Letters to the editor

Globe Magazine readers respond to stories from recent issues, including Neil Swidey’s account of New England’s groaning electrical grid, “What If the Lights Go Out?”

The Powers That Be

Neil Swidey scared the daylights out of me with his article ("What If the Lights Go Out," February 5). I would certainly like to go off the grid. But you notice that you always have to have the backup “genny” (as they call them around here). Plus, after reading the article, it seems as if I’d also need an underground storage tank with fuel for it. It’s a good reason to be rich, I guess, but I’m not a one-percenter. Thanks for the heads-up and another thing to worry about and say prayers for: “Please God, let thy will be that the electricity stays on all the time.”

Lobsang Tengyie / Barnet, Vermont

Our neighborhood lost power for four days in November, which was scary. When NStar finally showed up, it only took 15 minutes to get it back. Two points anger me: NStar has no competition, and its CEO earns millions. He answers to stockholders, not customers. Our neighbors must have logged hundreds of calls trying to get information with no response.


Paul Phalan / Canton

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In the Globe Magazine article, the head of the electric system operator, ISO New England, reported that his agency’s people were sleepless over natural gas. Yes, New England has added a lot of natural gas power generation over the last decade. The electric operator seems to see that as a problem, but what has been the result? Regional electric reliability has been maintained, and air emissions, from sulfur dioxide to carbon dioxide, are all lower. As is the cost of electricity. Natural gas power plants are being built in New England because they are efficient, less polluting, and quite economical. It is the electric market itself that is choosing natural gas. It would be helpful, however, if the electric market in New England woke up to the reality that power generators relying on natural gas need to secure sufficient pipeline capacity to deliver it to meet their power needs. We in the natural gas industry have long encouraged the electric market participants to work with the natural gas industry to find solutions.  

Thomas M. Kiley / President and CEO, Northeast Gas Association, Needham

The article mentions only solar and wind. How about hydroelectric? In Maine, we have plenty of dams that, with work, could be put back online. I’m sure it is the same in the rest of New England.

Jim Bowman / Benton, Maine



Do Unto Others

As an evangelical Christian, I take serious offense with Miss Conduct describing a church as the "Tabernacle of Holier Than Thou" (January 22). First of all, not all Christians act holier than thou. Second, nowhere in the letter did the co-worker mention that the Christian was preachy or judgmental. I shudder to think that Miss Conduct is giving advice on etiquette and yet has no qualms about alienating and offending Christians who read her column. I’m guessing because she suggested that her correspondent read the Gospels, she’s read them, too. Two excerpts come to mind: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Maybe Miss Conduct should practice what she preaches?

Sung Yun Lee / Brookline


Home Cooking

I was beyond impressed when I stumbled upon Adam Ried’s recipe for Utica Greens in the January 22 issue. As a native of the Utica, New York, area, greens are the regional food I miss the most. I cannot wait to re-create Ried’s recipe – maybe I’ll make some Chicken Riggies and Half-Moon Cookies for a truly authentic Utica meal.


Jessica Pye / Hull

Occupy Observations

Patty Morin Fitzgerald’s piece on her son, Tim, an Occupy Wall Street activist (Perspective, January 22), characterizes the movement’s serious flaw:  protesting for the sake of protesting. Very few would disagree that there are changes to be made in the banking and corporate sectors. However, capitalism is not egalitarian, as much as Occupy Wall Street protesters wish it to be. If you are railing against the inequities of the capitalist system, then you had better come up with a much better one. Protesting just to protest and disrupt everyone else’s lives has another name: a tantrum.

Carrie Brown / Hudson

COMMENTS Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.