Friday, June 29, 2007

Soccer League Looking For Young Players

Portland Area Youth Soccer Association is looking for young players for its fall recreational soccer program. Entering it's 25th year, PAYSA offers opportunities to learn and play soccer in a "no results" atmosphere. Gender-based teams are formed for players aged 6 to 13. Practices are held during the week with games on the weekend.

Originally formed as the West End Soccer League in 1982, PAYSA has grown to nearly 70 teams, 900 players. Practices are held on nearly all availablefields throughout Portland and games are played at Dougherty Field, and behindPresumpscot School.

PAYSA also offers a 4 week "Little Kickers" program for 4 and 5 year olds. Register online at or call 772-9720 for information. Fee is $60 before July 15th, $70 after (Little Kickers: $30). Scholarships are available. No player will be refused due to inability to pay.
Longfellow Square Gets Its Flowers
The flowers that annually adorn the Longfellow Statue in Longfellow Square were planted in the square by Parks Department workers on June 22nd. The planting was delayed this year because the department was still backed up from the Patriot's Day storm clean-up, according to Jan Beitzer of the Portland Downtown District, which pays for the plantings.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Three Announce Congress Bids
Three candidates for Congressman Tom Allen’s seat in the US Congress made their candidacies official in June.

North Haven small-businesswoman and former Maine Senate Majority Leader Democrat Chellie Pingree officially kicked off her grassroots campaign for Congress in Maine’s First Congressional District on June 15th at a press conference at the Eastern Prom Gazebo at Fort Allen Park on Munjoy Hill.

Former Senate Majority Leader Michael Brennan announced on June 26th that he is a Democratic candidate for Congress.

Republican Charles Summers also announced that he would be a candidate for the seat, declaring that Maine needs strong, experienced leadership in Washington.

Brennan, in a speech to supporters outside of Portland’s Oxford Street Shelter said “Today is the beginning of our campaign to reclaim the values of the Democratic Party, and make it a party that stands proudly for doing right by people.”

“It’s time for real change in this country,” Pingree said. “Six years of George Bush and the Republicans in Congress have severely harmed our country. They deliberately squandered America’s economic, military, and moral authority. Their vision for America could not be more different from mine.”

Summers is the former Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration and 2004 nominee for Congress. "With only two members of Congress, it’s crucial that Maine has strong, experienced representation in Congress,” he said.

Brennan, a Portland resident and native, said that in order for Democrats in Washington to regain the mantle of leadership, they must act quickly and strongly to deal with the major challenges that Mainers and Americans face, including eradicating poverty, providing universal health care, revamping and strengthening the education system for the 21st century, fighting global warming, and particularly, ending the War in Iraq.
The West End NEWS
Volume 7, Number 9
June 28-July 12, 2007
Convenience Store Robber Nabbed

Portland Police have arrested William Rowell, 49, and charged him with two counts of robbery. He allegedly robbed the Big Apple at 754 Congress Street on June 20, and on Saturday, June 23, allegedly robbed a Stop ’n Shoppe at 8:30 PM. The clerk got the license plate of the van he drove off in, which was registered to him.

Police contacted Rowell on June 25th via cell phone, and using technology to track cell phone calls, were able to know where he was. He was attempting to negotiate a surrender when police went to a Rite Aid parking lot 7:30 Sunday evening and placed him under arrest for the two crimes. Rowell’s last known address was 62 State Street, but he listed himself as a “transient.” -Margery Niblock

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gunfire in Kennedy Park
Bystander avoids injury

Portland police responded to the area of Kennedy Park near Boyd Street for reports of gunfire at about 10:45 PM on June 13th, after several residents reported hearing multiple gunshots. Several men had fled the area of Boyd Street and were running toward Fox Street, according to witnesses.

At the scene, officers spoke with several witnesses who reported hearing an argument between two men in front of 63 Boyd Street. Several other men were present, and witnesses reported hearing the argument escalate. One of the involved individuals mentioned a gun and was seen holding a firearm, from which he fired several rounds. Witnesses stated that a second male also had a firearm and pointed it at another man but did not fire.

No one was injured by the gunfire. A resident of Boyd Street reported hearing the argument and looked out his window. He saw a man fire a weapon and then heard a noise within his apartment and felt something hit his back. A bullet was found on the floor of his apartment. Subsequent investigation located a hole through which the bullet likely passed.

Based on witness identifications, two men were arrested after they were stopped running from the area. Abdi Awad, 21, of South Portland, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon. It is alleged that Awad is the man who fired the weapon.

Also arrested was Aregawi Gebrewahid, 22, who lives in Kennedy Park. Gebrewahid was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. It is alleged that he pointed a firearm at several people on Boyd Street.
The incident remains under investigation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thursday, June 28
FCC Announces Localism Hearing
The Federal Communications Commission will hold a localism hearing in the afternoon and evening in Portland on Thursday, June 28. The hearing will be held at Portland High School from 4 to 11PM.

The purpose of the hearing is to gather information from consumers, industry, civic organizations, and others on broadcasters’ service to their local communities. Along with competition and diversity, promoting localism is a key goal of the Commission’s media ownership rules.

The hearing format will enable members of the public to participate via an “open microphone” session. For handicap accessible accommodations, send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).
For more info, call Mary Diamond at 202-418-2388.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Munjoy Hill Extends Boundaries
Inner City Turf War Averted

The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization has endorsed a proposal by its board of directors to extend the group’s boundaries. The area added to the MHNO domain is at the base of the hill, between Washington Avenue and the Franklin Arterial, from Congress Street to the waterfront. The area is currently unrepresented by any neighborhood organization.

At its June 12th annual meeting, the group also discussed putting the Franklin Towers apartment complex, which is on the other side of the arterial, under its jurisdiction, but was told by East End City Councilor Kevin Donoghue that the building’s tenants were already active participants in the Bayside Neighborhood Association.

“Maybe we could all go attack Bayside right now!” quipped outgoing MHNO president Markos Miller, but the group decided to avoid starting a boundary dispute with its neighbors.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hard Feelings Linger Between Local Parties
Dems Bash Greens at Annual Truman Event

Seven months after a hard-fought and sometimes bitter election in which two incumbent Green Party officials were defeated at the polls by Democratic newcomers, and two new Greens defeated local Democrats in City Council races, hard feelings between the city’s two dominant political parties still bubble to the surface.

At the Portland Democratic Party’s annual Truman Dinner held at the East End Community School on June 2nd, Committee Chair Sive Neilan introduced former East End City Councilor Will Gorham as “our City Councilor” although Gorham was upset in the election by Green Kevin Donoghue. Neilan expressed dismay as to why Gorham was not re-elected, and was confident that he would soon be returned to the local governing body.

Donoghue is currently locked in a battle with Councilors Jim Cloutier and Jill Duson, two Democrats on the officially non-partisan council, over the $100 million Maine State Pier proposal.

House Majority Leader Glenn Cummings praised West End State Representative Jon Hinck at the June 2nd dinner, saying that the West End finally got the “professional” representation it deserved. Hinck defeated Green Party incumbent legislator John Eder, who most recently was recruited to join Ocean Properties, the Maine State Pier bidder whose team also includes such prominent Democrats as former Senator George Mitchell, former Portland City Councilor Peter O’Donnell, and Governor John Baldacci’s brother.
Robbers Strike Gold On High St.
Portland police say that a man from Brewer reported that he was stopped on Spring and High Street while walking to his car at about 1:30 AM on June 9th and robbed of over $130,000 in jewelry. The stolen items included two rings, a Rolex watch, and a matching bracelet. Police say the man was driving a $200,000 2007 Bentley.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Councilors Clash Over Pier Proposals
“The rules exist in his (Cloutier’s) head,”says Councilor Donoghue

East End City Councilor Kevin Donoghue has accused fellow City Councilors Jim Cloutier and Jill Duson of disposing of the rules when it comes to deciding which of two Maine State Pier proposals the City’s Community Development Committee will recommend to the City Council.

In an op-ed piece in the June 12th edition of the Portland Press Herald, Donoghue says that the City’s bidding process required that finished bids be submitted by February 22, 2007, which they were, but the bid by Ocean Properties has been entirely redone, four months after the deadline, which Donoghue says is against the rules, and unfair to the other bidder.

Donoghue says that the current process affords “an unprecedented degree of latitude to the politically-favored” Ocean Properties group. Among those on the Ocean Properties team are former Senator George Mitchell and Bob Baldacci, brother of Maine Governor John Baldacci.

Donoghue says that no mention or rules exist for what Cloutier calls a “Concept RFP” because “those rules exist inside his head.”
The West End NEWS
Volume 7, Number 8
June 15-27, 2007

*** Your keywords shall inspire you***

ARIES (March 21 - April 19) Your ruler Mars keeps you company til the 24th, energizing your projects. You can achieve wondrous feats right now! The negative manifestation of this energy, however, is the danger that it tips into an overly steamroller type of focus or over-aggressiveness. Your “child spirit” will be activated, and will start asking questions. Simple questions may be fraught with complexity. The Gemini Sun this month emphasizes your mental acuity, though with Mercury going walkabout after the 15th there will be some frustrations, delays, or real estate glitches. Misunderstandings between siblings or the old spats may be infuriatingly irresolvable, do not expect to clear things up totally till after the 9th of next month. Keyword: I AM. Aries is the sign of self.

TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) No one is more determined than a Taurus with a problem. You want to fix what’s broken, and you want results ASAP! Mars in Aries until the 24th warns against harboring anger, because you risk self-sabotage with your indignation backfiring on you. It’s called "cutting off your nose to spite your face". On the 24th, when Mars finally moves into your own sign, Taurus’ will feel a new motivation. It is important to make this energy constructive rather than confrontational. At least this shift will enable you to have the opportunity to express your residual displeasure in an honest and constructive way. Keyword: I HAVE. Taurus is the sign of personal possessions.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Happy 30th Birthday to Lisa McNeil on June 25th! Sometimes when people have Pluto opposition (as you do until January) they go into a primordial swamp, into the murky unknown. Going through the dark is the only way to find the light. No way around it with Pluto. You can be assured, however, that a phoenix will rise out of the ashes. Befriend your dark side to create the light. Someone once said something like “If you chase all your devils away, all your angels run off too.” When your dark sides emerge, they carry you through dark puddles, void, vortex, crazy dreams, and into a more creative consciousness. On a lighter note, your love life is currently compelling, with the scent of possibility wafting in the breeze. Keyword: I THINK. Gemini is the sign of self-expression.

CANCER (June 21 - July 22) Happy Summer Solstice on the 21st, Crabs! Your emotional attachments and treasured memories are so important to you that sometimes you keep them too tight to your chest. Your “hard shell” exterior is only there to protect your prized feelings. You may need the extra armor since your well water runs deeper than most - you don’t want a stranger to fall in and drown! Keyword: I FEEL. Cancer is the sign of domesticity.

LEO (July 23 - August 22) The deal is that you toil with patience and humility; admit your faults and weak links; know when to battle fear and when to be realistic and cut your losses. You also know you have to earn the divine right of kings and can’t expect to be bestowed by birthright. When you do and know these things, the rewards will be regal, indeed. The Leo Moon on Father’s Day this year intensifies your quest to “find the father”. Since your sign is the one of the ruler and protector, others may gravitate toward you in their own search! Keyword: I WILL. Leo is the sign of personal pleasure.

VIRGO (August 23 - September 22)
You may be tied up in knots right now, Virgo. Figuratively speaking, if grim subjects are causing you worries, take the secure thought that a creative solution will present itself by July 14th. Keyword: I ANALYZE. Virgo is the sign of work and self-improvement.

LIBRA (September 23 - October 22) Prepare to take charge of a situation that may go awry. Nothing major, but there may be a monkey wrench thrown into the works, and you shouldn’t rely on others to fix it. From Libran Lee Iacocca: “My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life.” Keyword: I BALANCE. Libra is the sign of partnership.

SCORPIO (October 23 - November 21) End of June will find Venus opposing Neptune, with artistic and romantic idealism ruling your perspective. At this juncture in your sojourn, keep the past in the past, and focus only on the future. From Scorpio Johann Schiller: “It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”
Keyword: I DESIRE. Scorpio is the sign of legacies and shared possessions.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 - December 21) The dullness of others may be sticking to you like a thorn in your side. Your desire to be a free agent and create your own world is putting distance between you and those closest to you. Pluto is in a powerful and rare transit, causing ends of chapters to loom and beginnings of new ones to follow. You may be facing a realization that something meaningful has come to an end. Sagittarian Mark Twain had this to say about Fathers: “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” Keyword: I SEE. Sagittarius is the sign of philosophy and expression on a wider level.

CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19) Mercury’s backward journey begins on June 15th, and will be in effect until July 8th. The retrograde energy allows you greater insight into the past. It’s a wise time to study history, make a family scrapbook, or go into psychoanalysis. Keyword: I USE. Capricorn is the sign of public life.

AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18)
The Leo Moon mid-June encourages you to hold your head up high, just don’t hold it so high that you ignore the people around you who’ve been supportive and encouraging all along. Mercury’s retrograde period will inspire you to retread old ground, and revisit old friends. Revising plans for the future may begin, also, but may take a while.
Keyword: I KNOW. Aquarius is the sign of hopes and ideals on a large scale.

PISCES (February 19 - March 20)
The Summer Solstice on June 21st brings you a power surge. You had better get yourself into motion, expending some of that energy, otherwise you’ll blow a fuse. To those Piscean friends whose fathers are in their lives, let ‘em know how glad you are that Newt Gingrich wasn’t your father. By the way, Happy Birthday to Newt Gingrich on June 17th. Here’s a sentiment from your fellow Piscean, Ralph Nader: “Ours is a system of corporate socialism, where companies capitalize their profits and socialize their effect, they tax you for their accidents, bungling, boondoggles, and mismanagement, just like a government. We should be able to dis-elect them.” Keyword: I BELIEVE. Pisces is the sign of dreams and self-delusion.

Fire Victims’ Fund Tops $3500
A fund set up to aid victims of an April 5th explosion and fire at 36 Salem Street has drawn over $3500 in donations from neighbors and other contributors. The explosion demolished the house, leaving two people homeless and destroying nearly all their personal belongings. No one was injured in the accident, which is still under investigation.

Jo Coyne, owner of the house, and former president of the West End Neighborhood Association, said that all of the money would probably not be used, but that she plans to set up another fund to help other fire victims. Coyne plans to rebuild a house on the same site. The original house was built in 1870. Coyne is currently living in an apartment on Pine Street.

The fund is set up at the Five County Credit Union in Portland. Checks should be made payable to "The Salem Street Fire Fund" and can be mailed to: Five County Credit Union,P.O. Box 598, Bath, ME 04530The Credit Union also belongs to branch-sharing, so if you are a credit union member and your branch belongs to branch-sharing, a deposit can be made at that branch.You can go to to find a branch.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Portland voters on June 12th rejected a proposal that would have reallocated $4 million in previously authorized bonds for the Portland Public Library and would hav approved an additional $1 million to allow the main branch of the library to be moved from Monument Square to the former Portland Public Market building on Cumberland Avenue.
The vote was 3045 (56%) to 2379 (44%).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pantry Moves to St. Luke’s

The St. Elizabeth’s Essentials Pantry, which for several years has been housed in various locations around the Bayside neighborhood, has moved to the Cathedral Church of St. Luke at 143 State Street.

The Pantry (located at the 134 Park Street entrance) is a welcoming, no-barrier program for distribution of new and gently-used non-food essentials that are not covered by food stamps. Everyone is served regardless of religious affiliation. The pantry also serves as a place to relax, meet new friends and enjoy companionship.

The ministry is supported by eight congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and other faith traditions who prepare packages and provide staffing on rotating Tuesday mornings.

Richard Rasner of St. Luke’s will become the director of the project, coordinating the work of the parishes and soliciting donation of essentials. He may be reached at the parish office at 772-5434.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Art Inspired by the Eastern Cemetery
Spirits Alive and Society for East End Arts Announce
“Beyond the Gates”
Spirits Alive, the advocacy group for the historic Eastern Cemetery, and the Society of East End Arts, the Munjoy Hill-based organization of artists, are inviting artists in all media to join them on three weekend days this summer for a mini-tour of the ancient Eastern Cemetery, and create a work of art at the site, or take inspiration from the Eastern Cemetery and work in the studio.

The created work will be unveiled on September 15th at the North Star Café, 225 Congress Street, and continue to be exhibited at Casco Bay Framing at the Back Cove, Hannaford Plaza through mid-October. A venue for performance artists is also being scheduled.

The goal of the collaboration and event is to (re)introduce artists to this historic space, and showcase their work of the Eastern Cemetery through these exhibitions and performances.

Artists are required to register at, but there is no registration fee. Artists will be asked to donate 20% of any work sold to SA/SEA, who will divide the funds evenly. SA will use their portion of the funds for headstone conservation within the Eastern Cemetery, and SEA will use the funds for holiday lighting for Munjoy Hill.

The tour and work dates are Saturday, June 16th 2pm-5pm; (Sunday) July 22nd 10am-2pm, and Saturday, August 11th 2pm-5pm. Tours will take place during the first 30minutes of each “Beyond the Gates” day.
FMI: or 846.7753 or SEA 233.7273

Two Arrested After Cursing Dog

Portland police arrested Jay McGranahan, 47, and Joseph Leon Morris, 47, at about 8AM on May 26, and charged the two Portland residents with public drinking. Both men had been arrested earlier in the month on the same charge. A third man was not arrested.

Police found the three men with open containers of alcohol, drinking at a concealed location in Bayside, after a neighbor alerted them to the activity. The neighbor said that she decided to call police only after the men started cursing at a neighborhood dog that was being walked in the area.
-Margery Niblock

Man Arrested at Local Rehab

Portland police arrested Nicholas Yastek, 27, at the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center on Preble Street on June 8th. Yastek was wanted by New Hampshire authorities for illegal drug and firearms possession.

Yastek has been wanted in New Hampshire since March, when he walked out of a Portsmouth hospital after being treated for a coma-inducing drug overdose. Police found a large amount of crystal meth at his apartment, as well as a handgun.

Yastek was held on $100,000 cash bail on charges of being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon, and possession of drugs with intent to sell.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Donoghue Blasts “Corporate Welfare”
His Head is Spinning

East End City Councilor Kevin Donoghue has severely criticized municipal policies that he says provides “corporate welfare” for several local enterprises and proposals.

In an article written for several community newspapers, Donoghue cited tax breaks for Shipyard Brewing, new operating subsidies for the Portland Seadogs, and what he called the “virtual fire-auction bids for the Maine State Pier.”

But Donoghue praised Portland Public Library Director Steve Podgajny’s “civic leadership” for promoting a plan to move the main branch of the library to the former Portland Public Market site. He said that the monumentalist “international style” of the current building works counter to design goals of pedestrian accessibility and human scale in the Downtown Vision, and that the current library serves well as a book warehouse, but lends little life to the former Market Square.Voters will decide on June 12th whether or not to finance that move.

Donoghue said that his head “has not yet ceased to spin” amid what he called “incomprehensible demands for more corporate welfare.”

Monday, June 04, 2007

County Ponders Expansion

Cumberland County officials have begun holding a series of Redistricting Forums throughout the county to examine whether the County Board ofCommissioners should be expanded from the current three to five or seven Commissioners. The first meeting was held in Portland on May 29th.

Two Charged With Stealing From Friends

Ahmed Mohamed Abdillahi, 20, and Hashi Haussein Ali, 19, both of Portland, were charged with a residential burglary after they allegedly cut the screen in a door of an apartment on High Street to gain entry to the premises. The two were known acquaintances of the two residents, who woke up to find the men searching through the pockets of their pants.

A local group has begun a campaign to have the Portland peninsula secede from the City of Portland in what a spokesman calls an “effort to establish the free and independent city of Portinsula." The group began its movement by posting flyers around the city on billboards and telephone poles.

Printed material about Portinsula, including a list of grievances, FAQs, and a secession timeline and map will be distributed in early June, according to Harry Walker, the site administrator for, the group’s website. The group can be contacted at

Friday, June 01, 2007

Harborview Park Gets New Sculptures

Four sculptures that had been installed on the Maine State Pier for the past five years are being relocated to Harborview Park on York Street. Two of the works have already been installed in the park, and the other two will be installed in the coming weeks.

Three of the sculptures are the work of West End sculptor Sandy Macleod, who says he can see the sculptures from his house on Tate Street. Macleod worked with the City’s Parks Department and the West End Neighborhood Association to get the works installed in the park. Pictures of the other sculptures can be seen at