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COMMENTS | MAGAZINE

Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers write in about what Alewife Brook was, and could be in the future, as well as the controversy surrounding vapes, and more.

I’ve kayaked part of Alewife Brook and also noted its beauty, along with the discarded bikes and shopping carts (“The Two Worlds of Alewife Brook,” August 14). Most people don’t realize how wonderful our urban rivers really are — for humans and wildlife. Thanks to Greg Harris for writing this excellent article and helping draw attention to the efforts to clean up these waterways.

ctowndad

posted on bostonglobe.com


Habitats can recover if you give them a chance — the Charles River and Boston Harbor local and notable examples. Every time I see Alewife Brook, I imagine what it could be.... Political will, and appreciation for what you have, goes a long way.

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Yankee Doodler

posted on bostonglobe.com


This story revived memories in my 76-year-old mind. Living in East Lexington, my father was an avid fisherman in the ponds mentioned. Most vivid is fishing as an 8-year-old in Little Pond, which my father referred to as “little Spy” in recognition of “big” Spy Pond across Route 2. We used to cross a derelict rail trestle over the outlet of little Spy to reach our usual fishing spot. I recall long freight trains rolling by the pond when I could count a hundred freight cars. Nearby Jerry’s Pond was rumored so deep as to be “bottomless”—there were no fences preventing access as there are now. As I recall, although carp were plentiful, they were considered unsuitable for supper. Today, due to improved access [with the installation of a fish ladder], herring and alewives can now access past the falls from Upper to Lower Mystic Lake and beyond. Yay, herring and alewives!

Charles Przyjemski

Wilmington


Here we sit in 2022, in the midst of the mistakes made somewhat honestly in centuries past, working hard to figure out what to do. Much is being done on river restoration. Publicizing this is an important piece of it all.

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McNamara Buck

Cambridge


Lots of interesting detail and intriguing pictures. I love the idea of more recreation along our natural corridors, so they experience the stewardship needed to sustain them. Abutters should see their own interest in the value it adds to their property. Good bikeways along these corridors help bring attention to them, too, and the Alewife connector from Alewife station to Fresh Pond has needed attention for some time, incorporating, rather than avoiding, the housing complex next to the bridge.

Fritz

posted on bostonglobe.com


We grew up a block from Alewife Brook in Arlington. I recall a time when a giant snapping turtle left the brook and came up the street to our home. Another hilarious memory is when my brother (then a teenager) got dropped off with his small boat at the Mystic Lakes. Instead of waiting for a ride home, Fred and his friends made their way home in that boat through the Mystic River and Alewife Brook. Family members still live on Teel Street in Arlington and appreciate what the brook was and could be again.

Ellen Whitney Sharpe

Burlington


Thanks to Greg Harris for his conservation efforts. The push-pull between developers and environmentalists is huge right now, especially with the developers tossing around “affordable housing” to plow their way to approval. We need housing, but we can’t lose sight of the need to preserve (or improve) our environment—and who wants to live packed in like sardines without open space and quality of life?

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northshore123

posted on bostonglobe.com


I grew up near there and am amazed that some bodies of water that made me sick as a kid are now swimmable and clean. With the work of people like Harris, maybe Alewife can see the same miracle.

Easydoesit1956

posted on bostonglobe.com



Burning Questions

Great piece (“Vape Wars,” August 14)! I quit smoking cigarettes, which had consumed approximately 27 years of my life, three years ago, by using a multiprong approach including vaping nicotine. I am still vaping nicotine. My pulmonary health has improved, and my overall health has improved. Thank goodness for vapes as an option

Bostonmomof3kids


posted on bostonglobe.com

What I don’t understand is why tobacco is so stigmatized. I can understand smoking bans in public places as they affect not only the smoker but people around him, but vaping is a method where the only one consuming the drug is the user. In an age where alcohol consumption is legal, and where we have mostly and rightly legalized marijuana, why is it not possible for an adult to ingest as much nicotine as they want, as long as it is done in a way that doesn’t affect the health of people surrounding them?

vfduque

posted on bostonglobe.com


The distinction between the harm caused by the carrier of nicotine vs. the harm caused by nicotine itself seems clear to me, but so does Biden’s victory in 2020. Might the root of the problem be the demonization of addiction?

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devans

posted on bostonglobe.com


Vapes could be prescription, to give access to smokers who need help—but there are way too many kids using them. Puff Bar, Juul, and the next guy. There needs to be tighter control.

Boston99#

posted on bostonglobe.com



Child’s Play

Thanks to Brooke Hauser for reminding us of that joyful time when we ran around asking other kids if they could play (Connections, August 14). I had forgotten that we had approached kids in their homes this way. We were trained to ask because kids may be doing chores or have other plans with their families. I also remember being on the receiving end. A kid would ask, then I would yell, “Mom, can I go out to play?” and she would usually say yes. Most likely so she could have quiet space for herself!

JM the JP

posted on bostonglobe.com


That sounds a lot like many of our childhoods; it’s nice to see an occasional neighborhood filled with children—outdoors—and not on video games!

newsyoucanuse

posted on bostonglobe.com


Brought tears, as I remembered my same type of childhood in the 1950s on Nottinghill Road in Brighton. Kids of all ages running in and out of everyone’s houses. Older sibs looking out for the younger ones. Taking the “streetcar” (the T) into “town” (Boston) with just enough money, plus a hidden dime to call back home in an emergency. Everything else we figured out on our own. Roller skates, bikes, balls, Red Rover. Those were the days.

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mjfourn

posted on bostonglobe.com



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