Francis Flisiuk

Francis Flisiuk

My ‘culinary vacation’: Learning how to cook like a Food Network star

Sharon Bard, owner of Zapoteca, at a USM kickoff event.When I first pulled into the driveway of the Mirabelle house, a gorgeous 12,000-square-foot estate in Falmouth, I could tell a good time was brewing. An outdoor kitchen was being prepped and hor d'oeuvres were placed elegantly on tables overlooking a vast field of green; a perfect slice of the Maine countryside. A swimming pool was bubbling and classical music played softly out of speakers disguised as rocks.

8Days: Metal madness and kittens to cuddle


MAGIC DICK | Since the J. Geils Band’s initial breakup in 1985, they’ve reunited and split up several times. This time around, the prolific ’80s rockers are back together and will play at the Portland Waterfront as part of their Houseparty Tour. According to organizers, the J. Geils Band still has all the energy and musicality that fans can expect from their “Love Stinks” days. And Richard Salwitz is still considered one of the best rock harmonica leads of all time. While the band hails from an older generation, they still offer much to be appreciated and recognized, and promise not to perform a tired, half-assed act from an almost forgotten decade. The J. Geils Band has always been fun. If you haven’t heard their reference heavy, mega hit of 1981 called “Centerfold,” then you probably don’t know what a radio is either. Am I the only one that just likes that song because of the “na na nana na na” part? | $32 | 5:00pm | Maine State Pier, Portland |

Enrollment and dollars at USM

The financially troubling waters that the administrators at University of Southern Maine have been treading in for the past couple years is due largely to a decline in enrollment. Simply put, more students need to come to USM so the tuition dollars can help the institution climb out of a $4.8 million deficit.

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University of Southern Maine: History and aspirations

While the University of Southern Maine is frequently in the news these days, it has a long history in the Portland and Southern Maine.

The university was founded in 1978 as the Gorham Normal School evolving into Gorham State College, the University of Maine at Portland and finally, after the Lewiston-Auburn Campus opened in 1988, it changed to the University of Southern Maine.

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Student survival guide: USM regroups as new president vows to build on ‘painful’ past

Back to school season is a critical time for the University of Southern Maine’s faculty, staff and new president, as they work hard to implement new visions and create a new image from a past that was riddled with challenges and bad press.

From declining enrollment, to the firing of 119 faculty and staff to make up for a $16 million budget deficit, to a placement on an academic censure list, USM certainly has hit some rough spots. Dr. Harvey Kesselman, who was supposed to be USM’s new president back in July, declined the position to stay as acting president at Stockton University in New Jersey. USM officials appointed their second choice, Dr. Glenn Cummings, the former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, as the new president of the institution and he’s convinced that he can turn things around.

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Come sail away: Maine traveler finds a way to live on the water

cover sail away sidebar 1_082715For Anne Bryant, a seabound homesteader, traveling initiated a complete perspective shift on how life can be lived. Life doesn’t have to be spent stuck in one location, working the same job, seeing the same people and falling into the same mundane routine.

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Sky hacks: Travelers find ways to stretch their dollars

When Kevin Ormsby’s grandmother was nearing the end of her life, the native Mainer living in North Carolina, knew he needed to come home to Lewiston. But he didn't turn to the generous bereavement offers from major airlines or even the dozens of discount online ticket vendors — he "hacked" onto the flight for free.

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8Days: Fur, Vintage Trouble and stoner soul


VEGAN LIVING | Kristin Lajeunesse is at the very least an inspiration. She’s dedicated her life to my two favorite things, food and travel. She’s a risk taker that’s managed to work exclusively online, while she focuses on eating at and writing about every vegan restaurant in the country. That’s right. Kristin lives a life of non-conformity and self-discovery, bouncing across the world without mortgage bills and writing about the delicious food experiences she has along the way. She’s written a book, Will Travel for Vegan Food, which will be given out for free at the Portland stop on her book tour. You can bet Portland, already renowned as a foodie town, let alone a vegan hotspot, has made it into her book and website with more than a couple entries. Ask her some questions, and tap into her secrets at the Urban Farm Fermentory, where the ginger kombucha flows freely and the kale chips are always organic and uncooked. | FREE | 5:00pm | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., Portland |

The Tourister Geek central: Hotspots for lovers of medieval war machines, Peter Pan

tourister geeks trebuchet_082015Ahhh, geeks. Back in the day the term geek was used to described carnival freaks that would bite the heads off chickens and chew on glass. Obviously geeks have evolved. Now they’re the ones that we loved to pick on in college, and probably the ones that we’re working for now. They’re usually sporting comic book T-shirts, Doritos fingers and always have an opinion on which Internet messaging board to frequent. But hey, let’s face it, we love all the same things geeks do. Superheroes, zombies and first-person shooters are enjoyed by pretty much everyone. Come on, who hasn’t seen the latest wave of Marvel movies? If geeks are losers then we’re all technically on the fringe of society. Let your inner geek out and embrace the culture that’s all about using your imagination and having fun.

8Days: African beats and reggae roots


8Days griffin_082015FOR THE RECORD | Since 2009 there’s been a numerous posts on social media, each year, begging for a certain comedian to come and grace Portland with her hilarious spontaneity and no-holds-barred jokes about celebrities and pop culture. “Please come to Portland, I promise we will fill a venue,” wrote Derek Theriault on Twitter. “When are you coming to Maine,” writes Jackie Major. “I’ll round up the gays for you and throw in a free tarot card reading.” These relentless fans are talking about two time Emmy and Grammy award winning comedian Kathy Griffin, who inadvertently addressed their pleas, and is stopping in Maine for her “self diagnosed stand up comedy disorder.” Immersed in an industry that’s saturated and dominated by males, Griffin bleeds confidence, articulation and sharpness. She stands out, #LIKE A BOSS (that’s the name of her tour). With her fiery hair and even more explosive personality, Griffin will be sure to bring her witty social commentary, which some fans are saying solidifies her place amongst comedy titans like Sarah Silverman and Louis CK. Considering she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for writing and starring in more comedy specials than any other comedian, I’d say it’s well deserved. Get ready for Griffin’s fearless and hilarious opinions about Caitlyn Jenner and Kim Kardashian, or whatever other clown is making headlines as she shows Portland that she can speak her mind, like a boss. | $65, $50, $45, $35 | 7:00pm | State Theatre, Portland. |

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