Portsmouth needs to fix its leash laws: Letters

Portsmouth needs to fix its leash laws

Portsmouth canines enjoy the dog park near Leary Field.
Portsmouth canines enjoy the dog park near Leary Field.

Sept. 25 — To the Editor:

You are the mother of a baby or an infant, perhaps of two or three. You push their stroller while your unleashed dog accompanies you. After all, you find it difficult to maneuver just the stroller, plus you are regularly attending to your young one(s). Are you aware that in the city of Portsmouth what you are doing is illegal?

You are the mother or father of one or more toddlers, and you are out walking and holding their hands while teaching them to walk. Your totally well-behaved family dog is accompanying you. She has learned how to be safe and not a nuisance in your human, urban world, so she is walking off-leash. Of course, you have poop bags and a leash with you, just in case. You are now breaking the law — in Portsmouth.

Your youngster is either physically, mentally, or behaviorally disabled. They are a real handful, and you often need to use both of your hands and arms to help them. Several years ago you adopted a dog, in part to provide your child with that comfort. You trained your dog for 18 to 24 months, perhaps with professional help, to safely and as a good canine citizen walk off-lead, because your dog is a part of your family and your challenged youngster benefits from your dog’s companionship. In Portsmouth you are breaking the law.

Your spouse is disabled, i.e., handicapped. They always or often cannot walk without your help, and at times there may be an event you have to deal with on the spot. Your very good unleashed dog is accompanying you. You are in violation of Portsmouth’s 2005 dog ordinance.

Is this right? I say it is not. City Council needs to remedy this.

Robert E. Newby

Portsmouth

Republicans have a point on democracy

Sept. 25 — To the Editor:

A recent campaign theme promoted by President Joe Biden, and frequently echoed in the liberal media is that MAGA Republicans (not defined) are a threat to American democracy. (See Michael Behrendt’s “Your Turn” piece of Sept. 23.) The extension of near universal condemnation of the events of Jan. 6, to tarnish most Republicans may be good demagoguery, but it badly misses the mark.

On the 2020 election:

1. There were record turnouts. Poll workers did a yeoman’s job at personal risk.

2. Rules were widely changed to greatly expand mail-in-voting — sometimes improperly (Pennsylvania); often with questionable safeguards.

3. Allowing liberal billionaire Mark Zuckerberg to spend $400 million to help local election offices operate and help get out the vote (particularly in liberal areas) compromised the election.

4. There were legitimate and understandable challenges. Joe Biden won — as did an increased number of Republican House members.

In a broader view:

1. Subsequent efforts to pass the “For the People Act,” which would have imposed federal rules allowing vote harvesting, banned voter ID, and loosened controls on voter registration fortunately failed.

2. President Biden’s “Promoting Access to Voting” executive order of March 2021, which requires every federal agency to “promote voter registration and voter participation," enlists the federal bureaucracy in a Democratic-leaning GOTV effort, has been highly under-reported, and deserves bipartisan condemnation.

3. The politicization of the FBI — from the initial fraudulent roots of the Mueller probe, to the squelching of the Hunter Biden story, to the bungling of the Mar-a-Lago raid — requires an independent review to restore public confidence.

Democracy is hard. Campaigning can be emotional. But it is not helpful to the process or to the nation to besmirch as “fascists” or “deplorables” a broad swath of the public who disagree with you on policy.

Bill Bowen

Portsmouth

Re-elect Michele Meyer to Maine House; she'll protect women's health

Sept. 25 – To the Editor:

Michele Meyer should be re-elected to represent Maine’s Legislative District 2: Eliot, South Berwick and Kittery.

I work as a physician assistant at Southern Maine Health Care, and my husband is a small business owner. We are proud residents of Eliot, Maine. Please give me a moment to explain to you and my neighbors my enthusiasm for Michele.

As a woman and a registered nurse I feel Michelle is the best choice to uphold not only my right to make my own healthcare decisions but, more importantly, the right of my patients to make the complicated and nuanced healthcare decisions that providers like me help guide then through daily. With a 100% voting record from Planned Parenthood on reproductive rights, I am confident that, as my representative, she will continue to champion women’s reproductive freedoms in the state of Maine

Furthermore, an additional healthcare accolade, includes Michele’s recent selection by the American Cancer Society for a 2022 National Distinguished Advocacy Award for her work in the fight against cancer.

In addition to being a champion for our community’s healthcare rights, Michele is incredibly committed to hearing the concerns of her constituents and works hard to fairly represent each and every voice in her district. She is tireless in her efforts for the people she represents to know her and to make herself available to them. She engages voters with a warm smile and compassionate ear.

In the words of the late and great Ruth Bader Ginsburg “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” We need women like Michele in positions where they can make sure that the often-silenced interest of women and other marginalized populations are foregrounded.

I hope that you share my concerns for protecting healthcare and women’s rights and my confidence that this extremely competent and dedicated candidate will do just that. Please consider joining me in voting for Michele Meyer

Shannon Griffin

Eliot, Maine

Who gets to live free?

Sept. 14 — To the Editor:

There are many issues about which to write a letter to the editor. Issues that are life or death to many New Hampshire residents and voters. In trying to decide which one to write about: voting rights, racism, the right to privacy (while pregnant, obviously, but also in the bedroom, online, and in face of increasing surveillance by law enforcement), climate change, national security, healthcare, social security, and on and on, I realized the issues are all linked. Which party and which candidates to support this November all boil down to one’s attitude about other-ness. Who’s included in the promise to "live free" and who is excluded?

Democracy should be about the competition of ideas, not of people. There are more than enough resources in this vast and beautiful country that no one needs to be left out. If you’re a voter who is afraid of losing what you have (whether that’s a little or a lot) and if think you might lose even more because of people who don’t look like you, act like you, or identify with the same things you do, my guess is you typically vote GOP. But the GOP isn’t going to provide you a better job, better health care or a more secure retirement. The GOP will do / is doing whatever it takes, including bending, breaking, and changing the law, so that our government is no longer of, by, and for the people but of, by, and for the elites. Don’t be fooled into throwing your voice, or your vote, away.

Mary Downes

Madbury

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Portsmouth needs to fix its leash laws: Letters