If enough city councilors attend an Aug. 15 meeting, they can decide whether to overturn a technicality regarding signature gathering for city ordinances that now is stopping Portland voters from deciding what the city’s priorities should be.

In my view, it is clear that they all need to support changing the city ordinance to conform to state law by allowing Sensible Portland an extra 10 days to collect the few additional signatures needed to get its marijuana-related issue on the ballot.

Last year, during the movement to allow legal noncitizen residents to vote in city elections, the campaign fell short of the requisite signatures, but because of they were gathering for a charter amendment and not an ordinance, they were allowed more time to gather more signatures.

It seems both silly and unfair for the city to have a more burdensome requirement for voting on an ordinance than a charter amendment.

City councilors should know that the public overwhelmingly supports Sensible Portland in its mission to make enforcing marijuana laws for adults the lowest priority of our officials, and we will all be paying attention to this vote.

Tom MacMillan



Governor not interested in meeting to help state 

According to a July 15 article, “LePage snubs National Governor’s Association Meeting,” our Gov. Le-Page decided to attend the annual Potato Blossom Festival in Aroostook County rather than attending the 2011 National Governors Association meeting in Utah.

It is telling that this governor would rather be entertaining himself by the likes of mashed potato wrestling rather than attending the National Governors Association Meeting in Utah, where he could be attending sessions on topics such as “the vital role universities play in nurturing innovation and economic growth through collaboration and engagement with the private sector” or perhaps he might have engaged himself in a “discussion on the role of international trade and investment in their state’s economic development strategy to foster economic growth and job creation.”

I think that Maine has been cheated out of its $60,000 worth of annual dues by not having its governor attend the NGA meeting in the remote chance that something useful could have been learned.

I sure hope that Gov. LePage has learned something useful up in Aroostook County that will help me find employment!


Jeff Plucker


Keep on making progress toward artificial pancreas 

Thank you for publishing Jonathan Riskind’s well-written article titled, “Shapleigh girl adds her voice to fight type 1 diabetes.”

More than 87,000 Mainers — 7.3 perrcent of the state’s population — have diabetes, including my son, Aidan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before his second birthday.

Caroline Jacobs, who is the young lady from Shapleigh featured in the article, my son, and countless others with type 1 diabetes must test their blood sugar multiple times a day, take multiple insulin injections or infusions, and count carbohydrates in everything they eat — every day for the rest of their lives.


Even with the best of care, they are in danger of developing devastating and costly diabetes-related complications such as kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, amputations and nerve damage.

I am excited that researchers have developed an artificial pancreas that can automatically and better control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, which will help to postpone the onset of complications.

The technology has been tested in the hospital but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to provide guidance for researchers to test the device in patients at home before it can be put on the market.

I am eager to get this device for my son. I want to thank Sen. Susan Collins for her steadfast leadership on diabetes issues and for calling on the FDA to publish guidance on the artificial pancreas promptly.

I also want to thank Caroline Jacobs for doing a wonderful job as a JDRF Children’s Congress delegate.

Finally, I applaud the FDA for committing to publish the draft guidance by December at the hearing held by Sen. Collins, but I urge the agency to publish it sooner, not later.


My son, Caroline Jacobs and countless other people in Maine are waiting.

Caroline Sweeney


Women’s soccer photo, game play pleased readers 

Kudos to this newspaper for putting a photo of the winning Japanese women’s soccer team on your front page on July 18. I had picked up a copy of the Boston Globe before I got The Portland Press Herald out of my mailbox. What a contrast!

The Globe’s photo had the U.S. team consoling itself after the loss to Japan. How much more upbeat to see a photo of the joyous winning team on your front page. Thanks. You made my day.


Allison Hepler


Japan’s earthquake last March saddened the worldwide community. The victims’ helplessness and fear of nuclear contamination drew out our sympathy and prayers.

And as I sat with my dad watching the Women’s World Cup Soccer Finals I was excited and impressed by the little soccer team from Japan. Through perseverance and finesse they made it to the finals against the United States, who have won the tournament twice.

Usually, I would rather play a sport myself or watch my children play. However, this year the World Cup caught my ear and I planned it into my Sunday schedule around church and a nap. As I watched the game I was most impressed with the good sportsmanship of both teams.

They played fair, not “dirty.” Congratulations! And when youthful Alex Morgan sporting her pink headband slammed a perfect shot into the goal to even the score, I jumped up and down with glee, though sympathizing with the Japanese.


Regrettably, the tide turned and the U.S. team lost in a tie-breaker. I cried, but our team handled the defeat graciously. Everyone played well and Japan has a bright spot in their present day struggles.

I am very proud of our team and plan to tune in next time to the Womens’ World Cup games.

Susan Peabody Love



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