UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 22, 2009

DOWN EAST NOTES

What's happening near the Review's headquarters. Details in the Coastal Packet

The leader of a group
hoping to expand the state's medical-marijuana law says he doesn't anticipate much opposition. Jonathan Leavitt, who leads Maine Citizens for Patients Rights, said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and a new administration in Washington have made medical marijuana -- and dispensaries created to distribute it -- less controversial. . . Maine is one of 13 states to allow the use of medical marijuana. If Question 5 passes, Maine would be the fifth state to permit dispensaries.

The farmhouse-style house rising in an old field in Belfast will likely become the state's most energy-frugal home, its builders say, using 90 percent less fuel than a typical new home. This structure is so airtight and heavily insulated, and so well oriented to the sun, that the builders are leaving out any real heating system. And thanks to solar panels on the roof, the owner won't pay anything for heat or hot water. Not ever. But what makes this project even more noteworthy is that the three-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot house is expected to cost roughly $225,000, minus land. That's on par with typical custom-built homes in Maine. And costs could drop, the builders say, if the techniques being used here are adopted in mass production.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is delaying implementation of new flood insurance maps that would effectively make it impossible to build on piers and wharves in Portland Harbor. . . The agency had reclassified Portland Harbor as a high-risk zone, effectively prohibiting new construction on all of the city's private and public piers. . . Pier owners in Portland Harbor have made insurance claims, although not significant ones. Since 1978, there have been four claims. Three were paid out for a total of $36,000, according to FEMA. . . Crews used ropes, a boat and front loader to move a 20-foot minke whale into the water in Ogunquit. . . Another boat was expected to tow the whale at least 10 miles out to sea.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mairead said...

There's a problem with "airtight", and it's well-known.

September 22, 2009 4:46 PM  

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