Blog Archives

Islanders Finish 1st and 2nd

At the 12th Annual Westport Island Shore Run 10K Road Race

Dan Bradford sprinted to the finish line of the Westport Island Shore Run last Sunday with a winning time of 40:53. Then, it was time to recover from the last uphill climb on West Shore Road, high humidity and the beating sun. Chase Hughes, a senior at Maine Maritime Academy and son of a Westport Volunteer Firefighter, finished second. Lisa O’Neill of Boston was the first place female finisher.

There was a light turnout at the race this year — which in the hours before the race start looked like it may be a rainy run — but the rain clouds turned into hot sun and a beautiful day on a beautiful course.

Thanks to the participants and sponsors: Wiscasset Ford; Maine Yankee, Hodgdon Yacht Services; Sheepscot River Marine Services; Ames True Value Supply; Sharon Drake Real Estate; Bath Savings Bank; First Federal Savings; the Westport Island Brewing Company; Newcastle Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge; the Westport Island Community Association; and Norm’s Used Cars, it appears that the race generated over $1,000 for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department coffers.

A second pair of Islanders, Mary Ellen Barnes and Carol Norris, were 1st and 2nd place finishers in the Fun Walk in this year’s field of two — go walkers! …Wait until next year…

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A Westport Island Contender: Dock Dog Casco

Help support Erin Bailey and Team Casco head to the Dock Dogs World Championship

Casco with Speed Retrieve blue ribbonWhen Erin Bailey saw Dock Dogs a canine aquatics competition on TV, she thought it would be fun — and she had the perfect dog to participate: a young, high energy black lab. What lab doesn’t like to run, jump and swim? The aquatic events include “Big Air” — the long jump; “Speed Retrieve” — racing the clock to run, swim and retrieve; and “Extreme Vertical” — the high jump. Erin’s previous dogs, Moose and Bear, gave an open practice session of Dock Dogs a “paws down,” so Erin let go of what seemed like a fun idea. Then came Casco and the Seacoast Dock Dogs Club in Berwick…

At Seacost Dock Dogs, club members are very supportive and go the extra mile to help dogs get comfortable with jumping into the pool. Casco seemed enthusiastic and was itching to go after the toy. After some coaxing — from both inside and outside the pool — he made his first jumps. Casco took to the sport, and Erin took to being a Dock Dogs mom. The two – often with their support team, sister Jessica and their mom and dad, started taking Casco to practice sessions and competitions around New England, including the Union Fair the last two years.

Casco's invitation to the nationalsOn September 13, Casco participated in a Dock Dogs Wild Card Event at the Hebron Harvest Fair in Connecticut. In the Speed Retrieve event, Casco was the top scorer running from a sitting position half way down the runway dock, jumping into the pool and retrieving a toy from the opposite end of the pool. He scored 7.254 seconds in the Turbo Division (a 7.000 to 7.999 seconds bracket) — winning himself an invitation to the Dock Dog World Championships in Dubuque, Iowa, from November 11 – 15. Yea Casco!!

Now Erin and Team Casco need to raise money for the entrance fee, the drive to Iowa and accommodations. To support the home team, there is a Go Fund Me page; you can follow Team Casco on Erin’s Facebook page; and you can purchase a sweet treat at a bake sale at Ames True Value on October 17th from 10 – 2.

In a shout out to support Team Casco — 2016 Dog Licensing at the Town Office starts on October 15. One dollar of every dog license is an agent fee (the remaining dollars support Maine’s Animal Welfare Program and Westport Island’s Animal Control Officer). The agent fee for every dog licensed in October and November will be donated to Team Casco — it’s a win/win. Go Team Casco!

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Photo credits to the Bailey family and John Thurston, Seacoast Dock Dogs

Westport Volunteer Fire Department Invites You

To the annual chicken barbeque to celebrate a year of hard work and training successes

Westport Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Jason Abbott accepts state flag from State Sen. Chris JohnsonIt’s been a year of hard work for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department. Last winter, six firefighters attended the six-week Lincoln County Fire Academy Basic Firefighter school. They are now certified for interior structure attacks and any operations necessary at a firefighting scene. James Richardson earned the Lincoln County Fire Chiefs Association’s Newman Award at this school for excelling at the academy classes and exhibiting leadership and initiative.Firefighters Jason Abbott and James Richardson talking to Ruth Nelson at the Town Meeting

Two more fire volunteers completed EMS (Emergency Medical Services) training, which now gives the department seven licensed Emergency Medical Technicians along with one certified first responder.

And last weekend, nine of the Volunteer Fire Department members attended a three-day pump operations training conducted by Lt. Thomas St. Pierre from The Topsham Fire & Rescue Department.

Now, it’s time to take a break from training — and visit with neighbors. Members of the Fire Department will be serving up a Class A Chicken Barbeque while tapping their feet to the music of the Back to Basics Bluegrass Band.

Saturday, July 25, is the Fire Department’s annual fundraiser and a chance to show appreciation for the time and commitment of our fire and rescue volunteers. Dinner will be served starting at 5:30. The menu is barbequed chicken (or hot dogs, if you prefer), corn, beans, rolls, beverages and scrumptious desserts courtesy of the Westport Community Association. There is no set fee, give what you can or feel like donating for a night of good food, good fun and neighborliness.

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Westport Fire Department Summer BBQ

Brings neighbors together; Inspires junior firefighters…

Westport Volunteer Fire Department in front of rescue vehicle

Thank you!

This year’s barbeque raised more than $1,500 for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department and allowed at least a dozen junior firefighters to earn their “Fire Chief” hats. The weather, the music and the company made for a great summer evening.

Word on the street from last year had it that the Summer Barbeque was kind of boring for kids. So this year, there was a scavenger hunt and some firefighting to do. Those that could extinguish a simulated fire flaming from four windows of a fireman’s training house earned their Fire Chief’s hat and bragging rights. Few junior firefighters could resist the opportunity to squirt water from a high pressure fire extinguisher and put out a fire. Who could?

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Westport Island: Sneakers on the Ground

The 9th Annual Shore Run

Today… was a beautiful day in the neighborhood: just like last Sunday. And, last Sunday couldn’t have been more perfect (well, maybe a little less humid) for the 9th Annual Westport Island Shore Run benefiting the Island’s volunteer fire department. This year’s run brought in another $1,200 according to Rob Whitney, the race organizer.

Word is Westport Island is a tough 10K course because of hills. “Tough” may be more about location, location, location. Just when exhaustion has set in on the last half mile, you have to kick it up a notch to clear the climb from the causeway on West Shore up to the Main Road.

Although runners are not necessarily taking in the scenery, for the 3.5 mile walkers, the views aren’t too shabby. If you’re not a runner, think about joining the walkers next year for a beautiful walk in the neighborhood…

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Westport Island Spells Summer with a “Q”

Barbe-que that is…courtesy of the Westport Volunteer Fire Department

Mother Nature defied weather forecasters’ rain predictions for an all-sunny evening of fun at the Fire Department Summer Barbeque. About 200 people turned out to support the Department’s annual fundraiser. And, once again, the Back to Basics Bluegrass Band was on hand to get hands clapping and toes tapping…

Team Westport Took it to the Top

Islanders raised pulses and dollars in the Fight for Air Climb

The 2013 Fight for Air Climb has passed, but Westport Island left footprints in Boston. As of today, the Westport Volunteer Fire Department’s three climbers raised $2,425 from their supporters for the American Lung Association. (Paul Bonyun achieved “VIP status” by raising $1,500). Portland Fire Department’s 37 climbers — with Westport Island’s Angie Calvo as one of its climbers and top fundraisers — raised $7,602.

Times for climbing the long, warm 41 stories of One Boston Place in full turnout gear were:

  • Angie Calvo (#1200): 14.58 minutes
  • Paul Bonyun (#1474): 14.57 minutes
  • Libby Mooney (#1476): 36.31 minutes
  • Jason Abbott (#1475): 10.57 minutes

Of note, Westport fielded two of the most senior firefighter climbers. They were awesome. Check it out…

Music courtesy of the United States Air Force Band; two included pictures courtesy of Alexa Abbott

Westport Island Monster Mash

Ghosts and Goblins Gather for a “Spook Hop”

Yesterday started with the first gunshots of the 2012 deer hunt…continued with dried leaves dropping all day like giant raindrops…and ended with the Community Association’s annual Halloween Party. The Old Town Hall was alive with music, costumes, and Halloween treats.

From the bridge to the Old Town Hall, Halloween spirit was afoot…

The Community Association succeeded in creating harmony not often seen this election season – Little Red Riding Hood was hand-in-hand with the big, bad wolf; Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was chatting it up with the devil; and superheroes were mixing it up with witches.

Volunteers from the Community Association, the Fire Department, the Selectmen, and the Human Resources Committee tackled the tough task of judging a Costume Contest. The winning “get ups” were: a tiny “Tigger” tiger, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, the good witch (aka Mrs. Dracula without fangs), and a ghostly hippie.

Partiers danced to a mix of Frankensongs, from “Monster Mash” to “Ghostbusters”, and “kick-up-the-spooks” dance songs that kept everyone hopping and laughing — thanks to DJ Larry Weddelton …And, if all that wasn’t enough, a few bags of food items and some cash were raised to treat the Island’s Food Pantry… Community Association President, Edmily Adler says, “it was wonderful to see Wesptort Islanders of so many ages in costume and having such fun”…and “thank you to all for the donations of food to the Island Cottage pantry.”

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Westport Islanders turn out for Jimmy C.

Jimmy Cromwell showed obvious emotion when looking around at the crowd that filled the Old Town Hall on Saturday night…family, friends, and neighbors. “I didn’t know I Jimmy Cromwell talking to supportersknew this many people.” Others were as moved, “Makes you feel good to see this many people. This is a good community.” “I’ve lived here half my life. I’m embarrassed because I don’t usually show myself at these events; but Jimmy’s a good guy, and I want to support him.” Common thoughts.

Despite all the people, there was food left over to feed as many because those that couldn’t come brought food, checks, raffle items, and good wishes. The organizers “done good” — unfortunately, at least two had to work and couldn’t be there to see the fruits of their kindness and labor.

When Jimmy was laying in a heap on August 7, he was frightened by his pain and inability to move. He sustained fractures to his neck, spine, sternum, and ribs at a work site accident in which he lost his balance on a ladder, fell onto a railing, and rolled over the railing onto the floor a flight below. The first responders were all friends. It was tough on everybody at the scene; and it seemed forever before the nearest life flight arrived from New Hampshire. The good news: the breaks were clean, no surgery, and family and friends have had his back and been by his side.

No work and not much independence for awhile…just time to reflect on what matters most.

We’re giving thanks that Jimmy C. is back on his feet, and the prospects for a full recovery are good. Take heart Jimmy C. You have friends here on Westport Island and beyond…

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Donations can still be made to:

James Cromwell Benefit Fund
c/o First N.A.
Attn: Mitchell Wellman
P.O. Box 940
Damariscotta, ME 04543

Westport Island Summer Barbeque

Back to some basic neighborhood fun

The Fire Department and the Community Association joined efforts to serve up an exceptional summer barbeque last Saturday.   A good turn out, good food, good music, and good fun… As my ex-partner used to say, “it was all that and a bag of chips” — because the annual fundraiser brought in about $1,700 for the fire department’s annual operating budget.

Fire Chief Bob Mooney was the organizer in chief of all the work that went into turning out 200 servings of chicken and accompaniments. Chaplain Valerie Lovelace spoke for all of us in a thank you to her fire department co-workers: “thanks for all the hard work par-boiling, cabbage chopping, corn-shuckin’, onion slicin’, chicken-n-dog grillin’ and the list goes on…”

The community thank you extends to the Westport Island Community Association and the Back to Basics Bluegrass Band who contributed the site, the sweets and the summer sounds. If you missed the barbeque and would like to make a tax-deductible donation to benefit Island fire and rescue services, checks should be made out to the Westport Volunteer Fire Department and mailed to the Westport Island Town Office, 6 Fowles Point Rd., Westport Island, ME 04578, ATTN: Fire Department.

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