Kermit the Frog is a ‘bitter, angry, depressed victim’

Kermit the Frog has become a “bitter, angry, depressed victim.” And worse, “not funny.”

(And who can blame him? You’ve been following the news, right?)

Anyway, this description comes from the biting commentary of none other than Cheryl Henson, the daughter of Kermit’s famed creator, Jim Henson.

(I’d hate to hear how she’d describe Gonzo.)

This whole debate about the psychological state of a cloth frog has come about because of the abrupt firing of Kermit’s longtime puppeteer and voice, Steve Whitmire. Whitmire said he was crushed to be let go, and seemed bewildered as to why.

This week, Cheryl Henson explained why. And the reason is that, apparently, when he was under Whitmire’s control over the last 27 years, Kermit had become miserable and unlikable.

As important as that is…

What we’re talking about

With no place more appropriate to put them, Maine courts are sentencing children with severe mental illnesses to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, where corrections officials say they’re ill-equipped to deal with those sorts of issues. The BDN’s Jake Bleiberg tackles the ramifications of this problem in an in-depth story, including serious staff shortages at the youth correctional site and squabbling between state departments on what to do about it.

Remember a couple weeks ago in this newsletter, when we asked for your ideas on what Portland’s new hockey team should be named? Now Portland’s new hockey team is asking for your ideas, too. You can submit your suggestions through this link. Among the ideas that came in through our informal newsletter survey were the Casco BayJammers and Portland Icebreakers. You can see our full — albeit short — list here.

A higher percentage of parents is refusing to vaccinate their children, just as the state is seeing increases in cases of measles and whooping cough. You can check how many parents are skipping vaccinations at your kid’s school here.

Maine State Police divers are searching the Presumpscot River in Westbrook in search of clues to the whereabouts of missing Portland man, Sebastian Kelley, 30. Kelley was last seen in Portland on June 17.

Mayor Ethan Strimling wants to require Portland developers to include more low-income housing in their projects. Among other changes, the mayor’s proposal would force developers building 10 or more housing units to make at least 20 percent of those units cheap enough for lower income families to afford. The ordinance language currently in place requires 10 percent.

State Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland, took to the House floor to offer a lengthy apology for that anti-Trump Facebook tirade that got him kicked off two legislative committees and made him the target of a Secret Service investigation. In the social media rant, he’d suggested he’d harm the president if he got close enough. On the House floor today, he said he meant the tirade as a satire of current political discourse, but acknowledged it fell flat, calling the rant “vulgar and disrespectful.”

Tweet of the day

From Jaimie Alley:

The Big Idea

The odds of a cataclysmic event wiping out all life on Earth are extremely low. Like, almost impossible. And there’s one particularly resilient life form that makes that claim true. Almost nothing conceivable can kill these microscopic, eight-legged things called tardigrades. Those little creatures could handle an asteroid strike, severe climate change and nuclear war. The bad news is that it’d be much easier to wipe out all the humans on Earth. But hey, the tardigrade news makes scientists optimistic that there’s life on other planets as well.

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

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