The Coastal Packet: Down East Notes

Monday, April 27

Down East Notes

Governor LePage has submitted a bill, LD 1313, that would overturn the current requirement that Maine citizens vote on any proposal to build a new nuclear reactor in the state. The bill, intended to encourage construction of "small modular reactors," would apply to any reactor of 500 MW or less. Fukushima Unit-1 was 439 MW. Small reactors are not automatically safe reactors. Indeed, the only safe reactor is the one never built.

Maine Public Broadcasting - A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing legislation aimed at increasing broadband access in the state. The bill would provide more state subsidies to help build broadband access in underserved areas of the state by extending fees to wireless companies that are now charged to wired Internet services. Rep. Sara Gideon, a Democrat from Freeport, is sponsoring the bill. She told a news conference Maine's future depends on broadband. Sen. Garret Mason, a Republican from Lisbon Falls, is the lead co-sponsor of the bill. He says Maine needs true high-speed Internet access to help its schools and universities compete. He says Maine's economic future requires broadband access across the state.

Portland Press Herald - The Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine says that 5.3 percent of Maine’s workers work from home, about 1 percentage point higher than the national average. That compares with the 4.3 percent of workers who were home-based in 2000. But about half of those people are self-employed, workers who are not, by definition, working remotely for someone else.

Christopher Burns, Bangor Daily News - Maine police departments, from Wells to Van Buren, have received $13.1 million worth of military equipment through the [federal] 1033 program, including rifles, armored vehicles and snowshoes. Three Maine universities also received surplus equipment, joining nearly 130 university police departments across the country, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education, including one Florida university that was given a grenade launcher. Three University of Maine System campuses received surplus equipment, though none received a grenade launcher. What they did receive were semi-automatic M-16 rifles: three for the University of Maine in Orono, valued at $360; seven for the University of Maine at Farmington, valued at $840; and four for the University of Southern Maine, valued at $1,996, according to a database of surplus equipment compiled by The Marshall Project.

The Portland city council has set new rules for sidewalk seating. Which is fair enough, but does anyone know what the government has tell restaurant owners that the permitted outdoor dining period is from April 1 to November 15. Can't they figure that our for themselves?

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