Monique Dostie ran an impeccable group home for mentally handicapped adults in Lewiston. Her four residents loved it there; they and their families saw her house rules banning sexual activity and pornography as a key element of the safe haven she provided. The Department of Human Services took a different view — even though residence there was voluntary and the principle behind Maine’s system of 500-plus group homes is that settings should met the needs of the individual — somehow, someone’s rights were being violated and the agency was in the process of yanking her license. Now, thanks to the publicity the case generated, Ms. Dostie has landed a dream job working with the mentally handicapped in West Virginia. Maine lost a caring person and a first-rate group home, but DHS won. And that’s what’s important.
Steve Forbes reportedly spent $2 million to finish second in the recent Iowa straw poll, in which he received 4,921 votes. That works out to approximately $406 per vote. Mr. Forbes is the candidate running on a platform of fiscal conservatism.
The Kansas State Board of Education dropped the study of evolution from its required curriculum, saying Darwin’s theory was merely that — a theory, a hunch, an educated but unproved guess. Next on the agenda: putting a stop to all that nonsense Pythagoras cooked up about the hypotenuse.
Just one week after Gov. King pitched in behind the counter to launch the use of Maine blueberries in its McPies and McShakes, McDonald’s announced plans to replace its McJobs with a fully automated food-delivery system, sort of an ATM for cholesterol. Boy, the new guy botches a couple of orders and an entire employment sector vanishes.
Unhappy with the caliber of its contestants’ talent routines, the Miss America Pageant is cutting back on the number of performances included on the Sept. 18 television show. Traditionally, all 10 semifinalists have performed solo talent segments as part of the contest. This year, only five will, and they will be backed by professional dancers and musicians. With all that accompaniment, you’ll hardly even notice the baton-twirling.
Elsewhere in the arts, Mount Vernon, N.Y., just north of the Bronx, is laying plans to create the first Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. No, not a museum about bunnies, but a shrine to the giants of rap — Puff Daddy, LL Cool J, Heavy D and other geniuses of the impromptu rhyme. The city’s seed money for this project is a $500,000 federal grant, testament to genius of a different sort.