FOR YOUR HEALTH: Support For People With Disabilities On The Journey To Work

(NAPSI)—About 40.7 million Americans have some kind of disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you or someone you care about has a disability, you may wonder what it means for employment. You may be encouraged to know that there are supports and services available that can help you or your loved ones pursue work and reach your goals through Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) program.

Ticket To Work Program

The Ticket program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits and want to work. This program is free and voluntary. Program participants select a service provider to help them prepare for, and find, a job. The provider may be a State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency or an Employment Network (EN)—a public or private organization that has an agreement with Social Security—to offer:

  • Career planning
  • Job placement assistance
  • Ongoing employment support.

These career development services and supports are unique to each individual. Participants work with their service providers to develop a customized plan and identify the supports they need to reach their work goals.

Finding A Path To Financial Independence

The road to financial independence looks different for everyone. Whether joining the workforce for the first time or returning after a difficult diagnosis, there are challenges that each person must navigate. Working with a Benefits Counselor and Ticket to Work service provider can help you remove some of the obstacles and learn more about the resources available to you.

This could include Social Security Work Incentives, which are designed to help you transition to the workplace. A Benefits Counselor can help you learn more about Work Incentives, including which ones you qualify for, and discuss how working will affect your benefits.

If you connect with an EN, the EN can help you find answers to questions, whether they’re about reporting your wages to Social Security, requesting job accommodations, or even how you can advance your career to earn even more money.

With the knowledge, support and services of a Ticket to Work service provider, you may find yourself on the path to success and financial independence through work.

Learn More

For more information about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday.

SOLON & BEYOND: News from beyond, yarn trail, and a letter from a 13-year-old

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, my friends. Don’t worry, be Happy!

More news from beyond: The New Portland Community Library is holding its annual Chinese Auction at the Happy Horseshow Campground, in Lexington, on May 25. Tickets are $1 per ticket or 5 for $5; bidding opens at 10 a.m. and winning tickets will be announced starting at 11 a.m. This is a fun way to get something you’ve always wanted for a small price and to benefit the library at the fundraiser. On Saturday, June 1, the library is holding its annual plant, bake and book sale from 9 a.m. to noon at the library. Get some great munchies for your table, plants to spruce up your gardening spot, and books to read on a lazy summer day.

Now for more beyond news: “More yarn fun is to be had by joining the Maine Yarn Cruise. Twenty-one yarn shops from across Maine are hosting a summer-long shop-hop beginning on Friday, May 24, and running all the way until Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2019.

“Please join other fiber enthusiasts from across Maine (and beyond) for the Maine Yarn Cruise, a 20-plus yarn hop spanning the state of Maine. You’ll have all summer to “cruise” around, visiting as amany or as few shops as you like. Each shop will be awarding prizes every month to a lucky participant.

“To get started, pick up your passport (plus a tote bag and some other goodies) here at Happyknits, then have your passport stamped at each shop along the way.” This e-mail was sent by owners, Sarah, Karla and Mart Lou.

As you all know by now, I was born in Flagstaff, Maine, and lived there until we were all flooded out by Central Maine Power …. and so I probably feel stronger about their proposed CMP Corridor than some of you. ……….I thank all of you who have written letters to the editor against this project. The one that touched my heart the strongest was published in the Irregular weekly paper, of Kingfield, by a 13-year-old boy! These are the words of one of our youths: “No to the CMP corridor. I think CMP shouldn’t be able to cut down trees to make more power lines. The only way it would be okay is if this money were going to a fund to save the Earth and replace the trees.

“CMP will make millions of dollars off of this operation, and maybe more if they sell the trees. If they can do that, I would be angry because they would be taking jobs from smaller logging companies. CMP already makes a lot of money. They don’t need to take away jobs from other people.

“They already have a lot of power lines. If they need more, they should be able to do it in an area where they don’t need to cut so many trees.

“In looking at their history, like what they did in Flagstaff, it may be a lot of work and no gain.”

To think that a young boy would take the time to write a letter like that about our Maine wilderness, that means so much to him. But…..those last words in his letter really choked me up!

Sorry, I have not left enough room for Percy’s memoir, but I’m sure he forgives me.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Odds and ends, for the fun!

by Debbie Walker

I have so many pages of magazines that I have ripped out and saved for “someday.” So, you may think this is Thursday, but guess again, it is Someday!

“Someday” is finally here! Guess what. You know how the clothes dryer tends to steal socks? I know you must have noticed. We are always left with that one sock. You don’t have to throw that lonely sock away. It still has a purpose in life:

It will make a great skillet potholder. Just slip the sock up onto the handle, ta-da the sock has a life!

You can use the now famous sock to protect holiday decorations or…

Fill that single sock with rice, stitch it closed and put a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil in it. You heat it in microwave for one minute. What you now have is a homemade heating pad that will also aid in your falling asleep. You can also put this sock in the freezer for a cold pack.

More Rice (the rice is always uncooked). Would you believe rice can be a room deodorizer? Measure a half cup of rice and 10-20 drops of your favorite Essential Oil. Place in a pretty dish out of the way of children and pets.

Do you have a dog? Take a sock, insert an empty plastic water bottle and close it off. Your dog will have hours of fun chewing and crackling the bottle.

Did you know you can use hair conditioner for a moisturizing body cream, use it when you shave your legs, use to remove make-up? Use your imagination for more uses.

Did you know you can basically un-shrink wool sweaters? Fill a sink with warm water, dissolve one tablespoon of conditioner. Soak for 30 minutes. Allow it to dry on a rack and let me know how it worked out for you.

Have a wart? Cut a small piece of a banana peel and tape it over the wart. Replace it every night for two weeks. Then check and repeat if necessary.

Now this one I have been doing for years. Crayola Chalk – I am not sure what kind of chalk I used but… Put your silverware, silver jewelry, etc. in an enclosed container (I used baggy for my silver jewelry) and add several pieces of chalk. My jewelry has not tarnished, it’s been years!

How about some kitchen remedies for what ails you? You don’t take my word for it. (You might want to check out if these are safe for you with your doctor or pharmacist.)

Backache – Tabasco Pepper Sauce: Massage the hot sauce into your back and sore muscles. There is capsaicin in the sauce. If you feel any burning apply some Colgate (white) toothpaste over the dried tobasco sauce. Do not use this in an open wound.

Feet – Cool Whip: Put a coating of Cool Whip on your feet to soothe. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse clean. The oils moisturize and soften skin. (My mom would have used this in a much different manner! She loved any form of whipped cream!)

Okay, that is enough for now. We’ll do more kitchen remedies at another time. I’m just curious if you found anything you want to try. Contact me at with any questions or comments. Thanks for reading.


Peter Catesby Peter Cates


Piano Concerto No. 1
Ida Czernecka, pianist, with Laurence Siegel conducting; Nutcracker and Swan Lake ballet excerpts; Alberto Lizzio cond.; Orbis CCC 001, CD, recording date unknown.

Ida Czernecka

Ida Czernecka was born in 1949 in Bratislava, Slovakia, and has lived there since.

She is well-known there as a pianist and teacher but much below the radar elsewhere. This CD is my introduction to her uniquely exquisite and powerful artistry.

Her Tchaikovsky 1st is one of a distinguished catalog and very compelling. I have played it several times in the last two weeks. Along with many other Eastern European CDs, it too has circulated on numerous, mostly inexpensive labels such as the above Orbis.

Laurence Siegel

Maestro Laurence Siegel is an actual conductor whose name I have seen listed on other recordings but not heard any of them. His collaboration with the pianist is also superb.

Alberto Lizzio

Alberto Lizzio is one of several pseudonyms used by the conductor, record producer and con man, Alfred Scholz (1926-1999). The google pieces on him are quite interesting; the performances of Nutcracker and Swan Lake chunks hold their own.

Czernecka’s Tchaikovsky’s 1st and her recordings of Chopin, Mendelssohn and other composers can be heard on YouTube. She is one well worth the listening by those who cherish exceptional pianists.

Tchaikovsky quote: “Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”



COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: “The way I see it” from a 60-year firefighter and former chief

China Village Volunteer Fire Department. (Internet photo)

by Sheldon Goodine
54-year member of the SCVFD, Inc., and retired chief

Two years ago the selectboard discussed a stipend for the firefighters. They did this without any input from the three fire chiefs or department members. When it was brought to our attention the members of the South China Volunteer Fire Department said we don’t need it and don’t want it. But, it was put on the town warrant at town meeting and the voters approved the expenditure unanimously. Turns out this just became a carrot on a stick for the selectboard. It was just one little way for the selectboard to gain some control over the volunteer fire departments.

Next they wanted us to open our books so they could see how much money we earned from fundraisers, and wanted to deduct this amount from our annual budget request. Let’s see how that might work out. If our budget request was for $20,000 and our annual auction netted $4,000, the selectboard wants to only give us $16,000. But, if we did not raise $4,000 from a fundraiser, our budget request would be $24,000. Duh!

Budget request for this year – The selectboard wanted to cut the amount requested, but the budget committee voted for the total amount presented to the town. At the town meeting the voters upped the requested amount by $7,000 and it was approved unanimously. This brought the amount appropriated up to the amount requested by the fire departments. This turned out to be a stinging blow to the selectboard, and they are now trying everything they can do to try to gain control of the volunteer fire departments. In June, I’ll start my 60th year as a volunteer firefighter, and during that time I have only received two stipend checks. I will continue to receive the yearly stipend check, but will turn it over to the department to use as needed. I joined as a volunteer and will continue to do so.

Time spent work as a firefighter – Both the chief and deputy chief of the SCVFD, Inc., will put in more hours individually in a month’s time than the entire selectboard members will put in collectively in a full year. When an alarm comes in and a chief officer arrives on the scene to take command, he has to make life or death decisions at any moment. He has the authority to shut down power lines, close roads, and use any available equipment that is located near the scene as needed. None of the selectboard members has that authority.

Money management – For 70 years of our 72-year history, the SCVFD, Inc., has built a new station and bought several trucks over the years. When we backed our four trucks into the new station, we owed nothing on the building and everything in it. We look for and apply for grants as they become available. Our newest truck was awarded to us from a grant for which we applied. We had in our equipment savings account enough money for our share of this equipment. This truck was around $202,000 and the cost to the town of China was $0. However, nothing is for free so as a federal taxpayer, you may have spent a fraction of a penny on the new truck. How is that for money management?

Emergency Services Building – The selectboard wants to have a town-owned fire station at the north end of town. Let’s look at this idea. A new fire station for five or six trucks would cost $3 – 4 million. Five or six trucks would cost about half a million dollars each. The town of China is unique in that we have four villages in the town and have fire chiefs located in three of these villages. The fourth depends on help from Palermo just across the town line. Travel time spent going to the north end of town before a response can even begin has the potential of causing more loss of life and property damage. Many of the newer buildings are using new building materials that burn faster and with higher heat. Maybe in years to come this will happen but then firefighters will need to be in the building 24/7. What will happen to property insurance for folks not living near a fire department: their insurance premiums will skyrocket.

The three departments combined have available 65 firefighters and 14 trucks. The reports in the town report show that South China responded to 88 calls; China Village 82 calls; and Weeks Mills 56 calls, for a total of 226 calls. This is not a true total as on a lot of these calls all departments showed up as mutual aid. China Rescue responded to 263 calls.

Operating budget – Try operating a company of 24 people and five trucks on a budget of $24,000 annually – it is impossible! But not for volunteers. That’s what we do now. Compare this to the rates and costs of operating a municipal fire department.

The way I see it, it’s not the money or how it is spent that is the problem for the selectboard. The selectboard just wants to have total power and control.

I want to thank the taxpayers of the town of China for their past support of the volunteer fire departments and pray that it will continue. However, the actions of the selectboard may have opened a can of worms that will discourage the will to volunteer and has the potential of costing the town millions of dollars.

See these related articles:

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: China selectmen explain their position on the fire department stipend controversy

Selectmen, fire chiefs engage in heated debate over town funding

China selectmen respond to fire chiefs’ letter

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: An open letter to China residents from the town’s fire chiefs

2019 China town meeting: Selectmen, firemen get approval on stipend increases

SCORES & OUTDOORS: A ferret could save your life some day, seriously

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

In a published report by Matthew R. Bailey, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, up to 41.3 million Americans contracted the flu this season, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 500,000 people have been hospitalized because of the virus. Thousands of people have already died of the disease.

But an end to flu seasons altogether may not be far off. Several research teams are working on the first “universal vaccine,” capable of fighting multiple strains of the virus. Such a treatment could effectively wipe out the disease.

These researchers’ chief obstacle isn’t science but politics. Some radical activists are pushing lawmakers to ban the use of animals in medical research — like studies for a universal flu vaccine. Curbing animal research will consign countless people to preventable suffering and death.

Flu season tends to elicit little more than a shrug from most people. But it’s surprisingly deadly. Each year, the influenza virus kills as many as 650,000 people worldwide. Last flu season, more than 900,000 Americans were hospitalized and 80,000 died — the most in 40 years.

The death toll would be far worse if not for medical advances made possible by animal research. Tamiflu, the first oral antiviral of its kind, was developed thanks to research in mice, dogs, rats, and ferrets. Scientists created the flu vaccine via research in chickens.

The vaccines and treatments currently on the market don’t provide total protection against influenza. There are many different strains of the virus, so it’s tough to predict which strains will be most prevalent in any given year.

That’s problematic, because vaccines are manufactured months before flu season starts. If those vaccines don’t match the virus strain that’s circulating in a given year, people can fall ill despite having received their shots.

Patients desperately need new and better treatment options. And thankfully, research in animals is yielding insights that could lead to universal flu vaccines.

Consider the work of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. They are developing a universal vaccine. When they inoculated mice, rabbits, and ferrets with the experimental therapy, the animals’ antibody responses lasted for over 30 weeks — long enough to be effective throughout flu season. The team intends to advance to human trials in the next two years.

And then there’s the research in llamas. Just a few months ago, a paper published in the journal Science posited that a nasal spray containing antibodies from llamas could be the key to universal flu prevention.

Despite the promise of this research, many activists remain committed to ending animal trials.

They believe that computer models and cell cultures are complete alternatives to animal research. But even the most powerful computers are insufficient to simulate all the chemical and biological processes at work in a living organism fighting a pathogen like the flu. Cell cultures can’t capture all the other action going on inside a living body — some of which may have an unforeseen impact on its effort to fight an invader like the influenza virus.

Ferret models have yielded especially informative insights for researchers, since two of the most common flu strains in humans also naturally infect these animals.

Within a decade, scientists could feasibly wipe out the all-too-common influenza virus, which kills hundreds of thousands of people each year – as long as activists don’t deprive them of the essential research.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Who is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher?

Answer can be found here.

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: China selectmen explain their position on the fire department stipend controversy

The China Board of Selectmen

At the May 13, 2019, selectboard meeting, Palermo attorney Matt Evans appeared as spokesman on behalf of the three independently incorporated fire associations. Most recently, he confirmed to the town manager that he is representing them as their legal counsel. Mr. Evans and the fire associations are concerned that the $40,000 in volunteer stipend funds approved for the fiscal year 2019/2020 budget year will not be lawfully provided by the town. The selectboard made clear at the meeting that the funds will be provided, but they will be provided lawfully.

At issue is the interpretation of the laws governing the payment of volunteer stipends and whether the town can require the fire and rescue services provide how the volunteer stipends are calculated before funds are disbursed to them. Existing Maine law requires that the municipal treasurer “shall not” pay accounts or claims made against the municipality unless they are itemized. The law does not define “itemized”; therefore, it is up to the treasurer to determine what is a satisfactory definition of “itemized.”

When it was discovered by the town manager that the calculation of stipends was in violation of federal regulations and threatened the volunteer status of firefighters and rescue personnel, he informed the fire and rescue services chiefs and provided an analysis that showed the total amount that should have been paid out using the data supplied by the fire and rescue chiefs and following the federal regulations. That amount should have been less than $14,000 in total for all four organizations over the 18 months the data covered, but more than $63,000 was provided for the current and last fiscal years.

At the last town meeting voters approved to raise and/or appropriate another $40,000 for volunteer stipends, bringing the total now to $110,000. At that meeting a voter asked if the payment of the stipend amount budgeted would be a violation of law, and the town manager affirmed that it would not be a violation as long as the calculation of the stipends was done in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations.

Twice it was suggested by the China Village chief that requiring such calculation of volunteer stipends is unnecessary, since it is unlikely any enforcement action would be taken. It was mentioned by the South China chief at the town meeting that the fire associations do not have sufficient information with which to determine what the stipends should be, so the funds should just be given them and they will figure it out on their own. These remarks alone help to understand why we are requiring the fire and rescue associations, and any other organization that requests volunteer stipend funds (none others currently do) to provide the evidence for how those stipends are calculated.

The selectboard has consistently supported the fire and rescue services, and it was the selectboard that initiated the provision of stipends to acknowledge and encourage volunteer service. Having learned that the method of calculating stipends was being done incorrectly, we intend to see that it is done correctly and legally. The most important considerations for our position is to protect the volunteer status of firefighters and rescue personnel, and to ensure the public tax dollars entrusted to our care are lawfully spent.

See these related articles:

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: “The way I see it” from a 60-year firefighter and former chief

Selectmen, fire chiefs engage in heated debate over town funding

China selectmen respond to fire chiefs’ letter

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: An open letter to China residents from the town’s fire chiefs

2019 China town meeting: Selectmen, firemen get approval on stipend increases

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Benefits Of CBD Products

(NAPSI)—One of the best and most effective ways to benefit from nonpsychoactive, THC-free CBD is to use it on the largest organ of your body: your skin. CBD oil is the nonpsychotropic component of marijuana and hemp, well-known for relieving aches and pains when applied topically. Now, it’s found in skin care products such as the luxury line from Mermaid Wizdom—and with good reasons.

Here are three:

  1. Acne: CBD oil is an anti-inflammatory with the ability to help calm skin. Because acne is an inflammatory condition, research indicates CBD’s soothing properties can help diminish breakouts and reduce redness. Recent studies show that CBD may also decrease excessive oil production.
  2. Aging and Wrinkles: CBD oil’s antioxidant properties can help lessen the visible signs of aging. It’s rich in vitamins A, C and E. Vitamin A stimulates the cells responsible for producing tissue that keeps skin firm. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production. Vitamin E blocks free radicals from the body, to help slow down the aging process.
  3. Sensitive Skin: CBD oil has been found to sooth sensitive skin and studies indicate that it helps inhibit triggers of disorders such as psoriasis and eczema.

For more information, visit

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Different answers

by Debbie Walker

Tonight, I am going to pass on some ‘different answers’ of questions you may not even know to ask yet. Use of coconut oil is all new to me. It had never been in my house, say nothing about my kitchen. But… I found a few situations that it is useful. I am including a few things I read about Coconut oil and a few other things:

Coconut oil uses: Ladies – Run out of shaving gel? Use coconut oil.

Use it to lift crayon marks the little ones are bound to leave.

Use it to remove a price tag. It works.

Use it to soak some cotton balls and throw them on a few sparks for a quicker way to get a campfire growing.

Use it to calm a sunburn. Take a shower, apply coconut oil, it will soothe the burn. It will also moisturize the dehydrated skin.

Use to soothe insect bites. Rub the oil over the bites. It will reduce swelling and ease discomfort.

Mineral oil uses: I don’t ever remember seeing this in my parents or my home. and I never had any. I am not even sure what its original purpose was.

Use it to recondition leather footwear. A few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and rub in.

Use it to remove a bandage. A few drops, a minute and bandages peel off.

Use it to preserve your wooden cutting board.

Whitening toothpaste (not gel): This will clean the nasty grout while you sleep! In the morning wipe the area with a damp towel.

Distilled white vinegar: Use it to clean your bathroom. A half cup of white vinegar in your toilet bowl overnight will do the trick.

Use white vinegar in your bathroom sink. Put the stopper in and fill it with hot water and a half cup of vinegar, let it sit overnight. Drain and wipe clean.

Sponge and vinegar: Use them to clean your microwave. I have done this, works like a charm. Soak your sponge in equal parts of water and white vinegar. Microwave for 30 seconds. Don’t open your nuker till the next morning and then just wipe clean.

Baking soda and water: Erase oven grime with baking soda, In a bowl mix a half cup of baking soda and enough water to make paste. Apply to interior walls, let sit overnight. In the A.M., just wipe clean.

Borax laundry soap: Use to deodorize your carpet (plus a surprise.). Mix a half cup and half baking soda, sprinkle on rugs and upholstery, let sit all night. Vac in the morning. Okay, that is good, BUT if you have pets who might have fleas that Borax is a miracle worker! Sprinkle Borax on your carpets, anywhere you might find fleas. Leave overnight. Vac in morning. In two days do this again and your fleas should be gone. (The second sprinkle kills fleas that were in eggs). It was amazing when I needed it.

After completing this column, I will be packing, going on an adventure for a few days. These are the points I found for packing:

Lay down or roll pants and tops. Place heavy items at base of suitcase. Shoes, books, heavy things. End with what you will wear first. Don’t under pack is part of the description I found but I am over packed! And I put my night gown on top because I will get in just in time for bed.

I’m just curious what other tidbits you could share in “different answers”. I’ll be waiting! Contact me at

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Bucharest, Romania, Radio Hall

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Last week, I listened to a live link, via computer, from the Bucharest, Romania, Radio Hall; it is one of two major venues in that city to see classical music concerts, the other being the Atheneum. And very frequently, these concerts can be heard worldwide on romania muzical.

George Enescu

Luiza Borac

The concert featured the Radio Orchestra in a program of three works – the Enescu and Grieg Piano Concertos, played by the exceptionally gifted Luiza Borac, and Antonin Dvorak’s 7th Symphony conducted by Rossen Gergov, currently music director of the Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra.

George Enescu (1881-1955) is best-known for his Romanian Rhapsodies 1 and 2 and was also a great violinist, conductor and teacher. Cellist Pablo Casals wrote that Enescu was “the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart.” Casals’s quote was a bit exaggerated but it also conveyed the depths of his own feelings about the composer.

Rossen Gergov

The 1st Piano Concerto, Part 1, was Enescu’s only Piano Concerto and left unfinished. It is beautiful music, in the late romantic style favored by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etc., yet having its own individuality. Ms. Borac gave captivating renditions of the work and the much more popular Grieg Piano Concerto.

Sarah Orne Jewett

The deeply moving 7th Symphony received a very fine interpretation from Gergov and the orchestra players.

Quote from Maine novelist Sarah Orne Jewett, 1849-1909, who lived her entire life in South Berwick – “Find your quiet center of life and write from that to the world.”