Although I’m not a huge fan of pit bulls, I am a dog lover who would regret the banning of any breed of dog (“More bite for some dog rules?” Sept. 26). The sad fact is that if we ban one breed, other less dangerous breeds will soon be banned because of personal prejudices toward that breed or prejudices toward the owner.

Dogs that are tied up outside are constantly frustrated. Even basically friendly dogs can become aggressive this way. Many dog owners may not know this.

What we need are laws that mandate owner responsibility. It would make more sense to say that owners of pit bulls must keep them on a leash or inside a visibly secure fence when not inside their homes. People who purchase a pit bull should have children no younger than 10, who can be made to understand the rules. Obedience training should be encouraged or required. Fines for even first offenses of not abiding by rules should be significant enough to discourage a second offense.

Most of the time when a dog bites someone, it is due to owner irresponsibility. I believe that bites or attacks from pit bulls could be eliminated by enacting laws to insure better control on the part of owners. Trying this first makes far more sense than outlawing an entire breed.

Karen Tanguay


Yet another sensational story in the Press Herald about a child who was bitten by a pit bull (“Father: Son got 64 stitches after attack by pit bull,” Sept. 22).

Kudos to veterinarian Bennett Wilson for setting the record straight on dog bites. His quote: “Any dog, regardless of the breed, is capable of injuring another animal or a person under certain circumstances.”

Would this story have appeared in the paper if the child had been bitten by another breed?

Sandra Paul

South Portland 

A modest proposal for saving on teacher pay 

I was struck by the marvelous idea briefly explored in the editorial on the budget-cut proposal: rolling back the minimum teacher salary. After all, $30,000 is a bit over the top for somebody with a job like that. (“Budget-cut proposals shouldn’t start from zero,” Sept. 19)

For instance, look at what we pay for a baby-sitter. Five bucks an hour. Maybe we should consider that amount for teachers.

Just do the math. Five bucks an hour, for, say, six hours. That’s 30 bucks. And, say, 20 kids in a classroom. That’s — whoops — 600 bucks a day. For about 180 days? That’s $108,000. OMG!

We can’t afford to pay a teacher what a baby-sitter makes. Time to cut!

Teachers shouldn’t make more than a quarter of what baby-sitters earn, should they?

Jonathan Potter


City wrong to keep seafood company waiting for a plan 

To debate the extension of Ready Seafood’s lease to the Maine State Pier is embarrassing, not to mention potentially detrimental to our sacred “working waterfront.” Sept. 17’s article (“Request for lease extension ignites debate on fate of Maine State Pier”) shows that some of our elected leaders would rather not invest in a growing business that creates jobs, pays taxes and promotes our maritime identity than wait for “something better.” In today’s economic environment, it is irresponsible to keep a home-grown Maine family business in limbo while we wait for a plan that doesn’t exist.

Ready Seafood and its “Catch a Piece of Maine” business model brought ingenuity and style to the lobster business as it sought a larger out-of-state consumer base.

John and Brendan Ready continue to look for ways to export not only our No. 1 resource, but also our proud maritime culture and way of life. These are not your everyday lobstermen, and being young men, they will be around for a long, long time. Their passion for what they do is infectious and their potential limitless.

Ready Seafood doesn’t need Portland; Portland needs Ready Seafood, and to balk at their commitment to continue their expanding enterprise is a joke. They have nearly doubled the size of their company and installed two gigantic saltwater tanks, not to mention moving into a very empty Maine State Pier.

But our response to their lease extension request was a recommendation to see if we have another place for them to operate in case “something else” comes along. The city should apologize to John and Brendan Ready, extend their lease and plan the Maine State Pier around them and their business model before they start looking elsewhere, if they haven’t already. Heaven forbid they move, but who would blame them anyway?

John and J.D. Walker


Don’t overspend for Bayside ‘art benches’ 

It is hoped that the City Council will use better judgment than the Public Art Committee has in its pursuit of purchasing three park benches for the new Bayside Trail. How can it even consider paying $42,500 for three benches? To make this project even more aggravating, they have selected an artist’s proposal from a studio in Washington, D.C.

We are in one of the worst economic period of our times, and yet we have a committee that wants to spend $42,500 for benches? If the city must have benches, let’s do it in a sensible fashion:

Keep the Public Art Committee out of the process, request any Maine company interested to submit its offer for wooden benches. With the software and computer programs most furniture makers have, they would be able to save Portland a bunch of money.

Let the City Council vote and select the design that best fits our budget. After all, they were elected to be the citizens’ voice, and they would offer common sense to a project of this type. We have already gone through a disaster with an artist’s design of “Tracing the Fore” in Boothby Square. We don’t need another.

Donald Delisle



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