Hate crimes are on the rise − but the narrow legal definition makes it hard to charge and convict

BY: - December 6, 2023

With hate crimes, context is everything, and events outside of the United States – like the war between Israel and Hamas – can have far-reaching and potentially tragic consequences. Vermont police arrested a man in Burlington on Nov. 27, 2023, for allegedly shooting three 20-year-old Palestinian American men, seriously wounding them. Two of the men […]

Climate grief and the stark choice that confronts us

BY: - November 28, 2023

If the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, Americans can be found at all points along the continuum when it comes to global climate change and the environmental crisis that accompanies it. Like many who’ve contemplated a grim healthcare diagnosis that seems to belie of how they feel in the […]

Grief for Lewiston shooting victims ripples in New Hampshire’s deaf community

BY: - November 27, 2023

Over the past few weeks, our local deaf community has been planning and attending the wakes, funerals and celebrations of the lives of four deaf men killed in the October 25th Lewiston tragedy: Billy Brackett, Bryan MacFarlane, Joshua Seal, and Steve Vozzella. As announcements of the plans unfolded, I’ve been struck with a mental image […]

A tent encampment on the banks of the Saco River.

Being homeless means not being free − as Americans are supposed to be

BY: - November 26, 2023

Homelessness is a state of deprivation. Those who are homeless need shelter to be safe; they don’t have it. They need a toilet for basic bodily functions; they don’t have one. They need a shower to keep clean; they don’t have that, either. Because such deprivation dramatically affects the well-being of people who are homeless, […]

What moving to Maine and tragedy taught me about gratitude

BY: - November 23, 2023

This year, I’m thankful for new beginnings. I’m grateful for the way starting over has challenged me, humbled me and shown me that community isn’t confined to a ZIP code. In pursuing my career, I gave up the place I’ve called home for my whole life and moved to Maine. I traded the land that […]

Thanksgiving stories gloss over the history of US settlement on Native lands

BY: - November 23, 2023

Too often, K-12 social studies classes in the U.S. teach a mostly glossed-over story of U.S. settlement. Textbooks tell the stories of adventurous European explorers founding colonies in the “New World,” and stories of the “first Thanksgiving” frequently portray happy colonists and Native Americans feasting together. Accounts of the colonies’ battle for independence frame it […]

Relationship between mental illness, guns and risk mitigation is complicated

BY: - November 14, 2023

Every time the country is shaken by a tragic mass shooting and the loss of innocent lives, mental illness and its role in the actions of the mass shooter come under scrutiny. Mental illness again became a central theme after the mass shooting in Maine on Oct. 25, 2023, in which records suggest that the […]

Taps, to honor the living and the dead

BY: - November 11, 2023

Promptly at 5 p.m., every day, rain or shine, blizzard or heat, a volunteer bugler wearing a period World War I U.S. Army uniform stands at attention near the flagpole at the National World War One Memorial not far from the White House in Washington D.C. On a brilliant autumn day, I watched as a Black soldier attired […]

We’ve had enough conversations. It’s time for action.

BY: and - November 3, 2023

The devastating mass shooting in Lewiston last week shattered Mainers’ sense of safety. We are a state in mourning. Our friends and neighbors will face the heartbreak of lost loved ones, the pain of injuries, and the trauma of living through this for a lifetime. The impact of gun violence reverberates far beyond the moment […]

Sen. King should be challenged for failing to represent interests of young Mainers

BY: - November 2, 2023

When I was younger, I loved any story about kids teaming up and solving a big problem together. There was this powerful sense of justice to it all.  People don’t take kids seriously. On a societal level, we belittle and infantilize them and their opinions. So I loved the stories about children taking control and […]

Rebuilding our mental health system takes money and time. Gun reforms can happen now.

BY: - October 30, 2023

After U.S. Rep. Jared Golden’s public change of heart over the need for an assault weapons ban, Republicans, including potential rivals for his 2nd District congressional seat, said he was politicizing the tragedy in Lewiston. Maine GOP chair Joel Stetkis issued a statement saying “it is clear that many politicians are seeking to capitalize on […]

A crisis with no winners but plenty of collective pain

BY: - October 25, 2023

Israel and Gaza might seem far away from Maine, but they aren’t. Not really. The effects of the recent Hamas assault on Israelis and the Israeli retaliations in Gaza have ripples here, too.   Recently, my daughter worried when she saw a poster in downtown Portland of many faces of “kidnapped” people and was confused why […]