The flag represents us all

To the editor,

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for the people of good conscience to remain silent.”

  • Thomas Jefferson

On July 3 we hung an American flag alongside a Biden 2020 flag. The American flag is a symbol of all of us, not just those supporting the president and we felt called to respond to that trend. Over the past eight weeks we have had our Biden flag and our Justice Now signs ripped down, slashed with knives and destroyed.

The police have been very helpful and we have been able to photograph this assailant. But like the current administration, the intimidation was intense. Our garden stand was despoiled and the message was clear: “You have no right to disagree with me.”

We kept buying flags and putting them up. We felt that in order to prevent tyranny from gaining a foothold we had to speak up. We felt the realities of this administration’s desire to conquer with fear, to keep us all afraid, reaching for guns, using violence.

We are people of good conscience and would never tear a sign down. But we will not cower or let our fear silence us. Please fly the American flag alongside your Biden flag and take back the flag for all of us. It does not belong to one party as they would have us believe. Do not remain silent.

The Rev. Mary Zachary-Lang and Dan Lang

Kennebunk

Safety is a shared responsibility

To the editor,

In response to a Sept. 11 letter, expressing concern about cyclists, I wanted to correct information and respond generally. First, the writer states, “These walkways are pedestrian routes. I have always tolerated the bicycles in the interest of supporting outdoor activities.” This is not correct and suggests cyclists are an add on, one to tolerate.
All cyclists don’t ignore walkers. My experience is most are careful, cautious and courteous, signaling when passing and slowing down. I thank them and many thank me when I am biking.
The Greenbelt multi-use path, means walkers, cyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters, wheelchairs and the like are welcome. Everyone is expected to be careful, respectful and responsible. No one is “tolerated.” All transportation that is not gas motorized is welcomed.
Roads are not just for cars, and the Greenbelt (all trails/parks) are not just for walkers. Automobiles are expected to share the road; roads were used by other means of transport long before cars. Drivers should be diligent at crosswalks, allowing pedestrians to cross safely. Let’s keep an open heart to all, no matter how they travel.
There are older portions of the Greenbelt that are narrow, requiring particular diligence. Whether you are on a bicycle, roller blades, skateboard or other means, warning people is helpful: ringing a bell or calling out are two ideas.
As we improve our walkways and sidewalks, we are ensuring handicapped accessibility. Although in most areas, cyclists are not allowed on sidewalks, use is allowed going across the bridge, in exiting Brickhill/Redbank and any place where danger exists (Brown’s Hill), allowing flexible with children. Safety is first.
In these times, we want people outside, enjoying fresh air and our beautiful city. I encourage parents to have kids wear helmets (wear one yourself) and close-toed shoes, whether on a bike, skateboard, roller blades or scooter. I encourage walkers to look and listen as well. We all share a part in the safety of one another.

Rosemarie De Angelis, chair
South Portland Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee

Maine needs strong leaders

To the editor,

In this uncertain time, Maine needs strong leaders in Augusta to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. We believe Anne Carney is just the level headed, compassionate senator we need to help Maine recover and move forward.

Anne is a thoughtful listener and someone who will work constructively to address the concerns of District 29 and of all Maine citizens.  Since 2018, Anne has served in the Maine House of Representatives, where she has advocated for improvements in education, housing, healthcare, economic security and the environment.

She has worked, for example, to ensure that our public schools have the resources they need and in particular to enhance their access to broadband. She has promoted the kinds of economic opportunities that support Maine businesses. And she has worked tirelessly to improve access to postpartum care for mothers and healthcare for children.

She has committed herself to the principle of making healthcare affordable to all. Anne’s leadership and her ability to work across the aisle have resulted in bills passed to clean up unused oil tanks and reduce styrofoam pollution.

Her expertise in environmental legislation will help bring Maine Climate Change Council’s recommendations into law, protecting our environment and reducing fossil fuel use.

The pandemic has also shined a spotlight on racial inequalities. Anne’s legal expertise, especially as a civil rights attorney, and her legislative skills will move us forward in overcoming such disparities.

We believe that Anne’s record of success as an attorney, a legislator, and a champion of environmental stewardship, together with her common-sense approach to issues, will benefit our state at this most crucial point in our history.

Please join us in voting for Anne Carney for Maine State Senate on Nov. 3.

Al & Pauline Huntley
South Portland