Here are some calendar items for January (plus a few earlier and/or later). FEEL FREE TO PICK AND CHOOSE AND NOT USE EVERY ITEM. If you know of things that should be publicized, please send them to me by the 15th of the month preceding the month when the event occurs.
December 31: Occupy Blue Hill Poetry Jazz Slam w/poets and performers of all ages, 7-10 PM, American Legion Hall, Blue Hill. Call 469-6245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 10: MOFGA/Organic food day at annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Civic Center, Augusta. Schedule at www.mofga.org or 568-4142.
January 15: Martin Luther King holiday celebration w/discussion, film, potluck, and more, 3-7 PM, Peace and Justice Center, 96 Harlow St., Bangor. Call 942-9343 or email@example.com.
January 15-16: Martin Luther King holiday celebration with gospel concert (15th, Merrill Auditorium) and breakfast (16th, Holiday Inn by the Bay), Portland. NAACP, 253-5074 or www.naacpportland.org.
January 15-16: Martin Luther King holiday events throughout Maine. Look on the web for events in your area.
January 17-18: “Mother: Caring for the 7 Billion” film shown (necessity to reduce population in US and world), 7 PM, First Universalist Church, Rockland (17th) and 6 PM, Free Library, Belfast (18th). Beedy Parker, 236-8732 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 19 (snow date: Jan. 20): “By Land and by Sea: Leveraging Co-ops for Business Success” conference for farmers and fishers creating producer cooperatives to promote local food supplies, 9 AM-5:30 PM, Education Center, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Assn., Crosby Brook Rd., Unity. Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine, 619-3532 or email@example.com.
January 20-22: Bringing Mindful Speech to Life” workshop w/Peggy Smith and Theodate Lawlor, Winslow. Call 789-5299 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 27: Panel to discuss the Occupation movement, evening, Blue Hill (location TBA). Peninsula Peace and Justice, 326-4405 or email@example.com.
January 28 (snow date: January 29): “Visions and Strategies for the Occupy Movement in Maine” gathering, 9 AM-4:30 PM, Randall Student Center, U/Maine, Augusta. ROSC, 525-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org
February 4: Annual Maine War Tax Resisters and Supporters workshop and meeting, 10 AM-3 PM, Peace and Justice Center, 96 Harlow St, Bangor. Maine WTR Resource Center, 525-7776 or email@example.com
Rallies and other actions against state budget cuts began in mid-December, but they will likely continue for months to come. The assault on funding for people’s basic needs–health care and related services in particular–is unlikely to be resolved even at the end of the legislative session, scheduled for mid-late April. Groups taking leadership in this struggle are the Maine Women’s Lobby (622-0851 or firstname.lastname@example.org
and Maine Equal Justice, 626-7059 or email@example.com
Beware: the idea of an east-west highway crossing Maine is not dead. With help from the Maine legislature (LD 2358, for a feasibility study), a private toll road might be built, primarily for trucks passing thru Maine from Quebec to New Brunswick and from Vermont/New Hampshire to Eastern Maine or the Maritimes. Defending Water in Maine is especially concerned about the highway leading to greater destruction of resources, especially tree cutting and water extraction, because it would be easier to export these items. It could also cause the loss of valuable farm land in central Maine. For more about this plan: Chris Buchanan, Defending Water in Maine, 357-1443 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Eat it up indoors!” That’s a motto for the Portland Winter Farmers’ Market, an indoor spot for finding locally produced foods from late December thru April 21st. The market takes place each Saturday from 9 AM-1 PM at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, State Street between Gray and Danforth Sts., Portland. Items available include root and winter veggie, eggs, tempeh, grains, breads, meat, preserved foods, and more. Those using SNAP cards will get double tokens for free. For more information: www.portlandmainewintermarket.com
. There are also winter markets in Lewiston (St. Mary’s, 208 Bates St.), Bath (UCC Church on Congress St.), Waterville (Concourse parking lot) and Orono (Pine St. parking lot) for local foods buying. The other markets are generally one or two times per month for 2 or more hours.
With LIHEAP funding cuts, the need for affordable oil this winter is even greater than past years. In the Augusta area, “Joe for Oil” is a fuel assistance program that provides 100 gallons free to anyone who needs the assistance to stay warm(er). This is first come, first served, so those who need the oil should call 1-877-563-4645 ASAP to make the request. Citizens Energy, the Joe for Oil sponsor, will send a voucher to those who qualify, which can then be given to a local oil dealer.