March 9, 2013

Letters to the editor: Lawmakers must stand up for gun control

(Continued from page 1)

Neil Heslin
click image to enlarge

Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was slain in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, holds a photo of the two of them while testifying in favor of an assault weapons ban at a Feb. 27 Senate hearing. The Newtown tragedy makes it imperative that U.S. senators and representatives act to reduce gun violence, readers say.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

Mary-Jane Ferrier

South Portland

Carter's school board tenure will be asset to City Council

As often happens in South Portland, there are a number of fine candidates running for City Council on Tuesday. I am writing to urge voters to support Rick Carter.

I worked closely on several projects with Rick during my time on the City Council, particularly during the year that he was chairman of the school committee.

Rick knows the South Portland schools inside and out, and he will bring to the council firsthand knowledge of the department that consumes nearly two-thirds of the municipal budget.

Rick also appreciates the need to prioritize judiciously to keep the public infrastructure up to date in our city. He knows that letting the city's buildings and equipment fall into disrepair is expensive in the long run, and can jeopardize the safety and comfort of the public.

At the same time, he is keenly aware of need to keep public spending within reasonable bounds, to seek efficiencies in the delivery of public services, and to protect vulnerable taxpayers from the impacts of increases in the local tax rates.

Rick has a level-headed sense of fairness and an appreciation for teamwork that will serve the residents of South Portland well.

He will help keep South Portland the vibrant, diverse and well-governed city that we as citizens have become used to over recent years.

Tom Coward

Cumberland County commissioner, District 4

South Portland

Disregard for pedestrians spoils enjoyment of city

I have just moved to Portland from San Francisco and am loving my new city. Even in the winter months, I'm finding the cultural attractions like the museum and the library, as well all kinds of nooks and crannies, meeting friendly people almost everywhere I go.

I choose to walk around the city, for exercise and to save fossil fuel. However, getting around Portland on foot is a nightmare.

Crosswalk paint barely visible. Broken pedestrian call lights. Intersections with no crosswalk at all. Drivers pulling up into intersections without respecting the crosswalks. Drivers at stop signs who look right at me waiting to cross and drive through anyway. I get dirty looks from drivers, as though my presence is an inconvenience.

An environmentally progressive town like Portland should be celebrating those of us who get around on foot, and make pedestrians a traffic priority, as they are in earth-friendly cities elsewhere. Pedestrians should always have the right of way.

Beth Duddy

Portland

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