There were two items in Aug. 19 newspaper that were unrelated, but together they’re blood relatives: Tom Bell’s news story, “So little demand, yet so much parking” and John Golen’s letter to the editor, “Waterfront issues bungled by city.”

If our City Council can’t relate these issues they deserve the negative criticism they’ve garnered. This is a wake-up call for good common sense, which is profoundly lacking in our city.

We seem inordinately interested in appeasing “special interest” groups to the point of losing focus on how to satisfy everyone. I’m a proud tax-payer wondering whether I fall into the category of “special interest,” in that I have a “special interest” in keeping our city in good, clean, safe and stable condition, a goal supposedly overseen by city management.

Leadership and common sense are needed to put an end to wasteful spending on another garage, when already wasteful garage space is evidenced by that seemingly empty eyesore off India Street, marring a picturesque environment.

So it goes with the future of our waterfront, now in conflict, with the decision in the same hands as was the garage. Witness the demise of the Union Station, Ocean Gateway project, Public Market, etc. These are advantages that have been compromised by anti-pedestrian overkill.

I ask, who is going to want to come to Portland because we have another garage if we no longer have a beautifully maintained working waterfront?

Also, may I remind everyone of the current crisis called “obesity,” which is not only affecting our health costs but our children’s future. The point being, instead of this obsession with building garages how about promoting parking meters and/or walking to our destination?

Common sense, shame on me!

Frank E. Reilly

Portland

 

Wind opponents’ claims not on solid ground

 

I have been involved in environmental issues in the state of Maine for about the last 50 years. I have been reading with interest the opinions of various letter writers with regard to producing electricity with windmills and would like to offer a few comments.

When analyzing all the factors involved in producing the electricity we want and need, I have come to the conclusion that wind power is, at this time, the best way to generate electricity. It does not generate air pollutants or hazardous waste.

It is endlessly renewable and can be produced right here in the United States, thereby avoiding transportation risks and negative effects on our balance of payments. Harvesting electricity from the wind doesn’t require drilling holes a mile deep in the ocean floor, nor does it require massive coal-mining operations with all their long-term impacts.

Hydropower is renewable, but we suffer from the excesses of our forbears in the hundreds of derelict dams blocking fish runs and public use of our rivers. Forest biomass is also renewable, but produces various air pollutants and requires lots of transportation energy to get it to the right place.

I believe that the expedited permitting process, enacted, with broad support, in the last legislative session and Gov. Baldacci’s strong support of increased wind power generation, are perfectly placed priorities.

The small number of vociferous wind power opponents, private citizens and some leading environmental organizations are, in my opinion, standing on some pretty shaky scientific ground.

Windmills may displace or kill a few songbirds, but I think my neighbor’s cat kills a lot more. Some very small amount of mountain habitat may be temporarily lost (until the windmills are taken down, sold for scrap, and the site is reforested). As far as the visual impact issue goes, I say let’s get used to it. Some people will like catching a glimpse of a few windmills on a distant ridgeline.

Domestically produced electricity is something we must do as a country, Maine must do it’s part.

Let’s move quickly ahead and develop our Maine wind power resource.

Dick Anderson

Portland

 

 

Cyclists should do a better job warning pedestrians

 

I live near the walkway from Mill Creek to Bug Light and I walk every morning, usually early. I am a senior citizen and a little hard of hearing so I don’t hear the bicyclists coming up behind me, and there are many that are going too fast and close. I stay to the right but it is frightening. I thought also they were supposed to stop at pedestrian crosswalks.

I was about to cross at Broadway and the street leading to Bug light when two raced right in front of me.

Cars had stopped to let me cross and they came whizzing in front of me.

These were not kids but adults who should have known better.

I am glad these walks are for both pedestrians and bicycle riders; there are a lot of seniors that walk there.

Perhaps they could use bells on the bikes. I would like to hear your thoughts.

Carole Sargent

South Portland

 

Content of Shakespeare should not be a surprise

 

Let me see if I have this right.

The Rev. David Perkins thinks the Fenix Theatre should spend some of its precious advertising dollars to let him know that a play that has been in continuous production in the English-speaking world for over 500 years is bawdy? (“Ribaldry too ribald for some at Oaks’ Shakespeare” – Aug. 23)

I think that if the youngsters of the good reverend’s flock are literate enough to understand the nuances of a Shakespearean play, he should be praying thanks to his God for the children’s intelligence, not demonstrating his own lack thereof.

Bill Holly

Kittery Point