Friday, April 19, 2013

State News Update

Governor Orders Flags to be Lowered in Respect for Victims in Boston Marathon Explosions
Governor Paul LePage ordered the flags of the United States and State of Maine be flown at half-staff effective immediately through sunset on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in accordance with a Presidential proclamation. On Tuesday, President Obama issued a proclamation as a mark of respect for the victims of Monday’s tragic events in Boston, Massachusetts.

The two bomb explosions have resulted in 3 deaths and more than 170 injured.

After learning of the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, Governor LePage immediately released the following statement:

“It is a very sad Patriot’s Day in Boston. Ann and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those who were killed and injured in today’s horrific act of violence. For the many Mainers who are in Boston today we hope you are safe.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by the tragic events. Find out more about the charity, or donate HERE.

Lawyers in Libraries: Law Day 2013

Lawyers across the state will spend time in local libraries on Law Day, Wednesday, May 1, to provide resources and assistance to people in need, talk about statewide legal issues and meet with library patrons. Lawyers in Libraries: Law Day 2013 is a free event that is open to the public. It will take place in libraries statewide from noon-2:00 p.m.

The goal of the day is twofold: to provide Maine citizens with access to legal advice and information and to demonstrate how legal access is critical to a community’s well-being; an entire community suffers when neighbors and friends go through foreclosure, are not safe in their homes, or cannot afford heat or food.

Participants in Lawyers in Libraries: Law Day 2013 will have an opportunity to meet with a lawyer based in their community and receive information about free resources, low-cost legal assistance and legal referrals.  In addition, some attendees will have the opportunity for a brief private consultation with an attorney about personal legal matters.

The names and locations of participating libraries, along with the scheduled times for the event, are available at

Hazard Mitigation Grant Application Period Open for Communities
As part of the disaster declaration for the February 2013 blizzard, Maine is receiving mitigation grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for eligible mitigation projects.

Approximately $450,000 is available in hazard mitigation grant program (HMGP) funds for eligible projects that will help the communities avoid future damages from natural disasters.

Applications must be received by 5:00 pm on June 30, 2013 or September 30, 2013. These are standing deadlines: review sessions to evaluate applications are held following each of these dates.

Communities seeking HMGP funds must be participating in a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation plan, compliant with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and their project must be cost beneficial using the FEMA software. That is, the cost of the project must be roughly equal to or less than the historical costs of repairing previous damages at the site.

Communities must provide a 25% cost-share of the total project costs. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds can be used as cost share. Cost share can also be provided by in-kind resources such as town owned and operated equipment.

Technical assistance is available to help applicants prepare competitive applications. MEMA will be conducting workshops to guide applicants through the process and can also provide one-on-one assistance.

Visit MEMA's Mitigation Grants page for all grant guidance and forms. In particular, please review the YES/NO (HMGP Eligibility Requirements) page to determine if your project meets grant criteria.

Tips on Avoiding Bear Conflicts

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reminds homeowners that bears may be attracted to bird feeders, garbage cans, dumpsters and grills in their backyards this spring, where food or the odor of food is prevalent.  

When bears emerge from their winter dens in April throughout Maine, natural food is not readily available to them. That means bears may be encountered in backyards where bird feeders and garbage containers provide them with easy access to food.

The number of bear conflicts usually diminishes during late summer when berries begin to ripen, making it easier for bears to find natural food.

Last year, which included a premature spring, the Maine Warden Service received 870 bear-related complaints, compared to 395 in 2010 and 436 in 2011.
To avoid conflicts with black bears, it is imperative that homeowners take these precautions:

  • Take down bird feeders between April 1 and November  1
  • Rake up and dispose of bird seed on the ground
  • Store remaining bird seed indoors

  • Keep garbage cans inside until the morning of trash pickup
  • Keep dumpster lids closed and latched
  • Never overfill dumpsters
  • Dumpsters with plastic lids aren’t bear proof and should be kept in a secure building or protected by fencing

  • Remember to burn off any food residue, dispose of wrappers and clean the grilling area after use
  • If possible, store grills inside when not in use.
  • If you’re having bear problems, stop grilling for one to two weeks so that the bear will move on
Pet and Livestock Foods

  • Store pet and livestock foods inside
  • Clean up any uneaten feed
If you do encounter a bear, you should make loud noises, such as banging pots together, to try to scare it off. You should always back away from the bear to give it an escape route. Without an escape route, a cornered bear may charge. Remember to stay at a safe distance or in a safe location when photographing a bear.

By taking these precautions, homeowners are more likely to prevent conflicts that could pose a danger to human life or require corrective action such as moving or killing a bear.
For more information, visit

Maine History Corner

The name ‘Blaine’ is most often invoked now in conjunction with the Maine Governors’ residence. The namesake of the residence, and its former owner, James G. Blaine, is a storied figure not only in Maine’s history but also nationally. Blaine served in the Maine House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate. He served as Speaker of the U.S. House from 1869-1875, and as U.S. Secretary of State on two separate occasions. He also ran for President in 1884, but lost to Grover Cleveland. Ironically, one position he never held was that of Governor of Maine.

You can view photos and read more about this prominent Mainer HERE .

No comments:

Post a Comment