The unseen and unheard among us

It was during a dreary stretch of winter in late January of this year that I got an unusual inquiry regarding freelance work. The freelancer herself didn’t contact me. Rather, the query came from an employment specialist in Scarborough on behalf of a “talented creative writer who is also working on a novel.” I provided […]

Signs of the times in Portland, Maine

In Gaza, hundreds of women, children and other innocent civilians were being blown to pieces by an Israeli military armed and funded by our tax dollars. World leader like United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon were denouncing Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of homes, schools and hospitals as a “moral outrage” and a “criminal act,” while witnesses […]

“Green” Bud Kelly for guv’nah

Maine’s gubernatorial race, a rather sleepy affair so far, just got a whole lot livelier with the recent announcement of a new write-in candidate: “Green” Bud Kelly. Kelly is a contractor on a midcoast island whose services include house painting, dry walling, landscaping, carpentry and masonry. He has not, to my knowledge, run for political […]

What the real aliens would do about immigration

The headline atop the BDN’s homepage certainly grabbed my attention: “LePage says 8 ‘unaccompanied alien children’ put in Maine without his knowledge.” “Oh, my God,” I thought. “The federal government” — long suspected of hiding evidence of extra-terrestrial contact on secret bases in the Nevada desert — “has shipped the spawn of space creatures into […]

Park or plaza? Word choice and bias in Press Herald’s Congress Square coverage

As any good editor knows, words matter, especially when reporting on a controversial issue. For example, in covering the protests outside Planned Parenthood’s Congress Street offices, the media’s use of terms like “anti-choice,” “pro-life,” “pro-choice” and “abortion rights” can influence the debate and betray bias. Which brings us to the Portland Press Herald’s glaring editorial […]

In appreciation of a great American: Bobby Womack

This Fourth of July, let us celebrate and appreciate the life and legacy of a great American: soul singer Bobby Womack, who passed away last week at the age of 70. This is not an occasion for mourning. Given the notoriously high-flying, hard-touring life he lived, it’s amazing Womack made it into his seventh decade. […]

How Portland peninsula’s renters saved their park

The cover story of the first print issue of The Bollard, published in the summer of 2007, envisioned a day when residents of the Portland peninsula would throw off the yokes of their masters in the Deering neighborhoods and establish an independent city called Portinsula. Written in the wake of highly contentious efforts by Peaks […]