It was the night of my senior prom at Greely High School in Cumberland. Seventeen of us went to a great restaurant in the Old Port for dinner.

Because it was prom, no one was worried about the cost of the meal. After our appetizers, some of us ordered seafood and some ordered steak. When it was time for the bill, we were all in shock! Not because of the amount of the bill, but because of a generous act of kindness from an anonymous diner.

When the waitress was supposed to bring our checks, she said that she had a surprise for us. She then introduced us to a woman we had never seen before.

The woman began telling us a story about her senior prom experience. She was in a fancy Boston restaurant all dressed up for her senior prom.

She told us that someone came over to her table and offered to pay for her group’s dinner. All he asked in return was that she pay it forward when she was financially stable to do so at some point in her life.

After she told us the story, she said that she would like to pay it forward to us, under one condition: that we would each pay it forward someday when we are financially able to do so.

We were all in shock and didn’t have a chance to find out her name. We have a photo of all of us with her. We would like to give her the photo but we don’t know how to find her.

We hope she sees this and knows how much we appreciated what she did, and we all pledge to pay it forward someday when we are financially able.

What a better place the world would be if we could all show kindnesses such as this to each other.

Brooke Noonan

North Yarmouth

Dill-Maietta race marred by anonymous documents

I am curious about the terminology regarding documents “passed anonymously” that The Press Herald used in its reporting of the District 7 state Senate race, specifically in regard to Republican candidate Louis Maietta’s tax liens and payments.

Typically, such actions are called “leaks.” The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines a “leak” as to “become known despite efforts at concealment.” In today’s lexicon, the term is generally used to refer to the publication of confidential or internal documents or information.

In this case, the information was public record and available to all, including Press Herald reporters. Words matter and the use of the phrase “passed anonymously,” in my opinion, casts unwarranted suspicion on the accuracy of the information.

Sari Stern Greene

South Portland

Republican dirty tricks turn people into victims

A prankster sets a paper bag of dog doo ablaze and rings the doorbell. The homeowner comes out and stomps on the bag to put the flames out, only to discover he has stepped into dog poop as the bag disintegrates.

This is the situation with the Republican-controlled Congress and legislatures in several Republican-led states. Before elections, the politicians give us a bag of doo in the form of lies, telling us all the great things they are going to do once elected.

The voters believed them when they voted in November 2010. But we were lied to, as we always are. This is especially true of the far-right Republicans. They make all kinds of claims to get elected and once in office do whatever they want, as is being evidenced here in Maine as well as in other states, most notably Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and New Jersey.

We are fast discovering we are mired in their poo that we stepped into while they are stripping away our rights and giving the wealthy corporations big tax breaks funded by the taxpayers.

We are discovering their dirty tricks but, unfortunately, all too late. They are not working for us. They are doing the work of the big corporations and making life more difficult for us.

The next time you go to the front door to stomp the flames out on that dog-poop-filled bag, do yourselves a favor and do some research on the issues and the candidates. Don’t just blindly mark that box on the ballot — find out all you can about the who and the why.

America is turning into a Third World country and we are letting them do this to us at a rapid rate.

Ron Vincent

Sanford

Beset by hardship, we should see justice done

News from the Gulf of Mexico indicates continued difficulty as residents put their lives back together. Tornadoes and floods pile misery upon economic hardship. Americans everywhere are buffeted by forces beyond their control, in need of something to believe in.

During the gulf spill, Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas apologized to BP as the Obama administration pursued escrow money to cover damages, calling it a shakedown.

Dishearteningly, we see government continue to do the dirty work of business interests bent upon equating freedom with a complete lack of social support.

The list is long and growing. Wisconsin’s governor radically revised labor rules without public input. Florida’s governor is currently pushing the worst unemployment benefits in the country with the most onerous compliance demands.

Republicans continue to push for health-care reform repeal without presenting a functional option. Our governor is gutting child labor laws, health care “reform” is rammed through the Legislature, and who can forget the mural? All of this while Republicans rail against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and protect oil companies.

There is opportunity in this disaster to begin a return to a sense of justice.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., has informed the Justice Department that his investigative hearings indicate Goldman Sachs officials committed fraud, perjury and lied to clients. Their actions have contributed mightily to the existing crisis and they abdicated the righteous “self-policing” policies former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan enforced and can only shrug his shoulders at now. They should be punished severely.

To believe in this enterprise, there must justice. For justice, an aggressive Justice Department would help. If an unemployed parent shoplifting food to feed a child gets busted and serves time, so Goldman Sachs should be punished proportionally.

Please follow this issue, for its outcome is important to our future as an enterprise for the people.

Joe Delaney

Portland

Smart-meter worries symptoms of paranoia

There has been too much paranoia demonstrated about the wireless communication feature of Central Maine Power’s new meters.

It appears that many of the detractors have forgotten their elementary school science class.

The Earth’s magnetic field that surrounds us all; the wireless communications between airplanes; car radios; Wi-Fi computer hookups, etc. — our atmosphere is so full of electromagnetic devices communicating with each other that the meter emissions are as a grain of sand on the beach.

Oh, lest we forget, the addictive cellphones. How many billions of these insidious devices are out there filling the atmosphere with emissions?

Aren’t there more serious issues that need the complainers’ attention, like taxes and health care?

J.K. Crosbie III

Raymond

Correction 

A headline in Friday’s Press Herald incorrectly said the Azure Cafe was located in Portland. It is in Freeport.