Life in Prison - Eight Hours at a Time

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                Robert Reilly was in prison in Pennsylvania and Maine for seven years. By choice. He was a prison guard. And his story, told in Life In Prison – Eight Hours at a Time, published recently by Tilbury House in Thomaston, is shocking, scary, discouraging, and disturbing.        

                This book is must-reading for each of you, because the only way this horrific situation will be corrected is if we demand it. And that won’t happen unless and until you are aware of it. Special thanks to Tilbury House for publishing this important book.

Maine must expand landowner relations programs – and it’s up to you to git-er-done!

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                Representative Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester) is sponsoring legislation that should be of interest to private landowners and everyone who recreates on private land – and I’m sure that includes you.  An Act to Expand the Landowner Relations Program at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will substantially expand the landowner relations program now housed in the Maine Warden Service.

                You will need to be active in this debate, including contacting your own legislators, if this bill is to be enacted.

Noble House Inn is historic, elegant, and welcoming

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                I turned my comfortable wicker chair around to enjoy the snow-covered maple tree right outside our second story window and the tall pine forest beyond, along with my morning coffee.

                I do this at home, turning a rocking chair around to look out our large kitchen window while enjoying my coffee and Kennebec Journal every morning. But at the Inn, I was missing the chickadees that crowd the bird feeder right outside our kitchen window – until I looked at my coffee cup. It featured a beautiful painting of a chickadee!

Got a favorite Maine Sporting Camp? Tell me about it!

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                Down East Books has asked me to write a book about Maine sporting camps, to be published early next year. Our state once boasted more than 300 sporting camps, but now has less than 100, and many of those are not the traditional in-the-woods sporting camps, but new camps on lakes and on the coast.

                Linda and I own a camp at Camp Phoenix on Sourdnahunk Lake north of Millinocket. It was a sporting camp for 100 years. About 20 years ago it was turned into a condominium, where we own the camps individually and the property in common. It’s a magical place, with an abundant supply of wild trout, and on the edge of Baxter Park. Paradise.

Hear the ethics debate that should have happened during the bear referendum – but didn’t

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Thanks to Bob Duchesne and Matt Dunlap, you can now hear the discussion of hunting ethics that, in Bob’s words, “should have happened during the bear referendum – but didn’t.”

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap was the guest on Bob’s Saturday morning radio show recently, specifically to discuss hunting ethics. Matt is a former legislator who chaired the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, and is also an avid hunter and angler who is often joined in the field by his daughter Emily.

Bob was well known as a Bangor region radio host. When he retired from that job he got elected to the legislature. After four terms there, he got termed out and started his Saturday radio show. He is also the state’s leading birding guide and the author of The Maine Birding Trail, a terrific guide book that Linda and I use in our travels throughout the state. We often leave a copy as a gift at Inns where we’ve stayed.

Maine’s devastating and destructive wild fires of 1947.

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If it wasn’t true, Wildfire Loose – The Week Maine Burned would make a good science fiction tale. I knew that Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Island burned badly in 1947, but I did not know the devastating fires spread throughout the state, terrorizing Mainers, exhausting fire fighters, wiping out entire communities.

                Glad I wasn’t born until 1948!

                A severe drought set the stage for this tragedy, which was ignited, in many places, by carelessly tossed cigarettes. Some of the fires were deliberately set. But it only took a single spark to set the ground ablaze.

Legislature’s Fish and Wildlife Committee includes former DIF&W Commissioner Danny Martin

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                This year the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has a lot of new members, although some of them are not new to the legislature. Seven of this committee’s members from the last session will not be back.

                 Interestingly, six were re-elected but moved on to other committees or leadership positions. Representative Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester), a hard-working, smart, and very capable legislator, was recognized for her leadership capabilities and chosen to be the Assistant Republican Leader in the House, where she is sure to continue her interest in outdoor and landowner issues. Representative Espling is sponsoring my proposed landowner relations bill that would significantly expand DIF&W’s landowner relations program.

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