Entries Filed in 'Community Maine'

Jackson’s thermal energy bill to look at renewable biomass for energy production becomes law

April 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Creative Economy, Energy Issues, Maine's green energy potential

The Senate unanimously gave final approval to a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson to study the potential benefits of biomass for renewable energy.The measure directs the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to complete a comprehensive study on the potential benefits and barriers to making thermal energies eligible for the State of Maine’s renewable energy portfolio standard. This standard is a regulation that requires at least 30% of energy production in Maine to come from renewable energy sources.

“With more and more Mainers struggling to heat their homes, we need to explore alternative sources for energy,” said Senator Jackson of Allagash. “Biomass is one option for renewable energy, and this study will help us determine the role it could play in Maine’s energy future.”

As part of the study, the PUC will review the legislative actions of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maryland to add thermal energies to their portfolios. The PUC will report their findings to the Legislature in 2015. The measure, LD 1468 “Resolve, Directing the Public Utilities Commission To Study the Potential Benefits and Barriers Involved in Making Renewable Thermal Technologies Eligible for Qualification in Maine’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard”, will be sent to Governor LePage for his signature.

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Bill to ensure Maine meets dam relicensing deadlines is now law

April 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Capitol news, Community Maine, Environment

LD 1826, An Act to Protect the State’s Authority in Issues Concerning Federal Relicensing of Dams Located in the State, became law without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage.

“I’m so pleased that this bill is now law. The state has forfeited too much by missing deadlines in the past. These are mistakes that have serious implications for wildlife, traditional sports, property owners and our recreation and tourism economies,” said Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, the sponsor of the bill. The bill had passed unanimously “under the hammer” in both chambers.

McCabe of Skowhegan introduced the bill in response to the public outcry over the missed deadlines, which resulted in the state losing its authority to weigh in on water quality issues in those bodies of water. During the LePage administration, DEP missed three relicensing deadlines for and nearly missed a fourth.

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Maine’s lawmakers rejects proposed mining rules

April 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Community Maine, Environment

The House on Wednesday rejected inadequate proposed mining rules and gave its final approval to a measure that directs the Department of Environmental Protection to draft rules that will protect Maine’s environment and taxpayers.
The House gave unanimous approval to LD 1772. The bill requires new rules to be rewritten and submitted to the Legislature by Feb. 1, 2016.

“Maine’s natural resources play a vital role in the state’s economic security,” said Rep. Joan Welsh, the House chair of the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. “We must make sure that mining doesn’t harm the environment. Mining rules must be done right to ensure that Mainers aren’t faced with a mess they have to clean up.”

The rules rejected Wednesday would allow mines that are so polluting that they would require treatment of toxic wastewater in perpetuity. They would also allow the possibility of the spread of polluted groundwater and mines to be located on public land and next to lakes and rivers.

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Belfast, Maine water district receives $1.9 million to reconstruct Front Street

April 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Economy, News from Washington

The Front Street Shipyard in Belfast Maine will be adding new jobs because of a federal grant. Photo by Ramona du Houx

The Front Street Shipyard in Belfast Maine will be adding new jobs because of a federal grant. Photo by Ramona du Houx


The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced that the City of Belfast and the Belfast Water District have been awarded a grant in the amount of 1.9 million dollars through its Public Works program. These funds will be used for the reconstruction and enhancement of a significant section of Front Street in Belfast, with the intent to facilitate economic growth in this area of Belfast’s working waterfront.

“This is terrific news, and a great opportunity for the City of Belfast to assist its existing waterfront businesses,” said Walter Ash, Belfast’s Mayor.

In particular, the project will make more efficient the operations of two of Belfast’s largest employers, Front Street Shipyard – a premier shipyard, and Penobscot McCrum – one of North America’s largest suppliers of value-added potato products.

“At Front Street Shipyard we are continuously grateful for the remarkable support for our growing business from the local level all the way to the federal level. This grant will enhance not only our waterfront and our city, but also our prospects for future growth as an entire community,” said JB Turner, President of Front Street Shipyard.

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Portland recreation program rewards 500 kids with Sea Dog baseball team tickets

April 9th, 2014 · No Comments · Books, Community Maine

The City of Portland announces that its Read Your Way To Opening Day program is rewarding more than 500 kids with tickets to the Portland Sea Dogs opening day game on Thursday, April 10. The kids are being rewarded for participating in Portland Recreation’s “recreational literacy” program, which asks kids to read 50 books (if they are in younger grades) or 50 chapters. Kids who read more than this are able to earn an extra voucher good for four general admission tickets to a game later in the season. This year, 511 children earned opening day tickets and 379 earned the extra vouchers.

“I want to congratulate these children for participating in our program,” said Mayor Michael Brennan. “Reading is not only a catalyst for students’ future academic success, it can be fun. And this Portland Recreation program is a great complement to our other educational initiatives.”

The program was initiated in the fall of 2006 by Portland Recreation, the Portland Sea Dogs and the Portland Public Library. While Portland Recreation’s programs involve reading throughout the entire year, the Opening Day incentive starts in January when the children return from the December break and concludes at the end of March.

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Call for Artists: the Howard Hill Preservation Project at Harlow

April 8th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Arts & Entertainment, Community Maine

The Harlow Gallery in partnership with the Kennebec Land Trust (KLT), proudly presents a very special call for art in celebration of the KLT’s pending acquisition of Howard Hill in Augusta, 164 wooded acres that serve as the scenic forested backdrop for Maine’s State Capitol. This ambitious project is part of KLT’s 25th Anniversary “Conservation Across Generations” campaign. Artists are invited to create art depicting or inspired by the Howard Hill property environs, history and views from or including the hill.

Charles Codman’s famous 1836 painting of the original Maine State House features Howard Hill at a time when Augusta was defined by an agrarian landscape. For generations, artists, writers and Maine residents have noted that Howard Hill symbolizes the connections between Maine people and the land.

The KLT and Harlow Gallery are planning a series of guided tours and plain air painting events to allow artists and photographers opportunities to visit the property and create art this spring and summer. Art submissions will be accepted by email through September 1, 2014, and reviewed by a curatorial committee to include, among others, Norm Rodrigue, KLT Director and photographer and Harlow Gallery executive director Deborah Fahy.

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Mike Michaud’s economic plan for Maine

April 8th, 2014 · No Comments · Capitol news, Community Maine, Economy

Maine Made

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Maine’s area agencies on aging launch Money Minders Program

April 8th, 2014 · No Comments · Community Maine, Healthy Lifestyles, Public Safety

Many of Maine’s older adults are living independently with strong networks of friends, are active in their communities and have trusted family members. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for all older Mainers and far too many have no one to help them when they need it. When the need involves managing money, this can leave older adults vulnerable and at risk of losing their independence.

“Many older adults need assistance managing their bills and checkbooks for a variety of reasons,” said Jessica Maurer, Executive Director of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “Whether they have trouble physically writing checks, have never had to manage a checkbook or budget or want some protection against the barrage of frauds and scams aimed at them, Money Minders can offer them peace of mind.”

Thanks to a generous grant by the John T. Gorman Foundation, Maine’s five Area Agencies on Aging have just launched a statewide program called Money Minders which is aimed at helping older adults maintain their independence and peace of mind. The Money Minders Program matches trained, supervised, bonded volunteers with adults 55 and older who need help establishing a monthly budget and ensuring that all bills get paid in a timely and accurate manner. The program is free for clients who meet low to moderate income and asset guidelines and other eligibility criteria.

In addition to helping people avoid frauds and scams, our volunteers help clients connect to other services they need as they age and offer much needed socialization to those who are isolated. In 2012, the Department of Justice estimated that 1 in 9 adults over 60 will be a victim of elder abuse and financial exploitation each year. Financial exploitation is the second most common form of elder abuse.

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Maine Arts Education Day at the Capitol a success

April 7th, 2014 · No Comments · Arts & Entertainment, Capitol news, Community Maine, Education, Uncategorized

Student representatives of the National Art Honor Society at Mount Desert Island High School

Student representatives of the National Art Honor Society at Mount Desert Island High School

Arts Education Day, held at the state capital on April 2, 2014 by the Maine Alliance for Arts and Education (MAAE), was well attended success for arts education.

The event was organized by MAAE’s Executive Director, Peter Alexander, to show appreciation for art educators and to bring attention to the importance of supporting the arts in Maine school systems.

Representative Mary Nelson announced the Joint Resolution commemorating Arts Education Day and honored awardees.

“This morning we declared that Wednesday, April 2nd is Arts Education Day for the state of Maine and we are here to honor several arts educators,” said Nelson. “Arts educators work everyday to deal with our students to help them use all sides of their brain.”

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Maine artist, Ramona du Houx, exhibits at the New York City ArtExpo 2014 and Portland’s Constellation Gallery, simultaneously

April 3rd, 2014 · 2 Comments · Arts & Entertainment, Community Maine, Creative Economy

Discovery by Ramona du Houx

Discovery by Ramona du Houx

Maine artist, Ramona du Houx, is in a current group exhibition at the New York City ArtExpo 2014 from April 4th to the 6th and at Portland, Maine’s Constellation Gallery.

“Being a part of the ArtExpo While exhibiting in Portland is a great opportunity,” said du Houx.

The New York City ArtExpo 2014 offers artists chances to exhibit with galleries that represent them worldwide.

Du houx is currently represented by the art’s district Storks Gallery of Tokyo, which exhibited her work in a solo show in February of 2012, and will have another solo show of Ramona’s work in September of 2014.

“Ramona’s work is unique and captures emotion that stirs the soul. It’s timeless,” said Takafumi Suzuki, Storks Gallery Owner. “It’s a privilege to represent her.”

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