Deering Center, Portland, Maine



Portland is organized into neighborhoods that are generally recognized by residents, but have no legal or political significance. City signage does, in many cases, name various neighborhoods or intersections (which are often called corners). Some city neighborhoods have a local neighborhood association whose self-appointed responsibility is to liaise with the city government on issues affecting the neighborhood.

Several neighborhoods incorporate the name "Deering" in some way. This is a result of the 1899 merger of Portland with the neighboring City of Deering, which comprised the northern and eastern sections of the city prior to the merger. Deering High School is also so named as it was formerly the public high school for the City of Deering.

Deering Center is the neighborhood in which i grew up. It is located approximately 2 Miles away from downtown, and Two Miles from the Maine Mall. It is not all urban, but parts of it are. Tripple decker apartment buildings filled with immigrants mix with colonial style 4 bedroom houses inhabited by families with roots dating back centuries. Pretty vibrant mix al in all. I have highlighted some of the denser areas in the following few pictures. On just one street alone there are enough schools to educate an individual from pre-school through college and medical school. Its the only street in America of its kind.











Deering looks nice, but working class (not that that's bad) What's the best, somewhat affordable neighborhood there?
Well, you see, deering is quite large, the largest of the city's neighborhoods, in fact, with over 15,000 people, and it stretches from east deering, to deering center, to north deering. What you see here in this thread are a few shots of deering center. on top of that, i went out of my way to photograph the taller, denser, and more run-down (for lack of a better word) dwellings. I did this because this is an urban site, and the suburban homes of deering would make most people sleepy. The density of my neighborhood is 8,000 people per square mile, but dont be fooled, some streets are much more than that and some are much less, the average can be misleading. For instance, the tripple decker shown in the second to last photo is the only one on that block. it is next to a church with a large surrounding yard and is otherwise surrounded by homes inhabited by doctors and lawyers (i know because they are my neighbors). take a walk 30 seconds in one direction, however, and you are on stevens ave, deerings main thoroughfare, which has plenty of other tripple deckers thrown in the mix. a walk in the opposite direction would bring you down sleepy streets with no visible life. many of the homes in north deering are ritzy (not rich, though) and many in my neighborhood are solid middle class. i will do a more representative photo tour of deering some day. the "wqorking class" neighborhoods of portland are munjoy hill, the west end, parkside, bayside and outer washington ave...basically all of the neighborhoods which immediately border downtown. deering to most people in portland is considered very suburban.

the best, somewhat affordable neighborhood in portland would probably be the USM area. it surrounds the campus of the university of southern maine and is just before deering turns into the slums of parkside. downtown is a hop skip and a jump to the south and the interstate is in your back yard. sea doggs are within walking distance, as is a major intown park where festivals are held etc. rents only increase from there closer to downtown assuming you dont want to live in a crime ridden spot.
Nice pictures, I enjoy neighborhood tours! Deering really is a nice area.
Officer shoots, kills man during drug arrest in city

A Portland police officer has been put on paid administrative leave after fatally shooting an armed man resisting arrest at the intersection of Forest and Pleasant avenues late Friday night.

Sgt. Robert Martin, a 20-year veteran of the Portland police, fired one shot at 26-year-old Richard Wayne Duncan, who police said struggled and drew a gun on officers as they tried to arrest him for possession and sale of drugs.

It was the first time in more than four years that Portland police fatally shot anyone.

Martin was one of four police officers who responded to a tip about a possible drug deal taking place at the corner near Baxter Woods Park at 11:45 p.m. When they arrived, they found Duncan and two women in a car, Police Chief Tim Burton said.

''Mr. Duncan got out of the vehicle and was speaking with officers,'' Burton said. ''As they attempted to check him, he pulled out a handgun and attempted to shoot Sergeant Martin.''

No other shots were fired, Burton said. He said it is standard procedure to put any officer who uses deadly force on paid administrative leave during an investigation.

Burton would not say where the shot struck Duncan. Duncan was pronounced dead at Maine Medical Center.

Police later found drugs in the car, though Burton would not say how much or what kind.

Police identified one of the women in the car as Ann Napolitano, who police said was carrying a knife. She was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and was taken to the Cumberland County Jail in Portland. As of Saturday night, Napolitano had not posted bail. Jail officials would not provide her age or address.

Police would not identify the other woman, who was not arrested or charged.

Police described the arrest location as outside 732 Forest Ave., but Shawn Hanscome, who lives at the apartment building at that address, said he heard screams coming from in front of Clark Memorial United Methodist Church, a few houses up the street, at the Pleasant Avenue intersection.

''I was wide awake when it happened,'' he said. ''I thought it was a fight.''

Chris Monahan, who lives across from the church, said the gunshot woke him. ''I couldn't see from my room, but I came outside, and by then there were cops everywhere,'' he said.

Residents said they were surprised that such an event would take place in a neighborhood they described as safe and drug-free.

Kate Nicol, who moved to Pleasant Avenue a month ago and serves as the pastor of Clark Memorial Church, said she had heard that neighborhood had problems with accidents and vandalism in the past, before a bar on Forest Avenue was replaced with a Quiznos sandwich shop. ''But never anything with drugs,'' she said.

Residents also said they were unfamiliar with Duncan, who lived only a few blocks away, at 655 Stevens Ave.

Duncan had several previous arrests, including convictions for selling drugs, assault and resisting arrest. Since 2001, he has been in and out of jail in counties from Portland to Bangor, most recently serving nine months in 2004-05 at the Penobscot County Jail for violating probation, according to the Maine State Bureau of Identification. He was still on probation.

Neighbors on Stevens Avenue said Duncan was quiet and kept to himself. ''I really never saw much of him,'' said next-door neighbor Tucker Cianchette.

A middle-aged man who answered the door at Duncan's home refused to comment about Duncan or the shooting.

The Maine Attorney General's Office plans to determine whether the shooting was justified. Spokesman Chuck Dow said he expects the investigation to take a few weeks.

This is the fifth case since November 2005 in which a police officer in Maine has fired at a suspect. The Attorney General's Office found in each of the previous four instances that the shootings were justified.

Portland's last fatal shooting by police occurred in February 2002. Police fatally shot John S. Dawson in a taxicab pulled over in the West End. Dawson, 21, was wanted in connection with an armed robbery, and he had turned an unloaded semiautomatic against the cab driver and officers.

Sgt. Gary Hutcheson and Officer Bryan Letarte fired four shots at Dawson. The shooting was later ruled justified.

Man arrested after city standoff

A man accused of killing a 19-year-old Boston woman as she lit candles by a shrine to her murdered brother was arrested Tuesday in Portland after a standoff near the University of Southern Maine.

Deputy U.S. marshals, Boston police and Portland police surrounded the 2?-story Dartmouth Street apartment building at 9:30 a.m. after Laron Lewis Richardson, 18, of Boston was spotted looking out a window. He gave himself up 90 minutes later after speaking by telephone with relatives and police in Boston and with officers at the scene.

Richardson was being sought in the shooting last month of Annalicia Perry.

Perry was lighting a candle at a shrine to her brother near where he was murdered in 2002. Police identified a suspect in thatshooting, but the person was killed a week later.

On the night of July 22, a car pulled up on Annunciation Road in Roxbury and the occupants started arguing with Perry, witnesses told police. She threw a candle at the car and someone inside shot her in the face. She was pronounced dead three hours later at a Boston-area hospital.

Perry, who had a 4-year-old daughter, graduated from North Cambridge Catholic High School and hoped to study nursing in college.

Investigators obtained arrest warrants last week for two men, Richardson and Steven Sayles, 19, of Dorchester. Boston press reports say Sayles had dated Perry in the past. He turned himself in Monday and was charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact for allegedly driving the car the night of the shooting. He pleaded innocent and is being held on $350,000 bail.

The U.S. Marshals' Boston-area fugitive task force tracked Richardson to Maine.

Investigators checked an address in Biddeford, which led them to 112 Dartmouth St. in Portland, said John Cooper, chief deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in Portland.

Dartmouth Street is a quiet residential street in the city's Oakdale section, where many homes have been converted to multi-unit apartment buildings. The residents at 112-114 Dartmouth St. are new to the neighborhood, longtime residents said.

Deputy marshals had intended to interview the occupants of 112 Dartmouth as part of their search for Richardson, but when they saw him in the window, they ushered the residents outside and cordoned off the area, Cooper said. He said he believed the Maine residents were acquaintedwith Richardson but he did not know their precise relationship.

Massachusetts authorities said Richardson was to be considered armed and dangerous, so the Portland police special reaction team and hostage negotiation team were called in.

Soon, black-clad officers with helmets and automatic weapons were scurrying through the neighborhood. Someresidents in nearby houses were ordered to leave, while others were told to stay home but keep a low profile, residents said.

"It's a creepy feeling," said Barbara Bennington, of Oakdale Street. "I thought at one point he was loose in the neighborhood."

"We didn't know if the individual had a weapon or how he would come out," Cooper said.

Police set up a perimeter around the building and roads were closed while negotiators tried to persuade Richardson to give himself up, said Portland Police Chief Tim Burton.

After a tense standoff, and after speaking with his family in Boston, Richardson surrendered and was taken to Cumberland County Jail, where he is being held without bail on a charge of being a fugitive from justice.

Richardson had no weapon, and Boston and Portland police were working to obtain a search warrant for the apartment where he was found to search for items linked to Perry's murder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Staff Writer David Hench can be reached at 791-6327 or at:">

Reader comments
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Aug 30, 2006 11:15 AM
Hey Tom - shut it! They did a superb job in apprehending this heartless killer and keeping the streets safe for you and the rest of us. Get back to flipping burgers and let them get back to making Portland safe. What - are you mad because they gave you a parking ticket? I have the perfect solution for you - become a police officer, work your way up to chief and make some changes. Of course, that would require some effort on your part. You'd have to pull your pants up to your waist, tuck in your underwear, take out your piercings, take off that stupid hat, get yourself over to a barber shop and stop shooting your mouth off about things you know absolutely nothing about. By the way - its sensationalism ya big MO.

Tom of Portland, Me
Aug 30, 2006 8:59 AM
Job well done PPD.

It is comforting to see an arrest of this magnitude can be made with a press conference and or reporters on the scene.

I think Tim Burton was a very good choice to keep the PD and the City of Portland moving without sensationism
Oh ish! Patrick got da whole streets flooded. You do the crime, you do the time.
Not me. I post a lot on the Food For Thought blog on the pressherald. I went on a couple tirades on the latest blog. Trust me, you'll know me when you read it.