Angus King: Postal service change could cause delays, cost increases in southern Maine

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is concerned about mail service in southern Maine.

The state’s junior senator wrote to Postmaster General Megan Brennan to question the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to move automated sorting equipment from the Scarborough distribution center to one in New Hampshire.

King said he’s worried the move will result in delays for mail and packages processed through the Scarborough facility, as well as the elimination of First Class next-day delivery service for customers in the area, forcing them to instead pay extra for other overnight shipping options.

King told Brennan that by next Wednesday, he wants maps of any areas which may be affected by the change, as well as any internal analyses explaining the justification for the move.

Here are a few other things you may be interested to know about:

What we’re talking about

Sick of shark news yet? No? Well, southern Maine shark expert James Sulikowski will be prominently featured on one of the benchpost programs in the Discovery Channel’s now famous “Shark Week,” an annual summer onslaught of shows dedicated to the ocean predators. Sulikowski is a professor a the University of New England in Biddeford, whose team has gained notoriety for using special ultrasound technology on pregnant sharks. A reported great white sighting cleared the beach in Wells earlier this week.

You’ve probably seen artist Zoo Cain’s distinct, flamboyantly colored truck around the city. Now you can learn a little bit more about what makes him tick. Cain tells the BDN’s Troy R. Bennett: “Anything I’ve ever owned, or been around, ends up with paint on it. I end up coloring just about everything I have — hammers, screwdrivers, you name it. It always gets colored.” (Mental note: Wear old clothes if I’m ever invited to be around him.)

A Portland seafood company is $850,000 lighter now after a federal judge ordered it to pay a $552,500 fine and forfeit $297,500 for selling urchins it brought into the U.S. from Canada illegally.  ISF Trading Co. imported 24 tons of urchins in early 2011 while falsely using the name of a Canadian trading partner which was authorized to export.

Speaking of Canada, folks who were hoping to fly direct from Portland and spend Canada Day in Canada got some bad news today. Elite Airways, which had planned its inaugural direct flight from Portland-to-Halifax to take off Friday morning, abruptly announced it had to postpone it. An airline spokeswoman said a computer glitch in the reservation system is to blame. Canada Day, which is like our Fourth of July to our northern neighbors, is Saturday.

Today in state budget gridlock news, Gov. Paul LePage announced that state police would remain on the job and parks would stay open in the event of a government shutdown, which is becoming more and more likely each day. Attorneys have filed a lawsuit in federal court hoping to force LePage to add the delivery of benefits and services by DHHS to that list of emergency state functions which will continue on. Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to get a state budget fully approved, or the government mostly shuts down. The last time that happened was 1991, when Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush” was the nation’s top single. (And yes, that’s a fresh-faced Keanu Reeves in that music video.)

Tweet of the day

From The World:

The Big Idea

Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? Science journals, the exclusive and quasi-academic publications where university researchers are pressured to share their findings, made the equivalent of nearly $1.2 billion in profits for publishing firm Reed-Elsevier in a single year. That’s a profit margin 36 percent higher than Apple, Google or Amazon, the Guardian reported. But some critics argue the journals’ pursuit of massive profits encourages researchers to shrug off more rigorous scientific standards and pursue more sensational results.

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