Monthly Archives: September 2011

Black bear killed in Portland | Portland Press Herald

Black bear killed in Portland | Portland Press Herald

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Drug- and alcohol-related crimes dominate Aroostook County indictments | Bangor Daily News

Drug- and alcohol-related crimes dominate Aroostook County indictments | Bangor Daily News

 

Ashland police chief, second victim in moose accident remain hospitalized | Bangor Daily News

EAGLE LAKE, Maine — Two men who suffered serious injuries in a moose crash on Wednesday morning remain in a Bangor hospital, one in critical condition.

Cyr Martin, 46, one of the victims and also the chief of the Ashland Police Department, is in fair condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Melford Bouchard, 70, of Newburgh, is in critical condition at the hospital, a spokesperson said Friday afternoon.

Click to read more of the story by Jen Lynds in the Bangor Daily News.

25 things to do this fall — festivals, foliage and fun | Bangor Daily News

As you bid goodbye to summer — so long flip flops, air conditioner and iced beverages on the patio — you say hello to an even more fleetingly beautiful part of the year. The crispness in the air arrived last week, and the leaves have just barely begun to change color.

Summer may look pretty fantastic after four months of winter, but autumn feels just lovely after four months of summer. Enjoy it while you can by trying any of the 25 things to do this fall that we’ve assembled for you.

Click for more on the story by Emily Burnham in the Bangor Daily News.

Coffeehouse observation No. 344 – Funny barista rant song!

[OK, this is funny. True, he might go a little overboard, but haven’t we all wanted to rant like this about something or other. Too bad Starbucks couldn’t take a freakin’ joke. – KM]

Starbucks barista disses picky patrons | CNN videos

Click for the YouTube video.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

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Will write for food! … Or walk your dog!

Hey there! Hey there! I’m still trying to line up a freelance gig or two for the coming weeks. Please let me know if you are in need or know someone in need of a writer-editor-blogger-dog walker-house-sitter-dishwasher. Cheers!

Where newspapers thrive

Where newspapers thrive

[I started my journalism career at a weekly newspaper in Mendocino, Calif. It was corp-owned, so it doesn’t quite fit what this commentary is about, but it’s pretty close. — KM]

Coffeehouse observation No. 343 – Royalty in the coffeehouse

A princess just walked into the coffeehouse. … No, really, I swear! … OK, I’m not completely certain that she is true royalty. But she is wearing a lovely pink tutu and silver slippers, and carrying a Disney princess handbag. Oh, and she is about 2. So, she has to be someone’s princess, right?

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud©

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Coffeehouse observation No. 342 – What did I do to deserve this?

Annoying people keep showing up at the coffeehouse. I’m not sure what I did to deserve this, but I take it back. Whatever it was!

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State House Notebook: Voting a vital right for the homeless

AUGUSTA — Arguments about who should and shouldn’t be allowed to vote in Maine have raged all summer and will culminate with a statewide referendum Nov. 8 on the law passed in June to eliminate same-day voter registration, which has been allowed for 38 years.

A flap over a GOP news release last week criticizing 19 voters who registered in 2004 using a hotel address initially generated speculation that they were homeless voters. (It later became apparent that they were medical students who left Grand Cayman Island because of a hurricane.)

As it turns out, everyone apparently agrees that homeless Mainers deserve the right to vote.

“I don’t think that’s an issue. I think homeless people should be able to vote. I think people who are living in a homeless shelter should be able to vote,” said Charlie Webster, chairman of the Maine Republican Party and the most vociferous supporter of the law to eliminate same-day voter registration.

Click for more the notebook entries by Portland Press Herald staffers.

 

Hundreds join Freeport Flag Ladies to mark 9/11: Gov. LePage, entire Maine congressional delegation among state dignitaries on hand

FREEPORT — The Freeport Flag Ladies maintained their decade-long tradition of waving the Stars and Stripes and were joined by Gov. Paul LePage, Maine’s entire congressional delegation, the commanding general of the state’s National Guard and several hundred others in a show of patriotism on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The group paused twice for moments of silence at the precise times that hijacked jetliners flew into the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

But the ceremony wasn’t all somber. Motorists honked their horns as people flanking both sides of Freeport’s Main Street cheered and waved their flags.

Click to read more of David Sharp’s Associated Press story in the Bangor Daily News.

The 25 most moving 9/11/11 front pages use type, color, photos, illustration to evoke memories | Poynter.

The 25 most moving 9/11/11 front pages use type, color, photos, illustration to evoke memories | Poynter..

Bill Nemitz: Keep Preble Street miracle from disappearing | Maine Sunday Telegram

A cynic might read Dovid Muyderman’s story-turned-screenplay, in which two young Jewish brothers live in a homeless shelter by night and pull straight A’s at Portland High School by day, and scoff that it’s too far-fetched — stuff like that just doesn’t happen out there in the real world.

Except it did.

“This is eerie,” said Muyderman, 31, as he and Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street, stepped inside the Portland social service agency’s Lighthouse Shelter for homeless teenagers Thursday morning. “This is very familiar ground. It’s changed a little bit, but it’s got the same feel.”

What kind of feel?

“It’s a place to sleep, for sure,” Muyderman replied. “And a place to go to that’s safe and usually has food and resources and is really proximal to the school, which was good for us.”

He’s talking about himself and his older brother, Josh. Their story, which Dovid Muyderman hopes soon will be on a screen near you, is proof positive that kids without a home need not be kids without hope.

Click for the rest of the commentary by Bill Nemitz in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Portland seen as welcoming home to immigrants after 9/11 | Bangor Daily News

Paul Bradbury, then the facilities engineering manager at the Portland Jetport, was in a staff meeting the morning the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. When the second plane hit, everyone in aviation knew it was some form of terrorism, Bradbury said.In the days that followed, details emerged. The world learned that Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari came to Portland, stayed at the Comfort Inn in South Portland, bought gas at a local Exxon, took some cash out of ATMs, stopped at Walmart and dined at a Pizza Hut.

Then they left their rental car at the Jetport parking lot and boarded a US Airways Express flight into Logan Airport in Boston, where they boarded the plane they would turn into a weapon.

They exploited a weakness in American society, the common wisdom that people should comply during a hijacking, mugging or robbery.

U.S. aviation essentially was shut down for about two weeks. When flights resumed, things were changed in Portland and across the country.

“When we reopened, we’d taken this huge mental and psychological hit, so part of the recovery was psychological, too. We had National Guard at the airports with machine guns,” said Bradbury.

Click for the rest of the story by Matt Wickenheiser in the Bangor Daily News.

9/11: When innocence was lost | The Washington Post via the Bangor Daily News

WASHINGTON — For Karen Hughes, counselor to the president of the United States, Sept. 10, 2001, was a day of celebration and relief. It was her wedding anniversary. She and husband Jerry dined at a favorite restaurant in the Watergate and reviewed the drama and chaos of the previous months.

There’d been the long presidential campaign, the disputed election, the move to Washington. They had to move a second time when the first house didn’t work out. Then a freak summer rainstorm had flooded their basement, soaking their possessions.

All that was finally behind them. And so she could say:

“We’ve survived the worst.”

And: “Things can only get better from here.”

That Monday – call it 9/10 – was the last day of a certain kind of American innocence.

Click for the rest of the piece by Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post reprinted in the Bangor Daily News.

For border towns, attacks changed a way of life | Bangor Daily News

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, changes at Maine’s border crossings were not subtle. More officers were added at ports of entry, inspectors became more vigilant and, in some cases, new ports were constructed.

Although less visible, the division of cross-border communities is one of the long-lasting impacts of the attacks and the heightened security and border restrictions that resulted.

Before 9/11, the border between Maine and Canada was more a line on a map than a barrier. Border agents from both countries often simply waved through the familiar faces they saw frequently crossing the international boundary. Residents of Aroostook County attended churches in New Brunswick. Canadians bought cheaper gas in The County. Socializing with friends and family on the other side of the border was routine.

Reports shortly after 19 hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon said some of the men had entered the U.S. through Canada. Although not true (the hijackers flew into the U.S. from Europe, Asia and the Middle East and had visas issued by the U.S. government), work to better secure the border soon was under way.

While millions of federal dollars have been spent on improving infrastructure — such as building new crossing facilities in Calais, Van Buren and Forest City — the change that has most affected Aroostook County residents is the requirement for a passport, passport card or NEXUS card, an alternative offered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to cross the border.

Click to read the rest of the story by Jen Lynds, Diana Bowley, and Sharon Kiley Mack in the Bangor Daily News, along with video.

 

Bangor Air National Guard base bigger, more active after 9/11 | Bangor Daily News

The mission and scope of the Maine Air National Guard base in Bangor — the state’s only active military base and home to the 101st Air Refueling Wing — developed into something new in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“We’re a lot more active,” MAINEics pilot Lt. Col. Adam Jenkins, who is the 132nd Air Refueling Squadron commander, said recently.

After 9/11, the Bangor-based air refueling wing added approximately 150 full-time active-duty personnel to its roster and now handles or manages nearly 15 percent of the air refueling missions worldwide, according to Lt. Col. Debbie Kelley, a spokeswoman for 101st.

The MAINEiacs have 10 KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, which essentially are flying gas stations that can refuel other airplanes — a crucial function during wartime — and now plays a key role in most military missions the U.S. undertakes, Maj. Gen. John W. Libby, adjutant general of the Maine National Guard, said last week.

“When America goes, we go,” Libby said. “That’s a big change for the air guard.”

Click for the rest of the story by Nok-Noi Ricker in The Bangor Daily News, along with video.

 

Coffeehouse observation No. 341 – Well, pardon my space

They may need a traffic light at the coffeehouse door. A woman was just cut off by another woman just as they approached the door. Oddly, the woman who was cut off said “thank you” as the woman who cut her off briefly held open the door for her. I mean, she was very nearly slammed into and she says “thank you”? Better manners than I would have had in the situation. And certainly far better manners than the woman who cut her off.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 340 – How much is too much, er, Bebe?

How much is too much? Especially when it comes to designer crap, er, I mean, designer clothing. A woman is sitting out on the coffeehouse patio and she’s wearing a besparkled black Bebe baseball cap, a besparkled black Bebe tank top, and besparkled black Bebe flip-flops. … But at least she’s sitting with a woman wearing a Sick Puppies T-shirt. Bebe’s friend has her priorities straight – rock over Bebe.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 339 – Return of the housecoat

I was standing in line at the post office Tuesday when a woman walked in wearing slippers, white tube socks, a house coat – yep, they still make ’em – and a hairnet. She came in, dropped off her envelopes and shuffled out the door. Walking to the coffeehouse today, I spotted her. This time she was wearing a floral print dress that was probably made during the Kennedy administration. As I approached, she moved to her right as far as she could to avoid being within 20 feet of me. ‎… I’m struggling to find the normal in all this. But then again, it is Stockton.

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