They came from the townships and plantations of Concord, Lexington, Highland, Carrying Place and Pleasant Ridge. They set out for the statehouse in Augusta from the five sparsely populated backcountry communities set between the Kennebec and Carrabassett rivers, from a wooded intervale etched by streams, dappled by lakes and cradled by the hills and mountains of western Maine.
As they left, many of them passed a neatly lettered sign at the intersection of Long Falls Dam and Sandy Stream roads. The sign summed up what they were going to say to legislators later that day: “This is God’s Country. Don’t let wind towers come here and make it look like hell.”
AUGUSTA – Over the past 50 years, Maine legislatures and governors have added millions of dollars in tax breaks for businesses without ever doing the detailed analysis to find out which are effective and which are wasteful.
But now that may be changing.
AUGUSTA – A state legislative committee voted today to put Maine back on track to develop a finished plan for adapting to its changing climate.
That work was suspended after Gov. Paul LePage took office.
Two freshman legislators have filed bills to make dealing with climate change once again a priority for state government.
Rep. Paul McGowan, D-York, submitted a bill designed to make Maine more energy independent and sets goals such as reducing fossil fuel use by 20 percent. Continue Reading →
A New York state senator has called the state’s $5.5 million in grants and subsidies to a weapons manufacturer “truly outrageous” in light of the Newtown, Conn. shooting massacre and wants the practice stopped. N.Y. State Sen. Liz Krueger’s letter to Empire State Development — click image for full letter
Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, cited a recent report by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and The New York World that nine states, including New York, have given tax breaks, subsidies and grants to the makers of semi-automatic rifles that have been used in multiple mass shootings, including the one on Newton that killed 20 children and six adults last month. New York’s tax support went to Remington Arms, based in Ilion, since 2007. In her letter to the head of the Empire State Development Corp, the state agency that administers the tax subsidies, Sen. Krueger, the ranking minority member on the N.Y. Senate’s Finance Committee, said:
“Among the products produced by Remington at the New York plant that received these benefits is the Bushmaster model used in the murders in Newtown. Continue Reading →
Taxpayers across the country are subsidizing the manufacturers of assault rifles used in multiple mass killings, including the massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. last month. Continue Reading →
One corrections officer spread a false rumor that the new female officer at the state prison in South Windham was a stripper. Another one called her “Genitalia,” instead of her real name, which also began with a “G.”
She was asked by a colleague if he could measure her buttocks. When she said no, he did it anyway. She was asked abouther favorite sexual positions and to describe her breasts. When her complaints were not taken seriously, she quit her job and filed sexual harassment and retaliation complaints against the Department of Corrections with the state Human Rights Commission, detailing what she said happened to her in a sworn statement. Continue Reading →
The moment Mark Spiro walked into G&K Services, an industrial laundry in Waterbury, Conn., the steamy air stung his eyes and made his head ache. The place reeked of chemical solvents: methyl ethyl ketone, xylene, toluene – the sickly sweet scents of spray paint, permanent markers and model glue. Continue Reading →
Just as state Rep. John Martin, one of the most powerful Maine politicians of the last three decades, is emerging from the bankruptcy of the convenience store he co-owns, along comes another financial problem.
And this one has a new wrinkle – this time the back debt is to a government agency. Continue Reading →
A howling storm, tidal surge, downed power lines, beaches swept away, coastal residents evacuated. Hurricane Sandy? Yes, but it is also the story of the Patriots Day storm of 2007 along the southern Maine coast. Experts say both storms are harbingers of yet more severe storms to come, made worse by the effects of a warming climate. The streets are dry and clear these days in Ocean Park, the 130-year-old enclave at the southern tip of Old Orchard Beach. Continue Reading →
As we finally approach Election Day, many people are so tired of the campaigns that they ask plaintively, “Are we there yet?”
Throughout a long campaign, we have been treated to daily analyses about who’s ahead to the point where it becomes an almost meaningless blur. We get three kinds of comments: pundits, polls and predictions. Pundits are people who we are supposed to believe possess some kind of special insight about politics. On any given day, they seem sure of their outlooks about the campaigns. One of their favorite words is “momentum,” though they seem to have different meanings in mind. Continue Reading →
At Freeport Middle School, students in algebra class play “Battleship” on their laptops as they learn to plot coordinates on a graph. At Massabesic Middle School, eighth-graders surf the web on their laptops to create their own National History Day websites. And at King Middle School, students carry their laptops into the field as they chronicle the civil rights movement through eyewitness interviews. These students don’t live in a high-tech mecca like Silicon Valley, but in the nation’s most rural state, where state tax money pays for one white Apple MacBook for every seventh- and eighth-grader in public schools. Laptops from mcpir3
More than 10 years ago, Angus King, then Maine’s governor and now a U.S. Senate candidate, pushed the $10- to $11-million-a-year program through a reluctant legislature. King sold it as a way to give the state a competitive edge and provide computers to low-income students. Continue Reading →