“Maine, the way life should be.” Not really! Although our air may be deemed cleaner, the landscape that lines our roads has become an ashtray and dumping grounds for unwanted litter.

For some unknown reason, people throw away garbage, cigarettes and anything else unwanted out of their car windows.

I find this occurs primarily during the winter months.

Apparently the mindset is that the snow will do its best to mask or eventually cover it up completely.

What do these people think happens in the spring when the snow begins to melt? There is no miracle or other grand intervention.

Perhaps the lack of knowledge or education regarding what is or isn’t biodegradable isn’t found out or comprehended on a certain level of intelligence.

But surely common sense must be lurking somewhere in those brains.

The lack of the latter scares and perturbs me, because if that is the case, then that just leaves a total disregard for our environment.

I find it difficult to believe we are so busy and consumed by our lives to focus on responsible behavior.

Then again, most of what focus I hoped exists is expended on the impulsive need to the maintenance of popularity (talking and texting on cell phones), the rush of being late to or from work, reading a map, putting on make-up or perhaps just plain staring into the great abyss.

Blinded by their incessant sense of worth and superiority within their own existence, motorists seem to have become nothing more than drones programmed by society to survive by whatever means at their disposal, all the while ignoring the environment that sustains them.

Perhaps in the future people will change, but for now the blatant misuse of the beauty that surrounds us is inexcusable.

Stephen Ignor

Windham

I would like to comment on the wasteful packaging used on weekly fliers thrown at my and my neighbors’ doorstep.

They are from a publication which is a collection of (classified) ads I don’t look at and coupons to stores I don’t shop at.

What really irks me, though, is that not only does it seem they are not read by anyone on my street (I’m assuming this, because the sidewalks are littered with them), but that each individual flier comes in a large plastic pouch.

It’s a shame, really, and I would like to see this unnecessary use of resources come to an end. Thank you.

Catherine Satchell

Portland

Singing the blues can carry many messages

The Aug. 12 review of the Colwell Brothers’ CD “New Shoes, Old Blues” is right that it is terrific music and the blues was invented to conjure empathy but wrong that blues about political issues is inexplicable.

Laughter and comfort are not our only emotions. We also feel pain. The blues express that, too.

Should Billie Holiday, horrified by lynching of African-Americans, not have sung “Strange Fruit”? She broke down every time she sang it. It’s very hard not to, even now.

Should the Colwell brothers, horrified that American babies can’t eat, not sing “America (Is Melting Down)”? They’re not telling us how to think. They’re expressing what they feel. The blues is not recommended if you only want to feel comfortable. If you’re willing to cry as well as have fun, you’ll feel the full range of great musicianship on “New Shoes, Old Blues.”

It’s 5-star music, for sure. I’m playing it over and over again.

Martin Sidwell

Brunswick

Caring people helped keep a loose dog safe

There are wonderful people in Portland. I went to do a haircut on someone at Harbor Terrace on Danforth Street on Aug. 7.

I parked under a tree on the side of the street, left my van windows down a third and told my dog to stay.

When I came out a half hour later, there were four people there, one sitting in the street holding my dog by his collar.

He had jumped out the window and was running back and forth from the building to my van.

Those wonderful people in a little blue car took the time to stop and sit so my dog wasn’t afraid to approach them.

They took the time to call the veterinary number on his license and the animal control officer to try and find me.

Jackson is a terrier mix rescued from Hurricane Katrina and is my best friend and buddy.

When I got him four years ago from New Orleans I wanted to be sure he bonded with me.

Well, he has, and thanks to those four wonderful, caring people who took some time out of their life to stop and help him, he will be my best friend for many years to come.

Penny Cobb

Portland

U.S. giving tax credit for Chevy Volt hardly wasteful

Most countries in which Chevy Volt sales are planned offer a similar tax credit, for reasons Vladimir Putin and Dimitri Medvedev could speak to if they’re not already donning respirators.

As columnist Jonah Goldberg reasons (“Average Amercians get only sticker shock from the Volt,” Aug. 10), reducing our reliance on the internal combustion engine alone won’t eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.

Doing so, however, seems a critical step on the road to a future in which we are less reliant for power on greenhouse gas-producing fuels.

Chevy’s projected global production run for the Volt is 55,000 through 2012. If Chevy sells this entire projected run in the United States, the $7,500 per vehicle subsidy about which Goldberg complains would on average cost taxpayers about a fifth of a billion dollars per year.

Since not every Volt produced will be sold in the United States, the American tax burden would be much lower.

Contrast that to the $35 billion annual amount that taxpayer dollars hand the oil industry.

Note: ExxonMobil’s first quarter 2010 profit (not revenue, profit) was nearly $7 billion.

One must wonder why Goldberg opts to spend his waste-ferreting talents tormenting fiscal mice when there is clearly larger game to be felled.

Maybe he needs a lesson in perspective?

Jay Leslie

Portland