I would like to clarify part of an article by Ethan Wilensky-Lanford titled “Lawmakers approve saltwater license” (March 27).

The writer stated that Sen. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro, had sponsored the bill that was approved by the House and Senate. I would like to clarify that Sen. Trahan indeed initially sponsored LD 1432, but it was originally intended to be a no-fee saltwater fishing registry.

During the session last year, LD 1432 was debated on along with Rep. Leila Percy’s bill, LD 1331, “An Act Regarding Saltwater Recreational Fishing.” Both bills were tabled until the 2010 session. This year LD 1432 was resurrected with a significant change: There was now a fee for this registry!

While viewing the Senate debate online, my husband and I watched Sen. Trahan speak vehemently against his own bill, because it had been wretchedly twisted into something he could no longer support. We proudly watched as our senator voted against the fee-based saltwater fishing registry.

As you have noted in the title of the article, this bill is a saltwater license, just under the facade of a registry. Looking at the history of our fees and licensing in Maine, it won’t take long for this low-fee “registry” to increase.

I believe this is just an opportunity for the state to tread on our freedoms and implement an opportunity to raise funds.

I would like to thank Sen. Trahan for standing up against the federal and state governments for what appears to me as another power-hungry money grab.

Becky Morrell

Waldoboro

Lawton’s column raises points worth pondering 

I have been working on a letter to Sen. Olympia Snowe about the recent threats to Democratic legislators who passed the health care bill because I am concerned that our ability to function as a civilized country is very much at risk.

Charles Lawton’s column March 28, “Incivility in public debate undermines democracy,” articulated the point I am trying to make much more eloquently (and much more clearly) than my current draft.

Thanks to him for speaking out on this important point. I will mention the article to her (and hopefully she will share it with some of her Republican colleagues).

Don Smallidge

Waterville

In the letters column of March 14, Mr. William Ryan of Brunswick refers to the unexplained excess of federal expenditures over receipts described in a Feb. 14 column by economist Charles Lawton (“Maine has built-in federal stimulus”).

Lawton was referring to our annual fiscal deficits made possible by borrowing the deficiency referred to above. And, yes, the cause of this reckless financial behavior is the total absence of fiscal discipline in Washington politics.

I am reliably informed by my weekly Ellsworth American that our U.S. national debt stood at $12.552 trillion on March 10, an increase of $1.594 trillion from March 10, 2009.

These numbers do not tell us what part of this debt is internal; (Treasury securities held by the Federal Reserve System and other federal departments and agencies).

If any debt is being monetized by “counterfeit” currency as noted by Mr. Ryan, it appears that the old debt being paid down in this process is more than offset by new debt, indicated by the increase in total debt. This writer is inclined to doubt that any U.S. debt held externally is being monetized.

Our creditors, both foreign and domestic, would soon catch on and interest rates would skyrocket.

I believe there is little question that the Federal Reserve Bank has been increasing the “money supply” over several recent decades — contributing to inflation and the easy credit policies leading to the near collapse and slow recovery of our economy.

Trying to bail ourselves out of economic recession with the fiat currency vividly described by Mr. Ryan would weaken our national credit and destroy our dollar.

Washington and the nation can no longer afford this lavish fiscal lifestyle. A lot more fiscal and monetary transparency would help.

Carle G. Gray

Sullivan

Restaurant reviews don’t always suit readers’ tastes 

This is in response to N.L. English’s recent review of the Snow Squall Restaurant in South Portland (Feb. 28).

Our family of four ate lunch there last Saturday and found it to be absolutely delightful. Our appetizers were a lovely start.

The fried calamari was hot and crispy, with just the right amount of saltiness, and the Caesar salad (made right at the table) was fresh and flavorful. The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful, making sure the salad and my husband’s main course were made special to accommodate his food allergies.

I ordered the turkey burger and was pleased with how moist and tasty it was; I have frequently found turkey burgers in other restaurants to be on the dry side.

The topping options were also quite unusual and interesting; I chose the brie and caramelized onions for my burger and the combination was fantastic.

My husband and two teenage boys ordered pulled pork sandwiches and the Angus burger, and everyone was happy with their choices. We closed our meal by sharing a generous piece of chocolate mousse cake that was out-of-this-world delicious.

I hope your readers will give the Snow Squall Restaurant a chance, and perhaps find they will have as enjoyable an experience as we did.

Julia Iuretig and family

Scarborough

After reading the March 14 review by N.L. English I am at a loss with this lady. Has she ever given a straight five-star review?

I assume is it part of her persona to tuck in just one small critique; maybe she feels she will pique the reader to “read on” and look for more “juicy” bits from her. Her review itself certainly warranted tops in stars but she just “cannot seem to do it.”

Fortunately John P. Gagnon of JP’s, on Woodford Street, has a reputation (based on years of experience as a great chef) and, most importantly, his adeptness with preparing and his presentation of his dishes speaks for itself.

Bottom line, there wasn’t enough critique to give three stars – if anything she could have used 4 1/2 and kept within her desire for not giving “perfect scores.”

Thanks, J.P., for giving us a great atmosphere, perfect location and excellent dishes at an affordable price.

Kay Genovese

Portland

Cartoon on transgender sign unfeeling, callous, tasteless 

Cartoonist Steve Meyers’ March 21 doodle was amazing in its callousness. A restroom sign showing male and female icons is accompanied by a third one, showing a half male/half female, half pants/half dress-wearing icon with a question mark and shrugging as if to say, “Oh fiddle-dee-dee, am I male or am I female? I’m just all mixed up!”

With all the difficulties they face, I assure you the members of the transgender community are not shrugging about their identity. Nor are they shrugging about the fact that they face a constant uphill battle for respect, inclusion and equality.

Mr. Meyers’ flippant cartoon makes it all look like a little game. Go ask a transgender or questioning Mainer how funny it is. You’ll get an earful.

The issue of how best to respect and accommodate the needs of transgender students in our schools while respecting the needs of the student community as a whole is indeed complex. Mr. Meyers’ job as a political cartoonist is to cut through the clutter and the crap, and bring insight and clarity to issues through imagery that can be, to borrow a phrase, “worth a thousand words.”

Instead he chose to dip his quill in ink and turn a thorny and difficult issue into, literally, a condescending shrug.

Oh, hardy-har-har.

Bill Harnsberger

Portland