All posts by Darren Fishell

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.

Is your Facebook feed nothing but politics? In Maine, probably

The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, in this Jan. 29, 2013 file photo. ROBERT GALBRAITH | REUTERS

It’s one thing to get bombarded by political advertisements like never before, but political chatter in Maine’s making things personal, at least for Facebook users. Facebook provided The Washington Post’s Darla Cameron with data showing nearly one in five Facebook users in Maine have either posted about the elections or liked a candidates’ page from July 10 to Oct. 19. That’s the most […]

Mill job losses add to long decline for Maine paper industry

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Maine pulp and paper mills have taken a series of hits this year with the closure of three mills and the cumulative loss of about 1,000 jobs. It’s an industry in decline, leaving hundreds out of work in Old Town, East Millinocket and, starting Dec. 1, in Bucksport. There’s more to this story than numbers, as is clear from the way workers […]

Just how accurate are Maine’s monthly unemployment estimates?

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So, everyone, let’s all talk about the elephant in the room: The unemployment estimates out Friday. Missed them? Well, if you were following along through the morning, you may have been confused about just when was the last time that preliminary estimates of unemployment rose in Maine. That may have been my fault. (It was a year ago, but […]

More of the same: Slow Maine GDP growth fuels political haymaking

Maine’s metropolitan areas lagged growth rates for other areas of the country in the last year, continuing a longer term trend in Maine’s economy. In one-year and 12-year comparisons, growth in the value of goods and services coming from Maine’s major metropolitan areas is below the median for metropolitan areas around the country. While there’s little difference in comparisons […]

How Maine ranks as ‘business friendly’ under Gov. Paul LePage, in 5 charts

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When you think of “business friendliness,” what comes to mind? Perhaps how it was a key promise of Gov. Paul LePage’s 2010 campaign. Perhaps Forbes magazine’s dogged placement of Maine dead-last in its annual “business climate” rankings, based on a proprietary formula. Or perhaps it’s the sign that lets you know that not only is Maine the way life should be, […]

Bloomberg highlights Maine’s sluggish Internet speeds, municipal solutions

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Bloomberg News reported something with which you, loading the BDN website, are probably well aware: Internet speeds in Maine are not the fastest. The report from Bloomberg follows writer Susan Crawford’s favorable review of Rockport’s municipally owned broadband network, unveiled earlier this month. The report highlights some of the challenges well-known to Maine Internet users but also the […]

Today on the auction block: carbon emission allowances

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The 25th carbon allowance auction through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) starting today is bringing out supporters and opponents of the Northeast cap-and-trade program. Supporters like the Natural Resources Council of Maine argue that the nearly $50 million paid by Maine producers for carbon allowances have supported investments that will provide long-term environmental and economic returns (they debuted two case studies […]

Biddeford maker of lightweight outdoor equipment lands $900,000 investment

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Hyperlite Mountain Gear, a outdoor gear manufacturer based in Biddeford’s Pepperell Mill Campus, has raised just more than $900,000 in equity financing and a bank loan to support new investment in marketing, product development and staff, according to the Maine Venture Fund. The company reported raising $908,000 of its $1 million offering in a filing with the U.S. Securities […]

Everybody to the limit: Breweries above and below the 50,000-gallon mark

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As breweries continue to pop up around the state, distributors are starting to pay attention. That’s partly because of state law that allows breweries to distribute their own beer, up to 50,000 gallons of annual output. Many of the state’s breweries got close to that mark last year and some are growing enough to make self-distribution impractical. The Maine Brewers’ Guild […]

The Queen City is a relatively cheap date

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So, you’re stuck with the classic problem of where to spend your $100 and your choices are Bangor, Lewiston, Portland or any of the untamed non-metropolitan areas in between. Naturally, you’d consult the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. And here’s what the bureau would say: Go to Lewiston. Bangor’s not far behind. And the Portland area will […]