Letters to the Editor

Helping Charlestown Recovery House

To the Editor:

On January 23rd, 2015, a few close friends got together for the Fourth Annual Swim-a-thon for the Charlestown Recovery House. Held at the YMCA in Charlestown, as in the past, awareness and funds were raised in hope that the residents of the Recovery House may continue their journey on to become as successful as we know they can be.

This year was very special for numerous reasons. First and foremost, we wanted to extend a warm welcome to the Gavin Foundation of South Boston and it’s transitional team and wish them our deepest thoughts and prayers as they take on the responsibility of providing care to the men in the Recovery House.

I want to especially thank Tommy and Suzi Howard, Jimmy Travers and my sponsor, John Hooley.  I want to thank my amazing swimming partner who has been there since day one, Jean McGonagle who brought her daughter Jenna and Coach Mom McGonagle who egged us on from the sidelines making this night a warm and wonderful gathering.  This year’s fundraising was also helped by an adopted woman from Cambridge, Helen Gibbons.

It’s our hope that if we can save but one life, then that one life we saved can go and save another- for it’s in giving that we get back.  We wish to thank the YMCA and all the great staff for helping with the arrangements and we hope to continue our partnership with this great organization.

But most of all I want to thank all of you who make this journey possible.

David Bobick

Let’s replace space saving with kindness

To the Editor:

There is no doubt that this winter is trying our collective patience, and yet, while my husband and I have been out shoveling over these past many storms we have been struck by the wonderful conversations we have had with neighbors we had not previously met.  A consistent theme of these conversations is how many of us are fed up with the practice of space-saving on tax-payer supported public streets.  It seems the practice continues to a large degree simply because “everybody does it” not because it is the right or civil thing to do.  Let’s face it, space-saving is based on fear and intimidation and often brings out the worst in us.

So how about we try flipping this dynamic?  With each storm, my husband and I shovel out our two cars and then shovel out a random car somewhere on our block, or pay enterprising teens to do the same.  When we move our cars we do not put a space saver in our spots.  In fact, in the 23 years we have lived in Charlestown we have never used space savers.

If those of us who are in good health would all do the same, Charlestown could both rid itself of the ugliness of streets littered with broken furniture and trash while flipping a tradition based on intimidation to one of kindness and neighborliness.   A group of residents in Boston’s South End is working together this winter to rid its streets of the scourge of space-saving.

What do you think Charlestown?

Karyn Wilson

We are vulnerable

To the Editor:

Recently, (January 22nd) Mark Reed sent a letter “Don’t Demolish our History.” His careful and thoughtful words were heard by me. I have worked with Mark on a common cause … That being the preservation of a neighborhood which stands in the crossroads of respectful preservation or careless exploitation.

Thirty-five years ago, I stood in line at what was then the Boston Five Bank. Back in the day, there was a lottery in order to get an affordable mortgage of less than 17%. As a woman who had a “low to moderate” income and who wanted to buy in a “target area” which was known for its good neighbors and great potential, I won the lottery! I have lived here since, for the same reasons that I stood in line. And I would stand in line again.

We are facing an increasing number of potential investors who are moving to our urban village and changing its very character. Unfortunately, this can be done because we are vulnerable and have no recourse in terms of protecting its history, both architecturally and culturally.

There is a petition, signed by hundreds who care to be heard. If you would like to have a voice, please contact me and I will give you the link.

It does, indeed, take a village.

Pam Brodie

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