Orono Bog Boardwalk opening Sunday

Posted April 29, 2011, at 10:18 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — An army of volunteers is getting ready for the Orono Bog Boardwalk’s ninth season, which opens Sunday.

Dozens of volunteers and supporters recently organized as Friends of Orono Bog Boardwalk. The group will promote the wise use of the boardwalk and help with its financial future and operation as needed.

The boardwalk comprises a 1-mile loop trail that begins at the edge of Bangor City Forest, then crosses the town line into the University of Maine-owned part of the bog in Orono. Along the way, it passes through changing vegetation and environments.

The peat bog was designated a national landmark in 1974. Last year, the boardwalk saw 30,000 visitors, including more than 1,000 schoolchildren who received guided educational tours.

For information, contact Jim Bird at 581-1697 or jim.bird@umit.maine.edu.

Mainers urge Snowe, Collins to protect Social Security

BANGOR, Maine — A crowd of young and old residents of Greater Bangor gathered in front of the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building on Friday to urge U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to keep Social Security strong.

Organized by the Maine People’s Alliance, the event brought current and future Social Security recipients together to address discussions occurring in Washington about raising the retirement age to 69 or 70 and cutting Social Security benefits.

Elizabeth Johns, a local doctoral candidate in gerontology, spoke about her research and the harmful effects proposed benefit cuts would have on Mainers.

“Social Security has been responsible for dramatically reducing the rate of poverty among retirement-age Americans,” she said, adding that as recently as the mid-1960s, nearly a third of older Americans lived in poverty. Now that figure is around 9 percent, she said. “We should not be talking about cuts, we should be talking about making this successful program stronger.”

Maine People’s Alliance Penobscot Valley organizer Ryan Tipping-Spitz thanked U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud for voting against the House Republican budget that “would end Medicare as we know it and slash Medicaid spending by $1.4 trillion.”

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