Articles by Brian Swartz


Generations differ on their approaches to achievement

By Greg Westrich, Special to The Weekly on March 31, 2014, at 3:43 p.m.
When I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati in the 1970s, my dad was a newspaper carrier. I started working for him when I was in second grade. He would pick me up at school, and we would get home for dinner. I earned 50 cents. By the time …
While practicing her boxing and kickboxing skills, 14-year-old Jayda Bailey of Levant spars with Chris Young at Young’s MMA on Outer Hammond Street in Bangor. Bailey hones her mixed martial arts skills several days a week at the gym, where she instructs students enrolled in the children’s and teens’ classes.

Levant teen trains in mixed martial arts at Bangor gym

By Brian Swartz, Of the Weekly Staff on March 25, 2014, at 9 a.m.
BANGOR — While other eighth graders play video games after school, 14-year-old Jayda Bailey dons boxing gloves and pounds away at men much larger and heavier than herself. And this experienced mixed martial arts student would not have it any other way, even when the competition punches back. After all, …
After her pencil drawing of a blue-winged teal duck took first prize at the state level in the 2014 Junior Duck Stamp contest run by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 
Abigail Bennett received a prize package along with her blue ribbon and certificate. Her prize package included color pencils, the book “The Sibley Guide to Birds,” and binoculars from L.L. Bean.

Brewer student’s Junior Duck Stamp goes to nationals

By David M. Fitzpatrick, Of the Weekly Staff on March 25, 2014, at 8:53 a.m.
BREWER — Ducky. Just ducky. That’s the sentiment around 14-year-old Abigail Bennett these days — and it’s not meant as any fowl wisequack. The eighth-grade from Brewer Community School just won a contest with 483 entries and will now represent Maine in the national competition in Washington, D.C. It’s called …
Senior Beat

Make the most of a medical appointment

By Carol Higgins-Taylor on March 24, 2014, at 3:58 p.m.
Think about the last time you visited your healthcare provider. Did you understand everything that was talked about? Did you leave the office confident that you had a solid plan for better health? Medical appointments are short — and before you know it, you’re out the door. And sometimes there …
Stephen Burrill has been the superintendent at Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor since 1992. He is the third generation of his family to serve in this position; his father, Harold S. Burrill Jr., was the superintendent from 1969-1992, and his grandfather, Harold S. Burrill Sr., was superintendent at Mount Hope Cemetery from circa 1930 to 1946.

Mount Hope is a quiet oasis for the living and the dead

By Brian Swartz, Of the Weekly Staff on March 24, 2014, at 3:49 p.m.
BANGOR — Tucked into the Queen City’s east corner, Mount Hope Cemetery provides a quiet oasis for the living — and the dead, naturally — about 2 miles from the traffic-humming Bangor Mall. The cemetery has sheltered Bangor’s famous and obscure residents since the 1830s — and visitors mistakenly believe …
When aviatrix Amelia Earhart flew to Bangor in 1934, she supposedly took passengers on 10-minute “joy hops” above the Queen City. Earhart actually served as a hostess on each flight; the plane’s pilot was a man.

Historian debunks 10 myths about Maine’s ‘Queen City’

By Richard R. Shaw, Special to The Weekly on March 24, 2014, at 3:44 p.m.
BANGOR — Every city has its mythology, and Bangor is no exception. Just as Boston and Philadelphia have endured a plethora of half-truths and flat-out lies spun around favorite sons Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin (respectively), the Queen City also has its share of fractured history. Let’s be honest: Often …
This woman sitting in a typical office chair is slouching, which results in grossly improper proper position of the spine.

Back-support device changed this writer’s life

By David M. Fitzpatrick, Of the Weekly Staff on March 24, 2014, at 3:32 p.m.
The Weekly is a community newspaper, so reviewing a national product seems out of place. But given that so many people suffer from back pain, I hope this one helps some of you out there. With lower-back surgery in 1987 and a car accident that damaged my neck, shoulder, and …
A volunteer at the Curran Homestead Living History Farm & Museum in Orrington, Bob Croch of Dedham watches sap boil in a 15-gallon evaporator set up inside the farm's sugar shack. Boiling maple sap was part of the farm's March 22 Maple Festival and Irish Celebration.

Maple Festival celebrates spring at Curran Homestead

By Brian Swartz, Of the Weekly Staff on March 24, 2014, at 3:18 p.m.
ORRINGTON — Warm steam rising from a 15-gallon evaporator greeted visitors attending the March 22 MapleFestival/Irish Celebration, held at the Curran Homestead Living History Farm & Museum on Fields Pond Road in Orrington. The event featured different activities, from learning how maple sap becomes maple syrup to checking out small …
Brewer High School students Mark Colley (left) and Jonathan Bouchard use Oregon chainsaws to cut firewood behind the school in mid-March. Colley and Bouchard are enrolled in the Introduction to Forest Management class taught by Mark Savage; this winter the students have practiced cutting, splitting, and selling firewood as part of the curriculum.

Brewer High students learn about forestry-related jobs

By Brian Swartz, Of the Weekly Staff on March 18, 2014, at 1:12 p.m.
BREWER — Amidst the muffled roar and spraying sawdust, Michela Jamison seems quite happy. On an overcast March morning, with the thermometer hovering in the mid-30s, Jamison wields an Oregon chainsaw while cutting maple logs spread behind Brewer High School. Clad in a logger’s helmet and ear muffs, chaps, and …
Eric Furry is the proprietor of Pro Libris, located at 10 Third St. in Bangor.

Locally owned bookstores adapt to changing marketplace

By Dale McGarrigle, Special to The Weekly on March 18, 2014, at 11:39 a.m.
BANGOR – It’s like taking a step back to a more genteel time. Shelf after shelf of books, full of new people and new worlds waiting to be discovered, with a familiar face ready to serve as a guide — and time and space for a leisurely perusal. This wonderland …
While hiking the Mexican coast In 2007, Wendy Morrill and her father, Rucgard Bailey, hit a wide, deep inlet that was too long and too difficult to circumvent due to the thick jungle and mangrove swamps. Bailey decided to build a raft using an old pallet and a buoyant log. Morrill cut palm fronds to lay over the pallet to float their backpacks, and the pair swam and pushed the raft to the other side of the inlet.

Milford adventurer hiked Mexican coast with her father

By David M. Fitzpatrick, Of the Weekly Staff on March 18, 2014, at 11:26 a.m.
Editor’s note: Last week, we learned how Wendy Morrill and her father, Richard Bailey, did an impromptu 20-mile hike on the wild coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico, and how they returned the following year for another 20-mile hike near Cancun. After reading about Michel Peissel’s 200-mile hike along the same …

Stay safe out there…

By Carol Higgins-Taylor on March 18, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.
Who doesn’t shudder when they hear that a senior has been victimized by a ruthless scam artist? How often do we utter, “Something needs to be done about this. We need to protect our seniors”? Something is being done. The Penobscot County Triad is a non-profit organization comprised of law …
Although the calendar says "March," shoppers at the Orono Farmers Market are buying foods grown and prepared in Maine farms. Fresh bread, eggs, cheeses, and pork are among the food items found at the market this winter.

Cold weather shoppers flock to Orono Farmers Market

By Danielle Walczak, Special to The Weekly on March 18, 2014, at 11:17 a.m.
ORONO — Out of the trunk of her Subaru, a Vietnamese woman sells egg rolls and noodles. Steam from the warm food condensates in the plastic containers. It’s February, it’s cold, but it’s sunny enough to keep producers and customers coming. And that’s why Bich NGA Burill of Orono is …
Outlook: Business & Economic Development

Going green and saving green with cloud-based business phone systems

By Trevor Jones, GWI on March 13, 2014, at 2:07 p.m.
Can your business go green by going virtual? According to a Huffington Post article by Jared Seeger, if more companies pushed telecommuting, Americans would use 625 million fewer barrels of oil annually, reduce greenhouse emissions by 107 million tons, and save $43 billion on gas. The combination of reduced costs …
Outlook: Business & Economic Development
James Donnelly is the Machias Savings Bank executive president.

Business bankers work with every sector of Maine economy

By Brian Swartz, BDN Maine Special Sections on March 13, 2014, at 1:23 p.m.
More Maine business owners than ever are relying on Machias Savings Bank to provide the banking services they need. “Our focus is the state of Maine,” said Executive Vice President James Donnelly. “We are invested in the business community in Maine and are committed to helping our customers be successful.” …
Senior Beat

Help end hunger by participating in this year’s Feinstein Challenge

By Carol Higgins-Taylor on March 11, 2014, at 10:36 a.m.
We are taking the Feinstein Challenge again this year. Just look at what your donations to Eastern Area Agency on Aging helped us do last year in the nutrition department; we delivered 71,177 meals, served 39,750 Community Café meals, and distributed 189,563 pounds of food through Pantry Partners and the …
Wendy Morrill and her father, Richard Bailey, pose near Paa Mulin Mexico  in 2007. This was the year of their first 120-mile leg, which they did in eight days. This was after two years of much easier 20-mile hikes.

Mexican jungle adventures awaited Milford explorer

By David M. Fitzpatrick, Of the Weekly Staff on March 11, 2014, at 10:33 a.m.
MILFORD — Hacking through jungles with a machete. Walking wild tropical coastlines. Surviving on coconuts and water wherever she could find it. Call this jungle-hopping adventurer “Indiana Jane.” When Wendy Morrill of Milford went with her parents and a group of 50- and 60-somethings to an all-inclusive resort near Cancun, …
Dr. Amina Qazi, MD, practices at Northeast Cardiology Associates in Bangor and is the current governor of Maine'’s chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

Heart disease impacts women

By Wanda Curtis, Special to The Weekly on March 11, 2014, at 10:29 a.m.
The No. 1 killer of women worldwide today is heart disease. Nearly 8.6 million women die worldwide annually from heart disease, compared to 400,000 who die from breast cancer. A major factor impacting mortality rates has been a knowledge deficit regarding the prevalence  of heart disease among females. Women themselves …
Construction of the new $5.2 million Emera Astronomy Center was well under way at the University of Maine in late February. The all-digital facility will replace the existing Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory.

Fall debut planned for new UMaine planetarium and observatory

By David M. Fitzpatrick, Of the Weekly Staff on March 11, 2014, at 10:16 a.m.
ORONO — The Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory are getting a $5.2 million upgrade as the Emera Astronomy Center, slated to open this fall. The new all-digital facility will be a grand improvement over the current one. “It’s head and shoulders, quantum leaps beyond what we’ve had and been …
Traffic flows across and beneath the Union Street overpass above Interstate 95. The Maine Department of Transportation has budgeted $8.895 million to replace the overpass in a construction method similar to that used for replacing the Hammond Street overpass a few years ago.

State schedules local construction projects for 2014

By Brian Swartz, Of the Weekly Staff on March 11, 2014, at 10:09 a.m.
AUGUSTA — The MaineDOT Work Plan released in January details an ambitious schedule of 1,600-plus projects to be completed by the Maine Department of Transportation during the next year at an aggregate cost of $2.02 billion. The document includes $455 million budgeted for 425 capital projects in 2014 — and …