Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight there’s a new pizza joint in town; you can dig your own hole in the cemetery; and state officials back waterfront cold storage.
What we’re talking about
Wood-fired pizza bar three years in the making, to open —State Theatre has a new, tasty neighbor. Lazzari, the long awaited pizza joint opens next week at 618 Congress St. What took them so long? The delight is in the details and Urban Eye has the scoop. — Kathleen Pierce
You can dig your own hole in the cemetery — Spirits Alive, the folks who look after the Eastern Cemetery, are looking for those willing to clean up, prune, mulch and rake the burial grounds tomorrow morning. They’ll provide refreshments and gardening tools. You bring your own work gloves, sunscreen, and muscle. — Troy R. Bennett
Lay your hands on a powerful machine — The Children’s Center, a not-for-profit early childcare and education center located in Portland is hosting their third annual Touch-A-Truck fundraising event on Sunday. Confirmed vehicles include a taxi, a fire truck, a police car, a tow truck and a metro bus, among others. — Troy R. Bennett
To veto or not to veto — Mayor Ethan Strimling said that he’ll be taking the weekend to ponder whether to veto the city budget — a move that would almost certainly be overridden. The mayor told BDN Portland earlier this week that he might veto the budget over the city council’s Monday decision to cut his assistant’s job. The move was an apparent attempt to leverage the threat of a veto into greater access to city staff, but it was denounced by even the councilors who’d voted against eliminating the job — highlighting the extent to which he has become alienated from the body he is supposed to lead. The mayor said that the Friday meeting where he’d intended to discuss the issue with councilors and City Manager Jon Jennings was canceled, leaving him stuck between backing off or issuing a likely impotent veto.
Black Lives Matter protesters back in court — The 17 adults who were arrested last summer during a protest that closed a downtown intersection for several hours were back in court Friday, the Press Herald’s Edward Murphy reports. They were trying to resolve their cases after a plea deal that would have seen the criminal charges against them dropped fell apart late last year. The deal went to pieces after the protesters and representatives of the district attorney’s office could not agree on the logistics of a planned restorative justice session. By later afternoon, it was not clear whether Superior Court Justice Lance Walker intended to rule Friday on restoring those charges to the criminal docket.
State backs big chill — Officials for the city and state are backing a proposal to change the zoning on Portland’s western waterfront to allow the building of a cold storage facility on state-owned land next to the International Marine Terminal, the Press Herald’s Penelope Overton reports. But West End residents whose views might be affected by the warehouse argue that it does not need 68 feet tall in order to turn a profit.
Tweet of the day
The Big Idea
Free the drones — A federal appeals court has struck down a controversial rule that required drone owners to register the devices with Federal Aviation Administration.
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