AmeriCorps program operating grants available

AUGUSTA — AmeriCorps is a national service program, which engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in team-based community service to meet critical needs in the areas of education, healthy futures, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, veterans’ services and disaster services.

In Maine, AmeriCorps volunteers build trails, teach environmental education, work to preserve local island communities, and in a variety of other programs that serve the community. Funding for new Maine AmeriCorps programs is available. Visit the website at maineservicecommission.gov/grants/index.php#MAC2 to see if an AmeriCorps program is a fit for your organization.

Applications will be accepted for new state competitive operating grants, which can take the form of cost reimbursement, fixed price or professional corps program models. All are described in the request for proposals and application instructions. Grant funds support AmeriCorps members’ service and require local matches in a combination of cash and in-kind.

Eligible applicants include: private or public non-profit organizations, state/local government, Native American Tribal governments, and institutions of higher education. All proposals must be submitted no later than 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23. Written questions about this RFP must be submitted using the public forum, “New AmeriCorps Program Operating Grants,” on the Peer2Peer bulletin board at this web address: www.volunteermaine.org/bulletin-board/. Copies of the RFP are available to download after using this registration: LINK.

Alcoholic energy drink ‘Joose’ will no longer be sold In Maine

AUGUSTA — Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills applauded the action of all four Maine distributors of Joose in agreeing to stop selling this alcoholic energy drink  to Maine retailers. The distribution companies Federal Distributors, Maine Distributors, National Distributors and Valley Distributors took this action voluntarily in response to findings by the Food and Drug Administration that the addition of caffeine to Joose made this product unsafe.

AEDs are alcoholic beverages to which caffeine and other stimulants, such as guarana, have been added at the point of manufacture. Packaged in 23.5 ounce cans resembling energy drinks with fruit flavors like fruit punch, lemonade and watermelon, some AEDs like Four Loko contain the alcohol equivalent of five or six beers and the caffeine equivalent of four to five colas or 1.5 to 2 cups of coffee in just one can.

Alcoholic energy drinks have been subject to Attorney General scrutiny since 2008, when under pressure from State Attorneys General, Anheuser Busch InBev NV and MillerCoors LLC agreed to remove caffeine guarana and other stimulants from drinks such as MillerCoors Sparks and Anheuser’s Tilt.

Nominations open for Governor’s Award for Business Excellence

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is now accepting nominations for the 2011 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence.

This award is presented by the governor each spring as a way to recognize and honor Maine companies that demonstrate a consistently high level of commitment to their community, to their employees and to manufacturing or service excellence.

Companies may be nominated or they may nominate themselves, and small businesses are strongly encouraged to apply. Nomination forms can be obtained by contacting Brian Doyle by phone at 624-9807, by e-mail at ­Brian.Doyle@maine.gov or by postal mail sent to: Brian Doyle, DECD Burton M. Cross State Office Building, 3rd Floor 59 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333

Grants available to libraries serving small communities

ELLSWORTH — The Maine Community Foundation’s Rose and Samuel Rudman Library Trust is accepting applications for grants to support innovative and collaborative programs, collection development related to local interests, and preservation of special collections. Libraries serving communities with a population of less than 10,000 located in Aroostook, Hancock, Knox, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, and Washington counties are eligible to apply.

Grant proposals must be postmarked by Jan. 15, 2011. For complete guidelines, application form, and a list of recent grants, visit www.mainecf.org.

For questions about the Rudman Library Trust, contact Cherie Galyean at the Maine Community Foundation (1-877-700-6800, ext. 1106, or cgalyean@mainecf.org) or Valerie Osborne, District Consultant, Northern Maine Library District (1-800-427-8336 or valerie.osborne@bpl.lib.me.us).

The Rudman Library Trust was established in 1986. In his business travels in Maine, particularly Downeast, Rudman was struck by local libraries’ commitment to learning and reading. He and his wife wanted to encourage libraries in smaller communities to continue and expand programming through the trust that bears their name.