Portland shows compassion while US fails kids on the border

I wanted to write about women’s soccer this week. On Friday, Team USA will play France in a highly anticipated match up of giants in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The US women’s national team is an inspiration, not only for what they are doing on the field, but also for their fight to ensure that women’s national team athletes […]

Higher minimum wage means fewer kids in poverty

Kids in Maine are doing better in a lot of important ways. And it’s not an accident. Smart public policies are making a real difference in the lives of Mainers, including our youngest residents. Earlier this week, the Maine Children’s Alliance and the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, which […]

Drug company fails test of morality on Alzheimer’s

My mother, Louise Farmer, died in October 2015, but she was gone a long time before that. She had Alzheimer’s disease – a cruel bastard that robs people of their memories and their lives. That same year, according to The Washington Post, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer made a startling discovery after reviewing insurance claim data: “The […]

Legislature approaches its ‘Last Shot’ on gun violence for the year

As Maine inches toward ending another legislative session with little to no progress on the deadly issue of gun violence, even as 12 more people are dead from a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, a student-led movement should be forcing us all to confront our own complicity. Twenty years after the mass shooting at Columbine […]

President Trump tries to erase transgender people

Health care. Homeless shelters. The military. In school. At work. The Trump administration is further escalating its attack on transgender people, including in situations when people are their most vulnerable. Last week, as of the violent deaths of three transgender women of color were making headlines, the Trump administration announced its intentions to allow health care […]

Rural economic growth starts in Maine’s cities

Earlier this week, Gov. Janet Mills announced her intention to create a 10-year strategic economic development plan for the state. It’s a good idea – if it doesn’t fall victim to politics and the great divide between rural and urban areas. The two most important things we can do to improve our economy are to […]

Abortion fight could spark national political firestorm

No one can say for certain whether the conservative majority on the US Supreme Court is willing to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed the right of women to receive an abortion. But Republicans in Alabama and Georgia and liberals on the court itself seem to think it’s a real possibility. For […]

Legalized betting on sports is coming; let’s get it right

It’s a good bet that Maine is going to join the growing list of states that allow gambling on sports. I don’t like gambling. It’s too hard to make money to give it away to someone else for a few minutes of excitement. I prefer to spend my entertainment dollar on super hero movies, super-good […]

Time to end the anti-vaccine trend in Maine

Maine has an unusually high number of kids who are entering school without vaccinations – and the number is rising. According to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control, the number of Maine families refusing to vaccinate their children is more than three times the national average, putting at risk not only the unvaccinated […]

Don’t settle for political cover on ‘red flag’ bill that could save lives

On Monday, the fight over sensible gun laws in Maine was renewed as the Legislature held a public hearing on extreme risk protection orders, or the “red flag” bill. The legislation, if adopted, would allow the police or members of a person’s family to seek a court order to have firearms temporarily removed from the […]