May 012016
 

Annisby Jim Annis, Legislative Director

LD 783, a Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Establish a Right to Food is dead in the Legislature. It was voted “Ought Not to Pass” in both the House and the Senate.

This resolution proposed a constitutional amendment that would have provided that every individual has a natural and unalienable right to food without restrictions. Furthermore, it would have given all individuals the right to barter, trade and purchase food from the sources of their own choosing for their own bodily health and well-being. Every individual would be fully responsible for the exercise of these rights.

Ellis Additon, Director of the Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry argued that they believe that all citizens of Maine already have access to any and all the food they want and the need for this proposal as a constitutional amendment is unnecessary.

In my opinion, that statement alone is cause enough for the Legislature to deny this bill. Now, we’ll just have to sit back and wait for the state to propose restrictions on the rights of food producers.

Apr 302016
 
Members of Mill Stream Grange in Vienna attended services at the N. Vienna United Methodist Church for Grange Sunday on April 17. Afterward, they all enjoyed a lovely potluck brunch at the home of members Ray and Gay Anderson.

Members of Mill Stream Grange in Vienna attended services at the N. Vienna United Methodist Church for Grange Sunday on April 17. Afterward, they all enjoyed a lovely potluck brunch at the home of members Ray and Gay Anderson.

Apr 262016
 

Youth Logo

The Youth Photo Scavenger Hunt is a program that has been developed by the 2016 Youth Team to provide a new activity for Grange youth and young adults to share their Grange story.

Photos will be judged by a panel of judges selected by the 2016 National Grange Youth Team.

CLICK HERE for rules, judging guidelines and more.  Visit the National Grange Youth website for a full list of Youth Programs

Apr 222016
 

By Amanda Leigh Brozana, National Grange Lecturerabrozana

Thanks to my time in the National Office as a staff member from 2011-14, I had a great sense of the importance of the role of Lecturer nationally and on a local and state level in the Grange, and I was keenly aware of the massive resources the Lecturer’s Department had once been able to provide to Lecturer’s and members across the country.

From this, I drew inspiration from past Lecturer’s and Program books to provide Lecturers with sample programs that can be used in a variety of ways to either spark new activities, outreach and advocacy of local Granges.

Starting this Grange Month, I plan to release one program each month to Lecturers for use in their meetings. These are created as “programs in a box” – with all kinds of resources, tips and tools for the Lecturer to use to provide a program that fits their Grange or stretch beyond their normal approach.

The first of these programs is a prototype that looks at the town created by the New Deal under our fellow Granger, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

It has been tested by two local Granges that are very different from one another. One is very active, with many programs that engage the public in their little town. The other has been described by the Master as “exemplifying the quiet, peaceful citizens part of our ritual,” often meeting in a member’s home or local restaurant.

Clearly, programming would be vastly different from one meeting style to another, but the outline, suggested activities and ways to engage further on the topic offered allowed each Grange to pick what they were comfortable or equipped to introduce to their membership.

Each program is created in PowerPoint, not because I expect that any Grange will have the technology or inclination to show it as such, but because it allows the key information and notes to be printed in a very easy-to-use and understand fashion. For Lecturers looking at the material at home, preparing to present in their meetings, they can link to the internet if available to get more resources that are provided or they can sometimes see and hear more information in audio or video clips embedded into the program file. There are activities such as a word search for Granges who like to have puzzles and tip sheets or fact sheets for distribution for Granges that like to have folks take something home.

For those Lecturers who shy away from computers, State or Pomona Lecturers – or State Masters – can provide a printed PDF of the PowerPoint that still gives all the necessary information, tips, engagement and advocacy options to the Lecturer without ever touching the computer.

The topics will be varied and by no means are they suggestions on policy or mission of your or any other Grange. Instead, they come from members’ suggestions, questions or areas of expertise. Often these will be created by members or committees who have agreed to assist in this endeavor, truly creating a Lecturer’s Department for full-service support.

Should you use a program created and distributed by the National Lecturer and create additional resources or materials, you can send or email them to me and we will include them on the web page dedicated to Lecturer’s programs.

To download the first program and content materials, and to find other programs as they are released, please visit http://www.nationalgrange.org/lecturers-programming/

Contest

Alone, any Lecturer can only create so much, find so many experts and come up with so many ideas, but with more than 2,000 Lecturers around the country,  there are innumerable opportunities for great programs to be shared around the Grange nation. For this reason, we are announcing a new contest from the Lecturer’s Department called “Lecturer’s Program in a Box.”

Apr 202016
 

by Glenys Ryder

Members of Danville Junction Grange recently celebrated their annual open meeting in conjunction with National Grange Month with nearly fifty members and guests in attendance.

Officer Friendly Justin Richardson

Officer Friendly Justin Richardson

Officer Justin Richardson of the Auburn Police Department was presented the Community Service Award by Master Karen Gagne and Community Service Chair Glenys Ryder.  Officer Richardson, now called “Officer Friendly” at Edward Little High School, works hard to mentor students, support staff, and connect with parents.  He makes many contributions to his community, such as coaching a basketball time for the Boys and Girls Club, helping out at the PAL Center, and working at public gatherings.  He has taught classes at CMCC and the Auburn Citizens Police Academy.  He was Danville Junction Grange’s nominee in the “Officer of the Year” contest of the Maine State Grange.  We were thrilled that he was accompanied by his wife, adorable little daughter, mom, dad, sister, and buddies from the police department!

Those present were entertained by Mitch Thomas, a well-known musician in the area, at the piano.

75 year member Bill Hatch with State Master Rick Grotton

75-year member William Hatch with State Master Rick Grotton

A membership certificate was presented to William Hatch, a 70-year member by State Master Rick Grotton. Acknowledged, but unable to attend, were the following members:  Althea King-75 years, Lorraine Additon-70 years, Tom Bennett-60 years, Peter Wills-55 years, and Susie Faulkner-40 years.

An Appreciation Certificate was given to Louise Roberts of Excelsior Grange for being our pianist at each and every one of our meetings.

An excellent time was had by all, and several applications for membership were handed out!

Apr 192016
 

Please contact Christine by e-mail or at 743-5277 if you are planning to spend the night on May 6, 2016 at State Grange and/or will be attending our meeting on May 7. We also need a count of Juniors and Committee members for planning the crafts and food for Saturday’s lunch.  Christine’s Email: christinehebertatoutlookdotcom  (christinehebertatoutlookdotcom)  

Apr 192016
 
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

National Grange recently announced, “If you purchased the 2013 Subordinate Grange Manual, updates have been made and are now available. Please contact Loretta Washington at lwashingtonatnationalgrangedotorg  (lwashingtonatnationalgrangedotorg)  .”

This refers to the light blue covered paperback version–the most recently published. If you email as instructed, Loretta will send you a pdf file with four replacement pages. If you order the manual from the National Grange Store, those pages will be corrected with labels.

Apr 192016
 

internetAccording to an article in the Bangor Daily News, a new organization has recently formed in Maine for the primary purpose of “research and lobby in favor of bills supporting increasing Internet speeds in Maine.” According to the Maine Broadband Coalition website the group “an informal federation of public policy professionals, educational institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals who care deeply about Maine’s economic future. An important purpose of the MBC is to assemble cogent, fact-based information to help public policy makers and Maine citizens make the best choices about building a robust and productive information technology infrastructure — decisions we are all facing right now.”

This is an issue that is near and dear to the hearts of many of us and National Grange is lobbying in support of expanding rural Internet access. MBC does not plan to raise money and charges no dues. Individual Granges and Grangers who are interested in becoming members may do so by visiting the MBC website.

According to the Bangor Daily News article, there are currently 35 bills in the legislature dealing with broadband expansion in Maine.

 

Apr 182016
 

berries-1022839_640Know & Defend Your Rights. Transformational Conflict. Food Sovereignty.  How-To.

April 23rd, 10-4, Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast

with Heather Retberg, Bonnie Preston, and honored guests: Laila Johnson and Logan Perkins; and a panel of town organizers from communities across the state.

Join keynote speaker Laila Johnson, from Wisconsin, to share her knowledge  on transformational conflict and community self-governance.  Local lawyer extraordinaire, Logan Perkins, will help you learn more about the rights you’ve asserted under the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance and how to defend them as a community and as individuals.  Bonnie and Heather will pass on what they’ve learned about community self-governance, home rule, and state law so you’ll be prepared for the questions raised by your selectmen, city councilors, and your fellow citizens.  They and a panel of town organizers will share experiences, answer questions, and help you stand up for the ordinance if you have already passed it, allay fears if you have not yet passed it, and give you some experience confronting and working with an opponent.

Plan to come wherever you are in the process of protecting our traditional foodways: if you have passed the ordinance, if you are ready to work on it, if you are thinking about it, or if you are just curious about it.

This will be a bring-your-own-lunch event, but we will provide morning coffee and something to go with it, and dessert/afternoon snack, almost certainly involving chocolate.  Please let us know if you’re coming, so we can plan accordingly.  E-mail or call 374-3636.

Hope to see you there!  Bring friends, especially from nearby towns that may be helped by the ordinance. This will be a great opportunity to meet people who will be a support network as we all work to advance our food rights.