Blogs and Columns


When We Were Kids: Baseball

on July 01, 2015, at 12:03 a.m.
Second in a series of occasional posts wherein a geezer looks back at a time when he (and Bangor) were far younger. By Dave Riley FOR AT LEAST PART of one summer, Owen Inforati was the most popular guy in our neighborhood.  If he or any of his heirs are …
Sarah Smiley

When your kid is afraid of water

By Sarah Smiley on June 30, 2015, at 3:44 p.m.
Two of my sons have suffered from a fear of the water, both for good reasons. When Owen was 4, he fell into a neighbor’s pool during a birthday party. He lay face down in the deep end until an attentive grandmother jumped in to get him. It would be …
Julia Bayly.

Mushers a tough, caring bunch in the face of tragedy

By Julia Bayly on June 25, 2015, at 3:15 p.m.
FORT KENT | Mushers are independent, competitive and far happier in the company of dogs than with most people. But when the chips are down, I can’t think of anyone better to have on my side than another musher. Unless it’s the entire global mushing community. On June 14, …

Levant soldier followed Greeley’s advice to “go West, young man”

on June 24, 2015, at 5:37 p.m.
  As did so many other Maine soldiers, a 19-year-old cavalryman from Levant who helped shove Confederate troops from their Petersburg defenses discovered that greater economic opportunity lay elsewhere than Maine after the Civil War. Born in Levant on December 6, 1845, Perley Lowe grew up in a decidedly rural …

Maine Food Show highlights tasty newcomers

on June 24, 2015, at 1:18 p.m.
A few days before the food cognoscenti descend on Manhattan for the Fancy Food Show, Portland hosts its own tasty take on innovative, specialty fare. On Thursday, the first annual Maine Food Show throws down a smorgasbord of edible (and drinkable) innovations made in Maine, or inspired by the Pine Tree State. It …

Meals on Wheels: ‘One Is A Lonely Number’

on June 24, 2015, at 12:09 a.m.
“There’s a lady on my route who comes to the door with a huge smile on her face. She says I’m just about the only person she talks to on my delivery day.” By Dave Riley My first encounter with what I will characterize as senior isolation occurred when I …
Sarah Smiley

Lindell the Lion: mascot for everything

By ssmiley on June 23, 2015, at 3:41 p.m.
Ever since he was as young as 18 months old, Lindell has loved two things: animals and an audience (also, alliteration, coincidentally). He knows and remembers not just the names of all his stuffed animals, which surely number in the dozens by now, but also their personalities, likes and dislikes. …
Emmet Meara

Drunks talking trash soured concert experience

By Emmet Meara on June 22, 2015, at 11:03 a.m.
The thrill is gone, baby. Mid-June used to be the time to check the concert schedules at Great Woods, Merrill Center, the Portland Pier, maybe even Gillette Stadium. Hey, the summer was never complete without a rock concert or two, or three. We used to go out like real people. …

Civil War weekend in Augusta to highlight Appomattox surrender

on June 21, 2015, at 7:53 p.m.
The Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House will be among the highlighted events as the Maine Living History Association stages “Appomattox and the Grand Review March” in August on Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28. Activities will take place at the 224-acre Viles Arboretum at 153 Hospital St. (Route 9) in Augusta. Hours …
The Nickel Theater on Union Street, where boxing was a popular feature a century ago.

Masters of the Mitts: Boxing entertained Bangor a century ago

By Wayne E. Reilly on June 21, 2015, at 12:46 p.m.
If you were a young man living in Bangor a century ago, you most likely were familiar with Ernie McIntyre, the Aroostook Demon, and a host of other regional “masters of the mitts” with outrageous monikers. More than McIntyre perhaps during that spring of 1915, you had certainly heard of …
Chris and Jill Packard, on their backyard farm in Hampden.

Hampden family’s DIY-energy undaunted by challenges

By Robin Cifford Wood on June 21, 2015, at 6:02 a.m.
The most recent surprise Chris and Jill Packard confronted on their 3-acre homestead in Hampden came from their new Ancona ducks. “They are very messy. They get a mouthful of food, walk over to their water, shake their heads around and spew food all over the place,” Chris told me …

Will we be able to stay in Maine?

on June 19, 2015, at 10:32 p.m.
A few days ago, Dawn Gagnon wrote an article for the Bangor Daily News about a family with a 19 year old autistic son named Michael.  Michael, like my daughter Hallee, is autistic.  Michael’s parents are moving out of Maine in order to provide their son with the support and opportunities …

It’s been more than 20 years since I called Charleston, South Carolina my home, but it’s held on to a piece of my heart for all that time

on June 18, 2015, at 8:05 p.m.
It’s been more than 20 years since I called Charleston, South Carolina my home, but it’s held on to a piece of my heart for all that time, waiting for me to return.  I can still feel the balmy, warm air on my skin, taste the salt of the ocean …
Working on a laptop outdoors for the best Internet access, two students at Stefano Moshi Memorial University College in Tanzania discover how to use electronic scholarly journals from the University of Maine at Presque Isle library for their research during a class taught in the fall 2013 in Tanzania by Shirley Rush, UMPI associate professor of social work.

UMPI develops connection with Tanzania

By Kathryn Olmstead on June 18, 2015, at 2:39 p.m.
Who would guess that college students in a small village at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania would be able to benefit from the library resources of the University of Maine at Presque Isle? It happened, and an innovative online course connecting two universities — one in Africa and …

Battle of the Bards — Part 2: Regiments trade volley fire in a Maine newspaper

on June 17, 2015, at 5:17 p.m.
  If Col. Hiram Burnham was pleased that his 6th Maine Infantry received a brief mention in the May 15, 1862 issue of the Maine Farmer, he certainly did not care when he blew his Down East gasket nine days later. Several Maine infantry regiments had battled at Williamsburg, Va. …
Sarah Smiley

Pop culture trends I missed while raising kids

By Sarah Smiley on June 17, 2015, at 11:13 a.m.
I realize I’m getting older and that I’ve spent the last 14 years raising children — specifically, boys. I don’t expect to fully understand the Kardashians, One Direction or earrings that make large, open holes in people’s ears. I’m aware that these things have become part of regular pop culture, …

Meals On Wheels Is A Lot More Than Comfort Food

on June 17, 2015, at 12:20 a.m.
“8.3 million seniors face the threat of hunger every day in America. Every day.” By Dave Riley My friend Al Wegel is a retired editor who loves words and wordplay. He and I both do the New York Times crossword, but with different results. He finishes the Friday puzzle, which, …

The best restaurant in Portland you’ve never tried

on June 16, 2015, at 5:40 p.m.
It’s the place that Food and Wine forgot. TV personality Andrew Zimmern may never add this Greek gem to his Where to Eat and Drink in Portland. Say “Emilitsa” and most Portlanders scratch their beards. Yet for all that, this upscale Greek restaurant on Congress Street is one of the brightest spots …
Emmet Meara

Canoe buddies plan final Allagash trip to honor late friend

By Emmet Meara on June 15, 2015, at 12:32 p.m.
It used to be an annual routine. On the third week in May, the Upside Down Canoe Club would invade the mighty Allagash armed with coolers of beer and very little knowledge. We bounced off every rock in the St. John and Allagash Rivers and somehow came home in one …

Sailing away with David Gray at Maine State Pier

on June 15, 2015, at 10:58 a.m.
“Can you believe how perfect this is?” Asked the tanned blonde woman in a straw hat seated next to me at the David Gray concert Saturday night at Maine State Pier. A pinkish purple sun set over Portland. Double-masted schooners bobbed in the water and sailors aboard the Maine Maritime …
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