Maine Things Considered

4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Weekdays at 4 p.m. join host Nora Flaherty and hear Maine’s only daily statewide radio news program. Maine Public Radio's award-winning news staff brings you the latest news from across Maine and the region, as well as in-depth reports on the most important issues.

This story was originally published at 11 a.m. Friday, June 9.

We walk on it, we drive on it.  We even sleep on it.  But when it's time to dispose of our old carpeting, tires and mattresses, it all becomes "oversized bulky waste" - or OBW.  OBW is literally the fuel that fires trash-to-energy incinerators, including the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company in Orrington. 

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Representatives from city and town governments that are part of the 115-member Municipal Review Committee got a chance Monday afternoon to tour the new $70 million Fiberight biofuel recycling center in Hampden.

Although the facility is still under construction and is expected to begin receiving solid waste shipments early next year, Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul says nearly all of the plant’s key components should be in place within the next 90 days.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

As national pride month picks up steam, members of Maine’s LGBTQ community are celebrating a fresh victory. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will no longer require people getting IDs and driver’s licenses to select only male or female to indicate their gender.

Flickr

To explain how citizens will experience Ranked Choice Voting next Tuesday Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap visited Maine Calling.

To clarify, as Dunlap noted, you can enroll with one of the two parties on election day if you are currently unenrolled, or have not registered to vote. But to change parties, you must do so 15 days before election day.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Polling in primary elections has always been difficult, due to typically-low voter turnout. But experts say it is even more arduous when voters are surveyed about their preferences under the new ranked-choice voting law.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

It wasn't your typical job fair.

More than 60 people came to the event in Biddeford Thursday in the hopes of finding an employer willing to give them a chance. These job seekers are all in recovery for substance use disorders.

Maine Public

The ranked-choice voting system is forcing candidates to think about how they are campaigning, and it will also make voters think twice about their choice. But perhaps no group has more to think about than municipal clerks, the people who will conduct next week's vote.

Whether you touch a screen, fill in an oval or put an X in a box, the way you vote changes next week. And that means changes for people like Sandra Fournier. "It's very stressful,” she says.

Flickr

Next week, Maine voters will decide whether to continue to use ranked-choice voting in future elections. In anticipation of this decision, two very different campaigns are underway, each attempting to shape public opinion in advance of the election.

Supporters of ranked-choice voting are behind hundreds of thousands of dollars of broadcast advertisements urging Mainers to keep the system they will use for the first time next week, including on featuring actress Jennifer Lawrence.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Originally published June 5, 2018.

The Portland-based Biodiversity Research Institute is calling the return of an adult, male loon to a chain of ponds in southeastern Massachusetts “a major milestone in loon conservation.”

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Central Maine Power (CMP) and a group of stakeholders in the western region of Maine, where the company wants to build a major new transmission line, have struck a mitigation deal worth up to $22 million.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

A week from Tuesday, Mainer primary voters will participate in a historic democratic experiment: They'll be the first voters in the country to use ranked-choice voting in a statewide election.

Report: Rate Of Chronically Absent Maine Students 'Higher Than We Anticipated'

Jun 5, 2018
Darren Fishell / Bangor Daily News/file


More than 29,000 Maine students are missing enough class time to cause worry among school administrators and state education officials responsible for helping them succeed.

Maine Public staff

A Superior Court judge has ruled that the LePage administration must expand Medicaid.

The decision, issued Monday, orders the state to submit a plan to the federal government within a week. Advocates say that means enrollment should begin on July 2, for the 70,000 people who are eligible.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Solar power’s emergence as an important feature of New England’s energy landscape just hit an important milestone.

Normally the amount power drawn from the regional grid is lowest at night. But one sunny day this spring, residential solar arrays flipped that pattern around — and the phenomenon will likely become more frequent in New England.

It happened on April 21.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

President Donald Trump has tweeted that he believes he could pardon himself under the broad Constitutional powers granted to presidents. Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine disagrees.

Trump has asserted that he has the right to pardon himself, but won’t use his power to do so since he has done nothing wrong. But King says the implication that a president can never be held accountable for his or her actions is inconsistent with other powers of the Constitution.

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