Now that the hot weather has finally arrived, it is time to remind dog guardians to take precautions to ensure their dog’s safety from the heat and humidity.

This is especially true when it comes to leaving a dog in a parked car. A dog left in a car on a warm day can collapse from heatstroke in a matter of minutes.

On a 78-degree day, a car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in just minutes even with the windows cracked.

The best protection is to leave Spot at home, but for those who absolutely can’t, please adhere to the following guidelines:

• Park in the shade, the walk will do you good.

• Use a folding cardboard or aluminum windshield protector to block out the sun.

• Open the windows and sunroof just enough to allow for some ventilation.

• Leave a bowl of water in the car.

• As a last resort, leave the air conditioning running, but even this is not foolproof.

Learn to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion in a dog. These are: excessive thirst, heavy panting, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid pulse, fever, lack of coordination and vomiting.

If a dog has been left in the heat and exhibits any of these symptoms take immediate action!

Get the dog in the shade and/or air conditioning. Apply cool, wet towels or an ice pack to the head and chest and call your vet.

If you see a dog in danger of heat stroke in a mall parking lot or anywhere else, take action! Try to alert the dog’s guardian, have them paged, etc.

Finally, notify the police if necessary, or do whatever you can to assist the animal until help arrives. Time is critical here.

Thanks for keeping our four-legged friends safe this summer.

Don Kimball
Maine Peace and Justice for Animals
South Portland

Looking for failure? Check out government’s flaws 

The left-wing views seen so often in this paper amaze me because it is so easy to see how wrong they are. There are many examples of the failure of the left in history.

One need only look to Korea, where the people of the ultra-left North live in slavery and penury, in fact many are now starving to death. South Korea is capitalist, its people are free, have a high standard of living and an excellent education system.

If that is too extreme an example then look to Nazi Germany or the USSR. Both of these forms of socialism enslaved their people and ruined their lives and their countries.

If you need a current example look to Greece, the most hard-core socialist nation in the European Union. Greece cannot function because it is completely uncompetitive, with so many pro-union rules and regulations and pie-in-the-sky social policies that it has to borrow more than it can repay and is on the verge of collapse.

Our president is clearly a socialist and would like us to follow the path of Greece because that would mean total government control of our lives. This would be achieved by burying us in debt.

Right here in the United States are eye-opening examples. If you look at the states that have had Democratic control for many years, such as California, Illinois, and New York, you see insanely high taxes and government that does not work.

Texas would be an example of how to get things right. Want a Democrat-controlled city? Try Detroit.

I will leave it to Winston Churchill to make the point. “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

G.F. Tello

How did this country, once known for its can-do attitude, get to be filled with so many negative whiners?

A case in point is the writer of the Maine Voices feature July 2, who identifies himself as a businessman who, with financial support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, has been able to quadruple his work force and to maintain this through the economic downturn.

One would expect some indication of gratitude for having been so fortunate at a time of hardship for so many. Instead, the writer complains that he cannot expand further because there is no money for the DECD.

Perhaps he has been too busy working to have heard that the state is “broke,” facing multiple financial shortfalls. As a businessman he surely knows there are many ways to finance an expansion. A bank should be a first stop.

But wait, there is more bad news — he is going to receive a tax cut and will save the money! Well, at least it will help solve the problem of a low savings rate which has plagued the country for years. Money is constantly on the move and savings move to become investments creating new capital and more jobs (Economics 101).

The writer implies that after-tax wealth somehow disappears from the state, leaving no benefit. What nonsense. Class warfare is ugly, just as ugly as racial or religious warfare.

Politicians have a hard time saying “no” and more has been promised than can be delivered. Blame will not solve our problems but will create enmity making any solution impossible.

The party is over, the bills are overdue and must be paid. It will not be fun but the alternative is unthinkable.

Barbara Storer

Smoking ban unfair to those at 100 State Street 

I live near 100 State Street and have noticed the sad result of the July 1 smoking ban on many of the residents.

They are now sitting on the sidewalk in front of the building as well as on Gray Street in order to smoke.

I am not a smoker nor is anyone in my family. Therefore, while I understand and agree with the law, I feel it is downright cruel to forbid these older citizens to smoke in their own apartments.

When they moved in, smoking was allowed and now it is forbidden, leaving them with no recourse but to go out to the sidewalk. (That’s fine in the summer, but what about next winter?)

I think those who already live in the building should be grandfathered in and the ban should affect only those who now move into 100 State Street.

This situation seems heartless and mean-spirited, and I suspect was put in place by government bureaucrats with no consideration for the people whose daily lives are so greatly impacted.

Betsy Beecher