I can’t believe the entire 50-year-old Wiscasset bypass project is now “dead” — snap! Just like that.

So the merchants and homeowners are relieved, are they? My husband and I actually try and avoid all travel through Wiscasset and points south most weekends and Fridays during July and August, and even into September.

When we are caught in a long, frustrating and gas-wasting line of idling cars, the last thing we think of doing is stopping to shop or browse anywhere in the village, as it’s in gridlock.

By the way, has anyone tested the air quality during these “few weeks” a year?

God forbid there should be a major accident, fire or medical emergency and rescue personnel and vehicles are greatly hampered in responding quickly. This is only going to get worse.

Valerie Betts

Boothbay 

Tea party can’t see multiculturalism’s value 

Bill Nemitz’ excellent column in The Portland Press Herald on July 15 pointed out the failures and the shortcomings of the Maine tea partiers. Their philosophy of one-way thinking leaves no doubt that they don’t know, or even care what democracy is all about.

The irrational and uninformed criticism of an Al-Jazeera representative’s visit to Maine certainly shows they are not in touch with what is going on in the rest of the world.

But, what else is new in their self-proclaimed world of, “Our way or the highway.”

Bob Roffler

North Yarmouth 

Son’s example shows need for legal ‘death with dignity’ 

Regarding the story “I’ve lived long enough” (July 10) and the subject of “death with dignity” (the terminology used in Washington and Oregon — not physician-assisted “suicide”): My son, Ethan Remmel, who was raised in Portland, used this option available in Washington to end his life on June 13. I was present, with his mother, his spouse and his closest friend.

Ethan was a university professor living in Washington state. He was afflicted with a terminal form of cancer that was particularly painful in its last stages.

Ethan was 41, had two minor children, was educated in this country’s best universities (Yale and Stanford), and had a successful career. He had every reason to keep living, but that choice was not available.

The end-of-life decision was his, made in a deliberative way. He wrote of his cancer, and his end-of-life choice, in a blog published by Psychology Today called “Living While Dying.” I think his own words on his choice are apt:

“I do not view it as ‘suicide’ (although that is a convenient term), because I would not really be choosing between living and dying. I would be choosing between different ways of dying. If someone wishes to deny me that choice, it sounds to me like they are saying: I am willing to risk that your death will be slow and painful. Well, thanks a lot, that’s brave of you.”

U. Charles Remmell II

Portland

Vote that altered pot laws shows why changes needed 

Who is paying for this so-called medical marijuana program? There are free dispensaries, free deliveries, free newspaper ads advertising that the marijuana is high quality.

Marijuana is not a legal substance under federal law. You can get arrested for possession or sale. You can lose your job if you test positive.

This is a good example of why we should not have same-day voting registration. I have worked at the polls. There is always a large number of people who line up the same day when we have a controversial question. Check it out.

Marie C. Brown

Falmouth

Headline didn’t please American Indian readers 

I like waking up in the morning and reading this newspaper while enjoying a cup of coffee; however, on July 16, I was appalled when I turned to Page A3 and was met by the headline, “Crisis claims two chiefs’ scalps.”

It takes me a lot to write a letter, find the appropriate avenue and construct my thoughts in a meaningful way, so one might say I live by the adage “pick your battles.” Yet I have to wonder what journalist, and even more importantly, what editor, would ever approve the headline referenced above.

The article deals with the Rupert Murdoch scandal and subsequent resignations, but substitute “lynching” for “scalping,” and would the paper have run the same headline?

In a state with a large Native American population, I would assume that our newspapers, the current-day “town crier,” would have more sense than to overlook the history of subordination and subjugation that the dominant culture, such as the privileged Mr. Murdoch and his journalism cronies, have perpetrated against the native cultures.

I would be interested in the paper acknowledging its complicity in perpetuating this racism by running headlines such as the “scalping of chiefs.” I wonder if others picked up on this matter and if you received other letters in this regard.

Frankly, the story is not that interesting, what with all the foreign and domestic issues that are occurring with real lives attached, and maybe that’s just it: Headlines sell newspapers.

But I believe that The Press Herald owes its readers, the native populations of Maine and general common sense an apology.

There is no excuse for this type of journalism in an age when our history is uncovered and we simply should know better.

Daniel Stromgren

Topsham

Shots at alleged robbers will keep them far away 

Regarding the recent incident on Oak Ridge Road in Cumberland where a homeowner allegedly shot at thieves in the predawn hours:

The homeowner should get a medal for confronting these cowardly morons who were going from parked car to parked car taking anything in sight of value.

Too often in our society we defer to authority figures for conflict resolution when old-fashioned confrontation would be simpler, quicker and more effective.

I suspect that these thieves/morons will use whatever limited powers of reason they possess to figure out that theft is more rewarding and less risky in other neighborhoods.

Pete Wilson

Cumberland 

‘Forty under 40’ lacked K-12 teaching honoree 

I was dismayed that your Forty Under 40 listing of Maine’s energizing generation of leaders (July 3) did not include one K-12 public educator.

I’ve closely followed the Maine educational scene and have known many outstanding teachers and administrators for more than 30 years.

Perhaps you were judging from a compensation standpoint, since most of the educators are rewarded far less than most of the people listed.

This might reflect a bias on the paper’s part against public education that goes unnoticed. I hope not.

Joe Davock

Parsonsfield

J-Lo disdains marriage, same-sex couples don’t 

On my way to work recently, I heard on the radio that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are getting a divorce after seven years of marriage.

This is Marc’s second marriage and Jennifer’s third.

Would someone please explain to me why same-sex marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage?

Dennis Ouellette

Saco