An ongoing discussion of politics, law, pop culture, and fine draperies.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Adventures in Journalism, Part One:
Old Lobster Wars, New Combatants


I've stumbled upon or been made aware by friends a handful of really good news reporting stories over the past week, either addressing big stories of local interest or local stories of big interest. I'll post them individually, as I need to do some excerpting just to make sure we don't get bumped by the evil archivists.

Thanks to Chris at All Things Maine for pointing me to The Christian Science Monitor, which published this great two-part story last week looking at the lobster wars of Matinicus Island. Here's Part Two.

Quick geography lesson: Matinicus, as the story notes, "the most seaward of Maine's inhabited islands, is cut off from the mainland town of Rockland, and the nearest police station, by 20 miles of water." As the reporter, notes:

Matinicus is the farthest-flung Maine island with a year-round population. There
are no antique shops, no saltwater-taffy stands, no restaurants. Groceries are flown in, and the state ferry comes no more than four times a month. The one-room schoolhouse had no students in one recent year.

More importantly, for the purposes of this lobstering story:
A touch of Wild West anarchism has always been a part of lobstering. Despite advances in technology and conservation, the profession is much as it was centuries ago: One or two men in small boats vying in open water for a finite resource, far from the eyes of the law.

On paper, anyone with a Maine lobster license can set traps almost anywhere. But on Matinicus, perhaps more than in other fishing communities, lobstermen patrol their turf with a roguish ferocity.

Outlaw justice here is equal parts tradition and necessity. Cut off by 20 miles of water from the mainland town of Rockland and the nearest police station, islanders don't make a habit of calling the cops.

On Matinicus, the nonnatives learn quickly that only one subject can make a man pull a knife or reach for a gun.

And that's what happened that drew the attention of Mary Baker Eddy and Co. Other newspapers in Maine – namely the Rockland Village Soup (ID maybe required), and Courier-Gazette – continue to cover the story as it unravels.

The gist is this: a fisherman cannot keep traps in Matinicus waters unless he lives in Matinicus, not according to law, but according to the Matinicus fisherman. One guy, Victor Ames, thought that he could continue fishing Matinicus despite moving to the mainland. The islanders weren't so keen on his idea and started cutting his lines, which angered the guy who left. One day, he literally came after those he believed were responsible – by steering his boat toward theirs, as if to ram them on the open water. Knowing to expect this, one such potential target, Joseph Bray, shot at his would be assailant with a shotgun. Now both are in court.

Speaking of …

Village Soup's Anthony Ronzio reported last week that the Maine Superior Court denied motions by both men to allow them to keep their weapons while changes against them remain outstanding. Not sure about the ethics of this one, but knowing how Village Soup is about making certain stories "subscriber only," here is the key text:

Many boats fishing from Matinicus, wary of the threats, are now carrying loaded
firearms while offshore.

"I used to have two [firearms] up until [June 13]," said Lavon Ames — a Matinicus fisherman and Victor Ames' nephew — during a hearing Wednesday in Sixth District Court in Rockland. "I have six after that."

Wednesday's hearing centered on a motion by Bray to let him possess a firearm, which he has been prohibited to do since his arrest. A cadre of Matinicus fishermen joined Bray to offer testimony on escalating tensions around the remote island, which they blamed on threats by Victor Ames.

"What keeps the peace on Matinicus is that people are armed," said Chris MacLean, Bray's attorney, in arguing for the change. "A firearm on board is likely to deter more problems. The only thing that's been a deterrent thus far has been a firearm."

MacLean referred to June 13, the day Victor Ames is accused of charging at Bray's vessel with his own boat, making throat-slashing gestures as he passed. Bray claims he fired at Victor Ames as warning shots, although in an affidavit, Matthew Briggs, Ames' sternman, says he heard the bullets go by.

"The bullet came so close to us that I could hear, over the engine, the whistle of the bullet," Briggs' affidavit states. "I turned to Victor [Ames] and heard another shot fired, again I could hear the whistle of the bullet."

Briggs also denies he, or Ames, made any threatening gestures toward Bray.

In testimony Wednesday, however, fishermen said Bray was one of many that felt threatened June 13. Tad Miller, a fisherman and Victor Ames' son-in-law, said Victor Ames passed menacingly by his boat, Mallory Sky, as well.

"He made a couple of passes by me. About five minutes before he ran up on [Bray] he ran up on me," said Miller. "[Victor Ames] was going boat-to-boat that day."

"Everybody knows he has made a lot of talk, about death threats and trap-cutting," Miller said. "I certainly think he is capable of doing those things. He definitely bears watching."

"I'm afraid for Tad's life, and my own," said Lavon Ames, who testified after Miller. "I had a strong feeling [Victor Ames] would come up on me shooting."

Assistant District Attorney Carrie Carney, the prosecutor, strongly objected to allowing Bray to have a firearm.

"Matinicus is still part of the state of Maine, and Maine does not promote vigilante justice," said Carney. "That is what is happening. I feel it's important not to change the [conditions], because someone will get hurt."

Court documents indicate Bray actually fired at the Hey Baby while the boat was moving away from the Si Ling. Carney said the positions of the boats argued against self-defense, as Bray was not in imminent danger when firing the shots.

MacLean said the Matinicus fleet remains on alert for Victor Ames, who is "lurking around in the fog, watching people" aboard the Hey Baby.

MacLean also introduced, as evidence, a 1953 photograph from the New York Times, in which Victor Ames is perched on the transom of a lobster boat with a shotgun across his lap. The article with the photo was about a prior "lobster war."

"[Victor Ames] is a threat and a menace," said MacLean. "If somebody tries to kill you, you have a right to self-defense. There is no allegation that [Bray] is a threat to
anyone else in the world, except Victor Ames, who tried to kill him in mid-June."

Victor Ames, on Thursday, staunchly denied talking to anyone on Matinicus, or issuing any threats. "I never made a death threat toward anybody," said Ames, 73. "I haven't retaliated. And I haven't been to Matinicus this year in the fog."

Ames said this controversy started with his ill health, and the enlistment of a fisherman from Vinalhaven to tend his gear in Matinicus grounds, which spurred retaliation by the Matinicus fleet.

"The whole crowd out there cut $30,000 or $40,000 of my gear," he said. "They're paranoid, and stirring up stuff that isn't true."

Ames admitted, however, he won't be intimidated. "If they're going to gang up on me, someone will be hurt," he said. "I'm not going to put up with that. I'll put my life on the line."

And the photograph, he added, was taken during a duck hunting trip.

Judge William Anderson denied Bray's motion to return his gun, but expressed understanding toward the reasoning. "I don't think this motion is preposterous," the judge said.

"This looks like the type of case where one, strictly speaking, did not have to use a
firearm," said Anderson, who added Victor Ames and Bray are barred from contact
per bail conditions. "If there is no contact, there is no need for a firearm."

For other fishermen, however, the need for a firearm remains greater than ever.

"In a tense situation, you don't take any chances," said Miller, during testimony. "Which is why I had a loaded gun sitting by me when [Victor Ames] went sailing by that day."

Sidenote: The lawyer who represents Joseph Bray – Chris MacLean – plays and sponsors a softball team in my league, and shares his practice with a friend of mine with whom I played cards last winter. The pangs of smalltown lawyerin' … it's fair to say that I'd prefer not to be on the enemies lists of any Matinicus lobstermen.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Parks data causes concern
about money and kids

A view of Pamola Peak, Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park

The Portland Press Herald today provides a
local view of the disgusting trend revealed earlier this summer in a study by The Nature Conservancy.

"The Bubbles" at Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

PPH's Deirdre Fleming reports that the number of Baxter State Park visitors "declined from 75,000 to 56,000 in the five-year period that ended last year," and that the drop in revenue generated by usage fees may mean the Baxter visiting season gets "shortened to cut down on the cost of staffing the park." She added, "Attendance at Acadia dropped 20 percent during the same period, from 2.5 million to 2 million."

MSNBC reports, these revenue shortfalls could have similar impacts nationwide.

These kids hate nature

The Nature Conservancy study was published in the July 2006 issue of
The Journal of Environmental Management. Authors Oliver R.W. Pergams and Patricia A. Zaradic noted that:
We may be seeing evidence of a fundamental shift away from people’s appreciation of nature … to ‘videophilia,’ which we here define as ‘the new human tendency to focus on sedentary activities involving electronic media.’ Such a shift would not bode well for the future of biodiversity conservation.

Fleshing it out, they noted:
We have presented data suggesting that as sedentary recreation choices involving electronic media become more prevalent and the cost of motor vehicle ravel rises we may, unfortunately, predict further declines in per capita NPV.If it is indeed true that people have changed their behavior, that they go to national parks less (at least in part) because they are more sedentary and use electronic media more, what does this mean for biodiversity conservation in general? There would seem to be at least two possible biodiversity conservation related viewpoints. One viewpoint might see declining per capita NPV, and the resulting reduced ecological pressure on our national parks, as being a good thing. An opposing viewpoint might see people’s apparent decrease in ‘biophilia’ and corresponding increase in ‘videophilia’ (which we here define as ‘‘the new human tendency to focus on sedentary activities involving
electronic media’’) as being a very bad thing indeed. [E. O.] Wilson[, in "Biophilia",., 1984. Biophilia. Harvard University Press] defined biophilia as ‘‘the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes,’’ or the ‘‘innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms’’ (Wilson, 1984).
According to Wilson we humans have an affinity for the natural world that has evolved over millennia and is part of our genes, just like our tendency to be territorial or to protect our young. [S.] Kellert, [in "The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society," Island Press, (1996)] described human cultural learning and experience as exerting a fundamental shaping influence on the content, direction, and strength of people’s nature-related values. Any shift in the value placed on natural areas and experiences will affect the value placed on biodiversity conservation. If we are indeed seeing a fundamental decline in people’s appreciation of (and attachment to) natural areas, the authors feel this does not bode well for the future of biodiversity conservation.
Wonderful news, eh? While I'm not prepared to enroll the young man in any kind of crash course in Luddite-ism, I suggest that this is another example of something that needs to be fought locally – as local as within our own families and among our circles of friends. For sure, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so it's likely our families and friends already share our views. But considering Ms. Fleming's reports about Baxter and Acadia visitorship, I'll pause before exempting Maine from the Nature Conservancy's castigation.

That said, I wonder how much of the visitorship drop-off relates to the jump in gas prices. Perhaps some study is in order to check the usage numbers at Maine's
other State Parks. It's not such a concern if the folks who aren't visiting Baxter are instead visiting the outdoors. closer to home, in previously unexplored places in Western Maine, or something else entirely new.

Looking down on Hosmer Pond from Bald Mountain, in Camden

After all, our
trip to Sugarloaf/Eustis Rangeley didn't seem fostered by or in service of anything like what is deemed "biophilia." And we weren't the only ones in Western Maine over the Fourth with "from away" appearance. I guess we need to see what the other outdoorsee places report at the end of the season before we should get too categorical with our pronouncements.

In the meantime, I'll see what I can do to push the
suggestion (see the comment) offered by B. I'll float it to anyone I can find over at the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. I'm sure they'll be receptive.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sporting a bit of an attitude

Sorry for the recent absence, if anyone was counting. I just filed a motion to dismiss in a bizarre
Section 1983 action, so extraneous writing has seemed neither viable nor interesting. I won't bore you with the details, but sufficed to say, it took me a bit of imagination and broad thinking to explain why a completely ludicrous civil rights claim was, in fact, completely ludicrous. In short, I hope the court understands my argument that neither the First Amendment nor the 14th Amendment provide a right not to have to work very hard in one's employment. I wish I was exaggerating.

To abridge or not to abridge, that is the question …

(Editor's Note: The joy of finding web photos to compliment phrases like 'broad thinking' can lead to some weird discoveries. That said, I didn't expect to find the Village Voice among the places that would have a photo with the tag "ogling". In the spirit of … something, I give you
this Village Voice article, which might be worth a click over for either shock value or to redeem one's connection with the feminist movement. Relish with panache.)

Anyway, in celebration, I will focus exclusively on the
World of Sports today. Maybe tomorrow, I'll get to more weighty issues. Don't hold your breath.


The Other Football

Hey, why's that ref kicking the ball? Oh wait …

Our old friend
BSG provides some thoughts on something I went through a few years back. While it's safe to say that I never officially caught the bug after I declaring myself a Newcastle United fan, it at least helped provide some context through which I could honor this international thing called soccer.

Incidentally, some of the considerations in favor of choosing Newcastle entered into my choice – i.e. sponsorship by a fine brown ale, the city is coastal yet blue-collar, and the lore of
this event. Plus, my soccer-lovin' pal Danny approved of my choice as valid and based on sound reasoning. Among the many funny and well-typed things Simmons writes, I liked this bit about Newcastle:

Can't Decide if This is a Bonus Reason For or Against: According to the readers, "They have a rabid fan base from a depressed former industrial town where the accent makes fans' speech absolutely incomprehensible," which they call "Geordie" (like it's a real language). In other words, it's just like Rhode Island.


The Other, Other Football (A.K.A. "football")

C'mon, Deion

Sadly, nothing funny here.
Ted Johnson is causing complete inner turmoil among the same people who railed against Brett Myers not a full month earlier.

Not quite as sad, but worth lamenting is the prospect that
Deion Branch won't be returning to the Patriots anytime soon, much less for anything worth deeming "the long haul." On the upside, John Tomase is giddy about the prospect of a Pats' offense prominently involving a two-tight end set.

Meanwhile, Jets Fan is excited about
Eric Mangini. SI's Dr. Z agrees that Mangini was a good catch. NY Daily News Jets beat writer Rich Cimini notes:

Mangini isn't a screamer, but he calls out players in front of the team and he isn't shy about fining them for breaking rules, according to a person familiar with the inner workings of the team.

If a player makes a mistake in practice, it's not unusual for Mangini to point it out the next morning in a team film session, putting the offending player on the spot. No one is immune, not even the most established players.

Sounds like anyone else we know? Hmmm …


Briefly …
Tiger Woods is still good. As is The Onion, which provides this spoof of Woods' British Open win. And while we're spoofing Tiger, in deference to Buffalo Josh, I re-post the Chappelle racial draft. Fer-shizzle, indeed!

RZA: Ol' Dirty has no changed his name from "Dirt Ma Jirt" to "The Old Dirty Chinese Restaurant" … Kineecheewa, Beetches!

The Guy who won the Tour de France may not really be that good. Sir Charles is so good, he's switched parties and is seriously planning to run for Governor in Alabama. Frank Deford is good, per the usual.

Ms. Patrick, as I'm nasty …

Danica Patrick decides to be
good to the league that's been good to her. Call her the last hope for IRL and open wheel racing in the USA.

Tennis is good, it's worth noting, as we enter
the hard court season. This is old, but Jon Wertheim is high on American phoenix James Blake as the U.S. Open nears. Here's a good
Federer or Sampras article in the NY Sun.

Andy Roddick hopes that Jimmy Connors is as good at coaching as he was at playing.

OK … one politics thing

Cindy Sheehan

This is too funny to pass up. I wonder if Bush can do something to invoke eminent domain, per Kelo v. City of New London, to up the cutesy factor exhibited by Cindy Sheehan here. If the Ohio Supreme Court is any harbinger of nationwide public opinion, as The New York Times suggests, that might not be a good idea.

I thought we were done with stories about
Roger coming back to Boston. Jesus! Let it die.

Also waxing asinine about acquisitions not meant-to-be, the always loveable Gerry Callahan says
Nanny-Nanny Boo-Boo to the Yankees regarding A-Rod.

The NY Post
takes some interest in Mark Prior, curiously at a time when both Big Apple teams are reportedly in the market for pitching help. Hmm …

While we're with the tabloid, this
ugly bit about Harold Reynolds is starting to take form. I'm waiting for the "She was asking for the hug" quote from smooth Harold. The Cross Towners have this bit, opting for the analysis breed of story vs. the "copycat of the Post, who obviously scooped the hell out of us" variety. I approve.

Meanwhile, the Globe's Red Sox blogger Eric Wilbur gets serious and observes the
ridiculous prices GMs are asking for starting pitchers as the trading deadline nears.

He's right. Note to Theo: keep the young arms, take your chances that
Karen Guregan is right and that Wells, or Wakefield, or even, God forbid, Clement might contribute bits here and there as the race heats up. On that note, Hartford Courant's David Heuschkel suggests that we not expect Keith Foulke to offer much to that mix.
PhillyBurbs' Randy Miller
reports that the Red Sox were "very interested" in Jon Lieber, "… until the asking price was one of its 22-year-old rookie pitchers, lefty starter Jon Lester or right-hander reliever Craig Hansen."

I guess that warrants a measure of confidence in Theo and Co.

The Rooks and their big arsed numbers

Here's a cutesy yet readable Buckshot article from the Herald about
high jersey numbers borne and worn by the Red Sox rookie pitching staff. I like how Hansen didn't make the #21 connection.

Speaking of the Rooks, the carousel continues to spin.
Jermaine Van Buren is back, as is Kyle Snyder, (not technically a rookie, but work with me…). Meanwhile, it's off to the farm for Kason GabbardKason we hardly knew ye! While you're down there, give our best to David Pauley.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Taking on the Savage within ...

I received an email from the
Knox County Democrats today announcing the campaign kick-off for Scott Barrows.

Barrows is a fellow from Warren who now lives in Rockland and is taking-on
Sen. Christine Savage in the November general election.

Scott will host a Campaign Kick-Off Event at Knox Co. Democratic HQ, 77 Union St, Rockland, on Tuesday, July 25, from 5-7 PM.

I wish Scott the best of luck. He faces the difficult task of taking on an entrenched incumbent with strong support in the rural(er) sections of Knox Co.

Savage has held the seat since 2000 when she
emerged in an open contest to fill the seat after Chellie Pingree opted to fight Susan Collins for her U.S. Senate seat.

Since, Savage has maintained her Republican support through voting the
strict right-wing party line while honestly and earnestly maintaining the bipartisan image of a nice lady -- a tough act to beat up our way.

Legislative scorecards for Christine Savage = She no good!

Jerry Falwell wants you to vote for Christine Savage

League of Conservation Voters says she votes against its position 55 % of the time. See above link.

Maine Peoples Alliance says she opposed its position EVERY time.

Maine Women's Lobby says she opposed its position on everything except a bill to permit inclusion of "Abstinence Only" education in public schools and the Motherhood Protection Act, which both tracks homicides against pregnant women and sets the stage to make murder of a pregnant women a double homicide (i.e. killing a fetus = murder).

In short, she votes conservative nearly all the time. If this ain't your cup of tea, give Mr. Barrows some consideration

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quick Hits

Nothing political ... as far as you know ...

E.J. Dionne says the Republicans are set for a battle for the soul of their party, noting:
… beneath this year's slogans, Republicans are decidedly mixed in their view of the Bush years, and each of their leading presidential candidates proposes important breaks with the Bush approach.

Crooks and Liars provides this funny bit about Ann Coulter being made to look like a bigger ass than she usually does herself.

Slate also has a good bit about
The Lost Episodes of 'Chappelle's Show', likening the comedian to Philip Roth and Don DeLillo.

Slate's Ezra Klein reports that
there is no crisis of frivolous medical malpractice claims, suggesting that the Democrats have the best plan for lowering the impact of patient injuries on overall health care costs. That plan was laid out here in the New England Journal of Medicine, and suggests:

Instead of focusing on the few areas of intense disagreement, such as the possibility of mandating caps on the financial damages awarded to patients, we believe that the discussion should center on a more fundamental issue: the need to improve patient safety.

We all know the statistic from the landmark 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that as many as 98,000 deaths in the United States each year result from medical errors. But the IOM also found that more than 90 percent of these deaths are the result of failed systems and procedures, not the negligence of physicians. Given this finding, we need to shift our response from placing blame on individual providers or health care organizations to developing systems for improving the quality of our patient-safety practices.

To improve both patient safety and the medical liability climate, the tort system must achieve four goals: reduce the rates of preventable patient injuries, promote open communication between physicians and patients, ensure patients access to fair compensation for legitimate medical injuries, and reduce liability insurance premiums for health care providers. Addressing just one of these issues is not sufficient. Capping malpractice payments may ameliorate rising premium rates, but it would do nothing to prevent unsafe practices or ensure the provision of fair compensation to patients.

We'll be watching as this one germinates ...

Views of Western Maine

Here are a few of the scenic pictures we took during our Fourth of July trip in the Sugarloaf and Rangeley regions. Apologies for the lack of persons, but considering the news about blogger abuse, I'll avoid the identifying images ...

Sugarloaf Mountain as viewed from the Snowbrook condos

Bigelow Mountain as viewed from Burnt Mountain in Carrabassett Valley

Rangeley Lake on a hazy July day

Saddleback Mountain at sunset from Kingfield

Bigelow Mountain and the Horns as viewed over Flagstaff Lake

A view of Flagstaff Lake

Midseason Mumbo Jumbo

The All Star break is here, which means each of the papers trumps out its boring Midseason Report Cards:
ProJo's Steven Krasner; Tony Mazz; The Eagle Tribune. The Globe's Eric Wilbur goes MLB with his report card and predictions.

Manny Delcarmen

The Hartford Courant's David Heuschkel writes an actual article, reporting that
the Sox' young pitchers are shouldering the load, giving particular praise to the steady improvement shown by Manny Delcarmen who, "since being recalled May 28, … has a 2.33 ERA in 18 appearances."

The Herald's John Tomase says
the keys to the Red Sox second half "may very well be named Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen."

Craig Hansen

The Herald's Michael Silverman reports that a bunch of
All Star peers think Jon Papelbon is pretty good:
“Jon’s been tremendous. He’s been throwing outstanding. He’s been impressive and that’s what he’s got to do,” said the New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, the gold standard among all closers with his 398 regular-season saves, plus 23 in the postseason. “He has a good fastball, a good split but a lot of players have seen that. His composure, his demeanor, will determine how far he will go. He has a lot of talent but it is a long time, long term. I wish him the best and hopefully he’s going to continue what he’s been doing.”

The San Diego Padres’ Trevor Hoffman has had had no problem keeping up on the 25-year-old Papelbon.

“It’s been absolutely incredible the job that he’s done under the circumstances, being as young as he is,” said the 38-year-old closer. “I’m sure he’s a bit numb to everything that’s been going on and I’m sure he’s well aware of what’s going on. Part of that is just what makes the story as remarkable as it is.”
Fine praise from fine sources.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Huge Day in sports

Sportscasters love to wax argumentative about what constitutes the best sports day of the year. Locally, it's an October Sunday when the Patriots play at 1 pm and the Red Sox play (and win!) a playoff game in the evening. Elsewhere, it falls in mid-spring, when baseball takes a backseat to either (or both) the NHL or NBA playoffs, with perhaps a NASCAR race thrown in for good measure. For others, nothing tops a day during the NCAA basketball tournament, preferably with his/her team playing in the spotlight game.

Sunday provided an contender for the crown with the primary subject sports being outside what one deems the major American sports. The day started with
Stage XX of the Tour de France broadcast concurrently with the Wimbledon final between grasscourt king Roger Federer and his emerging rival Rafael Nadal

At most, the cycling event served as merely prelude (even for the French) to the globally important
Italy-France World Cup soccer final. Keep an ear open for Oasis half-frontman Noel Gallagher's announcement taking partial credit for Italy's win… if you can understand a word he says. Blogger Wisdom Weasel opines about the final here.

And then, some guys
drove cars around in a circle for a long time and the one nobody likes finished in first place

Federer wins

SI's Jon Wertheim provides his
post-Wimbledon thoughts. Of note, is his heralding of the much awaited re-emergence of a rivalry in men's tennis:
Is this men's rivalry great or what? Playing on the surface well suited to his game, Rafael Nadal gets to the Wimbledon final and loses to Federer in four sets. In Paris, of course, it was the exact reverse. Nadal comes in second but answers any questions about his grass-court aptitude and gives lie to the notion that he is simply a claycourter. With any luck we'll see them again, the second Sunday in September, on a more neutral surface.

In a related vein, uber-columnist Frank Deford
laments the collapse of American tennis.

Of yeah, the Red Sox suffered a
really excruciating loss to the White Sox. The Herald's Steve Buckley discusses Jon Papelbon's inability to close things out on the eve of his appearance in Tuesday's All Star Game.

For what it's worth, I got my fill of it all watching the 9:30-10 pm edition of ESPN News. Short and sweet (actually, bitter, but who's counting …).

Geared up for the big Bill Lee movie …

As I noted the
other day, NESN is going to show a new movie about the life of former Red Sox great Bill Lee. Needless to say, I'll be tuning in …

Ground control to Major Lee, '80s vintage

I have this card, 1972 Topps. Key!

Here's the man pitching for the Sox during the red-hat days of yore

History hurts – game 7 … I was three and it still hurts.

Another nice one from the middle late 1970s.

Quick hits

The Portland Press Herald
weighs-in on the study suggesting that Americans prefer TV over national parks visits. The study in question is noted in this press release.

The Maine Sunday Telegram featured
this story as its lead yesterday, looking at the tension between Lewiston's old French community and its burgeoning Somali one. A recent incident in which an idiot identifying with the former tossed a pig wrapped in a head-dress into a mosque during worship time re-raises the question. A fellow blogger at Words Matter discussed the issue a few days before the Telegram published its story.

Here's a Boston Globe Sunday Magazine piece
excerpting a book about the Theo Epstein-Larry Lucchino squabble of last off-season.

Washington Post's
The Fix has an exclusive interview with Sen. John McCain about the 2008 Presidential election.

NY Times' Adam Cohen
reflects on the first year of the Roberts Court, suggesting that the new CJ seems to have forgotten his confirmation hearings' promise to remain judicially modest.

The Washington Post also features a remembrance of
Tom Wolfe's tenure at the paper before he hit it big with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, et al. It includes several Wolfe-ishly blissful turns of phrase, such as:
• Two muggers gave their victim "a black eye big as an eggplant."
• Zeroes in a budget stretched on "like so many eggs in a hatchery."
• A shopkeeper flashed a smile "you could hang the wash on."
• Neighborhood gossip ran "free as the back-wash from a pig train to Secaucus."
• Washington was "the city where everybody represents somebody else."
• "Rome now makes half as many movies as Hollywood, and every other one is about a prostitute."
• Thus Wolfe depicted the gunman in a botched liquor store robbery as "slightly built and snappy-talking." Seven paragraphs later: "Turner retreated but now the truck pulled up. Snappytalk opened fire."

The New York Times Sunday Magazine gets serious about the
immigration and the American economy.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Quick Long Weekend Hits

We just returned from an amazing extended weekend trip to Western Maine. More on that later, once I get the photos posted on my Flickr site.

Not Western Maine

The Mrs. and I saw
An Inconvenient Truth tonight at the Bayview Street Cinema. What can I say? It delivers on all of my hopes. Now, if only we can honor the director's plea and convince others to go and see it who might not otherwise do so ...

By the way,
here are a few more Courier-Gazette letters to the Editor including this one by the Honorable Sen. Elizabeth Mitchell in response to this guy's ignored call to arms. At least I'm not alone in my opinion.

Nina Totenberg filed this audio story wrapping up the Supreme Court's term.

While we're on NPR,
this one is a pretty interesting way to celebrate the Fourth on radio. NPR regulars take turns reading excerpts on the Declaration of Independence.

This NY Times featured home is pretty chose to me -- right across Penobscot Bay.

This one is for
my good friends John and Tim -- at least you didn't have your fish murdered ...

I'm looking forward to "Spaceman: A Baseball Chronicle," the
NESN movie about Bill Lee. NESN premier on July 12. Here's a review in some Connecticut newspaperBring forth and view with glee!

Oh yeah, speaking of glee ...
Kenneth Lay died. Pardon me for feeling no sympathy or restraint on this one. The guy got off lucky, despite what Washington Post's Andrew Cohen says. Do I wish that Jeff Fastow got/gets it worse than Lay? Sure. But how is there any justice in Lay's cash now getting buried where his defraudees can't get it? As this NY Times reporter notes, the Enron employees are the ones not getting off easy