Letters to the Editor

Nice Memories

Dear Editor,

As a former Townie, I was impressed with the new building/condo on the former H.N. Sawyer printing company lot on 586 Rutherford Ave. H.N. Sawyer was originally located on Atlantic Avenue for years then moved to Charlestown. My husband Eugene (Geno) Walsh was V.P., manager and salesman for over 50 years. With a lot of printing phasing out, they closed down and went out of business when the property was sold. Now there are condos on the property. Love the name. “Graphic after HN Sawyer? Nice memories.

From another Townie

Jean K (Callahan) Walsh

Language Barriers

An Open letter to the Boston Planning and Development Agency

Dear Editor,

At a recent, Boston City Council hearing on Urban Renewal, an issue by Counselor Flynn from South Boston was discussed. At many of his neighborhood meetings with the BPDA, there are constituents that attend to learn about current updates, voice their concerns and add to the conversation regarding the goings on in their neighborhood.

However, there is a language barrier as many of the residents are unable to partake in any discussions. Councilor Ed Flynn was asking the BPDA to provide interpreters at future meetings so his constituents, who live, work, go to school in his district can participate in the discussions.

As I was gathering signatures for a Master Plan at the Harvard-Kent School on election day, it was quite apparent to me that language barriers exist in our community of Charlestown. Many Chinese folks stopped by our table with quizzical looks on their faces. I tried to explain as best I could what our cause is about, but was unable to make any headway.

With that in mind, I am asking the BPDA to give folks in Charlestown, whether it be Chinese, Spanish or other spoken languages, the opportunity to participate in the planning process and contribute to the discussions by having interpreters at some of their “chat” sessions.

Everyone in Charlestown should be involved and share their ideas. There is value in listening to all residents.

On another note, the recent “chat” meeting at the library, well attended, was not without its disruptions. The staff of the BPDA, in their esteemed wisdom, decided 15 minutes before the scheduled time to change the meeting place to an outdoor area with very limited seating as well as competing with the traffic noise. This was unacceptable as close to 100 people were making their way into the library.

In the future, please consider your audience. The expectations of the attendees are simple. We want to sit down, listen to the planners, listen to each other, speak up and share our thoughts and ideas in an orderly manner. This hardly would be the outcome with an outside venue, especially a short notice one.

I might suggest that having a microphone available would be helpful as some of us may have a hard time hearing and may miss some of the discussion. Generally, while listening to the residents speak, I have learned much about Charlestown, [when I can hear them]. It’s evident there’s a great deal of energy, passion and commitment by folks in this community.

We appreciate the opportunity to express our views and look forward to working with the BPDA in this exciting new chapter in Charlestown.

Ann Kelleher


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