Need the Perfect Closing Gift? Something for the Boss, Designated Broker or Family Member?


Sometimes the greatest gift is a gift basket… and The Perfect Basket delivers in more ways than one!

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To order your Christmas or other holiday baskets (the above pictures are representative, but not the only styles), call owner Celeste Yakawonis at 207 713 7111 or email her at

From Celeste’s website (

Welcome To…
The Perfect Basket

…where our name says it all.

For over 10 years, this family owned business has created gifts for personal and corporate giving… you can choose from everyday, holiday, Maine Made or other theme-style baskets. If we don’t already have it, we probably can create a special gift just for you to give.

Whether the order is for one or for one hundred, every gift is designed to ‘Wow’ your recipient – and we will create a design that works within your budget.

The Perfect Basket. Think of us as your personal shopper – giving you the gift of time.

Major credit cards are accepted (VISA, MasterCard and American Express).

The Perfect Basket will ship anywhere in the country. Additional fees apply; please call for more information.


You can find The Perfect Basket on Facebook at

Jefferson Street, Lewiston – A Few More Photos

Yesterday I posted a Property Profile for a fabulous 2,400 sf first floor apartment in Lewiston.

Here are a few more pictures of this wonderful apartment!


OTS Jefferson Street Lewiston

For full info on the apartment, click on the Property Profile above.

Maine Apartment Association – Member Appreciation Night, December 10


Click on the flyer for more information…

December 10 at 5pm.

25 Long Wharf, Portland ME

One of the Loveliest Traditional-Style Apartments Around!

Yes, we know it’s cliché, but this 2400 sf apartment on Jefferson Street in Lewiston must be seen to be believed!  If you love the traditional style of dark wood, bay windows and formal dining room, this first floor apartment could be exactly what you’re looking for.  The owners lived here for 30 years, and their care and attention just shines through. 

OTS Jefferson Street Lewiston

Jefferson Street, Lewiston ME 04240.

Property Type:  3 unit, 3 story apartment building, with two main entrances.

Number of Rooms:  Six+.  The huge kitchen with brand new ceramic tile floor is large enough to include an eat-in dining area, plus there’s a formal dining room with bay windows and a built in china closet.  The living room is off the front entry with a small separate foyer, and also has bay windows.  Unheated utility room/pantry.


Amenities:  Apartment comes with all the kitchen appliances (stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, a fabulous microwave), there’s even a washer & dryer, central vacuum and a central sound system with speakers in the kitchen and bathroom.   There’s an enclosed back porch, and an open back porch with yard.  The window treatments are new and were installed by Decorators Network.


Bedrooms/Bathrooms:  3 bedrooms, 1 bath with double sinks—and there’s plenty of counter space!  Two of the bedrooms have brand new carpets; 3rd is wood floor.


Utilities:  Heat is provided as part of your rent and includes hot water; you only pay your own electricity.  Also included are snow plowing and yard maintenance.

Vehicle Storage:  Private driveway with one stall garage.  Driveway is long enough for two vehicles to park off-street.

Neighborhood:  This apartment is located in the quiet block between Pine and Walnut Streets.

Monthly Rental: $1180.00.

Length of Lease:  Minimum of 1 year.

Security Deposit: 2 months security; one month must be up front, 2nd month could be paid over time depending on credit check.

Other Upfront Costs: 1st month’s rent.

When Available:  Immediately.

This is a quiet, extraordinarily well-maintained building.

No smoking inside the building or on the grounds.

Sorry, no cats or dogs.

FMI:  John Snyder, On the Spot Rentals.

Cell: 207 / 713.0674  |  |

P O Box 282  |  Auburn  ME  04212.0282

OTS Logo - Rentals & Inspections - Square

Local Talent: The “Golden” Baritone – Larry Gowell

Larry Gowell Profile

One of my favorite Christmas carols is Silent Night.  It’s a song that to me has always sounded best when sung by a deep rich voice, and local Auburn resident – and former Yankees pitcher – Larry Gowell has the baritone to do it justice.  Click the link below to hear this haunting Christmas staple wonderfully performed by Larry Gowell.

We like to give local talent a chance to show off their stuff at our conferences, and were thrilled to have baritone Larry Gowell as the lead entertainment at the Greater Androscoggin Landlords & Real Estate Investors Conference in May.

Larry, an Edward Little High School graduate (Auburn ME) and former pitcher for the New York Yankees has been in great demand lately – and for good reason.  He is blessed with what’s been called a “golden” baritone voice.

We could talk on and on about Larry (who is also an amazingly nice person), but figure that instead, we’ll let others tell his story.

First, in his own words from his Facebook page:

“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.”

“Music is what sustains me and makes life rich and sweet no matter what downfalls I face.”

“I was born and raised in Auburn, Maine. I graduated from Edward Little High school in 1967 and was drafted by the New York Yankees as a fourth round draft pick as a pitcher. I went on to make the major leagues club in 1972. In 1975 I was released from baseball and got hired as an insurance agent that year.”

“I have two adopted children, Crystal and Maurice and my son Chad Holland who lives in Burlington, North Carolina. He is the head coach of Graham High School.”

“I have a very outgoing personality and get along very well with most folks.”

“My goal is to become much more active in sports and music as I go into my retirement years.”

By googling “Larry Gowell pitcher”.

You’ll get quite a few hits when you google Larry, including this one from Wikipedia:

Larry was interviewed by Bill Green on Bill Green’s Maine this past May. 

You can watch the interview by clicking on the link below.

If you’re looking for quality local talent for an upcoming event, you should absolutely consider engaging Larry.   He doesn’t know I’m posting this blog about him (although he will shortly!), so I don’t feel comfortable giving out his email address or phone number, but if you want to contact me, I’ll make sure he gets the message.

The Aesthetics of Doorknobs vs the Usability of Levers

As someone who deals with episodic fibromyalgia, Reynaud’s disease and the beginnings of arthritis in my hands (and a family history of relatives coping with the painful disease), I’m often frustrated by gripping and grasping motions that I can’t manage readily. 

Pumping gas can be excruciating, particularly in the winter when my Reynaud’s flares up (I love-love-love the pumps with the little notches that allow the gas to flow without me actually holding the nozzle).  Even turning on the shower faucet can be a serious chore some mornings.

Doorknobs in particular are notoriously difficult to handle when one’s grip is impaired, which can happen as a result of the ailments mentioned above, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, medication side effects, neurological damage, and in fact any illness that saps one’s strength… or even just as a result of aging.

Given my personal experiences as well as my work in the field of housing & disabilities, you’d think I’d be thrilled with the idea of getting rid of doorknobs in favor of levers, which require little in terms of strength, and can even be manipulated using one’s elbow instead of a hand.

But when I first read that the City of Vancouver had banned doorknobs, I flinched.  There’s an aesthetic about doorknobs that levers just can’t match.  They come in materials and colors of amazing variety – one of my previous houses had lovely antique glass doorknobs throughout – and are often backed by plates of intricate design.  Levers, while affording critical accessibility and independence for people who might otherwise be limited in life’s daily activities, just aren’t that pretty.

Read on for more on the topic.  Both the link to one of many articles on Vancouver’s Universal Design mandate and the text of the write-up are below.

In a move to make housing more universally accessible, the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, has banned doorknobs in private homes and apartment buildings. Starting in March 2014, the doors of new buildings will be equipped instead with more ergonomically friendly, easier-to-use lever handles, the Vancouver Sun reports. It notes that while the bylaw passed in September is not retroactive, City Hall has set an example by replacing its art deco brass doorknobs, which date from 1936.

As University of British Columbia professor Tim Stainton explained in the article, the doorknob ban is in the spirit of a concept known as universal design, which holds that environments should be built to be usable by a majority of people regardless of age or capacity, rather than adapted to meet the needs of the elderly or disabled.

Design that makes everyday things easy to use even for those with physical challenges is the same principle that IDEO designers used when redesigning an OXO Good Grips potato peeler to be easier to use for arthritics. The designers noted that the human-centered design exercise “solved a specific problem for a specific group: Namely, helping people with reduced grip strength to peel things easier. Turned out, it offered a benefit to everyone.”

An article in Popular Science pointed out that turning doorknobs can be challenging for arthritic hands, citing a troubling statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that 67 million adult Americans will have arthritis by 2030. With boomers living longer than ever it seems like the U.S. might want to follow Vancouver’s lead by adding private residences to the accessibility requirements that were established for public spaces with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

Medical Marijuana Caregivers Meeting – Augusta

The following meeting may be of interest to landlords concerned about medical marijuana use in their rentals. This is not intended as a forum for landlords or about rentals; I’m just posting it as a possible avenue to learn more about the topic.

MMCM Latest News

Events – Fall – Winter 2013

Upcoming Events


Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine will hold a free informational meeting and networking session for patients, caregivers and members of the public in Augusta on December 11th.

Learn more about Maine’s medical marijuana law, who is being helped by it,  what changes are expected, and how to get involved in helping people in need.

MMCM is participating in a fooddrive for medical marijuana patients in Maine, and will be collecting non-perishable goods at this event. All people who donate items will receive a free pin of their choice.
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Date: Wednesday December 11th
Location: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 9 Summer Street, Augusta.

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