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Noteworthy news Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011

Don Hanson, co-owner and director of Behavior Counseling and Training for Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers headquartered in Greenville, S.C.

Hanson previously served two terms on the board from 2002-2007, was board vice president in 2005 and 2006, and served as board president in 2007.

Hanson is a certified professional dog trainer, certified dog behavior consultant, Bach Foundation registered animal practitioner and therapy dog evaluator.

He and his training staff first introduced clicker training and the concept of “dog-friendly” training to the Bangor area in 1997.

An experienced speaker, Don has lectured on pets, behavior and the Bach Flower remedies in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and Japan.

He has been educating the public via “The Woof-Meow” show since 2005.

Broadcast on WVOM, 103.9FM and WVQM 101.3FM, the show airs on both stations at 7:30 a.m. Saturdays and 8:30 p.m. Sundays.

In business since 1965, Green Acres Kennel Shop, 1653 Union St., is a Pet Care Services Association accredited facility offering boarding, daycare and grooming for dogs and cats, as well as pet behavior consultations and training classes.

For information, call 945-6841 or visit greenacreskennel.com.


Friends, family and staff of Pine Tree Camp and Pine Tree Society gathered Aug. 10 at the Rome camp to celebrate the grand opening of the Harold and Bibby Alfond Dining Hall.

The ceremony kicked off with a performance of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by the Pine Tree Camp chorus and band.

Pine Tree Society executive director Anne Mars led the ceremony, which included special guests Emily Fuller Hawkins, president of the PTS board of directors, Greg Powell, chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation, and Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

The $1.6 million building was made possible in part thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation.

The late Harold and Bibby Alfond were longtime supporters of the camp.

“We are delighted this new dining hall will help further the traditions of Pine Tree Camp and the dreams of its campers,” Powell said.

Campers assisted in the official ribbon cutting, commencing a new chapter in the camp’s 66-year history.

Pine Tree Camp, a program of PTS, is Maine’s only American Camp Association-accredited summer camp exclusively serving people with disabilities.

The camp has never turned away a camper due to inability to pay tuition. This open-door policy has been firmly in place since the camp opened in 1945.

For more information, visit pinetreesociety.org.


According to the annual “Volunteering in America” study released recently, the number of volunteers in Maine dropped 2 percent, from 34 percent to 32 percent, between 2009 and 2010. Across the U.S., 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 fifteenth to sixteenth place.

Despite the change, the Maine Commission for Community Service reports there is good news to be found in the report: There was a 7 percent jump in the rate of volunteering among teens, resulting in Maine ranking second among the 50 states and the District of Columbia and that increase is seen as a really positive sign for Maine communities.

“One of the research findings over the past 15 years has been the conclusion that volunteer service connects people in very significant ways to their communities,” said Maryalice Crofton, executive director for the Maine Commission for Community Service. “It holds them in particular places.”

Another detail shows the value of Maine volunteers’ in-kind labor is more than $1 billion, even after the changes in 2010.

“One would think the loss of 2 million hours of service would impact the state’s rank in ‘Hours of Volunteering per Resident’ but, since Mainers give so much more of their time than the national average, the state is still ranked fourth on that point,” Crofton said.

The federal report does not shed any light on the factors behind the drop in volunteering in Maine. For that reason, the Commission for Community Service has set up a poll on its website, MaineServiceCommission.gov and would like to hear from citizens who cut back or stopped volunteering last year.

“Maine volunteering was unusually strong during the recession and is just now showing change,” said Crofton.

“We could speculate about the role of gas prices, work, changes in volunteer programs as nonprofits adapt to funding cuts, but it would only be guessing.

“We’d like to hear from the people directly and see if there is any trend that could be addressed.”

“Volunteering in America” also includes profiles of 75 midsize cities among which are Bangor and Portland.

Bangor saw a 5 percent expansion in the number of residents volunteering and a $25 million growth in the value of volunteers’ time due to a just over 9 percent increase in the number of hours contributed.

Data for Portland showed a very minor increase in the number of volunteers at 0.2 percent but nearly 10 percent expansion in the amount of time city residents devote to volunteer service. As a result, community organizations receive over $25 million of in-kind labor from residents.

The federal report, along with state profiles, is released each summer by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The data is collected by the Census Bureau when it conducts the fall Current Population Survey.

To connect with the federal report and data, visit either the website above or VolunteerMaine.org.

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