We sat down with Bangor Daily News blogger, columnist and Knack Factory partner Alex Steed to discuss the 2014 Gubernatorial campaigns, local civic engagement and Alex’s own work and writing. The topic quickly turned to the tuning out of election year politics and the echo chamber of virtual activism. We also spoke about Alex’s recent blog post on his decision to give up alcohol and the wide range of feedback he received after making the personal revelation.
Architect Nir Buras says scientists have identified what makes certain architectural styles and streetscapes more beautiful and welcoming to people, and Portland is flush with those traits. But Buras also says the city is in danger of losing what makes it special. In a conversation with Ink & Pine, he explains how he thinks Portland can preserve its charm, as well as how he’d redesign the highway-like Franklin Street, among other areas.
We met up with author Alex Irvine to talk about his writing and work with licensed fiction. Writing for the Marvel universe, Sleepy Hollow, game writing, original novels and more, Alex continues to produce a large and varied body of work and was happy shed some light on the different processes, challenges and rewards of his many endeavors.
Peter Nielsen and Alisan Funk are the president and academic program director for the Circus Conservatory of America, the country’s first circus college and part of the $100-plus-million redevelopment of Portland’s Thompson’s Point peninsula. On this episode of Ink & Pine, Nielsen and Funk explain why a circus college education can prepare students for more than the trapeze, and what new programs their institution will have for learners of all ages. In this wide-ranging interview, we learn about some exciting developments on the horizon for the conservatory, when they expect their first college students and why they chose Portland of all the places in America.
We sat down with broker, developer, and former mayoral candidate, Jed Rathband, to hear all about his ambitious new project, East Cove Townhomes. Set to occupy an underdeveloped area of the eastern peninsula adjacent to the currently revitalized Bayside neighborhood, East Cove Townhomes will represent an exciting opportunity for many people to live and raise families in Portland while also offering limited commercial space for small businesses. Jed is an active member of his community and was eager to engage in a wide ranging conversation about living, working, renting and owning in Portland and it’s surrounding cities.
The Lucky behind the recently opened Lucky’s Tattoo Co. at 102 Exchange St. has plied his craft all over the United States, from the southwest to the midwest to the southeast — and now, in his latest move, the northeast. Lucky is now Maine’s only participant in the “Ink for Autism” fundraising and awareness campaign, and donates breast cancer awareness ribbon tattoos every October. But there are some images Lucky won’t tattoo. For the latest edition of the Ink & Pine podcast, Lucky explains what his limits are, how tattoo choices are different in Portland compared to other regions of the country, and why he calls Maine’s largest city a “social Vegas.” Also, find out which bad tattoos were the most difficult for Lucky to save, and why autism awareness is so important to him.
Ink & Pine was fortunate enough to welcome Glen Brand, Director of Sierra Club Maine to discuss a host of local environmental issues. Seth, Trent and Glen discussed the possibility of passenger rail service between Portland and Auburn and Glen brought us up to speed on South Portland’s recent rejection of a controversial tar sands pipeline. The group also discussed the banning and cost prohibiting of plastic shopping bags and the problems posed by the bags for local communities.
In at least two high-profile cases within a six-month period, young, able-bodied Mainers died from infections of necrotizing fasciitis, more widely known by the terrifying name “flesh-eating bacteria.” On this edition of Ink & Pine, Bangor Daily News Health Editor Jackie Farwell returns to discuss the details of those cases, why the fast-moving and often fatal ailment seems to be appearing more frequently in recent months, where it comes from and what symptoms people can look for if they believe a loved one might be infected. Jackie also talks to Cat Smith of Maine Digital Press and her BDN colleague Seth Koenig about current treatments to stop the spread of necrotizing fasciitis and which new experimental options are on the horizon.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that a Massachusetts law establishing no-protest zones around abortion clinics was unconstitutional, a legal precedent that is expected to have ramifications in Portland, where a similar abortion clinic buffer zone is being challenged by anti-abortion protesters in federal court. The nation’s highest court also ruled that crafts retailer Hobby Lobby could refuse to offer its employees health insurance that covers contraceptives. Nicole Clegg, vice president of public policy for Maine for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, joined the Ink & Pine podcast to explain her organization’s position on both cases. Planned Parenthood’s Congress Street office has been the site of regular anti-abortion protests for months, and served as the motivation for Portland’s buffer zone rule, approved by the City Council last November. Clegg tells Ink & Pine what effect the Planned Parenthood patients say the protesters have on them, as well as why she doesn’t feel a 39-foot no-protest zone around the clinic’s office infringes on the demonstrators’ rights to free speech.
Nearly two years ago, Portland’s best known stand-up club, the Comedy Connection, closed. Questions arose whether the city’s comedy scene would be able to soldier on without a dedicated performance venue, but now, it seems those questions have been answered. Brett Groh, who emcees and books the Asylum night club’s regular comedy showcases, joins Ink & Pine hosts Trent Gay and Seth Koenig to talk about the depth of talent in Maine’s largest city, where to catch a laugh in Portland and which local comedians to follow. Groh also explains what goes into writing jokes for the stage and what he considers when booking shows at the Asylum’s Local Laughs.