TIME ebola

Ebola Nurse Set to Leave Maine Town After Quarantine Fight

Kaci Hickox Ebola Nurse
Nurse Kaci Hickox (L) joined by her boyfriend Ted Wilbur, speaks with the media outside of their home in Fort Kent, Maine on Oct. 31, 2014. Joel Page—Reuters

“We’re going to try to get our lives back on track”

The nurse who clashed with Maine authorities over an Ebola quarantine said she plans to leave the town where she lives soon after the virus’ 21-day incubation period ends on Monday.

“We are going to southern Maine and will decide what’s next from there,” Kaci Hickox told CNN on Sunday.

Hickox tested negative for Ebola after traveling to West Africa to treat those battling the deadly virus, but officials in both Maine and New Jersey responding to public fear of the virus still wanted to place in quarantine. Hickcox eventually won a legal fight against Maine over the quarantine.

“We’re going to try to get our lives back on track,” her boyfriend Ted Wilbur told the Portland Press Herald.

[CNN]

TIME Google

Google Barge Project Scrapped Over Fire Safety Concerns

Google Mystery Barge
In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, file photo, two men fish in the water in front of a Google barge on Treasure Island in San Francisco. The barge portion of the Google barge mystery is only half the story. Jeff Chiu—AP

The Coast Guard expressed concern over lack of oversight in the secretive project

Concerns over fire-safety led Google Inc. to halt construction of its “Google barges,” a secretive project that had attracted significant public curiosity.

“These vessels will have over 5,000 gallons of fuel on the main deck and a substantial amount of combustible material on board,” wrote Robert Gauvin, the Coast Guard’s acting chief of commercial vessel compliance, in a March 2013 email to Google’s contractor on the project, Foss Maritime Co. The Wall Street Journal broke the story using documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Google had previously said the barges, located of the Maine coast and in San Francisco Bay, were to be “an interactive space where people can learn about technology.” The West Coast barge was eventually moved out to storage 80 miles away, while the Maine barge was dismantled and scrapped.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

TIME ebola

Nurse Explains Why She Fought Ebola Quarantine

'I felt like I had no choice but to fight back'

The nurse who publicly fought two states over a controversial quarantine policy for health workers returning to the U.S. from Ebola-affected countries said Monday that she felt compelled to act after seeing a lack of leadership on the issue.

“The more I thought about the fact that these policies are being made by politicians, really not the experts in the field, the more I felt like I had no choice but to fight back,” Kaci Hickox told CNN, adding that the U.S. would be better served by “evidence-based policies,” not “knee-jerk reactions.”

Hickox was temporarily quarantined against her wishes in Newark, New Jersey, last month after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. She showed no symptoms and tested negative for the disease. In a media blitz during her quarantine, which aimed to limit her interaction with the public during the virus’ 21-day incubation period, she decried her detainment as political and unnecessary.

She returned to her home state of Maine after being let go and quickly received media attention as she moved freely. Officials in Maine similarly tried to quarantine her, but a court ruled Hickox didn’t need to abide by the state’s wish. Still, Hickcox and the state reached a voluntary agreement Monday to stay out of public and “respect their wishes.”

“The truth is I completely understand that this town has been through a lot and there’s still a lot of fears and misinformation out there,” she said. “I think we need to start addressing those issues.”

Read next: Nurse, Maine Reach Ebola Quarantine Settlement

TIME ebola

Nurse, Maine Reach Ebola Quarantine Settlement

Maine Nurse Challenges Mandatory Quarantine Order
FORT KENT, ME - OCTOBER 31: Kaci Hickox gives a statement to the media in front of her home on October 31, 2014 in Fort Kent, Maine. After returning from Sierra Leone where she worked with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, nurse Hickox publicly challenged a quarantine order by the state of Maine. She has twice tested negative for Ebola and says she will lead a normal life unless she feels ill. Hickox and her boyfriend, both staying in Fort Kent, headed out for a bike ride yesterday morning followed by the media and State Police. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Spencer Platt—Getty Images

Nurse has publicly railed against a forced quarantine

A nurse who was briefly quarantined after returning form treating Ebola patients in West Africa reached a settlement on Monday with Maine regarding precautions as she finishes out her 21-day incubation period.

Kaci Hickox, who was forcibly quarantined in New Jersey last month after returning from Sierra Leone, despite showing no symptoms and a negative Ebola test, is allowed to freely travel but must closely monitor her health and report any symptoms, Reuters reports. The agreement, which stays in effect through Nov. 10, requires monitoring that other returnees have already been doing.

Hickox had recently gotten into a legal battle with Maine over a forced quarantine, even going on a bike ride in a show of protest. On Oct. 31, a judge ruled she should be allowed to travel as she wishes, and that restricting her to her home was unnecessary.

[Reuters]

TIME ebola

Judge Rejects Maine’s Attempt to Forcibly Quarantine Ebola Nurse

A victory for Kaci Hickox

A judge in Maine rejected the state’s attempt to forcibly quarantine a nurse who has been clashing with officials over her defiance of a voluntary Ebola quarantine on Friday, reversing a court order that briefly mandated she avoid public places and transportation. The nurse still must continue daily temperature monitoring and approve travel with state officials, the judge ordered.

The order came Friday following a temporary order Thursday. The state has been pushing the nurse, Kaci Hickox, to follow quarantine guidelines laid out by federal officials for people at “some risk” of Ebola.

“I’m humbled today by the judge’s decision and even more humbled by the support that we have received from the town, the state of Maine, across the U.S. and even across the globe,” Hickox told reporters. “I know that Ebola is a scary disease. I have seen it face to face. I know that we are nowhere near winning this battle. We’ll only win this battle as we continue this discussion, as we gain a better collective understanding about Ebola and public health, as we overcome the fear and most importantly as we end the outbreak that is still ongoing in West Africa today.”

Maine Gov. Paul LePage described the decision as “unfortunate,” but promised to enforce it.

MORE: The CDC has less power than you think and likes it that way

Hickox, who recently returned from West Africa to Ebola patients suffering from the outbreak that has killed almost 5,000 people, went for a bike ride with her boyfriend Thursday in defiance of Maine’s voluntary quarantine guidelines. District Court Chief Judge Charles LaVerdiere cared for Ebola patients “generously, kindly and with compassion,” CNN reports. “We owe her and all professionals who give of themselves in this way a debt of gratitude,” he wrote in his decision.

Hickox has not shown any symptoms and has tested negative for the disease, which has a 21-day incubation period. She was fiercely critical of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie when she was first quarantined on a state order there before being allowed to return home to Maine, calling it a violation of her human rights. Health advocates have criticized quarantine measures put in place as putting fear over science and potentially hampering efforts to contain the outbreak in West Africa by making it harder for health workers to travel to and from the region.

“I’m fighting for something much more than myself,” Hickox said this week. “There are so many aid workers coming back. It scares me to think how they’re going to be treated and how they’re going to feel.”

TIME 2014 Election

Obama Campaigns in Maine, Away From the Spotlight

President Obama at Portland Expo
President Barack Obama and Democratic Representative Mike Michaud raise their hands at the Democratic candidate's gubernatorial-election campaign rally in Portland, Maine, on Oct. 30, 2014 Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

Rally for gubernatorial candidate is a far cry from campaign moments of yesteryear

Five days before voters go to the polls to determine the outcome of the Senate, President Barack Obama was in the 41st most populated state wading into a contentious three-way race for governor. But even before he left, the modest nature of the trip on behalf of Democrats was readily apparent.

The airport was small, so Obama was relegated to a comparatively teeny modified Boeing-757 serving as Air Force One.

If any campaign swing captured the sorry state of the President before next week’s election, it was his five-hour exile to Maine on Thursday afternoon.

Obama’s first event was a private fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at a remote mansion accessible only by a 10-minute drive down a one-lane gravel road. Inside 25 donors paid at least $16,200 to meet with Obama away from the scrutiny of the media. It was a familiar scene for the President who has devoted most of the year to raising money in private.

He followed it with a rally in a stuffy Portland gymnasium for Democratic Representative Mike Michaud, who is neck and neck in his challenge of Republican Governor Paul LePage.

Obama told the crowd he was “a little wistful” because “this is the last election cycle in which I’m involved as President, because I do like campaigning. It’s fun.”

The event was a far cry from the Obama campaigns of yesteryear, in which his soaring rhetoric and voter enthusiasm combined to cinematic effect. There were no stops for ice cream or coffee with candidates, or impromptu visits to local landmarks. Instead he delivered a rote speech highlighting his economic record and lambasting Republicans for failing to compromise. The message clashed with that of Michaud, who devoted his remarks introducing Obama to criticizing the state’s economy under LePage.

It was just Obama’s fourth rally for Democrats this cycle, with only a handful more planned before polls close on Tuesday.

“He has done everything we’ve asked,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil said of the President on Thursday. They just haven’t asked for much other than to get out of the way.

From delaying promised executive action on immigration reform under pressure from vulnerable Senate Democrats to holding off on nominating a replacement to Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama has spent much of the past several months trying to avoid saddling members of his party with more baggage.

Earlier in October Obama unwittingly did just that, declaring, “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” The line, uttered about Democrats’ policy proposals, not specifically his, quickly became campaign fodder for Republicans.

Obama has been essentially sidelined to a dual role of brining in donations and turning out a less-than-enthusiastic Democratic base, as his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden have vigorously stumped for candidates.

His only event on behalf of a Democratic Senate candidate this cycle will be this weekend in Michigan for front-runner Representative Gary Peters.

— With reporting by Alex Altman / Washington, D.C.

TIME 2014 Election

Maine’s Independent Senator Switches Endorsement for Governor

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, left, joins Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., at a forum about student financial aid applications at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 24, 2014.
U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, left, joins Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., at a forum about student financial aid applications at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 24, 2014. Erik Schelzig—AP

Sen. Angus King now backs the Democrat, saying the independent candidate can't win

Maine’s independent voters are being urged by two of their own to support the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in order to stave off the re-election of the state’s conservative Republican governor.

Independent Sen. Angus King switched his endorsement from independent Eliot Cutler to Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud in the state’s three-way race for the governor’s mansion. The announcement followed a Cutler press conference Wednesday in which he said Mainers should “vote their conscience” in the Nov. 4 election, a seeming admission that he can’t win.

King, who served two terms as governor, said he still likes Cutler, but he cited realpolitik as the reason for his switch.

“My feelings about Eliot on these matters have not changed since I endorsed his candidacy four years ago and again this past August,” said King. “But, like Eliot, I too am a realist. After many months considering the issues and getting to know the candidates, it is clear that the voters of Maine are not prepared to elect Eliot in 2014.”

King said that he had worked with Michaud for 20 years and that he has “what it takes to be Maine’s next governor.”

The moves Wednesday will likely shore up support for Michaud even though Cutler has not dropped out of the race. On Tuesday, the Republican Governor’s Association released an ad reminding voters that King didn’t endorse Michaud. LePage has struggled in his bid for reelection and is in a neck and neck race with Michaud. Cutler, who lost to LePage by less than two points in another three-way race four years ago, has done even worse, polling recently between seven and 16 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.

“This was not an easy decision, but I think the circumstances require that those of us who have supported Eliot look realistically at the options before us at this critical moment in Maine history,” said King.

The race is not the only one in the nation where the top two candidates have been trying to edge out a potential spoiler. Chad Taylor, the Kansas Democrat running for Senate, announced last month that he would withdraw from the race, boosting independent Greg Orman’s bid to unseat Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. And in South Dakota, Democrat Rick Weiland complained this week that national party members failed him in focusing their attacks on Republican Mike Rounds—giving Independent Larry Pressler a reprieve—instead of fueling his own candidacy.

TIME tragedy

Co-Founder of a Refuge for Elephants Is Accidentally Killed by an Elephant

Jim Laurita
Jim Laurita, executive director and foounder of Hope Elephants, feeds a carrot to one of the two retired circus elephants at his not-for-profit rehabilitation and educational facility in Hope, Maine on Nov. 13, 2012. Robert F. Bukaty_AP

Hope Elephants, which cares for two aging former circus elephants, described James Laurita's passion for the animals as "boundless"

A retired circus elephant has unintentionally killed a founder of the shelter where it lived.

James Laurita, a veterinarian and co-founder of Hope Elephants, died on Tuesday when one of the Maine-based refuge’s elephants stepped on him, the Portland Press Herald reports. His death has been ruled a tragic accident.

“The elephant was not aggressive in any way,” Mark Belserene, administrator for the state medical examiner’s office, told the Associated Press. “It was clearly an accident.”

Officials said Laurita, 56, was found unresponsive in the nonprofit’s barn in Hope, some 87 miles northeast of Portland, Maine. He appeared to have fallen down and hit his head before the elephant stepped on him, officials said.

Laurita first worked with elephants as a juggler and elephant handler in the Carson & Barnes Circus in the 1970s and ’80s, according to the Portland Press Herald. He later opened a veterinarian practice in Camden, Maine, but in 2011 sold it to found Hope Elephants with his brother, who had been a ringmaster in the same circus. The center tended to two elephants, Rosie and Opal, with whom Laurita had worked in the traveling circus and who suffered from a range of medical problems related to their big-top careers.

Laurita lived with his family in the Portland area.

“Jim’s passion for all animals, but especially elephants, was boundless,” wrote the Hope Foundation in a statement posted to their Facebook page. “It was Jim’s ability to share that passion with all around him that not only helped to make our organization a reality, but also enriched and enhanced the lives of all those who had a chance to know Jim.”

The refuge has one other elephant handler on staff and an emergency plan is in place to ensure that the animals are cared for, according to the Portland Press Herald. Meanwhile, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been called to investigate the center, the newspaper said.

Hope Elephant’s Twitter account, last updated in December 2012, described the two elephants as acclimating well to their new home in Maine, munching on hay and lounging in the sunshine.

“Opal is throwing sand and trumpeting,” reads the last post. “Seems like joy from where I stand.”

TIME U.S.

Why Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is a Waste of Taxpayer Money

Drug Test
Matej Divizna—Getty Images

States already do a good job of ensuring no one gets a "free ride." We don't need another one--especially one that stimgatizes

The tired image of the welfare queen with six kids, driving around in a Cadillac, watching soap operas on an expensive television and eating junk food on the couch has had its day.

It is 2014, years into the Great Recession, and millions have been helped by hundreds of social services put in place by the government to stabilize families in this time of need. Yet the states insist upon making the lines between the rich and poor ever darker, ever harder to cross. Maine lines up as the latest in a host of states beginning to enforce drug-testing legislation for welfare recipients.

The testing is meant to assure taxpayers their money isn’t being “wasted” on the less desirable, those who would somehow manage to buy drugs with the assistance. But in Tennessee, where drug testing was enacted for welfare recipients last month, only one person in the 800 who applied for help tested positive. In Florida, during the four months the state tested for drug use, only 2.6% of applicants tested positive. Meanwhile, Florida has an illegal drug use rate of 8%, meaning far fewer people on services are using drugs than their better-off counterparts. The drug testing cost taxpayers more money than it saved, and was ruled unconstitutional last year.

People tend to forget that those using the programs are most likely also taxpayers, or were at some point. In 2010, nearly half of poor or near poor mothers on welfare were working at least part time. My husband and I, for instance, worked a combined 45 years, paying taxes, before he lost his job two weeks before I had premature twins, and had to apply for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. During the time we were on aid, I held a fulltime job, meaning I was paying in to the system from which I was simultaneously benefiting.

Our family is not alone. Denise Calder, a middle school teacher in Broward County, Florida, has a Bachelors of Science from Tufts University and has worked steadily since 1994. “Now I’m 42 years old, divorced, a single mother of four,” she told me. She makes $41,300 year. “Every penny goes to food, rent, gas, medical bills,” she says. “Since 2009, I have had to apply for and accept Medicaid & SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] twice to provide for my children when I took maternity leave in 2009 and 2013.”

When I signed up for WIC services in 2008, I was a television producer in Boston, creating a news show seen by millions of people a night. I was making $40,000 a year and my husband had just been laid off. During my three months of maternity leave, my salary was $25,000, but our family qualified for the WIC program on my full income. We used it for 18 months. And we needed it.

WIC is an income-based program. Women must make no more than 185% of the Federal poverty line guidelines, and in some states, they must actually be living at or below the poverty line. Statistics from the Food and Nutrition Service department show that 73% of people on WIC are making less than the federal poverty line. The income cut-off for a family of four is $44,123 a year.

It’s also not just a phone call and done. Women applying must be pregnant or up to six months post-partum. Children can receive services up to their fifth birthday, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services. Once you’ve called, you have to provide proof of income for everyone in the household, proof of identity, proof of residence, proof of participation in any other program—including Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or General Assistance—immunization records for your children, pregnancy confirmation (official note from your doctor), recent height and weight measurements and a blood test for hemoglobin levels, and a WIC Referral Form from your doctor. You also have to provide documentation of any child support payments, unemployment benefits, or short-term disability money received. These requirements vary slightly from state to state, but for the most part they are consistent.

Once you’ve gone through all that, you have to wait to be processed and either accepted or rejected. After the whole process, you may still hear that you aren’t poor enough (for instance, if you are receiving child support or if you can’t provide certain paperwork). Bree Casson, a divorced former army wife who works part-time at McDonald’s, was turned away from the WIC office last week because she didn’t have her family’s Medicaid cards, despite multiple phone and mail requests to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“I dragged my three kids out, with all our paperwork, including our Medicaid numbers,” she said, “and they insisted they needed the physical cards to prove our income eligibility. I’ve been trying to get those cards for two years with no luck. All this for some milk and cheese and vegetables.”

Applying and being accepted for aid is a mentally grueling process that can stretch on for months. Add to that the humiliation of having to pee in a cup just because you can’t afford to eat. There’s already a huge stigma about having to receive services, a spiral of shame and embarrassment that permeates the use of the system. Instead of wasting taxpayer money to weed out a small percent of those in need, demonizing an entire sect of people in favor of misleading stereotypes, maybe it’s time we put our funds into helping them find their way out of the system and onto their own two feet.

Darlena Cunha is a mother of twins and a freelance writer for The Washington Post, Gainesville Sun and Gainesville and Ocala magazines. You can reach her @parentwin on Twitter.

TIME Food & Drink

The 24 Best Lobster Rolls in America

The Clam Shack J. Steven Kingston

In honor of National Lobster Day

Never mind the tired regional debate—whether they’re best Maine style (chilled, with mayonnaise) or Connecticut (warm, with drawn butter). Lobster rolls are delicious, and in addition to honoring the classic styles, seafood-obsessed chefs have embraced new possibilities. From a modern Asian spin with a charcoal-lacquered bun to a torpedo bun laden with a whole pound of meat, here are our favorites.

The Clam Shack

Kennebunkport, ME

Overlooking the scenic Kennebunk River, at the peak of the summer season, the cooks at the Clam Shack shell roughly 1,000 pounds of local lobster a day. For their assembled-to-order rolls, they pile a little of each part (claw, knuckle, tail) onto an oversize, locally baked burger bun. Customers choose between a swipe of mayo, a drizzle of warm butter or a little of both. The Clam Shack even sells lobster roll kits, shipped fresh overnight.

Neptune Oyster

Boston

This North End restaurant’s famous hot lobster roll features succulent pieces of lobster tail, claw and knuckle meat drizzled with clarified butter, served on a grilled and buttered brioche hot dog bun. A mayo-based cold roll is also available for purists.

MORE: 15 Epic Lobster Recipes

Bob’s Clam Hut

Kittery, ME

Bob’s Clam Hut hasn’t changed its lobster roll recipe in 50 years, for good reason: There’s no better way to serve their juicy chunks of Maine lobster than to toss them with a little mayonnaise and pack them into a grilled, buttered hot dog bun.

The Ordinary

Charleston, SC

Chef Mike Lata’s new seafood hall celebrates the “merroir” (ocean terroir) of the entire East Coast with a wide range of sustainably caught fish. His spin on the New England lobster roll includes a whopping half-pound of lobster meat bought straight off a Maine day boat. The mayo dressing is zingy with Tabasco, lemon, celery, garlic, mustard, chives, shallot and a light dusting of Old Bay.

Red Hook Lobster Pound

Brooklyn, NY

This food truck and storefront operation serves its Maine claw and knuckle meat rolls two ways: Maine style, with the lobster dressed in a lemony house-made mayo, or Connecticut style, the meat drizzled with melted butter. To keep things strictly New England, both versions come in a Country Kitchen-brand split-top bun from Maine.

READ THE FULL LIST HERE.

MORE: America’s Best Hot Dogs

MORE: Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.

MORE: Best Burgers in the U.S.

MORE: Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.

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