From left, Lance Bradshaw and Jake McGuire unload the lobster they caught on Aug. 15 at the Stonington Lobster Co-op dock. Bradshaw recently dropped out of the University of Maine during his first year with hopes of becoming an engineer. Bradshaw says he left because of the cost of school and feeling like he didn't fit in.

Student immaturity, over-protective parents are big reasons for the high college drop-out rate

By Bruce Pratt on Sept. 01, 2014, at 2:10 p.m.
The August 23-24 edition of the BDN contained two provocative articles by Nell Gluckman regarding student retention rates in the University of Maine System. Public university students fail to graduate for many reasons, including among others a lack of good guidance, changes in their economic fortunes and a perception that …
A protesters holds a sign calling for a thorough investigation of the shooting death of teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on a street in front of the White House in Washington, Aug. 28, 2014.

Nation of privilege is undermining the rule of law

By Noah Smith, Bloomberg News on Sept. 01, 2014, at 10:18 a.m.
These days, the word “privilege” has been reduced to a trite buzzword. That’s a shame, because it used to mean more than just being born into advantageous circumstances. The word, which means “private law” in old French, originally referred to a system in which different groups of people had different …

Why the Ice Bucket Challenge worked so well

By Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg News on Sept. 01, 2014, at 8:59 a.m.
There’s a pretty simple explanation for why the Ice Bucket Challenge became this summer’s most successful social-network meme and raised such an extreme amount of money for the ALS Association, which battles Lou Gehrig’s disease: It created a safe environment in which people could display their altruism. The exhibitionist nature …
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the all-Russian youth forum Seliger held in Tver region, August 29, 2014.

Ukraine: A game of chicken

By Gwynne Dyer on Sept. 01, 2014, at 7:37 a.m.
It is quite possible for soldiers to cross a frontier “by accident on an unmarked section,” and that is how Moscow explains the capture of a group of Russian paratroopers on Ukrainian territory last weekend. Poor lambs, they just wandered across the border by mistake. When they get home, they’ll …
Tim Hortons employees prepare coffee before the company's annual general meeting in Toronto.

Lower corporate tax rates. Now.

By Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post on Aug. 31, 2014, at 6:19 p.m.
The Obama administration is highly exercised about “inversion,” the practice by which an American corporation acquires a foreign company and moves its headquarters out of the U.S. to benefit from lower tax rates abroad. Not fair, says President Barack Obama. It’s taking advantage of an “unpatriotic tax loophole” that hardworking …

Lending Club could be the future of banking

By Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg News on Aug. 31, 2014, at 5:11 p.m.
If you think the Lending Club is Silicon Valley’s answer to banking or the financial world’s Uber, the company’s filing for its planned $500 million initial public offering should help disabuse you of that notion. That said, it might still be the bank of the future. Lending Club’s founder and …

In corporations, it’s owner-take-all

By Harold Meyerson, Special To The Washington Post on Aug. 31, 2014, at 4:49 p.m.
Labor Day — that mocking reminder that this nation once honored workers — is upon us again, posing the nagging question of why the economy ceased to reward work. Was globalization the culprit? Technological change? Anyone seeking a more fundamental answer should pick up the September issue of the Harvard …
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Earl Adams (right) reads a book to Kathryn Griffith's pre-kindergarten class at Downeast Elementary School in Bangor on June 11, 2013.

Investments in early education pay off

By Aaron Frey on Aug. 31, 2014, at 4:37 p.m.
As children get ready to head back to the classroom, let’s remember one of the best ways to help them succeed during their school years and beyond: quality early education. The earliest years of childhood are crucial. It is when the brain is the most active, forming connections and building …

Teachers matter: How Mr. Miskell changed the world

on Aug. 31, 2014, at 12:10 a.m.
One afternoon almost 40 years ago, my ninth grade geometry teacher, Mr. Miskell, stood in front of a chalkboard, paused, and then proceeded to change the world – making it a better place for me, forever. This time of year, around Labor Day, with local schools gearing up for fall, …

I studied engineering, not English, and I still can’t find a job

By Casey Ark, Special To The Washington Post on Aug. 29, 2014, at 9:33 a.m.
When I graduated from Penn State a year ago, I thought I was perfectly prepared to succeed in the business world. I’d worked hard, graduated at the top of my class in computer science and managed to acquire lots of experience with the sorts of industry software that I was …
Claire El-Hajj, 63, and her husband Lonnie El-Hajj, 60, met in 2011 when Lonnie asked Claire about her dogs in a Bangor park.  They are both disabled. Claire has been unable to work because she has multiple sclerosis and Lonnie has to use a wheelchair due to a stroke he suffered in his late 40's. They have to make ends meet on money they receive through Social Security disability insurance.

‘Social Security is not the way to live’: Maine couple talks growing older, living with disability

By Sandy Butler and Luisa Deprez on Aug. 29, 2014, at 6:56 a.m.
Editor’s note: In this monthly series, the authors will introduce you to people who are apt to be your neighbors, are struggling to make ends meet and have been affected by specific state policies. To share your story, email or call 581-2382. Claire and Lonnie El-Hajj feel lucky to …
Andrew MacLean, deputy executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, voices his organization's support for Medicaid expansion at the State House Welcome Center in Augusta on Thursday. MacLean and others urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to compromise on a bill to expand coverage under the Affordable Care Act to roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers.

Expanding Medicaid is good for the economy, health of Maine

By Sara Gagne-Holmes, Special to the BDN on Aug. 28, 2014, at 2:52 p.m.
For many working families in Maine, a job isn’t enough to make ends meet. Between paying for rent, putting food on the table and meeting everyday expenses, there’s no money left for health insurance. As we celebrate Labor Day, it’s a good time to reconsider a critical opportunity Maine has …
RED207 (blog)

It’s time to stand up and fight taxnesia

on Aug. 28, 2014, at 1 p.m.
For the past two years, a curious malady seems to have gripped Maine Democrats. It’s most pronounced in legislators who have served since 2010, but it’s spread to new legislators as well, to varying degrees, and even is appearing in regular Mainers. It’s a form of amnesia – or, perhaps, …

Obama’s wedge issue: When golf may be less a diversion than an obsession

By Charles Lane, The Washington Post on Aug. 28, 2014, at 12:19 p.m.
Nothing infuriates President Barack Obama’s adversaries more than his golf outings, which have become so frequent that even his sympathizers have started to mutter about the unseemly symbolism of a commander in chief who practically lives on the links. In all the uproar, I’ve yet to hear what it is …
President Barack Obama and daughter Malia step out from Air Force One upon their arrival at Joint Base Andrews in Washington in this August 2014 file photo.

Obama faces a back-to-work challenge

By David Ignatius, The Washington Post on Aug. 28, 2014, at 10:43 a.m.
It’s “back to school” week for President Barack Obama, after what a CNN analyst called “the vacation from Hell.” So perhaps it’s a good time to examine what’s been going wrong for Obama recently and whether he can fix it. The common complaint of late is that Obama is “disengaged.” …
A still from "Last Dreams," one of the films being screened at the Camden International Film Festival's "Aging in Maine" screening tour.

My 100 Things

By Jory Squibb on Aug. 27, 2014, at 2 p.m.
I recently attended an all-day workshop sponsored by local health care providers that focused on doing the detailed planning for one’s “end of life.” There were about 40 of us in attendance that sunny Monday morning at the Salvation Army in Rockland. It felt like a Monday morning, too, as …

Upset with parties? Let’s turn to independents

By Jeffrey Tindall on Aug. 27, 2014, at 1:16 p.m.
It’s been a while since we’ve been happy with the officials we elect to serve in Congress. A review of recent survey numbers, while not surprising, should help us reflect and focus on what we should do about them. — Some 7 percent of respondents have a great deal or …
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the World Affairs Council in Portland, Oregon April 8, 2014.

When it comes to GMOs, which side is Hillary Clinton on?

By Katherine Paul on Aug. 27, 2014, at 11:17 a.m.
In her June 25 keynote address to the BIO International Convention in San Diego, Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for genetically engineered crops. She earned a standing ovation by saying that the biotech industry suffers from a public perception problem and that it just needs “a better vocabulary” in order …
The Burger King logo is displayed at the post where the company's stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 26, 2014.

Burger King and the whopper about global taxation

By Megan McArdle, Bloomberg News on Aug. 27, 2014, at 11:02 a.m.
Jacob Levy, an American professor living in Montreal, made a point on Twitter this week that I wish more journalists would take to heart: If you’re writing about inversions, and you don’t prominently mention global taxation in the first few paragraphs, then your article is not serious and anyone with …
RED207 (blog)

Why is Michaud looking for ways to cut veterans’ benefits?

on Aug. 26, 2014, at 12:41 p.m.
Occasionally, Red207 will publish online-only guest posts. The below was submitted by Justin Fecteau of Augusta. We are all well aware of Congressman Michael Michaud’s career-long focus on veterans’ issues. Exactly how much he has accomplished in that realm without getting a single bill passed in Congress remains unclear, but …
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