Page 1

2 Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | 

Dunnett, Inc.

still strong after 65 years



ecently, a frustrated customer came to see Jack Eisentrager at Dunnett. He’d just bought an entire set of appliances to outfit his house from a big-box store, but when he had nothing but problems, he couldn’t get anyone to help him. “He said, ‘I’ve done the big-box thing. From now on, I buy my pizza at a pizza shop, I buy my appliances at an appliance store,’” Eisentrager recalled. The logic sounds good, but we’re all used to one-stop shopping — which isn’t appropriate for everything. But many people, especially the younger set, might not realize that there are independent local alternatives to the chain stores. “It’s pretty amazing: We’ve been here 65 years, but there are still a lot of people who don’t know we’re here,” Eisentrager said. Thanks to its membership in a 110-member buying group that gives it the buying powers of the national chains, Dunnett’s prices are on par with those bigbox stores. And with prices being pretty much equal, Eisentrager recommends that appliance hunters use “the Dunnett Advantage” — a list of things to consider when you’re shopping around. Even if you do save a few dollars on a major appliance, other costs and factors might be involved. For instance, do you pay extra for cords or hoses? They’re free at Dunnett. Will you pay to convert gas to propane, or vice versa? You don’t at Dunnett. What’s the delivery charge? Zero at Dunnett on any day within about 40 miles for purchases of $350 or more. The store also has free-delivery days outside its usual area, visiting the Millinocket, Bar Harbor, and Belfast areas weekly. Do you handle your own rebates? Dunnett does it for you and gets it done right — which is important, since industry statistics show that about a third of rebates never pay out. (And if a chain store offers you a rebate in exchange for a shipping fee, you’d better hope you get that one.) Will you get service after the sale? Dunnett services everything it sells for its 40,000 customers. Many chain stores don’t have local service, so service times can be extremely long when something happens. Nothing beats service where you bought it, and nothing’s worse than no service at all. Will the store work with your kitchen-design company? Dunnett has close working relationships with many local kitchen designers, and even provides appliances for display in some kitchen showrooms. That

relationship is key to ensuring a customer gets exactly the kitchen he wants. Finally, are the salespeople knowledgeable? Dunnett’s employees don’t just fill warehouse-floor shifts; they know their stuff, and Dunnett continually invests in employee education to make sure of that. There’s a lot of expertise and longevity; Eisentrager has been there for 37 years, and his main salesman has been there for 22.

Looking for a Deal? Here’s another thing Dunnett has: its extremely popular Scratch and Dent Room. There are 80 to 150 appliances in there at any given time — mostly GE, specially shipped in, at deep discounts and with full warranties. “It’s kind of hit or miss for us and for the customer; we might not always have what they’re looking for,” Eisentrager said. “But if they come in open-minded and flexible, a lot of times they can save 20 to 50 percent off the regular price and get a full manufacturer warranty and get a great buy.” If that isn’t your cup of tea, just wait until Dunnett’s two-day warehouse sales in June and September. Customers can visit the 16,000-square-foot warehouse in Freedom Park and find deep discounts on a wide variety of things, including truckloads of scratch-anddent models, special buys, and closeouts. Savvy customers know they can combine The Dunnett Advantage with things like rebates for certified appliances. Rebates from Efficiency Maine on certain Energy Star appliances include $50 to $100 on washers and $100 on all Energy Star refrigerators over a certain cubic footage. The maximum in the past has generally been $50 for most appliances. “This is the first time they’ve ever upped it to these levels,” said Eisentrager. “It’s a good time for somebody who’s looking for a new refrigerator or a new washer. There are some washing machines out there that we sell for $500 — you can get another $100 back. It’s a good time to be looking.” Bill Dunnett started first opened a tire business in 1948, but he was able to foresee good business opportunities. In the 1950s, he began selling televisions, which were a hot commodity then. After dabbling in auto parts, he began carrying appliances, which quickly became the company’s focal point. In 1969, as a result of urban renewal, the company relocated to the new Penobscot Plaza. Since then, Dunnett has gone into, and then out of, furniture, but appliances have been the mainstay. After expanding several times as neighboring plaza businesses

“I’ve done the big-box

thing. From now on, I buy my pizza at a pizza shop, [and] I buy my appliances at an appliance store.”


departed, today Dunnett has a huge retail area with hundreds of appliances. It’s hard to imagine a chain store even coming close to this sheer volume of major appliances and models, and with so many top-rated brands like GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Frigidaire, Viking, Bosch, LG, Samsung, Danby, and Broan. With that selection, and with today’s appliances never have a shortage of options, there are plenty of bells and whistles to choose from, and Dunnett pretty much has them all. “According to what price range you want to be in and where you want to spend, you can spend a little or you can spend a lot,” Eisentrager said. “The catalogs keep getting thicker and thicker with the options. There are a lot of choices for customers based on what they’re looking for and what they want to spend.”

 | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure


Adult education vital for Mainers in many different ways BY DAVID M. FITZPATRICK, BDN MAINE SPECIAL SECTIONS WRITER  more at


eed a diploma or GED? Interested in college but don’t know where to begin? Retired and looking for fun and social learning opportunities? Or just bored and want something to do? Wherever you are in Maine, you’re probably close to an adult-education program. According to the Maine Adult Education Association, which advocates for adult education locally, statewide, and nationally, Maine has 100 such programs. They’re mostly in areas with high schools and directly serve over 85 percent of Maine communities. And residents in one community can easily attend classes in another. It’s bigger than you might think. In 2009, there were nearly 119,000 enrollments in Maine adult-education programs, with 800 diplomas and over 2,200 GEDs earned. Most programs are year-round, with day and evening classes. Many services, such as GED, are free; other courses average $40. Beyond diplomas and GEDs, students can earn career certificates, explore college options, and receive career counseling. Statewide, adult-ed programs partner with agencies such as Maine Career Centers to provide distance learning and computer access.

Varied Programs Specific content isn’t mandated for the school districts, so local programs’ courses tend to reflect the needs of the community. And what’s offered always depends on available funding, which is precarious now, in the wake of state and federal budget woes. “In this particular [economic] environment, we have a lot of pressures on local school budgets,” said Cathy Newell, the executive director of the Maine Adult Education Association. “Then what we have at the same time is the lights have come on with people saying ‘We need to have a more highly educated work force.’” Newell has been in adult ed since 1979, when she started as a part-time director in Bethel. Back then, when a local mill had closed, many people suddenly needed workforce education and training preparation. Today, that’s frequently the first line of defense when jobs are lost, and why continuing adult-ed funding is so vital. “I’ve seen the recognition and need or adult ed,” she said. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for adult education, but it’s also worrisome.” Aside from academic programs, Newell says enrichment classes are also important. “Sometimes people will say, ‘All they do is make

baskets,’” she said. “Yes, we do some of that, because that’s important for the cultural and rural life of Maine.” Local programs must meet certain criteria to qualify for state subsidies, enrichment courses are at local programs’ discretion. So are certain academics; for example, in strong healthcare areas like Bangor and Portland, medical certifications are popular. And while English as a Second Language is found in most urban programs, Bangor sees very few students compared to Lewiston, which sees many. “I’ve always felt you really have to have a balance that really reflects the needs of your community,” Newell said.

The History of Adult Ed in Maine Adult education’s Maine roots date to 1871, when Maine passed legislation for free education in industrial and mechanical drawing. In 1889, further legislation allowed municipalities to raise money for evening classes. By World War I, with concerns about literacy during the draft, and with English classes needed for immigrants, adult education was firmly established. The Great Depression nearly destroyed adult education; adults were more interested in work than school. After World War II, the establishment of the General Equivalency Diploma, and growth of programs in larger Maine communities, began adult ed’s revitalization. With Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and “Great Society” programs in the 1960s, the adult-ed revolution began. The Maine Adult Education Association was formed in response to overwhelming growth of local programs. Through the 1990s, funding and focus were always in flux, but in the 2000s the Legislature began addressing adult ed’s funding issues. Today, the MAEA is active in advocating for the need for funding for academic and GED courses. Generalenrichment classes are funded entirely by enrollment fees, which subsidize the course, the instructor, and materials, and help fund the overall programs. Program directors and the MAEA are always working to secure funding, which generally includes a state subsidy, local tax dollars, federal funding for literacy and some vocational programs, and tuition and fees from individuals, businesses, and agencies. “The bang for the buck in adult education is great,” the MAEA says. “Individuals and families are changed, our workforce is enhanced, and our communities strengthened.”

Align your spine, body, and mind BY DEBRA BELL, BDN MAINE SPECIAL SECTIONS WRITER  more at


hen Bangor chiropractor Dr. Robin W. Gooden opened Back in Balance Wellness Center in Bangor 11 years ago, the mission was simple: help people live better through chiropractic care. What he found was that his patients needed more than just an adjustment: They needed a team approach to wellness. “We were helping people with headaches, back pain, and missing the potential of helping with a lot of other conditions,” Gooden said. “We wanted to help the people who come through our doors more and more, so we started adding more services.” First he added a massage therapist. Then an acupuncturist. Then personal trainers. And then complementary therapies, including nutrition, supplementation, cold laser, foot orthotics and allergy testing. Today, Back in Balance Wellness Center is located at 16 Penn Plaza in Bangor, and includes a staff of six health professionals and five support staffers, including Gooden’s wife, Melissa. “We work very closely as a team,” he said. The office uses a paperless record system, enabling doctors and staff members to add notes to a patient record. In addition, the providers meet regularly to discuss mutual cases and treatment course. That means improved patient care, Gooden said. “We can help anyone from womb to tomb,” he said. Gooden and his staff provide better care to patients by offering complementary modalities to address acute and systemic problems. For instance, he said, acupuncture and chiropractic care are perfect partners. “There are two types of energy channels that go through our body: the hardwired one such as the spinal cord and nerves, and the meridian pathways,” he said. “It’s really the equivalent of a wireless and wired computer network. Acupuncture and chiropractic helps those systems work best together. We find that our patients who receive both do the best.” Gooden became interested in the chiropractic profession because his cousin’s husband was a chiropractor. At age 19, Gooden was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. School was a struggle for the Pennsylvania native, but once he started receiving chiropractic care, everything changed. “When I started under regular care it made a big difference in my ability to focus, in my ability to not invert numbers, and it gave me mental stamina,”

BDN Maine Photo by Debra Bell

The staff at Back in Balance Wellness Center represent a variety of complimentary therapies that can help reduce and eliminate pain or enhance wellness. Front row from left: Geneva Whiteley, LMT, Dr. Robin W. Gooden, Dr. Daniel S. Robinson. Back row from left: Chelsea Hopkins, LMT, Ashleigh A. Hart, L.Ac., Ariel Shepard, LMT.

Gooden said. “The best part of my job is to help people. I’m a servant at heart. When I can help [patients] improve their lifestyle, expand their mind, and offer solutions to their problems, this makes me proud.” Anyone can benefit from the office’s services, he said. The office also offers many other services that don’t require a person to be a chiropractic patient. Massage, acupuncture, and personal training. “We love to educate,” Melissa Babin-Gooden said. “Our providers put their heart and soul into patient care and are always looking for better ways to empower patients to reach their health goals.” Those tools include a fitness center on the second level, as well as access to seminars and workshops about topics pertinent to health. The office accepts most health plans and health savings accounts and offers payment plans. Gooden’s team works with other health providers to coordinate care.


Bangor Adult and Community Education One program example is Bangor Adult and Community Education, an expansive program run by the Bangor School Department. Last year, BACE had 2,400 enrollments, — over 2 percent of the state total — including 982 enrollments in general-enrichment classes. BACE offers GED courses 46 weeks per year, with day and evening classes and weekly testing. Students work at BACE’s The Learning Center location with four part-time teachers and a part-time guidance counselor. Last year, 130 BACE students earned their GEDs, and 11 earned their diplomas. BACE also helps students prepare for college with Accuplacer testing, which Maine’s community colleges use as one of their entrance requirements. “Students can see if they meet the requirements,” said Director Greg Leavitt. “If not, we work with them to try to boost those scores.” Like other programs, BACE has a college-transition program which handles about 30 students a year. If your college preadmission test scores aren’t high enough, you may have to take developmental courses before enrolling; college transition helps identify students’ weaknesses and improve them before enrollment. This gets students earning college credits faster and statistically increases their chances of completing their degrees. BACE is working to get more certificate programs

that will lead directly to employment in specialized fields. It’s part of the Career Pathways program intended to help students beyond their immediate needs. For example, if a student comes in to earn a GED, the process doesn’t then end; instead, Career Pathways helps the student consider whether he should go further, such as on to college. Leavitt stressed that there are many such programs out there besides at BACE, and cited an example of a student taking a Certified Nursing Assistant program at United Technologies Center; the student could get a job with that, but could go further. “They could choose to go on and get their CNA Meds and up their pay that way — or go into nursing,” he said. “It’s just different points along the career path.” So instead of ‘Congratulations and good luck,’ it’s ‘What else can we do to help you succeed?’ That might mean additional certifications or post-secondary education, depending on the individual goals. Leavitt, who has been in adult education since 2002, has seen many changes over the years, but today there’s one unified theme. “We’re focusing more on post-high-school completion and trying to get people into the college path or career path,” he said. MAEA’s Web site at is a great start, but if you don’t see a program in your community, check with your local school department.

4 Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | 

Senior colleges

facilitate lifelong learning for older Mainers BY DALE MCGARRIGLE, SPECIAL TO THE BANGOR DAILY NEWS  more at


ce n e i r e p Ex g n i n r a Le n o s Hand


Coastal Loc ation

BDN Maine Photo by Brian Swartz

Lincoln artist David Whalen teaches a Penobscot Valley Senior College class in watercolor painting at Eastport Hall on the University of Maine at Augusta-Bangor campus.


ou’re never too old to learn. That’s the spirit behind the Maine Senior College Network, a consortium of 17 senior colleges in the state that offer classes to students ages 50 and older. The MSCN, which began in 1997 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, is made up of independent groups from York County to Presque Isle. For students, there are no tests, no papers, no grades, and no prerequisite educational experience, with each senior college group planning intellectually stimulating. non-credit courses (taught by volunteers) and special learning opportunities

“I think they enjoy classes

nity u m m o C s u amp C t i n K e s o l C

Environmental Liberal Arts on the coast of Maine

connect with your environment.

Join us for Preview Day

Friday, April 26

1-888-468-6866 New England’s Only Public Environmental Liberal Arts College

with us because there is no pressure — no grades, no tests.”

Kay T. Liss, Vice President COASTAL SENIOR COLLEGE

Why is senior college important? “Senior College facilitates life long learning by exposing seniors to new ideas, new skills, and opportunities for discussions,” explained Judith Burleigh, a steering committee member for Seniors Achieving Greater Education in Presque Isle. “It provides social opportunities: meeting new friends and sharing learning/activities with old friends. “It links community members and college members, which enriches both groups and their appreciation of each other. It keeps us aware that we are in the process of becoming throughout our life and that it is never too late, or we are never too old, to try something new,” she said. The University of Maine at Presque Isle is home to SAGE, the northernmost group in the network. Classes are held at two Aroostook County sites: UMPI and the Houlton Higher Education Center. SAGE, which began in 1998, offers two sessions each school year, beginning in October and mid-March. There are about 10 classes each session, ranging in length from three to eight weeks, with classes usually meeting once a week for two hours. Class formats range from lecture and discussion to field trips and hands-on learning. Mary Lawrence, coordinator of special programs at UMPI, said that ideas for courses come from a steering committee, with input from evaluation forms filled out by previous classes. SAGE members pay $15 a semester or $30 annually, and courses are free for members, although there may be additional fees for field trips, hands-on learning, or textbooks. Lawrence estimated that there are about 100 SAGE members at any time. Since its beginning 15 years ago, membership has remained stable, while enrollment in classes has grown. Who is involved with SAGE? “The average student is a retired person living in the central Aroostook area with a passion for learning new things and sharing in the classroom,” Lawrence said. “The average teacher is a retired individual with a passion for the topic which they are teaching.” While many SAGE members are long-time County residents, many of the members of Sunrise Senior College in Machias are what Gail Peters, chairman of SCC’s board of directors, calls “PFAs.” “Most of our students are ‘people from away,’ but in the last 10 years, we have proved ourselves to the local folks, and many more are joining us,” Peters said. SCC offers about 25 courses between its spring and fall semesters, which are taught by volunteer instructors and are usually held once a week for four to six weeks at the University of Maine in Machias campus. There are also a number of one-day events, taught by presenters, held

in January and February and during the summer. A membership costs $25 and is necessary to participate in the semester and summer programs. The cost of each semester program is an additional $15, to cover books and materials, while the summer program is free to members. The winter program is free and open to the public of any age. The semester program is run by the Curriculum Committee, and it chooses courses based on member requests and feedback on course-evaluation forms. Sunrise Community College has grown from five courses and 80 members in 2002 to its year-round programming and 262 members today. It’s also spawned spin-off bridge, mah-jongg and walking groups. Peters sees Sunrise Senior College as a gathering place. “Senior college allows for people to meet each other,” she said. “It is particularly useful for those who are not lifelong residents of the area. They have few ties and shallow roots in the area compared to many who have lived here all their lives. It has continued to become a crossroads for longtime locals and newbies to meet. It is a wonderful way to stay sharp in mind and body since we offer many academically stimulating classes and opportunities to stay physically fit.” Another flourishing senior college, Coastal Senior College, lies down the coast in Rockland. CSC, founded in 2001, enjoys an average membership of around 300. The area that CSC serves, from Boothbay to Camden, draws an intellectually curious retiree. This has benefitted CSC, which averages about 48 courses annually spread over three sessions, fall, winter, and spring. “The ‘average’ instructor is a retired professor from a college or university around the country,” said Kay T. Liss, CSC’s vice president and chair of the marketing/ publicity committee. “Their teaching for CSC is entirely volunteer, so they just love to teach, which is obvious in all of them I have experienced. “I think they enjoy classes with us because there is no pressure — no grades, no tests — and secondly because older adults, as opposed to undergrads or graduate students, are also there just because they want to learn something, not because they have to for credits, and they usually have more of a foundation of knowledge than a younger adult,” she said. In addition to the courses, CSC offers ongoing programs, including a writing group and a discussion

“It links community

members and college members, which enriches both groups and their appreciation of each other.”

Judith Burleigh, Steering committee SENIORS ACHIEVING GREATER EDUCATION

group for current affairs, and occasional workshops. A veteran curriculum committee has kept CSC strong, Liss explained. “Most have been involved with CSC for many years, and have lived in the area for a while and know lots of interesting people,” she said. “Many of our instructors teach every year at least one course. New teachers come to us through recommendations from someone on the committee or the board of directors.” Liss added that Maine has one of the strongest senior college networks in the country. “It offers retired people a way to continue learning in such a variety of fields,” she said. “For me, it allows me to take classes in subjects I didn’t have the time to pursue in college while I was getting degrees. I have taken everything from music history classes to anthropology classes to architecture. It has just been wonderfully enriching.” To find a senior college near you, visit www.

 | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure


Community-supported fisheries connect fishermen and consumers BY DALE MCGARRIGLE, SPECIAL TO THE BANGOR DAILY NEWS  more at


new, mutually beneficial arrangement is binding together fishermen and their communities. Based on the community-supported agriculture model, a community-supported fishery is a program that links fishermen to a local market. In most CSFs, customers pre-pay for a “season” of fresh, local, low-impact seafood, and in turn they receive a weekly or bi-weekly share of fish or shellfish. According to, CSFs: 1. Establish a transparent chain-of-custody from boat to fork; 2. Increase access to premium, locally caught seafood; 3. Ensure fishermen receive a fair price for their catch that reflects the value of their work; 4. Engage fishermen and community members in more robust, viable, local food systems; 5. Provide a framework through which fishermen and customers alike can creatively steward our marine resources. The first CSF in the nation was Port Clyde Fresh Catch, founded in 2007 in the Knox County fishing town. Glen Libby, president of PCFC, said his group started with a CSF in which participants would pay a fee up front and receive a certain amount of fish each week. But in January, the arrangement evolved to the Community Supported Fish Drop. Participants can place an online order for whatever they want from a list of available fish each week, which will be delivered to a nearby drop site. Swartz In the off season, there are only drop sites in Port of Clyde and Thomaston right now, but Libby expects the number to increase all along the coast during the busy summer season. A minimum of 30 pounds of fish ordered is required to establish a new drop site. The fish are offered at prices that are frequently competitive with area supermarkets. “The new way makes more sense,” Libby said. “The bulk price for fish changes daily, so it's impossible to estimate what we would need to charge for something any given week.” Libby admits that PCFC is still working out some systematic problems with the new plan, but he hopes to have those taken care of before the busy season. The Fish Drop is but one of the innovations that Port Clyde Fresh Catch has made. Rather than having their catches trucked to Portland and having to accept the price offered by processors there, the seven members

of Fresh Catch, six of whom are fishermen, set up their own plant where the fish, both theirs and from other fishermen, is processed by hand. That facility currently employs seven, but Libby expects that number to rise to 15-20 in the summer. Libby estimated that 20 to 30 percent of his company's fish end up at Port Clyde Fresh Catch, with that being split among local restaurants, retail sales, and shipped sales and the CSF program.

“The new way makes

more sense. The bulk price for fish changes daily, so it's impossible to estimate what we would need to charge for something any given week.”


By handling the processing and marketing themselves, Libby estimated that the fishermen are making 25 percent more profit. “This results in more income for the fishermen, and that keeps more of the value of the catch in Port Clyde,” Libby said. Being the chief executive for Port Clyde Fresh Catch isn’t as prestigious as its seems: “It means doing whatever needs to be done,” Libby said. “There’s record- and book-keeping, packing shrimp, cutting fish, cooking crab, hauling shells to the compost. You can’t fish and do this. I know. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work." But CSFs aren’t just for ground fishermen. Just ask Falmouth lobsterman Brent Nappi. Nappi’s Linda Kate Lobster Co-op offers a community shareholder program, with a sliding scale based on the time of year the shareholder participates. Prices this past season were $125 for 25 pounds July

BDN Maine File Photo by Gabor Degre

glen Libby, president of the Port Clyde fresh Catch fishermen's co-op, holds freshly packaged Maine shrimp. The 12-member co-op started a small processing facility. "We only started in June of 2009, and there is interest in locally caught and processed seafood. We are still small but hope to expand as we can," Libby said.

15-Aug. 15, $125 for 30 pounds Aug. 15-Dec. 15, $165 for 30 pounds Dec. 15-Jan. 15, and 5 to 10 percent off retail from Jan. 15-July 15. Shareholders can choose any size lobster they want and can order additional lobster at a reduced rate. Nappi involves the community even further, holding programs from June to September when shareholders can board his family’s boats, Linda Kate I and II, to learn about biology, ecology, equipment, and the lobstering industry, and then go out to the pots to do some hauling. Can CSFs save small, independent fishermen? Those behind seem to think so. On that organization's Web site is written: “CSFs — whether in Down East, Maine or Down East, North Carolina — seek to reconnect coastal communities to their food system, encourage sustainable fishing practices, and strengthen relationships between fishermen and communities.”" For more information on CSFs, visit or www. or email Thinkstock/iStockphoto

6 Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | 

Cross Insurance


expands into

new sectors and new regions






hat defines good business value in today’s society? For one Maine company, it is customer satisfaction, finding ways to progress and giving back to the community. Cross Insurance, a family-run insurance company founded more than 50 years ago, has enjoyed success due in large part to the company’s focus on its customers’ needs. This has allowed Cross Insurance to not only expand its office base throughout New England, but also to give back to the community. The culmination of those efforts is evident in Bangor’s new Cross Insurance Center. This year has seen Cross Insurance expand its business across new sectors, including colleges and universities. Cross Insurance Boston, located at 930 Commonwealth Ave., employs in its Higher Education Division more than a dozen specialists experienced in providing professional service and customized insurance-based risk management solutions and consulting in the areas of property and casualty, employee benefits, student accident and health, loss control and safety, independent claims handling, and OCIPs (Owner Control Insurance Program) to colleges and universities nationwide. Insurance industry veteran Beverly Costello, formally the Global Practice leader for an international broker, has been tapped to run Cross Insurance Boston, bringing with her more than 30 years’ experience. Cross Insurance also has expanded into Rhode Island with the addition of a Providence office headed by insurance expert Gary Heaslip. The Rhode Island office will focus on the insurance needs of a wide variety of clients, including three universities and the food services industry. Furthering the company’s expansion, Cross Insurance brought on Bob Shaw and his firm, Skillings, Shaw & Associates, a company focused on the unique specialty of fidelity and surety bonds serving clients from California to Maine. “Since 1954, we have built this organization ‘one policy at a time’ to become one of New England’s largest insurance providers. We have and will continue to be attentive to delivering the kind of professional insurance services you can trust, while taking charge of your insurance and risk management issues,” said Royce Cross, CEO of Cross Insurance.

“With these strategic

expansions, we look forward to serving clients in a broader and more tactical way.” ROYCE CROSS, CEO, CROSS INSURANCE

“With these strategic expansions, we look forward to serving clients in a broader and more tactical way,” Cross said. Along with its expansion, Cross Insurance is also supporting the Bangor community through the sponsorship of the Cross Insurance Center. The center will be a resource for the community, hosting local sporting events, concerts, and other civic happenings. The Cross Center is located minutes from Bangor International Airport and is poised to offer residents and travelers a gateway into many of the wonderful entertainment and recreational opportunities that are available in Maine. This state-of-the-art facility has easy access to diverse dining facilities and boutique and premier shopping and is just a scenic hour’s drive to magnificent ocean views at Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. With an eye toward the future, Brent Cross says, “Cross insurance is looking down the road to increasing our acquisitions in Massachusetts, as well as expansion into other states, while staffing these offices with experienced professionals who are well known in the industry. “In this manner, we should be able to provide a broader selection of product offerings. The Cross family is proud of our Maine roots, and we feel that opportunities abound in Maine and across New England. It is our hope to provide leadership in these changing times to maximize Cross Insurance’s potential,” he said.

t Stillwater Health Care, located at 335 Stillwater Ave. in Bangor, the facility isn’t just a place to care for elderly residents: It’s a place where residents are engaged in living. This 63-bed, long-term care and skilled nursing facility has been recognized nationally for its commitment to quality care and customer service. According to Kristy Thibodeau, RN, Administrator at Stillwater Health Care, the facility received the 2012 American Health Care Association’s National Quality Bronze Award. It was just one of four facilities in Maine to receive the bronze award. “But this is just the beginning. We’re committed to making the journey to bring innovation and culture change to the population we serve,” Thibodeau said. Using criteria set up by the Baldridge Performance Excellence Program, Stillwater Health Care stepped up and pronounced its commitment to quality and excellence. Core values such as customer service and quality care strengthen the organization, while enhancing the resident experience.

Core values such as customer service and quality care strengthen the organization, while enhancing the resident experience.

And that’s at the heart of Stillwater Health Care’s vision. You can feel it when walking in the front door and hearing residents playing trivia or board games. You see it when watching residents exercise and watch television. You smell it when one of the three daily meals is prepared. And you feel it from the warm greeting and interaction of the staff. That’s because Stillwater Health Care isn’t just a nursing home: It’s a place to live well.

Photo by Michael York

Stillwater Health Care residents Kathleen Rice (left) and Carmelita St. Pierre (right) sit by the facility's aquarium.

“Everyone has input and is engaged in the process: residents, families, staff,” said, Director of Nursing, Angela Jones. Engagement, Jones said, comes in the form of listening to residents and individualizing their care needs to enhance their lives throughout their stay. This includes providing opportunities that allow families, residents and staff to enjoy time with each other. Most recently, the facility held a tremendously successful casino night, complete with table games and mocktails. Regular outings are part of helping residents stay engaged. Whether it’s a trip to a restaurant, the movies, fishing, or to a local event, it’s all about what the residents want. In an effort to improve resident and family experiences, the facility offers several innovative opportunities to include individualized spa experiences, and enhanced dining. Stillwater Health Care offers continental breakfast, menu dining, buffet style lunches and restaurant style family dining experiences. Stillwater Health Care’s multi-sensory room is another unique innovative experience for residents. “It will help assist in reducing the use of pharmaceuticals,” Thibodeau said. The room can help ease symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression. Stillwater Health Care is one of only two facilities in the state to offer this type of environment. “Our commitment to our residents through innovation and culture change provides a whole new meaning to a stay in long term care or skilled nursing facility,” Thibodeau said. “It’s all about the experience and customer service. We want them to have a happy life.”

 | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure


Tax credits fuel $100 million in

historic building rehabilitation since 2008



istorical Maine never looked better as the state’s housing market went south in 2008. According to Michael Johnson, an architectural historian with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission in Augusta, federal and state tax credits have spurred at least $100 million in construction activity in Maine in the last five years ago. That activity targeted a specific market: rehabilitating older historic buildings. “You know [that] 2008 was right when the downturn in the economy got started,” Johnson said. While new housing construction slowed in Maine, the renovation of historic buildings did not, he pointed out. “It’s over a hundred million dollars since 2008 that has been invested in these rehabs. I can say that for sure,” he said. “This seems to be one of the few bright lights in the construction industry during the downturn,” said Earle Shettleworth Jr., the Maine state historian and the MHPC director. In 1976, Congress established the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program to encourage developers to restore older historic buildings that might otherwise be abandoned or demolished. The program created a 20-percent federal tax credit based on a developer’s “rehabilitation investment in the property,” said Shettleworth. “The concept was to … create a level playing field between new construction and the rehabilitation of historic buildings around the county,” he explained. The federal tax credit encourages “people to invest money in old downtowns as a balance” to “the widespread new construction that’s occurring on the outskirts of communities.” In 2008 the Maine Legislature revamped the state’s anemic historic preservation tax credit. The program now “provides a [state tax] credit of 25 percent on qualified rehab expenses,” Johnson said. “I think that really stirred more work on these rehab projects.” Scattered across Maine — and concentrated particularly in urban areas — are buildings dating from the mid-1600s to the early 2000s. The Maine climate, changing economic activity, and societal indifference adversely impact many such buildings; property owners may abandon or neglect them, leaving the elements to wreak havoc and speed decay. But these buildings often present unique cultural and economic opportunities. “I think there are several reasons to preserve older

buildings,” Shettleworth said. Describing Maine as “a very old New England state,” he said that “we are fortunate to have inherited in the present generation many beautiful villages, towns, and cities that are still largely intact, particularly from the 19th century.” The historical architecture found in such places creates “environments that are very distinctive, that have a great deal of character, environments that people want to live and work in,” Shettleworth said. “These historic environments” also spur economic activity, he indicated. “Towns and villages that have historic character are very attractive” to tourists, Shettleworth explained. “Tourism is a large factor in our economy. “Having attractive and historic communities attracts not only tourists, but also people from out of state who wish to live and work in Maine” or retire here, he said. Shettleworth cited Blue Hill, “where you have a beautifully preserved downtown village” and the nearby Parker Ridge Retirement Community. The latter project provided local jobs and attracted residents who find “Blue Hill is a very attractive place to live.” According to Shettleworth, “the economic offset” of historic rehabilitation “is very powerful in that it creates jobs … in the design community” for “the architects and the engineers” and “in the construction industry. “It creates investment in local businesses that are [project] suppliers,” he said. “We are finding … that because of the local nature of these projects, they are often resulting in direct investments into the community or the region in which the project is taking place. That's a very valuable offset.” Properties rehabilitated with government tax credits range from houses — Shettleworth cited the Edith Patch House in Orono — and older commercial buildings — such as those restored in Portland’s Old Port — to large mills and abandoned schools. “Only of the early tax-credit projects” involved “a huge, 1844 cotton mill … right literally in the middle of downtown” Hallowell, Shettleworth said. “It was a vacant, derelict building.” Able to claim federal tax credits, “a developer bought that building and rehabbed it for elderly housing,” he said. “It has been a successful project now for over 30 years. “It has created a substantial population of people in the downtown,” people who “patronize the local businesses” and belong to local churches and social groups, he said.

BDN Maine Photo by Brian Swartz

Using the available federal tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic buildings, a developer rehabilitated this portion of the historic Hathaway Mills complex in Waterville. The building now shelters the Hathaway Apartments and the Hathaway Creative Center.

With the federal and state tax credits, developers find many older buildings financially feasible to rehabilitate. To qualify for such credits, a particular building must qualify for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The Maine Historic Preservation Commission oversees the National Register for the National Park Service. “A direct outgrowth of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966,” the National Register currently lists more than 1,500 individual properties and 150-plus historic districts in Maine, Shettleworth said. To qualify for inclusion on the National Register, a property must be at least 50 years old, “unless it is of overriding national significance,” Shettleworth said. “A property can have architectural significance. It can have historic significance.” The National Register also encompasses “historic and prehistoric archeological sites as well,” such as a portion of the Penobscot River between Bangor and Brewer “where the [American] ships were sunk” during the Revolution, he said. Even if it meets National Register eligibility, a building still might not qualify for tax credits. A developer undergoes “a pretty rigorous process” when applying for them, Shettleworth said. “It’s a three-part review” involving the MHPC and the National Park Service, Johnson said. A developer must provide extensive documentation (including photographs) to detail the proposed rehabilitation and its cost. “It’s complicated. There are overlapping tax regulations and rules as well as National Park Service regulations and rules. You have to do your homework on the program,” Johnson said.

Discover your natural state. An Appalachian Mountain Club experience in the heart of the 100-Mile Wilderness. TWO UNIQUE LODGES. ENDLESS EXPLORATION ON TRAILS AND WATER. 207-358-5187

Early Summer Savings at Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins Stay 3 nights midweek at Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins this May or June, and save 30% on our regular season rates! Must mention promo code EVRY13BP. Not valid for guided programs. Sunday through Friday only.

Once the Park Service has approved a particular project, the developer must complete it and document the work. “Once they do that, and everything is found to be as it should be, the owners are then certified for the tax credit,” he said. If a property qualifies for federal tax credits, the National Park Service will notify the IRS; if the property qualifies for state tax credits, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission will notify Maine Revenue Services. “The application-and-certification process has high standards in order to ensure that the public's investment in this process is looked after and is satisfied,” Shettleworth said. “We’re doing our very best to guarantee that the developer is receiving a credit” and “that he is giving value for that credit” by “properly rehabilitating the building.” The Maine Historic Preservation Commission, which administers the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program for the Park Service, has experienced no decrease in interest in the program, Johnson indicated. He believes that had the Legislature not restructured Maine’s tax credit in 2008, rehabilitation efforts would have slackened. “We may have seen very little activity at all with regard to historic rehab without the state credit,” Johnson said. “In talking to developers, I don’t think they generally feel the federal credit alone is quite enough of an incentive for them to take on these massive projects.” “We didn't know it at the time” in 2008, “but the timing of the state credit, coupled with the federal credit,” left” historic rehabilitation “one of the few attractive areas for people to invest in” during the housing downtown, Shettleworth said.

8 Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | 

Bangor company specializes in finding

modern uses for historic buildings



f federal tax credits and House Revivers had been available during Bangor’s urban renewal frenzy, at least a few architecturally significant buildings might still exist downtown. Bob and Suzanne Kelly own House Rivers and Kelly Realty Management, the former a Bangor-based company that rehabilitates historic buildings. The Kellys have restored several Bangor buildings since 1990. Federal tax credits made those projects possible. “I just like old buildings. They’re what make a community unique,” Bob explained his passion for restoring historic structures. “I don’t like to see old buildings go to waste.” Historic preservation — “rehabilitation” might be a better term — “helps preserve a town’s architectural history,” he said. The first House Revivers’ project involved moving the 1835 Charles W. Jenkins House from York Street to a large lot at 67 Pine St. “It was one of the last Gothic Revival houses in Bangor,” Bob recalled.

Congregation Beth Israel, which owned the building and wanted to expand onto the York Street lot, “was offering the house free to any one who would take it,” he said. He and Suzanne proposed moving the house, placing it on a new foundation, and restoring it. Attracted by the federal tax credits for rehabilitating historic buildings, several investors signed on. In summer 1989 Thurston Haslam and his crew from Ellsworth carefully moved the Jenkins House to its new address and eased it into place. Extensive rehabilitation followed. That project led to others: Next came a house at 73 Pine St. — now the House Revivers headquarters — and then the Cyrus Clark House at Hammond and North High streets. Built in the 1830s, that house “was essentially an abandoned building,” Bob recalled. House Revivers also rehabilitated buildings at 140 Hammond St. and the block stretching from 84-116 Hammond St. that once housed the Bangor Furniture Co. As with their other projects, the Kellys drew together investors interested in financing the block’s

renovations. “That was one of the biggest projects we have done,” Bob said. The block covered five floors and “about 27,000 square feet” and, beyond the physical renovations, provided another challenge. “Finding an economically viable use for it was interesting,” he said. “We literally did not know who was going in there,” Suzanne said. Today the 84-116 Hammond St. block houses Bangor Wine & Cheese, Massimo’s Restaurant, commercial office space, and six apartments — and represents an excellent example of what can be done with historic rehabilitation. While tax credits help make such projects financially attractive to investors, some people “are interested simply in saving old buildings,” Suzanne said. There exists “a sense of satisfaction in seeing” a building restored to use. “When you invest in something like that, you can drive

BDN Maine Photo by Brian Swartz

Stylish signs inform passersby about the businesses located in 84-116 Hammond St., Bangor block rehabilitated some years ago by House Revivers. The block, which once housed the Bangor Furniture Co., occupied five floors and approximately 27,000 square feet. The extensive project was made financially feasible by the use of federal tax credits for rehabilitating historic buildings.

Experience the beauty of the Maine environment

Become a multi-skilled technician

Save by beginning your four-year degree here

Discover Business & Industry training options

Enjoy the cultural experiences of living in an international border community

by and see what you’re investing in,” she said. Intimate with Bangor’s architectural history, Bob Kelly seemed wistful as he talked about buildings lost to 1960s’ wrecking balls. “We have lost a lot of historically valuable buildings,” such as Bangor City Hall at Columbia and Hammond streets and Union Station, which stood on the Penobscot River frontage now occupied by the Penobscot Plaza. Both buildings were demolished during the city’s urban renewal heyday. “We could have done a lot with those [two] buildings,” he said. “Imagine the potential that was lost with them.” Many other older buildings were torn down by urban renewal. The Kellys agreed that not all older buildings are worth saving; “the definition of a building that we are interested in is a worthy, distressed older building,” Suzanne said. “The ones that survive are the ones that were best built,” Bob said. “They built them to last.” One well-worn building not lost to history was the Unitarian Church vestry on Main Street. While undertaking a building expansion, Merrill Merchants Bank purchased the building and hired House Revivers to rehabilitate it. The bank later became People’s United Bank. The Kellys are familiar with the advantages that tax credits offer historic rehabilitation. “We’ve done more tax-credit projects than anybody else in the state,” Suzanne said. “When we first started, there was a 20-percent federal tax credit,” Bob said. “Those tax credits are still available, and now there is a 25-percent state tax credit.” Such credits “have carry-back and carry-forward provisions,” he said. “The tax credit is absolutely essential in so many of these projects.” During each project, workers have encountered features peculiar to the particular building. “No two projects are the same,” Bob said, smiling at specific memories. He mentioned the construction worker who emerged from the basement of the Cyrus Clark House and called Bob’s attention to a literally shaky brick wall that partially supported the upper floors. The worker pushed his hand lightly against the wall, and it moved slightly. “I told him to stop before he brought down the house,” Bob said. “You come up with all sorts of surprises,” Suzanne commented. Inside the Clark House, “we uncovered this beautiful mantel” for “a fireplace with a beehive oven.” At 140 Hammond St., workers opened a wall and discovered of a set of pocket doors hidden inside. They became “part of the building’s modern charm,” Bob said.

Like us on Facebook! One College Drive, Calais, ME 04619 | 1-800-210-6932 | 1-207-454-1000 | | WCCC is an EO/AA Employer

 | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure


Pets and pet-lovers receive a warm welcome at the Winter Harbor Inn BY BRIAN SWARTZ, BDN MAINE SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR  more at

BDN Maine Photo by Brian Swartz

Arnold and Pam Di Ruggiero own and operate the Winter Harbor Inn, located at 298 Main St., Winter Harbor. The inn has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and can sleep eight guests comfortably. The Di Ruggieros welcome pet owners and their pets; Pam offers full pet-grooming services in an adjacent pet-grooming salon.


he welcome mat is out for pets and pet-lovers alike at the Winter Harbor Inn, located in Down East Maine and owned by Pam and Arnold Di Ruggiero. Built in 1854 and recently remodeled, the inn provides the perfect place for people to relax and enjoy the quiet pace of life found Down East. With its four guest bedrooms and four bathrooms, the inn stands in the heart of Winter Harbor Village, less than 3 miles from the entrance to Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Point, only a boat ride from Bar Harbor and scenic Mount Desert Island, and just a short drive from the natural beauty and cultural and historic attractions of Down East Maine. “People like to travel with their pets,” Pam says. “We invite them to stay with us and experience Maine at its best. We invite cats and dogs, too.” Located at 298 Main St. and on the Schoodic National Scenic Byway, the Winter Harbor Inn sleeps eight people comfortably. Guests can relax in the sunny living room, on the front porch, in the backyard, or at the bar,

which features a new and beautiful tin ceiling. The inn has a full laundry facility for guests to use and, “if they take over the entire inn,’ a full kitchen for preparing meals, Arnold says. Guests can use the free Wifi via high-speed Internet access, enjoy a full continental breakfast each morning, and spend the day exploring Winter Harbor, Schoodic Point, or other points in Down East Maine. Nearby lighthouses are visible from shore, and cruise operators offer trips in coastal waters. The free Island Explorer bus stops just a block from the inn and connects guests with Birch Harbor, Prospect Harbor, and Schoodic Point. The bus can carry bicycles. Just a few blocks in the other direction, guests can catch the Bar Harbor Ferry, which crosses Frenchman Bay and puts passengers ashore at Bar Harbor. The ferry can carry bicycles for guests planning to explore Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island on two wheels; or guests can catch the Island Explorer in Bar Harbor and ride free to all major Acadia and MDI destinations.

Families and groups can rent the Winter Harbor Inn for such events as baby showers, birthday parties, and bridal showers, and businesses can rent the facilities for meetings. The inn can accommodate up to 50 people for such activities. And for pets planning a Maine vacation, the Winter Harbor Inn is the perfect destination. Pam Di Ruggiero offers traveling cats and dogs the opportunity to enjoy a bath and a trim or other services at 1-800-GROOMER (476-6637), a salon located at the inn. Pam “is an extraordinary expert in cat-and-dog grooming,” Arnold says, pointing to Pam’s more than 20 years’ pet-grooming experience. A lecturer at such industry shows as Groom Expo and Intergroom, Pam co-owns 1-800-GROOMER; she co-founded Professional Mobile Groomers International. Located behind the inn in a well-equipped building, the salon emphasizes full grooming services that help pets relax and look their best. Pets can exercise in the enclosed, sunny backyard. The salon and grooming

BDN Maine File Photo by Mario Moretto

Lobster boats are moored in Winter Harbor.

services are open to the public, and pet owners can relax in the inn’s bar and enjoy a complimentary beverage and use the inn’s free Wifi. Besides pets vacationing in Maine, Pam grooms cats and dogs living from Bangor to Milbridge. “I provide an exclusive service not found anywhere else,” Pam said. Vacationing cats and dogs can stay at the Winter Harbor Inn while their humans spend a day touring. For the fun-loving pup seeking a good time in the Maine outdoors, Pam offers exciting adventures at “Out Dog Bound.” Depending on its owner’s wishes, a vacationing pup can cruise Winter Harbor with Pam and her kayak, hike in the Maine woods, and frolic and swim at the seashore. For more information about the Winter Harbor Inn, log onto To make reservations, call 1-207-LOBSTER (562-7837). For more information about pet-grooming services or “Out Dog Bound,” log onto or call 1-866-PET LOVER (738-5683).

10 Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | 

Students forge friendships,



riendships forged, study skills honed, a superior education provided, and life skills learned: For students attending the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, the typical academic year incorporates all these advantages. A public residential magnet school, MSSM offers students a challenging curriculum that focuses on math and science, yet includes the arts and humanities. Students in grades 9-12 reside in a supervised dorm and attend classes that stress hard work and intellectual development. Along with the school’s academic component, students also form friendships that span towns and time. “Those friendships I’ve made [at MSSM], those are lifelong friends,” said Litchfield’s Tony Nuzzo. Now an electrical engineering senior at the University of Maine, he graduated from MSSM in 2009. “There are so many connections you make” with other MSSM students and alumni, said Austin Dow-Smith, a 2012 MSSM graduate from St. Agathe who currently studies mechanical engineering technology at UMaine. “You know a lot of people.” “One of the major skills you learn there is communicating with other people in your age group,” said Dan Freedman, a 2008 MSSM graduate from Caribou. “This allows you to develop friendships. The close-knit bonds I made at the school led me to join a fraternity here” at UMaine, where he is majoring in secondary education with a physics concentration. “Going to MSSM helped me evolve socially,” said Greg Ramey of Rumford, a 2012 MSSM graduate now studying business administration at UMaine. “When you’re around people all the time, you’re going to go crazy if you don’t make friends.” Before arriving at MSSM last August as a freshman, Corin Rose of Jonesboro already anticipated the potential friendships he might make there. Rose listened attentively when MSSM representatives spoke at the Jonesboro Elementary School two years ago — and he watched the interaction between the MSSM representatives. “I really liked the sense of community, how close everyone seemed to be,” he said. “I’m socializing a lot more” at MSSM “than I could in Jonesboro,” Rose pointed out. “If I wanted to visit a friend there, I had to drive 2 or 3 miles. Now I can go across the hall in the [MSSM] dorm and talk with people.” College-level classes attract many students to MSSM.

Rebecca Hatt of Lincoln sought such an academic challenge when she transferred to MSSM from Penobscot Valley High School in Howland last August — and she got it. Although pleased with her academic studies and teachers at PVHS, Hatt felt “that I had the ability to challenge myself farther, academically. I thought it might be more productive to be in a class of like-minded individuals.” While at PVHS, Hatt usually completed her homework during school hours and routinely earned A’s. After arriving at MSSM last fall, she discovered that the study habits adequate a year earlier proved deficient at her new school. “The first semester was kind of stressful for me, going from the top of the totem pole [academically] to the bottom,” said Hatt, an MSSM sophomore. “You really have to study efficiently. I really didn’t know how to do that, but I learned. “I’m having to work a lot harder to earn a B,” she said. “And if you earn an A here, you know you’ve worked real hard for it.” “I knew she would be challenged” by MSSM’s rigorous curriculum and study requirements, said Bethany Hatt, Rebecca’s mother. “I felt it was the right thing for her.” Rebecca has spent long hours honing her study skills in the MSSM library and in group studies with other students. She has scheduled office hours with her teachers, who “will do everything they can to help you as long as you are helping yourself.” “She’s definitely had to become more focused,” Bethany Hatt said. “She’s definitely doing more homework; she’s come a long ways.” Rose and his parents, Lee and Jody, visited MSSM, met with administrators, faculty, and students, and toured the facilities. Rose decided to attend school there because “I really wanted to push myself academically. “The ability to get a better education than I could in another school was important,” he said. “The students up there really want to learn. “The math and science classes have been my favorites,” Rose said. “They’re very engaging.” “We are pleased he can go to a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) school and get AP English composition his first semester,” Jody Rose said. “They’re giving him a well-rounded education as well.” Academics also drew Freedman to MSSM. After attending a summer camp there while in the fifth grade,







BDN Maine Photos by Brian Swartz

1. Tony Nuzzo of Litchfield graduated from MSSM in 2009 and pursued an electrical engineering degree at the University of Maine. 2. After graduating from MSSM last year, Greg Ramey of Rumford enrolled in business administration at UMaine. “Going to MSSM helped me evolve socially,” he said. 3. According to Dan Freedman of Caribou, “the close-knit bonds I made at the school (MSSM) led me to join a fraternity” at the University of Maine. He is majoring in secondary education with a physics concentration. 4. Austin Dow-Smith of St. Agathe graduated in 2012; he is currently studying mechanical engineering technology at UMaine. 5. A Jonesboro resident, Corin Rose listened attentively when MSSM representatives spoke at his school two years ago. He arrived at MSSM last August as a freshman. 6. Rebecca Hatt transferred to MSSM last August just before the start of her sophomore year in high school. She is receiving a rigorous academic education. 7. A 2012 MSSM graduate, Nathan Faessler of Sanford enrolled in mechanical engineering at UMaine. He credits “the study habits we learned at MSSM” for helping him prepare for his college studies.

he never looked back; Freedman spent his freshman year at Caribou High School and then followed his two older brothers to MSSM, which “offered more of what I wanted to learn,” especially in mathematics. The intensive college-level courses he took at MSSM “pretty much eliminated my [college] freshman year in terms of courses,” he said. “I did not have to take freshman physics or calculus, I had learned so much at MSSM.” An MSSM education “has been extremely helpful from an emotional viewpoint,” Nuzzo said. “I learned to apply myself to achieving what I want to achieve. “This carried over into college,” where he encountered many non-MSSM students unsure about their educational or employment goals. Some students lacked “the work ethic” and did “not want to put the time in to study,” Nuzzo said. Nathan Faessler, a 2012 MSSM graduate from Sanford now studying mechanical engineering at UMaine, has


also noticed that “other students don’t have the study habits. “That’s when I realized how important it was, the study habits we learned at MSSM,” Faessler said. “The first semester [at UMaine] was simple; I had less homework my first semester here than in my last semester at MSSM.” “The [MSSM] teachers were hugely influential in preparing me for studies in engineering,” Nuzzo said. “They expected a lot of us,” Ramey commented. “They made us realize what a lot of work is, both in the classroom and out of the classroom.” “I learned so much more than I would have in my other high school,” Dow-Smith said. While at MSSM, students develop social skills critical to being successful in college — and later in life. “You learn a lot of life skills,” Freedman said. “There is a kitchen in the dorm; you can learn to fix your own meals, which is a skill you need when you’re out on your own.”

 | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure

Needle arts synonymous


BDN photos by Ardeana Hamlin

ToP: a stash of yarn such at this, large or small, in favorite colors, a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook is all that is needed to revisit or learn for the first time the skills of knitting and crochet. rigHT: a brown sweater in progress, a ball of yarn earmarked for socks and knitting needles (nestled against a completed gray wool sweater) are what’s needed to relax with for a stint of knitting.


hen interest in knitting began to ramp up 10 or so years ago, it signaled the launch of a new era in the fiber arts and brought a new generation of women -- and men -- into the pleasures of stitching as a leisure time activity. Since then, new magazines have been launched, new yarn and fabric shops have been opened and the idea of making something useful and-or beautiful has taken hold in the minds of many Maine folks, young and old. With knitting -- and the fiber arts in general -- one thing always leads to another. Sometimes it leads to adding beads to a knitted piece, or the art of beading itself when a knitter decides to learn how to make stitch markers from a bit of silver wire and handful of pretty crystals. It definitely will lead to sewing by hand in order to stitch together the pieces of a sweater or the seam of a cap. Stitching also stirs up a need to expand one’s knowledge and to that end many opportunities are available to learn, including weekend fiber “colleges,” quilting and knitting

retreats to rustic lodges beside serene bodies of water, workshops aboard tall ships sailing off the Maine coast, workshops at quilt shows or under the auspices of sewing guild chapters. Knitting, crocheting, quilting, rug hooking, embroidery, needlepoint and sewing (by hand or by machine) can lead to meetings with others enjoy the same type of needlework, leading to the formation of groups, guilds and chapters. Attending such meetings broaden one’s knowledge, introduces one to new acquaintances and provides pleasant social interaction. Often those groups stitch for the common good, providing quilts, mittens, afghans, scarves, caps and other items for a long list of worthy causes. Attending such a group and doing one’s bit to aid others creates an awareness of need that is always abroad both at home and in far flung corners of the world, including Afghanistan, Central America and Africa. Another way of factoring knitting and the needle arts into one’s leisure time is shopping for needed materials

Kindness, dependablity, excellence mark New England Home Health care



argaret Morehouse is a nurse by training, but a daughter by design. So when the Brewer resident’s aging parents needed hands-on care, she became their caregiver. When her mother, Susan Spruce, passed away in 2007 and her father Raymond required more skilled care, Morehouse stepped up. She, along with her husband, Mark, and their two dogs live with Spruce and his dog Boscoe. The Morehouses live in a separate area from Raymond, a luxury assisted living or a nursing home rarely affords. But it didn’t take long to realize that she needed help — specifically, to allow her to get a full night’s sleep. So she reached out for help. And New England Home Health Care was there to answer the call. Staff at NEHHC, located at Gilman Plaza in Bangor, met with her, developed a plan of action, and now cares for Raymond at night so she can sleep. “It means a lot to me to be able to go to bed and go to sleep,” Morehouse said. “Before, I slept in [a room] near Dad and I never really had sleep. I always had one ear tuned to pay attention if Dad was getting up or not.” However, the benefits extend beyond simple care. For Raymond, now 90 years old, the security of having someone ready to help is a good thing. “They do a good job,” he said. “There’s always someone here to help. The girls are all wonderful.” According to Morehouse, there are three things she can always count on from NEHHC staffers: kindness, dependability, and excellence. Not only has she and her father experienced each of those traits, they’re guiding principles for all staff members at NEHHC. NEHHC opened in 1986, specializing in home health services. In 2010, Kathy Frodahl became president and chief executive officer. And she has a passion for caring for all people. “I’ve been a registered nurse for 33 years with some of those years in home health,” she said. “I understand it and enjoy being there as a resource for the people.” NEHHC is licensed by the state of Maine and employs over 80 certified caregivers and 10 licensed and registered nurses who have undergone extensive background checks and driving checks. But what sets NEHHC apart, Frodahl says, is three guiding principles: kindness, dependability, and excellence. “I try to treat everyone who I work with the same way we treat our clients,” Frodahl said. “First, you have to be kind because that can not be taught. Second, you have to be dependable because you have people depending on you. Third, you can’t be lazy

BDN Maine Photos by Debra Bell

Left: raymond Spruce receives home health services at his home in Brewer. Spruce’s caregivers arrive during the evening allowing his daughter Margaret to sleep without worrying about him. right: robert Mckenney receives caregiving services from neHHC professionals like Tiffany Long at his home in old Town.

[because we demand excellence].” Those criteria extend to its expansive client base, including pediatric, post-surgery and -injury care, concierge service clients, and staffing services. NEHHC, Frodahl said, is known as the “local home healthcare experts.” Being a leader is important to the community and its clients. “We’re here to answer their questions, no matter what and help them find the services they need, regardless of whether we can provide them or not,” Frodahl said. Connie Donovan knows how trying it can be to find someone to help and answer questions. Her 91-yearold father, Robert McKenney, has been an NEHHC client for over a year. His age, coupled with shortterm memory problems that resulted from a car-deer collision, left him needing around-the-clock care. Tiffany Long, his CNA and caregiver, cooks, cleans, cues him to take medications, assists with basic needs, and provides companionship. “Mostly, she deals with me,” he said. “She’s a good little cook and tells me all the latest news.” Donovan, who lives in Lucerne, values having someone to look out for her dad in his home. “It’s a wonderful service,” she said. It’s all about peace of mind, Donovan said. And Morehouse and Spruce echo that. “We are the picture of modern America,” Morehouse said. “And we’re so grateful that [NEHHC] enables him to be part of the family [at home].” For more information about NEHHC and its services, including frequently asked questions, visit their website:

and, in the process, learning what’s available in terms of color, texture and fiber content. This is the time to “let your fingers do the shopping” and revel in the feel of alpaca, wool, linen, cotton and silk yarns -- or blends of those fibers. It’s the time to let your eye roam over bolts and bolts of gorgeous cotton material lining the shelves of fabric stores and free your mind to imagine how this floral print might look next to that solid color and how they might look in the quilt you are planning to stitch. It’s when you select half a dozen skeins of embroidery floss for a cross stitch project you have fallen in love with, or crewel wool for a free embroidery pattern you’ve been thinking about. As a result of such interest, business opportunities are created, leading some to trade in their leisure time to open yarn, fabric or bead shops, which often offer groups and classes, thus amplifying the interest in needle arts. Magazines that focus on knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing and embroidery are an aspect of the needle arts that can lead one to read on the beach in summer or in the comfort of a deep chair near a woodstove in winter. Such magazines are found in bookstores, fabric stores and online They serve to keep readers up-to-date on latest color trends, offer new designs, new takes on old ideas and serve as muses that inspire readers to design their own projects. Those who practice the needle arts sometimes spend leisure time stitching in public, or practice subversive knitting that involves the stealth and droll humor of yarn bombing in which public places nationwide are adorned with handmade items, such as scarves wound around the necks of statues, shop doorknobs hung with crocheted flowers or garlands of handcrafted snowflakes festooning a hand railing. Also, there are ample opportunities to stroll through museums to gaze at displays of needlework, both historical and contemporary. Art quilts that go beyond mere fabric, the artful knitting of “big cat” pelts or whimsical installations of “orphaned” knit or crocheted baby blankets, animal toys and apparel and hand hooked rugs are sometimes on display in art museums. Intense interest in needlework can lead to a desire to spend one’s leisure time writing a history of a specific type of needlework or compiling one’s original designs into a book, with the obvious result that she who writes gets invited to lead workshops or give talks that will be attended by those who have the leisure and inclination to do so. We stitch, therefore we draw the world together in community and expand the realm of needlework ideas and its practitioners.


12 Perspective: Life, Learning & Leisure | Saturday, April 20, 2013 | ďƒœ

Degree Offerings

Whatever your interests.

Applied Science Biology Business Administration Computer Information Systems Dental Assisting Dental Hygiene English Financial Services Information and Library Services Interdisciplinary Studies Justice Studies Liberal Studies Medical Laboratory Technology Mental Health and Human Services Public Administration Social Sciences Veterinary Technology

The programs listed here are all offered at UMA Bangor.

Additional programs are offered on the Augusta campus.

Whatever your finances.

Whatever your background.

Whatever your dreams.

UMA Bangor will give you credits for courses you’ve already completed.

Stay Close. Go Far

262-7800 opt.#3

Perspective: Life, Leisure, and Learning  

The first of our annual trio of sections looking at how businesses affect our lives, Life, Leisure and Learning focuses on the softer parts...