Portland’s war on vapor

Just when you thought the idiocy of the Portland City Council had hit rock bottom, along comes another ordinance that proves its ridiculousness knows no bounds. Next Monday, the council will consider a new law to ban the use of electronic cigarettes — also known as “vapes,” as they emit vapor, rather than smoke — […]

Why Mayor Brennan is toast

Politically speaking, Portland Mayor Mike Brennan is toast. He’s a thin slice of white bread scorched by the turmoil in City Hall and burnt by the criticism of city councilors whom one would expect to be his allies. The next mayoral election is less than seven months away, and Brennan has not indicated whether he’ll […]

Boycott Maine for anti-immigrant discrimination

When it comes to enacting discriminatory, morally repugnant policies, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has nothing on Maine Gov. Paul LePage. Pence’s willingness to sign a “religious freedom” bill that could have denied gay people the ability to eat in certain restaurants or stay in certain hotels pales in comparison to LePage’s edict that would most […]

Spoiler alert: Fore Street views will be spoiled

In last week’s column I noted that Soul of Portland, the Munjoy Hill activist group seeking to limit the scale of the Portland Company complex’s redevelopment on the eastern waterfront, sees no need to compromise on the issue of protecting water views along Fore Street. After gathering additional information and talking with developer Jim Brady, […]

Breaking news: Cops may patrol Wharf Street

In response to the problems caused by Bonfire, the country-and-western bar that opened in the Old Port late last summer, the Portland Police Department may take a step that the public will find shocking: assigning officers to patrol Wharf Street. It’s hardly surprising that the cops would want to have a presence in the heart […]

Restaurants, bars and arts springing to life

Springtime is the season of resurrection, a cycle that applies not only to nature, but also to the arts and culinary scenes in Portland, which are poised to undergo an unprecedented rejuvenation before the summer solstice this June. A remarkable number of businesses that seemed dead and gone are springing back to life, while new […]

Bonfire of the Hypocrisies

The Portland City Council’s controversial decision to close Sangillo’s Tavern, the beloved neighborhood bar at the foot of Munjoy Hill, raises an important question: What exactly does a liquor establishment have to do in this town to get shut down? The cover story I wrote for this month’s issue of The Bollard, “The Wild End […]

What’s beyond the headlines

The world lost another soul-music legend when Don Covay passed away last month at age 78. Although Covay had only modest success as a recording artist, his influence as a songwriter and singer was substantial. That influence is strikingly apparent in the vocal inflections of an early admirer from England named Mick Jagger. Soul blogger […]

Draft beer shortage!

Fellow Mainers, prepare to be outraged. There is massive fraud happening all over our state, literally right under our noses. Hard numbers are hard to come by in this case, but it seems reasonable to estimate that we’re being duped and swindled out of many millions of dollars every year. And, perhaps even more troubling, […]