Sherman’s Books Grand Opening

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(Bangor Daily News)

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“Drawing Autism” Review

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(Portland Phoenix)

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If Print’s Dead, Nobody Told the Bookworms

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(Bangor Daily News)

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The Unspoken Truth About Payday Lenders

[Article published by The Motley Fool; March 8, 2014]

Payday lenders are often painted as the 21st century’s version of the 1950s loan shark—lenders operating outside the reach of the law, inhabiting smoky backrooms, preying on the poor, and lining their pockets from exorbitant interest rates, or even worse.

The reality is payday lenders are regulated, with policymakers feeling compelled to continue adding new layers of regulation and bureaucracy to deal with an issue that is mainly economic. Continue reading

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“Publish It Yourself”

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(Lewiston Sun-Journal)

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“Veterans gather for adaptive sports at Pineland Farms”

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(Lewiston Sun-Journal)

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Why Buying a Purely American Vehicle Is Trickier Than It Seems

[Article for The Motley Fool.]

Is it possible to buy a car that’s not manufactured by one of Detroit’s Big Three automakers that’s actually built here in the U.S.? If, like me, you want to keep American workers employed and want to buy consumer products built by U.S.-based manufacturers, which car should you choose? The answer to that question just might surprise you. Continue reading

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Facilitation 101

When people come together in groups for what is assumed to be a common cause, it would seem intuitive that objectives, goals, and outcomes would be known. If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in meetings related to partnership and collaboration, you know better.

Facilitation—the art of helping a group move towards common goals—is a key element in the process of collaboration. While collaboration and partnering is often talked about as a desirable and necessary outcome for groups, collaboration doesn’t occur organically.

Individuals come to groups with agendas, limited information or information lacking context. Personalities also affect the group consensus-building process. Lastly, not everyone that pays lip service to collaboration knows what it means. Effective groups require leaving agendas and preconceived notions at the door. Continue reading

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Tablet Wars: Who Will Win This Holiday Season

[Article for The Motley Fool.]

Have you been giving some thought to getting a tablet? If your technology is aging and in need of an upgrade, this might be the year to consider asking for a new tablet under the tree this holiday season.

Tablet sales continue closing the gap on traditional PC’s. Tablet shipments are expected to grow 53.4% this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units, according to Gartner analysts. PCs, on the other hand, are falling precipitously. The real question that investors want to know is how to play this growing market. Here are a couple of trends you want to be aware of. Continue reading

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Everyone’s a reviewer with Yelp

[Freelanced article written for The Motley Fool]

I like feeling that I have some power as a consumer. Nothing makes me more frustrated than knowing that I lack choice and that voting with my pocketbook doesn’t matter at all.

What’s particularly intriguing is the bevy of social media tools and apps at our disposal and how they have changed the dynamics for consumers. Three very consumer-oriented tools that I’ve used are Yelp (NYSE: YELP  ) , Open Table (NASDAQ: OPEN  ) , and new kid on the block Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) Plus Local. While for some this might seem confusing and even daunting as to which site to rely upon, for those that value local and care about transparency, this leveling of the playing field is a good thing. Continue reading

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