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.

Jay Field / MPBN

Some disappointing news came today for the deep water wind project known as Aqua Ventus. That's the pilot project led by a University of Maine development team. Aqua Ventus was competing for federal development money. But, as Jennifer Mitchell reports, the project was not selected for full funding. So now, its fate is less certain. Meanwhile, environmental advocates are still lamenting a decision they say chased away another wind developer.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

The Maine Manufactured Housing Board has revoked the license of a Richmond trailer park owner and ordered him to pay the maximum fine possible for raw sewage and two other violations that resulted in the temporary eviction of his tenants. It's the first time the board has taken such an action. Russ Edwards is now negotiating to sell the beleagured park to a potential buyer. But as Susan Sharon reports, the tenants are still hoping to take it over themselves.

First, Gov. Paul LePage threatened to bring the Maine Legislature back into an emergency session. Now minority Republicans are urging Democrats to reconvene over nursing homes. Specifically, Republicans want to reconsider an 11th-hour bill from the governor that would provide $5 million to nursing homes from a tobacco settlement fund.

Cutler Talks Energy, Environment

May 6, 2014

Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler says Maine must strengthen its commitment to the environment, and pursue sounder energy policies, without sacrificing jobs. Cutler rolled out his environmental and energy agendas at a press conference this morning on the banks of the Penobscot River in Bangor. 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has withdrawn a proposed rule that would have added the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde to the state's priority chemical watch list as way to protect children's health. The rule would have required manufacturers to disclose which of their children's products contain formaldehyde, sometimes found in crib sheets, bibs and baby shampoo.  As Susan Sharon reports, health and environmental groups were quick to attack the move as caving to the chemical industry lobby.

Stung by the effects of a Supreme Court decision and the failure of the state Legislature to offer a remedy, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections is advancing a new proposal it says will give outspent candidates the money they need to compete in state races.  Under the plan, state funding to the program would increase by $1 million a year, and candidates would be allowed to access more money by collecting additional contributions. A.J. Higgins has more.

Creative Commons

Officials in Scarborough are due to vote tomorrow night on a key ordinance regarding the contentious matter of canine activity on its beaches.  And you can bet that the results of that vote will be scrutinized by the federal government. The issue goes back 10 months to last summer when the town incurred the wrath of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after an unleashed dog killed a piping plover - a federally-protecting diminutive shorebird that makes its summer home on the sandy beaches of southern Maine, from Ogunquit up as far as Georgetown. Tom Porter has more.

Emily Cain, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress
Ramona du Houx/Maine Insights

The two Democrats vying for their party's nomination in Maine's 2nd Congressional district held their first primary debate last night at the University of Southern Maine's Lewiston campus. State Senators Troy Jackson and Emily Cain agree on most of the major issues. But when it comes to talking about their ideas and positions, the personal styles of the two candidates couldn't be more different.

The U.S. Navy's first DDG-1000 destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, tied up at BIW
Mark Vogelzang/MPBN

A couple of weeks ago, the world's most advanced warship, the USS Zumwalt, formally hit the water at a christening ceremony at Bath Iron Works. The midcoast shipyard is due to build two more of the DDG-1000 destroyers for the U.S. Navy over the next several years. The program, however, has ended up being much more costly than originally intended, in part because it was drastically cut back a few years ago from 32 ships to just three.

Maine House of Representatives

As incumbent Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud departs his 2nd District seat to run for governor, he's opened the door for a host of candidates from both parties who are hoping to be sent to Washington. One of them is former state Senate President Kevin Raye, who is making his third bid for Congress. 

Dan Demeritt and Cynthia Dill in the MPBN studios in Portland.
Tom Porter/MPBN

The union endorsement of Sen. Susan Collins is the subject of this week's Across the Aisle, with Dan Demeritt, political consultant and former communications director for Republican Gov. Paul LePage, and Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate.

[A transcript is not available]

Susan Sharon

Residents of a Richmond trailer park were ordered to vacate their homes by 5:00 P.M. today because of a sewage overflow problem that required water to be shut off.  But most of the residents are low income and on disability or public assistance.  Some say they will be forced to sleep in their vehicles.  Others don't know where they'll go.  And as Susan Sharon reports, they blame the park's owner, who says he's been duped by the man he hired to fix the mess.

Your Vote 2014 logo

The Raye for Congress campaign is demanding that 2nd District congressional primary rival Bruce Poliquin apologize for encouraging Republicans to vote Sen. Susan Collins out of office. Kevin Raye said Poliquin should be standing up for Collins instead of trying to elect her Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows.

Maine's Department of Health and Human Services has selected new brokers to run the state's MaineCare ride program starting July 1.  The program was riddled with problems last year under the Connecticut-based broker Coordinated Transportation Solutions.  That company lost its bid for the next contract year, but another out-of-state broker, LogistiCare, won the majority of the new contracts.  As Patty Wight reports, some advocacy groups are concerned problems will continue under LogistiCare.

An artist's rendering of the physical manifestation of a Bitcoin

For many Americans, money means "worth", in more ways than one. According to one post-recession study by the Pew Research group, lower income and joblessness means not just a smaller bank balance for Americans, but fewer friends, and a loss of self respect. As the effects of the financial crisis linger, more people in Maine and around the world have been exploring so-called cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Proponents of this, and other, alternative currencies say that today's "too big to fail" market economy is driving some people to seek another way.