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Shut up and take your arsenic

 Bald Mountain mining: take your sulfuric acid, too
Tests at the site found arsenic levels in the rock up to 29,000 parts per million, mind-bogglingly high. Solids, of course, are not the same as liquids, but that’s 2.9 million times the level the federal Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for drinking water (10 parts per billion).
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 25, 2013


A well-armed GOP?

Base Appeal  
If you want to see how much the Republican Party is imprisoned by its conservative base and estranged from an America and Maine possessing a mixture of political views, look at the accompanying picture.  
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  July 10, 2013

A legislative decision: 86 Mainers to die by Election Day 2014

Death Sentences  
How many people will die because on June 19 Maine's Legislature refused to accept federal Obamacare funds to extend Medicaid health insurance to as many as 70,000 low-income working people?  
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 26, 2013


Faith-based taxation

Trickle-down is triumphant
It's gospel under the State House dome — dogma in what could be called the trickle-down religion — that if taxes on the rich and the corporations were reduced, lots of moneyed people would make their residence in Maine instead of places like Florida, contributing massively to tax collections; and lots of businesses would move to Maine or start up here, hiring workers right and left.  
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 23, 2013


Maine’s environmental movement reinvents itself for a new era of challenges

Blooming Activists
Maine's cherished environment may be threatened as never before by the gargantuan forces of economic globalization. In reaction, the state's environmental movement is coalescing into a force stronger than ever. There are new players in the game — including Occupy — augmenting the old guard
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 10, 2013


You are the problem, not rich + corporations

Frank Talk
Stop believing that Big Money has a big effect on politicians. That's not the problem with Washington. You are the problem.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 24, 2013


Death penalty sought for Maine prisoner

Escape-Artist Watch
Escape-Artist Watch
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  April 10, 2013

Story-telling: How to pass (or defeat) a bill

Legislative Logic
Humans haven't advanced much beyond the hunter-gatherer tribe around the campfire. That includes legislators.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 27, 2013


Whistleblower returns; Maine a prison-reform model

Prodigal Sons  
On Valentine's Day, prisoner Deane Brown, who sounded an alarm that drew international attention to the savagery of solitary confinement and other abuses in the Maine State Prison's "supermax" unit, was returned to the Warren prison after an exile of more than six years.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 27, 2013

Baldacci: watch your left flank

2014 Race
If John Baldacci runs for governor in 2014, he will encounter trouble on his left.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 13, 2013

Rare: Guard is charged

Prison Assault
Although prisoners and their advocates say rough treatment by guards of inmates — amounting to criminal assault — is not uncommon, Maine State Prison guard Captain David Cutler, 54, of Appleton, is apparently the only officer at the prison since 2005 to be charged with assaulting an inmate — and only the second in at least 20 years.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 07, 2013


Ponte’s prison reforms ramp up

Two Years Later
Several weeks after firing Maine State Prison warden Patricia Barnhart and two years after taking over the Department of Corrections, Commissioner Joseph Ponte appears determined to continue — and ramp up — his forceful program of reform.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 06, 2013


Why the prison warden got fired

Getting Answers
Corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte told the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee on January 16 that, because of state personnel law, he couldn't publicly say — until severance negotiations are finished — why he had fired, six days earlier, Maine State Prison warden Patricia Barnhart. She has said she can't say why, either.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 23, 2013


Occupy takes the lead to energize lawmakers

Aggressive Progressives
"If they keep grinding the common man into the ground, they'll be nothing left of us," said Bob Guethlen, from the wilds of Tomhegan Township on Moosehead Lake.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 16, 2013

Brown, ailing, to return soon

Whistleblower Update  
Prisoner Deane Brown should be back in Maine within two to three weeks, the Maine Department of Corrections notified his attorney on January 4.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 09, 2013


A shot at progressive reform

But will the Dems seize the day?
With their sizeable majorities, the Democrats' reconquest of the Maine House and Senate could lead to a rebirth of progressive politics in the state — to reforms in health care, taxes, social services, and other issues.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 31, 2012

Prison whistleblower to return to Maine

Maine corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte has notified Deane Brown, the inmate whistleblower who in 2005 was the original source for the Phoenix 's lengthy series on prison abuse, that he will be allowed to return to Maine.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 26, 2012


Woodward: ‘Transparency’ best in ‘Colbygate’ scandal

College replies: ‘Nothing more’ to say
Referring mischievously to "Colbygate," legendary Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward told Colby College officials at a November 11 speech at the liberal-arts institution to adopt "transparency" in handling the Bob Diamond scandal. In the 1970s, Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story that brought down President Richard Nixon.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 14, 2012


Servants of the rich

That’s our future — unless we change direction
Jeff Faux's new book, The Servant Economy , doesn't exactly bubble with Hope — that politically abused and worn-out word.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  November 07, 2012


Colby students join Diamond protests

‘What Would Lovejoy Do?’
Protests aimed at ousting disgraced banker Bob Diamond as chairman of Colby College's board of trustees have expanded beyond Occupy Augusta activists to include a sizeable contingent of students at the Waterville liberal-arts college.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  October 24, 2012


Understanding the Colby College protests

Occupy philanthropy!
As the first anniversary of Occupy approached, many journalists wrote its obituary, and some called it a failure.
By: LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 26, 2012

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