When it comes to health care, America faces an existential threat

Despite all the wondrous comforts of the modern age, an inconvenient truth from our earliest moments still plagues humanity today: most of us will contract some debilitating illness at some point in life, and many of us will die from it. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 2 Americans have a chronic disease which they define as “the main causes of poor health, disability, and death, and account for most of health…

Paid Sick Leave campaign says they can make Portland healthier and more productive

  Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling talking with Eliza Townsend, the executive director of the Maine Women's Lobby, and one of the organizers behind the Paid Sick Leave initiative. Photos by Francis Flisiuk. Last Tuesday, the Portland City Council's Health and Human Services Committee held a meeting to discuss a proposed ordinance that would grant workers earned paid sick time in Portland. The earned paid sick leave proposal would stipulate that workers would be credited with one…

Privacy in Peril: Facial recognition technology is getting popular, but should it be?

Last spring, local John Hobart traveled to Amman, Jordan with a small team of developers from Coria, a tech company he co-founded, with the lofty goal of utilizing data science to come up with a useful response to the refugee crisis. The mission technically started three years ago when Hobart launched Coria right here in Portland, and since then it’s grown to employ over 40 people. Its main focus involves consulting with clients — typically…

Women Are Seizing Their Power — Is 2017 The Beginning of Herstory?

“I honestly don’t even know.” Several weeks ago, in the wake of the Weinstein maelstrom, I posed a question to my friend Olivia, “What will the world look like when women seize their power?” We were sitting in her kitchen, having tucked away a bottle or three of wine, impatiently waiting for a Moroccan-inspired chicken dish to finish cooking while the smell of cinnamon and roasting apricots surrounded us. The silence of our unknowing drew…

"LePage Can't Stop This" — Mainers want more health-care, not less

Last week 59 percent of Maine voters approved of Question 2, which seeks to expand Medicaid coverage to residents living below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Actually, the measure was the highest percentage of the vote of a citizen's initative in Maine in almost two decades.  But it might take much longer than necessary before those newly eligible folks — a group estimated to be around 80,000 Mainers — will be able to…

From Portland to Puerto Rico — Mainers discuss the island post-Maria (and how you can help)

It’s been six weeks since the worst natural disaster to hit the Caribbean, and more than half of Puerto Rico is still without power. Last month, as President Trump briefly visited to toss paper towels and tweeted that Puerto Ricans “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” two Mainers with connections to the island flew there to help. Jo Silver and Todd Weeks touched down in the city…

The far-right paint 'antifa' as a threat — But they’re the ones calling for violence

If you were to believe certain corners right-wing Internet communities, Nov. 4th marked the start of civil war in America. Last week, hundreds of people across the country took to the streets for a protest action called “The Nightmare Must End,” to demand the removal of President Trump and Vice President Pence from office. Organized by left-leaning group Refuse Fascism, the series of protests — which took place in over 20 American cities — condemned…

Letter to the Editor: The Real Progressive Candidates Are...

Thank you Phoenix for your in-depth analysis and considered endorsements — mostly. As a progressive, and noting that you hold being progressive as an acknowledged preference in your endorsements — I want to take issue with two of them.     “As a wickedly smart, law degree-holding, LGBTQ son of first-generation immigrants, Marpheen Chann would be uniquely capable of voicing the concerns of underserved communities.” This is a description of identity, not track record. Mr.…

"Love is Alternatives to Incarceration" — Youth organizations Maine Inside Out and Portland Outright collaborate for Nov. 8 show at USM

One year after performing their original production ("Do You See Me?"), the student artists of Maine Inside Out are set to produce a new show at USM's Hannaford Hall on November 8. Maine Inside Out, a youth theater group comprised of current and formerly incarcerated young people at Long Creek Development Center, is teaming up with Portland Outright, an LGBTQ+ youth advocacy and organization-building group for the production. In addition to MIO's dramatic works, the…

Maine Senator Susan Collins Could Again Dash GOP Reform Plans

When the GOP unveil their tax reform bill Wednesday they'll have a by-now famliiar obstacle to clear: Maine Senator Susan Collins. The Republican senator indicated Monday that she is opposed to two tax breaks for the wealthy included in the draft of the GOP tax reform bill expected to be announced in Congress Wednesday, November 1. The tax reform bill is same one that Donald Trump has referred to as "historic" in recent tweets, alleging…
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