Atlantic puffins have been facing challenges as the Gulf of Maine has continued to warm in the past decade. The birds, which breed in several colonies off the Maine coast, must find fish to bring back to their chicks in their burrows. If the right food can't be found, the chicks will starve.
In yesterday's Portland Press Herald, reported the sad news that the largest colony in the Gulf of Maine -- at Machias Seal Island -- this summer experienced the worst such food famine in the 31 years researchers have been tracking the birds there. The smaller colonies off midcoast Maine -- including Eastern Egg Rock -- fared better.
For broader context, we covered the puffins' problems in 2012-2015 in "Mayday", the Press Herald's six-part series on climate change in the Gulf of Maine, which was a finalist for this year's Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.
Here in Maine, the most important electoral issue to be resolved in November -- aside from who will be the President of the United States -- is which party will control the two houses of the state legislature. Currently Democrats control the House, while Republicans have the Senate and the governor's mansion.
Bottom line: Democrats currently have a roughly two-to-one advantage in this regard, mostly because they've received big contributions from the national party (and the Republicans have not.) Even more interesting for politicos is where the money comes from and, perhaps, who the respective parties owe one to.
A lot of cities have worked to repurpose their manufacturing districts. Milwaukee has doubled-down on the largest of theirs, creating a model for what the 21st century industrial park might look like. Mixing recreational, environmental, and manufacturing uses, the Menomonee Valley has filled with tenants from near and far. It's the topic of my latest installment in Politico's "What Works" series, which posted Thursday night.
WNPR, the Hartford-based flagship of Connecticut Public Radio, has launched a new show on New England. NEXT, which will roll out under the auspices of public radio's New England reporting collaborative, will eventually be syndicated throughout the region.
I was very pleased to be a part of their inaugural episode, talking about the origins of New England's identity, its expansion across a swath of the continent, and the conflicts it has with neighboring cultures, like the Dutch-founded region around what is now New York City, or the Scots-Irish influenced Greater Appalachian region. Readers of American Nations, American Character, and Lobster Coast will recognize much of what we spoke about.
The episode premiered on the stations of Connecticut public radio on Thursday afternoon and is available online now. (My segment starts at 19:20.) It also airs:
On New Hampshire Public Radio today, Aug. 6, at 10 pm.
On Vermont Public Radio Sunday, Aug. 7, at noon.
On the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network again Sunday, Aug. 7, at 6 pm.
Thanks to producer Andrea Muraskin and host John Dankosky for having me on.
The event kicks off at 7pm. My talk keys off my first book, Ocean's End: Travels Through Endangered Seas (which took me all over the world) and my recent Portland Press Herald series, "Mayday", in how climate change is effecting the Gulf of Maine (which was a finalist for this year's Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.)
I did a deep dive on former Maine Governor John McKernan's legacy as CEO and board chair of Education Management Corporation, or EDMC, the for-profit college network that ran afoul of the US Department of Justice, multiple state attorneys general, and the inspector general of the US Department of Education.
In his speech at the Democratic National Convention this week, President Obama spoke about his Scots-Irish roots and the values of that culture, which includes many on his mother's side. Why talk about the Scots-Irish in a major address in the midst of a critical election year? The Washington Post's Frances Stead Sellers is on it.
I spoke with Sellers yesterday about the Scots-Irish legacy, influence, and importance to our elections, and you can read the article that resulted here. (Thanks to the Post for including the American Nations map.)
I am an award-winning journalist and author of American Nations, American Character, Ocean's End, The Lobster Coast, and The Republic of Pirates. I'm a staffer at the Portland Press Herald, where I won a 2012 George Polk Award for my investigative reporting and was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist.