I went to the Eastern Promenade this year to see the fireworks for the first time in a long time. We would go there when our kids were little and spend the entire day.

This year my daughter wanted to take her son to hear the Portland Symphony Orchestra and see the fireworks. My wife and I went because we wanted to hear the PSO, too.

The show was the best I have ever seen. The music with a patriotic theme, the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the fireworks, which were better than ever, meant that on the whole I believe the crowd came away with the real meaning of the day.

July 4th is our collective birthday and we celebrated it splendidly.

John M. Roberts

South Portland

City cancels ticket amnesty when it had another option

A July 1 front page article noted the end of the city of Portland’s policy that allowed motorists one “free” minor parking violation every six months.

The reason given was that the $500,000 “lost” by this policy is needed to help balance the city’s budget.

City Parking Division head John Peverada was quoted as saying that “it was either that or increase the property tax.”

This, unfortunately, seems to represent government’s approach to budget problems at all levels.

Mr. Peverada didn’t consider a third possible answer to the budget problem: namely, decrease spending.

Allen J. Bingham

Scarborough

‘Go’ cover had word paper never should use

I just opened the July 1 paper and noticed the headline on the front of your “Go” section: “Our Big Freakin’ July Fourth issue.”

Nice potty mouth, Portland Press Herald. You do realize that “freakin’ ” is just a replacement slang term for the other F-word, don’t you?

It’s just a nicer, cleaned-up, more acceptable version (by today’s standards) of it.

Just a terrific choice for your cover! Raise the bar, would you please?

Diane O’Neill

Gorham

SMMC really grateful for bomb-threat assistance

On June 25, Southern Maine Medical Center staff saw first-hand the professionalism of Maine’s state and local police and fire personnel. The incident involving a car with pipe bombs in our emergency parking lot could have been a serious one.

Our immediate concern was for the safety of our patients and staff, and because of the skill of the law enforcement personnel on-site, we knew the situation was under control. We were able to remain open, caring for our community.

The teamwork exhibited by the Maine State Police, state Fire Marshal’s Office, our local Biddeford police and fire departments, and SMMC’s security staff was reassuring and critical for a positive outcome.

This type of event is certainly out of the ordinary for SMMC, and we are so grateful for their expertise.

I know it is their job to protect our community; however, I could not help but reflect on the tremendous risk and responsibility they carry by simply doing their jobs. I admire and appreciate their commitment.

On behalf of everyone at SMMC, thank you.

Ed McGeachey

President and CEO

Southern Maine Medical Center

Biddeford

Preserve Maine’s beauty from wind turbine threats

Kudos to MaineToday Media’s CEO Richard Connor for supporting the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust.

He states, “I was born and raised in Maine. I know first-hand the importance of preserving the beauty of our great state.”

He’s absolutely right. We are the stewards of one of the most beautiful states in the nation, and tourism is by far its biggest economic engine.

Our mountains are no less important than the marshes and shorelands of Cape Elizabeth.

Turning Maine’s iconic mountains into an industrial wind landscape is akin to killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

We don’t need the power. Maine already exports 40 percent of the power we generate and our portfolio is one of the greenest in the nation.

If Harvard and the cities on the eastern seaboard want to brag about using green power, let them buy hydro from Quebec, which is eager to sell us cheap, renewable and reliable hydropower.

Comparing industrial wind to hydropower is like comparing a flickering candle to a perpetual lightning bolt.

The University of Maine’s turbine at Presque Isle is coming in at 11 percent efficiency, falling far short of projections.

Two other industrial turbines in the southern part of the state have also failed. A moratorium should be enacted on mountaintop wind until Maine’s Legislature can prove, using honest figures from Stetson and Mars Hill, that this environmental destruction is worth the electricity produced.

We should be putting those federal taxpayer subsidies for industrial wind into our own pockets by winterizing and improving the efficiency of all of Maine’s homes.

This would create thousands of Maine jobs, save Mainers millions of dollars and protect and preserve Maine’s mountains, waters and wildlife for future generations.

It’s just common sense.

Penny Gray

Freeport

Washington taken to task for not extending benefits

This is aimed at all representatives in Congress and the White House:

How could any of you go on a Fourth of July holiday knowing millions of the unemployed did not have money for food and housing?

How?! How?! You shouldn’t have gone home until you passed something.

You bailed out the banks that caused this mess. Why not help out the ones who are suffering from their actions?

Viola D. Vance

South Portland