I am writing in response to Kathy Card’s letter published July 1.

As medical director of the emergency department at one of the city’s two major hospitals, I can appreciate her concern that, with Portland’s growing population. emergency rooms can become overwhelmed.

However, I would like her, and the community at large, to know that Mercy’s Emergency Department is well-prepared to meet this growing demand.

Over the past few years, we have made many changes at Mercy to decrease the amount of time our patients have to wait. Our dedicated team of board certified physicians and staff are able to provide both expert and efficient care because of process changes that allow us to focus on what we do best — care for patients.

Mercy also offers express care for people with injuries or illnesses that aren’t considered emergencies, but do require immediate attention, at Mercy Gorham Crossing, Mercy Westbrook and Mercy Windham. All three locations are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All hospitals strive to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The citizens of greater Portland are fortunate in that they have two hospitals from which to choose for both emergency and non-emergency medical needs.

John Southall, M.D.
Medical Director
Mercy Emergency Department


People who live here ought to say things right


Eight of us burst out laughing while listening to a man on a local radio station doing a story on the town of Woolwich.

With a little simple research, he could have pronounced the name of the town correctly, but, alas, he butchered it, calling it Wool-WITCH (as if it were named after a spell-casting sheep!) instead of the proper pronunciation, Wool-ITCH.

The town was incorporated in 1759 and was named after a town south of the Thames in Greater London, which is pronounced the same way.

But it could have been worse. Let’s hope he doesn’t do a story on the town of New Gloucester.

J.T. Nichols

High court’s gun ruling a step in right direction


In response to Cathie Whittenburg’s Maine Voices column (“Supreme Court’s gun ruling allows for new restrictions on firearms,” July 3) on the decision affirming the right to keep and bear arms: This ruling was a step in the right direction.

Keep in mind that the Second Amendment reads “keep and bear arms.” This means that a law abiding citizen can “keep” arms in their home and can “bear” (carry) arms outside their homes.

This change does not affect the ability of the courts to prohibit felons and those with mental problems from owning guns. The National Rifle Association supports this position.

As to the expense involved with lawsuits to overturn current restrictive gun laws, I would suggest that those favoring those laws are causing the expense, not those correcting the law.

I agree that we should not forget the thousands who are harmed by the criminal element every year in our society. One can only wonder what the outcomes might have been had the intended victims been armed.

I remember a bumper sticker: “Better to have a gun and not need it, than need a gun and not have it!”

The time is long past due for those wishing to pass more restrictive gun laws to pull their heads out of the sand and read the Second Amendment as it was written.

Warren C. Graumann
Cumberland Foreside


In overstating U.S. role, columnist appears idiotic


reading Cal Thomas’ column on July 10 (“Should NASA’s ‘foremost mission’ be outreach to Muslim nations?’), I learned some interesting facts about American foreign policy and history.

As a recent student of European and United States history, I previously assumed that, in the 234 years since our nation’s founding, the rest of the entire world had provided some innovation and development. However, after reading Thomas, I realized how wrong I was.

Evidently, the rest of the world has remained stagnant while America provides all of the innovation necessary in society. The contributions of all other countries are, as Mr. Thomas so tactfully puts it, sushi, cherry trees, woodblocks, compasses, and human rights abuses.

America, meanwhile, has innovated in the scientific fields, discovering special relativity, quantum mechanics and X-rays. We even reinvented some of the un-American things, like math, writing and fire. And unlike the rest of the world, we did so without engaging in immoral activities like slavery, wartime internment and the occasional witch execution.

It’s therefore a relief to hear that America is a completely independent nation that can act unilaterally without worrying about the “lesser” nations of Europe and Asia.

Given America’s illustrious and glorious history, it’s clear that we don’t need to value other nations’ opinions in our foreign policy. Intervention in European actions has, according to Mr. Thomas, only led to world wars.

I’m now quite positive that a policy of isolationism will lead us to different results — our policy of non-intervention during the Nazi years turned out so well.

I agree with one thing Mr. Thomas said — our space program should be a “triumph of American ingenuity, technology, vision and boldness.”

However, Mr. Thomas is simply a triumph of American idiocy, arrogance, ignorance and, well, boldness.

William Hayes


Another good argument for hiking gas tax 50 cents


After watching multitudes of power boats jamming Maine lakes on the Fouth of July, I think Ross Perot was right. He proposed a 50-cent hike in gasoline taxes. It would lessen our dependence on foreign oil and rapidly reduce our national debt.

William Taylor
East Waterboro