Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maine: Updates on NOM, Ocean Gateway

For regular readers, a couple of updates on stories I've covered here.

Will Ocean Gateway be Saved? Portland's $20-million-cruise-ship-terminal-without-a-cruise-ship-berth will not be rescued by federal stimulus money. The Forecaster asked the right questions in the story filed yesterday. The future of the facility, which is costing city taxpayers around $400,000 a year, remains uncertain, although MaineBiz reports that there may be another chance to score federal funds. (Their main story on Ocean Gateway is a bit weak, failing to include operating costs in their paragraph on how much the facility is losing.)

Hiding the Money Made Harder: The group that gave two-thirds of the money used to defeat Maine's same sex marriage law has been refusing to say where it came from, in defiance of state law. (They've even sued the state to avoid doing so.) But last week, the National Organization for Marriage lost another legal motion, this one to stop the state ethics commission from obtaining the documents it needs to evaluate the violations. The Bangor Daily News had the story yesterday. [Update, 8/11/2011: A federal appeals court has upheld a U.S. District Court decision against NOM's position, moving the organization one step closer to disclosure.]

F. Lee Bailey's Sour Grapes: The group that wanted public money to help it operate an aircraft repair shop at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station has pulled out, after a series of articles in the Forecaster called attention to its failure to keep up its end of a similar deal at the Sanford Airport. Oxford Aviation's front man, disbarred defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, tried to blame the town of Brunswick for being hostile to business. Some analysis from the reporter who broke the story here.

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