Cops OK “drunkenomics”? Only in Portland!

The topic of this week’s column is another in a long series that could be informally titled, “Only in Portland!” As in, “Four-thousand-dollar robotic trash cans? Only in Portland!” Or, “A strip-tease ‘artist’ got elected to the school board? Only in Portland!” Or, “Ten cents for a plastic Hannaford bag and $15 an hour for […]

Portland needs ‘no-barrier’ services for addicts

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Tim Maia, a Brazilian bandleader renowned for both his prodigious creative gifts and his prodigious appetite for self-destruction. In the early ’70s, Maia achieved success with a string of albums melding American soul and funk with Brazilian music. Then, in 1974, Maia’s already crazy life took a truly […]

The mayor of Portland surrenders

Last month I predicted that, politically speaking, Portland Mayor Mike Brennan is toast. Earlier this week, Brennan all-but-officially abdicated his authority to lead Maine’s largest city, literally throwing up his hands in surrender during a City Council meeting when confronted with allegations he’d abused his authority and the trust of the people who elected him. […]

Light at the end of the drug tunnel

Dear reader, I write this week with wonderful news! The day is now in sight when Maine will save tens of millions of dollars every year and reap millions more in new revenue. Crime rates will plummet, especially in our cities. Thousands of sick and despairing Mainers will regain their health and hope. A cycle […]

The folly of the Federal Street Folly

If there was any doubt remaining that the City of Portland puts the interests of wealthy developers and tourists ahead of those of ordinary locals, the Federal Street Folly should take care of that. This aptly named mistake has all the elements exhibited in previous efforts to cater to rich visitors at the expense of […]

The death of Portland’s daily?

The day Maine newspaper lovers have feared may be on the horizon: the day the Portland Press Herald ceases being a daily. The news this week that billionaire financier S. Donald Sussman has sold his majority interest in MaineToday Media to the publisher of several weekly papers in midcoast Maine looks like bad news for […]

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 […]