Gabe Gregoire

Gabe Gregoire

Like a Day of the Best Streaming Video

On Monday, the weather forecast for Saturday, July 1 called for scattered showers. If the magical powers of the internet, backed up by some kind of official meteorology, we hope, are to be trusted, it's an iffy beach day at best.

 

So, do what Americans do best: binge watch. But don’t let your family down with a two-hour session of trying to find a nugget of gold in the barrel of silt that is Netflix. Instead, travel down past the overpass, take a left and be beguiled by an amazing all-day program of viewing on a screen that would make that rich friend with the wall-size TV turn at least lime, if not emerald.

 

It’s Planet Earth Day at Southworth Planetarium (96 Falmouth St), playing on Saturday, July 1 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. A single ‘Earth Pass’ (adults $10, children and seniors $8) will grant you access to any and all shows.

 

To give the intrigued a taste of this smorgasbord of delights, the a la carte menu begins with a fine film called Chronicle of a Journey to Earth, and moves on, if the little savages don’t usurp the projector and play it again, with titles like Bella Gaia: The Beautiful Earth (a good choice for anybody who misses someone in their life) and finally caps off with the distinctive flavor of an educational aperitif called “Night Sky Tour.” If that doesn’t suit your little astronaut, nothing will.

 

http://usm.maine.edu/planet/planet-earth-day

 

  • Published in Kids

What the Good Guys Are Doing — Maine Org Helps to Rescue Dogs from International Meat Farms

Many of us are guilty of joking about it. But we may be forgiven, since our friends know that to make light of something abhorrent is sometimes the only way to emotionally process it. “My dog destroyed another chair, that little chewer. I’m giving him to the Chinese restaurant.” Such a joking comment is surely ignorant, and may be construed as a little racist by the hypervigilant. But the seed of it, whether one finds it worthy of a chuckle or a note-to-self to hang-out with that friend a little less, is rooted in an important cultural difference. One that dog lovers hate.

 

But get this. Those same dog lovers are doing something about it. The country in question is actually South Korea, where, despite sharply falling demand for dog meat, there are still some 17,000 farms in operation.

 

Enter the Humane Society International. These are the warriors of the dog-fan world. They fly overseas, discover both purebreds and mixed breeds in dark, dank dungeons, barely kept alive and literally unable to walk around even when released because they’ve always been in a cage and never learned how. These fine folks transport the pooches to US soil and rehabilitate them physically and socially until they literally learn for the first time how to be dogs. The organization has rescued over 800 meat-farm dogs from seven farms in South Korea since 2015. What happens to the dog farm owners? The HSI actually gets them started with training and support to enter other lines of business. Heart swelling yet?

 

The local angle is that Westbrook’s Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland has been working hard in recent months to bring some of these South Korean puppies into some kind of canine life, from the time the dogs stand at the back of the truck that brought them and wonder how to walk down the ramp, to successful integration into multi-dog adopter’s families (meat-farm dogs often need a canine ‘mentor’). The ARLGP last month celebrated the first anniversary of their five-dog program, reporting in their blog (at https://arlgp.wordpress.com/) that the success rate with their South Korean dogs, albeit at different stages of completion for each pup, is one hundred percent. No joke.

 

So rest easy. Maine has its own champions for the canine cause, and nobody’s going to hell for bad jokes. And did we see one of The Don’s aides at a pet store down the road from Camp David, saying he was ‘checking things out on a friend’s behalf’? Hmm!

 

  • Published in Pets

The Running Season Continues...

Army Captain Christopher Scott Cash died on June 24, 2004, when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle came under attack in Baqubah, Iraq by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The Old Orchard Beach native left behind a wife and two sons that day. With the help of Veterans Count Maine, the philanthropic arm of Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services, they eventually translated their grievous loss into something their running-enthusiast father and husband would have loved.

 

Support the veterans’ cause by running in the 13th Annual Run for Cash, a 5K race and 3-mile walk beginning at Old Orchard Beach High School (40 Emerson Cummings Blvd) on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 a.m., with pre-race packet pickup on Friday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the same location. Register online at http://runforcash.org/ for $25 (students $15) for the 5K or the walk. You’ll be helping servicemen and women, their families, and you’ll be generating some cash of your own, if you’re in the top three male or female finishers the first-place prize is $150, with $100 and $50 for second and third places, respectively.

 

Or, if you’re a runner who prefers something a little more low-key, like maybe followed by a beer or two, check out Portland’s installation of the Craft Brew Races, at Payson Park (700 Baxter Blvd.) on Saturday, July 1 at 10 a.m. This is a relaxed, yet still timed, 5K race (walkers welcome) around our own Back Cove, finishing in the midst of a 40-brewery beer festival in the park. Get your race, festival-only, or designated driver tickets at http://craftbrewraces.com/portland/ for $60, $50, and $15, respectively. Drinking participants get a pint glass and access to the wide-ranging beer sampling, groovy live music, vendors, and multiple food trucks on site. If you’re wondering just how chill this event is meant to be, many runners will be donning costumes, and you are encouraged to join them.

 

Whatever you do, keep those feet running, and keep watching this spot for more chances to join races.

  • Published in Sports

Is Our Universe an Electron In a Bigger One?

Remember when the junior high science teacher said that a lot of water got back to the ice caps and lakes and rivers when transpiration took place? Remember when it was easy to tell someone that those clouds up there are cumulonimbus, so we better head home? How about this one: How many of us have thought about subatomic particles and the enticing notion that entire universes are contained in every electron, neutron and proton everywhere, and our universe is just a quark somewhere else?

 

If these are some of the things that your kids think about, we have the perfect entertainment: Gear up and head out to “Molecularium!” It’s a Southworth Planetarium (96 Falmouth St.) dome show on June 26 at 11 a.m. that teaches kids about all that great subatomic science stuff, with cartoon characters that are truly representational of molecules that exist in life.

 

We’re not kidding. This program is so cleverly disguised as a mind-blowing adventure that kids won’t suspect for a second that they’re learning important principles and facts. It’s like the dome-show equivalent of grinding up peas and carrots to hide in their meatloaf. This quote is from the official press: “Aligned with national science standards in primary school learning, educational assessment has shown that ‘Molecularium’ truly helps kids learn.”

 

If your youngsters are a little older and can see through any ruse, but still get a kind of faraway look when they see stars in the sky, no problem. Take them on a grownup journey from Stonehenge to supernovae, and pick up a few droppable facts about the cosmos yourself, at “Astronomy: 3,000 Years of Stargazing,” also at Southworth, on June 22 at 1 p.m. and June 23 at 7 p.m. It’s a fascinating dome show about the history of humanity’s awe of celestial bodies. You won’t regret it.

 

Schedule and info: http://usm.maine.edu/planet/events

 

  • Published in Kids

The Dock Dogs Are Back!

So you like your dog. You’re keen on him. If it came down to it, he could go all Chuck Norris on somebody that was bothering your family. And athletically? The canine is prime and on time. Runs like Bolt. Maybe faster. And don’t worry, nobody is alone in their parental belief that their child (read: dog) really is destined to be some kind of wunderkind. It’s a common syndrome.

 

Well, you can deny that diagnosis by entering your dog in what we like to call the canine Olympics, a furious carnival of leaping, diving and dashing called Dock Dogs, and proving it. The dog-and-family-friendly party takes place on June 23, 24 and 25 at the Pet Life in Scarborough (200 Expedition Dr). Get this: It’s free to attend, and there’s a free barbeque lunch for hungry souls.

 

Now, as to exactly what is going to be happening: The main event is called Big Air. Take the title, add a 40-foot, 27,000-gallon pool, throw in your flying dog, and you start to imagine what form the fun will take. There’s also Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve, in case one blue ribbon is insufficient.

 

To round up the picture, pet rescue groups will be there with information and demonstrations, and raffle baskets and carnival games are also on the menu. Pet Life President Pete Risano was quoted as saying, “... it’s all worth it when you see the look on the dogs’ faces when they’re jumping in the water. Everybody has fun, regardless of whether you’re an adult, a child, a man, a woman, or a dog.” Go for it!

 

Event website: http://www.petlifestores.com/c/343/dock-dogs

 

  • Published in Pets

The Start of Summer Sailing

If you’ve ever sailed, you know the sense of freedom the open water brings. Hand on the rudder, or in larger vessels the wheel, keeping the boat true by sight or by compass, the scent of the ocean, the sound of splashing of water on your hull and the billow and snap of your sails as you bring the boom around, a seaman’s faith in the wind in your heart, you are truly a captain, if only for awhile. Of course, when you’re thinking about sailing, visions of the ancient tall ships always come. What must it have been like to climb the rigging, barefooted, knowing you’ve only got seconds to get to the topsail? To haul on the halyard like your life depended on it after a costly calm? To bellow with delight and relief when the barrelman yelled, “Land ho!”

 

Portlanders can get a taste of all that during SchoonerFest & Regatta 2017, sailing from points on the Portland waterfront during the last weekend in June, the 24th to the 26th. A berth on one of the five participating traditional schooners costs $45 to $60. If you prefer solid ground under your feet, enjoy the races and fanfare from the Eastern Prom.

 

Hosted by Portland Schooner Company and Tall Ships Portland, the event marks the beginning of summer sailing season, featuring some of the best-known schooners in the country (Gloucester’s Schooner Adventure [a national historic landmark] and Portland’s 131-foot Harvey Gamage are two). Wanderers in Portland have been known to catch the tall masts gliding by above nearby rooftops, run to see, and become lifelong sailing fans and sailors themselves. SchoonerFest, quite purposefully, brings all the mystery and wonder of the nautical life to those who may have never fully appreciated what it means to live in a seaside city before.

 

Stefan Edick, captain of Schooner Adventure, said, “We are really excited to join the racing and spend the weekend in Portland. Portland’s sail training community is growing and we look forward to showing Adventure’s transom to the other fine schooners who will be there…” In case you’re wondering, yes, that is a little bit of trash talk; a ship’s transom is the stern. Join the fun and see if Edick can live up to his hype. These vessels are quite a sight, either way.

 

FMI: http://tallshipsportland.org/portland-schoonerfest/

 

  • Published in Sports

When the "What Ifs" Are Frightening

Remember the last time you took your kids on vacation, out of state or out of the country? If your awareness of their proximity and your surroundings got jacked up to the level of a black ops reconnaissance expert, you’re not alone. We trust everyone got back safely — but what if they didn’t? Allow us to introduce novelist Maile Meloy. If you read for pleasure, you may already be aware of her 2009 collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, which was voted one of the ten best books of that year by both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. It was even on O Magazine’s Summer Reading List, not to embarrass you if you missed it. The power of Oprah reaches far, but it is not infinite.

 Kids

Meloy brings her new novel, Do Not Become Alarmed, to her premier Maine appearance at Longfellow Books (1 Monument Way) on Saturday, June 17 at 6 p.m. To not grab the book, read it, show up and get an autograph would be a shame for any parent who has ever gone crosshair-eyes when their child makes a trip a thousand miles from home.

 

Do Not Become Alarmed is an exciting read, in other words. Listen to Elle magazine: “Our advice: Don’t read [this] new adrenaline-driven thriller of class, race, and disappeared children after dark… Do Not Become Alarmed will keep you up all night, compelled by the book’s twisty plot and seductive, tightly wound suspense.” And that’s no lie. When you follow the main characters Liv and Nora off their cruise ship with their families in Central America and see the nerve-wracking chain of events that separates them from their adventurous children, you’ll be shouting out loud at every success that both the parents and the kids achieve under extreme duress and with any other alternative being unspeakable. This is a good one. Don’t let your kids read it.

 

Check it out at http://www.longfellowbooks.com/event/evening-maile-meloy .

 

  • Published in Kids

Maybe Donald's Allergic?

Our illustrious President does not have a dog. They say he’s the first in about 130 years not to own one. Why is that something he catches flak over? Because the family dog is a part of the American Dream, as quintessential as the family home or the family car. Americans have an affinity for canines because we understand that these loyal animals give an incredible amount of emotional currency to us, in return for a mere occasional cleanup or rainstorm walk. Reduce America to graphic designer-drawn icons, and the dog is right there next to the apple pie.

 

Next in the row? Baseball. Yes, that boring-yet-fascinating pastime is never going to leave us alone, so you might as well get your dog (You have one, right? Are your papers in order?) and bring him or her to the Portland Sea Dogs’ annual Bark in the Park at Hadlock Field (271 Park Ave.) on Friday, June 23 at 7 p.m. This is the one day a year where pooches are welcome in the stadium, albeit in a special section, and invited to participate in a pre-game dog parade around the bases, all to benefit the Planet Dog Foundation, which does wonders for dogs that aren’t lucky enough to have a family like yours yet. Tickets are $10 (you have to pay for your dog too), and you can see the info online at http://www.milb.com/promotions/index.jsp?sid=t546 .

 

Or, if you really can’t stand the sport, how about a summertime road trip instead? Especially if you already live south of Portland, it’s a scenic jaunt to Barks for Brews at Henniker Brewing Company (129 Centervale Rd, Henniker, NH), a few days sooner, Saturday, June 17, from noon to 4 p.m. It’s the inaugural event. You could say, “I was at the very first one.” Henniker will offer tours, flights of local craft beers at a discount, and the piece de resistance, the Pope Memorial SPCA will be on site from 1 to 3 p.m. with adoptable pets. Dogs already in the family are welcome to attend. If you’re about to make the decision to welcome an animal into your life, we recommend taking care of that before enjoying too many flights. Natch. See more at http://www.popememorialspca.org/.

 

  • Published in Pets

Big Bike Week Next Door

Let it never be said that the Phoenix neglects our readers who are bikers. Some of our own contributors know the joy of twisting that throttle, picking up your feet and flying off on top of that rumbling four-stroke. And, after a number of false starts, it looks like this weekend is going to bring the first few days of primo riding weather. So if you’re a fan of the freedom and exhilaration that few things other than two wheels can give you, read on. In the land of ‘Live Free or Die,’ it’s Laconia Bike Week.

 

Access the full schedule of events at http://laconiamcweek.com/ , but if you can’t spare the vacation time for the whole week, or just want to test the waters on a weekend ride, the Winnipesaukee H.O.G. (Harley Owners’ Group) Chapter #2529 hosts a ride from Laconia Harley-Davidson (293 Daniel Webster Hwy, Meredith, NH) to Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel (1601 Portland Rd) on Sunday, June 11. Meet with fellow riders at 9 a.m. and begin the ride en masse at 10 a.m. Note: If you are not a motorcycle enthusiast, you may ask, “Why go so far, just to go even farther?” But if you have the bug, you know that the riding, including on the way to the starting point of the riding event, is where the pleasure lies.

 

Non-riders can get in on the fun, too. Try the Big Air Jumps & Stunts Show at Makris Lobster & Steak House (354 Sheep Davis Rd, Concord, NH) on Saturday, June 10 from noon to dusk, instead. These guys love showing what can be done on a street bike that you wouldn’t want to do within sight of a passing patrol. That’s the USAFMX Street Bike Stunt Show, followed by live music, a cornhole tournament, and more. Just the thing to get you thinking about visiting your local motorcycle dealership.

 

Can you feel the noise? Let’s ride!

  • Published in Sports

The Magic of Music

We can’t say enough about childhood literacy. Skillful, natural reading really is the key to success in any field of endeavor. If your child is especially perceptive, he or she may receive the building blocks of literacy from children’s television programming, and learn the finer points in kindergarten and beyond, with no difficulty. But this is not a thing to hedge your bets on. It’s all hands on deck, battle stations, let’s get these rugrats into words.

 

It just so happens that the Portland Public Library is a valuable ally. They have an ongoing program for kids aged three to six called Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library. It’s actually a registered trademark, and the sub-program, Singing Through Your Day, is backed by current research and knowledge. Specifically, that singing out loud does several things, among them, helping children hear the distinct sounds that make up words, teaching new vocabulary, and introducing new ideas and concepts, which is of course a concise description of the magic of reading itself. PPL introduces you to two musicians this week who are part of the program.

 

First, it’s Rob Duquette with his Concert of World Music Rhythm, on Thursday, June 8 at 10:30 a.m. Mr. Duquette is a classically trained, gigging percussionist who teaches World Music, African Drumming, and American Popular Music at the University of New England. In practice with children, he brings a culturally rich presentation of world music styles and the percussion at the heart of them, demonstrating that the meaning of other countries’ and continents’ musical styles have great significance to us, as well. And it’s fun!

 

Next, join Amanda Panda, homeschooler and director of Little Roots, the early childhood music education program at 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth, at PPL on Tuesday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. She presents a menu of feel-good songs with themes of animals, nature, kindness and more. In case you’re wondering how dedicated she is to introducing kids to music, she also founded Music and Magic Maine, an organization that puts instruments into the hands of children at no cost. We feel good recommending her.

 

So get ready to sing with your kids in the car, at story time, during journeys on foot, and everywhere. You’re helping them more than you know.

  • Published in Kids
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