Category Archives: Mount Katahdin News

Man to hike Appalachian Trail to spotlight military vet issues

Bradenton man to hike trail to spotlight military vet issues

Hiking the AT to raise awareness of Veterans needs.
Christopher Davis hikes the Appalachian Trail. photo provided.

Christopher Davis’ dream was to one day hike the Appalachian Trail to bring awareness to a cause closest to his heart — returning veterans.

To do on someone’s time clock would be an unexpected treat.

His dream has come true.

By RICHARD DYMOND  May 12, 2014  website

Davis made a pitch about a year ago to his new boss, Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota.

“There is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Davis told Rosinsky. “When I was sitting in Afghanistan in 2002 with the U.S. Army, I promised myself that if I lived through the war, I would walk the entire Appalachian Trail for a good cause.”

Davis proposed his “good cause” would shine light on the issue of military veterans coming home and having trouble accessing services.

Rosinsky immediately said “yes” even though it meant Davis would be physically out of pocket for five months, hiking with a backpack between Mount Katahdin, Maine, and Springer Mountain, Ga., while remaining on the payroll.

“Chris is still part of our team,” Rosinsky said. “It’s kind of a redeployment for Chris.”

As it turns out, the story of Davis’ May 28-to-Thanksgiving trek and why Rosinsky said yes is as much about Rosinsky and his enthusiasm and passion for military veterans as it is about his bucket list adventure.

‘One step at a time’

Davis, 35, was hired by Rosinsky in January 2013 to be the veteran’s program manager for Goodwill Manasota’s new American Veterans and Their Families Initiative.

Goodwill Manasota is well known locally as a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “changing lives through the power of work.”

It helped 329 veterans find jobs in 2013, according to Goodwill Manasota records.

But Rosinsky said he wanted to go beyond just landing jobs for veterans.

Working with an annual budget of roughly $100,000, Davis helps veterans and their families when they are down and out. Program funding comes from grants and sales of donated items.

“Chris provides information for vets to get housing, jobs, insurance, benefits, social integration, clothing, food, legal aide, transportation and medical,” said Yen Reed, director of marketing for Goodwill Manasota. “He works with hundreds of community partners.”

Rosinsky said Davis has done a stellar job.

“People have visited and said that our program has gotten more traction than other vet programs they are aware of,” Rosinsky said. “I believe the progress we are making is due to Chris.

“Chris’ program is evolving,” Rosinsky added. “We hope to provide services for every veteran in the drawdown as we leave Iraq and Afghanistan. We have a lot of people struggling. We hope that Goodwill is the doorway past that struggle.”

It’s hard to imagine a CEO giving the green light to a key employee to hike the Appalachian Trail for five months, but Rosinsky is more than OK with it.

“I immediately considered the fact that the screen got bigger for us to project on,” Rosinsky said. “We can reach a national audience and get people to recognize that vets need assistance.”

While Davis is gone, his assistant, Don Hill, will run the program, Rosinsky said.

Davis said he thinks the Appalachian Trail will be symbolic for veterans.

“It’s not how high or low we go on the peaks or valleys. It’s taking one step after another,” said Davis who graduated from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee last week as the Outstanding Graduate after serving 14 years with the U.S. Army with seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I will make it to Georgia because I will keep walking. I think that’s the message we want to send to vets, ‘If you just take one step and then another, you will get there.'”

Davis can thank the late Guy Kelnhofer of Wisconsin for making his Appalachian trek a reality. Kelnhofer, Rosinsky’s uncle, was captured in Wake Island during World War II and spent four years in a prisoner-of-war camp.

“I saw some of the issues he had coming back,” Rosinsky said.

Rosinsky noted veterans like his uncle don’t always get needed services but it’s not because the services are not available.

“When vets come out, they tend to get isolated,” Rosinsky said. “It’s not so much that things aren’t out there, it’s just that there is a lack of focus and a lack of assistance to help them access what is there,”

30,000-plus Manatee County vets

Manatee County has 36,000 veterans, Davis said.

“The 2011 census reported 81,000 veterans in Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto and Hardee counties,” Davis said. “Manatee is definitely in the top three of Florida’s counties for number of vets.

“There are young vets as well,” Davis added.

Davis recalled a recent case where he helped a vet access a Veteran’s Administration housing program for chronically homeless vets.

“The sky is the limit when it comes to what we can do to put vets back on track,” Davis said.

Goodwill Manasota will be getting a lot of value out of Davis’ trek, Rosinsky said.

“Chris is going to do a blog where people can follow him every day (available through or linked directly at,” Rosinsky said. “We will also hook up with media all along the trek and give updates on his progress. Some people will go out and walk with him.”

Rosinsky plans to meet Davis at Harper’s Ferry, W. Va., in August and walk about 100 miles over a week.

Davis is also fundraising. People can donate from five cents to $1 per mile at, which will have links on the home page, Reed said.

“Whether he raises $2,000, $10,000 or $50,000 for his program is inconsequential when you look at the impact of raising awareness over that longer period of time,” Rosinsky said.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @ RichardDymond.

Read more here.

Roxanne Quimby and the North Maine Woods

Roxanne Quimby, North Maine Woods, National Park

National Park in Maine?
Yankee Magazine – Roxanne Quimby and the North Maine Woods.

Wow.  I just found this great article from Yankee Magazine. The story of what’s going on with the north Maine woods, a national park and what Roxanne Quimby is doing and… why!  The article is quite long but very interesting!  It looks at the plight of:

1. the locals who feel they deserve to access the land as they wish; to hunt, fish, hike, camp (like they have always had) – even if they don’t own it and the owner of the land doesn’t want them doing that there.

2. a few wealthy individuals who see huge tracts of Maine land being sold to foreign entities for division and development – and want to preserve it in its entirety (with access to visitors), possibly as a national park.

Jym St. Pierre, Maine director of a group called RESTORE: The North Woods, says in the article, “The biggest reason we don’t have a national park in Maine today is because we’ve had a de facto park for generations. People feel entitled to that land, just because it’s always been there.”

Roxanne Quimby summits Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Roxanne Quimby summits Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Roxanne speaks about The Whetstone Bridge and how locals are feeling the hurt with the loss of a back-woods east-west road…

“These two pieces of land here effectively stop all east–west traffic. This bridge, the Whetstone Bridge, here — it’s one of the very significant nails in the coffin because it’s the only way to get across the river for something like 30 miles. Okay, you can go over the bridge, but you can’t go across my land with a car. So you can have your bridge, but it ain’t doin’ you any good. I’m closing in, and I’m doing this to demonstrate that you cannot leave this to chance.”

She is speaking broadly to those who oppose a park, those who ironically also claim they believe in property rights: “Yes, it’s a private road, but it’s been in such permissive use for so many years, people forget that the state doesn’t own that road.”

Up there, where she is pointing, people slapped bumper stickers onto their cars and wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Ban Roxanne.” Letters to the editor condemned her.  But… she agreed to keep open two important snowmobile trails that cross portions of her land, perhaps heralding a thaw in her relations with area sportsmen and residents.

Read the entire article at Yankee Magazine

North Maine Woods

Body believed to be of missing Canadian man found in Umbazooksus Lake

Body believed to be of missing Canadian man found in Umbazooksus Lake

Missing Canadian man's body found?
Maine Warden Service divers search Umbazooksus Stream for missing Canadian man, Renald Poulin, in December 2013. photo: Maine Warden Service

TOWNSHIP 6 RANGE 13, Maine — The body of a Canadian man who went missing last November is believed to have been found Tuesday in Umbazooksus Lake, according to the Maine Warden Service.

from bangor daily news
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said Tuesday evening in a press release that the body is believed to be of Renald Poulin, 67, of St. Come Quebec. He said a Maine Warden Service pilot who had been scanning the area for Poulin, while surveying ice conditions on northern Maine lakes, located the body at about 10:45 a.m.

Game wardens on the ground arrived several hours later with watercraft to retrieve the body, which was located about two miles northwest of Umbazooksus Dam on the western shore of the lake.

MacDonald said the body will be taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta to determine a positive identification.

“The Maine Warden Service has been in contact with the family of Mr. Poulin since the search began last November, and we are hopeful the family will now have closure,” MacDonald said.

State game wardens began searching for Poulin after they located Poulin’s vehicle while searching for two Millinocket men in an unrelated incident, MacDonald said. Authorities in Canada also had been searching, he said.

The search was suspended Dec. 13, 2013, as heavy snow began to fall in the area. Efforts were to resume when temperatures began to melt snow in that region in the spring.

Poulin crossed into the United States on Nov. 26 and was supposed to have returned Nov. 27. On Nov. 30, game wardens located his green 2002 Kia Sedona, MacDonald said, adding that Poulin may have been in the area because of his interest in the train rail systems in the Umbazooksus Lake area used decades ago in the logging industry.

The ice on Umbazooksus Lake and nearby small bogs and wet areas made detecting evidence of Poulin especially difficult, the corporal said. Weather conditions needed to improve significantly before further searching. Teams comprised of wardens, forest rangers and search and rescue volunteers conducted a combination of grid, hasty and K-9 team searches.

During the last days of searching in December, temperatures remained at about 10 degrees, and snow began to fall.

While the ground search was suspended, aerial flights had started to occur again as snow and ice began to melt, he said.

Ground searches had been planned for next week.

Video of Millinocket Lake and Mount Katahdin

Excellent video of Millinocket Lake & Mt Katahdin

A great video shot across Millinocket Lake in Maine during evening and sunset.  The video starts looking at Mount Katahdin, the crown jewel of Baxter State Park and shows the viewer many views of the lake and Lake Road, leading to the lake.  The video ends with Mount Katahdin in late evening with a great sunset shot.  Thanks to user satajet883 at youtube for uploading the video.

Sunset video of Millinocket Lake & Mt Katahdin.
Millinocket Lake and Mount Katahdin, Maine Video from Youtube.

Biocoal pellet plant for Millinocket faces uncertainty

The old Millinocket mill could be a biocoal plant soon.
Proposed Thermogen Biocoal Plant from Cate Street Capital, NH

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A project that many hoped would bring jobs back to Millinocket now faces an uncertain fate as officials in Maine will once again have to consider whether they should approve state taxpayer-backed financing for the project

The Thermogen project has been years in the making for the town. ‘Cate Street Capital,’ which is the company that owns the site of the old Millinocket paper mill, has been looking to build the new plant since 2011.

‘Cate Street’ wants to make energy rich wood pellets called ‘biocoal’ on the site of the old mill. Yet now changes to the plant’s production model could put it’s funding in jeopardy.

Officials with ‘Cate Street,’ which is based in New Hampshire, at one point said Thermogen could create about 20 new jobs upfront once it got started. The company believes that there will be a great demand for biocoal’ on the open market especially with manufacturing facilities looking to get off of coal for energy.

Now ‘Cate Street’ announced it is changing the equipment the new plant would use.

Last fall the Finance Authority of Maine narrowly approved a $25 million taxpayer-backed bond for the project. Considering the announced changes in production, the organization now once again has to decide whether it will approve the bond. According to officials with FAME, Cate Street would be required to pay back the bond, but if the company were to default, taxpayers would assume the liability.

Meanwhile ‘Cate Street’ itself owes millions of dollars to Millinocket and East Millinocket in back taxes, and company officials say all of that money has to be paid before they can close on the bond.

Officials for ‘Cate Street’ say the change to the new plant’s technology is necessary. They argue it will increase Thermogen’s production and make the project overall stronger.

“The reason we’ve done this primarily is our potential customers overseas really demanded it,” said Scott Tranchemontagne, who is a spokesperson for ‘Cate Street,’ “They want us to be able to have a stronger steam of product that they could invest in by doing contracts with us. They want to make sure we have enough product to meet their demand.”

‘Cate Street’s’ meeting with FAME will be on April 17, 2014 in Augusta. Meanwhile the company also has several other state permits it has to reapply for to get Thermogen going.

The company is hoping to break ground on the project by summer 2014.