Sen. Eric Brakey looks to loosen restrictions on carrying concealed handguns, but opponents including York County’s sheriff say the current laws should stand.
Gun rights advocates and those who want stronger restrictions on firearms crowded a State House hearing room Friday as lawmakers listened to a full day’s worth of testimony on nine bills aimed at changing or refining laws governing the use and possession of firearms, mostly handguns.
The bills touch on everything from a prohibiting the creation of a gun owner registry to lowering the minimum age for a person to legally carry a hidden handgun in public. Keep reading
Modeling bipartisan spirit by co-hosting, State Representatives Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester-Poland) and Jessica Fay (D-Casco-Raymond-Poland) held community office hours on Monday evening, March 6, in Poland. They shared an inside look at the legislative process from the perspective of a member of leadership (Espling) and a first-termer (Fay), and provided constituents an opportunity express concerns. Some two dozen area residents took up the offer and engaged in a lively, wide-ranging exchange about pending bills, the status of last fall’s referenda, and how citizens can make their voices heard in Augusta. The two-hour session took place at Poland’s Ricker Library. Continue reading
New Gloucester’s State Representative Ellie Espling (New Gloucester-Poland) will hold community office hours with Representative Jessica Fay (Poland-Casco-Raymond) on Monday March 6 from 5 to 7 pm at Poland’s Ricker Library. Stop by to hear what’s happening in Augusta and share your thoughts.
Bills sponsored by Rep. Espling with public hearings coming right up include LD 180, which would establish a single unified board overseeing the UMaine System, the Community College System, and Maine Maritime (Wed. March 8 at 9 am) Continue reading
Sen. Eric Brakey laid out a plan to bulldoze many of Maine’s convoluted set of business tax exemptions. The plan from Brakey is just a concept at this stage, but he told the Legislature’s Taxation Committee that it targets 47 tax programs that he termed “corporate welfare,” costing the state between $425 million and $448 million over two years. He would use the savings to eliminate Maine’s corporate income tax and lower income taxes. Keep reading
Governor LePage’s budget would repeal the homestead exemption and increase property taxes for an estimated 213,000 Maine homeowners by more than $300 a year on average, according the the Maine Center for Economic Policy. Particularly hard hit would be homeowners living in towns with high mil rates and low income homeowners who have a larger portion of their property tax bill shielded by the homestead exemption. In New Gloucester, the estimated increase would be $293 for 884 households. (See the interactive map.)
At the height of an opiate crisis, let’s take away their health insurance and instead give 18-year-olds a loaded concealed handgun and some marijuana. What could possibly go wrong?
L.D. 44, if passed by Maine’s 128th Legislature and signed by Gov. Paul LePage, will lower from 21 to 18 the age at which a person can carry a concealed handgun. Keep reading
Hike for Ike
New Gloucester resident Isaac Blake, 16, lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D), and he is taking steps to fight this disease. He invites people to donate to his “Hike for Ike” team and/or join the team in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Sunday, Sept. 18, at Thornton Academy, 438 Main St., Saco. Registration opens at 10 a.m., and the 5K walk starts at 11 a.m.
His mother Shelley Blake reports, “Technology has advanced and helped with managing T1D. I’ve gone from checking Isaac’s blood sugar (he can sleep right through it) 2-3 times a night, to looking at my phone, which displays his blood sugar, and going back to sleep if it is ‘in target.’ It’s not perfect and life will never be as seemingly carefree as it was before age 12, but technology, like the Dexcom (continuous glucose monitor) help ease the burden of daily life with T1D.”
To donate or join the team, go to walk.jdrf.org, enter your zip code, click on Saco, ME, and search for the Hike for Ike team.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-44/
Polls will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday, June 14, for the town election, which will be held at the Fire Station, 611 Lewiston Road, New Gloucester.
There are two SAD 15 bond referendum questions, a school budget validation vote, and state primary candidates on the ballot. Additionally, there are four candidates for two openings on the New Gloucester Board of Selectmen, three candidates for three openings on the SAD 15 Board of Directors, and one candidate for one opening on the New Gloucester Water District Board of Trustees. Note that only citizens who reside within the town’s water district may vote for water board candidates. See www.newgloucester.com to view sample ballots.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-29/
NextStepRun! is a 28-minute documentary relating the stories of four women running for elective office in their respective local House districts during the 2014 midterm elections. One of the women is Rep. Ellie Espling, Maine House District 65, who is a New Gloucester resident.
The program is scheduled for telecast at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Friday-Sunday, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, on cable access Channel 3. It was produced by documentary filmmaker Pamela J. Maus of Owls Head.
Maine Turnpike Authority officials were blasted by selectmen Monday night for a plan to replace signs for New Gloucester with ones for Windham and Gray.Keep reading