Stuff about me
My name is Keith Michaud and this is “Letters From Away,” a blog written by a Mainer living outside the comfortable and sane confines of New England. The blog is intended for Mainers, whether they live in the Pine Tree State or beyond, and for anyone who has loved ’em, been baffled by ’em or both. Ayuh, I am “from away.” Worse still, I live on the Left Coast – in California. Enjoy! Or not. Your choice.
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Stuff people write
- How Maine Became a Laboratory for the Future of Public Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Angus King Urges Interior Department To Reconsider Offshore Drilling Proposal | Mainepublic.org
- Maine Voices: Higher education, employers must work together for bright future | Portland Press Herald
- Stunning reversal: McDaniels turns down Colts’ job to stay with Patriots | The Associated Press via the Portland Press Herald
- Kennebec River water levels could stay high into next week | Bangor Daily News
Tag Archives: U.S. Coast Guard
Where is Ram Island light?: Newly sold lighthouse to be added to the tax rolls of Cape Elizabeth or Portland | Portland Press Herald
Ram Island Ledge Light will move onto the tax rolls because of its pending sale from the federal government to a doctor from Windham.
The question is, which tax rolls?
According to the online auction site set up by the U.S. General Services Administration, the lighthouse is at the entrance to Portland Harbor, off Cape Elizabeth.
The site says its street address is “Cumberland County,” and the city is Cape Elizabeth.
That’s news to Cape Elizabeth’s town manager.
“We don’t believe it’s in Cape Elizabeth,” said Mike McGovern. “We believe it’s in the city of Portland.”
Portland’s tax assessor, Richard Blackburn, said McGovern is probably right.
“There have been some questions” about which municipality the lighthouse is in, Blackburn said, and those questions have never been answered.
Click for the rest of this story by Edward D. Murphy in the Portland Press Herald.
Light show: Open Lighthouse Day offers rare chance to peek inside the towers, keepers’ houses at 25 of Maine’s lighthouses | Portland Press Herald
Living in Maine and never climbing a lighthouse is kind of like living in South Dakota and never seeing Mount Rushmore, or visiting Memphis and skipping the tour of Graceland.
You know you should do it, but somehow you just never get around to actually going.
Well, here’s your chance. On Saturday, 25 ocean, river and island lighthouses throughout Maine will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Some of these lighthouses aren’t normally open to the public, so this is a rare chance to peek inside their light towers and keepers’ houses.
Even if you’ve been to Portland Head Light a million times with visiting relatives, during Open Lighthouse Day, you’ll be able to climb the tower, which is usually closed.
“At the 25 sites that are going to be open, there will be people there staffing, and many of them will have guided tours,” said Bob Trapani Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation in Rockland, which is sponsoring the day along with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Maine Office of Tourism. “It’s an educational opportunity, not just a chance to climb.”
Click here for the rest of the story by Meredith Goad in the Portland Press Herald.
Anonymous bidder raises stakes for lighthouse: Bid casts doubt on Maine-based organization’s effort to acquire Ram Island Ledge Light | Portland Press Herald
An anonymous bidder has raised the stakes in what appears to be a three-way struggle for ownership of a historic lighthouse off the coast of Cape Elizabeth.
The $35,000 bid, made online Thursday by a party known only as “tugdocto,” cast doubt on a Maine-based organization’s effort to acquire Ram Island Ledge Light.
Robert Muller of Brunswick, executive director of the Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse Community, said his group must somehow raise $5,000 to $10,000 in the next day or two “to stay in the game” and put the lighthouse under public, locally based ownership.
“I really need to make up the gap with some large pledges,” he said.
Under federal rules, bidders have until 3 p.m. today to outbid tugdocto. Bids must be made in increments of at least $5,000.
If someone does outbid tugdocto today, the online auction will continue on to the next regular business day – Tuesday.
Click for the rest of the story by Dennis Hoey in the Portland Press Herald.
Anyone who wants to get more information or make a contribution can go to www.ramislandlighthouse.com, call (207) 956-0699 or e-mail Muller at bob@RamIslandLighthouse.com.
Lab goes to sea: USM science team sails south to study oil spill’s effects on whales | Portland Press Herald
PORTLAND, Maine — A University of Southern Maine professor and a crew of students are embarking on an expedition to learn how the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is affecting the health of whales.
The research vessel, Odyssey, a 93-foot, two-masted sailboat packed with laboratory equipment, is now berthed at DiMillo’s Marina. The vessel is scheduled to depart Portland next Friday.
John Wise, a professor of toxicology and molecular epidemiology at the University of Southern Maine, is the lead scientist. At least 10 USM students will be on board for some portion of the three-month expedition.
The vessel is carrying Wise’s cellular molecular laboratory – the only laboratory of its kind at sea, according to Iain Kerr, chief executive officer of Ocean Alliance, the Massachusetts nonprofit that owns the $1.5 million ketch.
Wise and the crew will be hunting for cell samples of sperm, humpback and Bryde’s whales. Wise will study DNA extracted from the cells to examine the effects of pollution.
He will use his lab to grow additional cells, which in effect become a permanent living sample for further study.
The creation of new cell lines from wild marine animals is difficult if not impossible to do because the cells degrade within hours, Wise said. That’s why it’s important to have a floating laboratory.
Click on the link for the rest of this story by Tom Bell in the Portland Press Herald.
PORTLAND – Two young college friends, one of them a longtime summer resident of Peaks Island, died after setting out for a short kayak trip Sunday and apparently falling into the cold and choppy waters of Casco Bay.
Irina McEntee, 18, and Carissa Ireland, 20, were found about 9 a.m. Monday by Coast Guard helicopter and boat crews about three miles off Cape Elizabeth and seven miles south of the kayakers’ original destination, Ram Island.
The women, both wearing life jackets, shorts and light shirts, were severely hypothermic and unresponsive and had no apparent vital signs when they were pulled from the 48-degree water, the Coast Guard said.
A helicopter crew rushed them to Maine Medical Center, where doctors tried to resuscitate them before pronouncing the women dead about 9:30 a.m., according to a hospital spokesman.
Forty-eight degrees “is very, very cold,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Brian Downey. “Survivability is very short in that type of water condition.”
Click on the link for the rest of this story by John Richardson in the Portland Press Herald.
“TV doesn’t do justice to how
widespread the damage is,”
Maine’s Coast Guard commander says
Before he left for Haiti, Capt. James McPherson of Kittery was given a little toy shark by his 5-year-old son, Connor.
McPherson, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in Portland and South Portland, gave the shark to a 4-year-old boy near the American embassy in Port-au-Prince. The little boy, covered with dust from the ruined city, plays with the toy all day.
McPherson is amazed at how well the children of Port-au-Prince are rebounding from the earthquake that destroyed their city.
“They’re just completely resilient. But it makes you wonder – what’s his future, what’s going to happen from here?” said McPherson.
Click on this link for the rest of today’s story by Matt Wickenheiser of the Portland Press Herald.