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"Action is the antidote to despair." --Joan Baez

Posted May 6th


WELCOME TO OUR SCOUTING REPORT


Kavanaugh “looked me in the eye and said that he considered Roe v. Wade the law of the land,” the Senator said. “Nothing in his confirmation hearings suggested that he would ever be less than trustworthy with a woman.”


Collins must resign over leaked Roe ruling by Howard Marshall in PPH


“A clear majority of Americans support Roe. Yet we recognize that while many are angry and frustrated by this report, some of those who support Roe may feel helpless and instinctively turn back to their work, or families, or daily tasks—telling themselves that because this outcome may have been predictable, there’s nothing any of us can do.

If that’s you, ….we’re asking you to join with the activists who’ve been sounding the alarm on this issue for years — and act. Stand with them at a local protest. Volunteer with them on a campaign. Join with them in urging Congress to codify Roe into law. And vote alongside them on or before November 8 and in every other election. Because in the end, if we want judges who will protect all, and not just some, of our rights, then we’ve got to elect officials committed to doing the same.” Michelle and Barack Obama, May 3, 2022





Harpswell Indivisible continues to show up, speak out, act, and persist to win in November. Victory in November requires all of us to participate. Our Scouting Report will continue to offer concrete, doable actions to do your part.


This week’s action: CONTACT Senator Collins to support the Women’s Health Protection Act. The Senate is likely to vote on this bill next week to hold Senators accountable for their stand on reproductive rights. Senators Collins and Murkowski have proposed an alternative bill, the Reproductive Choice Act. The status and viability of that bill are very unclear. Please call or write Senator Collins to urge her to take leadership in the Senate and persuade other Senators to vote for a woman's right to make the best choices for her own reproductive health and her family. For more information: Sen. Collins voices opposition to Democratic legislation that would create statutory right to abortion.


ELECTION UPDATE

Important message from Sheila Menair:

“Unfortunately, I am facing some health challenges at the moment, which require me to end my campaign. I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed their support to my campaign. I will continue to do my part to make a positive impact in our community through my work and nonprofit.

I look forward to joining you all in some "good trouble " --as all of our efforts are needed to win in November. I hope you will join me in supporting Cheryl's campaign and work to deliver that win.”

WEEK OF MAY 6-13

Tuesday, May 10, 6:30 PM. Harpswell Dems Caucus, Cundy’s Harbor Community Hall. The evening will include a Q&A with Maine House Candidate, Cheryl Golek, legislative reports from Jay and Mattie, and election of new Harpswell Dems officers. Come learn and vote!

Wednesday, May 11, 6:00-7:15 PM. Citizens' Climate Lobby Bath-Brunswick Chapter Virtual May Meeting. Learn about a new CCL Maine News Tracker that will provide fodder for a LTE or an opinion piece on local climate issues. Zoom link to attend.

Thursday, May 12, 5:00-6:00 PM. Virtual Rally for Maine's Energy Future. Join Rep. Seth Berry and Our Power staff to learn about collecting signatures to shape Maine's energy future. To register.

Thursday, May 12, 5:00-6:30 PM. League of Women Voters-Portland Area Annual Meeting featuring Secretary of State Shenna Bellows. Members and non-members alike are invited to attend. The Board also will present an ambitious slate of programs for the coming year. Register here.

Friday, May 13, 12:00-1:00 PM. Portland by the Foot: Exploring Black History and Women's History Zoom Lunch and Learn sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters. Local historian, Dugan Murphy, will provide a virtual tour, focusing on Black and female figures who made history in Portland. For more information and to register.

Friday-Saturday, May 13-May 14, Maine Democratic Convention. A number of Harpswell Indivisibles will serve as delegates representing Harpswell at this year’s Convention. Even if not a delegate, Dems can attend. Register and purchase a ticket. Look for post-Convention highlights in the Scouting Report.

PLANNING AHEAD

Saturday, May 14, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Protect Abortion National Day of Action. Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund is talking to voters about the importance of voting our values to protect abortion. Sign up to drive or to canvass. Training provided. Look for additional events on this day in next week’s Scouting Report.


Sunday, May 15, 2:00 PM. Rally for Reproductive Rights, Women's Healthcare sponsored by Brunswick Area Indivisible, Brunswick Mall. Jay and Mattie will be featured speakers. Details in next week's Scouting Report. Join us!!!


Tuesday, May 17, 8:00 PM. Movement Voter Project (MVP) Zoom House Party hosted by LeAnne Grillo and Howard Marshall. The stakes couldn’t be higher for the midterm elections in November. MVP’s targeted strategy works with and funds local grassroots organizations to do voter outreach and GOTV. This kind of direct effort is needed to defy the odds and hold onto the US House and Senate. It also builds the base for 2024. Join LeAnne and Howie to learn more about MVP’s work. Register here. If you can’t attend, and want to learn more, contact LeAnne or Howie.

Thursday, May 19, 6:30-10:00 PM. MSAD75 Budget Meeting, Orion Performing Arts Center, Mt. Ararat Middle School. Learn more about this important meeting in next week’s Scouting Report.

Friday, June 10-Tuesday, June 14. GOTV phone banking to elect Nicole Grohoski to ME Senate Dist 7. Harpswell Indivisible will be joining efforts with other groups for this Special Election in a highly contested race, important to holding the Democratic majority in the ME Senate. To learn more about Grohoski, visit and like her Facebook page. Mark your calendars. More information to follow.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Monday, May 9, 9:00 AM. VETO DAY in Augusta! This is your last chance to watch the 130th Maine Legislature in action before January 2023. Veto Day is when the Legislature must convene to consider whether to salvage any bills vetoed by the Governor. Just two vetoes have been posted on Governor Mills’ website.

Viewing options: House chamber or Senate chamber live streams. Bills will go back and forth between the House and Senate and, if you switch between the chambers, you can compare how the votes go. This is must see TV!

Latest on bills we’ve been tracking:

LD 231 “Semi-Open Primaries” has gone to the Governor who has not yet signed the bill. It is still within the 10-day veto period.

LD 585 “An Act To Restore to the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe the Authority to Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.”

Gov. Mills signs bill giving tribes control of mobile sports betting in Maine

LD 1868 "An Act To Restore Funding to the State's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program" includes the language from LD 1423, a bill to bolster tobacco prevention and cessation programs, co-sponsored by Jay McCreight. The combined bills, when they become law, will mean that the Fund for Healthy Maine will be funded at the Federal CDC recommended rate. The bill has not yet been signed by the Governor and is still within the 10-day veto period.

LD 1959 "An Act To Ensure Transmission and Distribution Utility Accountability" a bill from Governor Mills sponsored by Sen. Stacy Brenner is now public law!

For further understanding of the outcomes of the 130th legislative session:

Taxpayer relief, tribal relations, child protection and free tuition: What mattered in the 2022 session

Governor Mills Signs Historic, Three-Part Tribal Legislation Into Law

KUDOS TO

March Forth, our sister-persister organization, for hosting a fabulous fundraiser and house party in support of Governor Mills’ re-election campaign. The evening’s speakers, focused on conservation issues, gave compelling testimonies why it’s important that Janet be re-elected to continue progress on protecting Maine’s environment. Also, on the day of the leaked Supreme Court document, it was comforting to be in the company of others supporting Governor Mills, a strong champion of reproductive health rights and the only pro-choice gubernatorial candidate in the race. Our mantra “elections matter” feels especially urgent right now. Thanks to March Forth for inviting Harpswell Indivisible to co-sponsor the event. We urge everyone to work for the Governor’s re-election through your financial donations and GOTV efforts. Lots of actionable opportunities ahead.

READING, LISTENING, VIEWING

Governor Mills pledges to fight to protect reproductive rights


Official statement from the ACLU of Maine in response to the leaked document from the Supreme Court


Full Statement from Michelle and Barack Obama on the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade


Opinion: Alito’s aggressive ruling would reach way beyond Roe


Protests Might Not Change the Court’s Decision. We Should Take to the Streets Anyway.

‘Radical and extreme’: Maine GOP platform show party’s far-right agenda ahead of election

Maine lawmakers took key steps to reduce health care costs this session

The best of the budget for Maine’s economy. Blog post by Sarah Austin, MECEP Director of Policy and Research.

A new report tracks the history of state control over the Wabanaki tribes

Bill Nemitz: Thank you, Maine. I think I’ll go home now

Workshop on Running for Office, recently hosted by LWVME is available to view on YouTube. Hear from a range of organizers/elected officials and build your skills as a community leader.

What Democrats don’t understand about rural America, Chloe Maxmin’s Opinion piece NYT. This excerpt is from Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why our Future Depends On It by Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward.


Steve Bannon Is On to Something, a refresher from a January ‘22 article.





ScoutingReportApril8.pdf




Posted March 25, 2022



WELCOME TO OUR SCOUTING REPORT


In the context of this week’s Supreme Court nomination hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, we enthusiastically recommend that you stream the 2020 Broadway show, This Is What The Constitution Means to Me. It is a delightfully fun and meaningful dive into how the U.S. Constitution impacts our lives. The play can be streamed on Amazon Prime.


This Atlantic article, The U.S. Constitution Needs You, reminds us that the supreme law of our country requires citizens’ participation in order to remain strong.


ICYMI: Listen to Senator Booker’s moving words to Judge Jackson during her nomination hearings.


CALLS TO ACTION

Contact Susan Collins: As fruitless as it has seemed at times, we think it’s really worth the effort here. She is one of only a few Republican Senators who have expressed some openness to vote in favor of Judge Jackson’s confirmation. Watching Republicans’ disgraceful and hostile attacks during this week’s hearings, it is clear this will be a tight vote. One vote could be decisive.


Contact Jared Golden: Ethan's Law, HR748 seeks to prevent children from accessing loaded, unsecured firearms. It is nearly identical to the safe storage bill that was passed last fall in Maine. The bill is named for Ethan Song, a bright, promising Connecticut teenager, shot and killed at a friend's house with an unsecured firearm. Ethan's Law has bipartisan support in Congress, currently with 214 commitments for "yes" votes in the House. Nearly every Democrat is a co-sponsor, and all but one Democrat is a “yes” vote - that lone hold out is Jared Golden. At a March 23 zoom meeting in Maine, Ethan’s father and other gun safety advocates made it clear that Jared Golden’s support is critical to its passage. Please contact Golden to vote for HR748 and, more importantly, ask anyone you know in CD2 to contact him as well.


🌻 Join Us in Brunswick THIS EVENING, 5:00 PM, to stand in solidarity with Ukraine! See more info immediately below. 🌻


WEEK OF MARCH 25 - APRIL 1

TODAY, Friday, March 25, 5:00 PM, Brunswick Mall near gazebo. Stand in solidarity with Ukraine! Gather on the sidewalk, but do not block passersby. Use crosswalks. Wear blue and yellow.


Monday, March 28, 11:00 AM-12 PM. Public protest, sponsored by Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR), intersection of Maine and Cumberland Streets, Brunswick, to inform people that CareNet of Mid-Coast Maine, a pregnancy care center in Brunswick, is not a place to go for unbiased, non-judgmental, scientifically-based and complete medical information. GRR has informed Brunswick town officials of this event. FMI, email Elayne Richard at recordconnection@gmail.com or Elayne.r@grrnow.org. GRR will be handing out info to make Mainers aware of their options for reliable sexual and reproductive health care. Protesters are asked to bring signs.

Thursday, March 31, 6:15 PM. Harpswell Select Board Zoom Public Hearing regarding the April 23 ballot. Zoom in to learn and ask questions about the 26 Articles that make up this year’s Warrant. Click here to see the ballot.





Article Highlights:

Articles 9-13 include the Town's proposals for spending Harpswell’s ARPA funding.


Article 9 proposes $90,000 be spent for planning services to update the Town's Comprehensive Plan, important to be able to respond to climate resilience and land use issues over the next 10 years.


Article 10 requests $25,000 to upgrade the utility of the Town's website to provide information more effectively and efficiently. This is a downpayment on improvements to website communication.


Article 13 requests $10,000 for services to investigate improving broadband in Harpswell, an area of great need.


Article 19 requests a change in the review of the relationship between Harpswell Community TV (HCTV) and the town from every 10 years to 5 years. This shorter review cycle will allow more nimble planning with regard to funding and technology improvements for HCTV.





PLANNING AHEAD:


Tuesday, April 12, 6:00-7:00 PM, Harpswell Indivisible April Meeting, A Conversation with the Candidates, featuring Cheryl Golek and Sheila Menair, both Harpswell Indivisible members and candidates for District 99 State House Representative. Cheryl and Sheila will be on the June 14 Democratic Primary ballot. Jackie Sartoris, running in the June Democratic primary for Cumberland County District Attorney, also will be joining us to present her views and answer questions about this important position. Bring your questions for Cheryl, Sheila and Jackie.


KUDOS TO

Judy Kahrl who was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 19. Jay McCreight had the honor of being one of two presenters speaking about Judy’s accomplishments in reproductive rights and as founder of GRR! Maine. We know that a number of Harpswell Indivisibles, also members of GRR!, share our immense appreciation for Judy’s leadership and tireless work.


Margaret “Greta” Warren for her appointment by Harpswell’s Select Board to the MSAD75 School Board. FMI, see Harpswell Anchor article. It was a happy moment at last night's School Board meeting when the room applauded both Greta and Ryan Larson as Harpswell's new School Board representatives. Greta's one-year interim appointment became effective yesterday and Ryan's three-year term begins in June.


READING, LISTENING, VIEWING

GOP questions for Jackson in her hearings were about midterm messaging — 4 takeaways


A Realist Take on How the Russia-Ukraine War Could End - The New York Times (Podcast is over an hour. Karen, Jenny and Nils think it's worth the time.)


Opinion: What previously democratic countries can teach us about the GOP’s tactics to regain power


Decline in federal grant funding for local elections criticized by advocates


Georgia legislators introduce a Florida-style 'Don't Say Gay' bill


Idaho prepares to ban most abortions in the state as governor signs Texas-style law


Lives in Limbo: How the Boston Asylum Office Fails the Asylum Seekers (Report released this week by Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) of Maine)


Republicans embrace inflation payments proposed by Gov. Mills, want them expedited


Headed on an Arctic expedition, multifaceted Freeport woman keeps getting cooler Be inspired!



STAY HEALTHY AND WELL




Posted 3/4/2022

Harpswell Indivisibles Weekly Scouting Reports



We are in awe of the heroism of the Ukrainian people and sickened by Putin’s barbarism. We carry a pit in our stomachs as the casualties mount. Our donations, vigils, protests feel pathetically insignificant given the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.


President Zelensky makes the point that this war is about more than Russian aggression against Ukraine. It is a battle between autocracy and democracy to shape the future world order. Last year’s January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol and the continuing cover ups, lies and rationalizations by Republicans in power lay bare the threats to democratic values in our own country. Seeing the Ukrainian crisis within this broader context reinforces our need to pay attention globally as well as locally.


In an attempt to further understand the larger context and implications of this war, we offer a NPR interview with Anne Applebaum for a historical perspective on Ukraine and this morning’s newsletters from the reliable Heather Cox Richardson and Robert Hubbell.





For donation suggestions, we draw your attention to the following organizations. These come from reliable sources. We welcome your suggestions of other organizations to support the Ukrainian people.


World Central Kitchen, founded by chef Jose Andres in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, is now providing emergency food relief in Ukraine.

Revived Soldiers Ukraine funds medication and medical supplies for field and army hospitals at the front lines of eastern Ukraine.





Calling out anti-democratic efforts at home, Texas held the first primary elections in the nation this week. These elections were held against the backdrop of Texas’ newly gerrymandered district maps and new voter suppression laws enacted by the Republican-dominated state legislature.


For an excellent analysis of the radical gerrymandering in Texas this last redistricting cycle, read Anatomy of the Texas Gerrymander. For the latest reporting on the impact of Texas’ voter suppression laws, read Thousands of Texas mail-in votes in jeopardy under new voting restrictions | The Texas Tribune.


Here in Harpswell, we continue our push to get out the vote for Ryan Larsen for MSAD75 School Board. Please talk with your Harpswell friends and neighbors to urge them to vote for Ryan. Here’s some talking points: Larsen Info Flyer and Larsen Intro Video.


VOTING REMINDERS: The last day to request an absentee ballot or vote in-person at the Town Office is Wednesday, March 9. All absentee ballots must be returned by 5 pm on March 12. Or you can vote in-person on Election Day, March 12, at the Harpswell Community School from 9 am to 5 pm. View ballot here.


WEEK OF MARCH 4-11

Saturday, March 5, 10:00 AM. Dunkin’ Donuts, 504 Main St, Oxford. We have a special request from Sen. Mattie Daughtry and Tonianne Beals from the Maine Senate Democratic Campaign Committee to help with a signature collection canvass to get Colin O’Neill on the ballot. Colin is running for State Senate seat in District 18. He is a lifelong resident of Oxford, served as County Chair of the Oxford Democratic Committee for several years, and a member of IBEW Local 567. For more information contact Tonianne Beals.


Saturday, March 5, 12:00 PM-8:00 PM. Stop by Moderation Brewery,103 Maine St., Brunswick, and sign petitions to get Senator Mattie Daughtry on the November ballot! Mattie needs about 40 more signatures over the next two weeks to qualify. The bartenders will have petitions, and Mattie herself will be there from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.


Sunday, March 6, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM. LWVME Democracy Forum Facebook and Democracy: Can They Live Together? Discussion of how Facebook has become so central to our community and political life. What threats does Facebook pose to democracy? What are possible solutions? Learn more here.


Monday, March 7, 6:00 PM. Schonberger Peace and Justice Lecture “Family Surveillance” with Dr. Dorothy Roberts, an expert on family surveillance and the child welfare system, a system here in Maine that has come under increased scrutiny. Thanks to Rep. McCreight for bringing this to our attention. To join.


Wednesday, March 9, 8:00 AM-Noon: Wabanaki Alliance Lobby Day in Augusta! During recent public hearings, over 1,600 people submitted written testimony and over 100 testified on zoom in support of the Wabanaki tribes’ inherent rights to self-govern. Continue to show your support by lobbying for LD1626, LD906 and LD585, bills that would promote clean water, economic justice, and equality for Maine’s tribes. Click here for details and link to register.


PLANNING AHEAD

Wednesday, March 23, Time TBA. Harpswell Indivisible Zoom Writing Workshop. Overwhelmed by the current news cycle? This is your opportunity to craft and complete a letter to the editor, legislative testimony or an email to an elected official about an issue important to you. Writing in the company of friends and with the support and expertise of Connie Conner make for a productive and meaningful evening!


KUDOS TO

Ryan Larsen for a thoughtful interview on WCME this week.


Kathy D’Agostino for her LTE for Ryan Larsen in the PPH.


Hannah Beattie for her LTE for Ryan Larsen in the Harpswell Anchor.


Peg Newberg for her LTE for Ryan Larsen in the Harpswell Anchor online.


Cheryl Golek, Barbara Cray and Karen Tcheyan for submitting testimony in support of LD1899 sponsored by Jay McCreight. Next step is a work session scheduled for March 8. For more on this bill:

Maine Democrat proposes ‘safety zones’ to protect abortion clinic patients from harassment


Tom Brudzinski for his moving graphic of Ukraine’s Sunflower at the top of this Scouting Report.


READING, LISTENING, VIEWING

Biden’s State of the Union Did Something New Worth the time to read for a thorough history of important political speeches and detailed analysis of Biden’s address.


Opinion | Russia's Ukraine Invasion: This Cold War Will Be Worse Than the Last


Putin vs. Democracy


Susan Collins “no” vote, along with all Republican senators and Dem. Joe Manchin, prevented floor debate on the Women’s Health Protection Act, kicking off a bad week for reproductive rights which ended with Florida’s Senate passing a bill banning abortion after 15 weeks.


Opinion: Collins claims to be above partisanship. Here’s one way she can prove it.


Covey seeks second term on Harpswell’s select board


National Parks Are More Crowded Than Ever—and Two Senators Think Tech Is the Solution




Posted 2/25/22




WELCOME TO the Harpswell Indivisibles SCOUTING REPORT


We are sickened by the horrific news out of Ukraine. While many in the Republican Party are using this tragedy to divide us and to undermine Biden, we want to express gratitude for the leadership of our current administration.

.

"There is no purgatory for war criminals, they go straight to hell," says Ukrainian UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya directly to the Russian ambassador.”

In our homeland, democracy is being challenged and threatened daily. To quote Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Secretary of State this week, “Our democracy simply cannot afford for any of us to sit out this fight.”


To lend perspective to Harpswell Indivisible’s recent focus on local elections, Linda, Jenny and Karen attended “Live from the Frontlines: Protecting American Democracy, a Conversation with Journalist Ari Berman." The event was sponsored by The Workers Circle and co-sponsored by 30+ organizations, including Democracy Maine. Ari encouraged us to focus locally, highlighting that there are many state races in which insurrectionists run unopposed for important seats, including county judgeships and secretaries of state. The point being that while we are active nationally and internationally, we need to also pay attention to what is happening in our own backyards. With a divided Congress and a Republican Party that has all but formally opted out of governing, we have the most influence and impact locally.


ON THE SUBJECT OF LOCAL ELECTIONS…

Vote Ryan Larsen for MSAD75 School Board! Reach out to Harpswell friends and neighbors to urge them to vote for Ryan, and here's why. If you haven’t met Ryan, you can here.


Get your absentee ballot or vote in-person at the Town Office now! Voting for the March Municipal Election has already begun. You can stop by the Town Office and vote in-person; you can call the Town Clerk to request an absentee ballot, 207.833.5822; or you can vote in-person on Election Day, March 12, at the Harpswell Community School from 9am-5pm. View ballot here.


It has come to our attention that there is some confusion about the actual election day. Your last opportunity to vote for School Board is in-person voting at the Harpswell Community School on March 12. Again, you can vote before then!


Voting on the town warrant will take place on April 23 by secret ballot. View warrant here.


QUICK AND EASY CALLS TO ACTION

1. Next Monday, February 28, the US Senate will vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act. In 2021, the US House of Representatives passed this historic piece of federal legislation protecting a woman’s right to reproductive health care, including abortion. Rep. Pingree and Sen. King are both co-sponsors of the WHPA, and Rep. Golden voted in favor of this bill. The only opposition from Maine’s congressional delegation is coming from guess who. Contact Sen. Collins urging her to vote YES on Monday. When passed, the WHPA will protect the right to access abortion care in all states.


2. Funding for LD231 and LD1155 is missing from Maine’s Supplemental Budget. LD231 would establish semi-open primaries which would increase voter participation. LD1155 would bring true and secure post-election audits to Maine. Both of these bills are supported by LWVME and ME Secretary of State Bellows. Send a message to Jay and Mattie and ask them to support and fund these bipartisan bills. LWVME has made it easy to contact them here: lwvme.org/TakeAction. (Click on Election Security and Semi-Open Primaries Buttons.)


WEEK OF FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 4

February 28, 9:00 AM. LD1964 An Act To Update Certain Water Quality Standards and To Reclassify Certain Waters of the State. Public hearing before the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. For information on how to submit testimony, click here.


March 1, 9:00 AM. LD1899 An Act To Ensure Safe Entry and Access for People Seeking Health Care and Other Constitutional Rights. Public hearing before Judiciary Committee. For information on how to submit testimony, click here. This bill is sponsored by our wonderful Rep. Jay McCreight. This is Jay’s last bill before the legislature to protect health care rights and access. Jay will be terming out at the end of this legislative session after eight years of representing our community.


March 3, 12:00-1:00 PM. LWVME Women's History Month Panel Discussion. This live-streamed discussion will feature diverse voices and perspectives from organizations working to build trust in our elections and grow the electorate by building community power, dismantling disinformation, and getting out the vote in 2022. To watch, click here.


KUDOS TO

Cheryl Golek for her LTE in support of Ryan Larsen in PPH.


LeAnne Grillo for her LTE in support of Ryan Larsen in The Forecaster.


LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Here are some updates on bills we have been following.


LD1639 An Act To Protect the Health and Welfare of Maine Communities and Reduce Harmful Solid Waste. This bill would close a loophole in Maine law that allows disposal of out-of-state hazardous waste in state-owned landfills. LD1639 addresses the issues of drinking water contamination and damages to sites of historical, cultural, spiritual significance for the Penobscot Nation.


LD 1979 An Act To Sustain Good-paying Jobs in the Forest Products Industry by Ensuring Consistency between Comprehensive River Resource Management Plans and State Water Quality Standards. Maine’s Environmental Priorities Coalition (EPC) opposes this bill, believing it puts the profits of dam owners ahead of Maine people and our state’s rivers. A public hearing is scheduled before the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on February 18 at 9:00 am.


LD1897 An Act To Prevent the Use of Prone and Supine Restraints, Chemical Sprays and Electroshock Devices on Juveniles Held in Department of Corrections Facilities. Note that this bill may be amended to revisit the proposed closing of the Long Creek Correctional Facility.


LD1902 To Establish a Pilot Program To Encourage Climate Education in Maine Public Schools. Passed in the ME House this week.


PLANNING AHEAD

Stay tuned to express yourself on any of the urgent international, national or state issues at our March Writers Workshop. These workshops are productive sessions that have resulted in many published letters to the editor, emails and written testimonies. Date and time TBA.


READING, LISTENING, VIEWING

Ketanji Brown Jackson Chosen as Biden's Nominee for Supreme Court


Maine Senate vote falls 1 short of threshold to send equal rights amendment to voters


Mainers Rally for Paid Family, Medical Leave This Session


Rep. Pingree submits bill to shorten asylum seekers' wait for work authorization (Rep. Golden voted for its passage.)


Senators Collins and King support bill to help asylum seekers get jobs sooner


U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear oral arguments on Maine vaccine mandate


Federal judge blocks Maine law aimed at Canadian log truck drivers

(You may remember Senator Jackson discussing this issue as deeply personal to him when he was our guest at our March, 2021 meeting.)


Gov. Mills' plan to rein in power companies faces two-pronged opposition

The changing climate of Atlantic salmon


Harpswell selectmen approve proposed $6.3 million municipal budget for next fiscal year


Feedback wanted on Harpswell streetlight proposal


A pictorial timeline of new and old efforts to limit the electoral power of voters of color


Maine’s tribal ambassador Dana’s podcast with Colin Durrant from NRCM.

World Affairs Council: How to Stop a Civil War (Before It Starts) | Maine Public


PPH Editorial: Thankful for those who stand for reason in a world gone mad


STAY HEALTHY AND WELL

Posted 2/18/22


WELCOME TO OUR SCOUTING REPORT


Between now and our town’s election on March 12, we urge you to become informed and vote in the important upcoming school board race. Whether you have children in the school system or not, it is important that we all get out and vote for Ryan Larsen. For why we all care, read LTEs in this week’s KUDOS section in support of Ryan’s candidacy. Strong schools mean strong communities!


HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO

REQUEST: Get your absentee ballot or vote in-person at the Town Office now! Voting for the March Municipal Election has already begun. You can stop by the Town Office and vote in-person; you can call the Town Clerk to request an absentee ballot, 207-833-5822; or you can vote in-person on Election Day, March 12, at the Harpswell Community School from 9am-5pm.


VOTE: Ryan Larsen for MSAD75 School Board! If you missed our Conversation with Ryan on February 8, meet Ryan here!


COMMIT: Reach out to Harpswell friends or neighbors to urge them to vote for Ryan Larsen, and here's why.


OTHER IMPORTANT MSAD75 SCHOOL BOARD NEWS

NOTE: In addition to and separate from the above school board election, Harpswell’s Board of Selectmen is accepting applications to fill a school board seat made vacant due to a recent resignation. The selected applicant will serve until June 2023. Application deadline is February 25. You can complete an application in-person at the Town Office or apply on-line through this link.


ICYMI: MSAD75 School Board’s February 10 meeting was adjourned four minutes after starting, when some children refused to mask (masking is required on all MSAD property) and has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 24th, 6:30pm, at Mt Ararat HS. Agendas are usually set a few days before the meeting, and available here. Participation at these meetings requires in-person attendance. To listen, livestream is available via Facebook or click here.


RELATED: LD1939, An Act To Protect School Administration Officials from Harassment and Abuse, is scheduled for a public hearing today before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. We are closely following this bill.

ONGOING REQUEST

The Town of Harpswell invites your ideas about how to spend American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The Town is slated to receive an estimated $519,000 in ARPA funding over time. Some proposals are expected on this year’s Annual Town Meeting warrant. Your input is encouraged!


WEEK OF FEBRUARY 18-25

Wednesday, February 23, 7:00-8:00 PM. Presented by LWVME: Live from the Frontlines: Protecting American Democracy, a Conversation with Journalist Ari Berman, senior reporter at Mother Jones and author of the Give Us the Ballot. State voter suppression laws, among other actions, threaten our democracy and lay the foundation for minority rule. The discussion will focus on how we got here, what’s at stake, and how “we the people” can protect American democracy at this crucial moment. Register here.


Thursday, February 24, 6:30 PM. Rescheduled MSAD75 School Board Meeting at Mt Ararat HS. See details above.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

We are paying close attention to these bills in the Maine legislature. What bills are you following? Please let us know to share with other Harpswell Indivisibles.


WABANAKI ALLIANCE

Public Hearing for LD1626, An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act, on February 15, before the Judiciary Committee, lasted 8 hours and 37 minutes and was filled with moving and persuasive testimony in support of tribal sovereignty. Tribal leadership, elders, and members were joined by environmental, faith, youth, labor, equal rights, reproductive rights, women, senior, public health, and economic justice groups who shared their testimony live. An incredible 1,600+ written testimonies were submitted.


The Public Hearing on LD585, An Act To Restore to the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe the Authority To Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and LD906, An Act To Provide Passamaquoddy Tribal Members Access to Clean Drinking Water took place before the Judiciary Committee on February 17. Due to the number testifying for these two bills, the hearing on LD1907, An Act To Review State Lands and Waterways That Have Sacred, Traditional or Other Significance to the Wabanaki Tribes, will be rescheduled.


ENVIRONMENT

LD1964 An Act To Update Certain Water Quality Standards and To Reclassify Certain Waters of the State would adopt Maine DEP proposal to protect and improve over 800 miles of rivers and streams. The Mills Administration is sponsoring this important bill. The Environment and Natural Resources committee will hold a public hearing on February 28. Mark your calendars and begin preparing your testimony now. It's hard to believe this year marks the 50th anniversary of Senator Ed Muskie’s Clean Water Act!


LD489 RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to a Healthy Environment. “The Pine Tree Amendment” puts our environmental rights in Maine’s Constitution. This bill was carried over from last year and is set for final “Enactment” votes in the ME House and Senate. Sign up here to send a letter to all legislators in support of the Pine Tree Amendment. It’s easy!


REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

LD1954 An Act To Ensure Access to Prescription Contraceptives closes a loophole in insurance coverage for birth control.


LD1899 An Act to Ensure Safe Entry and Access for People Seeking Health Care and Other Constitutional Rights. Sponsored by Jay McCreight, this bill would re-establish a patient safety zone at health centers to prevent physical obstruction, verbal blaming/shaming, blocking phone lines and psychological intimidation while respecting constitutional rights to free speech and protest. Since SCOTUS struck down a buffer zone law in 2014, there has been an increase in protester activity at our health centers, especially in Portland and Topsham. Public hearing for LD1899 is scheduled before the Judiciary Committee on March 1 at 9 am. Please consider testifying live or submitting written testimony in support of Jay's bill.


GUN SAFETY

LD1861 An Act To Establish the Safe Homes Program. Good news! The final version of the bill passed out of committee unanimously and is expected to be approved and become law.


LD1446 An Act To Aid Municipalities in the Issuance of Concealed Handgun Permits. This bill requires State Police to carry out background checks for concealed carry permits in the 75 Maine towns not currently doing so.


KUDOS TO

LeAnne Grillo for her LTE Teachers can’t just be replaced in Harpswell Anchor


Linda Kreamer for her LTE for Ryan Larsen in PPH and Times Record (2nd LTE in the lineup)


Gregory Greenleaf for his LTE for Ryan Larsen in PPH and Times Record

(2nd LTE in the lineup)


Peg Newburg for her LTE for Ryan Larsen in PPH


Harpswell neighbors for texting to get out the vote for Ryan and displaying yard signs. Extra kudos for keeping those signs upright in the snow, frozen ground and wind!


READING, LISTENING, VIEWING

Rep. Golden introduces bill to allow Maine tribes to benefit from future federal Indian laws


Tribal leaders, other groups testify in support of bill to overhaul controversial 1980 agreement | Maine Public


The League of Women Voters-Downeast with WERU FM produces a monthly radio program Democracy Forum on topics in participatory democracy. This month’s topic is Facebook and Democracy: Can They Live Together? Listen on the web at Community Radio WERU.org.

​​Opinion | Can Democrats See What's Coming? - The New York Times

The White House Is Going After One of Climate Change’s Thorniest Problems from The Atlantic’s Weekly Planet Newsletter about climate change.

Ocean water along U.S. coasts will rise about one foot by 2050, scientists warn

Climate change will harm Maine's coastal infrastructure without revamp, EPA chief says

Pine Tree Amendment seeks to add right to a healthy environment to Maine Constitution

Our Power Maine Stay current on developments with Our Power.


‘Blue’ suburban moms are mobilizing to counter conservatives in fights over masks, book bans and diversity education

What's Up Under the Dome With Family Medical Leave? Recent discussion on Maine Challenge.

Is the Coronavirus in Your Backyard? - The New York Times



STAY HEALTHY AND WELL