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Farmington is about for a non-binding vote Monday on Central Maine Energy’s proposed transmission line from Quebec to Massachusetts and literature lately circulated in help of the project is inflicting extra rigidity simply before the vote.
The controversial $1 billion project has been opposed by eight cities, however Farmington — the house of Gov. Janet Mills, who backs the corridor — can be the most important one to oppose it. Each side of the complicated, campaign-like debate have just lately peppered the city with mailers.
One handbill uses past quotes of help from Franklin County commissioners and the world’s financial improvement arm. A commissioner now says his physique’s transfer to help it was “a mistake” and the physique might undo it at a assembly on Tuesday.
Withering native opposition has been CMP’s largest public relations battle as teams have shifted away from backing the corridor. The most important funders of pseudo-campaigns for and towards the project — CMP and an opposing coalition referred to as Cease the Corridor that hasn’t disclosed its monetary backers — despatched mailers to Farmington residents this month. CMP additionally apparently did in-person canvassing in some areas, as evidenced by a Farmington-specific handbill offered by a resident.
Several cities and groups came out in help of the project early in its improvement, however they have more and more gone away from it since it turned clear that the project was the favorite to satisfy a Massachusetts clean energy contract. That includes the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the town of Wilton, which rescinded selectmen’s 2017 endorsement of the line this month.
Negotiations over the project have gone by means of several phases. CMP initially provided a $22 million profit package deal for tourism and habitat restoration. Franklin County officials requested for their very own $26 million package deal, however it didn’t go anyplace. Mills supported the project after CMP inked a $250 million, 40-year benefits package deal with a wider group of stakeholders final month.
Public opinion in western Maine seems to have turned exhausting towards the project since then. The vote in Wilton was almost unanimous, so that doesn’t bode nicely for CMP in Farmington on Friday. CMP’s handbill tried to draw Farmington residents to the meeting with a quote from Franklin County commissioners saying the corridor would “spur the economy.”
However Charlie Webster, a commissioner from Farmington and a former Maine Republican Get together chairman, stated his body’s previous help for the road was “a mistake” finished with out information of the advantages package deal provided in a New Hampshire transmission line proposal. Commissioners might talk about rescinding their help at a Tuesday morning assembly.
“In retrospect, we shouldn’t have taken a position one way or the other,” he stated.
It’s unclear if all of this public opposition will sink the project. CMP clearly needs a good displaying in Farmington on Monday, however it might be unlikely. The corridor continues to be flying toward a choice at the Maine Public Utilities Fee, whose employees is scheduled to situation a suggestion on the project to commissioners by April 1.
Whether it is accredited, state and federal permitting processes would ensue. This is going to be a multi-front political battle for a while.
Maine ranks 2nd in 2018 turnout
In the 2018 midterm elections, Maine’s voter turnout was one of many highest in the nation, in accordance with new knowledge from a group that charts voter conduct. Nonprofit Vote’s current report ranks Maine sixth nationwide, as simply over 60 % of registered voters forged ballots, totaling 646,013. In the 2014 midterms, 616,996 ballots have been forged in Maine. November voter turnout throughout the nation surpassed 50 %, setting a 100-year report.
The two-term tenure of former Republican Gov. Paul LePage ended with the November election of Mills, a Democrat. Momentum from the left gave Democrats full control of the Legislature, and led to the historic 2nd Congressional District defeat of Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin by Golden within the nation’s first federal ranked-choice voting contest. That race was protracted by a authorized battle and a recount, each led by Poliquin.
In the present day in A-town
The House and the Senate reconvene this morning, as will most legislative committees. But committee hearings are much less crammed with payments and more with committee shows by relevant state departments and finances hearings.
The Appropriations and Monetary Affairs Committee will suss out proposed spending, as part of Mills’ $eight billion price range, for the Office of the Lawyer Basic, the judicial division, indigent authorized providers and the Indian State-Tribal Commission.
Different committees will contemplate two bills to improve the statewide 9-1-1- emergency telephone system, and payments to build a new Bureau of Forestry headquarters in Fort Kent, and to mandate that medical insurance carriers provide coverage for medical marijuana.
Discover the complete legislative schedule right here.
— Maine might be on the hook for $72 million for past certification issues at Riverview Psychiatric Middle. On Monday, Mills’ administration revealed that the federal authorities had rejected the earlier administration’s attraction of an order to repay $51 million in 2017. Since then, the legal responsibility grew to $72.1 million, which is greater than what the earlier Legislature set aside in case Maine had to repay the feds. Riverview was decertified by the U.S. Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers in 2013 for myriad problems, together with overcrowding, inadequate staffing levels and using stun guns and restraints on patients. It regained certification in January.
— Turmoil continues for the most important union at Tub Iron Works. On Saturday, about 150 members of the 3,500-member Local S6 of the machinists union voted no confidence in local president Mike Keenan. A shipfitter who was president of Native S6 from 2001 to 2008, Keenan was removed from workplace in 2008 and barred from operating for several years. He was re-elected as president of the native in 2016 and took office in January 2017. He has once more been embroiled in conflict with other board members, and has filed expenses towards chief steward Raymond Gauthier and secretary and treasurer Jason Perry to the union’s governing board. Keenan stated the no-confidence vote is a reaction to his efforts to “clean up the local lodge” earlier than upcoming contract negotiations.
— A southern Maine contractor stated his immigrant staff are often subjected to racism. Solely twice in three years has considered one of Orson Horchler’s black, African-born carpenters arrived at a job website earlier than him. Both occasions, someone’s referred to as the police.The first time was in Scarborough. The latest incident happened in Westbrook on March 7. Horchler, who operates Bondeko carpentry, only hires new Mainers to assist together with his development and transforming jobs. “I think that says people are racist,” stated Horchler. “I used to be really mad about this. These are immigrants who’re working their butts off and it makes it so exhausting for them to do what they need to do.
— Extra particulars on current Maine shootings emerged on Monday. A police affidavit indicates that Austin McDevitt of Morrill shot Shane Sauer of Belfast seven occasions Friday morning in Swanville in a conflict over a lady whom each males have been allegedly courting. McDevitt made his first courtroom look Monday for a homicide charge and shall be held without bail. Police in Presque Isle stated that Matthew Leavitt, 35, shot and killed his 14-month-old son, Quinten Leavitt, before he shot and killed himself after a weekend standoff with police. Both died from a single gunshot wound, in accordance with the state medical expert’s workplace, which carried out the autopsies Monday.
My grandfather’s mother and father emigrated from Ireland, so I have been sporting green on St. Patrick’s Day since I was in a onesie. In class, even the Swedish and Polish youngsters donned green to be “Irish for a day.” That custom has continued by means of most of my life, as even individuals who haven’t any connection to the Emerald Isle appear to take pleasure in indulging in the “wearing of the green” on March 17 if it could possibly get them beer for breakfast or an excuse to turn into sloppy or maudlin.
With one exception. Through the early 1980s, I taught particular schooling at a particular faculty on the North Shore in Massachusetts. Two of my colleagues — Miss Marie and Miss Georgia — needed no part of the St. Patrick’s Day nonsense. Both have been married, nevertheless it was just easier to have the scholars name them “Miss.” One was a Sicilian lady married to a Greek man, and the other was a Greek lady married to a Sicilian.
They aggressively scorned St. Patrick’s Day. A part of which may have been associated to the truth that the Irish-People within the Boston space do are likely to overdo it when celebrating their heritage. Drunken fake leprechauns are annoying.
However the primary reason for their displeasure was a perceived slight to St. Joseph, whose feast day is at the moment. At the indoor picnic desk that served as our academics lounge, they might loudly complain that Joseph, Mary’s husband and Jesus’ stepfather, received critical brief shrift in the celebration division. They might not adorn their rooms for St. Patrick’s Day and wore pink — conventional Sicilian garb for St. Joseph’s Day — or blue — as a result of “Greeks wear blue” — for the whole third week of March. They argued that the world can be much better off celebrating a saint who might make birds come again to the same place every year than somebody who drove snakes off a barely inhabitable island.
Worst of all, they might not share their zeppola. “Go eat that dry sawdust you call soda bread,” they might scornfully declare as they bit into their creamy delights. Right here is your soundtrack. And right here is a bonus soundtrack for St. Joseph. — Robert Long
In the present day’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Long. For those who’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click here to obtain Maine’s leading publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.