Saturday, September 30, 2006

The City of Portland's Division of Public Health is promoting National Adult Immunization Awareness Week (NAIAW) from Sunday, September 24 through Saturday, September 30 to raiseawareness about the 2006 influenza season.

This year in October andNovember, the City will offer influenza and pneumococcal vaccines byappointment at its India Street Public Health Center and at severalcommunity-based walk-in clinics. These vaccines will be available for a fee of $5.00 each.

During Maine's 2004-2005 fluseason, there were over 1600 reports of influenza and influenza-likeillness statewide. Individuals with chronic medical conditions such asdiabetes, asthma, or heart disease are particularly at risk for influenza infection, as are people in nursing, convalescent, or other institutional settings. People 50 years of age and older are urged to get the influenza vaccine annually. These vaccines will be available for a fee of $5.00 each.

As many as 50,000 adults in the U.S. die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases or their complications. During Maine's 2004-2005 flu season, there were over 1600 reports of influenza and influenza-like illness statewide. Individuals with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease are particularly at risk for influenza infection, as are people in nursing, convalescent, or otherinstitutional settings. People 50 years of age and older are urged toget the influenza vaccine annually.

For more information on adolescent and adult immunization, pleasecontact the Immunization Program, Division of Public Health, Departmentof Health and Human Services, City of Portland at (207) 874-8446, or visit the Immunization Program website at
EqualityMaine Founder Dies

One of the founders of EqualityMaine, and long-time LGBT activist Richard Steinman passed away on Sunday, September 17th, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.
Steinman was one of Equality Maine's founders in 1984, and worked tirelessly for LGBT rights throughout the 80's, 90's and into the early 2000's. He actively lobbied at the State House, participating in gay rights events and rallies, and providing immeasurable resources.

He was described by fellow activists and friends as “one of the most supportive and encouraging human beings.” His colleagues said that the community benefited greatly from his wisdom and his commitment to equality.

His family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to EqualityMaine, PO Box 1951, Portland, ME 04104.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Police Searching for Missing Boston Man

Portland Police are looking for 24-year-old Miguel Oliveras, who was last seen on September 23rd, leaving the Platinum Plus strip club on Riverside Street early in the morning with an unidentified white male. Anyone with information about Oliveras’ whereabouts should contact the Portland Police Department at 874-8533.

Busy Morning on Congress Street
Medical Emergency, Gunplay, and Traffic Accident Enliven Arts District
A flurry of activity hit the area of Congress and Park Streets on the morning of September 25th, involving several of the City’s emergency response teams.

Police say that City Medcu squads responded to a call for a medical emergency at the Lafayette apartment building on the corner of Congress and Park Street at about 10:10 AM. While that event was still unfolding, at 10:25 AM, two men on the street near the scene reportedly got into a fight, resulting in one of the men pulling out a gun. A witness summoned workers at the nearby Station A Post Office, who called police. A man was reportedly seen running down Congress Street toward High Street, and police recovered a pellet gun from the scene.

And, at about 10:40 AM, an out-of-state car that was parked across the street from the scene, and which may have stopped because of the other activity, was sideswiped by a City bus.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Community Design Workshop Saturday
The Community Design Workshop is fast approaching - Saturday, Sept. 30! You MUST pre-register to guarantee yourself a seat. Participants will be accepted at the door, but only if there is room. Don't miss out!

Also, will post photographs of community events on their website. We think the Community Design Workshop would be a great event to photograph. Any digital photographers out there?

Adams to Appear in History Channel Special

State Representative Herb Adams, a noted historian, will be filmed in early October for a national History Channel special on the American states.

Actuality Productions of Denver, Colorado will be in Maine October 2-4 to film Maine locations for a new series, “The States.” Adams will be filmed in a variety of locations, likely to include Portland Head Light and other famous landmarks. The series, featuring each state’s heritage and history, will premier on the History Channel in late 2007.

Adams was proposed for the series by the Maine Historical Society for his “colorful presentations and passion about teaching and Maine history.”

Adams represents the Parkside and Bayside neighborhoods in the Maine Legislature. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern Maine and contributor to a half-dozen award winning books on Maine history and literature. He is seen frequently on the History Channel, the Learning Channel, and national PBS productions.
Community Design Workshop Saturday
The Community Design Workshop is fast approaching - next Saturday, Sept. 30! You MUST pre-register to guarantee yourself a seat. Participants will be accepted at the door, but only if there is room. Don't miss out!

Also, will post photographs of community events on their website. We think the Community Design Workshop would be a great event to photograph. Any digital photographers out there?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The September 29th Issue of the West End NEWS is on the Street!
Shootout on St. John Street
Portland police arrested Patrick Mullen, 36, of Portland on September 19th, after he and another man were allegedly involved in a shootout on St. John Street. The other man, who was driving a Ford Taurus, was not apprehended.

Police say the two men were involved in an argument that soon deteriorated into gunplay, with Mullen firing a pellet gun at the motorist who shot at Mullen before speeding away from the scene. It was uncertain who started firing first. Mullen was released on $100 bail. Police are still investigating.

Jewel Thieves Hit Congress St.
Portland police reported two burglaries of Congress Street stores that involve the theft of jewelry.
Thieves broke into Encore, a consignment shop, overnight on September 20th, and made off with an undetermined amount of vintage jewelry, after doing considerable damage to the store.

Police say thieves also hit the City Soul Jewelers near Longfellow Square, sometime over the weekend of September 23-25, forcing open a side door and stealing jewelry from the store. Police believe that the same thieves then broke into the Toni’s Touch hair salon next door and stole cash.
Neighborhood Group Looks to Fill Key Positions
The West End Neighborhood Association is looking for representatives to serve on the City Manager’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee (CMNAC), and the City Manager’s Policy Advisory Committee (CMPAC), two potentially influential boards in City and neighborhood affairs.

CMNAC consists of representatives from each of Portland’s neighborhood associations. The group meets monthly (except during the summer months) with the City Manager, who often invites officials from various departments to share information about planning, budget, and other issues. Former WENA President Jo Coyne stated that these meetings provide WENA with direct and regular contact with the City Manager. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 12, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

CMPAC consists of representatives from neighborhood associations, service providers and other designated groups. The group meets monthly during the fall, then sometimes more frequently during the winter and early spring, to review applications for Housing and Community Development (HCD) funds. These monies are received from the federal government for use on the peninsula and in portions of Libbytown. CMPAC makes recommendations to the City Manager and City Council for disbursement of each year’s HCD funds.

Patrick Baldwin, last year’s representative from WENA, reminded members of the group at their September 13th meeting of the frustration felt by CMPAC members last year when many of their recommendations were not followed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Strimling Admits to High-Speed Augusta Trip

State Senator Ethan Strimling has admitted that it was his vehicle that was spotted speeding northbound as he approached Augusta on Interstate 95 on September 16th, at a reported 77 miles an hour.

Strimling said that he and his wife were on their way to Monson to celebrate his nephew’s first birthday and they were very late because of his having to go to the emergency room earlier in the day. He did not reveal the cause of his emergency room visit. He offered no excuses, saying he was “definitely driving faster than I should have.”

A witness reported seeing Strimling’s vehicle, a light green Ford Escape Hybrid with the distinctive Senate District 8 plate, running up on the bumpers of the cars in front of it, and tailgating at a distance of one car length until the driver in front moved over, then accelerating to run up on the next driver.

Strimling said he was “not so sure about the tailgating within a car length at 77 miles an hour, but I'll take my medicine.”

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Acorn Moves to Westbrook

Acorn Productions has announced that it has signed a lease on a 2,500 square foot space in the Dana Warp Mill complex in downtown Westbrook. The company plans to make some internal renovations to the space to divide it into two 900 square foot studios and three small offices around a common meeting area. The space will house all of Acorn's rehearsals, classes and workshops, as well as the company's business office.

Acorn plans to expand its schedule of acting classes in the new space, offering adult classes every weeknight, as well as a new program of children's after school classes. Acorn will also use the space for rehearsals of plays selected for the Maine Short Play Festival and the Acorn Shakespeare Ensemble's series of "Naked Shakespeare" performances.
Portland's theatre community has lacked a nexus point for meetings and informal conversations between artists since the old Oak Street Theatre closed in 2000. Although there are several performance venues in the Greater Portland area, none of them are large enough to provide rehearsal, classroom or workshop space. Acorn Studios will provide theater companies with the ability to create a consistent use schedule that will provide some stability for actors, teachers and directors.
Acorn was founded in 1995. The most visible impact of its work was the campaign with Friends of St. Lawrence to help restore and open the parish hall of the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center in 2001. Since that time, Acorn has produced annual festivals that involve over 100 artists each year.
Man Returns Library Book After 60 Years

In the summer of 1946, William Vassily, age 9, checked out The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears by John Y. Beaty from The Portland Public Library. On September 8, 2006, at 11:00 AM, he returned it to the Children’s Department and current Library Director Steve Podgajny, with a check for $440.16. The check represents his overdue charges at two cents per day.

Vassily lived on Parris Street in Portland from 1940 to 1946, where his father was part- owner of Tom’s Lunch on Preble Street. When his family moved to New York, The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears was packed and moved with them. Vassily soon forgot about the library book. He went to college, married Helen in 1961, became an insurance executive in New York, had two sons and retired in 1990.

In 1994, Vassily’s parents passed away, and he inherited several boxes of possessions. One box contained The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears.

“I knew right away I wanted to return it to the library, and I wanted to pay my overdue fee,” said Vassily. “The book is 60 years past due. I would like to make a contribution to the Children’s Section of the Library in the amount that would coincide with the overdue charges from June 7, 1946 to September 8, 2006,” he said.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

CTN Calls for Video Submissions
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, CTN4, the Community TelevisionNetwork, announces "Take One," a juried video festival to be held inPortland Nov. 1-4.

The festival will feature showings of produced work and culminate in a red-carpet awards dinner. To submit features, shorts, animation, ordocumentary videos, call 775-2900 x11, email, orcheck out the website - for more information. The deadline is October 15th.
Geraghty Backs Patterson In West End Council Race

West End City Councilor Karen Geraghty, who decided last week not to run for re-election, has thrown her support behind Parkside Neighborhood Association President Michael Patterson.

In an email to her supporters on September 10th, Geraghty said that her decision not to run was made much easier because of Patterson’s entry into the race. She called Patterson a “proven leader” who “has the commitment to work as a District Councilor,” and “the vision to not only serve District 2, but to represent the whole city.”

Geraghty also said that she “loved almost every minute of the last 9 1/2 years of being the District 2 representative on the City Council.” She was elected in 1997.
She also said that she believes “that a regular ‘changing of the guard’ is one of the best things there is about local government, and that new ideas and energy should be encouraged and welcomed to the table.”

Patterson was scheduled to have a "Committee to Elect Michael Patterson" meeting at his house at 42 Deering Street in Parkside on Thursday September 14. Geraghty urged her supporters to go to the meeting to learn more about Patterson, and give him their full support “to help ensure that this seat is held by a progressive with a long record of neighborhood leadership and a commitment to constituent service.”
Patterson is running against David Marshall and Cyrus Hagge for the seat.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Second Live Citywide Forum to be Televised

Citywide candidates showcased as the League, Bayside and Munjoy Hill will host District 1 and At-Large Races.

Portland residents will be able to see all the local political candidates in a forum broadcast live on Channel 2 on September 19th at Portland's Community Television Network.

Channel 2, at 516 Congress Street, the League of Young Voters, Bayside Neighborhood Association and Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization will host the live, televised forum.

City Council, School Committee, and Water District candidates for Districts 1 and At-Large races will participate. The forum will begin at 6:30 pm and will run until 9 pm. The forum is non-partisan, educational and free for all who attend. There will be refreshments and light snacks provided by the sponsoring groups.

The forum is the second one being televised live this campaign season. The District 2 and At-Large City Council candidates and School Committee candidates participated in the first forum on September 12th. That forum will be re-broadcast at a yet-to-be-determined time. It will also be covered in the next issue of the West End NEWS.

For more information please contact:

Justin Alfond, 772-3207, The League of Young Voters
Dory Waxman, 415-0769, Bayside Neighborhood Association
Markos Miller, 807-2681, Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization
West End NEWS Demands Public Apology
Local rag called a 'pimp' by Strimling operative

The West End NEWS has informed State Senator Ethan Strimling that it expects a public apology from the Senator’s campaign, after Strimling’s head strategist accused the local newspaper of “pimping” for Strimling’s adversary, Republican David Babin.

In an email sent to the West End NEWS on September 13th, former Strimling campaign manager Corey Hascall, who is currently listed as ‘moderator’ of Fighting for Portland, Strimling’s political action committee, said:

"......I am sure that Ethan will stop telling people that you’re lying about him taking money from Bean’s for political favors when you stop telling people that he’s lying when he says that the reason you pimp so much for Babin is because he buys ads from your paper and Ethan doesn’t."

The issue arose after the West End NEWS learned that Strimling had told one voter, in the course of campaigning, that the paper had been lying about him in connection to a recent controversy in which Strimling had been accused of successfully promoting legislation favorable to Maine retailer L.L. Bean, while opposing a tax break for a Bean competitor. (The story appeared in the September 3 issue of the Portland Press Herald, written by Edward D. Murphy. The West End NEWS did not publish any stories related to the issue.)

Strimling’s opponent in the race for the District 8 State Senate seat, Republican David Babin, has been running a series of controversial political ads in the West End NEWS and other local newspapers, critical of Democratic Party state policies, and supporting more conservative views such as stricter immigration policy. Babin has also been promoting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) in his advertising.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Irish Heritage Center Shut Down for Foreseeable Future

Because of the ongoing construction following the bell tower collapse at St Dominic's Church, along with related issues of air quality, the Maine Irish Heritage Center has essentially been shut down for the foreseeable future, according to the Center’s website. The IHC Board of Directors have also had to cancel all programming in the facility, including their annual auction, as well as all rentals. They do not anticipate being open until sometime next spring.

In early May, the church's 5,000-pound bell broke from its linchpin and crashed through two floors of the tower. No one was injured, but the accident added thousands of dollars worth of damage to a building that already needed major work. It also opened the building up to outside elements and this, combined with the heavy rain and high levels of humidity this summer, has significantly impacted the building’s air quality.

Engineers, contractors, city officials and insurance representatives, along with John O'Dea, the Acting CEO, and the members of the IHC Board have been studying the damage done by the falling bell, according to the webpage. Repair work is now scheduled to begin very soon with the installation of scaffolding on the building at the corner of State and Gray streets. Engineers told the IHC that the tower is structurally sound.

The collapse forced the IHC to make the decision as to whether to try to keep the center open and conduct the repairs in piecemeal fashion, or cancel programs and get all the work done at once. Ultimately, the Board decided on the latter.

The cost for the Irish Heritage Center's repair project will be paid for with a combination of insurance money, grants and private donations. The IHC has a $50,000 grant from 2005 for exterior repairs set aside in the City’s Housing and Community Development fund. It is still not certain how much the insurance will cover, and the full scope of work will not be known until scaffolding has been erected and the engineers can safely get a good look at the damage.

The IHC conducted a fundraising concert featuring Eugene Byrne on June 17th at St Patrick's Church, and will hold another fundraiser in support of the restoration project, featuring Schooner Fare, on Friday evening September 15th at the First Parish Church on Congress Street. Tickets are $20.00 General Admission, $18.00 for Senior Citizens and Friends of the Irish. Tickets are available at the door and at Bull Moose Music stores.
The September 13th Issue of the West End NEWS is on the Street!



To the Editor:

Re: the caption and story about the City’s heavy equipment sinking in the mud at Deering Oaks Pond (WEN, Sept. 1-12, 2006): Instead of "QUAGMIRE" it could be "YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK." There goes my $4600.

Bill Honan

It’s Big Business vs. Big Business

To the Editor:

I just read your recent article "Group Calls on Collins to Save InternetFreedom" (WEN Sept. 1-12, 2006).
You state that "big telephone and cable companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner are spending millions lobbying Congress to eliminate NetNeutrality".

This is true, but it also true that other big companies like Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft are lobbying Congress in support of Net Neutrality.

So it's not "big business vs. the consumer", but actually "big business inone industry vs. big business in other industry". Despite which side"wins", the consumer is going to lose.

The current "Net Neutrality" proposal sounds like a good thing, but it'smore about protecting content providers like Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft;and less about protecting the consumer.
Michael Labriola

TABOR Will Be Defeated!

To the Editor:

TABOR (The Taxpayer Bill of Rights) is not for Maine.
Since TABOR passed in Colorado, that state is 50th in school funding of all the US states! Critical neighborhood programs affecting children, adults, and the disabled are grossly under-funded. Money to non-profits has been cut up to 60%. State funding to the elderly, disabled and poor drastically cut over 60%.

David Babin, who runs ads supporting TABOR, says “Democrats, your party has been hijacked by self-serving politicians and bloodsucking bureaucrats.”

Mr. Babin, what about the Bush wrecking ball trying to stop all funding for programs for poor, disabled, schools and elderly to fund his war in Iraq that self-destructs every day!


You, Mr. Babin and TABOR will be defeated!

Ben Lothrop

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization’s Board Of Directors on September 11th called for a moratorium after hearing from concerned citizens about the cutting of old evergreen trees from Fort Allen Park.

The eighty to one-hundred years old trees have been earmarked by the City for “incremental removal” in accordance with the City’s Eastern Promenade Master Plan, and some have already been removed. The initial phase of removal spurred local residents into action, which led to the MHNO’s Board of Directors immediate drafting of the following proposed moratorium:

“In the name of preservation, the Munjoy Hill neighborhood Organization asks the City of Portland to place a moratorium on the further “incremental removal” of evergreens from the Eastern Promenade, particularly in Fort Allen Park. Regardless of historic interpretations, these trees, eighty to one- hundred years old, represent mature vegetation, are healthy, and are not volunteer invasive growth, but deliberate plantings that add to the character of the landscape. We ask that there be no further cutting of the mature evergreens of Fort Allen Park until further community consideration occurs.”

Past MHNO president Dave Cowie said, “It takes a couple of hours to drop a tree; it takes a hundred years to replace it” and after discussing the potential ramifications of the tree removal, board member Nolan Thompson said, “Remember Union Station.”

The board urged residents to contact East End City Councilor Will Gorham about the issue. It plans to make more information available about the tree cutting, the moratorium, and the Eastern Promenade Master Plan on Saturday, September 16, at the annual Munjfest event on Munjoy Hill.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Eder Gets Maine People’s Alliance Endorsement

West End State Representative John Eder has received the endorsement of the Maine People’s Alliance in his reelection bid for the House 118 seat which encompasses the West End and Libby Town.

Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) is dedicated to advancing economic, environmental, political, and social justice by involving and educating citizens. The organization is known for its grassroots organizing and education that reaches more than 100,000 Mainers each year with direct personal contact and leadership development.

Eder, who worked as a door to door canvasser for MPA several years before he was elected to the legislature, called leadership development ‘a priority’. He said he works closely with MPA in Augusta to put Universal Single Payer Health Care into place and to successfully implement Dirigo Health. Other priorities of the organization include eliminating mercury pollution, affordable housing, defending the referendum process, and increasing voter participation.

Eder called MPA “one of my most powerful partners in Augusta. When the MPA and its members come to the State House, the walls shake.”
Visioning Set for Reiche Community Center

Residents, property and business owners, educators, public officials and other stakeholders will gather on Saturday, September 30, to dream and draw their vision for Reiche Community Center. Working in design teams alongside professional designers, participants will create maps, drawings and sketches that image the future of a great community center.

The community center includes a swimming pool, branch library, health station, gymnasium and program space. The workshop will raise awareness and will allow all those interested in the center to develop plans for an active, vibrant facility.

The very interactive Community Design Workshop, sponsored by the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) and local businesses, is free and open to the public. All workshop materials, continental breakfast and a working lunch will be provided. Pre-registration by September 27 is encouraged as space is limited. Registration brochures are available online at More information is available by calling John Navarra at 775-0105, ext. 161, or by e-mail to

The West End Neighborhood Association was founded in 2003. Its mission is to address issues and concerns that affect the quality of life of those who live and/or work in the West End.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Adams Gains Two Endorsements
Parkside/Bayside State Represent-ative Herb Adams has gained the endorsements of two statewide organizations in his bid for re-election to the State Legislature.

Adams was one of 60 endorsements made by the Maine Education Association, for his longtime support of teachers and classroom issues and for his previous service on the Portland School Committee.

Adams also received the endorsement of the Maine AFL-CIO for the fourth consecutive time, for his support of minimum wage and a living wage, and his work on worker safety issues.
Adams is running for reelection against Green Independent Matt Reading and Republican Jason Lavoie.
Library Changing Borrowing Rules

The Audio Visual Department of the Portland Public Library has announced rule changes regarding borrowing items from the department. Starting September 5, library patrons may:
-Borrow up to 6 of each: movies, DVD’s and audiobooks.
-Place a HOLD to join the waiting list for any AV item that someone else has out.
-Request any AV item from another Branch to pick up at your local branch.
-Renew movies for an additional week.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Maine’s Homeland Security Task Force to Come to Portland

The Task Force to Study Maine’s Homeland Security Needs will meet on September 8, 2006 at the Portland City Hall from 1:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to receive expert testimony and public comments on security and emergency preparedness issues relating to Maine’s ports and the state’s largest metropolitan region.

This is a continuation of several meetings that have been held around the state in order to ensure that the task force receives enough input from the local level to be able to identify potential gaps in the state’s homeland security and emergency preparedness plans.

State Senator Ethan Strimling is one of the co-chairs of the task force.

The panel discussions will be followed by a period for members of the public to comment on any homeland security and emergency preparedness issues beginning at 6:00 p.m.

During the Second Regular Session of the 122nd Legislature, the Task Force heard from over 200 people and made nine recommendations that resulted in two public laws and a resolution asking Congress to take specific federal action. For more information on the work of the task force, visit the state’s website at

The Task Force to Study Maine’s Homeland Security Needs was established by the 122nd Legislature and signed into law by Governor John Baldacci in June of 2005. The Task Force is charged with meeting over a two year period to assess Maine’s homeland security needs and identify gaps in Maine’s emergency preparedness. The Task Force consists of 11 members with six legislators and five members representing the public interest who are directly involved in homeland security and emergency preparedness efforts.

Below is a copy of the Task Force’s planned agenda:

Maine’s Homeland Security Task Force
September 8, 2006
Portland City Hall - Portland, Maine


1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Maine’s Port Security: Global and National Perspectives
Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, USN-Ret.
David Flanagan, former General Counsel to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Investigation of Hurricane Katrina
Update on Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs work

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Protecting Our Ports: Coordinating Federal, State and Regional Efforts
Captain Stephen Garrity- USCG
Major John Fetterman, Deputy Chief Maine Marine Patrol
Captain Jeffrey Monroe, Portland Director- Ports and Transportation
Tom Meyers, South Portland Director of Transportation and Waterfront

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. BREAK

3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness: Response and Recovery
Fire Chief Fred LaMontagne, Portland
Michael J. Bobinsky, Portland Director of Public Works
Fire Chief Kevin Guimond, South Portland
Jeff Temple, South Portland EMA Director

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Maine’s Port Security: A Private Sector, Tourism & Transit Perspective
· Tom Hardison, Director of Operations - Portland-Montreal Pipe Line
· Tom Dobbins, Manager, Terminal Services - Sprague Energy
· Donald Cormier, VP of Operations and Safety Management - Bay Ferries, The CAT Ferry
· Capt. Roki Horr Asst. Operations Manager, and Capt. Nick Mavodones, Operations Manager Casco Bay Island Transit District


5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Task Force Working Dinner

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Public Comment and Task Force Discussion
The protocol for hearing public comments will be explained prior to hearing public comment.
There may be a time-limit on testimony depending on the number of people wishing to testify.

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Task Force Planning for Next Meeting
Discussion of questions and actions for follow-up prior to next meeting.
Discussion of work plan and priorities for the next meeting and future meetings.
LETTERS September 1-12
Strimling’s WENA Appearance

Dear Editor:

While we agree with Ed King’s recollection of “some tough questioning and strong disagreement” during the question and answer period that followed Portland West Director Ethan Strimling’s presentation at the August 9th meeting of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA), our Executive Committee feels that the overall tone of the gathering was quite cordial. WENA’s Board of Directors had agreed in July that Mr. Strimling should be invited to discuss recent changes in Portland West’s Community Outreach Program. President Robert O’Brien then invited Mr. Strimling to appear as the community guest speaker at our August meeting—an informational, not political, venue.

After Director Strimling reviewed Portland West’s history and the many program changes now underway, he responded to questions and concerns about the changes from the audience. Mr. Strimling was asked by Ed King, WENA member and publisher of The West End News, about Portland West’s relationship to the City Manager’s Policy Advisory Committee (CMPAC), a group of community representatives that makes recommendations to the City Manager about the expenditure of federal Housing & Community Development (HCD) funds.

WENA’s Executive Committee agrees that this was a fair and relevant question since WENA has serious concerns about the controversial way in which many of CMPAC’s recommendations were overturned last spring. The Committee feels, however, that Mr. King should have identified himself in his article as the source of the initial question and of subsequent questions regarding the reassignment of the West End’s CMPAC representative from Portland West to WENA.

WENA’s Executive Committee regrets any misunderstanding that may have arisen from media coverage about the nature and content of our August 9th meeting.


Jo Coyne, Secretary
West End Neighborhood Association
Time Bank is Alive and Well

Dear Ed,

I read the recent article in The West End News about the neighborhood meeting and some of the comments made about the closing of the Portland West Time Bank with some interest. I work for Maine Time Banks and the Portland Time Bank, in particular, and I want to offer some positive words on the topic.

The Portland Time Bank has just completed incorporating all of the more than 200 active members of Portland West’s Time Bank into the larger group of East End Time Bank members in our directory and lists of services offered.

We are sorry that the Portland West Time Bank had to cease operations, but we want everyone to know that the Time Bank is still going strong and people are still joining and exchanging services as much as ever. Thanks to Ethan Strimling, who understood the importance of Time Banking to the local neighborhood, we were able to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities and documentation.

Portland Time Bank wants all of its members on the West End of Portland to know that we embrace you, your talents and your skills. We encourage you to come to Portland Time Bank events and social gatherings wherever they may be held.

It is important to note that our 800- plus active members come from all over the City of Portland and beyond. Our headquarters may be at 47 Portland Street in the Bayside neighborhood, but we strive to service our members, no matter what neighborhood they live in. Indeed, one of the questions we ask new members is the neighborhood where they live. Soon, our Time Bank members will be able to access needs and opportunities by neighborhood.

We at the Time Bank recognize that frustration often comes with unwelcome change. One of the goals of the Time Bank is to lessen isolation and loneliness, to develop marketable work skills and creative talents, and to support a vision for a prosperous and healthy future for each of our members. Together, we can continue doing this quite well.

Christina Feller
Maine Time Banks
Fund Development Coordinator
Poster Boys
Dear Editor:

The West End's David Marshall has, in recent months, become a Friday night feature near the corner of Pineand Brackett Streets, where he displays his paintings.

Of late, a colorful poster has appeared, with his name in glowing yellow letters across an image of one of his paintings. The poster is an announcement of his candidacy forCity Council.

Downtown, in the window of Zarra's coffee shop in Monument Square, another political tyro, Kevin Donahue, has his attractive, self-designed poster pushing his District 1 Council candidacy. The black, green and white poster, while in a more traditional mode, is well above the usual. approach.

Next thing to look for is the content lying behind their images.
Robert Solotaire

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Verzosa to Run for City Council
Andy Verzosa, who owns the Aucocisco Gallery on Congress Street, has announced that he will run for an at-large seat on the Portland City Council.

Verzosa, 43, will face neighborhood activist Christina Feller and current City Councilor Nick Mavodones in the November election.
Ice House License Denied Despite Earlier Police Praise

The Portland City Council voted unanimously on August 21st (6-0, three Councilors absent) not to renew the liquor license of Popeye’s Ice House on York Street in the West End. Portland police recommended the license denial, despite praise they gave the bar earlier this summer.
The decision will be appealed before state liquor authorities, according to the Ice House’s attorney Gary Prolman. The bar will remain open in the meantime.

Several neighbors spoke at the August 21st Council meeting, complaining about a number of issues. Owners of the bar say they are being penalized for their increased cooperation with the Portland Police Department.

Just three months ago, Portland police officials praised the operators of the bar on York Street for proactive measures the bar had taken to address public safety concerns related to the operation of the neighborhood pub.

In a May 4th letter to Ice House owner Jeffrey Orne, Police Lieutenant Janine L. Roberts, who headed the Department’s Tactical Enforcement Unit, commended the staff for filing Criminal Trespass papers against patrons causing a disturbance at the bar. She also praised Ice House employees for providing a video surveillance tape to police investigators, helping them in charging the offending patron.

Roberts said that bar owners often only hear from the police when there is a problem, and she wanted to note the positive changes the bar had made and encourage the owners to continue in that direction.

Roberts noted that there are still neighborhood issues surrounding the bar, but documented police calls showed the owners were working cooperatively with police and following their suggestions in attempting to resolve any problems.