Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was interviewed by the Associated Press for an article about independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler saying he would like to debate with the other candidates early and often. Brewer said general election debates normally begin in late summer or fall, and those issuing a call for debates are usually good debaters or are trailing in the polls. He added there’s nothing to lose for Cutler in issuing a call for debates. The San Francisco Chronicle and Seacoast Online carried the AP report.
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Accounting students in the Maine Business School at the University of Maine are offering free federal and state income tax filing assistance, under the supervision of Steven Colburn, associate professor of accounting.
Except for the weeks of March 2 and 9, free help sessions will be held 2-4:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 6 to April 10 at 312 Corbett Business Building and noon to 3 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 31 to April 11 at the Orono Public Library, 39 Pine St.
Filers are asked to bring their tax information for 2013, including:
W-2 forms received from employer(s)
Documentation for other income, including interest, dividends or tax refunds received during 2013, if any
Information regarding deductions they hope to claim (property taxes, mortgage interest, student loan interest paid, etc.)
Social Security numbers for all dependents
Copies of 2012 federal tax and state income tax returns; a copy of the federal return is needed to electronically file the 2013 return
All filers’ information is treated confidentially. Colburn will review all tax returns before they are filed. People who receive assistance will get a printed copy of their state and federal tax returns.
Appointments, which generally last an hour, are required. To make an appointment, contact Colburn, 207.581.1982, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boston.com, Seacoast Online, Winnipeg Free Press and WLBZ (Channel 2) carried an Associated Press report on the performance of an offshore wind turbine prototype that was deployed last summer off Castine. Habib Dagher, director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, said the 65-foot-tall turbine has performed as engineers expected even as the waves exceeded the platform’s design limits in November and December. The Free Press also reported the town of Bristol has appointed a Wind Power Advisory Committee that has created a website to inform residents on the offshore wind project proposed off Monhegan Island by Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes UMaine and partner companies.
Boston.com, WLBZ (Channel 2), WGME (Channel 13), San Antonio Express-News and News OK carried an Associated Press report about the University of Maine’s plans to deliver an update on the performance of its offshore wind turbine prototype that was deployed last summer off Castine. Habib Dagher, director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, is scheduled to speak Jan. 16 about the 65-foot-tall turbine at the University of Southern Maine. The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Jan. 15 to approve the terms of an agreement between the state and Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes UMaine and partner companies, granting initial approval for the consortium’s offshore wind pilot project. The Bangor Daily News also published an editorial on the project titled “Maine’s offshore wind project is worth the risk.”
Maine Insights magazine reported on the progress of a marine protection bill put forward by Rep. Mick Devin of Newcastle who is also a researcher at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center. Devin’s bill proposes the establishment on a commission to look at the effects of ocean acidification and its potential effects on commercial shellfish harvested along Maine’s coast.
The Maine Edge reported on research on the sexual selection of birds conducted by Brian Olsen, assistant professor in the University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology and Climate Change Institute. Olsen found when looking for a mate, female coastal plain swamp sparrows choose males with large bills. He also found small-billed males are more at risk of being cheated on by their mates.
John Patches, the longtime director of the University of Maine Collins Center for the Arts, has announced he will retire effective Jan. 31 in order to spend more time with his family. Patches will be dividing his time between Maine and California to be with his grandson. Recognition of Patches’ 22-year legacy and role in Maine’s cultural arts will be held in the fall in conjunction with the Collins Center for the Arts Annual Gala.
“Under John’s direction, the Collins Center has become a cultural focal point in the state and region,” says Janet Waldron, senior vice president for administration and finance. “We appreciate his passion for the arts and his service to UMaine. He will be missed.”
Patches has been a member of the UMaine community since 1992, first as director of the then-named Maine Center for the Arts. In 1999, he also was named UMaine’s associate dean of cultural affairs and, in 2002, was named executive director of the Collins Center.
Patches came to UMaine from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he spent more than a decade as the associate director of the Fine Arts Center.
He has served on the boards of the Association of College, University and Community Arts Administrators, and of the Atlantic Presenters Association. His awards include the 2009 Vincent Hartgen Award and the 2006 Wilma Award at UMaine, and the 2003 Professional Presenters Award from the Atlantic Presenters Association.
Patches is the second director of the Collins Center/Maine Center for the Arts since its opening in 1986.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Associated Press, MPBN, Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2), WVII (Channel 7) and the Portland Press Herald reported the Maine Public Utilities Commission voted to approve the terms of an agreement between the state and Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes the University of Maine and partner companies, granting initial approval for the consortium’s offshore wind pilot project. Maine Aqua Ventus is seeking to build two turbines off the coast of Monhegan Island and supply power to 7,000 homes. Habib Dagher, director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, told the AP he and his team are glad the PUC saw the long-term benefits of the project for Maine and the U.S. Yahoo Finance, Boston.com and the San Francisco Chronicle carried the AP report.
The Portland Press Herald editorial “Our View: Offshore wind the right investment for Maine,” focuses on the proposed offshore wind pilot project being put forward by Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes the University of Maine and partner companies. The Maine Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote Jan. 14 on whether to grant initial approval for Maine Aqua Ventus to build two turbines off the coast of Monhegan Island.
WVII (Channel 7) interviewed University of Maine graduate student Beth Fulton about her research on using lobster shell waste to create a pigment extract as a green alternative to synthetic versions found in fish food. Fulton decided to find more uses for discarded lobster shells because it is “a large-volume material that has no value, aside from composting which is done on a minimal scale.” She said the project is still in the early stages, but she has laid the groundwork for the study to continue.