November 27, 2013

Letters to the editor: Walk in the shoes of first responders to evaluate their service

Readers also share views on Social Security benefits, the controlling of dogs and cats in Scarborough and health care choice.

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Derrick Thompson and Alivia Welch were killed last Dec. 29, allegedly by Thompson’s landlord. A reader who works in law enforcement questions the Portland Press Herald's motives for requesting a transcript of 911 calls regarding the fatal shooting.

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Here is what the Town Council ordained: that dogs are totally banned from the beach during daytime hours beginning April 1. This means that I can never walk my two little papillons on the beach during the day, even on a leash.

The Fish and Wildlife Service took pains to specify that it was not requiring a total dog ban – so why should I be deprived of my daily beach walk, with my leashed dogs? Moreover, why should they never be allowed to run and play on the beach in November or January, when the beach is cold and abandoned?

This is not about the plovers, either. In fact, this is an issue of common sense versus extremism. I hope more people will become informed about this issue, rather than jumping to the conclusion that those of us who hope for a fair and balanced solution are either ignorant or uncaring.

Mary Wheeler

Scarborough needs to take a look at controlling cats

The recently passed Scarborough dog leash ordinance is a good start, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Is there a “dog problem” in Scarborough? Absolutely. Three, maybe four months ago, I saw my neighbor’s two drool-spewing black Labs (I think their names are Dumb and Dumber) stampeding through my yard sans leash. Unacceptable!

Now it’s time for the Town Council to move to the next level and tackle the real problem.

In spite of those annoying commercials showing cats eating human-like food, it turns out that, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications, “... domestic cats are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals. We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually.”

That’s right, once they’re out of the house and on the town, cute little Tiger and Whiskers turn into serial killers.

Dogs: One piping plover. Cats: Billions of birds and small mammals. If we’re going to leash the dogs, shouldn’t we cage the cats?

Mike Slavin

Where is democratic right of choice on health care?

From a young age, we are taught that America is a democratic country ruled for the people by the people. When those in office usurp their power to take over our health insurance, telling us who we can buy insurance from and how much we will pay for said insurance, this ceases to exist.

Where is our democratic right of choice? This appears to be more extortion than a democratic choice.

Are we handing all of our rights and choices over to Washington and sitting back watching the chips fall where they may? Let this not be true.

Norma Stanley
South Portland

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