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December 2015 Vol. 20 Issue 2

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Whittier Middle School Winter Concert

Whittier Middle School Chorus during a December 9 Holiday Concert in Poland. Five wonderful pieces were sung with some high soprano solo parts done by Brooke Farrell, Sophie Patenaude and Amy Fryda seen in the inset photo. (Photo by Bill Van Tassel)

Music teacher Julia Edward shows her enthusiasm for her job and good music as she directs her students in Mozart’s Alleluia. The piece was very well done for such young, teenage voices. (Photo by Bill Van Tassel)

The Whittier Middle School Band under the direction of teacher Larry Williams. The inset shows Cole Ouellette and Kira Gelinas adding some unusual percussion to one of the bands’ four selections, The March of the Magical Toys. (Photo by Bill Van Tassel)

Whittier Middle School’s music department held its 2015 Winter Concert on December 9 in the PRHS Performing Arts Center. It featured the band under the direction of Larry Williams and the Chorus under the direction of Julia Edwards. The band played four selections including The March of the Magical Toys by Robert Smith. The students did extremely well on all the pieces but the last one, The Magical Toys March was the strongest, showing that it was either the one they spent the most time practicing or the one the kids

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enjoyed the most. Maybe both, because it was very well done. A special percussion part of it was done by Cole Ouellette and Kira Gelinas playing on five-gallon drums. The large chorus performed with enthusiasm and the listeners could tell they were well trained and prepared by music teacher Julia Edward. Both Edwards and William highly praised their students and supportive parents. The chorus sang

five selections; an Alleluia by Mozart that was excellent, a Hawian piece called Pupu Hinuhinu and a rousing Zambian selection called Bonse Aba. These last two were done in their original languages. A traditional French Carol and an African Noel were also performed well. The full audience showed much appreciation of the students’ and music teachers’ Bill Van Tassel n

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The Country Connection

December 2015

Minot News

Pat Hutter on left, Organized the Vender/Craft people for this event.

Julie Goodell with her vehicle ready for Halloween. She Hester made these Donuts plus a 2nd batch for the Mirepresented the Minot Historical Society. She and her not Historical Society “trunk or treat” Vehicle at Minot son gave out wrapped candy and 100 home made donuts. School.

Minot Community Club and Minot school hosted their 2nd annual Halloween “Trunk or Treat.” Great weather and a huge turnout! About 20 decorated vehicles gave out treats for

painting, Floor Games, Crafts, and Treats were featured. We saw many interesting and Creative families and they were having fun. West Minot Grange #42

the folks. The Minot Historical Society was represented by Julie Goodell and her son jacob. They gave away wrapped candy and over 100 homemade donuts. Inside, Face

held its November Craft/ Vender Fair on Nov. 14, 2015. The weather was great, and a lot of people turned out to browse and shop. Both floors had togeth-

er 18 displays. We also sold $5.00 meals with, 2 kinds baked beans, hash, chop suey, biscuits, cole slaw, 4 kinds of cake, and beverages. ‘A Family for me”, Display was seen by

many in the entrance hall. Chances on items donated by vendors were won by several crafters and fair customers.n

CMMC Medical Assistants Earn Certification 19 medical assistants working in various Central Maine Medical Group care practices have earned professional credentials. Central Maine Healthcare began the process of credentialing all medical assistants, often called a MAs, last year. The intent of the initiative is to provide patients a consistent standard of care in all Central Maine Medical Group practices. The medical assistants had five options for gaining credentialed status: · American Registry of Medical Assistants, which designates those who pass its exam as a Registered Medical Assistant (R.M.A.) · American Association of Medical Assistants, which awards the designation of Certified Medical Assistant (C.M.A.) to those who successfully complete its exam. · National Healthcareer Association, which credentials through an exam Cer-

tified Clinical Medical Assistants (C.C.M.A.) · National Center for Competency Testing, which credentials National Certified Medical Assistants (N.C.M.A.) through an exam process · American Registry of Medical Assistants, which reviews an applicant’s education, experience, and recommendations before awarding the credential of Registered Medical Assistant (R.M.A.) Achieving certification were: (see accompanying photo) from left, front row, Kim-Lea Crawford, R.M.A., Central Maine Family Practice, Lewiston ; Jill Bouchard, C.C.M.A., Central Maine Pediatrics; and Julie Vadas, N.C.M.A., Gray Family Health Center; second row, Stephanie Madore, R.M.A., Mechanic Falls Family Practice; Jessica Curtis, R.M.A., Central Maine Internal Medicine, Lewiston; Vikki Plummer, C.C.M.A., Central Maine

Pediatrics, Lewiston; Lisa Parker, C.C.M.A., Central Maine Pediatrics; and Jessica Gawenus, R.M.A., Central Maine Family Practice; back row, Billy-Jack Fuller, R.M.A., Central Maine Internal Medicine; Lynn Mailhot, N.C.M.A., Central Maine Internal Medicine; and Jason Gagnon, R.M.A., Minot Avenue Family Medicine, Auburn. Also gaining medical assistant credentials were: Sara Kidd, R.M.A., and Janet Ulrickson, R.M.A., both of Brunswick Family Medicine, Brunswick; Deb Burgess, N.C.M.A., Heather Nailor, R.M.A., Ruth Thompson, N.C.M.A., and June Laverdiere, N.C.M.A., all of Family Health Care Associates in Auburn; Katie Chiasson, R.M.A., Central Maine Pediatric Cardiology, Lewiston; and Chantel Biron, C.C.M.A, Central Maine Pediatrics. n

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The Country Connection is published by Turner Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 214, Turner, ME 04282-0214. Advertisers and those wishing to submit articles of interest can call, 1-800-400-4076 (within the state of Maine only) or 1-207-225-2076 or fax us at 1-207-225-5333, you can also send e-mail to us at: Any views expressed within this paper do not necessarily reflect those of this paper. This paper assumes no responsibility for typographical errors that may occur, but will reprint, at no additional cost, that part of any advertisement in which the error occurs before the next issue’s deadline. This paper also reserves the right to edit stories and articles submitted for publication. This paper is mailed on a monthly basis to all postal patrons of Hebron, Minot, West Minot, Mechanic Falls, Poland, West Poland, East Poland, Gray, and New Gloucester. Founded by Steven Cornelio in 1992.

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The Country Connection

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2nd Annual Rock, Paper, Scissors Triple Crown Series Announced

United Way of Oxford County is excited to announce its 2nd Annual Rock, Paper, Scissors Triple Crown Series. The Rock, Paper, Scissors Triple Crown series is made up of three races: the Cupid Dash, the Shamrock, Shuffle, and the Spring Fling 5k, the series kicks off in February and wraps up in April. The Cupid Dash is the first leg in the series, participants can choose between a 2.5k, 5k, or 10k snowshoe race. The Cupid Dash will be held on February 13, 2016 at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway, the race will be one of the events held during the Mellie Dunham Snowshoe Festival. Roberts Farms will has extra snowshoes on hand in all sizes participants can use for free. Registration will begin at 9AM and the race will begin at 10AM. The second leg of the series is the

Central Maine Community College (CMCC) President Scott Knapp has announced the following faculty appointments: Margaret H. Brewer, instructor in business administration & management. Margaret is the owner of FSPM, Inc., a general contracting company, and DiveMasters, LLC, a scuba diver services company. She has two degrees in business administration, a

Shamrock Shuffle Cross Country Ski 5k. It will be held at Carter’s Ski Center in Bethel on March 12, 2016, registration will begin at 8:30AM and the race will begin at 9:30AM. Carter’s Ski Center will offer a discounted rental rate for anyone that is registered in the series but does not have their own skis. The series will wrap up with the Spring Fling 5k Run/ Walk located in Fryeburg on April 2, 2016, registration will begin at 8:30AM and the race will begin at 9:30AM. Proceeds from the Rock, Paper, Scissors Triple Crown Series will benefit United Way of Oxford County’s Community Fund which helps to support programs focused on educational achievement, meeting basic needs, and improved health. Participants are encouraged to dress to the theme of

each race. United Way of Oxford County will be giving out prizes for best costume for each race as well as prizes for top finishers, and a special prize for participants that complete all three races. There is something for everyone in this series, whether you are hoping to be one of the top finishers or want to come enjoy beautiful Western Maine with your whole family, the Rock, Paper, Scissors Triple Crown Series is for you. There will be fun activities for the whole family at each race. United Way of Oxford County would like to extend a thank you to our Series Premier Sponsor, Oxford Casino, and gold sponsors, Northeast Bank. There are more sponsorship opportunities available to learn more please contact Kim Preble at 743-5833 or info@uwoxfordcounty.

org. United Way of Oxford County was founded in 1989, in that time it has invested around $1.5 million dollars into Oxford County. The mission of United Way of Oxford County is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring powers of Oxford County to advance the common good. Each United Way is individually incorporated and run by a local Board of Directors. United Way of Oxford County is the smallest of 10 United Ways in Maine, making fundraising efforts critical to help support its programs and initiatives. To learn more about United Way of Oxford County please visit www. n

New Faculty Members Appointed

Margaret H. Brewer

Keely Heidtman

June Roberts-Sherman

bachelor’s from Saint Jo-

seph’s College in Standish and a master’s from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH. Keely Heidtman, instructor in chemistry. Keely is a native of Norwich, CT who currently lives in Hallowell. She holds a BA in

chemistry from Assumption College in Worcester, MA and a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California at San Diego. She has taught at the University of Maine at Augusta, Messalonskee High School in Oakland, ME,

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Kevin Ellingwood and Everett High School in Everett, MA. June Roberts-Sherman, instructor in graphic communications. June earned an AAS degree in graphic communications from CMCC and a BA in fine arts from USM. She worked previously at the Auburn

Public Library and as a page designer at the Sun Journal. She lives in Auburn. Kevin Ellingwood, instructor in computer technology. Kevin earned his AAS degree in computer science at CMCC (with President’s Honors) in 2001, and a BS in information technology from Kaplan University. He holds a certification in Comptia A+ and is a Microsoft technology associate (MTA) in Security, Server Administration, and Networking. Kevin lives in his home town of South Paris and has been employed as director of E-Commerce and Web Design for the Nezinscot Guild. n


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The Country Connection

December 2015

Do You Sudoku Answer on page 12

Family Friendly Friday Night Shoping & Activities

It’s okay to bring the kids along as you finish up your shopping list, or let them do some shopping for others. We’ve got many free activities to keep them happy. Stop into Lisa’s Legit Burritos for story time, or Bam Jam Candy Shop for an ornament making activity

as well as letters to Santa inside Gerard’s Pizza and snowflake making at Spin Off Studio. Terri of Music Together will guide sing-a-longs inside Ampersand Academy of Dance at 5:45PM and again 6:30PM. Raggamuffins will be hosting a kids holiday card making

activity for the residents of Arbor Terrace assisted living center. Also enjoy free gift wrapping at Lisa’s Legit Burritos provided by Gardiner Main Street. Several shops will be open extended hours until 7 or 8 PM.n

Johnson Hall-Iday Xmas Variety Bash

3 Shows! Friday, Dec. 18 at 7:30PM & Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2PM and 7:30PM Johnson Hall, 280 Water St. Jason Tardy, Steve Corning and Shane Miclon present a jolly Christmas show for the whole family. Comedic Christ-

mas stories and songs, juggling, audience participation and holiday cheer make up this delightful seasonal show. So that everyone can make some time for a laugh this holiday season, this all new performance has three different show-

times, including one Saturday matinee. Tickets are $16 adults, $14 seniors and $5 for ages 17 and under. Get them online, at the box office, by calling 582-7144 or at the door. n

Raggamuffins Hosts Giving Tree

Raggamuffins is hosting its second annual gift giving tree, My Christmas Friend will benefit the residents of Arbor Terrace in Gardiner. Arbor Terrace is a nonprofit medical care development assisted living community. You can visit them at www.arbor- With two weeks left there are currently 22 names left to choose from. Most gift requests are simple items to brighten their day. Bring unwrapped gifts to Raggamuffins for wrapping and delivery by December 21.

If shopping isn’t your thing, you may donate money and they will do the shopping for you! Stop in today to pick your Christmas Friend and put a smile on the faces of the residents at Arbor Terrace! n

Minot News

The Minot Historical Society met in November with regular officers reports. Announced the Chili and Chowder was a fun evening and we should do this again. The program for the evening was the DVD on the parade and celebration when CJ Ryder

reversed the route that Mesannie Wilkins took from Minot, Maine, to California. We will not have a December meeting so our next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 7:00PM at the Town Office. Come with ideas for programs for 2016.

The Fund raising committee of the society will meet on Saturday, January 16th, at 2:00 PM at the home of Donna Berry. Why don’t you join us for the next regular meeting? All are very Welcome. n

Nikki Hunt Band at The Bench

Saturday, December 26 9PM to 1am The Bench Sports Bar, 418 Water St. The Nikki Hunt Band is a four piece dance band that covers a wide variety of music. The band has been together for six years completing 1000 shows. They’ve

opened for artists like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and American Idol winner Kris Allen. In addition to music, Nikki has a mesmerizing hula hoop act! Nikki has been hooping for nine years and teaching for five years. She has performed all over

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Left to Right: George Buker, Vice President Eda Tripp, treasurer. Sylvia Bosse, Secretary Hester Gilpatric, President



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December 2015

The Country Connection CLUES ACROSS 1. Red wine 7. Best nurse-patient aid 10. Footwear closure 12. Chinese dynasty 1122-221 BC 13. Persuade to one’s side 14. Advocate 15. Mandela’s party 16. A woolen cap of Scottish origin 17. About aviation 18. Shallowest of the Greats 19. Sheathe 20. Frightened 23. Brews 24. Relates 27. Atomic #52 28. Up the ante 33. The “Kings’s” initials 34. Lepton 36. Cornmeal mush (British) 38. One who analyzes syntactically 39. Algonquian tribe 40. Systems, doctrines, theories 41. Herb __, San Francisco columnist loved ones are fully capable of solving their own problems.

ARIES - Mar 21/Apr 20 This can be a terrific week for you, Aries. Make the most of every moment and don’t be surprised as you successfuly juggle many different things at once. TAURUS - Apr 21/May 21 Work may seem overwhelming at times in the week ahead, Taurus. Keep your head down and stay focused on the tasks at hand. Others will be impressed. GEMINI - May 22/Jun 21 Gemini, make the most of an opportunity to move forward with your goals. You have plenty of energy, and your mind is focused. Hang around with likeminded individuals as well. CANCER - Jun 22/Jul 22 Don’t get too wrapped up in other people’s business, Cancer. You don’t want to intrude on others, and your

LEO - Jul 23/Aug 23 Leo, you may feel like you’re on top of the world this week. That’s because you have the potential to conquer an elusive goal in the next few days. VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept 22 Act now, Virgo, or you might get left behind. You can’t sit around and wait for things to unfold. Sometimes you have to take charge, and this is one of those times. LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct 23 There may be some conflict in your world this week, Libra, especially when it involves your emotions and potential disputes. Keep your mind open and try new things. SCORPIO - Oct 24/Nov 22 Scorpio, concern yourself with substantive actions and not empty promises. This will make it easier for you to make decisions about pressing issues.

We have NOVEMBER Winners of the Phony ad Contest


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Country Courier: April Bitts Country Connection: Tessa Crist Auburn Highlights: Jane Turcotte Franklin Focus: Vella Tisdale Lake Region Reader: David Graham Kennebec Current: Tyler Damon Good News Gazette: Robert Kellrman Western Maine Foothills: John D. Dube Lisbon Ledger: Bill Shaughnessy Two Cent Times: Mary Rowe Oxford Hills Observer: Elizabeth Courbron Moose Prints: Sharyn Lee Somerset Express: Edward C. Sontheimer Lewiston Leader: Tammy Torrey

All of the winners listed have won gift certicates to one of our advertisers. If you haven’t won - keep playing! We get hundreds of entries each month! It’s easy to enter - read through the ads in this issue and nd the phony ad, ll out the entry form found in this paper and mail it in. If you have the correct answer, your name will be entered into a monthly drawing!

42. Informed about the latest trends 45. Seven 46. Morocco’s capital 47. What a doctor practices 49. Beaks 50. In a way, extends 51. A number or amount not specified 52. Gambling CLUES DOWN 1. Composition for orchestra and soloists 2. Bulgarian monetary unit 3. Settled upon 4. Common frog genus 5. Electronic countercounter measures 6. Golf ball supporter 7. Divided into 3 8. Crazy (Spanish) 9. Billiards stick 10. More deficient 11. Solomon Islands capital 12. Larval crabs 14. Malta capital 18. Clairvoyance 19. Tomato condiment 21. Alleviation

22. French seaport 25. New Testament 26. Shortened (abbr.) 29. Employee (abbr.) 30. Opposite of leaving 31. Lip locking 32. Foes 35. Many not ands 36. Covered with healing scrapes 37. Regions 41. Abel’s brother (Bible) 42. Greek Queen of the Gods 43. Esau’s descendants (Bible) 44. Canarium ovatum 46. Ribonucleic acid 47. Gas usage measurement 48. An oppositional argument

SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec 21 Try not to spread yourself too thin, Sagittarius. If you do, you will not be able to put your best foot forward. If you feel yourself getting stressed, step back. CAPRICORN - Dec 22/Jan 20 Capricorn, now is a great time to take a step back and exhale. Avoid taking on any additional responsibilities. Instead, take some time to recharge. AQUARIUS - Jan 21/Feb 18 Aquarius, let friends know how much they mean to you because you might not say it often enough. Others will appreciate your candor and generosity. PISCES - Feb 19/Mar 20 Pisces, you tend to hold your feelings inside and that can be unhealthy. Share your feelings more often so negative energy will not build.

FIND THE PHONY AD!!! You could win a Gift Certi�icate to an area merchant from one of our papers! It is easy to �ind - just read through the ads in this issue of The Country Connection and �ind the phony ad. Either �ill out the entry form below (one entry per month please) and mail to: Find The Phony Ad Contest, P.O. Box 214 Turner, ME 04282 or email to: (one entry per household please) You must include all the information requested below to be eligible to win. Note: Turner Publishing will not lend or sell your email address to a third party.

Name: Address: City: State: Zip: ( ) Email Address: Phone: Would you like to receive email noti�ication of local sales and specials___Y___N

Please tell us your age (circle one) 12-25 yrs. 26-35 yrs. 36-45 yrs. 46-55 yrs. 56 yrs. & up

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The Country Connection

December 2015

Picking Pockets John McDonald

While doing show prep for my radio talk show I was looking into the topic of crime statistics, to learn a thing or two about what lawbreakers are up-to these days. According to the figures I found, our criminals have been busy as beavers. In the report I read, under the heading “larceny,” for example, were listed all the different ways a theft can be committed – ways you and I wouldn’t necessarily think of, unless we’re in the habit of thinking lawbreaking thoughts. There was shoplifting, theft of bicycles, theft of motor vehicles, theft of items from motor vehicles, theft of motor vehicle parts and accessories and theft from build-

ings. There was even a separate category for thefts from vending machines. The figures – if they are to be believed - have good news for vending machine owners. In the last few years, thefts from Maine vending machines plummeted by almost 5 percent. We can only conclude that either vending machines are getting smarter or vending machine crooks are getting dumber. There was no mention of thefts committed by vending machines themselves, a crime which I have been the victim of recently. To me the most surprising statistic in the whole pile was the one showing that pickpocketing in Maine increased by over 26 percent in recent years. As far as I know, the pickpocket figures do not refer to those individuals operating in tollbooths in York and Hampton, N.H.

Those are perfectly legal pickpocket operations and are fully authorized to pick any pockets that happen by. The statistic refers to those engaged in the unauthorized picking of pockets; those individuals who bump into you in a crowd at the Blue Hill, Cumberland, Fryeburg or Oxford fairs and lift the wallet right out of your pocket without

you being the wiser. I don’t mean to single out those fine fairs. Fact is, the picking of pockets can take place at almost any other fair in Maine even the Washington County Fair – if it were still in existence. After reading the pickpocket statistics I checked for my wallet and was glad to learn that it was still where it was supposed to be.

I don’t know about you, but I always thought pickpockets worked in big cities that were teeming with gullible easy marks who were just waiting to have their pocket picked by some welltrained artful dodger. While pondering all that I wondered where a person might go to learn how to pick pockets. I know where you go to learn how to

lobster or how to drag for fish and scallops or how to harvest wood and build boats, but where does someone go in Maine to learn the ancient art of pocket picking? My first impulse is to blame the whole pickpocket business on people from away. Why not? We blame them for just about everything else. Hard as it is to believe we may have within our borders a homegrown pick pocket class with its own homegrown pickpocket culture. But don’t look at me; I’m just writing about them. And if you think this column was just a distraction so I could move in and pick your pocket, you’re wrong. Go ahead; check for your wallet. If it’s missing – like I said – don’t look at me. n

The Healthy Geezer

By: Fred Cecitti Q. My doctor told me my cholesterol and triglycerides are elevated. I have a vague idea what cholesterol is but I’m clueless about tyglycerides. What are they? Triglycerides are a fat in your blood. They are important to maintaining good health. However, if your triglycerides get out of control, you can put your heart at risk. People with high triglycerides usually have lower HDL (good) cholesterol and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Calories you take in but don’t burn immedi-

ately are converted to triglycerides to supply you with energy later. Your triglycerides level can be too high if you continue to consume more calories than you need. Of course, this causes obesity, too. Other causes of elevated triglycerides—called hypertriglyceridemia— include diabetes, an underactive thyroid, kidney disease, and drugs such as beta-blockers, some diuretics, estrogen, tamoxifen, steroids and birth control pills. The common guidelines for triglyceride levels are the following: normal, less than 150 mg/dL; borderline-high, 150 to 199 mg/dL; high, 200 to 499 mg/dL, and very high, 500 mg/dL or more. “Mg/dL” stands for milligram per deciliter.

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The primary remedy for too many triglycerides is changing your habits. Here are some pointers on how to get your triglycerides down: * Get off the recliner and exercise. * Cut your caloric intake across the board. This means you have to reduce your consumption of not just fat, but carbohydrates and proteins. Substituting carbohydrates for fats can raise triglyceride levels. People with high triglycerides may have to limit their intake of carbohydrates to no more than 45 to 50 percent of total calories. * Avoid saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. This is a complex subject. A good starting point is to stay away from foods that come from animals such as

meat, dairy and eggs. But there are plant-based foods that are bad for you, too. These include oils from coconuts, cottonseeds and palm kernels. * Eat oily fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease triglyceride levels * A small about of alcohol can generate a big increase in triglyceride levels. Cut down as much as you can. * Quit smoking. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you must know by now that smoking doesn’t just cause respiratory diseases such as lung cancer and emphysema. It kills you in so many ways.

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If changing your habits is insufficient to bring your level of triglycerides down, there are medications that can be prescribed. Fenofibrate, gemfibrozil and nicotinic acids often work to reduce triglycerides. Hypertriglyceridemia can run in families. While high triglycerides don’t usually present noticeable symptoms, people with a family history of very high triglycerides may have visible fatty deposits under the skin. Elevated triglycerides are often part of a group of conditions called met-

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abolic syndrome. This syndrome is the combination of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excess weight, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglycerides. This syndrome increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. [In the next installment of The Healthy Geezer, we’ll focus upon cholesterol.] If you would like to ask a question, write to fred@healthygeezer. com. n

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December 2015

The Country Connection

Page 7

West Minot Historical Society News On November 5th, West Minot Grange#42 dispatched a team to deliver over 40 student’s dictionaries to the two Minot school 3rd

grade classes. (33 students and 2 teachers) We gave principal Kim Spencer her copy and the remaining copies went to the school

Nov.6th The Minot school invited Veterans related to Minot school Kids to Lunch and a great recognition program.

library. Wendy, Hester, and David Gilpatric enjoyed this Minot school experience very much! I think this was our 13th year do-

ing this dictionary project. More School News November 6th the Minot School invited Veterans related to

A Student Dictionary and Gazetteer 23rd Edition

Student of the Month

Minot school kids to lunch and a great recognition program. Over 70 family folks enjoyed their time at Minot School. n

Minot Consolidated School. The two classes total 33 students (3rd graders) Front Row Left to Right: Cameron, Lemieux, Cassidy, Russell, Liam Newell, Brooklelyn Whited. Back Row: Ms. Jennifer French, Linda Bernier (Teachers) Wendy Gilpatric, 2nd David Gilpatric. Photo taken by Hester Gilpatric.

Poland Spring Bonfire

The Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland Tri-Town Optimist Club is proud to announce its RSU 16 Student of the Month recipient for November, Kylie Thibodeau. Kylie, a 6th grader at Elm Street Elementary School, is described by her teacher as a quiet leader with a kind heart who leads by her character and actions. She overcomes obstacles with determination, strength and grace and is an “utmost citizen of her school community” who strives for her personal best in all that she does. Congratulations Kylie! Kylie, left, is pictured with Club President Jeff Gagnon.

On November 9th, Poland Spring Academy held a bonfire with almost 50 students, parents, staff, and friends attending. Hotdogs & marshmallows were cooked over a smaller fire by many, while others kept the bigger fire burning bright for several hours. Before the night was over, the music class/chorus provided some extra entertainment singing renditions of Viva la Vida, Amnesia, and Make a Man Out of You. We are already looking forward to another bonfire in March!

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The Country Connection

December 2015


BOYS VARSITY ICE HOCKEY 12/28/2015 Cheverus High School 1/2/2016 Lewiston High School 1/6/2016 Bangor High School 1/9/2016 * ELHS (@ NSBA) 1/18/2016 Biddeford High School 1/21/2016 Falmouth High School 1/23/2016 Thornton Academy 1/27/2016 * EL HS(@ NSBA) 1/30/2016 Lewiston High School 2/3/2016 Thornton Academy 2/11/2016 Scarborough HS 2/13/2016 Bangor High School 2/17/2016 Biddeford High School

Home Norway Savings Bank Arena Away Colisee Away Sawyer Ice Arena Home St. Dominic Academy Away Biddeford Ice Arena Away Falmouth Ice Arena Home Norway Savings Bank Arena Away Edward Little High School Home Norway Savings Bank Arena Away Biddeford Ice Arena Away MHG Home Norway Savings Bank Arena Home Norway Savings Bank Arena

7:30 PM 8:10 PM 6:30 PM 7:00 PM 2:50 PM 7:10 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:10 PM 8:00 PM 8:00 PM 5:00 PM 6:00 PM

BOYS JUNIOR VARSITY ICE HOCKEY 12/23/2015 Portland High School Away Casco Bay Arena 1/2/2016 Lewiston High School Away Colisee 1/6/2016 Bangor High School Away Bangor High School 1/8/2016 Windham High School Home Casco Bay Arena 1/9/2016 * EL HS (@ NSBA) Home St. Dominic Academy 1/15/2016 Yarmouth Away Casco Bay Arena 1/22/2016 Mt. Ararat High School Home Casco Bay Arena 1/27/2016 * EL HS (@ NSBA) Away Edward Little High School 1/29/2016 OPEN DATE (Playoffs Start) Away Casco Bay Arena 1/30/2016 Lewiston High School Home St. Dominic Academy 2/6/2016 Oceanside High School Home Norway Savings Bank Arena 2/17/2016 Biddeford High School Home Norway Savings Bank Arena

BOYS VARSITY BASKETBALL 12/17/2015 Winthrop High School 12/22/2015 Monmouth Academy 12/29/2015 Hall-Dale High School 1/2/2016 Boothbay RHS 1/5/2016 Monmouth Academy 1/8/2016 Telstar H S. 1/12/2016 Oak Hill 1/14/2016 Wiscasset High School 1/18/2016 Carrabec High School 1/22/2016 Dirigo High School 1/25/2016 Mt.Abram 1/28/2016 Wiscasset High School 2/1/2016 Mountain Valley HS 2/3/2016 Lisbon High School

7:50 PM 5:30 PM TBA 7:50 PM 4:10 PM 5:30 PM 5:30 PM 4:10 PM TBA 4:20 PM 4:10 PM 4:50 PM

BOYS JUNIOR VARSITY BASKETBALL 12/29/2015 Hall-Dale High School A 5:00 PM 1/5/2016 Monmouth Academy A 5:30 PM 1/8/2016 Telstar H S. A 5:30 PM 1/12/2016 Oak Hill A 5:30 PM 1/14/2016 Wiscasset High School H 4:00 PM 1/18/2016 Carrabec High School A 5:30PM 1/22/2016 Dirigo High School H 5:30PM 1/25/2016 Mt.Abram H 5:30PM 1/28/2016 Wiscasset High School A 4:00 PM 2/1/2016 Mountain Valley HS H 5:30PM 2/3/2016 Lisbon High School A 5:30PM

GIRLS VARSITY ICE HOCKEY 12/2/2015 Kennebunk HS 12/8/2015 Gorham 12/12/2015 York High School 12/19/2015 Portland High School 12/26/2015 Mt. Ararat HS (@ NSAA) 12/29/2015 * Winslow High School 1/2/2016 Lewiston High School 1/6/2016 Greely 1/9/2016 Edward Little High School 1/13/2016 Mt. Ararat High School 1/15/2016 * Brunswick High School 1/18/2016 * Winslow High School 1/20/2016 Yarmouth 1/23/2016 * Brunswick High School 1/25/2016 Greely 1/27/2016 * EL HS (@ NSBA) 1/30/2016 Lewiston High School

7:40 PM 6:00 PM 12:00 PM 5:50 PM 4:10 PM 3:30 PM 6:30 PM 8:00 PM 5:20 PM 7:45 PM 3:15 PM 1:00 PM 6:00 PM 4:30 PM 6:50 PM 5:20 PM 5:30 PM

Home St. Dominic Academy Home St. Dominic Academy Away RIA Away PIA Home St. Dominic Academy Away Sukee Ice Arena Away Colisee Away Falmouth Ice Arena Home St. Dominic Academy Away Bowdoin Away Bowdoin Home St. Dominic Academy Home St. Dominic Academy Home Norway Savings Bank Arena Home St. Dominic Academy Away Edward Little High School Home Norway Savings Bank Arena


7:00 PM 7:00 PM 6:30 PM 2:30 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 2:30 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM

GIRLS VARSITY BASKETBALL 12/4/2015 Oak Hill High School 12/7/2015 Hall-Dale High School 12/10/2015 Madison 12/11/2015 Lisbon High School 12/17/2015 Winthrop High School 12/22/2015 Monmouth Academy 12/29/2015 Hall-Dale High School 1/2/2016 Boothbay RHS 1/5/2016 Monmouth Academy 1/7/2016 Telstar H S. 1/11/2016 Oak Hill High School 1/14/2016 Wiscasset High School 1/18/2016 Carrabec High School 1/23/2016 Dirigo High School 1/26/2016 Mt.Abram 1/28/2016 Wiscasset High School 2/2/2016 Mountain Valley HS 2/4/2016 Lisbon High School


6:00 PM 7:00 PM 6:00 PM 5:30 PM 5:30 PM 5:30 PM 5:30 PM 1:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 5:30 PM 1:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM

Good Luck Saints!

This sports schedule proudly sponsored by



• Saturday December 5th 7:00pm vs. Cape Cod Islanders • Sunday December 13th 2:00pm vs. Northeast Generals Teddy Bear Toss


• Saturday January 16th 7:00pm vs. Maine Wild Hockey Day in L/A


• Sunday February 14th

2:00pm vs. East Coast Minutemen Sweetheart Night • Thursday February 18th 7:00pm vs. North East Generals • Saturday February 20th 7:00pm vs. Maine Wild • Sunday February 28th 2:00pm vs. Northeast Generals

Purchasing a gift card as a last minute gift idea? Around this time of year thieves hit gift card racks and secretly write down or scan the numbers off the cards. Then they wait a few days and check online or call the toll-free number to see if the card had been bought and activated, al-

lowing them to drain the funds right off the card before you or anyone else uses it. Tip: only purchase gift cards directly from the featured store or, at the very least, ask the cashier for a card that hasn’t been displayed on the kiosk. Have them scan the card beforehand to make sure it has the correct balance and always keep your receipt. Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Contact local law enforcement or the AARP Fraud Watch Network org/fraudwatchnetwork or 1-877-9083360 to report a scam or for more information on scam and fraud prevention. 


• Sunday March 6th 2:00pm vs. East Coast Minutemen

List of Special Game Nights:

Add a taste of authentic Maine humor to your next banquet, luncheon, conference, convention or company get together.

Teddy Bear Toss - December 13th Hockey Day in L/A - January 16th Sweetheart Night - February 14th


Follow us on Facebook or Visit us online 783-6885

Contact humorist and best-selling Maine author John McDonald



December 2015

The Country Connection

RESPONSIBILITY MATTERS® Federal Distributors Inc. 2075 Lisbon Road Lewiston, ME 04240 (207) 783-1777

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The Country Connection

December 2015

French Apple Pie

Certain activities are unique to autumn, and apple-picking certainly falls into that category. Many families look forward to their annual trips to nearby apple orchards, where they can spend beautiful autumn afternoons picking fresh apples everyone can’t wait to take a bite out of.

While fresh apples are a delight on their own, few apple afficionados can resist the temptation to make apple pie. If homemade apple pie is on your agenda this year, consider the following recipe for “French Apple Pie” from Mollie Cox Bryan’s “Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies” (Ten Speed Press).

Makes one 9-inch pie 1 recipe Plain Pie Pastry (see below) Raisin Filling 2/3 cup raisins 6 tablespoons water 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 1/4 cup light corn syrup 11/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 11/2 teaspoons sugar

Money Donated to Food Bank


To make the raisin filling, combine the raisins, water and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the raisins are plump, about 15 minutes. Separately, combine the corn syrup, flour and sugar and mix well, then add to the raisins and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool until the mixture is just warm, about 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 rolled-out crust. Peel the apples, cut them into thin wedges, and put them in a large

bowl. Separately, combine the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch, then add to the apples and gently stir until evenly mixed. Spread the apple mixture in the crust in an even layer, then spread the raisin filling evenly over the apples. Brush the rim of the crust with water, cover with the second rolledout crust, seal and flute or crimp the edges, and cut a steam vent in the center. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours, until completely cool. To make the icing, combine the sugar and water and mix well. Add the butter and mix until smooth. Brush over the top of the cooled pie before serving.

2 apples (preferably a tart variety)

PLAIN PIE PASTRY Makes two 9-inch pie crusts

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 11/2 teaspoons cornstarch Icing 1 cup confectioners' sugar 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon butter, softened

On Friday, November 21, 2015 four members of Colfax Rebekah Lodge #27 went to the Tri-Town Food Bank in Poland, Maine to present the organization with a check for $1500.00. Those members attending were Treasurer Sally Fournier, Vice-Grand Winnie Belville and Noble Grand Cynthia Larrabee, and our photographer Es-

ther Tucker. The director of the Food Bank , Sharon Bazinet explained how the food bank worked and the need for assistance was greatly appreciated especially during holidays. Rebekahs are an International Fraternal organization that strive to support numerous projects that benefit mankind. n

Local Veteran at Lewiston Ceremony

5 to 7 tablespoons cold milk Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it is the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the milk over part of the flour mixture. Gently toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Sprinkle another tablespoon of milk over another dry part, toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining milk until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Press the dough together to form 2 equal balls, then flatten into disks. Roll out the crusts right away, or wrap the dough tightly, smoothing out any little wrinkles or air pockets and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a light touch and handle the dough as little as possible.

Lewiston police officer Craig Johnson talks with WW II veteran Bob Wotherspoon. Wotherspoon, from New Gloucester, served on the USS Hornet CV-12 air craft carrier that saw plenty of action off the coasts of Japanese Islands and in the Philippine Sea, including support during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Wotherspoon and his son were part of the Veterans Day Ceremony in Lewiston last month. (Photo by Bill Van Tassel)

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December 2015

The Country Connection

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V. Paul Reynolds In the small Northwestern Colorado town of Maybell, the morning came on with low-lying dark clouds, rain and fog. For cow elk hunters, including Diane and myself, the nasty weather was a welcome respite from a week of too much sun and too much heat, even up high in the magnificent Danforth Hills. After a short drive we parked the truck and began the tough, hard-breathing ascent to a high, juniperstrewn plateau. The plan, once in place, was to glass the ravines and draws for an unsuspecting cow elk working its way up toward the bedding areas among the scrub oak clus-

The Country Connection

The Mulie Story ters and timberlines even higher up. Dropping Diane off in a nice spot with lots of visibility in spite of the mist and fog, I worked my way up through the sage and junipers looking for a place worthy of a morning vigil. There was ample sign. Fresh elk and mulie deer tracks were evident, along with plenty of droppings, some old but some with that telltale sheen that quickens any hunter’s pulse rate. Soon, through the shifting mist and juniper groves, an expansive buff-colored meadow of tall sweetgrass showed itself. The meadow was festooned with dead juniper trees. In some ways it reminded me of a Maine bog, and it spoke to me of elk country in every way. I settled in along the meadow’s edge, mesmerized by the shifting clouds of mist and the feeling that this would be the place where an elk tag could be filled, not tomorrow, but today! This was no place for daydreaming or nodding

off. Although I could see for maybe 300 yards to the edge of the mist, the light was flat and there were dark bunches of sage among the tall grass and dead junipers. You had to look carefully and often. During my second scan, movement was detected. Moving ghostlike from right to left was a large critter at about 180 yards. A cow elk?

Laying the Ruger One .270 atop the shooting stick, the slow-moving critter came into view in the scope. Then it stopped and munched at a shrub. Crosshairs aligned. Safety off. I could see antlers, a big rack. My heart sank. I clicked the safety back on and lowered the gun. The critter, I could tell, was not an elk at all. It was a mulie buck

December 2015

and a spectacular one at that, equipped with what looked to be a formidable rack. My cow elk never showed that day, or any other, for me or for Diane. Between us our scopes had dialed in a coyote, a bull elk and an untold number of mulies, of both persuasions. The mulie deer story in Colorado is an interesting one. There are three different rifle seasons for elk. Mulie tags are only issued during the second and third elk seasons. So a first rifle season elk hunter, no matter how fat his wallet, cannot legally take a mulie. Those of us who have hunted elk in Colorado, usually first rifle season, just never bothered with mulies. We are having second thoughts. Honestly, and I have a witness, we must have seen three or four hundred mulies in a week. With or without a tag, seeing so many deer makes for an exciting week. Puzzling to me, how-

ever, is that Colorado wildlife officials continue to express concern about “dwindling mulie numbers.” You couldn’t prove it by my experience. In Northwest Colorado mule deer are everywhere, almost as plentiful as sage rabbits. Officials say that Colorado has between 400,000 and 600,000 mule deer. (Compare that to Maine’s estimated whitetail population: 200,000!) Lou, a bewhiskered Californian and diehard mulie deer hunter we met at the campground, told me that he has hunted both mulies and elk, and much prefers mulies, to eat and to hunt. Maybe Lou has the right idea. The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program “Maine Outdoors.” His e-mail address is paul@ . He has two books “A Maine Deer Hunter’s Logbook” and his latest, “Backtrack.”n

Ask the Trainer - Have a Lean Holiday Season Jodi Cornelio

Just because the holidays are approaching doesn’t mean you have to abandon your good eating habits. The average person gains 5 to 8 pounds throughout the holiday season. Don’t let that happen to you. Understanding how many calories a day you actually need and being creative as to where to get these calories the healthy way will help you dodge those extra pounds this season. First, calculate your caloric needs, otherwise known as Resting

Metabolic Requirements (RMR). Take your body weight and multiply this by 10 to find your RMR. These are the calories you need to breathe and maintain normal body functions without exercise. Take that and multiply it by 10% if you are sedentary, 20% if you are moderately active and 30% if you are active and add that to your RMR. Example: 140 pounds x 10 = 1400 calories, Active = (1400 x .30) + 1400 = 1820 calories per day to maintain your weight. To lose a pound a week, decrease this number by 500 a day. Now that you have a general idea how many calories you actually need, choose your holiday

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foods from the lists below. 300 to 800 calories per average serving: Apple pie, blueberry pie, baked potatoes with butter and sour cream, mashed potatoes with gravy, turkey with gravy, stuffing made with butter, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, Caesar salad, most cakes and pies. Between 150 and 300 calories per average serving: Baked potato with butter and regular gravy, mashed potatoes with gravy, squash with butter and brown sugar, creamed corn, vegetable prepared in butter, nuts, fudge, peanut brittle, cheese roll, Jell-O, pudding, sweet breads like carrot bread, pumpkin bread, cranberry

bread, coffee cake. 50 to 150 calories per average serving: String beans, carrots, cranberry jelly, one slice of bread, one roll, baked potato dry, squash with no butter, turkey meat, one glass of wine, coffee, tea, boiled onions, favorite gravy (recipe below), squash soup (recipe below), pickles, radishes, olives, hard candy, afterdinner mints, one lite beer, fruit bowl, cole slaw, tossed salad greens. A good rule of thumb on how to survive the holiday season is to first enjoy the social aspect of visiting family and friends; try not to deprive yourself of a special treat, just don’t make it your entire meal. Load up on the low calo-

rie nutritional foods first and cut the portion sizes of the moderate to high calorie foods in half. Here are a couple of holiday recipes that will help your guests stay within their calorie budget. Favorite Gravy 3 cups fat-free chicken broth or 3 bouillon cubes with 3 cups of water 1/3 cup chopped onions 1/4 cup flour 1 tsp poultry season Salt and pepper to taste Sauté onions in some of the broth until tender, and then add flour to form a roux. Add the remaining broth slowly to allow to thicken. Add poultry seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste.

Squash Soup Small onion chopped Fresh garlic clove crushed 1 and ½ cup fat-free chicken broth 3 cups butternut squash peeled and seeded Salt and pepper Cumin to flavor Sauté onion and garlic in a little of the broth until tender. Add remainder of the broth and cubed squash and cook until tender. Once squash is soft, puree the entire mixture in a blender. Salt and pepper to taste. Return to the pot to keep warm until ready to serve. Live long, Live Well Jodi R. Cornelio n


December 2015

The Country Connection

Volunteers Needed for the 2016 Tax Filing Season

Join the AARP TaxAide Team! Give back to your community! Help your neighbors with the preparation of both their federal and state of Maine income tax returns. Help them find credits and/ or deductions they deserve. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. Volunteers do not need to be retired or AARP members. Current volunteers range in age from 20 to 85! In addition to tax preparation, many other volunteer opportunities are available. These include greeting taxpayers as they arrive at tax preparation sites, scheduling appointments, assisting with installation of software,

trouble-shooting computer and printer problems, assisting with publicity or assuming one of the several leadership roles. Volunteers preparing tax returns receive free training, usually in January, in both federal and state of Maine tax law as well as in the use of tax software.No prior experience in tax preparation is required, but familiarity with computers is a necessity. Volunteer tax preparers must also pass an IRS open book exam. All volunteers are expected to attend the portion of the training that introduces volunteers to the policies and procedures related to the program. AARP Foundation Tax-

Aide volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of 4 hours per week over the ten-week tax filing season which runs from February 1 through April 15. Many volunteers opt for more! All volunteers are reimbursed on a limited basis for qualified program-related expenses, including mileage. The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance program for low to moderate income taxpayers, with special attention to those 60 and over. Last spring throughout the US, over 35,000 volunteers prepared tax returns for several million taxpayers.

Here in Maine, over 290 volunteers at 73 tax preparation locations met with approximately 25,000 taxpayers and prepared over 32,000 federal and state of Maine income tax returns, bringing over $15 million in federal refunds to Maine residents and to the Maine economy. Also, taxpayers are saved from the stress and frustration of often associated with tax returns preparation. To learn more about volunteering with AARP Tax-Aide and/or to sign up as a volunteer, contact State Coordinator, Joan Jagolinzer at jagolinzer@ n

22nd Annual Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest

The twenty-second annual state-wide competition for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest is underway. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites students in grades K-12 to create designs featuring ducks, swans, or geese in their natural habitats. Designs are judged in four age categories, with awards for first, second, and third places and honorable mentions. Entries must be received by March 15th, 2016. This

year the judging will take place in the greater Portland area. The Maine Best of Show entry will compete with contest winners from other states in a national competition in Washington D.C. The first place national winning design is used to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps (which cost $5 each) support conservation education by providing awards and

scholarships for students, teachers, and schools. Modeled after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual Federal Duck Stamp competition, the Junior Duck Stamp contest is part of an educational curriculum that teaches students about waterfowl, the importance of wetlands, and habitat conservation. Proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps protect wetlands through land acquisition by the National Wildlife

Refuge System. Contest rules and entry forms are currently available for download at the following web site: www. For more information on the contest, call the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program at (207) 781-8364. Businesses or organizations who would like to sponsor this program are encouraged to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.n

Ring In The New At Johnson Hall

Thursday, December 31 at 7:30PM and 10:30PM Johnson Hall, 280 Water St. Now an annual tradition at Johnson Hall, this comedic, musical, theatrical, talent-fest leads audiences on a wild ride to the new year!

Now in its 11th year and more rockin’ than ever, master showman Dickie Hyper-Hynie’s annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza features Dickie and his talented cast of musicians, jugglers, physical comedians and dancers in an all-star variety show

for the whole family. From big dance numbers to side-splitting comedy routines to stellar juggling to really, really bad magic, this show has it all! Dickie Hyper-Hynie, a beloved character creation of entertainer Mike Miclon, hosts this crazy

evening full of comedy and surprises on the one night he gets to stay out past curfew. Tickets: $16 adults., $14 seniors and $5 for kids 17 and under. Available online, at the box office, by calling 582-7144 or at the door. n

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NewsBites From the desk of Connie Jones‌

Towns Across Maine are becoming Age Friendly Towns across Maine are becoming aware of a new phenomenon – their towns are getting older. Forward-thinking towns such as %HWKHO/LWFK¿HOG5DQJHOH\DQG+DUSVZHOO are joining a growing movement of towns EHFRPLQJ³$JH)ULHQGO\´ :KDWGRHVWKDWPHDQ":K\LVLWLPSRUWDQW" ,WœVDFULWLFDOORRNDWKRZHDV\RUGLI¿FXOW it is for older adults (and those with disabilities of all ages) to remain in their own homes in their town and remain FRQQHFWHGDQGLQYROYHGLQFRPPXQLW\OLIH Once the critical assessment of the town has KDSSHQHGDFRPPXQLW\FRPHVWRJHWKHUWR make changes that make life in Smalltown 0DLQH EHWWHU IRU HYHU\RQH 7KLV FDQ include changes such as: looking at zoning to make sure smaller or shared housing is available close to downtown, establishing a )ULHQGO\&DOOHUSURJUDPWRFKHFNRQWKRVH who are homebound, recognizing the great wealth of talent available with retirees, and creating opportunities for volunteers to LPSURYHFRPPXQLW\E\GRLQJVXFKWKLQJV as help each other with home repairs, tutor children, or provide transportation to people who can’t drive. 6HQLRUV3OXVKDVMXVWUHFHLYHGD0DLQH+HDOWK Access Foundation Thriving in Place grant, to work toward Age Friendliness with the WRZQVRI5DQJHOH\DQG)DUPLQJWRQ%HWKHO KDVXVHGDQ$$53FRPPXQLW\DVVHVVPHQW WRRODQGLVZRUNLQJZLWKWKHORFDOOLEUDU\ WR LQFUHDVH WHFKQRORJ\ DVVLVWDQFH IRU ROGHU DGXOWV IRU H[DPSOH 5DQJHOH\ KDV DOUHDG\ FUHDWHG D ZRUNLQJ JURXS +(/3 +HOSLQJ (OGHUV /LYH LQ 3ODFH  DQG WKH\ KDYH D )ULHQGO\ &DOOHU SURJUDP LQ SODFH DQGDUHFORVHWRRSHQLQJDVRFLDO$GXOW'D\ Program to give caregivers a break. 7LPHV WKH\ DUH D FKDQJLQJ )RUZDUG looking towns are understanding the need WR ORRN DW WKHLU SRSXODWLRQ DQG ¿QG ZD\V WR NHHS WKHLU FRPPXQLW\ PHPEHUV ZHOO KHDOWK\DQGFRQQHFWHG)RUDJUHDWWRROWR JHW\RXDQG\RXUFRPPXQLW\VWDUWHGRQWKH FRQYHUVDWLRQDERXWEHFRPLQJ$JH)ULHQGO\ FKHFN RXW $$53œV $JH )ULHQGO\ 7RRONLW

Aging & Disability Resource Center for Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties 8 Falcon Road Lewiston, ME 04240 ‡ Like us on Facebook!


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The Country Connection

December 2015



Plan and grow your business with monthly Tips on various subjects such as Taxes, Human Resources, and Marketing. Submitted by Rebecca Webber In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in employer policies allowing their employees to bring their own cell phones (or other devices) to work. Coupled with that, there has been a surge of press on employers’ ability to monitor and remotely wipe their employees’ personal cell phones once the employment relationship ends. As more employees bring their own devices to work, employers have largely unfettered access to any given employee’s photos, files, contacts, etc. According to a July 2013 survey by the data protection firm Acronis, Inc., 21 percent of companies perform “remote wipes” when an employee resigns or is terminated. Despite the growing use of cell phone wiping technology, the practice remains in “legal limbo.” At present, there are no federal or state statutes that specifically govern employee cell phone policies (often referred to as “bring your own device” (“BYOD”) policies). To date, the only reported case specifically regarding employer wiping of an employee’s personal cell phone comes from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. In that case, Saman Rajaee used his personal smartphone (an iPhone 4) to conduct his business in the home construction industry for over 12 years. Rajaee’s


iPhone was connected to his employer’s Microsoft Exchange Server, allowing him to remotely access email, contacts, and a work calendar provided by Defendants. In February 2013, Rajaee gave his employer his two-week notice, and the employer immediately terminated him. A few days later, Rajaee’s phone was remotely wiped by the employer’s IT department – deleting both personal data and work-related data. Rajaee subsequently sued his former employer, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), and the Texas Theft Liability Act, alleging that the employer’s actions caused him to lose “more than 600 business contacts collected during the course of his career, family contacts, family photos, records, irreplaceable business and personal photos and videos, and numerous passwords.” Rajaee’s claims ultimately failed, as the Court found that neither the ECPA nor the CFAA applied to Rajaee’s personal data on his iPhone. While this case is relatively anti-climactic, it nonetheless highlights employer vulnerability to litigation when it remotely wipes an employee’s personal device. Below are some steps that you can take to protect yourself if you choose to implement a cell phone

wiping policy. 1. Get It In Writing: In the above case, Rajaee claimed that he had never read or signed a cell phone wiping policy. When it comes to “BYOD” cell phone policies, an employer should inform its employees of the rule(s), and have them sign a copy of the policy. If the employee does not agree to abide by the cell phone wiping policy, they can choose to not have work email, contacts or other information on their personal device. 2. Be Specific – No Surprises: The cell phone wiping policy should state the following: By connecting the device to the company network or using it for company business, the user expressly agrees that he or she authorizes, and permits, the company to access the device and securely remove its data at any time the company deems necessary, either during the relationship, or after. If the employee does not make the device available within a certain reasonable period of time after demand, the company is authorized to remotely wipe the entire device and restore it to its factory settings in order to ensure that its data was securely removed from the device. 3. Consider “Strategic Wiping”: Many companies have begun to employ improved IT systems which surgically

remove only employer data from an employee’s cell phone. Although this software is likely more costly, it may prevent employers from the cost of litigation in the long run. 4. Encourage Healthy Backup Use: Encourage employees (perhaps in the text of the policy) to back up their personal information (photos, contacts, songs) to their personal computer or to iCloud once a week in case the employer needs to remotely wipe data for security or other reasons. As this area of the law rapidly evolves, employers must stay ahead of the curve of employee privacy, while maintaining the security of their clients and other employees. This article is not legal advice but should be considered general guidance in the area of employment law. Jordan Payne is an employment attorney; others at the firm handle business and other matters. You can contact us at 784-3200 (telephone). Skelton, Taintor & Abbott is a full service law firm providing legal services to individuals, companies, and municipalities throughout Maine. The firm has been in operation since 1853.

Year-End Estate Tax Planning

In 2015, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.43 million. With little planning, a married couple can pass up to $10.86 million worth of assets to heirs, so no estate tax will go to the IRS. Those numbers will increase in the future with inflation. With such a large exemption, you may think that estate tax planning is unnecessary. However, nearly half of all states have an estate tax (paid by the decedent’s estate) or an inheritance tax (paid by the heirs) or both. The tax rate goes up to 16% in many states, or even higher in some. What’s more, state estate tax exemptions tend to be lower than the federal exemption; in some states, there is virtually no exemption for certain estates. Therefore, you may find year-end estate tax planning to be worthwhile, even if you don’t anticipate having an estate over $5 million or $10 million. Employing the exclusion In terms of year-end planning, anyone with estate tax planning concerns (federal or state) should consider year-end gifts that use the annual gift tax exclusion, which is $14,000 in 2015. That is, you can give up to $14,000 worth of assets to any number of recipients, with no tax consequences. You don’t even have to file a gift tax return. Married couples can give up to $28,000 per recipient, from a joint ac-

count, or $14,000 apiece from individual holdings. Larger gifts probably won’t be taxed because of a generous lifetime gift tax exemption, but you’ll be required to file a gift tax return and there could be future tax consequences. Example: Walt and Vera Thomas have two children. In 2015, Walt can give $14,000 worth of assets to their son Rick and $14,000 to their daughter Ava. Vera can do the same, moving a total of $56,000 from their taxable estate. Similar gifts might be made to parents you’re helping to support. As explained previously in this issue, giving appreciated stocks and stock funds to loved ones may be an effective way to reduce exposure to any market retreat. Whatever your purpose, keep in mind that there is no spillover from one year to the next. If you miss making $14,000 annual exclusion gifts in 2015, you can’t double up with a $28,000 exclusion gift in 2016. Moreover, make sure that gifts are completed—checks must be cashed—by December 31. Therefore, you should put your plans for yearend gifts in motion well before year end. Courtesy of Austin Associates, PA, CPAs. n

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December 2015

The Country Connection

Cozumel: Mexico With a Caribbean Touch

The remains of the temple at El Cedral.

By Victor Block Much about the island says Mexico. Archeological sites hint of the rich Mayan civilization that once flourished there. Parts of San Miguel, the only town, retain the charms of villages common throughout the country’s mainland. At the same time, Cozumel displays its Caribbean roots. White sand beaches are fringed by stately palm trees. The center of the island is covered by dense jungle and swampy lagoons. Lying 12 miles off the east coast of Mexico, Cozumel is known for offering deep sea diving that’s among the best in the world. It’s ringed by an underwater wonderland of Technicolor coral heads and submarine gardens that are home to an almost unimaginable variety of sea life. Nonswimmers may enjoy close-up introductions to creatures large and small in a glass bottom boat or mini-submarine, during a dolphin show, by checking out resident

crocodiles in their lair and observing endangered sea turtle hatchlings making their way to the Caribbean waters where they will spend their lives. Most travelers to Cozumel begin their visit in San Miguel. Once a sleepy village, it has evolved into a popular destination for cruise ships whose passengers patronize shops and restaurants near the docks. Those who venture a few blocks inland find a more mellow setting that retains the heart and soul of the original community. There, sidewalks are lined by small, familyowned stores and eateries where locals gather. El Mercado, the oldest market on the island, houses a warren of tiny shops and restaurants offering traditional food. Cozumel derived its name from the Mayans who arrived there some 2,000 years ago. They believed it to be the home of Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility. According to legend,

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The village of San Miguel offers many shops and restaurants.

their temples dedicated to Ixchel earned her gratitude, and she sent her favorite bird – the swallow – as a token of thanks. The Mayan words Kozom (swallow) and Lumil (land) were compacted to Kozomil and the name stuck. More than 30 Mayan sites are scattered around the island. San Gervasio was the most important setting. Sacbes (ancient elevated roads) connect several building complexes there including temples, an ossuary and ceremonial centers. The temple at El Cedral was another hub of Mayan life on the island. However, when Spanish Conquistadors landed on Cozumel in 1518, they destroyed the structure and the remaining portion provides little evidence of its past glory. Like most Caribbean islands, Cozumel boasts a choice of inviting beaches. Stretches of golden sand line the western shore, facing the mainland of Mexico. On the less-developed Caribbean Sea side, quiet beaches are interspersed among rock-strewn areas, and the strong breakers and undertow discourage swimming. Cozumel also is home to parks and preserves

which show off both Mother Nature’s handiworks and man-made attractions. The Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve does both. The park protects a mixture of mangroves, dunes and reef systems that provide refuge for a variety of wildlife, including crocodiles, iguanas and resident and migratory birds. Exhibits in a towering century-plus old lighthouse range from maritime navigation to pirates. Cozumel once provided safe haven for buccaneers who roamed the Caribbean Sea, including the notorious Henry Morgan and Jean Lafitte. Some cutthroats hid their ill-gotten treasures in abandoned Mayan structures. Chankanaab Park includes enough to-see’s and to-do’s to satisfy many interests. Visitors may stroll through a lush botanical garden, study the colorful inhabitants of a natural aquarium and enjoy a close-up view of the only inland coral reef formation in the world. The complex includes dozens of replicas of Mayan sites and a working Mayan house that brings to life daily chores like cooking, weaving, and

Mayan ruin sites are scattered around the island.

planting crops. A more participatory experience awaits those who wish to take part in a temazcal, a Mayan sweat lodge session intended to cleanse both body and mind. A pleasant surprise during my visit to Cozumel was how much I enjoyed the kind of attraction that I often avoid. Why, I wondered, should my wife and I spend time visiting a cultural theme park when the real Mexico is just outside? However, the aptly named Discover Mexico site provided a number of reasons. The experience begins with a multi-screen video presentation that traces the country’s history and describes its cultures. This is followed by the main attraction. We strolled through a setting of tropical vegetation, along pathways shared with turtles and iguanas. The trail passes more than three dozen detailed scale models of famous Mexican archeological sites and buildings. Replicas of structures from the Mayan, Aztec and Colonial periods stand near contemporary architectural treasures. The result is an all-encompassing walk through history. Adding to authentic

touches in the park, the snack bar serves a variety of typical dishes— and where there’s food, there’s drink. In Mexico, that often means Tequila, which locals refer to as “Mexican water.� Visitors to the theme park have an opportunity to discover how tequila is made, then sample tastes of several brands. Sipping tequila is about as Mexican as it gets. So, too, is much about the island of Cozumel, along with attractions usually associated with the islands of the Caribbean. If you go: For information about visiting Cozumel, log onto Victor Block is an award-winning travel journalist who lives in Washington, D.C., and spends summers in Rangeley, Maine. He is a guidebook author who has traveled to more than 70 countries. His articles appear in newspapers around the country, and on travel websites. n



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The Country Connection

December 2015

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The Country Connection December 2015  
The Country Connection December 2015