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Bristol Area Lions hear from Bristol Town Administrator 11/06/2019

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Bristol Town Administrator Chris Hall (left) is thanked by Bristol Area Lion Bobby Ives for his presentation.

On Monday Nov. 4, Bristol Town Administrator Chris Hall was introduced by Bristol Area Lion Bobby Ives. Hall is on his fourth career as Town Administrator of Bristol.

Born in England, he first came to Maine as a high school exchange student in Augusta, through the Episcopal Church. He loved Maine enough that he came back after college – he had earned a “first” in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, where his classmates included three Prime Ministers: Theresa May of Britain, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, and his house-mate Malcolm Turnbull of Australia. Hall followed this with a doctorate in the history of arms control.
Hall’s first post-Oxford career was in business, in the mining and steel industries. For 15 years, he was a weekly-commuter from Maine to jobs in Pittsburgh, Houston, and New York City. In 1990, he bought the old General Varney house at the end of Redonnett Mill Road in Bristol Mills, moving from Alna to Bristol. In 1995, the steel processing company was sold, and he took the opportunity to live full-time in Maine.

Hall plunged into public policy, using his economics education and business experience to consult on infrastructure and economic development to the Maine Department of Transportation, municipalities, trucking companies and railroads.
His passion for public policy led him inevitably into a second career in politics. He was elected chairman of the state Democratic party in 1998, and in 2000 to the Legislature, representing Bristol in the House and then the Senate.

Losing an election in 2004, he started on his third career – returning to the academic world. He worked overseas for 12 years, first as President of the American University in Kosovo and later at the International Horizons College in Dubai. In 2016, he came home from Dubai and was considering going to the American University in Afghanistan, when the Bristol Town Administrator came open. His partner Abby persuaded him to apply, saying “honey, I’ll go anywhere is the world with you, unless its name ends in “-stan.”

So here he is, on his fourth career: only the second Town Administrator in Bristol’s history.

As Town Administrator he oversees the various Town functions and departments, but most incumbents know their job well. His primary job is managing to stay within the town budget.

The major project that was just completed was the replacement of the Upper Round Pond bridge. The next projects will be repair of the Bristol Mills Dam and building a new fish ladder, a new Pemaquid Beach Pavilion, and completion of the girls softball field.

In looking at future needs, a priority is the need for better broadband coverage for our seasonal and year-round residents who could then telecommute. A committee is being formed to research and see what options are available.

The need for more affordable housing perhaps on smaller one acre lots in a village setting with shared water and sewage. As we age we need more public transportation, Hall envisioned a bus running up Bristol Road to connect to the Newcastle train station with service to Portland and Boston.

The need to preserve what we love about Bristol and maintaining historic buildings and sites.

The Bristol Area Lions Club only meets nine times a year. The next meeting of the club will be on Monday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. at Deb’s Bristol Diner. The speaker to be announced later. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

 

Senator’s Liberty Day Presentation Educates, Entertains BCS Students 10/29/2019

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Adults in back row from right to left: Dave Kolodin, Chair of School Committee and member Bristol Area Lions; Marilee Harris, 5th grade teacher; and Maine Senator Dana Dow. These 5th grade students enjoyed a presentation by Dow explaining our country’s Constitution and how the various branches of government work, both for the nation and for our state of Maine. (Candy Congdon photo.)

Bristol Consolidated School fifth graders were inquisitive and attentive during state Sen. Dana Dow’s presentation about the U.S. Constitution on Thursday, Oct. 24.

The Bristol Area Lions Club sponsored the Liberty Day event and gave pocket-size booklets containing the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to each fifth grader.

Dow, a native Mainer, presented an in-depth civics lesson in a folksy, down-home style that captured the students’ interest and attention throughout the hour. He outlined and explained the various parts of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments. He said the Constitution was set up to protect the rights of the minority.

One student asked, “Do you have to rewrite the constitution to change it?”

“No,” Dow said. “You just have to write a new amendment.”

He used Prohibition as an example. The 18th Amendment prohibited “intoxicating liquors” in 1919, but the 21st Amendment reversed the repeal.

He gave women’s suffrage as another example. The Constitution originally allowed only men to vote. Women obtained the right to vote with the 19th Amendment, in 1920.

“As society progresses, and as we become more educated, things change – people’s attitudes change,” Dow said. “So, there was a section in here to allow women to vote, to make sure they had equal rights also. I firmly believe in total and pure equality.”

Dow said there is nothing in the Constitution about the right to vote. He said voting is such a basic right the founders didn’t need to put it in there.

Dave Kolodin, Bristol Area Lion and chair of the Bristol School Committee, participated in the event and managed the lengthy question-and-answer portion of Dow’s presentation. Every student in the class was able to participate, asking Dow questions they had prepared ahead of time.

Questions from students included, “What is the most serious thing that you do?”

“The most serious thing that I do is voting on bill after bill after bill … also, every two years we do the two-year budget,” Dow said.

Another question was, “Do you have to live in a special place?”

“I have to live in the county that I represent. I have 21 towns. I can live in any one of them,” Dow said.

Another student asked, “How do you get all of your work done?”

The senator replied, “I don’t! We can’t get it all done because there are so many people that want to talk to me.” He said he gets so many emails that his staff has to go through them.

Dow said that as a senator, he has to consider statewide issues and have a statewide outlook. Senators need to know residents’ values and the crises they have faced.

Dow spoke about the exodus of young families from the state in search of better jobs. He said grandparents miss their grandchildren and their kids. Since 1970, he said, the state has lost 29% of its student population.

Asked if they come back to Maine, Dow said they come back to retire. Many retire to Lincoln County, the oldest county in the state.

Dow reminded the children in the class, who are 10 and 11, that they would be able to vote when they turned 18. They can vote in a state primary at age 17 if they will turn 18 before Election Day. Dow said that’s one area where the state constitution differs from the U.S. constitution.

Dow urged students to take advantage of their right to vote.

“On voting day, everybody gets one vote. On voting day, everybody’s equal,” he said. “It’s your duty to vote … voting day is the purest day of equality that exists.”

Dow was asked, “What do you do, mostly, as a senator?”

“Right now I’m the Republican Senate leader,” Dow said.

He told the students that, because the governor is a Democrat and the Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature, he is “literally the top elected Republican official in the state of Maine.”

“I have a special office and I’m always meeting with groups of people that want to get things done. I talk with lobbyists, citizens, town managers or mayors. We have a lot to do to decide which bills we’re going to hear. I’m busier than I ever was as a regular senator,” he said.

The students asked Dow about the most important parts of his job. He said the most important part of his job is deciding how to spend money.

He again referred to the departure of young people – “We call it the brain drain” – and businesses from the state. Other states have more business-friendly regulatory and tax structures, he said.

He gave an example from his own business, Dow Furniture, in Waldoboro.

“I bought a building across the street from my furniture store. It was a factory … 25 people. It closed. It was bought out and moved to Florida,” Dow said, referring to the 2014 sale and relocation of The Science Source.

“Why didn’t the Florida company come to Maine? That’s what I want to know. Why didn’t they buy it and move everything to Maine?” Dow said. “So that’s why I’m trying to overcome, all these obstacles. That’s what I consider my most important function up there.”

Another student asked about the phrase “We the people” in the preamble of the Constitution. “Why do we say ‘We the people?’” the student said.

Dow said it is because the people vote and decide the direction of the country.

“We moved to this country in between the 1400s and the 1600s because (where we came from) wasn’t ‘We the people,’” Dow said. “Government was being decided not by the body that was elected but by kings and others … more of a dictatorship type of thing.”

Another student’s question was, “What do you do for work?”

Dow said he works at the State House, then works at his store. He said Maine senators and representatives are not full-time legislators. They get paid very little, but do the work to serve the public.

“I’ve done it for nine years. At 10 years, I’ll have to decide if I’m going to run again,” Dow said.

He said he enjoys “serving the people of Lincoln County” and “being a senator, because I have my vision of what we need to do in the state of Maine to improve people’s lives, make sure there are jobs, and that you can get better wages.”

Another student asked, “Do you have help being a senator?”

“I have a senate aide,” Dow said. “We don’t all have one, but because I’m the Senate leader, I get to choose the people that work for us. I pick what’s called a chief of staff. This time I picked a lady who has worked for the House or the Senate for 44 years.”

Dow’s Liberty Day presentation, both serious and lighthearted, kept the fifth graders thoroughly absorbed.

Bristol Area Lions hear from Bristol Consolidated School Principal 10/18/2019

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Bristol Area Lion David Kolodin thanks Bristol Consolidated School Principal Jennifer Ribeiro for her talk and presents her with a donation for the completion of the girls softball field.

Bristol Consolidated School Principal Jennifer Ribeiro addressed the Bristol Area Lions Club on Monday, Sept. 16. Ribeiro has been the school principal for 12 years and outlined her duties and responsibilities. She reports to A.O.S. 93 Superintendent Craig Jorgensen who is responsible for Bristol, South Bristol, Great Salt Bay, Nobleboro, and Jefferson schools.

Ribeiro is responsible for the school complying with government regulations, hiring and managing staff and their development, as well as coordinating curriculum. In cases of teacher, student, parent disagreements she is the arbitrator.

Bristol is the only A.O.S. 93 school with a Pre-K program which is open only to Bristol residents. Overall school population has increased from 190 last year to 197 as Bristol becomes recognized as a desirable place to live and raise a family.

Regarding the cost of the Girls Softball field, since the school parking lot project ended up costing less than anticipated, there was a surplus in the capital reserve fund that was used for the initial clearing of the site. Otherwise no tax payer funds have been expended for the construction of the girls softball field with the bulk of the cost covered by grants, and major gifts from individuals in the community. The field is expected to be completed in 2020 with the first game in 2021. It will also be utilized by the Little League.

In an earlier e-mail request, the club voted unanimously to donate $500 to the completion of the field. If you wish to contribute, checks should be made payable to the Bristol School Boosters mailed to the Bristol Consolidated School, 2153 Bristol Road, Pemaquid, ME 04558.

A moment of silence was held in memory of former member Steve Lord who for many years collected bottles and cans for the Lions at his Huddle Road redemption center to benefit the Bristol Area Lions Eye Fund.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions will be on Monday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The speaker will be the President of Inn Along the Way, Sherrie Flint. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 563-7402.

To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

Bristol Area Lions learn about Inn Along the Way 10/09/2019

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Inn Along the Way President Sherry Flint accepts a donation and thank you for her presentation from Bristol Area Lions V.P. Bobby Ives.

On Monday Oct. 7, Inn Along the Way President Sherry Flint explained the Inn Along the Way concept to the Bristol Area Lions Club. It began as a concept based upon how multi-generational farm families cared for their elderly members.
The vision for Inn Along the Way was defined in 2013, to build a vibrant, interdependent community where living and dying can be a richer, fuller, and more human experience.

In July 2014 the I.R.S. granted the Inn Along the Way a 501 (c) (3) status and on December 2014 the group signed a contract to purchase the Chapman Farm at 741 Main Street in Damariscotta, just before it ends at Route 1. Unfortunately, the group had no money and mutually agreed to raise the funds in a year and allow the family to clear out the farm which had been in the family for nine generations. The funds were raised in 2015 and the transaction completed on Jan. 1, 2016. The organization has no mortgage.

The farm consists of 31 acres of rolling fields and a pond, with a white farm house and huge red barn with a milking shed. The first phase was to build two fully accessible guestrooms on the first floor, each with its own private bath. These will be available to paying guests as well as to those seeking respite. In addition, there will be three more guestrooms upstairs, and a café with a commercial kitchen for preparing meals. Renovations have been completed including electrical and plumbing, and currently sprinklers are being installed.

Eventually, further additions and renovations will result in eight guest rooms and one managers apartment. Four of the guest rooms will be fully accessible on the ground floor; four others will be upstairs. The barn will serve as an events and arts center and for community gathering.

Future plans call for “a pocket neighborhood” of small accessible, environmentally friendly, long-term rental homes, active cultivation of the farm fields and an onsite farm stand, and public walking paths on the 31 acres.

Inn Along the Way has well over 90 volunteers, with many partners, and donations ranging from $5 to $750,000. To donate, make out a check payable to Inn Along the Way and mail to P.O. Box 1133, Damariscotta, ME 04543.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions will be on Monday, Nov. 4 at 6p.am. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The speaker will be Town Administrator Chris Hall who will update the club on various town projects and challenges. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 563-7402.

To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

Bristol Area Lions learn about Stepping Stones Housing, Inc. 06/12/2019

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Stepping Stones Housing Executive Director Marilee Harris, is thanked by Lion John Janell for her presentation.

On Monday, April 1, Stepping Stones Housing Executive Director Marilee Harris explained their program to the Bristol Area Lions Club.

Marilee Harris was introduced as a local who grew up in Woolwich and graduated from Morse High School. She has a bachelor’s of science degree and a master’s degree from Cornell University, where she studied horticulture, floriculture and agricultural education. She returned to Maine and became the director of a after school program, focusing on “latch-key” kids. When Chop Point opened their school, she taught graded 4 thru 6.

Harris spent time traveling and teaching in Thailand and Bolivia and returned to complete a master’s degree of divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary. Today she works as a part-time Pastor of the Damariscotta Baptist Church, a part-time middle school math teacher at Bristol Consolidated School and as part-time executive director of Stepping Stones Housing. A true Mainer with three part-time jobs.

Stepping Stones Housing, Inc. is a 501 c (3) non-profit corporation that has been providing affordable transitional and permanent housing for individuals and families in Lincoln County since 2013 and helped 20 individuals this past year.

SSHI is a local, volunteer run, grassroots program dedicated to helping those who earn less than a living wage find housing as a “stepping stone” to an improved living situation. They own several properties in Bremen and Damariscotta.

SSHI provides housing for individuals who were previously homeless and works in conjunction with Telford Housing who provides a case manager at the Ecumenical Food Pantry each week, SSHI also works with New Hope for Women and has offered several women a “safe” place to live. SSHI charges less than 30% of their take home income.

SSHI works hard to tackle the growing problem of homelessness in Maine. Over 48,000 people in Maine live below the poverty line, and about 50% of those are children who go to bed hungry. The State of Maine ranks 9th in least affordable housing available. One in nine people in Lincoln County live below the poverty line and can’t afford available rental housing. Damariscotta rentals are $800 to $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom unit and even at 40% of their income are unaffordable by single parents.

SSHI current project is to develop their Biscay Road property to assist more individuals. They are currently using a $10,000 grant to connect to town sewer and digging a second well. The property consists of a commercial unit currently rented to Custom Fitness Personal Training, a separate house and a six-bay garage. After construction these buildings will increase the family units from 2 to 8. This site is within walking distance to prospective employers.

Bristol Area Lion Chris Leeman and his wife Heather have been assisting with fund-raising and repairs to existing housing units. If you would like to help support this program, one can send a check to: Stepping Stones Housing Inc., P.O. Box 21, Damariscotta, ME 04543.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club is on Monday, May 6 at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. This will be the annual business meeting to nominate officers and directors for the coming fiscal year and plan the club’s summer fund-raising events and annual activities. The meal will be bowls of beef stew, salad, and biscuits followed by carrot cake and coffee catered by Deb’s Bristol Diner. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 53-7402.

To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

Bristol Area Lions learn about Healthy Lincoln County 06/05/2019

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Bristol Area Lion John Janell thanks Healthy Lincoln County Project Manager Jess Breithaupt for her presentation on preventing drug abuse.

Jess Breithaupt, the project coordinator for Healthy Lincoln County, spoke to the Bristol Area Lions on Monday, June 3. She spoke on preventing drug abuse, addressing alcohol, marijuana, vaping, smoking, and prescription drug misuse.

In Lincoln County two out of five students feel they don’t matter in the community. Two big focuses are food insecurity and feeling despair. Healthy Lincoln County Gleaners made up of ten volunteers go to local farms and harvest unpicked or imperfect produce as well as home gardens. Last year they collected 5,895 pounds of produce and redistributed it back into the community at various convenient locations for anyone to take and use at no charge.

Maine is the most food insecure state in New England and the 9th in the nation. 1 in 5 children in Maine are hungry. There is a connection between food insecurity and drug abuse. At Lincoln Academy one in four students felt depressed. Families have lost togetherness by not sharing a meal. Two out of five don’t eat meals with their families and share their day.

The agency strives to prevent and reduce substance abuse in our youth by promoting health and resilience. They focus on root causes of this issue as they discovered that scare tactics are not effective. Healthy Lincoln County works with our towns to make policies that protect our kids from underage drinking, or collaborating with the schools, farms, and libraries to bring fresh produce to the people that need it. They bring members of our community together to share ideas and resources to have the greatest collective impact. They promote leaving technological devices and taking a walk on many of our community and conservation trust trails and breathe in clean air.

They are funded by a combination of state, federal, local grants, and donations. The Bristol Area Lions encourages others to donate to this 501 (c) (3) nonprofit by sending a check to Healthy Lincoln County, P.O. Box 1287, Damariscotta, ME 04543.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 17 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. This will be the club’s annual meeting and the five scholarship winners and a parent will be guests, along with spouses and friends.

Dinner will be roast pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, applesauce, and salad, followed by strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream and coffee. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 53-7402. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584, or like the club on Facebook.

Bristol Area Lions host the Annual Speak Out contest 03/13/2019

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Bristol Area Lions Club Speak Out contestants: (from left) Grace Canny, Gus Hunt, Liam Cullina, Paige Camp, Scott Peterson and Riley Stevenson with Lion David Kolodin the coordinator of the event.

The Bristol Area Lions Club held its annual Speak Out contest on Monday, March 11 in the fellowship hall of the New Harbor Methodist Church.  Veggie lasagna, tossed salad and garlic bread followed by cookies and dessert was served by caterer Deb Thibault of Deb’s Bristol Diner. The speakers, parents and guests were sponsored by club members. 

After dinner, the six Lincoln Academy participating in the contest were introduced only by a previously drawn number by Lion David Koldodin, who had coordinated the event with Lincoln Academy debate advisor Matt Leland.  

The contestants chose their own topic and spoke on an issue they felt strongly about in a talk ranging from 4-6 minutes long, with penalties for going over or under the allotted time. These speeches must be organized, logical and presented with few or no notes. At the conclusion of each speech, the speakers were each asked two questions worded in such a way that required some reasoning or application of knowledge of the subject by Lion David Ray and guest Richard LaSalle. 

First prize was awarded to Liam Cullina, a senior, whose topic was “ocean acidification.” Second prize was awarded to Scott Peterson, a sophomore, whose topic was “the economic expansion of China.” Third place was awarded to Page Camp, a senior, who advocated for “mental health awareness.” Gus Hunt, a senior, spoke on “the modern Chinese economy.” Riley Stevenson, a sophomore, addressed “climate change in Muscongus Bay” and for Grace Canny, a junior, the topic was ”gun reform and control.”  

The performance of the speakers in several different categories was judged by Lions Bill Byrnes, Brendan Donegan, and Pastor Kelly Harvell of the New Harbor Church.   The Speak Out timekeeper was Lion Walt Johansson.  Liam Cullina will now compete at the regional Speak Out contest on Tuesday, March 26 at the library at Lincoln Academy. The winner of that event will compete at the state Speak Out contest on Saturday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the Grand Summit Hotel, Sugarloaf Mountain, Carrabassett Valley. 

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will be on Monday, April 1 and will take place at Deb’s Bristol Diner in Bristol Mills.  The meal will be fish & chips, coleslaw, followed by cookies and coffee. The speaker will be Marilee Harris, executive director of Stepping Stones Housing.  To make dinner reservations, call John Janell at 563-7402.

To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

   

Bristol Area Lions Learn About Treating Malaria in Sumbawa 11/08/2017

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Bristol Area Lion David Kolodin (left) thanks Health Access Sumbawa, Inc. President Jack Kennedy for reviewing his involvement with treating malaria.

On Monday, Nov.6, the Bristol Area Lions heard from local realtor Jack Kennedy on his involvement with malaria and a small island in Indonesia. Kennedy was on vacation in Bali, Indonesia when he joined a friend for an adventure, traveling for an hour in a small open boat to Sumbawa Island.

There they found remote coastal villages in a roadless region living self-sufficient lives with no running water, no toilets, no shops and no regular access to health services. Malnutrition is a problem during the long dry season, and many suffer repeated bouts of malaria during the rainy season. About 20% die by the age of 12 or are severely disabled.

When Kennedy returned to Bali he flew home and within 10 days he had chills and a temperature of 103 degrees. Within an hour after hearing where he had been, Lincoln Health – Miles had it diagnosed and it wasn’t the recurring type of malaria and with proper medication is cured.

Kennedy realized that the people of Sumbawa were not as fortunate, so with the help of two friends, with limited resources and no medical training, set out to eliminate malaria from this isolated area. Health Access Sumbawa (HAS)was born.
After two years taking a census, numbering the homes with pieces of aluminum, black paint and a stencil from Supplies Unlimited, purchasing and installing chemically-treated bednets, building a clinic, and sending staff for medical training provided by the government to become World Health Organization certified, they began treating malaria on Sumbawa.

The specialists systematically screen the population of three villages by examining blood under a new microscope. All positive cases are treated with drugs supplied by The Global Fund. After three years, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, HAS celebrated controlling malaria for 1,000 people in the three small villages on Sumbawa.

Other community projects sponsored by HAS include clean drinking water, village sanitation, building public toilets, community gardens to reduce hunger during the dry season, and a program to collect plastic waste by children in exchange for school books.

To assist HAS in scaling up their success to serve more people in adjacent villages, donations may be made to the 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation: Health Access Sumbawa, Inc., c/o Jack Kennedy, President, 392 Nobleboro, ME 04555.

The next Lions club meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The guest speaker will be Christopher Maloney with a PowerPoint presentation on producing energy from algae.

To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call Herb Watson at 677-6191. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

Bristol Lions hear from WCSH-6 & WLBZ-2 News Reporter Don Carrigan 10/18/2017

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Bristol Area Lion John Janell (left) thanks Midcoast bureau news reporter Don Carrigan for discussing “Goings on at the State House.”

On Monday, Oct. 16, WCSH 6 & WLBZ 2 Midcoast bureau news reporter Don Carrigan discussed “Goings on at the State House” a topic chosen by the Bristol Area Lions. In addition to Midcoast news, Carrigan covers political campaigns and other issues.

In 1991, Carrigan joined the staff of U.S. Senator Bill Cohen, working on a variety of issues affecting Maine. In 1994, he returned to broadcasting, becoming Executive Producer of Public Affairs for Maine Public Television.

Carrigan anchored the weekly MaineWatch and monthly Capitol Connections programs and moderated dozens of political debates, as well as producing a number of documentaries and other specials.

Carrigan talked about Maine’s problem with an aging population and that Lincoln County is setting the pace with the oldest population. As employees retire from the workforce there is a lack of qualified replacements. When looking for work, the younger generation are attracted to an urban setting. Maine only has two such places, Portland and Bangor, which are thriving. That is not the case in the Damariscotta region or other places in Maine.

Carrigan cited Masters Machine in Round Pond needing help to do precision machining and Volk Packaging in Biddeford making cardboard boxes, where much simpler skills are needed. A lack of help is restricting their growth.

How do we keep young people here? What programs will the new candidates for governor offer?

Now that Susan Collins has decided not to run for Governor, there are nine Democrats running, four Republicans (including Shawn Moody), two Green Party candidates, a Libertarian and an Independent (rumored to be backed by Elliot Cutler). However not all of them will obtain the necessary financing to run in the June primary.

A discussion of rank-choice voting followed, which is the current law voted in by referendum. The majority of the Lions supported it, having heard a presentation on its merits in 2016.

Two of the ballot questions in the upcoming Nov.7 election were discussed – building a casino in York County and expanding Medicare. There appears to be a lot of advertising for the casino with little opposition. Has Bangor reaped the promised benefits from its casino? On the Medicare question, it will cover those aged 18-65 who meet a certain income requirement and opinions appear to be split along party lines.

The next club meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The guest speaker will be Jack Kennedy, a Nobleboro resident who winters in Bali who will discuss his program to eliminate malaria.

To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call Herb Watson at 677-6191. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

Bristol Area Lions Host Annual Speak Out Contest 03/13/2017

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Bristol Area Lions Speak Out contestants, from left contestants Nathan McIvor and Hannah Davis, Lion David Kolodin, club speak out coordinator, contestants Liam Cullina and Anne Jensdatter

The Bristol Area Lions held their annual Speak Out contest on March 6 at the Fellowship Hall of the New Harbor Methodist Church. The church had decorated the tables with a St. Patrick’s Day theme with green tablecloths and decorative center pieces. A delicious dinner of veggie lasagna, tossed salad and garlic bread was served by caterer, Debbie Thibault of Deb’s Bristol Diner. The speakers, parents and guests were sponsored by club members.

After dinner, the four Lincoln Academy students spoke on an issue they felt strongly about in a talk from four to six minutes long, with penalties for going over or under the allotted time. The speech must be organized, logical, and presented with few or no notes. At the conclusion of each speech, they were each asked two questions worded in such a way that required some reasoning or application of knowledge of the subject by Lions Tom Rodrigues and Brendan Donegan.

First prize was awarded to Liam Cullina, a sophomore, whose topic was “The need to get rid of the penny”. Second place was awarded to Anne Jensdatter, a sophomore from Copenhagen, Denmark, whose topic was “Pursuing the American dream.” Third place ended up being a tie between Hannah Davis and Nathan McIvor. Davis, a junior spoke on “Why we need feminism” and McIvor, a senior addressed “The decline of reading in the video era.”

The performance of the speakers in several different categories was judged by Lions Michael Hope, Bill Byrnes and Pastor Kelly Harvell of the New Harbor church, an honorary Lion for this event. The Speak Out timekeeper was Lion Walt Johansson. The winner of the contest, Liam Cullina will now compete with winners from other Lions clubs at the regional level at Lincoln Academy. The winner of that event will compete at the State Speak Out at the Black Bear Inn and Conference Center in Orono on April 30 as part of the Lions annual state convention.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions on March 20, will take place at Deb’s Diner in Bristol Mills. The meal will be corned beef & cabbage, with a salad, rolls and dessert and coffee. The speaker will be Matthew Goetting, Associate Head for External Affairs at Lincoln Academy whose topic is “Preparing students for a career in technology.

To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 563-7402. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

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