District 1 City Meeting: Updates from 2016 and Plans for 2017

On November 16, 2016, city officials held a public meeting at East End School to provide updates to District 1 residents and take public comment and questions. The meeting was run by District 1 City Councilor Belinda Ray, District 5 City Councilor David Brenerman, City Manager Jon Jennings, Island/Neighborhood Administrator Mike Murray and Mayor Ethan Strimling among other city officials. 

OPINION: A Case In Favor and a Case Against a Moratorium on Developments Adjacent to Public Spaces

At Issue ~ In October of this year, Portland District 1 City Councilor Belinda Ray proposed an ordinance to the Portland City Council in response to a not-yet-filed development project at 155 Sheridan Street in Portland. The proposal was in response to the concerns of many throughout the community, in particular the Munjoy Hill neighborhood, that the project's planned height would block a large portion of the view from North Street's Fort Sumner Park.

Below are two opinions: one from Nini McManamy, a principal of the newly formed Friends of Ft. Sumner Park, who argues in favor of the proposed moratorium; the other from Patrick Venne, a consultant to the Sheridan Street developer, Bernard Saulnier, who opposes the measure. Neither opinion necessarily represents the views of the Munjoy Hill Observer or the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization.

Past Perfect, 1980: What’s in a Name?

William Barry was a resident of North Street back in 1980. We were really grateful when he offered to write articles about the history of the Hill for the Observer. Barry was working as a reference librarian at the Portland Public Library, a position in which he now serves at the Maine Historical Society.

His articles were among the most popular items we published. We will be featuring more of Barry’s work in the coming months. For more information about Barry check out his interview published in the Portland Press Herald back in 2012 , following the publication of his book, The Wilder Half of New England, which is a great read.

Following is a piece by Berry taken from a 1980 issue of the Munjoy Hill Observer.

Past Perfect: Some Context on The Observer

The Munjoy Hill Observer was born early in 1980, about a year after the MHNO was formed. There were four principal editors, three of whom had edited their high school newspapers and thought this would be an interesting project for the neighborhood. Barbara Vestal and Ned Chester had just opened their law office at the corner of North and Congress Street and had time on their hands because they didn’t have any clients. Mary Ellen Deschenes was the Director of Public Health for the City of Portland and lived on Fore Street. David Talbott lived on Fore Street (with Mary Ellen) and was a technical writer and was writing the great American novel.

Strimling Issues Statement Regarding Portland as a Sanctuary City

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling released the following statement today regarding Portland's status as a sanctuary city. While Chapter 2 of the Portland City Code does state that City employees are not to ask the immigration status of individuals who are seeking City services, unless ordered to do so by a court or law, the ordinance further states that law enforcement personnel are to cooperate with federal officials, which is contrary to what a sanctuary city would do.