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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Politics

You Can Now Win a Historic New England Inn with Your Snappy Writing

All it takes is a 200-word essay and a whole lot of entrepreneurial spirit.

A view from inside the Center Lovell Inn, courtesy of the inn.

If you were a Lit, Creative Writing, or Liberal Arts major I’m sure you’re pretty sick of people telling you how “useless” your degree is. So why not silence all those haters by using your pithy prose to win your very own historic New England inn? Janice Sage, current owner of the Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant in Lovell, Maine, first won the deed through an essay writing competition in 1993. Now, at the age of 68, Sage would like to retire—and is paying the gift forward via a new contest. The deadline is May 7, and Sage anticipates receiving upwards of 7,500 entries. During her 22 years as the manager of Center Lovell Inn, Sage invested $500,000 in renovations, and often worked more than 17 hour days, but is now ready to take some much-needed time off: 'I've been in the business 38 years so it's time to retire.” Sage, who had also run another Inn prior to Center Lovell, told the Daily Mail this week, “I just want to pass it on to somebody else who is looking for an inn, who possibly can't own it on their own outright and I think this is a good way.” The inn is a breezy three hours north of Boston, and is popular with tourists year round. Sage currently employs 10 staffers to cook, clean, serve at the restaurant, take reservations, and handle guest check out. It has not been mentioned yet whether the new owner will also be inheriting these seasoned staffers.

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Articles

Ocean Acidification is Hurting Maine’s Lobster Economy

A new report found that ocean acidification is a serious threat to the fishing industry in Maine.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Maine is rapidly reaching a crossroad where the state will have to make difficult decisions regarding its relationship to the ocean, according to a state-commissioned report on the effects of ocean acidification.

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Articles

Afghan Memoir Brought to Life, with Skype, in Maine Classroom

Thanks to the free video chat service, a memoir read by seventh graders at Mt. Ararat Middle School in Maine came to life.


Need a way to connect real-life people making a difference to students and make literature come to life? Skype them into the classroom. That's what one savvy Maine middle school did in order to help seventh-graders understand a book they're reading as part of a unit on world citizenship. Mt. Ararat Middle School set up a screen and projector and Skyped in Alyce Litz, a prominent figure in "The Other Side of the Sky: A Memoir" by Afghan refugee Farah Ahmedi. Students were then able to ask Litz questions and hear her speak about her experiences befriending Ahmedi.

Literacy specialist Courtney Belodan told the Times Record that the area isn't culturally diverse so reading the memoir, in which Ahmedi escapes from Afghanistan, relocates to Chicago, and develops a friendship with Litz, is a part of the exploration of world cultures and civic action.

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Articles

Would a Laptop for Every Student Help? In Maine It Certainly Did

Since 2001, Maine's invested in laptops for every student. Now they're leading the world in tech education.


Back in 2001 when former Maine governor Angus King launched an initiative that funded the purchase of a laptop for every seventh grader in the state, he didn't promise higher test scores. Instead, King recognized that tech literacy is a must-have 21st century skill, and all students need it, regardless of economic background. Now 10 years later, every seventh- and eighth-grade student in the state, every secondary teacher, and 60 percent of high school students have their own laptop. The technology costs $18 million per year, but its an investment that's leveling the playing field and bringing in academic results.

Used properly, laptops make information incredibly accessible and can offer countless opportunities for skill and concept remediation. They also close the gap between students from low income backgrounds and their wealthier counterparts by equitably providing access to information. If a low-income student is assigned a research paper, without a laptop and internet access she has to rely on her school or local public library—which might not be stocked with the most up-to-date or relevant sources. Laptops circumvent those access issues.

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Maine Congresswoman Puts Earmark Requests on YouTube

We're still a long way from realizing Obama's promise to put all earmark requests in a big, searchable database, but one congresswoman is fighting...

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