By Squirrel Staff

Studying ancient poetry might seem an unlikely way for a modern soldier to find solace from the trauma of the battlefield. But over this past fall and spring a group of veterans discovered that the basic human experience of returning from war has changed little over the past thousand years. In a program sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council, combat veterans came together to read and discuss two ancient Greek texts dealing with war, grief, homecoming, revenge, and other powerful themes.  Continue reading VETS FIND CAMARADERIE, HEALING IN CLASSICS


By Squirrel Staff

At a June 15th meeting the Portland City Council voted 5-2 to delay their final decision on the zoning change requested by developers for the Sisters of Mercy property at 605 Stevens Avenue. After the Planning Board voted 4-0 to endorse the rezoning, it looked as if the council would likely approve the change from R5 to a denser R5A zone. But vigorous lobbying by the group Preserve Deering Neighborhood, led by residents Bobbi Cope and John Thibodeau, appears to have swayed many of the City Council members to vote against the zone change. After reaching a deadlock after midnight, the Council made the decision to table the issue until their July 6th meeting.  Continue reading CITY VOTES TO TABLE FINAL DECISION ON SISTERS OF MERCY PROPERTY


By Michele Praught

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the history of a place must be made up of a thousand images. Our neighborhood of Deering Center is the sum of the people, places, artifacts, and events that make this a close-knit, vibrant, and interesting place to live. Like pieces of a puzzle, these individual images–the Deering High School clock tower, the gravestones at Evergreen Cemetery, the face of a veteran marching in the Memorial Day procession–fit together to form our community. Continue reading SCAVENGER HUNT


by Deirdre McClure and Elizabeth Tarasevich

Erin Segal helps out at BFCG spring orientation

The spring rush always seems to take us by surprise, with so many garden tasks to attend to. First and foremost for a community garden is getting the plots assigned. Our plot lady, Deirdre McClure, handles this enormous task with aplomb. During this year’s garden orientation and work days, 64 Brentwood Farmers came out to claim their plots:  53 returning and 11 newcomers. Continue reading BRENTWOOD FARMS: SEASON SIX, FULL HOUSE


By Evie Ford

Four Lincoln Middle School teachers were selected to attend a conference held by CERES (Center for Education for Racial Equality) at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. They applied for and were awarded a fellowship sponsored by Fund For Teachers, an organization dedicated to helping teachers gain knowledge and develop skills to positively impact student learning. This summer, June 24th-June 26th, Antona Briley, Robin Lea, Alexis Lyon, and Jen Dorval will learn how to educate and talk with students about racial issues comfortably. They want to teach kids to have meaningful conversations about race and identity, whether it’s in the classroom or on their own time.  Continue reading LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RACISM


by Fleur Hopper and Nathan Hall

Great Horned Owl bringing wisdom to the Evergreen Woods. Photographed in May by Fleur Hopper
Great Horned Owl bringing wisdom to the Evergreen Woods, photographed in May by Fleur Hopper.

Tennessee, Connecticut, Cape May, Nashville, Canada– what do these have in common? They are all species of eastern warblers! The arrival of these small, beautiful, and often perplexingly named birds is considered by many to be the highlight of the birding year. From late April to late May, southern Maine is visited by at least 25 different warbler species, many of which can been seen in Evergreen Cemetery or Capisic Pond Park with a little luck and effort. You may even end up with a few passing though your very own backyard! We were thrilled to have a Canada Warbler–distinguished by its overall yellow coloring and black “pearl necklace” markings–visit our yard this May.

Continue reading JUNE BIRDING


By Squirrel Staff

Capisic Pond is getting a facelift! Starting next spring nearly 16,000 cubic yards of sediment and cattails will be removed from the pond, restoring it to over 5 acres of open water. Created in the 1640’s, when a grist mill and dam was placed on Capisic Stream by the first settlers of what was then Falmouth, Capisic Pond is the largest body of freshwater in the city. But decades of stormwater runoff and the rapid growth of cattails, encouraged by fertilizers draining into the pond, have reduced the pond’s open water from nearly 8 acres to about 2 acres.   Continue reading CAPISIC POND ENHANCEMENT PROJECT DELAYED


By Ellen Gilliam, Director, Portland Public Library Burbank Branch

Sail into Reading Summer 2015
The Portland Public Library Summer Reading 2015 Children’s Program June 15-August 15

Summer is finally here!!! And with it comes the ever-popular Summer Reading program at Portland Public Library. Burbank Branch patrons – adults, children and teens – are invited to join with book lovers across this City of Readers in whiling away the long warm days with favorite books. Jump out of your hammock or get up from your beach chair and return your reading logs to any PPL branch to claim giveaways and enter to win great prizes, including gift certificates for Longfellow Books, vouchers for Sea Dogs tickets and treats from Gelato Fiasco as well as free books and programs. Continue reading SUMMER READING