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Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election

posted: , by Williams Bandoma
tags: Recommended Reads | Adults | Seniors | Government | News

 

Please find a copy of the Maine Citizen’s Guide to the November 7, 2017, Referendum Election. The Information includes;

  • Each of the four referendum questions
  • The legislation each question represents
  • A summary of the intent and¬†content of the legislation
  • An explanation of the significance of YES or NO vote
  • An analysis of the debt service on the bond issues
  • An estimate of the fiscal impact of each ballot measure on state revenues, appropriations, and allocations and
  • Public comments field in support of or in opposition to a ballot measure (if applicable).

The Guide is a collaborative effort by the Department of the Secretary of State, the State treasurer, the Attorney General and the Office of Fiscal and Program Review. For additional information relating to the election visit: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/citizensguide2017.pdf


Just the facts: Nonfiction films from Videoport and PPL

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Seniors | Art & Culture
On October 1st, the Library opened up yet another area of the Videoport collection for requests: Nonfiction. Documentaries, biographies, instructional films.

Here’s a hint: If you have books on your chosen subject, you can look at that same call number on the video shelves. To search the catalog, type your subject into a “keywords” search and limit your results to dvds.

Or, if you have no particular subject in mind, you can just browse the shelves, or view a list of recommended videos here.

For the best of our collection, see this list of Oscar-winning documentaries.


Movie of the Month: The Vietnam War

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture

Ken Burns has become known as America’s historian, and his 18-hour documentary, over ten years in the making, might be the definitive explication of America’s involvement in Vietnam.

Or not. Certainly, like the war itself, the film is controversial.

David Kamp of Vanity Fair calls it “monumental” and “scrupulously evenhanded.” Todd VanDerWerff of Vox calls it “a staggering achievement,” while others accuse Burns of relying too heavily on the corporate sponsorship of Bank of America and accordingly whitewashing the imperialism of the United States, and some claim that the film is flawed because the filmmakers, like many Americans, lack a basic understanding of Vietnamese history and politics.

I couldn’t possibly know more about the Vietnam war than Ken Burns (who, along with his directing partner Lynn Novick, interviewed hundreds of people–American and Vietnamese government officials, soldiers, and civilians) but I did notice some omissions.

For example, Burns claims that the war was begun “in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings” (a questionable assertion in itself) but he never really explores the reasons why it continued for so long beyond the face-saving, election-year machinations of each successive president. There’s not much attention given to the corporations who profited from the manufacture and sales of all those weapons and tanks and helicopters, not to mention napalm and Agent Orange. Burns shows us students occupying administrative buildings on campus to demand Black Studies classes, but wouldn’t it be more relevant to talk about the occupying students who demanded that the school divest its holdings in Dow Chemical?

Still, Burns manages, at times, to powerfully evoke the divisiveness and the heartbreak that haunt us to this day. At times the movie seems as endless and exhausting as the war itself, and that is to its credit. Some critics have accused Burns of being repetitive, but I can forgive that, because some things bear repeating, such as that kill ratios are an unconscionable objective and a horrible standard for judging the success of a military operation. You can’t make that point too many times.

Difficult as it is to watch, The Vietnam War is worth seeing. Is it the only Vietnam film you’ll ever need? No, but don’t worry. The Library has you covered.

To get on the waiting list for The Vietnam War, click here.

For supplemental movies to watch while you’re waiting, click here.

 

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