Feb 272017
 

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119, reprinted with permission. 


Maine Paint Stewardship Program

It’s more convenient than ever to recycle paint in Maine.  Since the start of the Maine paint stewardship program in October 2015, PaintCare has set up 102 convenient locations to drop off paint throughout the State.  Most of these sites are at paint retailers (paint, hardware, and home improvement stores) that have volunteered to take back paint, and they are available to any household and business in Maine.  These stores accept paint whenever they are open for business.

A number of PaintCare drop-off sites include household hazardous waste programs — either facilities or “round-up events.”  These programs are run by a local county or city government agencies, often in partnership with the local garbage and recycling company or transfer station.  In addition to accepting paint, these programs usually accept other non-paint hazardous wastes (e.g., pesticides, solvents).  Most of these government programs limit participation to the households in certain cities or towns.  Some of these government programs also allow businesses to make appointments during special hours.  Businesses are usually charged fees for non-paint hazardous waste, and sometimes they are charged an administrative fee to schedule an appointment, but they are not charged for paint, on a per gallon basis, if the agency is a PaintCare partner.  A few restrictions do apply:  there are limits on how much paint can be dropped off per visit.  Also, note that certain businesses — those that produce more than 220 pounds (about 20-30 gallons) of hazardous waste per month — can only drop off latex paint (they are not be able drop off oil-based paint).  When you decide it’s time to recycle your paint, please call the site ahead of time to confirm their hours and to make sure they have space to accept the amount of paint you would like to recycle.

To find a paint drop-off location near you, click here.

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 242017
 

By Vicki Huff

The NEGB trustees met on Saturday morning January 28, 2017, during Leaders Conference held in Rutland, VT. The store managers and the treasurer reported that we made $14,698.00 at this year’s fair after all expenses, including building maintenance prior to and during the fair.

For the protection of the items submitted for the craft contest, Plexiglas was put in place so fairgoers no longer have direct access to these items. The quality of the contest entries have made people want to take them (literally) and in the past, there have been items taken from the building.

We continue to maintain the building and that is where the profits from the store come into play. Last year we had the building painted. In doing so it made us realize that the wooden letters that spell out the name of the building need to be replaced. The fire escape door on the first floor needs to be replaced and the cement steps outside that door also need work. We need your help to keep this building in repair and continue to show all the visitors to the Big E that the Grange is alive and well.

The trustees voted to require each State Grange to fill fifteen shifts in the store and at the quilt raffle table. If an individual(s) works an afternoon/evening shift and then works the morning/early afternoon shift the next day the Store will pay for a hotel room at The Comfort Inn for the night you work. For those who work in the store, you will need to run a cash register and assist with stocking shelves, answering questions, if new items come in you could help with pricing the items. Those who work on the raffle table will ask shoppers if they would like to enter and that it is simply whatever they want to donate. You may need to explain where the money will be going and each year the state that donates the quilt decides which charity the money will be going to. Both areas require standing and the shifts are 9-3 (day shift) and 3-9 (evening shift). Arrangements for scheduling to work are made through Linda Sanderson, Store Manager, 802-999-3510. You will also receive a pass to get into the fair the days you work. If you are interested please contact Linda as soon as possible. We have to have a list of names of those working to the Big E by the end of June. Linda will let State Master Rick Grotton know if our 15 slot obligation is not met.

If you cannot or do not want to travel and work in the store there are other ways to contribute to the building. There is always a need for handmade items to sell in the craft part of the store.  Below is a list of items that are big sellers or that people make a request for.

  • Large and medium afghans
  • Baby afghans, sweater sets, headbands, slippers, anything baby
  • Quilted wall hangings
  • Corn or rice bags for the microwave
  • Dog toys, scarves, and knitted sweaters- Catnip toys
  • Long plastic canvas tissue boxes
  • Wool felted dryer balls. They help clothes dry faster.
  • Knitted, crocheted hanging kitchen towels
  • Full-size aprons
  • Draft stoppers
  • Scrubbies, scrubbies, scrubbies–these things are one of the biggest sellers
  • Adult slippers, hats, mittens, winter scarfs- colors for men too, but not black or brown
  • Bag holders for plastic bags
  • Women’s sweaters- if you make these please somehow attach a label including the size
  • Medium to large adult clothes protectors (bibs)
  • Embroidered pillow covers

Pretty much anything and if you make items that are not listed they accept anything that is homemade. The central location for item donation is State Grange Headquarters. If you or someone from your area is coming to an event at HQ please bring or ask them to bring the items. If items cannot be brought during an event then please call headquarters and make arrangements for someone to be there to meet you.

Dates for this year’s fair are September 15, 2017, through October 1, 2017. Grange Day is Sunday, September 24. New England Grangers will be having a float in the parade that day and we are also looking for folks to be in the parade on Saturday, September 16 as we will be showing support for FFA and 4-H. There is a challenge out there for all the states to see who can have the most Grangers walk in the parade on Grange Day (September 24). If you plan on getting a group of Grangers to go down on Grange Day and participate in the parade, State Master Rick Grotton needs you to contact him before June 1, 2017, so he can request the correct number of tickets for those attending. Let’s car pool and make the trip to the Big E and show them that Maine Grangers are up for any challenge.

Feb 222017
 

Please provide proper attribution when using material.

As a followup to our February 11 post, here’s information about MORE FREE presentations on Browntail Moth management and avoidance.

To Be Held at The Following Times and Locations:

  • February 22, 6:00 PM at Patten Free Library, Bath
  • February 27, 6:00 PM at The Morris Farm, Wiscasset
  • February 28, 6:00 PM at Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
  • March 6, 7:00 PM Town Hall, Bowdoinham
  • March 7, 2:00 PM at UMaine Regional Learning Center, Falmouth
  • March 9, 6:00 PM Town Council Chambers, Freeport
  • March 9, 6:00 PM Belfast Free Library, Belfast

Regional experts will speak about browntail moth:

  • Biology
  • Management methods
  • Personal protection

Pre-Registration is requested for most meetings:

To register, please go to maine.gov/healthylawns or call (207)287-2731

Feel free to call if you have any questions!

Feb 182017
 

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119, reprinted with permission. 


MARVEL! Maine’s Virtual Library provides every resident of Maine with access to a collection of full-text articles and abstracts from magazines, newspapers, journals, and reference books that are credible, reputable resources.  MARVEL! also offers students, business people, public library patrons, and higher-education students and educators the ability to search a number of resources at one time for information.

Funding comes from the Maine State Legislature and the joint efforts of the Maine State Library, University of Maine, Colby, Bates, Bowdoin College, the Public Utilities Commission, and MTEAF (Maine Telecommunications Educational Access Fund), commonly known as State E-rate.  This collaboration makes statewide licensing of MARVEL! resources extremely cost effective and provides these resources for every school, library, and resident of Maine.

Feb 162017
 

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

April is Grange Month! For those Granges who use the Community Citizen of the Year Award or Pomona Grange Award for Public Service, you should order soon. Most of the other documents you might need are available on the Maine State Grange Website:

  • 2017 Grange Month Awards Order Form--Use this form to order your Grange Month (Community Citizen) Awards. Since you should allow four weeks for delivery, this would be a good time!
  • 2017 Grange Month Poster–This can be a poster or flyer… just fill in specific information about your Grange!
  • 2017 Grange Month Letter–The letter from National Master Betsy Huber announcing Grange Month 2017.
  • 2017 Grange Month Proclamation–The National Grange Resolution proclaiming April as Grange Month… should be posted and could be sent to local media outlets.
  • How to use hashtags–For those who wonder what those #’s you’re seeing all over the Internet mean. (Hint, they are not Grange numbers!)
  • I’m a DO-er Program Description–This is a complete description of the “DO-er” Program announced in conjunction with Grange Month, but running all year long.

Download and print what you need–and share with other Granges in your area! Why not share your plans at your next Pomona Meeting? (You can find all these documents in the National Grange Section of the Program Books and Information Page.

Read the February 2017 Issue of The Patrons Chain National Grange Newsletter. Print a copy to share with others!

Feb 152017
 

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By Walter Boomsma

Most Grangers I talk with admit that the first time they celebrated the four degrees, the event was a bit of a blur and the instruction they received wasn’t fully appreciated. It is certainly interesting to ask Grangers to recite one or two things they distinctly remember from that experience.

One of my distinct memories happened during the Second Degree when the Master showed us a few kernels of corn in his hand. I remember watching his fingers move as he explained, “We are now to teach you how to plant the seed. Behold these inanimate kernels of corn! But the germ has life—the future plant is there. We loosen the soil—we bury the seed; and in so doing impress upon our minds the truth of the immortality of the soul. There is no object in which, to appearance, life and death border so closely together as in the grains of seed buried in the earth; but when life seems extinct a fuller and richer existence begins anew.

Those words and thoughts can be a great comfort to us in times of sorrow. But the lesson of the seeds has nearly endless application. I have occasionally used an apple to make a similar point. (This might be a short lecturer’s program!) I will hold up an apple and ask, “How many seeds are in this apple?” Most people will not know, so we may actually cut it open and count them. One of those seeds can then be selected and another question poised. “How many apples are in this seed?”

 Anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple… but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.

-Robert Schuller

The lesson of the apple seed is the lesson of the kernel of corn—each contain unlimited potential. “From this little seed we have, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. So with the mind, when duly nourished with Faith and Hope…

Later, in the same degree, the Master instructs, “May the lessons you have received find genial soil in your minds. Cultivate with hope the seed thus planted, that it may yield an hundred fold.

The lessons of the Grange are the lessons of agriculture. Nature can teach us much if we listen and much of our Grange tradition and instruction encourages us to listen and learn those lessons.

Ceres explains, “As we look around and see the beautiful transformation of seeds into attractive plants or majestic trees, we have but another lesson taught us of the wondrous works of God. Changes and transformations are constantly passing before us—the dying grain into the living stalk, the tiny seeds into majestic trees, the bud to blossom, the blossom to fruit. All these preach eloquently of the wonder-working God; and if the beauties of this world, when rightly viewed, offer so much of the magnificence of the Creator to charm us here, what must be the sublime grandeur of that Paradise above, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens?

I recall a news anchor’s comment following a story about Valley Grange’s Words for Thirds Program. He’d observed how excited the kids were about dictionaries and reading and closed his segment by saying, simply, “There is hope.” All of the lessons of the Grange seem to bring us inescapably to that one word–hope.

We are challenged to consider the words we say, the gifts we give, the simple actions we take as seeds. They are the germs of life. The future lies in them, even when we can’t see it. We are planting hope.


Any degree or ritual quotations are from the forty-sixth edition of the 2013 Subordinate Grange Manual. The views and opinions expressed in “Exploring Traditions” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official doctrine and policy of the Grange.

Feb 152017
 

By Steven Haycock, Chairman

Do you have a talent??

  • So far, we have around four acts for the Variety Show on April 29, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at Topsham Grange, so we still very much need your help to fill out the program.  We’re looking for singers, dancers, musicians, skits, & comedy acts.  Don’t forget also at the show we will have a raffle for items donated by local businesses, delicious refreshments and more.

Cookbooks:

  • The work is progressing on the cookbooks, and my goal is to have them available for sale at the Variety Show.  There will be three separate cookbooks, Appetizers & Main Dishes, Desserts, & Pickles and Preserving.  Be sure to plan on picking up the whole set.

Ag Pride T-Shirts:

  • The Agricultural Pride T-Shirts have come in and I’ll have them for sale as soon as I can pick them up in Augusta.

Car Magnets:

  • The Grange car magnets are back and have come in.  I’ll have them for sale as soon as I can pick them up in Augusta.

Yard Sale:

  • The fundraising committee will be having a yard sale at State Grange HQ on June 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  We are again asking people to donate some attic treasures for us to sell.  We will also be renting tables for individuals or Granges that would like to join us.  Lunch will also be available.  Save the date and more information will be available soon.
Feb 142017
 

A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

It’s time for a “potpourri” column—a collection of communication-related thoughts and updates. Some of these have been published on the website as “Communication Bullets” and may sound familiar to website subscribers and visitors.

I believe one of the responsibilities of the Communications Department (of one) is to explore, discover, and transmit resources that will help our Granges and Grangers. In keeping with that, I’ve created a “Resources for Grangers” theme for this year.

Resources can come in many forms, but will fall into two categories. The first will be somewhat general in nature. The second will be more specific about the “business” of the Grange.

As an example of the latter, I’ve recently researched and posted some potential sources of insurance for Grange Halls in response to several questions and requests for help finding coverage. The options are certainly limited, but there are some possibilities. (The information is also included in this Bulletin.) We continue to post information about conferences, etc. as it is received. Remember that the Communications Department maintains an ODD (Officers, Directors, and Deputies) directory of contact information that is available for download and you can find copies of recent Bulletins on the site.

At least year’s state session, a resolution was passed directing Maine State Grange to develop a strategy for policy, education, and resources for small community-based farms and agriculture in general. I’ve been watching for and reposting articles that would seem to support that. Recent examples include information on invasive plants and the Browntail Moth threat.

But I’m not limiting this to agriculture. With thanks to the VA, we are now posting a Veterans’ Department Wish List of opportunities and needs. The list is updated monthly and includes facilities throughout the state.

I’d like to extend a special thank-you to our MSG Historian, Stanley Howe and his committee. The “In Search of…” feature has brought a number of inquiries regarding closed Granges and membership. Stan and his committee are always quick to respond and generous with knowledge and information. The “In Search of…” feature also recently made possible a connection between some volunteers and Rick Watson, Master of Fairview Grange. Working together Fairview Grange, the volunteers, and the community raised about $4,000 for a young family facing a serious medical issue for their soon to be born child. New bonds and friendships were also formed.

From a practical perspective, the Communications Department is not a department of one—it includes every Granger (and some non-Grangers!) who are committed to communication and the development of our organization. When you discover information that you believe would be of interest to other Grangers, share it! My job is to facilitate that process and make the channels of communication available and effective. If you have or need information, please let me know.

On a slightly personal note, I’m honored to be the “featured speaker,” at Bangor Grange’s Community Connection on March 28, 2017. The topic will be “Finding Dead Rainbows—where you stand makes a difference.” Bangor Grange Master Brenda Gammon describes Community Connections as an ongoing part of the Grange’s efforts to “provide information and resources and a way for our community’s citizens to connect with each other and those resources.” It’s an interesting idea—if your Grange is looking for a new idea and way to make a difference in your community, contact Brenda and ask her about it. Even better, come to the program!

Let’s make some news, take some photos of it, and share it!”

Feb 142017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Gagne, Director

The Maine State Grange Agricultural Committee was busy at the Maine Ag Trade Show booth. There was a lot of activity and young people asking for support, resources and possibly starting a Grange! We raffled off a Valentine Basket to support the Grange Ag Scholarship and made $64.00 toward the scholarship.

I attended the Maine Fair Association Annual meeting in Portland and met with the Exhibition Hall Superintendents. All Maine Agricultural fairs in attendance were interested and willing to have Granges set up an educational exhibit at their fair provided they are informed. The Fair Exhibition Hall Superintendents asked that the Granges contact their local fair if they would like to set up an educational exhibit.  If you need the contact names and are unable to go onto the web to locate the contact for the fair call me (592-6980) and I will get the name for you.  Criteria will be available soon.

The Maine State Grange Scholarship and Farm Family Award criteria and application have been edited and will be posted shortly.

Note: The date for the Ag luncheon for Legislators has been changed to April 5, 2017. We will be looking for fudge for the day and pies for the luncheon.  Sharon will be working on donations of food for the luncheon. Agnes and Bob will head up the lunch preparation with the Ag Committee and arranging to have a group serve lunch. We are still looking for donations of Maine made items for the AG Scholarship basket. Rance will be selling raffles at the luncheon.

The Ag Committee will be working on setting up an Ag Luncheon at the Maine State Grange Convention in Skowhegan along with a speaker.  I will have more information to follow.

Next meeting of the Maine State Grange Agricultural committee will be reading the Ag Scholarships on May 9, 2017,  beginning at 10:00 A.M.  This will be a potluck luncheon at the State Grange Headquarters.