The Coastal Packet: Down East Notes

Monday, March 23

Down East Notes

The conflict over transporting propane and people to islands

Three South Portland High School students asked the faculty leadership team to adopt a written policy making it clear that participation in the Pledge of Allegiance is optional under the law.

Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest report on moving suggest that older people make up a larger proportion of those coming to the state than they do for the country as a whole. According to the report, 9.4 percent of the estimated 30,154 people who moved into Maine in 2012 were 65 or older. Nationally, the percentage of people in that age group who moved to a new state was just 6.2 percent. Maine is the nation’s oldest state, with a median age in 2013 of 44, compared with a national median age of 37.5.

Maine Audubon unveiled a 42-kilowatt solar system at the organization’s Gilsland Farm headquarters in Falmouth. The installation is expected to generate, on average, 74,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and supply roughly 80 percent of the nonprofit’s power needs. Later in the day, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm unveiled the latest stages of a solar-power system that will produce an estimated 73,000 kilowatt-hours per year, providing 100 percent of the organization’s electricity.

Maine is seeing a surge in small farms, with more than 1,000 farms added in the last 10 years, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

Maine unemployment rate drops to 5.2 percent

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