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.


Tuesday Aug 4

- Maine has quietly enacted a new law to put an end to predatory marketing practices against minors. The new law, set to go into effect in September, broadly restricts using any personal information about minors for marketing products or services. . . According to the legislative history, lawmakers reacted to studies showing how much sensitive personal content minors continue to post on social networking profiles, and how advertisers pay large sums for access to those files. A 2008 Harris Interactive study, for example, concluded that one in three teens browse the Web on mobile phones, and six in 10 teens are willing to provide personal information. . . The law seemingly cuts off any Maine resident under 18 from receiving promotional material about college prep services, volunteer opportunities (e.g., Red Cross) or even military service.

Adrienne Bennett, WABI - Seven years ago Don and Kay Kenerson moved to Maine. After purchasing 116 acres of land they needed something to put on it. The couple tried raising llamas and cattle, but today, it's bison. Twenty of massive creatures roam on the farm in Solon. . . Currently there are about a dozen bison farms in Maine. . . . In the late 1800's, less than 1,000 bison were left and those were saved by the combined efforts of William Hornaday (Director of the Bronx Zoo) and a small group of ranchers. In 1905, the American Bison Society was created to save the bison and protect rangeland for the animals. . . The bison herds of today number in excess of 350,000 and are growing.

Meg Haskell, Bangor Daily News - What is the relationship between Maine's lung cancer cases and the location of the state's craggy granite outcroppings? Why is the incidence of melanoma - a life-threatening cancer of the skin linked to prolonged exposure to sunlight - not highest along the lobster coast, as public health experts might predict, but rather in-land, in the forested foothills of Maine's western mountains? Is there a connection between rates of breast and prostate cancers and the hormone-disrupting properties of arsenic found in natural deposits - as well as in industrial spills and dumps - around the state? According to a 2005 report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine had a rate of 510 cases of invasive cancer per 100,000 people - much higher than the national average of 459.9 cases per 100,000. In a unique public health research project, one of Maine's oldest mapping companies and its newest genetics institute are attempting to answer questions about how the natural environment, man made toxins and genetic factors are linked to the state's highest-in-the-nation cancer rate.

Working Waterfront - In most places in Maine, the actions of one individual would not become a symbol for an entire community. Unfortunately for Matinicus Island, that is precisely what has happened after island lobsterman Vance Bunker allegedly shot another island lobsterman, Chris Young, in the neck . . . Matinicus is the "Wild West" the home of "pirates" and warring lobstermen. . . What gets lost in all this rhetoric is the island community itself. Islanders are the ones working to overcome this crisis. . . It makes no sense to brand an entire community based on the misguided actions of a few. Islanders will rise to meet this challenge, as they have coped with other challenges in the past, regardless of how they are perceived on the mainland.

Wikipedia - Edward D. (Sandy) Ives, who died August 2, was a folklorist. His work has concentrated on the oral traditions of Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, particularly, as he said, "on local songs and their makers but also on cycles of tales about local heroes." He founded the Maine Folklore Center in 1992 and was its director until his retirement in 1998. He performed as a folk singer to supplement his income as a lecturer. This introduced him to the lumber camp singing tradition of Maine, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and he soon found his calling. In 1957, he organized the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History at the University of Maine. The next year, he founded the Northeast Folklore Society and began editing the monograph series Northeast Folklore. His Folkways Records album, Folk Songs of Maine, was released in 1959.

U Maine Today - Under [Ives'] leadership, Northeast Folklore and Northeast Archives evolved into the Maine Folklife Center a decade ago. Current holdings include 5,000 hours of tape recordings, 10,000 photos and slides, and 164 linear feet of manuscripts related to folklore and social history. It is considered one of the finest ethnographic collections of regional culture in North America.

Tux Turkel, Press Herald, Wiscasset - "I want a mini back-to-the-land feeling. . . I want to bridge the gap between the hippie generation of the 1960s and modern technology/". . . [Jason Peacock] is trying to create [a] dream on 34 forested acres north of town here. He calls the project "Solar Village." Peacock envisions a dozen or so tightly built homes, with high-efficiency lights and appliances that can run most of the time on electricity harvested from solar panels. Off-the-grid subdivisions are uncommon in the country. None currently exists in Maine. . . To have enough power on cloudy, cold days, battery banks, controllers and generators must augment solar panels. That adds layers of cost and complication that deter most developers and all but the most dedicated homeowners. But Peacock is betting that a market exists for people like himself, who feel passionate enough about healthy living and the renewable-energy lifestyle to make the needed changes, and investment, to live in an off-the-grid community.


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