Local students on health professions dean’s list

The following local students have attained dean’s list status at the Maine College of Health Professions:

Olivia Young, of Chelsea, Amanda Poulin, and Kaitlyn Vigue, both of Oakland.

Carey receives degree from Simmons University

Katiann Carey, of Oakland, earned a bachelor of arts degree, in Economics, cum laude, from Simmons University, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Trenton Clark has hiked all 14 of Maine’s 4,000-plus foot peaks

Trenton Clark with his mother, Leanne, atop the 5,267-foot Mt. Katahdin.

Nine-year-old Oakland youth accomplishes feat with mom

Trent Clark on Saddleback Mountain

by Mark Huard

Trenton Clark, 9 years old, of Oakland, has successfully hiked all of Maine’s 4,000-plus foot peaks. Trenton and his mom Leanne, started hiking as a way to get out into nature more when the pandemic started last year and quickly fell in love with the rush of climbing big mountains. Trenton says, “it wasn’t always easy but it was always worth it.” Maine has fourteen 4,000-foot peaks, the tallest two being on Mt. Katahdin—Trenton hiked Baxter Peak (5,267 feet) at Katahdin last August and then Hamlin Peak (4,756 feet) this month. His favorite mountain hike was up Abol Trail, on Katahdin, and states, “rock climbing is my favorite part of hiking.” Trenton is looking forward to hiking more mountains and trails in Maine this summer and fall.

Mountains he has climbed to date! Katahdin: Baxter Peak, Katahdin: Hamlin Peak, Sugarloaf, South Crocker Mountain, Old Speck, North Brother, Bigelow: West Peak, Saddleback Mountain, Bigelow: Avery Peak, Mt. Abraham, South Crocker Mountain, Saddleback Horn, Mt. Redington, and Spaulding Mountain.

Trenton Clark on the peak of the 4,151-foot North Brother Mountain.

PHOTO: Great winter of fishing!

It was a great winter of fishing for Megan Hallee, 12, of Rome. She caught the smallmouth bass, left, and the brown trout, right, while fishing with her maternal grandfather, Terry Greenleaf, of Oakland, last winter. She is the daughter of Ryan and Rachel Hallee, of Rome.

PHOTO: Moving up the ranks

These students at Huard’s Martial Arts earned the rank of Blue Belt on April 24. From left to right, Jackson Hanson, of Clinton, Walker Johnson, of Oakland, Brody Robbins, of Skowhegan, and Trenton Clark, of Oakland. (photo by Mark Huard)

Shane Savage named CMGC developer of the year

Shane Savage (contributed photo)

Central Maine Growth Council has presented its 2020 Developer of the Year award to Shane Savage, R.Ph., co-owner of Savage’s Drug. The award was presented at Central Maine Growth Council’s Annual Meeting, sponsored by Central Maine Motors, Kennebec Savings Bank, MaineGeneral Health, and New Dimensions Federal Credit Union.

Shane has always had a passion for serving his community. Beginning his career as a pharmacy technician at the age of 16 at LaVerdiere’s drug, he worked for LaVerdiere’s through both college and high school. Savage is a graduate of Lawrence High School in Fairfield and Northeastern University’s College of Pharmacy, where he graduated with a B.S in Pharmacy. In 2012 he completed the Comprehensive Compounding Course at the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA) in Texas.

Savage has opened pharmacies in Fairfield, Oakland, Winslow and Unity. Beginning in 2004, Shane and his father purchased Unity Pharmacy and opened Fairfield Pharmacy later that same year. In 2005, Savage’s Drug opened their Oakland location, formerly True’s pharmacy, which followed with the Winslow location being built in 2009. Within the span of 5 years, Savage’s drug was able to expand into four locations throughout mid-Maine.

A second-generation pharmacist, Shane works alongside his father, John “Bud” Savage in their Fairfield store. Today, Savage’s Drug employs over 40 employees and provides a variety of local services, including vaccinations and on-site flu clinics, online prescription refill services, and local prescription delivery. In their Fairfield pharmacy, Savage’s Drug is home to a state-of-the-art compounding lab, where it has the ability to produce custom medications and doses for both pets and people.

More recently, Savage’s Drug has acquired Buddie’s Grocery, on Main Street, in Oakland. By opening their new location in Oakland, Savage’s Drug is expanding its operation and offerings on Main Street during an exciting time for the town. The downtown district welcomes heightened interest and investment, including undergoing a revitalization process that necklaces Main Street. In turn, Savage’s newest business operation is already making contributions to the downtown and will serve an additional draw for residences, visitors, and businesses.

Shane hopes to expand upon the custom medication aspect of his business, giving Savage’s Drug the ability to advocate for more customers from different medical backgrounds or needs. Savage’s Drug services Colby College through their Winslow location, including over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. His commitment to his community and customer service earned him the title of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year in 2014. Shane’s dedication to helping those in need is exemplified through his passion for expanding his service locations and consistently working to improve the lives of those around him.

“We are delighted to acknowledge Shane’s business expansion, impact on local and regional public health, and recent investments in Oakland’s downtown”, said Garvan Donegan, director of planning, innovation, and economic development at the Central Maine Growth Council. “Shane’s tireless work has proven to be a powerful engine for community health and revitalization by continuing to spark the importance of healthy and vibrant communities while preserving the character of an iconic downtown Oakland location. During these challenging times, Shane’s operation is a model for the dual commitments of community and economic health, which will be key to sustaining economic vitality in our commercial districts and improving quality of life during the pandemic recovery process”.

Central Maine Growth Council thanks Shane Savage for his contributions and looks forward to further expansion of Savage’s Drug from the region’s 2020 developer of the year.

Local scout leaders complete course

Kennebec Valley Scouting District Training Chair Joe Poulin of Oakland announced that several volunteer Scouting leaders in our area had successfully completed the Youth Protection Training during two recent training sessions. “True youth protection can be achieved only through the focused commitment of everyone in Scouting,” Poulin said. “Nationally, Scouting requires that all those involved in our programs take Youth Protection Training every other year. Here in Pine Tree Council, it is an annual requirement.”

The training includes a review of Scouting’s barriers to abuse, what to do if you witness abuse, how to respond if you suspect abuse, reporting requirements, and how to educate Scouting parents and youth members about child safety. “Every Scout also takes the Cyber-Chip Training to help Scouts be safe while online. They earn the patch for completing that program.”

The following volunteer leaders completed the Youth Protection Training at a Covid-19-compliant in-person event hosted by Augusta Cub Scout Pack 603 at the end of September: Jeffrey Mortron of Augusta, Angeline and Zachary Truman of Farmingdale, Cynthia Davis of Oakland, Luanne Chelsey of Vassalboro and Douglas S Mason Sr of Augusta. These leaders completed the training at a similar in-person training hosted by China Troop 479 in October: Kern Kelley of China, Christian Hunter of Unituy, Timothy D Dow Sr of Albion, Stephanie Choate of Winslow, Ronald A Emery of China, Scott and Priscilla Adams of China, Brian Wedge of China and Bert Audette of China.

Along with inperson courses, the Youth Protection Training is available online at: https://my.scouting.org/.

MHS: Music in a coronavirus world

The Messalonskee High School band practicing outside, at the school, in Oakland. (contributed photo)

by Colin Hickey
MHS English teacher

Try playing a saxophone outside when the temperature is 47 degrees. It’s not easy, and it’s not particularly pleasant. But for members of the Messalonskee High School band program, playing outside has become a necessity in the year of the pandemic, a year in which the music could have died.

“It is doable,” Messalonskee band director Andy Forster said of the outside venue, “but your finger dexterity slows down quite a bit and tuning your instruments is just something you don’t worry about because you need room temperature to do that.”

Forster, though, accepts the inconvenience of playing in chilly weather, and he is willing to adapt in sundry other ways as well. For example, he runs 100 feet of cable outside from the Performing Arts Center so he can hook up a wireless mic to the sound system he reconfigured to work both inside and outside the auditorium. To set it up, he comes to school even earlier than in the past – another inconvenience he accepts as the price of keeping the music alive.

What he cannot preserve, at least for now, is the ability to practice and hold performances inside. The concerts and other musical events that used to fill the fall calendar have all been erased this year, and the sad reality, he said, is they might not return until next fall at the earliest.

But Forster said, “If you focus on what you can’t do, you’ll be stuck and paralyzed and once you do that, the students have lost. They’ve lost everything.”

So instead of bemoaning the losses, Forster celebrates what he can do. “I can be grateful that I work in this (school) district in that I get to see my kids and have my classes,” he said, sitting in his band room as he talked through his mask.  “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be creative. That is not the case throughout the state.”

Forster talked of school districts in which music teachers have had to switch to teaching science and others in which they have become designated substitute teachers.

“It is all shades of bad,” he said of such situations. “As a music teacher, I can’t support any of those decisions.”

Forster realizes that he and his music program face many challenges ahead. As winter approaches, the temperatures will dip to the point in which playing outside no longer will be an option, but Forster already has plans to overcome that frigid reality.

He points to bundles of wooden rhythm sticks in his band room that he ordered. His vision is to distribute those percussion pieces to his students to transform them into a huge rhythm section spread safely across the Performing Arts Center. Forster said he has yet to write the arrangements and create the routines, but the instruments and the determination to put them to use are in place.

Such an approach to making music avoids the dangers caused when blowing into mouth pieces or, in the case of vocalists, breaking into song. Those two methods generate the aerosol emissions that epidemiologists say is a prime way to spread the corona virus and thus methods they warn to avoid at all costs.

Forster, who is married to a physician and has a brother in the medical field, understands full well the danger that his beloved music can generate. At the same time, he also understands that it’s vital to keep his students involved with music, and that gets back to his commitment to adapt rather than bemoan.

Along with his plan for the extensive rhythm section, Forster talks of shifting from performance to creation as the focal point of his program. Instead of playing in front of an audience, he will teach his students how to compose and arrange music – music, he hopes, they one day  will be able to share with classmates and others in a world without the need for masks, a world once more filled with beautiful sounds.

Business breakfast to feature “Advocacy Refresher”

Tim Walton, founder, and president of Walton External Affairs will deliver a talk entitled “An Advocacy Refresher” as he explores why the Legislature matters to you and your business, as well as how a bill becomes a law.

This informative presentation will be the focus at Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s September Business Breakfast. This month’s breakfast will be held on Thursday, September 10, from 7:15 to 9:00 a.m. in the Waterville Country Club Banquet Room at 39 Country Club Road in Oakland.

Walton External Affairs is an Augusta, Maine-based firm with an excellent reputation for strategic focus in the areas of government, business, and industry relations.

With a notable career spanning over twenty-five years, Tim has earned the reputation of being an effective, resourceful, and responsive voice for those he represents. He is well-known and highly respected for his commitment to customer service and client satisfaction.

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce holds monthly informative presentations on a variety of educational business topics. Cost of the Business Breakfast is $20 for members, $27 at the door and for non-members. Breakfast is included with the reservation.

To register, e-mail Cindy@midmainechamber.com or call 207-873-3315.

Local scouts rally in attempt to save Camp Bomazeen

(left to right) Dalton Curtis, Zachary LeHay and Connor Keimel

Submitted by Chuck Mahalaris

Scouts from across the area are busy working on a new and difficult project. If they are successful, there is no merit badge for them to receive but something even better. They hope to save their beloved Scout Camp – Camp Bomazeen.

Dalton Curtis, of Skowhegan, Dawson White, of Sidney, and Zachary LeHay, of Oakland, are some of the Scouts who have begun circulating a petition to save Camp Bomazeen. The Scouts visited leaders during the recent Kennebec Valley District Scouter Recognition Dinner/ Program Kick Off at Camp Bomazeen. They asked them to sign the petition that night and to ask if any Scouts in their Pack and Troop want to help collect more signatures in their area. The petitions will be presented to the Pine Tree Council Executive Board at an upcoming meeting. In July, the council executive board voted to sell the camp this year – its 75th anniversary since opening.

Life Scout Connor Keimel, of Troop #401, Sidney, is one of the Scouts taking part in the petition drive and said, “Bomazeen has been a camp that I have gone to for so many years. I have made so many memories here. It would be such a shame if other Scouts coming forward didn’t have the opportunity to go there.” Eagle Scout Dalton Curtis, of Troop #485, in Skowhegan, said he learned to swim at Bomazeen and he loves all of the aquatics activities. Zachary LeHay, a Second Class Scout, from Oakland, said that he enjoys the camp in all the seasons. He has taken part in winter camping trips there and week-long summer camp experiences. Star Scout Dawson White, of Troop #401, in Sidney, loves the shooting sports program at Camp Bomazeen. “I have never been to another Scout camp. I just love it and would hate to lose it.”

Dalton’s mother, Tammy James, said that he has been working hard on collecting signatures but it has been hard with Covid-19. “Some people aren’t really happy about us going to their doors even with masks on,” she said. “But he is continuing to work on his sheet and will be bringing it to the troop leaders’ meeting. He really has gotten so much from his time at Camp Bomazeen. He would live there if he could.”

Former Camp Bomazeen Director Bruce Rueger, of Waterville, praised the Scouts for their effort. “I was heartened to see the Scouts doing this,” Rueger said. “They clearly have formed a strong bond with the camp. I think that is what happens. You spend so much of your time camping at Bomazeen, taking part in camporees there, working on merit badges there, learning about nature, exploring the world around you and discovering things about yourself as you do – it becomes a part of who you are and you want to preserve it for others. Camp Bomazeen has given to them and generations that have come before them and now they want to give back when Bomazeen needs their help the most. Bomazeen has made a remarkable difference in so many people’s lives since it was given to Scouting by Dr. Averill in 1944. Some of our Scouts went on to serve in the military, help the needy and run large corporations. Peter Vigue, CEO of Cianbro, in Pittsfield, was a Bomazeen Scout in 1959 as was his son and grandson as well. ”

Chris Bernier, of Winslow, runs the Bushcraft Program at Bomazeen which is a living history program designed to teach Scouts skills such as Native lore, blacksmithing, outdoor cooking, muzzle-loading, basket-making, metal working, woodworking, candle making, to hide tanning. The program transports Scouts from today back to the pioneer days of the 1840s. Before joining the staff, Bernier was a Scout at Camp Bomazeen. “I think that the Scouts wish to do this it is a great way for them to practice citizenship,” Bernier said. “They see something wrong and they are peacefully trying to make it better. They wish to see an active change and to do so in this manner is practicing what they learned in their citizenship badges. In this case Citizenship in the Community – the community of Scouting for them and future Scouts.”

Scouts from several communities including Jackman, Skowhegan, Sidney, Oakland, and Augusta are working the petitions that they began circulating on August 12. They hope to convince the Scouting Executive Board to reconsider their vote to sell the camp and, if not, that they hope to convince whatever entity buys the property to allow the Scouts to continue to use it as they have for the past 75 years.

For those who would like to lend their name to the petition but would not like a Scout to visit due to Covid-19 concerns, email FriendsofBomazeen@gmail.com or send a message to the Facebook page Friends of Bomazeen. Be sure to include your name, town and what Bomazeen means to you.