Rotary Club of Portland Maine USA


If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
through March 2018:

Dec 15 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Dec 29 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Jan 05 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jan 12 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jan 19 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jan 26 - Clarion Hotel

Feb 02 - Clarion Hotel
Feb 09 - Clarion Hotel
Feb 16 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Feb 23 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Mar 02 - Clarion Hotel
Mar 09 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Mar 16 - tbd
Mar 23 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Mar 30 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at:

Rotary Meeting Locations. Loretta Rowe 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Following is a list of our Club's volunteer projects. If you know of other opportunities, please contact Loretta:

Project              Who to Contact

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

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

Salvation             Various Dates 11:30-1pm 
Army                   Gracie Johnston
Bell Ringing          939-0315                        

Volunteer Opportunities 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
On December 8, 2017, the following members were nominated for the slate of club officers for 2018-19:
President: John Curran
1st Vice President: Amy Chipman
2nd Vice President: Ellen Niewoehner
Treasurer: Scott Blakeslee
Secretary: Bruce Moore
Sergeant-at-arms: Travis Parker
Club Protection Officer: Nan Heald
Directors on the board:
Term ending 2020 - Patty Erikson and Erik Greven
Open nominations may be accepted from the floor at the December 15th regular member meeting. A vote will be taken to approve the nominations at that time.
2018-19 Slate of Club Officers 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Portland Rotary Club
meets 12/15/17 at the
Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Rotary This Week Loretta Rowe 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0

If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
through March 2018:

Dec 15 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Dec 29 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Jan 05 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jan 12 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Jan 19 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Jan 26 - Clarion Hotel

Feb 02 - Clarion Hotel
Feb 09 - Clarion Hotel

Feb 16 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Feb 23 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Mar 02 - Clarion Hotel
Mar 09 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Mar 16 - tbd
Mar 23 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
Mar 30 - Holiday Inn By-the-Bay

Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at:

Rotary Meeting Locations Loretta Rowe 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0

Invocation:  Tom Nickerson
Program Reporter:  Dick Hall
Bits & Pieces Reporter:  Alan Nye
Registration/Greeter:   Ellen Niewoehner
Sell Meal Tickets:  Loretta Rowe
Raffle:  Terri St Angelo
Badge Box:  Rusty Atwood
Collect Meal Tickets:  Deb Lavoie
Song Leader:  Bill Blount
Keyboard Player:  Russ Burleigh
Sgt-at-Arms (Setup):  Dave Putnam
Sgt-at-Arms (Take Down):  Mac Collins

This Week's Duty Assignments Loretta Rowe 2017-12-15 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 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
12/08/17 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0
12/08/17 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Jake Bourdeau 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0
*12/15/17 Matt Heprick, Cross Insurance Arena General Manager Bob Martin 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 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
Ben Jackson                North Yarmouth Academy
(Transferring Rotarian)

Kim D'Amaro               The Salvation Army
(Jim Willey)

Alex Kappelman           Locations Real Estate Group
(Ben Millick)

Thank you.

Prospective Rotarians Loretta Rowe 2017-12-08 05:00:00Z 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.
*12/08/17 Club Assembly 2017-12-08 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Greven

Help us help others to stay warm this winter!

On Friday, December 8th, please bring your slightly used gloves, mittens, winter wear or a four-pack of new underwear to our meeting....we will collect and deliver to the Preble Street Resource Center.

Many of the Preble Street clients spend a big part of their day outside.....often not by their own choice. Rotary helped last week by donating over 70 pair of good-as-new shoes and sneakers. Thank you !!!  

Now with more cold weather upon us, the need is growing for gloves, underwear (new) and good winter outerwear. 

If you have any of these items you can part with, please bring them in this Friday. (You always can ask for fashionable replacements this Xmas). But if you cannot part with your winter collection, please consider a donation of $10-20 and we will do the shopping for you!

Thank you kindly,

For Portland Community Service 
Erik Greven

Help Preble Street Clients Stay Warm Erik Greven 2017-12-05 05:00:00Z 0

An international program at Portland Rotary is helping folks in the Dominican Republic (DR). The club’s 3H program stands for Hearing, H20 and Hands. There’s medical services offered for people in the DR who are hard of hearing, filters are installed to provide clean water and amputees are fitted with prosthetic limbs. The hands and arms are created with a 3D printer in Dean Rock’s Cumberland basement. He joined the 3H program’s efforts in 2016. 

(Photo L-R: Dean Rock and 1st Vice President John Curran.)

Hundreds of prosthetics have been fitted during the 19 trips the 3H program has taken to the DR. The look and function of the limbs, that are provided at no charge, have changed a lot over time. Dean spends around $50 dollars in materials for each limb, but he expects nothing in return. It’s charity work he chooses to be a part of because of the impact it has on others. His next ambition will be to teach 3D printing. 

The Club’s next 3H trip to the Dominican Republic is scheduled for January 2018. Dean Rock has made around a dozen prosthetic limbs to take during that trip.

For more information on Portland Rotary’s efforts and involvement in the Dominican Republic, contact Roger Fagan at: or the Club's First Vice President John Curran at:

For more information on the making of the 3D limbs and Dean Rock, go to:

Portland Rotary Partners With Dean Rock, Creator of 3D Limbs 2017-12-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President Don Zillman opened the meeting by welcoming 56 members and 6 guests. Bruce Jones (at right) led the invocation about “shared optimism.” He borrowed a commentary by the author David McCullough, delivered in 2004, to the graduates of Ohio University: “When bad news is riding high and despair in fashion, when loud mouths and corruption seem to own center stage, when some keep crying that the country is going to the dogs, remember, it’s always been going to the dogs in the eyes of some; and that 90 percent or more of the people are good people, generous hearted, law abiding, good citizens who get to work on time, do a good job, love their country, pay their taxes, care about their neighbors, care about their children’s education and believe, rightly, as you do, in the ideals upon which our life is founded.”

We pledged our Allegiance and sang a patriotic song, accompanied on the keyboard by Past President Russ BurleighHappy Birthday was sung to celebrate December birthdays, led by Past President Bill Blount. Following the birthday tributes, Bill also led the singing of “The More We Get Together.” 

Chair of Community Service, Gracie Johnston (at left) reported that our annual Thanksgiving event at the St. Vincent De Paul was a successful project, with 37 Rotarians and family members helping 135 people who were served a hot Thanksgiving meal. Sysco Corporation donated about $1,000 in food for the meal.

Gracie also reported that all the time slots for the Salvation Army bell ringing were filled. Bell ringing times are from 11:30 am- 1pm at Monument Square. Locate and return the Salvation Army kettle at the “Others” coffee house on the Square at 15 Monument Way. Watch for a followup email.


President Don asked Rotarians who helped in the many club service projects to please stand for recognition (photo), to include: those who travel to the Dominican Republic for the “Hearing, H2O and Hands” project, as well as the volunteers who read at Lyseth Elementary School, those participants in high school mentoring, the Salvation Army helpers, the Friends of Long Creek Youth Development Center, the St. Vincent De Paul Thanksgiving meal service and the Veterans appreciation luncheon. Everyone was enthusiastically thanked.

Congratulations to Past President Kris Rosado for receiving his 4th Paul Harris Fellow pin. Past President Dick Hall, the Club’s Foundation Chair, presented the award and Kris received a well-deserved standing ovation. The Rotary Foundation promotes World Understanding and Peace.

Erik Greven (at right) thanked all who supported the Preble Street “almost-new, gently-used” sneakers/footwear collection. Portland Rotarians contributed 70 pairs of sneakers to the collection. Requests continue for slightly-used shoes, boots, winter scarves, sweaters, mittens and yes, unused or very clean underwear to be given to mostly young adults who rely on Preble Street for assistance. Collection will be held at Friday’s December 8th meeting and Club Assembly. Monetary donations will also be accepted to purchase new underwear. (See separate article this issue.)

Rotarians Mike Fortunato and Past President Bowen Depke are considering ways to improve on the Andrews plaque, in recognition of the first Maine casualty of a World War I veteran from Maine. Next year, November 11, marks the Centennial of the end of World War I. Rotarians want to consider ideas for bringing more recognition to the Andrews plaque. Three years ago, the Rotarians unveiled a restored flag pole on the site. An article at this site published in the Bollard, reported the story about Harold Taylor Andrews: To share your ideas or to become involved, contact Mike ( or Bowen (

Jake Bourdeau ran the weekly raffle, where Past President Laura Young’s name was drawn, but the generous pot of $1,122 was not won, as the Queen of Hearts remains hidden in the deck of cards.

12/01/17 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2017-12-04 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Derek Langhauser, President of the Maine Community College System (MCCS), was introduced by David Clough. Derek became president in March 2016. Dave highlighted the direct connection between business and the community colleges.

MCCS serves 1700 students and provides training to an additional 13,000 people, with an average age of 26. Most attend a college within 25 miles of their home. 92% of the MCCS graduates stay in Maine. 75% of what is offered by MCCS is not offered by any other institution. The biggest challenge for MCCS is addressing the changing needs of the Maine workforce. There are 7 colleges, from Wells to Presque Isle, offering 300 certificate options.

Derek noted that education levels and income levels match. By 2020 66% of all jobs in Maine will require at least a one-year certificate. In Maine only 38% of high school graduates go on directly to college. Maine high school graduates are losing out on significant income potential. Dislocated workers from the paper industry are coming back to school, and upon graduation secure good jobs, like building Hinkley, and other yachts. 1000 graduates each year transfer on to the University of Maine system.

MCCS has the lowest tuition in New England, at $3600 for tuition and fees.  

78% of applicants seek financial aid and 60% qualify for Pell grants. 60% work while studying, because they must....half of these students work 30 hours per week....40% more work 20 hours per week. Some students are desperately poor. MCCS discovered a male student who had not eaten in 8 days!

The Maine workforce is stressed. There are more deaths than births in Maine. The priorities for MCCS are student retention and building a skilled workforce for Maine. Community College and Correctional Facilities cooperate to assist Long Creek residents leaving the correctional system. A significant number of returning veterans are enrolled in college, with special service needs and  MCCS coordinates with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to serve their needs. MCCS is trying to assess military training and give veterans credit for it.

For more information, visit


(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, Derek Langhauser and David Clough.)

12/01/17 Derek Langhauser, President Maine Community College System Dick Hall 2017-12-04 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough

Derek Langhauser was named President of the Maine Community College System (MCCS) on March 8, 2016, after having served as Interim President since February 2015.

President Langhauser has served as a senior member of the MCCS leadership team for over 20 years, becoming General Counsel of the seven-college system in 1994.

A nationally recognized expert in higher education law, President Langhauser has served as president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, as an advisor to the Ford Foundation Initiative on Academic Freedom, and as chair of The Journal of College and University Law Board of Editors (The University of Notre Dame).

Since becoming MCCS President, he has secured new legislative and philanthropic support for the state’s community colleges; entered into new contracts with all six of the MCCS collective bargaining units; advanced the System’s strategic focus on student success; and been instrumental in the creation of the Higher Education Coordinating Committee to ensure greater collaboration with the University of Maine System.

As MCCS General Counsel, President Langhauser oversaw student, employee, and corporate legal affairs, emergency management, statutory and regulatory compliance, and risk management.  He also oversaw the development and implementation of MCCS policies, procedures, and legislation. In 2013, he served as the System’s Acting Director of Human Resources.

In addition to his work with the MCCS, President Langhauser has served as constitutional law counsel to former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe and as a legal compliance advisor to Maine Maritime Academy.  He has taught for over a decade for the Williams College Maritime Studies Program.

President Langhauser is a 1984 graduate of Bates College and received his JD from the University of Maine School of Law in 1987.  He is a member of both the Council and Executive Committee of the American Law Institute, the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law.

He resides in Cumberland Foreside with his wife and daughter.

*12/01/17 Derek Langhauser, Pres. Maine Community College System David Clough 2017-12-01 05:00:00Z 0
Photos speak a thousand words, so here is our descriptive story of the volunteers serving Thanksgiving Dinner last Wednesday, Nov. 22nd, at St Vincent DePaul's, where a chance was offered to anyone in need of a warm place to rest, a delicious meal and a smile from the 37 Rotarians and family members who were there.
From the chefs who prepared the food.....
and the kitchen crew hustling out the meals in rapid succession.....
To the volunteers who served the food to our neighbors......
To the clean-up crew.......
many hands made light work and gave us all a feeling of thankfulness.
Everyone left with full bellies and a smile on their faces. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this possible and to SYSCO, Hannaford and Standard Baking for graciously donating the food to make this event possible, and to the many other food donors behind the scenes.
11/22/17 St Vincent DePaul's Thanksgiving Dinner Event 2017-11-28 05:00:00Z 0

As Rotarians, we have good reason to take pride in our membership. We can be proud of the fine programs presented, the fellowship at our weekly meetings, and the money and volunteer manpower we donate to the many projects in our community.

An important reason for us to be proud of our Rotary membership is that we band together with many thousands of fellow members around the world as a force for improvement in the human condition, as well as for fostering peace and understanding among people in every corner of the world. We do this through our Rotary Foundation.

The programs and accomplishments of the Foundation are much too numerous to list here, but include not only the well-known fight against polio, but programs to alleviate hunger, fight disease by improving sanitary conditions and clean water, promote literacy, provide scholarships for international study, the Rotary Peace Centers, vocational training, and much more, even including support of our own 3-H project for Hearing, Hands and clean water in the Dominican Republic.

You can take great pride in being a part of this wonderful organization. We encourage you to support our Rotary Foundation, so we can continue to help others locally and world-wide. Your donation should be for whatever level you are comfortable with and able to give.

Thank you.

The Rotary Foundation 2017-11-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen

On Friday, we heard from Portland’s own Jennifer Hutchins, who, for the past year, has been the director of the Maine Association of Nonprofits, a 900-member organization with a statewide mission of promoting, assessing and fostering professional development for Maine’s nonprofit community. The nonprofit sector represents “all those things of value that the private sector and the public sector can’t figure out how to do.”  According to Hutchins, “it’s not just charities,” but a huge range of activities, from Easter Seals to Maine Med, to the United Way and the all-volunteer local historical society. 

To understand the impact of this sector in Maine, consider that it employs 95,000 workers (1 in 6) with a total contribution of over $11 billion to the Maine economy. Maine has around twice the number of nonprofits as the national average, a phenomenon driven at least in part by a home-rule-centric civic approach which values independence. This has resulted in 400 municipal units and lots of micro-organizations that want to do things their own way. Here the nonprofit sector does what in many places of the country, the government does. While the number of people working in nonprofits is greatest in Cumberland and Penobscot counties, the proportional amount of employment by such organizations is actually greatest in rural counties. 

Ms. Hutchins spoke briefly about “the Meds and the Eds” – the large hospitals and colleges that are outsized and which can skew perceptions of the nonprofit sector. Almost 6,000 organizations are registered with the IRS in Maine. Of those, 89% have budgets of less than $500,000 per year and 75% have budgets under $100,000 per year. So many of these tiny organizations are making an impact with few cash resources. The difference is in voluntarism – which is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Challenges faced by almost all nonprofit organizations include fund-raising, board development, and attracting youth. The traditional nonprofit corporate model of CEO and board of directors is an old one, but it’s not necessarily a structure that is intuitive to young people who volunteer and contribute differently. Board governance structures may need to be modernized to attract the next generation of nonprofit volunteers.

As for board service, she noted that too many organizations actively search for wealth above all other characteristics. While this can have obvious value, she suggested that boards where the members are totally focused and engaged are often significantly more effective than boards that feature people who are wealthy, yet who might not be “all in.”  

Ms Hutchins came to the Association following a successful tenure leading Creative Portland, and before that, working at the Muskie School, from which she received a master’s in public policy and public finance. She lives in Portland, near the USM campus, with her husband and two children.


(President Don Zillman, Jennifer Hutchins and Steve Mortimer.)

11/17/17 Jennifer Hutchins, Exec Dir Maine Assn Non Profits Erik Jorgensen 2017-11-18 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

President Don Zillman opened the meeting by welcoming 60 members, 1 guest and 1 visiting Rotarian. Gracie Johnston offered us our invocation, where she reminded us that friendship is a gift worth giving thanks for and thanked all of us for being her friend. We then pledged our Allegiance to our Flag and offered a sonorous rendition of God Bless America, with Past President Russ Burleigh at the keyboard.

Charlie Frair (at right) and Paul Tully co-chaired a committee composed of about 65 Rotarians to put together a lunch honoring our veterans of the military service on Veterans' Day. The feedback has been consistently favorable and effusive. The committee had five goals and all were satisfied. Through no fault of their own and with a lot of effort extended by our Public Relations people, it was felt that our Rotary Club's recognition by the media could have been better. The entire club showed their appreciation to Charlie and Paul for their outstanding efforts and results.

President Don read off a number of news pieces that were brought to his attention, such as the broad spread given to “Local Man Makes Hands” published in the Portland Papers regarding the 3-D hands being produced and taken to the Dominican Republic by our own International Service Committee.

Janelle LoSciuto led us in a brief song, “We Gather Together,” while Kathy Grammer accompanied us on the keyboard.

Past President Don Lowry (at left) gave us a “Rotary Minute,” where he shared that it is the service and goodwill that Rotary provides to local and international efforts that have inspired him. He said that our club is but a part of a much larger worldwide organization. He lamented that a club as great and giving as ours has not attained a 100% participation in Foundation giving and encouraged everyone to do so. (See separate article this issue.)

For decades our Club has volunteered at Saint Vincent DePaul's soup kitchen on the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving and provided the food, cooking, serving and cleaning, so that some of the many indigent in Portland could have a Thanksgiving dinner. Gracie Johnson, Community Service chair, has thanked everyone who has volunteered this year and is asking for some of those volunteers to help with the clean up. If you can, please contact Gracie ( or Loretta - her assistant on Nov 22 ( Thank you

Erik “Shoeman” Greven (at right) has been working with the Preble Street Resource Center for years and coordinating a number of Rotary efforts in support of their needs. Once a month we serve dinner at the center, which is great and important. We get to see some of our neighbors who are in need of so much. One of their needs is decent footwear, especially with the cold winter months upon us. Members are asked to bring usable footwear to be passed along to them. We still have time, so dig into your closet and bring in the "hardly-worn" and "in-good-shape" footwear you no longer use. Contact Erik Greven ( and he will deliver them to Preble Street. Your donations will be greatly appreciated.

Janelle Loscuito has been bringing her future-Rotarian son, little Luca, to our meetings since he was an infant (and before). We all seem to think of him as a member, so we get a two-for-one when Janelle’s with us (and we now know Luca is going to have a baby sister in a few short months). Luca is not just a pretty face and to prove he does his share to help the cause, his mom bought a raffle ticket from this week's Raffle guy, Jerry Angier (in photo at left), who showed us a new way to shuffle the cards (dropped the deck). Poor little Luca was deprived of a bundle of bucks for his college fund when he pulled a card closer to his age (the three of clubs), allowing the pot to grow.

Steve Mortimer (at right), in taking over as Champion of our Vision Committee, has taken on the important task of gathering our thoughts (aka herding cats) through a club survey, relative to what direction we'd like to move our club. The response has been low, so he requested that we please take the time to submit the surveys ASAP. The survey has been resent to everyone through email. If you don't share your ideas, you won't have any room to grumble. Contact Steve:

Our Dominican Republic outreach, spearheaded by Doctors Roger (at left) and Liz Fagan, are requesting that if you placed a “Hearts For Hearing” donation box out in the public for hearing aid collections, please pick them up and return them to Roger, so he can do any needed repairs before they prepare them for transit to the Dominican Republic on their upcoming trip. Contact Roger:

We are a strong and sizable club, but have not had a District Governor come out of our membership since Past President Bob Patten (deceased 2015). That was corrected when the nomination of Past President Dick Hall (at right) was placed to a vote, with a unanimous in-favor response. It’s up to us to give him our enthusiastic support. Thanks and CONGRATULATIONS, Dick!

11/17/17 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2017-11-18 05:00:00Z 0
Additional photos taken at our memorable Veterans' Appreciation Lunch:
Marine Major Wallin and Mike Fortunato
Betty Rines, trumpeter, and Kathy Grammer, keyboardist.
The Tricycle presented to VAST.
Photo Corner 2017-11-17 05:00:00Z 0
Reminder......we are having a shoe drive for Preble Street Resource Center this Friday! Bring your gently-used or new shoes or boots to the meeting for the benefit of the less fortunate in our city. All sizes welcome! Check the bottom, top and backs of your closets for those shoes you hardly wore and let someone who really needs them have a chance for warm feet. 
Thank you.
DON'T FORGET - SHOE DRIVE THIS FRIDAY! Erik Greven 2017-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Jack Rioux, George Alexander, and his brother, Lou, sons of fishermen, grew up together on Peaks Island and did everything you could image together on Peaks Island in the late ‘40’s and early ‘50’s. Inseparable until they graduated from high school, Jack and Lou enlisted in the Air Force at the end of the Korean war, and served 25-year careers as bomber mechanics around the world. “I served two tours in ‘Nam,” Lou said. “We ferried bombers from Florida to the RVN, and kept them in shape.” George enlisted in the Coast Guard a few years later, serving on the weather ship that navigated the east coast from Portland to Florida. When his boat returned to base in Portland, he walked over to the Casco Bay Line dock to take the ferry home to Peaks. George and Jack joined the Portland Fire Department after they retired, and Lou went to work for Maine Med. They have stories, and they like to tell them.

These three gentlemen, along with 175 of their fellow veterans, and 110 other attendees were welcomed by President Don Zillman at Portland Rotary’s 3rd Annual Veterans' Day Appreciation Lunch last Friday held at the Italian Heritage Center.

Everyone enjoyed Denny Breau’s musical prelude, and rose to attention for the 1st Battalion 25th Marines Presentation of Colors, the Pledge led by Past President Bob Traill, the National Anthem, led by Kathy Grammer, and Major Kim D’Amaro’s invocation.  

All glasses were raised high to join Past President Kris Rosado’s (at right) toast to our “Fallen Comrades,” as he explained that we had a “Fallen Comrades Table” set up in the front of the room. Kris shared the symbolism of the items placed on the table:

• The folded Flag represents that this reserved table is set for all who have fallen or are missing after answering the call of duty.
• A single setting symbolizes the decision they each made to answer that call.
• The tablecloth and napkin are white, symbolizing the purity of their motives.
• The vase is tied with a ribbon, symbolizing their love of our country.
• The single rose reminds us of the families and loved ones who keep the faith of those who served.
• A slice of lemon on the bread plate reminds us of their bitter fate.
• Salt upon the bread plate is symbolic of their families’ tears from their loss.
• The chair is empty because they cannot be with us today, and the glass is inverted because they cannot join us in this toast.

During lunch, many of the veterans in the room shared stories between themselves and their tablemates, talking of family, travels, and reminiscences of military service. These were conversations between ordinary people.

Lou Alexander liked that Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (at left) delivered the keynote address, because of his involvement with the VFW. “She gets it,” he said as the Congresswoman talked about her efforts, and those of the other members of Maine’s congressional delegation, to secure benefits for veterans, and ease service claims at the VA. “We’re pleased to add another community-based outpatient clinic in Portland,” she said. “In a rural state like Maine, it’s difficult for veterans to have to travel long distances for care.” She also drew attention to a rare occurrence in today’s Congress, the unanimous approval of the Veterans Fair Care Debt Notice Act, a bill she sponsored to relieve those who had become snared in the VA’s bureaucracy. 

Chellie spoke of plans to help veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and provisions in the Farm Bill to assist veteran farmers, as well as help qualified veterans purchase food from farmers markets. “A lot of this depends on the overall budget,” she said. “The funds are there, it’s just a matter of applying them here. Our recognition of veterans has to be more than a day off and a flag.” 

Joe Reagan, a veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, who holds the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, is Vice Chairman of Veterans Count, an organization focused on providing a range of services to veterans. “When I came home, I received a standing ovation in the airport. For those of you who did not get that welcome home, you deserve it.” 

Since its founding in 2006, Reagan reported, Veterans Count has served over 5,000 veterans; prevented 112 suicides; protected 1,000 families from foreclosure; helped 2,000 individual veterans obtain mental care; and, distributed over $2.6 million to veterans in need. “Ninety percent of the funds we raise go directly to vets,” Reagan said. He said his organization works first to establish trust with vets, taking care of basic needs, and then moves to help get them treatment for PTSD, and employment. “The VA does a great job of helping vets with physical injuries, but has difficulty handling complex injuries like PTSD or brain trauma,” he said. 

He pointed to one story of a veteran assisted by Veterans Count who was talked out of committing suicide. “It was a tough situation, but we prevented it. Now that individual has his own construction company with ten employees. Many lives were impacted by that effort.”

Past President Larry Gross (standing at left with President Don Zillman and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree) presented Kristina Sabasteanski, Executive Director of Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training (VAST), with compound bows and a three-wheel bike to be used at the VAST facility at Pineland Farms.

(Photo right: PP Kris Rosado, Kristina Sabasteanski, Steve Stromsky and PP Don Lowry.)

Larry also commented on the effective work done with the Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s Vet to Vet program, which breaks down the isolation of older vets.

Kathy Grammer and Past President Russ Burleigh, accompanied by Betty Rines on trumpet, led the singing of the military service branch songs—a club Veterans' Day tradition that gives everyone a chance to cheer for their fellow members who rise to be recognized when their branch’s song is sung. George stood for the Coast Guard's  “Semper Paratus,” and waved at the applause. Lou rose to sing the Air Force's “Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder,” his hand on Jack’s shoulder because it was too difficult for him to stand; we sang the Navy's “Anchors Aweigh,” the Marines' “The Marine Hymn,” and the Army's “Caissons Go Rolling Along,” applauding all those who stood. 

Many veterans and guests commented how much they enjoyed the event, and the gifts of a scarf and recognition pin. In some ways, the men and women in the room who served in the armed forces are just average people...but in another way, they are extraordinary: they accepted the challenge of military service knowing it could cost them their lives. All the veterans in the room, and across the country, deserve the commendation we extended last Friday.


11/10/17 Special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch Bob Martin 2017-11-13 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Steve Mortimer

Jennifer Hutchins became the Executive Director of the Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP) in July 2016, where she leads a member network of more than 900 charitable nonprofits and 150 private partners. 

Prior to joining MANP, Jennifer was Executive Director of Creative Portland, where she led the City of Portland’s efforts to strengthen the creative economy. She is a co-author on the seminal 2004 report published by the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service on Maine’s Creative Economy conducted for Governor Jon Baldacci. She was the Director of Communications and External Affairs at the USM Muskie School for nine years and Marketing Director at Portland Stage Company from 1995-2000. Her career got its start at organizations in Washington D.C. and abroad before returning to Maine and deciding it was the best place for her to make a difference. 

She holds a master’s degree in public policy and management from the USM Muskie School and lives in Portland with her husband and two daughters.

*11/17/17 Jennifer Hutchins, Ex Dir Maine Assn Nonprofits Steve Mortimer 2017-11-13 05:00:00Z 0
Kodak moments:
We welcomed Tiel Duncan back after missing many meetings due to her vital role with the American Red Cross and their efforts in handling the many disaster-recovery projects. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Tiel and the American Red Cross!
Photo L-R: Tiel Duncan and Past President Laura Young.
Photo Corner & Rotarians in the News 2017-11-10 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman opened the meeting by welcoming 56 members and 3 guests. Kathy Grammer provided us with our invocation, thanking all those who assisted in getting our power restored after the recent storm-related outage (including CMP workers, fire, police and others that assisted). After the Pledge of Allegiance, Kathy also led us in singing "God Bless America."

President Don told us of the passing of long-time member Austin Harris (photo at left) and we honored him with a moment of silence. Past President Bob Traill then spoke eloquently of his and Past President Jim Willey's recent visit with Austin and the bestowing on him of his 6th Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Bob spoke of how upbeat Austin was for the visit, trading Rotary stories and having a chocolate chip cookie.

Gracie Johnston spoke about the upcoming volunteer opportunity at St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen for the Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday, November 22nd. We have lots of volunteers, but more are always helpful and will make the job go easier. Pleaswe contact Gracie at:  or 939-0315.

Paul Tully brought us up to date on the annual Veterans’ Appreciation Lunch (November 10th). Over $11,000 has been raised for the event and 225 veterans and friends have registered to attend, but we are hoping that number will rise to 300 for this very special event. Over 60 Rotarians have volunteered to help and Paul asks that volunteers report by 10:30 that morning. He reminds us that arriving early is on-time; arriving on-time means being late; and being late is inexcusable. If you just plan to attend the meeting, please be there by 11:30, as you’ll need to have time to go through the “check-in” process.

Dr. Roger Fagan urged all Rotarians to check the outstanding hearing aid boxes in the local communities and get the units to Roger. This is especially important as some hearing aids destined for the Dominican Republic were recently stolen, so the need is even greater. Roger also noted another volunteer opportunity for Rotarians, as indicated by a flyer left on the tables, outlining help needed to load a container bound for Africa containing needed crutches and medical equipment that have been donated. This effort is on November 18th and teams of help are needed at 9:30 to work for 2 hours and at 10:30 to work until 12:30. The location is 20 Gooch Street, Biddeford and the contact person is Dennis Robillard (486-0043).

Steve Mortimer indicated the Visioning Survey results are being tabulated and will be discussed at a Club Assembly scheduled for December 8th. Eric Greven reminded us that on November 17th, there will be a shoe drive for the Preble Street Resource Center — bring your gently used or new shoes or boots to the meeting for the benefit of the less fortunate in our city.

Ben Millick reminded us that the next Portland Rotary Happy Hour is at Foulmouth Brewing located at 15 Ocean Street, South Portland. It is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15th at 5:30. Come and join fellow Rotarians for a fun and informative event.


The weekly Rotary Raffle conducted by Deb Lavoie was up to $1,042. With his name being picked, Past President Bob Traill graciously picked the 6 of Hearts – leaving the sum to be even larger next week. Sorry Bob!

11/03/17 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2017-11-06 05:00:00Z 0
CORRECTION TO THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Our 1st Vice President John Curran's name was erroneously omitted from the list of this important committee. Our apologies to John.

This year's Nominating Committee was announced by Chair - Past President Laura Young. The members, who will select candidates for a number of leadership positions will consist of 1st VP John Curran2nd VP Amy Chipman, Past President Bowen Depke, Past President Kris Rosado, Mike Fortunato, and Kathy Grammer. If you would like to discuss any potential club leaders with any of these members, please do so. Nominations will be presented to the club membership in December. 

Editorial Correction 2017-11-06 05:00:00Z 0
Friday, November 10, 2017
Portland Rotary will host a
Special Veterans'
Appreciation Lunch
at the Italian Heritage Center
40 Westland Ave., Portland 
Join us in honoring the men and women
who have served our country.
Please arrive early - check in begins 11:30 a.m.
Program will begin at 12:00 p.m.
Our keynote speaker is
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
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.
*11/10/17 3rd Annual Special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch 2017-11-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

In Dr. James Herbert, President University of New England we found someone who not only is leading one of Maine’s top schools, but someone who seems very willing to go to work for Maine’s Tourism Board. Migrating to Maine from Philadelphia, Dr. Herbert is in love with our state, and though fully admitting he was from away, yearns to be called a Maine-ah!  

Herbert spoke about the core values that UNE shares with Rotary’s 4-Way Test. Service. Integrity. Diversity. UNE has stayed true to the roots of the founding schools – St. Francis College and Westbrook College, both of which were proudly known for providing access to higher education to the community. A century ago, St. Francis reached out to those working in the nearby mills, and Westbrook was recognized for its high percentage of women who sought a college education.

Many UNE students who have financial needs are supported by Federal Pell Grants. Herbert noted that in the application process, student test scores (SAT’s etc.) are recorded and studied to predict future income potential and earnings. He observed that UNE students are well above the curve in their return on investment, in fact the best school in the state of Maine in that regard. He feels this is due primarily to their offering of studies that are very career oriented, as opposed to a broader based liberal arts programs that have more of a focus on the arts, economics, and language.

(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, Dr. James Herbert and Bob Martin.)

UNE is proud to have Maine’s only medical and dental schools, which includes pharmacy, nursing, and other health occupations. The contribution to the Maine economy is vibrant, with an annual impact of over 1 billion dollars stemming from 12,000 students and 1300 employees. The impact is felt through unique partnerships, such as the dental school’s ties to Delta Dental. Students who graduate are incentivized to set up practices in rural parts of Maine in return for reductions in their student loans.

UNE has two Maine campuses, Biddeford and Portland, as well as Tangier, Morocco. Understanding that a high percentage of UNE students were from small Maine communities with little or no exposure to the world stage, the Moroccan campus opened in 2014. With the dollar going much further, UNE was able to build a facility with two new buildings at an extremely low cost. Keeping in step with the school’s science and medical curriculum, the campus features excellent science and technical labs, so students can continue with their majors, while at the same time explore an entirely different culture at no extra cost. Most students describe it as a life-changing experience.

Though it is well-positioned, Dr. Herbert outlined the challenges that lie ahead.  Maine continues to lag at the bottom of states in the number of HS students who go on to higher education. Not only does that need to improve, but it also means that the University must continue to expand its reach. This includes NY, mid-Atlantic states, as well as internationally. Other issues include students and parents who question the high costs of college, and the advantages and growing popularity of online degrees. Herbert also noted the staggering level of regulations and accountability from state and federal legislature, growing demands of students for a holistic experience, as well as the effect of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence and the effect that they are having on the job market. Though each concern is a hurdle, Dr. Herbert feels exceedingly strong about UNE’s positioning in the marketplace.

For more information on the programs, campuses, facilities, and student life, please visit:

11/03/17 Dr. James Herbert, UNE President Tom Talbott 2017-11-05 04:00:00Z 0
Daylight Savings Time Ends 2017-11-03 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don opened the meeting at the Clarion Hotel by welcoming 53 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 2 guests.

A very interesting invocation was offered by Charlie Frair, who brought us back to his earlier days in Colorado, when he and his cronies “pliked” their times at “Suposiums,” pondering what it would be to play like, (plike) a cowboy or a professional skier.  An oddly fascinating invocation and one that was enjoyed by the club.

Visitor Ben Jackson was welcomed and announced that he has gotten his membership application into the club for review. We look forward to hearing more about one of our now numerous “Bens.”

Our visiting Savannah, Georgia Rotarian, Kirk Duffy, is heading back home for the winter. It’s been nice having you with us for these past many months, Kirk! Safe travels and a mild winter (for all of us).

President Don read a nice letter from John Tewhey thanking members for attending a celebration of life ceremony in honor of his wife Gloria’s passing. 

This year's Nominating Committee was announced by Chair - Past President Laura Young. The members, who will select candidates for a number of leadership positions will consist of 2nd VP Amy Chipman, PP Bowen Depke, PP Kris Rosado, Mike Fortunato, and Kathy Grammer. If you would like to discuss any potential club leaders with any of these members, please do so. Nominations will be presented to the club membership 

Mike Fortunato asked us to save the date of Thursday, November 16, from 5:15 to 8:30 for a fabulous dinner to be prepared by the residents of The Long Creek Youth Development Center.  The four-course dinner, which will be served in the visitor area of the facility, promises to be quite amazing and, as their major fundraiser for the year, it is important that we help support this wonderful cause. Tickets are $45.00 per person. You’ll be hearing more as the date approaches.

The annual Veterans' Appreciation Lunch luncheon is quickly approaching (Nov. 10) and Charlie Frair wanted to give us a final update for the event. We are hoping and expecting almost 300 veterans, friends, family and Portland Rotarians for this very special event and we need a few things from club members: first and foremost, please reach out to any vets who you think may be interested (it’s free for them!); second, please make sure that you have registered for the event on our website; third, please seek sponsors for the luncheon: and, last, please volunteer to help out on the day of the event and, if you do, please show up in plenty of time BY 10:30 a.m.!

President Don asked that anyone interested in giving their opinions on our programs and meetings to please respond to his e-mail asking for input. In a Club Assembly on December 8th, we will be going over the comments and suggestions.

Ellen Niewoehner was in charge of the weekly raffle, which has now risen above $1000. 1st Vice-President John Curran’s name was called, but he drew the eight of clubs, allowing for an even larger pot next week when we meet at Gateway Community Service, 501 Forest Avenue.

10/27/17 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2017-10-31 04:00:00Z 0


Dennis Robillard and the Saco Bay Sunset Club will be loading CONTAINER #7 (bound for Africa) on Saturday morning Nov. 18th. As part of the District Initiative to promote inter-club collaboration, we are hoping many local clubs will join in. This is a hands-on International Project.

Location:  20 Gooch St. Biddeford, ME.
CONTACT PERSON DAY OF THE EVENT: Dennis Robillard - Cell 468-0043

FIRST TEAM:   15 people to arrrive at 9:30 and work until 11:30, to get things organized and start loading around 10 AM. Any extra people will work on packaging several crates of inbound crutches for a future shipment.   We are loading crutches, wheel chairs, walkers and canes.

SECOND TEAM: 10 people to arrive at 10:30 and work until about 12:30 to continue the loading and packaging.

Tony Wagner, Asst Governor
207-229-3254  Cell


Crutches4Africa Volunteers Needed 2017-10-31 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

President Don Zillman introduced our own Portland Rotary member Abdullahi Ali as our speaker. For those who didn’t get the chance to read the Windjammer or haven’t had the distinct opportunity to speak in any detail with Abdullahi, he was born in Somalia, raised in Kenya, and resettled in Maine in 2009, after spending his younger years in a refugee camp. He has spent his career helping those less fortunate – and is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Community Services.

As described on its website, Gateway Community Services “was founded in order to help improve the mental health status of people in Maine, with a specialized concentration of practice for new Mainers who have recently immigrated to the United States. Gateway was formed to support and empower all people who are suffering from mental anguish, trauma, emotional distress, and other evidence of social instability. Our service delivery platform is tailored to meet the needs of individuals and their families from all walks of life, including specially designed service delivery for refugees who have suffered deeply in their countries of origin and in their journey to America.”

Having fled Somalia when civil war broke out and seen mass killings and inhumane treatment of others, Abdullahi is committed through Gateway to providing personal care services for the elderly and those with disabilities. Abdullahi spoke movingly of how refuges and those people living in other countries are mistreated when suffering from mental health issues. He described how they are often given little or no support unless they are harmful to themselves or others. And if intervention is needed, they are sometimes locked up without any diagnosis or treatment – and the government can even take away their children.

Through Gateway, Abdullahi shows clients that treatment for mental health disabilities is different than what they may have heard or experienced in the past. Gateway provides home support services to Maine families – including refugees who may speak different languages – so that they are given access to needed resources to help them become independent and contributing community members. He indicated that for many this begins with education about the services available and advising trust for the service providers. 

It was clear after his presentation, that looking for guest speakers who make a positive impact on our community can be as simple as asking some of our own Rotary members.

Photo L-R: 1st Vice-President John Curran, Abdullahi Ali and President Don Zillman.

10/27/17 Abdullahi Ali, Gateway Community Service Ben Lowry 2017-10-31 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

James D. Herbert, Ph.D., serves as the University of New England’s sixth president. He assumed the position on July 1, 2017, immediately following the 11-year tenure of Danielle N. Ripich.

Dr. Herbert arrived at UNE via Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he had served most recently as executive vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. Before that, he had held a variety of administrative positions at Drexel, including interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, head of the Department of Psychology, interim head of the Department of Biology, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Program, director of the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology, and president of the University Faculty.

Dr. Herbert’s educational background is in psychology; he holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include cognitive behavior therapy — including newer mindfulness and psychological acceptance-based models of behavior therapy, anxiety, mood, and eating disorders, remote Internet-based treatment, and the promotion of evidence-based practice in mental health.

He is known internationally for his publications on quackery and pseudoscience in mental health, having authored more than 170 scholarly works on these and other topics. His 2011 book “Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior Therapy” has been endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who called it “a most beneficial and powerful method for ensuring a healthy mind and heart.” Dr. Herbert is a fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health.

*11/03/17 James Herbert, PhD, President UNE Bob Martin 2017-10-31 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

President Don Zillman began our meeting by welcoming 58 members and 1 guest at the Holiday Inn By-The-Bay. Past President Russ Burleigh provided the invocation, reciting the poem “Autumn is Here." Past President Bowen Depke led us in the pledge to our flag and Russ led us in patriotic song with “God Bless America."

President Don mentioned the celebration of life for Gloria Tewhey, wife of Past President John Tewhey, that was held on Sunday, Oct. 15th. Don also discussed the attendance at the Oct. 14th Back Cove 5K Race, including Andy Stone, himself and Jennifer Johnson (Andy Stone's fiance). 

We bid adieu and buona fortuna to Michael Greer, as he is headed to the other Portland for what sounds like a terrific career opportunity with the Oregon Ballet. We will miss you, Michael! (Photo at right)

President Don acknowledged the return of Philip Rhinelander and Joel Gratwick, who were at our meeting this week. President Don also welcomed our non-Rotarian guest and acknowledged those members who make our meeting happen. 

Charlie Frair reminded us of the details on our Veteran’s lunch Friday, November 10th, at the Italian Heritage Center. Sign up sheets for volunteers were on the tables and Charlie reminded all to go the club website ( to register their attendance and any guests they are bringing, or call Elise Hodgkins to register (899-6342). Charlie went into explaining the mission of the dinner, its overall purpose and intentions. The committee has developed working goals for a five-year plan for this annual event.

Chair of the Community Service Committee, Gracie Johnston announced several service opportunities: Oct. 25th 3:30 p.m. early set-up volunteers, along with more volunteers needed at 4:30, for Preble Street Resource Soup Kitchen. Contact Gracie at;  November 17th, there will be a shoe drive for Preble St Resource Center — bring your gently used or new shoes to the meeting for the benefit of the less fortunate in our city; the Salvation Army holiday bell ringing by our club is an annual tradition, so from 12:00-1:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday December 4-22nd a kettle set up at Monument Square will be staffed by teams-of-two Rotarians. Sign up sheets are forth coming. 

Gracie then led us in singing “It’s a Grand Old Flag” and we nailed the key change. 

Dr. Roger Fagan asked the custodians of the hearing aid donation boxes to retrieve the boxes and get them to him, so he can repair the donated hearing aids before he departs for the Dominican Republic early next year. 

Lili Brown asked for volunteer readers at Lyseth Elementary School. If you can and want to help, contact Lili at:

Dave Putnam
discussed the recent visit by our member volunteers to Long Creek Cedars Unit, where Past President Jim Willey donated pumpkins to be carved by the residents, then brought to the Veterans’ Home - a win-win situation for all.

Tom Nickerson conducted the weekly raffle, where Dick Giles' name was drawn by our speaker. Dick drew the Eight of Hearts, losing his chance at $980. Next week promises a four-figure prize.

10/20/17 Bits & Pieces Bill Blount 2017-10-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Our guest speaker this week was Nancy Markowitz, who is a spokesperson for “Welcoming the Stranger,” a group devoted to assisting those who have legally made it to America and are seeking asylum from persecution in another land.

About a year and a half ago, Ms. Markowitz attended the initial meeting of a Jewish-based group of caring individuals who saw a huge need to assist those seeking asylum. When refugees arrive after their struggle to get here, it’s the start of another chapter without any assurances, and risk being turned away without any protection.  

It’s important for an asylum seeker to have somebody help them find their way through the legal labyrinth. Before the first meeting ended, Nancy had decided she had to help. As a member of Portland’s Jewish community, she is familiar with what it’s like to be without a safe homeland and to be the focus of hatred and injustice. She immediately took an assignment and became the mentor for a family escaping persecution in the Ivory Coast, Africa. The family consisted of two parents and their two young children and they were being housed in a shelter and little more. When they first reach the U.S., they are not allowed to seek work for the first 6 months and are not allowed to have any money or valuable assets. The plight of these human beings is not lost on Nancy and the other members of  “Welcoming the Stranger.”

The Welcoming group becomes a reliable resource for the asylum seekers and legal matters are tended to by specialists. While the wheels of justice grind on, sometimes for years, there is the daily living needs to contend with. These people are here without a job, a place to live, furniture or a financial base. Since they can’t have assets, they need help with common daily needs like travel, clothing, toiletries and cleaning. Nancy emphasized how dedicated and determined the seekers are to find ways to live on their own and not require assistance from the community. The Ivory Coast family, despite incredible struggles, including the mother being diagnosed with breast cancer requiring treatment, has found a rental and secured furniture with the assistance of the Welcoming group and “Furniture Friends.” The father has found a job, striving to make things better. While recovering from her breast cancer, the mother has used the time to become proficient in English and she looks forward to getting a job to help the family become a functioning part of their new homeland.

The story of the Ivory Coast family is but one of many. Nancy proudly says that when you assist a family, you morph from mentor to friend. One of her happiest moments is when the South African couple she helped invited her to be present at the birth of their first child and was told that she would now be the grandmother to their little girl. 

Nancy and the Welcoming group have helped asylum seekers from the Ivory Coast, Congo, Burundi, and South Africa over the past 1.5 years. They have worked with over 100 “matches,” but still have many more families needing assistance. There are many small things we can do to help, such as donating used cell phones, lap tops and good furniture, which will be distributed to those in need.

If you would like to help “Welcoming the Stranger,” please contact Nancy Markowitz at:

Photo L-R: Andreea Paine, Nancy Markowitz and President Don Zillman.



10/20/17 Nancy Markowitz - Welcoming The Stranger John Marr 2017-10-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Abdullahi Ali is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Community Services. Born in Somalia, raised in Kenya, he resettled in Maine in 2009 after spending much of his youth in a refugee camp. While in Kenya, he studied sociology at the University of Nairobi, and worked with humanitarian and development agencies in the country. He has been regularly involved in programs and income-generating activities for vulnerable communities, as well as in peace education, women’s empowerment, and skills development. He has also worked for Catholic Charities of Maine and Community Counseling Services.

Abdullahi studied Social Science at Southern Maine Community College and the University of Southern Maine, and earned a Master of Science degree in Justice Studies from Southern New Hampshire University. In the past six years Abdullahi has worked with survivors of torture and individuals and families with mental illness in Portland, Maine. 

He currently lives in Westbrook, and is a member of Portland Rotary.

*10/27/17 Abdullahi Ali, Gateway Community Service Bob Martin 2017-10-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Andreea Paine
In 1990, Nancy Markowitz became the Director of the first family mediation program in Maine. She mediated and trained mediators through the University of Southern Maine and Volunteers of America for over 25 years. She retired in 2015 and now works full time without pay for “Welcoming the Stranger,” a volunteer program that provides mentors for people seeking asylum. Her advice for others: find your passion and never stop giving to others. 
*10/20/17 Nancy Markowitz - Welcoming the Stranger Program Andreea Paine 2017-10-15 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Our speaker last Friday, William “Bro” Adams, recently finished his terms as the tenth chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and spoke about his 4 years at the helm of this important and long-standing agency which, along with the National Endowment for the Arts, annually oversaw $300M in grant monies. Begun in September of 1965 by President Johnson, the NEH works with over 7000 agencies, museums, colleges, media outlets and even filmmakers to advance cultural knowledge and appreciation. Within the 50+ years of its existence, NEH has provided over 5.3 billion dollars of support in an effort to enrich our society and create a bridge between the government and the arts. In some cases, as we have seen in Maine, introducing a cultural economy can help ease the pain of losing an industrial economy, with Waterville as a clear example of how the arts can help transform a city and region after the loss of industry has left a city searching for an identity. 

When President Trump’s budget came out recently, many were stunned to find the previous level of funding for the NEH and the NEA, which had stood at a modest $150M apiece, suddenly slashed to zero. Congressional pressure, including firm support from three of Maine’s four member delegation, should allow for ongoing funding in 2018, but the waves were felt throughout the nation as the arts seemed to take a back burner. Mr. Adams suggests that no democracy can survive without an acquaintance with our history, our theories in democracy, and in an understanding of the cultural complexities of our nation and our world.  While The United States is certainly at a crossroads, with a swift increase in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) funding and this sudden shot across the bow of our cultural heritage, there is still hope and optimism that the arts and the humanities can survive and even flourish despite the seemingly myopic vision of the current administration. Only time will tell, but it was certainly fascinating to gain the perspective of Mr. Adams, who has devoted his career to higher education and a higher understanding of the arts and culture of our nation.



(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, Abdullahi Ali, Bro Adams and Rusty Atwood.)


10/13/17 William "Bro" Adams, Frmr Chr Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities Ben Lowry 2017-10-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

We met at Gateway Community Services this week on Forest Ave in Portland. We were treated to a lunch prepared with a different ethnic flair. Although many of us looked into the serving dishes and were not sure what we were getting, many comments were made during lunch about how good the food was.

The meeting was opened with a warm welcome by Abdullahi Ali, the Manager of the Gateway Community Services center, who is also a Portland Rotarian. There were 50 Rotarians present, including two non-Rotarian guests.


Past President Peggy Wescott provided her version of an “Earth, Wind and Fire” invocation. Kathy Grammer led us in the pledge to the two mini flags held aloft by President Don Zillman. Kathy then led us all in “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

President Don talked about recently deceased honorary member Harry Sawyer’s memorial service. Many Rotarians attended and Past President Don Lowry spoke for us all. President Don said it was a wonderful experience to honor Harry, as Rotary meant so much to him.

President Don also told us that due to poor health, Austin Harris cannot attend meetings anymore. Past Presidents Bob Trail and Jim Willey visited Austin and presented him with a club-sponsored Paul Harris Fellow, which was much appreciated.

Charlie Frair reminded us all to register for the Veterans Appreciation Lunch on November 10th and be sure to contact Past President Loretta Rowe, if you are a veteran ( Even volunteers need to register, or you will not get a meal. Volunteer training will be at 10:30 a.m., and the lunch/program runs from 12:00-1:30 p.m. Registrations will be cut off at the 300 count, so you need to register NOW (go online at or click HERE). 25 more volunteers are needed....please contact Charlie ( or Paul Tully (

The Lyseth Reading program will start 10/23/17. It includes reading for a ½ hour to a child. The kids are hungry for the reading, and they are presented with their own copy of the book being read to them after the session. Books are supported by the District Rotary Foundation Grant. Signup sheets are on the table at lunch, or contact Lili Brown ( to signup.

Eric Greven announced that we need volunteers for the Preble Street Soup Kitchen volunteer night on October 25th, which will be the last one we will do for this year. Please contact Gracie Johnson at to volunteer.

President Don asked all Rotarians to look through their closets for good, usable athletic shoes (sneakers) to donate to the Preble Street Resource Center. He will let us know what week to start bringing them in soon.

A big “shout out and thank you” to Jerry Angier. He heard that Swiss Time was looking for a worthwhile charity. Jerry suggested the Portland Rotary Charitable fund and we received a $1400 donation. Way to go Jerry!

President Don told us he is hoping the US disasters end soon. We have donated to two hurricane relief funds and the club is now collecting monies to help Puerto Rico. If you can and want to help, please make your check out to Portland Rotary Charitable Fund and send to the Portland Rotary address at P.O. P.O. Box 1755, Portland, ME 04104 or give the check to Elise Hodgkin at a Rotary meeting. We will send one check from the club.

Past President Bill Blount announced that there are vacancies in the tennis league for the spring season starting in January. There are four levels of players from A to D, where D is beginner. Bill claims that when you join the Rotary tennis league, you stay in Rotary for a very long time. Please contact Bill ( or Erik Jorgensen (, if you have interest.

President Don mentioned the Celebration of Life ceremony for Gloria Tewhey, the wife of former Portland Rotary President John Tewhey. It is scheduled for Sunday Oct 15th at noon at their home, 3 Valley View Drive, Gorham.

Bob Martin led the weekly raffle, where the pot has grown to $957, and Jennifer Frederick’s name was picked to try and find that elusive Queen of Hearts in the dwindling deck of cards, but she did not find the right card, to the sigh of relief from members in the audience who are hoping they might get their chance next week.

Past President Don Lowry led us in singing, “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.” 

10/13/17 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2017-10-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood
William "Bro" Adams is a senior fellow at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Bro was the tenth chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 2014 to 2017.  Shortly after arriving at NEH, he launched an agency-wide initiative titled The Common Good: Humanities in the Public Square.  The initiative seeks to demonstrate the relevance of the humanities to the life of the nation during a time of unprecedented domestic and global challenges.

Under the rubric of The Common Good, NEH launched a number of new grant lines, including the Public Scholar Program, Common Heritage, Dialogues on the Experience of War, Next Generation Humanities PhD Grants, Humanities Connections, NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication, Open Book, Creating Humanities Communities, and Humanities Access Grants. During his tenure at NEH, Bro also sought to deepen the engagement of the agency with community colleges and veterans groups and causes.

Prior to joining NEH, he served as president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, from 2000 until his retirement on June 30, 2014. He also served as president of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania from 1995–2000. A native of Birmingham, Michigan, Bro earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Colorado College and a PhD from the history of consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He studied in France as a Fulbright Scholar before beginning his career in higher education with appointments to teach political philosophy at Santa Clara University in California and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He went on to coordinate the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford and to serve as vice president and secretary of Wesleyan University. Mr. Adams's formal education was interrupted by three years of service in the Army, including one year in Vietnam. In each of his professional roles, Bro has demonstrated a deep commitment to the humanities and to the liberal arts.
*10/13/17 William "Bro" Adams, Former Chair, Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities Rusty Atwood 2017-10-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Bob Martin introduced Justin Lamontagne, a Portland Rotarian, and a partner with NAI The Dunham Group. His presentation centered on the commercial real estate market from the big-picture perspective. Commercial real estate includes three types of properties (a) industrial (b) office and (c) retail; Justin is an Industrial Office Specialist. Also included was some information about “Peninsula/Old Port Developments.” Other commercial real estate includes hospitality, like hotels. Commercial real estate works with property owners and businesses to find space to buy or sell. In the commercial market, about 70 percent of consulting with clients are advising them about property values. In the industrial real estate market, the property inventories are tight and it’s having a deterrent impact on economic growth. 

Since 2011, the rents and the sale prices of commercial rentals and sales have risen. Industrial vacancy rates are declining and are under five percent. Driving this market are craft beer-making and legal medical marijuana growers. Unfortunately, new construction has not kept up with the demand and one reason is because banks will not provide cash to medical marijuana growers. 

In the office properties market, the nicer spaces are gone. A recommendation is for class B office space to invest in property upgrades to attract tenants. Medical office space requires a “Class A” space to comply with quality regulatory requirements. Office space design is created for efficiency. Office space is shrinking. Maine has mixed-use space and unused industrial space with high ceilings. Although there is some new building in office properties, the rents on new construction are top of the range.

Retail and e-commerce are impacting bricks and mortar stores. People are changing how they shop. 

During the 2007 Recession, the dark space left as a result of the economic downturn is quickly being reabsorbed. Customers must brace for an increase in the cost of properties when leases are renewed. In the Old Port and Peninsula, the market is primarily about hotels and condos. Parking for employees and consumers continues to be a challenge for all who want to do business in this area of Portland.

Justin encouraged Rotarians to learn more about two questions on Portland's election ballot this November related to real estate: one is about rent controls and the other about residents’ influence over zoning.


(Photo L-R: Justin Lamontagne, Bob Martin and President Don Zillman.)

10/06/17 Justin Lamontagne, Portland Commercial Real Estate Julie L'Heureux 2017-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Traill

When it became known that our much-loved and respected member of 55 years, Austin Harris, was in declining health, our Board very thoughtfully voted to award him with a Paul Harris Fellowship, his sixth. Since he was unable to attend a Rotary meeting and was even without the strength to meet with many people, it was decided that, with the agreement of Austin’s son, Scott and daughter, Jane, Jim Willey and I would present Austin with pin and declaration in his home on Thursday, October 5, 2017. We were both saddened to see that Austin was not well. Nevertheless, he was clearly overwhelmed and happy to receive the honor. He then began to reminisce and recount a variety of stories with wit and lucidity. 

After over two hours Jim and I took our leave, pleased to know that it was the right action to take, but saddened to see that Austin was not well. We receive a note from Jane with the enclosed picture and the message that Austin was quite exhausted in the afternoon but extremely pleased with his sixth Paul Harris Fellowship.


(Photo L-R: Past President Jim Willey, Austin Harris (seated), and Past President Bob Traill.)


Hand-delivered PHF Bob Traill 2017-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

President Don Zillman rang our meeting in at the Clarion Hotel with 53 members and 3 guests before turning the mic over to Paul Tully (at right) for the invocation. “PT” reminded us of interesting historical occurrences that happened on other October 6ths, but closed with a moment of silence in the wake of the tragedy that unfolded in Las Vegas - 58 killed, 500+ wounded. Past President Bowen “Front Page News” Depke led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and we sang our best rendition of “America The Beautiful.”

Last week our speaker, Carol Coultas, Business Editor for the Press Herald, remarked that she was always on the lookout for a good story. She hit paydirt with Bowen Depke. Bowen is President of Spire Express located in at 477 Congress St., aka Portland’s iconic “Time and Temp” Building. The crux of the story is that the building’s owners are letting the building fall into disrepair and neglect. Peeling paint, broken and leaking radiators, and crumbling plaster are causing tenants to move out, leaving the remaining businesses to wonder why the owner doesn’t renovate or sell. When Bowen raised the question at the meeting, it resulted in a feature front page story in the paper, detailing the situation and drawing upon Bowen as the voice of the tenants.  

President Don thanked the members who participated in our meeting’s set up and execution, and then read the list of 13 members born in the month of October. Happy Birthday, Dear Rotarians!

Many had heard the news this week of the passing of two important people in our Rotary family. Honorary member Harry Sawyer and Gloria Tewhey, wife of Past President John Tewhey. Harry was remembered by Past President Russ Burleigh, when he spoke of Harry as his long-time friend. Harry was prolific at bringing in new members over the years. A quick review of our current roster shows 7 members under his name, and there were many more. Russ read a poem he wrote and read to Harry a few years ago, a roll call of the members he brought to Rotary. There will be a memorial service at St. Lukes next Thursday (10/12) at 2pm. We then remembered Gloria Tewhey, wife of our Past President John Tewhey. Linda Varrell stood to tell us how she had met Gloria while working 13 years together with Maine Youth Leadership. <>  When the organization was going through difficult times, it was Gloria who kept the program going and developing it into the sustainable organization it is today. Services for Gloria will be in MA, closer to her children, but there will be a gathering of friends at the Tewhey residence in Gorham, 3 Valley View Drive, noon on October 15th. Our condolences to both families, and our eternal respect and love to two great people.

Charlie Frair (left) updated us on the upcoming Veterans Day Lunch. It will be a sell-out, so please register right away at: Pay at the door. If you are a veteran and club member, please contact Past President Loretta Rowe ( or 883-5432) as soon as you can, as there will be something special planned! Flyers are being passed out, so take one for your office or community center and post it up. Volunteer sheets are on the table, we need as many as possible and we have a job for everyone!

President Don provided the latest news on the Rotary effort to help hurricane victims. The District is looking for volunteers to drive supplies to Florida – let Don know if that could be you! Info came out in an email from District Governor Dave Underhill. Contributions can be made directly to the efforts in Puerto Rico with a check made out to Portland Rotary, and “Puerto Rico” written in the memo line. 

Song Leader Ron Bennett, with side-kick Past President Bill Blount, led us in a rendition of “This Land Is Your Land.” With members concluding the song at different points, it had a nice fade out. 

We welcomed new member Merle Hallett, introduced by Gus Karlsen, to our club. (Photo at right: Gus and Merle.) Affectionately known as a true “Man of the Sea,” Merle has sailed the world, was the owner of Handy Boat, and one of the original founders and sponsors of Portland’s MS Regatta, now known as Portland HarborFest. Under Merle’s guidance, some 3 million dollars has been raised to help those afflicted by MS.  With an encyclopedic knowledge of the maritime, seek him out for some great stories. Welcome Merle! 

Program Chair Bob Martin let us know that this coming Friday, plus Oct 27 and Nov 3, we will be meeting at the Gateway Community Service, 501 Forest Avenue here in Portland.  


Last but not least, the weekly raffle, with $927 available for the taking. Led by Terri St Angello, Ron Bennett had the honors of the name draw, but he left empty handed, unable to pull the Queen of Hearts from the shrinking deck.

10/06/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-10-09 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen

“How many of you have tried to hire someone recently?” That was among the first questions from Friday’s speaker, Press Herald Business Editor Carol Coultas. When a number of Rotarians raised their hands, she continued, “How many of you have had problems hiring people?” The same hands, more or less, stayed in the air. The often-described “demographic cliff” is a massive issue for Maine, from Millinocket to Portland. There is also the so-called “Maine Discount” affecting hiring, in which workers here are paid 15%-20% less than in other states. This makes recruitment from other parts of the country difficult, and though the “way life should be” is a powerful lure, the reality of lower salaries is a real challenge.

Carol talked about what she sees as our state’s somewhat scattershot approach to the issue of coordinating available jobs with our educational system. Lots of organizations are trying to solve the problem of workforce, but at this point we simply don’t have the workforce.  We have, for example, a growing veterinary services cluster, but there is no veterinary school in Maine.   

Visa problems are still a massive issue, and one that appears to be worsening under the Trump administration. Tourism business owners, unable to find adequate seasonal help, are finding themselves flipping burgers and snapping sheets in addition to the administrative and managerial duties that they’ve always had.  With an aging native workforce and serious limits on businesses’ ability to bring new people in from abroad, she predicts that many tourism-based businesses will simply be unable to continue.

Ms. Coultas ended her presentation early in hopes of answering the flood of questions and comments from Rotarians who were eager to discuss Maine business issues while also offering possible story leads. It was a lively conversation that ranged from the changing role of classified advertising to prosthetic hands.


(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Carol Coultas and President Don Zillman.)


09/29/17 Carol Coultas, Bus. Ed. Portland Press Herald Erik Jorgensen 2017-10-03 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Justin Lamontagne, CCIM, joined NAI The Dunham Group in 2011 and was named Partner in 2016. He has worked in commercial real estate since 2006 and has successfully brokered transactions in all sectors of commercial real estate, specializing in industrial, office and investment properties. 

In 2013, he was named the Maine Commercial Association Realtor of the Year. In 2015 he earned the prestigious CCIM accreditation, an international membership comprised of the world’s top commercial real estate professionals. In 2017 he earned the Society of Industrial & Office Realtor’s (SIOR) designation becoming only the 5th broker in the state of Maine to carry both CCIM & SIOR honors. Annually, Justin is the author of NAI The Dunham Group’s Greater Portland Industrial Market Survey, a comprehensive study and inventory of the local industrial market.

Today, Justin is active in several Greater Portland philanthropic and professional organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Maine Commercial Association of Realtors as President-Elect, the Rotary Club of Portland, Town & Country Federal Credit Union and the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce. Justin is also an active member of MEREDA and the CCIM New England chapter. 

He has a degree from the University of Rochester (BA ‘02) and an advanced degree from Boston University (MS ‘04).

In his free time, Justin enjoys staying active and healthy. He is an avid water skier, snow skier, hiker, rock climber and plays organized softball. He lives in Portland with his wife, Marycelina, their children Katherine and William and their dog, Fenway.

*10/06/17 Justin Lamontagne, Grtr Portland Commercial Real Estate Market Bob Martin 2017-10-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman welcomed 48 members, 4 guests and 1 visiting Rotarian to our Friday meeting. Past President Tom Talbott (at right) gave the invocation and in it he selected the theme of "time." He quoted Einstein, Shakespeare and shared many other time-related concepts and anecdotes. Past President John Marr led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Gracie Johnston led us in “God Bless America.”  

President Don thanked those members responsible for setting up and helping run the meeting. 

When Gracie Johnston was asked to lead us in song, she acknowledged that we didn’t have our song books while we are on the road, so she led us acapella with a song most everyone knows: “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

1st Vice President John Curran noted that guests were here from Kosovo and the Yarmouth Rotary Club to help on the prosthetic device outreach in Kosovo. John showed us a new model of prosthetic hand which will be shipped to an 18-yr. old in Kosovo, in advance of the Rotary trip to help her with college sooner.

(Photo above L-R: 1st VP John Curran, Dr. Gani Abazi (from Kosovo) and Yarmouth Club Rotarian, Bill Dunn.)

Gus Karlsen (left) brought the man-of-the-sea and champion sailor, Merle Hallett, as his guest. Merle is a considering being a Rotarian and was instrumental in organizing the MS Regatta, which morphed into the MS Harbor Fest. 


(Photo at right: Tom Nickerson and Dr. Roger Fagan.)
Tom Nickerson led the raffle this week and the speaker picked “3H” out of the holding vessel of tickets. On behalf of 3H, Roger Fagan selected a red 2 from the deck, which lets the Queen of Hearts rest for another week. The pot is getting bigger, so join us next week for a shot at over $900.

President Don apologized for the bowling alley meeting issues on 9/22, where Erik Jorgensen presented a program on being a State Representative. President Don voiced his appreciation for everyone’s patience and tolerance. Erik was asked to return for an encore presentation (with updates) in the near future. 

Mark Millar will be leaving for Colorado, but don’t worry, he plans to return in May 2018.

Community Service Chair, Gracie Johnston (left) thanked those who participated in the club's volunteer night at Preble Street: Jim Willey, Mike Robinson, Ron Bennett and four volunteers from the Portland school department. The next volunteer night will be on October 25th, so mark your calendars and sign up, if you have time to volunteer (and watch your emails for more information).  

Paul Tully (right) provided us an update on the Third Annual Veterans’ Appreciation Lunch, which is scheduled as our weekly meeting at 12 noon on November 10th, 2017 at the Italian Heritage Center. Paul encourages you to register soon for the lunch or as a volunteer. On tap is a great program.....more volunteers and table sponsors are needed. It is $500 to sponsor a table, and this provides you with two seats at a table. To register, please contact Past President Loretta Rowe ( or Elise Hodgkins ( Please register early, and if you are a Veteran, please contact Loretta and let her know. Please also check for more information. 

Portland Rotary has been sponsoring donations to the relief efforts for those areas impacted by the recent hurricanes, including those in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico. District Governor Dave Underhill is shaping a response to that effort, and we appreciate the support of the District. 

The upcoming Rotary celebration to end Polio is being held in Seattle, and a thoughtful donor has offered a chance to win round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations to those that donate to the event with a $25 pledge through the Rotary foundation. The deadline to enter into the drawing was September 30th, 2017.   

(Photo L-R: Safa Mohammed, Aisha Mukhtar and Glenn Nerbak.)

Glenn Nerbak introduced two Portland High School (PHS) students who attended the RYLA Camp with support from the Portland Rotary. They are: Safa Mohammed and Aisha Mukhtar. They  spoke about their experiences, explaining how their participation changed their lives for the better, making them feel more confident in their lives. They plan to continue to pursue paths to bring their fellow students and the community together in a positive manner by participating in the Interact Club that was formed at PHS. 

09/29/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2017-10-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Erik Jorgensen, Maine Legislature representing Maine House District 41, elected to the Legislature in 2012, and member of Portland Rotary, was back to report on the most-recent past session.

The First Regular Session of the 128th Maine Legislature convened December 7, 2016 and adjourned, August 2, 2017. It was the longest session in history of Maine. Erik’s service has allowed him to have experiences ranging from his visits to a marijuana cultivation facility, and to visit a huge hydro facility 1400 miles north of Quebec. Erik told us he is lucky to have a job with such experiences.

1650 bills were filed and 350 new laws were enacted. The vast majority of bills were killed by unanimous vote of the committees of jurisdiction. This unanimous record disputes those who say no one can work together. Erik told us that the dysfunction in Washington makes Maine’s dysfunction look amateur in comparison.  Most of the 350 laws which were enacted, were modifications and clarifications of existing law. He was disappointed that they were unable to pass a meaningful solar law. The citizen referendums dominated most of the time in the session. He believes that Maine needs to have an effective tax structure, but we must be competitive with nearby states.

Marijuana legalization for recreational purposes: Erik worked on this committee and says that he had a change of mind after studying the issue as part of the committee. He pointed out that it's very difficult to regulate a product when there is no requirement for labeling what level of active ingredients are in the product. Consumers need to know what is in that brownie or cream which is purchased. 

With a lot of work from both parties, the 3% surcharge for highest earners was eliminated, and schools were funded at a higher level, which came from a non-sustainable source, so this issue will likely return.

The reform of the minimum wage was changed to keep the tip credit intact. The removal of the tip credit was probably not intended, but as written, it occurred.

Unfortunately, other participating groups at the meeting venue created a level of noise making it impossible to hear the balance of Erik’s remarks and, after extending our apologies to him, he was invited to return at a later date.

(Photo L-R: Erik Jorgensen, Bob Martin, and President Don Zillman.)

09/22/17 Erik Jorgensen, Maine State Legislature Dick Hall 2017-09-26 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Carol Coultas, Business Editor for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram has been a journalist for over 30 years, with much of her experience focused on reporting and editing about Maine businesses. She started her career as a part-time writer/receptionist at a small weekly paper in Billerica, MA, following a stint as a Vista volunteer. She met her husband when they both worked at the Lowell Sun. They spent their first year of marriage teaching English in Mexico.

Carol worked at the Lewiston Sun Journal for 22 years, first as a reporter, then as Managing Editor for nine years. She was Managing Editor of Mainebiz for a number of years before moving to the Press Herald. She has a special interest in reporting on banking and manufacturing and projects under her supervision have won numerous awards. She has hosted a wide variety of recognition programs sponsored by the newspapers for which she worked, as well as a number of panels providing in-depth insight in a range of topics.

A graduate of UMASS-Amherst, Carol and her husband live in Harpswell and have two children, one a journalist in New York City and the other is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Duke University. When she’s not working, she likes to bake pies.

*09/29/17 Carol Coultas, Business Editor Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram Bob Martin 2017-09-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

President Don Zillman began our meeting by greeting 51 Rotarians, 1 Visiting Rotarian and 3 guests at the Bayside Bowl in downtown Portland. Dave Small provided the invocation with excerpts from Mother Teresa’s “Life is Life,” extolling the joys, trials and tribulations of our journey. Erik Jorgensen led us in the pledge and Past President Bill Blount led us in singing the Star Spangled Banner.

President Don thanked the Rotarians whose efforts made the meeting possible.
He welcomed visiting Rotarian Jim Graham and his wife, who hopped off a cruise ship in Portland harbor from his Kernersville, North Carolina Rotary club and exchanged club banners with us. 

Dick Hall, Club Foundation Chair, discussed the Rotary Foundation and a District 7780 raffle, asking: “Do you want to win a trip to Seattle for World Polio Day the first week of October?” District Governor Dave Underhill sent out an email to all clubs explaining the details: Donate $25 by September 30 to the Rotary Foundation Polio Plus and you are entered into the District drawing. You may donate online: Any questions, contact Dick Hall at:
Thank you for helping Rotary to end Polio.

2nd Vice President Amy Chipman announced the "Circle of Five" involvement by our club members in support of the Rotary Foundation. As "Circle" participants, Julie L’Heureux was feted garnering her sixth Paul Harris Fellow and Mark Millar was recognized for his third. 


Andy Stone led us in our acapella rendition of singing, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.



Handling the raffle this week, Patty Erickson asked our speaker, Erik Jorgensen, to draw a name from the holding vessel...and Mike Fortunato got to try his luck at this week’s $850 raffle pot. Unfortunately for Mike, he chose the wrong queen....finding the Queen of Clubs and leaving the elusive Queen of Hearts safely embedded until next week.


Past President Russ Burleigh requested our continued support for his wife, Joan Steinberg’s ninth year making woolen mittens to be given to needy local children for the winter months. Contact Russ with donations of wool or money in support of Joan’s worthy endeavor at: or 838-6129.

Nan Heald announced two events in support of her organization Pine Tree Legal Assistance. A silent Art Auction to be held on Friday and Saturday September 29-30. For more information, contact Nan at: Nan also suggested we put the following in our calendars: Senator Angus King will be speaking at USM’s Hannaford Hall, Friday, October 6, 5-7PM. For more information and to RSVP, go to:


Past President John Marr gave the club an update on our involvement in support of the youth at the Long Creek Youth Development Center. Contact John (, Past President Jim Willey ( or Dave Putnam (, if you would like to participate in this volunteer opportunity at Long Creek.

Charlie Frair reminded us of our Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 Veterans’ Appreciation Lunch to be held at the Italian Heritage Center. US House Rep. Shellie Pingree will be the keynote speaker. Registration is now open. Please go to Portland Rotary's website ( to register and be sure to invite local Veterans to join us.....their meal is on us! Please be sure to register any guests and veterans you want to bring. (See flyer below and on our club website:


09/22/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Bill Blount 2017-09-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Our guest speaker this week, Philip Walsh, Executive Director of Maine Initiatives, helped us better understand how the current social media dynamic is being embraced and assisting the newer philanthropy to make fundamental decisions.

Mr. Walsh reaffirmed that we are in an ever-changing world and Maine, and greater Portland, in particular, is in a vibrant period of transition and adjustment is essential. It is surprising to few that grant giving, in order to be effective and of greatest impact, has to adjust. The old model of the formulaic filing of a request for grant funds is going the way of the typewriter and carbon paper. Maine Initiatives has naturally evolved and is in sync with the social dynamics we now experience. The fundamental function of every philanthropy is to make positive change by offering support for organizations that fit the givers mission statement. Maine Initiatives concentrates their support on those organizations involved in fostering “racial justice and racial equity” in Maine. Since Maine is a relatively monochrome society, the challenge is to find the best cohorts to further the mission of justice and inclusion.

Phil was impressed with the number of Portland Rotarians who have experience with the grant giving process. Most of us are familiar with the objective of grant giving, but not aware of the vetting and decision-making process. Currently, Maine Initiatives is awarding 10 grants of $25,000 every year. There are many well-intended, hard-working initiatives in Maine with a mission to assist an under-privileged, little-recognized segments of our society. In order to assure that the grant investments of Maine Initiatives provides the expected yield, they have developed a process of collaborative selection to provide “transformative community philanthropy”.  

Phil has been involved with causes focused on societal justice throughout the Americas, and while working with the poor in Central and Southern America, he realized that poverty creates a distinct societal cohort that tends to be self perpetuating. While working in Nicaragua, Phil came to meet the “Watermelon Man,” a subsistence farmer who told him “we are the poor” and helped him to come to a better understanding of the insulating impact it imposes. The poor see themselves as outcasts and merely tolerated as part of the whole. This helped Phil to decide that if one wants to create long-lived, meaningful change, they have to include the intended beneficiaries, i.e. the poor or racially ostracized, in order to succeed. At Maine Initiatives it is realized that the giving of money is only part of the answer. The money, in and of itself, is not the answer….it is how it is going to be used and what the people are going to do with the support. The outreach of Maine Initiatives has made a difference with the grants and by becoming a new model for philanthropic giving.

Maine Initiatives has helped us concentrate on segments of our community that are too often invisible or ignored by the majority. As an overwhelmingly white state, it is easy for minorities to be overlooked. When the economy goes bad, it creates market gaps that can foster racial injustice that need to be tended to and not allowed to degenerate. By understanding that racial justice is a multidimensional process, the community can create a matrix fostering recognition and response. We know we can’t ignore the problem and hope that it will get better. Maine Initiatives is helping us come to terms with injustice by being aspirational in our search for equity and to assure that race and poverty does not become a predictive life outcome.


(Photo L-R: Steve Mortimer, Philip Walsh and President Don Zillman.)

09/15/17 Phil Walsh, Maine Initiatives John Marr 2017-09-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman welcomed 50 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 1 guest to the meeting. Past President Alan Nye gave an invocation encouraging everyone to make their day memorable. We pledged our allegiance to the flag and sang a patriot song acapella. 

President Don thanked all those responsible for helping out during the meeting. He then noted that in addition to the $500.00 the club donated to the Houston Hurricane Harvey Relief effort, the club would donate an additional $500.00 for the Florida Hurricane Irma Relief. 


Paul Tully reminded everyone that the annual Veterans' Appreciation Lunch is exactly 8 weeks away on November 10th at the Italian Heritage Center at noon. Although a full 53 members volunteered last year for the lunch, the need is great and he’s hoping for 60 volunteers this year. This is a wonderful tribute to all our Veterans and everyone is encouraged to volunteer or at least participate in the lunch to honor those who have given so much. 

Matt Tassey conducted the weekly raffle draw, with a sizable pot of $825.00, and Past President Loretta Rowe was the winner of the card draw – but alas, she came up with King of Diamonds. Good try, Loretta.

NOTE! Next Friday’s meeting will be at Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder Street, Portland. Mark your calendars and be prepared to have a rollicking good time.

09/15/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Alan Nye 2017-09-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Erik Jorgensen, a member of Portland Rotary, also sits in the Maine Legislature representing Maine House District 41, which includes Deering Center and some of the Portland neighborhoods near USM. Elected to the Legislature in 2012, he has served on the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, the legislative body responsible for developing and overseeing the state budget. He has been particularly focused on working to make sure that urban issues, especially Portland’s unique needs, are not forgotten in Augusta.

Erik’s professional career includes more than 25 years working in Maine educational and cultural organizations. He served as director of the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick for ten years, and from 1999-2012 worked for the Maine Humanities Council where he served as the Executive Director for five and a half of those. When the Legislature is not in session, he works on various consulting assignments.

Erik earned his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College, and an MPA from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he received the Henry Brooks Public Service Fellowship.

He has served on a number of boards and community groups, at the local, state-wide and national levels, including over 20 years as an active member of Rotary. He has served on the board of directors of the Maine Center for Economic Policy; the board of Good Will-Hinckley, and two charitable foundations. A former chair of the MPBN Community Advisory Board, his activities outside of Maine has included the board of the Project on Civic Reflection, a Chicago-based program that uses literature and history to help provide insight into civic and community issues; and, the Board of Directors of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

Erik has lived in Greater Portland since the 1980’s, and been a Deering neighborhood resident since 2000, along with his wife, Tamara Risser, and their son, Will, a student in the Portland Public schools.

*09/22/17 Erik Jorgensen, Maine Legislature Bob Martin 2017-09-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

David Pearce, retired from 35 years in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, and son of former long-time member and Club Secretary, Duane Pearce, joined us last week and shared his observations from a career in diplomacy. “I wish Dad could be here today,” he said. “Rotary was very important in his life, and he always wanted me to come and speak, but we could never work it out.” David shared the story of his first posting to Iraq when his Dad gave him his Rotary pen to take with him. “At first, I declined it. I knew how important it was to him. It had his name imprinted on it, but he insisted. Just bring it back, he said.”

Pearce said he wanted to address the question of whether we needed diplomats in today’s world. He referred to the story of Mu‘awiya I, the 7th Century Caliph of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, who governed a complex array of states across the Mid-East and North Africa, and was asked, “How is it that you can rule this fractious country.” His answer, Pearce said, lay in the technique of being aligned with everyone as if connected by a hair, knowing when to yield and when to pull. “The wise ruler stays engaged,” Mu’awiya is reported to have said. “And avoids rupture.” It is costly not to engage, Pearce said, but the trick is to determine the right balance of engagement.

Pearce presented five general observations from his experiences in the diplomatic corps:

First, “Begin at the beginning.” This stratagem requires you to lay out your strategic purpose. When he was appointed Ambassador to Greece, Pearce said that the goal was to ensure that Greece remained part of the European Union. “The U.S. was interested in Greece remaining strong,” he said. “Part of that was because we wanted to decrease economic risk to the country, but part of it also was tied to the fact the country is important to our military strategy—the port at Souda Bay is the only one in Europe that allows the docking of an aircraft carrier.”

Second, “Mind the Five Ps.” Details matter, he said, reflecting on former Secretary of State James Baker’s admonition, “Poor Prep equals Piss Poor Performance.” Pearce said that not only do details matter, but expertise matters, and language matters. He said that he took the time to learn the language of the country where he was assigned so that he could sit down with native speakers and communicate.

Third, “Tend the Garden.” Pearce said: “We need allies, and they need us. Intel is not expertise, it’s just facts and figures. People who love a region know more. We cannot take friends for granted.”

Four, “Drink the coffee.” This means one must learn to be patient, he said. Pearce shared stories of working in Iraq as part of General Petraeus’s staff and visiting with various chieftains. “There was no specific request from them. We just sat and drank coffee.” But as time passed, trust built, and there came times when that patience resulted in strong cooperation that was important strategically.

Five, “Nothing is good.” Pearce referred again to Mu’awiya describing the current state of Iraq and the factions in, and around, the country, and their different viewpoints on Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, which called for a referendum on Kirkuk, a city that lies in the heart of the country’s major oil-producing territory. “The Kurds controlled the city, and wanted a referendum in order to establish sovereignty. But it’s a multi-ethnic population, so there were others who objected to the Kurds being in charge. Since there was no clear agreement on a referendum, and there was pressure to have the UN take charge, I met with the leader of the Kurds alone for an hour and we spoke in Arabic. In the end, nothing happened.” Pearce’s point was that since there was fear, there might be unrest or rebellion....the fact that nothing happened was good. “It takes a lot of work,” he said, “for nothing to happen.”

(Photo L-R: Past President Bob Traill, David Pearce, and President Don Zillman.)

In closing, David Pearce said that “I can’t think of anything else I would rather have done than be a part of the diplomatic corps.”

Questions from the members brought lengthy responses describing the tax issues in Greece: “It’s a myth that Greeks don’t work hard. The issue is that the EU creditors want Greece to do more with economic reform and decrease the number of non-performing loans.” He provided an historical perspective of the issues in Iraq and the “tectonic plates” of culture and history involved. He discussed the changing internal dynamics in Turkey and the lack of choices that the Kurds had within and without Turkey for alliances. “It’s extremely complicated.” 

Commenting on North Korea, he said “Ultimatums are not a good idea.” And a long discussion on the issues of Afghanistan, which according to Pearce have deep roots in the U.S. decision not to engage the Afghani officer corps in training after 1989, which resulted in a generation of officers in the Afghan Army who we subsequently decided we needed, but had no effective way of communicating with because we lacked any personal connections with them.

Asked if the State Department understood his rule number one, Pearce responded that he doesn’t understand how you can do business in diplomacy if you cut one-third of your budget and fail to appoint deputies and under-secretaries. “Much work needs to be done on the team side,” he said.

09/08/17 David Pearce, Former U.S. Ambassador Bob Martin 2017-09-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

President Don Zillman rang in the meeting noting it would be a busy one! 58 members were in attendance, with an exceptionally large guest list of 15 and 1 visiting Rotarian.

Past President Russ Burleigh’s invocation provided a historical recounting of important events on this day in U.S. history. He began by noting that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In 1900, 6,000 people were killed when a hurricane struck Galveston,Texas. In 1965, Hurricane Betsy killed 75 in Louisiana and Florida. Russ ticked off a list of other not-so-great news, however, was able to sprinkle in a few stellar moments in baseball, from Bob Feller – youngest pitcher to win 20 games (1939) to the ’78 game between Red Sox/Yanks, with the Yanks winning 13-2.  

Our guest speaker, Ambassador David Pearce, led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathy Grammer tapped out the Star-Spangled Banner on the keyboard as we sang along. 

Returning attention back to the impending hurricanes down south, President Don spoke of the Rotarian relief effort and opportunities to donate. With Houston/Louisiana looking at $100 billion in rebuilding, and with all eyes on what lay ahead for Florida/Georgia, consider a donation to either the Red Cross, or the Rotary Foundation. 

With back-up singer Past President Russ Burleigh, song leader Andreea Paine,  led us on a vocal expedition of “If I Had A Hammer.” No doubt they did a great job.....however, the rest of the club introduced a variety of rare octaves and awkward tonal qualities to bring the song to its knees.  

Past President Kris Rosado updated us on the Veterans’ Lunch set for November 10th at the Italian Heritage Center. Now is the time to reach out to Veterans you know and invite them. There is no charge for Veterans. The hall can hold 350 people – a perfect lunch would be 300 Veterans. Kris also thanked a growing list of sponsors who have already pledged $500, but we certainly need more. To get the information you need to present to a potential sponsor, contact Kris at

David Small introduced our newest member, Eileen Skinner. Eileen was born, raised, educated and spent the first part of her working career in New Orleans. With a Masters in Health Administration from Tulane, Eileen built an impressive resume before coming to Maine in 2002 to be President and CEO of the Mercy Health System of Maine. Eileen has been the recipient of numerous leadership awards from a wide range of organizations, including the American Heart Association, Salvation Army, Girl Scouts of Maine and the Maine Business Hall of Fame, and that’s just the short list. Eileen’s newest adventure is a weekly commute from her home in Falmouth to Boston where she is now at the helm of the internationally renowned Boston Shriner’s Hospital For Children. Her husband John is a board-certified pathologist at Central Maine Medical Center. They have three grown children (youngest 23). Welcome, Eileen, to Portland Rotary!

President Don thanked the club members who handled the meeting’s tasks, and then moved to the all-important raffle draw. With $782 on the line, Matt Wolcott oversaw the name draw by our speaker, who drew the name of Past President Tom Talbott. Looking confident, Tom proceeded to draw the unforgiving Two of Spades, leaving the pot safe for at least another week.

Gus Karlsen announced that the MS Regatta trophy won last week in a show of superior skill and seamanship should be back in the club’s possession next week. There was no direct specific mention that our competition failed to show up, but hey, it’s our trophy now! 

Alex St.Hilaire was in Berlin recently to visit friends and made his way to a local Rotary club for a lunch meeting. With 84 members and similar demographics as our club, Alex remarked that he was welcomed with open arms, even though they were not expecting any guests. “Where ever you go, when you meet other Rotarians, there are immediate friendships.”  Alex presented President Don with their club banner, a fine memento from his visit.

09/08/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-09-11 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Steve Mortimer

Philip Walsh is the Executive Director of Maine Initiatives, a public, community-based foundation advancing social, economic, and environmental justice in Maine through informed, intentional and collective philanthropy. 

Since 1993, Maine Initiatives has made over $3.5 million in grants to grassroots and community-based organizations in Maine. Under Phil Walsh’s leadership, Maine Initiatives is pursuing a radically-participatory approach to community philanthropy, one that seeks to go beyond money. Phil’s talk will focus on how Maine Initiatives understands and approaches the issues of justice and equity in Maine, the role of private philanthropy, and the importance of both individual and collective action.

Phil’s professional background includes over 20 years of experience designing and implementing innovative community development approaches, with a specific focus on initiatives that engage diverse stakeholders; identify the community’s human, financial, and social assets; and leverage those assets for social change.

Prior to coming to Maine with his family in 2011, Phil worked for 15 years in Latin America: as a program officer with the Inter-American Foundation, director of the Mexico Program at The Synergos Institute, and leader of Mercy Corps’ civil society strengthening program in Central America.

Phil is a graduate of James Madison University and earned a masters degree from Georgetown University. He lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife, three daughters, and a brood of chickens. He serves on the board of directors of the Maine Philanthropy Center and is the co-chair of the Immigrant and Refugee Funders Collaborative. He is also an active supporter of Maine Adaptive and the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England.

*09/15/17 Phil Walsh, Exec. Director of Maine Initiatives Steve Mortimer 2017-09-11 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Traill
David D. Pearce, recently retired career diplomat in the U.S. State Department will discuss "Thirty-five Years in the U.S. Diplomatic Service: Rules to Live By."
Mr. Pearce was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Mary Jean and Duane Pearce, a highly-respected former member of our club, who passed away in 2014. 
David has lived and worked in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for ten years as a journalist and 35 years as a diplomat, including service as U.S. Ambassador to Greece and Algeria. He is a graduate of Cheverus High School, Bowdoin College and the Ohio State University School of Journalism. Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1982, he worked as a reporter and foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, the Rome Daily American in Italy and United Press International in Brussels, Lisbon and Beirut. He moved on to the Washington Post, as copy editor on both the foreign and metro desks and was a writer-editor for National Geographic.
Mr. Pearce has served in prominent and distinguished diplomatic positions in many countries, to include:
  • Vice Consul and Political Officer in Riyadh
  • Watch Officer in the State Department Operations Center
  • Country Desk Officer in Greece
  • Political Section Chief, U.S. Embassy in Kuwait
  • Liaison Officer with the Kuwaiti Government-in-exile, Saudi Arabia
  • Special Assistant to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  • Consul General in Dubai
  • Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Damascus
  • Director of the State Deparment's Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran/Iraq)
  • Served with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad
  • Mission Chief/Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General, Jerusalem
  • Minister Counselor for Political Affairs U.S. Embassy in Rome.
President George W. Bush nominated him to be the ambassador to Algeria in 2008 and he became the Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. After serving as the Deputy U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, he was nominated by President Obama to become Ambassador to Greece from 2013-16.
David is married to Leyla Baroody of Beirut, Lebanon, and they have two children and two grandchildren. Now based in Maine, they expect to divide their time between California and Maine. David has written a book on diplomacy and the media, entitled: "Wary Partners: Diplomats and the Media." He wants to continue to write and pursue life-long interests in drawing and painting. As a self-taught artist, he has been painting actively since 2008....his medium being watercolor. To observe some of his beautiful work, visit his website:
*09/08/17 David D. Pearce, Retired U.S. Diplomat Bob Traill 2017-09-08 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President Don Zillman opened the last of our official summer Friday’s meeting days by welcoming 51 members and 4 guests. 

Charlie Frair offered an invocation prayer dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the damage caused by flooding. With our thoughts on the storm that brought devastating floods to Houston and the Gulf Coast, President Don reported on Rotary plans to support relief through donations to a special Rotary Foundation fund, as presented in a communication by District 7780 Governor Dave Underhill (FMI, go to: or by donating to the American Red Cross at:

We pledged our allegiance to the American flag and sang our patriotic song, accompanied by Past President Russ Burleigh on the keyboard.

Portland Rotary was awarded the Service Club Cup for the sponsorship of a boat in the 36th Multiple Sclerosis Harborfest Regatta 2017 held on August 19th on Casco Bay. It was a perfectly beautiful day for the regatta. Gus Karlsen thanked everyone who helped him to raise $2,000 for this year’s regatta’s two entries in the evente.

Happy Birthday” was extended and sung to September-born Rotarians, followed by recognition of Rotary-anniversary members who joined our club during the month of September over the years. Special recognition was noted for Austin Harris, who joined Rotary 55 years ago!

President Don announced the opportunity for Rotarians to donate blood on Wednesday, September 6th at Back Cove Financial, 56 Depot Road, Falmouth from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Blood supply is at a dangerous low. Please help! Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Portland Sunrise.

Past President Don Lowry led us in our weekly sing-along with "You Are My Sunshine," as PP Russ Burleigh tickled the ivories to keep us in tune with the melody.


Jerry Angier led the weekly raffle drawing for the $752 prize. Although Past President Loretta Rowe won the chance to draw the Queen of Hearts, she missed picking the right queen and drew the Queen of Spades. Nevertheless, thanks to the guest speaker Michael Smith, Development Director of Camp Sunshine, she received a consolation prize of two tickets to the Camp’s “Maine Suitcase Party” on September 22nd from 7-11 p.m. at the MAC Air Group (private hangar), 100 Aviation Drive, So. Portland. If Loretta wins the drawing at the party, she will be packed and ready to fly to New York City for the weekend!

Past President Loretta was back up at the podium (hard to keep past presidents away from the microphone) had the honor of introducing John Thompson as our club’s newest member. John is joining Rotary as a way to be more involved in the local community. John is the CFO of ICON LNG (Liquified Natural Gas). He has over 20 years of experience in finance, investments and management throughout the US and Latin America. He holds a BA degree from Stanford University, and an MA degree in Real Estate Finance and Investment from Cornell University. John enjoys sailing, tennis, hiking and practicing his Spanish language. Join us in welcoming John to Portland Rotary!

09/01/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2017-09-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

A summer day brought sunshine in the form of Mike Smith, Development Director for Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine. Mike, a Paul Harris Fellow from the Lakes Region Rotary Club, duly noted how in 1997 Rotarians from multiple Maine clubs in District 7780 cedar shaked (and stained) a 25,000-square foot building in just 2 days, enabling the camp to open on schedule.

A technical glitch interrupted a video presentation, but Mike deftly switched to manual pilot. He spoke of the Camp’s humble beginnings in 1984 -  space donated from the owners of Point Sebago Campground, Anna and Dr. Larry Gould. They had seen a TV program about a summer camp for children with cancer, and decided to offer the same opportunity. 

43 children and their families attended the first session in June 1984. Arrangements were made to increase the services to 2 weeks at the beginning and end of summer, but it was soon evident that a permanent facility be established to meet the popular demand. In 2001, using 24 acres of land donated by the Goulds, a year-round facility opened.

Today, 28 sessions are offered annually, with 40 families each session. Camp Sunshine has provided services and support to families from 50 states and 27 countries. Weeks are set up to be specific to particular illnesses, cancers, blood disorders, and so on. This is done to enable people to come together who are sharing and dealing with a common issue. The goal for the families is to regroup, reenergize, and restore.

2500 annual volunteers, ages 16-90, with 80-90 volunteers per session, handle every aspect from maintenance, kitchen/food service, hospitality, and activities. Essentially, it’s a hotel with 90 rooms, and a new staff every Sunday. New volunteers go through several hours of training on Sunday morning, prior to the guests arriving that afternoon. 

Over 100 treatment centers across the U.S. refer patients to the camp. In addition, Sunshine is well known for creating special events! They hold two Guinness World Records – the most lit Jack O’Lanterns in one spot (30,128 on Boston Commons) and the World’s Tallest Sandcastle (35 feet). Events like these have landed the camp on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Google picked up the theme by spelling Google in the form of a sand castle – with credit to the camp. That’s world-wide! On Friday, Sept 22, it’s the Maine Suitcase Party! A private hangar at Portland JetPort will turn into a nightclub. One winner and a guest will board a private Lear Jet, fly to NYC, get limo service to a luxury hotel in Times Square, receive $500 in spending cash, an unforgettable weekend and returned to the Portland Jetport the same way pm Sunday! Tix are on sale now at

When asked if the camp had a religious leaning, Mike noted that the Camp has no markers for religious convictions, or economic status. There is no cost for families, including meals, housing, and recreation. There is transportation assistance coming from approx. $125k-$150k donated per year.

There is no transfer of data to track the recovery rate of the visiting children. Bereavement programs are available for families who have lost a child. Some parents return to volunteer, to both remember the good moments they shared, as well as help others who are going through similar circumstances. 

Camp Sunshine has earned a 4-star rating on the National Charity Navigator, which grades fiscal responsibility and transparency. This recognition does lead to more donations, such as $1 million per year from the Tropical Smoothie Café’s 600 stores. 56% of donations received are $500 or less, but it all adds up to a $3.8-million-dollar budget.

There are many ways to contribute and to be a part of Camp Sunshine. You’d look good in a yellow volunteer shirt! FMI:


(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, Mike Smith and Linda Varrell.)

09/01/17 Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine Tom Talbott 2017-09-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Michael Smith, Development Director at Camp Sunshine, will be speaking at Friday’s lunch. He will provide an overview of their mission and current initiatives....detailing how Rotarians can be supportive. He will also be highlighting the upcoming “Suitcase Party” <>.  

After graduating from Falmouth High School, Mike pursued his ambition to own a restaurant by attending Johnson & Wales University and later purchasing a Maine-based Pat's Pizza franchise. He operated the location in the Lakes Region area for 11 years before changing careers and accepting a position at Camp Sunshine. As the organization’s first Director of Special Events, he incorporated out-of-the-box thinking with extreme attention to detail to produce successful festivals and events throughout the Northeast. Today, as the Camp’s Development Director, Michael is most proud of the team he has put together and their continued success in the highly competitive non-profit sector.

*09/01/17 Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine Bob Martin 2017-09-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

President Don Zillman opened our weekly meeting by welcoming 48 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and 1 guest.

David Small
at left) offered a comedic invocation in honor of our club’s monthly efforts to hold a social gathering at a different Portland brewery. The invocation, entitled “A Beer Drinker’s Prayer” brought some levity to our meeting. Dave followed it up with a much more brief and solemn prayer.

George Crockett led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Kathy Grammer played the keyboard to a nice rendition of “America,” which the club handled with great aplomb. Such could not be said a few minutes later when Meredith Small (at right) tried to lead us in an effort to sing the lovely ballad “Shanandoah,” which we unfortunately mangled and mutilated, although we gave it a nice Rotary effort!

Dick Giles took to the podium to talk about our club’s efforts out at the Long Creek Youth Development Center, where we have been working with the guests in the Cedar Unit for several years now. Every 3rd Tuesday of the month, we head out after work and spend time with these young men, sharing snacks, sweets and a game. It’s a wonderful program and a great way for Portland Rotarians to be of service. Please contact Mike Fortunato ( or Jim Willey ( if you have questions or are interested in helping.


Charlie Frair asked us all to mark our calendars for Friday, November 10th, when we will be hosting the 3rd annual Veteran’s Day tribute....this year to be held at the Italian Heritage Center. We are looking to increase our club’s participation from 30 to 50 Rotarians and yet will not look to increase the overall scope of the event, which saw 300 guests hosted last year, comprised of veterans and their families joining us gratis. For now, keep your eyes peeled for announcements and block off the noon hour on November 10th.

Marty Peak-Helman, former District 7780 Governor and now the District Foundation Chair, presented President Don Zillman, Past-President Laura Young and Past-President/current Club Foundation Chair Dick Hall with a check for $4,000 to go toward our CHE reading program. In presenting this generous sum, Marty praised our club for being amongst the district leaders in foundational efforts.  


Jan Chapman had our speaker pull the name of newest returning Portland Rotarian, Peter Moore, for the weekly raffle drawing, which was worth a cool $736, but Peter pulled the Five of Spades, thus the pot with grow for next week’s effort.

08/25/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Ben Lowry 2017-08-28 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

Our speaker last Friday was Robert Fowler, Executive Director of the Milestone Foundation. For those unfamiliar with Milestone, it provides emergency shelter, as well as drug and alcohol addiction treatment to adults with chronic substance use disorders. The mission of Milestone is to provide the best services possible to help people with substance use and behavioral health disorders to attain stability, recovery and greater quality of life. (

Mr. Fowler focused his talk on the opioid epidemic in Maine. He noted that he’s on the Maine legislative task force to address the opioid crisis. Mr. Fowler made no bones about it: we are a nation suffering with a public health crisis and epidemic. 

Some statistics he gave were both tragic and alarming. As a nation, we suffered over 52,000 deaths last year due to overdoses. More people died from overdoses than were killed in automobile accidents – more than the deaths we suffered in Vietnam. Maine’s overdose death rate is more than 1 each day—a 40% increase.

Mr. Fowler emphasized that opioid addiction is a very complicated issue and he offered no simple solutions. He shared that Milestone offers homeless outreach and an overnight shelter, housing placement assistance, medically managed detox, residential treatment and transitional housing.

He described some of the services available at Milestone, including:

• Maine’s only 41-bed overnight substance use disorder emergency shelter;

• A Home Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME) Team that provides support to those with substance use disorders and responds to police, merchants, and citizens to provide services to those most vulnerable;

• A detoxification program for men and women struggling with substance use disorders; and

• An extended-care clinically managed 16-bed residential treatment program.

Mr. Fowler ended his remarks early and graciously answered question after question from Rotarians. He noted that addiction services are so lacking that only 1 in 10 people that desire treatment can access it. Unfortunately, overdose deaths are the single highest cause of death for those under 50. Where Milestone used to treat nearly 100% alcohol addiction, it’s now 50/50 with opioids/alcohol and the demographic is for younger and younger individuals.

When asked what we could do to help, Mr. Fowler suggested that we, as a club and as individuals, pressure our lawmakers to fund programs and allocate even greater resources to providers. We are losing a generation of young people to substance use disorders and we can only overcome this epidemic if everyone does their part. So what are you waiting for?


(Photo L-R: Steve Mortimer, Robert Fowler and President Don Zillman.)

08/25/17 Bob Fowler, Milestone Foundation Alan Nye 2017-08-28 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

President Don Zillman opened the meeting welcoming 51 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and 2 guests and related remorseful sentiments to the sad events of the riots that took place in Charloteesville, Virginia. Gracie Johnston (photo at left) offered our invocation with the “Serenity Prayer,” Past President Bowen Depke led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag’ and we sang a patriotic song. 

President Don recognized and thanked those members who “filled-in” on the weekly duties to keep our meeting running smoothly.

For many years Gus Karlsen has been involved with the Multiple Sclerosis Regatta that takes place in Casco Bay. Gus reminded the Club that in years past we have sponsored at least two beautiful sailboats in this charity competition. With the Regatta happening the very next day, we had only come up with enough funds to sponsor one boat. So the call went out and the bucks came floating his way, so Gus will have additional Rotary dollars to assist in the fight to eliminate the ravages of this disease. Great going, Gus!

With the Crutches4Africa project in full swing, Rotary has collected crutches, wheel chairs, walkers and similar assistance devices to help those impoverished and in desperate need of assistance in Africa. The devices have been gathered and need to be consolidated for shipment. This is a huge undertaking and a little help would go a long way. The packing project will be on Thursday, August 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at 20 Gooch Street, Biddeford. For more information, contact Tony Wagner at: 

The Rotary Club of Portland and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine have a long association serving up steaks and burgers at their annual dinner event. This year was well covered and the healthy kids were offering sirloin served by Rotarians, if that was their choice. Observers report that the children showed a distinct preference for the simplicity of an abundant hamburger. Thank you to all the volunteers.

If you haven’t heard, Portland is somewhat a craft brew capital with local beer breweries popping up all over the city. Ben Millick is determined to get new and seasoned members, along with friends, to experience some fellowship at a new place each month. He assures us that the list is long and he will keep us hopping to a new spot, so get ready to "meet and greet" and belly up to the bar!

We are known as the “singing club,” and we do a fine job on most of the songs....thanks to our talented song leaders and keyboard accompaniment. Past President Bill Blount and 2nd Vice President Amy Chipman observed that this was the 40th anniversary of the passing of the ‘King of Rock and Roll,’ Elvis Presley, and suggested that we offer up “Love Me Tender” as a tribute. We made a sincere effort.

The Queen of Hearts seems to be hiding in the dwindling deck of cards, because the raffle is up to over $700 and growing. Thanks to Julie Chase, showing pluck with no luck, she left the pot to grow and entice us to continue to buy tickets next week. (Photo L-R: Elise Hodgkin and Julie Chase)

08/18/17 Bits &amp; Pieces John Marr 2017-08-22 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Bob Fowler became the Executive Director of the Milestone Foundation in 2014.

The opioid epidemic in Maine is worsening, with daily deaths being reported in the newspapers. Fortunately, the Milestone Foundation is at the forefront of the battle with critical programs for those at risk at their Portland and Old Orchard sites. Milestone operates Maine’s only specialized substance use disorder emergency shelter. Their Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME) Team is who the police departments call first, as profiled by the Portland Press Herald (

The mission of the Milestone Foundation is to provide the best quality of services to empower individuals with substance use and behavioral health disorders to attain stability, dignity, recovery and an enhanced quality of life. The organization offers emergency shelter, medically managed detoxification, and long-term treatment in Portland and Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Their detox program is staffed by nurses and CNAs 24/7 and is overseen by a physician.

Bob has over 25 years of experience in behavioral health treatment and administration. He earned his MSW degree from the University at Albany. He earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration, with a concentration in Financial Management, from the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Vermont. Bob’s professional experience includes various clinical positions, directing a mobile crisis team, and leading a number of nonprofit behavioral health programs throughout the northeast. He served on the Treatment Task Force of the Maine Opiate Collaborative, and was appointed to the Maine legislature’s Task Force to Address the Opiate Crisis in the State. Bob believes that Milestone serves a critical need in the community by providing compassionate, competent care to individuals experiencing homelessness and addiction, and he feels honored to work with Milestone’s staff and clients.

This discussion is not to be missed. The opioid crisis affects every Portland neighborhood and resident, and Bob is perhaps Maine’s leading authority on what is happening, what the future holds, and what we can do to help.

In his spare time, Bob is a guitar player, a master gardener, a beekeeper, and an adjunct professor at USM. 

*08/25/17 Bob Fowler, LCSW, CCS, Milestone Foundation Bob Martin 2017-08-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Fagan, is a Speech Pathologist. Liz has been an Honorary Member of Portland Rotary since 2004. Her presentation described the 30-Million-Word project, and how Rotarians support the important efforts for providing books to children and reading to them. We know that reading proficiency is encouraged by trained special education staffs in the schools. Yet, volunteers like the Rotarians, address reading with children who are without identified disabilities. Research has shown how the capacity for children to learn is correlated with their early exposure to books and reading during their first three years.

Dr. Fagan spoke and provided video information about the “30-Million-Word Gap” at every age in their childhood development. Cognitive development is not a function of “what we are born with.” Rather, a language-rich environment sets the stage for optimal brain development and improves how children perform in the world.

Portland Rotarians support literacy programs by reading to children in the city’s public schools and during a summer reading/lieracy program. Each child who attends the summer reading programs are given a book of their choice from the selection provided. These books are donated through funds contributed by Portland Rotary.

Studies have shown it has been determined that a 30-million-word gap exists between what children who live in poor families hear in their first years of life, compared to the same population of children who live with economically advantaged families. Donating books and reading to children are the way we can help to erode the gap.

Nevertheless, many thousands more books are needed for the world’s children. Our goal must be to give all children a book to hold in their hands. We can read aloud to children, sing songs, and recite rhymes, and encourage them to learn big works and talk about big ideas. What matters most is to talk with children and increase their learning opportunities. Language affirmation is a focus on teaching children about how the type of words they learn are important. Words like, “We are happy to see you.”

Every parent has the chance to improve their child’s cognitive development by exposing them to books and reading. 

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Dr. Liz Fagan, and President Don Zillman.)

08/18/17 Liz Fagan, SLPD, Speech Pathologist Julie L'Heureux 2017-08-21 04:00:00Z 0
The cost of lunch
at our weekly meetings
is $17.00 per person.
Cost of Lunch 2017-08-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

President Don Zillman opened our Friday meeting by welcoming 51 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 2 guests. Past President Cy Hagge offered us an invocation, we pledged our allegiance to the American Flag and sang a patriotic song.

President Don reported that the Morgan Stanley Foundation sent a check for $1,500 as a match to Kris Rosado’s gift of last week. (Leverage matching funds!). He also reported that while he started last in the Beach to Beacon, he did not finish last.

He pointed to an advertisement by Roger and Liz Fagan that promoted a two-for-one hearing aid opportunity, with one unit going to the purchaser, and the other to the 3H project. 

He then drew everyone’s attention to a Forecaster article reporting that Tom Saturley has been elected to the National Auctioneer Hall of Fame.

Alan Levenson rose to note that Harry Sawyer is no longer listed in the current Club roster. Due to Harry’s progressive illness and not being able to attend any club meetings, his family decided to end his membership in the Club. Alan pointed out that Harry was instrumental in bringing a number of new members into our Club, and was always a joyous participant in club activities. Alan moved that an Honorary Membership be extended to Harry, so that he remained a part of us. Without objection, it was adopted.

Observing the 40th anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, Eric Lusk led us in an acapella rendition of “Blue Suede Shoes,” which was truly not one for the money. 


Rusty Atwood led the weekly raffle, giving Paul Gore a shot at winning the $675 pot, but Paul’s Three of Diamonds fell short of qualification.



Gus Karlsen reminded us of the annual “MS Regatta” that will happen on Friday, August 18, and was requesting our support with a contribution to fund one or two of the sailing boats in the event. If you would like to send a donation to the cause, please make checks payable to the MS Society and put “MS Regatta” in the memo line of the check, which can be mailed to him at: 640 Seashore Avenue, Peaks Island, ME 04108. Fun time on the water for a good cause! Contact Gus for further questions:  or by clicking on the following link:

Erik Greven announced a new project to assist the Preble Street community by asking everyone to gather their gently-worn shoes and hold them for collection and further distribution to those in need. He added that if we had any winter/warm clothing we would like to include in our collection, there was also a need to share them with the community. Further announcements of pickup dates to follow.

Amy Chipman, representing the Foundation Committee, presented 2 Paul Harris Awards: first-time recipient Justin Lamontagne and multiple-recipient (PHF +8) to Past President Cyrus Hagge. CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH!!

Alex St. Hilaire announced that the Boys & Girls Club was having their annual 'Burgers & Steak' dinner for the children and their families on Thursday, August 17th at the Sullivan Gym Complex at USM's Portland Campus from 5:30-7:00 pm. Alex said they could use the help of a few more volunteers to help. Hands went up and names were taken down. If you have any questions, please contact Alex at: or at 689-8185.

08/11/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Bob Martin 2017-08-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Past President Paul Gore introduced Pam Leo by referring to Buckminster Fuller’s use of the metaphor of the trim tab on a rudder for understanding how to leverage personal power. The force exerted by the tiny trim tab on a large rudder can literally turn a ship around. The same applies to people, Paul said, in that one person can be the force to change society. He pointed to Pam Leo, founder of the "Book Fairy Pantry Project," as someone who exhibited the characteristics of a trim tab, as she tries to address the issues of illiteracy. Pam said she was persuaded to start her project after learning that two-thirds of the 15.5 million children living in poverty did not have a book to call their own. “I grew up in poverty without books or a college degree in Aroostook County,” she said. “I know what it’s like to be one in four children in this country who don't know how to read.”

Pam pointed to a quotation from Denis Waitley as a driver for starting her project: “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” She said that learning to read is a human right. “It’s not like there’s a shortage of books. We have more than enough to give to children in poverty.” Pam said that the issue for her was how to distribute books to children in families who struggle. Her moment of epiphany came when she realized the link between food pantries and families in poverty. “Food pantries distribute food—every community has one—so why not use them to distribute books to parents.

Pam said that the process she wanted was to distribute books to parents who would, in turn, give them to their children. “All parents want to do things for their children,” she said. “This gives them that chance.” Bootstrapping her nonprofit from small gifts, she was able to raise sufficient funds to buy used books from Goodwill, and secured a $2,000 grant from Families for Conscious Living to create a logo, establish a website, and recruit volunteers to help sort and clean books. Food pantries are delighted to participate in the project. Pam also told us that the Portland Public Library is a huge supporter and has been working to help parents by teaching literacy. She said that her goal is to help children develop their own libraries.

She said that funding was not as much of an issue, but she was still looking for more sources for used books that would be appropriate for children. Donations of new and gently-used books are accepted at the nonprofit, Birth Roots, at 101 State Street in Portland. There is a dropbox in the lobby. 

Pam closed her presentation by reading to us from the book, “Everything I Know, I Learned From Golden Books.”


(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, Past President Paul Gore and Pam Leo.)

08/11/17 Pam Leo, Founder Fairy Book Project Bob Martin 2017-08-14 04:00:00Z 0

Red Sox and Rotary together on September 13!

Join 200 Rotarians and friends from around New England to root for our hometown heroes – our Boston Red Sox, when they play the Oakland Athletics at historic Fenway Park. 200 seats in the left field grandstand, in Sections 29-31, have been blocked out for us. This event will sell out, so call your friends and purchase your tickets today. 
Interested in going? Questions? Contact Mike Fortunato (at right) at: or call him (415-9762), text him...JUST GET IN TOUCH WITH HIM ASAP! Mike is exploring group transportation.

Game date:     Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 7:10 PM 

Deadline to purchase:     August 18, 2017 @ 11:59 

Seat block location:     left field grandstand, Sections 29-31

Reserve/purchase tickets by contacting Mike ASAP! 

COST: $38.00 PER TICKET + TRANSPORTATION COSTS (depending on how many go, add approx. $40-50 PP for bus transportation)

Multi-district Rotary Red Sox Day at Fenway 2017-08-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin
At this Friday's meeting, our presenter will be our own Honorary Member, Dr. Elizabeth Fagan, SLP.D. Liz is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a background in K-12 education and audiology. Published research was about cognition and autism spectrum disorder. Lectures have been related to language, auditory processing, literacy, and the neuroscience of brain plasticity. Her current areas of focus are Auditory Processing, Memory, Cognition, Brain Plasticity, and Brain Injury. Liz is a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist in Maine, but additionally practices Audiology in the Dominican Republic and in a few months, Kosovo.  
*08/18/17 Liz Fagan, SLPD, Speech Pathologist Bob Martin 2017-08-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

Past President Ben Lowry, a recent inductee into the Maine Baseball of Fame, fittingly introduced our two speakers to the Club on Friday. Mike Antonellis is the radio announcer for the U.S. cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network, as well as the media relations manager. Greg Levinski is a former bat boy and the assistant clubhouse manager, which basically means he helps out with anything players need in the clubhouse. 

The topics regarding all things baseball seemed numerous Friday. Our speakers talked about a broad range of topics, such as: traveling with the team over a 140-game schedule, Twitter feeds from the players’ relatives, the 25 jerseys hanging behind home plate, which designate the Sea Dog players who made the big league, the superstitions and traditions, as well as the daily effort needed to make the players feel as if they were playing for the Red Sox.

Mike talked a little Sea Dogs history, and he let us know that the team was originally started as a Florida Marlins franchise. Obviously, the better team won out here. Mike said that the players ask him not to say certain things when announcing: a run has not been scored in X number of innings; or the pitcher is on the way to a no-hitter. The discussion led to whether radio versus television announcers have a tougher job. He indicated that the talent for radio announcing is typically stronger than for television because the announcer has to recreate the game and surroundings in a person’s mind using only words.

Mike also talked about how from a marketing perspective, the theme nights (e.g., Star Wars, Harry Potter) seem to be doing very well recently compared to the give-aways (bobble heads, t-shirts).

The discussion eventually led to the new pitch clock and its effect on the game, and interestingly, the effect on between inning promotions. The games and commercial breaks are now shorter due to the pitch clock. So while the pitch clock may speed up the game a little, it will not help speed up a 200-pitch game.

Greg said being the assistant club house manager means that he cooks or arranges food for the players, including breakfast and the pre-game, and he generally assists players in whatever they need to make their day go smoother; plus he helps with the coaching. He cleans some of their shoes, can translate for some of the Spanish-speaking players, and generally helps them feel comfortable. The main thing is that the players should be treated like they are in Boston, so that when that player makes the big leagues, it is not a tough transition and they know the routine. 

Because Greg is so close to the players in the club house, he shared some funny anecdotes about the tradition the big leaguers have when they are rehabbing with the Sea Dogs. An on-going tradition is for the major leaguer to buy the team dinner during their stay in Portland.  So when a player says he wants to treat the team to steaks and lobsters, Greg turns on the grill and helps fill them up.

Mike finished up by saying that Slugger is still as popular as any other promotion.

(Photo L-R: Sea Dog Greg Levinski, Past President Ben Lowry, Sea Dog Mike Antonellis, and President Don Zillman.

08/04/17 A Day at the Ball Park - Hadlock Field Jake Bourdeau 2017-08-08 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman opened the meeting by welcoming 40 members, 3 visiting Rotarians and 8 guests to a beautiful day at the ballpark. Julie L’Heureux provided an invocation. In honor of the baseball-themed day at Hadlock Field with the Sea Dogs, Julie read the “Luckiest Man Alive” speech given by Lou Gehrig that he recited on July 4, 1939. The intro starts with, “Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Ending with, ”So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

Mike Reed led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Ben Lowry led us in singing the appropriate song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

President Don thanked those responsible for setting up and helping run the meeting.


Visiting Rotarians, Claudia Frost and Carolyn Bulliner, who were part of the 3H team that went on the Spring trip to the Dominican Republic, gave us their account of the trip and to present to the club a photo/scrap album in memory of the trip. The Portland Rotary 3H team, included Dick Giles, Rob Chatfield, Dick HallBill Blount, David Small, Jan Chapman, Bruce Moore and Drs. Roger and Liz Fagan. To round out the 3H team that went to the DR, there were other people from Alaska, Oregon, Georgia, Florida, and Maine.

Ellen Neiwoehner led the raffle this week and asked President Don to select a name out of the bucket. He pulled Mike Reed’s name, to which Mike selected the 8 of Clubs, allowing the Queen of Hearts to rest for another week. The pot is getting bigger, so join us next week for a shot at close to $700.

08/04/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2017-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin
Ordinarily, a decline to appear before our club as a speaker is not published, but the following letter is noteworthy to share:
Speaker Request Bob Martin 2017-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Past President Kris Rosado's son Ryan is NOT a Navy ROTC, but an ARMY ROTC.
Editorial Correction Loretta Rowe 2017-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Pam Leo is an early literacy activist, the author of Connection Parenting, the forthcoming children’s book, “Please Read To Me,” and writes the ‘Recipes For Reading’ column in the local Parent and Family paper.

Pam has worked with parents and children for over forty years in the roles of family child care provider, parent educator, childbirth educator, and birth doula. Pam has worked with parents in the workplace, teen parents programs, parents in rehab, and parents in prison. Pam’s enduring love of children’s books, her passion for literacy, and her commitment to empowering parents are combined in her new role as the founder of the Book Fairy Pantry Project.

Pam Leo is a member of Kindred’s International Editorial Advisory Board and a member of the board of directors for Kindred’s parent nonprofit, Families for Conscious Living.

The Book Fairy Pantry Project is a grassroots early literacy project whose mission is: “No child with no books.” Upon discovering the unbelievable statistic that 2/3 of the 15.5 million children living in poverty in the U.S. do not have even one book to call their own, Pam felt compelled to do something about it. 

The number one indicator that children will arrive at school ready to learn to read is growing up with books in their homes and being read to daily from birth. Pam’s focus is providing a pipeline of books for families living in challenged conditions.

To learn more about this project, go to their website or click on the following link:

*08/11/17 Pam Leo, Founder of Book Fairy Project Bob Martin 2017-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Our District 7780 bylaws provide a seat on the Finance Committee for each of the three “areas” of our district. This year, the vacancy is for area C, which is chosen by clubs in Cumberland, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties, Maine.

This seat is currently held by Ron Bennett of our Portland Rotary. The next member will take office July 1, 2018 and serve a three-year term. The duties are described in bylaw section 303. The finance committee usually meets in person four or five times per year, and members have duties between those meetings.

This position is not appointed by the district governor. Instead, the clubs must nominate candidates from within their club and the candidate gets selected by the District nominating committee. The deadline is October 15 to apply, and an interview follows, with the selection to be made before December 1.

Bylaw 303.1 states there is preference given to candidates who have served either as club president or club treasurer, and/or who have accounting or finance as a part of their vocation or profession.

Clubs are encouraged to submit applications to the District Nominating Committee. Chair Marty Helman will be happy to answer any questions about the process and requirements. You can contact her at: or 233-8741  

Please find further information here:

Nominations Requested for District Finance Committee 2017-08-07 04:00:00Z 0

On August 12th at 3 p.m., a small memorial service will be held at Oceanview (in the Hilltop Community Room), 20 Blueberry Lane, Falmouth, for former Portland Rotarian William (Bill) Leavitt, who passed away in 2015. 

Memorial Service - William Leavitt 2017-08-06 04:00:00Z 0
Vietnam Veterans "Welcome Home" Ceremony At the Vietnam Graffiti Project

When: Thursday, August 17, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Where: University of Maine at Augusta, 46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330

Description: Please join the Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services and the University of Maine at Augusta for a "Welcome Home" ceremony honoring Vietnam Veterans. Through the State of Maine's "Honoring a Veteran from a Grateful State" program, veterans participating in the Ceremony will receive a personalized Certificate of Appreciation, a Vietnam Coin, and a lapel pin from the Department of Defense's 50th Vietnam War Commemoration.

To RSVP for the Ceremony, please contact Laura Allen at the Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services: 207-430-5816;

Vietnam Veterans "Welcome Home" Ceremony 2017-08-04 04:00:00Z 0

Our annual visit to Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs, will take place this Friday. Since this ball team came to town 24 years ago, we have had a summer meeting almost every year at Hadlock. We are always warmly welcomed and have a wonderful outing in the picnic area of the ball park.   
We are sure to have a couple of the players share their experiences of what it's like to work and play for a minor league baseball team.
Bring a friend…prospective member…your children...your parents/grandparents...or extended family…smell the fresh-cut grass...enjoy the sunshine...and some time away from the daily grind.
The food is ball-park fare, so leave your diets at home for one day.
Directions to meeting site at the ballpark: Go to the main gate and signs or ushers will direct you to the meeting site....the picnic area is down the first base line.
Go Sea Dogs!
*08/04/17 Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field 2017-08-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

On Friday our guest speaker was Michael Bourque, the current Senior Vice President of External Affairs at Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC Group). Earlier this year MEMIC’s founding CEO, John Leonard, announced his intention to retire. With the announcement, the Board of Directors commenced a nationwide search to find his successor, but after months of reviews and interviews, they decided the best candidate resided within the home office on Commercial Street and named Mike Bourque as the next CEO of MEMIC.

Mr. Bourque took us through a brief history of the advent of workers’ compensation insurance in Maine and the creation of MEMIC. He recalled that Maine formulated the state’s initial workers’ compensation (WC) law in 1916, in an effort to protect employees and employers from the vagaries of the legal system. The early law was quite limited in terms of the types of workplace injuries covered and the benefits offered. Mike told us that the old laws were forced to be reconsidered and brought up to the modern work world by the Federal government during the administration of President Richard Nixon. The early seventies saw WC laws nationwide liberally reformed under the guidance of a conservative President, underscoring just how inadequate the laws had been. Maine took to the reform with gusto and adopted almost all of the federal recommendations and created a very generous protection system for the workers employed within the state, but an untenable burden for employers. By the end of the 1980’s, the system was starting to show signs of impending collapse.

The collapse was imminent by 1991 and it was down to but a handful of carriers when Governor McKernan looked to a Blue Ribbon Commission of stake holders to formulate a turnaround plan for the system. The number of work related injuries in the state far exceeded the national average and the benefit payout was staggering in comparison. The need for reform was obvious, but not easy.  By the time McKernan become Governor, the squabbling was incessant with resolution remote so he took bold action and refused to sign the state budget unless a solution to the Maine WC debacle was found and endorsed. When the second week of shut down hit, including the state liquor stores and parks, the pain was intense and a determined effort at reform took place. The reforms of 1992 had 3 major principals offering relief: A reduction of benefits, a reduction of the friction cost of the legal system, and the creation of a “not for profit,” independent, mutual insurance company called Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC).

The creation of MEMIC was a great idea, but it came without any state funding, which required the new company go begging for a loan from the banking community. On January 1, 1993 the company began to write policies and was known as the “guaranteed market,” (aka assigned risk) for the employers having business within the state. In order to gain the capital needed to pay claims over the long run, MEMIC was allowed to collect a surcharge of 15% from every policy written and was offered to do so for the next 10 years in order to pay claims. The company decided that in order to survive it had to help employees avoid getting hurt at work and concentrated on offering loss control and safety services to policy holders. The commitment to workplace safety paid off and the system began to turn around.

Much to the amazement of the employer and carrier community, the company not only stopped collecting the surcharge in five years, but began to repay the money to policyholders of record. The success of the system by 1999 brought with it new competition of embolden carriers and the market share that MEMIC enjoyed had evaporated by virtue of their success. MEMIC decided to move into other states and has become a nationwide WC carrier with numerous offices east of the Mississippi.

According to Mike, the company has assets in excess of 1 billion dollars! The company that had to beg for a loan and hit every policyholder with a surcharge has repaid all the debt. MEMIC is now the writer of more than 2/3 of the premiums in Maine and is growing outside its borders. The Maine experiment has proven to be a success and the growth is the ongoing challenge for Mike and his team, which has grown to 400 employees, with the concentration on Commercial Street and growing. Mike is proud to be the new CEO of this “Maine Miracle” and ready to keep the company moving forward.

(Photo L-R: Mike Bourque, Past President John Marr and President Don Zillman.)

07/28/17 Michael Bourque, Incoming CEO MEMIC John Marr 2017-07-31 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Blount

On this bright summer day at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, President Don Zillman opened the meeting by welcoming 55 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and 6 guests. Kathy Grammer (at left) offered us the invocation by recommending that we accomplish our mission by helping others meet their goals. Bob Martin led us in the pledge to the flag and we sang “America The Beautiful,” with Kathy Grammer accompanying us on the keyboard.

President Don acknowledged the service of the Rotarians who made the weekly meeting happen and greeted our guests and visiting Rotarians. After the meeting last week, our speaker, Rotary District 7780 Governor Dave Underhill approached a couple of Portland Rotarians concerning two of his concerns for tree planting and the opioid crisis. Dave was amazed at the suggestions he received and very impressed with the resources available in our membership.

Talking about our Club’s resources, Dick Giles announced that when he previously called upon the membership to help with solar lights for the Dominican Republic, members contributed over $1200, including a generous $500 donation from member, Mark Millar. Thanks to Mark and all who are helping on this worthy project.

President Don called upon Amy Chipman to lead our song, who was assisted by Gracie Johnston, accompanied on the keyboard by Kathy Grammer. We sang “Side by Side” and absolutely nailed the key change. Way to go!

Past President Kris Rosado appealed for bequests and for employer-matching grants for the Rotary Foundation. Kris gave us a history of the “Happy Dollars” segment that really never developed in our Club because of time constraints. Kris proposed a new initiative.....”Happy Hundred Dollars.” If you have a reason why you’re overjoyed, then ask President Don for a moment at the podium, share your joy and donate to the Portland Rotary Charitable Fund, RI Foundation or Polio Plus. Kris then provided us with exemplary modeling behavior. Since the college education for both of his sons will be largely paid by the US government, with one son at West Point and the other a Navy ROTC, Kris then pledged $1000....$500 to our charitable fund, $400 to the RI Foundation and $100 to Polio Plus. Kris concluded by asking, “Why do we give? feel good and know that our donations are definitely going to a worthy cause."

President Don, speaking on behalf of Past President Bob Traill, encourages us to remember and attend a Vietnam Veterans’ remembrance in Augusta on August 17, 2017 (see separate story this issue).

Bruce Jones, conducting the weekly raffle with $611.00 in the pot, asked our speaker to draw a name from our holding vessel of all the tickets purchased that day. Mike Fortunato’s name was drawn, but alas, he drew the King of Spades. The pot thickens for next week’s drawing. 

07/28/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Bill Blount 2017-07-31 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Loretta Rowe
Please review your personal information in the book and advise Loretta Rowe ( of any errors or changes.
Please correct the following pages/information in your book:
Page 18 (Classifications):
Consultant-Gov't Relations      
(Name) Clough, David
Page 51 (Members):
Nickerson, Thomas W.
Page 58 (Members):
Stone, Andrew M.
Thank you.
2017-18 Club Rosters Loretta Rowe 2017-07-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President Don Zillman welcomed 55 members, 3 guests and 1 visiting Rotarian, then congratulated Ben Lowry who was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame at the 47th annual Induction Ceremony and Banquet held on Sunday, July 16, at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay. Ben was recognized for his three-time all-state selection at Falmouth High School and he compiled a .426 career batting average at Colby College in Waterville. Past President Russ Burleigh provided our invocation; we pledged our Allegiance to the American Flag; and sang a patriotic song, accompanied on the keyboard by Russ. 

President Don relayed a message from Mary Finnegan, a former Portland Rotarian now living in Apache Junction, Arizona, where summer heat has reached 104 degrees F!

There was a request for volunteers to help at Preble Street Soup Kitchen on Wednesday, July 26th....please contact Gracie Johnston at Gracie recently returned from a humanitarian mission to help children in Cambodia, where she worked with the Sharing Foundation, an international aid organization with headquarters in Massachusetts. The Sharing Foundation’s mission is to help meet the physical, emotional, educational and medical needs of orphaned and seriously disadvantaged children in Cambodia. 

Among the guests of Portland Rotarians was Eli Small, who was introduced by his father Rotarian Dave Small. They accompanied two visitors from Montagu South Africa, who were helping to teach dance and music at the Center Day Camp on the shores of Big Sebago Lake. 

A Rotary banner exchange was conducted between Portland Rotary and the Montagu South Africa Club that helped to sponsor the 2 international guests.

Peter Goffin introduced Peter Moore, who was returning as a Portland Rotarian. Peter Goffin has now brought 20 members into Rotary.

Mike Fortunato spoke about the successful outdoor hamburger and hot dog cookout the Rotarian volunteers helped to host at the Cedar Unit at Long Creek Youth Development Center in Portland. Volunteers are welcome to help with this program by contacting Mike at (a short orientation and background check are all the Rotarian volunteers need, after contacting Mike).

Dr. Roger Fagan gave a reminder to Rotarians to continue helping to collect used hearing aids for the 3H (Hearing, Hands and H2O) international project in the Dominican Republic. Dick Giles also told us of a slide presentation that was created by another 3-H participant about the project. To view the presentation, visit:  
For more
information, visit:

Jennifer Frederick conducted the weekly raffle, where the pot was over $500, but Julie L’Heureux, whose name was drawn by our District Governor, drew the 5 of Hearts. The Queen remains waiting in the dwindling deck of cards. 

07/21/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2017-07-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

District Governor Dave Underhill, referring to his background in broadcasting, started by telling us he would be using the District Governor’s timing module to track time as he recognizes that Rotarians' time is valuable.  

Dave used a simple banner, showing the Rotary International six areas of focus, all forming a pyramid, telling us that the pyramid supports world peace. 

• Disease prevention and treatment

• Water and sanitation.

• Maternal and child health.

• Basic education and literacy.

• Economic and community development.

• Peace and conflict prevention/resolution

Rotary is a peace organization. Rotary was part of the founding of the United Nations, and has continued working for world peace ever since.  

There were only 7 polio cases in the world last year. This has been a tremendous achievement by Rotary and others, and the efforts will continue until the work is done.

Clean water represents a challenge for people who live away from us, but Dave gave several examples of where clean water has been a challenge in several areas of New England. Rotary International and Portland Rotary continue to work on this challenge.

Maternal and child health affects many people in our district, as well as around the world. Portland Rotary, through its Childhood Health and Education (CHE) program, is working locally to address this challenge. Our program also supports the basic education and literacy focus.

District 7780 had an excellent speaker, Bob McKenzie, at the last District Conference, who talked about the devastating effect of drug addiction. Bob spoke of the impact of substance misuse disorder, now a recognized medical condition. The District decided that we need to tackle this issue. Bob will chair a new committee (Recovery Initiative), with a mandate to make things better. Each club is invited to take on one piece of the problem. Dave gave the example that Portland could extend its high school mentoring to someone in a program of recovery. The task force comprised of this committee will be collecting best practices and getting new ideas. We are invited to join the task force...we can make a difference to someone.

Dave outlined a second challenge to the club, to build our own Pyramid of Peace. Dave says that Portland Rotary is already working in most areas and asked us to do one more thing, keep track of hours and funds raised. Dave wants to report on work and dollars at the five-district conference to be held next spring and says that telling the story of hours contributed is a powerful message to the public.

The District has a variation on Public relations this year. Clubs are partnering to tell stories together to increase the effectiveness. Dave encouraged us to participate directly or through our Assistant Governor, Bill Anderson.

Portland Rotary, through President Don Zillman, has committed to a net addition of 15 members to our club. Dave encouraged us to not only invite people to meetings, but also invite them to come help with service projects. 

DG Dave asked our members to consider joining him and others, by adding a bequest to Rotary Foundation, saying it’s a way to have our good work continue after we are gone. Anyone interested can contact Dick Hall, Foundation Chair, Amy Chipman, the retiring Foundation Chair, or President Don Zillman.

Dave has asked Portland Rotary to plant 150 trees in the next year supplied by District 7780. Rotary is tied together as a social network to take action and make a difference. Rotarians see problems as opportunities and challenges, which we can overcome together.

Q&A: Gracie Johnston shared that the Portland Rotary Community Service Committee is already planning to work on the substance abuse issues. President Don asked how we can help other clubs, and Dave suggested we could offer partnering, offer talents in water projects, and invite other clubs to work together on common projects. When goaded by the audience on the membership competition between Portland and Portsmouth during 2016-17, Dave committed to staying neutral, like Switzerland, this year. Joking aside, he said that Past President Bowen Depke’s challenge was good for both clubs and he appreciated the continued growth.

(Photo L-R: Assistant Governor Bill Anderson, President Don Zillman, District Governor Dave Underhill and Linda Underhill.)

07/21/17 District Governor Dave Underhill Dick Hall 2017-07-24 04:00:00Z 0

Longtime MEMIC Group executive Michael Bourque will take the helm of the Portland-based workers’ compensation insurance provider when its current chief executive retires later this year. Bourque, a former newspaper reporter from Maine who has worked at MEMIC for 22 years, is senior vice president of external affairs. He will replace retiring President and CEO John Leonard, a founding leader of the company.

Mike is a graduate of the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America and an accredited Workers’ Compensation Professional (WCP) as recognized by AMCOMP. He is also a graduate of the Maine Development Foundation’s Leadership Maine program. In 2004, he was named winner of the Edward L. Bernays Award, the top honor from the Maine Public Relations Council for career achievement in public relations. He has been named winner of the 2016 Community Leadership Award by DayOne. 

Before joining MEMIC, Mike was senior editor for the American Association of Community Colleges, based in Washington, DC. Previously, he spent five years as a journalist, working for daily newspapers in Maine and Alaska. He won writing awards from the Maine Press Association during his stint at the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine. 

Mike serves on numerous boards and committees. He is the chair of the 2016 United Way of Greater Portland’s Campaign Committee and the immediate past chair of the Board of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is immediate past-chair of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine and the Southern Maine Community College Foundation. He is a former chair of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Chamber. He has served as president of the Maine Public Relations Council, and Youth and Family Outreach, a social service agency that provides low cost childcare. He is a former member of the Communications Committee of the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds and an industry planning committee for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

*07/28/17 Michael Bourque, Incoming CEO MEMIC John Marr 2017-07-24 04:00:00Z 0

Dave Underhill is a media and business consultant in Portsmouth NH, Past President of the Portsmouth NH Rotary Club (2013-2014) and of the Brattleboro VT Rotary Club (District 7870, 1989-1990).  

His broadcasting and publishing career started in Boston (WGBH, WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV). He and his wife Linda met while working at WBZ, and later moved to Vermont, where they owned and operated community-service radio stations WKVT AM & FM from 1983-1994. After joining the Brattleboro Rotary Club in 1984, he served on the board, as club Secretary and club President, then chaired the club’s Gateway Foundation. In 1994, he was part of a pilot team that traveled to El Salvador to develop clean-water projects. 

Dave’s Rotary service was interrupted when his career took him to Tribune Company in Chicago as a senior executive in broadcasting, cable and internet publishing. He and Linda returned to New England, settling in Portsmouth in 2006; their son and daughter-in-law live in nearby Raymond NH. 

Dave has chaired Portsmouth Rotary’s Interact, Finance and Foundation committees, as well as the board of directors. He is a member of Rotary’s Bequest Society and a Major Donor member of the Paul Harris Society. 

In addition to his Rotary service, he does non-profit fundraising work and serves as a volunteer small-business mentor for SCORE.

Dave was born in upstate New York, and is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy (NH) and Boston University, with a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film. When he’s not immersed in Rotary, you may find him with his chef’s hat on, or perhaps driving golf balls into the boulders and trees of New Hampshire, Maine or Prince Edward Island.


*07/21/17 District Governor Dave Underhill 2017-07-21 04:00:00Z 0
Several of our Rotarian volunteers reading to children at North Deering Gardens:
George Crockett reading to a young lady.
Jim Willey and Don Lowry reading to two young ladies.
Reading to the Children at North Deering Gardens 2017-07-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

President Don Zillman opened the meeting, welcoming 48 members and 2 guests.


Peggy Westcott led us in reflection with the invocation and Kathy Grammer helped us sing our patriotic song.


Roger Asch shared the purpose of the Good Cheer Committee and requested that everyone share with the committee any news about Rotarians, or their family members, who are sick, in the hospital, or dealing with a challenge, so that we can help comfort or provide encouragement. Committee members are listed in the Club roster.

Speaking of Club rosters.....THEY WILL BE AVAILABLE THIS COMING FRIDAY AT OUR MEETING! DON'T FORGET TO PICK YOURS UP (Your name will be on the back cover).

Dick Giles shared the results of the 3H Project’s effort with solar lights and water filters. So far, the team has installed 145 water filters, sufficient to serve almost 2,000 people. Last year, the team provided 50 solar lights. This year, the 3H Project has a goal of providing 70 lights. These cost $15 each. Dick encouraged donations, and within minutes had received over $1,000 from members in attendance, including $500 from an anonymous donor. PLUS YOU CAN make a donation by contacting Loretta or Dick at a meeting....or email Dick at

Steve Mortimer, conducting the weekly raffle, tried to give away the $546 in the pot to lucky opportunist, Julie Chase, who could only find the Jack of Diamonds in the mix. The pot thickens.

07/14/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Bob Martin 2017-07-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Last Friday, Bob Martin, in introducing our speaker, Bruce Coffin, made note that 47% of all book sales in the United States are in the “mystery/crime” genre. But, one would speculate, very few of these authors had spent 30 years in police work, much less in Portland, Maine, as Mr. Coffin had done as the detective sergeant in charge of homicide and violent crimes with the Portland Police Department. 

After a graduating from USM, his dreams of becoming an author dashed by a less than encouraging professor, Bruce Coffin decided to follow the lead of his mentor and uncle, who was a longtime police officer in Gorham. After a long and illustrious career in crime prevention, Bruce retired five years ago and merely dabbled in writing, working full-time in bathroom and kitchen remodeling. With his first book “shelved,” he decided to get to work hiring an agent, which he managed to do in New York City just as Harper Collins Publishing became interested in his second effort at a crime novel. Within weeks, Bruce had hit the big-time, signing a three-book deal and having a short story honored as one of the twenty “best of the year” and published in a very prestigious analogy.

Initially titled “The Reaping,” the first in the three-book series following young Portland detective John Byron was a smash one point landing the book, now re-titled “Among the Shadows,” on many best seller lists, including a run as #1 in Maine and, for a fleeting moment this past January, as the #25 bestselling book on earth. Bruce’s lifelong ambition has seemingly come to pass with plans for the next two books (at 100,000 words apiece!) set for immediate follow-up to the highly successful first effort.  

Bruce offered the Portland Rotary Club a unique perspective into the world of publishing, law enforcement and following one’s dreams. We were fortunate to have him join us and wish him well as he hits “the big time” as police officer-turned-author.


(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, Bob Martin and Bruce Robert Coffin.)

07/14/17 Bruce Robert Coffin, Retired Portland Police Officer/Author Ben Lowry 2017-07-17 04:00:00Z 0

Bruce Robert Coffin retired from the Portland, Maine police department as a detective sergeant with almost thirty years of experience in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Bruce also had four years of experience with the counter-terrorism group of the FBI, where he earned the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive.

What do you do with all of that experience and exposure to crime? Well, you write crime novels. Bruce’s first novel, “Among the Shadows,” was hailed by critics, with Paul Doiron, author of “Widowmaker,” calling it the “best debut I’ve read in ages.” The novel is the first of a series featuring the character John Byron, with the second installment, “Beneath the Depths,” is due to be released on August 8. Bruce’s short story, “Fool Proof,” was named one of the twenty best mystery stories published in North American during 2015, and is included in Houghton Miflin Harcourt’s Best American Mystery Stories, 2016.

Bruce is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime New England, and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and is a regular contributor to the Maine Crime Writers blog. He lives and writes in Maine.

*07/14/17 Bruce Robert Coffin, Retired Portland Police Officer/Author 2017-07-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

A  beautiful July day was the backdrop for newly-minted President Don Zillman to ring the meeting bell, welcoming 59 members, 3 visiting Rotarians and 3 guests. Past-President Peggy Wescott served our invocation, we pledged our allegiance to the American flag, and our voices filled the New Hampshire room of the Holiday Inn as we sang our patriotic song, with Past President Russ Burleigh on the keyboard.

Appetites quenched, President Don began the “rich agenda” of news and highlights for the week. 

Don proceeded to thank all those responsible for meeting day responsibilities.  

5 of the 13 July “Birthday Rotarians” were in attendance and were honored in song, followed by Don’s recognition and tribute to Rotarians celebrating anniversaries of club membership.

Duly noted was Freem Etheridge – 47 Years as a Rotarian! 

The “fascinating happenings” segment began with a note from Gracie Johnston, who is currently in Cambodia with her daughter and “The Sharing Foundation.” This organization operates an orphanage in Roteang village and is home to 75 or so children. The focus is on care, hygiene, nutrition and medical care. Gracie will return on July 18, and we look forward to hearing about her trip.

Don thanked Bob Traill for his 4th of July segment of “America The Beautiful” with photos.  Nicely done, Bob! You can watch the video here >> Independence Day 2017 

Past President Kris Rosado, with an analogy of two Beatles’ songs, presented a check to President Don from the proceeds of Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC). “Imagine” is a song of hope; “Revolution” is a song about making it a better world. Moving to the MOC, our check of $25,546.67 will certainly help us to do things in our community that strive for both goals.  “Remarkable!” stated Kris. Kris reminded us that there will be a meeting on July 12th at the Boys and Girls Club to review this year’s event. He mentioned something about prime rib being served, but that seemed a tad suspicious. 

Good news! We will receive the full amount requested on a District grant: $4,000 for our reading program. Thank you to Past-President Laura for launching the program. This project involves Rotarians taking time to read to K-4th graders at area schools, plus providing books from which we read. For many of these children, this will be their first book of their own.  

Happy News! You may have heard that Slugger Ben Lowry will be inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame (MBHOF) on July 23rd at the Holiday Inn. President Don recalled playing Rotary softball many moons ago and was assigned to play first base. Unsure of his ability to flash the leather, Don asked Ben for some advice on catching. “Just hold your glove out,” said Ben. “The ball will come to your glove.” No word on how that worked out. The MBHOF has not been in touch with Don. 

With Jerry Angier conducting the weekly raffle, Charlie Whittier had a chance to win the pot of $518, but no such luck. Sorry, Charlie! The pot continues to grow for next week.

Meredith Small led us in song, “Rotary My Rotary” with Past President Russ Burleigh on keyboard. Two verses! Surely we sounded in top form.



Brian McDonough asked us to keep Ben Delcourt in our thoughts and prayers as his 72-year old father, Michael, was involved in a serious car accident on Rte 114 on July 6. We wish both of them well and his dad a speedy recovery.

07/07/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-07-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

(Photo L-R: Past President Roxane Cole, Mike Vail, Charlie Whittier, and President Don Zillman.)

Roxane Cole introduced our speaker Mike Vail, President of Hannaford Brothers. Among those who welcomed Mr. Vail was Portland Rotarian Charles Whittier, who retired as the Treasurer of Hannaford.

Mr. Vail spoke about Hannaford’s “Customer-Centric Innovation,” beginning with the company’s legacy of being founded in 1883 in Portland, Maine. Hannaford is headquartered in Scarborough and is Maine’s second largest employer, after Maine Medical Center. Today, the Hannaford supermarkets, selling food and groceries, are part of the  Ahold Delhaize group, based in the Netherlands. Hannaford operates 181 stores in the U.S. Eastern market, with stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. With 64 stores in Maine accounting for 40 percent of the company’s business. In 2016, Hannaford reported $5.8 billion in sales. The operating strategy was started by the founding Hannaford Brothers, who built the company’s reputation for supplying outstanding quality fresh produce.

Summer is the busiest time of year for Hannaford, with sales increases of 20 percent. May of 2017 was a challenging month for Hannaford in Scarborough, when a fire in a refrigerated tractor-trailer partially loaded with food was destroyed, causing extensive smoke damage to fresh products in the adjacent buildings.

Before joining Hannaford, Mike worked in Tampa, Florida and in North Carolina. When he came to Maine, he realized how Hannaford made a significant connection to the local market. Hannaford’s local program was previously called “Close to Home,” dedicated to working and supporting local food vendors in Maine. In 2008, the local program began working with farms and food producers around New England. Their marketing focus is to provide “fresh, local value to people.”

Hannaford and its employees are proud to support and reflect community programs. They efficiently distribute day-old and dented merchandise to food recovery organizations. The company is a strong supporter of the United Way, youth development programs and children’s sports. “Wreaths Across America” is a very special program supported by Hannaford, where the company provides a few trailer trucks and drivers to help transport the commemorative Maine-made holiday wreaths to be placed on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Nature’s Place is a private Hannaford brand, trending toward cleaner products, pulling unhealthy ingredients out of the produce. These items were needed to keep current with market trends. Consumers are educated about the use of pesticides in foods and organically-grown produce is popular.  

A current challenge is the e-commerce and grocery merger between Amazon and Whole Foods. This merger will support opportunities for Hannaford to grow it’s e-commerce grocery program. 

Other Hannaford innovations being offered are their “kitchen” test sites with one located in Bath, where food stations and in-store Wi-Fi makes the location accessible for meetings and informal gatherings. 

On-line ordering with pre-arranged pickup windows is becoming more popular, with a small service charge of $3 on an order up to $100 and slightly more for larger orders. There are 39 Hannaford stores where “Hannaford To Go” is offered. 

During the Q&A, several complimentary comments were made about Hannaford’s dedication to working with youth and for helping community programs where employees with disabilities are hired.

07/07/17 Mike Vail, President of Hannaford Julie L'Heureux 2017-07-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Laura Young opened the meeting by welcoming 59 members, 3 visiting Rotarians and 7 guests. Dave Small gave a creative invocation where he used puns from a garden plot to promote action in our society, such as: squash the...., lettuce (let us....), turnip (turn up to....), and thyme (time to....). Meredith Small led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and we all sang the National Anthem with Kathy Grammer on the keyboard.

President Laura thanked those responsible for setting up and helping run the meeting smoothly. She gave thanks to more chairs and board members for their efforts throughout the year, including: Kris Rosado, Rusty Atwood, Roger Fagan, Tom Nickerson, Janelle LoSciuto, Linda Varrell, Jan Chapman, Bruce Moore, Kathy Grammer, Scott Blakeslee, Bowen Depke, and George Carr. Laura also thanked Elise Hodgkins for helping her get through the year. 

2nd VP John Curran introduced International guests at the meeting with consideration of expanding the Portland Rotary International outreach to Kosovo. John brought a member from the Kosovo Rotary Club, a 3D printer designer, and a representative of the Yarmouth Rotary Club to foster additional discussion.

A visiting Rotarian from Allen, Texas also attended the meeting, and exchanged club banners.

Charlie Frair provided us with an entertaining Rotary moment. He started by saying he was part of the West Bay Club in Camden for 12 years, and now Portland Rotary for 12 years. So why is Charlie a Rotarian? Three main reasons:

1) Because of each of us and the lasting relationships that are built at Rotary. 

2) The environment, culture and atmosphere that he and the Club are committed to. No matter your political leaning, race, color, or heritage, Rotary welcomes you to participate, and Charlie is proud to be a part of it. 

3) He believes Rotary is like a trim tab. When one looks at the diagram of a ship from bow to stern, ending with the rudder, it is often the rudder that can be so big that it does not actually turn the ship, but rather keeps it going in a straight line. But, if you put a trim tab on the tip of the rudder, the trim tab can start the ship turning in the right direction. Charlie believes Rotary is like the trim tab. which turns our us in a better direction. 

Lionel Nima, a relatively new member, was to be married this very Friday afternoon at City Hall. President-elect Don Zillman and President Laura were planning to attend the wedding on behalf of the Club. The Club donated a gift certificate and signed a wedding card for the happy couple. Congratulations to the happy couple! (Ed update: photo at left of the newlyweds - Pistis Yombe and Lionel Nima!

Patty Erickson
ran the weekly raffle that had a pot of $484. The speaker drew Jack Carr’s name from the holding vessel, but Jack’s luck ran out soon after being picked, as the Queen stayed hidden in the deck. Better luck next week. 

Reminding us of the two contests she initiated when she took office in July 2016.....Who could bring the most guests to our meetings and who could bring in the most new members to our Club.....President Laura announced the winners: “most guests” goes to Rusty Atwood with 11, followed by Andreea Paine with 10. Tied for bringing in the “most new members” were Jim Willey and President Laura Young. Congratulations on those notable accomplishments! 

Russ Burleigh noted that when he asked for 5 minutes to be set aside at the meeting for the “Musical Moment,” he jokingly told President Laura impeachment was not on the table. The musical moment was more of a tribute and thank you to President Laura for her accomplished year as president of the Portland Rotary. Russ had a Power Point presentation and thanked President Laura for being the 103rd President of Portland Rotary. Some of her accomplishments included hosting speakers such as Janet Mills, Governor Paul LePage, Bill Green (WCSH6), and Stu Kestenbaum (MECA). Her tenacity really showed in her continued support of childhood hunger and education (CHE), including time spent reading to children and helping with food service.

Russ completed the presentation noting that he gave President Laura a nickname during her tenure: PrezLY – at which point Russ flicked to a picture of Elvis Presley with President Laura’s head on it. The musical moment and tribute ended with everyone singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” Congratulations and a hardy “Thank You, President Laura, for all you have done for Portland Rotary!” 

What better way to end the Rotary year then with a celebratory toast to a good 2016-17 and looking forward to an even-better 2017-18, toasted with the great beer samplings of Russell Voss' new business venture: NU Brewery. Yum!

(The question was raised, can we do this every meeting?)

06/30/17 Bits &amp; Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2017-07-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

(L-R: Charlie Therrien, President Laura Young and Dave Small.) 

Dave Small introduced Charlie Therrien, President of Mercy Hospital in Portland. Dave was on the search committee that helped interview the candidates who applied last year for the Mercy Hospital leadership position. Therrien came to the forefront because of his experience in Maine and his work in both the non-profit and for-profit healthcare sectors. During his talk, Charlie provided an update on the hospital and spoke about current federal and state-level issues impacting healthcare.

Mercy Hospital is a community hospital in Portland, founded in 1918 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Sisters of Mercy. There are 1600 employees who work in the system. The hospital is part of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS). Next year marks the 100th anniversary of Mercy Hospital.

“Mercy Hospital is recognized by our patients as having cared for generations of families, who have strong ties to the hospital,” he said, “It’s no secret that healthcare today is changing at the state and national levels. Mercy has seen its share of changes in recent years. Thankfully, these changes have allowed Mercy to reorganize into a more efficient hospital that continues to put the patients first.”

The hospital has gone through a remarkable turnaround and is now projected to break even financially—a sharp contrast from the financial losses of the previous couple of fiscal years. This puts Mercy in a positive position to initiate a capital campaign for the purpose of consolidating operations at their Fore River waterfront campus within the next 3-5 years. Mercy’s goal is to efficiently maintain and increase service offerings while placing a greater emphasis on healthy communities through the promotion of preventative services and primary care.

Despite the recent news on EMHS’s bond rating, Mercy’s care delivery and ability to implement its goals is not impacted. In fact, Mercy is among the hospitals that are changing how health care is delivered through moving from episodic care for treatment and reimbursement, to a modern care model where patients are assigned to the right providers to receive a full continuum of care. The goal is to keep people healthier.

Mr. Therrien stated that healthcare costs are tough on small businesses. While the implementation of the Affordable Care Act allowed hospitals and other healthcare providers to innovate and make strides in promoting healthier outcomes and reducing some costs, premiums and deductibles remain a challenge from the patient and provider perspective. In some case, even patients who have insurance are unable to pay for their care. This causes costs to be shifted to other payers, adding to the increasing health care costs overall.

During Q&A, one question was asked about single-payer healthcare systems like those in Canada? Charlie explained that healthcare consumers in the U.S expect to receive the services they request right away, while the Canadian system regulates the volume of procedures, which can mean significant waiting times for elective procedures. Also, much of the cost of healthcare is picked up by the government/tax payers in a single-payer system. Significant differences  must be considered when comparing one system to the other.

06/30/17 Charlie Therrien, President Mercy Hospital Julie L'Heureux 2017-07-03 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole

Mike Vail became the President of Hannaford Supermarkets in 2015 and is responsible for all company operations, including strategy, financial performance, product assortment, pricing, customer service, marketing and people. In his role, he serves as a member of the Delhaize America Leadership Team.

Mr. Vail has more than 30 years of experience in retail, beginning his career at Hannaford as a high school student in Maine. Since, he has assumed positions of increasing responsibility and scope.

Prior to leading Hannaford, Mr. Vail served as chief merchant and supply chain officer for Delhaize America, responsible for the delivery of  best-in-class supply chain and merchandising, developing private brand strategies and managing national vendor relationships. He previously held leadership roles, including President, Senior Vice President of Retail Operations and Chief Diversity Officer, and Vice President at Sweetbay (previously Kash ‘n Karry), a Florida-based Delhaize America supermarket retailer.

Mr. Vail began his professional career at Hannaford as a retail management trainee in 1985, going on to become a Store Manager, District Operations Manager, Category Manager and Director of Deli Merchandising.

Mr. Vail currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Greater Portland; as an ambassador for the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine; as member of the Advisory Board of Directors for the University of Tampa School of Entrepreneurship; and on the Leadership Committee of “Let’s Go!”

Mr. Vail earned his BS degree from Colby College. He currently resides in Maine with his wife. He has three grown girls.

*07/07/17 Mike Vail, President of Hannaford Roxane Cole 2017-07-03 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
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, Colombia. 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 Colombian 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 Colombia.”

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 &amp; 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 Chipman presented Russell Voss with his first Paul Harris Fellow. Congratulations, Russell!



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 Cancer “Tri for a Cure” fund raiser held on June 25th. Patty was hoping many of her friends would join her at the Dirigo Public House, 301 US Rte. 1, Yarmouth for a $15 BBQ dinner....$5 of the proceeds going to the cause. If you did’t make it, please consider donating online at: and search for Patty Erikson's name 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 &amp; Pieces Bill Blount 2017-06-27 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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
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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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
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 &amp; 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
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 &amp; 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 &amp; Pieces Alan Nye 2017-05-15 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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.