Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the results of the Democratic and Republican primaries for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. Emily Cain won the nomination as the Democratic candidate, and Bruce Poliquin won over Kevin Raye in the district’s Republican primary. Voter turnout was predictably low across the district, according to the article. Brewer said final turnout numbers would be a key factor in the Republican race, saying before the results were in that a heavy turnout would benefit Raye and a low turnout would help Poliquin.
David Handley, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist of vegetables and small fruits at UMaine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about the best methods for growing native berries. Handley shared tips for successfully growing strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries at home.
The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece “Women’s ‘confidence problem’? It’s so much more” by Amy Blackstone, an associate professor and chairwoman of the University of Maine’s Sociology Department. Blackstone also is a member of the Maine Regional Network, part of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members’ columns appear in the BDN every other week.
The Maine Edge published an advance on the “Albers & Heirs” exhibit presented by the University of Maine Department of Art. The exhibit will showcase the work of artist, educator and color theorist Josef Albers and two of his students, globally recognized artists Neil Welliver and Jane Davis Doggett. The show will run June 16 to July 18 in the Lord Hall Gallery on campus. An opening reception and gallery tour will be held 5–7 p.m. Monday, June 16. During the event, exhibit curator Osvaldo Monzon will give a gallery talk, titled “To Make Eyes Open,” and Doggett will speak about her time at Yale where she worked with and was influenced by art faculty members Albers and Welliver.
The University of Maine’s DeepCwind Consortium was featured in an IEEE Spectrum article about developments in prototype testing of offshore wind turbines. UMaine’s prototype offshore turbine, currently floating in Penobscot Bay, is one of only five in operation around the world and the only one in the U.S. Habib Dagher, director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and leader of the consortium, was interviewed for the article and discussed the powerful capabilities of the turbine, which is in hopes to cut the cost of offshore wind power by more than half by the mid-2020s.
The Maine Edge carried a report stating the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Piscataquis County will give away 300 cherry tomato plants as part of the One Tomato Project to increase the number of people growing food. Extension personnel will distribute tomato plants to county food cupboards June 13 and 20, and plants will be given away the week of June 23, at the Dover-Foxcroft Cooperative Extension office.
Jason Bolton, a statewide food safety specialist and assistant professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed for a Bangor Daily News article about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finding federal seafood safety violations at Linda Bean’s lobster processing plant in Rockland. The plant’s manager told the BDN the company contacted UMaine to have a food safety expert visit the plant and evaluate practices. Bolton said he is scheduled to visit the plant soon and plans to educate and help the company. Bolton said he and another food specialist with UMaine Extension assist 400 to 500 companies a year, ranging from seafood processors to slaughterhouses and jam producers.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in a Sun Journal article about a town meeting in Peru. At the meeting, Brenda Swan, director of the Peru Food Bank, was granted permission from selectmen to use land near the Town Office for a community garden. Swan said she is looking to form a steering committee for the project and UMaine Extension will provide guidance.
A University of Maine mechanical engineering capstone project was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about the new executive director of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley. The museum recently completed a new machinery hall, which will house a machine shop and two Lombard steam log haulers, according to the article. One of the log haulers was the subject of a UMaine capstone project in which students restored the machine to working condition. The log hauler was invented and built in Waterville between 1910 and 1917, and was the first successful tracked vehicle.
The Bangor Daily News ran a feature story about the positive contributions of various friends groups that support University of Maine athletic teams. Friends groups currently back Black Bear baseball, football, men’s ice hockey, softball and women’s basketball teams, according to the article. Maria Baeza, who was president of the Friends of Maine Women’s Basketball for 15 years, said the group fundraises and strives to “create a culture of support for the student-athletes and for the program in general.”
WFSB 3 Connecticut cited statistics from the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine for an article about a yellow lobster that was caught off the coast of Black Point in Niantic, Connecticut. According to the Lobster Institute, the odds of finding a yellow, or calico, lobster is one in 30 million.
A Sun Journal article about the 2014 Business to Business Trade Show mentioned Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) as a resource for future economic growth and development in the Lewiston-Auburn region, as well as statewide. BxG is committed to building a community of entrepreneurs and innovators throughout Maine by providing advisory services, investment funds, entrepreneurial coaching and support through partnerships with the University of Maine, Maine Technology Institute and Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED). Mainebiz also carried a report about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Acceleration program, a BxG program offered by MCED, planning to add a midcoast location to its current Portland and Bangor sites. The article also stated BxG plans to start an innovation hub in Lewiston, adding to its Portland, Bangor and midcoast sites.
Dan Kerluke, a former associate head coach for the University of Maine men’s hockey team, was featured in the Bangor Daily News article “Three groundbreaking Maine entrepreneurs share how they did it.” Kerluke spoke about how he and Tim Westbaker, co-founder and chief technical officer of Double Blue Sports Analytics, created the 360 Save Review System, a digital interface to help track goalie statistics within seconds. “I think the biggest thing for us has been the immediate connection and support within the state of Maine,” Kerluke said, adding that Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, became the company’s “guardian angel” for helping them understand how to expand their business. Kerluke also participated in the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Acceleration program, which is sponsored by Blackstone Accelerates Growth and hosted by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development.
The University of Maine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has published its most recent newsletter. The spring 2014 CLAS newsletter is available online.
Mick Peterson, professor of mechanical engineering, was quoted in a New York Times story on the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes and the intense maintenance process involved in ensuring the safety of the mile-and-a-half-track — the longest in North America. Peterson is executive director of the Orono-based nonprofit Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. In the article, Peterson noted: “The biggest difference on racetracks, which is much more important than the sand or the surface composition, is the moisture. And one of the things that makes Belmont quite a bit different is the time of year when they’re racing and how they maintain that.”
The Portland Press Herald interviewed Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, for a story about Maine and Vermont having the fastest rise in annual average temperature in the United States during the past 30 years.
The average annual temperature in both states increased 2.5 degrees from 1984 to 2013 — about twice the average warming nationwide — according to an AP analysis of the National Climatic Data Center report.
Birkel told the Portland Press Herald that part of Maine’s winter warming trend is attributable to melting Arctic sea ice. As the sea ice melts, Birkel says the darker ocean absorbs sunlight, which further heats the air. “As the Arctic warms, Maine and the North will warm because that is where the airflow is coming from” in winter, Birkel said.
FOX 22/WFV Bangor featured Rob Wheeler, University of Maine assistant professor of microbiology, who received a $500,000 five-year grant to study how common pathogens can become killers.
Wheeler and students will study how Candida albicans, the most common human fungal germ, transforms from to a potentially fatal fungus in vital organs of a person whose immune system has been compromised. “One of the issues with Candida infection is people with dentures or a prosthesis can get Candida in those areas of attachment that then interact with the skin and can pass through the skin in ways that doesn’t in healthy people,” Wheeler said.
The Sun Journal interviewed Auburn Mayor and University of Maine graduate Jonathan LaBonte after Gov. Paul LePage appointed him director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management.
LaBonte, who earned a bachelor’s in engineering at UMaine and took graduate courses in public administration and governance, told the Sun Journal he is interested in streamlining and making government more efficient and responsive.
The Pen Bay Pilot ran an article about a study conducted by a former University of Maine researcher that indicates lakes in New England and the Adirondack Mountains are recovering more quickly now from the effects of acid rain than they did in the 1980s and 1990s.
Kristin Strock, a former doctoral student at UMaine, says sulfate concentration in rain and snow has dropped 40 percent and nitrate concentration has declined by more than 50 percent in the 2000s. The Clean Air Act enacted in the U.S. in 1970, as well as subsequent amendments, have helped reduce emissions of sulfur and nitrogen by 51 and 43 percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2010, Strock said.
According to reports, approximately 1,500 athletes will take part in the games that begin Friday morning. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Friday night and events will be held through Sunday.