The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.


Wednesday July 1


Hot Hardware -
has ordered up 64,000 additional Apple notebooks for schools. . . The move was part of the Department of Education's decision to expand the Maine Learning Technology Initiative into all public high schools, a program that has been ongoing since 2002. Apple competed with an undisclosed amount of other computer makers for the first and latest bids, with the earliest order of 7,000 more machines coming in a few weeks. . . The laptop package provided by Apple includes a wide array of educational software, professional development, repair and replacement and technical support. . . It seems as if the latest batch of notebooks will be MacBooks, but it's hard to say if students will receive the lone remaining white MacBook or the just-phased-out aluminum 13" MacBook. Either way, we doubt Maine students will be complaining.

Governor Baldacci has signed a new law that will require "clear and convincing evidence that a guardian is needed for a disabled person. . .

Exception Magazine - The Clean Beaches Council has just published their annual list of America's cleanest beaches. Twenty states were analyzed and two beaches from Maine, Sand Beach and Echo Beach, both in Acadia National Park, made their list. They have been designated as "Blue Wave" beaches, those that meet the standards of the Council's environmental certification program. . . All of Maine's are relatively clean, especially when compared to those in other states.

WCSH - For the first time ever 52 of Maine's operational lighthouses will be open to the public, free of charge. The event will take place on Saturday, September 12th from 9am to 3pm.

Business Week - Prices for lobster plunged last year to levels not seen in 20 years, leading a growing number of lobstermen to sell from the backs of pickup trucks, from garages, and even on the Web. By going directly to consumers, lobstermen say they can make roughly $1 more per pound than what they get from lobster dealers. . . For the most part, lobstermen are selling lower than seafood shops and grocery stores. . .

Portland Press Herald: "In my 23 years, I have met so many people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities who are under full guardianship but who don't need to be, and really should be making their own life decisions," Disability Rights Center Executive Director Kim Moody said in a statement.

Dixfield has built a 40x70 skateboard park described by local youth as awesome.

Things may be getting better based on this headline: Minor Flooding In Auburn

Portland Press Herald - It's the fifth-rainiest June on record. By Monday morning, 8.36 inches had fallen on Portland, all of it in the past three weeks, according to the National Weather Service in Gray. The total is shy of the 10.86 inches that made 1917 the rainiest June on record, but nearly three times the average rainfall, which is 3.28 inches.

This year's LL Bean free summer concerts

  • Madeleine Peyroux and Kelly Joe Phelps
  • Patty Loveless with Marcia Ramirez
  • Dan Zanes and Friends
  • Matt Dusk
  • Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile
  • Blues Traveler with Jason Spooner
  • Dar Williams
  • The Wallflowers with Wild Light
  • Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience
  • Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul
  • Asleep at the Wheel


Earl Rich, Nashua Telegraph
- When I was a teenager, I made a commitment to read every book in the Searsport, Maine library. that's not as daunting as you might think, given the small size of the library. I started in at 'A' and proceeded to nearly the middle of 'A'. I read some awful crap and realized that just because someone invested a lot of time and energy in writing a book, didn't mean that it was worth any of my time reading it. Because of the libraries low operating budget, a lot of the books were gifts or were a convenient depository when someone in town died and the house had to be cleared out. Thus, 100 year old books were common in the stacks.

In a way, it was very liberating. Starting a book, getting through the first chapter and then giving up on it was a good thing. It freed me from any obligation to an author. Sometimes though, with a little more maturity, restarting one of those losers surprised me because I could see the authors viewpoint from a different point of view. It didn't happen often and I don't worry about missing exposure to the classics.


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