Everybody has an opinion about the retraction of the best return-or-exchange policy in the history of commerce by the folks at L.L. Bean. Too many cheaters, is a popular one. Too many skinflints wanting a lifetime boot instead of a multiple-season one, may be another. But in the end, times c…

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (namely the mid-1970s in central California), a USC graduate named George Lucas was enjoying the success of his first major film, American Graffiti (which incidentally starred a young Harrison Ford, pre-Solo). Lucas was also pulling together the ear…

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Portland parents who are lucky or especially good at budgeting may be getting close to paying off the credit-card bills racked up over the holiday season, around now. The approach and arrival of Valentine’s Day signals a chance to lean back, take a breath, and enjoy a non-chaotic evening for…

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By now, the acronym STEM is well known. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and is intended to represent an educational focus on recapturing a time in the U.S. where our students ranked at or near the top in those areas worldwide. This in turn correlates to the co…

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Has your kid ever come to you and asked for the meaning of a term related to racism or bigotry? How did you answer? Did you kick yourself for not having initiated the discussion much earlier, when you would have been prepared?

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What was your life like when your first child was two weeks old? If you’re like most parents, not only was that new life far and away at the top of your priority list, but it knocked out your whole idea of priorities, flat on the canvas, and replaced it with the fiery, protective loyalty tha…

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Your child does a little toddling sprint toward milk and cookies. A friend goes, “Ha! A little Bolt in the making!” Or the little one scrawls a crayon drawing that may or may not resemble anything at all. “Ha! A future Picasso!” A first dip in the deep end of the pool becomes an Olympic gold…

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On this page two weeks ago, we let you know about one part of the Tết Nguyên Đán (Vietnamese lunar New Year) festivities going on at The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. However, a date was given for an event that did not match its day of the week.

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Even the cultured and evolved among us are not above blaming others for our problems. And justification may be easily come by. If your newly repaired fuel pump gives out during the first week out of the garage, you may curse the mechanics for not doing a better job. If your mother says she’s…

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Growing up in Maine, perhaps before even such things as finger-guns were considered a national threat, did you have crabapple fights with your friends in the field out back? Before 9/11 and the War on Terrorism, you could. And the kids down south weren’t excluded. Down there, if you didn’t h…

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Have you ever taken your kid out to eat, and when the server brings the tab, your son or daughter says, “Can I pay?” Of course, what they really mean is, “Can I pay, with your money?” Well, we wouldn’t encourage you to get too excited about telling your kids to get a job, if they’re too youn…

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In Portland, it is more than evident that a significant number of individuals and families need help with all sorts of things, from housing to living skills to assistance with whatever legal issues may plague them and prevent them from building a solid life for themselves and their kids.

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When you’re 12 or 14 years old, it’s quite a thing to step out from behind the backstage curtain, follow your blocking, and literally feel the heat of the spotlight from the back of the auditorium as you say your lines, always with the fear of flubbing them in the back of your mind. It’s a r…

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Do you remember The Wind in the Willows? Kenneth Grahame’s children’s novel began with the characters Rat and Mole paddling their canoe down a river through the English countryside, and ended with millions of young readers having a brand new idea of where books could bring their imaginations…

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When you’re a youngster, there is nothing quite so edifying, satisfying and just plain exciting as winning a contest, especially if there’s more involved than sheer luck. It’s the draw of youth sports: “We beat those guys!” It puts a little spring in a kid’s step and a sparkle in his or her eye.