Rotary Club of Portland Maine USA

Stories

Invocation:  Dave Small
Program Reporter:  Alan Nye
Bits & Pieces Reporter:  Ben Lowry
Registration/Greeter:   Deb Lavoie
Sell Meal Tickets:  David Clough
Raffle:  Andrew Cook
Collect Meal Tickets:  Jake Bourdeau
Sgt-at-Arms (Setup):  Matt Tassey 
Sgt-at-Arms (Take Down): Mike Fortunato

This Week's Duty Assignments Loretta Rowe 2018-06-22 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Dr. Chuck Radis is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of New England and a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in immune system disorders) with an interest in Public Health issues since his years as a public health doctor for the Casco Bay Islands in the 1980’s. He is a board member of Consumers for Affordable Health Care and a member of several state committees developing bills to protect consumers from undisclosed insurance practices. After 25 years in private practice locally at Rheumatology Associates, he now provides rheumatologic services Down East through the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth.

After completing an internal medicine residency at Brighton Medical Center, Dr. Radis provided primary care to the six year-round islands of Casco Bay. He saw first-hand how critical access to health care is to the health of island families. During his time practicing in Casco Bay, Dr. Radis averaged more than 150 house calls each year and provided free or reduced fee service to islanders without health insurance. As a private practitioner, he provided health insurance to his employees and believes that universal health coverage is a basic right. “Mainers need to take back control of their health care system. We need to develop a system which can negotiate and control the cost of prescriptions and reduce administrative costs. A single-payer system can provide quality health care for all. No one should be left behind.”

He is the founder of the Maine-African Partnership for Social Justice which provides health education programs in South Sudan as well as scholarships to African immigrants at Portland High School.  

Dr. Radis was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2016 Democratic primary for the District 27 (Portland) Senate seat.

*06/22/18 Dr. Chuck Radis, Healthcare from the Physician's Perspective Bob Martin 2018-06-22 04:00:00Z 0
Following is a list of our Club's volunteer projects. If you know of other opportunities, please contact Loretta: lrowe@maine.rr.com
 

                          When
Project                  Who to Contact


Summer Reading    Tuesdays and Thursdays
Program                 11:15-12:00 pm
North Deering         July 5 thru August 9 
Gardens                 Contact Jan Chapman 
                             or Laura Young on Tuesdays
                             jchapman1966@gmail.com
                             lyoung@mainecf.org

                             David Small onThursdays
                             dsmall133@aol.com


RYLA                      Phil Giordano
                             philtastic7780@gmail.com
Camp Hinds
Registration            Jun 24, 7:45 am-12:30 pm

Final RYLA              Dinner Cost $10
Camp BBQ              Jun 26, 6:00-10:00 pm


Preble Street           4th Wednesday ea month
Resource Ctr           3:30-6:30 pm
Soup Kitchen           Gracie Johnston
                              gracie.johnston@wcsh6.com


Game Night             3rd Tuesday ea month
Long Creek              Mike Fortunato
Youth Center           michael.k.fortunato@gmail.com
                              or Jim Willey
                              jimandbarbarawilley@gmail.com                       

Volunteer Opportunities 2018-06-22 04:00:00Z 0

If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
through June 29 2018:

2018 
Jun 22 - Clarion Hotel
Jun 29 - Southern Maine Community College


Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at: lrowe@maine.rr.com
 

Rotary Meeting Locations Loretta Rowe 2018-06-22 04:00:00Z 0

Portland Rotary Club
will meet this Friday,
June 22, 2018 
at the
Clarion Hotel
1230 Congress Street, Portland
 
Rotary This Week Loretta Rowe 2018-06-22 04:00:00Z 0

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

2018 
Jun 22 - Clarion Hotel
Jun 29 - Southern ME Community College


Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at: lrowe@maine.rr.com
 

Rotary Meeting Locations Loretta Rowe 2018-06-22 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Three of the founders of MaineCanDo, Betsy Peters, Melanie Sachs, and Stephanie Brock, shared with us Friday the story of the creation of Maine’s unique response to the #MeToo movement and acts of sexual harassment by members of Maine’s business community. MaineCanDo (www.mainecando.org) is a website designed to help individuals, organizations, investors, and boards confront issues of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, particularly those who have suffered, or witnessed, sexual violence or harassment. 

“This website is the first of its kind to provide a set of tools for individuals and businesses,” said Melanie Sachs, Executive Director of Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine. “Two in five Americans have experienced sexual violence in the workplace,” she said. “And three in ten have observed it.” “Society has raised the bar,” Betsy Peters stated. “The real impact is to humans and society. For enterprises, the strategic imperative is clear, one letter on the internet can bring a company down.” The intent of the website, according to Peters, is to provide an “authentic Maine response” for individuals and businesses. “Maine is a land of small businesses,” she said. “Small businesses don’t have HR departments.” Sachs related that Maine law requires companies with more than 15 employees to conduct sexual harassment training. “Maine is not on the leading edge of this issue,” she said. “California is nine times stricter. But the real question is, are you going to do compliance, or are you going to do better?”

“There’s an ‘ick’ factor to all of this,” Peters stated. “Stuff we just don’t like to talk about.” The effort stemmed from an inciting incident involving Stephanie Brock who said she “drew a line” after offensive behavior toward her from Jess Knox, with whom she had been working on Maine Startup and Create Week. “We can’t grow in a community when leadership looks like this,” she said. She wrote letters to all the boards of organizations with which Knox was affiliated. Knox did not dispute the charges, and agreed his behavior was inappropriate. “I got a swift and fair response from all of them,” Brock related. “But it was a scary thing for me to do. This website will help others who find themselves in the same situation.”

The presentation of the three women struck a chord among members who engaged in a supportive discussion during the Q&A period. Laura Young rose to share her MeToo moment by relating her discomfort and distress at a Portland Rotary luncheon where two male members engaged in jokes about male genitalia. “Other male members around the table looked uncomfortable. What was I supposed to do, laugh? These are never funny,“ she said.

Upon a motion, the club agreed to sign the MaineCanDo pledge as an organization, the first Rotary Club to do so. “I wholeheartedly support Portland Rotary signing this pledge,” Club Protection Officer Nan Heald said.

MaineCanDo Pledge:

We, the undersigned, know that Maine can do better and will do better. Join us in our pledge for Maine to be home to respectful and harassment free workplaces.

We agree to:

• Review workplace sexual harassment policies in light of #MeToo and audit how they work in practice.

• Create and assure that appropriate and safe mechanisms are in place to report, measure and track complaints of inappropriate behaviors whether intentional or unintentional.

• Be proactive in developing respectful workplace cultures.

• Designate and ensure employees know of go-to members in organizational leadership who will ensure grievances are taken seriously, investigated fairly, and resolved quickly.

• Commit to an ongoing review of sexual harassment and discrimination policies, practices, and workplace climate at the highest levels of leadership to ensure they are making a practical impact.

• Use our influence as investors and board members by committing to increased attention on and an intentional review of policies related to human capital and to supporting workplaces that are free from harassment and discrimination.

(Photo L-R: Melanie Sachs, Bob Martin, Betsy Peters, Stephanie Brock and President Don Zillman.)

06/15/18 MaineCanDo Bob Martin 2018-06-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

President Don Zillman welcomed 44 members and 4 guests to our club meeting on Friday.

Charlie Frair provided an interesting innovation with a reading from Ron Sousa, a Canadian philosopher. Entitled “The Obstacles of Life,” this short, inspirational piece concluded that the pursuit of happiness, with its ongoing ups and downs, is the essence of life. So, let us enjoy the journey rather than focus on the concept of achieving “happiness.”

PP Russ Burleigh tickled the ivories as accompaniment to a rousing version of “God Bless America”.


President Don thanked membership for all of their input and announced that discussions are ongoing with the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay and a decision on our luncheon venue should be forthcoming within the next week or two. 


(Photo L-R: Katie Brown, Scott Shibles, Julia Hansen, Moritz Hansen (Julia's father), and President Don Zillman.)

After being introduced by Katie Brown, Scott Shibles, the director of student life at Casco Bay High School, gave a very moving description of our Youth Service Award winner, Julia Hansen. After seeing two of her best friends commit suicide during her junior year, Julia became determined to help those who suffer in silence with mental illness. Julia boldly started up “The Yellow Tulip Project,” which has gained great momentum in allowing those who have felt stigmatized by emotional issues to speak up and have a voice within the community. A well-deserved award for a fine young woman.


PP Laura Young provided a brief announcement about the Summer Reading Program at North Deering Gardens, which runs from July 5th thru August 9th. If you are interested in this very rewarding program, please contact Laura at lyoung@mainecf.org.


Paul Tully and Charlie Frair are already working tirelessly to have an even bigger and better Veteran’s Day luncheon next fall. It was announced that the event will most likely be moved to the Holiday Inn so we may accommodate even more veterans and guests.

 



PP Peter Goffin was selected to pull a card from the deck of cards for our weekly raffle, run by Jennifer Frederick, but, alas, Peter was not able to find the elusive Queen of Hearts.

(Photo L-R: PP Peter Goffin and Jennifer Frederick.) 

 

06/15/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-06-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Our program this Friday will focus on Maine’s response to the #MeToo movement, the founding of #Maine Can Do, an online resource for employers, managers, investors, board members and workers who have suffered or witnessed workplace sexual harassment. Our speakers will be the founders of this groundbreaking program.

Betsy Peters (above photo) is a business consultant who also launched the first website in the ski industry, conducted a live webcast from the top of K2, developed a program that got 400,000 women in menopause off of pharmaceuticals, and was recognized at the Obama White House for her web-based educational program. Her experience includes serving as an entrepreneur in residence at Maine Technology Institute. She holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and lives in Freeport where she has been a member of the school board.

 

Melanie Sachs (photo left) is the Executive Director at SARSSM: Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine.  She is a licensed clinical social worker and her experience includes working as the former Executive Director of Freeport Community Services. A cum laude graduate of Bates, she holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She lives in Freeport where she is Vice-Chair of the Freeport Town Council and a member of Freeport Rotary Club. In her spare time, she serves as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, and an Odyssey of the Mind coach.

Stephanie Brock (photo left), is the General Manager of Red Thread Portland, a company that provides furniture, technology, and architectural systems for innovative workplaces. She also teaches Heated Vinyasa Yoga.  She’s from the other Portland where she graduated from high school and studied at Portland State University. Stephanie loves running, craft beers, yoga and spending time with her daughter. She lives in South Portland.

*06/15/18 MaineCanDo Bob Martin 2018-06-15 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

President Don Zillman welcomed 55 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 1 guest to our club meeting on Friday.

Tom Nickerson gave our invocation reflecting on the death of Robert Kennedy 50 years ago by reading from Ted Kennedy’s eulogy to his brother. Linda Varrell led us in the Pledge, and we sang “God Bless America.” Visiting Rotarians included PDG George Rice, president-elect of the Oxford Hills club, and Kirk Duffey of Savannah, GA who will be with us until October.

 


Mike Fortunato and PP Kris Rosado (photo at right) thanked the army of volunteers who contributed to the success of the Maine Outdoor Challenge. Kris reports that preliminary results show that the event earned $27,000 for Rotary, and an equal amount for the Boys and Girls Club.

Kudos were also shared for the MOC banquet at which participants shared lobster, steak, or chicken, depending upon what they told Mike Fortunato. Tom Ranello and Patty Erickson were applauded for their contributions. Tom displayed excellent auctioneering skills demonstrating his ability to raise $3,400 for one item — PP Cy Hagge’s contribution of a week at his Sugar Loaf estate. The winner got it for $1,700, and Cy agreed to contribute a second week to the runner up if the top price was matched. It was.

Kris introduced a new fundraiser which will take place on August 23 in partnership with the Maine Girls Academy, Maine Cornhole Championship. For those unfamiliar with the sport, cornhole, or bean bag toss is a game in which players toss bags of corn at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. Kris demonstrated the techniques required to achieve mastery of the sport. Watch for more details on this event.


Jen Frederick offered Bruce Nelson the chance to find the Queen of Hearts and take home $625. But Bruce could only find the King, and the jackpot increases.
 

06/08/18 Bits & Pieces Bob Martin 2018-06-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

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

Chair Bob “Belichick” Martin had to scramble when our scheduled speaker was unable to attend due to a family illness.  In the wings was ace reliever and soon-to-be outgoing Club President Don Zillman. “Next Man Up” performed with his usual dexterity, providing a year in review, his observations and commentary, and opportunity for club participation.

Don began with a reflection on a week of notable anniversaries....100-50-25. It has been 100 years since the end of WWI. Don, in his role as a Maine Law professor, recently co-authored a comprehensive book on the war and that time period; 50 years equated to Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 funeral, as well as  Don’s own 50th wedding anniversary to his wife, Linda. (Congrats!); 25 years represented Don’s tenure in the Portland Rotary.

Don’s pre-member perception of Rotary was one of silly songs and funny hats. He was wary of any club that would have him as a member, invoking that famed Marxist expression. (Groucho not Karl) He found out quickly that he was way off, noting that joining Rotary was one of the best things he’s ever done. 

Riffing, he spoke of how Rotary has changed since he joined. In 1989, women were first admitted to Rotary.  How attendance requirements were relaxed to accommodate today’s culture. He referenced how we’ve always been driven by service initiatives and activities, but how incredibly broad and diverse the programs have become. However, some important things stay the same, notably the “Service Above Self” motto and the “4 Way Test.” 

Above all, it’s been the lifelong friendships. To define that, Don said if “20 years separated us, and then someone was to call to get together, the answer would be ‘heck yes!’. 

Today, the club is as vibrant as ever.  Our club was recognized by the District for over 6000 hours of volunteer service this year, local to international.  From the Dominican Republic to Kosovo…where next?  Yes, we have fundraising in order to make financial contributions to help others, but it’s the “hands on” memorable moments where the impact is truly felt. 

Don began to reference some of the highlight programs. CHE – Childhood Hunger and Education, now in its 5th year. Summer reading to young children at North Deering Gardens. Preble Street meals. Locker Project for food-insecure children. The club began to chime in….

…St Vincent DePaul Thanksgiving Dinner, The Veterans Lunch on Veterans Day, Maine Outdoor Challenge with the Boys and Girls Club, the new “Cornhole Championship” for Maine Girls Academy, mentoring at Portland HS and Deering HS, mentoring at Long Creek Youth, Student Scholarships.  

Don interjected that one of the goals of the club was to continue to grow and develop club membership, including the increase of our club’s diversity. He sought ways to help “Friends Who Rarely Attend,” aka Club Members who have difficult schedules, perhaps by giving them a forum to address the club about their work.  He also paused to reflect how Rotary is a place to come to share different opinions and have different views, but we embrace it and welcome it. 

With that, Don opened the floor for reactions. PP Bowen Depke started by thanking Don for his year of service as Club President, which was met with a round of applause. Bowen added that CHE was set up as a 3-5 year plan with arrangements to review, so in the name of truth, we should ask If that vision is still in focus. Dave Small brought forth that we need help on Thursdays in July for summer reading.  PP Russ Burleigh told us that his wife Joan needs some more yarn for her 10th annual knitting project in order to reach her mark of making 150 pairs of kids mittens. Justin Lamontagne gave us good news that his wife had beaten breast cancer, and that he was excited about helping out on the “Making Strides” event in October at Fort Williams Park. PP Peggy “Queenie” Wescott told us how she too had defeated breast cancer earlier this year, and now proudly had a new license plate KYNRSUP. Anagram! “Keep Your Knockers Up”.  Good news shared by Elise Hodgkin, who had lunch with PP Loretta Rowe. LoRo, who has been fighting cancer, is hopeful to return to the club in a few months. Let’s hope so! Katie Brown said the summer Locker Project was in full swing and help was needed with product distribution. Rusty Atwood referenced that we need to reach out to some of our members who have drifted away due to busy schedules, and welcome them back. PP Don Lowry encouraged makeups at other clubs. Dick Giles reminded us of the 800 water filtration systems we helped to implement in the Dominican. PP Peter Goffin reminisced about how Don Z had a previous chance to be club President, back in the Winterfest days, but took a Rotary time-out to be the Dean at Maine Law School. Joe Reagan expressed his appreciation for being invited into Rotary, and has also enjoyed attending other club meetings. PP Dick Hall touted the reactivation of Youth Exchange. Bob Clark spoke of the spirit of volunteerism that is shared between the Rotary and the Boys and Girls Club, with special thanks to PP Kris Rosado who inspired and developed the Maine Outdoor Challenge. 

In closing, Don championed the phrase “How much can get done when no one needs to take the credit?” Well Don, we salute the great job you did this year, but hey, you still have two more weeks to go!
 

06/08/18 Don Zillman, Portland Rotary Wrap-Up Tom Talbott 2018-06-10 04:00:00Z 0
New Fundraising Partnership Kris Rosado 2018-06-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman opened the meeting by welcoming 52 members, 1 visiting Rotarians and 6 guests. He called on Julie L’Heureux for the invocation which focused on mentoring. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Past President Russ Burleigh led us on the keyboard with the singing of 'God Bless America.' President Don introduced visiting guests and Rotarians (including assistant Rotary District Governor Bill Anderson) and also made note of the June Rotarian birthdays and anniversaries in the club.



Mike Fortunato
(lobster, steak or chicken) brought us up-to-date on our major fundraiser, the Maine Outdoor Challenge, scheduled for the beginning of next week in Freeport. His focus was the meal choice at the dinner on Wednesday and whether those attending had made their choices. Basically, if you haven’t passed on your wishes directly or by way of your team leader, you’re getting lobster.

 



Casey Hartford from Big Brothers Big Sisters spoke about the mentoring program and made a special request for male mentors, since they have 19 boys ready to be matched up with mentors. It takes only an hour a week to become a Big Brother or Big Sister and the need is great. Call 207-773-5437 or visit www.somebigs.org to volunteer.

 


Past President Laura Young talked about the reading program at Lyseth School in Portland and the need for volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 5th through August 9th. Contact Laura directly (lyoung@mainecf.org) for more information about this opportunity to “get more than you give.”

 


Past President Dick Hall, as a follow up to his recent email sent to members, spoke about the Rotary Foundation and the importance of giving an annual contribution. He requested that every member of the club make a donation to the Foundation. Dick was also the subject of a friendly tease by Assistant District Governor Bill Anderson for having misplaced the “Pyramid of Peace Award” at the District Conference. This award was for the club’s efforts in meeting all six Rotary Areas of Focus. So that it wouldn’t be lost again, Bill – with a good natured grin – presented the award directly to President Don.



Erik Jorgensen was made a Paul Harris Fellow +2. Club members stood and applauded this outstanding achievement. Congratulations, Erik!

(Photo L-R: Erik Jorgensen and Past President Dick Hall.)
 




(Photo L-R: Dave Putnam, Zoleka Mngqibisa, and Director Kevin Stilphen)

Dave Putnam introduced Director Kevin Stilphen, who introduced our Youth Service Award recipient from Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS), Zoleka Mngqibisa. After listening to her many accomplishments, it was clear that this recognition was well deserved.


The weekly Rotary raffle was conducted by Tom Nickerson and Past President Bob Traill graciously picked the Ace of hearts – leaving the sum to be even larger next week. Sorry Bob!

(Photo L-R: Past President Bob Traill and Tom Nickerson.)


 

06/01/18 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2018-06-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen

Bob Martin introduced Friday’s speaker by talking about the power of image, and how in this increasingly visual world, understanding visual communications has taken on new urgency. With that urgency has come increased focus and prominence for schools like the Maine College of Art, which train people not only to add to the Worl’d visual resources, but to help others understand and make use of them.

On Friday we heard from Laura Freid, who has served as the President of MECA for the past year or so, following a career with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. 

With 500 full-time undergrads plus students in the MFA and MAT programs as well as a base faculty of 30, the College is a major presence in downtown Portland.  25% of those who graduate stay on and live in Portland. 

Ms. Freid spoke about how “everything we are doing today succeeds more because of its visual elements and its designs.” Many countries are looking to the US for creative ideas, and students at MECA are being trained to work in the forefront of creative work in the US.  The College has grown more competitive in terms of admissions, and its graduates work in a wide range of professions. Some 60% of the students are interested in design (as opposed to fine art), from fashion, to computer graphics, to graphic arts.  

MECA students arrive in Portland having already worked as artists, developing portfolios and distinguishing themselves in high school.  What does MECA teach its artists? What they learn there, in addition to honing their art skills, includes brainstorming, analysis, and both giving and receiving criticism.  They understand the difference between form and content.  All these are critical abilities for any professional. She also added that MECA students take a range of other college courses in addition to their core art training.

Ms. Freid also spoke about the value of art for art’s sake. Artists generate meaning, empathy, and humanity. And while it is sometimes hard to measure or quantify the value of art, it’s clear that arts and culture deepen community and improve the quality of life. There is also a pecuniary interest, as arts & culture support more than 2000 jobs in Portland. 

She noted that MECA is an “innovation lab” and all the faculty live here in Portland, which is unusual, adding considerably to the richness of our city. We remember Beethoven, Bach and Picasso much more than the rulers of their day or the political arguments that were raging in the background as they worked.
 

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Laura Freid and President Don Zillman.)

06/01/18 Laura Freid, President Maine College of Art Erik Jorgensen 2018-06-04 04:00:00Z 0

Greg Williams is the Director of Waste Solutions at Agri-Cycle. He joined Agri-Cycle in 2014 with diverse experience in the organics industry, including sales, consultation, business development, and operations. While completing a Master’s in Community Planning & Development at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, he researched the feasibility of implementing a curbside organics program in Greater Portland. He received an award for the idea from ecomaine in 2008, and presented the idea to the Portland City Council in 2009. Williams also successfully started and managed a commercial composting business in conjunction with the City of Portland before joining Agri-Cycle.

Agri-Cycle collects organic waste and converts it to clean energy and fertilizer, providing clean, renewable energy to the grid in Maine and throughout the region. This process keeps organic waste out of landfills, reduces harmful greenhouse gases, and powers homes and farms.

*06/08/18 Greg Williams, Agri-Cycle Energy 2018-06-04 04:00:00Z 0

NOTABLE DATES FOR MEMBERS IN JUNE

Member Birthday
    5th - George Crockett
   7th - Peter Goffin
 13th - Laura Young
 15th - Rusty Atwood
 19th - Roger Asch
 21st - Paul Gore
        - Ralph Hendrix
        - Tom Ranello
        - Andy Stone
24th - Justin Lamontagne

Date-Joined-Rotary Anniversaries
Charlie Whittier - 34 years
Tom Talbott - 30 years
Bob Clark - 28 years
Roger Fagan - 26 years 
Larry Gross - 24 year
Roger Asch - 23 years
Julie L'Heureux - 7 years
Erik Greven - 4 years
Janet Butland - 2 years
Chris Thomas - 2 years
Doreen Rockstrom - 1 year

                   
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

Birthdays and Rotary Anniversaries 2018-06-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman welcomed 58 members, 1 visiting Rotarian, and 1 guest to our meeting on Friday. President Don asked Joe Reagan to give the invocation on Friday. In honor of Memorial Day and our veterans, Joe told us a heartfelt story about an exemplary soldier and father who put service and his life above self. Glenn Nerbak led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Past President Russ Burleigh led us in 'God Bless America.'

President Don thanked those that helped run the weekly meeting.


Gracie Johnston (left) discussed our club's volunteer day at Preble Street in which some Rotarians helped prepare and serve food at the soup kitchen for those in need. The volunteers during the recent event included over nine (9) Portland Rotarians. A fairly new member (John Thompson at right) brought his 17-year old daughter. John asked her about the experience, and she said that she was interested in the variety of people that attended and how hard the volunteers worked. Gracie also discussed the opioid task grant application that she and some other Rotarians are working on. 


Jake Bourdeau, with the help of Matt Wolcott, held the raffle this week, and the speaker Bill Caron picked PTG’s ticket out of the can. Paul T. Gore selected a red 7 which lets the Queen of Hearts rest for another week. The pot is getting bigger, so join us next week for a chance at over $550. 

 


Glenn Nerbak introduced two students from Portland High School who presented their Capstone projects to the club. They presented about a “Welcome Wall” initiative, which tries to bring fellow students closer together in their school community. The Welcome Wall topics include immigrants and other newcomers to the school. The Welcome Wall process was described largely as a student-on-student interview process including multiple languages and translations of the interviews. You could tell from the students’ enthusiasm and their smiles that the goal of the Welcome Wall was being achieved. 

Glenn also let us know that he is leaving Maine and its cold winters, and moving to southern Arizona to start a position teaching English. Best wishes, Glenn, in your new endeavors, and we appreciate your service.


Past President Jim Willey let us know that there are opportunities to volunteer at the Salvation Army’s Playroom which is reading and playing with the toddlers of adult education participants while the adults are taking classes. Jim noted that one positive plus to the program is that the diapers are still changed by their parents. 

 


Past President Kris Rosado spoke about the status of the upcoming Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC), and he let us know that there is still enough room to add a few more teams. Kris also was even able to hook up an interested Rotarian with a team during the meeting. 

Patty Erickson (right) talked about some of the MOC logistics and about the donated items that are being auctioned off at the dinner  Patty asked for some help describing the gifts to support an email blast, and Linda Varrell raised her hand offering to help. 


In honor of our military and veterans, Past President Russ Burleigh of the Music Committee led us in an Armed Forces medley, and as each song was played, members who had served in the branch of the service that the song represented were asked to stand up and be recognized.


President-elect John Curran presented some highlights from his trip to Kosovo, and also talked about his visits to five Rotary Clubs while there. John indicated that other clubs there are on board with the Hands and Hearing initiatives that are being proposed. John also exchanged club banners with one of the clubs. 

 


ANNOUNCEMENTS/ROTARIANS IN THE NEWS

Bob Trail attended his 75th reunion at Brown University. 

Joe Reagan was in the news recently alongside Senator Angus King regarding a Goodwill story. 
 

05/25/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Last Friday at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, President-elect John Curran introduced Bill Caron, the president of the largest private employer in the state of Maine, Maine Health, with 19,000 employees and $2.5 in annual revenues. Bill’s talk, entitled “The Current State and the Challenges Ahead,” was an eye-opening look at health care in Maine and the issues involved as changes occur at a rapid rate.

Bill opened his remarks with a reminiscence of a time, just a decade ago, when a patient would be admitted to the hospital for a hip replacement, spending 10-14 days in-patient post-op, then another 3-5 days at an in-patient therapy center, followed by visits from a home health aide in the weeks after these stays. Now, a patient is up and walking hours after this same procedure and discharged to go home in less than 24 hours in the hospital. With these remarkable changes in technology and care come many issues, both beneficial and detrimental to the patient who must be seen as a consumer in this ever-changing business model.

In looking at what “works well” within the healthcare system in Maine, Bill reiterated that the quality of care is rated at the very top of the United States and the physicians and other providers are “as good as it gets” but, that being said, the issues revolving around childhood obesity and smoking are still a major concern, especially with the expected costs for all of us to incur should these problems become longstanding with so many associated maladies. 

The major challenge, as one would expect, remains the cost for the consumer of healthcare. With “cost shifting” transferring so many of the ever-increasing expenses to you and me, through health insurance rate increases, and the population ever aging, with the expectant costs related to care, there are no easy fixes. Mainers pay the fifth highest rates in the country for insurance, which is forcing many providers and insurers to re-design the delivery systems for healthcare, wherein services are only offered at regional facilities, not with the “home town provider.” Maine is losing more and more qualified health professionals to Boston and further south, a trend that has been longstanding.   

Bill Caron, in addressing these issues, and others, offered some real insight into our ever-evolving healthcare system, with no easy answers to some of these longstanding problems. But he asked for our patience and cooperation as those in power, representing both public and private sectors, work tirelessly to seek solutions in the months ahead.

(Photo L-R: President-elect John Curran, Bill Caron, and President Don Zillman.)

05/25/18 Bill Caron, CEO Maine Health Ben Lowry 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Laura Freid has pursued a career in higher education and the arts, and made this the focus of her work in journalism and film as well.

As CEO and Executive Director of Silkroad for the past decade, Freid initiated the organization’s ongoing multi-year affiliation with Harvard University, established a five-year partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design, and created the first joint venture with the Harvard Business School.

During her tenure, Silkroad spearheaded a yearlong, citywide celebration of the arts in Chicago; focused on the arts and passion-driven learning in work with middle schools, educators and teaching artists across America; and brought together artists and business leaders to influence the emerging field of cultural entrepreneurship. She also served as executive producer of the internationally-acclaimed feature documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

Prior to joining Silkroad, Freid was executive vice president for public affairs and university relations at Brown University. A magazine journalist and editor, she served as publisher of Harvard magazine and publisher and editor of Bostonia magazine. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and holds an M.B.A. from Boston University, as well as an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
 

*06/01/18 Laura Freid, President Maine College of Art Bob Martin 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Mr. Caron is the President of MaineHealth, Maine’s largest health system serving southern, western and central Maine, as well as Carroll County, New Hampshire. Prior to assuming his current position in 2000, Mr. Caron was Executive Vice President and Treasurer at MaineHealth and Vice President and Treasurer at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. He previously was a Partner with Ernst & Young and headed their East Region healthcare consulting practice based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his Masters degree in Accounting from Northeastern University and his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Bill is active in the Greater Portland community. For many years he served as a member of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Chamber boards of directors while holding several officer positions with the Portland Community Chamber, including the position of Board President.  

Bill has also been active with the United Way of Greater Portland – serving as the Annual Campaign Chair in both 2005 and 2015.  He has served on the People’s United Bank Advisory Board, the Hospice of Southern Maine Board of Trustees, and the board of the Maine Hospital Association.  Bill has been recognized as a Hall of Fame Laureate by Junior Achievement and was recognized by the United Way of Greater Portland as its 2009 Legacy Award winner.  Bill resides in Cape Elizabeth with his wife Susan and they have two children.
 

*05/25/18 Bill Caron, CEO Maine Health Bob Martin 2018-05-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

President Don Zillman had the pleasure of introducing some of his associates from the University of Southern Maine School of Law and did so with the detail and dignity that is emblematic of his character. Don also introduced our guest speaker, Professor Anna Welch, who spearheads the University’s outreach to refugee and asylum seekers coming to the United States to start a new life of freedom.

Professor Welch clarified the difference between a refugee and an individual seeking asylum from their native country. Welch became interested while in high school of the trials and travail of those who are forced by circumstances far beyond their control to leave their homeland and try to start a new life. Those seeking asylum are distinguished from the refugee because they are forced to flee their country in order to save their lives. Asylum seekers are not motivated by economics, they are forced by politics to save their lives. The asylum seekers have been prominently in the news the past few years and the numbers have been overwhelming for the United States and many other countries. Maine has long been willing to assist this population, with Catholic Charities taking an active role to help this population get situated and actively involved in the community. They are not coming here looking for a hand out. They are wanting to get a job, contribute to the state and establish a new home for their family. Before Catholic Charities can help, the refugee and asylum seeker must get through the daunting labyrinth of the immigration laws of the U.S. This is where Professor Welch and her legal clinic team get involved. Anna started the clinic in 2012 with two primary goals....the first was to give the students practical, hard nosed, real life experience as they commit to the practice of this distinct avenue of law;....the second, and the nucleus, is to assist those who are being persecuted by their governments, cultural norms (domestic violence), and criminal elements to the point where they have to forsake home and all that they have in order to escape to a place where they can try to survive and create a new life.

Most of the refugees and people seeking asylum are intent on following the laws of the country and are convinced that they can prove that they are fleeing circumstances that are profoundly outrageous to any civilization. It’s not enough to just have a compelling story, they must navigate the legal system in place to protect our country from those who do not share our values. Without proper legal counsel only 12% of the asylum seekers can gain legal entry to the United States. 

While the cases are litigated, many of the families are separated and at risk of losing touch. The cases take many months, often years, to make it through the legal maze to a conclusion. While the wheels are cranking, the children are often placed into foster care and some are put up for adoption. Making a life altering decision which is involved in these cases is an enormous burden. When you are facing a family that has given up everything, traveled hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles over perilous terrain, it’s more than just difficult to make the decision to take a case or abandon a family to proceed pro se, when you know the chances are slim.

The clinic has made a huge difference in many lives. To be sure, the refugee and asylum group is being mightily affected, since it can be life or death. Parenthetically, the law students involved are gaining an insight and often making a life altering decision concerning their chosen profession. The graduates who commit to human rights law are not likely to make it to the ranks of the “white shoe law firms” and make huge sums of money. They are in it for the people, not the profit!

 

(Photo L-R: third-year Law Student (Graduate as of Saturday) Hanni Pastinen, third-year Law Student (Saturday graduate) Joann Bautista, President Don Zillman and Anna Welch, Sam Cohen Refugee and Human Rights Clinical Professor, UMaine Law School.)

05/18/18 Anna Welch, Dir. Human Rgts Clinic Maine Law John Marr 2018-05-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julia L'Heureux

Meeting at the Clarion Hotel began with a welcome from President Don Zillman. Gracie Johnson led the invocation by reading a series of quotes from a famous person. She asked the Rotarians to guess, who said all of the following?:

  • Peace begins with a smile.

  • Spread love wherever you go. 

  • Let no one ever come to you without leaving happy.

  • If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other. 

  • Kind words can be short and easy, but their echoes are truly endless.

  • We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that  missing drop.

Answer to the question is: Mother Teresa.


(Photo L-R: Mike Fortunato, Patty Erickson and 2nd VP Amy Chipman.)

Preparations for the upcoming 6th Annual Outdoor Challenge scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6, included a letter from Past President Kris Rosado, to present to donors and prospective team members. The Challenge is taking place at the L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School with five competing outdoor sports: Fly casting, GPS geocaching, Archery, Firearm familiarity and Clay Target shooting. Mike Fortunato signed up volunteers to assist with the event for each day, mornings and afternoons. Patty Erickson and Jennifer Frederick spoke about seeking items for the live and silent auctions and expressed gratitude for the donations thus far, that have been collected. 2nd VP Amy Chipman reported on the raffle ticket sales - cost 3/$20. This year’s winning raffle will be a $500 gift certificate to L.L. Bean. Tickets are on sale for the June 6, awards program and lobster bake to be held at the AmVets in Yarmouth, that starts at 5:00 p.m. with a social hour, the meal to be served around 6:00 p.m. and the "LIVE" auction will follow after the meal. Lobster is $32, Steak is $28 and Chicken is $26 per person. Katie Brown volunteered to manage the slide presentation for viewing at the awards and lobster bake. Proceeds from the Maine Outdoor Challenge are donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. 


Mark Millar received a standing ovation when Past President Dick Hall presented him with his Paul Harris Fellow pin “plus three,” adorned with 3 blue sapphires, a tribute for being a contributor four times. In the Portland Rotary, Dick reported that about half the members contribute $100 a year to the Paul Harris Foundation, many also contribute at the $200 a year level and three members donate $1,000 a year. A request was made to those who can, to please contribute $25 as an annual donation to the Paul Harris Foundation. Thank you to our club members for this generosity! Check with Dick Hall for more information: dickhall@maine.rr.com.


Joseph Reagan reported about the volunteer mentoring provided by Rotarians at the Long Creek Youth Development Center. 

 


 

The weekly raffle conducted by Matt Tassey had the eligible participant of Liz Fagan, who attempted to draw the winning card on behalf of the Hearing, Hands and H2O project, but the $537 prize will grow again next week as the Queen of  Hearts remained in the deck.


 

Rusty Atwood announced the dates of the September walks to support the work to find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Walk dates are August 25 in Bangor and September 8 in Portland. Link to register for the Portland walk at: www.alsa.org. Thanks Rusty for bringing this important worthy cause to our Rotarians attention!
 

05/18/18 Bits & Pieces Julia L'Heureux 2018-05-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

President Don Zillman welcomed 48 members and 2 guests to our meeting on Friday at the Clarion Hotel. 

Ellen Niewoehner did her first invocation ever in 20 years, by sharing the Irish Blessing.

Bruce Moore led us in the pledge and Kathy Grammer led “My Country Tis of Thee.”


Gracie Johnston reminded all that she needs help at the Preble St Soup Kitchen, Wednesday, May 25th, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Contact her for details or to volunteer: gracie.johnston@wcsh.comGracie also told us that the recovery coach training has been delayed.


Dick Giles, at his first Rotary meeting back from sunny Florida, was awarded his Paul Harris Foundation +6 pin, signifying $7,000 total giving to the Rotary Foundation. Dick was proudly wearing his PHF +5 pin at the time, and asked “Is this going to cost me more money?” 


Past President Dick Hall then gave a summary of the District Conference, that was held last weekend. Six districts attended, with over 600 people. Speakers included 

• Rotary International President Ian Riseley
• Shirley-Pat Chamberlain – Multiple Library Projects in British Columbia
• Razia Jan - Razia’s Ray of Hope education project in Afghanistan
• Travis Roy inspirational address
• Karen Wentz, RI Past Director

Breakout Sessions were held on Rotary Foundation, Literacy, Human Trafficking, Rotaract, Vibrant Clubs, Polio – Gates Foundation view, Opioid Crisis, Youth Exchange, Hands to Honduras, End 68 hours of Hunger, and Interact, Earlyact, RYLA.

Dick awarded the "Pyramid of Peace Award," given to President Don Zillman, for the club’s efforts in meeting all six Rotary Areas of Focus. Although 25 clubs won the award, it was reported that Portland Rotary had the highest number of volunteer hours for the year.  

The District 7780 Total Impact was very Impressive!
Cash Funding of Service Projects - $940,972
In-Kind Funding - $957,176
Number of volunteers - 4,743
Volunteer Hours - 34,531


Mike Reed was looking for 4 more volunteers for the Deering High School Mentorship workshop, and quickly had four volunteers, so he has a full team of 13.


As incoming chair for the Maine Outdoor Challenge, Mike announced we have 32 teams so far and only 13 openings. The auction has 60% of the items needed. We need 30 more items. Mike was able to get a client to donate a tuna or shark trip valued at $1200 to the live auction.


Jan Chapman announced that we have wrapped up the reading program for this year. She thanked the Rotary Club and the Maine School of Law. She has received bags of thank you's, some in Spanish. John Thompson was given he bag of thank you's in Spanish.  Don chimed in with a funny story showing how dedicated the teachers are at the schools.

 


Jerry Angier handled the raffle and Erik Greven was the winner of the first drawing but his two of hearts did not win the $512 jackpot. Better luck next time, Erik.

 


Liz Fagan presented a check for 3-H hearing aids, donated in by a local audiologist in memory of James Roger Fagan, Roger’s dad.

 


 

Amy Chipman reminded everyone to sell their raffle tickets for the Maine Outdoor Challenge. Winner gets a $500 gift card for LL Bean.

Amy also announced a pre-trip meeting at the Cumberland Club for all going to the International Convention in Toronto. Donated apps, cash bar, and money.....past conference attendees to share the “ropes.”  She also mentioned the two-district party in Toronto, at second city.


Don announced a Board meeting immediately following, to discuss the location for our meetings next year. He mentioned budget issues, meal prices going up and the fact that we have paid $2400 so far this year for meals not eaten, because we did not make our 50-person meal guarantee. He promised a report later.
 

05/11/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-05-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Paul Brown, a physical therapist on the staff of Back in Motion, told Portland Rotary that “arthritis is a normal thing to happen” as people age. “It’s natural and likely to occur in the neck, lower back, the area above the thumb, and at the site of previous injuries.” The secret to treating arthritis, Brown said, is exercise.

Brown said that the Center for Disease Control maintains statistics on medical needs and reports that diagnoses of arthritis have high rates of comorbidities with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. “Physical exercise improves all of these conditions,” Brown said. “But there’s not enough awareness of the value of physical exercise. He pointed to the state of Maine which has much higher rates of comorbidities than the national average. “With the exception of Portland, where rates are lower, the state of Maine is not a good example of how to live a healthy life.” Brown reported that 33 percent of Mainers suffer from heart disease and arthritis.

Brown said the Arthritis Foundation (arthritis.org) recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week. “Any exercise is valuable,” he said. “Even if you can’t do 150 minutes, just keep the joints moving.” He also said that body weight impacts the severity of heart disease and arthritis. “So get your weight down and do 150 minutes of exercise a week.” He recommended following a plant-=based diet and taking the time to determine which foods exacerbate inflammation. “Everyone is different, so diet will be different for everyone. Tom Brady avoids nightshade vegetables because he’s sensitive to them for inflammation.”

Brown recommended the services of a physical therapist who is trained to look at body mechanics to develop a theory as to why pain is happening in order to develop exercise solutions. He also demonstrated a number of exercises that help in the treatment and prevention of arthritis. (Videos demonstrating these are on the Arthritis Foundation website arthritis.org.)

Paul pointed to Bob Traill as one of the most inspiring people he knew. “He’s exercising regularly, almost every day. Look at him: he doesn’t look a day over 75!”

 

(L - R: Bob Traill, Paul Brown, and President Don Zillman.)

 

 

05/11/18 Paul Brown - Arthritis Health Care Practitioner Bob Martin 2018-05-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

As the Sam L. Cohen Refugee and Human Rights Clinical Professor, Anna Welch oversees Maine Law’s Refugee and Human Rights Clinic and teaches the Immigration Law seminar. She serves as a clinical professor and supervising attorney, as a classroom teacher, and as an advisor to students who are interested in immigration law and human rights.

Professor Welch previously served as a Fellow at Stanford Law School, where she taught and supervised students within Stanford’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.

A Maine native, Professor Welch graduated with honors and highest distinction from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studied journalism and Spanish. She then went to the Washington College of Law at American University. She graduated summa cum laude, order of the coif, and then went to Peru for a year, beginning in August of 2005, as a Fulbright Scholar. In Lima, Professor Welch worked with a non-profit organization to establish a public water management system in Chosica, one of the shantytowns known in the city as “pueblos jovenes.”

Professor Welch practiced at the law firm Verrill Dana in Portland, Maine, from 2006 to 2010. She was head of the firm’s Immigration & Global Migration Group. She also served as a volunteer lawyer for the non-profit Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) in Portland. Professor Welch was instrumental in helping to expand ILAP’s roster of pro bono lawyers for asylum cases. In 2008 she earned ILAP’s “Attorney of the Year” honor. During her time at Verrill Dana, Professor Welch taught immigration law at Maine Law, as an adjunct professor. She also helped supervise student attorneys at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. In 2010, Professor Welch spent time in Nairobi, Kenya, where she served as a refugee protection officer at RefugePoint (formerly Mapendo International).
 

*05/18/18 Anna Welch, Dir. Human Rgts Clinic at Maine Law Bob Martin 2018-05-13 04:00:00Z 0
 

Each year Portland Sunrise Rotary holds its Party With a Purpose fundraiser auction for Maine Children's Cancer Program. In this their 20th year, they've set the goal of raising a record $50,000, and would like to invite you to be part of it.

This magnificent annual event takes place at the gorgeous DiMillo's Restaurant in downtown Portland, with sweeping views of the Portland Harbor. This year they've moved the event to May 16th, 5:30-8:30 pm, so that we can better enjoy the beautiful views.

Items in this year's live auction include a photo safari in Africa, a diamond necklace and Tag Heuer men's watch from Springer's Jewelers, catered lunch in the tower at Victoria Mansion, a week's stay in Tuscany, and more! There's also a silent auction packed with amazing jewelry, artwork, and one-of-a-kind experiences. All this with complimentary food, beer, and wine, for just $30 per person. Best of all, proceeds benefit the unequaled work of Maine Children's Cancer Program, through Portland Sunrise Rotary.

Please consider purchasing a ticket today at https://fundraising.mmc.org/mccp/rotarysocial. We hope to see you next Wednesday.

Sincerely,

President Sam Heck, Portland Sunrise Rotary
 

Helping Sister Rotary Club 2018-05-09 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Traill

Our Speaker for this Friday is Paul Brown, Lead Physical Therapist for Back In Motion Physical Therapy, South Portland. He will discuss the subject – Importance of Physical Therapy for the Management of Arthritis.

In 1986 Paul obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University. Since that year he has held positions as a Physical Therapist in a hospital, in medical services companies and as the Lead Physical Therapist for Back In Motion in South Portland.

During the years from 1986 until the present Paul has taken continuing education courses in therapeutic approach to the major parts of the body such as the spine, shoulder, lower extremity pain and the nervous system. He is an expert in rehabilitation exercise.

Since the year 2000 Paul has provided valuable volunteer service first to the Beach-to-Beacon Race as an Organizing Committee member. Beginning in 2013, he has also been a Hydration Station Captain at Miles 14, 16 and 22 for the annual BAA Boston Marathon. In that position he has been responsible for overseeing from 52 to 84 volunteers in the setup and delivery of hydration fluids.
 

*05/11/18 Paul Brown - Arthritis Health Care Practitioner Bob Traill 2018-05-09 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

David Clough introduced our Rotary speaker, Erin Ovalle, the host of Maine Life, a television program that can be seen Sunday mornings on Channel 6 in Portland and Channel 2 in Bangor. The program is about Maine people and what makes Maine a special place to live. Erin describes the show as being on air, online and on the road highlighting all the beautiful places and people in Maine. Past episodes are available online at mainelifemedia.com.

Erin began her presentation with a promo for her 3rd season of the program and then discussed how she came to Maine in 2008 from Florida. She was able to secure jobs as a morning news anchor at WGME and later at WMTW. She described how she had a “lightbulb moment” when, as a morning anchor, she realized she was only telling negative or sensationalized stories and missing what she knew were the off-the-beaten-path discoveries and stories from hard working Maine people.

In 2016, she left her morning news anchor position and started Maine Life. Ms. Ovalle loves doing what might derisively be referred to in the news industry as “fluff pieces,” but to her are more important and entertaining than the typical morning news stories. Where else, she asks, could she have the privilege of interviewing Julia Clukey, the Olympic Luger from Maine, and then have coffee with Maine Senator Susan Collins. 

She describes her show as the best job she’s ever had in that she no longer has to follow the national news story motto of “if it bleeds, it leads.” Although she works about 5 jobs to make a living, she has fallen in love with Maine and is actively involved in the community and enjoying all that Maine has to offer.  

(Photo: President Don Zillman, Erin Ovalle and David Clough.)

05/04/18 Erin Orvalle, Maine Life Media Alan Nye 2018-05-08 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

With President Don Zillman calling us to order Tom Nickerson offered a poem, source unknown, titled “Seldom Put Into Words.” Its meaning- we may not put our friendships into words, but should value them every day. Our Guest Speaker, Erin Ovalle led us in the Pledge, and Past President Russ Burleigh tapped out “God Bless America” on the ivories. 

President Don welcomed 4 visiting guests,  53 members, saluted 14 May Birthdays, and congratulated 4 anniversaries for joining Rotary. Don also thanked all the members who were working behind the scenes to make today’s meeting run smoothly.


Past President Kris Rosado announced that 150 trees had been distributed to club members, all part of RI’s commitment to have a tree planted for all 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide. He moved right into an update on the Maine Outdoor Challenge, now up to 34 teams....striving for 45. Dave Seddon is looking for 4 teammates – give him a call!  2nd VP Amy Chipman added to Kris’s comments by promoting the MOC Raffle, featuring a $500 LL Bean Gift Certificate. 1 Ticket for $10, 3 for $20. Packs of 15 are available after the meeting for members to pick up and sell. Go get ‘em!


Jan Chapman welcomed Linda Freeman, Dir. Of College Counseling and Student Services for Maine Girls Academy.  Linda was here to introduce our Student of the Month, Naissa Asaro. Naissa was “an easy choice” according to Linda, because of her dedication to service and the community. Accepting the award, Naissa spoke passionately about her love of service, and proudly donating her $100 to Youth Corp, in support or accountability for youth who have broken the law. 


Around the world we go! 1st VP John Curran is back from Kosovo, traveling there with a Rotary contingent led by Roger and Liz Fagan. John reported that they had provided 32 patients with prosthetic hands, and 75 with hearing aids. The trip explored longer term relationships in the area that was once under communist rule. Located in Southeast Europe, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The area has a very active Rotary presence. Something to build on.

(Photo at left: Dr. Roger and Liz Fagan doing TV interview.)

 

 

 

(Photo at right: Dr. Roger Fagan and Prime Minister of Kosovo.)

 


If you have any electronics that can be recycled, take them on May 12 to the Falmouth Center parking lot, 9a-1p. This is a fundraiser for the Falmouth club. Donations for each item dropped off is appreciated, but not necessary.


Jesse Harvey was quoted in a Maine Voices article with regards to substance use disorder.  https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/02/maine-voices-demand-that-legislators-fund-bills-to-care-for-those-with-substance-use-disorder/


We need volunteers to assist the Food Locker program on May 21 at Blue Cross Blue Shield from 12:30-6pm. Groceries have been organized and bagged. Our job would be to greet and assist people who are in to utilize the program. The goal is help de-stigmatize the process of a free food distribution program, as there truly are people who need this assistance. For more information, please talk to Elise Hodgkin right away!


President Don noted that Dave Seddon had informed him of a very successful outing at Allagash Brewing, raising $1500.  $400 has been provided to our CHE program – Childhood Hunger & Education. Nice!


Charlie Frair provided some insight into our Communications Committee, and its importance to the club. First, our weekly Windjammer, with the hard work of our Editor and the stories of our weekly reporters. Next, our website, with various webmasters keeping it updated. Last, the Public Relations arm, with special thanks to Linda Varrell. Linda’s company, Broadreach, has offered 2 associates, who will work with us to write stories on our behalf to be posted on our Facebook page. We need 2-3 people who can set up a structure to funnel the information through. If you are interested, please contact Linda at: lindav@broadreachpr.com!


Raffle… it grows, and will keep growing because John Houghton was kind enough to pull the Seven of Hearts, which pays zippo! Only the Queen of Hearts is redeemable for cash, which will top $500 next week.
 

05/04/18 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2018-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
Photo Corner - from Kosovo 2018-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
An amazing volunteer recognition event was held for Portland Rotary volunteers at Lyseth School! They gave us thank you notes and sang to us. It was quite touching.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo Corner 2018-05-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough

Maine Life takes viewers on an exploration of Maine, the state’s most interesting places, off-the-beaten-path discoveries, introduces us to fascinating locals and the stories hardworking Maine people tell.   Host Erin Ovalle highlights all the things that make Maine a special place to live and work.  

Erin is a former morning news anchor on Portland TV stations WGME and WMTW.  She grew up vacationing in Maine and like so many, fell in love with the state. Erin worked in broadcasting in New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan and Florida, before returning back to be the morning anchor here in Maine.  When not traveling the state, Erin enjoys volunteering in her community, spending time outside with her pup, Baxter, and checking out the many delicious restaurants Maine has to offer.

“I spent a lot of my career covering the news of the day behind the desk but missing the personal stories and people actually shaping Maine and our economy,” says Erin. “Maine Life is not only taking on personal and authentic stories but we’re also engaging with new and existing audiences both on air and online, giving viewers the chance to engage on their terms.”

Now in its third season, Maine Life can be seen Sunday mornings at 11:30am on Channel 6 in Portland and Channel 2 in Bangor.  Past episodes are available online at mainelifemedia.com .

There’s more to the Maine Life and Erin Ovalle story – how she got the idea and what are some of the most interesting episodes to date – as we will hear this Friday.
 

*05/04/18 Erin Ovalle, Maine Life Media David Clough 2018-05-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Last Friday we were pleased to be hosted by Bob Clark at the Boys and Girls Club on Cumberland Avenue.  Thanks to our contacts through The Long Creek Youth Development Center, we were fed a scrumptious meal, served by two residents, Ernie and Alex, who were about to head out to play basketball at northern Maine higher learning institutes.
 

Past President Cyrus Hagge offered up a thoughtful inspirational moment with humorous quotes from Mark Twain. 


Past President Bowen Depke reported that the Allagash Brewery fundraiser/social event was a rousing success. As he handed President Don Zillman a wad of cash, in an undisclosed sum, Bo thanked all who attended and donated for our ongoing effort to support the club’s CHE (childhood hunger and education) project.  Rusty Atwood mentioned that his wife Sue won a wonderful door prize at the event.  Many thanks to all who made this happen, especially Dave Seddon, the organizer extraordinaire. 


Rotary International is in the process of handing out 1,200,000 trees to clubs around the world.  Each tree, representing a Rotarian, will be planted in an effort to keep our planet green and breathing.  Past President Kris Rosado is spearheading our give-away so, if you’d like to plant a small tree in your yard (or anywhere!), please contact Kris.
 



Gracie Johnston
thanked those who participated in serving meals at the Preble Street Resource Center last Wednesday.  Seven folks gave of their time, including Megan Peabody, who was, on Friday, celebrating her acceptance into her master’s program at USM.  


Xavier Botana, the superintendent of the Portland Schools and one of our newer members, was recently named a “Change Maker” byThe United Way, one of the highest honors from this group. Congrats, Xavier!


A $500 check was given to Mike Robinson, who accepted on behalf of the “K-9’s on the Frontline” program, which was selected via a club vote last month to receive a portion of the funding available after our extremely successful Veteran’s program last fall.  


The Maine Outdoor Challenge is quickly approaching, as Patty Erickson reminded us from the podium.  She asked that we all keep our eyes and ears open for silent auction items as we are out and about in Greater Portland.  Restaurant and store gift certificates are an easy ask and, if needed, you can grab a letter explaining the process from Past President Kris Rosado to show for bona fides. We are also looking for gently-used sporting equipment, such as canoes, kayaks and bikes, to help as auction items.  And, lastly, 2nd VP Amy Chipman is handing out raffle tickets to all members (1 for $10, 3 for $20), with the winning ticket being awarded a $500 gift certificate to LL Bean.


Our tables were adorned with very sweet thank you notes from the young students at Lyseth School in Portland, who are  so very appreciative of our efforts, spearheaded by Past President Laura Young, to read to these young people. (See Photo Corner for photos of special event at Lyseth School for Portland Rotary volunteers.)


Past President Peter Goffin offered up a surprise Paul Harris Fellow to one of our most vibrant and active members, Mike Fortunato, who seems to have his hand in every aspect of our club.  Peter, who joked that he had “run out of relatives to honor,” mentioned the Veteran’s luncheon and our Long Creek mentoring programs as two examples of Mike pitching in, often over and above, during just the past few months.  With his extra efforts ongoing for many years now, Mike should be an example to us all of how “Service Above Self” should not just be a slogan, but a way of life. 


 

The weekly raffle was led by Jennifer Frederick. Mike Robinson's name was selected, but he did not find the Queen of Hearts allowing the pot to grow for next week.


 

04/27/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-04-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Small business is a driving force in our economy. It’s not much of a leap to correlate small business and family business, especially when they are starting out. Not all family businesses remain within the financial or government definition of a “small business.” A better understanding of the dynamics of starting, developing, sustaining and passing along a family run business was the focus of our recent meeting. Bob Martin introduced the club to Catherine Wygant Fossett, the Executive Director of the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB), and Jennifer Nemi, a third generation principal of Franklin Printing located in Farmington, Maine.

Catherine was well armed with charts and statistics laying out the challenges that are common to small business and are often accentuated when it’s a family affair. It is claimed that as much as 70% of our U.S. GNP can be traced to small, family-owned businesses. Clearly, they represent a significant and powerful segment of the economy and are worthy of assistance. It comes as no surprise that it was a prominent patriarch of a family-owned business who started the IFOB. In 1994 Shep Lee and his daughter, Candace Lee, were living the life and working through the labyrinth-like path toward a successful transition of a family-owned business to an offspring. They employed their experience and financial support to get the IFOB off to a great start and the success is proven. The Institute works in association with the University of Southern Maine, Thomas College and Husson College to assist family businesses prepare for the known and unexpected hurdles of business, as well as the olympian high jump of transfer and transition to succeeding generations.

The IFOB has been working on coming up with solutions to the problems of family-run businesses and has developed over 40 programs to offer examples of successful solutions. They hold a number of social gatherings to facilitate the development of relationships that can become mentoring opportunities. We now have the luxury of the internet which provides an easy access portal for members to access as they search to find the secrets of a successful family-owned business and the successive transfer of such.

We were introduced to Jennifer Nemi, a third-generation principal of Franklin Printing. The company has been active in the IFOB for many years and enthusiastically endorses the organization as a resource. Franklin Printing was started by Jennifer’s grandfather some years ago and has gone through the typical periods of downturn and obstacles. The initial iteration of Franklin was that of a small local journal.  The world of newspapers, long before the internet, has always been extremely competitive, demanding and littered with failures. As times and finances changed for Franklin they evolved from the nucleus of being a newspaper into a printing facility, thus capitalizing off of the fundamentals of the business. It follows that you are always taking the job home with you and that can magnify the explosiveness of dinner discussions. It is essential that those involved with running a family-owned business have both an information source as well as an outlet for those pent up emotions and problems.

The statistics accentuate the need for an organization such as the Institute for Family-Owned Business, in order to facilitate the development and transition of this huge economic engine. Family-owned businesses represent 80-90 percent of U.S. commercial ventures while providing jobs for about 62% of the workforce. The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a valuable resource for this segment of the economy and the business secrets for day-to-day operations and their continued success.

(Photo: Bob Clark, Bob Martin, Catherine Fossett, Jennifer Nemi, and President Don Zillman.)


 

04/27/18 Catherine Fossett & Jennifer Nemi John Marr 2018-04-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall
Rotary Short Term Youth Exchange

Hopefully you got the email announcing the District pilot program for Rotary Short Term Youth Exchange, for this summer.  If your high school age family member would like to go to Italy or France for 3-4 weeks this summer and then host a French or Italian student for 3-4 weeks, contact Dick Hall, Megan Peabody or Jan Chapman.  Applications are due in the next two weeks.

 
Rotary Short Term Youth Exchange Dick Hall 2018-04-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

LET THE DAY BEGIN

As long has been our custom, President Don asked Past President Russ Burleigh to inspire us with an appropriate invocation.  It was a week of noteworthy persons passing.  Russ offered recognition of three who have gone to join the choirs of heaven, including Barbara Bush.


GUESTS ALWAYS WELCOME

We had two visiting Rotarians, including Assistant Governor Bill Anderson.  To provide balance we had a like number of non-Rotarian guests.  We remind you to invite guests and acquaint them to the fun and friendships spawned by Rotary as we give back to our community and the world.   Rotary should always be seen as inviting and inclusive and it is essential that we share the experience by inviting a guest to meetings.


VETERANS SUPPORT

Our club continues to reach out to the veterans in our community. Charlie Frair and Paul Tully are hard at work putting together our Veteran’s Day luncheon, which offers recognition and provides a $1,000 donation to two Veteran-related organizations.  This year our two recipients will be "The Betsy Ross House" and "The House of Hope.""  Although our funds limited us to those above mentioned organizations, we have a number of generous members who were wanting and willing to contribute to the cause and we raised enough to give $500 to “Horses For Healing” and “Veterans Count.”


CARING FOR KIDS

Our concentration on programs related to eliminating Childhood Hunger and supporting child-related education and literacy, referred to as CHE, continues thrive and expand.  Among our efforts is our involvement with the kids of the Cedar Unit at the Long Creek Youth Development Center.  Every month a group of us meets at the Center and sit down with the kids to enjoy a night of snacks and games to assure the kids that they are not forgotten and there are people outside who are willing to help them,  We meet the third Tuesday of the month and we need more member support and encourage you to join us.  If you are interested contact our Friends of Long Creek members, Mike Fortunato, Jim Willey or Dave Putnam for further information.  The kids and staff really appreciate the attention and the hope we bring.


A SPECIAL LUNCHEON AT THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB

The Maine Outdoor Challenge has long been associated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine.  The Clubs are a fabulous resource for the children who need a safe place to go when they aren’t attending school.   To help our Rotary Club better understand what the Clubs do, we are holding our next meeting (April 27th) at their clubhouse located on Cumberland Ave, in Portland, across the street from the Portland High School.  The meeting will be all the more meaningful because the food will be catered by the Culinary Arts group of the Long Creek Youth Development Center.  Please plan on attending, bring a guest, and see a couple of the organizations our efforts support.  You will enjoy a delicious luncheon and gain insight all in one sitting.


SHARING ROTARY – THE YOUTH EXCHANGE

Past President Dick Hall introduced the club to a “beta” program our local Rotary Clubs are sponsoring to bring High School students to the United States for a few weeks during the summer.  While the concept of a Youth Exchange is nothing new to Rotary, this program brings a new twist to it.   Typically the exchange is during the school year and involves a protracted time commitment, which can be a challenge.  Consequently, we have come up with the summer program, similar to a summer camp experience, to make it easier and more inclusive.  The kids will be here for 3 or 4 weeks and will visit local clubs while  in local homes.  Initially, the students will come from France, Italy and Equador.,


HELPING AT PREBLE STREET

he Gracie Johnston has been heading up the Community Service Committee for our club, this year.  She is always bubbling with energy and great ideas.  One of her efforts is to offer 10 scholarships to individuals who are trying to recover from drug addiction.  The sessions are 5 weeks long and are offered as an important and helpful step in the recover process.  Gracie and our club will also be helping the community in need by serving dinner at the Preble Street Center on Wednesday (April 25th), starting at 3:30 with an expected conclusion around 5:30, so we can go out for beer and fellowship with Ben's Brew Gang.


WEEKLY RAFFLE

The weekly raffle, ably run by Jerry Angier, had lucky member 2nd VP Amy Chipman's name drawn out of the holding vessel to try and find the Queen of Hearts. Unfortunately, Amy did not find the Queen, leaving the pot to grow for next week.

04/20/18 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2018-04-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Peter Noyes introduced his longtime friend and favorite brother in law, Ford Reiche. Ford’s grandfather, Howard Reiche, Sr., was a fixture of Portland Rotary for many years and also Principal of Portland High School. Additionally, Ford was also a past member of Portland Rotary and sponsored Peter’s application. 

(Photo L-R: Peter Noyes, Ford Reiche and President Don Zillman.)

Ford has had an interesting professional career as a lawyer and as a businessman. Moreover, he has acquired and restored several buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ford presented an overview of the 3 year restoration of Half Way Rock Light Station, located on a two acre rock ledge in Casco Bay.  

Lighthouses were once essential to navigation along the coast of Maine in the years before railroads became the essential to commerce; but technology and GPS have replaced their functions. Navigators followed the lighthouses into Casco Bay with the sequencing “First Monhegan, then Sequin, Halfway Rock and then you’re in.” Three people were assigned to the lighthouse, but two lived on the rock while a third would be given shore leave. It was very tough living with dreadful weather conditions. Their primary job was to keep the glass on the light clean so the beacon could shine bright during storms. They worked to keep the glass clean even during icy weather. Lighthouse keepers also kept detailed written hourly records about weather conditions. Every day of work was involved in doing maintenance and chores.

In 1975, technology allowed for automation of Halfway Rock lighthouse although a crude weather monitoring station was installed. In 2005, Halfway Rock Lighthouse Station was listed as one of the historic places in Maine most in need of restoration. Indeed, the granite structure and living quarters were devastated by erosion caused by severe weather conditions over time.

His story about the lighthouse restoration has been featured on Bill Greene’s Maine and online videos and as part of the online Building Off the Grid DIY series.  

Ford presented a slide show to demonstrate the progress of the lighthouse restoration. Achieving the goals of the restoration to be consistent with the National Historic Places requirements was a challenging and daunting process. First of all, it took him 18 months to finalize the purchase of the abandoned lighthouse due to confusion about how the paperwork for the site had been filed in Massachusetts rather than in Maine.

Restoration must be done in compliance with the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) meaning the paint finishing and window types must be approved. Building permits were needed but determining what town to obtain one was unclear. Eventually, Yarmouth became the town where the permits were obtained. Restoration style is consistent with how the lighthouse looked during the historic period following World War II. During the restoration, a bottle of liquor with the dated inscription “Christmas 1938”, was discovered behind one of the paneled walls.

Access to the lighthouse is dangerous. The Coast Guard uses helicopter transport to visit for light maintenance and to change the LED bulbs. Ford travels to the rock in a pea pod dinghy, during calm seas. He receives communications from people who have a personal connection with the lighthouse, including from former lighthouse keepers.

Information about Halfway Rock Light is available in Lighthouse Digest: www.lighthousedigest.com/  and with the American Lighthouse Foundation: www.lighthousefoundation.org. Ford is also composing a book. The website is www.HalfwayRock.com or contact Ford at the email Ford@FordReiche.com.
 

(Halfway Rock Lighthouse)

 

 

 

 

 

(Halfway Rock Lighthouse)

04/20/18 Ford Reiche, Lighthouse Restoration Julie L'Heureux 2018-04-23 04:00:00Z 0
Founded in 1994, the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout Maine.  We strive to be a comprehensive resource for family business owners, executives, and employees. With the support and input of our members, associate partners, and sponsors, we continue to grow and welcome new participants who are availing themselves of our over 40 programs, educational opportunities, and events—more than 1,000 people in the past year alone!
 
Catherine joined the IFOB in 2014 as its executive director.  Prior to joining, she was the executive director of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce where she oversaw the 50th Anniversary of Windjammer Days, developed the Claw Down Lobster Bite Competition, and annually produced the region’s definitive travel guide.  She is a graduate of the Maine Association of Nonprofits’ Executive Leadership Institute. 
 

Jennifer Nemi is a member of the third generation of a family-owned printing business, Franklin Printing in Farmington, Maine.  Her grandfather Joseph Nemi started the company in the late 1960’s by purchasing the Livermore Falls Advertiser and Franklin Journal.  In the late 70’s, early 80’s Joe’s two sons came on board, Greg and Dick. The business expanded throughout the 70’s and 80’s by continually increasing its commercial printing sales. In 1986, at the urging requests of his sons, Joe decided to sell the newspaper business and focus solely on commercial printing. Over the years Franklin Printing has continued to grow and reinvest its profits into the most advanced equipment in technology. In 2008 it moved into the digital printing business adding another market segment to the mix. Today their services range from offset printing to wide format and they are one of the top 24 finalists for the Maine Family Business Awards.

For more information on the IFOB - Visit www.fambusiness.org
 

*04/27/18 Catherine Wygant Fossett & Kathy Grammer 2018-04-23 04:00:00Z 0

Rusty Atwood introduced Lee Urban.  Lee was formerly in two Law Firms, then Portland’s Economic Development director.  After that he enrolled in an extended teacher program, and then gravitated to the ukulele.  

Lee started by telling us that the power of the ukulele is that it is OK to smile, laugh and giggle.  That is what the ukulele is all about.  The ukulele brings to mind Tiny Tim, Arthur Godfrey,and  silly shirts. It is small and has a very easy learning curve.

The ukulele was brought to Honolulu from Madeira  8/23/1879, on the British ship Raven’s Craig. Both the  King and Queen of Hawaii fell in love with it.  There are two ways to pronounce it, and either is OK.  The name can be translated to mean Leaping Flea, Jumping Flea, or Gift from Afar.  In 1915, Hawaii introduced the ukulele to the world at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  It was introduced again to rest of USA, in 1949, when the first plastic UK was created. Authur Godfrey sold 350,000, for $2 each, in a year.  He sold millions over the next few years. Rock and Roll killed the uke for a while, but in the 1980s, Independent bands picked it back up.  Now ukesters are taking over in the elementary school.  There was a old out concert Thursday night, at the Merrrill. Hundreds came to the uke festival last year and thousands are  expected this summer.

Studies show:  The ukulele breeds group cooperation and teamwork.  The Ike has been shown to help students achieve because it is fun to learn.  Ukuleles heal the world. After a four day class, one nine year old girl said  “It is going to be a better world if people teach other people to play the UK.” Powerofuke.com is a commercial enterprise which says they unleashes the power of business, through the ukulele.  Neurologist have said that bringing one to the hospital helps to eliminate fears.  The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital just got 20, and will give them away.  The Survivor Girl Ukulele Band assists girls to escape prostitution in Calcutta.

Learning to play it is easy.  You never have to practice.  All playing is fun.  Find a song you like, and then you play it.  It is far more important to make music than to be good at making music.  Lee proceeded to teach 13 Rotarians, who had never picked up a Ukulele before, to play.  He taught the basics:  Singing, Strumming, and Fretting in less than 10 minutes.  While learning the basics, the group serenaded us with Row, Row, Row Your Boat, in three versions, first with the chords C6, then the chord C, and finally with the the chord C7.  After that, he spent another three minutes teaching the orchestra Down in the Valley!  They received a standing ovations, from two people!!!!  Selfies and autographs were gladly offered after this premier concert.

 

Lee Urban and accompanying ukulele players.

04/13/18 Lee Urban, The Power of a Ukulele Dick Hall 2018-04-18 04:00:00Z 0

PLEASE EXCUSE THE BREVITY OF THIS REPORT, BUT WE WERE MISSING A BITS & PIECES REPORTER.

President Don Zillman opened the meeting, John Houghton led pledge, and Kathy Grammer led patriotic song.


Past President Laura Young nominated and elected a new Sergeant-at-Arms, Dave Putnam.  Our current Sergeant-at-Arms has work conflicts and felt it necessary to to relinquish the position.

 


 

Don talked about the Pyramid of Peace application and the number of hours of service.

 


Checks were presented to "Honor Flight" and the "Ross House" from the Veterans' Recognition programs.

 


 

Past President Jim Willey introduced our newest club member: Kim D'Amaro, of the Salvation Army. 


The Maine Outdoor Challenge –  Members were asked for teams and donations.  “If you are going out to a restaurant, after paying the bill, ask for a donation for the silent auction.


Portland Rotarians will be working at the University Hospital Clinic in Prishtina, Kosovo the last week of April. John Curran will be setting up a prosthetic hands clinic while Liz and Roger Fagan set up an audiology clinic.
 

04/13/18 Bits & Pieces 2018-04-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Peter Noyes

Ford Reiche’s passion for Maine and its history stems from his family’s many generations in the state. A self-made historian, he has acquired and restored several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including houses, a railroad station, and most notably, Halfway

Rock Lighthouse—a complex, hands-on, extensively researched undertaking. Maine Preservation Association recognized the project with its 2016 Preservation Award, and the American Lighthouse Foundation presented Reiche its 2017 “Keeper of the Light” award honoring his “contribution to the preservation of America’s lighthouses and their rich tradition.” 

Perched on a barren ledge of two acres at the mouth of Casco Bay, Halfway Rock Light Station is a remote, wave-swept beacon, nearly inaccessible and totally exposed to the ravages of Mother Nature. The lighthouse’s 76-foot-tall granite tower and the attached two-story wood structure built of huge frame timbers present a striking image on the water.

Halfway Rock was a fully staffed lighthouse of the federal government from 1871 until 1976, when it was automated and essentially abandoned. The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, but its deteriorating condition soon earned it recognition on lists of endangered and “doomsday” lighthouses. In 2014, it was deemed surplus federal property and auctioned. Ford Reiche, the winning bidder, acquired the light in 2015.

Reiche has devoted significant energy and resources to preserving Halfway Rock Light Station in what Lighthouse Digest has described as “a miracle restoration in Casco Bay, Maine.”

A former attorney and entrepreneur, Reiche’s background includes founding Safe Handling, a firm that reduced the cost of moving certain goods by eliminating their water so they could be shipped in a dry state to their point of use. He was named a business leader of the year in 2008 by Mainebiz.

A graduate of the University of Maine, Orono, with a JD from the University of Maine School of Law, Ford lives in Freeport with his “quite patient” wife, Karen.
 

*04/20/18 Ford Reiche, Lighthouse Restoration Peter Noyes 2018-04-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman began the meeting with Charlie Frair giving the unique and comical invocation about the surprise return of a Bunny. We did the Pledge and Bill Blount led us in a patriotic song. President Don welcomed 1 visiting guest and 47 Rotarians – with a special note about Kerck Kelsey – a former Rotarian with our club and Past President of the Boston Rotary Club. 


Present-elect John Curran presented an excellent slide show and discussion about two clinics helped in the Dominican Republic by our 3H project and he focused on various individuals helped by advances in prosthetic hands. It was a moving presentation about the impact this project makes on individuals who so desperately need our assistance.


Gracie Johnston and Jessie Harvey took the podium and spoke about the Recovery Initiative and helping those with a substance abuse disorder. They discussed ways for Rotarians to participate in the Recovery Coach Academy and noted that classes are starting in mid-May.


Past President Ben Lowry spoke from his table and reminded us about a club trip to the Allagash Brewery on April 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost is $30.00 ($35.00 at the door). This is a fun social event and opportunity to invite new prospective members.



President Don noted that our trees from Rotary International are due to arrive on April 20/21 and all those who purchased them should be ready to pick them up. He also noted that Lyseth School has a celebration on April 24th at 9:30 am to thank folks who participated in the reading to students.



Past President Kris Rosado
is gearing up for our major fundraiser: "The Maine Outdoor Challenge" and invited all interested in volunteering to attend a meeting on April 11th at the Boys & Girls Club in Portland. Contact Kris for more details.


The raffle was conducted by Matt Wolcott and Eric Greven was chosen and graciously missed pulling out the Queen of Hearts, leaving the pot of $362 to grow until our next meeting. 



Rusty Atwood reminded us that Lee Urban will be our speaker on the 13th and he’ll be discussing and showing the 'Power of the Ukulele.'
 

04/06/18 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2018-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

What do rock ’n roll superstar Bruce Springsteen and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett have in common?  They love to play their ukuleles!  It seems as if more and more people - young, old, and in-between - are picking up a ukulele nowadays.  But why is that?  What is the attraction of a ukulele?

Lee Urban plays ukulele and believes passionately in the power of the ukulele to do lots of things besides making cheerful music.  As Lee will describe in his presentation, the ukulele is used by music therapists in hospitals to address children’s physical, emotional, and social needs.  A song played on a ukulele can bring back memories to those living with Alzheimer’s.  Learning to play a ukulele can enhance social skills in children and peace of mind in adults.  

Best of all, a ukulele is fun and easy to play. Anyone can learn to play a song or two in just a few minutes.  Immediately following his presentation, Lee will demonstrate a 10-minute ukulele les-son with any Rotarian who’d like to experience the joys of a ukulele.  No prior musical experience needed.  No need to know anything about music.  No need even to have a ukulele be-cause Lee will have several to share.  All you need is the desire to have some fun.
 

*04/13/18 Lee Urban, The Power of a Ukulele Rusty Atwood 2018-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

At our last meeting, David Clough introduced us to his high School friend, Bill Brennan. These guys must have had a great time during their time together at Kent’s Hill Academy, because their repartee was worthy of Saturday Night live, as they threw jabs at one another.  For a while some might have wondered if MMA was going to be mixed martial arts, for the day.  However, things settled down and both gentlemen assumed their usual professional persona and we learned a great deal about the Academy.  For example, MMA is a stand-alone institution and not part of the Maine University system. Mr. Brennan’s personal story is almost as interesting as the history of the school.  One might opine that he was born into the job since he succeeded his father as President of the Academy.  

Maine Maritime was created by an act of the legislature, vigorously promoted by Senator Ralph Leavitt father of club member Bill Leavitt, and came to fruition in 1941. Proving that politics changes little over the years, it turns out that the remote location, picturesque Castine, was not the choice due to aesthetics. It seems that a local school, Eastern State Normal School, had closed down and the building needed a tenant as much as the community needed the jobs, so it was a match made in Augusta, if not heaven. Travel to the school is a bit of an exercise but worth the trip, given the beauty of the surroundings and the astounding education.

The Academy is much more than a teaching facility for sea going mariners. Every graduate of MMA goes off to sea when they gain their degree, many stay on terra firma and utilize their expertise in land based engineering jobs, think ship building and safety services. As the merchant marine service of the United States has gone through momentous changes since WWII and mid Twentieth Century, the Academy has kept pace by providing much needed mariners along with well schooled engineers and students of management. The current enrollment of the school is about 950 students with a faculty of 110. The school employs 312 in total and has a payroll of close to 18 million dollars, which includes the cost of the flagship State of Maine training vessel. We get a great bang for our buck, since the school is considered one of the best in the U.S. and highly regarded worldwide. Students are often the first in their family to gain a college degree and most of them receive some form of financial support, but it doesn’t all come from the State. The graduates are highly recruited as is proven by 90% of the graduates having a job within 90 days of getting their degree! U.S. News & World Report, as well as Brookings and others rate MMA as one of the best. The students are well mannered and disciplined with a retention rate of 82%, despite the remote location. These kids are in school for a great education not a fabulous frat party. In fact, drug testing is required since there is an association with the Coast Guard.

The highlight of every sea going student is the time they spend on the schools ship, The State of Maine, which travels the globe and is well recognized wherever it travels. This is not a pleasure cruise, by any measure. The students are put through rigorous paces and must take care to keep the ship in shape and functioning to the highest of maritime standards. The ship uses about $900,000 on its tour but it’s money well spent as proven by success of the alumni and the distinction of being rated the number one Public College in the U. S. by Money Magazine.
 

 

 

04/06/18 Bill Brennan, Maine Maritime Academy John Marr 2018-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
2018 Maine Outdoor Challenge Kris Rosado 2018-04-05 04:00:00Z 0

On March 2, 2018, with District Foundation Chair and PDG Marty Helman in attendance as our speaker of the day, Club Foundation Chair and Past President Dick Hall summoned the “man in the orange vest” John Houghton to come forward. John was neither hunting or directing traffic, but was to be honored for receiving his Paul Harris Fellow +3 pin, for his contributions to the Rotary Foundation. John participated in one of our “Circles,” where 5 members pledge $200 a year, and then nominate one member to be the recipient of the PHF. Thank you John!

(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, District Foundation Chair, PDG Marty Helman, John Houghton, and Club Foundation Chair and Past President Dick Hall.)

Excerpted From Meeting 030218 Tom Talbott 2018-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry
Taking advantage of the LAST of winter snows at Sunday River on 3/29?
 
(Photo: Erik Greven, Larry Gross, Ellen Niewoehner, Ben Lowry and Paul Gore.)
 
 
Die-Hard Rotarian Skiiers Ben Lowry 2018-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough

In the winter of 1966 a New England family moved from Bermuda to Castine, from green grass to deep snow and cold wind off Penobscot Bay.  One member of the family arrived to become Commandant of Midshipmen.  Another memberwas an 8th-grade boy whose life was changed forevermore by that move.

Bill Brennan, who left Castine in the 1970s for college and a career, returned in 2010 to become the fourteenth president of the Academy (which includes a commission as Rear Admiral in the U.S. Merchant Marine Service). 

Dr. Brennan holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine, an M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Maine.  

His professional career includes senior legislative staff for then-Congressman John R. (Jock) McKernan, Jr.; commissioner of Marine Resources for Governor McKernan; consulting for private and public sector clients in natural resource, energy and environmental areas; administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. 

Maine Maritime Academy is a state college founded in 1941 for the purpose of perpetuating Maine’s seafaring tradition and contributing to the nation’s wellbeing. Maine Maritime has since grown to over 1,000 students, become co-educational, expanded its academic programs, and is widely recognized as one of the best public colleges in America and one of best-value educations available.  Its enviable job placement rate is over 90% within 90 days of graduation.  

What is the future vision for Maine Maritime?  How will it get there?  Learn more about these questions and others this Friday.
 

*04/06/18 Bill Brennan, Maine Maritime Academy David Clough 2018-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
03/30/18 Julie Mulkern, WinterKids Tom Talbott 2018-04-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman welcomed 49 Rotarians, and 1 visiting Rotarian, then asked Past President Tom Talbott to give the invocation on Friday. Tom selected the theme of spring and the end of winter. Past President Laura Young led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathy Grammer led us in "America the Beautiful." 


Elise Hodgkin reminded the Club to fill out the committee choice sheet for next year. 


Visiting Rotarian Lionell Nima requested assistance from the Portland Rotary Club to help him with efforts in the Congo. He is looking for volunteers to help with being board members and volunteers to help his organization with waste management and other environmental management initiatives.


The Rotary tree initiative is springing forward with the goal of planting one tree for every Rotarian around the world, or over 1,000,000 trees. Stay tuned for instructions on where to request and pick up your tree. 


Charlie Frair discussed the results of last meeting regarding veteran-based organization presentations and the selection of two organizations for the fund raising efforts: Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, and Honor Flight Maine. Additional funds are still available, and are being distributed to some of the other veteran support organizations. 


Joe Reagan hosted a telethon fundraiser on WGAN to support veteran’s initiatives, and he helped raise over $50,000, which met the goals for the event.  

 


 

Mike Fortunato discussed how the Cedar Kids at Long Creek's 'Game and Pizza' night event went well, and he thanked the volunteers who helped make the night special.  

Mike also discussed some of the needs for making the upcoming Maine Outdoor Challenge a success. These include calling for more auction items, asking volunteers to help prepare for the event, and to run the event.   


Gracie Johnston discussed the Preble Street volunteer night in which the Rotary clubhelps prepare and serve the food to those in need.  The volunteers during the recent event included over six Portland Rotarians.  


 

Elise led the raffle this week, and the speaker (Julie Mulkern) from Winterkids picked PTG's ticket out of the can. Paul Gore selected a King of Clubs, which lets the Queen of Hearts rest for another week. The pot is getting bigger, so join us next week for a chance at over $350. 

 


Nan Heald had the pleasure of introducing our newest member to Portland Rotary: Chet Randall, who works with Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Please join us in welcoming Chet to our club!

(Photo: President Don Zillman, Chet Randall and Nan Heald.)
 

03/30/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-04-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Opening the meeting at the Holiday Inn by the Bay: President Don Zillman called on David Small to lead the invocation, titled,  “Bonds of Rotary Between Us”, a reflection from Chris Offer, the Past District Governor of 5040, Province of British Columbia. 

“Let us take a moment to remember all the religions represented in the Rotary family throughout the world.  Let us also recall that when we were invited to join our Rotary clubs, we were not asked, “Are you a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, or a Sikh?” We were not asked because all religions are welcome in the Rotary family.  Please join me in a moment of reflection and thanks. With our friends beside us, and no person beneath us, with the bonds of Rotary between us, and our worries behind us, with our goals before us, and no task beyond us, with a thirst for knowledge, and a dream of a Polio-free world, we are thankful for our Rotary friends and the time we are about to share.”


Elise Hodgdon expressed thanks from Loretta Rowe for the ongoing support she is receiving from Rotarians.  

 


Jim Willey read a letter from Caroline Raymond, the Superintendent of Long  Creek Youth Development Center in Portland. She thanked Rotary for inviting her to speak at our March16, 2018 meeting and acknowledged how she enjoyed the club’s singing tradition.


Rotarians who ski are invited to meet up with Bill Blount on Thursday March 29, to travel to Sunday River. Connect with Bill for more information ~ wblount1@gmail.com.


Megan Peabody announced the April 7, District Assembly “New Generations Conference”, on April 7, 2018 at York County Community College.  You may register on the home page at this website, rotary7780.org.  One topic to be discussed is the consideration to bring back the Rotary Youth Exchange.


In the raffle kitty was an award of $304, and the drawing was led by Tom NickersonJohn Houghton’s name was drawn but he did not pick the Queen of Hearts.  On to next week!


Ellen Niewoehner announced Nick Jenkins, of Waynflete School, as the recipient of a Youth Fellowship Award.  He was introduced by Lydia Maier of Waynflete.  Nick was recognized for his active community engagement.  A $100 donation was designated to the American Red Cross dedicated to Puerto Rico Relief efforts.  Nick thanked the Rotary Club for his recognition and acknowledged the  potential for him to be a future Rotarian.


Matt Wolcott will chair the program committee beginning July, 2018, when John Curran becomes the club’s president. He requested Rotarian participation in helping to identify speakers for the club programs.  His email contact info is benjaminlee2392@gmail.com.
 

03/23/18 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2018-03-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

After our very successful Veteran’s Day luncheon last November, our club was left with an unexpected surplus of just over $3000. So, event organizers Charlie Frair and Paul Tully put on their thinking caps, hoping to meaningfully distribute these funds. The first $1000 was given to the Veteran’s Adaptive Sports and Training Program but, with the excess $2000 still in play, our group was given a unique and very difficult challenge on Friday. We heard from five Portland Rotarians, who advocated for five veteran’s causes, and we then took a vote to see which two groups would receive a check for $1000 apiece. 

With Charlie Frair holding a stopwatch set to go off at exactly five minutes, we first heard from Roxane Cole, who was flagged to give an impassioned plea for the Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, a gorgeous home in Augusta that has been established to house homeless veteran women and their children. Founded by Martha Everatt St. Pierre in 2014, this facility currently houses five female veterans and their two children, allowing these women to gain the dignity they deserve after living on the streets or in shelters. With thirty states providing this type of aid to female veterans, this is the first of its kind in Maine. 

Next up we heard about the Healing Through Horses program from new member Annie Messinger (thanks, Annie, for taking the reigns!). This equine therapy program out of New Gloucester serves 80 veterans, with approximately 45 from Greater Portland. Through psychotherapy and hands-on interactions with horses that have been donated for the cause, many vets get through the six-week program with a greater confidence and understanding of the benefits of working with these regal animals, one of which is a 1200-pound Clydesdale names Sierra. In any kind of weather, founders Sandy Fletcher and Michael Fralic are open to giving back to many of the veterans within Maine who have struggled upon their return from duty.

Mike Robinson, another fairly new member who was able to unleash his inhibitions, spoke passionately about K-9’s on the Front Line, a Portland-based canine therapy program that rescues dogs, often days from euthanasia, and pairs them with returning veterans. Funded by grants and donations such as from our club, this sixteen-week program has worked wonders for many with PTSD and/or traumatic brain injuries.  With the help and guidance from the Portland Police Department, this $60,000 training is cut back to just $4500, with no cost to the veteran, who is given a new lease on life, sometimes allowing a housebound veteran to regain the strength to re-enter the community. 

Bob Traill, a self-proclaimed “Man of Ten Thousand Words”, was able to resist the urge to pontificate for Honor Flight Maine, instead showing us a very powerful and moving video on this program which sends WWII veterans to Washington DC to visit the various memorials set up on The Mall. As the nation loses 640 WWII veterans per day, it will be just 5-7 years before all these heroes are gone, and it would truly be a gift to send as many as we are able to see these historic and moving monuments to the service men and woman who literally saved the world.  

Joe Reagan, also a new member who hopped to the podium with great enthusiasm, not only spoke for Easter Seals and Veterans Count, but thanked us all, as a full-time employee and a veteran of the Middle East conflagrations, for all that we are doing to help those Maine veterans in need. Working with the families of 125,000 veterans in Maine today, Joe and his co-workers provide support on many, many levels: food, housing, rental assistance, mental health, and utilities. With 20 veterans per day committing suicide, Joe told a very personal story of losing a beloved friend, Sgt. Mac, who took his own life a year after returning home from Afghanistan.  With Veterans Count and the backing of the venerable Easter Seals, Joe and his fellow vets are hoping to help so many very deserving families with any funding they can garner from Portland Rotary or any source. 

It was truly an inspiring meeting and one in which we not only learned so much about the ongoing needs of veterans within Maine, but a meeting in which each and every Rotarian in attendance was given the power to expedite change. 

Many thanks to Charlie Frair and Paul Tully for their ongoing efforts for our proud Maine veterans.


 

03/23/18 Veterans' Organizations Ben Lowry 2018-03-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
Julie Mulkern, Executive Director – Julie grew up in Penobscot County where snow was plentiful and outdoor play was the norm. Her favorite winter memories include bombing down a hill with her sister and cousins on a toboggan. Julie has dedicated her entire career to creating and growing programs that promote the health and well-being of Maine families. Julie joined WinterKids in 2008 as the Development Director, and became the Executive Director in 2011. Before working for WinterKids, Julie was Manager of Development & Volunteer Resources at Spring Harbor Hospital, a psychiatric facility in the MaineHealth system. She has also developed volunteer and philanthropy programs for Community Counseling Center, Case Management for Youth, and the American Cancer Society. Julie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Bates College and has certifications in philanthropy from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy & the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is currently President of the Board of Directors for the Maine Public Health Association and serves on the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend Committee and the Maine CDC Physical Activity & Nutrition Workgroup. She is an alumna of the Upsilon Class of the Institute for Civic Leadership. Julie was born and raised in northern Maine, and now lives in Gorham with her husband, Ric and winter kids, Johnny and Ben. They enjoy all the Maine outdoors has to offer, in all seasons!
*03/30/18 Julie Mulkern, Winterkids Jake Bourdeau 2018-03-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Charlie Frair

We are having a unique and unprecedented program this Friday, March 23, at the Holiday Inn.  Five exceptional Maine organizations that serve Maine Veterans will be presenting their work and asking for your support. 

Two of these organizations will be receiving a $1000 gift from the Portland Rotary Club and the members will decide which two.  Each organization will be represented by one of our Rotary members who will speak on their behalf.  When all five presentations are complete each member will receive a ballot to vote for the    two groups they want to see receive one of the gifts.

The five groups nominated by our members this year that will be represented at the meeting are:

     • The Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, nominated by Roxane Cole

     • Healing Through Horses, nominated by Annie Messinger

     • K9’s On The Front Line, nominated by Mike Robinson

     • Honor Flight Maine, nominated by Bob Traill

     • Veterans Count/Easterseals Military and Veterans Services, nominated by Joe Reagan.

Please make every effort to attend this meeting and have your vote count.
 

*03/23/18 Veterans' Organizations Charlie Frair 2018-03-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

This weeks meeting was extra special, because we gathered at Long Creek Youth Development Center and the food was prepared and served by the students involved with the Culinary Arts program, under the guidance of Chef Stevens. The students did a masterful job with the Italian dinner they prepared for their guests. Many club members expressed favorable commentary and suggested that this was the best luncheon the club has enjoyed at a meeting.

President Don called the meeting to order at the usual time. In conjunction with recent discussion and decision, we began the meeting with the salute to our flag. Past President Bill Blount lead the group, a capella, in our singing of "The Star Spangled Banner."  Well lead and well sung, despite being free of accompaniment.


Past President Jim Willey, recalled the 100-year association our Rotary Club has enjoyed with the Salvation Army, including our fundamental role in the development of the Kid’s Room at the Portland head-quarters. In order to sustain the effort to provide a comfortable space for the homeless and needy children of the community, the Salvation Army is seeking support from the Rotary and others to participate in the Sail Op which is scheduled for April 27th, from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Please contact Jim for further details and to help support a most worthy cause.

Our Portland partner club, The Casco Bay Sunrise Club, will again be hosting a wine tasting night in support of the Children’s Cancer Fund of Maine. The event will be held at DiMillo’s on April 16th. Tickets can be purchased from members or at the door.  If you’ve ever attended, you know it’s a great night, Just ask diamond George Crockett who had the lucky ticket. Our club has always been very supportive. See you there.


HOW’S LO RO?
We have all missed the energizing smile and never-ending support that Past President Loretta Rowe has given the club over decades. Loretta is a fighter, but her iIlness requires her to remain secure and free from germs and viruses as her system recovers. Her Club is making a continuous effort to offer support and Past President Tom Talbott has remained in close touch with our friend and provides regular reports. With continued progress we may be able to greet her in person in a few months or so.   Please feel free to contact her via email for now and let her know you are thinking of her.......cards and other spirit-lifting niceties are most welcome.  Oh how we miss that smile!


Our club continues to take on the need to support the Preble Street Food Kitchen, feeding our community’s homeless, by committing to help prepare and serve food once a month. Our, indefatigable, Community Service Chair, Gracie Johnston, has been organizing our outreach and asked for volunteers to come out Wednesday, March 28, between 3:30 to 6:30-7:00 to help. It is important that we commit to stay to the end and assist, which means in this case its better to show up late and stay to the end.


Charlie Frair and Paul Tully continue to spearhead our Veterans' Day program which honors those who have been part of our military serving to protect our freedoms.  We have provided a wonderful luncheon to show our thanks, but want to do more. When a Rotarian wants to do more, you can be sure, it’s going to happen. This dynamic duo has been seeking club input to recognize two veteran centric organizations to support with a contribution. As of this date, we have recognized five worthy veteran service organizations and are asking them to come and present to the club, at this Friday's meeting to help us make an informed selection for our financial support. Joe Reagan, a newer member, has jumped right in and offered some unique support. On March 29th Joe is heading up a 12-hour radio-athon to garner support for our Maine Veterans. As if that’s not enough, on April 24th there is another Veteran’s Point event planned with further details to come.


Past President Bill Blount has long been in song and a member of the Music Committee. The committee recently heard from the club and knows they are respected as part of our history and identity. He explained how they have reformed the way the club will determine when a song is appropriate for an occasion, rather than to be an obligatory part of the meeting. He provided a perfect example of the intent by leading us in the singing of “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” on this, the eve of Saint Paddy’s Day. Great job, Bill!


Our working the deck, as part of our raffle, has become a tad more difficult as the full fifty-two are back to tempting. This week Nan Heald had the chance to prove her luck by plucking the Queen of Hearts from the deck. However, me lady decided to remain in waiting and let the treasure develop to entice interest and dollars.  Sorry Nan we were all wishing you well.


When it comes to fun events, you’ll always find Mike Fortunato close by. Consequently, he has arranged for the club to once again have a night of suds-sipping and fellowship development by meeting at the Allagash Brewery, with a large part of the proceeds going in support of our CHE (Childhood Health and Education) programs.  The tickets are $30, if purchased in advance, but $35 if purchased at the door. Each ticket gets you into the tasting and there will be plentiful  snacks to supplement the suds. Allagash is located at 50 Industrial Way in Portland The flyers are out there for details and we hope that you will be there as well. Of course, if you want more detail, contact Mike at michael.k.fortunato@gmail.com!
 

03/16/18 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2018-03-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President Don Zillman led the Club Assembly discussions about ByLaws language. Several memoranda were emailed to members for the purpose of requesting advanced feedback for this club assembly.

Additionally, Nan Heald (at left), the Rotary Club’s Protection Officer, provided leadership information during the assembly about how to uphold our Rotarian responsibilities within the framework of the “Four-Way-Test.” In summary, the consensus of the discussion involved updates to ByLaws language related to two key issues:

• The provision about the concept intended in the word “invocation,” and 

• The Music Committee’s weekly schedule of Rotary Song Book singing and patriotic songs.  

By a show of hands, the Rotarians who were present at the Assembly supported retaining the word “invocation” in the ByLaws. Discussion supported the concept of invocations being welcoming, uplifting and inspirational messages, inclusive of all religious faiths and respectful of everyone.

Past President Bill Blount provided a brief history about the tradition of Rotary songs. In fact, several Rotary song books, dating to the club’s earliest years, are part of the club’s archives. Fortunately, the Portland Rotary has the talents of trained musicians to accompany singing and the choice of patriotic hymns. Although some of the lyrics in the Rotary song book may seem to be out of musical style, the tradition of singing is supported by a consensus of the members who discussed this topic. Preference should be considered to singing songs that contribute to the program or enhance seasonal themes, like special holidays and particular celebrations. Singing patriotic songs and Happy Birthday to Rotarians will continue. Thanks is expressed to the Music Committee for giving careful consideration to this subject because singing is a long practiced tradition in the weekly program.
 

02/26/18 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Julie L'Heureux 2018-02-28 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
 
President Don Zillman welcomed 49 members, and 1 visiting Rotarian from NYC to our Club Assembly meeting of February 23rd. 
The invocation was presented by Past President Russ Burleigh and we sang our Patriotic song.

 
Charlie Frair announced the 5 Veterans Groups we will be considering for the two $1000 contributions in April.
 

 
 
Gracie Johnston, Chair of the Community Service Committee, announced she was still looking for members to help out at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen on February 28th and how much it helps the residents. Hours for volunteers are 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. for a full shift and they could really use our help for the full shift. Thank you if you can assist. Contact Gracie at: gracie.johnston@newscentermaine.com  or  Ali Brauner, Volunteer Manager at Preble Street, 775-0026 x1162 

volunteer@preblestreet.org

 

 
 
Past President John Marr reported for the Portland Rotary group that visits with the incarcerated kids in the Cedar Unit of Long Creek Youth Development Center. This past week the group gathered with the kids and immediately got their attention by bringing Italian sandwiches, soda, snacks including St Paddy's Day cookies. Once we had their attention we got into a few rounds of high stakes BINGO with a goody back prize for every winner. It's no surprise that the currency of the Cedar realm is food. George Crockett pulled the pellets and Jim Willey emphatically annunciated the information. Dave Putnam was the Vannah White and delivered the prizes. Mike Fortunato has been the primary coordinator and calls upon Katie Brown to come up with ways to involve the kids in worthwhile projects, such as creating thank you and cheery cards for Veterans or shut-ins on the local "meals on wheels" routes. The Cedar support group meets with the boys on the third Tuesday of the month.  We need more assistance and invite anyone interested to show up at Long Creek at 6:15 PM on the third Tuesday and witness the appreciation the kids have for the work we do. These kids will be released back into the neighborhood and it's important for us to acknowledge them and give them a sense of the world they will soon return to. Rotary will be holding our March 16th meeting at Long Creek and the culinary arts team is psyched and working on an Italian theme menu, so, please plan on attending that meeting and learning more about the Long Creek Center.

 
 
Alex St. Hilaire spoke briefly about the upcoming Maine Outdoor Challenge to and touched on the Raffle and the Silent Auction.
 
Raffle: We will be looking for more club participation this year in selling tickets. Our goal is that everyone can sell $50 of tickets. We also are replacing the shotgun raffle, and need IDEAS for a new raffle item that we can conceivably obtain at a low price/for free.
 
Silent Auction: We will be having the MOC Silent Auction Solicitation Letters printed and available during every meeting going forward. They will be on the front table. We are asking that Rotarians please take one or two and try to provide at least one item to the Club. I will be also asking for volunteers for teams, and be assembling that within the next couple weeks.

 
 
Jan Chapman conducted the weekly raffle drawing, which was up to a whopping $1546 in the pot. Looks like Ben Jackson's name was drawn, but he failed to find the elusive Queen of Hearts. 
 
02/26/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-02-27 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: lrowe@maine.rr.com. Your input will be appreciated.

PROSPECT                 BUSINESS
(Sponsor)                                                                           

Kim D'Amaro               The Salvation Army
(Jim Willey)


Thank you.

Prospective Rotarians Loretta Rowe 2018-02-23 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman began the meeting by welcoming 52 members and 8 visitors, and Gracie Johnston giving the invocation with a moment of silence given to the 17 people killed in the Parkland, FL school shooting. Kathy Grammer led us on the keyboard in singing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Don reminded us to continue to collect and bring in those small bottles of shampoos, body lotion and other items we get when staying at hotels. These items are donated to local shelters and greatly appreciated by those in need.


Gracie Johnston took the podium again and reminded us of the upcoming support needed for the dinner on February 28 at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen and asked all Rotarians to lend a helping hand.


Past President Ben Lowry spoke loud and clear from his table and told us about a club trip to the Allagash Brewery on April 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost is $30.00 pp and this is a great social event and opportunity to invite new prospective members.


Past President Jim Willey reminded us that we are meeting at the Long Creek Youth Center facility for our meeting on March 16th and said that the speaker with be the new Superintendent, Caroline Raymond.


Charlie Frair is still looking for ideas for veteran organizations that could use a $1000 donation from our fund raising efforts of last year’s veteran’s dinner. Contact Charlie with your nomination.


President Don reminded us of the "District’s Frugal Feast" to be held at the Woodfords Congregational Church on February 23rd at 5:30 pm. This meal is in celebration of the District’s World Understanding and Peace Day in Rotary and will focus on food insecurity issues. He also reminded us that the annual Rotary Leadership Training is coming up on March 24th at the York County Community College and all Rotarians are invited to attend.


Past President Dick Hall then had the privilege to announce Kathy Grammer and Dave Putham as Paul Harris Fellows – both for the second time! Thank you both for your contributions to the Rotary Foundation.


Glenn Nerbak then introduced the Principal of Portland High School who told us about the admirable accomplishments of our latest Youth Service Award winner, Tasha Tracy.


The weekly raffle was conducted by Rusty Atwood and Tom Ranello’s name was chosen. Tom graciously pulled the Jack of Clubs, leaving the pot of $1,497 to grow until our next meeting.
 

02/16/18 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2018-02-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

During the introduction, Bob Martin told us about the death of many print media companies and that digital media has more eyes than print media.

Reade Brower immediately said that if he knew it was as bad as Bob says, he would not have bought the paper.  Reade told us that he never intended to buy the Portland Press Herald, but it happened when his printing company wanted to get the printing contract.  In discussions over the contract, Donald Sussman had another idea.  Donald Sussman offered Reade the ability to take over all of Maine Today Media’s assets. Donald found it very difficult running a paper while being married to the US Representative from the area.  Reade agreed to the purchase because he wanted to save the jobs and save the community newspaper.  He retained 99+% of the employees and has let the talented staff continue to do what they do so well.  He has introduced a number of cost savings and the paper is now on solid footing.  

Reade explained how he started in the business as a paperboy but when he moved to Maine, following his girlfriend, he could not find a job.  He recounted how he was told he did not have enough experience for lift attendant at the Camden Snowbowl.  With no prospects, he started a coupon book for downtown merchants. He realized he needed some content, so he morphed the coupon book to the The Free Press, a fixture in mid-coast Maine for over 25 years.

Reade told us that he was very successful in the advertising publications, and these led to opportunities when others were falling on hard times.  His philosophy is that communities need community newspapers, and the papers need to be responsive to the needs of the community.  Reade himself would be apolitical in his management, but he allows each organization to develop its own voice.  Reade very rarely gets involved in any editorial decisions.  When selling adds, Reade would accept ads from anyone, although on one occasion the ad was too graphic for the audience.

Reade, after the purchase of the PPH, acquired the Sun Media Group, publisher of Lewiston’s Sun Journal and a dozen weekly newspapers in southern and western Maine, and the Rutland Herald, Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, along with affiliated print and online publications of the Herald Association in Vermont.  He did this for the same reasons, to support community newspapers and save jobs.  Since the purchase all are on firm financial footing

When asked about the future, Reade confirmed that he only has a 10-minute plan.  He had a back-and-forth reminiscing with Gracie Johnston, as she worked at several of the papers which Reade now owns in Vermont.  He was also very good natured when Jim Willey suggested double bagging the paper on rainy days.

 

(L-R: Bob Martin,Reade Brower, ? and President Don Zillman.)


 

02/16/18 Reade Brower, Owner PPH and Lew Sun Journal Dick Hall 2018-02-19 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Don Zillman

Thanks to the 20 of you who responded to last week’s request for reactions to the Board’s suggestions for Program, Song, and Political content of the Club meetings.  Several of you expressed the desire to discuss these matters at the Friday, February 23rd meeting before reaching final decisions.  We will put this at the top of our agenda for that meeting.  All comments are welcome, but I will try to report on the consensus of the 60 messages I received in answer to our two requests for comment.   After discussion on each item, we can take an informal consensus of the Club.  If there is a close division of opinion, we may decide to put the issue to a formal vote at a later meeting.

Before the meeting I would welcome any motions that you would like to be considered by the Club.  That should speed our consideration of matters and sharpen our discussion of them.  E-message those motions to me.

Here are the Provisions of our Club Constitution and By-Laws that relate to the topics.  Amendments of By-Laws require a two-thirds vote.

CONSTITUTION

Article 13 Section 1 “Proper Subjects.  The merits of any public question involving the general welfare of the community, the nation, and the world are of concern to the members of this club and shall be proper subjects of fair and informed study and discussion at a club meeting for the enlightenment of its members in forming their individual opinions.  However, this club shall not express an opinion on any pending controversial public measure.

Section 2. No Endorsements.  “This club shall not endorse or recommend any candidate for public office and shall not discuss at any club meeting the merits or demerits of any such candidate.”

Section 3(a)   Non-Political “Resolutions and Opinions.  This club shall neither adopt nor circulate resolutions or opinions, and shall not take action dealing with world affairs or international policies of a political nature.”

BY-LAWS
Article XII  Duties of the Committees

(d) Invocation Committee  “This committee provides the invocation or opening blessing at each weekly meeting of the Club.

(f) Music Committee  “This committee is responsible for providing music, a piano player and a song leader each week.  Details and schedule will be given to the Club Administrative Coordinator and/or newsletter editor for inclusion in the Club newsletter (Windjammer).  This committee will plan musical programs throughout the year.”

Let me know if you have any questions.  I hope that we are coming to closure on these important issues.

*02/23/18 Club Assembly Don Zillman 2018-02-17 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Reade Brower began his publishing career in Rockland, Maine with a coupon book for downtown merchants. The coupon book became The Free Press, a fixture in mid-coast Maine for 30 years, and Brower’s publishing business grew to include Target Marketing, the Sunshine travel guides, and a number of publications for various chambers of commerce along the coast. The failures of other entrepreneurs expanded his portfolio as he acquired Village Soup and Courier Publications, and took over Alliance Press in Brunswick when they couldn’t pay his invoices. To make the numbers work with the printing press in Brunswick, he successfully approached the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald to outsource their newspaper printing. In 2015, when he sat down to negotiate a new printing contract for the Portland Press Herald, then-owner Donald Sussman proposed an offer for Brower to take over all of Maine Today Media’s assets.

Since his purchase of Maine Today Media, Brower acquired the Sun Media Group, publisher of Lewiston’s Sun Journal and a dozen weekly newspapers in southern and western Maine, and the Rutland Herald, Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, along with affiliated print and online publications of the Herald Association in Vermont.

In a November 26, 2017 article, Murray Carpenter of the New York Times described Brower as “an unassuming figure for a media mogul.” Media watchers don’t find Brower’s hold on the newspaper industry in Maine and Vermont in the same vein as a Jeff Bezos or Rupert Murdoch. “I don’t feel at all powerful,” Brower told the Times. “My job is to create a sustainable business model that keeps people who want to be working in this industry working. And to have enough money coming in to pay the bills and make a profit so it’s a viable business.”

Asked by Downeast Magazine whether he had a five-year or a ten-year plan for his conglomerate,  Brower responded, “I have a 10-minute plan.”
 

*02/16/18 Reade Brower, Owner PPH and Lewiston Sun Journal Bob Martin 2018-02-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry
 

Last Friday, we were fortunate to have Bob Martin introduce Susan Axelrod, managing editor of “Old Port” magazine”, a part of the successful Maine Media Collective, whose flagship publication, “Maine Home and Design”, has allowed for the offshoot of “Old Port” as well as the brand new “Ageless” publication, which hit stores just this year, targeting the 230,000 AARP members in Maine.

Susan, who grew up in New Jersey and comes from a background in the restaurant business, came to Maine in 2013 and began a new career in editing and writing, first with the Portland Press Herald and then, with “Old Port” as it began its run as a quarterly publication in 2014.  Now, four years later, the magazine puts out monthly editions, always with a theme (business, food, weddings, etc.) that tries to put a positive, yet not “pollyannaish” spin on certain aspects of Portland living.   With “Old Port” now distributed to stores, offices in libraries all around the Greater Portland area, Susan and her group of collaborators are focusing much of their attention on the “Ageless” endeavor, which, as a bi-monthly publication (editor’s note:  research shows that bi-monthly can mean twice a month OR every two months, in this case we are referencing the latter), features home, housing, food and health articles for those in the over-50 set.  This month’s “Ageless” features articles on Bethel and Hallowell, amongst other interesting stories.

With 226 print publications in Maine, the ability to draw attention from readers and get them to offline is becoming an ever-increasing challenge.  But, with the efforts of Susan Axelrod and the many folks at the Maine Media Collaborative, the days of the glossy magazines featuring fantastic articles and photography lives on.
 

02/09/18 Susan Axelrod, Editor Maine Old Magazine Ben Lowry 2018-02-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Portland Rotary welcomed two new members at our February 9 meeting. Xavier Botana, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools, was introduced to the club by Rusty Atwood. Joe Reagan, Vice Chairman of Veterans Count Maine, an Easter Seals charity supporting local Veterans, was introduced by Charlie Frair.


Alex Fitzgerald was honored for her community service with a Youth Service Award Scholarship. Alex was recognized for her leadership of Deering High School’s transgender group and advocacy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues.


Charlie Frair reminded members of the Veterans Organization “pitch-off” to be conducted on March 23. Various organizations will be selected to speak to the club on their programs and members will choose which ones will received grants from funds raised at the Veterans Luncheon. If you have nominations of organizations who should be included, please let Paul Tully or Charlie Frair know.


Gracie Johnston reminded everyone that the Club will provide dinner support at Preble Street on February 28. Please let Gracie know if you can volunteer.


Mike Reed had a chance to win $1,431 in the raffle but could only find the ten of spades. The pot inflates.


President Don reported that he had received 60 responses from members on the program issues reviewed by the Board concerning opening invocation, singing, and political speakers. The meeting of February 23 has been set as a Club Assembly. President Don requested input from anyone who wanted a motion placed before the club. A separate email has been sent to everyone on this topic.
 

02/09/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-02-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

Melissa Sweet is a well-known children’s book illustrator, and now she is also an author of books for children. Ms. Sweet spoke at the Rotary Meeting on Friday, and she let us peek into her career life by cataloging the process of both writing and illustrating a biography on E.B. White.   

In the beginning of her writing process, she described how the ideas for her books come to her often while walking her dogs, reading the daily newspaper, listening to the radio, or while talking with random people. The day she decided to write a biography on E.B. White, she was visiting with a neighbor and friend from Rockport, Maine. She must like a challenge, because she told us her opinions of biographies are that they are often dry and not too memorable. So up for a challenge, Ms. Sweet began a several-year research project digesting everything she could about E.B. White. There was no magical formula to it. She researched everything from his birth to his death, interviewed family and friends, and she noted any clues on his life that interested her.

Ms. Sweet feels that to be successful as an illustrator or author, one must go to work every day, so she follows that mantra, and we can find her in a separate work space at her home from 8 am to 4 pm. While at work, she spends time writing, illustrating, or looking at picture books. While sometimes it can be rough, Ms. Sweet finds that if she plows through the tough times, something good eventually comes out of the process.

Many of the illustrations in her E.B. White biography are actually photographs of 3-D collages that she built by hand. She explained how much of the art that she creates for books may not even be used in the final product, and that there are new museums and galleries (e.g., such as the University of Minnesota collection) for works like hers. Rather than sell her work, she has more recently started donating some of her unused or old art to these entities. She noted that storing art can be problematic and rather costly. This statement was likely another surprise she taught our club members.  

Ultimately, while teaching us about her creative work ethic and processes, we really learned quite a bit about another interesting author: E.B. White. 

 
(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, President Don Zillman and Melissa Sweet.)
02/02/18 Melissa Sweet, Illustrator of Children's Books Jake Bourdeau 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Our meeting may have taken place on the day that the Punxsutawney Phil brought us news of 6 more weeks of winter and Bill Murray may be a tad loopy, but we have President Don to keep us on track and not hiding out in a hole. We may not have had the usual audio equipment but that doesn’t affect Don, who got us going on time and doing fine and welcomed 43 members and 1 guest at the Clarion Hotel. Despite it being Ground Hog Day, it seemed like Patriots Day with all the New England Patriots swag being worn. Of course we had our own Tom Brady, number 12 (Matt Wolcott and Terri St Angelo at right), in the house bringing good vibes and a terrific game prediction from the tamer of Thailand, Ben Lowry, who predicted the Pats to win 27-17. Getting us used to change we started with a moment of inspiration in deference to the invocation with Kathy Grammer (at left) offering a meditation penned by “the other” Thomas Moore. That was followed by a masterful a cappella rendition of “America,” led by Past President Russ Burleigh.


Once again out Dynamic Duo of Charlie Frair (at right) and Paul Tully, are orchestrating a reprise of our annual event honoring of those in the military who preserve and protect our great nation’s freedoms. Every year the Rotary team takes advantage of experience and brings us to new heights. We have hardly started and already we are taking $3000 from last years success and donating $1000 to VAST and will give two similar sums to veteran organizations identified by the club members. If you have a suggestion, please make it known to Charlie or Paul utilizing the form they are preparing. Stay tuned and get your list of vets you want to invite and recognize for their service.


Drs. Roger (at left) and Liz Fagan just got back from another successful trip to the Dominican Republic (DR) to help the indentured servants of the cane fields who live in squalor in the horrid work camps. As is the custom, Roger and Liz tended to the hearing and speech needs of the poverty stricken of the batae. At the same time 1st Vice President John Curran was fitting injured workers with prosthetic arms and Dick Giles was tending to water needs and solar lights. John and Dick remained in La Romana providing additional assistance. The work this group has done for close to a couple of decades is the epitome of the “Service Above Self” creed of Rotary.


Consistent with our tradition, we recognized our members who celebrate another year in February. The particularly noteworthy accomplishment is that Past President Paul T. Gore is marking off year number 32 as a member of our club. Thanks for your service and generosity, Paul!


David Clough sold a bunch of raffle tickets to a rather thin group of Rotarians who made it to the meeting. However, that brought some luck to Linda Verrill, who had a chance to find the Queen and take home her treasure of $1,836. Linda decided to let the Queen rest and reinvest so the pot will be close to $2,000 when we pluck next week. (Photo: expressions priceless?) So, make sure you make the meeting and bring a few extra bucks to improve your luck and the club’s treasury.


The indomitable Past President Loretta Rowe remains an in patient at Maine Medical Center, as the doctors work to find the best medicine to get this special lady back to the club and friends she loves. She is not up for visitors but would enjoy getting emails and cards to help keep her spirits high. She may not be able to make the meetings but she remains involved and had her PC brought in so she could keep up with Rotary. (Update: Loretta is home from the hospital, but quarantined due to her sensitive condition. Heal quickly and well.)


Hopefully you have seen the report from Don and the committee dealing with some modifications to our customs, e.g. song and invocation. The group has provided Don with some ways to maintain the essence of our past practice and change is afoot. However, we are a proud democracy and President Don wants to hear what you think before we institute the changes. 
 

02/02/18 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Susan Axelrod is the Managing Editor of Old Port and Ageless Maine magazines and a writer for both Maine Magazine and Maine Home + Design, all imprints of the Maine Media Collective. She also blogs with her husband Ted, a photographer, at Spoon & Shutter.

Susan’s background includes editor positions at the Portland Press Herald, and the North Jersey Media Group where she was Food Editor of the Bergen Herald. She is also the founding editor of the blog Eater Maine, which has been absorbed by Vox Media. Susan describes her work as telling the “stories that highlight the astonishing diversity of this city and state.”

A frequent traveler around the state, she enjoys meeting fascinating people and learning about everything from sustainable seafood to design thinking. Before becoming a writer and editor she was a chef and owner of a busy restaurant and catering business. 

Susan lives in an 1840 farmhouse at Rainbow Farm in Yarmouth where she and her husband write about food, living in Maine, and travel.
 

*02/09/18 Susan Axelrod, Editor, Old Port Magazine Bob Martin 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kris Rosado
Fundraising Committee Meeting
Friday, February 2nd, 11:00 AM
Before our regular weekly meeting
 

Thanks to everyone’s participation, our Club has stepped up our level of activities and programs. Our focus on Childhood Hunger and Education (CHE) has helped us to expand existing efforts and develop new community project activities. In addition to our great work locally, our Hearing, Hands and H2O (3H) program has also experienced fabulous results and continued growth.
 
In order to maintain this pace and to continue to grow our programs, we will need to also grow our funding. It is up to our committee to make sure that the club has these resources. In this upcoming meeting, we will review and discuss the events and activities that we currently have, as well as discuss and plan events we might want/need to add.
 
We need you at this meeting!!
 
Thanks for all you do for Portland Rotary!
 
Kris Rosado
Fundraising Chair

 
Fund Raising Committee Meeting - THIS FRIDAY Kris Rosado 2018-02-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Melissa Sweet says she’s “been making art ever since I could hold a crayon, scissors, Etch-A–Sketch, and coloring book.” Her work is extraordinary. 

Melissa has illustrated over 100 books as well as many toys, puzzles, games for eeBoo. Her work has been in magazines, on greeting cards and as drawings on her living room walls.

She has written four books: Carmine: A Little More Red, a New York Times Best Illustrated book; Tupelo Rides the Rails; Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, a Sibert Award winner (for informational books) and a NCTE Orbis Pictus winner (for nonfiction); her most recent book, Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White, was a New York Times Best Seller and garnered an NCTE Orbis Pictus award.

Melissa has illustrated three books by author Jen Bryant: A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos WilliamsThe Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, both garnered Caldecott Honors. A Splash of Red: The Art of Horace Pippin, was a Sibert Award and Orbis Pictus Award winner.

Melissa lives in Portland and Rockport.
 

*02/02/18 Melissa Sweet, Children's Books Illustrator Bob Martin 2018-02-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Our Rotary Club meeting at the Clarion Hotel opened with President Don Zillman welcoming 45 members and one visiting guest, followed by the clever wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, read in the invocation by Past President Cyrus Hagge. Cyrus is a Ben Franklin fan. Some inspirational quotes included, “Diligence is the mother of good luck!” and “Remember, not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” An unresolved question was posed by Cyrus, about whether or not Ben Franklin would have been a New England Patriots fan? 

In recognition of Ben Franklin being a true American patriot, the Rotarians sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” led by Past President Bill Blount


(Photo left: President Don, Annie Messinger, and Tom Ranello.)

President Don asked Tom Ranello to introduce Annie Messinger, the newest Portland Rotarian. Annie is a USM graduate and currently the Director of Achievement at the Maine Girls Academy - MGA - (formerly Catherine McCauley High School). We all welcomed Annie to Rotary!


Linda Varrell, the chair of the Public Relations Committee, asked for stories to submit to the District 7780 newsletter, about activities the Portland Rotarians are engaged in to support the programs sponsored by our club.


President Don explained an upcoming draft memo he will send to members regarding the recommendations of the Program Committee. 


Although it was a large sum of $1,356, the weekly raffle was run by Bruce Jones, as Rusty Atwood's name was pulled for him to try and find the Queen of Hearts from the remaining cards in the deck. The amount will grow again as Rusty drew the 10 of hearts from the dwindling cards.
 

01/26/18 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2018-01-29 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

(Photo L-R: Megan Devlin, Charlie Frair and President Don Zillman.)

Our speakers last Friday featured home-grown club member Charlie Frair, and former member Megan Devlin, who shared with us their adventurous 100-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. This was not a walk-in-the-park, this particular section is rated the toughest part of the entire trail. A cautionary sign at the beginning of the hike forewarned worthy trekkers to bring a 10- day supply of food and be fully equipped. “Good Hiking!” 

The hike itself was 2 years in the making. Megan needed to heal from a broken arm, and Charlie, who has to take precautions due to heart/AFib issues, hired a personal trainer to prepare for the hardest physical challenge of his life. Finally, a “practice hike” was scheduled in order to test the gear, assess the backpack weight, and get a feel for it all. Everything looked easy at first, just stay on the trail. Uh-oh – they got lost in the first two hours, and endured attacks from Maine’s state bird, the mosquito. No fun! However, the duo made their way back, and was not to be deterred. The full 100-mile hike would soon follow. 

The “Trail” was rough – plenty of rocks and tree roots that were often difficult to navigate. Charlie estimates he fell down once every 10 miles, not really the thing you want to be doing out in the wilderness. It’s a long day, but at the end of the hike, the work begins! Setting up their tents, collecting water and pumping it through filters, making the meals, hanging the bear bags…it’s not easy!  The trail has some accommodations, including one old lodging camp named the WhiteHouse Landing. A little pricey, but a good meal, and good place to sleep.  Apparently, the house dog was Charlie’s nemesis, stealing his socks. Megan and Charlie took this opportunity to mail back about 15 pounds of supplies they did not feel were essential to their expedition, and lightened the load. Camping gear is far lighter and more efficient than in the past, but a pound is a pound, and the goal is to pack right and travel light. 

If you want to make friends with NOBOS and SOBOS, aka Northbound trail hikers, and Southbound trail hikers, a little bit of whiskey is an effective way to break the ice. Charlie’s Listerine bottle was actually 90 proof, and he became quite popular. Perhaps this is one of the catalysts for hikers to be given interesting nicknames as they meet each other on the trail, as real names are not used. Charlie’s call-sign was “Tiger Balm,“ which we assume was a cream for sore muscles, while Megan was known as “Chair Girl” or “Sittin’ Pretty.” Megan took it upon herself to tote along a folding chair, not something that most hikers bring along, however, she became the envy of others after a long day of hiking. 

The trail is truly a community with a spiritual feeling. On a typical day, they would see 30 or more backpackers. As you can imagine, you meet all kinds of interesting characters. Not a lot of wildlife, perhaps due to the consistent traffic. They spotted 5 snakes, 2 deer, a moose across the lake, loons, and leeches. And the aforementioned mosquitos.

Unfortunately, Charlie did have an an AFib episode, and had to cut his journey short just past the half-way mark. A friend was able to meet him on a road intersection and bring him out. This left Megan with a dilemma: Keep going by herself, or wait for another opportunity? Taking stock, she decided to press on, no excuses, just do it. Not an easy decision by any means. A bad fall along the way didn’t make things easier. However, she persevered, and completed the journey. Congrats Megan!  

Thanks Megan and Charlie for taking us on your trek, and we are glad you’re both home safe to tell us all about it!
 

01/26/18 Appalachian Trail Trek - Charlie Frair / Megan Devlin Tom Talbott 2018-01-29 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

Gracie Johnston introduced our guest speaker, Robert MacKenzie, the Kennebunk Chief of Police, who has the distinction of also being a Rotarian and Past President of the Kennebunk Rotary Club. Chief MacKenzie spoke to us about the opioid crisis in Maine and his efforts to combat it! 

But first he gave us some sobering statistics: 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed daily in the U.S. and there are 52,000 deaths nationwide due to drug overdoses. Although we spend $400 billion annually to treat substance abuse, in the next decade, an additional 650,000 people will die due to opioid overdoses. In Maine, 318 died from drug overdoses in 2016 and there are an estimated 35,000 Mainers addicted to opioids.

Chief MacKenzie has formed a new committee in our Rotary district called 'Recovery Initiative.' There are 25 members on the committee — 18 of whom are Rotarians. The Recovery Initiative focuses on all the six Rotary areas of focus: Disease Prevention, Economic and Community Development, Maternal and Child Health, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Basic Education and Literacy. 

The Recovery Initiative has already trained Rotarians at the Kennebunk and Saco Bay Rotary clubs to recognize drug overdose victims, provide first aid and even administer naloxone to combat the symptoms of opioid overdose. Chief Mackenzie hopes to train other Rotarians who can bring their training into the community and potentially save lives.

"Learn to Cope" is another program the Chief is hoping to bring to Maine. This program is a peer-to-peer recovery group where individuals can go online to learn what others are going through. This is a safe place to go for friendship and to obtain materials related to opioid addiction.

Chief MacKenzie wants to continue with his efforts to get Rotary involved in this issue and emphasized that opioid abuse has probably touched each of our lives in some way. He then took questions after his talk about: how to give the often lifesaving drug (Naloxone) to someone who has overdosed; whether or not Governor LePage has softened his stance on treating overdose victims with naloxone; and how doctors can help in this opioid crisis. 

We are lucky to have such a dedicated law enforcement official and Rotarian working diligently to combat this crisis and it’s inspiring to see his efforts include Rotarians here in Maine.

 
(Photo L-R: Gracie Johnston, Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie and President Don Zillman.)
01/19/18 Robert MacKenzie, Kennebunk Chief of Police Alan Nye 2018-01-22 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Invocation by Past President Russ Burleigh, using the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley. Somehow this turned into a Go-Patriots theme.

Gracie Johnston led the pledge, then back to Russ on the keyboard for 'God Bless America.'


President Don Zillman thanked 1st Vice President John Curran and 2nd Vice President Amy Chipman for covering the podium for him while he was traveling and trying to get his book to the editor.


President Don welcomed 48 members, 4 visiting Rotarians and 7 guests. Among our visiting Rotarians, joining us were District 7780 Past District Governor Carolyn Johnson and District 7790 Past District Governor Leni Gronros, his wife Kimberlee Graffam, as well as our speaker for the day, Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie. We also had a few guests, one of whom was described as a “Domestic Goddess,” and another was the Portland Police Chief, Michael Sauschuck.


President Don launched into a number of thank you's. He thanked all the Portland Rotarians for their meeting service, then read letters from Lyseth School (for Joan Steinberg’s mittens) and Preble Street (for the large donation of shoes).


Our Maine Outdoor Challenge committee will meet this week at the Boys and Girls Club. Contact Past President Kris Rosado or Don Zillman if you want to join the planning group. All are welcome.


Roger Fagan announced that the 3-H team was leaving for a week in the Dominican Republic on Saturday, Jan 20. This is their 21st trip and they have 200 hearing aids, 70 water filters and 70 solar lights to distribute. They also have toothbrushes, toothpaste and other personal care products which have been donated.  A week later John Curran will bring 24 prosthetic hands to fit.
 


Gracie Johnston is looking for volunteers for the Preble Street dinner Wednesday, Jan 24th. The starting time is 3:30pm. Contact Gracie if you can help at: gracie.johnston@newscentermaine.com.
She said that your hands, feet and heart are appreciated.


(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman,, Megan Peabody, PP Laura Young, Bruce Jones, David Ertz, Jesse Harvey and Gracie Johnston.)

We were treated to the introduction of three great new members: first - Past President Laura Young introduced Megan Peabody, a third-generation Rotarian who began Rotary involvement at age 8, raising funds for Shelterbox and continued on with Interact, Youth Exchange and Safe Passage. Bruce Jones introduced David Ertz, a semi-retired consulting engineer who has been active in other organizations, and now wants to serve through Rotary. Gracie Johnston introduced Jesse Harvey, the Founder and Director of Mission of Journey House, which operates two recovery houses in Sanford. He works as the Peer Support Coordinator for Greater Portland Health. Anyone who missed the meeting missed hearing three excellent introductions about three great new Rotarians.


President Don told us he was asked by District Governor Dave Underhill to name three recent accomplishments by the club. Don’s choices were: great new members; a wide range of service projects; and success and growth of the Veterans Appreciation Lunch.


The weekly raffle was run by Matt Tassey, who had our speaker pull Past President Dick Hall’s name from the holding vessel of entries, but Dick was bummed out when he pulled the Ace of Diamonds....and the pot continues to grow. (Photo: PP Dick Hall and Matt Tassey.)
 

01/19/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-01-22 05:00:00Z 0

Last July (2017) one of our members (Charlie Frair) and a former member (Megan Devlin) hiked the 100-mile wilderness trail, one of the most difficult sections of the Appalachian Trail in Northern Maine. They will be sharing some of their adventures on this hike at our next meeting.

Megan Devlin, who is about to graduate from UNE and become a Dental Hygienist, and Charlie Frair, both love the outdoors, camping and hiking and had been planning this hike for more than a year. They will be sharing a few pictures they took along the way, some of the gear they carried and introducing you to some of the people they met along the way.

Charlie has been on variety of hikes in various parts of the world, including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and yet has said that this was the most challenging hike he has ever taken. Megan is an accomplished hiker and camper in her own right. Both are looking forward to sharing this adventure with the club.

*01/26/18 Charlie Frair, Appalachian Trail Trek 2018-01-21 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

President Don Zillman opened the meeting with thanks to First VP John Curran who had filled in for him on 12/29 while he was in New Mexico. 2nd VP Amy Chipman was set to fill in for the 1/5 meeting, but due to the inclement weather, it was cancelled. Don graciously said he would cede the podium to Amy for the remainder of the meeting after one brief announcement. The Assistant District Governor (John LoBosco) has asked for some “best of” news and info from each club. Don noted there was a lot we can draw from, but recommended our Veterans Lunch, our extensive Community Service projects, and the number of new members who have joined the club. Without further ado, 2nd VP Amy Chipman took the helm. David Clough led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathy Grammer tapped out “America The Beautiful” on the keyboard.  

Amy (at right) welcomed 61 members, 6 guests and congratulated our members with January birthdays and Rotary anniversaries. 


Jake Bourdeau conducted our weekly raffle. Guest speaker Peter Van Allen was all business as he drew the hopeful contestant, PTG, who needs no introduction. Well, OK, Paul T. Gore! Not this time for the savvy player of odds, as he drew the 9 of Clubs.


Past President Dick Hall reported on Portland Rotary’s progress in Rotary Foundation giving. Since July 1st, we are at $11,885 toward our goal of $20,000. 49 club members have contributed to this number. 34 members are currently Sustaining Members with $100 per year pledges. We have 8 “Circles of Five,” where five members join together with $200 donations each for $1000 Circle. (We have 2 members who want to start a new circle - need 3 more.) 7 members have designated $1000 in their will (Sustaining PHF) or made a direct contribution to the Permanent Fund. 2 Members have bequests of $10,000 or more in their wills. Thank you one and all!  Portland Rotary encourages all members to contribute at least $25 to the Foundation every year.  

(Photo: PP Dick Hall and Mike Reed.)

Dick capped off his report announcing that Erik Jorgensen was now a Paul Harris Fellow +2, and Mike Reed a Paul Harris Fellow +6, presenting Mike with his new pin. Erik was unable to attend, and will receive his PHF pin at a future meeting. Thanks to both!

 



Bob Martin announced the Maine Medical Center Community Action Council will meet on Jan 15th at 5pm to address the needs of homeless with medical needs. See flyer below. If you would like to attend, please reach out to Bob.


(Photo L-R: Rusty Atwood, 2nd VP Amy Chipman, Alexis Pathwick-Paszye and Dan Costigan.)

Rusty Atwood, Youth Service Committee, introduced Dan Costigan, Asst Principal at Cheverus High School, who introduced our Youth Service Award recipient.... Alexis Pathwick-Paszye. We are proud to recognize her and her parents Christopher and Deborah, with a check of $1000, plus $100 donated in her name to the Kennebec Valley United Way.


(Photo L-R: Paul Tully, Kristina Sabasteanski, and Bruce Jones.)

Paul Tully and Bruce Jones were armed with good news for VAST, the Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training program at Pineland Farms. The duo presented VAST Director Kristina Sabasteanski (2x Olympian in biathalon) with $2000 in compound pulley bows. This was a follow up from our Veterans Lunch back in November, where the donation was first announced.  VAST provides veterans with disabilities a host of different physical activities and sports. It is free to those who are disabled, or those who provide volunteer support. 
 

01/12/18 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2018-01-19 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jan Chapman

Bob MacKenzie is a 29-year veteran of law enforcement, currently serving as Chief of Police with the Kennebunk Police Department. Chief MacKenzie began his law enforcement career in 1988 with them and rose through the ranks, being promoted to Chief of Police in 2008.

Chief MacKenzie is a graduate of the 243rd FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice through Husson University. Chief MacKenzie is the producer of the “Point of No Return,” a 30-minute movie which depicts the consequences of underage drinking and has been shown in 34 states. Chief MacKenzie is a Past-President of the Kennebunk Rotary Club in which he has served for the past ten years and is the Chair of the Rotary District 7780 Recovery Initiative.
 

*01/19/18 Robert MacKenzie, Kennebunk Chief of Police Jan Chapman 2018-01-19 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

“A lot has changed; a lot has stayed the same.” That was Peter Van Allen’s response to David Clough’s question in his introduction of our speaker, noting that Van Allen first addressed our club in 2015 just after he moved to Maine to assume his managing editor role at Mainebiz. “I’ve been on the road a lot,” he said. “From Kittery to Fort Kent, participating in Mainebiz events," some of them sponsored by our own Peter Moore.

He pointed to examples of changes around Portland: WEX’s announcement to move their corporate headquarters to the Portland waterfront; Tilson Tech’s new offices and the heavy condo development in the India Street area; and the growth of Maine’s craft beer industry. “Craft beer adds a lot of sizzle to the Maine economy, but it’s never going to replace the larger industries the state has lost like paper,” Van Allen cautioned. He also commented on the thriving real estate industry and the contributions to his understanding of it by experts like Justin Lamontagne. “The rest of the state, however, is clearly in a different situation,” he said. Invoking a metaphor attributed to the peripatetic editor Tony Ronzio, Van Allen pointed to the “Volvo Line” that tends to divide the states demographic makeup.

The best gauge of change Van Allen suggested was captured in the most recent issue of Mainebiz where five economists offered their prognostications about the state’s future growth, along with comments from four business leaders. “Most offer cautious optimism,” Van Allen reported. “But there are some warning bells about problems ahead. We want change, but not too much.” He quoted Jim Damicis, an economic consultant, who told the paper that “far too many projects take too long to come to fruition.” He said a good sign was that there are 600 more construction workers on the job now versus a year ago, and employers are continuing to look for people. “Maine Med is on the cusp of a $500-million expansion and is seeking 75 additional doctors.” But he pointed to Jeff Zauchau, President of Zauchau Construction, who warns that while he is “cautiously optimistic…I fully expect at some point [the economy] will turn again after a strong 2017.”

Van Allen shared a personal anecdote to indicate some of the pent-up demand in the economy. “We wanted to add another heat source to our house after the recent big storm, but we had to wait three weeks for someone to come out and look at the house, then another six weeks for installers to show up, but they wouldn’t go up on the roof in the ice. So, we waited another three weeks for another company to show up, and then they said all the stove companies were backed up until spring before they could make and deliver a new stove.” He said the state has shortages of installers and retailers, shortages of younger workers, and a need for younger people to become more involved in political leadership.

Peter also talked about some reorganization within Mainebiz to help the paper focus more on different geographical areas in Maine. He also touched on the two areas he sees that will continue to grow in the state: healthcare and marijuana. “We may not like it, but there it is.”

 
(Photo L-R: 2nd Vice President Amy Chipman, David Clough and Peter Van Allen.)
01/12/18 Peter Van Allen, Editor, Mainebiz Bob Martin 2018-01-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough

We are fortunate to have Peter Van Allen as our speaker this week. Since becoming Editor of Mainebiz in April 2014, Peter has racked up thousands of miles traveling around Maine, visiting scores of businesses, and talking with hundreds of business people in all corners of our large, diverse state. What stories he could tell about those places, people and the things they are doing. This Friday we will hear about the view of Maine from a business editor’s desk.

Peter has spent the past 29 years writing and editing newspapers and magazines. Prior to joining Mainebiz, he was with the Philadelphia Business Journal for 15 years. Previous to that, he was both editor and reporter for such publications as Vanguard, American Banker, the (Gary, Ind.) Post Tribune, the (Camden, NJ) Courier Post, as well as writing for the NewYork Times and Philadelphia Inquirer. An avid waterman who has gotten to know many of the Casco Bay islands by sea kayak and standup paddle board – he also likes to sail, surf and row – it is no surprise that he has also contributed to Rower’s Digest, Rowing News, and Liquid Salt. 

Peter graduated in 1988 from Goddard College with a BA in non-fiction writing. He and his family reside in Yarmouth. Peter said of the decade before moving to Maine in 2014: “My family and I have been lucky enough to spend our vacations in Midcoast Maine. My younger daughter summed up our love of Maine this way, ‘It was one week of vacation and 51 weeks of waiting.’” After experiencing record snowstorms and memorably frigid temperatures in recent years, we expect the Van Allen family understands how winters imbue us with hardiness while spending many weeks waiting for summer weather.
 

*01/12/18 Peter Van Allen, Editor, Mainebiz David Clough 2018-01-12 05:00:00Z 0
(Reschedule from previous weather-canceled date.)
Martha Peak Helman has been a member of The Rotary Foundation’s Rotary Peace Centers/Major Gifts Initiative Committee for the past two years; this year she serves as vice chair of The Foundation’s Peace/Major Gifts Initiative.

Marty has been selected to be a Training Leader at the 2018 International Assembly; she served as Trainer for the Governors-nominee at the Zone 24-32 Institute (2013 and 2017), for the Zone Rotary Future Leaders (2016), as well as for D-7780 Governors-elect (2015-16 and 2019-20). She has been a President’s representative (2016); she frequently facilitates at the Rotary Leadership Institute (since 2009) and Northeast PETS (since 2013). She started and continues to edit the Zone 24-32 monthly newsletter (2013-present). Marty currently serves as District 7780’s Foundation Chair (2015-18); she was a “Peace Through Service” District Governor in 2012-13.

She and her husband Frank are multiple Major Donors and Bequest Society members, and through the corporate support of the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation, they are Arch Klumph Society members. Marty and Frank are members of the Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club in District 7780, which they joined in 2003.
 
Marty graduated from Connecticut College cum laude and holds her master’s in teaching (secondary) from Pace University. In her professional career, she has been both a writer and an editor; she has put that experience to good stead in her Rotary work, authoring “Rewriting the Future,” about a literacy support organization in Guatemala, and most recently, editing “String of Pearls,” a book about and fundraiser for the Rotary Peace Centers.
 
*03/02/18 PDG Marty Helman, District Foundation Chair 2018-01-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Bob Martin, introduced our speaker, Ms. Kay Mann of the Maine Green Power Program. The continuous clamor declaring global warming as the executioner of plant earth has created sufficient concern that alternative power sources are replacing alternative truths in the mind of many and Ms. Mann is the spokesperson for a source of choice for Maine citizens seeking relief from carbon-fueled sources of power. While most have heard and defer to the “Standard Offer”  with CMP, there are alternatives to consider and the Maine Green Power Program is a source of alternatives to the common carbon-based electric generation sources. 

Ms. Mann pulled back the curtains and introduced us to green sources of power made available to those who disdain the carbon way and want to go green.

The complex web of power generation and delivery was explained and access to alternatives were discussed. For decades the world has been reliant on the standard carbon methods of electric power generation: coal, oil, gas, and other mineral-based heat sources. We have been accustomed to a single choice when it comes to the electricity we use in our homes and businesses, with sourcing never something we had any control over. There are many who think that relying on “green" sources of power is a way to save the planet and would like to have a way to bring clean power into their homes. Kay provided us with a way to go green without having solar panels or windmills on our property.

We can enhance our electric power with healthy options, if we make the choice and are willing to pay more. The average home uses about 530 kilowatts hours of electricity per month which produces about 300 pounds of carbon pollution. If one chooses to avoid the carbon-emitting fuel sources they can do so by making the choice to buy “Recs” from their delivery source that rely on sustainable, non-carbon emitting power sources, such as solar and wind-generated energy. These sources are renewable and are local, clean and readily available. Furthermore, they are an income-generating resource, if developed and enthusiastically embraced by Maine. 

Understanding the power grid is a first step in developing a green energy resources. Our power is delivered through ISO New England, which includes CMP and Bangor Hydro, and they utilize a variety of power sources, including wind and solar. However, they are not going to develop sources that they can’t make money from, which is where the “Recs” come in. If we, as consumers, want green-based electricity we have to pay an additional $8.95 per rec to support the development of the clean grid. One way to better understand the source and its impact is to go modern and get an app for that. 

The favorite energy app of Senator Angus King is “ISO to Go,” which provides information on transmission and the implications of choice. If you want to move away from the Standard Offer for your electricity, you can contact the Maine Green Power Program and they will walk you through the process or you can access CMP or Bangor Hydro and make a voluntary choice to transition to a green power source. Almost as easy as it is to flip a switch and turn on the lights, you can make a switch to a sustainable, local-based, non-polluting power source and do your part in helping to deliver a healthy and beautiful earth to our successors.

For more information, go to: maine.gov/mpuc/greenpower/

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Kay Mann and 1st Vice President John Curran.)

 

 

12/29/17 Kay Mann, Green Power Energy in Maine John Marr 2018-01-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

First VP John Curran filled in admirably for President Don Zillman, who will be back from New Mexico for our next meeting. John welcomed three visitors, including a son and grandson of two of our members, and one visiting Rotarian, Moises Silfren, from La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Moises (photo at right with Roger Fagan) thanked us all for our efforts with the “3-H Project" over the past many years. Moises, whose parents are Haitian and who was born in a sugar field bate, has seen our good works in his position at the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana. He thanked us for helping the poor-but-proud people who work so hard in the area and his words were rewarded with a check, presented by Roger Fagan, for $5250 for water filters. This wonderful gift made the trip, with his family (who wanted to experience a Maine winter and were rewarded heartily!) all the more enjoyable for Moises, who is an active Rotarian and former District Governor on his home island.

Past President Alan Nye offered an uplifting invocation, asking for many “new” blessings in the new year and hoping to find many wonderful “Rotary projects, successes and friends” in the year to come.

Past President Jim Willey led the Pledge of Allegiance and Past President Russ Burleigh tickled the ivories for both “God Bless America” and “Old Lang Syne,” which was led by Ron Bennett, who is celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss this week.

David Clough conducted the weekly raffle, which has skyrocketed to $1242, and Past President Laura Young took a shot at trying to find the elusive Queen of Hearts, but she came up short with the six of hearts. 

Mike Fortunato offered an update and a reply to a recent Portland Press Herald article regarding The Long Creek Youth Development Center, where Portland Rotarians have been serving up monthly good cheer for over four years now. After seeing the holiday joy in the eyes of these troubled youth during the December visit, Mike feels strongly that the center is giving these 56 young people the structure they need and hope that they deserve. Congrats and thanks to everyone from our club who has touched the lives of these young folks.

Past President Russ Burleigh offered up thanks to all who have given yarn to his wife Joan, who continues with her amazing efforts at supplying hand-knitted mittens to children in need. With 140 pairs offered up to students at Lyseth School, there were enough to go around to kids at both Riverton and Presumpscot Schools at well. This is a wonderful and longstanding effort by a very generous family. Thanks to the Burleigh/Steinbergs and to all of the Portland Rotarians who have provided wool and cash to help aid in this much-needed project. 
 

12/29/17 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-01-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Kay Mann is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Maine Green Power Program, an offering of Maines Public Utilities Commission that allows energy users a way to purchase renewable energy. Most people believe the only way to take advantage of the benefits of renewable, or clean, energy is to install their own wind turbine or solar array. For many, this is not possible.

The Green Power program offers options for residential and commercial energy users. The program is managed by 3Degrees Inc., a business that provides a wide variety of comprehensive clean energy services to organizations, utilities, and individuals to help them transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Kay is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, and lives in Brunswick.

*12/29/17 Kay Mann, Maine Green Power Program Bob Martin 2017-12-29 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall & Joe Gray

Matt Herpick has been the General Manager for the past two and half years of the Cross Insurance Arena, formerly known as Cumberland County Civic Center, which transitioned from public to private management with Global Spectrum, now Spectacor managing the facility. Spectacor is a national events management company headquartered in Philadelphia and currently manages over 160 areas and centers throughout the United States.

Four years ago the Cross Insurance Arena underwent a $33 million dollar renovation which included new seats, suites and system upgrades. While Portland lost its AHL hockey franchise, the Portland Pirates, Matt pointed out that the arena was able to attract a new Eastern league franchise with a traditional Maine name, the Maine Mariners, starting next October and was recently awarded a new arena football franchise, the Maine Mammoths, which will be offering exciting indoor football beginning this April with a season extending to August.

Matt told us how being part of the larger Spectra Comcast organization, he is able to attract first quality performances. His organization manages several venues, provides food service, and sells tickets. He says that of 10 date-holds which are requested for Portland, only one turns into an event, so there is lots of work done with no benefit.

The Cross Arena will still honor all the special shows already booked, and all the graduation and other local events. The sports teams have agreed to work around these schedules.

When asked about UMaine hockey, he responded that one game is scheduled and he is trying for a second. Last year two games had great attendance, but a third was poorly attended. He invited us to watch for announcements of some great shows coming in the fall and winter next year.

 

(Photo L-R: Joe Gray, Matt Herpick and 1st Vice President John Curran.)

12/15/17 Matt Herpick, GM Cross Insurance Arena Dick Hall & Joe Gray 2017-12-18 05:00:00Z 0


President Don Zillman
 was spending the holidays in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife, Linda, and missed the meeting, so First Vice President John Curran ably stepped in to run the show. Tom Nickerson (at right) provided us with a moving invocation and 1st VP John welcomed 52 club members and 2visiting guests.

 


The raffle was conducted by Terri St. Angelo and (once again) Past President Loretta Rowe's name was chosen – but in the spirit of Christmas, she graciously pulled the 5 of clubs, leaving the pot of $1,202 to grow until our next meeting. 



Tom Ranello introduced our newest member, Ben Jackson (at right). Ben is the Headmaster at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth. Be sure to welcome Ben!
 


Past President Laura Young (at left), Chair of this year's Nominating Committee,  announced the slate of officers for the coming year and asked for a motion and vote to accept the announced officers, which was unanimously approved by the members. The slate of 2018-19 Slate of Officers is listed separately in this issue.



Erik Greven (at right) thanked everyone for their warm clothing donations to the Preble Street Resource Center – including the donations for underwear. Since more money was spent on buying underwear than was collected, several members pledged happy dollars to make up the difference.
 


Past President Dick Hall (at left) urged all Rotarians to support the Rotary Foundation and indicated that letters would be going out to all members inviting them to become Sustaining Members or to join the Portland Rotary Circle of Five Program. Contact Dick for more information at: dickhall@maine.rr.com
 


Jan Chapman (at right) filled us in on our own long-time Rotarian Meredith Small and her husband Bill, who live in Saint John, Virgin Islands, during the winter months. They recently returned there to assess the condition of their home after the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Meredith is hoping to have power by January and she and her husband are hauling water for cleaning, cooking and all other needs. The house was open to Hurricane Maria and all their belongings were blown outside, lost or destroyed. They had no insurance as it was prohibitively expensive. We are planning to send a care package off to them soon and a card was passed around to send. Contact Jan or Bruce Moore (janchapman1966@gmail.com or brucevmoore@gmail.com) for more information and ways to help.



1st VP Amy Chipman (at left) reminded everyone again about signing up for the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, Canada to be held June 23-27, 2018 and urged more Rotarians to attend. To register, go to riconvention.org 


 


Roger Fagan (at right) urged all Rotarians to check the hearing aid boxes previously placed in the local communities and get the units back to him. He, along with 12 people from Alaska, Maine and Florida, will be going once again to the Dominican Republic on January 20th and will provide 200 hearing aids, 70 water filters and 70 solar lights. We have also joined with 15 other clubs in the District to support the Westbrook/Gorham Rotary Club in bringing clean water to the jungles of Guatemala. In April, the 3-H project will be brought to Prishtina University Medical Center in Kosovo, a country that is rebuilding its medical infrastructure after recently gaining independence from Serbia.

Happy Holidays everyone – and remember, no meeting this Friday!
 

12/15/17 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2017-12-18 05:00:00Z 0
On December 15, 2017, the following members were voted in as 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
 
Congratulations!
 
2018-19 Slate of Club Officers 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Greven

Help others to stay warm this winter!

On Friday, December 15th, please bring your slightly used gloves, mittens, winter wear and/or a multi-pack of new underwear to our meeting (men and/or women's)....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 by donating over 100 pairs of good-as-new shoes and sneakers. Thank you !!!  

Now with more cold weather upon us, the need is growing for the essential items to keep them warm. 

If you have any of the above items you can part with, please bring them in this Friday. (You can always ask for fashionable replacements this Xmas). But if you can't 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 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Our club policy regarding winter storm-related cancellation of Rotary meetings is:
 
IF PORTLAND SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS, PORTLAND ROTARY DOES NOT MEET.
 
Please watch your local TV news/weather broadcasts on Friday mornings, in the event of a snow storm.
Club Policy for Meeting Cancellation 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman started off the Club Assembly and brought up an article by Time Magazine’s Nancy Gibbs that discussed where America has been and is presently. Her article discussed how unifying institutions like Rotary and churches are declining in attendance. She noted that major societal changes seem to be occurring, and President Don provided this as food for thought during the assembly discussions. 

(Photo at left: President Don Zillman and Steve Mortimer, Chair of Visioning Committee.)

Steve Mortimer, Chair of the Visioning Committee, moved the conversation to the recent questionnaire sent to all club members.

Regarding music, the patriotic support components of the meeting will continue, however, the Music Committee is evaluating the current arrangement list in the club song book, and whether some more improvements can be brought about.  Stay tuned until January….  

Regarding the invocation, the Club input was regarding whether the time spent should be religious-based or more inspirational, since the times, the club, and societal makeup have grown more diverse. 

There was a large consensus that as a club, we do not want to divert speakers from discussing public policy and affairs. Club members want to be careful to limit partisan political events and speakers, however. A written policy is being prepared which can help speakers with presentations when then are considering their speaking topics. The Club would like to leave open the possibility for finalists in state-wide political races, federal races, and even possibly local races, if pertinent. The Club is also considering debates, and/or for the lead candidates to come speak at our club during consecutive weeks. Since there are currently over 10 candidates for governor, the consensus is to wait for a few to drop out, or to stick to the primary party candidates. 

Steve noted that the Club’s vision statement seemed a little long compared to others. He also noted that only 23 members of the club responded to the visioning questionnaire which served to start the conversations.  

There was a question about whether the Club's vision statement would be revised. Approximately half of the respondents agreed; however, none disagreed. So why change the vision statement? Steve has worked on many vision statements over the years, and he noted the best ones are 15 words or less....ours has over 100 words. Many responses from the club following this topic discussed how the vision was developed in recent club history, questioned the need of a statement, and noted that the Childhood Hunger and Education (CHE) focus was voted to last for a minimum of a 5-year span.

Another question from the survey was regarding the Club's geographical focus? Portland, Greater Portland, and international were the reported ranked priorities. 

The rest of the meeting was packed with goodwill, ideas, and opinions. Many of the club members shared valuable input.

Finally, the survey listed a number of different Portland Rotary projects, and it asked what projects members would give their time, money, both, or neither? Survey says:

1) Veterans lunch 
2) Food insecurity
3) Local students on path toward financial independence 
4) Improvement of early childhood education, such as reading programs
5) Helping new Mainers acclimate
6) Helping others 

So where do go from here? The information shared will be discussed with the Vision Committee to prepare for that answer and they will report back to the membership.
 

12/08/17 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Jake Bourdeau 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

President Don Zillman welcomed Julie L’Heureux to the podium for our meeting invocation, who quoted Gene Kelly’s 1952 song, “Singing In The Rain.” Wishful thinking as the first solid snow of the season is slated for the coming weekend! Ellen Niewoehner led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and we broke into a full-throated rendition of “America The Beautiful.”  

Don welcomed and introduced 2 guests, who joined the 62 Portland Rotarians in attendance. If you follow the “society pages,” perhaps you saw Julie Chase partaking in a Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce event. Don then thanked the roster of Rotarians responsible for the implementation of our meeting.


A birthday tribute and a day of celebration for her majesty and Past President Peggy Wescott, affectionately known as “Queenie” to her subjects. To the tune of ‘God Save The Queen,’ our Queen was adorned with tiara, sash, and a bouquet of roses. Her wave, refined and graceful, let us know she appreciated us. Her royal court "ladies-in-waiting" attendants included Past Presidents Roxane Cole, Loretta Rowe and 2nd Vice President Amy Chipman. Rotary Poet Laureate Past President Alan Nye then read from his latest work,  “Queen Peggy”:

Unlike over in England,
There’s no need to curtsy, bow or preen,
The etiquette here is more relaxed, 
For greeting our own Rotary Queen.

Across the pond they say “Your Majesty,”
It shows respect, you see,
But here in the good ‘ole USA,
She’s fine with just “Hi Peggy!”

The Royal Queen of England, 
Is a ripe old 91,
Our Queen is much younger than that,
And I’d wager a lot more fun.

So raise a glass to our own Past President and Queen,
And before you rush out the door,
Offer good wishes to her on her Birthday,
And wish her many, many more!



Gracie Johnston said thanks to all Rotarians who’ve been out ringing the bells for the Salvation Army in Monument Square. There is a spot open on the 15th and Matt Wolcott raised his hand. Thanks, Matt.

 



1st VP Amy Chipman
is heading to the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, June 23-27, and she’s encouraging more Rotarians to join her! Tom Nickerson, Ellen Niewoehner, and Alan Nye have said they’re in, so it looks like it’s going to be a fun time! Interested? Early registration ends Dec 15th, and is $345. After that it moves up to $420. FMI:  riconvention.org 

 



Don reminded us that while it’s always fun to remember birthdays and anniversaries, today’s meeting was also an important day in history....a day to reflect and remember....Dec 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor. We are blessed to have with us at our meeting, Earle Leavitt, who was at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day 66 years ago. Thank you, Earle, for your service to our country, and 30 years of dedication to Portland Rotary.


Raffle! The elusive Queen of Hearts lingers in the dwindling deck. $1157 at stake. Raffle master Jake Bourdeau gave the honor of drawing a winning name to Queen Peggy, who plucked Past President Loretta Rowe’s ticket from the tin. Alas, the clever Jack of Spades came out to play, denying LoRo from the coveted bounty.
 



Our Club’s By-Laws state that the Nominating Committee shall announce it’s nominations for the new slate of officers for the coming year on the second Friday in December. The Committee is chaired by the immediate Past President, in this case Laura Young. Laura made it back in the nick of time from an early morning meeting in Augusta, and announced the following nominations 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.
 
12/08/17 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

The current General Manager for Spectra at the Cross Insurance Arena, formerly known as the Cumberland County Civic Center, is Matt Herpich. Matt was born in upstate New York, and graduated from Canandaigua Academy, then went on to receive his AS in Sports and Tourism Management from FLCC before graduating with his BS in Sports and Entertainment Management from USC. 

Throughout Matt’s career he has held many different roles with Spectra (formerly known as Global Spectrum) a management company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. He began as an intern during his junior year at South Carolina, in the marketing department at the Colonial Life Arena, which lead to full-time employment during his final year at USC as the box office coordinator for the same venue.  Upon completion of his degree, Matt moved to Aiken, SC, a satellite University in the USC system, where he began as the events and Operations Manager and finished as the General Manager. Matt moved on to manage the Wolstein Center, a 14,000-seat venue and 10,000-sq. foot conference center at Cleveland State University. Matt was one of four Spectra managers presented to the Board of Trustees, of the CCRC during the transition in early 2015 – ultimately chosen to run the newly-renovated Portland venue – he relocated in March of 2015.

Spectra by Comcast Spectacor is a food, venue and sponsorship management company that has over 400 accounts in the US and Canada. In the northeast region, Spectra manages the CIC in Bangor, the LMA and Tsongas Center in Lowell, MA, the Mullins Center at UMASS Amherst, as well as venues in CT, RI, NJ, NY and PA. Spectra was brought in to manage the Cross Insurance Arena, when the Trustees and the County decided that after renovation, it was time to go from an in-house operation to an operation with regional, national and international resources. Spectra’s original term of the contract was three years, plus an additional two-year option for a term date of March 8th, 2020. However, with the introduction/purchase of a hockey team by Comcast Spectacor, the Spectra agreement has been extended to March 9th, 2025, with additional years at the option of both parties.

Matt and his wife, Rachel, (a New Jersey native) have settled on Pine Street in Portland’s west end. They enjoy the wonderful food scene here, finding many “go to” spots within walking distance of the arena and their home.  
 

*12/15/17 Matt Herpick, Cross Insurance Arena General Manager Bob Martin 2017-12-11 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

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: drrogerfagan@gmail.com or the Club's First Vice President John Curran at: curraj@mmc.org

For more information on the making of the 3D limbs and Dean Rock, go to: wcsh6.com/news/local/207/cumberland-man-3d-prints-prosthetic-limbs-for-amputees-1/495231735

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: thebollard.com/2017/11/05/when-world-war-knocked-on-portlands-door/. To share your ideas or to become involved, contact Mike (michael.k.fortunato@gmail.com) or Bowen (bowen.depke@spireexpress.com).


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 ccs.me.edu.

 

(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 (gracie.johnston@wcsh6.com) or Loretta - her assistant on Nov 22 (lrowe@maine.rr.com). 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 (egrev95@aol.com) 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: stevenhmortimer@gmail.com.


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: drrogerfagan@gmail.com.


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
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: gracie.johnston@wcsh6.com  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 door...cash 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: www.une.org.
 

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

RESPONSE REQUESTED TO EITHER DENNIS ROBILLARD OR TONY WAGNER (see below).

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 (portlandrotary.org) 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 gracie.johnston@wcsh6.com;  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: lilinbrown@gmail.com.



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: nmark88@gmail.com.
 

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 (lrowe@maine.rr.com). 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 portlandrotary.org or click HERE). 25 more volunteers are needed....please contact Charlie (cfrair47@yahoo.com) or Paul Tully (ptully@maine.rr.com).


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 (lilinbrown@gmail.com) 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 gracie.johnston@wcsh6.com 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 (wblount1@gmail.com) or Erik Jorgensen (erik.c.jorgensen@gmail.com), 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 changing....now 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. <Maineyouthleadership.org>  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: portlandrotary.org. Pay at the door. If you are a veteran and club member, please contact Past President Loretta Rowe (lrowe@maine.rr.com 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 (lrowe@maine.rr.com) or Elise Hodgkins (portlandrotary@maine.rr.com). Please register early, and if you are a Veteran, please contact Loretta and let her know. Please also check portlandrotary.org 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: endpolio.org/donate. Any questions, contact Dick Hall at: dickhall@maine.rr.com.
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: primeribgraphics@icloud.com 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: nheald@ptla.org. 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: ptla.org/Celebrate50.

 



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 (marrjf@gmail.com), Past President Jim Willey (jimandbarbarawilley@gmail.com) or Dave Putnam (david.f.putnam@mercer.com), 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 (portlandrotary.org) 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: portlandrotary.org


 

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 kris.rosado@morganstanley.com.


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: daviddpearce.com.
 
*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: www.rotary.org/en/rotary-districts-collect-emergency-funds-hurricane-harvey-victims) or by donating to the American Red Cross at: www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey.

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 www.mainesuitcaseparty.com

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: www.campsunshine.org/

 

(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” <campsunshine.org/subdomains/suitcaseparty/index>.  

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 (michael.k.fortunato@gmail.com) or Jim Willey (jimandbarbarawilley@gmail.com) 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. (www.MilestoneFoundation.org)

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: tony.wagner163@gmail.com 


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 (pressherald.com/media/gallery/milestone-foundation-home-team/).

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: capngus8@aol.com  or by clicking on the following link: main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?fr_id=29109&pg=informational&sid=13760


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: alexander.st.hilaire@bangor.com 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: michael.k.fortunato@gmail.com 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
CORRECTION TO THE BITS & PIECES REPORTING IN THE AUGUST 4TH WINDJAMMER:
 
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: bookfairypantryproject.com
 

*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: martyrotary@gmail.com or 233-8741  

Please find further information here: rotary7780.org/SitePage/finance-committe-member-nomination

 
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; laura.e.allen@maine.gov.

 
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?......to 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
 
DON'T FORGET TO PICK UP YOUR NEW 2017-18 PORTLAND ROTARY CLUB ROSTER AT THE NEXT MEETING!
 
Please review your personal information in the book and advise Loretta Rowe (lrowe@maine.rr.com) 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.
(Email) thomas.w.nickerson@maine.edu
 
Page 58 (Members):
Stone, Andrew M.
(Email) keycarpenter@gmail.com
 
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.johnston@wcsh6.com. 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 michael.k.fortunato@gmail.com (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: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxgkpb1Et6wVUkV1QzlWdTFreTg/view  
For more
information, visit: http://www.portlandrotary.org/Stories/light-up-their-lives
 



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 maragiles@yahoo.com.


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 hit....at 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: www.triforacure.org 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:
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.)

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WINNERS AND TO ALL THE CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS AND VOLUNTEERS!
 


SOLAR LIGHTS FOR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:

For more information, please contact Dick Giles at: maragiles@yahoo.com
 

EDITORIAL UPDATE/CORRECTIONS