Portland graphic designer helps the Cherokee Nation update its language for the digital age

Until recently, if members of the Cherokee Nation wanted to send a text message in their traditional language, they could do so only with a typeface that just partially captured their language. Now, they can send that text with all the nuance of the Cherokee language, expressed in looping, gestural glyphs that more closely resemble small drawings or doodles than letters from a Latin-based alphabet.

Mark Jamra is the reason why. The type designer from Portland is helping the Cherokee Nation adapt a writing system based on centuries-old traditions for the digital age.

Jamra, 59, is celebrated in the world of type and design as an innovator. Classically trained and considered a master by his peers, he has received national and international awards for his lettering and typefaces. But nothing matches the satisfaction of knowing he’s helped preserve a culture and advance a language, he said.

“People are always trying to build their cathedral, that thing that outlives them,” Jamra said. “I wanted something that would outlast me.”

Jamra’s cathedral is Phoreus Cherokee, a typeface family that he began circulating over the past year. This is not just another pretty typeface, one among dozens that Jamra has designed in a career of more than 30 years. This one, he hopes, helps restore cultural identity among people who lost it in their assimilation into Anglo-American society.

Jamra’s work modernizes a writing system developed by the Cherokee silversmith Sequoyah in 1820. Sequoyah’s system was widely used among the Cherokee and was the principal tool for recording recipes, writing letters and preserving folklore for more than a century. Over time, as Cherokee Indians folded Anglo culture into their own, English replaced Cherokee as their primary language, both spoken and written.

Previous efforts to update the writing system have been spotty, said Roy Boney Jr., a Cherokee who manages the language program of the Cherokee Nation Education Services Group in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where the tribe is based.

As many as 10,000 people speak Cherokee, Boney said. Fewer write it. That’s in part because efforts to adapt Sequoyah’s symbols for digital use have been less than satisfactory, said Boney.

“Before Mark, there were a handful of fonts that existed, but many of the glyphs weren’t accurate or were completely wrong,” he said. “Mark created a font that represented those symbols accurately and authentically.”

He created a cleaner set of characters in a variety of weights that ranged from light to bold. Today, Jamra’s efforts are a part of the Cherokee’s push to make the language available across digital applications, including Apple devices and Android phones. There are Cherokee interfaces for Microsoft Windows and Google, as well.

Jamra’s work fits into a much larger picture of Cherokee culture, Boney said. The tribe’s writing system has been in continuous use since the 1820s, and adapted for every major form of print technology, starting with the printing press in the late 19th century to several models of typewriters in the early 20th century, word processing in the 1980s and computer fonts in the 21st century.

In addition to being the latest, Jamra’s font is the most inclusive, the first commercially available Cherokee font, and the first to include italics and lower- and uppercases. The Cherokee language consisted of one set of symbols, all uppercase. Jamra also brought back a historical character that was dropped over time, Boney said.

Phoreus – A typeface family for the Cherokee language from Dean Merrill on Vimeo.

Using historical documents as a guide, Jamra created a syllabary based on Sequoyah’s early efforts. A syllabary is a set of symbols that represent syllables, unlike an alphabet, which consists of individual letters. The Cherokee syllabary consists of 86 symbols, or glyphs. Some of the symbols resemble English-language letters, but do not sound like English.

Jamra became interested in the Cherokee syllabary when he attended an international type conference in New Orleans in the summer of 2011. A Cherokee contingent made a presentation, appealing for functional typefaces to help preserve its written culture.


Jamra sensed an opportunity to work in an area where little work had been done. Type design is a crowded camp, as technology has democratized the field. After three decades in the business, Jamra wanted a new challenge that would distinguish his work. The Cherokee project presented challenges that straddled art and technology. He learned Cherokee history and culture, and he became familiar with a foreign language and writing system. “It was the search for more meaning in my work, having done extensive artistic investigations into the Latin script,” he said.

Jamra began with the historical version of the language, then asked Boney and his team if he could design a version in italics, which were implemented in 2014. That allowed him to create an artful typeface that was completely new and reflected some of the forms and niceties of handwriting. He found decades of manuscripts that showed a cursive form in handwriting, but never an actual typeface that provided the Cherokees with the expressive and semantic properties of an italic type.

To develop lowercase glyphs, he studied historical documents and noticed that sentences frequently began with a large syllable, then continued with smaller versions of single-case glyphs – one large cap, followed by a sentence of small caps. That portion of the project was completed this fall.

Jamra designs by hand and directly on the computer. He prefers drawing letters and glyphs by hand, and always has. He scans hand-drawn letters into the computer and renders them in a font-production program. As the project progresses, the work becomes more exclusively computer-based. The final weeks of production, when the glyphs have been drawn and perfected, involve coding and font metrics, all of which are done on the computer.

The trace of the human hand is visible in Phoreus Cherokee, which Jamra attributes to his early drawings and his calligraphy practice.

“I have no interest in creating dead forms,” he said. “I prefer living forms, something that shows the human spirit, however subtly.”

He chose the name Phoreus because he liked the way it sounded and what the word suggested. Phoreus means “carrier” or “bearer” in ancient and modern Greek. “Could there be a better name for a typeface? I think I got lucky with that one,” he said. “True, it’s not a Cherokee word, but that’s OK.”


Jamra teaches graphic design at the Maine College of Art in Portland and operates the Portland studio Jamra Patel with his business partner, Neil Patel. They work in a small, sparsely appointed office in the Bakery Studios on Pleasant Street. From there, Jamra manages TypeCulture, an online retail business that he began in 2004 and where he licenses the typefaces he’s designed, including Phoreus Cherokee.

Right now, Jamra and Patel are adapting the West African writing system known as N’ko for digital applications.

Jamra moved to Portland in 1995 to teach at MECA, where he is an associate professor. He grew up in Ohio and studied graphic design at Kent State University before moving overseas to do his graduate work at Basel School of Design in Switzerland.

There, “I learned to love type because of the permanence of it,” he said. “I didn’t want to do something that was fleeting.”

He stayed in Europe, teaching in Germany for 12 years, until MECA recruited him.

His training and his insistence on perfection separate Jamra from his peers, said typography columnist and educator Ilene Strizver, who lives in Connecticut. Jamra leaned the traditions of type design from masters in Switzerland and has achieved master status himself because of his high standards, she said.

“Most type designers actually are self-taught or don’t have much training,” she said. “Mark’s got this amazing training, and because he’s an academic, he’s interested in more than just, ‘Let’s pop out another font.’ When Mark started, the only people doing it were people interested and committed. Today, every other person is popping out a new font over the long weekend.”

Jamra estimated it takes him anywhere from two to seven years to design a multiweight, multistyle typeface family.

Maine book publisher, writer and artist Tim McCreight was on the MECA search committee that hired Jamra. McCreight also has hired Jamra to design books and has purchased many typefaces from TypeCulture. “I’m not necessarily trying to use his fonts,” McCreight said. “But more often than not, I think, ‘That’s the one that works.’ It’s the one that has the clarity and range of complexion that I’m interested in.”

He called Jamra “a quiet genius.” He is widely known within the world of type design and is popular with students and faculty at MECA, but is unknown to the larger world.

Phoreus Cherokee won’t change that, but wider recognition is not the outcome that Jamra is seeking.

When he sent the italics off to Boney and his staff, he was hopeful of their acceptance. Waiting to hear whether they liked it was stressful, he said.

In his own quiet way, he celebrated when they said yes.

“I punched the air for 15 minutes. I don’t think I’d ever been as happy as a type designer because it was really meaningful work,” he said. “I knew then that I had achieved something very special. It’s an absolute historic first, which as a type designer, you don’t really expect to accomplish in your career.”

A national park or a national monument? North Woods groups shift focus

In June 1916, President Woodrow Wilson accepted the donation of roughly 6,000 acres on Mount Desert Island to create the nation’s first federally owned park land east of the Mississippi River.

The place now known to many Mainers as simply “Acadia” didn’t start out as a national park but was, instead, among the country’s best-known parks that began life as “national monuments.”

A century later, supporters of a North Woods national park in Maine are pursuing a similar strategy.

Faced with continued opposition from some local residents and a leery congressional delegation, the groups have pivoted toward bestowing national monument status on the land as a park precursor. It’s a calculated shift motivated both by the political realities – particularly opposition to the proposal among some in the Katahdin region – and President Obama’s willingness to use his executive authority to create new protected areas without going through Congress.

“We see this as an interim step and a pretty realistic one,” said Lucas St. Clair, president of landowner Elliotsville Plantation Inc., and the son of Roxanne Quimby, the business entrepreneur and conservationist who originally purchased it.

Lucas St. Clair

Lucas St. Clair

The debate over the 75,000-acre North Woods park has raged for years. Supporters contend that a national park – composed of land largely donated by Quimby – would draw large numbers of tourists to an area struggling to recover from the closure of paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket. Opponents, however, argue that a national park would bring seasonal, lower-paying jobs and federal red tape that could hurt the forest products industry, interfere with snowmobiling, hunting or other traditional uses and squelch additional economic development.

The push to create a national park or monument in northern Maine took an odd twist last week when three members of Maine’s congressional delegation sent a letter to Obama expressing both “serious reservations and significant concerns” about a proposed monument designation. But in their letter to Obama, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin did not oppose the designation – although Poliquin, who represents the 2nd District, has done so himself – and laid out nine conditions the administration should include if it created a national monument.

The tone of the letter also contrasted sharply with one sent in late August by Gov. Paul LePage to delegation members in which he strongly opposes the proposal and adds that he has been “somewhat dismayed members of the Maine congressional delegation have yet to take a position on this matter.”

“Frankly, the more I come to learn about the National Monument process the more astounded I am,” LePage wrote to the delegation. “This law and the power it gives to the President is a complete abdication of Congressional authority by allowing the President unilaterally to declare land off limits. The potential for misuse of this power is concerning.”


Whether the monument-to-park strategy is realistic for this particular parcel is open to debate. There are ample precedents, however.

Unlike national parks, which can only be created by an act of Congress, national monuments can be created with the stroke of the president’s pen. Congress passed the Antiquities Act of 1906 in order to give the president the ability to quickly protect “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” on federally owned land.

Since 1906, presidents have used the act to protect 145 sites, ranging from the Statue of Liberty to hundreds of thousands of acres of Alaska wilderness.

President Wilson created Maine’s first and only national monument to date – Sieur de Monts National Monument – by proclamation on July 6, 1916, a month after George B. Dorr and others concerned about sprawling development around Bar Harbor donated the land to the federal government. Sieur de Monts National Monument was upgraded to Lafayette National Park – the first official national park in the East – three years later and was renamed Acadia National Park in 1929.

In fact, some of America’s best-known and most iconic national parks – including Grand Canyon, Grand Teton and Zion – all started as national monuments.

Obama has created 17 new national monuments and enlarged two others so far and is expected to name more during his remaining time in office, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Although nearly every president since Republican Teddy Roosevelt has used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate land as national monuments, Democratic administrations account for more of the 145 monuments than Republican ones.

“Monuments are a great option to preserve more land and maintain access for the public,” said Kristen Brengel, senior director for legislation and policy at the National Parks Conservation Association, a nonprofit that advocates for strengthening and expanding the federal park system. “In terms of this administration, President Obama has done a great job looking at the national parks system and finding ways to diversify the system.”

Critics of Elliotsville Plantation’s plans for its land east of Baxter State Park don’t really care whether it would be a park or a monument; they’re opposed either way.

“It’s basically the same thing: it is going to be federal ownership,” said Bob Meyers, executive director of the Maine Snowmobile Association.

Meyers’ group has steadfastly opposed the proposal based on snowmobilers’ turbulent relationships with the federal government elsewhere around the country. Snowmobile groups have spent millions of dollars trying to secure or defend access to trails in places such as Yellowstone National Park, and Maine sledders are concerned they could face similar fights here.

“The whole monument thing is an admission that their idea of a park has failed,” he said. “They can’t get anybody (from the delegation) to put in a bill … so they are saying, ‘We don’t care what you think, we’re going to do it anyway.’ ”

Could the 75,000-acre parcel east of Baxter State Park be designated as a national monument? Since 1906, presidents from both parties have used the Antiquities Act to protect 145 similar sites.

Could the 75,000-acre parcel east of Baxter State Park be designated as a national monument? Since 1906, presidents from both parties have used the Antiquities Act to protect 145 similar sites.

Earlier this year, voters in Medway and East Millinocket voted to oppose the national park proposal in nonbinding referendums.

But St. Clair pointed out that numerous chambers of commerce, business groups, newspaper editorial boards and local officials have endorsed the campaign, as he explains his family’s vision for the land.

“I don’t see that as a failure at all,” St. Clair said. “I see that as tremendous momentum. The opposition, frankly, is getting nervous.”


The White House declined to comment on the prospects for a North Woods national monument when contacted last week. However, there’s a decent chance that another patch of Maine wilderness – albeit underwater wilderness – could become the state’s only national monument before any decision is made on the Katahdin-area land.

Roughly 100 miles off the coast of southern Maine and New Hampshire is Cashes Ledge, a 500-square-mile area of submerged mountains and kelp forests that support some of the highest biological diversity in the Gulf of Maine. The area is already closed to commercial fishing because of the unique ecological conditions found there, including several species of whales, sharks and schools of oversized cod and other groundfish that have vanished from most New England waters.

A coalition of organizations – including the New England Aquarium, the Conservation Law Foundation and the National Geographic Society – have nominated Cashes Ledge to become the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The organizations have held public meetings on the proposal and claim to have heard from more than 160,000 people supporting both the Cashes Ledge proposal and a proposed New England Canyons and Seamounts marine national monument off the coast of southern New England.

“It is one of the areas that is as close to untouched as we have in the Gulf of Maine,” Sean Mahoney, executive vice president with the Conservation Law Foundation in Maine, said of the Cashes Ledge site.

Opponents of the proposals, led by commercial fishermen and their trade groups, are urging the Obama administration to reject the proposals. By declaring marine national monuments, critics contend, the administration would shut down commercial fishing in areas of the Atlantic without going through the extensive public review process that the New England Fishery Management Council or state agencies would normally undertake.

During a September congressional hearing, Jon Williams of the Atlantic Red Crab Co. said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration held a “charade” meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, earlier that month because fishermen were being asked to respond to proposals with no specifics. Williams, whose Massachusetts company fishes the “New England Canyons and Seamounts” area, accused “a conglomerate of wealthy environmental activists” of trying to lock up large areas of ocean without public deliberation.

“As an industry that has worked tirelessly to serve as a model for sustainable fishing, we are not threatened by a public discussion of ocean conservation,” Williams told members of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans, according to his written testimony. “Instead, it is the willingness of these environmental groups to ignore all public processes that we firmly stand against.”

Mahoney said his organization is “more than supportive of having whatever sort of public process the administration would like to have to address concerns that have been raised about the process.” But speaking about the Cashes Ledge proposal, Mahoney pointed out that as recently as this year the New England Fishery Management Council considered reopening parts of the area to groundfishing only to drop the idea after considerable public debate.

“That is a perfect example of what could happen again under the New England Fishery Management Council,” Mahoney said. “This provides permanent protection. A national monument (designation) takes the long view.”


The Obama administration has also caught heat from some members of Congress – particularly Republicans and Western lawmakers – for his use of the Antiquities Act to designate national monuments.

In March 2014, the U.S. House voted 222-201 largely along party lines to pass a bill that would have required a more public review of some proposed national monuments and prevented presidents from designating more than one monument in each state during a four-year term without congressional approval. The bill went nowhere in the Democrat-controlled Senate, however.

Brengel, the National Parks Conservation Association staffer who has worked closely with St. Clair on the North Woods project, said sometimes a national monument designation is simply the forward momentum needed to dislodge a project frozen in Congress. As an example, Brengel said she and others worked for a decade to protect sites in Maryland that were important to Harriet Tubman, a key figure in the movement of slaves to free states along the Underground Railroad.

After years of inaction in Congress, Obama designated nearly 12,000 acres in Maryland as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in March 2013. A year and a half later, Congress agreed to designate the sites as national historic parks under the national park system.

“It’s absolutely a first step,” Brengel said of starting with a national monument designation. “I don’t think anybody looks at Grand Teton or Grand Canyon as a step back.”


Shifting markets may make Portland’s oil pipeline to Quebec redundant

The Portland Pipe Line, built 74 years ago to provide for the safe transport of crude oil to Quebec at a time when German U-boats were patrolling the western Atlantic, may be obsolete by the new year.

That would mean fewer oil tankers calling on Portland Harbor and less work for tugboats, harbor pilots, line handlers, marine fuel suppliers, ship agents and ship chandlers. It could eventually mean the loss of more than 30 jobs at Portland Pipe Line Corp., and the mothballing of the Portland Pipe Line facility in South Portland, including 23 storage tanks, assessed at more than $45 million.

The amount of oil flowing through the pipeline has been dwindling for years, but the completion next month of a major pipeline reversal project in Canada could soon leave the 236-mile line without a purpose, causing speculation that its majority owner, Imperial Oil, will finally shut it down.

“The situation has been coming for a while,” said John Auers, executive vice president at Turner, Mason & Co., a Dallas petroleum industry consulting firm. “It’s here now.”

On the Portland waterfront, people are speculating when the last oil tanker will make the last crude oil delivery at the Portland Pipe Line terminal in South Portland, said Charlie Poole, whose family owns Brown Ship Services.

The number of ships calling at the terminal has been declining in recent years. In the past 12 months, Poole said, the business supplying ships with food and equipment has dropped off 50 percent. That’s why his company is getting out of the ship-supply business and will only provide services such as removing trash.

“With fewer and fewer ships, why should we have people and equipment for something that is not happening very often?” he asked.


Events in Canada are driving the dwindling flow of oil – a repeat of what happened to Portland Harbor in the years following World War I, when infrastructure investments in Canada toppled Portland from its position as Canada’s winter port. Canada built modern ports in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick, and allowed for improved rail connections. At Portland Harbor’s peak in 1916, 227 vessels departed the harbor with cargo, primarily Canadian wheat carried here by rail. By 1932, almost all of that business was gone.

Built in 1941, the Portland Pipe Line allowed the harbor to reinvent itself as an oil port.

The oil tanker Sparto carries crude into Portland Harbor on Saturday. Sandy Fielden, director of energy analytics with a Texas consulting firm, said that with shifts in the marketplace and changes in Canada’s needs, Portland Pipe Line is on the verge of becoming redundant. “It’s not absolutely dead and buried,” he said, “but it’s looking like a distressed asset.”

The oil tanker Sparto carries crude into Portland Harbor on Saturday. Sandy Fielden, director of energy analytics with a Texas consulting firm, said that with shifts in the marketplace and changes in Canada’s needs, Portland Pipe Line is on the verge of becoming redundant. “It’s not absolutely dead and buried,” he said, “but it’s looking like a distressed asset.”

It was mostly built alongside the existing right of way for the same rail line that carried Canadian wheat from Montreal to Portland. There are actually two pipelines, a 24-inch line now in operation and an 18-inch line that was put out of service because of lack of demand. The line is filled with nitrogen gas, which displaces oxygen to prevent internal corrosion. The lines travel 3 feet underground on the route between South Portland and Montreal.

Tankers deliver the oil at the company’s Pier 2 terminal, located in South Portland between Bug Light and Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse. The terminal has 52 feet of draft and is capable of handling some of the largest vessels on the East Coast.

The Portland Pipe Line’s oil flows surged from 1998 to 2008. In 2004, 160 million barrels of oil flowed through the pipeline. By then, Portland had become the second busiest port by volume on the East Coast, behind only Philadelphia. At the peak, there were 24 tankers a month calling on Portland, said Brian Fournier, president of Portland Tugboat.

In 2014, only 33 million barrels flowed through the pipeline – a 79 percent drop. But the flow of oil has declined since the Great Recession because of changes in the oil market. Competition and consolidation have closed five of the six Montreal refineries. The last refinery, Suncor Energy, which for years relied on foreign oil shipped through the Portland Pipe Line, has recently switched to receiving oil from western Canada and North Dakota. The refinery has been getting the Canadian oil shipped by rail.

Only about two tankers a month are now calling on Portland Harbor to deliver oil bound for Quebec, said Fournier.

In September, the last month for which records are available, just under 594,000 barrels of oil flowed through the Portland Pipe Line, down from 2.2 million in September 2014, a decline of 73 percent.

“It’s a ghost town,” Fournier said of the Portland Pipe Line terminal near Bug Light. “It’s the Dust Bowl of the harbor.”


It could get even quieter next month when the long-anticipated project to reverse the direction of oil flowing through a pipeline in Canada is scheduled to be completed.

On Sept. 30, Canada’s National Energy Board awarded the final permit to the Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge to reverse the flow of a section of its pipeline known as Line 9B between Montreal and Ontario.

The $82 million project will allow Enbridge to bring 300,000 barrels a day of Western Canadian and U.S. Bakken oil to Quebec. The primary customers will be Suncor Energy’s Montreal refinery and Valero Energy Corp.’s plant near Quebec City.

When the Line 9B project is completed, the refinery, which has the capacity to refine 137,000 barrels per day, will be able to source all of its oil from North America, including the option of taking heavy crude from its own oil sands operations. Suncor is a major producer of tar sands oil, which is a mixture of heavy crude oil, sand and water. Alberta happens to have a vast supply of the oil sands, giving Canada the world’s third-largest crude oil reserve after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Suncor spokeswoman Nicole Fisher declined to discuss in any detail where the refinery plans to source its oil.

“Line 9 will provide supply options as well as access to inland crudes,” she said in a statement. “This in turn will enhance the long-term competitiveness of the refinery.”

Sandy Fielden, director of energy analytics with RBN Energy, a Texas consulting firm, said he believes that Suncor intends to completely stop importing foreign oil, leaving the Portland Pipe Line without any customers.

That would mean Algeria, Nigeria, Angola and Norway – which collectively exported to Quebec an average of roughly 165,000 barrels of oil per day through the first eight months of the year, will have to find new markets. About 60 percent of that oil for the first eight months of this year was carried by tankers up the St. Lawrence River, and the rest traveled through the Portland Pipe Line, according to data tracked by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Statistics Canada.

The Portland Pipe Line Corp. is a subsidiary of Montreal Pipe Line Ltd.,which is owned by three oil companies: Suncor Energy, Shell Oil and Imperial Oil, which is the majority owner. Suncor owns 23.8 percent of the pipeline company.

Suncor’s plans for sourcing oil will become apparent within a matter of weeks. Enbridge has completed hydrostatic tests of Line 9B – which involve filling the pipe with water at high pressure to ensure there aren’t any leaks – and is now filling the pipe with oil for service by the end of the year, Enbridge spokesman Graham White said.

Auers said Suncor may decide to continue to buy oil through the pipeline – at a reduced volume – so the pipeline infrastructure can be maintained and give the company future options if the market changes and imported oil becomes cheaper than domestic oil.

“It would not be out of place or unprecedented for Suncor to commit to a certain amount of volume to keep supplies from the West honest,” he said. “You always want to have more than one place to get your crude from.”

Even so, the Portland Pipe Line is not the only source of oil via the Atlantic Ocean. Suncor will still be able to get foreign oil shipped by tankers up the St. Lawrence River. The one constraint is that the St. Lawrence River is only kept open for shipping as far west as the Port of Montreal in the winter with the help of icebreakers, so tankers with strengthened hulls would be required to navigate to Montreal, said Fielden of RBN Energy.

In addition, TransCanada Corp. plans to build a 2,734-mile pipeline to connect oil fields in Alberta with the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John. The Energy East pipeline would bypass Maine to the north and give Canada a path to export its oil reserves without crossing an international border.

Fielden said the Portland Pipe Line is on the verge of becoming redundant.

“It’s not absolutely dead and buried,” he said, “but it’s looking like a distressed asset.”


One possible use for the pipeline, he said, is reversing the flow, giving Canada access to an ocean port and international markets. President Obama’s decision early this month to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried oil from Canadian oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, creates an opportunity for the Portland Pipe Line because it would provide another international pipeline route to a seaport, he said.

“There’s a lot of crude in Canada looking for a way to reach the water right now,” Fielden said.

But the South Portland City Council approved an ordinance last year that effectively prevents the company from reversing the flow of the pipeline.

Oil sands requires more energy to get out of the ground, process and refine, making it a target of environmental activists around the world.

Portland Pipe Line is now suing the city in U.S. District Court in Portland, claiming that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it interferes with interstate trade, discriminates against Canadian interests, devalues the pipeline and infringes on areas of regulation best left to the federal government.

Eben Rose, who opposes any attempt to reverse the pipeline and won a seat on the City Council in November, says it’s time to consider other uses for Portland Pipe Line’s industrial facilities and tanks.

He envisions the city and Portland Pipe Line joining forces to transform the industrial facilities and tanks into offices and laboratories for a research institute that would focus on finding sustainable ways to create energy, such as using algae to refine petroleum.

The pipeline itself, he said, could be a conduit for underground transmission lines carrying electricity produced by hydropower plants in Canada.

“We have to repurpose it and find creative ways of using new technology,” he said.

Southern Maine down Wentworth

Freshman Parker Sanderson had a goal and two assists to lead a balanced offense as the University of Southern Maine men’s ice hockey team defeated the Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards 7-2 in a non-conference game Saturday at the USM Ice Arena. The win was the second straight for the …

Southern Maine down Wentworth

Freshman Parker Sanderson had a goal and two assists to lead a balanced offense as the University of Southern Maine men’s ice hockey team defeated the Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards 7-2 in a non-conference game Saturday at the USM Ice Arena. The win was the second straight for the …

No sense of desperation in Pirates loss

PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates haven’t been desperate enough over the first quarter of the regular season, and it shows in the American Hockey League standings with the team hovering nearing the bottom of the Atlantic Division. The Pirates sustained their fourth straight loss, falling 6-3 to the Utica Comets …

No sense of desperation in Pirates loss

PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates haven’t been desperate enough over the first quarter of the regular season, and it shows in the American Hockey League standings with the team hovering nearing the bottom of the Atlantic Division. The Pirates sustained their fourth straight loss, falling 6-3 to the Utica Comets …

2 Planets Can Share the Same Orbit, In 3 Different Ways

StartsWithABang writes: One of the most important characteristics of a planet, at least according to the IAU definition, is that it clear its orbit of all other bodies. But if we allowed for a special caveat — the possibility of two similarly-sized objects sharing the same orbit — could we have a stable configuration where that occurred? Surprisingly, not only is the answer yes, but there are three ways to do it: to have one at the L4/L5 Lagrange point of the other, to have a close-orbiting binary planet, or to have orbit-swapping worlds, where they periodically change spots with one another. Unbelievably, our Solar System has a history of all three!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Endicott doubles Polar Bears, 6-3

WATERVILLE – The Bowdoin College Polar Bears fell in a two-goal deficit and couldn’t climb out of it in the 6-3 loss to the Endicott Seagulls Saturday afternoon at the Alfond Rink on the campus of Colby College in Waterville. “I thought today, our younger players, you have to crawl …

Endicott doubles Polar Bears, 6-3

WATERVILLE – The Bowdoin College Polar Bears fell in a two-goal deficit and couldn’t climb out of it in the 6-3 loss to the Endicott Seagulls Saturday afternoon at the Alfond Rink on the campus of Colby College in Waterville. “I thought today, our younger players, you have to crawl …