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 18


MLive - There are now 1,525 breweries in the U.S., the highest number in 100 years. The biggest winner? Vermont. The Brewers Association, citing Census numbers based on 2008 population estimates, said Vermont has the most brewers per capita (19 breweries to 32,698 people). The rest of the top 5 is Montana, Oregon, Maine and Colorado.

BBC - When the residents of Otisfield in Maine received a notice warning them that their mailbox was going to be removed, they blocked the box in with a digger and a snowplow and threatened to chain themselves to it.. . . After their battle made local and national news, the town was granted a reprieve. The David and Goliath battle between the residents of Otisfield and the US government corporation struck a chord with people worldwide. The town has been deluged with messages of support, along with requests for advice from communities facing similar battles. The first mailbox appeared on an American street in 1858. . . The volume of mail posted by Americans the year is undergoing a record collapse, predicted to be down by 20 billion pieces in 2009, which would be the single biggest decline in the USPS's 234-year history. . . The declines are expected to accelerate, with a predicted fall from the high of 213 billion pieces of mail in 2006 to a projected 170 billion pieces in 2010.

Amariilo Globe News, TX - It had a padded, hinged lid, rusted casters and was obviously very old. Used as padding inside the lid were preserved copies of the Boston Sunday Post dated April 18, 1900, and a copy of the Bangor Daily News dated Nov. 3, 1920. One article told how stock speculation had now became a science, removing much of the risk of the volatile stock market trading. Another article warned motorists to avoid traffic at a certain location as construction on an elevated tramway had begun. A preacher who had aroused the wrath of John D. Rockefeller said he had been misquoted by the media and didn't say that at all. . . The Bangor City Markets Page listed the following prices of food items for the week: small pork sausages, 9 cents per pound prepared; cured bacon, 11 cents; lard, 7 cents; fresh pork ribs, 11 cents per pound; kerosene, 12.75 cents per gallon; corn, 50 cents per bushel; and sugar selling for $5.37 per 100-pound sack.

The Maine Society for Human Resources Management has picked its favorites for the fourth annual Best Places to Work in Maine list.

The Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index rates each state based on four simple questions to nearly 180,000 questionaire responders nationwide. The questions asked whether an individual smokes, did they eat healthy all day yesterday; in the last seven days, or how many days did you exercise for thirty minutes or more, and in the last seven days, on how many days did you have five or more servings of fruits and vegetables? Extremely subjective questioning just begs for erratic data culled from responses, yet studies like this from Gallup and other organizations such as the American Public Health Association show similarities and consistency in their figures. The APHA study from December of last year also found Vermont to be the healthiest state followed by Hawaii, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Idaho and Maine. Gallup's study had Vermont and Hawaii ranked first and second as well with Maine, New Hampshire and Idaho also in their top-nine placements.

Sun Journal - A project is under way to gather information to put together both a paper map and a companion online map to promote the region's recreational, historical and other assets along the Androscoggin River. Organizers need the public's help to nominate places or features of interest in Canton, Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls they think should be included. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 30. Androscoggin Land Trust is leading the way . . . Trust Executive Director Jonathan LaBonte said. LaBonte may be contacted at 782-2302.

Press Herald - Federal officials have agreed to re-analyze the data behind new flood maps that would jeopardize development around Portland Harbor. City Planning Director Penny St. Louis Littell said she and other Portland officials met with Federal Emergency Management Agency experts for several hours in Boston on Monday. City officials have challenged the data and methodology that FEMA used to create a new flood insurance map for Portland, suggesting that it doesn't apply well to a densely built harbor that has been developed for several hundred years and has proved itself in the worst weather. . . "It was a good discussion, there is good movement," said Littell. "I think they understand the uniqueness of Portland Harbor."

WTMW - The electricity doesn't have to get turned off if customers can't pay their bills, according to the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Among other resources, the commission offers alternatives to customers. The reminder Tuesday comes a day after a 9-year-old girl died in a fire caused by a candle lit for light in an apartment where the electricity was shut off because of unpaid bills, authorities said. The incident also brought to light a Public Utilities Commission regulation that prohibits a utility company from informing a building's landlord that it has disconnected a tenant's power. The regulation boils down to rights of privacy. The Public Utilities Commission wants to ensure all confidential information -- even delinquent payments are protected from any third party. . . [An official] said the privacy regulations could be revised in the future, but he emphasized so many programs currently exist to prevent anyone from having the power turned off. "The most important thing is don't wait. First thing is contact the utility. The utility is required by rule to enter into a payment arrangement with customers having a (hard) time paying their bill," [He] said people can also call the commission itself. They can also call the number 211, which has emergency assistance programs, as do many towns and cities across the state.

Casco Bay Boaters - A survey of the scallop population off the Eastern seaboard shows an upswing in the number of young scallops in a key fishing area, which scientists say could be a good sign for years to come. . . Scientist Dvora Hart says the numbers of juvenile scallops they found on Georges Bank, which stretches from the waters off Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, were the highest since 2000. . .

Kennebec Journal - J. Martin Vachon of Mariaville is the 17th person to file paperwork with the state ethics commission to run for governor. Vachon is the fifth Republican to file. And for those keeping score at home, there are six Democrats, two Greens and four unenrolled candidates in the race.


Twenty-seven lighthouses in Maine will be open September 12 for public tours. The event is the state's first "Open Lighthouse Day" organized by the U.S. Coast Guard in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation.


has around 23,000 black bears.


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