Category archives for: Mainiacs

Maine State Library Sponsors An Evening Of Rifling Through E.B. White’s Trashcan

booksWhat’s free and full of perks? An Evening of E.B. White at the Maine State Library on June 21, 2013 – that’s what!

The Friends of the Maine State Library are pleased to sponsor an event featuring Martha White, granddaughter of author E.B. White. While the event is free to the public, Friends of the Maine State Library can also enjoy a private reception with Ms. White and receive a 10% discount on the purchase of the new book E. B. White on Dogs.

In E. B. White on Dogs, his granddaughter and manager of his literary estate, Martha White, has compiled the best and funniest of his essays, poems, letters, and sketches depicting over a dozen of White’s various canine companions. Featured here are favorite essays such as “Two Letters, Both Open,” where White takes on the Internal Revenue Service, and also “Bedfellows,” with its “fraudulent reports” from White’s ignoble old dachshund, Fred. (“I just saw an eagle go by. It was carrying a baby.”)

The private reception for Friends of the Maine State Library will begin at 5:30 pm at the Maine State Library. Individuals who have not joined the Friends in advance may do so at the door. For $15, librarians, senior citizens, and students may join the Friends, while individual contributors can join for $25.

Beginning at 6:00 pm, Martha White will engage attendees in a lively and enlightening discussion of E.B. White and his love of dogs. The book talk is free for anyone interested in attending, and a book signing will follow. Books will be available to purchase at the event, and Friends of the Maine State Library may purchase the book at a 10% discount.

For more information regarding the event please contact the Maine State Library at 207-287-5600. To join the Friends of the Maine State Library, visit www.mainestatelibraryfriends.org or contact Cheryl Ramsay at 207-287-5620.

Martha White, granddaughter of E. B. White and manager of White Literary LLC, edited the updated Letters of E. B. White (HarperCollins, 2006), as well as In the Words of E. B. White: Quotations from America’s Most Companionable of Writers (Cornell University Press, 2011). As a contributing writer and editor to Yankee Magazine’s Old Farmer’s Almanac, White wrote two weekly syndicated columns and was the author of Traditional Home Remedies (Time-Life, 1997). Her essays have appeared in the NewYork Times, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Country Journal, Down East, Early American Life, Family Circle, Garden Design, and many other publications.

Friends of the Maine State Library support the program goals and objectives as defined by the Maine State Library. In doing so, The Friends will help to increase the use of the Library through public awareness and programming; advocate for consistent and meaningful State funding of the Library; and to provide private funding opportunities that advance the library’s goals and objectives. While supporting the Maine State Library, The Friends seek to specifically enhance access to quality library services for all Maine residents by supporting state-wide library initiatives.

June 11, 2013
Maine State Library

6.9 Percent Of Mainers Are Out Of Work, And Are Running Low On Coffee Brandy, Too

Mainers looking Maine-y at the Rumford Meteor, Maine news from the seat of Oxford CountyState Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released April workforce estimates for Maine.

Survey of Households – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 6.9 percent in April, down slightly from 7.1 percent in March and 7.3 percent one year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 48,600 were unemployed, down 3,100 over the year. The unemployment rate was below 7 percent for the first time since December 2008.

Preliminary unemployment rate estimates tend to move in a direction for several months and then move in the opposite direction for several months. This pattern often reflects an estimating methodology rather than improvement or deterioration in conditions. Maine analysts note annual revisions in March 2014 are likely to remove those directional trends, as has been the case in recent years.

Maine had a higher share of employed population than the nation for the 67th consecutive month in April (60.7 percent compared to 58.6 percent for the United States).

The U.S. unemployment rate was estimated at 7.5 percent, little changed from 7.6 percent in March and down from 8.1 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate estimate was 6.8 percent; estimates for other states were 5.5 percent in New Hampshire, 4.0 percent in Vermont, 6.4 percent in Massachusetts, 8.8 percent in Rhode Island and 8.0 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls – Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were 597,400 nonfarm payroll jobs in April, down 400 from the revised March estimate. The estimate of U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs was up 165,000.

May 17, 2013
Labor

Judge Turns Handyman Into Husband: He Can’t Fix Anything, So He Has To Fork Over Money Every Month

Workmen. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorAUGUSTA – Attorney General Janet T. Mills has announced that self-professed “handyman” Daniel B. Tucci of Portland, Maine, has been found guilty of numerous violations of Maine’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. In a ruling by Cumberland Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler following a three-day trial, Tucci was ordered to provide more than a quarter of a million dollars in restitution to 14 different victims. Mr. Tucci is permanently barred from operating a handyman or home repair business in the future. If Mr. Tucci fails to make the restitution payments he will also have to pay $140,000 in civil penalties.

“Mr. Tucci’s behavior is truly reprehensible,” Attorney General Mills stated. “He lied about his qualifications. He took money from people and didn’t finish the job. The work he did do on people’s homes was shoddy. Then, when people complained, he harassed and threatened them, threatened to sue them, even calling their work place and berating them.”

Mr. Tucci targeted elderly people in particular and did business under a number of different names in York and Cumberland Counties: “Dan the Handyman,” “Tripol Handyman Services,” “The TrixiePolly Co.,” “TriDan,” “Tripol Construction,” and “T.P.D.F., LLC.”

“The State of Maine will not tolerate these kinds of shoddy business practices. I applaud the court’s decision in this case,” the Attorney General stated.

The Superior Court found that Mr. Tucci falsely advertised his services and qualifications, that he took advance payments and then failed to complete the work, that he provided shoddy and incomplete work and that he refused to correct the work he did or to refund the money paid. The Court also found that he threatened and intimidated customers.

The most egregious example of Mr. Tucci’s business dealings was that he took $80,000 in upfront payments from an elderly couple for a basement renovation; nearly all of the necessary work was left either incomplete or undone. After ending their relationship with Mr. Tucci, the couple was able to have the work corrected for just $14,000 by another contractor – a far cry from the $145,000, Mr. Tucci ultimately charged them.

The Court found that Mr. Tucci falsely advertised himself as a licensed home repair person and handyman. From 2004 to 2012 he advertised his services in York and Cumberland counties, implying that he was competent and licensed in several trades including electrical, masonry, plumbing and oil burner services. In fact, Mr. Tucci holds no professional licenses

Mr. Tucci also took advance payments for work and then failed to complete the work. At the trial, held from January 22 to 25, 2013 in Portland, the court heard from witnesses who testified that Mr. Tucci required payments of half the estimate up front and then was “painfully slow” to do the work. He would often use the delay to persuade homeowners that extra work was required.

When confronted about his shoddy, unworkmanlike or incomplete work, Mr. Tucci refused to give refunds and even threatened his customers. Mr. Tucci went so far as to contact the employer of one customer stating that they “were not fit for employment.” He bullied his customers, constantly telling them, “I know where you live. I will find you. No one does this to me.’”

Attorney General Mills commended Assistant Attorney General Linda Conti, Director of the Consumer Protection Division, and Assistant Attorney General Carolyn Silsby, who prosecuted the case.

No homeowner should be pressured to pay more than a third up front for any home repair job. Consumers should insist on a written contract and should check the references for anyone who offers to perform work on their home.

Maine Consumers who believe they may be the victim of an unfair trade practice can call the Maine Attorney General’s Office with questions.
Consumers can call the specifically dedicated line 1-800-436-2131 or 626-8849 Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – noon and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. In addition to the toll free phone number, consumers can contact the Consumer Protection Division by email at consumer.mediation@maine.gov and by regular mail by writing to: Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, 6 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. The Consumer Protection Division also has a lot of consumer information on the website – www.maine.gov/ag.

April 16, 2013
Attorney General’s Office

February Unemployment Rate Unchanged. I Coulda Told You That. My No-Good Brother-In-Law Is Still Sleeping On My Couch

Mainers looking Maine-y at the Rumford Meteor, Maine news from the seat of Oxford CountyState Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released February workforce estimates for Maine.

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Survey of Households – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 7.3 percent in February, unchanged from January and one year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 51,700 were unemployed, down 300 over the year. The U.S. unemployment rate was estimated at 7.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in January and 8.3 percent one year ago.

When comparing unemployment rates it is important to be aware of what underlies them. Maine continues to have higher labor force participation than the nation. If the U.S. labor force participation rate were as high as the Maine average, the national unemployment rate would be near ten percent.

Because differences in labor force participation skew unemployment rates, the employment to population ratio provides a better basis for comparing workforce conditions to the nation. Maine had a higher share of employed population than the nation for the 65th consecutive month in February (60.3 percent compared to 58.6 percent for the U.S.).

(NOTE: The labor force participation rate is the share of the population age 16+ working or actively seeking work. Jobless people not looking for work are not counted as unemployed and are not in the labor force. The employment to population ratio is the share of the population age 16+ that is employed.)

The unemployment rate estimate for New England was 7.0 percent; estimates for other states were 5.8 percent in New Hampshire, 4.4 percent in Vermont, 6.5 percent in Massachusetts, 9.4 percent in Rhode Island and 8.0 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls – Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were 598,100 nonfarm payroll jobs in February, up 2,300 from the revised January estimate. The estimate of U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs was up 236,000.

(NOTE: When using nonfarm payroll jobs estimates, it is important to know that they tend to be volatile from month to month. When estimates for the period from October 2012 to September 2013 are replaced with actual payroll data in March 2014, they are likely to show less volatility.)

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in February, down from 8.5 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 6.3 percent in Cumberland County to 12.9 percent in Washington County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metro areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (6.7 percent), Bangor (7.6 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (7.8 percent). This release is available at www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html. Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas; nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas; and much more data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/data.html .

March data will be released Friday, April 19.

March 29, 2013
Labor

Maine’s Population To Drop By One

Mainers looking Maine-y at the Rumford Meteor, Maine news from the seat of Oxford CountyThe Maine State Lottery announced today that Peter King of Kennebunk Maine is the latest winner of One-Million Dollars. Mr. King won playing the Maine Millionaire II game that he purchased from the Cumberland Farms in Kennebunk. There are still two top prizes of $1,000,000 remaining to be won in the game. The Lottery reminds everyone to “Keep it fun. Play responsibly.”

March 20, 2013
Maine State Lottery

Maine Unemployment Numbers Adjusted To Reflect That Feller The Bear Et. He Useta Have A Job. Now He Don’t

Mainers looking Maine-y at the Rumford Meteor, Maine news from the seat of Oxford CountySurvey of Households – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 7.3 percent in January, little changed from revised rates of 7.2 percent in December and 7.4 percent one year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 51,700 were unemployed, down 600 over the year. The U.S. unemployment rate was estimated at 7.9 percent, little changed from 7.8 percent in December and down from 8.3 percent one year ago. (The U.S. unemployment rate for February was 7.7 percent. February rates for states will be released March 29.)


Unemployment and payroll job estimates for prior years have been revised. The revisions reflect more steadily declining unemployment rates and rising numbers of payroll jobs. Charts comparing the new figures to what was previously released are available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/revisions.html .


When comparing unemployment rates it is important to be aware of what underlies them. Maine continues to have higher labor force participation than the nation. If the U.S. labor force participation rate were as high as the Maine average, the national unemployment rate would be near ten percent.

Because differences in labor force participation skew unemployment rates, the employment to population ratio provides a better basis for comparing workforce conditions to the nation. Maine had a higher share of employed population than the nation for the 64th consecutive month in January (60.4 percent compared to 58.6 percent for the U.S.).

(NOTE: The labor force participation rate is the share of the population age 16+ working or actively seeking work. Jobless people not looking for work are not counted as unemployed and are not in the labor force. The employment to population ratio is the share of the population age 16+ that is employed.)

The unemployment rate estimate for New England was 7.1 percent; estimates for other states were 5.8 percent in New Hampshire, 4.7 percent in Vermont, 6.7 percent in Massachusetts, 9.8 percent in Rhode Island and 8.1 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls – Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were 595,800 nonfarm payroll jobs in January, up 2,100 from the revised December estimate. The estimate of U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs was up 119,000. (The February estimate was up 236,000.)

(NOTE: When using nonfarm payroll jobs estimates, it is important to know that they tend to be volatile from month to month. When estimates for the period from October 2012 to September 2013 are replaced with actual payroll data in March 2014, they are likely to show less volatility.)

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in January, unchanged from one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 6.4 percent in Cumberland County to 13.2 percent in Washington County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metro areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (6.8 percent), Bangor (7.6 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (7.9 percent).

This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html . Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas; nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas; and much more data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/data.html .

February data will be released Friday, March 29.

March 18, 2013
Labor

Lewiston CareerCenter Offers Workshops On How To Punch Up Your LinkedIn Info And Turbocharge Your Resume While Living Under A Bridge

Bums sleeping in park. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorLEWISTON—Taking advantage of training in March may yield a new job in April. The Lewiston CareerCenter is offering a number of programs this month for job seekers and those who are considering training to upgrade their skills to increase their employability.

The Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce will hold its tenth annual job fair on April 5 at Central Maine Community College (CMCC). More than 50 businesses will participate, and space is still available. The Lewiston CareerCenter will hold special Preparing for a Job Fair workshops at its facility on March 25 and 27 and at CMCC on March 28 from 12:30–2 p.m. to help people get the most out of the job fair.

All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 753-9005.

GATEway to Employment—Thursdays, 1–4 p.m. offers an overview of basic information on resumes, interviews and job search skills as well as CareerCenter and community resources available during a job search—learn how the CareerCenter can help!

Professionals Moving Ahead! —First and third Thursday of each month: 9 a.m.–noon. This is a great way to network with other job seekers, professionals, and business leaders in our community and to get valuable information regarding job search tools; 85 percent of jobs are found through “the hidden job market”—or networking—not an ad. Registration not required.
LinkedIn from an Employer’s Perspective, March 7. Learn how you compare to other job seekers on LinkedIn. Learn what employers are looking for, how to increase your visibilityand more with Paul Mosley, President of Penobscot Executive Search LLC, a national recruiting & placement agency.
Ask Human Resource Professionals and Experts, March 21: Ask about the job search, recruitment, on-line applications, resumes, cover letters, interviews and more. Several HR professionals will be on hand to answer your questions. Get the “inside scoop” for a huge advantage in your job search.

Job Search Skills—It’s a competitive job market. The job search skills workshops provide the tools needed to be successful in a job search, including strategies to highlight skills and set yourself apart from the others—it’s all about marketing yourself! March 11, 2–4 p.m.

Resumes and Interview Skills Part I—An in-depth exploration of job search, resumes, applications and interviews. Learn how to stand out in a positive way by marketing yourself—in person and on paper—in a way that directly matches employer needs. “Tough” interview questions will be discussed so that you can answer them with confidence. Two sessions will be held, one at the CareerCenter on March 14, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., and one at the Auburn Public Library on March 21, 2–5 p.m. To register for the Auburn Library session, call 333-6640.

Resumes Part II— Bring your new resume and have it reviewed, get feedback and comments so that you can improve it and send it to employers with confidence that it will get noticed! This new workshop follows up Resumes Part I; to register, you must have taken Resumes Part I and have a completed resume. March 20, 1–3 p.m.

Mock Job Interviews—Interviewing success comes with practice and practicing in a workshop is risk-free and instructional. This workshop provides the tools needed to feel comfortable in an interview. Two sessions: March 13 and 27, 9–11 a.m. Registration required.

Job Search Tips for People with a Criminal History—Do you have a criminal background? Are you having trouble finding work? This workshop will give job search tips, suggestions on how to respond to those hard-to-answer questions and identify where best to seek employment that will lead to a successful job search. March 8, 9–10 a.m. Call to register.

Career Decision Making—This two-part workshop will be offered in two separate sessions. The workshops’ first day reviews the factors involved in making career decisions, the different assessment tools used and available resources. The second day helps you apply the information gained from the assessments to identify the necessary career and training steps needed to achieve career goals. Registration required. Session one: March 11 and 15; Session two: March 25 and 29.

CareerCenter Training Orientation is an overview of training programs at the CareerCenter, eligibility requirements and information on accessing services. This is for people interested in pursuing training and education. Please call to receive the meeting schedule and to register. If you are interested in job search only, consider “The Job Search Skills” workshop.

Training Orientations are also offered at the South Paris CareerCenter on Tuesday, March 5, 9 a.m. and Thursday, March 21, 1:30 p.m. The orientation will be held at 4 Western Avenue (Chamber of Commerce Building), South Paris, Maine. For more information, call 743-7763 ext. 1.

Essentials of College Planning for Adults covers the basic steps for successful college enrollment: learn about college and trade schools, entrance requirements, readiness and transitional issues of adult students, admissions procedures and financial aid. Review a typical admissions application, request admissions materials and financial aid information from prospective colleges and complete the financial aid form. To register, call 800-281-3703. Bring last year’s income tax forms to the appointment.

Adult Education Consultations—An Adult Education Representative will help you explore options to improve your job skills and which adult education programs or classes will best meet your needs based on your interests and career goals. Adult Education representatives will be in the lobby every Wednesday in January (March 6, 13, 20, and 27), 10:15–11 a.m.

Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation—This orientation is for people with disabilities who are considering vocational rehabilitation services. Service providers are also welcome to attend. Registration not required. Sessions are held the third Friday of the month: March 15, 1–2:30 p.m.

Surviving Unemployment from a Financial Perspective—March 20, 10 a.m.–noon. Has unemployment or long-term job search put a dent in your wallet? Is it time to consider overhauling your budget in response to tight economic times? This two-hour workshop reviews the basic components for building a budget including money tracking, categorizing expenses, ways to save and cut back, and short-term financial goal setting. Presented by Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community; to register, call Laurie at 753-6612.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 753-9005 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston, is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

March 4, 2013
Labor

Maine’s Population To Drop By One

Mainers looking Maine-y at the Rumford Meteor, Maine news from the seat of Oxford CountyMaine State Lottery officials announced today that a $2,000,000 Powerball ticket was sold for the Saturday, February 23 drawing. The winning ticket was purchased at Canaan Superette in Canaan, Maine. Saturday’s winning numbers were 02-05-31-39-41, and the Powerball was 29.

The winning Powerball ticket matched five numbers, and the winner turned a $1 million prize into a $2 million prize for just an extra $1 with the Power Play option. The store will receive a $20,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Tom Ward, the owner of Canaan Superette, received a phone call Monday from the Maine Lottery informing him that his store had sold a $2,000,000 winning ticket for Saturday night’s Powerball drawing.

“We don’t know who the winner is,” Ward said. “All of us here are talking about it and wondering who it might be. It would be nice if it was one of our regulars, but I guess we’ll have to wait to find out!”

Ward has owned Canaan Superette, a full-service grocery/agency liquor store with fuel service, for the past seven years. The store has a dozen employees. While this is the store’s first large win, it did have a $30,000 Instant ticket winner last week.

Saturday night’s Powerball drawing awarded 2,620 Powerball prize winners in Maine. Of these prizes, 1,126 multiplied their winnings with the Power Play option. The jackpot for the Wednesday, February 27 drawing is an estimated, annuitized $90,000,000.

February 25, 2013
Maine State Lottery

Governor Says There’s Some Sort Of Facegoogle Thingie For Computing And Such Now, And We Should Teach It In Schools Instead Of Unemployment

Maine Governor Paul LePage. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorAUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage highlighted the launch of Project Login, Educate Maine’s newest program focused on increasing the number of graduates with degrees in computer science, computer engineering and information technology.

“Maine must compete nationally and internationally to attract jobs. Having a workforce with strong technology skills makes us more attractive to outside companies as well as supports the businesses who already call Maine home,” said the Governor. “Programs like Project Login will encourage more Mainers to explore STEM careers and give students great hands-on experience through internships.”

STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—educational initiatives are a priority of the Governor’s education agenda.

“This is a wonderful collaboration between our educational institutions and the private sector,” LePage added.

Project Login is committed to doubling the number of computer and technology degree graduates in Maine in four years so there are more educated professionals to fill available positions. The lack of trained computer and technology professionals is a growing nationwide problem. Project Login’s website is live at www.projectlogin.com.

The partnership between businesses and University of Maine System is critical to Project Login’s success. “Maine’s post-secondary education institutions must operate hand-in-hand with the state’s businesses,” said Chancellor James Page from University of Maine System. “Our goal is to prepare students for successful careers, so we need input from the businesses who will hire our graduates. Project Login is a direct result of a sensible, effective partnership between business and education.”

The seven Maine businesses partners are Bangor Savings Bank, Eastern Maine Medical Center, IDEXX Laboratories, MaineHealth, Maine Medical Center, Pierce Atwood, TD Bank, University of Maine System, Unum and WEX.

February 7, 2013
Governor’s Office

Mid-January Agricultural Show Concentrates On Helping Farmers Identify Those Weird Unlabeled Tubers In The Cellar From Two Years Ago

Maine dairy farm Maine news from The Rumford MeteorAUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage walked the show floor at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday, stopping to speak with farmers attending Maine’s 72nd annual Agricultural Trades Show. He was joined on the floor by Walt Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF), which is hosting the three-day event.

The Governor also took part in honoring the legacy of Russell Libby, who was named the recipient of the Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award for 2013. Commissioner Whitcomb told a luncheon gathering of 350 that “for everyone in this room, the words ‘organic farming’ are synonymous with Russell Libby in the state of Maine.”

Mr. Libby, a longtime executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, passed away in early December, and his family attended the Commissioner’s Luncheon as guests of honor. Governor LePage presented the award to Mary Anne Libby, Russell’s spouse, who was joined on the podium by Ronda Nichols of Stockton Springs, Russell’s sister, and two of his daughters, Anna Libby of Orono and Maisey Libby of Mount Vernon. They received a lengthy standing ovation by everyone in the Civic Center’s huge banquet hall.

In addition to honoring Russell Libby, the Governor also pointed out that our agricultural industry is part of Maine’s heritage and has a huge role to play in making Maine prosperous. “Ours is a beautiful state,” he said at the luncheon, “and with our forests, farms and coastline, there is no reason we cannot lead the nation with our thriving natural-resource based economy. We can compete globally with our products thanks to the hard work and innovation from farmers like the ones I see here today.”

The Governor and Commissioner Whitcomb also spoke to members of the agriculture community about the success of last year’s merger of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Conservation into one agency, which has already resulted in improved delivery of coordinated services to constituents and increased resources for agricultural programs.

“The additional assets of the now-combined departments give us more resources as we widen our expertise in the continuously growing fields of food and fiber production,” Commissioner Whitcomb said.

The Agricultural Trades Show, one of the State’s premier agricultural events, continues on Wednesday and Thursday and offers free admission. All told, organizers expect more than 5,000 farmers, woodland owners, livestock breeders, equipment suppliers and interested visitors. This year’s show features dozens of lectures, demonstrations and meetings involving some 40 major agricultural organizations and agencies, as well as more than 150 exhibits featuring the latest in agricultural and forestry products, equipment and services.

The show offers a wealth of knowledge for non-farmers to learn about agriculture and how locally grown food is harvested and processed. As more Mainers look to grow their own gardens and raise animals, workshops will be available for these beginning farmers to understand what it takes to start a small farm and get assistance in creating a plan.

One of the show’s highlights will take place Wednesday afternoon with the annual finals competition for the best home-baked pie, as selected by agricultural fairs last summer.

The show will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10. The complete program and schedule are available at: www.maine.gov/acf/. For more information, contact ACF by telephone at 207-287-3419 or email amy.allen@maine.gov.

January 9, 2013
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

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