NFL should join fight against prostate cancer
To the editor:
Does anyone realize that this month is prostate cancer awareness month? Yeah, I know you haven’t heard one thing mentioned have you? Well I can tell you why. Men don’t want to speak up and talk about this disease, not even with other men. In their minds, it’s just not the manly thing to do. If they have symptoms, well they’ll be ignored until it’s absolutely necessary to seek treatment. If men do seek treatment it’s just “get it out” and get on with their lives, the less said the better.
That said, the one thing that truly bothers me and the one place that could really help raise awareness in men yet does nothing is the National Football League. Next month, for the entire month of October, this money making machine will have every player draped in pink for breast cancer awareness. Why is this? A truly macho man’s sport dominated by men who play the game and a mostly male viewership does absolutely nothing to support a truly devastating men’s disease.
Is breast cancer more lucrative for them? I can’t say but one thing I do know is that the NFL is all about making money and it truly disgusts me that they give no mention at all this month to prostate cancer. I have written to NFL headquarters explaining to them of their injustice to men but never received a response and I don’t expect to.
As my own small protest — and I love football — they will not have my viewership for a month. Boy, can you imagine if every man did this? It wouldn’t long before every player in the NFL would be wearing blue for the entire month of September. I’m proud of the way women have stepped up to their disease and only wish men had the same awareness. I know no man is going to stop watching football for an entire month — they’d go crazy — but the least they can do is send an email or letter to NFL headquarters explaining disappointment in their lack of support and maybe even sneak in a threat of boycott. You never know guys, you could be helping yourself someday.
Joseph D. D’agati
Development belongs at a different location
To the editor:
It is with great dismay and disappointment that I write this letter. What I thought was a good faith effort on behalf of the developer to invite the neighborhood to see a revision on his proposed 40B development at 16 Berry St. turns out to be a wolf in lamb’s disguise. He has downsized from five four-story buildings to four, however the unit size of 240 and over 400 parking spaces remains the same. Please know that as a neighborhood we have no issue with affordable housing being built but with the location and danger that will be inflicted on the neighborhoods involved.
The 40B law as written in the 1970s was full of good intention; however it is now a developer’s gold mine. I dislike it always being referred to as “anti-snob” when actually what it has become is a developer’s “bully” law so that towns no longer have a say in what is appropriate for the town and its citizens. We all know that affordable housing is necessary and welcome it. When developers come into town and decide that they want to build in inappropriate places and feel they are covered by state law Chapter 40B, that is where I have a huge problem. I also have a problem with the integrity of the developer who has an attitude of “don’t worry, it’s a 40B and they can’t stop us.”
Allowing a development of this size and scope on this location — and with the possibility of the additional property to be purchased and Phase 2 to add perhaps as much as twice the size — is negligent. There are only two ways to drive cars, trucks, and buses out of this development: from Berry Street either onto Route 114 or onto Ash/Campbell Road (one road but name change) through to Salem Street. If you are unfamiliar with this road, please take the time before Tuesday evening to check it out. It is winding, curving road with a hair-pin turn that is often used by bicyclists, people walking (with or without dogs) and pushing carriages. There are no sidewalks. The road is so narrow that often in winter snow you sometimes have to back up into a driveway to let a car pass. You cannot easily pass bicyclists, pedestrians, or stopped cars because there is no line of sight around the next corner.
For just a moment please think about a land swap, Berry Street for the fields on Sharpner’s Pond Road. Sharpner’s Pond offers a wider road for emergency vehicle access, straight line of view for additional roads of egress and, if needed, a traffic signal at that intersection with Route 114 that would also benefit this developer’s other developments, Maplewood and Oakridge. Use the old Andover Flower Farm Berry Street property to replace soccer fields lost with the land swap.
We need the entire community of North Andover to help us with this Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center. It may be the last town meeting on this issue. I know under 40B we can’t mention property values or impact to schools but it is a possible reality that we all will pay for. It is also no longer a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” something really bad happens on my road. I only hope it is not one of your children’s friends or mine.