Students dish up carrots, cucumbers, cornbread and bananas at Longfellow Elementary School in Portland on Sept. 26, 2013.

LePage logic on child hunger veto doesn’t add up

on Feb. 10, 2014, at 2:27 p.m.
Maine lawmakers will soon decide whether to overturn Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill, An Act to Further Reduce Student Hunger, sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland. They should vote to override. The bill is hardly a revolutionary idea. It would require school districts that have educational or …
Ben Sprague, a 2002 Bangor High School graduate and chairman of the Bangor City Council would like to see more people return to the Queen City to work and raise families.

Let’s pursue Bangor City Council Chairman Ben Sprague’s ideas to grow the Queen City

on Feb. 09, 2014, at 11:58 a.m.
It’s a common refrain among politicians: Maine must do more to keep its young people here. They have good reason to keep repeating themselves. Not only do they know families want their beloved children nearby and gainfully employed, they understand a critical mass is necessary to support a thriving economy. …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks to a packed auditorium at John Bapst Memorial High School on Dec. 6, 2013, about domestic violence. Kevin Bennett | BDN

Don’t let LePage’s Medicaid expansion ‘alternative’ fool you

on Feb. 07, 2014, at 12:04 p.m.
Don’t be fooled by a supposed alternative to Medicaid expansion some Republicans, including Gov. Paul LePage, are floating. In a WGAN radio interview last month, the Republican governor said he would support legislation — if it existed — that provides Medicaid coverage to approximately 30,000 Maine adults without children whose …
Harrington Elementary School is located on U.S. Route 1A, a little over one mile west of the intersection with U.S. Route 1.

What schools can learn from Harrington’s sex assault case

on Feb. 06, 2014, at 12:05 p.m.
Parents in Harrington reacted with understandable anger and frustration when they learned an 11-year-old charged with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old was allowed to remain in the same school as his alleged victim. Many kept their children home in protest; they held a long meeting with the superintendent; a school board …
Gov. Paul LePage (center) leaves the House of Representatives chamber after he delivered his 2014 State of the State address at the State House in Augusta on Tuesday evening.

Hollow rhetoric and hypocrisy: Beyond the black and white in LePage’s State of the State

on Feb. 04, 2014, at 10:04 p.m.
When the Maine Legislature last year overrode Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the two-year state budget, the Republican governor appeared dejected and ready to throw in the towel. “I’ve done a lot of turn-arounds, but this is an obstacle,” he said. “That’s like having a massive hole in the bottom …
U.S. director Woody Allen poses during the premiere of his film "Blue Jasmine" in Paris in this August 27, 2013 file photo. State prosecutors in Connecticut do not have an open investigation of Woody Allen, a spokesman said on February 3, 2014, after the filmmaker's adult adopted daughter renewed allegations that he sexually abused her at age 7.

What claims against Woody Allen share with sex assault stories everywhere

on Feb. 04, 2014, at 11:36 a.m.
How can anyone know whether Woody Allen molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow more than 20 years ago, when she was 7, unless he says it’s so? There certainly is no proof in court. He was not prosecuted. There is no physical evidence. There is certainly no conviction. From a …
Dr. Andy Chiou speaks to patient Carl Dolson in a hyperbaric chamber in Peoria, Ill., on Nov. 26, 2013. Patients and doctors across the country are piloting Accountable Care Organizations, a health reform under Obamacare.

‘Repeal and replace’ Obamacare now has some meaning, but why did GOP bother?

on Feb. 03, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.
The constant refrain from the GOP in the last two election cycles was to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Nearly four years after the Affordable Care Act’s passage, three Republican senators — Utah’s Orrin Hatch, North Carolina’s Richard Burr and Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn — have done the most convincing job yet …
In this December 2011 file photo, Gov. Paul LePage high fives a preschool student who attends Caterpillar Clubhouse, which is part of the early childhood education program offered to high school students at Hancock County Technical Center in Ellsworth.

Strengthen bill to expand preschool in Maine

on Feb. 02, 2014, at 11:03 a.m.
Preschool is powerful. Or, at least, it can be. It all depends. It depends on teachers’ qualifications. It depends on how long children attend, what the curriculum is, whether children are getting enough to eat, whether parents are involved, if the teachers get ongoing professional development. Importantly, it also depends …
Gov. Paul LePage

Legislature, LePage can help Maine’s small businesses add jobs

on Jan. 31, 2014, at 11:28 a.m.
Everyone loves small business owners and entrepreneurs. They are creative. As engines of economic growth, they generate jobs. They think up and make products that keep us healthy, informed, entertained and safe. But as much as lawmakers appreciate entrepreneurs and enjoy promoting their work, they have a harder time providing …
Emily Baker of Augusta embraces Glenn Cummings, Good Will-Hinckley's president and executive director, during the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences graduation on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. The graduation was the first for a Maine charter school.

Maine’s charter school process needs chance to work — not be shut down for virtual schools

on Jan. 30, 2014, at 12:59 p.m.
Virtual charter schools have proven an especially contentious flashpoint in Maine’s charter school debate over the past three years. The controversy has erupted even though none of the five charter schools currently open in Maine is a virtual school providing most of its instruction online. If the state’s limited history …
Small bouquets in mason jars lined a table in October, each with the name of people who lost their lives due to domestic violence in Maine in 2013.

Fix loophole: Domestic violence doesn’t always end upon arrest

on Jan. 29, 2014, at 2:53 p.m.
The work continues, as it has for years, to adapt Maine law to better protect victims of domestic violence. Only this legislative session, one bill is tackling a problem that was inadvertently created by previous legislation that changed the way bail is set in some domestic violence cases. The Legislature …
This diagram illustrates the most common air leakage spots in homes.

Make your heating fuel stretch, drop by drop

on Jan. 28, 2014, at 11:18 a.m.
For Maine residents, especially those with low incomes, the odds are high they’ll be cold this winter. Most homes heat with expensive oil, the state’s old housing stock is often drafty and heating assistance programs will run lower on funding as the winter rolls on. It’s a good time to …
Gov. Paul LePage

With hands-off budgeting, LePage isn’t acting like a CEO who wants to keep his job

on Jan. 27, 2014, at 10:18 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage pretty much has it made this winter when it comes to Maine’s untenable budget position. Maine’s budget will — somehow — have to come into balance, and there’s a good chance that will happen without LePage having to make any of the hard decisions or doing any …
A Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. power transmission line crosses the Down East Sunrise Trail in Franklin.

New England energy agreement promising, with implications for Maine’s energy future

on Jan. 26, 2014, at 2:26 p.m.
It started with conversations, then a statement of cooperation. We’re pleased to see the governors of the six New England states have taken their pledge to jointly tackle regional energy issues one step further. With the agreement they made public Thursday, the governors — five Democrats and one Republican — …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks to a packed auditorium at John Bapst Memorial High School on Dec. 6, 2013.

LePage subverts Legislature’s push to prevent smoking

on Jan. 23, 2014, at 1:32 p.m.
The Maine Legislature took a couple strong votes recently to require MaineCare to cover the costs of smoking cessation treatments. On Tuesday the Maine Senate overwhelmingly reversed Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of LD 386, voting 31-4; on Jan. 16 the House did the same, voting 131-10 to override. It’s unusual …
Gov. Paul LePage talks with John Bapst senior Jane Branch during a tour of the school in December before giving a presentation on domestic violence to a packed auditorium. John Bapst senior Noah Potvin (background) also acted as a tour guide.

It’s past time LePage converted rhetoric on welfare into constructive reforms

on Jan. 22, 2014, at 10:03 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage is focusing his energy of late on eradicating welfare fraud. Or at least that’s where he’s directed much of his recent rhetoric. And we think it’s no coincidence the governor is sharpening his welfare rhetoric as the election season looms. With a new legislative session underway, LePage …
Fatuma Hussein, director of United Somali Women of Maine, tells reporters on Friday, January 10, 2014 in Augusta how a proposal by the Department of Health and Human Services to end general assistance to immigrants would devastate the immigrant community.

Proposed general assistance rule for immigrants is discriminatory, economically senseless

on Jan. 21, 2014, at 12:54 p.m.
The Department of Health and Human Services is currently considering changing its rules to prevent state money from funding general assistance for immigrants newly arrived in Maine. The proposal is discriminatory and economically senseless. The rules would make some asylum seekers, some lawful permanent residents, other lawfully present immigrants and …
Rhode Island welfare consultant Gary Alexander (left) and Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew prepare Jan. 14 to answer questions from the Health and Human Services Committee at the Cross Office Building in Augusta.

Alexander Group’s report is a failure. DHHS should demand better

on Jan. 20, 2014, at 12:03 p.m.
What is 130 pages long, costs Maine taxpayers $108,000, offers them a plethora of policy judgments they didn’t need or ask for, is woefully incomplete and will prove of no help at all in settling an important state policy debate? That would be the Medicaid expansion feasibility study assembled by …
Volunteers Eve Faulkingham (left), Saya Breiting-Brown (center) and Amy Faulkingham hand out copies of the "Martin's Big Words" to the first 75 families who attended the Ocean Avenue Elementary School's Martin Luther King Day event on Jan. 21, 2013.

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr: What’s changed, what’s stayed the same

on Jan. 19, 2014, at 11:32 a.m.
There may be no more fitting way to observe the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. than to recall his defining speech, delivered in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963: “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. …
Rhode Island welfare consultant Gary Alexander presents his Medicaid expansion feasibility study on Tuesday to lawmakers on the Health and Human Services Committee, including (from left) Reps. Carol McElwee, R-Caribou, and Ann Dorney, D-Norridgewock, and Sens. James Hamper, R-Oxford, and Colleen Lachowicz, D-Waterville.

Medicaid reruns: When will Maine government learn?

on Jan. 16, 2014, at 12:47 p.m.
On Wednesday, a great number of people again squeezed into a public hearing room in the Cross State Office Building in Augusta to testify on a bill that would expand Medicaid to about 70,000 Maine residents under the Affordable Care Act. The stories and arguments were similar to last year, …
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