Drawing fire

Letters to the Boston editor: January 11, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  January 9, 2008

Usually I agree, more or less, with your editorial stance, but your December 2, 2007 editorial, “The Fire Next Time,” missed twice. First, why are you attacking the firefighters union for defending the rights of its members? Clearly, we don’t want people fighting fires (or flying, or driving, or doing any number of risky activities) while under the influence. But just as clearly, firefighters are people, too, and should have all the rights anyone has. In today’s climate of repression generated by the Bush/Cheney regime, why would you join the clamor for more?

Then you come out against dorms at UMass Boston. If the dorms are affordable, wouldn’t they give poor students an option to get out of their situation? Even if not, why does it hurt the school’s mission, as long as local students aren’t forced out?

Ray Charbonneau

Both your editorial “The fire next time” and Greg Selkoe’s comments about Mayor Menino (Letters, December 21, 2007) were right on, except for one bleeping little fact: you talk about Michael Flaherty as a likely candidate to run against, or worse, to succeed Menino, as mayor. Flaherty, Menino — Menino, Flaherty — it’s the same person with the same limited vision, beholden to the same special interests.

Selkoe mentioned that only 35 percent of the registered voters bothered to vote in the last mayoral election. I say a great percentage of these people work for the city, state, authorities, and, last but not least, the unions. The only thing those voters want is to keep the good times rolling with regard to their jobs and pensions. Neither Menino nor Flaherty has the stones to stand up to these people, because they vote. Selkoe’s right. The city of Boston needs new leadership, and it needs it ASAP — but not these two or the rest of the assorted hacks that David S. Bernstein mentioned in his list of potential Menino challengers (“Menino’s Hit List,” “Talking Politics,” November 30, 2007).

Ike Arnold

If Adam Reilly is looking for the old Boston sports bitterness ("Not-So-Instant Karma,” December 21, 2007), he need look no further than fans of the New England Revolution. In the past few years, we’ve had four trips to the MLS Cup final (three in a row), four losses, and an ownership group that can barely be bothered to act like it gives two cents. The Revs made it to the MLS Cup this year while playing with the smallest roster in the league (two open slots), and with more than $2 million in the bank from the deal that sent Clint Dempsey to Fulham of the English Premier League. What did Bob Kraft do with that money? Nothing. Well, nothing the fans know about, anyway. The Revs’ front office is tighter-lipped than La Cosa Nostra.

Off the field, the team (and the fans) is dismissed by the pundits as being unimportant — despite drawing an average audience of 15,000, and more than 20,000 on a night the Red Sox were in the playoffs. All this for a team that basically doesn’t advertise. The local sports media is almost GOP-esque in their dogged determination to ignore the team.

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