Kennebec Journal - Augusta, Maine
AUGUSTA -- Anyone for petanque?
The Augusta City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation on creating courts at Mill Park to play petanque, a traditional French game.
Petanque, pronounced "pay-tonk," is one of Europe's most popular outdoor games, according to www.petanqueamerica.com. It is similar to both horseshoes and the Italian lawn bowling game bocce.
The game originated in France in the early 1900s. The aim is to toss, or roll a number of hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden target ball.
Mayor Roger Katz said the courts could be installed at the city-owned, riverside Mill Park for little or no cost.
Mill Park is the former site of Edwards Mill which, through the years, drew many French workers to the surrounding neighborhood in Augusta. The city continues to have a strong French community.
"It'd be a wonderful addition to Mill Park, bring more people there, and would be particularly meaningful due to its connection to French culture," Katz said. "Petanque has a rich history to it, it goes back centuries. It's a great, leisurely game."
Raymond Fecteau, an Augusta resident active in Le Club Calumet and a member of the Franco-American Hall of Fame, is expected to give the Augusta City Council a presentation on the proposal Park at councilors' meeting Thursday, 7 p.m. in council chambers at Augusta City Center.
Councilors are also scheduled to:
* hold three public hearings on Community Development Block Grant-funded projects, including a previously-approved business assistance grant for Augusta-based manufacturer Kenway Corporation, funds to help pay for a major Greater Augusta Utility District sewer line replacement project, and a Bread of Life day shelter project;
* recognize Augusta police Officer Eric Dos Santos for his service with the Army in Afghanistan and his receipt of the Bronze Star Medal;
* present the 2010 Edwards Dam Scholarship to James Neff;
* consider borrowing $500,000 for public infrastructure projects including street and sidewalk repair, and the city's share of the cost of replacing Blair Road Bridge; and
* consider authorizing City Manager William Bridgeo to apply to the Maine Department of Transportation for funds to extend the Kennebec River Rail Trail a short distance to the city's waterfront park, install sidewalks on Civic Center Drive, and improve a walking trail between Cony High School and Farrington Elementary School.
Reading the comments about the article were somewhat humorous:
Petanque is a johnny-come-lately version of bocce. To be fair, a bocce court should be included at Mill Park so petanque players can see how a real game is played.
Bocce is the up and coming sport. Petanque went out with the turn of the last century. Good luck buying petanque balls anywhere. If bocce courts are built, there are local trophy winners that would provide the competition.