This Just In (135)

Amid Referendum Push, Fair Rent Portland Explains the Difference Between 'Rent Control' and 'Rent Stabilization'

Over the last five years, Portland rents have increased by 40 percent. Meanwhile, income has barely moved. The Portland Press Herald reported on Fair Rent Portland earlier this week ["Portland citizens group seeks referendum on rent control, other tenant protections," by Randy Billings], blurring the distinction between the "rent control" and "rent stabilization." Fair Rent Portland says the latter more aptly describes their mission, which distinguishes it from failed measures (in New York City and…

"Do You See Me Now?" Photographers reveal Portland's opiate crisis with "Grit, Grime, and Grace"

Shaun Buck, pictured alongside this article, was supposed to be the “posterboy” for a new photography exhibition titled “Grit, Grime, and Grace,” aimed at humanizing people who use opiates and their struggle to get clean.    But four days before the exhibition’s opening, Buck was found dead inside a Porta Potty in Deering Oaks park. He had died of an opiate overdose.   Buck’s portrait, a photograph by Joanne Arnold, still hangs proudly at the…

Poliquin Takes Heat for AHCA Vote; Kindling Fund Grantees Make Hot Art

On May 4, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act by a vote of 217-213, a significant step in the Trump Administration’s quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the signature achievement of President Obama’s administration. The bill is estimated to kick 24 million Americans off health care, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.   In the week since, citizens have rallied in numbers against U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin…

What Makes a Sanctuary City?

In Trump’s first 100 days in office, we’ve witnessed ICE agents ramping up immigration enforcement by arresting at least 675 illegal immigrants across the country. Here in Maine, a new bill (LD 366) was introduced that would essentially empower local law enforcement to act as immigration officials. These aggressive policies bring with them a perception of animosity toward foreign-born Americans. Because of this, we thought it would be important to go over a concept rife…

Collins Keeps Moderate Image as Billionaire DeVos Appointed to Secretary of Education

Collins Keeps Moderate Image as Billionaire DeVos Appointed to Secretary of Education On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed billionaire Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. The private- and charter-school advocate snuck in with a 50-50 vote after two GOP Senators —Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — voted not to confirm. A tie-breaking vote went to Vice President Mike Pence. Donald Trump’s nomination of DeVos received unprecedented opposition from U.S. constituents. While some in Maine applauded…

Portland Food Council Celebrates Launch, Offers Plan for Sustainable Food Systems

The Portland Food Council celebrated its official launch this week, giving a presentation which included a blueprint for a dynamic local food system that involves urban agriculture and sustainability practices. The reception marked an evolution of the Council since its original inception in 2012 as the Mayor's Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System, which launched by then-Mayor Michael Brennan out of ideas from a community food forum, which included Jonah Fertig of MOFGA,…

"Move That Way!" Mainers Share Lessons from the Women's March

Last weekend, the collective strength of the Women’s March resulted in the largest mass protest in U.S. history. While the movement’s massive scale was inspiring — an estimated 5 million people worldwide, and 500,000 in the nation’s capital — it offered important lessons in intersectionality and inclusion of political resistance going forward. As the activist and scholar Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor wrote in In These Times this week: “The United States has just experienced a corporate hijacking.…

Women's March Solidarity Ripples Through Maine

What began as a singular protest and coalesced into a massive movement nationally, internationally, and statewide, the Women's March on Washington will mark the first day of Donald Trump's presidency. At 10 a.m. Saturday, January 21, ralliers will begin to collect in D.C., in solidarity with a national citizens' movement for human rights. And as of Tuesday afternoon, 616 sister marches have been registered worldwide, occurring in all 50 states and 61 countries (a spokesperson from…

"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),…
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