The West End NEWS Volume 7, Number 13
Portland, ME Aug.10-22, 2007
Fire Destroys Brackett Street Apartment
There were no injuries in a Saturday morning fire that heavily damaged a third floor apartment at 165 Brackett Street on August 18th.
Portland firefighters were called at about 9AM and were able to prevent the fire from spreading to other units in the building, which did sustain smoke and water damage.
The fire was caused by faulty wiring a window fan. Brackett Street was closed to traffic for most of the day.
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PO Box 5234,Portland, ME 04101-0934
City Council Rejects Impeachment Resolution
An impeachment resolution sponsored by Portland City Councilor Jill C. Duson and co-sponsored by West End Councilor David A. Marshall was rejected by the City Council on August 20th by a vote of 5-4.
The resolution would have supported the Council petitioning the U.S. House of Representatives to commence the investigation of and impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
The order failed to pass on a 4-2 vote at the Council’s August 6th meeting because five affirmative votes are required for passage. Councilors James Cohen and Donna Carr were absent from that meeting, and both voted against the resolution on their return. Councilor Cheryl Leeman, who did not vote on August 6th, also cast a ‘no’ vote.
Duson, who is running for re-election to her at-large Council seat, is also expected to run in the Democratic primary in 2008 to replace Congressman Tom Allen in the US Congress. Allen will be running for the US Senate against Senator Susan Collins.
East End Councilor Kevin Donoghue, who also voted against the resolution, along with Councilor Ed Suslovic, agrees with Duson that impeachment should take place, but doesn’t think that the City Council is the place for the issue to be addressed. Donoghue once again proposed an advisory referendum on petitioning for impeachment proceedings - to be held on Election Day, November 6th – but that proposal failed to garner enough support from fellow Councilors. Councilor Marshall also proposed an amendment that would have the issue go to the voters after the Council had petitioned Congress, but that too gathered little support. Donoghue was prepared to vote in favor of the resolution if Marshall’s compromise amendment had passed – a vote which would have changed the final result.
A group of impeachment supporters met after the vote to plan what their next steps would be.
City Bans Skateboarding on Downtown Sidewalks
The Portland City Council on August 20th unanimously agreed that skateboarding will be prohibited on all sidewalks within the downtown yellow zone, which is defined as an area bounded by Cumberland Avenue, Franklin Arterial, Commercial and State Streets. The Public Safety Committee, by a vote of 3-0 on July 10th, recommended the ordinance change. Skateboarders may still ride in the street, but must follow all traffic regulations.
The City Code authorizes the Council to prohibit the riding of bicycles, skateboards, or roller skates on city streets, sidewalks, or ways when such prohibition is necessary.
The City Code contained two conflicting ordinances regarding skateboarding on city streets and sidewalks. One prohibits any person from skating, skateboarding, roller skating or sliding on any city streets, ways and public places, unless otherwise provided by Council order. Another law provides that everyone riding a bicycle or skateboard on city streets be granted all of the rights and be subjected to all of the duties of a driver of a motor vehicle. The Council’s August 20th action reconciles the conflict in the laws.