Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

A Little Bit of Dubai in Portland

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

On the drive to South Portland this morning to get bagels (I love you 158 Pickett Street Cafe), I saw a surprising oil tanker in port – the Dubai Star!

You might recall that Portland is the largest oil port on the East Coast (thank you Portland–Montreal Pipe Line).

When I got home I did a little research on the tanker, I guess it’s bad PR when the first article one finds is “Oil spills into S.F. Bay south of Bay Bridge.”

Then I found this photo:

Boats gather oil spilled by the Dubai Star oil tanker, background, off the coast of San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. The Panamanian-flagged ship began leaking bunker fuel during a fuel transfer Friday morning. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


So yeah, that’s what’s in Casco Bay right now.

Waterford Oil Spill

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Today’s the 50th anniversary of an oil spill in North Waterford, Maine.

I never really though about it, but the Portland–Montreal Pipe Line runs through town on its way to Montreal. Apparently there’s also a pumping station there (along with the one in Raymond at the mouth of Plains Road).

Here’s the story from July 18, 1960’s Lewiston Daily Sun:

A break in the Portland Pipe Line a short distance from the pumping station at North Waterford made that area of Waterford a potential powder keg early Sunday morning. The pipe carrying crude oil broke on the hill above the Waterford pumping station and a brook of oil came rushing down the hillside and across the highway and into a small brook where it put an eight inch coating of oil over the water.

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Department and State Police were alerted and road blocks were set up to keep spectators away from the area.

Dee C. Hutchins, superintendent of the Waterford station said that the crude oil was highly combustible.

The Norway, Paris and Oxford Fire Departments were called to the scene to be ready in case something should happen to ignite the fumes which filled the area.

All available bulldozers from the area were rushed to the scene to build earth dams in the brook to keep the oil from getting into Crooked River. Hutchins estimated that over 1,000 barrels of oil spread over the area.

Authorities confronted with the hazard decided to burn the accumulated substance, later Sunday. This was done in the brook which the bulldozers had turned onto a series of pools separated by earth dams.

With an abundance of fire equipment standing by, the oil was burned one pool at a time. The smokey fire drew much attention from motorists in the vicinity.

It’s no Deepwater Horizon, but still, it’s something for a little town like North Waterford …

Train Station on Commercial Street?!?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

So there’s a proposal to extend train service northward from Portland to Brunswick. Apparently they’re looking for a new train station in Portland … and are seriously looking at Commercial Street and Center Street.

From The Forecaster: “Center Street train station a front-runner among Portland North transit proposals.”

Weird location, and then have the train go down Commercial?



Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Months that should be summer’s prime,
Sleet and snow and frost and rime.
Air so cold you see your breath,
Eighteen hundred and froze to death.

Oh that Freakonomics Blog at the New York Times has another interesting one: “The Next Great Scary Story?

They’re linking the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland to the 1815 Eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia that caused the year without a summer a/k/a “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death.”

Oddly they see it in a positive light, which I equate with making lemonade out of lemons.

Personally I don’t care much for frozen lemonade, though.

Read the wikipedia article about the summer, but for a more local perspective here’s a clip from “The Weather” section of Portland’s long lost Eastern Argus from June 12, 1816:

The extraordinary cold state of the atmosphere during the week past, surpasses the recollection of the oldest person among us. The wind from N. to N.W. continued extremely high till yesterday [June 11] accompanied with a winter chill that rendered a fireside very comfortable – but a check is given to all vegetation, and we fear the frost has been so powerful as to destroy a great portion of the young fruit that is put forth. – On Saturday last [June 8] a gloom was cast over the face of nature by the appearance of snow which fell plentifully about 7 o’clock in the morning. On Monday [June 10] the coldest since 25th of May, thermometer stood in the morning 34 above 0 – much ice made in various parts of town the preceding night; and in the country we are told it was more severe.

Yes, snow on June 8th, ice on June 10th.

That’s not what I’m looking for in my summer vacation.

Just to prove how weird this all is, I’m going to quote another poem; Darkness was written by Lord Byron in July 1816 … during that summer.

The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind the blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went – and came, and brought no day…


No Reservations Maine

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

If you missed last night’s episode of Travel Channel’s No Reservations that was in Maine it’s available to purchase on the Apple iTunes Store now.

Mine’s downloading as I type …


Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

As you probably have heard, the 44th and current President of the United States Barack Obama is going to be in Portland, Maine tomorrow.

Today Liz stood in the rain for two hours to try and get tickets to his speech at the Expo but they sold out.

I still might go, just to get a glimpse of this epic man.

Pirates Stay in Portland!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

An hour ago WCSH reported Civic Center approves new deal with Pirates!

UPDATE: Apparently this was a done deal early enough for Steve Solloway to write about it in today’s Portland Press Herald? See: “Building a future for a building.”

Article about B&M Baked Beans

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Check out this Portland Press Herald article about the B&M Baked Bean factory right around the corner from our place: “Reporter spills the beans about factory where nothing is half-baked.”

Nice to see something still being produced in Maine.

B&M on History Tonight

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

If you get the History Channel (I know it’s called simply “History” now but it’d be weird to say “If you get History”) watch Modern Marvels tonight.

The B&M Baked Bean factory in Portland – that’s right down the road from our house – is going to be on it!

From the WGME website:

Burnham & Morrill Company has been in the canning business since 1867. In 1910, the business was moved to its current location on Casco Bay in Portland. On Thursday, March 11th the B&M Baked Beans factory will be featured on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels. The show starts at 8pm.

We don’t have cable, but maybe I’ll download it on iTunes tomorrow.

Tonight? I think I’ll need hot dogs and beans for supper …

Time and Temperature Building

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I’ve got a weird obsession with Portand’s Time and Temperature Building. When Liz and I were looking for apartments, it was my dream, hope, wish, desire, to have one that looked out at the omnipresent display on top of 477 Congress Street telling me what the time is, then what the temperature is, then what the time is …

Well now I’ve learned that WMTM didn’t renew their lease to display its name on the sign: “WMTW relinquishes top Time and Temp spot.”

Dude! I can see it now!

“37 °”
“37 °”

Pirates to Albany?

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

No good news coming from Albany tonight – they’re reporting at the Times-Union that the Portland Pirates AHL hockey team is moving to the New York capital next season: “GM: Deal close for new team.”

Now Twice as International!

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I love mocking Portland “International” Jetport. But it’s friendly mocking.

“Ribbing”, if you will.

I was, however, concerned back in November when it was announced they were losing flights to Halifax, Nova Scotia – the only international route at the jetport (see “International” No More).

But then last month Air Canada stepped in and announced it’d soon start a twice-daily Toronto to Portland route (see International Again!).

Well now it looks like we’ll have service to Nova Scotia again – at least, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: “Jetport restoring air service to Yarmouth, N.S.

The “International” name lives on!