That there is significant income and wealth inequality in the United States is largely undisputed. The Census Bureau reports on the federal data and the Portland Press Herald reported earlier this month on poverty rates in Maine. Yet, much about why we have growing inequality, what it really means, and what to do about it are extremely contested issues in our communities and policy debates. Earlier this year, economist Thomas Piketty opened up conversations about the distribution of wealth and made specific recommendations for redistribution. The Choose Civility Initiative and City of Reader’s Team held a community discussion on his book, as it was an unusually “hot” non-fiction title. The Rines auditorium filled– and from that evening came a request to screen and discuss Rober Reich’s film Inequality for All.
On October 29th, in partnership with the League of Women Voters, Portland, the Maine Center for Economic Policy and the USM Economics Department, we will watch and discuss this movie — we hope all will feel welcome to join us for respectful and challenging discourse about this complex topic that shapes all our lives.
What income do you think qualifies as “poverty”? How well do our poverty guidelines capture the edge between poverty and financial security? What role does the Government play in providing a safety net or incentives for higher wages? What other questions do you ask about income and wealth inequality in our Country? Submit them through comments!
2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines
Federally facilitated marketplaces will use the 2014 guidelines to determine eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP (this is effective February 10, 2014).
- See more at: http://familiesusa.org/product/federal-poverty-guidelines#sthash.rUyD1z6p.dpuf
Over the past 14 months, Portland Public Library staff have worked with the leadership of the Friends of the Peaks Island Library and with City staff, particularly in the Recreation Department, to develop a new vision for the Library/Community Center. We have discussed various strategies for increasing and enhancing functionality, efficiency, and enjoyment of services. We have incorporated the great energy and ideas from the Community Forum which we held on Peaks in April 2013, have analyzed the current condition of the building, and have begun developing a plan for the Center.
Our goal is to maximize internal space, update necessary systems to meet all codes, resolve ergonomic problems, and – most importantly – create a comfortable and welcoming space for reading, exploration, and learning. At this point, our plan is to begin renovation in Fall of 2015.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends, we have contracted with architect Dick Reed to develop a preliminary design that captures these ideas. We will pursue this design with the City shortly but would love more community input as we finalize the plans. Please join us for another Community Forum, on Wednesday, September 10 at 7pm. We look forward to your thoughts, reactions, and input. If you cannot attend but have questions or suggestions, please call 871-1700 x759 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Peaks Island Library and Community Center is a special part of island life, and we are excited to build its future.
The Burbank facility, created in 1995, is the 6th busiest library location in Maine, operating well beyond the capacity imagined twenty years ago. In order to reflect changes in how our loyal Burbank patrons use the library, to address building infrastructure issues, and to solve long-standing ergonomic challenges for library staff, PPL is undertaking a renovation to reconfigure and update the branch. We are thrilled to have the chance to provide a healthier environment for our staff and an improved experience for those who use and love the Burbank branch.
The renovation will be funded through an allocation of $255,000 from the City’s Capital Improvement Program. Scott Simons, whose firm was responsible for the 2010 Phase I renovation of the Main Library, is the project architect. You can see the current renovation drawings by clicking here for a PDF.
Once the bidding process for the project is completed this fall, the branch will be closed for six to seven months while construction takes place. We expect this closure to begin in November 2014 but look forward to updating you on the specifics and to serving you at our Main Library, Riverton, and Peaks Island locations during the Burbank closure.
And of course, we look forward to celebrating with you when we open a beautifully renovated Burbank branch!