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    Letters to the editor

    Readers respond to Dave Barry’s end-of-year review, a story on the homeless, and more.


    How excited I was when I saw “The Dave Barry Year in Review” (January 5). Sadly, I found myself skipping through the article. Instead of getting several minutes of enjoyment, I was reminded of the many things that were messed up this year. Thanks, Dave, but I did not need the reminder.

    Paula Caravella


    I haven’t laughed so much since the Obamacare rollout. My husband kept giving me strange looks, and the cat yowled once and left the room. Or maybe it was the other way around. No matter. I’m exhausted. Gotta go lie down. . . . 

    Barbara Klain



    Alexandra Coria’s column about the conditions homeless families face in the state shelter system resonated (Perspective, December 22). As members of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s Family Team, a multidisciplinary group that provides outreach medical and behavioral services to homeless families throughout the region, we witness daily the physical and emotional impact of these environments. The motel scene is particularly discouraging, as Dr. Coria noted. Although the state continues to work to improve housing options, the system is stretched beyond capacity, and we find that the medical and psychiatric acuity within families is dramatically rising. The availability of permanent subsidized housing remains a huge challenge. However, it is the only sane, just, and ultimately cost-effective course to allow families some chance for a measure of health, dignity, and hope for kids to break the cycle in the next generations to come.

    Karen Friedman

    Healthcare for the Homeless Program Family Team


    A civilized community does not allow these significant and preventable harms to be endured by its children and their parents. The Center for Social Policy’s research affirms these unconscionable consequences of our state’s current housing policies. In Massachusetts, we have the brainpower to bring fresh, bold ideas to the table to ensure that every household can afford housing, free of stigmatizing and debilitating hardship — a basic human right. The same community spirit and generosity that brought us together in the wake of the Marathon tragedy is needed now to undo the damage already done and prevent more families from falling into this downward homelessness spiral. Nothing less than the well-being of us all is at stake.

    Donna Haig Friedman

    Director, Center for Social Policy McCormack Graduate School University of Massachusetts Boston

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    Having worked with families living in motels a number of years back, I find it hard to believe that the Legislature has failed to improve this devastating situation. It is time for the government to grasp the concept that although the initial financial output would be substantial, in the long run, permanent income-adjusted housing subsidies would be cost-effective and certainly much more humane.

    Gary A. Kaplan



    What a snide remark Miss Conduct made referring to “the kinds of people who believe in alternative medicine” (December 22). Most people turn to alternative approaches after traditional ones have failed them. Some approaches that had been viewed skeptically are now becoming more accepted, even by conventional doctors. You owe people who are suffering and trying to find a “path” that works for them an apology.

    Nancy Goodman



    I enjoyed reading Laura Long’s essay about exchanging Christmas cookies (Connections, December 22). My mother, Ruth Glaser, is the Christmas cookie queen. She has made them every year of my life. I am now 60 and she is 90. She makes 17 different kinds and then gives them to family, friends, hairdressers, cleaners, and others. In 2012 she was recovering from a stress fracture and “only” made 1,800. In 2013 she is back to her usual 2,200. I am not kidding!

    Mary Glaser


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