As I prepare to send my best friend/daughter off to college, I realize it’s reminiscent of the first day of kindergarten, only now she’s taller.

I have two pictures on my refrigerator. One of the first day of school and one of the last day and the big difference in the two is height.

She’s smarter and more worldly; but she’s the same little girl I walked to school that day in 1998. During those years I recall field trips to the Scarborough Marsh and Lond Island and the Friday picnic lunches she so looked forward to.

When assigned a project she took it very seriously and gave every effort in making something that would float, sink, rise, heat, cool or explode. Every poster was made in collage form with great attention to detail.

Her progress reports always reflected her efforts and she maintained high honors from day one. Anything less than 100 percent was unacceptable in her mind.

In high school she continued to work hard and became the senior class president and salutatorian of the South Portland Class of 2011. Her AP classes were demanding and time-consuming, but they kept her focused.

Her participation in sports and clubs kept her grounded. As a parent, I was her cheerleader, her confidant and (I like to think) a good role model. As I reflect on her school years, I am filled with pride and joy at the woman she has become.

When I drive her to Burlington, Vt., to begin the next chapter in her life, I will be thinking of that day in 1998 and the picture that captured that day and I will again have my camera and a tissue for the ride home.

I remember with a smile when she was 4 years old and her day care teachers and friends were on a “nature walk”‘ and one of the boys said “Let’s race” — to which my daughter replied, “It’s a journey, not a race.”

Cindy Frye

South Portland

CMP’s attitude disdainful about customers’ interests 

In response to Central Maine Power stealing the land of Maine residents for its transmission lines, my neighbor said it best in describing the next generation’s attitude toward megapower projects: “My children, who will soon be green, thank you.”

Heretofore, we have been a community of families. Multiple generations living in sometimes single, sometimes multiple, structures that make up the picturesque town of Berwick, in southern Maine. We, the residents, strangely, do not look forward to welcoming a 7- mile transmission corridor as a new neighbor.

It comes as somewhat of a shock considering easements have not been passed down through deeds. Without warning, notice, or knowledge that soon we would be a buzzing, humming community of power stations, wires, eyesores, broken promises, diminished property values and broken lands, CMP marches in with smiles as it steals.

We humbly suggest, CMP, you alter your title to Central Maine Cover-up. We think that the next time you barge into someone’s community you have the common decency to inform the residents that you will soon be turning their backyards into industrial wastelands.

And we beg, that the next time you intend to break in, like robbers in the night, steal the homes we have worked our lives for, that we intended to leave to our families for generations, you at least leave a notice on the door so we know which specific cowards deserve the blame.

You are not, as you claim, a service. You are no better than a common crook. Make your bed with dirty policies, line your homes with lies and see how you stand.

Dara Leigh Roberts

Berwick

Everyone, especially anyone with a CMP account, owes it to themselves to get more information on “smart meters” than is being offered by the utility or by the Maine Center for Disease Control, which have been very selective in what they have told us.

CMP wants to brush past questions until its new device is in place everywhere.

If you can believe the voluminous information offered by smart meter opponents, citing the World Health Organization and Obama’s Cancer Panel, and including testimonials of persons citing serious negative health effects upon them produced by the radio frequencies the meters emit, you need to join those objecting to the additional fee charged if you choose to keep your old meter.

Besides the fact that a huge amount of federal tax money was used (some would say wasted) to fund the development of smart meters, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has stated that a smart meter pilot program “showed no beneficial impact on total energy usage.”

Meter readers lose their jobs in a bad economy, we pay more keeping our old meters because we’re concerned with health, and a few CEOs get richer. Where’s the savings?

If there is a real savings, then everyone ought to see a savings. Those keeping their old analog meters ought at least see their electric bill remain unchanged. I agree: It’s high-handed extortion what CMP is doing.

Russell DuPree

Freeport

Strimling has experience to be great Portland mayor 

As a Portland business owner who is also a resident, I’ve been following with interest your coverage of the mayor’s race. Recently, in a column by Greg Kesich, he mentioned that Ethan Strimling has entered the race on the theme of economic development.

I’d like to publicly endorse Ethan because he represents the kind of change that our city needs now. I believe Portland voted to elect our next mayor because of the strong sentiment out there that we need new leadership.

Ethan Strimling has the kind of chief executive experience that will bring fresh eyes to our city’s direction. Ethan fought for Portland as our state senator, leading the charge on creating jobs and reducing our tax burden.

He has also proven his leadership abilities with the remarkable work he has done revitalizing LearningWorks by assembling a top-shelf team of professionals, showing his willingness to draw great talent and his ability to focus it for the greater good.

Portland has a unique opportunity to become a world-class city if we elect a mayor who knows that economic development must be our No. 1 issue, who can work with all of us to develop the plan to prosperity, and who has the skills to implement that plan.

My sense is that Ethan is just such a person. I look forward to voting for him.

Joe Malone

Malone Commercial Brokers

Portland