Rep. Arata's News from the Legislature: Use Caution Before Heading out On the Ice, Private Land Access, Top Investor Threats, & More

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Town of New Gloucester

385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260

(207) 926-4126 (phone) / (207) 926-4136 (fax)

Town of Poland

1231 Maine Street, Poland, ME 04274

(207) 998-4601 (phone) / (207) 998-2002 (fax)


Maine Warden Service Urges Caution before Heading out On the Ice

The Maine Warden Service is urging people to use caution before venturing out onto any ice covering Maine’s waterways.

Many of Maine’s lakes and ponds only have a thin ice cover, and ice conditions vary greatly throughout the State. While ice conditions may be safe in some spots, it can be very dangerous in others. The Maine Warden Service is recommending that people check the thickness of any ice before venturing out for any activity on frozen water.

If you must go on the ice, the Maine Warden Service offers these tips for ice safety.

  • Never guess the thickness of the ice - Check it! Check the ice in several different places using an auger or some other means to make a test hole and determine the thickness. Make several, beginning at the shore, and continuing as you go out.
  • Check the ice with a partner, so if something does happen, someone is there to help you. If you are alone, wear a life jacket.
  • If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy -- stay off! Watch out for thin, clear, or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.
  • Avoid areas with currents, around bridges, and pressure ridges. Wind and currents can break ice.
  • Parents should alert children of unsafe ice in their area, and make sure that they stay off the ice. If they insist on using their new skates, suggest an indoor skating rink.

If you break through the ice, remember:

  • do not panic;
  • do not try to climb out immediately - you will probably break the ice again. Reach for solid ice; and
  • lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. Once on the ice, roll, DO NOT WALK, to safety.

To help someone who has fallen through the ice, lie down flat and reach with a branch, plank, or rope, or form a human chain. Do not stand. After securing the victim, wiggle backwards to the solid ice.


Support Access to Private Land

Maine has a unique history of public access to private land. Over the past 200 years, landowners, residents, and visitors have forged a tradition of neighborliness and shared access that you will not find anywhere else in the nation.

You can do your part to help ensure continued access to private land by adding a Maine Outdoors Partners Program membership to the purchase of a hunting or fishing license for $15. 

Purchase your license with an Outdoors Partners membership during the month of December, and you will be entered for a chance to win a new trail camera! 

Learn more here.


Maine Securities Administrator Announces Top Investor Threats For 2020

Maine’s Securities Administrator recently announced the top five investment products or schemes likely to trap Maine's investors in the New Year, and recommended steps they can take to protect themselves from investment fraud. The list was developed by surveying members of the North American Securities Administrators Association, of which the Maine Office of Securities is a member, to identify threats investors are likely to see in 2020.

The following were most frequently identified by NASAA members as the top five areas of concern for the coming year.

  • Promissory Notes
  • Ponzi Schemes
  • Real Estate-related Investments
  • Cryptocurrency-related Investment Products
  • Social Media/Internet-based Investment Schemes

Investment offers that sound too good to be true often share similar characteristics. The most common telltale sign of an investment scam is an offer of guaranteed high returns with no risk. All investments carry the risk that some, or all, of the invested funds could be lost. No one can guarantee an investment return. Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Many of the threats facing investors involve private offerings, which are exempt from federal securities registration requirements and are not sold through public stock exchanges. Unregistered private offerings generally are high-risk investments and do not have the same investor protection requirements as investments sold through public markets.

Investors should always ask if the salesperson and the investment itself are properly licensed or registered. This information can be confirmed by the Maine Office of Securities. Working with a properly licensed investment professional affords investors certain legal protections. For the same reasons you would not go to an unlicensed doctor or dentist, you should avoid unregistered investment salespeople and their products. Anyone offering to sell a security without a license is breaking the law and should be avoided.

Information about advisers, salespersons, and investing is available at, by calling 1-877-624-8551, or writing to the Maine Office of Securities, 121 SHS, Augusta, Maine 04333-0121.


Maine CDC Releases Student Health Survey Results

Reported e-cigarette use among high school students nearly doubles since 2017

Results from the 2019 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) show an increase in the number of Maine high school students who report e-cigarette use, commonly referred to as "vaping."

Survey results for 2019 show that 28.7 percent of Maine high school students report currently using e-cigarettes (at least one time in the past 30 days) -- an increase from 15.3 percent in 2017. Maine's 2019 MIYHS high school results align with the most recent data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which shows that 27.5 percent of high school students throughout the United States report having used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days -- an increase from 11.7 percent in 2017.

The number of Maine high school students who report ever having used an e-cigarette product increased from 33.2 percent in 2017 to 45 percent in 2019.

The survey also shows that the number of high school students who reported current use of conventional cigarettes dropped from 8.8 percent in 2017 to 7.1 percent in 2019.

The survey is a collaboration between the Maine CDC and the Maine Department of Education (DOE), conducted biennially since 2009. Its purpose is to identify emerging trends facing youth by quantifying the health and related behaviors and attitudes of fifth through 12th graders using direct student surveys tailored to each age group. All public middle and high schools in Maine are invited to participate in the survey, which is administered during the spring of odd-numbered years.

The survey results show that e-cigarette use is also up among Maine middle school students. Current use (at least one time in the past 30 days) among middle school students rose from 3.8 percent in 2017 to 7 percent in 2019. The number of middle school respondents who reported ever having used an e-cigarette product rose from 10.4 percent in 2017 to 16.3 percent in 2019.

The 2019 survey results also indicate that fewer Maine high school students report buying e-cigarettes from stores, decreasing from 7.2 percent in 2017 to 4.8 percent in 2019. Most students reported receiving e-cigarettes from other people or giving money to others to buy the products.

Under a law that took effect in 2018, most individuals in Maine must be at least 21 years old to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. A clause in the law allowed individuals who had turned 18 as of July 1, 2018 to continue to buy tobacco products lawfully.

The Maine CDC has worked with the Office of the Maine Attorney General to pursue increased compliance checks on e-cigarette purchases at retailers throughout Maine in order to prevent sales to youth. Maine already conducts these checks on both electronic and combustible cigarettes, but has boosted the focus on e-cigarettes. Maine also already bans all online sales of e-cigarette products and licensed tobacco product sellers to ensure oversight.

Likewise, a law was approved on April 30, 2019 that prohibits the possession and use of electronic smoking devices on school grounds

The Maine CDC and the Maine DOE continue to work with partners across the State to help prevent young people from initiating use of and exposure to e-cigarettes. A work group has met regularly to create educational resources and presentations to increase awareness.

For information about the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, click here.

Tobacco Cessation Programs Information

  • Maine CDC Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program: (207) 287-4627 or
  • local technical assistance for schools:  Local Prevention Partners
  • Maine CDC educational guide about e-cigarettes/vaping-type devices:
  • additional resources:  ENDS & Vaping Resources
  • Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230 or TheQuitLink
  • The Truth Initiative offers free text message programs for youth and young adults who want to quit vaping or smoking and is a resource for parents looking to help their children.
  • Text Quit to 202-804-9884 to quit JUUL or e-cigs.
  • Text QUITNOW to 202-759-6436 to quit cigarettes.