KVO at 2017 Common Ground Fair

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Common Ground Fair, a “celebration of rural life”, is hosted annually in Unity by Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association (MOFGA), and has long been a favorite event of mine every third weekend in September. Our state is fortunate to have the opportunity to bring together so many people regarding sustainability, agricultural, environmental and social justice concerns.

Every year there are new offerings and expansion of the simple ideas of coming together for the good of many. Whether one chooses to take one of the trains from either Unity or Thorndike to the Fair, take a tractor, bike, walk or drive, the experience is well worth the trip and the ever present crowds. There are exhibits, merchants, a huge farmers’ market, now 3 “Social and Political Tents”, and all kinds of livestock. The opportunities to learn are endless and it is truly worth a trip every September.

KVO Standing With State Employees During Government Shutdown

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Such a beautiful place the Maine State House in Augusta is, with so many stories under its dome. But last weekend, that beauty was marred by the first statewide government shutdown to be experienced in more than 25 years. All non-emergency government functions were closed immediately, prompting state employees to protest in Augusta.

The shutdown, which lasted 3 days, occurred as legislators were unable to unable to come together on a veto proof biannual budget by midnight on June 30. But by Tuesday morning, lawmakers were able to craft legislation eliminating the additional lodging tax hike that Governor LePage found objectionable. Once that provision was removed, the budget bill was signed, ending the shutdown.