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M u n joy H il l

M u n joy Hil l



Non Profit Org US Postage

MHNO, 92 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

Change Service Requested


Portland, ME Permit No. 824

its tes ! a r ry eb Cel iversa O n N MH 0th An 3

FREE Published by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization Vol. 29, No. 4 September 2009

MunjFest! 2009

Join the Fun—Saturday, September 19 MunjFest! is Munjoy Hill’s biggest fund raiser of the year: it supports MHNO and Community Policing’s assistance programs for home heating and weatherization, campership scholarships for kids on the Hill, and, in the coming year, funds the new Youth Services Corps (stay tuned for more information in October’s issue). Through the very generous sponsorship from Martin’s Point Health Care, United Insurance Haley Agency, FairPoint Communications, Residence Inn by Marriott, Norway Savings Bank, and dozens of local businesses who have donated raffle prizes and support, and who will be listed in next month’s Observer, we are on our way to producing a fun event for all and to raising significant support for all our programs. Munjfest activites will take place on Congress Street, between North and Munjoy Streets. Local traffic and the Metro # 1 bus will be re-routed around the periphery. The MunjMinster Dog Talent Show begins at 3 o’clock at the main stage area, with special comedy hosts. Performers throughout the day include soul tunes by Chris Busby, a.k.a. The Soul Proprietor; Adam Kurtz; the Blue Lobster Troupe choral; The Maine Squeeze Accordion Ensemble; Maine Academy of Modern Music; and more. All kinds of rumors are floating around about various celebrities who’ve secretly agreed to sit atop the dunk tank. Best dollar bills you’ll ever spend! One of the many bands playing at the 2006 MunjFest! on St. Laurence St opposite Colucci’s. The band is “Marion Grace.” 2006 MunjFest! photo by Andrew Sarazin

Public Evaluation Meeting for Franklin Street Study Wednesday, Sept. 2, 6-8 pm, Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall Come learn about the Franklin Study goals, process, and design alternatives for a safer, more userfriendly street that could reconnect the historic neighborhoods of the Portland peninsula. FMI: Markos Miller at

Coming Home to the Hill

The Portland High School Class of 1969 Finds Connection With Its Past

Markos Miller celebrates another averted dunk. 2006 MunjFest! photo by Andrew Sarazin.

WE NEED YOU to help make MUNJFEST! a grand success! We’re celebrating 30 years of the MHNO this year. Anyone who has ever served on the board should come by and sign their names and share a Hill story! “We will have more Food, more Music, more talented dogs, more election-year “Dunk-ees”, more public art, more kids stuff, and more tricks on wheels.”

Celebrating Portland’s First Neighborhood

Vendors, musicians, volunteers, and exhibitors are urged to sign up today. For more information and to sign up to participate, call Katie Brown at 775-3050 or email

Coming soon to a neigborhood near YOU!

WHO is this Dog and WHY is he dressed like this?! Find out on p. 3. Photo courtesy of Fetch, pet supply store on Commercial Street.

_SeptOBSVnews-0826outV1.indd 1

by Jo Israelson

Connected by the Sense of Place

They traveled from as far away as California, Maryland, North Carolina, Washington. But when asked where they were from, all answered overwhelmingly: The Hill. Approximately 60% of the attendees of the 40th Reunion of the Portland High School class of 1969 grew up on Munjoy Hill.

We filled multi-unit housing with our extended families. We could venture out into the neighborhood filled with grandparents, aunts, uncles who watched over all of us—even if you were not related by blood. We walked to school together. We shared homework assignments. We shoveled sidewalks and coalesced on corners.

Thanks to an early evening deluge, the Friday night boat ride evolved into dinner at a local restaurant. Re-enacting our daily treks to and from PHS, we walked en masse along Congress Street. We marveled at our aging images reflected in the plate glass window of the former Puritan Restaurant. However, the changed face of downtown did not diminish our memories. We stowed our umbrellas and raincoats, ordered our food and began to talk about why we had come to the 40th. For some, it was clearing out their parents’ home or the graduation of their own children. For others, it was finding a way to reconnect to the “neighborhood family” in which they grew up. 123 Congress Street_ _________ [Growing up on the Hill] gave me a sense of belonging to something larger than myself.

16 St. Lawrence Street_________ We had a wonderful childhood of playing outside and a sense of security when walking home at night. …because of the many connections among friends and family… we had “friends” on every street. The Eastern Prom was our backyard; the ocean our constant companion. We listened to free concerts at Fort Allen, oo’ed and aah’ed at Fireworks, swam in the ocean, sledded at the Monument, and watched the “submarine races” with our dates. 49 Obrion Street_ ____________ Our connection to the ocean was paramount; all life originated there and just being so close to the water renewed your spirit. 55 Kellogg Street _ ___________ Everyone was jealous of us…We could go to the Prom, have excursions on the railroad tracks,

explore hobo jungles…without fear…[It was a] comforting place to grow up. 19 Kennedy Park_____________ [We] played outdoors all the time – there was a sense of the idyllic: you could walk to school, walk to friend’s homes, play “until the street lights came on.”

See page 9, Class of 1969

In this issue Letter from MHNO President. . . . 2 Editor’s Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 MHNO Notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 MHNO Membership Form. . . . 3 Letters TO the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . 4 Hill News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Notes from the Tower . . . . . . . . . 5 Good Neighbor of the Month. . . 6 Art & Soul. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Gardeners’ Dirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Community Policing News. . . . . . 7 Living with Peace . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Prepare for Flu Season. . . . . . . . . 9 Munjoy Hill Library News. . . . . . 11 A Day in the Life of Morgan (fiction). . . . . . . . . . 11 Spotlight on Nonprofits 55+ Adult Program. . . . . . . . . . . . 12 EE Business Focus Dean’s Sweets on Middle St.. . . . 14 Around Town/Local Events. . . 15

8/26/09 7:58:27 PM

September 2009


From the Helm

MHNO President, Katie Brown

The Munjoy Hill Observer is published by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO) at 92 Congress Street Portland, Maine 04101 Editor Lisa Peñalver (207) 766-5077, 775-3050 Observer Committee Katie Brown & Cliff Gallant, Co-Chairs; Jeanne Bull, Frank Kadi, Alison Nason, Liz McMahon, Tracey Menard advertising Turner Kruysman or 332-4355 The Observer is Portland’s East End monthly paper, supporting projects within our community. It is is published the first week of the month. 3,000 Circulation 8,000+ Readership About our paper The Munjoy Hill Observer is published 12 times a year by the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization (MHNO) as a service to its members and to the community as a whole, to inform Portland’s East End residents of local issues and events, and of the services that can be found here. The Observer serves as a vehicle to connect and inform our neighbors, while enlisting community partners to help us help those who need it most.

We can’t usually predict—let alone control— the changes that come our way. Sometimes we feel the hit of change and know that we will rue it for the rest of our lives. Sure, for slackers and sentimentalists like me, the shock of change is often just what we need to kick-start us to action. When faced with an unexpected and unwelcome change, sometimes we as a community discover we have the ability to do something about it, when we come together to say, “Uh-oh, that’s not right— foul!” Take the surprise dismantling, a couple of weeks ago, of the playground at the Adams School site. It wasn’t a malicious act—the playground was being moved to Stroudwater Village for their neighborhood to enjoy. The Adams School site is destined for change… at some point. But the ultimate destiny of the site remains to be seen, and the start-date for any construction has not been officially discussed and established. Meanwhile, this playground is being used by local families; they rely upon it, and its presence is keeping the area from looking like a neglected wasteland, open to any nefarious activity.

Thanks to an alarm raised by Gary Marcisso of Vesper Street and other startled neighbors, and the quick action of Bob Summers of O’Brien Street to call Kevin Donoghue, our District 1 City Councilor, the dismantling was halted and the swing set re-installed within two days. Chalk it up to a lesson for giving ample notice in the future! The future of the site has been a topic of debate since the City announced the space is essentially up for grabs. There’s been a charrette, a study group, an RFP created; it’s been rented and subleased to nonprofits and organizations who vacated last spring in anticipation of redevelopment; the Avesta Housing development proposal was temporarily shelved when the economy went south. Neighbors remain concerned about whether it will still be park-like, what the site will be like. It’s part of our landscape. Stay tuned for more news and discussion on the fate of the Adams School site. The MHNO has had a voice in the process since day one of the school closure. We’ll continue working to facilitate discussions among neighbors,

City crews uprooted the swingset at the Adams School, but later restored it. Copyright ©2009 Frank Kadi. All Rights Reserved.

MHNO Board 2009-10

MHNO Mission in January 1979, our purpose is to be a broad-based, representative organization committed to improving the quality of life for the residents of Munjoy Hill and the East End, by strengthening the sense of community, maintaining the current diversity of social and economic groups, encouraging self-sufficiency, and enriching the lives of all residents.

On a final note, we hope you’ll all stop over for our annual MunjFest Munjoy Hill block party / fund raiser on Sept. 19th. Look for the MHNO’s and Franklin Reclamation Authority’s presence at “Picnic Portland,” music and arts fest at Lincoln Park on Sept. 12th. And please continue to share your MHNO history with us as we collect stories during this, our 30th year in existence. A change is a comin’. Together, we can make it a good one!

The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said, to Talk of Other Things*

Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization

Incorporated as a nonprofit organization

For now, we still have the playground, and as the rest of the site changes, we need to remember that this use is valued and worth preserving.

From the Editor, Lisa Peñalver

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.

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

the City, and developers. On a personal note, I hope that we can focus on helping to ease the transition through the next stages of the process, given all the work that’s come before, and the prospects and resources that are within reach. I think we all agree that we don’t want an island of development that disrupts our neighborhood connectedness up here on the Hill, nor do we want to drag out the process indefinitely. Let’s work together to get the site transformation moving.

Stencil near the storm drain at the corner of India St. and Newbury. Photo by Lisa Peñalver

* The title is from the Lewis Carroll poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”

“It’s all about water.” So begins the article on the Observatory this month. From the torrential rains of June & July, to the impressive but treacherous surf spawned by Hurricane Bill, I find this phrase holds more meaning for me these days. Water is a force of nature; essential, life-giving, or deadly. We take it for granted. For folks living on the Eastern Prom, water is a familiar and comforting presence. For tourists in Acadia recently, the sea was less kind. With water cycles on my mind, I’ve begun to notice the street stencils that have appeared near storm drains this summer, urging us all to consider what goes down the drain. I think about how chemicals ending up in our beloved waters will affect our health, especially that of children and family. I am thinking along these lines because, in the past few weeks, two people close to me have been stricken with serious health issues (most likely cancer.)

It’s startling and distracting. And it’s not just ME; I know of several people around town who are also seeing this phenomenon among friends. What gives? Why now? I can’t help thinking about that “chemical load” we pick up along the way (read “The Body Toxic” by investigative journalist Nena Baker, who spoke on public radio in early August). It’s almost too much to contemplate. But ignorance is NOT bliss. How can you prevent trouble if you don’t see it coming? I think this confluence of coincidences is trying to tell me something. One, that I could become better educated on the topic. And two, that I also need to DO something! As Mainers we love the ocean and the wildlife that lives here. As I begin to ramp up for my daughter’s school year, I plan to take certain “baby steps” to help protect our water resources. I’m hoping people will join me in this. In making school lunches, we can be less wasteful: • Use a lunchbox , sack, or cooler instead of paper or plastic lunch bags

• Use cloth napkins and reusable utensils • Pack food and drink in reusable containers • Reduce (or eliminate) use of prepackaged foods (Thanks to Dawn Carrigan, Principal of the Longfellow Elementary School for these tips!) We can all learn to use water more wisely: • Practice water conservation at home and at work. Be aware of how much water you use. Fix leaks, and install water-saving devices and appliances. • Flush only toilet paper • Keep our waters free of hazardous chemicals and medicines • Use safe alternatives to harmful household cleaners (see the PWD website for recipes) • Support Your Local Treatment Plant: I know these seem like huge issues to tackle, but individuals and children can make a difference, and teaching our kids good habits now can insure that the waters we know and love all around our community will always be clean and healthy.

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

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

Odds ‘n East ENDS


September 2009

MUNJFEST! Central Celebrate Portland’s First Neighborhood Join the Fun, Sept. 19—Rain Date: Sept. 20 The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization has a mission to improve the quality of life for residents of Munjoy Hill and the East End by strengthening the sense of community. This year’s MunjFest will be a celebration of 30 years of dedicated service! Once again we’re partnering with the Munjoy Hill Community Policing Center to put on this street festival to help further their efforts in preserving a rich community.

This is a day to celebrate Munjoy Hill and all of the great and varied aspects of living and working here. It is a chance for civic groups, businesses and individuals to showcase their mission and talents. It is a day for neighbors to come out and have fun together.

This wonderful community street festival features the “MunjMinster” Dog Talent Show, Celebrity Dunk Tank, and an all-day Kid’s Corner at the Munjoy Hill House with painting, drawing and games. MunjFest! will occur on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 11 am (rain date: Sunday, Sept. 20) on Congress Street at the top of Munjoy Hill.

There are a many ways you can participate: Individuals can enter their dogs in the talent showw, make donations, donate tents and/or chairs, or volunteer to help set up and put on the event and buy raffle tickets for prizes generously donated by area businesses.

Fort Allen Trail Celebration Thursday, September 17th

Benefit Reception, 5–6 pm, at Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Proceeds go towards trail plantings Tickets available at Hearty East Enders--Sept 14, 2008, outlasted morning rain showers to celebrate Munjoy Hill’s annual Munjfest. 2008 Photo from the West End News.

There are available spaces for art-

Community Celebration at the Gazebo, 6– 7:30 pm Open to All—Come enjoy the music of ‘Big Chief’ Guest speaker TBA We hope you’ll join us in commemorating the completion of the new Fort Allen Trail! This project has been collaboration between Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, the City of Portland, Portland Trails and Friends of the Eastern Promenade

ists, performers, local restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, businesses and non-profits to showcase and exhibit their wares and talent. We need VOLUNTEERS! Interested in helping out? Download & return the MunjFest! participation form found at: or contact Christina Feller at or call the office: 775-3050.

Rainy weather location; Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad

Cheer up!!

the “MunjMinster” Doggy Talent Show is coming soon!

From front page: Moxie, a.k.a, “The Genie” is ready for the talent show (Moxie is actually standing up in this photo, but you can’t see her real legs...) Dog photos here and on the front, all courtesy of Fetch (Pet Foods, Equipment & Supplies) on Commercial St. See more pics at

MunjFest, 2009 Saturday, September 19, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. In the street atop Munjoy Hill

Participation Form (Raindate: Sunday, September 20) Thank you for the invitation to participate in MunjFest, 2009. Resident  I am making a tax-deductible donation in the amount of $_____  I want to enter my dog in the Talent Show  I want to volunteer to help for the day: I can donate street or yard type portable tents, chairs and/or small or medium tables, set-up through clean-up help in trash pick-up and giving directions, and assisting volunteer coordinators. Call me at_______________

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. Your membership expiration date will be indicated on your mailing label.) Name

If renewing, please tape your mailing label here!


Phone (day)



Renewal -or-

New Membership

Individual $5 Ind/low-income $3

$______ $______

Family* $10 Fam/low income $6

$______ $______

Business/Organization $25


Tax-deductible contribution


MHNO Is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit

Volunteer Opportunities

We need your HELP! Please check your areas of interest Observer Newspaper stories photography distribution Fund Raising Walkable neighborhood, trails Events mailings, occasional volunteer activities Membership We receive City funds and need to provide statistics. Please circle those that apply (for statistical purposes only) African American | Asian | Hispanic | Native American White American | Other

Please mail the Observer to me by First Class Mail

—I am enclosing an additional $13 to cover postage & handling for the year (optional) $______

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

Business  We want to be a Festival Sponsor by donating money, services, gift certificates, products – please contact us as soon as possible at ____________________________ Sponsorship Levels: King of the Hill $900 Observer $500 Promenader $300 Friend of the Hill House $100  We want a spot at the event to sell our services ($25) Artists, Craftsmen & Performers  I would like a spot to set up to showcase and sell my work ($10)  I would like to perform at the event; I am a musician, dancer, juggler, musician, mime, singer Locally Owned Restaurants, Coffee Shops & Grocery Stores  I want to sell food and drink at the event ($25)  I want to be a Sponsor by donating money or products Nonprofit Organizations  We want a spot to exhibit our services FREE! Celebrities and Everyone else!  I will allow myself to be “dunked” in the Dunk Tank. What’s the Cause? Name_____________________________________________

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

Affiliation (if any) ______________________________________ Address____________________________________________ Telephone (necessary for us to have in case of emergency) _____________________ Email____________________ Please return this form and your check, if applicable, to the MHNO, 92 Congress Street, 04101 Attn: Christina Feller, Secretary, Board of Directors, MHNO

September 2009

Capitol City


Senator Justin Alfond

Looking ahead to the Fall Session Hi Munjoy Hill! Summertime finally made it! I hope everyone is enjoying the hot, sunny days. For Legislators, summer is the time to be in our communities while responsibilities in Augusta are minimal. Even though I’ve had fewer commutes to Augusta, I have been busy this summer with legislative work. First, I attended three conferences: the Emerging Political Leaders Conference in Virginia, the First Annual Maine Prevention Dropout Summit in Orono, and the New England Secondary School Consortium in New Hampshire. These conferences are helping build my knowledge and skills around leadership and best educational practices. Second, I have been going to Augusta to monitor the Appropriations Committee work. Their task is to find $30 million dollars in state inefficiencies for the 2011 budget. Almost every State Department is presenting to the Committee with the end goal of isolating structural changes and savings. As you may know, Education and Health and Human Services account for approximately 80% of our state budget, so predictably both agencies have been spending a lot of time in front of the Committee. Additionally, the Department of Labor, Corrections and Maine Revenue Services have been sharing their ideas for better operations, structural changes and savings. As Chair of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, I am keenly interested in the discussion points thus far. Here are some highlights: • A report by the consulting company McKinsey & Company, “Maine Delivering Efficient Govern-

ment,” highlights that we can save between $3050 million. The trend I see is that the State’s funding formula of how we calculate money to each district might change, possibly negatively affecting Portland. • The University of Maine System shared their “New Challenges, New Directions” report. It boldly states that they must change how public education is delivered in Maine while also saving over $100 million in the next four years. The trend I am seeing is that our seven public universities will no longer be working in isolation, resulting in less duplication and more specialization at each campus. • The American Recovery Reinvestment Act brought over $300 million into Maine. A report shows how every K-12 district has spent their funds. Some common uses are: saving the money for next year’s budget; putting it toward special education; making renovations and repairs; and general funding of programs. The trend I see is that school superintendents understand the next two years are going to be tough and are investing in long-term investments rather than introducing new programs. Finally, I’ve spent time in Augusta with the Education Committee for confirmation nominations to the Maine Maritime Academy and Community College Board of Trustees. As you read this, the State Senate will have voted on dozens of new confirmations to boards across the State. 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,

“PAW” is looking for a home By Liz McMahon No, Ol’ grandad’s not homeless! PAW (Promoting Animal Welfare) is a fouryear-old non-profit which provides low-cost pet care for low-income families and individuals living in Portland. They offer free clinics, and some discounted services for the pets of low-income residents. They also make regular visits to low income housing for well-pet care, and to local schools for educational programs. Currently, the Brackett St. Veterinary Clinic hosts PAW, but they are searching for an affordable home base. If you have any ideas about buildings in the Greater Portland area that might be a good fit for PAW, please contact them!

PAW’s goals are: 1. To help low income individuals with veterinary care for their pets 2. To actively provide public education on pet care 3. To help keep Portland one of the North East’s most pet-friendly city. 4. To promote the well being of all animals in Portland. With additional funding, PAW could expand the services they offer to include a non-profit pet-care business, possibly a grooming and supply store which would generate funds needed for the veterinary care for Portland’s low income families, and would create several jobs for local residents. If you have suggestions regarding PAW’s efforts to help low-income people care for their pets or in elevating Portland’s profile as a pet-friendly city, please send PAW an e-mail: contact Dr. Flood at johnfloodDVM@ or call 772-3385. To make a donation, please contact Amy Hodges at 772-3385 or donate online at PAW is a registered 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. Dr. Flood attends to an anonymous patient. Photo provided by the Bracket St. Veterinary Clinic

A bright sky and Coluccis rooftop are reflected in the firehouse windows of the Munjoy Hill Fire Department on a hot August afternoon. Photo by Lisa Peñalver

Letters to the Editor To The Editor,

The city’s present policy of laying off fire firefighters puts the city at great risk. From the point of view of fire protection, the danger is that Portland (especially the inner city part—Munjoy Hill and the West End) has densely-packed old wooden housing, often without good fire stops. If a fire were to get out of control, it would be very difficult to rein in. From the point of view of EMT protection and fire protection, any fire that got out of control would require their services in a massive way. Additionally, Portland has a high percentage of aging baby boomers who generate emergency calls of all kinds. The city’s current policy of having negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters—and then reneging on it by asking fire fighters to give back their pay increase, and laying off fire fighters as a punishment when they wouldn’t agree to that—is not just an attack on the rights of firefighters, but it is a direct attack on the safety of the citizenry, both as a matter of fire protection and as a matter of medical protection. On 7/1/08, the city eliminated ten Fire Department positions closing the specialized heavy rescue company and eliminating two EMS Supervisors. On 7/5/09, the city eliminated nine Firefighter/EMT’s. This was right after the city made its threat to lay off firefighters if they refused to give up the pay raise they had just negotiated. When I first moved to Munjoy Hill in the 1970’s, the city’s attempts to close a nearby fire house was a big issue. There was a huge turnout at a meeting held at Cathedral Guild Hall because of the proposed elimination. I remember State Representative Edie Belieu leading the charge. Reductions in emergency capability are still a big issue today. The current city manager and the current city council are playing a dangerous game. Yours, Frank Kadi, Munjoy Hill


September 2009

It all began innocently enough, during the annual egg-toss off the top of the Moody Observation Tower in the sleepy little burg of Munjoy Hill . One of the eggs accidentally fell down into the toxic sewer. . .

StoneMeadow • WOODWORKS •

Carpenter - Cabinetmaker

Stephen K. Murphy ~ Portland ~

Little did the townspeople know. . . that that one ordinary egg would somehow MUTATE and transform to become. . . the awesome and terrible . . . EGG MAN!! (by Joe and David Menard)

Call 671-6291

Notes from the Tower

IhkmeZg] H[l^koZmhkr

Surf’s up! The Day the Munjoy Hill Reservoir Broke

;k^ZmamZdbg`ob^pl%_Zl\bgZmbg`ablmhkr Zm:f^kb\ZÍlhgerfZkbmbf^lb`gZemhp^k' Open thru Columbus Day Guided tours offered daily 10 am – 5 pm


(last tour begins at 4:40 p.m.)

$7 adults / $4 under 16* / under 6 free* (*with adult) Portland residents $5 Sunset Tours on Thursdays

two teenage daughters before getting properly This archival photo was printed in the Dec.1980 edition of the Munjoy Hill Observer

After the 1866 fire that devastated Portland, the city was determined to ensure a regular water source. The Portland Water Company was organized in 1867 to bring a supply of fresh water into the city from Sebago Lake, and the opening of the first pipeline from Sebago was celebrated on July 4th, 1876. The Bramhall Reservoir was created on the West End to replace individual cisterns as a ready water source, but in 1879 that reservoir let go, sending 8 million gallons of water down Grove Street into Deering Oaks. Fortunately there were no casualties but the city decided not to rebuild there and looked around for a less populated elevation. The northern end of Munjoy Hill seemed the ideal spot, and in 1887 the city contracted with a J. Herbert Shedd, of Providence, R.I, considered one of the most eminent civil engineers in New England, to construct a new 5-acre reservoir, near the present day corner of North and Walnut Streets. Completed in 1889, it was considered quite a modern marvel by residents, and the city was proud of its’ accomplishment in controlling the water supply. But water is a force of nature—and not easily confined. In the early morning hours of August 6, 1893, Mrs. A.M. Jones and Edna Hutchins encountered each other as they were out enjoying the early morning air. As they were chatting, they heard a hissing sound, and upon investigation, discovered a leak in the eastern wall near a cover on an overflow drain. There were only several homes on that side and the women ran to those houses to raise the alarm. People ran out into the streets. However, a Mrs. Dennis Conley, still in her nightgown, refused to leave her home with her

Located atop Munjoy Hill See our web site for information on Old Port Walking Tours

Greater Portland Landmarks

dressed. James Mosely, 21, a tow-man on the street railway, and a neighbor of the Conley’s, upon realizing the Conley women had not yet appeared, ran back into their house to get them out. According to witnesses, James had just entered the front door when the wall broke, and 20 feet of water swept the house right off its foundation, drowning all four. What a heartwrenching scene it must have been for the community when Dennis Conley, who was at work at the time of the break, returned to find his wife, two daughters, their would-be rescuer—and his house—all gone. The disaster site immediately became an attraction. The trolley line put on extra cars and the newspaper estimated 25,000 persons showed up to view the destruction stating, “In every direction could be seen the camera fiend in active search for a choice position or with his head covered in photographic regalia.” A new, smaller reservoir was rebuilt with improved materials on the same site, and existed without incident until improved the water supply from Sebago rendered it obsolete. In 1970-71, the old reservoir was finally dismantled and a reserve placed underneath the tennis courts of the Promenade East Condominiums. No memorial exists to the reservoir tragedy and, in fact, nothing remains of that era in our history except the tiny brick pumping station at the corner of Sheridan and Walnut.

(ENRY7ADSWORTH,ONGFELLOW Open Daily: May - October Maine Historical Society • 489 Congress St, Portland 207-774-1822 •

(July 23 – September 10)


By Jeanne Bull It’s all about water. Surveying the Portland peninsula from the top of the Tower, it’s easy to see how our fair city’s economy, and very identity, is defined in being surrounded by Casco Bay. When visitors ask about the weather here, I tell them Portland’s proximity to the water is definitely a moderating factor. Water is good, it›s vital, but there are times when there’s just too much. This summer for example, when weeks of endless rain drowned our spirits along with our seedlings, or, in a more dramatic fashion, on that tragic August day in 1893, when 20 million gallons of water cascaded down through town from the top of the Munjoy Hill.


Win friends and influence people— volunteer with the MHNO..

306 Congress Street, Portland 771-5556 Bill Sullivan Chris Sullivan

Brit Vitalius Marc Foster

John Graham Francine O’Donnell

All sold by Sullivan Multi since April:


56 Congress St - 3 unit Sold 8/3/09 - $420,000


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


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


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


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

Never hit the market!!

Plus another 3 unit pending!

September 2009


Art Soul

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

Good Neighbor of the Month

Fashion is Art

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

Meet Fashion Artist,

Adele Ngoy

Laura Cowie By Cliff Gallant Seventeen year old Laura Cowie of teen, but Laura was up to it, partly Munjoy Hill, a 2009 Portland High due to the influence of her father, grad heading off to the University Dave Cowie, a longtime member of Maine at Farmington this fall of MHNO known for his active into study creative writing, says that volvement in community projects. she just knew that people had it in The Organization, of course, imtheir hearts to help one another in mediately embraced “ CLYNK” and difficult financial times—if they made it an important component could only find a way to do so. So of its “Warm Hearts, Warm Neighshe found them a way; she thought bors” fuel assistance program. To up “CLYNK” — a returnable bottle follow-up, Laura made up flyers and can recycling program. Started which she distributed around the by Laura and her stepmom, Louise neighborhood; she staffed a table Little, “CLYNK” generates funds at Munjfest, the annual MHNO– to help those in need. The name sponsored block party, distribut“CLYNK”, by the way, comes from ing green recycling bags to anyone the sound a bottle or can makes and everyone who agreed to take when it’s thrown into a recycling part. Due in large part to Laura’s bag, which is nifty piece of creative dedication and hard work, the prowriting itself. gram has been a huge success from It’s one thing to come up with an which many people benefited. idea, quite another to make it a reality. Laura found that step one of the process was to address a board of directors meeting at the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization about the program. A pretty daunting task for your typical

Well, after all, Laura is no stranger to putting herself out there. In addition to being a robust competitor for four years on the Portland High field hockey team, she’s also well known for her involvement in the creative arts. She’s written many

by Tracey Menard

outstanding poems and short stories, receiving honorable mention in her junior year for work that came out of a year-long workshop put on by the Maine Women’s Literary Union. In her junior year of high school, she joined the editorial staff the school newspaper “The Bulldog Edition,” becoming senior editor by her senior year. At the paper she became well-known for her passionate movie reviews, being a big fan, like many creative writers, of really good movies. Not surprisingly, she’s also done some acting herself, playing Frenchie in Portland High’s spirited production of “Grease”. Then there’s music. Laura is the daughter of Boo Cowie, who is the lead vocalist for the popular group “The Piners”, which has gone on national tour and has two CD’s out. Her mother taught her how to sing, See page 7,

Good Neighbor

Adele Ngoy is a Munjoy Hill resident who has settled here from the Democratic Repulic of Congo in Africa. She is a fashion designer from the capital city of Kinshasa. In Kinshasa, her name was synonymous with excellent quality and design. I had the opportunity to meet with Adele at her new design/tailor shop Fladel Couture on Brighton Ave. At Fladel Couture, Adele works on new designs and with clients. She fits your needs whether it is simple tailoring or fancy dresses, business clothes or casual clothes. Adele has a lovely French accent and her pleasant manner instantly puts clients at ease. MHNO: Could you tell our readers how you got your start as fashion designer? Adele: When I was a young woman in high school I wanted to become a doctor. When high school ended I applied to medical school, but I could not get in that year because the waiting list was so long. My father was a portrait painter. He wanted to send me to fashion design school. He said to give it one year to see how I would like it. Well, it turns out that my father knew me well because in just one year I was starting to love fashion design and studying the history of Art. I stayed at the fashion institute and became the top of my class. The first article of clothing I designed after graduating was a new suit for my father. MHNO: How is the fashion world different in Congo? Adele: It is very different. In Congo the women are very fashionable. They dress up every day. Because we eat fresh food, the women dress up See page 8,

fashion is Art


Gardener’s Dirt Making Your Garden Look Great

by Nini McManamy There is nothing so intimidating as a garden where every planting and view have the perfection of a florist’s arrangement. It usually takes professional design and maintenance services to get that look (but ask any landscaper what shape his own garden is in!). However, with some standard routines you can renew any garden and keep it looking good to the end of the growing season. Clean things up Prune or pinch back dead blossoms and stems on annuals, perennials and shrubs such as roses. Stems of spent roses should be pruned back to a five-leaflet cluster to encourage re-blooming. Cut off daylily stalks to the base of the plant as soon as all buds have bloomed—especially important to keep Stella d’Oros blooming--and cut off iris and hosta flower stalks once the flowers pass by. Cut off other dead flowers unless you plan to keep them for winter interest—for example, many people keep dried hydrangea blossoms on the shrub through winter. Weed, weed, and weed some more! Right now annual crabgrass is enjoying its fall growth spurt. Crabgrass is an annual which should be treated with corn gluten products--these keep the crabgrass seeds from germinating, and reduce next year’s crop. Step up mowing and edging of beds as the cool days of fall promote lawn growth. If your grass is not lush and green, give it compost or lime. Healthy lawns don’t need chemical food. Use a hand cultivator when you weed to get up all the roots of unwanted weeds and to groom the soil around plants—better than mulch and a lot less expensive. Most of us garden because we enjoy the work—not because we expect botanic garden perfection. But for better results, get Tracy DiSabatoAust’s wonderful manual of garden

maintenance, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden.

phorbia, hardy pansies, sages, and heucheras.

Define and clarify Thin overgrown clumps of daylilies, irises, daisies, asters, black eyed Susans and hostas. Thin so that there is room for next year’s growth. Try putting out your excess plants in a cardboard box marked “free” on the sidewalk.

If your garden lacks late summer perennials or shrubs, look around the neighborhood to see what is in bloom now. Russian sage and black-eyed Susans are a great combination, and last for months. Asters also last a long time, as do coneflowers and shade-tolerant

Kathleen Daniels works on a landscape painting at a recent open air painting event at O’Donal’s Nursery, demonstrating one way to enjoy a well-maintained garden. Photo by Nini McManamy

Prune dead flowers off spireas, lavenders, catmint and other spent flowering shrubs—you may get a second flush of flowers. Prune to shape and to let air circulate and to allow for next year’s growth. Help plants prepare for winter. Continue to feed flowering plants in planters, but allow shrubs and perennials to slow their growth in preparation for winter. Do not use high-nitrogen, growth-stimulating foods now. Plants need to store starch in their roots for winter, and homemade compost or slow release Plant-Tone help plants prepare for abscission (loss of foliage). Add some color interest Create focal points of color for the fall with planters containing cold hardy annuals and perennials, such as small mums, ornamental kales and grasses, diamond frost eu-

windflowers (Japanese anemones). Blueberry foliage makes a gorgeous fall color accent. Some shrubs have a second flush of flowers in September—roses, weigelas, and others. Make notes for transplanting and installing new plants towards the end of the month. Think about structure Take photos and view them in black and white on your computer to get an understanding about how your plants relate to one another, to the house, and to open spaces. Plan your transplanting. Sketch up a rough map, and know which plants you must dig first. It helps to write the name of the plant and its month of flowering on your map, so you know what kind of effect you are creating. Always use a root stimulating solution when you transplant.

September 2009

Good Neighbor, From page 6 Laura says, and, just as importantly, gave her the confidence to sing in front of an audience, which came in handy when she found herself on stage at the Portland High graduation playing to a full house at Merrill Auditorium singing Cyndi Lopper’s “Time After Time” with her friend Chanel Lewis. In talking with Laura one gets the feeling that even when she is away at college this fall her heart will not be far away from Munjoy Hill. “I really like the idea that even though Portland is the biggest city in the state, and so many people live on Munjoy Hill, it still feels like it’s a small community where people are always looking for ways to help one another and get to know one another better.” Special note: Now that Laura will be going away to college there is a need for someone else to step up and take over the running of the CLYNK program. This is too good a program to let it expire. If you want to be involved in keeping this good thing going, please call Louise is 780-0860 or e-mail; Find out how you can help make sure that the good work accomplished by this special young person will go on in her absence.

If making the most of what you have by following the steps above doesn’t get you the garden you want, it may be time for a major makeover, involving new uses of space, some paving or paths, a new fence, or removing old trees. If you want to do a major makeover, consider hiring a garden designer to help you with a plan or the actual work of redoing your yard—your local garden center can help you with referrals.

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

Play it Safe

When arranging your plants, think about contrasting color and leaf shapes; here are seen some perennials in the garden beside the MHNO “Hill House.” Photo by Lisa Peñalver.


911 for emergency

874-8575 for Info

from the friendly staff at Community Policing

Bicycle Theft Prevention Tips WHAT LOCKING HARDWARE SHOULD YOU USE? U Locks: As has been in the news recently, many Kryptonite locks have been easily broken. There are similar brands sold which have a different locking mechanism inside, although they may look similar outside, and are less easily broken. Some U locks are stronger than others; make sure you buy a strong steel alloy lock. If the manufacturer offers a warranty or insurance, register the lock and write down the lock’s serial number and when you bought it. One drawback to U locks: you can’t lock up to thick objects such as street lights; so for these, carry a thick cable. Padlocks & Chains: Look for anti-theft security chains, the thicker, the better. Chain links and lock clasps should be at least 3/8 of an inch thick. Look for locks and chains that are case-hardened­—a process that makes them harder to cut. Cables: Some cables are actually harder to cut than chains, because they don’t snap and thieves can’t pry them open. Use a cable at least 3/8 of an inch thick with a lock as thick, or thicker. Ugly Bikes: In busy commercial areas, where thieves have lots of bikes to choose from, your bike is less likely to be stolen if it looks old or just ugly.

September 2009


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.

Make It Happen! – A New Program For Young English Language Learners Raising Aspirations Among Immigrant Students

by Christina Feller

Success is more than an attitude

Successful people have a common trait—they develop special habits of behavior that lead to excellence in performance. It appears that the same can be said for developing successful students. But what about immigrant students who are not proficient in English and may never have been taught to set goals, to make good choices, or aspire to college? How can they learn to be successful students? More importantly, how can they remain successful so their newly forming aspirations for college become a reality? The Multilingual and Multicultural Center in the Portland School System, led by Grace Valenzuela and assisted by Catherine Siegel, set out

Climbing the Mountain

Make It Happen! Is a program for English Language Learners in grades 7 – 11 who attend Lyman Moore Middle School, Lincoln Middle School or Deering High School. Students are paired with academic coaches who provide personalized and structured academic and social support. The goal is to ensure success in undertaking the more rigorous and challenging academic work that prepares them for college. As Grace explained, “We find that the middle school kids can go either way. Once on a successful path, they might continue but the likelihood is that they will need continuous support to keep going, especially when the academics get tougher. When they reach a

“The most important habits for academic success are... organization..., goal setting..., and critical thinking...” to find the answer. After conducting focus groups with former and current students and researching other successful programs, they developed a pilot program called Make It Happen! They learned that the successful graduates managed to live successfully in both their own culture and the American culture. Successful graduates focused on their academics despite peer pressure to do otherwise. These students were able to ignore events going on around them that did not concern them or that would disrupt their path to getting to college. Every successful student was goaloriented and possessed an inner determination to rise above the problems of daily life. Could this attitude be taught to others? They were convinced that with consistent, individual support, the habits of successful learning could be taught and embraced. The most important habits for academic success and college readiness are organization skills, goal setting skills and critical thinking skills. While immigrant students came from many different cultures, there was ample evidence to suggest that they could succeed with a more disciplined approach that nurtured character development, collaborative work and leadership skills.

plateau, we need to push them up. This is when they need to climb the next level of the mountain. At each step of the way, they need encouragement to stay focused.”

A Framework for Success

The three-pronged framework of rigor, relevance and relationships has been proven to promote academic success and college readiness among all students but especially among minority students, who may not know the multiple steps necessary in the college selection, application, and financial aid process. Rigor relates to establishing and internalizing habits of work that develop skills in time management, goal-setting, planning, prioritization and collaboration. These habits specifically support academic achievement and planning for future success. Relevance means that the students will develop a life-long appreciation for learning by exercising habits of mind that promote intellectual curiosity, problemsolving, open-mindedness, and applied learning. Relationships cultivate positive connections with parents, peers, teachers and other adults by integrating habits of the heart that promote empathy, positive identity development and community service.

Student Eligibility

Target students come from countries all over the world such as Cambodia, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Mexico, Serbia, Somalia, Vietnam, Sudan and China. The program was established specifically to encourage realistic aspirations for success in learning. With that in mind, it was clear that not all students would qualify. Grace, Catherine and the other program managers determined four baseline criteria for students to be eligible for participation. First, the students are enrolled in mainstream classes, with perhaps only one or two support classes addressing their continued English acquisition needs. Second, they had to be attending school regularly. Third, they had to be falling below the standards on academic assessment tests, such as MEA or SAT. Finally, the students chosen were NOT considered “at risk” because of discipline issues. Indeed, these are mainstream students who need ongoing coaching to improve their level of academic achievement and improve their attitude about their own ability to succeed. Each school chose 10 students for the program for a total of 30 students. Parents and students both had to commit to the program in writing in order to participate. Comments from Coaches “At this time,” Catherine noted, “we have 20 committed coaches who began their work last spring. With only a few months of work, the results were really impressive. Of course, we have only anecdotal data because the program is still young, but we can already see the effect of the coaches on the students.”

More Coaches are Needed!

By the time you read this, the school year will have begun. The program needs ten more coaches. Academic coaches provide extended learning through: • Homework support • Reading and writing enrichment • Activities that promote critical thinking, goal-setting, and organizational skills. Weekly time requirements include 1 to 2 hours of face to face coaching

Coaches receive orientation and training on an ongoing basis. Volunteer application forms are available at: schools/multilingual/volunteer. html. See other articles by Christina Feller at Do you have a genuine desire to help these young people pursue their interests, succeed in school and achieve their goals? If you do, please call 8748135.

Below, fashions designed by Adele Ngoy. Photo provided by designer.

Fashion is Art, continued from page 6 to go to market. It is a sign of how prosperous your family is. There are so many occasions and places to go. As a designer I would dress up every day to advertise my talent and so would my customers who dressed up in my clothes for their work. In this way, people found out about what I could create and my work became quite popular.

“His attitude is better. He has really stepped up,” said one coach who spoke of the benefit of one-to-one attention.

As far as influences go, Congolese designers look to European style. All eyes are on Paris just like in America, but we combine these styles with our own African sensibilities. I consider fashion to be an integral part of the art world. In my country I pushed myself and other designers to be part of art exhibitions so as to push the art aspect of fashion industry.

“Hanon’s (name has been changed) grades were appalling when we first started. She had poor study skills, poor organizational skills, poor social skills. I was often told that she would be a “handful.” Hanon and I have got on swimmingly and I enjoy every session with her. Hanon now has 90s in all of her classes except LA (Language Arts) and she told me that she was so surprised how handing in her homework on time made such a difference,” said the coach.

MHNO: What is your design process? Adele: Classic styles and lines influence me. I like designers like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Yves St. Laurent, and Chanel. These designers never go out of fashion. When I create a piece, I get my inspiration from the person I am designing for, the colors and feel of the fabrics (especially silk and cotton) and the occasion. I draw a sketch and make a pattern and then, of course, sew it.

” I am so very proud of her because she is finally starting to show pride in herself,” said another coach of his student.

and 1 to 2 hours of online communications.

MHNO: What is your design philosophy? Why do you consider fashion, Art? Adele: My main philosophy is that

everyone is unique and I want him or her to feel unique. I work with all body types. Fashion is art because it is the creation of something from nothing. It is the process of taking fabric and transforming it in order to help people realize who they are as an expressive individual. The way we dress is how we present ourselves to the world and as a designer I am part of that and sometimes it can be transformational. For example, a young woman came into my shop and was trying on clothes. I told her she was beautiful, beautiful enough to become a model. She didn’t believe me at first. She said she came from such a poor family and that would never happen, but the more she tried on my dresses the more she began to walk like a model and her attitude began to change. MHNO: What is your expectation for your business? How do you like Maine? Adele: I want people to not be scared about contacting a designer- I will work with anyone despite their budget. You do not have to have a perfect body or a lot of money to look good. I love Maine. The people here are so friendly and many of them have become like family to me. I am so blessed to be surrounded with such lovely people. Contact info: Adele Ngoy 3329750, or visit Fladel Couture


How to Prepare for Flu Season This fall, we may be contending with two types of flu. The first will be the garden variety How to Prepare for Flu Season seasonal flu and the second will be H1N1 (also called the swine flu). The seasonal flu will run its

Continued from front page,

widespread At the timewith of this writing, thedoses H1N1ofvaccine is still tested and This fall, weH1N1 may will be be. contending two many vaccines willbeing be available. we don’t yetThe know how many doses of vaccines types of flu. first will be the garden vari- will be available. You probably have many questions about what ety seasonal flu and the second will be H1N1 you should do about flu shots for both of these (also called the swine The seasonal flu you should do about flu shots for both of these You probably have manyflu). questions about what types of the flu. The table below can help you see will its course it does fall you andsee which type you are most at risk for and typesrun of the flu. The as table beloweach can help which type you are most at risk for and whether winter and a vaccine will be readily available. youThe should vaccinated for both of them. The whether you should be vaccinated for both of them. CDC be website at or your It is unknown how widespread H1N1 will be. doctor’s office can provide further information CDC website at or your doctor’s office At the time of this writing, the H1N1 vaccine can provide further information. is still being tested and we don’t yet know how

We often had to defend our reputation because of the guys who hung out on the corners. It seems the worst offense committed by the ‘Flower Shop Boys’ was the assigning of nicknames: Yakker, Beak, Tooth, Nidgy, Bucket, Itchy.

By Wendy Drew, RN, BSN, CDE, Health Educator, and courseKirchner, as it doesManager each fall and winter and a vaccine and will be readily available. It isMartin’s unknownPoint how Leigh of Health Education Chronic Disease at

FAQ’s Seasonal Flu


Who is most likely to get the flu or to become severely ill if they get the flu?

Who should get vaccinated?

Seasonal Flu

Similar for both-fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Children < 5 and adults >64; pregnant women and those with chronic illness-diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and kidney disease are all more at risk if they become ill. Children 6 months to 19 years old; pregnant women, adults > 50, anyone with chronic condition, healthcare workers and emergency personnel, anyone who lives with or cares for person in high risk group.

H1N1 H1N1 (Swine Flu)

Many people have reported diarrhea and vomiting

Priorities for vaccination are pregnant women and people 6 months -24 years old. As vaccine supplies increase, healthcare workers and emergency personnel, adults 24-64 with underlying conditions, and anyone who lives with or cares for a person in a high risk group should consider seeking vaccination.

If you think you have the flu, call before going to your doctor’s office. Based on your individual needs, you may be given directions for home care, or asked to come see your doctor or the Emergency Room.

Class of 1969

Connected by Our Diversity

Rainy night out: Left to right; Dick Burke, Jo Israelson, Mary Irace, Bob Carter, Steve Brand, Michael Connolly, Rex King. Reunion photo courtesy of Jo Israelson.

19 Kennedy Park_____________________ [The Hill] was most unique; none of us had money or at least it appeared that we were all of a similar economic class. 95 Quebec Street_____________________ …we were lower middle class- but poor didn’t mean bad. 22 Cumberland_ _____________________

Children and adults younger than 65 are more likely to get the flu. Anyone with a chronic illness is likely to be sicker.

September 2009

[In the ‘60’s,]... there was a three-way mix of Irish, Italian and Jews, so we learned to relate to anybody. We learned about each others religions, customs. 162 Eastern Promenade_______________ We all had deep roots and a strong family background. Many of our relatives had grown up on the Hill and married someone from the Hill. [They] stayed there creating overlapping generations. 155 Congress Street __________________ We learned how to respect one another and be understanding of one another. We would sit on our stoops at night and talk. We never fought as kids. Connected by our Values We formed life-long friendships. Ones easily renewed even with the passage of time. We worked; we loved; we moved away and joined other neighborhoods. However, we “carried the notion of community wherever we went. “

122 North Street_____________________ [It] didn’t matter to us where your parents worked; what they did or how much money you had - we were all friends. It mattered who you were as a person. 33 Morning Street____________________ [We shared similar values.} a strong work ethic, fortitude, and connection to family. 10 Willis Street_______________________ [There was] no pretension. Just a larger sense of family where everyone took care of everyone else. We are not naïve: there was alcoholism, sexual abuse, mental illness, evictions, divorce…. but the close-knit Hill community provided it’s own version of a safety net: if you needed an egg, you could borrow one; corner stores let you run a tab until payday; friends with cars drove you to hospitals, doctors, grocery stores; overwhelmed by your day? Just walk next door and take a time out with a cup of tea with cream and sugar… We shared clothing, shared toys, shared cars and often, bathtubs. And at the PHS 40th High School Reunion, we shared how growing up on the Hill links us together in the past and now the future. If you are a PHS Class of 1969 graduate or know of someone who did not know about the reunion, please contact Mary Taliento at to add your name to the contact list.


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 Member FDIC


September 2009



Munjoy Library

September 200911

Branch News

Let’s give a big round of applause to all the summer

readers who participated in Be Creative @ Your Library. We had 153 children sign up—at just our branch!—and a very large number of those reached their reading goal. Those children received a certificate of recognition, a book, and all the watermelon they could eat! Many thanks go out to the following community members who volunteered their time and talent to help make this summer’s program so very successful: Heidi Kendrick, The Maine Squeeze, The Amazing Michael Michaelson, Marieke Van Der Steenhoven, Pure Movement Portland, and Dyer Rhoads.

children’s programs resume after Labor Day:

Mondays (Starting 9/14), 9:45 am— Preschool Story Time, for 3-5 year olds Wednesdays (Starting 9/9) 9:45 am—Finger Fun for Babies, for birth to 24 months Thursdays (Starting 9/10), 4 pm— Finger Fun for Babies, for birth to 24 months Fridays (Starting 9/11), 9:45 am— Tales for Twos, for 2 year olds

This fall, we’ll be starting activi-

ties for school-age children. We are looking for a mentor for a chess club, beginning to collect Legos for a Lego club and also hope to be starting a knitting group. Stay tuned for more details. We are pleased to announce the return of the book discussion group here at the Children’s Library on

Munjoy Hill. Starting in September, the book group will meet on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. September’s book group will meet on Wednesday the 23rd; we will be discussing The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. You can request a copy online, by e-mail, over the phone or in person at the Library. All are welcome—hope to see you there! We received some great new books in July and August—the list of new titles is below.


Hot Pursuit by Suzanne Brockman Smash Cut by Sandra Brown Rain Gods by James Lee Burke Dying for Mercy by Mary Jane Clark Intervention by Robin Cook Everything Matters by Ron Currie Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant The Water’s Edge by Karin Fossum Hope in a Jar by Elizabeth M. Harbison Blindman’s Bluff by Faye Kellerman Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella Missing Mark by Julie Kramer The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron Swimsuit by James Patterson The Crying Tree by Naseem Rahka Shanghai Girls by Lisa See The Defector by Daniel Silva

Children show off their shining faces, painted by volunteer Heidi Kendrick at the end-of-summer reading celebration at the Munjoy Branch Library in August.


The Smartest Animals on the Planet by Sarah Boyson Following the Water by David Carroll The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad Wildflower by Mark Seal Cold by Bill Streever

Eastern Cemetary Celebration!

New Stone Dedication ~ Sept. 11 at noon Join us, Mayor Jill Duson, curator Tom Denenberg and State Historian Earle Shettleworth to celebrate Charles Codman’s new gravestone! Enjoy refreshments with friends. We will be transcribing stones in the cemetery on almost every Saturday: Sept. 12, 19, and 26 — 9 am to Noon.

Willa Wirth Silver DeSign


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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

Tuesday-Saturday, Noon to Six or By Appointment

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

232-5328 w w w.willawir A Neighborhood Veterinary Clinic on the Portland Peninsula

We welcome Dr. Sarah Tassé to our practice!



“He didn’t know what to say. How “Let me get my wine”. Morgan halfcontinued sad was that. How did you know heartedly insisted. Another friend of hers would be he would approach us?” “No, that’s ok, you can get the next taking the stage at ten with his “Because, my love, I’m a magnet time. Loveth you.” They hugged, band. They had a monthly gig for such. And you, are a magnet kissed each other on the cheek. and tonight being the First Friday for everyone. Besides, I’ve been Morgan could sense that some of the month, his turn had come watching him. I just knew it was a of the guys were wishing they around again... Thinking back to matter of time before he’d stagger wouldn’t stop. Oh, ‘boys’ and their other First Fridays, the ‘First Friover not having much luck with fantasies... days’ of Catholic school and the anyone else he approached.” once-a-month masses they were Now Morgan was on her own, made to attend during class time. Annie finished her one Shipyard which didn’t exactly bother her. She didn’t think her nuns would to Morgan’s 2 glasses of wine. She liked the corner of the bar. approve of what she was think- Bouncing off the stool she called She was not only there to listen to ing this moment as she scanned a to the bartender and handed him Mitch, but to observe. glance at the front door. a twenty dollar bill. Annie had only agreed to meet her for one drink. Saturdays mornings came early for her; she had to retrieve her daughter, Elizabeth, lovingly called, ‘lisbeth’, from her exhusbands at 7 am. This sure did put a crimp on Friday night activities.

“Oh. My. God!” Annie laughed.

to be continued...

99 Congress St.

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

Kathleen Carr Bailey Kathleen Carr Bailey, author of the Morgan series, is a recently restored Hill resident. Brackett Street Veterinary Clinic 192 Bracket Street Monday — Friday, 8 am to 6pm / Saturday, 8 am to 1 pm



September 2009


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

on Non-Profits Portland Recreation

dangers, but I go all over the place. Apple picking. I’ve gone to memorabilia night about Riverton Trolley Park at Riverton Community Center, and we have a Mamma Mia luncheon. Some people are awful funny. They want to go to the places, but they don’t want to pay the money. We went to Burlington, Vermont, and Springfield, Mass., where there is a park like Deering Oaks, but twice the size, and there is a festival with every nationality and light displays. The electrical company provides the money. And we are going to Cape May in October. We went to Pennsylvania twice. We stay in hotels. The restaurant in New Hampshire shut down, but we go to Kittery for shopping and there are bargains at the mini-malls.”

55+atAdult Program the Cummings Center by Liz McMahon Pauline Strout has been participating in the Senior Program for 26 years; she is 91 years old. The program opened in 1983. Pauline (aka Polly) lives at the North School. When I ask her to tell me about the Senior Program, she says “I’m the clown.” She tells me that the other folks poke fun and play jokes on her because they know she likes it. Recently, Polly went to the hairdresser and got a new haircut, and when she next went to the group, they asked her if Ray had cut her hair. (Raymond Carter ran the program for 25 years, and has retired, but still comes back and helps out seasonally.) “No,” she laughs, “Ray didn’t cut my hair, I went to a hairdresser!” Polly tells me that there are 2 vans that take the groups of seniors all over the place. “People think it’s too expensive, but I don’t. We have to pay for traveling, and if it’s in Portland, we pay a small donation, like if we are going to Winslow Park.” The leader of the program, Katy Wagner, tells me that they do give discounts on travel and lodging. “How has the program changed since you started coming?” I ask Polly. “It’s changed remarkably”, she says. “Natalie Cotton used to help with the Senior Program. She had all of the Boston Terriers. When we first started, it was just lunches and Beano. We used to have to telephone first and sign up. Now we have our Annual Lobster Cookout. We have lunches at The Cummings Center. I don’t like to go out at night because of all the

Pauline, “Polly” Strout is a regular at 55+ Adult Program events. Photo Copyright©2009 Frank Kadi. All Rights Reserved.

I ask if they offer any classes, workshops, educational or hobbytype things at this program. Katy explains that they do have some things in that vein. “We try to offer a variety of things, like we have a Lawn Games and Walk day at the Eastern Prom that has bocci ball, and we take trips bowling. We work with people from other programs to bring in something like an arts & crafts day.” There is someone named Molly who makes baskets whom Polly recalls being in the program. Katy also mentions the informational luncheons they have. One time there was a pharmaceutical rep that volunteered a free instructional session on medication safety. There was another volunteer who came in and told the seniors about adopting cats, and how they could get free cat food from the Animal Refuge League. “Most senior citizens are looking for little dogs,” Polly chimes in. “There are people in wheelchairs in front of North School with ropes on their dogs. We call it Dogtown sometimes over there. I grew up in Bramhall Square and on Union Street.” Polly retired from a career at the A&P Warehouse and Bakery. “The manager, he’d be funny. If he liked you, he’d send you up to Biddeford. He sent me there and they all spoke French to me. When I came to the Cummings Center, I didn’t know anyone, but now I’m the one they all talk to. Someone at the Thanksgiving luncheon came up and sprayed whipped cream in my face! At our Halloween party at the Cummings Center, there are prizes for best costume. We have a good time,” Polly says. She then remembers something and her face lights up. “Oh, and this year we’re going to have a Prom! I’m going to find out at the Salvation Army if they have a pair of button shoes. My high school dress was white, and my Prom dress was yellow pique. We had nothing fancy back then….” Polly trails off and seems lost in thought. I ask her what other interests she has. “I’m a Red Sox and a Patriots fan,” she says; glad to talk to me about this subject. “One of the girls at the Cummings Center gave me a Red Sox shirt! I love the Celtics, too. I don’t like hockey - it’s too

dangerous.” Polly played sports when she was younger. “I was the captain of the field hockey team! I also played basketball, and we used to play softball down at the Deering Oaks. I used to go to the St. Peters Italian Church. When I lived in Bramhall Square I went to Sacred Hearts Church and St. Pius.” I ask Katy how people can get involved with the program. If seniors want to participate, they can contact the office and they get put on the mailing list. It’s free to join. Then they get sent calendars in the mail of all of the activities. “Many seniors we work with don’t have transportation,” Katy says. “There are other senior programs out there, but we will pick people up and drop them off. We have over 400 people on our mailing list, and we see about 100 people each month for different activities. We are always looking for volunteers to come in and offer their services. We also need volunteers to help at the lunches by serving food. We’d like to inform seniors of events and do workshops, recreation like classes or educational or yoga. If anyone would like to offer a that, we would love it.” Polly tells me that they have had volunteer medical professionals come to the program and take her blood pressure. “That’s how I’ve survived all these years”, she jokes, “by having my blood pressure taken.” Our photographer, Frank, asks Polly about some of the interesting characters she has met in her life. Polly mentions that George Flaherty is in the senior program with her, and they have known each other for many years. “We reminisce about the model cities, and we both knew Larry Connolly” she says. Polly was on the original committee for Portland’s Model Cities Program. Model Cities was an urban aid program of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. It began in 1966 and ended in 1974. The Model Cities initiative founded a new program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) intended to improve coordination of existing urban programs and provide additional funds for local plans. The program’s goals included planning for more sustainable development (rebuilding and also rehabilitation); forming neighborhood organizations, and delivery of more social services. “I was minding my own business, cashiering, and they came in and asked me to be on the board of the Model Cities. I was also in the Irish-American club. It’s all young kids now. I’m older than them. I was also a foster grandmother at the YWCA.” Polly had three children, one lives in Oregon and restores houses, and the other two live in Arizona. We talk about Polly’s Irish roots, and she tells me that she has been to Ireland a few times. “Dublin was like New York. I hated it! I went there and found my mothers people right away, but I couldn’t find my fathers people.” Katy brought up the fact that there is a lack of notification for seniors of what services they are eligible for, such as food stamps. Sometimes seniors don’t know they are eligible until they go into the hospital or an assisted living facility. For more information about participating or volunteering in the program, please contact: Katy E. Wagner, 55+ Program Leader, 874-8870; e-mail:


September 2009 13

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September 2009


EnterprisingLocals East End Business Focus

Sweet Chocolate Dreams of Dean’s Sweets By Tracey Menard Dean Bingham may not be Willy Wonka inventing the Everlasting Gobstopper, but he is just as passionate about sweets, and he is busily hand crafting exquisite chocolate truffles, right in his shop at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. Walking up Middle Street, you’ll find Dean’s Sweets nestled neatly between Rabelais and The Pepper Club. The chocolatier’s window has classic gold lettering and complimentary turquoise gauze and lighting. The truffles are centrally showcased and are surrounded by variety of packaging choices and rave reviews.

Kristin: We describe our truffles as spicy, boozy, or fruity. These are fairly standard in the world of chocolates, but it is our commitment to using local ingredients and the layering of flavors that makes our truffles special. For instance, we have a “Made in Maine” package that includes: maple, raspberry, blueberry, and, of course, Needhams.

MHNO: Needhams? Why is that specifically Maine? Kristin: Needhams is mentioned in a lot of old Maine cookbooks. Traditionally, it was chocolate, coconut, and mashed potatoes. But Chocolatier Dean Bingham. Photo by Alison Nason we replaced the mashed potatoes Dean and Kristin Bingham are a huswith Cold River vodka—a potatoband and wife team that have turned Dean’s hobby into a small, but growing business. Kristin’s based Maine-made vodka. It works quite well. expertise as a business coach has been beneficial as they MHNO: Interesting, ...what else? transitioned from hobby to home business to actual store- Kristin: Dean has his secret ingredients. He tries to layer front. Dean is an architect who surprisingly found his skills flavors so that when you bite into a chocolate you get a taste transferable to truffle making. Go figure! experience that is timed. If you are trying his spicy cayenne I had the privilege to meet up with Kristin and find out more about their store and one of my favorite subjects—chocolate!!

MHNO: When and how did you and Dean get started in the truffle business? Kristin: Well, about four and a half years ago Dean was in the kitchen attempting to make chocolates when he had an eye-popping, mouth-watering moment. Wow!! I remember us both realizing that here was a truffle that we could sell. That is when we began our home-based mail order catalog as a side business and gradually the word spread until our home kitchen just wasn’t big enough for all the orders. We started looking for a good location with good foot traffic and here we are. MHNO: I am intrigued by the connection between architecture and truffle making; can you tell me more about that? Kristin: Sure, when Dean is in the kitchen there is nothing haphazard about his approach to making chocolates. Dean’s expertise and training as an architect and his love for chocolate merge in the process. As an architect, he is meticulous in his methods. Dean’s artistic design sensibilities converge with his desire to make a chocolate that is structurally goodlooking, has a lovely texture, and is flavorably complex. The thing I think he really enjoys about the process (unlike architecture) is that it is immediately satisfying. MHNO: Could you tell our readers about the different flavors of your truffles?

truffle, you will first taste other (secret) milder spices before ending with a pleasant warmth upon the tongue. Spicy cayenne comes in two flavors- mild and super. We also have ginger truffles and coffee truffles. We use coffee from Coffee By Design. And for our boozy stout truffle we use a local brewed stout. Our stout truffle is a made without dairy and does not taste beery, but has a bittersweet dark chocolate flavor. It is popular with the vegan crowd. Oh, and we don’t have any chocolates with nuts for those people with allergies.

And, of course, the more press the better. Our hope is that as a storefront we will get more foot traffic in the summer, which is our slow season, and continue our success in the winter months with Christmas and Valentines Day. MHNO: It must have been hard to resist a guy so dedicated to chocolate. Kristin: Laughs. Yes, I couldn’t turn down Dean or his chocolates. Sometimes it is the small delights in life that make the biggest difference. Such is the case with Dean Bingham’s truffles. When I left the shop, Kristin gave me a lovely white box with a wine-colored ribbon containing four perfectly round chocolates. I couldn’t wait to sample them. It was as if each truffle held a secret. I didn’t share them with anyone. I sat on my ottoman by the window as the rain came down savoring each delightful flavor, trying to guess Dean’s ingredients. I felt a bit like Violet Beauregard from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, although not as ill-fated. Actually, Dean Bingham may have one-upped Willy Wonka’s gum that changed flavors because each different chocolate was in itself a journey of taste sensations. I savored hints of clove that segued into cardamon and cayenne, or coconut with a bite of vodka, or an unidentifiable warm spice ending in the bittersweet flavor of stout. All of these treasures blended deliciously upon a solid foundation of creamy-textured, soul- satisfying chocolate. If your summer has been like mine—long days of caring for children, dealing with the inevitable summer guests, or even sending out resumes for that elusive job—I suggest you treat yourself with a truffle or two, or three … at Dean’s Sweets. You can satisfy your chocolate cravings at Dean’s Sweets, located at 82 Middle Street, 899-3664,

MHNO: How do you like your new location, and when do you sell the most chocolates? Kristin: This is a great spot. Hugo’s has gotten a lot of press lately and you would be surprised at the intense foodie cookbook culture that surrounds Rabelais. We are hoping the cruise ships will bring in more foot traffic as well as the new condos and The Residence Inn.

food from friends, family & travels

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Local Events


The St Lawrence Theater Presents...

PicnicPortlandâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Music & Arts Festival Sat. Sept. 12, 11 am-6 pm Lincoln Park, Portland. FMI: The World Premiere of film

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Protecting the Nature of Maine: Fifty Years of the Natural Resources Council of Maine,â&#x20AC;? Wed., Sept. 16th , 7 p.m. $10 at One Longfellow Square in Portland. FMI: Leisa Dennett at 4300111 or

Acorn Productions­â&#x20AC;&#x201D;ACTING CLASSES Throughout Sept - see sched. at FREE ACTING WORKSHOPS Adults - Sept. 9 and 15 (7 to 9 p.m.) Kids - Sept. 9, 10 and 14 (7 to 9 p.m.)

Twilight Dinners at the Farm

Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth, on alternate Thur.s throughout the growing season Three rustic courses prepared by some of Maineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great culinary talents and served in the orchard at Turkey Hill Farm. $25/byob. FMI. & tickets see, or Sponsored by Cultivating Community.

True Tales Tours! Walking Tours with Harlan Baker Every Thurs., Fri. & Sat., 3:45 pm Leaving from Monument Square/ No Reservations Required. Actor, Story-teller and Historian Harlan Baker leads the toursâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;approx. 2 hours long/rain or shine. $12 for Adults, $10 for Students/Seniors, and $5 Kids. Free map included. FMI, 712-0228 or

Songwriters by the Seaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Peaks Island Sept. 19, 7:30-10 pm, $10 FMI: email or call 766 4421. At the Fifth Maine (

Trojan Woman, Theatrical Performance coming from Athens, Greece Sept. 20, 2009 at 7pm. $15/$5 student Portland High School auditorium, FMI:

$8 Yoga Classes Tuesdays, 5:45 - 7 pm Yoga for all levels with Jen Micoleau of Well-Being Basics. Tuesdays, East End Community School. Drop in!

Hour Exchange Portland (HEP) First Friday Art Walk Aug. 7, 5-8pm, Free

At the TIME Gallery at CTN, 516 Congress Street. Music. Call 874-9868 or visit, or

St. Lawrence Arts Center Sept. 2 Secret Lives of Comedians 7:30 pm $10 Secret Lives is a monthly show produced by Brian Brinegar, Cloud Morris, and Bo McMichael. Expect top-notch stand-up comics, special guests, and surprises. Sept. 2 will feature Eric Hurst. Sept. 3 & 4 â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Twisted Taste of Maineâ&#x20AC;? 7:30 pm $10 Adults; $8 Senior/Student. Filled with the DownEast humor traditions of old, along with innovative twists of tall tales and fantasy, Willey Phinedit, unregistered guide and tall taleoligist leads you on a journey using folk and true tales as dry as your morning toast and as fresh as your next cup of coffee! Accompanying Willey on this adventure will be Michael Parent and his moosecalling. Join us in your wonderful State of Mind for a Twisted Taste of Maine! Sept. 4 First Friday Artwalk 5-7 pm, Munjoy Hill artist Virginia Collins will be showing her work. Sept. 5 Ian Harvie in Parts Sold Separately, 8 pm $15. Praised by Frontiers Magazine as â&#x20AC;&#x153;quite possibly the most unique standup comic in the country,â&#x20AC;? Ian Harvie has ease about his gender-bending presence that makes his humor both groundbreaking and easily relatable. In his brand new one-man show, Parts Sold Separately, Ian will challenge everything you thought you knew about sex and gender in a hilarious romp through his experiences as a man who happened to be born a girl. Sept. 17 - Oct.11 Good Theater presents: The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Bean. A Maine premiere of this recent Tony Award nominee for Outstanding New Play! FMI: contact Good Theater at 885-5883 Sept. 19 MUNJFEST! Come and hear The St. Lawrence Arts Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s community chorus, The Blue Lobster Troupe, perform at Munjfest! Sept. 26 The Saturday Show with Kim and Reggie 11am $8 Adults; $5 Kids. New York duo Kim and Reggie Harris have performed original contemporary folk music and traditional African-American Spiritual and Freedom Songs for almost 30 years. Kim and Reggie know how to reach out and grab an audience by the heart as they sing of life, love, the quest for freedom and care for the environment, with musical versatility and beautiful vocal harmonies. Sept. 29 & 30 Good Theater presents The Diva & Me. Brian P. Allen tells theater stories, dishes the dirt and warbles a song or two. Two nights only! 885-5883 or

September 2009 15

Recycle AND help fund the MHNO Heat Assistance Program:

Donate your recyclables thru CLYNK! at Hannafords Funds raised support MHNOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fuel Assistance â&#x20AC;&#x153;Warm Hearts, Warm Neighborsâ&#x20AC;? program. Call Louise Little at 780-0860 to pick up your green bags. Keep those cans & bottles coming!

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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

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Sep 2009 - Munjoy Hill Observer  

The Portland High School Class of 1969 Finds Connection With Its Past See page 9, ClaSS of 1969 Public Evaluation Meeting for franklin StrEE...