Last night, the city's Transportation, Sustainability, and Energy Committee unanimously approved a resolution calling upon the state legislature, US State Department, US Congress, US Environmental Protection Agency, and President Barack Obama to "require a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of any tar sands oil pipeline proposal through Maine including evaluation of the health, safety, and environmental risks and spill response techniques and impacts."
Days before what they are billing as the biggest anti-tar-sands rally ever in the Northeast, environmental activists gathered first at Portland City Hall and then outside of the Portland Pipe Line Corporation headquarters in South Portland this morning.
At City Hall, mayor Michael Brennan and city councilor Dave Marshall spoke in support fo a new Environmental Performance Policy that would make the city "tar-sands free" by directing city manager Mark Rees "not to purchase any oil-based fuels from refineries that process tar sands."
We wrote last week about Port City Music Hall's application for an after-hours entertainment license, which would allow the music/food venue to stay open until 3 am for late-night parties (booze sales would still shut down at 1 am, per state law).
While there was some consternation among law enforcement and city officials regarding the very idea of after-hours events, PCMH manager Rob Evon must have quelled their fears: the Portland Police Department backed off its resistence to the late-night concept, and the city council voted 9-0 last night to allow Port City its permit.
Stay tuned for news about PCMH's first night-owl bash.
Last week, I wrote about the campaign to bring an elected-mayor system to Portland.
Earlier this week, Cheryl Leeman and the Citizens to Retain Responsible Government held a press conference stating their opposition to such a proposal. They cited cost as their primary concern, saying that establishing such an office would cost about $150,000; the Elect Our Mayor; Yes on One campaign said the elected mayor's $60,000 salary would be "very modest."
Local sustainable transportation activists are making noise about tonight's Portland City Council meeting, which takes place at 7 pm at City Hall. Fees in lieu of parking, which are described eloquently here and here, basically encourage developers to opt out of the city's parking requirements (which require builders to provide a certain amount of parking spaces depending on the building's size and use) and pay a $10,000 fee instead.
Last time Portland got a city "poet laureate" (Martin Steingesser, whose one-year term mysteriously doubled in length), the choice was made by a tiny self-appointed group of people purporting to represent all Portlanders - despite the fact that two of them lived in other towns. And once they made their pick, they pushed the Portland City Council to make it government-approved-official.