Cover picture for the articlePORTLAND, Maine — Homeless advocates made their voices heard in a march and rally in Portland's Monument Square Sunday to acknowledge World Homelessness Day. ...




Advocates for Portland's homeless residents rally support behind smaller shelter plan - NewsBreak

Homeless advocates hold signs while chanting down Congress St. (WGME)
Homeless advocates hold signs while chanting down Congress St. (WGME) 

Whether they have or haven't experienced homelessness for themselves, Portland homeless advocates marched across the city to help others recognize that housing is a human right that must be met.

"Everyone has a right to a roof over their head," March Co-Organizer Carolyn Silvius said. "Just as food is a human right. You can't live without it."

Attendees walked from Longfellow Square to Monument Square and made their way to Lincoln Park, where they would sleep out until the following day. While homeless individuals were encouraged to attend, homeless advocate and author Pat LaMarche said it may be better for them not to participate.

"Their allies need to speak for them because outing yourself on a news story or in a march; That is really devastating," LaMarche said. "So for survival reasons, for shame reasons, for any number of reasons, people who are experiencing homelessness keep it to themselves." ...

Smaller shelters will be an amendment in Maine's 2021 election, and those for the amendment say it is the only way "to provide sustainable, effective and dignified shelter and services to those in need of shelter."

LaMarche said she is shocked that those who aren't experiencing homelessness get to decide where the unhoused live.

"We're asking some really nice people on one day in November to decide the fate of everybody else's living situation," LaMarche said. "What if where you lived was up for election? It's crazy."




Portland homeless advocates march with a mission for World Homeless Day | WGME



Belfast — Four Mainers opposing harmful corporate practices in their communities will discuss their work as part of a panel discussion, "Connecting Our Struggles: Corporations or Communities?" at the Belfast Free Library on Wednesday, May 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and all are welcome.

Nickie Sekera of Community Water Justice; Matt Wagner, an opponent of the CMP NECEC Corridor; Ellie Daniels of Local Citizens for SMART Growth; and John Banks, natural resources director for the Penobscot Nation, will address tensions between corporate interests in community and environmental resources for profit and the community’s desires to protect and preserve their identity and assets as they are.

"As people everywhere are grappling with threats of catastrophic climate change, while also coping with the challenges of dwindling resources and economic pressures at state and local levels, the competitive push for economic development has frequently given greater rights to industry while stifling citizens’ voices, disregarding threats to the environment, and diminishing democratic rights and processes within communities," event organizers said in a press release.

The panel discussion will be facilitated by Dawn Neptune Adams of the Penobscot Nation, a water protector, activist, racial and social justice consultant, and journalist. The evening is co-sponsored by Local Citizens for SMART Growth and the Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County.

Local Citizens for SMART Growth works to support local regenerative and sustainable food systems. The organization opposes large industrial-scale aquaculture and agriculture, while supporting the restoration of healthy bio-diverse fisheries in Penobscot Bay and striving to include citizen voice at the local level in land-use and economic planning decisions.

The Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County works for peace and justice in our community, our nation, and our world. It presents monthly films and forums focusing on social, political, and racial justice, gender equality, climate change, and peace.




Green Party holds annual convention


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AUGUSTA, Maine- The Maine Green Independent Party held its annual convention Sunday. ...

Members say their goal is to make Maine greener and to have good clean jobs.

"We are not pleased with 80% renewable, not necessarily clean energy which is the current deal at the statehouse," said Maine Green Independent Party Co-Chair Lyn Maravell. "It is not green enough and we intend to push for 100% because the kids tell us we only have 12 years left and I want to work with those young people rather than dealing with this fossil fuel economy." ...



Deep State: In the North Woods Power-Line Fight, Who Will Triumph? Insiders or Outsiders?

Thursday, April 25, 2019 6:52 AM

Whether CMP’s unpopular transmission line should be built through the Maine North Woods—a policy question—is being debated widely. But less has been discussed about the politics of the battle. Who’s fighting whom was the subject of Part One of this two-part series. Now we ask: Who is likely to win, and why?


Insiders Often Beat Outsiders, But ...

He often sits with a group of working-class, middle-aged women and men wearing white “No CMP Corridor” T-shirts. Duane Hanson — thin, longish blond hair, 65, wearing a green-and-black-checked wool shirt — is a fixture at legislative hearings on bills dealing with Central Maine Power Co.’s planned 145-mile transmission-line corridor through the state.

The line would take 1,200 megawatts of hydroelectric power from Canada to Massachusetts, cutting across 53 miles of mostly uninhabited North Woods. Theoretically, it would contribute to the Bay State’s turn to renewable energy to help curb global warming. But critics say it’s “dirty hydro” because huge forests were destroyed to provide reservoirs for the Canadian dams. Intact forests absorb from the atmosphere the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. ...

Gov. Mills, too, happens to be from an insider family, a “moderate” Republican one. Her father was United States attorney for Maine. Her brother Peter Mills, a former legislator, is Maine Turnpike Authority director. He also was one of the founding board members of Western Mountains & Rivers.


Who Are the Insiders?

Political insiders are officeholders, political-party leaders, top bureaucrats, and the people who influence them such as lobbyists for powerful interests. Insiders are privy to knowledge that outsiders aren’t. Outsiders and their usually ad hoc groups are in varying degrees the opposite: the unconnected and unconsulted.

There’s constant exchange among insider groups — ex-legislators become lobbyists, lobbyists become bureaucrats, and so on. Taken together, they’re what the Russians under communism called the Apparat, the Apparatus — interconnected people who decide things.

(Sound like “deep state” territory? Discerning readers have noted that by calling my column Deep State I’m having fun with that right-wing conspiracy theory. The Maine Apparat has a resemblance in form to the paranoid fantasy of the deep state, such as in its back-room dealings, but in content it’s largely corporate in orientation — not left-wing. It’s also variegated and not all-powerful. For me, my column’s title signifies my intention to dig deep into Maine issues.)

The Apparatus tends to be corporate because — to stick to local explanations — corporate lobbyists swarm the State House and the rest of state government. There are 249 lobbyists currently registered with the state. There are only 186 legislators. A few years ago, I calculated that, roughly, two-thirds of the lobbyists represented corporations.

CMP has seven that I could find listed with the state Ethics Commission. In the case of the corridor, there are lobbyists for other companies promoting it. And a fair number of lobbyists are working against it.


Jonathan Carter, a past Green Party candidate for governor, decries “rich armchair environmentalists” touting “eco-balancing” in the face of the enormity of climate change. ...


Who Will Win?

If the state DEP, the Land Use Planning Commission, or an approving agency on the federal level or in Massachusetts said no, that would probably be the end for the corridor, although appeals are possible.

Jerry Reid, DEP commissioner, decides for his department. Environmental groups supported him at his confirmation, but in practice decisions in state-government departments often go along with the wishes of the ultimate executive authority. Gov. Mills is in favor of the corridor. A decision is expected in the fall.


Political scientist Jim Melcher, of the University of Maine at Farmington, called Mills the “most conservative” candidate in the 2018 Democratic primary. To her peril, the Democratic Party is continually moving toward the corporate-critical left — toward where issue polls have for years shown the American people to be. As Bernie Sanders showed in the 2016 presidential race, there’s a large population of disgruntled outsiders susceptible to lefty arguments.

With Mills’ corridor position and her no-new-taxes pledge — firming up Republican former Gov. Paul LePage’s tax cuts for the rich — she keeps risking holding on to the Democrats’ core. With the corridor she also may alienate independents and will further alienate Republicans, since the poll showed they’re even more opposed to the corridor than Democrats.

On the Maine Public show “Maine’s Political Pulse,” reporter Steve Mistler called Mills’ endorsement of the corridor “a real political trap.” He is correct.

Maybe she sincerely believes the CMP corridor is best for Maine despite what Maine people believe. Maybe she can be convinced otherwise. But just looking at the politics, the logical strategy for her is to find a way to get out of the trap. Perhaps the DEP or LD 640’s study will provide her with that.

But she’s the ultimate insider now and has been an insider for a long time — as attorney general, state representative, and maybe even from birth. It might be hard for her to break out. Insiders tend to consult other insiders.

Regardless, on this issue the outsiders have a very good chance.