Wednesday, 11 April 2012 13:54

Orono hosts HOPE festival

ORONO - The HOPE Festival is returning to the University of Maine in Orono again this year, this time with special guest and renowned author Bill McKibben.

"What's so exciting about this is he tells us the bad news and good news about climate change and how small groups of people can make a difference," explained Ilse Petersons from the Peace & Justice Center in Bangor.

McKibben and six students created the organization called, a grassroots group that has organized thousands of rallies all over the world to promote sustainability and a more environmentally friendly way of life. McKibben will be joined by more than 70 vendors at the 2012 HOPE Festival in Orono on April 21.

"There will be people from Hike for Homeless selling raffle tickets, people from Cooperative Maine available to talk to those interested in starting co-ops," explained Petersons. "There will also be people from Food & Medicine to help those who are still out of work, and a group from the Maine Solar Energy organization will be there creating outdoor solar cookers."

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 12:38

New businesses we're buzzing about in 2012

Frock Affair 

BANGOR - If the temperatures aren't putting you in a spring-like mood, then the colors bursting from inside the new Frock Affair retail store on Main Street in Bangor sure will. This retail co-op combines the styles and tastes of four trendy women to create one unique slice of paradise that'll leave any clothing, jewelry, handbag and shoe-loving female shopper thirsting for more.

"These are our personalities. We wear this stuff. We love it. It represents us," said Susan Stephenson, co-op participant. "And this all came together four or five weeks ago."

Frock Affair, which opened at the beginning of April inside the former Bella Luna store, combines designer apparel with the often Maine-made creations of Jessi Sader of FX Dressed, Meg Asher of Local Color in Northeast Harbor, Katherine Loblein of Katwalk in Belfast and Susan Stephenson, Bangor blogger and creator of the Dress to Impress project.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 16:46

Out and about in the Maine Wild

41 degree ocean temperature... Let's do a Polar Dip!!!

On February 10, 2012, at noon, Washington County Community College hosted a Polar Dip to support the Bangor Ronald McDonald House. This idea to join the fun came to me Christmas night while watching the evening local news. A report came on about the Washington County Community College Polar Dip, and I said to my wife, Carolyn, 'I am going to do that swim.' One hundred percent of the proceeds collected go to the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor.

I started collecting money for this worthy cause. There were over 150 participants who had it in their mind that the water was the place to hang out. In total, at noon on 2-10-12, over $22,000 had been collected at the program manager station. On the shore of Passamaquoddy Bay a small trailer with no heat, manned by two volunteers, was the group's gathering point. A line 10 deep with people handing in donations and pledge sheets set the exciting tone of the event. You could feel the energy in the air from all who were there standing. Looking onto the water wondering is it really going to be that cold? Just for a minute we can do this those children and families endure suffering every day. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

Published in Adventure
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 14:08

Go Maine vanpool service puts on the brakes

AUGUSTA - Passengers who use the Go Maine vanpool service have been given some extra time to find an alternative means of transportation before the service screeches to a halt in the fall.

"We're not eliminating Go Maine. It's just the portion that deals with vanpools. This was not done without a lot of thought; we knew it would be disruptive, but it was something that wasn't sustainable. We couldn't offer folks those transportation options with gas going up," said Sue Moreau, manager of passenger service for The Maine Department of Transportation.

Go Maine is a commuter service that provides low cost, economical and eco-friendly options for folks traveling to and from work. It includes everything from carpool and vanpool services to buses or bicycling options available throughout the state. Go Maine's vanpool service began in 2002 with just nine vans and has swelled to 27 vans that can now be seen rolling along the turnpike and Maine roadways on any given day. Deborah Turcotte of Bangor is a Go Maine van driver.

Published in Biz
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:49

Making it happen

Local group launches literary magazine

BANGOR Anyone who has spent time in and around Bangor over the past few years has borne witness to a wonderful evolution. The creative community in the area has been growing exponentially and the arts have become a significant presence.

The newest addition to our artistic landscape is The Tarratine Quarterly, a new literary publication based right here in Bangor. It's a wide-ranging, freewheeling publication offering art, poetry, proseand ideas. The first issue is titled 'Manifest/O' and contains works from artists both nearby and farther afield.

In addition to the 500 or so physical copies, Tarratine will also be launching a PDF version of the magazine. That version will be forthcoming in two weeks or so; visit for more details.

Published in Buzz
Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:23

Table Games Set to Open at Hollywood Casino

Blackjack, Roulette, and other table games to make Maine debut

BANGOR Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway is set to officially launch their latest set of offerings. Friday morning, Hollywood Casino's fourteen table games will be open to the general public for the first time.

'We cannot describe how excited we are that this day is finally here,' said John Osborne, General Manager at Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway. 'This has been in the works for a long time. We had a great campaign last fall, letting voters throughout Penobscot County know what we planned to do, and after they approved the plan in November we immediately began putting it into action. Today, we're looking forward to seeing the first customers sit down, have fun, and usher in this new era of gaming in the State of Maine.'

Published in Happenings

Bangor, ME - Multi-platinum pop rock group the Barenaked Ladies have announced their 'Last Summer On Earth,' a freewheeling road show featuring Blued Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Cracker. They will visit the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion on Sunday, August 19th. The much-anticipated tour will hit more than 30 arenas and amphitheaters across the country, with tickets going on sale March 23rd. 

"I love playing outside in the summertime," says Barenaked Ladies vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson. "To travel and hang around with a bunch of bands, and get a chance to do some collaboration is part of the magic of a summer tour." As for the tour's moniker, Robertson says, "I'm a man of science, and therefore put zero stock in all of the disastrous predictions about the year 2012. But JUST IN CASE, I think everybody should come out and see one last great summer concert tour! It can't hurt, right? Here's hoping the Mayans just got tired of chiseling!"

Published in Happenings
Thursday, 08 March 2012 14:21

March 7, 2012

Three arrested on drug charges

ELLSWORTH The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested three men in Ellsworth this week following a three-month investigation into the distribution of narcotic prescription pills. Ellsworth police also assisted in the Wednesday arrests of Scott E. Conlin, 37, of Ellsworth, for unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (Oxycodone); Melvin L. Reynolds, 30, of Bronx, New York, for unlawful trafficking in schedule W drugs (Oxycodone); and Timothy D. Kane, 27, of Trenton, for failure to appear in court.

MDEA Supervisor Corey Bagley said the trio was arrested at a Deane Street apartment where agents seized a handgun, shotgun, a small quantity of suspected LSD and ecstasy, over 180 oxycodone pills and $ 8,000 in cash.

Bagley said that the sale of narcotic painkillers such as Oxycodone is a significant problem in Hancock County and throughout the state. The street value of the pills is valued at over $5,400, according to police. Bagley said the investigation will continue with additional charges and arrests likely .

Published in Criminal Mischief
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:05

Extreme couponing near Bangor

If you haven't seen Extreme Couponing on TLC, it's worth checking it out at least once. These couponers are just that, EXTREME. They are able to get tons of products super cheap if not free with coupons, and often wipe out shelves by buying 50-plus items at a time, doing multiple transactions in one shopping trip, and other tactics.

Although this may seem amazing to some, it's not to those who want or even need to buy the sale items only to find them all gone. Shaw's in Bangor recently experienced this when sale items were gone by the end of the first day of the sale and found it hard to recoup products fast enough to accommodate customers. However, they have done well the past few weeks responding to both product demand and customer concerns regarding coupon limit issues. Store personnel take their coupon policy seriously and have posted couponing rules throughout the store, so as to discourage extreme couponers from wiping out shelves.

Published in The Frugal Edge
The marketing world is changing at very fast pace, and many organizations - including marketing agencies - are struggling to catch up. I recently attended a marketing seminar where I noticed that many of my peers were talking about being challenged by their current and prospective clients about cost and performance.

It seems that being a marketer has become fashionable - perhaps even a fad - lately. People with little or no qualifications have opened their 'agencies' (often in their homes) and are promising the world amazing returns - typically via social media. But how can a customer have confidence that they are doing business with qualified professionals if a marketer has no credentials? Of course, one can learn on the job, but would you trust a doctor without credentials? How about a lawyer? Prior to becoming a marketer, I spent eight years of my life in a university classroom pursing my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and have continued to invest heavily in my professional development over the past 15 years.

Published in The Marketing Edge
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