Strippers don’t belong in paper

Soft porn, as described by Wikipedia, “is a form of filmic or photographic pornography or erotica that is less sexually explicit than hard-core pornography.”

That is what not-so-tastefully graced the front page of the Maine Sunday Telegram on March 14. Is this a family publication or a prelude to Hustler or Playboy?

How about the girl pictured, dancing on a table? I bet she weighs 90 pounds soaking wet and obviously suffers from anorexia. Is this the image we want to impart to our young generation, who already feel a tremendous amount of peer pressure to look perfect, in order to further destroy their sense of well-being and normalcy?

Are young teenage girls expected to really look like this and as a career, strip to eke out a living? It was wrong for the paper to depict such a horrid color picture and I feel offended beyond belief. I prefer to keep that kind of trash out of my household and don’t like having it shoved in my face. A picture of a dancer in front of the restaurant would have been just as effective because the title “Sex & the country” sure grabs enough attention. Sensationalism at its finest.

Shame on Richard Connor and Scott Wasser for allowing this kind of image to be delivered into homes around Maine, New England and beyond.

I only hope that after 16 years of receiving the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on my doorstep, I won’t cringe again when opening up that yellow wrapper.

Carole G. Jean

Portland 

“Sex and the country”? Come on, now. Call a spade a spade. What you really mean is, “Sex to sell newspapers.” Putting a full color photo of a woman in a G-string on the front page of the Sunday paper is what you might see on the sleaziest tabloid. Why don’t you redirect the journalism to some of the deeper questions under this sensationalist article?

1) Why is there a double standard for women, where men flock to the sex shows, but would never want their wives or girlfriends to be one of the performers?

2) Why is there a double economic standard for southern Maine and the rest of Maine? Why do some restaurant owners in rural areas feel they need to resort to sex shows to stay in business? Why doesn’t this happen in the wealthy suburbs of Portland?

3) Why are women’s bodies still used to sell almost anything? What does this say about our media, advertising, cultural values, and how we are raising our children?

The article was written and photographs were taken by men. The woman in the photo was most likely not paid to have her half-naked image sent throughout the state. The men who left their wives and girlfriends to leer at her were carefully not included in the photo. Why not publish photos of them instead of the performer? Where is the female perspective in this article?

Barrie Brusila

Warren 

I can’t believe you have so little news to place on your Maine Sunday Telegram front page but “Sex and the country” about a strip club run by Jeff Jacques. Any other story would be more deserving of the front page. I am canceling my subscription and I hope many others do. How low have we gone in Maine? It’s embarrassing. No business should succeed when it is so immoral. It’s sad to see women being so desperate that they can’t respect themselves nor their bodies.

And we think that’s fun.

Charlene Rossignol

Saco 

Only citizens should have the chance to cast votes

I vehemently disagree with Thomas MacMillan about giving non-citizens the right to vote (“People who aren’t citizens pay taxes, so let them vote,” Feb. 21). My forbears paid a terrible price – bled and died to preserve our precious right to vote.

I’m not about to give it away, nor should you.

It’s the one thing that stands between us and the loss of every other “right” we enjoy as Americans. We’ve already lost our “right” to life. (A few more well-informed voters could restore that.) We’re only a few votes away from the loss of our “right” to bear arms. Look how close we are to losing our religious liberties. A few votes one way or the other will make a monumental difference.

I won’t go as far as to say Americans can’t be intimidated, bribed or lied to, but under threat of deportation, loss of job, or worse, immigrants could easily be persuaded to vote any way they are told. Most would need someone in the voting booth with them to help them because they can’t read English! Mr. MacMillan, we need an informed citizenry to vote.

To really appreciate the difference a few votes can make – go back a couple of months and take a second look at what happened in Massachusetts. What would have happened if non-citizen immigrants had voted in that election?

Tom Lord

Lisbon Falls 

Doctors meet to make Haiti aid better organized 

Thank you for printing The Associated Press story, “So much help, so little organization,” on March 6. This story highlights the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of the historically fragmented approaches to providing aid to Haiti.

With Haiti’s overwhelming needs at the fore, and with the number of donor countries committed to relief and reconstruction, there is an extraordinary opportunity and imperative for the international community to “get it right.”

On March 31, a group called the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti will meet with Haitian government officials at the U.N. to begin to map out a plan.

In my view, the plan needs to provide not only immediate relief for the thousands of displaced people who are living in desperate circumstances, but must also include a long-term commitment to institution-building in all parts of the public system. Any plan without adequate attention to strengthening the capacity of the public sector will simply repeat the past, and is bound to fail.

In the area of public health, for example, development of public clean water and sanitation infrastructure are needed to reduce disease and improve lives. From community outreach and education to regional referral hospitals, Haiti needs a strong public health system; one sufficiently resourced that it need not turn away people who can’t afford even the equivalent of $2 for services, and one that can attract and keep the many excellent and educated doctors and nurses who have been leaving the country because of lack of jobs and poor working conditions.

The plan must recognize, respect and support the Haitian government’s legitimate role in a manner that promotes appropriate levels of accountability, transparency, good management and decentralization; but the bottom line is that the plan must prioritize supporting Haitians in building their own future.

Nathan Nickerson, R.N., Dr.PH

Executive Director

Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership

Portland 

Who needs HDTV when you can go back to radio? 

With the exception of sports fans, is everyone out there fed up with cable and satellite TV? Not only is it outrageously expensive but consists mainly of reruns of everything under the sun, from comedy to crime and movies, circa 1940s on up.

Perhaps younger people enjoy watching things like “I Love Lucy,” etc., but for us older folks, been there, seen that, time and time again. On a serious note, what’s wrong with this scene is satellite was something we had to get if we wanted to see anything on TV. We’re canceling our satellite-fed TV as soon as our 18-month contract elapses. Couldn’t do it sooner or we would be liable for $400.

Going back to radio, albeit I hear the powers that be want to tax us for that also! Radio and our CDs, videos and a wood stove are all we need. Looking forward to basics again.

Frank Slason

Somerville