On Feb. 20, the Maine Development Foundation (MDF) and the University of Maine’s School of Economics released the fifth quarterly report analyzing critical economic indicators in Maine.
The latest report, “Energy in Maine,” addresses the issues of cost, consumption and production of energy in the state. Improvements in efficiency and further diversification can give Maine people and businesses more options and greater flexibility to adjust to changing energy markets, according to the MDF news release.
Mario Teisl, director of the UMaine School of Economics and professor of resource economics and policy, is overseeing the series of reports that further explore the economic indicators in “Measures of Growth in Focus,” an annual report issued by the Maine Economic Growth Council.
The full “Energy in Maine” report is online.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer Cooking for Crowds, a food safety training workshop for volunteer cooks, 1–4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, at UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth.
The workshop offers up-to-date information on how to safely handle, transport, store and prepare food for large groups, including at soup kitchens, church suppers, food pantries and community fundraisers. The class meets the Good Shepherd Food-Bank food safety training requirements.
Cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available. Register online by March 27. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine). Additional sessions will be offered Thursday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 28 in Falmouth. Volunteer cooks who want to request a workshop can visit the website, call 207.781.6099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations are being accepted for this year’s Presidential Outstanding Teaching, Public Service Achievement, and Research and Creative Achievement Awards. Recipients will be honored at the Faculty Recognition Luncheon held between Commencement ceremonies on May 9. Deadline for completed nomination forms and materials is March 20. Nomination forms and award criteria are online.
Sean Birkel, the new Maine State Climatologist and a research assistant professor with the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Old-timers still remember when Penobscot Bay froze.” Birkel said the upper Penobscot Bay used to freeze once or twice a decade during the 1800s and until the early years of the 20th century. A long-lasting cold snap in 1915 caused the bay to freeze as far south as Rockland and as far east as Deer Isle, according to the article. Birkel said the frozen bay was hard for people who were used to having easy access to trade by ship. He added for the bay to freeze there has to be cold overlying air, and although this winter has brought a lot of snowfall, it hasn’t been cold enough for long enough to freeze the bay. The Sun Journal also carried the BDN report.
Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, and Jennifer Hooper, entrepreneur and mentor coordinator at the Foster Center, were interviewed for a Bangor Daily News article about the Top Gun program they help manage. The Top Gun program is offered by Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED) and UMaine’s Target Technology Incubator as part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative. Participants of the Top Gun entrepreneur accelerator program attend classes in Portland, Orono or Rockland and work with mentors who will help them apply what they have learned to accelerate growth. The program began in 2009 and has graduated 60 Maine companies to date, according to the article, which also quoted several of the program’s alumni. “Common areas of interest are learning how to better market themselves, expand distribution, add a location, raise capital, hire employees, and balance their business with their life,” Hooper said of companies in the program. The Top Gun program also will be the focus of Deb Neuman’s “Back to Business” radio show 2 p.m. Feb. 22 on 103.9 and 101.3 FM, The Voice of Maine.
The BDN also published an article featuring the three contestants of the next Big Gig pitch-off event Feb. 24 at Husson University in Bangor. The Big Gig is a network for innovators and entrepreneurs in the Orono, Old Town and Bangor areas that was started by a partnership between UMaine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University. It is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth. Event participants were preselected to deliver a three-minute elevator pitch about their business idea to a panel of judges and attendees. The winner will receive $250 and have the opportunity to compete at the Big Gig Finale in April for a $1,500 prize, the article states.
Lani Carlson, Maine AgrAbility Project coordinator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report about the program that assists farmers, loggers and fishermen with disabilities and chronic illnesses so they may remain active in production agriculture. Maine is one of 23 states that takes part in the USDA-funded program, according to the report. In Maine, AgrAbility is a nonprofit partnership between UMaine Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One. Carlson said the partners perform an on-site consultation and then determine an action plan. “So we essentially do that farmer-speak, where we come out and we understand agriculture, and then the other partners understand the body functions,” she said. “So they understand what implementations need to be taken to keep the farmer farming.”
Anne Lichtenwalner, a professor and Extension veterinarian at the University of Maine and director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article, “Maine Wildlife Park staff say humans’ relationship with wild animals requires delicate balance.” Staff at the park in Gray, which is run by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, care for the animals while educating the public about the animals’ needs and instincts, according to the article. Lichtenwalner said park staff can eliminate humanizing wild animals by avoiding eye contact, acting dominant and feeding the animals without letting them know humans are nearby. She said recognizing an animal’s “wild side” is difficult for people to grasp because of what she calls the “Disney” effect. “We don’t even recognize each other’s autonomy, so it’s very natural that we make assumptions about animals and their choices that are reflective of how we think about our daily lives,” Lichtenwalner said.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in a Sun Journal article advancing the Portland Flower Show that runs March 5–9. It is one of the last remaining judged flower shows of its kind in northern New England, according to a show organizer. The show’s 13 exhibitors will interpret the theme “Storybook Gardens” in their displays, the article states. During the event, gardening experts from the UMaine Extension Master Gardener’s program will manage a Children’s Discovery Garden.
The Bangor Daily News interviewed Maine native and musical theater actor Scott Moreau ahead of his performance at the Cross Insurance Center on Feb. 22, as part of the Broadway’s Best in Bangor series. Moreau plays the role of Johnny Cash in the touring production of “Million Dollar Quartet.” Moreau, who is a Litchfield native and 1997 graduate of Winthrop High School, spoke about his memories of Maine Summer Youth Music camps at the University of Maine. “The thing that really got me hooked was the Maine Summer Youth Music camps at UMaine, which I did all through high school,” he said. “Spending two weeks being immersed in choir and band and musical theater definitely gave me the bug. I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded people in an arts community.”
The Republican Journal reported a photography exhibition, “Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resources,” is on display through March 21, at the Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The free public exhibit showcases photos depicting unique and varied uses of wind energy from the archives of the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. Maynard Bray, technical editor of “Wooden Boat Magazine,” captioned the photographs.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a free seminar about protecting poultry from disease 10 a.m.–noon Saturday, March 14, at the UMaine Extension Penobscot County office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor.
Information for current and future backyard poultry keepers will include backyard biosecurity, recognizing diseases and National Poultry Improvement Plan participation.
For more information and to preregister, contact Melissa Freeman, 207.287.6564, email@example.com. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.942.7396, 800.287.1485 (in Maine).
Seminar sponsors are UMaine Extension, as well as the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Division of Animal and Plant Health.
The University of Maine Training and Safety (UMTS) organization will demonstrate hands-only CPR during the UMaine men’s ice hockey game against Northeastern on Feb. 21.
The goal of the student-run group, which operates as part of University Volunteer Ambulance Corps, is to train 1,000 people in hands-only CPR this year. The group is halfway to meeting its goal.
Hockey fans can help by visiting the UMTS table in the Alfond Arena’s main lobby during the game, where instructors will offer free 30-second sessions. Trainers also will offer instruction in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a manikin.
Those who perform hands-only CPR Saturday night will be entered into a drawing for a Friends of Maine Hockey gift basket filled with UMaine hockey items and will receive $5 off a Heartsaver certification course.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported about 250 participants have already signed up for the University of Maine’s inaugural full and half marathon this summer. Race organizer Lauri Sidelko said they’re hoping to attract more than 1,000 runners to the Black Bear Marathon on June 21. She said there are spots available for 800 runners on the 13.1-mile course and 400 participants for the full 26.2-mile course.
The Maine Edge published a review of the University of Maine School of Performing Arts production of William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” The review calls the play “an ambitious choice — and a largely successful one.” Remaining performances of the show are scheduled for noon Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20–21 and 2 p.m. Feb. 22 in Hauck Auditorium.
The Republican Journal reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Waldo County Extension Association are hosting the 21st annual Rural Living Day on March 21 in Thorndike. Classes will be available throughout the day on a variety of topics including farming with horses, starting a home-based food business, solar energy, soil biology and preserving the harvest using dehydration. Workshops for children also will be available and will focus on rocket building, gardening and taste testing. More about Rural Living Day is online.
The Associated Press, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News were among several news organizations to report the University of Maine is working with information security and law enforcement on the theft of a laptop containing student roster data. A UMaine laptop computer and media card used by a faculty member were stolen from a checked bag on an airline flight earlier this month, potentially exposing the personal information of 941 students enrolled in physics courses dating to 1999. The records of 604 students enrolled from 1999 to 2007 included names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, grade data and course information. Records for 337 students enrolled from 2000 to 2014 included names, and course name and year. As of Feb. 18, there has been no indication that the data has been used. The Boston Globe and WLBZ (Channel 2) carried the AP report.
The Maine Sheep Breeders Association and University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer three sheep shearing schools in March and April, designed for people with different levels of experience.
Four instructors will teach beginner sheep shearing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Wolfe’s Neck Farm, 184 Burnett Road, Freeport, Maine. The $40 per person fee includes a shearing manual and lunch. Enrollment is limited to 16. Spectators are welcome.
Kevin Ford teaches a two-day blade shearing school 1–4 p.m. Friday, April 17 and 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester, Maine. The $120 per person fee includes a shearing manual and lunch each day. Participants will be taught to set up, sharpen and use hand shears. Enrollment is limited to 10; previous sheep-shearing experience is recommended. Shears will be available for purchase. Spectators are welcome.
Gwen Hinman will instruct intermediate-level sheep shearing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at Meadowcroft Farm, 45 Hopkins Road, Washington, Maine. This school is designed for participants to improve their shearing skills; attendees should bring their own shears. The $85 per person fee includes a shearing manual and lunch. Enrollment is limited to six.
Beginner- and intermediate-level schools use a conventional shearing method with handheld electric shears. The blade shearing school uses nonelectric hand shears or blades. Register online. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call Andrea Herr, 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine).
The University of Maine’s University Singers will perform several free concerts around central and northern Maine in March as part of the choir’s annual spring tour.
Under the direction of Francis Vogt, a School of Performing Arts faculty member, the group of about 60 singers will perform evening shows at middle and high schools and a church before ending the tour with two performances on campus.
The tour kicks off 7:30 p.m. March 9 at Stearns High School in Millinocket. Other free concerts are 7 p.m. March 10 at Presque Isle Middle School, 7 p.m. March 11 at Madawaska Middle-High School, 7:30 p.m. March 13 at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, and 7 p.m. March 14 at South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta.
The choir ends the tour with two performances at Minsky Recital Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono at 7:30 p.m. March 21 and 2 p.m. March 22. Tickets for the Orono shows are $9, or free with a valid student MaineCard. Tickets are available at the Collins Center box office by calling 581.1755.
The University Singers is an advanced concert choir with members from a variety of disciplines across campus. Every four years, the Singers perform abroad; in 2012, the group sang in Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Auditions are held each fall.
The College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture will be holding their annual Graduate Student Research Awards Competition on February 27, 2015 in 57 Stodder Hall. Faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to attend for all or part of the competition. The schedule can be found here.
Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, spoke to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report about how China’s rising middle class and Maine lobsters’ relatively low prices are creating a rise in American lobster sales in China. Although China buys lobsters from other countries, Bayer said the price of American lobster is competitive. “The primary competition in Asia in general is lobster from Australia and New Zealand, which has always been priced much, much higher than American lobster,” Bayer said. “So we’re able to compete on price, big time.” FIS, the website of Fish Information & Services, cited the MPBN report.