Maine’s ‘death with dignity’ law is in effect. 

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Maine is now one of nine states to allow people to adopt such a law after it was passed by the Democratic-led Legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills in June.

Adults with a terminal illness who are deemed mentally competent can request life-ending medication from a doctor, who can choose to fill the prescription after two oral requests, two waiting periods and one written request with recordkeeping requirements.

Source:  BDN Maine

Maine chefs switching to cannabis edibles employment

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As restaurant owners in Portland and beyond struggle with a back-of-house labor shortage that they say threatens their business model, Bishop and a wave of other cooks responsible for elevating the Maine food scene over the last decade are finding better wages, less stressful work environments and greater opportunities for advancement in cannabis. Equipped with years of training, cooks are becoming caregivers, bartenders are now “budtenders” and pastry chefs make better livings as cannabis chocolatiers and candymakers.

Source: Maine Restaurant Workers Are Finding The Marijuana Industry ‘Much More Appealing’ | Maine Public

Effort to restore wild Atlantic salmon

The Downeast Salmon Federation says about 250,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon will be released into the East Machias River. The project is part of the International Year of the Salmon effort that is taking place in different countries. The Atlantic salmon is a focus of conservation in Maine because it’s listed under the Endangered Species Act in the United States.

Source: Group To Release Thousands Of Rare Salmon In Maine River | Maine Public

New skate park in Windham 

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A concrete skate park is in the process of being built on the 13-acre property it shares with the Windham Public Safety Building, 375 Gray Road.

Brooks believes that this time, the site will be kept clean because it will be home to “more different types of users.”

In addition to a skate park, there will be sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, walking trails and a playground constructed in several stages over the next few years.

The park’s users will be “stewards of their space,” Brooks said, and there will be “more people there using it for varied reasons” than there used to be.

The town also has a seasonal park ranger available from May through October who will spend some time at the park.

 

Source: Portland Press Herald

 Maine government computers hit with virus

A virus forced state officials Wednesday to shut down computers and servers at the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Maine State Archives.

However, no public data was compromised and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said all affected services should be restored Thursday by the Office of Information Technology, known as OIT.

“The cybersecurity measures we have in place through OIT, combined with the immediate actions taken by our Information Services team, left us with minimal impact from what could otherwise have been a far more serious incident,” Dunlap said.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Lewiston rental registration program coming

The City Council passed a first reading Tuesday of an ordinance requiring all multi-family buildings to join a city registry starting in 2020. Officials, voting unanimously, called the ordinance a compromise after years of discussions on a potential rental registration program in Lewiston, which supporters have said would provide the city with up-to-date contact information and other necessary data to boost communication with code enforcement and safety efforts.

Source: Lewiston Sun Journal

Maine to use Ranked Choice Voting for 2020 Presidential Election

“The law will still require that one presidential elector be chosen from each congressional district and two electors to be chosen at large, but ranked-choice voting could well make a difference if there are more than two candidates and if no candidate achieves more than fifty percent in the first round of tabulation in one of the two Congressional districts or in the at large count,” she said. “The two at-large electors would both represent the one winner in the statewide tabulation for President.”

Maine became the first state to use ranked-choice voting in statewide elections in 2018 after voters ratified the system via a ballot initiative in 2016. The state is now the first to use the system in presidential elections.

Source: Maine Public

New zoning in Portland to address sea level rise

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City planners are proposing new zoning rules for flood-prone areas of Portland in an effort to encourage developers to design buildings with sea level rise in mind.

The proposed Coastal Resiliency Overlay Zone would allow developers to build taller buildings in those areas if they prove the additional height is being used to prepare for sea level rise and storm surges associated with a changing climate.

“This overlay would incentivize property owners and developers who wish to build in parts of the city that face increasing threat from flooding to make their buildings resilient to flooding,” Sustainability Coordinator Troy Moon said in a memo to the Planning Board, which will review the proposal Tuesday.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Portland switching to single yearly tax bill

Portland is changing the way it bills and collects property taxes. And the transition means that, for this year only, the first payment will be due in October, rather than September, according to a news release.

Beginning this year, Portland will be sending out one annual property tax bill, rather than two bills. The new tax bill will include two payment coupons.

The change is expected to save the city at least $15,000 a year in staff, supply and postage costs, the city said.

Because of the transition, this year’s bills will be sent out in early September, rather than August. The deadline for the first payment is Oct. 18, rather than mid-September, the city said. The second half of the tax bill will be due on March 20, 2020.

Source: Portland Press Herald