Written by Zoo Cain
Portland, Maine is in desperate need of a task force committee to evaluate openly and thoroughly the strict parking policies and their enforcement. If the economy wasn't in such a fragile, rough and tumble state, and more people were not living in dire, or near dire financial conditions, Portland's disciplinarian, punitive, practices, might be much more tolerable and palatable.
In a very restrictive atmosphere the city is making millions a year, basically fleecing and picking the pockets of its citizens, and a great many visitors. Portland is heralded in a great many ways, this of course not being one of them. The military like precision of ticketing, booting, and towing is atrocious and totally un-fair.
Even the most careful parker gets from time to time a ticket. Many cannot afford this extra burden on their already precarious budget. At one time you could get a ticket every six months, that could be waived if you did not get another one. That was good policy. And don't kid yourself, there are many ways that the city makes it very probable that you will get a ticket and then they can say Gotcha!!!!
It is a game of picking people's pockets and pocketbooks. I would suggest that our very well thought of and good mayor organize a committee of sixteen to twenty people, to examine a policy that gives Portland a black eye, and a bad aftertaste.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 21:49
Written by Ann J. Dillon
I watched the City Council meeting last night (Monday) at 7 p.m. to 9:35 p.m. and could not believe what they did at the end of the meeting. Many of the Friends of (Congress Square) were all there to talk about the people of Portland being ignored on a number of issues by the council and about a lawsuit pending to reclaim our parks and public places.
My issue about the City Council last night mainly, though, is that when it came time for the public to be able to speak on any issue, the councilors quietly all crept out. Only councilors Duson and Coyne stayed, along with the mayor and two usual women at his left. The mayor told the person who was about to speak that there was not a quorum because there weren't enough councilors present. But the mayor said he would listen to what she had to say. However, the audio was shut off — and stayed off the whole time — after she got only part of her first statement out. An "audio difficulties" sign flashed on every two minutes or so until she finished speaking around 9:30 or so and they they all left.
This whole episode was filmed, and I hope I am not the only witness. I know they are very prejudiced against her because they owe her money for 11 trees which were destroyed by speeding snow plows in her area just beyond Westgate Shopping Center. I feel that nevertheless she is a tax-paying citizen and homeowner here in Portland, and I don't think they should be able to do what they did.
I'm still in shock, really.
A concerned Portlander and friend to the victim of the city's refusal to pay for the damage done.
Ann J. Dillon
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 February 2014 23:32
Written by Robert Libby
I know it is carping to criticize political cartoons, but the images frequently chosen for the Daily Sun editorial page are more damaging for their general mistruths than most other departments of the newspaper.
I suffered through the recent one that casually labeled "seventeen year plateau on warming" on a figure representing the public. This is patently untrue, an example of selective statistics that fails to recognize the real damage of climate change.
The "Dr. No" laser of Obamacare between the legs of the public is unsupportable by any stretch of the imagination. Finally a Feb. 26 cartoon's asterick implying Obama benefitted from voter suppression is so far from the truth that it is laughable. The bloody IRS labeled bat is so opposite of the truth that it is libelous. But as Boss Tweed said about Thomas Nast's anticorruption cartoons, those damn pictures get the voters riled up. Are these all the same work of the same syndicated cartoonist? They are absurd and deserve to be reviled.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 21:50
Written by Julie Hannon
(This letter — with an attached memorandum of supporting materials —was sent to the Scarborough Town Council, Scarborough Ad-Hoc Animal Control Committee.)
Council and Committee Members,
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen. Having watched, since the late summer of 2013, as a travesty unfolded in the Town of Scarborough, I am compelled to speak out for what is right. The Town Council’s unreasonable mandates that will eliminate the limited time and space citizens have had to exercise their dogs is breaking this town. The Town Council and Town Manager Tom Hall acquiesced to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFW) demands to leash our dogs. It is clear that no due diligence was exercised. You did not review and challenge data or reports, and you did not hold the USFW accountable to the laws that guide their actions.
I have attended numerous Town, citizen, and Dog Owners of Greater Scarborough meetings to discuss the dog ordinance, the plover ordinance, the actions of the Town Council and Town Manager, the Audubon Society, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I have signed a petition for referendum and voted against an overly restrictive dog ordinance. I have done this because Maine is “The Way Life Should Be”; it is why I live here.
We do not regulate our citizens unnecessarily. We consider the impact governing and regulating places on our citizens. We respect the right to petition and repeal ordinances. We respect the constitutional rights of all of our citizens, including the 50 percent plus pet owners and private property owners.
I have aligned myself with those who wish to preserve the very limited, off leash time, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on town property and beaches. This limited time and space affords many pet owners an opportunity to walk, run, play, and swim with their pets near to their home, and for some, in their own backyard. Still, after numerous town meetings of overwhelming support for dog owners rights, after the council amended a proposed ordinance without allowing for public comment on the amendment, then voted, passing the amended, overly restrictive ordinance, and after a successful referendum overturned that ordinance, proponents continue to battle the same unending Town Council agenda to reserve all town beaches, at all times, for the non-dog owner, or to relegate the dog owner and dog to select areas or off season months.
Once the restrictive ordinance that was overturned with 73 percent support of a NO vote, by a record-breaking voter turnout for a special election, the Town Council again chose to ignore the voice of the people and formed an Ad-Hoc committee to push this agenda.
The Committee, charged with recommending ordinance changes, included the Town Manager Tom Hall and Councilor Bill Donovan, both supporters of a restrictive ordinance. Those citizens who want to preserve limited off leash time, who spoke in numbers at town meetings, and who voted to overturn a restrictive ordinance, now face unwanted “compromise”, including recommendations that will restrict property owners on their own property- yes, on their own property.
Separate and apart from the issue of the Council’s utter repudiation of the will of the voters, I do not believe the Town of Scarborough, the State of Maine, or the Federal Government has the right — even if the voters had ratified the ordinance — to impose such a far-reaching, restrictive ordinance in the Town of Scarborough or, for that matter, in any town on the coast of Maine. As the attached memorandum reflects, there is established case law supporting the position that the proposed ordinance, both the one that was overturned and any putative “compromise”, constitutes “a taking” within the meaning of the Constitution. I urge you to take pause before recommending or enacting an ordinance that may violate the rights, freedoms, and happiness of the citizens of Scarborough. Respectfully,
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 00:58
Written by Don Ogier
Response to John Moon's letter to the editor, Feb. 18 ("Where does one draw the line? Panhandling is not free speech!"). Yes! Mr. Moon should be "forced" to confront and acknowledge that the plight of homelessness in our nation is a disgrace and a catastrophe which should not be ignored. You are not being "forced" to give money. That's up to your own sense of regard for other's suffering.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 00:58