Category archives for: Mind Your Own

Apple Buys 32,400 Acres of Trees in Maine. Portland Hipsters Already Camping Out Hoping to Buy an iLog

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Technology giant Apple is partnering with The Conservation Fund to preserve more than 32,400 acres of timberland in Aroostook County. The Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit announced Thursday that Apple’s “precedent-setting” investment will help preserve Reed Forest as a working forest, ensuring that it will continue to produce a steady supply of sustainably harvested timber for paper and pulp mills. The forest, also known as Reed Plantation, is located in southern Aroostook County on the Mattawamkeag River, near the border of Penobscot and Washington counties. Apple’s level of investment into the conservation project’s is not being disclosed, but Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund, said in a prepared statement that Apple’s initiative is “precedent-setting” and that it is “clearly leading by example.” “By all accounts, the loss of America’s working forests is one of our nation’s greatest environmental challenges,” he said. (read more at Mainebiz)

Maine Lags Behind in Advanced Manufacturing, But Who Needs That When You Can Get Sticky Goo From Maple Trees, Huh, Smarty Pants?

maine advanced manufacturingPORTLAND, Maine — New England is primed to compete with other regions in advanced manufacturing, according to a study released Wednesday, but Maine’s share of such jobs lags behind the rest of the region. The study, commissioned by the New England Council and completed by national consulting firm Deloitte, reviewed federal data sources and solicited input from regional experts to compare the competitive advantages of the region for advanced manufacturing jobs, such as biotechnology and precision machining. The new study updates a 2009 report. The latest study found that about 40 percent of Maine’s manufacturing jobs are in areas it deemed “advanced manufacturing,” compared to an average of about 59 percent for the entire region, according to 2012 job sector figures. While lagging as an overall share of the economy, the study found Maine excelled in several specific areas, including aerospace and defense. The state ranks behind others in the region in the area of medical devices and biotechnology when measured by per-capita value of shipments. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Local Woman to Fill Out Forms at Entirely Different Desk

mechanics savings bankMechanics Savings Bank announced today the appointment of Sonia Theberge to Business Banking Specialist. In her new role, Theberge is responsible for serving Mechanics Savings Bank’s businesses and developing new business opportunities for the bank. Theberge will serve the Androscoggin and Cumberland counties from the Auburn and Windham branches. “I have worked with Sonia for over 30 years and have seen firsthand how customers enjoy working with her.  She has both retail and commercial expertise, enabling her to service her customers well. This is a great move for Sonia and the bank,” said Ray Teixeira, VP Retail Manager, Commercial Loan Officer. (read more at the The Independent)

Maine Will Allow Raw Milk Sales as Long as Farms Post Signs Telling the Cows to Wash Their Hands After Using the Bathroom

Maine dairy farm Maine news from The Rumford MeteorAUGUSTA — Maine Department of Agriculture officials said Thursday they support easing licensing requirements for some dairy farmers who sell raw milk directly to consumers. The debate about unpasteurized “raw milk” still divides Maine’s agriculture and dairy products community, as was evident from Thursday’s lengthy testimony before the Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. But after several failed legislative efforts, advocates for allowing farmers to sell raw milk without a license might have found a path to success. Maine is one of more than two dozen states that allow sales of raw milk, but in only Maine’s case, the producers must be licensed by the state. Raw milk has increased in popularity among consumers who argue pasteurization kills beneficial vitamins, minerals and healthful bacteria. Health officials caution that raw milk can cause severe illness because pasteurization also kills such harmful bacteria as e. Coli and salmonella. The Legislature is considering two bills that would loosen those regulatory requirements. The first, L.D. 229, is the type of broader proposal long sought by defenders of raw milk that would exempt dairy farms from state licensing and inspections if they produce less than 20 gallons of raw milk per day that are then sold either at their farm or at farmer’s markets. (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

Woman Wearing Scarf Promoted

woman wearing scarfNancy Marshall, CEO of Nancy Marshall Communications in Augusta, has recently become certified as a reach social branding analyst, and is currently a certified 360Reach analyst and personal branding strategist. The certification gives Marshall the knowledge and tools to help her clients build outstanding LinkedIn profiles and use LinkedIn to build and nurture their network and do their job better, Marshall said in a press release. “All business is based on relationships between people,” Marshall said. “Defining your unique personal brand adds value to everything you do by making you stand out among your competitors and assuring that those who need your services will remember you and think highly of you as a person. “LinkedIn has become an extremely important social platform for building your personal brand and I’m looking forward to helping people learn how to integrate it into their social media strategy.” (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

State Rep Wants to Bring Back Rail Service to Bangor. No Word On Whether She Wants To Revive Oil Lamps, Hoop Skirts, Crank Telephones or Slavery

bangor maine raliwayBANGOR, Maine — A Maine lawmaker wants to bring passenger trains to Bangor for the first time in more than half a century, but an industry official cautions it could cost more than $100 million to make the idea a reality. A bill entered by Rep. Michelle Dunphy, D-Old Town, An Act to Provide Passenger Rail Service to Bangor, is among the more than 1,500 bills proposed by lawmakers to start this legislative session. Dunphy, who represents Old Town and Indian Island, said during a recent interview that she entered the bill because she’s a big fan of rail transportation. Her family uses Amtrak a few times each year to get from Portland to Boston for sporting events or Washington, D.C., for business. “It’s convenient. It’s easy. It’s affordable,” she said. The bill, LR 1829, has yet to be written because the idea is still in its conceptual stage and would require much research, planning and funding. But Dunphy is motivated. “I feel pretty strongly about this,” she said. “I think it’s really one of the keys to economic development for our part of the state.” Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, formed by the State Legislature in the mid-1990s to bring passenger trains back to Maine for the first time in three decades, said expanding service to Bangor would be neither easy nor cheap. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

New Kennebec Chamber of Commerce President Is Willing to Go to Lunch to Discuss It for the Third Time Today

ross cunninghamAUGUSTA — The first new president of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce in 26 years told attendees of the chamber’s annual awards gala the region and their businesses will both be better off if they work together. Ross Cunningham, who started on the job earlier this month, said the businesses recognized at the Friday awards dinner are great examples for other business owners to follow. They provide, he said, examples of how businesses can thrive as businesses while also making the larger community a better place to live for others. For the betterment of all. “We are here to make the Kennebec Valley a better place to live,” the Lisbon man and former Navy lieutenant commander said at the Augusta Civic Center event. “We can do this most effectively through two simple actions. Work together. And spread the word. “Winston Churchill said ‘We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.’ We have unlimited resources right here in this room and I look forward to partnering with each of you to grow our chamber, our region and your business.” (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

York Residents Glad Those Buildings Are Innovative “Affordable Housing,” Not Just an Apartment Building. Because That Would Be Tacky

york maine affordable housingYORK – With a median income of $81,000 and houses listed on Zillow.com for between $350,000 and more than $1 million, York can seem out of reach for many working families. But two developments in town are aimed at providing a more affordable solution for people. Work has already started on an affordable/workforce apartment and professional complex on Route 1, with the first phase of construction expected to be completed in late spring. Off of Turner Road in Cape Neddick, a 33-lot cluster subdivision is being built that will include five homes priced in the workforce housing range. These are the first such privately developed projects since the town’s workforce/affordable housing ordinance was passed in 2008. The York Housing Authority purchased the privately owned Carriage House Apartments in 2011 as a workforce housing complex, and built an 11-unit addition opened last year. “Maybe these are just anomalies, but I don’t think so,” said Town Manager Steve Burns, who credits the improving economy as the reason why these kinds of developments are becoming attractive. “We passed the ordinance during the depths of the recession. Things are changing. And I think these developments are going to help the public perception of housing in York.” (read more at Seacoast Online)

Blue Hill Woman Demands Government Action To Produce A Vibrant Downtown Full Of Quaint Shops She Can Drive Past On The Way To Target

blue hill maine shopsImagine a small yet vibrant downtown that draws in tourists and sustains the year-round community. People stroll down Main Street where window displays offer a glimpse into local foods, arts and crafts, mulling over which restaurant to dine in. For sale or rent signs are an uncommon sight. That was downtown Blue Hill not too many years ago. But the effects of the recession still linger and empty storefronts are a familiar sight. “It happens so quickly. You turn around one day and [ask], ‘Where did everybody go?’” said Sue Walsh, an economic development consultant and former executive director of the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Now, picture flowers spilling from the planters on the Mill Stream Bridge, signs pointing to the waterfront, businesses, restaurants and cultural landmarks, stores that stay open on Sundays and through late afternoons. Could that be the downtown Blue Hill of the near future? “I think there’s lots of people taking it in and watching,” said Johanna Barrett, executive director of the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. A recent proposal to selectmen to add signs to downtown Blue Hill gained traction, as did “a lot of talk about downtown,” Selectman Vaughn Leach said. (read more at the Weekly Packet)

Pew Lobbyist Lauds Maine For Its Plan To Generate $1.9 Billion In Renewable Energy That Will Only Cost Ten Or Twenty Billion

green energy lobbyistsORONO, Maine — Maine set an example for other states to follow in its renewable energy investments and growth during the past decade, according to a report released Monday by the Pew Charitable Trusts. “By establishing aggressive goals for clean and efficient energy, Maine is harnessing its renewable resources to create new job opportunities, attract investment and strengthen its manufacturing base,” Tom Swanson, manager of Pew’s clean energy initiative, said. Pew, a nonprofit that aims to shape public policy through research in the areas of the environment, economic policy and health, hosted an event and panel discussion at the University of Maine in Orono on Monday morning and unveiled its findings. Maine was one of eight states Pew chose to highlight in its “Clean Economy Rising” initiative, the others being Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. States were recognized for different contributions. The report on Georgia, for example, trumpets that state as the fastest-growing solar energy market in the country. Pew’s report lauded Maine for having the highest renewable portfolio standard in the country, calling for 40 percent of the state’s total electric supply to come from renewable energy sources by 2017. Most other states call for about 10 percent. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

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