Yesterday for 8/24/17
10 years ago
As reported in the Bangor Daily News
BANGOR — Nothing could’ve rained on this parade. A 10-foot-tall stilt walker surrounded by dancers waving flags and shaking sequin-clad hips — aka the Haitian rara band Feet of Rhythm — led crowds of bopping revelers toward the Railroad Stage as the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront opened Friday evening. After a forecast of rain, the gray afternoon gave way to muggy sunshine — and a late-night shower — but even that wasn’t enough to deter the hardiest of festival-goers.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t be a downpour, but we brought our ponchos,” said Linda Thomas of Bangor, who has made the event an end-of-summer ritual since 2002. “We’re going to be here unless there’s lightning. You know what they say in Maine, if you don’t like the weather, wait a little bit.”
Julia Olin of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, which produces the event and the National Folk Festival, said the “huge crowds” and enthusiasm in years past bode well for the American Folk Festival’s continued success.
“You’re in the prime,” she said, smiling and surveying the sea of people watching the Irish ensemble The Green Fields of America, “just the absolute, glowing prime.”
Now in its third year as an independent festival, this offshoot of The National has established itself as the region’s biggest event of the summer — last year, 162,000 people attended over the course of the weekend. Olin stressed that this is a pivotal time for the festival’s future in terms of fundraising and community support, which will ensure that the event remains free.
“Maine is not a wealthy state, and the money here is raised a little bit at a time,” she said. “So far, no big corporate sponsor has stepped forward to be a presenting sponsor.”
On Friday, Gov. John Baldacci took the stage to announce a $20,000 gift to AFF, putting organizers that much closer to their $1.03 million fundraising goal for 2007. A $169,000 deficit remains.
AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci said Friday he will propose that the state take over the county jails to create an efficient prison system and to lower local property taxes.
Legislative leaders are skeptical of the plan.
The governor said he might propose the legislation at a special session this fall. “Whether it happens in a special session or it happens in January, it’s going to happen,” Baldacci said. “We need this to happen; the taxpayers need it to happen.”
In an interview, the governor said the details of taking over the existing 15 county jails and merging them into the state prison system are being developed by the Department of Corrections. He said once the detailed proposal is crafted, he will launch a statewide effort to garner support for the plan.
“I think the public is ready for this,” he said. “It will save on property taxes and it just makes sense.”
Baldacci said the current cost of operating the 15 county jails is about $86 million, and that is expected to exceed $100 million next year because of the increased costs of operating the separate facilities.
“That’s a property tax increase,” he said. “We need to be lowering the property taxes, not increasing taxes.”
He said one administration for all of the jails in the state will substantially boost efficiency and save money while also improving services. He said some jails could be closed and others turned into specialized facilities under a central administration.
Baldacci said a state takeover of the jails can be achieved through the savings that consolidation would realize and other spending cuts in state government.
But legislative leaders of both parties are worried that any cuts in other state programs to pay for jail consolidation will be tough to sell to lawmakers.
BANGOR — More than three decades after the end of the Vietnam War, those who served were given a rousing welcome home Friday during a ceremony at the Cole Land Transportation Museum on Perry Road.
The ceremony, organized by museum founder and World War II veteran Galen Cole, drew an estimated 1,200 Vietnam veterans and their families to the museum.
“In our time, we were spit on and called baby killers,” said veteran Jim Butler of Tremont. Today, he said, “the war may be hated, but the soldier is honored.”
“This is a long time coming,” said Robert M. Raymond, who grew up in Troy and now lives in St. Albans. Raymond served his Vietnam tour with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne and 1st Cavalry.
“When I came home, you more or less arrived by yourself,” Raymond said. In those days, he said, there were no troop greeters like the ones who now gather at Bangor International Airport to welcome soldiers going to or arriving from their overseas deployments.
“I’m glad for them,” Raymond said of today’s troops.
Among those who turned out for Friday’s event was Gov. John Baldacci, who proclaimed Friday Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day throughout the state. The Vietnam veterans were also moved by the veterans from other wars who showed up to honor them and by a performance of the Luxembourg Youth Chorus.
The Vietnam veterans attended the event for many reasons, they said — some to remember, others to heal.
Butler said the public’s attitude toward soldiers and veterans has come a long way since he returned from active duty in Vietnam, where he initially served with the U.S. Army’s 9th Infantry Division and later with the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division.
“It brings back a lot of things that I had buried for so long, and it helps me with the whole situation that we went through,” he said.
Mahlon Ryder of Greenville, who served with the U.S. Army’s 176th Assault Helicopter Company, came to remember his brother, Edwin Ryder, who was 26 when he died in Vietnam.
“His name is on [the National Vietnam War Memorial, also known as the Vietnam Wall]. He was blown to bits,” Ryder said.
In his address, the governor pointed out that 48,000 men and women from Maine served in Vietnam. An additional 16,000 Mainers served elsewhere during that era. Nearly 350 Maine troops died during the war, and 13 are still missing in Southeast Asia.
“We cannot recognize and honor our veterans enough,” he said. “Each day we must thank these patriots in our hearts and minds and must remember their sacrifice … Welcome home, Vietnam vets, and thank you very much for what you do. God bless you.”
25 years ago
As reported in the Bangor Daily News
MONSON — While the 630,000 members of the Sierra Club across the country are collectively celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of their organization this year, five men are marking the event individually, each hiking the 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.
The Sierra Club team members, Dave Jarnevich, Richard Saul, Paul Coryea, Chris Elwell and Tersh Palmer, assisted by Eric Lubsen, who has followed the group by car, were in Monson on Monday getting ready for the most grueling leg of their journey, the 100-mile hike to Mount Katahdin.
Along with their sleeping bags and freeze-dried food, this group of hikers has brought with them a message they’ve shared with everyone they’ve met in the dozens of towns in which they have stopped during their journey from Georgia to Maine.
Each hiker embraces this year’s Sierra Club centennial goal that “individuals can make a difference for the environment.” The 2,000-mile hike symbolizes their individual commitment to the outdoors.
In keeping with this message, the group has been challenging the people they have met along the way to get involved with their world’s environment. Whether it’s by recycling or environmental activism, these Sierra Club members said that Americans need to start getting involved in protecting the land. It may be as simple as taking control of what happens in their own backyards.
A unique gold ring may have been the downfall of the two men police say were responsible for the April kidnapping and robbery of a Bangor orthodontist.
Police announced on Tuesday that they had identified the men responsible for the incident, and that the men were serving time in a Connecticut jail for unrelated crimes.
Dr. Irving Paul was kidnapped from his Judson Heights home on April 9 after he refused to open his home to two masked men carrying guns. Paul was approached by the men as he pulled into his garage about 5 p.m.
The two told him to let them in the house and show them his safe. Paul refused, even after the men threatened to kill him, said Lt. Brian Cox of the Bangor Police Department, Detective Division. The men sprayed an unknown chemical in Paul’s face and bound and gagged him with duct tape. He was then placed in the trunk of his car.
Paul’s wife, Susan, arrived home and the two men approached her and ordered her to let them in the house and shut off the alarm. Mrs. Paul did let them in, but faked disarming the alarm. When the alarm went off, the two men fled in Paul’s car. The car, with Dr. Paul in the trunk, was found a short time later in a Broadway parking lot.
Police had few leads in the case until they received a call about two weeks later from a person in Connecticut who claimed to have overheard someone discussing a Bangor robbery, Cox said.
Further information was developed and the police learned that the Connecticut suspect was wearing a gold ring that appeared to be similar to one that was stolen from Dr. Paul during the robbery.
The investigation has been going on for several months and involved at least one trip to Connecticut by Bangor Detective James Libby. Libby was assisted by Maine State Police Detective Robert Cameron and the two worked closely with Connecticut State Police, Cox said.
Bangor police learned that the two men suspected in the Paul case were part of a ring of about eight or nine people who were involved in robberies in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and possibly as far south as the Carolinas, Cox said.
He said the same two men are thought to be responsible for some “home-invasion” robberies in southern Maine.
The group also is allegedly involved in automobile and motorcycle thefts, and Cox said that some of the stolen motorcycles have landed in the Bangor area. He said the two suspects were not from the Bangor area, but had been in the area before.
Cox said that a local person had admitted to driving the two men to the Paul house, but told police that he left and was unaware what the two men were going to do.
The Penobscot County District Attorney’s office is reviewing the case and will decide whether that person should be charged in the incident, Cox said.
The two men and several members of their gang are facing numerous charges, Cox said, and could see some some federal charges as well.
“Some of them have extensive (criminal) histories,” Cox said.
Cox said that Detective Libby deserved the credit for solving the Paul case.
“He deserves all the credit for this as far as we’re concerned,” he said.
The names of the men might be released at a later date, Cox said.
PALMYRA — When Newport cemetery workers recently discovered a hidden grave marker belonging to Caleb Shaw, they were at a loss to find out much about the man. The headstone gave his age, 80, and the year of his death, 1849.
Roland Petersen of the Newport Historical Society began searching for background on the man and his business in Newport. It turned out that he was looking in the wrong town.
After receiving dozens of phone calls with tips on Shaw’s background, a Palmyra resident provided information that solved the mystery for the Newport historian.
Not only was Shaw a Palmyra settler, he was one of the first people in the community and was a prominent figure in Palmyra’s incorporation. The home he built in 1800 still stands and is owned by Don and Anne Hill. Much of the home’s original character has been retained.
According to Hill and a history of Palmyra written in 1957 for the town’s sesquicentennial celebration, Shaw came to Palmyra with his wife, Betsey, and his 7-year-old son, Samuel, from New Hampshire.
The history said Palmyra was first settled by Dr. John Warren who purchased four townships from Massachusetts on June 12, 1800. They were what is now Palmyra, Hartland, St. Albans and Corinna. Warren purchased 28,200 acres for about $7,600.
Warren was a surgeon during the Revolutionary War and continued to practice medicine after the war in Boston. He sent his son, Joseph, to look after his land in Maine. After Joseph died, another Warren son, Henry, came to live in a large colonial mansion on Warren Hill. Now known as the Furbush home, it was built in 1802.
The Warren settlement was joined by other families and this is where Caleb Shaw was first recorded in Palmyra’s history.
One can only guess why Caleb was buried in Newport, despite having settled in Palmyra. In all likelihood, according to Petersen, it was to keep the Shaw family intact, since several of his brothers and many other family members are buried at Riverside Cemetery in Newport.
50 years ago
As reported in the Bangor Daily News
“The only thing the State Highway Commission is definite about at this time is that there is a need for two more lanes of traffic,” City Manager Merle Goff said Thursday of the prospective third Penobscot River bridge between Bangor and Brewer.
Goff, meeting with the Public Works Committee of the Bangor City Council, said traffic studies and projections showed the necessity for additional access lanes between the two cities.
The committee was considering a council order which would set aside two rights of way in the Washington-Oak Street area for future vehicle feeder use to a bridge.
Of the Washington-Oak Street location for a third bridge, Goff said the State Highway Commission “is not going to tell us now about how the bridge would be designed.” The city’s understanding is that there is no definite plan for a bridge on any drawing board.
As far as talk about “a third bridge” goes, he said, “there has been a little confusion.” He said that essentially, the need is simply for two additional traffic lanes to help meet the growing traffic demand. “But before any new bridge is planned, a regional traffic study must be made because of the federal funds involved.” He suggested that the additional lanes could even be in the form of an addition to the existing “free” bridge.
He said a span from Interstate 395 would temporarily relieve some traffic on existing bridges, but “it is the total amount of traffic on both the existing bridges now that is the primary concern, and this is basically local traffic, not through traffic.”
“On the basis of the origin and destination studies done, it is the desire of the major number of motorists for access from and to downtown Bangor and downtown Brewer,” Goff said.
Councilor John McKay asked whether the State Highway Commission had a time frame for a bridge project.
“They only say that such a construction is possible within the next 10 years,” Goff said.
100 years ago
As reported in the Bangor Daily News
BANGOR — A branch of the famous Jewish order B’nai Brith was formed Aug. 23 at the Zionist club room. The meeting was well-attended. Dr. Bernard M. Kaplan of New York addressed the meeting on the aims and ideals of the organization. Dr. Kaplan showed that the B’nai Brith lodges proved a blessing to the community where such lodges were formed.
The following temporary officers were elected: A. B. Friedman, president; Dr. L. M. Pastor, vice president; M. L. Rosen, secretary; and Harry H. Epstein, treasurer. Myer Minsky and Louis Goldberg were named to a special committee to welcome the Grand Officers who will visit the city to formally institute the lodge.
The Grand Officers who will be in the city shortly are: Col. H. Cutler of Providence; Hon. Sam Campner, mayor of New Haven; Judge A. K. Cohen of Boston; Dr. B. M. Kaplan of New York; Dr. Elias Caplan of Portland; and J. Berman, former district attorney of Portland.
BANGOR — Patrons of the Bangor Fair the week of Aug. 27 to Sept. 1 will witness some unusual attractions in the line of entertainment. The fair management have scoured the country for acts that would cause a thrill and be talked about long after the fair.
John A. Driscoll known throughout the United States and Canada as the phenomenal band soloist will render vocal selections and despite the fact that he sings in the open air his powerful voice carries a great distance and anyone in sight of him will be sure to hear his voice. He will double his role by making the announcements so visitors will be able to know what is coming off next. Everyone will enjoy hearing this artist.
Charles Herrera has been termed the “Man up the pole.” His act is one of the sensations of the present day. Mr. Herrera performs aerobatic stunts on a pole 90 feet high. The pole is nine inches in diameter at the base and only two inches at the top. The pole sways back and forth like a whip until it seems ready to snap in two. While at the top of the pole Herrera does wonderful feats of gymnastic work and balancing, finishing with a dashing slide, head down from the top. The act is one of the most daring known. This places the act far above the ordinary and Herrera’s work on the pole is almost beyond belief.
Nicholas Chefalo the Marvel, will present his death-defying feat of looping the loop and leaping the gap, one of the most sensational acts before the public today. Astride an ordinary bicycle, Chefalo starts at the top of an incline 50 feet in the air and descending at lightning rapidity he enters the loop, his assistants quickly disconnect it from the ascending side of the loop and adjust it to the descending side, so that the rider takes this on his downward spin, and going through the exit thus made again ascends and loops the gap, a distance of 30 feet, landing and dismounting on an elevated platform. The act is a thriller and calculated to make the spectators hold their breath.
The short time in which the trap has to be adjusted between the ascent on one side of the loop and the descent on the other, and the marvelous precision and exactness with which it must be done, adds to the remarkable daring of Chefalo’s feat and increases the admiration for his courage.
There will be a thrilling Wild West Show in front of the grandstand each day. This is a complete show in itself and well worth the price of admission. Owing to conditions it was impossible to secure an airship, so balloon ascensions will be substituted day and evening.
General admission tickets will be 50 cents. Children under 14 get in for half price, and general admission in the evening is 25 cents.