Tuesday, 22 April 2014 23:01

The long goodnight

by Katy England

So, beds. We have them. And we’re almost at a point where people are sleeping in them through the night.

The problem isn’t that they’re being crazy - it’s that, apparently, when sleeping, my daughter turns into a king cobra and slithers everywhere (I’ve watched). Eventually she ends up on the floor, and she doesn’t even care. It makes checking on them in the middle of the night a little worrisome, because I’m never sure if that’s a stuffed animal on the floor or one of my toddlers.

CHICAGO — Despite recommended limits on codeine use in children, the potent painkiller is prescribed for children in at least half a million emergency room visits each year, a study suggests.

Use of the drug in that setting is hardly rampant — just 3 percent of kids’ ER visits resulted in a codeine prescription in 2010, the 10-year study found. But with more than 25 million ER visits by children each year, the authors say far too many kids are getting the drug when better options are available.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 22:35

The great cloth diaper change

by Jodi Hersey

Participants look to break Guinness World Record

BANGOR - A group of Mainers will be gathering at Central Street Farmhouse in Bangor this weekend to help break the Guinness Book of World Record's cloth diaper changing record. It's an international event where thousands of people will gather on the same day at the same time in an effort to change as many cloth diapers as they can in just 60 seconds. 

Azodicarbonamide is just a big, hard-to-pronounce, slightly-scary-looking name also known as ADA, or the “yoga mat chemical.” Over these past few months, health sections of various news organizations have been exploding with articles about ADA, calling it unsafe. Food Babe, a health and nutrition blogger, called Subway out earlier this year for using it in their bread and even launched a petition to have it removed.  

“On Tuesday, Feb. 4, I launched a petition for the removal of a dangerous plastic chemical called azodicarbonamide from Subway sandwich bread – the same stuff used in yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather. This was after repeated attempts to reach out to Subway since June of 2012 to learn more about why they are using this (asthma inducing and potentially carcinogenic) chemical here in North America and not in any other countries. They never responded until now,” Food Babe stated on her blog. 

BANGOR – In response to a great turnout at its January educational seminar on varicose veins, EMMC is planning a similar event for May 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

“We know that many people are living with varicose veins,” said Ashley Robertson, MD, a vascular internist at EMMC. “We are repeating this seminar to give people who did not attend the last event a chance to learn about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins and get their questions answered.”

AUGUSTA – This April marks the 46th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which expanded on previous acts and included housing protections. Title VIII of the Act is known as the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Housing discrimination isn’t just unfair – it’s against the law. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or disability. The Maine Human Rights Act provides additional protection against discrimination because of sexual orientation, ancestry and getting public assistance.

In Maine, Pine Tree Legal Assistance works to affirmatively further fair housing by providing education on fair housing rights and by providing free legal aid to victims of housing discrimination. Pine Tree Legal is Maine’s oldest and largest statewide civil legal aid organization. Its mission is to ensure that state and federal laws affecting poor people are upheld, while also addressing the systemic barriers to justice faced by Mainers with low incomes. Pine Tree Legal assures fairness for all in the justice system, regardless of how much money someone has.

BANGOR – Bangor Savings Bank collected thousands of jars of an American staple for Maine food banks and pantries through its annual Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive. During the month of March – National Peanut Month - generous Mainers brought 5,846 jars to the 57 Bangor Savings Bank branches located throughout the state. To encourage participation, the Bank issued a challenge on its social media sites and contributed another 1,121 jars – one for every new “like” and “follow.”

Today, bank employees began distributing the food, delivering 1,200 jars of peanut butter to food pantries in Lincoln, Old Town, Bangor, Augusta and Portland.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 23:41

Things I really don’t want

by Katy England

We’ve been transitioning the kids into separate bedrooms, a move that was precipitated by the transition from cribs to regular beds. Previously, the kids were all stored in one room, and a lot of the other junk was put in the “play room.” The play room needed to be converted into the girls’ room, and the “bedroom” became my son’s room.

It’s times like this when hearing how tired someone with one child is can really rub me the wrong way. They’ve never experienced three children pinging around the bedrooms like pinballs on speed. And I wouldn’t have known the difference until I could see what it was like to have one child alone in one room.

Every year, millions of people from multiple countries fight back against something that seems to affect us all: cancer. According to its website, Relay for Life is an event that allows participants and survivors to celebrate their triumphs, remembers those lost to the disease and motivates people to take action against the disease. Relay for Life teams camp out around a track overnight and take turns walking or running it. Because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have one participant on the track at all times. Each event also includes a survivor lap, as well as a caregiver lap. 

At the start of May, people in the Bangor area will have the opportunity to participate in Relay for Life. A chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is hosting the event on the Eastern Maine Community College campus. The event starts at 6 p.m. on May 2, and goes until 8 a.m. on May 3. Students from the campus have become engaged in the event as well. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:01

Walk/Run to help end youth homelessness

by PR

WATERVILLE & SKOWHEGAN – The street is no place to grow up, yet on any given night hundreds of 

Maine’s children and adolescents learn life’s most important lessons far away from the comforts 

most of us take for granted. Some have run away or been thrown out of family homes, some are 

struggling with mental health or substance abuse conditions and some are just the unfortunate 

victims of bad circumstances. United Way of Mid-Maine is organizing a fundraiser to help make a 

difference in the lives of these youth. 

On Saturday, May 3, United Way of Mid-Maine (UWMM) will be hosting two walk-a-thons, one in 

Waterville and one in Skowhegan. Teams and individuals are encouraged to sign-up to walk and 

help raise funds for the Youth Homelessness Initiative. UWMM partners with local school districts 

across the service area (Somerset, northern Kennebec and western Waldo counties) to reach youth 

who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Through the schools’ homeless liaisons, UWMM 

helps to meet these students’ basic needs to assure that they stay in school. All of the funds 

raised will go to the Youth Homelessness Initiative. 

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