Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street where it feels like iced coffee weather in the lull between two snowstorms.
What we’re talking about
Better living through chemistry? — She didn’t drop acid to get through a Dead show. Ayelet Waldman took tiny doses of the psychedelic drug to get through the week. Her Thursday night talk at Print: A Bookstore was canceled because of snow. But we’ve got all you need to know about her month-long trip to serenity in this interview. — Kathleen Pierce
Affordable Italian in Portland? — Chef David Levi’s newest restaurant Trattoria Fanny opens tonight in Bramhall Square. This reboot of RossoBianco promises rustic, authentic fare that you can wash down with healthy natural wines that won’t tax your wallet. And miracle of miracles, the chef of Vinland managed to open on the date he said he would. — Kathleen Pierce
Head of Portland Chamber of Commerce steps down — The man who helped lead a successful 2015 effort to block a $15 an hour minimum wage has stepped down as the head of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Chris Hall, 59, a lawyer and former lobbyist who started at the Chamber in 2007, resigned Wednesday after four years as its CEO.
Quincy Hentzel, who previously headed the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, will take over as CEO until a permanent replacement can be found.
The Regional Chamber is made up of community chambers in Scarborough, Westbrook, Gorham, Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Cumberland.
Hall said that he is staying in Portland and will be pursuing a “couple projects,” but declined to elaborate. After a decade with the group that looks out for the interests of local businesses, Hall said he is pleased with the trajectory of Portland’s economy, but also sees challenges on the horizon.
Specifically, Hall said that the city must focus on persuading Portlanders to appreciate the value of economic growth and the need to attract more skilled workers.
“Our workforce is fantastic, but there just aren’t enough of them to grow our businesses,” he said. — Jake Bleiberg
After Democratic push, LePage offers plan to expand addiction treatment — Michael Shepherd reports:
Motivated by a push from legislative Democrats, Gov. Paul LePage’s administration floated a plan on Wednesday that would leverage up to $8 million to expand opiate addiction treatment to as many as 700 Mainers this year.
It’s a continuation of LePage’s recent embrace of medication-assisted treatment — a subject on which he has clashed with addiction experts in the past — and a sign that new relationships between the Republican governor and Democrats can bear policy fruit.
The York County grand jury indicted Ronald Paquin, 74, for his alleged crimes against children between the ages of 11 and 14 in the late 1980s at a “seasonal location” in Kennebunk, according to a Wednesday statement from the town police.
Paquin, a prominent figure in the sex abuse scandal uncovered by the Boston Globe in the early 2000s, pleaded guilty in 2002 to the repeated rape of a Haverhill, Massachusetts, altar boy.
Lewis Black’s favorite brunch is in Portland — After polishing off an omelette and hours later taking the stage at Merrill Auditorium, the standup comedian gave Hot Suppa a big shout out.
Westbrook native signs with Patriots — Trevor Bates is one of nine players the team has signed to a future contract, the team announced Tuesday.
Tweet of the day
Today I’ll continue to use my platform to push a radical pro-Celtics agenda:
The Big Idea
‘How Immigrants Changed the Geography of Innovation’ — Tanvi Misra from the Atlantic’s City Lab breaks down a new report that shows how immigrants have spurred innovation across the U.S.
[I]mmigrants with big ideas flock to places and fields where their ideas are in demand. And when many of them work together, they influence each other, compounding the ingenuity in their own field and others … This “spillover effect” is the reason why some places become powerhouses of innovation and economic growth. Silicon Valley is the most obvious modern-day example.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @dsmacleod.