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A Bangor man enjoys a cigarette during his smoke break.

Smoking has become a habit of the poor, raising the importance of public health work in Maine

There’s good news about smoking rates in Maine and the U.S. Overall, they have dropped significantly over recent decades. Except among the poor.

Big money doesn’t always lead to big results


Maine should fear being labeled a high tax state. Just look at Connecticut.

This surtax is mainly being paid for by businesses. Nothing has really changed in that respect since last November.
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, written ''ER'' to make the poster read &quotMeaner'' during his press conference on the Senate Republicans' health care bill with Sen. Patty Murray, and Sen. Ron Wyden, in the Capitol on June 22, 2017.

Without changes, Senate health care bill must be rejected

The measure of the Senate bill isn’t whether it is better than the House Republican version. It is whether it is better than the Affordable Care Act it would replace. It fails this test.
Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, (left) speaks with House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, at the State House in Augusta.

No one wins in government shutdown. Let’s not make the same mistake again.

“We are close to making the same mistake that happened 26 years ago and letting the far-reaching effects of a shutdown damage our government and economy.”
Longfellow Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Sarah Rasmussen talks about what moods a poem can set with her class in Portland.

It’s not enough to spend more on education. We must direct money where it’s most needed.

“Simply adding more money to the system will not assure teachers and students benefit. There must be specific strategies in place to assure our teachers who are most directly affecting our students are properly compensated. This must be the priority.”
Senate President Mike Thibodeau, House Speaker Sara Gideon and Gov. Paul LePage.

A state shutdown doesn’t need to happen. We have a reasonable budget on the table.

“As more people throw around the word ‘shutdown,’ keep in mind that this does not have to happen. There is a reasonable deal on the table to increase state aid to school districts, implement significant education reforms and reduce local property taxes — all within existing resources.”
On June 14, 2017, Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill into law to allow a panel to better understand the reasons behind infant deaths in Maine.

Now the important work can begin to cut the number of Maine’s infant deaths

It’s rare to find Gov. Paul LePage, the Maine Legislature and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services all on the same page. But that’s exactly what happened recently when LePage signed a bill into law — supported wholeheartedly by DHHS and lawmakers — to allow a panel to better understand the reasons behind infant deaths in Maine.

Why we will march in Bangor’s pride parade

“We hope many will join us Saturday at the parade and attend the festivities to learn more and to support our LGBTQ friends, family, coworkers and neighbors.”
A sign from the annual Bangor pride parade in June 2016.

Ryan O’Callaghan’s story shines light on cruelty of anti-LGBT laws

Cruel initiatives meant to dehumanize LGBT Americans, to intensify their self doubt and drive them back into the closet, are morally reprehensible — and they can have deadly consequences. They should have no place in America.

This is the one climate solution that’s best for the environment and for business

“President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord has induced a fateful pessimism about what can be expected of the country on this critical issue. Yet our long experience in Washington has taught us that the transition from the inconceivable to the inevitable can sometimes be very rapid.”
House Republicans have refused to compromise on the state budget, pushing the state toward a government shutdown. That's a situation that benefits no one.

House Republicans can’t hold the budget hostage just to overturn a voter-approved law

“If the Legislature does not give the governor a budget shortly, the state government will shut down July 1. A shutdown would represent failure of our government. It benefits absolutely no one, and it will harm many.”

I hope Zinke’s visit showed him the importance of the North Woods monument

“National parks and national monuments become economic engines that improve local and regional business and produce new opportunities for many. Let’s work together to keep our public lands protected for generations today and tomorrow.”

If Mainers' votes don't matter, can we reconsider a few other elections?

Left to right, U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, and  U.S. Representative Greg Walden hold a news conference on the American Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. March 7, 2017.

Another one-party health care plan will be doomed to failure

“Ensuring that quality health insurance is available and affordable for every American is a bipartisan responsibility.”

What the Georgia congressional election shows about ranked-choice voting

Danby Ink

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