Apparently, the Portland Fire Department and city councilors are not going far enough in making new rules and regulations involving use of the Portland fireboat.

I don’t see the need for city officials — whether they be councilors, inspectors, mechanics or others — to use the fireboat for transportation.

Casco Bay Lines (subsidized by the city) has boats running all the time to the islands. So, at a cost of, let’s say, $5.50 a trip per person, wouldn’t riding the ferry save thousands of dollars each year in fuel costs?

Surely the fireboat, with its large engines, uses more fuel to make a run to the islands than the cost of reimbursing city workers for a ferry ticket.

Many people use the Casco Bay ferries to go to work on or off the islands, and one can see them carrying their tools of the trade with them. Do city employees believe they are above the rest of the workers who use the ferries? And if these same workers can complete their work during ferry hours, then I don’t see why city workers can’t.

Time to take the new rules and regulations back to the drawing board for further review.

Frank Teras

Portland

Granted, the fireboat should not have been carrying civilians on board. But we are all human and we all make mistakes.

Consider how firefighters and Medcu workers risk their lives every day to save others. Lest we forget, the original fireboat, the Cavallaro, was named for Joe Cavallaro, who died entering a burning building.

Please, enough.

Ed Reagan

Portland

Diary provides correct date for sinking of schooner

My wife and I appreciated Thomas O’Connor’s letter describing the wreck of the six-masted schooner, Edward J. Lawrence, located near where the fireboat hit something.

We would, however, like to make one correction. She actually burned and sank on Dec. 27, 1925, not Dec. 25, 1927.

How do we know? My father-in-law, Dana W. Hayward, then age 10, made the following entry in his diary: “The only six-master (boat) left burned Dec. 27, 1925. Gosh!! I felt like kinda sad like. It was right in the harbor.”

Jerry and Nancy Senger

Scarborough

He’ll hold his nose to vote in presidential election

I know that the next presidential election is a year away. However, I am thinking of skipping this election or at least holding my nose when I go to vote.

In 2008, I was a delegate to the state Democratic convention as an Obama delegate. I supported him because I thought he had many good ideas. He has proven that he is not the leader that people thought he would be. He did not bring the passion of his campaign to the White House these past three years. Only now, when it is time for the next election, is he starting to fight for what he wants.

The list of Republican candidates does not inspire me at all. Each is trying to be more radical than the others.

As it is now, when one party proposes an idea, the knee-jerk reaction of the other is to reject it outright. Since both parties are being held hostage by their extreme factions, the United States is headed on a downward spiral.

I would like to propose that we split both parties into their true sides. A party for the true conservatives, one for the true liberals, one for the moderates, and make the tea party a separate one.

In this manner, issues could be debated according to the philosophical basis of each senator and representative. They would not be held hostage to their party line in fear that they would lose their job if they differed.

Perhaps a leader could emerge who could bring all parties together and force a compromise when needed.

William Edman

Brunswick

It was short-sighted to end funding for weatherization

Winter feels closer than it should. And as temperatures drop, heating bills are beginning their steady climb. Maine has some of the oldest buildings in the country, which means a lot of the heat that we are paying for is going straight out the walls.

Every year, Mainers send $5 billion out of the state to pay for our oil consumption. It is a drain on the whole Maine economy.

Home weatherization is one of the easiest fixes for this problem. It has relatively low upfront costs, and it begins paying for itself often within only two or three winters.

Still, many families simply can’t afford the upfront investment.

Luckily, Efficiency Maine has helped Maine families with loans and rebates for home weatherization. In doing so, it has produced about $400 million in economic benefits for Maine, and has saved enough electricity to power Maine homes for an entire year.

And yet, under the LePage administration’s leadership, the Legislature struck down crucial funding for Efficiency Maine. Their rationale: it would have raised electricity bills during a tough economic time.

That is true. It would have raised them by $1.13 per month. But this small increase is far outweighed by the resulting benefits. It isn’t just the people who get rebates and loans from Efficiency Maine who benefit, but all Mainers. The money that one homeowner saves gets spent somewhere else within the Maine economy.

I’m proud to say my own representative, Alex Cornell du Houx of Brunswick, is working to help Maine reduce its dependence on foreign oil. He and legislators like him are working hard for our economy, our environment and our security. We should follow their lead.

Or we could keep literally throwing money out our windows.

Will Alexander

Brunswick