Maine Island Coalition Memorandum to BOS- September 03, 2009

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MEMORANDUM
TO Board of Selectmen
FROM M. Donald, TCI Rep. to Maine Islands Coalition
SUBJECT August 14, 2009 Meeting of Maine Islands Coalition
DATE September 3, 2009

The regular quarterly meeting took place in Rockland on August 14, 2009. Please see minutes for the list of attendees.
The meeting consisted of two parts:
1). Legislative Updates: Legislators and other officials and experts gave “situation” reports on where certain pieces of legislation are at the moment.
2). Panel Presentation: - Economic Development and Available Resources. The panel members included:
Eloise Vitelli: Women, Work & Community
Linda Hogan: Hour Exchange Portland
George Lapointe: Maine Department of Marine Resources
Emma Miran: Stonington Planning and Development Fellow
Shey Conover: Island Institute GIS Specialist
UPDATES:
Senator Rector discussed lobster licensing changes, legislation
that will help keep licenses on the islands. He noted that the Housing Bond Bill
has provisions to address the housing needs of the islands and remote
coastal communities.
Representative Meredith Strang Burgess described her work on E-10 and a bill
A bill mandating that a choice of ethanol and non-ethanol be readily available
to Maine consumers. Burgess noted that the Federal Government had just
closed the comment period for the regulation of E-15 and rule making is underway.
Representative Peter Stuckey discussed his work with the Health and Human Committee. He noted the reductions in the 2009 and current budget have had serious implications. Stuckey also noted that energy audits were necessary for island weatherization programs and there is a shortage of certified energy auditors on islands.

PANEL PRESENTATION-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND AVAILABLE RESOURCES
Eloise Vitelli, Director of Program and Policy provided an overview of Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community (WWC). WWC’s focus in on workforce education, starting a business, asset management, and leadership. Vitelli said that work around self-employment in the creative economy, and food sector might be useful for islanders. Additional information available at http://womenworkandcommunity.org
Linda Hogan, Executive Director and Social Architect, spoke about the Hour Exchange Program. Presently it is located in the Portland area. The idea is that one hour of service is worth one hour of service in exchange. The Hour Exchange program provides a community currency of up to 22,000 hours or the equivalent of $400,000 as valued using United Way evaluation. Additional information may be found at http://www.hourexchangeportland.org/index.htm.
George Lapoint, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources talked about the economic sustainability of Maine’s lobster industry. There are three main components of the state program: creation of Maine Lobster Marketing Institute, the Maine Lobster Harvest Marketing Program, and to look at the economics of the individual harvester, including business education, to work toward an increase in net profit.
Emma Miran, the Stonington Planning and Development Fellow, discussed her work with the Stonington Economic Development Committee. The committee is promoting a buy local program, addressed affordable housing issues, and undertaken a strategic Development Plan for the next 1-5 years. The committee plans to create a Stonington Brand. The committee recently received a $150,000 federal grant. She can be reached at http://stoningtonrocks.com/contact.html.
Shey Conover, Island Institute Community GIS Specialist is working on Island farming and gardening. One part of the program is the Four-Season Island Agricultural Fund that makes small grants. Conover is also working on a partnership with the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association (MOFGA) to provide technical assistance workshops that are island specific. Shey can be reached at the Island Institute.
The next MIC meeting will be November 13, 2009, 10:00 am, in Rockland.

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