Thanks for the memories, Avery! (“You can see ‘The Wizard of Oz’ on the big screen at the State Theatre’s 1930s Night,” Dec. 2, by Avery Yale Kamila).

Way back in 1939 when I was 10 years old my mother gave me a quarter because I had been such a good girl, so I could see the “Wizard of Oz.” I walked up Congress Street from the west end (Libbytown) to the Strand Theatre. Upon entering I was a bit scared in the dark but soon was entranced when the movie began.

When Dorothy awakened in Oz and all was in color, I thought I was in Heaven! (My introduction to technicolor.) I don’t even remember walking home and, ever since, I have followed my very own “yellow brick road” of world travel and wonderful people and incredible experiences so often I would hear myself exclaim “Gee Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

Now that I am back in Maine (Kansas) I no longer feel the need to travel and I must add that I am so glad to see that the magnificent State Theatre has been restored and not destroyed as so many of my Portland structures and historic sites were during the “urban renewal” nonsense.

I will now cease my “Portland Girl” rant and thank you again.

Roberta (White) Corp

Caribou

When using pronouns, gender does matter

Front page, Dec. 8: Artist Jenny Holzer puts words of poet Wislawa Szymborska on the Portland Museum of Art. Writer Bob Keyes writes that Holzer is “using his words to express outrage.” Wislawa Szymborska is a well-known woman. Your writers need to do their research when writing about someone about whom they know so little that they’re unaware of the person’s gender.

Karen Foley

Topsham

Local government shows power of connections

Charles Lawton’s column (“Love, money, might go hand-in-hand?” Dec. 5), presented a refreshing and interesting idea.

Lawton wrote about a Gallup poll commissioned by the Knight Foundation that concluded the more people are emotionally connected to their communities, the better those communities do in terms of productivity and economic development.

From the perspective of Maine’s 492 cities and towns, the findings are no surprise. Although rarely noted, municipal government provides a clear reflection of the citizens it serves as well as a major source of connection with community.

That is why local government is both challenged and successful. Resourcefulness, innovation, citizen involvement, volunteerism and cooperative efforts with other towns are a few reasons why our towns and cities may be “more productive and more entrepreneurial,” qualities cited as characteristic of places with a strong sense of connection.

Thousands of examples of productivity, adaptability and resourcefulness can be found in the collaborative relationships among Maine’s local governments.

The Mount Desert Islander newspaper recently reported about the collaborative efforts saving money and resources for the Mount Desert Island towns. A three-page memo prepared by Bar Harbor Town Manager Dana Reed provided many great examples of sensible “entrepreneurialship” that make cities and towns work so well.

The Maine Municipal Association’s Legislative Policy Committee is working to compile thousands of other examples from municipalities across the state.

Connecting the dots in similar fashion among Maine citizens, our local governments, the governor and Legislature would produce a collaborative relationship capable of solving the tough challenges we face.

John J. Sylvester

President, Maine Municipal Association

Alfred selectman

Higgins Beach parking spoils a winter’s outing

Imagine a beautiful winter’s day, low tide, lots of beach to walk on, kids all bundled up, dog in the car, everyone excited to be going to Higgins Beach. And then you drive around looking for a parking spot and all you see are “No Parking” signs. That could be the reality this winter.

The systematic attack on public access at beaches in Maine, as well as the rest of the nation, is very disturbing. In the case of Higgins Beach, it’s the continual reduction of available public parking in the area. The streets at Higgins Beach already have longer periods of time when parking is not allowed on any street, but now there is a chance that beach users will banned from all on-street parking in the off-season.

Proponents of the ban will say go park in the town lot up the street, just a block and a half away. However, this walk, about a quarter of a mile, at times may be too hazardous for certain users and will eliminate their ability to access the beach.

Furthermore, an outright ban is not supported by safety concerns, is inconsistent with other Scarborough beaches and is not supported by the general public.

Now let’s go back to imagining that beautiful day, but let’s eliminate those “No Parking” signs and make it a reality.

Sarah Mosley

Westbrook

Column on gun sales misrepresented NRA’s role

Regarding the misleading Maine Voices column by J. Thomas Franklin (“Maine should require background checks on all gun sales,” Dec. 8).

Maine gun owners are responsible. Because of that, we enjoy a very low crime rate. It truly amazes me that Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence repeatedly attack the NRA and ignore the fact that the NRA, SAM, Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, Project Safe Neighborhoods and the Department of Justice partnered on and endorsed the Maine Gun Sellers Kit.

Perhaps Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence should ask to be removed as one of the sponsors if its main objective is to attack the NRA, the largest civil rights organization in the United States.

Maine and the federal government have very strict penalties on the books, both criminal and civil, for transferring firearms to prohibited persons by statute. Transfer of an air pistol to minors is also a crime in Maine.

Misleading rhetoric by J. Thomas Franklin, president of a once respected organization, infuriates law abiding citizens to no end.

Paul J. Mattson

NRA certified instructor

Harrison