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The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.

6/30/09

Tuesday June 30

IF THE RAIN HAS YOU DOWN, IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. . .

WCSH - Maine Department of Transportation officials say it will cost the state about half a million dollars to replace a washed-out bridge in Rumford. The South Rumford Road Bridge was washed away after days of heavy rain caused flood waters to rise. DOT was on the scene Monday surveying the damage. A pick-up truck was destroyed when the bridge gave way. The man inside the truck was able to get out safely before the bridge completely collapsed.

MAINE NOTES

The public has until July 27 to react to the language on four ballot initiatives. The questions will be there in some form thanks to citizen initiatives, but the language is debatable. The questions:
  • Do you want to cut the rate of the excise tax on newer vehicles that owners pay to towns by about half and exempt some energy-efficient vehicles from the sales tax?
  • Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to expand the methods of distribution?
  • Do you want to change Maine law to require voter approval for state and local tax and spending increases over certain limits?
  • Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?
TO RESPOND

Brunswick Times Record - Residents of Arrowsic are still calling for high-speed Internet access. But they're worried nobody's listening. They've heard about ambitious plans by the state to expand high-speed Internet to rural areas, and they've seen companies try to plug their town in with high-speed lines. . . Some residents have grown impatient with the slow, dial-up Internet access that utilizes telephone wires to connect computers to the World Wide Web. Sandy Weiss, for instance, has turned to a satellite Internet service, but paying the equipment and installation costs associated with that connection required a start-up expense of more than $500. Even then, the satellite connection can be inconsistent, slowing down or cutting off completely in bad weather, she said.

I WANT MY BROADBAND FROM FAIRPOINT FORM

Morning Sentinel - The Maine Public Utilities Commission has re-opened a program that provides cash rebates for the installation of some solar energy systems in Maine homes and small businesses. . . Residential and commercial thermal incentives are set at 25 percent of the cost of a qualifying system.

Politics 1 compares the campaign logo of GOP gubernatorial candidate Les Otten to that of Barack Obama. And then, of course, there's the Pepsi one. . .

The Maine Owl has a 24 minute video of the recent universal healthcare rally.

Casco Bay Boaters - A portable safe has been launched which promises to keep your mobile phone and keys safe as you take a dip in the sea. The Yelpie features a motion sensor alarm to protect your belongings on the beach meaning you don't have to hold your wallet above the water when paddling. Upon setting a pin code the box is locked and sensors are activated, after which an ear piercing 90dB alarm will be triggered if someone grabs it and tries to do a runner. However, if someone accidentally knocks it with a beach ball while you are off getting an ice cream you could find yourself the becoming the most disliked person on the beach.

Bangor Daily News, Vinalhaven - Hundreds of islanders gathered Monday morning at a 75-acre construction site in a misty spruce forest to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Fox Islands Wind project. By next Thanksgiving, developers said, three turbines here will take advantage of the high offshore winds to produce enough electricity to provide power to the 1,500 year-round residents of Vinalhaven and North Haven islands. And many think that when the windmills are whirring on Vinalhaven, other island communities will want turbines of their own.

Natural Resources Council - State, federal and local officials and conservation leaders gathered on the bank of the Kennebec River to celebrate one of our nation's most significant and successful river restoration projects. Ten years ago, the 160-year-old Edwards Dam was removed to restore a free-flowing Kennebec River. Its removal marked the first time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that the ecological value of a free-flowing river was greater than the economic value of a dam, and ordered the dam removed. Today, the river has come back to life. It has become a draw for local residents and businesses. Boaters, anglers, and birdwatchers are regular visitors to the restored rapids and islands of the Kennebec, as well as the walking trails, riverfront docks, parks, and boat launches. This year, two million alewives returned to the Kennebec- perhaps the largest migration on the eastern seaboard. The entire web of life - from eagles to osprey to bear - are benefiting from a healthier river.

MAINE ALMANAC


HISTORY OF MAINE GOVERNORS

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