Kennebunk resident Dana Pearson has published “Otra Cosa,” a sequel to “Two Birds” (2016). Courtesy image

Dana Pearson has published a sequel to “Two Birds” (2016), which did not end so well for the titular character, a Phoenix-based private investigator.  In “Otra Cosa,” now available on Amazon Kindle (paperback and e-book), Two Birds, having emerged from a coma following a disastrous poolside shootout, is pursuing a new career path in real estate, which he figures will involve far less gunfire and cracked ribs than his old gig.

The problem is that at his first open house, an old friend who once saved Two Birds from making a terrible life choice shows up, pleading for help from the ostensibly retired PI in a life-or-death situation involving the man’s 9-year-old son. It looks like retirement will have to wait. And so, Two Birds sets off through Arizona and Washington state on this unsolicited and highly dangerous mission, which has very little to do with escrow and title searches.

Does one need to have read “Two Birds” to fully appreciate “Otra Cosa?” It certainly wouldn’t hurt. And to that end, both books, along with Pearson’s other novels and collections, can be found at amazon.com/author/danapearson.

Secret Santa of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel to seek cash donations

In a departure from its decades-long practice of asking the community to shop for specific gifts for local children at holiday time, Secret Santa of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel is asking for monetary donations this year as part of its Covid response.

The all-volunteer organization, whose members remain anonymous, will still shop for specific, requested gifts for children whose families would otherwise have a difficult time providing them.

Requesting cash from the community was decided upon for several reasons, all of which center on the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic as the colder weather approaches. It is expected that 2021 will see a return to the nonprofit’s mission of full community participation in shopping for gifts.

Donations may be made using Venmo: @secretsanta-kka, or by check made out to Secret Santa, P.O. Box 301, Kennebunk, ME 04043. Questions may be directed to [email protected] All donations are tax deductible.

Animal Welfare Society receives eighth straight 4-star rating

The Animal Welfare Society announced Nov. 16 that, for the eighth consecutive year, it has been awarded the highest ranking by Charity Navigator. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates AWS demonstrates strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency while executing its mission with responsible governance and commitment to best practices.

According to Michael Thatcher, CEO of Charity Navigator, “Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that Animal Welfare Society exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in [its] area of work. Only 5 percent of the charities we evaluate have received at least eight consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Animal Welfare Society outperforms most other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets Animal Welfare Society apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.”

The Animal Welfare Society joins only two dozen nonprofits in the state of Maine to be named 4-star charities this year, and one of only four in the state that have held the award consistently for nearly a decade. Among animal-related nonprofits in New England, AWS continues to be a regional leader, as one of only two to achieve this designation for eight or more consecutive years.

“We are thrilled to once again receive Charity Navigator’s highest rating,” said Abigail Smith, executive director at the Animal Welfare Society. “We work hard to achieve this designation so that our donors, supporters and those that we serve can have confidence in the integrity of our organization and be assured we deliver the highest quality care and services to the pets and people in our community.”

The Animal Welfare Society cares for more than 11,000 pets – and the people who love them – each year. To learn more about AWS or to support its mission, visit animalwelfaresociety.org.