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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.

7/5/09

Sunday July 5

NOTES

WHDH, Boston -
They look like they just emerged from a steamer pot, but two orange lobsters are definitely alive and kicking in York, Maine. Jeremy Mirick, co-owner of the lobster pound at the York Fitness Center, says the two orange lobsters in his tank aren't for sale. Officials at the New England Aquarium say orange lobsters are a one in 30 million rarity but they've gotten reports of 10 to 12 of them in the region in the last two weeks. The reason is unknown, though color variations usually are genetic.

The Old Orchard Chamber of Commerce says hotel occupancy is down 20 percent of the past few weeks.

Maine's new tax law: "Although no one will really know its full impact until the law goes into effect, an analysis by Maine Revenue Services, the state tax agency, concluded that 87 percent of Maine's 665,000 income tax-paying households will see their overall tax burden decrease. But the jury is still out on the estimated 133,000 families who haven't been filing Maine income tax forms. They will now have to file in order to get the tax credit. . .
About half the mall business owners who will be subject to collecting sales tax for the first time were not aware of the law when contacted last week."

What's taxed, what's not

Kennebec Journal -
On a bleak rainy day, the homey smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts out of the reference room at the Kennebunk Free Library. Inside the room, people sit at tables talking while nibbling on muffins and scones. Not a single hushing librarian is in sight. That's because the librarians have turned the reference room into the Reference Room Cafe, where beverages, snacks, sandwiches and salads are on sale every day during library hours. . . They are even looking for ways to open up the cafe to teenagers as a coffeehouse. "The hope is the reference collection becomes more of a browsing collection," said Janet Cate, assistant director.Kennebunk Free Library, which opened its cafe June 17, is among a number of public libraries in the state that are going into the coffee shop business. Libraries across Maine are adding cafes for a new source of revenue and as a way to entice customers away from the national bookstore chains that have long offered such services.

WHAT'S HAPPENING

There's going to be conference
this Friday at USM to discuss the state and future of Maine beaches. Among the concerns: how beaches contribute to the state's economy, how sea level rise and coastal erosion may affect those values, and actions communities can take to protect their beach assets. Among the presentations:
  • summary of trends at many of Southern Maine’s beaches highlighting beach profiles, shoreline erosion, dune restoration, and water quality.
  • climate change, sea level rise, and related public policies.
  • strategies for adapting to sea level rise.
  • preserving beach communities.
Steve Dickson of the Maine Geological Survey will lead a walking tour of hazard-resilient coastal activities and construction projects. According to one estimate, Maine's beaches bring in about $500 million a year and create about 8,000 jobs. Sea level has been rising about an inch every 50 years.

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