Letters to the Editor

I was shocked to read

Dear Editor

As a parent of an elementary school student in the Revere Public School system I was quite shocked to read that parents objected to instructors teaching about the nature and history of Islam in our schools, misconstruing it as proselytizing.

Opponents of the curriculum may be surprised to learn that at one time, when the lights of the West were out, civilization was kept alive only in the Islamic world. Reading the current headlines one would never know that. But learning history teaches us to see the big picture beyond today’s news blurb.

There is a danger, however, in teaching any multicultural group. There is always the temptation to gloss over less than savory events and actions of an ethnic group to appease the presumed delicate sensibilities of its members. The antidote is the facts. Teachers need to teach what happened and let the chips fall where they may. Christians can be exposed to the inquisition, Americans to slavery, and Muslims to modern attempts by some to move their religion towards violent jihad.

Joseph McHugh

Writing about controversy

Dear Editor:

On behalf of concerned Revere residents, we are writing in regard to the recent controversy regarding the Revere Public School’s core curriculum; Ancient Civilizations and World History.

Teaching about the world’s religions, including Islam, is widely recognized as a lawful and important part of a quality education in the public schools. We commend Superintendent Paul Dakin and the Revere School Committee for their recognition of this necessity. We are glad to see that the Revere Public Schools are dedicated to affirming and promoting tolerance and respect for different cultures, religions, and traditions.

Revere stands as one under the banner of finding unity in our diversity. Respecting and learning about each other’s cultures, traditions, and histories is crucial for mutual understanding, a sense of appreciation for one another, and harmony in society. Being uneducated to the reality of our differences will only create misunderstandings and misconceptions between us. It is with the spirit and intention of creating a healthy community that we call for tolerance of all people and cultures.

We believe that this issue brings to light the dire need for an open dialogue that aims at fostering mutual understanding and breaking down barriers that stand in the way of our unity. We see this as an opportunity to improve relations between the residents of Revere by promoting community discussions that can raise greater awareness, tolerance, and appreciation for one another. These discussions are already being planned.

As residents of Revere, we stand together in promoting justice and peace in our society, and we hope this statement will lead to stronger bonds in our community. If you would like to discuss this matter further please feel free to email: [email protected].  We, the undersigned endorse this statement:

  • Office of New Revere Residents
  • Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc.
  • Revere Youth in Action
  • ICNA Relief USA; MA Field Office
  • Islamic Council on New England
  • Moroccan American Center
  • Revere Public School Parents
  • Revere Students (Past/Present)
  • Concerned Residents of Revere

Girls with guts

Dear Editor:

Wednesday night October 22nd, in the middle of a Nor’easter, The Revere High field hockey team traveled to Peabody to play the Lady Tanners.  With gusts of 50 mph and sheets of rain encompassing the field, the Lady Patriots took the field to conclude their 2014 campaign. What happened next was an incredible 30 minutes of competition. The teams went back and forth with the wind and rain in their faces. The turf field was saturated with heavy rains.  Revere had several shots on goal but were unable to put one past the Peabody goaltender.  With about a minute left in the half, Peabody put the pressure on Revere and managed to squeeze a goal in, just barely. The game was called at the half with Revere losing 1 – 0. But for those handful of parents in attendance for Revere and Peabody, they saw a great game in the most challenging of elements, played by two groups of young ladies who love playing field hockey for their schools. And isn’t that what it is all about, school spirit and doing your best for your team.

Rick Freni

Proud dad and fan of Revere Field Hockey

On Ebola

Dear Editor:

Recently New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, contrary to the White House, has made a medically sound and historically rational decision to impose a mandatory quarantine for those who had “direct contact with an individual infected with the Ebola virus,” including medical workers who treated Ebola patients.

Massachusetts would be served well to implement a mandatory quarantine as New York and New Jersey have done. By doing so, we would prevent a significant burden on our public health care system that is already overtaxed and unprepared for an Ebola outbreak. Likewise the economic consequence for one patient with Ebola in Boston will translate to millions of dollars of associated cost in surveillance, decontamination, contact quarantine of people affected by this one Ebola patient and treatment to follow.

I urge those in government to exercise their voice and the bullying pulpit to protect the people of Revere and Massachusetts.

George Rotondo

We must take our seniors seriously

Recently I attended The Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors Conference. Seven-hundred and fifty senior center directors attended from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island and took part in very intensive workshops and plenary sessions regarding many “senior” issues and concerns, specifically problems dealing with transportation, elder law/estate planning, medical, housing, meals, and fuel assistance.  Programs and activities offerings were a hot topic as well. We networked and shared experiences on managing a senior center and discussed municipal support or lack of support from various town/city governments. To say it was quite a learning experience is an understatement.

One revelation stood tall – We, all of us in municipal employment including the Mayor and city councilors, members of the Revere community, and those individuals searching for a safe, fun, positive environment for our elders and we must take our seniors seriously. My mandate is that we compassionately and steadfastly provide this kind of environment. It’s not easy to do. Seniors are and have been throughout their life the anchors of our society. It is imperative that we do not dismiss their importance, particularly the needs they deserve to have addressed. And, the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center staff ensures that our senior participants who attend here KNOW this is our priority. That’s why there has been a turnaround here in the past year and a half. It was quite evident at this conference that the senior population across the state is somewhat neglected. But, not in Revere at the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center. It is with pleasure that I can positively state that feedback from seniors is testimony to that.

Here in Revere we are grateful to Mayor Rizzo for his constant and continued support, ensuring that we provide Revere seniors the very best services, programs, meals, transportation, and activities. I can relay to you firsthand that I am always in touch with Mayor Rizzo who listens to any concerns we have, takes action when we need it, and reviews all proposals to enhance our offerings.  I did find out at the conference that many of my colleagues do not have this relationship with their town/city leaders and are always struggling for funds and staff to maintain their senior services. The Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center brings so much more that the typical senior center. Many outside the metro Boston area must rent or utilize other facilities for space. Our transportation services are overwhelming more responsive to senior needs than many other centers. It was also quite remarkable that other cities and towns cannot offer the vast number of services, programs, meals, transportation, and activities because of lack of funds and lack of support. We, on the other hand, despite some real challenges, can only look forward to better days.

According to The Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at the University of Massachusetts, a presenter at the conference, the numbers don’t lie. Revere maintains close to a 20% senior population and will do so over the next 6 years, a growth rate of 12.5%. I certainly hope that this statistic prompts close attention and puts even more value to our seniors and the monies that should be earmarked for the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center.

Stephen Fielding

Revere Senior

Center Director.

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