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State Rep. Gifford posts near-perfect voting record

 

- Lee Rand Photo

August 20  – State Rep. Jeff Gifford a third-term legislator from Lincoln, posted an outstanding voting record during the 125th Legislature, voting on 99.7 percent of the 369 roll call votes held in the House.
 
Rep. Gifford, who serves on the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, said that lawmakers faced many tough votes in the 125th, but in the end, the state will be financially stronger and better able to support schools and the safety net for the most vulnerable Maine residents.
 
“We began this session facing a huge deficit and runaway costs in several major programs,” he said. “We understood that we would have to make tough decisions to pull the state back from the brink of a fiscal cliff. Voting to trim programs isn’t always easy or popular, but in many cases it was necessary to make sure that state government is economically sustainable.”
 
Rep. Gifford said he is proud of the work that was accomplished, which includes reform of the public pension system, regulatory relief and welfare reform. He noted that pension reform will ensure the system remains solvent while also saving Maine taxpayers more than $3 billion in the next 15 years. Welfare reform will protect Maine’s most vulnerable residents while discouraging able-bodied people from making welfare a way of life.
 
Tax cuts, he noted, will save Mainers hundreds of millions of dollars. Starting next year, for example, 460,000 working families will see an average income tax decrease of $337. Moreover, state income tax liability will be eliminated for some 70,000 low- and moderate-income residents.
 
Rep. Gifford added that regulatory reform – a major initiative that drew strong bipartisan support – removed obsolete or needlessly overbearing regulations that impeded economic growth.
 
“Overall,” he said, “we made the state much more business-friendly to help generate jobs and promote a stronger economy, which will benefit everyone. Much of what we did was aimed at restoring business confidence and a stronger employment base. I’m encouraged that Maine has already moved from 40th to 35th in the CNBC ranking of business-friendly states. We’re on the road to recovery.” 

Springfield Fair shares offered for sale

August 15 - The Springfield Fair first opened in 1851. Over the years, the fair's fortunes have gone up and down. Since Kirk and Kevin Ritchie purchased it in 1991, the Labor Day weekend fair has grown steadily, regaining its stature as a premier family event. It is now owned by Kirk Ritchie and John Krapf. There have been opportunities to sell the fair, but Kirk Ritchie said he was "not comfortable that those people would have continued operating the fair as a fair." He sees the fair as an important regional activity and doesn't want to "see it fall on hard times again."

Kirk owns 65 of the fair's 100 shares, and John owns the remaining 35. Kirk has decided he will offer his shares for sale in order to involve more people in operating the fair. He says, "Most successful fairs are run by a group of people", with the work evenly shared and new ideas implemented. As much as he has enjoyed the fair he feels the time is right to sell his shares, with the fair poised for continued growth. John is not sure if he wishes to sell his interest, but will consider it.

Potential investors can contact Kirk anytime for more information, including a tour of the fairgrounds at 91 Park Street in Springfield. His home phone is 738-2123 and his cell phone is 290-1554.

Lee and I love the Springfield Fair. We designed and maintain the fair's website at www.thespringfieldfair.com, and spend some time each Labor Day weekend photographing the fun for their site. We hope the fair will continue to grow every year, and that crowds of kids young and old will fill the fairgrounds and enjoy traditional goodies, rides and fun events. We'll see you at the fair!

- Connie

P.O.R.R. ATV club dedicates new section of trail

- Lee Rand Photo

August 10 - Several members of the Penobscot Off-Road Riders ATV club, along with various members of the Lincoln area Chamber of Commerce, members of the Lincoln media and Lincoln Town Manager Bill Reed, got together this afternoon to dedicate a new section of trail just off Penobscot Valley Avenue.

This trail will give access to a number of local businesses on West Broadway, and is a welcome addition to the club's area trails. Members thanked the various landowners who are instrumental in making these trails possible. An impromptu "news conference" then took place. Some of the question and answer session can be viewed below in our video recorded at the dedication this afternoon.

New sign at Prince Thomas Park

Lincoln's new "Business Friendly" sign dedicated

Left to right: LP&T HR administrator Kelly Eager, Chamber Treasurer Bruce Barker, Jr., Chamber Director Merri-Lee West, Chamber President Cheryl Russell, Chamber Executive Director Traci Gauthier, Assessor Ruth Birtz, Town Manager William Reed, Airport Manager/Public Works Director David Lloyd, James Vose.

July 24 - Lincoln is one of only two towns north of Augusta to be certified by the State of Maine as a business friendly community. Signs announcing this honor are being placed, with the first one on West Broadway near the Lincoln Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce office. Today Chamber and Town officials gathered to dedicate this sign. We're proud of our town, and hope this designation will help attract more businesses to locate here.

Below is a brief video of remarks made by Lincoln Town Manager Bill Reed.

WelcomeToLincolnMaine.com Reaches 7,000,000th Visitor!!

July 18 - Connie and I are extremely pleased to announce that sometime this afternoon we had our 7 millionth visitor to the Lincoln, Maine, area website. This is another of several milestones we've passed since the website went online 6 years ago. The companion Facebook page is the most popular of its type north of Bangor with 3,560+ "likes", and the Smartphone and iPad apps are being downloaded all over the country and the world!

We want to thank all of the local businesses who've shared our vision and support this website through their advertising. Also, we'd like to thank the many visitors who've actually made personal donations in support of this website.

We plan to continue providing the Lincoln area with a professional, informative, and interesting presence on the internet - one that the people of our area of Maine can be proud of!
THANK YOU to every one of you who have helped make www.WelcomeToLincolnMaine.com the success it is!

Lee & Connie Rand
Rand Advertising LLC

PVH Saves $228,000 by Going Green

July 17 - MEDIA RELEASE - (Lincoln, ME)— Imagine the positive environmental affect of cutting over 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere? That’s what your local hospital has done. In an effort to cut energy costs at the facility, PVH partnered with Siemens Building Technologies Division in 2009 to implement energy efficiencies. Just two years after installing the upgrades, PVH has recognized $228,808 in energy savings!

“We are very pleased with the results of our energy upgrades here at PVH,” states Mike Legere, PVH Director of Plant Operations. “In the last year alone, we have avoided over $116,000 in energy costs, primarily from the addition of new lighting with sensors to shut lights off when not in use and replacing the boilers.”

The lighting upgrades and replacement of the boiler system saved the hospital over $50,000 last year alone. Maintenance staff at PVH worked extremely hard to retrofit existing light fixtures, lamps and ballasts with more energy efficient pieces. Many of the lights in the administrative areas now have sensors that allow a light to automatically shut off when no motion is detected after a few minutes.

The hospital also recognized savings from its Energy Management System (EMS) optimization. Siemens updated the existing direct digital control EMS which now provides automatic temperature control and monitoring functions for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit.

The hospital also achieved efficiencies with compressed air system improvements; temperature adjustments at night and on weekends; heating, ventilation and air conditioning replacements; kitchen hood controls; ozone laundry system; and hot water reset.

PVH even saw a savings of nearly $1,000 by setting vending machines on motion and temperature control sensors. A person wishing to purchase a soda or snack at a PVH vending machine must first wave at the passive infrared sensor to turn the equipment on from standby mode. While the vending machine is in standby mode, the occupancy controllers monitor the temperature inside and automatically repower the equipment at one to three-hour intervals to ensure that the products stay cold.

PVH Chief Financial Officer Ann Marie Rush adds, “The program has surpassed all expectations in cost savings. Since implementing the upgrades at PVH, we have recognized an additional ten percent in savings over the original plan with Siemens. The hospital is proud to say we are saving on energy costs and redistributing those funds for our patient services.”

 


According to a recent energy audit by Siemens, energy upgrades implemented at Penobscot Valley Hospital have saved the atmosphere from over 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to removing 85 vehicles from the road for one year. - Graphic courtesy of Penobscot Valley Hospital.

Penobscot Valley Hospital Earns Gold Seal Accreditation

JUNE 26 - The Imaging Department at Penobscot Valley Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in mammography as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Mammography is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

In February 2012, Penobscot Valley Hospital installed the Hologic Selenia Digital Mammography system. “The new Selenia equipment offers superior image quality, a lower radiation dose, improved patient comfort and faster exam times. PVH also uses the MammoPad which is a foam pad that covers the mammography plate and provides a softer, warmer experience for patients,” states Heather Hines, PVH Director of Imaging.

PVH is also one of the only facilities in the state to offer a high definition Digitizer which converts past analog films into digital images that are easier to read and allow for better comparison from year to year.

“Our digital mammography equipment is top-of-the-line,” adds Hines. “The PVH Imaging Department is proud to be a recipient of the ACR gold seal of accreditation. Our patients can rest assured that they are receiving the best image quality in the industry right here at our local hospital.”

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammography screenings after the age of 40, so talk to your physician about scheduling your yearly exam at Penobscot Valley Hospital or call the PVH Imaging Department at (207) 794-7118 for more information.

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