The Margaret Chase Smith Essays

Bite-Sized Democracy: The Virtues of Incremental Change

by Peter Mills In mid-summer on Mount Desert Island, the south end of Echo Lake is a great place to teach a kid to swim. The beach is warm and nearly flat. As you enter the water, the slope is so gradual as to be nearly imperceptible. While visiting there in 1981, my four-year-old daughter […]

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The Transforming Power of Literacy

by Barbara Bush Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved to read. From my childhood in Rye, New York, to my life with George Bush in Texas, China, Washington, D.C., and Kennebunkport (and many places in between), I have always had a book by my side and enjoyed countless hours reading. Books […]

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Challenging Climate Change

by U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe America is confronting the pressing and pervasive threat of global climate change. This is not a Democratic or a Republican issue, not a liberal or a conservative issue. This is a human issue, a planetary issue, a moral issue. It is a matter and a question of stewardship, of […]

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“These Very Impelling Reasons against My Running”: Maine Women and Politics

by Mary Cathcart Forty-four years ago, Margaret Chase Smith made history, by launch­ing her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Despite losing the primary, Senator Smith put a crack in the “glass ceiling,” and her story continues to inspire girls and women to follow in her footsteps. This year, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton came close […]

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The Maine Woods: A Legacy of Controversy

by Richard W. Judd In 1963 wilderness advocate William O. Douglas described the 10-million-acre Maine North Woods as eastern America’s “last natural frontier,” a land of pristine beauty worthy of the nation’s best efforts at preservation. Others portrayed it as an almost inexhaustible source of wood and fiber and a backbone for the northern Maine […]

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The Double Crisis and the Civic Mission of Education

by David Scobey In America today, we are living through a double crisis. On the one hand, we are mired in an educational crisis of legitimacy that afflicts both K-2 and higher education. Whatever else you may think of the No Child Left Behind Act—and I personally believe it inimical to good schooling—the policy is […]

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The Creative Economy in Maine

by Evan S. Dobelle Over the past several years, New England’s cities have looked with considerable success to the “creative economy” to spark revitalization efforts. The term refers to a host of economic factors, ranging from the role of arts and cultural assets, such as museums and symphony orchestras in local communities, to the rising […]

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Exceeding Expectation and the Knotty Question of State Tourism Policy

by Kathryn Hunt Two events in the last year tell an interesting story and, perhaps, suggest some ideas for untangling the knotty question of state tourism policy. This is an essay about those two events—the National Folk Festival, now entering its third year in its host city, Bangor, and the Biathlon World Cup, recently hosted […]

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The Dream of Coming Home

by Nancy Grape Ask a Stonington lobsterman how he feels about people “from away” coming to live out their golden years in Maine, and you may be met with a silence as hard as granite and as cold as the Atlantic. Waterfronts are for fishing boats, that silence is saying, not for gentrified retirement condos. […]

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Maine Code of Election Ethics

By Gregory P. Gallant A few weeks ago during my morning commute up I-95, I saw a Cold War relic, a bumper sticker that had been popular during the seventies and eighties. It went something like this: “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air […]

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