The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: October 2015 (Page 1 of 5)

What’s next on The Gay Agenda?

June’s Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage between two people of the same gender was a momentous day for the history books. You may recall the flurry of rainbow colors and jubilation that dominated social media as people celebrated the close ruling as a major victory for the gay rights movement. But now that the fanfare has died down, there is a growing concern among some gay rights activists that the amazing momentum that has been building for decades will dissipate. Much of the media attention in the past decade surrounding gay rights have been on the right to marry, so now that there is marriage equality, where do we go from here?

It’s true that our culture is filled with LGBTQ+ figures — Sam Smith, Adam Lambert, Ellen Page, and George Takei, just to name a few. American TV seems to be filled with queer characters in shows such as Orange Is the New Black, Faking It, The Fosters, and Sense8. Yet while representation is always a good thing, some of the realities of the LGBTQ+ community have yet to be discussed. Some of these realities include the fact that 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ+. It’s also the case that you can still be fired in 37 states because of your gender identity and in 29 states for your sexual orientation. Although we have Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and Caitlyn Jenner represented in popular culture, as of this year, 21 transgender women of color have been murdered in the U.S. with almost complete silence from mainstream media. In response to the Supreme Court ruling, a crop of “religious freedom” laws have been introduced to permit discrimination on other fronts, one of which was even on the legislative agenda here in Maine.

For LGBTQ+ people in this country, it’s great that you can marry whomever you want. Getting fired from your job or kicked out of your home because of your sexual or gender identity is not so great. That is why it is of the utmost importance for all people to recognize the challenges that still lie ahead. This is why SPARQ was unveiled this year for Bates students who may be questioning their own identity to discuss these topics in a confidential setting. That is why OutFront hosted a plethora of events last week for Coming Out Week to raise awareness and discussions about the challenges that still exist for those coming to terms with their identity. And it is why we encourage everyone to look out for announcements about the Active Allies program to teach students and faculty how to properly support LGBTQ+ people.

We hope that it will be clear at this point that true equality is not only about marriage. It is about being able to work, live, and walk the streets without fear of being attacked, discriminated against, or ostracized. Just as was the case for women after the 19th Amendment, or African Americans after the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, true equality is not automatically achieved after one significant victory. Until such equality is obtained, let’s keep the pride and the conversation flowing.

Gluten Free or Not To Be?

With food fads a part of every generation, it is important to be cautious of them. From kale to South American superfoods like açai, our generation seems to be obsessed with the newest health craze. And among the most common of these health crazes is the opposition to gluten.

Gluten is a mixture of two proteins that is most commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley, and is named for its glue-like texture and elasticity. Gluten sensitivity is diagnosed as Celiac disease, and is not an allergy, as it causes an auto-immune response in the small intestine. This disease is quite rare, and has been normalized into our culture for what seems like a while. Gluten sensitivity that is not diagnosed as Celiac disease but still results in a close-to gluten-free lifestyle, however, seems pretty new, and possibly came to prominence after the publication of the health book Wheat Belly. Doctors are still unsure of the reason for this sudden rise in gluten sensitivity; however, many speculate (as Wheat Belly does) that the genetic modification of wheat that began during the Green Revolution plays a part in the increase. Wheat with this modification, which aims to increase grain yield, amongst other things, now makes up 90% of the wheat that farmers grow. While this change might explain why some people are no longer able to healthily digest wheat, not everyone is in full agreement with the hypothesis. There are no more gluten proteins on the modified wheat than there were before, so one could argue that there should be no reason as to why gluten sensitivity has become more prevalent.

While there is much more to discuss on this topic, I am going to focus more on a practical avoidance of gluten and its potential ethical implications. I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy (not gluten sensitivity) almost a year ago, and have significantly decreased my gluten intake since my diagnosis. I have noticed that when I completely cut gluten out of my diet, I actually have energy after I eat (no more food comas), I no longer have migraines, and (yes I am going to say it) I poop more regularly and more smoothly, which is awesome.

While these improvements may all arguably be commonplace responses to one’s cutting food out of his or her diet to which he or she is allergic, I do see a lot of health benefits to avoiding gluten, as it cuts out a lot of unnecessary sugar and simple carbohydrates that Americans are taught to binge eat. We can get necessary carbohydrates by simply eating vegetables. Vegetables obviously don’t sell as well as microwaveable pizza rolls do, so facts like these get lost because it is more expensive to market vegetables and there is less pay-off for corporations who promote these sorts of campaigns. Simple carbohydrates, found in white bread, turn into sugar during digestion, which is one of the most regulated addictive substances in American society. It is much easier to make a profit by taking modified wheat from a farm that is packed with sugar, adding preservatives and processed cheese and meat to it, and marketing it at a cheap price and convenient cook time. (If you would like to know further how much control corporations have over the food that Americans eat, I urge you to watch the documentary Fed Up).

Because of this, I don’t have an ethical issue with the pursuit of gluten-free diets even if it is not of necessity, as long as it doesn’t involve taking the limited resources of those who have Celiac disease or serious gluten allergies. Because of the rise of gluten-free diets, I can walk into a grocery store and find granola bars, cookies, and even pizza that will not upset my stomach. I can eat a sandwich from a restaurant that is on gluten-free bread. This was not the case for those with Celiac disease even ten years ago. If we, as a community, support the omission of over-processed foods like wheat from our diets, then we are supporting an economy that yields healthier food that is aimed at nourishing our bodies.

Bates’ sports culture seen through the eyes of a non-varsity athlete

I would like to preface this article by saying three things. First, I support all Bates athletics; second, some of the best friends that I have made here are varsity athletes; and third, I played four years of high school basketball, so I have nothing against athletes or athletic culture in general. Writing this is not a way for me to bash the athletics department or any of the athletes. Writing this article is a way for me to critique one particular part of Bates athletics that seems to go against the usual Bates attitude.

The issue is two-fold. The first part is the lesser of the two, and it is the exclusivity of the parties thrown in the athletic houses. The athletic houses seem to go against the natural Bates attitude of openness and inclusivity. However, from throwing and going to parties in high school, this aspect is somewhat understandable. Parties cannot be open to every single student that wants to go, simply because they would get dangerously large. And admittedly, the athletic parties are not the only parties on campus that are exclusive. The second part of the issue, and this is the real problem, is how the sports houses choose who to let in.

This often revolves around gender. What I have seen and heard is that to get into a party you either have to be a girl, or the group you’re with has to have substantially more girls than boys. In the opening weeks of school, I caught myself checking the guy-to-girl “ratio” when I went out. I was really disgusted with myself when I realized that I was doing this, and I was more upset when I realized that everyone around me was doing it too. However, I was most upset when I fully realized that this is how much of the social scene at Bates functions. It’s not fun for anyone, especially the people that get left out. Unfortunately, the issues about gender do not stop once inside the party.

There is also another issue that I had never thought of that was brought to my attention when talking to a freshman varsity athlete about parties. He said, “I was feeling that I was being pressured to do things that I would not normally do to seem cool. The irony of it was that with this behavior I was getting a lot of support, but at the same time, that support was not for who I really am, it was for an image, a persona. I was pretending to be someone I was not.”

As a final disclaimer, I do not want anyone to think that I am insinuating that all Bates athletes take part in this. I am saying that as a community, we should stop going along and do something to change this theme.

Football falls to 0-3 with loss at Williams

The past two games for Bobcat football have both been nail biters, with the team falling to Tufts and most recently Williams by a combined three points. While Bates found success on the ground against Williams, rushing for 232 yards, it struggled to establish a passing game, which proved to be a deciding factor in the team’s loss.

Williams was first to find the end zone towards the end of the first quarter. On eight plays, the home team marched 75 yards down the field, with Connor Harris punching it in from two yards out. Bates responded early in the second quarter with a ten-play, 67-yard drive that was capped off by a dive from junior Ivan Reese up the middle.

For the most part, it was a sloppy game for both teams, with a total of 16 penalties, six of which were unsportsmanlike conduct flags. Nine of the 16 penalties came against the ‘Cats, which cost them 90 yards.

Williams too had their fair share of mistakes, specifically in the second quarter, when they were knocking on Bates’ doorstep. Junior Trevor Lyons forced a fumble and senior Tucker Oniskey was there to clean it up, recovering the football. However, Bates was unable to take advantage of the Williams turnover. Heading into halftime, Williams was able to take the lead when Darrias Sime caught a three-yard toss 26 seconds before the intermission.

The Ephs had much success through the air, as Austin Lommen threw for 309 yards on 31 completions, with a touchdown and two interceptions. Williams’ ground game struggled, however, as Bates stuffed everything and held them to only 46 rushing yards on the day.

With no scoring taking place in the third quarter, the Bobcats’ special teams made something happen in the fourth quarter. Lyons returned an Ephs punt 31 yards, and sophomore Frank Williams finished the ensuing drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately, penalties haunted the Bobcats on their final possession, as an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a sack stymied any chance at a comeback, causing the team to ultimately fall 16-14 in Williamstown.

Sophomore linebacker Max Breschi had a team-high 11 tackles, while junior cornerback Brandon Williams had two interceptions and nine tackles. Offensively, senior quarterback Pat Dugan completed only one pass for 33 yards, but led the Bobcat rushing attack with 74 yards, and was one of four Bobcats to rush for 44 yards or more.

The Bobcats travel to Wesleyan on Saturday looking for their first win.

Nothing beats October

As a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan, seasons inevitably come and go. But I will never forget the two years since I have been a fan of America’s pastime when the Indians were playing October baseball.

In the fall of 2007, I was in 8th grade, and Cleveland baseball was the only thing that mattered. I’ll never forget the noise that shook Jacobs Field during those playoffs, or sending my dad email updates to his beeper about the how the team was doing. The division series featured the infamous “Bug Game” and the electrifying revitalization of Kenny Lofton’s postseason presence in Cleveland. The ALCS against the Red Sox brought two extra-inning wins and instilled hope in the Tribe faithful that this year they just might make it back to the World Series, before the heartbreak of losing three in a row — and the ALCS — to the eventual champions.

In 2013, the Indians’ postseason run was much shorter lived, as the team bowed out after losing the Wild Card Game to Tampa Bay. But I will never forget the fiery baseball that team played in those late September weeks to clinch their spot in the playoffs.

The point is that October baseball ingrains itself in the minds of baseball diehards. The teams are playing the same game, but the emotions and the atmosphere are always elevated.

Seeing the Cubs on television this time of year inevitably brings back memories of the Bartman incident in 2003, but also of Josh Beckett leading the Marlins pitching staff, and two rookies in Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis infusing their postseason run with the kind of energy you can only find in a young player tasting October baseball for the first time.

And yet here the Cubs are once again, desperately trying to end the longest championship drought in sports, behind the heroic efforts of their ace Jake Arrieta. Already this year the Cubs have provided us with the hallmark drama that comes with October, collectively storming out of their dugout in the NL Wild Card Game after Arrieta was plunked in the thigh by the Pirates in order to defend their ace, and their team’s honor.

October reminds us of the curses that haunt franchises like the Cubs, but it also brings us surprising stories like that of Colby Rasmus, who has come out of the woodwork for the Houston Astros. Through four playoff games, Rasmus leads all American League players in every relevant offensive category, after a having a pedestrian regular season at the plate.

Similarly, unlikely AL MVP favorite Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays is trying to lead his team and their fan base to the promised land, playing in October for the first time since they won the World Series in 1993.

These stories captivate us. They bring people together into a community intent on witnessing greatness, heartbreak, and excitement. One of the defining characteristics of my first year here at Bates, after the Indians bowed out, was hopping onto the Red Sox bandwagon on their way to the World Series championship. Watching in awe the raw emotion of Jonny Gomes, along with his and Mike Napoli’s ever thickening playoff beards; spending evenings in the Den with everyone in the joint pulling for the Sox, watching every pitch with baited breath until the dominant Koji Uehara came in for the save in the 9th. Cherish these moments while you can folks, because nothing beats October.

Open dance day provides an inclusive window into the dance community

Open dance dayI had planned to do my usual workout on Saturday morning, which I am beginning to find boring due to how often I perform it. However, I heard about Open Dance Day through friends and an e-mail that I didn’t delete before reading, and I thought it sounded like a welcome change of pace for my morning routine. For someone who has little dancing experience, the thought of attending a dance class was slightly daunting. However, the day was advertised as an open, friendly environment for all dance levels, and that sounded inviting enough to me!

The class was an hour and a half long, and began with hip-hop, followed by improvisation, then modern, and finally, body massages. Jorge Piccole ’18 and Bry Newton ’16 lead the hip-hop segment of the class, teaching us steps across the floor before stringing them together in the routine. The routine was very upbeat, full of power and aggression, and very fun to move to. While the class certainly enjoyed learning the steps and the combination, the best part was the encouragement we received to add our own groove and be ourselves. Piccole and Newton emphasized the importance of feeling good and adding a piece of ourselves in the dance, and I found that keeping this in mind and incorporating it into the dance raised my confidence and happiness throughout the class.

After practicing the hip-hop combination a few times, Laura Pietropaoli ’17 took the floor and introduced the class to some improvisational dance. We formed groups of two, and while one partner provided direction, the other moved. For example, if one partner said, “dance like a leaf,” the other would move however they feel a leaf would move. The moves were completely up to the discretion of the dancer. I have never thought – or moved – in this way, and I absolutely loved it. The second type of exercise we did was of a similar nature, but instead one partner instructed the other which body part to lead with. If I told my partner, “right pinky finger,” she would lead with her right pinky, and let the movement flow through her body. The improv dancing was probably my favorite, due to the amount of freedom and the new way of thinking I experienced. It was scary, exhilarating, and interesting to improvise dancing, and I really would like to try it again.

Mary Anne Bodnar ’16 was kind enough to teach us a part of her preliminary research for her year-long modern dance thesis that she performed over Parents Weekend. “My thesis is a dance piece that explores the relationship between stand-up comedy and postmodern dance. What I showed was preliminary solo research using sound bytes from Aziz Ansari’s Netflix special ‘Live at Madison Square Garden’ and from ‘Women Who Kill,’ also a Netflix special. It will become a larger group work during the remainder of this year.”

We learned a segment of her dance that goes along to an Aziz Ansari stand-up about the troubles and anxieties that go hand in hand with pursuing someone romantically. The dance flowed very nicely, and really utilized the entirety of the stage and the body. “The choreography is intelligent, humorous, and immensely purposeful. It was elating to experience something I had just witnessed on stage in my own body, even if I didn’t have the modern dance training to satisfy its complexity,” Caleb Perlman ’19 said. We had improvised dancing to go along with a feeling, phrase, or idea, and here Bodnar had developed movements that she felt fit to what Ansari was saying. Yet, like Ansari’s words, the movements were not separate. Everything flowed so well. This also made me realize that I neither fully understood the depth and feeling of Ansari’s stand-up, nor the relationship between movements and stand-up like I thought I did. Actually doing it myself was a very different experience. I felt what Ansari was saying much more than I thought when I was simply listening to it.

The day ended with partner body-massages, which the class seemed to really enjoy. They dropped some barriers and felt very good on sore parts of the body. It was a great way to end an inclusive, educational, and enjoyable Open Dance Day. If you wish to attend one in the future, don’t worry! “Saturday was our first attempt at this event, and it definitely exceeded our expectations. We look forward to hosting more as the semester progresses,” Pietropaoli said.

Field hockey picks up win over Endicott, loss to Connecticut College

On Wednesday, the women’s field hockey team traveled to Endicott for a non-conference game against the leaders of the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Senior captain Shannon Beaton opened the scoring for Bates within the first minute and sophomore Caroline O’Reilly doubled the lead 20 minutes later when she slid a shot from the far right of the circle into the back of the goal. Beaton has scored five goals in the past four games and leads the team in scoring.

Bates kept the pressure on the whole game, outshooting Endicott 11-9 and earning 11 corners compared to Endicott’s five. Samantha Crowley cut the lead to one after scoring for Endicott with 7:29 left in regulation. Bates stepped up the defense and possessed the ball for most of the remainder of the game, preventing Endicott from mounting a late comeback.

Sophomore Sam Reiss commented on the game, “Their play was a little sloppy and I think that threw off our game a little, making the score closer than it should have been.” The Bobcats did dominate the game despite the one-goal difference in the final score, and they earned a solid victory.

On Saturday, the team was away again, facing Connecticut College in a NESCAC matchup. Going into the game, the Camels were 0-7 in conference play. However, they came out of the gate running, as they scored in the second minute and didn’t look back the whole game, winning it 1-0. Connecticut College outshot Bates 13-5 and received 14 corners to Bates’ five. It was a tough loss for Bates, who would’ve reached fifth place in the NESCAC with a win.

The loss was a shock to the team, as Reiss said, “I still can’t believe we lost to Connecticut. We didn’t bring our best and I guess it just goes to show that anything can happen in the NESCAC.”

While the game was a setback for the team, they are putting it behind them. Reiss continued, “We’re choosing to move past this and make sure it doesn’t become a game that defines the rest of our season. We will need to work harder than ever to make the postseason, but we all have so much trust in each other that I have no doubt it’s possible.” Bates continues their fight to the playoffs with three games this upcoming week against Tufts, Amherst, and undefeated Babson.

The role of religion in college

Religion is not something we should be afraid of. There is a common belief in our society that religion is the cause of all of our world’s problems. People are afraid of religion – unlike science, it is not stable. It brings hope and love, but twisted belief systems and fanatics as well. What many people fail to understand is that these failures are a common effect of human influence. We must not blame every war and corrupt government on religion, but rather on people. Because at the end of the day, people have the ability to twist anything they would like to their advantage, including science or “reason.” I am not saying that we should all become instantaneously religious; I have just noticed a slight lack of support and awareness of the religious life on campus that concerns me. It’s hard to be religious or spiritual on a college campus, as we are constantly busy, working, partying, spending time with our friends; it doesn’t feel necessary to sit in the chapel and contemplate our spiritual or religious beliefs. Yet I believe that doing just that is absolutely essential to the human experience, especially in college. I do not believe that everyone should worship “God”; I simply believe that contemplating the broader picture, whether it be the universe, nature around us, or anything else, would be an absolutely humbling and calming practice. By meditating, praying, thinking, or doing whatever you find most spiritually fulfilling (for me it’s dancing), we are able to find a greater peace within our minds and possibly a happiness that can spread to others. For me, I often forget myself in the whirlwind of clubs, classes, and homework — I rarely take time to sit and breathe, and think about myself. By taking time out of my day to dance, or sit by myself, my priorities return and I am renewed with a sense of awe in the world we live in.

There is a lot of judgment around those who are religious, as many of us have grown up in a social setting that labels religious people as stupid. From my experience, though, probably the most brilliant people I have ever met have been religious. We should accept everyone, including those who chose to identify with a religion.

Overall, I believe that our campus, and our world in general, should be focused on creating an acceptance in our society, as well as a respect for the religions of our world. Religion is a beautifully powerful concept, and spirituality even more so; I believe that it has the ability to create more love in our world, and that it should not be condemned as a failure of human nature.

Voter Guide 2015

This week’s issue is that last before the November 3rd elections in Lewiston. In order to inform the members of the student population who plan to vote, we have compiled a set of candidate profiles for all mayoral candidates and city councilor candidates for wards one and three (which contain Bates College). All candidates were contacted via email or phone and presented with the same set of questions. Information included in these profiles comes directly from the candidates themselves, from their campaign sites, campaign materials, previous interviews or comments from the October 5th forum. Note that Mayor Macdonald did respond to requests for an interview, but was scheduled after deadline.

Ben Chin ’07

Current Occupation:

Political Director, Maine People’s Alliance.

Political Experience:

“As a community organizer and political director for the past eight years, I’ve protected 50,000 seniors from losing prescription drug coverage, negotiated a $22 million property tax assistance deal for low and middle income Mainers, and gathered 70,000 signatures in 23 days to protect same day voter registration by ballot initiative.  I’m currently leading the volunteer effort to raise Maine’s minimum wage.”

Top issue to address if elected:

“Lewiston has too many corporate slumlords that take advantage of people, ruin our reputation, and block legitimate development.  I’m the only candidate with a plan to create 100 units of resident-owned housing, revitalize Lisbon street, foster immigrant integration, and create high-wage blue collar jobs in solar energy.”

Why did you decide to run?

“My wife, Nicola, and I are expecting our first child at the end of the month.  We know Lewiston has the potential to be a great place to raise a young family, something I’ve believed in ever since I graduated from Bates in 2007.  To realize that potential, however, we need new leadership.  Our current mayor spends his energy working to make asylum-seeking immigrants homeless, not working to make Lewiston a good city for everyone.”

What are the top three issues for the Lewiston community today and how does he plan to address them if elected?

“Lewiston’s bad reputation is the core of all our issues.  If we want to improve our housing stock, create jobs, and fund our schools, we need to attract investment that stimulates economic growth.  If we continue to have a mayor that focuses only on scapegoating immigrants and the poor, we will continue to be known only as a city filled with racial conflict.  It’s time to have leadership that can articulate a vision for our future that everyone can rally behind.”

What sets him apart from his opponents? 

“I’m the only candidate that has articulated a concrete plan to achieve the above, and drafted a budget with realistic funding sources.  You can find it at benchinformayor.com. I’m the only candidate that has a track record of actually getting big things done for real people–whether its keeping prescription drugs affordable for seniors, or making sure people don’t lose their homes to high property taxes and urban renewal” initiatives from the city.  I’m also the only candidate that developed his platform by developing a community survey, having thousands of conversations, and meeting with business and labor leaders.”

Luke Jensen

Current Occupation:

Banking specialist for TD Bank. Also, in 2014 he was a candidate for House District 58 of the Maine Legislature, and he is a current member of the Lewiston Historic Preservation review board.

Top issue to address if elected:

The continued development of the Riverfront area, creating a vacant poverty registry and creating an advisory board to give our suburban and rural residents a stronger voice at city hall.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

“I’m the only candidate who was actually born and raised in Lewiston. I’m much younger than my opponents (I’m 24), and can relate to our young people much better. I’m probably the only candidate who knows who Fetty Wap is… Lewiston is my home, and I want to make it the strongest it can be. We can do better, and we must,” Jensen said.

According to The Sun Journal, Jensen is also in favor of cutting down on low-income housing in downtown Lewiston and providing living for “young professionals” in a “newly revitalized part of the city.”

On Jensen’s Facebook campaign page, he wrote, “Lewiston is not a dying city; it is a Phoenix rising from the ashes, ready to spread its wings. A young mayor would certainly portray Lewiston as the new and revitalized place our city is becoming.”

Mayor Robert Macdonald

Current occupation:

Current mayor of Lewiston. Before becoming mayor in 2011, Macdonald was a detective for the Lewiston Police Department from 1977 to 2000, and an Ed Tech at the Lewiston Middle School from 2000 to 2000, and an Ed Tech at the Lewiston Middle School from 2000 to 2010.

Political Experience:

Macdonald’s first run for elective office was in 2011, when he became mayor for the first time. He defeated former Mayor Larry Gilbert in 2013. Macdonald touts his record as a job creator, pointing to the opening of Argo Marketing’s new Lisbon street office under his watch. He also argues that a close relationship with Maine’s Governor Paul LePage helps him fight for Lewiston’s interests at the state level.

Top issues to address if elected:

Welfare spending, housing and tenancy issues and Lewiston’s reputation statewide.

What are the top three issues for the Lewiston community today and how does he plan to address them if elected?

Welfare spending: “The only solution” to many of Lewiston’s problems “is welfare reform,” Macdonald said in last week’s mayoral forum. The mayor has made an international name for himself attacking state welfare spending—particularly for new arrivals to Lewiston—in the service of protecting the elderly and property taxpayers. Macdonald recently announced his intentions in the Twin City Times of submitting a bill to the state legislature to create a website that lists publicly the names, addresses and amount of benefits that individual welfare recipients receive.

Downtown housing: In the forum, Macdonald asserted that the City of Lewiston needs to continue demolitions of abandoned, dangerous housing. However, he also has suggested in the Twin City Times that tenants need to do more work to keep their apartments in good shape, and plans to propose legislation that criminalizes tenant negligence in that regard.

Lewiston’s Reputation: According to Macdonald, “our reputation is killing us.” At Monday’s forum, Macdonald decried the fact that “we’re defined by one small piece of the city,” referring to the City’s downtown, and pointed to work that groups like L/A Arts are doing to “bring back the city.” Macdonald has promised to better advertise Lewiston’s positive aspects in a final term as mayor.

What sets him apart from his opponents?

One of Macdonald’s greatest strengths is his outspokenness. He has a reputation and track record for making blunt and often controversial comments attacking “do-gooders,” “bums,” and “liberal progressives,” in his weekly “Enough is Enough” column in the Twin City Times and other media outlets. However, these comments have tended to resonate with many older members of Lewiston’s population concerned about government spending and property taxes.

Steve Morgan

Current Occupation:

Real estate broker.

Political Experience: Two years as President of the Lewiston City Council, five years as Chairman of the Planning Board in Lewiston, and five years on the State Board of Property Tax Review.

Why did you decide to run?

“I enjoy being involved and trying to make a difference. About five years ago, the real estates market and the economy were suffering. My business was suffering just as much as everyone’s business was.

I had to concentrate on my own real estate business; but the market has rebounded now. I talked to my family and thought it was time for me to get back into politics.”

What are the top three issues for the Lewiston community today and how to plan to address them if elected?

“The answer to all three top issues is bringing business back to Lewiston.

During those tough years economically for everyone, the city council dramatically cut as many things as they could. How do you get more money in the pot? Business is the answer.

Some day when we restore all the things we had to cut, I would like to see the taxes go down a little bit. However, now, because we have to restore all those things, we have to charge more taxes.

There is a lot of undeveloped land in Lewiston that is owned by big landowners and I would like to see that area developed with different business so that people of Lewiston have place with restaurants and shops.”

What sets you apart from your opponents?

“Political experience and life experience, dramatically. I am about six months away from 60th birthday. A couple of the other candidates are young and very well spoken. Luke Jensen has not engaged in bunch of things yet. Similarly, Ben Chin is very well spoken, but his plan has some holes in it. If somebody were to look at it, they would see that it is all based on money and the places where he is getting his money from are not promised. Robert MacDonald is need to be more approachable is he wants to be an ambassador for Lewiston, for he has the tendency to yell.

I would make a good ambassador for the city as well as have the experience to lead the way. I’ve been in the real estate business and I have the skills to negotiate which helps out when you are talking to businesses potentially coming to Lewiston.”

Charles Soule

Current occupation:

Retired

Political Experience:

Answer not provided.

Why did you decide to run?

“Lewiston immigration problems and the conundrum that the children find themselves in as Mr. Trump wants to deport parents of children that are citizens under the 14th Amendment.

I live in a tenement with a child that is not a citizen and whose brother is. One day he stated that his brother is a citizen and he is not. Is he living in fear of loosing his brother through deportation?

And, is his self-esteem being undermined by the procrastination of the Republican and Democratic governments.

I believe, it is time to bring these people out of the dark and into the light!”

What are the top three issues for the Lewiston community today and how to plan to address them if elected?

“I have a problem with the Lewiston School Board; it is allowing the students of Lewiston to opt out of the Maine State Assessment Exam that takes place on Saturday. I would insist that the exam be held on a regular day and students will not be able to opt out of the exam, except for medical reasons.”

What sets you apart from your opponents?

“I have not expected any monies and I have been seeking the office of Mayor of Lewiston for 30 years. I have been knocked down several times, yet I picked myself up, brushed myself odd, and continued trying.”

“Cocks not Glocks”

Back in June of this year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a “campus carry” law that allows students at the University of Texas to carry concealed handguns on campus with them. Texas is the eighth state to allow students to carry guns into classrooms, campus houses, dorms, and other campus facilities (other states include Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Utah, Wisconsin, and Oregon). Good thing there won’t be any sort of alcohol or other substance that would only increase the chance of an accidental firing. What could possibly go wrong?

The law is set to go into effect on August 1st, eerily marking the 50-year anniversary of the University of Texas in Austin shooting when Charles Joseph Whitman killed 16 and wounded at least 30 others from a university tower. Apparently, the university has failed to internalize what truly leads to these sorts of tragedies, as it can’t seem to wrap its metaphorical academic head around this simple concept — that introducing guns into the equation makes shootings a far more likely occurrence than they would be without these additional guns.

And it doesn’t seem to end there. Texas State Representative Jonathan Stickland went as far as to write that it is “time to double down on our efforts to restore Second Amendment rights and get rid of gun-free zones everywhere.” One professor, however, was able to realize the very real risk involved in working in an environment where he may possibly be surrounded by weapons. As such, a few days ago, economics Professor Emeritus Daniel Hamermesh left the University of Texas out of “self-protection.”

Students at the University of Texas may feel hopeless, as though there’s nothing they’d be able to do to make any substantial difference. And when legislative or institutional change isn’t a viable option, college students decided to do what they do best: protest.

The protest is going to involve students mirroring “campus carry” by carrying their own objects of choice, namely, dildos, in a demonstration called “Cocks Not Glocks.” Interestingly enough, this protest seems to be targeting the fact that carrying a dildo to class could actually be prohibited, whereas carrying a gun would be perfectly legal, given that the university prohibits “any writing or visual image, or engag[ing] in any public performance, that is obscene.”

Jessica Jin, the organizer of the protest, wrote on a Facebook page set up for the event, “You’re carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I’m carrying a HUGE DILDO. Just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”

She has an excellent point and nearly 2,000 students already signed up to participate in the event, an event that still has several months before the law goes into effect and the demonstrations begin.

Jin has utilized this absurd campus policy to kill two (plastic, of course) birds with one stone. She’s pointing out how desensitized American society has become to weapons and she’s also making an effort to lay in the open our double standards to what we’re disturbed by, namely sex, particularly women’s sex toys.

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