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Karen Beaudoin is an online editor for Maine Today Media and contributes two blogs to the company's websites.

In the City tells readers what to know if they want to know Portland. Pedal On offers info, events and advice for people who love their bikes more than, well ... almost anything.

Get in touch at kbeaudoin@mainetoday.com

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Previous entries

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

Wednesday June 19, 2013 | 09:06 AM

It's not often you get a chance to save a life. Particularly during your work day. Or at one of the city's busiest office buildings.

Thursday you can get that chance when the Dirigo Management PretiFlaherty Blood Drive happens from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second floor of One City Center.

And here's what makes the whole being a life-saver thing even better: some pretty sweet rewards (not that donating a pint of blood to someone in need isn't reward enough).

About a month ago the small outdoor space between Merrill Auditorium and the parking lot one building over was in plenty of disarray. The thousands who attended shows at Merrill saw crumbled stone, trash and decaying vegetation as they walked past the "garden" in from of Commercial Property Services.

But then work began to bring some natural beauty back to that area of Congress Street. There was digging and grading and dismantling of the old stone work. There was planting and mulching and building of a fountain made from field stones.

And now, thanks to Commercial Property Services, when city workers or Merrill patrons walk from the two nearby parking lots to their destinations, they get to see this:

If you're in your teens or 20s you may not spend much time thinking about everything you want to accomplish before the end of your days.

But when you've lived a little the idea of "Before I die, I want to ..." actually becomes a list. And it can be a lengthy list.

Those who have already formulated a plan and those who might be just winging it can share their thoughts, dreams and ideas beginning at this evening's First Friday Art Walk with the Maine Center for Creativity's "Before I Die" wall. Head down to Flatbread Co. at 75 Commercial St. and join other participants as they add their own colorful (literally and figuratively) words to the chalkboard wall.

The wall will stand at the location through the month of June and connects Portland to an international project that began in New Orleans in 2011. More than 200 communities in 40 countries are participating.

For many Portlanders the annual Old Port Festival is the official kickoff for summer. So get ready for the best season of the year to arrive on Sunday, June 9 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

This year's fest is the 40th and Portland's Downtown District has pulled together an event that boasts six stages of musical entertainment, Maine-made arts and crafts, food and drink and plenty to keep the kids busy.

As always, the parade down Exchange Street gets things started at 11 a.m.

Thursday May 16, 2013 | 08:16 AM

Of course you're hungry for wings. Always.

Today when you grab your wings for lunch, dinner or any time in between you can help the Relay for Life if you get those wings at Binga's. The Stadiuam location at 77 Free St. in Portland is open from 11:30 a.m. until closing (to late for most of us early-to-bed folks) and 10% of today's sales will go to the American Cancer Society's annual event.

Eat up and help a great cause. Binga's and cancer patients everywhere will thank you.