Weathering Shame by Kevin Mannix and Linda Rota

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Kevin Mannix was a very popular, out-going and personable weather man for more than 25 years on Channel 6 in Portland. So it was a very big surprise when he stepped up to tell his story of shame and depression. He first told the story in a TV 6 series which won wide acclaim, along with much praise to Kevin for sharing his story.

Kevin and his wife Linda Rota, both of whom suffered from shame, tell their astonishing stories in a book, Weathering Shame. U.S. Senator Angus King expressed my view when he wrote, on the back cover, “I commend both Linda and Kevin for their willingness to share their very intimate stories. With their combined skills and experiences they make a powerful team in the effort to help others overcome the painful experiences that accompany mental illness and substance abuse within the family. I am grateful that they decided to strengthen the Maine Community by sharing their journey with us.”

Me too Angus. Me too.

Timber Harvesting in Wildlife Management Area Generates Controversy

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 “We want to create the best wildlife habitat we can.” Those words, from Keel Kemper, a wildlife biologist with Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, summed up his agency’s goals for the Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hallowell, and helped critics understand a proposed timber harvesting plan that has generated quite a bit of concern and controversy.

The Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area is 915 acres in size and features a 107 acre pond as well as 808 acres of upland habitat with is predominantly mixed wood forest. This WMA is set to undergo its first timber harvesting project in more than a decade, covering about 70 percent of the area, prompting questions from folks who enjoy this area about the size and scope of the initiative.

Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area Timber Harvesting Plan

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Crappie messages issued on invasive fish species

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                 The mixed messages about invasive fish species could not have been more evident than these summer of 2012 headlines from Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

                “A Popular Newcomer: Black Crappie,” trumpeted one headline in DIF&W’s weekly newsletter. “MDIFW Encouraging the Taking of Largemouth Bass,” headlined an agency press release.

                The latter effort came after the discovery of illegally introduced largemouth bass in the Grand Falls Flowage. The “popular crappie” is also an illegally introduced species now found in more than 300 Maine waters.

A mighty fine restaurant in Waterville

City or Town: 
Waterville
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                 The only bad thing about writing a weekly travel column is that we seldom get to enjoy a return visit to our favorite places. It’s been 3 years since we last wrote about 18 Below in Waterville, but thankfully, it is just as good as we remembered.

                Owner/Chef Travis Lajoy’s Mom, Donna, the very personable greeter, is still up front, and Steve Comfort is still the primary server. He’s an amazing guy, who even remembered what we’d eaten here three years ago! We started this dining adventure with a bottle of a Spanish Tempranillo ($22).

Kittery Ghost by Barbara Winslow

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Barbara Winslow’s new book, Kittery Ghost, blends history with a fascinating tale involving a young boy, his blended family, the ghost of a Civil War officer, hidden treasures – well, you get the idea. This is a wonderful tale, and I particularly appreciated the way Barbara utilized the very real story of Brigadier General Mark Wentworth, a colonel of the 27th Maine and the 32nd Maine during the Civil War, to fashion this novel that will entertain your kids – and you too!

Barbara, who lives in Norridgewock, has written three children’s books after 36 years of teaching school in South Dakota, Alaska, and Maine. She reports that her three children listened patiently to her stories as they were growing up, and she wrote these books to pass on those stories to her grandchildren.

I can only thank her for sharing this story with me and my grandchildren. It’s a keeper!

Let’s do lunch – and enjoy a great musical!

City or Town: 
Winthrop
Kennebunkport
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 George

                From Federal Jack’s in Kennebunk to Cafe@130 Main in Winthrop, we’ve enjoyed some great lunches lately. And we were also entertained by a terrific musical during our first visit of the summer to the Maine Summer Music Theater in Brunswick.

                Federal Jack’s is the birthplace of my favorite Shipyard beers, and its second-story restaurant offers great views of the Kennebunk River. Picture this: we’re sitting outside on the deck in the sunshine, the river flowing by below us, a cold beer in front of us, awaiting a great lunch. Heavenly!

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