Climate Change Causes Conflicts-Documentary Project to Bring Change

INSIGHTS

A short clip to help raise funds for the initiative from its director, Alexander Cornell du Houx:

The Solon Center for Research and Publishing has agreed to publish books based upon this documentary project which highlights conflicts around the globe that are a direct result of climate change and how community solutions, already available, could help defuse these problems. These videos, and a full-length film will be the basis of the books we will publish.

If you’d like to donate for the creation of the videos please do so through the Solon Center HERE. Small donations ($10) to large contributions (any amount) make a huge difference! None of the film is stock footage.

More from the project’s director, Alexander Cornell du Houx’s:

Background—

My deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, with the Marine Corps infantry, gave me a firsthand insight into why it’s critical to find solutions to the water insecurity connected…

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Gov. Baldacci and City Councilor Joe Baldacci to host Pro-Minimum Wage Spaghetti Dinner in Augusta

 

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Proceeds to help feed needy children in the area and their families

From  a Maine Insights article

Former Governor John Baldacci and Former Bangor Mayor and City Councilor Joe Baldacci will host a spaghetti supper to highlight why the minimum wage should be increased. The dinner will be held at Cony High School, 60 Pierce Drive, Augusta on May 11th, from 5:30-7:30. And it’s only $5 per person!

“These spaghetti dinners have always been a great opportunity to bring the community together for a family dinner that encourages discussion and unity on important working class issues,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

The Baldacci brothers will be cooking the spaghetti sauce from their family’s secret recipe that became famous at Momma Baldacci’s, the former family restaurant of Bangor. The two-term governor, along with his brother will be serving the meal.

“Our dinners have become a family tradition, one where we’re proud to help out when and where we can,” said Governor John Baldacci.

Proceeds will go to local charities to benefit needy children in the area and their families.

Augusta City Councilors Dale McCormick, Linda Conti, and Anna Douglass Blodgett are graciously co-hosting the event.

Speakers from the Maine Center for Economic Policy, the Maine People’s Alliance, the Maine Democratic Party, other political leaders and concerned citizens will address the dire economic situation faced by low income Mainers and the need for action to increase the minimum wage. According to the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute (EPI) the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is worth $2 less today than it was in 1968 when adjusted for inflation.

Maine’s minimum wage is currently $7.50 an hour, increased during Baldacci administration in 2009. All efforts to raise the minimum wage at the state level since then have been defeated by Governor Paul LePage.

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Maine’s current minimum wage forces far too many families onto welfare rolls, and the need for federally subsidized healthcare. Someone working 40 hours a week at the minimum wage of $7.50, would earn $300 each week—or approximately $15,600 every year—well below the federal poverty line for families of two or more. Continue reading

No Mainer should be working full-time and still live in poverty.

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By Mark Eves, the Maine Speaker of the House

On Wednesday, May 11, I’m looking forward to joining the Baldacci family as they host a spaghetti supper in support of raising the minimum wage. The dinner, at $5 per person, will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Cony High School, 60 Pierce Drive, in Augusta.

The dinner is focused on why raising the minimum wage is so important for our state, and I want to take a minute to share why I’ll be supporting the minimum wage referendum on this year’s ballot.

Like so many Mainers, my wife and I worry about how to make ends meet. We worry how we’ll balance our car payments and grocery bills with the hopes of sending our three kids to college and whether we’ll actually be able to care for our parents as they get older.

And just like our neighbors, we’re willing to work hard to make up the gaps. Mainers don’t want things handed to us. We just want providing for our families and saving for our kids’ future to be a little less difficult. Continue reading

Baldacci brother’s serve up their family’s famous spaghetti recipe for benefit dinner in Jay

News Channel 6 report on the Spaghetti dinner to help Jay mill workers: http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/baldacci-brothers-host-dinner-to-help-laid-off-workers/49875166

Over $2300 in donations were made to the fuel fund because of the supper.

From Maine Insights:
Tonight Baldacci brother’s serve up their family’s famous spaghetti recipe for benefit dinner in Jay

by Ramona du Houx
TONIGHT: Former Gov. John Baldacci and former Bangor Mayor and City Councilor Joe Baldacci will host a spaghetti supper to benefit the Good Neighbor Fuel Fund 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Jay.
The spaghetti is made and good cheer awaits all participants!

Emily Cain will join Gov. Baldacci and Joe Baldacci helping serve piles of spaghetti with the Baldacci family’s secret sauce.

Last fall, Verso Corp. laid off 300 workers — roughly a third of the workforce — at its Androscoggin Mill in Jay. The mill is the largest employer in the area.

“These are our neighbors. They need us all to pull together and help them and their families. We need to keep public focus on the workers and their families who need help and real leadership,” said former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci. Continue reading

U.S. Labor Department reviews Portland’s minimum wage hike after Gov. LePage attack

Excerpt from the Portland Press Herald. Entire article HERE.

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By Randy Billings

The U.S. Department of Labor is reviewing Portland’s minimum wage ordinance, as well as similar laws in other cities and states, to see how it “intersects with federal tip credit law.”

Federal law sets a $5.12 maximum for the tip credit, which is the difference between tip earners’ base wage and the minimum. Under the ordinance that took effect in Portland on Jan. 1, the difference is $6.35. If workers’ tips don’t bring their overall pay to the minimum wage, the tip credit provision requires employers to make up the difference.
It’s not clear how long the review will take or what would happen here or elsewhere if the wage laws are found to be illegal. For now, restaurant owners are assuming that Portland’s ordinance is legal, but they are anxious for the matter to be resolved. . .

The issue was raised by Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday at a meeting of business leaders in Waterville, where he cited Portland’s new minimum wage ordinance as an example of why the minimum wage should be left alone.

His administration argues that Portland’s ordinance establishing a $10.10 an hour minimum wage doesn’t comply with federal law because the base wage for tipped workers, such as waiters and waitresses, continues to be $3.75, resulting in a $6.35 difference that exceeds the $5.12 maximum. Continue reading

Isn’t it Payback Time for Women?

 

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Credit: Olimpia Zagnoli

By Judith Shulevitz is the author of “The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time” and a contributing opinion writer. First appeared n the New York Times.

A COUNTRY that gives every citizen enough cash to live on whether she needs it or not: It’s got to be either a fool’s paradise or a profligate Northern European nation. And lo, in November, the Finnish government proposed paying every adult 800 euros or about $870 a month. Fits of this seemingly irrational generosity, called a universal basic income or U.B.I., are becoming surprisingly common. The Swiss will vote in a referendum on basic income this year. The Dutch city of Utrecht will soon start a basic-income pilot program. Canada’s ruling Liberal Party recently adopted a resolution calling for a similar experiment.

Still, it couldn’t happen here. Or could it? Over the past few years, a case for the U.B.I. has emerged that could make it appealing not just to the poor, who don’t vote in great numbers, but to women, who do.

The feminist argument for a U.B.I. is that it’s a way to reimburse mothers and other caregivers for the heavy lifting they now do free of charge. Roughly one-fifth of Americans have children 18 or under. Many also attend to ill or elderly relatives. They perform these labors out of love or a sense of duty, but still, at some point during the diaper-changing or bedpan cleaning, they have to wonder why their efforts aren’t seen as “work.” They may even ask why they have to pay for the privilege of doing it, by cutting back on their hours or quitting jobs to stay home.

Disproportionately, of course, these caregivers are women. Continue reading

Support women in Maine- increase minimum wage

"I've worked at this particular location at near-minimum wage for 2 years. Only part-time, though — so I can be home with my two young children during the day so my husband can work full time. Despite the pay, I'm happy to be there. The hours and schedule are flexible, and I've met some amazing people. Without my husband's career, however, it wouldn't be possible for me to work there. If you account for the travel and food, I don't contribute much financially. Without Joshua's career, We'd be obligated to seek state help, and I'd be working double-triple the hours to make ends meet. Like so many other Mainers, We live on a budget — more so during the winter. My job is one I'm grateful to have; even if the pay is modest. We balance and make do for ourselves, and our children. Growing up, I was always told to work hard and get the career I wanted. Go to college, earn a career that you're proud of. But, What's completely flawed about that is the implication that a minimum wage job isn't something to be proud of."-Sarah Giles

“I’ve worked at this particular location at near-minimum wage for 2 years. Only part-time, though — so I can be home with my two young children during the day so my husband can work full time. Despite the pay, I’m happy to be there. The hours and schedule are flexible, and I’ve met some amazing people. Without my husband’s career, however, it wouldn’t be possible for me to work there. If you account for the travel and food, I don’t contribute much financially. Without Joshua’s career, We’d be obligated to seek state help, and I’d be working double-triple the hours to make ends meet.
Like so many other Mainers, We live on a budget — more so during the winter. My job is one I’m grateful to have; even if the pay is modest. We balance and make do for ourselves, and our children.
Growing up, I was always told to work hard and get the career I wanted. Go to college, earn a career that you’re proud of. But, What’s completely flawed about that is the implication that a minimum wage job isn’t something to be proud of.”-Sarah Giles

By Katie Logue, Auburn

There are so many ways that the economy is rigged against women and families and I have seen the impacts first-hand.

A few years ago, I was a single mom struggling to make ends meet, making slightly more than the minimum wage ($8 per hour) and trying to support myself and my 6-year-old after my marriage failed.

My son and I were on food stamps and MaineCare, even though I was working full time. No matter how hard I tried to find appropriate housing, there was no way I could afford $900-$1,000 a month for rent.

I had a car payment for a car that wasn’t even safe but was my only way to get to work. Even after I finally saved enough to get an apartment, it was impossible to keep up with the bills.

At one point, after being evicted, I was living in a homeless shelter while working full time to save enough to get another apartment.

I know that I am not the only one who has struggled to support my family on poverty wages. I also know that this issue affects women much more than men.

The majority of minimum-wage workers are women, many of us supporting families. Here in Maine, women still earn, on average, just 84 percent of what our male counterparts earn.

It is time for a change. In January, the Legislature will consider citizen-initiated legislation to increase Maine’s minimum wage. Lawmakers and voters should stand with Maine women and support it.

First appeared in the Sun Journal.