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Solitary confinement: bad for chimps, okay for humans?
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins is a key cosponsor of legislation that, among other provisions, would outlaw psychologically damaging solitary confinement for more than 500 chimpanzees caged for research in federally supported laboratories.
| August 22, 2012
Banking scandal taints Colby board chairman
Colby College's public problems in recent years have mostly involved lowly students engaged in fighting, drinking, and sex abuse. But now the college has been hit by a big scandal at the very top.
| July 11, 2012
Maine a model for solitary-confinement reform
In the first-ever congressional hearing June 19 on the widespread use of solitary confinement in America's prisons, Senator Richard Durbin spoke favorably of the Maine prison system's substantial reduction of inmate isolation as he pressed the federal prisons chief to re-examine that agency's use of it.
| July 03, 2012
Democrats wring their hands
State Convention Watch
Interviewed separately at the Democratic State Convention, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud gave identical responses to the question of what would it take for the Democrats to triumph in November.
| June 06, 2012
Lawmakers mostly stand up against environmental assault
‘Holding the line’
Republican state Senator Thomas Saviello, at one point widely considered a foe of Maine's environment, may have just saved it. At the least, he was a leader in saving a good part of it.
| May 23, 2012
‘30,000 drones’ over America and other stories
"You are now being watched by 30,000 drones," Second District congressional primary candidate Blaine Richardson dramatically told the 3000 people assembled at the Republican State Convention in Augusta on May 5.
| May 09, 2012
What’s driving the East-West Highway?
Taxpayer dollars, secrecy, and private interests
Eminent domain! The government's ability to seize land for a public purpose strikes terror into the hearts of many landowners.
| May 02, 2012
GOP legislators stick with ALEC
Faced with a campaign asking him and seven other Republican legislators to quit the controversial conservative lobbyist-legislator coalition ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — House assistant majority leader Andre Cushing, of Hampden, says: "If they can give me a reason why this is harmful to the state, I'll consider it."
| April 25, 2012
Mainstream progressives get Occupied
The 99 Percent Spring begins
"We are the 99 percent!" reverberates in the basement of the Portland Public Library on a Saturday morning. Ninety radicals — well, maybe damn strong liberals — are plotting to take over the government — well, in any case, to harass the one percent.
| April 18, 2012
Politicos like the East-West highway; how about the public?
Peter Vigue, CEO of Maine's big construction company Cianbro, has recently been successful in promoting to the state's politicians his plan for a 220-mile, limited-access, privately owned toll highway bisecting Maine from New Brunswick to Quebec.
| April 18, 2012
Progressives rally against rushed GOP agenda
As the rush to late-April legislative adjournment begins, much is at stake for people who want to help the needy (or are needy), or value a fair tax system, or treasure Maine's unspoiled woods and shores, or want government to be run openly — in short, for many people who these days are often called progressives.
| April 04, 2012
Occupier fined for trespass
Blaine House 9
In a stiff sentence for an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, a judge on March 23 slapped a $400 fine plus $90 in court costs on the first of the "Blaine House 9" to go on trial. Diane Messer, 59, of Liberty, had been convicted of criminal trespass by a Kennebec County Superior Court jury in Augusta.
| March 28, 2012
Angus for real
In an interview, the ex-governor and independent Senate candidate explains his political views as expressed in his Bowdoin blogs
Barring an act of God, utter stupidity, or an unexpected explosion of well-financed excellence from one of the second-stringers who will prevail in Maine's Democratic and Republican United States Senate primaries, Angus S. King Jr. will be the state's next US senator.
| March 21, 2012
Big protests are planned. So is suppression.
Get ready for the protests. Get ready for the warm American spring — and maybe a hot summer and fall.
| March 14, 2012
99% vs. 1% — on the left
A February 29 protest in Augusta against the power of corporate lobbyists exposed the fundamental division on the lefty side of Maine politics.
| March 07, 2012
Maine's donkey party loves the rich and the poor — but can't protect both
In the current legislative fight over Republican Governor Paul LePage's lust to slash Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) programs because of a $221-million shortfall in its budget, Democrats say over and over that they want to protect the poor, sick, and disabled people from whom the governor wants to withdraw state assistance.
| February 15, 2012
Gangs study killed
On February 9 the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, which had already informally decided against LD 1707, the bill that would have created severe penalties for people associated with criminal street gangs, killed a substitute proposal for a study to be done on how to define gangs and how to have police share information on them.
| February 15, 2012
Anti-gang bill dumped
State House Switcheroo
After a January 27 public hearing featuring a rare insinuation by one legislator that a fellow lawmaker lied, Criminal Justice Committee members were ready to throw out LD 1707, a bill that piles heavy sentences onto people convicted of involvement with criminal street gangs.
| February 01, 2012
Gang-buster bill gets dissed
Tattoos As A Criminal Act
A controversial legislative proposal developed by a secretive police group would send an individual to prison for up to 40 years if he or she is convicted of asking someone to join a criminal street gang.
| January 25, 2012
Chomsky to Occupy: move to the next stage
Words from the guru
Noam Chomsky has advice for the Occupy movement, whose encampments all over the country are being swept away by police.
| December 23, 2011
Privatized prison medical care is sick
But will cutting costs cure it? Joe Ponte's balancing act
For years complaints that the privatized medical care at the state's prisons was inadequate and abusive have poured into the mail and email boxes of prisoner advocates, the state's Corrections commissioner, and the press.
| December 14, 2011
The Current Issue
Table of Contents
Where To Follow Me
| March 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Mo Takes His Turn
March 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM
[Q&A] KMFDM's Sascha Konietzko on art, Columbine and having balls
On The Download
| March 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM
See this film series: The Belmont World Film Series @ Studio Cinema in Belmont
Outside The Frame
| March 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM
See this film: This is Spinal Tap [with post-film talk by expert from Acoustical Society of America] @ the Coolidge
March 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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