Friday, February 15, 2013

State News Update

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Issues Important Consumer Alert, Corporate Records Service Scam
The Secretary of State’s office has received calls regarding the legitimacy of solicitations that are being mailed to numerous Maine corporations from a company named Corporate Records Service. These solicitations urge corporations to file information and send payment in the amount of $125.00 by a certain date in order to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the corporation.

These solicitations also include statute citations regarding corporate records and annual meetings. At first glance, this solicitation may look official; however, some of the information being requested is not required to be filed with the Secretary of State. Maine corporations are not required to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State’s office.

Annual Reports are required to be filed with the Secretary of State’s office on or before June 1st of each year. Secretary Dunlap encourages all entities on record with the Secretary of State’s office to review “Filing Requirement Reminders” available on the web at:

Additionally, please keep in mind that any official notice received from the Secretary of State’s office will contain the Maine state seal, the Secretary of State’s name, and contact information for the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions.

Please contact the Division of Corporations at (207) 624-7752 should you have any questions or concerns regarding these solicitations.

Attorney General Mills Warns Maine Medicare Recipients of Scam
Attorney General Janet T. Mills is warning consumers about recent reports of calls from individuals claiming to represent Medicare.

There are reports from Maine Medicare recipients who have received phone calls claiming to be from Medicare. The callers claim Medicare is issuing a new Medicare card and asks for the consumer’s Medicare number, the name of their financial institution and their financial routing and account numbers.

Medicare consumers who provide this information are advised to review their Medicare statements carefully for the next year and contact 1-800-MEDICARE immediately if anything questionable appears on their statements. Consumers should also notify their financial institution if their account information has been compromised.

If you think you have experienced a Medicare scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (207) 626-8849.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hickman on the Hill

On Tuesday, January 29, I addressed the entire student body of Kents Hill School in Readfield as the Amnesty International Human Rights Speaker. It's always an honor to speak to young people. My remarks combined personal history, a focus on community, ideas for a sustainable Maine economy through agriculture and food, and a special demonstration of slam poetry at the request of a student during question and answer. It was truly an honor to receive a spontaneous standing ovation from the students, faculty, and members of the community who attended as soon as I finished my address. 

On Friday, February 1, I returned to campus to lead roundtable discussions in six classes (three English, AP Environmental Studies, Literature of Place, and Western Civ), meet with Head of School, Jeremy LaCasse, attend a school meeting, and break bread with members of the Student Council. 

Overall, it was an extraordinary experience. The students were engaged, intelligent, wise and seeking creative and sustainable solutions for the environment and food systems that they will inherit from us as they enter adulthood. I thank Anne Richardson, Director of College Counseling, Director of International and ESL Programs and Amnesty International Advisor, for inviting me to participate this year. After completing my class visits, Anne sent me this email:

"On behalf of Kents Hill, I want to thank you for your energy, enthusiasm, patience, and, above all, your superb words at Kents Hill School this week.   Your words about and your advocacy for the hungry and for food policy were moving and inspiring.  I think you could tell from the stillness in the room that you kept an audience of 250 teenagers rapt for the entire duration, and then enthralled them with your poetry rendition.  This is no mean feat, and I thank you for being one of the best Human Rights speakers we have had to date.

"In addition, every class you attended gave you rave reviews - again, we appreciate you giving your entire attention to us, especially when you were feeling slightly under the weather.

"I think the entire school joins with me in wishing you an energetic, fulfilling and productive legislative season, and great gratitude for the work you do for us.   We are proud to have you representing us."

Winthrop Rotary Funds Greenhouse at Maranacook Community High School

Photo: Bill McKenna
On Tuesday, January 29, at a regular morning meeting at the Winthrop Area Federal Credit Union, Winthrop Area Rotary Club President Craig Hickman, left, presents a check to Ian Perry, president of the Student Senate at Maranacook Community High School in Readfield, Maine. The funds will be used in the construction of an educational greenhouse on the school grounds. Perry plans to heat the greenhouse with a wind turbine he constructed last year. This project dovetails nicely with the Club's efforts, working to improve local access to food and nutrition.

Ian will be returning to present on the project after the greenhouse is constructed and there may be a Club tour of the completed project in the spring.

State News Update

 The Maine Development Foundation and our partner, the Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), are pleased to announce a new scholarship program for adult and non-traditional aged students, the Next Step Scholarship Fund.

 We are currently accepting applications for 15 to 17 available scholarships in 2013, with awards of $1,000 to $2,500.  These scholarships will be given to employees who are engaged in taking the next step in their education through pursuit of an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or an industry certification, and who are considered promising contributors to the companies or organizations for whom they work.  Scholarship applications must be submitted by employers, who can ‘nominate’ eligible employees.

MDF strongly believes in the importance of building the skills of our incumbent workforce.   We must maximize the value of non-traditional students of all kinds to bolster our workforce, and specifically reach out to the over 223,000 people in Maine who started college but did not complete a degree.  The Next Step Scholarship Fund does more than encourage non-traditional students and working adults to 'take their next step,' it provides them with a tool to help them succeed.   These scholarships will be awarded in partnership with the employers who are members of the Maine Employers' Initiative, and with our partners in SHRM chapters around the state.

 We invite you to nominate your employees for a scholarship today!

 Visit: to nominate one of your promising employees today using our simple online form.  Scholarship guidelines and other details are available on our website and are attached to this email.  The deadline to apply is March 22, 2013.
 We extend a special thank you to all of our scholarship fund supporters this year, including:  Bangor Savings Bank, Cianbro, Disability RMS, Pratt & Whitney, R.H. Reny’s Inc., Unum, WEX, Maine Community Foundation, and John T Gorman Foundation

Governor LePage Delivers State of the State

On February 6th, Governor LePage delivered his second State of the State address before a joint session of the Maine Senate and Maine House of Representatives. In his speech, Governor LePage emphasized the need for education reform, more affordable energy, and to pass his plan to retire Maine’s hospital debt.  You can read the prepared text of the Governor’s speech HERE .

Maine Capitol Connection Now Broadcasting

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network has begun airing the Maine Capitol Connection, a new television channel that provides coverage of Maine’s government. Programming on  the Maine Capitol Connection includes live coverage of legislative sessions, committee hearings, and other events such as press conferences. Special programs on Maine’s government will also be aired. The Maine Capitol Connection can be found on channel 171 in Cumberland and York Counties, and channel 181 in most of Maine.

If you have a digital television, you can find it by scanning for new channels – it’s "dot-4" grouped together now with regular MPBN Television and World Channels: 10.4 in Presque Isle and Augusta, 12.4 in Bangor, 13.4 in Calais, and 26.4 in Biddeford.
Maine Capitol Connection can also be viewed at the MPBN website . The website also has a schedule of upcoming programming.

Maine Open Checkbook Now Online

In order to increase the public’s access to information on how Mainers’ hard-earned tax dollars are spent, Governor LePage’s administration has created a new website: Maine Open Checkbook.

At the Maine Open Checkbook website individuals can search details of state spending, including vendor payments and employee compensation. Next year the state will expand the service to include revenue data and other details related to budget expenses. Future enhancements will include expanded graphs and reports. Details on vendor payments will be uploaded to the website every month and employee compensation, including salary information and benefits, will be updated on an annual basis.

State Park Campground Reservations System Now Open

As of Monday, Feb. 4, the reservations system is open for all state park campgrounds.
Campers have four ways to make reservations:
• Online at, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online service allows the public to create or cancel a reservation at 12 different state parks and provides the ability for a user to reprint a campsite permit as needed.
• By calling in-state at 800-332-1501; or out-of-state at 207-624-9950 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on business days.)
• By mailing reservations to: Division of Parks and Public Lands, ATTN: Reservations, 22 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333. Mailed Sebago Lake reservation requests must not be postmarked before Feb. 1, 2013 or Feb 4 for all other parks.
• By dropping off completed reservation forms, which will be processed during business hours at the Augusta office.

Maine History Corner

At this time of year we are all familiar with the sight of ice, and many Mainers are enjoying such pastimes as ice skating and ice fishing. Ice has always been a part of Mainers’ lives, and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was an important industry in the state. In 1826, the industry began to take off when an ice house was built on the Kennebec River. Maine’s ice was known as the top-quality product nationwide at a time when iceboxes were becoming more popular in American homes. Maine’s ice industry flourished - even reaching a point during 1870-1890 where about 25,000 men were employed during the winter on the Kennebec Ice Fields. For more information, including photos of ice harvesting and of the tools used to harvest ice, click HERE .

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fiscal News

From the Office of Fiscal and Program Review:
The January issue of the Fiscal News is now available on the Office of Fiscal and Program Review’s web page through the following link:

This month’s issue includes the usual revenue, cash and MaineCare updates. This issue also includes a number of other articles including: a summary of the Governor’s Emergency Supplemental Budget proposals, a summary of state operating expenditures for the 1st half of FY 2013, a heating oil price update and a Maine Public Employees Retirement System Investment Update. Also, included in the MaineCare Update is a comparison of expenditures of the 1st half of FY 2013 with FY 2011 and FY 2012 broken down into broad categories of expenditures.

Hard copies of the Fiscal News are available in the Office of Fiscal and Program Review, Room 226 of the State House.