Monthly Archives: September 2014

National Coffee Day! Here’s a list of freebies | USA Today

Happy National Coffee Day! I knew there was a reason I took the day off from work!

LePage among 10 governors facing tough fights to stay in office | The Washington Post via the Bangor Daily News

The most embattled collection of politicians this fall are neither members of the Senate nor the House. That distinction falls upon the nation’s governors. Compared with elected officials in Washington, incumbent governors are struggling disproportionately.

The Cook Political Report lists nine incumbent governors in tossup races and another as a clear underdog. That group of 10 includes seven Republicans and three Democrats. That’s the most ever dating back years of Cook Report analyses, according to Cook’s Jennifer Duffy. Another Democratic incumbent — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie — is already on the sidelines after losing his primary earlier this year.

The Rothenberg Political Report rates the races on a different scale and differs in some small ways from the Cook analysis, but it comes to a similar conclusion about the competitive nature of the races in the states: It’s a tough year to be a governor.

Voters often say they prefer their state or local elected officials to their Washington representatives. That may still be the case, theoretically. But the fact that this many are on the watch list provides one more indicator that voters in both red and blue states are unhappy.

At this point, the Republican incumbents who face serious competition include: Rick Scott in Florida; Scott Walker in Wisconsin; Rick Snyder in Michigan; Nathan Deal in Georgia; Sam Brownback in Kansas; Paul LePage in Maine; and Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. Democrats with competitive races include Pat Quinn of Illinois; Dan Malloy of Connecticut; and John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

Read more of this story by Dan Balz, The Washington Post.

Poll shows tightening race for Maine governor: Mike Michaud leads Paul LePage by 2 points, with Eliot Cutler well behind | Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

Disclaimer: I am not related to Mike Michaud, as far as I can tell. (There are many people in Maine with the last name Michaud.) However, if I was a Maine voter, I might fall under the anti-LePage category.

The race for governor has tightened. Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud has a slight but statistically insignificant lead over Republican Gov. Paul LePage with 37 days remaining before Election Day, according to a new poll commissioned by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

The poll, which surveyed 482 likely voters on landlines and cellphones from Sept. 18 to 25, shows Michaud leading LePage 40 percent to 38 percent, with independent Eliot Cutler drawing 12 percent.

Michaud’s 2-point lead is less than the 4-point advantage he had in the newspaper’s last poll, conducted June 12 to 18. His June lead and the new margin are both within the polls’ 4.4 percent margins of error.

The poll and interviews with poll respondents suggest that the governor’s best hope for re-election still hinges on dividing the opposition vote between Michaud and Cutler.

It’s working. Michaud benefits from the anti-LePage vote, but he has not pulled away from the governor even as support for Cutler has stagnated. In addition, in a sharp reversal from the Press Herald poll conducted in June, Michaud is now virtually tied with LePage when respondents are asked to predict who will win the race. Ten percent of voters said they were undecided about the race, although the electorate is paying more attention to the race. Forty-nine percent said they have definitely decided whom they will vote for, 21 percent said they are leaning toward a candidate, and 30 percent are still trying to decide.

Read more of this story by Steve Mistler. There are links from this story to other stories on the race.

‘It’s going to take a lot of work’: Railway owner dreams of passenger service from Portland to Montreal | WGME via Bangor Daily News

FRYEBURG, Maine — Critics say it can’t be done, but if the owners of a proposed passenger train service are able to pull it off, it could bring hundreds of jobs and thousands of tourists to Maine. The last time the tracks in Fryeburg were used to carry passengers from Portland to Montreal, Canada, was in 1959. Now, 55 years later, plans are in the works to bring passenger train service back, linking Portland to the White Mountains in New Hampshire and to Montreal.

“I think this area needs that. I think the country needs that,” says Lisa Johnson of Chocorua, New Hampshire.

She’s already imagining how nice it would be to take a train to the Fryeburg Fair instead of fighting all that traffic.

“It’s a more relaxed way to travel,” she added. “You’re not fighting the traffic. You’re sitting back and relaxing, enjoying it.”

Better still, the president of Golden Eagle Railway says the new rail service would generate 200 full time jobs with benefits.

Read more here.

Hiking the Bold Coast on the Eastern Edge of Maine | The L.L. Bean Blog

Check this out:

Hiking the Bold Coast on the Eastern Edge of Maine | The L.L. Bean Blog

Maine envisioned as a magnet for growth, talent | Portland Press Herald

FREEPORT — More than 200 entrepreneurs, educators, legislators, investors and leaders of businesses and nonprofits gathered Friday for Envision Maine: a daylong summit to promote Maine’s economic future.

While conversations about how to support business growth are constantly occurring, the purpose of the gathering was to catalyze a collective effort to nourish that growth and encourage more.

“Innovation is not a new idea in Maine,” Alan Caron, president of Envision Maine, told a standing room only crowd at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport.

“What is new is being intentional about building innovation through the entire state … and redefining Maine as an entrepreneurial place and a magnet for startups.”

U.S. Sen. Angus King set the tone for the day. While acknowledging Maine’s demographic challenges, he said the state already has some of the most critical raw materials with which to grow and prosper.

Read more of this story by Jennifer Van Allen.

Coffeehouse Observation No. 360 – Well, aren’t you Mr. Highsocks

You missed it! Guy just walked into a Starbucks in north Stockton wearing T-shirt, shorts, running shoes … and knee-high black socks. It was a fashion statement, I think. … Too quick for a photo, I’m afraid. … But there are some things that you simply cannot un-see.