Finding A Common Tongue — How Immigrant Women's Organization In Her Presence Does the Good Work

“The hardest was to find snow suits for the babies,” Penny Carson tells me as she gestures to the navy toddler suit lying next to the heaps of English Language Learner workbooks and vocabulary flashcards on the couch. Penny Carson, a retiree in her seventies, volunteers as an English teacher to newly arriving refugees and asylum seekers at local non-profit In Her Presence. “There will always be more need this winter you know, so I’ll…

When Words Can Kill: Should the ACLU Have Defended the 'Unite the Right' Riot?

In the aftermath of Saturday's bloody "Unite the Right" demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia — which included hundreds of white supremacists and which the American Civil Liberties Union publicly defended — some progressives are wondering whether the organization can still be considered a valuable ally in the fight for social justice. Before the riot devolved into a violent conflict, the ACLU took to Twitter to state that the white supremacists who organized it had a right to mobilize.…

Fighting Climate Change: Could carbon emissions be curbed by taxing them?

Last month the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded its first ever carbon emissions reading that was in excess of 410 parts per million, marking a milestone: the Earth hasn’t had this much carbon in the atmosphere in 66 million years. A recent scientific study titled “Trajectories Toward the 1.5°C Paris Target” predicts that the Earth will pass the critical warming threshold agreed upon by participants of the Paris Climate Accords within the next 15…

The 2017 Portland Cheap Eats Guide

Welcome to Portland, Maine. Food is good here. (We get it.) Real talk, though. The praise heaped on the high end of city cuisine is totally well deserved. But sometimes, y’know, that’s not what we’re about. Here, we carved out space for some amazing meals Portlanders can get on a tight budget. If you’re someone with a busy lifestyle who juggles a love of food with an appreciation for “old Portland” aesthetics (and maybe class…

City Council 'Thinking Outside the Box' to Get Rent Stabilization Ordinance on November Ballot

Advocates pushing for rent stabilization in Portland were thrown a curveball Monday when was reported that the citizens initiative submitted by Fair Rent Portland containing over 2,500 signatures was not received in time for consideration on the November 7 ballot. According to Fair Rent Portland (and confirmed by the city), the group had been told by city officials that they must submit signatures 90 days before the ballot — August 7 — but according to…

The Horse in the Room — Watching 'The Bachelorette' as a POC

When sociologists look back through the annals of television at Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette — which comes to an end this Monday, August 7 — they will get a closer look at America’s collective anxiety about race and culture.  Will they find it odd that Rachel, the first black Bachelorette in history, has two white best friends? Or that several of her relatives are in interracial relationships? Will they be as shocked as…

New Country, New Challenges: Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center Provides Much Needed Support

The Greater Portland area is changing in many ways. One of the more obvious is its demographics. Over the past five years, the city’s seen an influx of immigrants, coming primarily from places like Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Congo. Catholic Charities — which provides Maine’s only refugee resettlement program — has assisted 642 primary refugees, 34 secondary migrants, and 85 asylees into new homes in Portland in 2016, and the numbers of…

The Kids Will Have Their Say — Telling Room Students Review Portland

  From angry tweets to Yelp reviews to presidential declarations of FAKE NEWS, you can't go anywhere without being subjected to an adult's opinion. It's completely exhausting. So for this week, we collaborated with the Telling Room, Portland's homegrown writing hub, to get the unvarnished opinions of Maine youth. Students from their summer "Week in Review" camp dove into the city's cultural attractions — new Italian restaurant Lazzari; the song "Anna Kendrick" by Wells rapper…

Anti-Zionist ≠ Anti-Semite: Proposed Bill Seeks To Criminalize Boycott Against Israel

Senator Susan Collins is co-sponsoring a new bill that would essentially punish a person or corporation based on their political beliefs about Israel. Backed by 43 Senators and 247 House members, the Israeli Anti-Boycott Act is an amendment to the Export Administration Act of 1979 and a response to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a nonviolent method of putting economic pressure on Israel to protest the human rights violations their government inflicts on…

News Briefs: the Malaga Monument, Green Slime, and a Media Merger

Descendants of Malaga Island Community Honored With New Monument A dark, once-covered up stain on Maine’s history — the systematic exile and mysterious deaths of the Malaga Island community — was made permanent and visible last week through a monument unveiling at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.   The monument bears the names of the mixed-race Mainers who were victimized as part of the eugenics movement of the 1900s and forced to leave their homes by…
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