Aug 282017
 

We were contacted by Jeffrey Roth of Lancaster Farming asking for contact information of Maine farm families or organizations who are either going to help flood victims in Texas or who are providing support in other ways. The editors at Lancaster Farming are planning coverage of farmers and farm organizations which are mobilizing to help flood victims in Texas in some way. If you know of any such families or organizations, you may contact him directly:

Jeffrey B. Roth
jbrothsteratgmaildotcom  (jbrothsteratgmaildotcom)  
Lancaster Farming
207-319-8156

Note this is not just a request for Grange efforts… any individuals and organizations who are mobilizing to aid victims should contact Jeffrey. A secondary challenge in a situation like this is making certain folks know how they can help. Thanks to Lancaster Farming for making this effort.

I also contacted Amanda Brozana Rio, National Grange Communications Director, who advised she is “coordinating with our National Junior Director who lives in San Antonio about how our Juniors may take this project on and invite adult members to be part of the process. At this point, I think we’re all waiting for the rains to stop and figure out what the need is that could be most adequately met by our members.”

As additional information becomes available, rest assured we will share it on the Maine State Grange website!

 

Aug 282017
 

Please provide proper attribution when using material.

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119. We thought it might be of interest to those Grangers who are heading to the Big E to volunteer at the Grange Building.


The Eastern States Exposition (Big E) is an annual event that takes place in West Springfield, MA.  This event is held each September and attracts over one million visitors yearly during the seventeen days of the fair.  The State of Maine has participated in this exciting display of New England traditions since 1925.

A unique feature of this annual fall classic is the Avenue of States, which is comprised of six exhibition halls that are replicas of architecturally significant buildings from each of the New England states.  The State of Maine building, which was built in 1925, was designed by John Calvin Stevens — Maine’s premier architect.  The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry is pleased to have the responsibility of managing this program for the State of Maine.

The purpose of the program at the Big E is to exhibit, publicize, and advertise Maine’s products and resources in agriculture, industry, fisheries, wildlife, and recreation.  The State of Maine has had an excellent reputation for providing a quality representation of Maine and its resources to the visitors that come to its building each year.  More than 850,000 of the fairgoers visit the state buildings, affording a tremendous opportunity to promote Maine and Maine products.

For more information on the Big-E festivities, click here.

Aug 272017
 

Amazon Smiles LOgoFor those unfamiliar with the Amazon Smile Program, it’s a way for Amazon Shoppers to direct Amazon contributions to nonprofits (501(3)c) based on purchases. With a huge Grange Thanks to Executive Committee Member Vicki Huff, the Maine State Grange Foundation is now enrolled in the program!

Amazon describes the program, “AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.”

This is from my Amazon page–yours will look slightly different.

For Grangers and Grange friends, it’s quite easy. All you have to do is use this special link to the Amazon Website: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/34-2041352. (We have a button with the link readily available in a sidebar on the website.) You’ll know you’ve succeeded when the upper left corner looks something like the photo included. The key is the words “Supporting Maine Grange Foundation.”

Amazon is already tracking your purchases… they will, at regular intervals, send the Foundation a donation based on one-half percent of all purchases made using the Amazon Smile link. It costs you, the shopper, nothing. Other than using the link, you need to nothing to make this happen. Your shopping habits and purchases remain confidential–the only thing Amazon sends to the Maine Grange Foundation is money! The only thing you do (other than using the URL) is shop!

You can download an Amazon Smiles Program Flyer to post on your bulletin board and distribute to members and friends… the more shoppers we have, the more money we raise.

Shop Amazon Smiles

*If you can’t remember this link, just go to https://smile.amazon.com/ where you’ll be able to search for the Maine Grange Foundation. And speaking of remembering… this is a great time to subscribe to the Maine State Grange Website!

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

 

Aug 262017
 


The August Issue of the National Grange Newsletter Patrons Chain has been emailed… In this issue:

  • Summer 2017 National Grange Chiller Thriller
  • Educate yourself, others on Immunizations
  • Grange gets ready to party in D.C. Style
  • Be a part of the 150th Birthday Gala
  • Good Day! fall issue coming soon (Subscribe Now)
  • Letter from the Lecturer
  • Set Sail with the Grange on Cruise
  • Lecturer’s Fundraiser: Metal emblem
  • Don’t forget: 2017 Jr. Awareness Award
  • Register now for convention to save
  • Convention Crossword
  • Benefit Spotlight: Life Line Screening
  • Great American Quilt & Handicraft Expo
  • Grange Supply Store Items on Sale August 2017 Patron’s Chain

Patrons Chain Newsletters are available as PDF files on the National Grange Website. You can also subscribe and contribute to the Patrons Chain. (National Grange has occasionally published articles from the Maine State Grange Website!

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Aug 232017
 

Last Saturday night was our beanhole dinner at the Fairview, followed by music by the lake. We served close to 100 beanhole bean enthusiasts yeast rolls, brown bread, cole slaw, blueberry cake, ham, and of course, beans and hot dogs. A Smithfield bargain at $8.00. At 6 p.m. sharp the Snow Pond Pantastics delighted all with their steel drum band music. Nothing more fun than that sound by the water. After a set of “steel” the “regulars” plus or minus, kicked it into gear and played under the lights until about 9:30, extending our 6:00-9:00 Jam Session, as the crowd demanded. Special performances by two young ladies, the first visiting with her grandparents and just nine years old and the latter, a friend and sometimes performer at our Jam, a 12-year-old singer. She sang “Happy Birthday” to our Grange Lecturer, Kevin James… just 39, again this year. At the end of the night, the Fairview Grange had benefitted by about $800.00 which keeps your local Grange open, able to stay relevant in your community, and able to maintain and improve the facility. We appreciate the support of all who attended and especially want to thank those who shopped, cooked, planned, cleaned, prepared, served, baked, lugged tables, built the stage, cut the grass, washed dishes, hauled the trash or in any other way worked to put on the event. It doesn’t happen by itself, so thanks to those Grange members! Also, we should add that it was especially nice to see some of our long time Grange members who have “been there, and done that” support the Fairview by attending. David, Marilyn, Elery, Olive (and young Mr. Bobby Corson) and any others I may have missed. I was busy in the kitchen! Big thanks, Rick “Master” Fairview Grange.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Aug 232017
 

This “spot on” commercial has aired on PBS… great explanation of what the Grange has been and is about!

Aug 222017
 

Please provide proper attribution when using material.

The following article appeared in today’s “Word of the Day” email from the Dictionary Project:

During 2016, the Arkansas Corrections Department and the Arkansas Literacy Councils partnered together to send dictionaries to fourteen prisons in the area. Heather Powell, the Training Director at the Arkansas Literacy Councils, reached out to share their story with us.

“Last year we [the Arkansas Literacy Councils] piloted a joint program with ADC to train literacy and ESL tutors within the prisons. To date, we have trained over 200 literate inmates as tutors. The tutors work with other inmates who have low or no literacy skills, tutoring from the Laubach Way to Reading/English programs. These student dictionaries are just the right level for introducing students in how to use a dictionary.”

Often times, we at the Dictionary Project are asked by organizations what they should do with dictionaries that are left over after their distributions are complete. We would ask you to please consider donating them to prisons in your area. Statistics show that literacy rates in the American prison system are at only 40% for adult inmates, and 15% for juveniles (literacyprojectfoundation.org). A vital skill that many of us take for granted, the ability to read could greatly impact the lives of inmates who would otherwise not have access to the basic level of education that every human being should have.

Thank you, Heather Powell at the Arkansas Literacy Councils for this story.

As a big fan of the Dictionary Project, this is interesting on several points. First, the question about left over dictionaries may include something that can easily be overlooked. In our Valley Grange Program, we have learned there is one hazard with keeping leftover dictionaries and mixing them with new ones the following year. Some teachers have the students keep their dictionaries at school for use in the classroom–both to learn dictionary skills and to use as a resource. If there is a change in the dictionary, mixing last year’s edition with this year’s can create confusion. This is easy to manage as long as you aware and pay attention to edition numbers. But it is possible to have “left over” dictionaries even though you are repeating the program every year.

Second, there are additional community service opportunities where we, as Granges and Grangers, can make an impact. As this article suggests, we can offer dictionaries to prisons. Most areas also have volunteer adult literacy programs. I occasionally hear the comment that the schools are already getting dictionaries from another organization. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a dictionary project–it just means it won’t be “Words for Thirds.” It’ll be words for others! Just think Literacy! (We have given our leftover dictionaries to local libraries and keep a few at the Hall to give to any children that visit.)

And it is that time of year to start thinking about your program with your schools. By providing dictionaries in the fall, kids get more use from them! In the twelve years Valley Grange has been providing dictionaries, we’ve learned a lot! You can read the history of our program and, more importantly, if you have any questions or I can help you with your program, please let me know  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  !

 

Aug 212017
 

Short messages from your Communications Department

Some exciting news from an exciting Grange…

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve started something! For those who missed it, in my August “Exploring Traditions” Column, I described our experience attending Ceilidhs while on vacation in Nova Scotia and suggested some parallels for our Granges. “Why aren’t we dancing (literally and figuratively) more? Shouldn’t we at least be tapping our toes? It should be hard not to enjoy the Grange Way of Life when you’re sitting in a Grange Hall…”

Well, one Grange has accepted the challenge. If you haven’t seen her comment on the column, Sue Mack of Harrasseket Grange wrote “Excellent column! As a bagpiper and veteran ceilidh-attender myself (both Cape Breton and Scotland), I couldn’t agree more. We’re going to start the proverbial ball rolling next Saturday at our regular bean supper at Harraseeket Grange #9 in Freeport. I will be playing Scottish smallpipes to entertain folks as they wait for their supper to be served (good music, good smells!). I’m also inviting a harper or 2 to join me. How about you? Come join us!

So let’s congratulate and support them for trying this! It sounds like this could become a regular part of their monthly supper… so there’s great food and more! Remember, a Ceilidh is a “social gathering (often including music, dancing, story, and joke-telling.” Let’s remember that our suppers are more than good food and fundraising… they are an opportunity to create community, have fun, and maybe do some toe-tapping in the process.

A few details: The baked bean supper (and ceilidh) will be served this Saturday, August 26, from 5-6 p.m., at Harraseeket Grange located at 13 Elm Street in Freeport. The all-you-can-eat, homemade menu includes three kinds of homemade beans, hot dogs, pickles, biscuits, brown bread, potato salad, cole slaw, pasta salad, homemade pies, coffee, and beverages. The cost is $9, $4 for kids 6-12 and free for kids under 6.

Somebody take photos and send them… and if your Grange is trying to make your suppers into more than a supper… and make your meetings and events more than just meetings and events, please tell us about it! You can use the “submit” tab on the website or just email the webmaster (attach any photos to the email).

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Aug 182017
 

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119. Looks like some potentially good resources for a timely Lecturer’s Program or Family Health and Hearing Report!

As summer draws to a close, back-to-school season is in full effect.  Remember to safely share the roads with school buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and provide children with the necessary knowledge to stay safe at school.

The National Safety Council has a number of helpful resources that promote safety, including Pedestrian Safety, Safe Riding in a Car, Distracted Walking, First-Time Rider School Bus Tips, and more.

Also available on this site are video PSAs on Back to School:  Driving Safely with School Buses and Stop Bullying:  What Parents Can Do.

There are also bullying and suicide prevention resources available on my website. For a slightly different perspective on the issue of bullying, read Where you fly makes a difference.

Aug 182017
 

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Davis, State Senator for District 4. 

Absentee Ballots for Referendum Election Now Available Online

If you would like to request an absentee ballot for this November’s General Election, they are now available through the Online Absentee Ballot Request Service. Absentee voting is an option for all Maine residents currently registered to vote. Absentee ballots may be requested either through this online service or by going to your town office to fill out a form.

This November’s ballot will include two citizen’s initiative questions including a question to allow a certain developer to open a casino in York County and the seventh attempt to expand Medicaid to more able-bodied adults in Maine. Also on the ballot will be Question 3: “An Act To Authorize Multiple General Fund Bond Issues To Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities,” and Question 4: “Resolution: Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Reduce Volatility in State Pension Funding Requirements Caused by the Financial Markets.”

To apply for an absentee ballot online, go to click here.