Trolley museum’s model railroad building construction underway
Seashore Trolley Museum has broken ground on a $3.2 million construction project to exhibit one of Maine’s largest HO-scale railroad layouts. The model railroad depicts the Maine Central Railroad of the 1940s-60s and is being relocated from Jonesport, thanks to a generous donation from the Wyss Medical Foundation.
The foundation originally committed over $2 million to the project in 2021 but due to the rising cost of materials their donation was increased to $3.2 million. The building will include an open space for the layout, office space for volunteers and staff, a combined workshop/conference room; a retail location so the museum can bring in additional revenue through model sales; and a mezzanine viewing gallery that has potential for community programming and other activities with elevator access. The building will be heated and cooled by geothermal energy.
The museum also will construct a new carhouse for nine trolleys in its collection and a live feed camera has been installed so that people can watch the entire construction process from home 24/7.
When the building is complete, the live feed camera will be moved inside to capture the model in action. The anticipated completion date of the building is now August, with a goal to have the model railroad rebuilt and operating by December.
The beautifully crafted model railroad layout was built by Helen and Harold “Buz” Beal, who for decades, opened their home to guests from all over the world to view one of Maine’s largest layouts in HO-scale. From Quoddy Lighthouse to the mountains of Maine, to the paper mills and Dragon Cement, street blocks representing the communities the Maine Central Model Railroad operated through and several roundhouses, tunnels, rivers and the ocean, the layout has it all. Best-selling author Stephen King even provided the designs of his Victorian home in Bangor to the Beals.
Sheridan Construction of Fairfield will build the project. Sebago Technics of South Portland will provide the site and civil engineering for the building. RW Gillespie of Biddeford will provide geotechnical services. And Colex of Gloucester will complete needed site work. Construction is expected to begin in April.
Once the building is completed and the layout is live, the museum will open year-round.
The Seashore Trolley Museum, located at 195 Log Cabin Road, is the world’s first and largest electric railway and transit museum. It opens for its 84th season on May 6.
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WinterKids ski challenge registration now open
Registration is open for the 11th annual WinterKids Downhill 24 at Sugarloaf set for March 2-3.
Presented by Agren and Zachau Construction, the 24-hour ski and snowboard challenge will raise money for WinterKids programs that help youth build healthy habits through outdoor winter activity. This is the only night of the year to ski under the lights at Sugarloaf.
This year, the event will start at 8 p.m. on March 2 and end at 8 p.m. March 3, with a closing ceremony party in the King Pine Room at Sugarloaf. Teams can register to ski, ride, or skin up for 24 hours. There are registrations for corporate teams and individual teams, with teams of up to 12 people. There will be a full schedule of events including a race arena, inflatable obstacle course, trivia, raffles, all night mid-mountain party, music, food and more.
The organization aims to raise $650,000 in funding to reach more than 50,000 kids in all 16 counties. The first 50 registrants by Jan. 31 will receive a WinterKids fleece headband. To register your team and learn more, visit

Girls Rock design contest announced
Maine Academy of Modern Music invites all high school students to submit their art to the Girls Rock Poster Design contest for a chance to win a ton of cool prizes. The winning design will be used on MAMM’s 2023 Girls Rock! event posters and T-shirts and will be shared over social media.
The first place prize package will include $500 cash, four tickets to MAMM’s annual Girls Rock! concerts at Bangor and Portland, Girls Rock T-shirt and other merchandise; and a MAMM Summer Camp scholarship.
The second place winner will receive $100 cash, two tickets to MAMM’s annual Girls Rock! concerts, a Girls Rock poster and T-shirt, one free month of lessons at MAMM (in-person or virtual).
The runner-up will win two tickets to MAMM’s annual Girls Rock! concerts, a Girls Rock poster and T-shirt.
The contest is open to all Maine high school students. Designs must be no bigger than 8.5-by-11 inches. Artwork can have up to 3 colors with minimal shading. Designs must be all original work. Image or PDF files are accepted. Entries must be uploaded by Feb. 14. Winners will be decided by a panel of MAMM judges and notified by email.

RSU 21 holding bus driver hiring event
The RSU 21 School District will host a special open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 25 for individuals who are interested in becoming bus drivers. The event will be held at the Transportation Hub at 116 York St.
The district is seeking to fill seven bus driver positions and has increased incentives to meet that demand. In addition to offering full-time benefits for a part-time schedule (25 hours), the district also is offering a $2,500 sign-on bonus and a $1,000 referral bonus to district employees who refer a successful candidate.
Administrators will be on hand, along with breakfast for bus drivers, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Applicants can visit any time until 4 p.m.
No commercial driver’s license is required to apply. If hired without a CDL, new hires will receive training for the required certification and will work as a bus aide until receiving their CDL.
To learn more about the position and join RSU 21 transportation team, go to and click on the blue “bus driver” tab.

Dyer Library and the Saco Museum announced the winners of its 2022 Festival of Trees People’s Choice Award winning submissions for this year’s display of decorated trees, themed “Celebrating the Holidays.”
First prize went to the “Mardi Gras Christmas Ball,” sponsored by Biddeford Savings and decorated by Theresa Ruel.
Second place was awarded to “Victorian Elegance,” sponsored by Northern Light Home Care & Hospice and decorated by Sandy Riley.
The third place winner was “Wild Weeds,” sponsored by Bob & Mike’s Mini Mart and decorated by Anne Dobson.

Grants available to organizations that serve people of color
Grants from the Maine Community Foundation’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color fund are available to organizations that are led by, and serve, people of Native American, Latino, African, Arab and Asian descent.
In 2022, the fund awarded 33 grants totaling $315,470. An additional 10 grants, totaling $93,250, were awarded by donors with advised funds at MaineCF.
The 2022 grantees included: Alpha Legal Foundation of Portland, to start a JusticeCorps program to give aspiring BIPOC attorneys more exposure to Maine’s legal system; Maine Inside OUT of Lisbon, for arts and advocacy-based leadership development programs for youth of color; and Wabanaki Youth in Science of Old Town, to bring Indigenous knowledge and western science together to enhance learning for Native youth.
The deadline to submit proposals is Feb. 15. The application, details of the grant program and a list of all recent grants are available at For more information, contact Senior Program Officer Gloria Aponte C. at 207-412-0847 or [email protected]

Architecture firm earns an American Graphic Design Award
WINTER HOLBEN’s design for the Buoy Shack in Kittery has received an award in the Signage and Environmental Graphics category by the 59th annual GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards.
The project was selected as one of the few winners among a field of more than 14,000 creative solutions entrants for clients such as National Geographic, UPS, Baskin Robbins, and Tabasco.
“We believe that integrated design enhances the human experience within the built environment and thank GDUSA for this recognition,” said principal and founder Elisa Winter Holben.
The building design is a unique contemporary play on the buoy-adorned fishing shacks that dot the banks of our port city’s harbor, including the pier of Buoy Shack. Incorporating many of the modern architectural details WINTER HOLBEN is known for, the resulting concept combines textures and materials inspired by these seaside structures, with modern, unique details like translucent polycarbonate panels – which together create a one-of-a kind structure that will stand the test of time. For more details, visit

Joanne Bean named CEO of Camp Sunshine
Camp Sunshine, a year-round free retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, welcomed Joanne Bean as its new chief executive officer.
Bean joined Camp Sunshine as the senior vice president & chief development officer in July before being promoted to CEO. Previously, she served as the vice president and chief advancement officer at St. Joseph’s College of Maine for nine years and as senior director of development at The Jackson Laboratory for eight years.
Camp Sunshine founder and board chair Anna Gould said Bean brings more than 30 years of progressive nonprofit leadership experience and an important perspective to Camp Sunshine as the first leader to have attended Camp as a family. “(Bean’s) promotion is a tremendous win for the organization, and I could not be more excited to see what Camp Sunshine accomplishes under (her) direction,” said Gould.
In 1994, Bean and her family attended Camp Sunshine at the recommendation of a pediatric endocrinologist, after daughter Shannon was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 4.
“Our experience at Camp Sunshine was life changing,” said Bean. “I’m honored to come back to help lead this incredible organization that provided a transformative experience to me and my family.”
Under Gould and Bean’s leadership, the camp has established a senior leadership team, comprised of Ruth Calas a vice president of development, Roger Densmore III at vice president of finance and Stephanie Feyler as vice president of program operations and new business development.
Bean said the camp will return to a full schedule of traditional, in-person programming this year, with the team working to solidify new partnerships with treatment centers, referral partners, volunteers and donors to ensure that attending families will be able to experience the wonder of Camp Sunshine for years to come.
For more details, go to