Governor LePage files false Medicaid claim

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                 Governor Paul LePage tossed out a whopper yesterday. Here it is, in his own words.

“Because Maine already expanded welfare a decade ago, Medicaid is now cannibalizing funding from all other state agencies. That means the state cannot adequately promote fishing and hunting programs or conduct research on our fisheries.”

The truth is that Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife gets no public funding, doesn’t, hasn’t, won’t. It’s impossible that the Governor doesn’t know this – because I met with him twice before he was elected to discuss this and other issues of importance to sportsmen. It’s been a constant complaint from sportsmen for decades.

Paul Betit's third novel is the best yet

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 The Man in the Canal by Paul Betit

Ok, now I’m hooked on John Murphy and Romana Alley. Will they get together? Where? When? And what kind of adventure is next for them?

Retired sports writer Paul Betit’s third novel in a series, The Man in the Canal, is his best. I loved his first two books, but he’s really getting this novel writing down now. The Man in the Canal offers an intriguing plot, plenty of suspense, and a surprising finish. It moves right along. You won’t want to put it down.

I never spoil the surprise of a novel in these reviews, but I can tell you this. John Murphy is a military investigator and the main character in these novels. He lives a very exciting life! And in novel number three, working alone and under cover, he gets into a very dangerous situation.

Lyme disease horror story is a must read

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 I thought – given that I have friends with Lyme disease, some of whom have suffered terribly, that I would be prepared for Andrea Caesar’s A Twist of Lyme, published last year by Archway Publishing. But I was wrong.

This story is gun-wrenching, raw, hard to read, relentlessly troubling. Subtitled, “Battling a Disease That ‘Doesn’t Exist,” the book is a collection of Caesar’s blog posts as she fought the disease with astonishing toughness and determination.

But don’t be fooled – there’s no happy ending. Caesar is still alive, and still blogging, but her battle with Lyme will last her lifetime.

Given the spread of Lyme disease in Maine, and the need for more medical attention to this terrible affliction caused by deer ticks, every one of us should probably read this book.

First Five Sportsmen Say Survey Questions Deliver Interesting Results

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 Since launching the Sportsmen Say Survey on my website a few weeks ago, I’ve been pleased with the response and level of participation. We’re off to a great start!

Survey questions are generally linked with a column I’ve posted about a specific issue, and give you a chance to voice your opinion on those issues. I share the results of the surveys with reporters, bloggers, legislators, state agency staff, and the public.

Participation in the first four surveys ranged from a high of 289 to a low of 41. Here are the results.

Question: Should Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife do more to protect native and wild brook trout, including banning the use of live fish as bait on wild brook trout waters in order to reduce the chance of an introduction of new competing fish species in those waters?

Don't Ski? No Worries!

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Carrabassett Valley
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 It turns out you don’t have to ski to enjoy a winter visit to Sugarloaf.



                Watching the cars full of skiers pile into the parking lots on Saturday morning, I was very happy we’d arrived at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel on Friday afternoon for a weekend of fun. Our car was parked, we’d already enjoyed a great evening at the Shipyard Brew Haus, and we had a day planned that included snowshoeing, a tour of the mountain’s shops, and relaxation in the hotel’s amazing and huge outdoor hot tub, plus dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, 45 North.


Entertaining insulting astonishing remarks received about exotic animal column

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 “You are an idiot, George,” wrote one. “You are a freaking idiot,” parodied another. “You sir are an idiot,” wrote a third.

OK, we’ve established that I am an idiot.

“Open a book, dickhole,” suggested a woman who thought I needed to be educated. “It's people like you that make this country unlivable,” continued the woman who lives in Ohio.

“This is the most ignorant article that I have ever read,” wrote another. “This guy is a total nutbag,” suggested someone else. I was also called a moron and ignorant and sickening. Comments came from all over the country and throughout Maine.

Rat Snakes, African Knife Fish, and Golden Poison Frogs will remain uncontrolled in Maine

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 Maine won’t get control anytime soon of rat snakes, bearded dragons, African knife fish, Alligator lizards, Spiny-tailed monitors, Golden poison frog, Gargoyle geckos – or lots of other exotic animals that you can currently possess without permits.

And the confusing laws and rules governing the critters you do need permits to possess won’t get any legislative attention either, nor will the agency’s high costs of administering this program. 

While management of exotic animals in Maine is shared by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, most of the job rests with DIF&W which receives no public funding for it, so sportsmen are paying all the bills. And now, they will continue to do so.

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