Newspapers.

Its a cold, dark and icy Wednesday here on the New Hampshire seacoast. I'm here at the new Portsmouth Public Library which is near City Hall and the Dover District Court. The first thing I thought about after driving past the court complex was the WMUR news story showing a shackled and one time congressional candidate Garry Dodds being led from the court back to jail. At the time the WMUR reporter asked Mr. Dodd a question and he replied, "its a nice day."

It was at least nicer than today. But news stories about onetime congressional candidates aside, the new Portsmouth Public Library is quality. Modern and well lighted, the facility is centered around a stone spiral staircase with a medium sized eagle overlooking if not guarding the airspace below. The ground floor has the standard library facilities and a small cafe while the second floor features meeting rooms, special collections and an array of banked computers as well as the daily journals including regional newspapers and magazines. Its quite a place and if your in the area its definitely worth a visit.

Newspapers. Below is an article from today's edition of the Manchester Union Leader newspaper showing a new startup newspaper in Maine's largest city, Portland. Interesting idea but I'd think a real challenge. I've spent some time in Portland serving in the Coast Guard. Portland at least in my experience is modern, progressive and seems to be moving ahead faster than some other New England cities like Concord or Manchester. I'd be willing to make the argument that Portland's direction, tax base and prosperity could only be beaten by the city of Boston.

But can a new newspaper be successful in this city?

First they have to compete or at least find a viable niche market for advertising revenue against an established newspaper that itself has had to resort to layoffs within the past year because of the downturn in the economy. Sure this new newspaper is going to be free but what kind of content are these two reporters going to provide to a "16 page tabloid with 5,000 copies in circulation."

This new newspaper is to be called The Portland Daily Sun. A new newspaper that faces some very serious challenges in the state of Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A free daily newspaper is being launched in Maine's largest city, possibly by the end of this month.

The Portland Daily Sun plans to start out as a 16-page tabloid, with 5,000 copies in circulation. Editor Curtis Robinson said it will focus on hard news and initially will have two full-time reporters working from what he called a "virtual newsroom."

The new daily will be published by the Conway Daily Sun of New Hampshire. Its publisher, Mark Guerringue, said he has no plans to compete with the Portland Press Herald. Said Guerringue: "We're the ant. The Press Herald is the elephant."