The Carleton Project

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In the photo here are Amy Hocking, Houlton Rotary president, Alan Morris, president of the Carleton Project and Robyn Crone, Houlton Rotarian.

Robyn’s guest recently at Rotary was Al Morris. Al founded the Carleton Project after 20 years of teaching in public schools and seeing a need to match his vision. He opened his first private school in 1999 in the town of Presque Isle with 12 students. Today he has added 5 locations and has an enrollment of over 100 students. Al’s job is 1/3 education, 1/3 politics, 1/3 social work. He had a social worker on staff as well as educators. The Project’s mission is student success. A safe environment is created for learning to achieve the students’ goals. The schools run year round to keep the students engaged and successful and accountable. Students who could fall through the cracks are educated through exploration and habit formation to thrive. This is not a special needs facility as those needs are met elsewhere. Individuals are guided and supportive of each other through shared editing of their work to assisted learning in an alternative education format. Goals are set and students are held accountable. Al make sure that graduates have a one year plan before they graduate. 75% of the student body go onto higher education.

Al can be reached at His Houlton location is housed in the Higher Education Center on Bangor Road. For more information visit or email Al.

Department of Health and Human Services and Estela Lane

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In the photo here are Estela Lane of Adult Protective Services and Ann Torres Savage, Rotarian and DHHS employee. Estela spoke to Houlton Rotary recently about “elder abuse”. In 1981 the State of Maine’s legislature enacted legislation to protect our senior citizens. There is an intake unit available for people who suffer from abuse, neglect and or exploitation. Maine has the oldest population in the country and nearly 5500 cases are reported each year, not including unreported cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation. 70% of caregivers are family members. Estela stressed that the hot line number be used for any concerns about elderly citizens who need protection. Please call 1-800-624-8404.

Houlton and Woodstock History

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Terry Thomas, president of Woodstock Rotary of New Brunswick Canada is photographed here with Leigh Cummings of the Houlton Rotary Club, receiving a gift of a framed map of the area. The program on January 12, 2015 marked the 200th anniversary of the “Battle of Houlton”. Rotarians from the Woodstock club and the Houlton club gathered together in fellowship enjoying a terrific dinner at the Episcopal Church in Houlton followed by a program presented by Leigh Cummings. The guest speaker, Gary Campbell, whose book on the topic was being presented, canceled for the weather conditions. Leigh read Gary’s comments. Two hundred years ago to the day, the British marched into Houlton and made the residents take an oath not to take up arms against the British or they should depart for lands west of the Penobscot River as the British owned the land east of the Penobscot River. No weapons were found in the community and no one took up opposition to the British. No other conflict arose after this. The “twin” Rotary groups enjoyed getting to better acquainted and look forward to future cooperative events. Maple cream cookies were shared by the Woodstock Rotarians which rivaled the lemon cake dessert presented by the Houlton Rotarians. Good humor was felt by all present, a nice event on a snowy evening.


Youth Exchange 2014-2015

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DSC_0041Left to right: Hannah Jacobs, Emily Mooers, Sarah Abbotoni, Keegan Fitzpatrick and Rotarian Youth Exchange Officer Dana Delano

Houlton Rotary recently welcomed their 2014 youth exchange students Sarah Abbotoni and Emily Mooers to learn about their International Youth Exchanges last summer and to meet the 2015 youth exchange students, Keegan Fitzpatrick and Hannah Jacobs.

Sarah Abbotoni is a recent graduate of Houlton High School and is now a student at the University of Maine.  She experienced her exchange in Biella, Italy, a community in the northern mountain region.  “I had a wonderful time with my host sister, Carola and her family.  We explored many areas of Italy, from the beautiful mountains to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea”, stated Sarah. “The food, the culture, and the people were unforgettable”.   Sarah visited the famous cities of Milan, Pisa, and Rome.  She loved the historical architecture, including the Vatican, the leaning tower of Pisa and the famous Roman Coliseum.    Carola enjoyed Maine lobster, toasting marshmallows and attending a Boston Red Sox game.  Sarah was so moved by the experience, she is taking Italian language courses at college.  Sarah is the daughter of Daryl and Heidi Abbotoni.

Emily Mooers is a senior at Houlton High School and experienced her exchange in Sinabelkirchen, Austria, a small town south of Vienna.  “I truly enjoyed my exchange sister Mady, and her family.  ”, stated Emily.   “Austria is so beautiful and rich with history and culture.    I saw amazing castles, churches and even a clock museum.”  Although the food was very different then what we have here in Maine, she tried it all and reported the ice cream was ‘awesome’.  “We also took a trip to Venice, Italy, which was very exciting to visit personally” exclaimed Emily.   Mady was excited to visit New Year City only to find it to be ‘overrated’, but enjoyed Boston and Harvard University’s campus.   She also loved Maine and had a blast waterskiing on Drew’s Lake.  Emily is the daughter of David and Nancy Mooers.

Houlton Rotary is pleased to introduce Keegan Fitzpatrick and Hanna Jacobs as their 2015 youth exchange students.  Keegan is a senior at Houlton High School and is the son of Brady Fitzpatrick and Jessica Fitzpatrick.  Hannah Jacobs is a sophomore at Houlton High School and is the daughter of Dan and Stephanie Jacobs.  Both students have an interest in Spain, however, The Netherlands and Italy are also being considered.

For over 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. More than 80 countries and over 8,000 students each year participate in the program, which is administered at the regional level by Rotary districts and at the local level by Rotary clubs.  This program was established in the Houlton Rotary Club in 2003.   It is the objective of this program to advance the knowledge and world understanding of these students, as well as to foster world peace and good will at a personal level.  Dana Delano, Houlton Rotary’s Youth Exchange Officer states: “Sarah and Emily have been wonderful ambassadors of the Rotary Club, our community and Houlton High School.  We hope this experience has broadened their knowledge and interest in different cultures.  They have each certainly made a new lifelong friend”.


Historic Post cards from Henry Gartley’s Collection

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DSC_0166Pictured are Amy Hocking Club President, Henry Gartley and Vice President Jane Torres

Henry was the speaker at our meeting on December 15th. He showed us some great slides of his post card collection along with a few old photos, mostly of Houlton Maine. They were very interesting, it was a great meeting as I sat there surrounded by members that had lots of memories of many of the slides that were shown it was great to listen to them reminisce of times past! I am a “transplant” to the county, I think that’s what we are called? But looking at the old slides and listening to the comments and laughter made me feel like I belonged here as well. Henry shared a couple of these slides for your enjoyment as well, I am sure he would share more with you too…but make sure you have enough time because he has a large collection and you do not want to miss any of them.  Words from, Tammy Mulvey

Houlton Farms Dairy and Mike Clark, Houlton Rotarian

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 Amy Hocking, Houlton Rotary President and Mike Clark, Past President and speaker

Mike addressed Rotary with a history of Houlton Farms Dairy which began in 1938 and continued under his father’s leadership and ownership until 1978 when Milton Lambert took over for  4 years. In 1982 Alice and Leonard Lincoln took over and are still in charge along with their sons Eric and James. Mike showed photos of the beginning facility and more current facility as well as photos of all of the new products created by Houlton Farms Dairy.

The Northern Lighthouse, Inc.

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Pictured here are Alan Lindquist, Houlton Rotarian, Henry Carpenter of the Northern Lighthouse and Jane Torres, Vice President of the Houlton Rotary. Henry spoke to the club about his work for the Northern Lighthouse. Henry grew up in Hammond, the son of Debbie and Billie Carpenter, and graduated from Houlton High School. Henry helps to oversee the services provided at 5 different locations in the County. Caribou, Fort Kent, Houlton, Mars Hill and Presque Isle  all have offices. The residential program in Mars Hill provides treatment for its residents who are children from the ages of 8 to 18. There is staff available 24/7 to provide the care each child needs. Structured programs require group activities, daily chores, family activities, individual and or group therapy, ability to earn allowances, reality works program, parenting skills such as parenting with love and logic and for attachment. Section 28 provides rehabilitation and community support services for children with cognitive impairments and functional limitations. Problem solving activities are provided to help children develop and maintain skills and abilities necessary to mange his or her behavioral health treatment needs. The new Houlton office is now offering a parenting class.

The Northern Lighthouse has existed since 2001 and now employs 115 people. Melvin and Linda Guiggey founded the organization by first taking needy children into their home.  Besides the residential programs there is an outreach through outpatient therapy and training services are available for elementary and high school settings.To learn more and find contact information, the website for the Northern Lighthouse is


Canine visit at Rotary

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In this photo from left to right, Chris Sullivan and his guest Jerry Hammond and Dorsta, Amy Hocking and Jerry’s replacement Tom Horten  of CB Canine Unit


Jerry and Dorsta are retiring soon, and Tom will be taking his place with a new canine. The cost of training an officer and canine is 28,000 which to some may seem like a lot but the amount of seized property in just one search can pay for that quickly. They train for both narcotics and explosives, though not at the same time. Jerry and Dorsta gave us a presentation with Dorsta finding 4 hidden packages which had small amounts of paraphernalia in them. the came in the room with Jerry leading, when Dorsta got a sniff of narcotics she stopped and then smelled around and sat a close as possible to the package. Then she would receive her pay which is a rolled up towel that they play together with for a few moments. Then off to the next one and she found each one with out any hesitation. We were shown slides of many seizures and it is absolutely amazing how many drugs are found yet we still have such a problem. The narcotics that are found eventually get incinerated and the other possessions like cars, campers, trucks anything that is being used to transport or store the drugs in become government property which then goes to public auction where anyone can purchase it.  on occasion Jerry had to spend time in Arizona which is very different than our borders here in Houlton, we can get frustrated at times with waiting a few minutes or on a rare occasion hours but if you are in Arizona you plan on at least a six hour wait if not overnight. The gates close at midnight so you would either leave or wait until they open the next morning. It was asked about the dangers to them when they are off duty, while in Arizona they had to stay 3 hours away from the border so if they had to be to work at 5 am, they had to leave before 2 am and then work their 8 hours and drive 3 more hours back. Jerry told a story of a fellow worker that had gone to Mexico for something and stopped into a bar and saw Jerry and Dorsta’s picture on the wall wanted dead or alive 10,000.00. It was a very interesting talk and demonstration, we wish you well Jerry and Dorsta on your retirement and that will be together as Jerry is adopting Dorsta. Respectfully submitted by Tammie Mulvey


Dominican Republic and Water Assistance

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Rotarians Craig Bean, Amy Hocking, President and Ryan Bushey are pictured here. They spoke on the “Water Trip” to the Dominican Republic at Houlton Rotary’ luncheon meeting on September 8th, 2014. More information will be available for an up and coming journey to share Rotarian’s services with those in need of good water. Craig, Amy and Ryan particularly loved their experiences in the Dominican Republic.

Bob Blanchette and his Computers and Technological Journey

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DSC_0106-1Rotarians Amy Hocking, President and Bob Blanchette

Bob shared his journey with technology recently at Houlton’s Rotarian luncheon which began during his days at WHOU. Bob had great stories and showed images of the various equipment that he has used over the years. He also had great advice about the use and protection surrounding today’s technological world. Pass word protection is extremely important considering the attacks on our privacy by savvy “pirates” (my word). Bob is not too fond of Apple products and knowing the handicaps of my computer, I can understand this viewpoint. Still Bob was careful in educating all of us on all of the choices out there and there are plenty to fit everyone’s individual needs. Everyone appreciated Bob’s enthusiasm and expertise on a subject that is near and dear to his heart.  Respectfully submitted, DH

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