Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,

I recently stood out on Belle Isle Bridge with a number of other Winthrop residents holding signs supporting diversity, respecting all cultures, and opposing  the inhumane immigration actions of the Trump administration: separating 2,300 children from their parents and detaining them in chain-link holding pens.  After seeing shocking videos on the news where children were crying out for their parents and hearing reports of babies being ripped out of their parents’ arms and a 10 year old boy with Down’s Syndrome being taken away from his parents, I felt compelled to voice my concern and join the stand out and hold a sign.

My sign said, “No Kids in Cages.”  While the overwhelming majority of drivers who passed by tooted their horns and gave thumbs up in support, one individual stopped his truck, stuck his head out the window, and shouted this to me: “They belong in cages.”  He then drove off.

Since then, I can’t let it go. His outburst has continually bothered me, and I’m overwhelmed with these questions: Why would anyone ever say that?  Is that person not a parent or not have any nieces or nephews? What level of hate or fear would want any child, regardless of race, ethnic background, religion, or national origin, to “belong in a cage.”

I’m afraid this man’s hateful comment reflects a rising level of fear, hate, and intolerance that seems to have raised its ugly head since the immersion of the Trump administration.  I wonder if the children in the” detainment camps” were white, if that individual would have made that comment.  CBS News reported on a poll which said that 70% of Americans oppose the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.  That gives me hope.  In response to this public outcry, Trump then flip-flopped his policy temporarily. However, this is only a 20 day reversal .  There’s continual, overwhelming chaos and lack of leadership in the White House in developing a humane and efficient immigration program.  The Boston Globe  reports  that Trump plans to detain 20,000 more immigrants in military bases throughout the country in the near future. In the meantime, the 2,300 children already torn from their parents have very little chance of reuniting with them in the near future or in their lifetime. No records were kept to record the whereabouts of the displaced families. In another black mark in American history, during the Japanese internment  camps, at least the families were kept together. However, today the parents of the “detained” immigrantv children are imprisoned all over the country, far away from their children unable to communicate with them.

Trump seems to follow a diabolical pattern of instituting inhumane policies, and once there is a public outcry, he flip flops his positions temporarily. He then blames the Democrats for the results of his own actions.  We Americans have to be vigilant and stand up to his Draconian deeds. We can’t be “ Good Germans”  and sit idly by while  Trump instigates policies that are in direct opposition to the spirit of America. The Statue of Liberty motto states” Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” Trump’s policies will throw these people in shackles, separate their families, and detain their children in chain-link cages. I believe the American public won’t tolerate this. We’re better than that.

Ralph Tufo



An open letter to Speaker DeLeo from a Winthrop constituent

Speaker DeLeo: You and I live in Winthrop.  Our streets are flooding; the storms are fiercer, more frequent and more damaging; our insurance costs are sky rocketing; but most importantly, our health and our grandchildren’s health–yours and mine–is compromised as our state warms. Please don’t ignore the heat waves, the mold from flooding, the increase in mosquito and tick borne-disease, the allergies and asthma, the heart and lung effects, the mental stress from losing everything. But if health impacts don’t move you to action, perhaps the economics will. A recent Stanford study reports “that the huge economic loss from climate inaction is vastly larger than the cost of reducing carbon pollution.” Or how about this: “Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Target and Walmart, and 1/2 Fortune 500 Companies seek to locate operations in states with clean energy production.”

Legislative bills currently before you will protect public health, increase the use of renewable energy, reduce greenhouse emissions and create jobs in the innovative green-energy economy.

As we see daily on a national scale, inaction is a moral failing. Please pick up the baton, Speaker DeLeo. Massachusetts can lead—you can lead—and act on climate now.

Suzanne Hitchcock-

Bryan, RN, MPH


Better Buses and Bikes for Winthrop

Dear Editor:

These are exciting times to be getting around in Winthrop, and not just because we have some great views to enjoy along the way. Thanks to the new LimeBike program and the MBTA Better Bus Project, we now have the option to grab a bike to and from any point in town for just $1/half hour and to tell the MBTA exactly how we want to see our 712/713 bus service improved.

Both of these initiatives lend themselves to the betterment of our quality of life in Winthrop because they make getting to, from, and around our town without a car more feasible and more convenient (and even fun!).  And with less cars on our roads, we not only have less traffic (and frustration), less air pollution, and less infrastructure costs, we have more people out getting exercise and a more pleasant car driving experience. It’s a win-win for everyone!

To learn more about the LimeBike dockless bikeshare program, check out www.limebike.com. You can also learn a lot from the Bike Winthrop Facebook page, which also posts about upcoming group rides and bike related news.

To report a LimeBike that is improperly parked (blocking a walkway, railing, or business entry): call their 24/7 call center 888-LIME-345 or report it through their app

And if you haven’t had a chance to share your ideas for how to make the  712/713 bus service work better for you, you’re in luck because the deadline to submit feedback online to the MBTA has been extended to July 15: www.mbta.com/betterbus. There will also be street teams on site at the Orient Heights T station on July 9 if you want to share your feedback in person.

Thanks to the residents and Councilors Pete Christopher and Heather Engman who attended our last Better Bus Listening Session on June 6 where we generated a thorough list of feedback for the T organized into categories of Schedules, Routes and Public Information. We compiled this feedback into a memo that was hand delivered to the MBTA at the regional Better Bus meeting in Somerville on 6/7. Some of the key highlights included: adding service to the Highlands and to Beachmont T, increasing service on Revere St. and to the Center, and stopping the confusion of sporadic route switches throughout the day.

Happy Summer Traveling!

Julia Wallerce, Chair, Winthrop Transportation Advisory Committee



Dear Editor,

Thank you for your support yesterday during our Solidarity Standout.  This event was part of One Winthrop, a community driven initiative to affirm our commitment to social values of inclusion, acceptance, compassion, unity and respect.

There are many questions and concerns about Immigration policy and practice and even more misinformation.  It was inspiring to see so much support with even the police presence to make sure our message wasn’t turned into more than a show of support, concern, empathy and respect for immigrant families seeking a better life.  We look forward to continuing our effort to ensure that Winthrop is a community of diversity, unity and respect.  Thank you.

Sylvia Whiting

One Winthrop


Thanks for Solidarity


Dear Editor,

One Winthrop would like to thank the residents of the town for their overwhelmingly support for our Solidarity Stand-Out to keep families together last Friday on the bridge, we are encouraged by all the positive feedback.

An extra note of appreciation to the Police Department for ensuring everyone’s safety during the event.


Sylvia Whiting 

Julia Prange Wallace

Stephanie Recchia

Leonora Foley

One Winthrop

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