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Caribou - Fort Fairfield Presque Isle - Van Buren Washburn

Patients who do not have adequate health insurance may be eligible for free or low-cost health care services through our ACCESS Program.

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Photo Š 2013 Our Maine Street


Co n t e n t s October, November and December 2013

In This Issue 8 Lessons From A County Wedding by Catherine Shaw Bowker 18 Keeping Your Brain Healthy and Sharp by Jane Margesson 22 Black Fog by Joshua Reed 26 Fall In The County by Central Aroostook Chamber 32 Guide’s Country by Skyla Hamilton 40 Saving Our Aroostook by Sandra Gauvin 46 Old Name, New Face by Steven Daigle 62 Where Have All The Bats Gone? by Steve Agius 68 Yes, Caribou by William J. Tasker 76 Healthy You: Clean Hands Save Lives by Kim Jones 80 To Those I Love by Martha Stevens-David


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Our Maine Street m agaz ine

Publisher Our Maine Street LLC Editor In Chief Craig Cormier Circulation / Advertising Charles Cormier information: content@ourmainestreet.com 207.472.3464 48 Presque Isle Street Fort Fairfield, ME 04742 www.ourmainestreet.com

Many Thanks to: (in no particular order)

Kim Jones, Skyla Hamilton, Sandra Gauvin, Catherine Shaw Bowker, UMPI, NMCC, Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, Steve Agius, William J. Tasker, Steven Daigle, UMFK, Martha Stevens-David, Gene Cyr, Janet McLaughlin, Lyndsey Maynard, Joshua Reed, Jane Margesson Copyright © 2013 Our Maine Street LCC. Our Maine Street LLC is jointly owned by Charles, Cheryl and Craig Cormier. Proudly printed in New England, United States of Amerca.

This publication is made possible by the generous support of our advertising partners. Please let them know you saw them in Our Maine Street Magazine and that you appreciate their support of County projects.

2nd Hand Rose, AARP-Maine, Aroostook Milling & Stove Shop, Aroostook Real Estate, Aroostook Technologies, Babin’s Grocery Outlet, Boondock’s Grille, Bouchard Family Farms, Brambleberry Market, Caribou Chamber of Commerce, Caribou Trading Post & Pawn, Cary Medical Center, Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, Chandlers, Christine M. Smith, Clifford L Rhome CPA, P.A., Clukey’s Auto Supply, County Abatement, Inc., County Denture Center, Country North Gifts, Daigle Funeral Home, Doris’ Café, Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, Fort Kent Ski-Doo, Giberson - Dorsey Funeral Home, Graves’ Shop n Save, Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce, Greater Madawaska Chamber of Commerce, Greater Van Buren Chamber of Commerce, Hand Me Down Antiques, Hillside IGA, Hometown Fuels, I Care Pharmacy, Inject A Seal, Jerry’s Shurfine, John’s Shurfine Food Store, Limestone Chamber of Commerce, M. Roy & Co, Mercantile, M.A.C.S Trading Post, Marden’s, Mars Hilll IGA, Martin’s Point Health Care, McGillan, Inc., Merchants On The Corner, Mockler Funeral Home, Mountain Heights Health Care Facility, Nadeau’s House of Flooring, Northern Airwaves, Northern Maine Community College, Noyes Florist & Greenhouse, Overhead Door Company of Aroostook, Paterson Payroll, Pelletier Ford, Percy’s Auto Sales, Pines Health Services, Professional Home Nursing, Quigley’s Building Supply, Red River Camps, Rockwell Properties, Russell’s Motel, Save-A-Lot, Shiretown Pharmacy, St John Valley Pharmacy, Star City IGA, The Aroostook Medical Center, The County Federal Credit Union, The County Stove Shop, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Presque Isle, Valley Communications, Valley Motors Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements, unless otherwise noted, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, staff or advisory board. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information present in this issue is accurate, and neither Our Maine Street Magazine nor any of its staff are responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the publishers. FALL 2013

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Photo Copyright Š 2013 Our Maine Street 8

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Lessons from a County Wedding

By Catherine Shaw Bowker I always thought my daughter, Gabrielle, would want a lavish wedding with an extravagant gown, men in tuxedos and bridesmaids in long flowing dresses. It would be a summer wedding in a remarkable location, the sun shining, birds singing, and people on the street watching in awe. After all, this is the wedding she described to me when she was young. After seeing the movie, It Takes Two, she told me she wanted to be married in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Then, after espying a wedding at Walt Disney World, she was determined to have a wedding in front of Cinderella’s castle.. Recently wed, Gabrielle chose neither of these options. As many County kids do, Gabrielle “went away” to college, got her Bachelor’s degree and found a good job in Portland. Her husband, Rhon, also from The County, did the same. Working first in Boston, he found his way back to Maine. When Rhon proposed marriage in December 2012, we all thought the wedding would be somewhere in the Portland area, maybe the cathedral where her cousin was married, or perhaps on a beach. After all, there are so many more choices in Southern Maine. But, they surprised us and held their wedding back home, in The County. We assumed they chose to come home because of the numerous elderly relatives up here who would find it

difficult to travel downstate for the wedding. While this was certainly a consideration, it was not the only reason. It turns out they miss The County. Naturally, they miss their families, but they also long for open spaces, sitting on the front porch and hearing nothing but nature and the occasional neighbor calling his dog. They miss driving from point A to point B without fighting traffic. And, I think most of all, they miss being able to call on a neighbor for help. While they do love the many options they have in Portland – getting fish fresh from the docks, walking on the beach on a crisp fall morning and numerous entertainment options, they don’t like driving two hours to find a remote camping site, a mountain to climb or a river to kayak. I honestly think if circumstances were different, they would consider coming home. Wanting their wedding to reflect their love of The County, they opted for an outdoor ceremony with a rustic theme. The Rocking S Ranch in Fort Fairfield, specifically the front lawn of Steve and Sarah Ulman’s cabin, for the ceremony and the F.A.R.M. Park in Fort Fairfield for the reception, fit perfectly with their idea of a County wedding. And thus began the journey. FALL 2013

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If you have never had the opportunity to visit the Ulmans and see their magnificent cabin, I urge you to take the time to do so. The Rocking S Ranch is a beautiful location, and the rustic cabin by the riverside is the epitome of peace. Sitting high on a hill, the cabin has an unobstructed view of the Aroostook River. It was ideal for the ceremony. The Ulman’s were very gracious and helped immensely by seeing that the cabin and its surrounding areas were ready for us. The ceremony was simple. Keeping with the rustic theme, the men were dressed in khaki pants and white shirts and the girls, including the bride, wore cowboy boots with their dresses. Sunflowers, daisies, and burlap in their bouquets, boutonnieres and hairpieces, and mason jars of flowers completed the décor. Certainly not what I expected from the little girl who wanted to walk down the aisle of St. Patrick’s Cathedral or say her I Dos in front of Cinderella’s castle, but just as beautiful. Having recently lost his grandfather, Rhon wished to honor him in some way. To accomplish this is in a subtle way, two potato barrels from his grandfather’s farm served as the foundation for the makeshift altar. The Sperrey name branded on the barrels faced the guests - a fitting tribute to his grandfather who was a long-time Washburn farmer. The reception at the F.A.R.M. Park continued the rustic, County theme. Used for many of outdoor events such as the Gospel and Bluegrass Festivals, the park is another striking Fort Fairfield locale. The potato fields were in bloom and luckily, the rain held off and the wind died down. Although, it could have been warmer. With a few decorations the pole barn was transformed and was just as charming as any indoor wedding reception setting. While I could go on about the details of the wedding and bore you with my gushing, that is not the point of this essay. What I hope everyone takes away from this article is that even though we don’t have everything Southern Maine has, we have many riches they do not possess. I will be the first to admit that I complain about living here. I’m not an outdoors person like my daughter. 12

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I enjoy more cerebral forms of entertainment and often complain about the limited cultural and educational opportunities available to me. I also complain about the limited choices in dining, shopping and entertainment. But, Gabrielle and Rhon’s wedding has encouraged me to contemplate what we do have here, in The County. We have beautiful open spaces. We have roads free of traffic jams. We have pristine waters and abundant wildlife. But, most of all, we have family. Helping the newlyweds search for locales, decorations, food and other wedding necessities, I realized that the people of The County truly are family. This wedding has reinforced what I have always known, but not always acknowledged. Starting with the search for a ceremony site and

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ending with the day of the wedding, I witnessed how the people of The County do whatever they can to help others. When we approached the Ulmans about holding the ceremony at their cabin, they were enthusiastic and treated us as if we were members of their own household. They gave us a tour of their land, made suggestions for ceremony locations, gave us hints for making everything easier and offered to help in whatever ways they could. The town of Fort Fairfield, Dan Foster in particular, did the same. From the use of the F.A.R.M. Park to the recreation department’s tables and chairs, everything we needed was right here in our little town.


As with the rest of the wedding, the decorations were rustic. Pinterest™, an online bulletin board, inspired many of Gabrielle’s ideas. Looking at those pins, I realized that most of the items could be recreated easily with things we already had on our land: logs, wood slabs, wooden circles. City girls were paying upwards of $105 for wooden signs and $50 for a cake stand made of three pieces of a tree; I even saw a rustic backdrop for $145. They were buying birch bark napkin rings, wildflowers, and burlap table runners and paying thousands of dollars to rent tents, tables and chairs, and even horses for photo opportunities. Here, in The County, we had or could easily find all of these goods. This is where even more County family pitched in to help us.

When our neighbor, Bob, saw my husband and me hauling fallen trees from the woods behind our house, he came over with his chainsaw and cut the trees into small pieces for table decor. When he learned we needed logs to hold mason jars of flowers, he cut up some of his recently delivered firewood logs. When we needed burlap for table runners, I went to Marden’s bought the burlap, cut them to size and took them to our local seamstress, Pat, to surge them. Voila! We had the same table runners people were charging upwards of $20 for online. Speaking of Pat, Gabrielle trusted no one but Pat Troike, of Pat’s Sewing Room in Fort Fairfield, to alter her gown. Coming up for her first fitting was easy, but getting here from Saco for the final

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fitting was a challenge. Pat accommodated Gabrielle’s schedule and came in on a Sunday afternoon. When Ted’s pants had to be hemmed at the last minute, Pat was there for us. Can you find that kind of service in Southern Maine? Take a number, get in line, and wait. And how about the people who helped with the reception? Sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws decorated, served food, played music, took photos, and kept us calm and organized. While, I would hope, any family would do the same, I know being from The County or marrying someone from The County means there is no question that everyone will pitch in. We’ll never be able to thank them enough for all they did; no wedding coordinator, DJ, or photographer could have done the same. But it did not stop there. A co-worker of the groom’s mother offered to cook for free. He got the commercial barbeque, grilled the chicken and wanted nothing in return. That’s County family in its truest form. For all of my complaining about the long winters, bad roads, and lack of this or that, there really is no place like home, no place like The County. I will try to remind myself of the lessons I learned from Gabrielle and Rhon’s wedding every time I am tempted to lust after the gems in Southern Maine and disregard the jewels in my backyard.

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Photo Copyright Š 2013 Amanda Jenkins, Fort Fairfield

October 4 & 5

December 7

S

392 Main Street Madawaska, ME 04756 207.728.3707

178 West Main Street Fort Kent, ME 04743 207.834.6544

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Keeping Your Brain Healthy and Sharp Maintaining the health of your brain as you age is just as important as staying physically fit. In fact, many studies show that brain fitness can play an important role in warding off age-related dementia. According to the Center for Longevity of the Brain more than 24 million people are living with this disease, so the stakes are high. The good news is that there are easy and fun ways to keep your brain sharp. Some simple lifestyle adjustments and engaging activities can make a world of difference! Eating a healthy and balanced diet is always important, but for brain health, it is essential. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins is an excellent place to start. Eating a healthy diet can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and other health conditions that contribute to cognitive decline. Martha Clare Morris, ScD, an associate professor of internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, has found that a diet which incorporates one meal a week high in omega-3 fatty acids can slow cognitive decline by 10% each year. Omega 3- fatty acids are unsaturated fats also called “good fats.” Our 20

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bodies need this type of fat in order to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Some of the best natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish, nuts and flax seed. Fish oil supplements are easily available if you find it difficult to incorporate these foods into your diet on a regular basis. In addition to diet, physical exercise is important for a healthy body and it, too, is key to keeping one’s brain sharp. Two studies presented at the 2011 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Paris added to the growing research suggesting that exercise can protect one’s brain against mental decline. Exercising four to five times a week for at least 30 minutes is preferable. Simply going for a brisk walk or even exercising from a seated position will yield measurable benefits. Remember that is important to check with your doctor before starting any new physical exercise program. Exercising your brain is just as important as exercising the rest of your body. Brain exercise includes such activities as reading a new book, engaging in a favorite hobby, reading aloud, doing simple arithmetic or learning a new skill. Hosting a game night, doing a crossword puzzle, playing card games, learning to dance


or play an instrument are just a few other suggestions. The brain is like a muscle and the more it is used, the stronger it will be! Interestingly, another important way to support the health of one’s brain is through social interaction. Research supports the notion that social interaction plays a positive role in one’s cognitive abilities and overall health. According to the National Institute on Aging, “Several research studies have shown a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults, [while] social isolation may have significant adverse effects for older adults.” In other words, stay in touch. Online social networking has its benefits, but nothing beats in-person socializing. Writing a letter, joining a book club, making a phone call, or paying a visit to someone you love are just a few examples of activities that can have a lasting impact. Another good way to stay in touch is to volunteer with a local organization. Having the opportunity to meet new people and start new friendships can be exciting and may give you a renewed sense of purpose. You may even have a chance to show off your talents! Try going to www.createthegood.com to see how your skills may be a perfect match for volunteer opportunities in your own community. The trick is to be open-minded and willing to make an effort to stay engaged with your body and your brain. Getting started is often the hardest part of making even minor changes to your daily routine. Stimulating your brain activity to help keep your mind sharp can be as simple as engaging in something that incorporates one or more of your senses. Gardening, trying a new recipe, dancing, or going to a concert with friends are all good places to start. If you would like more information on brain health research, take a look at the DANA Foundation website (http://www.dana.org/) or the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (http://www. ninds.nih.gov/). Both provide excellent information and additional resources. In addition, AARP’s Educator Community, NRTA, has teamed up with the DANA Alliance for Brain Initiatives on a joint project called Staying Sharp. You can find out all about it at www. aarp.org. See if some of these suggestions work for you and remember, as with anything, you have to start somewhere! Keeping your brain healthy is the key to staying sharp and keeping your brain fit, engaged and active now can help you maintain mental alertness throughout your life. Jane Margesson AARP Maine Communications Director www.aarp.org/me facebook and twitter: aarpmaine FALL 2013

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Photo Copyright Š 2013 Gene Cyr, Washburn nothernmainepictures.com 22

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Photo Copyright Š 2013 Gene Cyr, Washburn nothernmainepictures.com

Black Fog by Joshua Reed

As The Fog Roles In, Tracks In The Mud, Always Seen Never Heard, Swiftly... Walking Through The Woods, Sucking Up Anything In Its Path, Gone... Eventually Will Return, And When That Day Comes, The Tracks Of Black Fog, Will Come Again...

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est. 2009 Steak & Seafood

Phone: 207-472-6074 294 MAIN STREET, FORT FAIRFIELD WED-THUR 11am-7pm FRI-SAT 11am-9pm SUN 11am-3pm 11am-1pm CLOSED MONDAYS & TUESDAY

182 Market Street Fort Kent, Maine 04743 Tel: 207.834.2880 Fax: 207.834.2928 www.sjvrx.com (Located in John’s Shurfine Grocery)

101 Military St Ste B Houlton, ME 04730 Tel: 207.834.2880 Fax: 207.834.2882 (Located in County Yankee Grocer)

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www.countyfcu.org

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Photo Copyright Š 2013 Gene Cyr, Washburn nothernmainepictures.com

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Central Aroostook Fall in “The County”

Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce

Autumn is a breath-taking time in Aroostook County. You can practically feel the transition of seasons as the air becomes cool and crisp, and the leaves change from their vibrant summer green to the array of oranges and yellows under the fall sun. With over 4 million acres of woodlands and forests in Aroostook County alone, there are many opportunities to catch a glimpse of the incredible fall foliage. Drive up Route 1 for a colorful view or get lost on any of The County’s back roads for a striking adventure. Take an invigorating hike at Aroostook State Park in Presque Isle or at Haystack in Mapleton or relax with a tranquil and picturesque picnic at any of The County’s parks or ponds. With the festive foliage, and abundant wildlife, Aroostook County is a great place to be for the active outdoorsman to the normally sedentary and everyone in between. From bird watching, fishing and hunting to ATV-ing and camping-there are countless activities and places to enjoy the Maine wilderness – right here in Aroostook County. Not one for the great outdoors? No problem! Aroostook County is home to some delightful fall fairs and events. Visit Houlton’s Riverfront Harvest Festival on September 21st for some music, food, games and a 5K River Run. After, meander up Route 1 for a great find at the Fall Trash & Treasure Sale held at the Forum in Presque Isle, September 21st and 22nd. October provides more fall festivals with Fall Arts, Crafts and Collectibles in Presque Isle, October 5 and 6. This weekend will be busy in the Hub City with an air parade, health fair, Haunted Woods Walk and more. History buffs can also enjoy a serene self-guided tour of downtown Presque Isle, the Fairmount Cemetery, and the 1875 Vera Estey House Museum and a leisurely ride on Molly the Trolley for her Foliage Tour hosted by the Presque Isle Historical Society. 28

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As early morning frost becomes more frequent, and the summer sun begins to dwindle, the busyness of potato harvest sets in with sights of harvesters and potato pickers. Days become shorter and the cool nights offer chance to see the Northern Lights, more frequently seen in the late fall and winter months. ATV’s will be put in storage and snowmobiles will be taken out in excitement for the first snowfall. Whether winter, spring, summer or fall – there’s always something exciting going on in Central Aroostook County, where there’s a little bit of something for anyone and a whole lot of fun for everyone!


Photo Š 2013 Our Maine Street

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W T H T S

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Firearms new, used, trade ins, Hunting, Fishing, and more. 54 North Street Houlton, Maine 04730 207.532.9700

Photo Copyright © 2013 Gene Cyr, Washburn nothernmainepictures.com 30

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189 West Main Street Fort Kent, ME 04743 Phone: 207 834-7113 Home: 207 834-5514 Fax: 207-834-5799

www.nadeausflooring.com It’s Love At First Bite!

DORIS’ CAFÉ (207) 834-6262

Serving You Throughout The Year! 345 Market Street Fort Kent, Me 04743

M. Roy & Co. Mercantile 229 West Main St Fort Kent, Me 04743 207.834.9008 Call For Our Current Hours Primitives, Furniture, Crafts, Gifts & More

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Photo Copyright © 2013 Gene Cyr, Washburn nothernmainepictures.com

INJECT A SEAL

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Tel: 207 764-5228

Law Office of Christine M. Smith 263 Main Street, Suite 2 Fort Fairreld, Maine 04742 207 472-3321

Fax: 207 764-1673

Chandler Farms, Inc. 1089 State Road Mapleton, Maine 04757


Clifford L Rhome CPA, P.A. 34 North Street, Suite 3 Presque Isle, ME 04769 Tel: 207 764-5800 Fax; 207 764-1083 crhome@myfairpoint.net

“A Name you can trust” Hours: 8-5 Mon-Fri, 8-1 Sat. www.countystoveshop.com

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Guide’s Country by Skyla Hamilton

Whether you are hunting birds, bucks or bears, hiring a Maine State Registered Guide can send your hunting experience into one of catching, landing, and filling your freezer at the end of the day, not to mention learning a thing or two from a person who is knowledgeable of the Great Maine Woods. Walking in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, a person can still experience the vast wildness of the northeast while walking in the forests that he too treaded upon many years ago. In the Great Maine Woods, one can still careen with nature and hunt like the natives and our forefathers did but with the advantages of technology. No longer donning beaver hides and coon skin caps, we can now wear our GoreTex and polypropylene to stay warm and dry while in the pursuit of the hunt. However, do not be shocked when your Guide looks like they may have stepped out of a 1920’s L.L. Bean catalog. He or she may have learned a thing or two, and new is not always bigger and better. Time-tested gear worms its way into a Guide’s heart, and whether it is sentimental or just works, the Guide knows what they need to get the job done. The benefits of hiring a Guide far outweigh the losses. With a Guide you have a knowledgable person by your side to help keep you out of trouble, direct you to the game, and if you still find trouble, they will help get you 34

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to safety as quickly as possible. Guide’s, all the while, will be educating you on proper technique, gear and informing you of the history and natural environment that surrounds you during the hunt. Since Maine has been a State, Guide’s have been the natural embassadors to their clients. Maine State Guides historically have been showing “out of staters” the Great Maine Woods and the little secret hidden gems for decades. Many people come to Northern Maine for the once of a lifetime experience of winning the lottery. The moose lottery that is, and to double their return, they generally hire a guide or go to a hunting camp where the legacy of moose hunting has been in existence for centuries. Guide’s have the capability of taking the experience to the next level, all the while telling stories of the past, of how trappers and lumbermen hunted before you. They might even throw in someone famous to pique your interest. If and when you come to the Great North Woods, go hunting with an expert and enjoy the journey of a lifetime. Check out our website at www.fortkentchamber.com for a list of premier hunting and fishing guide’s and lodges for your next hunting adventure.


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Photo Copyright Š 2013 Gene Cyr, Washburn nothernmainepictures.com

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your opportunity career affordable start

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Bouchard Family Farms French Acadian Buckwheat

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Photo © 2013 Janet McLaughlin

There’s a

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Saving Our

Aroostook By Sandra Gauvin

The other day, I was outside, looking at the vast landscape called Aroostook County that lay before me, and I realized what a treasure we have up here. I started thinking about the physical beauty, but then my brain extended its meanderings to the people and the power of “The County.” And the little writer that lives in the upstairs apartment in my head came up with this. I Am Aroostook County In quiet splendor, I sit royally atop a state whose people are strong and forthright, honest and unassuming. I have been called “The Crown of Maine”, as well I should be, sitting atop the northernmost part of this beautiful state. I sparkle with the grandeur of royalty, yet I am solid and strong. I am unique in all the world and so are my children.

And the sixth jewel is perhaps the most brilliant-my diamond. Diamonds shining atop fluffy snow on a sunny winter day, shimmering in the clear air sparkling with health, a land and its people without compare – priceless. The variety of facets in the diamond attest to the diversity of nature available to all who live and visit here. And the differences that all meld together to make a whole – the unique facets that together make up a cohesive jewel. As my “little author” finished her work, I also realized how deeply I love Aroostook County. Unfortunately, things have happened in The County to take a little of the luster off the crown. Did you know that:

• Aroostook County’s population has decreased by 4% in the last decade, most of which is due to the outmigration of our young people? I am made from the earth. That places my worth beyond measure. The earth that bore me gave me strength • Our annual household income is more than $10,000 below the state average? that time and tide cannot minimize. Neither the cold bluster of the winters nor the warm rains of the summers • Only 16.4% of Aroostook residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher educational attainment, compared can wear away my luster. I, like my people, shine through with 27.1% across Maine? all seasons. • Our workforce population, ages 18-44, is at 29%, down from 42% in 1990 – a level that is unsustainable from a I am bedecked with the beauty of six jewels that business standpoint, as economists predict we currently shine like nothing else can. The first jewel is the blue sky do not have enough young people to fill future jobs? watching over the land. It deepens the transient colors of the trees in the summer as they sway slowly in the breeze, The outmigration rate in Aroostook County is the and it enhances the textures of the evergreens as they stand majestically on guard throughout the winter. It embellishes second largest in New England. And the number of people the white of the clouds as they float by and it nurtures the ages 18-44 that make up our workforce is so low we almost crops growing in the earth’s womb, allowing the sun to send don’t have enough people to fill the jobs that are available up here. That also means new businesses will not want the warm gentle comfort that only a mother can give. to locate in “The County” because we don’t have enough My second jewel sparkles with infinite greenery. workers in that age range to keep them going. In addition, The light greens herald new plants, new life that bursts the number of people with Bachelor Degrees in Aroostook forth in the spring and the deep greens mirror the woods lag behind the state average by 10 percentage and behind and lakes, the fields and the crops. All the hues blend to the national average by 20 percentage points. These are sobering statistics that need to be changed. If this trend form vast panorama of the land we call “The County.” continues, there won’t be a shiny crown left to sit atop the My orange and yellow and red jewels are the fall great state of Maine. in Aroostook County. There are no words to describe However, there is good news. There is a new the breathtaking beauty of the autumn leaves setting the landscape afire and ripe crops anxious to be harvested before movement afoot that will polish that crown and make it winter – pumpkins, apples, squash . . . They are the sun shine more brightly than ever before. and the moon, the colors of the clouds as the sun gently sets To find out about that movement, please read the and the veiled moon takes her place, the flowers that accent fields and gardens, and the red barns vital to the livelihood next edition of the Our Maine Street’s Aroostook Magazine. of those who work the land.

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Old Name, New FAce By Steven Daigle

Roughly a year ago on October 3, Valley Auto, the local GM auto dealership located in the heart of Fort Kent, caught fire around 9 a.m. The flames engulfed the building and by 11 a.m. the entire dealership was close to complete rubble. Seven different fire departments arrived on the scene to fight the blaze. They were able to save all nearby buildings along with no reported injuries. This was the second tragic fire of that year to occur in Fort Kent. Earlier that same year, another large blaze had been fought by the same St. John Valley fire departments at the former Nadeau’s House of Furniture store. “We are going to take this one day at a time,” Carl Theriault, Valley Auto owner, said to the Bangor Daily News the morning of the fire. “We just have to see what happens next.”

Fort Kent. Learning from his father, Jake decided to begin a business for himself and hauled an old barn to the former Valley Auto building location. He began selling Dodge and Plymouth vehicles and at one point sold Studebakers. Jake continued to expand his business by putting in gasoline pumps, expanding his service bays and eventually putting up another storefront that sold various household items, sporting goods and appliances. Jake later passed away and his son, Harry, took over the dealership and businesses his father owned. In 1953, William Pelletier sold his

“Next” turned out to be something that was not expected by anyone in the community. On May 15, 2013, Steven Pelletier purchased the GM dealership from Carl and established Valley Motors. Approximately two years earlier, Steve had purchased the Ford dealership from Norman Martin (Martin Ford). After spending many years in the forest industry, Steve has now taken his drive and focus to the auto industry. He expanded and grew the Ford business to a level that had never been seen in the Valley with any auto dealer in such a short period of time. Steve’s goal has always been to keep business local and to support the community. After the fire, Steve was concerned that the replacement Valley Auto building may not happen. Steve approached Carl and began discussions about purchasing his business. In April of this year, after many months of discussions between Steve and Carl, they jointly announced to their employees that the sale/purchase was going to happen. With that announcement also came the rebirth of an old business name, Valley Motors. Valley Motors was part of a multiple auto dealership that was begun by Jake Escovitz in 1923. Jake’s father had originally moved to the Valley from Russia and sold meat to area lumber camps from his homestead on the outskirts of 48

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General Motors dealership to Harry, which was located where China Garden currently stands today. Due to the competing franchises, Harry was required to put up a separate building and business entity. He named it Valley


Motors. Valley Motors was built with its own service bays and showroom to sell/service Pontiac and General Motors vehicles. Later Harry added the Jeep brand to his lineup of vehicles offered to The Valley. Harry eventually sold the businesses off and the Valley Motors location went to Ouellette Building Supply sometime during the 1980’s. Under new ownership, the front portion of the building was torn down to make way for a brand new renovation to the property. A new steel frame, siding, second story and an overall expansion took place. Ouellette’s operated in the Valley Motors location for approximately 14 more years until it was sold to Jim Pelletier, Steve’s father.

additional positions in the company. “We have just begun and still have a lot more to do, but I am confident that Fort Kent will soon be known as “The Place” to buy your next vehicle and get service that is second to none.” Glenn began with Martin Ford back in 1988, eventually working his way through the years to general manager. “Glenn is the backbone to both dealerships” said Steve Pelletier “I really enjoy this business, and I feel I have the competent people and place to now expand.” Valley Motors will be holding a grand opening beginning October 3, 2013, a year to the day of the tragic fire. “We are blessed to have the opportunity and ability to have this event.” stated Steve Pelletier, “Without the hard work and efforts of the area firefighters, Carl and his staff along with many others during the fire, we wouldn’t have the building that we are in today.” Construction of the new lot and dealership will continue through the fall. Steve, Glenn and all his employees welcome everyone from The Valley, Aroostook County and Maine to visit their new dealership. “Just drive to Fort Kent. You can’t miss it.”

Jim Pelletier, an icon in the forestry industry, realized the need of continuing area businesses and began renovations to the building for various businesses. Eventually, the building was leased to Northern Maine Medical Center for their wellness and fitness programs. During the discussion process of purchasing Valley Auto, Steve and his father recalled the old auto dealership owned by Escovitz back in the day. It was then decided to bring back the old name, Valley Motors, with a new face which would be located exactly in the same location of where it previously stood in the mid 20th century. Arrangements were made with NMMC to relocate in order for Valley Motors to begin their construction/reconstruction process. The building has begun a complete renovation with new sales offices, a beautiful customer waiting area, an enormous showroom, a brand new service garage with wash bay and full administrative offices upstairs which houses staff from both Pelletier Ford and Valley Motors. Glenn Ouellette, General Manager of both locations, said, “It is a great opportunity for the people of the Valley and all of Aroostook County.” Glenn has since hired many new people due to increase in business and the need for FALL 2013 49


Renderings of the new Valley Motors 50

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Where Have All of the Bats Gone? By Steve Agius A Disease Like No Other Since 2006, more than 5.7 million bats in the northeast have perished from White-nose syndrome, a disease that affects hibernating bats. Named for the white fungus that appears on the muzzle and other body parts of hibernating bats, WNS is associated with extensive mortality of bats in eastern North America. First documented in New York in the winter of 2006-2007, WNS has spread rapidly across the eastern United States and Canada, and as of this year, the fungus that causes WNS has been detected as far west as Oklahoma and Minnesota. Bats with WNS exhibit uncharacteristic behavior during cold winter months, including flying outside in the day and clustering near the entrances of caves. Bats have been found sick and dying in unprecedented numbers in and around caves and mines. In some caves 90 to 100 percent of bats have died from the disease. Many laboratories and state and federal biologists are investigating the cause of the bat deaths. A newly discovered fungus, Geomyces destructans, has been demonstrated to cause WNS. Scientists are investigating the dynamics of fungal infection and transmission, and searching for a way to control it.

bat typically eats the equivalent of her entire body weight in insects each night (Bat Conservation International, 2013). Bat Conservation In Aroostook County Currently there are more than 300 previously used military bunkers on National Wildlife Refuges throughout the country. Over the course of the last three years, every National Wildlife Refuge that has bunkers in the northeast monitored the temperature and humidity within their bunkers. It was determined that the forty-three cold war era bunkers located at Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone were the only bunkers that had the ideal conditions for hibernating bats in the entire northeast U.S.

Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge has taken a lead role in the northeast U.S. in identifying the feasibility of providing bats with artificial hibernation sites for the winter months. The refuge began implementing a fourphase bat conservation project three years ago in an effort to help rapidly declining bat populations. The project is a collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Vermont Department of Fish and Game, the New York Department of Conservation, Bucknell University, the University of California-Santa Why We Should Care Cruz and the Center for Microbial Genetics. The project aims to (1) identify species of bats that occur in Aroostook Bats are essential to the health of our natural world. County, (2) examine the feasibility of providing artificial They help control pests and are vital pollinators and seed- hibernation sites to overwintering bats, (3) determine how dispersers for countless plants. Insect-eating bats provide to sterilize a hibernation site to prevent the spread of the pest-control services that save the U.S. agriculture industry WNS, and (4) attract bats to a sterilized site where they can over $3 billion per year (U.S. Geological Survey, 2011). successfully hibernate. Yet these wonderfully diverse and beneficial creatures are among the least studied and most misunderstood of In light of the devastating effects of WNS on little animals. Losing bats would have devastating consequences brown bats in the northeast, in the fall of 2012, U.S. Fish for natural ecosystems and human economies. Bats are and Wildlife Service staff modified a bunker at Aroostook primary predators of night-flying insects, including many National Wildlife Refuge to improve temperature regulation of the most damaging agricultural pests and blood sucking and increase relative humidity by adding a thermal mat and insects. More than two-thirds of bat species hunt insects. A 18� of soil to the top of the bunker and installing pools single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized of water. Four solar-powered motion- activated infrared insects in a single hour, while a pregnant or lactating female cameras were installed in the bunker to monitor the bats 64

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throughout the winter. Additional roosting substrates were placed in the bunker to permit the bats a greater diversity of objects to hang from (i.e. hollow log, bat house, wire mesh, plastic mesh and nylon netting). In late December of 2012, 30 infected little brown bats were brought to the bunker from Vermont and New York. The bats spent the winter in the sealed bunker and were monitored throughout their three month hibernation with the infrared cameras. In late March, state and federal biologists from New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine returned to the bunker to collect the bats and return them to their native hibernacula from which they came. The survival rate of bats in the bunker (30%) was similar to that seen in natural hibernation sites. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently working on sterilizing the infected bunker. The structure will be scrubbed with a solvent and then steam pressure washed to remove any remaining solvent. Genetic swabs are being taken before and after the sterilization process to determine if the fungus was successfully destroyed. A social attraction system to attract bats to the bunker will be installed this fall. The ultrasonic audio transmitter will broadcast bat ‘swarming’ calls to attract bats to the retrofitted structure, with the hope that bats will overwinter in the sterilized structure. A bio-acoustic monitoring device will be installed in the bunker to record bat activities throughout the year. The need to remove infected bats from the wild and place them in a temporary site where they could hibernate in a cleaner environment highlights the dire situation that bats now face in the northeast. The project shows that little brown bats can survive being transported during hibernation through multiple states and that bats can survive overwintering in an artificial hibernaculum such as a military bunker. Retrofitted bunkers in northern Maine may very well serve as bat hibernacula in future years or as mitigation facilities in cases of further fungal or disease outbreaks. Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. More than 13 miles of hiking and skiing trails are available to the public free of charge. If you have questions regarding the project or about Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, please call (207) 328-4634. 66

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Yes, Caribou By William J. Tasker Caribou Chamber of Commerce

Our recent version of our annual early August parade was, “Caribou: On the Move.” And I hear feedback from many that do see a new energy and commitment to building a viable Caribou of the future. I also hear comments from the other side that are skeptical. Such a parade theme and our brand new designation by the State of Maine as a “Business-Friendly Community” are bound to bring out the naysayers. And if we are caring human beings, we understand that there is a logical emotional place for not believing things can change. There have been years of stagnation and population drains. A once thriving downtown area is half empty. People have had a difficult time finding and maintaining rewarding jobs since the base closed at Loring. I personally spent four years unemployed and I understand. But there is a fundamental shift happening all around us. First of all, we have new leadership at City Hall. This leadership not only came in with new ideas and optimism, but also with strong work habits and a commitment to grant writing and personal contact with businesses that might consider moving here. There is also the reality of people discovering what our outdoor life can bring to the quality of life. The breathtaking beauty and all-season trails and sports have begun to make our area a destination of desirability. After all, wide open spaces on the eastern seaboard of this country are getting harder to find, and we have it in abundance. The recent motorcycle “H.O.G.” rally this summer recruited hundreds of riders from around the state to rave about our wide-open roads. And other factors will lead to growth whether we expect it or not. Buying an affordable house is becoming impossible east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Home ownership is still a powerful dream for most people and that dream is becoming outof-reach in our neighboring states and in the southern portion of this state! There is a shift as people are moving out of cities and into more rural areas for the relative safety and quality of life. Safe havens for children, environments that still evoke an emphasis on people and affordable housing are becoming more important, and jobs are becoming more portable as more and more people can work from home. Even if Caribou did nothing, I believe these factors would lead to growth and a reversal of our population drain. And older people are retiring here! Now add in committed leadership and a shift in the number of

people open to possibilities, and the daring to dream, and you have an opportunity to shine. Just since I came on board as the director of the Caribou Area Chamber of Commerce, there have been new businesses open and grand openings and ribbon cuttings I have held. Our Thursdays on Sweden events have drawn hundreds downtown, the likes of which has not been seen in many a day. A downtown revitalization committee is very active, and plans are going from ideas to realities. The Planning Board has been re-energized and, along with the new Ten-Year Comprehensive Plan, will be active in tackling ordinances that are hindrances to growth. A new sign ordinance has already replaced the old, restrictive one. A brand new event called, “O.P. Pierson Days,” will create a weekend at the end of September that will instill even more community pride and effort. All departments of the city are cooperating and working together to put these events together. How many other communities can boast such unity among city departments? A downtown TIF district will bring federal and state dollars to help us make downtown a viable and attractive place again. There are dreams of a Water Street walk by the stream down to the river. There has been active participation at council meetings and committed councilors attempting at balancing fiscal issues facing all communities against not stifling these new possibilities. Business owners have renewed hope that the city and its people care about them and support them. And yes, this Chamber has a commitment to supporting those businesses and organizations that make our community so special. This Chamber also has a commitment to helping people outside our community understand why it is so special here. I certainly understand where the naysayers are coming from. Life around here has never been easy. Times have been hard. That will make a pessimist out of the hardiest soul. But the message here and of those that lead our community is to dare to have hope. We can build on what makes our community special. We can make those assets for growth. We can sell them. I believe Caribou is on the move. I believe we are at a turning point in our community’s history. I believe the signs are there. Now is the time to rally, not to fall back on disappointments of the past. Caribou is on the move. Yes, Caribou.

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feature story

TheMost Most Affordable The Affordable T he year 2013 started on a bright note for UMFK when – quite unexpectedly – the University found itself atop a list issued by the nationally-recognized U.S. News & World Report: 10 Colleges Where Graduates Have the Least Debt. UMFK was included among a U.S. News & World Report “Short List” of the top 10 colleges where borrowers owed an average of $10,000, or less, at graduation. UMFK was the top-rated national four-year public institution on the list. The average debt load for a 2011 UMFK graduate was a miserly $9,505. The “Short List” also includes such venerable institutions as Princeton and Yale universities. You may have heard of them. “At a time when we read about college graduates being burdened with debt, it is refreshing to see firm evidence that Maine’s public universities offer affordable pathways to a bachelor’s degree and economic opportunity. The low debt of UMFK graduates shows what a great value and tremendous return on investment a UMFK education is,” said President Wilson G. Hess. Nation-wide, sixty-eight percent of graduates from the class of 2011 borrowed to help pay for college, according to data reported by 1,033 ranked colleges in a 2012 U.S. News survey. On average, those students had $26,220 in debt. The debt data used in these calculations

6 | The Bell Tower

includes loans taken out by students from colleges, financial institutions, and federal, state, and local governments. It excluded any loans taken by a student’s parents. A May 2013 CNN Money article stated that the average collegerelated debt of a 2013 graduate has increased to $35,200 when you calculate student loans, credit cards, and money owed to family members.

“The low debt of UMFK graduates shows what a great value and tremendous return on investment a UMFK education is.” According to several recent studies, the effects of rising student debt has several consequences: fewer young people are able to afford to buy a home; many college graduates delay getting married, or are having fewer children

due to financial concerns; more young people work outside of their majors; and a growing number of graduates are moving back home to live with their parents after graduation. None of these consequences are surprising. However, while college costs are high, most students still see a college education as a good investment, and many are willing to go into debt to obtain a college degree, if they think it will help them get ahead. College graduates enjoy their jobs to a greater degree and find their careers to be more satisfying. According to a 2007 “College Board: Education Pays” report, graduates tend to feel a greater sense of satisfaction in their careers than those without a degree. Unemployment rates also are lower among individuals with degrees. A college education teaches students to be resourceful. College grads are better able to transfer their knowledge and skills to other types of jobs than those without a college degree. College graduates typically make a better living than the rest of the population. A 2008 U.S. Census survey of adults 25 years of age, or older, who worked full-time, found that, on average, high school graduates made almost $34,000 per year. Conversely, four-year college graduates averaged between $55,500 and $56,000 per year. The difference in yearly income between the two groups would pay for a


CollegeininAmerica America College college education at a reasonably priced school within one to two years. Why is it that the typical UMFK graduate carries the least amount of average education debt than any other public college or university in the nation? According to President Hess, the most obvious reason behind the low debt rate is because “UMFK works!” “Our students reflect the values of our communities here in the St. John Valley,” says Hess. “That includes the sons and daughters of the Valley in whom a strong work ethic has been instilled, but also in the students who come from elsewhere in the state of Maine, and beyond. Those students come to value and acquire the same strong work ethos that is customary to those who are born and raised here,” he adds. To back up his assessment, President Hess cites some interesting statistics contained in a National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE) survey of undergraduate students from more than 600 colleges and universities from across the United States and Canada. The NSSE data from 2011 demonstrates that the average firstyear and senior-year student at UMFK works work far more than their average national counterparts. According to the NSSE survey results, three times as many first-year UMFK students work, as opposed to the national average. Working six to 10 hours a week, on-campus, is most typical, as is working 16 to 20 hours each week,

“Whether in the classroom or online, UMFK offers a complete package of quality and affordability for high school graduates or adults returning to college.” off-campus. One in 10 first-year students attending UMFK work 30-plus hours each week, offcampus. The final figure ranks 83 percent above the national average. Forty percent of UMFK senior class students already work 15 hours, or more, off-campus. Twenty-seven percent work 30 hours, or more. In each case, it is approximately 60 percent above the national average, as reported by the NSSE survey. Another factor that account for the lowest

national student debt load is UMFK’s low tuition rate among four-year public higher education institutions. Those low rates, coupled with a zero percent increase in tuition and fees in backto-back years of 2012 and 2013, is good financial news for undergraduates. Likewise, so was the move to a block tuition fee structure during the 2012-13 academic year. Allowing students to enroll for anywhere from 12 to 18 credits for a single tuition rate, allows a motivated student to move through their chosen academic program at a faster rate, and with less debt. The UMFK Foundation’s La Cloche de Fer Campaign has increased the University’s endowment by more than 60 percent. That historic success has led to an increase in endowed scholarship opportunities for undergraduates, thereby lightening the financial load on students and their families. Last September, UMFK once again was ranked among the top 15 public colleges in the North, according to the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Colleges. It marked the fourth successive year of upward movement by the University in the rankings. Says President Hess, “First came the Best Colleges ranking, and now comes the least debt ranking. Whether in the classroom or online, UMFK offers a complete package of quality and affordability for high school graduates or adults returning to college.”

The Bell Tower | 7


Energy Wise at NMCC

Energy savings, environmental benefit, and experiential learning opportunities for students…

These ideals have been put into action on the Northern Maine Community College campus in the past two years through a series of projects involving biomass energy. In 2011, the College broke ground on a $1 million project to install a 900-kilowatt biomass boiler to ultimately provide heat for nearly 70 percent of the square footage of campus buildings. The biomass boiler now heats the Mailman Trades Building and the Christie Complex where most of the classrooms and campus offices are located. It was the first of its kind in the Maine Community College System. “This project is expected to reduce heating costs on our campus significantly and replace more than 65 percent of our fuel oil consumption with a local, renewable energy source. The changeover to wood pellets will also serve as the equivalent in reducing carbon emissions to more than 100 cars taken off the road,” said NMCC President Timothy Crowley during the groundbreaking ceremony for the project. “Given all of these benefits, perhaps the most unique to NMCC is the opportunity this will provide our students enrolled in

Officials break ground for the underground 74 piping SUMMER 2012the Mailman Trades Building to connect to the Christie Complex to pump heat from the new boiler to both buildings.

The first pellets are delivered to NMCC for the biomass boiler to be fired

alternative energy programs and courses to experience this technology firsthand.” After ten months of construction and installation, which included the addition of a pellet silo for fuel storage and underground piping to connect the Mailman Building and the Christie Complex, the College celebrated the commissioning of the new biomass boiler in September, 2012. The event was attended by the chief executive officer and other representatives from Schmid Energy Solutions, a leading international wood-energy systems company based in Switzerland from which NMCC purchased the biomass boiler. The boiler was the first of its kind built by Schmid for installation in the United States, and they were excited to be on hand for the event. Several state and local officials also joined in the celebration. Schmid CEO Phillipp Lüscher presented a traditional Swiss gift of a ceremonial bell, engraved with details commemorating the installation of their first biomass boiler in the United States at Northern Maine Community College, to Crowley. Crowley also presented Lüscher and another Schmid representative with framed Paul Cyr photos to remember their visit to Aroostook County. “Our partnership with Schmid was strengthened by their trip,” according to Crowley. “The company was impressed with the quality of installation which matched the efficiency of their work in Europe.” Schmid subsequently offered the College airfare for two to tour their plant and view their latest technologies in Switzerland. President Crowley

NMCC’s new biomass boiler brought the campus great savings in last year’s heating season.

President Crowley is presented a traditional Swiss gift from the CEO of Schmid.


reached out and shared the opportunity with Aroostook Partners for Progress, so the two organizations could work collaboratively for the economic benefit of the region. In May, 2013, a team of three individuals from NMCC and three from the Northern Maine Development Commission and APP traveled to Switzerland. The intent of the trip was twofold — to show the Schmid leadership the state-of-the-art control system designed by NMCC staff to monitor all aspects of the College’s Schmid boiler operation and to explore whether Schmid has interest in coming to Aroostook to manufacture their boilers for the American and Canadian markets. The group also had the opportunity to visit the University of Lucerne Applied Science Department to discuss the multi-national research and development efforts they have been working on for some time in the biomass industry. “Schmid was impressed with the precision and scope of the control system in use at NMCC. We hope the company is interested in our technology to enhance their systems,” explained Crowley. “The connections with Schmid and the University of Lucerne are very important to the College, since we have a deep interest in biomass energy and can benefit from sharing knowledge.” In addition to the excitement surrounding the installation of the Schmid biomass boiler at the College, NMCC worked this summer to expand its energy lab to incorporate new biomass training opportunities. The size of the facility nearly doubled, with the College now using the entire building that it leases in the Presque Isle Industrial Park. Four new solid fuel boilers have been purchased and installed in the new portion of the energy center to provide training experiences for students. The new equipment includes two different styles of pellet boilers, a lower-range model and a high-end one, as well as a pellet conversion burner installed on a traditional oil-fired unit and a gasification wood pellet burner, which

NMCC President Tim Crowley and others from NMCC, NMDC and APP tour the Schmid facility in Switzerland.

burns wood very quickly and efficiently. A 550- gallon tank to store heated water and two units for storing pellets have also been installed. The equipment was purchased through a grant from the United States Forest Service. “This variety in types and styles of solid fuel boilers offers expanded training opportunities for our students. They get experience working on a wider range of units that they might encounter when working in the field,” said Al St. Peter, lead plumbing and heating instructor at the College. St. Peter has created a new 2-credit Solid Fuel Equipment course that will be required of all new students entering NMCC’s plumbing and heating program. Students will gain experience in piping arrangement, serving and troubleshooting, as well as learn Maine codes pertaining to solid fuels. “Pellets are getting bigger every year. It’s exciting that we can heat our homes with fuel that comes from Aroostook County,” said St. Peter. “Not only do we benefit from fuel savings in our homes, but the region benefits economically.” Beyond having the resources for wood pellets which are so popular now, area farmers have the land and equipment needed to harvest what may be the wave of the future: grass pellets, according to St. Peter. In fact, that possibility was one reason NMCC selected the particular model of biomass boiler from Schmid. It has the capability of burning either wood or grass pellets. “NMCC not only talks the talk, they walk the walk. By doing so, they will be giving hands-on experience in wood-fired systems from fuel delivery to combustion to all of the related monitoring and control systems to their students,” said Thomas Wood, former senior planner with the Maine Forest Service. “It is good for the College, it is good for the students, and when the students take their skills into the market place, it is good for the community.”

NMCC’s Barry Ingraham and Dave Cote take a closer look at equipment during their Schmidt tour.

NMCC plumbing and heating senior Charles Orser adjusts boiler pressure.

Instructor Al St. Peter shows student Colby Johnson how to adjust controls on one of the solid fuel boilers.


F

UMPI

focused on

rom providing a myriad of learning opportributes to the strength and vitality of the region. tunities for local youth to educating the next UMPI’s Presidential Inauguration took place durgeneration of teachers and business profesing HOMECOMING WEEKEND, which celebrated generations of UMPI alumni and gave them a chance sionals to presenting community members to “come home” and share the ways that they’ve been with many lifelong learning activities, the University able to use their educational experiences to impact of Maine at Presque Isle is dedicated to teaching, their career fields and communities. Belearning, and finding ways to link different generatween Sept.  and , a long slate of actions of learners through its many events, tivities was held, including the projects and other offerings. Homecoming Kickoff and BBQ That is one reason why Linking Generations Through Teaching and Learning lunch, the Alumni and Friends Soserved as the theme of the INAUGURAcial, and several alumni athletic TION OF DR. LINDA K. SCHOTT as the events. During the Homecoming University’s eleventh president. This speAlumni and Friends Brunch, the cial event was held Friday, Sept. , in Genclasses of , , and  were honored. In addition, Michael Thitile Hall. Delegations from more bodeau, Class of , was prethan a dozen elementary and secsented with the Distinguished ondary schools in the region, as Educator Award and Christine well as many other officials and Smith, Class of , was predistinguished guests, marched in sented with the Distinguished the ceremony’s processional, signifying the many generations of Alumni Award. At the annual learners connected with the instituHall of Fame dinner, Jocelyn tion. During the event, President Dill, Class of , Paul PRESIDENT LINDA SCHOTT Schott discussed how UMPI has Bouchard, Class of , and linked generations of learners through educational Stephanie (Thurlow) Dubay, Class of , were inendeavors and the many ways the University conducted.


Linking Generations through Teaching and Learning Also in September, UMPI was pleased to partner with The Aroostook Medical Center and Healthy Aroostook (a program of ACAP) on an event that helps local youth to understand the importance of and embrace physical fitness and lifelong wellness. The second annual REDY . . . SET . . . LET ’S GO! YOUTH TRIATHLON was held on the UMPI campus on Sept.  and featured approximately  local participants between the ages of  and . Children ages  to  swam  yards in the Gentile Hall pool, and biked  miles and ran one-half mile on a course around campus. Youth between  and  swam  yards, biked . miles and ran  mile. The event, led by Youth Triathlon Coordinator Jonathan Kelley, focused on encouraging local kids to improve their level of physical activity and to have fun doing it. Leading up to the event, UMPI served as the site of several training sessions, including afternoons of yoga, biking, swimming, and running. Dozens of UMPI and community volunteers came together to make this event a success. As it has for a decade and a half, UMPI is offering a schedule of short courses in the fall especially for lifelong learners as part of its SENIORS ACHIEVING GREATER EDUCATION program. SAGE serves local residents over  and believes in “learning for life.” The program connects participants to local educators, experts and enthusiasts focused on topics ranging

PHOTOS OPPOSITE PAGE from left:

Michael Thibodeau Christine Smith THIS PAGE from left:

Jocelyn Dill Paul Bouchard Stephanie Dubay

from literature and history to science, religion, and even local subjects. To learn more about SAGE, contact Mary Lawrence at  . or mary.l.lawrence@umpi.edu. Another important way the University focuses on teaching and learning across generations is through its DISTINGUISHED LECTURER SERIES, which kicked off on Sept.  with a very special talk. Through Canon USA’s Explorer of Light proJOYCE TENNESON gram, world renowned photographer Joyce Tenneson delivered a presentation titled An Intimate Look at the Intimate Portrait. The series will continue with a visit by Spencer West on Nov. . Inspirational and charismatic, West travels around the world speaking candidly about the struggles he overcame after losing his legs at the age of  and the extraordinary feats he has accomplished since then, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The talk is free and will be held at  .. in the Campus Center. To learn more about these and other ways UMPI is linking generations through teaching and learning, visit www.umpi.edu. ★


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Healthy You:

Clean Hands Save Lives by Kim Jones, Cary Medical Center

I have a slightly exaggerated yet not entirely unearned reputation for being a germaphobe. Yes, I am the girl who has hand sanitizer in her purse at all times, travels with disinfectant wipes in her suitcase, and flushes public toilets with her foot. But I wouldn’t say that I obsess about the microorganisms trying to take me down. I have come to terms with knowing there are more germs under my watch than there are people in Europe. Just because I’ve made my peace with the science, however, doesn’t mean I’m ready to throw in the towel when it comes to minimizing my risk of ‘catching something’.

around an arsenal of disinfectants. Surveys conducted with thousands of people in five large US cities revealed that 95 percent of the population claims to wash their hands after using a toilet. Monitoring of public bathrooms, however, revealed that number is actually closer to 65 percent. That means for every ten people, about four of them don’t wash after pottying. In New York City, that number dropped to even less with fewer than half of the population washing their hands after using the bathroom. Yikes! Or rather, YUCK! (Chicago ranked best with 83 percent of people lathering up in the bathroom.) With the number of germs on hands more than doubling after using the toilet, it’s easy to see why this one factor alone is problematic from a health standpoint. But wait… it gets worse.

December is National Hand Washing Month!

The fact is 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted through hand contact. “When we touch a contaminated object and then touch our nose, mouth, or other open orifice, we run the risk of introducing germs into our bodies that can cause very serious illness, such as influenza, staph infection, or salmonella,” said Ann King, RN, CIC, Cary Medical Center Infection Control. “The reverse is also true in that we transfer these infectioncausing microbes from our bodies onto objects where they can be picked up by someone else.”

With the average adult touching as many as 30 objects within a minute, our exposure to germs is unavoidable. Frequently used objects like doorknobs, handrails, and light switches rarely (if ever) get washed making them perfect places to harbor bacteria, virus, and fungi. These microbes can survive for up to 18 hours on hard surfaces. Therefore, even if something looks clean or hasn’t been used for awhile doesn’t mean it’s germ-free. So how do we protect ourselves from this relentless attack on our immune system? “The single most effective way to prevent the spread of germs that cause illness is proper hand hygiene,” said King.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds (with more recent research revealing that 30 seconds is best). This is how long it takes to properly scrub both hands and significantly decrease the presence of infectious microbes on them. What’s the average wash time, you might ask? A mere 9 seconds. “Even if you’re diligent about washing your hands when you’re supposed to, chances are you’re still not effectively getting the job done,” said King.

And for those who think hand washing is overrated and unimportant, think again. The World Health Organization estimates that one million deaths every year could be prevented if everyone routinely washed their hands. According to King, proper hand hygiene is as important as vaccinations when it comes to preventing the spread of several infectious illnesses. “It’s not just a matter of removing dirt and eliminating odors. Hygiene truly impacts your health and the health of those you come into contact with I wish everyone washed their hands as often as recommended, both directly and indirectly.” Remember, 80 percent all but, sadly, this is not the case - hence the reason I haul infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. FALL 2013

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So by now you may be saying to yourself, “OK, when I • Before, during, and after preparing food touch something in the bathroom, I’ll wash my hands.” • Before eating food • Before and after caring for someone who is sick While that’s a great start, consider this: • Before and after treating a cut or wound • Two-thirds of shopping carts handles tested as part of • After using the toilet a study at the University of Arizona were contaminated • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has with fecal bacteria. In fact, the bacterial counts on the used the toilet carts exceeded those of the average public restroom. • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing • Nearly every surface at a children’s playground contains • After touching an animal or animal waste traces of blood, mucus, saliva, or urine. • After handling pet food or pet treats • According to the National Science Foundation, 32 • After touching garbage percent of all counter-tops, 45 percent of sinks, and 77 percent of kitchen sponges test positive for coliform And lastly, the correct way to wash your hands according to bacteria, which causes food poisoning symptoms. the CDC is: • Cell phones can have as much E. coli as a toilet bowl. 1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or • Staph germs are found on 14 percent of refrigerator cold) and apply soap. handles. 2. Rub your hands together to make lather and scrub them • Toothbrush holders have over a thousand times more well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your bacteria than a toilet seat. fingers, and under your nails. • A typical kitchen sink has more than 500,000 bacteria 3. Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. per square inch around the drain. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from • Most airplane bathrooms have traces of E. coli on the beginning to end twice. faucets and door handles. 4. Rinse your hands well under running water. • Drinking fountains have anywhere from 62,000 to 2.7 5. Dry your hands using a clean towel and then use the million bacteria per square inch on the spigot. towel to turn off the water faucet. • Anytime you transfer underwear from the washer to the dryer you’re going to get E. coli on your hands. You don’t have to be a germaphobe or live in a bubble • ATM buttons often have more germs on them than to protect yourself from infectious disease. Just being public bathroom doorknobs. conscientious about when and how you wash your hands • The bottoms of women’s purses have millions of bacteria, will give you a much better chance of winning the battle which often includes staph, salmonella, and E. coli. against germs…not only for yourself, but for everyone else • too! Other objects frequently appearing on “germiest” lists include soap dispensers, restaurant menus, gym equipment, condiment dispensers, stair/escalator railings, desk tops, Sources: public transportation seats, telephones, children’s toys, TV United States Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov remotes, and door knobs…just to name a few. Would you United States National Institute of Health: www.nih.gov like to borrow my hand sanitizer now? The World Health Organizaation: www.who.int CBS News.com Speaking of hand sanitizer, many studies have shown that NBC News.com alcohol based rubs are as effective at killing harmful germs as soap and water unless the hands are heavily soiled. Healthy You is a free community program from Cary “Hand sanitizers are an excellent option, especially if soap Medical Center that addresses your overall wellbeing and running water are not available,” said King. “Just be including physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual sure your sanitizer has a minimum of health. For program information or calendar of events, go to www.carymedicalcenter.org or call Cary Medical Center’s 60 percent alcohol concentration.” King cautions, however, Public Relations Department at 207.498.1361. not to rely completely on alcohol rubs as there are some bacterial spores and certain types of viruses that they cannot Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is effectively kill. not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for health questions and As for other ways to protect yourself and others from the recommendations specific to you. spread of germs, the CDC recommends that you wash or sanitize your hands:

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C D C D S, DMD

B D L E 1971

207 764-5675, 1 800-764-5675 165 A S. • P I, M 04769

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To Those I Love by Martha Stevens-David

I have seen vast fields of clover And the mountains at great height I have loved the rivers and the trees And Maine all snowy white… I have seen eagles when they soar And watched the salmon leap I have seen deer with their fawns As they lay down to sleep… I have seen acres of green potatoes And miles of golden grain I’ve smelled spring’s purple lilacs And tasted summer’s rain… I have trod the path of soldiers And seen my share of pain I have laid my life on the line And traveled home again Now that my work is finished And my life on earth is through Just look for me beyond the stars Because there I’ll wait for you…

An Original Poem by M. Stevens-David 11/08/06

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Photo © 2013 Our Maine Street


Our Maine Street : Issue 18 Fall 2013