May Health Beat

“Karen’s Kolumn” is researched and written by Public Health Nurse Karen Dolley. We appreciate her support and willingness to share!

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Every Maine County reported Lyme Disease in 2009. Lyme Disease Awareness Month is to raise public awareness of Lyme Disease and to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease is an infectious disease caused by the tick borne bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is the most common tick borne disorder in the United States. In 2008 and 2009 there were over 900 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease. The Centers for Disease Control indicates that the actual incidence of Lyme Disease is 10 times the amount reported.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease include fever, fatigue, sleep problems, headache, and joint and muscle pain. Lyme Disease may cause a skin rash that starts as a small red mark and over 3-30 days enlarges to 2-10 inches or more, appearing like a “bulls eye rash”. 10-25% of cases have no rash at all. Meanwhile, the bacterium spreads through the blood stream. Arthritis can develop in late stage Lyme Disease.

Ticks prefer wooded and bushy areas with tall grass and leaf debris. They are often found along the edges of woodlands and near older stone walls.

CDC recommendations include taking extra precautions May-July when ticks are most active; ticks like to crawl under clothes-wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and long socks, tucking pant legs into socks and shirts into pants to help keep ticks outside of clothing; wear light-colored clothing to make ticks more visible; wear a hat; tie long hair back; wear shoes; perform tick checks after being outdoors-ticks are often found in armpits, the back of the knees, the nape of the neck, on the scalp, in the navel area, and in the groin area; inspect pets frequently; deer ticks cannot jump or fly and will die quickly in a sunny, dry environment so remove leaf litter and brush from lawns, keep the ground under bird feeders clean, stack wood neatly in a dry area, keep swing sets away from yard edges, stone walls, and trees; and do not feed deer on your property.

Use tick repellent with 20-30% DEET on adult clothes and skin. 10% DEET products can be used on children over 2 months of age. Always check with your pediatrician first.

If a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chance of getting Lyme Disease is very small. Remove ticks before they become engorged with blood. Grasp the tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible. With a steady motion pull the tick body away from your skin. Avoid crushing the tick. Do NOT use Vaseline, matches, or nail polish. After the tick is removed wash your skin with soap and water or alcohol. Notify your doctor in case of tick bite. A course of antibiotics is necessary to treat Lyme Disease.

For more information visit  Have a happy, tick free spring and summer!

May Area Grange Events

This is a partial list of Grange and Grange friends meetings and events around the area.  We do our best to keep this accurate, but mistakes get made and plans get changed. If you are traveling a great distance it might make sense to confirm. When you send events for publication, please include all the details, including a contact for further information!

Sunday, May 2, Piscataquis Pomona Officers meet at 2 PM for Fifth Degree Rehearsal at Garland Grange. FMI contact Pomona Master Bill Bemis at 924-3537.

Tuesday, May 4 is Teacher Appreciation Day! This is a great day to “hug a teacher.” For ideas see:

Tuesday, May 4, Parkman Grange holds their first “organizational meeting” at 7 PM. Agenda items include voting in new members and selecting community service projects. Contact Elizabeth Morin FMI at 876-3300.

Thursday, May 6 Piscataquis Pomona meets at Garland Grange at 6 PM for Potluck Supper and meeting at 7 PM. Meeting will include instruction in the Fifth Degree and inspection by state officer. Fifth Degree candidates needed and welcome! Contact WM Bill Bemis at 924-3537 for additional information.

Saturday May 8 Parkman Grange holds their Mothers’ Day Tea from ten to noon. For details or to make the required reservations, email Karna Johnson or call her at 343-4355 or call Pat Johnson at 876-3204

Saturday May 8 and Sunday May 9 Maine State Junior Grange Yard Sale at State Headquarters. FMI contact Sue Hackett, State Jr/Youth Director.

Monday, May 10 Queen City Grange holds their CWA Meeting. Potluck Supper at 6:00 PM, Program begins at 7:00 PM. Grange Hall is located at 1192 Ohio Street, Bangor. Contact Tim Wilson at 285-7906 for more information.

Friday, May 14 Garland Grange conducts a Public Supper with members serving from 5 PM to 7 PM. Menu includes beans and pasta, homemade bread and desserts. ALL YOU CAN EAT. Price is $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for children ages 5 to 12, under age 5 FREE. Proceeds from supper to benefit Garland Grange Building Fund and community service projects. Garland Grange Hall is located on Oliver Hill Road. These suppers are well-known and well-attended!

Saturday May 15th Ammadamast Grange in Enfield holds their Second Annual Talent Show. Admission is $6 and you can buy votes for $1 each! Proceeds benefit the Ammadamast Scholarship Fund. For more information contact Pam Martin at 989-5442 or Steve Gray at 732-4682.

Friday, May 21 Valley Grange conducts their annual CWA Program and Memorial Service. Potluck Supper at 6 PM, program begins at 7 PM. Theme is “Aprons on Parade” and all are encouraged to wear an apron that is unique, has story or special meaning. FMI contact Sally Downing, CWA Chair.

Saturday, May 22 Maine State Junior Grange Cribbage Tournament at State Headquarters starts at 9 AM. FMI contact Sue Hackett, State Jr/Youth Director.

Monday, May 24 Penobscot Pomona and Mystic Tie Grange will offer instruction in the Four Degrees starting at 4:00 PM. Refreshments will be served. For additional information contact Phil Parsons at 989-3075. Mystic Tie Grange is located in Kenduskeag.

Wednesday, May 26 Maine Highlands Farmers Meeting—usually on the fourth Wednesday. Check the website for location and details. This meeting will host Seth Bradstreet, Maine Commissioner of Agriculture discussing how farmers can best utilize the many resources available from the Maine Department of Agriculture.

Saturday May 29 Bangor Grange sponsors a supper and show. A “Two Old Friends” performance will give you plaintive ballads and foot-stomping shout tunes; soaring mandolin solos, gospel sing-alongs, and story-telling. There is something for everyone. Tickets for the turkey supper and show are $12, available at the door, or in advance. Seating is limited. The hall is not handicapped accessible. For more information, call Rolf at 973-3976.

Saturday May 29 through Monday May 31 is the third annual JD Foundation Yard Sale… open every day from 8 AM until 4 PM, right at the four corners in Maine’s Number One Town – Abbot!

Member Laura Pratt Honored

Laura Pratt

During their recent Grange Month meeting members of Valley Grange honored several long-time members. Grange Master Jim Annis presented a 75 year membership certificate to Laura Pratt of Guilford and said he “had to tell a story about her.” Annis went on to tell how “Sister Pratt” had served as Master for 23 years before deciding to retire. He unsuccessfully attempted to talk her into going for 25—a quarter of a century. Instead, he explained, he made the mistake of going out of town during Grange Elections and returned to find that he’d been elected Master.

Pratt did not, however, retire from the Grange and she’s continued to hold other offices and remains an active member. Grange members appreciate her sense of history and knowledge of the local grange and members past and present. During recent years, she’s been a popular addition to the “Words for Thirds” Dictionary Program Team. When the team visits area schools to present third graders with dictionaries, there’s always some fun (and sometimes a little math lesson) trying to figure out her age. There are not only many stories about her, she has many stories she can tell!

Annis noted that the Grange has a number “long time” members but stopped short of suggesting that Grange Membership contributes to a longer life. “But the fact remains, that most people maintain their membership – even if distance or health prevents them from being active.” The Grange has long been recognized as a family friendly organization with full membership and voting rights granted to anyone fourteen years or older.

Unable to attend but also receiving honors were Marilyn Harvey, 70 years; Dora Starbird, 70 years; and Carolyn and Richard Williams, 50 years. Those interested in starting a membership that may also last three-quarters of a century are urged to contact any Grange Member or download an application from this site!

Guilford Primary School Citizens Receive Award

Guilford— Valley Grange Master Jim Annis noted that while usually given to an individual, it seemed especially fitting this year to make Guilford Primary School the Grange’s Community Citizen of the year. Annis read from the certificate, “…in recognition of outstanding service to this community and mankind. Your dedication and personal involvement are gratefully and sincerely acknowledged…” and placed emphasis on personal involvement and dedication on the part of students, teachers, and parents. “Our work with the school gives us many opportunities to see the good work being done.”

Teachers, staff, and "alumni" respresenting the school at Valley Grange.

The Grange’s involvement with Guilford Primary School started with the familiar “Words for Thirds Program’ which provides every third grader with their own personal dictionary. Over the years the program has expanded to include “Bookworming” with Grangers visiting the school to listen to children read and the Newspapers in Education program which involves second and third graders using their creative and artistic skills to develop advertisements for the Grange. Several ads are selected and used by the Grange throughout the year.

This year the Grange voted to present their annual Community Citizen Award to the school to recognize their contributions to the community. Festivities at the April Meeting included a potluck supper and slide presentation featuring some of the school’s activities throughout the year.

Program Director Walter Boomsma noted that he was “self-appointed liaison between the school and the Grange” and thought that gave him the right to “break the rules” and make a special presentation. “We agreed tonight was not about any one person,” he said. “But in all my years of working with various organizations, I’ve never met an administrator more dedicated, more focused, more efficient, and just plain easy to work with than Principal Julie Orton.” Boomsma presented Orton with a Grange tote bag in appreciation for her help and indicated they would “try to fill it up with awards before the evening ends.”

Nearly everyone at the meeting jumped at the opportunity to honor the school in some way with formal and informal testimonials to the school and its teachers, staff, students and parents. Abbot Selectmen Jan Ronco and Corey Hill were present to proclaim a day in the school’s honor. Nodding to his family Hill noted that he had “one child who has attended the school, another currently attending and one who will and we consider ourselves very fortunate to live here and be part of Guilford Primary School. We picked the right place.”

Guilford Selectmen had earlier proclaimed the day “Celebrate Guilford Primary School Day.” Additional congratulations were received from Governor Baldacci and Congressman Mike Michaud. State Representative Pete Johnson from Greenville was on hand to present a legislative sentiment, noting the “important role local schools play in our communities and our future.”

Teachers in attendance expressed their appreciation not only for the recognition but also for the volunteer role Valley Grange plays at the school with programs like Words for Thirds and “bookworming,” noting that the kids get excited when they see a Granger and jockey for their turn to read.

S.A.D. 4 Superintendent Paul Stearns pointed out that while the building that currently houses the school will close at the end of this school year, “schools are a lot like churches… if a church building gets destroyed the church community doesn’t miss a meeting and we can expect the same to be true of Guilford Primary School.” Principal Orton reflected those sentiments noting that while there is some natural apprehension over the move, “most things will not change, including the programs we do in general and the ones associated with the Grange.”

Boomsma quickly responded, “Well I can promise you we’ll be there.”

Member Input Needed!

Community Service Chair Mary Annis notes that we have several scheduling conflicts with our Grange Month Community Service Project scheduled for next Saturday, April 24th… enough to consider rescheduling to a later date. (Dover Foxcroft Town Meeting and the Canoe Races are just two!)

Members, what do you think? Please send Mary an email or give her a call with your preferred date(s) and time… we need to make this decision soon!

Added note: This has been postponed… details will be worked out at our next meeting on May 7th at 7 PM.

Celebrate Guilford Primary School!

If you hear a school bell ringing today it won’t be because recess is over… it’s ringing to remind you to Celebrate Guilford Primary School! As you know Valley Grange will be presenting GPS with our Community Citizen Award tonight. We’ve got a great meal and program planned! We’ll kick things off with a huge community potluck supper starting at 6 PM… bring a dish to share and your appetite because there will be plenty to choose from… after you’ve finished make room for others by heading upstairs to the hall and enjoy a slide presentation highlighting just some of the school’s activities.

Our short formal program will start at 7:30 PM… and includes presentation of the Valley Grange Community Citizen Award along with a number of accolades and testimonials to the excellent work being done by and at the school… all in all it should be a “Norman Rockwell Evening” with something for everyone. We guarantee you’ll leave smiling and we promise it won’t be a real late night—even though there’s no school on Saturday!

Valley Grange is located at 172 Guilford Center Road (for your GPS) or more commonly described as being “at the corner of Butter Street and Guilford Center Road… parking will probably be a challenge, so please park carefully along the road and across the street.

And don’t forget that Guilford Selectmen have officially proclaimed today “Celebrate Guilford Primary Day.” When I was at the school yesterday I spotted two teachers dancing a little jig in the hall… a day early. (I’m sure it wasn’t because vacation also starts today.) So find a way today to be happy we have this great school in our community!

Guilford Selectman Proclaim Celebrate G.P.S Day!

(From a recent press release)

Guilford—Guilford Selectmen recently issued a proclamation declaring April 16, 2010 as Celebrate Guilford Primary School Day, urging that “this day be observed by taking time to recognize and acknowledge the important role Guilford Primary School, and all our schools play in making our communities great.” Noting that “our schools contribute not only to the growth of students but also to the growth and health of our communities” selectmen also acknowledged that “our schools are the backbone of our democracy, providing young people with the tools they need to maintain our nation’s precious values of freedom, civility, and equality.”

Community leaders, teachers, students and parents will gather at the Valley Grange Hall and culminate Guilford Primary School Day with a community potluck supper at 6:00 PM. At 7:30 PM Valley Grange Leaders will present the school with their annual Community Citizen of the Year Award. The public is invited and will be given an opportunity to provide testimonials to the accomplishments and community services the school’s teachers, staff, and kids make.

Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma notes that there is a special irony in that the day is also the day the school’s Jump Rope for Heart culminates. Jump Rope for Heart provides students with an opportunity to learn how their hearts work and how to take care of them through physical activity and nutrition. And they will learn about children who have been affected by cardiovascular disease and how they can help them. In short, children have fun and feel good by helping others.

“The kids have been busy collecting pledges and practicing their jump roping skills,” Boomsma noted. “But this is just one example. It seems like there is always something going on at the school that not only benefits the community but also provides real life learning opportunities for the students. That’s why we chose them to receive this award.”

April Health Beat

“Karen’s Kolumn” is researched and written by Public Health Nurse Karen Dolley. We appreciate her support and willingness to share!

This year, April 24-May1 is National Infant Immunization Week. The purpose is to create public awareness of the importance of immunizations to prevent illnesses that can be avoided.

Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost effective public health tools for preventing disease and death. They not only protect the individual receiving the immunization but help to protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Over one million of our two year olds in the United States are not adequately immunized. One of the most important ways parents can protect their children against serious disease is to immunize them. Most parents today are too young to remember diseases like polio, diphtheria, and whooping cough and the suffering, disabilities, and premature deaths they can cause. These diseases are still present and circulating in many parts of the world. It is important to remember that it is BECAUSE of the success of vaccines in preventing disease in the United States that many parents are unaware that their children are at risk for so many life threatening diseases.

Many side effects of vaccinations are minor and temporary and include a sore arm or leg and mild fever. Children are far more likely to be harmed by serious infectious diseases than by immunizations. Vaccinations are scheduled at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and between 4 and 6 years of age. Love them. Protect them. Immunize them.

For more information visit,, or and be sure to talk with your child’s pediatrician.


Readers of the Piscataquis Observer might think we started our celebration of Guilford Primary School a little early. The “Newspapers in Education” section featured several articles and stories about some of the school’s recent activities and accomplishments. It’s probably not too late to pick up a copy! Thanks to the folks at the Observer for their community spirit and coverage of Grange and School News! If you saw the paper, you will probably begin to understand why Guilford Primary School will soon by declared Valley Grange’s Community Citizen of the year.

I was at the school today and I’m pleased (and maybe a little proud) to report that I was not the victim of any April Fool’s Day Pranks! I did end up swinging a jump rope for a few turns during recess but was able to forgo my turn to actually jump. The kids are certainly coming up with some great moves… jumping on one foot–two in a rope, doing some “criss cross” thing that they make look easy… and, I’m sure, collecting their Jump Rope for Heart donations! If you haven’t made yours, find a kid and get it taken care of soon!

We’re still looking forward to our official Celebrate Guilford Primary School event on Friday, April 16–just two weeks away! We’re looking forward to seeing lots of folks at the Grange Hall for our Community Potluck Supper at 6 PM and the meeting itself at 7:3o PM. Get this on your calendar and plan to come out to show your support and appreciation of our kids, teachers, staff, parents… There are plenty of people and things to be proud of!

This is Grange Month and it’s a busy time for us. Members will have a business meeting at the Hall Friday, April 2 at 7 PM… We’re also hoping to show our support of the Parkman Grange’s Open House on Tuesday April 13th at 7 PM. Later in the month we’ll be doing our annual Community Service Project at the Boss Cemetery in Dover Foxcroft. We can always use some extra help and support at any of these meetings and activities. We are YOUR Grange!