Entries Filed in 'Community Maine'
Solar powered car at ReVision in Maine. Photo by Ramona du Houx
The City of Portland unveiled its first electric vehicle charging station last week at the Elm Street Parking Garage. Two level II electric vehicle chargers are now operational, one of which is for use for the City’s new 2014 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and one which is for public use. The level II charger can charge a vehicle in four to five hours as compared to home style chargers that plug-in to any 110-volt outlet and take approximately 12 hours for a full charge.
The City’s new Nissan Leaf is being used by the Inspections Division and will be shared among other employees conducting city business to encourage use. The City was awarded a grant from Central Maine Power that funds half of the Leaf’s two-year lease.
Use of the Leaf allows the City to pilot electric vehicles, diversify its vehicle fleet, realize economic and environmental benefits, offer a public charging station, raise awareness and encourage further adoption of plug-in vehicles, and further its commitment to sustainable transportation options.
The state of Maine must provide Medicaid coverage to several thousand low income 19- and-20-year-old young adults according to a ruling by the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We deny the petition for review and find no constitutional violation,” wrote the Court in it’s determination.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills agreed that the federal government’s action was appropriate.
Maine tried to drop the young adult coverage in 2012, but the federal Department of Health and Human Services disapproved. That’s when the state petitioned for review on constitutional grounds.
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Tags: ACA in Maine·Health and Human Services
Tags: Agriculture·agriculture in Maine·Civil Rights
Representatives of striking FairPoint workers will meet with officials from FairPoint Communications on Nov. 18 in Boston. The company has been struggling with service disruptions and failing to keep up with customer complaints since the strike began on Oct. 17.
A federal mediator arranged the Nov. 18 meeting, which is an effort to jump-start contract talks that FairPoint abruptly ended this summer.
“We’ve always been committed to reaching an agreement that ensures good jobs and quality service for northern New England,” said Peter McLaughlin, Chair of System Council T-9 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “We’ll be in Boston ready to find common ground, and we urge the company to return to the table in the same spirit.”
FairPoint officials walked away from the bargaining table in August and imposed conditions that pay some new employees a wage that’s below the poverty level for a family of four. FairPoint, a North Carolina-based company largely owned by Wall Street hedge funds, also implemented a controversial measure that lets it outsource work to contractors outside New England and overseas.
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“I am pleased to be here with former Eliot Cutler supporters who, like me, think that he has many good ideas and know-how,” said Bobby Monks, a Cape Elizabeth businessman, in the photo. “But Mike Michaud is strong on women’s rights, strong on the environment, and brings a creative vision for business and economic development for the state of Maine. If we join together, we can defeat Paul LePage.”
With one week remaining before Election Day and the polls showing Paul LePage and Mike Michaud neck-and-neck in the race to be Maine’s next governor, a half-dozen high-profile supporters of Eliot Cutler gathered at Ocean Gateway in Portland and announced their intention to unite behind Michaud in order to defeat LePage.
“Going back to 2010 I have been a fervent Cutler supporter,” said Jim Shaffer, a retired educator and former CEO of the Guy Gannet Company from Cape Elizabeth. “I certainly think he has the best ideas for moving the state forward and strong skills for executing those ideas. I know many of you share this view. But this week I’ve come to a sad conclusion that Eliot isn’t going to win, and if I vote for him, I might be doing damage because Maine can ill afford four more years of Paul LePage. I’m now sporting a Michaud sticker on my car. I’ll vote for him, and I hope you will join me.”
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Tags: Economy·Elections in Maine
Portland City Hall, photo by Ramona du Hxou
Portland, Maine recently received a $50,000 grant from The National League of Cities to create programs providing children with after school and summer meals.
The $50,000 grant will support ongoing efforts to expand summer meal programs across the City and to break new ground by establishing programs that provide nutritious meals for kids afterschool as well.
“With over 50 percent of our students eligible for free or reduced lunch, it’s clear we need to do whatever we can to ensure every kid has access to a nutritious meal even when they’re not in school. This funding will significantly expand the impact of what has already been a successful collaboration over the past few years among our deeply committed partners. We’re grateful that we’ve been selected,” said Mayor Michael Brennan.
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Shenna Bellows walks into Waterville during her 350 mile walk across Maine to connect with people. Photo Ramona du Houx
Shenna Bellows represents the wave of the future, in young candidates, whom have concluded that the way to bring positive change to their communities for them is through public service. Many in her generation took part in “occupy” demonstrations around the country, and globe, voicing their dissatisfaction with how the corporate world and our government is working. But too many were without direction. Not Bellows, who wants to become an elected official and bring people together in coalitions to make change happen.
“I’m walking to lift up the voices of people in communities who have been left out and left behind by decisions in Washington that benefit the wealthiest corporations and individuals at the expense of our local communities,” said Bellows, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate for Maine.
Bellows walks in Fairfield on her 350 mile trail with supporters for her Senate race. Photo by Ramona du Houx
On July 20, Bellows took her first step on her 350-mile campaign trek. She made stops in more than 63 communities by the time she reached Kittery, on schedule Aug. 12.
“I think the Walk represents what grass-roots democracy should look like,” said Bellows. “Our elections should be about conversations in people’s living rooms and dooryards about issues that matter to our communities. Too often our elections have become about who has the most money wins.”
Bellows served as Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maine for the last eight years, where she built coalitions with Republicans and Democrats to pass groundbreaking privacy and civil rights laws.
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Tags: Elections·Elections in Maine·Shenna Bellows for U.S. Senate
The “Put the Middle Class First” bus campaign tour held a press conference in front of the Paul Bunyan statue on Main Street in Bangor October 7th.
Speakers like Ohio’s former Governor Ted Strickland said Republicans are only looking out for themselves. One reason he cited was the fact that middle class wages are stagnant – staying the same as they were in the 1970′s as cost of living goes up. He said public servants like Mike Michaud for governor, and Shenna Bellows for U.S. Senate will help change this by increasing the minimum wage. President Barack Obama has called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.
“I wanted to come to this city because I know Mike Michaud. I served with him when I was in the House of Representatives. I sat beside him in the Veteran’s Affairs Committee… I know his values. I know his commitment to public service and I know he’ll be a great governor for the state of Maine,” said Strickland, who is now President of CAP Action Fund.
Bangor Council member Joe Baldacci was there.
“The bus tour is focusing on how the current policies in Augusta and in Congress are hurting middle class families. And that we need to invest in people, in our fellow citizens- higher minimum wage, more affordable college opportunities and protecting Medicare and Social Security,” said Councilor Baldacci.
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Tags: Maine's quality of life
“I believe this guy will be an unbelievable governor,” said former President William Jefferson Clinton holding Michaud’s plan for Maine’s future. photo by Ramona du Houx
“I believe this guy will be an unbelievable governor,” said former President William Jefferson Clinton. The most popular president of modern times didn’t hold back exposing Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s Tea Party extreme policies that have hurt Maine, while he championed the candidacy of Democratic challenger Congressman Mike Michaud during a steamy summer rally at the Portland Exposition Center. More than 1,600 Michaud supporters sandwiched together listening to the call to action.
“Here’s what I know,” said Clinton. “Everywhere in America where people are following inclusive visions and cooperative decision-making they’re making good things happen. Everywhere in the world where people are following a model of inclusive decision-making and good cooperation, good things are happening. Everywhere in the world where people favor division over inclusion, good things are not happening- bad things are. Ideology makes you do dumb things.” Clinton was directly referring to Page’s opposition to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. LePage vetoed the measure the legislature approved.
President Clinton listens to mike Michaud’s speech about how he will bring positive change to Maine. photo by Ramona du Houx
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Congresswomen Chellie Pingree helped increase USDA funding for Maine agriculture.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced that Maine will be getting over $600,000 in federal Specialty Crop Block Grants to fund a number of efforts that will strengthen and grow the local food economy. Pingree authored a provision of the recently passed Farm Bill that provides substantially increased funding for this program.
The grants cover a range of projects, from research into pest management for potatoes to a study of the effects of pesticides on honeybees to a joint project with the University of Maine to develop a hop industry in Maine.
“Maine has a great variety of small farmers and producers who are already contributing to our economy,” Pingree said. “These types of investments were are announcing today will help them grow their operations and get involved in new crops, strengthening the local farm economy.”
Pingree was the driving force behind a number of local food provisions in the Farm Bill signed by President Obama earlier this year, include a substantial increase in funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
The $602,678 grant will go to the Maine Department of Agriculture, which will distribute it to 11 projects around the state:
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Tags: Agriculture·Chillie Pingree