It would be a shame, and inaccurate, if the debate about the Neponset River Trail extension (“A bridge too far?”; Banner’s Aug. 5 edition) leaves an impression that Milton is a racist community. Like many communities, Milton has pockets of ignorance and intolerance but far more Milton residents are friendly, welcoming and inclusive these days than not.
It’s good that several Capen Street residents are being honest about their fears about crime, but are the fears based on evidence? Even if crime exists in Ryan Park and Mattapan Square, why should anyone assume that perpetrators will want to use a new biking and walking path to do their business over in Milton? I tend to agree with Capen Street resident Judi Lieberman and with Lt. Bill Fleming of the Transit Police, who observe that an increase in people traffic is usually associated with greater safety, not less.
In my own Milton neighborhood, we had a debate about rebuilding a footbridge over Pine Tree Brook at the edge of Pope’s Pond. Some neighbors feared drawing people to their street, connecting with this woodsy area and with Blue Hills Parkway. The bridge was built and it has become an attractive amenity, a well-used magnet where residents walk, jog, bike and enjoy a beautiful natural spot. Before the bridge was rebuilt, kids sometimes had noisy parties at this isolated location at night and the area was strewn with beer cans. That has been mostly eliminated with the increased access and foot traffic the footbridge provides.
The river really does separate Mattapan from Milton. If more relationships existed among residents of the two communities, there would be less perpetuating of unfounded fears that criminal elements will invade the Capen Street neighborhood or stereotypes that Milton people are hostile to outsiders from Mattapan.
I’m confident that Mattapan residents want clean, quiet and safe streets just as much as Milton residents and that both communities are looking forward eagerly to the recreational and health benefits of the completion of this segment of the Neponset River Trail.
The office or tenure of the president, especially in superbly mismanaged Haiti, requires quality leadership given the plethora of unwanted problems the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean nation has long been experiencing.
The immeasurable number of problems — from definitively securing the financial assistance needed to pay for the cost of reconstructing the nearly eviscerated nation from blanket crushing poverty to endemic corruption, to name only these ones — will certainly not disappear or be consigned to the archives of history with the arrival of a new president.
In the years to come, they will, hopefully, rather gradually, become less prominent or diminish in scale — only if in November Haiti principally expresses its electoral sentiments for a capable man or woman.
Like many others, Wyclef Jean, the celebrity candidate, certainly does not possess even the residual experience in political and economic affairs to competently be troubled Haiti’s next chief executive officer.
Yves A. Isidor
There’s no proof that the Herald’s story linking a shooting to the Puerto Rican parade was done on purpose, so don’t make assumptions. Statements like this really get to me.
As a hopeful journalist, it is discouraging and offensive to me that readers take a genuine mistake to heart and turn it around to make the source look bad. The statement was retracted; therefore, it was not meant to offend anybody or to “feed stereotypes.”
It was a simple mistake and it was corrected.
The Boston Herald’s apology sure seems like a victory on the surface; the reality is that the original story will remain in the minds of many readers. Fewer will notice the apology and retraction.
The damage is done! Notice how severely and quickly black people are penalized by the system when they make similar mistakes. Shirley Sherrod immediately comes to mind. Now is a great time to take more control of our own stories and create our own media — like the Bay State Banner.