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House Speaker Mark Eves Discusses Maine Senior Challenges and Opportunities

In a matter of a few short years, 25% of Maine will be aged 65 or older. Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves has made senior issues a priority during his tenure in the House of Representatives since 2008, while also serving two terms as the House Speaker, and also on the Health and Human Services Committee. In this interview, Speaker Eves discusses affordable housing and how we move into the future as the state with the highest per capita senior population in the country in the face of a workforce shortage of younger workers.

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Senator Chris Johnson on Affordable Housing, Energy Policy and Improving the Maine Economy

It is well documented that Maine faces many challenges posed by the shifting demographics of our population. It’s going to take smart thinking and collaboration among our political, business and healthcare leaders to meet these challenges, and to capitalize upon the opportunities to modernize our infrastructure and expand the Maine economy, while also maintaining the character of the state we love. Senator Johnson shares his vision on the integration of state government policies to achieve these goals.

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Spotlight on Seniors Interview with Paul Kando: Solar Energy in Maine – How Are We Doing and Where Are We Going?

In this 2-part “Spotlight on Seniors” interview, Paul Kando discusses renewable energy in Maine. How do our policies compare with other northern climate states and countries? Are investments in solar energy good for the Maine economy? Is solar practical for the individual home user? The first part of the interview focuses on the larger picture, while the second part looks at individual homes and small community smart grids. Paul is the co-Founder of the Midcoast Green Collaborative, and the very popular columnist of “Energy Matters” for the Lincoln County News.

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“The Coastal Economist” Marcus Hutchins Discusses the Maine Economy

This episode of Spotlight on Seniors looks at the strengths and challenges of the Maine economy through the lens of our aging population with “The Coastal Economist” columnist, Marcus Hutchins.

Marcus holds Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University in economics, and is a former economist, treasury bond arbitrage trader and hedge fund manager. He was successful enough in his career to retire in his young 40’s to Southport, and he now contributes much of his time to the benefit of our community. Marcus is also a devoted jazz musician and enjoys nature photography.

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Celebrating the Life of Departed Loved Ones – Mike Hall of Hall Funeral Homes

Mike Hall is the President of Hall Funeral Homes and a great pillar in our local community. He has an excellent reputation for compassionate professionalism in helping people through very painful, sensitive and vulnerable times. His personal experience with death in his family informs how he cares for his family clients in creating the type of service that honors their personal values and celebrates the life of the deceased. As Mike says, “The funeral is really just the beginning of the transformation of how to move forward in life.” The “many small chapters” of the funeral help people in a very personal way. I agree with Mike that advance planning always helps because you are able to deal with practical matters when you are not in a time of crisis. I enjoyed this interview with Mike Hall greatly. Hall Funeral Homes is doing great work, and Mike provides excellent information in this interview.

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The Knox Museum in Montpelier: Fascinating Revolutionary History, Now Featuring an Exhibit by Vietnam MASH Nurse Beth Parks

I went to the Knox Museum in Montpelier to see the exhibit of Beth Parks, a MASH Unit Nurse during the Vietnam War. I saw the exhibit after our interview Beth on Spotlight on Seniors. Beth’s exhibit is a fascinating look at those in war whose every effort is to save lives. She has lived a rich and abundant life since that time, settling in Maine and traveling to 62-countries as a wildlife photographer and author. I loved meeting her for this conversation.

Matt Hansby is the curator for the Knox Museum. Matt and his docents are incredibly knowledgable about the Revolutionary period in Maine, providing intimate details of the lives of the people from that time drawn from original letters and source documents. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the treasure of the Knox Museum. The mansion and collections are outstanding. If you haven’t been the Knox Museum, put it on your calendar, and take your summer guests and kids. Beth’s exhibit will be on display through October 2016.

Special thanks to Kim Traina of Jumpstart Creative and Christine LaPado-Breglia, staff reporter for Lincoln County News.

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Hearts Ever Young Will Sing Your Heart Open at the Lincoln Theatre, Three Shows, June 2-4

I love this episode of Spotlight on Seniors. Carol Teel is the President and Artistic of Hearts Ever Young, a much-loved local choral group with more than 50-singers. This show was great fun because 11-members of the group perform three songs from their upcoming show, “A Toast to Broadway,”led by Carol and Musical Director Sean Fleming. You’ll want to catch one of their upcoming shows at the Lincoln Theatre:

Thursday, June 2, 7:00PM
Friday, June 3, 2:00PM
Saturday, June 4, 2:00PM
suggested donation: $10.00 per person

Many thanks to the Hearts Ever Young singers on this show: Janice Sprague, Clara Fagan, Lynn Drewette, Melba Boynton, Polly Steadman, Charlie Kettell, David Fields, Jon O’Connor, and Bob & Val Gorrill.

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Food Pantry Volunteers and Local Organizations Provide Food and Other Assistance to Seniors and Families

Can you imagine for a moment that you have children, and don’t have enough money to adequately feed them? That’s “Food Insecurity,” and most of us have a hard time relating to that type of anxiety because we have enough to eat. We are surrounded by food all the time. However, Food Insecurity is a problem throughout our state and country. MaryAnn Look, Co-Director of the Ecumenical Food Pantry, describes the long-standing efforts to assist the food insecure in Lincoln County. In so doing, she shines a light upon the excellent volunteer work of individuals and organizations that occurs locally and through 250 other food pantries in communities all over Maine.

The Ecumenical Food Pantry provides food to residents of Newcastle, Damariscotta and Nobleboro every Tuesday morning, 9:30am to 11:00am, at the 2nd Congregational Church, 51 Main Street, in Newcastle. Click here to see their website for more information.

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Finding Our Way Through the Challenge of Depression: Upcoming Spectrum Generations Seminar on May 5

This “Spotlight on Seniors” interview with Bill Byrnes, Ph.D., is a great conversation discussing another excellent educational offering by Marianne Pinkham and our Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center. It is an evening seminar titled “Don’t Let the Blues Hang Around.”

Kevin Mannix, the popular meteorologist reporting the weather on Channel 6, and the co-author of “Weathering Shame,” will be the keynote speaker. The purpose of this seminar is to open up the discussion about depression and isolation. The simple truth is, isolation worsens depression. The way out is to Start Talking.

A panel discussion will follow Kevin’s presentation, led by Dr. Bill Brynes with local experts and story tellers, and interactive with the audience:

  • Brenda Hamilton, LCSW, Kno-Wal-Lin Home Health and Hospice, of PenBay Healthcare and MaineHealth
  • Francis Magrogan, LCSW, Breakwater Counseling Services
  • Reverend Bob Hargreaves, and
  • Linda Rota, LCSW, Kevin’s wife and co-author of “Weathering Shame.”

I loved talking with Bill Byrnes… He’ll be a great moderator for the panel and audience discussion. Here’s the interview…

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Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education Conference April 30 in Wiscasset

Everybody knows that Lyme Disease is a big issue in Maine, and that the infection rate has been on the rise… especially in Knox and Lincoln County! In this episode of “Spotlight on Seniors,” Paula Jones-Jackson and Angele Rice, the Co-Founders of Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education and Support (MLDSE), talk about their work in Lyme Disease education, prevention and support.They are holding their second annual conference at the Wiscasset Community Center on April 30, from 8am to 5pm. The first conference drew more than 300 attendees, and this upcoming New England regional conference promises to be even better, with top-notch nationally known speakers and many exhibit vendors. See their website for more information, http://midcoastlymediseasesupport.blogspot.com/.

Here’s the interview…

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