Hungry Hungry Housing (Yes, Portland Is Dying)

Though a clerical error almost made the rent stabilization conversation moot before the debate could even begin, housing activists should mark their calendars for September 6th. That’s when the Portland City Council is set to vote on amendments to the inclusive zoning provision of the city code.   The changes amount to some very modest density incentives aimed at developers of affordable housing to make their projects viable. The amendments were written to be sensitive…

Paws in the Park and a Show to the South

If you’re a dog owner, there aren’t too many things that are more fun and relaxing than taking your fur-partner to the park for a little R&R. Throw a little ball, romp a little romp, discover a new ridiculous thing your dog wants to do to make you laugh. What could be better? How about 5,000 people like you and dogs like yours, all groovin’ to some live local bands, at the 7th Annual Pet…

You're Not Friends, You Just Tolerate Each Other

Here’s this week’s episode of The Port City Chronicle, the continuing serial novel of Gretchen, a 46-year-old criminal defense lawyer, and her family and friends, seeking love and happiness in Portland the hard way: “How’s Grace? She having a good summer?” our neighbor Alex asked, seeing me out of the corner of his eye on the porch while he was leaning against his car reading the news on his phone. “And how’s Paul?” “Paul’s dead,”…

Incompetence Will Follow

Ethan Strimling is dead meat. That’s what political insiders are saying about Portland’s mayor in the wake of his public feuding with the city manager and the city council. They claim that if Strimling is harboring ambitions of achieving higher office — and there’s not the slightest doubt he is — his intemperate blundering through disputes over his staff, his salary and, most of all, his power has rendered such an objective unattainable. A prominent…

Resisting The Alt-Right: Solidarity with Counterprotesters in Charlottesville

About 400 people gathered in Monument Square Sunday for an anti-racism rally in light of the recent clashes between anti-fascists and the so-called "alt-right." The rally was organized online by civil rights groups March Forth and the Portland's Women March, and bookended by a spirited acoustic performance by musician and Bangor Daily News photographer Troy Bennett, who sang to the crowd: "Whose side are you on?" Speakers included organizer Naomi Mayer, Portland resident Kenneth Bailey, …

You'd Better Run

Most Portland runners, walkers, and joggers are familiar with the soft crunch, crunch, crunch their athletic shoes make on the fine gravel of the Back Cove Trail as they take in some exercise, salty air, and the cityscape view we all love. Some of those athletes, in previous years, have competed in one of Portland’s best 10Ks, the Trail to Ale, which courses around the Back Cove, in part. A few do it for the…

Can You Make it to the Olympics

Have the words “Don’t you want to grow up big and strong?” ever left your lips? Were you caught in a moment of shock sitting at your own dinner table immediately after, not believing your own parents had the magical ability to speak through you like that? The whole spiel, diet and exercise, has been ingrained in Americans’ heads for generations. It isn’t going away. Whether the old cliche inspires your kids to eat their…

If You're Gonna Have One Anyway...

If a couple of friends of yours got together and started dating, loved it, eventually shacked up and kept going until everybody just expected to see one where the other one was, and they were still together after five years, wouldn’t it be cause for a little celebration or a party? They’d be solid. A regular institution. Now take that concept and extrapolate to think of an in-town yearly event as that young couple, going…

Responding to Charlottesville — The Fight-or-Flight of Activism

By the time you read this, I’ll be in Alaska. Or maybe we’ll all be dead by then, reduced to ash thanks to a man who can’t bring himself to condemn Nazis, but can wage war via Twitter. At this point, I’d honestly just like some type of resolution. Are we going to be obliterated or not? I’m exhausted from worrying about our imminent doom all the time, and it’s creating dark circles under my…

If you don’t start drinkin’, I’m gonna leave

The other day, I did something I wouldn’t normally do. I bought a bottle of booze in Maine. Please don’t think less of me. I had no choice. I usually purchase my liquor in New Hampshire, where it’s almost always cheaper. My order arrives here via an underground railroad operated by a nefarious associate, who gets paid off in cocktails. Such transactions are illegal, immoral and bad for my liver, but I don’t care. The…
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