George Smith's blog

No News Is Bad News by Maureen Milliken

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                 They thought he’d been shot by a deer hunter, and his body was butchered just like you’d cut up a deer in the woods, but that grisly discovery was only the beginning in a complex web of intrigue that will keep you reading well into the night.

                Maureen Milliken, the editor of the Morning Sentinel newspaper, has created a compelling read in her new novel, No News Is Bad News. Like her first novel, Maureen’s central character is Bernie O’Dea, the editor of a weekly newspaper. She’s surrounded by a lively cast of characters, from a wife beater to a troubled police chief. But when her newly-unemployed brother shows up, the plot gets a lot more complicated.

You’re the guest on the new edition of Wildfire!

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 Your opinions are the subject of the new edition of Wildfire, the TV talk show that I host with James Cote. While James and I discussed a lot of issues, including problems and opportunities at DIF&W’s fish hatcheries, and what the legislature achieved and didn’t achieve, we also spent a good deal of the time going through the results of our Sportsmen Say Survey questions.

And at the end of the show, we posed a new question for you to answer: Would you support a $3 million bond issue to fix problems and improve the state’s Casco and Grand Lake Stream hatcheries? You can access the question in the Sportsmen Say Survey section of this website. 

Each edition of Wildlife is aired on Time Warner cable station 9 on Tuesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 9:30 am. Each edition airs for two weeks. You can also access the show, including previous shows, online at

Here’s some background information on the hatchery issue.

Remembering summer

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                Our summer began early, in April, with a visit to southeast Arizona and Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas, where temperatures were in the 90s.  Soon after returning home, we made our annual birding pilgrimage to Monhegan.

                Since beginning this travel column 5 ½ years ago, Linda and I have fallen in love with Maine’s islands. Highlights of our summer this year were visits to Peaks Island, Swan’s Island, and Frenchboro on Long Island for their lobster festival.

                Lubec is always a summer destination and our June visit to stay at West Quoddy Station, where the old coast guard station has been renovated into a great place to stay, followed by a few days at Island Chalet on Campobello, was wonderful.

You'll love the Pig and Poet in this historic inn

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                The Whitehall is one of the oldest inns in Camden located on High Street within walking distance of the downtown area. Two years ago it was refurbished by Lark Hotels. They kept all the beautiful architectural features of the building and added bright bold colors and modern furniture to update the style of this inn.

                I loved the main lobby, a sprawling open space with many sitting areas. The bright artwork and design of this room is very well done. I enjoyed the variety of seating as each piece was extremely different in its design. While enjoying my early morning coffee I sat in several of the chairs and was pleased to find an ultra-modern one that was extremely comfortable.

Above the Glebe by Pamela Gilpin Stowe

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                 I didn’t get much done on Labor Day, and it’s Pamela Gilpin Stowe’s fault. I started reading her historical novel, Above the Glebe, on Saturday, but was too busy on Sunday to continue, even though I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

                So Labor Day afternoon, with a Maine microbrew, I sat outside in the shade, enjoying the beautiful day, and read for about 3 hours, finishing the book. And what a finish it was.

The Pier at the end of the World by Paul Erickson

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 It’s no surprise that The Pier at the end of the World by Paul Erickson was cited as an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the Children’s Book Council of the National Science Teachers Association. If we’d had this book when I was in school, I might have liked science more!

With stunning photos by Andrew Martinez, this book gives us a fascinating look at the ocean creatures who live under an old rotting pier. One of several outstanding books in Tilbury House’s Nature Book series, I can’t wait to share it with my grandsons, who live near the coast.

As Tilbury notes, each of these wonderful books “aims for the highest standards of scientific accuracy and storytelling magic.” You get both in The Pier.

Swan's Island is a very friendly place

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Swans Island
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                Swan’s Island is one of the friendliest places we’ve ever visited. We were welcomed heartily when we visited two years ago, even getting invited to a birthday party. This visit we attended a church supper and struck up a conservation with several people.

                Before we left, the Wachtels invited us over to see their house and visit with them on the other side of the island, and Eric Chetwynd offered to show us all the work they’ve done to restore the island’s lighthouse.

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