Dogs in hot cars

We are reminded daily about the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars. It would help if restaurants offered an outdoor seating area and shady places in which to park on days when the sun is out but the temperatures still are balmy. These days, many people travel with their pets. But when it comes time to eat, what are the choices?

People don’t even have to be traveling to need these pet accommodations. My husband and I live in Hancock and frequently travel to Bangor for shopping, which usually is an all-day affair. We cannot leave our dog home alone in Hancock for such a long period of time. In the summer, it is almost impossible to have lunch when temperatures are too high to leave him in the car.

I will credit Chipotle, which saved the day for us recently, when we ate out on their patio with our dog beside us on his leash. Some eating places do indeed have a few picnic benches outside. But most of the time, people traveling with pets are ignored. Please, restaurants, do your part to keep dogs out of those hot cars and arrange some outdoor spaces and perhaps some shady parking.

Pet lovers, spread the word about pet-friendly businesses that understand pet lovers may not always have the choice to leave their pets at home. Let’s all work together to address this problem.

Carol James


Trump should apologize to McCain

I am a conservative Republican and a retired U.S. Army Special Forces lieutenant colonel and Vietnam veteran. I support Donald Trump for president because I can’t stand the thought of Hillary Clinton as commander in chief or anything else, for that matter.

Trump’s remark early in the primary campaign that Sen. John McCain was not a war hero because he was captured were ill-advised and obviously off the cuff. I’m sure he would like a do-over on that, but he is not one to admit his mistakes, even though in this case he should. McCain is a hero who conducted himself with honor as a POW in North Vietnam.

Trump probably was thinking about soldiers who had surrendered or given up, but McCain did not do that. He was blasted out of the air while on a combat mission against the North Vietnamese. After parachuting to earth, McCain resisted capture as best he could, despite severe injuries. When the North Vietnamese Army discovered his illustrious family connections, he was offered the opportunity for early release for propaganda purposes. He refused, honoring the prisoner’s code of ethics.

If Trump comes out with a public apology to McCain saying he was not fully aware of the circumstances of the capture, the independent and undecided voting block most assuredly will lean in his favor in the general election. If there is someone in the GOP who would pass on this tip, it would be a no-brainer

Robert E. Blanchard

South Portland

Support education funding referendum

As a social studies teacher at Orono High School for the last 12 years, I have watched as choices have been made between education and municipal priorities. This year, Orono voted to invest in our students by increasing funding for schools. As an educator, I am thankful for this support, as I know my friends and neighbors in Orono understand the need to provide a quality education for our students.

All children should have access to a quality education, regardless of a community’s economic viability. Students across Maine must be able to access the resources, opportunities and education they need without being hampered by lack of funding. Maine has a mechanism that doesn’t burden the property taxpayer — the mandate of 55 percent of education funding coming from the state. Unfortunately, the state has never met this obligation and this leaves many schools underfunded with a backlog of curriculum and capital improvement needs.

Voters have a chance this November to provide vital resources for our children with the Stand Up For Students referendum on the ballot. It would affect only the wealthiest 2 percent of Maine taxpayers who would be assessed a surcharge of 3 percent on taxable income above $200,000 per year. This would help create opportunities for children in all of our communities and stop pushing this responsibility back on property taxpayers with children being winners and losers depending on their ZIP codes.

I’m supporting the Stand Up For Students referendum, and I hope other Maine voters will join me in supporting our students.

Shana Goodall


Muslims and mass shootings

I respect the BDN for carrying letters of differing persuasions on the issues of our time. But the June 24 BDN editorial on mass shootings is inaccurate. The BDN editorial board writes that Muslims — and other neighbors — do not know what is going on regarding terrorist activity.

I’ll give an analogy that disproves this. Take my neighborhood, in rural Maine. We have a few scofflaws who hunt and shoot deer and other game out of season. Some of these men consider themselves outside the law. But their neighbors all know who they are. Trust me, we know who they are.

The terrorists from Muslim countries are not the same as the scum who shoot up abortion clinics or work places and are our homegrown scum. The Muslims come from countries where many support Sharia Law. When we have many people who support stoning women for whatever — even victims of rape — we have a threat that is far more of a threat than a disgruntled employee or jilted lover. So let’s separate our threats, here.

President Barack Obama likes to think of our country as a melting pot. We are more like clusters of populations with differing races, ethnicities and religions than we are a melting pot.

Trump would make a terrible president for a bunch of reasons. But he is right about the sieve we call the U.S. Border Patrol, and something needs to be done about it fast.

Dick Brooks