Robert Kraft press conference transcript

I’m very, very disappointed that the four-game suspension was upheld. Makes very little sense.

In light of yesterday’s league ruling, I felt it was important to make a statement today, prior to the start of training camp. After this, I will not be talking about this matter until after the legal process plays itself out and I would advise everyone in the organization to do the same and just concentrate on preparation for the 2015 season.

The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me. It is routine for discipline in the NFL to be reduced upon appeal. In the vast majority of these cases there is tangible and hard evidence of the infraction for which the discipline is being imposed and still the initial penalty gets reduced. Six months removed from the AFC Championship game, the league still has no hard evidence of anybody doing anything to tamper with the psi level of footballs.

I continue to believe and unequivocally support Tom Brady. I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans because I truly believe that what I did in May, given the actual evidence of this situation and the league’s history on discipline matters, would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting. I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the psi level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC Championship game was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion.

Read more of the transcript of today’s speech by Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft:

Two Aroostook County Democrats want LePage investigated over blogger’s allegations

Spotted this story the other day and wanted to share it.

Two Democratic lawmakers from Aroostook County are asking the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee to investigate whether Gov. Paul LePage threatened to withhold state funds in 2013 from the World Acadian Congress unless its president stepped down.

Reps. Roland “Danny” Martin of Sinclair and Robert Saucier of Presque Isle sent a letter Tuesday requesting an investigation by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, the watchdog agency that reports to the oversight committee.

Their letter details allegations in a blog post last week by liberal activist Mike Tipping of the Maine People’s Alliance that LePage said he would withhold $500,000 in state funding for the 2014 World Acadian Congress unless then-board president Jason Parent stepped down.

The World Acadian Congress is an international festival celebrating Acadian culture that takes place every five years, most recently in 2014 at locations in northern Maine and eastern Canada.

Read more of this Portland Press Herald story by Eric Russell:

Northern lights over Maine

See this? Amazing footage of the Northern Lights over Moosehead Lake captured by Mike Taylor tweeted out by the Maine Fish and Wildlife.

Moosehead Lake Aurora from Mike Taylor – Taylor Photography on Vimeo.

LePage has done it again

News Guild to Maine’s governor: Your joke about shooting a cartoonist wasn’t funny

“The NewsGuild-CWA criticized Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage on Friday after “he joked that he would ‘like to shoot’ a Maine political cartoonist,” the Guild said in a press release. LePage made the comment about Bangor Daily News cartoonist George Danby.”

The NewsGuild-CWA and our Maine local are sickened and appalled that any public official would make such a “joke” in any context. To do so at a time when the nation is mourning a mass shooting, and in a year that began with the murder of cartoonists and other journalists at the satirical “Charlie Hebdo” shows the worst possible judgment.

We call on Gov. LePage to make a swift and sincere apology to Mr. Danby and his son. Further, he owes an apology to all journalists for suggesting that violence is the solution to unfavorable news converage. Lastly, he should apologize to his state for once again embarrassing Maine on a national stage.

Read more:

Closer look at a nurse, Ebola and the contagion of fear

The Portland Press Herald over the past couple of days have put together several stories and op-ed pieces to look closer at a Maine nurse, Kaci Hickox, and the frenzy of fear surrounding the chances Ebola could spread in Maine. Hickox is from the city where I was born, Fort Kent, and I still have family in the area. My mother travels there every couple of weeks to visit with them. Of course, I’m concerned for health of all of them. But neither Ebola nor Hickox are the greatest threats to my family. Here are links to several of the pieces by the Press Herald:

Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox speaks out | Portland Press Herald

Close-knit Fort Kent finds itself split by a frenzy from away | Portland Press Herald

Bill Nemitz: Suit up, Maine, in case governor’s ignorance of contagion is contagious | Portland Press Herald

Bill Maher, Angus King discuss Hickox, Ebola on HBO show | Portland Press Herald

Our View: Maine’s Ebola reaction based on fear, not science | Portland Press Herald

Ashland soccer teams use strong defensive efforts to gain berths in EM ‘D’ finals | Star Herald via Bangor Daily News

I played soccer for Ashland before there was a girls team. The passage of time has dented my memory, but I recall that there were nine or so seniors my last year there and we went undefeated. We had a heartbreaking defeat in the playoffs, but I often think about those days.

ASHLAND — Stifling defensive efforts led the Ashland varsity soccer teams to victories over Fort Fairfield Saturday and berths into Wednesday’s Eastern Maine Class D championship.

The Hornet girls came through with a 2-0 win in the opener, and then the boys prevailed, 3-1. The top-seeded and now 16-0 Ashland girls will next host No. 2 Penobscot Valley of Howland, another undefeated team, for the Class D regional title, while the boys, ranked third, will be on the road to take on No. 1 Bangor Christian.

Shots on goal were hard to come by for the visiting Tigers in both contests. Fort Fairfield managed only one in the girls’ game and just five in the boys’ game as the Hornet defense was brilliant all afternoon.

In the first game, the Ashland girls showed off a defense that has now shut out nine consecutive opponents. The last goal the team allowed came on Sept. 18 at Washburn. Since then, the Hornets have outscored the opposition, 63-0.

“We just try to work together and try to cover each other when we can,” said junior defender Laura Sturgeon, who fulfilled her assignment of bottling up one of the Tigers’ scoring aces, Chelsey Pelkey.

Read more of this story by Kevin Sjoberg on the Bangor Daily News website.

What’s going on with my alma mater?

Here are a couple of opinion pieces about what’s going on at my alma mater, University of Southern Maine. I attended USM in the early 1980s before traveling to California to attend California State University, Chico.

Greater Portland’s economy needs the graduate-level science program USM eliminated | Bangor Daily News

Let’s preserve USM. Future students deserve the chance I had to succeed | Bangor Daily News