Posts Tagged ‘Portland Press Herald’

St. Croix Island

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

We’ve been getting into the weekend Bangor Daily News lately (especially since the Press Herald is pretty redneck, racist and Republican).

Luckily it’s a great paper, having recently hired a former New England Journalist of the Year as well as a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer to cover the Portland area. I’m all for that!

This weekend they had an interesting story about St. Croix Island, in the St. Croix river between Maine and New Brunswick, that was settled by the French in 1604 – three years before Popham Colony and Jamestown Settlement.

Check out, “An island prison: Rugged St. Croix Island brought ghastly death to early settlers“.

Beem on Mural, Free Speech

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

The lawsuit over the removed mural at the Maine Department of Labor’s headquarters begins: “Labor mural raises free speech issues.”

Apparently the judge, who coincidentally was appointed by GW Bush in 2003, looks likely to support LePage’s position that the removal was a political statement. This rankled Edgar Allen Beem, opinion columnist for the Forecaster, and one of the protest’s organizers:

“If the governor can legally remove any work of art he doesn’t like from public view, does he also have the power to remove any book from the state library?” Beem asked while addressing the demonstrators. “Based on the state’s argument, we have to assume he does.”


Yes, More LePage

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I’m so sorry about this.

See, I don’t watch Jersey Shore and wouldn’t know “The Situation” if I fell over him, but this Paul LePage mural malarkey is almost as bad as reality television.

First there was a free speech claim made last week: “Federal lawsuit seeks return of mural to Labor Department“.

Then Republican state senators took a swipe at him in the press: “LePage rhetoric interferes with goals, say GOP senators“.

AND now the federal Department of Labor is getting in on the action: “US Labor Department demands refund in Maine mural dispute“.

See? Reality TV at it’s worst.

I’m glued!

What’s next?!?

Liz in the News!

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Liz in the news! Check out today’s Portland Press Herald article about her not job fair but “networking night”: “Immigrants network at international job fair“.

Paul LePage was just kidding. Honestly. He’s not really THAT dumb.

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Not to beat this to death, but the other day I quoted the Portland Press Herald who said that incoming Tea Party Governor Paul LePage thought that if 35 states opposed a law it would die law “automatically”.

Well his lackies have now clarified his remarks: “Paul LePage clarifies disputed comment on health care reform.”

Apparently the law to which he was referring was:

… the introduction of a possible constitutional amendment to allow any provision of federal law or rule to be repealed if at least 35 states object to its implementation.


Because he’s not a moron.

Paul LePage gets his “Facts” from Email Forwards From his Crazy Aunt

Monday, December 6th, 2010

I have to mention a quote in this Portland Press Herald article: “Incoming AG weighs fight over health reform.”

See, apparently the new Maine government is joining legal fight against the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a “Obamacare”).

Here’s the quote regarding our new Tea Party Governor:

LePage also said he recently learned that if 35 states join the lawsuit, the law “dies, automatically.”

Not true, according to outgoing Attorney General Janet Mills.

“That’s not the law,” she said. “A congressional act does not get voided or overturned simply because a certain number of state officials join some lawsuit. I don’t know what he’s talking about.”


Doesn’t that sound like a “fact” that you’d see in some email forward sent from the same person who sends out weekly computer virus warnings or cell phone marketing scams?

And now he’s our governor.

Thanks everyone who voted for Mitchell, Moody or Scott!

And Another

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Check this out: “Cutler wins endorsement of ex-Gov. Angus King.”

“We need someone who can bring people together. It’s going to be almost impossible to get through what we are facing if it’s all going to be partisan,” King said. “He’s a really smart guy. He has thought about these issues as deeply as anyone I have ever encountered in Maine.”

Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday. (Unless you’re voting for LePage).

Eliot Cutler for Governor

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Not that I’m fond of the Portland Press Herald, but this is pretty big: “Our endorsement for governor: Eliot Cutler the best choice to lead Maine forward“.

University of Southern Maine’s Free Press also endorsed him today: “Eliot Cutler for Governor“.

I have a good Cutler story from last week. I was leaving my class at USM on Thursday night, and I saw Cutler and his wife in the parking garage. I accosted them, told him that I was interested in voting for him, but had concerns about his education platform (I had recently read a blurb about his wanting to increase classroom sizes). He shifted into politician-mode about some mailer from the MEA about teacher layoffs, which I quickly brushed aside – I just wanted to know the facts of his platform.

He went into his prepared remarks about 11.3 students for every teacher and Maine having the second-highest student-teacher ratio, and by increasing it to 13.5 it’d save something like $140 million.

I said that I’d look into it some more, but that I was still 90% sure I’d vote for him.

And then he did something classy.

He said, “Josh, if you don’t vote for me, please email me and let me know why.”

Now shoot, will I really email him if I don’t vote for him? Will he really read it if I really mail him? Will he care why?

But still, I thought it was classy.

Quite honestly I’m going to vote after my Tuesday night USM class, at around 7 pm, and I’ll see where bat-shit crazy Tea Partier Paul LePage is in the standings, and then vote accordingly.

I’m all for independents, but not if elect a nutball (cough) George W. Bush (cough).

Anyway, I ended by saying how I was attending Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity this weekend, and I was contemplating wearing a Cutler tee shirt. His wife thought that was a good idea.

So even if I don’t vote for him, I think I’ll wear a shirt.

Poniewozik on the Press Herald in Print

Monday, September 27th, 2010

For weeks I’ve been talking about Portland Press Herald publisher and editor Richard L. Connor’s apology for covering Ramadan and then his rephrasing of that apology.

Unfortunately the story gained only minimal national attention, most notably on “The Colbert Report”, and in James Poniewozik’s blog at Time Magazine (see Stephen Colbert Picks Up Apology and Poniewozik on the Press Herald).

We can add the print edition of Time Magazine to that list now.

This week Poniewozik has an article about Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity and Colbert’s competing March to Keep Fear Alive, and he uses the Press Herald apology to illustrate the media’s fright of that fringe element, the loud 15 Percenters.

Check out: “The 15% Solution.”

Key quote:

The very idea that in the U.S. today you have to hold a protest to promote rational discourse is absurd. It’s funny because it’s true.

Poniewozik has become one of my favorite writers in the young generation of Time Magazine writers, I’m glad he’s picked up this story.

Anyway, I think we’re nearing the end of the cycle for the apology story. While I would have liked a few more headlines, maybe a march on the Press Herald’s offices in One City Center or Richard L. Connor as Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World”, the coverage that the story did receive was quality.

And sane.

Stephen Colbert Picks Up Apology

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

So I wrote to Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart after Richard L. Connor’s apology for Ramadan coverage on September 11th.

After a week of not seeing anything, I gave up hope.

And then Stephen Colbert talked about it on “The Colbert Report” on Monday!

The clip starts at 1:27:

Tip/Wag – Chilean Miners, Portland Press Herald & Isa Blyth
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

The joke about ducks flying south and grandparents flying south is awesome:

Go Colbert!

Richard L. Connor Recants his Apology

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I have to mention this (a few days late). Portland Press Herald editor and publisher, Richard L. Connor, has written another article about his apology for the Ramadan coverage on September 11th.

Check out: “Remembering E.B. White’s sage advice.”

Key quote:

I meant to apologize for what we did not print — front-page coverage of 9/11 on the anniversary of a day that stirs deep and unhealed wounds. I was in no way apologizing for what we did print in a deservedly prominent position — a striking photo of our local Muslim community in prayer.

This is good, but why did it take a week to recant the apology, Connor?

Press Herald Letters to the Editor

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Letters to the Editor of the Portland Press Herald regarding their apology are finally up: “More Letters to the editor, Sept. 16, 2010: Same day, different views: Eid and Sept. 11.”

Interesting how it took Richard L. Connor mere hours to apologize for Saturday’s story, but it takes the editorial board damn near a week to publish Letters to the Editor about it.

Also, I think this title, like so much about the story, focuses on the wrong theme; the disgust that many of us had was not about the Eid holiday or the September 11th anniversary but how the newspaper leadership apologized for running a news story.

They still don’t get it.

Poniewozik on the Press Herald

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Whoa! James Poniewozik of Time Magazine has picked up the Portland Press Herald apology story (and gives it a great title, too!): “Paper to Readers: Sorry for Portraying Muslims as Human.”

Key quote:

Here’s where we are in America, 2010: There is now one group of Americans whose peaceful religious observance cannot be noted by decent people, unless it is “balanced” by the mention of a vile crime committed in 2001 by people, with a perverted idea of the same religion, from the other side of the world.

This is a depressing statement about the state of dialogue in America. Nine years after 9/11, there is now a widespread belief that, for one religious group of law-abiding Americans, the boundaries of acceptable behavior are narrower than for everyone else. Yes, you have the right to worship. But it would be decent of you to do it somewhere else. Or on another day. Or in such a way that the rest of us don’t have to know about it. So now we have a newspaper kowtowing to a national freakout, apologizing for the most innocuous kind of soft feature, because acknowledging that there are decent Muslims in America is offensive. (From the comments on the article: “I don’t want to here [sic] how caring the Muslim religion is on 9/11.” But hey: it’s only for a few days a year!)

Please also note, he used “kowtowing” – the same verb I used!

Apologygate Cover

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

As I’m under 40 and read my news online, I hadn’t actually seen the cover of Saturday’s apology-worthy Portland Press Herald (“No Journalistic Standards Since 2010″) until now:

A posed photograph of two copies of The Portland Press Herald shows the publisher of the Maine newspaper, Richard Connor, left, apologizing for giving Page One coverage, right, to the end of Ramadan on Saturday, Sept. 11, without mention of the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

USA Today on the Apology

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

I’m not letting this die until Jon Stewart is poking fun of the Press Herald or Keith Olbermann lists Richard Connor as a “Worst Person in the World”.

The Associated Press picked up the Apologygate story yesterday morning, but it was brief and easily missable.

USA Today (“America’s colorful news”) picked it up, however, and gave it a fantastic title: “Maine editor apologizes to readers for Ramadan story on 9/11“.

Go USA Today. I’ll try and remember not to mock you next time I’m in a hotel or on an airplane …

Justin on the Apology

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Our old friend Justin Ellis has weighed in on the Portland Press Herald apology: “Journalism Fail: Why the Portland Press Herald’s apology for covering Ramadan is wrong.”

Goodbye Maine Sunday Telegram

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

I belong to that increasing population of people, mostly under the age of 40, who get most of their news from the internet. During the week I don’t buy a daily paper, save for the free Forecaster and Portland Daily Sun.

I do subscribe to the weekly Bridgton News to get local hometown stories, however, and on the weekend, we routinely get the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Until now.

Yesterday morning I was reading the Portland Press Herald online and was pleased to see such a nice article about Eid ul-Fitr in Portland: “A show of faith and forgiveness“.

We went about our day, got home at night and saw this linked-to on Facebook: “Newspaper apologizes to those offended“.

Readers began writing to me and to our paper and website en masse, criticizing our decision on coverage and story play of the local observance of the end of Ramadan by local Muslims.

Are you kidding me?

Are you f@#king kidding me?

The crazies are taking over the show. The people who comment on the website are running the editorial direction of the paper.

I’m done with the Portland Press Herald.

I’m done with the Maine Sunday Telegram.

If any of you are offended by this direction the paper is taking, please take five minutes to send a Letter to the Editor to let them know how you feel.

“Real” World

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Oh my God I’m ten years too old to be on MTV’s The Real World!

From yesterday’s Portland Press Herald:‘Real World’ looks to Portland for new cast.”

Don’t worry, I don’t want to be on the show, and I haven’t watched it in the better part of a decade … but still …

National Education

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I’m still mulling over Susan Jacoby’s Op-Ed from yesterday’s New York Times: “One Classroom, From Sea to Shining Sea.”

Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason is a brilliant book, but I’m very wary of her plans for a national school curriculum.

Oddly, this week actually I went to my first school board meeting in 16 years – have I mentioned here that Lake Region was branded as one of the ‘lowest-achieving’ in Maine?

I’m against removing the principal (and possibly half the staff) in that case.

I find issue with several parts of the process in that case – testing with the SAT (only reading and math), trending over only three years, the legality of charter schools in Maine … it’s a mess.

But more importantly, I think the teachers should teach what they want. Local issues, local heroes, local science – in eighth grade we made maple syrup (40 gallons of sap to one gallon of syrup) partly because there were maple trees on the Middle School property, and partly the teacher (who happened to be my father) knew that it was a fun learning activity.

Oh, wait, no – it was hands-on, designed for multiple intelligences to promote life-long learning.

(That’s the correct jargon, right?)

Either way, now, 20 years later, I’m still looking forward to Maine Maple Sunday in two weeks.

But then there’s the flip-side: the crap in Texas with the board of education changing history, literally re-writing the books.

In that case I’m all for federal standards.

See my quandary?

Ellis Leaving Press Herald

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Reporter / blogger Justin Ellis just announced he is leaving the Portland Press Herald as of March 31: “Early retirement comes to the NXT Desk.”

Ou friendship with Ellis started two and a half years ago when he wrote about our Dubai adventure in the paper (see Portland Press Herald). Fortunately for us it continued in person once we were back stateside.

It’s a shame that the Press Herald is losing the one writer who connects with, as he says, “the young people” – covering their culture, technology and local music. In this day and age the mainstream newspapers need all of the readers they can get, and, as the cliche says, “children are the future.” To lose that voice is unfortunate. It seems that papers need more writers who can bridge the gap between young and old, reporter and blogger, hip and stoic.

I really wanted to link to his November 6, 2008 article “An aspiration no longer out of reach” about the election of President Obama, but it’s archived now and behind the paywall. If you feel like coughing up the two bucks it’s a fantastic read.

Anyway, I’ll miss Ellis’ contributions to the Press Herald, but wish him luck on the next chapter.