t was of interest to read the July 18 Sunday Telegram article about the Maine Celtic Celebration in Belfast, “a celebration of traditions of the British Isles.”

Apparently, the writer of this phrase is a bit confused about his British Isles and the word Celtic, because the large headline accompanying the pictures read “Bringing out the Irish.”

Did that mean that I, of Scottish heritage, would not be considered Celtic?

I saw the word “Highland” such as in Highland Games. That sounded a bit Scottish Celt to me.

I would be interested to know if there were any Highland jigs, in addition to the Irish jig that was highlighted with a picture. Maybe someone from Belfast, Maine, who puts on this celebration could let me know if this celebration is for all people of Celtic heritage or just the Irish?

If it’s for all, I would love to attend this affair next year.

Everett Nisbet
South Portland 

‘Smart meters’ could lead to higher costs for some

Sorry to see Central Maine Power is going ahead with its “smart meter” system under the guise of saving 85 pay stubs for its soon-to-be-gone meter readers and allowing all of its customers to be able to conserve energy, but not informing them that there is a price to pay for this.

One example is now you or your wife will be able to use your energy consuming things after midnight.

Since its inception I have always said this is just another stealth way of forcing customers to conserve. But remember, if we conserve that means CMP earns less. Their solution will be to raise the rates, of course, and you can count on that.

There is no free lunch and this time CMP will not only “punish” electric heat customers but the average rate user. How? setting a maximum for kilowatt hours used a month, as they did with their time-of-use meter, making you pay a higher rate for power used over 2,000 kwh and then making you wait a year before they will take out the meter and let you go back to the nominal rate. Time of use had three different rates combined with three different hourly uses in four-hour increments.

I ran into this when I first moved to Maine and built an all-electric home. Without even a warning, as soon as I ran over 2,000 kwh they slammed in a digital TOU meter. Yes, it took me a whole year to get off it.

Watch for CMP to establish just how much energy you can use before they tell you that you exceeded it, and over that amount it’s TOU time, count on it. The only way to beat CMP is to move farther north and go with Bangor Hydro, which I will be doing unless by some miracle CMP will listen to reason and treat electric-heat homes more fairly. I asked CMP to note on my bill that I had an electric-heat home. That was months ago and I’m still waiting.

Also it is immoral to charge electric-heat customers a luxury tax on their bill. But complaining does no good with a bureaucracy.

Frank Slason
Somerville 

Felons should not be deprived of gun rights 

The right to keep and bear arms is the most basic inalienable right, which “shall never be questioned,” according to the Maine Constitution. The right at first disappeared via the Supreme Court decisions and then re-appeared as the great individual right for “every citizen” — except felons.

The Maine constitution didn’t exclude them, even though it was written back at the time when a felony had to be punishable by 20 years as opposed to the one-year requisite now. “How could they ever have been legally excluded,” you ask?

They have never been legally excluded. There’s an unconstitutional statute, 17-A §393, which says if you are a felon then you lose your right to keep and bear arms. “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void,” wrote the court in Marbury v. Madison, in 1803. “Where rights secured by the constitution are involved there can be no rule-making or legislation which would abrogate them,” said the court in Miranda v. Arizona. “Every citizen has the right to keep in bear arms, and this right shall never be questioned,” according to the Maine Constitution.

Notice that this demands that this right shall never be questioned, so how does this make the Maine Legislature feel after passing laws that are unconstitutional because they not only question a felon’s right, they deprive him of it?

There were felons when the U.S. Constitution and the Maine Constitution were written, they were never excluded even via amendments, which would be the only quasi-legal means of doing it — but amendments could be no more unconstitutional than statutes, etc.

So, there’s really, constitutionally speaking, no statute rule or regulation that can defy the plain language of the Constitution. As easy as it is to become a felon, it should be in no way a tool in which the government can disarm the citizenry, but lo and behold, it is.

Dennis Friel
Whitefield 

Restaurant reviewer offers tasteless takes on food 

Being in the food-service business, one of the first things I read in the Sunday paper is the restaurant review. Sometimes I wonder just what N.L. English is reviewing.

Her articles remind me of bad novellas — writing on the order of “on a dark and stormy night.”

Please give us a break from her grammatical errors and musings. A recent effort compared a tourist-driven resort to a cruise ship rising to full steam in July and August. What can that mean?

Do us all a favor and review fairly (she gives 3-4 stars to places she finds several faults with), review the food, the service, the atmosphere, the value, and save the rest of the ramblings for her next romance novel.

Carol Moore
Rangeley 

While I can’t disagree with N. L. English’s review of the White Lion Bistro in Camden as I haven’t dined there, I take umbrage at the ease with which she so easily dismissed the former enterprise of Fitzpatrick’s Cafe as a “breakfast place.”

I can only imagine that this quote from a local resident was taken out of context and used by the reviewer to emphasize her theme of transformation. In fact Fitzpatrick’s served three meals a day.

It was the heart and soul of the community. The tables were not covered with “place mats of woven bamboo lying on flowered tablecloths,” as English wrote of the White Lion Bistro, but the walls were covered with numerous photos of the young basketball and baseball teams that Fitzie amazingly found time to coach. When someone in the community fell on hard times, the fundraiser was often at Fitzie’s.

Yes, it was a “far cry from the White Lion’s tranquil comfort” because everyone was greeting their friends and neighbors, conversing from table to table and even, in season, being friendly and informative to tourists who were lucky enough to find their way to Fitzpatrick’s.

So what really constitutes “fine dining” in Maine? Fitzie didn’t make “red wine reductions” or “crunchy risotto cakes,” but fine dining is more than designer decor and exotic seasonings. The true essence of fine dining is the comfort one experiences when sharing food and companionship in an environment that is part of and reflects the community, even if that food came to you on a tray pushed along a counter.

It was a sad day when Fitzie decided to stop working 14 hours a day and sold the restaurant. The foodie restaurants of Camden come and go. Fitzie’s had been here a long time and would still be here if he had wanted it to be. We mourn its passing.

Stephen Gold
Camden