Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Editor & Publisher at Fryeburg Free Press MEDIA

Monday, December 31, 2012

HISTORY: On This Day, December 31

1999: Panama Canal turned over to Panama

InOn this day in 1999, the United States, in accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, officially hands over control of the Panama Canal, putting the strategic waterway into Panamanian hands for the first time... read more

American Revolution
1775 : Patriots are defeated at Quebec

1927 : Henry Ford publishes the last issue of the Dearborn Independent

Civil War
1862 : Confederate General Forrest escapes capture at Parker's Crossroads

Cold War
1978 : United States ends official relations with Nationalist China

1984 : Subway vigilante turns himself in

1972 : Baseball star dies in plane crash

General Interest
1600 : Charter granted to the East India Company
1775 : Patriots defeated at Quebec
1879 : Edison demonstrates incandescent light
1968 : Soviets test supersonic airliner

1937 : Anthony Hopkins born

1972 : Pete Hamill quits drinking

1985 : Rick Nelson dies in a plane crash

Old West
1943 : John Denver born in New Mexico

1961 : Kennedy and Khrushchev exchange holiday greetings

1972 : Plane carrying Roberto Clemente crashes

Vietnam War
1968 : Bloodiest year of the war ends
1971 : U.S. annual casualty figures down
1972 : U.S. and communist negotiators prepare to return to the Paris talks

World War I
1880 : American general and diplomat George C. Marshall is born

World War II
1944 : Hungary declares war on Germany

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year, New View of Money: Take the HInt

When pollsters asked American wage-earners a few years ago how much money they would need to earn to feel happy and secure, the answers they received were almost identical. Surprisingly, those answers had nothing to do with the amount the respondents already were earning. 

Whether they lived at poverty level or among the extremely wealthy, folks all up and down the scale thought they would be satisfied if only they could earn about twenty percent more than they did then. Then came another surprise. The study revealed that once all basic human needs were cared for, increased income did not necessarily correspond with increased happiness.

In a television interview recently, Nick Cannon, the multi-talented husband of singer Mariah Carey, casually described wealth as "access to excess." Popular financial guru Dave Ramsey decries the foolishness of spending money we do not have, to purchase things we do not need, to impress people we do not like.

Jesus took a very practical approach to financial advising (Matt. 6:19-24). One can invest in earthly banks, he said, or one can invest in heavenly banks. The apostle Paul later explained that we make heavenly deposits each time we choose "to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share" (1 Tim. 6:18). Again no mention of percentages of income kept or shared.

Jesus also noted a difference between earthly and heavenly banks: treasures stored on earth are always at risk, whether from evildoers (thieves), tiny creatures (moths), or natural processes (rust). Only deposits made in heaven are truly guaranteed safe. The swaggering actor in a popular television commercial for investment gold looks into the camera and says: "I just feel so much more secure knowing that I own gold." His words entice us with implied promises but his promises are made of sand.

As we approach a new year, or even each new day, let us remember that everything belongs to God, that we are simply his stewards who must answer to him one day for our stewardship of his possessions. In this light, the real question facing us is not "How much must I give to others?" but rather "How much dare I spend on myself?"

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What is FAMILY?

Some examples of families in the 21st Century

 Familyfam·i·ly  /ˈfam(ə)lē/ (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by blood, affinity, or residency. In most societies it is the primary institution for the teaching of children. Anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matricidal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a wife, husband, and children, also called nuclear family); and consanguineous (also called an extended family) in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family.

The family as a model for the organization of the state is a theory of political philosophy. It either explains the structure of certain kinds of state in terms of the structure of the family (as a model or as a claim about the historical growth of the state), or it attempts to justify certain types of state by appeal to the structure of the family. The first writer to use it (certainly in any clear and developed way) was Aristotle, who argued that the natural progression of human beings was from the family via small communities to the cities.

Many writers from ancient times to the present have seen parallels between the family and the forms of the state. In particular, monarchists have argued that the state mirrors the patriarchal family, with the people obeying the king as children obey their father.

How to Strengthen Your Family

Family life is a system of human relationships designed by God to provide man's needs. In the family, man finds companionship, sexual satisfaction, and learns love, which is an attribute of God himself.

It is in the family that children learn to become socialized. No other arrangement has ever been devised as a successful alternative. It is evident that Jesus was serious when he said, "What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6). That which God has provided, ordained, and authorized has always been a focus of attack by the forces of Satan. 

Today, the family system of life is a major issue in the Devil's warfare against God's design for a fulfilling human relationship. Many couples are asking themselves what is missing in their relationship with one another? Why don't parents really feel close to their children? Why doesn't the family have that warm, close feeling that families should have? Could anything change the situation and bring the joy back into family life?
Increasingly, these are the questions being asked by all segments of our society, and for good reasons. For example, there is evidence that negative, unhappy family life is associated with mental health problems and juvenile delinquency. There is a higher incidence of divorce and marital unhappiness among persons who are reared in unhappy families.

The challenge of strengthening family life depends upon gaining knowledge about strong, healthy families. We might ask what can we learn from strong, healthy families that can be applied to our own family to strengthen it? Studies have demonstrated that strong families are characterized by five qualities.

Number one is the expression of appreciation. William James, one of the greatest psychologists America has ever produced, once wrote a book about human needs. Some years later, he commented that he failed to include the most important need of all - the need to be appreciated. We like to be around people who show us appreciation. Yet, how often we fail to express appreciation to our spouses and children. One study showed that only 20 percent of a family's time was spent in having fun or saying nice things to each other. 

To change this, a family must begin to look for each other's strengths. Try not to miss an opportunity to give each other a sincere compliment. It is important to let others know, "You are important to me I care about you . . . You have many contributions to offer to the world".

An outstanding example of the expression of appreciation is found in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Thessalonians. The first chapter of I Thessalonians is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving for the faith, love and. steadfastness of the Thessalonians. Paul certainly expressed his appreciation for these members of the family of God.

Second, an outstanding characteristic of strong families is the great amount of time they spend together. They work and play together. They enjoy being together, even if they are not doing anything in particular. Life today has become very much a "rat race". Family living can be improved by not allowing our lives to become overly fragmented. Strong families intentionally cut down on the number of outside activities and involvement's in order to minimize fragmentation of their family life. 

When you find yourself becoming so busy that you are not spending time with your family, it is time to look at what you're doing that's taking you away from your family. You may find that some of those involvement's are not so important after all. Try to keep you family "number one" in, terms of how you spend your time.

Third, strong families spend a lot of time in family discussion and in talking out problems as they come up. There are quarrels in every family, but by getting things out in the open and talking about them, the problem can usually be identified and the best alternative for resolving the conflict can be chosen.

Successful marriage and family relationships are characterized by positive, open channels of communication. It is not just communication in itself which contributes to the strength of a family, but communication of a positive nature, marked by a frequent expression of appreciation toward each other. The fourth characteristic of a strong family is a high degree of religious orientation. In addition to attending church as a family, the members pray together and read the Bible and other inspirational books together.

The role that religion plays in strengthening families is much more than simply participating in religious activities. It is the knowledge that God is with you every day and is directing your life. Knowing God cares, is the greatest friend you have, and has a purpose for your life is a great comfort. The awareness of God's love makes the family more tolerant and forgiving.

Christianity emphasizes values such as commitment, respect, and responsibilities for the needs and welfare of others. These values contribute to good interpersonal and family relationships.

Commitment is the fifth quality of a strong family. A strong family is committed to helping and making each other happy. Their actions are geared toward promoting each other's welfare. Time and energy are invested in the family. Individual goals are frequently sacrificed for the welfare of the family.

An action formula for strengthening your family can be summarized in these five steps:

1. Develop the art of expressing sincere appreciation to your spouse and children. Concentrate on their individual strengths.
2. Arrange to spend more time with your family. Plan more family activities that all find enjoyable. Learn to say "no" to outside demands which aren't really that important anyway.
3. Open the communication channels. Take time to talk with each other often and be a good listener.
4. Explore ways that spiritual strength might be added to your family life. Participating in church activities as a family, reading religious materials and family devotionals are only a few of the ways this might be accomplished.
5. Build a high degree of commitment toward your family. Make family life your number one priority. Invest your time and energy into the relationships with your spouse and children. The result will be a stronger, more fulfilling family life.

Mike Corthell, Editor & Publisher

Friday, December 28, 2012

For we walk by faith, not by sight...

''For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. - For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, - if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. - For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. - He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, - for we walk by faith, not by sight. - Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. - So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.'' - 2 Corinthians 5

Thursday, December 27, 2012



December 27 : General Interest
1932: Radio City Music Hall opens

At the height of the Great Depression, thousands turn out for the opening of Radio City Music Hall, a magnificent Art Deco theater in New York City... read more

American Revolution
1780 : Americans raid Hammonds Store

1941 : Office of Price Administration begins to ration automobile tires

Civil War
1864 : Confederate General Hood's army crosses the Tennessee River

Cold War
1979 : Soviets take over in Afghanistan

1900 : Carry Nation smashes bar

1975 : Coal mine explodes in India

General Interest
1831 : HMS Beagle departs England
1968 : Apollo 8 returns to Earth
1978 : Spanish king ratifies democratic constitution
2007 : Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto assassinated

1927 : Agnes Nixon, "Queen of Modern Soap Opera," born

1904 : Peter Pan, by James Barrie, opens in London

1895 : The legend of "Stagger Lee" is born

Old West
1846 : Doniphan's Thousand takes El Paso

1944 : FDR seizes control of Montgomery Ward

2004 : Peyton Manning breaks single-season touchdown pass record

Vietnam War
1966 : U.S. and South Vietnamese troops attack Viet Cong stronghold
1969 : U.S. and North Vietnamese forces battle near Loc Ninh.

World War I
1918 : Poles take up arms against German troops in Poznan

World War II
1942 : Germans form the Smolensk Committee to enlist Soviet soldiers

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What's next for Lakeview Neurorehab?

December 25, 2012

The following opinion piece was written by me and published yesterday, December 24, 2012 in The Conway Daily Sun. It is blunt and it is condemning. Why did I write it? To sound the alarm, to brighten the spotlight, to inform the public and our politicians - to make change happen at a neurological rehabilitation hospital that can quite honestly be, if it was managed and operated properly, the premier center for the care and rehabilitation of the brain injured  It could be the best of the best. It could be but why isn't it? Read on after my op/ed...

What I found at Lakeview Neurorehab was a nightmare 

To the editor, In the fall of 2010 I needed a job after my business failed. I had a background in human services. I also had an interest in brain injury. Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center and Specialty Hospital in Effingham, was hiring rehabilitation specialists. I applied and was hired on Dec. 27, 2010. I went there to learn about how to care for brain injured people. What I found was a nightmare — a ‘Stephen King’ like horror show.
Fueled by the love of money.A for-profit health care center that on a regular basis cannot or will not protect, defend or rehabilitate its patients.
As they so glibly advertise: ‘It’s About Life! But it is not. It is about money. It is about treating patients like ‘assets’, banks of money they can keep embedded in their “health care” system. Granted, many patients at Lakeview are difficult patients — the patients many other facilities would rather not have but, these are people who are loved by their families. They are people who are damaged, who are struggling to recover.They want help. They want to live. They want to leave Lakeview in better condition than when the were admitted. Many do not and some die there.

I spent the last two years documenting their plight. I have written a book celebrating their lives and exposing their pain and suffering but I also write about their spirit — the hopes they have and their sense of humor, a sense of humor that is surprising in it’s pathos.

I have always had a deep and abiding love for humanity. This experience has deepened it further, much further than I thought possible.

I love all of my patients. I will not allow a single patient at Lakeview to be mistreated again without justice. I stand up for them ... I am their voice.
Mike Corthell Fryeburg, Maine 

Lakeview is privately owned corporation. It is a for-profit business. I will say, right off the bat, that it needs to have no profit motive what-so-ever. The mind of money should not enter into any treatment plan for any of my patients. I've seen patients who are well moneyed either by family wealth or insurance settlement, be treated better - given more privileges than say a fellow patient funded by Mainecare.

I have witnessed corporate greed during my time at Lakeview. Several therapists have been observed allegedly filling out paperwork to charge 'group time' out to insurance companies, including Mainecare for services not actually delivered. And for instance, a clinician or therapist will have a group of say sixteen clients watch a movie (this is a 'movie group') The clinician can only write four reports (Notes) used to charge the insurance company, therefore three other staff members are needed to write a report detailing the patients participation in the 'movie group'. Oftentimes the clinician will enlist a staff person that wasn't even there for the 'movie group'! The clinician will say, ''Here are four patients (hands the staff person a paper with four names) write a report for each client.'' 

I have also seen a clinician take a large binder with blank reports home over the weekend. We can only wonder if the therapist took proper notes to complete the paperwork that is essentially a bill for services.

The preceding is just a snapshot of what is wrong with a for-profit Lakeview. There is so much more detail I can add about the mismanagement there, from a non existent employee retention policy/program to poor facility maintenance and building code violations. 

The greatest problem I see is not just the low staffing levels but the very real consequences for said low staffing - the danger to patients if there should ever be a major fire in 'Main House', a thirty-three bed institution at 244 Hihgwatch Road in Effingham New Hampshire.  Many patients are bedridden, unable to help themselves. Others are in wheelchairs and need help getting into their wheelchairs. Still others do not have the cognitive ability to remove themselves from the building.

If any of these issues concern you as a citizen, as a caring human being, join me and voice your concern. Call, email your local and state representatives.  Call or write the attorney general, the department of health and human services in Concord New Hampshire. But above all discuss this with your friends and family. Brain injury either traumatic or acquired is all too common. Would you like your mom, dad, sister, brother or child treated in the way I've described here? I think not. 

Now is the time to speak up and speak out. Lakeview has to change and changing to a non-profit company is a good first step.

Monday, December 24, 2012

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