Rotary Club of Portland Maine USA

Invocation:  Dave Small
Program Reporter:  Julie L'Heureux
Bits & Pieces Reporter:  Jake Bourdeau
Registration/Greeter: Michel Kanyambo
Sell Meal Tickets:  Loretta Rowe
Raffle:  John Lock
Badge Box:  Matt Wolcott
Collect Meal Tickets: Leonard Scott 
Song Leader:  Gracie Johnston
Pianist:  Russ Burleigh
Sgt-at-Arms (Setup):  Scott Blakeslee
Sgt-at-Arms (Take Down):  Matt Tassey

*if hotel staff is unavailable


This Week's Duty Assignments Loretta Rowe 2017-06-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Small

Charlie Therrien is the president of Mercy Hospital and also serves as a Senior Vice President of Eastern Maine Healthcare System (EMHS).

Charlie has 37 years of health care experience, working in both physician practice and the hospital environment. Before being appointed President of Mercy Hospital in November of 2016, Charlie served as president and CEO of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital (MCMH).

Before coming to MCMH, Charlie served as president and CEO of Sharon Hospital in Sharon, Connecticut. While with Sharon Hospital, Charlie acted as director of Business Development, Vice President of Operations, and Chief Operating Officer before accepting the position of CEO in September of 2005.

Prior to entering hospital administration, from 1993-1999, he gained extensive experience in physician practice management, including leading a 120-physician enterprise and PHO at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.

Charlie earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Quantitative Methods from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

He is currently the Chair Elect for the Maine Hospital Association and a Cabinet Member for the United Way of Greater Portland. Charlie lives in Kennebunk with his wife Ellen.

*06/30/17 Charlie Therrien, President, Mercy Hospital Dave Small 2017-06-30 04:00:00Z 0

If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
through September 2017:

Jun 30 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Jul    7 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jul  14 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Jul  21 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jul  28 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Aug  4  - Hadlock Field
Aug 11 - The Clarion
Aug 18 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Aug 25 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Sep   1 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Sep   8 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Sep 15 - The Clarion
Sep 22 - TBD
Sep 29 - The Clarion

Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at:


Rotary Meeting Locations Loretta Rowe 2017-06-30 04:00:00Z 0
Portland Rotary
meets this week at the
Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
88 Spring Street, Portland
Rotary This Week Loretta Rowe 2017-06-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Dr. jeanne Hey and President Laura Young.)

Dr. Jeanne Hey, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, for the University of New England, reminded us again of the power and reach of Rotary. “I owe a big thank you to Rotary,” she said. “When I was 16, I was a Rotary Exchange student in Bogota, Columbia. I lived with a family, who remains my family to this day.” Her experiences as an exchange student propelled her into her interest and career in international relations, which is her teaching specialty.

“I learned to speak Columbian Spanish, which is the highest level of beauty—kind of like the ‘Queen’s English.’ When I speak it, people always ask if I learned my Spanish in Columbia.”

Dr. Hey pointed out the impact on her life of her year abroad as a Rotary Exchange student: 

“I became life-long friends with my host family—I talked to them last week, we’ve shared vacations together, my kids spend time with them; I spent my college year abroad in Columbia, and my first job was teaching Spanish.” She shared that the experience triggered her interest in travel.

According to Dr. Hey, few students take advantage of opportunities to study abroad. In the U.S. today, less than ten percent of baccalaureate students spend any time abroad, with only 3.7 percent spending a semester or longer in another country. This low rate of participation stems from a perceived increased cost for study abroad, parental fears and discomfort about their child being in a foreign country, so there is a lack of family support for the concept. “You are more likely to die or be injured on your own campus than by studying abroad,” Dr. Hey reported. “These problems don’t happen because of the safeguards and oversight in place.”

Dr. Hey said that it’s easy to forget how privileged it is to be an American abroad. “It shows up instantly with an American passport.” In Morocco, where UNE maintains a campus, she said that the Moroccan police look out for students to ensure their safety. “In my orientation session for my year abroad, Rotary made it very clear about their pride in the U.S., but also embraced the value of other countries and cultures.”

Dr. Hey pointed to UNE’s strong study abroad program, which has resulted in about 30 percent of its students spending school time abroad, either in a semester-long program, or in a field study project. The school created a campus in Tangier, Morocco and Seville, Spain, both of which have American lab facilities so students can pursue courses there that mirror the same ones on the UNE campus. In Tangier, students live in a dormitory; in Seville, students stay with host families. “We built a financial model that allows students to study abroad at no additional cost,” she said, adding that for the first three years, a donor paid for round trip plane travel for participants. She shared pictures of UNE students engaged in various projects and excursions during their time abroad, as well as some of her with her host family and friends.

Pointing to the advances stimulated by the leadership of Danielle Ripich, the retiring President of UNE, Dr. Hey said that when Dr. Ripich first came to UNE, it was borrowing money to meet payroll. “That’s not happening any more. We’ve come a long way.”

06/23/17 Jeanne Hey, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, UNE Bob Martin 2017-06-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

Meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, with 49 Rotarians and 3 guests, President Laura Young asked Alan Nye to present the invocation. Making the observation that June 23rd over the centuries has been a relatively uneventful day, Alan asked us to bow our heads and consider the ‘Golden Rule’ to guides us on our journeys. Second Vice President John Curran led us in the Pledge to our country’s flag, then we sang “God Bless America.”

President Laura acknowledged the service of those who contributed to the meeting and several other Rotarians this past year who were in attendance: Roger Asch for chairing the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, Jim Willey for chairing the Good Cheer Committee, Loretta Rowe for her Windjammer leadership and meeting day coordination, Russ Burleigh for chairing the Invocation Committee and being our club photographer, and Travis Parker for being our Club’s Sergeant-at-Arms and his coordination of weekly Sergeant duties for this committee.

Laura updated us on how Jon Young was doing. Jon had a temporary health set back, but hopes to make a meeting sometime soon.

Leonard Scott entertained us with his ‘Rotary Moment.’ Leonard became a Mainer growing up in Calais as the son of a LION and funeral director. Leonard took over the business, but with dwindling clientele he recognized it as a moribund vocation, sold it, then landed a job as a realtor with Mark Stimson after moving to Portland. Leonard too, was a LION for 53 years and now hopes to devote equal time to Rotary and is hooked on the “Four-Way Test.”

Erik Greven introduced new member Doreen Rockstrom to the Club. Doreen has an impressive background in fundraising for ‘Habitat for Humanity’ in New Jersey and we are fortunate that she has found us. We look forward to her fellowship and contributions to our collective altruism. Welcome, Doreen!


Amy Chimpan presented Russell Voss with his first Paul Harris Fellow. 



Katie Brown ran the weekly raffle, with our speaker drawing Steve Mortimer’s name for a chance at the $457 prize, but alas, Steve chose the Four of Diamonds, not the Queen of Hearts.


Patty Erickson, as a survivor, left some flyers on the table encouraging us to participate in the “Tri for a Cure” cancer fund raiser held on June 25th. Patty is hoping many of her friends will join her at the Dirigo Public House, 301 US Rte. 1, Yarmouth for a $15 BBQ dinner....$5 of the proceeds will go the cause. If you can’t make it please consider donating online at: and search for Patty Erikson to give her your acknowledgement and credit for her efforts.


In honor of our speaker’s topic of exchange students and semesters abroad, Bill Blount led the assembled in song with “Happy Wanderer,” accompanied by Kathy Grammer on the keyboard.

06/23/17 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2017-06-27 04:00:00Z 0
Following is a list of our Club's volunteer projects. If you know of other opportunities, please contact Loretta:

Project              Who to Contact

RYLA Camp Hinds

Final BBQ            June 28  3:30 pm-6:30 pm
                          $10 Rotarian cost
                          Phil Giordano, RYLA Chr

Addt’l Info 

Preble Street        4th Wednesday ea month
Resource Ctr        4-6:30 pm
Soup Kitchen        Erik Greven

Game Night         3rd Tuesday ea month
Long Creek          Mike Fortunato
Youth Center
                           or Jim Willey

Read to                Dates & times (you set)
students at           Sylvie Montello
Portland Schools

Mentoring at         Glenn Nerbak
Portland High

Volunteer Opportunities 2017-06-23 04:00:00Z 0
Maine Outdoor Challenge Overall Point Winners. At press time, the complete names of the team were not available. The Varney Team won the L.L. Bean Boot Trophy: Mike Varney, Ben Delcourt, Damon Vogell, Jared Gordon, and Kendrick Ballantyne.

(Photo: Our own Ben Delcourt, on left, holding the trophy with Mike Varney.)



For more information, please contact Dick Giles at:

Posted by Tom Talbott

President Laura Young welcomed a full house of 70 members, 3 visiting Rotarians and 1 guest to our meeting. Tom Nickerson presented our meeting’s invocation. (Tom remarked how much he looked forward to sharing a meal with friends and to recharge in honest fellowship, particularly after another week of political pettiness and gun violence that has been prevalent in our daily news.) For the invocations, Tom chose words from President Teddy Roosevelt on putting life and duty in perspective. “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and the true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” Tom added that as we gather, we recognize our diversity, and honor our unity in gratitude. Let us rejoice in fellowship.

Roger Fagan led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathy Grammer accompanied us on piano, as we sang “America The Beautiful.”  Laura introduced two visiting Rotarians, one from nearby Bridgeton Lake, the other from Argentina, as well as, one visitor who joined us from Los Angeles. Laura thanked all those who were part of the meeting’s set up and implementation.

Laura reminded us that the tour of Fort Gorges set for June 24th. As of press time the seats on the boat have been sold out. If you are still interested in joining the tour on this trip, please email Laura at:  to be put on a waiting list in case tickets become available. 

David Smith offered us a “Rotary Moment.” In a galaxy far, far away (New York City), David toiled as a lawyer, growing bald in the process. Moving to Maine, David found the Southern Maine Agency On Aging (SMAA) where he worked on Medicare Seminars. He’s still doing it! Meeting Larry Gross, (CEO of SMAA) they agreed to have David join Portland Rotary just as soon as he lost his NY accent. David recalls his first meeting – the warmth in the room. “Never underestimate the value of friendship,” says David. “Whether it is serving a meal at the soup kitchen, or the Veteran’s Day Lunch, we’re always a team. I am so proud to be a Rotarian.”  David, we are very proud you’re on our team!

(Photo L-R: President Laura Young, Erik Greven, Amy Chipman, David Smith, Alan Levenson, and Charlie Frair.)

Does the Rotary Foundation know how hard Amy Chipman works on its behalf? They should! She always has good news. First, our club reached its goal of $15,000 for the RI Foundation Annual Fund (we raised $15,700). We’re a little shy on the Polio Plus Fund – at $1400 and we want to hit $2k – please “chip in” by adding your donations to the cans on the tables each week. Next, Amy introduced 4 new Paul Harris Fellows - Al Levenson, Charlie Frair, David Smith, and Erik Greven – all four receiving their 2nd PHF Award. We thank you all for your generous contributions. Amy has four more to award next week!

Kathy Grammer, President Laura, with Russ Burleigh on the keyboard, helped us raise our voices for “Home on the Range.” Beautiful!

Tiel Duncan conducted the weekly raffle, Erik Greven getting the nod to pull a card for a possible $420 payoff. Unfortunately, the King of Hearts was drawn, which pays zippo.....sorry Erik.

Back from the RI Convention in Atlanta, Laura admitted “I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid.” (Emphasized by some real Kool-Aid at the podium!) Those who’ve been to an RI Convention know what she’s talking about. Seeing 30,000 Rotarians from 175 countries is a powerful and motivating experience....hopefully all Rotarians can attend a convention for Rotary at least once. Laura described the scenes, one marked with all attendees at the massive Plenary Session, waving brightly colored wrist bands in the air. Emphasis was placed on Polio Plus, and the attendees were told that the effort that had begun in 1984 facing 350,000 cases world-wide, was now down to 5. Five! But it will still take a tremendous effort to close the door. There needs to be 3 clear years before eradication can be considered, and that has a projected cost of 1.2 billion dollars. Bill Gates, speaking to the audience, pledged another matching grant to the $50 million pledged by the Rotary Foundation (of which, we helped). Laura also told us of another scourge on the planet – sex trafficking. The facts are mind-boggling – it goes on everywhere, including right here in Portland. Laura said (but it wasn't stated at the convention) that it seemed like this may be the next big project for Rotary International.

Laura also described some of the interesting educational sessions. For example, as a club  we use the term “recruiting” new members. Better, let us instead say we want to “attract” them. Instead of “retention,” think “member engagement.”

Other ideas included some clubs forgoing a guest speaker at their weekly meeting, and instead doing a club project, such as putting “care” bags together, depending on an identified need. Overall, Rotary is looking at new ways to brand itself, from new signage, videos, and other digital programs. It was summed up well with this phrase: “Rotary joins leaders from all continents, cultures and occupations to exchange ideas and take action for communities around the world.”

The next RI Convention is in Toronto, Canada on June 23-27, 2018. Not too far wise and location wise! Will you plan on going to show support of our Rotary Club and to get the powerful experience of this great organization?

Laura read us an email from Habitat For Humanity looking for some assistance at their upcoming “Old Port Half Marathon” on July 8th (see separate article in this edition). She also read a quick note from Catholic Charities thanking us for a $100 donation.

We had such a crowd at our meeting, that we had an overflow of members seated at the dessert table. (Photo L-R: Scott Blakeslee, Ron Bennett, Eric Lusk, Bill Ross, Bruce Nelson and 2nd Vice President John Curran.)


06/16/17 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-06-19 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Tom Rainey - Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED) 

Tom started by telling us he was casually dressed in red and orange because next week is Lobster Appreciation week, which started his casual conversation with Portland Rotary. Tom is newly arrived from Arizona, where he spent the last 10 years. He joins MCED during its 20th anniversary year. Tom has a love of working with entrepreneurs, helping them avoid critical errors. Tom landed in Portland when he and his wife, a French Canadian, wanted to get to New England to be closer to his wife’s family. Portland is a great place because Tom says that there has never been a better time to be entrepreneurs in Maine. Next week is ‘Startup and Create Week,’ with a new food festival coming to Thompson’s Point on June 22nd.

MCED is planning a 20th anniversary gala event in fall, with details to follow. The Top Gun program is a hallmark of MCED, where 144 companies have completed it, with 121 still in business and going strong. This compares with a typical 50% failure rate. These companies enjoy $25 million revenue and have secured $9 million in outside funding.  5% are food, beverage or agriculture ventures.

The Top Gun is a 15-week intensive training program that matches companies with mentors and service providers. In this process, it is critically important to get chemistry right between companies and mentors/providers. MCED is planning a new pilot program to help $1-15 million companies scale up to $20 million plus. Six companies have been targeted, and are in the assessment and roadmap phase. It is planned to use fractional executives, experienced people who work 1-2 days per week for a company to manage areas where needed to allow the companies to step up to the next level. 

New federal funding has allowed Top Gun to expand from Portland to Rockland, Lewiston, and UMaine locations. The next program has 32 companies, 44 entrepreneurs, and 48 guest speakers, with significant economic diversification. The program is designed to plant seedlings and nurture them to grow.  Companies are taught how to pitch their company to investors. There is a pitching competition, where 8 finalists deliver pitches to 220 people, with 2 prizes, $10K cash and $120K of Microsoft services. The Top Gun program de-risks a company in the eyes of investors.

The goal of MCED is to come alongside other strategic organizations, Coastal Enterprises (CEI), the Defense Adjustment Program for ME, the Ship Building industry and others to diversify businesses and prepare for change or growth. There are several co-working spaces popping up, such as Cloudport on Federal Street. MCED has relocated to Cloudport to be near a target rich environment. Other co-working spaces are the ThinkTank on Congress Street and the business incubator, TechSpace in Brunswick. MCED works with several partner organizations including Maine Technology (MTI), Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and the University of Maine.


(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Tom Rainey and President Laura Young.)

06/16/17 Tom Rainey, Ex. Director, Maine Ctr Entrepreneurial Development Dick Hall 2017-06-19 04:00:00Z 0

Volunteer at the Old Port Half Marathon & 5K on Saturday, July 8! Hours are 6:00am-10:00am.

This is a great opportunity to sign up with a group of friends, family members, colleagues, or on your own to support Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland.This year’s race boasts a great course that runs through the heart of the Old Port district in Portland. Habitat volunteers will supply water stop support in groups of about 8 people serving water and Gatorade drink mix to runners.  

All volunteers will receive an Old Port Half “Deck Hand” shirt and be invited to join the festivities and live music at the Ocean Gateway Terminal after the race. Additional volunteer perks include access to the post-race food tent and complimentary Shipyard beer.  

Questions? Contact (207) 772-2151 /

Want to run in the half marathon or 5K? Register here!

Volunteer - Old Port Half Marathon & 5K to Support Habitat for Humanity 2017-06-19 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Our scheduled speaker for June 23 was Dr. Danielle Ripich, the retiring President of the University of New England. Dr. Ripich regrets that a change in her schedule results in her not being able to speak to Portland Rotary. Dr. Jeanne Hey, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, UNE, will join us instead.

Jeanne Hey, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, University of New England

Jeanne Hey earned a B.A. in international relations and Spanish from Bucknell University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the Ohio State University. Her teaching and research interests lie in the areas of international politics, comparative foreign policy, the developing world, Latin America, and small states. She was a faculty member in Miami University’s (Ohio) department of political science and program in international studies from 1992-2011, serving as the director of international studies for nine years. She also served as interim dean of Miami University’s Middletown campus in 2009-10. She lives in Saco, ME, with her husband Thomas Klak and their two sons.

*06/23/17 Jeanne Hey, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, UNE Bob Martin 2017-06-19 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

President Laura Young welcomed 60 members and 4 guests to our meeting at our second home, The Clarion Hotel. Julie L’Heureux offered the invocation reminding us that one of the most critical battles of World War II took place about 70 years ago this week. On June 6, 1944, under daunting conditions, the United States and the Allied Forces stormed the beaches at Normandy, France. As the troops prepared the assault, under the leadership of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, they needed words of inspiration. Eisenhower's message to the troops recalled the historic nature and formidable odds of this offensive push, which was the turning point of the war in Europe. 

We pledged our Allegiance to the Flag and sang a patriotic song acapella, since our keyboard was back at our “other home.”

Last year, President Laura arranged for a group to visit, explore and learn about Fort Gorges, which sits in the middle of Casco Bay, but seldom visited and little understood by most of the locals. The tour last year was very popular and many expressed regrets to have missed out on this unique opportunity. So Laura has arranged another visit on June 24th. Now is the time to sign up for the limited seating on the boat over/back. Any seats that are not reserved by our club members will be offered to other local clubs. If you are interested and for more information, go to our "Home Page" and click on: EXCLUSIVE TOUR OF FORT GORGES, under "Club Events." To be sure you get in on this adventure, register NOW by clicking on:  A word of caution, the walking on the Island is on well-maintained paths, but there may be some ladder climbing involved. Again, for more information, click on the link above.

Linda Varrell provided us with the latest "Rotary Moment." She may be relatively new to this club, but has been involved with Rotary for many years and a previous member of four different clubs. Linda has a great sense of humor and has a welcoming countenance. Yet, she likes to refer to herself as a “recovering banker,” who found herself in rural Bethel, Maine and in need of some friends and something to do other than work. As you would guess, she found her way to the Bethel Rotary Club and became part of the Rotary family, which was important since none of her family was local. Best of all she got involved in the Rotary Exchange program and developed an intimate understanding of the worldwide scope of Rotary.

[Photo L-R: Katie Brown, President Laura Young, Matt Suslovic, Jennifer Southard (mom) and Ed Suslovic (dad).]

The newest of the Portland schools is the Casco Bay High School, a non-traditional public school. It seems that the school develops students that are also far from the traditional model. The school selected an amazing young man, Matt Suslovic, to receive our recognition with the Youth Service Award. Casco Bay High School Principal, Dereck Pearce, described Matt as a “listener” who finds ways of bringing people together. Matt has been involved in the internationally lauded “Seeds of Peace” program as part of his many outreach projects to help his contemporaries. Matt is an Honors Student who graduated this week and will be attending Bates College this fall. Congratulations to Matt and his proud parents, Jennifer Southard and Ed Suslovic (former member of Portland Rotary). 

The Rotary Club of Portland is often referred to as the “singing club,” because of our passion for song. Since we were on a roll singing acapella, Andreea Paine, was courageous and had us belt out, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."


Over more recent weeks, we’ve gotten used to seeing a big pot for the weekly raffle, so when this week's pot was $385, it seemed like chicken feed. (Paul Gore recently won the huge pot.) Consequently, with an almost-full deck of cards, Past President Loretta Rowe asked our speaker to pull a name out of the holding vessel of purchased tickets, then she read the name of Past President Peggy "Queenie" Wescott to invite her to try and pluck her namesake, the Queen (of Hearts), from the scattered deck......Queenie pulled the Ace of Spades, allowing the pot to build.


Past President Kris Rosado took to the podium to announce the results of the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) event. Kris extended his sincere thanks to the following people for their responsibilities with MOC:

Mike Fortunato (lobster bake and daily event volunteers)
Cyrus Hagge (all aspects of the live auction)

Alex St. Hilaire and Travis Parker (all aspects of the silent auction)
Gracie Johnston & helpers (raffle ticket sales)
Bob Clark and Lauren Farina (huge effort from the BGCSM)

along with huge thanks for all the other volunteers, donors, team participants, solicitors, raffle ticket buyers, bidders and lobster eaters. 

This is our largest fund raiser and funds most of our programs and efforts both locally and internationally. As with last year, we had deep involvement in the club, but we need EVERYONE to do something for the 2018 MOC, if we want to grow. We understand that no one can do everything, but we also expect that no one can do nothing! Get involved! There is a way for everyone to help out and make the 2018 MOC a huge success!

Kris announced that the winner of the Top Team Fundraisers was led by Bruce Moore.



The team winners of the L.L. Bean Boot Trophy for overall points was the Varney team: Mike Varney, Ben Delcourt, Damon Vogell, Jared Gordon, and Kendrick Ballantyne.

(Photo: Our own Ben Delcourt holding the trophy on left, with Mike Varney.)


THEN....THE RESULTS (drum roll please)

2015 we raised $51,002
2016 ............. $54,130
2017 ...... $56,478!!

06/09/17 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2017-06-13 04:00:00Z 0
The Haitian migrant families working in the sugar cane fields need your help. These families live without electricity and their children are being burnt by accidents with kerosene lanterns, not to mention the dangers that lurk after dark.
Our International Service Committee's 3-H Project team wants to take 100+ solar lights to the Dominican Republic on their next trip.
YOU CAN HELP! Each $15.00 donation can purchase one of these safe lights.
If you would like to make a donation, you have a couple of options to submit your payments:
1. Mail your check to: Portland Rotary, P.O. Box 1755, Portland, ME 04104-1755 and put in the memo line: 3-H Solar-powered light for DR. 
2. Bring your check or cash to Elise at a Friday Rotary meeting telling her what it is for.
For more information about how you can join the support effort, please contact Loretta at:
Thank you for your support.
Solar Lights for the Dominican Republic 2017-06-13 04:00:00Z 0

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: Your input will be appreciated.

PROSPECT                     BUSINESS
(Erik Greven)

Thank you.

Prospective Rotarians Loretta Rowe 2017-06-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

(Photo: President Laura Young, Bob Martin, and Dmitry Bam.)

President Laura Young had the great pleasure of having Bob Martin introduce Dmitry Bam, an associate professor at Maine Law who specializes in, among other things, constitutional law and the judiciary. Bob’s excellent introduction briefly touched on the “rule of law” theory of having judicial power restricted to following established laws so that judges are generally accountable.

Professor Bam followed up on Bob’s introduction by focusing his talk on how judges – both federal and state – are chosen in the U.S.  He indicated that according to Article III of the U.S. Constitution, federal judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. These judges are appointed for life. He noted how in recent years the appointment and confirmation process for judges to the U.S. Supreme Court has become quite political.

The state judicial system is often much different than the federal system. In some states (often the New England states), judges are appointed by the governor with approval of the legislature. However, 39 states elect their judges and statistics show that about 85% of all state judges must run for election. 

Some would argue that we’re facing a system where at the federal level with judicial appointments and tenure for life, we have a system with very little accountability. The state system of elections, however, may be one where there is too much accountability due to expensive elections where studies have shown that elected judges tend to favor those who contributed to their campaigns.

Professor Bam explained that in Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton wrote about judicial independence and noted that the role of the judicial branch was to:

1) be independent and neutral to protect minority rights; and 

2) protect the majority from abuses of power from elected officials.

There are various proposals for ways to limit too little accountability in the federal system and ways to limit too much accountability in the state system – but no ideal methods have been agreed upon.  

Professor Bam then took timely questions from the audience about the Senate’s refusal during the Obama administration to confirm a Supreme Court judicial appointment; a discussion of the use by the President of Executive Orders; and how the Supreme Court might rule on the President’s travel ban.

06/09/17 Dmitry Bam, Maine Law, Exec. Privilege and the Supreme Court Alan Nye 2017-06-12 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Tom Rainey joined the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED) as the Director in 2016 as the result of a nationwide search. He has wasted no time in propelling MCED forward as the key resource to Maine’s entrepreneurial community.

Prior to MCED, Tom was President of Rainey & Associates; a consultancy specialized in planning and implementing innovation-based development initiatives. Mr. Rainey brings 25 years of experience in building and managing successful business incubators and accelerators for start-up companies in seven states. Mr. Rainey’s experience in rural business development, international trade, aerospace, defense and life sciences combined with a broad national and international business network provides unique capabilities.

Since 1990, Mr. Rainey has been involved in a number of pioneering Defense Adjustment programs, including the decommissioning of a military port in a rural area of California, launching new export assistance programs through the World Trade Center he managed in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, and serving as Director of Business Development for the Defense Adjustment Program in St. Louis in 1993. In 1998 Mr. Rainey was recruited by the State of Florida and Kennedy Space Center to establish a network of six NASA-funded incubators to assist laid-off aerospace workers in the wake of the Challenger disaster. From 2001-2012 Mr. Rainey developed a biotechnology strategy for New Hampshire; plans for a Health Care Institute for Wisconsin; and award-winning incubators at the University of Vermont, Dartmouth College, Northern Arizona University, and the BioInspire accelerator in Phoenix. Mr. Rainey developed business accelerator plans for the cities of Goodyear and Sierra Vista, two rural communities in Arizona affected by major defense industry downsizing.

Mr. Rainey holds a Master’s Degree in Science and Technology Policy from Lund University, Sweden; a Graduate Degree in Social Sciences, from the University of Stockholm, Sweden; and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

*06/16/17 Tom Rainey, Exec. Director Maine Center Entrepreneurial Development Bob Martin 2017-06-12 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Millick

Portland Rotary's "Meet & Greet Happy Hour" is next Wednesday, June 14th at Foundation Brewery located at 1 Industrial Way #5, Portland, ME, 04103. Foundation Brewery was established in 2012 and focuses on creating world-class beers that use classic styles as the inspiration for brewing exciting beers that push conventional boundaries. The happy hour starts at 5:30pm and will end no later the 7pm. For all Rotarians that appreciate quality brew, please attend and bring a guest. The more the merrier!

See you then!!

Ben Millick

Portland Rotary Meet & Greet Happy Hour Ben Millick 2017-06-06 04:00:00Z 0
Join us for an
exclusive tour of Fort Gorges!
Saturday, June 24th  11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
(arrive at the dock by 10:45 a.m.)
Space is limited....ticket required....rain or shine!
$30.00 per person
(friends and family are welcome)
Arrive at 10:45 a.m. at 202 Commercial Street (Chandlers Wharf) for an 11:00 a.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. (Small, camping port-a-potty will be available for necessity.)
Boat will depart the fort for the return trip to Portland at 1:30 p.m.
Bring your camera for the best views of Portland and Casco Bay.
Exclusive Tour of Fort Gorges 2017-06-06 04:00:00Z 0

Thanks so much for your part in making the donation of a recumbent cycle by Tammy Steeves to our VAST Cycling program happen in November 2016. 

This photo shows one of the Veterans using the cycle last week. He loved it!


Best wishes ~ 
Kristina Sabasteanski, OTR/L
Director, Veterans Adaptive Sports
VAST Program, Pineland Farms, Inc.

Veterans' Thank You to Portland Rotary 2017-06-06 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Dmitry Bam is an associate professor at Maine Law where he writes and teaches in the fields of constitutional law, professional responsibility, employment law, and the judiciary. He is recognized as a scholar and media commentator on judicial ethics, judicial selection, and constitutional interpretation.

From 2005 to 2009, Professor Bam practiced with the law firms of Morrison & Foerster and Jones Day. His practice focused on employment law, securities law, and appellate litigation. His extensive pro bono work has ranged from ensuring indigent civil litigants the right to counsel in Colorado to litigating cases involving discrimination claims and constitutional issues. From 2009 to 2011, Professor Bam served as a Research Fellow at the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession and taught at Stanford Law School.


Professor Bam graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University and earned a law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School. He served as Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review and on the editorial board of the Stanford Technology and Law Review. He clerked with the Honorable Barry G. Silverman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Phoenix, Arizona.

*06/09/17 Dmitry Bam, Maine Law, Executive Privilege and the Supreme Court Bob Martin 2017-06-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President Laura Young welcomed 61 members, then introduced 5 guests and 3 visiting Rotarians to the first week of June’s meeting. The invocation was led by Bruce Jones; we pledged our Allegiance to the American Flag and sung a patriotic song. 

“Happy Birthday” was sung to the many Rotarians who celebrate June birthdays. (See listing in this edition.)

President Laura thanked the many members whose volunteer service helps with our weekly meeting. 

Juliana L’Heureux presented President Laura with the Rotary District 7780 Literacy Award, which she received as a proxy for our club from District Governor Marge Barker at the District Conference on May 20, 2017. Portland Rotary was awarded this honor for  all of our literacy service reading to children.

Meredith Small was welcomed back to Maine after enjoying the winter in St. John, Virgin Islands.

David Clough offered his “Rotary Moment,” telling us how he reconnected with Rotary when he joined our club in 1993. He enjoys the people who are in Rotary, describing members as “grounded” in our service. Not a day goes by when he doesn’t hear about how Rotarians are involved in the community, to serve the club or to support international service. Coming to our weekly meetings offers him an escape from the State House in Augusta, where there can be some intense business issues. Fellowship at Rotary meetings is a great way to meet people, and especially when given the opportunities to visit other clubs and experience the “life blood” of other communities. Rotary meetings are “very special,” particularly because of the good people who are grounded in our community service.

(Photo L-R: President Laura Young, Lili Brown, Seham Salah and Pamela Rawson.)

Chair of the Youth Services Committee, Lili Brown introduced the visitors attending from the Portland Baxter Academy for Technology and Science. Mathematics Teacher Pamela Rawson gave a tribute to graduating senior, Seham Salah, who was recognized by the Youth Services Committee to receive a Portland Rotary scholarship. Seham has demonstrated her dedication to the community during the “Flex Friday” projects supported by Baxter Academy, where she volunteers time to prepare care packages for children who were patients at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. She also helps Catholic Charities to educate newly-arrived immigrants and assists at Preble Street Resource Center. Seham is a volunteer at her Mosque and volunteers with children to teach culture to Somali immigrants. Congratulations, Seham!  

Andrew Cook led the weekly raffle for the chance to win the pot of $348.00. Ellen Niewoehner was given a chance to find the red queen, but drew the wrong red card. Better luck next week, as the jackpot grows again.


An enthusiastic Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) report, led by Past President Kris Rosado, was given by all who are leading the club’s major annual fundraiser. Past President Cyrus Hagge read an impressive list of live auction items to be offered at the June 7th Lobster Dinner, at the AmVets, 148 North Road, Yarmouth. Included in the items were two tickets to see the New England Patriots play Buffalo NY, at Gillette Stadium.

Alex St. Hilaire reminded us it was not too late to donate an item for the silent auction. Please contact him if you have an item(s) at:

Gracie Johnston then reminded us that there were raffle tickets still available to buy and sell for the $500 gift card to L.L. Bean's and the Fly Rod package worth over $1500. If you take or have taken tickets to sell and you have some left over, please contact her, so we can sell them at the Lobster Bake on Wednesday. You will need to get the ticket stubs to her to submit for the drawing, too! Contact Gracie at:

The Lobster Bake on June 7th starts at 5:00 p.m. with a social hour, then "let the feast begin"! The "LIVE" auction will start after the meal, with our own member, Past President Tom Saturley, as auctioneer-extraordinnaire!

Directions from Portland:
Take I-295 heading North....Take exit 17 onto US Rte 1 South to North Road on right
Follow North Road until you see the AmVets Hall. 

06/02/17 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2017-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin


(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Chancellor Jim Page and President Laura Young.)



On Friday, University of Maine System Chancellor Jim Page said that the “State of Maine cannot be successful without a successful university system, and a successful University of Southern Maine is needed by the system.” He acknowledged that things have been difficult at USM, but the turnaround started by David Flanagan and continued by Glenn Cummings and his team has reshaped the school. “I think we’re there; with the changes inculcated, we’ve turned the corner.”

Chancellor Page reported that applications to USM were up 14 percent over the previous year. “We’re seeing the same kind of growth at Orono,” he added.

One of the key concerns faced by the university system is workforce development. Page pointed to dismal statistics predicting decreases in the number of people available to work. “Economic forecasts indicate that between now and 2012, we will lose 15 percent of our workforce, and our population is not growing fast enough to provide replacements.” Moreover, he added, “sixty to sixty-five percent of jobs now require a two-year, or increasingly, a four-year degree.”

“We need to provide an education to everyone sixteen to sixty who wants one,” he said. “Nothing is more important.” Page pointed to one employment area that is critical to Maine’s older population, nursing. “The Maine Nursing Action Coalition predicts that there will be 3,200 vacancies in nursing jobs by 2025, so we’re working hard to create a plan to fill those jobs.”

Page said that the system needs a clear view of what employers need and want in employees. “If you own or work for a business, what are your workforce needs? How can we help?” He said that the creation of the “One University for All of Maine,” was an effort to break down silos within the system so it could become more responsive. “For example, we discovered that we were not turning out as many computer science and information technology grads as business needed, and we were requiring courses that businesses said weren’t necessary. So, we changed the requirement for calculus and substituted statistics, which was a change employers wanted to get them the graduates they needed.” As a result, Page said that the completion rates for matriculating students increased. “We will be responsive to those kinds of needs.”

In response to questions, Page indicated that USM was embarking on an $80-million fund raising effort, which would be more obvious in the months ahead. He also acknowledged the growth in transfers from the state’s community college system to the four-year schools and the success of easing requirements to allow students to start their degree in the community colleges and then attend the system’s universities. “The key is advising students to make sure they are satisfying prerequisites, but it saves them a lot of money in tuition.”


06/02/17 James Page, Chancellor University of Maine System Bob Martin 2017-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
Justin Lamontagne announced that his wife, Marce, has been deemed a “Cancer Survivor” by their team of doctors. As many of you know, she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer last November. She’s completed 20 weeks of chemotherapy and her first of two surgeries. All of her tests show clean margins and no cancer.

In honor of her accomplishments (and recognizing they have more work), Justin is participating in the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Twilight 5K. The race is Thursday June 8th, 7PM at Bug Light Park in South Portland. To donate to Justin's team or register to run yourself, visit this link:

Maine Cancer Foundation Walk Justin Lamontagne 2017-06-03 04:00:00Z 0

The tennis league concluded their Spring sessions with a BBQ bash at Russ Burleigh's abode in Scarborough.


Here Bill Blount is presenting Russ Burleigh with charter member 25-year anniversary shirt.



Winning Spring team: Norm Pullen, Jack Carr, Jim Barns, and Howie Herodes.


Photo Corner & Rotarians in the News 2017-06-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

President Laura opened the meeting welcoming 55 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 4 guests.

Russ Burleigh shared poems for our invocation, and Amy Chipman led our Pledge of Allegiance. President Laura welcomed Robert Duquette, a visiting Rotarian, and we greeted our summer resident Kirk Duffy, from Georgia.

President Laura extended thanks to the day’s support team, the Preble Street volunteers, and the Deering Locker Project volunteers.

She then noted that Dick Hall’s father was honored with the first District 7910 "Ed Hall Foundation Award" for his Rotary service, especially in Haiti. She also asked us to keep new member Andy Stone in our thoughts, as he recovers at Maine Med from a heart attack.


David Small shared a 'Rotary Moment' with a reminiscence of his memories since joining in 1981 at the suggestion of Harold Nelson who told him that Rotary was a “place to do good, while doing well.” He said he was delighted to have been in Rotary for “half my life.” “Thank you for wonderful opportunities to grow, break bread, and getting to know you.”

We welcomed a new member, Deborah Lavoie, introduced to us by Loretta Rowe. She is currently Executive Director of Gary’s House, a respite provided by Mercy Hospital to assist families whose loved ones are undergoing treatment at Mercy. Be sure to introduce yourself to Deb at the next Rotary meeting and welcome her as our newest member.

(Photo L-R: Dave Putnam, Kevin Stilphen (PATH Director), Kevin Siegel, and President Laura Young.)

Dave Putnam introduced Kevin Stilphen, Director of the Portland Area Technical High School (PATH), who shared the school’s selection of Kevin Siegel as the recipient of the Rotary Youth Service Award. Stilphen commented that “every year I look forward to this day more than any other” and thanked the club for the Youth Service Award program. He shared that Kevin Siegel had demonstrated superior citizenship and commitment to the idea of "Service Above Self" by volunteering to be the student representative on the Portland School Board for two years, representing the interests of students in 19 schools. Siegel will be attending the University of Vermont next year.

Amy Chipman brought us up-to-date on our Rotary Foundation goal: we have contributed $14,200 of our $15,000 objective. She introduced Bruce Moore who presented a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) award to his wife and fellow Rotarian, Jan Chapman, her first PHF. Amy acknowledged Bruce’s gift with his second PHF. Congratulations to both Jan and Bruce!


Amy should have stuck to the Rotary Foundation, but no, she led us, or attempted to lead us, in the singing of “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here,” proving, once again, that we have no penchant, or ability, for songs. We continue to demonstrate our capacity to sing as no one has sung before.

Conducting the weekly raffle, Nick Lotfey asked our speaker pull a name out of the holding vessel and he pulled President Laura’s name for a chance to play in our new raffle for $320. She found the Ace of Hearts in the 52 cards. Paul Gore had better odds last week, and a much bigger pot. So once more....the pot starts to grow. 


(Photo left: PP Kris Rosado.)

(Photo right: Alex St. Hilaire.)


Alex St. Hilaire and Past President Kris Rosado brought us up to date on the progress of the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) planning. We are on track for a record year with close to $60,000 in commitments so far. We need Silent Auction contributions from local businesses. Connect with Alex to get involved at: 

Contact Loretta Rowe (  or 883-5432) to reserve your ticket(s) and register for the Lobster Bake on June 7th starting at 5:00 p.m. with social hour:

148 North Rd, Yarmouth, ME 04096

Directions from Portland:
Take I-295 heading North....Take exit 17 onto US Rte 1 South to North Road on right
Follow this road until you see AmVets Hall. 

0529/17 Bits & Pieces Bob Martin 2017-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

Stuart Kestenbaum is Maine’s poet laureate, which is a position in Maine that lasts for 5 years. Mr. Kestenbaum is also the former director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and he currently works for Maine College of Art (MECA). On Friday, he told numerous anecdotes and read numerous poems from various poets that included topics such as: saying a prayer to the Maine Legislature; taking a long car ride; preparing maple syrup; walking and falling along a wet rocky coastline; and even about a poem based upon unrelated words that his students provided to him in class one day.  

To start his discussions he looked at the 'Four Way Test' banner and told us that poetry, as its essence, passes the 'Four Way Test.' He considers how language is used in culture and the dialogue of poetry becomes more important in its meaning to each individual. 

After many of the poems that he read, Mr. Kestenbaum provided us his opinions and insights as it relates to poetry.   For him to prepare a successful poem, he lets his brain reign free on a topic, and then edits the poem later. He does not think a successful poem can be made if the editing process is completed during the initial flow of information to the page. One might not be sure where a successful poem is leading when it is initially written. He made the comparison of dropping an ice cube on a warm stove: the melted water moves in many directions. 

Mr. Kestenbaum stressed his opinions on preparing poems, and he feels many of the good poems have had limitations placed on the process. The limitations could be restriction like time, the word choice, the rhythm of the poem, or a specific topic. For instance, time is finite and an ultimate restriction. Basically without that restriction, the poem could go on forever. He told us a quote about comparing limitations in poetry to a football game: what makes the last two minutes of a football game so exciting? If you know, why wait through 58-minutes of the game to get there: the limitations provide an interesting framework. 

After stating an opinion that the National Endowment for the Arts should be maintained, Mr. Kestenbaum told us an anecdote about a teacher who was helping his students to write poetry. The teacher told the 5th grade students that is was okay to lie in class that day. The students really latched on to the concept and moved beyond what they knew to be true in the physical world. The concept allowed them to push creative concepts outside the box along the lines of dream or fantasy. For instance, do humans fly, or can they fly down the highway? The truth can be stretched a little to promote creativity or a point.

For more information on Stuart Kestenbaum, go to:

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Stuart Kestenbaum and President Laura Young.) 

05/2617 Stuart Kestenbaum, President MECA, Poet Laureate Jake Bourdeau 2017-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Dr. James H. Page was appointed Chancellor by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees in March 2012 to lead their repositioning of the University System to meet Maine’s 21st century higher education needs.

Prior to becoming Chancellor, Dr. Page was principal and CEO of the James W. Sewall Company, a national consulting organization founded in 1880 and headquartered in Old Town, Maine, specializing in forestry, natural resources, civil and spatial engineering.

Page is the first University of Maine System Chancellor to be born in Maine or to have been educated at one of the System’s universities. He was born and raised in Caribou, and obtained his BA in History from the University of Maine at Ft. Kent. Subsequently he completed Master’s work in the philosophy of physics from St. Andrews University, Scotland, and obtained his Ph.D. in the philosophical foundations of mathematics from MIT. He taught at several universities before joining the private sector and has served on a number of Boards in the public, private, and NGO sectors.

Chancellor Page lives in Old Town with his family.

*06/02/17 James Page, Chancellor University of Maine System Bob Martin 2017-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
As of July 1, 2017, the cost of lunch at our weekly meetings
will increase to $17.00 per person.
Cost of Lunch Increase 2017-05-28 04:00:00Z 0
The Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) event that is happening on June 5-7th still has some single spots available on the teams participating in the event. If you would like to sign up to be a part of a 5-person team that will be having a fun day of fly casting, GPS geocaching, archery, firearm familiarity and clay target Kris Rosado NOW at:  or call at 443-257-7523. Don't miss out!

PLUS....don't forget to get your registrations in for tickets to the lobster bake on June 7th, starting at 5:00 p.m. at the AmVets, 148 North Rd, Yarmouth. Contact Loretta Rowe at: or 883-5432 to reserve your tickets: $32 lobster, $28 steak or $26 chicken.....with all the fixins!

Directions from Portland:
Take I-295 heading North....Take exit 17 onto US Rte 1 South to North Road on right
Follow this Road until you see AmVets hall.

PLUS PLUS.....there are still raffle tickets to buy! Contact Gracie Johnston to get yours at

MAINE OUTDOOR CHALLENGE 2017-05-28 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Stuart Kestenbaum is the Interim President of the Maine College of Art. Previously, he served as the director of the Haystack, a crafts school in Deer Isle, Maine, where he established innovative programs for 27 years that combined craft, writing, and new technologies. Prior to that he worked at the Maine Arts Commission and the Children’s Museum of Maine. He remains active in the field of craft as an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Educator’s Award from the James Renwick Alliance. He is also Maine’s fifth poet laureate, a five-year post created by Maine’s Legislature in 1995, which he was awarded in March of 2016.

He is the author of four collections of poems: Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press), House of Thanksgiving (Deerbrook Editions), Prayers and Run-on Sentences (Deerbrook Editions), and Only Now (Deerbrook Editions), as well as a collection of essays entitled "The View From Here" (Brynmorgen Press). He has written and spoken widely on craft making and creativity, and his poems and writing have appeared in numerous small press publications and magazines, including Tikkun, the Sun, the Beloit Poetry Journal, and Northeast Corridor and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac

Former United States Poet Laureate Ted Kooser said, “Stuart Kestenbaum writes the kind of poems I love to read, heartfelt responses to the privilege of having been given a life. No hidden agendas here, no theories to espouse, nothing but life, pure life, set down with craft and love.”

*05/26/17 Stuart Kestenbaum, Interim President MECA Bob Martin 2017-05-26 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

President Laura Young opened the meeting by welcoming 53 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 1 guest. Kathy Grammer provided the invocation by sharing the deeper meanings of the word, “Aloha,” shaped no doubt by her recent visit to Hawaii. President Laura introduced Tom Broadaway, a visiting Rotarian from Florida, and Kent Peterson, guest of Rob Chatfield, and CEO of Fluid Imaging Technologies.

President Laura recognized and thanked the participants in the Lyseth School Reading Program, which included: Rusty Atwood, George Crockett, Mike Fortunato, Michael Greer, Michel Kanyambo, Eric Lusk, Jean Murachanian, Lionel Nima, David Small, Dave Smith, Matt Wolcott, and Laura Young.

Tom Ranello shared a 'Rotary Moment' and reflected on the activities and people who have touched and inspired him over his 19 years of membership. He gave special recognition to John Houghton and George Crockett.



Janelle LoSciuto led us in singing “In the Good Old Summertime,” which drove many of  us to go home and Google “tootsie wootsie.” This writer thought it was a code name for Russian spies.


Mike Fortunato, Sergeant-Major of the 'Maine Outdoor Challenge' rounded up volunteers to help with registration, and other assorted tasks. He also encouraged everyone to buy their tickets to the lobster bake on Wednesday, June 7th by contacting Loretta Rowe at a Rotary meeting or email at:

Kris Rosado shared a challenge from the team at Verrill Dana to other law firms to form a team for the event. For more information or to register a team, contact Kris at:



Gracie Johnston invited everyone to buy raffle tickets. Contact her at:




The BIGGEST news of the day?

Paul Gore won the weekly raffle and took home a whopping $2,347. Of course, it took skill for him to choose the right card from his choice of only four cards being left in the deck, offered by Raffle Meister Ellen Niewoehner, so it wasn’t just dumb luck. There were many sad faces in the audience who had been hopeful. A new deck of cards and a new pot begin starting next Friday.

05/19/17 Bits & Pieces Bob Martin 2017-05-22 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Bob Martin introduced our speaker, Ambassador Laurence Pope, using material from his favorite source, Ambrose Bierce’s, 'The Devil’s Dictionary.'   

The last time Laurence spoke to Rotary, it was a club in San Angelo, Texas. Ambassador Pope, who is a retired American diplomat and author, told us he was not speaking of diplomacy, but rather a story close to his heart. Starting out, the ambassador acknowledged the contributions to World War II by members Bob Trail and Earl Leavitt.

Laurence began the story about his father by telling us he grew up listening to dramatized recorded stories about all the Medal of Honor winners, and his dad’s story was one of them. Everett Pope, nicknamed "Two Ton," died at 90-years old in 2009 on his birthday. He would describe his life as happy and successful, but Laurence would not describe his father as happy.

The battle on Peleliu Island is described as the forgotten battle. The 2015 documentaries "Revisiting a Forgotten Battlefield - Peleliu Island," and the book "Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan" by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have informed many people about that battle.Lawrence gave us practically a minute-by-minute account of the action at Peleliu. It was a depiction that helped us all understand more about the horrors of war and the bravery of our fighting men. Peleliu Island, an island in the Pacific, was needed to secure the US Navy flank. It was predicted to be a 3-day battle (short shot battle), but the aerial photography did not show the mountains and caves. These caves were expertly used by Japanese, who dug a highly developed cave system. The Japanese on Peleliu were untouched by pre-invasion Navy bombardment. 

Landing on Sept 15, 1944, the Marines proceeded slowly and on Sept 19 were pinned down in a swamp. Charlie Company was assigned Hill 100 as its target and they took it, but of the 230 assaulting Marines, only 95 were left after 3 days. The following day all 95 returned to the hill, held it overnight, then were ordered down, as the position could not be supported. Only 25 made it back down. Then they were ordered back into the assault again, but before they could start, the attack order was rescinded. The Marines experienced a 79% loss rate on the island’s assaults. 69 Navy Crosses and 8 Medals of Honor were awarded, 5 of which were for soldiers who fell on explosives to protect others.

The Japanese defense was so hardened that in March 1947, 33 Japanese soldiers surrendered, 2 ½ years after the battle.

Laurence told us that his experience as a diplomat was based on understanding what his father had done. He has a profound reverence for those who bear the battle on our behalf. Ambassador Pope has travelled extensively with armed forces, and each time has developed more respect for the military.

For more information on the Medal of Honor citation for Captain Everett P. Pope, United States Marine Corps. to to:

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, President Laura Young, Ambassador Laurence Pope, Earle Leavitt, and Bob Traill.)


05/19/17 Ambassador Laurence Pope Dick Hall 2017-05-22 04:00:00Z 0
Our big fund raiser - The Maine Outdoor Challenge - is looking for one more team of 5 for a half-day of fun activities at the L.L. Bean facility in Freeport! Their trained staff provides safety and assistance with training prior to competition.
The events include fly casting, GPS geocaching, archery, firearm familiarity and clay target shooting.
Team registration is $1,000 or commitment to fundraise a total minimum of $1,500. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine* and other Rotary Club charities**.
For more information on the challenge or to register a team, please contact Kris Rosado by phone at: 207-771-0843 or by email at:
* The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine's mission is to inspire and enable all young people, particularly those who need us most, to realize their full potential as responsible, productive and caring citizens. 
** Portland Rotarians provide local scholarships and mentoring of students, along with providing hearing aids, prosthetics and clean water for children and families in the Dominican Republic.
Maine Outdoor Challenge 2017-05-20 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Ambassador Laurence Pope is a retired American diplomat and is the author of several books, including François de Callieres: A Political Life (2010), a biography of the first proponent of professional diplomacy. He was previously the U.S. Ambassador to Chad from 1993 to 1996.

In the wake of the tragic murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens during a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned to Ambassador Pope to serve as Washington’s man in Tripoli, an appointment that did not require Senate confirmation.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton nominated Pope as ambassador to Kuwait, but his nomination was derailed by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina), Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and other conservative Republicans because Gen. Zinni had criticized their support of Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi politician opposed to dictator Saddam Hussein. According to Pope, Helms’s aide Danielle Pletka told him he would not even get a hearing unless he agreed to testify on his advice to Zinni regarding Chalabi. Pope retired from the State Department on October 2, 2000, after 31 years of service rather than expose his confidential advice.

Two years later, during the ramp-up to the U.S. War on Iraq, Chalabi was responsible for supplying the George W. Bush administration much of the false information alleging that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Ambassador Laurence Pope served in the foreign service and diplomatic corps for thirty-one years, in one the most important, and difficult, regions in the world – the Middle East, as well as North Africa, and did so during some of more challenging periods of contemporary history. 

He is considered a top expert in the region. After retirement, he served for several months as the Staff Director in Jerusalem for the International Committee on Middle East Peace, led by former Senator George Mitchell, and after 9/11, he was appointed Senior Advisor for Arab Affairs to the United Nations.

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Pope also had advanced studies at Princeton University and is a graduate of the U.S. Department of State Senior Seminar, a Senior Fellow at the Armed Forces Staff College. He speaks Arabic and French, and resides in Portland, with his wife Betsy. Laurence Pope is the eldest son of Major Everett P. Pope, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944 for his conspicuous courage at Pelelieu.

*05/19/17 Ambassador Laurence Pope Bob Martin 2017-05-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President Laura Young extended particular thanks to Club Service volunteers, including Past President Cyrus Hagge and his team who provide video coverage of meetings for broadcast on local CTN channel 5. Past President Loretta Rowe leads the reporters who write for the Club's weekly newsletter - The Windjammer - and thanks to Past President Russ Burleigh as the club photographer.

Programs. Program speakers have been fabulous with credit to the leadership of Rusty Atwood and his team, including Bob Martin, David Clough, Past President Roxane Cole, Dave Putnam and others.


Membership. During this 2016-2017 Rotary year, we brought in 17 new members, soon to be 18 and our membership now stands at 138. It was a goal to build a diversified club membership and has been an ongoing achievement with new members reflecting the diversity in the Portland community. 2017-18 Membership Co-Chairs Tom Ranello (at right) and Leisa Collins will continue with this goal in mind.


Fund Raising was reported by Past President Kris Rosado. Sponsorship donations for the “Veterans Appreciation Lunch” was successful in 2016, with $2,000 already dedicated to the November 2017 event. This annual program to recognize and host veterans is intended to be a bank-sponsored event. If every bank contributed $500 for a table, the effort would easily achieve $8,000 to support the event's costs. 

(Photo L-R MOC announcers: Travis Parker, Mike Fortunato, Jim Willey, Kris Rosado and Gracie Johnston.)

Fund raising for the 6th Annual “Maine Outdoor Challenge” (MOC) to be held on June 5-7, 2017, raises in excess of $37,000 to support the Club’s community service projects, Portland’s Boys and Girls Club and the international 3-H programs. Support for MOC is a total Club effort! Past President Jim Willey is creating an additional team he has dubbed the “Silver Foxes” and several members raised their hands to be included on it. 


Travis Parker requested items for the silent auction and volunteers to help solicit more items from restaurants and local businesses. Large donation items can be held at the Boys and Girls Club and smaller items can be brought to our meetings and given to Travis - contact Travis at: Two types of raffle tickets are for sale: only 300 will be sold at $20 per ticket or 6 for $100 for some major prizes to be drawn at the lobster bake; a second type of raffle ticket is offered for a $500 L.L. Bean gift certificate selling at $10 a ticket or 5 for $40. Meal tickets are also available for the lobster bake from Loretta Rowe: Don't wait until the last minute....get your tickets NOW!

International Service Chair, Dr. Roger Fagan reported on the 3-H hearing aid program. He hopes to receive many more donated hearing aids in addition to those contributed by distributors. Continued ongoing training of those who are providing “hands on” hearing assistance at the Dominican Republic clinics are planned via video conferencing. Jan Chapman (photo right) reported on the progress with the new 3-D prosthetic hands.


David Small (photo left) reported on the installation of the water filters and solar lights in the Bateyes.   








Over the past year, Public Relations Chair Linda Varrell provided the assistance of an intern at her business to help with marketing, press releases and on-line posts in social media. Her successful efforts allowed the club to receive over $8,000 in valuable media through the publication of press releases covering Portland Rotary stories.

(Photo L-R: Dick Hall and Amy Chipman)

Foundation Chair Amy Chipman thanked those who contributed to the Rotary Foundation through donations, Sustaining Memberships and bequests. The Club goal for 2016-2017 was $15,000 and it should be achieved by June 30. Year-to-date Foundation contributions are $13,790, three outstanding members will contribute another $600 and 15 Sustaining Members have contributed $1,500. Annual contributions to the Rotary Foundation can be made in four ways: (a) EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) - any level of contribution and 62 Portland Rotarians are in this group; (b) Sustaining Members - contribute $100 annually and there are 22 members in this group; (c) Circle of Five - Each member contributes $200 annually, there are currently 8 circles with 40 members and a 9th circle is being organized; and (d) the Paul Harris Society, where contributors donate $1,000 annually, there are three members in this group. Additionally, Major Donors achieve contributions to reach $10,000 and there is one member in this category. Benefactors include those who donate endowment funds - remembering Rotary as a beneficiary in their estate or when a member donates $1,000 or more to the fund outright- there are seven members in this group. A Bequest Society member Level 1, is when a member donates $10,000 or more via an estate plan and there are 2 members in this group. One Portland Rotarian is in the group of new direct or bequest contributions of $10,000. A 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation was celebrated in 2017. In 2017-2018 the Foundation Chair is Past President Dick Hall, who told us next year’s goal is to raise $20,000.

(Photo L-R: Janelle LoSciuto and Lili Brown.)

Youth Services Chair Janelle LoSciuto reported that Youth Services supported 7 students for  the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program and scholarships were given to local-area school seniors. Portland High School Interact is recruiting for more members. There is $1,000 in the budget for a youth exchange program, which unfortunately did not happen this year, but the efforts continue towards a successful program in the near future. $250 has been donated to the volunteer efforts at Long Creek Youth Development Center. Lili Brown thanked everyone who participated in the Lyseth Reading program, where 13 people from the USM Law School and 13 Rotarians donated time to read to students. This program is extended into the summer at North Deering Gardens, scheduled from July 6 to August 10.

Vision Champion Michael Greer assured us we would be hearing more from him throughout the coming year on our Club's continuing vision.

And last....but surely not least....incoming President Don Zillman said we would definitely be hearing more from him as July 1st draws near....and over the course of the next year.

It’s been a busy, but productive, year for Portland Rotarians!

05/12/17 Club Assembly - What's Happening at Portland Rotary Julie L'Heureux 2017-05-15 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Laura Young welcomed 53 members, 6 guests and 1 visiting Rotarian to the meeting. Alan Nye gave a Mothers’ Day  invocation honoring mothers and quoting from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Erma Bombeck, Abraham Lincoln and others. 

Queen Peggy Wescott led us in the pledge to the flag; Kathy Grammer led us in singing the national anthem; President Laura introduced the visiting Rotarian and guests; and she thanked all those that assisted with today’s meeting. 

We sang “Happy Birthday" and wished "Happy Rotary Anniversary" to those Rotarians celebrating their important dates for the month of May.

Past President Roxane Cole shared a ‘Rotary Moment’ and reflected on some of her proudest achievements during her year as Club President in 1999-2000. Roxane discussed going to the Rotary International Convention in Singapore and hearing a Rotarian discuss giving a tree to speakers at their club. She brought the idea back to Portland Rotary and, working with the City of Portland arborist, established Rotary Grove on the Eastern Prom Trail. She is also proud of our contribution to the Armillary in front of Casco Bay Lines on the waterfront, depicting Portland Rotary in the sphere.

Ben Millick conducted the raffle for $2,223. Bruce Moore’s name was picked out of the vessel, but he picked the wrong card – to the relief of all those Rotarians still hoping for this huge Rotary prize. Better luck next week to those entering the jackpot! The cards are down to 4!

President Laura announced that we raised $932 from our event at the Allagash Brewing Tour. The proceeds go to the United Way of Greater Portland’s Summer Feed and Read Program to help purchase books for the program. Accepting a check from President Laura is Katie Camplin from the United Way.



Past President Bill Blount thanked all those who participated in the 2017 Spring Rotary Tennis League and encouraged those interested to consider joining the fun. For more information or interests, please contact: Eric Jorgensen at or Bill Blount at

05/12/17 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2017-05-15 04:00:00Z 0
Please join us this Friday for another lively and engaging Club Assembly at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay. It will include updates on our service and fundraising activities, a check in on our club vision, and some surprises along the way.
Please invite a potential new member to join you, as this is a perfect opportunity to learn more about our active and fun club.
*05/12/17 Club Assembly 2017-05-09 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

After welcoming 46 Rotarian members and 1 visiting Rotarian, President Laura Young asked Past President Russ Burleigh to give the invocation. Russ read the “Horse’s Prayer” in honor of the upcoming weekend’s Kentucky Derby, which is reportedly the longest running sporting event in the USA. Scott Blakeslee led us in the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ and we sang the National Anthem.    

President Laura thanked those responsible for setting up and helping run the meeting smoothly  

Mike Robinson provided us with a “Rotary Moment.” Mike (formerly of the Wells Rotary Club) shared the reasons for initially joining Rotary (reminds him of the Eagle Scouts); why he thinks he was the right person for Rotary (similar volunteering opportunities as at his church and positive memories over the years); and what he enjoys about being a Rotarian (great relationships built working on the committees and helping people).     

(Photo L-R: Alex St. Hilaire, Gracie Johnston, and PP Cyrus Hagge.)

Several people discussed the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) and asked for volunteers, not only on the day of the event, but also to start a team for our biggest fund raiser, which raises money for our local causes and in the Dominican Republic. The MOC is five (5) weeks away, we have 30 teams, and we’re looking for about 15 more. Alex St. Hilaire spoke for a moment and asked for more volunteers and auction items. Contact Alex at: 

Past President Cyrus Hagge discussed the live auction items, which so far include: a sail boat race on a 42-foot sail boat; a cruise on Paul Tully’s motor boat; a 14-ft kayak; a harbor cruise for four with lobster bake; a 3-night weekend stay at Sunday River/Bethel Inn; two Patriots’ tickets; passes to Maine Indoor Go-Karting; a weekend at Ripple Effect; and a hunting trip with Kris Rosado. Contact Cyrus at:

Gracie Johnston let us know that volunteers are needed to help sell 400 tickets for the fly fishing package, a kayak or paddle board. Tickets are $20 each or 6 for $100. Contact Gracie at:

Past President Loretta Rowe ran the raffle and as her luck would have it, her name was picked out of the vessel by our speaker for a shot at finding the winning card in the remaining 6 cards in the deck. Her luck ran just short that day, as she did not pull the Queen of Hearts, and the pot continues to grow with only 5 cards left. 

Past President Ben Lowry let us know that the Falmouth Rotary Club is having an Electronics Recycling Collection Day on Saturday, May 13th from 9 am-1:00 pm in the Falmouth Shopping Center. They could use your electronic products, along with a few volunteers to help them at the event. For more information, contact: Anne Payson at:

Again in recognition of the upcoming Kentucky Derby, Amy Chipman and Gracie Johnston led us in the song “My Old Kentucky Home,” accompanied on the keyboard by Past President Russ Burleigh.


05/05/17 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2017-05-08 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr
Rusty Atwood introduced us to Luca St. Clair, who manages his family’s operating foundation, Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI) in the Moosehead and Katahdin regions, as well as miles of frontage along the East Branch of the Penobscot River and Wassataquoik Stream.

In 2016, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Barack Obama accepted the gift of 89,000 acres of land from EPI and created the newest unit of the National Park Service - Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

Mr. St. Clair spent hours in Washington, DC before the legislative committee and National Park Service explaining why he and his family wanted to donate this land to the Park Service. Whereas, appearing before the same committees, Governor Paul LePage, on behalf of his constituents, was telling them why the state did not want this part of Maine as a national monument, saying that too many parcels of land and water front are needlessly taken from production.

The land in question was first obtained by Roxanne Quimby, of Burt’s Bees fame. She asked her son, Lucas to return to Maine and manage the property with an eye toward preparing it to be gifted to the people as a protected trust that would enhance the beauty of the majestic Katahdin region and Baxter State Park. Supporters cheered the gift that they predicted could revitalize the region’s struggling towns, while opponents warned that providing a foothold to the federal government would inhibit economic development in the North Woods, as well as restrict hunting, snowmobiling and forestry on some of the land.

According to Lucas the land was given without any denial of such access. Furthermore, the land comes with a fund of $40,000,000 to help maintain it. Mr. St. Clair and many others saw this as a business opportunity with a perpetual future that preserved the beauty of the state and enhanced the local community by providing sustainable jobs and a way of life people loved. The paper mills are now gone and the region is struggling to recover as the economy shifts from one based on manufacturing and forest products to one increasingly reliant on tourism-related jobs. Local businesses are benefiting from the changes that are happening.

Long before President Obama was given the opportunity to make the designation, Lucas had the members of the Park Authority come and visit Maine to learn what they had in mind. While they were winning over some of those from “away,” they weren’t convincing all the local politicians and the battle lines were better defined.

Lucas and the Friends of Katahdin Woods & Water continue to reach out and let the idea naturally germinate. For the time being, we have a wonderful gift to use and it seems that we may see the truth of “if you build it, they will come.” It may be the perfect time for each of us to put on our hiking shoes, apply an ample spray of bug repellent and take a walk in the woods.

(Photo L-R: Rusty Atwood, Lucas St. Clair, PP John Marr and President Laura Young.)
05/05/17 Lucas St. Clair, Elliotsville Plantation John Marr 2017-05-08 04:00:00Z 0
Photos from the 3-H Team in the Dominican Republic (DR):
Bill Blount guarding the inventory.
Bruce Moore assisting in fitting a prosthetic device.
Doctors Liz and Roger Fagan fitting and testing a hearing aid to a patient.
Doctor Roger Fagan fitting and testing a hearing aid, with local assistance, to a 95-year old patient. 
News From the DR 3-H Team 2017-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

Lucas St. Clair was born and raised into a subsistence living family in the North Woods of Maine, with no running water or electricity for most of his childhood. He left that lifestyle to attend a boarding school in the Western Mountains of Maine and went on to study abroad, pursuing a Culinary Arts degree at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Lucas worked in the beginning of his career in the restaurant and wine industry in New York City, Maine, and Seattle, WA. 

In 2011, Lucas took over his family’s operating foundation, Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI). EPI owns 125,000 acres of timberland in Northern and central Maine that they have been purchasing since 1998. They have been managing the land and adding infrastructure for recreation over the last several years. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Barack Obama accepted the gift of 89,000 acres of land from EPI and created the newest unit of the National Park Service, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Aug 24th, 2016. Lucas and EPI continue to play a role in the development of the region and enhancing the community’s ability to capitalize on the newly realized asset.   

Beyond the restaurant industry and land conservation, Lucas has a strong interest in outdoor pursuits. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail, paddled the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, taken a NOLS semester in Patagonia and has climbed peaks in Alaska, Washington, Peru, Chile and Argentina. He has also worked as a fly fishing guide and helped Eddie Bauer with designing fishing apparel. He has had the great fortune to fish in some of the most beautiful waters in the world.

Lucas lives in Portland, Maine with his wife and two children. 

*05/05/17 Lucas St. Clair, Elliotsville Plantation Rusty Atwood 2017-05-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

(Photo: Rusty Atwood, Owen McCarthy and President Laura Young.)

Owen McCarthy, President of MedRhythms, Inc, was introduced by Rusty Atwood. In his “pre-speaker quiz,” Rusty asked how many Rotarians knew the answer to, “In what Maine county is the town of Patten located?” In fact, it’s located near the border with Aroostook County, but situated in Penobscot County. Patten is the home town of the speaker Owen McCarthy, who spoke about his company, MedRhythms.

MedRhythms is a digital medicine company building digital products using sensors, music, and machine learning to help people recover their walking abilities and reduce falls. They believe they will launch the first product for people who have had strokes, though they could also work with anyone who has neurologic injury or disease. The company started initially using techniques in the field of neurologic music therapy with one-on-one therapists to help people recover language, movement, and cognition. It is the mission of the company to help others by improving their ability to heal with the use of music.

There are two aspects to the company’s work. First, the physical therapy with music has demonstrated improved walking and neuro-motor capabilities. Patients who received this therapy have improved their walking tempo, symmetry, speed and balance. Eventually, many are able to walk without the use of canes. Second, is the neuroscience of music and its effect on the brain. Music activates the brain and aids in “neuro-plasticity,” by stimulating auditory and motor receptors at the same time. Therapists who provide the research and development for the rehabilitation are working with the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a Partners HealthCare company. 

MedRhythms’ launch is timely, because the cost of rehabilitation is increasing, the cost of portable technologies is dropping, and it’s possible to make the investment to make therapy more affordable. Moreover, increased research is demonstrating how the impact of music on recovery is a potential for patients who are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, to improve fall prevention and to improve the support for achieving high-functioning individuals. Additionally, the research is continuing to support that music can help recover language for aphasia or improve memory.

Owen explained that financing for MedRhythms, Inc, includes major investors, but the fiscal projections are looking good to attract another round of funding. He explained that there is little preference for using instrumental versus vocal music in the therapies, except the vocals should be removed at lower cognitive levels (the strong beat is important). There is no direct correlation to determine if music therapy might improve bringing a patient out of a coma, but can help people in the full range of disorders of consciousness. As for licensing of music and copyright, the music used in the therapy is already purchased.

04/28/17 Owen McCarthy, CEO MED Rhythms Julie L'Heureux 2017-05-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

With President Laura Young back at the helm, she welcomed 59 members, 2 honorary members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 4 guests. Charle Frair read an E.E. Cummings poem of prayer entitled “I Thank You God For Most This Amazing.Bruce Moore led us in the Pledge, and Russ Burleigh kept us in tune with “God Bless America.”   

Laura then thanked the multitude of members who contributed their effort towards making the day’s meeting possible.

(Photo L-R: 3-H team headed to the DR - Jan Chapman, Bruce Moore, Dave Small, Bill Blount, Dick Hall, Drs. Liz and Roger Fagan.)

Portland Rotarians are out in force again serving our community and around the world. This past week a Rotary team worked at Preble Street Resource Center serving dinner – next week 10 Rotarians head to Deering HS to provide students with interview prep – on Saturday (April 29) 10 Rotarians head down to the Dominican Republic with Drs. Roger and Liz Fagan for more humanitarian work. More on that later!

Our thoughts and prayers for Justin Lamontagne and family. Justin’s wife, Marycelina had surgery for breast cancer, and we wish her a speed recovery. Lili Brown’s husband just had surgery for Parkinson’s, so reach out to them both with your support.

Terri St. Angelo took the podium for a “Rotary Moment.” Terri started out by asking us "Have you ever felt yourself wandering, asking whether what you’re doing is making an impact – is there something more?" Terri said she was involved – PTO, school boards, ‘Tri For a Cure’ – but felt something missing. That would soon change, after an invitation from Linda Varrell to come to lunch at Rotary, which brought Terri to the club. Governor LePage spoke that day to a large audience. We recited the Pledge, we sang a song.  “All good,” thought Terri. Then a request went out for volunteers for our Veterans Day Appreciation Lunch. Though she was not a member yet, she volunteered. Arriving at the event, knowing barely a soul, she was asked to welcome the arriving vets and guests with a big smile. Turns out she knew more people than she imagined, and when told by many “hope you come back,” that was the moment she knew she wanted to be a part of us. She said she now recognizes that being a part of Rotary is to be a part of something much bigger. She then asked us all to take a moment, look around at the people seated at the table with us, and give them a big smile. Thank you, Terri!

Aforementioned Dr. Roger Fagan provided more details on the upcoming Dominican Republic trip. 18 people, hailing from ME, Alaska, Oregon, S. Carolina and Florida will be working out of the 3H Good Samaritan Hospital. Project goals include 140 new and improved water filtration systems, 200 hearing aids, prosthetic hands, and solar powered lighting. They have no hurricane to deal with this trip! We wish you all safe travels!

Mike Fortunato updated us on the “Maine Outdoor Challenge.” This is our #1 fundraiser, and the majority of the money we are able to donate to organizations and programs during the year stems from the success of this event. We have 31 teams so far, and the goal is 45. Are you looking for a team to be on? We’ll get you matched up on a team. Also – tickets for the Lobster Bake are now on sale -  $32 Lobster, $28 Steak, and $26 Chicken - and you can get them starting this Friday – available from Loretta Rowe at our regular meetings over the next four weeks - and at: Rotarians get these special rates, so be sure to contact Loretta with your request. If you go online to purchase your tickets, the rates will be different. Please make your check payable to the "Boys and Girls Club." Volunteers are needed for the days of the event and sign-up sheets will be on the tables starting Friday, May 5th!  

With the weekly raffle being up to $2,050, Charlie Frair shuffled the deck of 7 cards, as John Houghton was called upon to find the Queen of Hearts. With hearts racing – breaths held – there was no payoff. Odds of winning improve next week! 


(Photo L-R: President Laura Young, Jan Chapman, Emma Spies and Kathryn Barr.)

Jan Chapman, introduced Catherine Barr from Maine Girls Academy (formerly Kathryn McAuley High School), who in turn introduced Emma Spies, class of 2017, as our newest Youth Service Award recipient. Describing Emma as quiet but enthusiastic, she told us of Emma’s engagement at the age of 10 with ‘Angel Flight,’ a non-profit group that provides plane rides for children and adults who need hospitalization for cancer and debilitating chronic diseases. Since that time, Emma’s lemonade stand has earned $15,000 for the program. Addressing the Rotarians, Emma said that “service is something you live,” and thanked us for the $1,000 donation for her future schooling, plus the additional $100 donation to ‘Angel Flight.’ 

(Photo L-R: Dave Small, Amy Chipman and Loretta Rowe.)

Amy Chipman reminded us that for each dollar we donate to the Rotary Foundation, 50% comes back to us in district grants after 3 years. It can add up – nearly $103,000 is coming back into our District this Rotary year. Right in sync, Amy called upon Loretta Rowe and David Small to award them with Paul Harris Fellow Recognition Awards. This is Loretta’s 5th, David’s 2nd, each award representing $1,000 in contributions to the Foundation.  

(Photo L-R: Abdullahi Ali, Andreea Paine and President Laura Young.)

Andreea Paine welcomed new member Abdullahi Ali, currently the founder and CEO for Gateway Community Services. Abdullahi was born in Somalia, raised in Kenya, and resettled in Maine in 2009. He studied at SMCC, USM, and earned a Masters In Science and Justice Studies from So. NH University. He currently lives in Portland, and is an avid soccer player. Welcome, Abdullahi!

04/28/17 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-05-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

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.

*04/28/17 Owen McCarthy, CEO MED Rhythms Bob Martin 2017-04-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

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 Deanna Sherman, President & CEO Dead River Company Ben Lowry 2017-04-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

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 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, 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:
Albin, Randall & Bennett; Bath Savings; CorVel Corp; Ed Gosselin & Company; Fidelity; IDEXX; J. Gaudet Associates;Kathy Coster; Maine College of Art (2 teams); Marsh-McLennan; MEMIC; Merrill Lynch; Morgan Stanley (2 teams); E.W. Noyes; Portland Press Herald; Progressive Medical; RBC (2 teams); Five Amigos (2 teams); Sun Media; TD Bank; UBS; Varney Agency; Cyrus' Group; and the Windham Group.

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. 

04/21/17 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2017-04-22 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

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.

*04/21/17 Deanna Sherman, President & CEO Dead River Company Rusty Atwood 2017-04-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

President Laura Young opened the meeting at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay by greeting 56 Rotarians, 1 visiting Rotarian and 4 guests.

Dave Small (at left) gave us an invocation explaining the history of Patriots’ Day. Past President Bowen Depke led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Kathy Grammer played the keyboard as we sang "America the Beautiful."

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.

Laura also announced that our opportunity to help Portland’s disadvantaged at the Preble Street Resource Center for this month would be on Wednesday, April 26. Contact Erik Greven for more informataion or if you can help out:


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. 

Mike Fortunato shared the game plan for us to succeed in making this year’s "Maine Outdoor Challenge" another success. Mike encouraged everyone who is not participating on a team to volunteer for the event and bring a friend to the Lobster Bake on June 7th at the Amvets, North Road, Yarmouth. At the lobster bake, we will also have a silent and live auction, with Auctioneer/Past President Tom Saturley (who recently returned as a club member) officiating over the live auction. Mike announced that we need more high-quality items for the live auction. Please consider donating a cruise on your yacht or some time at your vacation home. Travis Parker and Alex St. Hilaire are also soliciting for the silent auction items, such as gift certificates donated by your favorite restaurant, a new lawn mower (thank you for the inspiration Harry Sawyer), etc. Please be creative in supporting our Club’s biggest fund-raiser. For more information/questions regarding item donations, please contact Travis ( or Alex (

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: or 831-8017. Maine Historical Society website has additional information and tickets:

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:

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:

04/14/17 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2017-04-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

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.”

When Red Auerbach became coach, he also became a mentor to Jon. “I got to know him so well, it was as if he were my grandfather.” Jon shared his impressions of working with basketball legends Larry Byrd, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Tommy Heinsohn. “I learned lessons of motivation and leadership from all of these men,” he said. “Something a kid from Indiana would never dream of.” Jennings time with the Celtics ended with the arrival of Rick Pitino, who hired his own staff. 



(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.”

04/14/17 Jon Jennings, Portland City Manager Bob Martin 2017-04-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

(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:

04/07/17 Janet Mills, Maine Attorney General Alan Nye 2017-04-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

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.

Our invocation was an original poem dedication to Rotary written by Alan Nye:

"The snow is melting, Spring may finally be here;
We're almost finished Laura's Rotary year; 
Much has been accomplished by our Rotary Club, 

But much work still remains – that's always the rub.
We should each be proud when we do a good deed,
Never forgetting that service to others is part of our creed. 
Let's give thanks at this meeting for our friends and this food,
And be glad for the Spring weather to brighten our mood!"

We pledged Allegiance to our Flag and sang our patriotic song, accompanied on the keyboard by Russ Burleigh.
President Laura then thanked all of the committee members responsible for making our weekly meeting possible.

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: or online at: For more information, check website:

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!

Joining our project leaders, Dr. Roger & Liz Fagan, will be Portland Rotarians Jan Chapman, Bruce Moore, Dick Hall & his daughter Katherine Hall, Bill Blount, David Small, Dick Giles and our summer-time adopted member, Kirk Duffy.....along with two Rotarians from Brunswick: Carolyn Bulliner and Claudia Frost. This year, four other states are joining the Maine DR contingency.....from Oregon (Rotarian Donna Sheedy), Georgia (Rotarian Kirk Duffy) and Florida (Rotarian Ricardo Boehm)....and four NON-Rotarians: 3 from Alaska and 1 from Florida. For a total team of 18 people heading to the DR! Fantastic group!

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:

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:
Circle 1:  Julie L'Heureux
Circle 2:  Jon Young
Circle 3:  David Smith
Circle 4:  Justin Lamontagne
Circle 5:  Erik Greven

Circle 6:  Mark Millar
Circle 7:  Russell Voss

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:

04/07/17 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2017-04-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

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.

*04/14/17 Jon Jennings, City of Portland Manager Bob Martin 2017-04-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

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.

*04/07/17Janet Mills, Attorney General of Maine Bob Martin 2017-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Seddon
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.
Rotary's "Friend Raiser" Series Dave Seddon 2017-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
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 (
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.
District Training Assembly 2017-04-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

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 Serbia he thought it was a scam, too good to be true.  

2. How he first got a Rotary Exchange student to Saco, Maine in 1997.

3. Benefits of 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: 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:

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 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2017-04-03 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

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.  

Portland is the 104th Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the U.S. Of these 104 markets, Portland is 1 of 7 MSA’s that do not have a CC. Those other six have plausible reasons. For example, New Haven, CT sits between Boston, Hartford, and NYC. Lakeland, FL sits just outside Orlando, which is ranked #2 in business convention business. Portland has no good excuses! 

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, 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.)

03/31/17 Steve Hewins, Maine Innkeepers - Convention Center Proposal Tom Talbott 2017-04-03 04:00:00Z 0
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.)
Last Hoo-rah for Skiers? 2017-03-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

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 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

03/24/17 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2017-03-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Glenn Nerbak
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.)
PHS Interact Students at New Generations Conference Glenn Nerbak 2017-03-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

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.

What can we do to help?
    Tell the fort’s story; Visit fort; Provide inspirational to the community, Donate

    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?
    First it is necessary to make it safe.

    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:


03/24/17 Paul Drinan, Ex. Dir. Friends of Fort Gorges Dick Hall 2017-03-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole

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."

*03/31/17 Steve Hewins, Maine Innkeepers, Convention Ctr Proposal Roxane Cole 2017-03-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr
(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. 
03/17/17 Maine Red Claws - Dajuan Eubanks, President John Marr 2017-03-20 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole
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.
*03/24/17 Paul Drinan, Executive Director Friends of Fort Gorges Roxane Cole 2017-03-20 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

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

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:

03/17/17 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2017-03-19 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Clark

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 joined the organization in its inception in 2009 as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. Before joining the team, Dajuan worked in the experiential marketing industry for 13+ years with several leading agencies. During this time his role and responsibilities varied from project management to client services to business development and sales, where he worked with a variety of Fortune 100 clients across the country. Dajuan is a former player and Goodwill Ambassador of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, where he performed extensively around the world with the organization, entertaining thousands of fans. 

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.

*03/17/17 Dajuan Eubanks, President of Maine Red Claws Bob Clark 2017-03-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

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:

(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 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2017-03-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

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, MMC, Opioid Crisis in Maine Ben Lowry 2017-03-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

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.

*03/10/17 Gordon Smith, Maine Medical Assn - Opioid Crisis in Maine Rusty Atwood 2017-03-10 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
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:
  1. Build on the foundation Mike Fortunato started the previous year (2015),
  2. Increase attendance by more than 50%,
  3. Honor and celebrate veterans in the area.
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!
03/03/17 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2017-03-07 05:00:00Z 0
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
Notices 2017-03-07 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

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:; and the video featuring the organization’s director, Dr. Dana Suskind, that Liz shared with us, can be found at:

03/03/17 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Bob Martin 2017-03-07 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Laura Young
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.

*03/03/17 Club Assembly Laura Young 2017-03-03 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall
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,

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:

(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:

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:
02/24/17 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2017-02-27 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye
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 Alan Nye 2017-02-27 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood
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:

*02/24/17 Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus Rusty Atwood 2017-02-24 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr
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.

Every Rotarian has a story to tell when it comes to how they became part of the fold. Our minute this week was offered up by long-time, but still young, Past President Peter Goffin. Peter was enticed to join the Portland Rotary Club in the early eighties when the club was just starting to come into the light. He found himself surrounded by a cluster of “old men” and began to wonder if he had made a poor choice. In the ever-amazing fashion of Rotary fellowship, Cuddy Cohen, reached out to him and invited Peter to join them on the tennis court and the love affair began. Peter's minute proved the importance of our new effort to befriend our newbies and make sure they feel welcome, part of and involved in the acts of humanity that define Rotary.
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:
For questions or more information, contact Ben at:

02/17/17 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2017-02-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux
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 Schools Julie L'Heureux 2017-02-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood
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.

*02/17/17 Xavier Botana, Superintendent Portland Public Schools Rusty Atwood 2017-02-17 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott
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.

2/10/17 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-02-13 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Leisa Collins
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 Thank you!
Membership - Mentoring Duos Leisa Collins 2017-02-13 05:00:00Z 0

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 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 Black Dinah Chocolates - Kate & Steve Shaffer John Marr 2017-02-13 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

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.”

*02/10/17 Kate & Steve Shaffer - Black Dinah Chocolatiers Rusty Atwood 2017-02-10 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

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.

Abraham Lincoln was a self-made man and portrayed himself that way. He came from a place where only the three Rs were taught, being self-taught. He lost his mother at a young age. He was a common man, who pulled himself up to each level he achieved. He had extraordinary charisma and women loved him.

Lincoln came from subsistence farming where the self-reliant family unit was crucial to stability and survival. Six generations of Lincolns were in America before Abraham, all with very strong family ties. It was common to have a son work to pay off a father’s debts and the big blended families did that to pay off family debts.

Lincoln lived in a time of change, during a market revolution. With the advent of the factory and improved transportation, it made the country smaller. Families would think beyond survival and raise extra cash crops. At 19 years old, he got a job to take a boat to New Orleans, where he had his first view of slavery.

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. 

Erin told us some interesting stories about how Abraham Lincoln dealt with his ne'er-do-well half-brother, John D. Johnson and "walked" us through a reading of the Gettysburg Address, asking us to read the parts with her that we held near and dear to our own beliefs today. It was a thought-provoking exercise.

For more on Abraham Lincoln, go to: 

2/03/17 President Abraham Lincoln, The Man - Erin Bishop Cadigan, PhD Dick Hall 2017-02-07 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount
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 LamontagneMax 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 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:

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:

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:
02/03/17 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2017-02-06 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Peter Goffin
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.
*02/03/17 Erin Bishop Cadigan, PhD - President Abraham Lincoln Peter Goffin 2017-01-31 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye
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!
Michael Greer then shared a 'Rotary Moment' and thanked Don Zillman for introducing him to Portland Rotary. Michael confessed that he initially joined to increase his networking and to get out of the office (and his home). Now he believes that Rotary represents what communities can be and how we help them. Every Friday he looks forward to discussing our shared experiences and working to try to solve some of the local and world’s most pressing problems. He looks forward to hearing 'Rotary Moments' from members who have been in the club for 20-30 years and predicts that he’ll still be in the club that many years from now, so he can share his thoughts again.

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!

A flyer on the tables reminded everyone that they were invited to the celebration of life, love and friendship for Charlie Frair’s 70th birthday party. It’s going to be held on February 12 at 2:00 p.m. at the Italian Heritage Center. (Yes, to cards; no, to presents.) Charlie is asking those attending to make a donation of at least $10 to the Portland Rotary Club. Please RSVP Charlie at
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 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2017-01-30 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
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:
(Photo: Justin Lamontagne, Ben Waxman, and President Laura Young.)
01/27/17 Ben Waxman - American Roots Jake Bourdeau 2017-01-30 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Small
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.

Words of Wisdom (Invocation Contents) Dave Small 2017-01-27 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Justin Lamontagne

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.

With an extensive national network of business, labor, and political organizations, Ben has been able to create a significant sales base. With a focus on sales, workforce development, and significant public relations background, Ben along with the American Roots team, has worked tirelessly to expand the American Roots name in its first year.

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.

Whitney left a twenty-year career in the hospitality industry in the spring of 2015 to join Ben in the launching of AR. With a background in finance, customer service and management, Whitney made the adjustment to manufacturing with a set of solid workforce skills. She has a primary focus as the Chief Financial Officer, as well as oversight on production, R&D, product line, vendor relations, and staff development. Whitney is originally from Rochester, New York, and graduated from Fordham University. She is an outdoors enthusiast and used to ski competitively.

American Roots had over 10,000 individual units sold in year one with estimated sales in 2017 of 25,000 units to customers across the country. Ben continues to work to broaden the AR brand and network through his personal connections and targeted marketing tactics along with some affinity marketing models.

Ben and Whitney reside in Westbrook, Maine and are expecting their first child in March.


*01/27/17 Ben Waxman/Whitney Reynolds - American Roots, Made in America Justin Lamontagne 2017-01-24 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin
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:
02/20/17 Bits & Pieces Bob Martin 2017-01-24 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen
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:
(Photo: Rusty Atwood, Aimee Petrin, Daniel Sonenberg, and President Laura Young.)
02/20/17 Daniel Sonenberg, USM Composer, Opera Made in Maine Erik Jorgensen 2017-01-24 05:00:00Z 0

Our club policy regarding storm-related
cancellations of Rotary meetings:


Please watch your TV news/weather
broadcasts on Friday mornings.


Storm-Related Meeting Cancellation Loretta Rowe 2017-01-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood
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?

*01/20/17 Dan Sonenberg - Made In Maine - Opera Rusty Atwood 2017-01-16 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr
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:

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:
01/13/17 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2017-01-16 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen
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 ( toward the bottom on the right....or you can get there directly at:
History of Portland Rotary Club Erik Jorgensen 2017-01-16 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen
“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.)
01/13/17 Greg Powell, Executive Chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation Board of Trustees Erik Jorgensen 2017-01-16 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Laura Young
You're invited....
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!
You're Invited.... Laura Young 2017-01-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall
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 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 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 ( or Jim Willey (

(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 participating on a committee and becoming involved in other events (see below) before he became a member. Ben is a delight to 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.
01/06/17 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2017-01-10 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

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:

*01/13/17 Greg Powell, President Dexter Enterprises/Alfond Foundation Rusty Atwood 2017-01-10 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye
(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:
01/06/17 John Gallagher, MSHA - Affordable Housing Issues/Solutions Alan Nye 2017-01-10 05:00:00Z 0
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
Open House - Transformation Project 2017-01-06 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole

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

*01/06/17 John Gallagher, MSHA - Affordable Housing Issues Roxane Cole 2017-01-06 05:00:00Z 0
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:

"Happy New Year.....that’s what we are looking forward to.
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.
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)”
Crutches4Africa - David Talbot 2016-12-28 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
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.
12/23/16 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2016-12-27 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Glenn Nerbak
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!
Happy Holidays!
Portland High School Rotary Interact Club Glenn Nerbak 2016-12-27 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry
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 Our Special Holiday Program Ben Lowry 2016-12-27 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Russ Burleigh

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.

You will definitely enjoy this program and come away feeling an extra helping of the Christmas spirit! 

*12/23/16 Special Holiday Program Russ Burleigh 2016-12-23 05:00:00Z 0
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!
2017-18 Slate of Club Officers 2016-12-23 05:00:00Z 0
Our club policy regarding winter storm-related cancellation of Rotary meetings is:
Please watch your local TV news/weather broadcasts on Friday mornings, in the event of a snow storm.
Club Policy for Meeting Cancellation 2016-12-23 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott
“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 Getting To Know New Mainers, Reza Jalali, USM Tom Talbott 2016-12-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

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: 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:


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.
12/16/16 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2016-12-19 05:00:00Z 0

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. 

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes Loretta Rowe 2016-12-13 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

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,
     Your future filled with delight and mystery,
     Your now, a glorious moment
     That fills your life with deep contentment.

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:

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.  

Past President Bowen Depke, Chair of this year's Nominating Committee presented the nominations for the 2017-18 slate of Club Officers (separate article follows).

12/09/16 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2016-12-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin
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:
12/09/16 Making & Impact of 3D Printed Hands Bob Martin 2016-12-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough
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." 
Reza currently coordinates the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at USM and advises Muslim students at Bowdoin College.
*12/16/16 Reza Jalali, USM Director Multicultural Student Affairs David Clough 2016-12-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye
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.”
12/02/16 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2016-12-06 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

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 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:
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:
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 ( or Charlie Frair (
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!

12/2/16 State of the Club at Portland Rotary Dick Hall 2016-12-06 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough
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.

*12/09/16 John Curran and Dean Rock - 3-D Prosthetic Hands David Clough 2016-12-06 05:00:00Z 0
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!
*12/02/16 Club Assembly 2016-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

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.

View image on Twitter
(Photo: Leisa Collins serving a hot Thanksgiving meal.)
We do this the day before Thanksgiving because it's easier to get volunteers to help and also because there are plenty of places serving meals to the homeless and low income families on Thanksgiving Day.

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:

11/23/16 Thanks to Rotarians, Friends and Family 2016-11-29 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry
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 his degree from Brown and his MBA from 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:

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 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2016-11-21 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr
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 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:
(Photo: Rusty Atwood, David Clough, Bill Green (WCSH6) and President Laura Young.) 
11/18/16 WCSH6 - Bill Green's Maine John Marr 2016-11-18 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen
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.)
All in all, it was an extraordinary program, one that is almost certain to become one of Portland’s big annual events in the years to come. Thanks again to Paul, Kris, Charlie and all the Rotarians who worked hard to make the program happen.
11/10/16 Veterans' Appreciation Lunch Erik Jorgensen 2016-11-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Greven
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: to send an email to Erik Greven and sign up. You will feel so good that you helped.

Thank you,

Erik Greven
Chair, Community Service
Portland Rotary Club 

THANKS For Giving To Those In Need Erik Greven 2016-11-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jan Chapman
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:  or Bruce Moore at:

We recently learned some sad news about Dave Talbot, the founder of Crutches 4 Africa. He suffered a mild heart attack and is recovering well. We send our wishes to Dave for a quick and complete recovery.

Crutches4Africa Jan Chapman 2016-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
Photo Corner / Rotarians in the News 2016-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough
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.
*11/18/16 Bill Green, WCSH6 David Clough 2016-11-13 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott
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!
11/04/16 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2016-11-07 05:00:00Z 0

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 and checks only.
Required pre-registrations - EVENT IS SOLD OUT.
*11/10/16 Special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch 2016-11-07 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
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 Governor Paul LePage Jake Bourdeau 2016-11-07 05:00:00Z 0
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:
*11/04/16 Maine Governor Paul LePage 2016-11-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall
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: 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:

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:
  • Meet and be inspired by our 2018-19 R.I. President John Germ.
  • Because our Foundation is 100 years strong - Not many foundations can boast 100 years of success.
  • Share fellowship with Rotarians from around the district. 
  • Because our work to support peace and end conflict is making our world a better place, one person at a time. 
  • Celebrate the lives changed by humanitarian projects brought about by you and our club.          
  • Enjoy an Around-the-World station dinner - selections from Morocco, India, Thailand and our own New England.
  • Because Rotary's future is bright and your participation makes it even brighter!
10/28/16 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2016-10-31 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole

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

John Gallagher, Director MSHA Roxane Cole 2016-10-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin
“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.)

10/28/16 Sandy Maisel, Colby College Bob Martin 2016-10-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Giles
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 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.
Light Up Their Lives! Dick Giles 2016-10-28 04:00:00Z 0
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 6, 2016, 2:00:00 AM. Remember to turn your clocks back 1 hour.
Daylight Savings Time Ends 2016-10-28 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bowen Depke
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:  or  call 899-6342.
(The image below is a small version of the photo on the plaque.)
Centennial Photo - June 2016 Bowen Depke 2016-10-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye
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: 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:  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 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2016-10-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

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.
10/21/16 Richard Fallon Harvard School of Law Julie L'Heureux 2016-10-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood
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.

*10/28/16 Sandy Maisel, Colby College - Election Year 2016 Rusty Atwood 2016-10-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen
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 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 Kevin Hancock, Hancock Lumber Erik Jorgensen 2016-10-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr
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:
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!
10/14/16 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2016-10-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough
“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.

*10/21/16 Richard Fallon - Harvard Law School - SCOTUS David Clough 2016-10-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

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:

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: 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:

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.

10/07/16 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2016-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

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.

*10/14/16 Kevin Hancock, Hancock Lumber Rusty Atwood 2016-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry
(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:
10/07/16 Dana Totman, Avesta Ben Lowry 2016-10-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall
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.
The demographics:
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.
Economic opportunities
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 festivals
For more information, go to  or

(Photo: Maxwell Chikuta, Dave Putnam, Tae Chong, and Laura Young.)
09/30/16 Tae Chong, CEI / StartSmart Dick Hall 2016-10-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
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:  

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. 
09/30/16 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2016-10-04 04:00:00Z 0

If you have been following the news/weather, you know that hurricane Matthew hit the Bahamas, including the Dominican Republic, where members of our 3-H team are now visiting.

We have heard from the team and they are on the East coast, whereas the brunt of the hurricane hit the West coast. The area they are in is experiencing torrential rains and flooding, but they are all doing fine.

We thought you would like to know they are safe. If we hear of further updates, we will let everyone know.

Hurricane Matthew Hits the Dominican Republic 2016-10-04 04:00:00Z 0

The 1st Annual Back Cove Sunrise 5K raises funds for the community service projects of the Portland Sunrise Rotary club. To mark World Polio Day on October 24th, this year's flagship cause is Rotary's Polio Plus program.

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.

All funds raised will go to the Polio Plus program and our other projects that benefit our community and the world

Registration now open!

Portland Sunrise Rotary 5K Run 2016-10-03 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole
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).
*10/07/16 Dana Totman, Avesta - Affordable Housing Issue Roxane Cole 2016-10-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin
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: 
All members, please register on the club website to attend this luncheon or call Elise.
09/23/16 Bits & Pieces Bob Martin 2016-09-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott
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:
(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.)
09/23/16 Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine Tom Talbott 2016-09-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Putnam
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.
*09/30/16 Tae Chong, CEI / StartSmart Dave Putnam 2016-09-26 04:00:00Z 0
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:
PSA Link for Reading Program 2016-09-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye
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:
  • High-Impact local Childhood Hunger and Education (CHE) efforts
  • Life-changing Hearing, Hands, and H2O (3H) international service projects
  • Active mentoring and career guidance program for high school students in Portland
  • Diverse and inclusive membership
  • Effective system to attract and retain members
  • Annual signature event
  • Thought-provoking and relevant speakers.
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!
09/16/16 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Alan Nye 2016-09-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Clark
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.

*09/23/16 Bob Clark, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine Bob Clark 2016-09-19 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry
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 :   


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.)

Congrats to you both!

09/16/16 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2016-09-16 04:00:00Z 0
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!
*09/16/16 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Laura Young 2016-09-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen
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 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 more 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.)
9/09/16 Bits & Pieces Erik Jorgensen 2016-09-11 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr
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 she has taken it on with an open-minded, unvarnished determination. 
09/09/16 Margo Walsh, MaineWorks John Marr 2016-09-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin
“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

(Photo: President Laura Young, Chase Hagaman and member, Rusty Atwood.)
09/02/16 Chase Hagaman, Concord Coalition Bob Martin 2016-09-06 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux
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 (
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).
09/02/16 Bits & Piec