Portland’s minimum wage hike will be a touchdown

Rather than send an ordinance to raise the minimum wage in Portland to the full City Council for a vote, the Finance Committee punted last week and requested that an economic-impact study be conducted before they reconsider the matter next year. The timeframe is tight — Mayor Mike Brennan reportedly said the City Council could […]

The Wal-Mart of Maine art

So, let me get this straight. Kevin Thomas and Susan Grisanti, the owners of three glossy lifestyle magazines for tourists and Maine’s upper crust, have teamed up with a Wall Street investor named Jack Leonardi to open art galleries in Kennebunk and Portland’s Old Port, and to run a website that purports to offer one-stop […]

Publishers shot by their own gun

I must admit that I read the news of the Portland Phoenix’s federal lawsuit against the publishers of DigPortland with an emotion most accurately described as glee. Both alternative weeklies are, technically, competitors of my publication, The Bollard, so there’s some satisfaction seeing them duke it out in what could be a very expensive legal […]

Bright sides and silver linings

In keeping with the Biblical perspective I’ve been applying to this year’s political campaigns, let me start by saying this election has certainly resulted in “the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” One could go further and begin quoting early chapters of the Book of Revelation, but God knows we’re depressed enough without pondering the […]

How to be really scared this Halloween

As we get older, it gets harder to enjoy Halloween. Neighbors who were delighted to drop treats into your bag when you showed up, at age 8, dressed as Batman, have a very different reaction when you show up in a black mask, at age 38, demanding candy and threatening some unspecified “trick” if the […]

Who will supervise Portland’s super?

Before Portlanders choose between the two candidates for an at-large seat on the school board, they’ll first have to decide which school board they’re talking about. Is it the board that candidate Gene Landry describes, the one that has “a good handle on the budget,” where “everybody’s working as hard as they can” to put […]

Time to end Susan Collins’ confounding ways

The choice in this year’s U.S. Senate race is pretty clear to me. If Republican incumbent Susan Collins wins, civilization will tumble back into the Dark Ages and the world as we know it will be utterly destroyed. So I’ll be voting for Collins’ Democratic challenger, Shenna Bellows. I’m talking about global warming and, specifically, […]