Archive for the ‘maine’ Tag

Snow   Leave a comment

What is it about a snowfall that makes the world so silent?

It’s because every living thing that might otherwise be making noise is hunkered down until the air is clear again. The birds are all silent. Can it really just be the absence of their songs that makes such an eerie hush?

The air pump in my old fish tank was obnoxiously loud, but when it ran every second of every day, its buzzing was nothing – until it was turned off, and the silence was deafening.

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Posted February 11, 2013 by benjaminsapiens in photography

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The Maine Labor Mural is now on display in the Maine State Museum   Leave a comment

Maine Labor Mural - Clarke Canfield, AP

Clarke Canfield, AP

Maine Labor Mural - Andy Molloy, Kennebec Journal

Andy Molloy, Kennebec Journal

Five years ago, in 2008, Maine artist Judy Taylor completed a 36-foot, eleven-panel mural depicting the history of labor in our state, which was then displayed in the lobby of the Maine Department of Labor in Augusta.

And there it sat until March 2011, when our blustering illustrious governor decided he didn’t like its pro-labor message and had taken from the walls of the Labor Department.

Gov. LePage received an anonymous letter signed by a “secret admirer” who sputtered in outrage at the presence of pro-union, Communist North Korean-style propaganda adorning the walls of a government building. This right-wing mouth-breather’s heartfelt plea for the state government to embrace reactionary anti-union paranoia resonated with LePage’s “Solidarity for Businesses and the People Who Own Them” agenda, and thus Dear Leader declared the mural objectum non grata in the very building it was commissioned to adorn.

It was a nasty if pathetically impotent attack on the labor movement, and it seriously pissed off quite a lot of Mainers.

Of course, it ended up backfiring completely on LePage: he made himself look like an obnoxious, bullying despot, the issue became a distraction for his administration and a rallying point for his detractors, and the mural became famous, celebrated – beloved, even – and is now prominently displayed in the Maine State Museum.

Bangor Daily News: Labor mural unveiled at new home, the Maine State Museum in Augusta

By Matthew Stone

AUGUSTA, Maine — Nearly two years after Gov. Paul LePage had a mural depicting Maine labor history removed from the lobby of the Department of Labor building, the artwork resurfaced Monday at its new home: the Maine State Museum.

Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette and Maine State Museum Director Bernard Fishman unveiled the Maine Labor History Mural in the atrium ofthe state Cultural Building in Augusta, which houses the museum, the Maine State Library and the Maine State Archives.

The Department of Labor has loaned the mural to the Maine State Museum for three years. Fishman, the museum’s director, said Monday that museum staff and others would work to find the artwork a permanent home during that period. The mural’s final home might be the museum, he said, but that would require some renovation.

“The murals, when they first came to public attention, were only contemporary art in a functional office,” Fishman said. “And after their removal became a public issue, they became historic in their own right. They recall and commemorate the past, but they also remind us of the power of art to stir thought and to stir feelings.”

This is a satisfying victory, and even if the  resolution is quiet and a bit undramatic, it’s a wonderful outcome. LePage failed, and the things he attacked came out stronger. It still doesn’t make up for that fact a bullying little puke is our governor, but it’s a nice offset to the damage he’s done to our state.

Maine Labor Mural

Maine Labor Mural 2

Gay marriage comes to Maine   Leave a comment

Portland Press Herald: Maine same-sex couples begin license process at 12:01 am

The legal barrier dismantled by November’s vote, same-sex couples line up to “make it official”

By Kelley Bouchard

PORTLAND — Michael Snell and Steven Bridges emerged from City Hall early Saturday and stepped into history, as the first of at least a dozen gay couples across Maine who exchanged wedding vows on the first day for same-sex partners to marry.

Forty-four couples obtained marriage licenses in the 10 or so communities from Portland to Bangor that opened their clerk’s offices as early as midnight for the special occasion. Fourteen were married almost immediately in city or town halls, while a few others were planning private ceremonies Saturday.

Bridges and Snell had been united in a commitment ceremony six years ago, so when a reporter asked them if they felt “more married” after the wedding, Snell responded, “No, it’s just official.”

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Michael Snell and Steven Bridges of Portland wait in line at Portland City Hall to be the first gay couple in Maine to be married on Friday, December 28, 2012.   Photo: Carl D. Walsh

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The first five same-sex couples who arrived to get marriage certificates walk up the steps of Portland City Hall.   Photo: Gabe Souza

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Steve Bridges and Michael Snell, both of Portland, kiss after being the first couple to be married at Portland City Hall on Saturday morning, December 29, 2012.   Photo: Gregory Rec

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Katy Jayne gets a kiss from Lauren Snead after they obtained their marriage license.   Photo: Robert F. Bukaty

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Steven Jones and Jamous Lizotte wear laurel wreaths as they arrive at Portland City Hall.   Photo: Robert F. Bukaty

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Mary Parker, holding Grace, 22 months, becomes emotional as her partner for seven years, Becky Roak, fills out paperwork for a marriage license at Brunswick Town Hall Saturday morning.   Photo: Tom Bell

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Donna Galluzzo and Lisa Gorney leave the Portland City Clerk’s office after obtaining their marriage license.   Photo: Robert F. Bukaty

Posted December 29, 2012 by benjaminsapiens in cool, News, politics

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