Driving home through yesterday’s midday deluge, I decided to tune in MPBN’s Maine Calling program. The topic was “The consequence of paying our teachers poverty-level wages,” at least that’s what their Facebook page indicates. I joined at some point, about 20 minutes into the program.
The show’s host, veteran journalist Keith Shortall, posed a question that basically captured an idea that well-to-do places like Cape Elizabeth—the top-ranking Maine community by income—are likely to have greater parental involvement. Anyone that knows anything about socio-economic data and education wouldn’t have had any problems with Shortall’s premise. Here is but one study on the subject.
A year ago, my life was filled with uncertainty. The nonprofit where I’d been for six years laid me off—not for performance issues or anything related to not doing my job—but because they no longer had the money to support someone who was really good at business development, partnership-building, and managing multiple projects. Continue reading →
Maine might be open for business, but too often, the business being discussed and the deals cut by our fearless leaders in Augusta bypass Main Street for the malls and retail models better suited for a “Happy Motoring” utopia running on borrowed time. That belief sadly still holds sway, along with the presumption that excess consumption can be maintained into perpetuity.
Don’t get me wrong—consumerism will continue to drive our economy for the next decade at least, but true sustainability and local and regional economies built for the long haul are going to have to be led by locally-owned storefronts and production rooted in Maine, not corporate big boxes. Continue reading →