A survey of Monhegan Island’s summer visitors led by Caroline Noblet, an economics professor at the University of Maine, was the focus of the Working Waterfront article, “Monhegan tourism survey reveals low worry about wind project.” Researchers asked 180 summer visitors their views on the university’s proposed floating wind turbines off the island’s coast. According to the article, more than half of the study participants did not know about the wind power proposal; 70 percent said if built, the project would neither detract from nor enhance their visit; and 88 percent said turbines would not change the number of visits they would make to the island. Noblet said the survey was less about the project and more about “how people react to scientific information in decision making.”
The Bangor Daily News reported Rabbi A. James Rudin of Florida will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union at the University of Maine and at 7 p.m. the same day at Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor. Rudin is the senior interreligious adviser of the American Jewish Committee and has served as the organization’s longtime director of interreligious affairs, the article states. The title of Rudin’s UMaine talk is “The Jewish Jesus and the Christian Christ: Is There a Difference?” Rudin’s Maine appearances are sponsored by several groups including the UMaine Judaic Studies Program, Honors College and the Wilson Center.
The Working Waterfront spoke with John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Anne Lichtenwalner, director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, about Question 2 on the November ballot that will ask Maine voters to approve an $8 million bond for animal and plant diagnostic services. The bond would allow UMaine Extension to build a new facility on campus to house labs for the monitoring and testing of insects and pests that affect domestic and wild plants and animals in Maine. “As a state with a large international border, thousands of miles of coastlines, and people and goods coming to Maine ports every day, the threat of disease and invasive species is increasing annually. This threat can destroy crops, kill or injure livestock and pose a threat to public health,” Rebar said, adding staff is “very limited” in what they can do in the current lab.
A University of Maine study was cited in the Mainebiz article, “On the edge: Monhegan Island’s year-round residents take charge of their future.” The study reported that residents of Maine’s 15 year-round islands pay at least one-third more for basic food items than the state average, according to the article. Recent UMaine graduate Ben Algeo also was mentioned in the article. Algeo graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science and renewable energy. He is an Island Institute fellow working with Monhegan and Matinicus islands to identify their most pressing energy efficiency needs and possible solutions, the article states.
The Bangor Daily News published the editorial, “Yes on Question 2: Why it’s worth it to have a lab that tests ticks, moose and more,” about a bond that asks voters to support giving $8 million to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. “This $8 million bond is an investment in needed infrastructure at the University of Maine to better protect human health through insect-borne disease detection and food safety testing,” the article states.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the dedication of the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center. The center is the new home of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory. “Although the weather is not perfect every day, we still have opportunities, and when the weather is clear, to see things a little differently than telescopes in Hawaii and Arizona might see them and we may see things that are not in the sky for them,” said Alan Davenport, director of the planetarium. “This is one of the most sophisticated astronomy centers that we have certainly in the state of Maine. It’s really exciting for young grade school students to come through this facility learn about astronomy,” said Gerry Chasse, president and COO of Emera Maine.
Jon Ippolito, a professor of new media at the University of Maine, spoke with The New York Times for an article about a digital recording tool called Colloq that aims to preserve the complex experience of using social networking websites such as Facebook. The tool has been roughly prototyped by Rhizome, a New York nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and conserving digital artwork, according to the article. “As close as possible, you’re going to get the experience of interacting with the actual site,” said Ippolito, who has advised Rhizome and is familiar with the tool. “It is reconstructing it, bit by bit, in a technology that is very close to the original and allows users to explore it interactively the way they could with the original.” Ippolito also said giving people the tools to record their online activities is important. “It puts the ability to capture data back in the hands of the individuals. The user is in the driver’s seat, instead of the social network that now owns that user’s information,” he said. Ippolito’s recent book on digital preservation, “Re-collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory,” also was mentioned in the article.
The Portland Press Herald reported on sculptor and painter Dudley Zopp’s current installation, “Ground/Underground,” at the University of Maine’s Lord Hall Gallery. The exhibition, which runs through Nov. 14, is a continuation of Zopp’s “Erratics” sculptures, and features new, large-format watercolor paintings and 700 smaller oil paintings that suggest geological sediments. “I like how she is moving canvases off the wall, and the simplicity of her presentation. I like that she moves so easily between two-dimensional work and three-dimensional work,” Lord Hall Gallery coordinator Susan Smith told the Press Herald.
Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the New York Times article, “Outspoken governor tries to squeak by in 3-way Maine race.” According to the article, some political analysts say creating confusion over who to vote for instead of Republican Gov. Paul LePage — independent candidate Eliot Cutler or Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud — is one of the current governor’s campaign strategies. “There’s an attempt to create a certain degree of chaos so that anti-LePage voters who haven’t gone to Cutler yet will say that Michaud can’t win and will move to Cutler,” Fried said.
James McConnon, a University of Maine economics professor and a business and economics specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in the Sun Journal article, “More nonprofits, less money to go around.” According to McConnon, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent across the country between 2001 and 2011, while the economy struggled. McConnon said he’s not surprised that some nonprofits are having difficulty getting grants or donations. “My own advice is to focus on what you have control over and what you do well, and be open to change,” he said. “Be flexible and nimble.”