UPDATE: We think we now know why the time and temp sign is dark.

There are several things that you can always rely on in Portland, Maine. The sun will always rise in the east even though you might not see it through the clouds. Slugger will always lose the race around the bases to the kids at Hadlock Field. And the Time and Temperature sign high above the city will always show the time and temperature along with an eight characters or less message. That is until recently.

Since some point over the past weekend, the iconic Time and Temperature sign has been dark. I noticed it myself Sunday evening when driving home through Portland. Not seeing the sign lit up over the Portland skyline is kind of jarring. It just feels wrong. And now the question we all what to know is, why is it dark?

Townsquare Media - Jeff Parsons
Townsquare Media - Jeff Parsons

Now I could do some research by making some calls and trying to find out what the deal with the sign is, but I'm not going to do that. I'm no investigative reporter unless it comes to when McDonald's McRib is coming back. Which in case you are wondering, it's back. Go get it while you can.

I'll leave that to the professional press, not amateurs like me. After looking at several of those professional press websites in Portland, however, there's nothing about it. Either they don't know either, or they haven't noticed.

But people in the r/portlandme subreddit have noticed it and while there's little in the way of actual answers, there is some out in left field speculation.

As you may or may not know, the Time and Temperature Building is empty at the moment and has been for some time as the owners have plans to turn it into a luxury hotel with even some talk of modernizing the time and temp sign on the roof. I'm hoping any modernization keeps it looking the same as it does.

You also may or may not know that Joe Bornstein sponsors the sign and uses it to promote various charities in the area, as well as the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. "SHUNG!" Sorry, you can't say Joe Bornstein without making that sound effect.

Joe Bornstein has nothing to do with the sign other than provide the messages. They don't kill the power. But there's the joke right? What's wrong with the sign? "CALL JOE" is exactly what the sign says when there is no charity. So call!

So for now, as of this writing, the time and temp sign is still dark and a big piece of Portland is missing but we don't know why. And I'm not calling Joe to ask. Yet.

Stay tuned.

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