Category archives for: Polly Ticks

South Portland Votes To Ban Tar Sands Oil Unless It’s Distributed For Free In Clean Syringes

tar sands oil hippiesPORTLAND, Maine — More than a year of debate about the flow of heavy crude oil — commonly known as tar sands — through South Portland reaches its climax Monday night. The City Council is slated to take its final vote to enact an ordinance that would ban the bulk loading of crude oil — including the controversial, thicker bituminous oil — onto tanker vessels in the city’s port. During previous votes, the City Council and planning board supported the ban by 6-1 tallies. A previously proposed ordinance intended to block the bituminous oil — by restricting pier upgrades that would have been necessary to accommodate the thicker oil — lost in a close citywide vote last November. Since then, a city committee has drafted an alternative ordinance intended to essentially achieve the same goal, but by a different means. The debate has spilled far beyond the city limits, as supporters argue a ban is needed to protect Maine from what they believe are heightened environmental and safety risks associated with the bituminous oil, while opponents assert that it would place unreasonable limitations on waterfront businesses and worsen the region’s energy woes. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Mike Tipping Has Evidence Governor LePage Was Watching The History Channel When Hitler Came On And He Didn’t Change The Channel. Study It Out, People

Governor LePageAUGUSTA, Maine — An expert on anti-government extremists said the controversial group that met with Gov. Paul LePage eight times last year should not be considered terrorists, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worrisome. The Constitutional Coalition is a group of right-wing activists and conspiracy theorists that believes many of Maine’s laws are illegal, that several high-ranking political officials are guilty of treason, that lawyers are agents of foreign governments and that the Maine State Bar Association has infiltrated the government for its own sinister ends. Liberal activist and blogger Mike Tipping investigated the group for months as part of the research for a new book he’s written about LePage, and he revealed earlier this week that the group had met with the governor for more than a dozen hours over the course of several meetings last year. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Waldoboro Board Of Selectman Having Trouble Remembering If They’re Supposed To Persecute Or Fellate Businesses This Week

Committee meeting. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorAfter issues were raised with a June 10 executive session and a subsequent vote to relax the town’s land use ordinance, the Waldoboro Board of Selectmen voted to rescind the action at their June 24 meeting. The June 10 vote was related to a perceived risk of losing a Family Dollar store planned for Route 1 to another town since the project’s proposed sign was more than twice the square-footage allowed in the town’s land use ordinance. A Family Dollar official has since said via email there was never a discussion to relocate the store. At the selectboard’s June 24 meeting, a former selectman and members of the Waldoboro Planning Board took issue with the selectmen’s decision to relax the sign requirements in the ordinance. “I think the action taken by the selectboard on June 10 regarding the Family Dollar store was a pretty big mistake and needs to be rectified,” said former selectman Steve Cartwright. Cartwright said he believes the intentions were good, but the rules need to be followed. (read more at the Lincoln County News)

Auditor Says Rumford Looks Good If You Don’t Look At It

Rumford Maine downtown rush hourRUMFORD — Selectmen learned Thursday night from town auditor Ron Smith that Rumford is doing well financially. Smith said Rumford uses about $1.2 million in tax revenue in the budget, but only needs about $150,000 of that. “So that’s the good news,” he said. Concerns in 2013-14, were a large property abatement, a tough winter, and a lot of road projects happening, Smith said. He said auditors use a benchmark of 30, 60 and 90 days that they like to see a town’s operating budget sit in reserve. Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina asked him to explain. Smith said that means a town should have $1.5 million in reserve for 30 days, $3 million for 60 days and $4.5 million for 90 days. He said Rumford’s operating budget is at $3.6 million for the year ending June 30, 2013. “I’m not sure you’re going to be there come June 30, 2014,” due to a lot of fiscal challenges this year, he said. “Rumford’s a very busy town and this was a challenging year,” Smith said. He said Rumford has about $1.2 million in capital reserve funds and plenty of reserve funds it can access if needed. “This town is in good financial shape,” Smith said. “I think 2014 is going to be more of a trying year on your resources, for lack of a better word.” (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Hoping To Add Some Zest To The Governor’s Race, Eliot Cutler Kidnaps Himself, Then Gives Himself $100,000 In Small, Unmarked Bills To Get Himself Back

Eliot CutlerIndependent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler has long said that he expects to self-finance much of his bid for the Blaine House, as he did in 2010. He is, but at a faster rate and under challenging circumstances. On Tuesday, the attorney from Cape Elizabeth loaned his campaign another $100,000, according to a recent finance report, bringing his total cash contributions to $500,000. The loan put Cutler ahead of his self-financing pace in 2010, when he spent more than $1.6 million on a second-place finish to Republican Gov. Paul LePage. The latest loan, his fifth so far, raises questions about Cutler’s progress – and cash ceiling – in what is expected to be a costly and competitive race through Election Day. The finances of a gubernatorial race may seem esoteric to the general public, but fundraising and the ability to spend money are critical in a campaign. Money lets a candidate send messages, whether with television and radio ads or mailers, and pays for a staff to raise more money. (keep reading at The Morning Sentinel)

Rumford Voters Choose Two Selectmen To Use Their Time Machine To Go Back To 1960 And Fix Everything

Mainers looking Maine-y at the Rumford Meteor, Maine news from the seat of Oxford CountyRUMFORD —  Incumbent Selectman Jeff Sterling and former Selectman Mark Belanger got the nod from voters on Tuesday for three-year terms in a six-way race for two selectmen seats. Sterling received 571 votes and Belanger got 749 votes. Tallies for the other candidates were: Incumbent Jolene Lovejoy, 567 votes; and challengers James Windover, 550 votes; Patrick A. Ryan, 235 votes; and Candice Casey, 87 votes. In uncontested municipal races, Town Clerk and Treasurer Beth Bellegarde was reelected, as was Tax Collector and Constable Thomas B. Bourret; and for write-ins, Incumbent Craig Chamberlain won the assessor seat if he wants it, Bellegarde said, and Jennifer LeDuc won election to the RSU 10 School Board. (read more at the Lewiston Sun Journal)

Cape Elizabeth Resident Wonders If You’ve Got Anything Else She Can Be Violently Opposed To. She’s Fresh Out

Committee meeting. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorCAPE ELIZABETH — The Zoning Board of Appeals next week will decide whether to uphold a decision denying building permits for cellular phone service antennas and communications equipment on and around the Portland Water District’s decommissioned water tower on Avon Road. “They’re saying a federal law allows them to put up these antennas without regard for our zoning ordinance or a site plan review,” Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal said. “I determined that wasn’t the case.” Priscilla Armstrong, who can see the tower from her home, was one of several Avon Road residents to receive a letter from Verizon Wireless last September inviting her to a meeting at Town Hall. She was told Verizon had approached the Portland Water District about placing an antenna atop the 80-foot-tall, nearly 70-year-old tower, which has been dry since 2007, but still supports an antenna to monitor water pressure and sewer pumping stations. Residents were annoyed. In emails to the town in the following months, they cited aesthetic qualms, concerns over the noise of the equipment’s generators and HVAC systems, the unwelcome traffic of service vehicles on their dead-end street, and an overall negative impact on the neighborhood’s quality of life. (read more at The Forecaster)

Welfare Recipient Fitness Levels Expected To Soar When Ban On ATM Withdrawals In Bars, Strip Joints, And Liquor Stores Forces Them To Walk Two Blocks

Electronic Benefit Cards in MaineRecipients of state-funded cash assistance will no longer be permitted to withdraw money with electronic benefit cards from ATMs in bars, strip clubs, casinos or liquor stores, Gov. Paul LePage announced Monday. The restrictions, imposed by the state Department of Health and Human Services, add teeth to a law that LePage signed in 2012 to prohibit cash withdrawals at such businesses. John Martins, a DHHS spokesman, said the department hadn’t requested transaction data until this year, and without data about where the cards were being used, could only educate card holders about the rules and leave them to police themselves. “If there was ATM use at a prohibited location and it was reported to us, we most certainly would have acted,” Martins said. “Now, however, with access to the transactional data, we have more analytical capacity and further ability to take action.” In January, LePage’s office made public thousands of EBT card transactions, which preceded a push by the Republican governor to enact a package of welfare reform bills. Most of his bills were rejected by the Legislature, where Democrats hold the majority. (keep reading at the Kennebec Journal)

Scarborough’s Day/Night, Winter/Summer, Morning/Afternoon, Weekday/Weekend, Beach/Park Variations Of Rules For Dogs On The Beach Expected To Triple The Tax Rate To Pay For The Sign

Committee meeting. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorSCARBOROUGH — After months of debate, the Town Council finalized animal control ordinance changes Wednesday that will create new restricted beach areas during piping plover nesting season and require dogs to be on leash from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. during the winter. The council passed the amended ordinance in a 4-1 vote, with Councilor James Benedict opposed and Councilor Katherine St. Clair absent. The ordinance included amendments proposed in a prior meeting by Chairman Richard Sullivan to simplify the so-called “protected areas” on public beaches for the endangered plovers during their nesting season, which begins April 1. Now called “restricted,” those areas will not be enlarged if plover chicks wander outside of them.  As previously proposed, the Higgins Beach restricted area would prohibit dogs on the beach from Champion Street to Spurwink Road. The Pine Point restricted area goes from Hurd Park to the jetty, but allows dogs on leashes.  New is an extension of the Ferry and Western Beach restricted area to include the majority of Ferry, extending south of the parking lot, where no dogs will be allowed.  The ordinance also moves forward with new winter restrictions on off-leash time, which councilors said was requested by some elderly residents and residents with small children. An amendment approved Wednesday night mandates that dogs be on-leash from Labor Day to May 14 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (read more at The Forecaster)

South Portland Association, Founded 29 Years Ago To Stymie Any Effort To Develop Waterfront Property, Would Like To Know Why This Waterfront Property Is Such A Dump

Aspasia marina in South PortlandAspasia Marina, a longtime eyesore on the South Portland waterfront that has also been a sore sport for its Ferry Village neighbors, may finally get an overhaul this summer. “It looks like there’s a party that’s quite interested in taking on what is a rather distressed property,” said Mayor Jerry Jalbert. “We might have something pretty spectacular coming along fairly soon. Something could be inked as early as this summer.” That will come as welcome news to members of the Ferry Village Neighborhood Conservation Association. The association was founded in 1985 to beat back an 85-unit condominium project proposed for a new wharf jutting out into the Fore River next to the U.S. Coast Guard base. Thanks to the neighborhood association, the proposal was whittled down to 15 shoreside units. Although active for many years after that first big battle, the association grew dormant in the last few years, until reinvigorated by recent talk of a concert venue to be built on land owned by developer John Cacoulidis adjacent to Bug Light Park. Although Assistant City Manager Jon Jennings, who hatched the idea, has said Cacoulidis simply decided to pursue other long-term ideas for the site, Ferry Village residents at a March 13 meeting, the first held by the group in more than 18 months, credited themselves with killing the project, with vocal outcry online and in emails to the city.At that March 13 meeting, about 40 association members then turned their eyes to Aspasia, said to be the second-oldest shipyard in America, dating to its founding in as the Portland Ship Yard Co. “It’s a dump,” said Joseph Capelluti of High Street. “It has rats all around it. I’m sure if my house looked like that I’d have to do something. Why is the city doing nothing about that site that looks like it’s buildings are about to fall in?” (read more at South Portland Sentry)

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