I have been following the news on the unpopular parking fee to be charged to students of Scarborough High School. 

While I applaud the initiative shown by Jack Sullivan, senior class president, I think there are other things to consider. (Sullivan led student opposition to the parking fee, and he says students will continue their fight against all of the school’s participation and use fees.)

The first thing to consider is that the state, in all its wisdom, has cut a large amount of aid to schools. 

This has put a much bigger burden on the taxpayers, many of whom do not have children in the school system. 

There are 1,045 students attending Scarborough High this year. There are 687 parking spaces at the school. 

If we assume that one-third of the students need to take a car to school, this equals 348 cars. This will result in the school collecting $17,400 — still short of the shortfall it wants to cover.

This will cost each car 0.282 cents per scheduled school day. If each “car” has more than one occupant (think car pooling), think how much this would save if each paid their fair share! 

Not to mention the effect on the environment, which would be helped. And gas costs are climbing as I write this.

Sorry to say, Jack Sullivan may speak for many of the students, but he does not speak for all the taxpayers in Scarborough, many of whom are on a fixed income as seniors.

It’s good of Jack to be an involved student, but there is also a world outside of school that he will soon have to face.

Walter Arsenault

Scarborough

Convention takes back seat to less important subjects

The Republican National Convention kicked off last Tuesday. What a surprise to see on Page 1 of the Press Herald the next day: a big picture of Ron Paul supporters walking out.

The Mark Rogers story should’ve been in Sports. Bill Nemitz’s column on the heartwarming story of Abbie Jacobson’s honesty should have been in the Local & State section. There was a tiny note: “Keynote Gov. Chris Christie fires up GOP base, Page A3.”

Ann Romney’s speech was outstanding. She talked to us women, and Christie spoke to all Americans, straight talk. Can we handle the truth?

I await the coverage of the Democratic National Convention. How will it rate? Front-page positive reviews? Will Michelle Obama be put on Page A3?

P.S. Hurricane Isaac has had more than enough coverage. It could have been covered in one paragraph.

Janet Romano

Portland

Different views expressed on same-sex marriage

This is in reaction to the letter by William D. Tappan of Eliot (“Same-sex marriage would damage American society,” Aug. 17).

He states that “those who are rigidly opposed to looking at facts that disagree with their ideology will not listen regardless of how much data is presented.”

The data refers to the “many true studies” showing the “disastrous effects” on marriage as an institution in those places where same-sex marriage has “been in fashion for a length of time.”

Then he goes on to give … no data.

He also indicates that same-gender marriage (“an unusual and unnatural form of marriage”) will prevent us from living in a “stable and prosperous society.”

I am one of the many whose heterosexual marriages ended in divorce. Divorce is what leads to a loss of stability and prosperity for the families experiencing it.

If anything, same-gender marriage would be a stronger bond, since those who enter into it have had to overcome society’s discrimination, possible lack of acceptance from family, fear of job loss and the many financial inequities of being in a partnership that is not recognized by the government.

I am a Christian. In observance of the golden rule, I prefer to not use the term “bigot,” as Mr. Tappan did.

I do see those who are against same-gender marriage as being insensitive and uninformed about the impact that same-gender marriage will have on society.

Trust me, society is not experiencing a “gay wave,” as Mr. Tappan puts it. We are moving toward a society that offers all of its citizens the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is a process that has occurred many times in the past to rectify other forms of discrimination. It will happen this time, too.

Please vote “yes” on 1 in November.

Maddie Akeley

South Portland

The Rev. John McCall has labeled so-called gay marriage as a “right” and arrogantly told those who oppose him “to get out of the way” (Voice of the People, “Religions differ on same-sex marriage,” Oct. 25, 2011).

He’s wrong! Gay “marriage” is not a right, nor should it be.

Then McCall came back (Voice of the People, “Readers urge acceptance of gay marriage,” Aug. 1), again using emotional statements such as “rigid forms of religion that want to push gays and lesbians back into the closet.”

Again, wrong! No one is trying to push anyone into a closet. The term “marriage,” for most of us, is a sacred term, defined as the union of one man and one woman. Only that. It is not a term that should ever be used for a gay union.

We have no quarrel with the gay community per se or with providing whatever legal rights may be needed for gay couples — health care, estates, taxes, etc.

But what McCall refers to as the “privileges and responsibilities of marriage” need to be ensured, in our opinion, by a civil contract or some legal instrument that is not called marriage.

We felt forced to leave McCall’s church after being members there for many years because of his extremely liberal approach in pushing for nontraditional “gay marriage.” In fact, many of his congregation disagree with him.

If we agreed with McCall, where would society go from here? Would McCall next support bigamy or polygamy?

People are so afraid of being called “politically incorrect” these days that we’ve become afraid to say what we believe, and that has allowed the subject of “gay marriage” to be purposefully distorted by gays to be seen as acceptable when it is not.

What is politically correct and right is to provide fairness to gays via a legal instrument, not through sacred, traditional marriage.

Edith and Dan Davidson

Cape Elizabeth