For nearly a year, citizens across South Portland have been working to keep tar sands smokestacks, tanks, spills and pollution out of the city.
Last March, 400 residents packed the room, voicing disbelief and concern that the Portland Pipe Line Corp. could export tar sands out of Casco Bay. At that same hearing, CEO Larry Wilson said he would “love” to bring tar sands into the city.
This June, nearly 4,000 residents petitioned the city of South Portland to block a tar sands export terminal in the city.
This fall, hundreds of citizens have come together to pass the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, standing up to the oil industry in face of an onslaught of misinformation spread with record-breaking sums of money.
But now, just one week before the election and after refusing to do anything on the issue, the South Portland City Council is making a last-ditch effort to thwart the citizen-initiated ordinance.
Why didn’t the council do this three, six or nine months ago, when it was clear that city residents were overwhelmingly opposed to tar sands? A moratorium is a stop-gap measure, and the long-term solution is the Waterfront Protection Ordinance.
It is naive to expect that the American Petroleum Institute, ExxonMobil and the other oil industry players behind the $600,000 campaign to defeat the citizens initiative will sit back and let the council pass anything that could block a tar sands project.
The oil industry will fight any ordinance that has teeth, just as they have fought to defeat the Waterfront Protection Ordinance.
The Waterfront Protection Ordinance is a strong zoning rule that will keep tar sands out of South Portland and all of Maine. Please stand with us to vote for the ordinance Nov. 5.
director, Environment Maine
Portland stakeholders group opposes waterfront measure
Recently, the Portland Waterfront Alliance conducted a poll of its members regarding the South Portland Waterfront Protection Ordinance.
The Portland Waterfront Alliance was formed in 1988 as a response to the changes taking place on the waterfront at that time.
The alliance is a membership organization interested in protecting and promoting a working waterfront in the Port of Portland and South Portland. Members include representatives from federal, state and local governments, transportation, waterfront businesses, pier owners, neighborhood groups and anyone else interested in preserving the working waterfront.
There are about 30 active members in the alliance. The poll was conducted by email through the Greater Portland Council of Governments, so that all members had a chance to vote. There were 22 responses: 21 opposed and one abstention.
I have been employed on the waterfront for 40 years in a variety of capacities including transportation, waterfront business, commercial fishing and, yes, even the petroleum industry. I am honored to be a part of this dedicated group who meet every month to aid and promote the working waterfront. I highly respect the opinions of these members who have spent so much of their time and energy for the success of the port.
In my opinion, the WPO does not protect the working waterfront. It is a poor piece of legislation with a narrow agenda and widespread consequences pushed by outside interests who have no stake in the port. It has the potential to impact the economy and employment on the waterfront far beyond the petroleum industry.
I urge the citizens of South Portland to reject the WPO so that one of the finest deep-water ports on the East Coast can remain a vibrant and viable economic entity.
Capt. Laurence E. Legere
chairman, Portland Waterfront Alliance
Ex-governors: MMA facility will help students compete
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Mainers will be asked to approve a $4.5 million bond to help build a new science facility at Maine Maritime Academy. It would be the first academic facility built on the Castine campus in 30 years.
MMA has raised the funds for two-thirds of the construction. If Maine voters support the bond, the $4.5 million in public funding will cover the final third. As an integral part of Maine’s public higher education system, this building will belong to the citizens of Maine.
Maine Maritime has been providing quality education and leadership skills since 1941. More than 70 percent of MMA students are from Maine. The academy continually receives accolades and ranks among the top public colleges in the United States. However, in order to maintain its status, we must invest in its future, and we ask for Mainers to help support one of our academic treasures.
From our experience with MMA and the University of Maine School of Law, we can speak of the rich history of Maine higher education. Our careers were shaped not only by the quality of education these institutions provide, but also by their upholding Maine core values and ethics. These values paved the way for our success as governors of Maine, entrepreneurs and, most importantly, mentors to many of the Maine graduates.
The state of education is changing, as are the industries for which Maine Maritime prepares its students. This is why providing a state-of-the-art ABS Center for Engineering, Science and Research is imperative to helping students continue to compete and fill ever-changing workforce needs.
We strongly urge you to vote “yes” on 4 on Nov. 5. Funding this building will help Maine Maritime stay on the leading edge of science and technology. It is essential for creating educational opportunities and building high-paying jobs and rewarding careers in Maine!
Kenneth Curtis and John McKernan
former governors of Maine
As councilor, Lyons won’t rubber-stamp status quo
Blame an overly enthusiastic American Government teacher who told me, at the ripe age of 12, that there is no greater power than that of the ballot box, but there are few things that make me more excited than voting.
Every time we step into a ballot box we have the opportunity to shape and direct the discourse and the direction of our communities, states and nation; it’s such a privilege, and not something I take lightly.
Which is why, come Tuesday, I’ll be casting my vote for Wells Lyons.
I met Wells through the Institute for Civic Leadership’s Emerging Leader program, and was immediately taken with his intelligence, good humor and passion for Portland.
Like Wells, I grew up in the Portland area and then spent time outside of Maine before deciding to move back and settle in Portland, so I was drawn to his vision for the future of our city.
That future focus is deeply needed as Portland is at a crossroads in its development – it needs a shake-up from the status quo philosophy currently practiced by our City Council. I have faith that Wells’ enthusiasm and fresh ideas are exactly what we need to move Portland forward.
I’m excited to vote for Wells Lyons – to vote for a strong future for Portland – on Tuesday. I hope you’ll join me.
Candidates Jordan, Khalidi barrier to Cape trail effort
Going on five years now, we have lived in paradise (Maine); to be precise, Cape Elizabeth in paradise.
I hail from upstate New York, north of the Adirondacks. Back home, when we see something going on, we speak up. Like at the Cape Elizabeth Conservation Commission public hearing on proposed Greenbelt trails.
Seems some folks like the idea, except when it gets too close to their neighborhood or farm – then they holler foul play! So if you like the idea of a trail on the coast in my neighborhood, or in the flatlands (close to a farm), then you best not vote for Imad Khalidi or Caitlin Jordan for Town Council.
Nathan Johnston will bring ‘youthful vision’ to Saco
I would like to endorse Nathan Johnston for Ward 7 city councilor. Nathan has lived and worked his whole life here in Saco, except for serving six years as a proud U.S. Marine in Iraq.
Nathan has grown up around city politics, seeing both the good and bad sides of it. Nathan wishes to continue the tradition of serving local government, but with a vision aimed toward the future, bringing a youthful perspective to city government.
Nathan wants to ensure that his child(ren) will have the best Saco in which to grow up. Vote with me to bring a youthful vision to the city of Saco.