Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers share their thoughts on noise research in the city, former EPA director Gina McCarthy’s mission, and more.

Shower Etiquette

Miss Conduct is one of my Sunday morning staples, but I thought the response to the letter writer asked to throw a wedding shower missed the mark (Miss Conduct, May 20). An event with the refrain “no gifts please” can be a way of satisfying a desire to share the happy event with friends without obligating anyone to spend more than a thousand dollars once travel, hotel, and a gift are factored in.

Heidi Waldstein Needham

Loud Living

People who move into noisy areas such as Logan, Fenway, and near major highways make the trade-off of lower prices versus noise (“Sounding the Alarm!” May 20). I think it is inappropriate, and a money grab, for them to try to improve the value of their property through legislation and tax dollars. Given inadequate infrastructure funds, priority should be given to repairing roads, bridges, and the MBTA rather than erecting sound barriers.

Steve Watson Lynnfield

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Thinking Green

Neil Swidey keeps on writing great articles, and his most recent one, on Gina McCarthy, is truly one of his best (“The Planet Populist,” May 27). Swidey knows how to get to the heart of the subject with alacrity, and with savvy and elan.

Mel Yoken New Bedford

New Country


Abdi Nor Iftin’s determination to make it in America (“Safe Harbor,” May 27) is an inspiration to this son and grandson of immigrants from both Africa and Norway. His willingness to take on any task is a story that is as old as our first immigrants 400 years ago. The introduction of peoples from throughout the world has made us a better nation as long as we treat everyone with the fairness and dignity that we all deserve.

Edwin Andrews Malden

The words that resonated for me in Iftin’s memoir excerpt were, “I said I could work anytime day or night.” These same sentiments have been declared for generations by those seeking a better life here. Immigrants who appreciate any opportunity have built, and continue to build, these United States. If only present society — and the present administration — could recognize that.

Mary Ellen Mackin Reading

What a wonderful story! I was so full of joy for him. Thank you for publishing this. Welcome to the USA!

Linda Kidder Essex

Thank you for publishing the excerpt of Iftin’s memoir. It is a gem. It should be required reading for all Americans. Most of us were of immigrant forebears. They faced the same fears and had the same dreams on their arrival to America. It takes courage, stamina, and the help of others to achieve the American dream. Bravo to the Maine family who opened their hearts and their home to aid him.

Kaye Nilan Richardson Milton

As a veteran English as a second language instructor of young international students and recent immigrants at Salem State University, I read Iftin’s article with great interest. His descriptions perfectly capture many of the experiences my students have related in class. It is certainly not easy to adjust to a new culture with its different customs and language, but these students are determined to persist.

Joni Hagigeorges Methuen


When the next commercial “theme” issue appears and some readers write to complain that it falls short of the magazine’s journalistic standards, I’ll remember that such revenue-producing issues make possible Neil Swidey’s great profile of Gina McCarthy and Iftin’s superb immigration memoir. I’ll gladly wade through a handful of the former in order to have access to the excellence of the latter.

John Barbour West Roxbury

CONTACT US: Write to or The Globe Magazine/Comments, 1 Exchange Place, Suite 201, Boston, MA 02109-2132. Comments are subject to editing.