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This week’s edition!


St. Mary’s welcomes Patricia A. Scherle as VP

Patricia A. Scherle 

St. Mary’s Health System recently welcomed Patricia A. Scherle as its Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. Pat will lead St. Mary’s nursing staff as well as oversee the implementation and coordination of programs and initiatives to ensure patients consistently receive the very best clinical care.  

“I was pleased to welcome Pat, who has extensive experience working in mid-sized hospitals and medical centers, to our health system and nursing team,” said Katherine Bechtold, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Covenant Health. “She has an excellent track record of improving both patient and staff experiences. I look forward to her contributions in expanding St. Mary’s reputation in the community for exemplary care.” 

“I’m honored to serve the St. Mary’s nursing team and clinical teams, as well as the community, to ensure we’re always striving to improve the quality, safety and delivery of patient care,” said Scherle. “Our ultimate goal is to reinforce St. Mary’s standard for clinical excellence, which will directly impact positive patient outcomes.”

Prior to joining Covenant Health, Scherle was the Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., a 148-bed non-profit community teaching hospital. Her tenure at Tower Health | Community Health Systems, which includes Chestnut Hill Hospital, spanned 10 years in various leadership roles at multiple hospitals. 

Scherle holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa. and earned her Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Widener University in Chester, Pa. She is also a Nurse Executive Advanced – Board Certified (NEA-BC) as well as a registered nurse (RN).

Modern Woodmen matching gift to CLT

The L-A Community Little Theatre (CLT) received a contribution of two thousand, five hundred dollars earlier this month from the Modern Woodmen of America Matching Funds Campaign. The gift was made in support of the very successful online silent auction that CLT held in June.  Financial Representative Mike Courtemanche from the Modern Woodmen Lewiston office noted that “as a fraternal company, we help the community in many different ways.  One of our more popular programs is our matching funds program, which is meant to get us into the community, help raise money and strengthen the community.” Courtemanche is pictured at right presenting the “big check” to Jennifer Groover, vice president of the CLT Board of Directors.

CMCC president Scott Knapp to retire in August

Scott Knapp

Maine Community College System President David Daigler has announced that Dr. Scott Knapp, president of Central Maine Community College in Auburn, is retiring on August 31, 2020.

Dr. Knapp, who took office in August of 1997, has overseen a tripling of the college’s enrollment, the bolstering of technical programs offerings, and the addition of three new campus buildings and an athletic complex. 

“Scott proudly regards CMCC as the crown jewel of the Maine Community College System. With strong financial stewardship, ever increasing enrollments, championship-caliber programs and dedicated staff, his leadership has guided CMCC to an enviable place in Maine and in the country,” Daigler said.

“Maine, the community colleges, and I will miss Scott’s vision, wisdom and calm, stable guidance,” Daigler said. 

Dr. Knapp, the longest serving college president in the state, said some of his proudest moments have come in recent months. 

“While the College has experienced tremendous growth other the 23 years, none of this could have been accomplished without the contributions of our dedicated faculty and staff, as well as the generosity of the leadership of the state of Maine and her citizens,” he said. “I am especially proud of the nearly 500 students who overcame numerous obstacles and graduated this spring.” 

Separated by the pandemic part 6: A new normal

The following story is the sixth of several interviews being done by Nathan Tsukroff of PortraitEFX to capture the effects of this pandemic on the people of Maine. 

At the beginning of March, “normal” was visits from family, dinner with neighbors, and outings every Wednesday to interesting places for residents at Schooner Estates throughout the greater-Lewiston and Auburn area. Then came the novel coronavirus – Covid-19.

     It’s taken a while, but tenants and residents at Schooner Estates in Auburn are getting used to a “new normal”. The facility is a Central Maine retirement community offering independent and assisted living options for senior citizens.

     For a couple of months, visits with families were only through closed windows or glass doors while talking on the telephone. Meals were served to apartments individually, and chats with neighbors took place six-feet apart from behind facemasks.

     Peggy Roberge, a three-year tenant at Schooner Estates, can now visit with a couple of family members across a newly-constructed visitors area outside the front of the building. While still wearing facemasks, she gets to enjoy their laughter and voices in person and tenants can make reservations to enjoy meals in the dining area, with seating limited to ten people.

Seniors Not Acting Their Age: Exploring New Meadows River

Tenacious is how I would describe my longtime friend and Brunswick resident, Carolyn Welch.  An octogenarian, she has endured several months of physical setbacks followed by the difficulties and uncertainties of the pandemic.  I suspect even the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts among us would lie low for the summer.  Not Carolyn. 

Despite the fact that all of the outdoor clubs she’s affiliated with cancelled trips, Carolyn was not to be deterred.  If you’re a friend of Carolyn and love the outdoors, you’re the beneficiary of her resolve.  Recently, I received her “unofficial paddle trips with friends” summer sea kayak schedule.  First on the agenda was New Meadows River located between Bath and Brunswick.  Technically not a river, New Meadows is a tidal inlet off from Casco Bay.  

The Androscoggin Historical Society opening Knight House

One of Auburn’s oldest structures, the Knight House was built in 1796. This small Cape Cod-design building is located on the Auburn Riverwalk near the West Pitch Park. An adjoining one-room shoe shop contains tools and equipment that demonstrate how some Auburn residents made their living at that time in the city’s history. 

The Knight House is not the oldest house in Auburn — it is the oldest frame house in the Goff Corner area, which is downtown Auburn, and is typical of houses built at the time.

Records show that the house has had 12 owners and was moved six times. It originally was located on Cross Street near North River Road, nearly a mile from the present site. It probably was originally built on a 100-acre tract by settler Caleb Lincoln, a Revolutionary War veteran who soon conveyed it to Hezekiah Wyman, of Bath.

After a succession of six owners, the house was sold to Nathaniel Knight in 1864. Knight had it moved to growing Goff’s Corner village, which began near what is now the corner of Court and Main Streets.

The Knight House is mainly furnished in a style and function typical of the time the Knight family occupied the home, late 1800s, early 1900s, although there are notable exceptions.  Some of the kitchen utensils weren’t invented until the 1940s, for example.

Do you wonder about what daily life was like in this home?  The Androscoggin Historical Society (AHS) invites you to an Open House on Wednesday, July 15 from 12 to 3 p.m.  This Wednesday is laundry day, so expect to see family doing the laundry and related tasks.  No, you do not need to bring your laundry — there will be plenty on hand.  

AHS hopes you’ll stop by and see this local historical gem right in downtown Auburn.  While tours and participation are free, the Society depends on donations to offer these programs to the public.  

Seniors Not Acting Their Age: Senior revelations on the Dead River

A kayaker paddles Hayden’s Falls on the Dead River

The first time I canoed the Dead River thirty-five years ago, the dam release was 1,000 cubic feet per second (CFS).  The seemingly huge waves, mammoth holes, and powerful currents were the most intimidating whitewater I had ever experienced.  As is true with many aspects of life, one’s perspective changes over time.

As the years passed, my skills improved, and I acquired higher performance canoes and kayaks.  Elevated river levels became more appealing.  When a friend inquired as to my favorite Dead River volume, I unflappably responded 5,500 CFS was my preference.  She thought I was embellishing but at the time, it was the truth.  The transformation had been augmented by paddling with more accomplished companions and learning to roll.  

The importance of rolling a canoe or kayak in whitewater can’t be overstated.  It’s a game changer.  Without a roll, capsizing results in swimming.  Canoes, kayaks, paddles, and other gear are lost unless quickly recovered in often difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances.   Experienced companions are invaluable in these predicaments but they can’t always assist with a rescue.  In short, swimming in whitewater can run the spectrum from inconvenient to life threatening.   

Once a roll is refined, the boater’s whitewater world changes dramatically.  Initially, most devotees roll frequently as they challenge more difficult rapids.  At some point, another realization enters the mind of the nascent paddler; being upside down in whitewater is a precarious position and rolls sometimes fail.  For many including me, avoiding the need to roll has become a priority.

Absentee ballot drop box now accepting ballots

Due to the high demand of voters wanting to return their absentee ballots by hand and the limitation on the number of customers in the City Hall due to social distancing, the City has established an Absentee Ballot Drop Box in the Park St lobby of City Hall.  Thanks to a change in state law last fall, voters can now return their ballots in a sealed return envelope and deposit them into the box.  The metal drop box is always locked and monitored by the building door attendants.  The box is accessible in the lobby Monday through Friday, 8:30a.m. through 4p.m. The returned ballots in the box will be removed several times a day. Voters do not have to add postage to their envelopes if they are hand delivering them to City Hall. Voters with questions are welcome to call the City Clerk’s Office at 513-3124.

Separated by the pandemic part 5: Temporary relocation

Rachel Morin, a resident at Schooner Estates in Auburn, shows off some of the flowers she has grown while staying at her daughter’s house in South Portland during the pandemic. (Photograph courtesy of Rachel Morin).

The following story is the fifth of several interviews being done by Nathan Tsukroff of PortraitEFX to capture the effects of this pandemic on the people of Maine. 

Rachel Morin loves being a resident at Schooner Estates, a “Senior Living Community” in Auburn, Maine.

She loves visiting with fellow residents, enjoys the activities and adult classes that are offered, and loves taking advantage of the trips offered by the facility. She thinks the meals at the facility are wonderful.

However, she is now a remote resident, staying temporarily at her daughter Elizabeth’s house in South Portland, so she can see her family on a regular basis. She spends time with her friends at the facility only over the telephone or through email.

With the need to keep residents safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, Schooner Estates had to limit family visits to scheduled appointments for “window interviews”. Residents were only able to share time with their families through a closed window, talking by telephone.

Auburn holds Backyard Campout

The City of Auburn is thrilled to join 24 communities across Maine in the first annual Maine Backyard Campout sponsored the by Maine Parks and Recreation Association on July 11. The month of July is National Parks and Recreation Month. What better way to celebrate “all things Maine” than a state-wide backyard campout? 

The mission of this event is to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy a camping experience, right in their own backyard. “We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors while also maintaining social distancing guidelines,” said Recreation Director Sabrina Best. “This is a fun way to enjoy quality family time, while being safe during these unpresented times.” 

Participants who register with Auburn Recreation are eligible for prizes and can get ideas for campfire activities, cooking, safety tips and creating a camping space right outside their back door. Camping equipment is not needed to participate. Neither is a back yard, for that matter! Recreation staff will help participants find ways to make the experience fun without spending money on equipment or a camping site! 

Participants are encouraged to share photos on social media using the hashtag #MaineBackYardCampout. 

Auburn residents who want to participate should connect with Auburn Recreation. Free campout activity kits are available to the first 20 families to register. Contact Darcey Gardiner at Auburn Recreation or 333-6611 for details.

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9 North River Road, #232
Auburn, ME 04210
(207) 795-5017