Moose referendum was hard-fought battle

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 The 1983 referendum initiated by a group trying to stop Maine’s new moose hunting season was contentious and hard-fought. Here’s a look back at it in a Sun Journal news story by reporter Joe O’Connor.

Moose-kill Issue Draws Foes Face to Face, October 6, 1983.

“Is the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife trying to balance its budget at the expense of the moose?” – Roger Curran.

“Is hunting a proper game-management tool in Maine, for moose or any other species?” – George Smith

Answering yes to their own questions, two men representing the pro and con sides of the Maine moose hunt squared off in a debate before the Androscoggin County Women’s Republican Club in Auburn Wednesday night.

Thermoil by Kevin Sheehan

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Kevin Sheehan’s book, Thermoil, published by North Country Press, is billed as “Selected Shorts by a Romantic Engineer.” After reading the book, I had to ask if it was fiction or fact. It was tough to tell.

Kevin said only one story is factual, and I’ll let you try and guess which one. They are all very real, and could easily have been factual. The back of the book tells you that it is a “collection of poems, nostalgic memories and short fiction.”

It is all of that, but be prepared for “turmoil, madness, and tragedy.” Some of the stories may even distress you. But they will all engage you, and you won’t want to stop reading.

First Cousin Once Removed by Delia Drake

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When I heard that Marti Brann had published a new novel, First Cousin Once Removed, I couldn’t wait to read and review it. I really enjoyed Marti’s first mystery novel, Distant Cousin.

Marti writes under the pen name Delia Drake, but these books are all Marti. As the biography at the back of her first book noted, Marti has a “vivid imagination that has entertained her family for years.” This Waldo County grandmother will keep you reading from page one to the final page, where you’ll finally learn “who done it.”

Marti’s new novel was published by North Country Press, and features some of the same characters found in her first novel, and like her first novel, there’s plenty of intrigue. You’ll need to pay close attention to keep all the characters in place, and figure out who might have committed that ugly murder in the town library. Yup, a lady is killed in the library.  But don’t worry, this novel won’t make the library a scary place for you!

First of our two columns on Arizona

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 George

            Three things drew us back to Tucson, Arizona this year: an amazing birding guide, Melody Kehl, awesome Mexican restaurants, and easy access to southeast Arizona.

            After our first-ever trip here last year, we couldn’t wait to return. Our travel plans these days always include an overnight stay in a room with a beautiful view of the harbor at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, where they keep our car while we’re away and shuttle us to and from the airport. Trust me – this is the way to start your vacation.

Fish and Wildlife Department getting authority over turkey bag limits and seasons

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 If you are out there hunting turkeys, or you are suffering turkey problems, this will interest you.

Turkey bag limits and seasons are set in law, but that is changing. My turkey bill, LD 98, was amended by the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to give the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife full authority to set bag limits and seasons, including the opportunity to schedule special hunts where turkeys are causing problems.

Currently bag limits and seasons are set in law, giving the agency no opportunity to make any changes.

The three sections of my turkey bill were removed. One called for elimination of the turkey hunting permit and fee, to encourage more hunters to try turkey hunting. The department and several IFW Committee members were skeptical that this would actually attract a lot more turkey hunters, and the committee felt that DIF&W needed the money for turkey research and other purposes.

DIFW Promises More Protection for Native Brook Trout

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 In response to two bills that I proposed to expand protection of our native brook trout, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has responded with a pledge to do just that.

One of my bills would extend protection of brook trout in our Heritage Waters to the tributaries of those waters, and the other would speed up and improve the process of adding waters to that protected list. Both bills were opposed by DIF&W, but the members of the legislature’s IFW Committee were very supportive and the bills got lots of support at the public hearings. I have reported on all of that in previous outdoor news columns.

In response to that high level of interest and support, DIF&W met with some of the bills’ supporters and pledged to step up their processes and protection of our native brook trout. The agency submitted that pledge in writing to the IFW Committee, and the Committee accepted that pledge. But they also held over one of the bills to give them an opportunity to act if the department fails to achieve their promises.

Portland's Mekong Asian Bistro

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 George

            After a long trip through the amazing and lengthy menu at Portland’s Mekong Asian Bistro, I looked up at Linda and said, “I’m lost honey. You’ll need to order for us.”

            After looking through all the choices of Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese appetizers and entrees, the only thing I was sure of was the Mai Tai ($6.95). That did turn out to be a very good choice.

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