Editorial: No on pot, WPO; yes on streets, schools, public works, waterfront …

October 28th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

From pot in Portland, tar sands in South Portland, and waterfront access in Harpswell, to school renovations in Freeport and Bath, voters in several cities and towns we cover face important local ballot questions on Nov. 5.

Here is where the owners and publisher of The Forecaster stand on these community issues.

South Portland

Voters in South Portland must make two significant decisions, one with national and international implications, the other with implications for the services provided by city government.

We support one proposal, but oppose the other.

In the short time since it was conceived, the Waterfront Protection Ordinance has divided the city, and indeed much of greater Portland, into two equally zealous camps: proponents, who hope to keep Canadian tar sands oil from being piped through South Portland on its way to overseas export markets, and opponents, who claim the ordinance heralds an ice age for waterfront businesses and workers whose livelihoods depend on the movement of petroleum products from ship to shore.

We believe the oil industry has overstated the potential negative impact of the WPO. But we also believe the proposed ordinance could have been written in a way that more tightly defines what it will do, without the need for after-the-fact interpretation by lawyers, judges or city officials.

We also believe tar sands oil is an unhealthy and dangerous product that requires more oversight and precaution than either the oil industry or its federal regulators have demonstrated they are capable of providing (just ask the folks in Mayflower, Ark., and along the

Article source: http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/2013/10/28/editorial-no-pot-wpo-yes-streets-schools-public-wo/177121