I don’t understand why the South Portland Police Department is trying to prove a point by placing a “smashed-up” cruiser and blinking sign on Broadway at the entrance to the Casco Bay Bridge, one of the city’s busiest intersections.

On my way to work one morning my car almost ended up looking like the display. I was just “distracted” staring at it. Is this what they want? For me to look at that beat-up car while I’m trying to focus on the road?

And I wanted to thank them for picking the holidays to put up the display for people who have lost their loved ones in car accidents.

Kathryn McAlister

Portland

Senators should work for 77 cents of dollar

It is shocking and sad that Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins voted to defeat the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The figure is cited that on average women make only 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn.

I wonder whether Snowe and Collins would like to adjust their salaries accordingly and earn 77 percent of what male senators earn. This would be consistent with their vote.

Joan S. Leitzer, M.D.

Portland

Wind-power advocates need to face the facts

Wind power advocates continue to mislead. Former Gov. Angus King says wind will save us from rises in the price of natural gas and that it is “absurd” to allege wind power does not reduce CO2 emissions.

The truth is the United States, Canada and the world are suddenly swimming in newly discovered natural gas. Wind cannot compete now or ever.

The International Energy Agency predicts the world has enough natural gas to last 280 years. Prices should go down even further.

It is the back up “spinning reserve” power that emits so much CO2 while having to come on line instantly when wind fails. No one claims wind can become a reliable source, especially during hot and cold spells when it is most needed.

Failure to acknowledge what happens with the reserve and the low cost of natural gas is necessary if one is to advocate wind with a straight face.

Clyde Macdonald

Hampden

Ban on grinding helps teach kids self-respect

After reading editorials and letters on the topic, I would say that I don’t think that grinding should be allowed in schools.

The writers brought up some really good points — that the behavior isn’t a result of parents doing something wrong and that some parents might just be uncomfortable with the thought of that their children doing such dancing.

So I would agree with Windham administrators canceling all dances except their prom. Overreacting? Who’s to say, but the safety of students lies with the teachers, chaperones and administrators.

You may ask is it really that harmful and I would probably respond to that question with a “no.” But the effect is still there. When you are in a dance in a dark room with a lot of people anything could happen that we don’t have control over until it is to late.

Grinding could turn into something that you didn’t want. Many boys in high school may pressure girls to do things that they don’t want to do and grinding may lead to that.

Regarding the chaperones, they have certain rules to follow. They have to make sure that both students and chaperones are safe.

There is no rule that says that you have to grind to have fun. You can most definitely have fun without grinding.

I think that girls especially need to show a little bit more self-respect, as well as the boys who need to not push the girls so hard.

Emily Mills

Sanford

When will GOP ‘get it’ on global warming?

On Nov. 8, Beth Quimby wrote an article for the Press Herald regarding LePage’s vision for the environment. Her article expressed the fact that “he questioned the validity of global warming, saying it was based on made-up science.”

When are the Republicans going to “get it”? It seems that ever since the release of Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” the validity of the film has been questioned — especially by Republicans including our last former president.

Do they not know that the research that was done to make that film was done in part by scientists from Harvard and others who really know what they are talking about? Surely they would not lend their names and credentials to the film if they had not done their “homework.”

Just because Gore is a Democrat seems to be reason that they did not want to believe it back then and now — but just take a look around the world and the weather we have been experiencing for the past few months.

We live in the most beautiful state in this country and it sure would be nice to leave it this way for our grandchildren and their children. Let’s hope that Paul LePage will be a governor who honors and respects those who are showing their concern and those who just love Maine.

In the last issue of Nature Conservancy, Mark Tercek, president and chief financial officer, summed it up with these words, “Conserving nature is often seen as a selfless act, but I would argue that the time has come to insert a bit more self-interest into our mission.” Should this not be how we all should feel, including our new governor?

Karen P. Goodwill

Friendship

Parents, government hold keys to education

A recent article on education in the New York Times stresses the need for both government and parental support for education. I believe it should be required reading for all high school students in Maine and the country as well as the incoming administration in Augusta.

The most salient point is made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan when he states: “Fifty years ago if you dropped out, you could get a job in the stockyards or steel mill and still own your own home and support your family. Today, there are no such good jobs for high school dropouts — they’re gone and that’s what we haven’t adjusted to.” When kids drop out today, “they are condemned to poverty and social failure.”

There are barely any jobs left for someone with only a high school diploma, and that is only valuable today if it has truly prepared you to go on to higher education without remediation — the only ticket to a decent job”

Maine has to stop touting high school as the pinnacle of a student’s life, support those who go on to college by ensuring that there are good jobs waiting for them here and by finding a real path for those who cannot or choose not to go to college.

There have to be alternative ways — besides tourism and casinos — of earning a good living in Maine to allow our youth to own a home and support a family.

John Remsen

South Portland