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This week’s edition!

Reminder from Gorham Economic Development Corporation

GORHAM, ME — Important notice for those who have not requested forgiveness or begun repayment of your pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgivable Loan or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):

WHAT IS HAPPENING: If borrowers have not begun payment or requested forgiveness, the loan balance could be referred to Treasury for collection.

WHY THIS MATTERS: A referral to Treasury will result in a significant fee being added to your loan, garnishment of future wages, Social Security benefits, and tax refund. Defaulting on a government loan could severely impact credit and is very difficult to undo.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Visit SBA’s PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal at https://directforgiveness.sba.gov or call 1-877-522-2692. If you got a PPP loan and think it might have been forgiven (but aren’t sure), it’s important to check – you should have received something in writing from your lender. For EIDL loans, contact 1-833-853-5638 or COVIDEIDLServicing@sba.gov. If you are unable to pay, you NEED to contact the SBA to arrange a Hardship Accommodation Plan.

Interfaith service: Solidarity with suffering in the Middle East

BRUNSWICK, ME — The Brunswick Area Interfaith Council (BAIC) is pleased to announce an interfaith service in response to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. As faith leaders from a variety of backgrounds, we feel a need to speak out and strive together for an end to suffering. If your heart is breaking (as ours are), if you find yourself bereft of hope or isolated, please consider joining us as we come together in solidarity with one another and with all who are suffering.

The interfaith service will include readings, prayers, wisdom, and music from our various traditions, and is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 28th, at 4:00 pm at Fellowship Hall in Pilgrim House (of First Parish UCC, directly across the street from Bowdoin College). (Snow date: 4 pm on the 29th.) The service will last approximately 1 hour, followed by a time of fellowship with Middle Eastern snacks to highlight a common connection shared through food in the region. Registration is free but required for security purposes. Visit https://rb.gy/f967ip.

About BAIC

The Brunswick Area Interfaith Council (BAIC) is a non-sectarian, not-for-profit agency committed to fostering understanding, respect, and cooperation among diverse faith traditions in the Brunswick area. Through collaborative efforts, BAIC promotes the religious life and spiritual, moral and social welfare of our larger Brunswick Area community.

Cajun Cookin’ returns for flavorful Fat Tuesday feast

PORTLAND, ME — WMPG, Portland’s beloved community radio station, is thrilled to announce the return of its highly anticipated annual event, the Cajun Cookin’ Challenge. This gastronomic celebration will take place on Fat Tuesday, February 13th, from 11 am to 2 pm at the McGoldrick Student Success Center on the Portland Campus of the University of Southern Maine.

Station Manager, Jim Rand says “The Cajun Cookin’ Challenge promises to be a feast for the senses, featuring a perfect blend of vibrant Cajun music, delectable food, and good old-fashioned fun”. Attendees can expect an unforgettable experience as they indulge in the rich and spicy flavors of authentic Cajun cuisine.

Local restaurants and caterers will showcase their culinary prowess, offering a diverse array of Cajun delights for attendees to savor. From savory gumbo to zesty jambalaya, the event will be a true showcase of the region’s culinary talent.

In addition to the mouthwatering dishes, attendees will be treated to Cajun music that will transport them straight to the heart of Louisiana. The lively atmosphere, coupled with the enticing aromas wafting from the food stations, promises to create a festive and communal experience for all.

The McGoldrick Student Success Center provides the perfect backdrop for this celebration, offering ample space for attendees to mingle, enjoy the music, and savor the delicious offerings from the participating vendors.

“We are excited to bring back the Cajun Cookin’ Challenge for another year of culinary delight and community celebration,” said Annella Linton, Development Director at WMPG. “This event has become a cherished tradition in our community, and we can’t wait to see everyone come together to enjoy great food, music, and company.”

Experience the joy of Mardis Gras close to home

PORTLAND, ME — For the first time, after appearing only in the Mount Washington Valley for the benefit of Mountain Top Music Center since their inaugural show @ Stone Mountain Arts Center on February 25, 2020, Mardis Gras with The Heather Pierson Band will be live at One Longfellow Square on Friday February 9, 2024 at 8:00 pm.

The Band includes Craig Bryan, Shawn Nadeau, Mike Sakash, Davy Sturtevant, and George Wiese, all stellar musicians and they and Heather Pierson are thrilled to be bringing this wonderfully collaborative show to Portland, Maine!

Doors at 7:00 pm; Tickets are $25 Adv, $35 Day of show. 

Shelley Ham joins Fontaine Family Team as Referral Agent

SABATTUS, ME — Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader is delighted to announce the newest addition to our team of professionals, Referral Agent Shelley Ham. A proud Auburn native, Shelley brings a wealth of experience and a diverse skill set to our dynamic real estate family.

Educationally, Shelley is an alumna of both the University of Southern Maine and Husson University, showcasing her commitment to academic excellence. Her professional journey has been marked by versatility, with previous roles spanning HR management, healthcare, hospitality, administration, customer service, sales, and banking.

Affiliated with esteemed organizations such as CMHRA (Central Maine Human Resources Association), SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), and HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute), Shelley brings a wealth of industry knowledge and a network of valuable connections.

Shelley currently resides in Sabattus, ME, with her husband Gary. Their shared love for boating and entertaining family and friends reflects Shelley’s warm and personable nature, making her an excellent fit for the team culture. Shelley’s unique background and skills will contribute significantly to the Fontaine Family Team mission of providing exceptional real estate services and look forward to her success as part of their team.

Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader is a highly skilled real estate team of licensed professionals dedicated to focusing on the client. Fontaine was awarded 2019 Maine Family-Owned Business of the Year, voted Best Real Estate Company in the Greater Lewiston/Auburn Area and Greater Portland Area year after year, recognized by Real Trends as America’s Top 250 Real Estate Team and published in the Wall Street Journal in the Top 250 Real Estate Professionals ranking in the top ½ of 1% of Realtors outperforming 99.9% of the nation’s Realtors.

The Fontaine Family Team serves 8 counties – Androscoggin, Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Oxford, Kennebec, Franklin and Somerset – in two locations, 336 Center Street in Auburn and 432 US Route One in Scarborough. For more information visit FontaineTeam.com, download their free home search mobile app “Fontaine Family Real Estate” or call (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830

Focus on Palestine: A community event

BRUNSWICK, ME — The public is invited to an afternoon of Palestinian history, poetry, live music and theater at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick on February 18, 2024 at 2:00.

Fateh Azzam, former Middle East Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will speak about the history of Palestinian citizenship. Also included will be readings of Contemporary Palestinian poetry, Middle Eastern Music performed by Maine musicians, and excerpts from the Gaza Monologues written by Gaza teenagers in 2010 after the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-2009. The program will end with raucous Palestinian Dabkeh line dancing to the tunes of live Palestinian folklore music and singing.

Palestinian himself, Mr. Azzam will discuss the history of Palestinian citizenship and their quest for representation, from the Ottoman period through the British mandate, the creation of Israel and its occupation of Palestine to the present day. The presentation will be followed by a discussion.

Palestine being culturally part of the broader Arab World, Maine musicians will be presenting several compositions of Middle Eastern music based in the classical Maqam tradition. Contemporary Palestinian poetry will be read throughout the afternoon.  A thirty-minute segment of the Gaza Monologues will be presented. The full production of the Gaza Monologues which comprises 33 pieces, opened in Portland on February 3 of this year.

The event is hosted and sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church Brunswick, Peaceworks Brunswick, Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights and Peace Action Maine. The Monologues are directed by Nat Warren-White and Fateh Azzam, and performed by students from Casco Bay High School in Portland, Bowdoin College and USM with accompanying live music.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, One Middle Street

Sunday, February 18, 2024 2:00-4:30

The event is free and open to the public.

Town of Gorham awards local businesses with matching grants

GORHAM, ME – On January 2, 2024, the Gorham Town Council voted unanimously in support of grant funding awarded to local businesses as part of a new Capital Expenditure Matching Grant program. Eight local businesses were awarded a total of $45,000 in matching grant funds as part of a competitive application process.

In support of the program, Gorham Savings Bank awarded three grantee businesses a total of $10,000 in additional funding as a “Hometown Match” for their projects. The Capital Expenditure Matching Grant program provides 50% reimbursement of a capital item, service or site expansion project, up to a maximum award of $15,000. The Town prioritized allocating grant funds to businesses in three sectors, specifically agriculture; manufacturing & skilled trades; and retail & food service. The program intends to accelerate growth of local businesses and farms by enabling the purchase of a capital item or service. These single, one-time procurements will help grantees accelerate plans for growth, and create opportunities for expansion, entrepreneurship, and job creation in Gorham.

“This is the type of grant program our business community has been asking for,” said Gorham Town Councilor Lee Pratt. “The goal is to provide the type of funding they need to make their own decisions on what’s best for growing and expanding their business in Gorham.

“Local businesses are the core of our communities,” stated Becky Winslow, SVP, Director of Community Relations & Development. “Initiatives such as this are essential to supporting their growth and we are very pleased to provide additional grants to Azul Tequila Restaurant, Orchard Ridge Farm and Rustic Farm Holdings, LLC for their upcoming projects, particularly in our hometown of Gorham.”

Eligible uses for grant funding under the program include a single, non-recurring procurement of $5,000 or more for durable goods, IT needs or related services, and upgrades to buildings or property that directly benefit business operations. Grant awards went to businesses of various sizes and across sectors in support of a broad host of capital items. Examples include the purchase of new machinery for both established Gorham manufacturing companies and start-up family businesses, as well as construction of new barns and greenhouses that will boost production and expand program offerings for the local community.

“In the past, we have hosted field trips for schools, retirement community outings, and special needs groups,” said Erica Gottschalk, co-owner of Orchard Ridge Farm. “This grant will help us elevate the experience by offering an interactive and centralized location for the animals. We are so grateful and can’t wait to get started.”

“It’s a blessing as it provides us the opportunity to purchase machinery made only in Brazil that will allow us to expand our services into the catering sector,” said Claudia Katz, owner of Iaia Brazil eatery. “This is something we have intended to do but found it very difficult to manage without the proper equipment.”

“Delivery times of industrial controls have become very important in the last decade. The old metal lathe we currently use has caused a bottleneck in our manufacturing process,” said Russ Hall, Chief Executive Officer for The Montalvo Corporation. “Improved quality and delivery times with this new lathe will help us grow our customer base and provide more jobs with better benefits to those in our community.”

The grant program expands upon the services already available to local businesses in Gorham. The Town established a façade and leasehold improvement grant program last spring, and its Revolving Loan Fund program provides loans to businesses up to $150,000 with competitive rates and flexible terms. In addition, recent hires in Planning and Economic Development have increased the capacity for Town staff to work closely with business owners to ensure projects move through the approval process in a timely manner.

“As a Town, we continue to seek ways to better support our local business community, based on the needs expressed by the business owners themselves,” said Kevin Jensen, Economic Development Director for Gorham. “This program builds on our approach to developing and sustaining a vibrant local economy, and we are excited to watch these businesses grow, innovate and expand.”

Town of Gorham announces primary election, voting info

GORHAM, ME — A State Presidential Primary Election will take place on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in which voters will have an opportunity to vote on who will be placed on the ballot in November for President.

You can request an absentee ballot by going to the Town’s website.  Your ballot will be mailed to you once we receive them in early February.

IMPORTANT DATES & DEADLINES

February 4, 2024 – Anticipated date on which absentee ballots will become available.

February 13, 2024 – Last day for the Town Clerk’s Office to receive voter registration applications by mail.

February 14, 2024 – Closed period begins. All voter registration applications must be submitted in person.

February 20, 2024 – Last day to change political parties prior to the primary.

February 29, 2024 – Last day for absentee voting.

March 5, 2024 – Election Day. Polls open from 7am – 8pm.

IMPORTANT ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Effective January 1, 2024, Maine will be transitioning from a closed primary system to a semi-open primary. Unenrolled voters will now be able to participate in primaries including the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary and the June 11, 2024 State Primary.

Unenrolled Voters – Voters who are not enrolled in a party may choose to vote in one party’s primary.

Voters enrolled in a party Democrat or Republican- may only vote in that party’s primary.

The Democratic and Republican parties are the only parties that will hold primaries on March 5th.

The Green Independent, No Labels, Forward, People’s and Libertarian Parties will not be participating.

For helpful website links and FAQs, see the Town of Gorham’s website.

Absentee Voting

Absentee ballot requests are now available. You can request an absentee ballot by calling the Clerks office or by visiting the Town’s website. Ballots will be mailed out the first week of February once the Town Clerk’s Office receives them.

The last day to obtain an absentee ballot will be Thursday, February 29 at 5pm.

To be counted, absentee ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office by 8pm on Election Day – March 5, 2024 by you or an immediate family member.

For more general voting information, visit the Town’s website. If you have further questions about absentee voting, please stop by the Town Clerk’s Office, call 222-1670.

Gorham’s Cressey Road Christian Church invites you to Game Day!

GORHAM, ME — In anticipation of our February GAME DAY, I’ll let you in on what you missed at the January GAME DAY. A good time was had by all with a few challenging group games before we broke into smaller groups to play board games.

We started with a challenge game:   Name what you would need to survive in space.  As we went around our circle, very imaginative answers popped right up.  Then it became more challenging as we continued in turn, making sure not to repeat what was already said.  What would you need to survive?   Does this sound like fun?  It truly was. 

Our next group game was a version of “Telephone”.  Instead of whispering into each other’s ear, we wrote and drew the clues. Having no drawing skills, my challenge to show:  “Bless Your Heart” became a Valentine card.  Does this sound like fun?

Join us for our next GAME DAY, February 17th.  You’re invited to bring a game to play and/or a snack to share. 

FMI: Lorraine Lindstedt

lindcabin@gmail.com

Details: Game Day

Saturday, February 17

1pm-3pm

Cressey Road Christian Church

Cressey Road and Route 25, Gorham

Fun for all ages, the young and young at heart.

Parental Supervision Required

Mama Mia hits the Gorham High School stage

By Director Joshua Hurd

Personally, last year’s production was a bucket list show. It was a massive labor of love from everyone that helped put it together and make it happen.  It was a wonderful and very special production, but it took a lot of effort from the cast, the crew, the builders, and the community with all that endless fundraising.  I mean, who knew it cost so much just to fly a couple students across the stage? This year with Mamma Mia, I think we all wanted something fun, lighthearted and special in its own way.  So, what fits that mold better than ABBA?

Times are hard these days.  Look to the people around you.  Your friends, family and neighbors, the stranger to your left or right, and the person in front of you or behind you.  If we can’t agree on much lately, I think we can all agree that the struggle is real for everyone. So while you’re here, forget all that and soak up the music and the joy coming from that stage in front of you.

From the very beginning I wanted to showcase the music in the show.  To just enhance the story of Donna and Sophie through these amazing songs.  I wanted to pay tribute to ABBA by making our live band a highlight from the very beginning.  Get excited by the sound and the noise that’s going to come from that stage.  It’s this great music that we all know and love.  You may not want to admit it publicly, but who doesn’t love the beat to Dancing Queen?

Enjoy!  Have fun!  Smile and be happy with us as this totally amazing cast, crew and band present this timeless songs of ABBA to a heartwarming story of love, trust and friendship.

The cast, ensemble, and crew of the show include:

Crew-

Sophie Sheridan- Elle Woodman

Ali- Hailey Racine

Lisa- Gracey Macdonald

Donna Sheridan- Lily Rubin

Tanya- Sophia Andrade

Rosie- Ella Senatore

Sky- Logan Mills

Pepper- Alex Tukey

Eddie- Zach Bourgoin

Harry Bright- Nicholas Tinkham

Bill Austin- Patrick Delaney

Sam Carmichael- Alex Robbins

Ensemble- Lauren Pierce, Lauren Greenier, Amy Morin, Jenna Pequinot, Izzy Smith, Anaiah Brown, Olivia Kennedy, Hannah Martel, Mike Distasio, Elsie Moreno, Noah Williams, Ally Gossen, & Isabelle Phinney  

Crew- Kira Keniston, Gillian Lachance, Max Lampron, & Emma Smith

Lighting Designer – Joseph Strout Costume Designer – Darnell Stuart

Preview Reception Caterer – For the Love of Food & Drink

Preview Concessions – Greeks of Peaks


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Gorham, ME 04038

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Auburn, ME 04210
 

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