It looks like I made it just in the nick of time—the Love Locks fence on Commercial Street in Portland, Maine will meet the same fate as the locks on the Pont Des Arts in Paris did. They will be torn down on Monday because, like the locks in Paris, they pose a structural risk to the fence and the sewage and storm drain that it protects.
Contrary to popular belief, the tradition did not actually start in Paris—that only began in the early 2000’s. It is thought to have started in Serbia during World War I, but the tradition has been catching on recently around the world in cities like Paris, Rome, Cologne, New York, and many other locations like Portland. While it is a sweet tradition among well-meaning couples, the locks are destroying the integrity of bridges and other structures and many believe that they are marring the beauty and architecture of landmarked buildings.
Tonight marks the opening of the 46th annual Lincoln Center Out of Doors cultural festival. For three weeks there will be daily performances of music, dance, and the spoken word. The festival is free, but seating may be limited, so attendees should arrive early—at least one hour in advance. Check the website at www.lcoutofdoors.org for additional information.
photo courtesy of Brady Campaign
The Grand Old Party, otherwise known as the Republican Party, has staunchly supported Second Amendment rights, even in the wake of mass shootings in elementary schools, universities, movie theaters, churches, and places of business. The National Rifle Association and other conservative groups refuse to even consider any common sense measures to curtail the sale of semi-automatic weapons. Yet, that very same party has called for a temporary ban on open-carry gun laws in Ohio during the Republican National Convention out of fear of gun violence in Cleveland. Their fears are well-founded, given the ambush killings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge this past week. These murders are travesties, to be sure, but the murders of kindergarteners and church goers are tragic as well, so why won’t they consider a ban or a revision to the liberal gun ownership rules in order to save the lives of ordinary Americans? Isn’t it ironic or hypocritical?
Today marks the 240th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. The words of Thomas Jefferson are just as important today as they were when he wrote them “all of those years ago:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
A little rain won’t dampen my spirits as I continue to celebrate the principles upon which my great country were founded. As I prepare to vote in my first presidential election, I will cast my vote for the candidate who I believe will uphold these ideals.
The quaint village of Sag Harbor, New York, settled before the American Revolution, was once an active whaling port and in its early years rivaled New York City as an important international shipping hub. The village has retained its old world charm, with many of the buildings dating back to the eighteenth century. To celebrate American patriotism on this July 4th weekend, shopkeepers and homeowners have festooned their buildings with flags and bunting and village fireworks are scheduled in the harbor tonight.