Community Announcements in The Maine Democrat

The Bangor Book Festival on October 3rd and 4th at various locations in downtown Bangor.  It presents Maine authors who will read their work, hold discussions, and sign books.  For more information, please visit http://www.bangorbookfest.org.  Also, if you are able to include an announcement for this event, please include the previous web address.  Please let me know if this is or isn't possible.  Thanks so much for your time

DEP seeks additional comment on State’s water quality goals

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is holding an additional meeting to gather public input regarding Maine’s water quality standards.  Each water body in Maine is classified by state statute regarding their designated uses as well as the water quality criteria necessary to protect those designated uses.  These water classification laws are designed to protect, restore and maintain water quality.  The law directs the DEP to gather information from the public for the purpose of reviewing the water quality classification system as well as related water quality standards every few years, and this review considers rivers, streams, and coastal waters across the state including the Androscoggin River.

The DEP previously held several meetings in Lewiston and Presque Isle to receive public input on proposed changes to the water quality goals and standards for a variety of rivers, streams, and marine waters around the State.  This additional meeting will focus on Maine’s water quality standards, but comment on the proposed reclassifications will also be accepted.  The meeting will be held Thursday, August 14, 2008, at Lewiston City Hall in the City Council Chamber, from 7:00-9:00 PM.

Public comment will also continue to be taken via the internet until August 15, 2008.  You can go to www.MaineDEP.com and click on “Reclassification initiative, Maine waters” for additional information about the reclassification process and the current classification of waters, plus the ability to submit on-line comments. 

“The rivers, lakes, and oceans all belong to the people of Maine, and the Clean Water Act is built on citizen input.  We want to know how the DEP should be managing these particular waterbodies,” noted Susan Davies, DEP’s water quality standards coordinator.

Any additional public input from the August 14 meeting in Lewiston will be presented to the Board of Environmental Protection (Board) when they hold a formal public hearing in September, and the public will have an additional opportunity to comment at that time.  Recommendations from the Board will be submitted to the Legislature by the end of the year.  There will likely be a legislative hearing on any proposed changes during the legislative session that convenes in January 2009.  The state Legislature makes all classification changes, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must ultimately give final approval to any changes made by the State of Maine

July 20, 2008

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to you in the hope that you can help me enact change in the State of Maine

My finance and I have been discussing the usual topics that arise prior to a wedding.  One big issue of discussion between us has been the topic of surnames.  We both are entering this union with children from previous relationships.  With that being said, we decided that we wanted to celebrate that we are a blended family and both hyphenate our last names.

To my dismay, I found that in the State of Maine as well as in forty four other states, there is no statutory right for men to take their wives' last name.   It only costs a bride $50 to change her name, but for a groom, it costs $300, appearing in court, and announcing the change in the newspaper before it will be granted.  Am I the only one who believes this is wrong?  This is not solely an issue of money, it is an issue of equality

 

I believe that Maine should be encouraging the family values that this act represents instead of making couples jump through hoops

 

I have created a petition online that I plan to send to Governor Baldacci about this matter.  Any promoting of this issue that you could organize for us would be greatly appreciated.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jesikah Knowles

  http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ub67gde1/petition.html

Free Fare Fridays Return for Summer Sequel

Governor John E. Baldacci today announces a summertime return for Free Fare Fridays. The popular promotion, which provides a free introduction to mass transit in Maine has returned for a second time after a successful program last fall.

Free Fare Fridays is a month-long campaign that allows Maine citizens to explore low-cost transit options available in communities throughout the State, and to help Maine residents cope with soaring gasoline prices.

“We want Maine people to know that riding transit, carpooling and vanpooling are good ways to beat the high cost of gas,” said Governor Baldacci. “Besides, our citizens recognize a good deal when they see one. The program in the fall was very successful and we’re hoping for even better results this summer.”

Free Fare Fridays is a partnership between MaineDOT, the GO MAINE commuter program and local bus providers.

Local buses will be free on July 11, July 18 and July 25.

Three transit services that will be running on Independence Day – the ShuttleBus Tri-Town, the ShuttleBus Intercity Service and the Shoreline Explorer in York County– will offer an extra free Friday on July 4.

Additionally, the cities of Lewiston-Auburn have decided to extend the promotion to include Fridays through Aug. 25.

This is the second time Maine transit providers have given free rides on Friday. The first time, held from Thanksgiving through Christmas 2007, was outstanding.  Ridership on the South Portland Bus and Portland METRO service was up over 22 percent. Citylink in Lewiston-Auburn saw a 38 percent increase. The Biddeford-Saco-OOB ShuttleBus and ZOOM had hundreds of new riders, while Bangor’s BAT experienced the largest increase of all the participating transit services.

In addition to the upsurge in transit riders, commuters are also flocking to the GO MAINE commuter Web site. Since the beginning of 2008 the site has received more than 1 million hits as Mainers try to find carpool partners and vanpool availability. More than 1,500 new commuters have registered in the last two months.

Mainers are also encouraged to sign up for carpooling or vanpooling at www.gomaine.org.

For more information about the Free Fare Fridays and the GO MAINE commuter assistance program, call 1-800-280-RIDE or visit www.gomaine.org.

 

FREE FARE FRIDAYS

Participating transit services

July 11-25, 2008

Aroostook Regional Transportation Bangor BAT Bath Bus Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard ShuttleBus Tri-Town (will offer FFF on July 4) Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard ShuttleBus Intercity (will offer FFF on July 4) Coastal Trans Downeast Transportation Island Explorer KVTransit Lewiston/Auburn citylink (will extend FFF through August 25) The Lynx Portland METRO Sanford Transit “My Bus” Shoreline Explorer (Shoreline Trolley, Shore Road Shuttle and Kennebunk Shuttle only) (will offer FFF on July 4) South Portland Bus Service Waldo County CAP Western Maine Transportation Services ZOOM Turnpike Express

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revised the national ozone standard from 84 parts per billion (ppb) to 75 ppb.  At the same time, the Air Quality Index (AQI) for ozone was revised to reflect the new more protective standard.  If Maine has a typical summer this year, the DEP will likely be encouraging you to take precautions to protect your health more often than usual because of this revised standard. 

At high ozone levels, individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, children, and healthy active adults can experience reduced lung function and irritation.  When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest

Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

¨        Avoid strenuous activity, such as jogging, during mid-day.

¨        Close windows and circulate indoor air with a fan or air conditioner.

¨        Avoid using aerosol products such as cleaners, paints, and other lung irritants.

¨        Give yourself a break!  Take it easy!

Ground level ozone is formed by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and sunlight.  Man-made sources of NOx and VOCs include automobiles, trucks and buses, large combustion and industrial sources such as power generating facilities, consumer products such as paints and cleaners, and gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.

Citizens can take the following actions to help reduce emissions that contribute to the formation of ozone:

  • Conserve electricity.
  • Choose a cleaner commute, such as carpooling or using public transportation.
  • Defer the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment until after dusk.
  • Limit idling of vehicles.
  • Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
  • Combine errands and reduce vehicle trips.
  • Use environmentally-friendly paints and cleaning products with low VOC content.

For more information call DEP's toll free ozone hotline at 1-800-223-1196 or visit DEP’s air quality web site by going to MaineDEP.com  and select ‘Maine Air Quality Forecast.’

Maine Governor Encourages Blood Donations This Summer

June 24, 2008 (Brunswick, Maine): As the July 4th holiday approaches, Maine Governor John Baldacci showed support for the American Red Cross by encouraging blood donors to give of themselves this summer season. "Sometimes we lose sight of the importance of simple acts, such as giving blood, but we know that this is truly a life-saving contribution we can make," said Governor Baldacci. "Critical supplies are low, and the American Red Cross of Northern New England needs your help. You have it within your power to make certain no patient has to go without the blood he or she needs. Please, give blood."

          On Friday, June 27, representatives from MidCoast Hospital, Parkview Hospital and the American Red Cross will host a press conference asking for the public’s help in assuring a sufficient blood supply during the upcoming summer season. The press conference will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Brunswick Knights of Columbus Hall. Potential blood donors will have the opportunity to give the gift of life at the Red Cross blood drive immediately following the press conference. Donor hours will be 12 noon through 6 p.m. and all blood types are needed at this time.

          According to the American Red Cross, the summer months pose a particular challenge in maintaining adequate supplies. “Summer is a short and well-anticipated season in northern New England,” said Susan Parmer, CEO for the American Red Cross Blood Services,Northern New England Region. “While even our regular blood donors are out of their normal routine at this time, we want to remind everyone that there are still patients relying on this precious medicine. High school and college closures during the summer months, as well as family vacations, add to the challenge. We hope the people of Maine will donate at this time and often throughout the summer season.”

          Blood is used for a wide variety of life-threatening conditions, including trauma, support for cancer treatment, surgical procedures, blood disorders and more.

          Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age, or 16 with parental permission in the state of Maine, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors can give blood every eight weeks.

          For more information, or to find a local Red Cross blood drive, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit online at newenglandblood.org/maine.ConnectME Authority Announces Second Round of Grants

Question 1 on the ballot:

The question will ask voters to approve a $29,725,000 bond issue for transportation and environmental projects. If approved, the bond will leverage an additional $29,780,000 in other funds.

“Maine voters have an important opportunity to invest in the State’s economy, in safe roads and bridges, and in important environmental projects,” Governor Baldacci said. “Smart investments pay off now by creating jobs, and they pay off later when we see the lasting economic impact of better roads, improved passenger and freight rail service, increased mass transit and a cleaner environment.”

Question 1 reads, “Do you favor a $29,725,000 bond issue for natural resource, agricultural and transportation infrastructure that will leverage $29,780,000 in other funds?” If approved, the state would issue $29,725,000 in general obligation bonds that would fund projects throughout the state.

The bond would provide $23,025,000 for transportation purposes and these funds would be administered by the Maine Department of Transportation. Of that amount, $10 million would leverage $16 million in matching federal funds that would be used for highways and bridges.

The remaining $13,025,000 would be used for multimodal improvements to the State’s rail system that serves both passenger and freight, fund bus purchases for existing passenger service systems, provide funding for improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, provide money for port and ferry facility improvements, and provide funding for infrastructure improvements to the State’s publicly owned airports.

“This bond will help fund critically needed repairs to Maine’s roads and bridges,” said David Cole, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. “This bond also invests significantly in alternate modes of transportation, and with gas prices nearing $4 a gallon, it is a timely investment for Maine people.”

The bond also would provide $4.4 million in funds to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to help communities deal with failing septic systems, clean up hazardous waste sites that threaten public health and water quality, clean up abandoned landfills and modernize air-quality monitoring equipment.

“This bond issue includes infrastructure investments that are important to protect the environment and Mainers' public health,” said David Littell, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. “Funds will be used to clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites and landfills across our state, assist communities with replacement of the worst failing septic systems which discharge untreated sewage, and to provide needed monitoring of our air quality.   The environmental investments in this bond issue will benefit Maine’s environment for many generations to come.”

The remaining $2.3 million would be administered by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to upgrade wastewater treatment systems at the state’s fish hatcheries and to repair several IFW-owned dams that regulate water flow and protect waterfowl and other wildlife habitats.

“The passage of this bond will provide a great opportunity to renovate some of our facilities that are not currently meeting state water quality standards,” said Roland “Dan” Martin, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “It is imperative that we give our support to upgrade our fish hatcheries and ensure the continuation of our fish stocking programs at current or improved levels. Also, a portion of the funds will be used to repair dams that have been damaged by weather, thus protecting valuable waterfowl and wildlife habitats. It is these habitats that we Mainers view as one of our most treasured natural resources.”

--ConnectME Authority Announces Second Round of Grants

Governor John E. Baldacci and the ConnectME Authority announced on June 9, 2008 that applications are now available for the second round of its grant program to expand Mainers’ access to broadband service.   More than $1.5 million is expected to be available; nearly twice what was available for the first round.  The grants will continue to be targeted to areas of the state that have no form of broadband or high-speed internet service available.

“The ConnectME initiative is spurring private investment in broadband and cellular service in Maine.   These investments are enabling people in rural areas enhanced access to technology, transforming our state economy, and expanding business opportunities for more Mainers,” said Governor Baldacci.

The first round of grants awarded last year funded broadband service to more than 50 unserved communities, representing 14,400 households and businesses – a 2.8 percent increase in broadband availability.  The ConnectME Authority received 17 grant applications requesting more than $2.4 million in gap funding, for projects totaling more than $6.7 million.  The Authority awarded seven grants totaling nearly $800,000, for total project amounts of more than $1.7 million.  The grant projects range in size from $38,000 to $368,000 from Chebeague Island to 26 communities in Piscataquis County; from single projects in Somerville and Monson, to a project serving 18 communities in Washington County; and to a project that provides wireless service to Mount Desert and Cranberry Islands.

Eligible applicants are municipalities, co-ops, community groups, and broadband service providers.  “Among the many reasons that we believe that access to broadband service is a necessity, are: the ability to telecommute, access to government services, and better access to health services and educational opportunities,” said Jean Wilson, the Authority’s Chair.  “And, according to a recent Brookings Institution Report, for every one percentage point increase in broadband penetration in a state, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year.” 

The application form is available on the ConnectME website (http://www.maine.gov/connectme/).   The filing deadline for the application is July 18, 2008.  The Authority hopes to make funding commitments within two weeks of the submittals.

The members of the Authority are Jean Wilson, Vice President of Information Services at LL Bean, Chair; Mitchel W. Davis, Chief Information Officer for Bowdoin College; Richard B. Thompson, Chief Information Officer for Maine State Government; and Sharon Reishus, Chair of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

For more information:  All ConnectME Authority News Releases and other information may be found on our website at:http://www.maine.gov/connectme/

To arrange an interview with Authority Chair Wilson or the other Members of the Authority, please contact Phillip Lindley at (207) 624-9970 or by e-mail at phil.lindley@maine.gov.  The Authority’s website may be accessed through the Maine School and Library Network at all public libraries in Maine.

NEW FOOD PANTRY NEEDS DONATIONS—

My Name is Amy Daugherty , Executive Director, and i have opened a home delivery food pantry for those who can not get to there local food pantry. We also offer donated clothing, books and movies from a in-house library(all free to clients), bedding and anything else that is donated. We need donation of everything. We need drivers from all over the state of Maine.

Amy Daugherty

Angel Garden

503 US RTE 1

Columbia, Maine 04623

866.612.1563

207.483.6122

angel@angelgardenmaine.com

www.angelgardenmaine.com

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March - April 2008

Students can now sign up for Opportunity ME through their financial aid office

By Ramona du Houx

Since February 1, any student attending a Maine college can sign up for the Opportunity Maine Program by visiting their financial aid office and completing a simple contract. By signing up, any college student who lives and works in Maine after graduation will receive a tax credit — as much as $55,000 over ten years for some students — to help pay their student loans.

February also marked the launch of a statewide public relations television campaign featuring Olympic Gold Medalist/Snowboard Cross Seth Wescott. The television campaign will run on a variety of networks hosted by Time Warner which contributed over two months of advertising time to Opportunity Maine.

"Time Warner Cable couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Opportunity Maine to roll out this important program," said Peter DeWitt, Time Warner Cable New England Spokesperson. "Time Warner Cable firmly believes that young people play an important role in the future of Maine, and programs like Opportunity Maine are the best way to retain our best and brightest, to ensure a growing economy."

DeWitt also announced that Time Warner Cable will be making Opportunity Maine: An Introduction to the Program, a seven-minute documentary, available at no cost to most digital cable customers in Maine through its New England on Demand Channel.

"Getting a college degree and then starting a life can be a scary thing for young people. Let’s face it — college loans can be a real drag," says Wescott in the upcoming ad and documentary. "Opportunity Maine is a new program that will help people in Maine get ahead like I have."

Wescott appears in the television ad and a mini documentary that is available for viewing at all college financial aid offices or at www.opportunitymaine.org. The seven-minute film features Opportunity Maine students who attend a variety of Maine schools.

"From the very beginning of Opportunity Maine, it has been important to engage the people who stand to benefit from this program in all of our efforts, especially our outreach efforts," said Rob Brown, Opportunity Maine Executive Director. "We believe that this special outreach campaign to finally get students enrolled in the Opportunity Maine Program is just one more way that we have achieved that important goal."

Opportunity Maine was conceived by a group of Maine students and community leaders in 2006. This true grassroots effort was in response to the crippling debt burden faced by students in Maine and throughout the country and the flight of Mainers to other states for school and employment. As a result Opportunity Maine will expand educational opportunity and upgrade the skills of Maine’s workforce.

Opportunity Maine brought this idea from citizen’s initiative to the Legislature where the House unanimously approved it, and the governor signed it into law in July 2007.

It’s rare that a citizen’s initiative becomes law. In fact, in Maine’s history it has happened only six times.

The Drum Major Institute (DMI), a nonpartisan national think tank, ranked Opportunity Maine among the nation’s ten best policies in 2007.

Portland Seeks Artists Input for Creative Economy

Portland's Creative Economy Steering Committee is seeking input from artists on their space needs by asking them to participate in an online survey, www.portlandmaine.gov/survey. The information gathered will help shape taskforce recommendations related to having available, affordable and secure long term space in Portland for artists and other contributors to the creative economy. "The Creative Economy Steering Committee has been working since 2006 to develop strategies to encourage and maintain the creative economy in Portland," stated Jim Cohen, chair of the Committee. "The Committee has spent a great deal of time exploring potential initiatives ranging from new community events, to growing innovation businesses, to addressing space needs of artists and arts organizations. We hope to bring a set of recommendations forward to the City Council by late Spring." The Creative Economy Steering Committee was appointed by then-Mayor Cohen in 2006 following a well-attended Creative Economy Summit held in May of that year. According to Cohen, "It became clear after the Summit that we needed to better understand the creative sector's needs and steps we can take to support it." Among the initiatives being considered is the development of a Center for the Arts. A Center for the Arts could come in many forms, but in principle it would host a community of artists and arts organizations creating a synergy that elevates the making as well as the quality of art. Economies would be realized with a concentrated population of creative people and groups pooling resources and sharing equipment and space. If built, a Center could accommodate a range of uses, including studios, live/work space, galleries, a museum, performance and rehearsal space, and education and administrative offices. At this point, however, the Steering Committee is keeping its options open, including whether the Center would be financially feasible or whether it should be a public venture, a private venture, or both. "Housing and work space is the foundation for any economy," stated Councilor Dave Marshall, co-chair of the Committee and a professional artist. "We need feedback from artists and creative individuals about their space needs in order to grow our creative economy."

Farmington: “Essentials of Business Planning for Small Farms”

Monday, April 7, 2-5 p.m.Location: Western Mountains Alliance Conference Area, Church Street Commons, FarmingtonLearn from area farmers and business planning professionals how to successfully develop a business plan for value added farm products and how to access resources for the success of your small farm business. Visit our website www.westernmountainsalliance.org for a full description.Presenters: Amy LeBlanc, Whitehill Farm, Kathy Trodden, Second Chance Farm and Longfellows Creamery LLC, Tessa Burpee, Heart of Maine Resource Conservation and Development, Keri Sands, Farms for the Future of CEI, and Rose Creps, Small Business Development Centers of AVCOG.Amy LeBlanc operates Whitehill Farm in East Wilton. The farm is Certified Organic and features heirloom varieties of flowers, herbs and vegetable seedlings as well as tomatoes, vegetables, culinary herbs, pestos, berries, apple cider vinegar (live and pasteurized). LeBlanc sells from the farm and at the Sandy River Farmers Market in Farmington. Phone: 778-2685. Kathy Trodden operates Second Chance Farm and Longfellows Creamery LLC on Maple Lane in Avon. The farm is a Certified Organic grass-based farm specializing in farmstead cheeses, raw milk, butter and organic beef, pork and veal. Trodden also does educational demonstrations of cheese making on Mondays in July and August at the farm. Phone: 639-2074.Kerri Sands of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. has been coordinating farm business planning teams with the Maine Farms for the Future Program since 2003. Her past work in this field includes research and design for local food promotion and farmers' markets. She attended Unity College (Unity) and College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor), where her focus was on local agriculture systems, marketing, and graphic design. A native of Maine, she is keenly interested in developing a sustainable future for Maine's rural economy. She also currently serves on the Board of the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society.Rose Creps has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and a Masters Degree in Global Business Administration both from Southern New Hampshire University. She previously worked as a financial consultant and an accounting manager. Aside from her financial expertise, she has significant experience in training and education. In completing a project for her Masters Degree, Creps worked with the Maine SBDC service center at CEI (Augusta location). Impressed with the work of the Maine SBDC, she continued on as a volunteer. Rose Creps is now a full-time business counselor with the Maine SBDC at AVCOG.The workshop is sponsored by Western Mountains Alliance with support from the Farm Credit NE AgEnhancement Program. To Register: $18. Please register before April 4th by calling 207-778-3885 or email tcook@westernmountainsalliance.org.For more information, please contact:Kathleen BeauregardWestern Mountains AlliancePO Box 29Farmington, ME 04938207-778-3885kbeauregard@westernmountainsalliance.org

Jan- Feb 2008

Blog Launched for Maine Volunteer Managers“Conversations From the Field of Volunteer Management” is the focus of the new blog that was launched this week at www.volunteermaine.org by the VolunteerMaine Partnership and Maine Commission for Community Service. A blog (short for “web log”) is a type of journal that allows readers to leave comments and share stories or advice on hot topics. “From the Field” readers will find updates several times each week -- new stories, links to resources, and other coffee-break-type conversations from the volunteer management community. “Have you ever gone to a conference and felt that you gained more talking to your peers over coffee between the sessions than you did in the workshops themselves?” said Carla Ganiel, Editorial Chair. “That’s what blogging is like. Those short, incisive little conversations about the things that matter most to you.” Volunteer Maine Leadership Network members and the Maine Commission for Community Service (MCCS) will manage this new blog. “From the Field” aims to connect paid or unpaid professionals working to manage volunteers in any field. “From environmental land trusts to emergency response services --this blog appeals to anyone working with volunteers,” explained Anne Schink of the Maine Commission for Community Service. The blog is authored by a group of Featured Bloggers who represent a wide cross-section of Maine’s volunteer sector: • Penny Kern, retired after 17 years as a Program Manager at Abnaki Girl Scout Council, • Robert “Bob” Moore, Executive Director, Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed,• Margaret Puckett, Volunteer Services Coordinator, St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor,• Christy Monroe, AmeriCorps*VISTA, Maine Commission for Community Service, • Bessie Wright, Maine Conservation Corps AmeriCorps member, • Anne Schink, Program Officer and Disabilities Coordinator at MCCS, • Larry Ullian, Director of Program Development, USM Muskie School of Public Service, and • Christine Wolff, Island Fellows Program Coordinator, the Island Institute in Rockland. “This particular blog is to serve as a communications tool for volunteer managers, but beyond that, to advance their work and their professional development,” says Ganiel. Anyone is welcome to view “Conversations From the Field of Volunteer Management” as an interesting read or submit comments at www.volunteermaine.org/blog. Gulf of Maine Council invites nominations for leadership and volunteer awards January 2008 Do you know a group or individual who has worked professionally or selflessly volunteered to improve the Gulf of Maine? A volunteer who has devoted his or her life to natural resource and environmental issues in the Gulf? A very special coastal management professional who works in the Gulf of Maine? The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is calling for nominations for its annual Visionary and Longard Awards and the first Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership Award. One group and one individual-paid professionals or volunteers are eligible-in each province and state* will be selected to receive a Visionary Award. One Longard Award will be selected to honor a lifetime of achievement in his or her volunteer work. One individual will be selected for the first Susan Snow-Cotter award to recognize a coastal management professional who exemplifies outstanding leadership or exceptional mentoring in the Gulf of Maine watershed. Please consider nominating a deserving volunteer or professional individual or group for a Visionary Award, an individual volunteer for the Longard Award, and a professional for the Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership Award.To nominate a group or individual, click on the link below to complete and return by April 25, 2008 a Visionary, Longard, and Susan Snow-Cotter Awards form posted on the Council's website. http://www.gulfofmaine.org/council/opportunities/#awardsIf you have any questions please contact- Michele L. Tremblay, Council Coordinator Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment c/o naturesource communications PO Box 3019 • Boscawen NH 03303 603.796.2615 • 796.2600 fax Nominations sought for The Governor's Service Awards program of 2008

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards program recognizes and honors the valuable contributions of Maine’s extraordinary volunteers while inspiring others to follow their example.

Citizens, nonprofits, government volunteer programs, educational institutions, and businesses are invited to submit nominees for the 2008 awards. Recognition is given to a youth and adult volunteer of the year, a small business and a corporate volunteer program, a public sector and a national service volunteer of the year, as well as an outstanding volunteer administrator and volunteer program.

Recipients of the awards are selected by a panel of community volunteer leaders and the presentations will be made in the Hall of Flags at the Statehouse during National Volunteer Week (April 27 – May 3). Information about eligibility, nomination forms, and guidelines on preparing nomination forms for all categories are available at www.volunteermaine.org/gsa/.

In a special Roll of Honor category, community volunteer programs can submit the names of any volunteer who has served 500 or more hours during calendar 2007. Every nominee is recognized with a certificate and invited to a Capitol celebration during National Volunteer Week. The Roll of Honor submission form along with guidelines can be found at www.VolunteerMaine.org/gsa/.

Completed nominations must be received by February 29, 2008, at the Maine Commission for Community Service, 38 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333.

Broadband news for consumers—

New Guide Book for Broadband

Maine’s Public Advocate has come out with a new guide that provides consumers with information on the many telephone, cell phone, and Internet options available to them.

The Ratewatch Telecom Guide provides up-to-date rates and major industry news and lists 11 relatively new broadband Internet providers who can install wireless broadband in small rural areas.

The 20-page guide is available free of charge to all Maine residents. To obtain the guide, write the Public Advocate, SHS 112, Augusta, ME 04333. The Public Advocate's Web site: http://www.maine.gov/meopa/. Or send an e-mail: deborah.a.tondreau@maine.gov.

The ConnectME Authority has awarded seven grants to expand broadband and mobile communications services to unserved and underserved areas in Maine. A total of more than $787,000 has been awarded to the recipients, expanding services to an estimated 14,400 residents. A list of the grantees and the communities served is posted on the ConnectME Authority’s Web site.

Governor Baldacci, in conjunction with the Legislature, created the ConnectME initiative in 2006 to expand broadband and cellular infrastructure throughout Maine. The grants were awarded last fall.

“The ConnectME initiative is spurring private investment in broadband and cellular service in Maine. These investments are enabling people in rural areas enhanced access to technology, transforming our state economy and expanding business opportunities for more Mainers,” said Governor Baldacci.

Grant applications were judged based on a number of criteria, including the projected percentage of households that would be served, the level of public-private partnerships created, the level of community support for the projects, and the financial viability of the projects.

Created under the Connect ME legislation, the authority contains five members representing the public and private sphere. The ConnectME Authority is established to stimulate investment in advanced communications technology infrastructure in unserved or underserved areas.

“We were pleased to receive seventeen great and creative applications and were able to select seven to receive funding, which in turn will bring broadband service to over 50 communities that had little prospect of receiving service,” said Phil Lindley, acting executive director of the ConnectME Authority.

The ConnectME Authority expects to conduct another round of grant awards next summer, based on funding availability.

Please visit http://www.maine.gov/connectme/index.shtml or 207 287-1598.

Maine Community Foundation Launches People of Color Fund—

ELLSWORTH, Maine - Thanks to a major grant from the River Rock Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation is launching a new $1 million fund dedicated to providing support to people of color in Maine.

"On the eve of the yearly commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth date, we are honored to announce a major new resource for addressing issues of racial inequality in Maine," said Henry Schmelzer, president of the Maine Community Foundation.

A committee of 10 Maine citizens from diverse backgrounds and geographic locales will advise the People of Color Fund. They will be meeting in the coming months to shape the purpose and vision of the fund.

"People of color in Maine face special challenges, from stereotyping to discrimination," said Lisa Sockabasin, a committee member and director of the Office of Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. "This fund is guided by the belief that all communities have the power to create their own positive change if their members have the requisite knowledge, skills and support," she said.

Announcement of opportunities offered by the fund will take place later this year. Leadership development and training, grantmaking and convening are among the possible activities the committee will be considering.

For 25 years, the Maine Community Foundation has been partnering with donors and community groups to strengthen Maine through grants and scholarships. For more information, visit www.mainecf.org.

Community Announcements in The Maine Democrat—

Nov-Dec 2007

The Bagaduce Music Lending Library of Blue Hill announces its 12th Annual Young Composers' Competition, open to all Maine students in High School or below

Launched in 1996, this competition encourages students to create new works, develop their composing and notation skills, and get valuable feedback from professional musicians. For six lucky youngsters, it's a chance for them to win some extra spending money, too.

Alton Downer, Board Member and Chair of the Music Library's Education Committee, says "Youth and music are a heavenly mix. Music acquires charm when shaped by a youthful mind."

Young Maine musicians are invited to submit their new works by February 22, 2008 for review by a jury of professional musicians. Cash awards and recognition will be presented in two categories: Category I - through Age 13; Category II - Age 14 through 19. All participants will be recognized at a Festival Celebration and Performance in Blue Hill on April 26, 2008.

All submissions will become part of the Music Library's esteemed Maine Collection. This important archive contains over 2,750 works, including pieces by R.B. Hall, Frank Churchill (Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf), Werner Torkanowsky, Walter Piston and Noel Paul Stookey.

For complete information and entry forms, young composers should contact the Music Library at 207-374-5454 or festival@bagaducemusic.org. For easy reference, and to learn more about the Music Library, entrants, their teachers and their families may refer to www.bagaducemusic.org.

The Bagaduce Music Lending Library, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation, was formed in 1983 to provide unencumbered music-library access to performers and music lovers nationwide, regardless of affiliation. The Music Library now has over one million pieces of catalogued music, representing 200,000+ scores and sheet-music titles, and relies on donations of volunteer time, music and financial support to ensure continued operation and growth. Along with the Young Composers' Competition & Festival, the Music Library is host to the Blue Hill Pops Concert on July 3rd each year, a summer-season tradition in Downeast Maine. The Music Library is open to visitors year `round: Monday-Wednesday, 10am to 3pm; Thursday-Friday, 10am to 5pm.

For further information, please contact:Susan Theriot, Executive DirectorBagaduce Music Lending Library5 Music Library Lane, Blue Hill, Maine 04614Tel: 207-374-5454susan@bagaducemusic.org

The DECD — is now accepting nominations for the 2008 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence

The Department of Economic and Community Development — accepting nominations for the 2008 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence.

The award is presented by the governor each spring and recognizes Maine businesses for their commitment to the bottom line for manufacturing or customer service and for dedication to their employees and community. Companies may be nominated or they may nominate themselves, and small businesses are strongly encouraged to apply. Nomination forms can be obtained by contacting Linda Shaw at 207-624-9825, e-mail at linda.s.shaw@maine.gov.

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, November 20.