of the film, the views of Africans in the Diaspora about Africa as a whole and the feel-good nature of the film come through. So I feel people were relieved to see a film that made them feel good instead of sad about conditions; Shoot The Messenger I think the universality of the film is its strength; we are shown challenges within the school system, black culture, media, self-examination, etc. We screened this film at the Cumberland County Jail as well, and got a very strong and positive response to the film. I think they particularly related to the film in terms of the hard relationship that exists between male high school students and their teachers who truly care, and the misconceptions about this kind of relationship. Often students get the impression that the “teacher is just mean”, not knowing the teacher really cares and sees beyond their short-sighted lens. Awaiting For Men This is a film about a selected group of women from Mauritania. I think the audience connected with the women because they remind them of people they know, and again, even though the story takes place in a rural part of an African country, with strong cultural and religious ties, these women still show their independence, dreams, and need for love.

Heartlines A South African Film about second chance in life; about a man caught up in a life of crime, who imprisoned and released, and his subsequent struggle to reconnect with society on honest terms; finding the right path and trying to avoid old patterns. Of course we also screened this film at the Penitentiary—they loved it, particularly seeing what crime and prison look like in Africa (I think they were happy that they were not there.) Sweet Crude The audience loved this one because it presents the other side of the story as it relates to the oil workers in the Niger Delta, kidnapped and indentured, and the impact of the industry on the environment and the community

in this region as a whole (and, by the way, some of that oil comes here to Maine too.) Q. What was your goal in organizing this? Kazeem: The main goal was to bring the community together so Americans can see Africa in a different light. And when I say bringing the community together, I mean all of us—kids (children’s museum and theater), young people and adults (Nickelodeon), people locked up (Cumberland County Jail) and seniors (Piper Shores). We want to make sure we entertain, but also that we touch on those important issues—oil, immigration, fistula, lack of education, etc. We touched on photography, lecture, films, panel discussions and closing party with vintage African funk and disco—everything brought massive turnouts and very positive feedback.

Come Back to Sudan

I want to direct special attention to the artwork of Dr. Fayemi, whose photographs graced The Language Exchange on opening night. Dr. Fayemi has indicated that he will be returning to Portland for an exhibit at a later time. Q. Will you do this again? Kazeem: Absolutely, if I am still breathing. Especially with the success of this first one and the solid relationships that have been made. Q. Do you still need to raise money? Is there a 501c3 to which readers can send money? Kazeem: Yes, we still need money to pay off all of our bills. Please send your donations to P.O.Box 10852, Portland, ME 04104 attn. Kazeem Lawal. Checks should be made payable to the Portland Public Library and state Maine African Film Festival (MAFF) in the memo line.

Awaiting for Men

Q. We have a burgeoning African population here in Maine. Do you see any type of cultural renaissance going on? Kazeem: This is a very hard topic to talk about for a couple of reasons. First, my roots are from the western part of Africa in Nigeria, while most of the Africans here are from East and Central Africa. Second, what a lot of people don’t understand is, on different levels, Africans are very different from one another. Not just within each country, but regions also. Folks from Northern Nigeria along the Sahara Desert are very similar to those from east Africa - Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad. While down the coast of Nigeria, folks from this area are very similar to folks from coastal regions of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, and Senegal. So considering the type of Africans here, I cannot really speak to all of the different cultures. Q. Tell us about your organization. TMAAF is a 501(c)(3) organization. We feel we have something unique and special here with events to come under the Festival umbrella—art exhibits, lectures, concerts, parties, food, dance, theater, and of course FILMS. So we look forward to continued support from the entire community of Portland and beyond. The Festival is here to stay, and will become part of the key events of Maine. Finally, I want to thank everyone that came to support us and special thanks to our sponsors - Maine Arts Commission, Maine Humanities Commission, Coffee By Design, Maine Community Foundation, The Language Exchange, and a very special thank you to my organizing partners, Merritt Carey and Jacob Roberson, and to our volunteers Ilhan Ali and Alexander Teas. I would like to hear from people about their experience seeing the films this year, and their ideas for next year.” Kazeem can be reached at lawal1@yahoo.com.

Sweet Crude

A Sample of Films from the Festival

Come Back to Sudan The last time Lado Jurkin, Mabior Mayom, and Deng Dau saw their home and families was when they were eight years old. Flash forward 18 years. Accompanied by their adoptive Colorado mother, Jean Wood, the three undertake an extraordinary journey back home to their villages in war-torn Sudan. Daniel Junge & Patti Bonnet, Sudan/USA, 29 min.

Awaiting for Men In the haven of Oualata, a red city on the far edge of the Sahara desert, three women practice traditional painting by decorating the walls of the city. In a society apparently dominated by tradition, religion and men, these women unabashedly express themselves freely, discussing the relationship between men and women. Katy Léna N’diaye, Senegal/Mauritania/Belgium, 2007.

Sweet Crude Sweet Crude is the story of Nigeria’s Niger Delta—a story that’s never been captured in a feature-length film. Beginning with the filmmaker’s initial trip to document the building of a library in a remote village, Sweet Crude is a journey of multi-layered revelation and ever-deepening questions. Sandy Cioffi, U.S.A/ Nigeria 2008, In English.


Art Soul

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

June 2009



This section is devoted to the creatives in our midst—writers, artists, photographers, musicians; and to the creativity of the readers themselves. Each month we will feature local artists, writers, and publish brief personal essays (no more than 300 words) sent in to us by the readers. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions­—please email your comments to mjh.observer@gmsail.com.

A Lifeboat in a Big Lake Of Wrongness Local Glass Artist Laura Fuller made a pilgrimage in March ’09 to Zimbabwe to deliver clothing and medical supplies. This is her story. An Interview with Laura Fuller by: Tracey Menard This past February, on a Sunday, you may have noticed a lot of people gathered at Laura Fuller’s glass studio on the corner of North and Congress. You may even have been there. Laura’s tiny corner studio/gallery was overflowing with friends, family, local business owners, artists, politicians and loyal patrons. There was music, great food, and lots of laughter. Excitement and goodwill were in the air. Everyone was happy to have the opportunity to help Laura achieve her goal. Her goal? She was raising the money for a trip to Harare, Zimbabwe. She was going to work in the NewStart Children’s Home, part of the Zimbabwe Orphanage Project. Since the passing of her daughter Delaney, Laura had wanted (and still does) to give her heart and her talents to those in need as a way to continue the memory of Delaney’s incredible spirit. The raffle was a great success! Laura, with the help of her community, was able to raise enough money for her plane fare plus many other donations. She was on her way to Africa! On March 6, Laura and six others lifted off from the Portland Jetport with one hundred bags of donated clothes and medical supplies to Zimbabwe. The following interview is Laura’s story, in her own words, of her journey into a land that was once considered the breadbasket of Africa. Now, Zimbabwe is a war-torn nation led by the worst of dictators (the “world’s worst” according to PARADE), Robert Mugabe. Since Mugabe has taken over, the life expectancy for both men and women in Zimbabwe (due primarily to the AIDs epidemic) is around thirty-five years. There are already many, many orphans… Here is Laura’s Story: I found out about NewStart from my very good friend, Em Lennon. She is a nurse, and she works with a woman named Mary Penner. Mary Penner is the daughter of Dr. Saleem Farag and his wife Grace. The Farags established NewStart Children’s Home in 1999, which was licensed by the Department of Social Welfare in 2000. Their work depends entire-

ly upon donations and volunteers. And so, our journey began. When we finally arrived at the airport in Harare, a truck full of kids and the Farags came to pick us up. I was with six other people including Mary Penner, her husband, and Em, who I knew, but the others were strangers. None of us (besides the Penners) had been to Africa before. The first thing I saw as we drove down the street was a woman with a baby on her back scooping water out of a ditch along side the road. We were told that the water situation was dire. The city water was so polluted that it smelled of sewer. You could use it for the toilet, wash your clothes, and maybe do the dishes if you treat it with iodine. And to compound the problem there were long blackouts. That meant at NewStart the electricity was off more than it was on. The Farag’s place didn’t get water from the city during blackouts and they couldn’t get it from their own well because of the electric generators. Sometimes they depended solely on

for themselves, but when they are trying to get water and food every day they just can’t spend the energy. Besides, while I was there, a woman told me that it takes a whole day just to pay your electric bill. You have to do it in person and stand in line for the whole day- the postage system is non-existent. Everything is so inconvenient. Plus, you can’t speak out or you will be jailed, beaten, or killed. When we arrived at NewStart Children’s Home it was like a haven in a crazy wasteland. It was and is a lifeboat in a big lake of wrongness. Dr. Farag and his wife, along with a dedicated staff and volunteers, take care of the needs and education of 80 children altogether. There are 15 babies. When we were there two more babies arrived. One baby was abandoned on the steps of a church. He arrived with severe malnutrition; it was hard to tell his age, because starvation and sickness had stunted his growth. The laws of Zimbabwe do not allow babies to be adopted by people from other countries. But the

Good Neighbor of the Month

Each month we will feature members of our community whose actions embody the qualities of a “good neighbor”—kindness, consideration, helpfulness, cheer... Tell us who YOUR good neighbors are! Email your nominations to mjh.observer@gmail.com.

Good Neighbor Natalie Cotton by Cliff Gallant Oops! In our Good Neighbor of The Month feature last issue about Bobby Lipps, the mainstay of the St. Lawrence Arts Center, we got the last name of his friend and partner in the performance of good deeds wrong. Her correct name was Natalie Cotton. Natalie Cotton, who passed away in 2003, was on the first Board of Directors of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, which was formed in 1979, and she served on the Board for some fifteen years.. She was involved in a wide range of neighborhood activities but what she was best known for was being the liason between the seniors at the Cummings Center and the MHNO, whereby the seniors became actively involved in community betterment activities. Natalie was also very active in the Brownies, Girl Scouts and Cadets, along with partnering with Bobby Lipps in the performance of countless acts of neighborly assistance to anyone found to be in need. Then there was her commitment to animals. She raised as many as nine or ten Boston Terriers at a time and was very active in the Vacationland Dog Club. Through it all, though, there was her job at the YWCA downtown, where she was a much-beloved cleaning lady for almost thirty years. So it’s no wonder that we heard about it in short order when we got Natalie Cotton’s name wrong!

pretty drab and so Em taught them how to paint for themselves and left them the art supplies. We all did so many different jobs: cutting glass for windows, painting, tiling, building, repairing, cooking, and teaching the children self defense. We did whatever the Farags needed us to do during our three week stay.

ating a beautiful place for those suffering little ones to become happy, healthy, chubby toddlers. I realized that it was the teenagers that I wanted to bring home. Because it is the teenagers that know the truth about the opportunities open to them (next to none). In my life, I am so grateful. I know that I am privileged to have access to boundless opportunities—I am the only the only thing that really stands in my own way.

The whole experience was amazing. In Harare, the people are of the Shona tribe. So the children crowded around whatever we were doing and talked in Shona. I knew I was often the topic Laura Fuller with some of her favorite people in Zimbabwe, Photo courtesy of Laura Fuller. of discussion, but I never felt uncomfortlucky ones who end up with the collected rainwater, but often ran able. I felt at home. I loved the air, Farags are very well cared for. out during the dry season. Forthe sky, the palette of the sunset tunately, our group had arrived Of course, being in Africa took and sunrise. Every day there was with much needed water filtra- some getting used to, especially rain and a rainbow. And it was tion systems. because I have a serious case of so clear at night (especially with arachnophobia. In every room the electricity shut off) that the Everything that you see on TV there would always be a huge Milky Way sat right on top of (like those commercials for sponspider on the wall. I found my- the orphanage. We were awesoring a starving child)—and self constantly glancing at them. struck each night at the spectacle which you don’t believe because Luckily, the children began to of stars. I got really comfortable the conditions don’t seem poshold my focus. It was my mission walking around at night without sible—is true. On our way to the (and that of my group) to learn a flashlight. Farag’s, we passed a village of all of the their names, in order to 300 shacks with no sewage. The When our three weeks ended, it build a connection with each of bathroom was next to where they was very emotional to leave the them. In the morning, I would go grew their food. Cholera is a big children. Back in Portland, it took to the nursery to change diapers concern. Most of the doctors in me time to readjust. I couldn’t figand give lots of attention. Soon I Zimbabwe have fled. The teachure out why I was so depressed. I was in heaven. We painted two ers have gone. The schools are went over to Africa expecting to murals in the nursery: one with struggling. I wondered why don’t want to save a baby and possibly African animals and the other the people try to make it better bring one home. But what I found with sea life. The compound was out was that the Farags are cre-

But these teens know how tenuous their situation is. Dr. Farag is 80 years old and his wife is 70. Their project depends entirely on donations and the generosity of volunteers. In March, all I knew was that I was going to the orphanage and clinic in Africa to do what we could to help. Now, we (meaning our group of seven) are trying to figure out how to get these amazing teenagers back here into the states, so they can go to college and successfully get out into the world. I am planning my return trip to Zimbabwe in January 2010. For more information about Laura’s trip you can visit delaneysheart.org or to learn more about New Start Children’s Home, visit zimbabweorphanageproject.org or just stop by Laura’s studio and ask her all about it.




June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

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MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

June 2009



It’s Happening on the Hill:

root cellar news

Soooo... what on earth IS The Root Cellar?

T his Summer For the Kids

Popular guesses include: A. A place to buy gardening equipment B. A wine and cheese store C. A cool place to store turnips and rutabagas Good guesses, but not even close! The mission of the Root Cellar on Munjoy Hill may surprise you. The Root Cellar came to light in 1984, when a local church started a teen center in a church basement as a safe place for kids to hang out and have fun. Since then, it has grown; it now offers nearly 50 programs for children and adults living in the area. All of these services are provided by 200 volunteers dedicated to making a difference in the community! Did you know...? That last year, through The Root Cellar, over one million dollars worth of goods and services were

Mondays in the Park: soccer, basketball, and hamburgers fresh off the grill; all are welcome at Kennedy Park. Tuesdays: with our kids’ programs, as we “change the world” with service projects—Join us! Thursdays: BEACH Day—Oh yeah! We visit the best of Maine’s beaches throughout the summer—­come along. Fridays: Kids Stuff from 11 AM to 1 pm—All kinds of games; good food to boot!

distributed to the community? Hundreds of families receive food, clothing, dental and medical care, job training and English lessons, among many other services, all provided by the volunteers at the Root Cellar. Every day, our after-school programs are open to neighborhood children. Each program has all kinds of things to do, including sports, crafts, indoor games, movies, and great field trips, not to mention the ever-present after-school snacks in each program. For more information, call 774-3197, go to www.therootcellar.org, or just stop in and visit!

Photos Courtesy of the Root Cellar

Fundraiser

3 ANNUAL Root Cellar rd

GOLF TOURNAMENT Friday, June 26th

At the Val Halla Golf Course, Cumberland, Maine. $440/ team. To register call Clark at 774-3197 Proceeds support The Root Cellar’s outreach services to families in Portland’s East End communities, including free after school kids, clothing, medical and dental programs.

Rooted in love. Changing the world! A Christian mission helping to meet the physical and spiritual needs of inner-city youth and their families. Located at 94 Washington Ave • Portland, ME 04101 • www.therootcellar.org

52

FINDING THE MORTGAGE THAT’S JUST FOR YOU. Norway offers a complete range of fixed and adjustable mortgages to help you make it easier for you to buy or refinance a home. Dana Tait Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager 120 Exchange Street, Portland 482.7907 Rosemary Hood Vice President, Branch Manager 1200 Congress Street, Portland 482.7905 toll-free 1.888.725.2207 www.norwaysavingsbank.com Member FDIC


June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

Munjoy Library Branch News

A Day in the Life of Morgan This is the second installment of a fictional series by Kathleen Carr Bailey Morgan’s Bio: Any single over-40 woman just living a life. Broken hearts, found dreams, chances taken, opportunities missed. Can’t we all relate? Oh My God! I hope my face didn’t reflect yearning? Surely it must have. Why did he choose this very moment in time to look up and then direct his gaze at ME?’ Morgan could feel the reddening. Her blushing would start along the nose spreading to the cheeks, touch her ears and follow her chin down her neck and ultimately her chest. Morgan longed to raise her Margarita and allow the cool cocktail glass to caress her cheek. A motion that played too obvious and oh-so-sensual in her imagination. ‘My God, those eyes. Lips. Smile!’ Dom’s sultry smile exposed perfect white teeth. Morgan’s racing heart was accompanied by a racing mind, ‘My tenant has perfect teeth. I wonder how much that cost Bryan? But then, he wants to be a famous sportscaster. I’ll have to remember to watch the 11 O’clock news tomorrow when he does his Friday Night High School Football shtick’. Morgan cooled then smiled.

As summer nears, we ‘d like to remind everyone that the Munjoy Branch Library, located in the East End Community School, will be open for business as usual throughout the summer. Our regularly scheduled programs will continue through July. These programs include: Preschool Story Time: story time for 35 year olds with picture books, songs and chants.Monday mornings @ 9:45 Finger Fun for Babies: Mother Goose rhymes and finger plays for children from birth to 24 months. Wed. mornings @ 9:45 & Thur. afternoon @ 4 pm. Tales for Twos: story time with short picture books, songs and finger plays for 2 year olds. Fri.mornings @ 9:45. We will also be offering a Second Saturday Craft program, on June 13th from noon to 2 pm. This is a drop-in craft program for ages 4–8.

‘Does guitar guy, Dom, think that smile was for him?’

~HOURS~

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

A Third Saturday Stories will be held on June 20th at 2 pm. Children ages 4-8 are welcome.

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

He did. Morgan felt compelled to search his face settling on Dom’s eyes. Black as his boots, as shiny as his hair. ‘Why do I get this sensation to the very core of my stomach—and areas south when I gaze into soulful eyes?

And his are pools of black ink’. Another flush escorted by sensations in places too long asleep. Morgan’s body was reacting against her will.

FICTION

10

Dom drank from the large Poland Spring bottle and downed a shot of tequila sent over by the 2 infatuated blonds to Morgan’s right. ‘I thought it was illegal to drink alcohol on stage while performing?’ Morgan’s self thoughts brought about an expression of face that resembled ‘I’m involved with the moment and you are in that moment’. Another shot arrived, now with lime and salt shaker. This time the waitress set it on a small table to the side of the platform that served as stage.

‘Guess there is a one drink limit to stage drinking.’ Dom was a hit with the audience all of which displayed their approval by rounds of applause and an occasional whistle. The giggling drink buying blonds often would stand showing off their toned bodies and minimal clothing. In reading their body language, Morgan decided one blond more than the other definitely wanted something other than guitar playing from Dom. As the night progressed she no longer hooted and hollered but remained seated in an attempt to appear aloof.

To be continued ... Kathleen Carr Bailey Kathleen Carr Bailey, author of the Morgan series, is a former (and at her core) a ‘Hill’ resident.

We will be having two local Young Adult Authors visiting in June: On Friday, June 1 at noon, Lisa Jahn Clough, will be our last presenter of the season for our First Friday Author Talk series. On Wednesday, June 10 at noon, Phillip Hoose will talk about Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice. Please note that both of these programs will take place at Community Television Network on Congress Street. We’re excited to announce that the theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program is Be Creative @ Your Library. Summer Reading begins the week of June 22nd and runs for 6 weeks. Studies have shown the educational benefits to children of continued reading during the summer months. We encourage children of all ages to sign up. The goal will be to read 6 books or to read (or be read to) for 6 hours. We’ll be having fun programs throughout the summer, prizes and certificates for those completing their goals and of course, Munjoy’s traditional watermelon party. More details will be posted at the library and on the Web at www.portlandlibrary.com. While the downtown library undergoes renovation, the Munjoy Branch will be specializing in children’s services, but we do still offer materials for adults and hope to be increasing that collection for your summer reading pleasure. We offer an adult book discussion group that will meet on Thursday, June 25 @ 5:45. Our selection for June is Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. Stop by or call to get more information or a copy of this month’s selection.

Happy Summer—See you soon and see you often!

What Would Morgan Do ?

Coming soon, Morgan’s advice and insights to the lovelorn, confused or confounded. Please write to Morgan!! as she offers her own spin on life’s troubles: email kcbailey@ maine.rr.com, with Morgan in the Subject line, or snail mail those letters to Observer, MHNO, 92 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101

East End Open Studios Tour & Art Sale See the hidden studios of Portland’s East End Artists! June 28, 10am-4pm MUNJOY HILL— Free Event! Get a peek into Portland’s arts community and explore one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods by joining SEA, the Society For East End Arts, for the 5th Annual Open Studios Tour and Art Sale. On this one special day, the artists of Portland’s East End will open their working studios to the public. The tour is a self-guided walk through the Munjoy Hill neighborhood. Maps of the Open Studios will be available the day of the event at 81 Congress Street (corner of Merrill, across from Hilltop/Rosemont/Blue Spoon) and in participating artists’ studios. Sponsored by The Society for East End Arts. For more information, please call Colleen Bedard at 233-7273 and be sure to visit www.SEAportland.org/.


MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

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

on Non-Profits Portland Trails By Liz McMahon Portland Trails, an urban land trust, has been working for decades to preserve and develop walking and biking trails within and around the city of Portland. Their systems of trails, created with the help of countless volunteers, can be seen in the Back Cove, Deering Oaks and the Eastern and Western promenades. The design and easy access of these “portals to nature” attract residents and visitors alike to our neighborhoods, making the area one of the best places to live in the country. This year, trail-building is planned to begin to connect Deering Oaks to the Eastern Promenade system, cutting through the up-and-coming Bayside Neighborhood. Additional linkages are in the works.

The Mission of Portland Trails is to Create and maintain a 50mile network of trails in Greater Portland Engage the participation of neighborhoods, schools, and the business community in trail use and land stewardship Make Greater Portland a model for people-powered recreation and transportation.

Portland Trails’ award-winning website— www.trails.org, offers information  about  its accomplishments, activities  and opportunities for community involvement. Here are a few highlights from their Historical Timeline: 1976 “Forest City Land Trust” formed by Portland native and lawyer Tom Jewell 1990 Portland Shoreway Access Coalition advocates for an interconnected trail system, and becomes Portland Trails 1993 Capisic Pond Trail completed, Portland Trails helps the City of Portland get federal funding to acquire 30-acre parcel along Eastern Promenade. 1996 Eastern Prom Trail groundbreaking, Julie N oil tanker accident spills 200,000 gallons of oil into Portland Harbor; Portland Trails awarded funds to restore Fore River shoreline and build Fore River Trail 1997 Stroudwater Trail begun, website www.trails.org goes live 1998 Eastern Prom Trail completed 2002 Capital campaign to fund purchase of 9.5 more acres of Presumpscot River land for the Pre-

serve, Hall Elementary School Trail begun, Lyseth School Trail extended, Portland Tra i l s  i nau g u r at e s the Senior S t r o l l s ,   a s e r i e s   o f guided educational trail walks, First edition Portland Trails Map and Trail Guide published, I-295 Connector Trail begun 2004 Presumpscot River Preserve expanded, Corporate Adopt-a-Trail sponsorship program initiated 2005 Jaime Parker hired as fulltime Trail Manager, Thompson’s Point Trail planned, Jewell Falls access trail rebuilt 2006 Brickyard Point acquired; trail roughed out, Capisic Pond Park expanded, Trails begun on Presumpscot River, Westbrook; planning for Bayside Trail renews with City acquisition of rail right of way Boat Launch built on Presumscot River; Rte 302, Starbird Lane Trail built. 2008 Outside Magazine and Vegetarian Times each credit Portland Trails with making our fair city a great place to live and play, Trails.org wins 2008 American Trails Website Contest !

Get Involved! Become a Member or Renew your Membership Members who join at the Individual level (and above) receive a free Portland Trails Map and Trail Guide! As a member, you get a subscription to their quarterly newsletter and invitations to events throughout the year. Members also receive free snowshoe rentals through Portland Trails. Volunteer! You can participate in regularly scheduled volunteer work days, ongoing stewardship projects, and “Done in a Day” projects. Also, Portland Trails has two yearly events requiring volunteer help: “Happy Trails Big Bash & Silent Auction” in the Spring and the “Portland Trails 10K—Trail to Ale” in the Fall. You can support Portland Trails by buying items from their online Gift Shop. They have t-shirts, hats, re-usable grocery bags, maps and more. Portland Trails offers “Lunch & Learns” to businesses and organizations in greater Portland. Spend a lunch hour learning about Portland Trails, the trail network, and current projects. Portland Trails can come to your location for a Lunch & Learn, or can lead a Guided Trail Walk for you and your co-workers. For more information on Portland Trails, please contact info@trails. org or call 775-2411

June 2009

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Poetry on the Hill

Baggage Tricia Pryce Henley I keep a secret hidden deep in the back of my bedroom closet. Packed loosely and gently sits a dusty old piece of luggage full of dreams and destinations now forbidden but not forgotten. In a plastic Zip-loc baggie there’s a 10 and a crumpled 20, a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste, a wash cloth and a soap box that’s empty, phone numbers and addresses of long distant, long lost friends. and a favorite pair of jeans too small and tattered at the ends, two pairs of sox bought for a nickel from a box on a stranger’s lawn, four hair elastics in a safety pin a clip and a comb, three tank tops, two bras, and a sweatshirt named for home. There’s an old pack of Camels because drifters always smoke, a journal, a box of pens and a copy of “On the Road”, a photo album of memories for when the day gets long and lonely and a bottle of cheap old bourbon for when the nights get melancholy. There’s lipstick and mascara, ‘cause a girl’s gotta always look her best and several little keepsakes that I should have never kept. I keep secrets packed in a duffel bag deep in my bedroom closet behind skeletons and memory maps that outline where I’m going.

Photo by Phil Poirier, courtesy of the Portland Trails website.

Tales from the Trails ”A really exciting moment for me was when I heard that a bunch of kids who’d helped design and build the school trail at Lyseth Elementary 10 years ago, ended up in a Portland HS land use/ planning class, which Nan visited last year. So I knew that engaging them in the project had made a real difference. Truly, the exciting moments for me are when I see kids of ALL ages having a great time digging, planting, and enjoying the trails or school ground projects they have built/planted themselves.” —Laura Newman

“Loved working with Laura Newman greening our playground at Nathan Clifford School.” —Jacqui Chait “My husband and I canoed down almost the entire Presumpscot River and to our surprise we approached the beautiful Presumpscot Falls practically located in someone’s back yard. The walking trail near the Falls strangely begins in a hidden Portland neighborhood unless you begin the canoe ride at the Portland Trails public launch near the old Trolly . Yes, such tranquility in Maine’s largest city. An even bigger surprise on

Portland Trails was following the Presumpscott River from Portland to Windham where we saw a gorgeous Bald Eagle! With the help of Portland Trails and the Friends of the Presumpscot River, these beautiful creatures are returning. I like that!” —Leigh Rush Olson

and ‘Lost at Sea.’ Many, many fond memories of Evergreen... and the women’s history tour is great. It’s self-guided.” —Carolyn Gage

“Met a woman tending a tombstone in Evergreen Cemetary... Her sister, I believe. She was deep-sea diving and by some horrendous oversight was not connected to the boat. Must have known for 45 minutes at the bottom of the ocean as she ran out of air... Tombstone has sailboat

“…on the trail by Memorial Way, next to the new university private dorm, at the beach after the gardens and the small soccer field, there was a guy doing some kind of rock sculpture, kind of like miniature Stonehenge...or bigger versions of what people put to mark trails (cairns), all

“Saw a large snapping turtle basking in the sun on a log while walking on the Stroudwater River trail...” —Pete Webber

Tricia Henley is a lifelong poet. She is a member of Portveritas and can be heard reading her poetry at the NorthStar Café every Tuesday night. She has two self-published books of her poetry and one on the way. Tricia is the proud mother of three adult children.

along the path. He had about 20 of them. I wanted to talk to him but I didn’t dare...” —A Balancing Act “I live along the Oak Nut trail, and last summer learned how to flyfish there from some great old timers...also I frequently see little boys swinging from the rope swing for a summer swim...but the best time was finding a few grannies doing the same, but in their bloomers!” - Melissa Falcon “Came face to face with a skunk at dusk one time. Was planning on walking but was so surprised that I ran all the way home.” —Andy Groff


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June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

Charter Commission Redux, continued from front page for a good, short review). Still, despite the inauspicious impetus for the change, today there are compelling reasons on both sides of the argument for whether or not we should go back to the original ways of sporting an elected mayor. One concern is if partisan politics would wheedle deeper into our processes with a popularly-elected mayor and then just annoy the hell out of us. Ben Chipman is a lifelong Maine resident and grew up in Harpswell. He attended Mt. Ararat High School and graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1997. He is a community organizer and has worked on various issues such as Opportunity Maine. He worked at the State House as a Legislative Aide from 2002-2006 supervising interns, working to pass legislation, and providing constituent service to Portland residents. In 2008 he led the successful effort to keep all the polling places open in Portland for the November Presidential Election and was appointed by the mayor to serve on the Polling Place Task Force. Ben Monaghan, whose full name, Joel Benson Monaghan, is what will appear on the ballot on June 9, was born in Portland, attended Portland High School, and graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis after serving with the US Army’s 82nd Airborne paratrooper division in the unit’s Italian Alpine force. He returned to Portland in the early ‘90s to raise a family (four daughters) and embark on a career as a writer (a career path that, he says, has taken him down a road with more twists and turns and potholes than Baxter Boulevard in early March). Various jobs include a stint working for the city and writing for newspapers, magazines, catalogs, web sites, and ads for TV, radio, and print. He has also had moderate success as a screen writer and more recently as a small business owner. He is a life-long Democrat. The two Bens are both lively and worthy candidates to represent us in the momentous charge to recommend what is best for Portland. But we have to pick one. We asked them a few[!] questions that they have valiantly tackled and which we hope will inform you and help you choose the best person from our district to serve on the Charter Commission study group. Our Questions : Q. Have you given thought to how the members of the Charter Commission, once in place, will go about addressing the tasks at hand? How will the chair be determined and how will you ensure the studies will be thorough and unbiased? Monaghan: As a small business owner, I understand the importance of managing and organizing meetings and agendas. I have not, however, given thought to the specific tasks of how we will organize agendas and determine the

chairperson. I suppose, as in most matters, we will submit nominations and vote. My own preference would be to then begin to organize an agenda. Initially, I believe this agenda should be dominated by information gathering. We will need to begin to study the issues at hand. I propose organized field trips to other municipalities who have wrestled with these issues and discussions with experts as well as public hearings. Only then should we endeavor to tackle the issues confronting us. Chipman: I think the Charter Commission has a responsibility to solicit as much public comment and feedback as possible before moving forward on anything. I have found that a lot of people do not even know what the Charter Commission is. We have to make sure residents know more about it and find out what people want. The Chair will probably be determined by those who are elected to the Commission although I would like to see who the residents support being Chair before I would cast a vote for anyone. In terms of any studies, I would ask a lot of questions and research the credibility of those conducting the studies before I would assume anything is unbiased. Q. If the Commission recommends there be an elected mayor, is your inclination that he or she should be part of the legislative or the executive branch? Monaghan: I believe that our local system of government should be consistent with our state and federal. To this end, the mayor should be part of the executive branch. In fact, I am quite principled on this point. This is the system of our democracy; it’s very DNA. To say one form of government is well suited to the federal and state but not to the local invites charges of inconsistency and arrogance unworthy of our city and, I believe, ultimately, disenfranchises our citizens from being active politically. Democracy can be unpleasant, dirty and inefficient – but either we believe and advocate for it with the whole-hearted conviction that at the end of the day it is the best form of government or we cast it off entirely and turn our city’s management over to professional bean counters and lawyers and hope for the best. Chipman: My initial inclination is that an elected Mayor would be part of an executive branch of city government. I would think the Mayor would be similar to the Governor and the City Council would be like the Legislature. I would want to make sure whatever we do we have a healthy system of checks and balances. Q. How might things have been different regarding the Maine State Pier if we’d had an elected mayor since 2007? Monaghan: I was very disappointed with the Maine State Pier

approval process. It struck me as an inside job whereby one company loaded the dice with political appointees, paid lobbyists and consultants while the other naively sought to win with a superior design proposal. I was disgusted with the political wrangling of our Counselors. It is difficult to make assumptions about what a mayor would have done without knowing who that mayor is. But certainly, he or she could have brought some focus and fairness to the process and maybe —just maybe—some taste. Chipman: It is hard to really know because there were a lot of variables involved. I think the major problem with the process is that the city did not solicit enough public involvement from the beginning. Perhaps an elected Major would have led us in a better direction. Q. How much would an elected mayor be paid and where would the money come from? Monaghan: No idea. Maybe we cut one of the at-large city counselors or two. Now that we have a mayor do we need so many counselors? Chipman: I would want to look at other cities the same size as Portland where they have elected Mayors and see what they are paid. The money would have to be part of the city budget. Whether we have an elected mayor or not I think if we want to spend more money we need to look at creative ways to generate more revenue without raising property taxes. I do not think we can cut city services any more than we already have. Q. What are fundamental differences between an elected and an appointed mayor? Monaghan: Well, ask the Russians. Up until Putin, the provincial governors were elected. Now Putin appoints them. They have also lost freedom of the press and private Chipman: An appointed Mayor as it is set up now is one of the members of the Council appointed by them, and is mostly a ceremonial position. Sometimes we end up with mayors that are only elected to the Council by one district in the city. We can have 20% of the residents elect someone to the City Council and then that person can become the mayor for the whole city. An elected mayor would be voted on by the whole city and there would be a much greater level of accountability to the residents. Currently a lot of people do not even know who the mayor is at any given time and the appointed mayor is not seen as the kind of visible leader that an elected mayor would be. Q. If we have an elected mayor, what do you think of an instant run-off system, and how should it be operationalized? Monaghan: I am in favor of an election that produces a majority by over 50% of any one candidate. Any other system ultimately leads to minority control and can be quite dangerous. For example, in 1932 Adolph Hitler

captured less than 35% of the popular vote. It was enough to win him the Chancellorship of Germany and we all know how that went. Chipman: Instant run-off voting, or rank voting, is a new system of voting that allows people to vote for candidates in order or preference. Voters can feel free to vote for their favorite candidate and not be helping elect their least favorite candidate in the process. It is used in other cities and I am open to trying it out here but would want to first make sure the public understands how it works and see if it is something the residents want before implementing anything. Q. What are your thoughts on what the role of the city manager should be if there’s an elected mayor? Should it remain the same if we keep the current system? Monaghan: Clearly, we need to examine this. There are pros and cons to city manager handling many of the managerial affairs of the city. The pros are that a city manager provides continuity and clarity as he or she is seldom promoting any political agenda. The cons are that there is a lack of transparency and accountability and many deals are done behind closed doors and not always most advantageous to the city. Chipman: If we have an elected mayor I would think the City Manager would be part of the executive branch of city government and would work together with the mayor to execute public policy. If we keep the current system I think we should consider allowing the City Council to have a greater role in decision making, such as drafting the city budget. Q. Do you think the relationship should change between the City Council and the School Committee? Monaghan: Currently the relationship between the City Council and the School Committee boarders on toxic. So yes, it should change. There appears to be a lack of accountability on the part of the school committee. The current arrangement by which budgetary matters are considered and addressed engenders bad faith, deceit and disingenuous negotiating ploys. At the end of the day, it is the citizens of Portland who lose. Whether the charter commission can address this issue and how it does so will be, I think, along with the mayor question, its defining legacy. Chipman: I would support changes to the Charter that would improve relations between the two bodies and encourage more collaboration, especially on budget and finance issues. Q. Is the balance of the City Council adequate with 5 districts and 4 at-large seats? Are the districts too big or too small or just right?

role and salary. Do we need 9 seats if we have a mayor? I don’t know the answer to this. But we have to make decisions. I don’t think it is wise to add a salary without accounting for this money from existing sources. My feeling is that if we can kill two birds with one stone, by eliminating a city counselor or two and adding a mayor—we should look seriously at that. Chipman: At-large races are expensive and not very grassroots oriented. If we do establish an elected mayor (which would be elected at-large) then I do not know if we need 4 at-large Council seats anymore. Right now a City Council district is several times the size of a State House district. If we keep the Council the same size and reduce or eliminate the at-large Council seats we could have smaller city districts. This would allow Bayside and Parkside to have their own Council district as they have their own State House district. These neighborhoods would have a stronger voice on the city level. When was the last time the District 1 City Councilor came from Bayside or Peaks Island? Smaller city districts could change this. Q. How can the Charter and the City Counsel ensure adequate representation of the Portland islands? Monaghan: I do not know the answer to this question, but I will look into it if elected. Chipman: I think the Peaks Island Council is a start but would like to look at other ways to provide better representation for the islands. Smaller city districts could give the islands a better chance of electing someone to the City Council. Q. Should the City Council have more hiring/firing power? (Now: the City Attorney, City Manager, and City Clerk have this power. Should it extend to the Fire Chief, etc.?) Monaghan: When I worked for the city, I was struck by the “cronyism” that went on between city departments. The lack of accountability and transparency led to, what I considered, activity that bordered on the unethical. Moreover, I often sensed a contempt for the elected officials on the part of the city employees—as if their meddling was an interference rather than an important part of city government. Unfortunately the “Portland Press Herald” has traditionally shown a rather disinterested eye in anything bordering on “investigative” journalism or digging any deeper than a press release. Therefore, the proper role of oversight must fall back on the elected representatives. For this process to have any teeth it must have the power to hire and fire. Who else will police our institutions if not we the people? Chipman: I am not opposed to giving the City Council more hiring/ firing power especially if we do not

Monaghan: I think this question needs to be addressed along with the above question of the mayor’s See page 14, Charter Commission


MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

EnterprisingLocals

Party Tips for Parents of Teens

Colucci’s Hilltop Market—a Living Landmark

A few days ago, owner Dick Colucci sat with me in our back yard and we talked about his store. I told him about Annie wanting to live near a corner store, and that I thought that was important to a lot of people. He agreed. “Small stores are going to come back,” he said. “Small businesses, specialty shops, are popping up around the city, and they’re doing a fabulous job. I love all the little cafés and coffee shops.” Dick’s sister Bridget and her husband Tony bought the store [which was then Quatrucci’s Market] 23 years ago, and three years later Dick joined them in the business. “I became the ‘front man,’” he said, laughing. “At that time the store was mostly a conventional grocery, selling meat and produce,

which was very laborintensive.” Eventually, he said the store has become more of a fastfood market: sandwiches and calzones and pizzas and, more recently, ready-made dinners, “…which have really taken off. We also have a special luncheon dish or two every day - which is something I don’t see any other neighborhood store in Portland doing.” I asked Dick who does Dick Colucci. Photo ©2009 Frank Kadi. All Rights Reserved. the cooking. “I do,” he I was interested in how Dick said. “But sometimes thinks the three new restaufriends will come by and help me rants on the Hill have affected cook, and my mother worked in his store. “It’s a wonderful thing. the store for about 14 years, and They’ve attracted more people she used to do some cooking.” He to the Hill, which has given our said he doesn’t use any old famstore more exposure. I walk out ily recipes, but he picks up ideas of the store and look down the from watching the food channels street and see people going in on TV, and from cookbooks. Coand out of the coffee shop, and lucci’s has twelve to fourteen emsocializing. I love the social asployees: “Herbie runs the place pect of our store. People have to on weekends; he’s been with us 20 get along on the Hill because we years. Lynn’s been here 12 or 14 all live close together. People get years, and Trish about 8 years.” personal service in neighborhood

13

Safe Summer Fun

East End Business Focus

An Interview with Owner Dick Colucci by James Cowie When my wife Annie and I started looking to buy a house in Portland 25 years ago, one of her criteria was for the house to be within walking distance of a neighborhood market. We really lucked out on that score: Our house on North Street is just a short block from Colucci’s corner store.

June 2009

stores like ours, which they don’t get in those giant stores.” Dick Colucci is a Portland boy: “I grew up on Mountfort Street, right by the cemetery. I worked at Jordan’s Meats when I was in high school, and I was a meatcutter at Shaw’s, which is where I learned the retail trade.” He lives right above Colucci’s Market, on the third floor. He said he runs the store until summer comes. “In the summer, I go in the store first thing in the morning, and then I go play golf.” I ask how often: “Oh, four or five times a week. I play with the same guys every day.” To that I say good for him. There’s another aspect to Colucci’s Market—a vital aspect, in my opinion - that Dick and I didn’t talk about in our back yard that day. I can’t count the times we’ve had to go down to his store at 9 o’clock at night to get a quart of milk, or a 6-pack [because in some family event we’ve run out of beer], or to get some other staple - like, say, Band-aids - which Colucci’s will be sure to have. What would the Hill be like without Colucci’s Market? I don’t even want to think about it.

By Jo Morrissey June is all about celebrations, fun in the sun, and the making of memories. They say “it takes a village to raise a child.” Once that child begins to venture out, it takes all of us to help make it easier for youth to make healthy choices. Parents, neighbors, businesses, and our partners in law enforcement help to make create that safe environment. Parents, when it’s time to celebrate with your teen, plan for everything. Talk with other parents/guardians about the party. Explain that you expect it to be alcohol-free. Provide adult supervision. Serve interesting refreshments. No guests leaving the party and returning. Neighbors can help set standards for what is acceptable in your neighborhood. If you see or hear about an underage drinking party, make an anonymous call your local law enforcement agency. Businesses have your best interest at heart. As community members, thank them when you see them carding at the register! Your neighborhood grocer or convenience store reflects your values. Encourage store owners to not place alcohol or alcohol advertising where it will be primarily viewed or be easily accessible to youth. Your anonymous tip, positive feedback, or vigilance will help to make the community a safer, more respected place for everyone. For more safe party tips for parents, visit www.21reasons.org.


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June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

Get Involved! Support Your Neighborhood Organization

MHNO Seeks Board Candidates We need people with the commitment to put in a few hours each month. Board members are expected to attend the board meetings every second Monday of the month from 7-9 pm at the MHNO Hill House, 92 Congress St. Members also choose committees and projects to work on and/or lead. We host four quarterly meetings to bring issues to the community.

The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Association

Interested in being a candidate? please contact Dave Cowie at dave@maine.rr.com, or call 780-0860.

Announces Our

Annual Meeting

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Sunday June 28, 5—7 pm

~ Margaret Mead

East End Community School Cafeteria 195 North Street, Munjoy Hill

Chasing the Wind

The Election of the 2009-2010 President and Vice President and members of the Board of Directors

Do you Have an Inquiring Mind?

To vote, your dues( must be current.

Volunteers needed for the MHNO Wind Turbine Study Committee

The Public is invited. New memberships and renewals are always welcome!

In response to input at the quarterly meeting in February, the MHNO is forming a Wind Turbine Study Group

Charter Commission Redux, continued from page 12 establish an elected mayor. Q. Would the hiring and firing of city officials be a joint decision between the Council and the mayor? Monaghan: Ultimately, city officials need to be answerable to the people and their elected officials. Without this, we end up with entrenched bureaucrats using the largess of their offices to do as they see fit. Where there is no power to remove someone by an outside, independent agency, such as an elected representative, we have opened the door to potential corruption with no recourse to address. If we disagree strongly with the actions of the city manager to whom do we demand his removal? Lawyers? I

advocate that this decision be made by the mayor with a majority of city counselors. Chipman: It probably should be. I do not think the hiring and firing of city officials should be up to one person. Q. Is it a forgone conclusion that the Commission will recommend an elected mayor? Monaghan: I certainly hope so. The referendum was a clear mandate by the people to open the charter for this very purpose. Chipman: I do not think anything is a forgone conclusion. I have found that with government and politics you really never know what is going

Won’t you be my neighbor?

to happen until it does. If the Commission does its job right, it will find out what the residents want through various public forums and proceed accordingly. The residents will then vote on the final recommendations. Ben Chipman can be reached at 318-4961 or votechipman@ gmail.com. Ben Monaghan can be reached at bmonagha@maine. rr.com. For a read-through of our current Charter, go to www. ci.portland.me.us/chartercommission and click “Charter Commission” (and brew yourself a nice pot of coffee).

1) To evaluate the significance of wind turbine technology for Munjoy Hill’s energy conservation and impact on the community environment 2 To help MHNO develop positions on the issues 3) To facilitate productive, broad-based community dialogue 4) To help educate community residents about the issues and the research MNHO’s Board approaches this endeavor with no preconceived positions. We envision this study group as being of manageable size and comprised of residents from diverse neighborhoods on the Hill who are willing to put in the work/time necessary. While the study group will be lead by an MHNO board member, the majority of participants will be non-board members. If you are interested in participating in the work of MHNO’s Wind Turbine Study Group, please e-mail George Laponte Clark at ggac@gwi.net or Fred Brancato at opus2@maine.rr.com. Include your name, USPS mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and just a few sentences about why you would like to be involved.

As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is.

Please clip and mail in to MHNO

MHNO Membership Form 2009—Count Me In!! Yes, 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. The expiration date will be marked on your mailing label.) Name Address

We, the People of MHNO, are committed to improving the quality of life for the residents of Munjoy Hill and the East End, by strengthening the sense of community, maintaining the current diversity of social and economic groups, encouraging self-sufficiency, and enriching the lives of all who live here.

~ Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

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Please mail your check to the address below (   ) Renewal -or- (   ) New Membership (   ) Family* $10 $_____ (   ) Low Income Family* $6 $_____ (   ) Individual $5 $_____ (   ) Low-income individual $3 $_____ (   ) Student or Senior $3 $_____ (   ) Business/Organization $25 $_____ (tax-deductible contribution) (   ) Please mail the Observer to me by First Class Mail—I am enclosing an additional $12 to cover postage & handling for the year (optional) $_____ Total . ............................................................$_____ Please mail your membership form & dues to: MHNO, 92 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101 Comments/suggestions

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06/09


Local Events

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

June 2009

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Goodwill’s

Art for Everyone June 5 (Friday), 5-8 pm

A Collection of Donated Art, fundraiser; 353 Cumberland Avenue; 774-6323

The St Lawrence Theater Presents... June 5,6 & 7 Vivid Motion presents: Dance of War; Legends of King Arthur, www.vividmotion.org. Adults $12, Students/Seniors $10, Kids $5 June 12 Subject Bias, 8 pm, $5. The up and coming indy band Subject Bias, with special guest Robert Anderson! www.subjectbias.com June 13 The Saturday Show with The Perlmans (jazz/Scottish piano) 11am, $8 Adults; $5 Kids June 13 Rory Raven - Mentalist and Mindreader 8 pm, $12 June 14 WMPG presents: Watch Your Language, 2 pm $5 June 17 & 18 Windows: Jake Brooks presents a multimedia event, 8 pm June 19 Voices: Schrock & Schrock, 8 pm, $15 June 20 The Peter Paton Show, 8 pm, $10 June 20 & 21 Annual St. Lawrence Arts Center Yard Sale, 10 am—3 pm. To donate your own “treasures,” call Liz at 775-5568, ext 102) June 24 Secret Lives of Comedians, 8 pm, $10

Art Walk

Diane Davison, Chair for Friends of the Eastern Promenade presents founder of the Pink Tulip Project, Robin Whitten, with a check for $200 from the organization in support of the Maine Cancer Foundation. Collaborative efforts raised $1,627 for the Cousin’s Memorial garden bed at the top of Cutter Street. Thank you to all those who supported the project with their donations. To make a donation, visit www.pinktulipproject.org and www.friendsofeasternpromenade. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Eastern Promenade.

At the TIME Gallery at CTN, 516 Congress Street. Music by Dave Bullard and Wildwinds of Maine, a local sax/quartet. Call 874-9868 or visit www.HourExchangePortland.org or www.FirstFridayArtWalk.com.

Classes from the Learning Resource Center (LRC)

ICL Workshops

Healthy Grilling Sat., June 6, 10 – noon, $5

Act II: Setting the Stage for the Next Step in Your Work and Career Fri., June 5 , 8 am - 4:30 pm

Call toll-free 1-866-609-5183 to register. Falmouth LRC (5 Bucknam Rd., Falmouth teaching kitchen

HEP First Friday Art Walk June 5, 5-8pm, Free

(Institute For Civic Leadership)

USM Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, $99 (includes lunch) contact Wayne Griffin at (207) 773-3254 x 100, www.civicleadership.org

Lower the Cost of Your Medication Tues., June 9, 2-3 pm Family Medicine Center LRC (272 Congress St.) Portland

Songwriters by the Sea

Creating a Non-Toxic Home Thurs., June 18, 6:30 - 8 pm, Free

Concert Series June 20, July 25, Aug. 22, Sept. 19, evenings, 7:30-10 pm, $10

Learn to reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals in your home. East Tower LRC (MMC, 22 Bramhall St.), Portland

On Peaks Island

The summer concert series on Peaks Island is underway! Live performances of funk, folk, bluegrass and more by groups local and from around the country. For details, email Phil Daligan at pdaligan@ maine.rr.com or call 766 4421. At the 5th Maine Regimental Museum, Peaks Island (www.fifthmainemuseum.org).

June 26 Zeile August CD Release Concert, 8 pm, $8

AWAKE (Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic) Wed., August 12, 6-8 pm (Free) A quarterly educational program and support group for people in Greater Portland. Falmouth LRC, 5 Bucknam Rd. A complete listing of classes & events offered by the LRC can be found at www.mainehealth.org

Living With Peace Workshops

Peace and Reconciliation Initiatives in Maine & Around the World Held at the East End Community School, North Street, Munjoy Hill. Door Prizes • Awards • Phone Cards • Free Consulting Services • Translators • Child Care Provided

June 6, 3-5:30 pm: Grandmothers and Grandfathers Special People in any Language—A Celebration of Elders in the Immigrant Community

June 28 Slaid Cleaves with special guest Jesse Russo, 7 pm, $15

Saturday, June 13, 11 am- 4 pm Portland High School. Free. Music & dance performances, ethnic foods, arts & crafts, educational displays; personal stories of the immigrant journey; children’s activities. Sponsored by the Bayside Neighborhood Association in conjunction with the Portland Public Schools—www.baysideworldmarketandfair.com.

Cemetery Cleanup June 6, 3-5:30 pm Parents of Young Children: Hillary East End Cemetery Caretakers was Right—It DOES Take a Village!! Next workday-June 13 June 28, 1-5 pm The Spirits Alive group is dedicated to the preservation and beautification of the Teens and American Culture: Eastern Cemetery, one of the area’s oldest Emerging Talent Everywhere An Introduction to Immigrant Youth Arts & Music. Who Should Attend? Neighborhood and civic activists, refugees, asylum-seekers and new American citizens, interested neighbors from around the city, human service providers, nonprofit leaders and volunteers, high school and college students, members of the Portland City Council and city staff who work with immigrant populations. RSVP to Christina at cfeller@maine.rr.com or to Roger at rruganzu@yahoo.fr

USM Exercise classes $8 Yoga Classes

June 27 The Naked Comedy Show, 8 pm, $12

Bayside World Market & Fair

Open to the public, ongoing

Tuesdays, 5:45 - 7 pm

USM Lifeline 780-4170 http://usm.maine.edu/lifeline/

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

Fridge-worthy- Plan ahead!

public burial grounds. To join in, contact Lisa Flaim at Lisa@spiritsalive.org

Flag Day Celebration at the Portland Observatory

Sunday, June 14, 10 am - 5 pm Portland Observatory Museum, 138 Congress Street, portlandlandmarks.org/

East End Open Studio Tour & Art Sale June 28, 10am-4pm, Free

MUNJOY HILL— Free Event! A self-guided walk—maps will be available the day of the event. Sponsored by The Society for East End Arts. Call Colleen Bedard at 233-7273 and be sure to visit www.SEAportland.org/

Summer in the Parks Concert Series—July & August 2009 All concerts are free! Portland Recreation 756-8275 Bring a chair or blanket, sit back and enjoy the music throughout the summer months. Portland Recreation & Facilities Management Department and area businesses sponsor these free outdoor concerts.

Tuesday Night Concerts at Deering Oaks Park Bandstand

Information/Cancellation Program Hotline: 207-756-8130. (If inclement weather, the concert will likely be cancelled.)

July 14, 7:15 pm Sidecar Heroes (A Cappella Quintet)

Please visit the City of Portland web page for this concert schedule: www.portlandmaine.gov/rec/summer.htm Short videos of past concerts, as well as other fun videos, are on file at: www.portlandmaine.gov/rec/ multimedia.htm

Concerts last approximately 1 hour. July 7 , 7:30 pm Don Campbell (Adult Contemporary/Country)

July 21, 7:15 pm Sean Mencher and his Rhythm Kings (Rockabilly)

Sunset Folk Series at Western Prom Park

Children’s Music Series at Deering Oaks Park

These Wednesday evening concerts last approximately 40 minutes. (concerts are cancelled for inclement weather)

These Thursday night concerts are sponsored by area businesses and last approximately 40 minutes.

July 8, 8 pm Tree By Leaf (Folk Quartet) July 15, 7:45 pm Darien Brahms July 22, 7:45 pm Black Powder (Country Folk Trio)

July 28 , 7 pm Italian Heritage Center Band

July 29, 7:30 pm Sara Cox with Special Guest Player Nate Schrock

Aug. 4, 7 pm TROUT (Metal-grass Trio w/Electrified mandolin)

Aug. 5, 7:30 pm Truth About Daisies (Folk Trio)

Aug. 11, 7 pm Strause & Company (Original American Music)

Aug. 12 7:30 pm Slaid Cleaves

(If inclement weather the concert is relocated to Reiche Community Center, 166 Brackett Street.)

Nostalgia Night at Fort Allen Park Gazebo (Eastern Prom) Thursday night concerts (If inclement weather, only Chandler’s Band Concert will be rescheduled) July 9, 7:30 pm Chandler’s Band Concert

July 9 , 12:30 pm The Yo-Yo Guy (2008 World Yo-Yo Champion!)

July 16, 7:30 pm The Lighthouse Jubilees

July 16, 12:30 pm Jon Call (Kids Music) - Sponsored by B&M Beans

July 23, 7:15 pm Chandler’s Band Concert - Sponsored by the Willey Trust

July 23, 12:30 pm Sammie Haynes (Singer Songstress) July 30 ,12:30 pm Sparks Ark (Show & Tell… Wild Animals) Aug. 6, 12:30 pm Marcus Gale (Music for Everyone)

July 30, 7:15 pm Rain Date (if needed for Chandler’s Band Concert)

Portland Parks & Recreation


16

June 2009

MUNJOY HILL OBSERVER

What does your doctor do for fun?

Why should you care what doctors do in their spare time? Chances are, if you don’t know anything about your doctors, they don’t know much about you either. At Martin’s Point, we think it’s important to get to know you for the individual you are … your values, your occupation, your family, your lifestyle. When we know who you are, we truly become your partner

Call 828-2402 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kiwan.

in health care—helping you achieve the best health you can.

Let’s get to know each other! Call 828-2402 today for an appointment. Martin’s Point Health Care 331 Veranda Street, Portland • Onsite pharmacy • Onsite lab, radiology, and digital mammography • Same-day appointments and Saturday hours available

Sand Beach

©2009 Rabee Kiwan, MD

martinspoint.org

Jun 2009 - Munjoy Hill Observer  

MHNO Annual Meeting Friends of the Eastern Promenade See Pink Sunday June 28, 5 pm (S(ee page 14 for details) See page 12, ChArtEr COMMiSSiO...

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