Entries Filed in 'Issue 35'

Camden chosen as National Historic Landmark

March 11th, 2013 · No Comments · Community Maine, Creative Economy, Issue 35

The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated the Camden Amphitheatre and Public Library in Camden, Maine, as one of 13 new National Historic Landmarks.

“I’m very pleased the Camden Amphitheatre and Public Library has been chosen as a National Historic Landmark. The beautiful landscaping there captures a fascinating part of our nation’s cultural history while accentuating the natural beauty of the Maine coast,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “As a hub of the Camden community, the library’s designation will be another great asset in bringing visitors to the area. I appreciate all the work local groups have done to support the library and keep it and its grounds in such excellent condition for so long.”

Last fall, Pingree sent a letter to the head of the National Historic Landmarks Program urging them to designate the Camden Public Library.

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Maine Leads Trend Toward Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

March 7th, 2013 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Economy, Energy Issues, Environment, Issue 35, Maine's green energy potential

From:SustainableBusiness.com News

As countries around the world focus more on offshore wind, scientists are working on next-generation turbines that float rather than having to be anchored into the sea bed.

Having to anchor them to withstand extreme winds or rough seas limits offshore turbines to being sited in water no deeper than about 165 feet (50 meters).

But if wind turbines can float, they can be installed in water up to 2,300 feet deep. “Many countries all over the world have steeply sloping coast,” says Frank Sandner, an engineer at the University of Stuttgart. “Floating wind turbines are the only chance to utilize the wind energy out on the ocean.”

A $120 million demonstration project starts this year off the coast of Maine – the first test for floating turbines in the US. They will ride on the surface of the water and simply be tethered to the ocean floor.

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LePage renews veto threat while legislature continues work and passes bills

March 6th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Capitol news, Community Maine, Economy, Issue 35, Public Safety

Last Friday Governor Paul LePage said he would not sign any bills unless he gets his way on a complicated scheme to take out a bond- while holding back voter approved bonds – to pay for a hospital debt- of which $3.7 billion has already being paid. On Wednesday, a reporter asked LePage whether he might sign some laws that have been approved by the Legislature, and not others, as many bills have bipartisan support. LePage replied, “Nothing gets done. Nothing.”

Despite Maine’s cost shift governor many Republicans and Democrats are still determined to work together and work is getting accomplished. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle believe the people of Maine are worth fighting for and a number of bills have been passed. (listed below) A bipartisan atmosphere still exists on the third floor of the capitol where the House and Senate meet.

“We’re still working together despite distractions,” said President of the Senate Justin Alfond. “We’re focused on the economy and how to grow the middle class.”

Meanwhile LePage told the Bangor Daily News today, “You know, it’s like a day care over there,” he said, referring to the State House.

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Waterford passes resolution opposing Tar Sands oil transportation through town

March 2nd, 2013 · No Comments · Community Maine, Economy, Environment, Issue 35

“After hearing from experts on both sides, and after more than an hour of discussion, the people of Waterford have spoken,” says Waterford Select Board Chair Randy Lessard. “We feel as a town that transporting tar sands oil through the Portland-Montreal pipeline poses unpredictable risks to the health, safety, natural resources, property and economic welfare of Waterford residents.”

Waterford residents voted today to pass a municipal resolution stating opposition to sending tar sands oil through ExxonMobil’s Portland-Montreal Pipeline, making it the third Maine town to publically and officially oppose the proposal. The resolution could be used as blueprint for other towns in Maine next to rivers.At today’s town meeting more than a half dozen pipeline industry representatives lobbied the townspeople against this resolution.

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Environmental coalition urges lawmakers for bipartisan progress

February 7th, 2013 · No Comments · Capitol news, Community Maine, Education, Environment, Issue 35

Tribal members, parents, clean energy professionals and registered Maine guides joined Maine’s Environmental Priorities Coalition to unveil four top priority bills for new legislature that will: protect water quality from open pit mining pollution; restore native alewives to the St. Croix River; invest in energy efficiency; and protect pregnant women and children from toxic chemicals.

“Maine’s brand – livable communities, stunning scenery, world-famous recreational opportunities and clean water – is a key economic asset. We are counting on lawmakers to put aside partisan differences, pass these four bills and help make Maine a clean and healthy place to live, work and raise a family,” said Maureen Drouin, Executive Director of the Maine Conservation Alliance.

“My business as a guide depends on clean water and unspoiled natural areas,” said Slater. “I have never seen a hard rock mining operation that hasn’t harmed trout. If Irving really thinks they can put in an open pit mine without polluting the water, why did they need to weaken Maine’s water quality protections with the bill they pushed through last year?” asked Kevin Slater, Co-owner Mahoosuc Guide Service & Mahoosuc Mountain Lodge in Newry, came to express his concerns about open pit mining pollution.

One of the biggest ways to reduce the cost of energy, create jobs and save Maine people money is by increasing energy efficiency. But Governor LePage’s State of the State address revealed an alarming disconnect between building Maine’s clean energy economy and the ability of our businesses to grow and prosper.

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Congressmen Michaud and Green reintroduce bills targeting Veteran Homelessness

January 25th, 2013 · No Comments · Civil Rights, Community Maine, Health Care, Healthy Lifestyles, Issue 35, News from Washington

On January 23rd, Representative Mike Michaud, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Representative Al Green (TX-09) reintroduced two bills that would impact homelessness among veterans: H.R. 384, the Homes for Heroes Act, and H.R. 385, the Housing Assistance for Veterans Act (HAVEN Act).

“No one deserves to be without a home, especially those who have served and sacrificed for our country,” said Michaud. “These bills will help our veterans find sustainable and affordable housing that meets their needs.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that our nation has 22.2 million veterans. Of this number, 4.3 million are homeowners who have disabilities and 2.7 million are elderly veterans. Many disabled veterans face disproportionate housing costs, and are either at risk of becoming homeless, or are already experiencing homelessness.

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Governor John Baldacci talks about how to fix the $16 trillion national debt

January 18th, 2013 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Community Maine, Economy, Issue 35, News from Washington

“Because of the interest payments (on the debt) we have less to spend on programs that could stimulate the economy and help create jobs— $600 billion less, " said former governor John Baldacci at the Chamber of Commerce in Bangor

Governor John E. Baldacci gave the keynote address to the Chamber of Commerce in Bangor on January 15, 2013. The focus of his speech was the nation’s $16 trillion debt. Baldacci said that at the core of the issue is the inability of Congress to take meaningful action to get the country’s books in order.

“It’s a serious issue,” said Baldacci. “Because of the interest payments we have less to spend on programs that could stimulate the economy and help create jobs— $600 billion less. These interest payments are crowding out a lot of expenditures in healthcare, in education in economic development and for Department of Defense issues. It hurts our ability to protect our country, to protect the programs our citizens, especially our most vulnerable, need, and to invest.”

Baldacci co-chairs Maine’s Fix the Debt campaign with former state Senate President Rick Bennett, a Republican. In 1994 they ran against each other for Congress. Fix the Debt is a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to engage legislators, community leaders and businesses across the country who want to see elected officials step up to solve our nation’s fiscal challenges. The two men are dedicated to raising the awareness of the national debt so politicians in Washington, D.C. will be encouraged to take action.

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Biggest Protest in Northeast Against Exxon/Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Jan 26 in Portland, Maine

January 18th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Creative Economy, Energy Issues, Environment, Issue 35

On July 25, 2012, more than 100 people gathered at Bug Light in South Portland near the oil tanker terminal to commemorate the second anniversary of the worst tar sands oil spill in the U.S. and to bring attention to the disastrous proposal to pump tar sands oil through the Exxon-Enbridge pipeline across Maine. On January 26, 2013, hundreds of people from across New England are expected to gather for a big rally and march in downtown Portland demonstrating opposition to sending dirty tar sands oil through the Exxon/Enbridge pipeline across Maine and the Northeast

Hundreds of people from across New England are expected to gather in Portland on Saturday, January 26 for the biggest tar sands protest the region has ever seen. The rally and march is being held to protest a proposal to send dirty tar sands oil through the 236-mile long, 62-year-old Exxon/Enbridge pipeline across Canada, Maine and the Northeast.

“Maine and the region have everything to lose and nothing to gain from sending toxic tar sands across our state,” said Emmie Theberge of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, who is helping to organize the rally, along with other groups like 350 Maine and Environment Maine. “Hundreds of people will descend on Portland Saturday to make a point: We cannot afford the risk of tar sands oil surging across the Northeast in Exxon’s pipeline and will be calling on the State Department to demand an environmental review of this risky proposal. There is too much at stake.”

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Bigelow Laboratory’s new campus is dedicated – the facility will spur economic growth & innovation

January 15th, 2013 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Economy, Education, Environment, Issue 35, Issues

The celebration of the completion of the new campus for Bigelow Laboratories, center of oceanic research, in Boothby, Maine

“The opening of the new campus has allowed us, for the first time, to bring all of our science programs together under one roof,” said Laboratory Executive Director Dr. Graham Shimmield. “It’s made us a destination for a wide range of researchers, academics, and members of industry who want to work together to advance understanding of the ocean’s vital importance to all life.”

Over 350 guests, supporters, Bigelow scientists and staff, Cobly students along with state and federal officials attended a formal ceremony to open the Laboratory’s 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art science and education campus on the East Boothbay waterfront last December.

For more than three decades, the laboratory was housed in a collection of buildings it leased from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Bigelow Laboratory was founded in 1974 by the late Dr. Charles S. Yentsch and his wife Dr. Clarice Yentsch. It is internationally renowned as an independent, non-profit center for global ocean research, ocean science education, and technology transfer. Recognized as a leader in Maine’s emerging innovation economy, the Laboratory’s research ranges from microbial oceanography to the large-scale ocean processes that drive global environmental conditions.

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Maine ranks fourth in states were income inequality is increasing the fastest

January 15th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Business & Innovation, Creative Economy, Economy, Issue 35, Public Safety

According to data from the Census Bureau Maine ranks fourth amongst all the states where the highest income inequality has increased at a faster rate than other states. Maine, West Virginia and California are the states where the wealth gap is expanding fastest.

The income gap between the richest and poorest residents of 20 states increased last year. All thirty other states with income gaps saw no increase in the disparity. No state saw significant decreases in their levels of income inequality. The LePage administration’s policies of cutting services and giving the wealthiest 1 percent of Mainers a tax break while not investing in education, transportation, research and development programs and innovation has added to this income disparity.

The wealth held by the top 400 Americans, which is 2 percent, is more than the combined wealth of the bottom 150 million, according to economist and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. For the first time since the Clinton Administration the top 2 percent’s tax rates will increase. President Barack Obama returned the rates for the wealthiest 2 percent to the same levels President Clinton had, which helped the nation experience surpluses. The economy did well and income disparity was considerably less.

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