News

  • 15 May 2013 9:52 AM | Deleted user

    Governor LePage Rejects Mayors’ Coalition Proposal to Raise Taxes

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement today responding to suggestions from the Mayors’ Coalition on how to balance the upcoming two-year budget:

    “The Coalition proposed three options: raise taxes, raise taxes or raise taxes. How original,” said the Governor. “However, they don’t address the real problem facing our state, which is out-of-control government spending.

    “When I was mayor, I was able to reduce taxes without reducing services. I know that it can be done if local officials are willing to make the same difficult decisions I made as mayor.

    “I made the tough choices when I presented my balanced budget four months ago. The state cannot keep spending money we don’t have, and I will not keep adding to the tax burden of hardworking Mainers.”

  • 15 May 2013 9:48 AM | Deleted user

    15th Annual Chief Worumbo Androscoggin River Race, Signature Sunday Event at the Moxie Festival, is Open for Registration

    In its 15th year, the family-friendly Worumbo River Race has become one of the largest single day paddling events on the Androscoggin River

    LISBON FALLS -The Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT), and its partners on the Moxie Festival Committee, announce that registration for the 15th annual Chief Worumbo Androscoggin River Race, to be held July 14th as part of the annual Moxie Festival, is now open. The Worumbo Race is one of the largest single day paddling events on the Androscoggin River, and continues to grow annually.

    Race day registration will begin at 9 a.m. at the Durham Boat Launch on Rt. 136 in Durham near the Auburn/Durham line. Participants are encouraged to arrive well in advance of the 11 a.m. mass start to sign in and unload boats. The race finish is just under the railroad trestle where the Sabattus River joins the Androscoggin on Rt. 196 in Lisbon Falls.

    Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under if registered by end-of-business on July 10. The registration fee includes a T-shirt, lunch provided by St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Lisbon and free shuttle service provided by Northeast Charter and Tour Company.

    The Worumbo Race is an amateur competition of approximately six miles, with possible Class I rips and easy Class II rapids, depending on water levels on race day. The race is planned as a family-friendly event and allows racers to experience a section of the Androscoggin River with many other recreational enthusiasts.

    The race is an event of the Androscoggin Land Trust, a regional conservation organization that protects important ecological areas, working lands and places for enjoying the outdoor experience in the Androscoggin River watershed. Paddlers pass by two conserved farms, an island recently conserved in partnership with the Town of Lisbon and a public riverside park in Durham.

    The public is invited to cheer the racers at the starting line in Durham where the race will begin at 11 am and at the finish at the Sabattus River access on Route 196. Last year's race attracted 180 racers from throughout New England and hundreds of spectators.

    Late and race-day registration is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under and includes shuttle service only. T-shirts and lunch will be available for sale at the finish line for late registrants and spectators.

    To register, visit the Androscoggin Land Trust's website, www.androscogginlandtrust.org, or call 782-2302. Registration forms can be obtained by e-mailing info@androscogginlandtrust.org or visiting the website. And online registration is available at www.active.com

    ATTACHMENT: Photo of Paddlers Preparing for Start in Durham (Photo Credit: Christina Epperson)

    The Androscoggin Land Trust protects important natural areas, traditional landscapes, and outdoor experiences within the Androscoggin River watershed by promoting stewardship and supporting a network of public and privately held conservation land. We currently conserve nearly 4,850 acres of land, including over ten miles of riverfront along the Androscoggin River.

  • 15 May 2013 9:47 AM | Deleted user

    2nd Annual Father's Day Androscoggin River Clean-up Announced

    Water-based clean-up to occur in downtown Lewiston-Auburn by canoe

    Start Location:

    Little Andy Park, 2nd Street, Auburn

    9:00 – 12:00 PM (Volunteer Check-in from 8:30 AM and orientation will begin at 9 am)

    Auburn – The Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) is excited to announce that last year’s effort was so successful (over 1,300 pounds of trash and debris collected), this water-based clean-up effort for the Androscoggin River and its banks in downtown Lewiston-Auburn will repeat again on Sunday June 16th.

    ALT, with the help of primary sponsor Baxter Brewing Co., along with partners Service Master Clean and Fire House Grille, will be encouraging families and willing volunteers to come help clean up the Androscoggin River as we prepare downtown Lewiston-Auburn for the summer river recreation season.

    “We at Baxter Brewing believe the Androscoggin Waterway is the lifeblood of the Lewiston-Auburn community and are excited to partner again with The Land Trust and friends to help clean and protect the river, from the river, for the second year in a row. Every employee who attended the cleanup last year had a blast and we’re all excited to take it up a notch this year”, said Luke Livingston, Founder and President of Baxter Brewing Co. “Plus we had the after-party of the summer at The Fire House, that alone should be reason enough to get folks out on the water!”

    ALT has secured support from Lewiston Auburn Canoe & Kayak Rentals to bring canoes to assist in this effort, but we encourage those with canoes to consider bringing your boats so we can maximize the number of people on the river. Volunteers will be assigned to the canoes and will take to the river in groups. Those more comfortable on land will have opportunities to provide clean-up support from the shore.

    The event is planned as the official launch to the summer river recreation season in Lewiston-Auburn. Both Fire House Grille and Baxter Brewery are assisting with staff volunteers and as host of the BBQ celebration, the local ServiceMaster is sponsoring a free lunch, along with a complimentary Baxter (or non-alcoholic) beverage to the first 100 volunteers to register.

    If you wish to join the effort, register early. To learn more or to register for the clean-up, please call ALT at 207-782-2302 or e-mail us at info@androscogginlandtrust.org.

    The Androscoggin Land Trust is a membership supported organization dedicated to protecting, through land conservation and stewardship, important natural areas, traditional landscapes and outdoor experiences in the Androscoggin River watershed. We currently conserve nearly 4,850 acres of land, including over ten miles of riverfront along the Androscoggin River.ALT offers recreational programs in the region include LA Trails, serving Lewiston-Auburn, Chisholm Trails, serving Jay and Livermore Falls, and the Great Falls Paddling Society, offering seasonal outings on the Androscoggin River.

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  • 13 May 2013 9:56 AM | Deleted user

    Task Force to Identify Safety Needs and Efficiencies of Natural Resource Law Enforcement

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today signed an executive order to establish a task force to review needs, resources and opportunities for efficiency among natural resource law enforcement.

    The order follows a lengthy debate during the 126th Legislature about Maine Forest Rangers carrying firearms. The Legislature is currently considering LD 297, “An Act to Require Forest Rangers To Be Trained in Order To Allow Them To Carry Firearms” which could dramatically alter the role of government responsibility to the forest products community and lead to tax increases for landowners throughout Maine.

    In an effort to address the complexity of this issue, the Governor’s task force will develop a set of recommendations including those pertaining to arming forest rangers aids in carrying out their duties or increasing personal safety. Additionally, the group will review and consider opportunities for cross-training and reduction in redundancy among the Maine Warden Service, Maine Marine Patrol, and Maine Forest Rangers. Costs associated with proposed changes will also be a consideration of the task force.

    The task force will consist of ten members, appointed by the Governor to include:

    1. Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry, ex officio, or designee;
    2. Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources, ex officio, or designee;
    3. Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, ex officio, or designee;
    4. Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, ex officio, or designee, as chair;
    5. Colonel Warden, Maine Warden Service, or designee;
    6. Colonel Maine Marine Patrol, or designee;
    7. Chief Forest Ranger, Maine Forest Service, or designee;
    8. One representative of a large landowner (greater than 10,000 acres) engaged in forest management;
    9. One representative of a small landowner (less than 10,000 acres) engaged in forest management;
    10. One Forest Ranger currently employed at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry familiar with the concerns shared by Maine Rangers.

    The task force will convene in July and submit a report to the Governor no later than December 1, 2013.

    View the Executive Order language here.

  • 13 May 2013 9:55 AM | Deleted user

    The following is the weekly message from Governor Paul R. LePage. To listen to the audio visit the Governor's website.

    Timing is everything. For some people, however, the right time will never come to do the right thing.

    Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.

    More than one hundred fifteen days have passed since I put a plan on the table to pay the hospitals. Nearly four months later, the hospitals are still waiting for the $484 million the state owes them.

    By paying the State’s bills, we strengthen our economy and the hospitals that care for and employ Maine people. Hospitals will be able to pay new and existing employees and local vendors, and they will be able to pursue capital improvements that will lead to even more jobs.

    Once the hospitals are paid, I’ve promised to issue voter-authorized bonds that will grow our economy, including the 2014 transportation infrastructure improvements and $53.5 million for conservation, clean water upgrades, and construction and energy-efficiency projects at post-secondary educational institutions.

    At the beginning of this session, there were more than 1000 bills. About 150 bills so far have come to my desk. Now, with only five weeks left, legislators are scrambling to pass as much legislation as possible.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every bill should be passed. Quantity certainly doesn’t equal quality. In fact, I believe stopping bad legislation is better than passing good legislation.

    As your Governor here in Augusta, I’ve learned one thing. Even if my proposals have meritundefinedeven if they are good for Maine peopleundefinedit is nearly impossible to get them passed by a Democratic-led Legislature.

    President Alfond and Speaker Eves are preventing a vote on the hospital bill, knowing that what they are doing is wrong for Maine. But we’re starting to good judgment coming from some democrats. Some are now speaking up, including Senator John Tuttle, Chair of the Committee that first reviewed my hospital bill. Senator Tuttle is a respected senator who is serving his 14th term in state government. This week Senator Tuttle put Maine people before politics when he said he disagrees with Democratic leadership’s decision to tie the hospital bill to Medicaid.

    Republicans and I have been very clear that the hospital bill and welfare expansion are two separate issues.

    Furthermore, under ObamaCare, low-income Mainers will qualify for federal tax subsidies to buy private insurance. Let me repeat that: low-income Mainers will qualify for money from the federal government to buy health insurance.

    The Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid expansion is optional. The court also revealed that if states expanded Medicaid to cover the uninsured, those same people will qualify to get tax subsidies to buy health insurance. The authors of the Affordable Care Act underscore this point. I’ve put a link on my website at www.Maine.gov/governor so you can see the article yourself.

    If more Mainers in 2014 will get tax subsidies to become insured, why is Democratic leadership holding up the hospital bill? It’s simple. They do not want to pay the hospitals. That’s the difference between me and career politicians. I just want to get the job done.

    Winston Churchill once said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”

    Well, these two have tried everything else and Mainers are frustrated. It’s time to vote on the hospital bill.

  • 13 May 2013 9:53 AM | Deleted user

    Five Nurses Nominated for Excellence in Nursing Award

    Roseanne McKeen was named as the award recipient

    FARMINGTON , MAINE ¾

    On May 9 in coordination with national nurses’ week, nursing leaders and peers recognized five Franklin Memorial Hospital nurses as outstanding, by being nominated for the organization’s second annual Excellence in Nursing Award. The award was established to recognize contributions by FMH nurses that support the advancement of nursing.

    Nominees included: Leslie Adams, RN, Livermore Falls Family Practice; Michelle Gordon, RN, Med/Surg Unit; Roseanne McKeen, RN, Surgical Services; Janice Morong, RN, Surgical Services; and Susan Pickrell, RN, Emergency Department.

    “These nurses have demonstrated exceptional nursing practice and professionalism by initiating a sustainable and positive change in work environment or nursing practice while demonstrating our core values of pride, innovation, caring, and excellence,” said Pam Ernest , FMH chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care, in her address. “The award we are presenting today is to recognize these nurses, who demonstrate outstanding commitment to innovative and sustainable change that promotes optimal patient outcomes and a healthy work environment. All of our nominees are winners.”

    Along with the nominees, Ernest also recognized the individuals who took the time to nominate a nurse by having each say a few words about her nominee before the winner was announced.

    At the conclusion of the award’s ceremony, Roseanne McKeen was named as the award recipient. Nominated by Kelli Gats, RN, McKeen was cited for being caring, kind, thoughtful, gentle, helpful, and compassionate. When you meet Roseanne you know these words describe someone special. Her patients feel it and comment on it. They leave feeling that they have been touched by an angel.

    “When met with the challenge of starting a new pain clinic in the fall, Roseanne worked hard to get the clinic up and running. Change was met gracefully, improvements were met head on, and there was growth in being part of a team. Roseanne is willing to take on challenges and is not afraid of adapting to the ever changing climate of health care. She has great ideas to improve the way the unit is functioning and to provide the highest level of care for our patients. She strives toward positive impacts, positive changes, and positive outcomes,” added Gats in her nomination.

    Special recognition was also given to employee Ken Rowe, biomedical equipment technician, and Maine Senator Thomas Saviello, who were declared honorary nurses for the immeasurable support each has given to the hospital, staff, and nurses over the years.

    Festivities prior to the award presentation included a social hour with light refreshments and entertainment by Native Oak.

  • 10 May 2013 1:41 PM | Deleted user
     

    Energy Office Applauds the Confirmation of Timothy Schneider to be Maine's Public Advocate and Commissioner Vannoy for Reappointment to the Public Utilities Commission

    AUGUSTA – Earlier this week, the Maine Senate voted to confirm Governor Paul R. LePage’s nominees Timothy Schneider, Esq., for the Office of Public Advocate (OPA), and Mark Vannoy, P.E., to continue as Commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) for a full term.

    “Maine has the opportunity to transform our energy situation through the use of natural gas and new technologies, and it is critical that we have the individuals in leadership roles to help Mainers access affordable energy,” stated Energy Office Director Patrick Woodcock. “Commissioner Vannoy and Public Advocate Schneider will bring critical experience and integrity to these offices, ensuring that our state’s policies are advancing on behalf of average Mainers, who are struggling with excessive energy costs.”

    Schneider, a graduate of Harvard University and New York University School of Law, has specialized in electricity and natural gas utilities as an attorney at Pierce Atwood LLP since 2008. He has worked with the Maine Public Utilities Commission and has been involved in some of the most complex issues before the Commission in recent years, including the inquiry into Maine's continued participation in ISO-NE, consideration of the largest transmission upgrade in Maine history, as well as the Commission's investigation into its electric utilities' transmission planning standards and many issues relating to Northern Utilities' arrival in Maine.

    In his new role as Maine's Public Advocate, Schneider will represent the interests of Maine ratepayers in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, including issues regarding electricity and natural gas prices. He will also support Mainers in matters related to telecommunications, including accessibility to broadband internet.

    Mark Vannoy has been serving as Public Utilities Commissioner since 2012, when he was appointed to complete the term of Vendean Vafiades. Vannoy was previously employed as an Associate Vice President of Wright-Pierce in the Civil and Infrastructure Engineering Practice Group. His experience included management of a wide variety of projects, from industrial food and beverage plants to municipal utilities. He served on Active Duty in the United States Navy from 1993 to 1999 and remains a Commander in the Navy Reserve. An active member of his community, he has recently served as Chair of the Waldoboro Energy Committee.

    Vannoy received his B.S. in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and subsequently completed Navy Nuclear Power Training in Orlando, Florida. He earned an M.Eng. in Civil Engineering from Cornell University.

    During his new six year term, Commissioner Vannoy will oversee regulations pertaining to electric, natural gas, telecommunications and water utilities to ensure that Maine consumers enjoy safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are just and reasonable. He will also oversee emerging competitive markets for some of these services. The Commission also regulates water taxis and ferries in Casco Bay, and promotes safe digging through the Dig Safe underground utility damage prevention program.

  • 10 May 2013 10:52 AM | Deleted user

    Franklin Health Orthopaedics to Host Open House in Rangeley

    Services will be provided on the first and third Wednesday of each month

    FARMINGTON , MAINE ¾

    Dr. Thomas Pulling and physician assistant Sarah Dooley from Franklin Health Orthopaedics based in Farmington , will host an open house at the Rangeley Region Physical Rehabilitation program in the Wellness Pavilion on the Dallas Road on Wednesday, May 22, from 6:30–7:30 p.m. They will discuss services that will be offered there two days per month starting in June. Anyone needing care for musculoskeletal conditions or sports medicine is invited to attend

    Franklin Health Orthopaedics will resume seeing patients in Rangeley on the first and third Wednesday of each month beginning on June 5. A range of services will be offered including treatment of acute injury, muscle and joint pain, and arthritic tenderness. Dr. Pulling additionally manages conditions like exercise-induced asthma and concussion. His expertise in sports medicine enables him to personally tailor sport-specific training and conditioning for athletes, and design safe fitness programs for those who want to be more physically active, but have chronic conditions such as COPD and heart disease.

    For additional information, contact Franklin Health Orthopaedics at 778-9001

  • 08 May 2013 11:16 AM | Deleted user

    Northern Forest Explorers Ready for Registrations

    Waitsfield, Vt. Northern Forest Explorers, the signature youth program of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), has announced its summer trip schedule which provides week-long canoe and kayak trips for local youth.

    Beginning in June, ten trips will take place in the four states of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. There are 125 available spots for youth, ages 10–14, from communities along the Trail that will be given an opportunity to take part in these trips. Participants learn basic paddling and outdoor skills, environmental and ecological relationships, and the fundamentals of leadership.

    Children of family members serving in the Vermont National Guard will also have a dedicated trip of their own.

    Caption: Northern Forest Explorers paddling along the Fulton Chain of Lakes in New York. Credit: Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

    Trips are guided by local outfitters that include Mac’s Canoe Livery in New York; Montgomery Adventures, Northwoods Stewardship Center and Siskin Ecological Adventures in Vermont; Great Glenn Outfitters in New Hampshire; and Adventure Bound and Chain of Lakes Guide Service in Maine. Paddling gear, camping equipment and food are supplied.

    Locations and dates for the 2013 Northern Forest Explorers Program:

    Adirondack Mountains, NY
    Old Forge/Long Lake: July 1–5
    Tupper Lake/Saranac Lake: July 8–12

    Vermont
    Richford/Enosburg (Missisquoi River): August 5–9

    West Charleston/Island Pond (Clyde River): July 1–5
    Newport (Clyde River Watershed): July 22–26

    New Hampshire
    Errol/Berlin/Dummer (Lake Umbagog/Androscoggin River): June 24–28
    Colebrook/Groveton (Connecticut River): July 8–12

    Maine
    Eustis/Stratton (Flagstaff Lake): July 29–Aug 2
    Rockwood/Greenville (West Branch Penobscot): Aug 5–9
    Allagash/Fort Kent: July 22–26

    Participation fees are based on a sliding scale and no deserving child will be left behind; financial aid is available. Space is limited. Applications are due June 1 and are available by contacting Youth Program Director Roger Poor at (603) 801-9597, Roger@northernforestcanoetrail.org, or online at www.northernforestcanoetrail.org and www.northernforestexplorers.org.

    Northern Forest Explorers gain a sense of appreciation for their own backyards, are inspired to support their surroundings, and are given a foundation of leadership skills to be able to do so. NFCT seeks to integrate the program into its trailside communities by partnering closely with local schools, community organizations, and guide services.

    This is the fifth year of the program which is supported by grants and assistance from local outfitters, private foundations, and the federal government. Earlier this year the program received funding from Outdoor Nation, a national initiative connecting the millennial generation to the outdoors. The grant, from the Paddle Nation Project, was one of 25 projects selected by Outdoor Nation and the Outdoor Industry Association® Paddle Advisory Council from a pool of 150 applicants and was awarded funding for its ability to connect youth to the outdoors through paddling. For more information on Outdoor Nation grant programs, visit outdoornation.org/grants.

    ###

    The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is the longest paddling trail in the nation and runs from Old Forge, New York through Vermont, Québec, and New Hampshire to Fort Kent, Maine. In 2011 the Trail was named “Best Canoe Trail” by Outside Magazine and in 2012 the magazine named the Trail a “Best East Coast Adventure.”

    To learn more about paddling the NFCT, to become a member, and to purchase a guidebook and maps, visit http://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org or call 802-496-2285.

    Media Contact: Kevin Mack, Director of Partnerships and Marketing
    Northern Forest Canoe Trail
    802 535-5855,
    Kevin@northernforestcanoetrail.org

  • 08 May 2013 10:42 AM | Deleted user
    My name is Megan Norris, and I'm a student at Spruce Mountain High School South Campus, in the graduating class of 2013. I am also part of the project grad committee. We are currently seeking local buisnesses to sponsor us so that we can make our goal of going white water rafting possible. I email you in the hopes that you and the organization you repesent may become on of these sponsors. We have been working hard towards our $6,000 goal, and need as much support from the community that we can get to achieve our goal. If you are able to sponsor our class, I can meet with you to give you a copy of our sponsorship form, as well as thank you in person for your kind donation. Thank so much for supporting our senior class,
    Megan Norris
    Class of 2013
    School board student rep
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