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Ten Ways to Fight Hate

Posted by sarah brown on August 18th, 2017

Most days I dread turning on the news. It seems that hate, in America, has become commonplace.

Bias is a human condition, and American history is filled with widespread prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. As a nation, we’ve made a lot of progress, but stereotyping and unequal treatment persist.

The good news is, all over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices.

In response to recent events, including the deadly white nationalist violence in Charlottesville this past weekend, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate, its longstanding guide for effectively – and peacefully – taking a stand against bigotry.

The SPLC is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. They are currently tracking 917 hate groups operating across America, including several that were involved in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Ten Ways to Fight Hate, sets out 10 principles for taking action, including how to respond to a hate rally that has targeted your town. It urges people not to engage white supremacists at their rallies. Instead, it offers tips for creating alternative rallies to promote peace, inclusion and justice.

It advises readers on how to promote tolerance and effectively speak out against discrimination. And it encourages today’s activists to join forces with other like-minded people, to support victims of hate crimes, and to expose and denounce prejudice.

Public Transit Expands to Brunswick

Posted by Hazel Onsrud on July 21st, 2017

In August a new public transit option will serve Brunswick, Portland, and communities in-between; Metro Breeze is extending its route to Brunswick. While Brunswick residents have had train service and bus service to and from Portland for some time, it has not met the needs of all travelers. Some commuters currently use GoMaine, a hub for carpool coordination. One can also currently traverse this distance using train and bus services (Grayhound, Concord Trailways). However,  the schedule is limited at certain times of the day. We also, of course, have our in-town bus system, but it does not go beyond our borders.

Take a look at some example transit searches with Bing and Google using our existing transit network:

  

  

A quick exploration of the terrain and routes illustrates that biking requires a couple of hours, walking would take all day, and the train and bus schedules are not necessarily coordinated for the time searched. If one used many of the existing transit options, a half hour drive quickly extends to hours on the road. The website http://smttracker.com/ helps commuters plan for delays and calculate routes, but it cannot reduce hours on the road.

This commute also translates to monetary costs. If one commutes from Brunswick to Portland, an estimated 25 miles, or 50 miles round trip, the IRS would reimburse you 54 cents per mile to cover the fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle.  (http://www.gasbuddy.com/TripCostCalculator  can estimate the cost of gas for your vehicle). That is significantly more than the 6$ a day planned to be charged by the Metro Breeze. The Metro Breeze will also have 10 passes and a monthly pass.

We currently know little about the planned Metro Breeze’s stops or schedule, but a call to the office quickly confirmed that this information should be on their website soon. What we do know is that it will run Monday – Saturday, has WIFI, space for two bikes per bus, and will begin the 24th of August.

If you’re thinking of trying it out be sure to check out our display of roadtrip resources (brainteaser books and portable crafts) or digital downloads (free magazines, books, audiobooks and movies) for your electronic devices. If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, be sure to chat with a librarian about any other resource that would make your commute more enjoyable. Perhaps both your transit and library dreams will come true.

Domestic Violence in Maine

Posted by sarah brown on July 11th, 2017

A Maine man’s recent killing of a woman and their son has underscored the state’s long-standing problem of domestic violence, which is linked to about half of homicides in Maine (see Triple Killing Underscores Domestic Violence Problem).

Domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of coercive behavior, used by one person in a relationship to gain and maintain power and control over the other person. Coercive behavior can include physical violence, teen dating violence, sexual assault, emotional and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse and threats, stalking, isolation, harm to children, elder abuse, reproductive coercion, economic control, destruction of personal property, and animal cruelty.

Domestic abuse homicides continue to account for approximately 50% of all homicides in Maine over time; the large majority of these homicides are committed by men against women.

To better understand the issue, the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence can be a great resource. They publish a Domestic Violence Help Guide, that explains what it is, why it happens, how it affects children, safety planning, getting help, and information for allies concerned about someone else. MCEDV also provides a 24-hour domestic violence helpline, referrals and information, temporary emergency shelter and transitional housing, court advocacy, and support groups. Anyone with questions about abuse—victims, friends, family members, coworkers and community members—are encouraged to call the helpline (1-866-834-HELP) covered by staff and trained volunteers.

Additionally, the Power & Control Wheel of Domestic Violence is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by a batterer to establish and maintain control over their partner. As is the in depth exploration of Intimate Partner Violence by the National Institute of Justice.

Want to do something to help, but not sure what? Start here: 10 Ways You Can Help Prevent Domestic Violence Where You Live.

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