Be an Olympic medalist without leaving the couch. Really.

Without shifting my derriere so much as an inch off my couch, my chances of becoming an Olympic gold medalist just increased significantly.

News broke today that the team behind Paris’ bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics may try to introduce video game playing as an Olympic sport.

The BBC reports that competitive gaming — big tournaments in which players or teams of players blast each other in games like the sci-fi shooter “Halo” — is a nearly $520 million industry and could revive interest in the Olympics among younger viewers.

It also involves almost no physical movement whatsoever. But hey, why quibble?

(Yeah, yeah. I know about all the cool new virtual reality systems out there. Last I checked, those aren’t typically what they use in gaming tournaments, not that you’d need to be Michael Phelps to play them.)

Good news: You can sit back and read through the top Greater Portland headlines of the day without losing any ground on your Olympic dreams.

What we’re talking about

A developer is proposing to build 82 affordable housing units in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood, the Portland Press Herald’s Randy Billings reported today. Avesta Housing’s new Deering Place project would expand a current building at 510 Cumberland Ave. and add two new four-story buildings nearby, and 60 percent of the apartments therein would be priced for people with annual incomes between $20,000 and $40,000.

Michael Liberty, the developer and entrepreneur once called “Donald Trump with a Maine accent,” was sentenced to four months in prison and a fine of $100,000 for making $22,500 in illegal campaign donations to presidential candidate Mitt Romney back in 2011. The outspoken and self-promotional Liberty, 56, was lauded by supporters in court for his philanthropy, but federal prosecutors said prison time is necessary to deter others from flouting campaign finance rules in the future.

Members of the two groups petitioning to put referendums on the citywide ballot are not satisfied with the city’s announcement this week that a mistake by the clerk’s office could prevent their initiatives from going to the polls in November. One group wants a question asking voters to approve rules controlling skyrocketing rent in the city, while the other wants a referendum about whether neighbors should get an opportunity to veto development projects nearby. A city spokesperson said the clerk’s office mistakenly did not leave enough time before the November election to get the questions on the ballot, but said the city is trying to find a solution. The two groups planned protests to take place outside City Hall today, WGME, CBS 13, reported.

The parents of a teenager killed in a Haunted Hayride crash nearly three years ago have settled their lawsuit against the Mechanic Falls farm owner who operated the Halloween attraction, their attorney announced this morning. The parents settled for an undisclosed sum of money, which will go toward a charity established in the name of 17-year-old victim Cassidy Charette.

If you want to get outside this weekend, but don’t want to travel too far, the BDN’s Troy R. Bennett suggests a short drive to Buxton, where there’s a great place for canoeing or kayaking. Troy has a video and the five Ws about a spot on the Saco River above Skelton Dam that’s great for water recreation.

Tweet of the day

From @SBNation, in Connecticut, where Maine’s South Portland American baseball team is participating in the New England Little League Regional tournament this week:

The South Portland little leaguers are 2-1 in the tournament going into a Thursday afternoon game against the Vermont state champions. The Maine champs defeated Rhode Island’s entry last night by a score of 3-2.

The Big Idea

The Atlantic has this deep dive into how America arrived at it’s so-called “Post Truth” moment, in which partisans and their PR machines have become untethered from any reality or facts, and many in the public are not only OK with that, they’re feeding into it. An excerpt from The Atlantic: “The American experiment, the original embodiment of the great Enlightenment idea of intellectual freedom, whereby every individual is welcome to believe anything she wishes, has metastasized out of control.” Read more here.

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

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