An amazing room, awesome dinner, and Maine’s best brunch

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                Five minutes after we entered the Thomas Moser room at the Harraseeket Inn, I told Linda I was ready to write this column. While a Saturday night dinner and Sunday brunch were ahead, I could easily have written the entire column about our room that featured 14 stunningly beautiful pieces of furniture from Maine’s own Thomas Moser.

                And every piece was available for purchase! Of course, we would have had to sell our house to afford it all, and then where would we have put it? But it sure was nice to luxuriate in this beautiful room for a weekend.

Maine Warden Service strangling fisheries and wildlife management.

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It’s a roadmap to the agency’s priorities and programs. And some of the things along that road will surprise you.

I just received a financial report on the revenues and expenditures of Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Department for Fiscal Year 2014, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

The agency received $35,860,125 from 55 revenue sources and spent $37,360,309 in its 7 divisions. While it’s a bit of a mystery as to how they came to spend more than they raised, Commissioner Chandler Woodcock did disclose recently that the agency currently has a $3 million surplus.

If you don’t read any more of this report, please consider this:

Kid's book delivers important environmental message

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Gramma Golden is as interesting as her children’s book, It’s a Great Day for Pulling Weeds. A nurse and health care educator, Janet Golden, aka Gramma Golden, in her retirement, is focused on teaching young people to be good environmental stewards.

She writes a monthly newspaper column and, with her husband, maintains gardens and property as both an Audubon Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary and National Wildlife Federation certified habitats.  This is her first book, focused on how gardening practices can help or harm birds and butterflies.

Homeless Deer may be doomed in Maine's north woods

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“We’re not going to do very well as long as deer are homeless.”

Representative Bob Duchesne’s comment sums up the problem nicely. Without habitat – especially wintering yards – deer are doomed. Bob’s radio show with Erin Simons-Legaard, a research professor at the University of Maine’s Forestry School, was – well, there’s no other way to describe it – discouraging and depressing.

But you must listen to it. And you can do that here:

In about a month, the report Erin talks about on the show will be published. It’s an impressive look at wildlife habitat in Maine’s forests from 1975 to 2007. That includes the time period when the Forest Practices Act was enacted to govern forest harvesting practices (including limits on clearcuts), and the spruce budworm epidemic.

The devil is in the details of Maine’s 2015 moose management plan

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Permits to hunt moose in Maine will be reduced this year, but not nearly as sharply as they were in 2014 when we lost about 1000 permits.

However, when you get into the details of the permit proposal from the Wildlife Division professionals at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, you will find that the only reason the total number of permits will be reduced is a significant cut in WMD 2.

In that district, the legislature directed DIF&W in 2010 to decrease the moose population to reduce motor vehicle collisions with this beast of the woods. And Judy Camuso, DIF&W’s very capable Wildlife Division Director, told me that the population has been reduced in WMD 2, the goal has been met, and consequently the recommendation for 2015 is to reduce permits in that district by 300.

Dinner and a Show

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At Amici’s Cucina we were transported to Tuscany. But it was only a short walk to the Waterville Opera House for another great performance.


                Mary and Angelo Carpinito have created a very inviting space for dining at their restaurant, Amici’s Cucina, on Main Street in Waterville. While there were people in the bar – a space that also offers tables for dining - we had the interior dining room almost to ourselves when we arrived at 5 pm for an early dinner before a show at the Waterville Opera House.

A lobstering tale of murder, mayhem, love and loyalty

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This is lobstering like you’ve never known or experienced it. And this is what I can tell you about Jon Keller’s awesome novel, Of Sea and Cloud, a tale of murder, mayhem, and mystery, along with love and loyalty amongst families of Maine lobstermen and women.

I abandoned a lengthy to-do list after lunch yesterday, started a fire in the wood stove, and spent the afternoon reading the second half of Keller’s novel, published in 2014 by Tyrus Books. I’d read the first half on Monday and Tuesday nights, but I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened in this compelling story. Linda insisted I set it aside long enough to eat dinner. I finished it about 8 pm.

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