Features

Take this Hot Dog and Make It

Updated 5 years ago

It’s a business that’s been around for 150 years. W.A. Bean in Bangor sells all kinds of meat products, from sausage to steak.In this edition of Take This Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier decided to try making one of their most famous, the red hot dog.There used to be quite a few hot dog makers in Maine, but now W.A. Bean is the last in the state.Sharon went to their factory in Bangor to find out what keeps them going, and what exactly they put in hot dogs?”When people have sterotypes about what goes into hot dogs, those are not true. Well not for our hot dogs, we make a more expensive hot dog, a higher end hot dog.”And when buying a hot dog, it’s wise to choose the Cadillac version. That is probably one of the reasons W.A. Bean has been around for a century and a half. They offer quality products.”I started in 1947″Albert Bean has seen a lot of changes in this family business over that time, but at least one constant, their red hots. Today, I’ll get to make some. “Oh this is a good look isn’t it.”Unfortunately that means I have to wear a hair net, but then it’s off to the kitchen.”This is lean pork trim, 80% lean pork”First step in the process mix the ingredients, which are, ground pork, ground beef, and some spices.”How long does it take, just a few minutes”It turns into what they call a batter. It amazingly looks like one too.Then we meet Gladys, who’s worked here for more than 11 years.”What you’re gonna do is you have a little piece hanging out.”She operates the machine that makes the hot dogs. She shows me how it’s done, then lets me try.”This is natural casing, which is basically sheep intestines.”Best not to think of that too much.”This is kind of a messy job huh. It sure is”First attempt goes badly, meat batter everywhere.”I’m sorry. The casings broke, it’s not my fault.”This time I did it. Well maybe not, so I move on to the next job.”What they call stripping and tying is what it’s called.”I need to check the dogs, make sure they’re up to standard, and tie off any loose ends.”It’s hard to tie a knot in this, it’s all slimy.””I think I ruined this one, I keep breaking them.I sure was slowing down production.”Hey not bad, now you need a knife.”I think he was just being kind, because later the truth came out.”So my hot dogs are going to be free. Maybe, ha ha.”Time to let the experts do the work. Have you noticed these red hots, aren’t looking very red. That comes a little later. After the dogs have cooked for a while, they’re put into another oven.”Then what we do is we add the color”They get a shower and a few minutes later they have their famous coloring.It’s a product that the employees really do take pride in.”Our hot dogs are very good. It’s all whole meat.”They must be, 400,000 pounds of them were sold last year.Now it’s time to find out if company President, David Bean, thought my effort today was up to par with his product.I think you did a great job. Another 6 months and you’d be trained.”They sell their hot dogs under two labels, W.A. Bean and Rice’s Hot dogs. You can find them in grocery stores and at their retail shop at their Bangor factory.

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Proper Post-Operative Care

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Joan Marie PellegriniMost of us know that if we need surgery, we need to choose a qualified surgeon. We then assume that the surgeon and their hospital will do everything they can to prevent any post-operative complications. Unfortunately, the medical community has known for decades that surgical quality is heterogeneous across the country and sometimes even within a state or city. It is not news that some hospitals have lower complication rates than others. There has been quite a bit of research into what these high performing hospitals are doing that may be leading to better results. Fortunately for the consumer, there are now several national quality partnerships aimed at improving processes within the operating room and recovery room to actively reduce post-operative complications.These quality measures are attempting to “hard wire” certain processes. “Hard wiring” means that something will happen based on protocol rather than on individuals having to remember to ask for it to happen. Many industries have proven that protocols lead to better results compared to letting individual practitioners deciding what to do. Getting a patient ready for surgery and then recovering the patient is a very complex process and it is quite easy to forget seemingly unimportant details. We have good surgical results in this country but the goal of these quality initiatives is to have excellent results and to decrease our complications from surgery by at least 25%. Most of these initiatives started several years ago and there has been excellent progress.The quality measures differ somewhat depending on the type of surgery. However, it is now mandatory to do a “time out” prior to making an incision to make sure that everything that needs to be done has been done. Some of the things this” time out” verifies is that the team agrees they have the right patient and the correct procedure according to the consent form, the right antibiotic has been given if indicated and at the right time, that certain medications have been given if indicated, and that the necessary equipment is available and functional. Other measures that are addressed are the patient’s temperature and glucose level. Special warming devices are used to prevent hypothermia during surgery. Also, if the patient’s blood glucose level is elevated, they will be given insulin even if they are not diabetic in order to prevent certain post-operative complications. Extra oxygen is given to all patients after some types of surgery because it has been shown to reduce wound infections. These above measures are why some patients wake up in the recovery room with oxygen and insulin drips even though they do not have lung disease or diabetes.The good news is that there are many national quality measures that are being put into practice and are working to reduce complications as a result of surgery. Because these are national measures, you can be confidant that you will be given the same care no matter which hospital you go to as long as that hospital is participating in these programs. In the future, there will be even more quality programs nationally in an attempt to standardize care across the nation.If you would like more information you may search for SCIP (Surgical Care Improvement Project) or ACS NSQIP (American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program).

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Start the New Year on the Right Financial Foot

Updated 1 year ago

By- Marion SyversenMonitor spending – Make every dollar work for you by knowing where each one goes! Know what percent of your income is used for food, entertainment, savings, and the rest.Make a budget – Now you can make a budget. Find a budget type- there are many- that works for you and get a plan for this year.Pay off debt- While you are at it, pay off, or at least pay down, debt. Under most circumstances, we have enough money to pay more on our debt. It is only under life’s most dire conditions that we can’t achieve at least some progress. Use cash and pay down debt this year!Check your credit report- Free credit reports are available from each of the three agencies so either get them all at once or, a better solution may be to get one from each agency at four-month intervals. Experian in January (at Experion.com), Equifax in May (at Equifax.com) and Transunion (at Transunion.com) in September. That way you can monitor your credit score and credit activity for free.Back up your information- Does your family have an emergency plan, do you have a disaster recovery plan for your financial records? Consider options that would help you recover your pertinent data if anything happened to your records.Check insurance and beneficiaries- Is you life and property and casualty insurance up to date? If there have been changes to your family is that information reflected in you insurance and is your beneficiary information correct and current? Put your mind at ease and get your financial house in order with these tips for your best 2010!Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial, Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., and all other companies listed are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Snowmobile Safety

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Amy MoviusWintertime in Maine means playing in the snow, and after our very respectable storm this holiday, many Mainers and visitors did just that. Snowmobiling is a popular way to enjoy the snow in our state, though it is not an activity to be engaged in lightly as recent tragedies remind us. Snowmobiles are large, heavy, powerful machines. 35% of accidents involving snowmobiles that result in injury or death occur in people less than 25 yrs of age: 25% in 15-24 year-olds and 10% in children less than 15yrs. Males outnumber females three to one and head injuries are the leading cause of injury or death, usually from hitting a fixed object such as a tree. Children less than 16yrs are also frequently injured from falling off snowmobiles or having them roll over onto them. Children less than 8 yrs of age who are injured or killed are usually passengers or being towed behind snowmobiles. In persons over 16yrs, drowning from falling through ice becomes a prominent cause of death as well. Factors contributing to accidents include operator error, speeding, use on inappropriate terrain, snowmobiling at night, and alcohol use. Other risks to be considered when snowmobiling include frostbite, hypothermia, hearing loss, and white finger syndrome.If you choose snowmobiling as an activity for you and your family, please do so responsibly, and with the consideration of the following guidelines.1. Don’t let anyone less than 16yrs operate a snowmobile. Though this is not a legal requirement, the American Academy of Pediatrics urges you to think of operating a snowmobile as you would driving a car, requiring the same degree of strength, skill and maturity.1 Completion of an instruction and safety course is desirable. 2. Children less than 6 years should not ride as passengers on snowmobiles because of inadequate strength and stamina.3. A “graduate license” approach is recommended for new operators. Specifically new operator use should initially be limited to daylight hours and on groomed trails. Use of a speed limiting governor to limit maximum speed possible is also recommended for new operators.24. Never use alcohol or drugs before/during snowmobiling.5. Protective clothing should be used including goggles, waterproof snowmobiling suit, gloves, rubber-bottomed boots and an approved helmet.36. Carry emergency supplies including a first aid kit, survival kit that includes flares, and a cellular phone.7. Don’t snowmobile alone.8. Avoid ice is there is any uncertainty about its condition.9. Carry a maximum of 1 passenger.10. Use headlights and taillights at all times. 11. Never tow or pull someone behind a snowmobile (ex = in saucer, tube, sled, skis) for amusement.References1. Snowmobiling Hazards. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Pediatrics Vol. 106 No. 5 November 2000. Statement of Reaffirmation 20072. Maine Snowmobile Laws 2008-09 Footnotes1. Maine state law allows children 10yrs and older to operate snowmobiles without adult supervision and children 14yrs and older to cross public ways on snowmobiles.2. The effect of graduated licensing for teenage snowmobilers has not been determined. However, graduated licensing for teenage drivers has reduced the number of motor vehicle-related deaths in teenagers.3. Maine law currently requires persons under 18yrs to wear protective headgear on snowmobiles being used on public trails funded by the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Public Lands. This applies to both operators and passengers.

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Chef Brandon Hay’s Shrimp Fra Diavlo

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

(Serves 4 people heartily)Ingredients1 lb large shrimp1 t hot red pepper flakes6 T extra virgin olive oil2 T coarse kosher saltC Hennessey or other cognac8 cloves minced garlict sugar28 oz diced tomatoes, drained if using canned1 C white wineC fresh minced parsley1 lb linguineProcedureToss shrimp with red pepper, salt, and 3T of the oil. Saut shrimp over high heat on one side. Flip shrimp over and remove pan from heat. Add cognac and return to heat. Ignite cognac and swirl pan until flame subsides. Rewove shrimp from pan. Return pan to heat and add remaining ingredients except for the parsley and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add cooked shrimp to the pan along with the cooked linguine.

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Cafe Miranda’s Beef Groce

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

Serves 2 Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method——– ———— ——————————– 1/2 cup Oil 10 ounces Shaved Beef — roughly chopped 3 ounces Thai Chili Sauce — we like sambal olek chili garlic sauce 3 ounces lime juice 1 ounce Fish Sauce 1/4 cup Chopped Peanuts 5 each Basil leaf — Torn 1/2 each Red Onion — Sliced 1 each Carrot — Shredded 1/4 head Napa cabbage — shredded 2 cups Salad Greens — from your local grocer 1 bunch Cilantro — ChoppedIn a large bowl add the chili sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, peanuts andtorn basil. Mix together to form the dressing.In the same bowl add the onion, carrot, cabbage and salad greens.Heat a large sauté pan until smoking hot and add the oil. Add the beefright away and spread out on the pan so it is in a single layer. Continue to fry the beef until it is very, very crispy. Using a pot holderdump the hot beef and oil in to the salad making sure you scrape the pan for all the little goodies (unless you use Teflon of course).Toss every thing together in the bowl really well and serve right away witha side of jasmine rice if you like. Nutritional Information: Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 663 Calories: 66g Fat (85.9% caloriesfrom fat): 6g Protein: 18g Carbohydrate: 4g Dietary Fiber: 2mg Cholesterol:20mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch): 1/2 Lean Meat: 1 1/2 Vegetable:1/2 Fruit: 12 1/2 Fat: 0 Other Carbohydrates.

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Savings Gifts for Kids

Updated 1 year ago

By- Marion SyversenLet’s say you think opening an account for your little pumpkin would be a great idea for Christmas. Let’s look at the rules for some of the most common types. Savings account- If you open a joint account with your little sweetie, that account is typically an UGMA account. UGMA stands for Uniform Gift to Minors and allows minors to own an asset because it is owned for them or with them. But when they are 18 years old it becomes their asset. You might think, “oh, this will be the money that I give junior for college,” but in fact Junior can use it for his first car as soon as he is 18 years old. And Princess might give the money to her misunderstood boyfriend, and she would be within her legal rights to do so if you open an UGMA account for your kids or grandkids, since it becomes their money at age 18.College savings account- If you open a 529 account for your little angel the UGMA rules will only apply if you are moving money from an UGMA account. If you are opening a new 529 account that account is held for the darling and is completely in the name of the account owner but can be used for your darling. The money can be used for post secondary schools such as golf or cooking schools, 2 year colleges, trade schools, anywhere that federal funds are accepted in the US and a few schools in Canada. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Think Safety First When Traveling

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Joan Marie PellegriniThis is one of the times of year when many of you will be planning a road trip. Unfortunately, this is also a time of year of treacherous driving. Before you begin your trip, please take a moment to assess a few safety issues: Is your car in good condition? Are the tires bald? Bald tires make driving in inclement weather much more dangerous. The economy is hurting most people and one of the things that many people chose to forego is car maintenance. Tires are expensive. However, failure to negotiate the weather and having an accident is even more expensive and can be very dangerous. Do you have safety flares in case of an accident? You should also make sure your hazard lights work. This also happens to be the darkest time of year. If you are stopped on the side of the road, you want to ensure your visibility to other motorists. Do you have warm clothes (hat, mittens, boots, coat) for each passenger. Many people don’t bother with this detail because they will pre-warm their vehicle and don’t plan on walking outside. However, there are many reasons why you may get caught walking. This is particularily important if your are driving in a snow storm. Please remember that black ice is unpredictable and that bridges will ice over even when the road seems clear. Please allow extra space between yourself and the car in front of you so that you may more safety come to a stop.

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JB Parkers’ Spinach, Crab & Artichoke Dip

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

Ingredients:Spinach 8 ozArtichoke Hearts 8 ozSour Cream 6 ozMayonnaise 6 ozParmesan Cheese 4 ozWorcestershire 1 ozSalt/White Peppper/Cayenne to tasteCrabmeat 8 ozDirections:Chop spinach and squeeze out water. Roughly chop artichoke hearts. Mix all ingredients, place in a oven proof dish and place in a 350 degree oven until heated through and bubbling.

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Amaretto Creme Brulee

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

Ingredients:Egg Yolks 12 eaGranulated Sugar 10 ozHeavy Cream 32 ozVanilla Extract ozAmaretto Liqueur 2-3 ozGranulated Sugar As neededSeparate egg yolks from the whites. Place yolks in mixing bowl. Add sugar. Whip or beat until yolks change to a light yellow and increase in volume. Continue mixing and add vanilla, amaretto and cream. Mix well.Strain through a sieve into ramekins, full. Place ramekins in baking pan and add hot water to cover approximately half way up the side. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees until custard is almost set, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until custard is set all the way.Remove from oven and cool while still in water bath.Place approximately tablespoon of sugar on top of custard. With a torch melt the sugar until it becomes molten and flows around top of custard.Let set for at least two minutes and serve.

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Take This Wreath and Make It

Updated 5 years ago

This time of year, you’ll see lots of Christmas decorations around, but it just doesn’t seem to be complete without the wreath.In this edition of Take this job and love it, Sharon Pelletier branched out went to find out exactly what it takes to make the evergreen decorations.”Having done this since you were 15, you probably can do this in your sleep, right? Yeah, Pretty much.”Dolly Blyther is an expert wreath maker here at Whitney Wreath. She’s been given the task of teaching me how to do her job. “Break it right in here. All you’re doing is making little fans.”Dolly makes it sound simple. Trust me, it’s not.”Wait a minute, pick it up, you got to keep the wire going the same way. Oh shoots. This way OK.”So much to think about, and I’m really not a crafty person.”Let me see, I’ll help you here. Yeah, I desperately need help.”It was taking me a little too long, so Dolly finished up very quickly.”So would you hire me? Yes. We could hone your…hone my skills. Yes, a little better. OK.”Then it was time to try my hand at decorating. Company founder and owner David Whitney showed me how this works.”This machine makes things much more efficient, cost effective. It also makes sure the decorations are put on exactly in the place they’re supposed to be.”It’s a machine that Whitney came up with himself. “Pull your handle down, now push this up. OK. Now pull your arrowheads out.”So there’s not much chance of me messing anything up here, and it’s kind of fun.Whitney tells me he came up with the idea for the business when he was just eight years old. He saw his cousin tree tipping, and making some money at it. Whitney thought he could make a little cash too to buy some candy.”So the incentive for all of this is candy, that’s right, not so much anymore”Because now Whitney oversees nine locations in his wreath company, and they’re working on a new facility to consolidate some of their operations.Although this time of year, he’s often working 16 hour days, he says it still puts him in the Christmas Spirit.”The best part of this is the smell”It does smell great, but then it’s off to ship out some wreaths.”This is for the order ID.”Seth White is training me here. He says I’ve got to scan invoices, put them in the boxes then stick the labels on. Sounds pretty simple. The key is I’ve got to be accurate and fast.They’re sending out about 5000 packages a day.”Right now they’re doing 133 an hour. And so we’re slowing things down right now. True”So time to get to work.”One , two, three four””I’m trying to go quickly”But it’s so easy to get distracted, because it’s interesting to see where the packages are headed. I sent some to California, Colorado, Florida, and I admit I did peek at some of the messages that people wrote.”It says love and Merry Christmas”It really is great to think you’re helping to spread Holiday cheer all across the country. Makes you feel like you’re one of Santa’s elves…one who does make mistakes.”Actually that’s one way you can mess it up. If you scan the second one twice.”Luckily Seth was there to make things right.”So how do you think I’m doing? I think you should stick to television. Thank you, Seth, Thank you.”To check out Whitney Wreath online, log onto www.whitneywreath.comTo offer a suggestion for our next “Take This Job and Love It”, send an e-mail to wabi@wabi.tv

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Healthy Living: GERD

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. David RydellGastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter or valve is faulty. This allows the food and fluid in the stomach which is very acidic to flow backwards into the esophagus. This can result in a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) or a sour taste in the mouth. It can also cause a dry cough, asthma like symptoms or difficulty swallowing. These symptoms can be brought on in patients with a faulty valve by smoking, alcohol, overeating and laying down shortly after a meal. The lower esophageal valve is aided in closing by the higher pressure inside the belly cavity. In the case of a hiatal hernia (where part of the stomach has slipped through the diaphragm into the chest) this assistance is no longer present.Treatment begins by evaluating and eliminating the many food and lifestyle triggers. Symptoms are often brought on by eating citrus fruits, chocolate, caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea & soft drinks), alcohol, fatty & fried foods, mint flavoring, garlic, onions, tomatoes and spicy-foods. Lifestyle triggers include obesity and pregnancy due to the increase in pressure within the belly cavity and smoking.Medications come in three basic types:Acid neutralizers such as Tums, Maalox, Rolaids, Mylanta and Alka-Seltzer that contain hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to neutralize the acid that is inside the stomach.Acid preventers such as short acting Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid or longer acting Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Aciphex or Protonix work to block the production of acid by the cells of the stomach wall.The irritation of the esophagus is thus reduced, the patient is still refluxing they just have fewer symptoms.The third type of medication is a group that works to tighten the valve and promote the emptying of the stomach in the proper direction, out into the small intestine. These include Urecholine and Reglan.As with most medications there are a variety of potential side effects both mild and severe and these medications are only effective when we remember to take them at their regularly scheduled times.When lifestyle changes and medications are not controlling symptoms adequately there are surgical and endoscopic ways of correcting the faulty lower esophageal valve. The Nissen fundoplication or wrapping of the upper part of the stomach around the esophagus to recreate the valve was first performed in 1955. Since that time the procedure has been performed using both an open and laparoscopic technique. The long term results are very good with about 90% of patients not needing regular anti-acid medication 10 years after surgery. The major drawback is that it is an invasive operative procedure with the associated risks and complications.Two years ago a new endoscopic procedure was approved by the FDA. This procedure does not involve an incision, but rather with the patient asleep under a general anesthetic using the endoscope the valve can be recreated in patients with acid reflux and a hiatal hernia less than one inch. A permanent stitching material is used to create a one inch long 270 degree valve that has resulted in nearly 80% of patients being completely off all medications 2 years later. For more information visit www.endogastricsolutions.com/esophyx_for-pt.htm

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Keeping Costs Down at Christmas

Updated 1 year ago

By- Marion SyversonGet organized- Please use a list and pare it to who really needs gifts. Money isn’t a substitute for love so don’t mistake the two.Give group gifts- Can you buy a group gift of a great game, puzzle or event, like a dinner? Can you offer babysitting or another gift that is time versus money? Think out-of-the-usual box for a unique expression of thoughtfulness.Know the recipient- How many gifts have you received that were not even close to what you might use? It’s better to save your money than to spend it without thought and care. Know the recipient or don’t give a gift at all.Could online be cheaper?- Online retailers are offering discounts and offering cheap or no-cost shipping for gift giving. You might save time gas and travel buy doing some shopping online.No impulse buying- I have had really good intentions and started my shopping really early only to be sidelined by impulse shopping as Christmas approaches. Only buy what you have decided to get and stop shopping. Bake, do kind deeds, but stop shopping!Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial, Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., and all other companies listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Tuna Confit

Updated 1 year ago

Ingredients:1 lb. yellowfin tuna2 Tbsp. kosher salt1 Spanish onion, rough chop1 fennel bulb, rough chop2 cloves garlic1 tsp. black peppercorns1 bay leaf1 sprig rosemary1 sprig thymezest of 1 lemona few basil leavesolive oil, enough to submerge all ingredientsDirections:Rub kosher salt onto the tuna and set aside. In a saucepan, bring olive oil to a very, very slight simmer and add all the rest of the ingredients. Add tuna to simmering oil and poach for approximately 40 minutes or until the tuna is slightly pink on the inside.** Be careful of hot oil!! **

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Noisy Toys

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Amy MoviusNoise induced hearing loss, or NIHL, is (unsurprisingly) hearing loss that occurs from being exposed to overly loud noise. It is often the insidious result of exposure to excess noise over time. Unfortunately, this type of hearing loss is permanent. NIHL can occur from exposure to high sound levels in the environment – such as traffic, or noise inherent in certain occupations. Likewise, NIHL from loud music has become a major concern for our teenagers and young adults due to the popularity of personal listening devices such as ipods.A more surprising source of noise pollution is loud toys. The groups most vulnerable to injury from noisy toys are infants and toddlers, for whom many of these toys are targeted. These children will often hold these toys close to their faces or even against their ears. While developmentally appropriate, this behavior increases the sound level, and therefore the chance of hearing injury. There is little in the way of oversight for the production of these toys. In 2003 the Toy Industry Association set a voluntary sound limit on toys of < 90 decibels at 10 inches away from the ear. For perspective, this is roughly equivalent to the sound of a lawn mower. This limit is also voluntary, NOT required, and there is no obligation for toy manufacturers to list the sound level on toy packaging either. Clearly, it falls to the surrounding adults to police the exposure of these children to excessively noisy toys. There are some easy ways to judge whether an audio toy's noise level is safe, and perhaps modify it if needed.Listen to the toy holding it 12 inches or less from your own head. If it is loud enough to make you flinch, it's too loud.For a more exact assessment, sound level meters can be purchased at electronic stores (around $40). Hold the meter up to the speaker portion of a toy - if it registers > 85 decibels, the toy is too loud.Noisy toys sometimes have volume controls and/or on-off switches. Keep them turned down, or even off.If a noisy toy doesn’t have any control switches, cover the speaker with packing tape to muffle the sound (for older children) or get out your screwdriver and remove the batteries altogetherFor many households with small children, Christmas and toys go hand in hand. This year, ask friends and family to let you screen the toys they want to buy your kids. Also, remember to protect your children’s hearing with ear plugs or ear mufflers when attending any loud events to celebrate this holiday season, as the noise levels at concerts, sporting events, and the like are often above safe limits. Lastly, if you think a toy is too loud, report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission at cpsc.gov/incident.html.

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Fiddleheads’ Asian Style Tuna Tartar

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

Ingredients:1 lb. fresh yellowfin tuna, diced smalljuice of one lime1/4 cup chopped scallions1 Tbsp. minced ginger1 Tbsp. minced garlic1-2 Tbsp. soy sauce1-2 Tbsp. sesame oilDirections:Toss everything together lightly in a mixing bowl…serve right away.

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A Man’s Not a Financial Plan*- REALLY!

Updated 1 year ago

By- Marion SyversonI have discussed the differences between men and women before but a recent news story compels me to speak of this again. After all, a discussion in which I get to grab you by your adorable little ears and shake you always seems appropriate to me.Perhaps you read about Patricia Cornwell suing her financial advisors? Cornwell, author of the award winning, best selling crime novels, has published seventeen books featuring pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta and has earned millions of dollars.In late October, Cornwell sued her financial advisory firm for losses of $40 million. Many people have lost money with their investments in the two years. The bit about this story that I found shocking – yes, shocking, I say – was the lack of involvement Cornwell had in her hard-earned finances and its management.According to news reports, especially in those publications widely read by investment professionals, there are some glaring red flags in my mind as to where some of the responsibility lies. #1- Cornwell didn’t want to be, according to the suit, ‘distracted’ by that crazy money stuff. After all, she’s a famous writer and needs a calm and quiet environment in which to work. And, she stated in Britain’s’ Daily Express, ‘I don’t really want to know what’s going on in my business unless I’m made to face it.” Stomp you foot, Patricia, and make that pouty face. That’ll make the big, smart men help you with your millions. #2- She never had a risk tolerance conversation, or so she claims. For a clever woman, Cornwell seems to have used her shiny pile of money to press people into letting her not be a participant in her financial affairs. Maybe she said, ‘It hurts my head and I don’t like it.”I’ve got a message for Patricia Cornwell: Don’t try that in my office. I have turned away clients who thought they could dump the responsibility of their finances. I like shiny things, and a large pile of jingly money definitely counts. But there is no way that your bag of cash excuses you from getting a face-to-face sit down at least annually for a discussion on the financial progress we’re making towards your goals. Take that big ole bag of money to the many firms that’ll allow you to ignore your own checkbook and leave it their hands.In my book (Have I mentioned I’ve written a book? Just in case I haven’t, check out Real Deal: Making Big Changes with Small Change) I have a chapter that includes the story of Paula Zahn. Married to a man who apparently enjoyed financial management, when they divorced her lawsuit claimed that he had, ‘spun a Byzantine web of investments’ and she was left with little to show of her $25 million in earnings. What’s Marion’s lesson for today? Money’s hard to understand for you. I get that. We all have different abilities and talents. I stink at a bunch of things in which you probably excel. However (and I’m sure you know what’s coming, little chickadee), pull up your big person panties and pay attention when figuring out your finances. Please.  Let the lunacy of others be a guide to you so we don’t have to read about your sad story in tomorrow’s paper.Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Dealing with Financial Difficulty: Death

Updated 1 year ago

This is the last in our series on Dealing with Financial Difficulty. These topics have involved not just financial but also emotional trouble resulting in our first week’s topic divorce, then last week’s job loss and this week’s topic which is the death of a loved one.Arrangements- Hopefully you and your loved one have spoken about what was wanted for funeral and burial arrangements. These things require action first. Communicate with relatives and the funeral home for help at this time.Incoming bills- Overwhelmed by grief financial paperwork can quickly pile up. ASK FOR help from a trusted family friend or family member.Death certificates- The Massachusetts Commission on end -of life care recommends 10-15 copies of them for many reasons and to settle many accounts.Insurance- if you had life insurance for your loved one ‘valid claims’ are paid relatively quickly, usually within 1 week from receipt of a death certificate. You will need to know the policy number. Assets- Informing Social Security, pension funds, changing ownership for checking and savings accounts, brokerage and deeds, cars and credit cards are some of the details that will need to be taken care of after the death of your loved one. Get professional advice when you are in doubt. Take your time. This isn’t a race!Be prepared to spend a lot of time with the financial concerns following the death of a loved one.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out or website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.comVoted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Fiddleheads’ Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese Crostinis

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese CrostinisIngredients:1 cup green olives1 cup nicoise olives1 anchovy1 Tbsp. capers2-3 cloves garlicjuice of 1 lemon1 Tbsp. parsley1 Tbsp. thymea drizzle of olive oila drizzle of balsamic vinegargoat cheeseDirections:Put everything into food processor and pulse until ingredients are chunky. Serve with toasted crusty bread and topped with goat cheese of your choice.

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The 34th Great American Smokeout

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Jonathan WoodThis Thursday, Nov 19th, 2009, is the 34th Annual Great American Smokeout. Join the American Cancer Society – – use this day to encourage smokers to quit smoking or to outline a long-term plan for quitting. Remember, less smoking = more birthdays!smokers who quit at age 35 gain an average of eight years of life expectancy smokers who quit at age 55 gain about five years even long term smokers who quit at 65 gain three years people who stop smoking before age 50 can cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke.Other important facts to consider when making your plan to quit smoking:87% of lung cancer deaths can be attributed to tobacco. Quitting reduces the risk of lung cancer – – 10 years after quitting, lung cancer risk is cut nearly in half compared to the risk for people who have continued smoking during that time. 30% of all cancer deaths can be attributed to tobacco. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US. Tobacco is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths!Are you around children? o Each year, an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 lung infections in children under 18 months old are attributable to secondhand smokeo Secondhand smoke significantly increases the number and severity of asthma attacks in children, affected 200,000 to 1 million children each yearWhy quit now?Perhaps you think that if you have been smoking all your life, quitting can’t really help you… Not true!!! What can a lifelong smoker expect in terms of health advantages? 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop. 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases. 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease: cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection. 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker.10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases. 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.And how significant is the problem in Maine?14% of high school students and 18% of adults in Maine smoke.An estimated 79,000 children are exposed to secondhand smoke in Maine2,200 adults in Maine die each year due to diseases attributable to their own smoking.An estimated 27,000 children currently under 18 in Maine will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.Read more about Maine tobacco statistics at:http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/settlements/toll.php?StateID=MEMore questions?So is there a safe way to smoke? Are menthol cigarettes safer? What exactly is it in cigarette smoke that is harmful? Is smoking really addictive? What does cigarette smoke do to the lungs? How does smoking affect pregnant woman and their babies? Answers to these and other questions can be found at:http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_2x_Questions_About_Smoking_Tobacco_and_Health.aspSo how can you quit? No one said it is easy, but there are increasing numbers of resources available for smokers committed to becoming non-smokers. Go for it!A good place to start is the “Breathe Easy, New England” website – – check it out and find out how to get help:http://community.acsevents.org/site/PageServer?pagename=C_NE_GASO_homepageThursday, November 19, 2009American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout” www.cancer.org/GreatAmericans

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