The Party of the Year?

The venue Aura, formerly Asylum, has hosted some pretty impressive headlining acts since their reopening. That’s good for their pocketbook, which is important enough after the expense of a complete remodeling and multi-floor addition. It looks like they are recouping quite well. If you shook your magic eight ball after asking, “Will Aura be a smashing success?” it would probably come up, “All signs point to cha-ching!” So, out of some sense of kindness, honor,…

'Black Lives Matter' is More Than a Mere Slogan

“They’re just protesters. They don’t have a message. They don’t have a complaint. They don’t have nothing to say except Black Lives Matter, and that’s a bumper sticker.”   Those are the words of Stephanie Anderson, Cumberland County District Attorney, when she discussed her decision to end efforts to revive a restorative justice process with the 17 Black Lives Matter protesters who were arrested at a July 2016 demonstration on Commercial St. in Portland.   …

Resisting Corporate Takeover: The Ins and Outs of Growing Cannabis At Home

What is the Corporate Takeover? The No On One Campaign virtuously campaigned against the idea of a “corporate takeover” up until votes on the issue were cast in November of 2016. They insisted that the language of the bill had been designed in the favor of large corporations and out-of-state finance. Were they wrong? Actually, no. Shortly after lawmakers began the committee on recreational cannabis regulation, lobbyists and representatives of cannabis business statewide began approaching…

Dope and money

You may find it hard to believe, but the Legislature has a sense of humor. It’s pretty feeble, but any sign of comedic instincts at the State House has to be encouraging. As proof of this tentative tendency toward funniness, I offer the official name of the task force the state House and Senate created to deal with how legal pot will be regulated. It’s called the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation. I…

From Calais To Key West: Russian Globetrotter Cycles Through Maine During A 2,100 Mile Journey

Lena Faber is on the first part of an epic journey from Calais, Maine to Key West Florida depending on nothing but the power of her legs and the hospitality of strangers. Her route on the East Coast Greenway Alliance (a bicycle friendly network of roads and trails) is over 2,100 miles long and would take her 180 hours of non-stop cycling to complete. Although this trek would prove too daunting for many, this isn’t…

E-screwed by Escrow? Cannabusting Maine's Marijuana Myths

Just a little over a month ago, during the days after what's becoming a widely recognized national holiday, April 20, news began to surface in the cannabis community that was very unsettling. The newly formed recreational cannabis legislation stated that in order to qualify to apply for a recreational cannabis cultivation facility, one would need to have at a bare minimum $500,000 dollars in escrow. What is escrow? An escrow account is an account that…

Celebrate National Trails Day

Imagine yourself hiking, running, or cycling on a brand new trail in the area. Maybe it’s the morning after a cleansing rain, and your thoughts are with the sweet, fresh smell of the air as you breathe it deep, rhythmically, striving forward, your mind and body merging. Or you may think of the trees and plants and natural life around you, how incredible it feels to observe its beauty, and you may contemplate its sustainability,…

The Solution to Spring Fever

If teacher’s reports are worth anything (and they are), their young students are already absent from the classroom, gone in their minds to summer vacation as soon as the snow was gone. Many readers have calendars on their refrigerators, x-ing off days one by one until the big hoorah. Rambunctiousness is the order of the day. Fidgeting. Bickering. Resisting. One friend of The Phoenix family had to order lumber for a treehouse in exchange for…

Your Cat's Distant Relatives

Has a stray cat ever followed you home? If so, you know how the incident flatters you and makes you wonder why the animal chose you over others. You feel obliged, if not to take it in, then at least to see that a neighbor or a shelter does. If you feed the feline, you may have to resort to a can of tuna if you don’t already have cats, and if you do, it…

All the small things

I’d like to think Paul LePage is a rational person. I’d also like to think every shot of booze I drink counts as a helping of vegetables. Sadly, evidence indicates neither of these is true. Nevertheless, LePage, Maine’s carnival freak show of a governor, continues to say stuff that doesn’t make sense. And I continue to drink. Coincidentally, the latest examples of both those activities have intersected at the convenience store counter where they sell…
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