I would like to speak out in opposition to the proposed relocation of the Portland police and fire headquarters. Ironically, with these entities abandoning the core of the city – along with the Press Herald, which has departed One City Center for the suburbs – they further the demise of the city they are charged to defend and promote.

To understand the vitality that has been abandoned, take an excursion to the intersection of Exchange and Federal streets. You see about you what was, in the not-too-distant past, the heart of Portland.

To the north on Congress Street is City Hall, and along the eastern side of Exchange and extending beyond Congress are the remaining buildings of the former Press Herald complex. Looking east down Federal Street is the fire department headquarters and the federal courthouse. This intersection, since at least the Great Fire of 1866, had been the center of the print media.

Additionally, as one turns toward Middle Street, the legal and financial institutions were here.

Life goes on, things change, but if one loses sight of what binds together a community, all is lost.

John Ferry


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