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Devin Gives Marine Economy Talk to Bristol Area Lions 12/10/2016

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State Representative Michael G. “Mick” Devin (right) is greeted by Bristol Area Lions Club President Brendan Donegan.

Maine’s marine economy exceeds the billion dollar mark in annual sales and is the most vibrant component of the state’s total economy, even beating forest products. But to keep it growing will require surmounting the threats posed by ocean and coastal acidification. This is a topic that Mick Devin has frequently discussed, both as a Maine state legislator and as a marine biologist. He met with the Bristol Area Lions club for dinner last November 21 to offer an encouraging perspective on new initiatives to cope with those threats.

In order to mitigate the impact of acid water, the basic scientific step is to first understand its magnitude and geographic scope along Maine’s 3,500 mile shoreline. The University of Maine has been leading both state and national efforts to monitor acidity in a programmatic manner, but the weak point has been systematic and broad scale data collection.

Devin reports that engagement of 1000 plus volunteer citizen scientists, working with standardized equipment and water testing protocols, is now beginning to produce actionable information. In the mid-coast area, for example, the SEANET (Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network) is already providing the basis for better management of shellfish hatcheries. This includes guidelines for pH (acidity) buffering with ground up shells and best conditions for co-locating kelp and seagrass beds.

Polyculture of sea “vegetables” and shellfish helps increase localized oxygen concentrations while decreasing carbon dioxide and acidity in the vicinity of hatchery beds, leading to higher growth rates. “Particular pairs of shellfish and macrophyte species (seagrasses and seaweeds) make logical sense to explore because they already share microhabitats,” Devin said. However, the approach still needs to be rigorously tested and resources like SEANET will become an integral part of that process. Devin also made the point that well controlled data driven field studies are important because they can uncover unanticipated results.

As an example, he described the work of U. Maine’s Brian Beal. Survival of nearly-microscopic bivalve shellfish larvae increases in less acidic environments. Buffering has a beneficial effect until they reach the 1-2 millimeter range. At that stage they make shells faster than ocean acidity can dissolve them. Unfortunately, mortality rates in muddy (non-vegetated) habitats in the Maine coastal waters still remain high regardless of added buffering and independently of ocean acidity. The explanation turns out to be simple enough. Once larvae reach a sufficiently viable size to survive the effect of ocean acidity, they need to be protected from predators, especially green crabs. Beal’s research proved that putting nets over the growing beds fixes the yield problem.

In closing remarks, Devin put up one last slide of a typical lobster dinner with an overlaid message. “People do not come to the Coast of Maine to eat a chicken sandwich.” He also added with pride that visitors are now are traveling to this area, especially Damariscotta, to eat locally grown and internationally acclaimed oysters. The overall take home message is that Maine must maintain monitoring to understand what is occurring and to provide the data that will sustain renewable marine resource development.

The Lions concurred, congratulated Devin on his re-election, and adjourned for the evening.

The next meeting will be a Christmas party at 6:00 pm on Monday, Dec. 19 at Hawks House Inn, 349 State Road 129 in Walpole. To make dinner reservations, contact John Janell at 563-7402. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

Bristol Area Lions hear past, present and future of the Lincoln Theater 03/09/2016

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Andrew Fenniman, executive director of the Lincoln Theater (left) is thanked for his presentation by Lion Herb Watson.

At the meeting of the Bristol Area Lions on March 7, the members, five guests, and their speaker enjoyed home-made sausage lasagna, salad and garlic toast served by caterer Steve Hawks at the club’s winter meeting site, the Hawks House Inn.

After dinner, Andrew Fenniman, executive director of the Lincoln Theater was introduced by Lion Herb Watson. In addition to his duties at the theater, Fenniman currently leads his own global consultancy firm, Actionable Insights. It focuses on speeding up the accomplishment of results while developing leadership capability for senior executives.

Fenniman received his Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Massachusetts, his Master of Business Administration from NYU Stern School of Business, and his Ph.D. in human and organizational learning from George Washington University.

His varied interests include music as a classically trained lyric tenor, and theater. He has been a member of the Actors Equity Association for over 25 years. Lion Watson concluded his introduction by saying “he is over qualified to be the executive director of our great theater, but we’re glad he is here.”

The Lincoln Hall was built at a cost of $28,000 in 1875 and held a grand opening on Jan. 21, 1876 with a Portland band and dance for $5 a couple. It was a meeting place for Lincoln County, fire company drills, benefits, temperance meetings, town meetings and conventions.

In 1910, when roller skating became popular, the corners of the floor were rounded in order to facilitate skaters going around the hall. The curved corners are still evident. The fabric panels on the walls are original.

In 1924, a movie screen was installed that was the largest in the state and permanent seats were also installed. There was a piano player for silent films.

A local artist and illustrator, Jake Day, convinced Walt Disney to use an Eastern white-tailed deer instead of a Western mule deer. The movie Bambi was to premiere at Lincoln Theater in 1940. It didn’t happen, for fear of alienating the local hunters.

In the past 10 years, the Lincoln Theater has added a new annex with an elevator, office space and new handicap accessible bathrooms. It was air-conditioned, and new seats and a Main Street marquee were installed, the ceiling was renovated, a digital movie system installed with surround sound, and the roof was completely refurbished and restored,

All of this work resulted in a lot of debt for the theater. When Fenniman agreed to take over as executive director it was with the stipulation that the Board of Directors of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization only serve for five year terms, and all the present board had to resign.

Today, it has first run movies running with a matinee and evening showing and last year showed all the Academy Award winners except Mad Max. The Theater has plays streaming-in from the Nation Theater in London, performances in high definition by the Bolshoi and Royal Ballet and productions from the Metropolitan Opera.

The Theater also has live plays. The upcoming production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Lolantre will have 13 in the orchestra and 40 in the chorus. There are also a number of free events, such as the showing of Downton Abbey broadcasts, Pumpkinfest and the Red Sox home opener.

This summer the old stairway will be rebuilt with LED lights under each riser and the outside movie poster marquees will be lit. Fenniman hopes to have all debt paid off in five years.

The next meeting will be the Annual Speak Out on March 21st. Lincoln Academy students from the debate team will speak on a subject of their choosing. To make reservations for that meeting at 6 p.m. at the Hawks House Inn in Walpole, please call Herb Watson at 677-6191.

To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-3584,

Youth Promise Director Addresses Bristol Area Lions Club 03/24/2011

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Mary Trescot, executive director of Youth Promise, visited the Bristol Area Lions Club recently and explained that her agency is trying to fill the “dustbowl of resources” that has existed in the Midcoast for youth involved in the juvenile court system. With over 25 years’ experience in Lincoln County law enforcement, working with the sheriff’s office to help juvenile offenders and their parents navigate the court system, Trescot is imminently qualified to tackle that challenge. She has been executive director of Youth Promise for 10 years.

Organized in 1994 by Judge Michael Westcott, Youth Promise strives to assist Lincoln County youth coming into the juvenile justice system. Education and outreach are key factors in helping youth and their families to overcome personal challenges. To that end, the agency has developed a number of programs like Mentor Assisted Community Service, which connects each youth with a work site and a caring adult to act as mentor during the community service experience. Jump Start is another program on decision-making and personal responsibility offered to first time juvenile offenders in Lincoln County, again mentoring youth to recognize the relationship between their decisions and the consequences of their actions. Trescot emphasized the importance of a mentor in the lives of these youth, and she invited any interested adult to contact Youth Promise to explore such opportunities.

During her presentation, Trescot provided some grim statistics to the Bristol Area Lions Club. Lincoln County, for instance, has had the highest rate of underage drinking and youth drug abuse in the State for the last 15 years, followed by juveniles in Knox and Waldo Counties. In 2010 alone, Youth Promise served 75 Lincoln County youth.

A new initiative of the agency is Recovery House for Men, which Youth Promise hopes to have up and running soon in the Jefferson area. A self-sustaining center for ex-convicts who would pay rent to live there, Recovery House is seen as a means to break the cycle of crime and substance abuse experienced by many families, thereby benefiting the youth of Lincoln County indirectly.

The Bristol Area Lions Club meets next on Monday, April 4 when Jon Teel, executive director of Weymouth House in Bristol will give a presentation on its new programs to strengthen families and enhance the community at large. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, or to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, please call 677-2095.

Carrigan speaks to Bristol Area Lions 10/11/2009

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Bristol Lion Paul Anderson presents Don Carrigan with a certificate of appreciation following a talk on his career.

At their Oct. 5 meeting, the Bristol Area Lions heard from Don Carrigan who is the Midcoast reporter for WCSH-6 news. Carrigan is a native of South Bristol and a 1969 graduate of Lincoln Academy. He also graduated from the University of Maine and began his broadcast career on the radio while in college. He then joined WLBZ-2 television in Bangor as a reporter, anchor and photographer.

Carrigan after being given a quick tour the day before, he opened the studio Saturday to do his first 11:00 o’clock news broadcast and he was the only one there. He worked there for 18 years, eventually becoming the 6 p.m. anchor and news director for WLBZ-2.

He joined the staff of U.S. Sen.Bill Cohen and for three years worked on a variety of issues affecting Maine. In 1994, he returned to broadcasting, becoming Executive Producer of Public Affairs for Maine Public Television. He and joined the News Center for WCSH-6 in 2003 to become the Midcoast reporter for both stations.

Carrigan told the group that he has the second best job in Maine. Bill Green has the best one. They started out together in 1973 when Greene was his studio cameraman in Bangor. The people in Portland told him they never knew so much was happening on the Midcoast; he explained you have to be out there to find it.

Last week he was scooping out hydrilla from Damariscotta Lake and later interviewing the governor in Augusta with wet knees.

News today is very challenging with the number of news sources available and that most people under 35 get their news from the internet, which is not always a creditable source. People need a reliable source to trust that what they are seeing is the truth.

In answer to a question, Carrigan said his cat Togus is gaining more fame than he has.
Nine years old Togus came from a group of 30 cats rescued by Louis Doe’s from a breeder who went out of business.

The Bristol Area Lions meet the first and third Mondays of the month at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. However, the next meeting on Oct.19, will start promptly at 6 p.m. at the Carpenters Boat Shop new workshop where they will be shown the facility, boats and some of the many other products they are making. The group will then move to the Willing Workers Hall for dinner and a business meeting.

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