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.



Press Herald - Donaldson Boord had no doubt what he was watching.  Boord, a Marine Patrol Officer, was hidden on the shore of an island off Cushing as he watched a nearby lobsterman hauling another man's traps. He then stuffed the bright red buoys and ropes inside the traps and dropped them overboard so that the owner couldn't find them, according to Boord.  "I saw it no different than if I was in the back of the boat with him, and so did another officer" who was staked out in a different part of the island, Boord said.  For Boord and other state officials, it was a rare chance to punish someone caught in the act of "trap molesting," and to send a clear message that anyone taking part in the growing trap wars along the Maine coast could lose his license, and his livelihood.  Instead, officials in Maine's Department of Marine Resources are now worried the case will only make matters worse when lobstermen head back to the water this summer.  Despite the eyewitnesses, James Simmons of Friendship denied the charge. And, after a two-day trial last summer, a Knox CountyLincoln County proved the verdict was no fluke...Again, the jury quickly sided with the accused lobsterman... jury quickly ruled in his favor.  Then, last October, a similar trial in Trap cutting got so out of control last summer that disputes led to the sinking of boats near Owls Head and the shooting of a lobsterman on a Matinicus Island wharf.

Press Herald - A Boston-based company that's developing technology to convert energy from ocean waves into usable power is interested in testing prototypes in Maine.  If Resolute Marine Energy Inc. moves ahead over the next year or two, it would be the first test off the Maine coast of wave energy, which is already generating electricity in Europe, and growing interest off the West Coast of the U.S.  Resolute Marine has an eye on Maine's new offshore research center, two miles south of Monhegan Island.

Maine Public Broadcasting -  Since the Legislature enacted the state's school consolidation law three years ago, all but 15 percent of the state's students are in consolidated school units. Some districts were too large to consolidate. But some were too small. Now, a legislative panel has signed off on a plan that opens the door for those smaller districts to collaborate. Related Media Plan to Ease Consolidation for Smaller School Districts . . .State Rep. Patricia Sutherland, a Chapman Democrat, says the Education Committee's plan, and expected enactment by the Legislature, should provide an incentive to many non-complying school districts that were waiting on the results of the failed repeal effort last fall to move forward. . .At the state Education Department, David Connerty-Marin says that communties that want to resist consolidation can continue to do so -- but at a cost.  "There are a number of places where they flat out have no interest in consolidating with anybody and this doesn't change that for them -- they made that choice locally at the ballot box that they would pay an additional local tax obligation for education in order to remain separate," he says. "

Maine Public Broadcasting -     Maine's 2009 deer harvest was down for the second year in a row... According to an initial count, 18,045 deer were taken by hunters last year, six percent less than state biologists had predicted, and 14 percent below the tally for 2008, one of the lowest harvests in decades.  To put this into perspective, we must consider that the 2008 and 2009 winters represent the most severe back-to-back winters since 1971-72," says IF&W Deer Biologist Lee Kantar in a statement announcing the results.



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