The Coastal Packet

Tuesday, July 17

Fastest growing and shrinkng counties in Maine

Fastest shrinking county in Maine

Maine: Aroostook County

  • 2010-2017 population change: -5.6% (71,697 to 67,653)
  • 2010-2017 population change, Maine: +0.6% (1,327,568 to 1,335,907)
  • 2010-2017 pop. change due to migration: -2,861
  • 2017 unemployment: 4.8% (Maine: 3.3%)

Fastest growing county in Maine

Maine: Cumberland County

  • 2010-2017 population change: +3.9% (281,435 to 292,500)
  • 2010-2017 population change, Maine: +0.6% (1,327,568 to 1,335,907)
  • 2010-2017 pop. change due to migration: +9,322
  • 2017 unemployment: 2.5% (Maine: 3.3%)

 

 

LePage has vetoed more bills than any Maine governor since the fall of the Ottoman Empire

Bangor Daily News - The Maine Legislature has never dealt with a larger mountain of vetoes than during Gov. Paul LePage’s 7.5-year tenure.

The Republican governor has vetoed more bills approved by the Legislature than the combined total by all governors since Carl Elias Milliken, who took office in 1917. The Ottoman Empire fell five years later.

With a veto pen in hand, LePage is a slugger of historic proportions. Here’s a sampling of ways you can slice that fact, comparing LePage to Milliken and on:

— LePage has issued 1.4 vetoes for every one by another governor.

— LePage has issued more than 5 times the vetoes of his next-busiest vetoers, Govs. Jim Longley and John “Jock” McKernan.

Saturday, July 14

Sessions to bring classic failed drug war approach to Maine opiood problem

Maine Beacon - Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland on Friday to lay out President Donald Trump’s comprehensive opioid crisis plan. The plan, which relies overwhelmingly on a law enforcement approach to preventing overdose deaths, has come under fire from Maine health policy experts and political leaders.

This prosecution-heavy approach to the crisis stands in stark contrast to the recommendations made last year by Trump’s own opioid crisis and drug addiction commission, which cited a lack of access to care and a fear of shame and discrimination as the primary obstacles for those wanting treatment.

“The Trump administration’s enforcement-focused approach is not only utilizing, but ramping up, the same failed strategy that the U.S. has employed for the last 100 years and expecting different results,” said Kenney Miller, executive director of the Health Equity Alliance in Maine. “The punitive approach to substance use and the criminalization of drugs has lead to nothing but pain and misery.”

Thursday, July 12

LePage says he'll go to jail before expanding Medicaid

Press Herald - Maine’s governor says if a court tells him he must expand Medicaid without budgeted state funding, he’d go to jail before putting Maine in “red ink.”

Gov. Paul LePage made the remark Tuesday during a call-in on WVOM-FM.

Nearly three out of five voters last fall voted to expand Medicaid to 80,000 Mainers by July 2.

The governor is fighting a court order requiring him to submit paperwork for Maine to receive federal funding. He successfully vetoed a bill to fund Maine’s expansion costs with surplus and tobacco settlement funds.

The bill provided state funding that would be supplemented by more than $500 million in federal funds to expand Medicaid to between 70,000 and 80,000 more Mainers. Supporters say costs to the state would be less than $50 million once the expansion is fully implemented, but opponents contend the cost could be twice that.

Bangor Maine police report

Lt Tim Cotton, Bangor Police Department  - Officer Jeff Kinney was sent to a downtown bridge to check on a man who was walking heel-to-toe the hand rail. A kind woman, who made a phone call to us, first asked if the man might be attempting to do harm to himself.

He told her he had no intention of doing any such thing as he was working on his balance, possibly his poise.

There are better places to practice, Kinney knows this from that time when he thought he was auditioning for a circus and later found himself wearing a uniform and working as a police officer in Bangor.

When Kinney found the man stumbling up Hammond Street, he approached him to find out if everything was all right. The man, who was intoxicated with more than a love for the Flying Wallendas, told Kinney that he was working on his balancing act and planning on becoming a gymnast someday.

Not surprisingly the man had never tried Circus City IPA, but he did know a Daddy named Natty who has been known to leave three rings in the center of the glass-topped coffee table when the empty can is slammed down after all 25 ounces of high-test malt liquor have been drained out the hole bottom during a shotgunning contest among like-minded and thirsty friends.

He was hammered, but obviously had some really good balance as he had scooted down the rail in record time.

With no charges to file, he was warned to avoid walking the bridge rail and continued up the hill to the intersection of Hammond and Ohio Streets. We received word that he had no intention of fetching a pail of water.

ooo

A woman who tossed her cookies while on a cab ride, had also left her phone behind.

She also might have pee’d a little...

When the cab driver asked her to help out with the cleaning fee, she told him, “No.” Of course, that was before she remembered where she had forgotten her phone. It sounds strange, but remembering where you forgot something is the sign of slowly sobering up. That’s a good thing.

The bad news is that the cab driver was upset that his seating surfaces were of limited use because of the unexpected showers.

While the cab was not "Yellow," like the big city hacks -we are unsure about the interior.

Why was Officer Zach Carey involved? I’ll tell you. The following day the angry cab driver motored by the woman’s husband and held a phone out the window. It appeared to be the missing device. The driver also presented his middle digit in the manner which indicated he was displeased about the pee.

So rude

The woman’s husband called us to report the cabbie’s finger-flinging and to report that he believed the driver had his wife’s phone. There was no mention on whether he knew that the cabbie was driving fast with the windows down in order to dry out the interior for future patrons.

Carey was able to speak to the driver of cab who claimed he did not have the phone, but he wanted his money for the cleaning. He also admitted that it was certainly possible that he had flown the fickle finger of fate while driving by, mainly because of his anger about the woman who had found sweet relief in his seat.

Carey explained, while suppressing the overwhelming urge to smirk, that the police could not force someone to pay a cleaning fee due to the the civil nature of the complaint. We said civil, not civilized.

He also told the cabbie that he would be charged with theft if the phone was not returned asap.

We are unsure of the outcome, but if you do soil the backseat of a cab, we are hopeful that you would do the right thing and ante-up to aid the purveyor of rides with the cleaning costs...

Choose to be kind, and to pee before you leave.

ooo

To the person who called us about the man, walking up Union Street, without his shirt on; we did check on him. He was fine. We appreciate the concern, but it was 96 degrees. He explained that he was hot so he took his shirt off in order to cool down.

This made sense to us.

With the continuous re-runs of Naked and Afraid on cable, we were hopeful that the sighting of a shirtless male on a hot summer’s day would merely remind folks to set their DVR for the season’s cliff-hanger when one of the two participants gets sick while eating moldy twigs and unidentifiable mushrooms mixed with the random insect… or that manscaping is now “a thing.”

We can cite no ordinance which prohibits shirtless wandering, but there is such a thing as an “assumed social standard” (there is an acronym, but this is a family page).

Braiding is an acceptable substitute, but Pinterest has some great suggestions on what to do with the clippings. It’s a free country.

ooo

To the folks who were frolicking in the public pool up on 13th Street well after closing time -we know it’s still hot late into the night -but this is not a scene from Caddy Shack.

Please use the pool when it is open for business.

One indicator of the pool being open for business is that you do not have to crawl over the security fence to get in. Nor, would you have to run across the park upon our arrival when someone calls us about shrieks of delight and pool-toy sounds after midnight. Please be more cognizant of the posted rules.

We are still hopeful it was refreshing. We are decent humans and I cannot say that the thought has not crossed our mind here at 240 Main Street.

Democrats can't count on Collins

CNN: “Democrats are hoping Collins will defy her party once again and vote against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh… But a Collins “no” vote on Trump’s nominee is not something Democrats should bet on. She’s never voted against a Supreme Court nominee of either party. Further, Collins is a Republican, and the person nominating Kavanaugh is a Republican. That’s normally a recipe for a vote for confirmation to the Supreme Court.”

“Even worse for Democrats’ hopes, Collins was a more reliable vote for her p

Tuesday, July 10

Lawmakers override 20 of LePage's 43 vetoes

Press Herald - Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Monday to increase reimbursement rates for group homes serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the protests of Gov. Paul LePage.

Lawmakers approved the rate increase for “direct care” workers while overriding LePage vetoes on two supplemental spending bills that also earmark additional funds for nursing home workers and for opiate addiction treatment programs. In separate votes, both chambers of the Legislature also opted to provide $6 million more in state funds to address shortfalls at the county jails and to require utility shareholders to pick up the tabs for the types of audits currently underway into unexplained price spikes.

But LePage successfully blocked 23 of the 43 bills that he vetoed, including measures to provide start-up funding to expand Medicaid coverage, to prohibit “conversion therapy” for gay or transgendered minors and to reopen the Downeast Correctional Facility.

Sunday, July 8

Word: What the recent Maine primary teaches about ranked choice voting

John Rensenbrink (letter to Brunswick Times Record) - First, if the primary had not been run in accordance with RCV, the winner of the 7-candidate Democratic primary, Janet Mills, would have won with only 33 percent of the vote. Because of RCV she received a majority of 56 percent. She now heads to the general election with a far more unified party vote behind her. RCV clearly demonstrated its value in overcoming fractured, minority-constricted victories, something we’ve been afflicted with for decades.

Second, the campaign leading up to the primary was free of negative attacks–a lethal condition of politics today. Candidates found it made good sense to appeal for second place to voters committed to other candidates, thus refraining from slinging mud on those candidates. RCV structurally tilts candidates towards the positive rather than the negative.

Third, an RCV election relieves the voter of being burdened by the scourge of spoilerism. RCV eliminates recourse to the spoiler card and its manipulation by major parties to coerce voters.

And fourth, the June Primary gave RCV a rousing support of 54 percent to 46 percent, even greater than the 52 percent to 48 percent it received in the 2016 Referendum. This speaks volumes.

John Rensenbrink is a co-founder of the Maine Independent Green Party

Saturday, July 7

Maine's labor problems

David Vail And John Dorrer, Press Herald


One-fourth of Maine’s 20,000 officially unemployed this April had been out of work more than six months. Rural unemployment is far higher than in metro regions, with Washington County’s 5 percent rate more than double Cumberland County’s.

The actual number of Mainers either unemployed, involuntarily working part time, or discouraged from job seeking is twice the official unemployment level.

Labor force participation among Maine adults age 25 to 54 dropped from 87 percent in 2001 to 82 percent in 2017. That decline represents 30,000 more working-age Mainers not participating in the economy. In rural Somerset County, only 58 percent of prime-age adults are in the workforce and many scrape by, combining safety net programs like food stamps and disability insurance with unreported “gray market” activities.

Most of the 30,000 jobs Maine lost in the Great Recession were in the male-dominant manufacturing and construction sectors. Many former family breadwinners exhausted unemployment benefits without finding new full-time jobs and never received appropriate counseling and training for jobs in the growing service sectors.

In 2016, 21 percent of Maine men with less than a high school diploma were out of the workforce, compared to less than 6 percent of men with a college degree. A similar pattern holds for women.
Among Mainers age 25 to 54, “deaths of despair” surged between 2000 and 2015. The suicide rate rose 45 percent, accidental drug-related deaths increased by 577 percent, and deaths from alcohol-related illnesses 185 percent.

Nationally, clinical depression is more than twice as common among unemployed people as among job holders. Nearly one in five people out of work a year or more suffer from depression. Hopelessness is part of their story. Seventy percent of those unemployed less than five weeks expect to find jobs within a month, but the figure drops to 29 percent for those jobless a year or more.

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LePage vetoes medical marijuana bill

LePage vetoes bill that protected young gays from "conversion therapy"

Friday, July 6

Susan Collins misleads on abortion

Daily Kos - The pretzels into which Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is willing to tie herself to justify voting for what she very well knows is going to be an anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee are legion. They include flat-out lying. Collins appeared on The New York Times "The Daily" podcast Monday, talking about the next Supreme Court Justice and her mythical commitment to women's health. That's part of the lie, but here's the big one. The one that tells you she's already justifying her likely vote. She told host Michael Barbaro that the public is split "51-49" on overturning Roe v. Wade.

The public hasn't been split in half on abortion in the more than 40 years that Gallup has been polling on it. On this specific question of Roe, just last week KFF found the split was 67-29 in favor of Roe staying the law of the land. And that was before the Supreme Court threat. The same day as this podcast, Quinnipiac released a similar poll, with the split 63-31 in favor of the law.

... Notably, Barbaro and the Times issued a correction, pointing out these polls. Collins as of yet has not

Tuesday, July 3

LePage vetoes another 23 bills

Press Herald - Gov. Paul LePage vetoed nearly two dozen bills, including one that was spurred by Maine’s failure to investigate the deaths of more than 130 developmentally disabled Medicaid patients.

LePage is continuing his historic use of the veto pen as he attempts to block legislation dealing with everything from Medicaid expansion to needle exchange programs and the way moose hunting permits are allocated. The 23 vetoes delivered Monday to the Legislature will add to the record number of bills – well over 500 – that LePage has tried to reject during his tenure, and likely won’t be his last because more legislation is awaiting his attention.

Monday, July 2

Word: Roe v Wade

Brian Fallon Susan Collins to @jaketapper: "The President told me he would not ask that question" about Roe. He doesn't need to, Susan Collins. The Federalist Society picked the list for Trump because they already know which judges are anti-Roe.

Monday, June 25

Serious browntail moth problem

Press Herald -The invasive browntail moth, which has hunkered down in the midcoast for years, is expanding into Portland and its northern and western suburbs, bringing thousands of new, unsuspecting Mainers into contact with the caterpillars’ toxic hairs.

In Yarmouth, town employees have posted signs and roped off areas infested with browntail moth caterpillars to protect residents from exposure to the hairs that cause a blistery, itchy rash similar to poison ivy. Browntail moths have been found in nearly every Yarmouth neighborhood and have left some oak trees nearly bare of leaves.

Saturday, June 23

Shaw's bans black regular customer from shopping there

All of Maine in border zone

Press Herald - The government’s crackdown on illegal immigration came to an unexpected place on Wednesday: central Maine – about as far from the border with Mexico as it is possible to get. In Penobscot County, Border Patrol agents set up a vehicle checkpoint for 11 hours, stopping scores of vehicles and arresting a man from Haiti, according to the Portland Press Herald.

We’ve seen other stories of Border Patrol stops in random places in recent months as media attention and the focus of the Trump administration has turned to the subject of immigration. A checkpoint in New Hampshire this week. A woman in Montana was stopped by a Border Patrol agent who heard her speaking Spanish. (She was a citizen, born in Texas.) Related At Maine checkpoint, Border Patrol agents question travelers about citizenship

... There is a constitutional protection against being searched without a warrant, raising the question of how such demands from the Border Patrol are legal. If you’re crossing the border, you’re used to having to display a passport. But when you’re in the middle of Maine?

As it turns out, the middle of Maine – and much of northern Montana – are considered to be within the “border zone” of the United States. In fact, the entire states of Maine and New Hampshire are within the border zone, which extends 100 miles into the United States from every border and every coast. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, two-thirds of Americans live within the border zone, a function of the number of major cities located near the coast.

DemOcratic Senate candidate arrested attempting to deliver food to Trump concentration camp

WMTW - Democratic Maine U.S. Senate candidate Zak Ringelstein was arrested outside a detention center in McAllen, Texas, his campaign said Friday.

Ringelstein, 31, of Yarmouth, was attempting to deliver food and supplies to the camp, which houses migrant children, his campaign said.

Ringelstein is running for U.S. Senate against independent Sen. Angus King and State Sen. Eric Brakey, who is running as a Republican.

Friday, June 22

Border Patrol stops cars in Maine illegally

Portland Press Herald  - U.S. Border Patrol agents conducted an 11-hour vehicle checkpoint on Interstate 95 in eastern Maine, stopping southbound vehicles near Lincoln in Penobscot County to ask drivers and passengers for their citizenship and immigration status, and to search vehicles with sniffer dogs.

Agents from the Houlton Border Patrol sector manned the checkpoint, arresting a man from Haiti and seizing drugs. Border Patrol said it didn’t keep track of how many vehicles the agents stopped.

Civil rights groups have sharply criticized the practice of snap immigration inspections on highways and bus stations, and said some of the checks are unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union suspects inspections have become more common during the Trump administration, and in May it sued the U.S. government for records related to immigration enforcement efforts.

“We should all be able to live our lives without being stopped by immigration agents every time we board a bus or drive down the highway,” said Emma Bond, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. “Having (Border Patrol) constantly intruding on our lives and demanding that we show our papers doesn’t make us any safer, but it will make us less free.”

Public financing still in danger

Press Herald - One Maine gubernatorial hopeful and 220 legislative candidates who are counting on public campaign funds are in limbo.

Lawmakers continued trying to hash out a deal that could satisfy House Republicans who are ideologically opposed to public campaign funding. Such a fix could return some of the money to Maine’s general fund.

....Last year, lawmakers passed a budget that transferred $3 million to Maine’s fund for publicly financed candidates by June 1, 2018.

But months ago, lawmakers discovered a mistake in the budget’s wording that now effectively prevents Maine’s ethics commission from releasing its public campaign funds after July 1.

How Mills differs from Moody

Beacon - Mills offers a clear split from Moody on many of the issues that will be top-of-mind for Maine voters in November.

On health care, which polling shows is a top concern, Moody opposes Medicaid expansion and has said he would repeal the voter-approved law if elected governor. Mills not only supports Medicaid expansion but has pledged to work towards universal health coverage.

On the issue of minimum wage, Mills supports continuing the voter-approved minimum wage increase that will see Maine’s lowest-paid workers earn $12 an hour by 2020. Moody has aligned himself closely with outgoing Governor Paul LePage, who has repeatedly attempted to cut and roll back the wage increases. Moody has suggested a plan where young workers would make as little as $5 an hour.

... With threatened lobster stocks and a surge in ticks and Lyme disease, climate change will pose a unique challenge for Maine’s net governor. Moody has denied the fact that human activities have contributed to climate change, while Mills has been a leader on the issue. She challenged the Trump administration’s effort to undo key environmental policies in court and has teamed up with other state attorneys general to investigate Exxon Mobil for its suppression of climate change science.

Saturday, June 16

Maine among the least affordable for renters

Press Herald - Maine’s rental market is among the least affordable in the nation, according to a report released Wednesday that places it alongside high-housing-cost states such as California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Hawaii.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report showed the gap between an average renter’s wage and the wage needed to comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment. In Maine, that gap was $7.29 per hour.

The study, which used federal housing and U.S. Census data for its calculations, pegged the average Maine renter’s wage at $11.44 per hour, while the hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment is $18.73 per hour – the ninth-highest in the nation.

Thursday, June 14

Turnout better for Democrats

Mal Leary, Maine Public Broadcasting - What's interesting to me is far fewer Republican voters came out this time than in 2010, when Gov. LePage was nominated. I mean significantly. In 2010, the Republican turnout was over 131,000 voters. Right now we're looking at a Republican turnout of around 85,000 voters. So that's a significant difference. On the Democratic side, they have something to be happy about in that it looks like their turnout this year will closely match the 122,000 that turned out in 2010. So they're at least meeting the same levels of voter interest that they had eight years ago.

Wednesday, June 13

LePage threatens not to certify ranked choice voting

Vox - Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage has threatened not to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, because the state is using an entirely new system of voting.

As Maine voters head to the polls to cast ballots in the nation’s first statewide election using ranked-choice voting (also known as instant-runoff voting), LePage sat down for an interview with the local TV station WCSH-TV, during which he called the new voting system “the most horrific thing in the world.”

“I will probably not certify the election,” LePage said. “I will leave it up to the courts to decide.”

That’s left Maine’s other state officials scrambling to figure out what to do next, in the middle of election day.

Even if LePage follows through on his threat, there may be other ways to certify the election results. Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap told the Portland Press Herald that he is consulting with the state attorney general on other ways the votes could be certified, though he did not specify exactly how that could happen.

Maine voters again support ranked choice voting

Bangor Daily News - Maine voters again endorsed ranked-choice voting, passing a ballot question that keeps alive the first-in-the-nation election system.

With a majority of key precincts reporting, the “yes” vote held a solid lead with 55 percent of the total vote.

Ranked-choice voting has been on a roller coaster ever since being enacted by referendum in November 2016. Opposition was fueled in May 2017 when an advisory opinion from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court said the system was partially unconstitutional because of language in the Maine Constitution that calls for general elections in Maine to be decided by pluralities.

Maine voters again support ranked choice voting

Bangor Daily News - Maine voters again endorsed ranked-choice voting, passing a ballot question that keeps alive the first-in-the-nation election system.

With a majority of key precincts reporting, the “yes” vote held a solid lead with 55 percent of the total vote.

Ranked-choice voting has been on a roller coaster ever since being enacted by referendum in November 2016. Opposition was fueled in May 2017 when an advisory opinion from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court said the system was partially unconstitutional because of language in the Maine Constitution that calls for general elections in Maine to be decided by pluralities.

Monday, June 11

How ranked choice voting worked in Portland's mayor's race

Portland Press Herald - Although Maine is poised to become the first in the nation to use ranked-choice voting in statewide races Tuesday, Portland has used the voting method twice already to choose a mayor.

Those involved in both elections agreed that knowing voters would be ranking their candidates forced them to reach out to more voters and think twice about going negative, because it was important to appeal to an opponent’s supporters, whose backing would be needed in an instant runoff.

“We dramatically expanded the universe of people we reached out to and I think that’s a good thing in terms of campaigns,” said Michael Brennan, who in 2011 became Portland’s first popularly elected mayor in nearly 90 years through ranked-choice voting.

.... After Portland’s first ranked-choice election in 2011, FairVote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that supports ranked-choice voting, conducted a survey of 122 voters. It found that 94 percent of those people fully understood ranked-choice voting and 66 percent said ranking the candidates was easy or very easy.

However, 52 percent ranked between two and five candidates in the 15-way race. And about 12 percent voted for only one person, which is referred to as bullet voting.

Sunday, June 10

Major papers endorse ranked choice voting

Last week, the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, and Morning Sentinel endorsed YES ON 1 to protect Ranked Choice Voting. Click here to read their endorsement.

Protests against Portland's waterfront gentrification

Press Herald - With each condominium, hotel or other nonmarine building that’s developed on Portland’s waterfront, those who depend on that land at the harbor’s edge say they lose a bit of their livelihood.

.... Portland’s rising status as a destination for tourists and young professionals with money to spend has been driving up rents and house prices for years. But fishermen and lobstermen, who have a long history with the city, fear they are being pushed out.

They have lost parking spaces and berths to yachts. They say traffic can stall shipments of perishable seafood. And they think their voice isn’t being heard.

“I think people want to see the fishing industry prioritized,” said Monique Coombs with the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. “That’s not just a problem here but all along the Maine coast. When fishermen lose access, they lose the ability to innovate and risk getting left behind. There is a lot at stake.”

Thursday, June 7

Portland Catholic Diocese leaves Maine Council of Churches to maintain its anti-gay bias

National Cathloic Reporter - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, is withdrawing from the Maine Council of Churches in a bid to distance itself from LGBT advocacy and other stances that the church says could compromise its public moral witness.

The decision comes after a council decision to let its public positions be determined by a majority vote among its members. Previously, the council would only take a stand when its eight denominational members voted unanimously to do so. The council's membership will drop to seven after the diocese leaves at the end of June.

New website deals with women's issues at the workplace

Press Herald -  After two recently publicized incidents involving allegations of sexual harassment inside Maine organizations, Betsy Peters began to wonder how many more #MeToo moments were on the horizon in Maine, and whether there was anything she could do to help those affected.
Her solution was to bring together a diverse group of business, nonprofit and legal minds to create an online resource for employers, managers, investors, board members and workers who have suffered or witnessed workplace sexual harassment.

The product of that effort is MaineCanDo.org, a website filled with tips, tools and links to help prevent on-the-job sexual harassment and deal with it properly when it happens.

Wednesday, June 6

Maine only state where one individual owns majority of newspapers

Pine Tree Watch - At a time when the U.S. newspaper industry is most often described as “dying” and “decimated” and publishers agree that “flat is the new up” with regard to profitability, a lot of eyes are on Maine.

They’re looking here, not because the picture is significantly brighter but because Maine’s newspaper industry is now unlike any other in the country. There’s not another state that has a single individual owning the majority of its daily newspapers, as is suddenly the case here.

In rapid-fire style – just three years – Camden businessman Reade Brower has acquired six of the state’s seven daily newspapers. The speed with which he’s done it is causing wariness among some journalists and others in Maine and an abundance of curiosity throughout the industry nationwide, about his motives and strategies.

more

Tuesday, June 5

Judge orders action on Medicaid

Press Herald - Superior Court judge ruled  that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the LePage administration must follow the voter-approved Medicaid expansion law and submit a state plan amendment next week that sets the health coverage in motion for thousands of low-income Mainers.

In November, 59 percent of voters approved Medicaid expansion, making Maine the first state to expand the program through a citizen-initiated referendum.  However, Republican Gov. Paul LePage has steadfastly opposed expansion, and has called on the Legislature to fund it before he implements it.

Don't ttry to parse this, just vote yes