For my final submission of From the Margins, here's a story inspired by my old pal Skip, who taught me that the best way to get through a long day on rough seas is to put one foot in front of the other and find something to smile about.
With our white-hot real estate market, world-class restaurant scene, and worldwide notoriety for all things cultural, one could make the argument that Portland has never been doing better than it is today.
A few years back, a friend of mine named Jon made the decision to adopt a rescue dog named Trooper. As a dog owner myself, I was excited to meet Jon's new best friend, but when I heard about Trooper's past I became hesitant to meet him.
History was made in Portland last week, as Pious Ali became the first African-born Muslim to win a seat on the city council, unseating incumbent Jon Hinck in a landslide victory.
Writing this column on a Monday — knowing that this paper goes to print on Tuesdays, with the most divisive presidential campaign in our nation’s history coming to a conclusion just hours after the ink dries on the pages in your hands — feels a bit daunting.
I never really knew Darien Richardson very well — just met her a few times in the various social settings that young people hang out in — but I still remember vividly the shock and pain that swept through town following the news of her death.
About four years ago I became acquainted with a guy who lives up in the western foothill region of the state, about an hour north of Lewiston. This guy, who shall remain nameless, is a medicinal marijuana caregiver who grows his plants legally and provides for others who are either sick or in pain.
I have known San Pao since our days at Deering High School around the turn of the century. We were never close but we played sports together, had classes together, and ran in the same social circles.
“Guys!” yelled one of the teenage boys sitting in his football gear stretching out before practice, “when the freshman cheerleaders walk by I’ll count to three, and then we all yell ‘punani!’”
I had spent the previous few days reaching out to as many currently and formerly homeless people that I could, asking them for advice on how best to achieve my goal of giving a firsthand glimpse at what it’s really like to stay at a homeless shelter in Portland.
For as long as I’ve known Roger Goodoak of the Maine Homeless Veteran's Alliance, I’ve been inspired by his generosity and dedication to helping those less fortunate in the greater Portland area.
I was a senior in high school, standing in the hallway at Deering High in Portland with several of my close buddies, trying to absorb the realities and expounding our raw interpretations of the attacks.
There's a running joke among media types and pundits around Maine that — as regrettable and embarrassing as Gov. LePage's tenure in the Blaine House has been — his near constant stream of inflammatory and ill-informed rhetoric makes our lives easier, because there's always something to write…
In an interview with the Press Herald last week, Bernie Saulnier of Saulnier Development said it right in his list of reasons for why his firm's proposed development on Munjoy Hill would be a good thing for the city and for the neighborhood.
Last month, Portland City Manager Jon Jennings announced an initiative called "Operation Bayside," which is aimed at cleaning up and restoring order to Portland's most troubled and neglected neighborhood, which lies directly in the shadow of City Hall.
When I first began looking for work as a stern man several years ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I started by getting a job down on the waterfront building lobster traps in hopes of making a few connections and finding a captain in need of a "helper," which is the more comm…
In Portland we get to celebrate two historical occasions on Independence Day. Of course, we celebrate the anniversary of America's Declaration of Independence, but we also celebrate a much more local, personal, community-oriented triumph.
Last summer, I moved temporarily down to Charleston, South Carolina to start a business. I am currently splitting time between Portland and Charleston, and the business is going well, but that's not what I want to talk about this week.
No three words exemplify our misunderstanding of homelessness and the struggle to right one's own life then the obnoxious phrase, "get a job!"Immediately, the mind is drawn to images of staggering addicts begging for money on medians, long lines outside the soup kitchen, or faceless piles hi…
About a year ago, I was invited by a group of people living in a tent community on the outskirts of Portland to come into their world and get a first-hand glimpse at their way of life.
It has been both a great pleasure and a poignant reminder of the friendships that I made while working at the Amistad agency in Portland collaborating with my friend Cordeila Stone for this week's column.
I've never been able to understand the hysteria behind Gov. LePage's crusade against the impoverished people of Maine, or the close-minded claims that welfare fraud is the culprit to all of our state's problems.
When I used to work on the lobster boat, my captain and I stood at complete opposite ends of the spectrum on just about every issue under the sun, but as we got to know each other better, we started realizing that we're actually a lot alike in many respects.
This past Monday, the Press Herald reported that Portland has "essentially achieved full employment," and it was a balanced, fair telling of the current job market in Maine and the state's largest city.
With respect to The Phoenix's focus on food this month, I figured it'd be a good time to paint part of the real picture behind the process and effort that goes into catching lobsters in Maine.
Serving as Portland's first elected mayor in nearly a century, Mike Brennan worked his tail off and led our city admirably against a constant onslaught from an unhinged governor bent on shifting blame for Maine's failings onto the liberal bastion that is the state's largest city.