Doiron's Bad Little Falls is Good

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I hope Paul Doiron doesn’t follow the same trajectory of some of my other favorite crime novelists whose books got better and better until they hit a plateau – often writing the same novel book after book – or worse, deteriorating until I couldn’t read the first chapters without setting the books aside with a sigh of disappointment.

Doiron, the editor of Down East magazine, is certainly on the upward trajectory right now. I liked his first novel, The Poacher’s Son. I really liked his second novel, Trespasser. And I loved his third about-to-be-published by Minotaur books novel, Bad Little Falls.

Governor Signs Fish and Wildlife Funding Bills

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Governor Paul LePage signed into law this morning four bills that will provide badly needed funding for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Last week the legislature sent the Governor 53 bills and five bond proposals for consideration. DIF&W’s four bills were the first of the 53 to get his attention.

Dave Trahan, the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the sponsors of the four bills, and the members of the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Appropriations Committees, deserve a lot of credit for this achievement, with special thanks to the Governor for signing the bills. The four bills the Governor signed today are these.

LD 213, sponsored by Senator Mike Thibodeau, originally proposed a $500,000 appropriation for each of the next three years for fish stocking. The appropriation was whittled down to a single $200,000 in the next fiscal year.

Predator Control and Fish Hatcheries Get Boost

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The Maine legislature surprised many – especially me – by appropriating over $350,000 of General Fund tax money to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in the supplemental budget enacted on May 16 and signed into law immediately by Governor Paul LePage.

Dave Trahan, the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, deserves a lot of credit for this achievement, with special thanks to the members of the Appropriations Committee who made these decisions.

Dave never gave up, even after I repeatedly reported – based on interviews with members of the Appropriations Committee – that there was no chance DIF&W would get any tax money. There just wasn’t any to give.

Deer and Fisheries Habitat Need LMF Boost

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Maine’s conservation stream of habitat projects will dry up if the legislature fails to support a new bond issue for the Land for Maine’s Future today. The modest $5 million bond isn’t enough, but it will keep this program – immensely popular with the people of Maine and important to our outdoor economy, especially in rural Maine – in business.

At the same time the legislature is acting on the LMF bond today, in Bangor the Forest Legacy Advisory Committee will hear about an exciting new project that focuses on critical habitat for Whitetailed deer and native brook trout – precisely what we hope LMF will do over the next few years, if it has any funding.

This project, now in negotiations between the Trust for Public Land and the Maine landowner, may be jeopardized without LMF money to provide necessary matching funds for the federal Forest Legacy funding TPL hopes to use to purchase this land.

My Plea for Rural Maine

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Today in a speech to the Rockland Kiwanis, at a luncheon at the Samoset Resort (pictured above), I presented a plea for rural Maine. Here's the speech.

Thanks to Gordon Page for inviting me and to all of you who showed up even though you knew I was your speaker. I’m going to leave time for questions, so get them ready. If you don’t ask questions, I can and will just keep on talking!

 How many of you were in the Rockland area in the early 1970s? I was here too, as a management trainee for Depositor’s Trust Company. The bank was in the beautiful old corner building that now houses an art gallery, and moved up and across the street while I was working there.

Maine legislature tackles key issues this week

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While most observers will be focused on this week’s difficult debate over a proposed supplemental state budget, I’ll be there to follow other issues. Some are related to the budget. Awaiting action are four fish and wildlife bills that need funding.

Previously, the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee informed the Appropriations Committee that its highest priority of the four bills is LD 372, An Act to Reduce Deer Predation. That bill calls for $100,000 each year for three years for the agency’s predator control program.

The other three bills that will fail if not funded are these.

LD 637 is a resolve that increases the amount of money tagging agents receive from $1 to $2 for each $5 tag purchased by a hunter. That will result in the loss of $30,000 a year for DIF&W, which supports the bill.

East Wind Inn is a Summer Pleasure

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Tenants Harbor
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We’ve been “summering” at the East Wind Inn in Tenants Harbor for many years, spending a couple of days pretending to be wealthy summer visitors to Maine, luxuriating in the simple pleasures of the sea.

Innkeeper Tim Watts keeps it simple. He once told a Down East writer, “I want this to be as unlike a hotel or motel as it can be. There isn’t someone in your face all the time, turning down your sheets or following you around.”

He’s telling the truth. On our most recent visit last October, we didn’t even see Tim, although he was there!

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