I’ve always read a lot of Maine news. These days, I read it a lot more. For a largely rural state in a time when most outlets have been decimated or entirely replaced by syndicated garbage, the area has a robust press and an impressive network of hyper-local blogs. This is good for a number of reasons—sure, a pair of daily papers competing against each other for statehouse scoops is good for democracy and civic engagement. But you also get dogged reporting on, like, the torturous saga of the vaping lobster queen, a story for which I will remain grateful until the end of my days.
It was recently suggested by a well-meaning editor that I monetize the labor I’m already doing in sending her local Maine items all day. So here is a semi-regular blog about things going on in one very good state.
Do you recall Paul LePage, the rotund racist of Maine? Perhaps you’d recognize him as the guy who blamed state drug use on guys named “Shifty” and “D-money” driving up from New York to impregnate white girls, or as the politician who spent $22,000 of taxpayer money at a Trump hotel. Having tried and failed to secure a post in the Trump White House after finishing his second term, LePage briefly retreated to Florida, where he appears to have spent most of his time fuming and dialing into radio shows to talk shit about current governor Janet Mills. In late April, LePage made good on the hints he’d been dropping about running again, announcing on the Howie Carr show that he would bid for a third term in 2022.
And, as of this week, LePage has been spotted back in-state, attending an event at Augusta’s state house organized to protest the state’s stay-at-home orders. During brief remarks delivered from a great distance over cellphone, the former governor called the lockdown orders “unconstitutional” and criticized the current governor for her 14-day quarantine order for visitors out-of-state.
For the duration of the rally, where 500 people had gathered, LePage remained 40 feet from the crowd and stayed safely inside his Lexus with Florida plates.
This week in just absolutely abysmal tweets:
As the saying goes, since the pandemic, the earth has been healing: Visits to wildlife hospitals have gone down as Mainers drive less and presumably murder fewer raccoons. Submissions to the UMaine Tick Lab—a lab that will collect your tick, tell you its species, and test some varieties for blood-borne illnesses like Lyme disease—have absolutely skyrocketed. “We’ve actually added some questions to our [tick] submission survey to try to understand if people are spending more time outdoors because of COVID-19, and at a cursory glance, people are indicating spending more time outdoors,” the lab tells the Bangor Daily News. All of which sounds horrifying, and yet: “Have you ever heard a red fox scream?” asks the Maine Millennial in her weekly column.
This week in fuck Susan Collins:
It also was not clear if Collins or her Republican colleagues will respond
The Herald has a daily video series in which various Maine luminaries and friends-of-the-state talk about what historical moments occurred on a given day. I recommend this one, narrated by drag queen Cherry Lemonade:
“If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of a black bear’s mouth looks like, now’s your chance to find out.” [Bangor Daily News]
As the animals return to Maine, so too does Tucker Carlson, who is reportedly putting the finishing touches on his vacation-home-slash-television-studio in the Woodstock area. The “northernmost bureau” of Fox News, which Carlson purchased for $30,000 last fall, had nearly been scrapped when the press learned of the land’s sale. At the time, the right-wing personality blamed the Sun Journal for alerting the public to his presence in the small town. “All it does is hurt me,” he said.
Regardless, the sale went through and construction commenced on the retrofitted studio. As the Sun Journal reports, Carlson has shown a “keen interest” in such characteristic state issues as Somali immigrants in Lewiston (bad, according to the pundit) and a local brewery owner suing Maine after being asked to close his facility temporarily (good, naturally.) Carlson says he plans to record up to 35 days of his show from his Maine studio.
- I-95 Crash Leaves Truckload of Potatoes in Median in Etna [Bangor Daily News]
- The Cost of a Maine Lobster Vs. The Cost of a Maine Life [Portland Press Herald]
- Spear Farms to Honor COVID-19 Victim with Fudge [Lincoln County News]
- The homestead editors of the Bangor Daily News teach you to press flowers. [Bangor Daily News]