Pretty Spring Faces in Dexter Maine
Photo by Judy Wilbur Craig taken May 2018
Bangor, Maine – University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer “Cooking for Crowds–Food Safety Training for Volunteer Cooks” June 20, 5 p.m., at the UMaine Extension office, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor.
The workshop, taught by Extension community education assistant Laurie Bowen, offers up-to-date information on how to handle, transport, store and prepare foods safely for large group functions, including at soup kitchens, church suppers, food pantries and community fundraisers.
Participants will receive "Cooking for Crowds," a manual specifically designed for volunteer cooks, as well as a certificate of attendance, posters and an instant-read thermometer.
Cost is $15 per person for the class, which meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank safety training requirements.
For more information or to request a disability accommodation call 207.942.7396 or within Maine 1.800.287.1485.
MAINE- Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in Maine. The number of reported cases is anticipated to rise as the weather continues to get warmer.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection carried by the deer tick. Cases have occurred in all 16 counties, and 1,769 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2017 (preliminary data as of 1/16/18). Lyme disease is most common among school-age children and adults older than 65. Most infections occur during the summer months.
If you are bitten by a tick or spend a lot of time outdoors, watch for symptoms for up to 30 days, and call your healthcare provider if symptoms develop. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a skin lesion called erythema migrans (EM), better known as the "bull's-eye" rash. This usually appears in 3-30 days after the tick bite. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and joint or muscle pain.
Lyme disease is not the only disease that can be carried by deer ticks in Maine. Anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Powassan are three other tickborne infections found in Maine. The number of human anaplasmosis cases rose to 662, the number of human babesiosis cases rose to 117 in 2017, and the number of human Powassan cases increased to 3 in 2017 (preliminary data as of 1/16/18).
For more information, including a listing of Lyme Disease Awareness Month activities, click here
AUGUSTA - With Memorial Day and the summer travel season just around the corner, the Maine Office of Tourism looks forward to another good year for the tourism industry in Maine, amid national reports of optimism for U.S. domestic leisure travel.
According to the U.S. Travel Association's April Travel Outlook, domestic interest in travel within the U.S. is up significantly this year from the 76 percent of domestic searches seen in March of last year. In March 2018, 84 percent of U.S. residents searching for lodging searched within the U.S.
Over 36 million travelers from the U.S. and Canada visited Maine on tourism-related trips in 2017, an increase in annual visitation of 2.5 percent over 2016.
"Maine tourism visitation increased for the fifth consecutive year in 2017, averaging more than five percent growth each year since 2012," said Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism. "While we don't do projections, we are hearing from our industry partners that bookings are strong and we anticipate another good year in 2018."
Maine has received national accolades in recent years for amenities ranging from Portland's award-winning food and beverage scene to the unique escapes offered by Maine's coastal islands to Greenville's lakeside inns. Diverse lodging statewide, from "glamping" huts, tents, and tree houses to themed boutique hotels to Maine's traditional family sporting camps, is attracting new and repeat visitors.
While Summer (May - August) is the strongest season for tourism in Maine, with approximately two in three visitors coming during the summer months, Maine is seeing visitation grow in all seasons. An estimated 26.2 million visitors came to Maine during Summer 2017, an increase of 4.5 percent over 2016. Tourism visitation grew by nearly 11 percent during the 2017 Winter season (December-April), and increased by 3.5 percent in the 2017 Fall season (September-November) over the previous year, following double digit increases in 2015 and 2016.
"It used to be that Labor Day was considered the end of the Summer tourism season in Maine, but that no longer holds true," said Lyons. "Maine's seasonal tourism businesses are staying open through October due to demand, as visitors enjoy our gorgeous fall foliage and autumn outdoor activities. In Maine, Columbus Day has become the new Labor Day in terms of tourism visitation."
By Elizabeth Newport of Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, Portland, ME: Retirement doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone. Some people plan to retire and never work again. Some people plan for second careers in occupations that wouldn’t have adequately supported their families, but they do the work for pure enjoyment. Some people, whether by design or desire, choose to work part-time or seasonally to supplement their retirement income.
Retirees (or survivors) who choose to receive Social Security benefits before they reach full retirement age (FRA) and continue to work have an earnings limit. In 2017, the annual earnings limit was $16,920 for those under FRA the entire calendar year. In 2018, it is $17,040. If you earn over the limit, we deduct $1 from your Social Security monthly benefit payment for every $2 you earn above the annual limit.
In the calendar year you reach FRA, which you can check out at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire/ageincrease.html, you have a higher earnings limit. Additionally, we will only count earnings for the months prior to FRA. In 2017, the limit was $44,880. In 2018, it is $45,360. In the year of FRA attainment, Social Security deducts $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above the limit.
There is a special rule that usually only applies in your first year of receiving retirement benefits. If you earn more than the annual earnings limit, you may still receive a full Social Security payment for each month you earn less than a monthly limit. In 2018, the monthly limit is $1,420 for those who are below FRA the entire calendar year. The 2018 monthly limit increases to $3,780 in the year of FRA attainment.
Once you reach FRA, you no longer have an earnings limit, and we may recalculate your benefit to credit you for any months we withheld your benefits due to excess earnings. This is because your monthly benefit amount is calculated based on a reduction for each month you receive it before your FRA. So, if you originally filed for benefits 12 months before your FRA, but earned over the limit and had two months of Social Security benefits withheld, we will adjust your ongoing monthly benefit amount to reflect that you received 10 months of benefits before your FRA, and not 12.
Most people understand that if they work while receiving benefits before FRA, their benefit may be reduced. What most people do not consider in their retirement planning is that we recalculate your Social Security monthly benefit at FRA to credit you for Social Security benefit payments withheld due to earnings over the limit. Explaining the earnings limit is another way that Social Security helps secure your today and tomorrow. Understanding both the earnings limit and the possible recalculation of your ongoing Social Security benefits will provide an additional perspective on retirement for you to consider.
PENQUIS - Have you ever noticed that gaining understanding often takes away the fear of a situation? Palliative (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) care is a term that can frighten folks because they don’t understand it. Simply said, palliative care focuses on treating symptoms for people who have a life-limiting illness, at any point in their illness and whether or not they are seeking curative treatments. Like hospice, palliative care focuses on improving a person’s quality of life—not only the physical illness, but also their mind and spirit.
Join hospice and palliative care nurse Jill Bixby, APRN to learn about palliative care—what it is, what it isn’t, similarities and differences between it and hospice. There will be plenty of time for questions and comments.
This event is sponsored by Pine Tree Hospice and is being held on Tuesday, June 5th, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Mayo Regional Hospital Resource Center.
Call 564-4346 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for this fascinating and informative seminar!
PENQUIS - Nobody is ever really prepared for grief. Whether a death is expected or sudden, our grief can surprise us with how unpredictable it is. A death in the family affects every member of the family from the oldest to the youngest. Children’s grief is typically expressed in ways that are different from adults’ and how well a child copes is affected by how the parent is coping. When families need help navigating through the pain and sadness of losing a loved one, when parents with children are at a loss as to how to help them; Pine Tree Hospice is there.
Pine Tree Hospice’s Nights of Service program is a family-oriented program which is structured with children and teens in mind. Participants are grouped according to age and may participate in age-appropriate activities with trained bereavement facilitators. The activities are designed to encourage expression, but the participants decide if and when and how to share with others in the group. Each session has a different focus, such as feelings, memories, and coping. Adults who accompany the children also have an opportunity to share with one another if they choose.
The next six-week Nights of Service program begins on Thursday, May 3rd and meets each Thursday through June 7th, 6:30 – 7:30 P.M. at the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church. Please pre-register by calling Pine Tree Hospice at 564-4346 or emailing email@example.com by April 16, 2018.
PENQUIS - On Friday, June 22, 2018, the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) will host a Gravel Road Maintenance Workshop at the Dover Foxcroft Municipal Building, 48 Morton Avenue, Dover Foxcroft from 9AM until 2:30PM.
This workshop will have two components. In the morning Bill Laflamme of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and Dave Rocque, soil scientist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (MDACF), will lead discussions on the various causes for poor conditions on gravel roads. Additionally, presenters will recommended practices for creating stable road conditions that minimize impact to nearby waterbodies, discuss the importance of Best Management Practices, erosion control methods and the impact poor management has on aquatic organisms and the waters in which they live. Road crowning, surface materials, diversions, ditch stabilization and a few unconventional approaches are some of the practices that will be discussed. In the afternoon, there will be site visits to some nearby areas of concern.
This is a great educational opportunity for contractors, municipalities and road associations as well as the general public. Certified contractors will be recertified by Maine DEP for 3 years. CEU’s are available.
Preregistration and a registration fee is required. Please contact the Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District at 207-564-2321 ext. 3 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and for more information about this program. PCSWCD, MDEP and MDACF are equal opportunity providers and employers.
AUGUSTA- April 13- Each year the State Treasurer issues an invitation to the Legislature to participate in a competition to return unclaimed property to Maine citizens. Republican, Democratic and Independent members of both the State House and the State Senate vie for the Unclaimed Property Performers of the Year (UPPY) award presented by State Treasurer Terry Hayes.
This year's contest wrapped up last week, and for the fourth year in a row, the Republicans in both the House and the Senate returned the most property to their constituents. History has shown that the elected members of the Legislature know many of their constituents. Treasury shares a list of local residents who have unclaimed property in its database with the Senators and Representatives in February. Hayes believes this is a great way to bring awareness of the Maine Unclaimed Property program to both its elected officials and its citizens. "I am grateful for the participation and effort that members of both the House and Senate put towards this campaign.
The combined efforts returned $1,848,074 to the rightful owners in two months. While we present the UPPY trophies to the winning caucuses each year, the real winners are Mainers." Individual high performers include Rep. Beth O'Connor of Berwick who returned over 27% of the new unclaimed properties to her constituents; Rep. Jeff Timberlake of Turner who returned over 25%; and Representative Steve Wood of Sabattus who returned over 23%. Rep. Abden Simmons of Waldoboro returned over 77% of the value of unclaimed property to his constituents, followed by Rep. Mastraccio of Sanford who returned more than 74% of the value and Rep. John Spear who returned more than 71% of the value to his constituents.
At present, the Treasurer holds $235,905,736 of Unclaimed Property. It is easy and free to file a claim. To search our database and file a claim, go to https://www.maine.gov/upsearch and follow the prompts. Unclaimed Property consists of money and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of inactivity. It includes items such as bank accounts, uncashed checks, life insurance proceeds, unpaid wages, stocks and dividends, refunds, and safe deposit box contents.
Note: this is NOT the safest possible route to take, but it is a good service and much better than never running a virus check.
To check your computer, go to housecall.antivirus.com
Many people think that if they have a virus program on their system they are safe, BUT you are only as safe as your latest update. Yes, you do have to update your virus program frequently. (I do it every day!)
Download a FREE virus program that works well at www.free.avg.com
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