Hallelujah, the TV Show Wildfire is back on the air!

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 Wildfire explored the most interesting, provocative, and pressing natural resource and outdoor issues and stirred things up, just one of the many reasons I’ve missed this TV talk show since it went off the air three years ago. When Harry Vanderweide and his business partner Andy Collar asked me to cohost the show in 2002, it didn’t take long to say yes.

                State Representative Paul Jacques was my cohost for year one, and Harry took on that role the next year. We started out on commercial television but that got to be very expensive, so we switched to Time Warner cable, putting us in more than 300,000 Maine homes and helping build a statewide audience.

Don Kleiner gets caught in the Wildfire!

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 Don Kleiner got caught in the Wildfire!

We covered a lot of topics on the new episode of Wildfire, which begins airing May 3 on Time Warner cable station 9 and at www.vstv.me. Each show airs for two weeks on Time Warner on Tuesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Sunday’s at 9:30 am.

My cohost James Cote and I enjoyed a vigorous conversation with Don Kleiner, executive director of the Maine Professional Guides Association. Don was once the very capable director of the Information and Education Division at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He spends a lot of time now representing the MPGA from the legislature to the Steering Committees working with DIF&W to create new big game and fisheries management plans. And oh yea, he’s a hunting and fishing guide too!

This Maine six-year-old loves rabbit hunting!

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 When Tim Winslow sent me photos of his six-year-old daughter Laurelai with her gun and rabbit, I was entranced. So I asked Tim to write a story about their rabbit hunting experiences. And much to my delight, he asked Laurelai to write the story. And here it is!

Laurelai’s Rabbit Hunt

Hi, my name is Laurelai Winslow and I’m six.  We were sitting at the kitchen table when my Dad said, “What do you want to do tomorrow?”  And I said we would go bunny hunting tomorrow! 

 So the next day, we got my gun and we got dressed.  We got out of our PJs and got our masks.  Then we got in the truck and got to the place where we hunt the rabbits and we walked and walked and walked. 

An Amazing Arizona Adventure

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Two weeks roaming southeast Arizona, focusing on the wonderful birds there and enjoying the stunning scenery as well as the nice weather, put us in a very good post-winter mood. Our May 1 Travelin’ Maine(rs) column, published May 1 in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, tells you about the first week and a half in Arizona. The column is available on the newspapers’ website.

In this column, I’ll tell you more about that part of our trip as well as what we did at the end of the second week in Arizona, before moving on to Terlingua and Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. Our Travelin’ Maine(rs) column on May 15 will feature the Terlingua trip along with some travel tips.

Slaughter in Saddlebrooke

Let's do lunch - in Portland and Mount Vernon

City or Town: 
Mount Vernon
Portland
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 George

                Whenever someone wants to meet with me in the Portland area, I insist on getting together in my “Portland office,” a corner booth by the window at Hot Suppa on the west end of Congress Street. So of course, when Linda and I decided to start this Let’s Do Lunch series, Hot Suppa was at the top of our list for a visit.

                The small cozy dining area is inviting, with a small bar, booths along one wall, and three larger tables along the picture windows looking out on the street. A huge chalk board on the back wall lists the day’s specials and brews – always with a good choice of Maine micro-brews.

Loved this Portland restaurant!

City or Town: 
Portland
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 Linda

                Union Restaurant opened in the spring of 2015. Located in the Press Hotel, it has a contemporary, edgy atmosphere. Slatted ceilings and nice lighting give it an open feeling. The restaurant is in a large space and they stagger reservations here so that service runs smoothly.

                You will notice the large open kitchen as soon as you enter. Several chefs work seamlessly to produce great dishes. There are no secrets in this kitchen - it's being produced right in front of the diners. Local and seasonal food is at the forefront here. They had recently changed over to a new spring menu when we visited. I was impressed at the level of creativity in the dishes presented.

Elegant Press Hotel holds onto its printing past

City or Town: 
Portland
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 George

                Walking into Portland’s Press Hotel for the first time was an awesome experience. I’d read a lot about the conversion of the Guy Gannett Building, which housed the Portland Press Herald, into a beautiful and luxurious downtown hotel, but seeing it was a special treat. They have managed to create a gorgeous and modern hotel, with tons of amenities, while keeping its history very much alive, starting with a wall of old typewriters just to the right of check-in desk.

                I loved the large and beautiful writing desk in our room, where I sat to write this column, and the famous sayings posted everywhere, including this one, on the desk, from Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” The staff must read this one every day, because they are super friendly and helpful.

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