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What are Your Election Day Stories for 2015?

This morning at 9 AM, I sauntered into my town office to vote. There was no line out the door. There were no candidates politicking right outside the acceptable boundary. There were hardly any cars in the parking lot. Some nice elderly volunteers were having pie but were happy to step away from their table […]

Maine Foliage Report, October 1: Green

Courtesy of Bangor Daily News, the Maine Foliage Report for October 1 2015:

Is this what climate change looks like? Not necessarily. This could just be an abnormal year for Maine — and it certainly is abnormal. Past foliage reports from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, which are available from 2011-2014 […]

Lewiston, Maine continues to Experience a Decline in Crime after Somali Immigration

For years now, there have been people who don’t like the fact that immigrants from Somalia have settled in Lewiston, Maine. Some of the people who don’t like Somalis have been claiming that since the arrival of Somali immigrants in Lewiston in 2001, the crime rate has gone up.

But this is just not true. […]

In Which I Realize I Am Old

Route 1, Waldoboro, Maine.

Overdue National Organization for Marriage disclosure shows deep unpopularity of anti-gay Movement

It was apparent in 2009 that almost all of the money used to oppose marriage equality in a Maine ballot initiative in Maine that year came from outside the state. 86.4% of the $1,193,323.83 raised by Stand for Marriage Maine in the 3rd Quarter of 2009 came from just four sources:

1. The Knights of […]

A New Low in Race-Based Immigrant Bashing: “Proving” Somalis Have Lower IQs Without Measuring Somalis’ IQ

Since I moved to Maine six years ago, I’ve heard a fair number of people tell the story that Somali immigrants have turned Lewiston into the most crime-ridden city in Maine. Two years ago, I decided to stop listening to stories and start looking at actual crime statistics. The truth is that the city of […]

Have Crime Rates in Androscoggin County been “Doubling or Higher” Since Somali Immigrants Arrived?

For a few years now, I’ve been looking into the persistent notion some people have that Somali immigrants have somehow plunged the city of Lewiston, Maine into an unprecedented crime wave. If you look into actual crime statistics, you’ll find out pretty quickly that this anti-immigrant perception is simply not based in systematically observed fact. […]

Has Crime in Towns around Lewiston, ME been “Doubling or Higher” Since Somali Immigrants Arrived?

Read the comments to this 2013 Irregular Times article if you’d like to see some cognitive dissonance at work. A lot of people “know” (by which I mean think) that Lewiston, Maine has become a much more crime-ridden place since Somali immigrants arrived there. The trouble is, this is demonstrably untrue. As a matter of […]

Two Fairy Houses on Monhegan Island


Maine’s Monhegan Island, May 23 2015.  Two different kind of fairy houses referring to two not-so-different kinds of fairy tales.

(After this weekend it’ll be people season, not proper for visiting until later.  Try a visit after September 1 and the woods will be yours again.)


Through “Level the Playing Field,” Americans Elect Wades into Ranked Choice Voting

During its nine-year history, the privatized-presidential-election corporation called Americans Elect has taken on many names: Americans Elect, Change the Rule, Level the Playing Field, Unity08, Unity12 Task Force. In a post yesterday about the group’s resurrection for 2016, I noted how its recent activity featured a “charitable donation” to a mysterious 501c4 corporation called “The […]

Behind Americans Elect’s “Level the Playing Field” Donation to “Charity”

(Tip of the pen to Richard Winger for getting me started down this path.)

Earlier this year Americans Elect leaders popped up with a new organization, a new name (“Level the Playing Field”), and two mysterious payments from that group. The first mysterious payment was made out to “Imaginary Friend.” It turns out “Imaginary Friend” […]