A David Bowie tribute; more job loss claims from LePage; how to fact-check Trump

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. How was your day?

What we’re talking about

The mayor is giving his State of the City next week — Every year, per the city’s charter, the mayor gives a local version of the State of the Union address. Mayor Ethan Strimling’s second such speech comes at the end of a year in which he’s clashed with city councilors and City Manager Jon Jennings. Since it was revealed that the beef with Jennings had cost taxpayers $21,000 in legal fees, Strimling has struck a conciliatory note — even giving councilors (literal) olive branches. Whether Strimling maintains this tone in his Monday address will be a good indicator of what type of year 2017 will be for city government. He will deliver the speech at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall — but you can also watch it here. — Jake Bleiberg

Vintage photo of Teddy Roosevelt and the mayor of Portland discovered — Last month, a man from Switzerland posted a photo to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation’s Facebook page. The photo shows Roosevelt and Charles B. Clarke, who was the elected mayor of the city from 1918 until 1921. Just when and why the crinkled and stained photo, which also includes a couple other Maine politicians, was taken is a mystery. It may have been taken in August of 1916 in Portland. Folks at the foundation reached out to local Roosevelt historian Phil Morse, of the Seashore Trolley Museum, for help. You can follow his quest to unravel the tale on his blog. — Troy R. Bennett

British electronic band The xx will play the first Thompson’s Point show of the summer — Kathleen Pierce mentioned the then-mysterious first act in a recent newsletter. Mystery solved.

In other music news, there’s a Bowie tribute this weekend — Mat Zaro is leading a band through the entirety of “Black Star,” Bowie’s final album, and “Station To Station” at Port City Music Hall on Saturday night.

Take LePage’s job loss claims with a grain of salt — Gov. Paul LePage made another ominous allusion to big job losses in Maine on the radio this morning, saying two Maine companies may close their doors because of high energy costs — and to a lesser extent, the recent passage of a minimum wage hike, among other concerns. Bear in mind that the governor has still not explained last year’s threat of 900 job losses, which still have not happened.

I asked BDN politics editor Robert Long how to interpret this announcement. Here’s what he said:

He raised the specter of 400 private sector job losses one day before he is due to unveil a budget proposal that will likely include spending reductions that could trigger state job losses and measures to offset what LePage sees as negative repercussions of raising the minimum wage and eliminating the tip credit. He has regularly cited the minimum wage vote as a threat to the state’s economy, so mentioning the private sector job cut possibility on a radio show that doesn’t follow up with requests for details helps paint a dire economic picture and lets him control the early narrative about his budget.

Here’s how you can fact-check Trump From Motherboard: “the good folks at the Internet Archive have created a growing repository of more than 520 hours of Donald Trump TV interviews and appearances, from 2009 to now. The archive of video is searchable, and comes with a video editor for making supercuts.”

Have fun.

Tweet of the day

From KimKierkegaardashian, my favorite celebrity-meets-philosopher Twitter account.

Screenshot 2017-01-05 18.18.25

 

The Big Idea

Solar poised to become the cheapest power on earth  —  Bloomberg reports: “Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That’s help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar may be cheaper than using coal on average globally.”


Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at dmacleod@bangordailynews.com, or tweet @dsmacleod.

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Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the editor of BDN Portland. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.