After an exhaustive search, we have selected two hikers who are taking on the Appalachian Trail this spring and summer to test our Maine Public App out in the fringes of civilization. Danny Moody of Winthrop and Dan Giguere of Manchester (ME) along with Danny’s dog Daisy are our first adventurers in our Here to There and Back project.
Read more about this project.
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.
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Facing resistance from their own party, Senate Republican leaders said Tuesday they would postpone a vote on their healthcare bill until after the July 4th recess.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to provide more time to make changes to the bill to try to convince reluctant GOP senators to vote for the measure.
“We’re going to press on,” McConnell said, adding he remains optimistic. “We’re continuing to talk.”
Since the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would leave 22 million more Americans without insurance after 10 years, several Republicans senators had said they would not even support allowing the bill to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
Meanwhile, President Trump invited all GOP senators to the White House for a meeting Tuesday afternoon.
But Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a moderate who has expressed serious doubts about the bill, questioned whether revisions would make a difference.
“I have so many fundamental problems with the bill, that have been confirmed by the CBO report, that it’s difficult to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the bill,” Collins said on CNN.
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WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans have issued a revised version of their health care bill. The changes include a penalty for people who let their insurance lapse.
Under the new package, people who lacked coverage for at least 63 days in the past year and then buy a policy would face a six-month delay before it takes effect.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his initial measure last week. It had no penalty for people who let their coverage expire.
Read more of this story.
Maine health providers from across the state spoke in Lewiston on Friday to denounce the Senate health care bill and urge Sen. Susan Collins to oppose it.
Portland family physician Dr. Sam Zager said the Senate bill will cut off care for patients.
“I think this gets to the core of what it means to have a civilized society,” he said. “Are we going to turn people out? Are we going to toss them off the ship and let them drown at sea? Or are we going to acknowledge that we have a responsibility for the welfare of those around us?”
The Senate bill would partially cut funding for the Medicaid program, which pays for the majority of long-term care costs for seniors and people with disabilities.
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This reminds me. I’m late on spring cleaning …
ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — An urn containing the remains of a World War II veteran discovered during a house cleaning in New Hampshire has been returned to a family in Maine.
Anthony Lewis, of Rochester, tells WMUR-TV (http://bit.ly/2tC5vJl ) he saw the urn through the dust. It had a photo of Army Sgt. Chauncey Markham Sr., who served in the South Pacific. Markham died 17 years ago, at 77.
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I’m very, very disappointed that the four-game suspension was upheld. Makes very little sense.
In light of yesterday’s league ruling, I felt it was important to make a statement today, prior to the start of training camp. After this, I will not be talking about this matter until after the legal process plays itself out and I would advise everyone in the organization to do the same and just concentrate on preparation for the 2015 season.
The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me. It is routine for discipline in the NFL to be reduced upon appeal. In the vast majority of these cases there is tangible and hard evidence of the infraction for which the discipline is being imposed and still the initial penalty gets reduced. Six months removed from the AFC Championship game, the league still has no hard evidence of anybody doing anything to tamper with the psi level of footballs.
I continue to believe and unequivocally support Tom Brady. I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans because I truly believe that what I did in May, given the actual evidence of this situation and the league’s history on discipline matters, would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting. I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the psi level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC Championship game was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion.
Read more of the transcript of today’s speech by Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft: http://www.patriots.com/news/2015/07/29/robert-kraft-press-conference-transcript
See this? Amazing footage of the Northern Lights over Moosehead Lake captured by Mike Taylor tweeted out by the Maine Fish and Wildlife.
Moosehead Lake Aurora from Mike Taylor – Taylor Photography on Vimeo.
I played soccer for Ashland before there was a girls team. The passage of time has dented my memory, but I recall that there were nine or so seniors my last year there and we went undefeated. We had a heartbreaking defeat in the playoffs, but I often think about those days.
ASHLAND — Stifling defensive efforts led the Ashland varsity soccer teams to victories over Fort Fairfield Saturday and berths into Wednesday’s Eastern Maine Class D championship.
The Hornet girls came through with a 2-0 win in the opener, and then the boys prevailed, 3-1. The top-seeded and now 16-0 Ashland girls will next host No. 2 Penobscot Valley of Howland, another undefeated team, for the Class D regional title, while the boys, ranked third, will be on the road to take on No. 1 Bangor Christian.
Shots on goal were hard to come by for the visiting Tigers in both contests. Fort Fairfield managed only one in the girls’ game and just five in the boys’ game as the Hornet defense was brilliant all afternoon.
In the first game, the Ashland girls showed off a defense that has now shut out nine consecutive opponents. The last goal the team allowed came on Sept. 18 at Washburn. Since then, the Hornets have outscored the opposition, 63-0.
“We just try to work together and try to cover each other when we can,” said junior defender Laura Sturgeon, who fulfilled her assignment of bottling up one of the Tigers’ scoring aces, Chelsey Pelkey.
Read more of this story by Kevin Sjoberg on the Bangor Daily News website.
Here are a couple of opinion pieces about what’s going on at my alma mater, University of Southern Maine. I attended USM in the early 1980s before traveling to California to attend California State University, Chico.
Greater Portland’s economy needs the graduate-level science program USM eliminated | Bangor Daily News
Let’s preserve USM. Future students deserve the chance I had to succeed | Bangor Daily News
WISCASSET — Leonard Meiselman settled in his New York studio one day in 2000 with a brush in his right hand, his oil paints before him and a canvas in front of him. He wanted to paint what he had painted for years: Something abstract. Instead, he painted a prayer shawl from Auschwitz.
For the next three years, he painted prayer shawls. When he moved to Maine two years ago, he thought he had long put the shawls behind him.
“I came to Maine to paint the trees,” he said.
But, when he settled in the basement studio of his house on a tidal marsh in Wiscasset, the shawls emerged.
“I couldn’t stop,” he said. “It was obsessive.”
The dark, thickly painted shawls, which sometimes reveal a human face and eyes, are part of a group exhibition at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine.
“The Dilemma of Memory,” on view through November, also includes the work of other Maine visual artists and poets responding to the Holocaust. The title of show refers to our conflict, as humans, in remembering a horror so great as the Holocaust, a genocide that resulted in the death at the hands of the Nazis of 6 million Jews during World War II.
Read more of this story by Bob Keyes in the Portland Press Herald.
A fall rite of passage in The County. I did this as a kid. Crazy hard work for just a few pennies a barrel. Family legend says that my grandfather on my dad’s side could stack three full barrels of potatoes one on top of the other single-handedly. – Keith
In the gentle hills of northern Maine, far from the rocky coastline and lighthouses, teenagers trade warm classrooms for cold potato fields every fall, just as they have for generations.
Schools shut down — sometimes for weeks at a time — while their students haul in the harvest or monitor conveyor belts for potatoes that don’t measure up as farmers rush to fill their stores before the ground freezes.
But as farm operations consolidate and heavy machinery make them more efficient, farmers wonder how much longer there will be a place for the harvest breaks that as little as 20 years ago saw kids hand-picking potatoes for 50 cents a barrel.
“Eventually it’ll probably fade away,” said Wayne Garrison, the 72-year-old co-owner of Garrison Farms, which hired eight high school students to help harvest its 700 acres of potatoes. “I’d hate to see it go, I really would.”
Up until the 1940s, Maine was the nation’s potato capital and Aroostook County — a place so vast that it’s about the same size as the combined states of Connecticut and Rhode Island — is still home to roughly 50,000 acres of potato farms. Nearly a dozen high schools here emptied for this year’s harvest — fewer than the old days, when virtually all schools shut down.
Read the rest of this story by David Sharp of The Associated Press.
Happy National Coffee Day! I knew there was a reason I took the day off from work!
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.
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.
FREEPORT, Maine — To speed up the process of restoring historical accuracy to the L.L Bean home, the Freeport Project Review Board has waived the usual four-month demolition delay period for the project.
After several additions and nearly half a dozen paint jobs over the past few decades, the 6 Holbrook St. home is being partially demolished and renovated to restore it to how it looked when Leon Leonwood Bean occupied the residence.
According to the project manager, Matthew Cyr of Consigli Construction, renovations will begin in early September and will be finished by Thanksgiving.
The board held a public hearing July 9 for a design review certificate and site plan amendment sought by the Freeport Historical Society. The house was built in 1887-88 by architect Francis Fassett, who designed many of the buildings in Freeport.
Read the rest of this story by Kate Gardner.
In 2013, we published our first list of 50 Mainers who have made a difference in our state. This feature story gathered together an assortment of bold thinkers and generous spirits, people who have contributed to their communities in deep and lasting ways. While we remain proud of our inaugural list, we knew that it was far from comprehensive. There are many more remarkable individuals living and working in Maine. Many more to learn from and be inspired by. Many more to honor and thank. Here, we celebrate a fraction of that illustrious population, those who are moving Maine forward through their innovative business practices, commitment to purpose-driven education, lifelong support of the arts, and groundbreaking medical research. We highlight philanthropists who have spent decades improving the inner workings of nonprofits, doctors who have found new ways to combat childhood obesity, and CEOs who are striving to create safer and more community-minded workplaces. We present to you 50 people who have changed our world, improved our lives, and broadened our horizons.
Read the rest of the story by Katy Kelleher with photography by Greta Rybus.
More than 800 lighthouses still stand in the United States, and Michigan counts 120 to Maine’s 66, which include the Machias Seal Island Light, maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard. Maine can, however, claim to lead the country in innovative ways of preserving and maintaining these landmarks.
No longer simply photogenic icons, more than a dozen lighthouse stations now invite visitors to clamber up into their tower and/or to explore their keepers’ houses-turned-museums, welcome centers, or lodging.
“In order for lighthouses to survive, they have to speak to people in ways that move them,” observes Bob Trapani, director of the American Lighthouse Foundation. Founded 20 years ago to enable volunteers to restore and sustain their local lights, the group currently maintains 18 light stations, nine of them in Maine.
Read more of this story by Boston Globe correspondent Christina Tree.
You gotta check out these photos:
30 Photos Of Maine That Will Make You Want To Move There – http://ow.ly/y5HeU