August 27, 20070
In the "be careful what you ask for" department, several months ago the legislature's Appropriations Committee set up a special website asking Maine residents to suggest ways to cut $10.1 million from the state budget. Now committee members are sifting through hundreds of money-saving ideas
from frugal Down Easters, ranging from reducing the size of the legislature to combining various departments and agencies. Some folks might suggest that the legislature and the governor deal with realistic estimates of income and outgo the first time around, rather than hope for the best and then have to cope with the worst in the next session.
In the "why didn't anyone see this
coming" department, a series of investigative articles by the Asbury Park Press
in New Jersey has revealed that Department of Defense estimates of base-closing costs were as much as $10 billion too low for the latest round of closures, which include Brunswick Naval Air Station
. The cost of closing BNAS in 2011 was originally estimated at $93 million. It now stands at $246 million and rising. Question to the Defense Department: Wasn't this controversial, angry, frustrating process supposed to save
Tens of thousands of Mainers remember earning their back-to-school money bent over a blueberry rake laboriously hand-harvesting the crop. Those days are coming to an end with the growing use of mechanical berry harvesters
. A Bangor Daily News story reports that 80 percent of the crop is now machine-harvested, versus 20 percent just ten years ago.
Better start working on your woodpile early this year. The Farmers' Almanac
, published in Lewiston, is predicting a cold, snowy winter
for the United States east of the Mississippi. Last year's almanac made almost the same prediction for last winter and was snowed under by a warmer than normal season. I've known brides who chose their wedding days according to the almanac's predictions and haven't regretted it. We'll see if skiers have the same luck.
Kennebunkport's status as the Vacation White House got buffed to an even higher luster when First Twin Jenna Bush's engagement was announced there. But now comes the Mount Desert Islander
weekly newspaper with the claim that Jenna's longtime boyfriend, Henry Hager, popped the question during a visit to Mount Desert Island
, perhaps as the couple was enjoying the sunrise from atop Mount Cadillac. With two of Maine's swankiest resorts facing off for diamond rights, we can only wonder who else wants to get into the um, engagement ring.