My first name is Guy, but think of me as the $25 million man.

This estimated number is less than the total dollars generated by Portland visitors each year. But keep in mind that your first-time visitors come back again and again.

I live in Niagara Falls, N.Y., a community that waits for the world to travel to our shores. But our visitors seldom return after we show them the natural beauty of the falls next to “new development.”

You have the real thing on your waterfront. Keep it. Protect it. Restore it. Repurpose it. But don’t change it.

Two years ago I attended a conference in your fair city and took about 200 pictures.

The split was about equal between your authentic city west of Commercial Street and those wonderful commercial spots east.


Do you realize that Commercial Street is U.S. Route 1? Travel the United States and forget about Route 66 and the I-95 expressway to Florida.

The best roads in the world have the lowest numbers. They have the best restaurants, shops, businesses and real characters.

Make that commercial area a tax-free zone. Stop those “condo frontyard yacht” developments for those summertime snowbirds. Establish a redevelopment zone where property taxes are reinvested in building maintenance over a specified time frame.

Incorporate all the owners into a co-op and run the whole district as a separate entity like it was a single commercial family company with one in-lieu-of-taxes payment.

So please keep those $20 lobster dinners. That coffee shop (bar) that smells like dead fish is worth 10 Starbucks. Call it a working museum. Stock one cove and charge a nominal fee for catch-and-release fishing.

Put an L.L. Bean outlet store with limited stock on the harbor and use it to push trade to the main store in Freeport. Teach classes on the waterfront. Rent bicycles. Design, sew and then fly kites.


Thanks for letting me share my 2 cents.

Guy M. Zaczek

Niagara Falls, N.Y.

There was an article in The New York Times recently about the changing character of Portland’s wharf area.

I don’t really know who to write to in order to say, “I vote for keeping the wharf a harbor for fishermen,” so I thought I would write your paper.

I’m from the Boston area. About two or three times a month, my wife and I drive up to Portland in order to enjoy the bars and the restaurants, but particularly to walk around the wharf area because it retains its somewhat smelly (salty?) non-commercial atmosphere. It’s fun!


If Portland becomes like Boston, then what’s the point of making this two-hour drive in the first place? Please keep Portland’s wharf area the way it is.

Since we have been going to Portland, its character has changed. There are more restaurants, shops, bars and places to go. This is great. But do you need to change everything into these types of enterprises? I hope not.

Jim Toth

Watertown, Mass.

Thank you to the two helpful passers-by who stopped and provided me emergency assistance Aug. 11.

Within seconds of a bicycle mishap on Pleasant Hill Road in Scarborough, a cyclist and an auto driver helped by giving immediate first aid and transporting me to the cottage, prior to my receiving superlative emergency treatment overnight at Maine Medical Center.


I truly appreciate your care and attention and hope you read this message. This responsiveness is another reason why we have made vacation visits to Higgins Beach for nearly 40 years — your community is a special place.

Paul LeBlanc

Montreal, Quebec

Protecting resources took step forward with Pingree

On behalf of The Nature Conservancy’s 9,000 Maine members, I’d like to applaud U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree for her support in passing the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act and providing enduring protection for America’s important lands and waters.

This is an important step toward giving the American people the means to establish a framework for protecting our ocean resources, including the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico and stewardship of our critical marine resources here in the Gulf of Maine.


The legislation will dramatically improve the conservation of coastal and ocean resources, through dedicated funding, cooperative management and new regulations to make the siting of energy developments safer for people and the environment.

With this legislation, Congress will protect not only nature, but also support conservation across the country through full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

With America losing 3 million acres of land to development each year, the CLEAR Act is a fiscally responsible dedication of funds that can help save America’s natural places and heritage sites.

And its creation of new programs for ocean conservation and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico makes the legislation a historic accomplishment.

Summer is in full swing. People are enjoying vacations right now or busy planning one, be it swimming at the beach, hiking a favorite trail or paddling down a river. These priceless natural resources received a huge show of support in Washington. Now it’s time to celebrate outdoors.

Mike Tetreault


Director, The Nature Conservancy in Maine


Rather than just voting, make citizenship easier

I have followed the debate about giving legal-resident immigrants the right to vote before they become citizens. One rationale is that they are paying income and Social Security taxes, so why not give them the right to vote? I find this argument rather unreasonable.

There are hundreds of thousands of naturalized citizens who pay taxes and do not have the right to vote. They are not old enough to vote.

Maybe the legal residents, and their supporters, should focus more on the laws governing the length of time the process takes to become a citizen.


From what I’ve read and heard, there seems to be a screaming need to update and simplify immigration and citizenship laws.

The current process seems to reflect circa-1900 thinking, or earlier.

J.K. Crosbie



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