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Letter: Newton boathouse operator has battled for river's health

I am deeply saddened to read in the Boston Globe (“River boathouse operator loses bid for contract,” May 5) that the Newton franchise of Charles River Canoe and Kayak is passing to new management.

In the 40 years that Larry Smith has managed the service, he has done a great deal more than “manage.”

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He has led the community in annual and long-range conservation. Without his expert leadership the river in this area would by now be clogged with alien vegetation.

The battle for its survival continues.

The new manager cites Larry’s “dedication to the boathouse.”

His dedication is in fact to the entire river, not just the building and its business.

The new manager adds that under his management there will be “no impact to the public.”

He does not mention the impact to the river. I wonder if he understands the fragile conditions of the river; I wonder how and if he plans to help maintain its health. Under Smith’s leadership, the service has been about alot more than renting boats; it has been about the very life of a river.

This is about a great deal more than boats and business.


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