Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Camden Hills Goes Global

By: Melanie Brooks

Yesterday I spent the day in Camden with MPBN radio news producer Anne Ravana. She was heading down to Camden Hills High School to conduct some interviews for a story she's working on for tonight's broadcast and I went along to conduct some interviews of my own.

Camden Hills is looking to become a Visa issuing school so that they can start accepting foreign tuition students. Principal Nick Ithomitis has been thinking about this idea for about two years. With ever tightening budgets and a projected decrease in student enrollment over the next few years, Ithomitis believes now is the time to move forward.

"In these tough economic times, having tuition kids is financially appealing," Ithomitis says. Three students from abroad have already inquired about enrolling at Camden Hills, but without Visa issuing status, these students have to find programs like the American Field Service (AFS) to travel through. These programs last up to a year at the most -- not enough time to earn a high school diploma.

New England is a hotbed for foreign students looking to get an American high school education because it's safe and close to New England colleges and universities, Ithomitis says. He is also looking forward to exposing the school and community to cultural experiences through these foreign students. His plan is to start small -- a few students living with host families and hopes to eventually grow to have on campus dormitories.

With a school that offers such classes as visual and media technology, intro to photography, theater, Latin, and honors chemistry, Camden Hills already seems more like a private high school than public. Keeping these programs is extremely important to Ithomitis says.

"If something doesn't budge soon, like a lot of schools in Maine, we're going to be in dire straits," he says. Ithomitis isn't sure what they would charge for tuition for foreign students, but it would be somewhere between $25,000 and $35,000. Ithomitis says there is already room in the classrooms for more students without creating more space or hiring many new people. Offsetting the declining enrollment with foreign students also means that Ithomitis won't have to lay off any teachers in the next two years.

Camden Hills will start the application process this summer in hopes of accepting tuition students in the fall of 2010. For more on this topic keep your eyes out for the September Education issue of Bangor Metro or listen to Anne Ravana's story tonight at 5:30.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

By: Melanie Brooks

Saturday was as perfect a day for a canoe race as you can get in mid-April. Mike Alden, a Brewer photographer and owner of www.kenduskeagstreamcanoerace.com, was on hand to take some amazing shots! The galleries are up on his site and participants can sign up on his "e-list" to be notified when the official race results are released.

This pirate boat was one of Mike Alden's favorite. "He confused a lot of the spectators. Many didn't realize he was supposed to be a pirate and they shouted 'the British are coming!' -- which seemed to confuse the pirate," Mike says.

Check out the slide show of some of his photos below:

The water on Saturday was "slow and low," according to Mike, so there weren't as many whitewater wipeouts as in years past. Lucky racers. I grabbed a picnic and headed down to Valley Ave. with my sister and my niece to catch the action. The path was packed with voyeurs as was the rocky waterfront. It seemed everyone and their dog was out -- we even ran into a friendly moose!

Mike provided MaineBuzz with a few of his best wipe-out shots. Be sure to vote on your favorite below...

What is Art?

By: Leslie Bowman

“It’s about experience,” UM student Abigail Stiers is quoted in the BDN about the MFA exhibit this past weekend at the Cyrus pavilion. Art lives in the making and in the experiencing. So everyone can take part. If you have an eye for it (something that can be developed) you will find art everywhere. These photos are from the Saturday exhibit on the UM campus and a walk in Bangor Sunday morning.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Career Day At Hermon High

By: Leslie Bowman

I attended Hermon High School Career Day today. I was representing Bangor Metro Magazine and in order to demonstrate what I do, I took photographs. I also spoke a bit about my work at the magazine. There were representatives from many of Maine's colleges and universities as well as a number of career professionals. Hermon High is a beautiful building and the students were bright and friendly. The program's goal was to introduce students to various opportunities and encourage ambitious goals with high expectations.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party

By: Melanie Brooks

As my friend was driving me back to Bangor Metro's global headquarters on Cumberland Street from a successful Lunch MOB at the Antiques Marketplace, we drove right through the Maine Tea Party protest going on across from the Federal Building on Harlow Street. Leslie Bowman, our intrepid photographer, and Scott K Fish, one of our "Soapbox Boys" were there to record the action.

Tax Day Tea Parties were held nationwide including in Bangor, Augusta, and Portland. The Tea Parties were out in full force to specifically protest the stimulus bill and pork filled budget.

The Maine Tax Day Tea Party in Bangor hosts it's own Facebook page with the slogan, "Eliminate the pork, cut the taxes." The large group met outside of the Federal Building and shook their fists from 1-3 pm. Over 100 people came out with homemade signs in Bangor. Over 500 groups participated in the event across the country.

This Weekend: Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

It's that time of year again! The 43rd Annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race will be run on Saturday. If you've noticed how fast the water has been flowing down any of the local rivers this spring you aren't going to want to miss this year's race.

Photo by Mike Alden. To see more click here.

So far about 400 people and over 200 canoes have registered for the race. "We'll probably get a couple hundred more registrants in the next few days," says Debbie Gendreau from the Bangor Parks and Rec Department. Pre-registration costs $18 per person. On race day the registration runs $35 per person.

For all you wimps out there (me included) there are plenty of places to watch the bold and the brave. The first boat leaves the town of Kenduskeag at 8:30 am and the last boat will cross the finish line in Bangor around 3:30 in the afternoon. The weather looks like it's going to be beautiful on Saturday so grab a picnic and head out to watch the race.

Brewer photographer, Mike Alden, has a comprehensive site about the race with history, facts, maps, race results, and tons of great photos. Check it out at www.kenduskeagstreamcanoerace.com.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Introducing: Annaliese Jakimides

You've probably seen her around Bangor. She's the lady with an almost-shaved head who wears funky glasses and four different pairs of earrings at once. Silver bangles stack up her forearm and her cropped pants frequently show off a pair of wildly colored socks. This is Annaliese.

Each month Annaliese uses her red pen to mark up the entire Bangor Metro magazine not once, but twice. She writes our "Works in Progress" feature on a Maine artist and a personal essay for "Last Word".

But Annaliese's talents go beyond Bangor Metro. A poet, essayist, and short fiction writer, her stories have been shared on National Public Radio and published in This I Believe II and About Face.

You can listen to Annaliese's essay titled "Learning to Find the Silver Lining" on NPR. If you listen to newer "This I Believe" essays on NPR, Annaliese's voice is featured in the intro. She's also the 2009 recipient of the Dibner Fellowship in Poetry.Not too shabby!

Her newest work can be found in the journals Consequence and Off the Coast. Check her out in the May issue where she interviews artist Alan Magee.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This film will change your life...

The Maine premiere of The Way We Get By was shown last night at the Collins Center forthe Arts at UMaine. It was just the beginning of the films theatrical run through Maine before it heads off to New York and Los Angeles.

At the center of the festivities was Old Town native and New England School of Communications alum, Aron Gaudet -- director and editor; Gita Pullapilly -- producer and interviewer; and Winslow native and UMaine alum, Dan Ferrigan -- co-director of photography.

All three major cast members were also in attendance. Joan Gaudet (Aron Gaudet's mom), Bill Knight, and Jerry Mundy. These three senior citizens made the audience of fellow troop greeters, veterans, Maine National Guardsmen, friends, and family members laugh and cry throughout the 80 minute show.

Amy and Troy Johnston from Old Town (pictured above) are two of Joan Gaudet's grandchildren. They both appear in the film and have been to deployed to the Middle East during the Iraq war.

"It makes me cry every time I see it," said Joan Gaudet, pictured above with Gita Pullapilly.

For the past four years the small crew has been working on this film. It wouldn't have come to fruition without the help of Bangor Savings Bank, MPBN, and executive director Warren Cook, CEO of Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley.

Close to 1 million soldiers have come through Bangor International Airport and have been welcomed by the troop greeters. While Knight, Mundy, and Gaudet are a small representation of the many volunteers, their story is universal.

"It's not just a Maine story, it's a human story," Aron Gaudet (pictured below) said. "Everyone gets old. My mom could be sitting at home alone or getting the adrenaline rush she gets by being a troop greeter. I saw how this had changed her life."

"Their intentions are so pure," Gaudet adds. "During the emotional moments, Dan and I would be behind the cameras wiping the tears away."

You can see the film at the Collins Center for the Arts tonight at 7:30 and on Saturday at noon. Tickets are $7 for the public and free for military personnel. For more information click here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

THE WAY WE GET BY: Maine Premiere

The Way We Get By is a documentary film featuring the Maine troop greeters. Old Town native Aron Gaudet directed and edited this award-winning film that follows three senior citizen troop greeters: Bill Knight, Joan Gaudet, and Jerry Mundy.
Inside a small airport in central Maine, a group of senior citizens are making history by using handshakes and hugs to play a critical role in the Iraq war. The Way We Get By is an inspirational story about how these handshakes can change a person's life. Since March 2003, nearly one million soldiers and marines from across the country have been greeted at the Bangor International Airport. With each flight, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, these volunteers have been there to send them off and welcome them home. -- from thewaywegetbymovie.com

The Way We Get By
will be shown at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine in Orono this weekend:

, April 10th at 4:30 and 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 11th at 12:00 pm

Tickets are $7 for the public and free for military personnel. Purchase tickets by calling the Collins Center for the Arts box office at 581-1755.

For more information click here to visit the website.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Go Sox!

WZON and Tires, Batteries and Accessories teamed up for the 4th Annual Opening Day Cookout at TBA on Outer Hammond Street. From 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, Red Sox fans gathered for the festivities.

There was a prize wheel where spinners got a chance to win prizes like a McDonald's coffee, movie passes, and passes to Black Beard's mini golf.

The line for the hot dogs was long, but it moved fast, thanks to the grillmasters from WZON.

And speaking of the WZON guys, Jeff Solari (left), Clem LaBree, and Dale Duff (not pictured) were reporting live from the event.

TBA owner, Al Bellanger, obviously thought this was a costume party...

Check out some of the fans!

Vote for your favorite little fan below:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Foolish

By: Melanie Brooks

When I was a kid I used to get a big kick out of calling my grandparents on April Fool's Day and telling them I broke my arm or leg during dance class. They would act shocked and sympathetic, asking me if I was in much pain. I'd lead them on, giggling under my breath for a few minutes, then joyously shout "April Fool!" to which they'd chide me for being so witty and clever.

I consider myself significantly more clever than I was when I was 7-years-old. But I'm obviously still gullible. I say obviously because I was delighted to find out that there was a new restaurant opening up at 21 Main Street today just in time for the Bangor Lunch MOB to check it out. A new restaurant in downtown Bangor? No one seemed to know about it yet everyone was just as excited as I was.

I scheduled to have lunch with my sister, who works at Epic Sports and was excited to check out the new place around the corner, and two of my friends. I have another friend who couldn't make it to lunch but wanted me to tell her all about the new restaurant.

With all the build-up you can imagine my surprise when I came upon this sign...

I'd been duped! I was so excited about the prospect of a new place to have lunch that any skepticism melted away. My sister and I sheepishly walked across the street to Paddy Murphy's for lunch.