This is getting a fair amount of coverage all over the place, but oral hygiene is so terribly important that I'm making a note here as well. According to "Inside Maine's Mouth," the piece I wrote about Maine's dental-health landscape in May, "In 2010, Maine ranked 34TH OUT OF 50 STATES in terms of the percentage of residents who had seen a dental provider in the past year (just under 69 percent)."
I get a lot of press releases from the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. Usually they are boring or irrelevant for our readers. But this holiday-appropriate essay, written by a Parks and Public Lands employee, caught my eye, as did the creepy photo above of a cabin below Holeb Falls on the Moose River (provided by Carrier Timberlands, LLC).
Same-sex marriage supporters are expressing a combination of disgust, defensiveness, and resignation when faced with the fact that their opponents are recycling untrue, fear-mongering tropes from the 2009 election cycle. Tropes -- well, let's call them what they are: lies, really -- that have been rejected not only be experts and gay-marriage supporters, but even by Marc Mutty, who led the campaign against gay marriage last time around.
In last week's Going Green column, I wrote about smart meters, the somewhat controversial devices intended to make our electric grid more efficient. I reported that anti-smart-meter activist Ed Friedman had written to Maine Attorney General William Schneider, claiming that Central Maine Power's opt-out fees (up to $144 per year, plus a one-time charge of $40) were extortion due to the fact that customers were being forced to pay to avoid/prevent harm, Friedman argued.
In this week's Phoenix, which isn't even on the streets in some places (and isn't online yet), I write about the Maine State Housing Authority's decision to disallow medical marijuana patients from using or cultivating marijuana in federally subsidized Section 8 housing. The ACLU of Maine, along with state representative Deborah Sanderson (R-Chelsea), and three caregivers, spoke at an MSHA board meeting yesterday, expressing their concerns about the new policy.
You know about the Urban Farm
Fermentory and all its award-winning kombucha, cider, and other deliciousness. But UFF founder and head
idea-man Eli Cayer has taken over the lease of a former taxi garage right next
door on Anderson
Street and is driving
it in a fascinating new direction.
Cayer's a big idea guy, and he's been dreaming about
progressive, grass-roots ways to make Portland
a better city for more than a decade now.
A group of environmental organizations is calling attention to the fact the ExxonMobil -- the world's largest company by revenue -- is the majority owner (at 76 percent) of the oil pipeline that runs through Maine, past the Androscoggin and Crooked rivers, and Sebago Lake. This is the pipeline that I wrote about earlier this summer -- the one that oil giants want to use to pump tar sands from Western Canada to the Portland Harbor.
Portland's Loren Coleman is known for a lot of things - cryptozoology, book-writing, and generally being an interesting guy. But a new theory has emerged online that credits Coleman with predicting the Aurora cinema shooting, as well as several other incidents of public violence. It makes for interesting reading, and highlights a fair few too many coincidences for comfort.
Lance Tapley, who has written for many years about Deane Brown, the Maine State Prison whistleblower who has been exiled out of state in an effort to limit his access to the media, has an update on Brown's situation that just went up on SolitaryWatch. See how Deane's doing. (Spoiler: It's still a struggle. Read more about Deane's efforts to return to Maine in an upcoming issue of the Phoenix.)
As funeral music for the East-West Highway (see "Nails in the Coffin: Why the East-West Highway Will Never Be Built," by Lance Tapley), the Phoenix suggests that
opponents adopt as their anthem Maine's
most famous country-western song by the state's most famous country-western
singer, the immortal Dick Curless's "A Tombstone Every Mile."
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced today that it will hold a series of events, entitled "Defending Marriage in the Public Square," around Maine this fall. Nine such meetings are scheduled statewide, in places like Caribou, Scarborough, Waterville, and York.
In addition to local parish staff and representatives from the Diocesan Office for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, four out-of-state guest speakers will address the meetings.
A presidential candidate was in Monument Square this afternoon -- and only about 20 people showed up to hear her speak.
Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for president (about whom Chris Faraone wrote a terrific piece in this week's Phoenix), blasted the "politics of fear" that keep third-party candidates out of mainstream political discussions.
Back in 2010, I wrote about how Mormons, Catholics, and evangelical Protestants had united - despite each teaching that the others are not true Christians - to work toward a common political goal: banning same-sex marriage.
With the pick of Catholic Paul Ryan, Mormon Mitt Romney has declared that there is a larger goal: taking over the political power structure of the country.
As promised in this week's Phoenix ("Mainers, Occupiers Rally in Vermont" - on the TJI page - link's not up online yet), here are some photos and videos from this Sunday's protest in Burlington. Quick recap, for those who haven't yet read the piece: about 500 people joined a demonstration in Vermont on Sunday, timed to coincide with the 36th annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.
Just when you thought he might have meant his non-apology, we find out LePage wasn't serious after all. Our friends over at Seven Days, Burlington, Vermont's alt-weekly, have a disturbing account of an exchange in which Governor Paul LePage reiterated and elaborated on his comparison between the Internal Revenue Service and the Gestapo, Hitler's secret police.