In just one of many examples of how coffee saves lives, a woman named A.M. Jones was up early fixing herself a cup of joe one morning in Portland when she noticed a leak in the reservoir.
She was able to alert a number of families in homes nearby before the 20-million-gallon Munjoy Hill reservoir burst open and sent a torrent of water down the hill, smashing houses to splinters and killing at least one family in the process.
That was 124 years ago Sunday, on Aug. 6, 1893, and the BDN’s Troy R. Bennett tells the tale in the latest installment in his series on Portland history.
Also, isn’t “A.M. Jones” a perfect name for someone making coffee? Why isn’t there a Portland coffee shop on Munjoy Hill named A.M. Jones?
What we’re talking about
A group seeking to place a rent control referendum on the city ballot delivered its petitions to City Hall today, Fred Bever of Maine Public reported. Volunteers from the group Fair Rent Portland brought 2,500 signatures to be certified by the city clerk’s office. That’s 1,000 more than necessary to get on the ballot, although it may not be the November ballot, even if enough names are certified. Late in the day, the city of Portland issued a statement saying it’s too late in the season to put the question on the ballot for Election Day, Nov. 7. Next June would be the next time Portland voters go to the polls. The proposed rule, if approved, would add limits on annual rent increases on existing leases in bigger buildings, tied to the Consumer Price Index — about 2 percent a year.
If you missed the Beach to Beacon 10K road race on Saturday, you probably at least saw the finish on Facebook. Gorham runner Jesse Orach was in the lead among Maine finishers when he collapsed before reaching the finish line. Windham’s Robert Gomez could have run by him and claimed the title, but instead picked Orach up and helped him across the finish line. Orach was named the top Maine finisher and Gomez took second. The show of sportsmanship The Beach to Beacon was famously founded by Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson and is one of Maine’s premiere annual athletic events.
BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell looks into the new Maine law increasing the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. Portland was the first place in Maine to increase the tobacco-buying age when it did so last year, and officials here say they expect to find out what kind of a difference it has made in youth smoking rates when new statistics are released for 2017.
Portlanders got a view of how the proverbial 1 percent lives this weekend, and the view was from the top of the Eastern Promenade. A Russian-born oil tycoon’s 371-foot yacht, one of the world’s largest, was parked out in Portland Harbor by Fort Gorges. The ship has a helicopter, beach club, luxury accommodations for 20 guests and its own internal wastewater treatment facility.
Tweet of the day
From Brett Bosse:
The Big Idea
Although they’re physically safer than adolescents of past generations, post-Millennials are on the brink of a mental health crisis, The Atlantic magazine reports. As kids who have grown up attached to smartphones and tablet computers, they’re less likely to go out partying, more skeptical of drinking and more often physically isolated from things that might otherwise hurt them. But they have much higher rates of teen depression and suicide. This long-form report dives into why that might be.