the forecaster, portland edition, january 2, 2013

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The Forecaster, Portland edition, January 2, 2013, a Sun Media Publication, pages 1-20


  • By William HallPORTLAND Elected of-

    ficials and public employees in greater Portland didnt get rich on their wages during 2012, but some individuals came closer than others.The information was compiled

    by The Forecaster, which obtained the names and annual compensa-tion of the highest-paid officials or

    employees in 14 cities and towns.The newspaper asked each

    community for its top 10 earn-ers; some provided more, some provided fewer. The request was for compensation based on a year of salary, overtime and any sig-nificant stipends. In some cases, the data was from calendar years; in others, fiscal years or school years.

    Based on the data, Portlands top earners also topped the region, bringing in an average of $99,329.The average would have been

    even higher, had it included the full-year salary of City Manager Mark Rees, who started work in July 2011. Rees salary in the current fiscal year is budgeted at $143,000.Portland Mayor Michael Bren-

    nan, who began his first term in December 2011, also has not served long enough to make the list. But at $65,400, his current

    fiscal year salary wouldnt have placed him in the top 10 anyway.The higher compensation of

    Portland officials and employees isnt surprising, according to Eric Conrad, director of communica-tion and educational services at the Maine Municipal Association.The size of the municipality

    INSIDEAnother terrific sports year has come and gonePage 10

    Business owner plansanti-anti-abortion rallyPage 2

    January 2, 2013 News of The City of Portland Vol. 11, No.

    IndexObituaries ........................9Opinion ............................6People & Business ........12

    Police Beat ......................8Real Estate ....................20Sports ............................10

    Arts Calendar ................13Classifieds .....................16Community Calendar .....13Meetings ........................13

    Iconic career comes to a close for Sen. Olympia SnowePage 4

    See page 9

    See page 14See page 14

    We finally feel equalMaines first married gay couple ties the knot

    By Abigail Curtis and Seth KoenigBangor Daily NewsPORTLAND The first

    gay couple to be married in the state of Maine took their vows in a short ceremony in the city clerks office at approximately 12:25 a.m. Saturday.We finally feel equal and

    happy to live in Maine, said Steven Bridges, who married Michael Snell less than a half-hour after same sex marriages became legal in the state on Dec. 29.By 2 a.m., the line had

    emptied out after 15 gay and lesbian couples had acquired marriage licenses, with six of those couples exchanging vows on the spot. Another couple was married on City Halls front steps and then went back inside to return their license.The hand-holding grooms

    sported purple carnation corsages, matching T-shirts printed with the phrase love is love, and grins so big they hardly seemed to fit on their faces.Snell and Bridges, both of

    Portland, have been together for nine years and had a com-

    Steven Bridges and Michael Snell exchange rings after getting married at Portland City Hall early Saturday

    morning, Dec. 29.

    BRiAn FEulnER / BDn

    Melanie Lavoie, left, waits in line outside Portland City Hall Saturday morning with her friend Roberta

    Batt, right, before Batt is wed to her partner of more than 30 years, Mary


    School districts gird for subsidy lossBy David HarryPORTLAND The freeze is

    here, and not just because of the weather.With more than 200 school

    districts in Maine facing the loss of a cumulative $12.58 million in general purpose aid from the state Department of Education, school officials are reviewing purchase orders and combing budgets for possible savings.Portland schools stand to lose

    the most, with $870,000 cut from a $14 million subsidy. Chief Aca-demic Officer David Galin said the amount is exactly what was expected.We knew going in to this year

    the budget would be tight, and put a number of budget control steps in early, Galin said.While capping spending on

    supplies, Galin said the depart-ment will now review every va-cancy more closely to see replace-ments are absolutely necessary. He said keeping current staffing is a priority.South Portland School Superin-

    tendent Suzanne Godin also said she knew the curtailment was coming. South Portland schools stand to lose $411,000 of their $3.1 million in state subsidies.It was actually a little less

    than what we were anticipating,

    Frugal local budgets dictate employee salariesWho are the

    highest-paid public employees in your city or town?

    Find out and comment on this story at:


  • sang hymns. A couple of children handed out tracts.The clinic, which offers a range of re-

    productive health care, provides abortion services on Fridays.Nearby stood Mike Fink, a pawnbroker

    whose shop, Guitar Grave, is next door and who also owns a restaurant a few yards away. Fink said he is organizing what he calls an anti-anti-abortion rally for Friday, Jan 4.Although Fink supports the availability

    of abortion, he said the reason for his rally is not the demonstrators beliefs, but their tactics.Theyre getting in peoples faces, he

    said. I used to enjoy walking to work on Friday, but not anymore.According to Fink, the demonstrators

    sometimes shout at people entering or leaving the clinic, as well as pedestrians on their way to neighboring businesses or just passing by.These stupid people are deliberately

    trying to be confrontational, he said in a letter. ... They do not understand that they are aggravating and insulting people and they are not promoting their views in an appropriate place and time.

    Pro-Life Mission organizer Donna Hebert said her groups members limit themselves to handing out pamphlets and explaining that there are alternatives to abortion.Many of us have walked in the shoes

    (of Planned Parenthood clients), she said.While the protesters last week were all

    from her group, according to Hebert, she said she couldnt vouch for the behavior of other groups and individuals that sometimes join the demonstrations.She emphasized that Pro-Life Mission

    members were standing on the public sidewalk, and said they were careful not to overstep the threshold to the clinic, where a Planned Parenthood volunteer and an off-duty police officer were stationed.(The demonstrators) are on their best be-

    havior because youre here, the volunteer told a reporter.While not crossing the threshold, dem-

    onstrators have overstepped boundaries in other ways, according to Megan Hannan, director of public affairs for Planned Parent-hood of Northern New England.Theyve followed people down the side-

    January 2, 20132 Portland

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    continued page 9

    Business owner plans anti-anti-abortion rallyBy William HallPORTLAND Despite a storm that

    dumped 10 inches of snow on the city the night before, anti-abortion demonstrators were out in force along Congress Street Friday morning, Dec. 28 as they have been every Friday since the summer.They expect to be back this week, too,

    when a downtown business owner hopes to stage a counter-demonstration of his own.Last Friday, about a dozen members of

    Pro-Life Mission of Maine stood outside the Portland clinic of Planned Parenthood, at 443 Congress St. Most held signs show-ing aborted fetuses. Some recited prayers or

    Larry Lunt / For the ForecasterAnti-abortion demonstrators hold signs outside

    the offices of Planned Parenthood, at 443 Congress St. in Portland on Friday, Dec. 28.

    Pro-Life Mission of Maine organizer Donna Hebert outside the Portland office of Planned Parenthood on Friday, Dec. 28: Many of us have walked in the shoes (of Planned Parenthood clients).

    The residents and staff from thePortland Center forAssisted Livingwould like to sincerely thank those

    who generously provided theirtime & money as well as good cheer

    during the holidays!

    The Boulos Property ManagementThe 1st Lutheran Parish Church

    The Salvation ArmyVolunteers and local neighbors whocame to PCAL with Cookies and sang

    Christmas carols.Wishing you all a very

    Happy Healthy NewYear!

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    Wedding GuideCelebrate your marriage in a style that is uniquely yours. Watch for the Forecasters Wedding Guide, in the editions spanning January 9-11.

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