Sep 082017
 

Each October, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control conducts a program to collect and properly dispose of banned and unusable pesticides from homeowners and farms. Pre-registration is required and collections are held at four sites across the state. More information about the program may be found below.

Next collection will be in October 2017, one day each in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland. Registration by September 22 is required, no drop-ins will be accepted. Use the forms below to register.

The Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) and the Department of Environmental Protection provide citizens with a responsible, free solution to their obsolete pesticide problem. Once a year, these agencies collect obsolete pesticides brought to sites across Maine. The materials are then shipped to out-of-state disposal facilities. Banned pesticides and pesticides that have become caked, frozen or otherwise rendered unusable can be accepted. The program is available to homeowners as well as non-corporate farmers and greenhouse operators

How to participate

  1. Registration Form Instructions
    • Option 1: fillable PDF fileOpen the file, fill in the information, print it out, and mail it to the BPC (mailing address on the form).
    • Option 2: Word fileOpen the file, fill in the information, and
      • either save it to your hard drive, attach it to an e-mail, and send it to pesticidesatmainedotgov  (pesticidesatmainedotgov)  or
      • if your e-mail program allows it, send it directly from the open file to the BPC at the address above.
    • Option 3 Request paper copy: Contact the BPC (207-287-2731, or the e-mail address above) to have a copy of the form mailed to you.
  2. On the registration form, identify the common name of the pesticide active ingredients shown on each product’s label. Common names are often listed on the front of the label followed by the chemical name. If the active ingredient is not listed, or is unreadable, please describe the product using the brand name, EPA registration number, or any other identifying information you can find on the label. Unidentified products without labels or markings should also be described in as much detail as possible.
  3. Store obsolete pesticides properly until the next annual collection drive. The BPC will contact you several weeks prior to that drive to inform you of your local collection date and location. Can’t make an upcoming drive? No problem…the BPC will keep your name on file for the next collection.
  4. After your inventory form is received, the BPC will mail a map and instructions 10 days before your collection date.
  5. Bring your obsolete pesticides to the assigned site. Once there, stay in your vehicle and present shipping papers to officials. They will direct you to place obsoletes in an appropriate receptacle.
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.

Apr 112017
 

Please provide proper attribution when using material.

Elder Abuse is of growing concern throughout the U.S. today, especially here in Maine since we’re one of the oldest states in the country.  Statistics show that tens of thousands of older adults in Maine are abused each year, so it’s important that communities understand the issue and the resources available.  Betty Balderston is the Elder Abuse Prevention Advocate for Legal Services and is currently scheduling presentations between now and September to civic and community organizations throughout Maine.  Her 15-20 minute presentation includes information on what Elder Abuse looks like, the Red Flags that everyone should be aware of, and the Maine resources that are available to provide assistance.  Perhaps your Grange would be interested in scheduling such a presentation?  Betty can be reached at (207) 620-3104 or at bbalderstonatmainelsedotorg  (bbalderstonatmainelsedotorg)  .  Please consider contacting Betty to schedule a presentation for your members.

Webmaster’s Note: I had a long chat with Betty that was quite eye-opening. Elder abuse can come in many forms and from many different sources. There’s not charge for her presentation — this is a great opportunity to “get the facts” and learn about the resources available!

Mar 012017
 

It’s finally here… an updated directory of Granges in Maine, based on the 2017 Roster! We’ve sorted the list of Granges so you can sort by Grange name, Town Name, or Zip Code. You’ll find it on the Program Books and Information Page or you can open the file 2017 Directory of Granges directly for downloading and printing.

Speaking of finding a Grange, one observation I would make as a result of working with this data: Many Granges do not have an actual 911 compliant street address. By my estimation, over 40% of the listings could be considered non-compliant or incomplete from this perspective. This raises several important concerns.

More than ever, people are using GPS systems to locate places. (A long term project for the website may one day include adding a locator option with mapping options.) When we invite people to our Grange, we should be making it easy to find. (I could tell an embarrassing story on myself back in my early Grange member days. I actually drove to Lincoln Maine looking for a Lincoln Pomona Meeting!)

Perhaps even more important than visits, this is a potential safety concern. There are documented instances of emergency services not arriving in a timely fashion due to the lack of an adequate EMS address. If you have an emergency at your Grange Hall, calling 911 and saying “We’re next door to where the school house used to be…” is not likely going to be very effective. Many times the 911 dispatcher is located miles away and unfamiliar with the area where the emergency is taking place. Cell phones will often report the location automatically, but it just makes sense to take this precaution.

Usually all that’s required to get a street address is a visit to the town/municipal office.  Once you have it, another important step would be to display the street number prominently on the building or a post where it is visible from the street.

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.

Oct 092016
 

By Amanda Brozana, National Grange Lecturer

For those who know me, you know I love to multitask. Watching TV and writing an article; making dinner and solving a Grange problem by phone; and even checking my email while driving. Yes, I admit it. I’ve often been a distracted driver, bragging about being newly behind the wheel at 16, on the cell phone doing an interview and taking notes while cruising down the small highway in my county back home. But after too many close calls and even more virtual introductions to those who have been significantly negatively impacted by the actions of drivers just like me, I know I have to say “it can wait” the next time my phone chimes while I’m driving.

This month, I am proud to provide to you the materials for a lecturer’s program –  in the fashion of the Lecturer’s Programs in a Box  – that can help you reach out to your members and community about the issue of distracted driving, defined as “the practice of driving a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity, typically one that involves the use of a cellular phone or other electronic device.” Included is a short presentation by AT&T, a significant partner of the National Grange for more than a decade, who has launched the “it can wait” initiative to raise awareness about distracted driving and implore people to drive safely. As part of the campaign, they have asked individuals to promise to “keep your eyes on the road, not your phone,” something 10,000,000 people have pledged so far.  We hope members across the country will add to that growing number of people who realize the responsibility of driving and risks of distracted driving.

In addition to the presentation, there are two handouts you may print to provide to your members and community and additional resources in many different formats. I highly recommend the simulation.  Feel free to print this list and provide to your members so they may ask their children and grandchildren to go through the distracted driving simulation and take the pledge.

It Can Wait Fact Sheet
It Can Wait Presentation
It Can Wait Flyer
It Can Wait Documentary
It Can Wait Commercial
Take the Pledge
It Can Wait 360 Degree Simulation
More Information

MSG Webmaster’s Note: I’ve added a permanent link to National Grange Lecturer’s Resources on the Program Books and Information Page

Sep 012016
 

road-sign-464653_640Thanks to MSG Legislative Director Jim Annis for sharing this press release from the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Note that area code 207 seems to be the target of this scam.

(AUGUSTA) The Maine Attorney General’s Office has noticed a recent increase in the number of Mainers calling to report they are the target of phone scams in which someone pretends to be calling to collect a debt owed to the Internal Revenue Service. Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills is reminding people to be aware that these are scams and no one should give people credit card information or wire money. 250 people called the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division about these scams in August.

“The IRS scam and others like it are consistently the top complaint we receive,” said Attorney General Mills. “However, we have noticed a recent spike in the number of people calling our office to alert us and to complain specifically about IRS scams. These are often randomly dialed calls, but for some reason the 207 area code seems to be their target in recent days. People should not engage the callers and hang up the phone. Do not give them personal information and do not wire them money.”

Here’s how they work: Scammers posing as IRS officials call and say you owe taxes. They threaten to arrest you, or deport you, or revoke your license, or even shut down your business if you don’t pay right away. They may know your Social Security number – or at least the last four digits of it – making you think it really is the IRS calling. They also can rig caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from Washington, DC.

You are then instructed to put the money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the number – something no government agency would ask you to do. Once you do it, they may call you back and demand more payments until you find out it was a scam, and then your money is gone.

“No governmental agency or legitimate business will call you up and demand an immediate payment by credit card or by a pre-paid debit card you find in a convenience store,” said Attorney General Janet T. Mills. “If you receive one of these calls, do not answer any of their questions. Hang up the phone immediately.”

If you owe – or think you owe – federal taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 or go to irs.gov. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. The IRS doesn’t ask people to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, and doesn’t ask for credit card numbers over the phone. When the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they usually do it by mail, not by phone.

One Maine resident recorded his interaction with a scammer claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service and posted it to YouTube. The call illustrates several tactics used by phone scammers. They claimed to be from an entity that the target is familiar with and who he has the potential to owe money to – we all have to deal with the IRS at some point. When challenged about his authenticity, the scammer tried to reassure the target by giving a badge number in order to sound official. And finally, the payment could only be made by “Green Dot Money Pak,” available at places like WalMart or drug store chains, and not by other means. The scammers are also not easily dissuaded; different people called repeatedly making the same claims in order to make him think they were legitimate.

Report IRS imposter scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or at 800-366-4484, and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

If you have questions about these or other consumer matters, please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office at 1(800) 436-2131 or consumerdotmediationatmainedotgov  (consumerdotmediationatmainedotgov)   .

Jun 252016
 

PEST ALERT from the Maine Department of Agriculture

I had a BROWNTAIL caterpillar infestation and now I have cocoons!

What to do: Use caution – cocoons are full of the hairs THAT CAN CAUSE A RASH. Remember that these hairs will persist until next year or longer.

If you want to remove the cocoons (different from the overwintering webs):

  • Wear protective clothing
  • Wet down cocoons before removing them

Pressure wash or scrape cocoons off structures or clip out of favorite plants:

  • Put a drop cloth under area to collect themBrown Tail Moth Caterpillars
  • Let soak overnight in soapy water and compost or dispose in trash

Browntail caterpillars wander and form their cocoons anywhere in the area. Favorite places are:

  • Under the eaves on a building, on the underside of anything
  • In the leaves of any plant

 

Additional photos and complete information  available here!

 

 

Apr 042016
 

Corliss

By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

Community Service Corner

Community Service can be compared to the parable of the mustard seed.  It can be the tiniest seed in the garden but once cared for, loved and grown it can turn into the biggest plant in the garden.  Your Grange should be the farmers and your community the garden in which to plant your seed.  The more seeds you plant out there the more plants will grow.  Take your time and choose carefully where the ground is good and plant that seed and watch your community service grow.  Remember all aspects of growing your community service are important from soil, seed, water, sunshine & fertilizer.  We need to all band together to help the seeds grow.

FRIENDLY REMINDER:  COMMUNITY SERVICE BOOKS & ACTIVITY SHEETS ARE DUE AUGUST 15.

Family, Health & Hearing

June has many awareness items, just to name a few it is National Dairy Month, National Safety Month & Adopt – A – Cat Month.  Combine with community service and start helping to plant that seed, invite in a Dairy Farmer to discuss Dairy Awareness, talk to someone from Maine DOT to speak on traffic safety, invite the local animal shelter in with some of the strays they have available for adoption to show the community what is available and what the shelter might need for supplies to help them run.  Remember this is helping to plant the seed and get it to grow.  Work Together, but always remember to have fun.

FRIENDLY REMINDER:  FAMILY, HEALTH & HEARING CONTEST IS STILL RUNNING THEIR CONTEST, PLEASE CHECK COMMUNITY SERVICE PACKETS FOR INFORMATION AND MAKE SURE TO SUBMIT BY AUGUST 15 FOR A CHANCE AT YOUR GRANGE TO WIN $50.00.

Maine State Grange Community Service making a difference “ONE” project at a time!

Mar 062016
 

Here’s a short video produced by the IRS explaining some of the tricks scammers are using and how not to become a victim.


Subscribers to the website may need to visit the site to watch the video. 

In an effort to increase the value of our website to members, the communications department will occasionally post information of general interest or concern. If you have suggestions or questions, please let us know  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  . Information should have wide appeal and come from a credible source. Note that some of these posts can be shared at meetings with members by Committee Chairs.