Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight more water taxis are likely coming to Casco Bay; we’ve got your St. Patrick’s Day celebration primer; and kids’ criminal records might not disappear the way you think they do.
What we’re talking about
We have summertime news. Really. Summer. — Water taxi service Fogg’s Boatworks is looking to grow its fleet running between the islands of Casco Bay. The company is seeking approval from the state to add four new vessels: the Foggcraft, the Foggcraft 26′, the Gizzy and the Martine. The three-member Maine Public Utilities Commission will take up the company’s application on March 21. Commision staff previously suggested approving the new vessels. The water taxi service generally charges $55 for one-way trips out to the closer islands — Peaks, the Diamonds, and Cushing — and up to $125 for the outer Jewel Island. — Darren Fishell
St. Paddy’s Day fun — Rí Rá on Commercial Street is your Irish headquarters in Portland tomorrow. The shenanigans start at 9:30 a.m. with live music from Maine Public Safety Pipe Band. The Stillson School of Irish Dance Step Dancers kick in at 11:30 a.m. and live Irish music rages till 1 a.m. Raise a pint!
Plunge in: Before you get too toasted, take a dip in the chilly waters of the East End Beach at the annual St. Paddy’s Day Plunge, which starts at 5:30 a.m. The brave and crazy hit the frigid ocean all in the name of good, clean fun. Proceeds go to the Portland Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation. We assume ample whiskey-spiked coffee is consumed en masse.
Hit the pub: There’s no shortage of places to get your Irish up tomorrow, but only one, Bull Feeney’s, is your bona fide “Kiss me I’m Irish” headquarters. The Old Port pub has been counting the seconds all month to this high holiday and at 6 a.m. the full Irish breakfast, pints and Celtic duo Tom and Don pipe up to get you in the mood. The bar is at 375 Fore St. — Kathleen Pierce
“Unsealed Fate” — Most people in Maine, including some who work in criminal justice, believed that juvenile criminal records are automatically sealed when someone turns 18, and most people are wrong, according to a new report from University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service. In Maine, records of young people committing felony-level crimes are public and never automatically sealed. There is widespread confusion over how the records system works. This means that youthful lapses in judgment can follow young Mainers into their adult lives and fetter efforts to find work, get an education or secure housing — even when they believe the documents are blocked from public view.
Addiction treatment program comes to India Street — An opioid treatment program will be setting up shop at the India Street Public Health Center in a space that was previously occupied by the city’s clinic for HIV-positive patients, the Press Herald’s Randy Billings reports. Grace Street Recovery Services will move its operations from a facility on Auburn Street and begin offering services at 103 India St. It’s lease begins in May, a city spokeswoman said. Grace Street couples counseling with medication-assisted treatment, using the drugs Suboxone and Vivitrol. In Maine, a record 378 people died of drug overdoses last year, a nearly 40 percent increase from the number of drug deaths in 2015, which was previously the highest year on record.
No parking in the yellow zone, again — For the second night in a row the city has enacted a downtown parking ban so crews can remove snow. The ban will run from Thursday at 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday. It covers the “Yellow Zone,” an area bounded by Cumberland Avenue, Franklin Street, Commercial Street, and State Street. Cars left in the area can be towed at the owner’s expense and free parking is available in all the normal spots: Deering Oaks, Fitzpatrick Stadium parking lot, the Hadlock Field parking, etc.
Tweet of the day
The Big Idea
“Operation London Bridge: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death” — She is 90 years old, has outlasted 12 presidents, and stands for the long-term stability of a kingdom in the grips of turmoil. You’d best believe there is a plan for Elizabeth II’s death.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @JZBleiberg.