Monday, October 27, 2014

A Clear Vision For A Prosperous Future


As owner of a working farm and fresh food bank, I believe family farms and small businesses are burdened with costly, one-size-fits-all regulations designed to help giant corporations drive us out of business. I’ve managed start-ups, directed human resources, operations, and marketing departments. I’ve been a sole proprietor and a partner. I understand the challenges facing small businesses and workers. I will continue the fight to reform regulations so small businesses and small farms can compete on an even playing field and create the jobs we need right here in Maine.

As a conservationist, I believe Maine must harness the power of the wind and the sun to produce renewable energy and end our addiction to fossil fuels. We’ll protect Maine’s enthralling beauty, jumpstart our economic recovery, and create new jobs.

As an organic farmer, I believe locally grown food is national security. I will continue to fight for greater food self-sufficiency for the state, better infrastructure, and a comprehensive plan to end hunger in Maine once and for all. Access to wholesome food is a right for every citizen. We must not allow a single one of us, especially our children and our seniors, to go hungry for a single day. We have all the natural resources and the hard-working, independent-spirited people to grow, catch, hunt, trap, produce, process and distribute enough food to feed our state and strengthen our rural economies. Let’s stop importing more food per capita than any other state on the continent. Maine food means Maine jobs.

As an artist and author, I’ll leave you with a quote from James Baldwin, one of my favorite American authors. He believed that the role of the artist is to tell us who we are. Given what we face right now, I believe his words are timely. And necessary:

“One must say Yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found—and it is found in terrible places... For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us, and the light goes out.”

If the citizens of Winthrop, Readfield, and North Monmouth believe we need to keep a hard-working farmer with a passionate voice and a clear vision for a prosperous future in the Maine House of Representatives, then please go to the polls on November 4 and cast your vote to re-elect Representative Craig V. Hickman of Winthrop.

Thank you. Take care of your blessings.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hickman: The Most Reponsive Public Servant

Freedom Salute for 133rd Engineer Battalion and 1025th Survey and Design Team

Representative Craig Hickman has been a consistent community presence as a member of many different service organizations, including the Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen, Sons of the American Legion, and the Winthrop Area Rotary Club since well before his election to the Legislature. He has continued his direct service to the community and remains focused on the key issue of hunger relief, especially for seniors and vulnerable families with young children.

Craig remains the single most responsive public servant I know. He was very supportive of me, my family, and my unit before, during, and after our recent deployment to Afghanistan as part of the 133rd Engineer Battalion. He is caring and compassionate about the issues most important to military members, veterans, and our families.

As a registered Republican I feel very strongly that our Legislators should continue to reform and improve our state government. Craig believes in the importance of carefully monitoring government spending, eliminating waste wherever it occurs, and using sensible solutions to budgetary problems that everyone can agree on.

In every conversation I have ever had with Craig about community issues he has impressed with how seriously he takes his duty to honestly represent us and our views. He has made it clear to me that he sees the needs of this district as different from those of others, especially the larger cities.

All too often people of goodwill like Craig feel intimidated by the political process and chose to stay out of the race. I think we are fortunate to have the opportunity to re-elect someone who quite clearly understands our community issues at every level and can be counted on to work together with other Legislators to get things done.

I look forward to casting my vote for Craig Hickman on November 4th and encourage others in Winthrop, Readfield, and North Monmouth to do the same.

— George O'Keefe, Jr
., Past Commander 2013-2014, Winthrop VFW; Member, 133rd Engineer Battalion; Member, Payson Tucker Hose Co. #1, Winthrop

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Jefferson Jackson Dinner 2014

It was an honor and a pleasure to speak about food, family, farming, and the importance of agriculture to Maine's economic development, especially in rural communities, at last night's Jefferson Jackson Dinner at Pineland Farms. The venue was perfect; the food, most delicious

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Meet: Craig Hickman, Farmer And Legislator

"IS AUGUSTA FRUSTRATING? “Of course,” he said. “But with persistence comes success, so I will try again and see what happens.” He hopes to bolster Maine food and sustainability, fight for greater food sovereignty and better infrastructure, including more opportunities for farmers to process their livestock. “I see small farms as the solution to some very big problems.”

I was honored to be featured in the Source earlier this summer. Read the whole profile here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A House Full

Earlier in spring,
Loss came knocking
at my door.

Within weeks,
Loss came knocking
again.

A few days later,
Grief checked in.
Brought a lot of baggage,
took the biggest room,
the Edwardian,
the one with the private bath,
looking like he was going to stay awhile.

Little did we know.

A month or so ago,
Loss came knocking
two more times.

Didn’t see her coming either time
(a suicide, one; an untimely tragedy, two)
but she came anyway,
knocking me right down.

Soon, Sadness came to visit.
Took the Blue Room
right at the top
of the stairs.

The next day, right
next door, Weary
checked into the Purple Room.

What next?

Within a week,
Loss came knocking
at my door once more.

This time we scattered
our dearest friend’s
ashes right out back,
behind the pond, beneath
the giant weeping willow,
atop the grave of our
beloved dog and cat—

exactly as she wanted.

By then, Grief unpacked
all his bags, put away
all his belongings, shoved
all his baggage
under the bed.
Safe to say,
he’s moved in—

indefinitely.

Sometimes, when Despair stops by
to spend the night with Sadness,
when Fatigue settles in with Weary—
if only for one night—
you better believe
it gets hard to believe
morning will ever come.

Several days ago,
Loss came knocking
at my door again.

Again.

And yet again.

At the end of the hall,
in the Ivory Room,
down from Sadness and Weary,
Exhaustion showed up in the
middle of the night,
stumbled onto the bed,
pulled the covers over
her head and locked
the door.

There’s no more
room
in the inn.

No.

More.

Room.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Maine History: Fourth of July

From the Maine Memory Network

::

When John Dunlap, official printer to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, set the type form in his press on the night of July 4, 1776, he apparently was in a hurry to get out the first printed copies of "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled."

Between July 2 and July 4, representatives of the Continental Congress had debated the language of the draft written largely by Thomas Jefferson. When they approved the document that came to be known as the Declaration of Independence, they voted that copies "be sent to the several assemblies, conventions and committees, or councils of safety, and to the several commanding officers of the continental troops; that it be proclaimed in each of the United States, and at the head of the army."


 
Dunlap got the order, the type was set, a proof drawn, corrections made. Then the revised type was set in the press, slightly askew. That is one clue to the authenticity of Dunlap Declaration broadsides.
In 1976, Frederick Goff published the findings of a Library of Congress examination of 17 of the 21 known surviving copies of that first printing of the Declaration. The study measured margins and dimensions, looked at chain lines (printing marks), watermarks, type of paper, folds, endorsements, broken letters and other clues about the documents. Those findings have been useful in determining the status of other documents that appear to be Dunlap imprints from July 4, 1776.

Maine Historical Society's copy of the Dunlap broadside, in the society's collections since 1906, was authenticated in 1991.


Fourth of July Celebrations

To access a list of Fourth of July celebrations across the state, please visit http://www.maine.info/July4.php.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Kind Of Miracle


Last week, at the invitation of Bangor City Council Chair Ben Sprague, I had the honor and pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on hunger and local food systems in Maine. Only he could have convinced me to attend the summit on a sunny day in the middle of planting season. But when there's a public conversation about an issue dear to my heart, I'll travel the state in order to participate.

"There's a hunger beyond food that's expressed in food, and that's why feeding is always a kind of miracle," was the quote from a wise priest I used to begin my panel presentation.  I read it a few years ago in the book Take This Bread.

The event was well-attended; the discussion lively. Sprague opened the summit by pointing out how the face of hunger has changed in recent years. Mark Kelley of the Pulse Morning Show moderated the panel with humor and ease. Other participants included Heather Retberg from Quill's End Farm in Penobscot, a leader in the Maine food sovereignty movement; Melissa Huston from Good Shepherd Food Bank of Northern Maine; Dr. Rebecca Boulos of the University of New England; and Kristen Michelle Brown, a Uinversity of Maine student.
   
It was most encouraging to hear the stories of a cadre of young people who are working on ending hunger in their communities through education, emergency food relief, and support for the development of resilient local food systems.
   
The Bangor Daily News covered the summit in print and WCSH6 news ran a segment  on their morning broadcast.

I remain humbled to serve you. Please call me at 377-3276 if you have any questions or concerns.

Take care of your blessings.