The Earth's climate is changing, quickly and dangerously. Even when we had a stable climate and semi-regular weather patterns, meteorologists were frequently wrong and often in doubt. Their jobs once involved standing in front of green-screens and looking out windows, with annual contractually obligated live shots in significant wind or snow. With our global weather system on the verge of being catastrophically disrupted, we expect they'll just give up. They're already unable to explain why it rained this afternoon, instead of being sunny like they said it would be this morning. Facing a community to tell them why, instead of a few clouds in the sky, their entire neighborhood was swept away, simply isn't a sustainable profession. No longer able to be generally inaccurate, not given the airtime to explain the detailed science behind weather-prediction models, and (like the rest of us) barely able to comprehend the monumental power of an extremely pissed-off planet, these poor weather-people will flee for the hills in the face of being comically — or catastrophically — wrong.


With the goal of spurring conversations about sexuality, gender, and health care, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will open a 1650-square-foot gallery space above its Congress Street clinic in 2013. Under the stewardship of volunteer curator Mariah Bergeron, the space will host everything from visual-art installations and film screenings to workshops and music shows — all treating, however tangentially, topics relating to sexual health — such as body image, recovery from sexual trauma, disease, sex-positivity, and consent. The PPNNE gallery will offer "a different kind of connection to a healthcare facility," Bergeron says, and we agree that this new downtown space will be an innovative venue, marrying creativity with social awareness.



When US Senator Angus King is sworn in on January 2, his plan to calm the disturbed waters of Congress will begin to take effect. His peaceful, friendly visage and manner will radiate throughout the halls of the US Capitol — and beyond, unto Washington and all the land — bringing harmony and concord where we were so recently a people riven asunder by all manner of disagreements and offenses. Or, the gridlock will continue apace, just with a new, amiable, lanky Virginian from Maine taking the place of a nice Greek lady, still striving to unstick the country from its mire.


Maine is already a national leader in voting rights — allowing same-day registration, absentee balloting without an excuse, and even letting inmates and people with criminal records vote. But we can do even better, and we're poised to. Departing Secretary of State Charlie Summers appointed an officiously named Commission to Study the Conduct of Elections in Maine back in May, because he and his Republican cohorts apparently believed there was some sort of huge problem with voting fraud in Maine. (Spoiler alert: There's not, and never was.) The group has heard public hearings all over the state, and the vast majority of the commentary has been two-fold: 1) there's no problem with the existing laws, and 2) if we're going to change things in any way, it should be to expand access to the ballot box, not contract it.

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