Daily Archives: January 24, 2010

Have they got your number?

It is a terrible feeling to be victimized. And with the Internet, it gets even scarier.

Below is the top of a story in the Lewiston Sun Journal that also provides tips on how to avoid being victimized. There is a lot of info and, frankly, I didn’t get through the story on the first try. But I wanted to pass along the information as a reminder to take care at all times.

A laptop’s stolen in Seattle and 205 Starbucks employees in Maine get word that a thief has their Social Security numbers.

The World Bank slips up and posts payroll records online. For four Mainers that means the very public outing of their bank account numbers.

A Fox Entertainment employee in Los Angeles pokes around company files containing Social Security numbers and salaries, and, hello — sees three that belong to Mainers.

It happens more frequently than you’d guess.

Click the link to read the rest of “Have they got your number?” by the Lewiston Sun Journal’s Kathryn Skelton.

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State of Baldacci – Bangor Daily News

(Here’s yesterday’s editorial in the Bangor Daily News about the governor’s State of the State address. — KM)

State of Baldacci – Bangor Daily News.

Turbines turn into headache for Vinalhaven | Portland Press Herald

(I really, really hope they work out the noise issue. Wind power can be fantastic, but these folks shouldn’t have their lives disrupted. — KM)

 Turbines turn into headache for Vinalhaven | Portland Press Herald.

Program finds Maine sponsors for Haitian children

TERRIER ROUGE, Haiti — Terry Johnston works through her list, using an interpreter to question the 20-year-old woman who is in her last year of classes.

“Is your mother alive? Your father?” she asks the student, Guerda Valmyr. “Mama, papa?”

“Non.”

“Do you have problems with your eyes?”

“Oui.”

“Dizziness?”

“Oui.”

“Have you had typhoid, malaria?”

“Non.”

“Do you hope to go to university?”

“Oui.”

“To study … ?”

“Nursing.”

“We need that now,” Johnston murmurs as she makes a note with her purple Crayola marker.

Johnston, of Jefferson, Maine, has been coming to this rural village about 18 miles from the city of Cap Haitien each year since 2002.

Click the link to read the rest of “Program finds Maine sponsors for Haitian children” by Matt Wickenheiser of the Portland Press Herald.

Quake spotlights Haiti’s distress, nonprofit’s resolve

Below is the top of a story by Portland Press Herald staff writer Matt Wickenheiser and a link to the rest of the story.

Along with the story on the Portland Press Herald Web site is a letter to readers from Scott Wasser, vice president and executive editor of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and MaineToday Media. Apparently, a couple of readers emailed complaints to the newspaper claiming it would have been better for the publication to donate the money to a charity rather than spend money to send reporters to Haiti.

The response has a tone of indignation to it, but Mr. Wasser makes very important points: covering Mainers doing good – no matter where – should be done by a Maine newspaper. Period.

And, more importantly, the coverage is sure to garner not just short-term replenishment of funds for charitable organizations, but long-term positive results for those groups that do good in Maine and beyond in places such as Haiti.

Newspapers and other news agencies must GO to where stories are happening. A major part of what journalists do is observe. And you cannot observe the devastation caused by an earthquake or the good that a Portland, Maine-based group, Konbit Sante,  is doing unless you send intrepid journalists and photographers. – KM

CAP HAITIEN, HAITI — Earthquake victims from the south came in buses, piled into pickups and jammed into cars, driving almost 90 miles to find any care they could – even at Haiti’s poorest hospital.

Justinian Hospital doctors, nurses and residents worked through the first weekend treating 130 patients from Port-au-Prince, the capital city destroyed by the Jan. 12 quake, which killed an estimated 200,000 people.

With sparse resources, they helped men, women and children who had broken bones, amputated limbs and crushing emotional and psychological truama.

And members of the Portland-based Konbit Sante worked alongside them. Haitian nurses and doctors from the nonprofit were there, even a Portland volunteer who teaches English as a second language.

But as important as the all-hands effort was, it may not have been possible without the work done by Konbit Sante over the past decade.

Justinian doctors and nurses were able to work in operating rooms without fear of a blackout, thanks to electrical upgrades made by Maine electricians; children were treated in a pediatrics unit supported by two Konbit Sante-funded attending physicians; and the opening of a Konbit Sante supply depot gave the hospital access to vital materials donated to the organization.

Even so, scraping together enough to respond to the disaster has been difficult.

Click the link to read the rest of “Quake spotlights Haiti’s distress, nonprofit’s resolve” by the Portland Press Herald’s Matt Wickenheiser.

As if one blog wasn’t enough …

OK, I’ve started another blog. The new one is just for fun. It’s about the stuff I see and hear at the various coffeehouses I visit. It’s called Coffeehouse Observer. I hope at least some of you find it fun.

If not, just have a cup of coffee and keep the @#%! criticism to yourself.

Here’s the “About” for Coffeehouse Observer.

Something quick about ‘Coffeehouse Observer’

This blog is just for fun, so don’t take it too seriously and neither will I.

I spend a lot of time at coffeehouses – a lot of time.

I was laid off from work back in March and have been looking for employment ever since. Coffeehouses – and public libraries – offer me the best options for WiFi, which I use as part of my (thus far unsuccessful) job hunt.

Patronizing coffeehouses have an advantage over libraries – nectar of the gods. Coffee is my favorite beverage – after wine and beer, of course – and I fuel up at various coffeehouses in Stockton, Calif., while searching for employment opportunities and keeping in touch with my Facebook friends.

This blog is about the strange and poignant things I see while at these various coffeehouses. Some make me smile, some make me laugh, some just plain make me shake my head.

Pour yourself a java, a cup of joe, whatever and enjoy!

Click this link to go to Coffeehouse Observer.

Decline of white-tailed deer more than just about coyotes, bears

George Smith yesterday again wrote in his DownEast.com blog about the decline of white-tailed deer in northern Maine.

It appears unscrupulous landowners may be just as to blame for the drastic decline of deer as are back-to-back harsh winters and predators such as coyotes and bears. (I blogged about a Chamber of Commerce in Maine that had promoted a tournament for killing coyotes. That shows the level of frustration in the region.)

Personally, one of the more stark passages in the blog read:

At some northern Maine game registration stations, more bear than deer or moose were tagged. For example, the Fish River station registered forty-seven bears, twenty-three moose, and just four deer. The Portage station tagged ninety-two deer in 2007, thirty-one deer in 2008, but only nine deer this year.

I’m pretty certain the “Portage station” is Coffin’s General Store, of which I have written before. The Mom occasionally helps out at the store and she told me in the fall that kill numbers had dropped off drastically, but 92 to nine in just two years is terrible on so many levels.

For those who are non-hunters or anti-hunting, annual deer hunting is significant to the life and livelihood of Mainers. It is a rite of passage for youngsters in which responsibility, gun safety, and an appreciation for the outdoors are taught. It also is a significant economic component for rural and remote areas of the state where unemployment historically has been high. Hunting camps and other lodging, restaurants, gas stations, guides, taxidermist and more feel the pain in a poor hunting season.

Smith writes about the loss of wintering habitat for deer and how a land sale and swap ended up costing the state some of that habitiat.

Smith, the blog’s author, lives in Mount Vernon and is described as “a columnist, TV show host, executive director of the state’s largest sportsmen’s organization, political and public policy consultant, hunter, angler, and avid birder and most proud of his three children and grandson.” He knows that of which he writes.

Click this link to go to George’s Outdoor News blog.