The Goods
  • Calling All Communities returns to give away $1 million to schools

    10 September 2012
    U.S. Cellular is excited to announce the return of its Calling All Communities campaign. For the fourth year, U.S. Cellular is giving $1 million to schools to improve the education of students. The campaign invites communities to band together to vote for their school by visiting their local U.S. Cellular store to pick up a voting code and entering it online at Voting begins this Friday, September 14 and runs through October 21. It would be great to have a local Maine school be among the winning schools, and we want to spread the word to the community to get involved.
    The school that garners the most community votes will win $150,000 and the next 17 schools with the most votes will receive $50,000. Calling All Communities is open to all K-12 schools — big or small, public or private. Each winning school can use the money however they choose.
    We would be happy to arrange an interview with U.S. Cellular to discuss the campaign further and give tips to schools on how they can rally the vote. More details are in the attached press release and PSA below, and there is more information about the campaign at
  • World Premiere of New Short Film Based on Stephen King’s Story “Survivor Type” Coming to Downtown Bangor Sunday, August 26

    10 August 2012
    Film to be screened at historic Bangor Opera House
    Bangor- Stephen King’s Zone Radio Corporation and the Penobscot Theatre Company are pleased to announce the world premiere of a brand new short film based upon Stephen King’s classic short story Survivor Type. “This is old school Stephen King horror, up close and personal,” says Don Cookson, co-host of WZON’s Pulse Morning Show. “We’re very excited to co-host this event with Penobscot Theatre Company at the Bangor Opera House. It’s the perfect venue for the first screening of this film.”
    Filmmaker Billy Hanson, a Maine native working in the movie industry in California, adapted the story for the screen and directed the film. It tells the story of a man pushed to his limits-- and beyond-- simply in order to survive. Hanson will be attending the screening and says he’s looking forward to seeing the audience’s reaction to his work.
    In addition to the film, the event features giveaways of Stephen King merchandise, a pair of tickets to an upcoming Penobscot Theatre production, and a question and answer session with Hanson immediately following the screening. A prosthetic severed hand that features prominently in the film will also be on display. All proceeds from the film benefit the Penobscot Theatre Company, a long time mainstay of the Bangor area’s cultural community. “We’re very grateful to Mr. King for allowing us the opportunity to utilize Mr. Hanson’s film as a fundraising mechanism to benefit the Penobscot Theatre, one of Bangor’s greatest artistic treasures,” Cookson said.
    The premiere is set for Sunday, August 26, and doors open at 6:00pm. Tickets are on sale at the Bangor Opera House box office, 131 Main Street in Bangor, for $10 each. For ticket information, call the Bangor Opera House Box Office at 207-942-3333.
    Survivor Type contains MATURE CONTENT. Attendance RESTRICTED to ages 18+.
  • Snowe Invites Google to Maine to Help Small Businesses Get Online Free event to be held July 27th at Portland Regency Hotel

    03 July 2012
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ranking Member
    of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has
    invited Google to Maine for a one-day seminar assisting the state's small
    businesses in beginning or expanding their online presence.   The free
    event, called "Maine Get Your Business Online," will be held Friday, July
    27th at the Portland Regency Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The event
    will provide business owners with free technical assistance and software
    tools to start-up a website and also enhance their current web-based
    operations. Those interested in participating may find more information at
    "I am pleased to welcome Google to Maine for this critical event, which
    promises to enlighten our state's small business owners as they look to
    attract new customers from within Maine and across the country and the
    world," said Senator Snowe.  "Indeed, while 97 percent of Americans look
    online for local products and services, a full 59 percent of Maine small
    businesses do not presently have a website.  The July 27th event at the
    Portland Regency Hotel will provide our state's entrepreneurs with the
    necessary tools to establish and develop an online presence."
    "The perception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming
    has prevented many Maine small businesses from taking the first step,"
    said Scott Levitan, Director of Small Business Engagement at Google. "This
    program makes it fast, easy and free for businesses to get online."
    BACKGROUND: As the senior Republican on the Senate's Small Business
    Committee, Senator Snowe has long sought ways to bolster our nation's
    small businesses, including introducing legislation to increase access to
    capital and streamline onerous regulations for these firms, which create
    two-thirds of net new jobs.  In her outreach efforts to small businesses,
    Senator Snowe invited Facebook to lead a forum in Augusta in January,
    where several hundred small business owners learned how to utilize the
    social media site to better market their companies to new and existing
    customers.  Google has partnered with Intuit to provide a free website,
    with the assistance of Intuit's software, to small businesses attending
    the event.
  • Getting Randi on the River: Political Commentator/Talk Superstar Randi Rhodes Coming to Maine

    21 June 2012
    Nationally syndicated radio host Randi Rhodes will be cruising along the Penobscot River Saturday July 28th as a guest of Stephen King and his radio station WZON.  Ms. Rhodes program airs weekday afternoons from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. 
    There is limited availability on the Cruise from Bangor to Prospect for her fans to join Pat LaMarche and Don Cookson that evening.  Good food, a cash bar and lively political discourse will be matched by the beautiful and historic river views.  Windjammer Cruises’ ship “Prudence” will host the event. 
    The national healthcare debate is one of the many issues Rhodes deals with on her program.  But it’s not the only issue where strong medicine is needed.  Station owner Stephen King is psyched to bring such an astute broadcaster to town to share her thoughts with his listeners, “Bangor badly needs a dose of Randi Rhodes, and that's a prescription The Pulse is happy to fill. I'm excited about her visit, which couldn't come at a more politically interesting time.”
    “Think of it as the Love Boat with an attitude,” recommended Operations Manager Bobby Russell.  “Randi’s one of the nation’s most popular radio talkers and we’re sorry to say that we’re going to have to limit our river going guests to fewer than 60.  We’ll start qualifying lucky listeners on the Pulse Morning Show which airs on 1031FM and 620AM.  That all begins this Monday the 25th.”
    “One other thing,” Russell concluded, “we’re going to have some seats saved for a few reporters who’d like to tag along.  But that seating is also in really short supply and any of our brothers and sisters in the biz who want to hop on board should call Pat ASAP.” 
    Getting Randi on the river, river cruise runs from 2pm until 5pm on July 28th.
  • Poverty’s Grip On Maine Tightens, Thanks to the Legislature’s New Budget

    17 May 2012
    Stephen and Tabitha King’s radio stations sponsor the Faces of the Poor
    Stephen King explains why WKIT and WZON will be hosting an event featuring members of the community who are negatively impacted by the Maine Legislature’s final budget, “I grew up Methodist, and I remember a lot of those scriptural readings I heard in church. One of them, from the book of Matthew, quotes Jesus: "Here is the truth: anything you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me." Or, from the book of Luke, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The poor are just as much a part of our community as the rich. They deserve bread for their tables, a roof over their heads, clothes to wear, and shoes to walk in. When we do for them, we do for ourselves. It's called sharing the love.” 
    A single mom, a U.S. veteran father of four, a homeless teen, and a senior who can’t afford his medicine are among the spokespeople who will take to the stage of the Gracie Theatre at Husson University this Wednesday, 23 May at 7 pm. 
    In the Gracie Theatre Atrium more than twenty agencies and organizations that assist the poor will host booths explaining the work they do. 
    Hundreds of shoes will line the walkway to represent our neighbors who are unable to attend but similarly affected by a tough economy, a dearth of jobs, and a harsh attitude from lawmakers.  The empty shoes are will stand as a call to others to walk in the shoes of the poor, unemployed, underemployed, ill, injured, hungry and homeless.
    Doors open at the Gracie Theatre at 5:30 so folks can visit with the agencies on display.  Light refreshments will be provided by the students at Job Corps.
    “We’re working with our neighbors to address the problems we all share.  Either as tax payers, or assistance recipients or – as Wednesday night’s event will illustrate – as both taxpayer and recipient in many cases: we are all effected when poverty grips so many members of our community,” explained Zone Radio General Manager, Bobby Russell.  “For example many of our seniors who are losing their prescription drug assistance weren’t just tax payers when they were younger, but through property taxes, excise taxes and sales taxes they are still.”
    • Spruce Run Spring Gala Fundraiser

      Orono, ME: Spruce Run Association—the domestic violence organization serving Penobscot County—invites you to their Spring Gala fundraiser on March 31st  from 6:30 to 9 pm at UMaine’s Buchanan Alumni House in Orono. Guests can enjoy delicious appetizers and desserts, bluegrass music by Raw Chicken, improv comedy by Focus Group, an entertaining live auction and tons of great raffle prizes from area businesses and artisans, all while supporting the organization that’s been working to end abuse in our community since 1973.  Tickets are $20 dollars per person and are available at the door, or in advance by calling 945-5102. 
      If you are unable to attend but would still like to help, please send your donations to Spruce Run, P.O. Box 653 Bangor, Maine 04402, or donate on our website at 
      • Emergency Legislative Document (LD 1862) Targets the Poor Zone Radio Seeks to Find the Families Under Fire

        Released 3.15.12

        LD 1862 and companion emergency legislation proposed in the Maine State Legislature will very negatively impact recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families whose benefits are expiring.
        Zone Radio Corporation is asking families to come forward that will be losing benefits.  Families who are willing to speak publicly as well as folks who are willing to share their stories privately are encouraged to contact Pat LaMarche.
        A former homeless shelter Vice President of Community Relations, Pat is a host of the Pulse Morning Show as well as regular contributor on issues of poverty and homelessness to the Huffington Post.  Pat’s book “Left Out In America” deals with the conditions financially disadvantaged folks across the nation face when they have little or no option.
        “We want to put together some profiles of the people who will lose access to municipal safety nets if LD 1862 moves forward.” LaMarche commented as she explained why the radio stations are asking the TANF recipients to come forward, “When the bill’s sponsor, Senator Saviello, proposes leaving the poor and their children out in the cold, we sure hope it’s out of ignorance as to who these people are and what their lives are actually like.  We will do whatever it takes to get these folks’ stories told so that Senator Saviello and his colleagues don’t further injure people who are already up against extremely difficult odds.”
        “Oh God. to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust.”  -- The Ghost of Christmas Present, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”
        • No budget, no pay - By Eliot Cutler, Special to the BDN

          When I was growing up in Bangor, I learned the value of hard work, the importance of community and the responsibility of public service.
          These are simple, common sense values that many of our leaders in Washington seem to have forgotten. If you’ve got a job to do, you do it. If you have a deadline, you meet it. When people are depending on you, you do your absolute best not to let them down.
          This past October, for the third year in a row, Congress did not abide by these simple values, beginning another fiscal year without a budget in place. In fact, it has been over 1,000 days since Congress passed a concurrent budget resolution. That’s over three years without a clear fiscal plan to guide our nation into an increasingly difficult future.
          It obviously isn’t enough to just talk about the need for bipartisan cooperation. We’ve all done that until we’re blue in the face, and they aren’t listening. Clearly, Congress needs more meaningful incentives to do its job, set priorities and pass a budget on time.
          OK. If they can’t do their job, then they shouldn’t be paid.
          This basic concept is the foundation of the No Budget, No Pay Act introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate in December. The bill will go before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee, on which Sen. Collins is the senior Republican, on March 7.
          The No Budget, No Pay Act is one of a dozen proposals by the citizen-based congressional reform organization, No Labels (, which advocates for common sense solutions to make a gridlocked and hyperpartisan Congress work.
          At a time of economic struggle, we need our government leaders — in both Washington and Augusta — to put aside partisan point scoring and focus on getting the job done.
          Congress had a job to do, but didn’t do it. Members had a deadline, but they didn’t meet it. The nation is depending on them, but members of Congress let them down.
          When I worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget, my colleagues and I knew we had to make tough decisions about where to spend and where to invest, when to cut and when to say no. In preparing the federal budget we made those tough choices, and in these tough economic times, Congress must begin to do the same.
          It’s time to let Congress know we are ready to hold them accountable to do their civic duty.
          Sen. Collins is a member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee and a leading voice on this issue. Please let her and Sen. Olympia Snowe, Rep. Mike Michaud and Rep. Chellie Pingree know that you support No Budget, No Pay and go to to ask them to support the measure and attend the hearing on March 7.
          Former independent candidate for governor, Eliot Cutler is a No Labels Co-Founder and Chairman of OneMaine.

          Original BDN article

          • (Petition) Maine Governor Paul LePage: Resign

            Paul LePage

            Why This Is Important
            Governor LePage, for the love of all that is holy. I beseech you to pay very close attention. Last year, you won a five way race. The majority of maine voted for other people. And, if we had a better system you'd still be hocking damaged merchandise at Marden's. But our system sucks and you have a totality of executive power with a minority of support.
            Stop being so gawddamned self appointed and get that! And stop making Maine look like more damaged goods.
            There is only one option for you now that would prove you love your state. Resign. your party is in control and that means the republican president of the senate Kevin Raye will be our new governor. Your party will flourish as will maine. But your arrogant disregard of the people of Maine will end. C'mon, it's time. look what resigning did for Sarah Palin. A fox news 'show' is undoubtedly a better place for you.
            • Committee Protects Voting Rights, Rejects New Burden on Voters

              AUGUSTA – The Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee today killed a
              proposal to require voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot
              during an election.
              The language of the bill, which would have created unnecessary hurdles to
              voting, was replaced with a resolve tasking the Secretary of State to
              study changes to Maine's election system.
              Today action is a significant victory for voters and for voting
              rights,” said Ann Luther of the League of Women Voters of Maine. The
              committee has recognized that Maine's elections are well-run, secure
              and efficient. And they took a strong stand to make sure all eligible
              Maine voters are able to participate.
              Requiring voters to present photo ID before participating in elections
              creates an unacceptable burden for thousands of eligible Maine voters.
              By rejecting photo ID, the committee has stood up for everyone
              fundamental right to vote and have their voices heard, said Shenna
              Bellows , executive director of the ACLU of Maine. Unfortunately, this
              study is a waste of resources and time, and it creates a new opportunity
              that could be used to further politicize the administration of elections.
              In these difficult economic times it seems irresponsible to use state
              resources directing the Secretary of State to do his job.
              While the amended language of the bill protects voting rights, the study
              language that was adopted is redundant and unnecessary. In testimony
              before the committee last week, Secretary of State Charlie Summers said
              twice that his office already has the power to review election practices
              and propose changes without additional action by the Legislature.
              I am fully aware that my office has the authority and the ability to do
              this, Summers said.
              Maine has a strong tradition of voter participation and is a national
              leader in turn out. That tradition of participation has been protected by
              voters themselves with the Yes on 1 campaign last year that restored
              same-day voter registration and by the actions today of the Legal and
              Veterans Affairs Committee.
              Voting rights are too important to take for granted, said Laura
              Harper of the Maine Women's Lobby. Voting is the cornerstone of our
              democracy, and efforts to turn eligible people away have been rejected by
              voters and legislators alike. Mainers take their election seriously and
              they have worked hard to protect their integrity.
            • Michaud Acts to Protect Unemployment Aid

              Will Offer "Motion to Instruct" That Unemployment Insurance Be Used For Jobless Americans
              WASHINGTON, DC – Tonight, Congressman Mike Michaud will offer a motion to ensure that funding for unemployment insurance (UI) is used only to provide assistance for the more than 13 million Americans currently out of work.  Michaud’s motion would instruct House negotiators to drop a provision from a bill being negotiated to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.  That provision would permit states to use UI funding for other programs and initiatives.
              “The fact is unemployment benefits remain a crucial resource for American workers who lost their jobs as a result of the Great Recession and not because of their job performance,” said Michaud.  “Using UI funding for anything other than unemployment benefits for struggling families simply makes no sense.”
              In December, the House and Senate passed conflicting versions of a bill that would extend both the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance assistance, and House and Senate negotiators are currently working to broker a compromise.  A provision included in the House bill would allow states to divert UI for purposes other than relief for the unemployed.  States already have the power to determine employer tax rates, benefit levels, and eligibility criteria.
              “In this environment of reigning in government spending and making sure taxpayer dollars are used effectively, I think it makes sense to make sure that UI benefits can’t be spent on some other program that won’t help families or the economy like unemployment insurance,” Michaud said.
            • HHS Releases More LIHEAP Funding for Maine

              LEWISTON, ME – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released more than $863 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assistance nationwide, including $9,995,423 for Maine. Maine has now received $39,981,695 from LIHEAP this season, which is drastically lower than the amount it received last year. Michaud recently sent a letter to President Obama asking him to request $5.1 billion for LIHEAP’s budget next year, which is a level that would represent full funding for the program.

              “This funding is needed, but it’s not enough,” said Michaud, who’s working with New England’s congressional delegation on a bill to address LIHEAP’s funding shortfall. “President Obama needs to request full funding from the start so that Congress is less likely to move forward with another deep cut to this critical program.”
            • Michaud Opposes SOPA

              WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Mike Michaud issued the following statement on the Stop Online Piracy Act:
              “There’s no question that we need to crack down on websites in places like China that infringe U.S. copyrights and hurt our businesses. But it must be done in a way that doesn’t shutdown legitimate websites, violate people’s rights and censor the internet. I oppose this bill and encourage congressional leaders to listen to the legitimate concerns raised by the many Americans who have spoken out against it.”
            • Michaud Urges Obama to Support LIHEAP Funding in Next Budget

              Michaud Urges Obama to Support More LIHEAP Funding in Next Budget
              BANGOR, ME – Today, Congressman Mike Michaud sent a letter to President Obama urging him to include full funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget submission to Congress.
              “When the President proposes a massive budget cut for LIHEAP it gives congressional leaders an incentive to do the same,” said Michaud. “We need the President to show that he’s listening to the thousands of Mainers hurt by this funding cut by requesting full funding for LIHEAP. Not doing so threatens the health and safety of Mainers struggling to keep warm and make ends meet during cold winter months.”
              In November, Michaud sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to restore funding to LIHEAP, sharing a few of the many stories he received from Mainers by email and through his Facebook page detailing how important the program is to them.
              The full text of the letter Michaud sent to President Obama today can be found below.
              President Barack Obama
              The White House
              1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
              Washington, D.C. 20500
              Dear President Obama:
              As you prepare your FY2013 Budget, I urge you to include at least $5.1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). We must ensure that struggling families have the assistance necessary to heat their homes.
              Last year, you proposed a total of $2.57 billion for LIHEAP, a severe reduction from the amount allocated to the program in the previous three fiscal years. While Congress ultimately provided some additional support, the final funding level for this winter is still significantly lower than it was in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Maine alone faces a shortfall of more than $10 million. As a result, individuals and families that have depended on the program are worried that they will not have the resources needed to get through the winter.
              I have received countless e-mails, phone calls, and Facebook messages from Mainers concerned about their friends, families, and loved ones. They worry that Washington does not understand that these cuts have real world impacts. Families that have depended on the program in the past may no longer qualify for assistance. Households that have seen their savings wiped out by the recession might not have an important safety net.
              I know that we need to be prepared to make tough choices to balance our federal budget and reduce the deficit. However, LIHEAP is not a wasteful government program that benefits only a narrow set of special interests or corporations that do not need the assistance. It provides badly needed protection to the most vulnerable Americans to ensure that they do not have to choose between buying food, paying for their medicine, and heating their homes.
              It is essential that we avoid making the same mistake again. I am hopeful that you still set an example by requesting no less than $5.1 billion for LIHEAP in your FY2013 Budget.
              Michael H. Michaud
              Member of Congress
            • Norton Insurance • Financial Responds to Shortfall in Heating Assistance

              Local Business Turns $7,000 Gift into $9,000 in Heating Assistance for Maine Families in Need
              Peter Fendler shivered as he got into his car on Thursday morning. The overnight temperature had dropped to the low teens in Cumberland, ME, down from a balmy 52 degrees the day before. As he switched on his radio and heard reports on the continued shortfall in Federal and State Funds for low income heating assistance, he wondered how people less fortunate than he survived the cold Maine winters without adequate heat.
              Entering his office at Norton Financial • Insurance in Cumberland, he resolved to do something to see if he and his company could make a difference. "I started doing some online research, and I came upon several organizations that are committed to helping Mainers stay warm. I started emailing my business partners, and they responded with a resounding, 'Let's do it!"'
              So, today Norton Insurance • Financial made five gifts totaling $7,000 to provide heating assistance to Mainers. Norton contributed $2,000 to the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation in Bangor. That foundation matches all gifts up to $70,000 received to provide heating assistance for Bangor area residents. Norton also contributed a total of $5,000 to Community Concepts Fuel Assistance Program and three Maine Community Action Agencies – Waldo Community Action Partners, Western Maine Community Action, and Penquis - all of which provide heating assistance programs in their communities.
              "With the matching gift from the King Foundation, we were able to turn our $7,000 gift into a $9,000 gift," said Fendler, President of Norton Financial. "As financial and insurance professionals, we just love it when we can produce that kind of return on our investment. We encourage other Maine business who have been fortunate during difficult times to do the same."