Tag Archives: Maine

Olympia Snowe quits Senate race | Bangor Daily News

Sen. Olympia Snowe shocked the political world Tuesday with an announcement that she would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate.

“After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate,” the three-term senator said in a statement.

“After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision. My husband and I are in good health. We have laid an exceptionally strong foundation for the campaign, and I have no doubt I would have won re-election.”

Follow the link to read the rest of the story in the Bangor Daily News.

Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 13 – Porter beer from Maine in my apartment

Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter in my California apartment. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter in my California apartment. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

Stopped by the Trader Joe’s the other day and came across a display for Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter.

Yes, Maine beer in California. More importantly, now Maine beer in my California apartment.

Porter is not my go-to brew, but I was interested in this Maine-brewed beverage found in a Trader Joe’s in Northern California. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

Porter is not my go-to brew, but I was interested in this Maine-brewed beverage found in a Trader Joe’s in Northern California. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

As you can tell from these photos, I didn’t take much time in tasting the beer. I’m not a huge porter fan. I’m more for pale and amber ales and European lagers and other lighter beers. Guinness is the only deep dark beer that I enjoy.

However, I found the Kennebunkport Brewing Co. – brewed and bottled in Portland by Pubgsley Brewing LLC – was much lighter than I would have expected and flavorful. I enjoyed it – as the photos below might suggest – and I intend to purchase more of the beverage.

The porter is brewed and bottled by Bugsley Brewing LLC in Portland, Maine. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

The porter is brewed and bottled by Bugsley Brewing LLC in Portland, Maine. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

I had to give it a try. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

I had to give it a try. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

The Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter was light and flavorful. I most definitely will consider purchasing the KBC Porter again. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

The Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Porter was light and flavorful. I most definitely will consider purchasing the KBC Porter again. (Photo by Keith Michaud)

I have to say, BevMo and Trader Joe’s are keeping me in touch with Maine brews. And I am impressed.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Half a foot of snow expected in Maine this weekend | Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — A weekend storm could bring plenty of chills to the state this Halloween weekend, as the National Weather Service said Friday that more than six inches of snow is expected in many parts of Maine.

A winter storm watch has been posted throughout the state, according to Mal Walker of the National Weather Service in Caribou.

The advisory calls for 4-8 inches of snow in Penobscot, Hancock and Washington counties and includes Greater Bangor, Ellsworth, Mount Desert Island, Machias and Eastport. The advisory notes heavy, wet snow and 15-25 mph winds with gusts up to 35 mph will create hazardous traveling conditions.

Click to read more of this story in the Bangor Daily News.

 

Women find niche in woodsman’s competition | Bangor Daily News

FRYEBURG, Maine — Laurette Russell decided after showing horses for 20 years, she needed something else to fuel her competitive fire. So she started entering woodsman’s competitions.

“Throwing an axe at a bull’s-eye and chopping a piece of wood is very satisfying,” said Russell of New Gloucester. “There’s no cookie-cutter type of person to do it. It’s not like when you’re an ice skater, you’re a tiny little ballerina. Anyone of any size, of any age, can do this sport.”

Russell was one of 39 women in a field of 193 people at this year’s Woodsman’s Field Day held at Fryeburg Fair. The daylong event attracted more than 6,000 spectators.

Click to read the rest of the story and see photos by Robert F. Bukaty  in the Bangor Daily News.

Black bear killed in Portland | Portland Press Herald

Black bear killed in Portland | Portland Press Herald

25 things to do this fall — festivals, foliage and fun | Bangor Daily News

As you bid goodbye to summer — so long flip flops, air conditioner and iced beverages on the patio — you say hello to an even more fleetingly beautiful part of the year. The crispness in the air arrived last week, and the leaves have just barely begun to change color.

Summer may look pretty fantastic after four months of winter, but autumn feels just lovely after four months of summer. Enjoy it while you can by trying any of the 25 things to do this fall that we’ve assembled for you.

Click for more on the story by Emily Burnham in the Bangor Daily News.

State House Notebook: Voting a vital right for the homeless

AUGUSTA — Arguments about who should and shouldn’t be allowed to vote in Maine have raged all summer and will culminate with a statewide referendum Nov. 8 on the law passed in June to eliminate same-day voter registration, which has been allowed for 38 years.

A flap over a GOP news release last week criticizing 19 voters who registered in 2004 using a hotel address initially generated speculation that they were homeless voters. (It later became apparent that they were medical students who left Grand Cayman Island because of a hurricane.)

As it turns out, everyone apparently agrees that homeless Mainers deserve the right to vote.

“I don’t think that’s an issue. I think homeless people should be able to vote. I think people who are living in a homeless shelter should be able to vote,” said Charlie Webster, chairman of the Maine Republican Party and the most vociferous supporter of the law to eliminate same-day voter registration.

Click for more the notebook entries by Portland Press Herald staffers.

 

Portland seen as welcoming home to immigrants after 9/11 | Bangor Daily News

Paul Bradbury, then the facilities engineering manager at the Portland Jetport, was in a staff meeting the morning the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. When the second plane hit, everyone in aviation knew it was some form of terrorism, Bradbury said.In the days that followed, details emerged. The world learned that Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari came to Portland, stayed at the Comfort Inn in South Portland, bought gas at a local Exxon, took some cash out of ATMs, stopped at Walmart and dined at a Pizza Hut.

Then they left their rental car at the Jetport parking lot and boarded a US Airways Express flight into Logan Airport in Boston, where they boarded the plane they would turn into a weapon.

They exploited a weakness in American society, the common wisdom that people should comply during a hijacking, mugging or robbery.

U.S. aviation essentially was shut down for about two weeks. When flights resumed, things were changed in Portland and across the country.

“When we reopened, we’d taken this huge mental and psychological hit, so part of the recovery was psychological, too. We had National Guard at the airports with machine guns,” said Bradbury.

Click for the rest of the story by Matt Wickenheiser in the Bangor Daily News.

For border towns, attacks changed a way of life | Bangor Daily News

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, changes at Maine’s border crossings were not subtle. More officers were added at ports of entry, inspectors became more vigilant and, in some cases, new ports were constructed.

Although less visible, the division of cross-border communities is one of the long-lasting impacts of the attacks and the heightened security and border restrictions that resulted.

Before 9/11, the border between Maine and Canada was more a line on a map than a barrier. Border agents from both countries often simply waved through the familiar faces they saw frequently crossing the international boundary. Residents of Aroostook County attended churches in New Brunswick. Canadians bought cheaper gas in The County. Socializing with friends and family on the other side of the border was routine.

Reports shortly after 19 hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon said some of the men had entered the U.S. through Canada. Although not true (the hijackers flew into the U.S. from Europe, Asia and the Middle East and had visas issued by the U.S. government), work to better secure the border soon was under way.

While millions of federal dollars have been spent on improving infrastructure — such as building new crossing facilities in Calais, Van Buren and Forest City — the change that has most affected Aroostook County residents is the requirement for a passport, passport card or NEXUS card, an alternative offered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to cross the border.

Click to read the rest of the story by Jen Lynds, Diana Bowley, and Sharon Kiley Mack in the Bangor Daily News, along with video.

 

Huge surge in offshore wind expected | SustainableBusiness.com

Huge surge in offshore wind expected | SustainableBusiness.com

Maine governor is looking more boorish all the time

Maine Gov. Paul LePage during another of his finest hours.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage during another of his finest hours.

I had planned to reserve judgment on Maine Gov. Paul LePage until he had been in office for a while longer. After all, the man just took office a mere few months ago.

But frankly – and with no offense intended to my Maine family and friends who may have voted for him – LePage is looking more boorish and less like a statesman all the time.

It is one thing to stand up and be strong, but it is completely another to bumble your way through things causing chaos and destruction, and then boldly justify your awkward ways. He is more a bull in a china shop than he is a sage owl masterfully handling the duties and responsibilities of his new job. His coarse ways may have served him well in business – I cannot see how – but it does not serve the state well for him to continue his bad-mannered, loutish ways.

From all accounts – at least, accounts that do not come from the governor’s office or are not manipulated by the governor’s puppet masters – LePage is a boob.

He has offended almost anyone with any sensibility, from the growing African-American community in Maine to women to environmentalists to workers and unions to the working poor to art lovers to, well, anybody.

I once wrote in a column describing how clumsy the mayor of Vacaville, Calif., handled a situation. An entire neighborhood in Vacaville was flooded – at the time it seemed that city maintenance practices might have played a part in the severity of the flooding – and the mayor acted callously toward some very concerned neighbors. I wrote that the mayor came across as gangly as a moose on a frozen lake.

I was wrong. That mayor was as graceful as an eagle soaring in the sky.

LePage is the gangly moose on a frozen ice.

Here are a few links to stories about LePage’s mucked-up walk through Maine politics.

Hundreds protest mural removal; artwork could land in Portland | Bangor Daily News

A picture of labor unrest: Demonstrators at rallies take issue with Gov. LePage’s order to remove mural from a state agency’s headquarters | Portland Press Herald

Governor’s decision attracts attention, repels tourist | Portland Press Herald

Mural protesters say they’ll fight governor’s removal order | Lewiston Sun Journal

Panel backs state ban on products with BPA: LePage administration now says it won’t fight ban, even though the governor still opposes it | Portland Press Herald

LePage retorts to heckler: ‘I would love to tax the rich if we had any in Maine’ | Bangor Daily News

LePage again in national spotlight over mural order; Stewart, Maddow mock move | Bangor Daily News

Of course, some Mainers – especially those who voted for LePage and those who continue to support his bumbling ways – will decry my characterization of the man who was elected by them to lead the state. True, it seems as if I am an outsider – someone “from away” – and I should not have the right to criticize the work that has been done.

Well, I will criticize it for several reasons:

My sister and her family live in Maine. It is important to her, her husband, my mother and me that my nephew Max and niece Sophie live in a state where they can continue to thrive.

My mother lives in Maine. I will never get her to move away to a warm climate in the winter. She rarely stays with my sister in southern Maine longer than a week, let alone for a long, cold Maine winter. It is where she was born and it is where she wants to be. She should be allowed to enjoy here life there.

I am a Maine native and I fully intend to return to Maine, although LePage’s antics have made me think twice about it. Maine is where I want to be; my economic circumstances keep me from it, but I will there eventually, LePage or not.

Mainers deserve better than what LePage has done so far.

I have a vested interest in the success of Maine and it does not seem as if LePage can lead a row of ducklings let alone a state.

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Urbanist and heritage developer Paul Oberman killed in plane crash | Treehugger.com

Urbanist and heritage developer Paul Oberman killed in plane crash | Treehugger.com

Here’s an earlier Bangor Daily News story.

One killed, one injured in plane crash on Maine-Quebec border | Bangor Daily News

Visiting a much-missed home away from home

While I have lived in Stockton the past couple of years, the place I miss – not quite as much as Maine, of course – is Vacaville.

It is the closest thing to home that I have known since moving to California. I spent more than 13 years living and working in Vacaville, positioned along Interstate 80 between Sacramento and San Francisco. That location has made Vacaville a fine commuter community.

But Vacaville – a farming and ranching community and home to two state prisons long before it was a commuter town – is more than a wide spot along the freeway. It is a family-friendly city with parks and events. A fine selection of retail shops are here, too, mostly because of the freeway access. It is not far from recreational opportunities, including Lake Berryessa and Lagoon Valley Regional Park; it is not that far from the Napa wine region, either.

And the city is nestled at the base of California’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Or, at least, I believe they are part of California’s Blue Ridge Mountains. They are beautiful most of the year and when they are not spotted with brush fire.

Vacaville is a place I regretted leaving. I did so for career opportunities, which since have soured and dried up. Vacaville is a place where I would live again if I had the opportunity.

I ventured to Vacaville today, however, not out of nostalgia, but out of desperation. I have run through my Unemployment Insurance benefits and there will not be more coming unless Congress does something to ease the suffering of the 99ers, the long-term unemployed Americans who have gone through their 99 weeks of Unemployment Insurance.

I came to do the unthinkable – cash out an IRA to pay my bills for the next couple of months. I hated doing it; it is just one more sign of personal failure, I suppose. I calculate I will have enough to pay my basic expenses for the next two or three months and still have enough to cover a complete retreat out of California if I still have not found a job in that time.

But at this very moment, I am sitting at a table in the Solano County Library’s Vacaville Town Square branch in the heart of downtown Vacaville. Outside the grand floor-to-ceiling windows are Andrews Park and the CreekWalk. A gray squirrel just ran up the embankment along the walk and jumped into a redwood tree. Just a short distance away, two blue jays swept up the creek and into a conifer. People have been walking back and forth since I sat down and up on the hill at Great Wonders Playground, children are playing.

Great Wonders was built many years ago with volunteer labor and donations. It was burned down a short time later due to negligence. Volunteers rebuilt the place even better than it was before.

That sort of community spirit – building a playground and then rebuilding it just short few weeks later – is what I miss about Maine and what I miss about Vacaville.

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Orland woman: I was run over by a moose | Bangor Daily News

Karen Douglass of Orland rests with bandaged legs after being rammed by a young bull moose on Feb. 10. Grimley (white) and Wilbur (black and white) were two of her three dogs who found the moose and instigated the event. Douglass suffered an injured shoulder from the moose impact, another injured shoulder from hitting the ground, mild hypothermia and frostbite on her lower legs. She also suffered severe leg bruising, mostly from the difficult trip home without her snowshoes.

Karen Douglass of Orland rests with bandaged legs after being rammed by a young bull moose on Feb. 10. Grimley (white) and Wilbur (black and white) were two of her three dogs who found the moose and instigated the event. Douglass suffered an injured shoulder from the moose impact, another injured shoulder from hitting the ground, mild hypothermia and frostbite on her lower legs. She also suffered severe leg bruising, mostly from the difficult trip home without her snowshoes.

Orland woman: I was run over by a moose | Bangor Daily News

 

Maine in your words | DownEast.com

Maine in your words | DownEast.com

U.S. Patent official says Maine one of most innovative places in nation | Bangor Daily News

ORONO, Maine — Maine has several advantages that could help the state develop its innovation-based economy, the head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said Wednesday morning.

Under Secretary of Commerce David Kappos spoke at the Invention to Venture conference, held at the Black Bear Inn and organized by the Target Technology Center. Roughly 120 people were in attendance, including students from the University of Maine and from the Maine Maritime Academy, faculty members, inventors, entrepreneurs and experts up and down the entrepreneurship food chain.

Kappos has a second home in the Rockport area, and said he’s been intimately familiar with Maine for about a decade.

“Mainers have a very special innovative capability that is as good or better than anywhere else I’ve been in the world,” said Kappos.

The state has a “terrific can-do attitude; people are natural problem-solvers,” said Kappos.

Click for the rest of the story by Matt Wickenheiser in the Bangor Daily News.

 

Protesters arrested at Lincoln wind site | Bangor Daily News

Protesters arrested at Lincoln wind site | Bangor Daily News.

Maine tourism traffic up this summer | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine tourism traffic up this summer | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 12 – Maine Black Bears T-shirt and Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt

The other day I was wearing Maine stuff on my sleeve – and back and front and … . Well, you get the idea.

I woke a couple of days ago, had breakfast, showered and pulled on a T-shirt that just happened to be Maine stuff in my California apartment.

It is a gray University of Maine Black Bears T-shirt.

University of Maine Black Bears T-shirt.

University of Maine Black Bears T-shirt.

The university in Orono is the largest in the state system, I believe, and has a fine reputation as a state institution of higher learning and for some of its sports teams. It also is involved with research in alternative energy and providing housing – tents – for deployed servicemen and women that are more resistant to explosives than current housing.

The T-shirt was sent to me by my sister, as I recall, several years ago. I’m not sure exactly why she sent it since she and I both attended the University of Southern Maine with campuses in Portland and Gorham. (I believe there is now a satellite campus in Lewiston, as well.)

It’s a cool enough shirt, as you can see from the photo.

Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt.

Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt.

And as I was stepping out the door, I pulled on a Fryeburg Academy sweatshirt that my sister sent me a couple of years ago. Fryeburg Academy, in Fryeburg, Maine, is a college prep school and has a fine reputation. I like the sweatshirt very much.

So, I have plenty of Maine stuff.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

 

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Down East diver uses camera to fight off shark | Bangor Daily News

Down East diver uses camera to fight off shark | Bangor Daily News.