What awaits Maine lawmakers when they return to Augusta on Monday

October 19th, 2017 by admin No comments »

Good morning from Augusta, where legislators are revving up — as much as they ever do — for Monday’s special session. Here’s their soundtrack.

Lawmakers are returning to Augusta ostensibly to fix two problems. They all seem to agree that one, federal objections to Maine’s first-in-the-nation food sovereignty law passed earlier this year, is pressing. There has been disagreement between some legislators, notably Senate President Mike Thibodeau, and Gov. Paul LePage over the urgency of the other — funding a state data agency. But the Senate chairman of the Appropriations Committee has introduced a bill to address LePage’s concerns, and his committee will discuss that proposal today in hopes of having a recommendation for the full Legislature on Monday.

But there will be elephants in the room. And they will not just be Republicans. Perhaps the largest, or most ornery or whatever, is the ranked-choice voting law enacted last year during a statewide referendum. An advisory opinion by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court found the law at odds with the Maine Constitution. Republicans and Democrats have been unable to agree whether to repeal the law or try to fix it. One proposal that has surfaced recently would apply ranked-choice voting to only primaries. Leaving the situation unresolved until the next regular session starts in January pushes Maine closer to chaos and the threat of legal challenges after the June primaries.

And there are

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/10/19/uncategorized/what-awaits-maine-lawmakers-when-they-return-to-augusta-on-monday/

Camden creates committee to craft local rules for marijuana sales, social clubs

October 18th, 2017 by admin No comments »

Recreational marijuana votes, referendums in Camden

In November 2016, Maine residents approved a citizens’ initiative to legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana.

The initiative allowed for nine months of rule-making, beginning Jan. 30, about how the state would regulate marijuana sales. While it is now legal to use and possess marijuana (over the age of 21), it is not legal to sell it.

In February 2017, and with a divided vote, the Camden Select Board approved a 180-day moratorium so that Camden could wait for state recreational marijuana rules and avoid, as Town Attorney Bill Kelly advised, potential legal conflicts with entrepreneurs who wanted to get a head start on marijuana shops and social clubs, who might, he said, raise the specter of  “vested interests.”

“Vested rights,” according to U.S. Legal, “protects property owners and developers from changes in zoning when they have received a valid building permit and have completed substantial construction and made substantial expenditures in reliance on the permit. This doctrine allows the owner or developer to proceed in accordance with the prior zoning provision as they have vested rights to a validly issued permit.” 

The Camden moratorium had initially been placed on the Select Board agenda in November 2016, but was tabled. In December 2016, there had been lively discussions among the Select Board members themselves about the need for a local moratorium, with Leonard Lookner, who died Feb 5, questioning why the town would want to discourage potential enterprise, and Chairman John French citing

Article source: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/camden-creates-committee-craft-local-rules-marijuana-sales-social-clubs/93227

Rockland City Council Candidate Lisa Westkaemper | PenBay Pilot

October 18th, 2017 by admin No comments »

Planning will lead to a town where additional housing becomes available. Additional housing stock will lead to an increase in property tax revenue. A well planned and managed city with adequate housing will create an even more desirable environment for businesses of all kinds. Which leads to increased revenues. A leads to B, which leads to C.

4. How would you like to see Camden Street develop or redevelop?

I have studied the Camden Street initiative and it is based on admirable goals: Plan for the long term, create economic opportunity, beautify the area, enhance networks and infrastructure, reinforce mixed use. Make the area more comfortable, pleasant and safe. Create a more interactive environment. All these goals and ideas are admirable.

I would never oppose a more comfortable, pleasant area that encourages economic opportunity. I embrace long term planning and I welcome the ideas of others to help make those goals a reality. As a city, we will always have disagreements about exactly how to accomplish those goals, about exactly how that will look, how that will work.

But those disagreements can be worked out, updated or revised plans developed as needed, and objectives can be clarified. The major problem is always funding. Initiatives such as the Camden Street plan are costly.

There are ways to manage that cost, get funding, and manage that change but we, the citizens of Rockland, have made it clear that we cannot handle an additional tax burden. We must look elsewhere for financing of

Article source: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/rockland-city-council-candidate-lisa-westkaemper/93449

Rockland City Council Candidate Valli Geiger

October 17th, 2017 by admin No comments »

ROCKLAND — Three candidates, Valli Geiger, Gregory Mason and Lisa Westkaemper, are competing for two seats on the Rockland City Council. In an effort to better understand their goals and philosophies, Penobscot Bay Pilot sent them all a list of the same questions via email. What follows are their individual responses, as they have returned them. 


My name is Valli Geiger, I have lived in Rockland for 20 years and in the Midcoast for 39 years.

Three Rockland candidates are vying for two open seats on the Rockland City Council. Penobscot Bay Pilot asked them a set of questions via email; here are their complete answers.
Lisa Westkaemper

I am a nurse and currently work with veterans at Togus VA. I also have a master’s in sustainable design, which allowed me to design my own house, a 1,050-square-foot post and beam cottage, walkable to downtown, designed to use zero energy, and to be composed of the least toxic materials available.

It is my commitment to sustainable communities and my love of my adopted hometown that brought me to serve on City Council.

I was asked to join Rockland’s Comprehensive Planning Commission and after a few years serving there, was asked by several people to run for council. I am now running for my second term. My interest is in how to create a thriving community, finding the line between appropriate zoning and building codes and regulations that strangle development, growth, and hurt neighborhoods.

2) What are Rockland’s greatest strengths,

Article source: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/rockland-city-council-candidate-valli-geiger/93446

Rockland City Council Candidate Valli Geiger | PenBay Pilot

October 17th, 2017 by admin No comments »

ROCKLAND — Three candidates, Valli Geiger, Gregory Mason and Lisa Westkaemper, are competing for two seats on the Rockland City Council. In an effort to better understand their goals and philosophies, Penobscot Bay Pilot sent them all a list of the same questions via email. What follows are their individual responses, as they have returned them. 


My name is Valli Geiger, I have lived in Rockland for 20 years and in the Midcoast for 39 years.

Three Rockland candidates are vying for two open seats on the Rockland City Council. Penobscot Bay Pilot asked them a set of questions via email; here are their complete answers.
Lisa Westkaemper

I am a nurse and currently work with veterans at Togus VA. I also have a master’s in sustainable design, which allowed me to design my own house, a 1,050-square-foot post and beam cottage, walkable to downtown, designed to use zero energy, and to be composed of the least toxic materials available.

It is my commitment to sustainable communities and my love of my adopted hometown that brought me to serve on City Council.

I was asked to join Rockland’s Comprehensive Planning Commission and after a few years serving there, was asked by several people to run for council. I am now running for my second term. My interest is in how to create a thriving community, finding the line between appropriate zoning and building codes and regulations that strangle development, growth, and hurt neighborhoods.

2) What are Rockland’s greatest strengths,

Article source: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/rockland-city-council-candidate-valli-geiger/93446

Rockland City Council Candidate Lisa Westkaemper

October 17th, 2017 by admin No comments »

Planning will lead to a town where additional housing becomes available. Additional housing stock will lead to an increase in property tax revenue. A well planned and managed city with adequate housing will create an even more desirable environment for businesses of all kinds. Which leads to increased revenues. A leads to B, which leads to C.

4. How would you like to see Camden Street develop or redevelop?

I have studied the Camden Street initiative and it is based on admirable goals: Plan for the long term, create economic opportunity, beautify the area, enhance networks and infrastructure, reinforce mixed use. Make the area more comfortable, pleasant and safe. Create a more interactive environment. All these goals and ideas are admirable.

I would never oppose a more comfortable, pleasant area that encourages economic opportunity. I embrace long term planning and I welcome the ideas of others to help make those goals a reality. As a city, we will always have disagreements about exactly how to accomplish those goals, about exactly how that will look, how that will work.

But those disagreements can be worked out, updated or revised plans developed as needed, and objectives can be clarified. The major problem is always funding. Initiatives such as the Camden Street plan are costly.

There are ways to manage that cost, get funding, and manage that change but we, the citizens of Rockland, have made it clear that we cannot handle an additional tax burden. We must look elsewhere for financing of

Article source: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/rockland-city-council-candidate-lisa-westkaemper/93449

Marijuana convention in Portland bigger than last year’s

October 16th, 2017 by admin No comments »

April Lee made a beeline for Brian Bair’s Wolf Enterprises professional financial services booth at the New England Cannabis Network’s Maine Cannabis Convention on Saturday morning in Portland.

Lee, who had driven up from her home in Carlstadt, New Jersey, to attend the two-day event, started peppering the York financial adviser with questions about the tax implications of setting up her own stable of cannabis businesses – something she is planning to do as soon as her state approves recreational marijuana.

The NECANN conference at Portland Sports Complex is Maine's largest cannabis convention, with about 2,000 attendees,120 exhibitors and more than 100 speakers. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer)The NECANN conference at Portland Sports Complex is Maine's largest cannabis convention, with about 2,000 attendees,120 exhibitors and more than 100 speakers. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer)


photo-storephoto-store

“I want to do everything, from soup to nuts, from growing, to security to puff lounges. I’ve already lined up multiple LLCs,” said Lee, a grant consultant who expressed confidence that New Jersey will legalize recreational marijuana use as soon as Gov. Chris Christie leaves office.

Lee was among the hundreds of entrepreneurial-minded attendees at the convention at the Portland Sports Complex on Warren Avenue. The convention, in its third year, has grown steadily each year.

Last year the convention drew 80 exhibitors and about 1,500 people during a one-day, five-hour event at the 16,000-square foot Sullivan Recreational and Fitness Complex on the University

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/10/14/marijuana-convention-in-portland-bigger-than-last-years/

Maine marijuana convention to focus on newly legal status

October 16th, 2017 by admin No comments »
By AP
October 14, 2017 9:54 am
Eric Engman | AP | BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — The organizers of the 2017 Maine Cannabis Convention say this is a critically important year for the event because of the state’s recent move toward legal marijuana.

The convention is scheduled to be held in Portland on Saturday and Sunday. Organizers say it’s an event for businesses, advocates, medical marijuana patients and anyone else with an investment in marijuana.

Voters in Maine legalized marijuana in the state last fall. State leaders are in the midst of crafting rules about legal sale of marijuana in Maine.

The event’s slogan is “Access, Opportunity, Education and Networking for ALL.”

Organizers say it’s legal to possess and use marijuana within Maine law at the show, but selling, gifting and consumption are not allowed in the venue.

 


Third annual cannabis convention rolls out this weekend in Portland

October 15th, 2017 by admin No comments »

People interested in exploring business opportunities in Maine’s emerging cannabis industry are encouraged to attend the third annual Maine Cannabis Convention set for Saturday and Sunday at the Portland Sports Complex.

As Maine becomes the eighth state to legalize recreational marijuana, the Maine Cannabis Convention will explore how laws will be shaped, what business opportunities are available and how Mainers can ensure that local economies benefit from this industry. The convention is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees, 120 industry exhibitors and more than 100 local and national speakers, according to a news release from the convention organizers.

The two-day event will feature a programming track for cannabis business, careers and medicine, and a track for do-it-yourself cannabis. Session topics include how to start a career in cannabis, complying with new laws, cooking with cannabis, running a bud breakfast, medical cannabis uses and more. Attendees will also be able to register for a six-hour business course offered through Clover Leaf University.

“The goal of this convention is to get everyone in Maine who is in the cannabis industry, or would like to be, in one room for a weekend of networking, education and relationship-building,” said Marc Shepard, co-founder and president of New England Cannabis Network, the organization sponsoring the event. “The faster Maine businesses get up and running, and the more local connections they make, the higher the percent of cannabis revenue will stay in the state.”

Registration for the event can be purchased online at www.necann.com. A limited amount of tickets

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/10/10/third-annual-cannabis-convention-rolls-out-this-weekend/

Rockland grandmother gets 50 days in jail for providing liquor – Courier

October 13th, 2017 by admin No comments »

Rockland — A 65-year-old Rockland woman will serve 50 days in jail for providing vodka to two young girls who later nearly died from alcohol poisoning.

Brenda Shepard was sentenced Thursday, Oct. 12 in Knox County court to 364 days in jail with all but 50 days suspended and placed on probation for a year for two misdemeanor charges of furnishing liquor to a minor. She had pleaded guilty in October as part of a deferred disposition in which felony charges would be dropped if she refrained from further criminal conduct.

The agreement called for up to 90 days in jail for to serve with the defense able to argue for less time.

The incident occurred in February 2016 in Rockland when Shepard bought a half gallon of vodka at the request of her underage grandson who then provided the liquor to the girls — one who was 14-years-old and the other 13 at the time.

According to Rockland police, a motorist reported to police that he witnessed a man stuffing an unconscious woman into a car near the intersection of Main and North Main streets.

Officers responded and found two girls passed out in the car. They were taken by ambulance to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and later transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland for acute alcohol poisoning.

The girls recovered.

Her grandson also was charged in the incident.

The following other cases were completed in the Knox County court during the week of Oct. 10 through

Article source: https://knox.villagesoup.com/p/rockland-grandmother-gets-50-days-in-jail-for-providing-liquor/1695789