• A Portland city committee will discuss a possible ban on plastic bags. The bags carry lots of environmental baggage — pardon the pun — including petroleum used in their manufacture, giving off nasty chemicals when they’re incinerated and holding a low recycling value.
Interestingly, two of Portland’s destination food stores — Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods — already have moved away from plastic. If high-end consumers will lead, the leaders will follow.
• That loud groaning sound heard Wednesday was not the howling winds of a high pressure system sweeping across Maine. It was a deep, collective expression of regret among editorial writers, cartoonists, columnists and bloggers at learning that Sarah Palin will not seek the GOP presidential nomination.
Maybe it was the ill-fated stop of her bus tour in Boston, at which she spun an imaginative, if inaccurate version of Paul Revere’s ride.
For a woman so sure of her charms and her fix on what real Americans care about, she became sort of pathetic, following the gaggle of candidates to Iowa for the GOP straw poll in her bus, looking like the presumptive prom queen without a date to the dance.
• The campaign to pass Question 2 on the Nov. 8 referendum ballot, which would allow slot machines at a harness racing track in the Biddeford area and at one in Washington County, has made an odd choice. The group’s most recent TV advertisement features a Maine blacksmith arguing that his job would be saved by passage of the measure.
True enough. But will the “Save the blacksmith jobs” pitch resonate? What’s next, “Save the typewriter repair jobs”?
• Put the word out to Tom Selleck, Geraldo Rivera, Prince, Rollie Fingers, Groucho Marx and BDN Outdoors Editor Jeff Strout: Portland is ranked 26 of the 100 most mustache friendly cities, according to a press release from the American Mustache Institute.
In the release, Dr. Lou Jacobs, a Portland chiropractor and director of the New England Bureau of The American Mustache Institute, said: “Portland’s mustached community is growing and it’s time we use our power for bigger and better things.” Not sure what that would be, but the release also notes that one of Portland’s 15 mayoral candidates sports such facial hair.
• We received a letter this week from a resident of Woodworth, La., responding to the column by Renee Chalou-Ennis remembering working the Aroostook County potato harvest. Darrell Williamson, who worked the harvest when he lived in Presque Isle, pondered the fall break from school to accommodate the young harvest workers.
“It’s a family thing that … teaches kids about hard work to achieve a goal,” he wrote. “It teaches kids that the smell of a rotten potato is not nearly as bad as the smell of not even trying.”