Curtis Dalton achieves rank of Eagle Scout

For his project, Dalton donated 50 Cancer Care Packages to Oncology patients at Redington-Fairview General Hospital, in Skowhegan. (Contributed photo)

Dalton James Curtis of Skowhegan, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on October 19, 2019, at his Court of Honor Ceremony held at Centenary United Methodist Church.

Dalton is the son of Chad Curtis, of Athens, and Tammy James, of Skowhegan.

He is a member of Troop #485, of Skowhegan, and is also a member of the Order of the Arrow.

To earn the rank of Eagle, a Scout must earn at least 21 Merit Badges and demonstrate leadership and community service by organizing and carrying out an Eagle Scout project.

For his project, Dalton donated 50 Cancer Care Packages to Oncology patients at Redington-Fairview General Hospital, in Skowhegan.

Dalton is a freshman at Skowhegan Area High School.

Dalton plans on taking a basic cooking class this year, hoping to take a culinary arts program his junior year, and after graduation he plans to go on to college. His plans are to become a chef.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: How Americans Get Enough Protein While Eating Less Meat

(NAPSI)—If you’re eating meat on a daily basis, it appears you may be in the minority—according to new research. A survey of 2,000 Americans examined respondents’ eating habits and found that less than half (47 percent) said meat is a major part of their diet.

Instead of chowing down on pork and beef for dinner, 71 percent of respondents are open to including more plant-based foods in their diet, with 25 percent choosing to follow a flexitarian diet—a semi-vegetarian diet that focuses on healthy plant proteins and other whole, plant-based foods but encourages meat and animal products in moderation—according to the survey commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition.

The change in diet isn’t a huge surprise, as beef and pork consumption has been steadily falling since 1975, according to the USDA.

What Are Americans Eating?

For those who don’t consume meat as a major part of their diet, they shared that they supplement their protein intake with shakes and protein bars (65 percent), as well as by eating food known to be a high source of protein (56 percent)—foods such as soy, peas, beans and rice.

Many dietitians agree that the USDA’s minimum recommended daily consumption of protein is just that, a minimum, and not enough for optimal performance. Instead, multiplying one’s weight by .7, will get individuals closer to their actual daily protein needs in grams. For example, a 100 pound person should consume 70 grams of protein a day.

“Protein is an important component of every cell in the body, helping to support healthy bones, muscles and organs,” says Susan Bowerman, registered dietitian and senior director of Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition. “So, whether you obtain your protein from shakes, bars, animals or plants, your focus should be on the quality of the source, to help ensure your body is receiving maximum benefit.”

In recent years, additional plant-based protein options, such as “meatless meat,” have been growing in popularity and have become mainstream. The trend, according to the study, is driven by Millennials and accepted equally all generations.

“For those who want to eat more plant foods but don’t want to give up the taste of meat, there are plenty of ‘meatless meat’ options,” continues Bowerman. “While bean and grain-based burgers have been around for some time, there are newer products made with plant protein powders that provide the taste and texture that meat eaters crave.”

Why Are People Changing Their Diet?

There are numerous reasons people make changes to their diet. According the study findings, those who identified as flexitarians stated that their food choices were a result of wanting to be healthier (52 percent), wanting to be environmentally-friendly (40 percent) and ethical (31 percent).

Youth are helping drive the change to more plant-based meals; as 36 percent of flexitarians said they follow the lifestyle because their child(ren) had requested the change.

Plant-Based Proteins: A Sustainable Alternative

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, raising livestock for meat, eggs and milk generates 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the second highest source of emissions and greater than all transportation combined.

Furthermore, the American Society of Clinical Nutrition states that worldwide shortages of cropland, fresh water and energy resources already require most people to live on a plant-based diet.

Consuming plant-based protein is something that’s already widespread. More people now understand that plant-based diets are not devoid of protein—in fact, plant-based proteins, as opposed to animal protein, are naturally cholesterol-free and they are relatively low in saturated fats.

From a sustainability standpoint, plant-based proteins—especially soy—are the smart way to go because when comparing the amount of protein produced between soy crops and livestock, the soy uses less water than pork or beef, requires less land and produces less carbon pollution.

Renovations completed to Windsor Christian Fellowship

The church as it looks upon completion of the project. (contributed photos)

by Brandon Dyer
Pastor-Teacher, Windsor Christian Fellowship

Severe damage to the roof had to be repaired by reconstructing the deck and shingles.

“Didn’t that church burn down?” This question was posed to me several years ago by a student at Windsor School on a day I was substitute teaching. The short answer to this well-meaning child’s question was, “no.” However, the sanctuary of Windsor Christian Fellowship did look as though it had burned down to some extent. Gaping holes in the front of the building, incomplete siding, and general disrepair—the work to be done on the sanctuary was great.

Over the past 200 years, the church has been known by several names: Windsor Methodist Episcopal Church, Windsor Memorial Baptist Church, and now, Windsor Christian Fellowship. Many pastors have served the church, and many Central Mainers have belonged to the church. One constant, however, throughout the almost 200 year history of the church has been the hand-hewn, post-and-beam sanctuary that sits atop a small hill on the Reed Road, in Windsor. Constant, that is, until 2006 when a much needed renovation began.

The steeple is being taken down to complete renovations to it and to make the necessary repairs to the roof.

Since that time, a radiant heat foundation was poured and many other updates were made, such as all new electrical, doors, windows, siding, drywall, trim, and paint. During the years it took to accomplish all of this work, the church had been worshiping in the Fellowship Hall. For most of that time, the smaller Fellowship Hall sufficed; however, the church recently began to outgrow the smaller space and began to look at the possibility of moving into the sanctuary. Although unfinished, the church met for worship in the sanctuary on October 20 for the first time in more than a decade. Despite the lack of carpet, platform, and using a borrowed sound system, it was a wonderful morning of worship.

The sanctuary no longer looks like it burned down. They anticipate using it for worship for many years to come, as well as weddings, funerals, and many other events in the coming years as they seek to serve the community in Windsor and many others throughout central Maine.

The interior of the church getting a complete facelight. Contributed photos

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Winter car hacks

by Debbie Walker

You know I hate to do this to you, but I think it best I pass this information to you before you need it. Yes, winter is fast approaching for you. In Florida, about the only thing coming are more days the temperature is just about perfect. Our worst day here would be like one of your nice fall days.

Over the past year I have been picking up ideas to make your traveling mornings a bit easier to cope with. I wish I had known all these the past few Maine winters I was part of. I pulled most of this information from my computer when I typed in winter car hacks, just in case you want to look.

Winter car hacks:

Raise your wipers at night and cover them with socks. Prevents them from freezing to windshield.

Frozen lock (house or car). Use a straw, blow on the lock to melt ice. Or use hand sanitizer. Or use a lighter to heat the key and slide into lock.

A new one to me is using shaving cream to fog proof windows (even bathroom mirror). Spray a layer on the inside of window, wipe clean. Don’t leave open containers of liquid in your vehicle overnight. They will evaporate and turn into fog or frost.

You could also use a stocking filled with cat litter to prevent frost. Just leave in car all night.

Use cooking spray on rubber edges of your car doors, keeps them from freezing. This also will work on your shovel to prevent build up.

I don’t want to insult anyone but please do not use HOT water to melt the ice on your windshield. Think ‘shattered.’

Of course, you know the value of an ice scraper, you can also use a credit card to scrape a windshield. Here’s a new one: use a plastic spatula.

Put gallon sized freezer bag over your outside mirrors, use rubber band to secure.

Clean your headlights with toothpaste for extra brightness.

Keep a 20 lb. bag of kitty litter in the trunk. This can be used for added weight to the rear of vehicle and use it to help you get unstuck. You could use car mats or even cardboard as well.

Last year I used alcohol in a spray bottle. I would spray the windshield and then I would move around doing the other windows. By the time I got back to the windshield I was ready to go! I also saw in an article that three parts vinegar and one-part water work as a de-icer.

I have room here for a myth I thought you might be interested in:

Myths About Cold Weather

Is a cup of coffee or a sip of brandy a good way to warm up?

NO. Caffeine and alcohol hinder the body’s ability to produce heat. They can also cause your core temperature to drop.

Drink warm, sugared water to give your body fuel to make its own energy.

I am just curious what winter tips you might like to share. I’ll be waiting for any questions or comments at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading and have a great week.

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Met Opera Links at WOH

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Met Opera Links at WOH

Philip Glass

Recently I mentioned the live Met Opera links being seen at the Waterville Opera House. This past Saturday, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly was scheduled there, starting at 12:55 p.m., as were October 12’s Turandot and October 26 Massenet Manon, both of which I attended.

Giacomo Puccini

Not googling its website before walking a mile there, I found all the doors locked and later found out it was postponed to be seen recorded Sunday afternoon, November 24, also starting then at 12:55 p.m., the reason being problems with its projector.

Meanwhile, the Met’s next live link, Philip Glass’s opera, Akhnaten, is scheduled Saturday afternoon, November 23. For further details, the House can be reached at 873-7000 or on Google. This column will be covering both operas in the November 28 issue and the links are still highly recommended. Also, anybody can call the number to be put on the broadcast notification list.

Carey Mulligan

Netflix has a four-episode BBC TV series, Collateral, starring actresses Carey Mulligan as detective Kip Glaspie, and Jeany Spark as British army captain Sandrine Shaw. The story concerns the murder of a pizza delivery driver in London and its quite ominous repercussions.

I have watched this program at least three times and find it a simply brilliant depiction of people caught between rocks and hard places and their evil antagonists. Mulligan and Spark become their characters as do the ensemble cast members. It was first shown on the BBC in February 2018, and became available as a DVD soon after. A word of caution – it does have a few nude scenes and curse words but still sustains its rocks and hard places.

Quote from Giacomo Puccini: “I lived for art, I lived for love.”

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: The small family-owned hardware store

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

We’re talking about a small, possibly family-owned hardware store. Actually, it’s not that small compared to a store in the ‘50s when it was founded, but it is small compared to the big stores that we have around today. So, how do you fare against these big guys? How do you even survive against these giants with huge inventories, thousands if not hundreds of thousands of parts, and huge physical footprints, not to mention their on-line shopping offerings. This seems almost overwhelming doesn’t it?

A real David and Goliath situation if there ever was one. So, what is the local hardware store to do? What if this is your hardware store? One started by your grandfather, run successfully by your father, and now it is up to you to carry on the family business in this new world order. What are you going to do against these odds?

Well, fear not, there are a number of things you can do to not only survive but to thrive as well. First of all, you can leverage all the advantages you have going for you by being small. Small is beautiful. Small means you are spry and flexible with the ability to do anything you want and be as creative as you want with none of the encumbrances of a giant chain box store corporation.

You have full authority to do whatever you want whenever you want. This means that you can throw a sale anytime you want. This means you can focus on special seasonal promotion whenever you want. This means you can have a family day, and open house, a one hour super sale a co-sponsored event with other business. This means you can have a special deal with your local contractors that will keep them not only coming back but sending their own customers to you as well. Heck, you can even have a steady flow of good hot coffee and donuts for those contractors and other customers going at all times. It’s up to you.

But the biggest tool in your bag (pun intended) is that you can be local and personal. You can make a point of knowing all of your customers personally, be able to call them by name, talk to them about that special project they are working on. The big box guys can’t do that.

You can offer special services, personalized services like instructional classes, Special events for local contractors. By the way, one neat little secret is that local contractors as a rule hate the big box stores. Try to get your local plumbing company to fix that “delta faucet” you bought on the cheap at the big store and watch him sneer. I once bought a Lawnboy lawnmower at a big box store and took it to a local repair shop when it broke down, only to have him condescendingly declare that he knew I had bought it at a big chain store because it wasn’t a genuine Lawnboy. Oh, it was made by Lawnboy all right, but it was a special cheaper model made solely to be sold exclusively to the big guys so they can meet their cost expectations. You as an owner of a local hardware store can sell the real genuine products and make sure that your customers know that.

Customers like shopping locally, they like going to places, like they say in the Cheer’s song, “Where everyone knows your name.” Your only job is to make it as easy and pleasant as possible for your customers. Offer them personalized service, special promotions, and friendly service and you will keep them coming back.

One last thing…all business is personal, all business is human to human, keep your business and human and personal as possible, and the customers will keep coming back…and you will keep growing your business.

VETERANS CORNER: Will veterans receive COLA this year?

Veterans Administration facility at Togus. (Internet photo)

by Gary Kennedy

I will pull myself away from partisan things and devote this article to veterans’ issues in tidbit fashion. The reason being there are many veterans issues in the fire currently. The upfront question that veterans seem to have as well as Social Security recipients is, “Will we receive the (COLA) Cost of Living Benefit this year and, if so, how much will we receive?”

For those of you who are unaware, this allocation of money comes once a year in December. It can be anywhere from 0 to 4 percent (historically speaking). With President Trump being under the gun from all sides, it’s hard to say. Where it is near an election year and veterans being extremely active at the polls you would summarize that a COLA would be given and is fairly substantial. However, not much has been said about this award as of yet. It is still a little early to predict. Usually Social Security is the first to hear. Some don’t know that the VA appropriation is the same as that which is awarded to Social Security. That is as far as that relationship goes.

There are thousands of veterans who spend their winters in Southeast Asia. There is news coming from that area, some which needs to be addressed. Examples are the following: VA in Manila will no longer process clothing allowance claims for those who damage clothing because of service connected disabilities. The same applies to durable medical equipment, glasses, hearing aids, etc. If the item or items are needed for VA rated Service Connected Conditions then they could be reimbursed through the Foreign Medical Program (FMP). If you need further help with these issues contact Daniel Gutkoski, VA medical clinic manager at Daniel.gutkoski2@va.gov. FYI: there is still an open door/walk-in relationship on Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m..

On October 6, 2019, VA Manila has a new phone number. The new main VA phone number is 632-8550-3888. This will connect you to the VA switchboard.

On a local level, the Fisher House is basically completed and should advertise an open house soon. As far as the house itself is concerned most of my followers and others know my personal feeling regarding that project. The building, which will house guests, in my opinion was built in the wrong place. It is lovely building but is situated in front of building 200 which houses handicapped parking which has always been “an accident looking for a place to happen.” Emergency is just around the corner from said facility and its parking abuts the handicap parking. So, there will be disabled vets backing into guests. There were many solutions Mr. Lilly could have entertained but like always, he didn’t give the project any thought. I checked with the state land use people regarding wet zones and permits necessary to build on such, but no such authorization was given.

We all enjoy the pond that abuts this building. Canada Geese, Coots and other wildlife enjoy that habitat as well as veterans and their families. Director Ryan Lilly, recently promoted to regional director, could have used many other venues for this much wanted and needed facility. One that comes to mind is a drive which would have the occupants of the Fisher House parking in the rear of the house, thus avoiding congestion, and hazardous possibilities, which could result in lawsuits as well as being cosmetically more pleasing. When I questioned the thought that went into this project the answer I received was a grant with walking distance stipulations. In my opinion anything within 50 yards would be considered walking distance. If they had backed the building up 50 feet it wouldn’t have a problem as long as wet land zoning was respected.

We now have beautiful signs giving directions but the roads are full of dangerous pot holes. Also the sidewalks have many hazards for wheelchair and crutch burdened veterans. Some of the doorways are not wheelchair friendly/compliant, even by state and federal guidelines. Having grants given to the VA is a wonderful thing but they should not have personal stipulations attached which are not negotiable, or are they? The drop off point at Building 200 has become a serious problem at times where people are allowed to park on both sides of the entryway thus causing a bottle neck which even the police don’t seem to be able to control.

The shortage of medical personnel is unacceptable. There are hundreds of thousands of trained medical professionals trying to get into this country on working visas but we are too tied up in politics and border wars. The politicians are saying that the veterans are in a great position at this time because if they have to wait more than 30 days they can request to go outside. Some of that is good but it is a temporary political fix. An example that I would give from positive information is dental teeth trays, VA cost is less than $100, but the cost at an outside dentist is $620. Another is spinal surgery, say L4-5 with implants, performed by VA, three to four hours of time and a possible cost of less than $20,000, where the same surgery done outside, with no complications runs nearly $100,000. How far does a budget go?

All this while we add a few new floors to the VA facility. We need all this but it must be intelligently proportioned and managed. VA needs so much equipment which really needs to go to non-functioning departments or at least minimally functioning departments, such as Neurology, a department in high demand now that baby boomers are here by the thousands.

Regarding people who can’t sign: I am personally against the stamp application. Working with disabled vets I find almost none who can’t pen their name in one way or another. If they can’t they most likely haven’t the ability to do so anymore and should not be voting any way. In the remote chance that a person can’t make their mark then the poles should have “volunteers” to help and the person should be known.

Keep the information coming and we will do our best to answer and get it out to those who are suppose to care about we veterans.

God be with you during the upcoming holiday seasons. Be careful and do your part for your countrymen and women. The future of our children and grand children depends on educated decisions. God Bless.

Kennebec Historical Society to hear about German POWs in Maine

German prisoners of war picking potatoes in Houlton during World War II. (contributed photo)

In 1944, the U.S. Army Air Base, in Houlton, Maine, in Aroostook, County, became the site of a Prisoner of War (POW) internment camp for German soldiers captured in North Africa and France. The POWs could not be forced to work, but they could volunteer. Those who wanted to work helped the local farmers harvest peas and pick potatoes and cut wood in the forest after harvest time during the winter. In September 1945, Aroostook County farmers decided to take advantage of this opportunity. My dad requested some prisoners to help with our potato harvest. When harvest time rolled around, eight young Germans would arrive by truck each morning about 7 o’clock to help us harvest our crop…with ONE guard. As a 13-year old boy, the arrival of German soldiers, was fearsome. My young mind was not too sure it was a good idea to have the “enemy” right here on our farm.

The Kennebec Historical Society’s November speaker, Henry (Hank) D. Lunn has been a resident of Camden since 1958 and a student of Maine history since his birth on a potato farm in Aroostook County. He graduated from the University of Maine with a major in history and government and has a M.Ed. in Counseling and School Administration. Mr. Lunn retired from public education with over 40 years of experience as a teacher, counselor and educational consultant in the schools of Maine. For the past several years, he has been delivering his “Living History” presentations to schools, historical societies, libraries, and community organizations.

The Kennebec Historical Society November presentation is co-sponsored by the Maine State Library and is free to the public (donations gladly accepted). The presentation will be followed by some light refreshments and take place on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at 6:30 p.m., at the Maine State Library, located at 230 State Street in Augusta.

Theresa Plaisted presented with Boston Post Cane in 2019

China Town Manager Dennis Heath, left, presents the Boston Post Cane and a certificate to Theresa Plaisted, of China. (Photo courtesy of the China Town Office)

China Town Manager Dennis Heath, left, presented the Boston Post Cane and a certificate to Theresa Plaisted, of China, on October 21, 2019.

The cane is retained at the Town Office and the recipient keeps a certificate of the presentation. Theresa was born at Augusta on December 19, 1923, and has lived her entire life in China. She attended grammar school at the old school across from the Albert Church Brown Library and graduated from Erskine Academy in 1941. She worked at the Hathaway Mill, in Waterville, for 16 years.

For many years Theresa watched school-aged children who still call her “Aunt Theresa.” She was married to Leon Plaisted for 49 years. At 96, Theresa is still very active and has been wintering in Florida every year since 1999 with her sister Pauline “Polly” Tobey, who turned 93 recently. Theresa’s grandmother, Etta Ward, also held the Boston Post Cane from late 1971 until her passing at age 107 years, 10 months and 2 days on October 23, 1973.

Local Naval boatswain underway

U.S. Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 2nd Class Joshua Plummer, from Jefferson, mans a fuel line on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the Atlantic Ocean, on November 5, 2019. The John C. Stennis is underway conducting routine operations in support of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Grant G. Grady)