AUGUSTA — Maine’s pioneering law banning highway billboards, enacted in 1977, is under siege at the State House.
Lawmakers there are lining up behind nine bills that would grant variances to state sign regulations for individual businesses and attractions.
“Everybody wants a sign,” said Senate Minority Leader Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, in testimony in favor of a bill that would help a snowmobile club in his town keep a sign.
But managers of Maine roads and a major environmental group say granting piecemeal changes would weaken sign laws.
The Maine Department of Transportation wants all such bills tabled, and the Legislature’s Transportation Committee already has honored that request in three instances.
Read the rest of the story.
I grew up in Portage, a little over an hour’s drive from where Loring Air Force Base was located. I recall seeing B-52s on training missions flying by overhead. This is a cool story of bravery.
Ron Craft of Ansonia, Connecticut, says he is neither a writer nor a public speaker, but his passion to share the story of an air rescue he witnessed as a 23-year-old stationed at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone has compelled him to be both.
It is the story of heroic valor executed with such calm competence that only in retrospect did Craft recognize the significance of what he had observed.
“I was inexperienced,” he said in a recent interview. “I didn’t know that they don’t do this on a regular basis. Everyone did his job professionally, as though rehearsed. I’m thinking, ‘Man, we have a cool job.’ But this is not in any manuals. Months later, I realized what we did.”
And 31 years later, he is translating his admiration for military bravery into a book and a movie about the experience, with help from California-based screenwriter and producer Mark Roemmich, president and CEO of Noble House Entertainment. Titled “Hell Over High Water,” the project represents the culmination of 12 years of effort by Craft to record his memory of a dramatic mid-air maneuver that changed his life.
Read more of this story by Kathryn Olmstead in the Bangor Daily News.
We’ve heard for years that painting is dead.
Not so fast.
The early-summer season at Maine museums is full of what should be terrific art exhibitions spotlighting some of Maine’s best known and most accomplished painters. There are other exhibitions as well, including a major examination of Shaker objects and lifestyle, a focus on art and jazz and a deep examination of sculptor Bernard Langlais.
Follow this link to read the rest of this piece by Bob Keyes in Maine Today.
Someone passed this along on Facebook. It’s pretty true to life.
PORTLAND, Maine — Members of a group angry about corporate influence on government has found support from southern Maine labor unions as they close in on a week of camping out in downtown Portland.
The Occupy Maine settlement, a local offshoot of a nationwide network of demonstrations that began in mid-September with Occupy Wall Street, reaches its seventh day Friday, and members say their group is still growing. This weekend, Occupy Maine will celebrate what it’s calling Free Speech Weekend with music, yoga and art making.
Members of the Occupy movement have been calling themselves “the 99 percent,” referring to all those who are not among the 1 percent of the American population who control nearly half of wealth in the country. That 1 percent, occupiers argue, have an unfair amount of influence on federal governance.
“We’re getting bigger and bigger,” said Demi Colby, 23, of Gardiner, who took part in Occupy Wall Street and returned to her home state to help launch Occupy Maine on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Click to read the rest of Seth Koenig’s story in the Bangor Daily News.
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Lawmakers soon will be faced with radically different plans for redrawing the boundary between the state’s two congressional districts. One features straighter lines and a difference of only one person between the two districts — top priorities for the state’s Republicans. It does, however, move about 360,000 people from one district to another. The Democratic plan moves Vassalboro from the 1st District to the 2nd.
The choice for lawmakers should be easy — they should go with the simplest change that meets the requirements of the law and affects the fewest voters.
Recent history has shown this is unlikely to happen. Redistricting lines were imposed by the state supreme court in 2003 because lawmakers couldn’t agree on a plan. Maine doesn’t have to go down this road again.
Click to read the rest of the editorial by The Bangor Daily News.
I like Civil War trivia. I am a (tiny) bit of a Civil War history buff, especially when it comes to Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Regiment.
Here is the DownEast.com trivia question:
Who is reported to have won both the Medal of Honor and the Gold Lifesaving Medal?
Marcus Hanna, a keeper of Cape Elizabeth Light. The first medal was for bravery in battle at Port Hudson during the Civil War; the second was for saving two men from the wrecked schooner Australia in 1885. In 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a buoy tender named in Hanna’s honor.