Letters to the Editor
Where in Maine?
I immediately recognized the location of the August mystery photo as the idyllic and busy harbor of Five Islands in Georgetown. When my wife and I moved to Maine almost thirty years ago from the West Coast, we ate our very first Maine lobster dinner at a picnic table on the fishing pier here. As we savored each buttery morsel, we dreamed of owning a home in this prettiest of Maine harbors. Years later we realized our dream when we bought a home here (second from left in your photograph) at an auction. Since then, we have shared our home with many summer vacationers from all over the globe who agree with us that Five Islands is truly one of the most stunningly beautiful places on the Maine coast.
—Ted Wiederhorn, Monmouth, Maine
Acadia’s Secret Side
Thank you for bringing the Schoodic Peninsula into the spotlight in your August issue. My family and I have had the pleasure of spending time at one of Schoodic’s best-kept secrets: Ocean Wood. The fragrance from the wild sea roses mixed with the salty air needs to be bottled. There is also a private beach that resembles the white sands of Cancún, but offers the privacy of your backyard.
Your August article on the State’s Computer Crimes Unit stated that I “prosecuted cases based on CCU forensics from 1999 to 2008.” In fact, I worked part-time as a legal advisor to that unit for several years but did not personally take cases to court. In December of 2002, I transferred to a different division, but continued to provide legal advice to the CCU incidental to my other duties. In April of 2008, another assistant attorney general, along with representatives that we trained from the District Attorneys’ offices, took over the responsibility of providing legal advice to the CCU. Thank you for this excellent and well-deserved article on this hard-working unit.
—Carlos Diaz, Assistant Attorney General
Maine Office of Attorney General
I just finished reading the “Editor’s Note” in your August issue, less than forty-eight hours after I returned to my New Jersey home with my wife and two young children following our annual Maine vacation. I was struck by your column, most notably the idea that “the natural world is a transcendent place.” This year, our trip included a day of touring several gardens on Mount Desert Island, as well as a scramble across Acadia’s Thunder Hole. I loved seeing my children inspecting their bug viewer, first to determine what species of caterpillar they had captured, then detecting magnified bits of pollen clinging to the legs of a honeybee. It was, to borrow a word, transcendent — one of those moments that seem to happen only in Maine.
Cranford, New Jersey
As a boater who has frequently (and carefully) enjoyed many encounters with whales, I loved your superb photography and article [“Thar She Blows!” August 2009] on whales in the Gulf of Maine. However, I do have a bone to pick with Dr. Sean Todd’s quote: “There is a tendency to overestimate intelligence when it comes to animals.” Seems to me, most of the overestimating applies to the intelligence of humans.
I very much enjoyed Matthew Simmons’ article about Hannibal Hamlin in your August issue. Not to nitpick, but there are a couple of points that should be corrected in the interest of historical accuracy. First, Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts probably should not be counted among Senator Hamlin’s “key southern counterparts,” unless you use an unusually strict geographic definition about what is southern. And the reference to Thomas Hert Preston was probably supposed to be to Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. Finally, Hamlin was not the Republican Party’s first vice presidential candidate, but rather its second. The party’s first vice presidential candidate was William L. Dayton, from New Jersey, who was John C. Fremont’s running mate in the 1856 election. These glitches aside, this was a terrific article about Hamlin’s role in America’s political history.
—Professor James E. Campbell
Department of Political Science
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Buffalo, New York