South Portland’s ‘inconvenient truth’

To the editor,

Al Gore is remembered for the “inconvenient truth” of climate change, about which he warned and which we ignored until it became a crisis. There are other inconvenient truths specific to the part of the planet we call home here in South Portland:

Dogs are causing the environmental degradation of Hinckley Park and Willard Beach;

The majority of us care less about this truth (and apparently about each other) than we do about our personal freedom and that of our dogs to run loose there;

The city council will disregard the science and evidence that supports these truths and follow the will of the majority, especially when they are very vocal and deride or bully anyone who differs with them.


Until the majority of us care about these unique, beautiful, and publicly protected places in our city more than about dogs and the demands of people responsible for them, and let our city councilors know that we do, Willard Beach and Hinckley Park will continue to be fouled and degraded, their flora and fauna damaged or destroyed, the land and water toxic. That will be an inconvenient truth, indeed.

Andrea Thompson McCall
South Portland

Thanks to city council

To the editor,

The South Portland Dog Owners Group wishes to express its gratitude to our city council for considering the needs of our entire community and understanding the need for compromise in finding a way for all of us to share Willard Beach and our parks and open spaces.

At last Tuesday’s workshop, dog owners spoke passionately about the special community they have found at Willard, and about how that community has bonded them to each other and to our city. We are very heartened that our councilors recognized the importance of that community, especially in these times, and that they also acknowledged that our best friends need places to play, run and swim.


We also know that many people remain concerned about dog and dog-owner behavior. To address that concern, SoPoDog has launched an ambassadors program at Willard and Hinckley, to start later this spring.

The program is intended to be an informal, positive and fun way for dog owners to encourage other dog owners to do the right thing – follow the rules, pick up, keep dogs under voice and sight control, and get training for their dogs when more training is needed. If you are interested in learning more about ambassadors, or in being an ambassador yourself, please contact us at

We hope that the events of the last few months will serve to remind dog owners yet again of how lucky we are to live here, and to be able to use these beautiful places off-leash with our dogs. That is a privilege, not a right. Please help us keep that privilege by being good dog citizens.

South Portland Dog Owners Group

Full picture is important

To the editor,


I wanted to respond to the letter written by Becky Judd (March 18, 2022) regarding a tax increase that she believes was the result of having a heat pump. I cannot tell from her letter if this increase was in the last cycle when the city did a revaluation (more than likely). Although the mil rate went down in 2021, the value of residential properties across the city increased, thus resulting in an increase in taxes. The inconsistency that she reported in her neighborhood (with heat pumps) and found a lack of consistency. Again, I would say that the value of properties varies for a variety of reasons — size, desirability, overall updates and modifications — many reasons.

I don’t work for the city, but I did follow the revaluation closely. My property values went up, understandably. The assessed value is still significantly less than what my home would likely reap in a sale. Given that the last assessment was about 15 years ago, there is no surprise that values increased and it is impossible to say how much was due to heat pump additions. The city assessor should be able to answer this question.

I don’t want people frightened from making changes to their home based on limited information. It is important to have the full picture, not just a snapshot of one view of one homeowner. Consistency is definitely important but then one needs all the facts to assess that, not just one thing.

Rosemarie De Angelis

South Portland

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