As the latest session of the legislature closed this year, reporter Eric Russell was watching how lawmakers would respond to the opioid addiction and overdose crisis. Last year, 376 Mainers died after taking some form of prescription or street-bought painkiller: things like OxyContin, fentanyl, heroin, or a combination of drugs. Russell was the lead writer for Portland Press Herald's Lost, a chronicle of how addiction and death impacts communities as a whole, and thought the urgency of the issue would result in legal changes and ... it didn't.
In this episode, Russell explains to social media editor Jim Patrick how ongoing narcotic addiction spread into the mainstream and they discuss how framing the issue as a moral crisis is impeding meaningful change.
Editorial page editors Greg Kesich and Sarah Collins dug into the mailbags to crown Kathleen Mikulka as June's Letter Writer of the Month. In this episode, Mikulka joins us to share more about her teaching experience and why she is concerned about creating education policy based on test scores. We also hear from social media czar Jim Patrick, who makes the argument that while Facebook maintains its reputation for impulsive, ad hominem comments, the Press Herald has also attracted engaged, informed readers that will tempt you to defy the Internet principle of "Don't read the comments!"
Lastly, we dig into the funniest, smartest, most indignant messages from PressHerald.com, featuring yarmouth1, bowdoin 81, elvisisdead, 3midcoastg8tor, and a special appearance by columnist Jim Fossell.
Press Herald columnists Alan Caron, and Bill Nemitz dive into the feast of political news from the past week with Editorial Editor Greg Kesich. From the short shutdown, to the Governor's intentionally misleading statements to lawmakers, the media, and citizens, from new fissures in the Democrat and Republican parties to the legislatures failure to pass significant policy changes in the afce of the opioid crisis. And bonus for the political science fans: on the day AG Janet Mills announced her gubernatorial candidacy, they spin a little game theory on how ranked choice voting will play out in primaries.
Our columnists Alan Caron, Cynthia Dill, and Bill Nemitz joined host Greg Kesich in our One City Center offices to discuss how we became and how long we will be one of a few states without a budget. Are there political lessons to be learned from the 1991 shutdown? Then Greg makes a call to our more conservative columnist Jim Fossel to get into the nitty gritty of the negotiations and what both sides of the aisle are trying to accomplish.
Our analysis is evergreen, but news can move fast and our facts were fresh as of Monday at 1:30 pm.