Archive for June 17th, 2014

UPDATED: #MEGOV LePage Skips NE Governors’ Regional Opioid Abuse Summit; Dismisses as “Chit Chat”

Posted on June 17, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

(5pm UPDATE) Despite earlier today acknowledging the futility of such a move, moments ago Governor LePage’s office issued a statement calling on Democrats to reconvene and pass his “war on drugs” bill:

Governor LePage takes media questions on LD 1811 during March 2014 press conference.

Governor LePage takes media questions on LD 1811 during March 2014 press conference.

    “Drug trafficking by ruthless, out-of-state street gangs is on the rise, but Democrats are still pretending Maine does not have a problem with violent drug crime. Organized drug gangs are flooding the state with cheap heroin, but Democrats remain obstinate. They refuse to provide the manpower law enforcement agencies need to prevent these criminals from addicting Mainers with this killer drug.”

    “We even identified funding to add MDEA agents, judges and prosecutors to help combat the drug epidemic that is ravaging our state. That money is still sitting there. I could call the legislature back to take up my bill, but Democratic leaders could simply recess immediately and go home. I cannot force them to do something they are not willing to do.”

    “Democratic leadership stated they won’t call the legislature back unless there is an ‘extraordinary occasion.’ They don’t think that deaths from drug overdoses, babies born addicted to drugs and violent street gangs peddling poison on our street corners amount to an ‘extraordinary occasion.’ But Maine people do.”

More via BDN:

    Lawmakers had attempted to revise the bill to make it more politically palatable, but LePage signaled he would veto anything but his original proposal and a bipartisan panel of legislators unanimously moved to kill the bill.

    Democratic leaders in the Legislature have said they will not bring lawmakers back to Augusta until the next session begins in 2015. While LePage has the constitutional authority to call lawmakers back into session, he said Tuesday that it would be pointless. Lawmakers, if they chose, could simply recess immediately upon being called back to Augusta, he said.

—–

Earlier this month, Governor LePage issued a statement on the then newly released 2013 drug-induced death statistics in Maine, which read in part:

Governor Paul LePage takes a question from NBC national correspondent Kate Snow during "war on drugs" press conference.

Governor Paul LePage takes a question from NBC national correspondent Kate Snow during “war on drugs” press conference.

    “Our Administration is focusing on the fact that Maine is subject to ever-increasing numbers of out-of-state drug trafficking organizations establishing drug markets in the state. This disturbing trend tears at the very fabric of our communities and puts our children at risk.

    As I have said in the past, we must be proactive in combating drug dealers and target our limited resources to better protect our communities.

    I think we all agree we also need to find more effective and efficient ways to treat addicts and provide them options that lead to successful long-term outcomes. In fact, the State has increased substance abuse funding in recent years from $7 million to more than $9 million. However, until we are able to curb the amount of drugs coming into our state, we will likely see the number of drug-induced deaths continue to rise.”

So with that in mind, it was quite startling to learn that LePage intended to skip a private meeting of all New England governors held at Waltham MA’s Brandeis University today with the goal of regionally addressing opiate abuse, sharing information and developing strategies. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick had previously unveiled his plan to deal with opiate abuse as he called for the summit:

    Patrick said he planned to meet with his counterparts from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine next week to discuss ways they could collaborate to reduce opiate abuse in New England.

    Representatives for Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy, Vermont’s Peter Shumlin and New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan confirmed the governors would attend next week’s summit. A spokeswoman for Maine’s Paul LePage, the sole Republican governor in the region, said he would not attend due to a prior commitment.

Today Maine learned what that “prior commitment” was- a photo op in Augusta:

    Crime is down according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Division at the Maine Department of Public Safety. Governor Paul R. LePage and Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Morris will release details at a news conference Tuesday.

    Governor LePage credits the overall decline to a variety of factors, including more coordination between law enforcement, the courts, prosecutors and domestic violence advocates.

    “Maine is one of the safest states in the country. We can all be proud of that,” said the Governor. “Our police departments across Maine deserve to be recognized for the work they do. However, while we have good news to report, we still have issues to address. There are some disturbing trends we have identified, which we cannot ignore. Protecting the public’s safety is the greatest responsibility of government.”

However at today’s press conference, LePage wasted no time in pointing fingers at the other five governors for his no-show:

    A spokeswoman for Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he did not attend because of a scheduling conflict but wanted to be kept apprised of details. LePage later complained, however, that as the only Republican governor in New England his point of view might not be heard.

    So rather than listen to chit-chat, I’m here trying to get the work done,” LePage said during a news conference on crime statistics in Maine.

The governor’s office even tweeted the message:

Reuters noted LePage’s past opposition expanding access to naloxone, saying that it could encourage addicts to avoid treatment:

A reminder: At the original press conference where he stood with multiple administration and state law officials, Paul LePage also went on record as calling marijuana a “gateway drug”.

*RELATED: (UPDATED X3) Maine Gov Paul LePage To Reintroduce LD 1811, War On Drugs Bill, As Emergency Measure On Veto Day (May 1)

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Theater At Monmouth’s 45th Season Opens with Variety Show (press release)

Posted on June 17, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

tam british invasion


    British Invasion Storms Monmouth with Variety Show

Monmouth, Maine – Theater at Monmouth kicks off its 45th Anniversary Season with the return of Black Fly Follies on Saturday, July 5 at 7:30 pm. TAM’s annual variety show, which turns 15 this season, introduces audiences to the summer repertory plays and company members on the Jewel Box stage of Cumston Hall. The 2014 Follies celebrates The British Invasion with improv, show tunes, Jimmy Fallon-style lip sync battles, parodies, and stage combat. This one-night-only extravaganza will be hosted by TAM funny-man, Mike Anthony. Black Fly Follies is a one-of-a-kind experience for new and returning audiences.

Join us for the rest of the plays of Season 45 where there’s something for everyone—Shakespeare’s most ardent lovers take center stage through the iconic story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet, and the whimsical, forest of Arden-bound soul-mates of As You Like It. We’ll revisit Oscar Wilde with A Woman of No Importance—surely the inspiration for Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey. And for those who think of the British Invasion as something with more sixties swing we offer Joe Orton’s outrageous farce What the Butler Saw. And for families, a world-premiere adaptation of classic tales from Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book.

Throughout the season, TAM will present other special events to complement the plays including:

Thursday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m. The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night” with Mark S. Cartier
In late 1963, as Beatlemania blossomed in Britain, the Beatles were offered the chance to star in their own rock ‘n’ roll film. Mark S. Cartier traces how the group conquered America, unleashed the British Invasion, hosted their own television special, and launched their first world tour—all while simultaneously helping to create what Andrew Sarris of the Village Voice calls “the Citizen Kane of juke box movies.”

Thursday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. Point Last Seen with Odelle Bowman
Hannah Nyala, search and rescue tracker, is so attuned to nature’s messages that she can read the history of a footprint and the secrets of desert sand. Adapted from the memoir of the same name, Hannah escapes an abusive marriage by teaching herself to track in the Mojave Desert. This multi-media performance explores finding one’s way in barren landscape.

Thursday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m. Legends: The Music of Judy Garland with Kelly Caufield

An engaging evening featuring many of Judy Garland’s most well-known songs and few surprises. Highlights include beloved hits from her movies, the Gershwin recordings, Broadway and cabaret standards, and more. Directed and co-written by Brian P. Allen. Musical direction by Victoria Stubbs.

Tickets for Black Fly Follies and all other special events are $25. For more information and reservations, contact the TAM Box Office at 207.933.9999 or visit www.theateratmonmouth.org.

# # #

Theater at Monmouth, founded in 1970, was named the Shakespearean Theater of Maine by the State Legislature in 1975. The theatre’s mission is to present innovative approaches to Shakespeare and other classic plays through professional productions that enrich the lives of people throughout Maine. Since its founding, TAM has produced expertly crafted, engaging productions in its three-month Summer Repertory Season entertaining audiences from 36 states and through Education Tours annually reaching more than 15,000 students statewide.

http://twitter.com/TAMonmouth | http://www.facebook.com/TAMonmouth |http://theateratmonmouth.org/

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