Letters:

July 14, 2017
By

Boston Police fishing derby thanks supporters

On Saturday, 6/24, the officers and staff of Boston Police District E-13 held the 1st Annual Jamaica Pond Fishing Derby for Kids, “Catch & Release with the Boston Police”. The derby was a tremendous success, in spite of some moments of heavy rainfall. Approximately 100 local children, aged 5-15 years, along with their families, enjoyed hours of fishing, food, music, demonstrations, trophies, prizes and raffle gifts. The happy smiles, young and old, were too many to count throughout the day.

The Boston Police would like to thank our many sponsors & partners who helped to make possible this free, fun, family event. Some of these sponsors and partners included: Reebok, Boston Police Athletic League, Acme Body & Paint, Stanleys Towing Service, Boston Police Patrolmen’s Assoc., Boston Police Detective Benevolent Society, Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Massachusetts Environmental Police, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Department. of Conservation & Recreation, Boston Parks & Recreation, Boston Park Rangers, Appalachian Mountain Club, Great Wolfe Lodge, Kings Bowl America, Tree of Life/ Arbol de Vida, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, L.L. Bean, Edaville Family Theme Park, Home Depot, Ruggiero’s Market and dozens of generous volunteers.

The children, officers, staff and volunteers are very grateful for the generosity of all of our dedicated partners and sponsors. Please look to support them when possible. We look forward to our 2nd Annual Derby. See you in June, 2018!

Officers and Staff of Boston Police District E-13

Arborway project a “complete and utter debacle”

The D.O.T.’s Forest Hills construction project is a complete and utter debacle. A pedestrian approaching  the T Station from central JP is greeted by foot tall grass, months old litter strewn everywhere, hedges that have not been trimmed since at least last year and a complete appearance of property neglect. The pedestrian corridors are poorly delineated, lack signage, have no protection from impatient cars and buses. The time allowed on the traffic light to cross from South St. to the T station is not nearly enough for a healthy, young adult much less for the elderly, the disabled or someone with children. Crossing to the Forest Hills subway stop from almost all directions is truly dangerous. There is little to no design in traffic calming in what appears to be a motorists’ Wild West. Outside facilities and spaces for people waiting for buses or taxis has been either torn down or moved absurdly far away with little construction activity then happening for weeks in those areas.

This project is more than two years behind schedule with a new third or is it a fourth completion date set for the spring of 2018. Months go by with no apparent construction progress. The T apparently sees the highway work as an excuse not to do basic landscaping maintenance on its property. Twelve hours of work by a private landscaping crew would transform the area. The Boston Police Department requires paid details for the most inconsequential utility work on quiet side streets, yet a city, state or T police officer is rarely seen directing traffic or protecting the thousands of pedestrians trying to figure out to get to one of the T’s busiest stations safely. How the state can allow a contractor to fall so egregiously behind schedule is beyond the comprehension of the public. The contractor should be prohibited from bidding on future public works projects for a year or two. The state transportation officials responsible for the Arborway replacement plan need to answer to the public for such a poorly executed effort.

This project has become truly embarrassing for Boston. What is crystal clear is that there is no one person WHO is responsible for the maintenance and movement of the entire project forward. I can already hear the jurisdictional excuses of that is T, state or city property. The public needs a manager with real power across all agencies to restore  safety, functionality and timely construction progress around the Forest Hills T station.

The Mayor’s and  Governor’s offices, in concert WITH state reps and city councilors from the adjacent neighborhoods, need to step up and apply the political pressure to make immediate fixes and move this interminable construction project to an efficient and functional close.

Tony LaCasse

Roslindale resident

A letter to my students

It was my joy to teach you U.S. History this year. It was my joy; it was also my burden – for you see, the events of this past year, the election above all, by necessity underwrote every instructional decision I made; it informed everything we did.

If, after tomorrow, you forget many of the finer details of U.S. History – but do please remember those tomorrow, for the sake of the final exam – you must remember two of its enduring lessons.

First, history matters. Try to tell me with a straight face that 2016 was not a referendum on the past. You can’t.

Don’t let my class be the last history class you ever take, therefore. The funny thing about history is this – you cannot hope to grasp the present, you cannot begin to imagine future possibilities, until you know the past.

Second, the measure of our society going forward will be its capacity for compassion and wonder, not its speed, not its ability to consume.

In saying this, I acknowledge that I am preaching against the gospel according to Mark Zuckerberg, that I am advocating against the pedagogical dictates of your Chromebook.

I do not for an instant believe that what our country needs at this hour is more tech-savvy. I do not believe that what you need from me and from your school is more screen time.

What you need – what we need as a country – is real honest-to-goodness dialogue; we need to have an honest conversation with each other about America, about our shared and codependent histories.

That, as I see it, is our only way forward.

And if we fail to do that now, if we retreat into the snuggeries of our screens or settle for #outrage and name-calling, or agitprop facilitated by anti-social media – if we fail now as a country to really face one another, then I think we condemn the Republic to death.

This places an awesome burden on you, I realize. But you are 17-years old, some of you are 18, and there is no sense in pretending that what is waiting for you in the “real world” is anything other than the accumulated weight of five hundred years of history.          Acknowledging and shouldering the burden of history is what it means to be a grownup.

That’s what I tried to teach you this year.

“We have a task here,” one former professor of mine said recently. “The Titanic is only going to take us so far.”

So, please, enjoy your summer break. But please, please, do not forget what we learned together this year.

I’ll see you all in the fall.

Andrew Jarboe

Jamaica Plain resident

 

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