May 312017
 

By Walter Boomsma
Communications Director

After research and testing, we’re ready to roll out a new way for Grangers and friends to subscribe to the Maine State Grange Website. Here’s the why and how!

The Why

The subscription service we’ve been using (Feedburner by Google) has served us well but is not particularly user-friendly. More importantly, we have almost no access to the data—I truly have no idea how many subscribers we have and who they are!

Our new service is available through MailChimp. In addition to being very user-friendly, we gain some flexibility in how posts are sent–for example, you’ll now receive excerpts instead of complete posts. That’ll make your emails shorter and more manageable.

The How

If you are not currently subscribed, this is very simple. Subscribing is a two-step process. First, you click this link (also found at the top center of the Maine State Grange website) to open a form asking for some basic data. When you click “Subscribe” an email will be sent to the email address you entered on the form. You must confirm your subscription by clicking the link in that email. That’s it!

If you are currently subscribed, please subscribe using the new system as described in the previous paragraph. Unless you want to continue to receive two emails, there is one additional step required. You’ll need to “unsubscribe” to the Feedburner service. This is easily accomplished by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive listing Google in the footer at the end of the email.

Optional Detailed Instructions

I’ve prepared a one-page document with illustrations that describes these steps in detail. You can access it with this direct link or by visiting the Program Books and Information Page. If you have questions, you can email the webmaster or comment on this post—chances are others will have the same question! (Click the comments button in the upper-right corner.)

Know also that once all the fundamentals are in place, we will continue to adjust and tweak the service. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.

May 232017
 

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

by Walter Boomsma
Communications Director

Some important changes and notes:

The ODD (Officers, Directors, and Deputies) Directory has been updated… a current copy is available for downloading: ODD-Directory-05-17. There has been a minor change in deputy assignments to reflect recent changes in Pomona alignments and two positions are now listed as “TBD” (to be determined)–the chairperson of the Ag Ed Committee and a Youth Director.

The Journal of Proceedings 2016 has been updated with a minor correction at the request of MSG Secretary Sharon. Action on Resolution #12 was missing from the original copy posted. A corrected copy is available for downloading: Journal-of-Proceedings-2016-Convention

Several “In search of…” requests have been added recently… please check the page and see if you can help!

Over the next few days, I will be testing a new method for subscribing to the website and you may notice some “weirdness” at the tope of the home page. Once testing is complete, I hope to announce a major change that will be of great benefit to everyone!

Remember to check the Conferences Page occasionally for information about upcoming national, regional, and state events. Those responsible for events should especially check the page when scheduling events to avoid conflicts. Also, those responsible please make sure you email me information about the events you are planning.

May 152017
 

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

You’ll definitely want to read a comment made on the May Communications Column.  (Subscribers do not get these–you’ll have to visit the site.) What an interesting outcome from the recent Bangor Daily News article regarding Granges that are making a comeback! By the way, website visitors should feel free to comment on any post–it’s really quite easy to do. Just look for the word “responses” in the upper right corner of the post (just below the headline) and click on it. Note that comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

There have been several requests posted to the “In Search of” Page… please take a look and see if you can help these folks.

Also, the MSG Bulletin May 2017 has been uploaded to the site… you don’t have to wait for a printed copy!

Keep those cards and letters coming in!

Apr 272017
 

With thanks to State Secretary Sharon Morton, we’ve recently added two documents to the “Program Books and Information” Page:

  1. The Journal of Proceedings – 2016 Convention is a summary (93 pages) of last year’s convention, including committee reports, budget information, etc.
  2. The Membership Recognition Order Form which has been updated to reflect the recent price increases announced by National Grange.

The Maine State Grange website is your “goto” place for information!

Apr 202017
 

We’ve made some minor updates and changes to the ODD Directory (Officers, Directors, and Deputies) and uploaded it to the website! Please download and print some copies for yourself and your members: ODD-Directory-04-17.

Also, note that we’ve added a new section to the “Program Books and Information Page” for the soon to be officially announced Agricultural Education Committee. There are already a few resources listed under this heading!

Happy Grange Month! If your Grange did something special, send us a report for featuring on the website! Photos are great–just attach them to an email to the webmaster. (Smaller file sizes are really helpful. If you are using a photo program that allows you reduce resolution and file size, please consider doing so before sending!)

Communication Consideration:

Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.

Heinrich Heine

Mar 072017
 

Communication Bullets are short but important news!

by Walter Boomsma
Communications Director

Two additions to the website this morning:

Hope you are counting down to Grange Month–just a few weeks to go! Remember to send us photos and stories of your programs. Be a DO-er!

Mar 012017
 

It’s finally here… an updated directory of Granges in Maine, based on the 2017 Roster! We’ve sorted the list of Granges so you can sort by Grange name, Town Name, or Zip Code. You’ll find it on the Program Books and Information Page or you can open the file 2017 Directory of Granges directly for downloading and printing.

Speaking of finding a Grange, one observation I would make as a result of working with this data: Many Granges do not have an actual 911 compliant street address. By my estimation, over 40% of the listings could be considered non-compliant or incomplete from this perspective. This raises several important concerns.

More than ever, people are using GPS systems to locate places. (A long term project for the website may one day include adding a locator option with mapping options.) When we invite people to our Grange, we should be making it easy to find. (I could tell an embarrassing story on myself back in my early Grange member days. I actually drove to Lincoln Maine looking for a Lincoln Pomona Meeting!)

Perhaps even more important than visits, this is a potential safety concern. There are documented instances of emergency services not arriving in a timely fashion due to the lack of an adequate EMS address. If you have an emergency at your Grange Hall, calling 911 and saying “We’re next door to where the school house used to be…” is not likely going to be very effective. Many times the 911 dispatcher is located miles away and unfamiliar with the area where the emergency is taking place. Cell phones will often report the location automatically, but it just makes sense to take this precaution.

Usually all that’s required to get a street address is a visit to the town/municipal office.  Once you have it, another important step would be to display the street number prominently on the building or a post where it is visible from the street.

Feb 252017
 

Communication Bullets are short but important news!

Ag Day at the legislature is Wednesday, April 5, 2017.  Once again, the Grange will have a booth at the State House and fudge is needed–our legislators look forward to this every year. Please consider making some fudge and getting it delivered to Maine State Grange Headquarters before 8:00 a.m. April 5, 2017. If you’d like to drop it off before that day, call to make sure someone will be at the office. Thanks!


We’ve recently added some important documents to the “Program Books and Information Page.” Among many other resources you’ll now find:


Don’t forget the clock is ticking down to Grange Month! There are many promotional resources available on the website… you should have your celebration fairly well planned and be starting a publicity program that includes press releases, posters in local businesses, churches, etc., and personal invitations to local dignitaries. You could have a Grange Birthday Party–just be careful lighting 150 candles!

Feb 082017
 

Communication Bullets are short but important news!

We’ve been asked to announce:

Because of the expected nor’easter, Enterprise Grange #48, 15 Alexander Reed Road, Richmond, ME is postponing our February meeting which is scheduled for 2/9/17. According to our by-laws, if we have to cancel, then we meet the following Thursday, same time. We will meet Feb. 16, 2017, with supper at 6:00 p.m. and meeting at 7:00 p.m. We’ve had a change of officers and will have an Installation of our new officers. Guests are welcome!! FMI – Marilyn Stinson 737-2611 or beedlehill@roadrunner or check us out on Facebook!


Note that we’ve added a new In Search of… regarding Pittston Grange #214… see if you can help


Thanks to Rolf Staples for noticing we had the wrong name for one Grange Hall for sale! It’s fixed!


We’ve also uploaded the VA Wish List for February 2017 to the Community Service Section of the Program Books and Information Page.


Congratulations to Fairview Grange #342–for partnering with local volunteers resulted in raising just about $4,000 on behalf of a deserving young family. That’s what “doers” are all about!

Feb 062017
 

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

Check out the Miscellaneous Section on the Program Books and Information Page! You’ll find two new documents:

Grange Hall Insurance was researched and created to assist those Granges having trouble finding insurance for their hall. This will be an on-going project, so if your hall is successfully insured with a company or agency, please let me know  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  . I will contact them and see if they would like to be listed.

Grange Halls for Sale addresses a fairly frequent question we get by listing vacant Grange Halls that are currently available for purchase.

I will do my best to keep both of these documents current, but I will need everyone’s help. If you find an inaccuracy or know that something should be added to either page, please let me know  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  . Thanks for your help!

Remember to check the Program Books and Information Page occasionally–we’re constantly adding and updating resources as they become available. Some additional items you may find helpful:

A copy of the current month’s Bulletin is uploaded–usually by the 16th of each month. You’ll also currently find information and documents supplied by National Grange regarding Grange Month 2017. Make the Maine State Grange website your “goto” place for resources and information!