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Wednesday, 06 July 2011 05:38

Out-of-state firewood ban

AUGUSTA - The Maine Forest Service, under the Maine Department of Conservation, will again hold an out-of-state firewood exchange this weekend to prevent the importation of dangerous invasive insects to Maine's forests and to make Maine visitors and residents aware of the problem.

A detail of Maine Forest Service forest rangers will set up an exchange station for two days: Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, at the northbound Kittery rest area, Interstate 95. Not only will the forest rangers exchange out-of-state wood for Maine wood, they also will give out warnings to those who import the banned firewood.

For the fourth time since the state ban was put in place last year, MFS forest rangers will exchange the prohibited out-of-state firewood for disposal as a way to prevent the spread of two invasive species in particular: Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and emerald ash borer (EAB).

CAMDEN - Organizers of the Juice Conference are committing $125,000 in cash, prizes and investment capital to participants in this year's Pitch Contest, with the intention that the funds be invested into innovative businesses operating in Maine.

Juice 3.0 "Celebrating Risk," Maine's creative economy conference, will take place on Nov. 4 and 5 in Camden. The conference will bring together over 800 of Maine's most creative entrepreneurs, artists, innovators, technology experts, finance professionals and statewide leaders at the intersection of technology, art, culture, entrepreneurship, service and sustainability.

"We're expecting 100 businesses to participate in this contest," said Skip Bates, board member of conference producer Midcoast Magnet and vice president for conference sponsor Bangor Savings Bank. "We're looking for innovators in five distinct categories: Scalable Innovation, Sustainability, Main Street, Art, Culture & Design and Non-Profit. The pitch contest will reward participants across the spectrum of innovation and creativity in Maine."

STONINGTON - Do you Pecha Kucha? Want to try it?

Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House is hosting its third evening of this popular format for idea exchange on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The Down East version of the event that has taken Midcoast Maine and other parts of the country by storm was originally launched last October and continued in May at the Opera House, with a summer edition at Schoodic Arts for All in Winter Harbor. The evening includes free snacks, as well as beer, wine and other beverages for purchase.

Pecha Kucha is a fast-paced, friendly social evening at which a small group of our area's many innovators - including entrepreneurs, farmers, designers, artists, fishermen, architects, photographers, musicians and other great idea people. Each presents his or her work in 20 slides, for 20 seconds each. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of "chit chat," the fun and spark of a Pecha Kucha is that it rests on a presentation format that is concise, rapid and invigorating, inspiring 'chit chat' among all attending - and firing up new ideas and excitement. Pecha Kucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creativity worldwide.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 05:38

E-waste recycling

BANGOR - The Challenger Learning Center, 30 Venture Way, Bangor, is partnering with eWaste Recycling Solutions, LLC. (ERS) of Auburn to accept all manner of electronic waste from private individuals. Items that are accepted include:

- Electronic devices and lighting - televisions (all sizes) - microwaves

- CPUs - monitors - copiers - printers - toner/ ink cartridges

- fax machines - scanners - laptops - keyboard/mouse/peripherals

UNITY - ReVision Energy, an industry leader in solar design, installation and service in Northern New England, is working on, or has recently completed, three solar installations in the Unity area. ReVision recently completed work on a Unity residential project, is working on a project with Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association's (MOFGA) "Red Barn" in Unity, and a hot water system at Unity College's new dormitory, Terrahaus.

In addition to promoting renewable energy and encouraging the transition away from fossil fuels, the projects are especially relevant for the ReVision Energy team at their Liberty, ME office as six of the eleven employees are graduates of Unity College.

"This technology is something we are all passionate about," said John Luft, general manager of ReVision Energy's Liberty location. "Being a graduate of Unity College, it takes on a special significance to be working in this industry because Unity places such an emphasis on becoming more and more environmentally friendly. Plus, working 'close to home' is special in its own kind of way."

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 05:38

Biz Briefs - 09/07/11

Thinking of starting a business? Attend the free Business 101 Workshop

DOVER-FOXCROFT - In the current economy, many people have been thinking about earning some extra income or creating their own job by starting a business. A free Business 101 workshop will help you explore your idea for a business and the steps it will take to get it off the ground and running. This workshop will be instructed by James Macomber, Microenterprise Consultant and 2008 SBA Home Based Business Champion for Maine and New England, who will provide an overview of the pros and cons of operating a microenterprise or small business.

This training is offered through MaineStream Finance, a subsidiary of Penquis, and there is no cost to participate. This workshop is being offered in partnership with the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative.

BAR HARBOR - College of the Atlantic's "unique approach to academics," its "eclectic and brilliant" faculty, have once again netted the school a place among the best colleges in North America. In Princeton Review's annual "The Best 376 Colleges," released Monday, College of the Atlantic is noted as offering an outstanding undergraduate education. An annual ranking by Forbes Magazine places COA among the top 200 colleges in the nation.

COA is also one of only five colleges to appear on the review's "Green Honor Roll" in each of the four years of the Princeton Review rating. The popular college guide also labeled COA students as among the most engaged in the nation. This year it took a third place ranking in the category of "Most Politically Active Students."

The annual guide includes only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges. The Forbes guide, available online, includes 650 schools.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 05:38

COA presents conversation on mathematics

BAR HARBOR - Noted and popular mathematician John Allen Paulos, author of the best-selling "Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences," joins Dave Feldman, College of the Atlantic faculty member in physics and mathematics for the college's Coffee & Conversation series on Tuesday, July 26 at 9 a.m. The conversation will be held in Deering Common Campus Center. Refreshments will be served.

Paulos, who teaches at Temple University, is a monthly columnist for ABC News. He has written several books focused on the state of thinking today, most recently, "Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up." "Innumeracy" was on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly five months when it came out in 1988. Its sequel, "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper" was on the readers' list of the Random House Modern Library's compilation of the 100 best nonfiction books of the century.

About "Innumeracy," Isaac Asimov commented, it "would improve the quality of thinking of virtually anyone." And Douglas Hofstadter, author of "Godel, Escher, and Bach," called it "better than an entire high school math education!"

BANGOR - For 45 years, professional golfers from all over the world have converged on Bangor Municipal Golf Course to compete in the Greater Bangor Open Golf Tournament. On July 20, 2011, golfers, sponsors, and supporters from around the region will be supporting Penquis Autism Community Services as they compete in this year's Greater Bangor Open.

This is the second year the Open has named Autism Community Services as the recipient of the donation. Rob Jarvis, PGA certified professional, Bangor Municipal Golf Course, said, "We have had nice response since announcing Penquis Autism Community Services will be our primary charity this year."

The number of Maine children identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder has increased significantly in the past eight years, 276 percent from 2000 to 2008. "Supporting children and families with Autism creates a stronger community. Every child should have the opportunity to reach his/her highest potential, and this is a way to show our support," said Jarvis.

BANGOR - The next Downtown Bangor Artwalk will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. This free open studio tour draws large crowds to meet local artists and to celebrate downtown Bangor as a destination. Meet up with your friends or family, enjoy a meal at a downtown restaurant and explore the many cultural resources the city has to offer. The August event provides several interactive venues that will expand your art-loving sensibilities.

A great place to start is on the hill at 170 Park Street where galleries One Lupine and This Handmade Life feature handmade works from local and Maine artisans. If you are a fiber enthusiast, be sure to visit the studio at One Lupine where Jodi Clayton produces fine silk and wool apparel; you can find her working on either a felting or spinning demonstration.

Upstairs at 170 Park Street photographer Jodi Renshaw of Studio 36 will be holding a photo contest to benefit the Bangor Humane Society. Everyone is encouraged to participate: One vote costs one dollar and you vote on your favorite photograph. Money raised goes to the Bangor Humane Society, so be sure to buy more than one vote. Included on the second floor, artist Sally Gilbert will be hosting a 'Yart Sale.' Bring your skills at haggling. Come find a 'bartgain.' Twenty percent of cash sales will be donated to the Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative.

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