The Coastal Packet

Tuesday, July 29

Moving on from pot, gay marriage and abortion

Al Diamon, Portland Phoenix, ME - Allow me a selfish moment. I’ve grown weary of advocating for causes that may be good for society as a whole, but don’t benefit me at all. When some issue I’ve supported in this column finally achieves its moment of victory, I’m often left with an empty feeling because I have no interest in taking advantage of whatever change I’ve helped effect.

For instance, marijuana. It was never my drug of choice back in the days when I was choosing among outlawed pharmaceuticals. Now that it’s on the verge of becoming legal—a move I strongly support—I still won’t be inhaling.

Likewise, same-sex marriage. I think everybody should be able to marry whomever they like. For me, that would be Meredith Vieira or Emmylou Harris. Or, possibly, Meredith Vieira and Emmylou Harris. Unfortunately, the new law has done nothing to facilitate my efforts. I’m strongly in favor of the right of law-abiding citizens to buy and own guns. But I don’t possess any of my own. The same lifelong lack of eye-hand coordination that prevented me from hitting breaking balls renders me incapable of using a firearm to hit anything smaller than Godzilla.

When it comes to abortion, I’m firmly pro-choice. But for obvious reasons, I’ll never have to brave the gauntlet of rabid pro-lifers outside Planned Parenthood’s Portland office to get one. Nor will Meredith or Emmylou. Or my actual wife...

So, just this once, I’d like to devote this space to a cause that, if successful, would have a positive impact on me. To that end, I’ve formed a group called the Freedom of Liquor Acquisition and Storage Koalition, also known as F.L.A.S.K....

You might not realize it, but while it’s legal to carry a gun in Maine (either openly or, with a permit, concealed), putting a flask containing an alcoholic beverage in your hip pocket is against the law. The cops consider it to be the same as walking around in public with an open bottle of booze. This ill-considered statute turns a sizable segment of the population into lawbreakers, even though there’s never been a study showing any correlation between flask ownership and criminal activity. There’s even some indication that the opposite may be true.

“Using a flask properly is about quiet sophistication and softening the edges of a tough world with stolen moments among friends and reminding yourself that you’re a man who drinks real booze,” wrote Michael A. Lubarsky on the website


Down East Notes

Three reality shows being filmed in Maine

Update on Brunswick train facility problem

Monday, July 28

Market Basket workers and customers rally in support of ousted CEO

WCSH - Market Basket employees and customers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts continue to rally in support of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Demoulas was fired by the company in late June after decades of in-fighting among family members who control the privately owned company.

Today, supporters held signs alongside the entrance of the Market Basket store in Biddeford, which is the only one in Maine.

Customers signed a petition refusing to shop at the store until Demoulas is allowed back in the company.

Saturday, July 26

Maine, Hawaii, Montana states people least want to leave

Boston Globe - Only 23 percent of Mainers polled said they’d want to relocate. Hawaii and Montana were tied with Maine for having the lowest rate of residents looking for greener pastures.

Note to Eliot Cutler

Real Democrats don't get invited to run as Republicans

Press Herald -  Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler on Friday repeated his claim that the Maine Democratic Party asked him three years ago to run as a Democrat in 2014 and assured him that they could “clear the field” of potential primary challengers.

Democrats strongly deny Cutler’s claim, which he made Wednesday before a small gathering of supporters in Kennebunkport and was first reported by Seacoast Online. Additional Images The party denies it, but the LePage and Cutler campaigns seize the chance to cast Mike Michaud as his party's second choice. The party denies it, but the LePage and Cutler campaigns seize the chance to cast Mike Michaud as his party's second choice.

Cutler also said in an interview with the Press Herald that he was asked by Republicans to join their party.

Charlie Webster, the former chairman of the Maine Republican Party, also denied Cutler’s claim.

Yes, Maine even has one of these