River pilot, firefighter mourned after fatal crash

PORTSMOUTH — Killed in a single-car crash Saturday, Peter “PJ” Johnson is remembered as a man who spent his life working on the water and ski slopes, as a firefighter and a father.

Johnson, 50, was a Portsmouth Pilot who worked in tandem with Moran tugboats to help navigate massive ships into the Portsmouth Port, via the Piscataqua River, said Dick Holt of Moran Tugboats. He said Johnson boarded the ships to direct the tugs and worked hard to earn the position. Holt said Johnson was a lobsterman and a fisherman until the industry began shrinking, then went to and graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy and “worked his way in.”

“It took him a long time to get in there,” Holt said. “I worked with him for 10 years and I’ve known him for 20. Anything he did, he was all-in. It certainly is a tragedy.”

To read the full length story, click here to visit the Portsmouth Herald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich Beauchesne Photo

Kittery Christmas Parade Sat, Dec 2, 2017

Kittery holiday parade set for Dec. 2nd

KITTERY, Maine — The Kiwanis Club of The Seacoast is sponsoring the annual Kittery Holiday Parade this year.

The parade will be take place on Saturday, Dec. 2. It will step off from Post Office Square at 3 p.m., follow the traditional parade route through downtown Kittery and conclude at John Paul Jones Park with the tree lighting. If you have any questions, please call Frank Dennett at 207-439-3573 or send an email to parade@seacoastkiwanis.com.

Special Guest, SANTA And Mrs. Claus

 

USS Thresher lives on with ‘Brothers of the Phin’

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20171112/uss-thresher-lives-on-with-brothers-of-phin

D. Allan Kerr is the author of “Silent Strength,” a book about the men lost aboard Thresher.

The tragic loss of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher in 1963 inspired rigorous safety measures to ensure future Navy crewmen wouldn’t suffer a similar fate. This is the enduring legacy of the Thresher.

The spirit of Thresher lives on through a tradition unique to the brotherhood of those who dare sail beneath the ocean’s surface.

 

This past summer, the Navy’s Atlantic Submarine Fleet announced Lt. j.g. Jeremy Brown earned the honor of becoming the newest sailor to qualify as a submarine officer. In accomplishing this goal, Brown earned the right to wear a pair of golden dolphin pins once awarded to another young Navy officer named John Wesley Harvey. Harvey was skipper of the doomed Thresher when it went down 220 miles off the New England coast during sea trials April 10, 1963. The significance of wearing Harvey’s pins is not lost on Brown.

The article is found here. To visit the links, click here.

D. Allan Kerr is the author of “Silent Strength,” a book about the men lost aboard Thresher. Kerr may be found on the Sloth Blog at https://slothonline.com/portfolio/d-allan-kerr/

KITTERY’S WOOD ISLAND, Saving story of the surfmen

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20160509/saving-story-of-surfmen?start=2

Click the above link to read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald.

 

 

 

Back before President Woodrow Wilson created the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, stations dotting the nation’s coastlines and the Great Lakes were established to aid mariners in distress.

These stations were operated by the U.S. Life-Saving Service.

The hardy members of this agency were called surfmen, and each station was headed by the keeper. When vessels ran aground or wrecked close to shore, these “storm warriors” would venture out into the sea in lifeboats to rescue crew and passengers.

One such station was located at Wood Island, just off Kittery Point in Maine. Although long-abandoned and now in a state of disrepair, a local nonprofit organization is currently working to preserve this site.

 

There is a lot more to this story, Click this link.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20160509/saving-story-of-surfmen

 

Kittery Election results. Unofficial but more information.

                       KITTERY UNOFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS
                     November 7, 2017
Total Votes Cast
           STATE OF MAINE BALLOT
QUESTION #1: CITIZEN ‘S INITIATIVE
YES 376
NO 2721
BLANKS 13
QUESTION #2: CITIZEN ‘S INITIATIVE
YES 2239
NO 844
BLANKS 27
QUESTION #3: BOND ISSUE
YES 2460
NO 582
BLANKS 68
QUESTION #4: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
YES 2159
NO 732
BLANKS 219
MUNICIPAL BALLOT
TOWN COUNCIL (VOTE FOR 2)  
Brock Matthew (Matt) 1587
Estes Dennis S. 1032
Lemont Kenneth 1471
Spiller Judith A. 1396
Write-ins 13
Blanks 727
SCHOOL COMMITTEE (VOTE FOR 2)  
Chalupa Nicholas M. 1169
Hoffman Danielle F. 1630
Sayer Suzanne 1088
Write-ins 21
Blanks 2320
  REFERENDUM QUESTIONS
QUESTION #1: CHARTER AMENDMENT
Yes 2250
No 378
Blanks 485
QUESTION #2: CHARTER AMENDMENT
Yes 2325
No 351
Blanks 437
QUESTION #3: CHARTER AMENDMENT
Yes 2326
No 331
Blanks 456
QUESTION #4: CHARTER AMENDMENT
Yes 2224
No 477
Blanks 411
QUESTION #5: CHARTER AMENDMENT
Yes 2336
No 352
Blanks 424
NON-BINDING REFERENDUM
Rehabilitate and build an addition onto the current Rice Library 1783
Build a new library building adjacent to Rogers Road at the Kittery Community Center 823
Neither of the above 463
Blanks 42
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.kitteryme.gov/home/news/unofficial-election-results-november-7th-2017

Results from Portsmouth Herald.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20171107/kittery-voters-rehabilitate-rice-library

KITTERY, Maine — A majority of town voters sent a clear message to town leaders on Tuesday: They want to see a Rice Public Library rehabilitation and addition project.

The non-binding referendum gave voters three choices. A total of 1,783 voters chose the rehabilitation and addition option. The option to build a new library adjacent to Rogers Road at the Kittery Community Center received 823 votes. The option to do neither received 463 votes. Forty-two voters left the answer blank.

The Town Council race winners were newcomer Matt Brock (1,587 votes) and incumbent Kenneth Lemont (1,471). They won the two available seats, while incumbent Judith Spiller (1,396) was ousted from her seat. Dennis Estes fell short, too, with 1,032 votes.

School Committee winners were Danielle Hoffman (1,630) and Nicholas Chalupa (1,169). They defeated Suzanne Sayer (1,088).

 

Read the Full story here at this link. CLICK THIS LINE.

Kittery Library information For November 7th 2017

Remember that this is a non binding vote. Do your homework, leave the emotions out of it and make informed choices. Vote with educated views and not  fear. I posted a few links to some of the info I could find.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20171016/3-library-options-to-go-before-kittery-voters

Http://www.kitteryme.gov/sites/kitteryme/files/news/2017.08.14_rice_library_working_group_update_0.pdf

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170830/kittery-voters-to-have-say-on-rice-librarys-future

http://www.kitteryme.gov/home/news/future-rice-library-survey-available

https://sites.google.com/view/restorerice/home

Many Towns built new libraries and the resurgence came. Many Towns watched libraries fade away. It’s a historical building that could be Bed and Breakfast or it could be a modern library or that library could be at the Kcc. We could do nothing as well.

I hope this helps all voters.  Remember it is non binding and a way to see what the citizens want.

 

Wood Island Preservation, the rest of the story.

In order to fully understand both sides, please read the Portsmouth Herald Article first then Sam Reid’s response.

the link to read Alax LaCasse’s article on the Town Council Meeting.

Town manager says WILSSA won’t be billed for Kittery’s time

KITTERY, Maine — Town Manager Kendra Amaral on Monday told the Town Council the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association would not be billed for town staff’s time spent discussing the project with members of the organization.

Councilor Jeffrey Thomson asked Amaral during the Oct. 11 council meeting to look into whether WILSSA would be billed for time town staff spends its reviewing plans.

Thomson said he was concerned because members of the nonprofit WILSSA and the councilors who voted in favor of the 2016 maintenance agreement said the project would be completed at no cost to Kittery. Thomson contends the town is losing money on the project because permit fees were waved for WILSSA in the contract. WILSSA plans to open a maritime museum in the station by the summer of 2019.

There is a lot more to this article so click here to visit the link.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

In response to Councilor Thomson’s public concerns, this letter was published in the Portsmouth Herald and provided to me.

Wood Island restoration unwelcome news to Council’s Thompson

Letter to the editor.

It is hard to understand why Kittery Town Council member Jeff Thompson has raised an issue regarding the cost of the Town Manager’s time with the restoration of Wood Island Life Saving Station during the past two Council meetings.

But it is part of a long-term pattern of opposition of some on Council to the restoration of this wonderful part of our heritage. Mr. Thompson and Ms. Judy Spiller have led the, thankfully, unsuccessful opposition from Town Council consistently voting against the Station’s restoration over a period of years.

Mr. Thompson has wondered why a project that is supposed to be “at no cost to the Town” has created some minor staff costs since the Town Manager needs to participate in decisions from time to time regarding a property that continues to be owned by the Town of Kittery. Mr. Thompson would like to send the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA), the charity restoring the property for the benefit of the people of Kittery, a bill for any part of the Manager’s time spent on Wood Island Station.

The contracts that govern the project, and were approved by Council, are entirely clear that WILSSA will pay for all capital improvements and maintenance of the historic building. To date that figure totals more than $1.2 million. The result is a wonderfully restored exterior of the Station that is now the pride of Kittery. WILSSA plans to fully restore the interior of the Station and open it to the public as a maritime museum, hopefully in the next few short years.

The contracts are also clear that Kittery will not create or pass along any new fees or costs regarding Wood Island to WILSSA. This too was approved by Town Council after extensive public and Council review and negotiation. Mr. Thompson and Ms. Spiller, however, voted against those contracts.

What WILSSA is doing with the massive investment and restoration of Wood Island Station is not only exceptional historic preservation but they are also creating a new business. Part of the Town Manager’s job is to assist new businesses and welcome investors in our community. Manager Kendra Amaral has correctly informed Mr. Thompson that there will be no billing of WILSSA for her time.

 

When any new business comes to Kittery, let’s hope that they receive a far warmer welcome from all of the members of Kittery Town Council than WILSSA has received from Mr. Thompson and Ms. Spiller. The results at Wood Island are celebrated and appreciated by so many in our community. WILSSA has created dozens of new jobs, the environment has been cleaned of tons of hazardous waste, and our heritage will be celebrated in the new maritime museum. That is an excellent result for the tax payers and visitors to Kittery alike. It is a shame that Mr. Thompson is so unwelcoming to this great news.

Sam Reid

Kittery Point, Maine