Rotary This Week
|Posted by Loretta Rowe||on Apr 28, 2017||
meets this week at the
Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
88 Spring Street, Portland
This Week's Duty Assignments
|Posted by Loretta Rowe||on Apr 28, 2017||
Invocation: Charlie Frair
*if hotel staff is unavailable
Rotary Meeting Locations
|Posted by Loretta Rowe||on Apr 28, 2017||
If you would like to mark your calendars,
May 5 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jun 2 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Any questions, please contact Loretta at: email@example.com
|*04/28/17 Owen McCarthy, CEO MED Rhythms||Posted by Bob Martin||on Apr 24, 2017||
Owen McCarthy loves to solve problems, find a challenge, and help people. He is President of MedRhythms, a firm he co-founded, and serves on the boards of a number of organizations, including the University of Maine Board of Visitors. MedRhythms is a software as a system (SAAS) based digital medicine solution that personalizes recovery by leveraging neuroscience, machine learning, music, biomarker sensing, and other therapies to aid patients suffering from neurologic injury or disease.
Owen has built a career positioned to tackle challenging world problems, in hopes to positively influence many lives. He has experience in water treatment, additive manufacturing, tissue regeneration, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is the co-founder of the UMaine Business Challenge, an annual business competition in partnership with the Maine Business School and the Foster Center for Student Innovation. He served as a member of the initial program team that created the plans for the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies.
Mr. McCarthy is a native of Patten, Maine, where he graduated from Katahdin High School. He completed his undergraduate degree in biological engineering at the University of Maine in Orono, where he was also student body president, and CEO of the UMO student government association. He started his career as a technical sales representative in the paper and water treatment chemistry business, and then returned to school at Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA.
He and his wife Holly, a Doctor of Optometry at the Maine Eye Center, live in Cape Elizabeth.
|04/21/17 Deanna Sherman, President & CEO Dead River Company||Posted by Ben Lowry||on Apr 24, 2017||
The Rotary ties run deep with Deanna Sherman, the President and CEO of Dead River Company, a Maine company that traces its roots back 107 years. Deanna’s father is a lifelong Rotarian who, 50 years ago, started up a new club on Mount Desert Island. Today, Deanna brings many of Rotary’s values to her management of the energy company, which employs over 1,000 men and women in four New England states.
Ms. Sherman chose to steer clear of energy issues in her talk, but preferred to discuss workforce development and education in her presentation. With an unemployment rate at an impressive 3.2% in Maine, but ranking lower than other New England states in educational levels, Dead River has needed to get creative in filling positions within the region. With the average age of drivers and technicians in the mid-50’s, the company has been working with the Maine Department of Labor and the community college system in an effort to attract younger folks to these high paying jobs. Dead River has offered to pay the college tuition of four new college students who have given a commitment to transition into work with the energy company. The state revenue board is steering federal dollars toward similar initiatives and “Educate Maine” has entered into a program with Dead River for tuition reimbursement and paid internships. And, with company loans for educational purposes, there has been a longstanding tradition of promoting higher education within the company, as witnessed by Ms. Sherman’s own story of obtaining her master’s degree at USM.
With just five woman employed in the 468 driver and technician spots within Dead River, there has been a serious push to train and employ young women, as well as new citizens and veterans, in the energy field. For a lifelong Mainer, Deanna Sherman is steering this century-old family company into the next hundred years with a mantra of education and workforce development, which she proudly equates to the work performed by Rotary International.
(Photo L-R: President-elect Don Zillman, Deanna Sherman and Rusty Atwood.)
|04/21/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Dick Hall||on Apr 22, 2017||
President-elect (PE) Don Zillman, standing in for President Laura Young while she was away, greeted 52 members and 5 guests. Paul Tully’s invocation included three quotes, one from Mother Teresa (now St. Teresa), one from Theodore Roosevelt, and one from Paul Harris. Past President Kris Rosado led the pledge. Past President Russ Burleigh was on the keyboard as we sang, “My Country 'Tis of Thee.”
Don thanked all the members responsible for making the day’s meeting possible.
Our ‘Rotary Moment’ was offered by Roger Fagan. After being a practicing audiologist for 20 years, Roger had acquired a big box of old hearing aids. He'd read that a hospital in India needed medical supplies, so he contacted them to see if they wanted the hearing aids, which they said they did, so he sent them. They contacted Roger to ask how to fit them, so Roger went to India to show them and had a blast....but he need more hearing aids. He joined Portland Rotary in 1992 in hopes of collecting used hearing aids to be refurbished.....it worked! After 9/11 the political situation changed in Europe, and the US State Dept advised Americans not to travel to India. Roger’s focus changed from India to the Dominican Republic (DR). After his and Liz's (his wife) first trip to the DR, they were disappointed by the corruption, but someone recommended he contact Moises Silfren, the director of the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana in the DR. He was very impressed with Moises’ honesty, which was in sharp contrast to the corruption they observed in the schools for the deaf and motivated them to practice at that hospital. Roger told us that when he went into the Bateyes (slum villages in the sugar cane fields), he realized he represented the good deeds of all the Rotarians who had preceded him......just because he was wearing his Rotary hat. They see Rotary as a chance for making their lives better. Roger told us that when the team is in the DR for service, we are all there (collectively) with them, because we are Rotarians. When you read to disadvantaged children, visit troubled youth at the Long Creek Youth Center, serve meals at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen, load crutches into containers destined for Africa....feel proud....we are Rotarians making the world a better place. Wear your Rotary pin with pride!
PE Don Zillman was asked by the Distict to report the number of projects being done by Portland Rotary. With Loretta’s help, they counted 17 different Porland Rotary projects going on right now. Quite impressive!
Our song of the day was led by Gracie Johnston, singing an old favorite, “If You Are Happy and You Know It,” with Russ Burleigh on the keyboard.
Matt Tassey managed the raffle this week with $1,974 in the jackpot. Russell Voss’s name was drawn, but everyone held their collective breaths as he pulled the Two of Spades, not the Queen of Hearts. Bummer for Russell, but now the pot grows even more for next week.
Dave Small told us that his son started a mentoring program at Deering High School. Now every year, the junior class learns interview preparations and making positive first impressions from adults volunteering to run mock sessions with them at the annual job fair. They are preparing for this year’s “Job Readiness and Interview Prep Day” at Deering High School on May 3rd. Volunteering requires only one hour of time from 10:00-10:55am. Several Portland Rotarians who have done this in the past will be in the DR then, so Pam Bessey needs more help to fill the 16 spots she needs. Please contact Dave Small at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you can help.
(Photo L-R: President-elect Don Zillman, Past President Kris Rosado and Past President Cyrus Hagge.)
Past President Kris Rosado reported that the “Maine Outdoor Challenge" (MOC)” added three more teams this week: Ellen Niewoehner formed a TD Bank team, Ron Bennett’s accounting team and Amy Chipman’s RBC's second team. If your firm, or the firm you work with, does not have a team, ask them why.
The following companies have committed to teams participating in the event:
Past President Cyrus Hagge was at the podium to also talk about MOC. He is working on the live auction donations. He needs items that are interesting and exciting, i.e. vacation packages, a stay in a time-share, action activities such as parachuting, river trips or helicopter skiing....these different items bring added interest. He’s looking for $500-900 value, and wants 9-12 items to have in the auction. Proceeds will support the DR trip and other Rotary charitable activities.
Ben Millick jumped up to announce the next Portland Rotary “Happy Hour” event at Rising Tide Brewery, May 3rd, 5:30 pm. Just show up and invite friends.
|Photo Corner / Rotarians in the News||Posted||on Apr 21, 2017||
(Photo L-R: Visiting guest, Michelle Mitchell with Lionel Nima.)
|*04/21/17 Deanna Sherman, President & CEO Dead River Company||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Apr 21, 2017||
As President and CEO of Dead River Company, Deanna Sherman oversees one of the largest energy companies in Northern New England. Founded in 1909, Dead River Company is family-owned with over 1000 employees serving customers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and northern Massachusetts. Ms. Sherman joined the company in 1986 and has worked in leadership roles, including District Manager, Region Manager and Vice President of the Energy Division.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Colby College, majoring in Government/Public Policy and French. After attaining her first management position at Dead River Company, Sherman returned to the classroom and received her MBA at the University of Southern Maine.
Ms. Sherman is active in the community through her present and past Board involvement with United Way of Greater Portland, Educate Maine, Junior Achievement of Maine, the Maine Energy Marketers Association and the University of Southern Maine Foundation.
|04/14/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Bill Blount||on Apr 17, 2017||
President Laura Young opened the meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay by greeting 56 Rotarians, 1 visiting Rotarian and 4 guests.
President Laura thanked everyone whose efforts made our meeting possible and welcomed our guests. She thanked the readers at Lyseth Elementary School and participants in the Locker Project, including Lionel Nima and Bruce Moore.
Past President Jim Willey shared a "Rotary Moment" with us. Jim told us he initially joined Rotary in 1982 to network and find business connections that might help him for his newly-acquired company. He found that the most valuable part of Rotary was the diversity and the value of fellowship that Rotary offered. Where else can you hobnob with the likes of 94-year olds Earle Leavitt and Bob Traill, along with twenty-somethings, like Alex St. Hilaire and Ben Millick.
Andreea Paine offered our song-of-the-day, with a merry band of Russ Burleigh and Bill Blount rounding out the trio to lead us in a rousing rendition of "Getting To Know You," with Kathy Grammer on the keyboard.
Katie Brown led our raffle, which was over $1,800 this week. Our speaker drew guest Steve Dahle’s name, who in turn drew the King of Diamonds, leaving the elusive Queen of Hearts available for next week’s candidate.
Rusty Atwood announced that the Maine Historical Society was having a "Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party and Magical History Tour" on May 12th and 13th. The cocktail party on May 12th will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and held at the beautiful and historic State Theatre, 609 Congress Street, Portland. The self-guided tour on May 13th will begin at the Maine Historical Society's Brown Library, 485 Congress Street, located next door to the Wadsworth-Longfellow House. Rusty encourages everyone to attend the events and said they are looking for volunteers to help with the cocktail party. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Rusty Atwood at: email@example.com or 831-8017. Maine Historical Society website has additional information and tickets: mainehistory.org/support_magicalhistory.shtml
Roger Fagan called our attention to donation boxes (assembled by Russ Burleigh) for the purpose of soliciting used hearing aids to be refurbished and taken taken to the Dominican Republic in May, when the 3-H team makes their next trip to that country. The boxes can be positioned in strategic locations at members' own businesses or other highly-trafficked businesses. Roger asked that if you place a donation box, be sure to check back on it after a week. If the donations are not appearing or the donations are low, you might want to consider re-positioning the box at a different location or business. For more information, contact Roger at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday, May 3rd, there will be the annual 'Job Readiness and Interview Prep Day' at Deering High School from 10:15-10:55 a.m. Mock interviews will be held with high school juniors to help prepare them for real-life job interviews and making positive first impressions. For more information or to volunteer help, please contact Dave Small at: email@example.com.
|04/14/17 Jon Jennings, Portland City Manager||Posted by Bob Martin||on Apr 17, 2017||
Jon Jennings, City Manager for Portland, shared stories from his personal life of those people who influenced him in his career, and taught him to find work he not only enjoyed, but made a difference. “You know the movie Hoosiers? Well that’s exactly the way I grew up. Everybody in Indiana grows up with a basketball in their hands,” he said. As a student manager of the Indiana University basketball team, he was taken under the wing of Bobby Knight, who commented on Jon’s aptitude for basketball. That relationship resulted in an internship with the Indiana Pacers, where he met Casey Jones, head coach of the Boston Celtics, who invited him to join the organization. Jones became his mentor, and at the age of 22, Jon received an NBA Championship ring as part of what he called the “greatest basketball team in history.” He also pointed out, “they couldn’t have done it without me.”
(Photo: President Laura Young, Portland City Manager, Jon Jennings and Bob Martin.)
After the Celtics, Jennings went to the Harvard School of Government, secured a White House Fellow appointment, and became a part of the Clinton administration. Conversations with his mentor, Red Auerbach, however, convinced him that “he was an idiot for not getting back into basketball.” He helped the Celtics start an expansion league franchise with the creation of the Red Claws, which brought him and his family to Portland. Building on his education at Harvard’s School of Government, Jon became involved with the complexities and challenges of running a city. “I love it,” he said. “Red and I talked about the importance of doing something that makes a difference, and that’s the blessing. Thank you for making a difference in all that you do to make this a great city. You do amazing things, and they are making a difference.”
He shared some of challenges facing Portland: limited funds; 22 failed streets that need repair; “a homeless shelter that’s an abomination"; and keeping the city affordable. “We haven’t had much investment in infrastructure, but we need to find ways to do it without having costs exceed the rate of growth.” Jon reported that the city now sweeps the streets twice a year, and is improving street lighting. “These are things people pay attention to and like,” he said. He talked about progress with the Portland Company project, and a likely slow pace on the Franklin Arterial project to allow more streets to be repaired that impacted more neighborhoods. He also said that he spends a lot of time listening to people discuss their concerns. Jon said that his job is made easier by the “team of city employees who are passionate about this city, and come to work each day to make the city better.”
|04/07/17 Janet Mills, Maine Attorney General||Posted by Alan Nye||on Apr 10, 2017||
(Photo: President Laura Young, Attorney General Janet Mills, and Bob Martin.)
After a wonderful introduction by Bob Martin – who also explained the common law origin of Attorney General from its roots in England, Attorney General Janet Mills began her discussion by emphasizing her own Rotary heritage. AG Mills was a former Rotarian in Farmington, having inherited the Rotary bug from both her father and grandfather. She even cited the Four-Way Test and lamented that many thorny issues could be more easily be tackled if most public officials believed in the Four-Way Test.
AG Mills stated that her office is the largest law firm in the state and is currently handling over 2,000 child protection matters. She discussed the problem of drug abuse on our population – including children – and noted that the infant mortality rate in Maine is actually increasing.
The Maine Attorney General’s Office also contains the Consumer Protection Division where 28 volunteer consumer complaint mediators work on referred cases dealing with automobile complaints, landlord/tenant matters, fraud and other issues. AG Mills stated with pride that $704,000 was collected by her office as restitution for consumers through lawsuits against some well known companies.
(Photo: Michel Kanyambo and Attorney General Janet Mills.)
AG Mills spent much of her talk focusing on the drug epidemic here in Maine. She praised the Portland Press Herald’s recent 10-part series on drug addiction. She informed us that last year’s drug overdose death toll was 376 – a 40% increase of overdose deaths from the previous year. Many of these deaths were related to opioids (prescription narcotics) – such as oxcycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone and many others.
Proposed solutions include: mental health assistance for teenagers, expanding our health insurance to better cover drug addiction, prescription take-back programs, more public education, including public service announcements and greater drug education in schools. For dealing with prescription painkiller abuse, AG Mills is in favor of limiting how long opioids can be prescribed -- depending on the type of pain.
AG Mills supports making Narcan – a drug that reverses the effect of opioid overdose, more available. She was critical of Gov. Paul LePage’s comments about Narcan that suggest people get what they deserve. She stated that as Maine’s top law enforcement official, she allocated state resources to make Narcan more available to police departments resulting in the saving of 108 lives.
This is a problem that affects everyone in one way or another. If you haven’t been directly impacted, you probably know of a friend, co-worker or other acquaintance that has suffered. The trend is getting worse with no signs of slowing down. We must all do our part to be more informed about this scourge here in Maine and across the nation.
For more facts about opioid addiction, she also suggested the website: DoseofRealtyMaine.org.
|04/07/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Apr 10, 2017||
President Laura Young welcomed all on a day of the-hint-of-oncoming-Spring-weather to the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay with 72 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and 6 guests.
We pledged Allegiance to our Flag and sang our patriotic song, accompanied on the keyboard by Russ Burleigh.
We had fun singing “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover,” led by "The Four-Leaf Clovers" – Gracie Johnston, Amy Chipman, Kathy Grammer and Alan Nye – with Russ Burleigh tickling the keyboard ivories.
The typical Irish luck of Paul Gore did not bring out the Queen of Hearts in the dwindling number of cards (10) for the $1,784 raffle pot. Some lucky winner is expected anytime!
We sang “Happy Birthday!” for all April-born Rotarians! And wished "Congratulations!" to all members who joined Rotary during the month of April throughout the years. (See separate article in this edition.)
Jim Willey thanked Portland Rotarians who serve with him on the Salvation Army Advisory Board: Janet Butland, Leonard Scott, Bill Blount, Bob Traill, and Austin Harris. Jim beamed when telling us of the “Champions for Kids” annual fund-raising event – this year’s event being “Beatlemania Magic” at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay on April 26, 2017. It’s the seventh annual event to support programs and services that create a positive impact on children and their families. Tickets are available by contacting Jim: firstname.lastname@example.org or online at: eventbrite.com/e/beatlemania-magic-an-evening-of-favorite-beatles-music-to-benefit-children-tickets-31358210251?aff=eac2. For more information, check website: nne.salvationarmy.org/portland-me/champions-for-kids-benefit-evening.
Liz Fagan gave a report about the Hearing, Hands and H2O (3-H) project in the Dominican Republic (DR). This year’s International Service Committee volunteers will leave on April 30th and be in the DR during the first week of May. Donations to the program were received from the Rotary Clubs of Brunswick and South Portland-Cape Elizabeth. A donation may also be forthcoming from a Rotary club in Florida. The hearing project part of the "3-H" uses a lot of supplies that were purchased in the past with grant money. Dr. Roger Fagan is working with a second hearing aid manufacturer to obtain a more sustainable supply of hearing aids and this manufacturer is going to donate NEW hearing aids. The manufacturer who repairs and refurbishes the donated used hearing aids is helping to maintain a steady supply. A company that has been used for purchasing additional supplies (for testing and fitting equipment) recently sent a note that said, "In honor of your 20th year of doing this good deed, we are donating everything on your list. Thanks and Good Luck!" WOW!
Andrew Cook, who joined Portland Rotary in September 2016, presented us with a "“Rotary Moment." He thanked his parents for teaching him about the value of supporting the community. He became involved in his high school Interact Club. His major interest is helping youth. “Rotarians gather throughout the world and wherever we happen to be, there are opportunities to help others in our communities,” he said.
Past President Kris Rosado gave an impressive update about the “Maine Outdoor Challenge” that will be held June 5-7, 2017 at the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School in Freeport. There are 23 teams signed up so far – we are about half-way through the goal of recruiting participating companies. Teams include Bath Savings, Team Fidelity, IDEXX and others. Volunteers to help at the event are needed. Sponsors for participants who may not necessarily be associated with a particular company are encouraged to sign up, because donations to the event allow for some individuals to participate on sponsored teams. For more information, contact Kris: email@example.com.
Amy Chipman announced the new Paul Harris Fellow recipients from seven “Circles of Five” donors, meaning each person in the circle donates $200 a year for 5 years, allowing each circle to contribute $1,000 a year. An eighth “Circle of Five” has recently been formed, meaning all 8 circles of members and Portland Rotary contribute $8,000 a year to the Rotary Foundation.
Recent winners of the drawing:
Congratulations to our recent PHFs! (See 'Photo Corner' for photos of PHFs present.)
Eighth "Circle of 5": Ellen Niewoehner, Mike Fortunato, Tom Ranello, Bruce JONES, and Kathy Grammer. (Ed: correction from last WJ and apologies to Bruce Jones for not getting his name correct.)
If you would like additional information, please contact Amy: firstname.lastname@example.org
|*04/14/17 Jon Jennings, City of Portland Manager||Posted by Bob Martin||on Apr 10, 2017||
Jon Jennings was appointed City Manager of Portland in July, 2015, after serving as assistant city manager for the city of South Portland for two years. The city manager’s position, along with the city clerk and city attorney, are appointed by the City Council. The city manager appoints and manages all other city department heads.
As the chief administrative officer of the city, the manager’s primary responsibilities include providing and maintaining the essential city services through the efficient and effective management and operation of the city under the direction of the mayor and City Council. The city manager executes the policy direction set by the Mayor and City Council through the management of 13 city departments and approximately 1,400 employees. Responsibilities include preparing and administering the annual budget, directing day-to-day operations, hiring, supervising, evaluating and disciplining personnel, developing and administering city policies and procedures, and ensuring citizen complaints are resolved.
Jon’s background is diverse. His government experience includes serving as a senior advisor for the Clinton White House Office of Cabinet Affairs, managing Sen. John Kerry’s political operations in Massachusetts. In 2004, he failed in his bid for Indiana’s 8th District congressional seat as a conservative Democrat, losing to incumbent Rep. John Hostettler. As an entrepreneur, he was president and co-owner of the Portland Red Claws, a general partner of the Thompson’s Point Development company, and a partner in the Red Mango Frozen Yogurt store in Maine Mall.
He attended Indiana University where he was a student manager for the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team, and while still in school, was hired by the Indiana Pacers as a scout and video coordinator. His career in basketball culminated in 2010 when he was named as the first NBA D-League Executive of the Year. Jennings has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.
|*04/07/17Janet Mills, Attorney General of Maine||Posted by Bob Martin||on Apr 07, 2017||
Attorney General Janet Trafton Mills grew up in Farmington, Maine. She earned a B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a J.D. degree from the University of Maine School of Law, where she was an editor of the Maine Law Review.
Ms. Mills was an Assistant Attorney General from 1976 to 1980, when she was elected District Attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties, a position to which she was re-elected three times, with the distinction of being the first woman District Attorney in New England.
From 1995 through 2008, Ms. Mills practiced law in Skowhegan with her brother, S. Peter Mills, in the firm Wright and Mills, P.A.. Ms. Mills was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, representing the towns of Farmington and Industry. In 2008 she was elected by the legislature to be Maine’s 55th Attorney General, the first woman Attorney General in Maine.
In December 2012, after a change in party control in the legislature, Ms. Mills was again elected Attorney General, and 2014, re-elected to her second consecutive term. The Attorney General is Maine’s chief law enforcement officer and represents the state in legal matters ranging from child support enforcement, civil rights and consumer protection to the prosecution of homicides, felony drug cases and major frauds. The Attorney General is also a member of the Baxter Park Authority, overseeing the 209,000 wilderness acres of the Baxter State Park. She serves on the Criminal Law, Substance Abuse and the Energy & Environment Committees of the National Association of Attorneys General, and was recently appointed Co-Chair of the NAAG Tobacco Committee.
In years past, Ms. Mills co-founded the Maine Women’s Lobby and was an active member of a number of organizations, including the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation Board. Ms. Mills was married for 29 years to Stanley Kuklinski, who passed away in September 2014. She lives in Farmington and has five stepdaughters and three grandsons.
|Posted by Loretta Rowe||on Apr 07, 2017||
As we receive applications for prospective members to join our Portland Rotary Club, the names of the applicants will be included in our Windjammer. Any information and/or comments you would like to share will be handled confidentially. Please contact Loretta Rowe: email@example.com. Your input will be appreciated.
|Rotary's "Friend Raiser" Series||Posted by Dave Seddon||on Apr 07, 2017||
A great gathering at the Allagash Brewing Company last week with over 40 Rotarians and guests! This annual event could not happen without the generosity of a long-time community supporter and recipient of last year's Paul Harris Fellow award, Rob Tod. A warm thank you goes to Charli, our Allagash host, and the "pouring" team. A full array of delicious cheeses and meats, along with Maine's own 'Plucked' Salsa, kept our lively guests fed while enjoying 1 of 5 beers on tap.
(Left: President Laura Young and Bruce Moore.)
The evening highlights, including our raffle proceeds recipient, was United Way's "Summer Feed and Read Program."
(Right: Katie Camplin, Kathy Grammer and PP Bowen Depke.)
Katie Camplin from United Way attended to thank all the Rotarians for their contribution and continued support for this program, specifically the books that make the reading program happen. We raised $1,027 from registration and Allagash-inspired raffle tickets.
(Left: President-elect Don Zillman, PP Dick Hall and Amy Chipman.)
We hope to see everyone at this and other future "Friend Raiser" series events.
Special shout-out of thanks to Dave Seddon and Rob Chatfield for continuing this great tradition.
|District Training Assembly||Posted||on Apr 05, 2017||
Once each year we come together to share best practices and welcome new club board members, officers and committee chairs to their roles. It’s coming up fast: join us this Saturday, April 8 between 8:00 AM and 12:30 PM for our District Assembly, University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland.
Here are some W’s:
Who should come? Everyone! This event is open to all District 7780 Rotary members. At only $25, it’s a bargain of fellowship and learning...PLUS the Portland Rotary Club will pay for you to attend....just let Elise know ASAP (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you’re new to Rotary, or if you’re a veteran who wants to keep learning, join us! If you are a Club President, President-Elect, Club Secretary, Club Treasurer, Foundation chair, Club Protection Officer, Webmaster, Communication team member, Facebook guru – whatever your role is or will be – it’s for you! Community service, international service, Youth and all other areas of Rotary service will be showcased.
For more information and the agenda, go to: http://rotary7780.org/event/copy-of-district-training-assembly--usm/
|03/31/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Bill Blount||on Apr 03, 2017||
President Laura Young began the meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay welcoming 54 Rotarians and 2 guests. Tom Nickerson offered us the invocation with the ‘Serenity Prayer.’ Andy Stone led us in the ‘Pledge of Allegiance,’ and Kathy Grammer played the keyboard as we sang ‘America the Beautiful.’
President Laura thanked all whose efforts made our meeting possible. Laura mentioned the get well card for Elise Hodgkin, who was off her feet, as one of those feet had foot surgery. Elise is doing fine and will be back with us as soon as she can.
2017-18 Rotary year: Laura reminded us to complete and return the previously emailed “Committee Preference Sheets” to Loretta Rowe by this coming Saturday (4/8) to let the leadership of the Club know where you would like to help out for the coming year.
Laura mentioned that Ben Lowry is in the news as an inductee to Maine’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
Terri St. Angelo conducted the raffle and our speaker drew Bill Blount’s name for a chance to win $1700. Bill drew the eight of diamonds, so the pot will continue to grow until the lucky card drawer finds the elusive Queen of Hearts. Only 10 cards to go!
Gracie Johnston led us in song and seeing that the opening day of major league baseball is upon us, we sang the old standby, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” where Gracie donned a Sea Dogs hat, then switched to a Boston Red Sox hat on the second chorus.
Kathy Grammer accompanied us on the keyboard, wearing a NY Yankees hat.
Ogy Nikolic provided an interesting ‘Rotary Moment,’ focusing on four topics:
1. How he heard about Rotary....in Serbia he thought it was a scam, too good to be true.
2. How he first got involved....as a Rotary Exchange student to Saco, Maine in 1997.
3. Benefits of Rotary....it helped him distinguish himself to college recruiters and enhanced his leadership skills.
4. What he hopes to accomplish....give back and help others.
Standing in for Amy Chipman, Dick Hall announced that an eighth ‘Circle-of-Five’ is forming in our Club for making contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Making up four of the five circle members are Ellen Niewoehner, Bruce Moore, Mike Fortunato and Tom Ranello, with ONE opening remaining to round out the circle. Contact Amy Chipman if you would like to participate or would like additional information: email@example.com. Excitement for this Friday: a drawing will be made for one member each of the existing seven "Circles of Five" to win a Paul Harris Fellow!
Laura mentioned the District Conference at the Samoset Resort in Rockport on May 19-21, 2017. For more information and/or to register, go to: rotary7780.org/event/e781cb82-1eb8-4188-afc0-0e183a54ce28/
Laura pointed out that we need your help......lately we have not been making our 50-person minimum lunch guarantee at our meetings, despite the fact that attendance has surpassed 50 on many occasions. She appealed to the non-diners to help defer the club’s expenses, as we have to pay the difference and the funds could be better used in our service projects.
|03/31/17 Steve Hewins, Maine Innkeepers - Convention Center Proposal||Posted by Tom Talbott||on Apr 03, 2017||
Joining us was one of Portland’s well known business leaders, Steve Hewins. Starting Hewins Travel in his small Portland apartment, Steve grew Hewins Travel into the largest travel agency in the state. “Sending people away is what I did. Now I want to bring them here. Let’s import money, not export it.” Hence his new endeavor: Bring a full-fledged Convention Center (CC) to Portland, Maine.
Talking numbers: Nationally, business conventions account for 130 billion of a 900-billion-dollar travel/tourism industry. Maine’s tourism business topped 6 billion dollars in 2016, but that was primarily tourism, not business. Can we bring the convention business successfully to Maine? Steve thinks we can.
Steve noted that a CC in Portland is in line with a sound economic strategy. By identifying industry that is already strong in Maine, we are well positioned to bring in convention business. Specifically - Agriculture/ Food Production, Aquaculture/Research, Biopharmaceuticals, and Knowledge Workers, aka Information and Data Technology.
The “big box” CC’s are fading and being replaced with fresh new designs. CC’s today need to be attractive and a vibrant focal point. The setting needs to create interaction. Attendees want to do more than fly in and sit inside a box....they want to get out and see the community. Restaurants, entertainment, and retail stores need to be accessible and contemporary...they also need to be tech and media savvy. Wi-Fi is a must!
Right now, the largest room in Portland holds 600 people. The vision for a Portland CC would be a facility of 150-200,000 square feet, that could host 5,000 people....projected costs, $100 million. A feasibility study will run approx $150k, and take a deep dive into costs and benefits. Steve pointed out that Portland has a busy summer tourist business, but conventions can add significant economic boosts in spring and fall.
Where would it located? Commercial Street is too congested. Not Bayside or Thompson’s Point. Steve feels that the only place is downtown, ideally along the Spring Street corridor. Steve pointed out several opportunities....one, right across from the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, former site of the YWCA. The former Portland Press Herald building is another. The proximity to the newly renovated Cross Arena is an attraction, noting how Cedar Rapids had tied in successfully with its local arena.
In summary, Steve sees a vibrant Portland CC as a “pipeline to the future.” Portland is growing – witness three new hotels presently being built. The opportunity for growth for a year-round economy is with the business community. If we build it, they will come.
(Photo L-R: President Laura Young, Steve Hewins and PP Roxane Cole.)
|Last Hoo-rah for Skiers?||Posted||on Mar 30, 2017||
On Wednesday, March 29th, a group of Rotarians and friends were on the mountain at Sunday River, getting in the last of the skiing opportunities for this winter. It looks like they were all having a great time!
(L to R: Erik Greven, Paul Tully, Ellen Niewoehner, Paul Tully's son (Matt) and daughter (Lauren), Mark Fuller, Paul Gore and Amy Chipman.)
|03/24/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Mar 27, 2017||
President Laura Young opened the meeting by welcoming 46 members and 3 guests. Juliana L’Heureux gave an invocation about how women can be all they want to be, in reading the lyrics of “Who was the Greatest Female Pitcher?” by Bangor song writer and Rotarian, Joe Pickering. (In fact, the pitcher was Jackie Mitchell who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a 1931 exhibition game in Chattanooga TN).
Gracie Johnston spoke during the "Rotary Moment" about how joining Rotary was influenced by her father, who was a member of the Kiwanis. Fortunately, his dedication to community service was a motivator when she joined the Rotary in Vermont. Moreover, Rotary International programs inspired her, because her children are Cambodian. In fact, she participated in an international project with the help of a group from Switzerland to create 7 water wells in Cambodia. Among her fondest Rotarian memories included seeing the Christmas Season Salvation Army Bell Ringers on Monument Square, when Bill Blount asked her to join the Portland Rotary Club. She fondly remembered being involved in a skit with Portland Rotarians, when they performed a spin-off of the TV quiz show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Gracie added, “In Rotary, I’ve learned how to say hello to everyone, especially to the homeless....to be honest, forthright and to work to the benefit of all.”
Jan Chapman led the chance for a lucky winner to receive over $1,600. Tom Ranello was unable to find the Queen of Hearts in the now very small number remaining in the shrinking deck, meaning more in the next drawing!
[Photo: Kate Putnam (SMAAA), President Laura Young, Erik Greven, and Housie Stewart (SMAAA).]
Erik Greven led the presentation of a $6,000 club donation to the Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging (SMAAA) for the Stuart Center, an Adult Day Center for adults living with dementia and for their families. Rotary International is recognizing the growing incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease by establishing support for programs to help ease the impact of this disease. Kate Putnam, the SMAAA Chief Advancement Officer, received the contribution and she thanked the Portland Rotarians for our generosity.
Amy Chipman presented Portland Rotarian Ellen Niewoehner with her second sustaining Paul Harris Award. Standing ovation to Ellen! A drawing will be held on april 7th to select the first of five Paul Harris Fellows in the most recent “Circle of Five” Rotary Foundation contributors.
International Service Chair, Roger Fagan, requested members to “adopt a box” to receive donated hearing aids from volunteers who consider donating their used ones to the 3H project (Hearing, Hands and H2O) in the Dominican Republic.
George Crockett spoke about Rotarians’ programs at the Long Creek Youth Development Center and reading to 3rd graders at the Lyseth School, in Portland.
President-elect Don Zillman discussed two youth education programs that he would like to institute during the upcoming Rotary year. He stated that we would need volunteers to continue the discussions and to potentially become involved in leadership in these areas, as mentioned at previous Friday meetings. The two programs are: a) assisting unaccompanied refugee and immigrant youth as they adjust to a challenging new world in Portland, Maine and b) working with Portland Schools Supt. Xavier Botana in better recognizing outstanding student academic achievement in our young people. PLEASE CONTACT DON, IF YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO HELP WITH PLANNING ON THESE ACTIVITIES AT 228-8029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|PHS Interact Students at New Generations Conference||Posted by Glenn Nerbak||on Mar 27, 2017||
Three Portland High Interact members attended the New Generations Conference at Scarborough High School on Saturday, 3/25/17. Two of them, Safa Mohammad and Aisha Mukhtar, are 10th graders who attended the RYLA breakout session. They were excited about what they learned and are planning to apply.
[Photo: Safa Mohammad (10th grade), Clay Bessire (11th grade), and Aisha Mukhtar (10th grade)]
(Learning cooperation skills through a game.)
|03/24/17 Paul Drinan, Ex. Dir. Friends of Fort Gorges||Posted by Dick Hall||on Mar 27, 2017||
Roxanne Cole talked about the Rotary visit to Fort Gorges last year, then she introduced our speaker Paul Drinan, Executive Director of the nonprofit Friends of Fort Gorges (FoFoGo). Their mission is to restore Fort Gorges to make it safe and keep it accessible to future generations. They believe in its historical significance, as well as its educational and cultural potential.
FoFoGo was started in 2000 by local folks. They were able to get the City of Portland to put the flagpole in place and they performed an engineering study....then the group fizzled out. In 2011, Tom Stonehouse tried to resurrect the group, but was not successful. In 2014, the present FoFoGo Group convened, with the original board of directors reformed. In 2015, they received non-profit status. In 2016, programs started including educational, social, and engineering. In 2017, a second engineering study was commissioned, and is due to be completed this summer.
FoFoGo is committed to restoration, preservation, and stewardship of the fort. Goals include keeping the use of the fort appropriate. The Master Plan starts with a preservation plan, and the first step is the contract for the engineering study which has been awarded, and includes a structural assessment. Based on the study, repair and strengthening of temporary shoring and cribbing will be starting this year. Brick archways are crumbling and need to be addressed, very soon. The US Army Corps of Engineers will be implementing safety plans which include railings, grates, and stabilizing.
The Master Plan also includes funding an economic impact study, and training docents. Most people do not realize that 5,000 people visited the fort last year. It is estimated that the fort has a $1,000,000 contribution to the community now, which could be much greater once the plans to increase access are realized. FoFoGo is working on getting people involved, by creating a public forum to accept input. Stakeholder meetings have begun. The structural assessment costing $14,000 was funded with grants and private donations. Volunteers are working on projects.
Fort Gorges has historic significance, as well as excellent economic potential. The fort was built as one of 3....Fort Preble, Fort Scammel and Fort Gorges, in order to triangulate cannon fire to protect the harbor. Ultimately, tours of all three sites are being planned. There are plans to have the Portland Symphony perform a Pops concert at the fort, and a Shakespeare Festival is being planned. Fort Gorges will be a living classroom with historic tours. Maine teachers are already developing curriculum.
Lots of kayak visitors have been to the fort, but the hope is to bring many more people. Portland Rotary’s visit in 2016 was part of that effort, and the visit planned for 2017 will expand it.
Immediate budget needs will be determined after engineering study due this year.
Join the mailing list, which currently has 1500 people on it
Are there technology limitations?
They may need to remove vegetation, to protect the structure, like at Fort Popham.
By show of hands President Laura received support for a return Rotary trip scheduled for Sat. June 24 or Sun. June 25. Save the date!
For more information, go to: www.friendsoffortgorges.org
|*03/31/17 Steve Hewins, Maine Innkeepers, Convention Ctr Proposal||Posted by Roxane Cole||on Mar 27, 2017||
Steve Hewins graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in history. In 1982 he started Hewins Travel out of his Munjoy Hill apartment, eventually growing it to the largest travel agency in the state. In 2007 he sold the business to AAA Northern New England and became its Vice President of Branch Operations. Steve left AAA in 2013 to become the Executive Director of Portland Downtown, a business improvement district that incorporates most of the city center, and in 2016 he was selected as President and CEO of the Maine Restaurant and the Maine Innkeepers Associations.
Steve lives in South Portland with his wife Kathy. His daughter Kia is a Junior at the University of Maine, and his outside interests including skiing, golf, reading. and, of course, traveling.
Steve's presentation will be about "Making the Case for a World Class Convention Center in Downtown Portland."
|03/17/17 Maine Red Claws - Dajuan Eubanks, President||Posted by John Marr||on Mar 20, 2017||
(Photo: Bob Clark, Dajuan Eubanks, and President Laura Young.)
Rotarian Bob Clark, Chief Professional Officer at the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine (BGC) had the pleasure of introducing, Dajuan Eubanks, a member of the Board of the BGC. It’s easy to understand why Bob looks up to Mr. Eubanks as a role model for the kids at the Club. Mr. Eubanks is the current President of the Maine Red Claws, the development league team associated with the Legendary Boston Celtics, as well as the creator of the Blue Wave basketball instructional team. Bob made it clear that it is far more than Dajuan’s sports prominence that make him an ideal role model for the BGC. Dajuan, alternatively listens to such introductions and wonders, “are they talking about me?”
Dajuan Eubanks is more than a basketball success story, he is an inspiration. Dajuan and his three daughters live in Portland and love being in Maine. Dajuan started life in Alabama, but his father moved the family to Texas, where he expected there to be greater opportunities for the family. His father was right and his young son grew emotionally, intellectually and, especially, physically in Texas. As a freshman in high school he was 5’8” but shot up to 6’3” by the end of his sophomore year. It didn’t take much to figure that basketball was in his future. What makes the story so inspiring is that the prominence and notoriety of basketball in his life was not the all-encompassing success factor, merely a vehicle. You might think that a 6’9” man who goes on to play on the famed Harlem Globetrotters team would be high on himself and basketball, but Dajuan is a humble, unassuming man who capitalizes on success because of his forward-thinking vision. He does not deny that basketball was instrumental in the development of his character...teaching him the value of team play and dealing with disappointment while playing for Rice University in Houston, Texas. He was enjoying success with the Rice basketball team when adversity struck in his junior year and he had to put the game aside due to having life-threatening surgery that took him out of the game for the remainder of his college career. With a solid college education, he thought he would like to become a civil engineer, because he loved being outdoors. Fate, fortunately saw it differently, and after graduation he was asked to join the Harlem Globetrotters.
Dajuan soon realized that life with the Globetrotters was more than just basketball. They played games 7 days a week all around the world. He learned that he was more than a basketball player...he was expected to be an ambassador of the team, the game and “the red, white and blue.” He grew into the role and enjoyed having the opportunity to see the world of the rich and famous, but not become consumed by it. He used his world experiences with the Globetrotters as a learning experience and means to develop his self-confidence and ability to mesh with a diverse world. He likens the philosophy of the Globetrotters to Rotary because both clubs are committed to making the world a better place. His travels brought him to Maine where he met a girl from Ellsworth, who also loved and played basketball, and went on to marry and have a family. Being a family man required that Dajuan step out of basketball and parlay his contacts into a business focus. He did a short stint with an Apple affiliate and moved on to an associated company, OmniCom, which grew magnificently and got the family to Maine, as part of Pierce Promotions.
The past three years Dajuan has been the President of the Maine Red Claws. He declares that the job “isn’t rocket science, it’s entertainment.” He utilizes his experience with the Globetrotters and Pierce Promotions to promote the interests of the founders of the team, who are not just investors, they are fans of the team and have an expanded vision of purpose that goes beyond basketball. He pointed to how the team has embraced and made improvements to the Expo and loves their home court as an integral part of the Maine image. He is not pushing to move the team from the Expo to a new home at Thompson’s Point, but will take what the future might bring.
|*03/24/17 Paul Drinan, Executive Director Friends of Fort Gorges||Posted by Roxane Cole||on Mar 20, 2017||
Paul Drinan is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Friends of Fort Gorges (FoFoGo). Paul will be presenting a program on Friday to highlight the group's mission, trajectory, status and ways to engage with the restoration of Fort Gorges in Portland harbor. Their mission statement: "Friends of Fort Gorges is committed to the restoration and preservation of Fort Gorges and ensuring access to facilitate its educational and cultural potential. We believe in partnering with our community to fulfill this vision."
The City and the Friends of Fort Gorges have partnered to restore this historic structure and to reduce hazards at the Fort, ensuring that the Fort remains a vital public space for generations to come. The restoration will be broken into roughly three phases: a Hazard Mitigation Phase, a Preservation Phase, and a Restoration and Improvement Phase.
Work on the Hazard Mitigation phase started last October with the repair of a stairway that leads to the second story roof of the Fort. This spring, the Army Corps of Engineers will commence with their portion of the project to install a series of railings and gates throughout the fort to increase safety for the many casual visitors to the Fort. Through making these repairs, the City hopes to bring the structure up to a standard where organized groups will be able to utilize the Fort for historical tours, musical and theater performances, and other public events.
The second phase, the Preservation phase, consists of evaluation and strengthening the structure so that the Fort will be a safer place to visit and remain open to the public for years to come. Right now, when the Fort is not closed, visitors may visit the historic structure and explore it at their own risk. Funding for the Preservation phase will be provided by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Friends of Fort Gorges.
Following the completion of phase two, the City of Portland and Friends of Fort Gorges will commence a more comprehensive Restoration and Improvement phase that will involve public input on future uses and activities at the Fort, which will guide the direction of the restoration work and potential future amenities such as an improved pier, restored indoor spaces, and restrooms.
|03/17/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Bill Blount||on Mar 19, 2017||
President Laura Young opened the meeting at the Holiday Inn By the Bay, with 51 Rotarians and 4 guests. Dave Small did a wishful spring-themed invocation after Portland had another significant snow storm on Tuesday, putting us well above the seasonal snow accumulation average. Eric Lusk lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Kathy Grammer played the piano, as we sang our National Anthem.
The vitality of our club was quite evident last week when three new members joined our ranks. President Laura asked the membership to consider being a mentor to the new recruits. Contact Leisa Collins at email@example.com
Matt Tassey gave us a "Rotary Moment." Matt Joined us in 1986. Peter Barnard was Club president and Ronald Regan our nation’s president. The nuclear power plant in USSR’s Chernobyl had a melt down and the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. Matt was asked and was proud to chair a committee to admit women in the club. Why does Matt continue to find value as a Portland Rotarian? He is inspired and humbled by the models of behavior of many Rotarians and what they manage to accomplish.
Matt also conducted the raffle and our speaker drew Paul Gore’s name for a chance to win $1,586. Paul drew the Ace of Clubs, so the pot will continue to grow until the lucky card drawer finds the elusive Queen of Hearts.
(Photo: Peter Hamblin, Sophia Mayone and Ellen Niewoehner.)
Ellen Niewoehner introduced Waynflete advisor Peter Hamblin, who introduced the Youth Service Award recipient, Sophia Mayone. Peter described Sophia’s extensive community service involvement, including starting Waynflete's participation in the Dream Factory. Apparently this apple did not fall far from the tree as Sophia’s mother Kimberly was also awarded the Waynflete Student of the Month scholarship in 1988. Congratulations, Sophia and to your proud parents, Kimberly and Mark Mayone!
Ellen also announced a Rotary Ski Day – Wednesday, March 29th. If you would like to join us, meet us at the Maine Turnpike Gray exit Park N Ride lot at 7:30 AM, or meet us at Southridge Lodge at 9 AM or at the Northpeak Lodge as noon, both at Sunday River. For more information, contact Ellen at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|*03/17/17 Dajuan Eubanks, President of Maine Red Claws||Posted by Bob Clark||on Mar 13, 2017||
Dajuan Eubanks is the President of the Maine Red Claws – a NBA Development Team affiliated with the Boston Celtics and owned by Maine Basketball LLC.
He is also a co-founder of Blue Wave Basketball – a non-profit youth basketball development program for boys and girls grades K-12 established in Portland in 2011 – and a member of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine and Portland Community Chamber. A graduate of Rice University with a B.A. in Business Management, he grew up in Alabama and Texas, and has resided in Portland, Maine with his daughters since 2005.
|03/10/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by John Marr||on Mar 13, 2017||
Our meeting started off with a warm welcome by President Laura Young to our 55 members and 1 visiting guest, then an eloquent and timely invocation was offered by Gracie Johnston.
We were saddened by the news of previous long-time member, Steve Ryder passing away recently. Among his many beneficial acts to further the club was his introduction of Bill Blount, resulting in the latter becoming a member and going on to be a club President (2009-10).
Every time you get to hear how a Rotarian came into the club and remain an active member, it’s a glimpse into the kismet that guides the good fortune and fellowship of the club. Our 'Rotary Moment' this week was offered up by Rich Campbell, who began by saying our late member, Duane Pearce, influenced him, but it was Dick Hall who was his sponsor. In 1999 Rich pulled off a major contract for his company and they honored him by promoting him to a job that was located outside of the state. Rich had a choice, but his love for Maine was clear, so he stayed here and decided to started his own business. He wanted to remain involved in Rotary because it brought him in contact with the diversity the community offered and be among “can do” people who were guided by the 4-Way Test.
Those of us who have been around for a while have seen Loretta Rowe get stymied when it comes to locating the Queen of Hearts, even when the number of cards are limited and the pot is large. Our guest speaker pulled her lucky ticket, and Michael Greer fanned the cards for her in hopes she might find the hide out of the red lady. The take-home prize was more than $1500, but Loretta's luck was limited and she pulled the Ace of Spades from the skinny deck. And the pot grows on!
Ben Millick thanked everyone who came out in support of our first fellowship opportunity at Oxbow Brewing Company on March 1st. If you’re looking for something to do on March 28th, between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m., come to the Allagash Brewing Company at 50 Industrial Way, Portland and grab a frothy pint of native brew and some company that is the best to be had. Bring your friends and family to the event and help the books-for-kids cause at the same time. To sign up, go to: portlandrotary.org/event/copy-of-allagash-brewery-event/
(Photo: Musical lead group - Russ Burleigh, Bill Blount, and Rusty Atwood.)
The University of Maine has the distinction of being the sole institution of higher learning embracing a drinking song as the school song. The “Maine Stein Song” may have been a favorite of Rudy Vallee, but it’s not a song that rolls off the tip of Rotarian tongues the way beer slides down the throat. Be that as it may, there’s never a song that we won’t give a try. With the woman Black Bear hoopsters winning their game against Binghamton, it was decided we’d sing the school song.
The Club is always hoping to add new members devoted to bettering the community and following the Four-Way Test as they interact. This day we inducted three new members into the club: Bill Blount introduced the club to Andrew Stone, owner of Artisan Angles Custom Carpentry; Ben Delcourt introduced Brian McDonough, Account Executive of Cross Insurance; and Jim Willey introduced us to Mike Robinson, transferring Rotarian from the York Rotary Club, who is the Branch Manager of TD Bank at 1 Portland Square. There’s no doubt that the Club will benefit from this latest infusion of talent. Please go out of your way to introduce yourself and make new friends.
(Photo: Ben Delcourt, Andy Stone, Bill Blount, Brian McDonough, President Laura Young, Mike Robinson, and Jim Willey.)
|03/10/17 Gordon Smith, MMC, Opioid Crisis in Maine||Posted by Ben Lowry||on Mar 12, 2017||
Imagine the terrible news of a plane crash. A flight out of Portland went down over Buzzards Bay, MA killing all ninety-two passengers on board. We’d watch the news with sadness. The very next day, the same news network reports yet another plane crash, this time out of Denver. All ninety-two souls aboard were lost. Hmmm. Sad and yet very odd. The same number as the crash out of Portland. The next day, the same news...ninety-two dead. The next day, and the next…and the next. Every day, ninety-two innocent people are dying. The entire nation would erupt and demand reform in airline travel. The FAA would become subject to congressional hearings and fierce scrutiny. This would be the lead story on every media outlet on earth.
Yet, every day in this country, ninety-two people overdose on opioids. That’s 53,000 deaths per year, 378 in Maine in 2016, an average of over one (usually young) person dying per day. When the Ebola virus hit it 2014, the nation suffered just one fatality and yet spent one BILLION dollars on the “battle.” The opioid epidemic had received a fraction of that support, stated Gordon Smith, Esq., Executive Vice President of Maine Medical Association, who stood at our podium last Friday and provided the startling statistics, which continued: in 2016, 1032 babies were born in Maine with neonatal drug dependence; 80% of heroin users began with prescribed medications; the United States represents 6% of the world population, yet uses 80% of the world’s opioids; Maine is the #1 state in the nation (per capita) in medical providers who prescribe opioids. There’s no doubt that the terrifying stats could go on and on. Is there a solution? Is there time and money to fight this raging war? And how do we fight it? By going after drug users? Dealers? Prescribing doctors?
Gordon has made his career in working with doctors, legislators and the public in dealing with health issues. This most recent battle has become a rallying cry for so many entities, from those in the State House to those manning the rehab centers and hospitals around the state. A new law, which took effect at the beginning of this year, is a good start, containing language that delineates opioid prescription use between acute and chronic pain use, requires prescribers and, in many cases, the pharmacy, to check a state-wide database for a history of substance abuse. It also rolls in language from a 2016 law that limits opioid prescriptions to more than 100 MME’s (morphine milligram equivalents) per day. This requires the tapering of drugs, which can certainly be problematic for patients who have grown tolerant of up to 4000 MME’s per day, a level that would instantaneously kill a non-addicted patient.
With just one detox center having just ten beds currently up and running (in Portland), the crisis is still very much a public danger, if not a catastrophe. Gordon, along with 15 other civic leaders and legislators, are delving into the problem and attempting to find expedited solutions, but the opioid crisis continues, with those "planes dropping from the sky," like clockwork, every single day.
(Photo: President Laura Young, Gordon Smith and Rusty Atwood.)
|*03/10/17 Gordon Smith, Maine Medical Assn - Opioid Crisis in Maine||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Mar 10, 2017||
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled since 1999. Closer to home, here in Maine, there has been a 265% increase in deaths from prescription opioid overdose in men, and a 400% increase in deaths in women since 1999. Maine has the distinction of leading the nation in the highest rate of prescriptions for long-acting opioids.
These and other statistics have been shared by Gordon H. Smith, Esq., Executive Vice President of Maine Medical Association, as he travels the state meeting with health care providers to explain the opioid law changes that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
Mr. Smith is a Maine native, graduating from the University of Maine with highest distinction in 1973 and from the Boston College Law School, Magna Cum Laude, in 1976. He practiced law privately before coming to the Maine Medical Association as General Counsel in 1981. He is a past Chairman of the American Society of Medical Association Counsel and the AMA/State Medical Society Litigation Center. Mr. Smith has also served as Chair of the Maine Health Data Organization and of the Executive Committee of the Advocacy Resource Center of the American Medical Association. He is also a former Chair of the Board of Quality Counts, a regional quality improvement collaborative and a former board member of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging. He is a current board member of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership. In 2016, he was named by Maine Magazine as one of fifty Mainers influencing public policy and events in the state.
In 2015 Mr. Smith received the President’s Award from the Maine Public Health Association for “exemplary service and commitment to the practice and profession of public health in the State of Maine.” In 2016, he received the President’s Award from the Maine Primary Care Association for “dedication to improving the quality, accessibility and value of health care in Maine.” A frequent lecturer to medical groups on various medical legal subjects, Mr. Smith has served as Executive Vice President of the Maine Medical Association since September 1993 and has had a relationship with the Association dating back to September 1979.
|03/03/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on Mar 07, 2017||
President Laura Young asked Charlie Frair to give the invocation, where he read a short note from John Lennon’s life about maintaining happiness in life. Peggy Wescott led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Kathy Grammer led us in the song America.
President Laura also thanked those responsible for setting up and helping run the meeting smoothly, including: the Meeting Day Committee, Sergeant-at-Arms, and also Loretta Rowe, in particular, for editing and producing the "Windjammer," which is quite a weekly effort.
Janet Butland led the raffle, with Russ Burleigh’s name being picked from the ticket vessel. He could not find the Queen of Hearts, so the queen lingers in the remaining 14 cards for the next lucky contestant to try and find.
President Laura listed off the Rotarians celebrating birthdays in March (as published in last week's Windjammer). Happy Birthday to all!
Friends of Fort Gorges wrote a note to Rotary thanking us for our donation. They had a pivotal year and our donation is helping fund their primary objectives, which include hiring a team of architects and engineers, and in planning a more clear vision for donors. The donation also helped with community outreach and art projects, including a ground-breaking effort with Bowdoin College.
The Telling Room thanked us for our donation that will be put towards making a positive impact on over 3,000 Portland area youths with their creative writing ambitions and projects.
Bill Blount put a happy $5 in the can announcing that this very Friday was his last day of 35-years in working with Amica Insurance. Congratulations on your retirement Bill!
Bill Ross also had a happy-dollars donation and wished his daughter (Kristin - in photo) well in the upcoming basketball tournament at UNE. UMaine was also in the tournament, so the moment was not as happy for others attending.
Bruce Moore and several other Rotarians spoke about and celebrated Mark Stimson’s 50 years with Rotary. What they appreciated most is his business leadership and him using the Four-way test through life. Mark was club president in 1979-80 and is an active member. Bruce spoke of how Mark set an example with his generosity and community involvement projects, including helping with charity housing funds and providing donations from every real estate transaction to a cause. His staff was also involved in yearly donations to nonprofit housing and the United Way campaign rallies. Other members honoring Mark included Tom Ranello and Meredith Small (through a note), both who worked for Mark at one time. Mark then received his fifth Paul Harris Fellow. Congratulations, Mark!
(Photo: Paul Tully, Bob Trail and Charlie Frair.)
Paul Tully, Charlie Frair, and Kris Rosado discussed the fundraising efforts for the Veterans Appreciation Lunch. Paul was chair of the event, and had three main goals for this veterans program:
Over 150 veterans attended lunch as our guests. Charlie indicated that over $2,000 donation was provided to the Southern Maine Vet-to-Vet program.
Bob Trail Introduced Jeremy Kendall, who is the Director of Veterans Services for the Easter Seals. Jeremy discussed the Eastern Seals and how he is indebted to Adria Horn, Director Bureau of Veterans' Services. Mr. Kendall also talked about the wonderful work Easter Seals does for Veterans, saying the donations will be put to good use, to include providing veterans with door-to-door assistance and/or to provide simple things that some of us take for granted. The sponsors of the luncheon were primarily from local banks, so consider asking your local bank or other companies to help sponsor the event next year.
Kris Rosado shared that over $110,000 was donated to the Rotary Foundation in charitable giving this year, including, stocks, cash, and bequests from estate plans. Kris is a donor and believes it is a way to keep control of Rotary funds for the Club’s use more locally. The committee will be reaching out to members for their thoughts and wishes to help.
And last, but not least, former member Becky Wright spoke to President Laura to share that after a lengthy treatment regimen, she is cancer free and says hello. Awesome!
|Notices||Posted||on Mar 07, 2017||
Long-time member of Portland Rotary, Steve Ryder, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Steve had been a member of our club since 1968. His full obituary can be read at:
A celebration of Steve's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary, 43 Foreside Road, Falmouth.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes all donations to go to:
The Falmouth Food Pantry
271 Foreside Road
Falmouth, ME 04105,
St. Mary's Legacy Fund
43 Foreside Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
|03/03/17 Portland Rotary Club Assembly||Posted by Bob Martin||on Mar 07, 2017||
The club gathered in Club Assembly on Friday to hear updates on several key projects. Kris Rosado and Alex St. Hilaire shared the progress of the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) and reported that contributions and pledges are coming in at a faster pace than usual. “We are way ahead of where we normally are at this point,” Kris said, adding that MOC could have a very good year. The team is looking for large items to add to the live auction—vacation retreats, boating opportunities—and contributors should coordinate with Cyrus Hagge. The MOC team will be recruiting teams to solicit contributions from local businesses and will make detailed maps available to speed the process.
First Vice President Don Zillman discussed his approach to planning for next year as he continues the officer tradition in the club. He asked, “What should be our role with the District and International?” He referenced his Law School colleague, Anna Welch, who oversees the Law School’s Refugee and Human Rights Clinic. He reminded us of the Deering High School student, Laura Iteka, who was the recent recipient of the Youth Service Award, and who spent a year on the streets in Portland, “What help can we provide the unaccompanied minors who are coming to Portland as immigrants and need mentors and guardians and connections to the community?” Don asked those who had ideas and suggestions to connect with him directly.
Liz Fagan provided another perspective on the Childhood Hunger and Education (CHE) project with a short presentation focused on the importance of literacy and language skills. Liz focused our attention on the landmark research conducted by Betty Hart and Todd Risley in 1995, which determined that some children heard thirty million fewer words by their fourth birthday than others. Children who heard more words were significantly better in academic achievement than those who heard fewer. The study noted: “the kids who started out ahead, stayed ahead; the kids who started out behind, stayed behind.” The result is what we know as the “achievement gap.” The impact for us is that what may seem a small act, such as reading aloud to children, has an enormous impact on all of us. Liz reported that 85 percent of a child’s brain is developed in years one to three. “Children are not born smart,” she said. “They are made smart.”
More information about the Thirty-Million-Words project is at: http://thirtymillionwords.org/; and the video featuring the organization’s director, Dr. Dana Suskind, that Liz shared with us, can be found at: https://youtu.be/7qESE2GeZxo
|*03/03/17 Club Assembly||Posted by Laura Young||on Mar 03, 2017||
Please join us this Friday for another lively and engaging Club assembly at the Clarion Hotel. It will include updates on our service and fundraising activities, a check in on our club vision led by 1st VP Don Zillman on the eve of his “Presidents-Elect Training,” aka PETS, and some surprises along the way.
In addition, Liz Fagan will provide more context to the importance of our CHE efforts from her perspective as a speech-language pathologist. She will address “The 30-Million Word Gap” which affects language, vocabulary and brain development needed for literacy development.
|02/24/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Dick Hall||on Feb 27, 2017||
1st Vice-President Don Zillman called the meeting to order,....the second time subbing for vacationing President Laura Young. He welcomed 41 members and 4 guests. He thanked everyone responsible for the day's responsibilities to make the meeting happen. Don seems to enjoy it, so, Laura, you need to hurry back. (FYI: Where Don has an issue with calling one of the duties the "LATE Sgt-at-Arms," the "EARLY and LATE" duties have been renamed: "SET-UP" and "TAKE DOWN.")
Kathy Grammer gave the invocation telling us that music is the way to give soul to many things. Music is invisible, but still dazzling and led us in a rendition of "America the Beautiful."
Matt Tassey led us in the pledge to our flag.
Erik Greven told us about last Wednesday at Preble Street Soup Kitchen, where Portland Rotarians met for their monthly volunteering, that included Jan Chapman, Bruce Moore, Jim Willey, Mac Collins, Ron Bennett, Erik Greven, Bruce and Jan’s friend Ben, and one Rotary Interactor.
Erik also talked about the Locker Project where Portland Rotary helps to distribute packed food for the recipients to take home. There are two upcoming events, Wednesday, March 15 at Presumpscot Elementary School and Monday, March 20 at Reiche School. If you want to help, contact Erik, email@example.com
George Crockett was invited to talk about Long Creek Youth Center's volunteer night, which happens on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. This month, there were 5-6 Rotarians and 9 residents, who got a very healthy dinner from Rotary...NOT! It was heavy on chips and other junk food. The night’s event was Bingo, where winners could win food. George said these youths are a bunch of good kids that made a bad decision. If you want to join the volunteer group, contact Jim Willey at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Montage photo: Kathy Grammer presenting an invocation, leading our singing and sharing a Rotary Moment.)
Kathy Grammer was back at the podium with her 'Rotary Minute.' She told us how she first got acquainted with Portland Rotary when she was hired as our Administrative Assistant. In that position, she was always in attendance and got to know everyone. She left us to become Executive Director of the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, then Russ Burleigh invited her back to become a member. Kathy said she has met terrific people, such as Dwayne Pearce, Naj Lotfey, and Bob Pierce. As chair of the Portland Centennial event, she loved working with Past President Bowen Depke and everyone else involved. She supports the vision and strategic planning process, and finds it to be an honor and privilege to serve, as well as to make so many friends.
Ben Millick announced a Portland Rotary social event on Thursday, March 1, 5:30 pm at the Oxbow Blending & Bottling, 49 Washington Ave, Portland. Invite family and friends. The location is in an alley next to Coffee by Design, nearly right across from Sillys’. You can find out more online at: portlandrotary.org/event/rotary-club-social-event-at-ox-box-brewing/
Patty Erickson ran the raffle. With $1,397 at stake, Ellen Niewoehner was not able to pick the Queen of Hearts. Next week, with a jackpot over $1,400 and only 14 cards left in the deck, everyone should buy more tickets!
Don Zillman told us about his upcoming Presidents-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) coming in two weeks in Framingham, MA. It is a time spent learning from trainers on what to expect and also to learn from other incoming Club presidents. Dave Underhill, the incoming District Governor, has asked presidents to focus on Membership, Service and the Rotary Foundation. Don thinks we need to continue to inform members about the Foundation, an incredible force for improving the world. Don is proud of the membership growth of Portland Rotary, while it is becoming more diverse and inclusive. He says there is room for 20+ more to achieve a membership of 160. Don will be proud to report and share the service work of Portland Rotary, stating that our Club should be very proud of what we are accomplishing. He also mentioned that he is intrigued by the upcoming District service in Cuba. He wants to be part of that.
Don shared his ideas of what he envisions for the Club and he wants feedback from members: how Rotary can bring civility and shared purpose into the very difficult political situation we find we are in; he wants us to think about how Portland Rotary can work with schools and teachers, to bring other events to the forefront, not just sports. (After the refugee chorus performed, Don told us he would like to see the Club contribute to the immigrant community.)
After the meeting, Bill Ross told this reporter that the America East Women's Basketball conference tournament is coming to Portland March 4th. He invites Portland Rotarians to join him in cheering against Maine (his daughter, Kristin Ross, is #24 for Binghamton University). For tickets and more details, go to: www.shamrockse.com/aecmaine.html
|02/24/17 Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus||Posted by Alan Nye||on Feb 27, 2017||
In honor of World Understanding and Peace week, Rusty Atwood presented us with the Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus – an all-girls chorus comprised of immigrant children from around the globe. Led by Con Fullam on the guitar as the only musical accompaniment, the young women sang song after song to a very appreciative audience. Fullam explained to us that the message of the chorus is one of inclusion, regardless of culture, creed or color. With more than a bit of pride, Fullam told us that there are 34 young ladies from 17 countries in the chorus and that in the last 12 years 100% have graduated from high school and 85% have gone on to college.
For the Rotarians and guests in attendance, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear a chorus that has performed on the Today Show, sung at the Kennedy Center and the White House! The first song “We Are Family” set the tone for the rest of the singing.
“Pihcintu” is a Passamaquoddy word meaning “When she sings, her voice carries far.” Fullam chose the name for the chorus and they represent a wonderful example of the talents of the immigrant community in Portland. The chorus received a standing ovation – and rightly so – as they filled the room with the hope that our future will continue to be inclusive, rather than exclusive.
VP Don Zillman presented the chorus' leader, Con Fullam, with a certificate of appreciation for bringing this wonderful chorus, along with their inspiring songs and messages to our Club.
After performing, the young women went around the room, going from member to member, to shake our hands.
|*02/24/17 Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Feb 24, 2017||
Welcoming immigrant children from around the globe, the Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus helps restart young lives. War-torn villages, bloodshed, refugee camps, famine, and political turmoil were devastating realities for many of these young singers before being embraced by the warmth, companionship and harmony that Pihcintu provides.
The power of survival eases, but never erases, the memory of unthinkable atrocities, physical danger and personal tragedy. Portland, Maine, an ever-expanding international resettlement community, was fertile ground to bring together children from diverse backgrounds to sing as one. Con Fullam, award-winning producer, musician, and songwriter, combined his passion for music with a deep concern for the effect of world issues on children - creating "The Chorus" with the help of countless supporting souls from all walks of life. This unique chorus of young women from Cambodia, China, Congo, El Salvador, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Viet Nam, British West Indies, and Zambia, along with children whose families have been here for generations, have formed a powerful and permanent bond. Through the healing power of music, these vulnerable, yet brave, young women have learned to trust, hope and laugh again. The children and their music are transformative. Being in their presence is a life-enhancing experience and they touch the hearts of all who hear them!
For more information, go to: www.confullam.com/
|02/17/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by John Marr||on Feb 20, 2017||
Each club president is offered advice during their year to take some time off and allow their successor time at the podium to prepare for their upcoming year. President Laura heeded this advice and headed to Florida for a week of leisure time, turning the podium over to Vice President Don Zillman. Don welcomed 55 members, 2 honorary members and 6 guests to our meeting. He also thanked all who were part of putting the meeting day together.
When it comes to offering up an invocation, you can be certain that Russ Burleigh will be on point and provide arcane bits which few knew. We pledged our Allegiance to the Flag and sang our patriotic song.
Vice-President Don Zillman, recognized the members that are reaching out to the multi-national children at Lyseth School. The program is well subscribed by Rotary and additional support is found among Don’s students at the School of Law. Don had two students from China assisting him as he read to the third-grade class that he visits monthly.
Our weekly raffle to date has grown better than some 401k plans! With a pot that has increased to more than $1,370 and an ever-diminishing deck of cards (16), you’d think we’d be moving on. Loretta Rowe conducted the raffle this week, requesting that our speaker pull a member's name from the bucket. Embarrassing as it was, Mr. Botana pulled her name, but VP Don jumped in to assist in fanning out the cards, allowing her to honestly participate. She pulled the right suit-wrong card and was no more luckier than those before her. So the growth of money continues to go up, as the number of cards go down.
Charlie Frair certainly has many faithful friends. Despite the winter storm last Sunday, Charlie's friends attended a fabulous birthday bash, which he designed to provide fellowship. In lieu of gifts, he requested that guests make a donation to the Rotary Club of Portland. Charlie, who is only 70-years young was flanked by his younger sister and his father, Paul, also a Rotarian. More than $2,000 was raised for Portland Rotary. Nice job, Charlie!
Ben Millick reminded us of a fellowship opportunity. On the first Wednesday of every month, the Portland Rotary Club will host a "Happy Hour" gathering. These events will be open for all Rotarians and is an opportunity for us to get together and have fun. The event will switch each month to a different location in Portland. Please feel free to bring guests! This is a good chance to introduce guests to the members and explain ways they can assist us in our efforts to better the community. We will be hosting our first event at the Oxbow Brewing Company, 49 Washington Ave., Portland, on Wednesday, March 1st, at 5:30 pm. You may register online at: http://portlandrotary.org/event/rotary-club-social-event-at-ox-box-brewing/
For questions or more information, contact Ben at: email@example.com.
|02/17/17 Xavier Botana, Superintendent Portland Schools||Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Feb 20, 2017||
An impressive career in education and school administration experiences are the special qualifications Mr. Xavier Botana brings to his position as Superintendent of the Portland Public Schools. During his first seven months leading the city's public schools, his responsibilities have been supported by the Board of Education's vision, mission and the comprehensive strategic plan. Mr. Botana outlined an interesting report for Rotarians, where he described the status of the measurable goals he is focused on achieving. He complimented civic leadership in Portland and the Board, for the tremendous passion he sees in the community for supporting public education.
Mr. Botana was a member of Rotary when he lived and worked as the associate superintendent in the Michigan City, Indiana school system. Extending on his professional biography, he described the immigration history of his family after they left Cuba, where he was born. He prefaced his report with a history about the challenges he and his Cuban family experienced when they left Cuba during the revolution led by Fidel Castro and applied to enter the United States. Mr. Botana'a family were able to send him and his siblings to Spain to live with his grandparents while they applied for US immigration. They were eventually reunited and moved to Chicago, IL and eventually to Lancaster, PA.
Portland Public Schools include one-third of students who are language minorities. Although many of the students themselves are proficient in English, it's not the language spoken in their homes. He noted the enormous organizational support from the community and service clubs that support the Portland Public Schools, including efforts to elevate the profile of many students who don't always receive the recognition they may deserve. Community engagement in school improvements are evident in Portland, as demonstrated by mentoring programs, some of which are supported by Portland Rotarians.
Mr. Botana is focused on four goals endorsed by the Board of Education:
(a) Achievement - students will graduate and be prepared for a path to the future including college.
(b) Whole student - social and emotional learning will prepare students to have habits of mind to make them well rounded and engaged in the community.
(c) Equity - "The Portland schools are only as good as the weakest link." Portland Public Schools do an "amazing job with students who are economically challenged." Mr. Botana compared Portland data about bringing economically challenged students in line with the educational outcomes of those who are above the guidelines for subsidized meals. The challenge is to ensure that the outcomes of students are not predicted by their zip code, their parents level of education or their first language.(d) People - Recognition of education as a people-intensive industry and the responsibility to educate better human beings.
On the immediate School Board agenda is the building program to bring all four of the city's elementary schools into 21st century schools. If endorsed by the City Council, Portland voters will be asked to support the bond to rebuild these four elementary schools.Regarding the support between Portland Public Schools and the Long Creek Youth Development Center and a question as to how students transition back to the community after they leave Long Creek, Mr. Botana responded that there is a direct relationship between himself and the Superintendent of Long Creek. "We're about building second, third and fourth chances," he said.
(Photo: Glenn Nerbak, Xavier Botana and VP Don Zillman.)
|*02/17/17 Xavier Botana, Superintendent Portland Public Schools||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Feb 17, 2017||
Xavier Botana has been Superintendent of the Portland Public Schools since July 1, 2016. The Portland Board of Public Education selected him after conducting a nationwide search that drew more than 40 applicants. In choosing Mr. Botana, the board cited his credentials and his work as an innovative school leader in such key areas as parent engagement, budget development and curriculum alignment.
In his seven months leading the Portland Public Schools, Mr. Botana has spearheaded a successful update of the district’s Comprehensive Plan; worked with school and city officials, families and the community to draft a transformative proposal for critical renovations at four elementary schools; and aided in the process of developing a new family partnership policy for the district.
Mr. Botana, 53, was born in Cuba during the Castro regime. His family’s experience immigrating to the United States from Cuba motivated his work in education. Growing up bilingual in Spanish, he began his educational career as an ESL teacher and worked his way up to leadership roles.
Prior to coming to Portland, Mr. Botana served as Associate Superintendent of the Michigan City Area Schools in Indiana for six years. He held a variety of educational positions before that time, including serving as Chief Academic Officer for the Portland, Oregon, public schools and working as an administrator and teacher in the Chicago area.
Mr. Botana holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and has completed doctoral program coursework. He frequently can be found interacting with Portland Public Schools students, staff and families, and he attends many school and community events. He sees being superintendent of Maine’s largest and most diverse school district as an opportunity to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of children.
He has found Portland to be a very welcoming community where he can make a permanent home with his wife and son.
|2/10/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Tom Talbott||on Feb 13, 2017||
President Laura Young gaveled the meeting at the Clarion Hotel to order, with 45 Rotarians and 7 visiting guests.
Peggy “Queenie” Wescott provided a whimsical invocation noting how descriptions of events, places, and people will certainly vary from region to region. With keen foresight into what would become a full-blown blizzard in New England over Sunday/Monday, Peggy noted that our Massachusetts friends would refer to it as “snowing tons.” Here in Maine, we’ll just give it a wave and shrug it off.
Laura asked “Tom Brady,” aka John Marr, to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Kathy Grammer led us in “America The Beautiful.” Nicely done!
Laura took a moment to thank the members who prepared and worked on the meeting activities for the day.
Amy Chipman made her first appearance of the day at the podium to deliver a “Rotary Moment.” Rotary runs deep in her family, and many of us remember her father Charlie Barnes, a long time member of our club. It was back in 2001 when Amy moved into Cape Elizabeth and met up with Ellen Niewoehner. Speaking about Rotary, Amy intimated that she was going to look into the Cape Elizabeth club, but Ellen set her straight. Ellen brought Amy as a guest to Portland, and upon seeing so many familiar faces, the deal was sealed. Amy immediately jumped into club service. Working on a St. Vincent DePaul dinner, she admitted to being a little nervous the first time asking for member help from the podium. When a sea of hands went up, it was one of those “Rotary moments.” “Giving back” is in heart, and she proudly chaired the Foundation Committee from 2009-2016. Her goal is to participate in one of our Dominican Republic trips. In closing, Amy informed us, “I’m never going to leave!”
Time to sing: “Oh, When the Patriots, Go Marching In!” Naturally a good buzz off of that, as the Patriots took Super Bowl LI in amazing fashion on February 5th!
(Photo: President Laura, Ira Waltz and Laura Iteka.)
Ira Waltz, Principal at Deering High School, was welcomed to say a few words about our Youth Service Award recipient, Laura Iteka. Ira told the tale of this young girl born in a war-torn Africa, orphaned as a child. Raised by a guardian in Tanzania, she would make her way to the United States with her brother, both in their teens. Living homeless for weeks in Portland, she was saved by Catholic Charities, and then by foster parents, Nate and Nancy Nickerson. Described as engaging, curious, and intellectual, Laura enrolled into Deering High School in her sophomore year, and took off. Speaking four languages, honors and AP classes, and a participant in the Model UN Program, Youth Engagement Partners, and as a writer for “The Telling Youth,” she has inspired others around her. Introducing Laura, she immediately thanked the Nickerson’s, “the family she never had,” Deering High School, their incredible staff, and to Rotary for helping her future educational endeavors. She talked about the power to “give back” – the theme of the day started by Amy Chipman. An incredible story, and a truly remarkable young lady.
(Photo: Amy Chipman, Ron Bennett, Rob Chatfield, !st VP Don Zillman and Past President Dick Hall.)
Amy Chipman came back up to the podium with Dick Hall, to award a slate of Paul Harris Fellows. We paid tribute and respect to six Rotarians earning a PHF pin, and in many cases, not their first. David Small (2), Don Zillman (2), Alan Levenson (2), Loretta Rowe (5), and Ron Bennett (5). We also welcomed our newest Paul Harris Fellow, Rob Chatfield. Thank you all for your incredible service and dedication to our club and Rotary International.
(Photo: Steve Mortimer and Leonard Scott.)
The Jack of Diamonds returns zero on investment, so Steve Mortimer was busted on his draw from the deck of cards arranged by Leonard Scott. However, in the secondary market, Kathy Grammer was able to win a box of Black Dinah Chocolates, courtesy of our guest speakers.
2nd VP John Curran reported on the "Gift of Life" program that saw two children from Panama brought in to the United States for heart surgery. The 12-year old came through without a hitch and returns home this week. The other, a bit younger, had a rougher stretch. At one point it was feared he would not make it and was in neo-natal intensive care for an extended period. Good news to report is that he’s rebounded in great fashion, and is expected return home soon.
|Membership - Mentoring Duos||Posted by Leisa Collins||on Feb 13, 2017||
We have 14 Mentoring-Duo matches since last October, and membership efforts by the Club are ongoing and terrific! We're now in a position to ask for even more established Rotarians to volunteer to be matched with an upcoming new member - what a good problem to have! If you'd like to ensure the successful first year of a new Portland Rotary member, please email Leisa Collins: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
|02/10/17 Black Dinah Chocolates - Kate & Steve Shaffer||Posted by John Marr||on Feb 13, 2017||
Rusty Atwood introduced our guest speaker Steve Shaffer, and his chocolate business, Black Dinah Chocolatiers.
(Photo: President Laura Young, Steve Shaffer and Rusty Atwood.)
In the spirit of American ingenuity, Black Dinah Chocolatiers was born to the “mother of invention,” who in this case turns out to be Kate Shaffer. The marriage of Kate and Steve Shaffer is an interesting story on its own. Neither Steve nor Kate are Maine natives, but they found their way to Vacationland and took to it in the adventurous, devil-may-care way as many newcomers do. The couple spent ten years off the coast of Acadia National Park, on Isle au Haut. They didn’t make the move with any expectations, but soon realized that you had to be determined and flexible to survive.
Since they were set up on the island, they needed a way to make some money and Kate decided that everyone needs to eat, so she would get into cooking while Steve continued to work construction. The food business was not what they had hoped, so Kate gave it further thought and found a way to combine her fascination with chemistry, artistry, and food. That spawned the chocolate-making business and a little café to sell it out of. While Kate enjoys the making of chocolate, she doesn’t particularly love the taste and eating of chocolate, so she leaves that to others, especially Steve.
The product quickly gained a following, despite the limits of island life. While the location may have been limiting, it was fortuitous because it is close to Downeast magazine and caught the attention of restauranteur, Sam Hayward, who shouted the chocolate café out to the readers. Soon they got further recognition from Gourmet magazine and more orders came in. The motherload came when they got a call from Martha Stewart magazine telling them they intended to do a piece on the chocolate (pun intended!) and asked if they would be able to keep up with a huge uptick in business. This good fortune forced them to reconsider their location and the limitations imposed, including temp help and the logistics of shipping....so they had to move from Isle au Haut, but keep the spirit of Black Dinah alive.
Their new-found Westbrook location and success brought with it some challenges. They have four employees to help them out. Steve is the marketer, while Kate is the maker. They have a host of regular corporate customers and the café is an attraction for the retail business, but the web-based marketing and logistics are a work in progress. Fluctuations in atmospheric conditions, particularly, temperature, can affect the taste of the confection. It also turns out that chocolate is best eaten at room temperature and in combination with other foods. Black Dinah procures the base chocolate from a couple of family farms located in Venezuela and Peru.
Steve was asked what makes chocolate so popular? It comes as no surprise that the taste, not too sweet, of the Black Dinah chocolate is the premier differentiation. Plus it seems that chocolate is quite social and perfect to give as a gift and to share. If you’re looking for something extra special and unique, try the shaved chocolate and mix up a thick chocolate drink.
If you’ve waited until the last minute to get something for your Valentine, head off to Black Dinah Chocolatiers Café and retail store located at 869 Main Street, Westbrook and pick up some truffles or shavings to save the day and the love of your life.
|*02/10/17 Kate & Steve Shaffer - Black Dinah Chocolatiers||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Feb 10, 2017||
Since Steve and Kate Shaffer launched Black Dinah Chocolatiers from Isle au Haut in 2007, their hand-crafted truffles and gourmet confections have earned a raft of national awards for their flavor and artistry, as well as their sustainable and socially-responsible sourcing.
The company, named for a rocky outcropping near their island home, has been featured in magazines like "Martha Stewart Living and Gourmet." Kate Shaffer has been named one of the nation’s top chocolatiers.
The idea of making gourmet truffles on a wind-swept island off the coast of Maine was just random enough to be appealing in 2007, when Kate started studying chocolate. The idea of opening a funky, slightly urbane café in which to sell them at the edge of a quiet island forest was even more random—and therefore even more appealing. With Steve’s talent at business and creative problem solving and Kate’s gift with food and presentation, it sounded like just the business for them.
Two decades in kitchens from California to Maine has taught Kate lots about food and farms and the power of locally supported agriculture and small business. Mostly it’s taught her that things just taste better when they’re fresher....and Steve has learned that he’s happiest working and thinking in smaller communities.
In June of 2015, the Shaffers moved chocolate production from a 500-square-foot barn on Isle au Haut into a 4,255-square-foot space in Westbrook. While still connected to Isle au Haut, the move to Westbrook has brought 'Black Dinah' truffles, and other goodies, right to the doorstep of greater Portland.
So “close your eyes, take a bite, and share a taste that’s sweet as Maine.”
|2/03/17 President Abraham Lincoln, The Man - Erin Bishop Cadigan, PhD||Posted by Dick Hall||on Feb 07, 2017||
During his introduction of Erin Bishop Cadigan, Peter Goffin quoted, “We cannot escape history.”
(Photo: PP Peter Goffin, Erin Bishop Cadigan and President Laura Young.)
Erin Bishop Cadigan, PhD is a Museum Consultant with nearly 20 years of experience. From 2005-2009 she served as the Director of Education for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Her current projects include coordinating the Town of Falmouth’s Tercentennial Commemoration taking place in 2018. She obtained her MA in history as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at University College Dublin, Ireland, where she went on to receive her PhD. Erin’s wealth of information gave us a fascinating look at President Lincoln.
Lincoln migrated from Kentucky to Indiana, then later to Illinois....ending up in New Salem, a transitional place for him....from backwoods to urban, from old to new, and from agricultural to urban. He embraced the idea that any man could raise his status in life through his own work.
For more on Abraham Lincoln, go to: www.biography.com/people/abraham-lincoln-9382540#synopsis
|02/03/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Bill Blount||on Feb 06, 2017||
President Laura opened the meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, with 67 members and 5 guests.
Paul Tully presented our invocation with facts and figures about the enormous consumption of food and beverage when the country celebrates the last football event of the season, the Super Bowl. (This year our own New England Patriots are in the biggest game of the year.....and with the game on Sunday, we can report that they pulled off the Super Bowl win in fantastic fashion...forcing a first-in-history overtime game!)
John Marr was asked to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance and we sang "America."
After lunch, President Laura reconvened the meeting, thanking the members who contributed to the smooth operation of our meeting day duties. She issued a warm, "Welcome back!" to Steve Stromsky....and asked us to keep Justin Lamontagne, Max Chikuta and Michel Kanyambo in our thoughts and prayers, as they are experiencing personal challenges.
Jan Chapman shared her personal 'Rotary Moment.' Jan was born into a Rotary family. Her 95-year old father had 55 years of perfect attendance in Rotary. Her brother and his wife are Rotarians, as of course is Jan’s husband and sponsor, Bruce Moore. Jan held off joining the club until she went with Bruce on the club’s International Service 3-H mission to the Dominican Republic. After that, she was convinced. Jan concluded by pointing out that the 4-Way Test is a great filter for the barrage of information we are all subjected to in our daily lives.
Russ Burleigh led us in singing "Happy Birthday" to our members celebrating February birthdays and then, in tune with our speaker's subject (Abraham Lincoln), led us in a rendition of "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory."
Matt Tassey led the raffle asking our speaker to pull a name to try for the $1305 pot. Ironically, our speaker, Erin Bishop Cadigan, drew her own name, but saved face by drawing the 9 of Clubs......so the pot grows.
President Laura briefly discussed the March 30 Rotary Alzheimers action group coming up. (See separate article in this issue.)
Past President Kris Rosado gave us a call to action for the Maine Outdoor Challenge, our largest annual fund raiser, to be held in June. He recognized the major sponsors and new teams forming to join the fun. Kris called upon the membership for raffle donations, like stays at vacation homes, cruises on yachts, sports packages, etc. For more information, contact Kris at: email@example.com.
Kris also reminded us that the 2017 District 7780 Conference is coming up on May 19-21 at the luxurious Samoset Resort in Rockland. All Rotarians are invited/encouraged to register and attend. For more information, go to the District website at: rotary7780.org
Ben Millick announced a fellowship opportunity. On the first Wednesday of every month, the Portland Rotary Club will host a "Happy Hour" gathering. These events will be open for all Rotarians and is an opportunity for us to get together and have fun. The event will switch each month to a different location in Portland. Please feel free to bring guests! There are a number of people in this city who have the time and willingness to volunteer, but due to work constraints, don't have the flexibility to make the weekly lunch meetings that are required of Rotarians. This is a good chance to introduce them to the members and explain ways they can assist us in our efforts to better the community. We will be hosting our first event at the Oxbow Brewing Company, 49 Washington Ave., Portland, on Wednesday, March 1st, at 5:30 pm. For questions or more information, contact Ben at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|*02/03/17 Erin Bishop Cadigan, PhD - President Abraham Lincoln||Posted by Peter Goffin||on Jan 31, 2017||
Abraham Lincoln came of age during a time of great economic transformation which emphasized initiative, risk, and ambition rather than family, tradition, or stability. Lincoln clearly embraced the possibilities this new economic order brought with it. He left his family home to find his own way, eventually becoming what historians call a “self-made man.” His early life shaped the political philosophy which later guided his actions in the White House. In this presentation, engaging Lincoln family letters provide a unique look into the complexities of antebellum America and Lincoln's basic Whig philosophy, simply by exploring one timeless question: What does Honest Abe do when his step-brother hits him up for a loan?
Erin I. Bishop, PhD is a Museum Consultant with nearly 20 year’s experience in Museum Education, Exhibits and Interpretive Programming and specializing in interpretative development, educational programming, historic research, and commemorative event planning. From 2005-2009 she served as the Director of Education for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. In this position, she established the Education Division for the new museum, facilitated school tours (approximately 97,000 students per year), led teacher education workshops, organized special events and public programs, developed exhibits, and created teaching materials for classroom educators. More recently she served as the Director of Maine Archives and Museums, a state-wide professional association for Maine’s collecting institutions. Her current projects include coordinating the Town of Falmouth’s Tercentennial Commemoration taking place in 2018. She obtained her MA in history as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at University College Dublin, Ireland, where she went on to receive her PhD. Dr. Bishop is the author of two books and numerous articles.
|01/27/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Alan Nye||on Jan 30, 2017||
President Laura Young welcomed 53 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and 3 guests to the meeting on Friday.
Dave Small gave a thought-provoking invocation that requested everyone to pray for Donald Trump – regardless of how you voted. (See separate article for full invocation contents - "Words of Wisdom.")
Mike Reed led us in our Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and Kathy Grammer led us in singing "America" (My Country Tis of Thee).
President Laura then introduced us to visiting Rotarians and guests, plus thanked all those that assisted with today’s meeting. She also thanked those members who participated in the Lyseth Reading Project to 3rd graders (photo).
Russ Burleigh and Kathy Grammer led us in singing 'Vive La Rotary' – all three stanzas. We sounded great!
Jake Bourdeau conducted the raffle for $1,275.00, but Russ Burleigh (whose name was drawn) picked the wrong card – much to the delight of all those Rotarians still hoping for their chance at the Rotary jackpot winnings! (Sorry Russ.)
Amy Chipman discussed the Rotary Foundation and made Matt Tassey a surprise Paul Harris Fellow for the second time. He received a well-deserved standing ovation for the award. Congratulations, Matt!
Past President Bowen Depke thanked all those who volunteered at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen, where our club has an opportunity to volunteer to help on the 4th Wednesday of each month. He noted that there was a good turnout recently that even included 4 students from the Portland High School Interact Club. The volunteers helped feed a couple hundred meals to those in need.
Ellen Niewoehner reminded us of the Rotary Ski social on February 8th at Sunday River Resort. She says that Rotarians should plan to meet at the South Ridge Lodge at 9:00 a.m. Grab your boots and skis and get ready for a good time with fellow Rotarians.
|01/27/17 Ben Waxman - American Roots||Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on Jan 30, 2017||
Justin Lamontagne introduced our speaker, Ben Waxman of American Roots (AR) to Portland Rotary on Friday.
Ben Waxman is an owner and co-founder of the Portland, Maine-based company. AR was founded in 2015 and produces 100% American-made textile and apparel, and they specialize primarily in business-to-business sales and to a lesser extent, commercial sales. Ben is a Portland native, third-generation textile worker, and he started AR with his fiance, Whitney Reynolds, after a 16-year career with organized labor at the national AFL-CIO.
His dream was to launch a company that would make clothing with 100% American-made materials and create good paying jobs in his home town. After discussing the business plans with family, suppliers, and others prior to digging in, Ben and Whitney were determined to bring this incredible industry, which essentially disappeared in the United States, back to life. With a focus on sales, workforce development, and a significant public relations background, Ben and Whitney, along with their other team members, have worked tirelessly to expand the American Roots name in its first year.
AR worked with Coastal Enterprises, The Salvation Army, and some grant money to start a paid-employee training program to prepare applicants for work at their company. Ben and Whitney then encouraged their employees to organize and join a union. The employees selected the steel workers union, which is the same union that is represented in many of the local paper mills.
Their business plan seems to be working since American Roots, and their 12 organized employees, manufactured and sold over 10,000 individual units in their first year. Their production for 2017 is expanding to an estimated sales of 25,000 units which will sell largely to AR’s national business customers.
In addition to growing sales, AR is expanding their apparel line from fleece vests, zip pullovers, hats, scarves,and blankets to include cotton polos and pullovers. Expect more growth and products from AR in the years to come.
Visit their site for more information: www.americanrootswear.com/
(Photo: Justin Lamontagne, Ben Waxman, and President Laura Young.)
|Words of Wisdom (Invocation Contents)||Posted by Dave Small||on Jan 27, 2017||
Presented as our invocation at Friday's meeting:
As Donald Trump takes office as the 45th president of the United States, we should pray that his presidency is a great and good one. That prayer applies to all, whether someone voted for the current president or not.
Those who like the new president should pray that he governs so successfully that their hopes are realized. Those who don’t like the new president should pray that, at the end of his term if not before, they are surprised that they were wrong.
This means we should pray for many things, specifically. We should pray for physical safety. Leading a nation is a perilous thing, as we have seen throughout our country’s history. We should pray also for wisdom and discernment.
A president — or any elected official — will have many expert advisers giving counsel, and many of these experts will see things differently. We should pray that Trump would at every turn have the foresight to differentiate between all the competing options in a way that benefits the country and the rest of the world.
We should also pray that the president is able to bring about peace. This means we pray that he would lead the world toward peaceful resolutions of conduct.
We also should pray that God uses him, through the bully pulpit of the presidency, to model what it means for an often-divided nation to live in peace and civility with one another, even when we disagree. A president cannot do that alone, but we should pray that, as in other times in our history, the president is able to make a start.
|*01/27/17 Ben Waxman/Whitney Reynolds - American Roots, Made in America||Posted by Justin Lamontagne||on Jan 24, 2017||
Ben Waxman is a Portland native, third-generation textile worker, and co-founder of Portland, Maine based company American Roots (AR). Founded in 2015 and successfully launched in the fall of 2015, American Roots is a 100% American made textile and apparel company that specializes in direct retail and business to business sales.
Ben left a 16-year career in American politics and organized labor with the national AFL-CIO in 2013 to begin the process of launching a company that would create good paying jobs in his home town. Ben, along with his fiance, Whitney Reynolds, had the idea to provide good jobs and to make a high-quality clothing product made with 100% American-made materials and to keep it at an affordable price.
Ben is a Portland, Maine native, who attended Portland High School and some college time. Ben was inspired by his mother, Dory Waxman of Old Port Wool and his father Dan to pursue building American Roots and continuing a family tradition of textiles. He is an avid fly fisherman, Red Sox fan and family man.
|02/20/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Bob Martin||on Jan 24, 2017||
President Laura Young opened the meeting at the Clarion Hotel by welcoming 50 Club members, 5 visiting Rotarians and 5 guests.
Russ Burleigh and Alan Nye led us in invocation with prayer and the club “swearing in” to uphold the Four-Way Test. Would that it be a cornerstone of an incoming administration. We Pledged our Allegiance to the Flag and we sang the National Anthem.
(Photo: District Governor Marge Barker.)
Visiting Rotarians included our District Governor Marge Barker, Past District Governor Sheila Rollins, Jim Schmidt from the Casco Bay Sunrise Club, Kitty Chadbourne, and Dennis Robillard both from the Saco Bay Sunset Club. Guests included Andy Stone, brought by Bill Blount; Aimee Petrin, guest of Rusty Atwood; Susy Sonenberg, mother of our guest speaker. Ogy Nikolic, who was received into the club today, brought as his guests, his wife Sanja, and daughter Anastasija.
President Laura delivered appreciation for members with assigned tasks for this week’s luncheon meeting, and to Lili Brown for her efforts with the Lyseth School reading program.
Glenn Nerbak shared a Rotary Moment, which focused on his appreciation for the Club’s dedication to service that appealed to him, and the examples set by Jack Carr, John Marr, and Kris Rosado. Glenn provided a few slides showing Interact Club members engaged in a variety of service projects focused on hunger and Crutches4Africa. President Laura thanked Glenn for his critical role in establishing an Interact Club at Portland High School.
John Lock tried to help Loretta Rowe win the $1,240 raffle pot, but her drawing the Seven of Clubs did not help.
Gracie Johnston led us a cappella, as we sang “We Shall Overcome.”
(Photo: Prez. Laura Young, Russell Voss, Steve Mortimer, Ogy Nikolic, Jill Chase, Terri St. Angelo and Linda Varrell.)
Four new Rotarians were introduced: Linda Varrell presented Terri St. Angelo, a principal in Anderson-Watkins Insurance Agency; President Laura presented Julie Chase, the Dean of Business and Community Partnerships at Southern Maine Community College, and Steve Mortimer, CEO of Maine Management Consulting; and Russell Voss presented Ogy Nikolic, founder of OGO Sense, a digital marketing agency.
Ogy took a moment to share that his initial involvement with Rotary resulted from a question he asked a group of U.S. soldiers in Bosnia, "How could he come to America as an exchange student." One of the soldiers told him his mom was in Rotary, and she could help. That mom turned out to be Kitty Chadbourne of the Saco Bay Sunset Club, who not only arranged for Ogy to become an exchange student, but was present at Friday’s lunch as Ogy became a member of our Rotary Club. We were all touched by Ogy’s telling of his story, and the reach that Rotary has.
PDG Sheila Rollins took a moment to thank Past President Bowen Depke with an award for the club for the most new members in District 7880, and an award for the Club’s top rate of contributions for the Rotary Foundation, all during Bowen’s presidency during 2015-16.
Jim Schmidt of the Casco Bay Sunrise Club invited members to their fundraiser – Party With A Purpose – a buffet and charitable auction at Dimillo’s, on February 1st from 5:30 to 8:30 pm., all to benefit the Maine Children's Cancer Program. For more information, call: 207-662-6274. Buy tickets at: mmc.org/mccpbenefit
|02/20/17 Daniel Sonenberg, USM Composer, Opera Made in Maine||Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Jan 24, 2017||
On this Historic Inauguration-Day Friday, we were able to set aside the political events in Washington to come together and talk baseball and opera.....or, to be specific, we heard about an unusual combination of both: a baseball opera.
Dan Sonenberg has been working with Portland Ovations on his latest project. The USM School of music professor, composer, drummer and father of triplets is nearly done with The Summer King, an opera about Negro-League baseball legend Josh Gibson. We heard a short clip from a workshop performance at the Merrill, where it was first performed in a stripped-down format in 2014. Professor Sonenberg commented on the scale of the project, noting that “This is a two-hour opera and a fourteen-year odyssey.” The project is on course for a fully staged world premiere later this year in Pittsburgh - a remarkable achievement and a rarity in the world of contemporary opera - where few operas are written and even fewer are performed at all, let alone by a high-level company.
Josh Gibson came from Pittsburgh, is arguably one of the greatest hitters ever, as well as a solid defensive catcher, playing baseball from 1930-47. He died just before the color barrier in baseball was broken, and had he lived, he would surely have joined other aging heroes of the Negro Leagues in Major League Baseball. His is a tragic story and not well known among the public.
Sonenberg described the many challenges of writing an opera – the number of roles, the number of instruments and types of music, the libretto, and even issues of practicality, like a boys’ choir that comes on toward the end. This, surprisingly turns out to be an impractical factor given that kids need to go to bed, and therefore finding those performers for a run would be challenging.
Portland Ovations and its director Aimee Petrin made what he called a “wild decision” to produce the initial performance. He noted that an opera score is often just “a great paperweight,” mostly because unlike a book that can be picked up and read, it’s something that exists in a strange imaginary space, despite there being a score. “It’s not real until it’s heard and seen,” he noted, adding that there is a huge gulf between going from a small workshop to a premiere.
He said it would never have reached the point where it is now without the early support of Ovations, and a small, but critical, grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which provided something of a “seal of approval” for the project.
It’s the experience of a dream coming true, says Sonenberg.
For more information, go to: www.danielsonenberg.org
(Photo: Rusty Atwood, Aimee Petrin, Daniel Sonenberg, and President Laura Young.)
|Storm-Related Meeting Cancellation||Posted by Loretta Rowe||on Jan 20, 2017||
Our club policy regarding storm-related
IF PORTLAND SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED,
Please watch your TV news/weather
|*01/20/17 Dan Sonenberg - Made In Maine - Opera||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Jan 16, 2017||
With temperatures, and snow, falling across the region, what better time to conjure up images of soft summer breezes on a sunny afternoon, the crack of the bat and the story of a baseball 'Hall of Famer,' whose legacy has been creatively captured by a local composer and faculty member at the University of Southern Maine.
Daniel Sonenberg is a composer, performer and educator living in Portland, Maine. He is best known as the composer of The Summer King, a two-act opera on the life of Negro League baseball great Josh Gibson. With the support of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the opera received its concert world premier at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium in a concert presented by Portland Ovations and co-sponsored by the University of Southern Maine. The opera has been in development for over ten years with the Brooklyn-based company American Opera Projects. In February, 2016, Pittsburgh Opera announced that it would present the staged World Premier of a revised Summer King in five performances at Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center, beginning on April 29, 2017.
For the past several years, Mr. Sonenberg has divided his creative energy between works of concert music and recording and producing albums of his original rock music. In each domain, Mr. Sonenberg has allowed his involvement in the other to infiltrate his music making. His Machine Shop (2015) for marimba and recorded electric guitar was commissioned by the Utah-based percussionist Lynn Vartan, with the support of the Maine Arts Commission and premiered at the University of Southern Maine in April, 2015.
Since 2013, Mr. Sonenberg has released new rock music each year. His band Lovers of Fiction released a debut E.P. The Bear in 2013 and a full-length album, Long Overdue in 2015. In between those two efforts, and immediately following the premier of his opera, Dan released a solo album, Peaks Island Ferry, for which he played all of the instruments. He was the principal mixer and recording engineer on all of the albums as well.
Dan is an Associate Professor of Music and Resident Composer at the University of Southern Maine, where he has taught since 2004. He is willing to admit that as a native New Yorker and he grew up as a Yankee fan. Ironically, his arrival at USM was followed quickly by a Red Sox World Series championship - more baseball history and perhaps a future opera?
|01/13/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by John Marr||on Jan 16, 2017||
President Laura started right on time and welcomed 59 Rotarians and 6 guests to our meeting, then introduced Tom Nickerson to offer an invocation, who found the perfect piece for the time and atmospheric conditions and offered up a poem, “In the Winter.” Somehow our perfection was thwarted, since the U. S. flag was not in the room, but being ever resourceful, Russ Burleigh, grabbed the tiny flags we have on the podium and we pledged our Allegiance to the Flag(s).
President Laura identified those Rotarians who will celebrate a birthday in January (listed in the January 6th WJ edition) and a chorus of 'Happy Birthday' followed.
We welcomed back into our fold, Christine Force! We've missed you, Christine!
We learned that Ben Delcourt suffered a skiing injury last week, resulting in torn chest muscles that required surgical repair last Thursday. We wish him a speedy and uneventful recovery.
We were also given the sad news that Mary Jean Pearce, wife of the late Duane Pearce (previous member), passed away. Her services are being coordinated by Conroy-Tully Funeral Services. For more details, go to: www.conroytullywalker.com/notices/MaryJean-Pearce.
At a meeting in September 2016, Dick Giles and the 3H group showed us (at left) the solar lights the group wants to take to the Dominican Republic (DR) and give to the indigent workers in the Bateys during their next visit. Over the past four months, Club members have made donations (at a cost of $15 each) and we raised $630, allowing us to purchase at least 42 lights for this project. Way to go!
Every “Rotary Minute” is special, interesting and revealing. This week was further proof. Michel Kanyambo, a new member who came to the Rotary Club of Portland by way of Rwanda, where he grew up, but had to escape in 2010 to seek refuge in the United States. While living in Rwanda, he saw a sign recognizing Rotary International for building a library in his country. This thoughtful gift to his strife-ridden country was inspiring and etched in Michel’s mind. Consequently, when Danielle Conway invited him to join her for lunch at a meeting, it opened his eyes to the other charitable outreach services of Rotary and prompted him to get involved. Michel is looking forward to seeing more members of minority in the club as we move forward.
During 2016 we brought in 20 new members to the Club by introducing them to the good works of Rotary and showing them that we are friendly, inclusive and inviting. In an effort to keep them comfortably involved, we have created a mentoring/buddy program. We are succeeding in part with some of the thoughts written in a note from Past President Tom Saturley ('91-92), who recently rejoined our Club. He indicated the membership had changed over the years....we were extremely friendly and warmly welcomed him back. Along that line, new member Ben Millett has come up with a great idea to have monthly socials at local watering holes and he has volunteered to host the gatherings. This and other ideas were discussed at a special meeting of new members from the Class of 2016.
The weekly raffle was led by Jan Chapman, with an attractive pot of $1,194 up for grabs to one lucky contestant IF they could find the Queen of Hearts in the remaining 23 cards in the deck. Justin Lamontagne's name was drawn by our speaker, but Justin drew the Ace of Diamonds. So the pot continues to grow!
2nd Vice-President John Curran, one of our very active 3H Rotarians, told us about the “Gift of Life” Program at Maine Medical Center, which offers free life-saving surgery to impoverished children from third-world nations. A couple of children from Panama are currently recovering from heart surgeries offered by MMC. Their parents came with them and were in need of proper clothing to make it through the dramatic climate difference they were experiencing. Portland Rotarians came to their rescue and gave them clothing to help them get by. More is needed, so if you can help or need more information, contact John: email@example.com.
|History of Portland Rotary Club||Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Jan 16, 2017||
As mentioned at the Club meeting on Friday, Erik Jorgensen has been assembling a page with all the history minutes in one place...from 1915-2015. The link to this page can be found on the home page of the Rotary website (portlandrotary.org) toward the bottom on the right....or you can get there directly at: www.portlandrotary.org/Page/the-history-minute-project.
|01/13/17 Greg Powell, Executive Chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation Board of Trustees||Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Jan 16, 2017||
“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man's power. But to decide to whom to give it, how much, when, for what purpose and how, is neither in every man's power, nor an easy matter.” That’s what Aristotle said about philanthropy and it was a point that was shared by Friday’s speaker, Greg Powell, who wrestles with these problems on a daily basis as Executive Chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Alfond Foundation was formed in the 1950’s with proceeds from the Dexter Shoe Company. Its current assets hover around $770 million and support about $40 million in annual grant making, plus a $7 million investment in their college challenge program, which provides a seed college savings account of $500 for every child born in Maine. With a firm belief that every dollar needs to count, the Foundation provides challenge grants to assure that grantee organizations have full buy-in.
Underpinning much of the Foundation’s work is the assertion that educational attainment is a key element of both family income and economic growth. This is why the Foundation has so generously underwritten facilities on Maine campuses, while also embarking on the ambitious “College Challenge.”
According to Powell there are several factors in play in Maine. Due to cost and other factors, not enough citizens get higher education. Only 40% of Maine high school seniors get an associate or bachelor degree, despite 60% of current jobs requiring them. In addition, the skilled work force is declining in Maine due to people leaving and aging out. There has been inadequate alignment between higher education and employers, with the additional problem that public higher ed has been constrained financially and has been slow to transform programs for relevancy and attractiveness to students.
The Foundation approaches higher education with two strategies. The first is its signature program, the College Challenge, aimed at making higher education more affordable. While every baby gets an account, the Foundation has adopted a broad definition of “college” covering “everything from Ivy League degrees to a welding certificate.” The first universal group of kids with these accounts is about to hit kindergarten this year and 70,000 Maine families now have these new accounts. Experience has shown that families with accounts have higher aspirations. Kids with college savings accounts of any size are 3 times as likely to go to college and 4 times as likely to graduate.
The other strategy used by the Foundation is its effort to unify public universities across the state. The system’s new program, the Maine Center for Professional Studies, is an aggregation of business, law, and public policy, and is emblematic of this approach. The hybrid school builds on the strengths of each component program, identifying new synergies in the development of a new type of professional degree. The Center will promote partnerships with business, legal, nonprofit and professional communities across Maine.
(Photo: President Laura Young, Gregory Powell, Levi Knapp - both from the Alfond Foundation - and Rusty Atwood.)
|You're Invited....||Posted by Laura Young||on Jan 11, 2017||
to attend a special meeting of
our new members this Friday at 11:00 a.m.
where they will share input on their experiences
of joining the Portland Rotary Club...
and what we can do to make it better.
New and seasoned members are welcome!
|01/06/17 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Dick Hall||on Jan 10, 2017||
President Laura Young opened our first meeting of the 2017 year by welcoming 59 Rotarians and 6 guests to the Clarion Hotel.
Juliana L’Heureux gave us a wonderful invocation, sourced from Rise Above website and adapted to Rotary. Back to visit us, former Portland Rotarian Harold Crabill led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Showing her real true grit, President Laura led us, a cappella, singing the 'Star-Spangled Banner."
Erik Greven was able to retrieve his “very soft scarf” left behind at a previous meeting. Laura announced the anniversaries of members who joined Rotary during the month of January over the years. (The list was published in last week's Windjammer.)
Dave Putnam gave a great Rotary Moment, telling us how he was required to join Rotary by his boss at Anthem back in 1990. The reasons he stays are uplifting service, great fellowship, meeting new people, and great speakers. Dave told us that Paul Harris’s idea for starting Rotary was “brilliant and simple.” Rotary exists through shared community service, camaraderie, and friendship. He also admitted that Rotary tennis has been a blast. “Joining Rotary is one of the best things that has happened to me,” said Dave.
Ron Bennett won the chance to try for our raffle pot ($1,105), as his name was drawn by our speaker, but his luck did not hold. He didn't find the Queen of Hearts, much to the dismay/delight of the wanna-be-winners in our audience.
Steve Stromsky is recovering from heart surgery, and expected to be back next month. Heal well and quickly, Steve! We look forward to seeing you again.
Andreea Paine and Russ Burleigh led us in the song, "Que Sera Sera." Russ told us that The song was introduced in the Alfred Hitchcock film, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956), starring Doris Day and James Stewart.
John Curran told us about the "Gift of Life" program, where a child is brought to the US for life-saving surgery. Two children from Panama are coming, one 2 years old and another 12 years old. The 12-year old boy needs size medium boys clothing...so if you can donate clothing in his size, please contact John, transportation assistance to appointments is needed for both boys. If you can help, contact John Curran at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 232-5478.
John Lock, Salvation Army and club member, thanked the club for their holiday bell ringing efforts, where $1,572.14 was raised for the Army. With the cold and snowy weather this year, John said to all “May God Bless You.”
Mike Fortunato told about a program where the Long Creek Youth Center rresidents wrote letters to veterans, thanking them for their service. Mike read a thank you from one of those vets. Mike spoke about the Long Creek event last month, where they played Bingo with microwavable food being the prizes. Every kid was in! Events at Long Creek happen on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6:15 or 6:30 p.m., and the time commitment is 90 minutes. They are always looking for ideas, and can always use more volunteers. For more information, contact Mike (email@example.com) or Jim Willey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Photo: Mike Reed, Amy Chipman and Past President Cyrus Hagge.)
Amy Chipman reminded everyone to complete their 'Circle of Five' pledge. Reminder letters went out in December. Amy told the club that Cyrus Hagge and Mike Reed are members of the Paul Harris Society, by their commitment to donate $1,000 per year. She invited them up to the podium to receive their pins, Cy 6 + 1, and Mike 5 + 1. Thank you Mike and Cy!
(Photo: Rusty Atwood, Liz Jerome and Kate Codaire.)
Rusty Atwood introduced Kate Codaire, the college counselor at Chevrus High School, who introduced our newest Youth Service Award recipient, Elizabeth "Liz" Jerome. Liz has been involved in many activities and her special one is a benefit for the social justice group, doing great work at Chevrus. Liz told us the award was “pretty awesome” and an “amazing honor.” She looks forward to a life of much more service. Congratulations, Liz!
(Photo: Prez. Laura, Justin Lamontagne and Ben Millick.)
Justin Lamontagne introduced new member Ben Millick. He works at Clark Insurance as a Commercial Insurance Agent. Ben is the epitome of what being a Rotarian is all about....by participating on a committee and becoming involved in other events (see below) before he became a member. Ben is a delight to know....be sure to welcome him when you see him. Congratulations, Ben!
Bill Blount, in place for tennis commissioner Erik Jorgensen, announced the Fall tennis champions: Ben Lowry, Norm Pullin, Howie Herodes, and Chase Bowker. Bill also mentioned that the league had a first, where new member Ben Millick was playing in the league before joining Rotary.
Ellen Niewoehner announced the first Portland Rotary ski day, Thursday Feb 9th. The plan is to meet at the Gray 'Park n Ride' at 7:30 a.m. and carpool from there. Call Ellen (329-1465) or Bill Blount (774-2584)for any details.
President Laura announced that Rusty Atwood is ahead after the first half of our Rotary year for bringing the most guests to our meetings. He brought 6, with Justin Lamontagne, Linda Varrell and Laura all tied for second place at 4 each. She said there was an eight-way tie for the most new members brought into our club, all at one each.
|*01/13/17 Greg Powell, President Dexter Enterprises/Alfond Foundation||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Jan 10, 2017||
Gregory W. Powell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Dexter Enterprises, Inc., a wealth management firm owned by the Alfond family and is Chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation, the largest charitable foundation in Maine.
Since childhood, Powell has personally known Harold Alfond, the founder of Dexter Shoe Company, as a family friend and philanthropist. Working together, Powell and Alfond, created Dexter Enterprises, Inc. in 1996 to manage the Alfond family’s investments, philanthropy and business affairs and to administer the Foundation’s charitable projects in Maine and other states. For over a decade Alfond and Powell worked closely to build the wealth management business of Dexter Enterprises and to design and award charitable grants for education, health care and youth development in Maine and elsewhere. Alfond and Powell deployed Alfond’s business philosophy and acumen to develop a model of philanthropic grant making, emphasizing entrepreneurial solutions, creativity, community engagement and partnership. In 2005, Alfond selected Powell to succeed him as Chairman of the Foundation. At his death in 2007, Alfond ensured that his philanthropy would live on by donating all of his wealth to the Foundation.
In almost ten years since Alfond’s passing, under Powell’s leadership, Dexter Enterprises has built and managed a fourteen-company investment platform providing access to high quality investment funds world wide.
During the same period, the Foundation has become the largest foundation in the State of Maine, awarding grants of over $270 million, with an annual grant-awarding budget at $37 million in 2016.
Before founding Dexter Enterprises, Inc., Powell practiced law in Maine for 15 years, concentrating his practice on trial law. Prior to private practice, he served as a clerk to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He is a 1977 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Wesleyan University and a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Maine Law Review. Powell was named to Maine magazine’s 2014 list of “50 People Who Have Made a Difference in Maine in Deep and Lasting Ways.”
Greg lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife, Amy. They have two grown daughters, Molly and Catherine.
For more information on the Harold Alfond Foundation, visit: www.haroldalfondfoundation.org
|01/06/17 John Gallagher, MSHA - Affordable Housing Issues/Solutions||Posted by Alan Nye||on Jan 10, 2017||
(Photo: Past President Roxane Cole, John Gallagher, and President Laura Young.)
Roxane Cole introduced John Gallagher, Director of the Maine State Housing Authority. Mr. Gallagher has been Director since 2013 and previously served as executive director of Westbrook Housing Authority and president of Westbrook Development Corporation – two agencies that develop and manage affordable housing in Westbrook and the greater Portland area. In addition to serving on numerous Housing Boards, he is a former real estate broker and a former Rotarian in the Bath/Brunswick Club.Mr. Gallagher began by giving us a brief history of the Maine State Housing Authority. He noted that it is an independent agency created in 1969 to address the housing affordability crisis and improve the quality of housing in Maine. His strategic plan at the time was to improve the quality of housing, expand the supply of affordable housing, and help attain housing stability in Maine.
Mr. Gallagher explained that the Maine State Housing Authority doesn’t actually build affordable housing in Maine – they make much of their money from loans to others (who knew?), as well as other programs.
Getting to the heart of his presentation – affordable housing issues and solutions – Mr. Gallagher stressed that Maine has an elderly population that has the highest number of old homes and the highest percentage of home ownership in the nation. Mr. Gallagher expressed his frustration that a $15 million bond issue for construction of additional senior housing units approved by voters has been blocked by Governor LePage. (He promises to discuss it with the governor at their upcoming meeting.)
Mr. Gallagher acknowledged that the need for affordable housing far outstrips the ability of the Maine State Housing Authority to keep up with the demand. In Portland, for example, rental units comprise 56% of available housing, while 43% is single family. In 2015, the vacancy rate was 3½% -- today it is 1%. Lack of supply has driven up rents – an average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in 2012 in Portland was $1000 – today it’s $1400!
Despite Maine State Housing approving 300 additional units for 2017 (at a cost of approximately $5 million), there exists a need for an additional 10,000 – 11,000 units. Maine State Housing is doing what it can to alleviate this difficult situation, but only increased housing through the private sector or a change in philosophy by the governor about using bonds to support housing, will help resolve this critical shortage.
Maine State Housing website: www.mainehousing.org
|Open House - Transformation Project||Posted||on Jan 06, 2017||
The Transformation Project is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit that will serve former Long Creek residents, helping them to adjust and succeed in their return to the community.
OPEN HOUSE for LCYDC supporters
Thursday January 12, 2016 4:00p- 5:30p
907 Main Street Westbrook
Bring your colleagues and come check out our new space....including offices,
venue, the future home of DJ’s Café and our supportive living apartments.
Enjoy desserts, coffee and talk with our staff.
For more information, contact Angela at (207) 303-9650 email@example.com
|*01/06/17 John Gallagher, MSHA - Affordable Housing Issues||Posted by Roxane Cole||on Jan 06, 2017||
John Gallagher is director of Maine State Housing Authority, a position he’s held since his appointment by Governor Paul LePage in fall 2012. Previously, John served as Executive Director of Westbrook Housing Authority for more than 12 years, President of Westbrook Development Corporation, as a Program Manager for the Development Department at MaineHousing, and as a residential real estate agent for more than 20 years.
John is currently a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Advisory Council.
He served on the boards of the Maine Association of Public Housing Directors, Residential Initiatives for Maine, the Southern Maine Affordable Rental Housing Coalition, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, the Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, Avesta Housing, the Genesis Foundation, and the New England Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
The mission of MaineHousing is to assist Maine people to obtain and maintain decent, safe, affordable housing and services suitable to their unique housing needs. For more information, go to their web site at www.mainehousing.org.
|Crutches4Africa - David Talbot||Posted||on Dec 28, 2016||
Rotarian David Talbot has been instrumental in the "Crutches4Africa" (C4A) Rotary District project. Dave spent some serious time in the hospital recently. An email was received from Dave's family, that President Laura shared with the Club members at our last meeting:
We have had a huge year of enormous adventure. We went to Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda, Korea, Atlanta, Nashville, Texas, Phoenix and the Denver Health Hospital. The longest and most exciting trip was to the hospital on November 4. I do mean exciting, we had so many prayer warriors and friends come around as David suffered a string of heart attacks, had a number of stents placed at different times, Needed a half hour of CPR after the stents and a second pacemaker..Ok so like I said, huge adventure. Jazmine and Candice lived at the hospital with David after Aunt Mae went back to Az.
"Happy New Year.....that’s what we are looking forward to.
Life support was an interesting interval...not one we care to repeat. David is slowly regaining his voice, strength and sense of humor. He never lost his sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. Every caregiver he has had has loved having us as a family. We never lost hope despite the organ failures, dialysis, and scary events he endured.
God is surely in control and has work for David to do yet to come. One lesson learned, and message we want to pass along to all of you is to love one another deeply without reservation. You do not know when things will change forever. David was able to appreciate a living eulogy, so to speak.
So many people wrote and told him how much he meant to them and so many others. Why not let people know while they are living what you might want to say at their funeral. Rejoice in all your relationships, forgive those who have not been kind, bless those who do not bless you. Try reaching out to virtual strangers, they might become your best friends.
Rotary friends have been a blessing, and sent many ambassadors to visit all the way from Atlanta, and Evergreen. Our churches have been amazing too. Plenty of prayer partners from Lookout Mtn. Church, and closer to home, St. Johns, and New Denver Church put us on their meal train and sent food while Candice was at the hospital 24/7. Help came from friends and prayers from everywhere in the world.
We gave away over 12,000 mobility devices this year already. We have about 3,000 on the high seas right now, and plan to ship two more before March is over. Other team members with some experience will be jumping in with both feet to keep C4A running smoothly.
Merry Christmas to all and Happy New year!Love and hugs,
David, Candice and Jazz, the dog (and two parakeets Sunshine and Snow)”
|12/23/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on Dec 27, 2016||
President Laura Young welcomed 52 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 9 guests to open our special holiday meeting.
Many of the guests at Rotary this week were loved ones and families of our members.
Charlie Frair provided the invocation. He posed a question that was asked by an 8-year old girl (Virginia O'Hanlon) in 1897 in a letter to New York Sun's newspaper, and since then, has often been asked by youngsters during the holidays: Is there a Santa Claus? The quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial.....the work of a veteran newsman....with "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," and continued to say that "he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished." So keep the spirit of Christmas alive!
Travis Parker was asked to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Kathy Grammer led us in singing the National Anthem.
Laura thanked all who helped make the weekly meeting possible, including the members from the: Meeting Day Committee, the Sergeant-at-Arms, the Windjammer reporters; and the hard-working staff at the Holiday Inn.
Laura read some thank you notes and Christmas cards recently received by our club:There was an email note from Dave Talbot’s family regarding his thanks and some updates on the Crutches4Africa medical equipment collection project. (See separate story below.)
Joan Steinberg (Russ Burleigh's wife) sent a nice "thank you note" for the Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) she received after presenting the many pairs of mittens she has knitted over the year and recently donated for local children in need. Joan has been doing this tirelessly for the past eight years and she thanked the Rotarians who donated the yarn to make it happen.
Glenn Nerbak provided a thank you note from "Partners for World Health."
President Laura thanked Linda Varrell, chair of the Public Relations Committee, for helping prepare and send press releases to the media in order to spread the word about our club.
Bob Fetter (left, with President Laura), Holiday Inn's main server for our club's lunch each week, was presented with a token of the club's appreciation for his dedicated service throughout the year.
Elise Hodgkin (left in photo at right), our club's Administrative Coordinator, was presented with a 'thank you' gift from President Laura.
Special thanks also went out to our recent Salvation Army bell-ringing Rotarians: Ralph Hendrix, Paul Tully, Roger Asch, Ron Bennett, Tom Ranello, George Crockett, Mike Fortunato, Jerry Angier, Travis Parker, Rusty Atwood, Tom Talbott, Dick Giles, Leonard Scott, Bowen Depke, Bruce Jones, Andreea Paine, Rob Chatfield, Jim Willey, Tom Nickerson, and Cyrus Hagge.
David Clough (right in photo) ran the weekly raffle, which was over $1,000. Bowen Depke's (left in photo) name was selected to try and find the Queen of Hearts within the cards that were remaining in the deck. He picked a red card, but unfortunately it was not the elusive Queen....and on she grows!
Matt Wolcott gave us a "Rotary Minute" on cotton candy and oranges. To Matt, joining Rotary was not a question of why, but why not? Matt recalled the days of helping his father (who is a Rotarian) deliver oranges as a fund-raising effort for his dad's Rotary club....and spending time with his father in the Boothbay Harbor Rotary Clubhouse. Matt said Rotary DNA is in his blood, since his parents could not say no when they were called to serve.
|Portland High School Rotary Interact Club||Posted by Glenn Nerbak||on Dec 27, 2016||
The Interact Club at Portland High chose a holiday food drive as a service project. Donations were made by Interact members and others. Seven holiday baskets, that included turkeys with all the fixings, were delivered to families in need today.
What a Great Job they did!
|12/23/16 Our Special Holiday Program||Posted by Ben Lowry||on Dec 27, 2016||
On Christmas eve-eve, we celebrated the holidays at our own Holiday Inn. As usual, our club historian extraordinaire, Russ Burleigh, was at the podium, with the talented Kathy Grammer tickling the ivories and offering her skilled voice as accompaniment.
The theme of the program was “The Bells of Christmas” and we were provided with a combination of history lesson and sing-along that got the large crowd into the Christmas spirit, with an acknowledgement to other celebrations within our club, the nation and the larger planet. It was interesting that the bells of Christmas were originally used to ward off evil spirits, but became intertwined with the Christian holiday in the many, many songs that have become part of the lexicon of Christmas.
“Ding Dong Merrily on High,” first published in 1589 as a dance instruction tune, was updated in the 1800’s and has become a holiday favorite. After warming the room with our voices on that piece, Kathy tried to get us to join her in singing “Kling Glockchen Kling,” a German holiday song. Our effort was strong, but the results were lacking. “Sliver Bells” was a vast improvement. Written for the movie, “The Lemondrop Kid,” starring Bob Hope, the song became an instant hit…but not as big as “Jingle Bell Rock,” which has become one of the most popular songs in history. Our Rotary chorus nailed each of these and felt increasingly confident as Russ continued on. When he began discussing “Campana Sobre Compana,” a Spanish tune, we were brought back to the reality that all of us need to maintain our day jobs.
Russ introduced us to the controversy that has swirled around “Jingle Bells” since 1857, when James Lord Piermont wrote the popular tune. Both Medford, Massachusetts and Savannah, Georgia claim to have been the “birthplace” of the song, which interestingly was the first song played in space, in 1965. There has been no resolution to the dispute, but we New Englanders adopt the “snowier” explanation of Medford.
“The Bells of Finland” was followed by a fascinating description of how “I heard The Bells on Christmas Day” was written by Portland’s own Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Kathy gave us a warm rendition of the song and we concluded our meeting with a sign-a-long of “Silver Bells,” which allowed us all to leave the meeting and head out into the cold with the warmth of Christmas bells chiming in our heads.
Many thanks to Russ and Kathy….and a very happy holiday season to us all!
|*12/23/16 Special Holiday Program||Posted by Russ Burleigh||on Dec 23, 2016||
This coming Friday, the final Friday Rotary meeting of 2016, a program in tribute to the holiday season will be presented. Christmas StoryTeller, Russ Burleigh, will be joined by Kathy Grammer as they sing, talk and play piano in a program they’re calling “The Bells of Christmas.”
Russ has been storytelling for the past 25 years. He got his start when he wrote and recorded stories about Christmas carols and traditions for the radio. That led to his developing Christmas StoryCards which are greeting cards that contain the history and origin of whatever subject was depicted on the front of the card. His cards have been sold at the Smithsonian Museum Shops and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, at L. L. Bean, Toronto’s largest department store, Bronner’s Christmas World in Michigan and many other stores around the country. For several years, while running his printing business, he used to ship between 10,000 and 15,000 custom-designed StoryCards to a radio station in Massachusetts.
StoryTelling began as a result of the success of the cards. Russ does these “gigs” every December from four to eight times, visiting various Rotary Clubs in the district, Kiwanis clubs, churches, retirement homes, etc.
Friday's message is concerned with providing details about the history and origin of Christmas music that contains “bells.” You will hear about “Silver Bells,” “Jingle Bells,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and several more, including a few surprises, not to mention a number of invitations to the members to join in on the singing.
|2017-18 Slate of Club Officers||Posted||on Dec 23, 2016||
On December 16, 2016, the following members have been voted and approved for the slate of club officers for 2017-2018:
President: Don Zillman
1st Vice President: John Curran
2nd Vice President: Amy Chipman
Treasurer: Scott Blakeslee
Secretary: Kathy Grammer
Sergeant-at-arms: Travis Parker
Club Protection Officer: Nan Heald
Directors on the board:
Term ending 2018 - Justin Lamontagne and TBA
Term ending 2019 - Ellen Niewoehner and David Small
Congratulations to all!
|Club Policy for Meeting Cancellation||Posted||on Dec 23, 2016||
Our club policy regarding winter storm-related cancellation of Rotary meetings is:
IF PORTLAND SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS, PORTLAND ROTARY DOES NOT MEET.
Please watch your local TV news/weather broadcasts on Friday mornings, in the event of a snow storm.
|12/16/16 Getting To Know New Mainers, Reza Jalali, USM||Posted by Tom Talbott||on Dec 20, 2016||
“Hello,” began our guest speaker Reza Jalali, before reeling off the greeting in a multitude of different languages. Though Maine is by the numbers, a predominantly Caucasian state, the immigration population in the Portland area is growing quickly, adding new layers of culture, race, heritage, and faith. As Reza calls them, these are the “new Mainers.” In fact, Portland’s population is now 20% “new Mainers.” To give you some perspective, between 50-55 languages are spoken just in Portland High School.
As a former refugee from Iran, Reza knows the hurdles facing immigrants. It’s not as if someone wakes up one day and randomly decides to leave their homeland, their family, their life. Instead it’s war, the militia at the door as innocent people get torn from their roots. In it, Reza has seen the human capacity for both cruelty and compassion.
Next time you travel down Forest Avenue, take stock of the small grocers, restaurants, salons, even car dealers. Many of them are owned and operated by recent immigrants. This is quite a leap from the days not many decades ago when intolerant groups, such as the KKK, had an office on the same strip.
In fact, one not need look far to see that Maine has had its share of prejudice and bigotry over its history. The French and Irish immigrants coming to work in the mills dealt with intolerance. Going back to the 1800’s, the Know Nothing Party, a violent anti-Catholic organization, infamously tarred and feathered a Catholic priest in Ellsworth, and burned down a church in Bath. Those of the Jewish faith were declined rooms at hotels.
The point, says Reza, is that the way these outsiders were described, was very similar in style to how immigrants are portrayed these days. “Free loaders, criminals, welfare recipients.” Reza broadcasted a positive light, and pointed out that immigrants have a spirit of entrepreneurship, willing to start businesses, pay taxes, and add life to the community they join. He suggested that no refugee would go through the misery of getting here for the purpose of going on welfare.
In conclusion, Reza offered two points. First, far from being a burden, immigrants have been very beneficial, adding to the rich fabric of our society. There are now some 50,000 “New Mainers.” Get to know them. Open doors. Secondly, education is needed to bring people together. When there is a lack of understanding, there is fear. We must educate, and learn to work with others, who while they may be different, have much to offer.
Warm greetings: President Laura Young and Reza Jalali.
|12/16/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Bill Blount||on Dec 19, 2016||
President Laura began the meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, with 48 Rotarians, 2 visiting Rotarians and 6 guests. George Crockett was asked to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Russ Burleigh presented an invocation with an Irish blessing and Kathy Grammer played the keyboard, as we sang a patriotic song.
Lionel Nima was called upon to give us a 'Rotary Moment.' Lionel came to us originally from the Congo, first coming to Denver where he studied English and successfully worked in sales. He is currently working in Portland as a caregiver and seeks to continue his studies in legal training at USM School of Law. A friend of Lionel’s suggested that Rotary would be a good way of connecting with his community, so Lionel checked out the Portland club, deciding to join us as a member. We are sure that the Dean of USM School of Law in attendance took note of Lionel’s worthy legal ambitions.
Russ Burleigh led us in singing, "Winter Wonderland," again accompanied on the keyboard by Kathy Grammer.
Russ remained at the podium and told us about the good works of his wife, Joan Steinberg. Joan has knitted another 100 pairs of mittens for the children at the Lyseth School. For the past 8 years, she has knitted colorful and warm mittens for various local charities and has found Lyseth to be a good fit for being the recipient of her love of knitting and good will back to the community.
Russ, honoring his wife for all the work she has put into this project, presented Joan with a Paul Harris Fellow. Congratulations, Joan......and "Thank You" from all of us.
Jennifer Frederick led our weekly raffle draw, asking our speaker to pull a name from the bucket, so they could try their luck at finding the Queen of Hearts and win the $1,085 pot. Patty Erickson, in a colorful Christmas sweater, had her name drawn, but she drew the wrong queen, leaving the elusive Queen of Hearts in the deck for the next lucky contestant.
President Laura spoke of the recent well-attended "Holiday Beverage Bazaar" that raised $800 for our Lyseth School student reading project. Laura explained that we have 5 slots left in the reading project...if you would like to help, please contact Lili Brown at: firstname.lastname@example.org Laura also thanked Cyrus Hagge, Youth Services Committee, PR Committee, Rusty Atwood and Kris Rosado for helping to secure the funds so the books can be purchased for the first round of readings in 2017.
President Laura announced the slate of proposed club officers for 2017-2018 Rotary year. All were voted in unanimously. (See separate article listing the slate of officers in this issue.)
President Laura then asked for a vote on the proposed change to our Club's Bylaws, dissolving the Service and Memorial Fund and adding the creation of the Rotary Club of Portland's Endowment Fund. It was approved by the attending Club Members. (The Club's governing documents are available on our website.)
Tom Nickerson requested volunteers for 'CASH.' He was not deluged by a throng of 'cash' seekers, but the attentive audience learned of a volunteer opportunity for "Creating Asset Savings and Hope," a Goodwill initiative to be held on Saturday, February 19, 2017 9am-4pm. Volunteers will provide free tax preparation for low-to-moderate income families and individuals. Free training and no tax experience necessary, just a willingness to help. For more details, call 699-0753 or go to: email@example.com
Danielle Conway introduced us to Portland’s newest member, Michel Kanyambo, a Rwanda refugee, married with two sons. Welcome to Portland Rotary, Michel!
And lastly, President Laura will be on Maine Public’s 'Maine Calling Show' this Thursday at 1 p.m. talking about end of year giving and traditions.
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
|Posted by Loretta Rowe||on Dec 13, 2016||
The meeting minutes for Portland Rotary Club's Board of Directors are posted on our website the month following their approval. From the "Home Page," click on the "Board Meeting Minutes" in the listing at the left and then the date of the minutes you would like to review.
|12/09/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Bill Blount||on Dec 12, 2016||
President Laura convened the meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, welcoming 62 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 2 guests. She asked Pearl Harbor survivor, Earle Leavitt, to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Kathy Grammer presented us an invocation with an Irish Blessing:
May your past be a pleasant memory,
Russ Burleigh played the keyboard, as we sang our patriotic song, "God Bless America."
President Laura thanked the members who contributed to the smooth operation of our weekly meeting. Steve Stromsky and Justin Lamontagne are in our thoughts for their speedy return to good health.
Elizabeth Banwell presented a "Rotary Moment," recalling her first days in the club and a fortunate encounter with Peter Ingram, which developed into a career opportunity for Elizabeth. She credits the openness of our club members as she said, and we include the “development of acquaintance and an opportunity for service” as a core mission of Rotary that has won Elizabeth to our membership and continues to be the mainstay of our organization.
Kathy Grammer and Russ Burleigh led us in singing a rousing rendition of “Jingle Bells,” as it filled the hall with a joyful noise.
Jean Murchanian led the weekly raffle, with our speaker Dean Rock, selecting Tom Ranello’s name for the opportunity to draw the Queen of Hearts for a $1,039 prize. Alas, Tom came close, but drew the Jack of Hearts. Better luck next week.
Amy Chipman spoke to us with a Foundation Moment. "Circle of Five" members were reminded to send or bring their checks to Rotary before the end of the year. Sustaining foundation member Don Lowry was recognized for his ninth Paul Harris Fellow, who is an inspiration for his Rotary giving and Rotary friendship.....regularly bringing our good pal, Harry Sawyer to our meetings. Way to go, Don!!
Dick Giles requested membership support for our Dominican Republic 3-H projects. The Dominicans working in the Batees have little access to electricity and after-dark lighting. $20 will cover the cost of a solar-powered light and the 3-H team is hoping to bring 200 lights with them to the DR on their April 2017 trip. George Crockett donated 23 lights. Dick has another 20 lined up. Gracie Johnston moved through those in attendance and garnered another $220 in contributions. Send your contribution to Elise at the Rotary mailing address or bring your donation to the next Rotary meeting. If submitting a check, please mark the memo line: DR solar light.
President Laura retold of the Club's initiative for our reading partnership with USM School of Law. Are you fluent in Spanish? If so, you could be so much help, as there are three Spanish immersion classrooms. If you would like to volunteer or need additional information, please contact Lili Brown at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Chatfield reminded us of a friend-raising opportunity with our "Holiday Beverage Bazaar" at Maine Craft Distilling, Dec. 14th, 5-7:30 p.m. at 101 Fox Street....we are hosting a spirits tasting for a $20 donation....light fare provided by the Cheese Iron. Bring a friend to show them the fellowship side of our club.
|12/09/16 Making & Impact of 3D Printed Hands||Posted by Bob Martin||on Dec 12, 2016||
John Curran and Dean Rock took us behind the curtain of the “Hands” portion of the 3H Project on Friday with an intriguing presentation on the use of a 3D printer to create prosthetic hands. John also shared that this is a year of transition for the project with planned design changes and upgrades to the prosthetic. He also announced a planned expansion to the African country of Malawi and promised further details will come as the team searches for ways to sustain the project.
There is no question that the 3H project, initiated by Roger and Liz Fagan, has impacted many people in the Dominican Republic, but John’s stories of the emotions experienced by him and the team when seeing the responses of the recipients as they first received the prosthetic hands were quite moving. “I watched a mom tell her son, ‘you’re complete now,’ when he first used his hand,” John said. “I was instantly hooked.”
Dean Rock showed us how the 3D printer manufactures customized prosthetics and the steps involved to assemble the parts. Dean works with the eNABLE group that provides volunteers to create hands at no charge to the recipient. Their work is supported in part by a grant from Google. Dean’s workshop takes advantage of free CAD design software, and he has personally invested in several consumer grade 3D printers.
Dean noted that even though the hand design is simple, the process does create a significant amount of plastic waste caused by variations in temperature during the extruding process. Despite the number of hands, or other parts, he has created on his 3D printer, Dean still finds the process fascinating. “I have spent many hours just staring,” he said.
Asked about cost, Dean said that the average prosthetic requires about $30 in materials. His labor is free. “We need to train people in the Dominican Republic to make these hands, and perform maintenance on them,” he said. “This is a high-tech project for simple touch,” Dean remarked. “I really appreciate Rotary’s work in supporting this.”
For more information on prosthetic hands and eNABLE, go to: enablecommunityfoundation.org/
|*12/16/16 Reza Jalali, USM Director Multicultural Student Affairs||Posted by David Clough||on Dec 12, 2016||
Who knew? "The first group of Muslims arrived in Maine almost 100 years ago," said Reza Jalali in an interview on MPBN last August. They were following a long tradition of New Mainers originating from distant lands in search of a better life.
Reza, an Iranian of Kurdish descent, came to the U.S. more than three decades ago, after the Iranian revolution, and eventually made his way to Maine as a political refugee. A writer, educator and Muslim scholar, Reza is recognized as one of the eminent ethnic Americans in "Making it in America: a sourcebook on eminent ethnic Americans" and this year was named as one of Maine’s 50 leaders by Maine magazine.
As a member of Amnesty International USA Board of Directors, Reza has led delegations to different refugee camps in Turkey and Bosnia. He has participated in numerous United Nations-sponsored international conferences. In 1992, he visited the White House as part of a national delegation to discuss the plight of Kurdish refugees fleeing Iraq.
Reza wrote the Foreword to "New Mainers," a book on immigrant’s experiences in Maine. His first children's book, "Moon Watchers," has received a Skipping Stones Honor Award for Multicultural Book. His collection of short stories, "Homesick Mosque," was published in November 2013. His play, "The Poets and the Assassin," which is about women in Iran and Islam, was published in 2015
Reza has been included in "50 In 52 Journey," a national project to name “Americans who are problem-solvers, idea-generators in their communities, in their cities, and in their states and are moving America forward.”
Reza has taught at the Bangor Theological Seminary and the University of Southern Maine. He has been featured in the National Public Radio’s nationally-acclaimed "The Moth Radio Hour." He is the co-curator of the Maine Historical Society’s "400 Years of New Mainer."
|12/02/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Alan Nye||on Dec 06, 2016||
President Laura welcomed 48 members and 5 guests. Russ Burleigh gave a moving invocation by quoting a passage from “All the Gallant Men,” a book written by Donald Stratton in honor of those who served on December 7, 1941 – nearly 75 years ago:
The whistling of another bomb, and we braced for impact, but it hit the neighboring ship, Vestal, instead. It seemed to catch much of the fury that had been aimed at the Arizona. The repair ship was in flames, and its crew was furiously trying to extinguish them. As it burned, a bomb went through our aft, near the propeller, but it didn’t explode. Another stroke of fortune, but I knew our luck was running out.
Yet another bomb came whistling down, and we felt a hard smack against the aft. The weapon penetrated the deck, exploding in a meat locker. We were sitting ducks....not just the Arizona, but every ship in the harbor.
Not many survivors remain of that “day of infamy,” but we have one right here in Portland Rotary – our own hero and Pearl Harbor survivor, Earle Leavitt. (Photo: Earle Leavitt and Jim Willey.)
Russ pulled triple duty by doing the invocation, taking the picture of Earle, and then leading us in “God Bless America.”
President Laura introduced visiting guests and Rotarians and thanked all those assisting in any way with the meeting, as well as those volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Thanksgiving dinner event and those who signed up in record time for our annual bell ringing for the Salvation Army.
George Crockett announced a warm-clothing collection drive at St. Dominic’s Church at the corner of Sherman and Mellen Streets, Portland on December 17th. They will be accepting donations for warm items for all ages from 9 am-12pm on Friday the 16th. If anyone has a small/light contribution of articles, call George at 781-5299. He may need help in getting it there.
A card was available for signing, which expressed our good wishes and hope for a speedy recovery to Steve Stromsky who had heart surgery.
Rusty Atwood gave us a 'Rotary Moment,' explaining that he likes the great food, fun, and fellowship of Rotary so much that he’s joined the club 3 different times! Rusty explained that for one reason or another he’s had to end his time with Rotary, but keeps coming back – having been sponsored at various times by Don Lowry, Dave Putnam and Paul Gore. Rusty went on to explain that as a child he received a small scholarship to take music lessons with the New England Music Camp and that experience stuck with him. He reminded us that no gift is too small – a good message to hear during this holiday season.
The weekly raffle was conducted by Janet Butland, with Mike Fortunato graciously picking the wrong card – thus letting the pot of $1,010 grow for the next hopeful contestant.We sang Happy Birthday to our December-Birthday Rotarians and then Bill Blount led us in music with our old standby “Rotary My Rotary,” sung to the tune of “O Tannenbaum.”
|12/2/16 State of the Club at Portland Rotary||Posted by Dick Hall||on Dec 06, 2016||
President Laura Young began by briefly explaining all the major line items in the Club Operating budget....pointing out that the Operating Budget is how we run Portland Rotary. She then went on to talk about the Charitable budget, again with a discussion on the sources and uses of funds. The Charitable budget has now been expanded to include an Endowment Fund.
The Maine Outdoor Challenge is our largest fundraiser for the Charitable budget. Expenditures from this budget include International service in the Dominican Republic, youth services (primarily directed to education/literacy), and community services (primarily directed to feeding hunger programs).
Laura informed us of a proposed bylaw change and an email being sent to all with the details. The change to the bylaws will address the termination of the Service and Memorial Fund and the creation of the Endowment Fund. In the same email will be a copy of the endowment investment policy.
CHE Reading: Focus is on 3rd grade reading scores. Danielle Conway, Dean of School of Law, wanted law students to join with Rotarians for a reading program in the schools. We have a new partnership with Lyseth Elementary School where we will read monthly to grades K-3, along with law students. In addition to reading to the children, we will give each child a copy of that book to take home each month. There is a need for Spanish-speaking Rotarians to work with the Spanish-speaking law students, as there are three Spanish immersion classrooms. Please contact Lili Brown at email@example.com if you want to read. There are 8 slots left. The Club needs to raise $5,000 to pay for the books for the year. Laura and Kris Rosado are looking for volunteers to help approach others for this worthy ask.
The literacy PSA was shown to the club, to demonstrate good reading techniques, which is circulating on social media. Rotarians are asked to share it or link to it at: https://vimeo.com/180732144.
Portland Rotary Endowment Fund: Past President Kris Rosado presented the new "fund's" objective. The goal is to raise money for long-term planning. The club wants to create a pot of money to fund $30-40,000 per year. To do this we will need $1 million. Several people have already pledged, including the entire Board of Directors. With this being the end of the year, please consider a commitment to this 501(c)3 tax deductible charitable endowment fund. Kris explained how funds can be accepted in a number of ways. Feel free to contact him or Laura if you want to discuss non-cash giving.
Rotary Foundation: Presented by Amy Chipman. November was Rotary Foundation month. Sustaining members will get a reminder letter in the next two weeks to make year-end donations. The Rotary Foundation, as part of its 100th anniversary, is also trying to expand its funding. The District has set a goal of 100 new commitments of $10,000 by the International Convention in May. Several in Portland Rotary have made the commitment.
George Crockett talked about how Portland Rotary is really exciting right now...with a new energy in our club. It is a great place to meet, especially as we move around to different locations for our meetings. George gave a Paul Harris Fellow to Eric Greven, our Community Service Chair, for all the work he has done in organizing the volunteers to help feed the homeless at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen each month.
Rob Chatfield said that he appreciates Bill Blount’s choice of songs, including “I love to Sin.” Rob reminded us that the friend raiser "Holiday Beverage Bazaar," will be held on Dec 14, 5:00-7:30 p.m. at Maine Craft Distilling...and he encourages you to invite a friend. This is an easy and fun fundraiser. You may register online at: portlandrotary.org
Recap of the Veterans' Appreciation Lunch: A thank-you note was read from John Houghton’s brother. Paul Tully reported that this was a successful and outstanding event. 300 seats were reserved, and 260 were filled. We received many letters of appreciation. We have a net profit of $2,200-$2,500 in funds to distribute - 25% will go to the Maine Vet portal and 75% to SMAAA for the Vet-to-Vet program. The committee is already planning for next year, so if you are interested in participating on the committee, contact Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Charlie Frair (email@example.com).
Laura played two podcasts featured at MPBN, Voices of Giving:
John Curran’s 3H Dominican Republic story:
Roger and Liz Fagan's Hearts for Hearing
Did everyone see Jan Chapman's incredible photo she took of the young girl in La Romana (shown here) that was featured on page 20 of the December 2016 Rotarian magazine?
The Club Assembly concluded with Leisa Collins explaining our mentoring program with new members within our club and then having a new member at each table conduct a "getting to know you" Q&A for their table. Very informative!
|*12/09/16 John Curran and Dean Rock - 3-D Prosthetic Hands||Posted by David Clough||on Dec 06, 2016||
Christmas came early for 15 men in the Dominican Republic. This week’s program features Dean Rock and John Curran, who will talk about “3-D Printed Prosthetic Hands: A Look Into How These Devices are Made and the Impact for Patients."
Portland Rotary’s John Curran knew what he wanted – more realistic prosthetics for people in the Dominican Republic who were missing a hand or arm – but he needed someone with the knowhow and technology to make the vision a reality. That someone, Dean Rock, who is retired and lives in Cumberland, owns a 3-D printer and is part of a global group of volunteers (e-NABLE) who literally “print prosthetics.”
e-NABLE describes itself as a global network of “passionate volunteers” who are using 3-D printing to “Give The World A Helping Hand.”
There were challenges along the way, such as getting accurate measurements and making designs specific to the user’s purpose, which John and Dean can describe more fully this Friday.
Dean accompanied the Rotary team that went to the Dominican Republic in October and fitted 15 men with their new prosthetics. He said in a 'Forecaster' article this past August, “What I’m really looking forward to with this trip is the look on one man’s face of the difference this will make in his life. That will be my reward.”
Sounds simple. Looks easy. But, wait, as we will learn this Friday, there’s more to the story.
|*12/02/16 Club Assembly||Posted||on Dec 02, 2016||
This week's Club Assembly meeting will feature some lively table discussions - facilitated by new members - and designed to help grow our sense of fellowship in an expanding club. If you're a part of a Mentoring Duo, this might be a great opportunity to introduce your partner around the lunch table to those s/he hasn't met yet and have some fun!
|11/23/16 Thanks to Rotarians, Friends and Family||Posted||on Nov 29, 2016||
The Portland Rotary Club made a difference this Thanksgiving.
More than 130 people were served an early Thanksgiving feast at the St Vincent DePaul Food Kitchen on Wednesday, Nov. 23rd.
This is at least the 30th straight year the Portland Rotary Club has been serving up a tasty Thanksgiving meal.
Wednesday’s menu featured many of the traditional favorites like roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
"We're giving people a good hot meal and we're also passing out boxes of food that they can take home for celebrating Thanksgiving,” Jesse Senore, president, St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen, said.
(Photo: Jesse Senore, St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen)
"This is a nice way to receive table-side service, making it feel a little bit like a restaurant,” Eric Greven, Community Service Chair, said.
All the food was donated by local businesses, with the Portland Rotary Club members, friends and family preparing and serving the meals.
To watch a video on the event produced by WGME 13 News, please go to: http://wgme.com/news/local/portland-rotary-club-serves-up-an-early-thanksgiving-feast
|11/18/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Ben Lowry||on Nov 21, 2016||
Last week, we had a robust crowd of 48 Portland Rotarians, five non-Rotarian guests, and three visiting Rotarians, including one from Augusta, Georgia who offered us a colorful banner, featuring, of course, a golf flag. Past District Governor Marty Helman also joined our group.
Dave Small offered an invocation to celebrate the coming Thanksgiving. Filling in for Queenie, Dave was able to find a wonderful poem entitled, “Be Thankful,” which set a fine tone for our luncheon meeting. John Marr led us in the pledge, and Russ Burleigh tickled the ivories while the club belted out a spirited version of “God Bless America.” While not quite as rousing, later in the meeting Janelle LoSciuto provided us an opportunity to sing a slow, slow version of “Bless this House,” with a video musical accompaniment to go along with the lyrics, which again focused on the upcoming day of thanks. Janelle was thankful that Roger Fagan kept her toddler busy while she spearheaded our efforts.
Bill Green pulled visitor By West’s name for the raffle draw but the Queen of Hearts, which would have been worth $980, remained elusive.
Several Rotarians have been in the news of late: Max Chikuta was quoted in the Portland Press Herald, Danielle Conway was featured in Maine Biz, and President Laura was interviewed for the Channel 8 news coverage at our Veteran’s Appreciation luncheon.
Speaking of the luncheon, Charlie Frair gave us a quick rundown on how our second annual event fared. With the help of 53 Portland Rotarian volunteers, Paul Tully and Charlie had the support they needed to make this year’s event a rousing success. Last year, we had 53 veterans attend...this year, that number almost tripled to 143! The financial goal of raising $5000 was exceeded, with $6750 being raised from 15 donors. Add to that the door receipts, and over $8000 was raised.... leaving us, after costs, with a $2000+ donation to be made to a yet-to-be-determined veteran’s cause. This event has been a huge success with the goal of “honoring, appreciating, acknowledging and thanking” veterans being more than reached. Thanks go out to all in the club who helped make this a very special luncheon. A “de-briefing” will be held on December 2nd at 11:15, for any and all who want to offer input for next year’s event to be an even bigger success.
Ron Bennett offered a “Rotary Moment,” running briefly through his background as a child from Orono, where his father taught at the university....to his degree from Brown and his MBA from Dartmouth....to his work career as a partner in a local accounting firm. It was in 2000 when he was first introduced to Portland Rotary by a “competitor” in the biz, Naj Lotfey. After attending a meeting at The Portland Club, Ron was hooked. He joined in early 2001 and has served as our club treasurer, has prepared our tax returns for years, and is currently active at the district level, serving a three-year term on the finance committee. He has also volunteered at the Preble Street soup kitchen, served meals at St. Vincent DePaul, and has rung the Salvation Army bell at Monument Square. Ron has clearly enjoyed his 15 years in the club and he gave thanks to Naj for offering him this opportunity to serve.
Our newest member, Stephanie Joyce, was introduced to the club by Kris Rosado. Stephanie, who is a tax accountant at Baker, Newman and Noyes, grew up in upstate New York and attended Syracuse University. Not only an accountant, she also holds a law license in New York. She lives in Falmouth with her newlywed husband. Welcome to Portland Rotary, Stephanie!
(Photo: President Laura, Stephanie Joyce and Kris Rosado)
Erik Greven, Community Service Chair, reminded us of two upcoming opportunities to volunteer: on Wednesday, Nov. 23rd, we will once again be prepping and serving meals at St. Vincent DePaul’s Soup Kitchen....then beginning on December 5th and running through the 23rd, we will once again be monitoring the kettle and bell at Monument Square. Sign up at meetings or contact Erik at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Chatfield wants us to mark our calendars for the annual “Beverage Bazaar,” which will be held at "The Maine Craft Distillery" on December 14th. Watch for more info to follow soon.
|11/18/16 WCSH6 - Bill Green's Maine||Posted by John Marr||on Nov 18, 2016||
In a time where we have hundreds of TV channels available to us, it’s nice to have an icon developed by the medium. At our meeting last Friday, David Clough introduced his Bangor childhood neighbor and opened himself up for some good-hearted ribbing from our guest speaker, Bill Green. Bill has been somewhat of a fixture on WCSH6 TV in Maine, where over time he has done just about everything because it’s a field that he loves almost as much as his home state. Bill didn’t dwell on tales from the past, instead he concentrated on how he became what he is without ever being boastful, although his pride and passion was striking. It’s somewhat ironic to call Bill an icon, since he clearly proved that he is somewhat of an iconoclast, irreverent and unbridled in his commentary.
Bill Green has been with his current WCHS6 family for about 28 years and explains his longevity as a factor of good fortune and having the prescience to name his weekly program “Bill Green’s Maine.” Bill routinely jumps in a less-than-comfortable company vehicle and sets off to find an out-of-the-way place or an emblematic Maine personality. He cites his “strong butt” and ability to eat on the run as a significant attribute. The nature of the financial forces as well as the people, places and things he covers only gives him one try to gather up enough material for a program. He can’t point to any single show as his best or favorite. He has been awarded the “Best Magazine Show in New England,” beating out perennial winner "Chronical" out of Boston.
Over the course of his career he has had the privilege of interviewing some of Maine’s most prominent citizens....some under weird circumstances....such as Governor John Reed at his potato farm in 'The County,' where Reed showed up in his usual gray suit and spectacles.....to Joe Brennan who was totally without any pretense. Regardless of where he is or who he is talking to, his goal is to give you the sense that you are there and part of what’s going on.
Coming from humble circumstances and a loving family in Bangor gave him the foundation that makes him what he is. He bounced from early jobs to a job as a camera jockey for channel 2 in Bangor. He didn’t have any real experience as a cameraman, but listened to "don’t touch" advice and survived long enough to parlay that into time in front of the camera, doing most everything.
For the longest time, Channel 6 was a family-run business, but in 2000, it was sold to the conglomerate 'Gannet' media group and was confronted with a new corporation that was driven by ratings and stats. It turned out that Bill had an excellent “Q” rating (likability), so he carried on, despite his so-called short comings and an unconstrained stream of consciousness to say whatever came to his mind.
Bill Green is currently a young 62-years old and loves his job, but expects to retire at some time. When he does, he intends to push to have Maine join the Atlantic-time-zone that the Maritimes use, so we won’t have such a late sunrise or early evening darkness. When asked about this pet peeve he gets on a roll and the Wild Bill Green comes out in full force. Bill is the real deal and we had the privilege of getting up close and gaining new insight into what makes Maine such a great place to live.
For more information on Bill Green's Maine, go to: wcsh6.com/local/bill-greens-maine
(Photo: Rusty Atwood, David Clough, Bill Green (WCSH6) and President Laura Young.)
|11/10/16 Veterans' Appreciation Lunch||Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Nov 15, 2016||
It was a bustling and festive atmosphere at the Italian Heritage Center on Friday, as many veterans, Rotarians and their guests gathered for the second annual Veterans Day lunch. Held on the day before Veterans Day, the event was both a moving program and a triumph of logistics as a team of volunteers (led by event chairs Paul Tully and Charlie Frair) managed to efficiently link guests to tickets and tables.
With Don Campbell singing from the front and the 1st Battalion 25th Marines presenting the colors, the program was off and running.
Councillor Ed Suslovic, in his greeting from the City, spoke about the fact that every veteran essentially “writes a blank check to the United States” and urged all citizens to assist veterans by not just attending events like this, but by voting, and by looking after their families while they are deployed.
Keynote speaker, United States Senator Susan Collins conveyed a similar message, telling us about Maine’s longstanding role as one of the states that is first or second in the nation for per capita in armed forces participation. Speaking from the heart, largely without notes, she talked about kids in Oakland honoring veterans, about the Bangor Troop Greeters, and about her experiences gained from eight trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.
She also spoke about her own family, with the story of her father, now 91, who was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded twice and then a shell landed beside him and failed to explode. “Had it done so,” she pointed out, “I wouldn't be here today.” She remembered Memorial Day parades riding on her dad's shoulders – best vantage point for the entire parade. For her, these experiences emphasized “the enormity of our collective debt to our veterans.”
The Armed Services Medley, performed by Kathy Grammer on keyboard with Betty Rines on trumpet, was a hit as always, as veterans from various branches of the service tried to out-sing each other. Russ Burleigh, in leading the performance, shared the story of his WWI veteran father.
We heard from Colonel Andrew Gibson - a chaplain with the Maine National Guard who works around the state. He made the point that hiring veterans is one of the very best ways to thank them for their service. Hiring veterans, he posited, not just acknowledges their service, but makes your business better. They will add value and bring experience. Just to join the military right now is difficult – he noted that of all of the students who graduated from high schools in June, 72% would be ineligible due to low scores on the entrance exam or no diploma, or bad grades, or poor fitness, or criminality. Of the remaining 28% who do qualify, “you need to have someone who wants to volunteer and the number gets small quickly.” So by hiring a veteran, you’ll get someone with additional maturity, wide experience and one who has already been heavily vetted.
The program’s final Speaker was Major Adam Cote, the former commander of Maine’s famed 133rd Engineering Battalion. He complimented Senator Collins on her singing voice, and noted that November 10th is the Marine Corps birthday, something that elicited cheers from the Marines, former Marines and supporters in the audience. Then he became serious in noting that it is important that there are two national holidays set aside to honor veterans – Memorial Day being a somber remembrance of those who died, and Veterans Day, a more festive occasion set aside to celebrate veterans and happily recognize their service. He noted that Mainers have received 67 Medals of Honor, but that for every Medal of Honor winner there are tens of thousands of others who have contributed, sometimes with their lives. Veterans have experience: fighting in many roles, in logistics, as mechanics, administrators and rescue personnel. He noted that veterans are 45% more likely to start businesses than other citizens, and currently work in every vocation.
Finally, Rotary Past President Kris Rosado presented a recumbent bike to the VAST program - Veterans Adaptive Sports and Training at Pineland – the recumbent bike will be used by veterans in their physical training and rehab activities. The bike was graciously donated by Tammy Steeves.
(Photo: Tammy Steeves, Kristina Sebasteanaski of the VAST program, and Past President Kris Rosado.)
|THANKS For Giving To Those In Need||Posted by Erik Greven||on Nov 15, 2016||
As our holiday season starts, what better way to show our "Thanks," then by giving of our time and energies to those who need us.......
Wednesday November 23rd, Portland Rotary will supply, cook and serve dinner for the patrons of the St Vincent DePaul food kitchen.
We need more - and your - help! The serving team, who volunteers their time for just one hour, 12:30 till 1:30 p.m., needs your help to assist with this great cause - helping those citizens who otherwise won't have access to a Thanksgiving dinner .
Please click on the following email address: email@example.com to send an email to Erik Greven and sign up. You will feel so good that you helped.
|Crutches4Africa||Posted by Jan Chapman||on Nov 14, 2016||
Rotarians from our District will be packing a container bound for Uganda on Saturday, Nov 19th at 10am.
Packing will take place at the warehouse where the crutches are being stored at 20 Gooch Street in Biddeford.
We’re still accepting crutches, canes, folding walkers and wheelchairs for this or future shipments.
FMI, please contact Jan Chapman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Bruce Moore at: email@example.com.
Photo Corner / Rotarians in the News
|Posted||on Nov 14, 2016||
|*11/18/16 Bill Green, WCSH6||Posted by David Clough||on Nov 13, 2016||
Bill Green is a Bangor native. A life-long Mainer, he was educated in Bangor schools and the University of Maine. As a college freshman he worked as a cameraman at WLBZ2 on Eddie Driscoll’s “My Backyard” and “Dialing for Dollars” shows. Bill recalls, "The first night I worked, March 17, 1972, I was asked to stay late and run camera for the news. As they played the opening music, and the camera light came on, I remember thinking, I'm going to do this until I'm 65."
Bill debuted as a sportscaster on WLBZ2 in 1975. He moved to Portland in 1981 where he anchored weekend sports statewide on WCSH6 and WLBZ2. During this period, Bill began to flourish as a feature reporter and developed an expertise in recreation and the outdoors.
In 1993, Bill came off the anchor desk to produce feature stories and documentaries, including 10 documentaries on Maine and the environment under the banner "Color Me Green," in addition to his weekly features, "Green Outdoors" and "My Hometown." He launched an original series, "Bill Green's Maine" in 2000 and as of last year had done 336 half-hours.
“Bill Green’s Maine” won the Regional Emmy in 2016 as 'Outstanding Magazine Program' in New England. It was also judged the Most Popular TV Program in Maine by the readers of Down East Magazine. It was Bill’s second Emmy in as many years. In 2015, he also won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his feature reporting.
He is an inductee into the 'Maine Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame' and the 'Maine Sports Hall of Fame' and this November 30, he will be inducted into the 'New England Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.'
Bill is a registered Maine Guide, the Senior Warden at Trinity Episcopal Church of Portland, and the assistant Freshman Baseball Coach at Greely High School. He and his wife, Pam, reside in Cumberland. They have two grown children.
|11/04/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Tom Talbott||on Nov 07, 2016||
President Laura brought David Small to the podium to kick things off with a series of witty reflections on upcoming election day, along with our invocation. Tom Talbott led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathy Grammer led us (marvelous voice as ever) in the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.
A well-attended meeting, reflected the presence of our Maine Governor, included 64 members, 18 guests, and 1 visiting Rotarian all the way from Serbia, Belgrade.
We did a good job singing the "Star Spangled Banner," nailed "Happy Birthday," but with our busy agenda, any additional singing was deferred.
Raffle man Bill Blount called upon Governor LePage to draw our raffle name....which turned out to be Lionel Nima. (Photo at right) Alas, he was unable to conjure up the magic touch required, leaving the elusive Queen of Hearts in the shuffle for another week.
President Laura took a moment to touch on what makes Rotary, and particularly our club, a special place. We are a “fiercely non-partisan” club. Our members represent “red, blue, green, rainbow.” So while we may vote differently and feel differently about certain issues, our litmus test as an organization is "Service Above Self," and the "Four-Way Test." Laura shared her thoughts upon receiving a request from Governor LePage to speak at our club on short notice, which would require the cancellation of our planned speaker. She took note that when we have a political speaker representing one party, that we balance it at another time with the alternative viewpoint. In this case, the Governor had reached out to Portland Rotary, specifically because we are comprised of business and community leaders, and the focus of his talk would be solely on Maine’s five referendum items. Laura was less concerned about providing equal time given that referendum issues are not purely partisan issues. She encouraged attendees to consult multiple sources to research the issues. While there were members opposed to the visit and Laura wanted to assure these members that their concerns were heard, she, the program chairs and the board, ultimately concluded that when the sitting Governor of the State reaches out to our club to speak, we honor that request.
November Birthdays! 13 parties planned for the month (posted in last week's WJ). In lieu of gifts, we sang.
Shout-out of thanks from President Laura to the day’s Meeting crew!
If you ever had any doubt about how a new member can inject energy and enthusiasm into a club, then you missed hearing Max Chikuta’s Rotary Moment. Noting that English is like his 9th language, he lobbied for extra speaking time right out of the box. His story was so fascinating, we never looked at our watches. Growing up in the Civil War-torn Congo, he recalls looking up in the sky and seeing planes dropping supplies for survivors. He lost his father and lived in the streets for over a year. He was taken in and remembers people of different skin colors helping. It inspired Max, and eventually he would find his way to Portland, Maine. Speaking no English, and without money, shelter and food were provided at the Oxford Street facility. Determined, Max took Adult Education classes to learn English, and earned enrollment at SMCC. First an Associate Degree HVAC, then a B.S, Industrial Technology Management from USM. In 2011, he earned a Masters Degree from USM in Public Policy and Management & Public Finance. So, why join Rotary? Inspired as he was seeing parachutes of supplies, he emphasized his commitment to give back to his community. Recalling a Kennedy-ian phrase, “ask not what your community can do for you, but what you can do for your community.” Overcoming huge hurdles, Max’s “integrity of the heart” defined how being one who lives by the creed of "Service Above Self" is the richest one of all.
Paul Tully, leading the way to the Veterans' Appreciation Lunch next Thursday, November 10th announced that 241 registrations have been taken! (At the end of the day Friday, Nov. 4th, registration would be closed.) Help is needed, so please reach out to Paul right away. Volunteers need to arrive at 10:45 a.m. and all other attendees at 11:30 a.m. Proceedings will start at 12 noon!
This is going to be a great event!
PLEASE NOTE: The Veterans' Lunch on Thursday IS our meeting for the week! There is NO meeting on Friday!
|*11/10/16 Special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch||Posted||on Nov 07, 2016||
This Thursday, Portland Rotary will host a
special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch
at the Italian Heritage Center.
Join us in honoring the men and women
who have served our country.
Please arrive around 11:30 a.m. to be properly signed in....ceremonies will begin at 12:00 p.m.
Our keynote speaker is U.S. Senator Susan Collins.
All veterans are our guests and their meals are complimentary.
The cost for all other attendees is $20....please pay at the door...cash and checks only.
Required pre-registrations - EVENT IS SOLD OUT.
|11/04/16 Governor Paul LePage||Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on Nov 07, 2016||
Maine’s Governor Paul LePage was our guest presenter on Friday and shared his opinions on the 2016 Referendum Citizen Initiatives, which were being put to a vote on November 8th. The Governor’s quick and easy recommendation: Vote No for all the Referendums.
Some of his thoughts on the ballot:
The governor generally thinks the marijuana initiative (Referendum No. 1) may not reduce crime or benefit the tax rolls. If it passes he thinks Maine’s roads could be less safe. Currently, in Maine, and with the exception of large quantities, Governor LePage says that arrests for marijuana possession are generally similar in punishment to receiving a summons for a speeding ticket. He indicated that he spoke with the Governor of Colorado who said that traffic accidents are up in their state due to legalized marijuana use, and that the expected tax base was not observed citing that marijuana can be grown in your backyard (therefore it is difficult to tax). Governor LePage indicated that his larger concerns are for kids and pets which may come across marijuana edibles. He indicated that marijuana could be toxic to some pets.
The Governor indicated that the crackdown on stronger drugs and opiates is the major focus for Maine enforcement right now. With the new rule changes, opiate prescriptions have dropped 50%, and doctors have maintained their ability to prescribe them for pain as necessary.
The Governor discussed the proposed tax increases on couples or individuals that earn more than $200,000/year per Citizen Initiative No. 2. He indicates that Maine is already one of the most heavily taxed states in the US, and studies show that if this tax increase is put into effect, we may lose many people and businesses further hurting our ability to attract business. Governor LePage used the company Airbus as an example of a company who chose to build a half-billion dollar factory in Alabama over Maine, due to the heavy tax burden here. If the referendum is passed, Maine could move up to the second most heavily taxed state in the country behind California. He said that this referendum provides a disincentive for a person to work hard and get ahead in life.
For the firearm background check Referendum No. 3, Governor LePage said that while background checks may be constitutional at the federal level, at the state level, the Maine Constitution says that a Maine citizen has the right to bear arms, and that right shall not be questioned. A background check seems to question that right.
He also said the hourly wage increase Initiative No. 4 is especially hard on Maine’s senior citizens. He said that the 325,000 people who depend on Social Security in Maine are going to be pushed deeper into poverty if voters endorse the increase in the minimum wage proposal on the ballot. That number is compared with the estimated 14,500 people working for minimum wage, of which 8,500 are servers. He indicated that studies show that the increase of $7.5/hr to $9/hr (or more after a few years) is a labor force inflationary factor that has not been seen for 20 years. Some predictions show a 10% unemployment rate could be realized as soon as next year if this referendum passes. Many of the elderly living on social security, or other assistance programs, are living at the poverty level with their benefits, and since about 20% of the Maine’s residents are at or below the poverty level, any upward pressure that increases the costs of goods and services could hurt these large majority of citizens in many unintended ways.
Governor LePage also believes the Rank Choice initiative No. 5 will be challenged in court if it passes because this decides the winning of an election by a majority (i.e., greater than 50% of the vote), whereas the State Constitution decides an election using plurality (i.e., the person with the most votes wins).
(Photo: David Clough, Governor Paul LePage and President Laura Young.)
|*11/04/16 Maine Governor Paul LePage||Posted||on Nov 02, 2016||
Governor Paul LePage will be Portland Rotary Club’s speaker this Friday. He requested to speak to our club “to educate business and civic organizations about the impacts the referendum questions could have on the Maine economy.”
Governor LePage has spent most of his life tackling one challenge after another, the kinds of challenges that defeat most people.
The oldest son of eighteen children in an impoverished, dysfunctional family, he left home at the age of eleven to escape domestic violence and lived on the streets of Lewiston for two years, making a meager living shining shoes.
At age thirteen, two families jointly “adopted” Governor LePage. Eddy and Pauline Collins kept him busy washing dishes at the Theriault’s Cafe. Bruce and Joan Myrick kept him busy hauling boxes. Bruce was a Pepsi-Cola truck driver. Later the Governor worked at the Antoine Rubber Company and at a meat packing company.
While attending Husson, he supported himself as a short order cook and bartender, while making time to be the editor of the college newspaper.
Getting into Husson presented a challenge in itself. Governor LePage was brought up speaking French. With the help of U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe’s first husband, Peter, he was able to take an admissions exam in French to demonstrate his strong comprehension abilities and earn admittance.
In college, Governor LePage excelled academically and graduated with a BS in Business Administration in Finance/Accounting. He then went on to earn an advanced college degree – an MBA from the University of Maine.
Governor LePage will be speaking about Maine Question 2, An Act to Establish The Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education and Maine Question 4, An Act to Raise the Minimum Wage.
We need a headcount for the hotel. Please email Elise by 4 PM today/Wednesday, if you wish to attend and the number of guests you will be bringing. Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
|10/28/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Dick Hall||on Oct 31, 2016||
President Laura welcomed 55 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and six guests to our meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay.
Alan Nye presented us with a brief, yet timely invocation. Tiel Duncan led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and we had a change-up on the song as we sang a beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful.
Kirk Duffy was one of the guest Rotarians, on his last meeting before heading back down south to Savannah, GA. He says he is glad to leave this weather. Rafael Kabata, the second visitor has spent four years looking for a new club and likes what he sees in our club.
President Laura thanked the regular meeting crew for each of their jobs, and then gave a special shout-out to the (8) Rotarians and (2) Interactors who served at the Preble Street soup kitchen this week.
Mike Reed was invited to share his experiences with Rotary. He first joined the Windham Rotary Club after a 1988 Rotary Fellowship. He was very interested in Rotary’s pursuit of doing good. Tom Sukley invited Mike to come to Portland Rotary when Mike moved his office to Portland. At his first meeting, Bill Blount and others made him feel very welcome. Mike enjoys the good table conversations, which are always respectful. Mike has developed good friends in Rotary and invited some Rotarians to his wedding in Quebec City. He enjoys the weekly fellowship and learning from the excellent speakers. He has good memories of freezing on the Christmas train at Winterfest, the 90th, and the 100th Anniversary. He is proud of the good work of Portland Rotary.
Our Youth Service Award recipient is Amy Umutom, from Portland High School. She is originally from Rwanda, and has participated several years in the 'Seeds of Peace Camp' in Maine. She came to Portland in the 9th grade and now has an impressive list of accomplishments, including Paradigm Shifter, 4H, Ronald MacDonald House, Partners for World Health, Opportunity Alliance, Voices for Students, Make It Happen, Tutor, Bright Futures, Youth Court Judge, Portland High Executive Board, while taking two college courses. She said that in her country there were few opportunities, and in the U.S. there are so many, including many opportunities to serve.
Charlie Frair reminded everyone to sign up for the Veterans Appreciation Luncheon, Nov 10th, at the Italian Heritage Center, encouraging everyone to arrive by 11:30 a.m. to be checked in. It will be a full program that will run from 12:00-1:30 p.m. Please register online: http://portlandrotary.org/event/celebration-lunch-for-veterans/ or call Elise at the Rotary office: 899-6342. Sign up deadline is by Friday Nov 4th.
Nine Rotarians were invited to remove their red dots that indicated they were new Rotarians in the club for their initial six months.
Maxwell Chikuta was the lucky at getting his name pulled for the weekly raffle, but unlucky at the card draw. He pulled a red card, but not the Queen of Hearts to win the growing pot. Thanks Max for leaving the money for someone else.
Bruce Moore asked everyone to bring mobility devices, crutches, walkers, canes, wheel chairs etc. On Nov 19th, folks are invited go to Biddeford to help pack the container headed to Uganda. (See separate update article on this event below.) On Nov 18, Dave Talbot will be speaking to Portland Rotary about this program. For more information, contact Bruce at: email@example.com
Past President Bowen Depke announced the nominating committee again, to ensure compliance with the date specified in our bylaws.
Past President Bill Blount (guitar), Amy Chipman (fiddle) and Ellen Niewoehner (mandolin) led us in the song 'Momma Tried.'
Amy Chipman announced we have (9) new circle of five members. We have renewed four full circles of five and need two members to join another one. Paul Tully and Matt Tassey volunteered. Bill Blount’s employer, Amica does a dollar-for-dollar match, which let Bill get another Paul Harris Fellow. Thanks Bill.
District 7780 Centennial Celebration - 100 for 100
Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks
Thursday, Nov 10th 6:00 -10:00 PM
Register at: http://rotary7780.org/event/million-dollar-journey-dinner-kickoff/
|John Gallagher, Director MSHA||Posted by Roxane Cole||on Oct 30, 2016||
John Gallagher is director of Maine State Housing Authority, a position he’s held since his appointment by Governor Paul LePage in fall 2012. Previously, John served as Executive Director of Westbrook Housing Authority for more than 12 years, President of Westbrook Development Corporation, as a Program Manager for the Development Department at MaineHousing, and as a residential real estate agent for more than 20 years.
John is currently a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Advisory Council.
He served on the boards of the Maine Association of Public Housing Directors, Residential Initiatives for Maine, the Southern Maine Affordable Rental Housing Coalition, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, the Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, Avesta Housing, the Genesis Foundation, and the New England Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
The mission of MaineHousing is to assist Maine people to obtain and maintain decent, safe, affordable housing and services suitable to their unique housing needs. For more information, go to their web site at www.mainehousing.org.
|10/28/16 Sandy Maisel, Colby College||Posted by Bob Martin||on Oct 30, 2016||
“No one predicted we would run this election like we have,” our speaker began. “I mean, I looked up there on the wall at the Four Way Test… If only!” We laughed, but it didn’t feel jovial.
Dr. L. Sandy Maisel, William Kenan Professor of Government and Director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College addressed the upcoming elections in his presentation to us on Friday. The key thing for us, he said, is what should we learn from this. Saying “this is an election like no other” means different things to different people. “No one predicted Donald Trump would be the Republican candidate.” We haven’t learned yet whether our methods of prediction are correct.
When you set up a model to predict an election, Maisel instructed that you use the approval ratings of the current President as a base. “President Obama was at 42% approval about a year ago. The models almost always show the incumbent president’s party loses when the incumbent’s approval rating is low. But President Obama’s approval rating is now 53% and it has gone up every month. So, that makes predicting more difficult.”
According to Maisel, both presidential candidates have approval ratings that are below water: more people don’t like them than like them. “We have never had a presidential candidate where so many leaders from the candidate’s party jump ship,” he said. “There was no “Never Johnson” movement, or “Never Kennedy” movement. The tenor of this campaign is different.” The candidates don’t seem to offer much to the electorate. “So, if there is any prediction that can be made it is this: Mr. Trump’s road to winning is very, very narrow.” Consequently, the polls are predicting significant odds in favor of a Hilary Clinton victory. The question remains, is there something out there we don’t understand? The election map looks strange this year. For example, Arizona is voting for HRC. That’s different. But even with all of this, there is still doubt.
The key question in the election is what happens in the Senate. The Democrats need 4 seats to pick up the majority, and it’s clear to Maisel’s research that they will pick up two. He pointed to the one figure most telling in every election since the early ‘60’s: in tossup races, the seats go to the party that wins the Presidential election.
The Republicans currently have their greatest majority in the House since the New Deal. It is unlikely that the Democrats will pick up controlling seats there because of the impact of gerrymandering. Congressional districts are based on the Census, and 29 states have their legislatures draw the lines. HRC needs 60% of the vote to move House to 55%.
Dr. Maisel said that democracy works best when the government process is tempered. “I worry about the future of the Republican Party. If Donald Trump wins, it will be a disaster for the Republican party. If Donald Trump loses, but narrowly—5 to 6 points difference—he will have a strong case that the “Never Trump” movement of his own party cost him the election. If he loses in a landslide, Speaker Ryan has a challenge on his hands.
The worst thing for democracy, he said, is Trump’s claim of a “rigged election,” something that is believed by 30 to 40% of Trump’s supporters. “We’ve never heard this before from a major candidate. John Adams lost a bitterly contested election, but acknowledged Jefferson as President; Stephen Douglas lost the debate to Lincoln, and said ‘Congratulations, Mr. President.’ Richard Nixon lost to JFK, and said ‘We will not contest the election.’ Al Gore conceded after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bush. Reports in papers of Trump supporters going to the streets is a dangerous thing.” We must remember that neither respect or compromise are four-letter words. This is how we have survived as a democracy.”
All of us deserve much better than we have gotten, he concluded, and we must work hard in the years ahead.
(Photo: President Laura, Sandy Maisel and Rusty Atwood.)
Light Up Their Lives!
|Posted by Dick Giles||on Oct 28, 2016||
One of the many trips the International Service Committee's 3-H (Hearing, Hands and H2O) Project Team will be making to the Dominican Republic (DR) will be in early 2017.
The Batays in the Dominican Republic are located some 15-20 miles outside of the city, where night darkness is intense. Access to electricity is very limited and without light, the safety of the inhabitants is an issue. The 3-H team would like to take 70-100 collapsible portable lights with them on their upcoming trip and are looking for volunteer donations of $15 per light to help fund this important project.
(Photo: Dick Giles demonstrating a portable solar light.)
For further information or if you would like to help, please contact Elise Hodgkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 899-6342. You may bring your cash/check to a meeting or mail your check to: Portland Rotary, P.O. Box 1755, Portland, ME 04104. Please make your check payable to Portland Rotary Charitable Account. Make a memo note on the check: for DR solar lights.
Thank you for your support.
|Daylight Savings Time Ends||Posted||on Oct 28, 2016||
Daylight Saving Time ends on
|Centennial Photo - June 2016||Posted by Bowen Depke||on Oct 24, 2016||
Portland Rotary’s 100th Centennial photo is now available (just in time for Christmas!). For only $30 you can have a plaque which you can hang on your wall to let everybody know your proud association with Rotary....or just to gaze up at your Rotarian friends! If you would like one, please contact Elise at: email@example.com or call 899-6342.
(The image below is a small version of the photo on the plaque.)
|10/21/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by Alan Nye||on Oct 24, 2016||
President Laura Young welcomed 64 members, 1 visiting Roarian and 5 guests to the meeting at the Clarion Hotel. Tom Nickerson gave a thought-provoking invocation.
Bob Traill then had us pledge our allegiance to the flag and President Laura led us in singing the Star Spangled Banner. She thanked all those that volunteered at the Deering High School Financial Literacy Fair (check out the photo on Facebook or in last week's WJ issue.)
The weekly raffle was conducted by Chris Thomas with Past President Bowen doing the honors – and graciously picking the wrong card.
Past President Bowen announced an opportunity for us to purchase the Centennial picture we had taken on the City Hall steps in June. The photo is nicely mounted on a plaque and you can have your own copy for $30. (See separate article in this issue.)
Andreea Paine provided us with a Rotary Moment and skillfully blended Adam Smith’s invisible hand theory of supply and demand in a free market to what she has learned in Rotary by using the 4-Way Test. Her message could be interpreted to mean that she likes our way of volunteering and doing good in the community.
Dave Putnam gave an update about the volunteers who mentor troubled youth at Long Creek Youth Center on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. He discussed a recent pumpkin decorating visit where – as usual – volunteering for a couple of hours seems to provide him with more than what he gives.
Roger and Liz Fagan regaled us with their volunteer work during their latest trip to the Dominican Republic and their narrow escape of recent hurricane Matthew. Although it was predicted to go well west of them, it changed course and made an impact on their scheduled training of nurses. Quoting Paul Gore, Roger noted that “no good deed goes unpunished.” There is another trip scheduled in May for anyone interested. Please contact Roger at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 885-1545.
Julie L'Heureux and Paul Tully urged everyone to attend the Veterans' Appreciation Lunch on November 10th at the Italian Heritage Center - where our keynote speaker will be Senator Susan Collins. All Veterans are invited guests of our club and their meals are complimentary. The lunch counts as a Rotary meeting, but pre-registration is required. Excellent flyers announcing the luncheon were on the tables (thanks to Tom Talbott). Register online at: portlandrotary.org PLEASE PLAN TO ARRIVE EARLY (11:30-11:45) TO GET PROPERLY CHECKED IN.....THE PROCEEDINGS WILL BEGIN AT NOON SHARP.
Gracie Johnston led us in singing Edelweiss from the Sound of Music. She reminded us that the song was the last one in the movie and was sung by the Captain to honor Austria. Gracie confided that she sings it to honor her mother Ellie and we readily joined in with her.
|10/21/16 Richard Fallon Harvard School of Law||Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Oct 24, 2016||
Our guest speaker, Law Professor Richard Fallon Jr., was introduced by Rotarian David Clough.
(Photo: David Clough, Professor Fallon and President Laura Young.)
Dick Fallon is an Augusta, Maine native and Cony "Rams" High School graduate, where he played high school basketball for the Rams. His basketball experience came in handy when Fallon was interviewed for a position as a law clerk with the United States Supreme Court. When he was interviewed by Justice Byron White, a former football player and avid basketball fan, he tested him by unexpectedly throwing a basketball to him during the interview. Although Fallon didn't work for Justice White, he did get the job, with Justice Lewis Powell.
Professor Fallon spoke about the work of the Supreme Court. He explained, right now, the Supreme Court is in a "holding pattern," because of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia (who died in February), and waiting for the Senate to approve Judge Merrick Garland or someone else. As a result, the court agreed to hear fewer important cases than usual. In his review, Professor Fallon sought to put the Supreme Court in perspective.
He emphasized, however, that the Court's role is limited to ruling on only a few of the most important issues that the nation confronts. For example, the Supreme Court has almost nothing to do with the nation's economy or "to build, or not to build, a wall." Moreover, the Supreme Court justices vastly agree more than they disagree on the issues. Because the justices generally agree that the lower courts have applied the proper legal frameworks to decide cases, they normally agree to review only about 70 cases per year, out of about 8,000 in which their review is sought. Even in those cases that the court agrees to hear, they rule unanimously 40 percent of the time. Moreover, the justices tend to reach consensus over time on issues that once divided them.
Professor Fallon sought to explain some of the issues where the justices disagree, like they do about women's access to abortion and about gun rights. He said that disagreement is not always between justices who try to rule based on original intent and those who believe in a living constitution. An example comes from the Second Amendment, which guarantees a right "to keep and bear arms." In interpreting the Second Amendment, all of the justices agree that history matters, but, they disagree about what history shows. Five of the justices have concluded that the Second Amendment was originally understood to protect a private right to keep guns for self-defense. By contrast, the four dissenting justices in the Court's most important case thought that the history showed that the right to bear arms is connected with service in a "well-regulated militia," to which the Second Amendment specifically refers.
The justices tend to conclude that historical evidence supports conclusions that they think wise, sound, or desirable. Yet, while all of the justices try to decide some cases in accord with the Constitution's original meaning, all of the justices also believe it is sometimes important to follow prior rulings, or what some lawyers call "precedents." Nevertheless, all of the justices think that some precedents should be overruled. Although lower courts are supposed to follow Supreme Court precedents, the court sometimes uses test cases to reverse its own prior conclusions.
In a response to a question about the Senate approval to seat a replacement for Justice Scalia, Professor Fallon said it is possible for the Senate to withhold voting on future nominations, although doing so would not be in the spirit of cooperation intended in the Constitution.
|*10/28/16 Sandy Maisel, Colby College - Election Year 2016||Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Oct 24, 2016||
L. Sandy Maisel is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government, past chair of the Department of Government (for 20 years), and founding director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College, where he has taught since 1971. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books (several in multiple editions) including "American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction" and "Evaluating Campaign Quality: Can the Electoral Process Be Improved?"
"From Obscurity to Oblivion: Running in the Congressional Primary" chronicled Maisel’s unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Congress from Maine. His published articles have appeared in many political science journals and anthologies, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and the Legislative Studies Quarterly. Maisel has served as president of the New England Political Science Association, twice a member of the Council of the American Political Science Association, and chair of the APSA’s research sections that focus on Political Organizations and Parties and on Legislative Studies. He has twice been awarded Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer grants (to The Philippines in 1998 and to Brazil in 2012, has been a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and has served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Melbourne and Monash University in Australia, at Harvard University, and at Stanford University.
Maisel and his wife, Patrice Franko, who is the Grossman Professor of Economics and professor of global studies at Colby, live in Rome, ME.
|10/14/16 Kevin Hancock, Hancock Lumber||Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Oct 18, 2016||
Kevin Hancock, CEO of Hancock Lumber, joined us on Friday to talk a little about life. Specifically, he spoke of his life and the way in which he turned his diagnosis with a rare vocal disorder into an opportunity for self-reflection and transformation.
He told us the story of his new memoir, Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse, traces his own journey “deep into Indian country, and even deeper into his own soul.” What began as a search to learn non-medical ways to control his spasmodic dysphonia, a rare and uncurable (though controllable) condition characterized by failure of the vocal cords, turned into a form of “vision quest” that permanently changed his outlook on life and leadership.
When the story began, Hancock Lumber was gripped by the Great Recession, and had suffered a 50% loss in sales “without losing a single customer.” Building was dead in Maine, and this meant severe disruptions at his company. At the same time, Kevin’s voice was vanishing, causing him to ask how could the CEO of a corporation do his job without a voice? As it turned out, this forced him to listen and to reconceive how he managed his people, and he became increasingly less directive.
At the same time, he started to visit the Sioux tribe on their reservation, America’s poorest community located in the Southwestern corner of South Dakota. They had a radically flat power structure, with great equality among members – few visible leaders, and a society based on the individual. As he spent more time there, he realized that the partial loss of his own voice was a major opportunity, as it allowed him the chance to disconnect from business, reflect more, listen more, and help others who themselves were voiceless (though generally in a less-literal sense than he).
He realized that his “job” was less about how to “fix” the problems of the Sioux than to listen and forge connections with them. Ultimately he wrote the book, telling the story of his journey. Copies were sold at the end of the meeting and are available at www.kevinhancock.com with all proceeds in excess of printing costs going straight back to the tribe.
It was a most unusual program. The Club awarded Kevin Hancock a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his remarkable humanitarian work. (See Bits & Pieces)
Photo: President Laura, Kevin Hancock and Rusty Atwood.
|10/14/16 Bits & Pieces||Posted by John Marr||on Oct 17, 2016||
President Laura is more than one-quarter way through her Rotary year......this week welcoming a packed house and per usual, she had to fit 10 pounds into an 8-pound sack, which she did very well. We had such a crowd that we had to set up chairs at the dessert table to accommodate the overflow of attendees! (See Photo Corner) We had 67 club members, the visiting President-elect of the Marblehead, Mass. Rotary Club, David Deutsch, and also 5 non-Rotarian guests.
Julie L”Heureux took advantage of the beautiful day and the resplendent foliage season to provide an invocation of perfection. Tapping her love of literature, Julie chose Sonnet 73 from the Bard to call forth the magnificence, especially here in the great state of Maine, of the autumnal transition.
Our gang is known to many as the “singing club” and on this day, Past President Don Lowry selected the perfect song to get us in harmony. We belted out I’ve been Workin’ On The Railroad and it was one of the better performances, thanks to the familiarity and leadership. Of course with Russ Burleigh at the Eighty-Eights, you always have a great foundation.
(Photo: Russell Voss, Lionel Nima, Pres. Laura, Major John Lock and Past President Jim Willey.)
The association of the Rotary Club of Portland and the Salvation Army has over many years been strong and we always seem to have at least one officer as a member of the Club. Thanks to Jim Willey that relationship continues. Jim introduced John Lock, who has returned to his Maine roots and will be a great member. Our second new member, introduced by Russell Voss, is Lionel Nima, who has traveled the country and can be an interpreter as well as an ambassador, since he speaks 4 languages. Please welcome our newest members!
Our Rotary moment was presented by one of our newer members, Nick Lotfey, who impressed us with tales of his late grandfather and former member, Naj Lotfey. He told us how Naj would recant stories of Rotary to him and their family through the years and how proud Naj had been to be a member. Out of respect for Naj and wanting to follow in his footsteps, Nick knew he wanted to become a member of Portland Rotary. (Those who knew Naj, loved and respected him, as well.)
Our club focus is on eradicating food insecurity and aiding in the education and literacy of the children in our community through our CHE initiative. Erik Greven, our Community Service Chair, has been doing a terrific job of coordinating our efforts at the Preble Street Kitchen, among other projects. Adding to the outreach and emphasizing our commitment to CHE, the club was delighted and proud to present a check in the amount of $2,400 to Cultivating Community and the work of the Locker Project.
(Photo: Member Katie Brown of Locker Project, President Laura, Community Service Chair Erik Greven and Lily Chaleff, School Garden Educator at Cultivating Community.)
For a long time we have worried that we have not invested enough time and effort into welcoming and cultivating new membership. Leisa Collins and the Membership Committee have decided that placing a red dot on the name tag of newbies is a good idea, but we have to do more to welcome and help them feel the love and passion for doing good deeds that is emblematic of our organization. Consequently, a great new idea to develop our new relationships by having teams of two members, one newer and one seasoned, to coordinate a mentoring and fellowship relationship with all new members, so they feel comfortable and capable from the get-go. For more information, contact Leisa at: email@example.com.
President Laura announced the members of this year's Nominating Committee, who will be entrusted to deliberate the slate of officers for the Rotary year 2017-18. Members on this important committee are: Chair, Past President Bowen Depke, 2nd Vice-president John Curran, Janelle LoSciuto, Justin Lamontagne, Jan Chapman, Bruce Jones and Kathy Grammer.
The Rotary Club of Portland has a phenomenal number of Paul Harris Fellows (PHF). Part of that success is due to the Foundation Chairs, especially Amy Chipman. The bestowing of a PHF is recognition of that individual who embodies the “Service Above Self” principles of our founder. We decided long ago, that it was not limited to members of the club, because it’s service, not relationship that counts.
At this meeting we learned how Kevin Hancock had taken a personal hardship and turned it into an opportunity to listen, learn and lend a helping hand. Given the work of Mr. Hancock with the Sioux nation of South Dakota, Past President Dick Hall, took the opportunity to present him with a Paul Harris Fellow. Congratulations, Kevin!
|*10/21/16 Richard Fallon - Harvard Law School - SCOTUS||Posted by David Clough||on Oct 17, 2016||
“What Lies Ahead for the Short-Handed Supreme Court”
Only two groups of people at the U.S. Supreme Court – justices and their law clerks – have insiders’ knowledge of how the Court chooses which cases to hear and what opinions to issue on those cases after oral arguments. Dick Fallon has that perspective as a law clerk to Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., from 1981-1982.
Dick joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1982, was promoted to full professor in 1987, and is currently the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr., professor of constitutional law. He has written extensively about U.S. constitutional law and federal courts law, and he ranks 9th on a list of the 20 most-cited constitutional and public law faculty in the United States (2010-2014).
Dick is a two-time winner of the Harvard Law School’s Sacks-Freund Award (2001 and 2006), which is voted annually by the School’s graduating class to honor excellence in teaching. Comments from former students include: “[H]e does a great job of explaining difficult and complex topics” and “If you get a chance to take a class of his while at the College, do it! You won't regret it!”
An Augusta native and graduate of Cony High School, Dick attended Yale University (History, 1975) and Yale Law School (1980). He served as press secretary to then-Congressman Bill Cohen from 1974-1975 (Nixon impeachment years) and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, B.A., 1977).
When he wants to escape to Maine, Dick and his family heads to their seasonal home in Bar Harbor.
10/07/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Bill Blount||on Oct 10, 2016||
President Laura convened the meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay with 50 Portland Rotarians, 2 visiting Rotarians and 2 guests. Bruce Jones provided the invocation with a different Irish blessing that makes no mention of wind. Dave Putnam led the Pledge, then Russ Burleigh played 'God Bless America' and we dined on Tex-Mex fare.
(Photo: President Laura Young and Jodie Boutilier of Flower Mound, TX.)
Laura welcomed our visitors, as noted above, exchanging a banner with visiting Rotarian Jody Boutilier of FlowerMound, TX and the Cross Timbers Rotary Club. Kirk Duffy, visiting Savannah, GA Rotarian has a few more weeks to spend with us. Laura read two thank you notes - one from Bob Clark for Rotarian volunteers to the Boys and Girls Club 'Steak and Burger Dinner' - the second from Rotary Youth Leadership scholarship recipient Keegan Gunther, who hopes to return next year as a counselor volunteer. Laura thanked the Meeting Day helpers, then Bill Blount was called up for our song 'Viva Le Rotary' accompanied by Russ.
President Laura announced a luncheon sponsored by the Maine Community Foundation on November 1, about "Privilege, Power and Difference." For more information and to sign up, go to: http://www.mainecf.org/AboutUs/MaineCFInauguralSummit.aspx
As previously reported, for those of you concerned about our 3-H Team in the Dominican Republic exposed to Hurricane Matthew’s wrath, be at ease as the storm ravaged the western portions of Hispaniola, the area where they are doing their good works for H2O, hearing and hands received mostly heavy rains and minimal flooding.
Bruce Moore provided the Rotary Moment, making us aware of his involvement in Rotary since 1963. (This prompted a member to question his age!) Bruce participated in his high school’s Interact Club. Then in his professional career at Mark Stimson Real Estate, office manager Meredith Small correctly assessed the content of Bruce’s character, telling him “You are a natural Rotarian,” invited Bruce to a meeting and he’s enjoyed every minute of his involvement ever - since convincing his wife, Jan Chapman, to join in the fun also.
It being the first meeting of the month, October Birthdays were celebrated with the rousing Happy Birthday song (listed in last week's WJ issue). Tom Nickerson ran the Raffle, with Jerry Angier being called to draw a card for the $830 jackpot, but the wrong heart (10) was chosen and the Queen resides for a future drawing.
Paul Tully encouraged members to attend and invite a veteran to Rotary’s Veterans' Lunch on November 10, 2016 noon at the Italian Heritage Center. Senator Susan Collins is our keynote speaker and the Don Campbell Band will be entertaining us with their music. Please register online at: portlandrotary.org or call 899-6342 to sign up.
Membership Co-Vice-chair Leisa Collins spoke of a focus on membership. Leisa explained the life cycle of membership. Rotarians give their time and expertise and are rewarded with fellowship and a satisfying sense of engagement for new and veteran members alike. Last year, our 100th anniversary, was a banner year for our club’s growth. Keep the enthusiasm rolling! The aging demographics of our club is challenging to promote growth. Your recruitment efforts might be directed within your generation demographic. Generations tend to bond over events, WWII, Vietnam, or 911. Club members with 0-5 year tenure value networking; 5-20 years - service opportunities; 20+ years - fellowship. Leisa announced a new twist on mentoring to promote membership retention - Mentoring Duos - and asked for volunteers to mentor newer members. To help mentor your favorite newer Rotarian, contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Laura brought our attention to the current year’s new member tally. Laura has brought in three new members, whereas, Don Zillman, Jan Chapman, and Janelle LoSciutto each brought in a new member.
Visiting Rotarian, Kirk Duffy, from Savannah, GA, cited an example of 'Service above Self' where Rotarian displacement evacuees from Hurricane Matthew were offered temporary lodging, courtesy of his own Club and district.
*10/14/16 Kevin Hancock, Hancock Lumber
|Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Oct 10, 2016||
Kevin Hancock is the President of Hancock Lumber Company. Established in 1848, Hancock Lumber operates ten retail stores and three sawmills that are led by 475 employees. The company also grows trees on 12,000 acres of timberland in Southern Maine.
Hancock Lumber is a multi-year recipient of the ‘Best Places to Work in Maine’ award. The company is also a past recipient of the Maine Family Business of the Year Award, the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence, and the MITC ‘Exporter of the Year’ award.
Kevin is a past chairman of the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association as well as the Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees. Kevin is a recipient of the Ed Muskie ‘Access to Justice’ Award, the Habitat For Humanity ‘Spirit of Humanity’ Award, the Boy Scouts of America ‘Distinguished Citizen’ Award, and Timber Processing Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ Award. Kevin also spent 20 years coaching middle school basketball for the Lake Region school district.
Kevin is a graduate of Lake Region High School and Bowdoin College. He is also a frequent visitor to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In 2015, Kevin published a book about his experiences with the Oglala Sioux Tribe titled, "Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse." The book won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, the 2016 Independent Authors Network Award and the 2016 New York Book Festival Award.
Kevin is an advocate of strengthening the voices of all individuals—within a company or a community such as Pine Ridge—through listening, empowering, and shared leadership.
10/07/16 Dana Totman, Avesta
|Posted by Ben Lowry||on Oct 07, 2016||
(Photo: Roxane Cole, Dana Totman and President Laura Young.)
Last Friday, at a crowded Holiday Inn, Roxane Cole introduced Dana Totman to our club. Not only is Dana the President of Avesta Housing, he is an accomplished mountain climber, having recently returned from hikes in Alaska and Colorado.
Founded in 1972, Avesta has 125 employees, an annual budget of $30 million, $250 million in assets (held mostly in their 82 properties) and provides housing for 3200 people in 35 cities and towns in Maine and New Hampshire. With mottos of “good housing equals good health” and “improving lives and strengthening communities through affordable housing,” Avesta works within a variety of areas in helping those in need to obtain not only housing but information regarding both rentals and home ownership.
In working with governmental agencies and municipalities, developing new properties, managing their existing locations, running a home ownership center and advocating for the elderly, Avesta is continually working to come to the aid of those in need…and there are many in need. As recent media reports have outlined, there is a major housing shortage in Maine in general and in Portland, in particular. Rentals average $1426 for a two-bedroom apartment in Portland, which means (using the standard “30% rule”) that a renter should earn about $57,000 per year to afford that rental. However, the average income is just $33,000, which means that the average renter can only afford $827 per month. So, the question is: should rents be dropped or should income rise? Dana feels that the answer is not black and white but a cooperative effort is needed.
With homelessness up 18% in the past few years and 10,000 seniors on waiting lists for housing in the state, there is certainly a need for new, affordable housing in all areas of the region. Dana ran through a long list of new construction projects that are attempting to address some of this glaring need. But Avesta alone cannot provide the relief needed. Towns and cities need to donate properties, housing Tax Increment Financing (TIF’s) need to be implemented, the $15 million senior citizen housing bond that was voted in two years ago needs to be released by the governor, and the mortgage interest deduction bill that sits in committee in Washington needs to be passed, the result of which would free up 20 billion dollars to help with the housing crunch.
There are no easy fixes, for sure, but we should be proud to have an advocate like Dana Totman looking out for those seeking what we all take for granted: a place to call home. As Jane Austen said, “there is nothing like staying home for real comfort.”
For more information on Avesta, go to their website at: www.avestahousing.org/
09/30/16 Tae Chong, CEI / StartSmart
|Posted by Dick Hall||on Oct 04, 2016||
Dave Putnam introduced Tae Chong, Business Counselor at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI).
Tae provides counseling through CEI's StartSmart Program, helping refugees and immigrants to start, strengthen, or expand their own small businesses. Tae is a longtime Portland resident and he has been actively involved in local and state issues regarding immigrants and refugees.
CEI is a driven lending institution with $1 billion lent in the last 40 years. Technical advising, through the StartSmart Program, has helped 1300 refugees, and 300 businesses.
Emerging Markets, Emerging Workforce:
There are 1 million foreign-born people living in Boston now.
Maine, the oldest state in the nation has an average age of 44.5 years.
By 2020, 1 in 4 will be over 65, with not enough workers to replace retirees. We have a large population bulge in the 50-65 age group.
The number of kids in school has been declining in the last five years 214,000 to 165,000.
Maine’s multicultural population is a pyramid with a large young base.
Across the country, the white median age is 42. The Hispanic, Asian multiracial populations are growing. By 2042, whites will be a minority.
Multicultural population size is the 5th largest financial group in the world. The growth from 1990 to 2016 has been 59.7%.
In Maine, Asian and Latino have added $400 million into the economy. They are the most entrepreneurial groups in Maine.
New Mainers contribute $1 billion to Maine’s economy
The media age is 27, with a high percentage of college education. Their rate is two times the average college graduation rate of all Maine.
If we want to retain and lure new Mainers, we need to be more welcoming than MA or CT.
What can we do to enhance economic development?
Support immigrant-owned businesses.
Mentor immigrant-owned businesses.
Volunteer at Portland Schools, Adult Ed, and support scholarships.
Meet and invite ethnic community based organizations.
Attend multicultural churches and festivalsFor more information, go to www.ceimaine.org or
(Photo: Maxwell Chikuta, Dave Putnam, Tae Chong, and Laura Young.)
09/30/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on Oct 04, 2016||
President Laura Young welcomed 58 members and 2 guests - Stephanie Joyce and Lionel Nima to our meeting at the Clarion Hotel. Gracie Johnston gave the invocation, we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem acapella.
Larry Gross discussed the upcoming second annual Veteran’s Appreciation Day Luncheon, which has currently raised over $5,000 through local companies and financial institutions. A flyer about the event is available to share with potential attendees is on the Portland Rotary web page for download. The luncheon will be held on November 10th at the Italian Heritage Center. All veterans and active service members are welcome to attend and have their lunch sponsored by the donors and Portland Rotary. For other attendees the cost is $20. Susan Collins is expected to be the speaker and space is limited to 300. Please ask your known veterans to lunch and register to attend online now at our website: portlandrotary.org.
Kris Rosado gave us a Rotary Minute about an inspirational happening when he knew he joined the right organization. Kris and his wife were in Singapore at a Rotary Conference and at that moment visiting the zoo. A German Rotary couple was setting up for a picture when their camera dropped and shattered (and not the cheap phone types). Trying to communicate in second languages, a third Rotarian couple entrusted the astounded German couple with their own expensive camera and only asked that they send it back when they were finished with it.
Several members from the International Service Committee, including Liz and Roger Fagan and Jon Curran, are traveling to the Dominican Republic (DR) this week to help train nurses, fit hearing aids, and fit approximately 14 patients with the new 3D-printed prosthetic hands. The devices are elbow driven, arm’s length, and much lighter than the former prosthetic devices provided on previous trips. The patients will be trialling the newly designed prosthetics and will be providing feedback on what works and what doesn’t. With the help of the many open source designers, and the new construction methods, the cost of the prosthetic device has dropped dramatically from approximately $50 each to $30. The designer of the prosthetic device is also traveling on this current trip to the DR.
Gracie Johnston led the group in the song “Be Proud” which was a song with lyrics adapted by Kris Rosado, sung to the tune of "As The Caissons Go Rolling Along."
Jan Chapman led the weekly raffle, and Erik Greven was selected for a shot at the pot. Erik picked the 6 of Hearts, rather than the Queen of Hearts, so the pot continues to grow for next week’s raffle.
Hurricane Matthew Hits the Dominican Republic
|Posted||on Oct 04, 2016||
Portland Sunrise Rotary 5K Run
|Posted||on Oct 03, 2016||
Date of Race: October 23rd
Registration: 7:15am to 7:45am, race begins promptly at 8:00am.
Start and Finish are in the vicinity of the Back Cove parking lot.
T-shirt with early registration ONLY—registration must be received by October 6th!!
Prizes will be awarded to the top overall male and female finishers.
Registration now open!
*10/07/16 Dana Totman, Avesta - Affordable Housing Issue
|Posted by Roxane Cole||on Oct 01, 2016||
Dana Totman became the President and CEO of Avesta Housing in 2000. Mr. Totman was the Deputy Director of Maine State Housing from 1994 to 2000 and was employed by Coastal Economic Development Corporation, where he was the Executive Director from 1984 to 1994.
Dana's career has focused on nonprofit and government management and leadership, specializing in leading organizations through significant change. Mr. Totman has a BA in Public Management from the University of Maine and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. He attended Duke University's Government Leadership Program and participated in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
His current and past community service includes the United Way of Greater Portland (Board), Seventy Five State Street (Board), the Maine Winter Sports Center (Board), Maine Real Estate and Development Association (Board) Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (Board Vice Chair), Brunswick Planning Board, Federal HomeLoan Bank Advisory Council, Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (Chairman), Interagency Task Force on Homelessness (Chairman), Northern New England Housing Investment Fund (Board), Bath Chamber of Commerce (Board Chair), Maine Community Action Association (President), and Midcoast Health Services (Board).
09/23/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Bob Martin||on Sep 27, 2016||
Russ Burleigh led us in the invocation, and Paul Gore in our Pledge. Our luncheon was catered by the culinary students at Long Creek Youth Center, who are available for catering to other groups and events.
Our guests were Major John Lock of the Salvation Army, a prospective member, and Taylor Halsey, a student at Portland High School. Taylor was one of the RYLA members we sponsored at the RYLA Leadership Camp earlier this year. He shared his experiences and memories of the program.
(Photo: Taylor Halsey, PHS student.)
Bill Blount delivered a Rotary Moment with us. Bill’s 36-year participation in Rotary began in Utica, NY when his boss at the time suggested that he join as a good way to meet people. He also enjoyed floating trial balloons to see if his ideas had any traction. In that way, he started a tennis league with the club in Utica. Bill said he has always admired people in Rotary and “the balloons they float.” When he moved to Portland and joined Rotary, he used the same approach to start the tennis league, skiing Rotarians, and the Blues Cruises. “Rotary provides an opportunity to float your balloon.”
Amy Chipman rose to acknowledge Bill as our newest Paul Harris Society member with his sixth Paul Harris Fellow Award. She and Bill shared the impact of Amica’s matching award program that has enabled Bill’s contributions to the Rotary Foundation to be matched by a 150% Amica match. Bill and Amy encouraged members whose employers have a matching grant program to take advantage of it.
Rusty Atwood brought the raffle with $766 to lucky Max Chikuta who found the not-so-lucky six of clubs. Did you know that there are 80 unvigintillion ways to sort a deck of cards? That’s 52 factorial, or “52!” in mathematical notation, or 80,658, 175,170,943,878,571,660,636,856,403,766,975,289,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000 combinations. Now, of course, as cards drop out, the numbers decline. So take your chances!
Dan Riordan, a member of Sen. Angus King’s constituency services team shared the various resources available to Maine residents from the Senator’s office to help navigate various Federal programs and departments.
Charlie Frair called for members to pre-register online for the Veterans Day luncheon at the Italian Heritage Center on THURSDAY, November 10 from noon to 1:30 p.m. This will be our Rotary meeting of that week. Senator Susan Collins will be our speaker. Club members who are veterans are asked to volunteer to help host guests. Loretta Rowe will be captain of our member veteran hosts, so if you plan to attend, please contact her: email@example.com
All members, please register on the club website to attend this luncheon or call Elise.
09/23/16 Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine
|Posted by Tom Talbott||on Sep 27, 2016||
Our club took a road trip to the Portland headquarters of the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine! Our host and MC, Portland Rotary’s own Bob Clark welcomed us all. There are officially five club houses: Auburn/Lewiston Clubhouse (Auburn), Portland, Riverton Park, Sagamore Village, and South Portland. There are approximately 2850 youth members served over these 5 locations.
Bob’s plan was a series of vignettes from a strong list of people who have had the Boys and Girls Club in their life in one capacity or another. To start, Bob asked us all three questions:
1. How many of us have been into one of the clubs? It was evident that virtually every one had at one time.
2. How many of us had been in a club when it was open and busy with the youth membership? Estimate 85-90% in the room.
3. How many of us were members in their youth? About 5 alumni present!
Bob pointed to the banner behind him that noted Portland Rotary as a “Proud Partner” and added that it’s always been that way.
Jim Willey came up to the podium to tell us about two of our club’s Charter Members, Ed Hannaford and John Calvin Stevens. Ed was President of the B&GC Association and oversaw the wonderful new facility for the club on Cumberland Avenue, which stands today. He provided a personal loan to finance the construction. The Stevens family was involved in the construction and design, which included a gym with collapsible bleachers – first of its kind.
Ralph Hendrix, alumni and serving on the Board of Directors, reflected back on 55 years and what the B&GC meant to him. He described it as a large family, a place where when you walked through the door, everyone was equal. It was a special sanctuary, safe, bully-free. The character of the people and the impact they had on kids like him provided lifetime memories. While it leaned more towards sports and recreation, Ralph noted that the increasing efforts to engage educational aspects was equally as important. Ralph finished his remarks with a few reminders of upcoming events, such as the “Kids and Claws” on November 9th, where kids get to meet the Portland Red Claws basketball players.
Jen Pierce, Unit Director of the Portland Club House, is “short but mighty.” She noted that approx 200 member kids attend the club daily. There are 5 vans providing transportation. Underscoring the importance of these programs is that 80-100 meals are served per day, which could be the only true meal on any given day for many of those kids. In fact, over the 5 club houses, 91,000 meals are served per year. Over the past four years, there has been a definite increase in academic assistance, specifically the Teen Power Hour, where members go to a dedicated learning center to work and get assistance on homework.
Bob introduced Brianna Guptill, “2016 Youth of the Year” for the Portland clubhouse. A Portland High School grad now attending SMCC, she remembers being at the club virtually everyday from the time she was in middle school. At first it was just a place to hang, but then she joined the basketball team and the cooking program, as well as being involved in community service work. It was a safer environment than the streets, and away from some situations at home.
MC Bob introduced Sarah Clarke, Education Director, noting that having an ED was an organizational-wide investment, with funding from our own “Maine Outdoor Challenge” being a key driver. Sarah serves all 5 club houses, and spoke passionately about the summer “Brain Gain Literacy" program, now in it’s 3rd year, which ran for 8 weeks, with weekly themes. There were Kindle reading groups, educational software use, and other online reading.....74 kids, ages 6-9, were involved. Sarah also spoke of the first annual College Spirit Week, with speakers coming in to work with HS students building a pathway to college.
Bob wrapped up by taking some Q&A from the audience. First questions asked were how attentive the youth members were to the upcoming election. There will be a mock election held in a few weeks to see how things tilt. Those 18+ are encouraged to get out and vote for real! With regards to recruiting new members, the primary avenue is through the schools. Critical to this is transportation. Of the 200 or so kids who go to the Portland club daily, one-third of them rely on club transportation.
Interested in volunteering? Many opportunities and your skills would always be appreciated! For more information, go to or click on the following link: www.bgcmaine.org/volunteer
(Photo: BGCSM Board members Laura Young and Ralph Hendrix; Club alumna Brianna Guptill; Portland Clubhouse Unit Director Jen Pierce; Education Director Sarah Clark; and CEO Bob Clark.)
*09/30/16 Tae Chong, CEI / StartSmart
|Posted by Dave Putnam||on Sep 26, 2016||
Tae Chong is a business advisor with CEI’s StartSmart Program. StartSmart is a nationally recognized economic development program that assists immigrants and refugees start and manage their businesses. Tae has over twenty years experience working with the immigrant and refugee populations in Maine. He has worked with this population as an educator, advocate, policy maker, social service provider and now as a business advisor. He has also held leadership positions as co-chair of the refugee advisory council for the State of Maine’s DHHS Department, as a board member of the NAACP, LULAC, and Asian American Heritage Foundation and as board member of the University of Southern Maine’s Department of Social Work. Currently, Tae is serving on Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigrant Services advisory board and as a board member of the Friends of Portland Adult Ed. He holds a B.S. degree in Political Science and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern Maine.
PSA Link for Reading Program
|Posted||on Sep 25, 2016||
At our Club Assembly on September 16, 2016, Janelle LoSciuto, Chair of the Youth Services Committee, showed us a reading PSA video we funded with the United Way: How to Read to Your Child. Here is the link to view the video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/BtTIC79bI6g
09/16/16 Portland Rotary Club Assembly
|Posted by Alan Nye||on Sep 21, 2016||
President Laura Young presided over a Club Assembly where she and various committee chairs filled in the members attending on what the goals and plans were for the upcoming Rotary year. President Laura shared Portland Rotary's Vision Statement of the next five years by focusing on:
Portland Rotary’s Strategic Plan will continue with the CHE and 3H efforts and will also emphasize fundraising, vocational services, diversified membership, diverse programming and increased visibility of the club through effective public relations.
Youth Services Chair, Janelle LoSciuto, informed us that the committee has and will continue to be focused on the education component of our CHE initiative. We will continue to support our Starting Strong Summer Reading and Longcreek programs. Interact at Portland High School is growing with Glenn Nerbak as club liaison. Our club increased its support of RYLA to 12 students in 2016. We also provided a $1500 grant to multilingual high school students to purchase tickets to cultural events to broaden the horizons of those that might not otherwise be able to attend such events. Finally, Janelle showed us a reading PSA video we funded with the United Way: How to Read to Your Child.
Public Relations Chair, Linda Varrell, discussed her goal of helping the club and committees with public awareness of activities and events, promoting community leadership and club membership, and making the community more aware of the positive impact of Rotary.
Fundraising Chair, Kris Rosado, let us know that the 6th annual Maine Outdoor Challenge will be held June 5-7, 2017. He said that since 1988 our club’s Service and Memorial Fund has given 121 student scholarships ($71,000) and grants ($132,663) to a wide variety of worthy causes and organizations. Since our club began, Portland Rotary has raised and contributed $933,811 and we’ve partnered with over 200 different organizations. Kris let us know that his goal is to grow our Charitable Fund’s Permanent Account from what it is today (approximately $175,000) to $1,000,000. He proposed to do that by direct contributions and future bequests. So if you haven’t been approached yet to contribute is some way within your financial means, then be prepared to give when called upon.
Dick Hall adeptly substituted for Rotary Foundation Chair, Peter Goffin, and gave us a brief history of the Rotary Foundation, reminding us of its guiding principles: World Peace through Service. Dick told us that the Rotary Foundation’s focus is on promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies. District 7780 will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary with an event to be held on Thursday November 10, 2016 at the Sable Oaks. The District's goal for the 100th celebration is to have 100 people make a $10,000 commitment to the Rotary Foundation. This can be done by direct donation, transferring assets, employee matching gifts, a 10-year commitment to the Paul Harris Society, or estate plan commitments. To join or get more information, speak with Dick or Amy Chipman.
It’s clear that Portland Rotary is in good hands with President Laura, along with the active support and dedication of Committee Chairs and members, no goal is out of reach!
*09/23/16 Bob Clark, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine
|Posted by Bob Clark||on Sep 19, 2016||
This Friday's Rotary Club meeting will be hosted at the Portland Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine (BGCSM).
Since its founding in 1909, BGCSM’s mission has been to enable young people, especially those who need the Clubs most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Bob Clark and a team of staff and volunteers will share a series of “Boys & Girls Club minutes” (in the spirit of Portland Rotary) to reflect how the past, present and future come together at 5 Boys & Girls Club sites in Southern Maine, to serve 2,850 members and put them on the pathway to reaching their full potential.
09/16/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Ben Lowry||on Sep 16, 2016||
60 Portland Rotarians met on a beautiful autumn day at the Clarion Hotel last Friday. Joining us were 2 non-Rotarian guests and two visiting Rotarians; one of whom, Chris Clemons, brought us a banner from his home club in Santa Monica, California.
Peggy Wescott, with her usual style, offered a humorous invocation and Kathy Grammar, who we welcomed back after a short absence, led us in the pledge to the flag, with President Laura following up in leading us in a pleasantly competent rendition of our national anthem.
Don Lowry, just back from a sales convention in Austin, Texas, shared a banner he picked up at an intimate gathering of 36 “guys” at a Rotary meeting in The Lone Star State’s capitol. Judy Cavalero laughingly wondered aloud about the old school slip of "guys" by Don, or perhaps it was indeed an all-men’s meeting. Don also led us in our a capella song of the week.
Tom Talbott shared a very warm “Rotary Moment” in looking back at his presidency and the year just prior, 1999, when then-District Governor Elias Thomas undertook a sociological experiment just prior to speaking with our club. As folks entered the Portland Club for our noon meeting, they had to walk by a homeless man, apparently passed out on the sidewalk, just outside the front door. There were many offers of help and calls to the police and the man was obtaining assistance when our program began. As it came time for our keynote speaker, Governor Thomas walked up to the podium, removed his disguise as the homeless man and began his talk on helping others. Inspired by the message, when Tom became president a few months later, he took a chance and asked a local homeless man to speak to our club. The results were astounding and eye-opening. The spirit of helping the homeless lives on today in our club, as we gather to feed the homeless at the Preble Street shelter next Wednesday, Sep. 28th. Our own Erik Greven is spearheading the effort and needs volunteers. Please think about all of the blessings that you have in your life…..and think about giving up just a few hours to help those who have so little and then contact Erik at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Tully reminded us that our second annual Veteran’s Day luncheon is less than 8 weeks away, on Thursday, November 10th at noon at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland. This meeting will replace our Friday meeting that week and we are hoping for a huge turnout to honor many of our local veterans. There is no charge for veterans and others can pay $20 to help defray the costs of the event. Any excess monies raised will go directly to veterans' services.
With Ellen Niewoehner handling the weekly raffle, Loretta Rowe's name was called to pull a card from the deck…and she drew a red queen, but not the correct red queen! The pot thickens!
Two Portland Rotarians were in the news this past week: Dean Danielle Conway was featured on the cover of the Maine Law Magazine.
Larry Gross and the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) received a business innovation award.
(Photo: Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Assn of Agencies on Aging, Rani Snyder, the Hartford Foundation and Kathy Greenlee, U.S. Asst Secretary on Aging receiving the first John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award.)
*09/16/16 Portland Rotary Club Assembly
|Posted by Laura Young||on Sep 13, 2016||
At this Friday’s Club Assembly, Portland Rotarians and their guests will receive an update on the progress made on the club’s strategic plan following last year’s visioning session. President Laura and Committee Chairs will present their current initiatives including the following:
• Literacy Public Service Announcement video the Youth Services Committee funded through the United Way of Greater Portland
• CHE projects in the Youth Services area
• Special outreach efforts to diversify the club
• Increased public relations focus
• Special campaigns for Portland Rotary’s charitable endowment fund and 100th anniversary of Rotary Foundation
This is a great opportunity to bring guests to learn more about Portland Rotary!
9/09/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Sep 11, 2016||
First Vice President Don Zillman was at the helm on Friday, adroitly steering the Rotary Ship for our meeting, as President Laura was on business in Aroostook County.
In an invocation cum remembrance on the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Russ Burleigh told the touching story of Welles Crowther, who escaped the burning South tower and then made several trips back into the structure to guide others to safety, before perishing in its collapse. Nobody knows for certain how many lives he saved, but estimates suggest it could have been upwards of twenty. Identified for the red bandana he always carried with him and which he used as a dust mask during the disaster, his heroism has become the subject of a book.
(Photo: Matt Tassey and Erik Jorgensen.)
The weekly raffle was led by Matt Tassey, who became embarrassed when the speaker drew his name from the pot to try and pull the right card from the remaining cards in the deck. Erik Jorgensen came to his rescue to fan out the cards, so he could try to find that Queen of Hearts. Much to the joy of the audience (investors), he did not find the right one.....and so, the pot continues to grow larger.
The singing was led by Gracie Johnston, with Russ Burleigh accompanying on the keyboard. We may need some practice, but we have a good time singing.
September birthdays include Austin Harris, Joe Gray, Don Mackenzie, Liz Fagan, Gus Karlsen, Kris Rosado, and Meredith Small. Almost all of them were, apparently, out celebrating their big days and not at the meeting: only Meredith was among us.
Jim Willey reported on the development of a much-needed Long Creek Youth Center transition center being formed with help from Portland Rotary, to provide critical work experience and other transition services for former Long Creek residents. It will likely be in Westbrook.
We were happy to hear that Justin Lamontagne has been made a partner at his firm, NAI, the Dunham Group. Congratulations!
John Marr provided a Rotary Minute on his own origins as a Rotarian – how, in the absence of an invitation to join Rotary, “talked himself into the club,” which for him has been about inspiration. John said that Rotary’s purpose for its members is “to give, to know how to give, and to have friends to do it with.”
Charlie Frair spoke about the Veterans’ lunch, which he is spearheading along with Paul Tully and an active committee. Coming up in 9 weeks, the lunch has been conceived as a long-term program to annually honor Veterans on the day before Veterans’ Day. The first and last purpose of the event is to “honor, appreciate, acknowledge and thank veterans for their service.” The committee team has established ambitious goals for the program over the coming five years, which were outlined on a handout. The hope is to make this a premiere event in the city, and Charlie asked all members to help recruit veterans, who are invited to attend the lunch as our guests.
Sylvie Montello of the Portland School Department spoke briefly about the “Starting Strong Reading Partners” program, to get kids “reading to learn, rather than learning to read.”. The school department is looking for volunteers who wish to work with kids at one of Portland’s elementary schools. Last year the program was piloted at Ocean Avenue with great results. Four or five volunteers are needed each day, and “the only thing you need to bring is a smile, positive attitude, and patience.” If you think you might be interested, contact her at email@example.com or at 874-8175.
Last, though certainly not least, Russell Voss introduced new member Andrew Cook, a Westbrook-based lender with Peoples’ United bank. Welcome, Andrew!
(Photo: Andrew Cook, 1st VP Don Zillman and Russell Voss.)
Oh wait...one more thing....you never know WHAT you will find on the floor at a Rotary meeting. Babies....they just make you want to get down and crawl with them! Was this game "Follow the (future) Leader"? You go, Luca!
(Photo: Future leader - Luca LoSciuto-Bates and Past President Bowen Depke.)
09/09/16 Margo Walsh, MaineWorks
|Posted by John Marr||on Sep 10, 2016||
Dave Putnam had the privilege of introducing one of the most unpretentious and realistic speakers our club has had the learning opportunity to hear from, Margo Walsh, founder and principal of MaineWorks.
(Photo: Dave Putnam, Margo Walsh, and 1st VP Don Zillman.)
Margo began her presentation with an apology for her casual attire. However, her attire, in reality, was what is often referred to as work clothes. When you start your day at 4:30 in the morning in order to get one of your clients to a construction site, one’s apparel is inconsequential and most appropriate. No sooner did Margo get the client to work and she had to turn around and get back to the 7/11 parking lot in Portland to transport other clients to jobs.
MaineWorks is a job placement, temp-to-hire firm. The distinction MaineWorks has in the business community is their clients. They concentrate on the placement of convicted felons. Margo realized the need to find a place for this very willing work force. It should come as no surprise that people who come from incarceration into an unwilling, uncaring and unknowing community frequently return to a life of crime, in order to have the money to survive. It is estimated that about 65 to 75 percent of convicts return to court within the first 3 months following release. While we, as a society, accept the credibility of that old bromide “idle hands are the devil's workshop,” we do little to find a remunerative alternative.
Margo had a great job with Goldman Sachs, as a recruiter, prior to her realization of need and combining it with her talents to create a “for-profit” company serving a neglected population. Any person following current events would agree that we have somewhat of a perfect storm and “house on fire” situation with the drug epidemic that is rampant. In proof of that point is the profile of the client she was serving that morning. When the son of the Chief of Police of a remote Maine town becomes a heroin addict driven to crime to support a habit, you have all the proof you need. Overcoming the pain and prejudice of drug addiction requires a type of special assistance that few rehab programs realistically provide. It’s not enough to tell this needy group that they need to find a job in order to avoid the pull of narcotics. Advice is simple but making It come to fruition is much more difficult, when you combine drugs and the stigma of being labeled a felon. Margo realized that this group, typically between the ages of 19-25, is very willing to work and that contractors are often in need of common laborers. She identified a group of open-minded contractors willing to give a second chance to convicts and has made MaineWorks an award-winning success story.
MaineWorks is providing a service to businesses, felons, addicts and society and not getting any public funding, nor asking for any. MaineWorks has taken a mutual need and determined effort and proven that second chances are worth taking. The clientele may be unusual, but the business model is rather traditional....they provide employees to needful employers. While it may be traditional, it's not easy to convince many employers to take a chance on these troubled souls. She reduces the fear that many employers have by vetting every employee and having them prove their sincerity by taking on certain menial tasks at MaineWorks or doing volunteer work.
Margo and MaineWorks has taken on an enormous challenge that is growing larger every day, and approaches it with the simplicity of the AA/NA credo of "one step at a time" and "every day is a new day and new challenge." She knows it's never going to be easy, but it's always going to be necessary......so she has taken it on with an open-minded, unvarnished determination.
09/02/16 Chase Hagaman, Concord Coalition
|Posted by Bob Martin||on Sep 06, 2016||
“Federal fiscal issues are totally tedious and boring,” warned our speaker last Friday, and he was right. Chase Hagaman, the New England Regional Director for the Concord Coalition, joined us to talk about his organization, and its efforts to increase candidate and voter awareness about the fiscal issues confronting the U.S.
The Concord Coalition is a non-partisan organization that advocates for responsible fiscal policy. Founded in 1992 by U.S. Senator Warren Rudman, former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson, and U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas, the group prides itself on being a credible source of information and analysis on the federal budget. Currently, according to Hagaman, the group is urging voters and candidates to “look out for the nation’s fiscal future,” and calling on candidates for office to engage in meaningful discussions on ways to curb the growth of the federal budget. “Spending and revenue generation are out of synch,” said Hagaman. “Our total debt exceeds $19 trillion dollars and has the highest impact on economic growth and our standard of living.”
Hagaman pointed to the rapid increases in mandatory spending programs—26% in 1966 to 65% in 2026—as one of the root causes of the imbalance in federal spending. “Discretionary spending is declining,” he said. “But mandatory spending in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security continue to increase.” On top of that, he also pointed to increases in the cost of borrowing, with interest expense rising to over $1 trillion. “That’s wasted money,” he said. Part of the spending/revenue imbalance is created by the aging population, he pointed out, and said a key reform needed to help improve our fiscal situation related to changing these social security programs to fit the revenues available.
But, despite the fact that his organization is apolitical, the questions from the audience quickly zeroed in on why fiscal discussions are sometimes contentious, and sometimes boring: it depends on definitions. As Juliana L’Heureux pointed out in her question, the military expense budget may be seen by some as “discretionary,” but retired veterans may not agree that their pensions are “discretionary.” “The veteran’s wife would argue that they ‘paid into’ the system,” she said. “So getting the pension payment to pay for food isn’t discretionary.”
For those seeking more information about the Concord Coalition and its explanations of federal spending, or to learn more about the organization’s “Look Out” campaign, visit www.concordcoalition.org.
(Photo: President Laura Young, Chase Hagaman and member, Rusty Atwood.)
09/02/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Sep 06, 2016||
President Laura Young opened the Rotary meeting on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend.
Paul Tully presented an invocation about the importance of Labor Day from Amy Freedman (AmyFreedman.net):
Labor Day weekend is not an ordinary time
as we do not rush headlong into our usual labors.
The sacred is found not only in houses of worship, but in time set apart.
Let us turn our attention to what is sacred in our daily living.
For the rewards of work and all those ancestors
who boldly advocated for safety, fair wages, and better working conditions,
we lift our hearts in gratitude.
May this time of recreation energize us to bring forth
an even more just and sustainable world.
We had two Rotarian guests: Richard Hyde from St. Helena, CA and Angie Bryan from Washington, DC.. Angie exchanged club banners with us from her Rotary Club of Dupont Circle, Washington, DC.
A 'Rotary Moment' was presented by Bob Martin. His earliest experience with Rotary was through the dedication of his grandfather, Charles Robert Martin, who lived in Brunswick, Maryland, where he worked for 48 years for the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad and was a Rotary member who attended Thursday dinner meetings that "were not to be missed." He was a member in Brunswick, Maryland, where Rotary was a way to help people and to make a difference in his community. When Bob was serving in the military in Germany, his grandfather sent him a banner to exchange with clubs visited, because he could speak German, so he was often asked to be a guest speaker. Bob has been a member of several Rotary Clubs. "For me, Portland Rotary is not just about the 4-Way Test, but about the 4 corners of the world and connectedness. Rotary is about family and the values I learned from my grandfather and how I share these experiences with others," he said.
As stand-in for our newest member's sponsor (Bowen Depke), President Laura was pleased to introduce new member, Danielle M. Conway, Dean and Professor of the University of Southern Maine School of Law. She is also a military veteran, having served 20 years of active duty and reserve with the U.S. Army and is now a Lt. Colonel in the Maine Army National Guard. Please welcome our newest member, Danielle Conway.
(Photo: President Laura, Danielle Conway and member/former Dean of the University of Southern Maine School of Law, Don Zillman.)
(Photo: Matt Wolcott and Julie L'Heureux.)
Being given a chance to try and win the $688 raffle, Julie L'Heureux's name was picked out of the pot by our speaker, but the King of Spades was the card she drew. Better luck to the next person to win a chance at the growing jackpot. Matt Wolcott conducted the raffle.
Paul Tully advised us that the Rotary Veterans Lunch is scheduled on Friday, November 10, 2016, 12 noon at the Italian Heritage Center. Charlie Frair is the co-chair of the committee putting this event together. A team is working on obtaining sponsorships for the lunch with several businesses having already dedicated their support, along with a private individual donor. Team leaders include: Kris Rosato, leading sponsorship; Larry Gross, leading Veterans' recruiting; Julie L'Heureux, Gracie Johnston and Tom Talbott working on the community relation communications. We are looking to host a successful luncheon and also create a wonderful annual sustainable event. This year's luncheon will be hosted on the day BEFORE our regular weekly meeting, which is canceled (11/11).
*09/09/16 Margo Walsh, MaineWorks
|Posted by Dave Putnam||on Sep 06, 2016||
Margo Walsh founded MaineWorks in 2011 to provide jobs and stability to people who are in recovery from substance abuse, have previous felonies, or are facing other barriers to employment. While attending substance abuse recovery meetings at Cumberland County Jail’s Pre-Release Center, Margo saw that inmates planning for their releases were struggling to find jobs.
Around the same time, she attended a talk in Portland by attorney F. Lee Bailey about the need to provide employment for felons. With a professional background in recruiting, she thought that if companies wouldn’t hire felons, she would. “I was motivated by the needs of my family and what I saw as an incredible opportunity to help change and build lives for people who were ready to work hard and support themselves,” Margo says. “I would say the operative and guiding principle of this company is empathy.”
Construction companies hire MaineWorks to provide workers for projects across the state. It’s a for-profit company, but it also has a social mission. One of her proudest success stories is the recent hiring of one of the company’s first-year temporary employee as crew leader for MaineWorks’s new Property Services Division. In March, the U.S. Small Business Administration honored Margo with the Small Business Person of the Year award for Maine.
08/26/16 Portland Police Chief Mike Sauschuck
|Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on Aug 30, 2016||
Michael Sauschuck, the Police Chief for the City of Portland, was our speaker on Friday. He began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer in 1997 and was appointed Chief of Police in 2012.
(Photo: Past President Kris Rosado, Police Chief Michael Sauschuck and member Joe Gray.)
Chief Sauschuck commented on what appears to be tense times for police departments throughout our country. He noted that the proliferation of stories through social media have been making what might be common or uncommon instances of good or bad policing, more public. In certain cases, some officers have likely been wrong, made mistakes, and a rush to judgment has occurred. This media swirl has created the opportunity to continue conversations both within the community and within the police force. He made the point that law enforcement needs to sit at the table and work together with society to make a difference. While the issues surrounding law enforcement have been around for thousands of years, law enforcement as a whole has had to change the ways it was going about business.
Chief Sauschuck went on to discuss the Department’s policies around peaceful demonstrations and gatherings with the main result that the police help the demonstrators get from point A to point B safely. He went on to provide various examples of when demonstrators either worked with the police department to provide for safe events, as opposed to when groups decided not to discuss the event in advance. Some of the recent demonstrations included those held by a local 17-year-old youth; a Black Live’s Matter group; and a demonstration held in Lincoln Park. On these lines, Chief Sauschuck says he does not have an "open door" policy, but rather a "no door" policy: stop in and chat.
One of the questions asked of Chief Sauschuck was about whether trouble makers are coming from large cities in other states and dealing drugs in Maine. He noted that a supply and demand is at play.... Maine is on the demand side and not the supply side of the drug equation. In Maine the drugs can be sold for 3 or 4 times the amount as back home, so they come here to make the deals. In order to stop this, he opines that we need to refocus on education, treatment, and enforcement: educate youth as early as possible, to let them know the dangers of drugs. He says treatment is limited in Maine, and we are not doing enough as a society to deal with substance abuse. Even though Maine is one of the top three safest states in the nation, violent crime went up in 2015.
Chief Sauschuck overviewed the Department’s procedures related to hiring, internal training approaches, and the peer-to-peer counseling by trained officers. When asked what type of person to hire as a police officer, he says the best human being possible, and give them training. He noted that during the interview process, all his new officers say they want to help the community.
08/26/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Ben Lowry||on Aug 26, 2016||
On Friday, August 26, 2016, we met at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, where Past President Kris Rosado took over for President Laura, who was dropping her eldest daughter off at the University of Maine at Orono. Kris welcomed a full house of Portland Rotarians, as well as three non-Rotarian guests.
A wonderful end of summer invocation was offered by David Small, while Russ Burleigh led us in a rousing rendition of “God Bless America.” Amy Chipman and Bill Blount spearheaded our singing of the classic, “Side By Side.” Bill, by the way, is recovering nicely from double knee replacement and is looking forward to leading the tennis group again this autumn, with the season beginning on September 15th.
Jake Bordeau tried to give away $650 in the raffle, but Linda Varrell drew the 4 of diamonds, leaving the winning queen to be drawn another time.
Forty-five folks shuttled out to Fort Gorges in Casco Bay for an evening tour of the relic on August 25th. The tour was led by Paul Drinan, executive director of the Friends of Fort Gorges. Our group, joined by guests, as well as members of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth and the Portland Sunrise Rotary Clubs, was given a lectured tour of the ancient monument that stands at the mouth of Portland Harbor.
Gus Karlsen thanked the 17 Rotarians who donated to help support our ongoing efforts in the MS Regatta on Casco Bay. Together, we raised $1300 from our club in the effort to eradicate multiple sclerosis, which affects over 3000 Mainers. Our sailing vessel, crewed by Gus, Erik Greven and Rob Chatfield (and others), finished second in the regatta.
Past President Kris read a nice thank you note from District Governor Marge Barker, who recently visited us.
The International Service Committee is spearheading an effort to obtain mobility devices from club members, Jan Chapman reported from the podium. If you have any unused crutches, canes or other devices, please contact Jan and she will help you get them to our storage facilities where, in turn, they will be sent to Saco where they will eventually end up in a container to Africa.
Paul Tully and Charlie Frair are spearheading our Veteran’s Luncheon this November 10th (Thursday). Mark your calendars for for this special date and think about who you may know who would be willing to help us underwrite this special event. There will not be a meeting on Friday, November 11th.
The Forecaster newspaper featured our own John Curran in a recent article about our “3H Project” in the Dominican Republic (DR). John has been working closely with Dean Rock, a Cumberland resident who has been printing prosthetic hands on his 3D printer in an effort to help us with our ongoing efforts to provide hands to those in need in the DR.
*09/02/16 Chase Hagaman, The Concord Coalition
|Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Aug 26, 2016||
Chase A. Hagaman is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition. Concord is a nonpartisan organization that encourages fiscal responsibility in Washington and helps to raise public awareness about the need for responsible fiscal policies that protect our children and future generations.
Chase, a resident of New Hampshire, works with community leaders, student groups, business organizations, Concord volunteers, and elected officials across New England and upstate New York. He organizes public education events, performs media outreach and engages volunteers.
He is a member of the New Hampshire Bar. He received his law degree from the University of New Hampshire and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of South Florida. Mr. Hagaman’s work with law firms, the court system and state and municipal agencies helped shape his passion for public policy. He invests his personal time in his community, including coaching for a high school rowing program.
Chase joined Concord to champion the mission of its founders, the late Senators Warren Rudman and Paul Tsongas. As part of the next generation of leaders, he has become an ardent advocate for lasting reform who works to bridge generational gaps as he brings awareness to fiscal issues.
SPECIAL OUTING! FORT GORGES - AUGUST 25, 2016!
|Posted by Laura Young||on Aug 23, 2016||
THERE IS STILL ROOM FOR YOU TO JOIN US.....
on an exclusive
Tour of Fort Gorges
Thursday, August 25th, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Space is limited! Tickets required!
Rain or shine!
$30 per person
(friends and family are welcome)
YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT AND
PRE-PAY EITHER WITH A CREDIT CARD
BRING YOUR CHECK TO THE BOAT!
(made payable to Portland Rotary)
Arrive at 4:00 p.m. at 202 Commercial Street (Chandlers Wharf)
for a 4:15 p.m. departure on a boat ride to Portland’s own Fort Gorges.
Alcoholic beverages and snacks will be provided.
Paul Drinan, ED of Friends of Fort Gorges,
will present the history of the fort and lead a walking tour.
Sturdy, closed-toe shoes and flashlights are required.
Boat will depart the fort for the return trip to Portland at 6:45 p.m
Bring your camera for the best views of Portland and Casco Bay.
Click this link to sign up and purchase tickets.
08/19/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Alan Nye||on Aug 23, 2016||
President Laura Young welcomed everyone to the meeting and Alan Nye gave the invocation. We pledged our allegiance to the flag and Russ Burleigh (arriving just in time) led us in a patriotic song. President Laura introduced visiting Rotarians and guests, and provided thanks to many members of the club for all their hard work and dedication to Rotary.
Tiel Duncan gave us our Rotary Moment, describing when she decided to join Portland Rotary. She says that she was invited by (soon-to-be) President Laura and at the very first meeting she noticed the banner detailing the Rotary 4-Way Test. That message spoke to her and she decided that this was a club for her – and we’re so pleased that she did!
A "Get Well" card was passed around to sign for Loretta Rowe encouraging her to recover quickly from her hand/wrist surgery. Get Well Soon, Loretta!
The raffle ($617) was conducted by Tiel Duncan, with Jim Willey trying his luck – with disappointing results. Better luck next time, Jim!
Don Zillman introduced our newest Rotarian, Michael Greer. Mike is familiar to many of us as he spoke to the club about running a business in China and his work at the Portland Ballet. Welcome Michael!
Gus Carlson thanked us for sponsoring a boat for the M.S. Regatta and encouraged everyone to turn out for the MS Harborfest weekend events.
President Laura encouraged everyone to come out for the cruise to Fort Gorges in Casco Bay given by the Executive Director. We are leaving Chandler’s Wharf at 4:00 pm this Thursday (8/25) and returning by 7:00 pm. The cost is $30 per person and fair warning – Only those steady on their feet should attend.
Liz Fagan brought us up to date with all the wonderful accomplishments that have been made in the Dominican Republic: work by John Curran with 3D printed hands and Liz & Roger Fagan's work in changing people’s lives with hearing aids. There is another trip planned in October to fit prosthetic hands and training nurses to treat hearing-impaired people. There is also an effort to get another vocational school bus to provide additional transportation to needy students. A second trip is planned for May of next year and participants are participating from Alaska, Oregon, Georgia, Florida and Maine. Liz thanked George Crockett for his contribution of Luci Lights.
Moises Sifren, the visiting director of the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana, spoke to us pointing out that it was his 6th visit to our club. He thanked us for our support and noted that we’ve changed many lives for those living in the Dominican Republic. He made special note not to tell Roger Fagan that there are now about 150 patients waiting for hearing aids.
Charlie Frair spoke to us about the upcoming Veterans Breakfast planned in November. He thanked Mike Fortunato for all his work on last year’s event. Charlie is making some changes to this now-to-be annual event by holding it the day before Veterans Day and making it a luncheon instead of a breakfast. This year it’s going to be held at the Italian Heritage Center. Look for more details in the coming weeks or for more details or to volunteer, contact Charlie directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*08/26/16 Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck
|Posted by Dave Putnam||on Aug 23, 2016||
Police Chief Michael Sauschuck has served the City of Portland since 1997, when he began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer. Chief Sauschuck was appointed Chief of Police in January 2012. He leads a team of highly-trained, professional men and women committed to the department's core values of leadership, integrity and service.
After graduating from high school, Sauschuck joined the U.S. Marines where he was sent to Camp Pendleton, San Mateo, California. During his five-year tenure, he served as Corporal, then Sergeant with the Marine Security Guards in San Salvador, El Salvador and Moscow, Russia. After four years as a reserve police officer with the Old Orchard Beach Police Department, Sauschuck joined the Portland Police Department, where he worked in a variety of specialties, including eh crisis intervention team, special reaction team and as a field training officer. He was also a special agent and supervisor assigned to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, investigating and suppressing illegal narcotic activity in Cumberland County.
In March 2011, Lieutenant Sauschuck was selected as the department's Assistant Chief, where he served as Chief James Craig's second in command and directly oversaw criminal investigations, uniformed operations and emergency communications. Upon Chief Craig's departure in August 2011, Sauschuck led the Police Department as Acting Police Chief, overseeing a department of more than two hundred employees and an annual budget of $13.4 million. He was selected as the department's permanent Chief in January of 2012.
In addition to his public service in municipal government in Portland, Mike serves on several boards including the Maine Gun Safety Coalition, Milestone Board, United Way of Greater Portland Community-Wide Goal Setting Committee, Maine Opiate Collaborative, Greater Portland Addiction Collaborative, Portland Mayor’s Substance Use Disorder Committee and is an active supporter of Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s Trauma Intervention Program.
Over the past decade, Sauschuck has received a number of awards for his commitment to the department, including the "Sergeant Michael J. Wallace Award," the "Enrique Camarena Memorial Award" from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the "Heroes With a Heart Award."
Chief Sauschuck was born in Port Jervis, New York, but moved to Madrid, Maine in the third grade and has been in Maine ever since. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Criminology from the University of Maine in 1998 and is a graduate of the FBI's 251st National Academy for Law Enforcement Leaders class. He is married to Portland Police Detective Mary Sauschuck.
We have asked the Chief to provide his perspective of the recent demonstration in Portland and similar demonstrations in other cities that have included negative views of police officers, and violence against police officers. In addition, we have asked for his suggestions of how our community can ensure that additional demonstrations are managed in a peaceful and civil manner. Other topics may include the challenge of opioid trafficking and how policing has changed since he joined the force.
08/19/16 Rotary District 7780 Governor Marge Barker
|Posted by Tom Talbott||on Aug 21, 2016||
It was our pleasure to welcome our District Governor, Marge Barker to the podium this week, to hear her updates and vision for District 7780.
Call the Fashion Police! Marge began by stepping out front to model the official Rotary 2016-17 jacket, the choice of our RI President John Germ (from Chattanooga, TN). At issue – all jackets issued were tailored for men, much to the chagrin of Marge. Shedding the garment, she displayed a nice, bright Rotary scarf, much more to her liking!
She thanked us for the opportunity to join us for lunch, and prefaced her talk by indicating she would fly without notes. Preparation for her 40 District club meetings usually involved visiting each club’s website/facebook or newsletter. Marge promoted the value of these tools, noting the out-of-town visitors do, in fact, utilize this information. At her South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Club, she credited the media sites in bringing in 5-6 members in the last couple of years.
Referring to Portland, she called our work and various projects, “legendary.” Thank you, Marge! Our range of causes was recognized, from our 3H project in the Dominican Republic, CHE, and many others. We do good work.
Marge also applauded our friendly “New Member” drive this past year with the Portsmouth Rotary Club. Being diplomatic, she did not side with either club in terms of declaring a winner. In her words, District 7780 won. OK – fair enough, but let’s set the record straight. We won!
Marge moved on to updating us on District news. First, a first – Visioning Meetings will be held to guide us in a 3-year strategic plan, with anchor goals and expectations. The value is to provide individual club presidents with more structure, more focus in their planning, compared to having everything start and stop on the basis of each year. She described it as a framework of common goals. There will be three District Vision meetings: Sep 15 at Husson College, Nov 13 in Portsmouth, and Jan 17, TBD. The expectation is to have 30 Rotarians at each meeting representing their area, no overlapping in attendance. The goal is to have 2/3 general membership, and 1/3 club leaders. Invitations were sent Aug 3 and 12, and a general questionnaire went out this past week to all members. Success depends on participation!
More important dates of note:
October 22, 2016: Purple Pinky Day. When a child is vaccinated, their pinkie is dipped in purple ink as an indicator they have received the vaccine. Marge is encouraging clubs to hold an event, and to share the word with our community as to what we, and Rotary, are doing. Together, as a team, Rotary serves humanity.
October 24, 2016: Polio Eradication Day. We all know of the huge strides and success, but there are new worries. The World Health Organization recently found 2 new cases of paralyzing polio in Nigeria, an area that had been celebrating 3 years of being polio free. Essentially, we moved backwards. As noted by RI Chair of the PolioPlus Committee,Mike McGovern, “We are resilient. If you’ve ever seen a child with polio, you’ll know the importance of our fight.” The program needs all our support to continue building resources. (For those of you who don't know, Mike McGovern is from Marge’s home club of South Portland/Cape Elizabeth.)
November 10, 2016: Official District 7780 100th Anniversary!
February 2017: World Understanding and Peace Dinner. Marge is hoping to have clubs collaborate in celebration of the District’s 100th Anniversary.
May 18-21, 2017: District Conference at the Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME. This is “about you” she said. “I’m not inviting speakers from R.I. This is about us, what we’ve done, and what we can do.” There will be a 5k Road Race with proceeds going to PolioPlus among the many events. She hoped to see a strong turnout from the Portland club.
June 10-14, 2017: Rotary International Convention – Atlanta, GA!
Marge spent a few moments on public relations. Noting that Past District Governor Sheila Rollins has worked to develop four competitive grants of $250 each for clubs that need assistance in getting the word out about their club. The membership committee is counseling clubs on developing new members, as well as retention of current members. She pointed to our own Kris Rosado, who is serving as an Assistant District Governor this year, as a great resource for all these needs.
“Reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body,” says our District Governor. Marge’s goals – Membership and the Foundation were clearly evident during her talk. With equal vigor was her commitment to literacy programs. “Unfortunately, young people seem to be reading less. This affects their intellectual development.”
Rounding out her talk, Marge focused on the International scene. The Council on Legislation met and introduced a new slate of ideas and changes regarding the rules of club membership. She added that Past District 7780 Governor Peter Johnson was there representing us. Out of those sessions, recommendations were made that allowed more flexibility in attendance rules, a nod to the times we live in. The sentiment was that attendance is not the benchmark for being a valued and productive Rotarian. Clubs will have more freedom in setting dates for their meetings. If you want to read more, click on: https://www.rotary.org/myrotary/en/news-media/council-grants-clubs-greater-flexibility-meeting-membership
On a parting note, Marge announced that our Portland club had a solid average of $144 per capita giving to the Rotary Foundation, above the District average of $130. That is impressive, given that we are one of the larger clubs. Nicely done!
08/12/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by John Marr||on Aug 15, 2016||
“Madam President” has a great sound to it, noted Tom Nickerson as he prepared to give us his usual heartfelt and self-produced invocation of thanks. Tom noted the many wonderful things that make up our daily being that are, but shouldn't, be taken for granted.
It’s always nice to have visitors join us at our club meetings.....two visiting Rotarians....one being from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and one from Savannah, GA.. Along with our welcome, we will also extend our prayers and best wishes to LA neighbors who are experiencing horrendous floods and will need all the help they can get as they are recognized as a disaster area. We also enjoyed the company of several visiting guests and we hope they will consider becoming part of the Rotary Club of Portland.
The weekly raffle was up to $588. With Ellen Niewoehner conducting the draw, our speaker pulled one of our guest's names from the pot...Susan East Nelson, but she could not find the Queen of Hearts, allowing the pot to keep growing.
(Photo: Don Lowry, Gracie Johnston, and Megan Devlin.)
The miracles of modern medicine are often touted and our clubmates are proving how powerful the medicine is. Bill Blount was showing a bit of an altered gate as he is on the course of recovery from having both of his knees replaced. The indomitable Gracie Johnston is involved with a vigorous regimen of physical therapy to rehabilitate her shoulder injury and repair. Soon to join her in the course of PT is one of our newer members, Megan Devlin, who suffered a serious fracture falling from her bicycle. And, on the subject of bike accidents, we immediately recall that our new club Secretary Kathy Grammer is having a difficult time of recovering from her fractured wrist, which keeps her missing from action. Our well wishes go out to our strong, but troubled, friends as they work to recover.
When you think about the greatness of our club, in this writer’s opinion, the generous giving and community outreach is the nucleus of our well-deserved pride. Over summers past Gus Karlsen has been instrumental in enticing club members to contribute to the underwriting of a boat or two (or even three) in the MS Regatta which is upcoming on August 20th. Our past underwriting has brought riches to the cause and recognition to the club. However, we have not achieved the levels of years past, so Gus encouraged us to dig deep to send the scourge of Multiple Sclerosis to the briny bottom. A number of hands went up to contribute and help the club regain past prominence in the battle of the sail boats, tug boats and even lobster boats! If you want to help us make a big splash, reach out to Gus, Loretta or President Laura. We are looking for $50 but will take any donation to help the cause. (SEE SEPARATE ARTICLE IN THIS ISSUE)
President Laura asked that the many who have assisted with the CHE, Reading and Feeding Program, to stand and be recognized as the summer program comes to a conclusion, at the end of this week. The group has been meeting with the kids at the Deering Gardens Housing Community to give them both food and intellectual nutrition while away from school on summer vacation. The feedback from the kids and the community coordinators at Deering Gardens has been overwhelmingly favorable.
The club should be proud of this program and remember that it is but one facet of our multi-pronged outreach effort which includes mentoring at Portland High School (thanks, Glenn Nerbak) and at the Long Creek Youth Development Center (thanks, Jim Willey), as well as our RYLA, Youth Service Awards, and Vocational assistance programs. Too often we forget just how many programs our club is able to assist here in our backyard, and let’s not forget that the 'Maine Outdoor Challenge' gives thousands to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine (thanks, Commander Kris Rosado).
Fortunately, the Club has found the time to bring back the so called “Rotary Minute” which now is called a "moment," to improve accuracy of duration and adequacy of heraldry. The moment this week was magnificently used by Justin Lamontagne to relate to us how the 'Four-Way Test' has helped him to answer some of the “WHY” questions from his young family. When he is confronted with the confounding ethical and moral dilemma questions that young and inquiring minds invariably will come up with, he is able to find refuge and relief by citing the simple sagacity of our 4-Way Test. Thank you, Justin, for reminding us of the tool that is at our ready.
President Laura recently had the opportunity to visit the granite fort (Fort Gorges) that sits in the midst of our harbor and was fascinated with the history and experience. In the course of her visit, she found out that next year the Fort is going to be worked on. Being as resourceful as she is, she asked if a visit could be made this summer, before the construction limits access. There were two dates open, late August or early September, so she polled to see how many would be interested and when. The preferred date was late August 25th, so she is putting together the specifics and will bring the details and those interested and available will be able to go out and visit. (SEE SEPARATE ARTICLE IN THIS ISSUE)
*08/19/16 District Governor Marge Barker - Rotary District 7780
|Posted||on Aug 15, 2016||
Marjorie (Marge) Barker joined Rotary in November of 2005. She is Past President of the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Club, served three years as Assistant Governor and two years as past District Rotary Leadership Institute Chair. Marge has been on the faculty of RLI since 2013. She currently serves on several District Committees. Marge is a Paul Harris recipient and a member of the Bequest Society. Prior to serving as Club President, Marge traveled twice to Honduras to work with youth from Cape Elizabeth High School and Rotarians from her club on a water project. She has helped deliver polio vaccinations to the much-needed areas of Ethiopia.
After serving as President, Marge participated in the Friendship Exchange to New Orleans in 2013 and traveled to Guatemala with other Rotarians as part of a service project in 2013. She retired from TD Bank as a Vice President in January 2014 where she had been for over 25 years. She started her career with Junior Achievement as a banker when she was 12.
Marge has been a SCORE-certified mentor since early 2015. SCORE offers the nation’s largest network of free, expert business mentors. SCORE volunteers help thousands of entrepreneurs start small businesses and achieve new levels of success in their existing businesses. Volunteering at SCORE is a way to give back to your community, connect with fellow business owners, and pass on knowledge and expertise to entrepreneurs in your community.
She is the Past President of a non-profit organization she started – Friends of Kayanet Education Center, where she helped build a preschool in Kesses, Kenya.
Marge received both a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with honors (2011) and MBA (Dec 2013) from Husson University.
She is a widow with two grown children and six grandchildren and has lived in Maine since 1988.
08/12/16 Bob Aduchi - Bay Ferries "The Cat"
|Posted by Dick Hall||on Aug 15, 2016||
(Photo: Prez Laura Young, Bob Aduchi and Dave Putnam)
Dave Putnam introduced Bob Aduchi as the pinch hitter for Don Cormier, Vice President of Operations and Safety Management for Bay Ferries Limited, who was not able to attend.
The CAT is back, but different. The Bay Ferries CAT is an important maritime link between Maine and Nova Scotia. CAT service between Portland and Yarmouth, NS started June 15, 2016. Bob stated that Bay Ferries has a very good product, with a ship purpose built and retrofit for the task. Bay Ferries has a long tradition of safe reliable marine transportation. Bay Ferries has many routes with each ship chosen to exactly match the needs of the route. The company operates three routes, Maine to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick to Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia. There is a long tradition of service between eastern Canada and Maine, since the 1880s. 1970 to 2016 – There were several ferries on the route: Prince of Fundy, Scotia Prince, High-Speed Cat, Novastar, and now Bay Ferries CAT. Steamships ran from Yarmouth to Boston in 1800s, with a $9.00 one-way ticket price.
The new CAT has a 53-mph top speed, with the capability for 200 vehicles and 800 passengers, and is designed for the route. The CAT is a US flagged ship, with 22 US crew. The ship was launched in 2007 and is powered by four 8000 series Rolls Royce diesel engines totaling 44,000 HP and water propulsion. The interior is very comfortable and airy with movies, children's play area, and (3) cafes. The layout makes it easy to move about, with comfortable seats, and a state of the art bridge.
The ship can handle motor coaches, extra-long vehicles, motorcycles, and cars. The ship is 350 feet long, burns diesel, has very efficient engines, and the right fit for the market. Departure time fromPortland is 2:30 PM, arriving in Yarmouth, NS at 9:00 p.m., and departs Yarmouth, NS at 8:30 a.m. Passengers are asked to arrive one-hour early. The regular fare is $100 per person one way.
Bay Ferries is not just selling the advantages of traveling on the ferry, but is working with Nova Scotia who provides a daily calendar of things to do in Nova Scotia. There is an information center on board with brochures, maps and a live person to assist. Destination marketing is a very important link, with most people staying overnight in Yarmouth either on landing, prior to departure or both. Bay Ferries is doing lots of advertising, and is working closely with Tourism NS as its partner. Service had a late start due to required upgrades, but now they are on track to move forward this year and next.
Questions from the club:
Why was the High Speed Cat discontinued and what is new now? The NS subsidy was removed when there was a change in government. Without the subsidy, the Cat could not survive. Now the subsidy is back, for two years at least, after another change in government. The CAT is more ideally suited for this route.
How is occupancy? Things are running pretty well, but we hope it continues to improve.
Are there any plans for a Boston stop? There are no plans now as the fees for Boston are very high, so it would probably not be feasible.
Why did the Navy own this ship? The ship was purchased and used as relief ship for Haiti. It could also be used to move troops quickly, if needed. The ship was in Hawaii as a ferry and that company went bankrupt, so the Navy got it back. Bay Ferries has a two-year lease with option to be renewed.
Some passengers have reported that credit cards could not be used on board for most of the trip due to no internet connection. Is this a regular problem? The speaker did not know, and advised he would check into it.
Sell us on Yarmouth - Not a lot to do. Bob said it was a small fishing community, with not much going on. Most tourists use it as a stepping off point, not a destination.
What conditions will cause cancellation? What about change in weather? There are contingency plans. This year, one sailing was cancelled due to weather.
Will subsidies continue? The NS government has committed to two years. Then another decision will be made. Travel industry partners are critical. AAA has 61 clubs in the New England Group, and Bay Ferries offers booking incentives for travel agents.
What percent of vehicles are commercial? No commercial trucks are allowed as Portland did not want the commercial truck traffic. Bob noted that he sees license plates from all over the US, but most are within a 5-6 hour drive of Portland.
With your existing Navy lease, can you winter charter? Bob did not know for sure, but there are no plans for a winter charter now. Bay Ferries must safeguard the ship and pay docking fees for the winter layover.
Why are buses seen backing out of the ferry? Due to the configuration of the ramp, it is required in Portland.
MS Regatta - August 20th
|Posted by Gus Karlsen||on Aug 15, 2016||
2016 MS Regatta will be held on Saturday, August 20th!
The MS Regatta is at the heart of MS Harborfest. Now in its 35th year, the MS Regatta will draw well over one hundred sailboats to Portland Harbor and is the longest running and largest charitable sailing event in Northern New England.
Portland Rotarians have been supporting this event over the past and even won the 'Non-Profit Sponsor' trophy several years. We hope you will want to join us with your support of $50 or more so we can sponsor a boat (or two) in the race. Let’s bring the trophy back to us! Please send your check ASAP directly to Gus Karlsen at 640 Seashore Avenue, Peaks Island, ME 04108 or bring it (or cash) to him at Rotary on Friday, August 19th.
The local Multiple Sclerosis Society will receive the benefits from your donation. For more information, please contact Gus at: 239-1568 or email@example.com
08/05/16 A Perfect Day at the Hadlock Field
|Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Aug 08, 2016||
Rotarians welcomed back from last year our speaker Mike McCarthy, jersey #30, a right-handed pitcher, joined by Danny Bethea, jersey #13, catcher. Both players are native Californians.
Mike McCarthy, pitcher, jersey number 30
Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 14th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State-Bakersfield. He loves being in Portland, enjoys the beauty of the area and the ability to jog and hike the local mountains, although the local climbs are not as challenging as the ones in California, where he grew up. He has been in Portland for four years. Although he is a pitcher, he plays other positions, wherever needed to help the team. In college, he was a pre-med/pre-nursing student. He worked hard in the classroom and on the baseball field. In his public speaking, he emphasizes how the skill set cultivated while working in the community or studying in college are the same ones he relies upon for playing baseball. He believes a good work ethic is essential, regardless of where in life you happen to be working, studying or playing baseball. Moreover, he admires the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self." He's self described as a "baseball grinder," meaning he works hard through long playing seasons throughout his baseball career. His academic studies transitioned from pre-med/pre-nursing to a Masters in Business Administration (MBA)
Danny Bethea, catcher, jersey number 13
Selected by the Red Sox in the 34th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, Danny credits his father with his decision to play baseball, because his dad played in college. Growing up in San Diego, he played in both high school, junior college and also at St. John's University, New York City. On the St. John's baseball website, Danny said his father is the person he most admires and the Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer is his favorite athlete. Danny's father, Pete Bethea, played baseball at Grand Canyon University, Phoenix AZ.
Mike and Danny spoke about how they focus on playing the game when there are often many distractions from field noise and public announcements. They explained how they learn to "flip the switch" from being aware of what's going on around them to the time when they must focus their minds on the game. They learn by hard work about when to "flip the switch." They both think baseball with women on the team is a good idea and this is already happening in Australia. As for technology replacing the home plate umpire at the plate, they disagree with this idea because, in their opinions, one of the interesting challenges in baseball is to overcome human error. "It's part of the game," they agreed. They explained the differences between types of pitches, like the curve ball, the "drop curve" and the knuckle ball.
Following their speaking presentations, the two men stayed to pose for photographs and to sign baseballs for the younger Rotarian guests.
(Photo: Back row: Mike McCarthy and Danny Bethea; Front row: Henry Parker (son of Travis Parker) and Liam Banwell (son of Elizabeth Banwell)
Information about the Sea Dogs team and their roster can be found at: seadogs.com
08/05/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Aug 08, 2016||
Our annual Hadlock Field meeting was held on a perfectly beautiful August day at the ballpark, hosted by Past President Bill Blount, who welcomed 43 members and 7 guests. A delicious cookout lunch was served in the stadium's picnic area with the famous SeaDog ice cream biscuit for dessert.
At opening invocation, Juliana L'Heureux read Lou Gherig's famous "Luckiest Man" speech, in a tribute to the occasion of our Club's visit at Hadlock Field, with this year's two team guests Mike McCarthy and Dan Bethea.
It was on July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, when the longtime Yankee first baseman uttered the famous words at a home plate ceremony at Yankee Stadium: “Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Gehrig died on June 2, 1941, at 37 years old.
Of course, we sang our National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner," and our traditional "Take Me Out To the Ballgame," led by PP Bill Blount and Alan Nye.
A "Rotary Moment" was presented by Russell Voss. He told a personal story about how a person who helped him when he needed roadside assistance with his motorcycle reminded him about how Rotary supports others, even when we might not realize our impact. Rotary motivates him to reach out to others through all of our community activities and club friendships. "We do so many things, some of them may not seem important, but somebody is being helped and we just don't know how we are positively impacting others," he said.
Jean Murachanian conducted the weekly raffle drawing giving Katie Brown the chance to draw the Queen of Hearts. She drew a Queen, just in the wrong suit, so the jackpot continues to grow.
Gus Karlsen reminded the members about the "MS Regatta" during the MS Harborfest weekend August 19-21, 2016, when Portland Rotary has the opportunity to sponsor racing entries. Donations will be requested beginning August 12th. Contact Gus for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*08/12/16 Don Cormier, VP Ops & Safety Mgmt - Bay Ferries Ltd
|Posted by Dave Putnam||on Aug 07, 2016||
In October 2015, the province of Nova Scotia chose Bay Ferries Limited to operate the summer ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Bay Ferries had previously operated the ferry service between the two ports from 2006 through 2009. Ferry service on THE CAT offers the fastest way to travel between the two cities. The CAT is a 349-foot catamaran which travels about 40 mph and makes the journey to Nova Scotia in 5 and a half hours. The CAT passed in sea trials in late May and began the service in mid-June. Ferry service is expected to run through late September.
Bay Ferries Limited was formed in 1997 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northumberland Ferries Limited. The companies of Northumberland Ferries were founded on the principles of safety, efficiency, quality, community and innovation. Bay Ferries has been involved in the delivery of ferry services in other locations, including Interprovincial Ferry Service in Atlantic Canada, Florida and the Bahamas, Rochester, New York, Toronto, Trinidad and Tobago.
The CAT has the capacity to carry approximately 700 passengers and 280 vehicles. Onboard amenities include a room to view movies, a children’s play area, a café with coffee and tea service, a cafeteria and a lounge the offers a selection of local wines and craft beer choices.
Don Cormier, who is the Vice President of Operations and Safety Management for Bay Ferries Limited, will present to our club. Don joined Northumberland/Bay Ferries Limited in 1997 as the General Manager responsible for the Bay of Fundy ferry operations. He is focused on upholding and improving the company’s tradition of safe and reliable marine transportation services.
Don was educated in New Brunswick, earned a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1982 and obtained his MBA in 1986. He believes in community service and has been involved with Junior Achievement, the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, transportation and tourism organizations, and youth sports. Don lives with his wife Elaine and his children, Genevieve and Sebastien in Stratford, Prince Edward Island.
We look forward to welcoming Don Cormier to Portland Rotary and hearing about the return of The CAT service to our city.
*08/05/16 Take Me Out to the Ball Park - Hadlock Field - Portland Sea Dogs
|Posted by Bill Blount||on Aug 05, 2016||
Our annual visit to Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs, will take place this Friday. Since this ball team came to town 23 years ago, we have had a summer meeting every year at Hadlock. We are always warmly welcomed and have a wonderful outing in the picnic area of the ball park. Our host will be Bill Blount.
The food is ball-park fare, so leave your diets at home for one day.
We are sure to have a couple of the players who will share their experiences of what it's like to work and play for a minor league baseball team.
Bring a friend…prospective member…your children...your parents/grandparents...or extended family…smell the fresh-cut grass...enjoy the sunshine...and some time away from the daily grind.
Directions to meeting site at the ballpark: Go to the main gate and signs or ushers will direct you to the meeting site....the picnic area is down the first base line.
07/29/16 George Smith, Maine Outdoor Life - Then & Now
|Posted by Tom Talbott||on Aug 02, 2016||
(Photo: Rusty Atwood, George Smith, and President Laura Young.)
This week we welcomed George Smith, former Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, author, blogger, and a purveyor of knowledge for all things outdoors in Maine. His 2014 book, “A Life Lived Outdoors” was the setting for his talk, which felt like an afternoon stroll in the woods.
“How many of you have been to Maine?” he asked. “Remember, we don’t consider Portland to be Maine!” he added, to a round of laughs. He then asked, “How many of you hunt?" Turns out only two in the audience, a number that somewhat surprised George, and yet a number that he would circle back to later to make a key point. “How many of you fish?” recorded a much stronger number, much to his satisfaction.
George spoke at some length about the Maine he remembers growing up in, enjoying the woods, fields, and streams, and the simple way of life. He worked at Wilson’s Dollar Store roastin’ peanuts and eatin’ the profits. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him. Sunday church, afternoon drives, and a picnic. Wilderness was just a short walk from his home. He spent most of his time at the brook, catching 6-7 inch trout. Fine living for a young boy.
What’s become of it? The brook now runs through a busy development. The fields that were used to train English setters for pheasant hunting now host a neighborhood of houses. He hasn’t seen a kid on a bike with a fishing pole for years. You can’t go back.
There have been many changes in the “outdoor life” of Maine, and we’re not just talking about urban sprawl. George elaborated, noting that we have lost many of the hunters and anglers who used to populate, as well as visit our state. The reasons are interesting.
Ticks with Lyme disease, the scourge of the woods, have cut into the moose population, killing young calves as well as adults. Moose hunting permits are down. The question being debated is whether there should be an increase in deer hunting permits, to reduce the influx of deer ticks, carriers of Lyme. Weigh in online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QSXM92J
George was particularly irked at the state’s management of brook trout. Invasive species like pike and bass, and other non-native species do not coexist readily with trout. Maine is not on the map for many anglers who travel.
That brought up the subject of Maine Sporting Camps. It was a bustling industry in our state’s history, hosting hunters and fisherman for typically a week at a time. Now the camps that remain primarily service those interested in coming in for a long weekend, content to just hike, bird watch, snow shoe, or X-country ski. He also noted that today’s “outdoorsman” wants services like cell phones to keep in touch, even while in the woods. Alas, noted George, they’re not getting in touch with nature.
George thought it was a sobering fact that the large state newspapers no longer dedicate any column space to Maine ‘s outdoors. His blog is in the category of “Sports Blog” right there with football and baseball. “We love our coast,” says George. “We love our restaurants. But spend time in-land. Experience the really good life. I’ve lived as a Mainer, and I’ll die as a Mainer, with a smile on my face, knowing how blessed I’ve been.”
On the topic of access to the woods, a question pertained to the increase in posted land, off limits to hunters without permission. George said that hunters and fisherman need to treat the landowner right, with respect. Many problems over the years are the hunter’s fault, for not taking the time to reach out to land owners and are guilty of trespassing.
Asked for his opinion on a Maine Woods National Park, he thinks it is the right thing to do. It's not the whole solution to reviving the Maine outdoorsman’s economy, but it will help. He believes that Senators Collins and King will come on board to support the initiative.
George commended our club for our “Maine Outdoor Challenge” event, and vowed to participate next year. He joked that he better start practicing. Moving quickly, Kris Rosado picked him up as a free agent for his team, with a signing bonus – no charge to participate. Looks like Kris has a ringer, and we’ve got a great new advocate for our program!
Read more about George and his enthusiasm for the great Maine outdoors on his blog, http://www.georgesmithmaine.com/
To read his entire presentation to our Club, go to: http://georgesoutdoornews.bangordailynews.com/2016/08/01/hunting/maines-outdoor-fun-has-changed-a-lot-in-my-lifetime/
07/29/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Dick Hall||on Aug 02, 2016||
Our Rotary meeting was convened welcoming 47 members, 3 guests and 3 visiting Rotarians.
Tom Nickerson’s invocation quoted Henry David Thoreau's “Everything in it's season” and “…born to the greatest place in the very nick of time…” Ellen Niewoehner led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Russ Burleigh played the keyboard for the patriotic song. President Laura thanked all those who worked on the meeting today.
It was a very pleasant surprise to have former member, Fred Van Brunt, back for a visit. He claims to have been gone for 16 years, as he left Portland to work in Boston for 7 years, and then has been retired for 9 years. This can’t be right!
Don Lowry was sporting a sling after recent shoulder surgery. Don also thanked the Club for the cards and well wishes. A "get well" card was out for Megan Devlin, who broke her arm in a biking accident. We wish you a full recovery, Megan!
Thanks came from Eric Grevin, through Laura, for the outstanding volunteer turnout for Preble Street Soup Kitchen on July 27th. The Club really came through.
Laura read a "Thank You" note from Full Plates-Full Potential for the Club's $250,000 gift. After much audience astonishment, Laura corrected the number to $250. Whew!
Rob Chatfield gave us a 'Rotary Minute.' Why join? - To meet people. Why stay?- Rob stays for the people. He can't turn people down. (Really - He kept it to less than 3 minutes - Amazing for Rob!
Richard Burbank led us in singing 'Home on the Range,' an old favorite.
Charlie Frair led the raffle, where visiting Rotarian Kirk Duffy pulled the 10 of diamonds - No winner.
PP Kris Rosado was looking for 12-14 volunteers for the Boy & Girls Club "Steak and Burger" dinner on Thursday. Aug 18, 5:30-6:30 pm. More than that volunteered, so Kris will advise the team on who will participate.
Bob Flynn, of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club told us they will still not allow the Portland Headlight to be moved to Portland. Bob announced a 5K Run/Walk on August 21, to benefit Girls-on-the-Run. The is the 4th year. Bob would love to have some volunteers from our club. For more information, go to: www.sp-ce-rotary.org
Linda Varrell will be assuming the chair position of the External Public Relations Committee to lighten Loretta Rowe's load a bit.
Rusty Atwood, Program Chair, advised that the first quarter program schedule has been filled and thanked all the committee members and sub-chairs for the hard work for bringing us some fine speakers.
*07/29/16 George Smith - Maine Outdoor Life: Then and Now
|Posted by Rusty Atwood||on Jul 29, 2016||
George A. Smith of Mount Vernon has done a lot of things in his life, from writing comprehensive plans for rural Maine towns to managing statewide referendum campaigns. He served as executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) for 18 years, growing the membership from 4,000 to 14,000 and making it one of the state’s most influential organizations.
George left SAM at the end of 2010 to write full-time. He writes an outdoor news blog posted on his website and the website of the Bangor Daily News, cited by the Maine Press Association in 2014 as the state’s best sports blog. He has written a weekly editorial column published in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel for 25 years, columns for The Maine Sportsman magazine since 1977, and special columns for the newsletters of various Maine organizations and magazines.
In 2014 Islandport Press in Yarmouth published A Life Lived Outdoors, a book of George’s favorite columns about home, camp, family, faith, travel, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. In May of this year, Down East Books published a book that George wrote about Maine Sporting Camps. You can access much of George’s writing on his website: georgesmithmaine.com.
George and his wife Linda, a recently retired first grade teacher, have written a weekly travel column for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel for 5 years, focused on Maine inns, restaurants, events and activities. Sometime soon, Islandport Press will publish George and Linda’s Maine travel book featuring their favorite inns and restaurants.
For 13 years, George hosted, with his friend Harry Vanderweide, a unique television talk show called "Wildfire," focused on hunting, fishing, conservation and environmental issues. "Wildfire" returned to the air this year, co-hosted by James Cote and George.
Smith was part of the management team that successfully defended Maine’s moose hunt in a 1983 referendum, and managed a successful campaign in 1992 that placed the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in the Maine Constitution and protected its revenues. He also led a successful campaign in 2004 to defeat an animal rights referendum that sought to end Maine’s bear hunt. He also worked on many political campaigns and served on the staff of Congressman David Emery for 8 years.
Among his many ideas, Smith conceived the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, funded by an instant lottery game that has provided over $18 million for wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation programs in Maine.
George served 5 years on the Winthrop Town Council, three terms as Mount Vernon Selectman, one term as Kennebec County Commissioner, seven years on the Mount Vernon Planning Board, and 36 years as a Trustee of the Dr. Shaw Memorial Library.
He is a Winthrop, Maine native, a graduate of the University of Maine, and has lived in Mount Vernon for 37 years. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and three grandchildren.
07/22/16 PORTopera - Caroline Koelker and Maestro Stephen Lord
|Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Jul 26, 2016||
(Photo: Caroline Koelker and Maestro Stephen Lord representing PORTopera and President Laura Young)
Russ Burleigh, who was there at the genesis of PORTopera, introduced our guests today: PORT’s managing director Caroline Koelker, who was joined by Maestro Stephen Lord, the company’s conductor, to discuss our own grand opera company’s activities in greater Portland this summer. PORTopera has just completed three performances of Carlo Menotti’s 'The Medium,' and will be mounting this year’s mainstage performance, of Bizet’s 'Carmen,' at Merrill Auditorium later this week.
Mr. Lord talked about why opera matters and how it’s done. He recounted the story of his family’s first stereo from 1958. He told us how Enrico Caruso’s scratchy voice “grabbed him viscerally,” and how he’s been grabbed ever since. Today’s Grammy winners, he suggested, have failed to match the “physicality” of opera, which he described as “a metaphor for the world; one where disbelief is suspended.” He challenged us, as parents and grandparents, to play “good music” for our children.
He spoke of the thrill of conducting, being “inside the stereo speaker,” a place that allows you to connect with the inspiration of the composer. He noted that it’s the only place where “a guy can dance and sweat with the oldies and still be moved to tears.” He spoke of the role of solitude in his work, and of the rigors of life on the road.
He commented on the artistic challenges particular to his art form. When they are doing live unamplified music, he noted, performers need to be extraordinary. He pointed out that “97% of opera singers are unemployed on any given day” and that in many cases a director is choosing just 30 out of 1500 applicants for a role, so it is a difficult job involving lots of travel, long hours and unpredictable compensation. Most opera singers now have to go to Europe to find steady work, he said.
He pointed out that opera brings management challenges equal to its artistic ones. Ticket sales barely provide a third of the cost of an opera production – the rest comes through contributions, grants, etc. He also noted the rare nature of the Merrill Auditorium as a top notch acoustical experience. That it is owned by the city is even more unusual, and he commended Portland for investing in it.
We’re grateful that PORTopera has such capable artistic and managerial direction, and that the company is willing to assume these risks, as it has each summer for the past two decades. Their production of “Carmen” still has some tickets available, and will be occurring on Wednesday and Friday. Tickets start at around $40. For more information/tickets, go to: www.portopera.org/
07/22/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Ben Lowry||on Jul 25, 2016||
Last Friday, July 22nd, 54 Portland Rotarians, 1 guest and 2 visiting Rotarians celebrated summer in Maine by attending a Portland Rotary Meeting at The Holiday Inn By-the-Bay.
Bruce Jones, as a last-minute replacement, filled in admirably with a meaningful invocation. Alex St. Hilaire led the pledge of allegiance, and Russ Burleigh tickled the ivories for our spirited rendition of “God Bless America.”
Leisa Collins ran the raffle and Chris Thomas’ name was called. Alas, the Queen of Hearts remained elusive, so the pot, at $510 last week, will continue to grow.
The Club offered its version of “Rotary My Rotary” for our weekly song. We may need some lessons from Kathy Grammer, if we are going to continue with our lyrical efforts.
First Vice-President Don Zillman took the podium to give his unique view of the political parties as the nominating conventions take place. Don wondered aloud whether the Republicans and Democrats could adhere to our “Four-Way Test,” with the obvious answer that they most likely could not. As the summer heats up and the eyes of the nation turn to Trump and Clinton, we should be proud to live our business and personal lives each day with these questions in mind:
1) Is it the truth?
2) Is it fair to all concerned?
3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Speaking of the conventions, our own Eric Lusk was a delegate from Maine at the recently completed Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Mike Fortunato is spearheading our club’s efforts at Longcreek Youth Development Center, where we will have about eight Portland Rotarians volunteering on Tuesday for a summer party featuring banana splits, outdoor games and mentoring.
Both Don Lowry and Bill Blount are recovering from major surgeries....Don with a shoulder and Bill with both knees. Our Club’s heartfelt best wishes go out to both of these fellows. While Don was not able to make our meeting, Bill was sporting a very fashionable post-surgery beard at our Friday meeting.
President Laura, in thanking 1st quarter Program Chair Dave Putnam, as well as overall Program Chair Rusty Atwood, said, “the key to happiness is gratitude.” Thanks for all of your efforts!
Amy Chipman took the podium and asked Gus Karlsen to join her for his EIGHTH Paul Harris Fellow! Thanks for your support, Gus!
PP Kris Rosado will be hosting a de-briefing session for our recently completed 'Maine Outdoor Challenge' in the comfort of a luxury suite at Hadlock Field on Wednesday. The event, our major fundraiser for the year, continues to grow by leaps and bounds with the help of so many wonderful Rotary volunteers. We look forward to an even bigger and more successful event next spring. Thanks, Kris, for leading us!
07/15/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Bob Martin||on Jul 18, 2016||
Russ Burleigh delivered our invocation and Past President Bowen led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. President Laura welcomed 46 club members, along with Michael Greer, guest of Don Zillman, and potential new member; Megan Suay, guest of Nan Heald. Tom Broadway and Kirk Duffy returned as visiting Rotarians.
President Laura shared the names of those who worked behind the scenes to take care of all the logistics of the meeting. She also called everyone’s attention to the photographs on the club Facebook page showing the volunteers who participated in the North Deering Gardens Reading Project. Don Lowry, Katie Brown, Dave Small, Jan Chapman, Bowen Depke, Glenn Nerbak, Laura Young share their time to read to young people eager to learn. Laura shared the story of a young Muslim girl who was thrilled to see girls dressed like her in one of the books Laura read.
Janet Butland tried to give $488 away in our weekly raffle to Alan Levenson, but he couldn't find the Queen of Hearts, so the pot grows bigger.
George Carr shared a "Rotary Moment," and noted that since he is responsible this year for this part of the program, it was only fitting he should be the first to speak. He said volunteers were welcome. George built on the theme President Laura advanced last week, “Why Rotary?” George said that for him Rotary was a flexible moment in his week; a time to meet members, help people, and an opportunity to learn. He said he loved the diversity of speakers and topics as a way to learn more. “Rotary is a special way to meet people,” he said.
President Laura passed on a request from the Fundraising Committee for members bring to the Friday meetings event tickets to which they will be unable to attend, so they may be auctioned off as an ad hoc fundraiser for the club. There being no difficulty in finding suitably-qualified auctioneers.
*07/22/16 PORTopera - Caroline Musica Koelker & Stephen Lord
|Posted by Russ Burleigh||on Jul 18, 2016||
Caroline Koelker became Managing Director for 'PORTopera' last fall. In this role she is responsible for implementing all aspects of the opera company’s productions, outreach, and fundraising.
Koelker most recently served as event coordinator and development manager for Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA, where she earned her Master of Music in Opera Performance. A native of Maine, she earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Maine in Orono. Koelker is a resident of Westbrook and is a member of The Choral Art Society and Vox Nova.
Board President Ann Elderkin cited Koelker’s in-depth knowledge of opera and fundraising experience as part of the reason for appointing her. “This position requires a great deal of organization, planning, communication and of course, a love of opera. Caroline has all of this, plus energy and enthusiasm.”
Stephen Lord has been chosen by Opera News as one of the "25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera" and is continually praised for conducting both traditional and contemporary operatic works. For his debut with San Francisco Opera, conducting Rigoletto, one critic observed, "He partnered his singers perfectly and gave everything its proper weight - he was master of the score's details and the orchestra played superbly for him."
He made his debut with PORTopera conducting Lucia di Lammermoor in 2003, then returned in 2005 for Carmen, 2011 for Daughter of the Regiment, 2014 for Rigoletto and 2015 for Tosca. He will conduct Carmen this upcoming July 27 and 29.
He is currently music director for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and formerly was music director of Boston Lyric Opera. He was recently named artistic director of opera studies at New England Conservatory, overseeing all aspects of the opera training program and conducting one main stage production a year.
In 2015-16 he was re-engaged by English National Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and a concert for Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. His 2013-14 engagements included the Seoul Arts Center (South Korea), the Canadian Opera Company, a gala concert with the San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Santa Fe Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Juilliard School opera program.
Stephen Lord made his New York City Opera debut in 2004. Other career highlights included appearances at Wolf Trap Opera in Vienna, Virginia, the Canadian Opera, Opera Colorado, Michigan Opera Theatre, Florentine Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Pacific, Cleveland Opera and Arizona Opera. He has also been a guest with the Boston Pops.
07/15/16 Tessy Seward, Maine Inside Out
|Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Jul 18, 2016||
On Friday, Tessy Seward provided us with a window into her work with incarcerated young people at Long Creek Youth Center. Her organization, Maine Inside Out, is a nine-year-old group that brings theatre and reflective performance to Youth Center residents. The group has expertise in the areas of theater and arts, as well as, in counseling and social work, an important combination of skills for working with this population.
The group’s goal is to break boundaries – both physical and psychological– using theater. According to Seward, “Incarceration isolates people and silences their voices” and theater helps to increase connection and collaboration. The program is based on collaborative working though game playing, improvisation, writing, poetry, and music. It builds trust and relationship skills as the kids come together to perform for their peers and, sometimes, the public. The approach is based on the “Theatre of the Oppressed” model conceived by Brazilian director Augusto Boal in the 1960’s, and their work at Long Creek has now been seen by more than 4000 people since the program started.
An important element of the program is that after they are released, former Long Creek residents can continue to work together under the auspices of Maine Inside Out, finding continuity and support as they navigate the challenges of life outside. The process of being reintegrated after incarceration is a significant challenge for every Long Creek kid. “You are better equipped to handle the difficulty of this transition if you have a group of adults and peers you can trust” said Seward. “The weekly sessions for these young people are a refuge.” These sessions include some creative work as well as discussion, a meal, and more.
Funding comes from a school contract with the Long Creek, a “bunch of foundation grants,” and from individual donors. Audiences often include judges, probation officers, parents and the public. The key to success, says Tessy, is including an element of non-judgmental “loving presence” where “people’s gifts are noticed and reflected.”
Portland High Interact Club Project
|Posted||on Jul 15, 2016||
Our Portland High School Interact club is holding a PHS Senior Class Car Wash this Sunday 10 am-2 pm at the Paint Pot, 1236 Congress Street in Portland.
Come support them and get your vehicle washed!
07/08/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on Jul 12, 2016||
President Laura Young asked Russ Burleigh to give the invocation. Russ presented a poem about tracking and spending life with the number of heartbeats rather than money, since money cannot buy heartbeats, and spending heartbeats may be a more applicable measurement of a relationship.
Richard Burbank played and lead us in 'America the Beautiful' as a fitting song for the Fourth of July week.
Don Zillman (back in Portland) led us in the 'Pledge of Allegiance.'
Several visiting Rotarians were at the meeting including Lila Day from Washington and Tom Broadway from Florida.
Our meeting was visited by several people, including President Laura’s daughters: Katie and Megan.
President Laura also thanked those responsible for the meeting, including the Meeting Day Committee, Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Windjammer reporters.
Birthdays in July are being celebrated by a minimum of the following Rotarians: Mark Millar, Al Levenson, Tom Nickerson, Jack Carr, Jennifer Frederick, Steve Stromsky, Julie L'Heureux, John Marr, Elizabeth Banwell, Peter Noyes, Mike Reed, David Lee, and John Curran. Happy Birthday To All!
Rob Chatfield led the raffle draw for a shot at the pot of $441. President Laura’s daughter, Katie, picked Peggy (Queeny) for a try at finding the Queen of Hearts. Peggy picked the 10 of spades, so unfortunately we will have to wait at least another week.
Starting Strong – Janelle LoSciuto indicated that there are volunteering opportunities with the 'Starting Strong Group' which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:15-12:15. A Portland Rotary fund raiser is helping to feed the kids and provide books and reading.
President Laura read some 'Thank You' notes that have been sent to Rotary including:
Katie Brown for the Locker Project. Katie, on behalf of the Locker Project, provided sincere thanks for choosing them for the proceeds from the inaugural BBQ crawl.
A teacher from the Lyseth School thanked us for donating time and energy for helping the school classroom with fluency and decoding unknown words, and with childhood hunger efforts.
Glenn Nerbak thanked Rotary on behalf of Portland Public schools, whereby the Youth Services Committee selected them for funding some extracurricular and after school activities.
Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). 10 sophomores were selected and attended the event, as well as the closing ceremony. The kids chanted and cheered, had bonfires, and presented skits. Afterwards you could tell they were very thankful for the opportunity to attend. Over 100 sophomores from the District were there and some who attended said it was life changing.
Travis Parker was voted in as the new Sergeant-at-Arms. We appreciate you volunteering, Travis.
Returning Past President of Portland Rotary, Tom Saturley, is the newest club member, with Peter Goffin as his sponsor. Peter thought back to his first meeting……it was upstairs in the HIBTB ball room. He remembered sitting left of podium; Scott Carlisle was President; and Tom Saturley ran the raffle that day. Tom has a long resume as an Auctioneer throughout the country, works at his company 'Tranzon Auction Properties,' was a club past president, a Paul Harris Fellow, former chair of Opportunity Alliance, and chair of the National Society of Auctioneers. Tom is married to Ellie Baker and has two daughters and grand kids.
According to Past President Bowen Depke, we had twenty-three (23) new members last year and tied our number with the Portsmouth Club. Congratulations! The tie breaker was won by the Portland Rotary Club for having the most potential Rotarians on the docket. Let’s shoot to increase this amount over the coming year.
A moment of silence was held in commemoration of the policemen killed in Dallas, TX and in Baton Rouge, LA. this past week.
|Posted by Loretta Rowe||on Jul 12, 2016||
With sadness, I report the passing of Stella Patten, wife of former member Bob Patten, on Monday morning. Her health deteriorated over the last months and especially the last few weeks. Details will be forwarded as soon as they become available.
07/08/16 President Laura Young, Inaugural Address
|Posted by Bob Martin||on Jul 12, 2016||
Laura Young, Portland Rotary’s 103rd President, took to the rostrum Friday in her inaugural address to talk about the value of Rotary and the reasons she embraced the challenge of being President. “It’s all about the WHY,” she said. “Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why should we care? What drives you and inspires you.” Echoing the words of Simon Sinek, in his TEDx talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” (https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en)) she said those who start with the “why,” have the ability to inspire others. “Rotary is a nice thread in my life,” she said.
Laura shared the learnings of several authors who have focused on the value of social organizations beginning with reminding us of the observations of Alexis deTocqueville, a French historian and political philosopher, who visited America in the 1830’s, and commented on the abundance of civic organizations who were contributing to the vibrancy of America, and the unique nature of our charitable giving, in his book Democracy in America. In his book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Robert Putnam wrote that social bonds are the most powerful predictor of life satisfaction. Putnam coined the term “social capital” and used it to describe the signs of connectedness in our communities—voting rates, signing petitions, belonging to organizations that meet, knowing our neighbors, family dinners, and giving to charity. “Putnam observed,” Laura said, “a well-connected individual in a poorly connected community is not as productive as a well-connected individual in a well-connected community.” She also shared that Putnam wrote that joining one group cuts the odds of dying in the next year by a half; two groups by another quarter. And, in a prescient comment, Putnam wrote that the task of sparking greater intergenerational engagement “would be eased by a palpable national crisis.” A year after he wrote that came the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.
Laura also shared the observations of Sebastian Junger, in his book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, where he writes on the social divisions in our society, and how groups, tribes, respond differently to problems. He observed that catastrophic events in communities strengthen the social bonds as well and thrust people into a more ancient, organic way of relating with each other. Junger cited a study that found post-9/11, rates of violent crime, suicide, and psychiatric disturbances dropped immediately. “The earliest and most basic definition of community—of tribe—would be the group of people that you would both help feed and help defend,” he wrote. “A society that doesn’t offer its members the chance to act selflessly in these ways isn’t a society in any tribal sense of the word.” Laura then pointed to observations of Yuval Levin, in his book, The Fractured Republic – Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism, in which he wrote that both the left and the right are nostalgic for the past, and assume that if everything goes their way, they could have what they value, but not what they deplore. In reality, the complexities of life bring the good with the bad. The rise of individualism, Levin writes, combined with over centralization creates a perilous mix for society that is eased with our institutions and relationships. “This means,” said Laura, “creating concentric circles starting with loving family, interpersonal relationships in neighborhoods, schools, work places, civic associations, and broader social, political, and professional affiliations. Our national identity is protected by government.”
Pulling all of these observations together, Laura said that Portland Rotary is very important. “We don’t want or need a calamity to bring us together for common good. The ties that bind us are important. Welcoming. Sit next to a different person each week.” Finally, she said that service work is what gives us our why.
Laura commented that she was feeling like it was Christmas, as excited as she was about the coming year. She said that her worries included not being able to maintain 100 percent attendance during her year, as did Past President Bowen, but she welcomed the challenge. She shared the observations of Past President Bill Blount, who wrote her: “you are about to embark on a fast paced and very rewarding year as Rotary President. You will be amazed at the love reflected back at you as you preside at the podium.”
“I’m not feeling the love yet,” she joked. “But I know I will.”
*07/15/16 Tessy Seward - Maine Inside Out
|Posted by Mike Fortunato||on Jul 11, 2016||
Tessy Seward is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Maine Inside Out. She grew up in Downeast Maine, with a childhood love for theater, and now has been creating and teaching theater as a force for social change for almost 20 years. Her work includes therapeutic theater workshops for resettled teens in Baton Rouge after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Portland-based projects at Learning Works, the Preble Street Teen Center and Portland High School, and Maine Inside Out workshops at Maine Department of Corrections’ Women’s Reentry Center and Long Creek Youth Development Center. Tessy studied with Theater of the Oppressed founder Augusto Boal at the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory in New York City. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling from the University of Southern Maine, with training in group facilitation, expressive arts therapy, multi-cultural counseling, non-violent communication, and crisis intervention, and a B.A. in English from Williams College.
*07/08/16 Rotary Year 2016-17, President Laura Young
|Posted||on Jul 08, 2016||
Laura Young, the 103rd president of the Portland Rotary Club, will give her inaugural speech this Friday titled, “Why Rotary.”
Laura was born in San Diego, California to “the two greatest parents ever.” Her dad was in the Navy at the time and, today, her mom is notably an avid reader of our Windjammer newsletter. Laura’s childhood was spent in Norfolk, Virginia and she appreciated the experience of being bussed into inner city schools during the integration efforts of the 70s and 80s. Her family moved to Laconia, New Hampshire for her senior year of high school and she attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
Laura caught the political bug during a junior year semester at American University in Washington, D.C. after hearing Senator Joe Biden speak. She worked on his presidential campaign in New Hampshire during the summer and decided to return to the nation’s capital upon graduating.
In 1989, she landed her first “dream job” working in Senator George Mitchell’s Majority Leader’s office in the Capitol Building. From there she moved to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raising funds to elect Democratic Senators which allowed her to attend the Convention and three Super Bowl games. In 1995 she moved back to New England and landed her third “dream job” as a fundraising consultant to nonprofit organizations throughout New England, raised two wonderful daughters Katie and Megan, and joined the Maine Community Foundation as vice president of philanthropy in 2005.
In 2007, Alan Cartwright recruited Laura to speak to the Portland Rotary Club and she has been an active member ever since, serving as a board member, chair of the Windjammer, chair of Member Orientation and chair of Youth Services. Laura has also served as a Trustee of her alma mater Bates College, board member of the Center for Grieving Children, currently on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Portland and enjoys her Monday Rotary tennis league.
Laura is honored to be the president of the Portland Rotary Club and is looking forward to another great year!
06/24/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Tom Talbott||on Jun 29, 2016||
All hail, President Bowen called to order the last meeting of his 2015-2016 term, in our Club’s fabulous Centennial Year!
It was a beautiful summer day to toast the wonderful year it was, while at the same time remembering one of our esteemed and cherished members, Herb Carmichael, who passed away this week. Herb joined Portland Rotary in 1975, and was our club President 1985-1986. He will be missed. (Photo: Herb Carmichael, not so long ago.) His obituary in the Press Herald can be read here: http://bit.ly/292RVVH
One visiting Rotarian and three non-Rotarian guests joined the 57 club members in attendance, joined in chorus as Russ Burleigh led us on the keyboard. With Bowen waiting to make his parting remarks, our meeting moved from lunch to business in expedited fashion.
First up, Howie Herodes gave us a 'History Moment,' circa 1991-1992, the year when Tom Saturley was at the helm of the Club. Highlights of that era included the aforementioned Herb Carmichael’s 14 years of perfect attendance, numerous invocations by Ed Nelson, Harry Sawyer introducing new member Russ Burleigh, John Houghton’s leadership in Salvation Army bell-ringing, all under the watchful eye of our very own Bob Patten as District Governor. On the world stage, G.W. Bush was President of the U.S., Gandhi was assassinated, 'Hurricane Bob' wreaked havoc in New England, and gas cost $1.12 per gallon. In addition to the interesting trivia, Howie urged us to find time to go through the club archives and relive some of the moments you may have forgotten. On cue, Jim Willey announced that we have had our club meeting minutes digitized. He echoed Howie’s sentiments on the nostalgic appeal, claiming they are “a hoot.” They still need to be categorized and catalogued, and will ultimately be available on DVD. Even better, Loretta Rowe has been given the challenge of posting the archives online for future reference – stay tuned.
We wish a speedy recovery to Kathy Grammer, who fell off her bike, broke her wrist, and needed surgery.
On other medical fronts, Bionic Bill Blount has one, soon to be two, titanium knees. Keep an eye on him, he may be getting his own TV series.
Money, money, money! Or not. With Loretta employing advanced shuffling techniques, Julie L’Heureux's odds of drawing a winning raffle card were slim....she produced a non-bankable five of diamonds. The pot thickens. On July 8th, you could win….$441.
Time for a toast! Noting that it had not been done at the Gala, President Bowen had a bottle of champagne on each table. With glasses filled, Bob Traill recounted the story of a conversation with the late Naj Lotfey at our Club’s 75th Gala, as they looked forward to the day when our Club would celebrate the next big date, 100 years. At the time, it was said, in Italian, “For 100 Years.” Now, here today, we raised our glasses as Bob updated the phrase to “For Another 100 years” - “Un altri cento anni!”
With that, President Bowen stepped to the mic for his last time as Club President, and recounted the incredible year that it was. His remarks are detailed in the Program review article above, but spoiler alert… it was truly a fantastic year on every level! Under his leadership, combined with stellar committee work and all-around club participation, the Centennial Year for the Rotary Club of Portland was a phenomenal success!
06/24/16 2015-16 Year in Review, Bowen Depke
|Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on Jun 29, 2016||
At the end of June in every Rotary year, the passing of the club's leadership gavel is always a time of reflection on the past 12 months. During Bowen Depke's Rotary presidential year, the retrospective has been even more impressive. His leadership was a tribute to the past 100 years!
"The successful Centennial year we had would not have been possible without the help of our club leadership," said Bowen. He thanked everyone who supported the Rotary club's growth and program success during the past year.
Here is President Bowen's farewell message, that he posted on our club social media page, reprinted with his permission:
"Our Portland Rotary Centennial year is coming to an end, with our final meeting today at noon. It has been my honor to be the President of the 177th club in Rotary International this 100th year. We have accomplished much. In 100 years, Portland Rotary has raised over $2.2 million (over $109k this year) in the support of hundreds of charities and people in need. This year we have volunteered 1,000's of hours for numerous charity services, events, and fundraisers, here and in the Dominican Republic. In addition, we have had wonderful special activities, such as our Jewell Island excursion, the Gala, Veteran's Breakfast (many have said this was one of the best Rotary programs in recent memory!) and our new BBQ & Beer Crawl. We completed another visioning exercise. We are turning one of our funds into an endowment, and starting a $1million capital campaign. Moreover, we scanned meeting minutes for 100 years for future generations. We have had our history minutes presented at each meeting, recounting tales of our forbearers. We have updated our Presidential pictures and took a full membership picture to recognize our Centennial. On the marketing side, our club improved public relations through traditional media and used new social media. Meetings were interesting because of great speakers, wonderful events, and an engaged membership who helped bring 25 new Rotarians to our membership! These are but some of your accomplishments this year. Well done Portland Rotary on 100 years of Service Above Self. Signing off...Bowen".
Rounding out his final meeting of the year, Bowen played a video tribute to the Club's Centennial. In the video, interviews from club members described the pride of being a Rotarian.
Past President Cy Hagge presented Bowen with an official Portland Rotary Club paddle.
(Should he find himself up the proverbial creek, he will have his paddle.)
Incoming President Laura Young ended the meeting by presenting a thank you gift of a plant to Bowen, given on behalf of the membership, so he can remember his leadership year while nurturing its growth.
She then pinned Bowen with his Past President's pin and Bowen transferred his President's pin to Laura, who will conduct her first official meeting on July 8, 2016.
on a successful 2015-16!
*06/24/16 Bowen Depke, President Portland Rotary - Year in Review
|Posted by Bowen Depke||on Jun 24, 2016||
This Friday, President Bowen will wrap up our remarkable 100 years. Well, he will go over the last year in which we celebrated Portland Rotary’s Centennial year! There will be a multi-media presentation, a theatrical trailer, clowns, balloons and gifts. Ok, some of that last statement won’t pass 'The Four Way Test.' Be sure to attend and join in our FINAL centennial celebration.
06/17/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Alan Nye||on Jun 21, 2016||
President Bowen welcomed 72 members and guests to the meeting and David Small gave a thought-provoking invocation about the recent tragedy in Orlando and noted with sadness that President Obama had to make remarks about mass shootings for the 16th time during his presidency.
Laura Young then had us pledge to the flag and we sang a patriotic song. President Bowen introduced 2 visiting Rotarians and 7 guests, making a special note of the 10 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) students that we are sending to Camp Hinds – 5 of which were at our meeting.
(Photo: RYLA Leader, Bill Ross and 5 of the 10 youths our Club is sponsoring in the RYLA program.)
Alex St. Hilaire gave us our 'Rotary Moment in History' focusing on the year 1984. At that time Ronald Reagan was just ending his first term as President and getting ready for his second term. The U.S. marines sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force left Beirut that year. In addition, lots of interesting things were happening in the field of science, as this was the time the first space shuttle mission landed at the Kennedy Space Center. The domain name system was widely adopted during this year and is still in everyday use today. In our own club, Naj Lotfey was President of Portland Rotary and Alex told us about several interesting speakers, including one who predicted that the 21st century would require only a 20-25 hour average work week. No such luck!
President Bowen then read a couple of nice letters, one from former member Ray Farrell who moved to Ireland and started a Rotary club there. He passed on his congratulations for our 100th anniversary celebration. He also read a thank you letter from the Friends at Long Creak Youth Center thanking us for our gift of $5000 that they will use to provide furnishings to parting residents starting over from their transition center. President Bowen also read aloud (for those who may have missed it in the Windjammer), the fine article written by Bob Martin about the recent meeting held at City Hall. Great job, Bob!
With Russ Burleigh on the keyboard, Alan Nye led the club in singing “You’re A Grand Old Flag” and many were pleased when the song ended.
The raffle ($370) was conducted by Leonard Scott with Ben Lowry doing the honors – and drawing the 2 of diamonds.
Eric Greven urged us to help out at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen on June 22nd and asked that you contact him directly about volunteering this week: email@example.com
Kris Rosado invited those at the meeting to attend a presentation on Autism led by Dr. Matthew Siegel of Maine Medical Center on July 13th. Dr. Siegel is a leader in the field of Autism and will speak about new research and treatment options. Contact Kris directly for more details and to let him know if you’ll be attending: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Young introduced our newest Portland Rotarian: Elizabeth Banwell, from Banwell Consulting.
Not to be outdone, Jim Willey then introduced our even newer Portland Rotarian: Janet Butland, from People's United Bank.
Welcome Elizabeth and Janet!
President Bowen announced that the Club had won a 'District Governor’s Citation' (suitable for framing) and admitted that he had no idea why. He was proud to announce that we’d also been the only Club in our District to win a 'Gold Presidential Citation' – won no doubt due to all our Club's accomplishments during his Rotary year. He also noted that the 'Service and Memorial Fund' has officially terminated and the 'Portland Rotary Endowment Fund' envisions a lofty endowment of one million dollars for Portland Rotary.
06/17/16 Mark Bessire, Portland Museum of Art
|Posted by Dick Hall||on Jun 20, 2016||
Mark Bessire has been the Director of the Portland Museum of Art since March, 2009. Previously, he was Director of the Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston. He moved to Bates from the Maine College of Art in Portland, where he was the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art. Bessire is a founding board member of the non-profit "Africa Schoolhouse," which is dedicated to building schools in rural Africa. http://www.africaschoolhouse.org/index.html
Mark told us about his friend Josh who died 25 years ago. He left an endowment for his friends to go out to dinner annually on the night before Thanksgiving and view the inflating of the Macy day balloons. One year, at that dinner, Mark and his wife invited the attendees to build a school in Tanzania. The group was founded to build the school, that night. In Tanzania, art is mostly associated with healing, so it was decided to include this concept into the planning of schools. There are now 20 full-time employees of "Africa Schoolhouse." Schools include fresh water wells, a critical need in the area. Mark said if nothing but the well survived, the school would be a success for the village. AfricaSchoolhouse moved away from the colonial school model, and created a school that looks like a village. Classrooms and teacher houses were included in the village. The organization built a health clinic nearby, with education in the healing arts. Traditional and modern medicine work side by side. Both respect the contribution of the other. The organization operates on the belief that schools must be self sustaining when complete, as keys are turned over to the community.
Clay Bessire, Mark’s daughter, spoke next about when the Portland high student traveled to Tanzania in April 2016. She watched students, in a lab, using chemicals. (Later when she shared these photos of her immigrant classmates at Portland High, they were amazed that the school had real labs for girls.) Education for girls is more difficult than for boys. Clay is setting up social media for the school now, and stays in contact with the girls she met. She went to a 2nd school, where there were only 7 girls in the class of 36. Most girls have to stay home and help out. Boys have more time for homework and for playing, as girls do all the work. Empowering girls is so important. Most mothers and fathers have not gone to school. Portland High, Africa Studies Group, has paid all the fees and supplies for three students. Secondary schools are free, but students still have to pay for uniforms, fees, and supplies.
Clay told us when she signed her name to a guestbook, many people were shocked she could do it. Most girls her age cannot read or write. Clay missed out on LaCrosse season, so she brought two sticks. She taught others to play and some boys learned how to pass.
(Photo: Mark, Clay and Aimee Bessire.)
The microphone went back to Mark, who told us the first school has 500 students, and the whole cost of the project was $750,000. "AfricaSchoolhouse" has a new focus.....girls empowerment. Pamela Hawkes and Scott Tees, from Portland, donated their time to design the newest school project to support this focus. It has been shown that the longer kids stay in school, the better the opportunities. School prepares them for the better jobs in the cities. Mark’s wife, Aimee, then told us how some girls walk up to 2.5 hours, one way, to get to school. "AfricaSchoolhouse" is planning to build a boarding school to address this need. She told us that some families are happy that their daughters can go to boarding school. Some are very concerned about losing the labor at home. She told us that girls have been assaulted on the way to school. They need a safe place to be at school.
*06/17/16 Mark Bessire, Director PMA
|Posted by Bob Martin||on Jun 17, 2016||
Mark Bessire has been the Director of the Portland Museum of Art since March, 2009. Previously, he was Director of the Bates
College Museum of Art in Lewiston. He moved to Bates from the Maine College of Art in Portland, where he was the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Mark has earned a strong reputation for organizing unique exhibits that have increased participation in the Portland Museum of Art, and were supportive of cross-disciplinary studies at Bates and MECA.
Bessire holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, a M.A. in art history from Hunter College, and a B.A. from New York University. He was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Museum of Art and a Fulbright Fellow in Tanzania. He has published widely including three books with MIT Press, has organized numerous traveling exhibitions, is active in local, community, and national public art programs, lectures on museum studies, and has participated on national art juries. Bessire is a founding board member of the non-profit Africa Schoolhouse, which is dedicated to building schools in rural Africa.
Portland High School Interact Club
|Posted by Glenn Nerbak||on Jun 17, 2016||
The Portland High School Interact Club helping out with collections of mobility devices
for the "Crutches4Africa" project.
06/10/16 Danielle Conway, Dean of Maine Law at USM
|Posted by John Marr||on Jun 14, 2016||
Bob Martin, per usual, did a terrific job of introducing a guest speaker. This week it was the Dean of the University of Maine School of Law, Danielle Conway. Dean Conway, we learned from Bob has a fascinating history. She is not your typical academician, steeped in the learned books of her vocation and seldom outside the walls of the institution. Our Dean began her career and studies in the Armed Forces and found her way into the JAG. Undoubtedly, her service to our nation was the stimulus that brought her to the more traditional and formal study of law, but not on a direct path. She commenced her formal studies at NYU Stern School of Business where some spark was ignited and brought her to the Howard School of Law and went on to garner her LL.M degree from the George Washington School of Law. To state the obvious, Dean Conway is a remarkably diverse individual of proven credentials and accomplishments, but never comes across in the stilted manner of an academician of renown. It’s worthy of note that our Dean is the first black female to hold the post.
Dean Conway is remarkably current in all fashion. She was quick to mention 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' and the need to get with it and get on social media. She comes across, despite her title and credentials, as eminently approachable. As she discussed 'The School' it seems that such accessibility is an essential part of her vision for the role of the institution. It is important to point out that she set many of us clear on the misconception that 'The Maine School of Law' is part of USM. It is only sharing the campus and is a stand-alone institution which enjoys a close relationship with USM.
It's refreshing to learn that the focus of the School of Law, under the guidance of Dean Conway, is to provide a public service as it develops fresh legal minds. It is the desire of the Dean that her graduates will appreciate and embrace her vision of service. She accepts that her noble intent of service poses somewhat of a challenge, since the lure and burden of debt can be distracting. However, this lady is not going to be deterred and has plans to create programs that will serve the economically disadvantaged who are too often unable to find, nor afford, the services needed to attain justice.
In that regard she begs for our assistance to help institute the tri-partite mission of:
The Dean feels that we have an extraordinary 'Bar and Bench' in the State of Maine and we have to take advantage of that asset. We have to recognize the limiting implications of both poverty and geography within the state and deal with them head on.She is creating an army of legal experts prepared to go out and serve.
On top of it all, she recognizes Rotary as a bastion of community service which parallels her commitments and is thinking about joining. Now, wouldn’t that be a striking verdict in our favor?!
(Photo at right: President Bowen Depke and Dean Conway.)
(Photo at left: State Representative and Portland Rotarian Eric Jorgensen and Dean Conway.)
06/10/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on Jun 14, 2016||
President Bowen opened the meeting by welcoming 65 members and 2 guests. The invocation was presented by Alan Nye and we pledged our allegiance to the flag and sang a patriotic song.
Travis Parker ran our weekly raffle, which was over $300 and our speaker drew Dick Giles' name to try and find our elusive Queen of Hearts, but couldn't find her...so the pot continues to grow for another week.
The club was basking in the warm glow of the most-successful-ever Maine Outdoor Challenge benefitting the Boys and Girls’ Club, which is expected to clear close to $60,000 when the final accounting comes in. Bravo to Kris Rosado, Mike Fortunato and all the Club volunteers who made it such a success. If you’ve not seen the great story by Dierdre Fleming in Sunday’s Telegram, it provides a great account of this event: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/12/deirdre-fleming-maine-outdoor-challenge-is-a-charity-event-that-teaches-skills/
The top Portland Rotarians in the Maine Outdoor Challenge were Bowen Depke, who scored a 20 in archery; Adam Shepherd, who managed a 17 in fly casting; and a tie between Peter Ingram and Kris Rosado in shooting, where each earned an 18. Overall, Peter Ingram came in 3rd out of 205 competitors, with a 52 of 75 possible points. He was only 3 points behind the competition winner.
The lobster bake/awards event on Wednesday wrapped up the 3-day competitions and was just as successful. With a packed house in attendance, awards were handed out to the winners of the event, as everyone enjoyed the tasty meals that were served. Many went home as additional winners of the silent and live auction items!
With Tom Ranello performing his effective auctioneering, we witnessed quite a bidding duel on one "Jump & Raft" live auction item by our own members Alex St. Hilaire and Bowen Depke. Alex would not be beat and walked away the winner!
Meredith Small offered a history minute, profiling the club in 1952-53, a year that saw our club chugging along with about “1,000 to 1,100 in its checking account” and awarding support for playground equipment, hearing aids, and clothing for refugees arriving from East to West Berlin. It was a year in which Richard Nixon appeared before a joint meeting of Portland Service clubs. At one Rotary meeting, the speaker (a poultry merchant) brought chickens for every member, though it was not specified whether they were live or ready to cook! The other important event that year, one that would, of course, prove prescient for Rotary, was the development of the first polio vaccine by Jonas Salk. Meredith’s sister and brother were both participants in early vaccine trials.
Amy Chipman reported that she was “housecleaning” the Rotary Foundation files and had a bunch of previously announced Paul Harris Fellowships (PHF) to award as her term as Foundation chair was coming to an end. These were presented to Julie L’Heureux (her 6th); Jon Young (his 3rd); Mark Millar and Erik Jorgensen (their 2nd each); Amy Chipman (her 4th); President Bowen (for his service as president); Gus Karlsen (his 7th); Victoria Millar (wife of Mark Millar) and Elise Hodgkin (her 2nd) from Amy. She announced that overall, 22 PHFs were awarded this year.
Janelle LoSciuto, and her helper son, Luca, announced that the Youth Services Committee will be conducting its summer “read and feed” program, featuring books and meals at North Deering Gardens at Riverton. Rotarians are needed to be trained to read to kids – for information on training and the program contact Janelle LoSciuto: email@example.com
President Bowen announced that the Service and Memorial Fund has entered a period of transition. The S&M Trustees have joined with the board in envisioning the fund as the core for what is hoped will be a “million dollar endowment” for Portland Rotary. More details will be forthcoming.
Finally, Past President and Club tennis commissioner Bill Blount is recovering from knee replacement surgery. He says that “he’s flexing well.”
*06/10/16 Danielle Conway, USM Dean of Maine Law
|Posted by Bob Martin||on Jun 10, 2016||
Danielle Conway has become the seventh dean and the first African American to lead Maine’s public law school since its founding in 1962. She joined Maine Law from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she taught at the William S. Richardson School of Law. She has earned a reputation as a leading expert in public procurement law, entrepreneurship, and as an advocate for minorities and Indigenous people. She teaches in the areas of Intellectual Property Law, Internet Law and Policy, and Government Contract Law. She is a prolific writer, and has taught and lectured throughout the world.
Dean Conway is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University, Howard University School of Law, and earned her LL.M. degree from the George Washington University School of Law. She was the Godfrey Visiting Scholar at Maine Law in 2008.
A strong supporter of public education, Dean Conway is praised by colleagues for her ability to motivate and inspire, and her fearlessness in tackling the toughest social and economic challenges. She has more than 20 years of active and reserve duty service with the U.S. Army, and currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel.
2016 Maine Outdoor Challenge
|Posted||on Jun 10, 2016||
Check out the details of our 5th Annual Maine Outdoor Challenge....our largest fundraiser of the year, click HERE.
We are offering a chance to purchase two GREAT raffle tickets.
To purchase a raffle ticket, click the following links:
06/03/16 Club Photo Session
|Posted by Bob Martin||on Jun 07, 2016||
Editorial Note: I accept full responsibility for my oversight in omitting the official write-up from our own club reporter of our photo session on June 3rd. With due respect for and my sincere apologies to Bob Martin, his excellent article is included and our newsletter is re-issued. L. Rowe
We stood on the steps of City Hall, 92 of us, all Rotarians, and one baby, secure in his mom’s front pack. The bustle of the city rushed back and forth on Congress Street—a fire truck on its way to an emergency, delivery vans, cars, pedestrians walked by, wondering about our gathering, and the familiar faces of lawyers and judges who passed by on the way to the rear of the building for a memorial service in Merrill Hall. We joked and teased as we jostled into place, herded by President Bowen into a lineup on the risers by when we became members, oldest on the lower steps, more recent toward the back.
We stood on the steps of City Hall, 92 of us, all Rotarians, to memorialize our Centennial Anniversary as a club, a fellowship chartered in 1915 for fellowship and service. No one used the term “networking” back then. Neither did the club include women. The faces in our photograph will include those of women, people of color, observers of many of the world’s religions, those whose families have been a part of the Maine landscape for many generations, and those who just moved here. Faces who have seen combat at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Vietnam, and Iraq. Faces of Rotarians who teach; practice law; heal the sick; lift up the less fortunate and unhappy; inspire; sell stocks, bonds, and real estate; engage in banking and finance; politics; provide advice and counsel; print; market furniture or appliances; and all manner of occupations that support and sustain a community. And faces of those who have retired from active jobs.
We stood on the steps of City Hall, 92 of us, all Rotarians, at ease with one another, without agenda or design, all sharing our common mission to serve our community in food kitchens and shelters, schools and prisons, in Maine, and in other countries, without calling attention to our individual roles in what we do, but more desirous of inviting others to join our group.
We stood on the steps of City Hall, 92 of us, all Rotarians, pausing for a few minutes to accommodate the directions of the photographer engaged to create our image for history. It was 61 degrees, and cloudy; the Dow Jones closed at 17,807.06; Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump continued to recruit votes on the pre-convention campaign trail; 1,500 people attended Peter DeTroy’s memorial service in Merrill Auditorium; and Muhammad Ali passed away at 74.
06/03/16 Portland Rotary Celebrates 100 Years With Photo
|Posted by Article Written in Portland Press Herald||on Jun 06, 2016||
100-Year Celebration of Portland Rotary Club
The Rotary Club of Portland is celebrating its centennial....in one way, by taking a formal group photo of its present club members.
The Club was founded in late 1915 by a group of professional men seeking fellowship and business connections. At its first official meeting as a chartered club on Sept. 10, 1915 at Mitchell’s in Scarborough, there was a clambake, followed by a lively baseball game between the “farmers and the city guys.” Farmers won, 18-14, according to the club’s website.
More recently, the Rotarians have focused efforts to help senior citizens, youth, the poor and the community in general. Testaments to those efforts include Rotary Grove on the Eastern Prom Trail, “The Armillary” statue on the waterfront, the Rotary Clock in Monument Square, the elevator in Merrill Auditorium, and the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, which received a major contribution from the club during the club’s 75th anniversary year.
06/03/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Tom Talbott||on Jun 05, 2016||
Road trip! Our meeting took place at City Hall, with a much-heralded pre-meeting event. 92 Rotarians gathered on the steps for a 100-year club photo, followed by a photo of past-Presidents. Cheese! Nice job by Mike Fortunato to make all the necessary arrangements. Our official club meeting then proceeded to the State of Maine Room (above).
Russ Burleigh took the reins of Invocation by quoting from a Franklin D. Roosevelt fireside chat that took place June 6, 1944, the onset of the Normandy invasion. Up to that point it had been highly secretive, but now Roosevelt explained what was underway. He began, "My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.” For the full text, visit: http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/aboutfdr/d-day.html
As flag bearer, Gracie Johnston raised a small-sticked 6-inch flag, the undersized room filled with the song, sounding strong this week to the tune of “America The Beautiful.” President Bowen beckoned us all to be seated; however that was not possible due to the overflow of members and guests. Standing Room Only!
John Curran provided a 'History Moment,' circa 1997-1998. Captivating events of the day included the passing of Mother Teresa and the tragic death of Princess Diana. Tim McVeigh/Oklahoma City bomber was convicted, and the Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal led the headlines. Terrorism was on the rise, and Bin Laden launched a jihad. On the brighter side of leadership, Fred Thompson led our club with Loretta Rowe and Roxanne Cole, respectively as 1st and 2nd VPs, and Marie Williams (Rotary Club of Kittery) was the first woman to be Governor of District 7780.
Long-time Club Secretary Ruth Fletcher retired. “Cocktails with the Queen” aka Peggy Wescott, fetched over $1000 at our fundraising auction. Winterfest, an ambitious holiday fundraiser, began in earnest, partnering with the Narrow Gauge Railroad (NGRR). Over the next three years, Winterfest would go on to raise close to $300k in revenue shared between the NGRR and Rotary. Following on the heels of Winterfest, however, came the fearsome "1998 Ice Storm," affecting millions. Internationally, the club connected with visiting students from Ireland through "Friends Forever." Then member Sarah Luck went on a District Grant to Romania. Hearing aids were collected for a special “Listen Up” program focused on villages in India.
Programs included Governor Angus King, with program topics that included interesting tech topics, such as the benefits of cell phones! Jim Willey was honored with a Rotary International “Four Avenues of Service” Award. Alas, Jim didn’t hear this golden memory moment as he was off attending his Bowdoin College 50th Reunion!
Raffle Card Draw! Quincy Hentzel led the raffle, with Mark Stimson having the honor of selecting this week’s card drawer – Ben Lowry. However, Ben had departed to attend the memorial service of the recently-deceased Peter DeTroy, a respected Maine attorney. Pinch-hitter John Marr was called in, but flied out with a six of diamonds.
John rebounded by introducing a new member, Chris Thomas. John reported that Chris was born in Barbados to a family of rumrunners, though your B&P reporter was not sure if this passed the 'Four-Way Test!" Either way, Chris moved to the U.S. when he was one-year old and has since lived in all New England states. He married his wife, Meredith, in 2004, and is a proud father of two girls, Violet and Hazel. Gus, his loyal Boston Terrier is there for male support. Chris works as a financial advisor at Fidelity Investments, enjoys history and politics, and has too much sense to run for office! Welcome aboard Chris!
Amy Chipman has done an outstanding job as Foundation Chair and she presented an update. True, it looks like we’ll be shy of our goal, but it was an ambitious one to start. As it is, this year will be the second highest year on record, following last year’s all-time high. We are currently over $16,500 and it’s not too late to contribute! Amy added that over the next few weeks, additional Paul Harris Fellows would be announced.
Rob “Never-Needs-A-Mic” Chatfield reported that the BBQ Crawl raised $500 for the Food Locker project, which was a nice touch to an event that was primarily about club fellowship. 40 Rotarians participated and had a fantastic day. Expect this to be an annual event!
We had quite the meal, with salads, an assortment of wraps, and tantalizing desserts, courtesy of the first catering venture from the residents of Long Creek Youth Center. How good was it? “How about they do it every week!” stated Gracie Johnston.
Mike Fortunato introduced us to Administrator Chef Steve, and 3 of the residents, who’ve been working in the growing culinary program, Ty, Josh, and Mike. We learned that Mike was just accepted to the Institute For Culinary Education in NYC, which is no small feat for anybody. Mike Fortunato told us that Mike (the culinary resident) needs some assistance on a few essentials for school – sheets, towels, etc. Can you help? Also, Mike asked if anyone has an extra bike for another resident who will soon be leaving Long Creek that would be used to get to and from work. If you can help, reach out to Mike Fortunato: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Busy Mike! He reminded us that the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) is on Wednesday....our biggest fundraiser, built on several components. 41 teams are signed up – biggest field ever. Megan Devlin joined in to pitch the final chance to buy raffle tickets - on sale – 6 for $100. There’s the auction and the lobster bake. When the dust settles, the proceeds of the event are going to put us over $100k for the year – phenomenal!
Having no formal program speaker, President Bowen disbursed the SRO crowd a bit ahead of schedule, wishing us all a good weekend!
*06/03/16 Club 100th Anniversary Photo Session
|Posted||on Jun 03, 2016||
This week our Club will have an historic group photograph taken on the front steps at Portland City Hall. If it rains, the photo will be taken inside the front entry. We'd like to see as many of our members turn out for this historic photo opportunity.
YOU can leave your mark in the Rotary record books and YOUR face will go down in history!
Argentinean Exchange Group
|Posted||on Jun 03, 2016||
Our Rotary District is looking for help to host the inbound Argentinean District Vocational Training Team. This Group Study Exchange Team (GSE) of four (2 men, 2 women) will be coming to our area on Monday and Tuesday, June 6 and 7.
They are looking for 4 host families to house the team members overnight on Monday, plus volunteer to chauffeur the team members around for those two days, and to provide breakfast, lunch & dinner for the two days.
05/27/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Bill Blount||on May 31, 2016||
President Bowen opened the meeting by welcoming 60 members and 6 guests in the Casco Bay Hall of the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay.
Juliana L’Heureux presented our invocation, quoting from President Dwight Eisenhower’s speech designating May 30, 1954 as a U.S. holiday: A proclamation for peace and a call for amity between nations.
Dave Putnam led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, then we sang the National Anthem with Kathy Grammer playing the piano.
Jim Willey promised that the history moment being presented at today's meeting was to share the good and bad. Jim reminded us that from Portland Rotary’s beginning in 1915 to 1987, membership was restricted to only males. Even in this day and age, some Rotary clubs on this earth still restrict their members to males only. Jim apologized for his several years of biased membership before 1987, when the first woman to be admitted to our club was Jane Schurz.
Then the second and third women to join our club, Judy Cavalero ('87) and Loretta Rowe ('88) followed shortly after. As women were allowed to join, two Rotarians actually quit. It is undeniable that our club is immeasurably blessed with the contributions of our diverse female members. Loretta Rowe, who was our first woman president of Portland Rotary (1998-99), gave a warm presentation and admitted that Rotary has been a positive turning point in her life and the members became like a second family.
The weekly raffle, which was up to $285, was led by Jim Willey. Katie Brown was chosen, but she picked the three of diamonds. Her charity did better (The Locker Project) receiving a $500 donation from Rotary’s Charitable Fund.
(Photo: Jennifer Burns and member, Lili Brown)
Mike Fortunato encouraged members to register online by Friday afternoon (5/27), as to whether they will attend our Club's group photograph session next Friday, June 3, 2015 on the steps of City Hall. Mike also made an appeal for members to attend the lobster bake on Wednesday, June 8, which concludes the Maine Outdoor Challenge. You can contact Loretta Rowe to signup for this event: email@example.com or 883-5432.
Our Foundation Chairperson-extraordinnaire, Amy Chipman came up to the podium requesting that Dick Giles join her. Dick awarded George Crockett with a Paul Harris Fellow and in turn, Amy awarded Dick with his fifth PHF.
(Photo: Kevin Stilphen, Caleb Southwick and Dave Putnam.)
Dave Putnam introduced PATHS Student Director, Kevin Stilphen, who introduced the Club to our newest Youth Service Award recipient, Caleb Southwick. Caleb received a scholarship award to further his education and a check to go to his charity of choice - West Buxton Baptist Church.
|Posted||on May 31, 2016||
It has been brought to our attention that USM President Glenn Cummings was misquoted during his presentation to our Club on 5/20/16 and has requested a correction:
“We know that 46 percent of students who’ve graduated from the community colleges are not proficient in math or reading.” It should have read "who've graduated from high schools," not community colleges.
05/27/16 Earle Shettleworth, Jr. - Maine State Historian
|Posted by Ben Lowry||on May 31, 2016||
At our Friday meeting, our club was once again honored to have as our speaker Earle Shettleworth, the one and only Maine State Historian. Earle, as always, entranced his audience, this time with the story of the Great Portland Fire of 1866, at the time the most devastating urban conflagration in United States history. Earle felt the timing was right to speak on this topic, as the 150-year anniversary of this disaster quickly approaches on July 4th and 5th, with media coverage expected in The Portland Press Herald, as well as at least one of the local television outlets. Also, look for an exhibition at The Maine Historical Society beginning in June and running into July.
For Portland, previously known as Falmouth Neck, there was already a long history of devastation followed by rebuilding, with the city being destroyed in 1675 and 1690 by fires and then again in 1775, when an angry British naval captain named Henry Mowatt attacked and plundered the city after being briefly held captive the previous year.
On the afternoon of July 4th, 1866, with the city’s residents celebrating the nation’s birthday, a small fire broke out at a boat shop near the rail lines off Commercial Street. Whether from a firecracker or, more likely, a spark from a passing freight car, the fire spread quickly during the afternoon and early evening, with a strong wind fanning the flames. Because of the city’s reliance on water from Portland Harbor to douse flames, a low tide proved very unlucky as the fire tore through the Old Port and up toward the city center near where our current city hall now sits. With mostly wooden structures tightly built in the city’s center, there was no shortage of fuel as the 4th turned to the 5th, with the city losing one-third of its buildings and 12,000 Portlanders were left homeless.
On the morning of July 5th, residents arose to the charred ruins of their beloved Forest City. Earle showed us photos from various angles, with the ravaged city still smoldering, the six-year old city hall gutted, the Old Port area leveled. The photos were eerily reminiscent of those we have seen from Nagasaki and Hiroshima, with block after block of nothing but stone chimneys remaining upright.
Within 24 hours, the US Army was setting up a “tent city” on the common land at the base of Munjoy Hill. 1500 tents were erected to house those who had lost everything. A food pantry opened at the old city hall and was inundated within hours. Harper’s Weekly, the nation’s largest magazine, published a story on the tragedy.
And, as Portland had done three times before, she rose from the ashes and once again earned the city motto of “Resurgam,” which translates to “I will rise again.” City Hall was built using the still-standing brick façade, Lincoln Park was built as a “fire break” for any future infernos. The Custom House and a new post office went up....and, perhaps most importantly, zoning changes were quickly enacted to allay some of the fears of Portlanders as they moved quickly back into the Old Port. Within ten years, the city looked anew, anchored by the grand Falmouth Hotel, which was built by local realtor J.B. Brown to entice others to move forward without trepidation, a strategy that proved quite successful. Many of the beautiful buildings of Portland sprung up in the wake of the Great Fire of 1866.
With the 150th anniversary of the fire quickly approaching, we can look back, with the help of one of Maine’s gems, Earle Shettleworth, and appreciate all that has gone into making Portland one our country’s most beloved little cities.
*05/27/16 Earle Shettleworth, Jr., Maine State Historian
|Posted by Bob Martin||on May 27, 2016||
Earle Shettleworth, Jr. was drawn to history as the result of watching the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961. A year later, he joined the Sills Committee, which created the Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964. In 1971, Governor Curtis appointed him to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, he became its architectural historian in 1973, and director in 1976. Upon his retirement, he was the longest actively serving State Historic Preservation Officer in the nation. There isn’t a state or regional historical commission on which he has not served or led. Though he has retired from the state government, he remains the state historian.
(Photo: Bob Martin, Earle Shettleworth, and President Bowen.)
Earle’s passion for Maine history is unbounded. A few years ago in preparation for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, he visited and documented every Civil War monument he knew about in Maine. From York to Aroostook, there were 148 in all for him to photograph and copy inscriptions. He told the Portland Press Herald, “to me, that was just such a wonderful opportunity to focus, and at the same time to visually review Maine as a whole from a historical and architectural standpoint.” His retirement did not pass unnoticed. Thomas Johnson, chair of the state preservation commission and director of the Victoria Mansion called the announcement “seismic. It’s a major event in preservation and cultural circles.”
Earle will discuss the Great Fire of Portland that occurred on July 4, 1866. While only two people perished in the blaze, it leveled 1,800 buildings and made 10,000 people homeless. It was the greatest fire ever seen in an American city—the Great Chicago Fire was five years later.
A Portland native, Earle graduated from Deering High School in 1966, earned a B.A. in Art History from Colby College in 1970, an M.A. in Architectural History from Boston University in 1979, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate (L.H.D.) by Bowdoin College in 2008.
05/20/16 Glenn Cummings, USM President
|Posted by Bob Martin||on May 24, 2016||
Glenn Cummings, President of the University of Southern Maine, shared his perspectives on the value of college education and the progress underway at Maine’s second largest campus. Pointing to a largely unrecognized watershed moment for America, Glenn said that in 1984 Canada moved past the U.S. in terms of the percent of the country’s population with a college degree. Since then, the U.S. percentage of college-educated adults has continued to decline below that of key global competitors, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Today, he said that about 39 percent of Americans hold a college degree.
Glenn did acknowledge during the Q&A that student readiness for college remains a real challenge among graduating high school students. He also said that the “WDF rate", reflecting those who "Withdraw, Drop, or Fail" in certain high-stakes courses, remains high, at 40 to 45 percent in physics, organic chemistry, and higher math. Addressing this issue, USM is making a particular effort to help individual students succeed in the daunting prerequisite courses that are the gateways to certain majors.
Cummings said his thinking has been influenced by Michael Crow, former Executive Provost of Columbia University, who has been outspoken on the practice of many colleges and universities becoming increasingly selective in their admissions decisions. Crow is now President of Arizona State University where he has instituted policies that have increased enrollment from 40,000 students to over 70,000. He recently authored the book, The New American University (Johns Hopkins University Press 2015). “My goal for USM,” Glenn said, “is to be the 'University of Everyone.' That will make a difference in this state.”
Cummings reported on the progress made at USM during the last year—applications were up 19 percent; admissions increased by 13 percent; deposits—confirmations of attendance—are up 22 percent, and, the number of out-of-state students will increase 22 percent. “Our projected budget is balanced without any help from the system office, and we forecast a zero budget gap by 2018.”
He identified three major areas of emphasis in the effort to improve USM as part of the vision for student success. “We asked students who turned us down, how can we become a better university? What would make you come here?” He said the first priority is to demonstrate connectedness with students— “show we care about success and you are welcome.” The second focus is on affordability. “We are redesigning our financial aid package and have an advancement plan underway to raise $50 million in scholarship aid.”
“Finally, we are working hard on our value proposition. We are a metropolitan university in the best small city in America.” Cummings said there was growing optimism and excitement on campus. Challenges remain, he said, with faculty, engaging new markets, and taking care of deferred capital improvements.
05/20/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Jake Bourdeau||on May 24, 2016||
President Bowen called the meeting to order, welcoming 62 members and 2 guests.
Tom Nickerson (at left) prepared a fitting invocation regarding Rotary fellowship and business relationships. He wished that everyone attending our meetings would leave as a better person due in part to our fellowship and the speaker’s thoughts. Tom wished us safe travels back to our families from the meetings. Bill Blount led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Russ Burleigh kept us in tune when we sang our patriotic song. Our two guests at the meeting were Bob Stein from USM and Donna Yellen from Preble Street.
Jim Willey presented a history moment from the Club's 75th anniversary (1990). Two presidents (Jim Willey and Bob Traill) hosted the gala, which was held in Bob’s year. Bob gave the history to Jim from memory. The entire ball room was filled and the past RI President was the speaker. $18,000 was raised and donated to the Maine Children’s Cancer Foundation.
In 1990, in the midst of the Cold War, we sent about a dozen Portland-area students with tons of Rotary bags, pens, sweatshirts, etc. to Archangel, Soviet Union, as partners in the Portland-Archangel Sister Cities Project. Then, in a return visit, 45 Soviet citizens and their Sister City sponsors attended a meeting of Portland Rotary. The Club President, Jim Willey, was petrified that when the Club sang the Communist National Anthem, half of our stalwart Republican members would walk out in protest! Luckily, the members were well-behaved hosts to the visiting guests, who presented the Club with a Russian stringed musical instrument called a "balalaika," which Bill Blount played for us as we sang "If I Had a Hammer." The first time in 25 years that it had been played! (Pictured)
Jan Chapman shook the raffle can to mix the tickets and then asked our speaker to select a ticket for a potential shot at $200. (Yes, a winner was picked last week). Tom Talbott was selected after Loretta bought him the ticket, but (un)fortunately we'll all have to wait at least another week, as the Queen of Hearts remained in the deck (1 down....51 to go).
Erik Greven, Chair of Community Service, gave an introduction about Preble Street. They have over 250 employees across Maine. The Community Service Committee had multiple meetings to discuss the Maine Locker and Preble Street efforts for Children. Donna Yellen, the chief program director from Preble Street spoke a little about it. The $5,000 grant given to them by the Club will help with school breakfast programs to help over 2,000 children. Donna noted that the school program showed that test scores were raised over 15% when kids participate in a school breakfast program. Kids with a full stomach learn better. They are already seeing changes. The school nurse is also noticing a difference in the kids, since starting breakfast in the classroom. (Photo: Erik Greven and Donna Yellen.)
Member Katie Brown, of 'The Locker Project,' was introduced by Erik Greven. Katie said she was honored to be a Rotarian and to be working on the hunger initiative. 'The Locker Project' has 14 pantries in 14 schools in the area, and 7 more in Saco. With the $3,000 grant awarded them by the Club, they will buy produce and restock for next fall. Katie is also honored to call Portland Rotary a Partner and thanked the Club for putting the BBQ Crawl together, which will also benefit the Locker Project. (Photo: President Bowen, Katie Brown and Erik Greven.)
Mike Fortunato and Megan Devlin discussed the 'Maine Outdoor Challenge' (MOC) and the two available major raffles: the fly-fishing package and the hunting package. (See separate article in this issue.) We are still looking for 5-man teams for the event, raffle items to be used at the lobster bake/awards banquet on Wednesday, June 8th and volunteers to work the three days at the events. A show of hands for volunteers was instrumental in helping in these areas and Mike Fortunato will be in touch with details.
President Bowen reminded us that the Club group photo session is going to be on June 3rd at Portland City Hall, on the front steps (weather permitting). 52 out of 127 club members have signed up in advance. We need EVERYONE to make an effort to be there....this is history in the making. Please click HERE or go to the Club's website, on the home page, click on the "Club Photo Session" under "Club Events" and register to attend (or decline) attendance. If you have issues getting online, contact Loretta Rowe or just send her an email that you want to register. We need a head count by May 27th to give to the caterers who will be providing our meals.
Rob Chatfield re-announced that the BBQ Crawl-Poker Run was to be held on Saturday May 21st. If you did not have enough fun at today's Rotary meeting, then the BBQ crawl will be just as fun, or better, and with beer!
05/13/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Julie L'Heureux||on May 20, 2016||
President Bowen called the meeting of May 13, 2016 (Friday the 13th!) by welcoming 55 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 1 guest.
Kathy Grammar led the opening invocation. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang our patriotic song.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
Rusty Atwood ran the weekly raffle, asking our speaker to pull a name out of the pot for a chance to win $1563. Patty Erickson's name was pulled and out of 12 cards remaining in the deck, SHE FOUND THE QUEEN OF HEARTS...much to the chagrin of a lot of unhappy campers who were hoping it would have been their chance at fame and fortune. CONGRATULATIONS TO PATTY ERICKSON! Back to square one and starting all over with a new deck of 52 cards and a new pot for winning.
President Bowen welcomed back some of our snow birds who seem to be migrating back to the north: Mark Millar, returning from Colorado and Alan Levenson, returning from Arizona.
The three-person troika of Kris Rosado, Patty Erickson and Alex St. Hilaire made announcements about our Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) approaching fast and we need, not only 5-person teams to participate, but people to ask local businesses for items and gift certificates to be used at the Lobsterbake and Awards Banquet on June 8th. If you can form a 5-person team for the MOC, please contact: Kris at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For volunteering to help with acquiring gifts for our raffle/auction at the Lobsterbake, contact Alex at: email@example.com or Patty at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Maine Outdoor Challenge, click HERE.
Juliana L’Heureux spoke about the upcoming four Argentinian visitors that are coming to our area through a Group Study Exchange program, who will be in Portland on Monday, June 6th. Hopefully, host families can join this opportunity to welcome our international visitors (see separate article in this issue).
President Bowen reminded all club members to respond to the invitation to have our historic group photograph taken on June 3rd at Portland City Hall, rain or shine. You can sign-up by going to our club website on the right side under calendar events or simply click HERE. We'd like to see as many of our members turn out for this historic photo opportunity. YOU can leave your mark in the record books and YOUR face will go down in history!
Visiting Rotarian PDG Carolyn Johnson introduced her guest, Shenna Bellows, Interim Executive Director of Learning Works, who spoke to the club about the “Graffiti Busters” summer project. From April through November (weather permitting), graffiti removal is offered in Portland and Biddeford. Over 500,000 square feet of graffiti has been removed throughout Portland since 1994. To learn more or to support this project, contact Shenna at Learning Works 775-0105 or by email at: email@example.com. This program helps juveniles in rehabilitation from offenses to make amends by offering them meaningful opportunities in community service.
BBQ Crawl and Poker Run Raffle
|Posted by Rob Chatfield||on May 20, 2016||
ON MAY 21ST, WE ARE HAVING A BBQ CRAWL AND POKER RUN RAFFLE.
YOU CAN STILL GET IN ON THE FUN....
It's a fundraiser to support "The Locker Project."
$20 Poker Run Raffle Tickets may be purchased at any location below or by clicking HERE.
IT ALL STARTS AT 1:30 p.m. THIS SATURDAY!
START ANYWHERE AT ONE OF THE LOCATIONS BELOW – ENJOY IN ANY ORDER!
Special $4 BBQ sampler items available at participating locations:
Special 50/50 raffle....door prizes and final raffle results at 5:30 p.m. at Binga's Stadium, 77 Free St., Portland
For additional information or questions, contact Rob Chatfield: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Locker Project, in partnership with the Good Shepherd Food Bank, helps ensure food security for all Maine children through local schools. The Locker Project works with schools to create programs for providing students with healthy class-time snacks and take-home food for the times they are most likely to experience hunger. For more information: mainelockerproject.org/
05/13/16 Dana Eidsness, Maine's Growing Role as an Arctic State
|Posted by Erik Jorgensen||on May 20, 2016||
Bob Martin introduced our speaker, Dana Eidsness, Director of Maine’s North Atlantic Development office at the Maine International Trade Center. This is the entity responsible for coordinating Maine’s commercial involvement with the Arctic. Formerly a Munjoy Hill Resident, she noted that while it may not seem that Maine has much in common with the Arctic, there are a lot of things happening up north that will likely bring increasing benefit to Maine.
The leitmotif connecting all these issues is the massive melt-off of Arctic ice seen in recent decades. It has wide implications for cities and states on the ocean. It also means new access to resources. Countries are paying attention to the Arctic, even places like Singapore, which have no geographical connection. In other words, “what’s happening in the Arctic isn’t staying in the Arctic.” This also means that new sea routes are opening up. Many estimates suggest that the Atlantic and Pacific will soon be connected via a northerly route. By 2030 as much as 5% of world shipping could go through this passage.
In Maine, developments like Eimskip’s new headquarters have made Maine a hub for niche shipping. Maine exports to Iceland are now up 315% since Eimskip moved here. This is our own “Arctic Highway” and has resulted in the doubling of the Port of Portland in terms of its facilities and capacity.
Eidsness works with the Arctic Council, an entity comprised of the eight Arctic nations plus observer nations, plus representatives from the region’s indigenous nations. Its central focus is around sustainable development and environmental stewardship. The Council has taken notice of Maine and Portland has been selected for several Council meetings in 2016, including “senior arctic officials” meeting here in October. Meetings will include public components.
As commerce develops in the region, questions arise, ranging from who “owns” the Arctic, to determining who is responsible for rescues, etc. These are all issues that need to be resolved by the Council.
Eidsness’ presentation prompted a number of questions from the audience ranging from inquiries about the state of the US icebreaker fleet (we have two aging ships – other nations have many more); to the much publicized Scandinavian Maine lobster “crisis” (Dana thinks this is not a real issue, given how the Swedish “invading lobsters” had banded claws and were likely to have been released); to the rise of tourism in the Arctic region, notably that a massive cruise ship will be making an historic (and possibly ill-advised) transit of the Northwest Passage this year. All passengers will be required to carry evacuation insurance.
*05/20/16 Glenn Cummings, USM President
|Posted by Bob Martin||on May 20, 2016||
Glenn Cummings is the 13th President of the University of Southern Maine. A native Mainer, Glenn represented Portland in the Maine House of Representatives for eight years, eventually being elected as Majority Leader, and then Speaker of the House. He also served in President Obama’s administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, where he focused on efforts to improve adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges.
Glenn is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned a Master Degree in Teaching from Brown University, a Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and earned his Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Glenn will share the progress USM is making with its financial challenges, and its efforts to evolve into a Metropolitan University.
05/06/16 Bits & Pieces
|Posted by Tom Talbott||on May 13, 2016||
On Kentucky Derby Eve, President Bowen called post time at the ordained time of 12:15, welcoming 64 members and 7 guests to the starting gate. Duly noted – Bowen reminded everyone that there is plenty of road construction currently in the downtown area, so you should plan on a few extra minutes of travel time in the upcoming weeks.
One of our special guests who joined us, K. C. Lamontagne (accompanied by dad Justin), is being primed to be a future Rotarian.
With Mother’s Day falling on Sunday, Invocator Rusty Atwood graced us with a poem written by Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen, titled “Rock Me To Sleep.” Born in Strong, ME in 1832, she would become best known for this passage:
Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,