Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight: When food trucks decide to go bricks-and-mortar; fishermen and scientists may team up to count cod; and what really goes on in a Maine smelt shack. Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
What we’re talking about
Maine food trucks are upgrading to restaurants — Kathleen Pierce reports:
As more and more of Maine’s food trucks morph into bricks-and-mortar eateries, their owners offer a variety of reasons that shifting from four wheels to four walls suddenly makes sense: The “right space” became available, tight quarters came to feel too stifling, the initial venture was successful enough to bankroll a bigger, more traditional restaurant.
“Food trucks are a great incubator. You can perfect your cuisine and see who your customer is,” said Sarah Sutton of Bite into Maine, a lobster roll truck long parked during the summertime at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth.
Maine fishermen say there’s plenty of cod. Scientists might give them the chance to prove it. — “Seeking to end a long-running disagreement about exactly how many cod are left in the Gulf of Maine, federal scientists plan to outfit commercial fishermen with equipment used to establish groundfish quotas,” Jake Bleiberg reports.
Portland’s mayor proposed allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections. Here’s why similar measures failed before. — The Press Herald’s Randy Billings has a good history of previous efforts — as well as an explanation of potential roadblocks. For instance: “It would require a citywide referendum and possibly the approval of the Legislature and Gov. Paul LePage.”
Remembering the last man to walk on the moon — Astronaut Eugene Cernan died today. “We are going to Mars. I promise you,” Cernan said during a Portland visit in 2014. “I won’t be around to see it. But we can look at kids today and tell them with certainty: We’re going to Mars.”
People are already snatching up warehouses for weed — The Press Herald’s Gillian Graham reports: “Marijuana is scheduled to become legal to use and possess Jan. 30, but the scramble for suitable warehouse space for commercial growing has begun, helping to push lease rates to nearly twice what they were six years ago in greater Portland.”
What really goes on in a Maine smelt shack — Troy R. Bennett wrote an ode to smelting, and made a music video with one of his bands. This is essential viewing for all Mainers.
Tweet of the day
From W. Kamau Bell, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
The Big Idea
‘The Left has a post-truth problem too. It’s called comedy.’ — Stephen Marche writes on the Los Angeles Times:
In one sense, of course, political satire is the opposite of fake news. Satirists rip away the pretenses of journalism to reveal what they believe to be true. Fake news sites use the pretenses of journalism to spread what they know to be false.
Despite intentions, however, the effect is the same. Political satirists, and their audiences, have turned the news itself into a joke. No matter what the content of their politics, they have contributed to the post-factual state of American political discourse. It doesn’t matter what Sam Bee or John Oliver say; it matters that their comedy is the source for political information.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @dsmacleod.