Stuff about me
My name is Keith Michaud and this is “Letters From Away,” a blog written by a Mainer living outside the comfortable and sane confines of New England. The blog is intended for Mainers, whether they live in the Pine Tree State or beyond, and for anyone who has loved ’em, been baffled by ’em or both. Ayuh, I am “from away.” Worse still, I live on the Left Coast – in California. Enjoy! Or not. Your choice.
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- I’m a scientist and a Mainer. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration | The Washington Post via Bangor Daily News
- Lipstick on a Health Bill | The New York Times
- As Feds Move Away From Climate Change, Maine and New England Consider Stronger CO2 Caps | Maine Public
- Maine doctors prescribing far fewer opioids, analysis at county level shows | Portland Press Herald
- Here to There and Back: The AT | Maine Public
Tag Archives: Mainers
I spotted a sign the other day that was sort of out of place – “Mainely Stampin’.”
It was out of place because I spotted it in Fairfield, Calif.
I would have stopped in to find out more about Mainely Stampin’ – obviously the Mainely part caught my attention – but I was on a schedule and did not have the time. So I went to Mainely Stampin’s fairly limited website and learned this under “About Us”:
“We are a friendly stamping and scrapbooking store located in Fairfield, California, and have been opened since January of 2006. The owner is from Maine, which explains the name Mainely Stampin’, and has enjoyed a stamping hobby for many years. When she moved to California in 2001 she soon got a job working at a local stamp store and enjoyed meeting new people and helping them with their hobby of stamping. After the store closed she opened her own store and with the help of many friends and supporters the store is gaining popularity and is known for its warm atmosphere and a sincerely helpful customer service.”
See, there are plenty of Maine natives now living “from away.”
Oh, and the motto apparently is “The way stampin’ should be … Fun!” Part of that, I’m pretty sure, comes from a Maine tourism motto from a few years ago: “Maine: The Way Life Should Be.”
By the way, Mainely Stampin’ is located at 1318 W. Texas St., in Fairfield, Calif., in Solano County, the edge of the North Bay Area.
Your alarm goes off in the morning. After coffee, a shower, reading the newspaper and getting dressed, you’re out the door — and that’s when it hits you.
There’s a slight chill in the air. A yellow leaf flutters gently to the ground. Your clothing isn’t warm enough. Autumn has arrived.
In between unpacking your sweaters and bringing in the patio furniture, the change of season means a renewed vigor for experiencing all that Maine has to offer. From leaf-peeping driving trips around the state to Halloween events, from apple picking to concert-going, the fall is the time when Mainers really get to bask in the glory.
The gold, red, orange and yellow that light up treetops lasts only about a month — so what are you waiting for? Get out and have fun, before you make that appointment to put on your snow tires.
Click for the rest of the story by Emily Burnham in the Bangor Daily News.
Taking pot ‘out of the shadows’: Advocates say the availability of medical marijuana leads to a greater general acceptance of cannabis.
OAKLAND, Calif. – Steve DeAngelo didn’t come west just to open the world’s largest medical marijuana dispensary.
He has bigger plans.
“I’m all about creating a cannabis distribution model that will be accepted in the heartland of America,” DeAngelo said.
He may be getting closer to that goal. DeAngelo’s creation – Harborside Health Center – will be one of the models for Maine’s first medical marijuana dispensaries.
Eight storefront dispensaries are expected to open in Maine this winter. They will expand access to the drug for patients in and around Portland, Augusta, Bangor and five other communities. They also will take marijuana out of the shadows and put it in plain view.
“We create an environment where people can look at cannabis and re-evaluate the way they feel about it,” said DeAngelo, who is not involved in Maine.
No one expects Maine to turn overnight into Oakland, perhaps the country’s most pot-friendly city. Mainers are already pretty comfortable with medicinal pot, however, having first legalized it in 1999 and then, last fall, voting to establish dispensaries.
Now, activists hope, dispensaries will get Mainers even more comfortable with cannabis.
Click to read the rest of John Richardson’s story in the Portland Press Herald.
Mainers’ efforts are paying off for earthquake victims in Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
For more information on the St. Alban’s Haiti project, visit http://www.stalbansmaine.org/ and click on “Mission and Outreach.”
Visit http://tinyurl.com/35t496a for more information on the Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation’s Haiti efforts.
Visit www.konbitsante.org for more on the Portland-based nonprofit.
Mainers work to build local alliances in Afghanistan | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
Mainers head south to Gulf as oil continues to flow | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
LEWISTON — For two days after he returned from Haiti, Peter Geiger had trouble talking about his experience.
It was too emotional. Too intense. Simply too difficult to put into words.
“It was overwhelming,” he said.
Geiger had spent days as part of a rubble brigade, passing one bucket of debris after another down a line of volunteers working in 100-degree heat to clear a collapsed building that once housed a church and school. He had walked through the streets of a neighborhood built on trash, its water tainted brown. He had handed out soccer balls to children whose last play area was a sewer.
“Until you’re physically down there and you see it, smell it, hear it, it’s hard to describe,” Geiger said. “I knew it would be an emotional experience, but I didn’t realize, particularly until I came back, how emotionally I was affected by it. I’ve always been passionate about helping people, but this is a whole other level of need.”
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Lindsay Tice in the Lewiston Sun Journal. The story is accompanied by photos and video.
I finally dove into digital photography.
I’ve been without a camera for a quite a while. Well, that’s not exactly true. I still have two 35-mm film cameras – a Canon single-lens reflex camera and a Pentax.
But who shots film anymore? Not many people.
And ever since I started the Letters From Away blog, I’ve wanted to include photos to illustrate some of the things I’ve written about.
I’ve been thinking about getting a camera for a while, but I’m still unemployed and funds being what they are, I have been putting it off.
Finally, I gave in and picked up a Canon PowerShot A1300 IS at Best Buy. I know, I know, it is a very basic camera. But it will do what I need it to do until I can get a job and can pad my bank accounts and buy a better camera.
The package I purchased for a bit under than $200 included the camera, wrist strap, battery, charger, cables to connect the camera to the computer and another to connect it to a TV, software, a 4G memory card, carrying bag, and Flexpod gripper tripod. I figured it was worth putting on a credit card in order to put more photos on Letters From Away.
So, expect more photos. Some will be good. Some will be, well, not so good.
Also, if any reader has a photo of Maine or Mainers or taken by Mainers and you’d like it to have a little play, please forward it to me and I’ll put it up on this blog. Don’t forget to give me your full name, your connection to Maine, and a bit of information so that I can write a cutline to go with it.
Contest entries may be submitted by e-mail to FixMaineRoads@mbtaonline.org; through the website www.FixMaineRoads.org; or at the Facebook page www.facebook.com/FixMaineRoads. For information, call 622-0526.
BANGOR, Maine — From Presque Isle, Deer Isle, Camden and Mapleton, Mainers traveled to Bangor Wednesday afternoon to protest the latest health insurance cost increase requested by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine.
“The hogs have come to the trough to feed again at the expense of those who use the coverage the least,” said lobsterman Leroy Bridges of Deer Isle, who purchases individual coverage for himself and his wife, with a $15,000 annual deductible each. “If they’re allowed a rate increase even close to what they’re asking, we’ll have to let it go; we got no choice.”
Bridges did not say how much his high-deductible coverage costs, but others at the meeting said similar policies cost close to $500 a month.
Anthem says the 23 percent average increase in the cost of its HealthChoice and Lumenos plans — for people who purchase health coverage individually instead of through an employer or other group — is needed to offset the growing cost and use of health care services and the unique challenges of the insurance market in Maine.
About 11,000 Anthem policyholders would be affected by the increase, which would take effect July 1 if approved.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Meg Haskell in the Bangor Daily News.