Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond (L) speaks with Historic Scotland employee Douglas Wilson during a visit to Arbroath Abbey, in Arbroath, Scotland August 18, 2014.

Why Maine, and the rest of the US, should care about Scottish independence

By Darren J. Reid on Aug. 22, 2014, at 8:21 a.m.
Last weekend I attended the St. Andrew’s Society of Maine’s 36th annual Maine Highland Games in Topsham. As a Scot who lives and works in Maine, I was impressed — although not surprised — with the number of people, from across the United States, who turned out for a day …
Bill Davis of Brewer, professor emeritus of education at the University of Maine.

My battle with depression — a disease too many suffer in silence

By Bill Davis on Aug. 22, 2014, at 7:16 a.m.
The suicide of comedic genius Robin Williams has sent shockwaves throughout our nation. The print news, television and social media all have had a field day dissecting and analyzing the reasons why Williams committed suicide. Almost all of these reports included statements that Williams suffered from chronic, clinical depression. The …

Brunswick train tension begs the question: Where’s the market for service north of Portland?

By George C. Betke Jr. on Aug. 21, 2014, at 12:22 p.m.
Press reports and related comments on the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority’s plan to construct a 60,000-square-foot maintenance and layover facility adjacent to a Brunswick neighborhood generally have portrayed the situation as a love-hate battle between visionary train enthusiasts and narrow-minded, self-centered, obstructionist abutters. No attention has been paid …
Even as the economy expands and adds jobs four years into the nation's recovery, the explosive growth of food stamps remains a lingering legacy of the recession. The House on Thursday sought to reduce the federal spending level, voting to cut $39 billion over the next decade.

Food stamps’ $80 billion secret spending program

By James Greiff, Bloomberg on Aug. 21, 2014, at 12:05 p.m.
Imagine a government program that has exploded in size, is the subject of bitter partisan haggling and spends almost $80 billion a year in secret. No, not the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security, which all spend less (as far as anyone call …
A caisson carries the casket of U.S. Army Major General Harold J. Greene before a full military honors burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, August 14, 2014.

A general’s farewell

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on Aug. 21, 2014, at 8:25 a.m.
I’ve observed many funerals over the last decade in Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60, where war dead from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. Last week I went for what, God willing, was the last. It was the burial of Harold Greene, shot to death in Afghanistan Aug. 5, the first …
RED207 (blog)

Is Angus’ endorsement a king’s ransom or fool’s gold?

on Aug. 21, 2014, at 8:02 a.m.
The worst-kept secret of Maine politics is finally out of the bag, as independent U.S. Sen. Angus King waded into the Maine gubernatorial race, endorsing his friend and fellow independent Eliot Cutler. The fact that virtually everybody knew this was coming — not only did King endorse Cutler in 2010, …
The breach of the large pond holding waste matter from the mine spilled some 10 million cubic meters of water and 4.5 million cubic meters of fine sand into Polley Lake in central British Columbia.

Canadian mine disaster offers Maine a lesson: Strong regulations, enforcement are critical

By Nick Bennett on Aug. 20, 2014, at 3:42 p.m.
This year, the Maine Legislature rejected weak regulations that would have allowed mining companies to pollute our waters and shift massive cleanup costs to Maine taxpayers. A recent mine disaster in Canada shows that lawmakers made the right decision. The disaster occurred when the tailings dam collapsed at the Mt. …

I hunt, and I don’t think ending bear baiting will hurt Maine hunting traditions

By Rusty Smith on Aug. 20, 2014, at 12:28 p.m.
As a child, I remember being thrilled by the story of Daniel Boone shooting his first bear at the age of 3 while hunting with his father. Papa Boone then proudly carved an account of the feat in a nearby tree. “Dan’l Boone kilt Bar.” Sadly, a bear hunter in …
A water sprinkler is pictured at a golf course near San Jose, California July 22, 2014. A Northern California water provider is considering hiring investigators dubbed “water cops” to investigate reports of water-wasting, one of several ways public utilities and local municipalities are preparing to help enforce new water conservation rules expected to go into effect next month amid ongoing drought. 

California drought to hit Americans in the palate

By Megan McArdle, Bloomberg News on Aug. 20, 2014, at 12:21 p.m.
California is suffering an epic drought. It’s not the worst drought the state has ever had, but it’s certainly the worst drought the state has ever had while housing tens of millions of residents and containing a significant fraction of U.S. agricultural production. And there’s some suggestion that this may …
Demonstrators in Searsport protest a plan to build a large propane storage tank in town in 2011.

While papermaking flounders, Maine can’t afford to oppose foreign investment

By Charles Hastings on Aug. 20, 2014, at 11:37 a.m.
In Maine, we’ve always had the paper mills. And for the better part of the past century, that is all we’ve needed. But having seen the past few years of bad news for Maine’s paper industry, more specifically the closure of the Millinocket and East Millinocket mills as well as …
Christy Daggett is a policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy.

Maine props up ‘two Americas’ with no Medicaid expansion

By Christy Daggett on Aug. 19, 2014, at 3:27 p.m.
The Affordable Care Act, as originally passed, holds tremendous promise to decrease health care costs and increase insurance coverage rates across rural states like Maine. But federal court opinions and repeated vetoes of Medicaid expansion are putting all that into jeopardy. Already, data is pointing to widening disparities between the …

Penobscot Nation suing Maine to fight for namesake river

By Mark Chavaree on Aug. 19, 2014, at 2:55 p.m.
The Penobscot Nation is an Indian tribe that has occupied and cared for the Penobscot River since time immemorial. Our principal community and the seat of our government, Panawanskek, is situated in the river about 10 miles north of Bangor and is known also as Indian Island. The name of …
Kim Corriveau reads to her granddaughter, Lucy Nicols, at the Bangor Public Library in June.

Summer reading for Maine’s children is essential — and it should be mandatory

By Jonathan Shenkin on Aug. 19, 2014, at 1:05 p.m.
As a pediatric dentist practicing in Maine over the last decade I’ve learned a lot about our children. While the oral health of my young patients is the primary purpose for visits to my office, their overall health, safety and well-being is also of the utmost importance. That’s what motivated …

Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie

By Catherine Rampell,  The Washington Post on Aug. 19, 2014, at 8:14 a.m.
Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling. Yes, that swan-necked, thigh-gapped beauty has had a makeover and yet another career change. As of …

What’s in that weed? Maine patients deserve lab-tested products

on Aug. 18, 2014, at 4:09 p.m.
Maine’s Medical Marijuana Program was recently scored as the best program in the country in terms of patient access, regulation, and oversight by the national group Americans for Safe Access ( We certainly have come a long way in Maine to provide access to this safe and crucial medicine for …

Plan for a landfill in Argyle Township is the result of ‘tyranny of the majority’

By Steve Coghlan on Aug. 18, 2014, at 1:27 p.m.
The Municipal Review Committee recently revealed a plan to build a new dump in Argyle Township or Greenbush. The Municipal Review Committee does not possess the legal authority to build or own a new landfill, has provided insufficient evidence for the need to expand capacity (this has already been refuted …
Rep. Stacey Guerin, R-Glenburn, represents Glenburn, Kenduskeag, Levant and part of Corinth in the Maine Legislature.

Paul LePage is the sportsman’s (and woman’s) governor

By Stacey Guerin on Aug. 18, 2014, at 11:32 a.m.
As a lifelong Mainer, nature lover, and the mother of five sons who love the outdoors, I am as committed to preserving Maine’s environment and hunting traditions as it gets. We are so blessed to live in a state whose natural beauty and vast wilderness serve not only as a …
Joy Thomas, 76, left, and her son Kevin Thomas, 48, pictured Feb. 2, 2012, in Rocklin, California, were hounded by debt collectors over the past year.

Old debts, bad collectors and knowing your rights

By Megan McArdle, Bloomberg News on Aug. 18, 2014, at 10:43 a.m.
If you only read one thing this past weekend, it should have been a book excerpt, “Paper Boys,” by Jake Halpern, in the New York Times Magazine. It describes the colorful, seamy, more-than-borderline-dishonest world of firms that collect old debts. As the industry has been described to me, there’s a …
Paramilitary policemen stand guard during a ceremony to award those who the authorities say participated in "the crackdown of violence and terrorists activities" in Hotan, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region August 3, 2014.

“China’s Chechnya”: Terrorism in Xijiang

By Gwynne Dyer on Aug. 18, 2014, at 8:08 a.m.
It’s not really “China’s Chechnya” yet, but the insurgency in Xinjiang is growing fast. Incidents of anti-Chinese violence are getting bigger and much more frequent. Since March, 176 people have been killed in six separate attacks on Chinese police and government officials, local collaborators and ordinary Chinese residents of Xinjiang …

Why Aroostook County needs Eliot Cutler as governor

By Ray Gauvin on Aug. 17, 2014, at 11 a.m.
I have lived in Aroostook County most of my life. My wife and I raised our family here because of the honest, hard-working people, the beauty and the safety. We’re very concerned about the economy of northern Maine. The facts about Aroostook County speak for themselves: — Our workforce population …
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