Entries Filed in 'Issues'
Maine’s first veteran legal needs survey, administered by Pine Tree Legal Assistance from September to December 2012, showed that 70 percent of surveyed veterans experienced a legal problem in the past year, but only 16 percent contacted an attorney. A complementary survey revealed that 98 percent of service providers had worked with veteran clients in the past year who demonstrated some type of legal need. These findings bolster the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) National survey findings that 3 out of 10 unmet needs for veterans have legal causes or solutions.
Maine is ranked third nationally in veterans per capita. With one out of nine veterans estimated to be in poverty, this survey’s findings are consistent with previous studies by the Maine Justice Action Group that revealed Mainers in poverty experience 1 to 2 legal problems a year.
The top five needs identified by veterans were problems accessing military benefits, job problems including hiring and payment, debt collection including collections harassment, child visitation, custody or support and getting or keeping social security benefits. Service providers reported similar needs for their clients with the additional concerns of problems with landlords, divorce, and getting and keeping government benefits.
Read more ›
“Maine is at the forefront when it comes to small, local farms,” said Rep Adam Goode. “We should be doing all we can to make sure more people have the opportunity to buy food grown in Maine by our local farmers.”
But according to the 2010 Census, nearly one in seven Mainers is considered “food insecure,” meaning there is a limited or uncertain food supply. The bill would bring together several local and regional groups working on food policy throughout the state, as well as farmers and other interested parties. Today the State Senate unanimously passed a measure to establish a food policy council to develop a plan to increase access to locally grown and sustainable food for more Mainers across the state.
“Quite simply, we can do more to help hungry Mainers. We have the local resources to produce much more food in Maine, and feed many more Maine people. While we struggle with this food crisis, we have farmland ready for production and a labor force ready to work,” said Senate President Justin Alfond, the bill’s sponsor.
Alfond’s bill establishes the Maine Farm-to-Plate Commission, tasked with developing a strategic plan for agricultural economic development and identifying methods and the funding necessary to strengthen links among producers, processors, and markets.
Read more ›
Eight water and wastewater projects across Maine will receive grants all together totaling $2.97 million from the USDA Rural Development program. Communities in rural Maine will see drinking water and wastewater systems improved, which could also spur economic development.
“I am pleased that USDA Rural Development can invest nearly $3 million. These projects ensure people living in Maine’s rural areas have access to clean, safe, drinking water and reliable wastewater infrastructure while helping to preserve the environment and the integrity of Maine’s pristine lakes and streams,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel.
The following organizations will receive grant funding:
Read more ›
The cover of Charles Shay's book about D-day, Korea and his personal history. Courtesy Polar Bear & Co. publisher of Solon, Maine.
Charles Shay, 89, a Penobscot Nation elder and Legion of Honor recipient, recalls his service at D-Day and the Chosin Reservoir in his new book, “Project Omaha Beach: The Life and Military Service of a Penobscot Indian Elder,” published by Polar Bear & Company of Solon.
In 2007, Shay went to Washington, D.C., to receive the Legion of Honor medal from French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Shay also received a Silver Star and four bronze battle stars as a result of his service in World War II and the Korean War.
As a young Army medic, Shay had been in the famed 1st Infantry Division that landed in the first wave on Omaha Beach, Normandy. He does not recall how many men he pulled from the water while bullets were streaming past him. “We’ve all had our individual experiences, and none are more dramatic than the next,” said Shay, characteristically modest.
Shay saved many lives on D-Day in 1944 when 3,000 Allied troops died and some 9,000 were injured or missing. He repeatedly plunged into the treacherous sea and carried critically wounded men to safety.
Read more ›
Author Neil Rolde, photo by Ramona du Houx
06/16/2013 MPBN article reported By: Irwin Gratz
Nazis killed millions during the World War II Holocaust. But many believe some of those deaths could have been avoided if other nations had been willing to open their borders to those – especially Jews – who wished to flee. Some of those accusing fingers point at Breckinridge Long, who, as a U.S. state department official, worked hard to keep European Jews out. MPBN Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talks with York resident Neil Rolde, who has written a biography of Long.
“I’ve read a number of books about the Holocaust, being Jewish myself,” says Neil Rolde (left), of York, a former state legislator, aide to Gov. Ken Curtis, and a historian. “And I would keep coming across this guy, Breckinridge Long, and he was, sort of, the villain of the piece.”
But Rolde says no one had written a biography of Long, so, working from papers and diaries at the Library of Congress, Rolde did.
Read more ›
Mike Michaud works at requiring the military to buy Made In USA footwear in his office in D.C. The New Balance shoe was manufactured in Maine. New Balance, which can make footwear to comply with federal procurement rules, employs hundreds of Mainers in Norway, Norridgewock and Skowhegan.
On June 13th, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Michaud that would require any footwear provided to members of the Armed Forces upon initial entry be made in America. New Balance, which can make footwear to comply with federal procurement rules, employs hundreds of Mainers in Norway, Norridgewock and Skowhegan.
“I have been working for years to convince President Obama and the Defense Department to comply with the law for domestically sourced uniforms,” said Michaud, who sponsored the amendment that passed last night with Rep. Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts. “This amendment will guarantee that our troops fight and train in American-made uniforms from head to toe—something that most Mainers I talk to are surprised to hear isn’t the case right now. Passage of this amendment is good news and a significant step forward for footwear manufacturing in Maine and throughout the country.”
Under the Berry Amendment, the Department of Defense (DOD) cannot procure clothing items for servicemembers unless they are produced in the United States. This has been the standing policy since 1941. Since 2002, however, DOD has circumvented this policy by issuing cash allowances to new recruits for their own purchase of athletic training shoes. Two major domestic athletic footwear brands—New Balance and Wolverine World Wide—are already prepared to produce 100 percent Berry compliant athletic shoes for the military.
Read more ›
The VolturnUS offshore wind turbine in Castine Bay, Maine, started producing electricity to the grid on May 13, 2013. VolturnUS is the first offshore floating wind turbine in the Americas. It was designed and manufactured at the University of Maine.
“At 12:00pm on June 13, 2013, the first offshore wind electrons flowed into the US electricity grid,” said Dr. Habib Dagher, P.E., Director of the Advanced Structure and Composites Center at the University of Maine and leader of the DeepCwind Consortium. The grid received the electricity from the University of Maine’s patented offshore wind turbine, the VolturnUS, which is the first of its kind in the world.
The VolturnUS, was towed nearly 30 miles from the Cianbro facility, where it was assembled in Brewer, to Castine by Maine Maritime Academy professionals. The floating trimarine unit is now anchored off the coast of Castine, Maine in 80 ft of water.
The biggest test for VolturnUS so far happened while the unit was being towed to Castine. A storm brought 4- to 6-foot waves which is the equivalent of the full-size turbine, of over 600 feet, standing up to 32- to 48-foot waves.
“That’s a hurricane-type wave,” said Dagher. “This unit saw its equivalent, and while the trailing tugboat was swaying back and forth, it was barely moving.”
That stability is due to the VolturnUS unique tri-marine concrete/composite platform which took countless tests, calibrations and engineering puzzles to perfect.
Dr. Dagher was joined by Peter Vigue, President and CEO of the Cianbro Corporation, Jake Ward, UMaine Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development, and Dr. William J. Brennan, President of Maine Maritime Academy, off the coast of Castine, aboard an MMA vessel to watch history in the making as the turbine began sending electricity to Central Maine Power by way of an undersea cable. The vessel was anchored alongside the VolturnUS 1:8, a 65-foot-tall prototype floating turbine that is 1:8th the scale of a 6-megawatt (MW), 423-foot rotor diameter design.
Read more ›
Gov. John Baldacci serves up spaghetti at a supper he hosted in 2009 for same sex marriage. Proceeds went to charities for the homeless. On June 12th at the Lewiston High School Gov. Baldacci will host a spaghetti supper for the Lewiston Fire Relief Fund. Photo by Ramona du Houx
Governor John Baldacci is hosting a spaghetti supper at the Lewiston High School, June 12th from 4:30 pm to 7pm for the Lewiston Fire Relief Fund.
Devastating fires on April 29, May 3 and May 6 in downtown Lewiston displaced nearly 200 people and destroyed nine apartment buildings.
“It’s horrific to see a community suffer like Lewiston has,” said Governor John Baldacci. “In Maine neighbors help neighbors, it’s what we do. It’s in our DNA. The supper is our way of saying we are all in this together. We’re all here to help.”
Donations of $5 are suggested but contributions of all sizes will be welcomed and all the money raised will go to the United Way of Androscoggin County Lewiston relief effort.
Read more ›
The rendering of a Norwegian composite bridge to be built by Harbor Technologies. The bridge is designed to represent the migration of salmon, so concrete and steel could not be used.
The Brunswick company specializes in composite construction which makes structures more durable, more weather resistant and impact resistant. Working with researchers at the University of Maine’s composite Laboratory Harbor Technologies has developed new unique designs for pylons, and bridges. photo courtesy Harbor Technologies.
Harbor Technologies, a Brunswick company, has a $500,000 contract with a Norwegian firm to supply composite panels for a bridge to be built in Mandal, Norway.
Harbor Technologies is a composite manufacturer that produces bridge beams for transportation departments, such as the Knickerbocker Bridge in Boothbay, and composite pilings for the marine industry. They have an annual revenue between $6 million and $7 million and employ 40 people.
Martin Grimnes, founder of Harbor Technologies, explained that the Norwegian bridge is designed to represent the migration of salmon, so concrete and steel could not be used. Harbor Technologies will ship the bridge components through Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company that recently made its North American headquarters in Portland. The composite panels are each 20 feet long.
Read more ›
Tags: Cutting-edge technology·Jobs·Transportation