The Chris Wolf Show - here are the shows you want to hear, the people you want to know more about
For the past 11 years, Dr. Nick Ithomitis has had the pleasure of being the principal at Camden Hills Regional High School. Although he loves CHRHS and Midcoast Maine, this June he and his wife, Deb, are relocating to Beaufort, S.C., where he will serve as the head of school for Bridges Preparatory School.
On The April 4, 2016, Chris Wolf Show, Dr. I was the special guest and he talked about his years at the high school as administrator. And his plans for "retirement" to his next job. As always on the show, we never know where the conversation will go...but it’s always interesting.
On Monday, March 21, 2016, Chris Wolf’s guest was Brian Hill, chef/owner of Francines Bistro in Camden and also of Shepherd’s Pie in Rockport.
A seven-time semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award, Hill is currently one of five finalist nominees vying for 2016 Best Chef-Northeast.
We also know he spent the previous weekend in Boston, thrashing it up at the House of Blues with his band, Heretix, recently back on the stage.
Watch Heretix live at the Paradise Rock Club in 2014.
Sometimes a few words tell the whole story. In a pre-show telephone call, Chris Wolf talked with 12-year-old Lucas Marriner-Ward, a student at Camden-Rockport Middle School and classical pianist.
Wolf: How long have you been playing piano?
Lucas: For eight years
Wolf: Do you take lessons?
Lucas: Midcoast Music Academy with Stew Gurly
Wolf: Your favorite music?
Lucas: Classical and electronic R&B
Wolf: What do you like to do?
Lucas: Singing, acting and taking over your job on the radio!
Lucas has played locally, including at the 2015 North Atlantic Blues Festival.
Miss Snuffles is a famous "therapy pig" from Rockport, who has an active career visiting groups in the area who'd like to see something unique.
She was a guest April 1 (not an April Fools joke) on The Chris Wolf Show. She is definitely a diva and this show is well worth watching.
Miss Snuffles was born May 28, 2014, in Waco, Texas. She traveled by airplane to Portland where she met her new family, Kim and Debbie Chatfield of Rockport. She was just a month old then and weighed 5 pounds.
She moved right in and took over the household, including their two standard poodles. There was no house training. Miss Snuffles, like all pigs, is very clean. When she needs to go, she goes to the door and rings the bell her people installed, so they know to let her out.
Snuffles eats a mix of chopped veggies (squash, zucchini, apples, beans, etc) and a special pelleted grain. She also likes carrots and carrot juice.
A lot of times we hear Maine is not conducive to business. And in many ways it isn't. But there are success stories as well.
For instance, there is the story about two people who came together and made a great team. Wayne started driving school buses when he was 19 years old in Rockland. Bud Wood trained and inspired him to be a great bus driver. Years later, Wayne's Uncle Frank was retiring after 17 years of owning his "South Hope" bus. Uncle Frank sold the bus to Wayne. In 1987, Wayne started with his very own bus. During the day, he would cut wood lots and drive the bus for the South Hope kids as a supplementary job.
In 1993 Wayne met a girl named Molly. At first, Molly worked in the wood lot with Wayne, but after three days of broken nails and coveralls she decided that the bus business would suit them better. Well, the rest is history. And that history is called Luce Transportation and now we all see their big yellow buses running back and forth all over the area.
Wayne and Molly Luce are the founders of Luce Transportation. They run school buses, a special needs program called Safe Care and Luce's Garage on Route 17.
Rick Bates started his municipal career in 1977 as the first parks and recreation director in Raymond, N.H. He helped evolve the department into an award winning organization and a model for small town recreation in that state. A winner of the Recreation Director of the Year award, he was appointed Raymond's town manager, a position he held until he retired in 2007.
During his short-lived retirement, he worked for Municipal Resources, a municipal consulting company, during which time he provided long-term interim management services for the towns of Milton, N.H., and Sabattus, as well as organizational analysis of many police, fire, recreation and public works departments.
Being a failure at retirement, he accepted the job of Rockport's town manager in June 2013, a position he says he wakes up every morning feeling blessed to be in such a "fun job, working with great people, and in such a cool community."
He is an avid sailor and lives with his wife, Robin, in Camden and can often be found sailing their schooner, Appledore (the first one), on Penobscot Bay or on their mooring in Perry Creek on Vinalhaven.
Most have seen the Working Waterfront newspaper, available free at locations around town. And most pick up a copy to read because it has interesting articles not only about the "working waterfront," but also about the islands, the coast, the bays and sea, the environment, the fisheries and more. It reflects Maine's close connection to the sea, which is important in many ways.
Chris Wolf's guest on Jan. 10 was Tom Groening from the Island Institute. Tom is editor of the Working Waterfront and oversees all aspects of the paper's print and online editions. He also edits Island Journal, the organization's annual publication that celebrates island life and culture.
A seasoned reporter and editor with more than 25 years of experience in Maine journalism, Groening spent 10 years at Belfast's weekly Republican Journal, and had been with the Bangor Daily News for 14 years, most recently as Belfast bureau chief, before stationing at the Institute in February 2013.
Imagine having a job in Maine, where your office is a boat and you are your own boss. And you don't have to haul lobsters.
Ben Ellison of Camden, has such a job and was Chris Wolf’s guest on Jan. 6. There was lots of talk about his job, his office - Gizmo, boats, and many things nautical.
Perhaps the best way to describe Ben is from his bio:
I've lived in Camden, Maine, since 1971, when I bought a 1946 wooden sloop (same vintage as me) that was moored here.
I was planning to sail around the world, but...um...never made it.
I did live aboard Alice for most of the 1970s, ran her as a daysailing operation, and cruised twice to the Caribbean (with just a VHF radio and a depth flasher for electronics).
During that decade I also worked on oil field boats off Louisiana, tried my hand at commercial fishing, delivered yachts and taught navigation/seamanship in many venues including offshore on a barkentine. By the 80's, the boat had morphed into a home-built home and I even started a totally non-nautical business (which at least got me into personal computers early).
I did keep up the deliveries and teaching, managed some boats, and in 1985 began a five year stint as director of the WoodenBoat School. I still get a pitter-patter when I visit there. The 90's? Back to boat deliveries and teaching, a house addition, work for a tide prediction software company, and eventually a stint as editor of Reed's Nautical Almanacs. That job was more about marine software and data manipulation than sentences, which is partially how I transitioned into writing about electronics.
I got started at Ocean Navigator in 1999 and became Electronics Editor at Power & Motoryacht in 2001, added Sail in 2004, and then switched over to the position of Senior Electronics Editor at Bonnier Marine Group in early 2009. In 2013 I switched teams again, returning in a sense to PMY and Sail, which are now part of the AIM Marine Group along with Soundings, PassageMaker, and Yachts International.
I now write primarily for Panbo, whose content is shared with AIM websites and publications, but I also work behind the scenes with AIM editors and electronics writers. In 2015 I hope to again spend significant time aboard the 37-foot Duffy "lobster yacht" dubbed Gizmo, a near perfect platform for testing electronics along the beautiful coast of Maine and further afield.
Chris Wolf’s guest on Dec. 20 was Tom Ulichny of the Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland.
In 2005, Tom Ulichny graduated magna cum laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a multi-instrumentalist at Berklee, Tom studied guitar, drums, and world percussion, followed by a semester in Pune, India, studying Indian rhythmic systems and tabla, a traditional Indian hand drum. After graduating, Tom worked as an adjunct professor for the St. John School of the Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands and was the Director of Music Education for Fell's Point Music in Baltimore, where he developed curriculum for an African drumming program at Living Classrooms Charter School. In the 15 years that Tom that has been teaching private lessons and music seminars, he has worked with students of all ages and skill levels. Tom now makes his home in the Midcoast, and is in full pursuit of a lifelong dream through the founding of the Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland.
Midcoast Music Academy, midcoastmusicacademy.com, is a community music school founded in January 2012 and located in downtown Rockland that provides music instruction to students of all ages and skill levels in a fun, relaxed, and creative environment. MCMA emphasizes access to music education regardless of financial constraints and combines the fundamentals of music – theory, notation, and ear training – with a contemporary approach to learning. At MCMA, they believe students should learn to play what they love and love what they play.
Tom's passion for both percussion and stringed instruments led him to live looping, which allows him to record instantly while performing and build complex layers of melody, harmony, and rhythm. On Oct. 1, 2015, Ulichny released his debut album, Lately, recorded at Anchour Studios, which emphasizes a natural analog sound that closely mimics the live experience. Drawing from influences as diverse as old school slide and fingerpicking blues, Americana, traditional Hindustani and Carnatic music, experimental folk singer Andrew Bird and Afropop artist Oliver Mtukudzi, Ulichny's music is equal parts warm soul and audio science.
Like Bette Midler, Glenn Jenks was famous for both his music and his roses. [Note: He died unexpectedly on Jan. 21, 2016, just over a month after appearing on The Chris Wolf Show]
Jenks simply doesn't recall a day in his life without music. This dynamic pianist, composer, teacher, and performer was born in Boston in 1947, and before his second birthday had learned to conduct the William Tell Overture while standing before the family phonograph.
As a teen, he studied at the Wellesley branch of the New England Conservatory with David DeLisle, and went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in music from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.
Jenks made his first recording in 1979 and went on to make nine others on a variety of independent labels, including Fretless, Stomp Off, Viridiana and his own Bonnie Banks. In addition, he has also recorded with other artists, including folk legend Gordon Bok and jazz pianist Dan Grinstead. He was a fixture at numerous ragtime festivals where he was known for his energetic playing, versatility and unflagging good spirits.
Having started composing before the age of 12, Jenks is the creator of dozens of works in a sophisticated ragtime idiom, including a String Quartet in Ragtime; plus numerous classical chamber works, songs, and other works for solo piano.
He lived and worked in Camden, where he had resided since 1975, and where he also found time to grow roses.
Frank Sinatra sings "I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king." Phil Crossman seems to have lead a similarly charmed life, being an entrepreneur, a raconteur, an author, a musician, a thespian, storyteller, humorist, historian and pundit.
A recent article in the Island Institute's Working Waterfront describes Phil's life as full of challenges:
"He is suspicious, for example, of joining in his neighbors' friendly croquet games, certain he is "fodder." He describes his wife Elaine, an artist and gallery owner, tolerating his own aesthetic limitations. He is impatient with inefficient, nonsensical government policies and practices. He—a veteran—passionately opposes senseless war, and as a volunteer and sometimes town official, passionately supports community services for those in need of help.
He suffers poor quality beer on the island, rigged duck races, vandalism, trash along the roads and beaches, and a lack of interest in elected offices, but celebrates the high caliber of local theater and music (including that of his a cappella group, Phil 'n' the Blanks), the occasional martini tasting, and those who work to preserve the island's beauty.
Some recent writing resulted from a challenge he gave himself: to circumambulate Vinalhaven's coastal edge, walking around the island at low tide in stretches over the course of a few years."
Phil has written two books, "Away Happens" and recently "Observations: A Maine Island, a Century of Newsletters and the Stories Found Between the Lines." He also is a regular columnist on PenBayPilot.com.
Many local residents listen to WRFR, the low power community FM station for Rockland, Rockport, Camden and surrounding areas. The station is all volunteer and features music and programming, which is different from the fare offered on commercial radio stations. On March 16, 2016, the special guest on The Chris Wolf Show was Jo Lindsay, station manager for WRFR.
This show was a quite spirited conversation between Jo and Chris Wolf. You'll find out a lot about Jo, her shows and also what's happening at WRFR and how you might, if interested, be a part of WRFR. This show is particularly interesting because The Chris Wolf Show is a joint project of WRFR, Maine Coast TV and Penobscot Bay Pilot. The show was filmed in the WRFR studios by Maine Coast TV and hosted by PenBayPilot.com contributor Chris Wolf. It's a very entertaining and informative show.
Ever wonder what part of the legal system handles specialized matters such as estates and trusts, adoptions and name changes, guardianship, and protective proceedings? If you thought it was Judge Judy, you'd be wrong. Instead it is a probate judge’s job, and on April 15, Knox County Judge of Probate Carol Emery was Chris Wolf’s guest.
Judge Emery has a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University. She has been a judge of probate since July 1990.
She has also been involved in the community as a board member and officer of Friends of Strand Theater and past board member and past president of Parentworks, both in Rockland, past board member and vice president of the Georges River Educational Foundation, Thomaston, past board member of Marshall Point Light House Museum, and former volunteer counsel to the General Henry Knox Museum.
Ever wonder what's going on in The Steel House on the water at 711 Main St. in Rockland? The answer is "Plenty!" and on April 22, 2016, Chris Wolf invited Nate Davis, co-founder and chief technical officer, to be his special guest on The Chris Wolf Show.
Nate talked about events such as their upcoming Steel House Supper, their design and education programs, their event, product and IT design and website production, and submersible development and letterpress printing. In addition, Nate discussed some non-Steel House topics, such as the Old School Symposia, Rockland Civics Happy Hour, and Renew Rockland, and his involvement with WRFR.
Nate is an artist, programmer, mathematician and musician. In addition to being co-founder of Steel House and Tourmaline Incorporated, he lives with his wife and two cats in Rockland, and holds an Master of Art in mathematics from Brandeis University and a Doctorate in music composition and theory from the University of California-Davis.