The Portland Press Herald cited a 2012 University of Maine study on the state’s obesity rates in an article about U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stressing the importance of childhood nutrition. Vilsack said preventing obesity is a critical issue to helping young people thrive in their health, education and economic achievements. The UMaine study cited in the article found that in Maine, 7.8 percent of children and adolescents are obese, and including adults, 23.1 percent of the state’s population is obese. The study also found the annual medical costs of obesity in Maine are about $453 million.
The Bangor Daily News spoke to Tony Llerena, coordinator of UMaine’s Office of Veterans Education and Transition Services, about the possibility of student-soldiers losing tuition aid because of federal cuts. Llerena said about 30 of the 200 student-soldiers at UMaine receive federal tuition assistance and knows a lot of those students depend on that money. He said he’s interested to see how the university will help them if their aid gets cut.
The Bangor Daily News reported on the new Penquis Regional Linking Program, a partnership of nearly three dozen agencies and providers in eastern Maine that seek to help children of drug addicts by using trauma-informed treatment designed to break down barriers. The group is led by the University of Maine School of Social Work and the Bangor-based agency Families And Children Together. The article also cited a report by Jennifer Middleton, UMaine assistant professor of social work and lead researcher on the project. Middleton’s data says there has been a huge increase in the number of babies born in Maine exposed to drugs, from 165 in 2005 to 667 in 2011.
The cost of college was a focus of MBPN’s Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks March 14. Rooks interviewed UMaine President Paul Ferguson and University of Maine System Chancellor James Page on the impact of the systemwide in-state tuition freeze. UMaine alumnus and University of Maine System Board of Trustee Adm. Gregory “Grog” Johnson and UMaine undergrad Taylor Phillips also were featured. The segment will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m., March 15.
Poverty and deforestation in Central America will be the focus of two lectures by Florence Reed, president and founder of Sustainable Harvest International. Reed will speak at 7:30 a.m. March 25 at Bangor Public Library, and at 2 p.m. at the University of Maine in 117 D.P Corbett Business Building. Her talks, “An Extraordinary, Garden-Variety Solution to Poverty and Deforestation in Central America,” are sponsored by Bangor Foreign Policy Forum. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call 207.581.1835.
A faculty chamber concert at at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in in Minsky Recital Hall will include the premiere of a composition by Peter Westergaard, professor emeritus of Princeton University. “All Odds” for clarinet, cello and piano was written by Westergaard for his former student, Beth Wiemann, chair of Music Division in UMaine’s School of Performing Arts. Wiemann will play the piece with the Silver Duo, faculty members Phillip and Noreen Silver, as part of the faculty chamber concert. Westergaard is expected to attend the performance. Admission is $9; free with student MaineCard. Tickets can be purchased at the door or through the Collins Center for the Arts box office. Composer and music theorist Westergaard is the William Shubael Conant professor of music emeritus at Princeton University. He has composed many operas from “Charivari” in 1953 to “Alice and Wonderland” in 2006 and wrote “An Introduction to Tonal Theory” in 1975.
Channel 5 (WABI) spoke with Maine Bound Coordinator Lisa Carter during the 2013 Maine Summer Camp Fair for Kids at the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus Wednesday evening. Representatives from about 65 camps from all over the state spoke with prospective campers and their parents. Some camps brought hands-on examples of activities that are offered during the summer. Fair attendees also received a free day pass to the recreation center. Two interviews from the fair are online.
The Bangor Daily News published an op-ed titled “Biofuels development in Maine: Using trees to oil the wheels of sustainability.” The article, which is part of a longer piece that appeared in “Maine Policy Review,” published by the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, was written by Caroline L. Noblet, a lecturer in UMaine’s School of Economics; Mario F. Teisl, a professor in the School of Economics; Katherine H. Farrow, a recent graduate of the master of science program in natural resource economics; and Jonathan Rubin, a professor with a joint appointment in the School of Economics and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.
Islam Awareness Weekend at the University of Maine March 22–23 features free public lectures by Yassir Fazaga, the religious leader of the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo, Calif.
Fazaga’s first presentation, “Misconceptions about Islam,” will be at 9 a.m., March 22 in Room 1, Wells Conference Center. A continental breakfast will be served.
He also will speak on “Psychology of a Terrorist” as part of the annual Open House at the Islamic Center of Maine, 151 Park St., Orono, from 4:30–6 p.m., March 23.
Islam Awareness Weekend is coordinated by UMaine’s Muslim Students Association and the Islamic Center of Maine. For more information or to request disability accommodations, visit the Muslim Students Association website.
Author Nina Shengold will present a public reading with University of Maine Intermedia MFA students from 5–7 p.m., March 15 at Coespace, 48 Columbia St., during the Downtown Bangor Artwalk. The event, “Eat Your Words: A Literary Potluck,” is part of the Spring 2013 Visiting Artist series, co-sponsored by the UMaine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series. Shengold writes in many genres. Her novel “Clearcut,” was a Book Sense Notable selection. She has won a Writers Guild Award for her teleplay “Labor of Love,” starring Marcia Gay Harden, and the ABC Playwright Award for “Homesteaders.” Writing as Maya Gold, she has published eight books for young readers, including the “Cinderella Cleaners” series. For more information on the Bangor event or to request disability accommodations, contact Bethany Engstrom at email@example.com.
A Portland Press Herald blog post titled “Basics of Pruning” linked to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s website, calling it an “excellent resource for information on pruning techniques.” The blog post also cited Cooperative Extension Educator Richard Brzozowski on pruning tools and his favorite place to buy them.
To sample cuisine from India, Morocco and Italy, University of Maine students need only eat in the three resident dining facilities on campus March 27.
In the popular Taste of the World event, offered annually for resident students by UMaine Dining, both menus and decor in each of the dining facilities are transformed, often in consultation with students from the university’s international community.
This year, there will be a Taste of Morocco at Wells and a Taste of Italy at Hilltop. Taste of India at York will be UMaine’s entry in the special event category of the National Association of College & University Food Services dining awards. The cuisine will include: lamb stew with tomato and southern Indian spices, mixed rainbow vegetables with homemade kadai paneer, sweet and sour asparagus with cashews, potato and peas with masala, and mango ice cream.
The international fare in the three dining facilities will be served during dinner.
Local foods will similarly be celebrated March 21 in the Marketplace in the Memorial Union. Maine-based producers and suppliers will provide information and food samples to raise awareness of the value and sustainability of supporting locally sourced produce and products from Maine.
The University of Maine is planning a bus trip Thursday and Friday, March 14 and 15, to watch the Black Bear men’s ice hockey team take on UMass-Lowell in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Tickets are $85 and include transportation and admission to both games. A hotel discount is also available for bus trip participants. The bus will leave Orono late Thursday morning and head back after Friday night’s game. Call 207.581.4849, or email your name, phone number and number of people in your group to GoBlackBears@yahoo.com by 4 p.m. Tuesday if you would like to attend.
The Portland Press Herald interviewed Mary Ellen Camire, professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine, in a story about Portland’s proposed ban on Styrofoam containers. Some people, and scientists, believe Styrofoam can make coffee taste better. Camire said Styrofoam is made from petrochemicals and some of those can be “extracted” by hot coffee. “I personally go for paper cups because plastics and Styrofoam both have material that can leak out into the beverage. And that doesn’t sound that good to me,” Camire said.
The Portland Press Herald interviewed Rick Wahle, research associate professor in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences, and Jeff Runge, professor of oceanography in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and a researcher at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, on the effects of changing ecosystems. Because humans are dumping carbon dioxide into seawater, oceans are getting warmer and more acidic, even in the Gulf of Maine, according to researchers. Runge says “it’s starting to become recognized as a serious issue” but scientists aren’t doing a good job at understanding the effects in the Gulf of Maine yet, while Wahle says the changes have lobstermen worried about potential negative effects.
Channel 7 (WVII) and Channel 5 (WABI) covered the 75th annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show at the University of Maine over the weekend. The event, hosted by the Penobscot County Conservation Association, included organizers and vendors who volunteered their time to showcase items such as RVs and boating and fishing equipment. The money raised from admission goes toward a scholarship for students studying wildlife ecology, forestry and law enforcement at the University of Maine and Unity College.
Channel 5 (WABI), Channel 2 (WLBZ) and the Bangor Daily News reported on the 2013 Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at UMaine over the weekend where 10 teams competed by defending against computer hacking attempts made by national cybersecurity professionals. The media spoke to event organizer George Markowsky, associate director of the UMaine School of Computing and Information Science, who says the event is a great experience for students training to be cyberprofessionals. Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., took top honors. The winners of the northeast division will compete in the nationals in Texas next month. The University of Maine team, which was missing two of its eight members, ranked sixth.
Daniel Sandweiss, dean and associate provost for graduate studies, was interviewed for a Feb. 26 story in El Comercio, Peru’s leading newspaper, about the use of archaeological and paleoclimatic data to look for ways that past peoples adapted to climate change and to help test models for climate prediction. It’s important to know if models reproduce past climate accurately in order to know how well they might predict future change, Sandweiss says. In some times and places, such as on the coast of Peru, paleoclimate signals from archaeological sites are among the most useful sources of data we have available.
Parents and children are invited to attend the 2013 Summer Camp Fair for Kids, 4–7 p.m., Wednesday, March 13 at the University of Maine New Balance Student Recreation Center. Admission is free and all attendees will also receive a day pass to the recreation center. The event is sponsored by the UMaine Division of Student Affairs, Campus Recreation and Foster Center for Student Innovation. Jesse Moriarity, Foster Center coordinator, says at least 65 Maine summer camps have signed up to offer information during the fair, with more expected to attend. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call 581.1454.