The Phoenix Potpourri

potpourri zero exhibit

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 the world’s longest-running civil war. After more than 52 years of conflict, it currently has 6.9 million internally displaced persons — more than any other country on the planet. Equally disturbing, says Pennington, is that few are even aware of the displaced population.

His new exhibition aims to give members of these marginalized communities a face and a voice.



One Tree Center received a grant to expand their technology

Last week, One Tree Center, a nonprofit focused on promoting social change through education, received a $4,500 grant from the Edward H. Davies Benevolent Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to access more technology and bolster communications.

“This grant enables us to better support our teachers with the tools they need to provide top-tier early childhood education,” said Virginia Dearani, founder and director of One Tree Center. “With new technology, we can better document and share our peace-based curriculum with educators across the country.”


Portland’s LEAAP Program will gain support from a charity New Year's Eve Gala

Portland’s Law Enforcement Addiction Advocacy Program, which works to address Maine’s opioid epidemic through education, community awareness, and the facilitation of treatment, will get a boost in the new year thanks to proceeds from the New Year’s Eve gala at Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room.

If locals want to offer their support to city initiatives combating the opiate crisis, they can do so by paying for and enjoying a four-course dinner on New Year’s Eve.



Portland prepared its ice-skating ponds in time for winter break

Just in time for winter break, the city of Portland has finished prep on five outdoor ice-skating locations. The surfaces on these frozen ponds are now even, open, and safe to skate on. Locations include Deering Oaks Pond, Ludlow Pond (behind Deering High School), Breakwater Pond (Nason’s Corner), and the Riverside Golf Course rinks.



Gregory Nesbitt requested a new trial

Gregory Nesbitt, the landlord of the Noyes Street apartment, that caught fire and killed six people two years ago, did not spend Christmas behind bars. Originally he was sentenced to three months in jail, but after he requested a new trial earlier last week, his punishment was postponed. Nesbitt’s lawyer argued that his client was not given an important 2013 state document detailing the size of the windows on the property until after Nesbitt was convicted.

The court has yet to make a decision on Nesbitt’s request for a new trial, in which he hopes to erase the single charge against him.



Ahram Halal Market vandalized on Christmas Eve

Police are currently investigating at act of vandalism that occurred on Christmas Eve at the Ahram Halal Market on Forest Avenue. Witnesses told police they saw a man wearing a black hoodie smash in the shop's six large windows with a baseball bat around 11:00 pm.

This was the same halal market owned by the man that was investigated earlier this year by federal authorities for suspected welfare fraud.



Spike in accidents along I-295 may lead to a new speed limit

News of speedy drivers, accidents, congested traffic and icy conditions on the stretch of Interstate 295 north of Portland seemed to come in almost every week of 2016.

Earlier this month, The Portland Press Herald reported that the number of traffic accidents on that stretch of road jumped nearly 32 percent in 2015, compared with 2013, the last year the speed limit was increased to 70 mph. They also found that there were 354 accidents on that stretch of highway in 2015. Crashes in 2016 are set to exceed this number.

Just this month, I-295 was host to a string of accidents, including one involving 11 vehicles.

The Maine Department of Transportation is currently exploring ways to make this section of highway safer and more efficient.

Meanwhile, state Senator Rebecca Millett, who travels that section of highway at least 4 times a week, proposed lowering the speed limit back down to 60 mph. She sees a connection between a high volume of traffic, a higher speed limit and an increased number of accidents.



Senator Angus King signs letter urging Donald Trump to lower drug costs

According to The Associated Press, Maine’s Independent senator Angus King joined 18 Democratic Senators last week in writing a letter to Trump, that called for him to work with lawmakers to focus their efforts on lowering prescription drug costs through “bold administrative and legal actions.”

In the letter, King suggested that the Secretary of Health and Human Services should negotiate Medicare drug prices and that drug companies should disclose more information about costs to combat price gouging.

Last modified onTuesday, 27 December 2016 15:48