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July 03, 2008

Still don't get how bad Bush is?

In case you answered the above question "Yes," there's an event (two, actually - or one, twice - or something) I'd like to tell you about. The "Bush Legacy Tour" is in Maine for the next couple of days. It's a biodiesel-powered bus operated by Americans United for Change (a 501(c)4 tax-exempt non-profit issue-lobbying organization largely funded by organized labor and based in Washington DC), with onboard exhibits to draw attention to, well, Bush's legacy.

"This is not a personal think about Bush," says Jeremy Funk, AUFC's main press guy. "It's about the failed conservative policies that he represents."

The exhibits, which are also available online, address various aspects of Bush's policies, including economic problems, the Iraq war, and education.

One exhibit, for example, includes a discussion of the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, with the context of conservatives' attitude that government is the problem and should be small. Given that sentiment, when faced with a major disaster, "is it any wonderthat they just didn't know what to do?" Funk asks.

The overall goal, he says, is "to drive a stake in conservative ideology as a governing philosophy once and for all." It's coming to Maine to draw attention to the close ties our US senators have to the Bush administration (hey, don't forget about the close ties one of our US reps has, too!).

It was in Brewer this morning, and will be there again tomorrow, at the Eastern Maine Labor Council's July Fourth celebration at 20 Ivers Street.

Then it'll come down to Portland, and will be in town from 10 am to 12:30 pm. There is no fixed location for it to be, and it will likely be stopping at the TV stations and perhaps the office of the Portland Press Herald (if anyone's actually there), so journalists can see it and perhaps write or tape stories about it, Funk says. (Yes, this is different from the schedule on the bus's Web site. Plans have changed - this is the right info.)

If you want to see the bus or its exhibits, Funk suggests calling Julie Blust, who is traveling on the bus, on her cell phone at 202.340.4744 and arranging a place and time to meet up with it.

by Jeff Inglis | with no comments
July 01, 2008

Eepybird homage - from Weezer?

Okay, so we're a little slow on the latest Weezer news (you'll have to forgive us), but we were just sent a link to this video, which not only references almost every major YouTube hit video, but spends a lot of time honoring the Eepybird folks from the Oddfellow Theater up in Harrison, Maine, whose "Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments" were, of course, quite popular.

Sadly, they've disabled video-embedding, so you'll have to leave us to go see it. It's worth it, though: //

The song title, "Pork and Beans," is referenced in an image in the video that itself references the "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" meme.

by Jeff Inglis | with no comments
July 01, 2008

PPH has Web woes

UPDATE: Just before 11 am, the Tuesday news went live on the Press Herald's site.

For an organization that at least periodically claims to be looking to the Web as a key to the future, the Portland Press Herald is having a pretty rough few days. From Thursday night through Sunday morning, the site was unable to be updated - the best they could do was post stories in a small sidebar column on the site's front page.

That got resolved in time for most readers of Sunday's Web version of the paper, but today, at 10:42 am, yesterday's news (heck, yesterday's DATE) was still on the site. Here's a pic:


There's not even an update that says they're having problems - which suggests the problems are so severe they can't even post such a notice.


by Jeff Inglis | with no comments
June 30, 2008

Yum Yum Yum Yum

DaCapo Press sent over an advance copy of Toni Fiore's first cookbook, Totally Vegetarian, to be published in the fall. Fiore, a Portland resident, is the host of Delicious TV's Totally Vegetarian, which is broadcast on public access channels nationwide. Many of the recipes sound absolutely delicious -- Greek Stuffed Cabbage, Kasha Crunch Burgers, and Pumpkin-Bulgur Chili, for example. Here's my goal: Try at least one recipe per week, and report back to you readers, complete with food-porn photos and perhaps even the reviews of some outside taste-testers.

[Cross-posted at Word Up/About Town.]

by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 26, 2008

The Swift-Boating of Herb?

The Maine Democratic Party still hasn't decided whether or not it will appeal the Secretary of State's decision to allow Independent US senate candidate Herb Hoffman's name to remain on the November ballot, according to spokeswoman Rebecca Pollard.

Reached by phone today, Hoffman -- who says he is "not a single-issue candidate, or even a two-issue candidate" -- expressed his doubt that an appeal would be successful. Hoffman claims that members of the Democratic state committee "do not want my name on the ballot. They percieve me to be a significant candidate with a potentially significant following...i’m very appreciative that they see me that way...My candidacy represents a positive candidacy in the sense that it offers an alternative to voting against one candidate for another." His friends, apparently, liken the Democratic Party's complaint -- which includes charges of forgery on Hoffman's petitions -- to the 2004 swift-boat smears.

Some Democratic party members and supporters of Tom Allen's campaign have been candid about their desire for Hoffman not to run. They cite the potentially close race between Allen and incumbent Republican senator Susan Collins; they're worried that Hoffman will siphon votes away from Allen's liberal base.  



by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 25, 2008

My priority amid the day's activities

Was food. So I stopped by the Local Sprouts open house suggested by Deirdre yesterday afternoon. Had some "bliss salad" - carrots, mesclun, beets, maple vinaigrette, and some other sliced/diced veggies - and some steamed kale with garlic, roasted chicken with a maple-herb glaze, and potatoes with arugula pesto. It was all very fresh, simple, and elegant.

If those are any indication of what they'll be cooking up when their Community-Supported Kitchen gets going July 16, sign me up! The open house is almost over, but if they've still got food, something tells me they'll stay open a bit later.

Also, the strawberries at Uncle's stand at the farmers' market are really sweet!

by Jeff Inglis | with no comments
June 24, 2008

Eaters, Activists, Bikers, and Environmentalists: Tomorrow's Your Day

What isn't happening tomorrow?

-- From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the Local Sprouts Community Kitchen will host an open house in its new Public Market House digs.  

-- At 2 p.m., outside of the Kennebunk Water District office, a coalition of water-rights activists will hold a rally and press conference to protest the proposed Nestle contract there.

-- Portland's new (and so-far, successful) White Bikes collective will hold a "next-steps" meeting from 5:30-6:45 at the Dwell Creative office on Fore Street.  

-- The Joint Use Planning Committee that's come under fire for its handling of the Sears Island issue will hold a public meeting at the Hutchinson Center Auditorium in Belfast at 7 p.m.

The truly industrius could conceivably attend all of these...But we'd recommend prioritizing.

by Deirdre Fulton | with 1 comment(s)
June 24, 2008

I'm just "hardwired" to like vacuuming!

Gosh, Kathleen Parker's op-ed in today's PPH [I can't find it on their website, so I'm linking to the syndicated column from another paper] really set me straight. I'm totally just going to chill out about all this gender-equality bullshit. Us women should stop trying to explore gender-equity issues and point out lingering lopsidedness -- it's so tiresome. 

"Sometimes things just are what they are," she reminds us. "And wishful theory is no match for nature's stubborn ambition."

Or for the conservative media machine that paints feminists as overly analytical harpies and would prefer us to just hush up and go burn our bras elsewhere.

PS -- If you think I'm overreacting, check out this anti-feminist vitriol and see if your feathers don't get ruffled too. 

PPS -- Please, no one buy her book.  

by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 23, 2008

Port Veritas set to release its first poetry anthology

The local creative group Port Veritas will release its first poetry anthology (which it hopes will come out quarterly) on the Fourth of July at the North Star.  

From the press release:


"Safe Harbor is a quarterly collection of contemporary poetry, short stories and essays. This first installment is comprised of writers and artists who have appeared on the stage of the Port Veritas Spoken Word Series over the past five years. Poets included have read and been published from Maine to California.

The writers include local poets Jay Davis, Marita O’Neil, Nathan Amadon, Wil Gibson, Gil Helmick, Dan Olney, Sean A.K.A Guala, Wil Antony. Also included are the series founder K Peddlar Bridges and local High School poets Jake Wartell and Lila Kole.

This book also features nationally renowned poets Patricia Smith and Jack McCarthy."      


by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 20, 2008

Gay Pride Events 2008

I was remiss, when I wrote this week about today's Dyke March and after-party, in not mentioning all the great Southern Maine Pride 2008 events taking place on Saturday.

-- The parade starts at noon on Congress Street, and will make its way down to a festival in Deering Oaks Park

-- Said festival -- with music, food, etc. -- will go from 1-5 p.m.

-- Followed by the annual Pier Dance, at the Maine State Pier, from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. 

Happy Pride! 

by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 19, 2008

CCL Realizes No One Likes Them!

It was with a smirk, and a bit of schadenfreude, that we read this email from Mike Hein today:

"Dear YES for Marriage Volunteers and Supporters,

It is with a heavy heart and reluctance that I inform you the YES for Marriage referendum effort has been canceled.  The reasons are as simple as this: neither enough funds nor enough volunteer support to continue the effort.

I can only ask for your understanding and forgiveness while we finalize the process of terminating this effort.

All outstanding partially completed petitions can be turned into the League office at 70 Sewall Street, Augusta, ME 04330 without notarization or verification.  Blank petitions can be destroyed at your location without incurring the expense of returning them to our office.

Thank you for helping the YES for Marriage effort.


Mike Hein, Administrator
Christian Civic League of Maine"

With Portland's Dyke March scheduled for tomorrow, we don't think the timing could be more perfect.

by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 18, 2008

Practical Global Warming Solutions

In front of a youngish crowd dressed as lobsters, Environment Maine and several public officials (including city councilors Jim Cohen and Nick Mavodones, and David Littell, the state's environmental commissioner) touted a new report this morning, full of practical ways to curb global warming. The report, "Global Warming Solutions That Work: Cutting-Edge Efforts to Curb Global Warming Pollution and the Lessons They Hold for America," includes case studies of successful strategies worldwide, such as transit-oriented development in Arlington, Virginia; pro-bike programs in Portland, Oregon; development of the renewable-energy industry in Spain; and widespread implementation of solar water heaters in Israel. The report is more than a pro-environment screed -- it's a road map for states and municipalities who want to get greener. 

by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 17, 2008

Second installment of Portland on Design*Sponge is up

Find it here.  

Included in this round are:

Patrick Corrigan

Lauren Fensterstock (A 2008 Portland Best winner!

Colin Sullivan-Stevens and Friederike Hamann (of Field)

Joe Kievitt

Anna Hepler

Congrats, everyone! 

by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
June 17, 2008

Government secrecy is fine with the Maine Supreme Court

Today, the Maine Supreme Court handed down a split decision in a case I've written about before (see "Government Secrecy is Fine with Maine's Attorney General," October 10, 2007), handing a victory to Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe - who kept himself conspicuously absent from the case.

Apparently, according to the three justices who voted in the majority in the 3-2 decision (not sure where the other two justices were), when Rowe wrote a formal letter on state letterhead asking three prominent Maine legal scholars to review the conduct of his office's investigation into a crime and report back to him, "in order to ensure continued public confidence" in his office, he created a review body outside the law that is not subject to the state's Freedom of Access Act.

We know we can look for more government officials at the state, county, and municipal levels to outsource their governmental functions to secret tribunals in this manner. And, we hope we can look for legislators to fix this horrific abrogation of the public's right to know.



by Jeff Inglis | with no comments
June 16, 2008

New Maine Transportation Website

New site, created to call out "projects that obviously were not vetted by the Maine Sensible Transportation Act...[which was] created to keep MDOT from completely paving over Maine, after Mainers were worn down and relented to allow the widening of Rt 95 south of Portland," according to an email sent out by webmaster Tim Sullivan.  

by Deirdre Fulton | with no comments
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