Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Doll Tea begins at 1:00 p.m. and will be held in the Grand Ball Room of the Eastland Park Hotel.
Price is $23 (or $20 for Mansion members). Raffle tickets are $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00
v Enjoy pastries, finger sandwiches, hot tea and lemonade
v Make your own scrapbook
v Learn about the 19th-century practice of scrapbooking
v Enter in the American Girl Doll Raffle
v Enjoy live classical music
v Photo opportunity in the Grand Ball Room, bring your cameras
v Receive a corsage to wear at the tea and/or take home to enjoy
The tea will be followed by a special tour of Victoria Mansion with a flower for each girl and an exhibition of 19th-century scrapbooks!
v 1st Prize: $100 Gift Certificate for American Girl Doll of your choice
v 2nd Prize: American Girl Doll Salon Chair
v 3rd Prize: American Girl Doll Cook Stove
v 4th Prize: American Girl Doll Glassware and Linens Set
v 5th Prize: Jewelry Box with five necklaces, original designs
v 6th – 11th Prizes: Necklaces, original designs
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
RX for a Healthy Maine Future
Peter W. Bates, MD, is the Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of Maine Medical Center.
He will discuss the MMC Undergraduate Medical Program with Tufts University which is designed to help ease the shortage of qualified
physicians and address the substantialfinancial barriers Maine students face when contemplating a career in medicine, as well as,
offer the state’s rural community hospitals more ability to recruit young physicians to small town practice
Details/View flyer (pdf)
Tuesday, May 5th /7:00 am-9:00 am
Networking: 7:00am. Breakfast 7:30am
Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland
Presenting Sponsors: Bank of America and Martin’s Point Health Care
Cooperating Sponsor UNUM
Reception Sponsors: Clark Associates Insurance and Bernstein Shur / Community Corner Sponsor: Baker Newman Noyes
Media Partners: The Forecaster, Port City Life. E-Media Partner: Mainebiz
$16 members / $26 non-members
Ticket Booklets also available (click here) or call 772-2811.
With cc payment: Tel: 772-2811 or Fax: 772-1179
Or online, click here: Eggs & Issues, Dr Peter Bates
If you prefer to fax or mail your registration (download flyer)
Mail to: Portland Community Chamber, 60 Pearl St. Portland, ME 04101 /Fax: 772-1179
Please register by April 30th
If you are using the Eggs & Issues Ticket booklets, please register via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment is expected at the time of registration. Cancellations must be received in writing 48 hrs prior to the event in order to receive a refund.
We hope you find this message from the Portland Regional Chamber informative and useful. If, however, you no longer wish to receive email from us, please CLICK HERE.
This will remove you from any further electronic communication we send to our members. When replying, please include your name, organization and email address.
Portland Regional Chamber, 60 Pearl St, Portland, ME 04101 Tel. 207-772-2811
Event & Program Manager
Portland Regional Chamber
60 Pearl St
Portland, ME 04101
207-772-2811 ext. 233
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Jen Dean Hartman
“Mother Nature –
A Bug’s Eye View!”
First Friday Art Walk
Friday, May 1st, 2009, 5 – 8 pm
Through May, daily 8 am – 5:30 pm
Please join us at 584 Congress Street, in the heart of the Arts’ District, as we celebrate Mother Nature during the month of May through the eyes of photographer Jen Dean Hartman and the floral creations of our talented Harmon’s & Barton’s and Sawyer & Company designers! Jen Dean Hartman is a wedding, portrait, and documentary photographer living in Portland. The textures, shapes and colors of nature attract her and inspired the pieces in this collection. The goal of this body of work is to take the small beings in nature and make them larger than life! Seeking out a ‘bugs eye view’ of the world compels Jen to watch closely with the camera and slow down for a bit in the busy world. May it do the same for you!
Friday, April 24, 2009
USDA has raised their income limits. USDA (Rural Development) is a great program for first time homebuyers. Your interest rate can be subsidized to be as low as 1% to 2%!
· No down payment – LTV to 102%
· No monthly mortgage insurance – one time 2% funding fee allowed to be included in the loan amount.
· Single family, townhouse and condos allowed
· Will finance a new build package either stick built, manufactured or modular.
· Sellers can pay 6% plus toward closing costs etc…
· Can finance some repairs into the loan
Please call us today to see if you qualify for USDA.
First Choice Home Loans
20 Glendale Circle
Scarborough, Me 04074
Cell - 207-749-4588
Apply online @www.firstchoicehomeloans.org
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
What: The City of Portland and members of the Franklin Street Arterial Study Committee invite the public to attend Rethinking Portland's Gateway: A Community Workshop for the Franklin Street Corridor next month.
During the workshop, attendees will be broken up into groups and taken through a facilitated conversation to address a variety of topics as they relate to re-envisioning the Franklin Street Corridor . Topic areas include transportation, traffic, neighborhood enhancements, historic preservation, the environment, bicycle and pedestrian issues, open space opportunities and economic development. Registration for the workshop at the city's website, http://www.portlandmaine.gov/franklinstreetarterialconferenceregistration.asp , is strongly encouraged.
The Franklin Arterial Study was initiated in 2008 to identify improvement opportunities to benefit all users of the road, neighboring communities, businesses and the city as a whole. The study is based upon the perspective that Franklin Street Arterial can play a greater role in the development and enhancement of the East End, the Waterfront, Bayside and Back Cove. The Committee has been charged with developing concepts for a future Franklin Street area that maximize opportunities for commercial development, creation or improvement of open space, automobile and pedestrian safety and place-making for this important gateway to the city. The Committee plans to make its recommendations including outcomes from the April workshop to the City Council by early summer.
For those interested in attending the meetings but do not have access to the internet or would like additional information, contact the Public Services Department at 874-8801.
You can visit the city's website http://www.portlandmaine.gov/franklinstreetarterial.htm for periodic updates.
When: April 29, 2009 6:40 PM 9:40 PM
Where: Ocean Gateway Terminal
Director of Communications
City of Portland
389 Congress Street, Room 208
Portland, ME 04101
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Boston International Film Festival
AMC Loews Boston Common 19, 101 Tremont St., Boston MA
April 17-26, 2009
The 7th Annual Boston International Film Festival will feature over 100 short and feature
length films, from 38 countries and 5 continents, with categories including narrative,
animation and documentary. This festival is recognized by major institutions and corporations
in the entertainment industry, as one of the leading film events. Click here for more
information. Take a break from the stress and cost of driving by taking the Amtrack Downeaster Train or the Corcord Trailways Bus to Beantown for the day
City of Portland
Board and Commissions
Board of Assessment Review – 2 Alternate positions
Responsibilities: The Board has power to grant property tax abatements pursuant to state law and to determine the tax exempt status of real and personal property. It functions in a quasi- judicial capacity and members must be able to hold public hearings, make findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with state law, and issue written decisions setting forth their findings and conclusions.
Qualifications: Members need the background necessary to be able to determine the value of real and personal property. Members should be familiar with the several geographical areas of the City, e.g. the waterfront, downtown, Munjoy Hill, Deering, etc.
Civil Service Commission - 1 position
The Employment Subcommittee has three Commissioners and one alternate. The Employment Subcommittee approves written examinations for police and fire Civil Service testing and other elements of the testing process such as fitness and medical and job suitability exams, participates in oral interviews with candidates, and may hold hearings on discipline cases.
Qualifications: A resident of Portland and a person of good moral character. Although a familiarity with employment practices and the legal process would be helpful, they are not required. What is necessary is a desire to be involved in a critical but background role, a capacity for objective judgments, and good communication skills.
Disqualifications: Anyone who is or has been a City employee or City Councilor or anyone who is a relative of a present member of the Police or Fire departments.
Friends of the Parks – 4 positions
This Commission serves as an advisory group to help promote parks and recreation in the City. Meets monthly to review projects, proposals and receive citizen input to provide recommendations to the Department and the City Council.
Historic Preservation Board – 2 positions
Responsibilities: The Historic Preservation Board has jurisdiction to review and approve applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness for exterior alterations, site improvements and new construction affecting Portland’s designated landmarks, buildings and sites within historic districts and historic landscape districts. The Board also makes recommendations to the Planning Board and City Council concerning amendments to the historic preservation ordinance and the designation of additional landmarks, historic districts, and historic landscape districts.
Qualifications: Members shall have demonstrated interest, knowledge, ability, experience, or expertise in restoration, rehabilitation, or neighborhood conservation or revitalization and shall be residents of the City of Portland.
Terms: Members are appointed for terms of 3 years and may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.
Meetings: The Historic Preservation Board meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 5:00.
Landbank – 3 positions
The Land Bank Commission is responsible for identifying and protecting open space resources within the City of Portland. The Commission seeks to preserve a balance between development and conservation of open space important for wildlife, ecological, environmental, scenic or outdoor recreational values. The Commission responsibilities include: working for the acquisition and conservation of open space within the City; recommending to the City Council on a priority basis acquisition or conservation of significant properties; and the pursuit of gifts and funds from private and public sources for the acquisition of open space as approved by the City Council. The Commission has developed an inventory of open space resources within the City. It is engaged in an ongoing effort to proactively protect properties from development through easement, deed restriction, or acquisition.
Responsibilities: Pursue funding resources for the acquisition of open space; create an inventory of
open space property in the city and make recommendations for the protection and/or acquisition of open space that is environmentally significant. Meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:00 P.M.
Portland Fish Exchange A – 1 position
Portland Housing Authority – 2 positions
The Portland Housing Authority was established in 1943 to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low-income citizens of the Greater Portland area. Today, it owns and manages twelve housing developments totaling 1,038 units, serving families, elderly, and persons with disabilities. This locally owned program operates with an annual $7.5 million dollar budget. In addition, the Authority administers the HUD Leased Housing Program that provides rent subsidies in the private market for qualified applicants. This program currently provides approximately 2,000 certificates or vouchers to low-income residents and operates with an annual contract authority over $14.5 million dollars. Together these programs provide assistance to over 6,000 residents, which equal roughly 10% of Portland”s population. The Authority employs over 90 people to manage and operate these programs.
Portland Public Art – 4 positions
The Portland Public Art Committee is responsible for administering the Public Art Program to preserve, restore and enhance the City-owned public art collection. The Committee develops and presents to the City Council an Annual Art Plan that recommends expenditures from the municipal percent-for-art allocation, reviews potential gifts of art to the City’s collection according the Guidelines for the Public Art Ordinance, seeks private donations to care for the public art collection, and recommends appropriate locations for the installation of permanent public art. Members must live or work in Portland. Experience, training or expertise in one of the following disciplines is desirable: architecture or landscape architecture, accomplishment as an artist, art curator, commercial real estate or development, and/or experience with foundations and development. Members are appointed to three-year terms.
Additional information is available in the City Clerk’s office, on the City’s website at www.portlandmaine.gov or at 874-8677. Deadline for submission is May 1, 2009. Please send a resume and cover letter to Appointments Committee Chairman, c/o Linda C. Cohen, City Clerk, 389 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101 or email@example.com. Applicants will be contacted for interviews.
Are you one of them, but you think NO ONE in local or national politics hears you yelling in frustration at your computer or the news on tv?
I know, I can't believe it either. There are people as fed up and frustrated as you are!
Well, finally, we are coming out of our hibernation and showing our faces to the world! (But we really just want the politicians and like-minded people to be aware of us dissenters)
Read more about this event and the T.E.A. Parties in Bangor & Augusta in the FREE Daily Portland Sun Newspaper at: http://www.theportlanddailysun.com/cgi/story.pl?storyid=20090413093251000577
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Looking to for a better way of life? Start your search with these places, and of course, we'd be happy to help you with your housing needs...
By Zack O'Malley Greenburg
America's Most Livable CitiesZack O'Malley Greenburg, 04.01.09, 05:15 PM EDT
Looking to for a better way of life? Start your search with these places.
In Depth: America's Most Livable Cities
The beer at Gritty McDuff's might be enough to lure people to Portland, Me. Established in 1988, the downtown pub offers a smattering of small-batch ales brewed on the premises in addition to usual tavern treats. From the patio, customers can enjoy a pint along cobblestone streets or retire to the copper-topped bar for a second round.
Tasty microbrews aren't the only reason to like Portland. Thanks to high marks in five key quality of life metrics, Portland tops this year's list of America's Most Livable Cities.
"It's a very easy place to live," says Leon Perrin, 31, a manager at Gritty's. "It's small, so getting around isn't too much of a hassle. And it's a beautiful place throughout all four seasons."
Perrin, who has lived in Maine for 20 years, is one of 513,000 residents living the good life in the Portland metropolitan area. The region earned high marks for income growth and culture; it also has low levels of crime and unemployment. Residents can afford the relatively high cost of living because of a 6.3% income growth rate over the past five years.
Behind the Numbers
To form our list, we looked at quality of life measures in the nation's largest continental U.S. metropolitan statistical areas--geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics. We eliminated areas with populations smaller than 500,000 and assigned points to the remaining metro regions across five data sets: Five-year income growth per household and cost of living from Moody's Economy.com, crime data and leisure index from Sperling's Best Places, and annual unemployment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
As a real estate professional, you are probably fielding plenty of questions about President Obama's $75 billion foreclosure plan. Most homeowners want to know what it means for them, whether they are likely to qualify, and what they need to do to obtain relief. Although the eligibility requirements and other details are likely to become clearer in the next few weeks, you can glean some information from the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. Here, are some key points mentioned in the Plan.
The Plan's executive summary clearly states the problems that the Obama administration foreclosure plan is designed to address:
Due to falling property values, many homeowners cannot refinance into mortgages with lower interest rates.
Nearly six million homeowners are facing foreclosure, primarily due to the current recession.
The foreclosure epidemic is further depressing property values, with each foreclosure reducing nearby property values up to an estimated 9 percent.
The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is designed to help nearly 9 million households restructure or refinance their mortgages to avoid foreclosure. The plan has three key components:
Provide access to low-cost refinancing options for responsible homeowners suffering from falling home prices.
A $75 Billion Homeowner Stability Initiative for at-risk homeowners.
Supporting low mortgage rates by strengthening confidence in Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan recognizes that many homeowners cannot take advantage of historically low interest rates, because their loan-to-value (LTV) ratios are too high for them to qualify for a refinance loan. Most lenders want to see an LTV of 80 percent or lower before they will consider approving a refinance loan; that is, homeowners must owe no more than 80 percent of the current value of their property (for example $80,000 or less on a $100,000 home).
Given the fact that property values have dropped as much as 25 percent or more in some areas of the U.S., many homeowners have seen their LTV's rise above the 80 percent cut off. Obama's foreclosure plan is designed to “help as many as 5 million responsible homeowners who took out conforming loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance through those two institutions.”
By refinancing into a loan with a lower interest rate, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars per month and thousands per year – perhaps enough to protect their homes from foreclosure. On a $200,000 30-year mortgage, a reduction from 8 percent to 6 percent drops the monthly payment $268.43 – an annual savings of $3,221.16.
$75 Billion Homeowner Stability Initiative
The $75 billion homeowner stability initiative targets at-risk homeowners, many of whom are stuck in adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and have seen their house payments rise to 40 or even 50 percent of their monthly income. The program offers cash incentives to lenders and borrowers for working out loan modification agreements that result in reasonable, affordable monthly mortgage payments and enable the homeowners to keep their homes. Following are some key points about this component of the plan:
The primary goal of the initiative is to reduce homeowners' monthly payments to sustainable, affordable levels.
Real estate investors need not apply. This initiative is available exclusively to help homeowners retain possession of their primary residence.
The plan covers households “at risk of imminent default despite being current on their mortgage payments.” In other words, you can qualify even if you haven't yet missed a house payment.
Under the initiative, the lender is responsible to lower the interest rate so that the homeowners' monthly mortgage payment is no higher than 38 percent of their monthly gross income. If the payment is still not affordable at that level, the initiative matches “further reductions in interest payments dollar-for-dollar with the lender to bring that ratio down to 31 percent.” Lenders will also be able to bring down monthly payments by reducing the principal owed on the mortgage, with Treasury sharing in the costs.
The lower interest rate must remain in place for five years, at which time it can gradually be stepped up to the conforming loan rate in place at the time of the loan modification.
Servicers receive an up-front incentive of $1,000 for “each eligible modification meeting guidelines established under this initiative” plus a monthly incentive up to $1,000 per year for three years as long as the borrower remains current on the loan.
Borrowers receive an incentive of up to $1,000 per year for five years, as long as they stay current on their loan. The money is applied to pay down the balance on their loan; it is not given directly to the homeowners to spend as they wish.
Servicers receive a $500 incentive, and mortgage holders receive a $1,500 incentive for modifying at-risk loans before the borrowers fall behind. This is intended to provide early assistance to borrowers – before they default on their loans.
Mortgage holders receive an additional insurance payment, linked to declines in the home price index, on each modified loan. This is designed to discourage mortgage holders from foreclosing now out of fear that property values will fall even further if they wait to foreclose.
As part of the plan, the Treasury will develop uniform guidelines for loan modifications across the mortgage industry. All financial institutions that receive Financial Stability Plan financial assistance will be required to adhere to the guidelines.
Strong government oversight will be in place to monitor performance and ensure compliance with the plan's guidelines.
The plan allocates $1.5 Billion in relocation and other forms of assistance to renters displaced by foreclosure and $2 billion in neighborhood stabilization funds.
Low Mortgage Rates
The third major component of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to “support low mortgage rates by strengthening confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” To accomplish this goal, the plan calls for the following:
Increasing the Treasury Department's funding commitment to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure security of the mortgage market. Treasury is increasing its Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements to $200 billion each from their original level of $100 billion each.
To promote stability and liquidity, the Treasury Department will continue to purchase Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities.
Treasury will increase the size of the GSEs' (Government Sponsored Enterprises') retained mortgage portfolios by $50 billion to $900 billion along with corresponding increases in allowable debt, so Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can facilitate financing for the mortgage industry.
The administration will work with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support the efforts of state housing finance agencies in serving homeowners