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ELECTIONS, MONEY, POLITICS

Follow the Money

Maine Federal Campaign Finance Tracker

As we inch closer to the July 14 primary and the general election in November, understanding campaign contributions can help illuminate the forces acting for and against each candidate. Explore the funding behind Maine’s congressional candidates with Pine Tree Watch’s interactive finance dashboards.

CENTERPIECE

The fate of net metering in New England — and across the United States — remains unknown, but resistance to its erasure is mounting. 

More than 450 organizations, 57,000 individuals and 37 states submitted comments opposing a petition that could set a national precedent and end a billing practice that credits users for investing in solar. Twenty-two organizations and individuals filed support for the proposal. The public comment window ended on June 15. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has not yet set a date to rule on the petition, which was filed by the New England Ratepayers Association in April.

“There is no schedule for the commission to make a decision. It will act when it is ready,” said Craig Cano, media relations specialist for FERC. Cano said that each petition poses its own set of circumstances and FERC does not keep track of procedural time frames. 

Maine Gov. Janet Mills was among those who spoke out against the petition, asking commissioners to “outright dismiss this petition.” 

More than 6,000 ongoing projects in Maine rely on the benefits of net metering and the petition “would put at risk Maine’s existing renewable energy programs and the economic benefits enjoyed by thousands of citizens,” Mills wrote in a letter to FERC.

Related Coverage

CORONAVIRUS

2020: A CLASS DISMISSED

Maine’s high school seniors share how they are being affected by the coronavirus

by BAILEY BELTRAMO | APRIL 23, 2020

They were born in the weeks and months after 9/11 and are graduating in the year of a crippling pandemic. Maine’s high school seniors have lived through some of the most profound change our country has ever witnessed.

With nearly every Maine high school cancelling in-class lessons for the remainder of the school year, these young adults are missing out on cornerstone experiences that ease the transition from being a child to being an adult.

No prom. No senior sports season. No yearbook signatures. No final play or performance. No awards dinner. No senior prank. No senior ditch day.

For so many, no final farewell.

With so much focus on the death, despair and financial pain that’s accompanied the spread of the coronavirus, Pine Tree Watch felt it was important to capture the stories of a senior class that has been prematurely dismissed.

CORONAVIRUS

THE LAST RESPONDERS

Grief and death in the era of COVID-19

Rev. Ben Shambaugh

by | MAY 7, 2020

Along with provoking a pandemic, COVID-19 has triggered a grief epidemic. It has robbed families of final goodbyes, left loved ones to die with strangers, postponed wakes and funerals. And it has overwhelmed Maine’s “Last Responders,” priests, chaplains, funeral directors and hospice workers who must work around restrictions aimed at diminishing virus infections.

Pine Tree Watch takes readers on an emotional journey into the lives of families who have lost loved ones and the Last Responders who must find new ways to console and comfort.

The Maine Trust Project

Maine Trust Project: Amanda Huotari

INSTALLMENT 23: ANNE ROOSEVELT

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In our mistrust-filled world full of political contention and both fake and devastating news, mustering the courage to have authentic conversations with people can be a challenge. Finding common ground and engaging in civil discourse about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

This concerning state of affairs prompted Pine Tree Watch to examine the concept of trust. In this series called “The Maine Trust Project,” we sit down each month with a Maine resident to discuss this precious commodity. We’ll see which people and institutions Mainers trust and how the concept of trust drives their thought processes and actions.

Get to Know Anne Roosevelt

Maine Trust Project: Amanda Huotari

INSTALLMENT 22: MATTHEW DUNLAP

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In our mistrust-filled world full of political contention and both fake and devastating news, mustering the courage to have authentic conversations with people can be a challenge. Finding common ground and engaging in civil discourse about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

This concerning state of affairs prompted Pine Tree Watch to examine the concept of trust. In this series called “The Maine Trust Project,” we sit down each month with a Maine resident to discuss this precious commodity. We’ll see which people and institutions Mainers trust and how the concept of trust drives their thought processes and actions.

Get to Know Matthew Dunlap

Maine Trust Project: Amanda Huotari

INSTALLMENT 21: MAUREEN HASSETT

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In our mistrust-filled world full of political contention and both fake and devastating news, mustering the courage to have authentic conversations with people can be a challenge. Finding common ground and engaging in civil discourse about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

This concerning state of affairs prompted Pine Tree Watch to examine the concept of trust. In this series called “The Maine Trust Project,” we sit down each month with a Maine resident to discuss this precious commodity. We’ll see which people and institutions Mainers trust and how the concept of trust drives their thought processes and actions.

Get to Know Maureen Hassett

Maine Trust Project: Amanda Huotari

INSTALLMENT 20: OWEN LOGUE

by

In our mistrust-filled world full of political contention and both fake and devastating news, mustering the courage to have authentic conversations with people can be a challenge. Finding common ground and engaging in civil discourse about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

This concerning state of affairs prompted Pine Tree Watch to examine the concept of trust. In this series called “The Maine Trust Project,” we sit down each month with a Maine resident to discuss this precious commodity. We’ll see which people and institutions Mainers trust and how the concept of trust drives their thought processes and actions.

Get to Know Owen Logue

Maine Trust Project: Amanda Huotari

INSTALLMENT 19: ANN RIVERS

by

In our mistrust-filled world full of political contention and both fake and devastating news, mustering the courage to have authentic conversations with people can be a challenge. Finding common ground and engaging in civil discourse about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

This concerning state of affairs prompted Pine Tree Watch to examine the concept of trust. In this series called “The Maine Trust Project,” we sit down each month with a Maine resident to discuss this precious commodity. We’ll see which people and institutions Mainers trust and how the concept of trust drives their thought processes and actions.

Get to Know Ann Rivers

Maine Trust Project: Joseph Reagan

INSTALLMENT 18: MICHAEL BURMAN

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Michael Burman is a neuroscientist and an associate professor of psychology at the University of New England in Biddeford, teaching his students that their sensory experiences are not trustworthy.

A simple way to wrap your head around that concept is to think about visual illusions that trick the brain, such as the three lines with arrow heads that each have a different orientation, making the lines look like they’re different lengths, when they really aren’t.

Get to Know Michael Burman

Maine Trust Project: Myron M. Beasley

INSTALLMENT 17: RUSS MURLEY

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In early November, Russ Murley and a friend went hiking on a trail that is no longer included on trail maps, but the two experienced rock climbers knew about it and felt comfortable on it.

They climbed through boulder fields and finally found themselves facing a 25-foot vertical wall of rock. A previous hiker had left a fixed rope in the rock face. It looked safe to use, so Russ’ friend grabbed hold and climbed up with no troubles. But when Russ took the rope in his hand and he confronted his next move – swinging by that rope across the rock to find his first foothold – he froze.

Get to Know Russ Murley

Maine Trust Project: Marie Harnois of Jackman

INSTALLMENT 16: SHERI OLDHAM

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In our mistrust-filled world full of political contention and both fake and devastating news, mustering the courage to have authentic conversations with people can be a challenge. Finding common ground and engaging in civil discourse about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

This concerning state of affairs prompted Pine Tree Watch to examine the concept of trust. In this series called “The Maine Trust Project,” we sit down each month with a Maine resident to discuss this precious commodity. We’ll see which people and institutions Mainers trust and how the concept of trust drives their thought processes and actions.

Get to Know Sheri Oldham
Maine Trust Project: Joe Black of Bath

INSTALLMENT 15: INNA BEZBORODKO

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In our mistrust-filled world full of political contention and both fake and devastating news, mustering the courage to have authentic conversations with people can be a challenge. Finding common ground and engaging in civil discourse about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

This concerning state of affairs prompted Pine Tree Watch to examine the concept of trust. In this series called “The Maine Trust Project,” we sit down each month with a Maine resident to discuss this precious commodity. We’ll see which people and institutions Mainers trust and how the concept of trust drives their thought processes and actions.

Get to Know Inna Bezborodko
Maine Trust Project: Joe Black of Bath

INSTALLMENT 14: JEAN VERMETTE

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As soon as she was comfortable in her own body, Jean Vermette found happiness.

Get to Know Jean Vermette

Maine Trust Project: Kathleen Swinbourne

INSTALLMENT 13: DANA CHANDLER

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In his line of work, trust creates community.

Get to Know Dana Chandler

Maine Trust Project: Kathleen Swinbourne

INSTALLMENT 12: JANE OGEMBO

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From Kenya to Washington County, Jane Ogembo believes her ability to trust in the basic goodness of people allows others to feel at ease with her.

Get to Know Jane Ogembo

Maine Trust Project: Kathleen Swinbourne

INSTALLMENT 11: KATHLEEN SWINBOURNE

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Topsham resident Kathleen Swinbourne resisted doing anything with and wanted to deny her psychic abilities for most of her life – until she got an enormous sign.

Get to Know Kathleen Swinbourne

Maine Trust Project: Bobby Bergeron

INSTALLMENT 10: BOBBY BERGERON

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For Bobby Bergeron, trust can depend a lot on where you live and how comfortable and confident you are with yourself.

Get to Know Bobby Bergeron

Maine Trust Project: Dona Emerson

INSTALLMENT 9: DONA EMERSON

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Dona Emerson picks up hitchhikers. Most people, especially women, have been schooled in the dangers of giving strangers a ride, and Dona was no exception. “My (85-year-old) mother,” she said, “would kill me if she knew how many I’ve picked up.”

And yet, she still does it.

Why? Because Dona Emerson understands the importance of reaching out to people to create connections, and she values the role of trust in that endeavor.

Get to Know Dona Emerson

Maine Trust Project: Deon Lyons

INSTALLMENT 8: DEON LYONS

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Deon Lyons has cancer. It’s advanced and the outlook is anything but cheery. But he’s not letting that get him down. His attitude is not surprising given one of his favorite words is “opportunity.”

“Opportunity” is a much better way of looking at what life has handed you then, say, “challenging,” which is the word most people would use to describe what he has faced over the course of his life.

Get to Know Deon Lyons

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