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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.

2/8/10

DOWN EAST NOTES

Pine Tree Politics - Gallup published a new study that took a look at each state in the union, and compared the partisan gap between Republicans and Democrats in 2008 and 2009. The results showed that in a large majority of states, the advantage enjoyed by the Democratic Party has slipped – yet it does remain strong. Interestingly, Maine comes in as the seventh highest slip in support for Democrats, losing six percentage points. However, Maine still remains - according to Gallup - a net 13 point Democratic stronghold (48%-35%), earning the "solid Democrat" moniker.

After checking the tree's growth rings under magnification, the Maine Forest Service has declared Yamouth's famous elm, Herbie, to have been 217 years old when cut down recently. It was born in 1793, the same year that George Washington began his second term.

Morning Sentinel - Gen. George Washington's map of the 1781 Battle of Yorktown sold Friday for $1.15 million, making it the highest-priced artifact ever sold at auction in Maine. The pen-and-ink battle plan -- yellow marking the forward lines of the allied French and American armies, red showing the British formation -- was sold at the James D. Julia Inc. auction house on U.S. Route 201. . . It was prepared by the French Lt. Col. Jean Baptiste Gouvion for the Virginia campaign. "It's the record for the most expensive antique ever sold in Maine, at auction," Julia said. "I don't know where it stands in the world of maps, but it is certainly one of the most expensive maps ever sold." The second highest-price item in Maine was a Colt pistol sold by Julia at auction in 2007, which sold for almost $1 million.

Steve Pinkham has written a book, the Mountains of Maine, that comes up with some high altitude facts about the state's hundreds of mountains and hills. Reports the Sun Journal: "He counted eight Black Mountains, seven Hedgehog Mountains and six Sugarloafs." There are 26 Oak Hills. . . Along the way, Pinkham developed a list of superlatives. He calls Mars Hill 'Maine's most abused mountain,' with TV, cell phone and wind towers. Saddleback, he said, is the state's most expensive mountain: Its owner paid $17 million so the top wouldn't be developed. Beehive Mountain in Acadia earns honors as most-climbed in Maine.

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