The issue Pierce Atwood had with the smelly nets and poorly maintained area near the waterfront is the first salvo of fishermen versus everyone else along the Portland waterfront.

As more and more businesses decide to take advantage of potentially the most beautiful and inviting waterfront on the East Coast, the lobster and fishing industry will be slowly crowded out.

How about a possible solution?

For everyone who has traveled the length of Commercial Street, take note of the section on the south side of the Casco Bay Bridge. There is nearly a mile of unused waterfront between the bridges. Here could be established the finest fishing center anywhere. Lots of parking space, room for all the fishing boats, places to dry nets, store traps, establish seafood stores — you name it.

For fishermen, there would be unlimited access to the water. No more issues of where to park or moor their boats. A security system could easily be set up to protect the area. And the majority of boats would be able to navigate under the bridge without having to raise it. The only bad thing would be to add less than a mile to the sea.

In return, the city would gain the opportunity to develop an area that would attract businesses, visitors, shoppers and be the envy of every seacoast city from Maine to Florida. This may be too far-fetched for some, but certainly worthy of serious consideration.

Bob Fowler
South Portland


Doesn’t a letter deserve more than an e-mail reply?


I may be old-fashioned, but it seems that when you mail out a letter, you should expect a reply. Secretaries and others who open up mail are used to e-mailing or texting a response, not replying by mail. Is this the future that people don’t seem to respond by mail anymore? Is electronic mail the future — now?

Ronald R. Coles


Architect-owner has plan to preserve historic house


I enjoyed reading the letter from Samuel Henderson in the Voice of the People on Nov. 6. My wife and I purchased the property at 749 Congress St. for the reasons so properly stated in his letter.

The Portland architectural firm of Francis H. Fassett designed the 1881 Mellen E. Bolster House for the dry-goods dealer and his family. In 1924 the building was converted to a funeral home by Hay and Peabody. The rich history and excellent location attracted us to buy it.

As an architect for 50 years, it seems natural to restore and rehabilitate an existing structurally sound building rather than tear it down and replace it. Fortunately, most of the interior and exterior detail of the 1881 building remains intact.

I started my career at McKim, Mead & White architects and it is only fitting that I have an opportunity to restore a Francis H. Fassett building. This is one of many buildings I have restored, some of which I still own. It is also the second funeral home that I have converted to a new use.

Our initial focus was on restoring the carriage house, which was in very poor condition. The carriage house now contains two modern 1,500-square-foot apartments, which are currently rented.

As a member of the Portland Historical Society, I believe that it is important to retain the character of the main building. To date we have obtained approvals from the Historic Preservation Board and city’s building department for the intended updates.

I have put my trust in the city of Portland and the forward-thinking business community to develop an appropriate use for this historic building. The ideal user is out there. I hope the letter and exposure afforded by the Press Herald will create that perfect match.

Martin B. Dassa


Public deserves a role in ‘smart’ meter project


I have recently heard of Central Maine Power’s intention to install “smart” meters throughout the state. There is potential for health effects from exposure to wireless microwave/radio-frequency radiation.

The technology presents new and greater levels of radio-frequency radiation than devices like cell phones or wireless routers. California and New Mexico have experienced significant health effects and created bans on the use of these devices in many communities. There are no scientific peer-reviewed studies related to the safety (and security) of the “smart” devices.

Given the basic information noted here, I am writing to express my most urgent concern regarding CMP’s decision to proceed with installations in Maine.

In the spirit of “informed consent” — explaining the risks and benefits of proposed treatment, enabling patients to share responsibility for their choices, and avoiding paternalistic behavior on the part of physicians — CMP should share responsibility with its consumers.

I am not writing from the position of having reviewed all available literature on radio-frequency radiation but am aware of public concern and debilitating individual sensitivities. I feel it is my obligation to review the available data and encourage the medical community of Maine to do the same. In this way we can help our community understand the issues prior to being exposed.

I hope readers feel the same and contact [email protected] to delay the installation until we can gather the whole story. I believe CMP is ethically obligated to comply for the greater good.

Magili Chapman Quinn


Real news downplayed in the pursuit of fluff


How can a publication that considers itself a newspaper use a wire service report on Page A6 to cover an important story about a company with Maine connections (“Salmonella test prompts egg recall in eight states,” Nov. 11)?

Perhaps the newspaper judges pictures of partying socialites and smiling advertisers to be more newsworthy than initiating stories and investigations about the real issues that affect Mainers.

Michael Herz