How two of Maine’s first year-round artists made Maine an arts destination

“Stell Shevis — and her artist husband, William (known as “Shevis”), who died in 2010 — moved to Belmont in 1945 at a time when artists who could make a living in Maine year-round were rare. Despite Maine’s longstanding importance as a source of inspiration for artists, most of the artists associated with the state before then were seasonal residents, who spent summers on the coast before returning to Boston, New York, or Philadelphia to sell their work.

Homeowners with solar panels affect your power bill. Maine’s debating whether that’s fair.

“When homeowners with rooftop solar panels generate more electricity than they need, they can sell that excess power back to the utility company.
That has made installing solar power affordable for many Mainers. But other customers are footing part of the bill for those payments, and with solar power growing in popularity, regulators are concerned that’s not fair.

Boatworks rowathon a success

“This fundraiser has helped us a lot,” Boatworks Director Tony Archino told the group before they headed out, “but even more importantly, it gets more people involved with and connected to what we do.”
One of the boats, rowed by Gretchen Blank, was outfitted with a special camera recording footage for a virtual reality project, a collaborative effort of the Island Institute, the Camden International Film Festival and Big Room Studios.

From deer hunting to near-death experiences on the water, the Island Journal is fascinating

In the current Volume 32 of Island Journal, I really loved the story by Scott Sell, “One Deer, Two Islands,” about deer hunting on Frenchboro. Here’s how it begins: “Zack Lunt’s hands are covered in blood and bile and fur. ‘The fun part is over for me,’ he says, midway through field-dressing the buck he just shot. ‘It’s all work from here on out.” Boy, he got that right!

Islesboro moves forward with $3.8 million broadband network

“Ziegler said Islesboro’s strategy to build the municipal broadband network is unique and unlikely to be duplicated by mainland communities. A report issued in December by the Island Institute suggested that other island communities could benefit by increased broadband adoption, because the technology would lead to new jobs and economic activity.”

Stories of outer island life to screen

Maine’s outer islands are famed for their close-knit communities and heritage of storytelling. Figures of Speech Theatre partnered with the Island Institute and the residents of Maine’s outer islands to bring some of these narratives to life using shadow puppets captured on film.

Northeast Ocean Plan proposed as guide for coastline and ocean management

A regional planning group issued a sweeping ecosystem-based ocean draft plan Wednesday to guide federal agencies in New England.
The plan also points out surprising gaps in data, such as how and where lobstermen fish along the sprawling New England coast, even though the fishery is central to the economic health of coastline communities and New England states, especially in Maine, and subject to the impact of development and climate change. Nick Battista, the marine programs director at Island Institute in Rockland, said lobstermen should be involved in decisions that could impact their coast.

Why the Island Institute decided to offer a 12-week paid parental leave

Nonprofit organizations like the Island Institute are not exempt from the pressures of the bottom line. In fact, we are just as mindful of budgets as for-profit businesses because we are funded by finite sources — grants and donations — and can’t count on an uptick in sales to provide a cushion.
But despite fiscal constraints — or maybe in part because of them — the Island Institute recently adopted a new policy for our employees. Beginning this month, we will give our staff 12 weeks of paid parental leave.