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Wednesday, 25 September 2019 09:27

Go ‘Bark to the Future’ with Paws on Parade

BANGOR - Hundreds of dogs and their owners will be going “Bark to the Future” along the Bangor Waterfront and along Main Street on September 28.

That’s the theme of this year’s Paws on Parade, an event to raise funds for the Bangor Humane Society and to celebrate the relationship we share with our pets. Last year’s Paws on Parade raised over $91,000 during the agency’s largest annual fundraising event. This year’s major event sponsors are Cross Insurance and Darling’s Volkswagen.

The Society’s 26th Paws on Parade event will feature a two-mile walk down Main Street in Bangor to raise awareness for homeless pets in our community and to celebrate pet companionship. The event will also feature pet contests including: Best costume, Best trick, largest and smallest dog and more; there will also be a shelter dog runway show highlighting dogs available for adoption, prizes and giveaways.

Walkers include pet lovers, dogs of all shapes and sizes and plenty of Humane Society Alumni.

People can register online at support.bangorhumane.org/pawsonparade or on the day of the event. Those who make a $25 donation with registration will receive a special 26th Event T-Shirt. Individuals can earn fun Bark to the Future swag for reaching fundraising milestones.

HALLOWELL - The Maine Development Foundation’s Maine Downtown Center (MDC) program will administer $750,000 in funding over the next two years for historic preservation or energy efficiency projects in Maine downtowns. MDC’s is the largest of only nine grants announced this month by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program (HRSP).

“We are thrilled to bring this funding to Maine downtowns and look forward to partnering with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission as our lead partner in this program,” says Anne Ball, Program Director for MDC. “The preservation of some key downtown buildings and libraries can serve as a catalyst for economic development. We are eager to award this funding and track the economic activity in these communities.”

The objective of the HRSP is to support the rehabilitation of historic properties in order to rehabilitate, protect, and foster economic development of rural communities. Funding in the form of subgrants will be awarded through a competitive program that will be operated by Maine Development Foundation. Projects can include physical preservation projects for historic sites, architectural/engineering services and technical assistance.

“Historic preservation projects have consistently proven to foster economic growth,” National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said. “Through the support of the National Park Service, rural communities are able to preserve their historic resources, shining a light on their unique local history and bolstering economic development.”

Grant applications and requirements will be made available in December 2019 at www.mdf.org. Grant assistance is provided by the Historic Preservation Fund and the National Park Service.

ORONO — A research team led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in collaboration with University of Maine astrophysicist Neil F. Comins will use the video game Minecraft to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics. Using the Minecraft platform, children can ask space-related what if questions to explore hypothetical exoplanets and see how their worlds differ from Earth.

ORONO — A $500,000 National Science Foundation research grant to the University of Maine to study self-driving vehicles aims to make the transportation of the future more accessible, usable and trustworthy.

The project, co-led by Nicholas Giudice and Richard Corey, who run and direct the VEMI Lab at the University of Maine, is designed to improve user trust of fully autonomous vehicles through a new study they call human-vehicle collaboration (HVC). The goal is to explore new ways of sharing how decisions are made and information is communicated between the human passenger and the artificial intelligence “driver,” thereby addressing the key human factors of perceived loss of control over driving activities and fear of not “knowing” what the vehicle is doing during autonomous operation.

ORONO — A $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation EPSCoR program will fund a five-year initiative that aims to revolutionize environmental monitoring, ecological understanding and sustainability of coastal ecosystems.

The University of Maine is partnering with Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and other collaborators in education, government agencies, citizen’s groups and local industry statewide.

ORONO — When spotting a butterfly, a common reaction may be to whip out a phone and snap a photo. A team of University of Maine researchers is hoping another response could be to use the phone to log details about areas where butterflies are likely to be found.

Using a mobile app, anyone can become a citizen scientist by visiting potential monarch butterfly roosting sites from Maine to Georgia and answering questions based on their observations. 

BANGOR - Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Champion the Cure Challenge is celebrating its tenth year on August 17, 2019 with several exciting changes for cyclists, walkers, and runners. Champion the Cure Challenge is the region’s largest cancer fundraising event, with all proceeds supporting treatment and research at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

In response to feedback from cyclists, a new 12-mile route will debut at this year’s event. The 12-mile option is a family-friendly alternative to the 25, 50, 75, and 100-mile routes.

ORONO — Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie called her grandmother each spring during her childhood when the rhododendrons bloomed in her hometown in Massachusetts. To celebrate, they’d go on a wildflower picnic in Moore State Park.

McDonough MacKenzie still thoroughly enjoys “botanizing.” And the David H. Smith Conservation Research Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute likes learning how plants have impacted the lives of others.

So on Valentine’s Day 2018, Rebecca Barak, McDonough MacKenzie and seven other David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellows — Sara Kuebbing, Molly Bletz, Joan Dudney, Bonnie M. McGill, Mallika A. Nocco, Talia Young and Rebecca K. Tonietto — launched the website Plant Love Stories. 

BANGOR — Author readings are getting an outdoor makeover in Downtown Bangor this summer as The Briar Patch bookstore launches their Outdoor Reading Room series, showcasing fiction authors through readings in a local park. 

The series, which kicks off on Friday, Aug. 2 with local author Meghan L. Dowling reading from her new book “A Catalogue of Small Pains,” will be held in the Central Street Pocket Park, just across the street from The Briar Patch. 

“We’re thrilled to expand our author events with this series that will combine the creativity of Maine authors with the outdoor environs that have earned Maine the nickname of ‘Vacationland.’ Our slate of authors will include something for everyone who loves grown-up fiction,” said Gibran Graham, owner of the 32-year-old bookshop located at 27 Central Street in Downtown Bangor.

The series continues on Friday, Aug. 16 with Maine author Dave Patterson reading from his new novel “Soon The Light Will Be Perfect.”

Attendees of the Outdoor Reading Room series are encouraged to make an evening of it, grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many downtown restaurants before or after the event.

“What’s better than a night of good novels and good food? We hope attendees of the Outdoor Reading Room series plan to spend the evening enjoying all that Downtown Bangor has to offer,” Graham said.

Copies of the books are available for purchase in the store and online at BriarPatchBooks.com. There will also be copies available at the events. The authors will be on hand to sign books as well.

Additional authors for the series will be announced on The Briar Patch Facebook Page.

ORONO —What did you use your smartphone for today? To Facetime with friends, order a Lyft, pay bills, Google whether it’s OK to feed peanut butter to dogs?

For University of Maine clinical psychology doctoral student Colin Bosma, smartphones also are a research tool.

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