People and Business: Aug. 18

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Maine Distilleries
debuts Cold River Gin

FREEPORT — Maine Distilleries, producers of Cold River Vodka and Cold River Blueberry Vodka, has released a new product, Cold River Gin.

The gin is handcrafted and batch-distilled in Freeport, using potatoes from Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg and water sourced from western Maine’s Cold River Aquifer.

The all-natural, ground-to-glass, gluten-free gin is sold in 750-ml bottles with a suggested retail price of $25.99 at retailers in Maine, Northern New England and Mid-Atlantic states. A growing number of Maine restaurants and bars are now serving the Cold River Gin as well.

McAfee earns 2010
Muskie Award

PORTLAND — Dr. Robert McAfee recently received the 2010 Hon. Edmund S. Muskie Access to Justice Award for his leadership in addressing family violence in Maine and around the nation.

The award was presented at the Muskie Access to Justice 15th anniversary dinner. 

McAfee served as an attending surgeon at Maine Medical Center for 31 years, and was the first Maine doctor to serve as president of the American Medical Association.  

As president of the AMA, he worked to educate the medical community on family violence issues, and was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence.  
The Muskie Access to Justice award was established in 1995 to honor Senator Muskie’s lifelong commitment to justice for low-income and elderly adults.

Lucid Stage arts venue
to open in Portland

PORTLAND — Lucid Stage, a nonprofit arts and performance venue, is currently under renovations and is set to open its doors at 29 Baxter Boulevard on Sept. 26.

The newly renovated venue will offer a 100-seat black-box theater, a dance studio, classroom and gallery space, a scene shop and small artists’ studios for rent. The space will also be open to the community for arts-related classes, workshops and camps.

Lucid Stage will be run by artistic directors Adam Gutgsell and Liz McMahon. Gutgsell is an active member of the Portland theater community, and Liz McMahon was formerly the theater manager at The St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. The theater-in-residence at Lucid Stage will be Mad Horse Theater Company.

The debut show on Sept. 26 is “Secret Lives of Comedians,” a comedy show produced by Brian Brinegar and Cloud Morris featuring stand-up comedians, sketch comedy, improv, live music, and more.

For more information or tickets to the inaugural show, please visit

Brunswick educator honored
at Blaine House ceremony

AUGUSTA — Paul Austin Jr. was one of six educators recognized at a recent reception held at The Blaine House for making significant contributions to meeting the needs of at-risk children and youth.
Austin, director of special education in Brunswick, received the 2010 Commissioner’s Recognition Award for his work with at-risk students in Brunswick over the past four years.

Notably, Austin was honored for his role in the creation of the Alternative Education Committee and for starting the Alternative Education Program at Brunswick Junior High School.

Other awardees include Kristen Grant, assistant principal, Windham Primary School; Cynthia Lane, substance abuse counselor, Bonny Eagle High School; Beverly Poissonnier, educational technician, Lawrence High School; Korah Soll, director of Zenith Alternative Education Program, Camden; Maureen Trial, lead teacher, Center for Alternative Learning at Nobleboro Central School.

S. Portland company
earns emmy award

SOUTH PORTLAND — Bohler Productions, Inc., a South Portland-based television production company, received their first New England Emmy award for outstanding magazine show for “The Best Maine Escapes” television program.

This is the company’s ninth Emmy nomination and first Emmy win since they launched five years ago. “The Best Maine Escapes” is the company’s 17th television program, which aired in 2009 on New England Cable News and the Travel Channel.  

The production team is led by owner, host, writer, and executive producer, Christine Bohler, and joined by David Huot, Matthew Gilbert, Scott Sutherland and Steve Frigard.

In addition to “The Best Maine Escapes,” Bohler Productions, Inc. has also produced “The Best of Portland,” “Shape Up”, “Maine’s Best Weddings,” “The Best of Maine Winter,” “The Best New Rides,” “Maine Home + Design,” and “The Best of Naples, Fla.,” which ran on various television stations throughout New England and Florida.

For more information about Bohler Productions, Inc., please visit


Opportunity Farm for Boys & Girls, a non-profit in New Gloucester that provides family-style homes for at-risk children, presented the Phil and Catharine Guiles Achievement Award to eight volunteers who have made a significant contribution to the social service organization. The 2010 honorees include Jim Giffune of New Gloucester, Mike Healy of Freeport, Lincoln Ladd of Wayne, John and Denny Palmer, Tim and Howsie Stewart of Yarmouth and John Staples of Topsham.

Sue E. King, president of Altrusa International Inc. of Portland, District One, presented the sixth annual community volunteer of the year award to Denis and Connie Netto for their volunteer work with Portland Adult Education as one-on-one tutors, classroom aides, and for helping PAE further its mission to inspire lifelong learning in a culturally diverse environment.

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America honored Dr. Susan Sepples of Cumberland, chairwoman of the VNAA professional advisory committee and a longtime member of the board of trustees, as the agency board member volunteer of the year.  

The City of Portland’s Public Services Department received the 2009 Excellence Award for a large city from the Maine Chapter of the American Public Works Association for the construction of the new William A. Goodwin Playspace at Deering Oaks Park.

Engineering firm Wright-Pierce was selected for the 2010 Circle of Excellence by PSMJ Resources Inc. for its solid management practices and exemplary customer service.
Rachel Morales of Portland, the associate director and coordinator of multicultural recruitment of undergraduate admission at the University of Southern Maine, recently received the New England Association for College Admission Counseling IDEAL Award. The IDEAL award recognizes an individual, institution or organization who has demonstrated consistent and long-standing commitment to issues of access to higher education for students of color, first generation, low income, undocumented, and LBGTQ college students, among others.  

The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the Department of Defense, presented Sage Data Security of South Portland with a Patriot Award in recognition of its support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Sage was nominated for the award by company analyst David Gilles of Yarmouth, who is currently on active duty with the 439th Communications Squadron.

Sidebar Elements

Portland resident Charlie Stacey, right, celebrated his seventh birthday by collecting donations for Haiti’s Hope Project Orphanage. Pictured with Stacey is his good friend Teddy Hanley, on left, with Hope Project representative Robert M. Morris of Portland. The children collected $42.81. For more information about the orphanage, please visit