I was excited to read the “Trail of Tunes” feature about outdoor music festivals in the Phoenix Summer Guide. After all, when a headline references the Trail of Tears, you know it’s going to rock! What says summer fun like the forced exodus that led to the death of at least 4000 Cherokees? Just the thought of all that misery and injustice makes me want to grab the picnic hamper and head to Connecticut for some smooth jazz. Hey, I thought of some other notable events in American history that, with a bit of imagination, may inspire other kicky Phoenix headlines: Japanese internment camps, the Stonewall riots, lynch mobs, Jim Crow, and Tailhook. You’re welcome!
In the dog house
I was upset to see your recommendation that one visit the local greyhound tracks in your Summer Guide listings. Do you really wish to promote watching the races over dinner — maybe witnessing the slow death of a hound who is pushed up against the fence and breaks its neck — as a pastime? These beautiful, gentle dogs risk life and limb every time they get on the track for someone’s “fun” and profit. If one dog in the pack stumbles, the hounds behind it are likely to be injured, from broken legs, necks, punctured eyes, etc. I would hope that this would not be seen as entertainment. Every dog deserves a safe home and people who care about its welfare — why should greyhounds be an exception?
The Boston Phoenix has included two local dog tracks as part of its Summer Guide. Dog racing is a cruel and inhumane to the dogs. This sport was rejected overwhelmingly by the citizens of Massachusetts and should not be promoted as a “fun” activity.
I personally worked on the campaign to end greyhound racing in order to help these dogs get out from under their daily grind and have a real life. Their head and leg injuries were frequent and they were kept in cages 18 hours per day. Readers can learn more information about dog racing by consulting grey2kusa.org or the 2008 campaign Web site at protectdogs.org. Besides, people should not be encouraged to spend money gambling when our economy is so weak.
Not a good apple in the bunch
In “Mass betrayal," the Phoenix reports that it contacted 10 local representatives to discuss the need for systemic and cultural change in the wake of former Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi’s indictment on corruption charges. One of those contacted was my representative, Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester.
Forry is quoted as saying, “I think overarchingly the public trust is well kept, except by a few bad apples.” Let me tell you how Forry violated my public trust of her: at the end of 2006, I sent a two-page e-mail to her office expressing my views on pending ticket-resale legislation. I argued for a cap (two times face value) on the resale value of tickets. Forry assured me in a subsequent face-to-face meeting in no uncertain terms that I had her support.
But then Forry voted for the infamous DiMasi/Richard Vitale anti-consumer ticket-resale legislation that would have wiped out the cap on ticket resales had the bill not stalled in the State Senate. DiMasi’s buddy Vitale is on trial for influence peddling.
Forry, like most of her colleagues, fell into line with what DiMasi wanted. So when Forry talks to the Phoenix about the public trust, she speaks with a forked tongue.
Colman M. Herman