Environmental issues with Glen Brand, director of Sierra Club Maine

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.


Flesh-eating bacteria: Is this deadly ailment on the rise in Maine?

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 National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation

Abortion clinic buffer zones and contraceptive coverage in Portland

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.

Something funny is happening in Portland

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.

The future of Congress Square

Few issues have divided Portlanders in recent years like the proposed sale of the publicly owned Congress Square to private hotel developers. On June 10, city voters narrowly approved a referendum which put that sale on ice. District 2 City Councilor David Marshall was one of three councilors to vote against the property sale when the larger council approved the deal last September, and was one of the sale’s loudest critics in the weeks leading into the referendum vote. In this edition of Ink & Pine, David lays out the history of the Congress Square debate and City Hall’s role the dispute as he sees it. In an in-depth interview with Ink & Pine hosts Trent Gay, Seth Koenig and Cat Smith, David describes the dramatic overhaul of the square once envisioned by a city revitalization committee and how the city can bring those plans to life now after the recent vote.

Community Radio And Local Music

Joshua Lovejoy, host of WMPG’s Local Motives, sat down with the Ink And Pine crew this week to talk all things community radio. Josh detailed his experiences hosting Portland’s premier local live performance broadcast and his long time interest in and support of local music. We also touched on WMPG‘s work study program, on air qualification training, Maine Music Wiki, VHS tapes and Josh’s love of Ice-T and Body Count.

What do you get you combine Portland, a bar and an arcade?

In this week’s edition of Ink & Pine, Ben Culver talks about the new venue he’s co-founding in Portland, Arcadia National Bar. The city’s first in a growing nationwide trend of retro-arcade/pub hybrids, Culver’s soon-to-open ANB should appeal to Portland bar flies and pinball wizards alike. He tells Ink & Pine hosts Trent Gay, Cat Smith and Seth Koenig about how his online fundraising effort for the venue came down to the wire, as well as how he decided which games and beers to offer. Also, find out what makes the games “Rampage” and “Double Dragon” so vexing for Seth, why Trent’s friends had to outlaw the “S move” in video game hockey and what Ben thinks of Cat’s personal favorite game, “The Lion King.”

Is there such a thing as too much craft beer?

Craft beer production across the country has grown by 18 percent in a year time. In Maine, there were 35 craft breweries in operation last year, and that number’s due to swell to 58 by the end of this year. This explosion begs the question: How much craft beer can the markets handle? Bangor Daily News business writer Darren Fishell talks with Ink & Pine hosts Trent Gay, Cat Smith and Seth Koenig about this very topic. Are the new microbreweries stealing sales from other craft breweries? Or are they competing more with international breweries, wines and liquors? What do Maine’s craft brewers think of this growth? And what, exactly, is a “throat share?” Listen in.

“Portland is an old harmonica” // Champion slam poet talks about the city’s performance scene and his roots in the genre

After a three-month hiatus, Portland’s pioneering Ink & Pine podcast returns with its 15th episode, under new management. Following in the footsteps of Maine Digital Press founder Dan Bodoff, new host Trent Gay joins producer Cat Smith and Bangor Daily News Portland Bureau Chief Seth Koenig for an interview with Beau Williams, Grand Slam Champion for the Portland-based Port Veritas. Williams, who will lead the Port Veritas team to Oakland, California, for slam poetry’s national championships this summer, discusses his genre, his rocky start and — in a poetry performance not to be missed — why “Portland is an old harmonica.”

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State of The State, State of The City, State of The Union; Conversation w/ Chris Cousins

Over the past two weeks, President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan issued his State of the City speech. On Tuesday, Maine Gov. Paul LePage will take the stage for his State of the State. On this episode of the Ink & Pine podcast, Bangor Daily News State House Bureau Chief Christopher Cousins talks about the politics behind these milestone speeches at the federal, state and local levels, as well as renewed debate about whether to raise the minimum wage, as both Brennan and Obama called for in their addresses. Chris talks with Maine Digital Press President Dan Bodoff and BDN Portland Bureau Chief Seth Koenig about what to expect from LePage’s upcoming address and what Mainers should take away from Obama’s comments.