For starters, an apology for the lack of a column last week, but like many of you I struggled to get power or an internet connection in order to submit one. Due to that I wanted to take this week’s column and highlight 10 random thoughts on things happening in the region, dates to keep in mind and other relevant (and perhaps irrelevant) musings:

• Electricity is awesome. Not a deeply profound thought, but boy you do recognize it when it’s not there. A big cheer to the schools, municipalities and local citizens for passing messages to those without power, for checking on neighbors, and giving a hand where they could. A giant thank you to the linemen from CMP, Emera and all other utilities and the great men and women who worked overtime to return us all to a sense of normalcy. Frustrations mounted for many by the day, and a few people lashed out unreasonably — but please know how grateful the majority of citizens and business owners in the area are for your hard work.

• Toys for Tots Drive, Nov. 8 at Flight Deck Brewing. The Midcoast Edge, our local young professionals group, is making their monthly Newcomer’s Night at Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick (tonight!) also a toy drive for Toys for Tots. From 6-8 p.m., local newcomers will be on-hand to meet one another and everyone is encouraged to bring a gift. Whether you are new to the region, new to Flight Deck, or just want to help, you are invited to join us. For more information, check out the Midcoast Edge Facebook page.

• Voting matters. As I write this the day before elections, and it’s not being published until the day after, I know none of the results (though if I had to guess how it will go it would be: No, Yes, Yes, Yes — those views do not necessarily reflect the views of myself personally, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber as we did not take stances on state referendums questions), but it is simply a guess on how the entire state will vote. Whether the vote went your way or not, I hope you made the time to have your voice heard. Too often the refrain of “my vote wouldn’t have mattered” is uttered while citizens share disgust at an outcome. Don’t let that be you next year, or any year. Having your voice heard on national and state issues is important, but so are the questions affecting your municipality. Be engaged in the world around you. Then if you still oppose an outcome from Election Day, at least you can say you stood up to be accounted for and you took a side, rather than being too scared, too busy or too disappointed to be a part of democracy.

• 12 @ 12 at Servpro of Bath/Brunswick, Topsham, Nov. 15. Servpro of Bath/Brunswick is celebrating their 20th year, and with that they are also hosting our next 12 @ 12 free lunch series where a dozen business leaders get together for 90 minutes to break bread and introduce themselves to the others in attendance. It’s a great program to connect people from across industries and seats are still open. Email [email protected] to reserve your place.

• It appears November swallowed the sun. Yes, it happens annually but the first week of flipping back to standard time in November is always utterly shocking — especially for those of us turning on headlights to drive home from work. It’s a sure indication that winter is not far behind. My father would always use this week as a time to take stock before winter (checking the tires to make sure they would make it through winter, heating oil/cords of wood, winterizing summer machines, etc.) and I encourage you to make this a tradition in your home.

• Chamber After Hours, Nov. 29, PFBF, Bath, 5-7 p.m. With Thanksgiving a bit on the early side this year, we have decided on our monthly After Hours to hit on the fifth week of November this year. Perry, Fitts, Boulette & Fitton is celebrating five years at their Bath office, and Jamie, Sawyer and the crew will be welcoming chamber members and local business owners with open arms. Non-chamber members are also invited to get a taste of what networking events with our membership can be like. Attendance merely requires a business card. Register at for a custom name tag.

• Veterans Day, Nov. 11, will cause some closures Nov. 10. As is federal law, and tradition, all federal government agencies and many businesses close on Veterans Day. When Veterans Day is on Saturday (as it is this year) then the federal offices will be closed on Friday, Nove. 10. Plan accordingly.

• Brunswick Downtown Early Bird Sale & Bed Races, Nov. 11. Start early, wear your pajamas and get in for the savings as the BDA has their Early Bird sale starting at 6 a.m. Dozens of details on time specific savings are on their website at Also don’t miss the Rolling Slumber Bed Races starting with the parade of beds at 11 a.m. on Park Row. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience.

• Look for some changes to the Chamber Events calendar in 2018. As a heads up, planning is underway for some new events and changes to existing events in 2018 for the SMMC. Our annual dinner — The Big Night Out — will be moving until March or April to not compete with so many other organizations’ dinners. Also we will be bringing back the Women’s Networking event series, creating a Relevant Business Topic workshop one-day conference and an Allure of the Coast release party.

• Be thankful for those in your world. More on this in an upcoming column, but we all have so much to give thanks for — don’t miss your opportunity.

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