The annual Light Up The Sky Fireworks Show is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth.

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The event is held as a kickoff to SpringFest 2023 hosted by South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary. It is the second annual fireworks display presented by the club. A donation by Port Harbor Marine in South Portland helped fund the event.

The fireworks display is part of the complete SpringFest ’23 (a gnome-themed event) presented by the city of South Portland and Rotary on May 20.

According to a Feb. 18 news release, “Last year’s fireworks was a sold out event based on available parking. The town of Cape Elizabeth is graciously providing Fort Williams Park, and providing staff to safely hold the event. There is no charge for attending. Please consider bringing a gnome-based article for a collection that is being held. The articles will be distributed throughout the greater Portland area to those who can best use a cheerful item.”

Sen. Carney welcomes South Portland poetry winner to Augusta

Senator Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, welcomed Jules Vázquez and family to the State House on Feb. 16. Vázquez is the grand prize winner of the Telling Room’s 16th annual Statewide Writing Contest. As the grand prize winner, Vázquez will receive a cash prize of $250 and have the poem “Older Sister to Younger Brother” published in the Telling Room’s upcoming anthology of youth writing.


Josie Vázquez (left), Jules Vázquez (second from left), Silas Vázquez (right of Jules), Pedro Vázquez (center), Lindsey Vázquez (right of Pedro), Rep. Christopher Kessler, D-South Portland (second from right), and Sen. Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth (far right). Courtesy photo

“As an older sister to four younger brothers, I can relate to how the author observes changes in their brother’s appearance, behavior and even his smell. These changes occur slowly over time, but are noticed suddenly,” said Carney in a news release. “The second half of the poem really tugs at my heart, especially the wish to turn the clock back and have more time with younger siblings closer and near, when you and they created your own world. Thank you, Jules, for sharing your beautiful poem with the Maine Senate and the people of Maine.”

The Telling Room’s annual creative writing contest allows youth, ages 6 to 18, from all over Maine to show off writing skills. The statewide contest runs from mid-October through November each year. A panel of professional writers and youth selects one grand prize winner. Finalists are considered for publication in The Telling Room’s annual anthology. To learn more about the contest, visit To read “Older Sister to Younger Brother,” visit

Sen. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, who is a published author and poet, read the poem on the floor of the Maine Senate. A legislative sentiment acknowledges and recognizes academic, athletic, civic, professional or service-related accomplishments.

Winners of 2023 eco-Excellence Awards announced

Maine single-sort recycling and sustainable waste management firm ecomaine, on Feb. 15, announced the winners of the 2023 eco-Excellence Awards, with awardees ranging around the state from Scarborough to Livermore Falls.

“Every year, it is inspiring to see the leadership and dedication of these Mainers committed to making Maine a more sustainable place to live, work, and play,” said Caleb Hemphill, chair of ecomaine’s Outreach and Recycling Committee, in a news release. “ecomaine is proud to recognize these outstanding efforts.”


The 2023 eco-Excellence Award winners are, with their categories:

Kathleen Athearn, Westbrook (Individual) – for work cleaning up litter and promoting proper waste management on social media.
Rebecca Brown, Portland (Individual) – for efforts to divert waste from the trash at Maine Medical Center and recycle and reuse it.
David Ertz, Yarmouth (Individual) – for work on sustainability as part of  Yarmouth’s Committee for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability.
Dr. Noah Perlut, Scarborough (Individual) – for commitment to conservation of land and resources on a number of boards and commissions in Scarborough.
Jeff Tarling, Portland (Individual) – for career efforts as Portland’s arborist, to promote sustainability and encourage it with area students.

Grady’s Motel, Bridgton (Business) – for efforts to become a zero emissions motel and dedication to waste diversion.
MaineHealth Sustainability Committee, Portland (Business) – for incorporation of environmental and sustainability strategies in energy, waste, water, food, and transportation into its strategic plan.
Tanbark, Portland (Business) – for blazing a trail in non-plastic packaging with molded fiber that is lightweight and has potential for disrupting plastic use through innovation of a legacy Maine industry – paper.

Intercultural Community Center, Westbrook (Nonprofit) – for commitment to waste diversion through recycling and composting programs, reduction of single-use materials, and increasing public awareness of sustainability.

Gorham School District (Education/Schools) – for leadership in keeping recoverable materials out of landfills by recycling and composting, and notably, diverting leftover food to the Gorham Food Pantry and food drives.
Heather Keegan, Readfield (Education/Schools) – for work with school leadership, town staff, ecomaine, and students to establish a recycling program that can be replicated throughout the district.
Spruce Mountain High School Envirothon Team, Livermore Falls (Education/Schools) – for research and presentations on sustainable waste management, resulting in winning the Maine Envirothon and placing 20th in the world at the International Envirothon.

Awards will be presented at a luncheon and ceremony at ecomaine on March 21.


“We are very excited to have the eco-Excellence Awards ceremony in person again after missing a few years,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine’s director of communications and public affairs. “The energy and inspiration is tangible, and helps to fulfill our mission of increasing public awareness about this important work.”

Submissions were judged by ecomaine’s Outreach and Recycling Committee at the committee’s meeting on Feb. 9.

TD Beach to Beacon 10K registration dates set

Organizers of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race, which will celebrate its 25th running in 2023, announced the registration dates for this year’s event that will take place Saturday, Aug. 5.

Open registration for Cape Elizabeth residents will take place Wednesday, April 19, followed by open registration for the general public on Thursday, April 20. An open lottery registration for any remaining spots will take place Friday, April 21. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. on each open registration day through the race website,

Open registration for Cape Elizabeth residents will take place Wednesday, April 19, followed by open registration for the general public on Thursday, April 20. An open lottery registration for any remaining spots will take place Friday, April 21. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. on each open registration day through the race website, Courtesy photo

New this year are dedicated registration days for current and past race beneficiaries. Valo, the 2023 charitable beneficiary, will have up to 50 bibs available for those who race to raise funds for the organization. Valo’s bib holders will have the opportunity to register on Wednesday, March 15. Runners who want to run on behalf of previous beneficiaries will have open registration on April 1.


“For the 25th running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, we want to celebrate our charitable beneficiaries, which are an important element of our event,” said David Backer, race president, in an email. “By allowing them to register first, we know it will make a difference in their fundraising goals. From the first year of this race, our charity bib program has helped Maine nonprofits raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the history of the event.”

“We look forward to an exciting and much anticipated 25th running of the TDB2B10K. The race has enjoyed the accolades and attendance of runners of all abilities from near and far,” said Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, founder of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K. “This year promises to be no different given the history, organization and incredible scenery and supportive spectators along the course.”

Following the close of registration, remaining bibs will be distributed to elite runners, sponsors and more than 100 legacy runners who have participated in every running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K since its inception in 1998.

The Kids Fun Run and the High School Mile will also return in 2023, on Friday, Aug. 4 at Fort Williams. Registration for the Kids Fun Run will be open online from May 1 through Aug. 3. More information on the events can be found at

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