FREEPORT – An anonymous newsletter that attacks and offends some residents has prompted the Town Council to consider the legal ramifications of removing or banning anonymous printed materials from municipal buildings. The council issued a statement last month condemning the newsletter, A Crow’s Nest, after receiving various legal opinions that the publication is protected free speech. The council is scheduled to discuss what more it can do, if anything, when it meets at 6:30 tonight. “The council feels that it is necessary and appropriate to state, in no uncertain terms, that the town of Freeport does not condone or support the views and opinions explicitly stated or depicted in this publication,” the council said in its written statement Dec. 20. “It is also within the Town Council’s purview to express the strong belief that expressions of this nature are inappropriate, hateful and harmful to the process of civil public discourse,” the council said. “The council urges the author(s) to exercise their First Amendment rights in a manner that is respectful of individuals and which does not imply violence inspired by hatred or slanderous accusations.” A Crow’s Nest is an occasional, self-described news parody, without an identified source or author, that has lampooned town officials and others for more than 25 years. (read more at PortlandPressHerald)
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