Letters: June 2007
As a 10-year resident of Wellesley Park, I appreciate the media’s occasional acknowledgement of Dorchester’s lovely streetcar–suburb neighborhoods [“If You Lived Here…You’d Never Want to Leave,” May].
With easy access to downtown and major highways, Dorchester is an enormous neighborhood made up of many smaller ones. Smart restaurants and pubs populate Dot. Ave.; beaches and harbor kayaking are just a few steps from the Savin Hill T stop. Waterfront parks host kite festivals, and there are plenty of bicycle and walking paths—not to mention open studios, Dot Art, and Ashmont Hill Chamber Music. Dorchester is thriving, and a far cry from the constant negative battering it receives in the press.
I was disappointed that your article on the Boston bluefin tuna [“The One That Almost Got Away,” May] had no discussion about the fact that these majestic animals have been severely overfished. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium website, “The Atlantic population has declined by nearly 90 percent since the 1970s. Bluefin are slow to mature and, unfortunately, many young fish are caught before they have the chance to reproduce.” In addition, many of the practices used in catching the bluefin result in the entangling of marine mammals and other fish species.
It would be nice if, at least on occasion, your magazine would cover conservation and responsible consumerism instead of capitalism at all costs.
Jessica Barron Essary
PEACE DE RESISTANCE
Thank you for Geoffrey Gagnon’s article on conscientious objectors [“The War Within,” May]. The haunting sadness of the accompanying illustration captured my attention, and I couldn’t put the magazine down until I had read the last word.
Conscientious objectors have always been shadows on the periphery of my understanding of conflict. With the dreadful death spiral of the final years of the Vietnam War, though, they ceased to be shadows—they became real people with real stories. They had been drafted to fight a war they believed at best foolish and at worst immoral. But that war did end. Peace came, the draft was over, and we in this country went back to the distractions of jobs and families and the World Series.
Now, once again, intelligent and compassionate human beings are being caught up in an unreasoned, unreasonable conflict, and the story of Louis Font clearly sets forth the dilemma faced by those who must choose either “belief in one’s commitment, or commitment to one’s beliefs.” “The War Within” goes to the heart of this problem as it details individuals’ encounters with the military process, following the thread of one lawyer’s casework.
I was particularly touched to read about Font’s absorption with his decades-old copy of The Armed Forces Officer. Perhaps if America’s military leaders shared his knowledge of and reverence for this work, there would no longer be a need to declare CO status.
PARENTS THESE DAYS
I was beyond appalled after reading [“Lights, Camera…Prom!” May]. What a sad portrayal of today’s teenagers.
Why aren’t these parents reminding their kids about what’s truly important? How often do these kids stop to reflect on their lifestyles and say, “Thanks, Mom and Dad, for working so hard to make my life so comfortable. I know there are lots of people out there who aren’t as fortunate as us, so I really do appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
I realize a lot of parents feel that they’ve worked hard and therefore should be allowed to “spoil” their children. But I’d say to them: Be careful that your children don’t think they’ve earned these kinds of rewards just by existing. You are setting them up for disaster when they go out into the real world and have to take care of themselves. Make sure they realize how good they have it, and are grateful.
And to the parent who was quoted in the story as saying, “What choice does a mother of a teenage girl have? Should your child be the only one with inferior anything? Not in my house.” Give me a break. You have tons of choices. You’re the parent, after all. Say no. Stop teaching children to be superficial and shallow. Stop succumbing to peer pressure from other parents. What are you teaching your kids if you can’t stand up for yourself?
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
The article in your May issue about Avi Kremer’s struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease [“The Priorities of an Impatient Patient,” May] moved and touched me tremendously. Like Kremer, I am also an American and an Israeli, living mostly in Framingham and also in my second home in Israel. My wife, Jeanne, died of Lou Gehrig’s disease 17 years ago, but it seems like yesterday. It was a tremendous loss that will stay with my son and me forever.
I had an enormously emotional reaction to this article. Suddenly, I did not feel alone anymore in my grief.
Michael M. Schweiger
FEELING THE BURN
Without the advent of the Adam Berke Gym, which I founded here in 1996, facilities like the Sports Club/L.A. and Equinox [“Sweat Shops,” May] would not exist in Boston. The difference between the multimillion-dollar corporations that run these clubs and what I did is that I was self-financed. I had my own vision—and it’s the very same one being mirrored by these conglomerates.
The things we did were historic and groundbreaking, from incorporating design by Philippe Starck to offering spin cinema. I guess that’s the price one pays for being innovative: waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.
Adam C. Berke
FOR THE RECORD
The article [“Absolutely Prefabulous,” April] incorrectly identified the designer of the FlatPak prefabricated house. Charlie Lazor is both the founder and designer of the FlatPak. Also, the windows of the FlatPak bedroom photographed for the article are made of regular glass, not Polygal.