OK, team. We need to talk about our lobster rolls.
A guy just flew in from Utah and beat a bunch of Maine opponents in a lobster roll competition on our home turf over the weekend.
And then a violent thunderstorm whipped through and destroyed a big part of the festival, as a sign from above that this is unacceptable.
In fairness, the guy is a Cape Elizabeth native, so it’s not like he’s never seen a fresh lobster before, but Utah’s a land-locked state and, last I checked, there are no lobsters in Great Salt Lake.
So yeah. This is kind of a bad look for us. We’ll regroup, catch some more lobsters and be back stronger in 2018, right?
What we’re talking about
Attorney General Janet Mills has announced she’ll run for governor next year, ending months of speculation that she’d enter the race. Mills has been a longtime foil of current Republican Gov. Paul LePage — who can’t run for re-election in 2018 because of term limits — and represents arguably the best-known Democrat in the running so far. Sanford attorney and Army veteran Adam Cote is the other Dem in the race you might recognize, while the GOP’s most prominent candidate thus far is LePage’s high-profile former DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew.
As most of you know, the Maine Mall is going to lose an anchor store next month. But despite the big vacancy, the mall’s general manager said that reports of the mall’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Acknowledging the steady growth of online shopping, the top mall official told WGME, CBS 13, the internet is no threat that catalogs haven’t presented in the past. He said he expects to fill the Bon-Ton vacancy in due time.
Upon further reflection, Portland’s brothel scene attracted some characters of ill repute. In Troy R. Bennett’s weekly series on Portland history, he tells the story of the city’s last so-called “whorehouse riot,” which sprouted from a dispute which took place 168 years ago this month, in 1849. The ordeal involved sailors shooting a cannon into a man’s home and the arrest of “five bad girls,” in the local parlance of the time.
Green slime is spreading in Casco Bay, and it’s threatening sea life. Maine Public’s Susan Sharon has this report of a troublesome algae explosion, and the effect it could have on things like clams. You can read more about the science behind the green slime and what researchers call “dead muds” in this long form story of mine from a few years ago.
In case you missed it, news broke over the past week that the FBI launched a series of raids this spring in Portland, raking in nearly $849,000 from four local people who haven’t, as of yet, been charged with any crime. The feds tied the seizures to legal language which heavily suggests they suspect illegal gambling has taken place, and it appears they’ve set their sights on additionally taking millions of dollars’ worth of property from one of the individuals, in particular. The Bollard was the first to break the news of the raids.
One of the city’s many new development projects will be condos, not rental apartments. The Portland Press Herald reports that the 63-unit 25 High Street project, which was originally pitched as an apartment building, will now be marketed as a bunch of condominiums. The developer says other projects around the city have helped absorb some of the pent-up rental demand, making condos a more viable option for him.
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The Big Idea
Scientists are engaged in a newly reinvigorated debate about why monkeys can’t talk. They’re so genetically similar to humans, after all, so why can’t they also talk? My guess is, monkeys have heard humans doing it, and are not convinced it’s any more insightful than the shrieks and grunts they’ve been using. But the scientists seem divided between two camps: Those who think monkeys’ brains can’t process it, and those who think their windpipes can’t. If the endless supply of “Planet of the Apes” movies is any indication, Hollywood remains convinced the monkeys will stage a worldwide takeover as soon as they get this language problem solved, so let’s not rush it.