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Would-be bar owner carded by city council

Joshua Soley is not old enough to legally drink, but he nearly won city approval to serve alcohol in a combination bar and movie theater on Exchange Street."We goofed, the city goofed a little bit on this one, we didn't catch the fact that the applicant was 20," said Councilor Ed Suslovic. “In June he will be 21 and we can bring it up again.”

Making sense of the year that was

Things really aren’t that bad. Simultaneously, everything is the worst.It feels like we just lived through an insanely violent, divisive, and dramatic year. But then, we did that last year, too. Remember 2012? Ugh! That year was the worst. What about the gas lines of 1979, or the typhoid outbreak of 1891? Those were pretty bad years, too.

New Year's Eve outside the box

On New Year’s Eve, 1999, we drank a 20-ounce water bottle filled with Canadian whiskey that we swiped from our parents, then spent the night getting slapped around by our high school girlfriend. Another year we spilled red wine on an ex’s carpet, and then missed the countdown because we had to clean it up before it set. Once we went to a party where there was a “mixologist” slinging Manhattans that made everybody sick.

Rural vs. urban in the fight for 'free' money

Politicians, especially those seeking statewide office, often discount the idea of “the two Maines,” a reference to the contrast between left-leaning Southern Maine and the right-leaning Northern Maine.The geography is handy, but the real difference isn’t north-south, but rather urban-rural — and few issues underscore the Two Maines Gap more than the difference between how Gov. Paul LePage seems to feel about federal tax dollars.
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City delays decision on minimum wage hike

Those on both sides of the debate to raise Portland’s minimum wage agree that it would make Portland an outlier. They just don’t agree as to whether that’s a good or bad thing.Last week the city’s council finance committee collected public comment on the proposal to raise the minimum wage within Portland to $9.50 an hour, with incremental increases in coming years. After two hours of testimony, the committee postponed a vote until an economic…
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New DIY space has first show, Lady Lamb releases new music video

Lady Lamb, we love youThere will always be a little corner of The Phoenix reserved for Aly Spaltro. The locally adored lyrical apiarist a/k/a Lady Lamb the Beekeeper last week posted a new lyric music video and announced a March 3 release date for her upcoming LP. Spaltro’s second full-length album After is put out by New York record label Mom+Pop (Andrew Bird, Sleigh Bells), who snatched up the Brunswick-bred singer-songwriter after her 2013 debut…

City streamlines outdoor concert approval

The long-awaited, oft-predicted new era of major outdoor music for the Portland area has taken another step forward: City staff, not elected officials, will be agreeing to Maine Pier events organized by the Waterfront Concerts promotion company next summer, a move the city hopes will allow the group to “more actively market the Maine State Pier as a viable option for artists looking for summer outdoor concerts in Maine.”

Work without workers

On Dec. 3 I drove up to Bowdoin College to take advantage of one of those perks that colleges and universities offer their communities: the screening of the film Sleep Dealer, followed by a discussion with its director Alex Rivera (in the interest of full disclosure I should mention that Alex and I went to Hampshire College together). The science fiction film is set in the not-too distant future in the border towns of Mexico.…
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