Ethan Strimling: peacemaker or cause of war?

You know something’s really rotten in Portland when City Councilor Nick Mavodones gets mad. And there he was last week, standing behind a podium in front of City Hall, endorsing Ethan Strimling for mayor and criticizing incumbent Mayor Mike Brennan for his “failed leadership.” “The frustration I’ve felt has been profound,” Mavodones said, or rather, […]

How to win the War on Drugs

Gov. Paul LePage is right about the War on Drugs: we can win this war if we just beef up enforcement. If we had more drug agents, drug dogs, police, prosecutors, judges and jail cells, we could make Maine as clean as a Mormon church picnic. How many more law enforcers would we need to […]

Donald Sussman: savior or slumlord?

In early 2013, Donald Sussman said he was hitting the “pause button” on Newbury Lofts, a big condominium project planned for Portland’s India Street neighborhood, at the foot of Munjoy Hill, where he and his wife, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, have a townhouse. Two and a half years later, it looks like Sussman is hitting […]

Uncomfortable facts about the AT hiker’s vanishing

  This week marks two years since Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine “Gerry” Largay disappeared in the woods of Maine, so reporters are filing their obligatory follow-up articles. Astoundingly, but not unpredictably, none of the mainstream media accounts I’ve seen this week mention the disturbing revelation contained in Hutch Brown’s cover story for The Bollard this […]

In torturers we trust


Our military’s notorious SERE program was back in the news this month. Well, the national and international news, anyway. The media in Maine continue to act as if the Navy’s SERE “torture school” in the mountains northeast of Rangeley doesn’t exist — which is exactly how the spies and sadists involved in the program want […]

My un-opinionated observations for the week

This week, I’m taking a vacation from writing opinions. Instead, I’ll just list some recent observations from which you can draw your own opinionated conclusions… • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie makes a presidential campaign appearance in Portland, interrupting the breakfast of maybe a couple dozen people at Becky’s Diner. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders does the […]

America must stop torturing our troops

This Independence Day, as we gather to celebrate our freedom and honor the brave men and women who’ve dedicated their lives to defending it, I hope you’ll join me in demanding that we stop imprisoning and torturing our own troops. I realize this demand may sound strange to you. You’ve probably been unaware that deep […]

To Superintendent Caulk: You’re fired!

Donald Trump has so many despicable qualities that it’s easy to overlook the thing or two about him that’s admirable. Say what you will about his imperious management style, but I, for one, respect the decisiveness with which he jettisons underlings who’ve failed to meet his exacting standards. There’s no hemming or hawing, no passive […]

Marriage of Press Herald unions and owner on the rocks

The relationship between unionized workers and the management-and-ownership team is a lot like a marriage. Two weeks into the coupling of the unions at MaineToday Media (publisher of the Portland Press Herald and numerous other print and online news outlets) and new owner Reade Brower (a Camden businessman who owns several Maine weeklies and a […]