Island News
1997 ClearinghouseMonthly Island Calendars
I would love to have any news, poetry, stories to add to my news page so please email with anything you think would be of interest to islanders around the world - yes there is even someone in Singapore checking out the news page everyday! So please email me at bjohnson@nlis.net/

February - March news


January 31, 1997 It has snowed about 6 inches this morning of a light cold snow. Over the icy cold ground it is making conditions very slippery. Recently I have received notes from islanders in Singapore, Alaska, SanDiego, Boston and the Mediterranean all saying how much they look forward to the news! especially the "Great Cracker Caper"


January 30, 1997 This morning the thermometer outside read five below. It was a clear but verrrry cold day today. The big news is crackers again - Nabisco is bringing the cracker back and there will be lots of hoopla. I will post the details later when we get the official word. The tentative schedule is a celebration on One Long Wharf in Boston next Tuesday and then on to Gloucester the same day. The next day the celebration continues in Portland on the waterfront. Rumor has it that there will be a special surprise for a New England Historical Society.
Today there was a reporter and cameraman from New England Cable News show and they did a lot of filming. They really had a good time and thought this was a great story. While they were in the Island Market, a reporter for the New York Times called and interviewed everyone who came in (they are sending out a cameraman tomorrow), then Tim Sample called for CBS and then a representative from Nabisco called.
I received email from a company in Hawaii who wants to send samples to the Ladies Aid of the Methodist Church after hearing the broadcast on NPR. So they are on there way! What a riot!
Just got back from getting a great perm from Donna at Island Cuts and Styles - yes she and Fred are still here but the restaurent will be closed for a couple of months.


January 28, 1997 NO SCHOOL! It is a wet, heavy snow storm and now it is drizzling at 10:30 am. People better shovel now because it is going to get cold tonight. Sanford is going to start clearing the ice after noon - so any volunteers to help would sure be welcome. Of course, most people who read this are at least 100 miles away and if they are nearby won't read it till tonight.


January 26, 1997 Well I'm trying to watch the Patriots win the Super Bowl and the score is 35 to 21 and I'm afraid it's not going to happen and I just can't sit there and watch the torture so here I am adding to the news. Well, if you need to do something else while my Patriots get creamed (I hope they come back - they still have time) you can read the article David wrote about the rescue of Bob Putnam two years ago - It was quite a night for all of us and David did a great job recreating it RESCUE by David Hill

The Chebeague Care Resource is working on a Grant application for an adult family care home (AFCH) project on Marjory Curits old home which was donated to them by the Gilmartins. They would appreciate getting letters in support of their organization and what they are trying to do for the island. These letters can be sent to:

Chebeague Care Resource
Charlotte Hatfield
RR1 Box 226
Chebeague Island, ME 04017
Just a short note showing your support is all she needs, thanks.


January 25, 1997 The previous announcement date by Nabisco has changed to February 4 as reported in the Portland Press Herald today.
The weather has been quite warm and rainy all day. It was reported that this has been the warmest winter in 57 years.
I have decided to start a poetry and writing section featuring poems and stories written by Chebeaguers and/or about Chebeague. The first poem I am including is one by Lari Smith called Albion's House


January 24, 1997 Forecaster articles appeared yesterday and I have included them on the Save the Pilot Cracker Page


January 23, 1997 MAINE PUBLIC RADIO reported tonight that Nabisco is considering something big. There will be an announcement next Wednesday, 10:30 on Boston's Long Wharf - and will have something to do with Pilot Crackers. In the broadcast they interviewed Donna who speculated that Nabisco is going to advantage of the opportunity to promote the pilot cracker. We can only hope she is right! Another reason for this speculation is that Nabisco executives were seen at a South Portland restaurant and they said they were in Maine because of the pilot crackers! Boy, doesn't this reporter have some pretty good sources.
The weather this morning was very warm 45 degrees but the temperature has quickly dropped to 15 degrees.


January 22, 1997 Much warmer today - now we hope for rain and then cold so we can have a new surface at the ice pond. Mrs. Georges preschool class had a skating party and the school grades K-3 had an Inuit Winter Games which included homemade laughing masks.


January 21, 1997 Sorry I haven't reported lately - I was down in Massachusetts visiting with family. Beautiful, beautiful day!! Sun shining, clear, 20 degrees - the skating was terrific at Sanford's Pond. The Chebeague Care Resources made over $1900 at the Scallop Dinner. Agriculture has been approved as an accepted use by the Cumberland Planning Board in the Island Business District subject to approval by the Cumberland Town Council. The Planning board approved a Contract Zoning Agreement which will enable the Chebeague Recreation Center to go forward with it's construction plan subject to Board of Appeals and technical review. The Forcaster was on Chebeague to report on Pilot Crackers - maybe they happened to see CBS Sunday Morning.
I have just added a new homepage from Gloria Brown "Gloria's Page" (great genealogy links) to the Chebeague Anchor Page.


January 18, 1997 It is still COOOOLD! We spent a few hours thawing out water systems and making repairs and I am surprised there weren't more. When it is this cold and the wind blowing it can really cause a lot of freezeups. We just left the fabulous scallop dinner at the Nellie G to benefit the Chebeague Care Resources. Sold out all seatings and takeout - thank you to Fred and Donna and all the volunteers and all the people making this organization work.


January 17, 1997 10 degrees, blowing about 30 mph - ITS COLD! Channel 6 will feature Jim Crocker and the island. I bet you can't guess what the subject is? On the promos every half hour you can see Johnny Miller eating pilot crackers. Bob Dyke from Channel 8 came on the 10 boat and interviewed a number of people. Gary Varney wrote and sang the Save the pilot cracker song.
Excitement at school - fire alarm went off because of an overheating ballast in one of the florescent lights. Wind chill well below zero and two classrooms of children outside. They brought the bus so they could keep warm. I asked Dasha if it was exciting and she said nooo it was scaaarrry!
Vickie Taliento's Birthday!


January 16, 1997 It is a crummy day in cracker country. The rain, almost sleet is coming down hard as I write this. The big news on the island today is Jim Crocker from Channel 6 is coming on the 4 o’clock boat to talk to people about (what else) CRACKERS! Tomorrow Bob Dyke of Channel 8 news will be here to talk about CRACKERS! The Save the Pilot Cracker Web page is filling up with recipes and comments too.
Becca Rich's Birthday!


January 13, 1997 Yesterday was a beautiful day - people were skating at Sanford's pond, sledding down the Hillcrest hill and watching the Patriots - GO PATRIOTS. Last time the patriots were in the superbowl I had a big superbowl party - I always promised that we'd have another if they ever did it again - but I have to decline -- funny how things change.
Sara Brown is doing well after suffering a concussion yesterday sliding - I heard she hit the bump pretty high in front of the hotel.
SECOND ANNUAL SCALLOP DINNER. It will be January 18, 1997 at the Nellie G. Café, and all proceeds will be donated to Chebeague Care Resources.


January 12, 1997PORTLAND PRESS HERALD -Pilot Cracker story Great article that appears today!!


January 10, 1997 NO SCHOOL The storm last night left snowy, wet, icy conditions which resulted in no school throughout the area. We just went down to the Stone Wharf where most of the wharf was under water. The Cousin's Island Parking lot was flooded at the low points. All the cars parked by the fence were flooded (15 to 20) and cars on the second row had water up to the wheel hubs. Quote from my kids "BIG WATER!!" For the 12:00 boat Billy Putnam was transporting people in the back of his pickup across the Stone Wharf to the boat.
There were two reporters from the Portland Press Herald on the island to talk about Pilot Crackers and I bet they got some good pictures of "big water" too.
Today is Eleanor Johnsons 85th birthday.
Everyone is sledding at the Hillcrest hill - very icy and fast. Denis' face is a mass of ice cuts - OW! There is going to be a snow clearing party at Sanford's Pond at 4:00 and everyone who helps will get hot dogs and drink - YEA for cold snowy weather.


January 9, 1997 Maine Public Radio was on the island today to interview people about the now famous pilot crackers. They interviewed the Ladies Aid, Edmund Doughty and Elsworth and Melba Miller. The radio show will be broadcast Friday night, January 10th between 5 and 6. It is also slated for the National Public Radio on All Things Considered - time and date to be announced - I will let you know. Portland Press Herald is coming down tomorrow to take pictures for an article they are doing (its about time)


January 8, 1997 I have started a Save the Pilot Cracker Page with copies of articles so everyone can read them. If you would like to add to the page just email me your comments and I would be glad to include them. It is a beautiful, sunny day but only 11 degrees this morning. No snow left on the ground.


January 6, 1997 It was suggested that we could all email Nabisco about our concern for the end of pilot Crackers so I found an address for their Consumer Information Services cis@nabisco.com


January 5, 1997 CBS aired the pilot cracker story which I thought was great - I hope everyone got to see it. It has been raining, drizzling and foggy all day and the warm weather has ruined Sanford's ice pond for now. But it sure seemed to help the Patriots! Yea team! Great game! Island kids go back to school tomorrow - I'm sure they can't wait.


January 4, 1997 Sanford's Pond is open for skating and it is terrific!! Friday the island children skated all day and evening. My kids started with double blades for their first time ever skating and within a half hour were on single blades. (Of course everyone expected that, because of their Russian heritage - the other kids say that besides being figure skaters that they will be gymnasts and hockey players - I hope the pressure isn't too much) Sanford and Mabel have the pond cleared of snow today - the fireplace and warming shed are going and the outside lights are all working - so it looks like winter is official now. I hope it stays cold - I can't believe I'm saying that. Yesterday, Nora, Leila and Suhail Bisharat left for Cairo, Egypt where Leila has taken a two year position as the United Nations Unicef's Representative to Egypt - we will all miss them and hope to see them for a few weeks this summer! I'm sure they would love to get email!


January 2, 1997 I finally have a copy of Donna's article in the Globe about the Pilot Crackers - CBS nationally televised morning show Sunday, Jan 5 will be featuring Chebeague and the story about the crackers.. January calendar is now online and the Clearing house is updated


January 1, 1997 HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Beautiful day! Sunny 15 degrees at noon. Last night the island was hopping. The Nellie G Cafe had three settings for New Years Buffet dinner and the Wagoneers played at the Hall.


December 31, 1996 It is 10 degrees and snowing at last, maybe winter is here - the kids are very excited!! We had a CRC (Chebeague Recreation Center) meeting last night and I am very pleased to report that we have over $400,000 in pledges and contributions to the facility which will be going out to bid in January - It is happening faster than anyone expected - I will be updating the CRC this week so everyone will know exactly what is happening. With the prospect of 3 classes in the school next year it looks like the building is being built just in time - the school really needs more space (a lot of work and lessons are now happening in the hall). Hope everyone has a healthy and Happy New Year!


December 29, 1996 I thought people might like to see a poem passed on to me from John Oderda via Dave Hill twist on The Night Before Christmas, probably some of us will be able to relate to it.


December 27, 1996 We have been having some beautiful weather - sunny and freezing to above freezing, we have even gone to town 3 times this week in the outboard. The Chebeague School grades 3 through 6 have published the winter addition of the CHEBEAGUE ISLAND EXPRESS, please check it out and within a few weeks we will have a new email address for them.


December 25, 1996 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Last night there was a beautiful candlelight service at the church - the church was packed. It was poring rain but we still drove around the island looking at the beautiful lights. I forgot to mention Sullivan's house is totally lit up and Brother Rosses was all lit up also. Santa found his way to the island and the proof is in our living room!!! A lot of summer residents here for the holidays. The weatherman promised snow this morning but alas it only rained - oh well maybe next year. Now if only it would get really cold so we can ice skate!!


December 24, 1996 Christmas Card!! Here is my Christmas card for those whose email addresses are not on the list. The Whalers recently went to Brentwood Manor and sang to Lida Small and Joanne Perkins - they enjoyed it immensely! Still no snow!!


December 21, 1996 Just returned from the annual Christmas Party - this year it was held at the Community Center and fortunately Santa arrived on time and distributed lots of gifts to all the children. It was a beautiful day but cool. We are still dreaming of a white Christmas.


December 20, 1996 The temperature dropped 20 degrees last night - all the puddles from a whole day of rain were frozen. It is a bright sunny day but cold. I added a new page for CMIT Cumberland Mainland and Islands Trust



December 18, 1996 Last night at 10:00 it was 51 degrees - I hope we haven't missed winter - I think it's coming tomorrow. Today it is sunny and bright and warm and will probably break the warm record of 1954.


December 15, 1996 Back from Vermont where there was plenty of snow. Chebeague still has no snow and was quite mild tonight. A group of about 25 islanders were out caroling and sounded exceptionally good! They started at the stone pier at the 5:00 boat and then traveled around the island. Saturday night at the Nellie featured baked beans with guest chefs Lindy and Allyson Smith.


December 12, 1996 There is a new book THE HISTORY OF JEWELL ISLAND by Peter Benoit - you can find out about ordering by clicking on the title. I think it would make great Christmas presents. Still no snow, and rain is expected for the weekend, so I'm taking Denis, Dasha, Etta and KayKay and going to Vermont to visit my sister Charlotte (I hope there is snow!)


December 11, 1996 We took a ride around the island and have to say that everyday the Christmas lights get better. The Soucheks, Elaine Doughty's, Poochie and Priscilla (they have a lobster boat outlined in lights), Jennette and Kenneth have that spectacular tree out back all lit up. I have already mentioned the Golf Course, Craven house!


December 10, 1996 Beautiful day today! My internet connection has been down for a couple of days so I have not been able to add to the news or receive email and no one has been able to access the page.


December 9, 1996 Town Council meeting tonight at Cumberland Town Office. Recompense foundation is donating $1000 to the recreation department so that we can continue to run our outdoor adventure program. I have set a date of May 23 and 24 for overnight at Zealand Falls Hut. 3rd through 6th graders and chaperones will hike into this mountain hut for an adventure packed nature weekend! Last year we went to Mizpah!


December 8, 1996 It rained all night and at 8:40am the tide was so high the Stone Pier was covered with water and you had to walk up the ramp to get on the CTC boat! It is windy and sunny at 10:00am. The pilot cracker story was not aired this morning so we'll look for it next Sunday.


December 7, 1996 Snow and rain, Free CTC Christmas boats all day, People preparing for storm to hit tomorrow. Christmas lights are going up all over the island. Christmas tree on the Stone Pier, three trees decorated on the golf course and the clubhouse is outlined with lights BEAUTIFUL. Madeline Craven's house is also outlined fabulously thanks to Dirk Abrahamson. Today was the second annual Christmas Craft Fair from 10 - 2.


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