Feb 252011

Due to USDA and State Department of Agriculture rules/proposed rules and “Food Safety Legislation” small farmers are increasingly being faced with new regulations with which they can not afford to comply. And there is no evidence that any illnesses have resulted from consumers buying from local farms at farmers markets, road side stands, etc. Laws in some states already ban church/Grange suppers because of the same misguided concerns. As a result, some local farmers have written a proposed Local Food Ordinance which will be voted on at town meetings in Blue Hill, Sedgewick, Brooksville and Penobscot. We at Halcyon Grange #345 in Blue Hill have taken an active role in promoting this movement to help preserve our small farms and the consumer’s right to choose. We have passed the following resolution in support of this movement:

Halcyon Grange #345 Resolution For Food Sovereignty

WHEREAS All people are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and

WHEREAS Food is human sustenance and is the fundamental prerequisite to life; and

WHEREAS The basis of human sustenance rests on the ability of all people to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products; and

WHEREAS We the Members of Halcyon Grange #345 have an obligation to protect these rights as is the Common and Natural Law; and in recognition of the Grange’s proud agricultural heritage; and the necessity of agricultural, ecological and economic diversity and sustainability to a free and healthy Society;

THEREFORE Be it resolved, that We the Members of Halcyon Grange #345, stand on our rights under the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution and reject such Federal and State of Maine decrees, statutes, regulations or corporate practices that threaten our basic human right to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products within the state of Maine; and

Be it further resolved that We the Members of Halcyon Grange #345, shall resist any and all infringements upon these rights, from whatever sources that are contrary to the rights of the People of the State of Maine; and

Be it further resolved that we the Members of Halcyon Grange #345 support the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance of 2011 which will be on the town warrants at the annual meetings of the towns of Blue Hill, Brooksville, Penobscot and Sedgwick, in Hancock County, Maine.

Resolution passed by unanimous vote on Friday, February 4th, 2011.

We have also picked up seven new members! It is exciting to see the Grange being rejuvinated! Any questions/comments may be addressed to John M. Gandy, Master, Halcyon Grange #345.

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Feb 212011

            April is a busy month for the Juniors and Youth.  The first to the fourth (1st to 4th) is the bowling tournament.  You may bowl either in a lane of your choice or by computer in your easy chair (WEII).  Make up a team consisting of up to five members, be sure to use full names on the score sheets and indicate if any of the bowlers are Juniors.  Mail these to Sue Hackett at 441 River Road, Bowdoinham, ME 04008.  Prizes will be awarded, at the annual State Grange session in October, for top scores.  On April 23rd is the contest day where the Public Speaking, Sign-a-Song, Lip Sync, Manual Spelling, and Share a Talent or Skill contests will be judged.  This starts at 1:00 pm at State Grange Headquarters.  Winners in the public speaking, sign a song, manual spelling, and share a talent will be able to go on to the Northeastern Regional Youth Conference in July here in Maine.

            The candy bars are here, youth and junior committee members are asked to contact Sue to pick up some to sell.  We want to have this fundraiser finished by the end of March.  I will be sending out the Spring Flower Power flyer soon.  It has some beautiful flowers including my favorite, bleeding hearts.  The flyer will go to committee members and Junior Deputies.

            We will be having our yearly yard sale in June and now is the time to start saving your gently used stuff for us.  Think of us when Spring Cleaning.  We will take anything in good condition except exercise equipment.

            I would like to thank everyone who helped during the conference in February.  I heard they had a good time.

Feb 212011

WM Jim Owens

A few flakes of snow did not prevent Grangers from across the state from attending our recent Pomona conference.  It was very well attended with over sixty representing 14 out of 21 Pomona jurisdictions.  Many ideas were discussed by those assembled.  You can expect to be seeing resolutions being presented at many of the Pomonas for your discussion and action.

            The new rosters are out.  Each Grange Secretary received one copy.  If you would like one, they may be purchased from the State Grange office for $7.00 each.

            A Degree day is planned at Danville Junction Grange No. 65 on Sunday, March 27, 2011.  The first and second degrees will be conferred at 4:00 P.M.  Following a paid lunch the third and fourth degrees will be conferred.  For more information contact Bill Hatch at 933-2867.

            A degree day is also planned at Castine Grange No. 250 on Saturday, April 2, 2011.  The first and second degrees will be conferred at 10:00 A.M.  Following a potluck dinner the third and fourth degrees will be conferred.  For more information contact Charles Brann at 667-7559 or Eugene Churchill at 469-2277.

Feb 202011

Here’s a little potpourri of information…

Grange Month: I’ve been advised that materials for subordinate granges were mailed by National Grange on Friday February 18th — with apologies for being late. I suspect/hope that means information will be available on the National Grange Website next week!

There are only 39 days left until Grange Month begins! What are you planning!?

MSG Roster: Speaking of mailings… the roster was mailed and is likely already delivered–I received mine. In a strange irony, my email address is listed incorrectly in the roster! The midmaine address listed in the roster will not work, please do not use it.  Please use webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  . The most recent bulletin also advises that state officers Joanne and Arthur Dority’s new email addres is dabbjatmyfairpointdotnet  (dabbjatmyfairpointdotnet)   and Nancy Clark’s is nrc6atcomcastdotnet  (nrc6atcomcastdotnet)  . You can order a roster from MSG for a measley $7.00–very handy to have!

Cyber Granges: Sagadahoc Pomona has a Facebook Page! See the links section!

Just as a reminder: Whenever you email news and information about your grange, please send me a copy! Do the same if you are maintaining a Facebook Page or website. I can’t go scouring the Internet to look for things… it really helps if you just “cc” webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  !

Webatorial: Last year I attended the first annual “Fostering Financial Literacy in Maine Schools” summit… I did so based on my role as an adult education instructor and as someone interested in literacy in our schools. I was truly amazed–at both the depth of the  “problem” (financial illiteracy) and the number of resources and solutions available to educators. The Second Annual Summit is schedule for May 12th. While a website hasn’t yet been posted, you can hopefully click this link Financial Literacy Information and Mailing List to read the latest email I received regarding this year’s conference. You might consider sharing this information with school teachers and administrators, guidance counselors, etc. This is not a commercial venture: the Summit is run by the Maine Office of Securities in conjunction with the “Jump Start!” Financial Starts for Students Maine Coalition. The cost is only $25.

Feb 192011

Submitted by Marilyn Stinson

When Connie asked the Dearborns if they would accept the Community Citizen Award at our Award Day in April, Larry said they would be honored, but because of Gisela’s cancer and up-coming treatments, it would be better to have it earlier. We settled on February 13th and started praying for good weather as well as for Gisela’s cancer.

Larry and Giesla Dearborn with Master Lu Lamoreau reading some of their accolades.

Thanks to Facebook, the word started spreading and we started worrying that our little hall might not hold everyone. If you have ever seen the limo with the stars and stripes and the list of names of those who have died in the war, you have seen Larry & Gisela Dearborn. They often meet returning soldiers at Bangor, have travelled with ‘The Wreaths Across America’ every year except 2010, and always meet any fallen heroes, whatever airport they come into.

We did plan a short program with a skit (really enjoyed by the veterans there and you can see it at the Spring Lecturer’s skit/talent day), some special music of patriotic songs and hymns and in between those who wanted to share stories had plenty of time to do so. Many laughs and tears. The Flag Ladies of Freeport and Patriot Guard Riders were there in full force as well as many, many veterans, neighbors, friends, church family and personal family.

We had 76 people who signed the guest book which is a large gathering for our little town. Guests came from as far away as Bangor and Sherman. Master Lu invited their adult children to do the presentation of the award and Rose said that she grew up as an Army Brat, the daughter of a drill sergeant and a German, which prompted more laughter. Refreshments of finger foods – cookies, sweet breads, etc. and plenty of coffee and punch and time to visit with one another finished a wonderful afternoon.

Feb 062011

Here’s another reminder that Grange Month is coming up fast… and we have a theme! “Connecting Communities through Service provides an opportunity to celebrate the Grange and recognize all that our Granges do in their communities.

Grace Boatright, National Grange Program Assistant notes in the most recent issue of The New Grange, “Now is the time to start preparing if we are to make the most of everything. Scheduling speakers, gathering food and supplies, rounding up volunteers, finding funds, preparing meals… everything takes time and we don’t have any to waste!”

—> There are only 53 days left until Grange Month begins!<—

Have you started your “to do” list? How many meetings do you have left before Grange Month? What sort of impact could we have if every Grange in Maine did something “extra special” in April?

Feb 052011

Word is starting to trickle in that many farmers’ markets are scheduling planning meetings and looking for vendors… that also means it’s getting close to time to update our Farmers Market Page! This page is not just for Grange Sponsored or connected markets. If you know of a market (or someone organizing one), help us get the information.

Feb 052011

Recorder Rick gets ideas down

Another fun aspect of the recent Pomona Conference was an opportunity to practice writing resolutions. One thing for sure, there was no shortage of things people wanted to change! WM Jim pointed out that we have many different ways to affect change in our communities, from community service to participation in government from local to national levels.

Grange policy regarding legislative issues remains in tune with the “grass roots” policy form our heritage. Nearly every policy statement issue by National Grange has come from the Subordinate Grange level.  With this in mind, conference attendees broke into groups to participate in a workshop designed to help us learn how to write resolutions.  (You’ll find a helpful guide on the National Grange Website.)

The energy level was high and the debates all appeared healthy.  Actually, part of the learning experience was that you don’t really debate the resolution until after it’s finished.  You really work to create a clear concise title, state the problem in the first paragraph without opinion, then have several paragraphs of facts, followed by the action (resolved) suggested to correct the problem.

WM Jim consults with a group regarding their resolution.

Each of the sample resolutions from the workshop were referred either to a Subordinate or Pomona Grange for consideration and development.  We can probably expect several (if not all) to show up at State Conference in the fall… it’s not too early to start working on those changes you and your Grange would like to “sponsor.”

Some will remember when lecturer’s programs included “debates” and this may not be an idea that’s outdated! It’s a great way to learn and strengthen convictions. When I was in college, our debates were given an interesting twist: you had to debate the opposite of your personal opinion! (If you hated chocolate ice cream, you had to debate in favor of it. If you loved it, you had to debate against it.) This is one of those ideas that gets better the more you think about it. We learned research, logic, and presentation skills… and we also tended to really pay attention to the “other” side’s presentation!

We’re fortunate to have lots of resources for help with writing resolutions and other legislative matters. As previously noted, there is some information on the National Grange Website. You can contact any member of the legislative committee… and how about this? I’ll bet if enough folks in an area were interested, WM Jim  could be convinced to bring the workshop (or some form of it) to you! How about a “mini” Pomona Conference in your area??? Guaranteed fun!

Feb 022011

Well over 50 Pomona Patrons stomped snow off their feet as they filed in to attend the first annual Pomona Conference.  They may have left the snow outside, but they brought in good spirits and positive energy. While there was plenty of time to spot old friends, a tight agenda insured an interesting day with lots of accomplishments. In addition to reviewing the mechanics of fifth degree work, the morning included a spirited session of discussion around the topics of “what is the purpose of the Pomona Grange” and “how can we improve the value of the Pomona to Subordinates?”

Grange Fame! Let's eat!

Worthy State Master Jim Owens provided the framework for a work session by sharing information from the National Digest.  (You can download your own copy of the Digest from the National Grange website.) “…to strengthen and advance the interest of the Subordinate Granges.” A number of attendees noted that there is often a “disconnect” between Pomona and Subordinate with Pomona being more of a burden by expecting Subordinates to provide the meeting location and in some cases, the meal for the meeting.  “In some cases, we just get handed a key to the hall and told to lock up when we’re done,” one person noted.

A healthy list of ideas was developed as attendees were encouraged to “think outside the box.” A pattern developed suggesting that Pomonas may need more resources to help with an “outreach program” that might include a Pomona officer or member contacting new Subordinate members shortly after they join. Rolf Staples, Vernon Dunn, and Sue Hackett jumped at the chance to form a committee to come up with some ideas… perhaps something like a “membership flyer” or “guide to Pomona meetings.” If you are interested, they’d surely welcome your ideas and help!

Sue Hackett, Grace Dunderdale, and Savannah Hallowell prepare to draw the 50/50 winner.

Of course it wasn’t all work, work, work. The Junior/Youth Departments provided an excellent lunch and 50/50 raffle to help with lunch expenses.  Of course the “grange sense of humor” was ever present, sometimes unintentionally! (When the committee was being formed Sue Hackett shouted, “If they need a woman, I’ll do it.”

Here’s a degree tip we can share. When the Assistant Steward prepares candidates for Fifth Degree instruction, he or she can explain there’s a pattern to the responses expected from candidates. When the AS asks the candidates a question, the answer is always “yes.” When another officer asks, the answer is always “no.” Bet you didn’t know that! Hmmm… is the same pattern true for the other degree? Inquiring minds want to know!

Heads AND hands stayed busy!

Feb 012011

Nellie Wilson, State CWA member, passed away today (2/1/11). We have been advised there will be no visiting hours.  A memorial service will be held at the Bangor Grange Hall in several months – details will be posted when available. Our sympathies to her family…

Tim and Terry Wilson
18 Morison Avenue
Corinth ME 04427-3141