Monday, October 27, 2008

Latest housing numbers
"The median sales price of a single-family home in Maine fell more than 6 percent in September compared to a year ago, to $177,750, according to data released today by the Maine Real Estate Information System.

Statewide sales were off nearly 10 percent during the month, compared to 2007, with 928 homes sold."

Lobster Industry Task Force

"Gov. John Baldacci on Friday created a task force to study the ailing lobster industry, which has seen prices fishermen receive at the dock for their catch drop drastically over the past month.

The Task Force on the Economic Sustainability of Maine's Lobster Industry will make a comprehensive study of the industry and recommend specific strategies to help maintain the viability of the lobster industry in Maine, according to a press release from the governor's office. The group will attempt to identify opportunities to expand and diversify both live and processed markets for Maine lobster, to increase product quality and profitability, expand marketing initiatives and alternative business models.

The task force will deliver its recommendations no later than April 15, 2009, the release said."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lincoln Group Opposes Wind Power

"A group of residents in Lincoln opposed to a proposed $120 million wind farm are pushing for a moratorium to block the project.

Friends of Lincoln Lakes plans to ask the town council and planning board next week for a moratorium on all pending wind projects, saying that the town hasn’t had enough time to study the wind farm’s potential impact on wildlife, according to the Bangor Daily News. Developer Evergreen Wind Power, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based First Wind, is proposing a 40-turbine wind farm that stretches along a ridge through Burlington, Lincoln, Lee and Winn, and plans to apply for building permits with Lincoln’s planning board by the end of the year." (more)

“Maine Street Station”

Charting Maine’s Future:
"Maine Street Station will fill an empty lot in the middle of downtown Brunswick with over 40,000 square feet of new retail and office space adjacent to Brunswick’s planned passenger rail stop and Bowdoin College. A future phase of the project proposes to add a 75-room inn, another 18,000 square foot commercial building, and 16 units of housing.

The Downeaster passenger rail service is now moving forward with
expansion plans that will bring two trains a day from Portland north to Brunswick by
summer 2010. The first phase of construction at Maine Street Station is
expected to be complete sometime next year."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lobster Prices Fall Futher

Portland Press Herald:
"The wholesale price of Maine lobster, considered low all summer, has plunged more than 20 percent in the past week to as little as $2.60 per pound in some harbors. Dealers say falling financial markets have ruined consumers' appetite for luxury items such as lobster, and the international credit crisis has effectively shut off orders from major processors in Canada.

Those and other factors undercut demand just as Maine entered its peak lobster season – and as fishermen are paying near-record prices for fuel and bait."

Monday, October 6, 2008

blueberry capital

"Every August, Wyman harvests its roughly 10,000 acres of blueberry fields along the coast of Down East Maine and in the Canadian Maritimes. It’s a big job, requiring 130 year-round employees and some 500 seasonal workers, the majority of whom are migrants. From early August through Labor Day, Wyman’s two processing factories in DeBlois and Cherryfield sift, sort, rinse, and box up to 1.5 million pounds of blueberries a day to satisfy customers like General Mills, Sysco, Sara Lee and Wal-Mart."
- Mainebiz

Free Electricity

"Former Gov. Angus King is one of the principals of Independence Wind LLC, which needs a zoning change to put wind turbines on the town's hills.

In a letter, King says Independence Wind is prepared to offer every household free electricity equal to the amount consumed by a typical Maine household. That represents 500 kilowatt hours per month for each of 200 households that were CMP customers as of Sept. 1."

Windmill Moratorium Saught

Bangor Daily News:
"The group has gathered roughly 220 signatures on a petition seeking a 180-day moratorium on construction of commercial wind power facilities as well as processing of any applications. The petition would allow the Town Council to extend the moratorium or cancel it once Fort Kent’s zoning and land-use ordinances have been amended to address wind power facilities.

The petition is a response to a Texas-based company, Horizon Wind, which has been negotiating lease agreements with landowners in the Fort Kent area and in other parts of Aroostook County."