Last summer you published my letter (“Walking dog takes pepper spray, stick,” June 17, 2011) about the lack of compliance and enforcement of the leash law on Peaks Island.

After my letter was published, I received much support from islanders who had been attacked by loose dogs and from one person whose cat was killed by an unleashed dog.

Unfortunately, the problem persists, and I have just learned that several days ago, a young child who was swimming off a beach on Peaks Island was injured by an unleashed dog that went after the child on his surfboard/raft.

The dog ignored the owners’ screams (also known as “voice commands”), and an adult swimmer who went to aid the little boy was unable to capture the dog because the dog wasn’t wearing a collar.

The police on Peaks are understaffed and most of the time do not respond when you call Portland Dispatch to report a loose dog. If they do respond, by the time they reach my neighborhood, the dog and its irresponsible owner have disappeared. Moreover, Animal Control in Portland is understaffed and cannot find the time to come to Peaks.

The city of Portland needs to be more diligent in enforcing the leash law on Peaks Island before any other people or animals are injured.

Recently, I watched as a collared dog, dragging its leash, ran through my neighborhood while the owner was calling for him. I reminded the owner of the leash law and received this reply: “My dog is wearing a leash. Mind your own business, lady!”

First, the intent of the leash law is to hold the leash.

Second, it is my business. I live on Peaks Island, where there is a leash law.

I urge my fellow islanders to call Portland Dispatch (874-8575) to report unleashed dogs.

Courtenay Auger

Peaks Island

Politics muddles dialogue on cause of climate change

In response to the letter by Sam Saltonstall on July 19 (“Climate needs clean energy future”):

Of course CEO Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil reluctantly admits that the burning of fossil fuels may be warming the climate. The CEO has been pushed by the media to be politically correct. It is not because he believes this. Companies have been boxed into a corner by the media.

It is sad that we have to be politically correct instead of correct. If you do not toe the line, you or your company will be subject to persecution by the media.

Unfortunately, Washington and the United Nations often implement agendas without looking at the big picture.

The current agenda is for countries to become self-sufficient and not rely on energy from unstable countries, and to tax carbon to help poor nations. This is not all bad, but they could at least be honest with us about what is really causing climate change and carbon dioxide.

Because of politics, real science has been neglected, and so has the overall picture of climate change cycles. I will be speaking at the East Baldwin Historical Society today at 7 p.m. If you really want to see what climate change is all about, I challenge you to come.

Climate change is all about natural cycles, with these natural cycles driving Earth’s temperatures, carbon dioxide cycles, ocean cycles and even, to some extent, earthquake and volcanic cycles.

Several researchers such as myself (Global Weather Oscillations Inc.) are predicting a natural and very dramatic global cooling to begin within the next eight years.

Are the governments of the world prepared for this event, or merely stuck in the political agenda mud? To find out, we all must gather and read all we can about both sides of the issue.

David Dilley


Romney’s reality-based view doesn’t sit well with NAACP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently accepted an invitation to speak at an NAACP meeting (“Romney’s tone surprises NAACP,” July 12).

Predictably, he was booed when he mentioned that certain social programs may have to be scaled back at this time because of the crippling national debt that is jeopardizing the very future of our country.

After that incident, I believe that Romney should let our governor, Paul LePage, address the NAACP the next time he is invited.

Ted Sirois


Residents must look closely at RSU 23 pullout effort

As a resident of Dayton, an employee of Regional School Union 23 and a parent of a student in the RSU, I have a strong interest in understanding the recent actions of the local governments in both Dayton and Saco.

It seems important for the electorate in both municipalities to understand what they will be voting for on July 31 in Saco and Aug. 13 in Dayton. It is the authorization to create “Withdrawal Committees” and to expend sums of $30,000, not to study the merits of withdrawal but to create a “withdrawal agreement.”

It is true that this agreement eventually needs to be approved by the voters in each withdrawing municipality, but the intent of these two elections is to begin the withdrawal process from the RSU.

My perception is that there has not been a disciplined bipartisan effort to look at the pros and cons of this choice in either municipality.

Some may hold beliefs that we will just return to the old School Union 7 structure. Under the current law, this is not possible. That leaves this question: If these two efforts are successful what will education in Dayton and Saco look like?

Before authorizing the expenditure of $30,000 to create a withdrawal agreement, the residents should minimally expect a clear position paper that addresses this fundamental question: Will we be able to educate every one of our school-age children as well, if not better, and in a fiscally responsible manner under a new agreement?

Taking time for a reasoned, balanced discussion seems far less disruptive to the education of our children. Offering a clear and compelling case based upon facts by detailing an answer to the above question is the least that voters should expect.

Especially in Saco, this July 31 vote is not simply on the current budget. The results will affect your child’s educational future. Please vote!

Mark Murray



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