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Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
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January 26, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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January 26, 2018
 

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26 January, 2018 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 21 Calais agrees to join opioid lawsuit by Lura Jackson The City of Calais has made the initial steps to join a broad-reaching lawsuit against the top opioid manufacturers. The decision was reached at a city council meeting held on January 11. A finance committee meeting held immediately pri- or provided the councillors with an update to the city's audit status. The lawsuit is currently being pursued by more than 100 states and cities across the country. City attorney Arnie Clark compared it to the tobacco lawsuits of the 1990s filed by 46 states against the tobac- co companies for healthcare expenses di- rectly related to tobacco use. The successful litigation of that lawsuit led to the Tobacco Master Settlement in 1998, which included an agreement from the four largest tobacco companies in the country to pay a minimum of $206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement. If the opioid lawsuit is successful, the judge could award as much as $10,000 per occurrence of the companies' viola- tion of consumer protection statutes, which could be interpreted as each pre- scription written. If so, it would amount to trillions of dollars for states and munici- palities affected by the opioid scourge. Clark said that, based on his readings, ap- proximately three-quarters of the individ- uals entering heroin treatment got started on prescription painkillers. "We should have done this years ago," said Mayor Billy Howard. "Our commu- nity has been hit hard by this," concurred Councillor Mike Sherrard. The council unanimously approved having the city join the lawsuit, which Clark will contin- ue to pursue. There is no upfront cost to join the lawsuit, as the fees for the firm handling it will be deducted from the award. A path forward for the International Homecoming Festival is emerging. Last year, Theresa Porter sent a letter around to civic organizations asking if they could commit a person to participate in the In- ternational Homecoming Festival Com- mittee. The revitalization of the festival committee is now under way in response to last year's international parade nearly being cancelled at the last minute and gen- erally declining participation. Porter said that she has received seven or eight re- sponses from individuals interested in be- ing on the committee. There is no date set yet for the meeting, but City Manager Por- ter said he would be scheduling it soon. Calais Police Chief David Randall re- quested that $1,700 be taken from the drug forfeiture account for the purpose of pur- chasing two gun racks and a cage. Randall said that the recent shooting incident that saw a potential of six people being de- tained and transported following a pursuit made the department realize that it would have inadequate means to transport every- body if such a situation arose again. The drug forfeiture account currently has about $6,000 in it. The request was approved. Nine road tolls for the coming year were requested and approved. The major- ity of the tolls take place on Saturday, as requested by local business owners, who saw their business go down when the tolls were held during the week. One, the Lions Club toll, will take place on a Monday, according to its tradition. An update to the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce's effort to pro- duce a magazine highlighting the attrac- tions and businesses of the area was provided by volunteer Michael Carmody, who said that the magazine is going well and is on track to be released in April. The chamber recently traveled to Eastport to make a presentation to businesses there, with favorable results. Feedback in general has been very positive on the magazine. For more information about the project, contact chamber director Helen Messemer Thomas at . City Manager Porter was appointed to be the city's representative to the Maine Service Center Coalition. Additionally, the council approved several water, sewer, tax and ambulance write-offs, amounting to just under $2,000. Lastly, the council granted approval to solicit bids for unused equipment at the public works building, including a heater and lights. School consolidation talks between Cal- ais and Baileyville are expected to resume this month. PRESENTING A CUSTOMER with a sample of turkey and sweet potato chili are (left) Mona Van Wart and (right) Krista Collins of Calais Regional Hospital on January 12 at Bell's IGA in Calais. Along with the samples of the healthy meal, 58 meal kits - with enough supplies to make the chili for a family of five in each - were given away, which was made possible by the $800 donated by community members at the store in Decem- ber. (Lura Jackson photo) Healthy Acadia to offer Cooking Matters Healthy Acadia is offering a free six- kitchen at WCCC on Tuesdays from 11:30 class "Cooking Matters" series in partner- a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants are requested ship with Washington County Community to commit to all six classes. To register, City finances continue to improve College (WCCC) on Tuesdays beginning contact McConnell at 255-3741 or During the finance committee meeting, January 30 and continuing through March g or Farrar at Finance Director Crystal Gallina advised 13. The series is specially designed for 454-1086 or . those present that the city's undesignated those struggling with a tight food budget Healthy Acadia Nutrition Education fund balance is continuing to increase. At who are looking for healthier options. Class- Initiative classes are made possible present, it has approximately $1.9 million es will offer participants an opportunity to through Maine SNAP-Ed. in it, up from $1.7 million at the end of learn about easy ways to prepare healthy, last year. There are several projects delicious meals and stretch food dollars. amounting to a total of $100,000 that have "Cooking Matters teaches healthy eat- Grants available funds earmarked within that balance, in- ing habits, cooking skills, food shopping for area nonprofits cluding $20,000 for the dock expansion, and budgeting through a fun and hands- The city has realized approximately on learning experience," says Sara McCo- Nonprofit and public organizations $30,000 in saving~ this year as a result of nnell, Healthy Acadia' s Washington seeking funding for projects that draw on switching its health insurance carriers. County nutrition education coordinator, the strengths of the community and foster Next year's savings from the same switch "This class series, offered in partnership collaboration are encouraged to apply to will be even larger, amounting to more with WCCC, features incredible resources the Maine Community Foundation's than $90,000. The funds will primarily be that can help make healthy eating simple Community Building Grant Program. The used to balance the budget to compensate and fun on any budget." deadline for applying is Thursday, Febru- for items that are increasing in cost. Participants will work together to cre- ary 15. Application and guidelines are Gallina successfully proposed to the ate a meal and sample completed dishes available at . committee that the city adopt a program under the guidance of McConnell and Ber- In 2017, the committee awarded nearly that would complement the newly adopt- nadette Farrar from WCCC. Free take- $96,000 in grants to 14 nonprofits. They ed MaineSTART retirement plan. Recog- home ingredients will be provided for included: $9,805 to Shead High School nizing that MaineSTART follows different participants to recreate the meal at home. for restoration of the SHS greenhouse that stipulations than MainePERS- which can A recipe book and other helpful kitchen will allow it to be used as a year-round only be joined witfin seven days of being tools are also provided to participants growing/learning center for all students of hired and which isa more inclusive retire- upon graduation. Eastport Schools and the community; ment plan - Galina suggested that the "Nutrition is an important part of a $7,000 to Hand in Hand/Mano en Mano city offer up to a 5% percent match in healthy lifestyle for anyone, but teaching to provide a one-week bilingual summer contributions for employees who instead students - many of which are food inse- program with the Maine Outdoor School elect MaineSTART. Gallina said that do- cure - these valuable lessons is huge. This to 30 children in western Washington ing so would enable the city to remain collaboration is an exceptional opportuni- County; $6,000 to the Tides Institute & more competitive. The committee widely ty," says Farrar, student navigator at Museum of Art to develop the Place Over agreed. A vote will be held at the next city WCCC. Time walking tour and related materials council meeting on Thursday, January 25. Classes will meet in the St. Croix Hall of TIMA's six historic buildings. C iii iiii ? iilii i "The CRH Emergency Departme,:.~: saved my eyesig~'~t. Using the services I can is a srnati way to say thank you for being my hc,~spita! and there when I need them:' --Shawn Howland, Baileyvi!te This is #myCRH - Quality Healthcare Close to Home