George Smith's blog

Moose hunt up for legislative action

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            The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee is showing a lot of interest in awarding more moose permits to stimulate a distressed hunting economy, maximize the opportunity for Mainers to hunt the state’s biggest game animal, and begin partnering with the hunting industry.

            Two concepts will be central to a work session discussion next Tuesday (May 14): substantially increasing permits, and providing a small number of those permits to licensed sporting camps and lodges that are currently hosting moose hunters. The committee has asked DIF&W’s moose biologist Lee Kantar to attend the work session to answer their questions.

New bear referendum coming in 2014

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Ten years after Maine voters defeated an attempt to ban bear hunting with bait and dogs, a new ballot measure on the same issues may be on the way for 2014. The Humane Society of United States has filed its intentions to initiate a new bear referendum with Maine’s Secretary of State. HSUS was the organization that placed these issues on the ballot in 2004 and spent millions trying to convince Maine voters to support them.

HSUS has also proposed a bear bill in this session of the legislature. Their bill, LD 1474, sponsored by Representative Denise Harlow of Portland, will be scheduled for a public hearing later this month. It would prohibit bear hunting with dogs and bear trapping, eliminate any chance of Maine restoring a spring bear hunt, prohibit the sale of bear galls, and substantially increase penalties for bear poaching.

Run of the Mill Pub is anything but ordinary

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Put the exceptional team at Hallowell’s Liberal Cup into an old Maine mill with beautiful huge spaces, and invite them to create fabulous brewed-on-the-premises beer and tasty food, and what do you get?

The Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery in Saco.

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Travel Advice for Retired Teachers

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The Traveling Maine(r) and the Traveling Teacher

This was the title of my speech today to retired teachers gathered in Augusta for their annual conference. They wanted to hear about travel in Maine, but I had to start by letting them know they are appreciated. Here's my speech, with lots of travel advice.

We’re going to talk travel today, but before we get to that, I need to say this. Thank you. Thank you for all that you did for me, my children, and now my grandchildren. You may not be feeling appreciated these days, but you are appreciated. So I start by applauding you.

Lafayette's Oceanfront Resort and Federal Jack's - a Great Combination!

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An off-season visit to a southern Maine coastal resort is a great value, and the stunning scenery, coastal conservation lands, beaches, and uncrowded shops and restaurants, are all there for you!

Of course, if you want to lay on the beach, July and August beckon.

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Fighting For DIF&W Dollars - for 50 years!

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For fifty years, sportsmen have been seeking public support for the Fish and Wildlife Department. This afternoon, we were at it again, testifying before the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee in favor of LD 219, a proposal of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to direct a portion of revenues generated from energy infrastructure corridors to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with an annual cap of $5 million.

The committee members expressed great interest in the proposal and asked a lot of question of those who testified favor of SAM’s bill and the bill’s sponsor, Rep.Mike Shaw. Testifying for the bill was Dave Trahan of SAM, Jen Gray of Maine Audubon, Tom Abello of the Nature Conservancy, Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources of Maine, and me.

Several opponents spoke, although most of their testimony was technical, involving the complexity of the energy infrastructure statute.

Pittsfield's Vittles Offers Creative "Down Home" Food

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Creativity and Commitment to Community make Pittsfield’s Vittles a very special restaurant.


 Bob Phelan tells us the concept of Vittles was to serve “down home food”. The emphasis here is on using fresh ingredients to create real food, made from scratch. “If a potato chip is served here, it was a potato this morning!” says Bob.

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