No one in Cape Elizabeth is happy about the prospect of charging a parking fee to the visitors of our beautiful park. Yet, it has become very apparent that something must be done.

The park’s annual expenses now total $250,000, an expense borne exclusively by the residents through property taxes.

The capital needs of the park are estimated at several million dollars. It’s indisputable that the fort has fallen into serious disrepair: The ruins are fast becoming safety hazards, the bleachers have crumbled beyond usability, and invasive plant species have taken over large swaths of native vegetation. In short, the needs are great and the resources few.

It was in this context that the town council felt compelled to support a pay/display system to help defray the annual costs of maintenance and repair. With any luck, we can then begin to address the sizable capital needs.

The proposal for a $1-$5 parking fee still allows for walkers and bikers to enter free, for spectators at youth sports to have free parking, and offers a $20 annual pass — just twice the daily rate at Scarborough Beach for a year of unlimited visits to the fort.

I personally find it reasonable to ask those who use our wonderful park to help contribute to its preservation. As an elected official charged with the stewardship of this prized asset, I feel a responsibility to protect and maintain it.

Call me overly optimistic, but I think most visitors will find it appropriate to ask those who use the fort to help support it.

Whether you agree philosophically or not about fees, the reality of this treasured park is that costs taxpayers’ money to keep it open. The advisory decision on June 8 will determine future steps to preserve Fort Williams.

One way or another, this spectacular property needs to be preserved. It can be paid for through tax dollars or we can spread the responsibility to those visitors who also enjoy spending time there.

To my fellow citizens in Cape, I urge you to vote “yes” on the referendum on Tuesday and begin the process of preserving this breathtaking historic and natural landmark.

Jim Walsh

Town councilor

Cape Elizabeth

 

 

Biddeford voters urged to support Megan Rochelo

 

I urge Biddeford District 136 voters to vote for Megan Rochelo.

I have no nose for politics, so I usually stay out of it. But what I do know is that Biddeford could use a fresh new voice! That’s why I support Megan Rochelo for the Legislature.

I hope everyone will vote for Rochelo on June 8 and send a smart, capable new face to Augusta!

Laura Dunn

Biddeford


 

Responsible for prank, he says he’s truly sorry

 

Regarding the May 25 incident in Windham, for which I was responsible: I want to start off by saying what was meant to be a harmless prank turned out to be something worse.

I am sorry. I got caught up in the moment and got involved with something that was out of my character.

I went, at night, to the Windham Bus Garage and emptied air out of the valves of the bus tires. This prank was not meant to harm anyone and did not cause any lasting physical damages. This was a poor choice that was irresponsible and reckless.

I am deeply sorry if I have let anyone down. I hope that the people who read this can appreciate the positive things I have done for the community.

I am grateful for the support I have received. I have learned from this and hope others have as well.

I do accept the consequences and I am going to live up to the high standards that I believe in. Thank you.

Jack Mallis

Windham

 

 

Protests about oil spill ignore nature of economy

 

After recent events in the Gulf of Mexico I was surprised to see The Press Herald never mention the Maine workers who were part of the tragic event, or who lost their place of work when the oil rig sank.

I read your article about the protests in Portland and, much like many other tragic events that have happened in history, fingers are pointed and uneducated accusations are made far to easily.

First off, there are many Maine residents who work on rigs much like this one and who earn a living doing so.

These people could easily choose to live in income-tax free states such as New Hampshire, but stay in Maine despite the ultra-high tax rates. These taxes are what support our weak and vulnerable infrastructure.

Secondly, and most importantly, think before you point fingers. This country runs on that oil. Without gas, diesel, oil and other petroleum products this nation would crumble, period.

Everyone uses products that originated from some sort of petroleum every day, everyone. I guarantee each and every one of those protestors drove to that event in their car or truck burning fossil fuels along the way. Some may have been in a Prius, but they were still burning fossil fuels in the process.

I personally work in this industry, and my paycheck comes from oil, yet am still a fan of green energy and alternative sources. But no matter what we do on that side, it will take centuries to eliminate the world’s dependence on oil.

We can all do our part to change, and I have no problem with that, but think for a minute before you go waving your signs in protest: You’re just as guilty as the next guy.

Rob Wellman

Bridgton

 

 

If Arizona cops stop you, profiling will be inevitable

 

On May 20 Barbara Britten wrote about Arizona’s new immigration law (SB 1070). She said that the new law “cannot profile anyone.”

To be asked for verification of legal status, Ms. Britten said the person has to “have been doing something quite questionable, like driving beyond the speed limit.”

My dad lives in Tucson. He is an 80-year-old third-generation Norwegian born in Minnesota.

He is represented in Congress by Rep. Raul Grijalva, a 62-year-old first-generation Latino born in Arizona. If my dad and Rep. Grijalva are pulled over for speeding in Tucson, who will be asked to prove his legal status in Arizona?

Cannot profile anyone? I wish that were true.

Stephen Nelson

Gorham