Politics

 
Brooklyn federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. attorney general, speaks during the Brennan Center's annual awards dinner in New York, in this November 18, 2014 file photograph.

Obama attorney general nomination wins praise from left and right

By Aruna Viswanatha and Julia Edwards, Reuters on Jan. 28, 2015, at 8:04 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s pick for attorney general, on Wednesday sought to make a clean break from the testy relationship her predecessor had with Congress, while supporting the legality of the administration’s controversial actions on immigration. Lynch, a career prosecutor known for her diplomatic skills, struck a …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Daily Brief: Collins claims victory against Obama plan to tax college savings plans

on Jan. 28, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from a tranquil Augusta, where all remains quiet after yesterday’s headline-grabbing snowstorm dumped more than a foot of powder. There’s been no word from Gov. Paul LePage about further state office closures, so it appears government will open once again after being officially put on hold yesterday when the governor …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Daily Brief: Collins claims victory against Obama plan to tax college savings plans

on Jan. 28, 2015, at 7:30 a.m.
Good morning from a tranquil Augusta, where all remains quiet after yesterday’s headline-grabbing snowstorm dumped more than a foot of powder. There’s been no word from Gov. Paul LePage about further state office closures, so it appears government will open once again after being officially put on hold yesterday when the governor …
Jeremy Weatherbee is Lincoln's new cemeteries, parks and recreation department director.

Hiring of Lincoln parks and recreation director shines light on nepotism in small towns

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Jan. 28, 2015, at 6:03 a.m.
Jeremy Weatherbee is the town’s new cemeteries, parks and recreation department director. Citizens with questions or concerns about that would need to talk with his father, Town Manager Ron Weatherbee. Is it nepotism? One member of the Lincoln Town Council voted against Jeremy Weatherbee’s hiring, and two …
POLL QUESTION
Rep. Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, is proposing additional funding for Maine’s community colleges after Gov. Paul LePage flat-funded the seven-campus system in his two-year budget proposal.

Pair of lawmakers say community colleges should get same funding boost as UMaine system

By Mario Moretto on Jan. 27, 2015, at 6:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Two state lawmakers hope to assemble bipartisan support to ensure additional funding for Maine’s community colleges after Gov. Paul LePage flat-funded the seven-campus system in his two-year budget proposal. House Democratic Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan and Rep. Joyce Maker, a Calais Republican and member of the …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Poll: More Democrats think Pats cheated, but national jealousy over team’s success is bipartisan

on Jan. 27, 2015, at 2:19 p.m.
Come Sunday evening, just like more than 100 million people around the world, I’ll be watching the Super Bowl and I’ll be wearing my Vince Wilfork jersey. My wife and sons will don jerseys that show similar homage to Edelman, Gronk and Brady. All of this is to say: I’m not your unbiased …
Rep. Peggy Rotundo, House Chair of the Appropriations Committee

Maine legislators to consider merging university, community college system boards

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 27, 2015, at 12:51 p.m.
AUGUSTA | State Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, says she wants the Legislature to consider creating a single board to guide the state’s higher education systems. On Monday, University of Maine System Chancellor James Page announced plans to consolidate the administrative functions for the system’s seven campuses. Rotundo and her …
From the community

Maine Association of Nonprofits Releases Impact Report as Nonprofit Week Begins

By Jill Packard on Jan. 27, 2015, at 10:54 a.m.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lori Gramlich, Director of Public Policy, Tel: Lori Gramlich 0207-871-1885 Email: LGramlich@NonprofitMaine.org Maine Association of Nonprofits Releases Impact Report as Nonprofit Week Begins Portland, ME (January 26, 2015) – The Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP), the largest membership organization in the state serving Maine’s nonprofit sector, …
POLLWAYS (blog)

As economic and snowstorms hit us, how do we dig out?

on Jan. 27, 2015, at 8:51 a.m.
This big storm put me in mind of what a friend, the photographer Jeff Kirlin, said the other day: “I love the sound of the Socialist snowplows scraping up my Socialist streets.” We pay taxes for government services that serve the public good — in this case, the ability to …

Dems set caucus to pick nominee for Rockland area House seat

By Stephen Betts on Jan. 27, 2015, at 8:35 a.m.
The Democrats have scheduled a caucus to nominate a candidate for the Maine House District 93 seat vacated by former Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson of Rockland. The Democrats will gather at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at Rockland City Hall. Registered Democrats from Rockland and Owls Head can …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Daily Brief: LePage declares emergency, shuts down state offices

on Jan. 27, 2015, at 6:51 a.m.
Expecting an onslaught of snow and wind, Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday announced that he had declared a state of emergency, shutting down all state offices and urging Mainers to stay off the roads.  “Travel conditions will be life-threatening, and widespread power outages are probable,” LePage wrote in the emergency proclamation. Much of the state …

Senate blocks swift passage of Keystone XL pipeline bill

By Reuters on Jan. 26, 2015, at 7:29 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked the Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward on Monday, but supporters of the project vowed to push ahead and eventually get a vote on the measure. The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to limit debate, voting 53-39 on …
Sen. Justin Alfond (center), D-Portland speaks to a group of about 15 local civic and business leaders at the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce about a plan to promote co-working spaces in Maine. Pat Roche (right) is the owner of Think Tank Portland, a co-working space in Cumberland County, and hopes to expand into Waterville.

Alfond’s new state grant program aims to tap co-working trend to boost Maine downtowns

By Mario Moretto on Jan. 26, 2015, at 6:19 p.m.
WATERVILLE | Co-working spaces — shared office facilities designed to accommodate a modern, tech-savvy workforce of independent contractors and telecommuters — are opening all over the world, but so far, their foray into Maine has been limited to Portland. But Pat Roche thinks it doesn’t have to be that …
A car drives by the new bus stop and regional home for state Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor offices in South Portland on Monday afternoon.

Clients at newly opened DHHS, labor offices in South Portland say they’re as convenient as old Portland offices

By Alex Acquisto, The Forecaster on Jan. 26, 2015, at 5:56 p.m.
A new office complex for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor officially opened to clients Monday near the Portland International Jetport. The $10 million, 75,000-square-foot, two-story facility on Jetport Boulevard also houses the Portland Career Center and the Office …
Gov. Paul LePage greets dozens of Maine Charter School students at the State House in Augusta on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.

All six of Maine’s charter schools have student waiting lists

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 26, 2015, at 5:17 p.m.
AUGUSTA | More than two years after Maine’s first public charter schools opened, there are student waiting lists at all six in operation. According to Bob Kautz, executive director of the Maine Charter School Commission, 917 students are enrolled at Maine’s charter schools, all of which are still ramping …
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan speaks to the press at Becky's Diner on Commercial Street on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.

Portland mayor says goal to raise minimum wage in city won’t happen in 2015

By David Harry on Jan. 26, 2015, at 4:56 p.m.
A municipal committee is making progress toward setting a citywide minimum wage that will be higher than current state and local standards, but not at the level or the speed sought by Mayor Michael Brennan. In a 90-minute meeting of the City Council finance committee on Jan. …
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Emergency officials eye coming snowstorm; state office closures likely

on Jan. 26, 2015, at 12:19 p.m.
Legislative leaders have already cancelled tomorrow’s sessions of the House and Senate, and if previous experience is any indication, it’s likely Gov. Paul LePage will likely close at least some state offices and tell all but the most critical state employees to stay to wait out the storm.
STATE & CAPITOL (blog)

Daily Brief: More changes in Democratic leadership; fashionable and ready for snow

on Jan. 26, 2015, at 7:33 a.m.
The chatter in the State House for the next couple of days will be the same as the chatter is everywhere else in New England, and at long last I’m not talking about deflated footballs. It’s going to snow and this incoming storm looks to be a doozy. Stay safe, …
Terry Hayes discusses a bill with Rep. Gary Knight, R-Livermore Falls in 2013.

New state treasurer wants voters to know where the money goes

By Scott Thistle on Jan. 25, 2015, at 4:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA — If you get any kind of check from state government, you are going to see Terry Hayes’ signature on it — at least for the next two years. Hayes, an independent who was recently elected state treasurer, said that’s one of the weirdest things about her new job. …
Dale Sparrow unloads fish from the Isabella-Ava on Jan. 18 at the Portland Fish Exchange in Portland. If Mayor Michael Brennan gets his wish, folks in Portland will be eating more local fish.

Portland mayor wants cafeterias to serve more local fish, boost demand for commercial fishing

By Seth Koenig on Jan. 25, 2015, at 6:20 a.m.
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan wants students, hospital patients and jail inmates to eat more fish — particularly, locally caught fish. Entering the final year of his four-year term, Brennan is hoping to convince Greater Portland cafeteria operators to commit to serving local fish, an effort he said …
 
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