Sexual harassment trainer booted from Statehouse (but why?)


AUGUSTA, Maine — State legislators in Maine have asked a woman hired to give lobbyists free sexual harassment training not to come back following complaints over her presentation.

Karen Ryla from the Bangor-based Work Performance Solutions was hired to lead the training sessions as part of a new law passed last year.

Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby said lobbyists told him after Thursday’s session the training was not tailored enough to the power dynamics and work relationships in the Statehouse.

Taryn Hallweaver with the Maine People’s Alliance posted on Twitter that fellow lobbyists had to make corrections and counter “over-the-top” examples provided.

Libby says the remaining sessions will be led by the Legislature’s human resources director, Jackie Little.

(Things that make you go, “hmm..”)

Lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck: Bush, Rumsfeld & Cheney Are a Troika of Tyranny & Should Be in Prison (but, why?)

JANUARY 24, 2019

As Venezuela faces an attempted coup supported by the U.S., Brazil and the European Union, we speak with human rights attorney Wolfgang Kaleck. In November, John Bolton accused Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua of being part of a “troika of tyranny.” Kaleck says the real “troika of tyranny” is George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who should be in prison for war crimes. Kaleck is a human rights attorney who for decades has been at the forefront of the legal fight to hold powerful actors and governments around the world accountable for human rights abuses. His new book, titled “Law Versus Power: Our Global Fight for Human Rights,” documents his remarkable career, including his time as whistleblower Edward Snowden’s lawyer in Europe. Kaleck is general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

Oxfam: 26 Wealthiest People Own as Much as World’s 3.8 Billion Poorest! (y’all wanted a King, right?)

JAN 22, 2019

H21 poverty 2

Winnie Byanyima “So, last year alone, we saw billionaire wealth increase by $2.5 billion every day, while the wealth of the bottom half of humanity—3.8 billion—was dropping by $500 million a day. I’m here in Davos to call on governments to wake up and take up their responsibility and tax fairly, tax wealth and put money in the public services that people need.”

[We’re all buffalo.]

Death of 19-year-old Alexie Adams: Six men plead guilty to providing a place for minors to consume alcohol

On the night of Alexie’s death by alcohol, she attended three parties starting around 8:30 p.m. Adams drank alcohol at all of the parties which were hosted by the six men who appeared in court Thursday.

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In a Bangor courtroom, prosecutors detailed the night 19-year-old Alexie Adams was found dead in a snowbank in Orono last year after a night of heavy drinking.

Six men who were UMaine students hosted parties where Adams drank alcohol on the night of her death. The six all pleaded guilty to charges in court on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019.

On the evening of Feb. 3, 2018, Adams attended three parties beginning at approximately 8:30 p.m. Prosecutors say Adams drank alcohol at all of the parties that were hosted by the six men who appeared in court Thursday.

The first defendant, Matthew Greenlaw, hosted the first party Adams attended. He pleaded guilty to knowingly providing a place for minors to consume alcohol.

Greenlaw was sentenced to a  $500 fine.

The second defendant, who hosted the second party, was Blake Bickford. Bickford was also charged with knowingly providing a place for minors to consume alcohol.

Prosecutors say Bickford was the defendant that complied best with police, offering a voluntary interview and allowing police to take photos of the aftermath of his party in the early days of the investigation.

Prosecutors also say Bickford was very remorseful for his actions.

Prosecutors said there was also a 16-year-old at his apartment the night of Adam’s death.

Bickford will be sentenced to a fine of $1,220 to be paid by March 1. Bickford will spend the next few months speaking with high school seniors about the consequences of consuming alcohol.

“All I can say is my deepest remorse. I wish there was more I could have done that night to prevent what happened.” He said.

Christopher Dionne, Trevor Carter, Tristian Harvie and Ethan Smith also pleaded guilty to knowingly providing a place for minors to consume alcohol. They were the hosts of the third and final party of the night.

There were minors at this party as well, some as young as 15-years-old.

Prosecutors showed video from the party of Alexie Adams and others saying how intoxicated they were.

Dionne, Carter, Harvie and Smith were all given 50 hours of community service and a fine between $1,500 and $1,700.

Carter says that the incident has caused him a lot of anxiety but he wants to be a positive role model moving forward.

RELATED | Woman found dead in snowbank, police seeking answers

Judge Andersen said in Penobscot County District Court that the UMaine Students were not responsible for providing alcohol and cocaine to Alexie Adams and were not responsible for her death.

They were responsible for providing a place for minors to drink alcohol.

Maine: Action alert for those concerned with Indigenous rights and water quality

Action alert for those concerned with Indigenous rights and water quality, from our dedicated friends at Community Water Justice:
This is Jerry Reid. Anti-water protector. Oppressor of Native people.
He was just appointed by Gov Janet Mills to serve as the next Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Mr Reid fought in court against the Penobscot Nation to their inherent fishing rights and claimed that the Penobscots River was not part of their reservation. He sided with the water-polluting corporations in the Penobscot Nation vs Mills case. He also absurdly claimed in court that the Penobscots only ever fished from the shoreline and not from the water, as though he had never heard of fishing from a canoe or watercraft.
This appointment tells us clearly where Gov. Mills stands with our indigenous people. We who stand for the protection of our water and the Wabanaki demand better in state leadership for the people of Maine.
This appointment will first need approval from the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and if approved there, will move forward for approval by the Senate. Please email members of the Committee (below) AND your Senator to ‘ought not approve’ Mr Reid’s appointment:
Ralph Tucker (D) – (Chair)
Stanley Paige Ziegler Jr (D) –
Richard Campbell (R) –
Thomas Skolfield (R) –
Chris Johansen (R) –
Search by town to find your State Senator here: 
Sample template for sending your message:
Subject heading: Ought NOT Approve Jerry Reid for Maine DEP
I am deeply concerned about Mr. Reid’s past leadership in the Penobscot Nation vs Mills case while Governor Mills was the acting Attorney General. Mr. Reid sided with polluting corporations during this time and as such does not reflect the qualities I’d like to see in the person heading the DEP.
During Mills’ candidacy, she stated multiple times that she hoped to mend the relationship between the state and the Wabanaki people. This appointment is not reflective of those sentiments and I would like to urge you not to support Mr. Redi’s appointment.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your Name
#WaterIsLife #ProtectOurWater #HonorTheTreaties #ProtectNativeSovereignty #RespectEachOther #Maine #BeBetter
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Maine: Peru man, Mark Penley, charged with murder of South Paris couple Heather Bickford and Dana Hill

Maine’s Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland said the arrest was made at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Rumford Police Department.

Mark Penley, 49, is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Heather Bickford and Dana Hill, both 31.


RELATED: Deaths of South Paris couple continue to puzzle community

Police on Jan. 1 found the couple’s bodies in Hill’s downtown, first-floor apartment at Market Square on Main Street. Police said Penley made the 911 call to officers to report the deaths.

Bickford’s two young children, an 8-year-old and a 2-month-old, were in the apartment when the bodies were found. They were uninjured and taken into the custody of the Maine Department of Health & Human Services.

McCausland said Penley had gone to the Rumford Police Department station on Thursday night to be interviewed by detectives.

According to court documents, Penley filed a request in May 2018 for a protection from abuse order against Bickford. He wrote that he feared his daughter was in danger because of abuse by her and claimed Bickford repeatedly slapped their daughter.

Shortly after, Bickford also filed a protection from abuse order against Penley. She claimed Penley was controlling and at one point even followed her in his vehicle and rear-ended her.

Penley and Bickford both dropped the charges in June.

Bickford’s mother Tammy told NEWS CENTER Maine on Thursday night that the family was happy to hear the news of the arrest and that they had a “good idea” the suspect was Penley. She called the situation very much a case of domestic violence.

Tammy Bickford also said the family wanted to thank the community for its incredible support through the ordeal.

RELATED: Police ID man, woman found dead in South Paris apartment

Penley was taken to Oxford County Jail and was scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday at Oxford County Superior Courthouse.

Additional information on the investigation was expected Friday.