Rotary Club of Portland Maine USA


Portland Rotary
will meet
Friday, December 21, 2018
at the
Clarion Hotel
1230 Congress Street, Portland
Rotary This Week Loretta Rowe 2018-12-21 05:00:00Z 0

If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
through the end of 2018:

Dec 21 - Clarion Hotel
             Happy Holidays!

Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at:

Rotary Meeting Locations Loretta Rowe 2018-12-21 05:00:00Z 0

If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
through the end of 2018:

Dec 21 - Clarion Hotel
             Happy Holidays!

Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at:

Rotary Meeting Locations Loretta Rowe 2018-12-21 05:00:00Z 0

Invocation:  Tom Talbott
Program Reporter:  Tom Talbott
Bits & Pieces Reporter:  John Marr
Registration/Greeter:  Larry Gross
Sell Meal Tickets:  Patty Erickson
Raffle:  Bruce Jones

Collect Meal Tickets:  Stephanie Joyce
Sgt-at-Arms:  Mike Fortunato

This Week's Duty Assignments Loretta Rowe 2018-12-21 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President John Curran greeted 47 members, along with 2 visiting Rotarians and 2 guests. PP Cyrus Hagge (in photo at right) gave an invocation that included reading a charming seasonal poem about a snowball, written by Sheldon “Shel”  Silverstein, an American writer known for his cartoons, songs, and children’s books.

Ben Jackson addressed the Club about how he encourages the students at North Yarmouth Academy to learn about the Community and International Service programs supported by the Rotarians. He described how he was introduced to the International Service and good works of Rotary when he was inspired by the Evergreen Colorado Club. When he joined the Rotary Club of Portland, he took the experience of “Service Above Self” to the students at North Yarmouth Academy. One program he built upon was to encourage the student “Dress Down Day” to become a fund raising opportunity, whereby students can help the Rotary with raising money to fund charitable programs. 

(Photo at left L-R: Dick Giles and Ben Jackson)

Ben presented Portland Rotarian Dick Giles, who serves on the International Service Committee, with a $600 check from the students’ fund raising. The purpose of the donation was to help purchase school supplies for children in the Dominican Republic who are also helped by the “3H Project” (Hearing, Hands and H2O). Dick Giles accepted the donation and thanked Roger and Liz Fagan for their leadership of the Dominican International Service program. Appreciation is extended to the generosity of the North Yarmouth Academy students and to Ben for advising them about Rotary.

President John acknowledged Rotarians who have birthdays in December and the many Rotarians having anniversary dates for joining the club. Congratulations to all!

President John asked the staff personnel who serve our Club at the Clarion to join him at the podium, where he proceeded to thank them for their good food and service to our Club over the past year and gave each of them a holiday bonus showing our gratitude.
(In photo at right L-R: Jenn, our server, President John Curran and Kim, chef at the Clarion.)

Megan Peabody (in photo at left) presented a report about the benefits of the Rotary Short-Term Exchange (STEP) program. She became interested in joining Rotary because of her experience as a youth exchange student who benefited from the STEP program. Check the website to learn more about the short-term exchange. Megan would like to see the Portland Rotarians promote the program and help students to apply. Applications will be distributed to all area high schools.

1st Vice President Amy Chipman (photo at right), acting on behalf of the Nominating Committee Chair, PP Don Zillman, reported that the committee of PP Roxane Cole, PP Peter Goffin, PP Larry Gross, 2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner, Patty Erickson, Justin Lamontagne, Linda Varrell and himself have met to establish a slate of officers for the Rotary year 2019-2020 for our approval.

President: Amy Chipman
First Vice-President: Ellen Niewoehner
Second Vice-President: Bob Martin
Secretary: Bruce Moore

Treasurer: Scott Blakeslee
Directors: Gracie Johnston and Mike Fortunato

Hearing no nominations from the floor, the slate of officers will be voted on at the Friday, December 21st meeting.

Mike Reed (photo at left), Chair of the Fund Raising Committee announced that in order to offset a deficit in our operating budget, a "Sweetheart Auction" (formerly known as our re-gifting auction) is being organized to take place at a meeting in February, possibly February 8th, but sometime in that month. A wine tasting is also planned for late March or April.


PP Dick Hall is the chair of the Club’s Foundation Committee. He introduced five Rotarians who received Paul Harris Fellows and each is a participant in a “Circle of Five,” those who donate $200 a year for five years, to meet the goal of receiving their pin. George Crockett received a red stone “ruby” pin for his 6th Paul Harris; PP Russ Burleigh received 2 blue “sapphire” stones in his pin; 1st VP Amy Chipman received five blue “sapphires” in her pin, and John Houghton and Mike Fortunato each received four blue “sapphires” in their pins. A standing ovation congratulated the generous group.

(Photo at upper right: PP Dick Hall, John Houghton, Mike Fortunato, George Crockett, PP Russ Burleigh and 1st VP Amy Chipman.)

PP Loretta Rowe (photo at left) led the weekly raffle drawing and President John's name was selected by our speaker to try his hand at winning the $221 pot. With so many cards in the deck, John was able to find the 7 of Spades. Seems that Queen of Hearts is going to stay hidden for a while.

PP Bill Blount led the singing of three Christmas Carols, including “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” joined by members of the Music Committee, as a segue to the introduction of the distinguished guest speaker....John Wolcott aka Santa Claus, himself. (See separate photo in this issue.)

12/14/18 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2018-12-18 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott
Amy Schram has been with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2011 and serves as Manager of Community Relations. Her focus is to foster the business to consumer relationship and educate the public at large on Scams, Fraud, & Identity Theft issues, Cybersecurity concerns, and all BBB programs and services. She delivers close to 200 programs each year, speaking to thousands of business and community members throughout Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
*12/21/18 Amy Schram, Better Business Bureau Matt Wolcott 2018-12-18 05:00:00Z 0
12/14/18 John Wolcott, History of St Nicholas to Santa Jake Bourdeau 2018-12-18 05:00:00Z 0


Member Birthdays
  5th - Philip Rhinelander
  7th - Jake Bourdeau
          George Carr
  8th - Katie Brown
14th - Ben Delcourt
          Bob Spohr
18th - Rob Chatfield
23rd - Bruce Nelson
24th - Dick Giles
25th - Bill Reynolds
28th - Dave Seddon
29th - Cyrus Hagge

Date-Joined-Rotary Anniversaries
  1 year   - Ben Jackson
  6 years - Chris Force
  6 years - Russell Voss
  7 years - Bob Martin
12 years - Jake Bourdeau
15 years - Jack Carr (PP)
16 years - Amy Chipman
16 years - Dick Giles
16 years - Ralph Hendrix
16 years - Bruce Jones
16 years - Don Mckenzie
18 years - Erik Jorgensen
20 years - Greg Hansel
21 years - Jon Young
31 years - Earle Leavitt
34 years - Peter Noyes
37 years - Dave Small
41 years - Joe Gray
46 years - Bruce Nelson

December Celebration Dates 2018-12-14 05:00:00Z 0

As we receive applications for prospective members to join our Portland Rotary Club, the names of the applicants will be included in our Windjammer. Any information and/or comments you would like to share will be handled confidentially. Please contact Loretta Rowe: Your input will be appreciated.

PROSPECT                 BUSINESS

Mike Anderson             Malone Commercial Brokers
(Ellen Niewoehner)

Michelle DiSotto           Goodwill Northern N.E.
(Tom Ranello)

Thank you.

Prospective Rotarians Loretta Rowe 2018-12-14 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott

John Wolcott (Matt's father) is a retired Systems Engineer and president of Systemetrics, Inc., a software development firm. Since his retirement, he has been a school bus driver in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. From Thanksgiving through Christmas, however, he dons the red suit and morphs into the jolly old elf from the North Pole, with whom you may be familiar.

A 38-year veteran of Clausmanship, he will introduce us all to the original Saint Nicklaus and follow the legend that has led to our modern-day Santa.

John is also president of his Rotary Club in Greenwich, Rhode Island, its first “re-cycled” president.


*12/14/18 John Wolcott, History of St Nicklaus to Santa Matt Wolcott 2018-12-10 05:00:00Z 0
Following is a list of our Club's volunteer projects. If you know of other opportunities, please contact Loretta:
Project                  Who to Contact

Salvation Army       Monument Square
Holiday Red            11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Kettle Bell              Weekdays for the month
Ringing                   of December
                             Contact Gracie Johnston

Preble Street           4th Wednesday ea month
Resource Ctr           3:30-6:30 pm
Soup Kitchen          Contact Gracie Johnston

Game Night             3rd Tuesday ea month
Long Creek              Mike Fortunato
Youth Center 
                              or Jim Willey

Volunteer Opportunities 2018-12-07 05:00:00Z 0

At PRCC, we are thankful....

...For the Rotary Club of Portland's gift of Thanksgiving Dinner and




PRCC offers over 35 different recovery groups and activities each week. Our members hold meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART recovery, Refuge Recovery, Wellbriety, and many more. We also have groups for family members...Addict in the Family, and Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families. All groups are open and welcome new members and visitors.

That's not all...recovery is also about wellness, creativity, and celebration. Join us for yoga, the Artist's Way, Music Therapy, or Spoken Word night. Interested in Attitudinal Healing or a session of Reiki? For a full schedule, check out Facebook or our website at

PRCC Says "Thank You Portland Rotary" 2018-12-05 05:00:00Z 0

The Deering High School Choral musical family will be presenting a holiday program for us this Friday. At Deering, the young people are committed to a high-quality choral program.

The vocal ensemble performs repertoire that is both stylistically varied and of high musical quality. Students are aware that being a member of the Deering Chorus is different from being in any other class. During rehearsals, students are asked to concentrate on greater refinement of previously acquired choral skills. These skills include diction, articulation, dynamics, octavo reading and producing a beautiful tone. Emphasis on part singing and sight reading are also part of this group. A great deal of time is spent on vocal and musical techniques, as well as performance standards. 

Many of the students who become involved in the choral program remain for their entire high school careers, primarily because being in a choral group is like being part of an extended family, as there is a special bond that is created among people who make music together. 

A select group of students from DHS's chorus, under the direction of Dr. Peter Stickney, will be performing selections that celebrate the diversity of the holiday season. In between songs, we’ll provide some narrative that relates to the context of each selection. Please be sure to join us!

*12/07/18 Deering High School Chorus - Holiday Program 2018-12-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President John Curran welcomed 49 members and 4 visiting guests to our meeting and asked David Small to give the invocation on Friday. In honor of the holidays, David presented his modified version of “A Thanksgiving Prayer for a Winter Day.” Shortly thereafter, Queenie led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and we followed that by singing ‘America the Beautiful.’

Please congratulate PP Dick Hall as the next District 7780 Governor for 2021-22. With his extensive Rotary resume, we can understand why he was elected. 

Peggy “Queenie” Wescott has been voted in as the next honorary member of the Portland Rotary Club. PP Peter Goffin (at left with "Queenie") presented this achievement after discussing the many ways that Queenie has helped our club and Rotary’s endeavors through her many years of service and club membership.  

Recently Portland Rotary’s Jesse Harvey presented on a discussion panel following the public showing of “Recovery Boys” at the Portland Museum of Art. Keep up the great work, Jesse!

Dave Putnam (at right) presented on Long Creek’s game night. Rotarians baked pies and spent their monthly Tuesday evening game night with the boys in the Cedar Unit. Several Rotarians helped, including: PP Don Lowry, PP John Marr, PP Jim and Barbara Willey, Mike Fortunato, Dave Putnam, and Erik Greven. Dave Putnam observed that the kids were having a good time, and that it’s worthy time being shared with them. The group meets once a month on a Tuesday evening. If you would like to join them, contact Jim Willey ( or Mike fortunator (

Rusty Atwood, in charge of the weekly raffle, had the speaker select a ticket from the can, for a shot at a pot of over $1200. To no one’s surprise, a ticket with three initials was selected. Some of you may be thinking HHH, but it was the PTG ticket that was selected. PP Paul Gore (at left), thought for a while, channeled his luck, and ultimately picked the Queen of Hearts out of a ten card stack. Coincidentally, he noted the Queen of Hearts was picked in honor of Queenie. 

Ben Millick reported on the Club’s New Mainer Task Force, where several Rotarians are reaching out to service organizations who are helping new Mainers in their communities. The club will be hosting speakers on this topic in the coming months, and the committee is speaking to several organizations with this focus. The club is evaluating potential club partners moving forward, so if you are interested in this topic, please reach out to President John Curran, Ben Millick, or Max Chikuta

On December 5 at noon, there will be New Mainer Task Force event where you can tour Learning Works, and see how they are helping some new Mainers locally. 

Member Dave Smith has had some health issues recently, and he is asking for those Rotarians that have some cheer, to stop by and say hello. Have a speedy recovery, Dave. 

Gracie Johnston (at left) reported on the Thanksgiving activities at Saint Vincent DePaul, where over 50 volunteers helped serve at least 106 Thanksgiving meals. Gracie also called for volunteers for the Salvation Army’s lunch-time bell ringing to be held in Monument Square in the coming weeks. Good news, based upon her email this week, it looks like all the volunteer slots have been filled.    

For more than 40 years, a number of Portland Rotary's members have been involved with helping with Meals on Wheels on Christmas day. For more information, you can contact PP Larry Gross at Southern Maine Agency on Aging at

The Crutches4Africa, December 8th event is being rescheduled. Stay tuned for the new date.

11/30/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-12-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Alain Nahimana shared his personal history and the reasons he co-founded and is currently Executive Director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center (IWC).  Alain, who has been in the United States for 8 years is originally from Burundi. In his home country, he was a business owner, and currently speaks 6 languages. Like all asylum seekers, he was not permitted to work for 150 days while his application was being reviewed; he needed to survive on General Assistance of $50 biweekly for food, $25 biweekly for other expenses, and rent subsidy.

Alain's first job was as a janitor including cleaning of toilets. He then was lucky to get a front desk job at a refugee program, then on the phones for Time Warner. He left Time Warner due to the verbal abuse from clients. He moved on to a courier service, and then to Coordinator for the ME Immigrant Coalition. Alain told us this story to show how difficult it is for an immigrant, even one with a professional background and mastery of the language. 

Alain co-founded IWC to address the barriers for immigrants to overcome:  language, entrepreneurship opportunities, and personal aspirations. Because immigrants must work 2 or 3 jobs to support their families, there is no time left to attend classes and learn English. IWC has created a computer-based learning lab, to allow people to learn at their own pace during the time they have available. To address entrepreneurship, IWC is working with finance, accounting, and banking professionals to offer mentoring help; already 50-100 people have expressed an interest. To assist immigrants in defining their aspirations, IWC provides an Immigrant Business Hub, with a professional atmosphere and a suite of shared services. When an immigrant comes to that space, they can explore their dreams and not be mentally stuck in their present situation.

For more information, you can go to:

(Photo L-R: President John Curran, Alain Nahimana and PP Laura Young.)

11/30/18 Alain Nahimana, Ex Dir Immigrant Welcome Center Dick Hall 2018-12-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jesse Harvey
Jesse Harvey spoke from the podium to promote a movie about those with Substance Use Disorder called "Recovery Boys." It is being screened in Portland on Thursday, November 29th at 5:30 p.m. at the Portland Museum of Art. After the film there will be a panel discussion with Jesse being one of the panelists.
Movie: Recovery Boys Jesse Harvey 2018-11-26 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Laura Young

Originally from Burundi, Alain Nahimana is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center. Previously, he served as the Coordinator for the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC).

Alain brings his experience with community organizing and coalition building to foster collaboration, build partnernships, and advance the agenda for immigrant integration.

*11/30/18 Alain Nahimana, Ex Dir Immigrant Welcome Ctr Laura Young 2018-11-26 05:00:00Z 0
Additional photos taken at the meeting on Friday:
PP Ben Lowry (looking pretty happy).....
Gracie Johnston (looking pretty pensive).....
And one from last week's Veterans' Appreciation lunch....Auta Main, Veterans Program Mgr, Bureau of Employment Services; our own PP Bob Traill; and Debbie Kelly, Maine Director, Veterans Employment Services.
Photo Ops 2018-11-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Our meeting of November 16th fell on the day of the first snowstorm of the season, so attendance was fairly sparse at The Clarion, with 30 members attending. The Clarion put out a beautiful spread for us, much to the delight of members such as Past President Don Zillman, who seems ready to load up for his next big road race. (see photo at right).

PP Russ Burleigh presented a very thoughtful invocation, telling a story that began when he was just 9 years old. His grandmother relayed the memory of hearing the news that “the president has been shot,” referring to the assassination of President Lincoln in April of 1865. Ninety-eight years later, Russ was working in Dallas and he and some of his co-workers excitedly watched as Air Force One came in on final approach over the parking lot of The Dallas Symphony office, close enough so that they could see the rivets on the wings. Twenty minutes later, the same group of office mates joyously watched as the motorcade whizzed by, with President and Jackie Kennedy waving to the excited crowds that had lined the route heading into the city. Within a half hour, Russ and his office mates were stunned by the announcement on the radio: “The president has been shot.”  His mind raced back to his grandmother uttering those same words. This Thursday, as we enjoy cherished time with loved ones around a Thanksgiving feast, take a moment to remember where you were on November 22, 1963, when the face and hope of our nation was lost and Camelot came crumbling down.  

PP Roxane Cole led our group in the pledge and PP Laura Young guided us through our National Anthem.

President John announced that our own Bob Clark received a prestigious award at the Day One dinner last week and that the award was presented by Rotarian Ralph Hendrix.

Terri St. Angelo gave an early update on the very successful Veteran’s Luncheon on November 9th at The Holiday Inn. While the two event leaders, Paul Tully and Charlie Frair, took some much-deserved time off, Terri headed to the podium to give us a few statistics: we served 217 veterans, 31 of their family members, 71 non-Rotarians, with 14 sponsors and 336 total attendees. With 77 volunteers, this event has now become one of the most recognized and powerful veteran events in all of New England. The final tallies on fund-raising, etc. will trickle in over the next few weeks, but suffice it to say that The Portland Rotary Club should be very, very proud of this accomplishment. 

President John recognized Charlie and Paul for their fantastic leadership of the event. Also recognized were the Rotarians who started the Vets lunch 4 years ago - PP Peter Goffin and Mike Fortunato.

The District 7780 Recovery Initiative Committee on the opioid crisis is now picking up steam.  With a very well attended educational meeting in Wells last week, Jan Chapman was pleased to provide a brief background on the goals of this group, which has now attracted attention from Rotary International. Simply put, the goals are twofold:  to save lives and to reduce the stigma of SUD (substance use disorder). With roughly 50 Rotarians and concerned citizens attending the meeting at York County Community College to receive training on the use of Naloxone (or Narcan), the drug that can aid in reversing the effects of an overdose, we can feel good about the beginning steps of this most imperative initiative. And, with another 16 students (this writer included) set to graduate from our second Rotary-sponsored “Recovery Coach Academy,” we are now set to really make a difference in this ongoing crisis that has affected so many families in Maine and beyond. Please speak with Jan, Bruce Moore, Gracie Johnston, Jesse Harvey or myself if you’d like to join in this most important work. And mark your calendars for November 29th, when the movie “Recovery Boys” will be shown at 4:45 at the Portland Museum of Art. (See separate article this issue)

PP Dick Hall was proud to offer a Paul Harris Fellowship Award to PP Bowen Depke, who proudly accepted his PHF+1 pin (with a sapphire!) on behalf of his ‘Circle of Five.’  These circles, along with sustaining members who pledge $100 per year, are the lifeblood of our club’s giving to this most important arm of Rotary.  Please consider a gift or pledge as the year winds down.


Matt Tassey offered up $1267 to any Rotarian who could just get through two simple steps:  have your name pulled from the can and then merely select the Queen of Hearts from a dwindling deck of cards.  Well, Justin Lamontagne was able to get through the first of these steps but, when facing just eleven cards, we could see that his hand began to tremble and sweat quickly formed on his brow. He closed his eyes and, for a split second, he saw the unbridled joy on his children’s faces as they opened a thousand dollars in extra Christmas gifts. The image of squeals and warm hugs warmed Justin as he reached out.....but then, like the slap of the winter wind, reality hit and he held up the Three of Hearts. Justin, with a small tear running down his left cheek, went back and took his seat, satisfied with his chance at glory.

11/16/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-11-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

The irony of a cautionary message being delivered by our guest speaker Kathleen Summers-Grice, being accentuated, interrupted and eventually concluded by the Clarion alarm, couldn’t have been orchestrated any better. Lest the message was insufficiently promoted, given the interruption and storm depleted attendance. The bottom-line, simply stated, is the migration of the toxic stimulant methamphetamine is making its way south from Washington County and taking over Cumberland and York Counties. Of late, much of our attention is concentrated on containing the proliferation of heroin/opiate drugs and reducing the associated death statistics. As if the opiate tragedy is not enough of a fright, we now must be just as vigilant of the methamphetamine re-emergence. Meth addiction has shrunken from the public consciousness shadowed by the painful death count associated with tainted, high- powered heroin. It is not a stretch to say that we are fighting a two-pronged world war that demands a high intensity, well balanced attack if we have any chance of gaining some degree of control over our worldwide, powerful and well financed enemy.

Ms Grice is the principal of Eaton River Strategies, a consultant and public affairs firm, and has been contracted by the Consumer Healthcare Product Association. As the Association title suggests, they are interested in the retail distribution of common health care products, such as pseudoephedrine based cold medicines. The masses assume that the ingredients of over the counter medications are perfectly safe, if taken as instructed. However, there are certain components which can be repurposed to create distinctly different new products. The hallmark of the described re-formulation is methamphetamine, aka speed, crystal or just meth, derived from your common Sudafed cold medicine. Despite the infamy methamphetamine, it continues to be a scourge that captures too many. Given the popularity of the TV series, “Breaking Bad,” one might think that just about everyone is familiar with the power and implications of this high-powered stimulant. Nobody starts out thinking “today I want to get hooked on meth.”  However, the allure of the drug as an energy enhancer is captivating. It seems that meth has a particularly powerful, if not unique, brain influence that hastens the likelihood of addiction and makes recovery a long and painful exercise.

The rate of addiction, long ago, caught the attention of the authorities and they began to crack down by trying to dry up the primary source of home cooked meth, i.e. the pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines. The drug manufacturers did not want the dispensing of such cold medicine to require a doctor’s prescription, so they worked with the Federal authorities to find a reasonable compromise. The compromise was to require that these cold meds be kept behind the pharmacist counter and to be signed for and tracked, to prevent the practice of purchasing multiple packages of the drug to distill into meth. The purchase of multiple packages for drug making purposes is called “smurfing” and those who make the buys are called smurfs and pick up cash for making the buys. The stipends for “smurfing” are relatively small in comparison to the big bucks the providers make, but are enough to get unknowing accomplices into the procurement process. When a young person of legal age is asked if they would like to “make a few bucks” by making a simple buy of a legal medication, they think nothing of it. The kids are not the only ones duped. Our speaker told of us of a middle aged, well educated friend who was asked by her son, who was studying overseas, to bring him some of his preferred cold medicine she thought nothing of it. When she went to the local pharmacy and asked for 10 packages of the cold medicine, she was alerted by the pharmacist that she ran the risk of going on the list sent to the Feds and could be incarcerated and fined.

While much of the methamphetamine illegally distributed in the U.S. comes from organized crime outside our borders, it still is cooked locally and requires “smurfing” in order to be successful. The manufacturing techniques, sad to say, are readily available on-line. The meth labs are danger zones and prone to fire and the toxic chemicals are easily transferred and can contaminate an entire home requiring thousands of dollars in remediation to make the building habitable. The residue of a meth cook is significantly troublesome to the public safety agencies in the area. It is so bad in some areas of the state that workers are told to avoid picking up Mountain Dew bottles since it is a tool of choice of makeshift labs. The simple lesson Ms. Grice is delivering is that smurfs may be cute, but Smurfing is a criminal activity and you will be prosecuted, so don’t buy more than your immediate personal needs.



(Photo L-R: Mike Fortunato, Kathie Summers-Grice, President John Curran and Matt Wolcott.)

11/16/18 Kathie Summers-Grice, SMURFING: Substance Abuse John Marr 2018-11-19 05:00:00Z 0

District Governor John LoBosco is pleased to share with us that the Nominating Committee nominated Past President Dick Hall of The Rotary Club of Portland to be our District Governor in 2021-22. 

Dick first joined Rotary in 1984, when he followed his grandfather and father by joining The Rotary Club of Worcester, MA. Dick's father (age 96) and his uncle (age 86) are still members of that club. Dick's father served as Governor of District 7910 in 1987-88. Dick's sister and his daughter are Rotarians in our District's Westbrook-Gorham and Portland Sunrise clubs.

Keep an eye out for the District Newsletter in December, when Dick's nomination will be formally announced (as our Bylaws require) and some of Dick's extensive Rotary resume will be shared at that time.

Please join us in congratulating Dick on his nomination and thank him for his willingness to serve.

Breaking News from the District Governor 2018-11-19 05:00:00Z 0
Here are more notable photos taken at our Special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch:
Checking in so many veterans and guests.......
by the many volunteers. These two dapper gents were (L-R) Past Presidents Tom Talbott and Bill Blount........
and the Marine Honor Guard, bearing the colors.
They looked so good, we had to get their photo in twice.
MORE Photos Corner 2018-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

She arrived in a bus with a group of others from the Veterans Home in Scarborough, hunched over in her wheelchair, the clear oxygen lead clipped under her nose almost obliterated by her smile and bright eyes. Clear, bright blue eyes that drew you down to talk to her. Her handshake gripped you firmly in her soft hand. “Thank you for having us,” she said after I parked her at a table and helped her get situated. Her name was Norma Merrill, a veteran of World War II, who continued to smile as she told her story. She coded and decoded messages for the Navy in a job so secret that not only was she escorted to and from work, no one, not even her family, knew what her wartime task was until the Department of Defense finally declassified the war five years ago. “I knew the war was over when I sent out the messages about the Battle of the Bulge,” she said. Stationed in Europe, she had a special story to tell if she was captured, along with a song to sing to make the enemy think she was crazy. “They told me to sing dum diddy dum diddy dum dum,” she laughed. When I told Norma I had been drafted into the Army during Vietnam, she said, “You poor boys, sent over there to fight. Oh, I prayed for all of you.” 

The Holiday Inn By-the-Bay was filled with stories last Friday from veterans who served in every conflict since World War I, the war said to end all wars, the cessation of which, Armistice Day, formed the foundation of our current Veterans Day observance. Charlie Frair and Paul Tully led a team of Portland Rotarians who organized the largest Veterans Day luncheon ever sponsored by the club, with over 75 Rotarians who volunteered to implement the well-planned event. The Holiday Inn staff set enough tables to serve 328 guests, and extra chairs were set up for more. 


President John Curran welcomed television personality Erin Ovalle (pictured at right) to manage the ceremonies;



Denny Breau (pictured at left) provided music for the packed room;








the colors were presented by the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines (pictured at right); 






World War II Marine veteran Past President Bob Traill (pictured at left) led the Pledge of Allegiance; Kathy Grammer, assisted by trumpeter Betty Rines, directed the National Anthem; and Colonel Andrew Gibson, Senior Army Chaplain of the Maine National Guard, offered the invocation.





Gulf War vet Past President Kris Rosado saluted fallen comrades with a moving toast, while describing the special "Fallen Soldier" table (pictured at right) set up to honor those who gave their lives in battle.


Mayor Ethan Strimling (pictured at left) extended appreciation to veterans on behalf of the City of Portland and recognized several elected members of the Legislature and City Council, including our own Erik Jorgensen. Representatives of a variety of organizations who provide services and assistance to veterans were also invited to stand and be recognized, several of whom the Club has acknowledged with financial contributions.

Past President Russ Burleigh conducted the audience in the traditional rendition of the Armed Forces Medley, with veterans from each service standing as their military branch’s song was sung.

Major General John W. Libby (Ret.), Maine National Guard, thanked the Club for its “marvelous expression” of gratitude, and also recognized family members who were left at home when veterans deployed. “There are family sacrifices,” he said, “when the duties of four hands are taken up by two hands.” He added, “if you really want to thank a veteran, engage with the organizations that serve veterans.” Gen. Libby also pointed out that while Veterans Day celebrates the 6.6 percent of the U.S. population who have served in the military, over twelve percent of Mainers have been in the armed forces.

Captain Jonathan D. Bratten (pictured at right), Command Historian of the Maine National Guard helped put into perspective the service of Maine men and women in the armed forces, especially the 34,000 Mainers who served in World War I, with an interesting presentation focused on that war. He said that the WWI generation needed to be seen as an inspiration for all of us. “They knew we needed to be ready to serve,” he said. “But may we not be needed.”

“Thank you so much,” Norma said when lunch was over and I wheeled her to her bus to go back to Scarborough. “You don’t know how much this means to us.” Yeah, Norma, I think I do. Dum diddy, dum diddy, dum dum.

11/09/18 Veterans' Appreciation Lunch Bob Martin 2018-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Curran
We are proud and honored to have received the letter below from Senator Angus King regarding our Veterans' Appreciation Lunch and wanted to share it with our members and friends.
Special Letter from Senator Angus King John Curran 2018-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott

Kathleen Summers-Grice is the founder of Eaton River Strategies, a full-service public affairs and consulting company offering clients strategic guidance on corporate and political initiatives since 2006. Ms. Summers has over 30 years of experiences in politics and public affairs in New England.

As founder of Eaton River Strategies, Ms. Summers-Grice has developed and implemented strategic grassroots campaigns, earned media initiatives and grasstops engagement in every New England state, for clients such as Verizon, Pfizer, AARP, Delta Airlines, Ford Motor Company, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.  

Nationally, she has also helped clients such as AARP develop cutting edge engagement programs. Her work in designing and implementing AARP’s 2016 voter engagement campaign, “Take a Stand”, made her a finalist for Campaigns and Elections Reed Award for the best public affairs campaign that year.

Before founding Eaton River Strategies, Ms. Summers served as the New England Representative for the United States Department of Labor. Sworn into this position in 2003, she acted as Secretary Chao’s Regional Representative, serving as the primary liaison between the Department of Labor and elected officials, stakeholder groups, and state labor officials. She has also been at the center of Republican politics as the Deputy Political Director for Fred Thompson’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and a consultant on numerous gubernatorial, congressional and senatorial campaigns.  

In 2005 she was tapped by the International Republican Institute to provide political training to elected officials in Morocco as part of their Democracy in Training Program. In 2012 she was recognized by Campaigns and Elections as one of their top 500 including being one of the top political operatives in New England.

Kathleen graduated from Providence College with a bachelor’s degree in American History in 1987 and with a master’s degree in American History in 1989. She is from Upton, Massachusetts and now lives in Cumberland, Maine with her husband Roy.

*11/16/18 Kathie Summers-Grice, Smurfing: Substance Abuse Matt Wolcott 2018-11-13 05:00:00Z 0
Friday, November 9, 2018
Portland Rotary will host a 4th Annual
Special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch
at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay
88 Spring Street, Portland 
Join us in honoring the men and women
who have served our country.
Please arrive early - check in begins 11:30 a.m.
Program will begin at 12:00 p.m.
Our special guest speakers will be
Major General John W. Libby, Retired
Military Historian, Captain Jonathan D. Bratten
All veterans are our guests and their meals are complimentary.
The cost for all other attendees is $25.
Please pay at the and checks only.
Required pre-registrations - SOLD OUT!
*11/09/18 4th Annual Special Veterans' Appreciation Lunch 2018-11-09 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

With a busy agenda slated for the meeting, President John Curran began the proceedings by welcoming 46 members, along with 5 guests, then inviting PP Cyrus Hagge (Photo at right) to provide the Invocation. With our Veterans' Appreciation Lunch planned for next Friday, Cyrus read a solemn poem by Arlo Guthrie, “When A Soldier Makes It Home.” It was followed with a moment of silence and reflection, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Meredith Small led us in “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.

Three bites into lunch and President John was back at the podium! He welcomed 5 guests, recognized 5 birthdays, and 12 Portland Rotarians who “joined in November” anniversaries. Hats off to PP Bob Traill who has notched the longest run, serving Portland Rotary for the past 38 years. 

Rusty Atwood introduced Victoria Caron, Dir. Of Guidance at Cheverus HS, to tell us about our Youth Service Award recipient, Nina Lee. Described as “driven, gregarious, strong, a leader,” Nina was twice Class president, a varsity athlete in soccer and swimming, a Key Club member, and a very active community volunteer, including 264 hours alone at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. Nina’s goal is to someday be a cardio-vascular surgeon.

Terri St. Angelo (Photo at right L-R: Amy Chipman and Terri St. Angelo) conducted the weekly raffle with $1222 on the line. 1st VP Amy Chipman had the honors of having her name drawn, but the 7 of Clubs offers no pay day, so the pursuit of the Queen of Hearts continues. 

Charlie Frair is in countdown mode for next Friday's Veterans lunch. Plenty of good news to rally around – over $15k raised so far, 72 volunteers ready to serve – both new records. We could use some more early set-up volunteers. If you are helping – be on time!  With the event at the Holiday Inn By-The-Bay, parking will be an issue due to another large event at the venue at the same time, so try to carpool if possible. Bring $25 cash or check, limit the need to make change. Ceremonies start at 12noon. 283 registered so far, and we’ll stop at 330. 

Gracie Johnston reminded us of the several important upcoming events. On Nov 15th 5:00-6:30 pm, there will be an “Overdose Recognition and Response” class at York Community College. On Nov 21st we will supply, cook, and serve a Thanksgiving lunch at St. Vincent dePaul Church, Portland. Always a meaningful event, we had over 50 Rotarians involved last year. Sign up sheets are out on the tables. Set up starts 8:00 am, lunch at 10:30am.

Gracie then introduced Leslie Smart, Exec. Dir. at Portland Recovery Community Center, and presented her with a $500 check to help keep the center open on Thanksgiving Day. (Photo at right L-R: Leslie Smart and Gracie Johnston.) The center opened in 2012, an independent non-profit. It does not provide treatment; its purpose is to provide peer support. 24-100 people per day visit and participate in a wide range of activities. There are meetings with recovery coaches, all volunteers. Many volunteers have personally been in recovery, imparting what they’ve learned in their journey. Leslie shared that she has been in recovery since 1989, and that nationally 23 million are on that same path, with another 22 million estimated who need help. Everything is free, and though there is a state contract, there is a strong reliance on donations. She thanked Rotary for their increasing support and recruitment of new coaches. (See separate article regarding this subject.)

Final items came from President John, including news from Gus Karlson that Portland Rotary has again won the Club Service Trophy at the MS Regatta!

Ralph Hendrix donated courtside seats to our raffle to help World Polio Day. $510 raised from raffle, triple matched by the Gates Foundation for a total of $1530. 

We finished by all sending “Best Wishes!” to our David Smith, who is rehabbing at home after surgery. Speedy recovery David! 

11/02/18 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2018-11-06 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Rusty Atwood (L-R in photo at left: Rusty Atwood and L. Sandy Maisel) gave an extensive introduction of our speaker so we were all very aware of his background and expertise in the field of political analysis. When he took the podium, Portland Rotary was again treated to the insights of Colby professor and noted author, L. Sandy Maisel. Sandy started by telling us he was surprised to be invited back after so many of his predictions in 2016 did not come true. He did remind us several times, that even if there is a significant chance of winning, there is still insignificant chances of losing.

Sandy discussed the present Republican majority in the House and the expected changes in the upcoming election. Based on a review of history, he told us not to expect a large change after the midterms, as the predictions are that 27-44 seats will change, leaving the house with a Democratic majority of four seats. He explained that there are two basic theories in this election, the first being it is a referendum on Donald Trump and the second being a typical reversion to the mean, from the extremes. Key issues in the election are Trump, health care & drug prices, immigration, taxes and jobs. Depending on the location in the country, the priority shifts dramatically.

Trump’s strategy of supporting senators in areas he was strong, is a perfectly rational strategy and has a strong chance of resulting in a Republican Senate, thereby giving him the ability to claim he was the reason for the win. Trump probably realizes that Republicans cannot hold the House, and he does not want to be associated with a loss.

Sandy told us that the Democrats have an 87% chance of winning the House and the Republicans have an 86% chance of winning the Senate. He again cautioned that this means there is a 1 in 7 chance that either of those predictions will be wrong. Democrats are in trouble in the Senate because small states have equal power to big states, and small rural states poll as having immigration and the Kavanaugh nomination being top issues for them. Trump campaigning on those issues will probably be a winning strategy.

Most of the current political prognosticators are giving House predictions of 204 wins for Democrats, 197 wins for Republicans and 34 races still considered toss-ups. The expectation is that Democrats will win a few more toss-ups, resulting in taking control of the House. Sandy’s prediction is the Democrats will win the House by 10 and the Republicans will end with 53 in the Senate.

Sandy moved on to the governors races, which he predicted will move toward the Democrats, with potential major changes in Alabama and Florida. He told us that the reason that governors races are important is that the states control the creation of districts. Gerrymandering, manipulating the electoral boundaries to favor one party, has become a very significant factor in elections. It creates winning districts, and also tends to increase polarization of the electorate. With a 2020 census, districts will be redrawn by the governors elected this time.


(Photo L-R: Rusty Atwood, L. Sandy Maisel and President John Curran.)

11/02/18 L. Sandy Maisel, Political Predictions Dick Hall 2018-11-06 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jan Chapman


A call to action for all Rotarians:  The Rotary District 7780 Recovery Initiative Committee in partnership with the City of Portland Public Health Division’s Overdose Prevention Project, is pleased to announce an opportunity for Rotarians in District 7780 to be trained in Recognizing and Responding to an Opiate/Heroin Overdose on Thursday, November 15, 2018, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM Pratt & Whitney Building, Hannaford Hall on the Wells YCCC Campus.

Rotarians will learn about the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder and will be trained in how to recognize the signs of an overdose, how to perform first-aid, as well as how to administer Naloxone (the drug which reverses the affects of opioids). Naloxone will be on hand to give out to those who attend.  The goal of this training is not only for life-saving purposes, it will hopefully help reduce the stigma attached to those with substance use disorder.  Please click on this link to RSVP, or email me at the email address* below.

Anyone with questions or requests for additional information is urged to contact Chief Bob MacKenzie at the Kennebunk Police Department, 207-604-1339 or email*:

NOTE:  We are planning a similar program in Portland on 1/24/19 at 6pm. Details to follow.

Substance Recovery Initiative Jan Chapman 2018-11-06 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President John Curran brought the meeting to order, welcoming 49 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and 1 guest. Gracie Johnston gave the invocation, and the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic song were initiated by those present at President John’s request . 

PP Dick Hall and 1st VP Amy Chipman were up at the podium to pick this year’s “Circles of Five” winners, and those selected will receive the Paul Harris Fellow during a future meeting. Of note, Amy was asked to pick a ticket for her “Circle of Five” and she declined to pick out of conflict of interest. It was fitting that Amy’s name was selected anyways. 

Matt Wolcott introduced Mark Foster as the newest member to the Portland Rotary Club. Mark works for the People’s United Bank. He was asked by Matt to speak about his links to Rotary. After a brief introduction about himself, Mark said that he looks forward to working with the Club members on our various projects. Please introduce yourselves to Mark Foster in the coming months. 

Charlie Frair discussed the need for volunteers for the upcoming Veterans’ luncheon where over 300 people are expected. Of note, the veterans that have signed up have expressed great interest in hearing the speakers. If you plan to volunteer and have not done so, please provide your name to Charlie Frair. He asks that volunteers arrive at 10 am before the lunch for training. Please check the Club’s website for more information. 

PP Larry Gross ran the weekly raffle for a shot at over $1,000. With less than 13 cards remaining, Larry verified the Queen of Hearts was still in the deck. 3H’s ticket was drawn, however, the Queen of Hearts was elusive and she remains in the deck. 

Mike Reed discussed the Club’s general fund shortfall, and described how a fundraiser to get more funds into the Club is needed. Mike and others believe that donations from other fundraising events previously earmarked for outside uses, should not be allocated to run the Club’s day-to-day expenses, and that the shortfall should appropriately be made up from the members. Please send Mike your thoughts for a fundraiser at:

10/26/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

L. Sandy Maisel is the Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of American Government, past chair of the Department of Government (for 20 years), and founding director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College, where he has taught since 1971. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books (several in multiple editions), including most recently Trumping Ethical Norms: Teachers, Preachers, Pollsters and the Media Respond to Donald Trump and American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction and Evaluating Campaign Quality: Can the Electoral Process Be Improved? 

From Obscurity to Oblivion: Running in the Congressional Primary chronicled Maisel’s unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Congress from Maine. His published articles have appeared in many political science journals and anthologies, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and the Legislative Studies Quarterly.

Maisel has served as president of the New England Political Science Association, twice a member of the Council of the American Political Science Association, and chair of the APSA’s research sections that focus on Political Organizations and Parties and on Legislative Studies. He has twice been awarded Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer grants, has been a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and has served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Melbourne and Monash University in Australia, at Harvard University, and at Stanford University. 

Maisel and his wife, Patrice Franko, who is the Grossman Professor of Economics, Professor of Global Studies and current director of the Goldfarb Center at Colby, live in Rome, ME.

*11/02/18 L. Sandy Maisel, Colby College Rusty Atwood 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Brit Vitalius, owner of Vitalius Real Estate Group and one of the state’s leading experts on the multi-family housing market, shared his observations and research on this real estate segment. He noted that housing challenges in Portland have brought out tensions in the community, particularly with those threatened by growth. Vitalius said that the combination of forces affecting real estate are challenging the region’s leadership to have a regional conversation about housing. According to Vitalius, these forces are the new tax code; interest rates, condo conversions, local regulations, affordable housing, and NIMBY opposition to development, particularly to proposed affordable housing units.

Using a presentation he recently made to the Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA), Vitalius detailed the rapid growth in the multi-family market, and observed that he believed that the market may be reaching the high point of the growth curve because he sees some cooling off of pricing. The bulk of the market is comprised of 2, 3, or 4-unit buildings. The median price for this market product in the East End (Munjoy Hill) is $650,000; in the West End, it’s $520,000. “Off the peninsula, it’s $395,000,” he said. Vitalius said that cap rates have remained steady as rents have increased. (The cap rate is a metric used in commercial real estate which reflects the ratio of net operating income to a property’s asset value—divide the operating income by the building’s sale price—and demonstrates the projected annual return on a real estate investment.)

Vitalius also said that the buyers of these properties tend to be varied, but the numbers of out-of-state buyers are less than is commonly thought. He said that the number of projected developments in Portland is much less than those planned outside of Portland. He said that investors outside of the city are much more patient. As the market levels off, he expects rents to remain close to what they are now, but still be affected by housing shortages. Current average rents in Portland apartments range from $900 per month for a studio space, to $1100 for a 1-bedroom, to $1,350 for a 2-bedroom, topped by 3-bedroom space at $1,500. As rents level off, Vitalius said that Section 8 subsidies have caught up with rent increases.

Vitalius said that critical keys to growth in the Portland area include a serious conversation about affordability, solutions to the region’s public transportation problems, and new approaches to the issue of housing density—and building height—in Portland.

10/26/18 Brit Vitalius, Affordable Housing in Portland Bob Martin 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen

District Governor John LoBosco joined us on Friday, October 19 at the italian Heritage Center to bring us up to date on happenings in our sprawling District 7780, which extends from greater Portland through the New Hampshire Seacoast region, and into northeastern Massachusetts. Three months into his year of service, DG John has been focusing on refining the district’s strategic plan and promoting the many good works being conducted by clubs.

The plan, which was developed following input at “visioning sessions” held across the district, focuses on four areas: public image, membership, collaboration, and leadership.  

John noted that in the past year, our district membership has increased, which is good news. Currently the membership stands at about 1600. He is hoping to see that number ramp up to and pass 2000 and is urging clubs to shoot for 10% growth per year. This is a figure which has to be higher in fact, to offset the fact that Rotarians age and move. And while he did admit that the average Rotarian age is on the older side, he hastened to note that Rotarians tend to live longer. No joke. 

The challenges facing Rotary membership development are not unique in a world that is apparently moving faster than in the past. Lions Clubs and Kiwanis for example, are experiencing similar challenges. He spoke of some inter-club cooperative projects that have been successful and urged members to think broadly about how best to serve, even if it requires consorting with Lions. 

The District is promoting “Little Free Libraries,” those small “leave-one-take-one” book kiosks that have sprouted up in recent years. He believes that every club should consider installing and maintaining one of them. He is considering an interclub construction project, whereby clubs could join forces on a weekend and build a bunch of them together. 

He had good things to say about many of the club projects being undertaken in Portland and elsewhere, noting “Crutches4Africa,” “Hearts and Hands” and the new work that started in our club around finding ways to address the opioid use disorder crisis, among others. He also spoke about the rise of RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards). Watch for a new interactive map of international projects from the district on the website, with the goal of sharing expertise, best practices, and collaboration.

Finally, he announced a special district conference to occur next spring, a family picnic in June at Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth. There will be kite flying, kids’ events, and a glimpse of the new Children’s Garden at the park, which the South Portland – Cape Elizabeth Rotary club has been involved in developing. Stay tuned for more information on that event.


(Photo L-R:  District Governor John LoBosco, President John Curran and Assistant Governor Bill Anderson.)

10/19/18 Rotary District Governor John LoBosco Erik Jorgensen 2018-10-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

President John Curran brought the meeting to order by welcoming 50 members and 4 visiting Rotarians to the Italian Heritage Center. David Small (photo at right) gave a baseball Invocation as his and the club's prayer to help the Red Sox in their quest to win the World Series. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Ben Millick, followed by "My Country Tis of Thee" started from the audience.

Visiting Rotarians included District Governor John LoBosco, Tom Roberts and Assistant Governor Bill Anderson. Guests included Sheriff William King and first lady of the District, Sue LoBosco.

Sheriff William King (photo at left - on left with President John Curran) gave a presentation on his recent training at the Recovery Academy. He started by telling us he began using the term Substance Abuse Disorder, but through the training realized the term 'Substance Use Disorder' was more appropriate and the correct term to use.  He told us of the wide range of attendees, many of whom had struggled with past drug use themselves. He said attendees included social workers, spiritual people, public employees, and people who wanted to help a loved one and the community. William told us what occurred on each of the seven days of training, including some of the surprises for him along the way. He was totally in support of the training, and put his to work shortly after when trying to help a nephew who was struggling. William provided support, then connected to another support person, who was better able to connect with his nephew.

PP Dick Hall, with the help of DG LoBosco, awarded three Paul Harris Fellows (PHF). The first two were to PP Kris Rosado, PHF #5 (PHF +4) as he was the winner picked from the #4 Circle of Five. He was awarded PHF +5 for a personal contribution, awarding a PHF to a Rotarian in Germany who hosted Kris’s family. PP Bill Blount was awarded PHF +8, which is a striking pin with three rubies. Bill has made regular contributions himself, and also has had matching support from his previous employer.

(Photo above L-R: PP Kris Rosado, PP Dick Hall, PP Bill Blount and DG John LoBosco.)


David Ertz conducted the weekly raffle and DG LoBosco pulled Bruce Moore’s ticket. Alas, Bruce pulled a black jack, so no win.

(Photo above L-R: Bruce Moore, President John Curran and David Erzt.)



Paul Tully (photo at right) told us that 170 have already preregistered for the Veteran’s lunch for Nov. 9th at the HIBTB. He encouraged all Rotarians to preregister and we are expecting 400 and need a count. He told us we will have an excellent program, and Rotarians can feel free to donate to support the effort.

Joe Reagen (photo at left) asked us all to think about what it feels to give to others. Then he told us that the Long Creek Youth Center teens got that feeling when they prepared a dinner for the Rotarian volunteers. The teens decorated their space and prepared dinner. The teens got the good feeling of giving and the Rotarians felt appreciated.

President John announced a teaser. The New Mainer Task Force committee met today, before the meeting. They are looking at several opportunities to serve and plan to come forward to the club soon.

PP Bill Blount was surprised to be asked to lead us in song.  In keeping with David Small, he led us in a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

10/19/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-10-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott

As the founder of Vitalius Real Estate Group and Designated Broker, Brit Vitalius has been representing buyers and sellers of multi-unit investments since 2004. He established the firm in 2011 to provide a full complement of residential, multi-family and commercial brokerage services to clients.

An active member of the community, Brit is a yearly presenter at the Maine Real Estate and Development Association’s Annual Forecast Conference for the multi-unit sector, and he is a leader and advocate in the landlord community. Brit is in his fourth term as President of the Southern Maine Landlord Association, a group which seeks to keep landlords up-to-date on important issues, trends and regulations. In the wake of the 2015 Noyes Street Fire, Brit became an active participant in multi-unit fire safety issues, and he was asked to serve on Portland’s Fire Safety Task Force. He is also a member of the Board of Maine Listings and personally owns and manages multi-unit investments in Portland and Yarmouth.

*10/26/18 Brit Vitalius, Affordable Housing in Portland Matt Wolcott 2018-10-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

At last Friday’s meeting, we were all asked to find one of the “post-it” notes on our tables and write down what we knew about the company “IDEXX.” I wrote “pet pharmaceuticals”….my father, sitting next to me wrote, “I have no idea.” Tara Jenkins then spent the next 30 minutes providing some much-needed clarity to me, my father and the rest of the Portland Rotary Club. 

Founded in 1983, this now 2 billion-dollar business employs over 8000 people in several countries, with over 3200 of them in Westbrook, Maine.  Despite my own son being hired as an intern this past summer, I was surprised to learn that they do not make pet medications, but rather focus on the development of tests and testing equipment that are used by veterinarians and other providers throughout our pet-loving world. With 98% of homes treating pets like family, the race to keep these “fur babies” living longer lives is on. 221 patents show the extent of the efforts by the amazing folks at IDEXX to keep on the leading edge of this ever-burgeoning industry.  And, of course, to attract the talented research and development scientists, the IDEXX “lifestyle” is made to be very attractive, with a gorgeous new facility, which is set to expand with 800 new employees in Westbrook by 2020, offering dining, a gym and various clubs, as well as providing employees paid time off for community service opportunities.

IDEXX, despite 87% of their work going toward pets, also works on testing for clean water, as well as diagnostic equipment to keep our livestock healthy. With 39% of product sales to foreign nations, their ever-expanding efforts are truly becoming global.

As STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students continue to matriculate world-wide, there seems to be some amazing possibilities right here in our own back yard for not only well-paying employment but to join IDEXX in their efforts to become “a place of purpose, innovation and opportunity.” 


(Photo L-R: Pete DeWitt, Tara Jenkins and President John Curran.)

10/12/18 Tara Jenkins, IDEXX Ben Lowry 2018-10-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

President John Curran welcomed 48 members and 1 guest to last Friday's meeting. PP Russ Burleigh offered a thought-provoking poem as the invocation. The poem, entitled “Autumn,” was written in 1866 by an American poet, whose identity remained a mystery until Russ gave us enough clues to realize that the composer was Portland’s own Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  

Tom Ranello led us in the Pledge to the American Flag and Meredith Small led us in an a cappella rendition of “My Country Tis of Thee.” 

It was reported to us that member David Smith suffered a minor stroke on October 6th and is recovering in New England Rehab. Most members of the club signed a card and we were encouraged to pay an afternoon visit to room 119A. Get well David!

PP Jim Willey introduced our newest member, Major Rhonda Ferreira (in photo at left), who is a member of the Salvation Army. Rhonda and her husband, who is soon to retire from the Army, live in Old Orchard and have a 15 year-old son. She is a past member of the Red Bank, NY Rotary Club, so she’s a veteran of “Service Above Self.”

Paul Tully (photo at right), Charlie Frair, Bruce Jones and so many others are working diligently on the organization of our annual Veteran’s Day luncheon, set for November 9th at noon at The Holiday Inn By-the-Bay. With over 100 folks already registered, we’re off to a great start but, with over 400 people expected, it is imperative that you pre-register on our Rotary website. The cost to veteran’s, as always, is free of charge, while the cost for others is $25. Last year, we had over 60% of the club volunteer the day of the event and the club needs your help again, so please do sign up to help. With two powerful speakers expected, this will once again be an excellent event so please plan on attending. Also, Bruce Jones is working to obtain sponsors, so if you know of an individual or business that may want to participate, please contact Bruce:  or 650-3773.

PP Kris Rosado (at left) has been working with the United States Service Academies, most specifically West Point, in getting qualified young people accepted for these prestigious positions. If you know of a young high school student who may have some interest, please connect him/her with Kris so that he can explain the requirements for consideration. Contact:  or 443-257-7523

Gracie Johnston (at right), donning her very appropriate Red Sox jacket, took to the podium to offer up several opportunities to volunteer within the local community. On October 24th, there is a need for helpers at Preble Street, followed by a Recovery Coach Academy on the 27th, with classes at USM on Saturdays thereafter until certification is complete (see separate article this issue).  And it’s not too early to be thinking about our annual St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen opportunity the day before Thanksgiving, on November 21st. And lastly, start getting your warm clothing ready so you can participate in our annual bell-ringing for The Salvation Army in December.

Rusty Atwood, with Jan Chapman (at left), had a chance to have a very nice (and wealthy) weekend, but could not draw the elusive Queen of Hearts for our weekly raffle. The pot thickens!


Liz Fagan offered more than just the banner of the Wakefield, Rhode Island Rotary Club from the podium, instead announcing that this club of a childhood friend would be joining our efforts in the 3H project. With this addition, we now have clubs from Maine, Rhode Island, Alaska, Florida and Oregon involved in our efforts to help those less fortunate in the Dominican Republic and beyond.

10/12/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-10-16 04:00:00Z 0

Our Rotary District Governor John LoBosco joined the Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, Maine, in 2005 and served as its President in 2010-11. He served on the club’s board for six years and as an Assistant Governor in the Portland area from 2013-2016. 

He enjoys working with clubs on long-term planning. His favorite Rotary event every year is the Rotary Christmas tree and wreath sale at Mill Creek Park in South Portland. 

John is an attorney at Unum Life Insurance Company of America in Portland. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Georgetown University Law Center. 

John resides in Cape Elizabeth with his wife, Sue (an adoption social worker). 

*10/19/18 District Governor John LoBosco 2018-10-16 04:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Portland, along with Greater Portland Health, is hosting a Second 4-week session Recovery Coach Academy class.

Sessions started October 27 and are held at USM. We are hoping to get a few Rotarians to do this training and become recovery coaches.

This training is free and open to anyone who wants to participate and help those dealing with substance use disorder. We encourage Rotarians to please share this opportunity with others you know who might be good candidates.

To register, go to: 
For more information, contact: Jesse Harvey at (207) 874-2141 x5031 or email at: 

Details are below:


Second Recovery Coach Academy 2018-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President John Curran opened the meeting and called on Bruce Jones for the invocation, which focused on mastering civility – an especially important topic in our current political climate. After the Pledge of Allegiance, PP Russ Burleigh led us with the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner." President John introduced visiting guests and Rotarians and also made note of the June Rotarian birthdays and anniversaries in the club. (Russ pointed out that it was his 80th birthday – and Bob Traill was heard to call him just a young whipper-snapper.)

President John (photo at right) introduced our newest member: Marissa Fortier. Marissa comes from Saco and is the Deputy Director for the Michael Phelps Foundation. Welcome to the club!


The Raffle was conducted by Patty Erickson and Mike Reed (photo at left) won the chance at the prize by drawing the lucky queen of hearts. Unfortunately for him, Mike drew the 5 of clubs. Good try.


Charlie Frair (Photo at right) then spoke about the Veterans Appreciation Lunch coming up on November 9th at the Holiday Inn By-The-Bay. Replete with slides and handouts, Charlie made clear that the rationale behind the Veterans’ Appreciation Luncheon is as follows:

The purpose of the Annual Veterans’ Appreciation Luncheon is to honor, appreciate, acknowledge and thank Veterans for the military service to our country.

The excellent handout listed the intentions of the luncheon, the actions needed to fulfill the overall purpose, and the goals of this year’s luncheon as well as the 5-year goals of the luncheon. It’s abundantly clear that Charlie, his committee and all the volunteers have a clear focus and keen understanding of why this project is important to Veterans, our Rotary club, and the community at large. Hats off to all the hard-working Rotarians and volunteers who have made this project so successful!

Bob Clark
 (photo at left) spoke about the 10th Annual Kids & Claws Dinner to be held Tuesday, October 30th at the Portland Expo. This is a time for everyone to meet the Maine Red Claws and even shoot some hoops. Proceeds benefit the Boy & Girls Club, so contact Bob or go online for more information.

First VP Amy Chipman (photo at right) spoke about the recent invitation by District Governor John LoBosco to attend a Special District Assembly to discuss Foundation, Membership, and International Service Opportunities. It is scheduled for November 3rd at Husson University in Westbrook and the cost is free. All Rotarians are welcome. (see separate article this issue.)

Imogen Fullager (photo at left) was in town on a tour of Maine partially sponsored by her Rotary Club in Tasmania. A Social Economist by training, she has been working lately on issues relating to aquaculture, especially sea urchins. She contends that since Tasmania and Maine have opposite summers and similar marine resources, it might be possible to develop a fishery that could provide a steady year-round supply of a product by taking advantage of the alternate growing seasons in the hemispheres.  Her visit to Maine has taken her from Portland to Augusta to Lubec, and included time hosted by both PP Bowen Depke and Erik Jorgensen.

And last but not least, President John pointed out to the club that Portland Rotary has had 7 members of our club go on to become District Governor. This was just a preamble to his announcement that PP Dick Hall (photo at right) has thrown his hat in the ring to become a District Governor. In order to become a District Governor, the member must be recommended by his or her own club and so after politely asking Dick to step outside, the club voted unanimously to approve Dick’s application. Good luck Dick in becoming the 8th member of Portland Rotary to hold this esteemed position!

10/05/18 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2018-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen

On Friday, we had an update on passenger rail in Maine from Patricia Quinn, the executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. She was joined by her colleague Jennifer Crosby, and together they told the story of the rail-based success story that is the Downeaster. 

The Downeaster has steadily become more central as an element of the region’s transportation infrastructure. Ticket revenues have been outpacing cost increases, and this last summer marked the first time that income has exceeded a million dollars for a single month. 75,000 visitors to Maine have arrived here by train in the past year, enjoying the recently refurbished cars.

Trains always require subsidy in order to be feasible, and the Downeaster is currently recovering 52% of its $23 million annual costs in fares. This puts the train among the most economically competitive passenger lines in the Amtrak system, where it also garners some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any route. Most of the operational funds come from the Federal government. 

The Downeaster has been shown to have a positive economic effect on both ends of the line, from Thompson’s Point concerts to the Boston Garden, where the last northbound departure of the day is often pushed back to accommodate a late game, making the train a viable option for Maine-based sports fans. In addition, the line is making efforts to promote travel within the state. A new “Discover Maine Ticket” is available that provides 10 trips between any Maine stations for just nineteen dollars. There are also more people taking advantage of the train in commuting to Portland from southern Maine. 

Our speakers remarked on several innovations that have come online recently, including a new layover facility in Brunswick and siding improvements near Yarmouth. Both of these have opened the door for a better schedule and more runs to service the towns north of Portland. The train is aiming to reach Rockland at some point, but that remains in the future.

Another possibility in the future is a mini-link to Westbrook, featuring light rail cars that could run from “Becky’s Diner to the Kohl’s plaza in Westbrook in 10 minutes”.  Such a spur could feed the Amtrak station at Thompson’s point, while also easing congestion on one of the most crowded corridors in the state. 

At the end of a lively series of questions from the audience, our own Jerry Angier made a pitch for the volunteers who serve as “train hosts,” helping with onboard customer service between Portland and Boston.


(Photo L-R: Linda Varrell, Patricia Quinn, Jennifer Crosby and President John Curran.)

10/05/18 Patricia Quinn and Jennifer Crosby, AMTRAK Erik Jorgensen 2018-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott

Tara Jenkins is responsible for the team that defines and implements the key experiences and practices that will attract employees to IDEXX and keep them highly engaged and retained. Her team drives the employee engagement strategy, the strategic talent planning process, the employee value proposition, corporate social responsibility, talent planning & assessment, the IDEXX performance experience, the IDEXX competency framework, innovative talent product development and deployment using business product management methodologies, talent analytics, and employee marketing and communications. 

Prior to joining IDEXX, Tara worked in all areas of the HR discipline with increasing levels of leadership responsibility. After graduating from Cornell University with an Industrial and Labor Relations degree, Tara began her career in a large investment management company, The Capital Group Companies, based in California. Over the past 20 years she has worked in a variety of industries, including head of HR at one of the largest regional law firms in the Northeast US and at a national environmental engineering firm. While at IDEXX over the past five years she has been a Senior HR Business Partner, the leader of Total Rewards and Communications, and the HR leader for the international business, working in the Netherlands.   She received her master’s degree in Organizational Development and Leadership while working at IDEXX. 

*10/12/18 Tara Jenkins, IDEXX Matt Wolcott 2018-10-10 04:00:00Z 0

Invitation from District Governor John LoBosco to join a Special District Assembly to discuss Foundation, Membership, and International Service Opportunities and Strategies!

WHO: All Rotarians are welcome! We are hoping, in particular, for a good turnout from Club Foundation, Membership, and International Service chairs.

WHEN: Saturday morning, November 3, 2018 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.

WHERE: Husson University, 340 County Road, Westbrook, Maine.


REGISTRATION: We need you to register so we know how many to expect. The venue can seat up to 135 people, so we will have a waiting list after we reach that number. Please register ASAP by either going to the District 7780 home page (under Events and Registration) or by going directing to

SPECIAL GUESTS: Julia Phelps, former Rotary International Director and current Foundation Trustee will share insights into current happenings in Evanston regarding the Foundation. Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, Greg Roche, also will join us to connect with you and explain how he can be a valuable resource for us.

8:00 - 8:30 Social (coffee and muffins)
8:30 - 9:00 Julia Phelps, "A Week in the Life of a Foundation Trustee"
9:00 - 10:30 Joint Session
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:00 Breakouts

The first half of the morning will be a joint session with presentations on the Foundation and Membership. After a break, we will have three concurrent breakouts: Foundation, Membership, and International Service. The International Service breakout will focus on opportunities for Rotarians to travel abroad to engage in hands-on service. On the Foundation side, we will be talking about District Grants, Global Grants, Polio Plus, the Peace Scholars Program, the Annual Fund, and Major Gifts. As for Membership, we’ll be discussing strategies to achieve our Governor’s challenge to increase membership throughout the district by at least 5% this year. We will have plenty of time for questions and dialogue among the participants.

This is a great opportunity to roll-up your sleeves and connect with your colleagues from around our district to learn and share. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information, contact the event chair, Lawrence Furbish at 207-490-6840,

Special District Assembly 2018-10-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

PP Roxane Cole welcomed our guest speaker for the day, Catherine Menyhart, Founder of Making Space, LLC. The daughter of a Rotarian father, Catherine was introduced early on to “Service Above Self,” remembering all too well selling Christmas trees on chilly nights. It was also thru Rotary that she was treated to intercultural experiences as a very young girl. At the age of 2, her family hosted their first international exchange student, the first of 25 that Catherine would come to know in her home. Learning, and understanding, different cultures, would become a devotion that she now shares, teaches and coaches on a professional level. 

What do you think of when you think of “culture.” The audience volunteered words such as people, language, customs, music, traditions, values, education, clothing, food. Catherine agreed, and then noted that all of these items are still just the tip of the iceberg, that there is so much you don’t see below the surface that makes understanding different cultures so fascinating and challenging. 

Catherine set forth a series of propositions.

First: “A shared set of values, norms, behaviors and practices held and expressed by a particular group of people.” 

With an American father and British mother, Catherine noted that most people would say, “What’s the difference?” In fact, it was considerable. Her father was an advocate of the American Dream – go out and make your way, go for it, be successful. Her mother – you stay where you were born. 

Second: “The ability to communicate and behave effectively and appropriately where there are cultural differences.”

Some people, or businesses, may have the best of intentions, but the way they go about it can create conflicts. “Let’s get it done” is great, but getting it done appropriately can be tricky.

One can certainly think of Rotary’s work on Polio Plus, where in some tribal cultures there was great suspicion and resistance to the inoculations.   

Third: “Core Intellectual Competencies.”    

A. Self-Awareness. Explore your own identity. How were you conditioned? How was conflict dealt with in your life, in your family, school, work?

B. Awareness of Others. For example, the respect the Japanese have for elders.

C. Emotional intelligence and mindful awareness. When someone walks right up to you and crowds you, crossing that invisible line into your personal space, how do you handle it?

D. Intercultural Bridging. Learning and building understanding and empathy for others.

With a series of diagrams on the slide show, Catherine showed a set of different cultural differences that are very common:

Direct Communication. Say what you mean, mean what you say. What you say is more important than how you say it.
Indirect Communication.
Story telling. How it is said is more important that what is said.  Yes, may mean no or maybe.

Dealing with problems. Some see obstacles and plow through. Others deal with problems by going around it. 
Concepts of time. We are accustomed to meetings at specific times and being on time. If we say 1pm, the meeting is 1pm. In other parts of the world, 1pm is a rather flexible window of time.

Catherine suggested that we explore our own individual cultural identities, urging that we learn to observe in a neutral manner, suspending judgement, pausing and reflecting. Develop empathy and mindfulness of others. 

It was here that she asked who was familiar with the “Platinum Rule.” We know the Golden Rule - “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Platinum version takes a similar, but slightly altered, perspective. “Do unto others as they would like to do unto themselves.” To do this, you need to understand the framework of their culture and their communication styles.  What is accepted here, may offend somewhere else. As we know, it can be complicated. Catherine gave us a lot to think about! 


(Photo L-R: PP Roxane Cole, Catherine Menyhart and President John Curran.)

09/28/18 Catherine Menyhart, Making Space, LLC Tom Talbott 2018-10-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Gathered at the Gateway Community Center, President John Curran welcomed 36 members and 2 guests to our Friday Rotary meeting; PP Tom Talbott (photo at left) led our invocation, invoking memories of his high school yearbook quotation from a long-forgotten rock band. (Sic tempus transit.) We sang 'America The Beautiful" and enjoyed our lunch, catered by the Long Creek Youth Center culminary team. 

Jan Chapman (photo at right) encouraged volunteers to join our reading program at Lyseth Elementary School in partnership with Maine Law.


Charlie Frair reminded us of the Veterans Appreciation Lunch on November 9 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. Pre-registration is required (call 899-6342, or sign-up on the website, with no charge for Veterans, $25 for non-veterans. 

David Small (In photo at left with Patty Erickson) won the opportunity to search for the elusive Queen of Hearts to secure the week’s pot of $1,085, but was only able to find the 9 of Hearts. The pot dost increase in size.

Roger and Liz Fagan, along with President John Curran, presented a report on their fascinating trip to Kosovo earlier this year. This Rotary-sponsored effort focused on the areas of hearing loss, speech pathology, and prosthetic devices for limb loss in a country still suffering from the traumas of war. Roger reported that seven students from Heimerer College, which has the only speech pathology program in Kosovo, shadowed and participated in the hearing clinic at the public hospital. Roger said that he asked for no more than 30 patients, but they brought him 65. “Luckily, I brought 100 hearing aids,” he said. Roger related that many people with hearing loss also suffer with PTSD, brought on by the extended conflict in the country. He also said that they discovered one difference in medical practice there: “We learned that Doctors are not paid much,” he said. “As a consequence, they take money under the table.” Roger said that they were sensitive to the fact that the hearing aids they brought with them had apparently violated some customs restrictions. When Roger and Liz met with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, Roger apologized for violating any rules. The Prime Minister asked to see the devices, and upon looking at them, he pounded his fist into his hand and said: “This has my blessing!”

President John reported that the staff at the Kosovo hospital was well trained and capable in prosthetics and orthotics, but they had no budget, which limits their impact. John reported that Rotaract students acted as translators for the team, and they also had the opportunity to meet with five different Rotary clubs, enlisting their participation in the project for future programs. He said that the Yarmouth, ME club will be responsible for going forward with the project in Kosovo. He shared pictures of patients who suffered limb loss both from congenital disorders and the effect of land mines. “The kids are great to work with,” he said. “They are very inquisitive.” He reported that the project was able to provide new hand models for patients to experiment with, as well as to measure patients for later fitting with a device. “We saw a lot more loss of limbs above the elbow,” he said. “Something our 3D printing device is not able to handle.” As a result of meeting with Kosovo Rotary Clubs, they were able to identify other sources of 3D printers in the country which will help in addressing this need.

Liz Fagan shared the travails of traveling in countries where one doesn’t know the language, relying on Google Translator to book flights. Google wasn’t much help, she reported, since her effort to buy a plane ticket ended up with the purchase of a tractor. Liz commented on her surprise at the number of NATO forces still in the country, their numbers as large as the local police presence. She said that when the team arrives in the Dominican Republic, they have a plan, and can immediately execute it. In Kosovo, however, their plans for clinics were interrupted to accommodate the passion of Dr. Gani Abazi, a Kosovan doctor now studying at Harvard. Dr. Gani arranged for Liz and Roger to meet with the Prime Minister, and they appeared on Kosovo national television. The resulting publicity not only highlighted the work of Rotary, but also moved Roger and Liz to Kosovan Rock Star status where they were recognized on the street, offered meals, ice cream, and other refreshment, but also thanked for their efforts. 

Even though Liz and Roger are now home, Liz is engaged in extensive follow-up to help the students at Heimerer College in Pristina, Kosovo. “They offered me a job teaching at the college,” Liz said. “But I told them it was a long commute.” Liz related that most people in Kosovo speak English, but it’s difficult to fund tuition for Kosovans to come to the U.S. for school. Consequently, she is helping to provide them with ways to improve their education in speech pathology. Liz put out a call to her speech pathology colleagues, and twelve responded that they would do guest lectures in Pristina. She is also receiving boxes of text books, earlier versions of diagnostic tests, and other materials to help build a resource library at Heimerer. “Our house is a mess,” Roger reported, but it was pretty clear listening to them tell their story that they don’t mind a bit.


(Photo L-R: President John Curran, Drs. Liz  and Roger Fagan.)

09/28/18 Bits & Pieces Bob Martin 2018-10-02 04:00:00Z 0
Jennifer Crosby is the marketing and sales coordinator at the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communications degree from The University of Southern Maine, and currently lives in Portland, ME. Jennifer volunteers and serves as Vice President on the Board of directors for The Theater Project a non-profit community theater in Brunswick, ME. In her free time Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and her miniature dachshund Chihuahua, Willow. 
*10/05/18 Jennifer Crosby, Amtrak 2018-10-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

Ms. Tess Chakkalakal, Ph.D is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English at Bowdoin College.  At the Rotary meeting on Friday, she presented about several of the most influential African American authors in American history discussing many of their theories and influences.  Ms. Chakkalakal introduced authors such as Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), William E.B. DuBois (1868-1963), and a lesser known author Charles W. Chestnutt (1858 – 1932).  According to Ms. Chakkalakal, these three writers were some of the most influential people helping to try and solve the race problem in America over the years, and she touched on how each of them had a somewhat different approach or solution. 

Later in Ms. Chakkalakal’s presentation, she focused on Mr. Chestnutt’s history and writings, and how he may have been ahead of his time.  She noted how Chesnutt put forth yet a different way to think about race and equality that may be more relevant today than ever. According to Ms. Chakkalakal, Charles Chestnut advocated a revolutionary and unpopular idea at the time: amalgamation and intermarriage were the answers to race problems in America and elsewhere.  Once a society became similar in color and family history over the years, there may be no base for racial disagreement and conflict.  In his transcript to a highly diverse “Future America,” Chesnutt wrote about a world in which race is not a problem, and if no one can see a difference, differences are no longer important or relevant. 

Ms. Chakkalakal noted that Chestnutt’s novels and stories were often written in a style of literary irony in that they are primarily marriage plots where bi-racial partners fall in love, are prohibited to be together by family and/or social customs, and their lives end in tragedy. 

According to Ms. Chakkalakal, she believes Chestnutt may not have been embraced by the movement that celebrated race differences and achievements in the African American movements of the early 1900s when William DuBois was embraced, and for this reason, Chestnutt is not widely studied today.  According to Ms. Chakkalakal, Chestnutt would have thought that celebrating the differences in races could actually worsen a racial situation. Basically, checking boxes about one’s race could make a problem worse, because if everyone lays claim to race, then differences appear to matter more (and not less) in a society.








(Photo L-R: Tess Chakkalakal, 1st VP Amy Chipman, and Bob Martin.)

09/21/18 Tess Chakkalakal, Bowdoin College Jake Bourdeau 2018-09-26 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

First Vice-President Amy Chipman called the “jam-packed” meeting to order at the Clarion Hotel, bringing PP Cyrus Hagge to the podium for the Invocation (photo at right). Cyrus first had an announcement of great import – a $5000 check from the White Pine Foundation – a nonprofit/nonpartisan organization dedicated to “advancing good civics and free enterprise.” Cyrus asked PP Laura Young to come up and receive the check, which will go to the purchase of books for our school reading programs, a program that Laura was instrumental in developing this past year. With that, Cyrus lamented the carnage of squirrels on our roads the past few weeks. He went looking for a few words to say about this phenomenon, and (his words) ran across this one. “May we get what we want, may we get what we need, but may we never get what we deserve.” Nuts. 

John Houghton led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Matt Wolcott directed our chorus of “God Bless America.”  7 visiting Rotarians and 2 guests joined the 46  members in attendance.

After lunch, Amy set the tone for a big pay day by going immediately to the raffle. Enlisting 2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner (on left in photo at left) as the custodian of the cards, Ellen had our guest speaker drawing the “halfway to victory” ticket. Guest Mark Foster (at right in photo at left), who will be joining our club soon, overcame the PTG odds factor and earned the right to pull a card. With $1042 on the line, the 8 of Hearts got the better of him, and the prize remained in the bank.

Rusty Atwood (photo at right) updated us on the Veterans Appreciation Lunch. Friday, Nov 9th 12noon, Holiday Inn By The Bay. All Vets are complimentary guests, $25 Non-Vets. We have two top-notch speakers. First, military historian Captain John Bratton. Our keynote speaker is Maj. Gen. John Libby, Retired.  Flyers are on the tables – please take and distribute. Rusty added a personal note by thanking all those who participated in the ALS Walk a few weeks back.

Elise Hodgkin made everyone aware that our PP Loretta Rowe’s surgery was successful, and she is resting and recovering.  Everyone sends their best wishes!

Gracie Johnston (photo at left) talked about serving dinner at Preble Street this upcoming Wed (Sept 26)....we could use some more help! 5 people signed up so far, so please let us know. 

John Knupp from South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club joined us for lunch, as well as to remind us about the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” will take place on Oct. 14th at Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth. Registration at 9am, Walk at 1030am. FMI:

Roger Fagan (photo at right) asked for assistance on Oct 6th, loading crutches into containers for the “Crutches4Africa” program. Tony Wagner, a member of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary is the contact person if you can assist. Contact Tony at

Jan Chapman (photo at left) thanked Cyrus for the $5000 Grant for reading books, perfectly timed for her announcement regarding sign-ups for the Lyseth School Reading program. Sheets are on the tables for the Oct, Nov, and Dec sessions. We could also use someone who speaks Spanish.

Dave Putnam (photo at right) spoke about the monthly program at Long Creek Youth Development Center. On the 3rd Tuesday each month, if you can spend 2 hours from 6p-8p visiting the young men of the Cedar unit, it means a lot to them. Typically, a night of games, pizza, soda.  Dave acknowledged the dedication of PP Jim Willey and Mike Fortunato who have given so much time and effort into LCY development programs. Join in if you can!

PP Laura Young (photo at left) briefed everyone on the Membership Committee’s strategy for bringing in members, as well as helping new members develop in the club.  Check out the recent Rotary Magazine – great article on this topic. If you have someone interested, let Laura know.  Our club will host New Member Orientation meetings, including people who have not applied.  First one will be Oct 12, next Nov 16, usually at 11am before our club meeting.  We are going to renew our mentor program. In January, all new members will meet to give us some feedback. Next May 17th, the new members will bring back an old tradition and take over the club with their own special program.  We are also looking at teaming up with Propel with joint events, great chance to meet new people. 

Laura has added a side note – “Makeshift Coffee House”, with 6 meetings coming up, outside of Rotary. Political yes, political no. Democrats, Republicans, Independents coming together to share and talk thru issues. More details coming!

Our Club Protection Officer, Nan Heald (at left in photo at right), together with Bob Knupp (at right in photo at right), from So Po/Cape Eliz Rotary talked to us in tandem about our club’s “Protection Policy.” As Rotarians, we interact with many people, including young adults and children. While many organizations have their own system of background checks before there is interaction, i.e. Long Creek, other programs do not. The reading program is a good example. Nan sought the consultation of the Maine Can Do Group, experienced in the area of sexual harassment.  The object is to create awareness of the problem and guidance for employers. The Portland Rotary was the first club and so far, the only club in the state to sign the pledge drafted by the District.  In summary, we strive to act in accordance with the 4-Way Test. Be respectful of each other, guests, those who serve us our meals…wherever we are.  We want to be “Rotary Correct.”

09/21/18 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2018-09-26 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole
Catherine Menyhart, M.Ed., has worked in international education and intercultural training and coaching for over 15 years. She is the founder of Making Space LLC and devoted to supporting intercultural development and mindful leadership practices in leaders, educators, and learners of all ages, so that they may become catalysts for positive change in their organizations and communities. Previously, as the Manager of Training and Development at the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), Catherine managed learning and development programs for 900+ worldwide employees, specializing in intercultural communication and leadership in the workplace. She has also worked as the Resident Coordinator of the CIEE Study Center in Dakar, Senegal. She holds a master’s degree in Education from the University of Southern Maine and taught French at Casco Bay High School, an Expeditionary Learning School in Portland, Maine. She received her B.A. in International Relations and French from Grand Valley State University. She is an IDI Qualified Administrator and Senior Facilitator of Personal Leadership.
*09/28/18 Catherine Menyhart, Founder Making Space, LLC Roxane Cole 2018-09-26 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President John Curran opened the Rotary meeting at the Clarion by welcoming 45 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 2 guests. Charlie Frair presented the invocation, recalling the wise words from his recently-deceased father, given when he was in need of inspiration. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” led Charlie to become a high school varsity athlete. “Our world is round, so what seems like the end, is really just a beginning,” are words that consoled Charlie at a time when he had experienced a personal loss. Our patriotic song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” was led by PP Bill Blount.

President John introduced Rotary guests and described how our club is reaching out to collaborate with community organizations. He welcomed Alain J. Nahimana, the Executive Director​ of the Immigrant Welcome Center in Portland and Merissa Fortier, who is the associate director of the Michael Phelps Foundation, with a mission to improve education about children and water safety, located in Portland. Also, he reminded the club about the contact for Crutches4Africa being Roger Fagan. Long Creek Development Center's game night is on Tuesday, Sep. 18th.

PP Bill Blount and assisted chorus, led a singing of the “Grand State of Maine” song. (Photo at right: PP Bill, Gracie Johnston, Erik Jorgensen, Dave Putnam and Nan Heald.)


Visiting Rotarian from Tampa, Florida-  Larry Vickman exchanged Rotary banners with President John.

(Photo at left L-R: Larry Vickman and President John Curran.)


Thanks to Gracie Johnston (On left side of photo at right), the Community Service chair, for organizing the Preble Street Rotary volunteers. Ali Brauner (On right side of photo at right), volunteer manager at Preble Street was with us to tell how the program was going. She thanked the Rotarians for their volunteer services and described the essential volunteer work needed to help with the meal services for the hundreds of people who are served at the Preble Street Resource Center Soup Kitchen on Oxford Street. “The need for volunteers continues to grow.” she said, "The Resource Center is extending the services for all three meals served each day. Portland Rotary volunteers at the kitchen from 3:30-6:30, on the last Wednesday of the month. Every day, Preble Street serves 1,000 meals, seating 350 people at each meal. Over the past six years, Portland Rotary has provided 1, 500 hours of volunteer help. Volunteers should sign up in advance of the 4th Wednesday or any day when they can work, so the Preble Street staff can organize their schedules accordingly. Email: or check the logon at 

Paul Tully reported updates to the Second Annual Veterans' Appreciation Lunch to be held on  November 9, 2018, at the Holiday Inn on Spring Street, at 12 noon. A committee made contact with several military leaders and they have confirmed the speakers for this year’s program who are Major General John W. Libby, retired adjutant General of the Maine Army National Guard and Captain Jonathan D. Bratten, Command Historian, of the Maine Army National Guard. Captain Bratten will speak about World War I history. Publicity has been offered by Maine Today. The goal is to exceed 300 veteran guest participants.

1st  Vice President Amy Chipman introduced Francine Laporte (On right side in photo at right) as the newest Portland Rotarian. In fact, Amy and Francine first met at a Rotary social program hosted by Charlie Frair. Francine grew up in Brooklyn and has traveled across the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Central and South America, before finding her second home in Oaxaca, Mexico. She volunteers as an English language tutor, and is a fund raiser for economically disadvantaged students and an immigrant advocate. We cordially welcome Francine to the Rotary Club of Portland!

With Bruce Jones conducting the weekly raffle, that has reached $1,010, Meredith Small got an opportunity to try and find the Queen of Hearts, but the elusive queen just did not want to be found and the pot continues to grow.

09/14/18 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2018-09-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Mark Roberts, a police officer for 18 years and now a Senior Fire Investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) along with his Accelerant Detection K9 partner Deacon, gave a fascinating talk about their work.

Deacon is a 4-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, who works with Mark as part of the investigation in the State of ME Fire Marshall’s Office. Maine has 500 fires annually, and with 12 investigators, reviews 150-200 possible arsons. Maine typically has 11-21 fire-related fatalities per year. Investigations often focus on accelerants, and K9s are trained and certified for 50-60 different accelerants. After the dog detects, confirmations of the chemical are done by the Maine lab. The dogs provide evidence in the investigation and can quickly work a large area in 2-3 minutes.

We were surprised to learn that Deacon is trained using his basic hunting instinct. He finds accelerants and earns his food doing so. His only food is given when he works. This means he  trains every day, when not actually working a fire scene. He is a very happy dog, as dogs love to work.

Science has demonstrated that dogs have 220 million olfactory sensors while humans have only 5 million. 1/8 of a dog’s brain is dedicated to scent determination and scent discrimination. Dogs smell things independently and can keep the layers separate. Deacon does not smell pizza, he independently smells crust, sauce, cheese, meat etc. Dogs are entirely unbiased, so he makes objective decisions all the time. People are more trusting of the investigations by dogs than by people. 

State Farm Insurance pays for the Arson Dog Program which was established with the Maine State Police under the guidelines of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. The Maine program is the longest running and one of only two arson training programs in the country. All dogs are second chance, second career. Deacon failed as a disability dog as he was too high energy, but that made him well suited as an arson dog.

Labrador retrievers are used as there is no worry about dog bites, people are comfortable with Labs, and Labs can scent the crowd to detect bystanders who may have accelerants. There is still no technology yet to replace dogs.

For more information, go to:







(Photo L-R: PP Bob Traill, President John Curran, Officer Mark Roberts and his K-9 partner, Deacon.)


09/14/18 Mark Roberts, K9 Arson Investigations Dick Hall 2018-09-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Tess Chakkalakal [pronounced “Chah-KAHL-ickle”] is the Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English at Bowdoin College. She has published widely on nineteenth-century African American and American literature. She is the author of Novel Bondage: Slavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America (Illinois, 2011) which earned the Robert K. Martin Prize for best book on American literature and “a must read” title by Choice.  

Her book, Novel Bondage, takes apart the interconnections between marriage, slavery, and freedom, as conveyed in nineteenth-century novels and short stories by black and white authors. She examines how these early novels established literary conventions for describing the domestic lives of American slaves and their search to fulfill their aspirations for personal and civic freedom. Her work also focuses on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book that was written in the shadow of Bowdoin College. Prof. Chakkalakal’s writings challenge readers to reconsider the “marital work” of nineteenth-century fiction and its historical role in shaping our understanding of the literary and political meaning of marriage.

She is co-editor of Jim Crow, Literature, and the Legacy of Sutton E. Griggs (Georgia, 2013). Professor Chakkalakal has earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Duke University, Emory University, and the Mellon Foundation. Before coming to Bowdoin in 2008, Professor Chakkalakal taught at Williams College and Bowling Green State University.

*09/21/18 Tess, Chakkalakal, Bowdoin College Bob Martin 2018-09-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Traill

Mark Roberts is a Senior Fire Investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) and an Accelerant Detection K9 handler. 

The mission of the Office of State Fire Marshal is to prevent loss of life and property for those that live, work and visit in the State of Maine. Their goal is to protect against the devastation of fire, explosions and life safety hazards with integrity and fairness through fire prevention, public education, planning, research, investigation and enforcement of enacted laws and rules. 

As an agency, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for determining the cause of fires statewide and the investigation of arsons, explosions and fatalities. Mark has been with the office since 2008 and worked as a patrol officer in both Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth prior to that.He and his canine partner, four-year old Deacon, are one of only two K9 teams in the state and have worked together for two years. Deacon is a second career dog, having been acquired from a service dog agency in Michigan.

Mark will be addressing Maine’s Arson K-9 Program.


*09/14/18 Mark Roberts, Office of the State Fire Marshal Bob Traill 2018-09-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Terri St. Angelo

President Joh Curran welcomed 53 members on a beautiful summer day, when we officially met for our meeting at our new home for this year, The Clarion Hotel.

Invocation was presented by PP Russ Burleigh; the pledge to the flag was led by PP Roxane Cole and back in the spotlight to lead our a capella patriotic song was PP Russ Burleigh.

We celebrated the September Rotarian Birthdays by singing “Happy Birthday” and acknowledged the Rotarian Anniversaries with loud applause.

President John gave special note to Rotarians doing “good work.” Jesse Harvey manned 3 tables at Deering Oaks in honor of the Overdose Awareness Day.

The Maine Cornhole Tournament Event update was given by Terri St. Angelo (photo at right). The event brought in $2334. For the first year AND for this kind of event, that’s awesome! We now have the building blocks and game boards to really expand for next year. Our partner, NYA, will be working with us to allocate the funds soon. We had 26 teams participate. 11 Guests to support the teams. 16 volunteers from Rotary, NYA and the Boys and Girls Club. A special thanks goes out to the “Board Guys!” Russell Voss, Ben Delcourt and friends. Without the boards, we wouldn’t be able to play. Photos were placed on tables for all to see all the smiles at the event. 

Gracie Johnston (photo at left) spoke about the highlighted committee of the week – Community Service. She says this committee and what it stands for is the lifeblood of Rotary. All Rotarians recognize giving back to the community is so important. Some of the things the committee is working on this year: 

Opiod Crisis Initiative – Bring other clubs together to understand and educate on this crisis. 

Preble Street Resource Center Soup Kitchen – Always the last Wednesday of the Month. They are working on making it easier for volunteers to get there. Please consider joining to help on this night.

Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Vincent’s – Cook, prepare and serve dinner to homeless in the area. 

Salvation Army holiday bell ringers – Fun time sharing volunteer time with fellow Rotarians

Opiod Task Force – The group received a $5000 grant from the District and $1000 from Portland Rotary to start the Recovery Coach Academy.  Jesse Harvey was sent to a training for Recovery coaches. The next step is offering classes for people to become a recovery coach in the area. Attendance at 4 classes is needed to become certified. The Committee is hoping to spread this coaching to impact to as many people as possible and work with as many groups as possible to educate on the crisis and stigma.

Gracie ended her update by saying how proud she is of the Community Service members.

Jesse Harvey (photo at right) gave an update on the first ‘Train the Trainers Recovery Coach Academy’ class. Most attendees were from Portland, Sanford and Lewiston. He hopes to pair these students with Rotary Clubs to help spread the education to others. 

President John announced that there will be an Exchange Student coming from Germany and is in need of a temporary host. Contact John Curran for more information:

On Friday, Sep. 14th, there will be a new member orientation at 11 am at the Clarion Hotel. If you have any potential members or people that may be interested and want more information about the club, please attend.

Our weekly raffle was up to $980. Bob Fowler (at right in photo at left) gave Matt Tassey (at left in photo at left) the chance to pick the queen of hearts, but he was only able to find the 6 of hearts. 


Joe Reagan (photo at right) announced that he would be hosting the “Inside Maine” talk show on Saturday, 9/08, 10-1pm. If you would like to listen to any of the podcasts, follow this link.    Joe also announced the Veteran’s Luncheon will be on Nov. 9th. Details of the program will be announced soon.

PP Bill Blount teased us with a John Denver song, but did not have the words for us, so we will have a song next week.

09/07/18 Bits & Pieces Terri St. Angelo 2018-09-11 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bowen Depke

A shout out to the Maine Outdoor Challenge crew that is still paying dividends. Michael Reed obtained a Fishing Charter for the live auction. His long-term friend/client Kurt Christensen (Christensen Custom Homes) kindly donated a day-trip of fishing on his lobster boat in Casco Bay.  That auction winner was, PP Bowen Depke, who set out with his two sons and a friend at 8 AM to go 13 miles off shore for the adventure. By the calculation of his youngest son William, they caught around 125 fish, 2 sharks and 11 species. What a great trip to put in their family memory album. A thank you to all for the adventure!



(Mike Reed and a young fisherman.)





(One of Bowen's sons displaying his shark "catch.")



(Another of Bowen's sons displaying his unusual catch.)



(This team had quite a few catches of the day.)

It Was a Fish Tale! Bowen Depke 2018-09-11 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

With an introduction by PP Roxane Cole, Catherine Lewis – Board Director and Director of Education of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine – spoke to our Rotary club about Maine’s Medical Marijuana program. Of interest to Rotarians is the fact that Catherine is a past President of the Hallowell Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine (MMCM) is a trade association dedicated to the support and promotion of safe access to medical marijuana. Catherine spent most of her talk attempting to educate and advocate for the proper use of marijuana to alleviate chronic pain, cancer, seizures, severe nausea, PTSD and other conditions. Catherine explained that after a severe automobile injury left her and her husband with long-lasting injuries and pain, they became medical cannabis patients. The success of this treatment prompted them to become medical marijuana caregivers to help others.

Catherine helped to dispel some of the myths about cannabis and stated that many of us have been lied to for years about marijuana’s potential harmful effects and seldom told about the many benefits that proper use can provide. She stated that most of her patients are elderly and many suffer from cancer, are in wheelchairs, have late stage MS, have Alzheimer’s or spend their days in chronic pain.

Catherine’s business, Homegrown Healthcare, specializes in cannabis and alternative therapies. Her goal is to educate people about the many symptoms that cannabis can alleviate and how it can be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to traditional medicine and medications.

Catherine brought some samples of products to show that cannabis use can be without the stereotypical “joint” that must be smoked resulting in a high. Instead, the medicinal properties of cannabis can be made into other products with no resulting smell or euphoria – so that no one needs know that you’re even using the product. She showed us lozenges in different flavors, tinctures to be placed under the tongue, salves and lotions for external use, bath additives, patches and other products.

For additional information, go to:

(Photo: PP Roxane Cole, Catherine Lewis and President John Curran.)

09/07/18 Catherine Lewis, Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine  Alan Nye 2018-09-11 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole

After suffering severe injuries in a motor vehicle accident in 1990, both Catherine and her husband Glenn fell victims to modern medicines’ pharmaceutical trap. She and her husband began their journey with medical cannabis in 2002 to help Glenn eliminate about 9 different drugs he had been prescribed over the years for his injuries. Glenn became an official patient in 2009 under the care of Dr. Sulak. Catherine became his caregiver. Seeing the amazing results that cannabis provided him and their ability to produce such a great medicine, together in 2010 they started HomeGrown HealthCare, Apothecary and Learning Center now located in Winthrop, Maine. As caregivers, they are dedicated to sharing their knowledge with folks suffering from a variety of ailments, including Chronic Pain, Cancer, PTSD and Addiction Recovery. They have been featured in the documentary The Science vs The Stigma in 2011 and on the Kimball & Keyser Report (A Caregivers Path) 7/31/13, Weediquette / S2 EP6 (Reefer Rehab) 9/23/16, TODAY’s “Undercovered” series (Can marijuana help wean addicts off heroin and other opiates?) 5/18/17, and most recently in Season 2 of The Sacred Plant (Healing Secrets Examined) 7/18.

In 2011 Catherine joined the board of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine (MMCM) Trade Association as the Director of Education and in 2015, she became the President of the Board, helping to shape legislation and communication with the overseeing State Departments and Municipalities. She volunteers many hours in the community and at the State House testifying for the medical cannabis program. With the help of many others, they created the largest East Coast Medical Industry Trade Show that has run for the last 7 years. She also sits on the Board of Advisers for New England Cannabis Network (NECANN). Catherine has been educating others with classes and workshops through a variety of industry shows, town hall meetings, fairs and the University of Maine at Augusta (Klahr Center) with MMCM and now at their Learning Center in Winthrop Maine. Enabling people to learn the laws, patient/caregiver rights, business rules, cultivation and preparation of cannabis for better health and natural wellness. Catherine most recently was instrumental in the crafting and recent passing of LD 1539 and LD 238. These two bills will help improve Maine’s Medical Cannabis program, creating a new legitimacy for the businesses within the program.

*09/0718 Catherine Lewis, Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine Roxane Cole 2018-09-07 04:00:00Z 0
Two of our members received recognition in the Portland Press Herald as a woman-owned business, who mean business (excerpts taken from the newspaper article):
Roxane Cole, who owns Falmouth-based Roxane Cole Commercial Real Estate LLC, is one of the many sole proprietorships that make up the majority of small businesses in Maine.

Founded in 2010 by Roxane Cole, the one-woman firm represents clients who are looking to buy, sell or lease commercial property.

Roxane has been a commercial real estate broker for over 30 years. Before starting her own firm, she was co-owner of a leading Portland commercial brokerage where she was a broker for 23 years.

Linda Varrell, owns Broadreach Public Relations in Portland and makes her living by telling other people’s stories, but she has an interesting success story of her own.

Founded in 2006, Broadreach has grown from a one-woman operation to a firm with 12 full-time positions that recently expanded into an adjacent office space. Varrell said the firm’s revenue has increased by 20 percent over the past year.

Before starting her own company, Varrell worked in the banking industry for 25 years, where she mastered both corporate communications and project management. She ultimately decided to put those skills to work for herself and a growing list of clients that include large-scale service organizations, state associations and others.

To read the full articles, please go to:
Rotarians In the News.... 2018-08-28 04:00:00Z 0
The fun was abounding at the recent Maine Corn Hole Tournament.
The Corn Holes have been lined up for the tournament to begin!

Our Club President John Curran in the #3 Green shirt.
Just a few of the many supporters who volunteered at the event: Charlie Frair, Megan Peabody, and PP Dick Hall.
Maine Corn Hole Tournament 2018-08-28 04:00:00Z 0
Recovery Coach Academy Jesse Harvey 2018-08-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

A big picture statistical overview about The Opioid Crises in Maine was presented by Tim Cowan, MSPH, Director of Data Reporting and Evaluation with the Center for Health Improvement at MaineHealth. The statistical overview was intended to help Rotarians to develop a 360 degree look at substance abuse. The aggregated data tracked statistics about mortality in Maine thru 2016, compared to other populations and in the 16 Maine counties. Information was presented about improving population health by tracking the progress being made to prevent drug and substance abuse overdoses. It’s possible that the data reports forthcoming with more information about 2016-2018 statistics, could report an improvement on population health as a result of the responses to the epidemic. Tim acknowledged how important it is for Rotarians to be aware about how to help stop this epidemic.

A bullet summary from the data reports the following:

1. Drug overdose deaths: Maine had the 7th largest increase in the U.S. from 2010-12, compared to 2014-16. In all the aggregated data reported thru 2016, Maine reported an increase in overall deaths related to drug overdoses.

2. Drug overdose death rates in Maine counties, comparing the same time periods, showed Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Washington and York with greater deaths than average for the state.  

3. Unfortunately, Maine is also among the states to report a high number of law enforcement encounters that test positive for Fentanyl.

4. Prevention intervention data reports show that opioid prescribing rates per 100,000 population are declining in Maine and in the U.S.

5. All overdoses and nearly all deaths caused by overdoses, involved some form of opioid- almost all involving some form of illicit opioid (heroin or synthetic form).  

6. Data about babies affected by opioid addiction was also included in the statistics.

Treating substance use disorders and preventing the spread of the crisis are challenging because there is no data readily available to demonstrate clear correlations with progress.  Access to health care is an obstacle to receiving treatment. Support for the Maine Medicaid expansion would give thousands of eligible beneficiaries the opportunity to receive treatment.  Also, the number of residential treatment beds available to those who are in recovery has not increased, but remained flat in recent years, while the crisis has grown. Tim is willing to share his data slides with interested parties. Contact him at:


(Tim Cowan and President John Curran.)

08/24/18 Tim Cowan, Maine Health Julie L'Heureux 2018-08-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

This week we journeyed to the new Jewish Community Center on outer Congress St. President John Curran opened the meeting, calling on Gracie Johnston (photo at right) for the invocation. Gracie chose a poem titled “To Be Of Use” by contemporary poet Marge Piercy. Gracie noted how much this poem described Rotarians.The first line: “The people I love the best, jump into work head first.” (Link to full text:  

Mark Millar led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and PP Russ Burleigh, sans keyboard, led us a capella to sing ‘America The Beautiful’ as our patriotic song. 

(Photo at left L-R: Mike McGovern, PP Larry Gross and PP Tom Talbott)

John welcomed everyone, including Past District Governor Lawrence Furbish and visiting Rotarian Mike McGovern, though that hardly describes him. Mike was President of the Cape Elizabeth Club, our Past District Governor, a Rotary International Director, Rotary Foundation Trustee, Chair of the Rotary International Polio Plus program, and nominating committee for Rotary International President. 

John introduced Jewish Community Alliance (JCA) Executive Director Molly Curren Rowles (photo at right) to the podium to provide an overview of the new facility. The complex opened in September 2017, with its primary function being to enhance and promote Jewish life and continuity both locally and internationally.  For more information, go to:

Extra Extra! Maine ranked first in the U.S. for both revenue and job growth among woman-owned businesses (American Express commissioned report)  That’s great news!  Who did the Press Herald interview for the story? Our own PP Roxane Cole and Linda Varrell! Congratulations to you both! See separate article this issue.

While we’re on the topic of women leading the way, a tip of the hat to Terri St. Angelo and Patty Erickson, along with PP Kris Rosado and a strong cast of supporters, who pulled off a great new fundraiser – the Maine Corn Hole Championship. A beautiful afternoon at North Yarmouth Academy was the setting for 14 corn hole courts and players from near and far. Word got around, and the overwhelming majority of players were non-Rotarians who came to compete for a prize package with some $500 in gift cards, umbrellas, and coolers.  Details on the proceeds, photos, and wrap-up next meeting! (See separate photos!) 

Mike Fortunato (photo at left) thanked everyone who joined him at Long Creek Youth Development Center for the ice-cream social and corn hole games. (Viva corn hole!) Mike is always looking for anyone interested in joining a group that visits center once a month on the third Tuesday. 


PDG Lawrence Furbish had some great news, which started with a $5000 grant check to our new Opiod Task Force headed up by Gracie Johnston and Jesse Harvey, and Jesse’s newly opened Journey House Sober Living home he founded in Lewiston.

(right photo L-R: Jesse Harvey, PDG Lawrence Furbish, and Gracie Johnston)

This Grant came from money returned to our District from money originally sent in by Rotarians to the Rotary International Foundation. In all, $52,000 came back into the district, and was parceled out to 8 different clubs. Special note of thanks to Doreen Rockstrom who wrote the grant application.  Great job! Jesse reminded us that there will be an Overdose Vigil held on August 31st, 6p-9p, at Deering Oaks. The Kennebunk Rotary Club will join us. Reach out to Jesse for more info: 

Charlie Frair (photo left) updated us on the Veterans Lunch. Date is set: Friday, November 9th. Big things happening! We will move the venue to the Holiday Inn By-The-Bay, to accommodate what we expect will be upwards of 350+ people in attendance. A new partnership with AARP will help spread the word. In fact, word is that military leadership is all abuzz about the event, given that we’ve been steadily growing the program over the past 2 years. A lot more to come. This is an intensive event that requires many helping hands – so mark your calendars now!

With a pot of $955, the weekly raffle was led by Dick Giles. He asked for the hand of our Past District Governor Lawrence Furbish to select a candidate’s name from the growing pool of players. Mike Fortunato had the winning ticket, but as we all know, that’s only half the battle. Staring down the deck, Mike pulled the 2 of Spades, which is a long way from the payoff card, the Queen of Hearts, and his hopes of winning were quickly extinguished. 

(right photo L-R: Mike Fortunato and Dick Giles)

08/24/18 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2018-08-27 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

It was an away game for Portland Rotary....our annual trek to Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs. PP Bill Blount, noting how we started our relationship with the team back in their inaugural year of 1993, was called upon to introduce our trio of speakers:  Mike Antonellis, Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations, and voice of the Sea Dogs for the past 14 years, accompanied by current pitchers, Josh Taylor and Matthew Kent.  We applauded Mike who recently completed his 3000th career game behind the microphone. 

The format was essentially a fast-paced interview style session, with Mike peppering the two players for their take on the game, life as a Sea Dog, and their career goals.

Josh Taylor (#40), 6’5, 225 lb, 25 years old. Lefty pitcher from Phoenix. Played at Georgia College. Drafted by the Phillies in 2014. Signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a free agent in 2017. In 2018 he was assigned to Altoona, but three days later was traded to the Sea Dogs.

Matthew Kent (#21), 6’, 180 lb, 26 years old. Lefty pitcher from Waco, TX, and earned a spot with Texas A&M as a skinny 135 pounder!  Drafted in the 13th round 2015 by Red Sox, assigned to Lowell. Has primarily been a reliever, but this season has elevated to a starter, making the Eastern League All-Star team. As of this date, he leads the league with 9 wins.

Explaining his strategy, Matt said he has 7 different pitches: 5 over the top pitches, and 2 sidearm pitches. Included in that group is a looping 50 mph rainbow, that turns “batters into ballerinas spinning around.” Matt shared his process of moving the ball around, setting up pitches, and giving a batter different looks throughout the game. Drives ‘em crazy.

Matt recalled how he was low on the depth charts, when he busted out in his red-shirt 4th year at Texas with a solid four-week span of solid pitching. Practically overnight it propelled him to being drafted by the Red Sox. Josh spoke about how it can work the opposite way. As a reliever he described how one bad outing can bring down your entire season. Life of a ballplayer!

Both players live with host families. Neither have taken a liking to lobster! And, even with our recent dog days of August humidity, Portland is a lot more comfortable than Waco or Phoenix!

In the clubhouse, there are five nationalities on the team – US, Australian, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. As in any clubhouse, the dynamics are unique, with players coming and going, dreams on the line, brand new players, experienced players with major league experience, and others who are on their last chance. Some have become new fathers, some have lost family members. It is a close-knit group, with everyone trying to live out their dream.

An interesting comment from Matt, who noted that when things are not going well on the mound, it sometimes is a minor adjustment that can take you a step forward. A big adjustment might take you a larger step back. Think about how that might affect you in your life.  Play Ball!  


In the Maine Sunday Telegram, these ballplayers - both of them pitchers - played in the game against Altoona on Saturday, and each played a part in the score. Matt Kent pitched six innings, giving up only two hits, no runs. After another player pitched for an inning, Josh Taylor took over in the ninth, gave up two hits and no runs and was given credit for a save. Does anyone remember a Rotary meeting where a couple of Sea Dogs talked with us on Friday, and played prominently and effectively in a game the very next day?

(Photo L-R: President John Curran, Matt Kent, Josh Taylor, Mike Antonellis and PP Bill Blount.)


08/17/18 Take Me Out to the Ball Park Tom Talbott 2018-08-20 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott
Tim Cowan received his Masters of Science in Public Health in 1994, with a focus in epidemiology. Since then, he has been an analyst and/or administrator for multiple program evaluation and quality improvement projects. Tim has been the Director of the Health Index Initiative at MaineHealth since July 2010. Through the Health Index, MaineHealth prioritizes the community health issues toward which system resources are allocated. Tim oversees activities to analyze data and disseminate information about opportunities for most effectively addressing the priority health issues, as well as to provide feedback on the collective impact being made by the many organizations involved. Decreasing Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction is one of the seven current Health Index priorities.
*08/24/18 Tim Cowan, Maine Health Matt Wolcott 2018-08-20 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Last Friday, the Portland Rotary Club enjoyed our annual outing at Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs. President John Curran welcomed 34 members and 7+ guests. PP Bill Blount (photo at right) once again spearheaded the event, which is always a fun and relaxing meeting, with hot dogs, burgers and the famous Sea Dog biscuits. The membership brought many guests, including a few school-aged children and grandchildren. 

Dave Small (photo at left) provided a wonderful invocation, which mixed many, many baseball teams and terms with words of thanks.

PP Bill Blount led us in the National Anthem (followed by the usual calls to “play ball!”), as well as an energetic Sea Dogs version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Dave Ertz called up PP Paul Gore (PTG) to draw a card in hopes of pulling the Queen of Hearts, which would have won Paul $924 but, alas, Paul did not succeed, allowing our pot to approach the thousand-dollar barrier.

Gracie Johnston asked again for volunteers for the Wednesday afternoon/evening efforts to aid in serving those less fortunate at the Preble Street Resource Center. This monthly opportunity, which runs from 3:30 to 6:30 pm, is a great way to pitch in. Please contact Gracie if you can offer some assistance at: gracie.johnston@newscentermaine.rom  

Our monthly volunteer opportunity at Long Creek Youth Development Center is always on the third Tuesday of the month. Please contact Mike Fortunato (, if you’d like to offer a hand in spending some time with at-risk youths. 

Patty Erickson (photo at right) reminded us that our “Corn Hole Tournament” is fast approaching and the Portland Rotary Club needs our help! The event, which will be on Thursday, the August 23rd at North Yarmouth Academy (rain or shine), will be a fun social, as well as fund-raising effort. The club needs teams of two to participate, volunteers on the day of the event, as well as any large coolers that may be hiding out in your garage or basement. Please contact Patty Erickson ( or Terri St. Angelo ( to offer up your support.

Jesse Harvey (photo at left) gave us an update on his and our club’s amazing efforts to offer support to the recovery community. Jesse, along with Gracie Johnston, spearhead our Opioid Task Force. Please mark your calendars for August 31 at Deering Oaks, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, as well as upcoming events on September 9th, the 18th and October 26th. Jesse will be keeping us posted. Portland, Maine, as you may know, is one of the country’s foremost “recovery communities,” with hundreds of men and women working very hard to gain control of their lives back after missteps. These opportunities will be eye-opening and heart-warming for club members, so please do try to attend one or all of these events.

08/17/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-08-18 04:00:00Z 0
Cornhole Championship Fund Raiser Kris Rosado 2018-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

Our annual visit to Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs, will take place this Friday. Since this ball team came to town 25 years ago, we have had a summer meeting almost every year at Hadlock. We are always warmly welcomed and have a wonderful outing in the picnic area of the ball park.   
We are sure to have a couple of the players share their experiences of what it's like to work and play for a minor league baseball team.
Bring a friend…prospective member…your children...your parents/grandparents...or extended family…smell the fresh-cut grass...enjoy the sunshine...and some time away from the daily grind.
The food is ball-park fare, so leave your diets at home for one day.
Directions to meeting site at the ballpark: Go to the main gate and signs or ushers will direct you to the meeting site....the picnic area is on the right side of the field down the first base line.
Go Sea Dogs!
*08/17/18 Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field 2018-08-17 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
President John Curran opened our weekly meeting by welcoming 48 members and two guests. PP Cyrus Hagge (Photo at right) presented us with our invocation, reminding us of life's lessons through some quotes from Yogi Berra; Steve Mortimer led us in the pledge our allegiance to the American flag and we sang a patriot song a capella.

PP Laura Young introduced a new member, Amy Bouchard, who has lived in Bangor, Presque Isle, and now Kennebunk. Amy was a nutritionist and more recently became a financial planner with Merril Lynch. She’s excited about her community service roles, and has taken the “train the trainer” Opioid Recovery class with Jesse Harvey. Amy enjoys hiking, running, and is ushering at Portland Stage Company.  Please introduce yourself and welcome her into our club. 

(Photo L-R: President John Curran, Amy Bouchard and PP Laura Young.)

Chris Force (on right side in photo at right) ran the weekly raffle as the speaker selected a ticket from the holding vessel to try and find the elusive Queen of Hearts. PP Dick Hall’s name was selected, and he picked a two of diamonds, leaving over $890 for next week’s raffle. 

The Clarion has been trying out new menus over the last two weeks for our club and President John asked for a show of hands whether the Holiday Inn or the Clarion had the better food? The majority of those in attendance raised their hand for the Clarion. President John noted that there are a couple other options being considered for the club's weekly meeting venues.

PP Kris Rosado recently returning from his vacation to Erlangen, Germany, shared his experience of reaching out to their Rotary Club. Kris was stationed there during his service in the Army. Kris said that the Rotary Club treated him like family…..taking him on a private tour of city hall, and attending dinner at a restaurant which had been run by the same family for over 360 years. He was given their club banner to bring home and he will send them one of our club banners in exchange. (See "Around the World" separate article for photos.)   

Gracie Johnston (Photo left) provided an update on the Preble Street Soup Kitchen. She noted that there was a tremendous response for the Rotary volunteer night, and said that Preble Street can always use the help. The next Portland Rotary volunteer night at Preble Street is August 22. (See separate email coming about the details.) Contact Gracie to volunteer or further questions: Gracie also let us know that she and some others donated their time at a dinner for a local organization, Maine Inside Out, that helps young people who are incarcerated, or formerly incarcerated, integrate back into society. Gracie told us about some of the kids who attended the event, discussed their lifes' paths, and how the organization had helped them get on their feet.

Along those lines, consider attending the Portland Rotary volunteer night at Long Creek Youth Center on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. For further details or questions, contact Mike Fortunato:

Jan Chapman, coordinator of the Summer Reading Program, noted that this summer’s program had just ended successfully and thanked everyone who was involved. Jan talked a little bit about Erin Sullivan who wrote a children’s book called - Peace is a Choice You Make.  The book is about a little girl who discovers ways to work through bullying and negative comments, and how it makes a difference in herself.  In the book, the character makes peace with her inner circle and in the world with others. Jan and Bruce Chapman met Erin at a strawberry festival in Cape Elizabeth, and their conversations led to the Rotary reading program. Erin ended up donating 200 books to the program through the United Way, where the decision to use the book was approved. United Way was pleased with success of the program, which was held twice a week for 8-10 weeks. Approximately 152 books were used.  Thanks again to the volunteers who participated. 

Jan noted plans for the Youth Services Committee this year to include reading at Lyseth School. Other priorities include strengthening a relationship with the Portland High School Interact Club. Meghan Peabody is the liaison from our club to the Interact Club. Interact and Portland Rotary worked together this year on the Crutches4Africa effort. 

Another major effort of the Youth Services Committee is providing liaisons to Portland Schools for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). The leadership awards offer a 4-day program for students completing their sophomore year….the experience can be life changing.  Thank you goes to Bill Ross, the RYLA coordinator, and to the school liaisons, who are the key to the success of the programs, including: Rusty Atwood, PP Laura Young, Julie Chase, 2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner, Katie Brown, and Dave Putnam.

PP Dick Hall and Meghan Peabody are helping with the District’s Rotary Youth Exchange effort to host and exchange students for next summer. Please contact them if you are interested in hosting.  

Terri St. Angelo, event coordinator, discussed the upcoming Cornhole Championship Tournament, being held at North Yarmouth Academy on Aug. 23rd. They are currently looking for teams and for volunteers to help at the event with: setup, food sever, beverage sales, grill master, officials, take down and cleanup. If you can help or have questions, contact Terri at:

Gus Karlsen spoke about hosting a couple boats in the MS Regatta, taking place on Saturday, Aug. 18th. Gus said our club has won the coveted trophy (the Dirigo Bowl) 8 times in 15 years, and the proceeds go towards the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society in Southern Maine. Gus thanked the club for the donations over the years. The goal is to have two boats in the Regatta. Thanks for your donations. Contact Gus at: 239-1568 or

08/10/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-08-14 04:00:00Z 0
You can meet many different people as you travel the world on vacation. 
Here PP Kris Rosado shared lunch with some new friends while traveliing to Germany on a recent vacation trip......
and exchanged their club banner.
Around the Rotary World Kris Rosado 2018-08-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Matt Wolcott introduced our speaker, Dr. Judith Jones, Chair of the Maine Association for Charter Schools (MACS), who started by saying she has always believed that education and health are the keys to overcoming poverty. After a career in public education in a variety of positions ranging from education planning to policy positions, she moved to Maine in 1998 with her husband to “settle down.”  

Judith has been at the forefront of the development of charter schools in Maine, and presented her thoughts on the movement that began 30 years ago in the U.S. Today there are 7000 charter schools across 44 States and D.C, with 3.2 million students. Maine has 9 charter schools, currently serving 2240 students from over 100 towns and growing. 

A charter school is free and open to all students, non-selective. One of the words that Judith kept referring back to was accountability. All charter schools are bound by contracts with their respective states, agreements that state how the school will operate and be accountable for student achievement. The result is that every charter school can be different, each one carving out its own policies, budget, and curriculum. The contract must be accepted and approved by the State, and each school is given a periodic performance review. Maine’s review is every five years. This enabling legislation carefully spelled out the goals and operating practices of the charter schools. It was a model for other states, and for some time was “ranked” as the best in the country. It's still considered one of the 10 best. 

Driving the rationale is that when students are limited to a school choice based solely on their geographical location, they only know the socio-climate they live in. Many parents seek other opportunities, with innovative curriculums for their children, and do not want to be bound by one choice of their local public school. There are two sides to the issue, and those who are against charter schools cite systems that have low budget facilities, inexperienced teachers, and lower performance scores. Judith pointed to the fact that Maine developed legislation with a high bar for performance, and resistance has for the most part faded in Maine. She also noted that the charter school program has received strong bi-partisan support in the state. 

(Photo L-R: Matt Wolcott, Dr. Judith Jones and President John Curran.)

Budgets are frugal, and one of the challenges is that charter schools are not funded with federal or state funds. The school can receive public funding based on the number of students, age, and types of programs offered. It can also receive public and private grants and donations.

Charter schools are seen by supporters as offering distinct choices, while those who aren’t convinced, worry that they will be siphoning off funding from public schools. Dr. Jones pointed out that the funding goes with the student, thus limiting the impact charter schools impose on any system while offering options for those in need. The enabling legislation, which Dr. Jones helped to develop, sets the parameters and protections that guide and govern the schools. The legislation is expansive and allows for advances in education, such as virtual schools which take advantage of technology and respond to individual needs.

The Maine Association of Charter Schools has achieved the success to date by following a rather simple formula. To begin with they work closely with the local community and enjoy a great deal of volunteer assistance. They steadfastly follow enabling legislation that clearly delineates the means and expectations of performance. Finally, they are focused and able to concentrate on specific needs. Proof of the success of charter schools is the fact that each has a waiting list and graduates have a very high rate of matriculation to college.

To learn more about charter schools, check out the website at

08/10/18 Dr. Judith Jones, Maine Assn of Charter Schools John Marr 2018-08-12 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott

Dr. Judith Jones has a B.A. from Middlebury College, a M.A. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She began her career in International Relations and worked for the US Agency for International Development and the State Department. Following her passion for education, Judith switched careers and became program analyst for the NJ Department of Education when community colleges were initiated and teachers colleges were transformed into liberal arts programs. While living in Washington DC, she became involved with the emerging “Six School Complex” and documented this innovative public school choice program in her 1987 book, Six School Complex: A Successful Innovation in Washington, D.C.’s Public Schools. This led to a dozen years of working with the DC Public School system in a variety of facility planning, education planning, and policy positions.

She became involved with the early efforts to create “public autonomous schools” in DC, leading to the passage of enabling legislation for public charter schools by the DC Council in 1994 and by Congress in 1995. As co-founder of FOCUS, she worked with founders, authorizers, and others to develop a high-quality charter school movement in DC, now serving 44% of all public school children.

In 1998, Judith’s personal focus shifted to the state of Maine, where she and her husband Bill retired. At the time, Maine was one of the 10 states without an enabling charter school law. Judith quickly joined MACS, which was working to bring charter schools to Maine. Judith led the group in formalizing their efforts as a non-profit corporation in June of 2000 and in persisting to convince Maine legislators to enact enabling charter school legislation in June 2011. In Judith’s words…

“Access to good education is an avenue out of poverty, but the existing American system denies this access to many children.  It gives school districts almost complete control over taxpayer dollars and resources. Personal experience has persuaded me that better education outcomes will come only with basic structural changes, including allowing parents to choose schools that meet the needs of their children, with the money following the child, not the political winds of the day.”

*08/10/18 Dr Judith Jones, Maine Assn of Charter Schools Matt Wolcott 2018-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

(The meeting started on a light note when this reporter heard PP Paul Gore tell Alan Levenson that he was “looking particularly lovely today.”)

President John Curran welcomed 47 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and 3 guests to a warm summer meeting. Bruce Jones presented us with the invocation, taking quotes from an acceptance speech from a Junior Achievement awardee. Its contents spoke about the importance of compassion in business and personal life and gave us examples of where we can introduce compassion to everything we do.

Mike Fortunato lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and PP Bill Blount led us in "My Country Tis of Thee."

1st VP Amy Chipman introduced her guest and potential member Francine Laporte, and PP Peter Goffin introduced Mary Finnegan, a Portland Rotary member from 15 years ago. Mary had already received hugs and special welcomes from several members.

President John welcomed Immediate Past President Don Zillman back to Maine from the Southwest  and mentioned that PP Kris Rosado was currently in Germany. He also told us that Jesse Harvey was back from CT where he was trained to be a Recovery Coach Trainer for our Opioid Task Force.

President John read a nice thank you note, addressed to IPP Don Zillman, from the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic at the Maine Law School. The program teaches law students how to be effective advocates and supports them in their work at our southern border.

PP Larry Gross, speaking on behalf of himself and his Vocational Service Co-chair PP Jack Carr, was planting the seeds for future vocational service opportunities. He told us that vocational service is one of the pillars of Rotary Service and is included in the Declaration of Rotarians (Page 7 in the Roster). Vocational service uses professions as a way to serve. He cited the example where Jack Carr uses his engineering profession to mentor students at Portland High School, toward getting their own engineering degree.

There was a long list of August birthdays, and several anniversaries. Matt Tassey was the longest anniversary member on the list, 32 years of Rotary.

Jesse Harvey told us that he just completed the training to become a trainer of recovery coaches.  He will be leading the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy (RCA) training sponsored by Portland Rotary, with a grant from District 7780. The dates are Sep 4, 11, 18, and 25 and the class is 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, with 30 minute break for lunch on ones own. To register, go to: RCA Class applications are due by 6:00 pm 8/16/18. In order to be certified, one must attend all classes. The grant is supplying the scholarships for attendees, and attendees must agree to four hours of community service per month. We had registration for a previous course which was cancelled, so we have (12) carried over applications. This leaves (13) more spots. (See separate article for further details.)

Terri St Angelo, event coordinator, talked about the Maine Cornhole Tournament, which will be held Aug 23, 2018 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at NYA’s athletic fields, 148 Main Street, Yarmouth, rain or shine! It features bracket elimination, end-of-summer BBQ, Team champion & consolation prizes. Proceeds will benefit the Rotary Club of Portland’s local service projects and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine scholarship for full-tuition to attend NYA. For further details and to register, go to: Then Terri invited PP Roxane Cole (below left) and PP Jack Carr (below right) to demonstrate how the “sport” was played.




Gus Karlsen (at left) told us this is the last year he will be Collector-in-Charge for the MS Regatta. Gus brought the trophy we won last year for the service club division, and proudly displayed it up front. It is the 8th time Portland Rotary has won this trophy. Gus gladly collected $50 or $100 from anyone this week, and he will be back next week, so he asked that we “bring our checkbooks.” Usually Portland Rotary has been able to sponsor two boats, at $500 per boat. Gus would like to do that again.

With Jan Chapman conducting this week's raffle, which was over $800, Mike Reed's name was drawn. Mike pulled the Jack of Diamonds from the deck and it was not enough to win the pot that continues to grow.

08/03/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Inspiring yourself to achieve “blue sky space” was the theme of Ryan Vachon’s motivational presentation to our club on Friday. He was born in Boston, where he graduated from Tufts University with a degree in geology. He lives in Colorado, where he is the Executive Officer and Founder of One Premise Innovative Communications with the University of Colorado at Boulder. His career has been inspired by the challenges he has faced, especially while he was learning how to overcome his dyslexia and developmental obstacles. He found ways to inspire himself to be an assertive person and a creative thinker. This growth journey began about 6 years ago, when he found himself confronted by panic attacks. He made a decision to overcome the despair caused by these obstructive emotions. “I finally responded by standing up for myself,” he said.

Believing in the inspirational power of self-motivation has given him the confidence to confront challenges. Among the most arduous of his self-motivating challenges occurred during rock climbing experiences. During his climbs, he was faced with the opportunities and risks he confronted with each step he took, while attempting to conquer treacherous and steep terrains. Quick decision making increased his chances of success, like when he was once faced with a 2,000 foot “predicament”; but emotional decision making could also contribute to tragedy. His advice was “never act on emotion” but work through the “emotional clouds,” and look towards “blue sky space.” 

Confronting fear has been a big part of his life. He has learned to be motivated while striving to overcome fear. Taking small steps towards overcoming fear can lead to “big steps” in directing us to becoming “bigger people.”  

In being decisive, he recommended the acronym “GOALD”: 

G - A goal. “I want to do ‘this’”; and then ask yourself, “What holds me back?”

O - Ownership of the goal.

A - Advise yourself, “What do I do?”

L - Lead yourself through the paths toward the goal; know the challenges (sometimes, this also means facing the realization that there may be too many obstacles in the way of achieving the primary goal.)

D - Dedication for achieving the goal.

In summary, inspiring ourselves to achieve higher goals will give us the added benefit of allowing us to reach out to help others.


(Photo L-R: Matt Wolcott, Ryan Vachon, and President John Curran.)

08/03/18 Ryan Vachon, Explorer, Fim Producer, Motivational Speaker Julie L'Heureux 2018-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott
Joining us from Colorado, Ryan Vachon will speak about “concrete ways for overcoming doubt and increasing professional resilience.” As an accomplished scientist, author, climber, and film producer, Ryan, has travelled to Greenland, Alaska, the Andes and the Himalayas researching the changing climate. His work has been broadcast on the National Geographic, History, Discovery, CNN, and BBC channels to name a few and has been nominated for an Emmy Award. Currently Ryan is the executive director of a film production company and teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder when he’s not professionally climbing.
*08/03/18 Ryan Vachon, Motivational Speaker Matt Wolcott 2018-07-31 04:00:00Z 0

At the recent Opioid Recovery Coach Training, Co-Chair of the Opioid Task Force for our Club, Jesse Harvey met Laurie Quinn from the Philmont, NY Rotary Club in District 7210 (Hudson Valley NY). Laurie is their past district secretary & 2-term club president! Her Club has a Rotary International grant with a Club in Korea- recovery focused!

(Photo L-R: Laurie Quinn and Jesse Harvey.)

Opioid Coach Training 2018-07-30 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Justin LaMontagne has had to deal with the fear and paralysis that a diagnosis of cancer brings to a family. Since he had a degree of familiarity with the Maine Cancer Foundation, he reached out to them to help his family deal with this hideous disease. The Foundation proved to be the best resource for his family and helped them successfully travel through to a positive ending. The experience made a distinct impression on Justin and he suggested that they make a presentation to the Club. Justin introduced today’s guest speaker, Ray Ruby, who is the Community Outreach Manager for this Maine non-profit focused on prevention and early intervention as the means to reduce the cancer related mortality rate in Maine.

Ray has an interesting background. He grew up in Connecticut but moved to Maine and joined the Portland Police Department. While on the force he continued his studies and went on to obtain a degree in non-profit management and went on to recently join the Maine Cancer Foundation. In preparation for the presentation, Ray did some research since he expected to find that Rotary was involved and assisted with the work of the Foundation. He found quite a legacy of assistance from the Rotary Clubs in the state, particularly Portland.

The Maine Cancer Foundation concentrates on assisting the patients and practitioners. Every dollar that the MCF raises, over 7 million since 2015, remains in Maine. The Foundation leaves the research work projects to the American Cancer Society and supplements the work of the medical and research professionals by concentrating on the practical application of their findings. The MCF realizes that education is a huge component of any care plan to eradicate the disease in an individual. We learned that the people of Maine suffer a higher than normal rate of cancers. It is thought that many of the causes are attributed to lifestyle and environmental factors, consequently by getting the word out, early and emphatically, to the people in the state, they can favorably impact the mortality rate. The most prominent example of the education outreach is the smoking cessation programs that are reducing the number of younger smokers in Maine. The concentration on early intervention and detection is a critical element in any effort to contain the rate and provide a favorable end result. Simply stated, if we avoid environmental and lifestyle factors and recognize symptoms early in the process, we can significantly improve survival rates. The number of products with potentially hazardous ingredients was made known and it was suggested that we examine products prior to applying or ingesting them.

The geography of our state is part of the reason for our cancer rate being higher than the norm. The remote areas of the state suffer limited medical resources and travel can become a factor. When you add to the mix the demographics, it adds to the problem and the need for the services of the MCF. The Foundation works to help people recognize the telltale signs of the disease and seek immediate care. It is widely accepted that early detection and intervention is the most important factor in any effort to reduce the mortality statistic. However, if you think you have cancer, but can't get to a doctor, it is not only frustrating but deadly. Therefore, the Maine Cancer Foundation has programs to help people in need get rides and access to medical care. Every year, there are over 8,000 Maine residents who are diagnosed with the disease and in need of care.

The Maine Cancer Foundation conducts a number of fundraisers to support their outreach and assistance programs. They initiated the “Tri For a Cure,” “Mary’s Walk,” and the “Twilight 5K” run, to help raise needed funds to help the citizens of Maine to concentrate on 1) prevention (no smoking and limiting sun and chemical exposure ), 2) detection (breast self exam, colorectal studies, and noting changes in one’s body), and 3) access to expert health care. These are the things that each of us can do to prolong our life and avoid the disruption and devastation that cancer brings.

The Maine Cancer Foundation is spawning the collaboration and education that is giving us a way to gain some degree of control over the disease. The battle is far from over. In fact, the statistics are not as favorable as we would like, given the effort. There are still too many people who smoke, spend too much time in the sun without protection, are overweight and unaware of the known carcinogens that are omnipresent in our environment. We are all getting older and suffering exposure, but this is not a death sentence nor an excuse. If we pay attention to the signs, we can get the care we need and take advantage of the miraculous care that is being developed to turn the tide on this scourge.

(Photo L-R: Justin Lamontagne, Ray Ruby, Heather Drake and President John Curran.)

07/27/18 Ray Ruby, Maine Cancer Foundation John Marr 2018-07-30 04:00:00Z 0
Photos of volunteers reading to youngsters at North Deering Gardens:
PP Jim Willey and youngster
PP Bowen Depke and Mike Fortunato with youngsters
President John Curran with youngster
Summer Reading Program 2018-07-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

A new Rotary year has begun, out of the basement cavern we have come, the year ahead will be service and fun, and our new President John Curren will assure it’s well run. President John got us started by welcoming 46 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 1 guest, then recognized the program theme, the fallen of WWI, and a speaker familiar to us....not a guest, but a son. 

Charlie Frair was asked to offer a moment of inspiration and noted the occasion. While the focus was to be World War I, the war to end all wars, he invoked the inspiration of a war time leader of a later date, Winston Churchill. Charlie offered three quotes from the Prime Minister and hit the mark.

Continuing our patriotic theme, we willingly Pledged our Allegiance to the Flag and followed that, sans instrument or specific song leader, with a heartfelt singing of our national anthem. Our group proved that the right song and the perfect admeasure of pride and passion is beauty in and of its own.  Great job!

It has been determined that the majority of the club prefer a lighter lunch (our third week) in order to keep down the calories and cost. We have honored majority rule and have gone to a meal offering which will keep the price at $17. However, President John advised that we are not selling enough meal tickets to cover our overhead. Consequently, every member is asked to show support, either by buying lunch or making a donation;  how about giving a few dollars while signing in? 

Past President Laura Young remembers asking all of us to bring guests and introduce them to Rotary, in general, and the magnificence of our club and acts of service in particular. Laura, always a woman of her word, brought two guests to the meeting and we believe they will both be sponsored by Laura to become members. 
We also had a guest from far away.. ..Ed Mast, a member of the Lakewood Foothills Club, located outside West Denver, Colorado traded banners with President John
(photo at left).

Every Rotarian is proud of what we do and every club has hallmark service projects, of which to boast. We all bemoan that these acts of service and largess are not well known within the community. When we list the service projects and gifts of our club, we pop buttons with pride but scratch our head later wondering why so few know. Juliana L’Heureux, has taken on the charge of Public Relations and outlined the plans the committee has developed to get the word out and give us better community exposure and enhance our membership efforts. Through collaboration, such as Chamber events, we can get the word in front of prospects and others who need to know. If you have an idea to share or know of an upcoming event, pass it along to Julie.

Our summertime, Savannah-based, member Kirk Duffy told the group of his initiation to our Club’s efforts to help the kids in the Cedar Unit at the Long Creek Youth Development Center. Kirk was instrumental in our serving up an abundant barbecue to the boys, along with a little frisbee can bash on the side. It was the first time that the boys said that they had too much food! Mike Fortunato and PP Jim Willey have been spearheading the Cedar meetings for over 5 years and they keep finding ways to make it better. Despite the addition of Kirk and Joe Reagan, they need more help. If you’re free on the third Tuesday of the month, please consider joining the group. Kirk will tell you that he passed the background check and came away a free and happy man.

The many projects of Rotary only happen because of the help of our members. There is room for everyone to help on any project and we ask that you look around and find the project that best fits your intentions and calendar. Roger Fagan, International Service Chair, asked for members to show up on Thursday, July 26th at the warehouse located at 20 Gooch Street in Biddeford to help with the Crutches4Africa project. It’s a light-lifting night with a start of 5 PM and you should be going home by 7 PM. If you can help please contact Roger at: If you’re busy on Thursday, how about Wednesday, the 25th? Our Community Services Chair, Gracie Johnston (, is heading up our monthly effort to help feed the needy at the Preble Street Resource Center. The kitchen duties are many and there’s something that will fit the abilities of anyone wanting to help. We meet at the center at 3:30 PM and on our way home around 6. The needs are many and we don’t confine ourselves to our club alone. Meredith Small brought to our attention the need of the Saco Bay Rotary Club to find a new sponsor for their signature fundraiser, The Duck Pluck. If your business is willing to help, please get in touch with Meredith at:

On the subject of plucking, Jerry Angier orchestrated our weekly raffle and offered up a pot of $805 if you plucked the Queen of Hearts. Our speaker of the day, trusty Rusty Atwood, pulled the name of Alan Levenson (photo above L-R: Jerry Angier and Alan Levenson). Alan had good plucking luck the last time his name was drawn and gave his winnings back to the Club. He didn’t have any luck on this day and didn’t have to decide whether to spend or share, so the kitty will be greater next week. Come to the meeting, buy many tickets and enjoy the treasure of Rotary fellowship....a stand alone prize.

07/20/18 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2018-07-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Terri St. Angelo

Roxane Cole introduced our very own, Rusty Atwood, as our speaker. Rusty asked to be on the program for the July 20 meeting because of the date, July 18, 1918, being a critical turning point in World War I. He wanted to tell us “the rest of the story,” and, by extension, pay homage to many others whose service and sacrifice during “the war to end all wars” has faded into history. He spoke to us about a Centennial Saga involving 1st Lt. Earle Adams Billings. Rusty’s wife, Sue, is the great niece of Earle Billings. 

The Saga began with “the Immortals” of Portland High School, the boys that never came home from the war. Earle Adams Billings was one of those boys. A Gorham native, he graduated from Portland H.S. in 1912, then entered West Point in 1914. According to the Register of the U.S. Military Academy:  “His career at the Academy was one anyone might well be proud in that he graduated with his class in August, 1917, nine months prior to the date set for the graduation of the Class of 1918. His kindness and thoughtfulness toward everyone with whom he came in contact was distinctively prominent in his every act and those characteristics, coupled closely with his loyalty, integrity and his everlasting determination to succeed through squareness to others, gained for him from his classmates a profound respect and admiration.”

Lt. Billings, upon graduating, was assigned to the 9th Infantry, which at that time was overseas. He was one of the few officers of his class who was fortunate enough to receive an assignment to a unit which had already embarked for foreign service.

Before sailing, he married Ruth Dingley Jenkins, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel Wesley Jenkins of Portland, Maine, on October 10th, 1917. He was with her only until November 2, 1917, at which time he sailed for England. He remained in London a few days and then joined his regiment, the 9th Infantry, in France and was with it until sometime in January, 1918, when he was detailed to an officers’ school as an instructor. In the latter part of March, 1918, he was appointed as range officer, which duty he performed until the thirtieth of May when he was sent to the front to rejoin his organization and was with the 9th Infantry up to the time of his death on July 18, 1918.

Many events were taking place in the world in 1918. The US declared war on Germany. Moscow became the capital of the Soviet Union. The Red Sox won the World Series. The Romanov family was executed in Russia. Nelson Mandela was born. The Battle of Soissons began on July 18 between the Allied (French, British, American) and German troops. This battle ended after four days with 107,000 Alied casualties and 168,000 Germans. 

After falling on the battlefield at Soissons, the West Point class ring of Lt. Billings was stripped from his body by a German soldier. It was recovered when the German was captured a short while later, and returned to Earl’s widow, Ruth. When Ruth remarried and had a daughter, Katharine, the ring eventually was passed down to her. Katherine married another West Point graduate, Edgar Nichols and many years later, Billings’ ring was donated back to West Point. It was carried into space by yet another West Point graduate, Col. William McArthur, in October, 2000.

Upon the completion of the space shuttle mission, the Billings ring was back at West Point to be melted down as part of the Academy’s nascent Memorial Ring Program. Gold from the Billings ring, along with several others, was incorporated into the class rings of the West Point Class of 2002. Each year since, more donated rings are melted and the new class receives rings containing gold from past graduates.

After the war, Portland recognized their fallen sons by planting Linden Trees on Baxter Boulevard, one for each soldier lost. Each soldier from the Great War had a story to tell, perhaps not involving a ring that traveled into space, but important to a family nonetheless.

Rusty recommended several books: one by Richard Rubin, The Last of the Doughboys and Back Over There as good accounts of life as a soldier in the Great War, and a two-volume book by Don Zillman and Elizabeth Elsbach, Living The World War: A Weekly Exploration of the American Experience in World War I.


(Photo L-R: Rusty Atwood and President John Curran.) 

07/20/18 Rusty Atwood, A Centennial Saga Terri St. Angelo 2018-07-23 04:00:00Z 0

WHAT:  A 2-hour work detail to assemble crutches and other mobility aids for shipment in August. It is an opportunity to meet, work alongside, and share ideas with other Rotarians. GUARANTEED TO BE FUN. Light refreshments will be available.

DATE AND WHEN:   Thursday July 26th,   5 - 7 (??) PM

WHERE:    Warehouse at 20 Gooch St., Biddeford, just off Route 1 downtown (Near the waste plant site)

Dennis Robillard and the Saco Bay Sunset Club are planning to ship another container of mobility aids to Africa in August. They need help packaging and bundling equipment for easy and proper loading. They are a small Club that does a lot. We need another 10-15 people from local Rotary Clubs to help. 

This is a quick hands-on project that many of you have asked for. PLEASE LET TONY WAGNER KNOW YOUR AVAILABILITY AS SOON AS YOU CAN.    

You can contact Tony at his cell 799-7997 or Dennis at 468-0443. This project helps meet the District goal of expanding inter-club collaboration.   

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tony Wagner, Assistant District Governor


Collaborative District Effort 2018-07-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Terri St. Angelo

President John Curran opened the meeting by welcoming 43 members, 2 visiting Rotarians and one guest, then introduced Past President Russ Burleigh for the invocation. Russ said the word  “Triskaidekaphobia” very slowly. Then told us the meaning – from the Greek 'triskaideka,' meaning “thirteen,” and 'phobos,' meaning “fear.” It is the fear or avoidance of the number 13. Which the day is Friday the 13th of July. He continued to tell us what July means to him.

The visiting non-Rotarian, Jo Courney, was from Cabot Cheese, giving us cheese samples and told us about a Reward Volunteers program. Record the time you spend volunteering in your local community. When you log your time, you can win prizes like New England Vacations, cash for the nonprofit you volunteer with, and so many more. A fun cheese box auction brought in $50 and the winner was….Paul Gore!

Past President Loretta Rowe was making a first appearance from her medical leave. She handed out the new roster books, asked us to review our personal information for accuracy, and to contact her if anything needed correcting. She smiled (tearfully) as everyone stood and applauded her return to the club. We are so happy to see her smiling face again. 

President John Curran gave recognition to the rest of the new board members, then to 'Rotarians in the News': Jesse Harvey for his work on recovery homes that was published in the Bangor News and for his interview on a local radio station and Bob Fowler for his work for Milestone Recovery. 

Jesse Harvey, Co-chair of the newly-formed Opioid Task Force for Recovery, was about to announce the progress of the committee, when Gracie Johnston, his Co-chair,  suddenly appeared on queue to support his announcement. Together they described how the whole Opioid Task Force committee worked on a grant to District and received the $5000 award for their "Train the Trainer" program for Portland Recovery. This program will provide training, 30 hrs. of recovery coach courses and development of a curriculum for recovery coaches and Rotarians for training more trainers in the area. The goal is to offer classes and workshops for schools and organizations to help recognize the needs and support the recovery efforts.

Jan Chapman gave an update on the Summer Reading program. The first week was a very hot day with a handful of participants, but the second week doubled with excitement building for the summer. For more information, contact Jan:

Mike Fortunato told us that the Long Creek BBQ is Tuesday July 17th. He will give us an update after the event.

Brian McDonough handled the weekly raffle and the speaker pulled Linda Varrell's name from the holding vessel of tickets, giving her a chance to find the Queen of Hearts, but it did not appear. 

Past President Kris Rosado announced that the "Maine Outdoor Challenge" raised $27,805 for Portland Rotary. The next fundraiser, the "Cornhole Championship," has had some changes as the Maine Girls' Academy is closing and will not be our partner. We will now partner with the Boys and Girls Club/NYA Scholarship. Cornhole boards will be made and a date will be announced on when help for those is needed. (see separate article)

07/13/18 Bits & Pieces Terri St. Angelo 2018-07-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

Allan Brown from MEMIC is a physical trainer by schooling, and he was the speaker at Friday’s meeting. Mr. Brown shared some of his 33-years of ergonomic experience gained from his schooling and from training workers and employers at one of Maine’s largest companies.   

His message about ergonomics really touches close to home, since Maine has one of the oldest work forces (with the average worker age being close to 48 years old) and with over 85% of current jobs being considered sedentary when compared to approximately 50% of jobs in the 1950’s. For instance, Allan and others were noticing that workers in the office were having more aches, pains, or injuries than those in the warehouse. This lead to companies starting to use standup desks to help with posture and change positioning at work.

Mr. Brown also discussed comorbidity which is the coupling of multiple diseases or disorders, and which often occurs as one grows older (e.g., oh, my aching back, and my eyes are going). He also demonstrated how correct posture comes from sitting or standing properly at work, and how changing positions throughout the day will help all of us to reduce strain. He noted that those of us that stand up and walk around the office, and maybe standing occasionally throughout the day, have been shown to be healthier in the long run. 

Allan compared our posture to a seven-button club, whereby the number of buttons one sees on your shirt in the mirror gets smaller (6 buttons), and smaller (5 buttons), as we crouch, slouch, or bend over. If you can align your spine vertically, all seven buttons on your shirt have a shot at showing, and this is the best posture for reducing comorbidities and strain.   

He drove his points home by having Patty Erickson (photo at left) and Elise Hodgkin (photo below) demonstrate how our typical 13-pound head can really affect the musculature, and how holding one’s head in a proper position can allow certain muscles to relax. He went as far as to connect Elise’s upper back muscles to a machine that recorded the muscles' electrical pulses, and converted the readings to sound: the tighter the muscles were when she reached forward, the louder the sound became. With a little practice, Elise was able to relax those muscles using proper posture.

The long and short of Mr. Brown’s presentation is that over the years, gravity can bring you down, but there are some things you can do to counter act it. For additional information, he can be contacted at:

(Photo L-R: 2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner, President John Curran, Allan Brown and Justin Lamontagne.)

07/13/18 Allan Brown, MEMIC Jake Bourdeau 2018-07-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kris Rosado
We are in need of 6-8 Volunteers to help assemble cornhole boxes. You don't need to be an expert carpenter, but must be comfortable with using basic power tools, like drills, hammers and paint brushes.  
The First Annual Maine Cornhole Championship will be held at NYA on Thursday, August 23rd, from 4-7 PM. We anticipate 64 teams which means we need 32 sets of cornhole boxes.
Russ Voss has offered his new brewery on Route 100 in New Gloucester to be used as our manufacturing facility, and he feels confident we can knock out 30-40 sets in one day. Ben Delcourt is also helping coordinate the construction of the boxes. Their plan is for them and a few friends to precut and prepare all of the pieces on a Saturday, and then have a work party on Sunday to assemble and finish the boxes. A date has not been set, so right now we are trying to get an idea of who might be able and willing to help.
Please reply to Kris at if you might be able to help, and we will let you know once we have a date.  Hint, the Event is August 23rd, so there are not many weekends left!!
We need your help!!
Cornhole Championship Help Needed Kris Rosado 2018-07-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Roxane Cole

A century ago, The Great War was approaching its climax, with the Western Front battered by German forces seeking to take Paris. Dug in along miles of trenches, the American Expeditionary Force, led by American General John J. Pershing and French Marshall Ferdinand Foch, was determined to repel this advance. The fate of France, and its Allies, hung in the balance.

The month of July, 1918, would prove to be a critical turning point in World War I, albeit costly in terms of lives lost. July 18 marked the beginning of that turning point as A.E.F. Forces went “over the top” early that morning at Soissons and by the time the month was over, the German advance had been successfully blunted. Paris was safe and in three months time, an armistice would be signed and the doughboys could begin coming back from “over there.”

Many, however, did not come back. We, in Rotary, know of one local lad in particular - Harold T. Andrews - whose memory lives on via the memorial square, and flagpole, that bears our imprint. Others fell as well, 67 from Portland whose names are listed on a plaque in front of City Hall. One of the fallen was an Army officer born in Gorham, a 1912 graduate of Portland High and of West Point, Class of 1917, who led his men “over the top” on July 18, and remained behind - never to return to his home, or to his wife of nine months. A small piece of him did return, however, and in a most unusual way - and eventually made an equally unusual journey than the one that brought it home to Portland.

Portland Rotarian Rusty Atwood will identify the officer, offer “the rest of the story,” and, by extension, pay homage to many others whose service and sacrifice during “the war to end all wars” has faded into history. For those among us who travel Baxter Boulevard with any regularity, they are with us still.

(Special thanks to Past Presidents Bowen Depke and Jim Willey, along with other Rotarians whose efforts during our Centennial Celebration prompted Rusty’s interest in bringing this story to a wider audience.)

*07/20/18 Rusty Atwood,  July 1918,  A Centennial Saga Roxane Cole 2018-07-16 04:00:00Z 0
The new Club Rosters are out for 2018-19. Please be sure to pick yours up at the next Rotary meeting....there is a book with your name on it. Once you have it, please check your personal information to be sure everything is correct. If you find an error or know of a change, please contact Loretta ( and it will be published in the next Windjammer for you to correct in your own book.
Changes to date:
Jake Bourdeau, change work address to: 120 Exchange St., #300, P. 04101
Jesse Harvey, email correction:
Thank you.
New Roster Changes 2018-07-15 04:00:00Z 0
.In the last Windjammer, under "Bits & Pieces," it was listed that David Snow gave the invocation, but it was David Small
.Please accept our apologies
EDITORIAL CORRECTION 2018-07-15 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President John Curran opened the meeting and introduced David Small (photo at left), who read an invocation written 14 years ago by Beth McLendon titled “The Evening of July 6,” that included: “Last night I stumbled into a lightening bug convention held on my street. Since it was the day after July 4th, I wondered if they were inspired to compete with the fireworks of the day before. The floating sparks weren’t as spectacular as the colorful streamers of independence but their simplicity gained my attention just as easily. Again and again, I watched as the gentle globes gathered together and then dispersed. Everywhere I looked, lights were blinking. They were always on the move. Action oriented and yet reserved. They were too shy to come near me, yet I still felt welcome. No motivational speakers, no Power Point presentations, yet, they captured my interest as no meeting has done before. Their messages were clear. Relax, enjoy the journey of life....float together sometimes....float alone gentle....let your light shine.”

PP Kris Rosado (photo at right) updated us on the Cornhole Championship Fundraiser and our partnership with the Maine Girls' Academy. In planning the event, a suitable site must be reserved with access to a grassy location and parking. The Cornhole Championship will be held on August 23, from 4-7 PM, location to be determined. 

Rotarians with July birthdays were recognized by everyone singing “Happy Birthday." 

Janelle LoSciuto (photo at left) led a patriotic medley singing of the first verse to “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” by George M. Cohen, then “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” a marching tune with roots in the American Revolution and “This Land is Your Land,” by Willie Guthrie. 



Justin Lamontagne presented the raffle at $751 and 1st VP Amy Chipman won the chance to find the Queen of Hearts; but it remained hidden in the deck.


President John (photo at left) emphasized the areas of partnership between Portland Rotary and the community as (1) to expand on the work with the Opioid Task Force and (2) to help new Mainers in their transition into the community. Additionally, he emphasized how the “lifeblood” of Portland Rotary was exhibited in the good works done by those who volunteer at Preble Street; in the international 3H project in the Dominican Republic and in Kosovo; with the CHE efforts to end childhood hunger, and improving education through reading in the Greater Portland area; and the mentoring with youths at the Long Creek Youth Development Center. 

Committee chairs for 2018-19 were introduced by President John:

Constitution/By Laws - Past President Tom Saturley; Fund Raising - Mike Reed; Good Cheer - Ben Millick; Invocation - David Small; Meeting Day - Jennifer Frederick; Music - Janelle LoSciuto; Program Chair - Matt Wolcott; Roster - Past President Loretta Rowe; Sergeant-at-Arms - Dave Putnam; Vision - vacant; Nominating - Past President Don Zillman

Membership - Past President Laura Young; Foundation - Past President Dick Hall.

Community Service - Gracie Johnston; International Service - Roger Fagan; Vocational Service - Past Presidents Jack Carr and Larry Gross; Youth Service - Jan Chapman; Opioid Recovery Task Force - Jesse Harvey and Gracie Johnston; New Mainers Task Force - Max Chikuta.

Windjammer (Internal Communications) - Past President Loretta Rowe; Public Relations (External) - Julie L’Heureux; Webmaster - Erik Jorgensen and Club Protection Officer - Nan Heald.

(Committee Chairs present: Dave Small, PP Tom Saturley, Jennifer Frederick, Janelle LoSciuto, Gracie Johnston, Jesse Harvey, Roger Fagan, PP Jack Carr, Jan Chapman, PP Dick Hall and Julie L'Heureux.)


07/06/18 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2018-07-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Portland Rotarian, Jesse Harvey was our speaker this week. As many already know, he is a person in long term recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Jesse’s focus was to help us understand the problem better and explain how we and others can help.

Jesse said that Portland is a recovery ready community and more communities need to become one also. 418 Mainers died of OD last year while there were only 171 traffic deaths.  More died in the US in 2016 than in the whole Vietnam war. There is a 20% decline in males in labor force due to SUD. Jesse thanked the district and our club for being recovery allies, who enable recovery to happen.

Jesse told us that in five weeks, he will have achieved 36 months in recovery. His mom worked for the UN, so Jesse grew up living in many countries. They moved to Buffalo at age 12, then MA, and his parents divorced while he was in High school. Jesse started drugs as it was easier to get than alcohol, heavily misusing pills acquired from doctors. He added alcohol in college staying 8 months before being asked to leave school. He moved to PA, enrolled in school, and was working for an attorney. After graduation he needed alcohol every 3-4 hours, and his legal problems started. He was in and out psych hospitals multiple times, involuntarily committed 4 times, and discharged to streets. The 5th time, he was discharged to a recovery house. After 3 months, he began working, and 3 months later had a full time job, and now has become more and more involved in advocacy.

Multiple programs are needed to be recovery ready because different people have different needs. Anonymous programs will not allow pushing for the macro changes. SUD is a diagnosed medical condition where the brain gets rewired by the substances. Recovery is a process to health, home, community and purpose.

Adverse childhood experiences lead to disrupted development, and if untreated, will lead to drugs, alcohol and other issues. Recovery oriented systems of care (ROSC) need to have the range to cover the needs of many different people. Lack of a continuum of care is a bridge to nowhere. Many systems treat the acute, with nowhere to go for continuing care. Recovery requires a continuum of care, which includes intervention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery supports.   

Words have an immense power to wound and hurt, as well as inhibiting the needed changes to society. Health outcomes are different based on words used to describe condition.

No one is immune to implicit biases. Example:  Drug addict should be referred to as a person who uses drugs. Words and concepts can elevate and celebrate – Example:  People seeking long term recover. Recovery ready communities have sustainability and end the stigma and discrimination of the disease or its recovery. Opportunities for Rotarians include recovery coaches, Narcan training, support legislation, educate peers, and value programs. Direct support can be driving people to recovery programs and actively using destigmatized language and person-first language. Contact Jesse if you want to help at:

(L-R: Jesse Harvey and President John Curran.)

07/06/13 Jesse Harvey, Opioid Abuse and Treatment Dick Hall 2018-07-08 04:00:00Z 0
Allan Brown has been working directly with Maine companies to help them manage workplace injuries for over 26 years, providing rehabilitation services on site at several of Maine's largest employers. He utilizes traditional clinical tools along with ergonomics to address the causes of injuries and to enhance recovery, a model that has created a paradigm shift in work injury management not only in the State of Maine but also in other parts of the country. The model drastically reduced the severity of injuries and often, with ergonomic interventions, eliminated the causation.
Allan has ben published on the model in The Comprehensive Guide to Work Injury Management (1995) by Susan Isernhagen, as well as in a number of other professional publications throughout the country. He has presented nationally on the topics of ergonomics and on-site care. His professional affiliations include having served on the Medical Advisory Board of Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Co. and as Chair of the Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists in the State of Maine.
State university, earning a bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation. He slao has a bachelor's deree in physical therapy from Howard University, and continued his ergonomics training at the University of Michigan.
*07/13/18 Allan Brown, MEMIC Matt Wolcott 2018-07-08 04:00:00Z 0


Member Birthday
    3rd - Mark Millar
    5th - Ben Millick
  11th - Alan Levenson
            Charlie Whittier
  12th - Tom Nickerson
            Megan Peabody
  14th - Jack Carr
            Jennifer Frederick
  16th - Julia L'Heureux
  19th - John Marr
  23rd - Peter Noyes
  29th - Mike Reed
  30th - Terri St. Angelo
  31st - John Curran

Date-Joined-Rotary Anniversaries
Alan Levenson - 39 years
Bill Reynolds - 44 years
Rob Chatfield - 11 years
Mike Fortunato - 8 years
Steve Stromsky - 7 years
Jerry Angier - 4 years
Tom Nickerson - 4 years
Alex St. Hilaire - 4 years
Elise Hodgkin - 3 years
Tom Saturley - 2 years
Peter Moore - 1 year


Birthdays and Rotary Anniversaries 2018-07-06 04:00:00Z 0

The meeting minutes for Portland Rotary Club's Board of Directors are posted on our website the month following their approval. From the "Home Page," click on the "Board Meeting Minutes" in the listing at the left and then the date of the minutes you would like to review. 

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes Loretta Rowe 2018-07-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Matt Wolcott

Jesse Harvey will be our speaker at Portland Rotary this week. He is a person in long term recovery from Substance Use Disorder. He works as Peer Support Coordinator for Greater Portland Health, volunteers as Chapter Lead of Young People in Recovery-Portland, and serves on Portland’s Overdose Prevention Task Force, as well as on the Boards of Directors of Health Equity Alliance and NAMI-Portland.

Jesse is an advocate for low-cost, low-barrier, and evidence-based public health interventions, and he has helped to educate healthcare providers, the media, law enforcement, and others in Maine on the value of recovery-ready communities. Jesse is most passionate about recovery houses and overdose prevention sites, and is the Founder of Journey House Sober Living and Portland OPS.

Jesse is a Master’s student at Muskie. In his spare time he likes to walk around Portland and eat Ethiopian food.

*07/06/18 Jesse Harvey,  Journey House Matt Wolcott 2018-07-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Michael Dubyak, Chairman of South Portland-based WEX, shared with us the story behind writing his book, The Road to WEXcellence, and read from a couple of chapters. “Why did I write a book? Maine doesn’t tell good stories about its successes. This is a good story,” he said. “I also wanted to share the learnings from my experience.” Dubyak said the book was written to capture all the phases of the story of WEX. “I believe that my behind-the-scene perspective offers lessons.”

Dubyak read from the book’s preface, which began with the story of the culmination of WEX’s effort to launch their IP in 2005. “We were on our road show with 74 meetings in ten days,” he said. “Meetings all around the country with investment banks and potential investors. It was draining. Our owners at the time, Cendant, were in control of the process, and there were two companies trying to buy the firm before the IPO—so we had two due diligence efforts underway while we were raising interest in the offering. If one of the companies was successful, we would have to shut down the IPO.”

Dubyak said that when he opened the drapes of his hotel room on the morning of February 16, 2005 and saw the view of the Statue of Liberty, “I just lost it. I was so overcome with emotion. Here I was, a guy from Maine getting ready to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, my emotions flowing, and I just sat down on the couch and cried.” He said that he finally got himself together and met up with Melissa Smith, WEX president, and the rest of his executive team, and they launched their IPO.

“We didn’t do it for the money for ourselves,” he said. “All the money went to Cendant. We saw this as our chance for independence.”

Dubyak then read from the book’s third chapter, which is about entrepreneurial risk. “Entrepreneurs take on risks to survive,” he said, noting that by year 12, most startups have either gone out of business, or disappeared. “Very few survive,” he said. “Staying in business requires ratcheted growth and capital.” Dubyak explained that each round of raising capital is lettered, starting with “A”. “We were on the “I” round,” he said. “We cycled through six presidents before I became CEO. But the management team stayed together. “We called ourselves ‘WEX’ers,” he said. “What made us special; what makes a Maine company special are the people of Maine. We are persistent and loyal and compassionate. Our culture is that of a family, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

In response to questions, Dubyak reported that the firm’s new headquarters should be complete by the fourth quarter of this year and will house 450 employees. He acknowledged that this will present another challenge to Portland’s traffic and parking situation. Asked how the firm’s culture of community involvement plays into its competitive advantage, Dubyak said that high employee satisfaction translates to high customer satisfaction. “We’re now signing customers like Exxon and Shell to ten-year contracts,” he said. “That locks the competition out.”

Since WEX’s IPO opening at $19 per share, its stock has risen to $190.80 per share with a market capitalization rate of $8.3 billion. The book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

(Photo L-R: Michael Dubyak and new club President John Curran.)

06/29/18 Michael Dubyak, Chair WEX Bob Martin 2018-07-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen

Incoming President John Curran welcomed 35 members and four guests. Jen Fullmer, a retired B-1 bomber pilot, was one of the guests who joined us for our lunch. She is currently working to establish a new nonprofit, Boots2Roots. The organization helps veterans transition from military to civilian life in Maine, assisting them with everything from job placement to navigating the real estate market.

1st VP Amy Chipman enthralled the club with tales of Toronto – telling us of a spectacular Rotary International Convention, which she attended with a battalion of Portland Rotarians, including PP Peter Goffin, 2nd VP Ellen Niewohner, PP Bill Blount, Tom Nickerson, Ron Bennett, Bruce Moore, Jan Chapman and Mr. and Mrs. John Marr.  25,000 Rotarians were in attendance at the Toronto coliseum.  They heard not only from Rotary International’s president, but from prime ministers, the head of UNICEF, first lady Laura Bush and others, including Process Anne. Even Canada’s celebrity prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was in attendance.  She said it was “three world leaders, one first lady, and 25,000 friends." 

Jan Chapman reported that the Club’s North Deering Gardens reading program is up and running, with a full complement of readers. She also told her own Toronto story, in which she described the end of a meal when the manager of the restaurant they were at came up and waxed poetic about Rotary and its work for refugees. He then offered them all free drinks, proving the value of going out in public while wearing one’s Rotary pin.

Gracie Johnston made an appeal to members, asking them to step up to help with the Club’s monthly meal at Preble Street. The program has been going well, but the supply of Rotary volunteers has grown a little thin. Brandishing a “Help Wanted” sign, she explained that the program serves dinner on the fourth Wednesday of every month, and that all are welcome.

Finally, PP Peter Goffin was the latest victim of the cruel Queen of Hearts in our weekly raffle. He was close, pulling an ace of that suit, but not close enough to take the jackpot, which continues to grow.

06/29/18 Bits & Pieces Erik Jorgensen 2018-07-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

Erik Jorgensen introduced Dr. Chuck Radis, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of New England and a rheumatologist with an interest in Public Health issues. After 22 years in private practice at Rheumatology Associates in Portland, he now provides rheumatologic services through the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth. 

Dr. Radis believes that universal health coverage is a basic right. He described the problems with our current health care system as “the bridge is burning.” Dr. Radis indicated that in 2007 15% of our country’s total gross product went to health care and that number is now 17%. He told us that the most common reason for bankruptcy in the U.S. is large medical bills.

Without getting into a full discussion of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Radis stated that it provided benefits by allowing younger adults to be insured longer under their parent’s policies and by coverage of pre-existing medical conditions. The ACA didn’t, however, control costs.

Dr. Radis argued that a new health care system is necessary and that to be effective, it needs to be:

1. Simple (the current U.S. system is much too complex);

2. Fair (universal); and

3. Sustainable (with cost controls).

Dr. Radis then gave examples of what he personally was charged on his medical bill for same day surgery in 2015 and compared those figures with the medical costs of the individual items. The differences were in some instances staggering. He also gave other examples, like the average cost to Americans for an MRI is $1,119 – in Australia it’s $215. He noted that the only two countries that allow prescription advertising on television are the U.S. and New Zealand and that this advertising adds about 20% to the cost of prescriptions.

Dr. Radis then discussed Medicare and noted that it has substantially less administrative costs as compared with private insurance. Medicare also pays less to hospitals and physicians than private insurance. Dr. Radis said that what Medicare can’t do by law is negotiate the price of prescription medicines and he believes this should change. 

In summary, Dr. Radis believes that the solution to our health care cost crisis is to design a system that looks a lot more like Medicare. His proposal – both during his talk and afterwards when taking questions, provoked skepticism and outright disagreement by some Rotarians who argued that his examples were oversimplified and in some examples erroneous. It was a lively discussion about a critically important topic.

(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, Dr. Chuck Radis and Erik Jorgensen.)
06/22/18 Dr Chuck Radis, Healthcare From the Physician's Perspective Alan Nye 2018-06-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Curran
Rotary District 7780 members and family are invited.

The Portland Sea Dogs are happy to host Rotary District 7780 as they take on the Altoona Curve, AA Affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, August 19th at 1:00 PM. Gates open at 11:30 AM. Tickets are $26 pp. Tickets purchased through this link are for the Coca-Cola Picnic Area in Right Field, and include a buffet that runs from 11:30am until 2:00 PM and consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, bbq pulled chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, Coca-Cola products and Sea Dog Biscuits. There is also a cash bar in the area for beer and wine.

What a great way to share an afternoon with fellow Rotarians and prospective members in the District. Invite your friends and family, too!

If any questions you can contact, District AG from the Kennebunk Portside Rotary Club or click on the following link to order tickets
District Sea Dogs Game John Curran 2018-06-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

President Don Zillman called the meeting to order welcoming 39 members and 1 guest to the Clarion Hotel.

David Small provided a delightful invocation, lamenting and celebrating the changes in our lives, with an incoming club president and with the ever-changing seasons, which all too quickly run from summer to autumn here in Maine. But, with a reading about the joys of summer, we were all able, if just for a day, to feel the excitement that these first few balmy days bring us all as Mainers.

Kathy Grammer’s voice steadied our acapella group through our rendition of “America the Beautiful.

John Houghton brought the lovely and talented Jay Houghton, his beloved wife, to Rotary as his guest.

Gracie Johnston needs your help! The Preble Street Resource Center provides so much  ( support for the homeless community, which explodes in the summer, and our club has committed to providing volunteers for our Wednesday commitment from 3:30 to 6:30. This could be some of the most rewarding work you can do…so please contact Gracie if you’d like to make an impact on the lives of some of those who are less fortunate than yourself.

Erik Jorgensen was feted for winning his re-election to The Maine House of Representatives. Despite running unopposed, Erik ran a crisp and well-managed campaign. Congrats to our Woodford area leader. We look forward to hearing Erik’s thoughts on the happenings in Augusta. And we promise to not have his talk take place in a bowling alley this year!

President Don gave a brief and carefully worded thumbs-up for the ranked choice voting process which culminated this past week with Janet Mills’ primary victory. As she gathers herself to take on Shawn Moody in November’s general election, we, as Mainers, can conclude that as a national model for this new system, our voters seemed to handle it with great aplomb and stability.

Our search for a “home” continues. After some very successful and warmly received discussions with The Holiday Inn By-the-Bay resulted in an offer to keep us on as Friday guests, our club is finalizing its position as we search for the elusive perfect venue for our Friday meetings (reporter’s note: we began this VERY elusive search back when I was club president about 15 years ago!). While just about all of us want to stay on the peninsula, and just about 100% want to stay on as a “Friday lunch club,” there are so many factors, such as parking, meal cost, and black- out dates, that really cause the Board of Directors to pause and reflect on these rather major decisions. While the decisions are being worked out, and with new consideration being given to the gorgeous Jewish Community Center near Westgate, President Don (with President John in the wings) asks for your patience and understanding as we once again grapple with finding a cozy and welcoming  home base.

Patty Erickson had our speaker, Chuck Radis, draw a name for the weekly raffle and Tom Saturley strode to the podium in search of the elusive queen of hearts which would have netted Tom $690….but the eight of clubs forced Tom back to his seat, in search of a pot of gold at another time. 

06/22/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-06-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Michael Dubyak is Chairman of WEX Inc., a leading provider of corporate payment solutions. From 1986 to 2013, Dubyak held executive management positions, including the last 15 years as President and CEO.  His career at WEX spanned the Company’s nine years of venture capital ownership, five subsequent ownership changes and ultimately its Initial Public Offering in 2005. Dubyak has chronicled the story of the founding of WEX, initially known as Wright Express, in his book, The Road to Wexcellence, published by Amazon Digital.

Dubyak’s leadership and vision was instrumental in forming the strategy, infrastructure, and operating philosophy under which the Company continues to excel today. He guided a technological transformation of WEX, developed new market strategies and instituted aggressive growth and market leadership goals. Under Dubyak’s direction, WEX became a publicly traded organization in 2005 with an approximate market cap of $700 million. WEX’s current market cap is $8.13 billion.

Dubyak currently co-chairs FocusMaine, an economic initiative with a mission to create significant job growth across Maine. He has also chaired Educate Maine, a K-16-focused education attainment organization, was Chairman of the University of Southern Maine Board of Visitors, served on the board of the United Way of Greater Portland, the Executive Board of the Maine Chamber of Governor’s Council on Competitiveness and the Economy, the New England Advisory Council of the Boston Federal Reserve, the Center for Grieving Children Board of Directors and co-chaired its Capital Campaign.

Mike has a B.A. from Baldwin Wallace University.  An avid world traveler, hiker, biker and kayaker, Mike and his wife, Denise, have navigated the Colorado River in a wooden dory, hiked 7 days to Machu Pichu, navigated the Antarctica and the Arctic on an ice cutter, and hiked over 75 miles in New Zealand, Patagonia, Ireland, and Bhutan.

*06/29/18 Michael Dubyak, Chair WEX Bob Martin 2018-06-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Dr. Chuck Radis is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of New England and a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in immune system disorders) with an interest in Public Health issues since his years as a public health doctor for the Casco Bay Islands in the 1980’s. He is a board member of Consumers for Affordable Health Care and a member of several state committees developing bills to protect consumers from undisclosed insurance practices. After 25 years in private practice locally at Rheumatology Associates, he now provides rheumatologic services Down East through the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth.

After completing an internal medicine residency at Brighton Medical Center, Dr. Radis provided primary care to the six year-round islands of Casco Bay. He saw first-hand how critical access to health care is to the health of island families. During his time practicing in Casco Bay, Dr. Radis averaged more than 150 house calls each year and provided free or reduced fee service to islanders without health insurance. As a private practitioner, he provided health insurance to his employees and believes that universal health coverage is a basic right. “Mainers need to take back control of their health care system. We need to develop a system which can negotiate and control the cost of prescriptions and reduce administrative costs. A single-payer system can provide quality health care for all. No one should be left behind.”

He is the founder of the Maine-African Partnership for Social Justice which provides health education programs in South Sudan as well as scholarships to African immigrants at Portland High School.  

Dr. Radis was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2016 Democratic primary for the District 27 (Portland) Senate seat.

*06/22/18 Dr. Chuck Radis, Healthcare from the Physician's Perspective Bob Martin 2018-06-22 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Three of the founders of MaineCanDo, Betsy Peters, Melanie Sachs, and Stephanie Brock, shared with us Friday the story of the creation of Maine’s unique response to the #MeToo movement and acts of sexual harassment by members of Maine’s business community. MaineCanDo ( is a website designed to help individuals, organizations, investors, and boards confront issues of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, particularly those who have suffered, or witnessed, sexual violence or harassment. 

“This website is the first of its kind to provide a set of tools for individuals and businesses,” said Melanie Sachs, Executive Director of Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine. “Two in five Americans have experienced sexual violence in the workplace,” she said. “And three in ten have observed it.” “Society has raised the bar,” Betsy Peters stated. “The real impact is to humans and society. For enterprises, the strategic imperative is clear, one letter on the internet can bring a company down.” The intent of the website, according to Peters, is to provide an “authentic Maine response” for individuals and businesses. “Maine is a land of small businesses,” she said. “Small businesses don’t have HR departments.” Sachs related that Maine law requires companies with more than 15 employees to conduct sexual harassment training. “Maine is not on the leading edge of this issue,” she said. “California is nine times stricter. But the real question is, are you going to do compliance, or are you going to do better?”

“There’s an ‘ick’ factor to all of this,” Peters stated. “Stuff we just don’t like to talk about.” The effort stemmed from an inciting incident involving Stephanie Brock who said she “drew a line” after offensive behavior toward her from Jess Knox, with whom she had been working on Maine Startup and Create Week. “We can’t grow in a community when leadership looks like this,” she said. She wrote letters to all the boards of organizations with which Knox was affiliated. Knox did not dispute the charges, and agreed his behavior was inappropriate. “I got a swift and fair response from all of them,” Brock related. “But it was a scary thing for me to do. This website will help others who find themselves in the same situation.”

The presentation of the three women struck a chord among members who engaged in a supportive discussion during the Q&A period. Laura Young rose to share her MeToo moment by relating her discomfort and distress at a Portland Rotary luncheon where two male members engaged in jokes about male genitalia. “Other male members around the table looked uncomfortable. What was I supposed to do, laugh? These are never funny,“ she said.

Upon a motion, the club agreed to sign the MaineCanDo pledge as an organization, the first Rotary Club to do so. “I wholeheartedly support Portland Rotary signing this pledge,” Club Protection Officer Nan Heald said.

MaineCanDo Pledge:

We, the undersigned, know that Maine can do better and will do better. Join us in our pledge for Maine to be home to respectful and harassment free workplaces.

We agree to:

• Review workplace sexual harassment policies in light of #MeToo and audit how they work in practice.

• Create and assure that appropriate and safe mechanisms are in place to report, measure and track complaints of inappropriate behaviors whether intentional or unintentional.

• Be proactive in developing respectful workplace cultures.

• Designate and ensure employees know of go-to members in organizational leadership who will ensure grievances are taken seriously, investigated fairly, and resolved quickly.

• Commit to an ongoing review of sexual harassment and discrimination policies, practices, and workplace climate at the highest levels of leadership to ensure they are making a practical impact.

• Use our influence as investors and board members by committing to increased attention on and an intentional review of policies related to human capital and to supporting workplaces that are free from harassment and discrimination.

(Photo L-R: Melanie Sachs, Bob Martin, Betsy Peters, Stephanie Brock and President Don Zillman.)

06/15/18 MaineCanDo Bob Martin 2018-06-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

President Don Zillman welcomed 44 members and 4 guests to our club meeting on Friday.

Charlie Frair provided an interesting innovation with a reading from Ron Sousa, a Canadian philosopher. Entitled “The Obstacles of Life,” this short, inspirational piece concluded that the pursuit of happiness, with its ongoing ups and downs, is the essence of life. So, let us enjoy the journey rather than focus on the concept of achieving “happiness.”

PP Russ Burleigh tickled the ivories as accompaniment to a rousing version of “God Bless America”.

President Don thanked membership for all of their input and announced that discussions are ongoing with the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay and a decision on our luncheon venue should be forthcoming within the next week or two. 

(Photo L-R: Katie Brown, Scott Shibles, Julia Hansen, Moritz Hansen (Julia's father), and President Don Zillman.)

After being introduced by Katie Brown, Scott Shibles, the director of student life at Casco Bay High School, gave a very moving description of our Youth Service Award winner, Julia Hansen. After seeing two of her best friends commit suicide during her junior year, Julia became determined to help those who suffer in silence with mental illness. Julia boldly started up “The Yellow Tulip Project,” which has gained great momentum in allowing those who have felt stigmatized by emotional issues to speak up and have a voice within the community. A well-deserved award for a fine young woman.

PP Laura Young provided a brief announcement about the Summer Reading Program at North Deering Gardens, which runs from July 5th thru August 9th. If you are interested in this very rewarding program, please contact Laura at

Paul Tully and Charlie Frair are already working tirelessly to have an even bigger and better Veteran’s Day luncheon next fall. It was announced that the event will most likely be moved to the Holiday Inn so we may accommodate even more veterans and guests.


PP Peter Goffin was selected to pull a card from the deck of cards for our weekly raffle, run by Jennifer Frederick, but, alas, Peter was not able to find the elusive Queen of Hearts.

(Photo L-R: PP Peter Goffin and Jennifer Frederick.) 


06/15/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-06-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Our program this Friday will focus on Maine’s response to the #MeToo movement, the founding of #Maine Can Do, an online resource for employers, managers, investors, board members and workers who have suffered or witnessed workplace sexual harassment. Our speakers will be the founders of this groundbreaking program.

Betsy Peters (above photo) is a business consultant who also launched the first website in the ski industry, conducted a live webcast from the top of K2, developed a program that got 400,000 women in menopause off of pharmaceuticals, and was recognized at the Obama White House for her web-based educational program. Her experience includes serving as an entrepreneur in residence at Maine Technology Institute. She holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and lives in Freeport where she has been a member of the school board.


Melanie Sachs (photo left) is the Executive Director at SARSSM: Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine.  She is a licensed clinical social worker and her experience includes working as the former Executive Director of Freeport Community Services. A cum laude graduate of Bates, she holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She lives in Freeport where she is Vice-Chair of the Freeport Town Council and a member of Freeport Rotary Club. In her spare time, she serves as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, and an Odyssey of the Mind coach.

Stephanie Brock (photo left), is the General Manager of Red Thread Portland, a company that provides furniture, technology, and architectural systems for innovative workplaces. She also teaches Heated Vinyasa Yoga.  She’s from the other Portland where she graduated from high school and studied at Portland State University. Stephanie loves running, craft beers, yoga and spending time with her daughter. She lives in South Portland.

*06/15/18 MaineCanDo Bob Martin 2018-06-15 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

President Don Zillman welcomed 55 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 1 guest to our club meeting on Friday.

Tom Nickerson gave our invocation reflecting on the death of Robert Kennedy 50 years ago by reading from Ted Kennedy’s eulogy to his brother. Linda Varrell led us in the Pledge, and we sang “God Bless America.” Visiting Rotarians included PDG George Rice, president-elect of the Oxford Hills club, and Kirk Duffey of Savannah, GA who will be with us until October.


Mike Fortunato and PP Kris Rosado (photo at right) thanked the army of volunteers who contributed to the success of the Maine Outdoor Challenge. Kris reports that preliminary results show that the event earned $27,000 for Rotary, and an equal amount for the Boys and Girls Club.

Kudos were also shared for the MOC banquet at which participants shared lobster, steak, or chicken, depending upon what they told Mike Fortunato. Tom Ranello and Patty Erickson were applauded for their contributions. Tom displayed excellent auctioneering skills demonstrating his ability to raise $3,400 for one item — PP Cy Hagge’s contribution of a week at his Sugar Loaf estate. The winner got it for $1,700, and Cy agreed to contribute a second week to the runner up if the top price was matched. It was.

Kris introduced a new fundraiser which will take place on August 23 in partnership with the Maine Girls Academy, Maine Cornhole Championship. For those unfamiliar with the sport, cornhole, or bean bag toss is a game in which players toss bags of corn at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. Kris demonstrated the techniques required to achieve mastery of the sport. Watch for more details on this event.

Jen Frederick offered Bruce Nelson the chance to find the Queen of Hearts and take home $625. But Bruce could only find the King, and the jackpot increases.

06/08/18 Bits & Pieces Bob Martin 2018-06-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin and President Don Zillman.)

Chair Bob “Belichick” Martin had to scramble when our scheduled speaker was unable to attend due to a family illness.  In the wings was ace reliever and soon-to-be outgoing Club President Don Zillman. “Next Man Up” performed with his usual dexterity, providing a year in review, his observations and commentary, and opportunity for club participation.

Don began with a reflection on a week of notable anniversaries....100-50-25. It has been 100 years since the end of WWI. Don, in his role as a Maine Law professor, recently co-authored a comprehensive book on the war and that time period; 50 years equated to Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 funeral, as well as  Don’s own 50th wedding anniversary to his wife, Linda. (Congrats!); 25 years represented Don’s tenure in the Portland Rotary.

Don’s pre-member perception of Rotary was one of silly songs and funny hats. He was wary of any club that would have him as a member, invoking that famed Marxist expression. (Groucho not Karl) He found out quickly that he was way off, noting that joining Rotary was one of the best things he’s ever done. 

Riffing, he spoke of how Rotary has changed since he joined. In 1989, women were first admitted to Rotary.  How attendance requirements were relaxed to accommodate today’s culture. He referenced how we’ve always been driven by service initiatives and activities, but how incredibly broad and diverse the programs have become. However, some important things stay the same, notably the “Service Above Self” motto and the “4 Way Test.” 

Above all, it’s been the lifelong friendships. To define that, Don said if “20 years separated us, and then someone was to call to get together, the answer would be ‘heck yes!’. 

Today, the club is as vibrant as ever.  Our club was recognized by the District for over 6000 hours of volunteer service this year, local to international.  From the Dominican Republic to Kosovo…where next?  Yes, we have fundraising in order to make financial contributions to help others, but it’s the “hands on” memorable moments where the impact is truly felt. 

Don began to reference some of the highlight programs. CHE – Childhood Hunger and Education, now in its 5th year. Summer reading to young children at North Deering Gardens. Preble Street meals. Locker Project for food-insecure children. The club began to chime in….

…St Vincent DePaul Thanksgiving Dinner, The Veterans Lunch on Veterans Day, Maine Outdoor Challenge with the Boys and Girls Club, the new “Cornhole Championship” for Maine Girls Academy, mentoring at Portland HS and Deering HS, mentoring at Long Creek Youth, Student Scholarships.  

Don interjected that one of the goals of the club was to continue to grow and develop club membership, including the increase of our club’s diversity. He sought ways to help “Friends Who Rarely Attend,” aka Club Members who have difficult schedules, perhaps by giving them a forum to address the club about their work.  He also paused to reflect how Rotary is a place to come to share different opinions and have different views, but we embrace it and welcome it. 

With that, Don opened the floor for reactions. PP Bowen Depke started by thanking Don for his year of service as Club President, which was met with a round of applause. Bowen added that CHE was set up as a 3-5 year plan with arrangements to review, so in the name of truth, we should ask If that vision is still in focus. Dave Small brought forth that we need help on Thursdays in July for summer reading.  PP Russ Burleigh told us that his wife Joan needs some more yarn for her 10th annual knitting project in order to reach her mark of making 150 pairs of kids mittens. Justin Lamontagne gave us good news that his wife had beaten breast cancer, and that he was excited about helping out on the “Making Strides” event in October at Fort Williams Park. PP Peggy “Queenie” Wescott told us how she too had defeated breast cancer earlier this year, and now proudly had a new license plate KYNRSUP. Anagram! “Keep Your Knockers Up”.  Good news shared by Elise Hodgkin, who had lunch with PP Loretta Rowe. LoRo, who has been fighting cancer, is hopeful to return to the club in a few months. Let’s hope so! Katie Brown said the summer Locker Project was in full swing and help was needed with product distribution. Rusty Atwood referenced that we need to reach out to some of our members who have drifted away due to busy schedules, and welcome them back. PP Don Lowry encouraged makeups at other clubs. Dick Giles reminded us of the 800 water filtration systems we helped to implement in the Dominican. PP Peter Goffin reminisced about how Don Z had a previous chance to be club President, back in the Winterfest days, but took a Rotary time-out to be the Dean at Maine Law School. Joe Reagan expressed his appreciation for being invited into Rotary, and has also enjoyed attending other club meetings. PP Dick Hall touted the reactivation of Youth Exchange. Bob Clark spoke of the spirit of volunteerism that is shared between the Rotary and the Boys and Girls Club, with special thanks to PP Kris Rosado who inspired and developed the Maine Outdoor Challenge. 

In closing, Don championed the phrase “How much can get done when no one needs to take the credit?” Well Don, we salute the great job you did this year, but hey, you still have two more weeks to go!

06/08/18 Don Zillman, Portland Rotary Wrap-Up Tom Talbott 2018-06-10 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman opened the meeting by welcoming 52 members, 1 visiting Rotarians and 6 guests. He called on Julie L’Heureux for the invocation which focused on mentoring. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Past President Russ Burleigh led us on the keyboard with the singing of 'God Bless America.' President Don introduced visiting guests and Rotarians (including assistant Rotary District Governor Bill Anderson) and also made note of the June Rotarian birthdays and anniversaries in the club.

Mike Fortunato
(lobster, steak or chicken) brought us up-to-date on our major fundraiser, the Maine Outdoor Challenge, scheduled for the beginning of next week in Freeport. His focus was the meal choice at the dinner on Wednesday and whether those attending had made their choices. Basically, if you haven’t passed on your wishes directly or by way of your team leader, you’re getting lobster.


Casey Hartford from Big Brothers Big Sisters spoke about the mentoring program and made a special request for male mentors, since they have 19 boys ready to be matched up with mentors. It takes only an hour a week to become a Big Brother or Big Sister and the need is great. Call 207-773-5437 or visit to volunteer.


Past President Laura Young talked about the reading program at Lyseth School in Portland and the need for volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 5th through August 9th. Contact Laura directly ( for more information about this opportunity to “get more than you give.”


Past President Dick Hall, as a follow up to his recent email sent to members, spoke about the Rotary Foundation and the importance of giving an annual contribution. He requested that every member of the club make a donation to the Foundation. Dick was also the subject of a friendly tease by Assistant District Governor Bill Anderson for having misplaced the “Pyramid of Peace Award” at the District Conference. This award was for the club’s efforts in meeting all six Rotary Areas of Focus. So that it wouldn’t be lost again, Bill – with a good natured grin – presented the award directly to President Don.

Erik Jorgensen was made a Paul Harris Fellow +2. Club members stood and applauded this outstanding achievement. Congratulations, Erik!

(Photo L-R: Erik Jorgensen and Past President Dick Hall.)

(Photo L-R: Dave Putnam, Zoleka Mngqibisa, and Director Kevin Stilphen)

Dave Putnam introduced Director Kevin Stilphen, who introduced our Youth Service Award recipient from Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS), Zoleka Mngqibisa. After listening to her many accomplishments, it was clear that this recognition was well deserved.

The weekly Rotary raffle was conducted by Tom Nickerson and Past President Bob Traill graciously picked the Ace of hearts – leaving the sum to be even larger next week. Sorry Bob!

(Photo L-R: Past President Bob Traill and Tom Nickerson.)


06/01/18 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2018-06-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Jorgensen

Bob Martin introduced Friday’s speaker by talking about the power of image, and how in this increasingly visual world, understanding visual communications has taken on new urgency. With that urgency has come increased focus and prominence for schools like the Maine College of Art, which train people not only to add to the Worl’d visual resources, but to help others understand and make use of them.

On Friday we heard from Laura Freid, who has served as the President of MECA for the past year or so, following a career with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. 

With 500 full-time undergrads plus students in the MFA and MAT programs as well as a base faculty of 30, the College is a major presence in downtown Portland.  25% of those who graduate stay on and live in Portland. 

Ms. Freid spoke about how “everything we are doing today succeeds more because of its visual elements and its designs.” Many countries are looking to the US for creative ideas, and students at MECA are being trained to work in the forefront of creative work in the US.  The College has grown more competitive in terms of admissions, and its graduates work in a wide range of professions. Some 60% of the students are interested in design (as opposed to fine art), from fashion, to computer graphics, to graphic arts.  

MECA students arrive in Portland having already worked as artists, developing portfolios and distinguishing themselves in high school.  What does MECA teach its artists? What they learn there, in addition to honing their art skills, includes brainstorming, analysis, and both giving and receiving criticism.  They understand the difference between form and content.  All these are critical abilities for any professional. She also added that MECA students take a range of other college courses in addition to their core art training.

Ms. Freid also spoke about the value of art for art’s sake. Artists generate meaning, empathy, and humanity. And while it is sometimes hard to measure or quantify the value of art, it’s clear that arts and culture deepen community and improve the quality of life. There is also a pecuniary interest, as arts & culture support more than 2000 jobs in Portland. 

She noted that MECA is an “innovation lab” and all the faculty live here in Portland, which is unusual, adding considerably to the richness of our city. We remember Beethoven, Bach and Picasso much more than the rulers of their day or the political arguments that were raging in the background as they worked.

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Laura Freid and President Don Zillman.)

06/01/18 Laura Freid, President Maine College of Art Erik Jorgensen 2018-06-04 04:00:00Z 0

Greg Williams is the Director of Waste Solutions at Agri-Cycle. He joined Agri-Cycle in 2014 with diverse experience in the organics industry, including sales, consultation, business development, and operations. While completing a Master’s in Community Planning & Development at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, he researched the feasibility of implementing a curbside organics program in Greater Portland. He received an award for the idea from ecomaine in 2008, and presented the idea to the Portland City Council in 2009. Williams also successfully started and managed a commercial composting business in conjunction with the City of Portland before joining Agri-Cycle.

Agri-Cycle collects organic waste and converts it to clean energy and fertilizer, providing clean, renewable energy to the grid in Maine and throughout the region. This process keeps organic waste out of landfills, reduces harmful greenhouse gases, and powers homes and farms.

*06/08/18 Greg Williams, Agri-Cycle Energy 2018-06-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman welcomed 58 members, 1 visiting Rotarian, and 1 guest to our meeting on Friday. President Don asked Joe Reagan to give the invocation on Friday. In honor of Memorial Day and our veterans, Joe told us a heartfelt story about an exemplary soldier and father who put service and his life above self. Glenn Nerbak led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Past President Russ Burleigh led us in 'God Bless America.'

President Don thanked those that helped run the weekly meeting.

Gracie Johnston (left) discussed our club's volunteer day at Preble Street in which some Rotarians helped prepare and serve food at the soup kitchen for those in need. The volunteers during the recent event included over nine (9) Portland Rotarians. A fairly new member (John Thompson at right) brought his 17-year old daughter. John asked her about the experience, and she said that she was interested in the variety of people that attended and how hard the volunteers worked. Gracie also discussed the opioid task grant application that she and some other Rotarians are working on. 

Jake Bourdeau, with the help of Matt Wolcott, held the raffle this week, and the speaker Bill Caron picked PTG’s ticket out of the can. Paul T. Gore selected a red 7 which lets the Queen of Hearts rest for another week. The pot is getting bigger, so join us next week for a chance at over $550. 


Glenn Nerbak introduced two students from Portland High School who presented their Capstone projects to the club. They presented about a “Welcome Wall” initiative, which tries to bring fellow students closer together in their school community. The Welcome Wall topics include immigrants and other newcomers to the school. The Welcome Wall process was described largely as a student-on-student interview process including multiple languages and translations of the interviews. You could tell from the students’ enthusiasm and their smiles that the goal of the Welcome Wall was being achieved. 

Glenn also let us know that he is leaving Maine and its cold winters, and moving to southern Arizona to start a position teaching English. Best wishes, Glenn, in your new endeavors, and we appreciate your service.

Past President Jim Willey let us know that there are opportunities to volunteer at the Salvation Army’s Playroom which is reading and playing with the toddlers of adult education participants while the adults are taking classes. Jim noted that one positive plus to the program is that the diapers are still changed by their parents. 


Past President Kris Rosado spoke about the status of the upcoming Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC), and he let us know that there is still enough room to add a few more teams. Kris also was even able to hook up an interested Rotarian with a team during the meeting. 

Patty Erickson (right) talked about some of the MOC logistics and about the donated items that are being auctioned off at the dinner  Patty asked for some help describing the gifts to support an email blast, and Linda Varrell raised her hand offering to help. 

In honor of our military and veterans, Past President Russ Burleigh of the Music Committee led us in an Armed Forces medley, and as each song was played, members who had served in the branch of the service that the song represented were asked to stand up and be recognized.

President-elect John Curran presented some highlights from his trip to Kosovo, and also talked about his visits to five Rotary Clubs while there. John indicated that other clubs there are on board with the Hands and Hearing initiatives that are being proposed. John also exchanged club banners with one of the clubs. 



Bob Trail attended his 75th reunion at Brown University. 

Joe Reagan was in the news recently alongside Senator Angus King regarding a Goodwill story. 

05/25/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Last Friday at the Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, President-elect John Curran introduced Bill Caron, the president of the largest private employer in the state of Maine, Maine Health, with 19,000 employees and $2.5 in annual revenues. Bill’s talk, entitled “The Current State and the Challenges Ahead,” was an eye-opening look at health care in Maine and the issues involved as changes occur at a rapid rate.

Bill opened his remarks with a reminiscence of a time, just a decade ago, when a patient would be admitted to the hospital for a hip replacement, spending 10-14 days in-patient post-op, then another 3-5 days at an in-patient therapy center, followed by visits from a home health aide in the weeks after these stays. Now, a patient is up and walking hours after this same procedure and discharged to go home in less than 24 hours in the hospital. With these remarkable changes in technology and care come many issues, both beneficial and detrimental to the patient who must be seen as a consumer in this ever-changing business model.

In looking at what “works well” within the healthcare system in Maine, Bill reiterated that the quality of care is rated at the very top of the United States and the physicians and other providers are “as good as it gets” but, that being said, the issues revolving around childhood obesity and smoking are still a major concern, especially with the expected costs for all of us to incur should these problems become longstanding with so many associated maladies. 

The major challenge, as one would expect, remains the cost for the consumer of healthcare. With “cost shifting” transferring so many of the ever-increasing expenses to you and me, through health insurance rate increases, and the population ever aging, with the expectant costs related to care, there are no easy fixes. Mainers pay the fifth highest rates in the country for insurance, which is forcing many providers and insurers to re-design the delivery systems for healthcare, wherein services are only offered at regional facilities, not with the “home town provider.” Maine is losing more and more qualified health professionals to Boston and further south, a trend that has been longstanding.   

Bill Caron, in addressing these issues, and others, offered some real insight into our ever-evolving healthcare system, with no easy answers to some of these longstanding problems. But he asked for our patience and cooperation as those in power, representing both public and private sectors, work tirelessly to seek solutions in the months ahead.

(Photo L-R: President-elect John Curran, Bill Caron, and President Don Zillman.)

05/25/18 Bill Caron, CEO Maine Health Ben Lowry 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Laura Freid has pursued a career in higher education and the arts, and made this the focus of her work in journalism and film as well.

As CEO and Executive Director of Silkroad for the past decade, Freid initiated the organization’s ongoing multi-year affiliation with Harvard University, established a five-year partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design, and created the first joint venture with the Harvard Business School.

During her tenure, Silkroad spearheaded a yearlong, citywide celebration of the arts in Chicago; focused on the arts and passion-driven learning in work with middle schools, educators and teaching artists across America; and brought together artists and business leaders to influence the emerging field of cultural entrepreneurship. She also served as executive producer of the internationally-acclaimed feature documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

Prior to joining Silkroad, Freid was executive vice president for public affairs and university relations at Brown University. A magazine journalist and editor, she served as publisher of Harvard magazine and publisher and editor of Bostonia magazine. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and holds an M.B.A. from Boston University, as well as an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

*06/01/18 Laura Freid, President Maine College of Art Bob Martin 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Mr. Caron is the President of MaineHealth, Maine’s largest health system serving southern, western and central Maine, as well as Carroll County, New Hampshire. Prior to assuming his current position in 2000, Mr. Caron was Executive Vice President and Treasurer at MaineHealth and Vice President and Treasurer at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. He previously was a Partner with Ernst & Young and headed their East Region healthcare consulting practice based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his Masters degree in Accounting from Northeastern University and his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Bill is active in the Greater Portland community. For many years he served as a member of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Chamber boards of directors while holding several officer positions with the Portland Community Chamber, including the position of Board President.  

Bill has also been active with the United Way of Greater Portland – serving as the Annual Campaign Chair in both 2005 and 2015.  He has served on the People’s United Bank Advisory Board, the Hospice of Southern Maine Board of Trustees, and the board of the Maine Hospital Association.  Bill has been recognized as a Hall of Fame Laureate by Junior Achievement and was recognized by the United Way of Greater Portland as its 2009 Legacy Award winner.  Bill resides in Cape Elizabeth with his wife Susan and they have two children.

*05/25/18 Bill Caron, CEO Maine Health Bob Martin 2018-05-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

President Don Zillman had the pleasure of introducing some of his associates from the University of Southern Maine School of Law and did so with the detail and dignity that is emblematic of his character. Don also introduced our guest speaker, Professor Anna Welch, who spearheads the University’s outreach to refugee and asylum seekers coming to the United States to start a new life of freedom.

Professor Welch clarified the difference between a refugee and an individual seeking asylum from their native country. Welch became interested while in high school of the trials and travail of those who are forced by circumstances far beyond their control to leave their homeland and try to start a new life. Those seeking asylum are distinguished from the refugee because they are forced to flee their country in order to save their lives. Asylum seekers are not motivated by economics, they are forced by politics to save their lives. The asylum seekers have been prominently in the news the past few years and the numbers have been overwhelming for the United States and many other countries. Maine has long been willing to assist this population, with Catholic Charities taking an active role to help this population get situated and actively involved in the community. They are not coming here looking for a hand out. They are wanting to get a job, contribute to the state and establish a new home for their family. Before Catholic Charities can help, the refugee and asylum seeker must get through the daunting labyrinth of the immigration laws of the U.S. This is where Professor Welch and her legal clinic team get involved. Anna started the clinic in 2012 with two primary goals....the first was to give the students practical, hard nosed, real life experience as they commit to the practice of this distinct avenue of law;....the second, and the nucleus, is to assist those who are being persecuted by their governments, cultural norms (domestic violence), and criminal elements to the point where they have to forsake home and all that they have in order to escape to a place where they can try to survive and create a new life.

Most of the refugees and people seeking asylum are intent on following the laws of the country and are convinced that they can prove that they are fleeing circumstances that are profoundly outrageous to any civilization. It’s not enough to just have a compelling story, they must navigate the legal system in place to protect our country from those who do not share our values. Without proper legal counsel only 12% of the asylum seekers can gain legal entry to the United States. 

While the cases are litigated, many of the families are separated and at risk of losing touch. The cases take many months, often years, to make it through the legal maze to a conclusion. While the wheels are cranking, the children are often placed into foster care and some are put up for adoption. Making a life altering decision which is involved in these cases is an enormous burden. When you are facing a family that has given up everything, traveled hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles over perilous terrain, it’s more than just difficult to make the decision to take a case or abandon a family to proceed pro se, when you know the chances are slim.

The clinic has made a huge difference in many lives. To be sure, the refugee and asylum group is being mightily affected, since it can be life or death. Parenthetically, the law students involved are gaining an insight and often making a life altering decision concerning their chosen profession. The graduates who commit to human rights law are not likely to make it to the ranks of the “white shoe law firms” and make huge sums of money. They are in it for the people, not the profit!


(Photo L-R: third-year Law Student (Graduate as of Saturday) Hanni Pastinen, third-year Law Student (Saturday graduate) Joann Bautista, President Don Zillman and Anna Welch, Sam Cohen Refugee and Human Rights Clinical Professor, UMaine Law School.)

05/18/18 Anna Welch, Dir. Human Rgts Clinic Maine Law John Marr 2018-05-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julia L'Heureux

Meeting at the Clarion Hotel began with a welcome from President Don Zillman. Gracie Johnson led the invocation by reading a series of quotes from a famous person. She asked the Rotarians to guess, who said all of the following?:

  • Peace begins with a smile.

  • Spread love wherever you go. 

  • Let no one ever come to you without leaving happy.

  • If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other. 

  • Kind words can be short and easy, but their echoes are truly endless.

  • We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that  missing drop.

Answer to the question is: Mother Teresa.

(Photo L-R: Mike Fortunato, Patty Erickson and 2nd VP Amy Chipman.)

Preparations for the upcoming 6th Annual Outdoor Challenge scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6, included a letter from Past President Kris Rosado, to present to donors and prospective team members. The Challenge is taking place at the L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School with five competing outdoor sports: Fly casting, GPS geocaching, Archery, Firearm familiarity and Clay Target shooting. Mike Fortunato signed up volunteers to assist with the event for each day, mornings and afternoons. Patty Erickson and Jennifer Frederick spoke about seeking items for the live and silent auctions and expressed gratitude for the donations thus far, that have been collected. 2nd VP Amy Chipman reported on the raffle ticket sales - cost 3/$20. This year’s winning raffle will be a $500 gift certificate to L.L. Bean. Tickets are on sale for the June 6, awards program and lobster bake to be held at the AmVets in Yarmouth, that starts at 5:00 p.m. with a social hour, the meal to be served around 6:00 p.m. and the "LIVE" auction will follow after the meal. Lobster is $32, Steak is $28 and Chicken is $26 per person. Katie Brown volunteered to manage the slide presentation for viewing at the awards and lobster bake. Proceeds from the Maine Outdoor Challenge are donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. 

Mark Millar received a standing ovation when Past President Dick Hall presented him with his Paul Harris Fellow pin “plus three,” adorned with 3 blue sapphires, a tribute for being a contributor four times. In the Portland Rotary, Dick reported that about half the members contribute $100 a year to the Paul Harris Foundation, many also contribute at the $200 a year level and three members donate $1,000 a year. A request was made to those who can, to please contribute $25 as an annual donation to the Paul Harris Foundation. Thank you to our club members for this generosity! Check with Dick Hall for more information:

Joseph Reagan reported about the volunteer mentoring provided by Rotarians at the Long Creek Youth Development Center. 



The weekly raffle conducted by Matt Tassey had the eligible participant of Liz Fagan, who attempted to draw the winning card on behalf of the Hearing, Hands and H2O project, but the $537 prize will grow again next week as the Queen of  Hearts remained in the deck.


Rusty Atwood announced the dates of the September walks to support the work to find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Walk dates are August 25 in Bangor and September 8 in Portland. Link to register for the Portland walk at: Thanks Rusty for bringing this important worthy cause to our Rotarians attention!

05/18/18 Bits & Pieces Julia L'Heureux 2018-05-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

President Don Zillman welcomed 48 members and 2 guests to our meeting on Friday at the Clarion Hotel. 

Ellen Niewoehner did her first invocation ever in 20 years, by sharing the Irish Blessing.

Bruce Moore led us in the pledge and Kathy Grammer led “My Country Tis of Thee.”

Gracie Johnston reminded all that she needs help at the Preble St Soup Kitchen, Wednesday, May 25th, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Contact her for details or to volunteer: gracie.johnston@wcsh.comGracie also told us that the recovery coach training has been delayed.

Dick Giles, at his first Rotary meeting back from sunny Florida, was awarded his Paul Harris Foundation +6 pin, signifying $7,000 total giving to the Rotary Foundation. Dick was proudly wearing his PHF +5 pin at the time, and asked “Is this going to cost me more money?” 

Past President Dick Hall then gave a summary of the District Conference, that was held last weekend. Six districts attended, with over 600 people. Speakers included 

• Rotary International President Ian Riseley
• Shirley-Pat Chamberlain – Multiple Library Projects in British Columbia
• Razia Jan - Razia’s Ray of Hope education project in Afghanistan
• Travis Roy inspirational address
• Karen Wentz, RI Past Director

Breakout Sessions were held on Rotary Foundation, Literacy, Human Trafficking, Rotaract, Vibrant Clubs, Polio – Gates Foundation view, Opioid Crisis, Youth Exchange, Hands to Honduras, End 68 hours of Hunger, and Interact, Earlyact, RYLA.

Dick awarded the "Pyramid of Peace Award," given to President Don Zillman, for the club’s efforts in meeting all six Rotary Areas of Focus. Although 25 clubs won the award, it was reported that Portland Rotary had the highest number of volunteer hours for the year.  

The District 7780 Total Impact was very Impressive!
Cash Funding of Service Projects - $940,972
In-Kind Funding - $957,176
Number of volunteers - 4,743
Volunteer Hours - 34,531

Mike Reed was looking for 4 more volunteers for the Deering High School Mentorship workshop, and quickly had four volunteers, so he has a full team of 13.

As incoming chair for the Maine Outdoor Challenge, Mike announced we have 32 teams so far and only 13 openings. The auction has 60% of the items needed. We need 30 more items. Mike was able to get a client to donate a tuna or shark trip valued at $1200 to the live auction.

Jan Chapman announced that we have wrapped up the reading program for this year. She thanked the Rotary Club and the Maine School of Law. She has received bags of thank you's, some in Spanish. John Thompson was given he bag of thank you's in Spanish.  Don chimed in with a funny story showing how dedicated the teachers are at the schools.


Jerry Angier handled the raffle and Erik Greven was the winner of the first drawing but his two of hearts did not win the $512 jackpot. Better luck next time, Erik.


Liz Fagan presented a check for 3-H hearing aids, donated in by a local audiologist in memory of James Roger Fagan, Roger’s dad.



Amy Chipman reminded everyone to sell their raffle tickets for the Maine Outdoor Challenge. Winner gets a $500 gift card for LL Bean.

Amy also announced a pre-trip meeting at the Cumberland Club for all going to the International Convention in Toronto. Donated apps, cash bar, and money.....past conference attendees to share the “ropes.”  She also mentioned the two-district party in Toronto, at second city.

Don announced a Board meeting immediately following, to discuss the location for our meetings next year. He mentioned budget issues, meal prices going up and the fact that we have paid $2400 so far this year for meals not eaten, because we did not make our 50-person meal guarantee. He promised a report later.

05/11/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-05-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Paul Brown, a physical therapist on the staff of Back in Motion, told Portland Rotary that “arthritis is a normal thing to happen” as people age. “It’s natural and likely to occur in the neck, lower back, the area above the thumb, and at the site of previous injuries.” The secret to treating arthritis, Brown said, is exercise.

Brown said that the Center for Disease Control maintains statistics on medical needs and reports that diagnoses of arthritis have high rates of comorbidities with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. “Physical exercise improves all of these conditions,” Brown said. “But there’s not enough awareness of the value of physical exercise. He pointed to the state of Maine which has much higher rates of comorbidities than the national average. “With the exception of Portland, where rates are lower, the state of Maine is not a good example of how to live a healthy life.” Brown reported that 33 percent of Mainers suffer from heart disease and arthritis.

Brown said the Arthritis Foundation ( recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week. “Any exercise is valuable,” he said. “Even if you can’t do 150 minutes, just keep the joints moving.” He also said that body weight impacts the severity of heart disease and arthritis. “So get your weight down and do 150 minutes of exercise a week.” He recommended following a plant-=based diet and taking the time to determine which foods exacerbate inflammation. “Everyone is different, so diet will be different for everyone. Tom Brady avoids nightshade vegetables because he’s sensitive to them for inflammation.”

Brown recommended the services of a physical therapist who is trained to look at body mechanics to develop a theory as to why pain is happening in order to develop exercise solutions. He also demonstrated a number of exercises that help in the treatment and prevention of arthritis. (Videos demonstrating these are on the Arthritis Foundation website

Paul pointed to Bob Traill as one of the most inspiring people he knew. “He’s exercising regularly, almost every day. Look at him: he doesn’t look a day over 75!”


(L - R: Bob Traill, Paul Brown, and President Don Zillman.)



05/11/18 Paul Brown - Arthritis Health Care Practitioner Bob Martin 2018-05-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

As the Sam L. Cohen Refugee and Human Rights Clinical Professor, Anna Welch oversees Maine Law’s Refugee and Human Rights Clinic and teaches the Immigration Law seminar. She serves as a clinical professor and supervising attorney, as a classroom teacher, and as an advisor to students who are interested in immigration law and human rights.

Professor Welch previously served as a Fellow at Stanford Law School, where she taught and supervised students within Stanford’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.

A Maine native, Professor Welch graduated with honors and highest distinction from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studied journalism and Spanish. She then went to the Washington College of Law at American University. She graduated summa cum laude, order of the coif, and then went to Peru for a year, beginning in August of 2005, as a Fulbright Scholar. In Lima, Professor Welch worked with a non-profit organization to establish a public water management system in Chosica, one of the shantytowns known in the city as “pueblos jovenes.”

Professor Welch practiced at the law firm Verrill Dana in Portland, Maine, from 2006 to 2010. She was head of the firm’s Immigration & Global Migration Group. She also served as a volunteer lawyer for the non-profit Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) in Portland. Professor Welch was instrumental in helping to expand ILAP’s roster of pro bono lawyers for asylum cases. In 2008 she earned ILAP’s “Attorney of the Year” honor. During her time at Verrill Dana, Professor Welch taught immigration law at Maine Law, as an adjunct professor. She also helped supervise student attorneys at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. In 2010, Professor Welch spent time in Nairobi, Kenya, where she served as a refugee protection officer at RefugePoint (formerly Mapendo International).

*05/18/18 Anna Welch, Dir. Human Rgts Clinic at Maine Law Bob Martin 2018-05-13 04:00:00Z 0

Each year Portland Sunrise Rotary holds its Party With a Purpose fundraiser auction for Maine Children's Cancer Program. In this their 20th year, they've set the goal of raising a record $50,000, and would like to invite you to be part of it.

This magnificent annual event takes place at the gorgeous DiMillo's Restaurant in downtown Portland, with sweeping views of the Portland Harbor. This year they've moved the event to May 16th, 5:30-8:30 pm, so that we can better enjoy the beautiful views.

Items in this year's live auction include a photo safari in Africa, a diamond necklace and Tag Heuer men's watch from Springer's Jewelers, catered lunch in the tower at Victoria Mansion, a week's stay in Tuscany, and more! There's also a silent auction packed with amazing jewelry, artwork, and one-of-a-kind experiences. All this with complimentary food, beer, and wine, for just $30 per person. Best of all, proceeds benefit the unequaled work of Maine Children's Cancer Program, through Portland Sunrise Rotary.

Please consider purchasing a ticket today at We hope to see you next Wednesday.


President Sam Heck, Portland Sunrise Rotary

Helping Sister Rotary Club 2018-05-09 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Traill

Our Speaker for this Friday is Paul Brown, Lead Physical Therapist for Back In Motion Physical Therapy, South Portland. He will discuss the subject – Importance of Physical Therapy for the Management of Arthritis.

In 1986 Paul obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University. Since that year he has held positions as a Physical Therapist in a hospital, in medical services companies and as the Lead Physical Therapist for Back In Motion in South Portland.

During the years from 1986 until the present Paul has taken continuing education courses in therapeutic approach to the major parts of the body such as the spine, shoulder, lower extremity pain and the nervous system. He is an expert in rehabilitation exercise.

Since the year 2000 Paul has provided valuable volunteer service first to the Beach-to-Beacon Race as an Organizing Committee member. Beginning in 2013, he has also been a Hydration Station Captain at Miles 14, 16 and 22 for the annual BAA Boston Marathon. In that position he has been responsible for overseeing from 52 to 84 volunteers in the setup and delivery of hydration fluids.

*05/11/18 Paul Brown - Arthritis Health Care Practitioner Bob Traill 2018-05-09 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

David Clough introduced our Rotary speaker, Erin Ovalle, the host of Maine Life, a television program that can be seen Sunday mornings on Channel 6 in Portland and Channel 2 in Bangor. The program is about Maine people and what makes Maine a special place to live. Erin describes the show as being on air, online and on the road highlighting all the beautiful places and people in Maine. Past episodes are available online at

Erin began her presentation with a promo for her 3rd season of the program and then discussed how she came to Maine in 2008 from Florida. She was able to secure jobs as a morning news anchor at WGME and later at WMTW. She described how she had a “lightbulb moment” when, as a morning anchor, she realized she was only telling negative or sensationalized stories and missing what she knew were the off-the-beaten-path discoveries and stories from hard working Maine people.

In 2016, she left her morning news anchor position and started Maine Life. Ms. Ovalle loves doing what might derisively be referred to in the news industry as “fluff pieces,” but to her are more important and entertaining than the typical morning news stories. Where else, she asks, could she have the privilege of interviewing Julia Clukey, the Olympic Luger from Maine, and then have coffee with Maine Senator Susan Collins. 

She describes her show as the best job she’s ever had in that she no longer has to follow the national news story motto of “if it bleeds, it leads.” Although she works about 5 jobs to make a living, she has fallen in love with Maine and is actively involved in the community and enjoying all that Maine has to offer.  

(Photo: President Don Zillman, Erin Ovalle and David Clough.)

05/04/18 Erin Orvalle, Maine Life Media Alan Nye 2018-05-08 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

With President Don Zillman calling us to order Tom Nickerson offered a poem, source unknown, titled “Seldom Put Into Words.” Its meaning- we may not put our friendships into words, but should value them every day. Our Guest Speaker, Erin Ovalle led us in the Pledge, and Past President Russ Burleigh tapped out “God Bless America” on the ivories. 

President Don welcomed 4 visiting guests,  53 members, saluted 14 May Birthdays, and congratulated 4 anniversaries for joining Rotary. Don also thanked all the members who were working behind the scenes to make today’s meeting run smoothly.

Past President Kris Rosado announced that 150 trees had been distributed to club members, all part of RI’s commitment to have a tree planted for all 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide. He moved right into an update on the Maine Outdoor Challenge, now up to 34 teams....striving for 45. Dave Seddon is looking for 4 teammates – give him a call!  2nd VP Amy Chipman added to Kris’s comments by promoting the MOC Raffle, featuring a $500 LL Bean Gift Certificate. 1 Ticket for $10, 3 for $20. Packs of 15 are available after the meeting for members to pick up and sell. Go get ‘em!

Jan Chapman welcomed Linda Freeman, Dir. Of College Counseling and Student Services for Maine Girls Academy.  Linda was here to introduce our Student of the Month, Naissa Asaro. Naissa was “an easy choice” according to Linda, because of her dedication to service and the community. Accepting the award, Naissa spoke passionately about her love of service, and proudly donating her $100 to Youth Corp, in support or accountability for youth who have broken the law. 

Around the world we go! 1st VP John Curran is back from Kosovo, traveling there with a Rotary contingent led by Roger and Liz Fagan. John reported that they had provided 32 patients with prosthetic hands, and 75 with hearing aids. The trip explored longer term relationships in the area that was once under communist rule. Located in Southeast Europe, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The area has a very active Rotary presence. Something to build on.

(Photo at left: Dr. Roger and Liz Fagan doing TV interview.)




(Photo at right: Dr. Roger Fagan and Prime Minister of Kosovo.)


If you have any electronics that can be recycled, take them on May 12 to the Falmouth Center parking lot, 9a-1p. This is a fundraiser for the Falmouth club. Donations for each item dropped off is appreciated, but not necessary.

Jesse Harvey was quoted in a Maine Voices article with regards to substance use disorder.

We need volunteers to assist the Food Locker program on May 21 at Blue Cross Blue Shield from 12:30-6pm. Groceries have been organized and bagged. Our job would be to greet and assist people who are in to utilize the program. The goal is help de-stigmatize the process of a free food distribution program, as there truly are people who need this assistance. For more information, please talk to Elise Hodgkin right away!

President Don noted that Dave Seddon had informed him of a very successful outing at Allagash Brewing, raising $1500.  $400 has been provided to our CHE program – Childhood Hunger & Education. Nice!

Charlie Frair provided some insight into our Communications Committee, and its importance to the club. First, our weekly Windjammer, with the hard work of our Editor and the stories of our weekly reporters. Next, our website, with various webmasters keeping it updated. Last, the Public Relations arm, with special thanks to Linda Varrell. Linda’s company, Broadreach, has offered 2 associates, who will work with us to write stories on our behalf to be posted on our Facebook page. We need 2-3 people who can set up a structure to funnel the information through. If you are interested, please contact Linda at:!

Raffle… it grows, and will keep growing because John Houghton was kind enough to pull the Seven of Hearts, which pays zippo! Only the Queen of Hearts is redeemable for cash, which will top $500 next week.

05/04/18 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2018-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
Photo Corner - from Kosovo 2018-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
An amazing volunteer recognition event was held for Portland Rotary volunteers at Lyseth School! They gave us thank you notes and sang to us. It was quite touching.
Photo Corner 2018-05-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough

Maine Life takes viewers on an exploration of Maine, the state’s most interesting places, off-the-beaten-path discoveries, introduces us to fascinating locals and the stories hardworking Maine people tell.   Host Erin Ovalle highlights all the things that make Maine a special place to live and work.  

Erin is a former morning news anchor on Portland TV stations WGME and WMTW.  She grew up vacationing in Maine and like so many, fell in love with the state. Erin worked in broadcasting in New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan and Florida, before returning back to be the morning anchor here in Maine.  When not traveling the state, Erin enjoys volunteering in her community, spending time outside with her pup, Baxter, and checking out the many delicious restaurants Maine has to offer.

“I spent a lot of my career covering the news of the day behind the desk but missing the personal stories and people actually shaping Maine and our economy,” says Erin. “Maine Life is not only taking on personal and authentic stories but we’re also engaging with new and existing audiences both on air and online, giving viewers the chance to engage on their terms.”

Now in its third season, Maine Life can be seen Sunday mornings at 11:30am on Channel 6 in Portland and Channel 2 in Bangor.  Past episodes are available online at .

There’s more to the Maine Life and Erin Ovalle story – how she got the idea and what are some of the most interesting episodes to date – as we will hear this Friday.

*05/04/18 Erin Ovalle, Maine Life Media David Clough 2018-05-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Last Friday we were pleased to be hosted by Bob Clark at the Boys and Girls Club on Cumberland Avenue.  Thanks to our contacts through The Long Creek Youth Development Center, we were fed a scrumptious meal, served by two residents, Ernie and Alex, who were about to head out to play basketball at northern Maine higher learning institutes.

Past President Cyrus Hagge offered up a thoughtful inspirational moment with humorous quotes from Mark Twain. 

Past President Bowen Depke reported that the Allagash Brewery fundraiser/social event was a rousing success. As he handed President Don Zillman a wad of cash, in an undisclosed sum, Bo thanked all who attended and donated for our ongoing effort to support the club’s CHE (childhood hunger and education) project.  Rusty Atwood mentioned that his wife Sue won a wonderful door prize at the event.  Many thanks to all who made this happen, especially Dave Seddon, the organizer extraordinaire. 

Rotary International is in the process of handing out 1,200,000 trees to clubs around the world.  Each tree, representing a Rotarian, will be planted in an effort to keep our planet green and breathing.  Past President Kris Rosado is spearheading our give-away so, if you’d like to plant a small tree in your yard (or anywhere!), please contact Kris.

Gracie Johnston
thanked those who participated in serving meals at the Preble Street Resource Center last Wednesday.  Seven folks gave of their time, including Megan Peabody, who was, on Friday, celebrating her acceptance into her master’s program at USM.  

Xavier Botana, the superintendent of the Portland Schools and one of our newer members, was recently named a “Change Maker” byThe United Way, one of the highest honors from this group. Congrats, Xavier!

A $500 check was given to Mike Robinson, who accepted on behalf of the “K-9’s on the Frontline” program, which was selected via a club vote last month to receive a portion of the funding available after our extremely successful Veteran’s program last fall.  

The Maine Outdoor Challenge is quickly approaching, as Patty Erickson reminded us from the podium.  She asked that we all keep our eyes and ears open for silent auction items as we are out and about in Greater Portland.  Restaurant and store gift certificates are an easy ask and, if needed, you can grab a letter explaining the process from Past President Kris Rosado to show for bona fides. We are also looking for gently-used sporting equipment, such as canoes, kayaks and bikes, to help as auction items.  And, lastly, 2nd VP Amy Chipman is handing out raffle tickets to all members (1 for $10, 3 for $20), with the winning ticket being awarded a $500 gift certificate to LL Bean.

Our tables were adorned with very sweet thank you notes from the young students at Lyseth School in Portland, who are  so very appreciative of our efforts, spearheaded by Past President Laura Young, to read to these young people. (See Photo Corner for photos of special event at Lyseth School for Portland Rotary volunteers.)

Past President Peter Goffin offered up a surprise Paul Harris Fellow to one of our most vibrant and active members, Mike Fortunato, who seems to have his hand in every aspect of our club.  Peter, who joked that he had “run out of relatives to honor,” mentioned the Veteran’s luncheon and our Long Creek mentoring programs as two examples of Mike pitching in, often over and above, during just the past few months.  With his extra efforts ongoing for many years now, Mike should be an example to us all of how “Service Above Self” should not just be a slogan, but a way of life. 


The weekly raffle was led by Jennifer Frederick. Mike Robinson's name was selected, but he did not find the Queen of Hearts allowing the pot to grow for next week.


04/27/18 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-04-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Small business is a driving force in our economy. It’s not much of a leap to correlate small business and family business, especially when they are starting out. Not all family businesses remain within the financial or government definition of a “small business.” A better understanding of the dynamics of starting, developing, sustaining and passing along a family run business was the focus of our recent meeting. Bob Martin introduced the club to Catherine Wygant Fossett, the Executive Director of the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB), and Jennifer Nemi, a third generation principal of Franklin Printing located in Farmington, Maine.

Catherine was well armed with charts and statistics laying out the challenges that are common to small business and are often accentuated when it’s a family affair. It is claimed that as much as 70% of our U.S. GNP can be traced to small, family-owned businesses. Clearly, they represent a significant and powerful segment of the economy and are worthy of assistance. It comes as no surprise that it was a prominent patriarch of a family-owned business who started the IFOB. In 1994 Shep Lee and his daughter, Candace Lee, were living the life and working through the labyrinth-like path toward a successful transition of a family-owned business to an offspring. They employed their experience and financial support to get the IFOB off to a great start and the success is proven. The Institute works in association with the University of Southern Maine, Thomas College and Husson College to assist family businesses prepare for the known and unexpected hurdles of business, as well as the olympian high jump of transfer and transition to succeeding generations.

The IFOB has been working on coming up with solutions to the problems of family-run businesses and has developed over 40 programs to offer examples of successful solutions. They hold a number of social gatherings to facilitate the development of relationships that can become mentoring opportunities. We now have the luxury of the internet which provides an easy access portal for members to access as they search to find the secrets of a successful family-owned business and the successive transfer of such.

We were introduced to Jennifer Nemi, a third-generation principal of Franklin Printing. The company has been active in the IFOB for many years and enthusiastically endorses the organization as a resource. Franklin Printing was started by Jennifer’s grandfather some years ago and has gone through the typical periods of downturn and obstacles. The initial iteration of Franklin was that of a small local journal.  The world of newspapers, long before the internet, has always been extremely competitive, demanding and littered with failures. As times and finances changed for Franklin they evolved from the nucleus of being a newspaper into a printing facility, thus capitalizing off of the fundamentals of the business. It follows that you are always taking the job home with you and that can magnify the explosiveness of dinner discussions. It is essential that those involved with running a family-owned business have both an information source as well as an outlet for those pent up emotions and problems.

The statistics accentuate the need for an organization such as the Institute for Family-Owned Business, in order to facilitate the development and transition of this huge economic engine. Family-owned businesses represent 80-90 percent of U.S. commercial ventures while providing jobs for about 62% of the workforce. The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a valuable resource for this segment of the economy and the business secrets for day-to-day operations and their continued success.

(Photo: Bob Clark, Bob Martin, Catherine Fossett, Jennifer Nemi, and President Don Zillman.)


04/27/18 Catherine Fossett & Jennifer Nemi John Marr 2018-04-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall
Rotary Short Term Youth Exchange

Hopefully you got the email announcing the District pilot program for Rotary Short Term Youth Exchange, for this summer.  If your high school age family member would like to go to Italy or France for 3-4 weeks this summer and then host a French or Italian student for 3-4 weeks, contact Dick Hall, Megan Peabody or Jan Chapman.  Applications are due in the next two weeks.

Rotary Short Term Youth Exchange Dick Hall 2018-04-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr


As long has been our custom, President Don asked Past President Russ Burleigh to inspire us with an appropriate invocation.  It was a week of noteworthy persons passing.  Russ offered recognition of three who have gone to join the choirs of heaven, including Barbara Bush.


We had two visiting Rotarians, including Assistant Governor Bill Anderson.  To provide balance we had a like number of non-Rotarian guests.  We remind you to invite guests and acquaint them to the fun and friendships spawned by Rotary as we give back to our community and the world.   Rotary should always be seen as inviting and inclusive and it is essential that we share the experience by inviting a guest to meetings.


Our club continues to reach out to the veterans in our community. Charlie Frair and Paul Tully are hard at work putting together our Veteran’s Day luncheon, which offers recognition and provides a $1,000 donation to two Veteran-related organizations.  This year our two recipients will be "The Betsy Ross House" and "The House of Hope.""  Although our funds limited us to those above mentioned organizations, we have a number of generous members who were wanting and willing to contribute to the cause and we raised enough to give $500 to “Horses For Healing” and “Veterans Count.”


Our concentration on programs related to eliminating Childhood Hunger and supporting child-related education and literacy, referred to as CHE, continues thrive and expand.  Among our efforts is our involvement with the kids of the Cedar Unit at the Long Creek Youth Development Center.  Every month a group of us meets at the Center and sit down with the kids to enjoy a night of snacks and games to assure the kids that they are not forgotten and there are people outside who are willing to help them,  We meet the third Tuesday of the month and we need more member support and encourage you to join us.  If you are interested contact our Friends of Long Creek members, Mike Fortunato, Jim Willey or Dave Putnam for further information.  The kids and staff really appreciate the attention and the hope we bring.


The Maine Outdoor Challenge has long been associated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine.  The Clubs are a fabulous resource for the children who need a safe place to go when they aren’t attending school.   To help our Rotary Club better understand what the Clubs do, we are holding our next meeting (April 27th) at their clubhouse located on Cumberland Ave, in Portland, across the street from the Portland High School.  The meeting will be all the more meaningful because the food will be catered by the Culinary Arts group of the Long Creek Youth Development Center.  Please plan on attending, bring a guest, and see a couple of the organizations our efforts support.  You will enjoy a delicious luncheon and gain insight all in one sitting.


Past President Dick Hall introduced the club to a “beta” program our local Rotary Clubs are sponsoring to bring High School students to the United States for a few weeks during the summer.  While the concept of a Youth Exchange is nothing new to Rotary, this program brings a new twist to it.   Typically the exchange is during the school year and involves a protracted time commitment, which can be a challenge.  Consequently, we have come up with the summer program, similar to a summer camp experience, to make it easier and more inclusive.  The kids will be here for 3 or 4 weeks and will visit local clubs while  in local homes.  Initially, the students will come from France, Italy and Equador.,


he Gracie Johnston has been heading up the Community Service Committee for our club, this year.  She is always bubbling with energy and great ideas.  One of her efforts is to offer 10 scholarships to individuals who are trying to recover from drug addiction.  The sessions are 5 weeks long and are offered as an important and helpful step in the recover process.  Gracie and our club will also be helping the community in need by serving dinner at the Preble Street Center on Wednesday (April 25th), starting at 3:30 with an expected conclusion around 5:30, so we can go out for beer and fellowship with Ben's Brew Gang.


The weekly raffle, ably run by Jerry Angier, had lucky member 2nd VP Amy Chipman's name drawn out of the holding vessel to try and find the Queen of Hearts. Unfortunately, Amy did not find the Queen, leaving the pot to grow for next week.

04/20/18 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2018-04-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Peter Noyes introduced his longtime friend and favorite brother in law, Ford Reiche. Ford’s grandfather, Howard Reiche, Sr., was a fixture of Portland Rotary for many years and also Principal of Portland High School. Additionally, Ford was also a past member of Portland Rotary and sponsored Peter’s application. 

(Photo L-R: Peter Noyes, Ford Reiche and President Don Zillman.)

Ford has had an interesting professional career as a lawyer and as a businessman. Moreover, he has acquired and restored several buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ford presented an overview of the 3 year restoration of Half Way Rock Light Station, located on a two acre rock ledge in Casco Bay.  

Lighthouses were once essential to navigation along the coast of Maine in the years before railroads became the essential to commerce; but technology and GPS have replaced their functions. Navigators followed the lighthouses into Casco Bay with the sequencing “First Monhegan, then Sequin, Halfway Rock and then you’re in.” Three people were assigned to the lighthouse, but two lived on the rock while a third would be given shore leave. It was very tough living with dreadful weather conditions. Their primary job was to keep the glass on the light clean so the beacon could shine bright during storms. They worked to keep the glass clean even during icy weather. Lighthouse keepers also kept detailed written hourly records about weather conditions. Every day of work was involved in doing maintenance and chores.

In 1975, technology allowed for automation of Halfway Rock lighthouse although a crude weather monitoring station was installed. In 2005, Halfway Rock Lighthouse Station was listed as one of the historic places in Maine most in need of restoration. Indeed, the granite structure and living quarters were devastated by erosion caused by severe weather conditions over time.

His story about the lighthouse restoration has been featured on Bill Greene’s Maine and online videos and as part of the online Building Off the Grid DIY series.  

Ford presented a slide show to demonstrate the progress of the lighthouse restoration. Achieving the goals of the restoration to be consistent with the National Historic Places requirements was a challenging and daunting process. First of all, it took him 18 months to finalize the purchase of the abandoned lighthouse due to confusion about how the paperwork for the site had been filed in Massachusetts rather than in Maine.

Restoration must be done in compliance with the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) meaning the paint finishing and window types must be approved. Building permits were needed but determining what town to obtain one was unclear. Eventually, Yarmouth became the town where the permits were obtained. Restoration style is consistent with how the lighthouse looked during the historic period following World War II. During the restoration, a bottle of liquor with the dated inscription “Christmas 1938”, was discovered behind one of the paneled walls.

Access to the lighthouse is dangerous. The Coast Guard uses helicopter transport to visit for light maintenance and to change the LED bulbs. Ford travels to the rock in a pea pod dinghy, during calm seas. He receives communications from people who have a personal connection with the lighthouse, including from former lighthouse keepers.

Information about Halfway Rock Light is available in Lighthouse Digest:  and with the American Lighthouse Foundation: Ford is also composing a book. The website is or contact Ford at the email

(Halfway Rock Lighthouse)






(Halfway Rock Lighthouse)

04/20/18 Ford Reiche, Lighthouse Restoration Julie L'Heureux 2018-04-23 04:00:00Z 0
Founded in 1994, the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout Maine.  We strive to be a comprehensive resource for family business owners, executives, and employees. With the support and input of our members, associate partners, and sponsors, we continue to grow and welcome new participants who are availing themselves of our over 40 programs, educational opportunities, and events—more than 1,000 people in the past year alone!
Catherine joined the IFOB in 2014 as its executive director.  Prior to joining, she was the executive director of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce where she oversaw the 50th Anniversary of Windjammer Days, developed the Claw Down Lobster Bite Competition, and annually produced the region’s definitive travel guide.  She is a graduate of the Maine Association of Nonprofits’ Executive Leadership Institute. 

Jennifer Nemi is a member of the third generation of a family-owned printing business, Franklin Printing in Farmington, Maine.  Her grandfather Joseph Nemi started the company in the late 1960’s by purchasing the Livermore Falls Advertiser and Franklin Journal.  In the late 70’s, early 80’s Joe’s two sons came on board, Greg and Dick. The business expanded throughout the 70’s and 80’s by continually increasing its commercial printing sales. In 1986, at the urging requests of his sons, Joe decided to sell the newspaper business and focus solely on commercial printing. Over the years Franklin Printing has continued to grow and reinvest its profits into the most advanced equipment in technology. In 2008 it moved into the digital printing business adding another market segment to the mix. Today their services range from offset printing to wide format and they are one of the top 24 finalists for the Maine Family Business Awards.

For more information on the IFOB - Visit

*04/27/18  Catherine Wygant Fossett &   Kathy Grammer 2018-04-23 04:00:00Z 0

Rusty Atwood introduced Lee Urban.  Lee was formerly in two Law Firms, then Portland’s Economic Development director.  After that he enrolled in an extended teacher program, and then gravitated to the ukulele.  

Lee started by telling us that the power of the ukulele is that it is OK to smile, laugh and giggle.  That is what the ukulele is all about.  The ukulele brings to mind Tiny Tim, Arthur Godfrey,and  silly shirts. It is small and has a very easy learning curve.

The ukulele was brought to Honolulu from Madeira  8/23/1879, on the British ship Raven’s Craig. Both the  King and Queen of Hawaii fell in love with it.  There are two ways to pronounce it, and either is OK.  The name can be translated to mean Leaping Flea, Jumping Flea, or Gift from Afar.  In 1915, Hawaii introduced the ukulele to the world at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  It was introduced again to rest of USA, in 1949, when the first plastic UK was created. Authur Godfrey sold 350,000, for $2 each, in a year.  He sold millions over the next few years. Rock and Roll killed the uke for a while, but in the 1980s, Independent bands picked it back up.  Now ukesters are taking over in the elementary school.  There was a old out concert Thursday night, at the Merrrill. Hundreds came to the uke festival last year and thousands are  expected this summer.

Studies show:  The ukulele breeds group cooperation and teamwork.  The Ike has been shown to help students achieve because it is fun to learn.  Ukuleles heal the world. After a four day class, one nine year old girl said  “It is going to be a better world if people teach other people to play the UK.” is a commercial enterprise which says they unleashes the power of business, through the ukulele.  Neurologist have said that bringing one to the hospital helps to eliminate fears.  The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital just got 20, and will give them away.  The Survivor Girl Ukulele Band assists girls to escape prostitution in Calcutta.

Learning to play it is easy.  You never have to practice.  All playing is fun.  Find a song you like, and then you play it.  It is far more important to make music than to be good at making music.  Lee proceeded to teach 13 Rotarians, who had never picked up a Ukulele before, to play.  He taught the basics:  Singing, Strumming, and Fretting in less than 10 minutes.  While learning the basics, the group serenaded us with Row, Row, Row Your Boat, in three versions, first with the chords C6, then the chord C, and finally with the the chord C7.  After that, he spent another three minutes teaching the orchestra Down in the Valley!  They received a standing ovations, from two people!!!!  Selfies and autographs were gladly offered after this premier concert.


Lee Urban and accompanying ukulele players.

04/13/18 Lee Urban, The Power of a Ukulele Dick Hall 2018-04-18 04:00:00Z 0


President Don Zillman opened the meeting, John Houghton led pledge, and Kathy Grammer led patriotic song.

Past President Laura Young nominated and elected a new Sergeant-at-Arms, Dave Putnam.  Our current Sergeant-at-Arms has work conflicts and felt it necessary to to relinquish the position.



Don talked about the Pyramid of Peace application and the number of hours of service.


Checks were presented to "Honor Flight" and the "Ross House" from the Veterans' Recognition programs.



Past President Jim Willey introduced our newest club member: Kim D'Amaro, of the Salvation Army. 

The Maine Outdoor Challenge –  Members were asked for teams and donations.  “If you are going out to a restaurant, after paying the bill, ask for a donation for the silent auction.

Portland Rotarians will be working at the University Hospital Clinic in Prishtina, Kosovo the last week of April. John Curran will be setting up a prosthetic hands clinic while Liz and Roger Fagan set up an audiology clinic.

04/13/18 Bits & Pieces 2018-04-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Peter Noyes

Ford Reiche’s passion for Maine and its history stems from his family’s many generations in the state. A self-made historian, he has acquired and restored several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including houses, a railroad station, and most notably, Halfway

Rock Lighthouse—a complex, hands-on, extensively researched undertaking. Maine Preservation Association recognized the project with its 2016 Preservation Award, and the American Lighthouse Foundation presented Reiche its 2017 “Keeper of the Light” award honoring his “contribution to the preservation of America’s lighthouses and their rich tradition.” 

Perched on a barren ledge of two acres at the mouth of Casco Bay, Halfway Rock Light Station is a remote, wave-swept beacon, nearly inaccessible and totally exposed to the ravages of Mother Nature. The lighthouse’s 76-foot-tall granite tower and the attached two-story wood structure built of huge frame timbers present a striking image on the water.

Halfway Rock was a fully staffed lighthouse of the federal government from 1871 until 1976, when it was automated and essentially abandoned. The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, but its deteriorating condition soon earned it recognition on lists of endangered and “doomsday” lighthouses. In 2014, it was deemed surplus federal property and auctioned. Ford Reiche, the winning bidder, acquired the light in 2015.

Reiche has devoted significant energy and resources to preserving Halfway Rock Light Station in what Lighthouse Digest has described as “a miracle restoration in Casco Bay, Maine.”

A former attorney and entrepreneur, Reiche’s background includes founding Safe Handling, a firm that reduced the cost of moving certain goods by eliminating their water so they could be shipped in a dry state to their point of use. He was named a business leader of the year in 2008 by Mainebiz.

A graduate of the University of Maine, Orono, with a JD from the University of Maine School of Law, Ford lives in Freeport with his “quite patient” wife, Karen.

*04/20/18 Ford Reiche,  Lighthouse Restoration Peter Noyes 2018-04-18 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman began the meeting with Charlie Frair giving the unique and comical invocation about the surprise return of a Bunny. We did the Pledge and Bill Blount led us in a patriotic song. President Don welcomed 1 visiting guest and 47 Rotarians – with a special note about Kerck Kelsey – a former Rotarian with our club and Past President of the Boston Rotary Club. 

Present-elect John Curran presented an excellent slide show and discussion about two clinics helped in the Dominican Republic by our 3H project and he focused on various individuals helped by advances in prosthetic hands. It was a moving presentation about the impact this project makes on individuals who so desperately need our assistance.

Gracie Johnston and Jessie Harvey took the podium and spoke about the Recovery Initiative and helping those with a substance abuse disorder. They discussed ways for Rotarians to participate in the Recovery Coach Academy and noted that classes are starting in mid-May.

Past President Ben Lowry spoke from his table and reminded us about a club trip to the Allagash Brewery on April 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost is $30.00 ($35.00 at the door). This is a fun social event and opportunity to invite new prospective members.

President Don noted that our trees from Rotary International are due to arrive on April 20/21 and all those who purchased them should be ready to pick them up. He also noted that Lyseth School has a celebration on April 24th at 9:30 am to thank folks who participated in the reading to students.

Past President Kris Rosado
is gearing up for our major fundraiser: "The Maine Outdoor Challenge" and invited all interested in volunteering to attend a meeting on April 11th at the Boys & Girls Club in Portland. Contact Kris for more details.

The raffle was conducted by Matt Wolcott and Eric Greven was chosen and graciously missed pulling out the Queen of Hearts, leaving the pot of $362 to grow until our next meeting. 

Rusty Atwood reminded us that Lee Urban will be our speaker on the 13th and he’ll be discussing and showing the 'Power of the Ukulele.'

04/06/18 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2018-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rusty Atwood

What do rock ’n roll superstar Bruce Springsteen and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett have in common?  They love to play their ukuleles!  It seems as if more and more people - young, old, and in-between - are picking up a ukulele nowadays.  But why is that?  What is the attraction of a ukulele?

Lee Urban plays ukulele and believes passionately in the power of the ukulele to do lots of things besides making cheerful music.  As Lee will describe in his presentation, the ukulele is used by music therapists in hospitals to address children’s physical, emotional, and social needs.  A song played on a ukulele can bring back memories to those living with Alzheimer’s.  Learning to play a ukulele can enhance social skills in children and peace of mind in adults.  

Best of all, a ukulele is fun and easy to play. Anyone can learn to play a song or two in just a few minutes.  Immediately following his presentation, Lee will demonstrate a 10-minute ukulele les-son with any Rotarian who’d like to experience the joys of a ukulele.  No prior musical experience needed.  No need to know anything about music.  No need even to have a ukulele be-cause Lee will have several to share.  All you need is the desire to have some fun.

*04/13/18 Lee Urban, The Power of a Ukulele Rusty Atwood 2018-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

At our last meeting, David Clough introduced us to his high School friend, Bill Brennan. These guys must have had a great time during their time together at Kent’s Hill Academy, because their repartee was worthy of Saturday Night live, as they threw jabs at one another.  For a while some might have wondered if MMA was going to be mixed martial arts, for the day.  However, things settled down and both gentlemen assumed their usual professional persona and we learned a great deal about the Academy.  For example, MMA is a stand-alone institution and not part of the Maine University system. Mr. Brennan’s personal story is almost as interesting as the history of the school.  One might opine that he was born into the job since he succeeded his father as President of the Academy.  

Maine Maritime was created by an act of the legislature, vigorously promoted by Senator Ralph Leavitt father of club member Bill Leavitt, and came to fruition in 1941. Proving that politics changes little over the years, it turns out that the remote location, picturesque Castine, was not the choice due to aesthetics. It seems that a local school, Eastern State Normal School, had closed down and the building needed a tenant as much as the community needed the jobs, so it was a match made in Augusta, if not heaven. Travel to the school is a bit of an exercise but worth the trip, given the beauty of the surroundings and the astounding education.

The Academy is much more than a teaching facility for sea going mariners. Every graduate of MMA goes off to sea when they gain their degree, many stay on terra firma and utilize their expertise in land based engineering jobs, think ship building and safety services. As the merchant marine service of the United States has gone through momentous changes since WWII and mid Twentieth Century, the Academy has kept pace by providing much needed mariners along with well schooled engineers and students of management. The current enrollment of the school is about 950 students with a faculty of 110. The school employs 312 in total and has a payroll of close to 18 million dollars, which includes the cost of the flagship State of Maine training vessel. We get a great bang for our buck, since the school is considered one of the best in the U.S. and highly regarded worldwide. Students are often the first in their family to gain a college degree and most of them receive some form of financial support, but it doesn’t all come from the State. The graduates are highly recruited as is proven by 90% of the graduates having a job within 90 days of getting their degree! U.S. News & World Report, as well as Brookings and others rate MMA as one of the best. The students are well mannered and disciplined with a retention rate of 82%, despite the remote location. These kids are in school for a great education not a fabulous frat party. In fact, drug testing is required since there is an association with the Coast Guard.

The highlight of every sea going student is the time they spend on the schools ship, The State of Maine, which travels the globe and is well recognized wherever it travels. This is not a pleasure cruise, by any measure. The students are put through rigorous paces and must take care to keep the ship in shape and functioning to the highest of maritime standards. The ship uses about $900,000 on its tour but it’s money well spent as proven by success of the alumni and the distinction of being rated the number one Public College in the U. S. by Money Magazine.



04/06/18 Bill Brennan, Maine Maritime Academy John Marr 2018-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
2018 Maine Outdoor Challenge Kris Rosado 2018-04-05 04:00:00Z 0

On March 2, 2018, with District Foundation Chair and PDG Marty Helman in attendance as our speaker of the day, Club Foundation Chair and Past President Dick Hall summoned the “man in the orange vest” John Houghton to come forward. John was neither hunting or directing traffic, but was to be honored for receiving his Paul Harris Fellow +3 pin, for his contributions to the Rotary Foundation. John participated in one of our “Circles,” where 5 members pledge $200 a year, and then nominate one member to be the recipient of the PHF. Thank you John!

(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman, District Foundation Chair, PDG Marty Helman, John Houghton, and Club Foundation Chair and Past President Dick Hall.)

Excerpted From Meeting 030218 Tom Talbott 2018-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry
Taking advantage of the LAST of winter snows at Sunday River on 3/29?
(Photo: Erik Greven, Larry Gross, Ellen Niewoehner, Ben Lowry and Paul Gore.)
Die-Hard Rotarian Skiiers Ben Lowry 2018-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough

In the winter of 1966 a New England family moved from Bermuda to Castine, from green grass to deep snow and cold wind off Penobscot Bay.  One member of the family arrived to become Commandant of Midshipmen.  Another memberwas an 8th-grade boy whose life was changed forevermore by that move.

Bill Brennan, who left Castine in the 1970s for college and a career, returned in 2010 to become the fourteenth president of the Academy (which includes a commission as Rear Admiral in the U.S. Merchant Marine Service). 

Dr. Brennan holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine, an M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Maine.  

His professional career includes senior legislative staff for then-Congressman John R. (Jock) McKernan, Jr.; commissioner of Marine Resources for Governor McKernan; consulting for private and public sector clients in natural resource, energy and environmental areas; administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. 

Maine Maritime Academy is a state college founded in 1941 for the purpose of perpetuating Maine’s seafaring tradition and contributing to the nation’s wellbeing. Maine Maritime has since grown to over 1,000 students, become co-educational, expanded its academic programs, and is widely recognized as one of the best public colleges in America and one of best-value educations available.  Its enviable job placement rate is over 90% within 90 days of graduation.  

What is the future vision for Maine Maritime?  How will it get there?  Learn more about these questions and others this Friday.

*04/06/18 Bill Brennan, Maine Maritime Academy David Clough 2018-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
03/30/18 Julie Mulkern, WinterKids Tom Talbott 2018-04-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman welcomed 49 Rotarians, and 1 visiting Rotarian, then asked Past President Tom Talbott to give the invocation on Friday. Tom selected the theme of spring and the end of winter. Past President Laura Young led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathy Grammer led us in "America the Beautiful." 

Elise Hodgkin reminded the Club to fill out the committee choice sheet for next year. 

Visiting Rotarian Lionell Nima requested assistance from the Portland Rotary Club to help him with efforts in the Congo. He is looking for volunteers to help with being board members and volunteers to help his organization with waste management and other environmental management initiatives.

The Rotary tree initiative is springing forward with the goal of planting one tree for every Rotarian around the world, or over 1,000,000 trees. Stay tuned for instructions on where to request and pick up your tree. 

Charlie Frair discussed the results of last meeting regarding veteran-based organization presentations and the selection of two organizations for the fund raising efforts: Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, and Honor Flight Maine. Additional funds are still available, and are being distributed to some of the other veteran support organizations. 

Joe Reagan hosted a telethon fundraiser on WGAN to support veteran’s initiatives, and he helped raise over $50,000, which met the goals for the event.  



Mike Fortunato discussed how the Cedar Kids at Long Creek's 'Game and Pizza' night event went well, and he thanked the volunteers who helped make the night special.  

Mike also discussed some of the needs for making the upcoming Maine Outdoor Challenge a success. These include calling for more auction items, asking volunteers to help prepare for the event, and to run the event.   

Gracie Johnston discussed the Preble Street volunteer night in which the Rotary clubhelps prepare and serve the food to those in need.  The volunteers during the recent event included over six Portland Rotarians.  


Elise led the raffle this week, and the speaker (Julie Mulkern) from Winterkids picked PTG's ticket out of the can. Paul Gore selected a King of Clubs, which lets the Queen of Hearts rest for another week. The pot is getting bigger, so join us next week for a chance at over $350. 


Nan Heald had the pleasure of introducing our newest member to Portland Rotary: Chet Randall, who works with Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Please join us in welcoming Chet to our club!

(Photo: President Don Zillman, Chet Randall and Nan Heald.)

03/30/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-04-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Opening the meeting at the Holiday Inn by the Bay: President Don Zillman called on David Small to lead the invocation, titled,  “Bonds of Rotary Between Us”, a reflection from Chris Offer, the Past District Governor of 5040, Province of British Columbia. 

“Let us take a moment to remember all the religions represented in the Rotary family throughout the world.  Let us also recall that when we were invited to join our Rotary clubs, we were not asked, “Are you a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, or a Sikh?” We were not asked because all religions are welcome in the Rotary family.  Please join me in a moment of reflection and thanks. With our friends beside us, and no person beneath us, with the bonds of Rotary between us, and our worries behind us, with our goals before us, and no task beyond us, with a thirst for knowledge, and a dream of a Polio-free world, we are thankful for our Rotary friends and the time we are about to share.”

Elise Hodgdon expressed thanks from Loretta Rowe for the ongoing support she is receiving from Rotarians.  


Jim Willey read a letter from Caroline Raymond, the Superintendent of Long  Creek Youth Development Center in Portland. She thanked Rotary for inviting her to speak at our March16, 2018 meeting and acknowledged how she enjoyed the club’s singing tradition.

Rotarians who ski are invited to meet up with Bill Blount on Thursday March 29, to travel to Sunday River. Connect with Bill for more information ~

Megan Peabody announced the April 7, District Assembly “New Generations Conference”, on April 7, 2018 at York County Community College.  You may register on the home page at this website,  One topic to be discussed is the consideration to bring back the Rotary Youth Exchange.

In the raffle kitty was an award of $304, and the drawing was led by Tom NickersonJohn Houghton’s name was drawn but he did not pick the Queen of Hearts.  On to next week!

Ellen Niewoehner announced Nick Jenkins, of Waynflete School, as the recipient of a Youth Fellowship Award.  He was introduced by Lydia Maier of Waynflete.  Nick was recognized for his active community engagement.  A $100 donation was designated to the American Red Cross dedicated to Puerto Rico Relief efforts.  Nick thanked the Rotary Club for his recognition and acknowledged the  potential for him to be a future Rotarian.

Matt Wolcott will chair the program committee beginning July, 2018, when John Curran becomes the club’s president. He requested Rotarian participation in helping to identify speakers for the club programs.  His email contact info is

03/23/18 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2018-03-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

After our very successful Veteran’s Day luncheon last November, our club was left with an unexpected surplus of just over $3000. So, event organizers Charlie Frair and Paul Tully put on their thinking caps, hoping to meaningfully distribute these funds. The first $1000 was given to the Veteran’s Adaptive Sports and Training Program but, with the excess $2000 still in play, our group was given a unique and very difficult challenge on Friday. We heard from five Portland Rotarians, who advocated for five veteran’s causes, and we then took a vote to see which two groups would receive a check for $1000 apiece. 

With Charlie Frair holding a stopwatch set to go off at exactly five minutes, we first heard from Roxane Cole, who was flagged to give an impassioned plea for the Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, a gorgeous home in Augusta that has been established to house homeless veteran women and their children. Founded by Martha Everatt St. Pierre in 2014, this facility currently houses five female veterans and their two children, allowing these women to gain the dignity they deserve after living on the streets or in shelters. With thirty states providing this type of aid to female veterans, this is the first of its kind in Maine. 

Next up we heard about the Healing Through Horses program from new member Annie Messinger (thanks, Annie, for taking the reigns!). This equine therapy program out of New Gloucester serves 80 veterans, with approximately 45 from Greater Portland. Through psychotherapy and hands-on interactions with horses that have been donated for the cause, many vets get through the six-week program with a greater confidence and understanding of the benefits of working with these regal animals, one of which is a 1200-pound Clydesdale names Sierra. In any kind of weather, founders Sandy Fletcher and Michael Fralic are open to giving back to many of the veterans within Maine who have struggled upon their return from duty.

Mike Robinson, another fairly new member who was able to unleash his inhibitions, spoke passionately about K-9’s on the Front Line, a Portland-based canine therapy program that rescues dogs, often days from euthanasia, and pairs them with returning veterans. Funded by grants and donations such as from our club, this sixteen-week program has worked wonders for many with PTSD and/or traumatic brain injuries.  With the help and guidance from the Portland Police Department, this $60,000 training is cut back to just $4500, with no cost to the veteran, who is given a new lease on life, sometimes allowing a housebound veteran to regain the strength to re-enter the community. 

Bob Traill, a self-proclaimed “Man of Ten Thousand Words”, was able to resist the urge to pontificate for Honor Flight Maine, instead showing us a very powerful and moving video on this program which sends WWII veterans to Washington DC to visit the various memorials set up on The Mall. As the nation loses 640 WWII veterans per day, it will be just 5-7 years before all these heroes are gone, and it would truly be a gift to send as many as we are able to see these historic and moving monuments to the service men and woman who literally saved the world.  

Joe Reagan, also a new member who hopped to the podium with great enthusiasm, not only spoke for Easter Seals and Veterans Count, but thanked us all, as a full-time employee and a veteran of the Middle East conflagrations, for all that we are doing to help those Maine veterans in need. Working with the families of 125,000 veterans in Maine today, Joe and his co-workers provide support on many, many levels: food, housing, rental assistance, mental health, and utilities. With 20 veterans per day committing suicide, Joe told a very personal story of losing a beloved friend, Sgt. Mac, who took his own life a year after returning home from Afghanistan.  With Veterans Count and the backing of the venerable Easter Seals, Joe and his fellow vets are hoping to help so many very deserving families with any funding they can garner from Portland Rotary or any source. 

It was truly an inspiring meeting and one in which we not only learned so much about the ongoing needs of veterans within Maine, but a meeting in which each and every Rotarian in attendance was given the power to expedite change. 

Many thanks to Charlie Frair and Paul Tully for their ongoing efforts for our proud Maine veterans.


03/23/18 Veterans' Organizations Ben Lowry 2018-03-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
Julie Mulkern, Executive Director – Julie grew up in Penobscot County where snow was plentiful and outdoor play was the norm. Her favorite winter memories include bombing down a hill with her sister and cousins on a toboggan. Julie has dedicated her entire career to creating and growing programs that promote the health and well-being of Maine families. Julie joined WinterKids in 2008 as the Development Director, and became the Executive Director in 2011. Before working for WinterKids, Julie was Manager of Development & Volunteer Resources at Spring Harbor Hospital, a psychiatric facility in the MaineHealth system. She has also developed volunteer and philanthropy programs for Community Counseling Center, Case Management for Youth, and the American Cancer Society. Julie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Bates College and has certifications in philanthropy from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy & the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is currently President of the Board of Directors for the Maine Public Health Association and serves on the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend Committee and the Maine CDC Physical Activity & Nutrition Workgroup. She is an alumna of the Upsilon Class of the Institute for Civic Leadership. Julie was born and raised in northern Maine, and now lives in Gorham with her husband, Ric and winter kids, Johnny and Ben. They enjoy all the Maine outdoors has to offer, in all seasons!
*03/30/18 Julie Mulkern, Winterkids Jake Bourdeau 2018-03-24 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Charlie Frair

We are having a unique and unprecedented program this Friday, March 23, at the Holiday Inn.  Five exceptional Maine organizations that serve Maine Veterans will be presenting their work and asking for your support. 

Two of these organizations will be receiving a $1000 gift from the Portland Rotary Club and the members will decide which two.  Each organization will be represented by one of our Rotary members who will speak on their behalf.  When all five presentations are complete each member will receive a ballot to vote for the    two groups they want to see receive one of the gifts.

The five groups nominated by our members this year that will be represented at the meeting are:

     • The Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, nominated by Roxane Cole

     • Healing Through Horses, nominated by Annie Messinger

     • K9’s On The Front Line, nominated by Mike Robinson

     • Honor Flight Maine, nominated by Bob Traill

     • Veterans Count/Easterseals Military and Veterans Services, nominated by Joe Reagan.

Please make every effort to attend this meeting and have your vote count.

*03/23/18 Veterans' Organizations Charlie Frair 2018-03-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

This weeks meeting was extra special, because we gathered at Long Creek Youth Development Center and the food was prepared and served by the students involved with the Culinary Arts program, under the guidance of Chef Stevens. The students did a masterful job with the Italian dinner they prepared for their guests. Many club members expressed favorable commentary and suggested that this was the best luncheon the club has enjoyed at a meeting.

President Don called the meeting to order at the usual time. In conjunction with recent discussion and decision, we began the meeting with the salute to our flag. Past President Bill Blount lead the group, a capella, in our singing of "The Star Spangled Banner."  Well lead and well sung, despite being free of accompaniment.

Past President Jim Willey, recalled the 100-year association our Rotary Club has enjoyed with the Salvation Army, including our fundamental role in the development of the Kid’s Room at the Portland head-quarters. In order to sustain the effort to provide a comfortable space for the homeless and needy children of the community, the Salvation Army is seeking support from the Rotary and others to participate in the Sail Op which is scheduled for April 27th, from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Please contact Jim for further details and to help support a most worthy cause.

Our Portland partner club, The Casco Bay Sunrise Club, will again be hosting a wine tasting night in support of the Children’s Cancer Fund of Maine. The event will be held at DiMillo’s on April 16th. Tickets can be purchased from members or at the door.  If you’ve ever attended, you know it’s a great night, Just ask diamond George Crockett who had the lucky ticket. Our club has always been very supportive. See you there.

We have all missed the energizing smile and never-ending support that Past President Loretta Rowe has given the club over decades. Loretta is a fighter, but her iIlness requires her to remain secure and free from germs and viruses as her system recovers. Her Club is making a continuous effort to offer support and Past President Tom Talbott has remained in close touch with our friend and provides regular reports. With continued progress we may be able to greet her in person in a few months or so.   Please feel free to contact her via email for now and let her know you are thinking of and other spirit-lifting niceties are most welcome.  Oh how we miss that smile!

Our club continues to take on the need to support the Preble Street Food Kitchen, feeding our community’s homeless, by committing to help prepare and serve food once a month. Our, indefatigable, Community Service Chair, Gracie Johnston, has been organizing our outreach and asked for volunteers to come out Wednesday, March 28, between 3:30 to 6:30-7:00 to help. It is important that we commit to stay to the end and assist, which means in this case its better to show up late and stay to the end.

Charlie Frair and Paul Tully continue to spearhead our Veterans' Day program which honors those who have been part of our military serving to protect our freedoms.  We have provided a wonderful luncheon to show our thanks, but want to do more. When a Rotarian wants to do more, you can be sure, it’s going to happen. This dynamic duo has been seeking club input to recognize two veteran centric organizations to support with a contribution. As of this date, we have recognized five worthy veteran service organizations and are asking them to come and present to the club, at this Friday's meeting to help us make an informed selection for our financial support. Joe Reagan, a newer member, has jumped right in and offered some unique support. On March 29th Joe is heading up a 12-hour radio-athon to garner support for our Maine Veterans. As if that’s not enough, on April 24th there is another Veteran’s Point event planned with further details to come.

Past President Bill Blount has long been in song and a member of the Music Committee. The committee recently heard from the club and knows they are respected as part of our history and identity. He explained how they have reformed the way the club will determine when a song is appropriate for an occasion, rather than to be an obligatory part of the meeting. He provided a perfect example of the intent by leading us in the singing of “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” on this, the eve of Saint Paddy’s Day. Great job, Bill!

Our working the deck, as part of our raffle, has become a tad more difficult as the full fifty-two are back to tempting. This week Nan Heald had the chance to prove her luck by plucking the Queen of Hearts from the deck. However, me lady decided to remain in waiting and let the treasure develop to entice interest and dollars.  Sorry Nan we were all wishing you well.

When it comes to fun events, you’ll always find Mike Fortunato close by. Consequently, he has arranged for the club to once again have a night of suds-sipping and fellowship development by meeting at the Allagash Brewery, with a large part of the proceeds going in support of our CHE (Childhood Health and Education) programs.  The tickets are $30, if purchased in advance, but $35 if purchased at the door. Each ticket gets you into the tasting and there will be plentiful  snacks to supplement the suds. Allagash is located at 50 Industrial Way in Portland The flyers are out there for details and we hope that you will be there as well. Of course, if you want more detail, contact Mike at!

03/16/18 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2018-03-21 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President Don Zillman led the Club Assembly discussions about ByLaws language. Several memoranda were emailed to members for the purpose of requesting advanced feedback for this club assembly.

Additionally, Nan Heald (at left), the Rotary Club’s Protection Officer, provided leadership information during the assembly about how to uphold our Rotarian responsibilities within the framework of the “Four-Way-Test.” In summary, the consensus of the discussion involved updates to ByLaws language related to two key issues:

• The provision about the concept intended in the word “invocation,” and 

• The Music Committee’s weekly schedule of Rotary Song Book singing and patriotic songs.  

By a show of hands, the Rotarians who were present at the Assembly supported retaining the word “invocation” in the ByLaws. Discussion supported the concept of invocations being welcoming, uplifting and inspirational messages, inclusive of all religious faiths and respectful of everyone.

Past President Bill Blount provided a brief history about the tradition of Rotary songs. In fact, several Rotary song books, dating to the club’s earliest years, are part of the club’s archives. Fortunately, the Portland Rotary has the talents of trained musicians to accompany singing and the choice of patriotic hymns. Although some of the lyrics in the Rotary song book may seem to be out of musical style, the tradition of singing is supported by a consensus of the members who discussed this topic. Preference should be considered to singing songs that contribute to the program or enhance seasonal themes, like special holidays and particular celebrations. Singing patriotic songs and Happy Birthday to Rotarians will continue. Thanks is expressed to the Music Committee for giving careful consideration to this subject because singing is a long practiced tradition in the weekly program.

02/26/18 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Julie L'Heureux 2018-02-28 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau
President Don Zillman welcomed 49 members, and 1 visiting Rotarian from NYC to our Club Assembly meeting of February 23rd. 
The invocation was presented by Past President Russ Burleigh and we sang our Patriotic song.

Charlie Frair announced the 5 Veterans Groups we will be considering for the two $1000 contributions in April.

Gracie Johnston, Chair of the Community Service Committee, announced she was still looking for members to help out at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen on February 28th and how much it helps the residents. Hours for volunteers are 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. for a full shift and they could really use our help for the full shift. Thank you if you can assist. Contact Gracie at:  or  Ali Brauner, Volunteer Manager at Preble Street, 775-0026 x1162


Past President John Marr reported for the Portland Rotary group that visits with the incarcerated kids in the Cedar Unit of Long Creek Youth Development Center. This past week the group gathered with the kids and immediately got their attention by bringing Italian sandwiches, soda, snacks including St Paddy's Day cookies. Once we had their attention we got into a few rounds of high stakes BINGO with a goody back prize for every winner. It's no surprise that the currency of the Cedar realm is food. George Crockett pulled the pellets and Jim Willey emphatically annunciated the information. Dave Putnam was the Vannah White and delivered the prizes. Mike Fortunato has been the primary coordinator and calls upon Katie Brown to come up with ways to involve the kids in worthwhile projects, such as creating thank you and cheery cards for Veterans or shut-ins on the local "meals on wheels" routes. The Cedar support group meets with the boys on the third Tuesday of the month.  We need more assistance and invite anyone interested to show up at Long Creek at 6:15 PM on the third Tuesday and witness the appreciation the kids have for the work we do. These kids will be released back into the neighborhood and it's important for us to acknowledge them and give them a sense of the world they will soon return to. Rotary will be holding our March 16th meeting at Long Creek and the culinary arts team is psyched and working on an Italian theme menu, so, please plan on attending that meeting and learning more about the Long Creek Center.

Alex St. Hilaire spoke briefly about the upcoming Maine Outdoor Challenge to and touched on the Raffle and the Silent Auction.
Raffle: We will be looking for more club participation this year in selling tickets. Our goal is that everyone can sell $50 of tickets. We also are replacing the shotgun raffle, and need IDEAS for a new raffle item that we can conceivably obtain at a low price/for free.
Silent Auction: We will be having the MOC Silent Auction Solicitation Letters printed and available during every meeting going forward. They will be on the front table. We are asking that Rotarians please take one or two and try to provide at least one item to the Club. I will be also asking for volunteers for teams, and be assembling that within the next couple weeks.

Jan Chapman conducted the weekly raffle drawing, which was up to a whopping $1546 in the pot. Looks like Ben Jackson's name was drawn, but he failed to find the elusive Queen of Hearts. 
02/26/18 Bits & Pieces Jake Bourdeau 2018-02-27 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

President Don Zillman began the meeting by welcoming 52 members and 8 visitors, and Gracie Johnston giving the invocation with a moment of silence given to the 17 people killed in the Parkland, FL school shooting. Kathy Grammer led us on the keyboard in singing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Don reminded us to continue to collect and bring in those small bottles of shampoos, body lotion and other items we get when staying at hotels. These items are donated to local shelters and greatly appreciated by those in need.

Gracie Johnston took the podium again and reminded us of the upcoming support needed for the dinner on February 28 at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen and asked all Rotarians to lend a helping hand.

Past President Ben Lowry spoke loud and clear from his table and told us about a club trip to the Allagash Brewery on April 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost is $30.00 pp and this is a great social event and opportunity to invite new prospective members.

Past President Jim Willey reminded us that we are meeting at the Long Creek Youth Center facility for our meeting on March 16th and said that the speaker with be the new Superintendent, Caroline Raymond.

Charlie Frair is still looking for ideas for veteran organizations that could use a $1000 donation from our fund raising efforts of last year’s veteran’s dinner. Contact Charlie with your nomination.

President Don reminded us of the "District’s Frugal Feast" to be held at the Woodfords Congregational Church on February 23rd at 5:30 pm. This meal is in celebration of the District’s World Understanding and Peace Day in Rotary and will focus on food insecurity issues. He also reminded us that the annual Rotary Leadership Training is coming up on March 24th at the York County Community College and all Rotarians are invited to attend.

Past President Dick Hall then had the privilege to announce Kathy Grammer and Dave Putham as Paul Harris Fellows – both for the second time! Thank you both for your contributions to the Rotary Foundation.

Glenn Nerbak then introduced the Principal of Portland High School who told us about the admirable accomplishments of our latest Youth Service Award winner, Tasha Tracy.

The weekly raffle was conducted by Rusty Atwood and Tom Ranello’s name was chosen. Tom graciously pulled the Jack of Clubs, leaving the pot of $1,497 to grow until our next meeting.

02/16/18 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2018-02-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

During the introduction, Bob Martin told us about the death of many print media companies and that digital media has more eyes than print media.

Reade Brower immediately said that if he knew it was as bad as Bob says, he would not have bought the paper.  Reade told us that he never intended to buy the Portland Press Herald, but it happened when his printing company wanted to get the printing contract.  In discussions over the contract, Donald Sussman had another idea.  Donald Sussman offered Reade the ability to take over all of Maine Today Media’s assets. Donald found it very difficult running a paper while being married to the US Representative from the area.  Reade agreed to the purchase because he wanted to save the jobs and save the community newspaper.  He retained 99+% of the employees and has let the talented staff continue to do what they do so well.  He has introduced a number of cost savings and the paper is now on solid footing.  

Reade explained how he started in the business as a paperboy but when he moved to Maine, following his girlfriend, he could not find a job.  He recounted how he was told he did not have enough experience for lift attendant at the Camden Snowbowl.  With no prospects, he started a coupon book for downtown merchants. He realized he needed some content, so he morphed the coupon book to the The Free Press, a fixture in mid-coast Maine for over 25 years.

Reade told us that he was very successful in the advertising publications, and these led to opportunities when others were falling on hard times.  His philosophy is that communities need community newspapers, and the papers need to be responsive to the needs of the community.  Reade himself would be apolitical in his management, but he allows each organization to develop its own voice.  Reade very rarely gets involved in any editorial decisions.  When selling adds, Reade would accept ads from anyone, although on one occasion the ad was too graphic for the audience.

Reade, after the purchase of the PPH, acquired the Sun Media Group, publisher of Lewiston’s Sun Journal and a dozen weekly newspapers in southern and western Maine, and the Rutland Herald, Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, along with affiliated print and online publications of the Herald Association in Vermont.  He did this for the same reasons, to support community newspapers and save jobs.  Since the purchase all are on firm financial footing

When asked about the future, Reade confirmed that he only has a 10-minute plan.  He had a back-and-forth reminiscing with Gracie Johnston, as she worked at several of the papers which Reade now owns in Vermont.  He was also very good natured when Jim Willey suggested double bagging the paper on rainy days.


(L-R: Bob Martin,Reade Brower, ? and President Don Zillman.)


02/16/18 Reade Brower, Owner PPH and Lew Sun Journal Dick Hall 2018-02-19 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Don Zillman

Thanks to the 20 of you who responded to last week’s request for reactions to the Board’s suggestions for Program, Song, and Political content of the Club meetings.  Several of you expressed the desire to discuss these matters at the Friday, February 23rd meeting before reaching final decisions.  We will put this at the top of our agenda for that meeting.  All comments are welcome, but I will try to report on the consensus of the 60 messages I received in answer to our two requests for comment.   After discussion on each item, we can take an informal consensus of the Club.  If there is a close division of opinion, we may decide to put the issue to a formal vote at a later meeting.

Before the meeting I would welcome any motions that you would like to be considered by the Club.  That should speed our consideration of matters and sharpen our discussion of them.  E-message those motions to me.

Here are the Provisions of our Club Constitution and By-Laws that relate to the topics.  Amendments of By-Laws require a two-thirds vote.


Article 13 Section 1 “Proper Subjects.  The merits of any public question involving the general welfare of the community, the nation, and the world are of concern to the members of this club and shall be proper subjects of fair and informed study and discussion at a club meeting for the enlightenment of its members in forming their individual opinions.  However, this club shall not express an opinion on any pending controversial public measure.

Section 2. No Endorsements.  “This club shall not endorse or recommend any candidate for public office and shall not discuss at any club meeting the merits or demerits of any such candidate.”

Section 3(a)   Non-Political “Resolutions and Opinions.  This club shall neither adopt nor circulate resolutions or opinions, and shall not take action dealing with world affairs or international policies of a political nature.”

Article XII  Duties of the Committees

(d) Invocation Committee  “This committee provides the invocation or opening blessing at each weekly meeting of the Club.

(f) Music Committee  “This committee is responsible for providing music, a piano player and a song leader each week.  Details and schedule will be given to the Club Administrative Coordinator and/or newsletter editor for inclusion in the Club newsletter (Windjammer).  This committee will plan musical programs throughout the year.”

Let me know if you have any questions.  I hope that we are coming to closure on these important issues.

*02/23/18 Club Assembly Don Zillman 2018-02-17 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Reade Brower began his publishing career in Rockland, Maine with a coupon book for downtown merchants. The coupon book became The Free Press, a fixture in mid-coast Maine for 30 years, and Brower’s publishing business grew to include Target Marketing, the Sunshine travel guides, and a number of publications for various chambers of commerce along the coast. The failures of other entrepreneurs expanded his portfolio as he acquired Village Soup and Courier Publications, and took over Alliance Press in Brunswick when they couldn’t pay his invoices. To make the numbers work with the printing press in Brunswick, he successfully approached the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald to outsource their newspaper printing. In 2015, when he sat down to negotiate a new printing contract for the Portland Press Herald, then-owner Donald Sussman proposed an offer for Brower to take over all of Maine Today Media’s assets.

Since his purchase of Maine Today Media, Brower acquired the Sun Media Group, publisher of Lewiston’s Sun Journal and a dozen weekly newspapers in southern and western Maine, and the Rutland Herald, Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, along with affiliated print and online publications of the Herald Association in Vermont.

In a November 26, 2017 article, Murray Carpenter of the New York Times described Brower as “an unassuming figure for a media mogul.” Media watchers don’t find Brower’s hold on the newspaper industry in Maine and Vermont in the same vein as a Jeff Bezos or Rupert Murdoch. “I don’t feel at all powerful,” Brower told the Times. “My job is to create a sustainable business model that keeps people who want to be working in this industry working. And to have enough money coming in to pay the bills and make a profit so it’s a viable business.”

Asked by Downeast Magazine whether he had a five-year or a ten-year plan for his conglomerate,  Brower responded, “I have a 10-minute plan.”

*02/16/18 Reade Brower, Owner PPH and Lewiston Sun Journal Bob Martin 2018-02-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

Last Friday, we were fortunate to have Bob Martin introduce Susan Axelrod, managing editor of “Old Port” magazine”, a part of the successful Maine Media Collective, whose flagship publication, “Maine Home and Design”, has allowed for the offshoot of “Old Port” as well as the brand new “Ageless” publication, which hit stores just this year, targeting the 230,000 AARP members in Maine.

Susan, who grew up in New Jersey and comes from a background in the restaurant business, came to Maine in 2013 and began a new career in editing and writing, first with the Portland Press Herald and then, with “Old Port” as it began its run as a quarterly publication in 2014.  Now, four years later, the magazine puts out monthly editions, always with a theme (business, food, weddings, etc.) that tries to put a positive, yet not “pollyannaish” spin on certain aspects of Portland living.   With “Old Port” now distributed to stores, offices in libraries all around the Greater Portland area, Susan and her group of collaborators are focusing much of their attention on the “Ageless” endeavor, which, as a bi-monthly publication (editor’s note:  research shows that bi-monthly can mean twice a month OR every two months, in this case we are referencing the latter), features home, housing, food and health articles for those in the over-50 set.  This month’s “Ageless” features articles on Bethel and Hallowell, amongst other interesting stories.

With 226 print publications in Maine, the ability to draw attention from readers and get them to offline is becoming an ever-increasing challenge.  But, with the efforts of Susan Axelrod and the many folks at the Maine Media Collaborative, the days of the glossy magazines featuring fantastic articles and photography lives on.

02/09/18 Susan Axelrod, Editor Maine Old Magazine Ben Lowry 2018-02-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Portland Rotary welcomed two new members at our February 9 meeting. Xavier Botana, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools, was introduced to the club by Rusty Atwood. Joe Reagan, Vice Chairman of Veterans Count Maine, an Easter Seals charity supporting local Veterans, was introduced by Charlie Frair.

Alex Fitzgerald was honored for her community service with a Youth Service Award Scholarship. Alex was recognized for her leadership of Deering High School’s transgender group and advocacy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues.

Charlie Frair reminded members of the Veterans Organization “pitch-off” to be conducted on March 23. Various organizations will be selected to speak to the club on their programs and members will choose which ones will received grants from funds raised at the Veterans Luncheon. If you have nominations of organizations who should be included, please let Paul Tully or Charlie Frair know.

Gracie Johnston reminded everyone that the Club will provide dinner support at Preble Street on February 28. Please let Gracie know if you can volunteer.

Mike Reed had a chance to win $1,431 in the raffle but could only find the ten of spades. The pot inflates.

President Don reported that he had received 60 responses from members on the program issues reviewed by the Board concerning opening invocation, singing, and political speakers. The meeting of February 23 has been set as a Club Assembly. President Don requested input from anyone who wanted a motion placed before the club. A separate email has been sent to everyone on this topic.

02/09/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-02-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

Melissa Sweet is a well-known children’s book illustrator, and now she is also an author of books for children. Ms. Sweet spoke at the Rotary Meeting on Friday, and she let us peek into her career life by cataloging the process of both writing and illustrating a biography on E.B. White.   

In the beginning of her writing process, she described how the ideas for her books come to her often while walking her dogs, reading the daily newspaper, listening to the radio, or while talking with random people. The day she decided to write a biography on E.B. White, she was visiting with a neighbor and friend from Rockport, Maine. She must like a challenge, because she told us her opinions of biographies are that they are often dry and not too memorable. So up for a challenge, Ms. Sweet began a several-year research project digesting everything she could about E.B. White. There was no magical formula to it. She researched everything from his birth to his death, interviewed family and friends, and she noted any clues on his life that interested her.

Ms. Sweet feels that to be successful as an illustrator or author, one must go to work every day, so she follows that mantra, and we can find her in a separate work space at her home from 8 am to 4 pm. While at work, she spends time writing, illustrating, or looking at picture books. While sometimes it can be rough, Ms. Sweet finds that if she plows through the tough times, something good eventually comes out of the process.

Many of the illustrations in her E.B. White biography are actually photographs of 3-D collages that she built by hand. She explained how much of the art that she creates for books may not even be used in the final product, and that there are new museums and galleries (e.g., such as the University of Minnesota collection) for works like hers. Rather than sell her work, she has more recently started donating some of her unused or old art to these entities. She noted that storing art can be problematic and rather costly. This statement was likely another surprise she taught our club members.  

Ultimately, while teaching us about her creative work ethic and processes, we really learned quite a bit about another interesting author: E.B. White. 

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, President Don Zillman and Melissa Sweet.)
02/02/18 Melissa Sweet, Illustrator of Children's Books Jake Bourdeau 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Our meeting may have taken place on the day that the Punxsutawney Phil brought us news of 6 more weeks of winter and Bill Murray may be a tad loopy, but we have President Don to keep us on track and not hiding out in a hole. We may not have had the usual audio equipment but that doesn’t affect Don, who got us going on time and doing fine and welcomed 43 members and 1 guest at the Clarion Hotel. Despite it being Ground Hog Day, it seemed like Patriots Day with all the New England Patriots swag being worn. Of course we had our own Tom Brady, number 12 (Matt Wolcott and Terri St Angelo at right), in the house bringing good vibes and a terrific game prediction from the tamer of Thailand, Ben Lowry, who predicted the Pats to win 27-17. Getting us used to change we started with a moment of inspiration in deference to the invocation with Kathy Grammer (at left) offering a meditation penned by “the other” Thomas Moore. That was followed by a masterful a cappella rendition of “America,” led by Past President Russ Burleigh.

Once again out Dynamic Duo of Charlie Frair (at right) and Paul Tully, are orchestrating a reprise of our annual event honoring of those in the military who preserve and protect our great nation’s freedoms. Every year the Rotary team takes advantage of experience and brings us to new heights. We have hardly started and already we are taking $3000 from last years success and donating $1000 to VAST and will give two similar sums to veteran organizations identified by the club members. If you have a suggestion, please make it known to Charlie or Paul utilizing the form they are preparing. Stay tuned and get your list of vets you want to invite and recognize for their service.

Drs. Roger (at left) and Liz Fagan just got back from another successful trip to the Dominican Republic (DR) to help the indentured servants of the cane fields who live in squalor in the horrid work camps. As is the custom, Roger and Liz tended to the hearing and speech needs of the poverty stricken of the batae. At the same time 1st Vice President John Curran was fitting injured workers with prosthetic arms and Dick Giles was tending to water needs and solar lights. John and Dick remained in La Romana providing additional assistance. The work this group has done for close to a couple of decades is the epitome of the “Service Above Self” creed of Rotary.

Consistent with our tradition, we recognized our members who celebrate another year in February. The particularly noteworthy accomplishment is that Past President Paul T. Gore is marking off year number 32 as a member of our club. Thanks for your service and generosity, Paul!

David Clough sold a bunch of raffle tickets to a rather thin group of Rotarians who made it to the meeting. However, that brought some luck to Linda Verrill, who had a chance to find the Queen and take home her treasure of $1,836. Linda decided to let the Queen rest and reinvest so the pot will be close to $2,000 when we pluck next week. (Photo: expressions priceless?) So, make sure you make the meeting and bring a few extra bucks to improve your luck and the club’s treasury.

The indomitable Past President Loretta Rowe remains an in patient at Maine Medical Center, as the doctors work to find the best medicine to get this special lady back to the club and friends she loves. She is not up for visitors but would enjoy getting emails and cards to help keep her spirits high. She may not be able to make the meetings but she remains involved and had her PC brought in so she could keep up with Rotary. (Update: Loretta is home from the hospital, but quarantined due to her sensitive condition. Heal quickly and well.)

Hopefully you have seen the report from Don and the committee dealing with some modifications to our customs, e.g. song and invocation. The group has provided Don with some ways to maintain the essence of our past practice and change is afoot. However, we are a proud democracy and President Don wants to hear what you think before we institute the changes. 

02/02/18 Bits & Pieces John Marr 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Susan Axelrod is the Managing Editor of Old Port and Ageless Maine magazines and a writer for both Maine Magazine and Maine Home + Design, all imprints of the Maine Media Collective. She also blogs with her husband Ted, a photographer, at Spoon & Shutter.

Susan’s background includes editor positions at the Portland Press Herald, and the North Jersey Media Group where she was Food Editor of the Bergen Herald. She is also the founding editor of the blog Eater Maine, which has been absorbed by Vox Media. Susan describes her work as telling the “stories that highlight the astonishing diversity of this city and state.”

A frequent traveler around the state, she enjoys meeting fascinating people and learning about everything from sustainable seafood to design thinking. Before becoming a writer and editor she was a chef and owner of a busy restaurant and catering business. 

Susan lives in an 1840 farmhouse at Rainbow Farm in Yarmouth where she and her husband write about food, living in Maine, and travel.

*02/09/18 Susan Axelrod, Editor, Old Port Magazine Bob Martin 2018-02-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kris Rosado
Fundraising Committee Meeting
Friday, February 2nd, 11:00 AM
Before our regular weekly meeting

Thanks to everyone’s participation, our Club has stepped up our level of activities and programs. Our focus on Childhood Hunger and Education (CHE) has helped us to expand existing efforts and develop new community project activities. In addition to our great work locally, our Hearing, Hands and H2O (3H) program has also experienced fabulous results and continued growth.
In order to maintain this pace and to continue to grow our programs, we will need to also grow our funding. It is up to our committee to make sure that the club has these resources. In this upcoming meeting, we will review and discuss the events and activities that we currently have, as well as discuss and plan events we might want/need to add.
We need you at this meeting!!
Thanks for all you do for Portland Rotary!
Kris Rosado
Fundraising Chair

Fund Raising Committee Meeting - THIS FRIDAY Kris Rosado 2018-02-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Melissa Sweet says she’s “been making art ever since I could hold a crayon, scissors, Etch-A–Sketch, and coloring book.” Her work is extraordinary. 

Melissa has illustrated over 100 books as well as many toys, puzzles, games for eeBoo. Her work has been in magazines, on greeting cards and as drawings on her living room walls.

She has written four books: Carmine: A Little More Red, a New York Times Best Illustrated book; Tupelo Rides the Rails; Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, a Sibert Award winner (for informational books) and a NCTE Orbis Pictus winner (for nonfiction); her most recent book, Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White, was a New York Times Best Seller and garnered an NCTE Orbis Pictus award.

Melissa has illustrated three books by author Jen Bryant: A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos WilliamsThe Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, both garnered Caldecott Honors. A Splash of Red: The Art of Horace Pippin, was a Sibert Award and Orbis Pictus Award winner.

Melissa lives in Portland and Rockport.

*02/02/18 Melissa Sweet, Children's Books Illustrator Bob Martin 2018-02-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Julie L'Heureux

Our Rotary Club meeting at the Clarion Hotel opened with President Don Zillman welcoming 45 members and one visiting guest, followed by the clever wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, read in the invocation by Past President Cyrus Hagge. Cyrus is a Ben Franklin fan. Some inspirational quotes included, “Diligence is the mother of good luck!” and “Remember, not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” An unresolved question was posed by Cyrus, about whether or not Ben Franklin would have been a New England Patriots fan? 

In recognition of Ben Franklin being a true American patriot, the Rotarians sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” led by Past President Bill Blount

(Photo left: President Don, Annie Messinger, and Tom Ranello.)

President Don asked Tom Ranello to introduce Annie Messinger, the newest Portland Rotarian. Annie is a USM graduate and currently the Director of Achievement at the Maine Girls Academy - MGA - (formerly Catherine McCauley High School). We all welcomed Annie to Rotary!

Linda Varrell, the chair of the Public Relations Committee, asked for stories to submit to the District 7780 newsletter, about activities the Portland Rotarians are engaged in to support the programs sponsored by our club.

President Don explained an upcoming draft memo he will send to members regarding the recommendations of the Program Committee. 

Although it was a large sum of $1,356, the weekly raffle was run by Bruce Jones, as Rusty Atwood's name was pulled for him to try and find the Queen of Hearts from the remaining cards in the deck. The amount will grow again as Rusty drew the 10 of hearts from the dwindling cards.

01/26/18 Bits & Pieces Julie L'Heureux 2018-01-29 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

(Photo L-R: Megan Devlin, Charlie Frair and President Don Zillman.)

Our speakers last Friday featured home-grown club member Charlie Frair, and former member Megan Devlin, who shared with us their adventurous 100-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. This was not a walk-in-the-park, this particular section is rated the toughest part of the entire trail. A cautionary sign at the beginning of the hike forewarned worthy trekkers to bring a 10- day supply of food and be fully equipped. “Good Hiking!” 

The hike itself was 2 years in the making. Megan needed to heal from a broken arm, and Charlie, who has to take precautions due to heart/AFib issues, hired a personal trainer to prepare for the hardest physical challenge of his life. Finally, a “practice hike” was scheduled in order to test the gear, assess the backpack weight, and get a feel for it all. Everything looked easy at first, just stay on the trail. Uh-oh – they got lost in the first two hours, and endured attacks from Maine’s state bird, the mosquito. No fun! However, the duo made their way back, and was not to be deterred. The full 100-mile hike would soon follow. 

The “Trail” was rough – plenty of rocks and tree roots that were often difficult to navigate. Charlie estimates he fell down once every 10 miles, not really the thing you want to be doing out in the wilderness. It’s a long day, but at the end of the hike, the work begins! Setting up their tents, collecting water and pumping it through filters, making the meals, hanging the bear bags…it’s not easy!  The trail has some accommodations, including one old lodging camp named the WhiteHouse Landing. A little pricey, but a good meal, and good place to sleep.  Apparently, the house dog was Charlie’s nemesis, stealing his socks. Megan and Charlie took this opportunity to mail back about 15 pounds of supplies they did not feel were essential to their expedition, and lightened the load. Camping gear is far lighter and more efficient than in the past, but a pound is a pound, and the goal is to pack right and travel light. 

If you want to make friends with NOBOS and SOBOS, aka Northbound trail hikers, and Southbound trail hikers, a little bit of whiskey is an effective way to break the ice. Charlie’s Listerine bottle was actually 90 proof, and he became quite popular. Perhaps this is one of the catalysts for hikers to be given interesting nicknames as they meet each other on the trail, as real names are not used. Charlie’s call-sign was “Tiger Balm,“ which we assume was a cream for sore muscles, while Megan was known as “Chair Girl” or “Sittin’ Pretty.” Megan took it upon herself to tote along a folding chair, not something that most hikers bring along, however, she became the envy of others after a long day of hiking. 

The trail is truly a community with a spiritual feeling. On a typical day, they would see 30 or more backpackers. As you can imagine, you meet all kinds of interesting characters. Not a lot of wildlife, perhaps due to the consistent traffic. They spotted 5 snakes, 2 deer, a moose across the lake, loons, and leeches. And the aforementioned mosquitos.

Unfortunately, Charlie did have an an AFib episode, and had to cut his journey short just past the half-way mark. A friend was able to meet him on a road intersection and bring him out. This left Megan with a dilemma: Keep going by herself, or wait for another opportunity? Taking stock, she decided to press on, no excuses, just do it. Not an easy decision by any means. A bad fall along the way didn’t make things easier. However, she persevered, and completed the journey. Congrats Megan!  

Thanks Megan and Charlie for taking us on your trek, and we are glad you’re both home safe to tell us all about it!

01/26/18 Appalachian Trail Trek - Charlie Frair / Megan Devlin Tom Talbott 2018-01-29 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Alan Nye

Gracie Johnston introduced our guest speaker, Robert MacKenzie, the Kennebunk Chief of Police, who has the distinction of also being a Rotarian and Past President of the Kennebunk Rotary Club. Chief MacKenzie spoke to us about the opioid crisis in Maine and his efforts to combat it! 

But first he gave us some sobering statistics: 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed daily in the U.S. and there are 52,000 deaths nationwide due to drug overdoses. Although we spend $400 billion annually to treat substance abuse, in the next decade, an additional 650,000 people will die due to opioid overdoses. In Maine, 318 died from drug overdoses in 2016 and there are an estimated 35,000 Mainers addicted to opioids.

Chief MacKenzie has formed a new committee in our Rotary district called 'Recovery Initiative.' There are 25 members on the committee — 18 of whom are Rotarians. The Recovery Initiative focuses on all the six Rotary areas of focus: Disease Prevention, Economic and Community Development, Maternal and Child Health, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Basic Education and Literacy. 

The Recovery Initiative has already trained Rotarians at the Kennebunk and Saco Bay Rotary clubs to recognize drug overdose victims, provide first aid and even administer naloxone to combat the symptoms of opioid overdose. Chief Mackenzie hopes to train other Rotarians who can bring their training into the community and potentially save lives.

"Learn to Cope" is another program the Chief is hoping to bring to Maine. This program is a peer-to-peer recovery group where individuals can go online to learn what others are going through. This is a safe place to go for friendship and to obtain materials related to opioid addiction.

Chief MacKenzie wants to continue with his efforts to get Rotary involved in this issue and emphasized that opioid abuse has probably touched each of our lives in some way. He then took questions after his talk about: how to give the often lifesaving drug (Naloxone) to someone who has overdosed; whether or not Governor LePage has softened his stance on treating overdose victims with naloxone; and how doctors can help in this opioid crisis. 

We are lucky to have such a dedicated law enforcement official and Rotarian working diligently to combat this crisis and it’s inspiring to see his efforts include Rotarians here in Maine.

(Photo L-R: Gracie Johnston, Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie and President Don Zillman.)
01/19/18 Robert MacKenzie, Kennebunk Chief of Police Alan Nye 2018-01-22 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall

Invocation by Past President Russ Burleigh, using the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley. Somehow this turned into a Go-Patriots theme.

Gracie Johnston led the pledge, then back to Russ on the keyboard for 'God Bless America.'

President Don Zillman thanked 1st Vice President John Curran and 2nd Vice President Amy Chipman for covering the podium for him while he was traveling and trying to get his book to the editor.

President Don welcomed 48 members, 4 visiting Rotarians and 7 guests. Among our visiting Rotarians, joining us were District 7780 Past District Governor Carolyn Johnson and District 7790 Past District Governor Leni Gronros, his wife Kimberlee Graffam, as well as our speaker for the day, Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie. We also had a few guests, one of whom was described as a “Domestic Goddess,” and another was the Portland Police Chief, Michael Sauschuck.

President Don launched into a number of thank you's. He thanked all the Portland Rotarians for their meeting service, then read letters from Lyseth School (for Joan Steinberg’s mittens) and Preble Street (for the large donation of shoes).

Our Maine Outdoor Challenge committee will meet this week at the Boys and Girls Club. Contact Past President Kris Rosado or Don Zillman if you want to join the planning group. All are welcome.

Roger Fagan announced that the 3-H team was leaving for a week in the Dominican Republic on Saturday, Jan 20. This is their 21st trip and they have 200 hearing aids, 70 water filters and 70 solar lights to distribute. They also have toothbrushes, toothpaste and other personal care products which have been donated.  A week later John Curran will bring 24 prosthetic hands to fit.

Gracie Johnston is looking for volunteers for the Preble Street dinner Wednesday, Jan 24th. The starting time is 3:30pm. Contact Gracie if you can help at:
She said that your hands, feet and heart are appreciated.

(Photo L-R: President Don Zillman,, Megan Peabody, PP Laura Young, Bruce Jones, David Ertz, Jesse Harvey and Gracie Johnston.)

We were treated to the introduction of three great new members: first - Past President Laura Young introduced Megan Peabody, a third-generation Rotarian who began Rotary involvement at age 8, raising funds for Shelterbox and continued on with Interact, Youth Exchange and Safe Passage. Bruce Jones introduced David Ertz, a semi-retired consulting engineer who has been active in other organizations, and now wants to serve through Rotary. Gracie Johnston introduced Jesse Harvey, the Founder and Director of Mission of Journey House, which operates two recovery houses in Sanford. He works as the Peer Support Coordinator for Greater Portland Health. Anyone who missed the meeting missed hearing three excellent introductions about three great new Rotarians.

President Don told us he was asked by District Governor Dave Underhill to name three recent accomplishments by the club. Don’s choices were: great new members; a wide range of service projects; and success and growth of the Veterans Appreciation Lunch.

The weekly raffle was run by Matt Tassey, who had our speaker pull Past President Dick Hall’s name from the holding vessel of entries, but Dick was bummed out when he pulled the Ace of Diamonds....and the pot continues to grow. (Photo: PP Dick Hall and Matt Tassey.)

01/19/18 Bits & Pieces Dick Hall 2018-01-22 05:00:00Z 0

Last July (2017) one of our members (Charlie Frair) and a former member (Megan Devlin) hiked the 100-mile wilderness trail, one of the most difficult sections of the Appalachian Trail in Northern Maine. They will be sharing some of their adventures on this hike at our next meeting.

Megan Devlin, who is about to graduate from UNE and become a Dental Hygienist, and Charlie Frair, both love the outdoors, camping and hiking and had been planning this hike for more than a year. They will be sharing a few pictures they took along the way, some of the gear they carried and introducing you to some of the people they met along the way.

Charlie has been on variety of hikes in various parts of the world, including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and yet has said that this was the most challenging hike he has ever taken. Megan is an accomplished hiker and camper in her own right. Both are looking forward to sharing this adventure with the club.

*01/26/18 Charlie Frair, Appalachian Trail Trek 2018-01-21 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

President Don Zillman opened the meeting with thanks to First VP John Curran who had filled in for him on 12/29 while he was in New Mexico. 2nd VP Amy Chipman was set to fill in for the 1/5 meeting, but due to the inclement weather, it was cancelled. Don graciously said he would cede the podium to Amy for the remainder of the meeting after one brief announcement. The Assistant District Governor (John LoBosco) has asked for some “best of” news and info from each club. Don noted there was a lot we can draw from, but recommended our Veterans Lunch, our extensive Community Service projects, and the number of new members who have joined the club. Without further ado, 2nd VP Amy Chipman took the helm. David Clough led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathy Grammer tapped out “America The Beautiful” on the keyboard.  

Amy (at right) welcomed 61 members, 6 guests and congratulated our members with January birthdays and Rotary anniversaries. 

Jake Bourdeau conducted our weekly raffle. Guest speaker Peter Van Allen was all business as he drew the hopeful contestant, PTG, who needs no introduction. Well, OK, Paul T. Gore! Not this time for the savvy player of odds, as he drew the 9 of Clubs.

Past President Dick Hall reported on Portland Rotary’s progress in Rotary Foundation giving. Since July 1st, we are at $11,885 toward our goal of $20,000. 49 club members have contributed to this number. 34 members are currently Sustaining Members with $100 per year pledges. We have 8 “Circles of Five,” where five members join together with $200 donations each for $1000 Circle. (We have 2 members who want to start a new circle - need 3 more.) 7 members have designated $1000 in their will (Sustaining PHF) or made a direct contribution to the Permanent Fund. 2 Members have bequests of $10,000 or more in their wills. Thank you one and all!  Portland Rotary encourages all members to contribute at least $25 to the Foundation every year.  

(Photo: PP Dick Hall and Mike Reed.)

Dick capped off his report announcing that Erik Jorgensen was now a Paul Harris Fellow +2, and Mike Reed a Paul Harris Fellow +6, presenting Mike with his new pin. Erik was unable to attend, and will receive his PHF pin at a future meeting. Thanks to both!


Bob Martin announced the Maine Medical Center Community Action Council will meet on Jan 15th at 5pm to address the needs of homeless with medical needs. See flyer below. If you would like to attend, please reach out to Bob.

(Photo L-R: Rusty Atwood, 2nd VP Amy Chipman, Alexis Pathwick-Paszye and Dan Costigan.)

Rusty Atwood, Youth Service Committee, introduced Dan Costigan, Asst Principal at Cheverus High School, who introduced our Youth Service Award recipient.... Alexis Pathwick-Paszye. We are proud to recognize her and her parents Christopher and Deborah, with a check of $1000, plus $100 donated in her name to the Kennebec Valley United Way.

(Photo L-R: Paul Tully, Kristina Sabasteanski, and Bruce Jones.)

Paul Tully and Bruce Jones were armed with good news for VAST, the Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training program at Pineland Farms. The duo presented VAST Director Kristina Sabasteanski (2x Olympian in biathalon) with $2000 in compound pulley bows. This was a follow up from our Veterans Lunch back in November, where the donation was first announced.  VAST provides veterans with disabilities a host of different physical activities and sports. It is free to those who are disabled, or those who provide volunteer support. 

01/12/18 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2018-01-19 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jan Chapman

Bob MacKenzie is a 29-year veteran of law enforcement, currently serving as Chief of Police with the Kennebunk Police Department. Chief MacKenzie began his law enforcement career in 1988 with them and rose through the ranks, being promoted to Chief of Police in 2008.

Chief MacKenzie is a graduate of the 243rd FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice through Husson University. Chief MacKenzie is the producer of the “Point of No Return,” a 30-minute movie which depicts the consequences of underage drinking and has been shown in 34 states. Chief MacKenzie is a Past-President of the Kennebunk Rotary Club in which he has served for the past ten years and is the Chair of the Rotary District 7780 Recovery Initiative.

*01/19/18 Robert MacKenzie, Kennebunk Chief of Police Jan Chapman 2018-01-19 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

“A lot has changed; a lot has stayed the same.” That was Peter Van Allen’s response to David Clough’s question in his introduction of our speaker, noting that Van Allen first addressed our club in 2015 just after he moved to Maine to assume his managing editor role at Mainebiz. “I’ve been on the road a lot,” he said. “From Kittery to Fort Kent, participating in Mainebiz events," some of them sponsored by our own Peter Moore.

He pointed to examples of changes around Portland: WEX’s announcement to move their corporate headquarters to the Portland waterfront; Tilson Tech’s new offices and the heavy condo development in the India Street area; and the growth of Maine’s craft beer industry. “Craft beer adds a lot of sizzle to the Maine economy, but it’s never going to replace the larger industries the state has lost like paper,” Van Allen cautioned. He also commented on the thriving real estate industry and the contributions to his understanding of it by experts like Justin Lamontagne. “The rest of the state, however, is clearly in a different situation,” he said. Invoking a metaphor attributed to the peripatetic editor Tony Ronzio, Van Allen pointed to the “Volvo Line” that tends to divide the states demographic makeup.

The best gauge of change Van Allen suggested was captured in the most recent issue of Mainebiz where five economists offered their prognostications about the state’s future growth, along with comments from four business leaders. “Most offer cautious optimism,” Van Allen reported. “But there are some warning bells about problems ahead. We want change, but not too much.” He quoted Jim Damicis, an economic consultant, who told the paper that “far too many projects take too long to come to fruition.” He said a good sign was that there are 600 more construction workers on the job now versus a year ago, and employers are continuing to look for people. “Maine Med is on the cusp of a $500-million expansion and is seeking 75 additional doctors.” But he pointed to Jeff Zauchau, President of Zauchau Construction, who warns that while he is “cautiously optimistic…I fully expect at some point [the economy] will turn again after a strong 2017.”

Van Allen shared a personal anecdote to indicate some of the pent-up demand in the economy. “We wanted to add another heat source to our house after the recent big storm, but we had to wait three weeks for someone to come out and look at the house, then another six weeks for installers to show up, but they wouldn’t go up on the roof in the ice. So, we waited another three weeks for another company to show up, and then they said all the stove companies were backed up until spring before they could make and deliver a new stove.” He said the state has shortages of installers and retailers, shortages of younger workers, and a need for younger people to become more involved in political leadership.

Peter also talked about some reorganization within Mainebiz to help the paper focus more on different geographical areas in Maine. He also touched on the two areas he sees that will continue to grow in the state: healthcare and marijuana. “We may not like it, but there it is.”

(Photo L-R: 2nd Vice President Amy Chipman, David Clough and Peter Van Allen.)
01/12/18 Peter Van Allen, Editor, Mainebiz Bob Martin 2018-01-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by David Clough

We are fortunate to have Peter Van Allen as our speaker this week. Since becoming Editor of Mainebiz in April 2014, Peter has racked up thousands of miles traveling around Maine, visiting scores of businesses, and talking with hundreds of business people in all corners of our large, diverse state. What stories he could tell about those places, people and the things they are doing. This Friday we will hear about the view of Maine from a business editor’s desk.

Peter has spent the past 29 years writing and editing newspapers and magazines. Prior to joining Mainebiz, he was with the Philadelphia Business Journal for 15 years. Previous to that, he was both editor and reporter for such publications as Vanguard, American Banker, the (Gary, Ind.) Post Tribune, the (Camden, NJ) Courier Post, as well as writing for the NewYork Times and Philadelphia Inquirer. An avid waterman who has gotten to know many of the Casco Bay islands by sea kayak and standup paddle board – he also likes to sail, surf and row – it is no surprise that he has also contributed to Rower’s Digest, Rowing News, and Liquid Salt. 

Peter graduated in 1988 from Goddard College with a BA in non-fiction writing. He and his family reside in Yarmouth. Peter said of the decade before moving to Maine in 2014: “My family and I have been lucky enough to spend our vacations in Midcoast Maine. My younger daughter summed up our love of Maine this way, ‘It was one week of vacation and 51 weeks of waiting.’” After experiencing record snowstorms and memorably frigid temperatures in recent years, we expect the Van Allen family understands how winters imbue us with hardiness while spending many weeks waiting for summer weather.

*01/12/18 Peter Van Allen, Editor, Mainebiz  David Clough 2018-01-12 05:00:00Z 0
(Reschedule from previous weather-canceled date.)
Martha Peak Helman has been a member of The Rotary Foundation’s Rotary Peace Centers/Major Gifts Initiative Committee for the past two years; this year she serves as vice chair of The Foundation’s Peace/Major Gifts Initiative.

Marty has been selected to be a Training Leader at the 2018 International Assembly; she served as Trainer for the Governors-nominee at the Zone 24-32 Institute (2013 and 2017), for the Zone Rotary Future Leaders (2016), as well as for D-7780 Governors-elect (2015-16 and 2019-20). She has been a President’s representative (2016); she frequently facilitates at the Rotary Leadership Institute (since 2009) and Northeast PETS (since 2013). She started and continues to edit the Zone 24-32 monthly newsletter (2013-present). Marty currently serves as District 7780’s Foundation Chair (2015-18); she was a “Peace Through Service” District Governor in 2012-13.

She and her husband Frank are multiple Major Donors and Bequest Society members, and through the corporate support of the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation, they are Arch Klumph Society members. Marty and Frank are members of the Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club in District 7780, which they joined in 2003.
Marty graduated from Connecticut College cum laude and holds her master’s in teaching (secondary) from Pace University. In her professional career, she has been both a writer and an editor; she has put that experience to good stead in her Rotary work, authoring “Rewriting the Future,” about a literacy support organization in Guatemala, and most recently, editing “String of Pearls,” a book about and fundraiser for the Rotary Peace Centers.
*03/02/18 PDG Marty Helman, District Foundation Chair 2018-01-05 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Marr

Bob Martin, introduced our speaker, Ms. Kay Mann of the Maine Green Power Program. The continuous clamor declaring global warming as the executioner of plant earth has created sufficient concern that alternative power sources are replacing alternative truths in the mind of many and Ms. Mann is the spokesperson for a source of choice for Maine citizens seeking relief from carbon-fueled sources of power. While most have heard and defer to the “Standard Offer”  with CMP, there are alternatives to consider and the Maine Green Power Program is a source of alternatives to the common carbon-based electric generation sources. 

Ms. Mann pulled back the curtains and introduced us to green sources of power made available to those who disdain the carbon way and want to go green.

The complex web of power generation and delivery was explained and access to alternatives were discussed. For decades the world has been reliant on the standard carbon methods of electric power generation: coal, oil, gas, and other mineral-based heat sources. We have been accustomed to a single choice when it comes to the electricity we use in our homes and businesses, with sourcing never something we had any control over. There are many who think that relying on “green" sources of power is a way to save the planet and would like to have a way to bring clean power into their homes. Kay provided us with a way to go green without having solar panels or windmills on our property.

We can enhance our electric power with healthy options, if we make the choice and are willing to pay more. The average home uses about 530 kilowatts hours of electricity per month which produces about 300 pounds of carbon pollution. If one chooses to avoid the carbon-emitting fuel sources they can do so by making the choice to buy “Recs” from their delivery source that rely on sustainable, non-carbon emitting power sources, such as solar and wind-generated energy. These sources are renewable and are local, clean and readily available. Furthermore, they are an income-generating resource, if developed and enthusiastically embraced by Maine. 

Understanding the power grid is a first step in developing a green energy resources. Our power is delivered through ISO New England, which includes CMP and Bangor Hydro, and they utilize a variety of power sources, including wind and solar. However, they are not going to develop sources that they can’t make money from, which is where the “Recs” come in. If we, as consumers, want green-based electricity we have to pay an additional $8.95 per rec to support the development of the clean grid. One way to better understand the source and its impact is to go modern and get an app for that. 

The favorite energy app of Senator Angus King is “ISO to Go,” which provides information on transmission and the implications of choice. If you want to move away from the Standard Offer for your electricity, you can contact the Maine Green Power Program and they will walk you through the process or you can access CMP or Bangor Hydro and make a voluntary choice to transition to a green power source. Almost as easy as it is to flip a switch and turn on the lights, you can make a switch to a sustainable, local-based, non-polluting power source and do your part in helping to deliver a healthy and beautiful earth to our successors.

For more information, go to:

(Photo L-R: Bob Martin, Kay Mann and 1st Vice President John Curran.)



12/29/17 Kay Mann, Green Power Energy in Maine John Marr 2018-01-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ben Lowry

First VP John Curran filled in admirably for President Don Zillman, who will be back from New Mexico for our next meeting. John welcomed three visitors, including a son and grandson of two of our members, and one visiting Rotarian, Moises Silfren, from La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Moises (photo at right with Roger Fagan) thanked us all for our efforts with the “3-H Project" over the past many years. Moises, whose parents are Haitian and who was born in a sugar field bate, has seen our good works in his position at the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana. He thanked us for helping the poor-but-proud people who work so hard in the area and his words were rewarded with a check, presented by Roger Fagan, for $5250 for water filters. This wonderful gift made the trip, with his family (who wanted to experience a Maine winter and were rewarded heartily!) all the more enjoyable for Moises, who is an active Rotarian and former District Governor on his home island.

Past President Alan Nye offered an uplifting invocation, asking for many “new” blessings in the new year and hoping to find many wonderful “Rotary projects, successes and friends” in the year to come.

Past President Jim Willey led the Pledge of Allegiance and Past President Russ Burleigh tickled the ivories for both “God Bless America” and “Old Lang Syne,” which was led by Ron Bennett, who is celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss this week.

David Clough conducted the weekly raffle, which has skyrocketed to $1242, and Past President Laura Young took a shot at trying to find the elusive Queen of Hearts, but she came up short with the six of hearts. 

Mike Fortunato offered an update and a reply to a recent Portland Press Herald article regarding The Long Creek Youth Development Center, where Portland Rotarians have been serving up monthly good cheer for over four years now. After seeing the holiday joy in the eyes of these troubled youth during the December visit, Mike feels strongly that the center is giving these 56 young people the structure they need and hope that they deserve. Congrats and thanks to everyone from our club who has touched the lives of these young folks.

Past President Russ Burleigh offered up thanks to all who have given yarn to his wife Joan, who continues with her amazing efforts at supplying hand-knitted mittens to children in need. With 140 pairs offered up to students at Lyseth School, there were enough to go around to kids at both Riverton and Presumpscot Schools at well. This is a wonderful and longstanding effort by a very generous family. Thanks to the Burleigh/Steinbergs and to all of the Portland Rotarians who have provided wool and cash to help aid in this much-needed project. 

12/29/17 Bits & Pieces Ben Lowry 2018-01-02 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

Kay Mann is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Maine Green Power Program, an offering of Maines Public Utilities Commission that allows energy users a way to purchase renewable energy. Most people believe the only way to take advantage of the benefits of renewable, or clean, energy is to install their own wind turbine or solar array. For many, this is not possible.

The Green Power program offers options for residential and commercial energy users. The program is managed by 3Degrees Inc., a business that provides a wide variety of comprehensive clean energy services to organizations, utilities, and individuals to help them transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Kay is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, and lives in Brunswick.

*12/29/17 Kay Mann, Maine Green Power Program Bob Martin 2017-12-29 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dick Hall & Joe Gray

Matt Herpick has been the General Manager for the past two and half years of the Cross Insurance Arena, formerly known as Cumberland County Civic Center, which transitioned from public to private management with Global Spectrum, now Spectacor managing the facility. Spectacor is a national events management company headquartered in Philadelphia and currently manages over 160 areas and centers throughout the United States.

Four years ago the Cross Insurance Arena underwent a $33 million dollar renovation which included new seats, suites and system upgrades. While Portland lost its AHL hockey franchise, the Portland Pirates, Matt pointed out that the arena was able to attract a new Eastern league franchise with a traditional Maine name, the Maine Mariners, starting next October and was recently awarded a new arena football franchise, the Maine Mammoths, which will be offering exciting indoor football beginning this April with a season extending to August.

Matt told us how being part of the larger Spectra Comcast organization, he is able to attract first quality performances. His organization manages several venues, provides food service, and sells tickets. He says that of 10 date-holds which are requested for Portland, only one turns into an event, so there is lots of work done with no benefit.

The Cross Arena will still honor all the special shows already booked, and all the graduation and other local events. The sports teams have agreed to work around these schedules.

When asked about UMaine hockey, he responded that one game is scheduled and he is trying for a second. Last year two games had great attendance, but a third was poorly attended. He invited us to watch for announcements of some great shows coming in the fall and winter next year.


(Photo L-R: Joe Gray, Matt Herpick and 1st Vice President John Curran.)

12/15/17 Matt Herpick, GM Cross Insurance Arena Dick Hall & Joe Gray 2017-12-18 05:00:00Z 0

President Don Zillman
 was spending the holidays in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife, Linda, and missed the meeting, so First Vice President John Curran ably stepped in to run the show. Tom Nickerson (at right) provided us with a moving invocation and 1st VP John welcomed 52 club members and 2visiting guests.


The raffle was conducted by Terri St. Angelo and (once again) Past President Loretta Rowe's name was chosen – but in the spirit of Christmas, she graciously pulled the 5 of clubs, leaving the pot of $1,202 to grow until our next meeting. 

Tom Ranello introduced our newest member, Ben Jackson (at right). Ben is the Headmaster at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth. Be sure to welcome Ben!

Past President Laura Young (at left), Chair of this year's Nominating Committee,  announced the slate of officers for the coming year and asked for a motion and vote to accept the announced officers, which was unanimously approved by the members. The slate of 2018-19 Slate of Officers is listed separately in this issue.

Erik Greven (at right) thanked everyone for their warm clothing donations to the Preble Street Resource Center – including the donations for underwear. Since more money was spent on buying underwear than was collected, several members pledged happy dollars to make up the difference.

Past President Dick Hall (at left) urged all Rotarians to support the Rotary Foundation and indicated that letters would be going out to all members inviting them to become Sustaining Members or to join the Portland Rotary Circle of Five Program. Contact Dick for more information at:

Jan Chapman (at right) filled us in on our own long-time Rotarian Meredith Small and her husband Bill, who live in Saint John, Virgin Islands, during the winter months. They recently returned there to assess the condition of their home after the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Meredith is hoping to have power by January and she and her husband are hauling water for cleaning, cooking and all other needs. The house was open to Hurricane Maria and all their belongings were blown outside, lost or destroyed. They had no insurance as it was prohibitively expensive. We are planning to send a care package off to them soon and a card was passed around to send. Contact Jan or Bruce Moore ( or for more information and ways to help.

1st VP Amy Chipman (at left) reminded everyone again about signing up for the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, Canada to be held June 23-27, 2018 and urged more Rotarians to attend. To register, go to 


Roger Fagan (at right) urged all Rotarians to check the hearing aid boxes previously placed in the local communities and get the units back to him. He, along with 12 people from Alaska, Maine and Florida, will be going once again to the Dominican Republic on January 20th and will provide 200 hearing aids, 70 water filters and 70 solar lights. We have also joined with 15 other clubs in the District to support the Westbrook/Gorham Rotary Club in bringing clean water to the jungles of Guatemala. In April, the 3-H project will be brought to Prishtina University Medical Center in Kosovo, a country that is rebuilding its medical infrastructure after recently gaining independence from Serbia.

Happy Holidays everyone – and remember, no meeting this Friday!

12/15/17 Bits & Pieces Alan Nye 2017-12-18 05:00:00Z 0
On December 15, 2017, the following members were voted in as the slate of club officers for 2018-19:
President: John Curran
1st Vice President: Amy Chipman
2nd Vice President: Ellen Niewoehner
Treasurer: Scott Blakeslee
Secretary: Bruce Moore
Sergeant-at-arms: Travis Parker
Club Protection Officer: Nan Heald
Directors on the board:
Term ending 2020 - Patty Erikson and Erik Greven
2018-19 Slate of Club Officers 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Erik Greven

Help others to stay warm this winter!

On Friday, December 15th, please bring your slightly used gloves, mittens, winter wear and/or a multi-pack of new underwear to our meeting (men and/or women's)....we will collect and deliver to the Preble Street Resource Center.

Many of the Preble Street clients spend a big part of their day outside.....often not by their own choice. Rotary helped by donating over 100 pairs of good-as-new shoes and sneakers. Thank you !!!  

Now with more cold weather upon us, the need is growing for the essential items to keep them warm. 

If you have any of the above items you can part with, please bring them in this Friday. (You can always ask for fashionable replacements this Xmas). But if you can't part with your winter collection, please consider a donation of $10-20 and we will do the shopping for you!

Thank you kindly,

For Portland Community Service 
Erik Greven

Help Preble Street Clients Stay Warm Erik Greven 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Our club policy regarding winter storm-related cancellation of Rotary meetings is:
Please watch your local TV news/weather broadcasts on Friday mornings, in the event of a snow storm.
Club Policy for Meeting Cancellation 2017-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President Don Zillman started off the Club Assembly and brought up an article by Time Magazine’s Nancy Gibbs that discussed where America has been and is presently. Her article discussed how unifying institutions like Rotary and churches are declining in attendance. She noted that major societal changes seem to be occurring, and President Don provided this as food for thought during the assembly discussions. 

(Photo at left: President Don Zillman and Steve Mortimer, Chair of Visioning Committee.)

Steve Mortimer, Chair of the Visioning Committee, moved the conversation to the recent questionnaire sent to all club members.

Regarding music, the patriotic support components of the meeting will continue, however, the Music Committee is evaluating the current arrangement list in the club song book, and whether some more improvements can be brought about.  Stay tuned until January….  

Regarding the invocation, the Club input was regarding whether the time spent should be religious-based or more inspirational, since the times, the club, and societal makeup have grown more diverse. 

There was a large consensus that as a club, we do not want to divert speakers from discussing public policy and affairs. Club members want to be careful to limit partisan political events and speakers, however. A written policy is being prepared which can help speakers with presentations when then are considering their speaking topics. The Club would like to leave open the possibility for finalists in state-wide political races, federal races, and even possibly local races, if pertinent. The Club is also considering debates, and/or for the lead candidates to come speak at our club during consecutive weeks. Since there are currently over 10 candidates for governor, the consensus is to wait for a few to drop out, or to stick to the primary party candidates. 

Steve noted that the Club’s vision statement seemed a little long compared to others. He also noted that only 23 members of the club responded to the visioning questionnaire which served to start the conversations.  

There was a question about whether the Club's vision statement would be revised. Approximately half of the respondents agreed; however, none disagreed. So why change the vision statement? Steve has worked on many vision statements over the years, and he noted the best ones are 15 words or less....ours has over 100 words. Many responses from the club following this topic discussed how the vision was developed in recent club history, questioned the need of a statement, and noted that the Childhood Hunger and Education (CHE) focus was voted to last for a minimum of a 5-year span.

Another question from the survey was regarding the Club's geographical focus? Portland, Greater Portland, and international were the reported ranked priorities. 

The rest of the meeting was packed with goodwill, ideas, and opinions. Many of the club members shared valuable input.

Finally, the survey listed a number of different Portland Rotary projects, and it asked what projects members would give their time, money, both, or neither? Survey says:

1) Veterans lunch 
2) Food insecurity
3) Local students on path toward financial independence 
4) Improvement of early childhood education, such as reading programs
5) Helping new Mainers acclimate
6) Helping others 

So where do go from here? The information shared will be discussed with the Vision Committee to prepare for that answer and they will report back to the membership.

12/08/17 Portland Rotary Club Assembly Jake Bourdeau 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Talbott

President Don Zillman welcomed Julie L’Heureux to the podium for our meeting invocation, who quoted Gene Kelly’s 1952 song, “Singing In The Rain.” Wishful thinking as the first solid snow of the season is slated for the coming weekend! Ellen Niewoehner led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and we broke into a full-throated rendition of “America The Beautiful.”  

Don welcomed and introduced 2 guests, who joined the 62 Portland Rotarians in attendance. If you follow the “society pages,” perhaps you saw Julie Chase partaking in a Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce event. Don then thanked the roster of Rotarians responsible for the implementation of our meeting.

A birthday tribute and a day of celebration for her majesty and Past President Peggy Wescott, affectionately known as “Queenie” to her subjects. To the tune of ‘God Save The Queen,’ our Queen was adorned with tiara, sash, and a bouquet of roses. Her wave, refined and graceful, let us know she appreciated us. Her royal court "ladies-in-waiting" attendants included Past Presidents Roxane Cole, Loretta Rowe and 2nd Vice President Amy Chipman. Rotary Poet Laureate Past President Alan Nye then read from his latest work,  “Queen Peggy”:

Unlike over in England,
There’s no need to curtsy, bow or preen,
The etiquette here is more relaxed, 
For greeting our own Rotary Queen.

Across the pond they say “Your Majesty,”
It shows respect, you see,
But here in the good ‘ole USA,
She’s fine with just “Hi Peggy!”

The Royal Queen of England, 
Is a ripe old 91,
Our Queen is much younger than that,
And I’d wager a lot more fun.

So raise a glass to our own Past President and Queen,
And before you rush out the door,
Offer good wishes to her on her Birthday,
And wish her many, many more!

Gracie Johnston said thanks to all Rotarians who’ve been out ringing the bells for the Salvation Army in Monument Square. There is a spot open on the 15th and Matt Wolcott raised his hand. Thanks, Matt.


1st VP Amy Chipman
is heading to the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, June 23-27, and she’s encouraging more Rotarians to join her! Tom Nickerson, Ellen Niewoehner, and Alan Nye have said they’re in, so it looks like it’s going to be a fun time! Interested? Early registration ends Dec 15th, and is $345. After that it moves up to $420. FMI: 


Don reminded us that while it’s always fun to remember birthdays and anniversaries, today’s meeting was also an important day in history....a day to reflect and remember....Dec 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor. We are blessed to have with us at our meeting, Earle Leavitt, who was at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day 66 years ago. Thank you, Earle, for your service to our country, and 30 years of dedication to Portland Rotary.

Raffle! The elusive Queen of Hearts lingers in the dwindling deck. $1157 at stake. Raffle master Jake Bourdeau gave the honor of drawing a winning name to Queen Peggy, who plucked Past President Loretta Rowe’s ticket from the tin. Alas, the clever Jack of Spades came out to play, denying LoRo from the coveted bounty.

Our Club’s By-Laws state that the Nominating Committee shall announce it’s nominations for the new slate of officers for the coming year on the second Friday in December. The Committee is chaired by the immediate Past President, in this case Laura Young. Laura made it back in the nick of time from an early morning meeting in Augusta, and announced the following nominations for 2018-19:

President: John Curran
1st Vice President: Amy Chipman
2nd Vice President: Ellen Niewoehner
Treasurer: Scott Blakeslee
Secretary: Bruce Moore
Sergeant-at-arms: Travis Parker
Club Protection Officer: Nan Heald

Directors on the board:
Term ending 2020 - Patty Erikson and Erik Greven
Open nominations may be accepted from the floor at the December 15th regular member meeting. A vote will be taken to approve the nominations at that time.
12/08/17 Bits & Pieces Tom Talbott 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bob Martin

The current General Manager for Spectra at the Cross Insurance Arena, formerly known as the Cumberland County Civic Center, is Matt Herpich. Matt was born in upstate New York, and graduated from Canandaigua Academy, then went on to receive his AS in Sports and Tourism Management from FLCC before graduating with his BS in Sports and Entertainment Management from USC.