Bucksport: Life After The Mill (Island Journal)

Cover-2018 Island Journal

Bucksport: Life After The Mill(PDF)

[Article for Island Journal (2018), produced by Maine’s Island Institute for their Innovative Waterfronts/Waterfront Innovators issue]

Bucksport: Life After The Mill
by Jim Baumer

Maine has endured a litany of paper mill closures in recent years. These have been devastating to the communities that leaned heavily on the jobs and tax base these mills provided. But only one town moving into the state’s post-paper era can leverage its rich coastal assets.
When Bucksport’s Verso paper mill closed in 2014, eliminating 500 jobs, the community was already at work embracing a future that includes new uses of its waterfront, while leaning on an outside nonprofit to help the community find its new heart and soul.
Still, the demise of a mill whose history dates back to the 1930s, isn’t easily glossed over. Some of the pain and loss has been captured powerfully by the town’s “poet laureate for life,” Pat Ranzoni, in her collection STILL MILL: Poems, Stories & Songs of Making Paper in Bucksport Maine 1930 – 2014.
In her introduction to STILL MILL Ranzoni wrote,
“…what was happening in the Bucksport area was part of a larger, state and country-wide loss of industry just as the coming of our paper mill had, in the first place, contributed to the industrialization of the Penobscot River, of the State of Maine and of the United States.”
Losing a legacy industry can cause people to “get stuck.” Moving on often becomes difficult, but Bucksport’s response seems different. It may be because Bucksport hasn’t seen itself as a traditional mill town for a while, but rather, a town with a mill.
Andy Lacher, owner of BookStacks on Main Street, and a downtown retail fixture since 1997, has seen downtown hold its own, even as the fortunes of the mill have declined.
“While it might seem counter-intuitive, I’m seeing more business now, then when the mill was open,” said Lacher.
When Lacher launched BookStacks, he was one of just three retail stores along Main Street.
“Now there is a tanning salon, a wine bar, a gift and card shop, the Alamo (theater) is showing films regularly—downtown hasn’t dried up without the mill,” he added. Continue reading

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Chatting With the SheCANic, Patrice Banks (NOLN)

My June 2018 book review and interview for National Oil & Lube News.


Women in the Industry-Patrice Banks (NOLN, June)

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The Nuts and Bolts of Offering Total Car Care to Your Customers (NOLN)

My March 2018 article for National Oil & Lube News on how Fast Lubes can enhance what they offer their customers by embracing the total car care model.

March 2018 article on Total Car Care for National Oil & Lube News

PDF article march 2018

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OpEd in Memory of My Son

This is the Maine Voices OpEd published in the Portland Press Herald the day before the first anniversary of the death of my son, Mark Baumer.

Mark Baumer’s life and final walk offers all of us an example and a model of how to live our lives in the midst of a crumbling nation, led by a president intent on imposing authoritarian rule. Our own state has a governor who along with our president thinks it’s 1950 and that oil and gas is the energy plan for the future. Mark mentioned leaders like these, who seek “profit as the world burns.”

Mark didn’t have a “woe is me” mindset. On his final walk, he had to push through pain, dealing with cold (in Ohio), and a host of other challenges. Yet, he got up every morning for 101 days and showed us a way forward. If not for the actions of a driver in Florida, I have no doubt Mark would have finished this epic walk. He left behind videos, blog posts, and poems from his trip. Better, I think he provides a way for us to #resist, one where small acts add up to something much greater.

While Mark didn’t see what he was doing as heroic, anyone who isn’t wearing ideological blinders, or lacking a heart should admire the way he lived his life with honesty and compassion. He was a one-of-a-kind young man and we are missing him the day before the one-year anniversary of his death.

Mark Baumer at Textron World Headquarters, Providence, RI

Continue reading

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Increasing Profits By Reducing Waste (NOLN)

My December 2017 article on increasing efficiency for National Oil & Lube News.

Increasing Profits by Reducing Waste (NOLN)

Increasing Profits by Reducing Waste (NOLN)


Article Link

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Taking Convenience to the Next Level Co-branding Your Business (NOLN)

NOLN Nov2017


(Article Link: National Oil & Lube News)

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Lighting Up Your Wash and Shop (NOLN)

October, 2017/National Oil & Lube News

October, 2017/National Oil & Lube News


(Article link: National Oil & Lube News)

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Fresenius is Open for Collaboration (ABQ)

[Written for American Builders Quarterly]

For decades, corporations in the United States had a stereotypical look and design.

Traditional work spaces were built to house people doing their own tasks. But just as technology, globalization, and shifts in the 21st century culture of work have transformed employment, these same factors are also leading to changes in physical spaces.

Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) is headquartered across four different campus locations in Waltham and Lexington, Massachusetts. The company, which is focused on offering high-quality care to people with chronic renal conditions, is also the world’s only fully vertically integrated renal company. The physical plant houses specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, clinical, and product development, as well as manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and other departments.

In renewing its leases, Fresenius was able to ensure its current footprint for the next 12 years. This also appeared to be the ideal time for corporate team members to examine ways to “open up” the current work environment.

“There has been a company-wide push toward creating a more vibrant, open space, recognizing that it will lead to greater collaboration across work teams,” says John Gioioso, senior director of corporate building operations and real estate at FMCNA. “Clearly, this is the direction that tech companies like Google have gone in. But even traditional industries and companies are seeing the benefits in opening up their work places.”

While Gioioso does not believe one will see employees at Fresenius tossing around footballs anytime soon, he and his corporate team partners believe that there are benefits to drawing people out of their traditional workspaces and into common areas. Enhancing communication is one of them. It’s also a nod to recognizing the changing dynamics and demographics commonly found in the workplace. Continue reading

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Missing Mr. Moxie

Tribute to Frank Anicetti, Mr. Moxie.

Tribute to Frank Anicetti, Mr. Moxie.

Missing Mr. Moxie
As another renown Moxie Festival approaches, ‘Mayor of Moxietown’ Frank Anicetti will be remembered fondly

By Jim Baumer, Special to the Sun Journal

LISBON — Summer’s arrival is sweet, especially when considering the season’s perceived shortness for anyone living in the far northern reaches of New England. For Moxie fans, summer can only mean one thing — yet another Moxie Festival is waiting at the door, with a trip to what’s become Moxie Central in Lisbon Falls.

On the second Saturday each July, thousands of aficionados descend on the town to pay homage to a unique and distinctly different soft drink with one of Maine’s largest local parades. This is an oddity and a demonstration of the rabid following for an elixir developed 132 years ago by Augustin Thompson, a drink he first called Moxie Nerve Food.

While Thompson may be the originator of Moxie, many regarded one man in Lisbon Falls as the face of the soft drink; that’s why, year after year they returned to what has become the epicenter of the Moxie universe. That man, Frank Anicetti, known as “Mr. Moxie” by legions of Moxie’s most affected followers, is why they found a way to Maine and Lisbon Falls each July and it’s been that way for almost 35 years.

This year will be different, however. Anicetti died in May and the festivities will be without their usual unofficial marshal.

Anicetti was the central player and catalyst in transitioning a sleepy local celebration into the well-known gathering it is today. The town is now a festival destination in the Northeast, with Moxie fans descending on the central Maine town from all over the country and the world.

If you know your Moxie history, you’ll know that it all began with author Frank Potter holding a book signing for his “The Moxie Mystique” at Frank Anicetti’s store in 1982, and again in 1983. In 1984, the Moxie Festival created by some forward-thinking residents gained “official” status, in large measure due to its partnership with the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce (now, the LA Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce) and the support of its director at the time, Chip Morrison.
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Dealing With Your Local Food Trucker (NOLN)

Food trucks are the culinary scene’s hot commodity right now. About a decade ago, they started popping up in major metro areas like Los Angeles and New York City. Today, there are few small and mid-sized cities in America without at least a handful of food trucks regularly out on the streets and set-up in parking lots on any given day.

Truth-be-told, the food truck concept isn’t a new one. These kitchens on wheels have been around for years, once predominantly serving construction sites, factories and other locations where blue-collar workers desiring quick, low-cost food could grab lunch and get back to work on their 30-minute lunch break. White collar locales, like New York’s financial district, had multiple food vendors serving lunchtime clientele.

However, when Roy Choi introduced his gourmet Korean tacos dispensed from his own food truck in Los Angeles in 2008, a whole new era of mobile cuisine had begun. Now, it’s not uncommon to find celebrity chefs slinging their signature food out the window of their own trucks. This latest culinary sensation has even prompted academics to spend time analyzing the evolution and transformation of food truck protocol. Continue reading

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