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Sewing to save lives | News, Sports, Jobs



-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson Juanita Borland works on sewing a mask. Broland, along with friend, Rita Kail, have sewn over 700 masks.

FARNHAMVILLE — Juanita Borland said she only began quilting a short time ago. With a small background in sewing, she decided to take up the art after her husband Frank passed away.

Eight years ago, she learned to quilt through a program held at Town Square Quilt Shop in Lake City.

“I bought myself a little packet that had the material in there and the pattern, came home and done it myself. That’s how I got started,” she said.

Although she may be a late comer to the quilting world, she has definitely made up for lost time.

Borland has donated her skill as a quilter by volunteering her time at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Farnhamville.

-Submitted photo

Juanita Borland helped to make quilts, shown here, that were sent to an orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti.

“Juanita helped make 40 quilts that my mission group took to an orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti,” said fellow parishioner, Patti Anderson. “The ladies of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Farnhamville also make quilts for other missions and Quilts of Valor for veterans and make head scarves for breast cancer patients.”

Most recently, to help with the battle against COVID-19, Borland has accepted the task of making masks.

As of early May, Borland said she, along with friend Rita Kail — thanks to donations of material and hair ties, have made over 700 masks.

The duo has been donating their masks to healthcare workers, churches and also for others’ personal use.

“The first week they put us into isolation I cleaned my kitchen. The second week, Rita called and asked if I would help. She gave me her pattern and examples and now I can make them in my sleep. It’s really been a 24/7 job,” she said. “I really enjoy sewing. It’s hard for me to read a pattern, but if somebody shows me what to do, I can do it.”

Whether it is a quilt or a mask, Borland is more than willing to donate her talents and her time.

“We are helping other people,” she said. “Just like Rita said about making these masks, if we are able to save somebody’s life, it has been well worth the time.”

In addition to quilting and mask making, Borland has also made her mark in Farnhamville by helping out with the town’s annual Old Settler’s Day celebration.

In the past, she said she and her husband ran the car show and she has also been instrumental in food preparation, clean up and serving the annual dinner and has also assisted in the planning process.

“I have been Rita’s right hand gal now for several years helping her clean the shelter house and get it ready, and the day of I usually help serve dinner,” she said of the whole day process. “We start early in the morning to late at night.”

Borland said the continuance of the Old Settler’s Day celebration is dependent on the younger generation.

“The young people need to help because some of us are reaching the age where we cannot do it any more,” she said. “It’s a lot of work and it’s pretty hard on a person. There is something for everyone to do.”

Borland said she was born and raised near Somers, where she attended country school, “Greenfield No. 6,” through the sixth grade.

It was at that time, Cedar Valley was organized and so she started there in seventh grade.

“That was my first experience being with a lot of kids starting in seventh grade,” she said.

School is where she met Frank Borland, who would later become her husband in 1962.

They moved closer to the Farnhamville area where they farmed alongside each other. “I have kind of been a Farnhamville girl ever since,” she said.

Later in the 1970s, Borland began working at Goodwin Insurance in Farnhamville, a position she held for 32 years.

“That really connected us a lot more with Farnhamville, with me working,” she said, “especially with my farmer friends. That’s what I called them.”

Borland said her husband enjoyed restoring old cars and street rods and had a love for International tractors, restoring them for himself and more tractors for other people. She said they also enjoyed country dancing.

“We have met a lot of people through those activities,” she said.

Borland’s ties to Farnhamville go beyond her volunteerism and her previous occupation as she said she cherishes all of the life-long friendships she has with several community members. She treasures those connections she and Frank shared together.

“Juanita has been a longtime friend,” said Kail. “She is someone you can count on, good help in any project, brunches, Old Settler’s Day to name a few. She is always pleasant and always interested in many things and people. She is loved by all.”

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Florence, Northern Elite cancel football games | News, Sports, Jobs




Florence will forfeit its varsity football game Friday at Three Lakes, due to a lack of players, while Northern Elite has canceled the remaining two games of its varsity football season.

“We examined several angles to try and keep it going, but eventually came to the decision that it was no longer feasible,” said Scott Trevillian, Niagara principal/athletic director.

The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department plans to meet Thursday morning with area athletic directors for a recommendation on this weekend’s MHSAA playoff football games. There has been no in-person instruction or athletic activities at Dickinson County schools since Oct. 17, due to the coronavirus.

If played, Norway’s contest against West Iron will be moved to 1 p.m. Saturday in Iron River. It had previously been set for Friday night.

Other area games on the calendar for Saturday include Rogers City at Iron Mountain, at noon, and Ogemaw Heights at Kingsford, 2 p.m.

Scheduled eight-player games on Saturday are Engadine at North Central, noon, and Lake Linden-Hubbell at Forest Park, noon.

Northern Elite had been scheduled to host Coleman on Friday night and travel to Oconto Falls on Nov. 6.

Florence has a scheduled game Nov. 7 against Siren, Wis., in Rhinelander.

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Victorino upbeat about Lanai’s COVID-19 status | News, Sports, Jobs




Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino is confident that the COVID-19 outbreak on Lanai is under control after the issuing of a stay-at-home order Tuesday and encouraging results from recent surge testing.

After the virus outbreak last week, medical providers conducted nearly 1,000 tests Saturday, where six new coronavirus cases were discovered. Another three positive cases were added to the state Department of Health count for a total of nine Tuesday, but Victorino said that those three individuals were tested before the surge testing program.

All nine cases were included in Lanai’s total count, which was 87 as of Tuesday — the fourth highest island by cases in the state behind Oahu, Hawaii island and Maui.

“We’re in fairly good shape overall. However, I want the Lanaians to know that this lockdown is so important,” Victorino said Tuesday night during a news conference. “I’m very confident with keeping it under control. I think the community realizes the importance of working together and having respect for each other.”

The stay-at-home order will remain in place until Nov. 11. It requires people to only leave their home or place of lodging for essential activities, services or business. All travel to and from Lanai is restricted to essential work or medical purposes. All other travelers must quarantine for 14 days.

Essential workers to Lanai may request limited quarantine through the county.

Managing Director Sandy Baz said that these protocols will be evaluated on a daily basis.

So far, a total of 2,747 COVID-19 tests have been administered on Lanai — 87 percent of the resident population. The rate of positive cases was 3.13 percent. The seven-day average rolling rate was 4.66 percent.

“We want to give a big mahalo to all our health care workers, first responders and many others, who helped to provide this large scale testing event for our Lanai community,” Baz said.

Large social gatherings likely contributed to the outbreak, which shows “just how quickly” the virus can spread if mask wearing and social distancing protocols are not met, he added.

The Hawaii National Guard and the state Department of Health officials have been going “house to house” to ensure that families are taken care of by educating various groups and offering a native language translator.

“We are working very closely with the Lanai health providers as well as others to make sure that this cluster of our Polynesian community is managed and helped in every way possible,” Victorino said.

There will be testing available from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Lana’i Community Hospital.

Mass testing is set for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday behind the Pulama Lana’i administrative building. Appointments are encouraged by calling Lanai’s Straub Medical Center at (808) 565-6423 or the Lanai Community Health Center at (808) 565-6919.

In other developments:

• Young Brothers said its barge service to Lanai will continue on schedule. The barge arrives Wednesdays at Kaumalapau Harbor from Honolulu and departs the same day back to Honolulu.

• Roselani Place, an assisted living facility on Maui, reported two possible cases from its recent round of testing Monday. The cases are pending further investigation by the Maui District Health Office, a news release said. Not counting the two cases, there have been 71 cases at the Kahului facility — 32 staff and 39 residents.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at

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Indonesia’s Pandemic Response: A Law to Create Millions of Jobs | Voice of America




TAIPEI, TAIWAN – A landmark law passed this month in Indonesia will open the populous, impoverished country to labor-intensive industry like many of its Southeast Asian neighbors despite a hit to worker rights, people on the ground say. 

The 905-page Omnibus Bill on Job Creation bill will give millions of young people chances to work, including in formal jobs that can be hard to find because older Indonesian laws discouraged foreign investors from setting up factories, analysts believe. 

Indonesians are struggling to earn income during an unrelenting COVID-19 outbreak that prompted shutdowns from April. The nation with nearly 400,000 infections reported a sharp drop in retail sales from April through August and a fall in exports over the three months ending in September.   

“With this new law, it is expected that the investment would come not only to the Indonesian economy, but also come to the labor-intensive part, and by getting more investment in that area it is expected that more jobs will be created, and those jobs are more of the quality jobs, not only informal jobs,” said Yose Rizal Damuri, economics department head with the Center for Strategic and International Studies research organization in Jakarta.   

Indonesia’s government and House of Representatives passed the bill ahead of schedule on October 5, the Jakarta Post reported. The bill aims to cut bureaucracy and make it easier for investors to create jobs, said Richard Borsuk, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies adjunct senior fellow in Singapore.

Protest against the government’s proposed labor reforms in Sukabumi, West Java, Oct. 7, 2020.

President Joko Widodo’s government sees this bill as part of his “legacy” to stimulate the 270 million-person country’s economy, Rizal said. Minerals, oil and farming make up much of Indonesia’s $1 trillion-plus GDP today. “Labor-intensive” industry players find Indonesia too expensive now, Rizal said, explaining why that sub-sector makes up just 2% of the country’s total investment. 

Foreign manufacturers of garments, shoes and textiles normally pick other low-cost Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, over the past decade because of stiff pro-labor laws, economists say. Foreign investment eventually raises the living standards, as witnessed in China and eventually Vietnam

“It’s probably something that will be a long-term benefit, if this does go through,” said Rajiv Biswas, senior regional economist with IHS Markit, a London-based analysis firm. 

“It creates a better environment for foreign multinationals to hire, because from the perspective of foreign multinationals, it’s very restrictive labor laws there,” Biswas said. “They’re worried about hiring because it’s very hard to reduce the workforce later on.”   

Foreign investors will consider the law a “step in the right” direction for making Indonesia friendlier, forecast Song Seng Wun, an economist in the private banking unit of Malaysian bank CIMB.

“This Omnibus Bill is part of something that Jokowi [was] looking to see how they can help sort of improve the investment landscape to make it a little bit more attractive in Indonesia, just to make sure Indonesia doesn’t get pushed down the investible list of countries,” Song said, using the Indonesian president’s nickname. 

But the law sparked staunch opposition. Some governors have asked Widodo to revoke the law and other people protested in the streets over three days, sometimes violently, Borsuk’s study says. 

The law effectively eliminates the power of labor unions, said Paramita Supamijoto, an international relations lecturer at Bina Nusantara University in greater Jakarta. 

The October bill would roll back legal support for fair wages, safe working conditions and excessive overtime, U.S.-headquartered human rights advocacy group Amnesty International said in a statement in August. It called the bill’s preparation process “opaque.”   

Severance pay for laid-off workers will also slip, Damuri said. 

For workers, the law means that “whatever you do, your life will be determined by your employers,” Supamijoto said.

But the law could stoke enough investment to stop people from migrating overseas in search of work, she said. “Under our current president’s administration, they prefer to invite the investors rather than sending workers abroad, so it’s better to invite you to come here to spend money, to invest your money, then to help us to build the infrastructure,” she said. 

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