Jane Torres, President of Houlton Rotary Club is pictured here with Tammy Mulvey, Houlton Rotarian and guest speaker at the Monday November 9, 2015 meeting. Tammy spoke on behalf of Pleasant View Farms that she co-owns with her husband Rob and son Alex. Beginning as a Christmas tree farm the business has grown in five years by three times its original size with the addition of a green house , a retail space, and landscaping work. Some products that have been added are mums in the fall and strawberries in the summer and a Christmas shop. Wreaths are decorated for sale that Tammy also takes to crafts fairs. Wreaths are also shipped out all over the country and Christmas trees are harvested and shipped as far south as Florida. The business prides itself in its community service donating garden work to the Ark Animal Sanctuary and trees to the Trees for Troops Project. Rob likes to give classes on apple tree pruning and manages other tree farms as well as his own. Photo by Nate Bodenstab and article by Diane Hines.
In this photo are Rotarian Otis Smith, new Rotarian Tracy Rockwell and Rotary President Jane Torres. Tracy is the newest member to the Houlton Rotary Club. Her induction took place at the October 19, 2015 meeting. Tracy is the director of the Houlton Higher Education Center. This photo was taken by Nate Bodenstab.
In this photo are Rotarian Forrest Barnes with his guest speaker Dave Struble, entomologist with the Maine Forest Service. Dave spoke to the Houlton Rotary Club on October 19th about the recent outbreak of spruce budworm, a local insect that lives on the needles of spruce and fir and has a forty year cycle. The last infestation was in the mid seventies and in 2012 a new cycle began in the province of Quebec, Canada. The Canadians are able to spray with bacillus thuringiensis but that is too expensive and requires State authorization in Maine to use. The industry and the University system of Maine has been looking at other solutions such as trapping the moths with the use of pheromones. The Maine Forest Service is also advising selective cutting of the trees that are in danger. The Maine Forest Service has a great website for references and charts and graphs and maps. Dave suggested that this outbreak should not be as threatening as the past event since the trees are growing at a smaller rate and forests are not as contiguous in the State. Accompanying Dave at the meeting was local forester Dan Jacobs.
Heidi Dolomont left, Chris Fogg, center of the Maine Tourism Association and Leigh Cummings, right, Houlton Rotarian and volunteer at the Houlton Tourist Information Center shared information with the Houlton Club on October 5, 2015. Leigh introduced his guests and gave some background information on the tourism industry. Chris Fogg elaborated on the Maine Tourism Association. He became the CEO for the association eight months ago with experience in Bar Harbor and Vermont and a degree in the field. The club learned about all of the aspects of the industry and its affects on the Maine economy as the number one industry in the State. A lobbyist is needed in Augusta to protect the funds that come into the state.Five hundred and thirty three million dollars were dedicated to the tourism fund last year alone. Chris complemented Heidi and Leigh for their work at the Houlton Center, one of seven in the state and the only other privately owned one apart from Calais. Butch Asselin, Town Manager of Houlton is looking to sell the Houlton building to generate taxes and Chris is fine about this. The hope is to find a space for the Houlton Tourist Information Center on the east side of Route 1 to make for a better location as travelers exit Route 95.
Pictured here are Nancy Ketch and Bob Blanchette just after their training session for the upcoming 60th Rotary Auction to be on TV and Radio the week of Thanksgiving on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. They have a fine tuned process preparing for the big fund raising event that has become a tradition in the area. Members will be canvasing for items to be donated by local businesses in the next few weeks. Matthew Nightingale is having committee meetings preparing for all aspects of the fund raising event. He can be reached at 521-3200, ext. 11011. Nancy is also available for questions in the donor card process and collection and storage of donated items at 521-7250 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Ketch received a special award this year as the embodiment of the “Spirit of Rotary” for everything that she does for the Houlton Rotary Club, working tirelessly to advance Houlton Rotary’s efforts in the Auction, Bingo, general programing and for perfect attendance for 8 years time. Nancy is shown in this photo with outgoing President Amy Hocking who gave the award and a lovely gift, shown in the photo.
In this photo from the Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony are Amy Hocking, outgoing President, Lauren Peabody Fitzpatrick, Nancy Ketch, Houlton Rotarian and fellow recipient of the award and new President Jane Torres. Lauren was honored for her brainchild The Houlton High School Alumni Association and Nancy for her work in the Association. Lauren served as the Alumni President for 7 years and Nancy is now on year 11. This is a new award titled Community “Service Above Self” Award.
In this photo are Amy Hocking, outgoing President, Chris Fitzpatrick recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award and Chris Anderson, Rotarian who presented the award.Chris is honored for his work in the community and the embodiment of the ideals of a Paul Harris Fellow as a non Rotarian. Chris serves on many boards in the area and gives selflessly to his community.
In this photo are Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary , Darrell Malone, this year’s recipient of the Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow Award and Nancy Ketch who presented the award. Darrell is being honored for his years of service to his church, his community and to law enforcement of the State of Maine. Darrell gave tirelessly to his career and to the greater good of law enforcement.
In this photo are incoming Sargent of Arms, Julie Delano, incoming Vice President Matthew Nightingale, incoming President Jane Torres and outgoing President Amy Hocking, the officers for the year 2015-2016.
In the photo are Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary Club and Angie Wotton, Director of Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Angie began her talk with some history of the “Worst Hard Time” in 1935 when the dust storms took over Oklahoma and Hugh Bennet influence federal policy. It was determined that the government could not rule over the entire nation on soil and water conservation so each state was allowed to set up districts and govern usage that way. Maine has 16 districts. Aroostook County has 3 because of the size of the county and variations. The Southern Aroostook District was organized in 1942. The organization has a local board of directors comprised of different kinds of farmers, i.e. potato, dairy, hay or beef farmers. SASWCD partners well with the local University of Maine Extention Agency and the local Native American Band the Maliseets which has a department that focuses on water health. Soil health and soil erosion and rebuilding the soils are areas of focus for SASWCD. Currently some local farmers are interplanting nitrogen fixing crops with their potato planting. Angie’s work includes conservation education, a winter agriculture school, field days, and other workshops such as gravel roads with DEP and logging workshops. The district also has student education ongoing and an Envirothon and and other education in the classrooms such as worm boxes and composting classes. Angie answered questions from the audience about the financial support of the organization, soil banks, watershed projects and pesticide use. Angie can be reached at 207-532-2204 or at email email@example.com.
On Monday June 1, 2015 in this photo are Dana Delano, Rotarian, Bob Dorsey, of Aroostook Partnership for Progress, and Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary Club. The club heard what Bob (a native of Fort Fairfield and currently involved with opportunities in Aroostook County) had to say about the focus and efforts of this initiative. One focus has been on LD-836 to increase rural broad band to the County. Also the group has supported LD-750 to develop mining rules in Maine. They are involved with Northern Forest Products Industry Cluster, manufacturing growth, Norinco rail car manufacturing as well as planning the 2015-2016 Teacher Awareness summit and are promoting diversified agriculture awareness. Bob gave the website of http://opportunitiesaroostook.com.
Some goals Bob addressed are new jobs in the wind farm industry. Economic forecasts predict 413 new jobs as a result of 315 millions dollars being invested. Many jobs are coming from First Wind. The group is hoping to increase collaboration with County groups, increase business participation and looks at economic development clusters. the website is http://www.appme.org.
In this photo are Houlton High School Principal Marty Bouchard, Houlton Rotary Vice President Jane Torres, Houlton High School senior and class officer Danielle Provost, Rotary President Amy Hocking presenting The High School Volunteer Award to Houlton High School, and Houlton High School senior and class officer Jill Howland.
In the photo here are two students from Southern Aroostook High School, Cassidy Lyons and Marissa Boulier, and Amy Hocking, president of Houlton’s Rotary. Marissa was reading the name of the students attending from her school.
The Annual Student Recognition Luncheon was a huge success serving 240 people, including Rotarians and students. East Grand High School, The Greater Houlton Christian Academy, Southern Aroostook High School, Hodgdon High School and Houlton High School students were honored and served a terrific lunch provided by Madigan Estates and the Rotary kitchen crew. The program featured guest speaker Houlton High School student Keegan Fitzpatrick who spoke along with Amy Hocking about the Rotary trip to the Dominican Republic and the service provided to a very impoverished population of Haitian sugar plantation workers. Keegan was impressed with how the poor people there value whatever they have and are proud to show and share what they have. Amy stressed the problem with hunger and how any contribution would help, even just enough to provide a bowl of cereal per day. The Houlton Rotary group assisted with water filtration systems this past February. Keegan and his sister Danica traveled with their grandmother Rotarian Becky Day. They all had a life changing experience in their volunteer work.
Houlton High School is repeating Volunteer Day on Friday, May 29, 2015 this year if anyone needs a volunteer crew, please call 532-6551 for details.
In this photo practicing their Bingo skills in preparation for the Annual Bingo evening which will take place this Thursday, April 9, 2015, are clockwise from the left, Rotarian Julie Delano, youth exchange student Keegan Fitzpatrick, Rotarians Becky Day, Richard Hammond, Chris Anderson, guest Nate Bodenstab, and Rotarian Paul Callnan. In the background doing the calling is Rotarian Jock Gentle. The club is ready for and looking forward to Thursday’s event.