Letters to the Boston editor, June 29, 2007

Regarding “The Mess at UMass”: I am vice-chancellor for university advancement at UMass Boston and I support President Jack Wilson’s plan for forming a united front as a true, five-campus-university system, including a strong campus in Amherst.

As a native of Springfield, I see many exciting possibilities for UMass Amherst to be engaged with the greater Springfield community. Why not have the university run a high-tech incubator and continue to foster relationships with new companies, as other UMass campuses do? How about expanding the partnership between the College of Education and the Springfield public schools, as exists between UMass Boston and the Boston schools? How about a downtown center for professional studies to meet the educational needs of Springfield workers? There are so many possibilities to explore, and there’s no question that the university can and should do more. But we will need to adopt the spirit of collaboration and engagement that President Wilson has called for in his recent leadership appointments in order for Springfield to fully capitalize on the great assets that exist in Amherst.

I also want to make clear what is happening and what is not happening. There are no plans to centralize fundraising. We plan to centralize data, but continue to have donor relations and fundraising managed locally on the university’s five campuses. The board of trustees and President Wilson are committed to the continued success of all campuses and keeping the process campus-led and managed.

Darrell C. Byers
Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
University Of Massachusetts Boston

Going to the chapel
Thank you, Massachusetts! I am proud to live in this state that protects the rights of all of its citizens. The ConCon showed us that we, the LGBT community, derive the same equal rights as all citizens in the Commonwealth. This week marks the 40th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, the historic US Supreme Court decision to recognize the legitimacy of interracial marriages that proclaimed: “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.” These words ring as true today with respect to the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Let us celebrate this victory for justice and equality, and let us move past the acrimony to respect our common humanity.

Allison Christiansen

Hot air
To me, the really bizarre battle over Cape Wind is why the Patrick administration ignores the hidden costs. Since wind blows intermittently, Cape Wind must be “backed up” with another source of energy generation. This electricity will be generated from nuclear power or fossil fuels, most likely natural gas. Add to that the cost of manufacturing turbines that can withstand an ocean environment and beefing up Cape Cod’s transmission lines, and after a while, Cape Wind becomes a costly environmental bauble.

Ann Stewart

Editor’s note
Adam Reilly’s cover story this past week about Red Sox fans who obsessively hate Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy quoted from a Barstool Sports online forum. In an effort to disparage Shaughnessy, the post insulted Shaughnessy’s wife with a nasty remark that should never have been made in the first place. While this item may be a good example of out-of-control vitriol, which is a legitimate subject for a press critic to consider, especially in a sports-crazed city like Boston, to quote that post is to dignify a hurtful insult best forgotten. Our effort to convey to readers the degree to which tempers can flare with such nasty remarks undoubtedly left some offended, and they had a right to be. We apologize, especially to Dan Shaughnessy and to his family.

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