I am in the majority of Peaks Islanders who obey the city of Portland’s leash law. I clean up after my dogs, yet I find myself cleaning up messes left in my yard by other dogs.

I enjoy walking my two small terriers several times a day. With increasing frequency, we encounter dogs running off leash with their owners.

Invariably, these dogs charge us, and things turn ugly. Two years ago my dogs were viciously attacked by an 80-plus-pound dog.

Since then I carry a walking stick to protect my dogs and myself. However, it is difficult to control my dogs and defend all three of us armed with just a stick.

The Peaks police told me that spray is legal, so I just placed an online order for “Jogger Pepper Spray with Hand Strap.”

How sad that I now have to walk my dogs armed with a shillelagh and a can of pepper spray.

That takes the enjoyment out of a walk through the woods and roads of this beautiful island and is certainly not “the way life should be” when there is a leash law.

When I asked the policeman why the leash law is not enforced, an explanation he cited is that the Peaks police have no place to keep the dog(s) if they capture them.

Can’t the city of Portland provide our police with the tools they need (i.e., a few large, collapsible dog crates) so that some attempt can be made to enforce the law?

If the police were to enforce the law more frequently and issue fines, perhaps irresponsible dog owners might take the law seriously.

And I could walk my dogs without arming myself — and only have to clean up after my own dogs.

Courtenay Auger

Peaks Island

Cable company’s broken promises show a real trend

On my recent return to Maine, I was subjected firsthand to the effects of a pro-corporate governor and Legislature in a way that has nationwide implications.

Due to such attitudes, it is no longer necessary for corporations to be concerned about customer satisfaction, loyalty or service. This government will continue its pro-corporate stance, no matter how bad the service, to the detriment of its real clients, the people.

Today, I learned about this firsthand via my cable service installation, or lack thereof. Calling from Florida, I arranged for a service call between 8 a.m. and noon to have my HD box and overall service reinstalled.

Subsequently, I received phone calls explaining why the technician would arrive at 12:30; then “he’s on his way,” “he’s an hour away,” and finally, “I am 20 minutes from you.”

It is now 4 p.m. and a day is wasted.

Dr. Nicholas Karamessinis

New Gloucester

While many lack integrity, there are some who have it

I want to respond to high school student Andrew Soucy’s letter regarding the lack of integrity of the active generation, and how it bears influence on his generation (“Fake SEALs sign of social illness,” May 19).

I observed the same when I was a teenager. We are a country driven by image and success, often at the cost of integrity and the golden rule.

But there are many positive exceptions to look to for inspiration.

Mother Teresa was one of my favorites. She said it was not important to be successful — she said it was more important to be faithful. Her life mirrored those words.

Knowledge and success are not what make for a worthwhile life. What is important is how we experience it.

I think Andrew Soucy is probably well on his way to being a positive exception. May he inspire other young people to be the same.

Zoe Goody

Cape Elizabeth

Michael Brennan has what it takes to be mayor

I am writing in support of Michael Brennan’s campaign for mayor of Portland.

It has been my privilege to know his family through friendship with his son, and I know Mike to be an honest, genuine guy who cares about effective, responsible government.

He is engaging and fair-minded when talking about politics and has an intelligent grasp of Maine’s legislative culture. He would bring these qualities, as well as his good humor and caring personality, to the office.

Tom Hartwell


House speaker’s actions prove he’s no ‘good Catholic’

Ed Gillespie’s column May 31 attempting to defend House Speaker John Boehner as a “good Catholic” was a sorry effort in citing his priorities as reflecting his Roman Catholicism. Gillespie truly missed the point!

Other than Boehner’s apparent attitude toward abortion, he shows little concern for the social issues for which the Church stands. They include concern for the poor, the widows and the orphans in our country, many of whom need more assistance than charities and social agencies can provide.

And his stance on no new income taxes for those with high incomes repeats his priorities of having more compassion for those who make millions than for those who struggle daily to place food on their tables.

Those are not the social priorities that I find the Church upholding.

William J. Leffler II


Mission to Mars fascinating, but needs on Earth greater

I think this is very fascinating — the idea of humans living on Mars seems like something you would see on a movie depicting the far, far future.

The fact that it actually might happen within 50 years is astounding. But how are we to pay for all of this? And is it really that important to the long-term survival of mankind?

Our economy is not good; unemployment is still high, and a lot of people are still impoverished. Some families in America go to bed hungry and have to skip meals every day.

It’s even worse in third-world countries, where some people go a day or more without having a meal. Diseases are rampant in these countries. Politicians are corrupt, crime is proliferating, and people’s morals are going down the toilet.

With all of these things in mind, shouldn’t we be trying to fix our own planet before venturing off to conquer a new one? I think the survival of our own planet should come before the colonization of another.

Chelsea Marquis

Lisbon Falls