Nov 192014
 
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director
 

Watch for a new feature in this month’s Bulletin! I’m going to attempt to write a short synopsis of each article at the very beginning of each issue—the goal is to help secretaries who are trying to glean the major points without necessarily reading the entire article. Please let me know how it’s working out for you!

Publicity pays! As a result of an article in the Bangor Daily News regarding Valley Grange’s Dictionary Days, I’ve been contacted by a retired school teacher who wants to start a program in his area… and thanks to the article in Maine Seniors Magazine, a second call came in for some help with restarting a program. Unfortunately, neither call involved a Grange. Is your Grange missing an opportunity?

Communication is definitely a two-way proposition. I’m not just talking about speaking and listening. I’m referring to the fact that we each have an obligation to make sure we are informed. I received a stack of thank you notes from many of the third graders who recently made a field trip to the Grange Hall to receive their dictionaries. The notes are touching, sometimes funny, and often enlightening. One thing particularly “cool” is the number of them that included questions. The kids want to know more and they aren’t shy about asking. Several rather pointedly said they’d like to make another trip to visit the Grange.

Picasso said “Adults are just obsolete children,” and I think part of that obsolescence is due to a lack of curiosity and adventure. For whatever reason, adults seem to forget that asking questions is a great way to learn and get information. So while we have a responsibility to keep your website updated and provide you with a meaningful Bulletin every month, readers also have a responsibility to show interest and initiative. Ask your secretary about the Bulletin. Visit the website and download program books and contest rules. Send an email to directors or call your deputy when you need information about a contest or program. If we aren’t meeting your communication needs, please let us know.

Just recently I received an inquiry from someone wanting to know if there was any sort of “Grange Wedding” ceremony or ritual. While there’s doesn’t seem to be anything specific, isn’t that an interesting question? In my reply, I couldn’t help by wonder if there isn’t, perhaps, some “fodder” within our ritual that would be of great value to an agriculturally-minded couple who wanted to write their own vows. It’s all about communication.

Finally, I’m pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Clip ‘n Win contest:  First Place went to Rita Stone, Granite Grange #192, Second Place to Gail Butterfield, Lakeside Grange #63 and Third Place: to Cathie Spaulding, Mystic Tie Grange #58. Congratulations… and remember to check out the new clip ‘n win contest for this year. It’s different!

 

Nov 062014
 
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

If you haven’t yet, you’ll soon be starting to look for a 2015 calendar and writing dates on it… One important note you should have is that Maine State Session will be taking place October 22 – 24, 2015. As is traditional, the banquet will be Wednesday, October 21. We’ll be returning to the Skowhegan Community Center. Save the dates!

Nov 022014
 

by Laurie McBurnie, Junior DirectorMcBurnie

The Junior Committee had a successful time at State Session. Our sincere thanks to all who supported our efforts, both at our table and in the kitchen. John Brigance’s homemade BBQ pork and chili were welcome additions to our menu. If you didn’t get to try any, you missed out on some delicious food.

Congratulations to the winners of the pumpkin contests. Pumpkin Growing: 8-11 yrs., Delia Belair; 35+ yrs., Rick Grotton. Decorated Pumpkin: 5-7 yrs., William Barone; 15-35 yrs., Steven Haycock; 35+ yrs., First – Norma Meserve, Second – Merton Ricker.

Interest in Junior Grange is growing! (I’ve already heard a couple kids are all ready to go to Junior Camp.) There are many activities that the youngsters can work on individually (or with adult guidance). Check out the 2014-15 Maine Junior Grange program on the Maine State Grange website or contact Junior Director Laurie McBurnie, lmcb293atgmaildotcom  (lmcb293atgmaildotcom)  .

Junior Grange hand fans ($1, Baker’s dozen – $12), Grange Memorial Flags ($7) and a limited number of Grange Flag Holders ($30) are still available from Junior Director Laurie McBurnie and Committee members Norma Meserve, Roberta Meserve and CJ Stinson-Roy.

The flyer for the Memorial Bricks is posted on the state Grange website. The materials for the National Junior Grange programs will be updated when the new material becomes available.

Decorated Pumpkins by Norma Meserve (left) and William Barone

Decorated Pumpkins by Norma Meserve (left) and William Barone

Oct 282014
 

Nat Grange Store

Due to the 148th National Grange Convention, the Grange Store will be closed
November 3rd – November 18th

If you need to place an order, please do it before this deadline.

The National Grange Store will re-open on Wednesday, November 19th.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Sales, Benefits, and Programs Director at sjohnsonatnationalgrangedotorg  (sjohnsonatnationalgrangedotorg)  .

Oct 172014
 
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

The 141st Annual Session of the Maine State Grange is in the books! Encourage your delegates to give reports as to which resolutions passed, how many candidates were present for the 5th and 6th degrees. Ask them questions. We are gearing up for the next session of the National Grange which should prove to be an interesting one. Once again Nancy Clark and I will be your delegates and we will either be getting ready, already there or back by the time you have your Grange meeting. I am sure there will be lots to report so prepare yourselves.

Brothers and Sisters this time of year tends to make us reflective and as you gather together with family and friends think about those who may be less fortunate than you. One of the greatest gifts we can give to another is a helping hand and a smile. It is time to “enjoy the fruits of our labors” and to share them with others.

May all your holidays be joyful. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”

Together Each Accomplishes More

Oct 162014
 

To: Christine Hamp, LAS of the National Grange, Duane Hamp, Master of the WA State Grange, Officers, Delegates and Members of the Maine State Grange,

We have had many successes over the past year. Let’s congratulate Sister Christine Corliss for setting a goal of having 25% of the Granges in Maine turning in Community Service reports and then meeting her goal. This year, for the first time in a few years, we have money from National Grange to present to the Granges that will be announced as placing in the contest. There was a huge push from Christine and a few Deputies and State Officers to convince Grangers to submit these reports at the last minute. While presenting a notebook with pictures and a full explanation of the Community Service work you did over the past year is a great way to earn some extra dollars for your Grange there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from seeing that year’s worth of work all together in one place. Most of our Granges do Community Service without even thinking about it—that’s good, but it can mean we are missing some of the joy. I challenge you to go back to your Granges and not just report the number of hours but also find ways to celebrate and share your successes. For some reason we have this tendency, like the song some of us may have learned in Sunday School says, to “hide our light under a bushel”. Brother and Sisters we need to “Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine”.candles

We owe special thanks to Enterprise Grange #48 and Riverside Grange #475 for taking the time to fill out and send in their Distinguished Grange applications to National. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” These two Granges will be recognized for this outstanding achievement at National Convention and I will be honored to accept your awards on your behalf. Would the members of Enterprise Grange #48 and Riverside Grange #475 please stand and be recognized. There are probably other Granges within our state that could have qualified for this honor and I hope that you will check out the form and see if your Grange meets the criteria for a Distinguished Grange award next year. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

I have some exciting news. We are so very close Continue reading »

Oct 132014
 
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director
 

October is about endings… the end of summer and fall. But endings are usually about beginnings as well. We’re at the beginning of winter, like it or not.

As this bulletin goes to press, many will be in Skowhegan hearing the results of another Grange year gone by… Contest winners will be announced and budgets will be reviewed and passed.

This is also the time of year when your website undergoes some major revision as old program books, contest information and entry forms are replaced with new. Sometimes the changes are very minor, but this year we have at least two brand new (and significantly different) contests announced so far.

The Communications Department (of one) is pleased to announce an entirely new “Clip ‘N Win” contest. For 2014-2015 we are revising the contest and making it about the quantity of one article written or initiated by a Granger, not simply clipping and counting versions of articles containing the word “Grange.” You’ll find details elsewhere in the Communications Handbook 2014-15 that will be available to delegates at State Conference and can be downloaded from the MSG website.

Remember also, if you do not have access to the Internet you may request copies of program books from State Headquarters. Please remember that mailing costs mount quickly and attempt to get your copy from your delegates first, then only request mailed copies of information you truly need.

I’m also pleased to note that my colleague Christine Corliss, Director of Community Service and FHH has announced a new contest encouraging FHH Chairs to team up with Lecturers and offer monthly FHH related programing. I’ve long felt that it’s past time to review the myriad of contests we conduct and create contests that are more focused and get higher participation. These two should bring some interesting results and entries!

You might be interested in some lessons learned from the former Clip ‘N Win Contest:

  • We have some Grangers with “eagle eyes” who can spot the word “Grange” in some unusual areas—like an advertisement by a business that included the Grange Hall as a landmark in their directions.
  • We have some overlapping of news articles. Entries from Granges located quite some distance from each other often included the same articles. (And a number that I had a written!)
  • We have a huge opportunity to improve our communication with the media. Most of the articles submitted were short meeting announcements clipped from community calendars.

When I do dictionary presentations, I often ask third graders what, if anything, they know about the Grange. I always remember one young fellow who said with great confidence, “It’s a bunch of people who like to eat and meet.” His perception is funny, somewhat accurate, but also disappointing, really.

One notebook submitted included nearly 40 obituaries of Grange members—in spite of the rule against including them. But the real tragedy is that notebook did not include one article mentioning a membership installation or published photos of new members.

How about a theme for this year of, “Let’s make some news and share it!”

 

Sep 182014
 

November may seem a long way off, but as nights get chilly it’s time to start thinking about your trip to Sandusky Ohio to attend National Grange Conference. National Grange has made  a paper registration form for this year’s convention available. They prefer that all attending register online but recognize the challenges this presents for some. Please note that the Youth MUST register online using the form designated for them.

The deadline for securing a room at the Convention Hotel is October 10, so you should start planning your trip soon.

For links to online registration forms, a link to the Seventh Degree application and a printable convention schedule please visit the National Grange website at: www.nationalgrange.org You may download the paper registration form from the Maine State Grange website:

148th National Grange Convention Registration Form

Note this information will remain posted on the Conference Page so you can find it easily! Just scroll down past State Convention information.

Sep 122014
 

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

We are counting down to State Session… and building up your website to support it! This morning I’ve added several more features:

But wait, there’s more! This information is readily accessible from the Conference Tab, but we’ve also added a temporary small box in the side bar with direct links… check it out!

If we haven’t answered your question, let us know and we’ll do our best to get you an answer or point you in the right direction!

Sep 102014
 
Annisby Jim Annis, Legislative Director

The State Grange resolutions for the legislative committee passed in 2013 could not be submitted to the Maine Legislature. It was the second session in the term and they were not accepting new bills. Believe me, they had enough problems dealing with the bills left over from the last session.

There were six resolutions referred to the Maine State Grange Legislative Committee. They were, Traffic Ticket Fines” submitted by Androscoggin Pomona No. 1, “Rural Mail Delivery” submitted by Bauneg Beg Grange No. 382, “Healthcare Is a Human Right” submitted by Farmington Grange No.12, Maine Retirement Income Tax Exemption” submitted by Cumberland Pomona No. 15, “Use of Ethanol in Maine Gasoline” submitted by Cumberland Pomona No. 15 and “Ballot Initiative Phrasing” submitted by Cumberland Pomona No. 15.

1.   Traffic Ticket Fines

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass. However, it was felt by the committee that this   resolution will have little chance to pass in that a fiscal note would surely be attached to the bill going to the legislature. Traffic fines are generally part of the state police budget.

2.   Rural Mail Delivery

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass as amended. The last Resolve should read, “…to include the continuation of Saturday rural delivery and be it further: Resolved to send this resolution to National Grange for approval.”

3.   Health Care is a Human Right

Committee recommendation. Ought not to pass. It was felt by the committee that this resolution is too politically oriented and that Grange should distance itself from politics as demanded by Grange Bylaws..

4. Maine Retirement Income Tax Reduction

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass as amended. Minor corrections were added to the resolution.The fiscal note for this bill would be astronomical thereby condemning the bill while still in the hearing committee.

5.   Use of Ethanol in Maine Gasoline

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass. However, for Maine to pass a law forbidding the use of ethanol in gasoline would place Maine as the only state in the union not using ethanol. The cost of non-ethanol based gasoline would be extremely costly to the Maine consumer. It was also recommended by the committee that this resolution be sent to National Grange for country-wide approval.

6.   Ballot Initiative Phrasing

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass.

Resolution 1 is part of the Maine budget, resolutions 2 and 5 were sent to National Grange for adoption, resolution 3 was voted ought not to pass at the State Grange Conference, resolution 4 has the attention of the current governor and he already has reduced it (I know because my retirement increased because of a reduction in the Maine state tax) and I don’t see submitting a bill to the Maine legislature for resolution 6 as having much of a chance. Maine’s Secretary of State does a great job of proper wording of any initiative. However, I shall discuss its possibilities with a Maine legislator soon after the elections.