On Monday, an important meeting will take place in South Portland in the effort to protect the city from becoming the tar sands capital of the East Coast. I urge South Portland citizens and others concerned about Greater Portland’s drinking water to attend this 7 p.m. City Council meeting.

The council will take a final vote then on a six-month moratorium to bar Portland Pipe Line from piping toxic tar sands oil from Montreal through the Sebago Lake watershed to Bug Light in South Portland, loading it on ships there to send to world markets.

At the site, 70-foot-tall smokestacks would add to air pollution. Also, the consequences could be devastating if this toxic substance, notoriously hard to clean up, spilled in Casco Bay or if there is a rupture in the pipeline, which is more than 60 years old.

The temporary moratorium would give the city time to craft an ordinance to permanently keep tar sands out of our beautiful city. An ordinance designed to do that narrowly lost at the polls in November. But many who voted “no” have said they don’t want tar sands; they just worried the ordinance as written would shut down existing businesses.

Now is the chance to craft the right ordinance against tar sands. In past weeks, after long hours listening to residents, our Planning Board and City Council have given preliminary endorsement to this moratorium. Monday’s vote will make it official.

Our brave city officials have acted despite the American Petroleum Institute’s open threat to sue the city if the moratorium passes. Big Oil will have its big guns at this meeting to try to stop the moratorium.

We need our big guns there, too: South Portlanders and others who care about people’s health and safety. Please attend.

Tess Nacelewicz

South Portland

Preble Street founder would be saddened by DHHS move

Recently the Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter sign was installed on Preble Street. It was a touching moment for our family, and a wonderful tribute to our father, Joe Kreisler, who would have been honored, humbled and more than a little embarrassed.

Mostly, Joe would have been proud to see how the community had come together to support Preble Street in its efforts to provide real services and hope to our neighbors who struggle through the hardships of poverty.

Joe Kreisler founded Preble Street to provide a voice to the neediest. The network of agencies in the Bayside neighborhood of Portland is a critical means of providing services to this community.

Recently, the LePage administration announced their decision to move the Department of Health and Human Services, a critical part of the community social services network, to South Portland. Like so many others, we were troubled by the decision, and by the administration’s dogged resistance to the many sound objections to the move.

More than 20,000 people a month go to the DHHS Portland office. Placing these services in South Portland imposes an additional barrier to those already struggling to find their way.

We cannot help but think of how our father would have been angered and saddened by a decision made with such heartless disregard for the people who count on the DHHS. The meanness of spirit from this administration toward so many in need is very troubling.

Still, as disappointed as Joe Kreisler would have been by the decision, and worried about its impact, we know that he would have been encouraged by the response from Preble Street and the other service agencies, as well as Portland Mayor Michael Brennan and Sen. Justin Alfond and his colleagues in the Legislature. Their response would have given him hope that the poor may yet have a voice, and that perhaps change is coming.

Janice Bailey

Portland

David Kreisler

Westbrook

Nora Kreisler

Westbrook

Cutler puts Maine at risk of more damage by LePage

In response to Betsy Smith’s letter Nov. 20 (and anyone else) promoting Eliot Cutler (“Why a gay rights activist picks Cutler”):

This is a time Democrats need to unite in solidarity to defeat Gov. Paul LePage and his cruel tea party administration.

Eliot Cutler may have spectacular talents and philosophy, but he is in fact a third-party candidate and as such demonstrates an appallingly unethical (though legal) degree of self-interest by running in this election.

He is putting the entire state at risk of another damaging and harmful four more years under LePage’s right-wing tea party policies.

Any gung-ho “we can do it!” attitudes to elect Mr. Cutler would have been best served if he had registered to run in the primary, if he had so much to offer. Otherwise, “we can do it!” might well end up “doing it” to re-elect Paul LePage.

Marilyn Reynolds

Falmouth

Vote out incumbents who lead us the wrong way

The greatest generation, according to Tom Brokaw, was about having “above all, responsibility for oneself.” However, many people today now seem dependent on the government for their well-being, and are no longer willing to take responsibility for themselves.

The current social policy of our country is a redistribution of wealth from the rich and now the middle class to help the poor. The problem with such a policy is that eventually the government will run out of other people’s money, as Margaret Thatcher once said.

It is sad to see the wrong direction and the poor decisions our elected politicians have made for the future of our children and grandchildren. But why should they care, since it will be someone else’s problem to rectify after they leave office?

Our representatives are only cheerleaders for their own parties, and the only solution would be to vote all incumbents out of office at the next election.

Richard Bernard

Portland