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Preview: Portland Phoenix - Features

Portland Phoenix - Features





 



State House Democrats stick it to political reformers

January 13 - 19, 2006

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State House Democrats stick it to political reformers
Power play give Dems control of 'nonpartisan' activist group

Don't get mad, get even. That's what State House Democrats allied with Governor John Baldacci have done in seizing control of the state's leading liberal-but-nonpartisan lobbying group — as retribution for its opposition to Baldacci's tax plans, or so a team of lobbyists who were unceremoniously booted into the street believes.

In last year's legislative session, the Maine Citizen Leadership Fund's public-interest lobbyists butted heads with the more-conservative Democratic leaders in Augusta, including Governor Baldacci and House Speaker John Richardson. The lobbyists were trying to get the politicos to support comprehensive tax reform. They failed.

But as this year’s legislative session gets under way, top State House Democrats are unlikely to have problems with the MCLF. The group’s new director, Joanne D’Arcangelo, is Speaker Richardson’s former chief aide. Her first act, even before starting work last month, was to fire the entire lobbyist staff.

The f




Diverse-City

January 13 - 19, 2006

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Diverse-City
Here we go again

The holidays are finally over and we have a new year to write on our checks. So, it’s time to think up all the stuff we would like to do under the guise of "resolutions." So far, the only one I’ve ever kept (and only because I was dragged kicking and screaming) is my resolution several years ago to get the nicotine monkey off my back.

Maybe this year you’ve resolved to do some intellectual growing. Maybe you want to become more aware of other cultures because you read this column every month and my rantings on diversity have wormed their way deep into your brain.

If so, you’ll have chances to do some learning close to home.

January, after all, is the month we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of the most notable happenings locally is the 25th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast held on January 16 in Portland. Or, you can get a pair of discussions that are food-free at the University of New England, which will host author Noam Chomsky and physician Willi




Dr. Strangelove

January 13 - 19, 2006

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Dr. Strangelove
The man who wanted to "cure" homosexuality succumbs to a lifetime of controversy

On December 25, Dr. Charles W. Socarides, one of the last of the old-school scourges of the gay community, died at the age of 83 in New York. A popular guest on television and radio talk shows in the 1960s, Socarides is today remembered only by a small number of conservative psychoanalysts and aging gay liberationists who — after the birth of the modern gay-rights movement in 1969 — vehemently, and effectively, protested his view that homosexuality was a mental disorder that, with proper treatment, could be overcome.

Born in 1922 in Brockton, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard and New York Medical College, Socarides was, by the mid 1950s, a leader in New York psychoanalytic circles and an "expert" on the causes of and cures for homosexuality. Psychoanalysts never viewed same-sex desire as "normal" or healthy, since they argued that it is the result of inappropriate sexual and gender identifications in childhood. But from the field’s beginnings in early-19th-century Vienna, analysts’ attitudes tow




The Gray Lady in shadow

January 6 - 12, 2006

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The Gray Lady in shadow
Could publication of the domestic-spying story lead to indictment of the New York Times?

Fearful that his presidency could be swept into the same historical dustbin as Richard Nixon’s, an unrepentant President George W. Bush seems intent on prosecuting the sources who leaked to the New York Times the details of his administration’s warrantless domestic spying. But does Bush have the chutzpah to go after the Times itself?

A variety of federal statutes, from the Espionage Act on down, give Bush ample means to prosecute the Times reporters who got the scoop, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, as well as the staff editors who facilitated publication. Even Executive Editor Bill Keller and Publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr., could become targets — a startling possibility, just the threat of which would serve as a deterrent to the entire Fourth Estate.

Legal means are one thing, but political will is another. If Bush goes after the Times, he could spark a conflagration potentially more destructive to a free press — or to his administratio




Armory arts center

January 6 - 12, 2006

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Armory arts center
South Portland's vacant landmark could be reborn as a cultural icon

A 25,000-square-foot building sits on just shy of three acres at the foot of the south end of the Casco Bay Bridge. Vacant since 1996, the former South Portland armory remains in limbo. its owner, the moribund Museum of Glass and Ceramics, declared bankruptcy last year, before ever moving in.

Even a wealthy real-estate developer, Cape Elizabeth's Greg Boulos, a partner in the Boulos Company, one of Maine's largest development firms, last month withdrew an offer to buy the building. He had not expressed any specific plans for the building.

But the armory would be the perfect spot for a multi-disciplinary arts center, with room for a performance-and-exhibition space, soundproof rehearsal rooms, photo darkrooms, small offices for business activities, and ample parking.

All of those things are needed in greater Portland, and an arts-oriented developer was interested enough to want to tour the building after hearing the idea.

REAL POSSIBILITIES

The building is in a la




The Gray Lady in shadow

January 6 - 12, 2006

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The Gray Lady in shadow
Could publication of the domestic-spying story lead to indictment of the New York Times?

Fearful that his presidency could be swept into the same historical dustbin as Richard Nixon’s, an unrepentant President George W. Bush seems intent on prosecuting the sources who leaked to the New York Times the details of his administration’s warrantless domestic spying. But does Bush have the chutzpah to go after the Times itself?

A variety of federal statutes, from the Espionage Act on down, give Bush ample means to prosecute the Times reporters who got the scoop, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, as well as the staff editors who facilitated publication. Even Executive Editor Bill Keller and Publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr., could become targets — a startling possibility, just the threat of which would serve as a deterrent to the entire Fourth Estate.

Legal means are one thing, but political will is another. If Bush goes after the Times, he could spark a conflagration potentially more destructive to a free press — or to his administratio




The Gray Lady in shadow

January 6 - 12, 2006

(image)
The Gray Lady in shadow
Could publication of the domestic-spying story lead to indictment of the New York Times?

Fearful that his presidency could be swept into the same historical dustbin as Richard Nixon’s, an unrepentant President George W. Bush seems intent on prosecuting the sources who leaked to the New York Times the details of his administration’s warrantless domestic spying. But does Bush have the chutzpah to go after the Times itself?

A variety of federal statutes, from the Espionage Act on down, give Bush ample means to prosecute the Times reporters who got the scoop, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, as well as the staff editors who facilitated publication. Even Executive Editor Bill Keller and Publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr., could become targets — a startling possibility, just the threat of which would serve as a deterrent to the entire Fourth Estate.

Legal means are one thing, but political will is another. If Bush goes after the Times, he could spark a conflagration potentially more destructive to a free press — or to his administratio




Milking the cow

January 13 - 19, 2006

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Milking the cow

I’m a married guy with a good job, a wonderful kid, and my wife’s a good lady. The problem? Sex. She rarely wants/needs it, and when I can get her in the mood it’s the same old, dull routine. Same position, I do all the work — she won’t even touch my dick! — and it’s over in 15 minutes.

I’ve tried to talk about it with her, even counseling, but she’s very defensive. She claims that I am treating her as an "object." She also claims she got adventure out of her system years ago. How nice for her. I never got enough. Never had a blowjob, never had intercourse in any position but missionary. I’m frustrated, angry, and desperate. I never wanted to cheat, but this has gone on for years and things just aren’t going to change.

Now — act surprised! — there’s an opportunity. This other woman is sexy, smart, and adventurous, and she has a very healthy libido. I want her, she wants me. The problem? She’s going to be leaving soon for a job in a new area. Part of me wants to go with her, but




On a Peace Convergence

August 15, 2003

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On a Peace Convergence
A wrap-up of what happend when 350 people came to protest the launch of a weapon of mass destruction

Two-hundred-seventy-five peace activists departed Library Park, in Bath, Maine, at 9:30 a.m., August 9, for the front gates of Bath Iron Works to present an alternative to the "christening" of another weapon of mass destruction, the Aegis Destroyer USS Momsen. By the time the procession arrived at the front gate our numbers had swelled to almost 350 activists. It was a peace procession quite unlike any other seen in this area. Led off by a "Swords into Plowshares" banner, followed by a large Native American drum played by six people and six giant peace doves floating above the procession carried by 18 stalwart folks, Washington Street became, at least for a short while, the road to peace.

Hosted by Maine Veterans for Peace, activists began gathering at 7 a.m. in Bath for a Convergence for Peace. By 8 a.m., ceremonies were under way. Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space; Kathy Kelly, Voices In The Wilderness; and Liz McAlister, Plowshare activist from Baltimor




EYE ON AUGUSTA

January 13 - 19, 2006

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EYE ON AUGUSTA
Squeezing Sudan

 




HOTEL VS. CLUB

January 13 - 19, 2006

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HOTEL VS. CLUB
Good soundbreaks make . . .



RECORDING

January 13 - 19, 2006

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RECORDING
An album a day



HOOPLEVILLE

January 13 - 19, 2006

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HOOPLEVILLE
A David Kish comic strip




Gluttony, thy name is Christmas

January 6 - 12, 2006

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Gluttony, thy name is Christmas

Well, the holidays are over and I’ve decided to go on a detox. Like any good WASP, I’m leaning toward the gin detox to get me through January and February. The problem is, I’m recovering from a serious case of stuffed lung. It’s almost as dangerous as black lung, except in this case it’s pieces of gooey sage stuffing and turkey gravy forced like sausage meat into the natural casings of my lungs.

I realized this was my illness when after enormous meal number four, this one being Christmas itself, my lungs actually began to hurt and it was hard to breathe. I couldn’t even sit in a chair to watch the pile of movies we had picked out for our holiday weekend. Instead I had to lie prostrate on my bed, holding my stomach like it was a baby I might feel kick. I admit, I was a little worried that what was inside might indeed kick.

Cowboy, who came home with me for Christmas (and was the first boyfriend to come home with me for this holiday) found he had to spend most evenings after dinner lying on the f