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    Judge vacates huge increase in Portland Harbor pilot fees

    Portland Board of Harbor Commissioners did not have enough evidence to justify a massive hike in harbor pilot fees for large ships last November, according to a ruling by a state judge. In a ruling Friday, Justice Lance Walker called the sudden steep fee increase approved by the commission a “red flag” and vacated the board’s vote. Board members voted in November to set a mandatory fee of $1,077 per trip in and out of the harbor for large vessels after reviewing pilot fees charged at other ports in the northeast. That fee replaced a $1,200 per-trip fee the board approved in May 2017, at the request of the Portland…