May 3, 2013

Letters to the editor: Closed to cars, boulevard more inviting

Like many people, I was a bit apprehensive when it was announced that Baxter Boulevard would be closed to traffic for several months. 

20130130_BaxterClosed
click image to enlarge

Sargent Corp. employees set up a sign in January to warn motorists of the closing of much of Baxter Boulevard for eight months for sewer improvement work. A reader suggests closing the road on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

2013 File Photo/Gordon Chibroski

But the traffic nightmares haven't materialized, and the road closure has been a boon to legions of bikers, walkers and joggers.  

For me, the lack of cars has transformed the experience of walking the boulevard. 

I find myself aware of nature and the beauty of the water and marsh, things I never paid much attention to when cars were zooming by. 

Many cities, including Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass., close certain roads to cars on weekends or Sundays.

Now that we know the sky won't fall in, why not close Baxter Boulevard on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. year round, or at least from April through November? 

Carole Miller

Portland

Newtown parents using emotional manipulation

I understand that many of the Newtown parents do not want to be in the position they are in.  

A demented, malevolent person unleashed a horrible evil on them.  

No doubt, these parents would give anything for this incident to have never happened.  

I do not know these people, but I mourn for them and their children. I can only imagine what they are going through.  

They feel compelled to "do something" to make their life mean something. And so we must now legislate gun control by emotion and manipulation in deference to these parents.  

They have hired Washington lobbyists and will not be denied time with senators.  

At the end of meetings, at least one of the mothers leaves behind a card with a picture of her deceased child.  

We have ceded moral authority to them to legislate gun control, and we dare not question their mission to limit our constitutional rights.  

They have said they will never give up, that they will keep fighting. No doubt, whatever legislation is passed is only a first step in their quest to disarm the law-abiding.  

They are from Connecticut, yet they had a 15-minute face-to-face meeting with my senator, Susan Collins.  

I would never be granted this access because my moral authority is merely as a Maine voter asking my sworn elected representative to uphold my constitutional rights. In the face of the moral authority of victims, the rights of citizens hold no sway.  

I do not blame these devastated parents, but I do hold accountable those who exploit this tragedy as well as those who allow themselves to be emotionally manipulated.  

We are being asked to sacrifice our freedom for perceived security.  

In the end, we will have neither.

Betsy Gleysteen

Scarborough

Obituaries contain many grammatical errors

I understand that you seldom correct obituaries before publication because they are like paid advertisements.  

However, I've been reading them for many decades and wished that the newspaper person reading them would have corrected the many historical and definition errors I've seen.  

For example, many Marine Corps veterans supposedly served in the "Corp.," the abbreviation for "corporation."  

The recent obituary for Art Frederiksen, who attended Falmouth High School with me, said he served in a "Calvary" unit in World War II.  

"Calvary" is where Jesus was crucified. "Cavalry" is equestrian. 

Obituary writers and scanners could learn a lot by Googling "obituary errors."  

However, within those results is this, which might apply to this letter: "If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written."   

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