Creating a World: The Secret Life of Portland's Most Shadowy Artists

By the time the opening night audience is seated, the curtain raised, and the lights brought up on any local stage around town, another cast of characters has already played their parts — vital, but behind the scenes. Well before the first line is uttered, designers, managers, and technicians have already created this dramatic world. Those in the theater business are well aware of their value, but to many a theatergoer, they are a lot…

Climate skeptics demand safe space for their unscientific beliefs

  For decades, the overwhelming consensus from scientists and their peer-reviewed studies is that climate change is both accelerated by human activity and a serious threat.   But despite this, it would seem that contrarian voices are getting louder in the Trump era — at least a third of the seats in Congress are held by climate change skeptics. Here in Maine, a bill is being introduced that would "protect" those who don’t believe that…

Letter to the editors: Applying for a moose permit

LD222: An Act Regarding Maine’s Moose Lottery sponsored by Sen. Paul Davis (R-Senate District 4 Piscataquis County) would prevent hunters under the age of eight years old from hunting moose and participating in the moose permit lottery (voted ought not to pass by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, now dead, and placed in the legislative files).   LD558: An Act to Improve Moose Hunting sponsored by Rep. Gary Hilliard (R-Belgrade) would prevent children under…

Are Portland Bars Safe for Everyone?

“Where are you guys???” The extra question marks at the end of the text are the first hint that something might be wrong.   A friend is waiting for us at a bar by himself, while his wife and I amble down Congress Street. We’re late (as usual) but when he meets us outside The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box, his face is marked by a different sort of anxiety, not simple irritation.   “There’s a…

News Briefs

Thousands show support in the wake of meteorologist's suicide Last week, the local television station WCSH-6 released a touching video tribute to meteorologist Tom Johnston, after authorities found his body and revealed that he committed suicide. The video, now viewed over 20,000 times, featured snippets of Johnston’s colorful personality through clips of weather reports and on-air banter with his colleagues. “He was a meteorologist that felt more like a friend,” said reporter and co-worker Amanda…

Letters to the Editors

Dear People: For many years I have complained about my government’s lack of concern for the present and future of struggling people and the planet. I have withheld one hundred dollars from my properly-calculated tax payment as a protest, and sent that money to an organization that distributed collected funds to organizations helping people in need and causes worth supporting. Every year there has been good reason to do it, and every year I have…

Mainers Object to Gorsuch: Checking in with 'The Resistance'

Portland joined several cities across the nation last week for a series of rallies under the name, “The People’s Defense.” Protests were centered around the slogan: We Object. Pro-democracy and civil rights advocates objected to a number of issues — Trump’s travel ban, spikes in hate crimes, health care reform, budget cuts to the EPA, Internet privacy — but most were focused on what they considered the most pressing and important: the nomination of Trump’s…

Information for sale: The fight for Internet privacy and why you should care

 "The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power." Franklin Delano Roosevelt Republicans in the House and Senate just repealed landmark FCC regulations on internet privacy. And you don’t need to wear a tinfoil hat to…

Planned Parenthood says the fight is far from over

A victory was won last week when the GOP pulled their flawed health care reform bill from the House floor after acknowledging they wouldn’t be able to drum up enough votes. It was a victory particularly for women, who hours before the bill died, saw a room full of men (in that tone-deaf Freedom Caucus photo Mike Pence tweeted out) make decisions on cutting maternity care, hospitalization, and other essential health services. Notice anything strange…

A future progressive city leader? Joey Brunelle lays out his vision for Portland's future

Getting people to understand the importance of local government starts by convincing them it isn’t boring or intimidating.   That’s what the local digital communications specialist Joey Brunelle wants to do. Besides designing print ads and podcasting, Brunelle has been engaged in a lot of civic-related activities, and he hopes you will too.   Last year, he was part of the movement to help save the India Street Health Clinic. He was also the Secretary…
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