Tell it Like it Is

Editor’s Note: This comment is in response to “Cinemadope: In Plain Site: Stories from overlooked worlds,” March 9-15, 2017, and the author’s statement, “Over the last few months, it has become impossible to ignore the rising tides of xenophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry and hatred that have suddenly made America a much scarier place …”

In the future could you include the word “anti-Semitism”? It seems that the media is reluctant to use it. It needs to be named.

— Sandra Mandel,


Improve Building Codes to Prevent Fires

Rural firefighting, like the tragedies in Warwick, Blandford, and Holyoke is a terrible problem (“Between the Lines: Low-Income Families at Higher Risk for Fire Injury,” March 2-8, 2017). Sprinkler systems, cisterns, fire pumps, and GPS radio systems operable by satellite can increase response times. So would standing guard in rural communities with around the clock police and fire patrols looking out for fires. But all of that costs lots of money — millions! But what is the price of human life? And it’s not just the residents of buildings who become fire victims. Firefighters die, too. Strengthening fire protection, detection, and prevention as well as creating better, stronger building codes — that can help. But construction industry lobbyists pay to schmooze legislators to weaken regulations.

Any place of public accommodations has to have so many exits in so many corners of a building — including shops, malls, big box retailers, etc. And the exit has to have panic doors, safety glass, and they have to be wide enough for “X” number of people to get out safely and in time. Check your wives — are they in danger!

— Peter C. DeLuce,


Hey Trump: U.S. Needs Healthy Kids

The White House is proposing drastic cuts to global development programs in our national budget. This would be disastrous. Currently, millions of kids are able to go to school and get vital medical treatment because of anti-poverty programs supported by the U.S. government. Healthy, educated children become healthy, educated adults who can contribute to their communities and economies in a myriad of ways. This benefits all of us.

It’s been said that the national budget is a moral document, reflecting our values and priorities. I strongly urge our representatives to reject any cuts to global anti-poverty programs. I believe our country is at its best when we make sure everyone has the foundation for a bright future.

— Anneke Corbett,


Trump (Doesn’t) Care

Say no to Trump Care! The Republican party has been chomping at the bit ever since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted nearly seven years ago. Now that they control both chambers of the Legislature, they have the perfect opportunity to do what they promised the American people and their supporters. But not so fast, the Republican party, along with the president of the United States, is quickly finding out that health care reform is hard. The president’s repeal-and-replace bill will cause a large number of Americans to lose their health insurance — and that has many people increasingly worried. What’s more, health insurance companies get huge tax breaks from the government while many current recipients of the ACA will see a reduction in government subsides. Contrary to the president’s claim of “fake news,” the real fake news is that Trump Care will be better than the ACA and that more Americans will be covered than ever before. Americans are engaged more than ever and are going to Town Halls to confront their representatives. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that Trump Care is bad for America and the ACA is worth saving and fighting for.

— Tyrone Housey,