And Another Thing …

Posted Oct. 27, 2011, at 4:57 p.m.

• Auburn dentist Rose Sheline laid down a challenge to children in the Lewiston-Auburn area that will cut to the core of some profound matters. Immediate gratification vs. deferred gain. Short-term pleasure vs. long-term health. Weighing effort vs. financial pay-off.

Ms. Sheline is offering to pay area school kids $1 per pound for the Halloween candy they bring her on Nov. 1. Instead of destroying the cavity causing sweets, she’ll ship it off to U.S. troops. She also has pledged to give the children’s school 50 cents per pound of the candy that gets turned in.

It’s an idea that succeeds on many levels: raising awareness of the bad health effects of candy, teaching children about the challenges members of the armed forces face and helping them learn the rewards of work (and it is work creating a costume and walking the streets).

• You may have thought Cliff Clavin from the TV show Cheers disappeared along with the big hair and Anthony Michael Hall movies of the 1980s, but the quintessential barroom know-it-all spoke at the Maine State Chamber dinner in Bangor, touting the good old days when kids played outside, took apart bikes and built tree forts.

These activities, the actor John Ratzenberger said, led to U.S. manufacturing dominance. Maybe all those years on the show when his character offered up bizarre balderdash he wasn’t really acting.

• A recent poll showed Gov. Paul LePage gaining 16 points in favorability ratings, from 31 percent in the spring to 47 percent this month. That’s 9 percentage points higher than the governor’s election numbers.

Pundits from both sides will spin the results. Critics will say he has been keeping a low profile and staying out of the news with the Legislature out of town. Supporters will say he has settled into a groove and had big wins like getting the Millinocket mills up and running.

It’s probably a bit of both.

• Sanford officials were shocked to learn that a swingers club was operating in a Knights of Columbus hall. Moral outrage aside, what was most repulsive about the club — and ultimately what allowed law enforcement to shut it down — was its connection to food service.

A catering company hosted the parties, and according to undercover officers, there was a buffet table at the event. And the hall was adjacent to a pizza joint.

Given the nation’s struggles with obesity, mixing the elements of sex and food was bound to end badly.

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