People going nowhere in parking garage

A 30 minute wait at the exit of the parking garage caused prompted complaints to be posted on the USM information list serve on Thursday, January 27. The crux of the complaints stemmed not from the wait, but the alleged poor customer service of the parking garage employees. Multiple people wrote in to voice their concerns while messages from Joe Austin, dean of student life, and Wendy L. Jewett, parking operations supervisor, requested people to address their complaints directly to Dewey Ferguson, manager of parking and transportation, instead of the public forum.

When asked if he had received any complaints before the listserv postings, Ferguson said, “To me personally? No, not that I’m aware of.” And when asked if there were any plans in case such a wait developed again, Ferguson said he didn’t know how much it would help, “but the plan is now that if a situation like that happens again we’ll just open the gates.”

Stabbing at 65 High St.

Arthur Facteau, 43, of Portland was arrested by Portland Police after stabbing Steve Menard in the chest with a knife at 5 p.m. on January 27. According to Portland police, Menard’s injury was not life threatening. Police said that Menard did not reside in 65 High St., and a disagreement between Facteau and Menard precipitated the stabbing.

The property abuts the USM parking lot on the corner of High Street and Danforth Street, and is directly across from 68 High St., which houses the Center for Continuing Education.

Dollar loses favor, interest rates rise

“The era of rock bottom interest rates is over,” said USM Economics Department Chair Bruce Roberts. On Monday, January 24, Centralized Banking Publications released a survey of 65 central bank reserve managers indicating a growing preference for the euro over the dollar which fallen approximately 20% since early 2002.

“The trend has been in general for the dollar to fall. This is part of that,” said Roberts. “Generally speaking, that’s good news as long as it’s not plummeting. It should improve the competitiveness of American products and boost of our trade position.” But students who have loans with variable interest rates may not appreciate this new competitive edge. “Interest rates are trending upwards. There’s no doubt about that,” said Roberts.

Large turnout to view “A Community’s Dream”

The Glickman Library hosted an impressive number of people for the screening the new documentary produced by the NAACP “A Call to Action: A Community’s Dream.” The turnout was substantial enough to cause a shortage in chairs. The film commemorated the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Portland branch of the NAACP. USM alumni Robin Talbot and Erica Ryan, wrote, directed and filmed the 22 minute documentary.

Rebecca Sockbeson, director of USM Multicultural Student Affairs, and Richard Pattenaude, president of the University of Southern Maine, introduced the film and maintained patience amid numerous inconvenient interruptions from the library’s PA system.

Pattenaude described King as a leader of a cultural revolution and a social philosopher of great value. He finished his speech by promoting active involvement in the civil rights movement. “America has still not reached its promise,” he said.

The post-film reception included a buffet and entertainment provided by the Black Artist Forum.


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