News Briefs: the Malaga Monument, Green Slime, and a Media Merger

Descendants of Malaga Island Community Honored With New Monument A dark, once-covered up stain on Maine’s history — the systematic exile and mysterious deaths of the Malaga Island community — was made permanent and visible last week through a monument unveiling at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.   The monument bears the names of the mixed-race Mainers who were victimized as part of the eugenics movement of the 1900s and forced to leave their homes by…

The Art Of Protest — Every Decision Counts in Mainer's Participatory Film 'The Maribor Uprisings'

In 2017, the stakes of organized dissent seem exceptionally high. The 214 people charged as part of the anti-fascist protests on January 20 — a/k/a the DisruptJ20 action during the inauguration of Donald Trump — have been hit with felony charges and currently face up to ten years in prison. These blanket charges — levied onto some without evidence that they did anything more than show up — are the most severe repercussions for nonviolent…

Recipe for a Nothingburger — Trump's 'High-Quality' Son and Other Senior Officials Implicated in Russian Collusion

Reports were blistering Tuesday as a flurry of seemingly damning evidence linked the Trump campaign to Russian officlals looking to collude and influence the 2016 election. This week, none other than Maine GOP Senator (and possible 2018 gubernatorial candidate) Susan Collins has called on Donald Trump Jr. to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in light of ongoing reports that the President's eldest son met with a Russian lawyer with close ties to the Kremlin…

Is Portland Dying? Housing, Inequality, and the Future of Bayside

“In cities that function as growth machines, where economic growth is prized above all us, the needs of the poor and middle class are eclipsed by the desire to inflate the value of land.” Peter Moskowitz.   Two black youths — let’s call them Alex and John — were playing basketball in Kennedy Park last week, and musing about the neighborhood they live in: East Bayside. It didn’t take long for their conversation to turn…

Letter to the editor

Dear Portland Phoenix, Zack Barowitz's article ("Conflict By Design: How a Power Struggle Between Mayor and City Manager Was the Plan All Along," in the June 29 issue) about the Charter's role in the ongoing struggles between the mayor and the city manager is interesting and informative. But it tells only half the story of the current mayor.If Ethan Strimling had done what he said repeatedly during his campaign he was going to do as mayor,…

This Thing Is On — Inside the Portland Maine Comedy Festival

A great comedy set is an extremely subjective experience. They come in so many different themes and styles that it’s impossible for one to be universally loved. Someone in the audience is bound to get offended, and typically, comics don’t care. On the contrary, it fuels many of them. George Orwell’s words, “every joke is a tiny revolution,” ring true today in a time where comedy sheds the remaining vestiges of our puritan past and…

Negotiation or ultimatum? Government shutdown over after Republicans force a conservative budget

Readers have likely already heard of last week’s political pandemonium: Gov. Paul LePage and 60 House Republicans forced a government shutdown after blocking a $7.1 billion budget compromise. It’s also likely that readers were directly affected by this, as the shutdown left at least 9,000 state workers without a job, and slowed or halted critical services to vulnerable Mainers. According to the liberal Maine Center for Economic Policy, this shutdown cost about $2.5 million dollars…

Conflict By Design — How a Power Struggle Between Mayor and City Manager Was the Plan All Along

Imagine, if you will, City Hall as a large playpen. Now place into it three children. One we shall call Jon; a second named Council (what odd names these parents are giving their children these days!); and a third named Ethan. Now, imagine some hypothetical parents toss in two beach balls — one to Jon and another to Council. Seeing that he has no ball to play with, Ethan wants to use Jon’s. But Jon…

What are you paying for? New app visualizes Portland's $340 million budget

Have you ever wondered what exactly your tax dollars are paying for? Thanks to a new web app, developed by local activist web developers Rob Korobkin, Mike Lacourse and Joey Brunelle, you can find out through an intimate look at Portland’s revenues and expenses Dubbed OpenMaine, the app allows users to plug in their annual property tax and receive a visually appealing x-ray of Portland’s 340 million dollar budget, where they can see what every cent…

'The City Can Do Better': Marpheen Chann's vision for a Portland that's truly for everyone

Last week, the local activist and Maine law graduate Marpheen Chann announced his grassroots effort to run for Portland's City Council, representing District 5 (Deering Center, North Deering, Riverton), a seat currently occupied by David Brenerman. He's running against Kim Cook, who runs a government relations firm, and Craig Dorais, a patent attorney. As a first generation Asian-American and member of the LGBTQ community with real-world experience, Chann says he's uniquely poised to tackle some to the…
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