The listed services may be intermittent until the issue is resolved.
On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 1:08 PM, Andrew Henry wrote:
> OTT will be conducting emergency fiber maintenance tonight beginning at
> 11:30pm and concluding by 5:00am tomorrow morning (2/18). This maintenance
> will impact the following sites:
> MPBN Portland – loss of service
> MPBN Lewiston – loss of service
> Bowdoin College – loss of Bangor leg, service should remain operational
> over Portland leg
On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 3:30 PM Brandon Glenn wrote:
> Where: USM, Portland
> When: Feb 19, 2017 7 AM
> Expected Duration: 1hr
> Scope: 25 Bedford Street (DFM)
> We will be performing network maintenance that will impact data
> services at 25 Bedford Street, the DFM building. Please plan accordingly.
> Networkmaine Contact Info:
> NOC 561-3587
> Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
> NONE / Unknown at this time
OTT will be conducting fiber maintenance in the Bar Harbor area. This will
affect all fiber-served MSLN and MaineREN sites in that region, including:
College of the Atlantic
AOS 91 School District (MDI HS, etc)
Town of Bar Harbor
Each of these sites will experience a 30-60 minute outage at some point
during the maintenance window. Note that Jackson Labs, College of the
Atlantic, and MDI Biolab should retain some service through a backup link. [...]
When: Feb 21, 2017 11:30pm
Expected Duration: 5hrs
Scope: Diminished Internet/WAN services
During this maintenance, all services travelling south beyond Biddeford will be impacted.
Internet services will remain available through other paths although the overall capacity will be diminished. Users should not notice any impact.
The JacksonLabs link to CT will realize an outage for the duration of this event. [...]
11:30pm and concluding by 5:00am tomorrow morning (2/18). This maintenance
will impact the following sites:
MPBN Portland – loss of service
MPBN Lewiston – loss of service
Bowdoin College – loss of Bangor leg, service should remain operational
over Portland leg
Colby College – loss of Portland leg, service should remain operational
over Bangor leg [...]
By Sarah Tewksbury and Krysteana Scribner
On Thursday, Representative Larry Lockman spoke at USM in his presentation, “Alien Invasion: Fixing the Immigration Crisis” at 7:00 p.m. in the lecture hall located inside of the Abromson Center. The political climate was tense as community members gathered both in opposition and in favor of the conservative speaker’s visit to the Portland campus.
Before the Event: Protests and Political Tension
There was a presence of Maine GOP members and leaders at the event. Among them was Maine GOP Officer, Barbara Harvey, who greeted attendees at the door of lecture hall. Thirty minutes before the event was to take place, members of USM Future began a march from Payson Smith and traveled around the campus to the Abromson Center. Members of the group were chanting, “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
At the same time, two men stood outside of the building holding a sign that read, “Secure our border.” One of these men, Robert Casimiro, is a Veteran who lives in Bridgton, Maine. He claimed that he has been arguing for a more secure border since 9/11 and believes that a lot of protesters who oppose Lockman’s ideas have their “minds made up” and he finds it difficult to talk to them to share opinions.
“I’m not against anybody,” he stated. “I think it’s appalling when people are prevented from engaging in a discussion of viewpoints.”
Before the event, individuals also tabled behind the Young Americans for Freedom and College Republicans information station inside Abromson. One of these individuals, who has chosen to remain anonymous, stated that protestors needed more attention and gratification because “nobody paid attention to them as kids.”
Lockman Takes the Stage in Abromson for Immigration Talk
Inside of the lecture hall, the crowd was restless and had a sense of anticipatory tension as USM’s Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Nancy Griffith, took the stage. She began the event by saying that USM supports academic freedom and freedom of speech, further adding that USM is committed to teaching students “how to think, not what to think.” She strongly urged all audience members and speakers alike to refrain from hate speech or protesting behaviors.
Next, Benjamin Bussiere stood at the podium and introduced Rep. Larry Lockman by briefing those in attendance on the background of Lockman’s career and life successes. With the audience clapping loudly, Rep. Lockman approached the stage.
“Let’s talk about how we got to where we are today,” he stated in regards to what he deems is an invasion of illegal immigrants. He went on to provide the staggering number of taxpayer dollars that go towards welfare assistance.
According to Rep. Lockman, “the burden for Maine taxpayers is about $40 million each year” in order to pay for illegal immigrants’ social welfare. According to Rep. Lockman, $1.7 million in Portland alone is diverted to an account reserved for giving welfare assistance to illegal immigrants.
“The vetting process for immigrants and refugees in this country is badly broken,” he stated as whoops came hurling out of the audience. “This problem is not unique to Maine.”
Half-way through the speech, Lockman referred to Bowling Green, Kentucky as evidence towards his argument that individuals who enter America illegally can cause great harm to the U.S. He called Portland a “harboring haven,” and stated to the audience that the illegal immigration issues has “life or death consequences for Maine people.”
Lockman went on to talk about Freddy Akoa, a man who was beaten to death in his own apartment on Cumberland Avenue in August 2015. He expressed his disappointment in the media coverage of Akoa’s death and the consequences for his attackers. “Those killers,” he paused, shaking his head, “should have been deported long before they beat Freddy Akoa to death.”
“Frankly, I’m stunned at the utter lack of journalistic and professional curiosity that’s been on display here,” said Lockman, referring back to the story of Akoa’s death. He stared over at the media section of the event seating, as someone in the crowd shouted “Bad media,” which prompted snorted laughter.
He also briefly discussed his desire to change the structure of the state as well, specifically in regards to a bill he was trying to push through the senate. According to the Portland Press Herald, this bill, titled L.D. 366, would require the state and local governments to comply with federal immigration law and “withhold state funding from cities that provide a haven for illegal immigrants.”
Yet, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine stands in opposition to the bill, and “oppose anti-immigration legislation,” on the basis of potential racial profiling that could also occur. At this lecture, Lockman encouraged audience members to become involved in the passing of his upcoming bill. “We cannot afford to offer assistance to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen,” shouted Lockman, in which clapping followed.
Questioning Period Leads to Obvious Political Divides
During the questioning period, members of the community, from both ends of the political spectrum, shared their backgrounds, comments and questions. To begin the questioning period, a young woman who identified herself as a social worker from the area said that the “real crisis in Maine is elder care.” For what seemed to be comedic relief, she sang a line of a Neil Diamond song, singing, “We’re coming to America.”
The questioning period saw heated discussions, shouts and arguments between members of the crowd and individuals trying to voice their opinions and ask questions over the two microphones. Each individual who stood to spoke identified themselves – some were lawyers, other students, and other speakers identified themselves with titles such as taxpayer and foreign student.
Bryan Dench, a USM law school alum who has been practicing law since 1975, gave his opinion on Lockman’s proposed bill during the questioning period. Lockman thanked him for the “free legal advice.”
A Maine taxpayer, Lynn W., said that she is “sick and tired of paying for able bodied people,” in reference to immigrants and refugees in Maine who are on welfare because they are not legally allowed to work.
“I’m discouraged now and I want to know how we protect the taxpayer in times like these,” she said.
“We have elections every two years and we need to clean house,” stated Rep. Lockman in response to her statement, “[Constituents] need to exert maximum pressure on representatives. We tend to go whichever way we’re being pushed the hardest.”
A member of USM’s Student Government Association challenged Lockman, asking, “Why are you still here?” She argued that if she had made any of the controversial statements that Lockman has been recorded having said, she would be asked to leave the U.S., referencing Lockman’s heinous quote comparing a woman’s right to pro-choice with a man’s ability and right to force a woman to have sex with him.
Owen Yao, a USM student from China, expressed his frustration at the division in the community and in the U.S. and asked Rep. Lockman how all individuals can come together as Americans. Lockman responded by saying, “We all need to play by the same rules. If you want to be an American, you have to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution.”
The Free Press reporters observed that those in support of Lockman were predominantly Caucasian individuals – both young and old. In addition, the people rallying behind his beliefs with their whoops and cheers had no affiliation with USM at all, but were instead community members. One speaker, who did not provide his name, stood up to speak and accused Lockman of telling the version of each story that fit his argument and “left out key facts in order to gain a shock factor and increase support” for his bill.
Najma Abdullahi ended the questioning period with a bold statement, saying, “White men are the most dangerous demographic in the U.S.” Abdullahi asked Lockman, “How do you deal with white fragility?” he responded by saying, “next question.” While this legitimate question went unanswered, other sides of the political spectrum were prepared to argue with one another, but didn’t seem willing to listen to one another.
After the event, people rallied both inside and outside the Abromson Center. Protesters were not open to commentary, but referred media outlets to read the Portland Racial Justice Congress statement to the event, which was posted on Facebook. “As we face the rise of fascism and white nationalism, which now has a seat in the White House, we intend to build a bigger and bolder resistance,” the statement reads.
The Free Press will follow up if more information arises
When: Feb 19, 2017 7 AM
Expected Duration: 1hr
Scope: 25 Bedford Street (DFM)
We will be performing network maintenance that will impact data services at 25 Bedford Street, the DFM building. Please plan accordingly.
Networkmaine Contact Info:
Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NONE / Unknown at this time
By: Sarah Tewksbury, Staff Writer
Mahmud Faksh, a USM professor of political science, has called the Syrian Civil War the “greatest tragedy of the century.” The Syrian Civil War has had a global impact, triggering a massive refugee crisis, and has affected all corners of the world. In Portland, two USM students, cousins Dalia Muayad and Deena Raef, have close ties to Syria.
Both born in the U.S., Muayad and Raef are aspiring dentists, and though their futures look bright today, they have both experienced their fair share of darkness due to the war. Because of their bonds to Syria, Muayad and Raef understand how the war took hold and has developed since 2011.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in response to the 2011 Arab Spring protests calling for his removal from office, repressed Syrian citizens violently, ultimately leading to the conflict known as the Syrian Civil War. The war has been a proxy war for world powers and has resulted in at least 470,000 deaths, according to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research.
The Syrian Civil War has displaced millions of people, something Muayad and Raef both understand on a personal level. Their family members and friends have had to leave the country in order to find safety and stability. Some Syrians want to leave but have nowhere to go.
“A lot of the people don’t have anywhere else to go to and they don’t have family outside of Syria, so they feel like they cannot leave and instead have to stay in Syria where they stay at risk for dangerous situations,” Muayad said.
Spending all vacations and breaks from school in Syria visiting their family; the girls feel a deep, emotional connection to the country. With an aunt currently in Aleppo and their grandparents in Damascus, Muayad and Raef are aware of the conditions of major cities in Syria and the ways that fighting forces have altered life in them.
“My aunt who lives in Aleppo and is not in the eastern part of the city, so she is fine,” Raef said, “but even though she is in the safe part of the city, the electricity and water, it keeps cutting out.”
Atrocities committed by the Assad regime have also created deep divides among the Syrian people. Groups of close friends and families have been severed by political ideology based on which fighting groups they support. Raef spoke about the divisions within her own family and how they have affected familial relationships..
“It’s really sad for me because when the war started, I have a lot of family members who sided with the regime. So there’s this big split within my family. Half of my dad’s side is with Assad,” Raef said. “I’m against the regime and I got into some arguments with them. The media outlets they follow are completely different from mine so we do not see eye to eye.”
Since the inauguration of President Trump, U.S. media outlets have largely focused on the executive branch’s actions. International news has pushed the Syrian conflict to the sidelines, causing viewers who do not have a direct tie to the situation to forget about those affected. The war continues to carry on and refugees continue to be displaced.
It has been almost six years since the start of the Syrian Civil War and a devastating amount of damage has been done. Those connected to the situation are looking to move forward, to find ways that they can help to support the people who need it most: the refugees who have been forced to leave their homes and those who have held their ground within Syria’s borders.
“It’s so easy to find groups to get involved with or just give what you can from your own money and time,” Muayad said. “White Helmets is a really great group that has helped Syrians. We can try to do our best to fundraise and help out refugees, giving them the best lives we can, temporarily, until they can go home. I don’t think we can do anything when it comes to political things.”
Muayad and Raef encourage USM students to ask questions, read historical content as well as current news media. While it has been difficult for Muayad and Raef to stay hopeful, they made it clear that there will have to be a worldwide commitment to the rebuilding of Syria within the coming years.
“Sadly, I don’t know if it’s going to end soon,” Muayad said. “Even if it ends soon it’s going to take an even longer time to bring everybody back to Syria and make it better than it was before.”
By: Julie Pike, Staff Writer
Freshman student and political science major Pdg Muhamiriza will be taking on the role of student body vice president and will work alongside Student Body President Humza Khan. Muhamiriza stated that he was involved with the student senate only two weeks before he came into his new position.
“As soon as the former vice president stepped down and they took a vote, I talked to a few friends among the senate and they thought I fit the criteria,” Muhamiriza said. “The process was relatively quick and easy.”
Muhamiriza is in his second semester at USM. He came to Maine from his home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He stated that after his time at USM, he hopes to go to law school in the future and pursue a career in law.
Muhamarizia got involved with student government because it fell into his area of interest and had come into his new role ready with projects he wants to get started. He expressed interest in starting a debate club on campus, and a diversity club as well, which he is working with the chief of staff on the student senate to create.
The student senate has been faced difficult problems over the past year, but Muhamiriza believes only the negatives were being focused on, and the good work the senate was doing was being cast aside.
“People usually don’t notice the good, they only notice the bad,” he stated. “When negative things happened in the senate, people assumed they weren’t doing a good job. But when the senators are doing a good job, people don’t talk about it.”
As far as how the student senate can improve, Muhamiriza has his own ideas to bring to the table.
“I’m hoping to build an atmosphere of trust among students, so that we can try to be prepared in advance of whatever might happen in the future,” Muhamiriza stated. “In the last month and in the last year there was a lot going on and people didn’t expect that sort of chaos to happen. We should try to avoid that in advance and try to work with every group, despite any differing opinions.”
Muhamiriza knew that taking on the position of student body vice president came with important responsibilities.
“You need to be able to listen to people’s thoughts and try to be as transparent as possible,” Muhamiriza said. “You need to be loyal to the president and not take the job only for the pay but as someone who is willing to bring something to the table.”
Muhamiriza expressed a desire to be committed to his job, and he believes that is one of the biggest qualities needed to be a part of student government.
“It’s all about commitment, if I can do my job right and try to be as innovative and creative as possible, I think that will be my contribution to the senate,” he stated.
Muhamirzia stated that as far as he knew the student senate acted in a constitutional manner when they dismissed the last student body vice president, Madison Raymond.
“They did whatever they did in a constitutional way and that’s all there was. If it was done right and constitutionally that’s all that matters,” Muhamiriza said.
For now, Muhamiriza is focusing on the future and on putting time and effort into his role as student body vice president.
By: Julie Pike, Staff Writer
President Glenn Cummings was a guest speaker at the student senate meeting on Friday, Feb. 10. He spoke to the senators about the upcoming event at USM, a talk by Maine Rep. Lawrence Lockman titled Alien Invasion: Fixing the Immigrant Crisis.
Students at USM have pushed for the event to be cancelled in a Facebook post by the group Students of #USMfuture. Cummings decided not to cancel the event and stated that he doesn’t want the administration dictating what students can and can’t hear.
Cummings explained that Lockman has every right to speak at USM, as the First Amendment allows him to do so. He was invited to speak on campus by the student organization Young Americans for Freedom.
“Larry Lockman is a mosquito,” Cummings stated. “He’s just there to irritate us and see if we will act like he acts.”
In his conversation with the student senate, Cummings thanked the senators for handling the issue well.
“I want to recognize that you guys are classy people,” Cummings stated. “You guys understand why freedom of speech makes a difference and you stood by your decision to not shut this down.”
Cummings focused on the rights outlined in the First Amendment during his discussion with the student senate.
“Welcome to the greatest country on earth, you have the right to act exactly like Rep. Lockman,” Cummings said. “Along with that you also have the choice not to.”
Student Senator Aaron Pierce brought up concerns about having extra security at the event. On Feb. 1, a violent protest broke out at the University of California, Berkeley, where Milo Yannopoulos was scheduled to speak. Yannopoulos is a right-wing commentator who writes for Breitbart News. The protests caused $100,000 worth of damages.
Cummings stated that the university will be increasing the amount of police officers at the event as well as having other police on call. Cummings spoke to Portland Chief of Police Michael Sauschuck about having police close to the campus during the event.
Cummings made it clear at the meeting that if Lockman suggests violence or harassment in his talk, the event will be immediately shut down and he will be taken away. Cummings stated that it goes the other way too, however, and if people come into Lockman’s lecture and conduct themselves in such a way as to silence Lockman, they will face the same consequences.
“He is testing you, the students, that’s what this is about,” Cummings stated. “He knows he’s got an ignorant agenda. Nobody thinks he’s got any great wisdom to add to the world. He just wants to provoke you. He wants to provoke people to make himself look better.”
Members of the student senate had their own thoughts to add about the upcoming event and what the role of the student senate is during these situations.
“This is not what we agree with and this is not what we support, but by going to this event and possibly provoking violence, we’re not getting anything done,” stated Senator Shaman Kirkland. “If we were to have students not come to the event or to protest it, he would look like the person that he is, a person that doesn’t have power and a person that’s just trying to disrupt the university.”
Kirkland proposed the idea that Cummings should suggest that students not attend the event in a Monday Missives email. Cummings responseded that his job is to remain unbiased, but if there was an alternative event presented by a student organization, he stated that he would be happy to mention it.
“I’d love to wake up on Friday morning to the headline ‘Larry Came, No One Showed,’” Cummings said.
While Cummings’ expressed his stance on the matter, he ultimately left it up to the student senate to decide how they will move forward. He reiterated the fact that everyone has their right to freedom of speech.
“We don’t have the right to preach violence or the right to shut him down,” Cummings said. “He does get the chance to say his words and we cannot shut him down. However, you have the right to not participate.”
The overall agreement of the student senate was to not take a side. Student Senator Pierce stated that the student senate should remain supportive of every student.
“We are supposed to appear impartial no matter what and allow everybody the right to speak,” stated Senator Dylan Reynolds, who was inducted at the meeting as the Assistant to the Student Body Vice President.
Lockman’s talk will take place on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Wishcamper Center. President Cummings and the student senate hope the event will be peaceful.