When: Feb 14, 2016 6:00AM
Expected Duration: 1/2hr
Scope: Portland Campus Wireless
Portland campus wireless IP address space will be reallocated. Wireless service will be intermittent for the duration.
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Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
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Local & State
Presidential race may be causing Mainers to overlook ballot initiatives
The country will be electing a new president in 2016, but Maine voters will have a lot more to think about than just who they want to be their next president. Some believe that it’s possible that because it’s a big election year, some ballot measures are being overlooked.
In November, voters will be deciding on six potential ballot measures, including raising the minimum wage for the state, legalizing marijuana and mandating background checks on private gun sales.
As of now, only the establishment ranked-choice voting has qualified for the ballot. The other measures are still going through the validation process to make sure that all signatures are valid, and that the right amount of signatures were obtained.
While some believe that the ballot measures are getting pushed to the side because of the presidential race, others think that because it is a presidential election year, this will increase voter turnout in November, which in turn could help certain ballot measures.
Power company donates award-winning book to Maine schools and libraries for 16 consecutive years
Central Maine Power has donated the award-winning book Nana in the City to more than 600 public and private schools, as well as libraries, across the state. This is the 16th straight year Central Maine Power has been donating this book to schools and libraries.
“We’re happy to donate this wonderful book to the libraries and schools we serve,” Sara Burns, president and CEO of Central Maine Power, said. “We hope Nana and the City will spark a love for reading and creativity that lasts a lifetime.”
Nana in the City tells the story of a young boy who takes a trip to the big city to visit his grandmother. At first, the noises and crowds scare the boy, but with a little help from his grandma, that fear quickly turns into excitement.
Donating books is just one of the things that Central Maine Power does to help prepare children to lead productive lives: They also provide scholarships to those who plan on studying engineering or want to participate in technology programs.
Maine lawmakers to consider making punishments harsher for drug offenders
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills spoke in front of the legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee, proposing a bill that would make the possession of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and various other drugs a felony.
According to Mills, under the current law, the punishment for possession is nothing more than a “slap on the wrist.”
“I know that facing a lengthy sentence is sometimes the only motivating factor for someone to confront their addiction and get the treatment they need,” Mills said.
Rep. Mick Devin was opposed to Mills’ plan, stating that the state should be more focused on locking up drug dealers rather than on locking up people who have become addicted. Devin proposed that a first offense for possession should be left as a misdemeanor, but that a second offense could be charged as a felony.
Florida prepares for potential Zika virus outbreak
The Zika virus, a disease transmitted through mosquitos and that has been wreaking havoc in South America, has Florida officials preparing for the worst
Because of Florida’s warm climate, which can house mosquitoes year-round, and the amount of international travellers that come to Florida, the state is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the virus. Door-to-door inspections have increased in neighborhoods where 12 Zika cases have been reported, but officials say that these individuals contracted the virus while travelling abroad.
“With 20 million people and over 100 million tourists, we need the CDC to immediately provide these kits to Florida so we can protect our families and of course all of our visitors,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said at a Tampa news conference.
Gov. Scott has also asked the CDC for 1,000 kits to test for viral antibodies in pregnant women. The state currently has 500 tests on hand.
President Obama wants to impose fee to insure cleaner transportation of oil
President Obama wants oil companies to pay a $10 fee per barrel of oil transported, which will help fund investments for clean transportation that will help fight climate change. The bill will be presented to Congress on Tuesday and is already expected to face opposition from the Republicans .
Despite the opposition, Obama hopes that this bill will at least start a conversation about the need for energy producers to start helping fund efforts for clean transportation.
The $10 fee would be phased in over the next five years, and is projected to provide $20 billion per year which can be used for investing in cleaner transportation. The American Petroleum Institute states that the fee would raise the cost of gas by 25 cents.
Democrats debate just days before New Hampshire primaries
After Martin O’Malley dropped out of the presidential race, the Democratic debate, which took place a few days before the New Hampshire primaries, featured a head-to-head, with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Sanders began his opening statement by warning the American public that almost all new income that is created goes to the top one percent, all while Americans continue to work longer hours for low wages.
Clinton attacked Sanders for not being progressive enough on the issue of gun control, stating that he voted against the Brady Bill five times and that he voted to give gun makers and sellers immunity.
Sanders fired back, saying that Clinton is too influenced by Wall Street to follow through on her claims to break them up, pointing out that she has accepted millions of dollars in speaking fees from Wall Street firms, and that some of her top donors are big Wall Street banks.
WikiLeaks founder feels vindicated after U.N. panel ruled he was being arbitrarily detained
Julian Assange, founder of the website WikiLeaks, has been on the run from governments across the globe for the last few years after he stole documents and started releasing government secrets through the website.
Last Friday, a U.N. panel ruled in favor of Assange, saying that the Swedish and U.K. governments have been detaining him arbitrarily since 2010. While the U.N. ruled in his favor, Assange doesn’t appear ready to test his luck just yet. e remains at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
Assange is still wanted in Sweden on allegations of rape, and he said that he fears if he leaves the embassy he will be extradited to the United States to face the death penalty over allegations of revealing top secret government information.
Norway’s taking weapons away from police after allowing them for just one year
In November of 2014, Norwegian police officers were ordered to be armed at all times, whereas before that police officers were to keep their guns locked up in their cars. This new experiment last about 14 months, and last Wednesday, officers in Norway were ordered to go back to locking up their firearms.
The experiment started when a threat assessment made in October 2014 found that Norway was to be a likely recipient of a terrorist attack within the next 12 months. In 2015, another threat assessment was made, claiming that there was no longer any threat.
After the 2015 assessment, Norway got ready to lock their guns up once again, but after the terrorist attacks in Paris, they decided to temporarily extend the arming of police.
During the year of being fully armed while on the job, there was reportedly no increase in the number of incidents involving police firearms. Many officials credit this to the high levels of training Norwegian police officers are given to restrain from using their weapons unless absolutely necessary.
All information gathered for Briefs was taken from: The Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, CNN and The New York Times.
By Zachary Searles
Last Wednesday afternoon, three philosophy scholars, along with an audience of about 20 individuals, gathered in Luther Bonney to discuss and critique Immanuel Kant’s essay What is Enlightenment?, which was published in 1784.
The Enlightenment, which swept through Europe in the 18th century, was a time where philosophers were questioning the way the world had been working for centuries. They preached liberty and were tired of church and government officials hurling abuse at them.
In the opening of the essay, Kant claims that enlightenment is “man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage.” In other words, Kant says that in order for you to become a liberated individual, you must have the courage to use your own mind and think for yourself without the guidance and influence of others.
Kant goes on to argue that cowardice and laziness are the reasons why large groups of humankind will remain “minors” for their entire lives, mainly because being a minor is comfortable.
Dr. Robert Louden, professor of philosophy at USM, was the first speaker at the event. Having published a book that critiqued Kant’s essay, he discussed the ten problems with Kant’s proposal for how one can reach enlightenment.
Louden defined enlightenment as a world where people think for themselves rather than one where people blindly follow authority and convention.
One of Louden’s big critiques is that Kant’s position rules out all forms of resistance, violent and nonviolent, including things like protests, hunger strikes and revolutions, which have no place in society, according to Kant.
“So what good is philosophy? Kant’s position forces people to sometimes act against their beliefs, and this implies that philosophical argument is sometimes inefficacious and impotent,” Louden said.
Kant is often interpreted as advocating for complete freedom of the press, but Louden said that this probably wasn’t the case. According to Louden, Kant wants a loosening of restrictions on the press, but not complete freedom.
“Publications alone are not going to bring enlightenment, and requiring absolute obedience to one’s government and employer is inconsistent with autonomy and human dignity,” said Louden in his conclusion. “Argue but obey is bad advice.”
David Cummiskey, professor and chair of the philosophy department at Bates College, was the next speaker at the event. He looked at the similarities between enlightenment and awakening, comparing Kant’s ideas to those of Buddha.
According to Cummiskey, Buddha insisted that people not just accept his teachings and should, instead,constantly be challenging them, which is similar to what Kant was arguing in his essay. Kant didn’t think you should just accept something because it came from authority. Kant and many enlightenment thinkers, like Buddha, wanted people to be constantly challenging ideas, especially those coming from the top.
When talking about Kant and his essay, Cummiskey used the definition of enlightenment given by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which states: “The faith of Enlightenment – if one may call it that – is that the process of enlightenment, of becoming progressively self-directed in thought and action through the awakening of one’s intellectual powers, leads ultimately to a better, more fulfilled human existence.”
The final speaker was Dr. Sarah Marquardt, professor of philosophy at USM. Her topic of discussion was questioning the inclusiveness of Kant’s concept of enlightenment, claiming that women were not included in his essay or under this concept of enlightenment.
Marquardt used some of Kant’s other writings to make her argument, including a section where Kant argues that women are fearful because fear is implanted into them when they are embryos, making it impossible for them to think for themselves.
Another piece of Kant’s work states: “[Women] use their books somewhat like a watch, that is, they wear the watch so it can be noticed that they have one, although it is usually broken or does not show the correct time.”
As Marquardt pointed out, these two works show what Kant’s ideas of women were, so it isn’t a stretch to claim that he didn’t think women couldn’t be enlightened.
As Louden pointed out at the end of the discussion, even though this essay is over 200 years old, the topics Kant discusses are still prominent today. Dozens of books about and critiques of Kant’s essay have been published, and yet one question is still left unanswered: What is Enlightenment?
Driving 101: Give It the Corn Bub
Motor vehicle crash, 25 Durham St. M/V accident report taken
Now You See It, Now You Don’t
Suspicious incident, G12 parking lot. Unfounded.
If They Cared You Would of Gone to Maine Med
Medical emergency, Robie Andrews Hall. Gorham rescue transported student to Mercy Hospital
Biology Bores Hobo
Medical emergency, Science building. Report of a person passed out. Portland medical transported
Lawyers Are Despicable Lurkers
Suspicious incident, Law Building. Report of a person outside acting suspiciously. Unfounded
6 Cops Can’t Track Ghost Car
Attempt to locate for Gorham PD. GPD called to inform us of a vehicle driving erratically. Vehicle was found on campus unoccupied.
This Campus Is Haunted By Prank Callers
911 call, 59 Exeter St. Emergency phone from elevator rang into dispatch. No caller on phone or in elevator
Do You Smell What I Smell?
Drug complaint, Upton Hastings Hall. Smell of marijuana reported from second floor. Officer investigating
That’s Where I Left My Lunchable and Banana Peel
Suspicious incident, Glickman Library. Report of a suspicious grocery bag/package left behind. Checked by officer. Safe.
Your Car Was All Up In My Car’s Grill
Motor vehicle crash. Hit & Run. G16 Parking Lot. Student reported a vehicle was struck by an unknown vehicle. Report taken.
Narcs Galore at USM
Drug complaint, Upperclass Hall. Report of the smell of marijuana coming from the fourth floor. Officer investigating. Report taken.
By Bryer C. Sousa/Contributor
As the presidential hopefuls refocus their efforts upon New Hampshire following the virtual tie between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, as well as Ted Cruz’s win over Donald Trump in Iowa, one may be wondering how the caucusing process works in both parties in Maine.
Robert W. Glover, an assistant professor of the honors program and political science at the University of Maine at Orono, said that “the caucuses basically determine the number of delegates a candidate will be apportioned at the state and national party conventions (with a little bit of leeway—there are always a few delegates that are not bound to the results of the state caucus).”
In fact, Maine is one of thirteen states and three U.S. territories that makes use of caucusing in order to declare its states party members’ preferences for the Democratic presidential nominee and the Republican presidential nominee.
This process of caucusing that takes place in Maine and elsewhere is much more involved than participating in a primary, where members of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party cast secret ballots for their favorite candidates. The caucusing process is also different in each party.
For registered Democratic voters in the State of Maine, the Maine Democratic Party works with the local Democratic municipal and county committees to design the caucuses that will take place on Sunday, March 6, 2016. Nevertheless, once signed into the municipal caucus, the precinct caucuses convener will explain the rules, process and address required Democratic Party business.
Afterwards, the voters in attendance at the caucus split into groups based upon who they prefer of the candidates running. Finally, the results of the people’s presidential candidates preferences will yield an allocation of a number of delegates to be divided in proportion to the support garnered for each nominee.
The Maine Republican Party will hold its respective nominating caucuses on Saturday, March 5, 2016, across the State of Maine.
Unlike the Maine Democratic Party, the Republicans conduct their caucus by way of voting via paper ballots, where any registered voter in the party can participate. Following the caucus results, the number of delegates each candidate receives will be determined by the percent of the votes they receive. However, if any Republican candidate receives greater than 50% of the ballots cast, they will be awarded all of Maine’s delegates.
For those among us who are not affiliated with a party, or in other words are unregistered or unenrolled, and would like to participate in a particular party’s caucus, there is still time to register to vote as a Democrat or Republican at a local municipal clerk’s office prior to caucus day.
Professor Glover also identified that “there are obviously positives and negatives with this method. A caucus demands greater participation and is more of a commitment of time and energy and forces citizens to advocate on behalf of their candidate.” Glover concluded by mentioning that the “primaries are simpler, but a less demanding and engaged political activity.”
By Bradford Spurr
Back in 2008, the world stopped and watched as the most powerful and democratically free economy was brought to its knees after several years of mismanaged financial practices from some of the nation’s largest banking and securities institutions, which led to big banks needing to be bailed out because of faulty housing loans.
In the metropolitan greater Portland area, nearly one-third of the state’s population calls the town home, and with limited renting space, this is causing a micro-housing boom. An independent real estate data firm, Zillow, estimated that between May 2014 and May 2015, the average price to rent an apartment rose 17.5 percent, which was the second greatest increase in the nation. The Southern Maine Landlord Association puts that increase at anywhere from nine to 11 percent.
Tyler Norod, housing planner for the City of Portland, attributes this rise to increased pressure on the market that simply does not have enough housing to accommodate surging need. Proposed efforts to invest in dormitory housing for the Portland campus by USM would have a dramatic impact on the city.
“It is hard to say what kind of an impact dorms in the Portland area would have without a concrete proposal in front of me. It would help take students out of the rental stock and create vacancies,” Norod said.
At the more local level, John Jackson III, senate chairman for the USM student government association, only sees dorms in the Portland area as a positive. After a recent referendum, dormitories in Portland ranked as the most important issue in students’ lives. After it was announced last semester that the school would be pursuing this plan and that the topic was now up for discussion, he spoke to the current state of potential dorms in Portland.
“The administration is pushing it forward. They know that it is something that ranked heavily on the student’s radar during the referendum that we had. I think it was at 85 percent were looking for a dorm in Portland,” Jackson said.
With such a huge majority of USM students pointing to this issue as the one they’d like to see resolved, it is hard to ignore the current logistical nightmare of finding space within walking distance to the campus for more than 4,000 students.
“The university is actually taking it pretty seriously, they’ve looked a lot at Bayside. They have taken some tours, quite a few as a matter of fact, they’ve done facilities tours, tours in general to check out the apartments. The outlook and progress is looking really good at this time. I don’t know exactly where they stand as of this moment though because I am not privy to that information right now,” Jackson said. “It has been mentioned about Fall of 2016, but nothing is concrete because there is no contract signed yet. They are still in the negotiating aspect of the deal.”
With the holidays and the new year firmly behind us, it is now time to look to the future of USM as it grapples with an identity crisis that stems from fiscal troubles that have wracked the school for the past several years. Hopefully all does go as planned, and that the university will announce official plans soon.
During the last weekend of January, the arbitrator reviewed last year’s retrenchments at USM and made a final decision about them, claiming that the process did not violate the collective bargaining agreement USM has with the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine (AFUM).
“We are terribly sorry that we could not deliver a better result for you,” Susan Feiner, a USM economics professor and president of the USM chapter of AFUM, stated.“We threw everything of this that we have. It was never a slam dunk but we were very clearly outgunned.”
President Glenn Cummings, who sent out an email to the university’s students, faculty and staff on Monday, agrees with the arbitrator’s decision that the retrenchments were financially necessary.
“I know this arbitration decision will have a mixed response within our campus community, but I am hoping, regardless of where you sit on the decision, that you will agree it is time for us as a university to move forward,” Cummings said.
Arbitrator Mark Irvings, who ruled on Saturday that the layoffs followed the contract, ordered the university to pay lost wages and benefits to one professor whose layoffs did not follow legal procedures. This individual was not identified. USM officials also claimed that the cuts were an effort to close a $16 million budget gap. Currently, the university has a budget of $128 million.
The 26 layoffs were a small cog in the machine of ways to cut costs, which ended in the elimination of 51 faculty positions and five academic programs. AFUM decided to challenge the decision to make such changes, which led to the arbitration. Irvings examined both USM’s and the entire system’s finances, and reached his decision on the basis that the administration was aware of the financial situation and was unable to change it without the cuts.
In the UMaine System, an estimated 500 positions have been eliminated over the past decade, with the most recent changes taking place last year at USM with the cuts of a graduate program in medical sciences, an undergraduate program in French, the American and New England studies graduate program, the geosciences major and the arts and humanities major at Lewiston-Auburn College.
“Reducing the costs at USM, including elimination of a number of faculty positions to better align expenses with the size of the student body, was an unwelcome but a necessary action to balance the budget of the university for the future,” former USM president David Flanagan, who made the cuts, said in an interview with the Portland Press Herald,. “We took great care to treat all affected members of our community as fairly as possible and to follow the terms of the contract with our represented employees to the letter.”
According to the university budget, the system has a current budget of $518 million and uses $7 million in emergency funds despite cutting 206 positions statewide.
During a retrenchment Q&A last Tuesday evening at USM, professors from a variety of departments across USM came together to discuss the outcome of the lengthy process, which lasted from April to September of 2015.
“The arbitrator said, early on, that one of the things that would have helped is that if there had been a court record,”Feiner said. “He said that in his email in mid-January. There is definitely no smoking-gun of evidence but there is suspicion felt toward administration.”
According to the documentation, there is language that states you cannot lay off faculty and then hire the retrenched faculty back to teach the same course load at a lower rate and/or hire newer part-time faculty as adjuncts to teach the same course load. Yet according to Feiner and many other professors at USM, this is exactly what the system tried to do.
“We actually have an ongoing grievance that is pending the outcome that pending the arbitration dealing with just that,” Feiner state. “It’s regarding faculty that were retrenched and that were hired back part time to teach the work. That grievance is ongoing on and will be revisited.”
According to a professor at USM, who preferred not to be named, the most striking part about the arbitrator’s report is his seemingly lack of understanding regarding how academia works.
“What tools do we have to combat that other than resolutions and objections?” the professor said. “As long as the Board of Trustees are such activists for their cause they just vote in whatever they want and ignore shared governance completely.”
Joseph Medley, an associate professor of economics at USM, stated that the university has been suppressing information about the number of employees in the UMaine system. According to his statements, the university used to report this information in October, but last year they reported in the middle of January and have yet to report on this past year’s faculty changes.
“What we’ve experienced with the new budget is that they take functions away from USM and in turn charge us more. That is one of the fundamental problems with the budget,” he stated. “They can cut revenue flows to us, increase charges and manipulate elements of our budget to produce deficits.”
Some asked what would have happened had the university won the decision. “We’d be celebrating,” Feiner joked. But according to Lorraine Carol, an associate professor of English, it is just as probable that more retrenchments may have happened six months down the road.
“None of us thought we were going to get an outright win,” Feiner said. “I think some of us that are realists were at least hoping for a mixed bag.”
For some, the belief that faculty governance is under national attack is an all too truthful reality. “We’re holding onto faculty governance by a thread,”an anonymous source directly involved at the university stated. “We have to start acting as a statewide organization.”
According to Carroll, USM has to be communicating with other UMaine campuses and use relationships with legislatures to, in turn, build better relationships within the system—and many agreed with her statement.
“We need to get a governor in place who is going to make better appointments to the Board of Trustees,” Carroll said.
University of Maine System
On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 11:34 AM, Adam Paradis
> *When: Feb 07, 2016 7AM*
> Adam Paradis
> Virtualization Administrator
> University of Maine System
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 2:50 PM, Adam Paradis
>> Where: Orono Data Center
>> When: Feb 07, 2016 9AM
>> Expected Duration: 2hrs
>> Scope: VMware vSphere Client (VC5)
>> Install VMware vCenter Server Update 3
>> Networkmaine [...]
When: Feb 10, 2016 5:00AM
Expected Duration: 1/2hr
Scope: 115 South,Brinkman,Dakin,Emery,RickerAdd,Merrill,Preble,Ricker,Roberts,Thomas
Wireless APs in the following buildings will be moved to a different controller. Coverage will be intermittent for up to 30 minutes.
Networkmaine Contact Info:
Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NONE / Unknown at this time