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.


Friday July 10

Kennebec Journal - Members of the Appropriations Committee will need to trim at least $80 million from next year's state budget, a number that's more than double what was originally anticipated. Ryan Low, commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, said preliminary figures show year-to-date state revenues are down $50 million. That money, along with $30 million in savings already booked in the 2011 budget, will have to be found by lawmakers who will begin discussions later this month.

Just about the entire coast has been closed to clam digging because of red tide.

Los Angeles Times - Maine had been primarily concerned with OxyContin, a highly addictive prescription painkiller. Now cocaine and heroin have emerged as major problems, and the cause is a combination of supply and demand. . . In the last year, heroin has flooded Maine and New Hampshire as OxyContin addicts turn to heroin. A bag of heroin costs about $5 on the street here today, compared with $50 for an OxyContin tablet. "Heroin arrests are up 100% from just three years ago," [a police officer] said. . . At Counseling Services Inc., an addiction treatment facility in Maine, Medical Director Dr. Patrick Maidman said the number of people seeking help for addiction to opiates such as OxyContin and heroin had been overwhelming.

For four decades, the Review has favored treating drug addiction as a health rather than a criminal concern. You can follow the story here

Sun Journal - The editor of the Farmers' Almanac apologized for accurately predicting a wet summer in the Northeast. For June 1-3, the almanac predicted "cool weather after showers and thunderstorms." For June 4-7, it called for "low clouds and fog" with "rain and thunderstorms prevailing" over New England. "Watch for a passing shower or thunderstorm," it said of the 12th to the 15th and "widespread cloudiness" for the 16th through the 19th. . . The almanac's forecast for July and August could leave almost any farmer in a slump: scattered showers, lightning, thunderstorms, wind and rain. Adding insult to injury, September is set to begin with "record-low temperatures." . . . The Farmers' Almanac is published in Lewiston each August and predicts regional forecasts 16 months in advance with a calculated formula developed in 1818 by its founder, David Young. . .


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