Disc Golf And Artificial Intelligence by Nate Bodenstab


Rotarian Nate Bodenstab in the photo here spoke to the Houlton Rotary Club at the Monday May 1, 2017 meeting about Disc Golf and about Artificial Intelligence. First presenting Disc Golf as an activity he is promoting on the Putnam Trust land in Houlton as the board of directors is seeking land use proposals. A nine hole course is in the process of hopefully being accepted by the board. Bodenstab is Director of Research for the company Nuance and he educated the club on how quickly A. I. is developing in the world as the new “electricity”. He showed examples all around us and suggested that everyone take a computer science course to keep up with the rapid developments.

Jerry and Moose receive a donation for the aid for kids project

IMG_20151228_122430~3In this photo are Jerry Wilson, Houlton Rotarian, Jane Torres, President of the Houlton Rotary Club and Moose Karnes. Jerry and Moose work diligently at the Aid for Kids project. Part of the funds raised this year by the club are going to aid children with prepared backpacks for the students to take home with them on the weekends.


Tammy Mulvey, guest speaker November 9, 2015


Jane Torres, President of Houlton Rotary Club is pictured here with Tammy Mulvey, Houlton Rotarian and guest speaker at the Monday November 9, 2015 meeting. Tammy spoke on behalf of Pleasant View Farms that she co-owns with her husband Rob and son Alex. Beginning as a Christmas tree farm the business has grown in five years by three times its original size with the addition of a green house , a retail space, and landscaping work. Some products that have been added are mums in the fall and strawberries in the summer and a Christmas shop. Wreaths are decorated for sale that Tammy also takes to crafts fairs. Wreaths are also shipped out all over the country and Christmas trees are harvested and shipped as far south as Florida. The business prides itself in its community service donating garden work to the Ark Animal Sanctuary and trees to the Trees for Troops Project. Rob likes to give classes on apple tree pruning and manages other tree farms as well as his own. Photo by Nate Bodenstab and article by Diane Hines.

David Struble, Entomologist with Maine Forest Service


In this photo are Rotarian Forrest Barnes with his guest speaker Dave Struble, entomologist with the Maine Forest Service. Dave spoke to the Houlton Rotary Club on October 19th about the recent outbreak of spruce budworm, a local insect that lives on the needles of spruce and fir and has a forty year cycle. The last infestation was in the mid seventies and in 2012 a new cycle began in the province of Quebec, Canada. The Canadians are able to spray with bacillus thuringiensis but that is too expensive and requires State authorization in Maine to use. The industry and the University system of Maine has been looking at other solutions such as trapping the moths with the use of pheromones. The Maine Forest Service is also advising selective cutting of the trees that are in danger. The Maine Forest Service has a great website for references and charts and graphs and maps. Dave suggested that this outbreak should not be as threatening as the past event since the trees are growing at a smaller rate and forests are not as contiguous in the State. Accompanying Dave at the meeting was local forester Dan Jacobs.

Maine Tourism Association Presentation to Houlton Rotary



Heidi Dolomont left, Chris Fogg, center of the Maine Tourism Association and Leigh Cummings, right, Houlton Rotarian and volunteer at the Houlton Tourist Information Center shared information with the Houlton Club on October 5, 2015. Leigh introduced his guests and gave some background information on the tourism industry. Chris Fogg elaborated on the Maine Tourism Association. He became the CEO for the association eight months ago with experience in Bar Harbor and Vermont and a degree in the field. The club learned about all of the aspects of the industry and its affects on the Maine economy as the number one industry in the State. A lobbyist is needed in Augusta to protect the funds that come into the state.Five hundred and thirty three million dollars were dedicated to the tourism fund last year alone. Chris complemented Heidi and Leigh for their work at the Houlton Center, one of seven in the state and the only other privately owned one apart from Calais. Butch Asselin, Town Manager of Houlton is looking to sell the Houlton building to generate taxes and Chris is fine about this. The hope is to find a space for the Houlton Tourist Information Center on the east side of Route 1 to make for a better location as travelers exit Route 95.


60th Rotary Auction Training, August 17, 2015


Pictured here are Nancy Ketch and Bob Blanchette just after their training session for the upcoming 60th Rotary Auction to be on TV and Radio the week of Thanksgiving on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. They have a fine tuned process preparing for the big fund raising event that has become a tradition in the area. Members will be canvasing for items to be donated by local businesses in the next few weeks. Matthew Nightingale is having committee meetings preparing for all aspects of the fund raising event. He can be reached at 521-3200, ext. 11011. Nancy is also available for questions in the donor card process and collection and storage of donated items at 521-7250 or email at nketch64@gmail.com.

Annual Dinner and Awards June 22, 2015


Nancy Ketch received a special award this year as the embodiment of the “Spirit of Rotary” for everything that she does for the Houlton Rotary Club, working tirelessly to advance Houlton Rotary’s efforts in the Auction, Bingo, general programing and for perfect attendance for 8 years time. Nancy is shown in this photo with outgoing President Amy Hocking who gave the award and a lovely gift, shown in the photo.


In this photo from the Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony are Amy Hocking, outgoing President, Lauren Peabody Fitzpatrick, Nancy Ketch, Houlton Rotarian and fellow recipient of the award and new President Jane Torres. Lauren was honored for her brainchild The Houlton High School Alumni Association and Nancy for her work in the Association. Lauren served as the Alumni President for 7 years and Nancy is now on year 11. This is a new award titled Community “Service Above Self” Award.


In this photo are Amy Hocking, outgoing President, Chris Fitzpatrick recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award and Chris Anderson, Rotarian who presented the award.Chris is honored for his work in the community and the embodiment of the ideals of a Paul Harris Fellow as a non Rotarian. Chris serves on many boards in the area and gives selflessly to his community.


In this photo are Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary , Darrell Malone, this year’s recipient of the Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow Award and Nancy Ketch who presented the award. Darrell is being honored for his years of service to ┬áhis church, his community and to law enforcement of the State of Maine. Darrell gave tirelessly to his career and to the greater good of law enforcement.

DSC03307In this photo are incoming Sargent of Arms, Julie Delano, incoming Vice President Matthew Nightingale, incoming President Jane Torres and outgoing President Amy Hocking, the officers for the year 2015-2016.


Angie Wotton introduces her work at Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District

DSC03224In the photo are Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary Club and Angie Wotton, Director of Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Angie began her talk with some history of the “Worst Hard Time” in 1935 when the dust storms took over Oklahoma and Hugh Bennet influence federal policy. It was determined that the government could not rule over the entire nation on soil and water conservation so each state was allowed to set up districts and govern usage that way. Maine has 16 districts. Aroostook County has 3 because of the size of the county and variations. The Southern Aroostook District was organized in 1942. The organization has a local board of directors comprised of different kinds of farmers, i.e. potato, dairy, hay or beef farmers. SASWCD partners well with the local University of Maine Extention Agency and the local Native American Band the Maliseets which has a department that focuses on water health. Soil health and soil erosion and rebuilding the soils are areas of focus for SASWCD. Currently some local farmers are interplanting nitrogen fixing crops with their potato planting. Angie’s work includes conservation education, a winter agriculture school, field days, and other workshops such as gravel roads with DEP and logging workshops. The district also has student education ongoing and an Envirothon and and other education in the classrooms such as worm boxes and composting classes. Angie answered questions from the audience about the financial support of the organization, soil banks, watershed projects and pesticide use. Angie can be reached at 207-532-2204 or at email angela.wotton@me.nacdnet.net.


Bob Dorsey, Houlton Rotary Club guest speaker, Aroostook Partnership for Progress

bobdorsey1On Monday June 1, 2015 in this photo are Dana Delano, Rotarian, Bob Dorsey, of Aroostook Partnership for Progress, and Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary Club. The club heard what Bob (a native of Fort Fairfield and currently involved with opportunities in Aroostook County) had to say about the focus and efforts of this initiative. One focus has been on LD-836 to increase rural broad band to the County. Also the group has supported LD-750 to develop mining rules in Maine. They are involved with Northern Forest Products Industry Cluster, manufacturing growth, Norinco rail car manufacturing as well as planning the 2015-2016 Teacher Awareness summit and are promoting diversified agriculture awareness. Bob gave the website of http://opportunitiesaroostook.com.

Some goals Bob addressed are new jobs in the wind farm industry. Economic forecasts predict 413 new jobs as a result of 315 millions dollars being invested. Many jobs are coming from First Wind. The group is hoping to increase collaboration with County groups, increase business participation and looks at economic development clusters. the website is http://www.appme.org.