The Maine Senate voted unanimously today to enact a bill requiring the Maine State Retirement System to divest its holdings from the Darfur region in Sudan. The retirement system has invested about $50 million of its $9 billion portfolio in Sudan. The bill only needs to be signed by the Governor to become law. The Gov has already announced his intention to sign the bill.
A company of child actors will perform a play about the Iraq War at the Alumni Theater at the University of Maine at Farmington from April 13 through April 15. The play, "Songbird," was written by Farmington playwright Jayne Decker. It is about a soldier in the Iraq War and the impact the war has on his family in the US.
The kid cast will play adult American soldiers in Iraq and Iraqi children.
A hastily called rally in Monument Square today protested a political tactic in Washington DC that has senators racing against the clock to finalize a proposal for "comprehensive immigration reform," lest a draconian and simplistic solution be enacted in its stead.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) has said he will open debate on the Senate floor as early as tomorrow, whether or not the Senate Judiciary Committee completes its work.
LD 1758, the bill which would require Maine's retirement system to give up its holdings in war-torn Sudan, is well on its way to becoming a law. The bill passed both the House and Senate earlier this week and is awaiting enactment and a signature from the governor, who has already pledged his support. The east African country Sudan has been crippled by a twenty year civil war and three years of genocide in the Darfur region.
Governor John Baldacci scored points with Maine international labor advocates this week when he withdrew Maine from the procurement sections of two US trade agreements, the Panama free trade agreement and the Andean free trade agreement (which involves Columbia, Peru, and Equador). The withdrawal means Maine will not benefit from purchasing deals established under the agreements, but will also not be bound by the rules of the agreements, which could force states to purchase from companies with poor labor standards.
Bar Lola, a new restaurant which will take over the space at 100 Congress on Munjoy Hill, is the brainchild of people involved with One Fifty Ate, the bread/sandwich/natural foods eatery in South Portland which has generated a loyal following since it opened in 2002.
Bar Lola is owned by Stella and Guy Hernandez. Stella is a waitress at One Fifty, Guy is a partner there, and Josh Potoki, a co-founder of One Fifty Ate and a former chef at Street & Co.
Greg Young, owner of Youngo's, has closed down the tiny coffeeshop which defied economic odds for two years. Opened in 2004, Youngo's Cafe was located in Bramhall Square, on the end of Congress Street where the commercial properties meld into a row of apartment buildings. The location was in some ways dubious - parking was practically nonexistent - and it's always tough to make a go of a business based on hawking $2 cups of coffee.
Try this on for size: You're walking your dog and it takes a
dump on a city sidewalk or greenspace.
The Portland Friends Meeting, a Quaker group, is sponsoring an eight-week film series on nonviolence to help local activists learn what worked and what didn't in past peace movements. The Phoenix caught up with this festival a little late (there have already been two screenings) but, don't worry, there are still six more full length documentaries to enjoy and learn from.
A baby born January 22 at Mercy Hospital was, sadly, not
named for the Phoenix newspaper, though his name is Phoenix.
"My husband picked the name," said mother Tara
Burke. Her husband's favorite car is a Pontiac Firebird, and the mythical
creature was also an inspiration.
As noted on the family's Web site, "The Phoenix is made
of all the most desirable parts of earth's creatures: the snake's neck, the
crane's forehead, the dragon's stripes, the fish's tail, the tortoise's shell,
the swallow's throat, and the fowl's bill.