Fenway Park is my favorite place on Earth. Last week, I went to the Boston Red Sox game versus the Chicago White Sox where Kevin Youkilis made his return to Fenway.

Looking out into the sold-out crowd of 37,700, I was struck by a recent statistic I heard.

If the Environmental Protection Agency updates its emissions standards for soot, or fine particulate matter in the air, to recommended standards, we could save approximately 37,700 American lives every year, equivalent to a sold-out crowd at Fenway Park!

The EPA must soon update national health standards for air emissions of soot, a major cause of premature death and a widespread threat to those who suffer from lung and heart disease.

Soot is released from the nation’s hundreds of coal- and oil-fired power plants every single day. According to the EPA, soot causes early death, asthma, heart attacks, stroke, heart disease, and may cause cancer and developmental and reproductive harm.

To protect the health of Americans, the EPA should strengthen the national standard for soot emissions to an annual standard of 11 micrograms, coupled with a daily standard of 25 micrograms.

This standard could prevent as many as 37,700 premature deaths a year, equivalent to a packed house at Fenway Park! This high standard will also prevent illness, tens of thousands of hospital visits and millions of days of lost productivity.

Therefore, I urge the EPA to implement the strongest possible limits on soot emissions so that my family and I can continue to enjoy games at Fenway Park for years to come.

Chris Martin


Writer’s property could become year-round retreat

This is a challenge to philanthropists related to or interested in the Maine writers community to visit www.weymouthcenter.com and consider whether this concept is applicable to the Kenneth Roberts property in Kennebunkport, with five new bathrooms and five bedrooms. It was open as a Designer Show House to benefit the local historical society from June 23 through July 14.

Back when it was on the market for less than $2 million, I tried without success to get several people with more clout than I would have as a newcomer writer in 2004 to pursue a nonprofit project among people who didn’t know me.

It is obvious to me, being acquainted with the transformation of the late Southern author James Boyd’s mansion in Southern Pines, N.C., that the Roberts property could be turned into a similar year-round writers retreat.

Both its trustees and the Women of Weymouth work around the calendar on a nonprofit basis to keep up the property for and with community events, many of which support the writers residencies available for two weeks each year, upon application and acceptance, to published writers who are residents or natives of North Carolina, or who have special connections to North Carolina.

They also rent the premises, including outstanding gardens, for weddings and receptions in order to help fill the coffers.

Readers’ comments with suggestions pro and con would be most welcome.

Mary Elizabeth Nordstrom


Wedding coverage displaces more important news topics

I don’t understand why the wedding and photo of Barney Frank is front-page news (“Marriage with extra meaning,” July 10).

I’m sure there are many other couples who would have been glad to have such press. With all that is happening locally and in the world, I would think there are more important items for the readers’ interest and concern.

Lorraine Fleming

Old Orchard Beach

Other streets go unrepaired during upgrades to Capisic

I am not a resident of Portland and don’t directly pay taxes to the city, but I work there and drive in the city on a daily basis. My question is, who makes the decision on what streets to repair in the city?

Once again, Capisic Street is being repaved. That street gets upgrades about every two years. Foolish roundabouts that the snowplows destroyed, a new bridge that puts the turnpike upgrades to shame, and most recently, speed bumps. Every time some work is done on it, the street gets a fresh pave job.

Has anyone from Public Works driven down Valley Street lately? You can break an axle on that street. How does the city prioritize this type of work?

Now, I think Capisic Street is a lovely street with fine homes and it make a beautiful gateway to the city, but there have to be other streets that need attention more than it does.

Bill Barker


DiMillo’s remark on cost of lobster leaves sour taste

Spending time in Stonington, I always try to read your paper.

I came across this quote regarding the lobster pricing issue (“Are lobstermen keeping their traps shut?,” July 14).

Steve DiMillo of DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant was paraphrased as saying that “he sets lobster prices at the beginning of each season and doesn’t change them.”

A few days later, the food truck issue hit the papers and Mr. DiMillo vowed that, “There’s not going to be a food truck on every corner.”

I understand that he is a major taxpayer in the city and that he is protecting his business, but is there any Portland resident who would patronize this restaurant after these quotes?

I understand tourists, but c’mon Portland, you must be aware of the fact that there are other reasonable places to dine.

What would happen if lobster were at a low price at the beginning of the season and DiMillo’s set the price at $12? If the price of lobster happened to rise, would DiMillo’s price remain at $12? Take a guess!

Joe Gula

Auburn, N.H.


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