The ancient sport of arm-wrestling is enjoying a surge in popularity.
A record number of people from across the Northeast - most, but not all of them, bulky males - turned out over the weekend for the Maine State Arm Wrestling Championships at a sports bar in South Portland.
With nearly 150 pumped-up competitors - some of them world champions, some of them beginners - there was no shortage of adrenalin.
An exhibition of controversial images and objects associated with Uncle Tom's Cabin is on display at Bowdoin College in Brunswick - the town where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote much of the groundbreaking mid-19th century novel. With its anti-slavery message, the book is often credited as one of the factors that helped bring about the Civil War. The novel also spawned a wealth of spinoff musical shows, stage productions and images portraying African-Americans in what could be considered a racist light.
As the summer winds down, so will demand for lobster and its market price. Maine lobstermen are bemoaning low wholesale prices, but far from shore, say New York City’s Lobster Joint, market price today for a roll is $19…a boiled lobster will cost your $34. Today, the crustaceans are coveted, and symbolic of wealth, class, and extravagant living. Not so long ago, lobster was considered lower than the ocean floor on which it dwells. Here to trace its climb up the social ladder from grub for the poor to high-class delicacy is Daniel Luzer, Web Editor at the Washington Monthly. We found his article, “Low Lobster Got Fancy,” in Pacific Standard.
On July 22nd, bulldozers breached the Veazie dam in Eddington, Maine – an 830 foot strip of concrete that had separated the Atlantic Ocean and the Penobscot River for a century. It was an effort undertaken by an unlikely coalition of conservationists, fishermen, power companies and others, who came together to help restore 1000 miles of endangered Atlantic salmon habitat. Brian Graber is director of the river restoration program at American rivers, one of the partners behind the project.
Shirley Falls, Maine is one of those New England towns with a strong memory of the way things used to be…before the mills closed, before the mall went up across the river…before so many residents moved away. It’s the fictional town left behind by a pair of brothers in The Burgess Boys, a new novel by Elizabeth Strout, who won the Pulitzer prize for fiction for Olive Kitteridge. The story centers on Jim and Bob Burgess, brothers whose lives are imprinted by a childhood tragedy in very different ways. Both pull up their stakes and secret miseries and move to New York City….and both are pulled back to their hometown by another family crisis. Elizabeth talks to Virginia about the book and it's connection to Maine.
In Maine, consumers can buy dairy products, meat, fish, eggs and organic produce via a growing array of subscription-based, community supported agriculture programs. CSAs encourage customers to pay a farmer or fisherman up front in exchange for weekly shares of, say, shrimp or mixed vegetables. As Jay Field reports, microbrew lovers on the Blue Hill Peninsula will soon be able to buy their beer the same way.
The unsteady path of an artist is never an easy one. Especially in today’s ambiguous economy, the choice to reject a steady paycheck or conventional job is all the more difficult to justify. One Portland, Maine-based songwriter has made that conundrum into a source of inspiration. Zach Nugent takes us on a radio field trip to meet Sara Hallie Richardson.