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Governor Mills -- Emergency Declaration

Governor Announces Significant Recommendations & Signs Civil Emergency Proclamation to Respond to COVID-19 in Maine

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Governor Announces Significant Recommendations & Signs Civil Emergency Proclamation to Respond to COVID-19 in Maine
March 15, 2020

In the wake of several new presumptive positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Janet Mills announced several new significant recommendations to respond to COVID-19 and signed a proclamation of civil emergency (PDF) to further protect public health. Governor Mills is recommending:

  • Ending classroom instruction in all public schools as soon as reasonably practical.
  • Postponing all non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments at hospitals and health care providers across the state until further notice.
  • Restricting visitors and all non-essential health care personnel to long-term care facilities except for certain compassionate care situations such as end of life until further notice.
  • Postponing all events with 50 or more people all gatherings of more than 10 that include individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors, until further notice.

Governor Mills issued the following statement:

“With several new presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Maine, it is important that we prepare and respond – but not panic. The Maine CDC has prepared for this eventuality since last year and we are coordinating across government and with communities statewide to respond to this threat. Proclaiming a state of civil emergency unleashes critical state authorities and allows access to federal funds that will support our response efforts to delay and mitigate the outbreak in Maine. These new recommendations will also further protect Maine people.

“Perhaps it is some odd fate that today we also celebrate Maine’s 200th year as a state. Two hundred years ago, we separated ourselves from Massachusetts and embarked on creating our own destiny as a state. We then, as Maine people, learned to be self-reliant and, at the same time, to rely on each other. Today, we are self-reliant and, at the same time, we rely on each other.

“Time and again, Maine people have risen to the challenges put in front of us. We have conquered them because we are a strong, resilient people – borne of the western foothills; the northern potato fields; the bold, rocky coasts; and the tall, pine forests. We have been lifted up by the courage, conviction and resilience that comes from loving a place and its people. Together, we will get through this.”

The Proclamation to Further Protect Public Health signed by Governor Mills today brings the State of Maine to highest alert and allows Governor Mills to deploy all available state resources to protect the health and safety of Maine people and to take every action she reasonably deems necessary to help respond to and protect against the spread of COVID-19 in Maine. It also eases Maine’s access to critical federal aid to boost response efforts.

Governor Mills also strongly recommended that:

  1. Ending classroom instruction in all public schools as soon as reasonably practical.

    The Maine Department of Education has been working closely with school systems in preparation for this step and has secured a waiver from the USDA to allow schools to provide meals offsite to students.

    Governor Mills has also directed the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to pursue federal waivers that will help ensure additional child care capacity. Additionally, she has directed Maine DHHS to work with health care organizations on standing up child care centers for their workers along, along with other options to keep front-line workers protecting the public’s health and safety.
  2. All hospital systems and health care providers across Maine postpone non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments until further notice.

    This will relieve the strain on the health care system as Maine prioritizes COVID-19-related cases.
  3. All long-term care providers prohibit all visitors and non-essential health care personnel; except for certain compassionate care situations such as an end of life situation, until further notice.

    Recognizing the difficulty of this situation, Governor Mills urges Maine people to find other ways to show older people or those with chronic conditions their love such as by calling them on the phone; writing them, emailing them, using Skype or FaceTime.
  4. All events with 50 or more people be postponed and that all gatherings of more than 10 that include individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors, be postponed until further notice.

    These recommendations significantly enhance the previous social distancing recommendations offered by Governor Mills. Social distancing is one of the most effective methods to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Janet Mills has also taken strong steps to protect Maine workers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. She has requested that the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide economic support loans to Maine small businesses in order to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. She has also submitted emergency legislation, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon, that temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment insurance to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

Governor Mills has also directed the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to examine additional ways that the State can support Maine’s small businesses, including working with the Finance Authority of Maine and other potential lending partners. Her Administration is also working around the clock to prepare emergency legislation and enact a budget that helps response to the issues presented by COVID-19 with the goal on minimizing its impact on Maine people and reducing its spread.

These new steps from the Governor build on the work done by the Mills Administration to prepare for and respond to COVID-19, including:

  • Convening a Coronavirus Response Team, led by Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and comprised of key individuals in the Mills Administration, to coordinate State government’s response across departments and local agencies and health authorities.
  • Declaring a health insurance emergency to require health insurance carriers providing health care coverage in Maine’s commercial market to cover costs related to coronavirus testing and increases access to care.
  • Directing the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to ensure MaineCare does not charge copays for office visits and prescription drugs that may be needed for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, and to allow for a prescription refill of up to 90 days so people have to make fewer visits to pharmacies.
  • Distributing personal protective equipment to first responders and health care professionals across Maine as it becomes available.
  • Temporarily suspending non-essential, out-of-state travel for all State employees and reviewing leave policies and telecommuting options.
  • Applying for and receiving a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow schools the ability to provide meals offsite to students, if the school or community currently has, or qualifies for, a USDA Summer Food Service Program.
  • Requesting that the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide economic support loans to Maine small businesses in order to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
  • Submitting emergency legislation, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Sara Gideon, that temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment insurance to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Launching a 211 option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.

For more information on Maine’s response to COVID-19 and updated testing results, visit the Maine CDC website. Additionally, Maine CDC and 211 Maine have launched a new option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.

The best thing that Maine people can do to protect their health is to take the same preventive measures that avoid catching a cold:

  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Call ahead to a health care professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness. Health care providers will make the initial determination on whether COVID-19 testing is advisable. As appropriate, health providers will take samples and submit them to Maine CDC.

Toys for Tots

Marine Toys for Tots Program

Kezar Realty is proud to serve as a collection point for this year's 'Marine Toys for Tots Program'. You can drop off unwrapped toys here at the office (224 Main Street, Lovell). If no one is here, feel free to leave them at the front door. The last day for collection will be December 13th. The Toys for Tots charity began in 1947 and annually delivers more than 18 million toys to needy families. Find out more about the program here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Bowls & Brews!

Calling all Chili and Chowder aficionados! The Second Annual Bowls & Brews will be held on Saturday, November 9th from 4-6 pm at the Lovell VFW Hall on Smart's Hill Road. This event will provide an opportunity for both professional and amateur chefs to compete for top awards and bragging rights.

Bowls & Brews donates all profits to MSAD 72's Sunshine Backpack Food Program. This Program sends weekend food home to children in need in the three elementary schools within the system.

Residents, businesses and organizations throughout western Maine and Mt Washington Valley are invited to participate. There are two distinct categories: People's Choice and Judges' Favorites. Special awards will be given to all winners.

Building on last year's large and enthusiastic turnout, the well-known musical trio of Dave Kobrenski, Jed Wilson and Craig Bryan will be playing.

Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for ages 12-17 and free for children 11 and under. In addition to the variety of great chili and chowder, a number of Maine craft breweries will have their beer available for tasting. This lineup includes: Atlantic Brewery -- Bar Harbor; Rock Harbor Brewing -- Rockland; Lake St. George Brewing -- Liberty; Norway Brewing -- Norway; Saco River Brewing -- Fryeburg and Oxbow Brewing-- Newcastle.

And local bakers will be contributing delicious deserts for the popular bake sale!

For more information regarding the Second Annual Bowls & Brews, please contact Stan Tupaj at 207-925-1500 or stan@kezarrealty.com. Click here to print an entry form.

      

2019 Lovell Old Home Days 5k Run

 

How could this be the 15th year! Come join the fun and sign up for the 15th Annual Lovell Old Home Days 5k Run Saturday, July 20th! As always, runners lead the parade on a fun and fast course down Route 5 and ending at the Lovell Athletic Field. A second water table will be on the course, just past the VFW on Smarts Hill Road. Great prizes and t-shirts to the first 100 registered runners. Register early to guarantee your t-shirt designed by Fryeburg Academy student Grace Marshall.

Click here to register online.

2019 Lovell Town Meeting

Resident Steve Bender makes a point about Shoreland Zoning

Lovell Town Meeting, March 2, 2019

Nothing like a couple of hot-button issues to draw a record crowd to Lovell’s historic Town Hall for the Annual Town Meeting on March 2nd. Close to 150 people were in attendance with many forced to stand throughout the proceedings as all of the seats were occupied.

Months of Planning Board meetings, a public hearing and a citizen’s petition led to a vote on whether the town should retain Lovell’s more restrictive shoreland zoning issue or to revert back to the state’s minimum standards. Moderator Jon Bliss orchestrated an orderly discussion in which proponents from each side of the issue were permitted to speak. Voting was by paper ballot and with a vote that was not very close (76-50), residents voted to retain the town’s more restrictive shoreland ordinance.

A proposed zoning ordinance to prohibit all retail marijuana establishments generated some discussion but, in the end, was approved. The new ordinance prohibits all retail sales as well as any cultivation.

There was a very close vote for the open selectman seat vacated by Turf Ramsden. A difference of only five votes separated the two candidates. Retired tax collector Janice Arsenault won with 68 votes while Jack Jones garnered 63. All in attendance gave Turf a rousing round of applause to thank him for his years of service.

The remaining articles met with minimal discussion, were approved quickly and the meeting was over by 12:30. Still plenty of time to enjoy a beautiful winter’s afternoon.

Another Lovell Town Meeting in the books.

 

Lovell Bowls and Brews Winners

Our three judges--Mark Moulton, Ethel Hurst and Bob Drew

Sunshine Backpak for Kids Information

Sunshine Backpack for Kids Program

Lovell's First Annual Bowls and Brews took place on Saturday, November 10th. By every measure, it was a roaring success. More than $1,500 was raised for the MSAD 72 Sunshine Backpack Food Program. About 80 people came to the Lovell VFW Hall to enjoy 15 chilis and sample a variety of craft beers.

Enthusiasm was high on both sides of the tables as people walked around trying to decide which chili was their favorite. And in between their samples, they were able to enjoy small portions of craft beer. Two top awards, aprons decorated by New Suncook School art students, were given to the first-place winners of the 'Judges Choice' and the 'Peoples Choice'.

Here are the Results:

Judges Choice --

  1. Diane Caracciolo
  2. TIE, Al & Irene Whittemore and the Appalachian Mountain Club
  3. Jean Hunter

Peoples Choice --

  1. Diane Caracciolo
  2. Rosie's Lovell Village Store
  3. John Hendrickson, the Old Saco Inn

Best Decorated Table -- Robert Jackson's Action Chili

The $1,500 raised will go a very long way in helping the hungry children in MSAD 72. For more information about this program and how you might be able to help, please visit their Facebook page here.

A special big thank you to the following: The VFW Hall for the use of their hall, Paula Hughes for working hard to secure the local and state liquor licenses, Chris Hughes for securing beer, our three judges, Mark Moulton, Ethel Hurst and Bob Drew as well as Jeanne Bonner for organizing the judging process.

Be ready for next year's Bowls & Brews where there will be a greater selection of craft beers to sample and a new chowder division!

Lovell Bowls and Brews

For those that remember, Lovell's Chili Challenge always was a popular event. Not only did it attract local chefs entering their 'special' recipe, people came from all over to taste a variety of very good chili. And to top it all off, significant funds were raised for the Fuel Fund.

Every year, however, there were a number of people who would suggest that a beer tasting would be the perfect compliment to the chili. As in many parts of New England, there has been a wonderful explosion of local craft breweries. Why not take the opportunity to showcase them!

So, this November 10th, we will have Lovell's First Annual BOWLS & BREWS. It will be at the VFW Hall on Smart's Hill Road from 2-5 pm. This year's charity will be MSAD 72’s Sunshine Backpack Food Program which sends weekend food home to children in need in the three elementary schools within the District. All proceeds will be donated to the Program. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

As before, there will be two categories, Judges' Favorites and People's Choice. A special prize will also be awarded to the Best Decorated Table and the always popular Bake Sale table will be full of goodies!

Whether you would like to cook or taste, be sure to come to the VFW Hall on November 10th. Please note that the event is now on a Saturday so you won't have to worry about whether the Patriots are winning or losing. 

Click here for an application form. For more information, please contact either Stan Tupaj at 207-925-1500/stan@fairpoint.net or Paula Hughes at 207-925-6846/hughes.paula@yahoo.com. And a special thank you goes to Paula for her effort on soliciting the breweries and doing the necessary liquor license paperwork with the town and state.

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2018 Lovell Old Home Days

2018 Lovell Old Home Days T-Shirt Design by Fryeburg Academy Student Grace Marshall

2018 Parade Grand Marshals Jon and Pam Bliss

Bios Here

Be sure to be around Lovell this weekend. Lots of exciting events taking place all around town starting on Thursday and continuing through Sunday. The big event, of course, is the parade and 5k run on Saturday morning starting at 9:45 am on Route 5. See the list of events below:

THURSDAY

  • Don & Cindy Roy (2018 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Winners) at the Brick Church for the Performing Arts. Christian Hill, Lovell. 7:00 pm. $10 per ticket. Click here to visit web site

FRIDAY

  • 3 pm. Harvest Gold Gallery Artist Reception and Open House. Free to the public. Click here to visit Harvest Gold's web site
  • 4:30-6:30 5k Race Registration & Packet Pick-Up Lovell Athletic Field.
  • 5:00 Pm Burgers, Hot Dogs and Music under the tent. Proceeds benefit the Lovell Old Home Days Program.

SATURDAY

  • 7 am. Hearty Breakfast at the Masonic Hall in Village
  • 9 am. Parade Entries Gather at the Wicked Good
  • 9:45 am. Run Begins!!!
  • 10 am. Parade Begins!!!
  • 11 am OLD HOME ACTIVITIES at the Lovell Athletic Field. The Jerry Hobson Band at the Gazebo
  • 2 pm. Children's Theater Camp Performance at the Brick Church

SUNDAY

 

Maine Vacation Rentals and the Importance of Service

It wasn’t too long ago that, when travelling to a big city like Boston, New York or Washington, you would take a licensed cab from the airport to your hotel.  Or, when leaving a restaurant, you would go curbside to hail a passing cab.

However, with the advent of mobile technology, travel patterns have changed dramatically. Pull up your UBER or LYFT app on your phone and you will soon have a choice of drivers offering their car to take you to your destination. And people sure do like the service of Air B n B where you have choices of renting houses, condo units or rooms directly from the owners, with prices somewhat cheaper than a hotel of large part of their appeal.

On the surface, this all seems very attractive. However, many communities are having issues with the short-term rentals. Problems such as too many occupants, loud parties with the renters showing no respect for the neighborhood. And from the renters’ perspective, there are stories of renter’s not finding the residence as advertised or not being told that they need to bring a supply of their own linens.

Which leads me to the following:

Since Kezar Realty opened in 2009, we have offered Vacation Rentals in Lovell and surrounding towns. In addition to listing and selling property, Broker Jeanne Bonner manages our Vacation Rentals. Jeanne has been matching vacationers with the perfect Maine cottage for more than 25 years.

In January 2018, Down East Magazine published an article “Home Advantage” that highlighted the positive resources that many local Vacation Rental Agencies in Maine provide, such as handling bookings, greeting incoming renters, coordinating Saturday morning cleaning, making sure the trash was taken to the transfer station and not left at the cottage, replacing misplaced/lost keys and much more. Kezar Realty is a member of the Vacation Rental Professionals of Maine, a group of about 30 Maine Vacation Rental companies and provides support and lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry.

An important element of renters arriving in Lovell is that they have a friendly place greeting them when they arrive and are provided with a packet of information about their cottage as well as local merchants and recreational activities. And if they need something during the week, they know that Jeanne is just a phone call away.

As we inch closer to the summer season, be sure to contact Jeanne for assistance on vacation rentals. And remember, you will be pleased that the personal touch is still considered important here at Kezar Realty. And that includes having extensive local knowledge as well as caring that you have a great experience.

Technology is great and we all benefit from the tools that it provides but hopefully it will never eliminate the Jeanne Bonners of the world.

2018 Boston Red Sox Schedule Magnets

Who cares if the fourth Nor'easter is heading our way! Opening day for the 2018 MLB season starts on March 29th. Spring training is almost over and all is right with the world. Have the Sox make enough moves to keep up with the power-backed Bronx Bombers? If you read the New York tabloids, probably not. Let's give the Yanks the World Series trophy right now! The Blue Jays are always tough and O's suddenly seem to have a strong pitching rotation.

If you ask me, the World Champion Houston Astros are just as strong and look to be the favorites to repeat. 

As always, the schedules will be available in my office and all of the local stores. Don't hesitate to send me an email (stan@fairpoint.net) or call me if you would like me to send one via USPS.