The Maine MinuteEverything You Need to Know Today
April 10 2012
The Maine Better Transportation Association (MBTA) has started its third annual Fix Maine Roads contest in conjunction with spring when warmer temps increase the likelihood of potholes. According to the MBTA, Maine has some of the worst roads and bridges in the region. 21 percent of federal-aid highways have poor pavement, and 32 percent of the state bridges are deficient. This leads to a yearly cost of $250 per person on car repairs the organization reports.
Citizens can submit photos of what they think is the worst road to fixmaineroads.org or see examples at facebook.com/FixMaineRoads. The winner receives $250. The goal of the contest is to show, through numerous photos across the state, the extent of the damage, and its impacts on Maine drivers.MPBN
Posted at Tue, 04/10/2012 - 12:52pm.
April 9 2012
The city of Bath was recently recognized for its outstanding work for emphasizing historic preservation while revitalizing Front Street. The National Trust for Historic Preservation gives out the award every year to five communities. Bath is only the fifth from New England to be honored in the award's sixteen-year history.
In May 2010, Down East took a look at the impressive revitalization efforts going on in Bath. Joshua Moore profiled the city's past and present, interviewed a downtown small business owner, geeked out on boats at the Maine Maritime Museum, and took a look at the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust that borders the city.Portland Press Herald
Posted at Mon, 04/09/2012 - 3:08pm.
April 6 2012
A nonprofit group will manage Fort Knox State Park if Governor Paul LePage gives his consent.
The agreement would put Friends of Fort Knox, which has provided some services at the 19th-century fort in Prospect for the past few years, in charge of maintenance and operations. The state would retain ownership and save about $40,000 a year.
Posted at Fri, 04/06/2012 - 3:07pm.
Citing the possibility of increased connectivity between Maine and Canada, Governor Paul LePage has signed a bill calling for a $300,000 feasibility study of a proposed privately funded east-west highway. The highway would run from Calais to Coburn Gore at the Quebec border and would be used largely by Canadian truckers hauling products from the Maritime Provinces to Quebec.
This idea has been talked about for decades. It never got very far, however, because of its large price tag. With private funding covering the estimated $2 billion cost, it's become more appealing to state legislators.Bangor Daily News
Posted at Fri, 04/06/2012 - 7:18am.
April 4 2012
Bangor's Coffee Pot sandwich shop spawned several imitations when it closed in 2009. Now two of the stores — the Coffee Pot Cafe and the Legacy Sandwich Shop — are in a legal dispute over the rights to market a sandwich inspired by the Coffee Pot's most meal, an Italian sandwich with ham or salami, onions, cheese, and vegetables.
According to the Bangor Daily News, the owners of Coffee Pot Cafe LLC have filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court, alleging that The Legacy Sandwich LLC infringed on its trademark names for its sandwiches and that it engaged in deceptive trade practices.
Down East reported on the sandwich's robust afterlife in North by East in June 2010.
Posted at Wed, 04/04/2012 - 9:18am.
April 3 2012
Ryan Flaherty, a Deering High School standout and Portland native, made the opening day roster for the Baltimore Orioles after an announcement by manager Buck Showalter. He will be the first position player from Maine to play in the majors since Mike Bordick. Bordick played shortstop for the Orioles in his prime, and will be a commentator on Baltimore's games this upcoming season.Boston Herald
Posted at Tue, 04/03/2012 - 2:29pm.
The opening day for eel fishing in Maine was March 22 and fisherman have high expectations for this upcoming season. There has been a worldwide shortage of the baby American eels, leading many to believe prices could skyrocket to $2,000 a pound, up from $831 a year ago. This mysterious fish is not common in the U.S. and is sold primarily to international markets across Europe, China, and Japan.
Susan Hand Shetterly details the incredible voyage of this fish, and its relationship to Maine in an article for the March issue of Down East magazine. Read "The Incredible Edible Eel."
Posted at Tue, 04/03/2012 - 12:34pm.
April 2 2012
Federal officials have instituted a 22 percent decrease in the limits of catchable cod in the Gulf of Maine. According to the Bangor Daily News this is not as bad as initially feared, however, since many fishermen believed the limits could have been cut by nearly 90 percent.
In the April issue of Down East magazine Colin Woodard says about Maine's cod industry, "Since 2008, fisheries scientists reported, the Gulf of Maine cod population has not expanded as expected, and is now only about a fifth the size it needs to be to be considered rebuilt. To restore the stock by 2014 would require fishermen’s catch quotas to be slashed by as much as 90 percent, making it difficult or impossible to fish for other bottom-dwelling fish like pollock, haddock, and flounder that swim among the cod." Woodard points out that many, including senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John Kerry, and Scott Brown question whether the data is correct. Such skepticism may be a reason for the more modest initial cuts.
Read more about Gulf of Maine's cod in the article "Net Loss" from the most recent issue of Down East.
Posted at Mon, 04/02/2012 - 10:06am.
April 1 2012
A warm winter has led to increased temperatures in the Gulf of Maine. It's a trend that's accelerated in the past decade and is particularly noticeable this year. While great for swimmers and beach-goers, the question many are wondering is how this will effect the growth and reproduction cycles as well as the distribution of marine life in the gulf.
There are concerns that lobsters will molt earlier than usual and algae will bloom ahead of schedule. There is also worry that while there may be higher growth rates, food and resources do not exist to maintain significantly higher populations. On March 23 the surface water temperature near Portland was 45.5 degrees — six to ten degrees higher than what it was ten years prior. Read more about the potential effects and causes at the Boston Herald.
Posted at Sun, 04/01/2012 - 1:44pm.
March 30 2012
One of the four osprey that nest each summer at Wolfe's Neck State Park in Freeport has returned.
The fish hawk, a male, landed on Googins Island Tuesday night, Park Manager Andy Hutchinson announced in a Maine Department of Conservation press release.
Two pairs of osprey have nested in the park for some years. The birds nest on Googins Island, just a stone's throw from the mainland and are a favorite attraction at the Freeport park.
Posted at Fri, 03/30/2012 - 1:33pm.