Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. In tonight’s newsletter: There’s a ton of stuff going on this weekend; the city manager is about to get a big raise; and local artists are battling Trump using an old-school medium adapted for the digital age.
Five reasons not to hibernate this weekend
Snow is coming Saturday, but there are a lot of events happening in Portland that you don’t want to miss. So bundle up, lace up your boots and act like a Mainer.
Fork Food Lab winter market — Foodies can shop and sample the trendiest eats from cold brewsters White Cap Coffee, Cape Whoopies, gluten-free dessert startups, pie makers and new creations you don’t even know you’re craving. The kitchen incubator opens its doors 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 72 Parris Street. Free.
Boat Parade of Lights — It’s one of the cooler events Portland stages all year. Tugboats, cutters, ferries, all kinds of watercraft are tricked out in holiday lights. Festive boats parade up and down Casco Bay for wondering eyes. Head to the Portland or South Portland waterfronts, Eastern Promenade, Maine State Pier, DiMillo’s or Bug Light Park for the best views. 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Fogutters Super Fantastic Christmas Extravaganza — It’s hard to believe there are still tickets available for Portland’s beloved big band. This massive collection of talent swings in all musical directions: Rock, vintage jazz, soul, R&B and Christmas carols you actually want to hear. 8 p.m. Saturday, State Theatre.
Holiday popup in East Bayside — The city’s soon-to-launch rhubarb wine company Eighteen Twenty is holding a shopping event in its winery. Coffee, snacks and cider will be flowing as you peruse handcrafted gifts made from whiskey barrels, lobster bait bags and sea-inspired jewels. That’s from 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, 219 Anderson St.
Circus Solstice — Circus Maine, the most limber locals among us, kick off the season of light on Friday with a full-blown circus show. Sure, it may be bone-chilling and ice-slicked outside, but inside this soaring Thompson’s Point space, amazing feats and towering tricks will keep you warm and astonished. Three shows, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday — Kathleen Pierce
What we’re talking about
Portland’s city manager expected to get nearly $18,500 raise — Jake Bleiberg reports this morning:
The City Council on Monday is expected to approve a 12 percent raise for City Manager Jon Jennings that will bring his annual salary up to $166,500.
If the nearly $18,500 raise is approved, Jennings’ salary — already the largest of any municipal manager in the state and nearly twice what Gov. Paul LePage earns — will be more than $30,000 ahead of the Bangor city manager, who earns just over $131,000 and is the next highest paid city head, according to a list of salaries compiled by the city.
These Mainers are using provocative art to respond to the era of Trump — Kathleen spoke to some visual artists who found a reason to get fired up about the election of Donald Trump:
For the past week, artists Charlie Hewitt and David Wolfe have been holed up in the Bakery Studios, frantically producing collages — many disturbing — of President-elect Donald Trump, and ratcheting them up for humor, shock and awe.
On their days-old site, StealThisPrint.com, anyone can download, print and spread their politically charged posters around the world — for free.
In an example of how left-leaning creatives across the country are reacting to Trump’s election, the artists are marrying an old-school medium with the immediacy of the internet to create a digital hub to protest the current political climate.
Maine doctor hopes to lay to rest the brother he reported to the FBI — Jackie Farwell wrote my favorite lede of the week:
To many people, Adnan Fazeli is a dead terrorist. When details surfaced in August of an FBI investigation into his ties to the Islamic State, the one-time Maine resident also became a political flashpoint, personifying the schism in America over our treatment of refugees.
To Jabbar Fazeli, Adnan was a brother. One he still hopes to find.
How to help people who are homeless when it’s cold — It’s super cold out. If you see someone in need of help, here are a few resources.
Tweet of the day
From Tony Ronzio. I’m not just including because he’s my boss.
The Big Idea
Your house was likely built with Canadian lumber, and it’s reigniting a trade war — There’s your headline of the day. Christopher Burns breaks down “the longest running trade dispute in modern history.”
For years, the U.S. lumber industry has alleged that Canadian producers have an unfair advantage because they harvest most of their wood from publicly owned forests, where they pay cheaper prices to cut timber. When that wood, primarily used to build houses, is unloaded in the U.S. market, it hurts local lumber manufacturers who employ thousands across Maine. …
The U.S. Lumber Coalition is fighting back, again, making good last month on a promise to petition the U.S. government to investigate a flood of imported Canadian softwood lumber with an aim at imposing stiff tariffs, reigniting the decades-long trade fight over trees.
It’s a threat that looms large for sawmills in Maine, where the state’s economy still relies on logging and a slew of paper mill closures over the last decade has left fewer options for those who make a living in the woods to bring their products to market. But new tariffs — if they’re imposed — won’t be slapped onto Canadian lumber until March or April at the earliest. And that’s if the U.S. and Canadian governments can’t reach a new deal, which so far has proven elusive.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @dsmacleod.