May 252015

by Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Several news services and social media carried a story this year suggesting it is inappropriate to wish others a “Happy Memorial Day.” While I’m not usually given to being overly concerned about political correctness, this story started me thinking.

The purpose of Memorial Day is to remind us of the men and women who have died serving our country. While we may enjoy the freedoms we have as a result, we should not lose the true focus of today. Memorial Day is a day of sadness and a day for remembering. Perhaps we should greet each other with an expression of sympathy today for the losses we have experienced.

But in the sadness and remembering, there is cause for celebration. We can and should celebrate the lives and honor the sacrifices of those who have given all.

May 242015

Flag day at Ridge Cemetary 2015By Larry Bailey,
Master of Ocean View Grange

I want to thank everyone from our Grange and the Port Clyde Sailing Club members who showed up today to help replace the worn American flags with new ones on our Veterans’  graves. The extra help really is appreciated and we were able to complete the task with ease. It is a simple, sad but rewarding experience. I was a little taken aback to see how many of our local people served to protect us. We can but give our eternal thanks for their service and, in many cases, their ultimate sacrifice.

May 232015

DP Header

Sponsor Spotlight:

Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange #144

Enthusiasm is important to the success of any project, but it is not the only ingredient. Although enthusiasm is frequently the catalyst, the jump-start that gets the engine going, it is commitment that provides for the life and continuity of a dictionary project. Commitment, or the state of being whole-heartedly dedicated to a cause, is what has driven Walter Boomsma to continue The Dictionary Project for the Valley Grange #144 for the past eight years. “My passion is kids first, second and third,” said Boomsma and The Dictionary Project appreciates his efforts to ensure that today’s children have a bright future.

Read the entire article here.


May 222015

by Debbie Rogers

Arlington1Arlington Grange #528 is at the top of Grand Army Hill on Rt. 126 in Whitefield. In February 1884, the members of Erskine Post #24 G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) began raising funds to build a memorial hall. The purpose of the hall would be a meeting place for the GAR, a free high school, and “contain a hall for a public library, public lectures, and other such amusements, which will be for their own intellectual advantage as well as the community at large”.

On Sept. 1, 1914 the first meeting of the Arlington Grange was held in the GAR building. It was decided at that time to name it the Arlington Grange in recognition of Fred Arlington Naray.

It has been an honor to work with the Grange these past two years, and we have new members joining regularly. In preparation for the events we will be hosting this summer, we have been busy cleaning and sorting items in the Grange. During a cleaning day, we discovered a box of “stuff” under the stairs. In the bottom, we found several old books (roll books and notes). To our utter surprise, one was the original minutes of the very first Grange meeting at the hall. Mary Jo Higgins (Tobin) was working as well. She was overjoyed to discover that her grandmother, Lizzy Tobin, was one of the very first officers of the Arlington Grange. The roll book was very enlightening with lists of members and their occupations. Barber, railroad employee, housekeepers, students, and milkmaid were some of the listed occupations.

Arlington2Charlie Miller has been a member of the Arlington Grange for over sixty years. He and his wife, Fran, who recently passed away, have been tireless workers for the Grange. When it came to a Grange supper, you could always be sure there would be one of Fran’s pies, if not more. Charlie remembers attending the meetings at the age of 5 or 6 with his parents, who would arrive in their Model T Ford, and he recalls falling asleep on the benches which are still there. “Behind the building was a covered shed for the horses. During the Second World War, the Civil defense came out and built a tower where volunteers came to spot for planes in case of an air raid.”

During our meeting on May 13th, Charlie told us that the walls on the main floor have blackboards under the paneling from the school that was there in the late 1800’s. He is such a wealth of information, and we so appreciate his presence at the Grange. Charlie remembered watching his father put down the hardwood floor in the upstairs meeting area. His father did much of the carpentry work around the building. That work continued with Charlie, who not only installed the fire escape and the lift chair on the stairs in the hall, but he regularly maintained the building.

The current members of the Grange, including Charlie and longtime members Gladys and Leo Glidden, invite you to join us for a celebration of 100 years of community service and fellowship. We are also celebrating “Farming” in our area. The Grange is, after all, an agricultural-based group with deep roots in the farming community.

Arlington3On Sunday, June 7th , from 1-4 pm, we will be having an Open House celebration. During that time, we will have local farmers and organizations there with products, information, and demonstrations. Flintlock Forge will be there with Jeff Miller demonstrating Black Smithing. Also in attendance will be Sheepscot General, Narrow Gauge Farm (which will be bringing 3 baby lambs), Crooked Door Farm, Thirty Acre Farm, Tim’s Sugar Shack, Hidden Valley Farm, Treble Ridge Farm, Whitefield Trails, MOFGA, Sheepscot Valley Conservation Assoc., Whitefield Historical Society, and many others. We will be conducting tours of the Grange and serving free refreshments. There will also be a white elephant table in support of the Grange.

So, come visit the historic Grange and our wonderful farmers and organizations in our local area!! We are so lucky that 100 years later we can celebrate an ongoing success story of the agricultural community of Whitefield and its neighbors!

May 212015

Reprinted from the Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties Farming Newsletter (PPCFN), an educational resource by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. You can sign up to receive the newsletter through your email or view the archived issues anytime at

There is no one way to prevent getting Lyme disease. There are several ways to lessen the chance of getting the disease. Avoid areas where ticks live. Do not walk bare-legged in the woods, brush or tall grass. Wear light-colored clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, high socks (with pants tucked into the socks) and closed shoes. Light colors show ticks better. Apply a commercial tick or insect repellent containing the chemical DEET on clothing, shoes and socks. Do not spray repellent on your face, cuts, sunburns or rashes. Do not put it on your hands. Read the label carefully for any precautions. Do not apply high concentration products to skin, particularly that of children. These products can irritate the skin. Conduct regular tick checks. Remove any ticks promptly if discovered. Know the symptoms of Lyme disease and, if these symptoms develop and the person experiencing them has been in an area where ticks live, call a physician.

If a tick is found embedded in the skin, use the following technique to remove it. Using tweezers or a piece of tissue, grip the body of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull gently until the tick lets go. There are also tick scoops that make tick removal easy. After removing the tick, apply an antiseptic. Save the tick. Your doctor may want to see it.

Animals can be protected from Lyme disease by using commercial insect and tick repellents. Flea collars are not as effective as powders and dips. On larger animals, use commercial insect and tick repellents made specifically for them.

To learn more a ticks and tick identification go to our Tick Identification Lab site.  

To learn more about Lyme Disease click here.

May 182015
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Just to let folks know…

There are continuing problems with replying to aol email addresses. Just about every time I reply to or email an aol address, I get a failed to deliver notice. I’ve researched the issue as best I can and have determined:

  • this is not unique to Maine State Grange email–others are having the same problem (and I have the problem regardless of how I send the email);
  • in some cases, the email appears to be delivered in spite of the notice–there is no way I can tell whether or not it is ultimately delivered;
  • re-sending the email results in the same response.

If you have an aol email address, submit information and do not receive an acknowledgement, it could just be that the email is not being delivered. I will usually try twice. After that it becomes too time-consuming.

Ironically, this problem was predicted. An article explaining the issue can be found in the LA Times. While aol would like to convince their subscribers they are doing a wonderful job, issues with delivery to aol addresses is not a new phenomena. This latest change claims to be an attempt to prevent “spoofed” email (email that appears to come from an address other than the one actually sending it).

I contacted the aol postmaster last week. Other than a standard reply assigning the case a “ticket number,” I’ve had no response.

I’ve encountered a similar difficulty with Yahoo email addresses, but not to the same extent.

May 172015
L to R:  Doctor Mark Hanks, Tyler Priest, Tommy Hosmer, and Officer Ed Mercier.

L to R: Doctor Mark Hanks, Tyler Priest, Tommy Hosmer, and Officer Ed Mercier.

Bangor Grange held their annual Community Citizens Night on Tuesday, May 12, with a great audience looking on! We honored 4 super recipients for their service to the community with Community Citizens Awards of Appreciation, which were presented by Dolores Moore, Chaplain of the Main State Grange. Those honored were: Veterinarian Mark Hanks for his efforts to improve animal welfare, especially for senior pet owners; Officer Ed Mercier of the Bangor P.D. for his work in the Capehart area and the Downeast School; and 14 yr old Tommy Hosmer and 6 yr old Tyler Priest for their fund raising efforts for Champion the Cure. Followed up with great refreshments and great music by members of the Maine Country Music Association. Events like this make us even more proud to be Grngers! Go to to see the video.

May 162015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

June is here or will be shortly with graduations, summer parties, first crop hay and Grange elections. Election time is a great opportunity to give someone a chance to “grow” in your Grange. No matter what you plant it needs to be watered, nurtured and given plenty of room for growth. Election gives us a chance to allow others to grow.

Northeast Youth Conference is July 10 -12 in Rhode Island. Sign up information is on the website or can be mailed to you by contacting either myself or the State Grange Office. I will be going down on Friday evening and if you would like to attend and need transportation please contact me. I have room for 2 more people.

Don’t forget Family Campout Weekend July 17-19 at Silver Springs Campground in Saco. Come spend a day where there is plenty of “fun, food and fellowship”. The campground features two swimming pools (one for the adults only) and on Saturday we hold a couple of “fun” tournaments and there is ample time for catching up with fellow Grangers. Saturday night features a pot luck dinner and ice cream social. 2015 Campout Weekend Information.

I hope you are working on your resolutions for this year’s State Grange Convention. The deadline of August 15 is fast approaching. I have heard of at least one Pomona that is having a resolution writing session. Brainstorming and working together can make this process much simpler and a lot more fun. There are some resolution writing resources available in the Legislative Section of the Program Books and Information Page.

Enjoy summertime–in the Grange and in your life!

Together Each Accomplishes More

May 162015

As in the past, we will be happy to list Officer Installation Teams that are available throughout the state. If you are leading a team, please email your contact information and a short description of your availability and willingness to travel.

Vicki Huff’s Team will be available on a limited basis. Email Vicki  (Granger1atmainedotrrdotcom)   or phone 207-699-2830.

Christine Herbert’s Team is new this year, based in Oxford Pomona. Contact Christine at 207-743-5277.

Rolf Staples Team can be reached by emailing Rolf  (swederolfataoldotcom)   or calling him at 207-973-3976. The team is based in Bangor, Penobscot Pomona.

We will also briefly list planned installations below. Interested Granges should contact the person listed to explore the possibility of participating and confirm details.


Thursday, September 24 Danville Junction will install officers at Danville Junction Grange. Prepared supper at 6:00 p.m.; installation at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Glenys Ryder at 783-6897.

Wednesday, September 30 Sagadahoc Pomona will install officers at West Bath Seaside Grange. Potluck supper at 6:00 p.m.; installation at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Merton Ricker  (mertr33atgmaildotcom)   353-4004.

Thursday, October 1 Merriconeag Grange will install officers at Merriconeag Grange. Prepared supper at 6:00 p.m.; installation at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Samuel Alexander at 729-2816.

May 152015
NelsonRobert and Agnes Nelson, Co-directors

Spring has really sprung!! The grass is green. The flowers are blooming. The trees are coming to life. The farmers are very busy getting the fields ready and planting corn. People are starting to work in their gardens. It’s a beautiful time of the year.

The Agriculture Committee will be judging the Agriculture Scholarship applications very soon. There are at least 24 applications this year. We have been giving out three scholarships annually.

Vicki Huff, Bob and I were at the Fryeburg Fair annual meeting of all Grangers that exhibit at the fair yesterday. It doesn’t seem possible that the fairs are right around the corner. We hope your Grange is considering exhibiting at the fair. This is such a good way to promote the Grange. I’m sure Grange members are working hard to get items ready to put in their Grange booth. At the meeting yesterday, we were reminded that several of the fairs offer young people to do the leg work setting up a booth if needed by a Grange. We are looking forward to attending the fairs to see all of the good work.

The Grange judges are having a meeting on May 27th. If there are members out there that would like to be judges we are always looking for new people. The state is so big and there are many miles to travel to get to them all. It would be good to have more people to make it easier all around.

Granges are having Agriculture and Community Service meetings during this time of year. We are getting invitations as are many others. The most recent one is from Topsham Grange.

Webmaster’s Note: The Ag Scholarship information is also available on the page “Program Books and Information.”