Maine

OpenCalais Metadata: Latitude: 
44.6931643091
OpenCalais Metadata: Longitude: 
-69.3346152041

Friday marks the Longhorns’ third-annual scrimmage against Bates College. Traveling all the way from Maine, the Bobcats come for an early season training week on Texas waters. 

The head coach of Bates College’s men’s and women’s teams is Peter Steenstra. After only a year at Bates, Steenstra led the women’s team to second place at the 2009 NCAA Division III Championship, the highest team finish by any Bates team in an NCAA championship. 

In this scrimmage with Texas, Steenstra is looking for his squad to “hold their own.”  

“We’d like to give them a respectable challenge so we know we are moving well, even at this very early point in the season. I can consider that an accomplishment,” Steenstra said. 

Although Bates has only been on the water for four days, Steenstra said his crew looks great and is valuing the team’s early training time.

As for Texas, the women are off to a great start to their training season, placing high in the Fighting Nutria and further preparing for their first regatta of the season, the Heart of Texas on March 2. This face-off with Bates College will provide a great point of reference for Texas as the regular spring season nears. 

This match is important for both squads. Bates is just starting its season and Texas is approaching its kickoff. 

This scrimmage will allow a chance for the women to improve their chances in the races to come.

Deb Hanley, left, and Frank McGuire dig about three feet of snow from around their car outside their home in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. The Boston area received about two feet of snow from a winter storm. 

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

BOSTON — A howling storm across the Northeast left the New York-to-Boston corridor shrouded in 1 to 3 feet of snow Saturday, stranding motorists on highways overnight and piling up drifts so high that some homeowners couldn't get their doors open. More than 650,000 homes and businesses were left without electricity.

At least three deaths in the U.S. were blamed on the wind-whipped snowstorm, including that of a New York man killed when the tractor he was using to plow his driveway ran off the edge of the road.

More than 38 inches of snow fell in Milford, Conn., and an 82 mph gust was recorded in nearby Westport. Areas of southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire got at least 2 feet of snow, with more falling. Portland, Maine, received 29.3 inches, breaking the record set in 1979.

Roads in many places were impassable. Across much of New England, snowed-over cars looked like white blobs. Streets were mostly deserted save for snowplow crews and a few hardy souls walking dogs or venturing out to take pictures. In Boston's Financial District, the only sound was an army of snowblowers clearing sidewalks.

The digging-out went more smoothly in some places than in others.

A little more than 11 inches fell in New York, but the city "dodged a bullet" and was "in great shape," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, predicting streets would be cleared by the end of the day. The New York region's three major airports — LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, N.J. — were up and running again by late morning after shutting down the evening before.

But hundreds of motorists abandoned their vehicles on New York's Long Island, which got 2½ feet of snow, and even snowplows were getting stuck. Emergency workers used snowmobiles to try to reach stranded motorists, some of whom spent the night in their cars.

Richard Ebbrecht, a chiropractor, left his office in Brooklyn at 3 p.m. on Friday and head for his home in Middle Island, N.Y., but got stuck six or seven times on the Long Island Expressway and other roads.

"There was a bunch of us Long Islanders. We were all helping each other, shoveling, pushing," he said. He finally gave up and settled in for the night in his car just two miles from his destination. At 8 a.m., when it was light out, he walked home.

"I could run my car and keep the heat on and listen to the radio a little bit," he said. "It was very icy under my car. That's why my car is still there."

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut closed roads to all but essential traffic.

The Interstate 95 corridor from the New York metropolitan area to Boston, with a population of roughly 25 million, appeared to take the brunt of the storm. One of hardest-hit places was Connecticut, where even emergency responders found themselves stuck on highways all night. In Fairfield, police and firefighters could not come in to work, so the overnight shift stayed on.

Several state police cars were also stuck in deep snow in Maine, where stranded drivers were warned to expect long waits for tow trucks.

Nearly 22 inches of snow fell in Boston and more was expected, closing in on the 2003 record of 27.6 inches. The archdiocese in the heavily Roman Catholic city reminded parishioners that under church law, the requirement to attend Sunday Mass "does not apply when there is grave difficulty in fulfilling this obligation." Logan Airport was not expected to resume operations until late Saturday night.

Flooding fears along the Massachusetts coast led to the evacuation of two neighborhoods in Quincy, south of Boston, and of 20 to 30 people in oceanfront homes in Salisbury.

But around the New York metropolitan area, many victims of Superstorm Sandy were mercifully spared another round of flooding, property damage and power failures.

"I was very lucky and I never even lost power," said Susan Kelly of Bayville on Long Island. "We were dry as anything. My new roof was fantastic. Other than digging out, this storm was a nice storm." As for the shoveling, "I got two hours of exercise."

The Postal Service closed post offices and suspended mail delivery Saturday in New England.

"This is crazy. I mean it's just nuts," Eileen O'Brien said in blacked-out Sagamore Beach, Mass., as she cleared heavy snow from her deck for fear it might collapse.

As the pirate flag outside her door snapped and popped in gale-force winds Saturday, she said: "My thermostat keeps dropping. Right now it's 54 inside, and I don't have any wood. There's nothing I can do to keep warm except maybe start the grill and make some coffee."

In South Windsor, Conn., Bill Tsoronis used a snowblower to carve paths through huge snowdrifts in his neighborhood.

"I thought we might have 18 or 20 inches, but in some places it's up to my waist. It's more than I expected," he said. Still, he said the storm was not much more than a nuisance, since the neighborhood still had power, and he said he might gather with neighbors for cocktails later in the day.

His neighbor Mike Schroder said as he brushed snow off cars in his driveway that the storm lived up to the hype.

"This is finally one they got right," he said. He said the cleanup will take some time: 

Hump Day

In the quest for equal rights and sex education in America, some significant strides were made last week, regardless of how we all may feel about the results of the election.

After the announcement of President Barack Obama’s win, he made history by acknowledging LGBTQ rights in his victory speech.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try,” Obama said.

As Obama stepped into four more years as president, news broke that Maine, Maryland and Washington all voted to legally recognize same-sex marriages. In addition, Minnesota voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriages as being only between a man and a woman.

Shifting attitudes regarding LGBTQ rights in the electorate also were evident as Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay politician elected into the U.S. Senate, Sean Patrick Maloney became the first openly gay politician to represent New York in Congress and Stacie Laughton was elected the first transgender legislator in New Hampshire.

In light of the overall election results, The Washington Post published a thought-provoking article about the photo of the President embracing Michelle Obama that went viral after the election. The author makes a case that the photo symbolizes a future of gender equality and “we may be parsing the broader cultural implications of this election for a long time to come.”

Not only does Obama’s re-election provide a hopeful future for gender and LGBTQ equality, it also has implications for the future of sex education.

Most people will engage in some form of sexual activity at some point in their life. Comprehensive sex education does not promote or encourage sexual activity but rather prepares us to be able to make educated decisions, free of coercion, when it comes to our sexual health. Comprehensive sex education teaches us about contraception, pregnancy, the importance of consent and how to avoid being peer pressured into sexual activity. Abstinence-only education, on the other hand, is often ridden with gender stereotypes, religious morals, scare tactics and inaccurate medical information.

President Obama’s re-election is good news for sex education, but opposition and challenges lie ahead. In 2009, the Obama administration cut funding from abstinence-only sex education and shifted to an evidence-based approach to address teen pregnancy rates and reduce sexually transmitted infections. The funding for abstinence-only education, however, was reinstated as social conservatives scored a whopping $250 million to be distributed over five years as an add-on to the Affordable Care Act.  

While it may take time for Texas to join the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia and two Native American tribal jurisdictions to support equal marriage, the tides are slowly turning state by state. After all, in September the Austin City Council became the first group of city leaders in the state of Texas to endorse marriage equality. And although Austinites wish to “Keep Austin Weird,” perhaps soon same-sex marriage won’t be a token of our weirdness, but simply a statewide affirmation of equal rights for all couples. Perhaps we can live in a future free of “legitimate rape” comments where sex education is as common sense as teaching math, biology and English.

Printed on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 as: Strides toward equality taken in 2012 election

States that expand their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama’s health care law may end up saving thousands of lives, a medical journal report released Wednesday indicates.

Until now, the Medicaid debate has been about budgets and states’ rights. But a statistical study by Harvard researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 6 percent drop in the adult death rate in Arizona, Maine and New York, three states that have recently expanded coverage for low-income residents along the general lines of the federal health care law.

The study found that for every 176 adults covered under expanded Medicaid, one death per year would be prevented.

“Policymakers should be should be aware that major changes in Medicaid — either expansions or reductions in coverage — may have significant effects on the health of vulnerable populations,” wrote the researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Medicaid is a federal-state program for low-income and severely disabled people. It covers about 60 million people in the United States. The new law assigned Medicaid a major role in expanding coverage, accounting for about half the 30 million uninsured people expected to gain insurance as a result of the health overhaul.

But the Supreme Court last month ruled that states have the leeway to reject the law’s Medicaid expansion, which is geared to reach mostly uninsured adults without children and with annual incomes up to about $15,400. As a consequence, the Congressional Budget Office projects 3 million fewer people will gain coverage. Although the CBO still expects most states will expand their programs to some degree, the agency’s nonpartisan analysts project that it may take longer than a decade for some governors and legislatures to decide.

Some governors in Republican-led states, including Texas and Florida, have rejected the Medicaid expansion since the high court’s ruling. Many remain on the fence, awaiting the outcome of the November elections and GOP promises to repeal the law. Although Washington will pay all of the cost of the expansion for the first three years, then scale back to a 90 percent share, Republican governors say Medicaid is already too costly and the Obama administration repeatedly has blocked their efforts to streamline the program.

The New England Journal study seems destined to be swept up immediately into the debate. Critics are certain to point out that its lead author, Dr. Benjamin Sommers, is on temporary assignment from Harvard working in a policy division of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which is carrying out Obama’s overhaul.

In an interview, Sommers said “HHS does not have anything to do with this paper.” The research was under way before he began serving as an adviser to the department, and no federal money was used in the project, he said. Like other major medical publications, the journal rigorously reviews research prior to publication.

The study’s findings counter a widespread perception that having a Medicaid card is little better than being uninsured. Because Medicaid pays doctors far less than Medicare and private insurance, some experts have questioned it will be able to deliver the care that people need.

The study compared key health statistics in the three states that expanded Medicaid coverage with outcomes in neighboring states that did not, examining five years before the expansion and the five years after.

New York, Maine and Arizona have all expanded eligibility for adults since 2000, with New York’s expansion by far the largest. States that did not expand and were used for the comparison included Pennsylvania (for New York), New Hampshire (for Maine), and Nevada and New Mexico (for Arizona.)

The study is not the gold standard for statistical research because subjects were not selected at random, but Sommers said the researchers cross-checked their results and are confident of the findings.

In addition to the drop in death rates among adults ages 20 to 64, the study found a 21 percent drop in delays getting care blamed on cost barriers.

It’s the second recent study to document the benefits of Medicaid. A study of Oregonians published last year found that those with Medicaid were more far more likely to get regular medical care, including preventive screenings. The subjects of the Oregon study were randomly selected.

“Expanding Medicaid to low-income adults is associated with significant gains in health and survival,” said Sommers.

Now I'm a believer

Davy Jones in his "Pre-Fab Four" glory days.
Davy Jones in his "Pre-Fab Four" glory days.

The passing today of Davy Jones, the diminutive lead singer of the "Pre-Fab Four," also known as The Monkees, gives me pause, as does the demise of anyone who crossed my path in the days of my youth.

I never met Davy Jones and he wasn't my favorite Monkee -- Mike Nesmith, aka "Wool Hat," was my fave because he seemed smart, allegedly knew how to play his guitar and his mother invented Liquid Paper.

I actually had a connection to another Monkee, Peter Tork (nee Thorkelson), who attended my alma mater, Carleton College, for a time several years before I arrived and shared some of my professors before he gave up education for the music biz. And I was familiar with Mickey Dolenz from his role in "Circus Boy," a short-lived TV show. 

But I have a direct link to the Monkees because I'm one of a relatively small (and dwindling) number of people who actually saw them perform "live." It was in the Summer of Love, 1967, at the now-departed Boston Garden, which was filled with screaming teenage girls and my cousin, Maynard McCorkle, and myself.

Here's how we got there: That summer, when I was 13 and gearing up for my freshman year at Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Maine, WBZ-AM was the sound of rock 'n' roll in northern New England. The best music of the period was right there at 1030 on your AM dial. And the 50,000-watt station was powerful and hip, or at least, trying to be. Its slogan that summer was "Love and Purity."

The Monkees were coming to town and WBZ had a contest to give away some tickets to lucky listeners who could complete the following phrase: "I love the Monkees and WBZ, 'cause..." Fill in the blank.

Yours truly got a postcard, filled it out with my entry and contact information and sent it off to Boston. Didn't think much more of it until one day I was sitting in a chair in King's Barbershop in Brunswick (long shuttered) and my father came in saying he'd heard my name on the radio and that I'd won two tickets to see the Monkees! 

My excitement was unbounded, but then there was the question of how to make the trip to see the show. I couldn't drive. My father had little interest. So after some negotiation we agreed to make the trip with my slightly younger cousin, Maynard, and his father, Henry McCorkle (also no longer with us.)

The four of us drove the three hours to Boston. Maynard and I went into the cavernous Garden and found our seats. My father and uncle repaired to the bar across the street. Maynard and I watched the short show during which the Monkees performed together and individually with much assistance from a group of backup musicians. The screaming was incredibly intense and non-stop.

After the show, we got back in the car and drove the three hours back up to Maine. It was a long and emotionally draining ride. But entirely worth it. We'd seen the Monkees and I'd won a contest, pretty much the only one I've won in close to 60 years of living.

So, how did I do it? Let me tell you. Here are the magic words I wrote down on the postcard during that summer that now seems like a sun-drenched, half-forgotten dream of long ago: "I love the Monkees and WBZ, 'cause 'I'm a Believer' in 'Love and Purity.' "

I still am, or at least I like to think I am. Rest in peace, Davy Jones.

PORTLAND, Maine — President Barack Obama accused Republicans of clinging to economic policies that preceded the Great Depression and the more recent economic downturn, accusing his rivals of showing signs of “madness.”

Raising campaign cash in Maine, Obama said Republicans want to return to economic policies that would let Wall Street play by its own set of rules.

“We won’t win the race for new jobs and new businesses and middle-class security if we cling to this same old, worn-out, tired ‘you’re on your own’ economics that the other side is peddling,” Obama said.

“It was tried in the decades before the Great Depression. It didn’t work then. It was tried in the last decade. It didn’t work,” he said. “You know, the idea you would keep on doing the same thing over and over again, even though it’s been proven not to work. That’s a sign of madness.”

Obama raised campaign cash in Vermont, where he said the economy was getting stronger and businesses were gaining confidence.He also offered a vigorous defense of hs health care law, though without mentioning the Supreme Court case to determine the constitutionality of its main provision.

In Burlington, Vt., Obama said the health care overhaul that passed “after over a century of trying” would allow young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance for a longer period, help seniors pay less for prescription drugs and keep millions of people from being denied coverage.

Taking a shot at his GOP rivals, Obama said President Abraham Lincoln “couldn’t win the nomination” for the Republican Party right now.

Obama’s four events were his last fundraisers before Saturday’s monthly and quarterly campaign fundraising deadline. The president raised $45 million last month for his re-election

PORTLAND, Maine — A tent city in Maine that is among the longest-lived of the Occupy movement is being dismantled as part of a new round of evictions.

Demonstrators removed several communal tents over the weekend in Portland and the city extended Monday’s eviction deadline to give them time to remove 16 remaining tents.

Occupy Maine has an office and plans to continue the discussion about corporate excesses and economic inequality. One camper noted that “just because the occupation is changing form doesn’t mean it’s going away.”

But encampments are becoming scarcer. On Monday, a judge issued a final eviction notice for Occupy Pittsburgh. Over the past week, police began removing demonstrators in Miami; Austin; and Washington, D.C.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greets supporters after speaking at a caucus night watch party, Saturday in Las Vegas.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Now it’s on to Colorado, Minnesota and Maine.

With back-to-back victories fueling him, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is looking toward the next states that hold GOP nominating contests as main rival Newt Gingrich brushes aside any talk of abandoning his White House bid, all but ensuring the battle will stretch into the spring if not beyond.

Shortly after losing big to Romney here, the former House speaker emphatically renewed his vow to campaign into the party convention in Tampa this summer. His goal, he said, was to “find a series of victories which by the end of the Texas primary will leave us at parity” with Romney by early April.

Gingrich continued to shrug off Nevada’s caucus results in an appearance on Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.”

“This is the state he won last time, and he won it this time,” he said of Romney. “Our goal is to get to Super Tuesday where we’re in much more favorable territory.”

But first, Gingrich must make it through Colorado and Minnesota, which both hold caucuses Tuesday. Maine follows on Saturday during a month that promises to be as plodding as January was rapid-fire in the presidential race. Romney will look to maintain his position of strength, if not build upon it, as his rivals continue working to derail him even as their options for doing so narrow with each victory he notches.

The former Massachusetts governor held a double-digit lead Sunday morning over his nearest pursuer as the totals mounted in Nevada, where fellow Mormons accounted for roughly a quarter of all caucus-goers. Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul vied for a distant second. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum trailed the field.

Sarah Arel clears snow from her roof in Ashburnham, Mass. on Sunday. Millions of people in Northeast lost power as a storm dumped heavy, wet snow over the weekend.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. — When winter’s white mixes with autumn’s orange and gold, nature gets ugly.

A freak October nor’easter knocked out power to more than 3 million homes and businesses across the Northeast on Sunday in large part because leaves still on the trees caught more snow, overloading branches that snapped and wreaked havoc. Close to 2 feet of snow fell in some areas over the weekend, and it was particularly wet and heavy, making the storm even more damaging.

“You just have absolute tree carnage with this heavy snow just straining the branches,” said National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro.

From Maryland to Maine, officials said it would take days to restore electricity, even though the snow ended Sunday.

The storm smashed record snowfall totals for October and worsened as it moved north. Communities in western Massachusetts were among the hardest hit. Snowfall totals topped 27 inches in Plainfield, and nearby Windsor had gotten 26 inches by early Sunday.

It was blamed for at least nine deaths, and states of emergency were declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and parts of New York.

Roads, rails and airline flights were knocked out, and passengers on a JetBlue flight were stuck on a plane in Hartford, Conn., for more than seven hours. And while children across the region were thrilled to see snow so early, it also complicated many of their Halloween plans.

More than 800,000 power customers were without electricity in Connecticut alone — shattering the record set just two months ago by Hurricane Irene. Massachusetts had more than 600,000 outages, and so did New Jersey — including Gov. Chris Christie’s house. Parts of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Maryland and Vermont also were without power.

“It’s going to be a more difficult situation than we experienced in Irene,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “We are expecting extensive and long-term power outages.”

Thirty-two shelters were open around the state, and Malloy asked volunteer fire departments to allow people in for warmth and showers. At least four hospitals were relying on generators for power.

In New Jersey’s Hamilton Township, Tom Jacobsen also recalled heavy spring flooding and a particularly heavy winter before that.

“I’m starting to think we really ticked off Mother Nature somehow, because we’ve been getting spanked by her for about a year now,” he said.

MINERAL, Va. — The most powerful earthquake to strike the East Coast in 67 years shook buildings and rattled nerves from Georgia to Maine on Tuesday. Frightened office workers spilled into the streets in New York, and parts of the White House, Capitol and Pentagon were evacuated.

There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries.

The National Cathedral said its central tower and three of its four corner spires were damaged, but the White House said advisers had told President Barack Obama there were no reports of major damage to the nation’s infrastructure, including airports and nuclear facilities.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake registered magnitude 5.8 and was centered 90 miles southwest of Washington. It was mild by West Coast standards, but the East Coast is not used to quakes of any size, and this one briefly raised fears of a terror attack less than three weeks before the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.

“I thought I was having maybe a heart attack, and I saw everybody running,” said Adrian Ollivierre, an accountant who was in his office on the 60th floor of the Empire State Building when the shaking began. “I think what it is, is the paranoia that happens from 9/11, and that’s why I’m still out here — because, I’m sorry, I’m not playing with my life.”

Two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station, in the same county as the epicenter, were automatically taken off line by safety systems, said Roger Hannah, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

At the Pentagon, a low rumbling built until the building itself was shaking, and people ran into the corridors of the complex. The shaking continued there, to shouts of “Evacuate! Evacuate!” The main damage to the building, the largest single workspace for the federal government, came from a broken water pipe.

The Park Service closed all monuments and memorials on the National Mall, and ceiling tiles fell at Reagan National Airport outside Washington. Many nonessential workers in Washington were sent home for the day. The Capitol was reopened by late afternoon for people to retrieve their things.

The National Cathedral said cracks had appeared in the flying buttresses around the apse at one end. “Everyone here is safe,” the cathedral said on its official Twitter feed. “Please pray for the Cathedral as there has been some damage.”

In lower Manhattan, the 26-story federal courthouse, blocks from ground zero of the Sept. 11 attacks, began swaying, and hundreds of people streamed out of the building.

The New York police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, was in a meeting with top deputies planning security for the upcoming anniversary when the shaking started. Workers in the Empire State Building spilled into the streets, some having descended dozens of flights of stairs.

“I thought we’d been hit by an airplane,” said one worker, Marty Wiesner.

New York District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance was starting a news conference about the dismissal of the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, when the shaking began. Reporters and aides began rushing out the door until it became clear it was subsiding.

On Wall Street, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange did not shake, officials said, but the Dow Jones industrial average sank 60 points soon after the quake struck. The Dow began rising again a half-hour later and finished the day up 322 points.

Shaking was felt as far south as Charleston, S.C., as far north as Maine and as far west as Cincinnati and Atlanta. It was also felt on Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts, where Obama is taking summer vacation and was starting a round of golf when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT.

Obama led a conference call Tuesday afternoon on the earthquake with top administration officials, including his homeland security secretary, national security adviser and administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Around Mineral, Va., a small town close to the epicenter, people milled around in their lawns, on sidewalks and parking lots, still rattled and leery of re-entering buildings. All over town, masonry was crumpled, and there were stores with shelved contents strewn on the floor. Several display windows at businesses in the tiny heart of downtown were broken and lay in jagged shards.

Carmen Bonano, who has a 1-year-old granddaughter, sat on the porch of her family’s white-frame house, its twin brick chimneys destroyed. Her voice still quavered with fear.

“The fridge came down off the wall and things started falling. I just pushed the refrigerator out of the way, grabbed the baby and ran,” she said.

By the standards of the West Coast, where earthquakes are much more common, the Virginia quake was mild. Since 1900, there have been 40 quakes of magnitude 5.8 or greater in California alone. There have been 43 of magnitude 6 of greater.

Quakes in the East tend to be felt across a much broader area.

“The waves are able to reverberate and travel pretty happily out for miles,” said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough.

The Geological Survey put the quake in its yellow alert category, meaning there was potential for local damage but relatively little economic damage.

The agency said the quake was 3.7 miles beneath the surface, but scientists said they may never be able to map the exact fault. Aftershocks may help to outline it, said Rowena Lohman, a seismologist at Cornell University. There were at least two aftershocks, magnitudes 2.2 and 2.8.

The last quake of equal power to strike the East Coast was in New York in 1944. The largest East Coast quake on record was a 7.3 that hit South Carolina in 1886. In 1897, a magnitude-5.9 quake was recorded at Giles County, Va., the largest on record in that state.

A 5.8-magnitude quake releases as much energy as almost eight kilotons of TNT, about half the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The earthquake that devastated Japan earlier this year released more than 60,000 times as much energy as Tuesday’s.

The Virginia quake came a day after an earthquake in Colorado toppled groceries off shelves and caused minor damage to homes in the southern part of the state and in northern New Mexico. No injuries were reported as aftershocks continued Tuesday.

On the East Coast, Amtrak said its trains along the Northeast Corridor between Baltimore and Washington were operating at reduced speeds and crews were inspecting stations and railroad infrastructure before returning to normal.

In Charleston, W.Va., hundreds of workers left the state Capitol building and employees at other downtown office buildings were asked to leave temporarily.

“The whole building shook,” said Jennifer Bundy, a spokeswoman for the state Supreme Court. “You could feel two different shakes. Everybody just kind of came out on their own.”

In Ohio, office buildings swayed in Columbus and Cincinnati, and the press box at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, shook. At least one building near the Statehouse was evacuated in downtown Columbus.

In downtown Baltimore, the quake sent office workers into the streets, where lamp posts swayed slightly as they called family and friends to check in.

John Gurlach, air traffic controller at the Morgantown Municipal Airport in West Virginia, was in a 40-foot-tall tower when the earth trembled.

“There were two of us looking at each other saying, ‘What’s that?’” he said, even as a commuter plane was landing. “It was noticeably shaking. It felt like a B-52 unloading.”

Immediately, the phone rang from the nearest airport in Clarksburg, and a computer began spitting out green strips of paper — alerts from other airports in New York and Washington issuing ground stops “due to earthquake.”

The earthquake caused a stir online, where people posted to Facebook and Twitter within seconds and described what they had felt. The keywords in posts, or hashtags, included “DCquake,” ‘’VAquake” and “Columbusquake,” an indication of how broadly the quake was experienced.

“People pouring out of buildings and onto the sidewalks and Into Farragut Park in downtown DC,” Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist, posted on Twitter.

Quake photos and videos also made the rounds. A handful were authentic. Many more were not — they were favorite earthquake scenes from Hollywood blockbusters or footage of people shaking their glasses and plates at an Olive Garden.

Printed on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 as: U.S. eastern seaboard sustains mild yet surprising earthquake.