UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 29, 2009

DOWN EAST NOTES

What's been happening near the Review's headquarters on Casco Bay, Maine. Details in the Coastal Packet.

After a 31-year ban on coffee that left many fairgoers scratching their heads or fighting withdrawal, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association invited two coffee vendors to participate in the 2009 Common Ground Fair. The longtime prohibition goes back to the first Common Ground Fair in 1977 when, according to MOFGA's Web site, there were no reliable sources of organically grown and processed coffee. The equatorial crop didn't jibe with the fair's focus on Maine-made foods either.Today MOFGA has a working relationship with the Ereguan Coffee Collective in El Salvador,. . . Another Maine school department is considering offering contraceptives to students, this time at Noble High school in North Berwick. Two years ago in a controversial move, the Portland School Committee approved offering birth control prescriptions to students enrolled in King Middle School health center. Students must have their parents permission to be enrolled in the school's health center and parents can disenroll their child at any time. . . . Census figures say the Pine Tree State, for the fourth year running, has the second highest percentage of households receiving welfare . . .Only Alaska had a higher number.

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