Legislative Priorities in 2011

GrowSmart Maine is geared up and engaging in the 125th legislative session! As we weigh in on key issues, we will post our progress and views here on our site. We hope you too will engage in the process, sharing your thoughts with us, and with your elected officials.

PRESS RELEASE: GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Favor of LD 49, “An Act to Allow Storage of Lobster Traps on Docks”

As a part of our on-going effort to help grow Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about common sense proposals which seek to grow the economy in a sustainable manner while at the same time preserving our state’s unique character and quality of place. Our understanding of the situation that LD 49 is seeking to address is that DEP is interpreting current Maine law to require the department to prohibit in certain instances the storage of lobster traps on coastal docks.

Roundtable on Maine People & the Environment

On Thursday, January 20th, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, along with a number of other natural resource organizations, sponsored a forum on the environment with Governor Paul LePage. At the Governor’s suggestion, the event was titled “Roundtable on Maine People & the Environment”. Modeled after a similar roundtable for members of the business community in Maine, 28 different speakers from all walks of life in Maine with an interest in the environment were invited to make a brief, focused presentation of their primary concern for the Governor to listen to. Over 500 people attended this event at the Augusta Civic Center.

GrowSmart Maine testifies in favor of LD 22

In endorsing this bill which seeks to improve an already innovative economic development program, GrowSmart Maine wished to emphasize that despite its past record of success in providing much-needed start-up capital for businesses in Maine, the Seed Capital Investment Tax Credit Program needs to be expanded to effectively impact the current economic downturn which has resulted in a dearth of new investment capital in Maine. In other words, like most successful programs, this program needs to be adjusted and expanded in a manner which effectively addresses Maine’s intention to promote innovative approaches to improving Maine’s economy.

Contact your State Legislator!

Now that the 125th Maine Legislature is geared up and moving forward, have you called and introduced yourself to your State Representative and State Senator? As a former legislator, I can tell you that one individual really can make a difference, if you choose to engage with your elected officials.

Press Release: GrowSmart Maine Executive Director chosen for Non-Profit Leadership Program

GrowSmart Maine is pleased to announce that Executive Director Nancy E. Smith has been accepted into the Maine Association of Non-Profit’s (MANP) 2011 Nonprofit Leadership Institute. MANP states “The Nonprofit Leadership Institute is created specifically for Executive Directors working in economically depressed areas, and focuses on developing the essential skills needed by nonprofit leaders to capture creative opportunities in order to effectively meet their missions.”

Election Day Today!

Election Day. While emotions have run high as this day came closer, let’s hope that reasoned discussion prevailed, and voters go to the polls and make their choices based on thoughtful reflection. As we prepare for a new administration and legislature in Maine, GrowSmart Maine continues to promote sustainable prosperity for all Mainers by integrating working and natural landscape conservation, economic growth, and community revitalization.

GrowSmart Maine Connects with International Leaders

This morning GrowSmart Maine hosted a discussion with five individuals here in our offices with the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The purpose of the program is to introduce the US federalist system of government, with emphasis on the division of authority and responsibility between federal, state, and local governments. International visitors travel the United States for about two weeks, visiting states on both coasts as well as the central part of our country. While in Maine, their itinerary includes a local high school, speaking with a town manager and a tour of the Old Port for dinner and sightseeing.

Keep Maine the best it can be

Land — they’re not makin’ any more of it.

Mainers have always known that buying land is a smart investment. That goes for individual Mainers: farmers, homeowners and woodland owners; and it also makes sense for Mainers as a whole. Question 3 on Nov. 2 will help Mainers continue investing in the Land for Maine’s Future program and the state parks.

Reinventing Maine Government Report released

Portland, Maine – Today, GrowSmart Maine and Envision Maine released Reinventing Maine Government; How Mainers Can Shape a Sustainable Government and a New Prosperity. Two years in the making, this report outlines an action plan that calls for effective innovation and improved efficiency at all levels of governing in Maine.

September 21st Gubernatorial Forum on Quality of Place at the Historic Bangor Opera House

On the evening of September 21st, as part of a coalition of 11 non-profit organizations with a distinct commitment to Quality of Place (QoP), GrowSmart Maine helped to sponsor, organize and present the first ever gubernatorial forum on Quality of Place issues that was held at the Historic Bangor Opera House, home of Penobscot Theatre. All five of the gubernatorial candidates who will be listed on the November statewide ballot were invited to attend the forum. Kevin Scott (Independent) , Libby Mitchell (Democrat), Shawn Moody (Independent) and Eliot Cutler (Independent) participated in the forum and Paul LePage (Republican) was not able to participate due to a previous commitment.

Malaga Island, September 2010

I was there to witness as the Governor of Maine apologized to the descendants of Malaga Island for the horrible actions of the state nearly a hundred years ago. A group of about 90 of us gathered on what had once been the populated side of the 41-acre island set just a few hundred yards off the Maine shoreline.