How about a glass of rhubarb wine?

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight a comedian has a laugh at his own Asperger’s; chemicals spill on Munjoy Hill; and rhubarb wine flows through Bayside.

What we’re talking about

Comedian finds humor in his Asperger’s — Connor McGrath, a successful stand-up comedian from Deering Center, has Asperger’s syndrome but it’s no handicap, BDN Portland’s Troy R. Bennett reports. In fact, it’s part of his act and the crowd loves it.

Don’t miss Troy’s fantastic video profile of McGrath.

Rhubarb wine startup opens soon in east Bayside — It’s not rose, riesling or like anything you’ve tasted. It is rhubarb wine and it’s almost ready to crush on the porch this summer. BDN Portland’s Kathleen Pierce has the scoop on the new East Bayside startup eighteen-twenty. Fun fact: that was the year Maine became a state and the first time rhubarb was found on the public market, brought by an unnamed Maine farmer. — Kathleen Pierce  

Chemical spill on Munjoy Hill — A hazardous liquid used for home insulation spilled from a truck Wednesday, temporarily closing a portion of Congress Street on Munjoy Hill to traffic. Maine State Police inspected the truck and issued the company that operates it a $310 fine for the spill, which they say occurred when a drum carrying the chemical tipped over.

Shipyard sues — Shipyard Brewing Co. is suing a Missouri brewery for alleged trademark infringement, the Press Herald’s James Patrick reports. The Portland-based brewery claims that Logboat Brewing Co.’s Shiphead beer infringes on its trademarked name because it produces beers called Pumpkinhead, Melonhead and Applehead. It’s not the first time that Shipyard has gone to court in recent months. In December, the brewery’s insurance company asked a judge to rule on whether it should have to cover 2.6 million bottles worth of bad Pumpkinhead?

City turns down Waterfront Concerts contract — City officials have rejected an offer from Waterfront Concerts to sign 10-year contract to bring concerts to the Maine State Pier, the Press Herald’s Ray Routhier reports. City Manager Jon Jennings said the the decision had nothing to do with noise complaints about the shows or criminal charges brought against Waterfront Concerts founder Alex Gray. Rather, Jennings said, the city is in the midst of trying to figure out what it wants to do with the pier in the long term.

Let the sk8ters have their say — Portland’s skate park is expanding and city officials want input on their draft design at a meeting on May 31. They’re looking for skaters, bikers and others who can tell them what a great skate park looks like. — Troy R. Bennett

Tweet of the day

From Joe Kurmaskie:

The Big Idea

“Open” government — Last year, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services fired one of its public records coordinators, BDN’s Erin Rhoda reports. Her offense? Giving public records to the Bangor Daily News.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at, or tweet @JZBleiberg.

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