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Bristol Area Lions Distribute Christmas Food Baskets 12/21/2019

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Bristol Area Lions with family and friends prepare to distribute Christmas food baskets. From left: Noah Dawson, Chris Leeman, Norma Leeman, Bill Byrnes, David Kolodin, Bobby Ives, David Ray, Stan Galvin, Walt Johansson, Michael Hope and Craig Leeman. Not shown are Coleen and Tim Leeman.

On Saturday morning Dec. 21, the Bristol Area Lions Club, with family and friends, distributed 43 Christmas food baskets to Bristol and South Bristol homes. Thanks, to the efforts of Bristol Lions Club project manager Michael Hope and Paul Yates of C. E. Reilly & Son Inc. in New Harbor.

Participating in the deliveries were Bristol Lions Bill Byrnes, Brendan Donegan, Michael Hope, Bobby Ives, Walt Johansson, David Kolodin, Chris Leeman and David Ray. The Lions were joined by Noah Dawson, Stan Galvin, Coleen Leeman, Craig Leeman, Norma Leeman and Tim Leeman.

The Lions thank Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta for its donation of canned green beans and containers of gravy. After scholarships, this is the club’s largest donation to the community. The Bristol Area Lions look forward every year to this heartfelt event and wished everyone a merry Christmas.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will be Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. at Deb’s Bristol Diner, 1267 Bristol Road, Bristol Mills. Dinner will be chicken pot pie, salad, and rolls followed by coffee and brownies. 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 donate to New Harbor Food Pantry 12/11/2019

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Bristol Area Lions Foundation Treasurer Michael Hope presents the annual donation to Pastor Kelly Harvell of the New Harbor Methodist Church, home of the New Harbor Food Panty. In November, the New Harbor Food Pantry gave out large Thanksgiving boxes to over 40 families in Bristol and South Bristol. Generous donations for them were apples from Biscay Orchard and turkeys from C.E. Reilly & Son. (Photo courtesy of Marissa Nash)


Bristol Area Lions donate $500 to Bristol Area Library 12/11/2019

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Bristol Area Library Board member Kathleen Riess (left) accepts Bristol Area Lions Foundation’s annual $500 donation from another board member, Lion Mary Jane Smith.

The Bristol Area Lions have been long time supporters of the Bristol Area Library and have recognized the services they provide to the community. Lion Mary Jane Smith donated the building that currently houses the “Book Ends” the library’s used book shop which is manned by a cadre of volunteers.

The library is a site where used eyeglasses, hearing aids, and cellphones may be left to help the Lions’ sight and hearing programs.

The Bristol Area Lions will distribute Christmas food baskets on Saturday morning, Dec. 21 in Bristol and South Bristol.

Bristol Area Lions donate $500 to Community Energy Fund 11/29/2019

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Bristol Area Lions Foundation President Brendan Donegan (left) presents a check to Community Energy Fund President Todd Maurer in front of the 1812 Farm.

On Friday’ Nov. 22, the Bristol Area Lions Foundation made its annual $500 donation to the Community Energy Fund of Lincoln County.

The Community Energy Fund partners with the 18 towns of Lincoln County to identify those families in need, especially those who do not necessarily qualify for state or federal heating assistance programs. The Community Energy Fund then contacts their local energy supplier to schedule and pay for a delivery. This may be oil, kerosene, electricity, propane or wood.

The fund aided 281 families with $130,338 in heating costs in the last fiscal year, 2017-2018. All the administrative costs are covered by volunteers and businesses donating advertising, printing, and other services.

Last year the Community Energy Fund received a $50,000 gift from the Reny Charitable Foundation, which will enable the fund to expand its work to the repair and replacement of home heating systems.

To help keep one’s neighbors warm, donations can be mailed to the Community Energy Fund of Lincoln County, P.O. Box 40, Bristol, ME 04539.

The Bristol Area Lions will distribute Christmas food baskets on Saturday morning, Dec. 21 in Bristol and South Bristol.

Bristol Area Lions donate $500 to Caring for Kids 11/20/2019

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Bristol Area Lion Bill Crider presents the Bristol Area Lions Foundation donation to Caring for Kids President and Executive Director Jenny Pendleton.

Bristol Area Lions donate
$500 to Caring for Kids

The Bristol Area Lions Club recently donated $500 to the Caring for Kids Christmas project. Each year, the project has provided Bristol and South Bristol children with full sets of winter gear, complete outfits, books, toys and much more. The project also provides older teens and preteens with personal hygiene bags and the aforementioned items, as well as gift cards to local stores so they can purchase items in their style and size.

Over the past 26 years, the project has helped hundreds of local children and families with holiday needs. This has only been possible because of the wonderful supporters that believe in helping the community.

Groups, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to adopt a child or a whole family to shop for. Caring for Kids keeps everything confidential; names are never given out. Each family is assigned a number. Donors receive information on each child, such as age, size, and any particular gift requests. Only this information is given to volunteers. Those who know of any child or family that could use services from Caring for Kids should please call 677-3300. All calls are kept confidential.

Anything one can contribute, financially or materially, would be greatly appreciated and help ensure all children in Bristol and South Bristol have a happy holiday. Checks may be payable to Caring for Kids, P.O. Box 412, New Harbor, ME 04554, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit.

To assist not only the Christmas project, but also the Caring for Kids weekend backpack healthy snacks program, donations of clean used clothing in good condition may be dropped off Monday or Saturday at the Once Again Shop, located downstairs in the Congregational Church of Bristol’s fellowship hall.

Bristol Area Lions donate $2,000 to CHIP 11/14/2019

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Bristol Area Lions Foundation Treasurer Michael Hope presents a $2,000 donation to CHIP, Inc. Treasurer Susan Glueck. (Photo courtesy Susan Wilson)

The Bristol Area Lions Foundation made its annual donation to CHIP Inc. (Community Housing Improvement Project) in support of its home repair program.
During the past year, CHIP repaired 64 homes in 10 Lincoln County communities at an average cost of $1,322 per household. Neighbors helping neighbors included hundreds of hours of both professional and volunteer time. Funds spent for home repairs included $55,925 for materials and $28,315 for local contractors.
CHIP also assisted 283 families with $86,500 of fuel assistance at an average cost of $329 per household and made 23 firewood deliveries to 15 households.
The Bristol Area Lions encourages others in Lincoln County to donate to CHIP Inc., P.O. Box 6, Newcastle, ME 04553

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.


Bristol Lions Eyeglass & Cell Phone Collection 11/04/2019

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Bristol Area Lions Club Eyeglass Chairman Buck Smith presents 133 pairs of eyeglasses and 31 cellphones to 1st Vice District Governor T. Bunny Parks. The Bristol Area Lions Club collects used eyeglasses, cellphones and hearing aids at boxes at the Bristol Area Library and the Bristol/South Bristol Transfer Facility.

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 donate $500 to ElderCare Network 10/22/2019

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Executive Director of ElderCare Network, Kathe Cheska accepts a donation from Bristol Area Lions Foundation Treasurer, Michael Hope.

The ElderCare Network (ECN) was founded in 1966 by a small group of people who wanted to improve the lives of older Lincoln county residents, whatever their income, who are unable to live at home, but who do not need nursing home level of care.

ECN provides home-like assisted living for 60 older adults in seven communities in Lincoln County. ECN’s small homes provide care and assistance as needed, private rooms, family-style dining and relaxing, opportunities for activity and engagement, focusing on health and wellness, and a strong connection with people and community that residents call home.

The Lions encourage others to support this 501 (c) (3) organization. To donate, make out a check payable to ElderCare Network and mail it to P.O. Box 652, Damariscotta, ME 04543.

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