Portland changes Columbus Day to ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’

PORTLAND (WGME) — Columbus Day for Portland and Brunswick will also now be known as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

City and town councilors voted in favor of that change Monday night.

Columbus Day is a federal holiday which Portland city councilors have no control over.

Monday night’s public comment on changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day stirred up conversation.

Some were against the change, claiming Christopher Columbus is a part of America’s history.

Others disagreed, claiming it was the indigenous people who found our county, and the change would be an outlet to reveal the truth.

Federally, America has celebrated Columbus Day since the 1930s. Some residents recommended councilors chose a different date, but councilors voted unanimously for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, claiming Portland residents have the opportunity to celebrate which ever they’d like.

The resolution was sponsored by City Councilor Pious Ali. He says he’s very pleased with the outcome.

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Abortion protesters return to Portland, Maine after court rules against them

PORTLAND, Maine — The protesters outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t screaming Friday morning, but not because of a court order.

It was the first of the regularly scheduled anti-abortion demonstrations since a federal judge ruled that police may again enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside the women’s health center. And the activists kept their admonitions to a low shout despite the decision not yet being in effect.

On Tuesday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, finding that police can enforce the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act against the protesters because, as written, the law is message neutral.

The ruling is the latest step in a legal drama that started in 2015 and could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue at hand being whether or not the First Amendment gives protesters the right to scream epithets such as “Murderer!” and “Whore!” at patients entering the clinic, of course, in the name of Jesus.

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Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha, Shit-faced Buddha: Tales of a Maine Streetnik seeking enlightenment on the drug-soaked streets of the wrong Portland. By N. Gowell

I have learned the junk equation. Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means of increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.”
William S. Burroughs

~

I left Maine last April and headed for the NW, my old Portland, Oregon drug-use=and=abuse neighborhoods, the Interzone in my own version of Burroughs Naked Lunch. I recall thinking (or rationalizing, perhaps) that, since i had been a serious Zen practitioner for the previous 4 years at Treetop (a Volvo-Zen center in Maine), sitting, chanting, bowing and unbending koans, that I could manage a return to the scene of my previous unraveling, switching my studies over to Refuge Recovery, Noah Levine’s newest recovery practice. Well, I’ve been on the streets (Central Maine, P-town) since I was just 16 and have not seen anything as bad as the grotty shite that i experienced this trip around to the North West. Even old friends, peeps I would have trusted 16 years ago with a Q.P. (quarter pound) of dope and 5K (in neat stacks of $100s, $10s, $5s, $1s, the occasional $50) alone in my house, these days I wouldn’t drop my backpack in front of and leave for five seconds; they’ve become like rabid rats on cheese over and up there.

Or am I just talking about me?

Because after only three weeks in the NW I’m on the machines gambling (well, that was once a bit of a problem.) The next thing you know and its 4 am and I’m at the porn store, across from Taco Bell, in the parking lot and in the viewing booths trying to score dope (speed). I met this chick across the way, “Prius Maelstrom,” and Prius, it turns out, is a dope peddler and following an exchange of yen, she gladly serves me (as we’re behind a fence hiding from her boyfriend [!], she, a bit twacked out. ) It was a short trip from that initial serve to me getting back into trafficking for Prius. In no time I was straight-up homeless, doing goofballs (a gram of coke and a gram of heroin) and just stinking of the streets. Then, Prius’ house suddenly burns down. Luckily her pitbull, “Saddam” saved her and the family’s life buy grabbing them by the necks and pulling them out of their beds.

~

I don’t spot junk neighborhoods by the way they look, but by the feel, somewhat the same process by which a dowser locates hidden water. I am walking along and suddenly the junk in my cells moves and twitches like the dowsers wand: ‘Junk here!”
William S. Burroughs, Junky

~

The city was being raped by addiction! Ken kesey must be in his grave rolling around, because this is not the city he departed from and gave so much energy to. This was a city being raped by a bunch of synthetic junkies. “Synthetics?” you say? Well, when I got into speed, it was either Propylene or Ephedra.. old-school labs/Chefs, and there were no bathsalts or Fentynal. I’d never seen speed where, like crack, you had to keep using, or like heroin, where you had to keep wiping your nose, carry around toilet paper.

Those few weeks that I spent on the streets of the Other Portland were like that, and then, the more deeper we got, the crazier shit got. Bodies kept piling up from overdoses and Street Life, itself. Shootings, stabbings… the more they kept tweaking the opiates and speed, creating a different strand, the more surreal it got. I mean, at 3 in the morning, I was watching people staggering through the streets like like they were in a George Romero movie. I watched gray dope take a spin in the park blocks, basically a different cook or molecule of Fentanyl and the bodies continued to hit the pavement like dupes at a Benny Hinn crusade.

I was just digging a deeper ditch; I mean, I was actually the first case treated in Peace health for NARCON RESISTANT DOPE; of course then, I just left, A.M.A. (against medical advice,) my middle initials. I remained out of control after hitting the Street; I was homeless and feeding a habit, with the local Drug Task-force taking an interest in me because of my prices; I had to keep selling to support my habit and I was going as low as $60 an 8-ball and $900 for 24 grams of black, $250 an ounce for white.

Meanwhile, my “good friend” Prius, the chick that I’d met at the porn store, the one who’s house had burned down, kept digging a deeper ditch as well. By June 24th, she fell into what resembled a really rough episode of the show “Breaking bad” and ended up busted and facing up to 6o years behind bars.

Nothing felt good after Prius got arrested – she’d become my road dog, my street partner, you know, so I went back to treatment. I actually did phenomenally well for a while, until a Confidential Informant showed up. This thug had put out paper on (ratted out) some of my people in the Park Block, and I ended up getting pissed and (again) thrown out of treatment , this time for taking that rat out, tattooing him.

~

“I am a ghost wanting what every ghost wants-a body-after the Long Time moving through odorless alleys of space where no life is, only the colorless no smell of death…Nobody can breath and smell it through pink convolutions of gristle laced with crystal snot, time shit and black blood filters of flesh.” 
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

~

So, a couple days after my birthday and I’m sitting with another good friend, another heroin dealer named “Helen,” who asks if I want to take a spin up to a neighboring city and pick up, like 48 grams and she would break me off a piece. I agree and we head out and when we get back its 10:30 pm and we’re in her car, out in front of the homeless outreach. She asks what my tolerance is, and I, of course, tell her “whatever,” because I have always had a high tolerance. She fixes me a shot and the next thing I know, its 4 am, and I’m in the ER and I’m coming out of it. A doctor tells me I am lucky because they barely saved my life, and I couldn’t believe it. I was on paper(parole), so I wanted out of there quickly and with no questions. I signed the paperwork and got in touch with Helen, who instructed me to meet her at the package store. When we meet up she tells me that when I’d overdosed that she’d hit me four times with NARCAN, and still got barely a heartbeat. She was freaking, so she’d dumped me off at the ER. She served us both and I forgave her. But other fucked up shit was already happening elsewhere in my view.

A friend staying in one of the rooms I stayed at got shot in the head by a Mexican rushing on speed; apparently someone there owed him 20 bucks. His victim was the most innocent kid there, a weed smoker who barely touched dope, (and young to get shot), all because this Mexican thug was rushing. The poor hippy kid sat on life support for a couple weeks and then his parents pulled the plug.

Around the same time another friend got septic from shooting dope. It was like the dope was eating her from inside out.. “Toxic Avenger” shit! You could actually see the flesh bubbling and melting. They ended up cutting pieces of her arm off and she eventually had to be put on life support. Until they pulled the plug on her too. In her case it was her and two other old-school addicts shooting from the same bag of dope, same amount, but, it must have been her time. She was the only one to get septic.

My friends and family, of course, after watching me exist for 20 years in this lifestyle didn’t think I was coming back to Maine, and with bodies dropping all around me from the heroin and the drug lifestyle that went with it, I got to the point that I almost didn’t make it out. By November I was planning on escaping back to Maine, back to the one-syllable state. At the last minute I won big in the lottery up in a local bar and bought an ounce of dope and just started partying – four days before the bus was supposed to leave! Then Helen disappeared.

Not good!! Paranoia setting in!! Shadow people!! Watching all movement!!

I checked into a detox the next day, with 3 days until my scheduled departure, just to make sure i would be physically able (and willing) to catch the bus. One of my good friends, a riotgrrl named “Viper” ended up putting me on the bus. I’d made it on, but I did have just a tiny bit of Crystal Meth on me. Just a tiny bit. On the bus, i actually hooked up with this stripper, “Charity Breeze” and we proceeded to get high together on the Greyhound, all the way to Saltlake. In Saltlake it turned out that the bus driver didn’t actually have a license to pilot a bus, so we sat waiting for 9 hours at the bus station. We finally started up again, but, by the time we hit Indianapolis, Charity was dope sick. We got off at the stop there and walked over to a Whitecastle, where my new friend proceeded to do a dope deal in the parking lot. Unfortunately, the thug that took the Charity’s money brandished a firearm and proceeded to rob her. Now, this stripper was no snitch, so we just got back on the bus, sick.

~

“In the words of total need: “Wouldn’t you?” Yes you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do anything to satisfy total need. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, and not in a position to act in any other way. Dope fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite.”
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

~

We ended up on different locations through the EC (the East Coast). My connection to Maine went through PA, and when I got there and I find out that it’s thanksgiving, I am pissed; I should be with my family in Maine by now, not a fucking bus station. Of course, since I was there until 6am I did a little mingling and ended up hooking up with this chick named “Mercedes,” who takes me to what they call “North side,” one curvy-ass road in some old-school grimy-ass projects. Of course someone called the cops, but Mercedes was running the show and it all worked out somehow; perhaps it was one of those Thanksgiving Day TV. miracles. Afterwards I proceeded to shoot heroin and crack until 6 am that was my Thanksgiving dinner, since I couldn’t be with my family and was stuck in PA.

I finally got home to Maine, and once back i played everything out like life was grand and my Complex P.T.S.D., as well as my many addictions and compulsions were under control. A big FAT LIE, of course. I did this, played this game all winter but ended up actually taking a dream job in NH in March. The place was straight-up Gentrification, utilizing the good ol’ boy system but with very limited money and services.

“People play it like its sophisticated and so fresh and so clean because its a college town! But really, u need adequate housing and a shelter where people aren’t scared to get stigmatized!! Affordable housing and sober living.”

Peer Support there, however, is phenomenal and “Serenity Center” is trying to perform miracles and slowly succeeding with little to work with; super cool people. At the hospitals, though, it’s “turn and burn”; they wont even give out ZYPREXA, treating it like a ticket of heroin.

Too much corruption- I swear its a federally-run dope game, kinda like Lily Pharmaceuticals teaming up with Nazi Germany and getting the methadone pattern with the Wizard of OZ behind the curtain. It’s like “the Truman Show” in NH. It needs to be more about loving kindness, not lining pockets.

So to say the least, I gave up the gig in NH and finally came home to Maine again, just three weeks ago. Of course, as soon as I hit P-town, I took a spin in the loony bin via the Maine Med ER; it was the best experience ever.

Now I am back to 100 percent!! Maybe 98. Or 97…

I’ll be fine. Swear.

Finis.

~

“The face of evil is always the face of total need.”

– William S. Burroughs

~

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“I am.” – G.Raff

I AM beautiful.

I AM whole.

I AM in love with who I am.

I AM complete and on my path.

I AM steady and make progress every day.

I AM born anew with each sunrise.

I AM living life fully and enjoying each moment.

I AM present-minded.

I AM grateful.

I AM soft on myself and forgive easily.

I let things go.

I grow with each new shade and shine of experience.

I get up early and get things done.

I prepare for a bright future.

I stay sturdy and focussed.

I listen.

I AM compassionate and kind.

I hope to always hold space in my heart for everyone I meet.

I love the beauty and the intrinsic sacredness within everything.

I hope to live on a farm someday.

I hope to grow my own food.

I hope to learn an instrument.

I hope to get better at drawing and writing.

Love, G.Raff

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“Sixteen Years Opiate Addicted.” (the conclusion) – Samantha Mayo

I do feel a little guilt indulging in an actual street drug, but as opiates always have taken my emotional pain away, it took my guilt away too.

Over the years I have noticed that many opiate addicts are trying to numb something and speed or cocaine addict’s usually tend to feel disconnected and numb to begin with and uppers help them to feel more alive and part of the world. It’s like I’ve said for a long time heroin is my normal and without it I feel something’s missing, or wrong. And as soon as it’s in my body I feel normal, like it’s the missing piece of me. When I’ve done uppers it has sent me into debilitating anxiety, and its a horror show. I can’t breathe and I want to hid from the world. I’m horrified. I already have anxiety so being stimulated and magnifying that is not what I need.

I have a friend, however who’s drug of choice is speed and she tells me she often doesn’t feel anything. She lacks desire for life, motivation, feels disconnected and lethargic also fells something is missing from herself. When she gets speed in her then she gets inspired, energy, motivation, excitement from the world, fells a part of instead of withdrawn. She also says she doesn’t feel normal or a part of the world until sh gets her drug. She says it’s what’s missing from her with out it she doesn’t want to get out of bed.

Without my drug I can’t get out of bed. I envy other addicts who can do their drug without getting sick when they don’t have it. Even hen you want to do differently and try to get sober , you can’t. You get sick.

I need heroin now, or I’m violently sick.

samantha

“Breathe.” – G.Raff

I’m using this document to store my thoughts about my predicament and neurosis and to seek compassion in reaching for a new aspiration with a more objective and warming, welcoming approach to each present moment.

To practice bodhicitta, cultivate awareness of my surroundings, live peacefully, stay gentle as smooth sounds repels the knife that wants to slice your heart.

Keep your heart open and alive. If your emotions baffle you, let them roll on top of the river you are flowing down, imagine them just tumbling away towards a cloud fixture or something.

BREATHE. DEEP DREAM BREATH. BELIEVE YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND REMEMBER WE ARE ALL. LOVE THE PLANET FOR WHO IT IS ALL BARE NAKED AND RAW AND ETCHED AND A BIT DAMAGED YET BEAUTIFUL AND WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND BLOSSOM MORE EVIDENTLY AS WE ALL GET THERE, FIND OUR LITTLE PEDAL STRENGTH.

Pray to Light. Pray to Love. Pray to Spirit. Pray to animals out there. Point them out, still. Remember when we all played around. Thor. Ancient Bestowing Wisdom Stars Cells and Seedlems. Help the cause. Help all. Seek forgiveness and love from your surroundings and yourself. Don’t underestimate the power of kindness and the power of letting go, how much further it takes you from just repeling from it and hiding yourself away in places that don’t really fancy a little fellow monkey doodle being boon who does want to see everybody in the same light as the energy that moves us here. How to inspire those who may be shut down or hidden? How to let them know they are all here to aspire and live life with the freeing flying spirit that lives inside.

G.Raff

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“A Very Depressed Little Girl.” – Samantha Mayo

During this time I was a very depressed little girl with extremely low self esteem, social anxiety to the point of thinking that the mere sight of me would sicken someone so much that if they were eating they may not be able to finish their food.  i thought everyone looked at me as used up trash and was ashamed to be in my own skin.  I self mutilated a lot, took showers till the water ran cold, sometimes scrubbing with Brillo pads and bleach because I felt so dirty. If I could sleep all day every day then I would have but I had to work.  Without money I felt that I was nothing and no one would want me around.  I hated myself to the fullest extent, was so sad and awkward.

One day I forgot that I had already taken my pain medication and took two more and I caught a pretty good buzz and felt okay.  More than okay.  I felt relief emotionally for the first time that I could ever remember.  I felt relaxed, numb emotionally or at least was relieved enough that even being badgered by my boyfriend that night didn’t bother me in the least and I didn’t have anxiety with all of his thug-punk friends over-drunk and obnoxious.  I slept like a baby.

I did realize that the buzz was from the pills and thought that I had taken a double dose and I wanted that feeling again.  I needed that peace again.  I remember going to my underwear drawer where my pill bottles were and counting how many I had, immediately thinking there’s were not enough and that I had to phone my family doctor and explain how I needed more.  Now, remember, at the time I really didn’t know about pain meds and that they were a drug or could be a problem or could make you sick coming off of them if you didn’t have them.  I also saw no problem with calling for more.  All I knew was it was a miracle drug and the answer I needed.  I, of course took four instead of two, like prescribed, called my doctor, did get another script, even stronger and a fairly large script.  At the time I showed no signs of being an addict.  Never had and so there really was no reason for my doctor to deny me my medication I asked for.

Of course I then started inquiring about pills and became aware of different, stronger ones.  My tolerance grew and I chased my… Okay, I still thought it was fine – my behavior, because I didn’t do anything but prescribed medication.  Not always prescribed to me, however in my mind a drug was found on the streets and not in a doctors office.  All I knew is when I had pills I felt stronger – happy, relaxed.  If I didn’t have them, people scared me.

Samantha

(to be continued.)

samantha