Maine College of Art professor makes app for Cherokee

Happy weekend from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight there’s an app for Cherokee; school will start later in South Portland; and Neapolitan pizza comes to Back Cove.

What we’re talking about

Want to write in Cherokee? There’s an app for that. —  As the older generation dies off, fewer and fewer young Cherokee are learning to read and write in their native tongue, so a Portland professor has created an app and designed a new font that will help bring the written Cherokee language into the digital age, Fred Bever of Maine Public reports. “It’s similar to handwriting, so it has a bit of a flow to it. It’s got a nice curved design in it, and it’s very pleasant to look at,” Mark Jamra, a master type designer and professor at the Maine College of Art, said.

School day to start later in South Portland — Next year South Portland middle and high school students will get to sleep just a little bit later in the morning. That’s because, as the Press Herald’s Kelley Bouchard reports, the City Council unanimously voted to push back the school start times from 7:55 to 8:30 a.m. at the middle schools and from 7:30 to 8:10 a.m. at the city’s high school. Enjoy the Zzzz’s. 

Off-the-peninsula dining just got tastier — Tipo, the long-awaited Neapolitan pizza joint from Central Provisions owners Chris and Paige Gould, opened Wednesday in the Back Cove. The response has been what you’d suspect: swoon, swoon. Food blogger Kate McCarty of The Blueberry Files ate her way across the menu and offers this even-handed review.

Expect handmade pasta and inventive pizzas topped with lamb sausage, feta, za’atar, harissa and arugula, and a crust that’s “tender and chewy with a nice char from the oven.” Check it out before the national food cognoscenti descends. Tipo is at 182 Ocean Ave., and is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Brunch will be offered Saturday and Sunday, starting in February. — Kathleen Pierce

White Russian, anyone? — Tonight is Port City Music Hall’s “Big Lebowski” night. Doors open at 7 p.m., which is when you should be getting this newsletter. But they won’t be screening the Coen brother’s classic until later in the evening. There will be Lebowski trivia, a costume contest and, of course, The Dude’s signature beverage. I’m a big fan, so you might see me in a bathrobe if you come by.

Tweet of the day

From BDN economics reporter, Darren Fishell, a tweet about unintended consequences:

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The Big Idea

“The Crimes of SEAL Team 6” — Earlier this week The Intercept’s Matthew Cole came out with a startling report on the most celebrated American military unit in recent history. The story states that, for years before they killed Osama bin Laden, SEAL Team 6 carried out ”‘revenge ops,’ unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities,” in a pattern of violence that was covered up by military leadership.  

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at, or tweet @JZBleiberg.

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