Author Archives: Patti Mikkelsen

Patti’s Feb. 14 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

A group of attendees at the dedication of the New Gloucester Veterans Monument on Nov. 9, 2014, flock around the World War II tablet searching for names they recognize. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Veterans Monument recognition

Friday, Feb. 28, is this year’s deadline to add a veteran’s name to the New Gloucester Veterans Monument or to purchase an engraved brick for $50.

To have a name engraved on the monument, an individual must be a veteran or currently active in the military, reserves or National Guard and have resided in New Gloucester at some point in their lives. Proof of military status is required, such as a copy of discharge papers (DD-214).

Forms for engraving names on a monument or engraving on a 4-inch x 8-inch brick are available by clicking on the New Gloucester Veterans Monument menu at, picking up print versions at Town Hall or by emailing a request to

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to

Forum: “Maine Equal Rights Amendment: What it is – Why we need it!”

Members of the public are invited to a free forum called “Maine Equal Rights Amendment: What it is – Why we need it!” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26. This event, sponsored by Equal Rights Maine, League of Women Voters Portland, and Rural Maine Rising will take place at Coolidge Family Farm, 1084 Lewiston Road. Light refreshments will be served.

Rep. Lois Reckitt will be leading a discussion of the Maine Equal Rights Amendment (LD 433). This legislative bill, referred to as the “Maine ERA,” would amend the Maine constitution to prohibit discrimination based on gender, which would benefit men as well as women.

Despite being introduced in the legislature every year since the 1980s, Maine has never added such language to our state constitution. This means that the only constitutionally protected right women have is the right to vote. Every other right they have has been won through statute or regulation, both of which are easier to undo than constitutional protections. Because LD 433 would amend the state constitution, ratification would require it to be approved by a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the legislature and passed by a majority of the voters approving the referendum question.

For more information, contact Anne Gass at 657-4935 or Attendees are asked to park across the street at the AmVets Hall, 1095 Lewiston Road.

Patti’s Jan. 31 Inside New Gloucester Column

Jeff Christiansen will be one of the smokin’ blues performers at the Village Coffee House, Saturday, Feb. 1. Courtesy photo

Big Nite O’ Blues

Heat up by getting your corpuscles hoppin’ at the Village Coffee House Saturday, Feb. 1, featuring Big Nite O’ Blues II. Jeff Christiansen, “Lunchpail” Jere DeWaters, Jeff Davison and Rob Babson serve up blues, R&B and roots music featuring cool tunes with hot vocals. The vestry of the First Congregational Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, provides a great, intimate setting to settle in and hear some fine music. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and admission at the door is $10 per person. For more details call Julie Fralich at 653-4823.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to

Patti’s Jan. 17 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

The first cribbage night, organized by resident Penny Hilton, attracted such a strong turnout that players filled the public library’s Community Room and spilled over into a different area of the library. Future monthly games are planned for 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month, same location. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Winter tracking

Naturalists Polly Haight Frawley and Karen Massey are leading the next Get Out! Nature Walk from 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22. The location is Pisgah Hill and the curriculum is winter tracking. Get Out! Nature walks are offered jointly by the Royal River Conservation Trust and the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust.

A 1.2-mile loop trail begins at a trailhead near 74 Dougherty Road. The small parking lot is off-road and plowed in winter. This primitive trail has a few short steep ledges that require some agility. The trail is ideal for trekking or snowshoes.

Members of the public are invited to join the group for a well-planned, free outing held rain, snow or shine. Because the purpose is nature observation, dogs are not allowed. For more information, email or call the Royal River Conservation Trust office at 847-9399.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to

Patti’s Jan. 3 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Penny and David Hilton practice their cribbage game in preparation for the debut of Cribbage Night on Jan. 9 at the New Gloucester Public Library. Penny is the event organizer. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Cribbage night

Penny Hilton’s dad taught her how to play cribbage years ago and now she and her husband David play the game frequently. Hilton said that cribbage is a New England thing. It was invented in England by Sir John Suckling, and the British brought the game to this country when they settled in America, especially in New England.

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Patti’s Dec. 20 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

GNG High School students Lily Terry, left, Venessa Dehart, Stella Libby, store manager David Clark, Alyssa Howard, Hailey Dischenes and Brianna Wiers work with Deputy Cole Chandler at Cumberland Farms in Gray on the December edition of Project Sticker Shock. Courtesy photo

Christmas Eve by candlelight

The First Congregational Church of New Gloucester, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, is holding its annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. The musical preludes begin at 6:45 p.m. led by John Terison, director of music, and the service starts at 7 p.m. led by Pastor Linda Gard. Those who wish may bring non-perishable food donations for the New Gloucester pantry.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to

Patti’s Dec. 6 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

State Rep. Amy Arata presents a Cumberland County 4-H Rosette award ribbon to New Gloucester Public Library 4-H member Serenity Klotzle at a ceremony on Nov. 20. Klotzle delivered a talk on her research entitled, “Wabanaki Bird Stories.” Photo courtesy of Patti Mikkelsen

Coastal Winds in concert

Holiday favorites will be performed by Coastal Winds, Freeport’s community concert band, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the acoustically ideal sanctuary of  the First Congregational Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road. A collection will be gratefully received for the local emergency fuel assistance fund.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to

Patti’s Nov. 22 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

The 1857 George Stevens pipe organ at the First Congregational Church will be undergoing a restoration project on its wind chests this winter. A fundraiser for the project is now in progress. Photo courtesy of John Terison

Organ fund contributions inflate

In the early November edition of Church News, the Rev. Linda Gard thanks those who have made contributions and pledges to the scheduled January-February restoration project on the wind chests of their 1857 George Stevens pipe organ. The fundraiser goal has not been met to date, but it’s off to a strong start.

As an incentive, with any donation now through the end of the year, you can challenge somebody to pump the organ bellows throughout a hymn, pump the organ yourself or choose a favorite hymn of yours or a loved one’s to be played on the organ. There are special Organ Fund envelopes in the pews and at the entrances to the church for the convenience of donors. Alternatively, checks may be made payable to First Congregational UCC, with “organ” in the memo line. Mail check to First Congregational UCC, PO Box 114, New Gloucester, ME 04260.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to:

Strut Your Stuffin’

In partnership with Back 40 Events, a New Gloucester-based company, New Gloucester Recreation will be offering the first annual Thanksgiving four-mile road race, Strut Your Stuffin’, on Saturday, Nov. 23. The event will begin and end at Memorial School, 86 Intervale Road, and the route will take a scenic loop of the Upper and Lower Villages.

Runners will encounter both dirt and pavement surfaces. The start time will be 9 a.m., and the race fee will be $30 plus a $2.95 sign up fee. During a separate kids’ race, children will chase the Turkey who is a volunteer dressed in a turkey suit. The start time will be 8:45 a.m., and fee will be $5 plus a $2 sign up fee.   

Proceeds from the event will go toward establishing the New Gloucester Recreation Scholarship. This scholarship will be used to help families or individuals in financial need by subsidizing the cost of program enrollment.

Providing an event of this size takes many hands, and organizers are soliciting volunteers to help with the race. Volunteers, racers and participating kids are encouraged to pre-register online at

Patti’s Nov. 8 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Connie Justice, CEO of Planson International, left, Sen. Ned Claxton and Senate President Troy Jackson enjoy a lighthearted moment while the senators find out more about the practices of this successful business during their “Fighting for Maine Agenda” tour on Oct. 28.
Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Senators visit Planson International

When Planson International, located on Penney Road, was recently named the Best Place to Work in Maine for the small business category, legislators promoting their “Fighting for Maine Agenda” took notice. One of their stated core objectives is gathering input from small business owners throughout the state, so a stop here filled the bill.

CEO Connie Justice and her son Nick Planson, who is the company’s sales director, briefed Sen. Ned Claxton, D-Auburn, and Senate President Troy Jackson on their humanitarian-centered business.

As a specialized global IT solutions provider to international organizations, their focus is on development, sustainability and emergency response. Much of their work is accomplished in conjunction with the United Nations to help refugees in developing countries by providing technology and services for charitable projects worldwide.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to