Category Archives: Politics

The year the music died

Two thousand fourteen is turning into a brutal year for Portland’s dining, arts and nightlife scenes. Several of the city’s most creative and beloved establishments have closed or are preparing to shut down or move away, while others have cut back on live entertainment or consolidated, ceding control to a monopolistic corporation based out of […]

Big cuts, less dough at Portland’s Downtown District

When Jan Beitzer resigned last summer after eight years as executive director of the nonprofit Portland’s Downtown District, insiders whispered about a “coup” at the nonprofit organization, which was established in the early 1990s to promote downtown businesses and cultural events. Both Beitzer, who was never shy about expressing her opinions, and the organization’s board […]

Opening minds with open mics

There’s a fascinating paradox at the heart of Maine’s music scene: The most commonly offered type of musical entertainment is also the least popular among fans of live music. I’m talking about the open-mic night. How common are open mics? The website openmikes.org, a database of bars and restaurants nationwide that host such evenings, lists […]

The story behind ‘A Plot in Falmouth’

When Rob Cimitile contacted me seeking press for a fundraising campaign he’s undertaken to complete a recording and music video by his indie-folk band, Builder of the House, I was skeptical. I could fill this space every week with plugs for talented Maine musicians trying to crowd-fund their projects. But I soon realized Cimitile’s endeavor […]

Drive-by charity is not the answer

As Jesus correctly predicted, the poor will always be with us. And thanks to a federal judge’s ruling last month, it looks like panhandlers in Portland’s traffic medians will be with us, too — for years, if not decades, to come. People have a right to stand in intersections and ask motorists for money. But […]

Kill Presidents Day

This past Monday, I did something all Americans should do on the third Monday in February — I reflected long and hard on the significance of Presidents Day. And I came to a profound conclusion: This is the dumbest, most economically destructive government-mandated waste of time ever conceived. The sooner it’s abolished, the better. In […]