Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight the state ethics commission eyes $4.2 million of questionable money; Maine considers ditching Daylight Saving Time; and we hear the sweet sound of a concertina.
What we’re talking about
The moneymen behind the York County casino push — Today brought new revelations on the shadowy forces behind the campaign to get voters to approve a York County casino. BDN’s Michael Shepherd broke the news:
In an apparent violation of Maine law, a web of domestic and offshore companies linked to a controversial developer has funded a $4.2 million bid fronted by his sister since 2015 to get Maine voters to approve a York County casino …
That loan money came from two sources. More than $3 million came from Capital Seven LLC, the company Scott used in 2003 to run a Maine campaign that allowed what is now Hollywood Casino in Bangor and the rest came from Regent Able Associate Co., a Japanese consulting company.
This network is likely overseen by Shawn Scott and John Baldwin, who run Bridge Capital, an investment firm also based in Saipan, which had a casino seized by the Laotian government in 2015 over allegations of corruption that the company has denied.
House seeks to dump Daylight Saving Time — A bill that would have Maine do away with Daylight Saving Time and shift to the Atlantic Standard Time Zone year-round without a statewide referendum has won support in the Maine House of Representatives, BDN’s Chris Cousin’s reports. The bill that received preliminary approval Thursday could put Maine an hour ahead of East Coast states for part of the year, though there is a growing movement among neighboring New England states to do the same.
What’s a concertina anyway? — Christian Stevens and his student Tim Ebersold are the first Irish-style musicians to be awarded the Maine Arts Commission’s $3,000 traditional arts apprenticeship grant. They play the concertina, which you’ve likely heard even if you don’t recognize the instrument’s name. BDN Portland’s Troy R. Bennett took a look and a listen.
No tipping experiment fails — Bao Bao Dumpling House has scrapped its “no tipping” policy after about five months, the Press Herald’s Meredith Goad reports. The restaurant’s director of operations wouldn’t get into specifics but said that under the policy customers were ordering less at meals and spending less money. Revenue “was not where we wanted it to be,” he said. The short-lived policy has, however, served to keep Bao Bao in the news a lot.
Two Portland breweries ban dogs — Turns out that craft beer and canines don’t mix. Two of Portland’s hottest beer tasting rooms have announced that dogs are no longer welcome in their taprooms. Though the city has not recorded any violations, Rising Tide and Bissell Brothers will be hound-free come May. Plan accordingly. — Kathleen Pierce
New accusations against police. prosecutor — The lawyer fighting to clear Anthony Sanborn of a murder he was convicted of 25 years ago, has accused the police and prosecutor in the case of concealing accusations of rape against a key witness; destroying and changing evidence before turning it over to Sanborn’s defense attorneys, and pressuring a witness to testify, the Press Herald’s Matt Byrne reports. The new accusations against former-Assistant Attorney General Pamela Ames and former Portland police detectives James Daniels and Daniel Young set the stage for a new legal showdown next month over the fate of a man who has already spent the better part of three decades behind bars.
‘Drive thru potential’ — A building at 1122 Broadway in South Portland is up for sale and being marketed as a good site for a restaurant with a drive-through. The building’s “drive thru potential” was recently demonstrated by a 19-year-old who crashed a Ford Taurus through its front wall.
Tweet of the day
The Big Idea
Steve Bannon: The Hollywood years — Larry David, the creator of “Seinfeld,” on White House Chief Strategist and former Breitbart head Steve Bannon profiting off the show: “I don’t think I ever heard of him until he surfaced with the Trump campaign and I had no idea that he was profiting from the work of industrious Jews!”
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @JZBleiberg.