When: May 06, 2015 0500
Expected Duration: 2hrs
Scope: Aubert, Crossland, Mahaney Clubhouse, Student Innovation Ctr, Libby
Buildings will experience a short outage (<10 minutes) while switches are moved to a UPS. Down time in Aubert will be up to a half hour because UPS has net yet been installed.
Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 561-3587 [...]
When: May 10, 2015 5 AM
Expected Duration: 2hrs
Scope: All USM Services
We will be performing network maintenance in our data center that will potentially impact all USM online services. Please plan accordingly
Networkmaine Contact Info:
Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NONE / Unknown at this time
When: May 01, 2015 7 AM
Expected Duration: 1/2hr
Scope: Sections of Luther-Bonney Hall
We will need to reboot a network switch that has frozen in Luther-Bonney Hall. The outage is expected to be less than 10 minutes, and will affect computer lab PC's and offices that are in the vicinity of the computer lab. Please plan accordingly. [...]
When: Apr 29, 2015 10:00PM
Expected Duration: 1hr
Scope: Emergency Maintenanc: UM, UMA, UMFK, GUS, US:IT, Muskie, Coop and Center Voicemail
Emergency maintenance. Will be rebooting all US:IT voicemail servers to troubleshoot a problem. No downtime is expected
Networkmaine Contact Info:
Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NONE / Unknown at this time
Re: Networkmaine Maintenance - Ellsworth City Hall, Belfast Hutch Ctr, Bowdoin Coll, Gould Acad, E. Millinocket Ctr, Houlton Ctr. Apr 29, 2015
On Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 7:43 AM, wrote:
> Where: Ellsworth City Hall, Belfast Hutch Ctr, Bowdoin Coll, Gould Acad,
> E. Millinocket Ctr, Houlton Ctr.
> When: Apr 29, 2015 0500
> Expected Duration: 2hrs
> Scope: Local connectivity and locally homed sites at each location.
> Switches at each site will have their SAOS upgraded. Maintenance
> will be done in a rolling fashion so that only one switch will be down at a
> time. While switch is upgraded, only local traffic will be affected - all
Networkmaine Maintenance - Ellsworth City Hall, Belfast Hutch Ctr, Bowdoin Coll, Gould Acad, E. Millinocket Ctr, Houlton Ctr. Apr 29, 2015
When: Apr 29, 2015 0500
Expected Duration: 2hrs
Scope: Local connectivity and locally homed sites at each location.
Switches at each site will have their SAOS upgraded. Maintenance will be done in a rolling fashion so that only one switch will be down at a time. While switch is upgraded, only local traffic will be affected - all other traffic should remain up via an alternate path. [...]
The 45th annual observance of Earth Day was last week, and all around campus there were events to celebrate our relation to the Earth and how we can work to try and make it a sustainable place to live by preserving its natural resources.
Kappa Alpha Omicron, or KAO, the USM Environmental Science Student Honors Society invited Lisa Pohlmann of the Natural Resources Council of Maine to speak on behalf of USM’s environmental student honor society about “The State of Maine’s Environment: A Status Report.”
Pohlmann laid out the current threats to Maine’s environment, most notably the government under Governor Paul LePage repealing environmental protections that have been in place for years. Several bills are before the legislature right now including a bill that would repeal the deposit on bottles larger than 32 oz.
According to Pohlmann, it will save companies such as Coca Cola billions of dollars because they now have to pay for that nickel deposit. If the bill passes, more two liters will end up in landfills instead of being recycled for the economic incentive.
Dr. Travis Wagner, environmental policy, teaches his students to come up with better policies and laws for protection so commercial development can continue, but do so in a sustainable way for the Earth and economics. He teaches consensus building at the grassroots level. Wagner agreed that the greatest threat to Maine’s environment is the “potential rollbacks” of laws.
“Proposal to take the parks and make that part of the department of forestry and to maximize timber harvesting on public lands,” said Wagner. “There seems to be no plan, other than just doing it. There’s no sustainability.”
Another of the events for Earth Week was the screening of the documentary “Cowspiracy – The Sustainable Secret.” According to the film, missing from the talk of climate change is the impact of agriculture, namely, raising animals for meat as the number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
A report from the United Nations found that animal agriculture contributes more methane and other toxins than all transportation in America. That’s more than all cars, trucks, planes and trains combined.
The filmmakers found the big environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club unwilling to talk about the ecological impact of commercial agriculture. Their stance being that Americans are unwilling to change their eating habits to more of a plant-based diet, even in the face of California’s drought, and rising temperatures and seas worldwide.
“Often people don’t realize the environmental impacts associated with the food they eat. Massive amounts of natural resources, namely fossil fuels, are used in commercial agriculture,” said Tyler James Cyr, president of KAO.
It takes between 442 and 8000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Cutting down on your meat consumption could cut your carbon footprint in half.
“You’ve got some pretty high environmental costs associated with that sandwich you’re eating,” said Cyr. “Rethinking how our food is produced and where we source it from is going to be a key consideration for our generation.”
Wagner said that the most important action for students is to be informed, because if you’re not informed then you don’t become active and concerned.
Heather McIntosh, environmental science policy & planning sophomore, echoed Wagner’s idea, saying that the most important thing to stopping climate change is to, “Get involved. Volunteer. It feels really good to give back and connect with your community’”
For students interested in taking action to keep our Earth a sustainable and clean place to live, there are certainly environmental groups on campus to join in order to become more involved: The community garden has plots available and teaches students about sustainable practices, or you could join The Eco Reps or DivestUMaine.
At the state level are groups like Pohlmann’s NRCM. She finished her presentation by saying “The bottom line is, are we going to fight or give up?”
A very important question to anyone who lives and works in Maine may be put on the ballot for 2016: Should the state increase the minimum wage?
The current minimum wage of $7.50 an hour hasn’t changed since 2009 and is absolutely due for an increase, according to Andrew Francis, the communications director for the Maine People’s Alliance, an organization representing labor unions.
A team of 32,000 members and volunteers has spearheaded a referendum campaign that hopes to raise the current minimum wage to $9 an hour in 2017. After that initial boost up, the Maine People’s Alliance wants to see the wage increase by $1 a year until 2020 where then the wage would be tied to the cost of living. This statewide citizen’s initiative is currently fundraising and gathering 80,000 signatures which will soon be sent to the secretary of state for approval.
Francis, along with many Mainers, believes that the minimum wage is a poverty wage and should be something a person can comfortably support themselves on; a idea that seems optimistic for the thousands that struggle to pay their bills with a low wage income.
“Each year we release what’s called a job gap report, which basically breaks down what a living wage should in the state and compares it to what jobs actually pay,” said Francis. “A living wage in the state of Maine, according to the report, should be around $15.85.”
After taxes, a full time minimum wage earner would bring home $12,300 in income, a figure members at the Maine People’s Alliance is “just not right.”
According to Francis, raising the minimum wage to even $9 an hour would do a lot of good for our communities and small businesses because it would provide a greater incentive to work and spend, which would pump more money into the local economy. Apart from that, a wage increase would satisfy certain moral obligations, because Francis believes that a lot of Mainers aren’t earning a fair wage for their labor.
“The reality is that a lot of Mainers are working full time and still struggling to pay their bills and rent. Then they have to choose between either putting food on the table, or medicine in their cabinet,” said Francis. “Raising the minimum wage is incredibly popular in Maine right now.”
Last year’s poll from the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center showed that 75 percent of Maine respondents supported raising the minimum wage federally, with 60 percent expressing strong support. Hyper locally, a poll of 203 USM students showed that 190 people don’t think minimum wage is a livable wage and 148 said that they struggle to pay the bills with their current job. 169 said the minimum wage should be raised to at least $8.75, while 49 people said it should be raised to $15 an hour.
Despite the support, there’s still some opposition to the community push for what they consider a “fair wage.” Greg Dugal, the president of the Maine Restaurant Association, said that if the minimum wage has to be raised, it should only be done so on the federal level.
“We’re definitely opposed to the local initiatives,” said Dugal. “The state and the federal government need to come together and discuss the minimum wage issue. Currently that doesn’t seem possible.”
Dugal, along with members of the Republican party, like Jason Savage, the executive director of the Maine GOP, believe that the minimum wage was never designed to be something that one can solely live off of.
“It’s exactly what it says it is,” said Dugal. “It’s for someone that is just starting at their job. Maybe a young kid that’s inexperienced, or someone that’s potentially working part time. One person making minimum wage will never support a family.”
Dugal’s method of success towards a person’s financial independence is what he called earning “a combination of wages.”
Anonymous responders to the Free Press survey seemed to agree with the sentiment of: if you want to earn more, work harder.
“Burger flipping was never intended to be anyone’s career path,” wrote one online responder. “It’s called motivation, people are motivated to fight for $15 but not to find a better paying job. They’re too afraid they might have to work or think harder. Better yourself.”
“Get a real job, slackers,” wrote another student.
“I started by working my ass off for free, working hard, and eventually earning everything that I have,” wrote another anonymous responder. “It’s really frustrating to see people complaining about minimum wage. Want more money? Become indispensable.”
Other opponents of the initiatives said that if if the minimum wage goes up to $12 an hour by 2020, it could affect the survival of small businesses like it’s doing now in Seattle.
“It would cause the economy to do a tail spin,” said Justin Tougas, a sophomore economics major. “What we need to do is to find some way to raise the real monetary value of the dollar, not increase pay just to cause unemployment and dollar value deflation.”
Just last week, Joel Baker, the owner of the Mr. Bagel on Forest Ave., wrote a letter to the Portland Phoenix saying that raising his payroll would doom his breakfast eatery.
“We here at Mister Bagel will probably have to close the doors if this new law comes into play. Saddened by today’s world,” wrote Baker.
Yet, according to Francis, 3,000 small businesses support their initiative, and will thrive once people that have more money in their pockets spend more at the local spots.
“A lot of small businesses already are paying well above $7.50 an hour,” said Francis. “And the ones we’ve talked to that actually are paying minimum wage have said that they can’t compete with the Walmarts, Targets and other chain stores. So raising the minimum wage actually puts them at a more even playing field with these big box companies.”
Shawn Chapla, a junior English major and sociology minor said you could raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars right now and the chain places like McDonalds would be financially fine.
“McDonalds and Amatos can afford it,” said Chapla. “They’re not going to leave. I’d like it if they did, but they won’t.”
Students like Chapla and Sarah Victor, an occupational therapy student, believe that minimum wage should be about providing people with an entry level job they can support themselves on, not one that exploits their labor.
“Just because somebody is gaining experience doesn’t mean they have to live in poverty,” said Victor. “The only way I’ve ever been able to cultivate a living wage and not be eligible for food stamps is through my self-employment as a massage therapist.”
Victor said that when she occasionally hires somebody to help out with work around the house, she pays them $15 an hour and that anything less would be unethical.
On top of the Maine People’s Alliance’s race to get the minimum wage question on the state ballot, Mayor Michael Brennan endorsed a separate plan to increase just Portland’s minimum wage to $8.75. Governor Paul LePage is attempting to squash these efforts by endorsing a bill, sponsored by Andre Cushing in the Senate, that would prohibit local municipalities from having this power.
“Of course he [LePage] is, he hates the people, clearly by his policies,” said Victor half-jokingly on the phone.
Earlier in the year, solar panels were installed on top of the Woodbury Campus center in Portland, sparking some questions. Where did they come from? Who paid for them?
Back in 2013, Dr. Fred Padula, professor emeritus of history, donated $50,000 to have solar panels installed in a visible location. Tyler Kidder, assistant director for sustainable programs, consulted Dr. Padula on where the panels should be placed.
“We wanted them in Portland, and wanted them to be very visible from around campus. Woodbury campus center was the best location,” said Kidder.
Some complications arose during the installation process of the panels.
“Unfortunately, Woodbury’s roof was in need of replacement before the solar panels could be installed,” said Kidd. “Much of the building has an old curved wooden roof, making solar installation nearly impossible on much of the surface.”
Because of these complications, the installation process was delayed a whole year while they waited for USM to replace the roof above the book store. This made it so more of the donated amount had to go to installation than originally planned.
“To this end, the solar array is smaller than it would have been if installed elsewhere, but also much more visible to passersby,” Kidder said.
Solar panels use light energy from the sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect, which is the creation of an electrical current in a material due to the exposure of light. This is considered to be a chemical physical phenomena.
As of now, there are no data on how much money is being saved in energy costs, but Kidder states that the panels are rated to generate 8.5 kW of power, meaning that in perfect sunny conditions, the panels could be generating as much as 11,400 kWh of electricity in a year.
Kidder did state that those are in perfect conditions and the panels will generally generate less due to conditions such as the angle of the sun or cloud coverage.
The panels themselves require very little maintenance unless something happens to them, like a fallen branch striking it, or there is a roof leak.
“In general, solar panels have an expected lifespan of 20 years. After that time, they tend to lose generation capacity and create less power,” said Kidder.
Kidder expressed that she was interested in seeing more panels installed around campus. “If we can get more solar panels installed, especially with affordable installations, we can make a dent in our energy consumption.”
At this point, there are four solar installations on campus: Woodbury, Abromson, which has 52 panels that were also donated by Dr. Padula, Sullivan Gym Solar Thermal, which was installed in 1982, and on the childcare/police station in Gorham.
“We are always interested in more partnerships,” said Kidder. “As solar becomes more and more affordable, it is definitely on our list of ways to lighten USM’s carbon footprint and reduce our energy costs.”
Last week, a bone marrow drive was held at the Woodbury Campus Center so volunteers could sign up to become a potential match for someone in dire need of a transplant.
Bone marrow cancer is a form of leukemia, a cancer of the bloodstream. According to the Maine Medical Center Developmental Department, individuals diagnosed with bone marrow cancer will eventually need a transplant. However, only 30 percent of patients are able to find a compatible donor within their family. This leaves the other 70 percent reliant on marrow donations from strangers in order to survive.
Micaela Manganello, a sophomore nursing major at USM, sat at one of three tables set up to greet and process interested students in the campus center. Manganello explained that there are a lot of misconceptions about donating, but the process overall is an easy one.
“The first table students approached was where I sat and helped them fill out the appropriate paperwork with their information,” said Manganello. “The second table was for cheek swabbing to sample if you were a possible match for someone, and the third to get your donor card with all your information.”
For individuals who donated, their information was put into the national registry where any patient searching for a donor can match with them. Swabs done on cheeks were immediately sent to a laboratory for testing. This process allows doctors to look for similar protein markers on their cells to match a patient with a donor. If a match is found, you get another call and go in for some final testing before the actual donation process occurs.
“The paperwork is honestly the hardest part,” said Manganello. “If it takes a minute or two out of your day and it helps someone else in the long run, then I promise it will be worth your time.”
Donors may only be asked to give their blood, which will then be transferred into the veins of a patient with incurable leukemia to keep them comfortable as the disease progresses. For most patients, especially young children, a bone marrow transplant is their best chance for survival.
There is the common misconception that donating bone marrow entails high risk and painful surgery to drill into your bone. Arlene O-Rourke, a nurse practitioner at the New England Cancer Specialist Center, said that marrow isn’t the only form of donation and the biggest risk with surgery is one that’s taken in most medical procedures.
“When someone donates their marrow, they go through a procedure where it is removed from inside the bone,” said O-Rourke. “A long needle extracts this liquid marrow from the hipbone and it is then put aside to be transferred into the patient with the disease. When you wake up, you’re sore for a few days but it doesn’t affect you in the long run.”
O-Rourke said that the biggest risk associated with donating is going under anesthesia, which is a risk that comes with any surgery. There is also a minimal risk of infection, but that shouldn’t deter someone from donating because donating can save a life.
“The cool thing about being a donor is if you do happen to match someone, they give you a progress report on how they’re doing,” said Manganello. “If both the participant and the recipient consent to it, you can meet the person you helped.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, every four minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. Out of all these patients, six out of 10 will not receive a bone marrow transplant because a match cannot be found. However, O-Rourke said this could be combated if more people would be willing to donate.
“Leukemia is more common in children because they’re growing and in elderly people because their bones are weak. If a child has rapidly growing cells, they can mutate into leukemia,” said O-Rourke. “It’s so important to donate because you donating marrow can save a child’s life and add fifty or more years to their existence.”
Lauren Durkin, a sophomore nursing major, encouraged people to donate marrow. For Durkin, the reality of needing a transplant hits close to home.
As children, her two older brothers were diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of childhood leukemia. Both of her brothers were able to find matches from strangers willing to donate to the cause. When Durkin turned fourteen, she was also diagnosed with myelodysplastic, but doctors were unable to find a matching donor for her.
“I actually had a cord blood transplant because they couldn’t find me a match,” said Durkin. “I had to go through chemotherapy and radiation, which basically destroyed my entire immune system.”
Durkin further explained that upon receiving the transplant, she basically was given a new immune system. She was in the hospital for six weeks after the transplant so doctors could keep an eye on her.
Durkin wants people to know that even though donating sounds scary, it’s actually pretty easy and can really save lives.
“When they told me I didn’t have a bone marrow match, it was a scary realization,” said Durkin. “I was lucky enough to have a cord blood match and my brothers were lucky to have bone marrow matches. I don’t know where we would be had it not been for the kindness of donors.”
Officials from the UMaine system will go into arbitration this week with representatives from the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine over alleged contract violations that may have taken place over the past year during administrative budget cuts.
The union alleges that 11 different contract violations took place that involved at least 26 faculty members, specifically when three academic programs were eliminated by the board of trustees in September, when tenured faculty members were retrenched in October, and when two other programs were eliminated in November.
AFUM’s 50-page contract with the university has specific guidelines regarding how complaints, or “grievances,” are dealt with. If a member has an issue regarding an item included in the contract, like workload obligations or scheduling specifics, that member speaks with the AFUM council and is advised on how to follow up. If a grievance is filed, it is taken up with the dean that member reports to, continuing on to the provost, president and system-officials if the problem persists.
Susan Feiner, professor and co-president of USM’s AFUM chapter, said that complaints about the alleged contract violations have been “blown off” during every procedural step.
Now that the union has exhausted contractual procedure, the statewide grievance board has agreed to fund the case being brought before an arbitrator.
“In this case, there were so many breaches of contract,” said Feiner. “This is crucial to our validity of our collective bargaining and it’s important to prove that tenure means something in our system.”
The arbitrator will decide whether or not the UMaine system violated faculty contracts and that decision will be legally binding. The retrenchments and program eliminations could be voided.
Feiner said she thinks that if that decision were made, the negotiation aspect of it might take longer than the actual arbitration. It wouldn’t be as simple as everyone getting their jobs and programs back.
“A lot of people who were fired are looking for other jobs, have found other jobs or have said, ‘I’m being forced to retire, I guess I’ll move to Florida,’” said Feiner.
Chris Quint, the executive director of public affairs, said that in his prior experience with unions, he has seen arbitration take a matter of hours to being spread out over weeks. Feiner said hearings are scheduled to take place this Tuesday and Wednesday, with the possibility of two additional days in May due to the number of witnesses.
“There’s no way of knowing how long this will take,” said Quint.
The hearings are closed to the public and most information will be kept confidential.
“We’re confident in our case,” said Quint of the UMaine system, saying they adhered to the AFUM contract. “It’s really going to come down to arbitration though.”