In The News
Recognizing Maine's Future Leaders...
This past Thursday, I again had the privilege of speaking before a very full Dedham School Gymnasium at the 2018 Dedham 8th Grade Graduation where my own 3 kids all attended. There, I presented a very impressive young lady, Jamie Fogg, with the Maine Secretary of State 8th Grade Citizenship Award to thunderous cheers! Congratulations to Jamie and her family and thanks to all the amazing teachers and administration at the wonderful Dedham School!
In 2008, Nickerson & O'Day constructed the beautiful new International Student Dormitories at Foxcroft Academy. To thank them for entrusting their new project to us, I established a permanently-endowed scholarship that is annually awarded to an FA student pursuing an engineering or construction degree after high school. This year's winner was Josh Reed! Thank you for all your hard work, Josh...good luck and Congratulations on receiving the 2018 Nickerson & O'Day, Inc. Construction/Engineering Scholarship!
Recognizing Maine's Future Leaders...
Last night, I had the tremendous pleasure of speaking before a packed-house Promotion Ceremony at the wonderful Beech Hill School in Otis where I presented the Maine Secretary of State 8th Grade Citizenship Award to not one, but TWO outstanding Beech Hill students, Carol Reyes and Darren Easler. Carol is Student Council President and Darren is involved in virtually every program available at BHS! Congratulations to you both! You've made us all very proud!
Last fall, while on a medical mission in Jamaica, I saw a chance to make a difference in a young life...
"Andrew's Sight" (posted by Steven Stern, Mission Leader, iCARE)
In September of 2017, Great Shape! Inc's iCARE program conducted a free eye care clinic at the Duncans Methodist Church in Trelawny. 11-year-old Andrew was one of our patients. Andrew has congenital glaucoma, a condition where his eye pressure is too high and is damaging his optic nerve. The almost certain outcome is permanent blindness. He already lost the sight in his right eye and would rapidly lose the sight in his left without surgery. Glaucoma surgery needs to be performed to lower the eye pressure to a safe level if it cannot be controlled with medication or laser surgery. His mother, who doesn't have the funds to pay for this expensive procedure, was distraught. Andrew faced a life of total blindness without quick intervention.
Two iCARE volunteers, Dr. Dan Brown and Karl Ward decided to help. They generously agreed to cover the costs of the required tube shunt placement surgery. The shunt is a tube attached to a reservoir. The reservoir is placed under the conjunctiva and tenons and sewn to the sclera. The tube portion is placed into the anterior chamber - in front of the iris and behind the cornea. The tube shunt is covered by the conjunctiva so that no part of the shunt is exposed to the outside world. This allows the fluid inside the eye to exit through the tube into the reservoir draining under the conjunctiva. The fluid is reabsorbed and eye pressure is lowered.
The procedure was successfully accomplished in May of 2018 at the University of the West Indies by Dr. Donald Swaby - one of the few doctors in Jamaica who performs this specialized surgery. Dr. Swaby donated both his services and the tube shunt. Andrew now has a much better prognosis for retaining his remaining vision over the long term!
My deep heartfelt thanks and respect to Dr. Dan Brown, Dr. Donald Swaby, and Karl Ward for their compassion in action. Their vision has saved Andrew's remaining sight and transformed his life and the life of his family.
Remembering my best friend...
Saturday night, as I have done since 2013, I had the solemn privilege of appearing before 500 assembled folks at my alma mater, Schenck High School in East Millinocket to present the Roni Thompson Memorial Scholarship that I established after we lost Roni to cancer.
Because the fund has grown significantly, I was able to double the amount - given each year to a graduating Schenck Senior whose life has been significantly affected by this terrible disease - cancer.
I asked attendees who remembered Roni...and scores of folks raised their hands. And when I asked them who's lives had also been touched by cancer, even more quietly acknowledged.
Then Roni's amazing daughter Mikala presented the award to Lacey Lee, who lost her mom, Lisa, to cancer 4 years ago, when Lacey was only 14.
Folks rose to their feet in applause as Lacey tearfully came forward to accept her award. Many tears flowed..hardly a dry eye in the room.
Afterwards, I was honored to pose with this terrific young woman - who will study nursing - with, of course, a framed photo of her mom.
Thank you to the staff and administration at Schenck for allowing me to honor my best friend this way. And thank you Kala Dawn for finding the strength and courage you displayed so well. I know your mom is very proud
One of my favorite moments from Convention. My dear friend Hon. Heather Sirocki received the Nickerson & O'Day Legislative Courage Award for her courageous fight against FGM in the Maine Legislature. Rather than giving a speech about herself, she made a passionate speech about getting Speaker Gideon to act on important legislation, including calling on delegates to program Speaker Gideon's phone number into their cell phones.
We put Speaker Gideon's phone number up on the big screen to make sure everyone got it. Here it is.
Thank you Heather for always fighting the good fight and staying true to your principles. We LOVE YOU and Karl Ward's speech about you in the award ceremony was a fitting tribute!
So far, so good...
Took 2 days but we made it in one piece to Lima, Perù and met with Perùvian military for a flight north to village of Tumbes to begin a 9-day medical relief mission near the Ecuador border.
Not only am I running but this will be my most hard-working and vigorous campaign yet.
2 years ago we won by 2000 votes with 5300 cast...a 40% margin...one of the largest vote margins in Maine.
This time, we aim to work even HARDER.
#takingnosalary #selffunded #coldcasesquad
Read Ellsworth American's coverage here
Earlier this past week, Nickerson & O'Day, Inc. was informed that we have been selected as the Construction Manager for the new $3M Husson Student Wellness Center which will be built on the Husson campus in Bangor! The center will combine nursing, physical and occupation therapy activities, a patient simulation lab, space for criminal justice education and an adjoining lobby to integrate the two main building spaces.
Design will begin immediately with a groundbreaking this fall and the building will open in time for the Fall, 2019 semester. This project continues a 25-year relationship between NOD and Husson spanning projects including the G.Pierce Webber Campus Center, NESCOM, Swan Fitness Center, O'Donnell Commons, Gracie Theatre, Beardsley Meeting House, Furman Student Center, Cressey's Marketplace, School of Pharmacy, Dickerman Dining Commons, Hart and Carlisle Hall Renovations.
Thank you, Husson for entrusting your latest addition to Nickerson & O'Day!
Read Mainebiz's coverage here
Read Bangor Daily News' coverage here
A delicious pot-luck dinner was held on Thursday, January 25th at the Verona Island Town Hall with about 60 Verona Islanders attending, swapping Christmas stories, catching up and shaking off the winter!
A highlight of the evening was a presentation by State Representative Karl Ward of a scholarship check for $1,500.00 to the Verona Women's Club (pictured).
Since first elected in 2014, Ward (center) has pledged to return his legislative take-home pay back to his towns each year and his annual check to the VWC will again fund several college scholarships to Verona Island students.
On hand this year was Mitchell Small (to the immediate left of Rep. Ward), a two time scholarship winner who will be graduating from Maine Maritime Academy this Spring.
For more information about the scholarship, please contact Verona Island Town Clerk, Marlene Smith at the Verona Town Hall at 469-7965.
Monday night, as we do every year, Nickerson & O'Day teamed up with the great men and women of Bangor Fire Department to go on a huge "shopping spree" to support Toys for Tots! Our Office Manager, Casey Crocker brought along her 3 kids and they had a BLAST, knowing that they were helping to provide Christmas joy to less fortunate kids who, otherwise, would have no toys under the tree on Christmas morning. Many thanks to Jared Bowden, Andy Willigar, and the gang at Bangor Fire for once again, going above and beyond the call of duty to make this season bright! Merry Christmas, everyone!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
A. Whatever it takes to keep him on the ground.
Checkout WABI TV's coverage here
Q. What do you do when you hear your 84-year-young father in law (who NEVER sits still) starts talking about re-roofing his own house... and you own a construction company?
A. Whatever it takes to keep him on the ground.
(Worth it. Nice work, guys!)
Progress continues for Nickerson & O'Day on the new $1.2 M New Hinckley Yachts Boat House and Storage Facility in Southwest Harbor. We are trying to beat the coming winter weather and expect project completion by mid-December...praying for "fair winds and calm seas"!
Great job so far by NOD PM Jason Lane and Superintendent Ellery Tracy...the radiant floor heat system is complete and the superstructure makes progress daily!
Aside from minor efforts occurring over school breaks the remainder of the year, this work will all be completed next summer - just in time for students' return next August.
Many thanks to the administration for placing your faith in Nickerson & O'Day...one of Maine's leading school constructors!
Yesterday we welcomed over 300 students, teachers, staff, administrators, local citizens and curious onlookers to the site of the new 50 million dollar Nokomis High School and Middle School.
This project will require over 220,000 cubic feet of ledge blasting, 1.3 million cubic feet of gravel, and 2 million pounds of structural steel to create this new 215,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility!
It will be the largest project in the 65 year history of Nickerson & O'Day! Be sure to check out our progress and come by for the grand opening in less than 3 years!
See WABI's coverage of the event here.
Perfectly quiet...not a sound...serene, peaceful and beautiful. The People's House.
Thank you to all who have put their faith in and cast their vote for me and trusted me to represent their interests. I've done my best.
Next to my wife saying "yes" 30 years ago, this continues to be the greatest honor ever bestowed upon me. Thank you.
On October 10th, I visited my amazing mom, Marnie Ward, who at almost 80 years young, still lives in my childhood home in Medway. We took a ride to see the beautiful foliage and, of course, stopped to visit Dad up the Grindstone Road.... Decided his headstone needed some weeding...I think I got most of them.
27 years...still think of him every day... Miss you, Dad. XO, Karlie
But on this day each year, September 11th, I made a subtle change....lest I forget.
In the years since, I've watched him grow and learn and become the man he is today...his first words, his first steps, first day of school, riding a bike, first fish, first goal, first hit, first deer...school plays, teaching him to drive, coaching him from t-ball to Legion, graduation, move-in at Johns Hopkins, cancer research and next spring...college graduation.
We've shared all of this, Ry-Ry, and my life has been made full...because of experiences like these.
Thank you, Ryan Ward, for filling my life. I love you, son. Happy 21st birthday! XO, Papabear
Earlier last week, I had the privilege of touring Nickerson & O'Day's $2M addition and renovation project at the Maine Veterans Home in South Paris. The work will provide a beautiful new kitchen, dining and lounge areas for our veterans who deserve nothing but the best! Kudos to Project Superintendent Jay Spox who is wrapping things up with his son Kyle Spox! Keep up the good work guys!
Earlier last week, I toured Nickerson & O'Day's $31M project at the Joint Force Headquarters, Camp Chamberlain in Augusta. Work is progressing rapidly for completion this fall. By January, our men and women of the Maine Army and Air National Guard will move into this state-of-the-art statewide command center where they will perform safety, security and disaster management duties for the People of the Great State of Maine. Stay tuned for the ribbon-cutting!
As you may know, when I first ran for the Maine Legislature, I pledged that I would donate all of my legislative take-home pay to the schools, youth programs and created scholarships across my 7-town district. Six scholarships were again awarded this spring from my pledge :)
Well, today, I opened my mail to find this - another amazing and thoughtful thank you letter - this one from Maine Maritime Academy Midshipman Mitchell Small of Verona Island!
Talk about hard-working! As soon as he finished his overseas cruise, he jumped on a blueberry harvester in Cherryfield working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day! With this work ethic, I predict great things for this young man!
Thank you, Midshipman Small for this kind letter! You are the future of our State and the reason I am serving in the Maine House of Representatives! Keep up the great work!
When I first ran for the Maine State Legislature, I promise that if elected, I would refuse to take home any pay, and would instead, donate all of it to the schools, youth programs, and scholarships across my District.
Well, on the 26th, I received a nice thank-you note from Kayla Gray of Verona Island, a recipient of one of those scholarships! Kayla will be graduating from the University of Maine this spring with a double major in Developmental Psychology and Communication Sciences and Disorders and it sounds like she's headed for her Master's degree!
Kayla, thank you for writing back to me! You are exactly the reason why I am volunteering my service in the Maine Legislature!
Proud to have been a part of this "groundbreaking" project as State Representative for House District 131!!. Kudos to Penobscot's Bailey Bowden and the great folks at The Nature Conservancy, NOAA and many others for 2 years of work to make this a reality!
As Bailey likes to say: "Billions of Fish!"
Construction under way to improve historic alewife runs in Penobscot
When I was a kid in the early 70's, I helped my Dad restore a 1930 Ford Model A coupe. We drove it in local parades and I'll never forget riding in its "rumble seat" in the back. He sold it while I was in college but I do now own his 1930 Dodge 4-door sedan.
My uncle, Mike Lorna Severance and his father, Larry would bring Larry's coupe (that he bought from the original owner's widow in 1960) down occasionally and we'd drive them around town. When Larry passed in '89, Mike inherited it and it went from yellow to red.
Well, a couple weeks ago, Mike asked me if I'd like to own it. And I jumped at the chance! He knows she will be well cared for :) and will stay in the family. Thanks, Uncle Mike for trusting me with your "baby".
When I was a kid, occasionally my Dad would talk about his experience in WW2. He quit his senior year at the Old Brewer High School to join on his 18th birthday. I learned from him about the Boeing B17 "Flying Fortress", the "plane that defeated the Nazis and liberated Europe".
Well, last Sunday, I climbed into the Bombardiers seat in the nose of this amazing aircraft named "Sentimental Journey" - one of the last still flying - as all four engines roared to life and we were airborne over tranquil MDI (see the attached takeoff and landing videos filmed from my seat in the nose).
I tried to imagine what it must have felt like to head over Nazi-occupied Europe with swarming German fighters and walls of anti-aircraft fire exploding all around. The bravery of these men became more real to me.
To all of the Greatest Generation of Americans who turned back fascism in all corners of the planet, Thank You for your service. America will be eternally indebted to you.
Last week I was proud to take part in the ceremonial groundbreaking for the latest Nickerson O'Day project, the new, $1.2M boat storage facility for world-renowned Hinckley Yachts in Southwest Harbor. Many thanks to Hinckley COO Mike Arieta and General Manager Tara Reagan for entrusting Nickerson & O'Day with this important work!
New Facility At Hinckley Yacht Service Underway
When I ran for the State House, I pledged that if elected, I would give my legislative take-home pay to help the youth of my District...through gifts to youth groups, our schools and through academic scholarships.
On August 11th, I received a very nice thank you from one such scholarship winner, Cassidy Adams of Verona Island. Sounds like she put it to great use and will be a Pharmacist in 2 short years!
Thank you Cassidy for brightening my day! It's for the bright future leaders of this State like you that I am serving in Augusta. I'm so glad I could help someone like you :) Good Luck!
Our baseball tournament behind us, we've embarked on Boston-area college tours with our youngest, Braeden! MIT, Harvard yesterday, Tufts, BU, Northeastern and Dartmouth yet to come! Hard not to be excited...and a little jealous!
This year, for the 12th straight season, I had the privilege of managing a team for Holbrook Little League, the 16U Senior League Team. Over the years, these teams have gone an incredible 134-27 and 34-15 in tournament play. And this season was no exception! We played our home games under the lights at Mahaney Diamond at UMaine and Winkin Field at Husson. After going 10-2 with 3 walk-offs and 5 come-from-behinders, we played in the State Tournament but finished 3rd, losing to a "controversial" team that had been caught using illegal players but not required to forfeit those games.
Sensing their disappointment at not going to an out-of-state tournament, I arranged through Sluggers Baseball Training Center in Brewer to play in the East Coast Access Wooden Bat Tournament in Massachusetts this past weekend. And while we didn't win (our opponents wound up being the #2, #3 and #4 teams in this 16-team tournament), we played well and had a blast!
The highlight of the trip was also the recognition and team video given each player at a team dinner last Saturday and after the last game, surprising them with seats in the Dell Computer private suite directly behind home plate at Fenway Park for yesterday's game! Watch the video for their smiles when they arrived!
Many thanks to the players: Ben Spear, Alec Gagnon, Eric Cammack, Braeden Ward, Matt Cunningham, Raiden Charity, Jacob Larochelle, Ben Southwick, Ethan Newcomb, Joshua Birch, James Butler, and Max Chadwick and coaches Alan Spear and Richard Charity, and to team mom Heather Wiersma Charity for all the fun and hard work you put in since late April. I will never forget this season.
As written on our team photo given to each player: "Wisdom is knowing which path to take....Integrity is taking it." You all showed both this season. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
On the week of July 29th, I watched as my oldest, Katie Ward had a very "big" day in her life. She is officially now a first-year Medical Student at Tufts University College of Medicine...and here she officially received her ceremonial first stethoscope.
You've earned this, Katie...every bit of it. We are all so very proud of you. XO, Papabear
Yesterday, I was excited to join Doug Ray of the Dept. Of Economic and Community Development and Elena Metzger from Print Bangor as judges on the 3rd episode of Season 2 of Greenlight Maine, filmed at the Nickerson & O'Day-built New England School of Communications on the campus of Husson University to judge the competition between Advanced Concepts and Engineering and Indigo Diagnostic Imaging. Each presented their products and were thoroughly grilled by the panel of judges and the vote was unanimous...
....but you'll have tune I'm to WLBZ Channel 2 or WCSG Channel 6 next month to see who is moving on to the next round!
Remembering a Penobscot Legend....
A couple months ago, I received a call from Penobscot's Mike Russell asking for some help in a project he had envisioned: a new 35' flagpole that would be erected at the Jim Henry Ballfield in Penobscot and dedicated in honor of longtime Penobscot baseball and softball coach Fulton Leach, who had passed away a couple years ago.
Well, I jumped at the chance and contacted Billy Hutchins who runs Oakley Hutchins Excavation in Penobscot and Bobby Wardwell who runs Robert Wardwell Construction in Orland for the earthwork and concrete, respectively. Our good friends at United Rentals in Bangor provided the manlift and provided the labor and supervision... all of these things were donated by these great businesses!
Last Tuesday we poured the foundation and last Friday, we erected the flagpole and flew Old Glory as a test!
If you're around Penobscot tomorrow for Penobscot Days, please join us at Jim Henry Field at 2 pm for the official dedication and remembrance ceremony for Coach Fulton Leach. I'm sure he'd be very proud to be remembered this way!
Last night, the Republicans in the House of Representatives stood alone and held firm against wasteful Democrat taxation that targeted Maine's tourist industry and we forced Democrats back to the bargaining table for a fourth time to kill the lodging tax and the terrible 3% surcharge and save the Maine taxpayer over $320 million dollars.
Afterwards, I was fortunate to be at the Governors side when he signed the budget into law and ended the shutdown at 1 a.m. on, of all days, Independence Day, the 4th of July.
Now, it's time to head home, two hours north. If I'm lucky, I am there by 3:30 a.m. A chance to rest, finally.
Read the coverage from BDN
Happy Birthday, Brae-Brae! XO Papabear
In May, as part of my pledge to donate all of my legislative salary back to our schools, youth groups and scholarships, I visited with the awesome teachers and staff of the Penobscot Community School in the town of Penobscot to present a check for $1,500 to purchase a new stage sound system. :)
Well, in the mail the other day, I got the biggest thank you card ever - in the shape of audio speakers! Best part is all the kids signed it too!
This made my day! Such a creative and thoughtful expression! I can't wait to visit again soon...and try out the new sound system!
...I could never have imagined the life that was ahead of us. We were just babies...but we didn't think that. We were optimistic, eager to venture forth, confident.
Now, 3 decades later, we are wiser, tempered together by the experience...the loss and the new life, the successes and failures, satisfaction and pride...watching our own babies grow...and now leave our nest with their own confidence. We took chances, we risked, we pushed, we feared, we cried, we cheered, we laughed...
...and through it all, we leaned on and held onto each other...we truly became as one...inseparable.
My bride, it is said that "Life is not fully lived without Love." I believe this.
Thank you for filling my life to overflowing. Happy 30th Anniversary. XO, Me
It's 10:42 pm....and I'm headed home...
The day starts early..very early. Then comes the daily hour, 45 minute trek to the State House, 90 minutes of caucus, double session and back on the road at 4...arriving at this door after everyone has gone home for the night...and working the night shift in order to keep my company and employees working.
Why do I do this? Ask myself that every day for 6 months....
Because I have a duty to my State of Maine to keep it from falling victim to socialist Democrats. I am a Republican and I'm the last line of defense between unsuspecting Mainers and the devastation that would result if we didn't stop Democrats...
If we were not there...and if they ever get the Blaine House back you'd see legal "shoot up houses" for heroin trafficking, the highest taxes in the nation, massive welfare expansion, explosive State debt, failing State pension funds, collapse of the Maine economy, rapid out-migration of job creators and the State GDP they produce, sanctuary cities, crumbling infrastructure, explosion of education expense with no better results...and Maine's return to 50th place in ranking State economies.
Someone has to keep this from happening. If not me, then who? Saving Maine from economy-destroying, socialist Democrats so my kids can live here...well, it must be done.
So, I have joined the Republican Army as a front-line footsoldier in the War to Save Maine.
But I'm tired...and we need more troops. People like YOU to get involved and help give us back the majority in the House...so we can stop Democrats and their destruction...and make Maine strong again. Please...please help me. Join us. It is a noble cause.
Now, I'm headed home to my sleeping house.
Tomorrow the battle begins anew.
House Democrats, led by Erin Herbig and Charlotte Warren, moved MINORITY Reports that had only garnered 2 votes out of 13 in committee, and then whipped their compliant lemming members into voting FOR CRIMINALS AND AGAINST POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS.
On the week of June 12th, they voted to allow female genital mutilation on little girls...and today they spat in the face of those who wear a badge.
This is why we must elect Republicans in 2018...to give us a majority and end this disgusting era in Maine politics.
On June 17th, I was privileged to attend the 2017 Dedham Annual Town Meeting held at the Dedham School and honor three individuals who have made a significant impact on our town for generations: David "Enos" Hamilton, a WW2 veteran in Africa, Italy and France...who was the Dedham Town Road Commissioner for literally decades, who passed away at 97 earlier this year. I presented a formal Legislative Memoriam to his grandson, Craig Hamilton, who runs the construction company that still bears his name. Also Walter "Sonny" Gray, who ran Walter Gray & Sons Construction until he was in his 80's and who also cared for our roads for a generation. And finally, our beloved Dedham School Principal, Kathy Lawson, who not only attended the Dedham School in the 60's, but taught there and was its Principal for 40 years. I gave her a framed Legislative Sentiment signed by the Speaker of the House and Senate President, to a standing ovation! Thank you to all three....you are our Dedham Treasures...and we will miss you. - with Shelby Young and 9 others at Dedham School.
Many thanks to Town Clerk Connie Brown and Selectmen Ralph Gonzales,Lester Stackpole and Ed Rankin and Fire Chief Bobby Conary and many others for all the hard work you put in on behalf of the citizens of Orland!
In 2008, Nickerson & O'Day completed the new dormitory project at Foxcroft Academy to house their successful international student boarding program. To say thanks and to literally help "build" our next generation of Maine leaders, I donated $30,000.00 to create the new Nickerson & O'Day Construction/Engineering Scholarship and asked that it be given to a graduating FA senior headed for a STEM degree in a Maine college or university. On June 10th the scholarship was awarded from the fund to Colby Garland, a member of FA's graduating Class of 2017! Congratulations, Colby...and good luck in your engineering career!
On June 13th, I was thrilled to again be invited to speak before about 300 assembled guests, teachers, parents, families and students at the 2017 Dedham School 8th Grade Graduation, where I presented, on behalf of the Maine Legislature, the Governor of the State of Maine and the Secretary of State, the 2017 8th Grade Citizenship Award to a very deserving young lady, Ella Jellison!
In reading her accomplishments, it was hard to imagine anything she HASN'T done at the Dedham School! She's headed for John Bapst High School this fall and we're excited to have her join our school! Congratulations, Ella!!
On June 14th. I was humbled to again be invited by Principal Nichole Pothier to appear before parents, teachers and graduating 8th graders at the Beech Hill School in Otis as part of their formal Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony. I drove up from Augusta for this special occasion and made it just in time to present, on behalf of the Maine Legislature and the Governor of the State of Maine, Paul LePage, the 2017 Secretary of State Eighth Grade Citizenship Award to an outstanding young man - Hunter Flood!!
On June 13, I was honored to speak at the 2017 Penobscot Community School 8th Grade Graduation held at PCS. There, I spoke about my commitment and past service to our education system and announced that my legislative salary would go to purchase a new stage sound system for the school!
I then announced the winner of this year's 8th Grade Citizenship Award - an amazing young lady, Sydney Gray! Congratulations, Sydney!!
On June 10th, I ventured back, once again, to my alma mater, Schenck High School in East Millinocket to deliver a commencement speech and to honor someone who means a lot to me...Roni (Severance) Thompson. 5 years ago, we lost Roni to cancer and I established a fully-funded scholarship in her name. In addressing the 400 attendees, I asked all SHS graduates to stand and decade by decade, asked them to sit until just 2, from the class of '48 and '42 were left standing! I asked everyone to remember their high school memories, and then I honored my Roni and asked everyone whose life had been touched by cancer to raise their hand. Most hands went up. Her daughter, Krissy then gave tearful and moving tribute to her mother...hardly a dry eye in the building...and presented the 2017 Rhonda Thompson Scholarship to AbiGayle Austin...whose own mother has battled cancer.
I still miss you Roni...every day. We'll keep your memory alive...and keep helping out future leaders succeed...
As a proud co-sponsor, I'm thrilled to say that on June 15th, LD673, "An Act to Restore the Tip Credit to Maine's Minimum Wage Law" was passed by an overwhelming 107-37 vote! Now it heads to the Senate and then to the Governor's desk. Further proof that creating laws by referendum, without the deliberative process we get with the legislative process. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this a success! We're almost there!
On June 9th, we debated LD327, which would have added Maine to the over 40 other states that would allow civil action against a drunk driver who killed a viable fetus before birth. Several Republicans spoke for the bill, including Rep. Sheldon Hanington and Rep. Roger Reed who told emotional personal stories on how similar events affected their lives. Democrats stayed silent and would say nothing, looking down. Then, under the watchful eye of Speaker Sara Gideon and Rep. Erin Herbig, who whipped their members and held the vote open, this bill was voted down by just one vote, 72-71.
Here's the roll call.
Democrats moved Ought Not To Pass so a Yea vote is to kill the bill and a Nay vote is in favor of passing the bill. Look how your Rep voted. And tell everyone you know. And don't forget this in the next election.
But you can help! This bill is headed to the Senate and if it passes there, it comes back to the House for finally passage! PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATOR AND TELL THEM TO VOTE OUGHT TO PASS ON LD327! Give us a 2nd chance in the House!
When I first ran for State Representative, I made a promise to the people of District 131: That I would donate all of my legislative take-home pay back to the youth of my District - through school projects, help for youth organizations and scholarships across my 7 towns. Last January, the Prospect Community Club opted to use their share of my 2016 salary for two college scholarships for Prospect seniors graduating from Bucksport High School. And on June 8th, I was I was privileged to personally give a $750.00 scholarship each to Brody Boynton and Kristina Cloutier who are each headed to careers in construction and teaching! Good luck to all graduating seniors! And thanks to Barbara Tilley and Linda Gamble for allowing me the privilege of meeting these two fine young people!
On June 6th, 8 years to the day from when I first joined the Board of Trustees at John Bapst Memorial High School, I attended my final Board meeting at our beloved school. In a brief address to the Board, I recalled the significant changes that I helped play a role in: getting our finances straightened out, launching a very successful international boarding program and repairing our school after a devastating fire...better than before. I also described what this school has meant to my family and my own 3 Bapst kids. I received a beautiful gift - a pen made from wood salvaged from the school and a nice certificate to 11 Central and a very nice note from Head of School Mel MacKay! Will be staying on the Finance and Buildings & Grounds Committees and plan to support Bapst as I can....and may even return to the Board in the future! Thanks for a great 8 years, John Bapst!
On June 2nd, as a proud John Bapst parent and Board member and as State Representative for several Bapst "sending towns", I had the tremendous honor of presenting formal, bound Legislative Sentiments, signed by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House to (l to r) Orrington's Dixon Rand, Bangor's Isaiah Degen and Glenburn's Nan Zhang as tri-valedictorians of the Class of 2017 before over 400 students, friends, family, parents and staff at the beautifully ornate, Nickerson & O'Day-restored Joseph Sekera Auditorium at John Bapst Memorial High School! Congratulations to each of you! You do Bapst proud!
On May 30th, my friend and colleague in community service, Rev. Dr. James Haddix, recently retired Minister at All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor accepted my invitation to deliver the Opening Prayer (pictured) in the Maine House of Representatives. Later in the Session, I recognized him with comments from the floor highlighting his career and his extraordinary achievements and community leadership in the Bangor Region. This list is truly incredible. I was also privileged to delivered to him a personally-framed, formal Legislative Sentiment honoring him upon his retirement. Jim, thank you for all you have done and all you have meant for so many. I'm proud to call you my friend.
I was honored to ride in the Prospect Memorial Day parade and then speak before roughly 300 proud Americans at the Prospect Veterans Memorial. The parade was a blast, with several fire departments and EMS crews participating! The Bucksport Middle School Band led the procession and then played the National Anthem at the Memorial. The Jerry Dobbins Post of the American Legion from Sandy Point volleyed the rifle salute. My speech focused on those who have made the supreme sacrifice in defense of our Nation. And the best part? 4-year-old Case Gebo rode in my 4-wheeler with me and had fun throwing candy to all the folks along the parade route! Just look at his smile! Adorable :) Thanks Nicky Dyer for loaning him! He was perfect!
To all the Veterans who have given us all we have today....THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE.
On May 22nd, in keeping my pledge to donate all of my legislative take-home pay to schools, scholarships and youth programs across my district, I visited the amazing staff, administration and students of the Beech Hill School in Otis and presented them with a check for $1,500.00! Principal Nicky Pothier introduced me and I addressed these excited kids to announce that we would be introducing "greenscreen" technology into the classrooms with my gift - which will enable them to do videography, presentations, history, geography and even STEM-based learning at Beech Hill. When we posed for this picture we held up the "number 1" sign in honor of their champion Destination Imagination team which is headed to the National Championships in Knoxville Tennessee in the very near future! Obviously, some very good things happening in Otis! Thanks for letting me share in the success! Kevin Copeland Kim Ericson Matt Whitegiver Betsy A Peasley Jennie Dunn
Your House of Representatives voted on a bill that would have required those giving committee testimony to....get this....TELL THE TRUTH!
And in a party line vote, Democrats (the "green" lights) voted to kill it, 72-71...by ONE VOTE.
Take a close look at the photos of the vote...if your Representative voted "green", then they voted against TRUTH IN THE STATE HOUSE.
Maybe you should tell others... remember their vote in November, 2018....and give THEM a dose of Truth.
On May 11, at the Annual District Meeting of the Katahdin Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, held at Jeff's Catering in Brewer, my father in law, 84 year old Fred Otto was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award! A Scout since 1943 and a 1949 Eagle Scout, he attended the World Scout Jamboree in Austria in 1951, was a longtime Orono Scout master and won Scouting highest award, the Silver Beaver, over 74 years of Scouting. He received a full standing ovation from the large crowd! Well deserved! Congratulations, Eagle Scout Otto! We're always proud of you!
May 17, I continued to honor my pledge to my District to donate all of my State Representative legislative pay to schools, scholarships and youth programs across my House District, donating another $1500.00 to the Orland Community Center Playground Fund! This spring, we plan to add 4 new play apparatus, and hope to have them all installed before school lets out! Thanks to Orland Town Clerk Connie Brown (center) and Community Center Manager Michael Malenfant (right) for allowing me the opportunity to bring some joy to our Orland kids!
Sen. Shenna Bellows and Rep. Sylvester of (of course) Portland voted against our tipped wage workers (Remember that in November, 2018).
Congratulations to the HUNDREDS of Maine tipped wage workers who came to Augusta to tell us your story... and thank you for allowing me to help right such a obvious liberal Democrat wrong.
Read about it on the Maine Senate GOP website
Read about it on the WLBZ 2 website
Many times, since that night, when I'm having a bad day, I remember the example he is setting......and I shut the hell up and get back to work.
Watch. And you'll be inspired too.
See the video on our Facebook page
In a straight party line vote, House Democrats, led by Rep. Erin Herbig and Speaker Sara Gideon, killed a bill I co-authored and sponsored, LD 121, "An Act To Require Photographic Identification to Vote" that would have prevented virtually all voter fraud in Maine.
Apparently, Democrats don't think your opinion matters. Let's show them your opinion in November, next year, shall we?
On April 20th, I was proud to appear before the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to present my bill, LD 11 - "Resolve, To Amend the Constitution of the State of Maine to Establish the Right to Hunt and Fish". This is in response to repeated out-of-state attempts to push referenda to take game management out of the hands of biologists and professionals and let these wealthy, liberal organizations tell us Mainers how to live. Please contact your Legislators and tell them to support LD -11, and allow Mainers to decide on this Amendment on the ballot this fall!
Stan Shorey recently retired after 25 years as selectman for the Town of Penobscot. Along the way, he helped improve roads, build a new fire station, install septic systems at the school, solve solid waste problems all while leading the local Scout troop, substitute teaching and even driving the bus...in fact he was the 1997 Maine School Bus Driver of the Year! I introduced him to my caucus and to Congressman Bruce Poliquin, who was visiting!
At the end of my tribute, Stan and his wife Roberta were given a thunderous standing ovation from the entire House of Representatives...exhibiting appreciation for a life of service to his small Maine town. Congratulations Mr. Shorey, you deserve it!
Want a great home-cooked meal and a chance to get out and see folks? Then mark your calendars for the second Saturday night of every month through this summer to stop into the Prospect Community Center for "baked beans and a whole lot more" !
Chances are, you'll see me there too!
Read about it here.
In closing, I also presented these amazing young men a personal letter from Governor Paul LePage and a pair of Governor's Coins inscribed with "10 two-letter words": "If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me", a phrase used often by Governor LePage.
It was also announced that both boys have been accepted into Princeton University this fall...where they will both study Mechanical Engineering. Simply exceptional young men. Congratulations boys!
In my first term, I sponsored and coauthored LD 1121, "An Act to Create the Maine Cold Case Homicide Squad" and held one of the largest press conferences of the 127th Maine Legislature, overcoming 10 vetoes...and the Unsolved Homicide Unit was formed last year. On April 7th, they made an arrest on the 38-year case of the murder of a 4 month old little boy, Nathan Hagar by his father, Burton "Ben" Hagar.
I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Maine State Police Col. Robert Williams and the incredibly hard working detectives and forensic scientists of the Cold Case Squad. Shedding tears of pride, relief and sadness all at once.
Keep up the great work!
Read about the case in the Bangor Daily News
Last night, I was honored to continue my pledge to my towns to return my legislative salary to programs designed to help kids across my District by presenting to the Verona Women's Club a check for $1,500.00 to fund college scholarships to Verona Island students! If you know a current college student who might be eligible, please contact Verona Island Town Clerk Marlene Smith at the Town Office for an application!
Should hateful ambush and sniper violence like in NYC, Dallas and Baton Rouge call for a heightened sentence? What do you think?
These reforms have gotten runaway Mainecare costs under control, put thousands of able-bodied Mainers to work, reduced taxes significantly and raised the living standards and self-respect of those previously trapped by a Democrat welfare system that was designed to keep them dependent on government. Please contact your legislators and let them know you want them to support and vote for the Governor's new bill...for Maine's future.
This is an emergency call to action!
It's not enough to simply type out a Facebook comment! It is time for you, yes, you, to pick up the phone or write an email and send a message directly to your state legislator, particularly if they are a Democrat. Maine stands to lose thousands of jobs and hundreds of job creators because of question 2. It is not enough to stand on the sidelines and watch and b****. You need to take action to stop the Democrats from continuing this long slow destruction of the Maine economy! I testified yesterday in the state house. I stayed there till 9 p.m. last night, then drove to my office 2 hours away, and then worked until 1 a.m., and now I'm headed back there again. We don't have enough voices on this! We need your help desperately! They will listen to you exclamation point please, please help Maine businesses and employers. Act! Now!
I'm curious what you all think of this... tax the rich employers...or find another way to make school funding affordable? Your thoughts?
Word has it that rather than clean things up, she intends to retaliate... My advice: choose your target(s) and words very carefully...
Watch the report below and tell me what you think. Fence?...or no?
It's time to come clean, release records and own up to the People of Maine...
It's time to drain the swamp.
Please Share and tell everyone you know to Share as well...
This is how we get around our liberal media...
In my role as State Representative, I have submitted for drafting, reference and consideration the "Maine Blue Lives Matter Bill", which would provide stiffer protections for Maine Police, Sheriffs, Firefighters, Emergency Responders and Wardens and greater penalties if they are physically assaulted and injured simply because they are wearing a badge or uniform, including them under the current "hate crime" definition that exists now in Maine statute.
What do you think? Should our price and emergency responders have our support?
Democrat Rep. John Martin, who has been here since I was born in 1963, disagrees and says we should trust the newspapers like the Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald.
How do YOU feel about this?
Maine Rep. Proposes Change to Social Media Rules During House Sessions
Downeast Community Hospital Expanding
As you may know, as State Representative for District 131(Otis, Dedham, Orland, Penobscot, Verona Island, Prospect and Stockton Springs), I have pledged to give back all of my legislative salary to my 7 towns - focusing on schools, clubs, organizations and scholarships that benefit our young people.
On January 14th, I kept that promise to the kids of Prospect, presenting Prospect Community Club's Barb Tilley (center) and Linda Gamble (right) with a check for $1,500.00 - that will fund several scholarships to be given to Prospect seniors graduating this spring!
An extra treat waiting when I arrived was J.W. Harriman, one of the recipients of last year's scholarships! He took the time to come see me, say thanks and update me on his college progress! He truly made my day!
A few weeks ago, Penobscot constituent Melissa Nute contacted me to say she was taking her adorable daughter Chelsea to our nation's Capitol, Washington DC, to see the sights and wondered if I could help her do that.
I contacted my good friend Congressman Bruce Poliquin and as you can see, he was all to Happy to oblige and they got to meet him, get a tour and see the actual House of Representatives chamber!! My guess is Chelsea will never forget it!
Many thanks to Bruce for taking the time to meet these awesome ladies and to Melissa for reaching out to me! Wish I could have been there! Maybe Chelsea should come to Augusta and be a House Page for a day!?
See WABI's story here
See Fox Bangor's story here
Not long ago, I received this heartwarming letter from Miss Kayla Gray of Verona Island, thanking me for the scholarship she received. An obviously ambitious young woman, she closed with this:
"I am honored to be a recipient and thank you for your investment in my post secondary education; I will continue to make you proud."
Kayla, you're off to a great start already :)
This year, we were able to raise about $3,000 and Tuesday night, we visited Bangor stores and "filled the firetruck" to the roof with presents! We then delivered the load to the Bangor region Toys for Tots warehouse for distribution to needy families.
In doing this, we ensure that dozens of children across Maine who otherwise would have nothing under their tree Christmas morning, can see that Santa did not forget them this year!
Many thanks to Bangor Fire Department Chief Thomas Higgins, and firefighters Andy Willigar, Jared Bowden, and John York and many others and their families for allowing us to be part of this great tradition! Merry Christmas to everyone!
Checkout the Story from WABI
November 5, 2016 - Awesome morning of Hunters Breakfasts, first at the Orland Community Center, benefitting the new Orland Community Playground...then I headed over to the Prospect Community Center and saw a couple dozen more constituents! Everyone got a Ward for Legislature Sunrise/Sunset hunter pocket card...gotta stay legal!! Thanks to all the volunteers who help make this happen!
October 31, 2016 - On October 29, I had the honor of speaking before roughly 300 folks as we cut the ribbon on our latest Nickerson & O'Day creation - the new $10M Sargent Family Recreation and Community Center in Presque Isle!
During my speech, I announced that we would establish a $30,000.00 Nickerson & O'Day- pledged program for the youth of the region - to develop their health and minds at this amazing new center.
Many thanks to all involved and for allowing me and my company to be a part of this great collaboration!
October 31, 2016 - As you may know, I've pledged my legislative salary to youth programs, schools and projects across my District. Well, good things are now happening...
This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of helping to cut the ribbon on the new Orland Community Playground! We invited the kids of Orland to do the actual cutting and they were awesome. Then the playing began!!
Many thanks to Orland Town Clerk Connie Brown, Community Center Manager Mike Malenfant, Bobby Wardwell and Wardwell Construction (who did a TON of free work!), and Nickerson & O'Day Project Manager Wade Poulton, who did the design and coordinated the construction activities and donations!
We have further plans for 2017 so stay tuned!!
December 15, 2016 - Promises Made....Promises Kept.
When I ran for State Representative in 2014, I pledged to donate my legislative take-home pay to youth concerns, scholarships and our schools across District 131 (Orland, Dedham, Penobscot, Verona Island, Otis, Prospect and Stockton Springs). In Orland, that gift went to help create the new Orland Community Playground, located next to the Orland Community Center. Progress is being quickly made by my Nickerson & O'Day crew and we expect to have the kids cut the ribbon next Saturday!
December 15, 2016 - October 17th: As a Life Member and strong Second Amendment supporter, I am proud to receive an "A" rating and full endorsement from the National Rifle Association. I will always stand up for the constitutional rights of our citizens and support our Maine outdoor and hunting heritage! VOTE NO ON 3.
October 11, 2016 - Last week, I was honored to sponsor and help host along with WLBZ's Amanda Hill and Chris Facchini, the 2016 WLBZ2 To Those Who Care Awards at the beautiful, Nickerson & O'Day-built Gracie Theatre on the campus of Husson University! This award recognizes outstanding volunteers all across Eastern and Central Maine. It will be broadcast on November 11th, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day on WLBZ Channel 2!
I've been proud to support this event for several years now and if you know of an outstanding area volunteer, please contact WLBZ and submit them for consideration in 2017!
September 28, 2016 - Last night at the monthly meeting of the Penobscot Shellfish Committee, held at the Penobscot Town Hall, I presented Chairman Bailey Bowden with a personally-framed formal Maine State Legislative Sentiment honoring his recent receipt of the Gulf of Maine Council's Longard Award. He received the award for his exemplary volunteer efforts in the protection and sustainability of the Bagaduce watershed.
The award is given each year in memory of GMC co-founder Art Longard to recognize volunteer commitment to environmental protection and sustainability within the Gulf of Maine.
Congratulations, Bailey, on a well-deserved recognition!
September 27, 2016 - Yesterday, I was pleased to receive the full endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's leading advocate for small businesses. This is a result of my solid support in the State House for Maine's small business community.
My father was a member of NFIB going back to the early 1970's. My company, Nickerson & O'Day is a current member. I'm proud to receive this honor.
September 21, 2016 - On September 17th, I was honored and privileged to speak before about 100 volunteers and runners at the Run For Your Life 5K / 12K race, held annually to benefit the Stockton Springs / Prospect fire and EMS crews.
This year's race, was dedicated to Stockton Springs Town Manager Marnie Diffin, who recently lost her battle with cancer. Marnie exemplified the best in public service and it was an emotional day for those involved. Here's the story on WABI Channel 5.
Run For Your Live Honors Stockton Springs Town Manager
September 20, 2016 - When Dedham School Secretary Rhonda White lost her husband, her life was turned upside-down. And on top of that, her roof gave way and water poured in... When we saw her situation, Nickerson & O'Day, along with Hammond Lumber and United Rentals, sprang into action and came to her rescue...watch. And see.
Construction Companies Band Together To Help Family Of One Of Their Own
September 20, 2016 - On Saturday, I was honored to be asked to speak before over 100 runners and volunteers at the Annual Stockton Springs Run For Your Life 5k/12k Run-Walk benefitting the Stockton Springs/Prospect Fire and EMS Squad.
There, I dedicated the event to Stockton Springs Town Manager Marnie Diffin who passed away of cancer a few weeks ago. I presented to EMS Chief Chas Hare a formal, framed Legislative Sentiment signed by the Speaker of the House Mark Eves and President of the Senate, Mike Thibodeau.
On September 25th, I along with town officials will be out on Rocky Point, where we will present the Sentiment to the Marnie's family, and her ashes will be scattered there - one of the prettiest places in Maine.
We will miss you, Marnie.
September 19, 2016 - Calling all Ward for Legislature supporters across District 131 (Otis, Dedham, Orland, Penobscot, Verona Island, Prospect and Stockton Springs)!
We just got a fresh batch of Karl Ward signs in! Would you like one? Do you know someone else who would? They're FREE!
Getting one takes 10 SECONDS ! All you have to do is Reply to this post or Personal Message me with the PHYSICAL ADDRESS of where you would like it and I will have it out to you...PRONTO!
I'll also drop any extras you may need for your neighbors or friends in District 131. Just tell me how many you need and I'll place them near your door!
Thanks to all for your support! It means alot!
September 19, 2016 - On March 4th, I was at the press conference where the Maine State Police announced that Scott Fournier had been arrested for the murder of Joyce McLain. As Col. Williams stated "We are confident that we have Joyce's killer". I spoke to Pam McLain on the way here. Very emotional. I hope to be there when she extinguishes Joyce's candle.
September 14, 2016 - Recently, I visited with 95 year old Margaret Oxley on the Castine Road in Orland to congratulate her for being awarded the Orland Boston Post Cane, given to the town's oldest resident! Perhaps you saw the story on this award in the Ellsworth American last week.
When I congratulated her, Margaret, who is known as "Nan" to her friends and family, replied with typical aplomb, saying,"It isn't like I actually did anything. All I did was just stay alive!"
Well, Nan, you did a lot more than you think. You are a true treasure to your friends, family and the town of Orland. Congratulations, and here's to many, many more birthdays ahead!
September 13, 2016 - A reason for optimism about the future of America....please read on...
As you may know, I have pledged to donate all of my legislative take-home pay as State Representative to the schools, youth groups and to scholarships across my District for as long as I serve in this capacity.
One such a gift, for the Town of Verona Island, went to the Verona Women's Club to create four separate scholarships for college students from Verona Island.
Recently I received a thank you letter from one of the recipients, MMA Midshipman Mitchell Small and it is so well-written, that I thought I would share it with you. Specifically, I am impressed with his final paragraph which reads:
"This fall I will continue to practice the ethics of hard work and determination as I did throughout my freshman and sophomore years at the Maine Maritime Academy and put your generous gift of $250 to its fullest use. I truly appreciate the generosity you have shown and hope that one day I can give back to you the way you have given to me"
Mitchell, with this letter, you already have given me a gift worth far more than my gift to you. It reaffirms what I'm trying to do and the difference I am trying to make. I see great things in your future, young man. I wish you fair skies, calm seas and a steady course ahead. Your Representative, KW
September 12, 2016 - A day I will never forget...
8 years ago, as we neared the end of the construction of the new Brewer Public Safety building on Parkway South, I traveled in a Nickerson & O'Day flatbed truck to Ground Zero in New York City and then on to the sprawling Hangar 17 at JFK Airport. Accompanying me was Brewer Fire Captain Brent Melvin and Brewer Police Sergeant Rich Smith.
We were fulfilling a mission that I had been quietly and independently working on for nearly a year...telling no one...and had finally been approved by the City of New York.
When we entered the cavernous and massive hangar, before us more lay than 5 acres of the twisted remains of the Twin Towers, structural steel, aluminum skin, and also dozens of vehicles - mostly NYPD, New York-New Jersey Port Authority, and NYFD fire response vehicles, Rescues and more. There were taxis, postal vehicles, messenger bikes, and everything else you would expect to see in downtown Manhattan.
And everywhere...the smell...of jet fuel...
At one end of the hangar they had re-erected the wooden observation platform that had been built at Ground Zero to allow visitors and loved ones to observe the frantic recovery operations after 9-11.
This structure was covered with written messages from loved ones to those who they would never see again.
One particular message I will never forget, and it was written obviously by a young girl. And in her unsteady hand, she wrote that she missed her daddy. She wondered what heaven was like. And she closed with the words "I love you". At that moment, 9/11 became real for me. And I wondered what her life would be like without her father.
We wandered around silently for nearly the entire day. The hangar "curator", seeing the impact our visit had had, told us to "take as long as you need".
Eventually, we did what we came to do. My secret mission? To recover a portion of the World Trade Center structure and bring it back home to Brewer to be erected permanently in the Brewer Public Safety Building
The next day, with a 30' section of steel, we arrived back home. Over 50 fire and EMS Vehicles greeted us at Dysart's in Hermon and escorted us the rest of the way to Brewer, where over 400 people were waiting to welcome us. There was a podium and I was asked to speak and to reflect on the previous two days.
In my words, spoken just a week before the fateful 2008 elections, I implored all Americans to never forget the threats that exist to our country. To never forget that to survive we need to remain strong. And most importantly to never forget those we lost that day, and those who were affected the most. Like that little girl.
Like I do every 9/11, I traveled to the Brewer Public Safety Building. Gaze up at that twisted steel that now hangs from the ceiling of the fire bay, "suspended in time".
And I will remember.
September 9, 2016 - An endorsement and a gift for our kids....
I'm pleased to announce that the Association of Maine Realtors has endorsed me in my run for reelection as State Representative for Maine House District 131, (which includes the towns of Otis, Dedham, Orland, Penobscot, Verona Island, Prospect and Stockton Springs). Thank you!
Included with the endorsement letter was a check from their PAC for $375.00. In keeping with my campaign pledge to not accept PAC monies, I will add this generous gift to the donation of my entire take-home legislative salary to schools, youth groups and scholarships across my District. :)
So, on behalf of the kids of District 131, a big "Thank You!!!"
September 7, 2016 - On September 1st, I was very pleased to receive the endorsement of the Maine Credit Union League for my efforts these past 2 years to promote economic development efforts across our state. Thank you for this honor and I look forward to continuing this good work in the 128th Maine Legislature!
September 8, 2016 - On September 3rd, I was privileged to receive not only the full endorsement but an "A+" grade from the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, Maine's largest outdoor recreation advocacy organization. This was earned over the last 2 years by my staunch support for our environment, our Maine hunting and fishing heritage, and my commitment to conservation and preservation of the great Maine outdoors. Thank you, SAM, for this prestigious honor!
September 7, 2016 - On September 1st, I was very pleased to receive the endorsement of the Maine Credit Union League for my efforts these past 2 years to promote economic development efforts across our state. Thank you for this honor and I look forward to continuing this good work in the 128th Maine Legislature!
September 6, 2016 - Keeping a promise...
When I decided to run for State Representative, I pledged that I would donate all of my legislative take-home pay to the youth across our district. And in each town I've kept that promise.
In Otis, The Beech Hill school has a new sound system for their stage. The Dedham School has a new field scoreboard and computers. The Penobscot Community School has new iPads for their first and second grade. Verona Island and Prospect elected to establish six separate college scholarships! And in Stockton Springs we added to the Children's Library there.
Well, on September 2nd, I made good with the town of Orland, donating 2 years worth of pay ($2,500.00) and providing the design and soliciting another $5,000.00 worth of gifts-in-kind to help build the new children's playground at the Orland Community Center. Here, I am shown donating the funds to town office manager Connie Brown and Orland Community Center manager Mike Malenfant. The structure was ordered today and work should begin in about six weeks! Stay tuned :)
September 6, 2016 - On August 29th, I visited Carroll Johnson in Penobscot and presented her with a personally bound Legislative Memorial honoring her late husband Marty who passed away this past Spring. It was a sometimes-tearful exchange and we talked for nearly 2 hours. Marty was a real jack of all trades including being the Code Enforcement Officer for Penobscot and running a small wood lathe business making stylus pens. As I left, she gave me Marty's personal stylus...and sent me this photo of him using it with his granddaughter not long before he passed. I was speechless and will treasure this gift forever. Thank you, Carroll...
September 1, 2016 - On August 27, I was honored to present a personally-framed formal Legislative Sentiment to Gertrude Fraser of Verona Island, congratulating her on her 100th birthday! The event was well-attended with over 50 guests and well-wishers! Gertrude is quite a lady and one of Verona Island's greatest treasures! Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being part of your celebration!
August 17, 2016 - On June 27th, 1987, at the Orono United Methodist Church, I took the most solemn vow of my life. That was the day that I married Kathy. :)
On June 25th, I visited and celebrated the 80th birthday of Reverend Jim Robertson, of Orland, who married us on that day 29 years ago. He still has that mischievous twinkle in his eye and that contagiously smiling face. Happy birthday Jim ! (And thanks to his wife Pat for letting me know!)
August 17, 2016 - On June 27th, I was honored to appear before the full Stockton Springs Community Church to honor Pearl Seekins, one of the six famed "Steeple People" - the little old ladies who raised an impossible $260,000 to rebuild the church steeple there. I focused on stories from Scripture where "little things make big things happen". At the end, I read and presented a formal Legislative Memoriam to her son, Harold and his wife Jane. I think Pearl was smiling down on us :)
August 16, 2016 - On June 21st, I was honored to present to my friends and constituents, Laverne and Jeff Davis of Stockton Springs a formal Legislative Memoriam signifying the passing of Laverne's father, William Jack McLaughlin who lived near them on Cape Jellison. Jack was quite a man and he lived a life full of success. It was a very nice porch visit and we had a good chat together. I was glad to honor her dad this way.
August 12, 2016 - The Bucksport Enterprise ran a neat story June 16th on my legislative pay donation to create two Prospect Community Club scholarships...and here's the awesome photo from Bucksport High School graduation they used! Two great young men who will surely go far!
August 12, 2016 - Ipads for kids!!!
In June, I was warmly welcomed by the staff and students at the Penobscot Community School where I presented a check for $1,250.00 as Penobscot's portion of my pledged legislative salary - so they could purchase Ipads for the First and Second grades.:) Their Principal, Allen Cole, sent me these heartwarming pictures of the kids learning on them! Awesome!! My way of "making a difference".
August 12, 2016 - True Love Lasts....
On August 7th, I had the pleasure of visiting with Stockton Springs constituents Gerry and Tink Smith to present to them a framed formal Legislative Sentiment, signed by the Senate President and Speaker of the House, recognizing them on their 65th wedding anniversary. We had a great visit that covered many subjects and I asked what their secret was. "Respect, patience and talking things out...giving it time". As I left, Tink gave Gerry a peck on the cheek...and her face lit up! Clearly, they still "have it". Congratulations, Mr. And Mrs. Smith! You're an inspiration!
August 11, 2016 - On August 3rd, I was honored and privileged to stand before the men and women of Orland Fire Department and talk about 21-year veteran Orland firefighter, Capt. Jeff Newbegin, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. I read and presented a bound, formal Legislative Memoriam, signed by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, to his wife Cathleen and a large Newbegin Clan :) These people are the ones who run in when everyone else is running out. Real Americans. Thank you to Chief Bobby Conary, BeLinda Harriman, Ryan Stackpole, and everyone else for allowing me to speak before your "family". The honor was all mine.
August 10, 2016 - This past spring, in keeping my pledge to donate all of my legislative salary to youth scholarships and groups, I donated $1,000 to the Prospect Community Club to create to scholarships for Bucksport High School students (see photo below with Barbara Tilley and Linda Gamble). On the week of June 10th, I was given the opportunity to give those much needed scholarships directly to the students at Class Night for the Bucksport High School class of 2016! Congratulations to John William Harriman and Hunter Gross, both of Prospect (photo below). A couple of bright futures here and glad I could help!
August 10, 2016 - On Memorial Day, I was privileged to travel to the home of Archie Jipson in Otis to present to him a formal, bound Legislative Memoriam in honor of his wife Bonnie who passed away earlier this year. Archie is a tough man, whose life has been of hard, honest work. But the tears flowed freely down his weathered face as he spoke eloquently and lovingly of his wife. Thanks, Archie, for showing me what true, lifelong love really means. I think I'm the one who received the gift on Memorial Day.
August 4, 2016 - May 26th: You know you've been doing something right when a business owner and constituent hails you to get a lawn sign...and then asks to get a picture with you in front of their business! Thanks to the Shute Family of Stockton Springs (who remembers their patriarch, State Senator Mel Shute?) who run Stockton Springs Marine and Shute's Seafood...home of the best Penobscot Bay lobster I've ever had!
August 4, 2016 - On May 23rd, I had the great honor of accompanying Maine Olympic Luger Julia Clukey, as I presented to Dedham School 6th grader Helaina Winslow, the Julia Clukey Courage Award. Helaina has overcome substantial personal and physical challenges to stay in school and continue to compete in sports. Who knows, you may see young Helaina in the Olympics someday!
August 4, 2016 - May 13th, by keeping my campaign pledge to donate all of my legislative take home pay to schools, scholarships and youth programs across my District, I was welcomed into the Penobscot Community School in Penobscot. There, I presented the staff, administration and the awesome students a check for $1,250. This will be used to purchase 5 new badly needed Ipads for their first and second grades. I got the best return gift ever...a group hug!!
August 3, 2016 - On May 1st, I was humbled and honored to present to the family of Brent West Sr., a framed Legislative Memoriam, signed by Speaker of the House Mark Eves and Senate President Mike Thibodeau. Brent passed away last November and was a well known civil designer at Sewall Company . With his wife Gerry, were both of his sons, Brent Jr. (A constituent of mine from Stockton Springs) and Joel of Clifton, their daughters and Joel's wife Christie. A great and obviously close family who will miss Brent very much. Thank you for allowing me a moment with you all.
August 2, 2016 - On July 30th, I was honored to address about 100 folks attending the building dedication and 50th Anniversary Party for the Orland Historical Society at the Old Town Hall (now the site of the Historical Society). I presented OHS member Ginny Davis a personally-framed Legislative Sentiment (photo) signed by the Senate President and Speaker of the House and spoke my own appreciation of history and a little on Orland history. Thanks to Jane Tannehill, Nancy Wasson and all the others who made this day possible.
August 1, 2016 - WE GOT YER YARD SIGNS RIGHT HERE!
To all Ward For Legislature (WFL) supporters in District 131 (Otis, Dedham, Orland, Penobscot, Verona Island, Prospect & Stockton Springs):
I just got a huge new batch of WFL signs (pictured) in this weekend!!! Starting tomorrow, I will be out from one end of this District to the other, responding to the many requests for yard signs I've received in recent weeks!!
If you'd like one (or more), then please either:
1) stop by our Campaign Headquarters located at 60 Acme Road in Brewer (I'll leave a stack outside the door if we aren't there),
2) stop at my home at 399 Bald Mountain Road in Dedham (I'll leave a stack outside my garage) or
3) "private message" me on Facebook and I will PERSONALLY get one to your yard or driveway within 48 hours !! (Just confirm your physical address in the fb message).
And tell your neighbors too! Once out, I'll replace if damaged or missing and pick them up when necessary!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! IT MEANS A LOT!!!
August 1, 2016 - On May 1st, I was proud to be recognized by the American Conservative Union for Conservative Achievement during my service in the Maine House of Representatives in the 127th Legislature, serving House District 131 and the State of Maine!
July 28, 2016 - On April 25th, I had the great pleasure of spending the afternoon with the students and teachers at Beech Hill School in Otis where I had the privilege of donating $1000.00 of my State Representative legislative pay (pictured) to this awesome school to purchase a new stage sound system!
July 28, 2016 - On April 23rd, I enjoyed a rousing Republican State Convention at the Cross Insurance Center with Dr. Ben Carson, Red Sarna, Paul LePage, Carly Fiorina, Senator Susan Collins and Congressman Bruce Poliquin and 5000 other solid Republicans! Poised for victory in '16!! I was honored to address the full convention, speaking on the Constitution and our precious Second Amendment!!
July 27, 2016 - As part of my pledge to donate my legislative salary (and then some) to youth leadership, culture, academic and sports programs, this past winter my company, Nickerson and O'Day built a new field scoreboard for the kids at the Dedham School. Watch as THEY pull the wrappings off!!! And check out the first graders who got to turn it on for the very first time!
Dedham School Gifted New Scoreboard
July 26, 2016 - The Ward for Legislature crew was out in full force on July 23rd, in the Bucksport Bay Festival parade! Saw Our Congressman Bruce Poliquin along with hundreds of other friends and well-wishers and supporters! Thanks to you all for the appreciation expressed! Now, the real campaign work begins!! On to November! And victory!!
July 25, 2016 - As you know, my legislative salary and much of the charitable work I do at Nickerson & O'Day focuses on our kids.
Last month, I made a 5 year pledge to Hill's House - to help addicted mothers stay with and care for their babies. This mission begins with our youngest.
Please watch and consider helping this worthwhile program!
Hills House recieves generous donation
July 25, 2016 - On April 7th, I was working on the floor of the Maine House of Representatives, late into the evening and likely into the wee hours of the morning.....fighting tooth and nail for welfare reform, for Maine business and job creation and to limit spending of your taxpayer dollars. Know that we House Republicans are defending your interests...there's no one else left. We are the final line of defense and we will not yield...not one inch.
July 22, 2016 - On March 26th, I appeared before the good people of Verona Island at their Annual Town Meeting where I informed them of activities in Augusta, my efforts on their behalf and I announced that my legislative salary will be donated to the Verona Women's Club to create $1000 scholarship funding for Verona Island students graduating from Bucksport High School and going on to college. I also presented a Legislative Memoriam for long-time Verona servant, Tom Carpenter to Town Clerk Marlene Smith. It was great to see so many friends and supporters there!
July 22, 2016 - As you may know, I am donating my legislative salary to youth-related projects, scholarships and efforts throughout my District. Accordingly, I am helping to support the construction of a new play structure at the re-purposed Orland Community Center and my construction company, Nickerson & O'Day will coordinate the entire effort as our contribution to this much-needed improvement!
July 19, 2016 - This past 4th, I was pleased to welcome Our Congressman, Bruce Poliquin, to Otis, where we hung at the world-famous Otis General Store and then headed to George Dunn's Hangar on Beech Hill Pond for George and Donna's Annual Independence Day Breakfast where an estimated 700 folks assembled! So great to see so many friends there! (And the food was amazing too!).
July 15, 2016 - This past weekend the Ward for Legislature was on the road again in Penobscot! Who would like to join us by walking with us in the Bucksport Bay Festival Parade coming up on the 23rd? We look to have our largest group of the year, handing out palm cards, fair schedules, fridge magnets...everyone wearing our eye-catching WFL t-shirt!! We're all meeting at the mill parking lot in Bucksport at 9 am and it's a ton of fun! Please! Come join me and make a statement!! See you there!!
July 14, 2016 - On July 9th, the Ward for Legislature crew was on the road again, this time in Penobscot, where we walked in the well-attended Penobscot Day Parade! And we met a lot of people along the way! Thanks to the whole team!!!
July 14, 2016 - On July 1st, I picked up the week's Castine Patriot and stood, open-mouthed, at the checkout, looking at this front page, humbled to think this was front-page news. Then the cashier said "Thanks Representative Ward for what you do for our kids". I was speechless...Gotta love small-town Maine....
July 11,2016 - On March 23rd, we welcomed the staff and students of Maine Maritime Academy to the Great Hall of Flags in the State House where Our Governor, Paul LePage, reaffirmed his support for this amazing institution. I felt proud when President Brennan mentioned the recent Nickerson & O'Day-completed, $7M ABS Science and Research Center! We are so fortunate to have MMA here in In our Great State of Maine!
July 8, 2016 - On March 16th, from the floor of the Maine House of Representatives: I was proud to support LD 826 - "An Act to Promote High Speed Internet for Rural Family Farms, Businesses and Residences". I've heard from many across my District about the need to bring broadband Internet connectivity to rural areas and this bill will kickstart that effort.
July 8, 2016 - On March 10th, I had the honor of welcoming one of my future constituents, Eagle Scout Justin Burgess and his parents Linda and David of Orland to the State House! I had them recognized from the floor of the House with a framed Legislative Sentiment. But the best part of his day was when Our Governor, Paul LePage accommodated my request for a meeting in his Executive Office! (Thanks, Guv!). Justin's headed to Maine Maritime Academy this fall. Something tells me we'll be hearing from this fine young man again!
July 6, 2016 - On March 8th, I welcomed young Colton Trisch, his parents Justin and Crystal Richards and grandparents Gene and Harriet Trisch to the State House where he worked as a Legislative Page on the House of Representatives as reward for his outstanding academic performance this school year. But we surprised him and his family with a visit to the office of Governor Paul LePage!! The Guv was terrific and very personable. It was a great day for their family... and for me too!
July 5, 2016 - On March 5th, I attended the massive Maine Republican Caucus for Hancock County held at Ellsworth High School. Organizers were overwhelmed with the huge turnout which was several times larger than 2014!! I had the privilege of speaking for my Congressman, Bruce Poliquin! Republicans are riled up...we know that Hillary Clinton must be defeated this fall...our country depends on it. And like we always have in times of crisis and need, true Patriots are rising up...to take our country back!
July 1, 2016 - On March 2nd, I was honored and humbled to stand before the entire student body and staff of the Dedham School to receive recognition for doing something I love...helping kids. The work done on behalf of the students of Dedham and everywhere has been and will continue to be one of my greatest joys. Thank you to Principal Kathy Lawson, Thomas Christie, Anne Wortman, Beth Handley, Deedy Brown-Frederick, Tim Pearson, Rhonda Tate, and everyone for what you did for me and for our kids....every day!
June 30, 2016 - Very strong turnout at the Penobscot County GOP meeting on February 27th...there was palpable energy this year... I feel a Republican wave again in Maine!
June 29, 2016 - On February 26th, I had the solemn honor to present a Joint Resolution, HP 1089, honoring the lives of the 33 crew members of the El Faro from the floor of the Maine House of Representatives. This Joint Resolution was co-sponsored by every single Representative and Senator in the Maine Legislature.
We welcomed the president of Maine Maritime Academy into the chamber and acknowledged the presence of several of the families of those lost on the El Faro, seated in the Gallery above.
In my address closing the ceremony, I recalled and eulogized those lost as follows:
"For those of us left behind, the vast unmarked grave which is home to those lost at sea is no consolation. It can't be visited, there is no headstone on which to rest a bunch of flowers. The only place we can revisit them is in our hearts or in our dreams. May you rest well, in fair winds, and calm seas."
What followed was one of the most thunderous and prolonged standing ovations for the grieving families that I have ever heard in that chamber. It was an emotional moment for all involved.
June 28, 2016 - On February 26th, I had the great pleasure of visiting Beth Handley's 6th grade class at the Dedham School where I donated a portion of my legislative pay to purchase new Chromebook laptop computers for their class. I did this in keeping with my campaign pledge to donate all of my legislative take home pay to youth-related organizations and groups and schools throughout my district.
June 27, 2016 - On February 21st, I had the privilege to present to 83 year old Marine Corps Korean War veteran Frederick Lawless of Orland, an official Legislative Memoriam commemorating the passing of his sister Dorothy "Dotty" Chute. In our long conversation, I found out that he worked for Nickerson and O'Day back in the 1970's! It was a great talk, and at the end, I stood at attention and saluted this old Marine and simply said "Semper Fi".
June 24, 2016 - On February 21st, I was honored to assist in the presentation of the highest rank that Boy Scouting has to offer, the Eagle Scout award, to Justin Burgess of Orland at the Orland Community Center. Well over a hundred folks from the community and from Scouting showed up to congratulate this outstanding young man. He is the son of David and Linda Burgess of Orland. His resume blows you away. He has been accepted into the Marine Engineering program at Maine Maritime Academy this fall. I expect we'll be hearing of Justin Burgess in the future! Congratulations Justin and Troop 102 of Orland and the entire Burgess family and thank you for allowing me to be part of the day's events. The honor was mine.
June 23, 2016 - On February 18th, in the State House, our Morning House Republican Caucus was treated to the company of Our Congressman, Bruce Poliquin. Always full of energy, the "Eveready Bunny" of Maine Politics revved up the crowd with inspiration and encouragement. Solid leader and I will be supporting his reelection bid this summer and fall.
June 23, 2016 - To all of my constituents in Maine House District 131 and beyond: here is my 2015 fall / winter newsletter updating you on all of the activities that happened in Legislature, work that I had been undertaking last fall, some of the happenings across the district and those we have lost. I hope you find it informative. Please give me feedback and any questions you might have. It is my pleasure to serve the towns of Otis, Dedham, Orland, Penobscot, Verona Island, Prospect and Stockton Springs.
June 21, 2016 - On February 14, 2016, the entire town of Penobscot and much of the surrounding region came out to support long-time Penobscot Town Clerk, Treasurer, Registrar and Tax Collector Mary-Ellen "Cupe" Gross who has been battling poor health for several months, with a massive benefit supper held the Penobscot Elementary School. Despite 40-below windchill and blowing snow, over 500 folks from all over the Blue Hill Peninsula attended, raising over $7000 for Cupe and her family. I took the opportunity to also deliver a personally-framed formal Legislative Sentiment to Elmer and Elma Lowell of Penobscot, signed by Speaker of the House Mark Eves and Senate President Mike Thibodeau on their 65th wedding anniversary! So proud to live in a state where we pull together and truly care for and take care of one another!
June 8, 2015 - Finally! Cold Case unit funded in state budget proposals
Read the Full Story - WCSH
May 18, 2015 - This is a great story about the Cold Case Squad funding that my colleagues and I are fighting so hard for and the personal impact that these unsolved crimes have, not only the victims’ families, but us here in the Legislature as well.
Read the Full Story - WABI
April 6, 2015 - Rep. Karl Ward Introduces Bipartisan "Right to Try" Bill
Maine can join the growing number of states to pass this type of legislation
Augusta – Rep. Karl Ward (R) from Dedham introduced legislation before the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services to add Maine to the growing number of states that have adopted so-called "Right to Try" bills. This bill, LD 180, and others like it allow terminally ill patients to exhaust every possible treatment to help their condition even if those treatments are not yet fully approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
These drugs, biological products and devices would have to complete Phase I of a United States Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical prior to being administered to these terminally ill patients.
"I think every one of us would do almost anything to give us even the slimmest chance. A glimmer of hope,” said Rep. Ward, a mandatory cosponsor of the bill. “We agree that each of us should be free to exercise a basic freedom - to attempt to preserve our own life. The burdens imposed on a terminal patient who fights to save his or her own life are a violation of personal liberty. We should have the option of accessing investigational drugs which have passed basic safety tests, provided there is a doctor's recommendation, informed consent and the willingness of the manufacturer of the medication to make such drugs available."
As of today, In 12 states, that hope had been provided, in the form of state legislation similar to the bill being brought before you today. In 2014, Right to Try was passed in the state legislatures of Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri and last fall, voters in Arizona adopted a resolution to place the issue on the November ballot where it was approved by a nearly 80 percent of Arizonans and became law.
And in just the first 3 months of this year, Right to Try bills have been filed in 28 additional states and the District of Columbia, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and has been enacted into law in Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
As of This afternoon, a pending bill awaits the Governor's signature in Oklahoma (where it just passed in the house 96-0). No one spoke in opposition to this bill at today’s public hearing. A work session will be scheduled in the coming weeks where the proposal will get its first vote.
03/11/2-15 - John Bapst High School Reopens Auditorium After Fire
Yesterday I got to welcome the students back to the auditorium that was damaged during the fire at John Bapst High School on February 18. Thank you to the team that helped get school put back together. The students and staff are grateful to have their school whole again and I am proud to be a part of that.
Read the Full Story - Bangor Daily News
Read the Full Story - WABI
Read the Full Story - Fox Bangor
Read the Full Story - WLBZ
Rep. Karl Ward has filed a bill seeking to fund the Cold Case Squad
"Joyce's case is just one," Ward said Wednesday. "My heart goes out to the families of all the victims in these cases. I would like to see the squad funded and get an email saying they solved their first case."
Read the Full Story
Thank You Trista for your support and voice as we try and move this bill forward!
Read the Full Story
This was a very informative meeting in Orland last week.
Read the Full Story
Local Business Steps Up to Plate, Makes Brewer Boys Dream Come True
Read the Full Story
Dedham Community Coming Together To Help Displaced Family
Read the Full Story
A Piece of the Twin Towers Arrives in Brewer
Read the Full Story
Karl is a businessman with great experience and an intimate understanding of what it takes to create jobs. He will come to Augusta with a new, fresh perspective. Our State government needs new blood. As a two term representative of Stockton Springs, Prospect, Verona Island and Orland, I am confident Karl will best represent your interest.
Karl Ward will be a breath of fresh air in Augusta. With his common sense and his focus on education, jobs and the economy, Karl has what it takes to be a strong and effective voice for the people of his district.
Karl is a leader people believe in. He has a proven record of building jobs & opportunity, the clear vision of how to move our economy ahead, and the heart to volunteer his time and talent to strengthen our communities.
Karl Ward will bring his extensive experience in creating jobs and his well-known work ethic to the Maine Legislature. I am delighted that Karl is running as he is just the kind of public servant we need in Augusta.
It's not often that we have a local candidate willing to speak for our business and education community and truly mean it. We have that candidate in Karl Ward.
As an educator for 32 years, I've had the good fortune to work with Karl both in the school and youth sports community. Karl has been a strong advocate for getting businesses involved with schools and has modeled that effort on behalf of his company and our local public school.
His passionate attitude for change and success is contagious, and I'm looking forward to Karl's future endeavors to improve our business climate and continue to educate students to provide opportunities right here in the great state of Maine.
Letters to the Editor
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