AUGUSTA — A 12-member task force that’s under legislative orders to find $25 million in savings in the Maine budget held its first meeting Thursday in the State House.

The panel, expected to meet several more times in the months ahead, was created this spring to achieve at least $25 million in savings by analyzing state departments and agencies with the goal of prioritizing services, consolidating functions and eliminating duplication.

Gov. Paul LePage — who appointed members of the bipartisan panel Aug. 1?as called on state department heads to use zero-based, “bottom-to-top” budgeting to achieve savings.

Litchfield car show set for Sunday

LITCHFIELD — The 16th annual car show to benefit the Litchfield Fire Department will be held Sunday at Carrie Ricker Middle School.

Entry fees are $7 for a car and one passenger; general admission is $3. Entries are accepted 8-11 a.m. and trophies awarded at 2 p.m.

Among the classes are antiques, best of ’50s through 2000s, Corvettes, muscle cars, Jeeps, tuners, big rigs and street rods.

The show is organized by Scott Week, a former member of the Litchfield Fire Department, and sponsored in part by JCW Distributors, local Napa Auto Parts stores.

Weeks said the fundraiser usually brings in about $1,100.

Cobbossee volunteers to remove milfoil

LITCHFIELD — Workers with Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed will be removing invasive milfoil plants from Lower Pleasant Pond beginning today.Variable-leaf milfoil was discovered in both Upper and Lower Pleasant ponds in 2001. Scientists suspect it had been there for some time.

The diver-assisted suction harvesting boat operated by Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed will be launched on Pleasant Pond. It had been working in Cobbosee Stream.

The DASH unit was built last year using money from a grant from the Maine Milfoil Initiative and matching funds acquired from the Four Towns Watershed Association through the towns of West Gardiner, Richmond and Litchfield.

The boat is used in conjunction with a certified diver who removes the plants without leaving fragments of roots or the plant itself. The milfoil then is emptied into a compost pile.

Variable-leaf milfoil has infested Pleasant Pond, Cobbossee Stream, Horseshoe Pond and Purgatory Stream.

The non-native plant, which can live in water up to 30 feet in depth, takes oxygen from the water and kills the naturally occurring plant life, lowerings shorefront property values and rendering the water unusable, according to the group

Tribute to 9/11 victims urges community service

AUGUSTA — As the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 approaches, the Maine Commission for Community Service is bringing a project to Maine conceived by families of attack victims.

The “I Will” initiative aims to inspire millions of people to volunteer and perform acts of compassion in tribute to attack victims, survivors and all who served in response, according to a news release.

Groups working to promote “I Will” include United Way, Maine Library Association, Maine Conservation Corps, HealthReach RSVP, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Knox/Lincoln, and Goodwill of Northern New England.

Civic, fraternal, professional, student, nonprofit, public and business organizations are invited. For information, call Eileen Buzzello at 624-6249 or email [email protected] by Sept. 2.

Nonprofit leaders sought for award

GARDINER — The Bank of Maine will conduct a statewide search for Maine’s most effective nonprofit board members, culminating with a Dec. 1 event recognizing five winners, who will be presented with Leaders & Luminaries Awards totaling $20,000.

The Leaders & Luminaries Award competition is free and open to any board director of a Maine-based nonprofit organization who can demonstrate how inspiration, creativity and ingenuity in governance has led to his or her organization’s success.

The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 for his or her organization and four runners-up will each receive $2,500 for their organizations.

In addition to the awards presentation, the bank will host Focus on Philanthropy 2011: The Art of Leadership, a panel discussion moderated by former Gov. Angus King with Robert Forrester, president and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation; Robert Gardiner, former president of Maine Public Broadcasting Network; Prescott Stewart, managing director of development, Harvard Business School; Lowell Weicker, former U.S. senator and governor of Connecticut; and Melanie L. Herman, executive director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center.

For more information, visit www.thebankofmaine.com/focus2011.

State museum hours to include Sundays

AUGUSTA — Maine State Museum will expand its weekend hours by opening on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. beginning Aug. 21.

The museum is also open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To celebrate the first Sunday of open hours in 2011, museum admission will be free on Aug. 21.

For more information, call 287-2301 or visit www.mainestatemuseum.org.

Maine’s volunteers decreased in 2010

AUGUSTA — The number of volunteers in Maine dropped 2 percent between 2009 and 2010, according to an annual study released today.

The Volunteering in America study found the number of volunteers dropped from 34 percent to 32 percent between 2009 and 2010, while across the nation the rate shrank only 0.5 percent.

The loss of 5,000 volunteers means Maine’s ranking among the 50 states and District of Columbia slipped from 15th to 16th place, according to a news release from the Maine Commission for Community Service.

However, the commission said there was a 7 percent jump in the rate of volunteering among teens, placing Maine second among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Commission for Community Service has set up a poll at MaineServiceCommission.gov to hear from citizens who cut back or stopped volunteering last year. Visit www.MaineServiceCommission.gov or www.VolunteerMaine.org.

 

From staff and wire reports


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