Maine: Indigenous People’s Day now an Official State holiday – Jacqui Voltaire / Maria Girouard

This was just shared with me and I would ask you to share, including Maria’s words. Those of us who have been working on IPD and the Penobscot River issue know that JM is no friend of the Penobscot people and we must make sure when we talk about this wonderful news that we stress that it may have been JM’s pen, but it was no her heart and soul that was bought many years ago by the corporates!

And the best news of the day… JM [Governor Janet Mills] signed onto Indigenous People’s Day, making it a statewide holiday.  Thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this happen at the municipal level to get the ball rolling and beyond.  JM gets all the credit for a swipe of the pen but we know how much work and heart went into this from indigenous leaders and their supporters, etc. ;).  I’m also pasting Maria Girouard’s post below too for those who don’t use FB.  I appreciated it!

Love,

jacqui


NOT SO FAST ~ I’m not even sorry that I cannot join the glee and celebratory backslapping that I’m seeing around the change from a white man’s holiday to an indigenous holiday.  To see “leaders” standing with the woman who is in the forefront of perpetuating trauma and genocide against the Penobscot people sickens my stomach.  I’m very pleased to see my Chief NOT standing amongst them. 

In a Machiavellian plot twist the perpetrator of Penobscot territorial theft is now a hero (?) for tossing us a bone.  Holding in my heart our ancestral River and the struggles of countless ancestors before me who fought and died for their rights to their ancestral river, I’m not letting her off the hook.

Nothing short of dropping the state’s position in our 6 year long legal battle, Penobscot Nation v. Janet Mills will change my opinion of that woman.  The same woman who is championing the destruction of thousands of acres of Maine land to make way for the CMP corridor to benefit Massachusetts energy needs.  The same woman who sat before judiciary committee in 2015 and said that the Penobscot Nation did not have the right to protect their women from violence under the VAWA Re-authorization Act because of the Maine Indian Land Claims – the State’s handy pocket tool for keeping the Tribes oppressed and under their thumb.  And another time before the judiciary stated that “there are NO treaties”.  In my eyes she is a disgrace no matter what the second Monday in October is called.

Yay! Now we no longer celebrate a genocidal maniac. That is the right thing to do for sure. Now will the State stop acting like a genocidal maniac and drop their stance that the ancient Penobscot Nation contains no portion of our ancestral river. This remains to be seen. N’telnapemnawak.

Maine: Casco’s Kate Hall wins national long jump title

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Casco’s Kate Hall added another title to her trophy case, winning the women’s long jump at the 2019 Toyota USATF Indoor Championships in Staten Island, New York Saturday.

Hall won the long jump with a 6.51m leap.

RELATED: Catching up with newly hired coach Kate Hall

RELATED: Olympic hopeful Kate Hall gets personal about her diabetes

USATF

@usatf

Congratulations to Kate Hall on winning Women’s Long Jump at ! pic.twitter.com/j3ECwkF1ko

View image on Twitter

The Casco native, who had an impressive career start while at Lake Region High School, will be forgoing her senior season at the University of Georgia to train in Maine for the 2019 World Championships and a shot at qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2F5T0kco7I6eE%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D5T0kco7I6eE&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2F5T0kco7I6eE%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=0350728de3d54ab7950f978fc80d4a70&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube
View image on Twitter

‘The Maine electorate has had it with her’: Constituents turn on Susan Collins

Senator Susan Collins of Maine spoke to news media at Saint Anselm College in Manchester in September 2018.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine spoke to news media at Saint Anselm College in Manchester in September 2018.

Senator Susan Collins’s reputation for bipartisanship has brought her respect across the aisle over 22 years in Washington, D.C. But these days, the famously temperate 66-year-old senior stateswoman from Maine is inspiring the kind of liberal animus more typically directed at people named Trump.

“Betrayed” is a word that comes up.

“I used to think that she was kind of a voice of reason. I thought she could maybe go across the aisle and get some things done,” said Pam Cunningham, a Boothbay Democrat who voted for Collins last time around.

Collins’s vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has galvanized left-leaning activists like Cunningham, who are actively trying to unseat her in 2020 — and though they don’t yet have a candidate, they have raised nearly $3.8 million.

Early in the Donald Trump era, Collins was eyed optimistically by Democrats as someone who might save their day. But the Supreme Court vote was the latest in a string of positions Collins has taken where, after lengthy, attention-getting deliberations, she sided with the GOP. For some voters, hope in Collins has curdled into vengeance.

“The Maine electorate has had it with her not voting with the majority of her constituents,” said Amy Halsted, co-director of the Maine People’s Alliance, a statewide community organizing group that has about 32,000 members. “They no longer believe her claims to be a moderate.”

At the same time, the political mood in Maine has been volatile. The state supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016, and after two terms of the combative conservative Governor Paul LePage, flipped the state government blue in November, handing Democrats the governor’s office, Senate, and House.

Given that backdrop, Democratic organizations were already viewing Collins as vulnerable. Now, they are trying to attach to her blame not only for her own votes, but for those of Kavanaugh.

When he, for instance, dissented on an abortion rights case this month, left-wing political organizations pounced on Collins. Demand Justice, a judicial advocacy group, launched a digital ad targeting Collins and warning, “We Won’t Forget.” The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee panned Kavanaugh’s ruling, calling him “Senator Collins’s Supreme Court Judge.”

Of course, Collins was alternately cheered by the right, which rewarded her mightily for her pivotal support for Kavanaugh. In the three months following the vote, Collins set a career high for quarterly fund-raising, drawing in nearly $1.8 million. The previous quarter, she had raised only $140,000.

“People generally like Susan Collins in Maine. I would never underestimate her,” said Brian Duff, a political scientist and associate professor at University of New England in Maine. “But I do think she’s uniquely vulnerable this go-round.”

Activists have been birddogging Collins since the opening days of the Trump administration, protesting Cabinet appointees and staging sit-ins in her office, said Marie Follayttar, a sculptor who founded Mainers for Accountable Leadership. The Maine People’s Alliance intends to knock on doors to reach hundreds of thousands of voters this year, highlighting Collins’s record and arguing that she is not representing Maine voters’ interests.

In a statement, Collins suggested she is still calling them like she sees them and pointed to a number of votes she has taken against her party — opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the nominations of Cabinet appointees Scott Pruitt and Betsy DeVos, for instance.

download (24).jpeg

“Often these outside groups, on both sides, want 100% fidelity to 100% of their views 100% of the time,” Collins said in a statement. “But I’ve always believed that neither side has a monopoly on good ideas and that in order to craft the best policy, you need to bring both sides to the table to find common ground.”

Collins also said she is accustomed to being in the public eye, “as a centrist who is willing to work across the aisle and who must often cast the deciding vote.”

But she said she is concerned “by the appalling hyperpartisanship that has repeatedly prevented us from getting things done on behalf of the American people.’’

Early on, when Collins bucked the Republican Party and voted to preserve the Affordable Care Act, Mainers gave her a hero’s welcome, literally cheering her return to the Bangor airport. But later she voted for a tax bill that would undo a key part of the health law, the individual mandate.

Then, the signs greeting her at the airport simply said, “Shame.’’

“Collins had given so many Mainers hope that she would protect our health care with her votes against the repeal of the ACA,” said Follayttar.

While Collins had long carefully honed her reputation as a moderate, Duff pointed to recent votes he views as “obviously problematic,” including her support for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and her vote for a tax cut package that will increase the deficit.

“She has very little chance of explaining that vote in a way that makes sense to Maine voters,” Duff said.

Conversely, he thought she was consistent in her vote for Kavanaugh, which she painstakingly explained it in a 45-minute floor speech in October. “It was articulate, thoughtful, consistent with the way she has spoken and voted through her career,” he said.

That wasn’t the way that Collins’s critics heard her speech, however.

“I have never been so disappointed in anybody in my life,” said Laurie Fear, an addictions counselor and activist who lives in Portland.

That was also an ugly and trying period for Collins, who faced protesters at home and at her offices, whose aides fielded rape and death threats. Her house was visited by a haz-mat team after she received an envelope purporting to contain ricin. Activists sent to her 3,000 coat hangers, symbolizing the tools of back-alley abortions that activists say women would resort to if Kavanaugh helped roll back abortion rights.

Anti-Kavanaugh activists also raised money and pledged to donate it to Collins’s next opponent if she voted to confirm the nomination. She called that tantamount to bribery.

“Anyone who thought I would auction off my vote to the highest bidder obviously doesn’t know me. I made my decision based on the merits of the nomination,” she said. “This effort played no role in my decision-making whatsoever.”

That is heartbreaking to such people as Cunningham — who joined other Maine women to meet Collins in Washington in hopes of persuading her to vote against Kavanaugh.

She opened up to Collins about her own attempted rape, which she had seldom spoken of, in the hopes of explaining why a woman would not immediately report a sexual assault, as was the case with the women who accused Kavanaugh.

“We all thought maybe our stories would get through to her on a personal level, a woman-to-woman kind of thing,” said Cunningham.

Later, Collins sent her a form letter that mentioned that very meeting with survivors of sexual assault as evidence of the thorough deliberations she undertook in making the decision. “She was using my story to try to portray herself in a favorable light,” Cunningham said. “I really don’t think she did take our opinions into consideration.”

Ariel Linet, a disability attorney and Portland constituent who called and visited Collins’s offices trying to urge her to vote against Kavanaugh, said she no longer views Collins as a moderate.

“I don’t think that she’s taken any brave stances against her party,” she said. “I think she’s hemmed and hawed a lot and ultimately always toed the party line.”

https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/387413/fund-susan-collins-future-opponent

Maine: Noreen Yountz’ Spectacular video of a bobcat stalking squirrels

The stunning animal was spotted in a central Maine backyard, poised to pounce as it prowled gracefully yet erratically through the snow.

A Maine woman was able to capture some fantastic photos and videos of a bobcat in her own backyard.

Noreen Yountz says she first spotted the bobcat Sunday watching the bird feeders and squirrels, nodding off as it laid in the snow under a few saplings.

It returned the next day, Monday, and was clearly stalking prey. Noreen was able to capture video of the big cat steadily poised to pounce as it prowled gracefully yet erratically through an inch or two of snow.

Noreen says at one point, while watching squirrels under the bird feeders, the bobcat tried to jump her 2.5-foot-tall wired dog fence. But no luck – the big cat ran right into the fence and it knocked the animal over. The bobcat’s stumble seemingly scared itself; it darted out across her driveway.

“You are so fortunate to see this beautiful animal,” said one. “I hope to see a wildcat someday. Absolutely gorgeous!” Others said: “They are beautiful cats! This one looks like a she for some reason. 😼” and “This is mother nature at her finest!! Beautiful kitty,awsome post. Thank you for sharing this with us!!”

RELATED: Amazing images of large bobcat captured in Walpole
RELATED: Bobcat spotted in Standish

Maine: Here’s something you rarely see on the slopes—skis made in Maine!

PORTLAND, Maine — Here’s a challenge. Start up a company in Freeport with two employees who are, in effect, co

download (13).jpegmpeting against large businesses with decades of history and a global footprint. Does anyone else find that prospect daunting?

It didn’t stop Phil and Amy Taisey, the husband and wife who decided a few years ago to take the plunge and get into the business of manufacturing skis.

Phil makes every pair of Amalgam skis himself; Amy handles the marketing. This is a hands-on operation, about as far from an industrial production line as you can get. “I like the craftsmanship of it,” Phil says. From the beginning, the plan was that the skis would be made in Maine and would include some Maine materials such as maple and poplar.

The challenge, as in all businesses, is to sell the product, create a brand, and grow. Amalgam is a small operation, but the Taiseys clearly enjoy what they do. I asked them if they sometimes feel like the underdog makers of a new cola trying to take on Coke and Pepsi. “Absolutely,” Amy said. “That’s exactly what we are.”

Remembering Maine’s greatest filmmaker: John Ford

Born in Cape Elizabeth and raised in Portland, Ford would go on to direct films such as: “Stagecoach,” “The Grapes of Wrath” and “The Searchers,” the last of which has been called the greatest Western ever made.

PORTLAND, Maine — The next time you find yourself at Thursday night trivia at your favorite pub, you’ll be ready when this question comes up: Who has won the most Academy Awards for best director?

Answer: John Ford.

Does the name ring a bell? To anyone under the age of fifty, maybe not. Which goes to show how fleeting fame can be in the flickering dream world of Hollywood.

Born in Cape Elizabeth and raised in Portland, Ford went to Los Angeles and got into the motion picture industry because his older brother worked in it. Making movies suited him, and as the silent film era gave way to talkies, Ford navigated the transition smoothly. By the time he retired in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as one of the masters, the only person ever to win four Oscars for directing.

Among his landmark films: “Stagecoach,” “The Grapes of Wrath” and “The Searchers,” the last of which has been called the greatest Western ever made.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FSIpXxyTiGtI%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DSIpXxyTiGtI&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FSIpXxyTiGtI%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=0350728de3d54ab7950f978fc80d4a70&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Michael Connolly, a professor at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, has written extensively about John Ford, who was born on February 1, 1894—125 years ago. In talking to us about Ford’s legacy, he listed his three favorite Ford movies.

If you’re not familiar with the work of the greatest filmmaker ever to come out of Maine, this might be a place to start.

1. How Green was My Valley – Who could avoid falling in love with Maureen O’Hara, especially after the minister was unable to? It involves important issues of industrialism, labor unions, and religious tensions.

2. The Quiet Man – Filmed around my home County Galway with scenes that stay with you forever.

3. The Last Hurrah – We had a hotel and restaurant in South Portland by the Mall that used that name. It tells the story of Boston’s famous Irish Mayor, James Michael Curley, and shows what good a person in political office can do if done for the right reasons. Not mentioned much, but starring Spencer Tracy and filled with Irish humor.

Ranked Choice Voting in New Hampshire? Lawmakers consider voting system for 2020 primary

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary could be decided by ranked-choice voting next year if Rep. Read’s bill is favored.

Maine politicians often say we should copy the no tax policies of New Hampshire. Now some in the Granite State say they should copy Maine — by switching to ranked-choice voting.

A New Hampshire legislative committee on Wednesday heard arguments in favor of switching to a ranked-choice system. Democratic Rep. Ellen Read, who is sponsoring the bill, says no one spoke against it during the hearing, although she expects there will be opposition.

A similar bill was defeated last year, but Rep. Read says support for ranked-choice has increased after people saw how it worked in Maine.

Read says her bill would have ranked-choice voting used for next year’s presidential primary, and then for other state elections starting in 2022.

Author: Don Carrigan, News Center Maine