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AP’s Today in History for September 23rd
Richard Nixon gives his ‘Checkers’ speech; Rome’s Augustus Caesar born; Lewis and Clark finish trek to America’s West; Psychologist Sigmund Freud dies; Musicians Ray Charles and Bruce Springsteen born.
Breakfast Tune Alternative Facts
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
AFTER BEATING THE establishment candidate to win the Democratic primary battle for district attorney in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Andrea Harrington now has to do it again.
On September 19, two weeks after losing the September 4 election by 692 votes, her primary opponent, Paul Caccaviello, announced a write-in campaign.
In many ways, the primary election was a referendum on criminal justice reform strategies. Harrington and a third candidate, Judith Knight, both advanced a more progressive approach than Caccaviello. Harrington, for example, pledged to review all unindicted cases of sexual assault and rape from the last 15 years, addressing the department’s perceived indifference toward rape and sexual assault. Knight’s campaign prioritized criminal justice reform for cases targeting youthful offenders, proposed drug and alcohol education initiatives, and focused on prosecuting violent crime.
By contrast, Caccaviello ran on a status quo platform — largely promising to continue the policies of his predecessor David Capeless, who abruptly resigned his position earlier this year to give Caccaviello the opportunity of incumbency. “I’m taking this step now,” Capeless told reporters, “because I want Paul to be able to run as the district attorney, as I did 14 years ago.”
Yesterday, Caccaviello announced that he was heeding the call of “hundreds” of supporters urging him to stay in the race, citing his experience as a prosecutor as necessary for the job. “They must know that their DA is an experienced criminal attorney with a vast depth of knowledge, not a product manufactured by a powerful political machine,” wrote Caccaviello. (When asked what he, the establishment candidate, meant by that characterization of Harrington, Caccaviello demurred, telling The Intercept that he would go into more detail on the charge in the weeks to come).
Harrington hit back hard against that charge in an interview with The Intercept, saying, “These are the ideas that were thoroughly debated during the primaries. The voters made their choice, and elections have consequences.”
Harrington sees her primary win as a victory for the county’s marginalized communities against entrenched power. “Women, people of color, people with disabilities — we fight and we fight and we fight, and we don’t win,” said Harrington the night of her viewing party at the Flavours of Malaysia restaurant in Pittsfield, Massachuestts. “But tonight, it looks like we may have changed that story.”
Caccaviello dismissed Harrington’s ideological mission as motivated by political considerations, and said that he would bring a nonpartisan approach to the office if re-elected. “Citizens must have the utmost confidence that their District Attorney will represent and protect them without regard to their party affiliation or political ideology,” wrote Caccaviello in an email to The Intercept.
The primary election results seem to corroborate Harrington’s view that voters wanted reform. Although Harrington won by only a narrow margin, her vote share, combined with Knight’s, suggests that voters chose progressive “change” over the status quo by a margin of over 25 percent.
Something to think about over coffee prozac
see url Maine investigates restaurant that gave lobsters marijuana
Associated Press in Southwest Harbor, Maine
State health inspectors are investigating a Maine restaurant that tried to mellow out lobsters with marijuana before killing them to be served, cracked and eaten.
The Portland Press Herald reported that Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor remains open but has stopped allowing customers to request meat from lobsters sedated with marijuana.
Owner Charlotte Gill is a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver. She said on Friday she hoped to resume sales of “smoked” lobster meat by mid-October, a move meant to lessen the suffering of her lobsters before they are dropped in boiling water.
It is unknown whether pot smoke calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat.
A Maine Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman, Emily Spencer, would not say if the state had asked Gill to halt such sales.
But Gill told the Press Herald that “after being contacted by the state, and upon reviewing its present laws and codes applicable to this arena, and then making a few minor adjustments to our procedure, we are completely confident that we will be able to proceed as planned”.
“I imagine we will still have a push back from the state on our hands,” she said, “but we are confident that we will be able to field any issues they may have with us, and do it with grace.
“These are important issues and ones that can also benefit not only the lobster, but the industry as well. Truly we are not trying to go against [the state’s] wishes and would love to work with them in order for us all to make this world a kinder place.”
Spencer said it would be up to the Maine Medical Marijuana Program to determine if Gill was using cannabis appropriately. A program spokesman, David Heidrich, told the newspaper he could not confirm if it was investigating the lobster restaurant.
But he added: “Medical marijuana may only be grown for and provided to persons with a marijuana recommendation from a qualified medical provider. Lobsters are not people.”