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.
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.
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.
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.”