EVENTS: Maine International Film Festival: passes and packages now on sale

The Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) returns to Waterville, Maine, for its 27th edition July 12–21, 2024. Festival passes and packages are now available for preorder online at

MIFF showcases the best of American and international cinema with world premieres, classic revivals, and inspiring performances and exhibitions. Every year, the festival highlights Maine and New England’s most innovative filmmakers. With 100 films shown across 10 days, festivalgoers can travel the globe while simultaneously enjoying a uniquely local Maine experience.

Two tiers of passes are available to patrons this year: the Full Festival Pass, which grants access to individual screening ticket reservations, and the 10-Pass, which gives patrons the opportunity to fully customize their experience, picking and choosing the 10 film tickets that most speak to them. When the full festival lineup is announced at the beginning of June, passholders will be given a full week of priority ticket reservations before individual tickets go on sale to the general public.

Packages are also available for those who want to make the most of their festival experience by adopting a film, securing their passes, lining up their priority reservations, procuring their MIFF27 swag, and making a tax-deductible contribution to the festival.

“MIFF marks the most exciting 10 days of film in Maine every year,” said Mike Perreault, executive director of the Maine Film Center. “Throughout the festival, we welcome people from Maine and around the world to experience world premieres, rediscover beloved classics, and celebrate made-in-Maine films and filmmakers. Package and pass holders will have the added benefit of a week of exclusive ticket reservations once the program is announced in early June.”

This year marks MIFF’s second in the Maine Film Center’s new three-theater home, the recently opened Paul J. Schupf Art Center, in downtown Waterville. Together with the Waterville Opera House, Schupf Arts will welcome thousands of movie-lovers for screenings this summer. Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to view the center’s two art galleries, enjoy live music as the Waterville Rocks series kicks off, and explore local businesses in the burgeoning downtown area.

One hundred jumpers for one hundred years

The Alfond Youth & Community Center (AYCC) held the annual Polar Plunge during the 100-year anniversary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Waterville, on Saturday, March 16. More than 100 warm-hearted supporters took the plunge to support the AYCC Kids Kitchen.

Kennebec Savings Bank, Huhtamaki, Maine-ly Docks, Allen Insurance & Financial, and Day’s Jewelers sponsored the 31st annual event. This year’s icy plunge took place at the Oakland boat launch and raised over $43,000 for the AYCC Kids Kitchen.

Food & Nutrition staff provide more than 70,000 nutritious meals and snacks to kids in AYCC After School and Summer Enrichment Programs each year. This free program relies on support from generous sponsors and events like Polar Plunge to operate.

Jumpers included AYCC CEO, Ken Walsh; Waterville Chief of Police, Bill Bonney; Huhtamaki Plant Manager, Chris Perry; motorcyclists from Waterville Elks Lodge #905, American Legion Post #51, Oakland, and United Bikers of Maine; seasoned jumper, Tony Tuell; Boulerice Management CEO, Matthew Boulerice; and EXP Realtor, Nick Isgro.

Waterville student graduates from UWM

A total of 1,966 students received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 17, 2023, including Jorge Hernandez Lasa, of Waterville, from the College of Letters and Science, Doctor of Philosophy, Spanish.

EVENTS: Taste of Waterville taking applications for vendors

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s 32nd Annual Taste of Waterville is planned for Wednesday, July 31, from noon to 10 p.m., at the Head of Falls, off Front Street, in downtown Waterville.

Taste of Waterville is an adult-focused, day-long event with a variety of food options from area restaurants and food trucks, vendors, live music, beer/wine gardens and brew samplings. There will be a return of the expanded cornhole tournament. This year they will feature a dunk tank with area celebrities and some additional activities to add to the excitement.

This year’s evening music will include Downeast Brass band, with additional bands and performers planned throughout the day, currently under development. Applications are now being accepted for restaurants, food trucks and food-related vendor participants. Taste of Waterville encourages participation from both Mid-Maine Chamber members and non-members throughout the region.

To reserve a spot for this year’s event, please contact

For more information and forms, visit

EVENTS: Shakespeare group plans 460th birthday party

Party Like It’s 1599

What ho! Come party with Recycled Shakespeare Company for 460th birthday of the great bard William Shakespeare in Waterville, on Saturday, April 20, with the 11th annual Bard’s Birthday Bash.

Weather permitting join costumed readers and revelers to begin the Sonnet Stroll on Main Street, at the corner by Key Bank, at 9 a.m., travel up the Concourse to read sonnets and perform at Yardgoods Center and The Villager, meeting again at Waterville Public Library, at 10 a.m. Join Robert Sezack for his annual reading at Re-Books and then enjoy a sword fighting demonstration near Wild Clover Cafe, on Silver Street at 11a.m. Parade up Main Street where everyone is invited to read sonnets and sing fun Shakespearean songs as the troupe stops at businesses along the way: Incense and Peppermint, The Framemakers, Days Jewelers, Holi Cannoli, and Robin’s Nest. By 12:30 p.m., the join them at Jin Yuan Chinese Restaurant for sonnet presentations by video from friends across the nation. Local readers are also invited to join the group here, too.

At 2 p.m., the Bash continues at Selah Tea where more sonnets and entertainment will run until 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to sign up to read a sonnet or two or do a favorite Shakespearian monologue at either location. Last year every slot was filled and RSC hopes you will join in this exhilarating success.

All ages are welcome and no special talent is required. Please contact Debbie Achorn at 207-314-6160 or for more information or if you would like to participate. Costumes are encouraged although not required.

From 6 to 8 p.m., there is a Masquerade Ball at Greene-Block Studios, on Main Street. A few easy Elizabethan dances will be taught. It is a lot of fun and no partner is required. All ages are invited. Birthday cake will be served. The entire event is free of charge.

RSC says, “Party like it’s 1599”, so come on out, put on a mask and have some really old-fashioned fun.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Some early Maine poets

by Mary Grow

As promised last week, no more ponds for a while. Instead, your writer turned to Thomas Addison’s chapter on Literature and Literary People, in Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history. She hopes you will enjoy meeting a few of the writers mentioned.

Addison’s definition of literature covers almost anyone who wrote: newspaper people, historians, educators and sundry others. Your writer has chosen arbitrarily to begin with selected poets.

Many of the names Addison mentioned have no on-line references. Others are listed only as contributors to a book titled The Poets of Maine: A Collection of Specimen Poems from over Four Hundred Verse-makers of the Pine-tree State, compiled by George Bancroft Griffith and published in 1888.

Your writer found excerpts from this book on line. The samples she read have brief biographies and selected poems.

* * * * * *

Amos Lunt Hinds’ book,
Uncle Stephens

A large number of writers came from Augusta, Gardiner and Hallowell. Addison listed surprisingly few from Waterville or towns farther north, and not many from smaller towns.

An exception was the Town of Benton, identified as the home of poets Amos Lunt Hinds and Hannah Augusta Moore.

Amos Lunt Hinds (born in Benton Nov. 12, 1833, or sometime in 1834; died in Benton, April 24, 1908) was the son of Asher Hinds (born in Benton May 2, 1792; died in Benton April 23, 1860) and Lucy Harding (Turner) Hinds (1801 – July 2, 1883), who was either the first or second of his two wives (sources disagree).

The on-line description of Forgotten Books’ 2018 reprint of Amos Hinds’ 1905 Uncle Stephen and Other Verses includes Hinds’ introduction. The poet said the poems were written over 40 years; some had been published in newspapers and magazines, locally and out of state. Hinds collected them into a book “at the suggestion and request of old friends, to whom they are submitted with affectionate greeting.”

An article in the Jan. 10, 1906, issue of the Colby Echo (found on line) republishes a Dec. 27, 1905, Waterville Evening Mail article on the publication of Uncle Stephen. Hinds is described as a Colby graduate, Class of 1858, and a resident of Benton Falls.

The unnamed writer of the article mentioned several poems with local connections.

The one titled The Soldiers ‘ Monument was “read at the unveiling of the monument in this city on May 30, 1876.” The newspaper quoted one verse:

Long let this musing soldier stand,
‘Neath free New England skies,
To all that love the fatherland,
Type of self-sacrifice.

General Isaac Sparrow Bangs, in his military history included in Edwin Carey Whittemore’s Waterville history, describes the founding of the Waterville Soldiers’ Monument Association in March 1864, before the Civil War ended. Its purpose was to provide a memorial to honor Waterville residents who died in the war.

The first fund-raising events were that month. After a Nov. 29, 1865, event, Bangs wrote, the association apparently went dormant until June 1875. By then, donations and interest totaled $1,000, and the town gave a matching sum.

Association committees were formed to design the monument and find a site. Two more fundraisers May 16 and 17, 1876, added $350, and the Waterville Soldiers’ Monument, in what is now Veterans Memorial Park, at the corner of Elm and Park streets, was dedicated on Tuesday, May 30, 1876, Memorial Day.

Another of Hinds’ poems, Old Block House, was about Fort Halifax, in Winslow, the 1906 newspaper writer said.

Uncle Stephen, “the first and longest poem in the volume,” honored Stephen Crosby, whom the writer called “one of the early settlers of that portion of Winslow which lies adjacent to Benton Falls.”

Crosby owned a grist mill, and during 1816, the Year without a Summer, he “endeared himself to his generation and his memory to other generations, by refusing to profit by the distress of his neighbors, continuing to sell corn, of which he had a store, at the ordinary price.”

On-line genealogies say Amos Lunt Hinds married Lettice Orr Reed (1834 – Jan. 26, 1910), and name only one child, Lucy Turner Hinds (1866-1966). The “Colby Echo” article says Amos was the father of Asher C. Hinds, Colby 1883 (but see box on the Hinds family).

* * * * * *

Poets of Maine says Hannah Augusta Moore was born in Wiscasset on March 15 of either 1827 or 1828. Her grandfather was Colonel Herbert Moore, of Waterville; her father, Herbert Thorndike Moore, is identified as “of New York City.”

Her mother, who is not named, and her father were both poets, the biography says. The family moved to Philadelphia when Hannah was “a small child” and she started writing there. Then she lived in New York (City?) “for many years.” In 1886, she “came back” to Benton, which she called “dear native land.”

The biography does not say when Hannah had previously lived in Benton, and the following text is not helpful. It says that after her mother died (no date given), she “attended school at Waterville, Me.”

As soon as Moore settled in Benton, Ephraim Maxwell, publisher of the Waterville Mail newspaper, began publishing her work.

Moore wrote under pseudonyms, including Helen Bruce and Wanona Wandering. The biography explains that she avoided “Hannah” “from a dread that she might be supposed to consider herself a second ‘Hannah More.'”

(Hannah More [Feb. 2, 1745 – Sept. 7, 1833] was a British writer whose works included plays and poetry, mostly religious.)

The biography says it was Moore’s own choice to live “like a hidden singer in a hedge.” Her poems were available in the United States and in Europe, and many were set to music. One collection, titled “Plymouth Notes,” sold 40,000 copies in Europe in its first year.

The biography ends by quoting “June in Maine,” one of Moore’s best-known poems. The first stanza reads:

Beautiful, beautiful summer!
Odorous, exquisite June!
All the sweet roses in blossom,
All the sweet birdies in tune.

The poem urges readers to go outside and enjoy

All the dim aisles of the forest
Ringing and thrilling with song;
Music—a flood-tide of music—
Poured the green valleys along.


Buttercups, daisies, and clover,
Roses, sweet-briar, and fern,
Mingle their breath on the breezes—
Who from such wooing could turn?

* * * * * *

Frances Parker Mace

Frances Parker (Laughton) Mace is another Maine poet, who was a friend of Moore’s. Wikipedia says she was born in Orono, Jan. 15, 1836 (or, one source says, 1834, citing her tombstone), daughter of Dr. Sumner Laughton and Mary Ann (Parker) Laughton.

The family moved to Foxcroft in 1837. Mace’s education included Latin “and other advanced subjects” at Foxcroft Academy when she was only 10 years old. Her first poems were published when she was 12, some in The New York Journal of Commerce, Wikipedia says.

The Laughtons moved to Bangor, and Mace graduated from Bangor High School in 1852. Wikipedia says her most famous poem was published in the “Waterville Mail” when she was 18, suggesting a Waterville connection by 1854 – did she and Moore meet then? Your writer found no evidence.

This poem is titled Only Waiting. It was inspired by a friend who asked an elderly man in a poor-house what he was doing and received the reply, “Only waiting.”

The poem begins:

  Only waiting till the
  Are a little longer grown,
  Only waiting till the
  Of the day’s last beam
is flown;
  Till the night of earth
is faded
  From the heart, once full
of day;
  Till the stars of heaven
are breaking
  Through the twilight
soft and gray.

It goes on to describe the man’s readiness to leave his weary life for the company of angels.

The poem was published in the Waterville Mail under the pseudonym “Inez.” Later, a hymn-writer named Mrs. F. A. F. Wood-White, from Iowa (according to one on-line source), claimed she had composed it, creating a dispute that was eventually resolved in Mace’s favor.

Mace married a lawyer named Benjamin Mace in 1855, and for the next 20 years was busy with eight children, four of whom died young. She began writing again when their eighth child was two years old, with a poem published in Harper’s Magazine.

Her collected poems were published in the 1880s, before and after the family moved to San Jose, California, in 1885. She died in Los Gatos, California, on July 20, 1899.

NOTE: For those interested in seeking out poems mentioned in this article, your writer found on line:

Two recent reprints of Amos Lunt Hinds’ Uncle Stephen and Other Verses: a 2016 hardcover edition by Palala Press, and a 2018 paperback by London-based Forgotten Books.

Three reprints of The Poets of Maine: in 2008 by Kessinger Publishing (Vol. 2 only); a 2017 paperback by Forgotten Books; and a 2023 paperback by Creative Media Partners, LLC.

Listed as available on, in January 2024: copies of Frances Laughton Mace’s two poetry collections, Legends, Lyr­ics and Son­nets, originally published in Boston, Mas­sa­chu­setts, by Cupples, Upham, in 1883; and Under Pine and Palm, originally published in Bos­ton by Tick­nor, in 1888. No publisher is given.

More about the Hinds family

On-line sources say poet Amos Lunt Hinds had three younger brothers and a younger sister. The brothers are listed as Albert D. Hinds (1835-1873); Asher Crosby Hinds (1840-1863); and Roswell S. Hinds (1844-1864). The sister was Susan A. Hinds (1837-1905).

Find a Grave website says the Asher Crosby Hinds who was born Jan. 7, 1840, in Clinton, served in Company G of the Third Maine Infantry during the Civil War. He started as a corporal and mustered out as a sergeant. The website quotes the beginning of his obituary from the April 2, 1863, Piscataquis Observer, which says he died in Benton at the age of 23.

Amos and Asher’s brother Albert and his wife Charlotte (Flagg) named their first son, born in 1863, Asher Crosby Hinds.

Wikipedia says Asher Crosby Hinds, born Feb. 6, 1863, and died May 1, 1919, represented Maine’s First District in the U. S. House of Representatives for three terms, from 1911 to 1917.

The article says he attended Coburn Classical Institute and graduated from Colby College in 1883; worked for a Portland newspaper beginning in 1884; and from 1889 to 1911 held clerical positions in the Maine House of Representatives, working for the Speaker.

Hinds edited two procedural manuals, Wikipedia says, an 1899 edition of the Rules, Manual, and Digest of the House of Representatives and in 1908 Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives.

The article cites a 2013 study showing the Precedents “successfully altered the behavior of House representatives, as they became less willing to appeal decisions of the chair.”

This information leads your writer to conclude that Rep. Asher C. Hinds was Amos and Lettice Hinds’ nephew, not their son.

Amos Lunt Hinds and a dozen other family members are buried in Barton-Hinds Cemetery on Eames Road in Winslow, according to Find a Grave.

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.

Northern Light Health joins Health Care Climate Council

Displaying continued commitment to the health of its patients, colleagues, and community, Northern Light Health has been selected as the newest member of the Health Care Climate Council. Northern Light is leading the way in minimizing its environmental effects while providing excellent care in a sustainable manner.

Northern Light’s focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction is a key component of its efforts, as it recently signed the Health Sector Pledge to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. So far, Northern Light Health has reduced its emissions by about 10 percent since 2021. Additionally, Northern Light recently completed a Climate Resiliency Plan to address operational risks and vulnerabilities related to extreme weather events and the changing disease burden.

“Northern Light Health is proud to join the Health Care Climate Council, which is leading the health care sector’s urgent response to climate change,” said Tim Doak, chief environmental sustainability officer. “Our bottom-line goal is to help people lead healthy and happy lives. Working to make Northern Light Health a leader in emissions reduction furthers our mission and supports our patients and community.”

Established by Health Care Without Harm, the Health Care Climate Council is a leadership body of health systems committed to protecting their patients and employees from the health effects of climate change and becoming anchors for resilient communities.

Together, the 19 member systems represent 500 hospitals in 28 states and 250 Congressional districts with a total annual operating revenue of more than $180 billion and more than one million employees.

Health Care Climate Council members implement innovative climate solutions, inspire and support others to act, and use their trusted voice and purchasing power to move policy and markets to drive the transformation to climate-smart healthcare.

“We are delighted to welcome Northern Light Health to the U.S. Health Care Climate Council,” said Jessica Wolff, Health Care Without Harm’s U.S. director for Climate and Health. “With the addition of Northern Light, the Climate Council further demonstrates its commitment to the sector’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy and climate-smart healthcare. We are looking forward to continuing our work with the Climate Council on ambitious mitigation and resilience initiatives and harnessing the powerful voice of its members to help patients, staff, and communities understand that climate change is about health.”

Waterville’s Bob Chenard inducted to Franco-American Hall of Fame

Maine State Rep. Bruce White, D-Waterville, right, nominated Robert Chenard, left, to be inducted into Maine’s Franco-American Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Chenard is an author, lecturer and instructor with a specialty in Franco-American genealogy. He has volunteered at the Taconnett Falls chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society for the past 32 years, helping to connect many with their ancestry and heritage. (contributed photo)

New Dimensions FCU has record-breaking impact on volunteerism

Lauren McCallum, left, League Communications Coordinator, and Ryan Poulin, CEO, New Dimensions FCU. (contributed photo)

New Dimensions FCU has demonstrated its commitment to the philosophy of People Helping People by volunteering their personal time and assistance to local communities each year. In 2023, the credit union recorded an outstanding 1,994.75 hours of personal volunteer time, surpassing all other credit unions of its asset size across Maine.

Since 2018, the Maine Credit Union League has been tracking credit union volunteerism efforts through the CUs Share for ME form. Last year, credit unions in Maine reported a record-breaking 29,294.98 hours of volunteer time. According to the Independent Sector’s newest Value of Volunteer Time report, each hour of volunteer work is estimated to be worth $31.80. By this calculation, New Dimensions FCU’s volunteer efforts in 2023 alone were valued at approximately $63,433.05.

At the League’s annual Ending Hunger Luncheon on February 13, 2024, New Dimensions received recognition for recording the highest volunteer time among credit unions with similar asset sizes. This accomplishment showcases its staff’s unwavering dedication to serving and strengthening the communities where they live and work. Through the credit union’s commitment to volunteerism, it is proud to embody the mission of People Helping People.

The record-breaking volunteer hours in 2023 were made possible by the active participation of the credit union’s staff in various community events and initiatives throughout the year. The MECUL Ending Hunger in Maine Campaign, which offered several volunteer opportunities, was instrumental to its success. Moreover, dozens of its staff generously volunteered their time at local food banks, soup kitchens, youth athletics, local area schools, and organizations such as Special Olympics Maine, the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, Maine Children’s Cancer Program, and the Travis Mills Found­ation.

United in their dedication to making a meaningful impact and showcasing collective action, the staff of NDFCU selflessly volunteered their time. Firm believers in the philosophy of ‘people helping people,’ they embody the spirit of community service. Their strong determination to volunteer will continue to create lasting positive changes as they work together to build a brighter future for the communities they serve.

MaineGeneral’s podiatrists: getting you back on your feet

MaineGeneral Orthopaedics surgical podiatrists Michael Kipp, DPM, left, and Brian Loring, DPM. (contributed photo)

by John D. Begin

As a high school soccer player, Michael Kipp had foot and ankle injuries that required appointments with a podiatrist to treat his issues. At the time, he could not appreciate that the appointments would plant the seed for a decade-plus career as a podiatric surgeon.

“As a college undergrad, I knew I wanted to go into health care, so I spent a summer shadowing the podiatrist I met in high school, and the rest is history,” he said. “I liked that patients would see him and, in many cases, leave feeling better instantly.”

Kipp earned a doctorate degree in podiatric medicine from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, PA in 2010. After completing his residency in podiatric medicine and surgery at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY in 2013, he moved to Maine to work in private practice until he joined MaineGeneral Orthopaedics and its podiatry team in September 2022.

He and fellow podiatrist Brian Loring, DPM, offer a range of surgical interventions including ankle arthroscopy, Charcot foot reconstruction, bunion and hammertoe correction, ankle fusion and minimally invasive foot and ankle surgery. The surgical podiatric care team is supported by Doug O’Heir, DPM, Renee Slaney, FNP-C, and Certified Foot Care Specialist Lori Melancon, RN. The team also offers general foot care services at MaineGeneral Orthopaedics’ practice sites in Augusta and Oakland.

Got foot pain? They can help!

Kipp and Loring will offer a free event on April 11 to discuss non-surgical and minimally invasive surgical treatments that MaineGeneral Orthopaedics offers to treat foot and ankle conditions and the pain or limitations associated with them. They also will answer questions from those attending.

The 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. session will be held in Conference Rooms 1 & 2 at the Alfond Center for Health, 35 Medical Center Parkway, Augusta. Space is limited so registration is required online at, by calling (207) 624-3881 or by emailing

The event also will educate community members about the breadth of foot and ankle care their team provides.

“People sometimes mistakenly assume podiatrists only do routine foot care. While cutting toenails or treating corns and calluses are an important part of our job, that’s only one small part of what we can offer to patients,” Kipp said. “Because we are residency trained in surgical podiatry, we can do so much more.”

Making a difference in patients’ lives

Loring is the newest member of MaineGeneral Orthopaedics’ podiatry team, having joined the practice in July 2023 after completing his podiatric surgery residency at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, PA. Before that, he earned a doctorate degree in podiatric medicine from Des Moines University in Des Moines, IA in 2020. He likes that his work can help improve a patient’s quality of life.

“Some patients come for their first appointment and, within that appointment, I can greatly reduce or eliminate their pain,” he said. “It’s great to be able to change their day and, sometimes, their life.”

Dr. Kipp agrees.

“Where else can you say that someone came in feeling miserable and later walked out the door, thanking you and saying, ‘I actually feel better already,’” he said.

Loring also enjoys the challenge of finding the cause of a patient’s medical issue and then offering treatment options for it.

“One of my favorite things to do in my free time is work on my car,” he said. “There are similarities between mechanical work and working with the foot and the ankle. You have parts that may not be functioning properly and my job is figuring out what’s wrong with the anatomy and then fixing the problem.”

Loring and Kipp appreciate being part of a comprehensive team at MaineGeneral Orthopaedics, both for what it offers them professionally and what it means for patients with more than one issue.

“There’s really a multidisciplinary approach to care at MaineGeneral,” Loring said, “so if I have a patient who comes in for foot pain and they mention they also have back problems, I can quickly refer them to where they need to be seen.”

“We’re part of a greater practice that offers orthopaedic care from head to toe, with highly skilled clinicians available to treat the whole patient,” Kipp added. “It’s great to work with people you trust and would encourage a family member to see.”

To learn more about the full range of care that MaineGeneral Orthopaedics provides, visit

John D. Begin is a communications specialist in MaineGeneral Health’s Marketing and Communications Department.