David Carkhuff

David Carkhuff

The Phoenix Potpourri

South Portland Chicago Dogs show helps family of ill child

This comedy show redefines "paying it forward."


At Chicago Dogs in South Portland at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, comics Dennis Fogg and George Hamm will perform a benefit show, with all proceeds going toward "helping Mason Walk."


The announcement explains, "Last year, Mason's Dad Joshua Dall-Leighton answered a stranger’s plea written on her car for a new kidney. Now Dall-Leighton’s family is facing their own medical challenge. One of their twins has a rare brain condition called PVL, and he also has cerebral palsy. Doctors said Mason, 2, would never walk or talk. Mason is a bright and active 2.5-year-old and was just accepted for SDR surgery in St. Louis, Mo. This surgery could change his life forever."


Tickets to Mason's benefit Comedy Show are $10 with reservation or $12 at the door. Call Tammy at (207) 615-4079 to reserve tickets. Chicago Dogs is at 671 Main St. in South Portland. Click here for Facebook event.

Youth Engagement Partners on ballot for foundation prize

Portland Empowered’s youth group, Youth Engagement Partners, is on the ballot for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Youth Engagement Contest – and the group could win $50,000 if it gets the most online votes, Portland Public Schools announced.


Supporters are urged to vote for YEPs, which works to elevate student voice across Portland’s public schools, throughout the month of November at: http://studentsatthecenterhub.org/award-nominees/.
The deadline is Nov. 30.


"Portland Empowered is a project of the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service that works as a community partner, championing the voice of parents and families to improve educational outcomes for students," a press release explained.

Girl Scouts of Maine, NRCM team up on PaintCare program

On Tuesday, the Girl Scouts of Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine announced and unveiled a new program — the first ever “Sustainable Maine” patch — to be earned by Girl Scouts "who take personal actions toward a more sustainable future," NRCM reported.


This year’s goal is for Girl Scouts to increase awareness about safely recycling paint in Maine for free at 94 convenient drop-off locations (https://www.paintcare.org/drop-off-locations/) across the state, through Maine’s new PaintCare program. It is free for everyone, regardless of when or where an individual bought paint, a press release explained.


The PaintCare program began in 2015, and many Mainers are not yet aware of this new, free paint recycling opportunity, and still have old, used paint cans piled up in their basements and garages.
“We are pleased to partner with the Girl Scouts to help protect Maine’s environment,” says Lisa Pohlmann, executive director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine and former Girl Scout. “Through the patch program this year, Maine Girl Scouts can help raise awareness about how to put unused paint to good use, while keeping valuable resources out of our landfills.”


"Girl Scouts inspires girls to be active and engaged citizens who contribute in meaningful ways to make their communities, and their world, a better place," says Joanne Crepeau, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Maine. "We are proud to have such an important partnership with NCRM to give Girl Scouts in Maine another opportunity to develop the strong core values we offer in Girl Scouts."


For more about the Sustainable Maine Patch Program, visit www.girlscoutsofmaine.org/content/dam/girlscouts-girlscoutsofmaine/documents/Sustainable-Maine.pdf.

Outsiders dominate Nov. 8 presidential election

(Editor's note: Following is an abbreviated version of an election roundup that appeared online in the Phoenix.)
On Nov. 8, outsiders enjoyed a rousing general election, both in Portland and across the country.
Locally, District 3 City Council incumbent Ed Suslovic lost to challenger Brian Batson (3,561-3,219, 52.52 percent to 47.48 percent). Another outsider to City Hall (but not to Portland politics), Pious Ali won an at-large three-year term, besting incumbent Jon Hinck and challenger Matthew Coffey (Ali, 21,010 votes; Hinck, 6,840; Coffey, 5,720).


On the raft of state referendum questions, voters in Portland gave their across-the-board support: Question 1, marijuana legalization, 65 percent to 35 percent; Question 2, a 3 percent tax on income above $200,000 to fund student learning, 65 percent to 35 percent; Question 3, firearm background checks, 79 percent to 21 percent; Question 4, raising the minimum wage, 72 percent to 28 percent; Question 5, ranked-choice voting, 72 percent to 28 percent; Question 6, $100 million bond for transportation infrastructure, 78 percent to 22 percent.
Statewide, marijuana legalization appeared destined to pass, the Press Herald reported at 2 a.m.  Wednesday (see a related story on page 4.); the background check expansion for firearms, however, appeared destined to fail, the newspaper reported. Ranked-choice voting won support from 52 percent of voters statewide, according to the Press Herald. On the minimum wage, the newspaper reported, “As of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Associated Press called the vote with 70 percent of precincts reporting, with 56 percent of voters for Question 4 and 44 percent against.”


Outsider status didn’t help everyone. Democratic challenger Emily Cain lost to incumbent Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin.


The Press Herald reported, “With 73 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared Poliquin the winner of the race with 55 percent of the vote compared to Cain’s 45 percent.”


In the presidential election, around 2 a.m., John Podesta, chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, announced that the campaign would not comment after Donald Trump surged to a lead of 254 electoral votes and enjoyed narrow leads in Michigan (48.4 percent to 46.5 percent with 89 percent of precincts reporting), Pennsylvania (48.9 percent to 47.6 percent with 97 percent of precincts reporting) and Arizona (49.6 percent to 45.5 percent with 68 percent of precincts reporting). Trump needed 270 electoral votes. Clinton ended the night with 218 electoral votes. (Not all news agencies agreed on the 2 a.m. totals; the Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Trump, setting his total at 264 electoral votes to Clinton’s 215.)


The New York Times called Pennsylvania for Trump, awarding him the 20 electoral votes with a 76,000-vote advantage at 89 percent reporting.


According to the AP, Maine split its electoral votes, awarding three to Clinton and one to Trump.

What's next with pot? Recount sought; rulemaking awaited in new frontier of marijuana legalization

Marijuana legalization is now the law of the land in Maine, barring any 11th hour surprises, and supporters say they now want to turn their attention to what could be a lengthy rulemaking process

"It will probably be a year before anything happens, We just have a commitment to making this a safe and a great system," said Patricia Rosi, CEO with Wellness Connection of Maine, the state's largest operator of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Wellness Connection operates four dispensaries, in Portland, Brewer, Gardiner and Bath (a facility in Thomaston was closed to be replaced by the one in Bath).

"We will involve our community every step of the way," Rosi said, vowing to keep patients informed.

By 378,288 to 375,668, Maine voters on Nov. 8 passed Question 1, marijuana legalization (on the raft of state referendum questions, voters in Portland gave their across-the-board support: Question 1, marijuana legalization, passed in the city 65 percent to 35 percent).

"We're very happy that the referendum passed because it will expand access to others," Rosi said.

With the official results from the overseas ballots announced, the Yes on 1 campaign increased their margin of votes to over 4,600, noted David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes on 1. The Secretary of State's office reported that 2,772 ballots were cast for marijuana legalization, and 990 against by those voting via overseas/military absentee ballots (http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/UOCAVAReferendumResults.pdf).

"We hope that the No on 1 campaign will concede and work with us to successfully implement Question 1 over the coming months,” Boyer noted in a written statement.

But WGME Channel 13 reported that opponents to legalization planned to seek a recount.

"It demands an accurate count," Newell Auger with No on 1 said, according to WGME's report. "The idea that we would plunge head first into a brand new significant change in policy is really foolhardy when you think about how narrow that margin is."

No on 1 needed to submit 100 signatures by Wednesday at 5 p.m., WGME reported. "But the Secretary of State's Office said its very unlikely many votes would change," WGME reported. (A request for comment from Scott Gagnon, director of the Maine affiliate of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group active in the campaign, went unanswered.)

In an interview last week, Boyer said, "We think the voters of Maine have decided this. … The recount is going to take taxpayer dollars to do, and it’s simply delaying the inevitable. We won by thousands of votes by this point."

Boyer argued that in 2010, a recount regarding a referendum about Oxford Casino actually added votes for the casino measure.

The implementation phase is next, Boyer said.

"The state is going to come up with some rules and regulations, there will be time for public input," and supporters will "hold the governor to his promise that he would not impede legalization."

"It will probably take about a year," Boyer said. "People are interested, yes, I’ve gotten some calls, and I’ve said, ‘Read the bill first and then talk to me.’ We don’t think this should take more than a year to get up and running," Boyer said. "Colorado did it and they were one of the first ones."

A Portland City Council vote on a proposed moratorium is likely to come up next week, which would provide "breathing room," Boyer said. But the benefits should convince municipalities to join in; many communities will see increased commerce and revenue from marijuana social clubs and retail marijuana stores, he said.

"We think it will be a benefit to towns because marijuana will be sold by licensed, regulated businesses," Boyer said. In Colorado, "the state is raking in $135 million in revenue each year, and there’s a demand for residential and commercial space in cities like Denver and Fort Collins, there are tens of thousands of new jobs, so it’s definitely working out over there." (In May, the Denver Post reported, "Marijuana sales this year are expected to reach $1 billion in Colorado.")

Rosi said she can understand communities voting on temporary bans, in the form of a moratorium. An "absence of clarity about what is changing" prompts much of the effort to slow down, she said.

But ulemaking will occupy legislators in the upcoming session.

"There's still an entire legislative session to get through. It's going to take some time to implement it, and the devil is in the details," Rosi said.

The measure’s passage allows adults 21 and over to possess, grow and use marijuana as soon as the law takes effect. The new law will officially take effect 30 days after the final election results are declared, which can take up to 10 days, barring a recount upset. However, Maine will not see marijuana retail businesses or social clubs (where adults can legally purchase and use marijuana) for likely close to a year, Boyer said.

According to the referendum language, "the state licensing authority is the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry," which is authorized to "grant or refuse licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale and testing of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. … The state licensing authority shall begin accepting and processing applications by 30 days after the adoption of rules. …"

"The state licensing authority shall adopt rules for the proper regulation and control of the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale and testing of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products and for the enforcement of this chapter, not later than 9 months after the effective date of this Act. … First priority for licensure must be given to registered caregivers who have been continuously registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act or who have experience serving as a principal officer or board member of a nonprofit medical dispensary registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act."

"The state licensing authority may not limit the total number of retail marijuana stores in this State. A municipality may regulate the number of retail marijuana stores and the location and operation of retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs and may prohibit the operation of retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs within its jurisdiction." To read the full bill, visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/index.html.

Maine has been on the forefront of pot policy. In 2009, 59 percent of Maine voters supported an initiative to create medical marijuana dispensaries. On Nov. 8, Maine joined several states, including Massachusetts, California and Nevada, in voting to legalize recreational use of marijuana. The federal government hasn't officially legalized the drug. In 2013, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole issued a memo to all U.S. Attorneys outlining enforcement priorities regarding marijuana, stipulating that "enforcement of state law by state and local law enforcement and regulatory bodies should remain the primary means of addressing marijuana-related activity."

A flurry of food licenses: City list reflects rampant growth in restaurant scene

So it’s not just hype; Portland really is a major constellation in America’s dining universe.

With 119 new liquor licenses granted for drinking and dining establishments in the past five years, Portland lives up to its food centric reputation.

Jessica B. Hanscombe, business license specialist with the city, offered a list of liquor licenses “opened” from Jan. 1, 2011 through Nov. 7, 2016. The list (reproduced here minus only a handful of chains and other establishments) gives a glimpse into Portland’s food scene. Each license hints at a deeper story.

The King’s Head, 254 Commercial St., is a gastropub located in the recently repurposed Pierce Atwood law offices on the waterfront. “The wharf we are on was created with refuse and debris created by King George III's shelling and burning of the Old Port of what was then Falmouth, Mass. The charred remains were pushed into the water to create the foundation for our space,” the restaurant reports.

El Rayo Taqueria, formerly of 101 York St., touches on development trends in the Port City. In the fall 2015, El Rayo Taqueria closed to make way for redevelopment of its lot near the Casco Bay Bridge. Some chalked the move up to gentrification.

In the city’s list, El Rayo was listed with a 2016 liquor license; the restaurant expanded to 245 U.S. Route 1 in Scarborough and most recently moved to 26 Free St. in Portland. “The new location of El Rayo Taqueria is now open on Free Street,” El Rayo announced on Facebook Nov. 9.

Diamond’s Edge Restaurant opened to acclaim on the property of the historic Fort McKinley on Great Diamond Island, with a view overlooking Diamond Cove.

On the more risqué end of the spectrum, Tom Bell of the Portland Press Herald reported in 2012, “It would appear that a new strip club is moving into the Old Port. It says so right there on page 2 in this week’s Portland Phoenix. Mark’s Place is opening at 416 Fore St., and the ad features a stripper in silhouette, pole-dancing. But owner Mark Deane — who on Monday was granted entertainment and class A lounge licenses by the City Council — insists the ad was the result of a misunderstanding. … Deane said he would never consider opening a strip club in the Old Port because city zoning prohibits it. Deane should know because he once owned Mark’s Showplace, which gained a monopoly on topless dancing in 1997 when the City Council banned nude entertainment citywide, but allowed it to continue at 200 Riverside St. Mark’s Showplace is now called PT’s Showclub.”

Mark’s Place announced an expansion onto Wharf Street with the opening late this year of Mark’s Sports Bar at 50 Wharf St.

Miyake at 468 Fore St. acquired its liquor license in July 2011, according to the city. “Since its opening in July of 2011, Miyake has offered exceptional quality Japanese food to the Portland community,” according to Miyakerestaurants.com. Pai Men Miyake is the owner’s second restaurant, at 168 State St.

“Ocho Burrito, a takeout shop that opened on Congress Street in August, will be taking over the former Petite Jacqueline space in Portland,” reported Peggy Grodinsky of the Portland Press Herald in January. “In its new, much larger location at 190 State St. on Longfellow Square, Ocho will offer a sit-down restaurant, adding appetizers and small plates to its current menu of specialty burritos. The company is also seeking a license to serve beer, wine and liquor, according to Eric Shepherd, director of marketing for Ocho and Otto Pizza, which are jointly owned.” The restaurant’s website notes a temporary closure for the move.

Stay tuned for 2017 and beyond.

 

A bustling food city — A list of more than 100 new liquor licenses in Portland’s restaurant scene (SOURCE: City of Portland)

3 Buoys Seafood Shanty and Grill, Cumberland Avenue and Washington Avenue, opened Nov. 30, 2012; license expires Nov. 30, 2016. A Moveable Feast, 431 Congress St., opened June 19, 2015; license expires June 19, 2017. Abilene, opened June 11, 2015; license expires Aug. 11, 2017. Arcadia National Bar, 24 Preble St., Suite 100, opened Aug 25, 2014; license expires Aug. 25, 2017. B Good Restaurant, 179 Congress St., No. 1, opened Oct. 2, 2013; license expires Oct. 2, 2017. Baobao Dumpling House, opened Oct. 10, 2014; license expires Oct. 10, 2017. Bar of Chocolate Cafe, 38 Wharf St., opened May 21, 2013; license expires May 21, 2017. Bill’s Pizza, 177 Commercial St., opened Oct. 8, 2013; license expires Oct. 8, 2017. Blackstone’s, 6 Pine St., opened Nov. 9, 2014; license expires Nov. 9, 2017. Blue Rooster Food Co., 5 Dana St., opened March 26, 2013; license expires Jan. 18, 2017. Bonfire Country Bar, 37 Wharf St., opened Sept. 17, 2014; license expires Sept. 17, 2017. Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room, 86 Custom House Wharf, opened Aug. 8, 2013; license expires Aug. 8, 2017. Bramhall Pub, 769 Congress St., opened Oct. 1, 2014; license expires Oct. 1, 2017. Caiola’s, 58 Pine St., opened July 8, 2016; license expires July 8, 2017. Casa Fiesta Bar and Grill, 865 Forest Ave., opened Jan. 10, 2014; license expires Jan. 10, 2017. Cellardoor Winery, 4 Thompson’s Point, opened May 18, 2016; license expires May 18, 2017. Central Provisions, 414 Fore St., opened Jan. 29, 2014; license expires Jan. 29, 2017. Chez Okapi, 246 Auburn St., No. 160, opened Sept. 22, 2015; license expires Sept. 22, 2017. Congress Bar and Grill, 617 Congress St., opened Aug. 26, 2011; license expires March 25, 2017. Crooners and Cocktails, 90 Exchange St., opened May 7, 2015; license expires May 7, 2017. Danforth Inn, 163 Danforth St., opened June 23, 2014; license expires June 23, 2017. Diamond’s Edge Restaurant, Great Diamond Island, opened May 13, 2013; license expires May 13, 2017. The Drink Exchange, 43 Wharf St., opened Oct. 1, 2015; license expires Oct. 1, 2017. Dry Dock Restaurant and Tavern, 84 Commercial St., opened May 24, 2016; license expires May 24, 2017. Dutch’s, 28 Preble St., opened Nov. 5, 2014; license expires Oct. 25, 2017. East Ender, 47 Middle St., opened March 23, 2015; license expires March 23, 2017. El Rayo Taqueria, 26 Free St., opened Sept. 12, 2016; license expires Sept. 12, 2017. Elevation Burger, 1 Long Wharf, opened May 12, 2014; license expires July 14, 2017. Empire, 575 Congress St., opened Sept. 4, 2013; license expires Sept. 4, 2017. Eva, 254 Commercial St., Suite 119A, opened June 15, 2015; license expires June 15, 2017. Golden Lotus, 511 Congress St., opened Aug. 22, 2014; license expires Aug. 22, 2017. Hugo’s Eventide Oyster Co., 88 Middle St., opened March 2, 2012; license expires June 22, 2017. Huang’s Vietnamese Restaurant, 267 St. John St., opened Sept. 16, 2014; license expires Sept. 16, 2017. Isa, 79 Portland St., opened Feb. 24, 2015; license expires Feb. 24, 2017. Jewel Box, 644 Congress St., opened Sept. 10, 2014; license expires Sept. 10, 2017. The King’s Head, 254 Commercial St., opened June 3, 2014; license expires June 3, 2017. Kushiya Benkay, 653 Congress St., opened Aug. 13, 2012; license expires Aug. 13, 2017. LFK, 188A State St., opened April 26, 2013; license expires April 26, 2017. Lincoln’s, 36 Market St., opened June 12, 2015; license expires June 12, 2017. Liquid Riot Bottling Co., 250 Commercial St., opened March 7, 2013; license expires March 7, 2017. Little Tap House, 106 High St., opened March 20, 2013; license expires March 20, 2017. Lolita, 12 Atlantic St., opened May 20, 2014; license expires May 20, 2017. Maps Cafe, 98 Grant St., No. 5, opened June 24, 2014; license expires June 24, 2017. Mark’s Place, 416 Fore St., opened June 8, 2012; license expires March 3, 2017. Mark’s Sports Bar, 50 Wharf St., opened Aug. 22, 2016; license expires Aug. 22, 2017. Mi Sen, 630 Congress St., opened June 21, 2013; license expires June 21, 2017. Miyake, 468 Fore St., opened July 8, 2011; license expires July 8, 2017. MJ’s Winebar, 1 City Center, opened July 23, 2013; license expires July 23, 2017. Munjoy Hill Tavern, 189 Congress St., opened July 5, 2016; license expires July 5, 2017. Muse Paintbar, 245 Commercial St., opened May 6, 2016; license expires May 6, 2017. The North Point, 35 Silver St., opened Feb. 5, 2013; license expires Feb. 11, 2017. Ocho, 190 State St., opened Oct. 5, 2016; license expires Oct. 5, 2017. Old Port Slice Bar, 420 Fore St., opened July 15, 2015; license expires July 15, 2017. Otto, 250 Read St., opened Oct. 6, 2016; license expires Oct. 6, 2017. Outlier’s Eatery, 231 York St., opened March 29, 2013; license expires March 29, 2017. Oxbow Brewing Co., 49 Washington Ave., opened June 17, 2015; license expires June 17, 2017. Pearl Tap House, 446 Fore St., opened June 2, 2015; license expires June 2, 2017. Petite Jacqueline, 555 Congress St., opened June 15, 2016; license expires June 15, 2017. Piccolo, 111 Middle St., opened Aug. 29, 2013; license expires May 18, 2017. Po’ Boys and Pickles, 1124 Forest Ave., opened Nov. 17, 2015; license expires Dec. 7, 2016. Porthole Restaurant and Pub, 20 Custom House Wharf, opened April 12, 2013; license expires April 12, 2017. Portland Hunt and Alpine Club, 76 Market St., Suite 102, opened Aug. 30, 2013; license expires Aug. 30, 2017. Portland Mash Tun, 29 Wharf St., opened Feb. 4, 2016; license expires Feb. 4, 2017. The Press Hotel, 119 Exchange St., opened May 1, 2015; license expires May 1, 2017. Ramen Suzukiya, 229 Congress St., opened June 3, 2015; license expires June 3, 2017. The Red Sea, 30 Washington Ave., opened March 27, 2014; license expires Nov. 19, 2017. Rhum, 4 Free St., opened Feb. 1, 2016; license expires Feb. 1, 2017. Rossobianco, 3 Deering Ave., opened Aug. 2, 2016; license expires Aug. 2, 2017. Roustabout, 59 Washington Ave., opened Oct. 20, 2015; license expires Oct. 20, 2017. Sabieng Thai, 21 Forest Ave., opened Sept. 11, 2012; license expires Sept. 11, 2017. Saigon Restaurant, 795 Forest Ave., opened Nov. 12, 2013; license expires Nov. 12, 2017. Salty Sally’s, 953 Congress St., opened June 13, 2016; license expires June 13, 2017. Salvage BBQ, 919 Congress St., opened Aug. 20, 2013; license expires Aug. 20, 2017. Scales, 68-70 Commercial St., opened Feb. 22, 2016; license expires Feb. 22, 2017. Sebago Brewing Co., 211 Fore St., opened May 25, 2011; license expires April 25, 2017. Silly’s With A Twist, 38 Washington Ave., opened Dec. 20, 2011; license expires Dec. 20, 2016. The Sinful Kitchen, 906 Brighton Ave., opened March 19, 2015; license expires March 19, 2017. Sip of Europe, 229 Congress St., opened Oct. 21, 2015; license expires June 21, 2017. Slab Sicilian Streetfood, 25 Preble St., opened June 10, 2014; license expires June 10, 2017. Solo Italiano Restaurant, 100 Commercial St., Suite 100, opened Oct. 21, 2014; license expires Oct 21, 2017. Steve and Renee’s Diner, 500 Washington Ave., opened May 13, 2014; license expires May 13, 2017. Our Lie, 11 Free St., opened Sept. 17, 2014; license expires Sept 17, 2017. Taco Escobar, 548 Congress St., opened Dec. 21, 2012; license expires Feb. 2, 2017. Taco Trio, 1706 Forest Ave., opened Aug. 26, 2015; license expires Nov. 13, 2016. Tandem Coffee and Bakery, 742 Congress St., opened Aug. 26, 2014; license expires June 12, 2017. Terlingua, 52 Washington Ave., opened June 22, 2015; license expires June 22, 2017. The Portland Meatball Co., 106 Exchange St., opened Oct. 11, 2016; license expires Oct. 11, 2017. Timber, 35 Silver St., opened May 22, 2014; license expires May 22, 2017. TIQA, 327 Commercial St., opened Dec. 30, 2014; license expires Dec. 30, 2016. TIQA Cafe, 356 State St., opened June 16, 2016; license expires June 16, 2017. Tomasos Canteen Inc., 18 Hampshire St., opened Oct. 27, 2016; license expires Nov. 23, 2017. The Treehouse, 484 Stevens Ave., opened Jan. 21, 2015; license expires Jan. 21, 2017. Vena’s Fizz House, 345 Fore St., opened July 9, 2013; license expires Feb. 5, 2017. Veranda Noodle House, 245 Commercial St., opened Nov. 17, 2015; license expires Nov. 17, 2017. Vignola Cinque Terre, 10 Dana St., opened April 2, 2012; license expires July 12, 2017. Westin Portland Harbourview, 157 High St., opened Dec. 10, 2013; license expires Dec. 10, 2016. Z Dance Hall, 1844 Forest Ave., opened June 2, 2015; license expires June 2, 2017. Zen Chinese Bistro, 45 Danforth St., opened Aug. 13, 2012; license expires Aug. 13, 2017.

Outsiders rule: Trump's victory stuns across U.S., challengers prevail in Portland

Outsiders enjoyed a rousing general election, both in Portland and across the country.

Donald Trump staged a major upset, based on results at 2 a.m. Wednesday, when he was within 16 electoral votes of winning the White House while enjoying leads in a handful of remaining states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Locally, District 3 City Council incumbent Ed Suslovic lost to challenger Brian Batson (3,561-3,219, 52.52 percent to 47.48 percent). Another outsider to City Hall (but not to Portland politics), Pious Ali won an at-large three-year term, besting incumbent Jon Hinck and challenger Matthew Coffey (Ali, 21,010 votes; Hinck, 6,840; Coffey, 5,720).

On the raft of state referendum questions, voters in Portland gave their across-the-board support: Question 1, marijuana legalization, 65 percent to 35 percent; Question 2, a 3 percent tax on income above $200,000 to fund student learning, 65 percent to 35 percent; Question 3, firearm background checks, 79 percent to 21 percent; Question 4, raising the minimum wage, 72 percent to 28 percent; Question 5, ranked-choice voting, 72 percent to 28 percent; Question 6, $100 million bond for transportation infrastructure, 78 percent to 22 percent.

Statewide, marijuana legalization appeared destined to pass, the Press Herald reported at 2 a.m. Wednesday; the background check expansion for firearms, however, appeared destined to fail, the newspaper reported. Ranked-choice voting won support from 52 percent of voters statewide, according to the Press Herald. On the minimum wage, the newspaper reported, “As of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Associated Press called the vote with 70 percent of precincts reporting, with 56 percent of voters for Question 4 and 44 percent against.”

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling offered a statement in reaction to local election results: "I'd like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Pious Ali and Brian Batson, newly elected to serve on the City Council. All of the candidates in both campaigns served to inform the electorate, highlight the issues that Portlanders care about most, and shed light on the bold solutions needed to address them. I'm excited to roll up my sleeves with Councilors-elect Ali and Batson and continue to work toward a Portland that works for all of us. I also want to offer my thanks and appreciation to Councilors Suslovic and Hinck for their long service to Portland and for advancing many important causes relating to environmental, transportation, and public health issues. I also congratulate School Board members Anna Trevorrow and Laurie Davis on their re-election. I look forward to partnering with them and the entire Board of Education to ensure our kids have the 21st century learning environments they deserve. Finally, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the City staff and scores of volunteers who worked so hard to ensure that Portlanders were able to exercise their civic duty. And exercise it they did. With reports of record numbers of neighbors voting in this election, the residents of Portland have joined together to form a resounding chorus that shows the power of an electorate hungry for bold action.”

Outsider status didn’t help everyone. Democratic challenger Emily Cain lost to incumbent Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin.

“Tonight I spoke with Congressman Poliquin and congratulated him on his victory,” Cain said in a statement. “I am deeply proud of the campaign we ran. Team Cain did incredible things during this campaign because we stayed focused on Maine people and Maine’s economy every minute. We broke records and connected deeply and authentically with people across our state. To our volunteers and supporters, our staff, and every Mainer who cast a ballot to participate in our democracy, you have my eternal gratitude for letting me be part of your story. Thank you to everyone who joined me and my family on this leg of our journey. The opportunity to meet so many people and hear their stories over the past months is something I will treasure forever. I got into this race because I woke up after 2014 still caring about the same things. And that’s still true today. I will continue to follow my passion for opening doors of opportunity to Maine families, neighbors, friends, and children. Thank you, so much.”

The Press Herald reported, “With 73 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared Poliquin the winner of the race with 55 percent of the vote compared to Cain’s 45 percent.”

In the presidential election, around 2 a.m., John Podesta, chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, announced that the campaign
would not comment after Donald Trump surged to a lead of 254 electoral votes and enjoyed narrow leads in Michigan (48.4 percent to 46.5 percent with 89 percent of precincts reporting), Pennsylvania (48.9 percent to 47.6 percent with 97 percent of precincts reporting) and Arizona (49.6 percent to 45.5 percent with 68 percent of precincts reporting). Trump needed 270 electoral votes. Clinton ended the night with 218 electoral votes. (Not all news agencies agreed on the 2 a.m. totals; the Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Trump, setting his total at 264 electoral votes to Clinton’s 215.)

The New York Times called Pennsylvania for Trump, awarding him the 20 electoral votes with a 76,000-vote advantage with 89 percent of precincts reporting.

According to the AP, Maine split its electoral votes, awarding three to Clinton and one to Trump.

  • Published in Features

A post-Pirates world: Maine adapts in first season without hockey franchise

Portland Pirates hockey fans have turned to other pursuits since the team left Maine seven months ago.


But now, as professional hockey action picks up speed across the country — but not in Portland — county managers must confront the conundrum of how to make up revenue at the Cross Insurance Arena. The arena, formerly the Cumberland County Civic Center, is where the Pirates played for 23 seasons.


In May, the Portland Pirates, American Hockey League affiliate of the Florida Panthers, shocked residents of Maine by announcing the team was being uprooted from Portland and moved to Springfield, Mass.


The move not only posed an economic problem for Maine, which saw ripple effects from the business related to hockey. Taxpayers are on the hook as well. The Civic Center underwent a $33 million publicly funded renovation, which leaves a debt to repay.


Asked via email last week if the absence of Pirates hockey has had a financial effect, Alex Kimball, finance director for Cumberland County, wrote, "I will say that it is probably way too soon to tell yet, since the season only began a few weeks ago."


Mike Cain, general manager at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, where the Pirates played for a season during a lease dispute with Cumberland County officials, reported on Monday that the biggest consequence of the Pirates move is the loss of the Junior Pirates program.


"Our business hasn't really changed much, the Junior Pirates moving out of state had more of an impact on us because they closed the Saco rink," Cain reported.


In July, the Portland Press Herald reported, "The rink formerly known as the MHG Ice Centre was removed after the ownership group that leases the space realized it would no longer have two key hockey teams – the AHL Portland Pirates and the Portland Junior Pirates Elite team – to use the facility. … The removal of the ice rink led to the Portland Junior Pirates youth hockey program being dissolved and sent the Scarborough High hockey programs scrambling for a new facility to practice and play."


"We're continuing business as usual, we gained a youth hockey team that's renting ice here," Cain said.


In September, the L/A Fighting Spirit Junior “A” Hockey program started its second season competing in Lewiston. According to its website, http://www.fightingspirithockey.com/recruit-me, "The Fighting Spirit was created to develop and promote amateur Junior A hockey players with the ability and desire to play at the college level."


Back in May, Portland City Councilor Nick Mavodones said his understanding was that attendance had been down “for quite some time” at the Cross Insurance Arena for the Pirates.


According to its schedule, the arena today is hosting University of Maine Black Bears men's hockey (the team hosts Brown University on Nov. 26) and the same non-hockey-related events such as Disney on Ice.


The arena renovation, funded with a $33 million bond approved by voters in November 2011, took its toll.


Lack of a new lease to practice and compete at what was then the Cumberland County Civic Center carried a steep cost for the Portland Pirates, according to then-Pirates Managing Owner and CEO Brian Petrovek, who clashed with Civic Center managers in spring of 2013.
Petrovek, then the president for business development for the Portland Pirates hockey franchise, and previously the company's CEO for the past 14 years, ended up resigning in April 2014. A lawsuit against the Civic Center board was dropped. But officials said Portland Pirates hockey failed to sustain the level of attendance needed to keep the franchise in Maine.


So the Springfield Thunderbirds, newly established 160 miles south, are the new incarnation of the Pirates. Their home opener game for the 2016-2017 season, on Oct. 22, sold out — the capacity crowd of 6,793 was the largest attendance for an AHL hockey game at Springfield’s MassMutual Center in over a decade, team officials announced.


Back in May, Mavodones said, "The Pirates have been a great fixture of the city since the Mariners, I’m hopeful that the trustees and the business community can work to try to bring another team back here.”


For now, rink managers will deal with a post-Pirates world.


Ever adapting, Cain said stability is a hard-to-find commodity, noting, "The hockey world is always forever changing."

The Phoenix Potpourri

Lewis plans monthly themed costume and dance party

Prepare to party like it’s 2017.

At the dawn of the new year, Tina Lewis hopes the Portland community will gather for themed parties every month.

Tina Lewis, aka Tina Machina, organizes the Superhero Lady Armwrestlers of Portland (incidentally, they have a Nov. 19 bout at Geno’s Rock Club).

Lewis said she plans to start a monthly themed costume and dance party at Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St.

“People will be encouraged to be as creative and interesting as possible, so I will do very, very broad themes and really encourage people to really delve in and get what they want out of that,” Lewis said.

The themed parties are scheduled to start in January, with a Halloween-themed bash serving as the culmination to the year.

“The biggest thing I want is it should be able to break down the barriers of different communities. … It doesn’t matter which community you’re a part of, if you want to just come and have a good time and dance, it’s open,” she said.

Categories could include the best pun, and the “you tried prize” for those who gave an effort.

Council postpones moratorium vote on marijuana businesses

As other communities have enacted temporary bans on retail marijuana businesses in anticipation of a legalization vote in Maine, the Portland City Council stopped short on the eve of Tuesday's vote.

The Portland City Council voted 6-3 Monday night against an emergency moratorium on retail marijuana establishments. Council action on this item was necessary, according to a city staff notice, because the Nov. 8 election included a referendum on the legalization of marijuana in Maine.

The City Council agreed instead to take up the proposed moratorium in two weeks, based on what would happen in the election, of course.

The “Marijuana Legalization Act” referendum stipulated, "The state licensing authority shall adopt rules for the proper regulation and control of the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale and testing of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products and for the enforcement of this chapter, not later than 9 months after the effective date of this Act, … The state licensing authority shall issue or renew a license to operate a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club to an applicant who meets the requirements of the state licensing authority … unless … the number of retail marijuana establishments or retail marijuana social clubs allowed in the municipality has been limited pursuant to local ordinance. …"

David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes on 1, wrote on Facebook citing his concerns about the City Council's attempted moratorium vote: "Marijuana stores won't open up until the state implements Question 1. Nothing would change whether there is a moratorium in place or not. We are all for towns discussing the issue, our concern is the timing and the lack of public notice."

This week's Portland Phoenix was published before election results were available. To see full results of Tuesday's elections, visit http://portlandphoenix.me.

Shalom House honors Freedman, recovery center

Shalom House, which offers services to adults living with severe mental illness, honored the Portland Police Department’s Behavioral Heath Coordinator, Jo Freedman, and the Portland Recovery Community Center at their annual Shalom House Hope Awards on Nov. 3 at Ocean Gateway.

Freedman received the Johnson & Korda Innovation Award "for her tireless dedication to the behavioral health community and for her amazing work as the head of the Behavioral Health Unit of the Portland Police Department," reported a city press release. "The Portland Recovery Community Center received the Joseph Brannigan Community Excellence Award for providing a safe haven for people in addiction recovery."

Fay-LeBlanc named interim executive director at SPACE

SPACE Gallery’s board has announced the appointment of Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Portland’s Poet Laureate, as interim executive director. Fay-LeBlanc is the former executive director of the Telling Room and currently works as program director for Hewnoaks Artist Colony in Center Lovell.

Fay-LeBlanc will begin work Nov. 14. Executive Director Nat May, who announced his resignation last month, will depart SPACE Gallery on Nov. 18. The board of directors will convene a committee in early 2017 to begin the search for a permanent executive director, according to a press release.

Restaurant risk takers: Advice from the daring in Maine's dining scene

“Winters are always kind of scary for everybody. … But it’s fun to have a lot of people out there pushing the envelope.” — Eric Michaud, owner of Novare Res Bier Cafe and Liquid Riot

 

In the fast-paced, high-level food service industry of Portland, restaurants can chew up and spit out their owners.


Imagine the pressure of starting an eatery in Maine, where, earlier this year, nine restaurants, chefs and brewmasters were among the semifinalists for prestigious James Beard Awards.


Yet new restaurants, breweries and bars continue to take their chances. That’s while existing businesses play a game of musical chairs, exchanging locations … and yes, some going out of business, failing to beat the odds.


Sure, we see the cooking shows and the ultra competitive, cutthroat bouts with raging perfectionist chefs. So foodservice is tough. But beyond the theatrics, stats suggest the foodservice industry is incredibly brutal and taxing.


Reporting in the Houston Chronicle, Julia Forneris wrote, “A 2005 article in the ‘Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly’ by Ohio State University professor H.G. Parsa estimated approximately one in four new restaurants fail in the first year, with the number increasing to three in five over the course of three years.”


Money, workload and location were cited by Ferneris as factors for success or failure. And those who make it past the first year can struggle with economic uncertainty and cost.


In the National Restaurant Association’s September 2016 Tracking Survey, only 17 percent of restaurant operators said they expected economic conditions to improve in six months, while 29 percent said they thought conditions would worsen (months before the demoralizing and exhausting Nov. 8 general election). 


On the ground, industry leaders in Portland describe practical barriers to success. Not surprisingly, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line.


“Most people go into this very underfunded,” said Deen Haleem, co-owner of TIQA on 327 Commercial St. “It’s unlikely you’re going to make money in the first year.”


What advice do restaurant owners offer, particularly those entrepreneurs who are early into a launch and perhaps have tasted the bitter dregs of first-year struggles?


Josh Bankhead, owner of Hella Good Tacos, 500 Washington Ave., has a tale of overcoming adversity, both from transforming a taco cart featuring taqueria flavors from northern California into a sit-down restaurant; and overcoming a backlash of patrons devoted to the restaurant he acquired, beloved Steve and Renee’s Diner.


Bankhead said of critics, “You can’t take it to heart. You can’t expect to please everybody. That’s a hard life lesson.”


Hella Good Tacos emerged from a food cart business, which started in June 2011. When the brick-and-mortar restaurant emerged in March 2014, Josh and Melissa Bankhead delved into the Washington Avenue business and received help from their children and parents; his father- and mother-in-law were crucial in keeping the business going, Bankhead said.


“I think some of the wisest words that I heard from a fellow restaurant owner was that you have to accept that you’re just not going to be for everybody,” Bankhead said.


The challenge of transforming an endearing diner into an authentic taqueria meant Bankhead had to learn to “take criticism and live with it.”


Bankhead said, “If I was going to give advice to somebody, it would be, ‘Get a good lawyer, and be prepared to take some criticism.’ … Be prepared to work long hours, it’s not as fun as the TV and movies make it out to be, it’s a lot of work.”


Haleem, of TIQA, retired from the financial sector before teaming with his wife, Carol Mitchell, to launch the Commercial Street restaurant, a dining destination next to the Marriott Courtyard. Featuring pan-Mediterranean cuisine, TIQA made a splash in the crowded Portland restaurant scene.


This year they doubled down. The recently opened TIQA Cafe & Bakery is set in the historic “castle” in Deering Oaks Park in Portland.


Haleem’s story doesn’t involve the often-heard tale of a dishwasher or sous chef rising through the ranks. In 1994, Haleem was fresh from the Marine Corps, and embarking with a friend on opening a restaurant. But after a buyout, Haleem opened a second restaurant and “failed miserably,” he said. Haleem worked in the financial sector, until retirement. Then, he and his wife tackled TIQA (an Iranian word for “kabob”). Haleem recalled friends who worked from the ground up to become chefs and restaurant owners; his caution was that financial knowledge is one key ingredient to success.


“Those who open a restaurant and think they’re going to make money in year one are probably not doing it right,” Haleem cautioned. At least $300,000 in reserves are needed, he estimated, and four core goals must remain at the forefront: good food, good service, the right ambiance and the right price point.


TIQA recently welcomed Derek Federico to its kitchen in the role of chef de cuisine (Federico worked as sous chef at 555 and as executive sous chef for David’s KPT, where he cooked at the James Beard House with Opus Ten, part of the David’s Restaurant Group).


Haleem said TIQA found a niche by appealing to a variety of palates, centered around Mediterranean cuisine. The biggest piece of advice: “Don’t be afraid to change. … Don’t be afraid to make radical changes.”


Eric Michaud, owner of Novare Res Bier Cafe, 4 Canal Plaza, knew his strengths and weakness when launching the taproom and beer garden about nine years ago.
“Our focus at Novare is on the beer, it’s all about the beer. I like to think that’s part of the success of it, my plan was for it not to be a restaurant, and I think I hit my plan to a T,” Michaud said.


“Restaurants are really tough,” Michaud noted, marveling at the Portland food scene with its nearly monthly accolades. “It’s pretty mind-blowing, it’s amazing that we’re supporting this many bars and restaurants.”


Michaud, who studied beer, acknowledged he lacked the experience to open a restaurant, but he had the talents to pursue the beer cafe.
“People are always going to drink, alcohol, beer, wine, it never goes out of style,” he noted.


Michaud hasn’t sat still.


In 2013, he launched the business that today is called Liquid Riot, a nod to the Portland Rum Riot and Chicago Beer Riot, both in 1855.


(Michaud initially tried naming the business, Infiniti, but he changed the name after the first year based on another company opening with that title; the lesson, perhaps: pick your battles and move on from unpleasant conflicts.)


According to his website, “Liquid Riot’s roots date back to 2001 when Eric Michaud’s home-brewing filled his parents' basement in Yarmouth, Maine, with batch after batch of newly created beers. Today his passion for brewing authentic beers and distilling unique spirits pairs perfectly with the great food served at Liquid Riot Bottling Company, opened in 2013. Liquid Riot’s mission is to share the passion for brewing and distilling and to educate curious customers about the art of transforming ingredients into exceptional beers and spirits.”


Michaud said, “The ultimate end game for me was to have a playground, all the food and drinks at my fingertips. …” From connections he had forged in the industry, Michaud knew enough people to bring on a chef.


In April 2016, Liquid Riot hired Chef Nick Krunkkala as Executive Chef at its Resto-Bar, housed in the Commercial Street building that’s home to a brewery and distillery. This fall, Krunkkala was named 2016 People’s Choice Winner in the Spectrum Generations Celebrity Chef Challenge.


“We make beer, we make rum, and I’m just passionate about what we do,” Michaud said.

 

Quick facts

Last year, Maine boasted 3,112 eating and drinking establishments; the state hosted 61,600 restaurant and foodservice jobs in 2016 (11 percent of state employment); and projected sales for this year are projected at $2.2 billion, according to the National Restaurant Association. (Nationally, industry sales are estimated at $782.7 billion, with a million restaurant locations in the United States and 14.4 million restaurant industry employees.)

In early June, the Portland City Council approved 21 license applications for food and drink businesses. Business licenses rarely cluster up in that amount and to such a degree of conformity; it's a remarkable number demonstrating that Portland is at the forefront of a food and brewing development boom. Licenses, ranging from outdoor dining to alcohol service, were granted to BRGR, 105-seat burger restaurant at 11 Brown St., formerly Margaritas; Maine Craft Distilling, 101 Fox St.; Lone Pine Brewing, 219 Anderson St., No. 4; Bunker Brewing Company, 17 Westfield St.; Westin Portland Harborview, 157 High St.; Shipyard Brewing Company, 86 Newbury St.; Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St.; Hardshore Distilling Company, 59 Washington Ave, Suite 1-E; Maine Mead Works, 51 Washington Ave.; Roustabout, 59 Washington Ave.; Salty Sally's, 953 Congress St.; DL Geary Brewing Co., 38 Evergreen Dr.; Foundation Brewing Company, 26 Evergreen Dr., Unit B; Tasting Cellar, 1 Monument Way; Ginza Town, 1053 Forest Ave.; Austin Street Brewery, LLC, 1 Industrial Way, Units 6 & 8; Allagash Brewing Company, 50 Industrial Way; and Emilitsa Restaurant, 547 Congress St.

A weeklong celebration of the local craft beer industry in Portland, the fifth annual Portland Beer Week runs through Nov. 12 | Liquid Riot is participating with daily attractions |  Novare Res Bier Cafe on Nov. 11 plans Jacked Up with Jack's Abby Craft Lagers | http://www.portlandbeerweek.org/ 

The Maine Restaurant Association annual awards banquet, a celebration of Maine's restaurant community, will take place
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the ‚Ä®Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland. Nominations are now being accepted | http://www.mainerestaurant.com/?page=Banquet_Mainpage 

  • Published in Features

Thousands of acres, millions of dollars: Saddleback purchase goes big

A push to buy and reopen Saddleback Mountain ski area starts with a $4 million fundraising goal but could end with conservation of more than 21,000 acres and a fully functioning four-season resort owned by the community.


The Saddleback Community Mountain Resort, LLC needs to raise $4 million in a plan to purchase the 723-acre mountain and re-open the ski area, architects of the deal reported during an announcement Thursday at the Portland office of the Trust for Public Lands.
Peter Stein, president of Scientific Solutions, an advocate for Saddleback, said, “Last Friday, this initiative to make Saddleback a community-owned resort reached an agreement on terms with the Berry family.” Stein praised the Berry family for working out the deal to sell the ski area.


“Bottom line, we need to raise $4 million … raising the $4 million will secure the deal and will allow this project to move forward,” Stein said. “This is absolutely an incredible opportunity for skiers, for outdoor enthusiasts in general, for the Rangeley region.”


Wolfe Tone, Maine state director of the Trust for Public Lands, explained, “For almost three years now, the Trust for Public Lands has been in on-and-off-again negotiations and discussions with the Berry’s to conserve a very special part of their ownership, 3,300 acres of well-managed, working forest. These 3,300 acres are part of a broader assemblage of about 21,000 acres in the High Peaks that we are working in collaboration with the New England Forestry Foundation and other partners to conserve. Yesterday, the Berry’s informed me that they agreed to our proposed terms for purchasing those 3,300 acres. While not yet signed, we can have confidence of a signed agreement soon.”


The plan, according to www.skisaddlebackme.com, goes like this:
* “On reaching $4 million in cash and binding pledges, SMCR, LLC will sign a purchase and sales agreement and gain exclusivity by providing a $500,000 deposit. The Trust for Public Land is working toward obtaining an option on the conservation land and will close on the conservation land coincident with our closing on the Ski Area.”


* “Our initiative plans to sign a purchase and sales agreement with The Trust for Public Land for the conservation land. This may allow them to become a sponsoring 501(c)(3) for the Saddleback Mountain Foundation. This would enable us to accept tax-deductible donations.”


* “The Saddleback Mountain Foundation will pursue $25 million in total funding.”


Ultimately, the Saddleback Mountain Foundation would buy the ski area and conservation land and pay for improvements to the resort.


The foundation would set up a management contract with SMCR, LLC to operate the resort.
Tone said, “For Saddleback, we need to move fast and be clear about (the fact) that we need philanthropic support.”


The purchase price for the ski area is $6 million plus land sale royalties. The website explained, “The current owners required $4.9 million for debt relief and in order to sell the ski area free-and-clear of encumbrances. Because The Trust for Public Land is purchasing the conservation land for $2.7 million, the current owners have agreed to transfer ownership and control of the ‘Ski Area’ to this initiative for $2.2 million in cash and a $3.8 million note.”


The Trust for Public Land with its Land for People charter has agreed to temporarily, and within three months, purchase the conservation land for $2.7 million, the website explained.
Bob Herschel, executive director of the New England Forestry Foundation, said, “We want to protect forestland in the region and we want to see that it’s managed well. So this opportunity would protect the land, you wouldn’t see any development on this land, and then New England Forestry Foundation would manage it well.”


Steve Philbrick, owner of Bald Mountain Camps, said, “When Saddleback closed, Franklin County and the Rangeley Lakes region lost between $15 million and $20 million in annual revenue.” The closure was “devastating,” he said, noting that Saddleback at one point was the second biggest employer in the county.


Tourism businesses could not stay open seven days a week, Philbrick noted.


“Restaurants in Rangeley for the first time in history closed for one or two days this summer, we didn’t have enough employees to fill the slots.”


The current “core ski area” is 723 acres with a development boundary comprising another 2,230 acres. The ultimate goal, the website explained, is a $25 million campaign. The website indicates a $6 million cost to purchase the ski area, $3.2 million for the conservation land purchase, and assorted other costs for maintenance of the ski area.


Tone said, “This is the coming together of the benefits, of land conservation, community economic development and community well-being.”

 

More information: At 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 2  organizers from the Saddleback Mountain Foundation were scheduled to hold a town meeting at Rangeley High School, regarding the fundraising effort to purchase the mountain.

Dog Lovers Weekend gives artistic outlet

Dog Lovers Weekend at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport on Oct. 28 and 29 features an artist who can capture a pet's likeness and commit it to canvas.

Deemed one of the 50 most historic hotels in America by Country Living, the Colony Hotel welcomes Meredith Reynells of Cape Neddick, who boasts more than five years of painting pet portraits. "Stop by my booth in the Ballroom on Saturday for a chance to win $50 Gift Certificate towards a pet painting," Reynells writes on Facebook.

Reynells told The Phoenix, "I am grateful to say that I have helped over 200 people with paintings of their beloved pets over the past several years and excited for more to come."

For details on the portraits, visit http://www.meredithreynells.com. For more about the weekend, which requires reservations, visit http://thecolonyhotel.com.

Another source of fun: The 10th annual Halloween Party at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 will bring out the costumes at Planet Dog, 211 Marginal Way, Portland. "Pets in costume are encouraged to attend. Pet costume contest will start at 6pm sharp. Prizes will awarded to the top 3 costumes of the night." Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1600528003577518/




Free snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments!

  • Published in Pets

The Phoenix Potpourri

Nisbet acquitted of manslaughter; memorial to fire victims planned

On Friday, Oct. 21, Portland landlord Gregory Nisbet was acquitted on all six manslaughter charges against him, in a case stemming from the deadly Noyes Street apartment fire. While the judge’s ruling shocked and angered survivors of loved ones killed in the fire, the community plans a memorial event to remember those lost, Oct. 30, 1-4 p.m., in Longfellow Park.


According to the event page (https://www.facebook.com/StarsofLight2016/), the goal is to remember the six people killed in the apartment fire:
“Let's come together as a community and celebrate the lives of those we have lost at the Noyes st fire two years ago. Hosted by the Noyes Street Fire Memorial Committee to honor and remember the six young people that died in the horrific November 1, 2014 fire in Portland, Maine.”


In the aftermath of the Noyes Street apartment fire, Portland created a task force to look at housing safety issues. Then-acting city manager Sheila Hill-Christian presented a $221.9 million city budget for fiscal year 2016 which incorporated funding for housing safety. At the time, the city estimated that there were approximately 17,000 rental units in Portland in 6,900 buildings, with 3,300 counted as residential condos.


The manslaughter case brought against Nisbet, 49, Portland, on July 10, 2014, stemmed from his ownership of 20 Noyes Street in which six people were killed in a fire that raged through the property on Nov. 1, 2014. The indictment listed as victims Maelisha Jackson, 23; David Bragdon Jr., 28; Nicole Lyn Finlay, 26; Ashley Thomas, 30; Christopher Conlee, 25; and Steven Summers, 29.

Man dressed as tree stops traffic on Congress Street

WCSH-6 TV reported Monday, “A tree was taken into custody for blocking traffic right outside our station this afternoon. Not kidding.” An individual is shown on video wearing a leafy costume and standing on Congress Street at High.


“Police were stumped. He just woodn't leaf,” wrote one Facebook wag.
According to the Portland Press Herald, “A friend told WCSH the man dressed as a tree wanted to study the city’s traffic patterns.” Mayor Ethan Strimling posted on Facebook, “I love this city …” with a link to an article about the tree-suited scofflaw.

Cans for a Cure receives boost from Oxford Casino

Talk about a gamble that paid off.


For the 14th year in a row, the WJBQ’s “Q Morning Show” spent three days and two nights in the Maine Mall parking lot requesting that people drop off cans and bottles to donate to Cans for a Cure to benefit two Maine cancer causes, Community Cancer Center and Maine Cancer Foundation.


The Oxford Casino became involved and described what happened.


“This year’s goal of collecting 1,000,000 cans and bottles for Cans for a Cure was set a little too high for Lori Voornas’ comfort level. ‘We doubled our goal with the encouragement and support of Oxford Casino. We were scared to double our goal, but Oxford Casino had a plan to help. They held monthly fundraisers to benefit Cans for a Cure. Because of their commitment, and true passion for helping those fighting breast cancer, we were able to surpass our goal of collecting 1,000,000 bottles and cans. We raised over $54,000, all to stay in Maine! I love working with Oxford Casino. Their encouragement is contagious and we look forward to raising even more money and helping even more people in the years to come.’ Voornas is one of three hosts of ‘The Q’s’ morning show, which includes Jeff Parsons and Kylie Queen.”


According to a press release, Oxford Casino raised a total of $25,000 through guest donations through promotions held monthly on scheduled Thursdays.

 

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