This summer has been a busy time of meeting with my constituents and hearing their feedback on important issues.
It's been 100 years now since President Woodrow Wilson signed an order to create the Sieur de Monts National Monument (what would later become Acadia National Park). It was a privilege to help celebrate the occasion at the park with the rest of Maine's Congressional Delegation, National Park Service officials, and hundreds of visitors to this spectacular piece of Maine.
At Jordan Pond with the rest of Maine's Congressional Delegation.
Meeting a future Park Ranger at the celebration.
The same week that we celebrated Acadia's centennial, President Obama made a very exciting announcement--the establishment of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. I have been a longtime supporter of creating a National Monument with land donated by the Quimby Family because I think it will bring many benefits to the region and entire state. It was a joy to visit our newest National Monument, which is breathtaking in its beauty.
Speaking at a celebration of the new National Monument.
Signing in at the monument entrance.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee--which oversees funding for federal programs--I had the opportunity to bring several high-ranking Obama Administration officials to Maine this summer. It's a great chance for these officials to hear feedback from people in Maine about how their programs are successful and how they can be improved.
USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon (a native Mainer) came back to Maine to see how the federal nutrition programs he administers are working. Here, we visited a site in Portland where kids get free lunch and actitivities to keep them engaged during the summer.
With Kevin Concannon at a farmers market in Augusta.
Elanor Starmer (second from right) heads the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, which brings millions of dollars to Maine to support food-related businesses. Here we are at Fork Food Lab in Portland, a new shared kitchen space for food entrepreneurs.
Stopping at the Good Food Bus, which sells affordable, healthy food at spots around Southern Maine.
As Maine continues to deal with the opioid epidemic and an unprecented number of overdoses, I participated in several conversations this summer about the role of federal policies and programs in dealing with the crisis.
Talking with a resident of Mercy Hospital's McCauley Residence in Portland, a transitional housing program for women in recovery from alcohol and drug dependency.
Visting the Milestone Foundation in Portland with Kana Enomoto (second from right) of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She is one of the top Obama Administration officials responsible for efforts to respond to the national epidemic of opioid use. Milestone Foundation runs a shelter and several other programs to treat individuals with substance abuse disorder. Also pictured are (left to right) Enomoto's Chief of Staff Tom Coderre, Milestone Director of Nursing Lauren Wert, and Milestone Executive Director Bob Fowler.
As the tie between the misuse of prescription pain medication and the current opioid addiction crisis becomes better known, the medical community is considering changes in the way it treats patients with chronic pain. Many questions are still unanswered, such as how to reduce abuse and addiction while continuing to care for the millions of Americans who deal with chronic pain every day, the role of alternative treatments, and what policy changes are needed.
I was privileged to participate in a conference and discussion convened by the University of New England on the issue. Pictured with me are (left to right) UNE Professor Edward Bilsky, moderator Kim Block, Dr. Linda Porter of the National Insitutes of Health and Dr. Dan Carr of the National Academy of Pain Medicine.
As always, it continues to be a privilege to meet Maine veterans who have bravely served our country and to hear their feedback on federal programs meant to assist them.
At the American Legion State Convention.
With Cornelius Ware at the Veterans of Foreign Wars State Convention.
Maine's urchin industry, which brings over $5 million into Maine's economy every year, has recently been dealing with burdensome federal regulations. I visited an urchin processing plant earlier this summer to learn more about the issue, and I was pleased that just this week the House passed legislation I introduced to remove unnecessary inspections on the product.
Seeing how urchin roe--a delicacy in Japan--is packaged at ISF Trading on Hobson's Wharf in Portland.