OK, so it’s time now to recall George Cleeve, one of the founders of Portland, from his banishment and restore him to his rightful place in the historic district of Portland.

As you all remember, the gift of his statue was turned down by the City Council and the Art Committee a few years back because George was reputed to have indentured servants in his household, and so he was exiled to the Eastern Prom Trail.

But now that we have a governor who no longer kowtows to “them liberals, with their political correctness,” we can install George where he belongs: in Boothby Square.

Rev. Joseph McKenna


Readers speak very highly of favorites in mayoral race

Should the 15 candidates for mayor do something about Portland’s poverty? (Greg Kesich, Aug. 31). Absolutely! I am embarrassed to live in a city where homeless people beg on the streets and families go hungry.

There is one candidate who can ably give gravitas to the poverty issue. Born in poverty, he has researched, studied and fought for that issue, in program and policy. I have seen Ralph Carmona in action and he is my candidate for mayor.

Ralph’s first real school lunch came from 1960s War on Poverty. That is how he got his first job as a public school assistant gardener. As a college activist, he worked as a job developer in some of America’s poorest areas. Conservative commentator Mike Violette calls him an “American success story.”

With business people, he argues for stabilizing the working poor with affordable housing that, besides providing construction jobs, enables them to stay in Portland, use public transit and buy from local businesses.

For the “enough already!” voters, he argues that any anti-poverty program needs to be a hand up, not a handout. He commits to addressing the inevitable exploiters and the unintended consequences from such assistance.

This is the leadership of a mayoral candidate who has lived poverty. He knows that for a business to thrive in a city like Portland you need social stability that gives every citizen the opportunity to achieve a stable life.

There is no other candidate for mayor who talks to voters like this. Watch Ralph — he’s probably visiting your neighborhood soon. Let him know what you think about poverty and other issues. As Ralph likes to put it: It is in the conversation that we make America great.

Patricia Washburn


Instead of simply attacking their opponents in the recent mayoral debate, some candidates used the opportunity they had to ask each other a question as a way to enlighten and inform. Dave Marshall did that when he suggested to Nick Mavodones that being in favor of the Canadian tar sands pipeline effort could result in tremendous environmental degradation for our city.

The project, which essentially reverses the direction of flow in one of the pipelines from Portland, had been supported by Mavodones.

Much to his credit, Nick walked back his previous support, and it looks like Marshall has forced the well-meaning, but somewhat ineffectual Mavodones onto the record as reconsidering his position. (Yes, the pipeline would mean jobs in the short run. But one company involved, Enbridge spills an average of 100,000 gallons a year! This incredibly toxic petroleum could cost Portland far more than it would benefit.)

I applaud both candidates, and will definitely be considering Mavodones for a high alternate ranking when I cast my vote for Dave Marshall for mayor in the fall.

Dave’s role in supporting the arts and putting Portland on the cultural map is a well-known part of his effort to create quality jobs in the city. I’m glad to see he is showing he understands environmental politics as well.

This will be critical as the next mayor fights the LePage administration’s unremitting efforts to roll back long-established priorities in our state.

Rory Sellers


What the city needs as a mayor is a business-minded person added to our city’s staff that can accomplish the things that our politically minded City Council overlooks; definitely not another member of our council looking for a raise in pay.

As a member of our city’s business establishments who has not been a member of our political minded city council and will be a fresh face and with new ideas and a youthful vibrance that our City Council needs and not some “other has-been politician,” that person is Jed Rathband.

And for those who may think his knowledge lies only in the present, he is a member and volunteers with our historic Portland Landmarks. So join the band for Jed Rathband!

Everett R. Perlman


Corporations, not unions, are what’s hurting country

Another Labor Day has gone by and I believe the biggest celebration is by corporate America, not its laborers. Corporate America has its teeth so far in politics that it has the country’s leaders racing its workers to the bottom on multiple levels.

Pensions need to go, health care cost shifted to the workers, safety and environmental laws weakened for corporate profit, pay frozen or reduced. As these issues continue to happen all over America. Corporations receive record tax breaks and spend big to get legislation passed, which makes it more profitable to do business overseas. Just to make sure America’s workers are blind to this, they spend millions blaming unions for America’s labor problems.

Despite the fact that nearly 90 percent of all Americans are not organized, corporate America wants us to believe the organized 10 percent who fight to maintain a living wage and benefits are bringing the rest of the country down. Can we not see what is being stripped from our laborers?

Who will bear the blame when unions become extinct? Not your elected officials. You can clearly see who they are fighting for. Then who will fight for the laborers’ rights?

We have 356 days left until next year’s Labor Day, so corporate America should have enough by then to pay their CEOs additional millions from the money that has been stripped from you and me.

I think next year the day would be more appropriately titled Corporate Day.

John C. Jordan