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The Maine Millennial: Don McLean is anything but a role model

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The Maine Millennial: Don McLean is anything but a role model


My dad loved the song “American Pie.”

He knew every word, and he would sing along to it while simultaneously explaining all the historical references in the pauses between lyrics. So driving in the car with him sounded a lot like, “ ‘I met a girl who sang the blues’ – that was Janis Joplin, Victoria, you know who she is, right? – ‘and I asked her for some happy news … ’ ”

When I told my dad back in 2016 that Don McLean had been arrested for domestic violence, his lips disappeared into his beard, which bristled with anger like a dog raising its hackles. He spat: “He never got over being a one-hit wonder.” And that was it. To my dad, there was no lower life form on earth than a man who would raise his hand to a woman or a child. Which I guess sets him apart from the Biden administration.

I get that politics is a dirty business, but it’s not like we’re risking U.N. sanctions or an international incident if the guy behind “American Pie” doesn’t get an invite to the White House for a state dinner.

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McLean wasn’t raising funds for survivors or making a speech about how abusers can move forward, heal and end the cycle of violence. No, he was merely attending a state dinner.

This newspaper’s editorial board last week criticized McLean’s invitation and the terrible message it sent. I agree with that.

So I want to talk a little about what I saw in the picture of him at the state dinner. He had a lady on his arm; I thought he must have brought his daughter or granddaughter with him as a PR move.

US Kenya Biden State Dinner

Don McLean and Paris Dunn arrive at the state dinner in Washington on May 23. Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Not the case.

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Apparently McLean’s girlfriend is 48 years his junior. When I was in high school and college and saw older guys dating girls my age, I figured it must be a looks thing, or maybe a virginity thing. I’m 31 now and can say with great confidence that I’m a lot better-looking than when I was 18. But I’m also a lot more independent, experienced and – for lack of a better word – powerful.

There’s nothing like the confidence of being on a date and knowing that if it goes south, I can get into my own car and drive back to my own house that I’ve bought with my own money from my big-girl job. All the money and self-actualization in the world can’t prevent someone from being a victim of abuse, particularly abuse by an intimate partner, which uses the most basic and powerful emotion in the human experience (love) as a twisted weapon of entrapment. But having resources and a network makes it a lot easier to escape that abuse alive.

I’m not against age gaps in relationships. I think, in many cases, they can be quite healthy; my girlfriend is six years older than I am, and we are doing pretty well as a pair. But there’s a huge power gap between a 78-year-old with multiple decades of career and life experience behind him and a 30-year-old model, who started dating McLean sometime in 2018, when she would have been 24.

Being young and beautiful certainly can carry its own kind of power, but it’s not the kind of power that can hire lawyers to file suits against partners or ex-partners in a court of law – something McLean also did recently, suing his ex-wife for allegedly violating their divorce settlement by talking about him in public.

In 2021, his daughter Jackie alleged mental and emotional abuse by her father in an interview with Rolling Stone. Reached for comment, McLean told Rolling Stone: “I don’t understand what mental and emotional abuse is” and “I would snap sometimes; I did have a temper.”

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Who knows. Maybe McLean’s had an Ebenezer Scrooge-like change of heart and is a wonderful, gentle man these days – although calling his ex-wife “a #MeToo hustler” raises doubts about his rehabilitation.

But his history of abuse, combined with him dating someone on such a different power level than him? That is, as the kids these day, “sus,” short for “suspicious.” He seems to me like a man who has a very old-fashioned view of women and their place. Does he want an equal partner? Or a subservient woman? There are too many men who think like that in the world. We don’t need to hold them up as role models.

I am comforted to know that here, in our unglamorous corner of the world, his legacy is set. Mainers have long memories.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:
themainemillennial@gmail.com
Twitter: @mainemillennial

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Maine

From sea to sandwich: in search of the best lobster roll ever | CNN

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From sea to sandwich: in search of the best lobster roll ever | CNN


In Portland, Maine lobsters aren’t just a livelihood, they’re a way of life. In his search for the city’s best lobster roll, Derek Van Dam shows us how Portland combines centuries of maritime tradition with creativity to reinvent a Maine classic.

For more, check out America’s Best Town’s to Visit.



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Maine

Rare tornado watch issued Sunday for parts of Maine

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Rare tornado watch issued Sunday for parts of Maine


A rare tornado watch was issued Sunday by the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, with the highest risk in Oxford County and parts of western Cumberland and York counties.

Unstable weather patterns marked by warm, humid air have created conditions where tornados could touch down throughout much of northern New England, although the risk was about 10%, according to the prediction center. The watch has been issued through 8 p.m. Sunday.

“Tonight’s severe weather is the most hazardous we’ve forecasted this year,” said Jon Palmer, a meteorologist with the NWS office in Gray. “We haven’t seen a setup like this in a while. This is rare for Maine, certainly.”

Parts of Maine already were flooded with heavy rains earlier in the day, but more severe weather was forecasted for the afternoon and early evening hours and storms approached from the west.

A tornado watch only means that weather conditions can produce tornadoes, not that one will occur. If the watch is upgraded to a warning, those in the path are advised to seek shelter in the lowest level of a home, such as a basement.

Damaging wind gusts could persist even without tornadoes, and some areas could see hail. Conditions also could produce torrential rain for brief periods.

Palmer said humidity in the atmosphere, combined with wind shear, is creating powerful conditions. As of 4 p.m., the tornado watch had not been upgraded to a warning in any specific areas of Maine.

More than 6,000 customers in Brunswick and another 1,700 in nearby Harpswell lost power late Sunday morning, according to Central Maine Power, although that wasn’t related to the weather. According to information provided by CMP, that outage was caused when an osprey next came into contact with equipment on a transmission line in Brunswick.

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“Our crews are bringing in specialized equipment to make the necessary repairs, and are working on switching circuits to restore some customers,” CMP said in a statement.

Once the storms move through Maine on Sunday, drier air is expected to settle on Monday.

This story will be updated

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Man Faces 10 Years for Possession and Drug Trafficking in Maine

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Man Faces 10 Years for Possession and Drug Trafficking in Maine


A 42-year-old man faces over 10 years in prison for possession and drug trafficking after police seized a large amount of drugs in Millinocket. He pleaded guilty to the charges Monday.

Man was Passenger in Vehicle

Lenin Nova-Nova from the Dominican Republic was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for a headlight violation in November 2023. 

Suspect gave Police False Name

Court records said the East Millinocket Police Department “observed an unnatural bulge under Nova-Nova’s clothing. Nova-Nova identified himself using a false name, and a warrant check of that alias revealed an outstanding warrant for arrest.”

Officers found Substances Wrapped in Cellophane

Officers searched Nova-Nova and found $1,305 in cash, four cell phones, and suspected controlled substances wrapped in cellophane.

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Drugs Seized

Police seized 113 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine, approximately 19 grams of a substance containing fentanyl, and 57.8 grams of a substance containing cocaine base.

Identity Confirmed

Nova-Nova’s identity was confirmed by Homeland Security.

Facing $10 Million Fine

In addition to prison, Nova-Nova also faces a fine up to $10 Million and a lifetime of supervised release.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany

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Gallery Credit: Sabienna Bowman





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