As we reported last week, the Maine League of Young Voters has a new director, Will Everitt. I sat down with him at the League's office yesterday morning.
Non-profits everywhere had a hard time raising money in 2009, and the League was no different. Everitt, whose background is in fundraising and development (he led such efforts at the Toxic Actions Center and Friends of Casco Bay), is charged with righting this ship, first and foremost.
Well, nobody can do that. But as the nation's attention turns to see who Massachusetts voters will elect to take the late Lion's seat in the Senate, our sister paper the Boston Phoenix has endorsed Democrat Martha Coakley in a race that has very clear choices both for voters in the Bay State and the rest of us, watching from the sidelines.
The Associated Press reported late Friday that Senator Olympia Snowe still wants to be involved in crafting health-care reform in Congress.
In part, she's objecting to the process, which has largely not involved Republicans, many of whom have called Obama's plan akin to "socialism" (though they have conveniently forgotten that term is exactly what their beloved Medicare is).
Ken Noland died a few days ago, here in Maine at Port Clyde. He was nearly the last of a generation of fine painters who were looking at things in similar ways, and easily the most influential. His stripe, chevron and target paintings opened to door to a whole new way of painting for a great many others that came after, including Frank Stella, Sean Scully, Pat Lipsky, Winston Roeth and many more.
Will Everitt, former development director for Friends of Casco Bay, is the new Maine State Director for the League of Young Voters (Harris Parnell, who used to hold the position, now works for Maine Initiatives). In his introductory email, Everitt points out that 2010 will be a big year for state and local politics: we've got a gubernatorial race and a Portland Charter Commission vote in the cards, as well as continued focus on jobs and energy efficiency.
My wife and I accidentally stumbled upon Zeta Cafe's first "soft opening" night last night - it's the new dinner spot in South Portland's Legion Square. While it's totally unfair to do anything like a review of a restaurant on opening night, here are a few observations:
Order the hummus plate. House-made, with what seemed like as much garlic as chickpeas, it was a wake-up call to the tastebuds, and a great prep for what was to come.
A University of Southern Maine professor is contributing a chapter to a book (forthcoming from McFarland Publishing) about the popular AMC series Mad Men, and recently spoke about the phenomenon at the Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Conference in Boston.
From a USM release: "USM Associate Professor of
Communication and Media Studies David Pierson thinks today’s current economy may
be one reason for the show’s popularity.
Maine's state parks likely benefitted from the crappy economy in 2009 -- the fact that people were spending less on non-essentials, etc. Numbers released yesterday by the state Department of Conservation show that 165,000 more visits were made to the state parks last year than in 2008, a 7.6-percent increase. Overnight camping was up by one percent, and day visits climbed 8.
Right as the year ended, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that says that cops can't just use Tasers on people because they want to. The same way cops can't just beat on you for failing to comply with basic instructions right away, the court says they can't Tase you right away either.
And, in a boon most especilaly for those who need social services government cuts have done away with, the police also have to try to determine whether you might be mentally ill or otherwise in mental distress before deciding whether to Tase you.
The friendly folks at the Hogfarm Studios Annex are asking for help from the community to keep their doors open this winter. They need $1000 and hope you'll pitch in.
Robbie Kanner over at Vision for Viewers has sent us a 2009 retrospective we're actually not scared to look at. It's not about the economy or war or disease or corporate incompetence or governmental ineptitude (supply your own links here - I can't bear to look up more of them). It's about Maine music. So look, and enjoy: