After Transgender Day of Remembrance, A Reminder That None of Us is Safe Until We All Are

Living openly as a transgender or nonbinary person is a radical, political act. Our lives are steeped in danger, as we constantly dodge both blatant violence and a more subtle, insidious bigotry. Many of us aren’t out, as it would risk our careers, our health care options, or our housing. That doesn’t make those who live a shadow life any less valid or legitimate.   I would be remiss not to mention that Transgender Day…

When Winter Is Your Favorite Season

Last week we mentioned new ski and board equipment. We also know that the acquisition of said equipment is not a whimsical matter for many of our readers. Budgets may have to be rearranged and items and errands may have to be pushed forward till next payday, simply in order to avoid embarrassment at our favorite stop, the glorified sawhorse we gear up next to outside the lodge. Well, have no fear. This is Maine,…

Why White People Need to Speak Up During the Holidays

2017 should probably get classified as “the year America became a dumpster fire.” It's been the year in which our cultural norms have been tossed out the door and replaced with new ones that hearken back to the days when non-white people and women were seen and not heard.   Except, these are not the good old days and thus the chorus of dissenting voices continues to push back against the shifts. The result is a…

The 'world's first cannabis death' was fake news

If you’re the type of person that seeks out columns like this one to read, you’re most likely exempt from the following judgment: why are there still so many ignorant people that view marijuana as some highly toxic, dangerous drug? It’s a question surprised I still ask in 2017, a time when as of now, 29 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, eight states recreational, and according to a CBS poll, 88 percent of Americans believe…

Join the Dungeons and Dragons revival - and break your sword on the Goblin King's shield

We have to thank Winona Ryder.   Without her, there wouldn’t be a Stranger Things on Netflix, and without Stranger Things, many more of us would still be laboring under the misconception that the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons is played by misguided, Satanist-leaning, quasi-criminal teenagers, and not the lovingly raised, nerdy-yet-heroic youngsters depicted in the show.   Back in the eighties, when Dungeons & Dragons was still in its youth, parents and priests…

Lost but always found — The benefits of microchipping your pet

Did you know the term ‘debug,’ as in to correct the mistakes in computer code, comes from back when the simplest computer filled an entire room? The machines got hot when they were running, which necessitated leaving windows open, and moths and other insects would occasionally flutter in and get stuck in the small moving parts of the computer, impeding its calculations. A technician would have to stop what he or she was doing, go…

This Machine Tests How Strong Your Bud Is — Here's how it works

If (for whatever reason) you had to convince someone about the legitimacy of the burgeoning cannabis industry, show them some of its products. Twenty-nine states have implemented some sort of legal marijuana measure in the past 20 years and entrepreneurs and growers there have had time to test out some cool gadgets related to the business.   To me, the use of these  — often scientific — tools speaks to the seriousness of the cannabis industry;…

Catch a Lift

When it gets to be around turkey time, especially when the real early birds are already enjoying man-made snow on the Kingfield slopes, active Mainers’ thoughts get around to sharpening edges, shopping for lift passes, and finding (or placing) shiny new slope-conquering equipment under that pine tree that will soon be in the living room. If the smell of oncoming flakes isn’t already in the air, it is in the anticipatory musings of the winter-sports…

Cumberland County Jail extends contract with controversial for-profit health care provider — Despite multiple audits and lawsuits, Corizon Health Services rakes big profits from the incarcerated

Above The Law is a column featuring news and analysis on incarceration, policing, and the criminal justice system in Maine. The name evokes the extrajudicial actions and impunity of law enforcement that will be covered here, while also imploring citizens to think "above" and beyond the status quo to envision better ways of dealing with harm. Here, we will question and critique not only the conduct of law enforcement but the roles played by various…

Local Elections Recap — The real winners and losers of Portland

The establishment ran the table in council races and citizen questions, but the four school bond sailed. Ho-hum? Hardly. Here’s what it all means.   Bond to fund repairs of four elementary schools: Passed, 65 percent in favor. The Winner: The school bond was Mayor Ethan Strimling’s way of controlling a bit more of the city budget. But with the Mayor’s approval rating at around 50 percent, the victory may have come as much in…
Subscribe to this RSS feed