Letters to the Editor

Winthrop CBD Infrastructure Upgrade Construction Project

Dear Editor,

The long awaited Winthrop CBD infrastructure upgrade project is underway thanks in large part to DPW Director Steven Calla who was able to correct a significant problem with the initial project design which required temporarily shutting off water access in certain neighborhoods in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, a cause of many statements of concern, including mine. But Mr. Calla developed an alternative construction design which did not require any water shutoff, a superb engineering solution created in a noticeably short time.

The Town Council deserves full credit for vetting the concerns of many residents at their April 7 meeting, which included unrestricted input from DPW Director Steve Calla and Public Health Director Meredith Hurley while stating the Council’s intent to closely monitor all aspects of the CBD project.

The initial stages of the project appear to be proceeding well, thanks not only to the DPW but also to the excellent traffic management plan implemented by the Winthrop Police Department which has kept traffic disruption to a minimum, as the Department did with the Belle Isle Bridge Replacement Project.

Doubtless there will be additional problems with the CBD project during its two-year lifespan, but continuous public scrutiny and project management oversight should provide optimum enhancements to the Town’s economic vitality and quality of life.


John Vitagliano

Former Boston Transportation Commissioner

A Poem for Uncertain Times

Dear Editor,

My 14 year old daughter who is currently in 8th grade at the Winthrop Middle School, Samantha DiMento, wrote this poem as a homework assignment about how she felt about COVID-19 and the quarantine. We felt that she really captured the emotion of the current situation for a lot of people, particularly in Winthrop, and thought we would share it for publication. It is as follows:


By Samanth DiMento

The streets are empty

the air is still

People are looking out

From their windowsill

When people are outside

They cover their face

If they are near each other

They pick up their pace

Everything is cancelled

People are missing out

Nothing is same

What’s this all about

I should be at soccer

All of us running around

We would be laughing

The sound of cleats on the ground.

When everything opens up again

It still won’t be back to normal

Things will change forever

Fear of it is immortal

It fells like forever

I am only fourteen

There is nothing to do

While we’re stuck in quarantine.

Food for Thought During the Pandemic

Dear Editor,

It has been the most difficult time in the U.S and across the world over the last 2 to 5 months due to the coronavirus. Our world has totally changed and in some cases will never be the same. It will be a slow returning process and there is an imperative need to put our trust in our scientists and medical leaders to help us all get back on our feet.

We must also put trust in our community leaders (Chief Terence Delehanty, Chief Paul Flanagan, Public Health Director Meredith Hurley, and School Superintendent Lisa Howard) and other leaders, including  Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who are continually working and investigating all of the lifesaving choices and decisions to bring us all out of this horrific crisis.

We need to protect our most vulnerable senior citizens and those with medical conditions and give them a chance to continue with valued lives. Our world has also become a scary place for our young children. They are no longer in school and playing with their friends. Their education is being delivered by dedicated teachers through technology, a new experience for everyone. Parents are burdened to help their children complete their work. The pressure for all is enormous. Even worse is the inequity of many children not having access to the technology needed to complete their studies. The children and families most impacted are those whose physical or mental status cause them to rely on medical and educational specialists for strength, support and security. In addition, we must give our children and their families some relief from work on days when things are not working successfully.

Fortunately. there are often positive effects that come out of negative situations.  For example, scientists are reporting that satellites are demonstrating more than a 30% reduction in fossil fuels, which are greenhouse gases emitted from factories and transportation. We can look forward to countries across the world joining together to allow our whole planet to enjoy clean air to breathe for our children and future generations.

In closing, we are all grateful to the medical care workers, first responders and other front line workers.  God willing,  this will end soon and we will share a better world for all.


Maryalice Sharkey

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