Taco Trio reopens; it’s time to get out of the house

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Here’s what’s up.

What we’re talking about

Taco Trio reopened in South Portland today — After a three-month hiatus, beloved neighborhood Mexican joint Taco Trio reopened without warning Thursday afternoon. Owner Manuel Pena hoisted a flag above the snowbanks piled outside the Knightville eatery in a Facebook post announcing the news.

Pena, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago as his father-in-law took ill, said he was feeling much better and is back in business. After hormone treatment, chemotherapy and surgery, he was scheduled to have radiation in January, but it was postponed.

“We appreciate all the support from customers and people we didn’t even know. They offered their help,” said Pena, who runs the business with his wife, Karen Rasmussen. “The people of South Portland and Portland have been very supportive and are excited we are reopened.” Sadly, the Portland cantina is not reopening. — Kathleen Pierce

Four ways to fight cabin fever this weekend

The snow is finally on the way out. Time to put down the chips, jump the snowbanks and shovel your way downtown. Here’s what’s shaking in Portland this weekend.

Wine and oysters: Sommelier Erica Archer’s wine walk on Saturday will feature visits to The Old Port Sea Grill, Boone’s Fish House and Crooners & Cocktails and Timber, where Maine oysters will be paired with rose, champagne and other mineral-driven wines. Gain some knowledge, get some exercise and make new friends. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased here. Runs from 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Rock out with The Boss: Because the Lake Street Dive show at State Theatre is sold out and Bruce Springsteen is on tour Down Under, the next best ticket is “Bruce in the USA” at Port City Music Hall. This recreation of a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band show invites you to bust out the tight jeans, T-shirts and red bandanas. Tickets are $15 day of. 8 p.m. Saturday.

Last call for “Arsenic and Old Lace” at Portland Stage Co.: Sunday is the last day to take in this dark comedy with a twist. The Press Herald says the “Joseph Kesselring play definitely serves to lighten the gloom of mid-winter in Maine.” Click here for information on tickets.

Fish and wine popup: Little Giant in the West End joins forces with Haley Henry Wine Bar from Boston on Sunday for a fun tasting. “This amazing little joint that specializes in tinned fish and rad wines” will be at pouring and sampling from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, says owner Briana Volk.  The red, white, bubbly and sherries will flow as you learn to put together tasting plates for your next party. Everything is available for purchase. Little Giant, 211 Danforth St., Portland. — Kathleen Pierce

In other news

Here are some facts about immigration and Maine — Jake Bleiberg lays out some of our past reporting ahead of Republican state Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s planned talk tonight, titled Alien Invasion: Fixing the Immigrant Crisis.”

Meanwhile, on the national stage — Reuters reports:

U.S. President Donald Trump will replace his executive order suspending travel from seven Muslim-majority countries “in the near future,” according to a Justice Department court filing on Thursday. …

In a news conference on Thursday, Trump said his rollout of the travel ban was “very smooth” but the administration got a bad court decision. He said his new order would be written to conform to legal rulings.

“The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision,” he said. “We can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways more.”

A charter school wants to move to Bayside — Noel K. Gallagher reports that Baxter Academy for Technology and Science is eyeing a new spot on Lancaster Street between Elm and Chestnut streets.

The Norwegian tourist who threatened police gets 15 months in prison Edward D. Murphy reports:

Judge D. Brock Hornby, who sentenced Espen Brungodt, said the email contained a “brutal threat of violence and death that resulted in complete disruption of public services and instilled public fear.”

But Hornby noted that Brungodt had a history of mental health problems and no criminal record, factors that argued for a lesser sentence than the five years and fine of $250,000 that he could have imposed.

Tweet of the day

From Gregg Carlstrom (here’s the context):

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The Big Idea

‘Trump is right — drugs are often cheaper than candy bars’ — President Donald Trump’s claim at his press conference today seemed pretty incredible. But the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham writes that he’s actually kind of right:

While the remark was ridiculed on Twitter, there’s a fair amount of truth to it. Illicit drugs are often incredibly inexpensive, particularly per dose. …

In 2015, for instance, the Baltimore Sun reported that “peewee” capsules of heroin were selling for about $6 per dose on one West Baltimore street corner. That’s not much more than the price of a 12.6 ounce bar of Toblerone at Target, and probably less when you account for taxes (which drug dealers typically don’t charge).

At the per-pill level, opiate painkillers can sometimes be even cheaper. According to StreetRX.com, a site run by epidemiological data firm Epidemico that crowdsources street price data on a variety of pharmaceuticals, individual pills of hydrocodone or oxycodone can be had for as little as $1 depending on which city you’re in. That’s roughly the price you’d expect to pay for a Snickers at your local convenience store.


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.