Renaissance, a University of Maine female a cappella group, will sing at the Margaret Chase Smith Library Annual Community Appreciation Day 2–4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at 56 Norridgewock Ave., Skowhegan.
There will be cake and refreshments at the celebration, which will also honor what would have been Smith’s 116th birthday. The former U.S. Senator was born Dec. 14, 1897 and died May 29, 1995.
The native of Skowhegan served more than four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and 24 years in the U.S. Senate. She was first woman to serve in both houses of Congress and, in 1950 Smith delivered her “Declaration of Conscience” against McCarthyism.
The Margaret Chase Smith Library is owned by the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation and operated under its auspices by the University of Maine.
For more information, call 207.474.7133 or email email@example.com.
Paul Mayewski, a professor and director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, and George Jacobson, state climatologist and professor emeritus of biology, ecology and climate change at UMaine, were quoted in a Morning Sentinel article about a climate change forum held at Kennebec Valley Community College. The pair spoke about the importance of climate change and the technical aspects of how climates have evolved in various parts of the world. The symposium was organized by the Mid-Maine Climate Adaptation Working Group and focused on the effects of climate disruption on our health, the economy, extreme weather events, the sea level and our water supply.
A Morning Sentinel op-ed titled “Symposium will explore impact of weird weather on mid-Maine” previewed a Nov. 2 talk on climate change to be held at the Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. “Climate Adaptation Facts,” a briefing for Kennebec River valley communities, will feature talks by experts from the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine.
The University of Maine J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center will participate in Cabot Creamery Cooperative’s Open Farm Sunday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.
UMaine Applied Dairy Cooperative of Organized Working Students (UMAD COWS) and students with Maine Animal Club (MAC) will be available to answer questions and give tours. Guests can also see the cows, join barnyard activities and sample Cabot cheese.
The Witter Farm, Krebs Organic Dairy Farm in Starks and Pleasantville Farm in Warren are three Maine farms taking part. Throughout New England and upstate New York, 49 of Cabot Creamery’s supplying farms have invited the public to experience family traditions and celebrate “farm to fork” sustainability.
The Witter Center includes Witter Farm and Rogers Farm. Research at Witter Farm, constructed in 1972, supports Maine’s dairy and equine industries. The farm’s herd was the Agri-Mark Top Quality Producer for its region in 1995, 2006 and 2011. To learn more about the Witter Center, visit umaine.edu/wittercenter. To request a disability accommodation, contact Jake Dyer at 207.866.0083.
The Sun Journal previewed the daylong Maine Sheep and Goat Housing and Equipment Seminar that will take place Saturday, Oct. 19 at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering the seminar with the Maine Sheep Breeders Association, Boer Goat Breeders of Maine and regional dairy goat associations of Maine.
The Morning Sentinel reported Peter Koons, a professor at the University of Maine School of Earth and Climate Sciences, will share research on the intersection of global mountain ranges, glaciation, oceans and atmosphere Sept. 18 at the South Solon Meeting House in Solon.
The second annual UMaine Business Challenge for student entrepreneurs recently awarded thousands of dollars in cash and consulting services to a University of Southern Maine student and three UMaine finalists.
Tom Myers, a USM mechanical engineering student from Gray, Maine, won the grand prize of $5,000, as well as the $4,000 technology prize and consulting services donated by sponsors to promote his business, ABC Firewood.
Spencer Wood, a UMaine communications and human development double major from Salisbury, N.H., won the second-place prize of $1,000, as well as patent and law consulting for his business, Body Guard Fitness.
The other finalists, Henry Bonneau, a UMaine civil engineering major from Skowhegan who owns Bonneau & Son Excavation, and Matthew Hodgkin, a UMaine animal science major from Colebrook, Conn., who co-owns LobsteRX, won consulting time with sponsors and judges.
The UMaine Business Challenge (UBC) was started by 2010 UMaine graduates Owen McCarthy, James Morin, Matt Ciampa and Sangam Lama to support and promote new businesses started by UMaine students and to improve Maine’s economy. This year, the team was joined by marketing representative Hannah Hudson, also a 2010 UMaine graduate.
“We started UBC because we are passionate about UMaine and the state,” McCarthy says. “We saw this as an opportunity to pay it forward. It is our goal to see UBC alumni leading the state in economic growth and development while giving back to the university in their time, talent and treasure.”
The competition is sponsored by Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerates Growth, University Credit Union, UMaine Class of 1944, UMaine Class of 1980, UMaine Class of 2010, Maine Business School, University of Southern Maine, Opticliff ESQ, The Swanson Group LLC, Maine News Simply and WLOB Radio.
The four finalists were chosen after rounds of competition including an intent to participate stage, questionnaire and executive summary. The finalists were then asked to submit complete business plans to a panel of judges including James Page, University of Maine System chancellor; Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation; Jason Harkins, Maine Business School professor; John F. Burns, fund manager for Small Enterprise Growth, Maine’s Venture Capital Fund; Meredith Strang Burgess, president and CEO of Burgess Advertising & Marketing; Gregory Cavanaugh, program manager for external programs at University of Southern Maine; and Marc Brunelle and Brent Larlee, UMaine alumni and entrepreneurs.
The finalists share the same goal of promoting businesses in Maine.
Tom Myers, ABC Firewood
The idea for Myers’ startup business began when he came across a YouTube video of a commercially produced firewood processor.
“I was analyzing the production process and got thinking about all the inefficiencies in the design,” Myers says. “I thought about how I would do things differently and the idea grew from there.”
Myers, who will graduate in 2015, says he wants his business to be a leading provider in high-quality, affordable firewood in southern Maine.
“Through the use of innovative, custom-designed processing equipment we will be able to keep production rates and quality high while keeping costs down to a minimum,” Myers says. “We are also aiming to completely change the way firewood is sold.”
Myers says there is currently no quantifiable number as to how much heat a delivery of wood produces. ABC Firewood plans to use a new method for quantifying the heat output of a wood delivery to ensure clients are getting the most for their money and to help weed out dishonest suppliers.
Winning first place in the challenge as well as the technology prize through MTI and Blackstone will allow Myers to begin operations immediately through startup funds, establishing contacts and strengthening business skills.
“By winning, my business plan was suddenly backed and supported by many different people all vowing for its viability,” Myers says. “It gave me the confidence and knowledge necessary to get the ball rolling and start my own business. I think this is a huge obstacle to overcome for any entrepreneur, but an even larger one for a young entrepreneur.”
Spencer Wood, Body Guard Fitness
Wood, who graduated in May and plans to return to UMaine to get his master’s degree in human development, got the idea for his business while playing for the UMaine football team.
“I needed something to keep my body in peak physical condition that I could take on the road and use in the residence halls when I was living on campus,” Wood says.
He describes his business as “the first of its kind.”
“This revolutionary product in full-body fitness and mobility will transform the fitness industry and bodies alike,” Wood says. “It is a unique combination of push-up grip and resistance-band technologies that come together to provide a comprehensive and demanding full-body workout.”
Wood’s goal is for the Body Guard to become a household name and a familiar product in the fitness world. He wants his product to be known for giving users confidence.
Since the challenge, Wood has worked with some of the judges and the Foster Center and is confident the money and counseling he won will greatly affect his business.
“If my product is patentable, which it looks it is, the sky will be the limit,” Wood says.
Henry Bonneau, Bonneau & Son Excavation
Bonneau started his excavation business in May 2012 with a 4-yard dump truck, skid steer and backhoe to complete lawn and residential drainage work. By the end of the summer, he was able to purchase a bulldozer that allowed him to also clear land, put in driveways, dig septic systems and complete large-scale landscaping.
Bonneau says his advertising strategy and eagerness to find work helped him have a successful first year and allowed him to purchase a full-sized 18-yard dump truck.
Last summer’s jobs included septic systems and house lots, as well as larger projects such as working on a $350,000 residential reconstruction project and a land rehabilitation and repair project for Central Maine Power.
Bonneau, who plans to graduate in 2015, wants his company to grow and differentiate itself from other Maine contractors.
“I aspire to emphasize green and ‘low-impact’ construction while incorporating today’s most innovative construction methods and materials,” Bonneau says, adding he already has plans to construct a bioretention cell, or natural soil filter, and look into innovative materials such as tire-derived aggregates.
Bonneau believes the consulting services he won and connections he made from the UMaine Business Challenge will benefit his company.
“I suggest any and all entrepreneurs who are aware of this competition and are anxious to get their business off the ground [or in my case, develop it further] should take full advantage of this opportunity,” Bonneau says.
Matthew Hodgkin, LobsteRX
Hodgkin, who expects to graduate in May 2015, decided to start a business with his partners, Lobster Institute Executive Director Robert Bayer, Lobster Institute Associate Director Cathy Billings, and Stewart Hardison, a business partner from outside the UMaine community, after the four had a conversation about lobster industry waste.
“Our business is taking the lobster processing by-products and trying to find uses for them,” Hodgkin says. “So far we have had success in that we have come across certain antiviral and antineoplastic properties.”
Hodgkin and his partners aim to create products from lobster-processing industry waste. Their goal is to get more money to lobstermen and improve Maine’s economy.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.381.3747
More than 700 students and teachers from 15 middle and elementary schools throughout northern and central Maine will convene on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the University of Maine campus for the 10th biennial Northern Maine Children’s Water Festival. The festival is a fun-filled way for students to learn about the value of clean water and healthy habitats, and to provide teachers with materials and lessons that they can use for years to come. At the festival, water resource professionals from Maine and other parts of New England provide presentations and interactive displays about water, wetlands, human health and aquatic life.
The festival will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The main exhibit space will be the UMaine Field House, although activities will be held in buildings in the western half of campus.
Award-winning musician, author, and storyteller Steve Schuch will provide this year’s entertainment. Mr. Schuch’s pieces have been featured on National Public Radio, and Public Broadcasting Service, and his children’s album, “Trees of Life,” received a Parent’s Choice Gold Award. Students will listen and sing along with Schuch as he weaves history and science together in his performance. Several local media personalities, including Todd Simcox and Tim Throckmorton from WABI TV5 and Cindy Michaels from WVII will participate as hosts of the water trivia game show, “Dripial Pursuit.” Joined by a team of water “experts,” they will pose water resource questions to competing teams of students from each school. Students will enjoy a variety of educational exhibits and presentations including “The Dangerous and Interesting Lives of Puffins,” presented by the Puffin Project; “Where Does Water Go?” presented by the National Weather Service; “Electricity and Water Quality,” presented by the Maine Energy Education Program; and “The Great Maine Water Bug Safari,” presented by The Bug Man, a natural history educator.
This experience is provided at no cost to the participants, and the festival budget includes funding to help schools pay for the cost of transportation to UMaine for the day. Festival attendance is limited, and schools are selected to attend on a competitive basis.
The schools scheduled to attend the festival are the Adams School (Castine), Appleton Village School (Appleton), Camden-Rockport Middle School (Camden), Fort O’Brien Elementary School (Machiasport), Greenville Schools (Greenville), Holbrook Middle School (Holden), Lamoine School (Lamoine), Madison Jr. High School (Madison), Medway Middle School (Medway), Mill Pond School (Hodgdon), Penobscot Community School (Penobscot), Sedgwick Elementary School (Sedgwick), Dedham School (Dedham), Asa C. Adams School (Orono) and Weatherbee School (Hampden).
Major sponsors of the Northern Maine Children’s Water Festival include the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the University of Maine Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, UMaine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative, Verso Paper and the UMaine-based Maine Sea Grant.
Contact: Ruth Hallsworth, (207) 581-3196; Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777 or firstname.lastname@example.org