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Maine Public Utilities Commission

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Activists fight Poland Spring, conflicted regulators

 Water Rights
Objecting to the prospect that allegedly biased state officials might approve a decades-long deal that would let Poland Spring bottle and sell for massive profit Maine’s naturally occurring drinking water, a growing group of Mainers is stepping up its activity with an audience-participation protest in Portland during this week’s First Friday Art Walk.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 19, 2013

State e-mail retrieval: $36K + 1 year — or free, and right now

Bureaufusion Concratic Dept.
Happily, the estimated $36,000 cost state officials told a reporter it would cost to retrieve certain e-mails sent to or from Kurt Adams when he was chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission turns out to have been a gross overstatement.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 16, 2010

Maine's broken e-mail system

Press releases
When Naomi Schalit of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting asked for electronic copies of e-mails between the chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and representatives of companies the PUC dealt with, she did not expect to receive a cost estimate of $10,000 from the state — nor to be required to pay $80 for the privilege of receiving that estimate.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  August 26, 2010

Attorneys cleared

Three attorneys who faced allegations of professional misconduct have been cleared of wrongdoing by a committee of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar, according to a ruling issued last week.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  May 12, 2010

CMP attorney, state regulators under review

Rule of Law
Three prominent Maine attorneys — two who are state employees and the third who works for one of the state’s largest regulated utility companies — will appear together this week before the grievance committee of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar, the professional organization monitoring attorney conduct.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  March 31, 2010

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Faltering steps forward

Going Green
As in many other sectors, the green world in 2009 was marked as much by bluster as by tangible positive action.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 22, 2009

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Your Money

Here comes the FairPoint bailout
We thought the bailouts were over. They're not. FairPoint Communications, the nightmare that has become northern New England's landline provider, is seeking tax dollars that could help it fulfill the promises made to regulators in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont when the company spent $2.3 billion to buy Verizon's systems here.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 02, 2009

FairPoint watch

Making a quiet killing — of itself and Maine's economy
Businesses in downtown Portland are on the move. Retail-property rents are lower than they have been in years, and stores are making deals left and right, with more than a dozen changing location in the past couple months.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  July 01, 2009

Under attack

Civil liberties' limits grow
Recent decisions by President Barack Obama and Maine Governor John Baldacci have dampened progressive hopes that the Republican-inspired war on civil liberties might be winding down.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 10, 2009

FairPoint finally responds — but not to customers

Is anybody home?
As the Portland Phoenix went to press, FairPoint Communications was supposed to submit to state regulators its plan for fixing the problems that have plagued the company — and brought in legions of customer complaints
By JEFF INGLIS  |  March 26, 2009

FairPoint's finances are failing fast

FairPoint with state and federal regulators show that "stable" isn't exactly the right word for its current status
Two major safety valves in the financial house of cards that is New England's largest landline telecommunications service provider blew last week.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  March 11, 2009

Transmission troubles

We're all about wind power — but do we have a way to harness green energy?
Late last month, Maine's second large commercial wind farm officially opened at Stetson Mountain in the eastern part of the state. But for all this potential, both in terms of the power source itself, and the brainpower behind it, Maine risks losing a lot of money.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  February 11, 2009

Going green: Ghostbusters

Reducing phantom loads
My monthly rent payment includes heat and electricity, a luxury I'm still getting used to at the new apartment I moved into this summer.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  January 28, 2009

Will FairPoint run out of money?

Land-line woes
Wall Street’s melt down could burn consumers throughout Northern New England — especially those in Maine.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 17, 2008

Are you paying too much for your heating bill?

Critics charge that lax regulation is inflating utility costs in Rhode Island
As winter approaches and energy prices rise worldwide, Rhode Islanders will wince when they open their monthly bills for electricity and natural gas.
By STEVEN STYCOS  |  September 10, 2008

We told you so

FairPoint’s phone-line takeover is as bad as regulators feared.
FairPoint’s transition has been slow, and is already four months behind schedule.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  July 02, 2008

Blown away

Politics and other mistakes
I’m sorry to inform you that there is an institution in Maine that repeatedly makes promises to the public, but rarely fulfills them.
By AL DIAMON  |  April 09, 2008

A bad idea triumphs

Verizon: $500,000,000 — Public: $0
The only way the regulators could abandon their duties more would be to develop amnesia in addition to their weakened spines.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 27, 2008

Kill the house lights

Politics and other mistakes
As we celebrate the solstice on December 21, take comfort in knowing that state officials are doing all they can to make it even darker. And, like Tax Day, more expensive.
By AL DIAMON  |  December 19, 2007

No raises — it gets better

Fewer workers are also part of FairPoint’s plan to remain solvent
FairPoint, as you might expect, has been in a tizzy.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 20, 2007

Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

Can Maine’s alternative-energy sources save the day?
It’s going to take more than screwing in a few compact fluorescent light bulbs to make a dent in the state’s energy use.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  September 19, 2007

Internet disconnect

Getting online in Maine can be painfully slow. And the planned Verizon-FairPoint merger won’t help.
If only our state officials thought about fiber.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  August 22, 2007

Portland scene report: August 10, 2007

Sibilance starts now
Pfeifle’s some kind of weird ass-obsessed freak, apparently.
By PORTLAND MUSIC STAFF  |  August 08, 2007

MCLU worries FBI is watching peace groups

Big chill
The Maine Civil Liberties Union is fighting on two fronts to protect Mainers’ privacy against the government's efforts to intrude.
By SARA DONNELLY  |  November 01, 2006

MCLU wants to join federal lawsuit

Private parts
The Maine Civil Liberties Union hopes to become a defendant in a federal lawsuit pitting the state against the US Department of Justice.
By SARA DONNELLY  |  September 13, 2006

They're watching you

Bugged Levis, unauthorized sex tapes, leaked medical records — is nothing sacred anymore?
A guide for privacy for Mainers and beyond.
By SARA DONNELLY  |  August 30, 2006

State will not investigate Verizon — yet

Phone privacy
Mainers may despair of ever getting their privacy back after a recent ruling in a battle to convince the state’s Public Utilities Commission to investigate suspicions that Verizon has given customers’ phone records to the federal government.

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