Letters from the Magazine Editor

January 2, 2011

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Building tension

The title “Avoid Contractor Rip-Offs” (December 5) implies all contractors will take advantage of you. This is simply not true. Most are honest and want to do a good job while earning a decent living. The best source of information for a homeowner is a reference from the contractor’s last job.

Doug Storey/Bolton

I would suggest that anyone who is contemplating having work done on his or her home call a building inspector to find out what types of permits are needed and how the process works once you get them. Not all contractors are out to scam you, but you may not know until well into the project.

Janice Gould/Framingham

We were ripped off by a contractor when we added on to our house, so our advice to others is don’t be afraid to ask questions and, most important, have a lawyer who represents your interests look over the contract.

Jeff Chung/Lexington

Your estimable article was illustrated by an artist who clearly has never used a handsaw. The teeth go in the wrong direction and would only glide over the wood, rather than cutting into it.

Todd Lee/Boston

Getting personal

In regard to “Our Sticking Point” (Coupling, December 5), I need to point out something to writer Jodi Daynard: One should discuss birth control and abortion before sex, not after.

Sarah Harrison/Exeter, New Hampshire

Daynard’s attempt to frame the abortion debate as primarily a religious issue is curious. Simply stated, it revolves around the question of when life begins. The search for this objective truth should be right up the alley of a self-described secular humanist.

Tom Kenny/Falmouth

Scram, spam

I loved Miss Conduct’s response to A.K., who was unhappy because a friend forwarded relevant information in response to A.K.’s e-mail health warnings (December 5). But I thought it didn’t go far enough. Tell that scaremonger to check out before sending out unfounded warnings.

Cory Kerens/Malden

A season of giving

Hear, hear on “Ho-Ho No” (Perspective, December 5). Our Jewish children are not deprived. They get little gifts, but, more important, they often spend time with family making happy memories of latkes and song.

Bonnie Heines/North Chelmsford

My grandchildren celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, and I think it may be confusing for them. I don’t think there is an easy right or wrong to this. The discussion continues, generation after generation.

Linda Kopans/Natick

Perhaps this dilemma will abate if we American Jews embrace Hanukkah unapologetically and enthusiastically. True, it is a “minor” holiday in the Jewish calendar, but it need not be minor for us.

Rabbi Jeffrey Weill/Deerfield, Illinois

  • January 2, 2011 cover
  • Bostonian of the Year: Scott Brown