In “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson wrote: “In nature nothing exists alone,” an indisputable truth that deflates this comment (“Wildlife refuge weighs future of historic Biddeford cottage,” July 10) by a neighbor of Timber Point Cottage at the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge in Biddeford: “This is a wildlife refuge. To me, that’s a place for nature and not for people.”

Carson also wrote about the people factor in communion with nature: “To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”

Carson was a writer of exquisite sensibility. Why not dedicate the Timber Point Cottage to become a year-round writers colony (ideally Maine writers) because Maine does not have one?

For arts and crafts, Deer Isle, Maine, has the Haystack Mountain School. Rockport and Waterville are home to annual film festivals. For chamber music, Blue Hill boasts Kneisel Hall. The Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock is revered around the world. The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture attracts stellar talent.

What better tribute to the literary impact Carson’s writing had upon our culture than for Timber Cottage to provide a refuge for writers, not an endangered species, but an artistic species somewhat overlooked in Maine?

An ideal setting to understand Carson’s vision: “In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”

Albert H. Black



Lawmakers fail to accord recruiters fairness, respect

As former state legislators, we know that most bills are passed in Augusta with wide bipartisan support. The bill to help military recruiters, which recently failed in the Maine House, should have been one of them.

It simply provided that military recruiters should be given the same access to high schools as other recruiters, and that schools can’t prohibit them from wearing their uniforms during visits.

House Democrats, like our own Sanford Reps. Anne-Marie Mastraccio and William Noon, voted against the bill because they didn’t believe the recruiters. Berwick’s Rep. Joshua Plante was also a very vocal opponent.

If our service members approach the Maine Department of Education and say they’re being given a hard time and seek a reasonable remedy, they deserve the benefit of the doubt, especially when the proposed bill won’t affect schools that are already treating the military with fairness and respect.

Recruiters named Noble and Wells high schools, among others, as being overly restrictive. For example, according to the recruiters, Noble allowed only one recruiter visit per year, and that could be only to check the brochure display rack.

They said that Portland and Yarmouth at times prohibited military recruiters from wearing their uniforms. (The schools have denied this.)

These actions are absolutely shameful. We sincerely hope they are not widespread, but even one school telling one soldier he can’t wear his uniform is one school too many.

Equally important, many of our young people need the career opportunities and values that these men and women in uniform are offering. Apparently some of our local legislators don’t realize this is a significant opportunity for graduating students.

We are disappointed in Reps. Mastraccio, Noon and Plante for their treatment of our military. We hope they will have an opportunity to change their minds.

Richard and Joan Nass


Potential Maine residents put off by LePage’s actions

My family is moving north next year so that we can live near Canada, where my daughter-in-law has relatives. We are considering Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. However, Maine will not be considered if Paul LePage is still the governor.

How can a state that has elected such independent U.S. senators have such a bigoted and closed-minded governor? His vote against cleaning up the chemicals in children’s food packaging is just the latest example of his irrational behavior.

Roger Gambert

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Speech provides insight into healing our divisions

Everyone who cares about education and America should read “A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give,” by Dennis Prager.

Look it up on your computers. It should be published in every paper. It might make people really think about how to bring our country back to what will unite us and stop all the dividing that we’ve been fed.

Janet Romano


Letting horse, rider proceed worth the 30-second delay

To those of you who might encounter a horse on the roadway on which you are driving:

Horses, being led, ridden or driven, have the right of way over cars, trucks, bicycles. The person in control of that horse has the right to ask you to stop your vehicle, and you must obey that request.

Horses are flight animals, meaning that no matter how well trained they may be, they still react to fright by running, leaping, bucking, rearing. If you tear past me and my horse spooks into your vehicle, you will think you have hit a moose or a tree. Except that I will sue you.

You will pay my medical bills as well as my veterinary bills. You will be way more sorry than you would have been had you simply taken your foot off the gas.

I apologize if I am a 30-second inconvenience to you. I am not riding on the road because I want to — believe me, you make it dangerous and unpleasant enough that I hope I never have to utilize my dead-end roadway again.

I have more than 100 acres where I generally work and train my horse, but this spring has been so wet, my land is too saturated to get any work done and I am forced to put my life on the line with you fools in a hurry.

So give us a break, please.

Polly Merrill



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