Sen. Collins calls her own position on minimum wage, “not a livable wage,” in MPBN debate

October 22nd, 2014 · Filed under: Uncategorized

Shenna Bellows clearly won tonight’s MPBN/Bangor Chamber of Commerce debate with clear, popular positions on a meaningful minimum wage increase, decreased Pentagon spending, less militarization of foreign policy, overdue campaign finance reform, and universal health care for every American. Susan Collins called her own preferred $9.00-per-hour minimum wage “not a living wage” and failed to explain how her cosponsorship of Ted Cruz’s “Obamacare Repeal Act” represented a serious attempt to reform the health care system.

Bellows laid out a clear vision of new job creation investments, an end to extremely expensive wars overseas, a higher minimum wage for working Americans, and increased Social Security benefits paid for by tax reforms that ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. She offered confident answers throughout the evening and told Collins directly, “You cannot claim that this Congress and your leadership have been fiscally responsible.” Collins voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Educational forum on domestic violence in Bangor

October 20th, 2014 · Filed under: Public Safety

There will be an educational forum on domestic violence in Bangor for Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Stehle for Sheriff and partners, Spruce Run and the Innovative Business Network (IBN) will be presenting an educational forum on domestic violence at Beal College. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 28 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.

There will be speakers from the Bangor Police Department, Spruce Run, Columbia Psychology Associates and Allen Stehle. After the speakers, there will be a question and answer period. If the discussion goes past 7:00 pm, feel free to stay longer as I will not leave any question unanswered.

Stehle will be on WVOM radio Monday morning at 8:00 am with Ric Tyler promoting the event.

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Speaker Eves held forum on aging proposals in Brewer, Maine

October 20th, 2014 · Filed under: Uncategorized

wMG_6873 Maine’s House Speaker Mark Eves.

A statewide plan to help older adults age in their homes and communities got strong backing from local area seniors and community leaders during a forum at Brewer Medical Center, this fall.

More than area fifty seniors, community leaders, and aging experts attended the forum with Maine House Speaker Mark Eves, who sought input on his package of bills to redirect state resources to help seniors live independently longer.

“Brewer and Bangor are on the leading edge of our state’s rapidly aging population,” said Eves of North Berwick. ‘We heard great feedback from local leaders and seniors about what’s working here. No matter where you go in the state, seniors are concerned about rising property taxes, access to affordable housing, high heating costs and direct care services. We know these challenges are real barriers for seniors who want to live independently in their communities where they raised a generation.”

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Maine’s recent school funding cuts among the worst nationwide

October 20th, 2014 · Filed under: Budgets, Education

Maine cuts to school funding since the start of the recession are among the highest in the nation, and the deepest in New England, according to a new study released today.

The report by the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Most States Still Funding Schools Less than before the Recession, found that Maine has cut investment in K-12 schools by 13.3 percent since 2008, a deeper cut than 38 other states. During the Recession Maine was forced to make the cuts but while other states have recovered and are back to funding education Maine continues to make cuts. Gov. LePage’s revenue sharing cuts to towns have made cities across the state slash education funding further.

“The school department budget has literally been frozen, after you factor inflation for the last 5 years. That is not sustainable if we are going to be able to continue to provide the almost 4,000 Bangor students with a high quality education to prepare them for the jobs and the technologies of the future,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

Among New England states, Maine has cut per capita student spending by $736 since 2008, while Vermont per student spending is $7 below pre-recession levels and the other four states have all increased spending.

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The New C&L Aerospace Paint Hangar opening in Bangor

October 17th, 2014 · Filed under: Business & Innovation

Congressman Michaud attended the opening of the new  C&L Aerospace hangar, which federal funding he secured helped make possible. courtesy photo

Congressman Michaud attended the opening of the new C&L Aerospace hangar, which federal funding he secured helped make possible. courtesy photo

A long-dissed, 17,000-square-foot former Dow Air Force Base hangar was renovated by C&L Aerospace to paint aircraft, and an opening celebration took place October 16th.

Chris Kilgour, CEO of C&L Aerospace, moved his company and family Brisbane, Australia, to Bangor three years ago having been received warmly by the people of Maine. The quality of life, location, and Pine Tree Zone tax incentives- started by the Baldacci administration- were incentive enough him to relocate. Add Bangor’s embrace and the deal was made. At the beginning C&L employed 20 workers. Now he employs about 130 people, and is looking for 20 more. Another expansion at Bangor International Airport is also part of his future plans.

“These successes are all the product of teamwork and cooperation. Every step of the way Bangor put out the welcome matt for C&L. The company’s expansion is a testament to the great work force of our city.” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

The new hangar received more than $575,000 in funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Congressman Mike Michaud wrote to the EDA in 2012 advocating for the investment, and last year hosted a visit from Matt Erskine, EDA’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Commerce for Economic Development. Erskine’s visit included a tour of C&L Aerospace.

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Largest solar complex in Brunswick, Maine, compleated

October 17th, 2014 · Filed under: Business & Innovation

Maine’s largest solar power complex has been completed and stands at the former Naval Air Station.

The system will produce 1.2 megawatts of power, or about 8 percent of the needs of Bowdoin College. The ground mounted system is comprised of more than 4,000 solar panels at four locations.Under a win-win arrangement, SolarCity financed and built the system and will own and maintain the solar installations, while Bowdoin will purchase all generated power.

The system “reduces Bowdoin’s dependence on fossil fuels and makes sense for the college economically,”said Bowdoin College President Barry Mills.

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FairPoint Workers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont On Strike

October 17th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

At 12:01 a.m. on Friday, October 17th, nearly 2,000 employees of FairPoint Communications (FRP) in northern New England will go on strike. Early Friday morning they will establish picket lines at hundreds of work sites across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

“The company’s actions have brought us to this place,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 in Maine. “We did not want to take this step. Our members want to work; they want to take care of their customers. However, our bargaining team worked as hard as we could to reach a fair agreement that would preserve good jobs and help the company prosper. We’ve offered significant concessions to this company that would save them hundreds of millions of dollars. But they absolutely refuse to compromise on any significant issue.”

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Cutler’s selfish approach greatly increases the odds of LePage’s’ re-election

October 15th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

BY GREG KESICH

Eliot Cutler does not think he’s the best candidate for governor: He thinks he’s the only candidate. Consider this statement he made in May:

“I don’t believe either Mike Michaud or Paul LePage has the skills, temperament or independence to lead Maine and rebuild our economy. I am running to make sure neither is elected and that I am, and I feel confident that on Election Day I will be poised to be Maine’s next governor.”

At the time, that was seen as the windup to a message to his supporters that he would “release” them on Election Day rather than be a spoiler if he thought he couldn’t win, but it should be clear by now that he said what he meant to say.

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Remember Poliquin’s misuse of his position as Treasurer?

October 13th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

wcaap1-215x300This article should make folks question Bruce Polquin’s integrity. How would he hurt the state;s reputation in D.C.?

Maine State Treasurer Poliquin misuses position for personal gain
Lawmakers press for answers and demand accountability by Poliquin

By Ramona Du Houx – June 5th, 2012 ·

Today lawmakers renewed questions about State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin’s misuse of public resources for his own political gain. On Monday, Poliquin sent an email blast from the state’s computer system, in his role as State Treasurer, contradicting and undermining the findings of the Maine Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) report.

“Mr. Poliquin continues to choose to deflect criticism by pressing forward with unfounded attacks on the Maine State Housing Authority,” said State Senator Phil Bartlett (D-Gorham). “Mr. Poliquin should be focused on his duties as Treasurer instead of teaming up with special interests to use taxpayer money for a political witch hunt. It is time for Mr. Poliquin to look in the mirror and take responsibility for his own actions.”

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The insights of Shenna Bellows from her 350 walk across Maine

October 10th, 2014 · Filed under: Civil Rights, Community Maine

Shenna Bellows walks into Waterville during her 350 mile walk across Maine to connect with people. Photo Ramona du Houx

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

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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