Ways to Support Planned Parenthood

If you want to stand up to Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and other Republicans who are using their political influence for efforts that might leave thousands without access to basic preventative health care, there are some things that you can do. If you want to defend a woman's right to choose and reject the notion that relics from a bygone era can dictate what a woman should or shouldn't do with their body, consider supporting…

Why Planned Parenthood Matters: Thousands might lose vital health care with Republican defund effort

In the first couple weeks after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced plans to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood through a budget reconciliation bill, staff and volunteers at the Portland center have been hard at work. Immediately after the election, Planned Parenthood, a low-cost facility that provides preventative and reproductive health care to people of all genders and ages, saw a surge in volunteers across the country. At the Portland center, over 300…

The Cultural Appropriation Debate (Because You're Already In It)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (this may include being an avid World of Warcraft player), you’re acquainted with the concept of cultural appropriation. In the past 18 months, writers from Slate, Salon, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and countless more have tackled the subject. It’s been accused of pop stars like Katy Perry (for dressing like a geisha at the American Music Awards), M.I.A. (for shooting a music video…

Resurgam: The old Phoenix is the new Phoenix

In a bit of a media mash-up, three former staffers of The Portland Phoenix have returned.  Associate publisher Marc Shepard, culture editor Nick Schroeder and sales representative Emma Hollander are again infusing the Phoenix with the style and substance it was known for before the alternative newspaper world in Portland blew up two years ago when the paper changed ownership. Shepard was the associate publisher of the Portland Phoenix for 10 years before moving to the corporate offices  in Boston in 2010. He…

"It's Bad For Business," Committee of local merchants hold first meeting to curb panhandling downtown

William Higgins of Portland packed a cardboard sign that read “panhandling is not a crime, brother can you spare a dime,” before he left his house last Monday. But it wasn’t for begging on the streets. In fact, Higgins never panhandled in his life before. Instead, he brought it with him to a meeting inside the conference room of the Portland Downtown District, a nonprofit trade group of local merchants.   The meeting was the first…

Local efforts to oppose Dakota Access pipeline collide with Portland institutions

Local efforts to oppose the Dakota Pipeline have pushed beyond hashtags and social media and hit the streets. On December 19 and 30, small groups of protestors gathered at the Portland TD Banknorth branch at 1 Portland Sq., protesting the bank's status as a financial backer in the proposed construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota.  The most recent effort, mobilized by the Portland branch of the International Socialist Organization (ISO),…

Why did 200 Mainers take an icy plunge into Casco Bay?

On the last day of 2016, I perched myself on a snow-covered rock on the East End Beach to observe a peculiar sight: over 200 Mainers stripping down to their underthings and taking a plunge into the icy waters of Casco Bay. The bold-n-cold participants were there for the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s annual Polar Bear Dip and 5K Race Event. Each paid a $35 registration fee; the money collected would be used to…

New Year's Resolutions for the City of Portland

Like most people do during the first couple weeks of a new year, I’ve been thinking about resolutions. For some reason, I’m psychologically hardwired to think about bettering myself at the resetting of a unit of measuring time. I’m sure you’re having similar thoughts. In fact, I know you are, because I asked many of you while casually strolling Portland’s streets after last week’s storm. Most of you responded as expected. You said that 2017…

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir or Madam, Megan Grumbling’s excellent December 22nd article looking back on a year of theatrical high points was a pleasing antidote to so much and so many of the things to remember or forget about the year past. Maine is now so rich in the performing arts, at all age levels, with democratic institutions such as “Pay What You Want” and many free shows. In Maine, anyone can act or write a great play!…

The Phoenix Potpourri

UNE’s Biddeford Campus Art Gallery presented ZERO, a new photography exhibit A new photography exhibit examining the lives of the “disenfranchised and often invisible” people of Colombia is set to open on the University of New England’s Biddeford campus on January 25. Titled ZERO, this black and white photography exhibit comes by way of Robert Pennington, an adept researcher of Colombia’s history with social stratification. According to Pennington, Latin America’s oldest democracy is home to…
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