Mainers on the Titanic offers compelling and astonishing stories

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Until I read Mainers on the Titanic, I had no idea of the scope of that tragedy or how it impacted our state. Mac Smith of Stockton Springs brings it home, in a very compelling way. I was captivated – and astonished.

Published this year by Down East Books, this is no dull history. Mac gives us compelling personal stories of the many Titanic passengers from Maine and their families back home. He’s a great story teller. And oh my, what stories.

From the wealthy summer folks in Bar Harbor, to the far corners of our state, the maiden voyage of the Titanic attracted lots of Mainers and relatives of Mainers. Nearly all the men died, as well as some women and children. Of the 2224 passengers and crew, 1500 perished.

Go way Downeast for the best of Maine and Canada

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 If you can only visit one place in Maine this summer, make it Lubec and Campobello


A visit to Lubec and Campobello is special any time, but visiting just before school closed for the summer was a godsend for me. I had so many things to do before I closed my classroom for the year, and my gardens really needed attention before they went crazy. Sometimes things that seem insurmountable aren’t all that bad when you are refreshed. And Lubec always refreshes me.

Normally I am not ambitious on Friday night, but I was ready for a four hour drive after school just taking in the beautiful sights of this drive. A stop for a great meal in Ellsworth at Mainely Meats Barbeque broke up the trip nicely.

Sportsmen’s Survey May Stump Gubernatorial Candidates

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Maine’s three candidates for governor recently received their 2014 Questionnaire from the Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine. SAM is the only statewide sportsman’s group that surveys the views of candidates for major offices and the legislature, issues grades, and makes endorsements. Traditionally, the group has been nonpartisan and very successful.

In the 2014 Questionnaire, the candidates for governor are given brief explanations of many of the issues, and then asked a question. In the past, candidates have often tripped on firearms questions that, if answered incorrectly, make it unlikely those candidates will get good grades or an endorsement. The most difficult question for candidates – especially at the legislative level – has been the question asking if they support trapping. Many know nothing about trapping and have a poor or no opinion about it.

Some of the more interesting – and possibly challenging questions – on this year’s survey are these.

History meets hospitality at Pilgrim's Inn in Deer Isle

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Deer Isle
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The Pilgrim’s Inn is a place where history meets hospitality to give guests an unforgettable experience of timeless island elegance. And there’s so much to do in Deer Isle, Blue Hill, and Stonington that you could spend a lot of time here. At least, that’s our new plan!

Two years ago our friends Rusty and Sue Atwood asked us to join them for the annual Lupine Festival in Deer Isle and stay at the Pilgrim’s Inn. We’re regretting that it took two years before we were able to work the Inn into our schedule. This is a place you will return to year after year, once you’ve been here.

Wildfire targets Maine’s deer and moose management

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The sharp decrease in any-deer and moose permits this year should alarm you, and certainly raise questions about the state’s research and management of these key game species.

These are the hot topics on the new episode of TV talk show Wildfire that I host with Harry Vanderweide. The show is produced and sponsored by Maine Audubon.

We invited staff members of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to be our guest on this show, but they reported that it was a very busy time of year for them and they were unable to do it.

So we tackled the issues without a guest. And you can count on us to continue to raise the important questions about moose and deer management in Maine. Our future as hunters – and the hunting industry – demand it!

Maine State Trooper's book filled with humor and intrigue

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Maine State Troopers lead interesting lives filled with humor, intrigue, sadness, and, yes, foolishness. The foolish part comes from the people they encounter.

Retired trooper Mark Nickerson has the pedigree to write a book about his trooper career, and he sure enough has the stories. His Dad, Millard Nickerson, had a long and distinguished career in the State Police. Mark dedicated the book to his Dad, whose life he “aspired to have.”

Mark also has a one-man cheering squad, retired game warden and now-very-successful author John Ford – who encouraged (ok, badgered) Mark into writing a column called “Real Life Stories” in local newspapers. And those stories are what you get in his new book, Blue Lights in the Night, published by North Country Press.

Ice angler gets big surprise when he catches an otter

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                Bruce Hodgdon of Dennysville is an avid and experienced hunter, trapper, and angler. He’s my cousin Sandra’s son, and this past winter he wrote my Dad with the following fascinating story. Here it is, in Bruce’s own words.

                “I was ice fishing on Long Lake in St. Agathe, no action all morning, bitter cold, and was cooking my lunch on the fire when a flag went up. I decided to let it stay up because I was cold and hungry and didn’t want my cheeseburger to go cold.

                “After finishing the burger I went to tend the flag. I was shocked to find all the line out, about 175 to 200 feet. The tip-up bait had been set about 3 feet under the ice. I was excited!

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