Subaru Drive to North Smithfield, MA

by Tom Talbott on October 19, 2014

Our Subaru drive today takes us to North Smithfield, MA,  located in Providence County, Rhode Island. The town was incorporated in 1871, and has a total area of 24.7 square miles. The town is part of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, recognized as the oldest industrialized region in the United States.

In the early years, North Smithfield was primarily known as a farming and mill town, with power coming from the Branch and Blackstone Rivers. An area known as the village of Slatersville, which in the early 1800′s included a mill described as the “largest and most modern industrial building of its day”.  Unfortunately, that first mill burned down in 1826, and in its place a stone mill was built.  That mill still stands today, on a National Historic District.

At your North Attleboro, MA Subaru dealer, we’re always interested in the surrounding communities in which we work, and North Smithfield is less than 15 minutes away.  For example, there is an archaeological site in North Smithfield known as the Three Dog Site.   And we love to tour the Smithfield Road Historic District, known for its beautiful Colonial American, Federal and Victorian homes.  It’s a lovely drive!

The Peleg Arnold Tavern in North Smithfield

The Peleg Arnold Tavern in North Smithfield, built in 1690.

 

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Franklin MA - Nations First Public LIbrary

Sign in Franklin MA: Nations First Public Library

Our Subaru drive goes by the book!

Local libraries are an important part of every community. In Franklin, MA,  the town can lay claim to having the country’s first library, with books donated by none other than…you guessed it…Ben Franklin!

Ben Franklin never lived there, but the town was named in his honor when it formed in 1778,  an offshoot of the town of Wrentham.  Actually, the town was going to be named Exeter, but Franklin was both a popular choice, as well as a shrewd one.  In fact, they had hoped that Franklin might feel so honored he might reciprocate by donating a bell for the church.  Instead, they received 116 books!  At first, no one was really sure what to do with the books, or who would be allowed to use them. It took almost 10 years before a decision was made, and it was a smart one. The books would be lent to the townspeople for free, and returned in a set period of time.  A library was born!

Someone must have been learning their lessons, because the fellow recognized as one of the leaders in public education, Horace Mann, was born in Franklin.  Mann promoted the concept of universal public education, and established a system in Massachusetts that would be utilized throughout the country.

Staying in the school theme, in the Franklin Historic District stands the Red Brick School, considered to be one of the oldest schools, and certainly holding the record for longest functioning – 180 years old as of 2013!

So when it comes to a history of readin’ and writin’, visit Franklin, MA.  It’s located in Norfolk County, MA, close to the Rhode Island border.  It’s just 20 minutes from where we work in North Attleboro, MA, and we enjoy our day trips to the area.  Franklin is one of the towns included in the United Regional Chamber of Commerce, and we are proud to be a participating member.

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Best Places To Work In Maine

by Tom Talbott on October 9, 2014

Best Places To Work In Maine Patriot Subaru

Best Places To Work In Maine Award

It’s a lot easier to get up and get to work every day, if you like what you do, and like the people you work with.  It also can be said that if you’re looking for a job, you want to find a company that has a good reputation for taking care of its employees, as well as its customers.  To this end, the Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resources Management began to inquire as to what a list of the Best Places To Work In Maine would look like.  At your Subaru Dealer in Maine we welcomed this opportunity to participate.

The organization reached out to the Best Companies Group, located in Harrisburg, PA.   BCG developed an intensive study that starts with an Employer Benefits and Practices Questionnaire, where important info on the company’s policies and practices are detailed by an administrator. Next, an Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey is given to the employees. A minimum of 70% of the employees must respond.  All of this information is analyzed and placed into 8 Core Focus groups: Leadership and Planning, Corporate Culture and Communications, Role Satisfaction, Work Environment, Relationship with Supervisor, Training, Development and Resources, Pay and Benefits and Overall Engagement.

The results are then announced, first by alphabetical order.  The recognized businesses gather for an evening event, where recognition is given to the businesses by their business size, and how they rank.

In 2014, the top Small Employer Award (15-49 Employees) went to TruChoice Federal Credit Union, the Medium Size (50-249 Employees)  went to Patriot Subaru of Saco,  and the Large Size (250+) went to Edward Jones.  Complete Results.

 

 

 

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GoPro Digital Video Cameras – Capture the Moment!

by Tom Talbott on August 31, 2014

We’ve all seen what the GoPro Digital Video Camera can do – those helmet cam shots, or mounted in places where a regular camera would be challenged.  The GoPro fits in the palm of your hand, its incredibly light, and its rugged.  From humble beginnings in 2004 to an IPO in 2014 that raised $427 million on day one, the GoPro has become the most exciting new option for adventurers and sports enthusiasts, as well as a wide range of interesting and creative uses.

Patriot Subaru, located in Saco, Maine and Patriot Subaru North Attleboro, MA are both giving away two GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition cameras from each of its stores, to celebrate the launch of the new 2015 Subaru Outback and Legacy.  Since the Outback, Subaru’s most popular model is billed as the vehicle “made to take you places you’ve never been”, the dealership thought it would be a great promotional tool to give the GoPro.  Why not capture those moments of visiting new places on a camera that can do it all!  The giveaway in September 15, 2014, so it may be over by the time you read this, but suffice it to say, hundreds of entries are pouring in, and four people will be very happy to win.

This may be a different blog than we usually do, but we’re excited about this event!  Patriot Subaru GoPro Giveaway

 

 

 

 

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Subaru fans and followers were looking forward to the new 2015 Outback, the flagship of the Subaru line. The Outback has been a top-seller with over 120,000 sold last year, so one might ask if Subaru could have left it alone. Woe the adage, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  Fortunately, Subaru has the good sense to make some modest adjustments, which by all accounts has strengthened the brand. At your Portland Maine auto dealer, they’re selling fast.

2015 Subaru Outback Patriot

For starters, the 2015 Outback looks more streamlined and sleeker than previous years. There is less plastic and more styling.  As Car and Driver put it, “It’s a better hiking boot.”   Aptly put, because the Outback is billed as the vehicle to take you places you’ve never been.  A tad longer by .06 inch, wheelbase up a notch. A little roomier inside, particularly up front.  Notably the quality of the interior design has been upgraded without being gaudy.

No change in the engine, but Subaru did take some steps to quiet the cabin. The steering ratio is a bit quicker, and the electric power assist is new. The suspension was tightened up just a little, but the Outback continues to deliver a smooth ride when the road gets rough.  Subaru says that this model is 59% stiffer in torsion and 35% in bending.  That may been tiny fractions of an inch, but it can be felt in the reduced body lean.  Also of note, the MPG rating went up 1 mile city and 3 highway, respectively 23/33.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety gives the 2015 Outback its highest rating, a Top Safety Pick +. The optional EyeSight is given a rating of Superior, and is available on the Premium model.

Give Subaru credit for taking a proven winner, and making the tweaks in all the right places, and in balance with what the Outback stands for:  A versatile, reliable vehicle that is cherished by its loyal owners, and rapidly gaining new ones.

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Subaru of America has reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that after examination of returned parts, it showed that some brake lines were susceptible to rust after several years of exposure to salt water,  common to areas where heavy salting is used in winter conditions.  Further testing revealed a gap in the shielding around the fuel tank which allowed the salty brine to seep in and corrode the area, which had the potential to compromise the line and allow brake fluid to escape.

Subaru will recall approximately 660,000 vehicles in 20 states that use road salt on a regular basis.  The vehicles involved are the 2009-13 Forester, the 2005-9 Legacy and Outback, the 2008-14 Impreza WRX/ WRX STi, and the 2008-11 Impreza.  The 20 states include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia — or in the District of Columbia.

No accidents or injuries have been reported or attributed to the potential corrosion.  Subaru, a unit of Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc, has said that they will contact owners directly, and those customers can schedule service with local Subaru dealerships.  If a repair is necessary, it will be done free of charge, and if it had been repaired previously, the customer is entitled to reimbursement.   The service center will check for any corrosion and brake fluid leakage, and if none is found, an anti-corrosion wax will be applied.  If leakage is detected, the brake line will be replaced, and rustproofed with the anti-corrosion wax.

Subaru noted that if there was any brake fluid leakage, a warning light would turn on, alerting the driver.  The driver would not lose braking power, but the driver would notice a sluggish response and the car would need a longer distance to slow down or bring the car to a stop.  This could lead to an accident, so as in any recall, do not ignore it.  You may not have symptoms now, but don’t find out the hard way!

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Benefits of Organic Vegetable Gardens

by Tom Talbott on June 14, 2014

Simply put, organic gardens don’t rely on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  But while you are eliminating some things, you still need to develop a natural ecosystem that fosters growth, and wards off pests and plant disease.  Here’s a quick look at how it can be done.  At your Portland, Maine  area Subaru store, we have a wonderful organic vegetable garden tended to by associates, as well as customers.

Patriot Subaru Organic Garden

 

First, prepare the soil. You should have it tested so you understand the pH and nutrient levels. Mix in compost, leaf and grass clippings, and composted manure. Local farms are the best source – and animals that have been organically raised.

Choosing the right plants is of course, key!  Refer to the USDA’s Hardiness Zones, and consider variables such as light, moisture, drainage. Choose native plants that grow well in your area.

Watering is best in the morning, when it is cooler and more can seep in before evaporating.  If you water at night, plants stay damp and wet, and leaves them exposed to more fungal diseases.  Water the roots around the base, not the greenery.

Don’t forget to weed!  Weeds use up valuable nutrients.  Many people like to use organic mulch which suppresses weeds, and also helps the soil.

Instead of pesticides, introduce ladybugs, frogs, and toads.  Leave a source of water for them to stay near by!   Fencing with chicken wire keeps gophers and rabbits away.

The more you harvest, the more the plants will produce, so start picking when ripe!

Your garden can bring you years of great food, and good, relaxing fun.  For more information, google Starting An Organic Garden.  Here’s one story:  Click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2015 Subaru Outback

Consistency counts, and in this department the Subaru Outback continues to deliver what the customer wants -  Reliability, comfort, style, durability, and efficiency.  The 2015 Outback, and the 2015 Subaru Legacy will be rolling out this summer,  but the wave of early Outback reviews from industry are two thumbs up.

Subaru says the changes to the 2015 Outback are designed to make it roomier, more powerful, increased efficiency and quieter.Straight on, the nose is the first noticeable change, with a hexagonal grille, a sleeker angle to the windshield, and new shoulder contours.  The rocker panel now doubles as a step for when you need to get items up on the roof rack.  8.7 inches of ground clearance means it’s always ready for off-road fun.

The engine will either be a 2.5 liter/4 cylinder boxer engine, 175hp, or a 3.6 liter/6 cylinder boxer, 256hp.  The former delivers 25/33 city/highway mpg, almost 10% more than the predecessor.   The Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) is now standard on all models.

The interior offers 2.7 additional cubic feet, more hip, shoulder, elbow, and legroom. The cargo area grows 1.2 cubic feet.  Plenty of room for you and the St. Bernard.  Let’s face it,  Outback owners think of those things!   The Outback enhances its position as a safety performance leader with new front seat cushion airbags. One of the noted improvements is a reduction in cabin noise.

The standard equipment list continues to grow, with a rear view camera, larger touchscreens, aka cool. The options list expands too, with steering responsive fog lights on models with Subaru Eyesight, and a rear detection system.

Subaru is on a roll, with great success on all models – Forester, Impreza, BRZ, WRX, Crosstrek all pulling in accolades.  The 2015 Outback and Legacy models push the envelope further, and remains the flagship model in an impressive fleet.

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Installing A Car Seat Properly

by Tom Talbott on May 16, 2014

This is gong to seem incredibly obvious, but the two very important things that you need to do in order to properly install a car seat is….. Read the Car Seat Instruction Manual that comes with the car seat,  as well as the section in your vehicle’s Owners Manual that pertains to car seat installation. Resist the urge to just buckle it in and think it’s done right.   Every car seat is different, and every vehicle is different, creating different combinations. If you install the seat incorrectly,  the protective measures will not be in place, and the risk of injury increases.  So for all you “DIY” Do-It-Yourselfer’s,  this is one project that really needs to go by the book.

Safety Seat Installation

Safety Seat Installation

So if you thought this blog was going to give you the steps to install, think again!  Reach for those instructions and owner’s manual.  Next, do the smart thing, and take it to an Inspection Station near you. This will usually be a police station, fire station, or some other form of local community civic service. Call for an appointment.  Many of these stations offer clinics, or free inspection hours, so call them for information.  Click here for a locator that can assist you.

Ok, so your Portland Maine Subaru dealer didn’t answer all your questions, but we hope we imparted the best possible information, which is simply to not take shortcuts, or gerry-rig the installation.   Take the extra time and read your instructions carefully!

 

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Athletes Of All Ages Started With A Book

by Tom Talbott on May 4, 2014

These days, it is more than common to find athletes of all ages competing in a wide variety of sports.  Adult leagues abound for adults, with men and women in their 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, and 60′s competing at different levels.  We’re not talking about lightly tossing a ball around, we’re talking full out play in basketball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, to cycling, skiing, and of course road running. Track and field events have competitive athletes who train and prepare for race day,  70, 80 years of age. Many businesses, like your Maine Subaru dealer, has on-site fitness centers for employees to exercise during the work day.

Prior to the 1970′s,  youthful ambitions of athletic participation was almost exclusively for the young of age, not just the young at heart.  To find a “runner” in their 40′s still competing was an anomaly. Friends would say, “give it up old man!”,  genuinely suggesting that they were way past their prime.  But in 1977, one book turned the tide.

Jim Fixx Complete Book of Running

Jim Fixx Complete Book of Running

At the age of 35, Jim Fixx weighed 240 pounds, and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day. With a family history of heart disease, Jim started jogging and running to get in shape. 10 years later, smoke free and 60 pounds lighter,  he would write the seminal book on the fitness revolution,  “The Complete Book of Running”.  Published in 1977, the book quickly sold one million copies. In a matter of months,  “going for a jog” became the daily routine for millions of adults.   The book was able to communicate in common man terms, the benefits of exercise to increase the average life expectancy. It was not based on scientific research,  but on common sense.  It worked.

It was ironic that the man who wrote the book would succumb to a 1984 heart attack on a quiet back road in Vermont, at the age of 52.  The autopsy revealed that Fixx’s heart had one artery blocked 95%, a second 86%, and a third 70%.  The years of smoking, his stressful job, a second divorce, and his prior weight, combined with the family genetics all contributed to his death.  Still, the medical opinion was virtually unchallenged, that Fixx’s book linking a healthy lifestyle and exercise with longevity were correct.

The iconic book cover, featuring a runner’s muscular legs, red shorts and red shoes, was in fact Jim Fixx.    In 1982,  Jim wrote a companion book entitled “Jim Fixx’s Second Book of Running”.  A third book, published posthumously  in 1984, was called “Maximum Sports Performance” which discussed not only the physical benefits of exercise, but the psychological benefits, including reducing stress and tension.

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