Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Jefferson Medical College grads – Part 2

Cover of the 1883 Jefferson Medical College catalog.

by Mary Grow

As promised last week, this week’s article will feature random information about three more central Kennebec Valley doctors with degrees from Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia. Their names were Cyrus Kendrick, Class of 1850, who practiced in Litchfield; James E. Tuell, Class of 1884, who practiced in Augusta and who started this topic; and Lewis King Austin, Class of 1894, who practiced, at least briefly, in Waterville.

Kingsbury wrote in his chapter on the medical profession in his Kennebec County history that Cyrus Kendrick (Sept. 26, 1825 – 1904) was born in Gardiner, the third son and fifth child of Cyrus and Sarah (Maxcy) Kendrick.

Dr. Kendrick’s father, the first Cyrus Kendrick (1789-1866), was a Gardiner businessman who was a justice of the peace for many years and served as town selectman in 1837 and as treasurer in 1848 and 1849. He was an active Mason (as was his doctor son), and he and his wife were “prominent members of the Baptist church” in Gardiner until they moved to Litchfield, where they died.

Dr. Kendrick went to local schools, spent two years at the medical school at Bowdoin and – for unknown reasons – transferred to Jefferson, where he was one of a class of 211 new physicians who graduated in March 1850.

Kingsbury wrote that after two years in Gardiner, Dr. Kendrick moved his practice to Litchfield, where he still was when the Kennebec County history was published in 1892. He was among the founders of the Maine Medical Association in 1853, and a member of the American Medical Association; Kingsbury noted that he “participated in” the 1884 AMA annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

In 1880 Dr. Kendrick married a Litchfield Academy teacher named Susan (often listed as Susie) P. Howe (May 13, 1848 – 1928), from Rumford. The couple had two daughters, whose names Kingsbury gave as Daisy May (probably an error) and Kate H., and a son, Cyrus Maxcy Kendrick.

A list of Bates College graduates in the Class of 1904, found on line, includes Susan May Kendrick, born Jan. 29, 1881, in Litchfield, to Dr. Cyrus and Susan (Howe) Kendrick. The entry says she taught high school in Dexter and South Paris and at Monmouth Academy and Mattanawcook Academy (in Lincoln) from 1904 through 1915, with the longest stint, six years, in South Paris.

A similar list for Bates’ Class of 1910 includes Cyrus Maxcy Kendrick, born Jan. 26, 1888, to the same parents, and also an educator who moved from place to place. A January 1908 Bates student publication lists him among sophomores who were “out of college teaching” during the first weeks of the semester.

His posts between 1910 and 1915, in order, were high school principal in Garland; teacher at Ricker Classical Institute, in Houlton; high school principal, in Bowdoinham; and in 1815 back to Litchfield Corners as district superintendent of schools.

Dr. Kendrick is buried in Litchfield Plains Cemetery. His tall gravestone has his name and the dates 1825-1904; his wife Susan’s name and the dates 1848-1928; and daughter Kathryn H., 1882-1926. On one side are the names Susan M. 1881-1927 (she is further identified as Susan May “Sadie” Kendrick); Bruce 1947-1947; and Betty-Jean, 1927-1973.

A footstone in the same cemetery marks the grave of Cyrus M. Kendrick, Jan. 26, 1888 – March 26, 1971, identified as a private in World War I. He is also listed on a more elegant stone along with Beatrice B., his wife, who lived from 1908 to 1989.

Another footstone is for Cyrus and Beatrice’s son (Dr. Kendrick’s grandson), Cyrus M. Kendrick Jr., July 10, 1923, to Feb. 16, 2007), a PFC in the U. S. Army in World War II. A Feb. 21, 2007, Kennebec Journal obituary found on line says he was predeceased by an infant son, Bruce, in 1947, and by his first wife, Betty Jean, in 1973.

He married again, to Erma Jean Hayden; they had several children. The obituary gives details of his military service and lists medals he received, starting with two Bronze Stars. It says he worked for the state highway department for 41 years, most of the time as “foreman of the paint crew.”

James Enoch Tuell (1854 – Feb. 11, 1910), was one of four children of James Leonard Tuell (b. Jan. 2, 1829) and Julia Ann Tuell.

Tuell’s graduation from Jefferson was on March 29, 1884. The graduation program says his thesis topic was “Acute Rheumatism.”

(Tuell was one of three 1884 graduates from Maine; the others were Laurentius Melancthon Nason, whose thesis was on “External Manipulation in Obstetric Practice,” and who received a gold medal for an essay “on a subject pertaining to Obstetrics”; and James H. Shannon, whose thesis was on “Symptoms of Scarlatina.”

(Nason, from Standish, was a Colby University graduate, Class of 1880. The April 27, 1878, issue of the Portland Daily Press reported that he received second prize in the sophomore prize declamation; the 1880 Colby Oracle listed him as a member of the Chi Chapter of Zeta Psi fraternity.

Of the 215 Jefferson graduates in 1884, 109 were from Pennsylvania; there were three Canadians and five other men from five different countries, listed as England, Italy, Mauritius, West Indies and Armenia.)

Dr. Tuell’s first medical work was apparently in East Machias, and started before his graduation from Jefferson. The Maine State Board of Health’s first annual report, found on line, covers the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 1885; Dr. Tuell was the “medical correspondent” from East Machias.

His report began: “Our leading diseases are pneumonia, ileo-colitis, cholera infantum, sporadic cases of typhoid fever, an occasional case of diphtheria, and the various exanthemata peculiar to childhood.” (Exanthemata, according to an on-line dictionary, is a plural noun; an exanthema is “a skin rash accompanying a disease or fever.”)

He went on to mention one epidemic each of scarlet fever and diphtheria in the last 20 years; typhoid fever, up to the last two years, sometimes “widespread enough, in certain parts of the town, to be styled a local epidemic”; and three cases of smallpox.

Phthisis (tuberculosis) was common, Dr. Tuell wrote. It was hereditary, he said, and flared up due to “climate, dampness, poor ventilation.”

In August 1883, he wrote, he had treated a young man with all the symptoms of scarlet fever, though the patient’s mother was sure he had not been exposed to anyone with the disease. Dr. Tuell learned that the patient’s sister, working out of town, had scarlet fever in February. In April she sent home some clothes; and two weeks before her brother got sick, “the sister took a garment from the trunk and ripped it apart for the purpose of repairing it.”

Part of the medical report was an evaluation of the local school buildings. In East Machias, Dr. Tuell wrote, “we have imperfect ventilation and unsuitable heating apparatus; consequently, headache is frequent.”

Information about Dr. Tuell’s private life is scant. He apparently married twice, first to Sarah Elizabeth, with whom he had three children, and then to Nellie Sarah Quimby.

He was in Augusta by the 1890s. Records show him as one of 100 charter members of the Abnaki Club, organized in June 1894 (see the article on Augusta’s historic buildings in the Feb. 11, 2021, issue of The Town Line).

The auditor’s report in the Augusta annual report for the year ending March 1, 1896, listed Dr. Tuell as billing $66.50 to the account labeled “support of the poor.” His was one of the three largest bills, suggesting city officials called on him comparatively often.

It was on July 3, 1896, that fire destroyed his office in downtown Granite Hall.

A 1940 census record found on line shows Sarah D. Tuell, born about 1890, living at 71 Winthrop Street, in Augusta, with her mother, Elizabeth B. Tuell, who was then aged 75. The Find a Grave website lists seven Tuells buried in Augusta’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery:

  • J. E. Tuell, 1854 – 1910, Dr. Tuell
  • Sarah E. Tuell, 1852 – 1901, presumably Dr. Tuell’s first wife
  • Orrin A. Tuell, 1859 – Jan. 16, 1895, identified elsewhere as Dr. Tuell’s brother, Orrin Abiather Tuell
  • Beth Tuell, 1865 – 1952, perhaps Dr. Tuell’s sister?
  • Josephine Tuell, 1885 – 1978, probably Dr. Tuell’s daughter
  • Edwin E. Tuell, 1886 – 1915, identified elsewhere as Dr. Tuell’s son
  • Sarah E. Tuell, 1890 – 1966, Dr. Tuell’s daughter? Misprint for Sarah D., or did the 1940 census have a wrong middle initial?

Lewis King Austin (Aug. 11, 1869 – Oct. 21, 1952) was a Portland native, according to Dr. Thayer’s chapter in Edwin Carey Whittemore’s Waterville history, supplemented by on-line sources. His parents were William King and Sarah Eliza or Elizabeth (Thomes or Thomas) Austin; he had two sisters and two brothers.

Thayer wrote that Dr. King specialized in “diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat.” After his 1894 graduation from Jefferson, he practiced in Portland, Deering and Clinton before moving to Waterville in 1902 and opening his office at 145 Main Street. (Deering was incorporated as a town in 1871; it became part of the City of Portland in 1899.)

Dr. Austin married Mary Elizabeth Libby; they had a daughter, Estelle. The 1940 census showed him back in Portland; he was perhaps in a home for the elderly, as the “household members” section listed 92 people, the oldest aged 86.

He is buried in Portland’s Evergreen Cemetery. Nearby is the grave of Mary L. Austin, who died Nov. 29, 1951.

Dr. Austin was one of two Maine men in Jefferson’s Class of 1894. The other, Joseph Albert Lethiecq, died in 1956 and is buried in Mount Desert’s Brookside Cemetery.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Scouting for Food in Kennebec Valley

Scouts in Kennebec Valley District, which includes Somerset, Kennebec, Franklin, Lincoln and Knox Counties, are taking time during the holiday season to help other people through the annual Scouting for Food Drive. “It’s great to see our Scouts giving back to their communities,” said Kennebec Valley District Vice Chairman Chuck Mahaleris. “A Scout is taught to be ‘Helpful’ and to ‘Help Other People at All Times.’ It is heartening to see our Cub Packs and Scout Troops taking time to put those words into practice.”

Troop #401, in Sidney, had their Scouting for Food drive early in November. “The troop collected a pickup truck full of non-perishable food, plus Scouts handed a check for $150 to the food cupboard from the bottle drive they worked on. The Scouts then separated the food by date and helped take care of the product,” said Troop #401 Scoutmaster Eric Handley.

In Pittsfield, Scoutmaster Shelley Connolly reported, “Amazing Job Cub Scout Pack #428 and Boy Scout Troop #428. We collected a lot of food and had $401.52 in cash donation.” Scouts in that Pack and Troop have an annual “Fill the Tent” program where they ask shoppers at Danforth’s Supermarket to help those in need. They had their collection effort on November 5. Food was given to the Somerset Elementary Pantry and another donation will be delivered to the Pittsfield Food Pantry after Christmas.

Similar efforts have also been held by Cub Scouts in Augusta and Camden with more being organized for December in other parts of the district. “As long as there is a need, Scouts will be there to help,” Mahaleris said.

Spectrum Generations and Northern Light Health to offer flu vaccinations and COVID-19 boosters in Central Maine

For your health’s sake, give vaccination a shot.

Spectrum Generations, in partnership with Northern Light Health, will offer two flu shot and vaccination clinics, at the Muskie Community Center, 38 Gold Street, Waterville, on Thursday, November 17, from 1 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at the Cohen Community Center, 22 Town Farm Road, Hallowell, on Thursday, December 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To receive the flu vaccine, please bring your insurance card. Private pay cost for the flu vaccine is $50 if under 65 years of age and $85 for those aged 65 and older. No person will be turned away for inability to pay.

To receive the COVID-19 Booster, recipients must have completed a primary series of COVID-19 immunizations (two Pfizer or two Moderna, or one Johnson & Johnson). Or those having had the primary series and one or more booster(s) are also eligible. Recipients must be at least two months out from having received their last COVID-19 vaccine (primary or booster). The Bivalent booster protects against the original virus that causes COVID-19, Delta variants and Omicron variants.

In-home vaccination options are also available for individuals that are homebound. To schedule a home visit please call 1-800-639-1553.

For more information, visit https://www.spectrumgenerations.org.

Maine students among the most likely to drive the country’s tech future, reveals data

Photo credit: Barta IV, https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/9287370881

CodeWizardsHQ, a provider of coding classes for kids and teens, has carried out a comprehensive study and identified the most and least progressive states when it comes to access and enrollment to computer science courses. Given the significance of computer science in the modern world, not having access to courses such as coding can put children at a significant disadvantage to their peers when it comes to opportunities when they are older. The study revealed that there are significant disparities based on the location and profiles of students.

The company analyzed data from Advocacy Coalition to determine a ranking from 1 to 50 (with 1 being the highest ranking) of each state’s I.T. progressiveness. The data revealed that Maine has a rural access rate of 55 percent and a minority access rate of 76 percent, with 60 percent of high schools offering computer science. This places Maine in 23rd position overall in America.

Ranking factors included: rural accessibility, race accessibility, minority student accessibility, female enrollment, economically disadvantaged student enrollment, and the number of high schools offering computer sciences to students.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Augusta fires & fire departments – Part 1

The 9-ton steam powered fire engine was a revolution in its day, they were built by the Amoskeag Steam Fire Engine Company, of New Hampshire, late 18th century, and cost $7,000.

by Mary Grow

A consequence of building buildings, like those described in Augusta’s downtown historic district (see the February 2021 issues of The Town Line) and the ones described recently in Waterville’s downtown historic district (see the August and September 2022 issues, ignoring the two irrelevant articles) is that they catch fire.

The next three articles in this series will talk about fires and the development of fire-fighting in Augusta. See also the issue of Aug. 27, 2020, where fires in China, Fairfield and Palermo were described; and the issue of Feb. 4, 2021, for Augusta’s great fire of September 1865.

* * * * * *

James North’s year by year history of Augusta, published in 1870, records several fires before the 1865 disaster. The first he knew of was in 1785 (when Augusta was still the northern part of Hallowell): “Elias Craig’s Hatter’s shop” burned on Dec. 1.

Craig (Sept. 27, 1756 – May 6, 1837) had been an army private during the Revolution; he was 23 years old when he moved from Massachusetts to Fort Western in 1779. North called him “the first hatter in this region of country.”

His house and shop were on the west side of the Kennebec at the intersection of Bridge and Water streets. Charles Nash, in his 1904 history of Augusta, listed the places Hallowell town meetings were held between 1771 and 1792. The majority were at Fort Western in 1771 and 1772 and in the town meeting house after 1783; in between, voters assembled in three different inns, a barn and several houses, including in 1782 three times in Elias Craig’s house.

The house was of so little value that the assessors did not count it in 1784, North wrote. Indeed, he said, they counted only 38 “dwelling houses” for a population of 682 white people and 10 black people. Realizing the disparity, they explained that many families still lived in the “log cabins or camps which they first built,” which weren’t worth listing as taxable.

The 1784 assessors’ report listed 21 varied commercial holdings. Craig’s was one of five shops, and his stock in trade was valued at 50 pounds.

Craig rebuilt the shop after the fire, and enlarged the house at intervals. When that corner was rebuilt as a commercial block, the house was moved to Jefferson Street.

North wrote that Craig “possessed the confidence of the settlers, many of whom were welcomed to his house upon their arrival” before they moved to their new homes.

In 1792 one of his house guests was James Johnson. On May 31, he and his brother Samuel were firing celebratory cannons “probably on account of some recent news from France,” and one cannon exploded, injuring the two men. They were brought to Craig’s house, where midwife Martha Ballard attended to them. Apparently both survived.

Craig’s first wife was Hannah McKecknie (Sept. 28, 1766 – April 12, 1790), daughter of an early settler, Dr. John McKecknie. They were married in December 1788, and had a daughter, also named Hannah. On November 28, 1793, Craig married again, to Olive Hamlin or Hamlen (Nov. 2, 1770 – Sept. 25, 1848); they had three or four children.

Craig was a selectman in Hallowell, first elected in March 1795. He was among the 161 residents petitioning the Massachusetts legislature to create the separate town of Augusta in May 1791. The request was approved in February 1797, and a town named Harrington was organized; in June of the year, its name became Augusta.

Criag was elected selectman again at the first meeting in Harrington, in April 1797, and later was an Augusta selectman. North wrote that he served a total of seven years in the three successive towns. In 1806 he was the local coroner, according to Nash’s history. He moved to Fayette before his death on May 6 or May 7, 1837.

Leathern fire bucket.

North recorded the earliest fire department in the central Kennebec Valley, a “private fire company” formed in the 1790s in Augusta (then still Hallowell). The “principal citizens” who started the company wrote a charter requiring each to have on hand “two leathern fire buckets, and a canvas bag for the removal of goods at fire.” An on-line fire department history says insurance companies formed such associations to protect their members’ property.

The buckets, North explained, had been in use in the American colonies since the 1600s. They were oblong with leather handles, “very durable and convenient to pass water.” Association members put their names on their buckets.

On March 11, 1799, North wrote, two years after Augusta separated from Hallowell, town meeting voters appointed six fire wardens (Elias Craig was one of them). Later in the year town officials bought a fire engine and appointed firefighters (North said 13, Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history names 12, the online site names 14). The firefighters were called “engine men”; they were instructed to create an organization and make regulations “not repugnant to the constitution of the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts]).”

North did not mention the firefighters when he reported briefly on the Feb. 11, 1804, fire that burned a building whose tenants included Peter Edes’ printing office, where the Kennebec Gazette was published (the paper resumed publication March 23).

Nor did he describe any suppression efforts when the Hallowell Academy building burned on Jan. 29, 1805. Opened in 1795, it was in the area that remained Hallowell after the 1797 division. (See the Sept. 16, 2021, issue of The Town Line for more information on the two Hallowell academies.)

More than once North credited Hallowell with helping put out Augusta fires. He wrote that on Jan. 8, 1808, an old and a new blacksmith shop on Water Street burned down, and Nathan Weston’s old building beside them was “pulled down to prevent the flames from spreading.”

He continued, “The Hallowell engine arrived early and afforded great assistance in subduing the fire.” Total damage was $900; residents contributed $600 “to the relief of the sufferers.”

Hallowell came to the rescue again during a more serious incident a little more than three months later. The spring of 1808 was the period of the uprising of squatters against local government sometimes called the Malta War (Malta was an early name for Windsor, Maine). Public officials were attacked, and there was concern that public buildings, like the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, would be next.

A chaotic scene in early America when a house caught on fire. Bucket brigades were usually the main method of fighting fires. The whole community would pitch in, or risk the spread of fire.

Around sunset on March 16, 1808, North wrote, “a sudden alarm was given that the jail was on fire. The fire was discovered in the upper story. It rapidly spread, enveloping the building.”

The jailhouse was destroyed. The prisoners were evacuated, and North recorded that because of the unstable times, the jailer had already moved out essential records.

North wrote and quoted (probably from the March 18, 1808, issue of the Kennebec Gazette): “The citizens of Hallowell attended in great numbers ‘with both their engines,’ and were entitled to ‘much credit’ for their ‘prompt and spirited exertions.'”

The same evening, incendiary devices started a fire upstairs in the courthouse, but it was noticed in time to be put out before there was much damage. At 10 p.m., two local judges asked Major-General Henry Sewall to call out the militia, and Sewall immediately ordered the Augusta Light Infantry to guard the courthouse and the prisoners’ temporary accommodation.

Later, it was determined that the jailhouse fire was started by one of the prisoners, a tavern-keeper named Edward Jones, jailed for stealing. The courthouse fire probably was set by some of the rebellious settlers; North gave no names.

Jones, according to the Oct. 21, 1808, Kennebec Gazette (cited by North), was sent to the state prison to serve two months in solitary followed by nine years’ hard labor for arson. He was also convicted of stealing; that sentence (whether concurrent, North did not say) was 15 days’ solitary confinement and a year at hard labor.

And what, readers may wonder, did Kennebec County do with no jail? The answer is that county officials had a new one built; and North recorded its progress.

Right after the fire, he wrote, the county sheriff had a temporary wooden building put up near the county courthouse, and in April 1808 the Court of Sessions accepted it.

Court officials appointed a local man as superintendent of the interim jail and also charged him with cleaning up the old site, where they directed a new stone jail be built as soon as possible. Meanwhile, they paid good money to keep prisoners guarded in the “insecure” temporary quarters.

The court levied an $8,000 county tax for the new jail. North wrote that Massachusetts legislators cut it to $5,000; and in April 1809, they added back $3,000 to finish paying for the work. The building was in use by December 1808.

North described the new jail as a two-story building with walls of “large blocks of rough hammered stone fastened together with iron dowels.” Each floor had two blocks of cells separated by a central hall.

The ground-floor cells were for “the worst criminals,” and “were lighted and ventilated by openings in the walls six inches wide and two feet long.” The second-floor cells were for debtors and minor criminals; each cell had a grated window.

North wrote that the new jail “was much in advance of the prison accommodations of that day, and was considered a very expensive and secure structure.”

However, by 1857 the county commissioners were ready to replace it. North quoted their justification: the building was “wholly unfit for the purposes for which it was intended and used; more especially on account of the want of sufficient warmth, light, ventilation and cleanliness; it was inhuman, dangerous to life, and detrimental to health and good morals to imprison persons therein.”

The new Kennebec jail was built close to the courthouse and the old jail, at a cost of about $60,000, with preliminary study beginning in the spring of 1857 and the building ready for a well-attended public inspection on Feb. 1, 1859. A four-story stone and brick building, it had 54 regular cells and eight “privilege rooms.”

The regular cells were eight feet square, except for a dozen tiny ones, three feet 10 inches wide, on the second floor. The privilege rooms, which North also classed as cells, were eight feet by 19 feet.

The building evidently accommodated jail staff, as North listed eight “sleeping rooms,” a kitchen, eating and bathing rooms and “a parlor, sitting-room and office.”

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Nash, Charles Elventon, The History of Augusta (1904).
North, James W., The History of Augusta (1870)

Websites, miscellaneous.

Local candidates present their respective position on issues (November 2022)

China School Board

(One Seat)

DAWN CASTNER

Why are you running for school board?

I am running for the school board because I believe in contributing to the community in the best way I am able at this time.

I think what best qualifies me to participate on the school board for the next three years are the following; consistency, the ability to make informed, unbiased decisions based on strong background knowledge, and a genuine interest and concern that each and every student in District 18 receive the best possible education.

  1. Consistency as demonstrated by successful positive participation for the past six years on the RSU#18 school board
  2. Background Knowledge: My prior experience in the field of education as a highly qualified educator spans 5 uninterrupted decades. My Educational background includes 36 Graduate credits beyond a Masters in Education.
  3. Each and every student deserves the best possible education to support their development and growth. Over the years I have observed the dedication of the RSU#18 employees and it is formidable. This observation has spanned many years.

Four of our grandchildren have or are attending RSU#18, each unique in their own right, and each has had their educational needs more than met. Two are currently seniors, having started in PreK. One is a Sophomore in college who started at the primary level. One is currently in fourth grade.

I have seen firsthand that RSU#18 students are recipients of caring, nurturing environments where academic expectations reflect high standards, where social and emotional needs are addressed, and the importance of being respectful and responsible for one’s behavior is a basic learning expectation.

I think the biggest challenge facing China schools today may be different than the biggest challenge faced by the China schools yesterday and again different, albeit possibly the same as the biggest challenge facing the China schools tomorrow.

Without a crystal ball, a way to analyze challenges, big or small may be to identify the areas of greatest need, perhaps based on surveys, gather data, analyze and act.

I think it is a process that is fluid, gathering input, drawing conclusions, acting on those areas that can be addressed, and planning for future actions as need be within a collaborative and collegial forum.

WALLACE POOLER

Why are you running for school board?

My wife and I have three children in school, two of whom attend China Middle School. For the first time in years, my career offers me the flexibility to become more involved within the community. What better place to begin than with the school board? The school board is where I can best represent the interests of my own children, their classmates, and our entire community.

What do you think best qualifies you?

I have many years of experience volunteering on various boards and committees. It is often an exhausting and thankless role, but it is one I am familiar with. I believe my experience working in healthcare administration, an industry arguably as divisive as education, has prepared me for the many challenges our RSU, and greater society, is faced with.

What is the biggest challenge facing the China schools and how would you seek to remedy that?

COVID-19 threw a wrench into an already faltering industry. I believe our district navigated the complexities and ever-changing guidelines better than most, however our children and educators didn’t avoid the challenges altogether. This past year, China Middle School experienced tremendous turnover, even amongst younger, less experienced teachers. We need our schools to become employers of choice for the best and the brightest, so our children can realize equal or greater opportunities than their peers throughout the state, and beyond. These challenges can be addressed by developing the RSU organizational culture, prioritizing employee engagement and accountability, and by doing a better job of listening to our constituents.

DARRELL STEVENS

Why are you running for school board?

My interest in running for a position on the board is purely one of service. I believe we need to put the focus on educating all of the children in our district in order to set them up for future success. While I have never served on a school board, I bring almost 40 years of experience from my military career in many different positions, as well as my college education in business. I have the ability to communicate and work as a team member, and have the integrity required to take full responsibility for my actions if elected.

My wife and I moved to China 11 years ago with our two children. Both have since graduated from Erskine Academy and attended college. Our daughter is a speech-language pathologist, and our son works full-time in sales Verizon.  My wife and I have both retired after fulfilling careers. She spent hers as a cardiac nurse and I spent mine in the military as aircraft mechanic, pilot, adviser/manager.

What do you think best qualifies you?

During my last 10 years in the military, I served as the Senior Warrant Officer Advisor for the Maine Army National Guard. Overseeing the professional development and management of highly technical officers. I have a willingness to work with others to develop and establish effective solutions that will benefit our students and believe in listening to all points of view in order to develop the best solutions for the community.

In my past leadership positions, I have served on state, regional and national boards.

2013-2017: Warrant Officer Senior Advisory Council (WOSAC) National Chairmanman.
2012-2013: WOSAC National Vice Chairman.
2010-2012: New England, WOSAC Chairman.

The WOSAC represented over 10K Warrant Officers across the Army National Guard, in which the committee was responsible for programs and policies in the area of education and training.

What is the biggest challenge facing the China schools and how would you seek to remedy that?

I believe the most important issue we can address as a community is one of good schools. Upon graduation, whether our children decide to go directly into the workforce, to college, or to trade school, I believe education is the solid foundation necessary to continue building a productive society.  Whether you are a long-time resident or a family in search of a new community to call home, I want you to be confident that our schools can provide your children with that foundation necessary for limitless possibilities. If elected, I would use data and communication to ensure our schools continue striving for excellence while engaging the community. I would always advocate for our district and collaborate with stakeholders to develop effective solutions.

House of Representatives

District #62

LINDSAY HARWATH (I)

How would you improve or reform educational opportunities for residents of Maine?

Public Education should be just that. Public. Recently Maine’s public college/universities have been made free for recent graduates. It should remain free for all Maine residents. Many of the needed jobs in our state require certification. Whether that is a trade job or in healthcare. Opening up these training programs without cost to students will more quickly fill needed positions. There are plenty of college graduates who never found employment in their field and are looking to make a switch, but in this economic climate, the burden of paying for another training is not possible. Open up these programs and the benefit to society in quick employment into desired sectors far outweighs the cost. There are other avenues such as paid apprenticeships, which I desire to see expanded, but the burden for change in those areas falls to private businesses and not the Legislature as they are not publicly owned.

If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities in the Maine legislature?

Create a housing crisis task force. Identifying where housing shortages are around the state, hire qualified architects, contractors, tradespeople etc and make a plan to create affordable housing in those areas.

Deploy the National Guard as the extra labor needed to get buildings up in a timely manner to meet this crisis head on. At the current rate of building it will take 20+ years to build enough housing for the number of people currently seeking a home. One of the largest shortcomings in meeting the demands of the housing crisis is the workforce needed to build on schedule. This is a task perfectly suited to the National Guard, to help the state in a crisis. Outside of this task force build project, 75 percent of all new construction should be affordable housing until the need is met. Provide incentives for any rent-to-own apartments or single family homes.

Fund Education at higher levels on the state side to provide relief for local municipality budgets. Ensure educators and staff are supported in their wages and in their safety to be who they are and have control of curriculum in the classroom. Remove the burden of standardized testing to free more time for learning. Our teachers understand the needs of their students and we should trust the people we’ve hired to do this much needed job.

Equality for all. Codify the right to bodily autonomy into the state constitution. The right to choose the healthcare that’s right for you and your children? That’s bodily autonomy. You want control of when you wear a mask? That’s bodily autonomy as well!

How would you improve broadband access for underserved communities in Maine?

Currently there are tens of millions of dollars from federal and state funds being allocated to Maine towns to expand access, especially in rural areas. I would be in favor of expanding that fund if we see it is not going to fully cover the need. I would also give priority to any projects in which the public utility would be consumer owned. Please note that consumer owned utilities are not government owned, but are owned by the people that use the services. This brings cost down by not paying shareholders or foreign entities who have invested in them.

How would you work to alleviate the labor shortage in Maine and attract younger families to the state?

I am so very tired of this question being formed as a labor shortage. That puts all the onus onto workers. What we really have are a shortage of jobs that pay a living wage, especially now with record high inflation. Childcare services are hard to find, and when they are, the cost is out of balance with wages for parents, making the balancing act of working parents nearly impossible. I will never say that childcare is “too expensive” because it’s not.

Education is key when trying to attract young people to return, remain, or relocate to Maine. Public education at the University/specialty certification level like I discussed above will be a huge driver. For young families, having a strong public school system pre-k through 12th grade is a top deciding factor when moving. I have four children in the public middle and elementary schools, and I’m the only candidate in this election that will have children in public school during their entire term as legislator. Our education staff needs more support. This fiscal year Maine will finally be holding up it’s agreement for funding to our public schools. But we already know it’s not enough. By shifting most of school budgets to the state level it will create more equitable funding across the board for schools and lessen/remove the burden from local municipalities. The minimum wage for teachers and staff is not enough and doesn’t compete with other states. Lastly, having public schools that are a safe environment for children and educators to be exactly who they are, to teach and learn the truth of history and the world we live in, and have their creativity nurtured so that educators remain and students grow in knowledge and empathy for others, values sorely lacking in adults these days.

How would you provide for Maine’s aging population?

In the long-term the only way to take care of the generation before us is to strengthen the younger generation who no longer has the ability to care for parents and grandparents. Generations who will probably never see a return on the social security they’ve spent their life paying into or an ability to retire. In the short-term I would love to invest in mobile clinics which allow seniors to receive healthcare in their area. I would love to see Maine shift from mills and factories to manufacture needed medications, such as insulin, and bypass the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. Cost of medication is astronomical for everyone, but especially for seniors. Housing and safe living facilities for seniors is needed, which would be part of the Housing Crisis Taskforce I proposed earlier.

What are Maine’s strengths and how could we leverage them to position Maine for the future?

Maine is one of the most independent states in the country. One of two with independent members in both state and federal government. That is a key strength which flows to all sectors of life in Maine. Independence breeds leaders, not followers. We’ve seen this with our scientists at UMaine getting ahead of research and solutions to PFAS chemicals and aquaculture solutions to climate change, something I was proud to see at many farms and facilities as the only candidate on the AGCOM event for future legislators. Mainers need to lean in to that Independence. Our district’s largest voting group is third-party/non-party voters. We know the two party system is not the solution and will not save us from the battles we face. Lean in! Continue to break out of the constraints placed on us that stifle growth, education, empathy, compassion, revolution. Lean in! Give yourself and your children, our future, the space to grow, become who they are, and find lasting solutions to the devastating crises we find ourselves in with corporate greed, climate change, and systemic racism and bigotry. Be who you are. Be different. Lean in to your Independence!

KATRINA SMITH (R)

How would you improve or reform educational opportunities for residents of Maine?

A simple return to classical education will solve many of the problems we now face within our schools. Focusing on Reading, writing, science and Math and away from cultural issues and political ideologies will allow our children (and our teachers) to again concentrate on what is important and will take the rhetoric and disagreements out of the current equation. I would like to see Standardized testing greatly reduced to give time to the students to learn and teachers to teach. With a solid focus on education our children should continue to have the opportunities they seek in life. Increasing the Vocational Education track for students starting in Middle school also will increase the likelihood that all children can seek a career in the field that they feel most drawn to.

If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities in the Maine legislature?

  1. INFLATION: Mainers are struggling to stay in their homes, and provide food for their families and we must think fast and outside of the box to assist the people of Maine during this time. Immediately suspending the fuel tax to allow people to keep money in their pocket should be implemented, suspend tolls on trucks delivering food and fuel to Maine and implement an energy saving plan for people who have homes that are not efficient are a few avenues to start to address this problem. We must act NOW and not rely on further federal funds to get us through.
  2. Taxes: Maine ranks 4 within the nation for the highest tax burden and this is totally unacceptable. The Maine government has been funding pet projects with our hard earned tax money and we must refocus on what is important to Mainers and leave the special interest groups and private industry to fund their own way. We can eliminate and reduce the Maine people’s taxes with frugality and concern for people at the forefront of our minds.
  3. Lack of Industry. Maine is the 3rd worst state in the country to do business. Over regulation, taxes and a hostile legislative environment keep businesses away from Maine. This must change and we must do everything we can to ensure businesses want to come to Maine and want to stay here. Almost every problem in Maine (childcare, housing, health insurance) can be solved by our residents having high quality and good paying jobs.

How would you improve broadband access for underserved communities in Maine?

Mainers need to be connected, but government provided services are never the way. We must continue to research ways to bring internet access to our towns, but in a way that isn’t behind the times or overly cumbersome. I myself had 1.8mps service for 8 years and believe me it was horrible, but I believe the government should be pursuing private industry to upgrade and advance options. As a state we should be relentless in trying to solve this issue and if we have to provide incentives for private industry to continue to grow their products we must look at that as well.

How would you work to alleviate the labor shortage in Maine and attract younger families to the state?

The labor shortage in Maine is present due to many factors; the shuttering of numerous businesses during the extended lockdown during covid, continued funding of unemployment for able bodied workers and the lack of industry to provide good jobs. Overregulation, lack of license reciprocity and red tape keeps industry from setting up shop in Maine and working people see that and choose to leave the state to pursue a career. Prior to a Mills administration the sign leading into Maine used to say “Open for Business” and it will again after November 8.

How would you provide for Maine’s aging population?

Maine’s aging population absolutely needs to be watched over and cared for. I would like to see the Maine Council on Aging become even more prevalent and well run to ensure our Seniors and their needs do not get forgotten. The recent Property tax stabilization program was a bi-partisan bill passed to benefit seniors and their ability to freeze their property taxes, however this bill was federally funded and had no income cut off so I do worry about its long term ability to continue. We need to make sure that when we commit to helping our Seniors it is for the long term and truly gives them what they need.

What are Maine’s strengths and how could we leverage them to position Maine for the future?

Maine has a strong reputation for honest, hard workers and I believe any business would be happy to employ Maine workers and provide opportunities to live in a state in which the work life balance is unmatched. When we attract strong businesses to Maine we build a solid foundation for our people and our state. Higher paying jobs allow us to grow our tax base naturally which fixes infrastructure problems, funds schools and gives people quality healthcare, housing and childcare. We have to be laser focused on getting business to buy into Maine and we must elect a government that is fiscally responsible and focused on deregulation and growth. When business flourishes, all Maine people will flourish.

PAMELA SWIFT (D)

How would you improve or reform educational opportunities for residents of Maine?

The quality of a child’s education should not be determined by their zip code. Municipal funding of local schools is a huge portion of a town’s tax burden in rural Maine. I support the state continuing to fully fund their portion of educational costs at 55 percent. Perhaps it’s time to increase federal funding of schools in a manner that provides for quality education that is equitable for all.

I support making community college part of our nation’s publicly-funded education system. I also support programs that would make four-year College debt-free by a variety of options such as scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and service-oriented tuition forgiveness programs. I would also include more educational opportunities through vocational schools and apprenticeships.

If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities in the Maine legislature?

One of my top three priorities in the Maine Legislature would be to ensure access to affordable healthcare. I am a big proponent of universal healthcare. Without adequate healthcare, none of us can be our best, most productive selves. My vision of healthcare also includes dental, hearing, and eye care, lowering the cost of prescription medications, preventing and treating opioid addiction, providing care for mental health, and protecting reproductive rights.

Another top priority would be to address climate change. Our state’s average temperatures have already increased and this has created observable real-world concerns. On our farm, due to drought, there have been years where I’ve had to start feeding our sheep hay in August instead of December because the grass didn’t grow back after the first round of grazing. This dramatically increases the cost of production. Also, milder winters mean more ticks in the spring and fall resulting in a higher risk of contracting tick-borne diseases—not just for people, but for horses, cattle, and dogs as well. And Brown-tailed moths, the new scourge, are negatively impacting both quality of life and businesses—especially those involving tourism.

Addressing PFAS contamination would be my other top priority. Our understanding of the problem is only in its infancy and Maine is already a national leader in addressing this problem. Decades ago, farmers were encouraged to spread sludge and septage on their fields as “free fertilizer.” Now, as these forever chemicals have leached into the groundwater, contaminating people’s wells, their devastating health effects have become evident.

The state has launched a massive testing effort and is providing filtration systems for resident’s whose wells have been contaminated. My understanding is that the State is also offering to purchase contaminated farmland to provide relief for farmers whose livelihood has been destroyed. It is obvious, however, that we need to find a long-term solution to this problem, and the corporations responsible for the contamination need to be held accountable.

How would you improve broadband access for underserved communities in Maine?

The pandemic made it abundantly clear how important broadband internet is for all of our Maine residents. Access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet helps attract and keep young families and businesses in the area—this is crucial for sustaining rural Maine communities. High-speed internet’s top benefit is in providing greater opportunities for economic development. I see bringing broadband to all of our underserved communities as important as was the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.

Palermo, along with four neighboring towns have joined together to form a Broadband Utility District to build out a municipally-owned fiber-optic network. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a visionary team of volunteers, the newly formed corporation is in perfect position to take advantage of federal and state grants to make broadband for all our residents a reality. This model could be replicated all over the state of Maine.

How would you work to alleviate the labor shortage in Maine and attract younger families to the state?

First, the underlying problems pushing workers to leave Maine must be addressed. Employers will be unable to hire labor if potential workers cannot find affordable housing or adequate childcare. Once these barriers to employment are removed, the focus can be on how to attract younger families to the state and incentivize them to stay.
Many incentives could be employed such as signing bonuses, health insurance, flexible schedules, remote work options, or other benefits. Offering public community college, vocational school, and apprentice opportunities would create a homegrown well-educated, well-trained, and highly-skilled workforce. Another good long-term incentive would be to forgive student debt if the employee works for a predetermined number of years.

How would you provide for Maine’s aging population?

Most of our elders would like to age in place. The best way to assist in achieving this goal is to remove the preventing barriers. Transportation is often a major limiting factor to independence for the elderly. Seniors, especially in rural areas, would benefit greatly from a small, affordable, reservation-based public transportation system. Access to healthcare is another crucial element. Attracting more healthcare providers to rural Maine, as well as increasing access to telemedicine would be a big help. Lowering the costs of prescription medications is of paramount importance and can be achieved through legislative means. Providing heating oil assistance and real estate tax relief would also provide security for Maine’s aging population. Implementing these measures would go far in keeping our elderly independent and able to age well in their homes.

What are Maine’s strengths and how could we leverage them to position Maine for the future?

Maine’s greatest strength is its natural beauty. The great outdoors is what attracts people to our state and what entices them to stay. Yankee ingenuity is another strength that allows Mainers to flourish. We can leverage that strength by bringing broadband to rural areas which will allow for greater entrepreneurship. Natural resources are another strength; harnessing them to advance clean energy such as solar, wind, hydropower, and tidal energy will enable Maine to become energy independent while using homegrown, renewable sources.

I see Maine finding the sweet spot in life—balancing the necessity of industry with preserving the beauty of the natural world, understanding the importance of meaningful work and the value of recreation and time with family. The future of Maine will be what it is today—the way life should be.

House of Representatives

District #65

TAMMY BROWN (R)

How would you improve or reform educational opportunities for residents of Maine?

I believe we need to prioritize getting back to basics. As a result of COVID, kids lost too much time in the classroom and test scores are declining. I believe our schools need to get back to the basics and focus on math, reading, writing, history and civics. Parents need to be empowered to engage in education and deserve a voice if they have concerns about what is being taught in the classroom. I would advocate for more transparency in our schools as well as more opportunities for after-school care for working parents.

If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities in the Maine legislature?

The most immediate thing we can do as a state is focus on reducing the overall cost-of-living by addressing the high cost of home heating oil, groceries, and electricity. Our elected officials need to stop bickering about partisan politics and roll up their sleeves and get to work. Too many Maine families are facing tough choices this winter, and I am. committed to doing everything Maine can to ease the burden of inflation.

How would you improve broadband access for underserved communities in Maine?

Broadband is critical for a state like Maine, especially after the pandemic. During the pandemic we saw people moving to Maine with the shift to remote work. I believe that is likely to continue and the workplace is changing. I believe state government should be a partner to the private sector to expand broadband to those areas that both want and need it. Government has a role in the effort, but the private sector must lead the charge.

How would you work to alleviate the labor shortage in Maine and attract younger families to the state?

First and foremost, if you are able to work – you need to work. I am a small business owner. I know firsthand how damaging the long-term impacts of the pandemic have been on the workforce. We need to stop promoting policies that pay people to stay home. For example, this administration removed work requirements for welfare benefits for able-bodied individuals. I support reinstituting those requirements. I also support investing and promoting career and technical education to younger ages to ensure those kids who don’t go to college have ample opportunity to learn a skill and build a good paying career.

How would you provide for Maine’s aging population?

I am very worried about Maine’s elderly population, especially those on fixed incomes this winter. We must address the high-cost of living including providing resources for those who need them most. For example, I support efforts at the state level to ensure we have robust resources for heating oil assistance. I also support efforts to increase the public assistance resources we have to ensure that those on fixed incomes have access to quality food. Lastly, we need to be neighborly. Check on your elderly neighbors this winter and donate to food pantries, if you can. We can get through this together.

What are Maine’s strengths and how could we leverage them to position Maine for the future?

One of Maine’s greatest strengths is its people. For example, Maine fishermen represent an iconic industry here in Maine. Our lobster industry is under attack by the federal government. We must push back on these burdensome regulations to protect our lobster industry. Our lobster industry is a critical component of Maine’s economy, and right now faces the biggest threat. We must do everything in our power to protect it.

OTHER RACES

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
DISTRICT #61

Richard Bradstreet (R)
Amy Davidoff (D)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
DISTRICT #63

Scott Cyrway (R)
Unopposed

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
DISTRICT #64

Colleen Madison (D)
Ruth Malcolm (R)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
DISTRICT #65

Bruce White (D)
Tammy Brown (R)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
DISTRICT #66

Alicia Barnes (D)
Robert Nutting (R)

SENATE DISTRICT #15

Storme St. Valle (D)
Matthew Pouliot (R)

SENATE DISTRICT #16

David LaFountain (D)
Michael Perkins (R)

Upcoming Red Cross blood drives in Kennebec County

The American Red Cross urges blood donors of all types and those who have never given before to book a time to give blood or platelets now and help keep the blood supply from dropping ahead of the holidays.

People of all blood types are needed, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood – blood products that are critical to keeping hospitals ready to help patients depending on transfusions in the weeks ahead.

Book now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). As a thank-you for taking the time to give this fall, all who come to give Nov.1-22 will receive a $10 e-gift card by email to a merchant of choice. Details are available at rcblood.org/perks.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 1-15:

Kennebec County:

Augusta

Monday, November 14, 2022: 12:30 – 6 p.m., Augusta Elks, 397 Civic Center Drive, P.O. Box 2206.
Friday, November 4/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., MaineGeneral Health, 35 Medical Center Parkway.

Gardiner

Saturday, November 5, 2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Faith Christian Church, 280 Brunswick Ave.

Waterville

Friday, November 4, 2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., O’Brien’s Event Center, 375 Main St.

Winthrop

Thursday, November 3, 2022: 1 – 6 p.m., Saint Francis Church, 130 Route 133.

China workshop aims to bring area towns together

Volunteers prepare window inserts at a previous WindowDressers workshop, in Vassalboro. (photo courtesy of Vassalboro Historical Society)

by Eric W. Austin

CHINA, ME — Planned for the second week in November starting just after Election Day, the China Window Dressers workshop is moving full steam ahead. The intent of the workshop is to build low-cost window inserts to reduce heating expenses for homeowners in central Maine. The organizers have spent the past year taking orders and visiting local homeowners to measure the windows requiring inserts, and now they are looking for volunteers to help at the upcoming workshop.

Sponsored by the China for a Lifetime Committee, a local group dedicated to philanthropic activities meant to improve the quality of life for China residents, and assisted by other local organizations, the initiative is modeled after the classic “barn-raising” community efforts of the past, with residents working together for the benefit of everyone.

Committee chairman Christopher Hahn describes it this way: “The workshop is a great chance for the community to come together and help one another during these tough financial times. Such events don’t happen as often as they should anymore in this age of Facebook and online Zoom meetings, so we jumped at the opportunity to organize this workshop. It fits right in with our mission of ‘neighbors helping neighbors.’ I hope to see many familiar faces and hopefully some new ones.”

The committee has received more than 130 orders for window inserts from over two dozen local clients across central Maine. Although the workshop will take place at the China Conference Center, orders have been open from any of the area towns and volunteers for the upcoming build workshop do not need to have ordered inserts or live in China. The workshop will run from Wednesday, November 9, through Sunday, November 13. Work shifts are divided into a morning shift from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and an afternoon shift from 1 – 5 p.m. Food will be provided by community volunteers between shifts. The first two days are devoted to putting together the wooden frames for the window inserts, while the next two days will be for wrapping those frames in plastic and foam. Sunday will serve as an overflow day if everything cannot be completed by Saturday evening.

No experience is necessary to help out, and there are still plenty of spots that need to be filled. Hahn says they are aiming for eight people per shift. The work is not complicated, and designed to flow through an assembly line process, making it easy for anyone to participate. Participants from earlier workshops will be on hand to answer any questions and provide guidance for volunteers.

For those interested in signing up to participate in the workshop, there are several ways to get involved. The easiest way is to visit the Window Dressers website at windowdressers.org. Click on “Community Builds” link on the menu at the top-right of the page, then scroll down to the China build and click where it says “Sign up to volunteer”. (Click here to go there directly.) That will take you to a page where you can choose which time-slot best fits into your schedule.

If you’re not tech-savvy, or don’t have internet access, you can also send an email to ChinaforaLifetime@gmail.com or call the China town office at 445-2014 and let them know what days you are available to help.

More information about the China for a Lifetime committee can be found on their website at chinaforalifetime.com.

AccuWeather forecast calls for winter previews in Nov. and Dec. 2022

Don Cote clearing the pathways at the Duck Pond Wildlife Care Center, in China. (File photo)

by Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer.

Winter is fast approaching, but AccuWeather meteorologists say that it will shape up much differently than last winter in part due to a volcano that erupted on the other side of the globe.

From the abundance of acorns in the fall to the bushiness of squirrel tails, many fanciful forecasting techniques have been used over the years as a means to glean a glimpse of what the weather will be like in the upcoming winter.

AccuWeather’s approach to concocting the winter forecast, one of its most highly-anticipated seasonal outlooks, is a bit different: The process involves a team of veteran long-range forecasters analyzing computer models, looking at how previous winters have played out and using their own personal experience to determine if it’s going to be a snowy winter, if and when the polar vortex will unleash Arctic air across North America and whether it will be a good season for skiers.

This winter is indeed looking like a snowy one across most of the northern tier of the contiguous United States, but AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Pastelok says, there is more to the forecast than just snowstorms.

Pastelok and his team of long-range forecasters are predicting a “triple dip La Niña,” as it is the third winter in a row that La Niña will shape the weather patterns across the U.S. The regular climate phenomenon occurs when the water near the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean is cooler than average, which in turn influences the jet stream and the overall weather patterns in North America. Despite what will be the third La Niña winter in a row, this winter will not necessarily be a carbon copy of the past two.

“These third-year La Niñas are very tricky,” Pastelok said, with no two La Niña winters being exactly the same. The weather setup will be one of the most complicated and dynamic in recent memory due to all of the weather factors in play over the upcoming months, Pastelok said.

One of the more unusual factors that could influence the overall weather patterns this winter can be traced back to a cataclysmic volcano eruption that took place in the early weeks of 2022. The volcano spewed an unprecedented amount of debris high into Earth’s atmosphere which, as Pastelok will explain, could still be having an effect on the weather on a global scale.

With this in mind, AccuWeather is ready to make its annual prognostication of the U.S. winter forecast.

Will snow shovels gather dust in Northeast?

A wave of chilly air swept across the Northeast and Midwest just in time for the arrival of astronomical autumn, which started on Sept. 22, but the arrival of astronomical winter on Dec. 21 may not start in a similar fashion.

Residents across the Northeast will experience a few winter previews in November and December as waves of cold air dive down from Canada, but the biggest blasts of cold air will hold off until later in the winter.

New England is one of the only areas east of the Rocky Mountains where snowfall could end up being above normal. The snowfall totals will be boosted by a few nor’easters, with January and March bringing the highest chances of powerful coastal snowstorms.

Boston may end up being the only major city along the Interstate 95 corridor that finishes the winter with near-normal snowfall. AccuWeather long-range forecasters are predicting that 40 to 50 inches will accumulate in the city, around the average snowfall amount of 49.2 inches. Last winter, Boston finished the season with 54 inches of snow with 23.5 inches falling during a blizzard on Jan. 29.

Brandi Meisner, selected for U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

Brandi Meisner

Fellowship Provides State and Local Business Leaders with Opportunities to Engage Nationally on Critical Education and Workforce Issues

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has announced Brandi Meisner, Vice President of Operations, at Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, was selected to participate in the seventh cohort of its premiere business leadership program. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips leaders from state and local chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, and trade associations with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

“Workforce is one of the largest issues that our members face. I am excited to be part of this program to learn innovative ways that we can help them solve their workforce challenges,” says Meisner.

“We created the Business Leads Fellowship Program in response to the needs of our state and local chamber partners,” says Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce. “They, better than anyone, see the critical link between education and economic development, and we are glad to be able to support them as they take on this critical leadership role in their community.”

Following a competitive application and selection process, Meisner was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives, economic development professionals, and association leaders to participate in the seventh class of this program. The six-month program, consisting of both in person and virtual meetings, will cover the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, postsecondary education, and workforce development.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of over 250 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.

For more information on the Business Leads Fellowship Program, visit the program’s website.