Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street, where I can’t stop thinking about Al Horford’s missed layup from last night. Anyway, here’s some news.
What we’re talking about
‘Adulting classes are the most ridiculous thing to come out of 2016’ — That’s a pretty strong take, considering the year we’ve had, but the BDN’s Sarah Cottrell has definitely had enough of the word “adulting”:
Let me give it to you straight: you’re adults. Doing things like getting a job, showing up on time, talking to other adults, paying bills, cooking food, and otherwise not being a complete idiot, is not hard. It is not science. You do not need to take a class.
She’s referring to the story Kathleen Pierce wrote back in October about the local group that puts on events aimed at helping millennials learn essential life skills that you don’t learn in college. The effort has gotten quite a bit of attention, even globally.
City approves wage hikes in new contract with its largest union — Randy Billings reports that the City Council approved pay raises to the City Employee Benefits Association, which has about 500 members. It works out to 2 percent annual increases, or $1.1 million over the next three years.
USM is holding a rally against hate — The University of Southern Maine will hold an interfaith rally against hate Wednesday at its Portland campus. The event is a response to the anti-Muslim graffiti found at USM last month. The rally will be held at the Woodbury Campus Center on 35 Bedford Street beginning at noon. Campus police investigated the Latin graffiti as a hate crime and two student senators stepped down over the incident. — Jake Bleiberg
UNE research discovers potential test for breast cancer — A University of New England scientist stumbled across a discovery that may enable the early detection of breast cancer, Joe Lawlor of the Press Herald reports. Srinidi Mohan had never previously studied breast cancer but in 2014 he found a molecule that may signal cancer when found in blood plasma. Possible clinical trials of the new blood test are still years off, Lawlor writes, but doctors are optimistic that we’ll have that better cancer detection within a decade. — Jake Bleiberg
RIP, Taz — A longtime Portland Police Department patrol dog, Taz, died last Friday, according to the department’s Facebook page. “Taz was a valued member of the Portland PD family who worked for many years with [Officer Christian Stickney] as a patrol dog and as a member of his family,” the PPD wrote. “The bond between a dog and handler is a special one, making it that much harder to lose not only a partner but a member of the family.” The PPD has six K9 teams, according to its website. Three are assigned to the airport, and the others have duties such as sniffing out drugs, finding lost people, and helping to apprehend suspects.
Eat free the next two Wednesdays — Tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m., downtown shops like Anthropologie offer complimentary sandwiches from Sisters Gourmet Deli, Stonewall Kitchen has turkey soup with cornbread and Dean’s Sweets serves up gourmet hot chocolate. Free. — Kathleen Pierce
LePage says Portland doesn’t care about elderly people — During one of his regular radio appearances on WVOM, Gov. Paul LePage this morning took a swipe at Portland — again. But it was really just a variation of things he’s said often in the past: Raising the minimum wage hurts people on fixed incomes, and Portland’s progressives don’t see or care about the harm the policies they embrace are causing elsewhere in Maine.
He was talking about the passage of the minimum wage referendum. [Comments about Portland begin at around 6:20]:
“I think it was an attack on the elderly. I think this is the most vile attack on the elderly and for a group of people, particularly Portland and the people of Portland. I will tell you, you seem to say that I have no compassion for the elderly, but every turn you vote against the elderly. You voted against giving them money for the nursing homes, you voted for this draconian increase, and the Democrats just said we can’t have a step-down unit at Riverview. They say one thing, but every single vote is against the elderly, the disabled and the mentally ill and it’s been like that for 6 consecutive years.”
The Big Idea
‘That viral graph about millennials’ declining support for democracy? It’s very misleading.’ — Wherein the Washington Post digs a little deeper into some research presented by the New York Times last week (and featured as a Big Idea in last Tuesday’s newsletter.)
Basically, the gloom and doom about young people not liking democracy as much as other generations is overstated, Erik Voeten writes:
The article by Mounk and Foa does document some small shifts in opinion on related issues. But these aren’t nearly as dramatic as the New York Times graph suggests.
Vast majorities of younger people in the West still attach great importance to living in a democracy.
The republic stands, for now.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @dsmacleod.