Only in America do we have instant coffee and take an hour to drink it.

Only in America do we have all-you-can-eat restaurants and then spend billions on diet plans.

Only in America do we change contracts when we have years left on the existing one. I’m speaking, of course, of the new 10-year required $100 million-plus contract Saco is obligated for with Thornton Academy if we vote “yes” on withdrawal from Regional School Unit 23.

We have two to three years left on the existing contract with TA in what the mayor and the superintendent of schools say is a more favorable contract for the city of Saco. You have to ask yourself: In these financial times, with government shutdowns and financially strapped cities and states, is this the time to obligate our city of Saco to a 10-year contract?

It seems logical in the next 10 years, the state might continue to reduce the subsidy amount to the schools, and with a 10-year contract we will have no choice but to raise taxes or cut programs to the K-8 schools.

Thus, based on the current financial environment of the country and the rush to withdraw from the RSU, Saco would best be served by voting “no” and not obligating ourselves long term at this time, which we must do if we vote “yes” on withdrawal.

Remember, our country became strong by combining the 13 colonies into a country and sharing resources, not by being isolationist. Let’s make the RSU work, at least until we get a better understanding of the financial times and cost.

Bill Abbott

Saco

Customer sees valid basis for criticism of Time Warner

In an Oct. 6 article (“Time Warner Cable’s reputation tarnished”), one Time Warner customer expressed his dissatisfaction with that company’s customer service. The article included the results of a survey of cable customer service that placed Time Warner 15th out of 17 cable providers.

In a Consumer Reports article, Rob Marcus, president of Time Warner Cable, was quoted as saying, “We have a very well-choreographed program for moving people from the most heavily discounted promos into the rational next-step pricing packages.”

My most recent Time Warner bill included a price increase of nearly $9 a month for DVR service. Bear in mind that this applied to DVR service that I have had for years and did not include any additional features or function.

A call to Time Warner produced no positive results. I can fully understand why Time Warner scores so poorly in customer satisfaction.

Gary W. Reed

Falmouth

Bellows a spirited entry for the U.S. Senate race

“I believe we need more courage and honesty in Washington.” Thus spoke Shenna Bellows in announcing her intent to run for U.S. Senate.

I can’t think of a better reason to run, and I can’t think of a time when courage and honesty have been so lacking.

Nor can I think of a better person than Shenna Bellows to bring these qualities to the campaign trail and to Washington, D.C.

Shenna Bellows has brought integrity and vigor to every political fight she has fought here in Maine, and there have been many. In doing so she has elevated the public dialogue and brought passion, intellect and accuracy to important debates.

Shenna never relies on the rhetoric and platitudes common to many so-called leaders. She states her position and defends it, and she always responds with the utmost respect to differing points of view.

I have found that there is always something to be learned, whether I share her point of view or not.

I look forward to a lively race between Bellows and the 18-year incumbent she challenges.

And I hope that Maine voters see what I see when I look at Shenna Bellows: Maine’s next senator.

Alison Smith

Portland

‘Specious legal reasoning’ sways ordinance’s critics

A man was interviewing prospective lawyers to represent him. He asked each of them the following question: “How much does two and two make?”

The first one replied, “Well, four, of course.” The second replied in kind. The third lawyer paused, thought for a bit, then turned to the man and said, “How much do you want it to make?”

Obviously, the oil interests in South Portland chose the third lawyer to represent their interests. It is a shame that the Portland Press Herald editorial board has made the same choice in its declared opposition to the Waterfront Protection Ordinance based on this premise (“Our View: Waterfront vote affects more than tar sands,” Oct. 17).

Protect South Portland has put its faith in the good sense of the people of South Portland. They know where their real and lasting interests lie, and based on this, not specious legal reasoning, they will vote for the Waterfront Protection Ordinance on Nov. 5.

Mary-Jane Ferrier

South Portland

‘Open carry’ brouhaha could have been avoided

Re: “Assault rifle carrier: Portland police got it wrong” (Oct. 23): All us young hunters were taught to carry the gun pointed down at the ground, in case you tripped. At the worst it would shoot your own foot. That is a 100-year-old rifle practice, to my knowledge and my years living with that practice.

I have never felt sorry for police, even though their work is tough, and rarely had to feel sorry for a hunter – or in this case, an openly carrying student. But in this instance, I feel great sorrow for the police force and the carrier, Carlos Reed.

Southern Maine Community College did not let all law enforcement know that the school had a class in teaching the tactics of Homeland Security, for Reed’s future work.

Police could have taken time to run over their take on open carry – which is silly – to avoid this very circumstance. (If you carry the rifle flat, straight on, it can be jumped up even maybe quicker.) The Police Department could have at least known the class was in effect the weeks it was held.

The college students in law enforcement should also maybe have contacted state police about what was to be and what was going on. Reed lost his classes and was made to feel like a bad guy, the police acted unwisely and acted like a bunch of bad guys. None of it was necessary.

The rifle-carrying man should have thought as well, “What could happen if some nut thinks I am carrying to maybe harm someone?” I think it’s a sorry mess. And only Reed got picked on, not the college.

Jacqueline Sorenson

Westbrook