Articles by William Hall


Portland revives plans to redesign high-traffic Franklin Street

By William Hall on Sept. 03, 2013, at 10:59 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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.
PORTLAND, Maine — 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 …
The Bay House luxury condominium project planned for the India Street neighborhood, between Newbury, Hancock and Middle streets.

New Portland housing development builds momentum, plans for second phase

By William Hall on July 30, 2013, at 12:35 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — With construction of the initial portion of The Bay House housing complex nearing completion, developers are preparing to begin the project’s second phase. Plans call for the complex to to include a mix of market-rate condominiums, apartments, retail space and parking in the area bordered by Hancock, …
Portland City Councilor John Anton

Portland city councilor explains reasons for not seeking re-election

By William Hall on July 30, 2013, at 12:18 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — While two political veterans have already taken out nomination papers for a three-year, at-large seat on the City Council, one name that won’t appear on the ballot is that of the councilor they hope to replace, John Anton. Anton has said publicly that he will not seek …
Portland firefighters respond to a two-alarm fire at 86 Exchange St. in the city's Old Port Monday morning. The fire is believed to have started in the basement.

Portland Fire Department plans changes in response to report

By William Hall on July 29, 2013, at 5:59 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Fire Department is preparing to roll out a series of organizational and procedural changes in response to a consultant’s study conducted earlier this year. Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria on Friday said the department will begin phasing in the changes by the end of the summer. …
The Carnival Glory, towers over the waterfront Tuesday June 5, 2012.

Changing landscape in cruise ship industry brings both good and bad news to Portland

By William Hall on July 25, 2013, at 11 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — To local businesses, they may seem more like treasure ships than cruise ships. But four years after the first and only study of Portland’s cruise-ship business, some people wonder about the full economic impact of the industry — and what lies on the horizon. The 2009 study …
Head bartender and mixologist Tim Zabihaylo (left) and co-founder Johanna Corman prepare a couple "mocktails" at Vena's Fizz House, a soft-drink bar that opened July 10 in Portland's Old Port.

New soda bar adds ‘pop’ to Old Port happy hour scene

By William Hall on July 22, 2013, at 4:39 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — It was Friday “happy hour,” and on this sizzling-hot afternoon, the newest bar in the Old Port was already filling with thirsty patrons. Despite the crowd’s obvious youth, head bartender and mixologist Tim Zabihaylo wasn’t asking them for proof of age. Why bother? Zabihaylo was mixing drinks …

Prostitution ‘resurgence’ in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood troubles police, residents

By William Hall, The Forecaster on July 16, 2013, at 3:54 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — It’s called a victimless crime. The world’s oldest profession. And promoting it is now defined as a form of human trafficking, under a state law signed July 11. But for police and some city residents, prostitution in the city is simply a challenge of day-to-day life. The …

Portland City Council election attracts several potential candidates

By William Hall on July 16, 2013, at 7:34 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — With less than four months before voters elect three new city councilors, competition for the seats is heating up. By Monday, nine potential candidates, including two incumbents, had obtained nomination petitions for the Nov. 5 City Council election, according to the city clerk. Five candidates, including incumbent …
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