More on the Hill School project
At a recent meeting at Revere City Hall called by Ward 4 City Councilor Stephen Reardon residents were invited to express their views on possible traffic problems at the newly rebuilt Harry Della Russo Stadium and the new elementary school next to it. In a letter to the editor a resident of Ward 4 expressed his feelings about the impact these two structures would have on nearby residents. Unhappily, the writer of this letter had an agenda not related to this topic.
Upon reading this letter I was incredulous at most of what the author said. I would like to list some of the errors in the letter with corrections and clarifications.
- He spoke about the opening of the newly built McKinley School. The name of the school is the Hill School.
- “After the mayor gave his opening remarks saying how great everything was he turned the meeting over to Councilor Reardon.”
Clarification: The meeting was called by Councilor Reardon to give his constituents a chance to express their concerns to him not by Mayor Rizzo. The mayor was kind enough to open the meeting and have city planner Frank Stringi present to answer questions if needed.
- The author wrote that “several residents implored the city to develop a traffic plan to address what will be an onslaught of approximately 400 cars a day going to the new school.”
Clarification: The purpose of the meeting was to hear from the residents in order to address the possible “onslaught” of traffic.
- The author of the letter wrote that “the city’s response to the concerns of the residents was totally unacceptable.”
Correction: The purpose of the meeting was to listen to the input of the residents so that appropriate steps could be taken if need be.
- The author wrote “as confusion reigned, the Ward 4 councilor’s response was to proclaim it all “no. big deal.”
Correction: Not needed. This comment was never made.
- The author went into a diatribe about all the problems of the city.
Comment: None of this had anything to do with the purpose of the meeting. Once again, the author of the letter showed his true intent, which was politically motivated.
It would have been helpful if the writer of the letter to the editor had made some specific suggestions about how to resolve potential problems. No suggestions were made. The real intent of the writer of the letter was to make very clear when he made no reference to a comment made by the principal of the Hill School, Ed Moccia, towards the end of the meeting. In an effort to do his best to prepare for possible traffic problems he sent out a survey to parents of the Hill School students. The result of the survey was as follows
Eighty percent of the parents said their children would be walking to school.
Councilor Reardon is to be commended for making the effort to hear from the people he represents. It is unfortunate that one of the people he represents attempted to turn a positive meeting into a politically motivated attack on Mayor Rizzo and Councilor Reardon.
Diagrees with way letter was published
Last week I submitted a letter to the editor of the Revere Journal for publication. The letter described a recent meeting at Revere City Hall, concerning the opening of the new McKinley school and rebuilt Harry Della Russo stadium. I took issue with the response of the Mayor and his administration to the myriad of concerns voiced by area residents at the meeting.
The Journal did publish my letter to the editor. However, the letter that appeared in print was heavily edited for content and contained numerous typos and grammatical errors.
The actions of the editor of the Revere Journal in making content changes to a letter to the editor violates the accepted editorial policy as defined by schools of journalism and every newspaper throughout the country. The Revere Journal, in essence, put my name to a letter that I would not have authored.
The Revere Journal needs to establish a clear policy regarding letters to the editor and print the policy somewhere in the newspaper. The paper also needs to apply the ethical standards and best practices used throughout the journalistic world regarding editing, censoring, and altering of content to letters to the editor.
Letters to the editors are one of the only ways for residents of the community to express opinions and speak truth to power in a public forum. By censoring those opinions, the Revere Journal has taken its most important service to the community–giving a voice to opinions and ideas of their readers–and co-opted that voice for its own agenda.
Arrigo, Powers against everything, including fire services
Revere City Councilors Brian Arrigo and John Powers recently voted against the entire City Budget for 2016. While I can certainly understand how City Councilors could be against certain aspects of the City’s Budget, I cannot understand how any elected official could be against all of the Budget. If a vast majority of councilors followed Arrigo and Powers irresponsible lead, the City would not be able to fund vital city services like the Revere Fire Department.
Voting against the City Budget meant voting against $155,000 in equipment upgrades for the Department, as well as funding for emergency medical personnel. I would like to know what reasons Councilors Arrigo and Powers had for voting against these equipment upgrades and EMT trainings.
Many seniors often rely on emergency services like Fire and Police, and fast response times can sometimes be a matter of life and death. As a senior citizen, I am thankful and feel safer knowing that the Revere Fire Department has one of the fastest response times in the State. I praise the rest of the City Council for having more sense than Arrigo and Powers in voting to pass these important services.