Articles by William Hall

Pro-choice protesters gather near Planned Parenthood on Congress Street in Portland on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.

Unfazed by lawsuit threat, Portland city councilor expects unanimous approval of protest buffer zone for abortion clinic

By William Hall on Oct. 15, 2013, at 3:32 p.m.
A proposed “buffer zone” banning protesters near a Planned Parenthood clinic that performs abortions is a step closer to being approved, after a City Council committee last week recommended it to the full council. The Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee voted 4-0 on Oct. 8 …
Nancy Callas, assistant site manager for Back Bay Tower in Portland, holds open a pouch containing several syringes and a spoon, discovered by two elementary school students near their bus stop on Cumberland Avenue.

Portland luxury tower residents troubled by neighborhood’s apparent spike in heroin use

By William Hall on Oct. 02, 2013, at 1:14 p.m.
Back Bay Tower, a 16-story luxury apartment building at 401 Cumberland Ave., has a waiting list of prospective tenants. But the building seems to be attracting something much less desirable these days. In the past few months, residents and staff have been finding “significantly” more used syringes …
Briana Warner at work in her new pie bakery, Maine Pie Line, at 200 Anderson St., Portland.

After using pies to help warm up foreign negotiations, former US diplomat opens bakery in Portland

By William Hall on Sept. 30, 2013, at 5:15 p.m.
It’s no secret that East Bayside has become a mecca for fad-forward foodies, but the neighborhood’s newest gourmet go-to spot is definitely old-school. Maine Pie Line, Portland’s only bakery dedicated exclusively to pies, is scheduled to open for business Tuesday at 200 Anderson St. The pie bakery …

Meg Perry Center forced to move from Congress Street in Portland

By William Hall on Sept. 24, 2013, at 3:17 p.m.
The Meg Perry Center is leaving 644 Congress St., where the center has hosted art exhibits, movies and music, political meetings and a “free radical lending library” for six years. On its Facebook page and in an email, the organization — which describes itself as a center …
A woman walks on the beach at Pine Point in Scarborough Thursday Oct. 11, 2012.

Emotions high as Scarborough discusses rules on dogs at town beaches

By William Hall on Sept. 19, 2013, at 11:39 a.m.
Amid what Chairman Ron Ahlquist called “active negotiations” with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over a fine against the town for the death of a protected bird, the Town Council on Wednesday night delayed a decision on whether to tighten restrictions on unleashed dogs at town …
Alex Marquis, of Coffee By Design, delivers coffee from Arabica to Preble Street's temporary soup kitchen at Sacred Heart Church in Portland on Monday, Sept. 17.

Neighbors step in to feed needy in Portland during temporary soup kitchen closure

By William Hall on Sept. 17, 2013, at 1:20 p.m.
When word got out a few weeks ago that Preble Street would have to temporarily close its soup kitchen, more than two dozen local businesses, churches, schools and other organizations rallied to help. Preble Street was forced to shut down the kitchen for four days to replace …
The Wabanaki, shown here while recently being fitted out in Rhode Island, will be Casco Bay Lines' newest ferry in eight years when it joins the fleet next week.

Casco Bay Lines prepares to launch new ferry

By William Hall on Sept. 17, 2013, at 8:14 a.m.
PORTLAND | As work gets under way on an eight-month renovation of the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal, passengers will notice another big change there next week. A new ferry, the 399-passenger Wabanaki, will join the Casco Bay Lines fleet as soon as Tuesday, Sept. 24, according to Hank …

Portland revives plans to redesign high-traffic Franklin Street

By William Hall on Sept. 03, 2013, at 10:59 a.m.
After a lull of four years, the city is once again looking at plans to revamp Franklin Street, the 3/4-mile thoroughfare that runs between Interstate 295 and Commercial Street. The second phase of a design study kicked off in June with the meeting of a 19-member public …

Portland council and school board races take shape

By William Hall on Aug. 27, 2013, at 2:12 p.m.
Six candidates have qualified to appear on the Nov. 5 election ballot for three City Council seats. Another six candidates have qualified to be on the ballot for three School Board seats, city election administrator Bud Philbrick said Tuesday morning. Candidates had until 4:30 p.m. Monday to …
Douglas Gardner, director of the Portland Department of Health and Human Services

Portland working hard to combat homelessness, but changes to MaineCare could make problem worse anyway

By William Hall on Aug. 27, 2013, at 11:56 a.m.
The city has been touting its recent efforts to combat homelessness, but some say the problem remains serious and is about to get worse. In November, the City Council adopted the recommendations of a task force it appointed to come up with ideas for reducing and preventing …
The stamp bearing the likeness of Portland native and Hollywood legend John Ford was released in 2012. The Ford stamp was the first in a series honoring movie directors.

Portland to celebrate life of legendary Hollywood director, city native John Ford

By William Hall on Aug. 27, 2013, at 9:09 a.m.
John Ford, the legendary Hollywood film director and Portland High School alumnus, will return to the spotlight this weekend. The city has proclaimed Saturday, Aug. 31, as John Ford Day, the 40th anniversary of his death. And the Maine Irish Heritage Center is hosting a celebration of …
A 1929 restroom sign, one of the items from the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

Portland diversity center’s message: ‘We’re not all the same’

By William Hall on Aug. 22, 2013, at 11:25 a.m.
The city and its surrounding communities are one of the least diverse metro areas in the nation, according to a study last fall by Brown University researchers. The Portland-South Portland-Biddeford area ranked No. 11 on the list of the least diverse areas. Bangor ranked No. 5; Lewiston-Auburn …
 Angela Davis stopped by DiPietro's Italian Sandwiches on Cumberland Avenue in Portland for a final purchase on Sunday, the 69-year-old sandwich shop's last day.

‘The passing of an era’: Landmark Portland Italian sandwich shop closes after 69 years

By William Hall on Aug. 20, 2013, at 1:03 p.m.
On Sunday, the last day of operation after 69 years at DiPietro’s Italian Sandwiches, Michele Grondin unlocked the door at 9 a.m. to find a line of customers already waiting. At 2 p.m., customers were still coming from as far away as Connecticut to enjoy a last …
This rendering depicts what RockBridge Capital LLC and its partners hope to develop at what is now the publicly owned Congress Square Plaza.

Portland officials, hotel developer strike deal on Congress Square Plaza

By William Hall on Aug. 19, 2013, at 12:02 p.m.
After nearly three months of negotiation and public debate, the city has reached a tentative agreement to sell two-thirds of Congress Square Plaza to the owner of the former Eastland Park Hotel. RockBridge Capital LLC would pay more than $523,600 for about 9,500 square feet of the …
Mumford and Sons take the stage on Portland's East End Promenande Saturday night August 4, 2012.

Despite 2012 success of Mumford and Sons, no major concerts planned for Portland’s Eastern Promenade

By William Hall on Aug. 13, 2013, at 11:32 a.m.
A year after more than 15,000 people packed the city’s Eastern Promenade for the first rock concert ever held there, the event remains fresh in the minds of some who attended. But the promise it created for more festival-type concerts on the Prom has yet to be …
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, addresses a rally on climate change in downtown Portland on Monday, Aug. 12. With her are Glen Brand (from left) of the Sierra Club, Mayor Michael Brennan, and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine.

Politicians, lobstermen, environmental activists join climate change bus tour stops in Maine

By William Hall on Aug. 13, 2013, at 10:43 a.m.
PORTLAND | Half of Maine’s congressional delegation joined Mayor Michael Brennan on Monday at a Monument Square rally urging public support for a new federal plan to counter climate change. Democratic U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, Brennan, civic leaders and business people greeted a bus that’s touring …

Portland Harbor set for $9.2M dredging project in November

By William Hall on Aug. 13, 2013, at 6:35 a.m.
Like a slow-draining sink, Portland Harbor needs a good scouring now and then. Beginning this November, for the first time in 14 years, the harbor will get one. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has hired a Massachusetts company to mechanically dredge about 700,000 cubic feet of …

Portland eyes adding city’s first roundabouts at busy intersection near USM

By William Hall on Aug. 06, 2013, at 1:10 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine —The Portland City Council on Monday voted unanimously to move ahead with plans for reconfiguring one of the city’s most congested, most confusing and most dangerous intersections. Councilors adopted recommendations of the Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee to overhaul the six-legged junction of Falmouth Street and Brighton and …
This image, distributed by RockBridge Capital LLC and New Castle Hotels & Resorts, depicts the developers' latest proposal for redeveloping Portland's Congress Square Plaza. The plan would include using nearly 10,000 square feet of the plaza as event space for the renovated Eastland Park Hotel and leaving another 4,800 square feet as public gathering space.

Portland officials seek to quell controversy over fate of Congress Square area

By William Hall on Aug. 06, 2013, at 12:26 p.m.
While a neighborhood group continues to oppose plans for selling a portion of Congress Square Plaza, the city is urging the public to look beyond the hardscaped open space. The city’s Planning Division on Thursday launched a “visioning process” to collect ideas for improving the design and …
April Garcia readies the El Corazon food truck for lunch in Portland Wednesday. The saying written above is a translation of a popular Basque saying.

Portland may relax food-truck rules, restrictions

By William Hall on Aug. 06, 2013, at 6:59 a.m.
Food truck operators could find it easier to do business in the city, based on feedback City Manager Mark Rees has requested from them. The City Council last year approved an ordinance that established operating areas, fees and other regulations for mobile food vendors. The ordinance restricts …
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