Category archives for: Polly Ticks

Marco Rubio Tells Voters We Can All Move to Mexico and Put Up a Fence After All the Mexicans Are In California

Marco Rubio in New HampshireHOLLIS, N.H. — Back in New Hampshire for the first time since the midterm elections, it didn’t take long for Sen. Marco Rubio to get a question about immigration. Speaking to a group of people in a wooden barn in the southern part of the state, the Florida Republican — still debating whether to run for president or seek re-election to the Senate in 2016 — was asked about his past support for immigration legislation that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. Rubio’s aides said the crowd was “more than 100.” “When I first heard you, I liked you a lot — and then you lost me,” a questioner asked Rubio, to some applause from the crowd. “But I’m back, here to give you another chance. My question for you is, ‘Can you commit if elected president to send home every single person that’s violated our country’s laws and is here illegally?’” In reply, Rubio didn’t hesitate. “I don’t think anyone can commit that to you,” Rubio said. “You have 12 million human beings in America, most of whom we don’t even know who they are and some of them whom our country’s not going to tolerate rounding up and sending back. That’s not a realistic proposal.”(read more at the Kennebec Journal)

Governor LePage Uses State of the State Address to Propose Making Fourteen Blogposts Stitched Together the New State Constitution

governor lepageAUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday evening pitched a vision for “prosperity, not poverty” during his annual State of the State address. The adage is quickly becoming the overarching message of LePage’s second term. For the governor, the path to prosperity is paved with the hundreds of pages from his budget proposal, which contains a dramatic tax reform plan that would eliminate the estate tax and cut the state’s income tax by more than half a billion dollars annually by 2019. The governor spent the bulk of his roughly hourlong speech on the budget, which he said would “drive prosperity for years to come. It looks past the next election and focuses on the next generation.” But the governor’s end game isn’t a reduced income tax rate — it’s the elimination of the tax altogether. He announced Tuesday his desire for a constitutional amendment that would use future revenue growth to pay for reductions in the state income tax until it’s gone. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

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)

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 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)

Hillary Clinton’s Latest Makeover Expected to Lock Up the “Bag Lady Shouting at the Bus Stop” Vote

hillary clintonCORONADO, Calif. – Not yet in the presidential race, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mitt Romney already are previewing the likely focus of the 2016 campaign, a competition over who’s better able to boost paychecks for working Americans. And that ostensibly populist message about wages and jobs for the middle-class? It’s what their potential rivals for the Democratic and Republican nominations – Jeb Bush and Elizabeth Warren, among them – are talking about, too. It started Friday afternoon, when Clinton, who has been mostly quiet over the past few weeks as a GOP field of more than two dozen potential candidates jockeyed for attention, sent her first tweet in more than a month: “Attacking financial reform is risky and wrong. Better for Congress to focus on jobs and wages for middle-class families.” Late Friday night, it was Romney’s turn. The wealthy former private equity chief sounded almost nothing like the Romney of 2012, when he told voters “corporations are people, my friend,” and said to a group of rich donors that when it comes to the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, “my job is not to worry about those people.” Said Romney on Friday, “Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before.” (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

Ride-Sharing Legislation Crafted To Remind Dorks That An iPhone App Isn’t A Universal Line Item Veto

uber ride sharing in maineAUGUSTA — Maine could become the next state to regulate ride-sharing companies such as Uber. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Friday his office has submitted legislation that would require ride-share drivers to register with the state and to prove that they have a valid driver’s license and insurance. Similar legislation has surfaced in several other states as San Francisco-based Uber Technologies continues its breakneck global expansion. The Silicon Valley-funded company posted investments worth $41 billion in early December. It began operating in Portland in October. The Portland City Council is also considering a proposal to regulate Uber and other ride-sharing companies amid complaints from taxi companies that the services have an unfair advantage because they are not subject to licensing and insurance requirements. The proposed Portland rules, along with regulatory efforts in other states, have also touched off an ideological debate. (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

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)

Longtime Wiscasset Town Clerk Receives Heartfelt Retirement Commendation On 20# Goldenrod, Printed In Comic Sans

wiscasset maine clerk retiresOn Wiscasset Assessor’s Agent Sue Varney’s final day on the job Friday, the Wiscasset woman took a long lunch and left work early. She also came in late that morning, she said. “Oh, she’s been doing that for years,” Selectmen’s Vice Chairman Ben Rines Jr. joked. His response to Varney’s recap of her day set off laughter among those within earshot as Varney mingled with fellow residents and current and past town officials at her retirement reception. “I would have liked to go out quietly,” Varney told celebrants moments earlier at the podium inside the Wiscasset Community Center’s senior center. “This is very nice. Thank you very much,” she added. Selectmen presented Varney with a mantle clock. Chairman Pam Dunning said it was being given even though Varney would no longer need to always know the time, as she had to in her working years. Instead, the clock was for tracking the time on days spent out lying in the sun or visiting the town office, Dunning said; it was also to show the town’s appreciation of Varney’s dedication and the quality of her service, Dunning told her. (read more at the Wiscasset Newspaper)

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)

In A Shocking Turn Of Events, A Man Habitually Paid With Tax Money Favors Higher Taxes

ray lahoodAUGUSTA — Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told hundreds of attendees at the state’s major transportation conference Thursday morning that the country’s infrastructure systems will continue to fall behind other countries if more funding isn’t devoted to infrastructure projects. LaHood, a keynote speaker for the 64th annual Maine Transportation Conference at the Augusta Civic Center, told the transportation industry members to urge their congressional leaders to pass a longer term transportation bill and shore up the struggling Highway Trust Fund with an increase to the federal fuel taxes. “What’s happened around the country is American has become one big pothole, and in states where they haven’t put the resources into infrastructure, you have crumbling roads, bridges that are falling down,” LaHood said. He said the state of Maine has made good progress, but he cautioned that the nation’s transportation infrastructure would continue to suffer without providing more funding to programs. (read more at the Portland Press Herald)

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