Halos & Horns

Editor’s Note: Some responses to the Advocate’s annual section dedicated to the promoting and pooh-poohing of what went on in the last year.

I just want to congratulate you on your latest issue. I found it engaging and on target. Beside the nods to Planned Parenthood, the SPLC, and other things close to my heart, I was heartened to see the Halo for my dear departed friend Ed Vadas, one of our region’s true and immortal treasures. In fact, the picture of him on page 14 was taken by photographer Robert Tobey for a feature story I wrote on Eddie in September 1984, and you can see my trusty old audio recorder in the foreground. Of course I’d have liked to see Tobey get a photo credit and the photo time-dated.

I worked full time for the Advocate newspapers (all five editions) from 1975 to 1993 (mostly as production manager and music editor), and it’s heartening to see this issue, which has some spark and sharp writing reminiscent of the paper in its late-’70s/early-’80s glory days, when we were situated in Amherst and Hatfield. Keep up the good work. And thank you.

— David Sokol,


I was horrified to see your naughty review of Channel 22 News. I am so glad I missed that article and I thank you for defending our collective loved ones, friends and neighbors who live in supported housing across our region. Local nonprofits do amazing work helping some of our most vulnerable citizens. They do it without thanks, notice, or sensation. And the people they help live peaceably in community.

And that’s more than I can say for some other community members who can’t seem to get out of their own way to live well, even with the blessings of a fully competent mind and body.

— Tracy Caisse,

via Facebook


Israel, Again With the Expansions?

I accept that Israel “has a right to exist,” despite the way it came into existence — through armed displacement of over 700,000 Palestinians who were forced from their homes into refugee camps. Today, Israel has spread far beyond its initial 1948 UN sanctioned borders and is swallowing Palestine whole. There are over 6 million Palestinian refugees — a stateless people — scattered in refugee camps in Middle Eastern countries and throughout the world. Millions more are crammed into their shrinking territory which they have held for over three thousand years.

There is no purpose to further Israeli expansion, other than to crowd Palestinians out of what remains of their homeland. Most Israelis are from somewhere else — America, Europe, other Middle East countries, Africa, etc. What the UN Security Council is attempting to do through the December 23 resolution condemning Israeli encroachment through settlements is to uphold international law and allow Palestinians a piece of what is rightfully theirs, in terms of land documents and a heritage dating back to ancient biblical times. The Palestinian issue is at the heart of the problem in the Middle East. Settle that and you begin to calm the waters. Allow Israel to proceed full bore and you will ignite the world in a conflagration.

— Genevieve Fraser,