About Town - February, 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

EXODUS - Photo collective moves to Westbrook

The Bakery Photographic Collective is looking for new members as part of its move to a much-larger space, in Westbrook, than the group has occupied in Portland. The group recently signed a 10-year lease on 4000 square feet in the Dana Warp Mill on Westbrook's Presumpscot riverfront, and hopes to move in July 1.

The group previously occupied 800 square feet in the old Calderwood Bakery building on Pleasant Street in Portland. Group co-director Tanja Hollander says the group has not yet decided whether to change their name after the move out of the bakery, though she says she hopes to add "at least five" new members to the 25-photographer collective before the move, now that there will be more space available.

It will also provide an opportunity for the collective to offer classes for amateur and professional photographers, as well as children, starting in the fall, Hollander says.

"The space is so incredibly beautiful and amazing" with big windows and lots of light, and will be built out to provide exhibition space, eight darkrooms, and a photo studio.

"It's crazy how cheap it is," Hollander says. The cost per square foot has dropped from $12 in the Bakery building to $4.50, making five times more space available for less than double the cost.

And the group got a revolving downtown revitalization loan from the city of Westbrook, with a 5 percent interest rate.

"We really wouldn't have been able to do it without that kind of interest rate," says Hollander. The building has "a good energy," with tenants including painters, woodworkers, printmakers, and a jeweler. It is also near Chicky's Fine Diner, a popular arts and music venue, and Hollander says the collective has already approached owner Chicky Stoltz about finding ways to work together.

Developer Tim Flannery, who owns the mill and built the One Riverfront Plaza office building across the street, sold the Riverfront Plaza building in November, according to the American Journal. Flannery told the Journal then that he expected to keep ownership of the mill. He did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

2/28/2006 6:26:54 PM by Jeff Inglis | Comments [0] |  

NIN - Show postponed

The Nine Inch Nails show slated for tonight at the Cumberland County Civic Center has been postponed. No date has been set, but the show's promoters (Tea Party Concerts and Live Nation) say all tickets will be honored at the future date, and refunds are available to those who want them.

Lauren Wayne, Tea Party and Live Nation's rep here in Portland, said the group's founder, Trent Reznor, is ill. He apparently canceled last night's show in Amherst, Massachusetts, as well.

2/28/2006 12:16:19 PM by Jeff Inglis | Comments [0] |  

WAR - Candidate calls for pullout

Dexter Kamilewicz, an independent candidate challenging Democratic incumbent Tom Allen for the US House of Representatives seat for southern Maine, continues to call for an immediate pullout of American troops from Iraq.

He also is demanding an investigation into whether charges should be laid against anyone for crimes against humanity and crimes against the US Constitution, and on February 6 wrote to senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, as well as Allen and Maine's 2nd District congressman, Mike Michaud, on the subject.

This morning at 11 am at the Portland Public Library, he will hold a press conference demanding a response to those letters. Kamilewicz's son is home on leave from service on active duty with the Vermont National Guard in Iraq.

Though Kamilewicz is an independent, his call appears to be in line with a resolution passed by the Democratic State Committee in late January (see "Maine-ufacturing Consent" by Lance Tapley, February 3). That resolution called for "responsible, prompt withdrawal from Iraq," later specified as "in months, not years."

The committee's resolution also "renounces the abuse or torture of prisoners or detainees by the United States or its surrogates" - acknowledging the longstanding American practice of "outsourcing" torture to other countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe - and reminds the government of the Geneva Convention and other national and international laws, and goes so far as to ask Democrats in Congress "to initiate and/or support legislation" to ensure that the government follows its own rules.

Kamilewicz also has the backing of a prominent Democrat, Portland attorney John Kaminski, who is a statewide activist for peace and social issues, and serves as the State Committee member for Sagadahoc County.

2/28/2006 8:58:29 AM by Jeff Inglis | Comments [0] |  

Friday, February 24, 2006

YOU VS. THE MAN - A course on tax resistance

If you're hip to skip tax season this year in protest of the war or pollution or the Supreme Court nominations - whatever, pick your injustice - this is the meeting for you.

Larry Dansinger's Maine War Tax Resistance Center will hold two meetings on how to avoid paying your taxes and also avoid subsequent fines or jail time. The first, tomorrow, will be held at the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine in Bangor, 170 Park Street, from 10 am to 3 pm. The second, in southern Maine, will be held at People's Free Space at 144 Cumberland Avenue in Portland on March 23 at 6:30 pm.

If you make more than $8,000 or so, avoiding your taxes can be a tricky business, but hell, going to a meeting is free and won't cripple you with an IRS audit. At least not immediately. 

2/24/2006 4:13:13 PM by Sara Donnelly | Comments [1] |  

Thursday, February 23, 2006

PARTIES - Dem Baldacci honors greatest Republican

--UPDATED 3:35 pm, Friday, February 25, with interview of Phil Harriman--
--UPDATED 9:20 am, Tuesday, February 28, with interview of Adam Mack--

With no fanfare, Maine Governor John Baldacci issued a proclamation declaring February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day" in the state of Maine, after a request from a group whose self-given task is to get "significant public landmarks" named for Reagan in every single county - that's right, county - in the US.

The only public acknowledgement of Baldacci's recognition of Reagan was in a press release not from Baldacci's office, which is profligate with announcements of nearly all of his official acts. (And the gov's proclamations are not archived online.)

Instead, the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project issued a release February 17, 11 days after the state's recognition day, saying the project "commends" Baldacci's action, in honor of what would have been Reagan's 95th birthday. According to the group, 39 other governors made similar proclamations this year.

Reagan, who never visited Maine while in office, honored by a Democratic governor?

And it's not the first time. On June 11, 2004, six days after Reagan's death, Baldacci headlined a Reagan memorial ceremony at the Blaine House and proclaimed that day "Ronald Reagan Remembrance Day."

In 2005, Baldacci was one of 36 governors, including 11 Democrats, who issued proclamations in honor of Reagan's birthday, according to the Legacy Project.

The governor's Web site says the governor will issue proclamations "to recognize and celebrate the extraordina