Thursday, March 02, 2006

Vigil Held to Protest Illegal Wiretapping
About 40 people held a candlelight vigil outside the Reiche Community Center on February 22nd to call for a thorough and independent investigation of President Bush’s illegal domestic wiretapping program.
People gathered at the "Constitution Vigil" reading the Bill of Rights and then went into the school to watch the anti-war film Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War. The film was followed by a discussion led by West End State Representative John Eder and Jack Bussell of Maine Veterans for Peace.

Reiche Community Starts to Organize
Parents, teachers and administrators of the Reiche School Community have started to come together to try to figure out how the school can be made more successful academically and more competitive in a shrinking urban school population. Three hundred-thirty-seven families left the Portland school system last year, according to School Superintendent Mary Jo O’Connor.
About 65 people attended a forum to discuss the future of the Reiche School and Community Center at the school on Thursday, February, 16th. The forum was organized by West End School Committee member Stephen Spring.
Spring convened the forum to clarify the process being followed by the Elementary Facilities Task Force and to address the issue of school consolidation. West End City Councilor Karen Geraghty and Task Force Chair Jason Toothaker were among those in attendance.
Reiche School Principal Marcia Gendron talked about Reiche’s future and the need to start marketing it to parents. Jo Coyne of the West End Neighborhood Association talked about that group’s organizing a Community Design Workshop to design a master plan for the school and community center. That project is currently on hold until the future plans for Reiche are more definite.
Several of those in attendance spoke of Reiche’s origins and thirty-year history in the West End. There was also discussion ‘open design’ which has been brought up as one of the school’s educational shortcomings.
Reiche students, parents, teachers and staff also held a community event on February 28th for West End parents and their children to learn more about the school. Portland Superintendent Mary Jo O'Connor joined a panel of parents, students and staff sharing information and answering questions.
The ‘open design’ of the school was also brought up at this meeting by parents and teachers who praised the design as contributing to the school’s positive educational experience. One parent said that the students at Reiche were actually quieter than students at other schools because of the open layout. Teachers said that the layout helped them work as a team and not in isolation. Gendron said it was one of her goals to have greater parent involvement and it was time to be proactive about marketing the school and stop taking it for granted.

Stolen Guitar Returned to Local Musician
1972 Les Paul Gold Top Was Stolen From Vehicle in Old Port

Matthew Robbins of King Memphis has had his prized 1972 Les Paul Gold Top guitar returned to him after the guitar had been stolen last month. The guitar was taken from Robbins’ vehicle in the Old Port.
According to, a local businessperson who requested anonymity told The Bollard that the guitar was recently exchanged for crack cocaine on the East End, but shortly after the dealer received it, the individual saw an item in The West End News about its theft, and then arranged to have it anonymously returned.

Neighborhood to Discuss Presence of Coyotes
City Councilor Donna Carr will host a neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, March 7, 6:30 p.m. at the Breakwater School to discuss the concerns regarding the presence of coyotes in the Brighton neighborhood. Phil Bozenhard, wildlife biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will be present to address questions and concerns. City of Portland staff will also be on hand to listen to resident concerns and explore possible solutions to the issue. Anyone with questions or comments about this meeting or the coyote issue in general, may call or e-mail Tom Fortier with the City of Portland at 874-8689.

Stage Production Needs African-American Men
The director of the musical Ragtime, which is currently in rehearsal at the Lyric Music Theater in South Portland, has put out an urgent request for African-American men to take roles in the play. The show needs 2-4 African American men (or teenagers 15 and over), or else this show is not going to work. Musical ability is not a must, but it would be a plus. If you know of anyone, please contact Michael Donovan, the director, at (332-1222 or 899-1417).
Ragtime is scheduled to be performed April 28, 29, 30, May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14.

City Announces Openings on Boards and Commissions
The City of Portland has announced a number of volunteer opportunities on municipal boards and commissions in the City. Among the openings available are:
-Friends of the Parks – 2 positions
-Greater Portland Public -Development Commission – 1 position
-Historic Preservation – 1 position
-Police Citizen Review Subcommittee - 1 Position
-Waterfront Economic Development Advisory Committee – 1 Position More information on the openings is available in the City Clerk’s office, on the City’s website at or at 874-8677. Deadline for submission is March 17, 2006. Please send a resume and cover letter to Appointments Committee Chairman, c/o Linda C. Cohen, City Clerk, 389 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101. Applicants will be contacted for interviews.


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