This is my first time in Maine. I like it here. There are yellow maples lining the walkways and all sorts of pretty colors – purples, reds, oranges, browns and greens. I saw an apple tree growing wild beside the road.

I passed a driveway with a boat customized, I would guess, for lobster., with aluminum pieces crafted as they were to give shelter to the captain from sea spray, snow and the like. Beside the boat was a walk-in cooler with a generator that kicked on and off, keeping the catch fresh. Beside that an old house stood among overgrown weeds. Quaint, plain, lovely.

The gentleman I delivered my truck’s load to at 6:15 a.m. told me of an old neighborhood store “just down the street” where I could buy breakfast sandwiches. It turned out to be about a mile or more and I thank God for every step.

As I walked, the quietness of the neighborhood closed in around me. At first it made me uneasy and then I remembered such places from my own past, in the ’60s and ’70s. I passed by a brick school with shining proud windows, a house with a man with his daughter sitting on his lap as he read the paper and his son quietly seeking his attention.

When I entered the one-room store, I saw a wealth of homemade sandwiches and desserts, and people from this village. There was a newsstand with fresh, crisp newspapers awaiting the absorptions of the local citizen’s eyes and minds.

As I headed back to my truck, I took an apple from the old tree next to the road. The taste was wild, refreshing, and delicious – just as the taste of this magnificent autumn morning on the Presumpscot.

Joel Gibson

Carnesville, Ga.

 

Surprise endorsement for right to bear arms

 

I just read an Aug. 19 clipping from the Delaware County Daily Times, a Pennsylvania newspaper.

It states an armed citizen broke up the robbery and savage beating of a gas station attendant, and drove the assailant off. The police superintendent said of the armed citizen, “He is licensed to carry a concealed weapon. I applaud the good Samaritan for getting involved.”

I was dumbfounded when I read the superintendent’s name. It was none other than Mike Chitwood, Portland’s very own anti-gun former police chief.

Anti-gun-rights activists Cathy Whittenberg and Dan Skolnik, please take notice.

Leonard Gehrke

Kittery

 

Firefighters who wouldn’t put out fire? It’s a tragedy

 

I read this paper daily and have come to realize that it is up to me as to how much of the news I absorb. The mundane is not so as important as those stories of human interest. Although some may create a furrowed brow or even a weeping eye, it still makes you realize how fortunate you might be to have what you do.

The recent article that fell inside the front page has taken this to a new level. For his not paying a $75 fire protection fee, a man had to watch his home burn to the ground in rural Tennessee.

It seems that the fire department was ordered not to put out the blaze for this reason. I frowned and clenched my teeth as I read this terrible example of local government gone astray. I really could not believe that such a policy can even exist and that firemen who have taken an oath would allow this to happen regardless of the sum owed.

I am only too glad that my dad, a dedicated fire and rescue person for most of his life, was not around to read this story.

In a world where people will pay a quarter of a million dollars for a short trip into space, where a man can get paid $30,000 to throw a football just once, and where weddings might go for $5 million, I wonder at times how we got as far as we have.

My heart goes out to this man for his loss, but more so for a group of firefighters who could not find it within themselves to sidestep bureaucracy and do the right thing. Let’s all learn from this – if we will.

Scott Plummer

South Casco

 

Selling a casino not at all same thing as selling cars

 

In his Oct. 17 Another View, “Jolly John” Pulsifer equates his success at selling cars to his belief in the success of a casino in the town of Oxford in Oxford County.

I see no similarity between selling someone an automobile they probably need and taking their money for the slim outside chance that they may be lucky enough to get some money in return.

Casinos all over the country are losing money. Hundreds of people are being laid off. Why would one in rural Maine be any different?

Gambling creates many more problems than it ever solved. I believe there are alternatives that would provide good, constructive work. We can do better.

Nancy Willard

Woodstock

 

Equality Maine hasn’t quit on same-sex unions

 

For most of 2009, Equality Maine did their best to call their opponents dishonest and deceptive. They claimed no interest in education and denied that their plans for same-sex marriage would have any impact on education in Maine.

This year, Equality Maine has endorsed more than 140 candidates for state legislature and has already spent more than $100,000 to help them get elected.

You might not recognize their help because they fail to mention their dominant interest – legalizing same-sex marriage. They don’t mention it, but they are stacking the deck to force the debate all over again.

While they clearly want candidates elected who will support a new definition for marriage, they won’t tell people that. They pretend to be interested in other issues.

And one of their favorite issues turns out to be education. Perhaps their next flier will include an apology for calling us liars when the connection was made between same-sex marriage and education.

I won’t wait for that, but I will call upon Equality Maine and their candidates to explain why they are hiding the issue that binds them together. Maybe Rep. John Piotti will go first, since he received almost $15,000 worth of help so far.

I urge Maine people to carefully read the disclaimer on their mail. If it says “paid for by Equality Maine,” then you will know it is advocating for a return to the same-sex marriage debate.

And the endorsed candidates should explain the deception. One has to wonder how many promises they bought for $100,000.

Bob Emrich

Maine Jeremiah Project

Plymouth