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Letters to the Editor

Jan 25, 2007

No pork here

This story overlooked that two of the Republicans whose projects were not cut are not currently in office ("Mitt cut Dem pork, but saved GOP bacon," Jan. 24). Susan Pope (R-Wayland) was defeated last November and Shirley Gomes (R-Harwich) retired. The $350,000 that went to the projects in their districts will not help raise their profiles or provide them with bullet points for their next campaign.

Furthermore, because certain levels of phosphorous can cause eutrophication and algal blooms, a project studying the levels to ensure they are balanced on an area of Cape Cod - an area that relies on a clean environment for the income tourism provides - is hardly superfluous spending.

- Vincent Errichetti, North Reading

Insufferable as ever

Sen. John Kerry's long-winded speech complete with crocodile tears speaks volumes on what has been wrong with his entire political career that has had little relevance if any at all ("GOP ready to pounce," Jan. 25).

What does it say of a man who now states that he will fight with all his conviction with no longer any need to worry about political fallout?

So is your beloved junior senator telling us that he has been voting and making decisions not on his real core beliefs, but carefully calculated only to further his own ambitions?

I disagree with Sen. Ted Kennedy, but I respect the fact that he has never wavered from his ideals to appease a voting bloc. But I can't offer the same respect for a career pol who is as phony as they come.

- Thomas C. Wahlberg, Dedham

On the right road

The Herald is to be commended for continuing to press for auto insurance reform ("Hopes are dimming for auto reform," Jan. 23). But Gov. Deval Patrick is even more correct in seeking to better understand the issue before taking potentially disastrous action.

For example, consider the previous administration's assigned risk plan, part of the rejected Romney insurance proposal. Other parts of that proposal would have done away with a valuable feature of our otherwise deplorable system: a desirable and nationally envied urban affordability which helps inner-city motorists buy their required insurance. Despite our fourth-highest statewide average rate, our uninsured motorist numbers are second-lowest in the nation. So although the assigned risk plan appears to offer some real benefits, we all need to make sure that it does not jeopardize that affordability feature.

Fortunately, it seems clear that Patrick is not only committed to reform but also to assure that it is consumer-friendly. His three- month study will undoubtedly include such approaches as: allowing consumers to choose between our current weak hybrid no-fault/tort- liability and a strong no-fault with significant benefits including projected $300 annual savings; and incorporating the better features of competition while maintaining affordability.

With the right kind of reform, Patrick could change Massachusetts auto insurance from one of the nation's worst systems to one of the best, if not the best.

- John Hayes, Belmont

A healthy investment

To combat ever escalating health care costs, there has been no shortage of proposed solutions: high deductible plans, health savings accounts, single payer and others.

Can I offer a small suggestion for the health insurance companies? Borrow a page from some dental coverage firms. The regular preventative care cleaning and checkup is 100 percent covered, with no co-pay. Why isn't it the same with an annual physical? Better yet, why not offer the added incentive of a credit (or penalty) for scheduling the physical? A doctor's visit is certainly cheaper than a hospital visit.

- Joe Sass, Wilmington

Grime doesn't pay

I was disappointed to read this ("Hub makes trash splash: Will post dirty bandits' names on Web in bid for fines," Jan. 25). While Boston's lack of cleanliness is not something I miss since defecting to New York, I recall a certain day last summer when my roommate thought it was trash day Tuesday and not Wednesday and put our trash bag on the corner. I came home to find a ticket in my name. Not only did I not place the bag on the corner, but my trash bag was opened, my bills were rifled through to find my name, and I got slapped with a ticket for my roommate's innocent mistake. Going through my trash was invasive and the whole process seemed extremely flawed. What would really help would be placing more trash barrels (Sponsor-a- Basket programs for businesses), more frequent pickup (through programs modeled after Doe Fund), public awareness campaigns and other more creative means of dealing with a problem that has plagued the rat/roach/bedbug-ridden city for too long.

- Matuya Brand, New York, N.Y.

(c) 2007 Boston Herald. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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