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Old 07-27-2018, 02:35 PM
 
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My husband and I might be moving to Caribou in the near future (for his job). We're both originally from eastern Pennsylvania and lived there for most of our lives. For the last 6 years, we've been living in New Mexico (again- because of his job).

I've heard about the long, cold, snowy winters and that's fine with us- we both miss snow so much. I just have some other questions, like is there a "bad" part of town? Are there good pediatricians in Caribou or do you have to go to Presque Isle? Is there a good preschool? Are there a lot of young families in Caribou (with very young kids and parents in the 25-40 range)?

We know someone who lived in northern Maine for a few years and he said that because his family was "from away", no one showed up to his daughter's birthday party and it was super sad (I honestly don't know all the details- could be that he was just a jerk) but will people act weird around us if we're from away?

Lol and a stupid question- how do you pronounce Aroostook? I need your help
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
6,933 posts, read 4,802,066 times
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Welcome to the forum.
One of the good things about Caribou is that there are no bad parts of town. Very unusual. (I am from Presque Isle, ten miles away. And one of the reasons we chose not to settle there is because there are at least five sketchy parts of Presque Isle, which is the same size as Caribou. There are several reasons for this fact).
We really like our pediatrician at PINES in Caribou. She has been here for fifteen years and everybody likes her. They have several other pediatricias as well. The hospital itself is better than Presque Isle's. There are two good preschools that I know of: Days of Wonder (which we checked out personally) and Miss Jordan's (which is newer and is about to expand into a larger building to accomodate their growth). There are probably other good ones, too.
Maine is an old state. But we have made friends with a decent number of parents in Caribou (and since we homeschool, we have met many families in the Caribou area through those groups.)
Don't worry about the "from away" thing....it's just something for kidding around (my father has lived his entire 90 years in the state of Maine.....except for that first week of his life when his mother went to Brooklyn to give birth with the support of her sister, who was a nurse. We have teased him ruthlessly about the fact that he is "from away".... ). My wife is from Toronto and has fit in just like a native Mainer......no issues at all. It's all in your attitude. (She loves it here, by the way).
It's pronounced Ah-roo-stick. But it's always been called simply "The County" most of the time. People know what you mean.
Our kids are young, too. Feel free to ask any other questions. (I went to college in western PA....always thought the two states were similar in many ways, once you get outside Philly or Pittsburgh).
One other thing....you will get more replies if you post this in the general Maine forum. The Bangor subforum doesn't get used much. (And Bangor is almost three hours away from Caribou).

Last edited by maineguy8888; 07-27-2018 at 09:20 PM..
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:34 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,442 times
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Wow, I feel stupid for accidentally posting this in the Bangor subforum- thanks for pointing that out.

And thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I don't think I'll repost this anywhere since you gave such good answers, lol. If we do move to Caribou, we're going to be living there for a very long time and it seems like a great place to live!
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Maine
321 posts, read 389,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maineguy8888 View Post
Welcome to the forum.
One of the good things about Caribou is that there are no bad parts of town. Very unusual. (I am from Presque Isle, ten miles away. And one of the reasons we chose not to settle there is because there are at least five sketchy parts of Presque Isle, which is the same size as Caribou. There are several reasons for this fact).
We really like our pediatrician at PINES in Caribou. She has been here for fifteen years and everybody likes her. They have several other pediatricias as well. The hospital itself is better than Presque Isle's. There are two good preschools that I know of: Days of Wonder (which we checked out personally) and Miss Jordan's (which is newer and is about to expand into a larger building to accomodate their growth). There are probably other good ones, too.
Maine is an old state. But we have made friends with a decent number of parents in Caribou (and since we homeschool, we have met many families in the Caribou area through those groups.)
Don't worry about the "from away" thing....it's just something for kidding around (my father has lived his entire 90 years in the state of Maine.....except for that first week of his life when his mother went to Brooklyn to give birth with the support of her sister, who was a nurse. We have teased him ruthlessly about the fact that he is "from away".... ). My wife is from Toronto and has fit in just like a native Mainer......no issues at all. It's all in your attitude. (She loves it here, by the way).
It's pronounced Ah-roo-stick. But it's always been called simply "The County" most of the time. People know what you mean.
Our kids are young, too. Feel free to ask any other questions. (I went to college in western PA....always thought the two states were similar in many ways, once you get outside Philly or Pittsburgh).
One other thing....you will get more replies if you post this in the general Maine forum. The Bangor subforum doesn't get used much. (And Bangor is almost three hours away from Caribou).
I think that this is all good advice; however, Presque Isle’s “bad” parts aren’t like bad places in other towns. There isn’t anyplace in Presque Isle where you’d feel unsafe. Caribou has its advantages, but Presque Isle does, too: you’re closer to the airport, there are more shopping options, the higher education options are more robust, and because of the presence of the university, there may (arguably) be more cultural opportunities. Both communities are fine, and I don’t think you could go wrong with either.

The only other thing that I’d mention is that I’m not sure the hospital in Caribou is really better. TAMC in Presque Isle has greater capabilities, is ranked slightly higher in the Medicare comparison rankings, and has a stronger connection with Eastern Maine Medical Center, the region’s largest hospital. If you need trauma care or have a heart attack or some other sort of serious medical issue you’ll be flown to Bangor. The Caribou hospital can handle most day-to-day things, but you may need to go to the Presque Isle hospital for certain types of care that the Caribou hospital doesn’t offer, such as cancer treatment with radiation, kidney dialysis, intensive rehabilitation, heart and vascular diagnosis, etc.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
6,933 posts, read 4,802,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodels View Post
I think that this is all good advice; however, Presque Isle’s “bad” parts aren’t like bad places in other towns. There isn’t anyplace in Presque Isle where you’d feel unsafe. Caribou has its advantages, but Presque Isle does, too: you’re closer to the airport, there are more shopping options, the higher education options are more robust, and because of the presence of the university, there may (arguably) be more cultural opportunities. Both communities are fine, and I don’t think you could go wrong with either.

The only other thing that I’d mention is that I’m not sure the hospital in Caribou is really better. TAMC in Presque Isle has greater capabilities, is ranked slightly higher in the Medicare comparison rankings, and has a stronger connection with Eastern Maine Medical Center, the region’s largest hospital. If you need trauma care or have a heart attack or some other sort of serious medical issue you’ll be flown to Bangor. The Caribou hospital can handle most day-to-day things, but you may need to go to the Presque Isle hospital for certain types of care that the Caribou hospital doesn’t offer, such as cancer treatment with radiation, kidney dialysis, intensive rehabilitation, heart and vascular diagnosis, etc.
I didn't mean that those areas are very unsafe. They have just become really run-down and slummy. And not just a few houses, but entire neighborhoods and parts of town. (My work takes me into many, many homes throughout the County so I know the neighborhoods and homes of Presque Isle and Caribou intimately). As I said, there are definite reasons why this has happened in Presque Isle and not Caribou, but that's a sociological discussion for another day.
The mall in Presque Isle is dying. It probably won't last longer than another year or two. (The same story that's happening all over the country). Presque Isle does have WalMart and Lowes. We really dislike WalMart but end up there maybe once a month, mostly for toys. I prefer to shop local versus chain, so SW Collins in Caribou gets 98% of our business when it comes to hardware, lumber, pellets, etc. Presque Isle lost its Sears and there is now one in Caribou. That's where we get appliances. We buy most smaller household items in town at Family Dollar and Dollar General; Presque Isle has neither of those (can't compete with WalMart). We buy a lot of clothes, footwear, and groceries at Sleepers, which has been a mainstay in Caribou for over 100 years. The small specialty shops are better in Caribou than Presque Isle. So overall shopping is a wash. We do use the PI airport once every year or two but it's only 20 minutes away.
I absolutely disagree about the two hospitals. My opinion is based on forty years of personally getting care at both hospitals, as well as the many, many people I know who have had experiences at both. It is shocking what has happened to the once-fine hospital in Presque Isle. I have to agree with you that Presque Isle offers a few more services but Cary has become the "go to" choice for most people in the area for most services. It is a fantastic hospital for a town our size.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
6,933 posts, read 4,802,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8liquorice8 View Post
Wow, I feel stupid for accidentally posting this in the Bangor subforum- thanks for pointing that out.

And thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I don't think I'll repost this anywhere since you gave such good answers, lol. If we do move to Caribou, we're going to be living there for a very long time and it seems like a great place to live!
You're welcome! If you do end up moving here, we would be happy to have you and yours for dinner and show you around. We really love it here and I think your family would too.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:23 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodels View Post
I think that this is all good advice; however, Presque Isle’s “bad” parts aren’t like bad places in other towns. There isn’t anyplace in Presque Isle where you’d feel unsafe. Caribou has its advantages, but Presque Isle does, too: you’re closer to the airport, there are more shopping options, the higher education options are more robust, and because of the presence of the university, there may (arguably) be more cultural opportunities. Both communities are fine, and I don’t think you could go wrong with either.

The only other thing that I’d mention is that I’m not sure the hospital in Caribou is really better. TAMC in Presque Isle has greater capabilities, is ranked slightly higher in the Medicare comparison rankings, and has a stronger connection with Eastern Maine Medical Center, the region’s largest hospital. If you need trauma care or have a heart attack or some other sort of serious medical issue you’ll be flown to Bangor. The Caribou hospital can handle most day-to-day things, but you may need to go to the Presque Isle hospital for certain types of care that the Caribou hospital doesn’t offer, such as cancer treatment with radiation, kidney dialysis, intensive rehabilitation, heart and vascular diagnosis, etc.
Thanks for the info! Where we currently live, you have to get flown to the nearest major city for emergency medical care anyway, so it's something we already deal with. It sounds like that whole area up there is similar to where we live except the neighborhoods have way less crime and there are trees and snow and water, lol. All good things
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:24 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maineguy8888 View Post
You're welcome! If you do end up moving here, we would be happy to have you and yours for dinner and show you around. We really love it here and I think your family would too.
Thanks a lot, that's very generous of you
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Maine
321 posts, read 389,909 times
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I agree that some neighborhoods in Presque Isle have become a bit slummy, though not unsafe. I can only go by what I see when driving around, but it looks like this is happening everywhere in the county, not just in Presque Isle. Though it may be worse in Presque Isle. If you’re in these neighborhoods all of the time, I trust your judgment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maineguy8888 View Post
The mall in Presque Isle is dying. It probably won't last longer than another year or two. (The same story that's happening all over the country). Presque Isle does have WalMart and Lowes. We really dislike WalMart but end up there maybe once a month, mostly for toys. I prefer to shop local versus chain, so SW Collins in Caribou gets 98% of our business when it comes to hardware, lumber, pellets, etc. Presque Isle lost its Sears and there is now one in Caribou. That's where we get appliances. We buy most smaller household items in town at Family Dollar and Dollar General; Presque Isle has neither of those (can't compete with WalMart). We buy a lot of clothes, footwear, and groceries at Sleepers, which has been a mainstay in Caribou for over 100 years. The small specialty shops are better in Caribou than Presque Isle. So overall shopping is a wash. We do use the PI airport once every year or two but it's only 20 minutes away.
I don’t disagree that there are decent options in Caribou, and that they may work for you. I just want people to know that the shopping options they may be used to, like Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, the mall (which is in a world of trouble, as you mention), are in Presque Isle. I commend you for buying local, it’s really a good thing, and we should support local communities. But I think that the shop local approach is still the exception rather than the rule, so I think it’s helpful to point out that Presque Isle is sort of a shopping hub for that part of the county. In fact, on any given Saturday, you’ll run into half of town of Caribou at Wal-Mart.

Quote:
I absolutely disagree about the two hospitals. My opinion is based on forty years of personally getting care at both hospitals, as well as the many, many people I know who have had experiences at both. It is shocking what has happened to the once-fine hospital in Presque Isle. I have to agree with you that Presque Isle offers a few more services but Cary has become the "go to" choice for most people in the area for most services. It is a fantastic hospital for a town our size.
Both are fine hospitals, I just think it’s important to be somewhat objective when comparing them. I think that it’s good to consider personal experiences, but we have information now that considers the experiences of all patients. For example, TAMC recently received an “A” grade from the independent Leapfrog Group for patient safety, and Cary received a “B.” These rankings are quite comprehensive and measure things like infection rates, medication safety, and many other factors. Combine this with the fact that TAMC does better in the overall CMS rating, and I think it’s reasonable to argue outcomes are similar at the hospitals, with TAMC being a little bit ahead of Cary in this regard. Again, this isn’t to discount your own personal experience, but we know that if you consider the experiences of all patients, your experience probably does not represent the majority.

In terms of Cary being the “go to” choice for most people in the area...it looks like both hospitals have grown at similar rates, so I guess I’d have to see the data that shows volume shifting to support this. I’m certainly open to looking at the data if it’s out there. I’ve looked at the MHDO data that’s out there and a couple of other things.

Moral of the story: the hospitals are a polarizing topic for people in Presque Isle and Caribou. You’ll find people who hate one hospital and love the other in both communities, based on personal experience and what they’ve heard. The truth is that both are good hospitals, and you’re likely to have good experiences at either. If you’re looking for a more personal touch, Cary is probably a better option. If you’re looking at capabilities and outcomes, TAMC is better. I encourage anyone who is moving to the area to look at the facts on how the hospitals perform, ask questions, look at what services are needed, and ask around and get several different perspectives.
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
6,933 posts, read 4,802,066 times
Reputation: 5204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodels View Post
I agree that some neighborhoods in Presque Isle have become a bit slummy, though not unsafe. I can only go by what I see when driving around, but it looks like this is happening everywhere in the county, not just in Presque Isle. Though it may be worse in Presque Isle. If you’re in these neighborhoods all of the time, I trust your judgment.



I don’t disagree that there are decent options in Caribou, and that they may work for you. I just want people to know that the shopping options they may be used to, like Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, the mall (which is in a world of trouble, as you mention), are in Presque Isle. I commend you for buying local, it’s really a good thing, and we should support local communities. But I think that the shop local approach is still the exception rather than the rule, so I think it’s helpful to point out that Presque Isle is sort of a shopping hub for that part of the county. In fact, on any given Saturday, you’ll run into half of town of Caribou at Wal-Mart.



Both are fine hospitals, I just think it’s important to be somewhat objective when comparing them. I think that it’s good to consider personal experiences, but we have information now that considers the experiences of all patients. For example, TAMC recently received an “A” grade from the independent Leapfrog Group for patient safety, and Cary received a “B.” These rankings are quite comprehensive and measure things like infection rates, medication safety, and many other factors. Combine this with the fact that TAMC does better in the overall CMS rating, and I think it’s reasonable to argue outcomes are similar at the hospitals, with TAMC being a little bit ahead of Cary in this regard. Again, this isn’t to discount your own personal experience, but we know that if you consider the experiences of all patients, your experience probably does not represent the majority.

In terms of Cary being the “go to” choice for most people in the area...it looks like both hospitals have grown at similar rates, so I guess I’d have to see the data that shows volume shifting to support this. I’m certainly open to looking at the data if it’s out there. I’ve looked at the MHDO data that’s out there and a couple of other things.

Moral of the story: the hospitals are a polarizing topic for people in Presque Isle and Caribou. You’ll find people who hate one hospital and love the other in both communities, based on personal experience and what they’ve heard. The truth is that both are good hospitals, and you’re likely to have good experiences at either. If you’re looking for a more personal touch, Cary is probably a better option. If you’re looking at capabilities and outcomes, TAMC is better. I encourage anyone who is moving to the area to look at the facts on how the hospitals perform, ask questions, look at what services are needed, and ask around and get several different perspectives.
I agree that anecdotes are just anecdotes. But if you know enough of them, in detail, then you actually know more than if you just look at aggregate detail. (That's why qualitative research is viewed as valid and just as important as quantitative research). Numbers can be rigged, as we have seen over and over again.
You mention TAMC being affiliated with EMHC. That SOUNDS fine in theory, but here is how it can play out: My father went to TAMC after having a stroke a few years ago. They stabilized him and he recovered 90% of his functioning within a day. The next day was Friday, and TAMC was allowed to staff their ICU with a very young PA during the Friday evening/overnight shift, because "Bangor is just a phone call away". But when the PA decided to add a new medication at 9:00 p.m., he didn't bother calling the specialist at home down in Bangor (a nurse admitted to me that he probably didn't want to disturb his superior at that hour, and he also probably didn't want to appear as if he couldn't "handle things" by himself). The new med had disastrous effects and my father stroked again within hours of getting it (I researched the drug and this is one of the risks associated with it). My father has never really recovered from the second stroke. As a sidenote, I met with TAMC's head of community relations later to relay what happened. I'm not the suing kind and I don't fault the PA personally; I just hoped for some systemic change to avoid similar things happening again. She apologized and said she would talk to the CEO.
This is but one of many similar events that my family and friends have had happen at TAMC. My mother's new knee put in at TAMC got staff infection during the operation and had to be removed the next day; she had to be sent to Lewiston for a month. Just this week a Presque Isle client of mine took their young child to the the TAMC ER twice and got very poor care, before eventually giving up and going to Cary instead. They got appropriate care there. I find that poorer people who literally don't have the travel means to get to Caribou are stuck with TAMC; people of more means tend to go to Cary for care.
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