Maine Man Can Whistle, But He Must Keep Moving - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Maine Man Can Whistle, But He Must Keep Moving

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Video still courtesy Portland Press Herald Video still courtesy Portland Press Herald

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A Maine man charged with disorderly conduct for his loud whistling in downtown Portland has reached a deal with the city - he can whistle, but he can't linger in one spot.

Robert Smith, of Westbrook, has been cited by police twice in the past year after businesses complained. He pleaded guilty last summer and reached a deal with the city in which he can keep whistling as long as he's moving.

Smith tells The Portland Press Herald his whistling - audible a block away - is protected free speech and usually brings smiles.

City officials dispute the free speech argument.

Janis Beitzer, of the Portland Downtown District, understands why some business owners are upset with the whistling. She calls it "irritating," like playing a radio too loud.


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