Several recent New Bedford Light stories evoked passionate responses from readers, whether it was Will Sennott’s story on a neo-Nazi group on South Coast, Jack Spillane’s column on the City Council rejecting Carol Pimental’s nomination to the Voc-Tech School Committee, or Arthur Hirsch’s story on the new sheriff’s idea to shut the Ash Street Jail.

Here’s a selection received on our website and Facebook page:

Neo-Nazis on South Coast

“I’d like to remind these misguided fools trying to frighten and intimidate people who are different from you, that just several generations back, our fathers and uncles fought the same evil forces that you are now embracing. Like it or not, change is the only constant and there is no stopping it. The Golden Rule is the best way to live a life. Hate is a corrosive agent that eats the soul.”

— Stacy

“The KKK by any other name is still a threat to everyone except other Nazis.”

— Sarah Bishop Valentine, Facebook

“This group is highly reminiscent of activities of the Ku Klux Klan, with the hoods and salutes. All they need are the cross burnings on the lawn in front of the venues they congregate. They should be charged and prosecuted under RICO statutes.”

— KWW

“Thank you for publishing this story. I’d love to see NBL dig a little deeper and expose these vile masked cowards by name.”

— Peter

Rejecting Carol Pimental

“I say shame on the City Council! (The ones who voted against Ms. Pimentel).

“The excuse, ‘Let’s leave things the way they are because they’re working,’ sends shivers down my back, as it echoes the oftentimes ugly past.

“I am disappointed to see that some people are still of the mindset that changing admissions policies equates to lowering standards. Do they really believe that affording disabled students, English Language Learners, or others whose family circumstances impact their grades, attendance, or behavior an equal opportunity lowers the standards?

“Our kids deserve better. We deserve better. Our community deserves better. Carol Pimentel deserved better.”

— Dawn Blake Souza

“Indeed it was a very sad day for the City Council. Unfortunately, too many of them seem incapable of letting go of the status quo that continues to bypass too many of the students for whom Voke was initially conceived. Diversity and inclusion don’t particularly seem to be values of the Council. Moreover, to vote against Ms. Pimentel, as they did with Mr. Livramento, seems antithetical to appointing people who have served the city well and have a deep passion for this community.

“Carol Pimentel is an upstanding dedicated citizen who has worked with many groups and organizations in the area. She has demonstrated a collaborative style; is intelligent; and knows how to negotiate in a collegial manner. She is sharp enough to work constructively with the Voke school committee to hammer out an admissions policy that is fair, sound, and takes all relevant factors into consideration in the process. This is something the City Council might consider emulating.

“Stop the usual foolishness and approve the appointment of Carol Pimentel to the Voke School Committee!!”

— Bruce Rose

“This is not the first time that I think the City Council has made a wrong-headed decision. It is one of the most recent ones. The next time our city election season comes around, look at each candidate’s background carefully. Listen carefully to what each candidate says during interviews. Be especially alert for indications of bias and poor judgment and, conversely, indications of open-mindedness and good reasoning.”

— Catherine Adamowicz

“Thanks for writing this comprehensive article rather than a headline one. Voc-Tech loses by not having this smart and thoughtful voice on the board. NBHS is left behind. A travesty on every level.”

— Bettina Borders

Ash Street Jail

“The recently printed comments of Mayor Jon Mitchell … saying that ‘the proposal to close Ash Street may or may not ultimately make sense’ are  puzzling and disappointing.

“The mayor remained essentially silent and non-responsive during the many years of his administration, despite the continuing reported and documented complaints of unhealthy and unsafe conditions at the facility. And despite being informed by various committees, and having access to publicly printed Massachusetts Department of Public  Health yearly inspection reports that identified repeated health and safety violations at the Ash Street facility, Mayor Mitchell never weighed into the discussion.

“The local and state circulated newspapers, and other media, consistently described in graphic detail the continuing allegations of rodents, roaches and moldy cells. And most disturbing were reports of plumbing failures that produced raw sewage seeping down some of the cell walls.

“Just reviewing the myriad of law suits filed by the estates of previously incarcerated individuals who committed suicide, which are available at the Superior Courthouse in New Bedford, attests to the desperation of some of the these detained at this facility.

“Putting aside the humane and rehabilitative aspects of closing the jail, fiscally mindful residents would be appalled if they were accurately informed about the enormous financial costs of running this antiquated jail for the last 25 years.

“Mayor Mitchell’s comments, not having previously commented or utilizing his office or position to improve the conditions at the jail, nor joining the chorus of concerned citizens to shutter this abysmal antiquity, are unhelpful and appear political.”

— Betty Ussach


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