Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine

Readers write in about Boston-area transportation options, coexisting with great white sharks, clutter, and more.

Commuting by Bus

Thanks to Mark Pothier for his article on the Plymouth & Brockton bus (Perspective, July 7). I am a South Shore commuter who has taken the P&B from Kingston since 2015. I hope the new owners invest more in the company, and establish more service as well as better customer service training. I prefer the bus to the commuter rail because it is cheaper, quieter, has better Wi-Fi, and runs more frequently. I also think P&B could do a better job of marketing.

Pete Wilson / Kingston

When driving to Boston, I notice that virtually all private cars contain one person, the driver. Here is my proposal: Draw a line around Boston. (Actually, it’s already drawn — we call it Routes 128/95.) Along that line, set up free park-and-drives. From these, provide affordable transportation (cheaper than city parking) at regular intervals, especially at commuter times. Any car with a single driver must pay a fee to continue into the city. Make it hefty so as to discourage people from deciding to pay instead of using the park-and-drive. Start the fees for single drivers within 15 miles of the city. Force people to carpool. They will squawk, but they’ll adapt. Fees can be used for mass transit, money will be saved on bridges and highways that will suffer less stress, and Boston will become more accessible.

Kathleen Dolan / Andover


No one has acknowledged a good thing: Boston has attracted over 60,000 people in recent years. Of course the commute is going to be harder, but if one keeps in mind that our local economy is growing nicely, it balances the potential frustrations of the tough commute. The glass is half full.

Thomas Sullivan / West Roxbury

The Great White’s Ways

Excellent article on apex predators by Neil Swidey (“The Shark Next Door,” July 14). Humans and sharks can and do coexist. When I remind friends that they’re safer in the surf than on the beach with a dog, they may scoff, but statistics are clear: Shark attacks in the United States in 2018 totaled 32, with one of them fatal; dog bites in the United States over the same period totaled roughly 4.5 million, with 36 fatal attacks. On Cape Ann, herds of gray seals on Dry Salvages and Thacher Island, off Rockport, attract sharks, while others are lured by menhaden on Gloucester’s eastern shore and in Ipswich Bay, often [near] beaches like Good Harbor, Wingaersheek, and Crane. We may not see the sharks, but they are there, ignoring beachgoers as they always have.


Dave Cohen / Gloucester

Bike Safety in Boston

Michael Fitzgerald is spot on (Perspective, July 14) about the need for separate bike lanes on Cambridge Street, and in saying that people will bike when they feel safer. I was doored last year on Cambridge Street right near Massachusetts General Hospital going toward the bridge. Luckily, no injuries other than a small cut on my hand.

Todd S. Kaplan / Somerville

I lived in Beacon Hill for more than 40 years. I was nearly injured by cyclists a number of times. If cycling is to continue to pervade Boston, cyclists must comply with the rules of the road, they must have plates on their bikes, and the city must cite them for infractions. What I hear all the cycling advocates saying is that they are the prey. They rarely acknowledge that they are not following the rules — that is why things have become so dangerous.


Deborah McGrath / Rockport

Borders Without Doctors

I thank Ieva Jusionyte for her work as a paramedic at our southern border and for her moving reportage (Perspective, July 21). While Globe Magazine entertains us with kitchen updates and dating stories, this essay shows us the dire effects of our failure to rise against a crisis. I commend Jusionyte for not letting us turn away from the crimes against humanity in which we all collude if we do not decry them and work to change the way this country deals with immigrants, migrants, and refugees.

Anca Vlasopolos / Centerville

Field of Dreams

What a great piece (“At 64, Still a Boy of Summer,” July 21)! It transported me to a time when I was working at a rehab hospital in Braintree and I called the Red Sox office to see if we could get tickets for a few of our respiratory patients. The woman on the other end was gushing, “Did you hear the news today? We traded for Dennis Eckersley!” Not an avid fan at the time, I didn’t know who he was but I never forgot the name because I knew he must be somebody pretty special. Gotta love the Eck-speak!

Linda Curtis / Newbury

I enjoyed Dennis Eckersley as a player and think he’s an exceptional announcer. Seeing all of the struggles he’s had was eye-opening and more reasons to continue watching him.


Kenneth MacKenzie / Cartersville, Georgia

As a Sox fan, I knew Eckersley was a Hall of Fame pitcher and always enjoyed him in the box on game days; his commentary was always interesting. Thanks to Chad Finn for the profile of this imperfect man.

Jim Ryan

Farmington, Connecticut

Letters Spark Memories

Susan Stockard’s essay (Connections, July 21) on how she finds particular meaning now, at age 73, in the letters written to her by her parents many decades ago hit home with me. Although my parents lived just a one-hour drive from me until they retired in their 60s and moved out West, they each sent letters to me weekly, starting when I went to camp and then to college. Then, after they moved, my father, in particular, kept up the weekly missives until about six months prior to his death at the age of 87. At that point, he was too ill to continue typing. After my divorce and with my last child in college, I especially looked forward to his letters. I have often thought in recent years how much I miss my parents, and their letters, and wish I had expressed to them how much I appreciated and understood the love that those letters imparted.

Beth Ratner / Dover

Cleanup Time

Great article by Jon Gorey on kids and clutter (“The Guide: Conquer Your Kids’ Clutter,” July 28). I walk into too many homes where a 10-year-old child still has toddler toys. I am a huge fan of donating to those in need. It takes some pushing but, in the long run, kids never miss the items and everyone is much happier.


Susan Parziale / Lynnfield

Forever Friends

Thank you, Rosemary McCarthy, for the beautiful Connections essay (July 28). I laughed and I cried — her words [about lifelong friendship] really spoke to me!

Renee L. Fleuette / Bellingham

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