Monday, December 6, 2021

Southwest Harbor Public Library Presents: Christmas Carol Radio Play and Kids Holiday Activities

 The Southwest Harbor Public Library is pleased to celebrate the holiday season in December with several memory making family activities including an old-fashioned radio play, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, presented by Ms. Snow Ross’ 3rd grade class at Trenton Elementary School and theatre artist Brittany Parker. Kids, teens and families can join in the holiday spirit by participating in the library’s Gingerbread House Contest & Display and registering for a Take & Make Ornament Craft Kit with the option to display the finished ornaments on our Christmas tree. We hope you’ll share your winter-time creativity with us as we usher in the crafting and cozy home-bound time of year.

Take & Make Ornament Craft Kit & Christmas Tree Display
Starting December 8, 2021, Kits available.
All ages welcome, focus Pre-K to 8th grade. Register today for a Southwest Harbor Public Library Take & Make Ornament Kit. Kits will include craft items needed to make your very own ornament. Bonus: kids are encouraged to bring their ornament back to the library to hang on our library Christmas tree for the community to see during the holiday season. To register for a kit, visit

Gingerbread House Contest & Display
Entry Week: December 13th - 18th, 2021
Categories: Kids, Teens & Families

Kids, teens, and families join in the holiday spirit by participating in Southwest Harbor Public Library’s Gingerbread House Contest & Display! Entries accepted December 13th - December 18th during operating hours. Prizes for first through third place in each category. Houses will be displayed through December. For entry form and rules, visit

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Radio Play Performance on WERU
Broadcast December 25, at 11am on 89.9 FM WERU

SWHPL YouTube Premier December 25 at 12p.m.

Ms. Snow Ross' 3rd grade class at Trenton Elementary School will present a radio play version of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol." Sponsored by the Southwest Harbor Public Library, the radio play will broadcast on 89.9 FM WERU at 11am on Christmas Day. The students will provide all narration and characters for the play, which is a shortened version adapted for schools by Al LePage.The program will be recorded and edited by theatre artist Brittany Parker. Tune in on Christmas Day to hear this great performance. The broadcast will also premier at 12:00 noon on Dec. 25 on the Southwest Harbor Public Library's YouTube channel.

For more details or questions, visit, call 244-7065 or email

COVID-19 Public Service Announcement

With hospitalizations on the rise, vaccines, boosters, public masking and proper ventilation essential this holiday season

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maine hit a record high of 330 this week as cases continue to rise following the Thanksgiving holiday. At Mount Desert Island Hospital, 57 positive COVID-19 cases were recorded in the month of November—the highest to date—while hospitalizations rose from an average of one per week to five by the end of the month.

“Overload of the hospital system statewide is impacting the availability of surgery, inpatient care and emergency transportation,” said Dr. J.R. Krevans, Jr., Chair of Infection Control at MDI Hospital. “We urge everyone in our community to get vaccinated and boosted if you have not yet done so.”

Since Thanksgiving, the Maine Center for Disease Control has reported more than 1,000 positive cases and 21 deaths. With emerging concern about the new omicron variant, the state is working with the Jackson Laboratory to monitor for the variant, said Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah. Overall, about 65 percent of people hospitalized for COVID-19 are not vaccinated said Shah, and those who have not received the vaccine make-up about 90 percent of ICU patients.

“Vaccines make a big difference. They are safe, effective and keep most people from getting very ill and dying,” said Dr. Julian Kuffler, MPH, Director of Medical Education at MDI Hospital. “The vast majority of individuals who are on ventilators and dying did not get vaccinated.”

As we all continue to work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we urge our community and area businesses to join us in reinforcing the core protection measures of vaccination, masking, ventilation and distancing. Together, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 over the holidays.

Masks, proper ventilation and distancing enhance the protection of vaccines and boosters. Although mask mandates have been lifted, the U.S. and Maine CDC continue to recommend masking in all public spaces. “Masks work. They prevent you from infecting others and others from harming you,” said Dr. Krevans. “Do not enter a business where most people are unmasked. All public facing employees should be masked, and customers should be requested or required to mask by clear signage.”

To help ensure families can gather safely, Drs. Krevans and Kuffler recommend using home rapid tests for all guests if anyone present will be unvaccinated. In the workplace, he recommends that holiday parties be held outdoors or not at all.

Vaccines and boosters continue to be the best way to protect yourself and others. COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots are available free of charge at most local pharmacies and healthcare facilities. Children age 5+ are eligible to receive the vaccine and adults age 18+ are eligible to receive the booster. To learn more about vaccination at MDI Hospital, visit or talk to your health care provider.


Oka Hutchins | Communications Director

MDI Hospital Office of Advancement

8 Wayman Lane | Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Cell: 207.460.3610 |


Friday, November 26, 2021

The Camp CaPella Charity Online Auction is Almost Here!

November 29th thru December 10th, 2021 hosted by Bidding for Good!

The Camp CaPella Charity Online Auction is becoming a Holiday favorite for the non-profit summer camp serving individuals with disabilities. Many campers who attend come to Camp on scholarship. Camp CaPella never turns away a camper based on ability to pay, which means every dollar raised from the Auction helps to send someone with disabilities to summer camp. And everyone deserves an opportunity to experience summer camp in Maine!

This is the Second year we have put together the Holiday Online Auction. Traditionally we have a silent auction at our Volunteer Banquet, due to Covid restrictions we have put together an online event to help our Campers.

All our local businesses, donors, and communities have come together to provide items and gift certificates to auction off.

It is a great way to get ready for the Holiday’s and provide tuition for a Camper! Help us make 2022 the best year ever!

Visit the News & Events tab of to get the link to the auction.

Camp CaPella Facebook will also have the link provided.

Host Site: Bidding for Good:

Event Contacts: Melanie Dresser  207-974-6722

 Rebecca Winkler Barrera  207-843-5104

Thursday, October 28, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic Saturday, November 6

 COVID-19 Vaccine Update

All three available vaccines now authorized for booster doses, Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 possible mid-November.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic Saturday, November 6

Mount Desert Island Hospital will be offering a vaccine booster clinic in the lobby of the Bar Harbor Regency on Saturday, November 6 from 9 am – 12 pm. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses will be available. Visit to view and book open appointments.

If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you must be 6 months or more past your initial series to be eligible for a booster. Boosters are now recommended for everyone 18 and older at least 2 months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been authorized for use and will soon be available for eligible individuals. Pfizer vaccine booster doses have been authorized since September and more than 70,000 have already been administered in Maine.

Third doses are also available for select individuals with certain immunocompromising conditions, as recommended by the CDC. While booster shots are intended for those whose immune response may have lessened over time, a third dose might be offered to those who may not have had a strong enough immune response from the first two doses due to certain conditions. Consult your health care provider to learn which might be right for you.

Eligible individuals will be able to choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. The new CDC recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

With more than 65 million Americans currently unvaccinated, first doses remain a critical priority. Available data shows that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.

MDI Hospital continues to administer boosters of Pfizer for eligible individuals in our health center locations as well as an additional third dose to select individuals with certain immunocompromising conditions as recommended by the CDC. Call-in appointment scheduling for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses is expected to begin later this week.

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5-11
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will review Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5-to 11-year-old children Tuesday, October 26, with advisors from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) expected to weigh in on November 2 and 3. If authorized, the vaccine could be available for this age group as soon as mid-November. It is expected that the vaccine dosage for this age group will be smaller.

COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 years old are subject to the same multi-step testing, authorization, and approval process as all other COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 vaccines ─ including those routinely recommended for childhood vaccination.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated 10/26/21

Q: Am I eligible for a booster?
A: According to the latest CDC guidelines, people who received their second shot of Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago should get a booster if they fall into one of these categories:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

For those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, a booster shot is recommended for everyone 18 and older at least 2 months after receiving their original dose.

Q: What is the difference between a booster and a third dose?
Booster shots are given when an original vaccine’s effectiveness may start to weaken, while a third or additional dose might be offered to those who are not expected to have had a strong enough immune response to their initial vaccination due to certain conditions. Consult your health care provider to learn which might be right for you.

Q: Do I need to get the same booster as my original COVID-19 vaccine?
A: The CDC’s recommendations now allow for mix and match dosing for booster shots. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. The biggest benefit to mixing and matching is that it gives people options to get their booster as soon as possible.

Q: What are the expected side effects?
A: Side effects are expected to be similar to initial vaccination and can include pain at the injection site, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and fever.

Q: Where will boosters be available?
A: For those eligible, booster shots will be available at both provider’s offices and pharmacies. If you are unable to get the booster at your original vaccine location, can provide information about vaccination services in your area. You can also text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you in the U.S.

The Maine CDC currently lists vaccination sites offering additional doses of Pfizer vaccine at: This list will be updated soon to include Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Q: Do boosters mean the vaccines aren’t working?
A: No, the availability of boosters does not mean the original vaccines aren’t working. The effectiveness of most vaccines lessen over time and boosters are often used in routine vaccination to maintain peak immunity.

All the data suggests that the vaccines have dramatically reduced the risk of contracting the virus, of spreading the virus, and most importantly, of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

Q: Will booster shots be the same formulation as existing vaccines?
A: Yes, COVID-19 booster shots are the same formulation as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the case of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, it is half the dose of the vaccine people get for their initial series.

Q: Do I need to bring my vaccination card to get the booster?
A: It is helpful to bring proof of your original vaccination with you when you get a booster so your provider can update your vaccination card.

Q: Do I have to get a booster to be considered fully vaccinated?
A: No. At this time, people are still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two weeks after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Mount Desert Island Hospital Organization Increases Minimum Wage

 Mount Desert Island Hospital today announced it will increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour effective immediately. In addition to the minimum wage increase, the majority of hourly (non-exempt) employees at MDI Hospital and Birch Bay Retirement will receive an increase to their current compensation.

“We are very fortunate to have an incredible team that puts our patients first each and every day,” said Chrissi Maguire, MDI Hospital President/CEO. “Our dedicated employees are our greatest asset, and this wage increase acknowledges their vital contributions and outstanding commitment to the health and safety of our community.”

More than 300 employees will benefit from the wage increase—nearly 60 percent of all staff. This group includes certified medical and nursing assistants, environmental and nutrition services employees, reception and registration staff and many other frontline employees. The wage increase represents an investment of more than $1 million in employee compensation annually.

With 65 open positions currently available between MDI Hospital and Birch Bay Retirement Village, MDI Hospital’s increase in its wage scales will also help boost employee retention and recruitment said Sara O’Connell, Director of Human Resources at MDI Hospital.

As part of the MDI Hospital team, employees have access to a comprehensive benefits package including health and dental benefits, continuing education opportunities and tuition reimbursement, a robust employee wellness program and an employer retirement contribution match of up to 4 percent of annual earnings.

MDI Hospital has maintained a solid financial foundation throughout the pandemic, allowing for resiliency bonuses to be paid to all staff in December of 2020. The hospital has also offered employees flexible scheduling options, childcare services, mindful change management workshops and additional resiliency resources.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have been striving to support our invaluable employees and help them remain resilient in the most challenging of circumstances,” said Maguire. “This increase to our wage scale reaffirms this commitment.”

About Mount Desert Island Hospital
Mount Desert Island Hospital serves a close-knit island and surrounding communities through a 25-bed critical access facility in Bar Harbor and a network of area health centers—all designed to provide comprehensive healthcare for residents and visitors. Since it was established in 1897, the nonprofit hospital has grown into a premier rural healthcare organization with a retirement community and six primary care health centers, as well as a full-service behavioral health center and a dental clinic. The hospital’s Emergency Department, a critical link in Downeast Maine's trauma delivery system, serves the Mount Desert Island community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. MDI Hospital received a five-star rating, the highest awarded, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2020. In addition, the organization’s inpatient, outpatient, emergency, and surgical care services have been consistently recognized by Avatar International, the Leapfrog Group, the National Rural Health Association, Harvard Pilgrim and Healthgrades.

Monday, September 20, 2021

ArtWaves October Exhibit at the Southwest Harbor Public Library


ArtWaves artist members will have work on exhibit at the Southwest Harbor Public Library during the month of October. This dynamic art exhibit will showcase a wide variety of works including landscape and portrait oil paintings, some painted on site, “en plein air”, and oil paintings of Peru by Brian Caine. Gloria Avner’s batik work and the paintings of Art Paine known for his marine paintings will be accompanied by April Karan’s intricate crosses. Other artists showing in October include Liz Cutler, Elizabeth Keenan and Sally Littlefield and more. ArtWaves is a nonprofit on MDI that seeks to make art accessible to the Mount Desert Island and surrounding communities.

The library is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Fridays, and 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. For more information about the exhibit, call the Library, 244-7065 or visit Visit for more about the ArtWaves.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Healthy Acadia Announces Third Year of Mini-Grant Opportunities for Community Partners to Expand Youth Substance Use Prevention Initiatives

Healthy Acadia is thrilled to announce the launch of its third year of mini-grant funding opportunities available to community partners working with youth. The Downeast Maine Partnerships for Success (PFS) initiative, coordinated by Healthy Acadia, is a collaborative effort to prevent youth substance use across Washington and Hancock counties, with a focus on alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use prevention. Mini-grants awarded will support community-driven, collective efforts to prevent substance use and promote the health and well-being of youth aged 9 to 20 years throughout the region. 


Healthy Acadia and Downeast Maine Partnerships for Success will provide mini-grant sub-awards of $1,000 to $10,000 to community groups, such as schools, community centers, and non-profit organizations, that seek to provide new opportunities that support positive social development, resilience, peer-based mental health support, and/or structured, pro-social activities to support substance use prevention for youth. 


“I am so excited to see more projects in Hancock and Washington counties with the opportunities this funding creates to provide support and create positive social interactions and activities for youth,” said Sara McConnell, PFS Initiative Coordinator. “In the last two years, we awarded 28 amazing projects that reached youth and communities throughout the region during a time when support and opportunities were so needed: new after-school programs, virtual and in-person summer camps, outdoor recreation opportunities with corresponding equipment, and so much more.” 


Healthy Acadia will host informational sessions via Zoom to provide organizations interested in applying with opportunities to ask questions about proposed project ideas, previous year's projects, the evaluation process, and more. Sessions are scheduled for September 21, 2021, at 10 a.m., and September 29, 2021, at 3 p.m. Contact McConnell at for login information. 


For more information and to view the request for proposals, visit Healthy Acadia’s website:, or contact Sara McConnell, Project Coordinator, at 207-255-3741 or Applications are due by Wednesday, October 13, 2021.  


Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at


This project is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under Partnerships for Success Grant # 1H79SP081695. Learn more by visiting or by calling 877-SAMHSA-7.