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.

Chief of Houlton Police Department Speaks to Houlton Rotary Club

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IMG_20151116_115835In this photo are Chief Joe McKenna, a Houlton Rotarian with Houlton Rotary President Jane Torres. Joe spoke to the club at the November 16th, 2015 meeting about his work at the Houlton Police Department. Joe has been busy upgrading the department with a new look and attitude. His concept is that law enforcement officials are public servants and he is working on a more visible presence. New uniforms and caps and updated logo patches are in order. The police cars have a new look with a silver color over the old white. Hopefully, officers will soon have laptop computers in their vehicles so that when they are in the car on duty they can do their reports rather than spending that time in the office. Parking a cruiser in front of a “meth” house discourages business to an otherwise very profitable business. The cars have new radios allowing officers to contact each other and to be there for backup. Joe is working with other law enforcement agencies and planning on current training to happen closer to home. Joe welcomes residents to call the station with any concern. He says such interaction strengthens the HPD. Joe is working on cooperation with local clergy to assist with crisis situations. Another emphasis is the prevention of heroin importation and the HPD is on top of this before it becomes a problem. Joe welcomed questions from the group and was well received for his informational talk.


Tammy Mulvey, guest speaker November 9, 2015

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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.

Polar Bear Capital of the World and the Aurora Borealis

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IMG_20151102_115545In this photo are Bob Ellis, Rotarian and guest speaker with Jane Torres, President of the Houlton Rotary Club.

Bob shared his personal photographs of the Aurora Borealis that he took a year ago when he traveled to the Polar Bear Capital of the World in Churchill, Manitoba. Bob set his incredible slide show to music. He talked about his experience with the extreme weather conditions and how to care for his photo equipment. Keeping the cameras and batteries warm and condensation free was a challenge. He achieved great photos inspite of this. Bob presented this at the November 2, 2015 meeting.


New Member, Ellen Schneider, Superintendent of MSAD#29

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In this photo is Ellen Schneider, Superintendent of MSAD#29, a new member of Houlton Rotary Club with Jane Torres, President of the club.

New Member, Tracy Rockwell

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IMG_20151019_130522In 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.


David Struble, Entomologist with Maine Forest Service

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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.

World Polio Day, October 24, 2015

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On October 24, 2015 Rotary International will celebrate World Polio Day. A challenge has been made by Torrey Sylvester to be 100 percent in giving one hundred dollars by all Houlton Rotary Club members. So much work has been done to eradicate polio and there are strains left in two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Efforts are constant to vaccinate all children. The Rotary magazine for October is filled with evidence of the hard work that has been done and continues to be done to eradicate polio world wide. Members are encouraged to support the cause and hopefully close the gap on the race to end this disease. Bring your check to a meeting, send it to the club or start a payment plan with the treasurer, Paul Callnan. Let’s be part of the big solution.

Maine Tourism Association Presentation to Houlton Rotary

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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.


Big Rock Ski Area presented to Houlton Rotary Club

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Here in this photo are Bill Getman, director of Big Rock Ski Area, Houlton Rotary President Jane Torres and Jeff Clockidile of the Big Rock Ski Area rental program. Bill addressed the September 14, 2015 Houlton Rotary Club meeting with news of what is going on at Big Rock. Sharing a bit of history Bill referred to the transition from Maine Winter Sports to a community run ski area.  In the year 2000 Maine Winter Sports purchased the property from the Pearce family and ran it until 2013 when the Libra Foundation who controlled the program released the ski area and officially closed it. Maine Winter Sports had done many upgrades to the ski area with new chair lifts, building improvements, parking lot improvements, a new rental shop. They took a quarter million dollar loss. During the fall of 2013 a fund raising effort raised two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to keep Big Rock running with a free lease in place. Bill became the manager in 2012 taking over from Travis Kearney. The first year saw a fifty thousand dollar loss and the second year saw a twelve thousand dollar loss so steps have been taken to improve funding and lift prices increased as well as season passes. Bill has implemented fund raising events for the summer and fall seasons to help pay for a much needed groomer that was purchased this past year. The Top Mountain Challenge brought two hundred entries at sixty dollars each on August 15, 2015. Bill expects five hundred entries next summer.  And the area residents should look forward to Aroostook Brew Fest on October 17, 2015 at the mountain where fifteen brewers will offer forty-five taps from noon to five o’clock. Sponsorships are also available to fund the five dollar ski nights at a cost of one thousand dollars to the sponsor. Advertisement is available on chair lifts and chair towers. The ski area serves forty local schools and 2000 students. The Maine High School State Meet takes place each year at Big Rock drawing bus loads of competitors from around the state. On mountains ski schools and other programs such as races are very successful. For a life long sport during our long northern Maine winters, Big Rock is the place to support.

New member to Houlton Rotary Club, Kelly Ashley

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Pictured here are Kelly Ashley, new Houlton Rotarian and her sponsor Elizabeth Dulin, Houlton Rotarian. Kelly moved to Houlton with her husband Dennis Ashley, the minister of the Court Street Baptist Church. Kelly works with Elizabeth at the Houlton Regional Hospital Foundation raising funds for new equipment for the hospital. Kelly brings along great abilities to being a Rotarian. She was inducted by Leigh Cummings, President Jane Torres and Mike Clark at the September 14, 2015 meeting of the Houlton Rotary Club. Her husband is also a member.

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