Maine Policy Review, volume 30, number 1

Margaret Chase Smith Essay: American Democracy and Governance in a Polarized Era

by Richard Barringer

Where do we stand today amid America’s sharply divided politics and governance? Author Richard Barringer argues that in less than two and a half centuries since the nation’s founding, it has gone from the espousal of democracy and the general welfare to the pursuit of autocracy and corporatism. In the absence of fundamental reforms, America’s founding principles and our national character are at risk.

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Our American Nightmare: The Anachronistic Disaster of the Electoral College

by Sofia Durdag

Each year the Margaret Chase Smith Library sponsors an essay contest for high school seniors. The essay prompt for 2021 asked students to offer their opinions on whether the Electoral College has outlived its usefulness, or if it is more important than ever given the country’s current deep political polarization. This is the first-place essay.

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Reflections: Taking the Long View

by Linda Silka

Executive Editor Linda Silka’s reflections on the benefits of taking a long view of public policy issues.

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History of Deer Herd Reduction for Tick Control on Maine’s Offshore Islands

by Susan P. Elias, Benjamin B. Stone, Peter W. Rand, Charles B. Lubelczyk, and Robert W. Smith

The incidence of Lyme disease in Maine is associated with high abundance of blacklegged (deer) ticks, which in turn has been partly attributed to local overabundance of white-tailed deer. With evidence from Monhegan Island that the complete removal of deer reduced ticks and risk of contracting Lyme disease, nine other offshore communities initiated efforts to cull deer. These authors reviewed and summarized available histories of deer management on Maine’s offshore islands.

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Food Insecurity in Maine Higher Education

by Kim K. McKeage, Frank S. Wertheim, Sally Slovenski, and Sumaya El-Khalidi

In 2017–2018, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Campus Compact conducted a statewide analysis to assess the extent and subsequent effects of food and housing insecurity within the college student population. A total of 26 higher education institutions (community colleges and private and public four-year colleges and universities) throughout the state of Maine received surveys to investigate food and housing insecurity. This study reports on the findings from the 1,704 completed surveys from 24 of those campuses.

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Gateway to Opportunity: A Promising Summer Youth Employment Model to Address Local Workforce Needs

by Nikki Williams and Susy Hawes

The Gateway to Opportunity (G2O) program is a comprehensive youth-adult partnership model developed in Portland, Maine. G2O connects high-school-aged young people with paid, work-based learning projects at Maine-based businesses and nonprofits. This article highlights the development and growth of this program model and explores how innovative work-based learning programs such as G2O are critical for Maine’s workforce and local economy.

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Building Solar Capacity in Maine: The Greater Bangor Solarize Case Study

by Thomas Stone, Sharon J.W. Klein, Kim K. McKeage

Despite being a mature technology with significantly decreasing costs over the last decade and various financial incentives available periodically, solar photovoltaic energy systems currently generate approximately 1 percent of Maine’s electricity. In 2017, the Greater Bangor Solarize campaign increased the number of residential solar installations by 63 percent and solar power capacity by 52 percent in the participating towns compared to the previous seven years. These authors surveyed the Greater Bangor Solarize participants to better understand the motivations, concerns, and barriers to residential solar adoption in central Maine.

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The Importance of Education and Trust Building for Wabanaki Self-Governance

by Katie Tomer

Education and trust building are inextricably intertwined parts of addressing failed efforts of the state of Maine and the Wabanaki tribes to resolve tribal self-governance issues. This article examines legislative proposals, current laws, and scholarly research and explore how they relate to tribal self-governance. Maine needs strategies for trust building and increased educational experiences for all Maine residents about Wabanaki people and ways of knowing.

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Forest Policies and Adaptation to Climate Change in Maine: Stakeholder Perceptions & Recommendations

by Alyssa R. Soucy, Sandra de Urioste-Stone, Ivan J. Fernandez, Aaron Weiskittel, Parinaz Rahimzadeh-Bajgiran and Tom Doak

Socioeconomic pressures require forest management to address the impacts of climate change. However, we must ask, Are current forest policies sufficient to deal with the impacts of climate change? This article reports on two surveys of forest stakeholders in Maine including woodlot owners and forestry professionals and their perceptions of the barriers to climate change adaptation.

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Legislative Amendment of Citizen Initiatives: Where the “Will of the Voter” Meets the “Consent of the Elector”

by Derek P. Langhauser

This article discusses the issues involved in legislative amendment of citizen initiatives in Maine by explaining the legislature’s authority to amend or repeal citizen initiatives, how and why the Maine Constitution specifically provides for that authority, and how and why that approach is conceptually consistent with numerous other provisions and principles of our Constitution.

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