Local students named to dean’s list at Stonehill College

The following students have been named to the Fall 2017 dean’s list at Stonehill College, in Easton, Massachusetts.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must have a semester grade point average of 3.50 or better and must have completed successfully all courses for which they were registered.

Justin Davis, class of 2019, from Palermo, and a graduate of Erskine Academy, in South China.

Colleen O’Donnell, class of 2018, from Waterville, and a graduate of Waterville Senior High School.

Skowhegan library children’s section awarded grant

Word has recently been received by the Skowhegan Free Public Library that the children’s section of the library has been chosen as a recipient of the Dorothy Louise Kyler Foundation grant in the amount of $5,000. The foundation specifies that all funds must be spent on books, audio books, CDs, and DVDs for the children’s collection.

Youth Services Librarian, Angie Herrick, wrote the grant last fall, stating a need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related materials. Much of the current children’s non-fiction section is dated and funds are tight. According to a report put out by Georgetown University, Americans should expect to see a 26 percent increase in STEM job fields in the next ten years. This means that nearly a quarter of all new jobs will be centered on math, science, engineering and technology skills. It is the hope that this grant will allow the library to purchase new materials that will bolster the current collection without taking money away from the small book budget the library sets aside for children’s materials. The library would like to be able to provide these new and reliable resources to engage young learners in the STEM fields. Items on the wish list include: coding and technology books, math and science series, Lego design books, and lots of educational DVDs for all ages.

The Skowhegan Library Youth Services Librarian has been working with the Maine State Librarian’s STEM Liaison, Christina Dorman, and Early Literacy Children’s Specialist, Stephanie Schott, to make sure that quality materials are selected. New items should begin appearing on the library shelves in February.

Researchers see potential role for dancing

The Benefits of Movements

by Bob Brown

I was recently reading an article written by Scott Edwards, Harvard Medical School Correspondent that really got my attention. Many of us have been aware for years that there are positive health benefits to dancing and movement, but this was an up-to-date version with a little different slant.

The header at the top of the article said “Researchers see potential role for dance in treating neurodegenerative disorders and recently began to investigate the complex mental coordination that dance requires.” The article went on to ask, “How many of those who ballroom dance, foxtrot, break dance, square dance, round dance or line dance realize that they are doing something positive for their brains?” Daniel Tarsy, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Center states that, “There’s no question that music has a very stimulating effect on physical activity and I think that applies to dance as well.”

Scientists gave little attention to the neurological effects of dance until recently, when researchers began to investigate the complex mental coordination that dance requires. In a 2008 article in “Scientific American”, a Columbia University neuroscientist said that synchronizing music and movement constitutes a “pleasure double play.” Music stimulates the brain’s reward centers, while dance activates its sensory and motor circuits.

A 2003 study by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and reported in the “New England Journal of Medicine” showed that dance can improve brain health. The study investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. The researchers looked at the impact of 11 different types of physical activity, including cycling, golf, swimming, and tennis, but found that only dancing lowered participants’ risk of dementia. The combination of mental effort and social interaction made the difference.

In a small 2012 study, researchers at North Dakota’s Minot State University found that the dance program known as Zumba improves mood and cognitive skills. Other studies have shown that dance helps reduce stress, increases the levels of the “feel-good hormone,” serotonin, and helps develop new neural connections, especially in the regions involved in executive function, long-term memory, and special recognition.

Dance has also been found to be therapeutic for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Dancing is a fabulous addition to a regular course of activity that can include briskly walking, swimming, Tai chi, and lots of other forms of exercise. Our dance (square dancing and round dancing) just has the added benefits of social interaction, mental processing into motor action, moving rhythmically to music, and just plain being fun.

So if you’re looking to add a long term benefit to your health regimen, think about square and/or round dancing. For more info call Bob at 447-0094 or Cindy at 631-8816.

Webber Pond president updates on lake conditions

The pool got close to the spillway, but did not overtop.

by Frank Richards
President, Webber Pond Association

By way of update, the winter is going well. We had an extended period of really cold weather. Many days in a row where the thermometer at my house was minus-25 degrees.

Suddenly, there was a radical shift in the jet stream and we had two days of torrential rain with temperatures in the 40s. All of it came off the watershed. No way it could be absorbed by the frozen ground or snow that melted.

Widespread flooding in Augusta and Winslow. No issues with the Webber Dam. Thirty years ago we were advised to keep the pool between a foot and two feet below the spillway to protect against surges during the winter. That’s about three feet of draw at the control gates. It was good advice.

This is a shot of the control gates. As may be seen, there will be no worry about not enough water coming into the lake during the winter.
Photos courtesy of Frank Richards

So. CHINA: Banish boredom at South China Public Library; new book titles available; Fire and Fury on order

Just in the nick of time – South China Library has added many new books for your winter reading. Here is a sampling of new materials received.

The newest books by David Baldacci, James Patterson, Sandra Brown, Tess Gerritsen, John Grisham, Stephen King and Jan Karon, to name just a few popular authors, are now available. Our collection of large print books grows with every order. Fairyland, by Danielle Steel, and Any Dream Will Do, by Debbie Macomber, were among those purchased in this order.

For young adults – or for anyone – new additions include The Ship of the Dead, by Rick Riordan, and Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green.

We have added new books for children of all ages. Check out the beautiful picture book Red and Lulu, by Maine resident Matt Taveres, or the newest installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, The Getaway.

Don’t forget we also carry movies and have added the acclaimed series The Vietnam War, by Ken Burns, The Zookeeper’s Wife, and Beauty and the Beast. New audiobooks, so pleasant to enjoy during a long drive, include Enigma, by Catherine Coulter, and The Other Alcott, by Elise Hooper.

As for Fire and Fury, it has been ordered. Due to the demand, it may be a few weeks before we receive it. We have so much packed into our library! Treat yourself to time browsing at the library and selecting movies, books and audiobooks for relaxing winter moments. Hours: Wednesday, 10 a.m. – noon and 3 – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m .

The Town Line to benefit from Hannaford’s Reusable Bag Program

Buy one of these reusable grocery bags from China Hannaford in February, and they will donate $1 to The Town Line!

The Town Line newspaper, a nonprofit committed to serving area communities, has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program for the month of February.

The Hannaford Reusable Bag Pro­gram launched in October 2015 and is designed to support local nonprofits through the sale of the reusable Cause bags.

The Town Line was selected by Hannaford store leadership as the February beneficiary of the program at the South China Hannaford store. For every reusable Cause bag purchased at the South China Hannaford during February 2018, The Town Line will receive a $1 donation.

Founded in 1989, and based in South China, The Town Line’s vision is to enhance the quality of life, to create a vibrant rural community connecting area towns, organizations and individuals through communication, education, and public dialogue. It is also The Town Line’s mission to build good community relations, and publish a weekly, non-partisan and balanced newspaper.

Managing editor Roland Hallee expressed delight in being chosen: “With the help of Hannaford, we can continue in our goal to provide area towns with a quality weekly newspaper that is both informational and educational to its citizens, and at the same time, help in our never-ending challenge of raising the funds to continue in our mission.”

For more information on the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program, visit hannaford.bags4mycause.com or facebook.com/hhbagprogram.

Food industry needs to stop hiding nutrition info

by Mindy Haar

Nearly four in ten American adults are obese. That’s an all-time high.

The Food and Drug Administration proposed two rules to help combat this epidemic. The first would require chain restaurants to include calorie counts on their menus. The second would update the Nutrition Facts Label — the black-and-white nutritional content box.

Some food manufacturers and restaurant groups are working to defeat these rules. Deploying their lobbyists, these firms have pressured regulators to delay implementation of the regulations.

Americans can’t afford these delays. The obesity epidemic is taking a toll on our waistlines — and our wallets.

Obesity puts people at risk for many diseases, including diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Those four illnesses kill nearly 1.6 million Americans every year, and cost almost $700 billion.

Many believe the solution is to eat healthier. And yes, choosing less-processed foods and ones prepared at home is one step. But that isn’t as simple as it sounds.

People can’t make healthier choices if they don’t know the content of their food. In one survey of 3,400 fast food customers, on average, respondents underestimated the number of calories in their meals by about 200. More than one in four underestimated by more than 500 calories. That’s 25 percent of an average person’s daily recommended calories.

Even when foods have a nutrition facts label, Americans have trouble interpreting the information. Half of Americans can’t make out a food’s sugar content. Many struggle to calculate nutrition information when a package is divided into servings.

When consumers are provided with nutrition information, they make healthier choices. Restaurant-goers who were given the calorie content of their meals plus information about recommended daily intakes consumed 250 fewer calories than those given no information, according to a Yale study.

Transparency doesn’t just empower consumers to make healthier decisions. It prompts the food industry to eliminate unhealthy ingredients. In 2006, the FDA required manufacturers to label foods that contained trans fats. In response, food companies cut the levels of trans fats in their products by 80 percent.

The food industry has been fighting to block calorie counts on menus for years. The FDA first proposed the menu rule in 2010. The agency originally set the compliance date for the end of 2015.

The National Grocers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, and the American Pizza Community claimed the rule would be too costly. They pressured the FDA to delay it three times.

In November, the FDA issued new guidelines for the rule, so it appears it will take effect in May 2018. But the agency is accepting comments about these guidelines, which may allow the food industry to push for watered-down regulations or another delay.

That would be a mistake. Since officials started crafting the rule, the obesity rate has shot up 12 percent.

The FDA’s second proposed rule would require manufacturers to print nutrition labels with realistic serving sizes and easy-to-read calorie counts. Previously, serving sizes didn’t reflect how much the average American actually eats.

The FDA also added a line for “added sugar.” It’s recommended that people shouldn’t consume more than 50 grams of added sugar a day, but many popular products exceed that.

Regulators wanted the rule to take effect in 2018. But big trade associations have pressured the FDA to delay implementation.

The obesity epidemic will worsen if regulators cave to the food industry. It’s time for restaurants and manufacturers to tell Americans what’s in their food.

Mindy Haar, Ph.D., a registered dietitian, is assistant dean, Undergraduate Affairs, for New York Institute of Technology School of Health Professions.

Waterville’s High Hopes Clubhouse receives international distinction

Waterville’s High Hopes Clubhouse’s College Avenue location. Contributed photo

Kennebec Behavioral Health’s High Hopes Clubhouse recently was recognized by Clubhouse International as a clubhouse of distinction among all clubhouses worldwide.

High Hopes, which provides employment, education and social opportunities for people with severe and persistent mental illness, has been recognized among all clubhouse as having the highest percent of its members – 79 percent who are working in supported or independent employment. Currently, there are over 320 clubhouses in 34 countries across the globe, each of which strives to meet or exceed an international standard that at least 20 percent of the clubhouse’s average daily membership is actively working. High Hopes, in Waterville, and its sister clubhouses, Looking Ahead, in Lewiston, and Capitol Clubhouse, in Augusta, are known to be among the most effective clubhouses in the world. Collectively, the three clubhouses serve over 600 people members each year.

According to Clubhouse International’s most recent accreditation report, “High Hopes is an exceptional clubhouse community, which excels in its compliance to all of the Clubhouse International standards. The clubhouse is dedicated to providing a community where members are treated with dignity and respect, and given everyone opportunity to be valuable members of their community.”

Statewide organizations recognize the value of clubhouse as well. Recently, at its annual meeting NAMI Maine presented the KBH Clubhouses with their Outstanding Partner Award. According to Jenna Mehnert, executive director of NAMI Maine, “we are very honored to work with the staff of your clubhouses. Not only do we respect the work clubhouses accomplish in partnership with peers, we appreciate how willing they are to engage with NAMI Maine staff on various projects.”

Lisa Soucie, director of High Hopes, says it takes a whole community to make clubhouse successful. “We really want to celebrate the whole community’s response, including local employers who hire clubhouse members, our parent company, KBH, local churches, state government, local law enforcement and more.” And that celebration just happens to coincide with High Hopes’ 20th anniversary of providing service in the greater Waterville area.

For details about High Hopes Clubhouse, in Waterville, Looking Ahead Clubhouse, in Lewiston, and Capitol Clubhouse, in Augusta, or any of Kennebec Behavioral Health’s services and supports, go online to www.kbhmaine.org or call 207-873-2136, ext. 1905.

Kennebec Behavioral Health was founded in 1960 and operates clinics in Waterville, Skowhegan, Winthrop and Augusta. For more information or to schedule an appointment for any KBH service, call 1-888-322-2136. Information can also be found at www.kbhmaine.org.

Area students named to Colby-Sawyer College dean’s list Fall 2017

Colby-Sawyer College, in New London, New Hampshire, recognizes 254 students for outstanding academic achievement during the 2017 fall semester. To qualify for the dean’s list, students must achieve a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale while carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours in graded courses.

Ross Sirois, of Norridgewock, a member of the class of 2018, majoring in biology.

Haley Carver, of Sidney, a member of the class of 2020, majoring in sociology.

Chelsea Perry, of Oakland, a member of the class of 2021, majoring in business administration.
Owen Concaugh named to dean’s list

Owen Concaugh, class of 2021, from Oakland, was named to the dean’s list at Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, during the fall semester of the 2017-18 academic year. A student must earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a scale of 4.0 to receive dean’s list recognition.class of 2021 majoring in business administration.


Matthew Steward named to dean’s list at Bob Jones University

Matthew Steward, a sophomore criminal justice major, of Skowhegan, was among approximately 890 Bob Jones University students named to the Fall 2017 Dean’s List, in Greenville, South Carolina.

The dean’s list recognizes students who earn a 3.00-3.74 grade point average during the semester.