Students choose Biden for president in 2020 Mock Election

10/22/2020  AUGUSTA – Students from 92 Maine schools chose Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential race, in Student Mock Election results tallied Wednesday in Augusta. The voting has been underway at Maine schools since mid-October, for the offices of U.S. President, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senate. Chellie Pingree (D-North Haven) won the student vote for the District 1 U.S. Representative to Congress seat and Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) won for the District 2 U.S. Representative to Congress seat. Students chose Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) in the U.S. Senate race. Full results are posted online at http://www.maine.gov/mockelection/. Statewide results will be provided to the national mock election program for inclusion in national results. “The mock election is a great opportunity for students to learn about […]

Maine DHHS Launches StrengthenME Initiative to Help Maine People Cope With Stress of the Pandemic

10/22/2020  AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced today the launch of StrengthenME, an initiative to help Maine people cope with the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free tools, support, and community connections that promote wellness, resilience, and recovery. StrengthenME is funded by nearly $5 million through a joint grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Maine DHHS announced in June that the Department would use $1 million from the first round of this funding to develop the initiative. DHHS was awarded $3.7 million in the second round of funding to extend this project over a longer term, recognizing that public health emergencies have both immediate and […]

Maine home sales jump 22.79 percent in year

VALUES INCREASE BY 19.56 PERCENT IN SEPTEMBER AUGUSTA (Oct. 22, 2020)— With historically-low interest rates, and more buyers than sellers, sales of single-family existing homes increased 22.78 percent comparing September 2020 to September 2019. According to statistics released by Maine Listings, the median sales price (MSP) for homes sold in September 2020 rose 19.56 percent to $273,500, compared to September 2019. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less. “September’s impressive sales volume capped a solid third-quarter recovery for Maine residential real estate,” says Tom Cole, 2020 President of the Maine Association of REALTORS® and Managing Broker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group in Brunswick. “January through September 2020 sales are 2.6 percent ahead of the […]

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Announces 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards

10/22/2020  By Ramona du Houx The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) has announced the recipients of this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) awards. Spanning a host of products, from strawberries to mixed vegetables, SCBG grants totaling $534,303.00 are being awarded to: Blue Barn LLC, Daybreak Growers Alliance, the Maine Maple Producers Association, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Alliance, and multiple projects with the University of Maine system (in the School of Biology and Ecology, the School of Food and Agriculture, and the Maine Food and Agriculture Center). DACFs Division of Quality Assurance and Regulation will also apply $12,000 of SCBG funding to a pilot project supporting farmers seeking certification in Good Agricultural Practices. Find more […]

Maine’s summer food programs serve over 1.4 million meals to meet pandemic need

By Ramona du Houx Full Plates Full Potential disclosed that 1,421,533 summer meals were served to Maine kids – which is over a 200 percent increase compared to last summer. These staggering results are in part due to the USDA leniences granted to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to address feeding children safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. The program traditionally provides access to free meals to any child 18 years old and younger in certain eligible high-need areas and require that children consume their meals on site. This summer, the USDA waived these requirements, among others, which allowed summer meal sites to deliver meals, offer multiple or bulk meals at once, and expanded the reach of the program into […]

Maine veterans protest Susan Collins during third Senate Debate

By Ramona du Houx October 15, 2020 Maine Veterans and members of Common Defense gathered outside the Augusta Civic Center for the October 15th U.S. Senate debate to protest Susan Collins.  “In the past I voted for Senator Collins because I thought she would show integrity and hold the line against big interests,” said Carroll Payne, a retired US Marine Corps First Sergeant from Plymouth, Maine. “That didn’t turn out to be the case.”    Veterans are highlighting their disappointment in Collins for supporting the agenda of Donald Trump, and becoming complicit in “pay-to-play” politics. In February, the pro-Collins 1820 PAC received a $150,000 donation from a shell company connected to Martin Kao, a defense CEO who was recently arrested for defrauding […]

Corazón latino launches Soy Latino, Sí Voto voter engagement campaign

The Soy Latino, Sí Voto Peer-to-Peer Civic Engagement Campaign, focused on Arizona, Florida and Puerto Rico, hits on issues that affect Latino communities in the United States, including climate justice and environmental protection Tucson, Arizona – Today, Corazón Latino announced the launch of Soy Latino, Sí Voto, an innovative online voter engagement effort to reach tens of thousands of Latino voters in Arizona and Florida, two key battleground states in the November elections. Corazón Latino is based in Washington, DC, with active programming and offices in Arizona, California and Puerto Rico. The Soy Latino, Sí Voto campaign’s goal is to connect with 50,000 voters over the next three weeks, leading up to Election Day, while helping communities to overcome in-person voting challenges brought about […]

Maine Indigenous Peoples’ Day

 “As we celebrate our 200th year as a state, it is important to recognize that our collective history goes much further back long before statehood. Maine’s culture today is in large part the direct result of those who first hunted, farmed, fished and occupied much of the land that we call our home. Today we honor the contributions and resilience of the Indigenous peoples of Maine and examine our shared history with open eyes, open minds and open hearts, pausing in gratitude for the long-standing presence of the Wabanaki tribes in the State of Maine, and recommitting ourselves to our shared future as a place and as a people.” – Governor Janet Mills 

During record drought, 135 Maine farmers sign climate letter delivered to the House Select Committee

By Ramona du Houx October 7, 2020 Following two months of severe drought, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) deemed Aroostook County a drought disaster area in September. The designation means farmers in Aroostook and neighboring Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington counties became eligible to apply for emergency farm loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency over the next eight months. Declining surface water […]

Maine budget cuts cannot fuel economic growth

A large body of scholarship shows tax, spending cuts pump the brakes on state economies Tax cuts and reduced spending fail to spur economic growth, refuting a central argument by proponents of austerity, according to a comprehensive analysis of available scholarship published on August 18, 2020 by the Maine Center for Economic Policy. “Decades of research show that budget cuts […]

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