The Coastal Packet: Down East Notes

Tuesday, April 21

Down East Notes

Maine's unemployment lowest in 7 years

Workng Waterfront - If asked to name the most ethnically diverse towns in Maine few people would list Milbridge, a community in Washington County where 6 percent of the population and 24 percent of the elementary school students are Hispanic or Latino... Milbridge, a small town of about 1,300 residents situated on the mouth of the Narraguagus River and famous for its blueberries... From 2000 to 2010 its population increased over 7 percent.

Bangor Daily News -  Food and Water Watch and Fryeburg resident Bruce Taylor have asked Maine’s top court to toss out state regulators’ approval of a controversial 25-year deal between Poland Spring owner Nestle Waters and local Fryeburg Water Co.The group has asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to consider specific parts of the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s decision but also the unusual process by which the case was decided.

Gov. Paul LePage is promoting a bill to thwart municipal officials in two of Maine’s largest communities from raising the minimum wage for employers within their city limits. . .
LePage’s two-sentence, 40-word bill simply reads: “The State intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of the minimum wage. Any existing or future order, ordinance, rule or regulation of any political subdivision of the state is void.”

Colin Woodard, Portland Press Herald - In a further escalation of tensions between the state of Maine and its four federally recognized Indian tribes, Gov. Paul LePage has revoked his own 2011 executive order aiming to promote cooperation between the parties. he move, announced to the tribes by email Saturday morning, came in the form of a fresh executive order in which the governor says efforts to improve relations with the tribes “have proved to be unproductive because the state of Maine’s interests have not been respected.” Tribal leaders said the practical effect of rescinding the order will be limited, as it had gone largely unimplemented, but that the symbolic significance is damaging and counterproductive, particularly at a time of rising tribal-state tensions over fisheries, domestic violence jurisdiction and child welfare.

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