Saturday, November 1, 2008

Who Is This Woman?

Many of you are visiting this site to figure out who I am. Well I am sure you have met my Democratic opponent already at Colucci's, but because I work full time as a research assisstant at IDEXX Labortatories I have not had the pleasure of meeting many of you. Here is a glance at who I am. I am a 5th generation Mainer and I come from a long line of Lobstermen. Having grown up on the coast of Maine my love for the eternal sea inspired me to study Marine Science at the University of Maine in Orono where I recieved my bachelor's degree. As an environmental activist and volunteer with the Sierra Club Maine Chapter, I have worked to help pass LD 2019 that provided the funding for railway revitalization from Brunswick to Portland. I fought to save Moosehead Lake from being developed by Plum Creek and advocated to allow Maine citizens to come up with their own comprehensive plan for the North Woods. I also helped to convince PACTS (Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System) to eliminate widening I-295 from their list of earmark priorities and to shift them to alternative transportation projects. I served on the Environmental Priorities Coalition which brings environmental organizations together to support state legislation that protects and restores our Maine environment, and worked with Maine People's Alliance on public outreach for Universal Single-Payer Healh Care.

I am the candidate with the most concrete ideas for change. My health care plan is the most concrete and progressive plan for universal coverege. My democratic opponent hasn't taken the time to understand Universal Single-Payer Health Care and says she dosn't support it, yet says healh care is a top priority of hers. I also have an idea for a bill that will create a basic energy code for rental units. Here are more of my ideas: Create a "bottle like" deposit on CFLs to prevent more mercury from entering our waste stream, change the gas tax formula to tax the dollar amount and not the gallon so we have a more sustainable source of funds for highway maintainence and alternative transportation, finally collect much needed royalties from Poland Spring that makes a profit off of our natural resource, and repeal tax breaks to the wealthy and wealthy corporations that can afford to help balance our budget and pay for programs that are critical to Maine people. Above all, I will not cut programs to our disabled, mentally ill, elderly and our children. I will continue to stand up for Maine's low and middle income people.

I am the only candidate that is raising the issue of poverty, has a true health care plan and has experience in energy policy. As a Green Gndependent, I am accountable to you and my conscience alone, not to any major party. I have been endorsed by members of the City Council: John Anton, Dave Marshall, and Kevin Donoghue, The Sierra Club Maine Chapter and by the Maine AFL-CIO. I hope you will consider voting for me on November 4th. Thank you all for your support and inspiration.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Campaign Thoughts

It has been awhile since I have written anything. Sorry to those that wanted more. I just want to say a few words. This campaign has evolved to mean so much more- the people of Portland continue to inspire me. It has been so wonderful meeting those of you that I did. Your concerns and ideas remind me of why I am doing this. With the recent budget cuts and current global financial crisis, my thoughts turn to those that need more than they can provide for themselves. No one here in Maine should be without a home, food on the table or warmth. It saddens me to think people here in Maine live without those basic needs. We need to care for those that can't care for themselves. This campaign is bigger than just getting a green in the legislature, this is about voicing the people's greatest expectations, demanding the best and believing that it is possible. The green independent party platform is the most progressive and we continue to raise the bar, we all just have to have the courage to ask for what we really want. Universal single payer health care is a very radical idea...yet people in Europe asked for it and got it! Let us continue to raise our expectations for our government, so our children can live in the world we envision today.

And please remember, a third party candidate can win in a progressive district like this....there is freedom to vote your conscience! I will voice our greatest expectations. Thank you all for your support.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Platform

Energy/Transportation/The Economy:
Energy security for renters, homeowners and businesses is more critical then ever. I will broaden incentives for businesses and citizens to create renewable energy projects and invest in energy efficiency. I oppose new highway widening when alternative transportation projects are under funded and will work to revive the railroad system in Maine. I believe sustainable investments protect our environment, create jobs, and keep money in the state.

Maine people:
In a budget crisis I will prioritize vital programs for low and middle income Mainers. Universal single payer health care saves Maine citizens and businesses money, while providing everyone with the right to quality health care. We can’t afford not to implement a universal single payer system in Maine! Our future depends on how well we care for each other today.

Sense of Place/Our Environment:
Sustainable development creates healthy, walkable communities, prevents sprawl, and invigorates local economies. I will work to improve our land use practices to promote sustainable development. Future generations deserve to inherit the quality of place that we have been so fortunate to have.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Just Taking a Break

I spotted this critter on Mackworth Island a couple of weeks ago, apparently just taking a break on its way to the Arctic. I found out from Lynda Doughty at the Department of Marine Resources, the state's stranding coordinator, that the critter was a harp seal. I and other concerned visitors to the island that day, called the Marine Animal Reporting Hotline, because the seal seemed to be tired and possibly ill. We were also concerned that the animal was alone without a worry about the presence of humans in its very close proximity. After volunteers made an assessment of the seal's health, Lynda called and reassured me that all was well. Harp seals make their way to the Arctic each year to their breeding and whelping grounds in Newfoundland, the White Sea, and the Greenland Sea. They give birth on sea ice to soft, fluffy, white pups that have been brutally hunted by humans for their pelts. Because of human activity, the species is now classified as threated and I presume that with the continued loss of sea ice due to global warming, their status will only worsen. Maine is probably their most southern boundary, and once rare to our waters, sightings of harp seals have been increasing. Harp seals feed on crustaceans and fish and can stay underwater for fifteen minutes! I grew up in a lobstering family in Rockport, Maine, the home of the famous Andre and even now upon encountering seals in our Maine waters I am thrilled, because this close relative of ours reminds me of our of connection to the sea. If humans continue to treat our oceans with disregard, then we are at risk of losing a part of ourselves as well. If you happen to stumble upon a marine animal anywhere in Maine that appears to be ill or on need of help, the Marine Animal Reporting Hotline is 1(800)-523-9551. Good luck to our harp seal friend in finding a mate and starting a family this Spring!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Encounters with Wildlife in an Urban Landscape

The destruction of our environment can be greatly attributed to our human disconnect with nature and for many of us living in urban areas that disconnect seems great at times. Having been raised in rural Maine I am amazed that our urban landscape is actually vibrantly inhabited with wildlife and this is especially true this spring. This season awakens us with its unique smells and sounds that remind us we survived another long, cold winter. Hopefully we all had some fun with all the snow we had; there is always something to cherish in every season. I ride my bike, even on the coldest of nights. The reward I got this winter from enduring the nightly climb up Munjoy Hill and the salt spray from Congress St. was being witness to an amazing gathering of hundreds of crows that seemed to have come from every direction. I stopped my bike in front of Lincoln Park and was awe struck at the shear numbers of birds above me. The trees became laden with corvids, making the passing cars virtually inaudible. I was perplexed by their choice to roost right in the middle of a busy, brightly lit urban intersection, so I went in search of an answer. One of my literary heros, Bernd Heinrich, in his book "Winter World", stated that he too had been perplexed by this phenomenon. He concluded that these communal winter roosts allowed for safety in numbers and communication about food resources. Most importantly, he believed that they choose to roost in urban centers instead of the forest to avoid their greatest predator the great horned owl! It was great to know that our city was a sanctuary for some of our animal friends. Now that the snow cover is receding and temperatures are rising, Portland is once again home to some of our migratory friends and a breeding ground for some of our resident birds. The cardinals can now be heard singing their beautiful songs and because of their magnificent red color are easily seen with the naked eye. Cardinals are a year round resident of Maine, but you wouldn't know since they are very quite during the winter months. Surprisingly both males and females sing. They breed March through September usually producing two broods a year. I've spotted Bohemian waxwings in the East End. They are pictured in the photo above. Bohemian waxwings are highly migratory, hence their name, so now is the time to spot these birds. They are frugivores, feeding primarily on fruit, and sometimes insects in the summer. You can spot them in fruit trees that still have fruit hanging from them. Last week I saw a group feeding on cherries at the corner of India and Congress. Walking by the same tree a few days later I noticed the tree was bare and their discarded berries were on the ground below. I have also spotted a red tailed hawk on Hammond street and many of us probably saw the barred owl in Longfellow Square. Unfortunately, seeing barred owls in the city is evident that the birds are starving and are coming to urban areas because of the lack of food elsewhere. The couple at Avian Haven, a bird rehabilitation center in Freedom, Maine, reported that the barred owls food source was scarce this winter. They suggested that is was probably due to the increase in numbers of barred owls that migrated here from Canada when a virus decimated the vole population there. Although it was exciting to see a barred owl right in the city it was also saddening to know the reason. For those of you that are able to get out of the city, Two Lights State Park near Crescent Beach is a good place to spot the exquisitely colored harlequin ducks. They can be seen riding the surf along with their neighbors the common eider. So if you're feeling low and want evidence that Spring is here, take a walk in your neighborhood. If you go openly and freely with little expectation, I guarantee nature will speak. Let us begin healing our relationship with nature. For more information on these creatures visit or

Monday, March 31, 2008

Portlanders Celebrate Earth Hour

On Saturday March 29, 2008, citizens of Portland joined millions of people in cities around the world to celebrate Earth Hour. Thirty or more people gathered in Monument Square just before the countdown led by Portland's Mayor and Chairman of the city's Energy and Environmental Sustainability Committee, Ed Suslovick. Portland businesses and residents took part in the global initiative to shut off their lights for one hour in an effort to raise awareness about global warming. Mayor Suslovick isssued a proclamation at the last City Council Meeting announcing that the city of Portland would join "the wave" and encouraged area businesses to participate as well. Earth Hour Portland was organized by a group of women activists from the Sierra Club Maine Chapter, which inncludes myself. All of the organizers are members of the Smart Energy/Global Warming Committee with the Sierra Club. It was a very chilly evening, but many braved the cold to show their committment to finding solutions to the most critical issue of our times. We are in a very good place right now because everyone of us recongnizes that global warming and the emerging energy crisis effects us all. Most of us also recognize that conserving energy is not only good for the planet, but it is good for our economy. For Maine, investing in renewable energy and energy effeciency, is paramount to the future sustainability of the state we love, so remember to make Earth Hour everyday. Thanks to all that participated in Earth Hour Portland!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Next State Representative?

Hello friends and neighbors on the East End! I am running this year for State Representative in House District #120 as a Green Independent. I have created this blog so that we could share ideas and get to know each other better. I have not had a web presence before because I prefer to keep life real with as little virtual communication as possible, but I recognize how the web can help us work together to transform our ideas into action. Like you, I have a special love for Maine and its largest city, Portland. I am concerned that we are not properly investing in the things that will sustain us and ensure a bright future for this state. I believe we need to move from having a state government that is reactionary to one that has vision and plans ahead. We need courageous people in Augusta who will challenge the status quo and reach out to the people they serve to see that our vision is materialized and I think we are just the team to do it! I hope you will E-mail me to share your vision. Thank you.