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Donald Trump’s Obsession with Time Magazine Makes Almost Too Much Sense

Trump became a public figure and a celebrity at Time‘s apex. But more than that, Time is the perfect manifestation of Trump’s attitude toward success. To understand why a person like Donald Trump would gravitate toward a magazine like Time, you have to look at both of their histories.

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In the 1980s, when Time was still a cash cow and Trump was still cementing himself as a mainstay on Page Six, Time was a very serious publication and Trump was a semi-serious fixture in the tabloids. Cable news-Trump’s preferred journalistic medium today-was still in its infancy. Trump seemed preordained for gossip-rag stardom: there was the personal drama-an ugly divorce, a dramatic altercation in Aspen, the alleged infidelity with a beautiful eventual-second-wife-and, of course, the very public bankruptcy and surprising redemption. Trump enjoyed relentless pop-cultural relevance through it all-he had a cameo in Home Alone 2, remember-and seemed forever destined for B-list celebrity at best. Looking back at the media landscape of Trump’s younger years, the idea of Trump on the cover of Time seemed as silly as Trump buying the Plaza Hotel, or being elected president of the United States.

Donald Trump, we now know, is a man who is energized by the improbable.

Trump’s wealth-and the persona he built around it-has always been aspirational. The sprawling expanses of cold marble, the New Jersey gold fixtures, the aggressively nouveau riche aesthetic. The superlatives that spill so easily from Trump’s lips-everything’s the biggest, and the best, and the most. Time wasn’t so different at first. The magazine was founded by rich men playing with their fathers’ money-no member of the founding staff was more than three years out of college, the magazine’s historian Theodore Peterson once wrote. As my colleague Robinson Meyer and I wrote of Time in 2015, Time became the most powerful media instrument of midcentury America. In the early 1980s, as Trump was rising to fame, Time was absolutely flush with cash:

So flush,” John Podhoretz wrote in Commentary, describing what it was like to work for Time in the 1980s, “that the first week I was there, the World section had a farewell lunch for a writer who was being sent to Paris to serve as bureau chief… at Lutèce, the most expensive restaurant in Manhattan, for 50 people. So flush that if you stayed past 8, you could take a limousine home… and take it anywhere, including to the Hamptons if you had weekend plans there. So flush that if a writer who lived, say, in suburban Connecticut, stayed late writing his article that week, he could stay in town at a hotel of his choice.”

All of it sounds absurd today, as over-the-top as the very idea of “person of the year.”

Conner stays busy as Jasper postmaster

Jasper Postmaster Greg D. Conner said that while letters and bills are not coming through post offices like they once did, those Christmas packages are not out of norm throughout the year, thanks to Amazon and other online companies that mail direct to customers.

“Our package volume has grown upwards of 25 percent,” he said recently – although he noted the peak season being during the Christmas season.

Still, Conner is seeing not only where the Jasper Post Office is viable in the internet age, he also sees the growing pains of accommodating the delivery of more and more packages on shrinking budgets.

Conner – who has worked in and out of the Jasper Post Office for years in various capacities – is approaching his one-year anniversary as the Jasper postmaster, as he started as postmaster since Jan. 2. He lives in Jasper, adding that while postmasters are no long required to live in the town they work in, he thinks it is still a good idea for the postmaster to be involved in the local community.

He said when he arrived, he told the staff he wanted a family-oriented work environment where no one dreaded coming to work. “If you’re dreading coming to work, I already have issues because you’re not going to want to be here,” he said. “But I feel like we’ve done a good job. I’ve got two great supervisors who tow the line. I’m happy to be back in Jasper.” 

The Jasper Post Office, handling 20 rural routes and nine city routes, has a staff of 71 people, with about 42 of those being full-time. He said Jasper’s area is wide enough that it gets close to Parrish, Townley, Carbon Hill, Nauvoo and Double Springs.

A normal day of operation for the post office is that trucks start arriving at 1:30 a.m., so clerks have to be on hand. More come in at 3 a.m., with multiple trucks coming in during the morning and multiple trucks leaving in the evening. “It’s from 1:30 until about 8 o’clock at night,” at night, Conner said.

The trucks leave about 6 a.m. and carriers come in about 7 a.m., and the mail starts to be sorted out.

“When we get through sorting mail to the carriers, then we hop up to the box section and open up the windows. That’s where some of the clerks go at that time,” he said. “I think the box section time is 9:30 or 10. By 10:30 is starting to die down. It is mostly just the window and you may have some issues on the route with the carriers. But there is always something to keep you busy.

Automation has come to the local post offices, he said.

“We have what we call DPS letter mail, which means the letters the carriers used to stand in front of and case into their configuration to deliver that day,” he said. “When I was a city carrier, probably 60 percent of it was worked manually. Today, probably 10 percent is worked manually. The Postal Service has done a good job of capturing all they can.” 

If a letter is sent from Jasper across town, and it was handed in at the window, it can be postmarked to send across town directly without going to Birmingham.

“But if you put it in the blue box or the inside drop, it is going to come to Birmingham and come back. Usually it is the next day,” he said.

“Any parcels they hand across the window, a customer doesn’t even have to ask us,” he said. “If they take it across the window and it is for Jasper, we don’t even send it out. We just keep it here and work it the next morning to where it is going.”

Asked what has been the most enjoyable part about working for the U.S. Postal Service, Conner said it was helping the customers.

“When they’re anxious or looking for a piece of mail, or they were worried about some mail getting somewhere else and you can help them, and relieve that anxiety, I would say that has been the most beneficial – just knowing a customer when they walk away you have satisfied them in some way,” he said.

Asked the most difficult part of the job, he said it would be trying to satisfy everyone.

“You just can’t do it,” he said. “Some may need to be coached. Some may need to be disciplined. Some may need positive reinforcement. You just need to learn how to get the most out of your employees. The main thing I’ve learned in my career is you treat everyone fair in the same way, you can’t go wrong.” 

Conner said he has tried to have a laid back, open door policy with employees and to try to be more personal with the employees, not requiring an appointment to see him. He also felt coming in not much was broke, so there was no need to fix anything, saying the previous postmaster did well and the Jasper employers are the best he has seen.

“They sacrifice for the operation. They get paid by the hour, but they act like they own part of the operation. That means a lot,” he said.

He said packages are important to the future of the U.S. Postal Service. He noted in his former regional Postal Service job, he had to meet with 42 offices. An eight-hour office like Goodsprings, due to the revenue they took in, the USPS determines whether that office is open a smaller number of hours.

“The thinking behind all that is that the Postal Service and the U.S. government didn’t want to just shut the post offices down,” he said. “When a post office shuts down, the community kind of loses its identity. They wanted to offer a service, but they wanted to give a service equal to what the needs were.”

In telling some offices their hours would be cut, he would have to tell the offices that mail volume was down 45 percent on letter mail, likening it to one business making money and nine which are not.

He said the internet has cut business for the post office, especially in terms of paper billing statements.

“I can remember working here and certain days of the months, for two days, we would have an entire container of bank statements. Well, banks no longer send bank statements anymore, unless you request it,” Conner said. He also pointed out Social Security has gone to direct deposit.

At the same time, the saving grace for post offices has been with packages.

“It’s tough in terms of what we were known for, such as letters, but our upper management has done a good job in trying to sign contracts with UPS and FedEx. We deliver a lot of UPS packages. They will bring them here to us because they look at it like, ‘The post office is already going by the house. Why not get them to deliver it and we just pay them a little bit?'” he said. FexEx packages are delivered the same way.

The Postal Service has also become a heavy user of the internet. One can go online to order stamps and order pickup of a package. Holding mail, tracking packages and address changes can be made online.

A new advertised service, called Informed Delivery, even sends snapshots of mail being delivered to one’s home that day, so that one can see the mail delivered while at work.

Also, the window area is stocked with greeting cards, mailing packages and the like, so that all the mailing needs can be met in one stop, he said.

Passports are also offered at the Jasper Post Office between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays or make an appointment on Saturday. Passport photos are available to be made at the post office.

Contract post offices, such as at English Plaza Pharmacy, are also set up, which the postmaster monitors for training. Village post offices are also available, where any business can allow one to go in and mail their packages. “Essentially all (the village post offices) do is send what they have got to the local post office every day. It is up to them to do their accounting,” he said.

Conner stressed the post office receives no tax money for any of its operations, even as the budget is tightened every year.

“Our whole operating expense, we rely totally on the sales of the products and the postage and the services we render to the public,” he said. “We have people call up here all the time and say, ‘Well, we pay y’all’s salary.’ Well, no you don’t. No really. You pay our salaries from what you buy through us.” 

He said people might not understand that when gas prices go up 1 cent across the nation, the post office nationwide loses $1 million. He said people sometimes request delivery in places the carriers should probably not be going to. “They need to understand wear and tear on a vehicle, and gas, and all that comes into play,” he said.

Conner advised to have mail available where carriers don’t have to wait, and to have good communication with a carrier so they will know what to expect.

He said it is more difficult to be a carrier than even 10 years ago, because Amazon Prime and the free shipping allowed sometimes by online retailers increase the number of packages. “We’re not arguing, because that is money,” he said.

However, 14 packages might be sent on a route maybe 10 years ago or earlier. While Jasper routes are not as heavy as ones in Birmingham, “I’ve seen our routes have 65 packages. I’ve seen a route in Birmingham have more than 270 packages in a day,” he said.

Also, packages are not supposed to be 70 pounds or 180 inches in length, he said.

“We had a bed headboard come in the other day,” he said, adding some of those packages indicate to get extra help to lift them. “I would rather let the customer know we have it down here,” as it is hard to get in the vehicle. They can arrange with the postmaster on a way to deliver it to them if need be, but he would prefer that than to make the carrier trying to pick it up by themselves and hurt their back.

With the extra number of packages, route examinations are made every few years to see how many packages are being sent on the average. Any increase could mean routes are altered to another driver for some places to compensate, he said, noting the Curry area has seen a large number of packages.

As for the post office facility in Jasper, he said he would like in time to do more landscaping around the facility, which will mark its 50th anniversary next year. He said the Parrish delivery routes are in the Jasper office, getting the mail in Jasper to deliver in Parrish. The post office in Parrish is open eight hours a day, but it has once been looked at for reduced hours. “it is a good possibility they might be moved back (to Parrish) in the future,” he said.

The heating and cooling at the Jasper facility was overhauled about five years ago, and it has overgrown its parking. “Other than that, it has held up really well,” he said.

How to save money on your pet’s medical care

LEWISTON – When Olivia the cat started having violent seizures multiple times a week, the vet prescribed the anticonvulsant Keppra.

It helped. A bit. When Jackie and Victor Leclerc could get Olivia to take it – because, you know. Cats.

At one point, she was on the highest dose possible and getting pills forced on her three times a day.

“Every eight hours,” Jackie Leclerc said. “Two o’clock in the morning, 8 o’clock in the morning. You can see the problem here.”

At $60 a month, the medication wasn’t cheap, and Olivia wasn’t swallowing it about a quarter of the time.

“I have never been able to successfully pill a cat,” Leclerc said. “The cat will keep it in a corner of their mouth and you’ll have a half-dissolved mess somewhere in a corner of your house. They spit it out, they hide it somewhere.”

Then Victor Leclerc came up with an idea: Compound the medication themselves.

It wasn’t a time-release pill, so it could be crushed. The Lewiston couple added a little warm water, sucked up the mixture in a syringe and –

“Boom!” Leclerc said.

Medicated cat.

Today, Olivia takes a combination of Keppra and Chinese herbs recommended by a naturopathic vet. The herbal medication helped dramatically reduce Olivia’s seizures, allowing the Leclercs to substantially cut her Keppra dose. And with the crush-and-syringe method, they’re sure she’s getting it all.

All three medications now cost $20 to $30 a month, a third to a half what the Leclercs were paying before, and Olivia is healthier.

“There’s no such thing as a free puppy or kitty,” said Leclerc, who is also paying for medication for the family’s two other cats, who are elderly and have kidney disease. “You have to be prepared for whatever gets thrown at you. It could be diabetes, it could be epilepsy, it could be kidney disease, it could be thyroid disease. Or you could get lucky and have a lifetime of a cat that just eats, goes to the restroom and dies a natural death at 19. You never know.”

That “you never know” can be expensive. According to a recent survey by Petplan pet insurance, Maine has the 7th highest unexpected veterinary costs in the country: $1,417 for an average bill.

That’s out of reach for a lot of Mainers.

So how can people save on pet medical bills without sacrificing care?

We talked to the experts.

Look around you

Need your pet spayed or neutered so you don’t end up with vet bills for 11 more adorable-but-expensive pets?

There’s a program for that.

Actually, there are a lot of programs for that in Maine.

The Cleo Fund, which is now part of the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, provides vouchers for low-cost spaying or neutering of cats and dogs. It also runs spay/neuter clinics around the state.

Help Fix ME is a state program that provides vouchers to pet owners who are on state or federal assistance. Take the voucher to a vet who accepts it and you’ll pay just $10 to treat a cat and $20 to treat a dog.

Various towns, shelters and vets also run their own clinics or voucher programs, including the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, the Franklin County Animal Shelter and Maine Woods Mobile Vet in Farmington and Responsible Pet Care in South Paris, according to SpayMaine.org. Call around. There’s probably one close to you.

If Fido is spayed/neutered but doesn’t have his shots, there’s a community program for that, too.

Area stores, including Tractor Supply Co. and Petco, regularly host low-cost vaccination clinics for pets, with rabies shots for $5 or $10 and additional shots a few dollars more. Some also offer cheap nail clipping at the same time. (For your cat or dog. No humans, please.)

Animal shelters are increasingly getting into the health-care business, too.

The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society this year hosted several community clinics with free shots, pet food, certificates for spaying and neutering and certificates for microchips. It plans to start up those clinics again in the spring. (It’ll continue to give out free pet food through the winter.)

But perhaps the most ambitious – and potentially life-changing – program is coming from the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk. That shelter is opening its own vet clinic to provide low-cost care to families in need, the first of its kind in the state. Sick cat, injured dog, pets in need of a dental cleaning – it’ll do it all.

“We’ll have all the equipment that a full-service veterinary hospital would have,” said Executive Director Abigail Smith.

That clinic will serve low-income families, particularly those getting state assistance. Pet owners don’t necessarily have to be from the Kennebunk area.

“Where we can, we’ll help people who legitimately can’t afford care and would lose their animals if we don’t help them,” Smith said.

Care won’t be free, but it will cost less than average, subsidized through grants and donations. The clinic is slated to open in January.

In the meantime, AWS is running a kind of mini version of the clinic. It doesn’t have all the capabilities of a full clinic, but it can help in some situations.

“If the only solution is your pet gets taken away from you and given to a shelter who’s is going to provide the care and then find them a new home? That’s not celebrating the human-animal bond,” Smith said. “That’s penalizing someone for their particular financial situation and we don’t think that’s the right thing to do.”

If a community clinic isn’t what you need, ask your vet and local shelter about assistance programs. They know what’s around, including:

* Canine Cancer Awarenes s, a Maine-based group that helps people who can’t afford cancer treatment for their dogs.

* “Beyond the Walls” at HART, a no-kill cat shelter in Cumberland. When it has money, that program helps families in need pay for surgery, hospitalization and other medical care for their cat.

* The Pet Fund, a national nonprofit that helps pay for vet care for pet owners who can’t afford it

* The Big Hearts Fund, which helps families in need pay for medical care for a dog or cat that has heart disease.

* CareCredit and other medical credit cards, which may offer quick payment options.

National pet organizations, like The Humane Society of the United States, also list a variety of assistance programs. Even a quick online search can give a lot of results.

Go shopping

If it’s not a my-cat-was-hit-by-a-car emergency, shop around for a vet who can provide good care at an affordable price.

“We tell people who come to us, ‘Interview your vet. Talk to them about it,'” said Joanne Wallace with HART. “Just like anything else, you can have vet costs through the whole spectrum and every office that you go to has a different price point.”

However, experts say, it’s also important to have a vet that you trust. A good vet should be able to tell you which shots, tests and procedures your pet really needs and which ones you can skip – saving you money and your pet some vet trauma.

“Sometimes people might look for the cheapest veterinary care that they can find. It might be worth it to pay a little bit more for a veterinarian that you really trust and that gets to know your pet really well and can give you that kind of advice,” said Katherine Soverel, executive director for the Maine Veterinary Medical Association.

Also worth shopping for: medications.

It might be super convenient to grab flea and tick control while at your vet’s office, but the same box might be cheaper in a nearby store, pharmacy or online. Same thing for heartworm pills, arthritis medication, seizure medication – pretty much anything.

If it’s something you need a prescription for, ask the vet to write one out. You can use that to buy what you need online or from a pharmacy, maybe even a human pharmacy.

Just make sure you’re getting exactly the medication recommended by your vet. Some pets have been sickened or killed by well-meaning owners who gave them flea treatment meant for larger animals or a different species entirely.

A cat is not the same as a small dog.

Tricks

Even the cheapest medication gets expensive if you have to buy it five times because Fluffy keeps spitting it out or hiding half-dissolved pills under the couch.

Some pet owners swear by compounding, in which a pharmacist adds flavoring to the medication to make it taste like something an animal might want to eat or turns the medication into a liquid so it can be given more easily.

The Leclercs paid a compounding pharmacy to make Olivia’s seizure medication in a liquid, and it did work. They could be reasonably sure she was getting all the medication as prescribed. But while they weren’t wasting a quarter of the medication to spit-out pills anymore, the special liquid was more expensive.

That’s when the couple decided to try some basic compounding themselves.

“Just do it at home and save the money by crushing the pill, dissolving it in little bit of warm water, suck it up in a syringe, right down’s the cat’s throat. Boom! You’re sure they get their medication,” Leclerc said.

One caveat: Not all pills, including time-release pills, should be crushed. Ask your vet what’s OK to do before you do it.

Also consider herbal or home remedies.

The Leclercs found great success with a pair of Chinese herbal medications suggested by a naturopathic vet who did a phone consultation from his office in Colorado. The combination has allowed Olivia to drop from the highest dosage of Keppra to just a fraction of a pill. The combination has also controlled her seizures far better than Keppra alone.

“It’s not going to work for every pet, of course, but for ours it’s been a literal lifesaver,” Leclerc said.

Drew Desjardins, an exotic pet rescuer and rehabilitator, often recommends brewer’s yeast with garlic for cats and dogs.

“It helps with skin and fur, ‘sweetens’ the urine to help prevent dead spots on the lawn,” he said. “But the most important thing is that it helps prevent fleas and ticks over time. It is cheaper than any flea prevention product and all natural.”

Brewer’s yeast comes in tablets and is sold at pet stores an online. Desjardins has seen pets scarf it down like a treat.

Yet, as much as he likes brewer’s yeast, Desjardins also warns pet owners to be careful with home remedies. They aren’t all good, and some can be dangerous.

No matter what the internet says, check with a vet before you try.

Pay a little now to pay less later

Although pet insurance is relatively new Lassie got the first U.S. policy in 1982, lucky dog – some experts say it’s worth taking a look.

Soverel, at the Maine Veterinary Medical Association, is one of them.

“There’s a broad range of options for pet insurance out there. Two policies aren’t necessarily interchangeable,” she said. “It can be a good option, but it does require someone doing a little homework to find the right insurance policy.”

Like human health insurance, pet insurance pays all or part of the medical bill. Also like human health insurance, any payment is contingent on co-pays and deductibles, exclusions and coverage limits.

Policy costs can range from about $15 a month to well over $100 a month, depending on the age and health of the pet and how much the policy covers. (Some pay for wellness visits and shots while others pay only if there’s a major accident or illness.)

It’s not the perfect solution for cash-strapped families since pet owners typically pay the vet first and then get reimbursed by the insurance company. But it can be a safety net.

Also a safety net: a good old-fashioned savings account.

“Like maybe once a month put $10 in it or something,” said Donna Kincer at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. “Emergencies are going to arise when you have a pet. It’s going to happen.”

Even if savings can’t pay for an entire emergency, it may be enough to offset a chunk of the cost. A sudden $1,400 bill can be unmanageable, but $700 built up in a savings account – $10 set aside every month since you got your puppy six years ago – would cut that need in half.

The most touted way to save money on pet medical care, though, doesn’t actually save any money at all. At least not at first.

Pay for preventative care now – spaying/neutering, shots, dental care, basic exams – so you don’t have to treat more expensive problems later.

“You know,” said Wallace at HART, “return on investment, basically.”

Kelsey Evans, of Boston, right, asks Dewey if he wants a “treat” at Tractor Supply Company in Lewiston Saturday night, Nov. 18. Her owner, Jamie Mcleod, of Lewiston, center, brought Dewey and Moxie, left, to get vaccines there. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal) Kelly Cole plays with her dog, Moose. Because she couldn’t afford Moose’s surgery, Cole gave her up to the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, which financed the surgery for Moose. (Submitted)

Why it’s important

By Lindsay Tice, Staff Writer

LEWISTON – When Kelly Cole’s beloved dog, Moose, broke her paw jumping off a chair, Cole had just enough money to rush her to the vet and get it splinted.

Cole had only recently returned to Lewiston from Kentucky, where she’d been caring for a family member dying of cancer, and she was just getting back to work. She didn’t have much savings or good credit.

So when Moose developed a serious problem because of that splint, Cole was out of money. She’d been a loving, responsible pet owner since she got Moose as a puppy, but now she couldn’t pay for her dog’s surgery or after care.

“I wasn’t going to come home to her every night hurting, and I know she’s hurting,” Cole said.

With no other options – she couldn’t find a vet willing to take payments and her credit score was too low to qualify for a special credit card for medical emergencies – Cole gave up Moose, signing over the Pomeranian-papillon mix to the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society so she could get her paw fixed.

It shocked and devastated Cole, who’d been as devoted to Moose as a parent to a child. But it’s a situation Maine animal shelters deal with all too regularly: Families who can’t afford their pet’s medical bills.

“It’s tough. . . . Just owning a pet, in itself, it’s an expensive endeavor,” said Donna Kincer, development director for the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.

The Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk is starting its own low-cost, full-service medical clinic for pet owners in just Cole’s situation. When it opens in January, the clinic will be the first of its kind in Maine.

“There was this sentiment in years past where if you can’t afford to take care of your animal, you shouldn’t have one,” said Abigail Smith, executive director at the Animal Welfare Society. “Well, we think animals bring so much to people’s lives. If you don’t have much, having a pet could mean everything to you. So we really want to make sure people can take care of them well.”

But other shelters don’t have the money to follow AWS’ path, at least not yet. Greater Androscoggin Humane Societyleaders have discussed opening one in Lewiston, but they have not found a way to pay for such a clinic.

Years ago, pets were euthanized when their owners couldn’t afford medical care. These days, the shelter takes ownership and uses donations or other funds to pay for treatment. The pet is then put up for adoption.

Moose got her surgery this month thanks to the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, but Cole had to give her up. Afterward, Cole asked for Moose back and offered to reimburse the shelter for the surgery by making regular payments, but shelter officials declined. They’d tried that with people in the past and it didn’t work out.

“They might do a couple of payments, there’s no guarantee. Then we would be out the money going forth,” said Steve Dostie, executive director of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.

Moose is now recovering from surgery and will be put up for adoption. Cole could apply to adopt her herself, but Moose may require additional surgery and medical care and – again – Cole may not be able to afford it.

“We’d have to decide again what is the best interest of the dog,” Dostie said.

ltice@sunjournal.com When Olivia the cat started having violent seizures multiple times a week, the vet prescribed the anticonvulsant Keppra. It helped. A bit. When owners Jackie and Victor Leclerc could get Olivia to take it. Today, the Lewiston couple compounds the medication themselves and gives Olivia Chinese herbals in addition. They’ve saved money and are certain Olivia gets the entire dose. (Submitted) Gracie, 16, is one of three cats owned by Jackie and Victor Leclerc, of Lewiston. Gracie takes medication for kidney disease. (Submitted) Elizabeth, 15, is one of three cats owned by Jackie and Victor Leclerc, of Lewiston. Elizabeth takes medication for kidney disease. (Submitted)

Need help?

Ask your vet and local shelter about assistance programs or check out national pet organizations online. They know what’s around for assistance, including:

* Canine Cancer Awareness, a Maine-based group that helps people who can’t afford cancer treatment for their dogs.

* “Beyond the Walls” at HART, a no-kill cat shelter in Cumberland. When it has money, that program helps families in need pay for surgery, hospitalization and other medical care for their cat.

* The Pet Fund, a national nonprofit that helps pay for vet care for pet owners who can’t afford it

* The Big Hearts Fund, which helps families in need pay for medical care for a dog or cat that has heart disease.

* CareCredit and other medical credit cards, which may offer quick payment options.

Moxie licks his lips as he sees other dogs getting a treat at Tractor Supply Company in Lewiston Saturday night, Nov. 18. Jamie Mcleod, of Lewiston, fills out forms at the pet vaccination clinic with Moxie and Dewey. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal) Tractor Supply Company in Lewiston held a pet vaccination clinic on Saturday night, Nov. 18. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal) Kelly Cole holds her dog, Moose. Because she couldn’t afford Moose’s surgery, Cole gave her up to the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. (Submitted)

Banco Santander Brasil SA (NYSE:BSBR) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Banco Santander Brasil SA (NYSE:BSBR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday, November 7th.

According to Zacks, “Banco Santander, S.A. is a retail and commercial bank. The Banks segments include Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Latin America and the United States. The Continental Europe segment covers all businesses in the Continental Europe. The United Kingdom segment includes the businesses developed by various units and branches in the country. The Latin America segment embraces all its financial activities conducted through its banks and subsidiaries in the region. The United States segment includes the Intermediate Holding Company (IHC) and its subsidiaries Santander Bank, Banco Santander Puerto Rico, Santander Consumer USA, Banco Santander International, Santander Investment Securities, and the Santander branch in New York. The Company’s commercial model satisfies the needs of all types of customers: individuals with various income levels. “

BSBR has been the topic of a number of other reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Banco Santander Brasil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Banco Santander Brasil from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $8.00 to $10.00 in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Banco Santander Brasil from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $14.25.

Shares of Banco Santander Brasil ( NYSE BSBR) traded down $0.04 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $9.35. 461,852 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,655,099. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09. The stock has a market cap of $35,266.55, a P/E ratio of 17.07, a P/E/G ratio of 0.81 and a beta of 1.52. Banco Santander Brasil has a 52 week low of $6.86 and a 52 week high of $11.75.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. lifted its holdings in Banco Santander Brasil by 19.1% during the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 82,680 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $722,000 after purchasing an additional 13,280 shares during the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its holdings in Banco Santander Brasil by 11.3% during the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 328,363 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,870,000 after purchasing an additional 33,233 shares during the last quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. lifted its holdings in Banco Santander Brasil by 47.6% during the third quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 138,760 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,213,000 after purchasing an additional 44,760 shares during the last quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP lifted its holdings in Banco Santander Brasil by 26.0% during the third quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 59,095 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $514,000 after purchasing an additional 12,184 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Banco Santander Brasil by 36.5% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 214,491 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,875,000 after purchasing an additional 57,386 shares during the last quarter. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Banco Santander Brasil Company Profile

Banco Santander (Brasil) SA (the Bank) is indirectly controlled by Banco Santander, SA, and is an institution of the Financial and Prudential Group. The Bank operates through two segments, Commercial Banking and Global Wholesale Banking. The Company conducts its operations by means of portfolios such as commercial, investment, lending and financing, mortgage lending, leasing, credit card operations and foreign exchange.

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Viktoria Rebensburg nips Mikaela Shiffrin for giant

Mikaela Shiffrin had a roaring crowd in her corner, thought to be the biggest to watch a women’s World Cup race, on her home course.

It still was not enough to overcome Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg and a mistake early in her run in a stirring duel Saturday in Killington, Vt.

Rebensburg won her second straight World Cup giant slalom by edging Shiffrin, the overall points leader who was skiing in the state where she attended school. The German finished two runs in 1 minute, 57.63 seconds, with Shiffrin 0.67 back.

The race took place before about 18,000 fans – organizers believe it the largest crowd for a women’s World Cup race.

Shiffrin, though, was pleased with her progress in an Olympic season, adding she made a few adjustments to her equipment and her attitude..

“This was a step in the right direction,” she said. “I felt like I made some good turns.”

*World champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland won the season-opening men’s World Cup downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta. Feuz finished in 1 minute, 43.76 seconds to edge Austria’s Matthias Mayer of Austria by just under a tenth of a second.

Five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi finally put Barcelona and its fans at ease by signing a contract that will keep the Argentine forward at the Spanish soccer powerhouse through 2021, when he will be 34.

According to El Mundo newspaper, Messi will receive $35.8 million per season, along with a signing bonus of $59.6 million. The deal includes a buyout clause of $835 million.

Barcelona announced in July that Messi agreed to a new deal that it would make official “in the coming weeks.” The wait that turned into months.

Now in his 14th season, Messi is the club’s all-time leading scorer with 523 in 602 matches.

*In Spanish league action, Cristiano Ronaldo rescued Real Madrid when he scored after his penalty kick was saved to secure a 3-2 win over Malaga. Madrid moved seven points behind leader Barcelona, which faces second-place Valencia on Sunday.

Kevin Gameiro scored twice to lead Atlético Madrid’s 5-0 rout at Levante. Atlético moved ahead of Real Madrid and into third place on goal difference.

*In the English Premier League, Ashley Young’s long-range shot looped up off a defender and spun into the far corner to earn second-place Manchester United a 1-0 win over Brighton.

Third-place Chelsea drew 1-1 draw at Liverpool.

Golf: Jason Day moved into position for his first Australian Open title after shooting a 2-under-par 69 in Sydney to take a one-stroke lead at 10-under 203.

Lucas Herbert was in second place after a 71. Defending champion Jordan Spieth (70) was eight strokes back of Day.

*S.S.P. Chawrasia shot a 1-under 69 for a one-stroke lead at at 10-under 200 after the third round of the Hong Kong Open.

Tennis: Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 to give host France a 2-1 lead over Belgium in the Davis Cup final.

Baseball: The Detroit Tigers agreed to a one-year contract with left-handed reliever Blaine Hardy, 30, avoiding arbitration, and signed right-handers Kevin Comer and Mark Montgomery, infielder Niko Goodrum and outfielder-first baseman Chad Huffman to minor-league deals.

Motor sports: Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take the pole position for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Boxing: Seven months after a double hip replacement, Manuel Charr defeated Alexander Ustinov of Russia by unanimous decision for the vacant WBA heavyweight title in Oberhausen, Germany, becoming the first German heavyweight champion since Max Schmeling in the early 1930s.

Who Will Be in Charge on Monday? That’s the Question in Agency Battle

Mr. Trump’s decision shortly afterward to name his own temporary director was a “typical routine move,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Mulvaney is a fiscal hawk who previously called the agency a “sad, sick joke” and once, as a member of the House, sponsored legislation to end its existence.

A formal opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel was expected to be released soon, the officials said. In two past opinions, issued in 2003 and 2007, the office had argued that the president has the authority to use the Vacancies Act to override an agency’s designated succession path.

“We have gone out of our way to avoid any unnecessary legal battle with Mr. Cordray,” the administration official said. “His actions clearly indicate he is trying to provoke one.”

Mr. Cordray had been expected to resign at the end of the month. Instead, in the middle of a holiday weekend, he said he was leaving and named Leandra English, the agency’s chief of staff, as deputy director.

Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which established the consumer bureau, the deputy director serves as the agency’s acting head in the absence of permanent leadership. Mr. Cordray, citing that act, said he expected Ms. English to take over from him.

Democrats, who fought for the bureau’s creation and championed its work as a valuable defense against predatory companies and abusive financial practices, are likely to push for a legal challenge to Mr. Trump’s move.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, who proposed the consumer bureau and helped set it up, said Mr. Trump’s move was legally impermissible.

“The Dodd-Frank Act is clear: If there is a CFPB director vacancy, the deputy director becomes acting director,” she wrote on Facebook. “President Trump can’t override that.”

Some legal experts say there is merit to question whether the Vacancies Reform Act supersedes an individual agency’s designated line of succession.

“No court has addressed this legal question,” said Aditya Bamzai, a law professor at the University of Virginia. “Any Office of Legal Counsel, in any administration, would have given the same answer with respect to this issue. But if we see a legal challenge, the executive branch’s positions don’t always prevail in court.”

Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, says it’s an “open question” which act – the vacancies law or Dodd-Frank – should prevail, especially because Dodd-Frank was enacted more recently.

At stake are two different views on how the bureau should be run. As President Trump and his administration work to loosen regulations on businesses, the consumer bureau has been a prominent holdout. It is still carrying out the agenda it developed under President Barack Obama, issuing new rules – like a recent regulation intended to sharply curtail the payday lending market – and sanctioning financial companies for practices that it considers unfair or abusive.

The agency was established six years ago, and it has unusually broad power to combat abuses in a wide variety of financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts and student loans. But the agency has long been vilified by Republicans as an overreaching, aggressive government arm.

The appointment of Ms. English to the deputy director position was seen as an attempt to delay Mr. Trump from appointing his own interim director. Confirming a permanent director could take months. Mr. Cordray’s confirmation was delayed for two years by Republicans and the banking industry, two parties that objected to the agency’s creation and sought to limit the attempt at federal oversight.

Mr. Mulvaney will shoulder his new acting leadership on top of his role as director of the Office of Management and Budget. It is unclear how he will manage both roles, and the officials directed all questions about the mechanics of the situation to Mr. Mulvaney.

“We think he’ll show up Monday, go into the office and start working,” an administration official said of Mr. Mulvaney’s plans.

But it may not be that simple. The next move lies with Ms. English: She will need to decide whether to legally challenge Mr. Mulvaney for the bureau’s leadership, or defer to him.

“It’s a very awkward legal scenario if they both show up literally at the same office,” said Andy Grewal, a law professor at the University of Iowa. “It seems like both sides are trying to engage in gamesmanship here.”

Year’s ski season off to a good start near Lodi

* Boreal Mountain California, 19749 Boreal Ridge Road, Soda Springs; 530-426-3666, www.rideboreal.com

* Heavenly, 4080 Lake Tahoe Road, South Lake Tahoe; 775-586-7000, www.skiheavenly.com

* Kirkwood, 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood; 209-258-6000, www.kirkwood.com

* Squaw Valley, 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley; 800-403-0206, www.squawalpine.com

Not yet open

* Bear Valley Resort, 2280 Highway 207, Bear Valley; 209-753-2301, www.bearvalley.com. Opening day to be determined.

* Dodge Ridge Ski Area, 1 Dodge Ridge Road, Pinecrest; 209-965-3474, www.dodgeridge.com. Opening day to be determined.

* Donner Ski Ranch, 19320 Donner Pass Road, Norden; 530-426-3635, www.donnerskiranch.com. Opening day to be determined.

* Homewood Mountain Resort, 5145 West Lake Blvd., Homewood; 530-525-2992. Opening day is planned for Dec. 8.

* Northstar California, 5001 Northstar Drive, Truckee; 800-466-6784, www.northstarcalifornia.com. Will announce opening day on Monday.

* Sierra-at-Tahoe, 1111 Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, Twin Bridges; 530-659-7453, www.sierraattahoe.com. Opening day to be determined.

* Sugar Bowl, 629 Sugar Bowl Road, Norden; 530-427-4050, www.sugarbowl.com. Opening day to be determined.

Northwest weather cooperates with travelers but not skiers

A recent bout of warmer weather bodes well for travel over the Cascades during one of the heaviest holiday weekend traffic days of the year.

But it also means skiers might have to wait a little longer before hitting the slopes.

Operations at White Pass Ski Area remained on hold Friday as the resort awaits a fresh blanket of snow. Officials at the ski area had hoped to open by now.

“After checking out the hill, it’s clear we need more of the white stuff before calling a reopening date,” the resort announced on its website.

With rain hitting the area hard throughout the week along with warmer temperatures, the resort hopes the colder weather and light snow falling Friday will help build up the snowpack.

Twenty-six inches of snow had accumulated at the summit and around 12 inches at the base by Friday morning. It’s only a matter of time before the resort is able to announce its reopening.

White Pass Ski Area wasn’t alone. Steady, warm rain throughout the week shrank the snowpack enough to prevent Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort outside Wenatchee from opening Friday or over the weekend, according to Tony Hickok, the resort’s marketing manager.

Like White Pass, Mission Ridge was briefly open last weekend.

“We were excited to be open in November, but with an early season, conditions can change very quickly,” Hickok said.

The Summit at Snoqualmie hasn’t announced an opening date yet, but spokesman Guy Lawrence said it would be unusual for the resort to open before December.

Lawrence said the area has seen more snow for this time of year than what he’d normally expect and that the rain that damaged the snowpack there is typical for this time of year.

But if the ski areas at Snoqualmie Pass aren’t being helped by the weather, motorists crossing the 3,022-foot pass are expected to benefit.

The forecast for Saturday and Sunday is for rain and temperatures above freezing.

And that should help traffic on one of the busiest traffic weekends of the year.

MP pledges to help campaigners save at

A YORK MP has called a swimming pool at risk of closure a “vital, important facility”.

The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT), announced last month New Earswick Swimming Pool would be closed in March, as the trust was running it at a loss of £132,000 a year, and repairs would cost £1.3m.

More than 1,400 people have signed a petition to try and save the New Earswick swimming pool, and on Saturday, Julian Sturdy watched lessons taking place and chatted with swimmers, parents and campaigners who want to keep the pool open, and said he would make every effort to try and retain the pool.

He said: “I think from talking to everyone here today it’s absolutely imperative that we do try and keep this pool open. There are a few opportunities. Obviously the JRFT are looking to close the pool towards the middle of next year, but we’ve got to make sure we get as much time as we can now to see whether the Friends of New Earswick Pool can look at taking over the running of the pool.

“I’m here meeting with them, talking to them, doing whatever I can to help and listen to what they’ve got to say. I’ve also met with the trust and I’m meeting again with them on Monday morning to really push the case to make sure that we do all we can to try and keep this vital, important facility open.”

Martin Richards, head coach of New Earswick Swimming Club, said he hoped Mr Sturdy would be able to at least convince the trust to give campaigners more time to organise a way to keep the pool operational.

He said: “We’re hoping Julian will be able to help us with our attempt to take over the pool as a user group. At this point, things have hit a bit of a delay.

“We’re now looking to get our community interest company formed, the applications are going in on Monday. There’s been a lot of work going on in setting that up, and we’re hoping we can get into discussions with the trust about producing a business plan and taking over the pool by the end of March next year.”

A JRHT spokesman said the trust was working with users, councillors and the community about the future of the club, and the decision to close the pool had been made for financial reasons.

He said: “However, we have listened closely to feedback and at the recent drop-in meeting with residents and user groups, we made clear that JRHT is open to considering the transfer of the pool to another party, to upgrade and take on full responsibility for its operation.

“We can confirm that if a robust business case is developed before the end of 2017, then this will be given serious consideration. We are working closely with the Friends of New Earswick Swimming Pool and Swim England to explore this possibility.”

Gardening in cooler temperatures

The temperatures are dropping but there is still much to do in the garden. Here is a list of many tasks to put on your list.

‑Make plans to clean and repair your garden tools. Diseases and pests can be spread by pruners and shovels that have soil or plant residue.

-Drain and store water hoses to extend their lives.

-Take your rain gauge inside to avoid damage from freezing temperatures.

-Empty and clean rain barrels. Scum and debris will clog up your faucets and make your water fowl. You may need a long handled mop or scrub brush if you do not want to crawl into the barrel.

Disconnect lines and hoses flushing with water. Clean your roof and gutters at least once a year to minimize debris in your stored rain water. Store your rain barrels upside-down to keep them clean when not in use.

‑Remove annuals and dried leaves and stems. Use the organic debris to make compost.

‑Check the moisture level of plants especially newly planted ones and those in containers. Most plants appreciate weekly watering to keep them growing.

‑Sow seeds of calliopsis, foxglove, johnny‑jump‑ups, larkspur, money plant, and stock.

-Collect and save the seeds from your favorite annual flowers. Store them in a cool, dry place; glass jars are ideal. Remember that saved seeds do not always look and grow exactly like their parents.

‑Plant spring‑flowering bulbs such as anemones, crocus, daffodils, and snowdrops in sunny locations. Planting in clumps will give more impact in the landscape. Use colored golf tees to mark the location of the new plantings.

‑Fertilize new and established bulbs with a slow‑release nitrogen fertilizer. Withhold fertilizer from other plants until spring growth signals the need.

‑Purchase amaryllis bulbs and pot them up for winter blooming. Remember bulbs prefer to be pot bound so choose a pot that is no more than two inches wider than the diameter of the bulb.

‑Limit pruning to the removal of dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Wait until late winter to prune summer‑flowering shrubs.

‑Remove and destroy bagworms from evergreens. As many as 1000 eggs can be overwintering in a single bag. Do the math and think about how many more bagworms you would have next spring.

‑Fall is the best time of the year to plant a tree. Carefully select, plant, and mulch dormant trees

‑Rake up and removed leaves from your lawn. If winter annual weeds have been a problem in the past apply a pre‑emergent herbicide to control the germinating seeds. Read labels carefully as many products can damage centipede lawns.

‑Dig up and divide perennials such as daisies, irises, bee balm, black-eyed Susan, hosta, purple coneflower, yarrow, red-hot poker and daylilies. Use a garden fork. Gently pull apart lifted plants with your hands. Set divisions back at the original growing depth, firm soil around plant roots and water.

-Transplant trees and shrubs making sure to keep them watered through the first two summers.