Articles by David Farmer

 
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

From wind power to the east-west highway, why won’t Maine say ‘yes’ to anything?

on Aug. 28, 2013, at 9:44 a.m.
Sometimes, when I’m talking to my son, I become aware of my own voice and the words coming out of my mouth. I don’t always like the sound. It’s bitter to the ear. Too often, the sound I hear when I talk to him is “no.” Elias, my only son …
DAVID FARMER (blog)

A columnist’s conundrum: Why my blog is going on hiatus

on Aug. 21, 2013, at 12:20 p.m.
As some of you might know, I’ve been volunteering for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s campaign for governor. He formally announced he is running last week. Come Sept. 1, I’ll be officially joining the campaign as a senior adviser. The new job creates a conundrum for the newspaper, the candidate and …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Going to college — again

on Aug. 14, 2013, at 9:55 a.m.
This year will be my 20th college reunion. I almost didn’t go – to college, that is — in the first place. I can’t imagine how my life might have been different. I suspect it would have changed everything. In high school, I started working as soon as I got a …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Save the surplus party balloons for now

on Aug. 07, 2013, at 9:43 a.m.
Given the choice of a deficit or a surplus, it’s much better for the state to finish the fiscal year with a surplus. But we shouldn’t blow up the party balloons or start spending the cash too fast. The state finished the fiscal year, which ended June 30, with a …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Unnecessary student recruitment fight drags soldiers into controversy

on July 24, 2013, at 9:58 a.m.
In fewer than 70 words, a legislative molehill has turned into a political tempest. That’s what has happened with LD 1503, “An Act to Ensure Student Access to Postsecondary Military Options.” The little bill, which would have little practical impact on schools, students and military recruiters, has created a firestorm, …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Cities like Portland offer chance to move in and move up

on July 17, 2013, at 10 a.m.
Earlier this week, the Portland City Council passed a new ordinance that forbids loitering in the medians of the city’s streets. The new restriction, while impacting anyone and any activity, was put into place specifically to target panhandling. Portland has a large homeless population, especially for a city its size, …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

The cost of low wages is paid over and over

on July 10, 2013, at 10:46 a.m.
If a person works eight hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, he or she should earn enough money to afford the basics. Today, in Maine and most of the United States, it’s not even close. For a single mother or father with one child, the …
DAVID FARMER (blog)

Striking down of DOMA a victory for millions and a new hope for millions more

on July 03, 2013, at 11:16 a.m.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the absurdly named Defense of Marriage Act last week, the lives of thousands of families in Maine instantly got better. Throughout New England, in New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Iowa, D.C., Delaware, Washington and, especially perhaps, in California thousands of loving, committed couples heard …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Caricature and the GOP theater of the absurd

on June 26, 2013, at 8:03 a.m.
Caricature makes compromise impossible. Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wrote an OpEd that appeared in the Washington publication Politico that, in his mind, describes Democrats. “Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Media blackout likely to backfire for LePage

on June 19, 2013, at 9:45 a.m.
I’ve been mad at reporters before. I’m mad at a couple right now. I’ve been mad at one or two for several years. But you can’t just stop talking to them, not if you live and work in the public eye. And certainly not if you’re the governor of the …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Stand firm, pass this imperfect budget

on June 12, 2013, at 8:53 a.m.
Somehow, through a bitter legislative session that has seen an unprecedented level of partisan attacks, the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee shows that government can work, even during a time of divided government. The process isn’t pretty. But somehow, through the smoke and heat of a long session, Democrats …
From the community

Mamma Baldacci’s spaghetti dinner to benefit Lewiston Fire Relief Fund

By David Farmer on June 06, 2013, at 2:55 p.m.
Former Gov. John Baldacci and the United Way of Androscoggin County will hold a spaghetti dinner at Lewiston High School to raise money for the Lewiston Fire Relief Fund. The dinner will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., June 12, at the school, which is located at 156 …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

With one hand LePage gives, the other he takes

on June 05, 2013, at 9:32 a.m.
Maine has failed many of its residents. We’ve cut teachers from schools with children who need them. We’ve cut back on health care when people are sick. And we’ve made impossible choices to balance state and local budgets during times of recession and hardship. Today, things are a little different. …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Some Republicans begin to consider taxes to close budget gap

on May 29, 2013, at 9:34 a.m.
The Legislature’s Taxation Committee has made a series of recommendations to help balance the state’s budget. The specifics range from a temporary increase in the sales tax, to a delay in tax cuts that were passed in 2011 but never paid for, to an overarching tax reform package proposed by …
DAVID FARMER (blog)

Dawn Hill, Troy Jackson stand up for what’s right

on May 22, 2013, at 9:49 a.m.
On Sunday, during an emergency meeting of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, Sen. Dawn Hill, D-York, did something that’s very hard. She stood up to the governor of the state, in full public view, with the cameras rolling. She held her ground, and she did the right thing, …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

GOP loses policy argument on Medicaid expansion, focuses instead on process

on May 15, 2013, at 9:46 a.m.
Right now, Maine’s hospitals and Republicans in the Legislature have hitched their rhetorical wagon to a process argument. Democrats are moving forward with a plan to pass legislation that includes a massive payout to Maine’s hospitals coupled with a plan, paid for by the federal government, to expand access to …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

‘Junk food’ bill tries to shame the poor

on May 08, 2013, at 9:44 a.m.
Ravaged by brain cancer, unable to work and living in his dead mother’s house that was falling down around him, my uncle needed help to put food on the table, to pay his bills, to get by. My mother, herself in the beginning stages of dementia, provided what support she …
DAVID FARMER (blog)
David Farmer

Lawmakers should expand Medicaid, improve lives

on May 01, 2013, at 9:45 a.m.
Tuesday was a frustrating day. For the second straight day my email wasn’t working right. The calendar on my computer started going crazy. I found a stack of bills in a new, secret hiding place on the desk. I forgot my lunch. It was just one of those days. Then …
DAVID FARMER (blog)

Blue Ribbon Commission can’t undo damage of LePage’s actions

on April 24, 2013, at 10:31 a.m.
On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Paul LePage announced the co-chairs of his Blue Ribbon Commission on Maine’s unemployment compensation system. He picked two men who have unimpeachable credentials: George Jabar, an attorney in Waterville and a Kennebec County commissioner, and Daniel Wathen, a former justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. …
DAVID FARMER (blog)

Redemption for the man in a cowboy hat

on April 17, 2013, at 10:07 a.m.
Redemption. The word keeps running through my mind as I try to digest the terror of the attack in Boston. It’s a powerful word that can mean a lot of different things – to seek atonement, or, in a religious context, salvation. It can mean the payment of an obligation, …
 
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