Demand for hotels is pretty flat; longtime city councilor may get challenger

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What​ ​we’re​ ​talking​ ​about

Housing, hot; hotels, not so much​​ ​—​ ​Reporting from the Maine Real Estate and Development Association conference, the Press Herald’s J. Craig Anderson has two dispatches on the state of development in Portland. The big takeaways:

1) It’s a good time to be selling housing in the Portland area. From 2015 to 2016, the median sales price in Portland jumped 9 percent and increases were even bigger in neighboring communities. (Check out our recent report on what types of homes are getting built.)

2) Things aren’t looking as hot for hotels. The occupancy rate in Portland hotels was fairly flat over the same period and four more are in the works for the area.

It’s campaign season again, apparently. ​​ —​ ​Joey Brunelle, a web designer and local Democrat, emailed BDN Portland yesterday to announce that he will be running for the at-large seat of City Councilor Jill Duson, whose term expires this year. Brunelle, who was an outspoken member of the “Save India Street” movement, cited his homosexuality as a reason he’s running for city government. “It would be nice to have a proud and open LGBTQ voice on the City Council to represent Portland’s large LGBTQ community,” Brunelle wrote on Medium. Duson has not yet said whether she plans to run for re-election. But the widely respected city councilor would make a formidable opponent. Her more than 15 years of experience on the council includes two stints as mayor, and she had an impressive track record in public service before that.    

Maine lawmakers speed effort to put hold on marijuana sales​​ ​—​ ​Christopher Cousins writes:

In considering the bill this week, lawmakers began debates on a spectrum of issues in the bill, ranging from definitions of marijuana in an era of concentrates and edible forms of the substance to how to test drivers who are believed to be impaired as a result of marijuana use. Those issues and others will be the center of what promises to be months of legislative debate this year as lawmakers consider numerous marijuana-related bills.

Tonight is the vote on the school bond​​ ​—​ As we reported yesterday, the special committee charged with considering borrowing $61 million to pay for the renovation of four elementary schools is likely to vote in favor of the measure. It then has to go through a few more votes before we know if Portlanders will get a chance to decide its fate at the voting booth.

‘10 Local Portland Restaurants in the Order That I Listed Them’A+ #content from the website The list includes Burger King, the Post Office, and Silly’s (“This local restaurant serves fish. They also made it about halfway into this list because of how I listed the restaurants on the list.”)

Tweet​ ​of​ ​the​ ​day

From​ ​CSPAN:

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The​ ​Big​ ​Idea

‘NASA is sending 6 strangers to Hawaii to practice living on Mars … …without killing each other’​ —​ ​Brian Resnick from Vox writes:

Before NASA sends humans to Mars, it has to figure out this really, really basic problem: How do you get six or more people to live in a very confined space, on a desert, without naturally occurring oxygen, for a year, without wanting to kill one another?

It’s ironic: NASA can successfully launch a rocket to Mars and land it, but if the crew hates their roommates, the mission will collapse.

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

If​ ​someone​ ​forwarded​ ​you​ ​this​ ​newsletter,​ ​​click​ ​here​ ​to​ ​sign​ ​up​.​ ​Or​ ​just​ ​text​ PORTLAND​ ​to 66866.​ ​As​ ​always,​​ ​​like​ ​BDN​ ​Portland​ ​on​ ​Facebook​​ ​for​ ​more​ ​local​ ​coverage.

Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. 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.