For CHCA, lack of numbers shows a lack of respect

The front page of the last issue of the Chestnut Hill Local headlined a report that the Chestnut Hill Community Association is concerned about declining membership, and plans to address the issue.

When organizations start trying to increase membership it is virtually always a sign that the organizations are in trouble.  People eagerly and voluntarily join organizations they respect, that they believe are useful and that support them.

Who now respects the CHCA? I and many others resigned because of a concern about being associated with it. Of what use is the CHCA? –  the Greene Countrie Towne nature of Chestnut Hill is being lost as residential areas are turned into businesses. The small specialty shops are closed and left vacant, and a massive, unneeded building is planned and approved  by the CHCA.

Residents are ill advised to join the CHCA because they would lend support to an organization that has clearly indicated it considers the residents a nuisance.  Yes, declining membership is not the concern but rather the CHCA itself.

George Spaeth
Chestnut Hill

Watch those facts

Fortunately, Chestnut Hill had “only” ten homicides in 23 years in comparison to the 9,000 City total.  The tragedies for the individuals, families and friends involved though are immense.

Inadvertently, the article, “Chestnut HIll had only 10 homicides in 23 years,” Feb. 2, also points out how careful we have to be with statistics potentially related to public policy decision making.  The article says the 10 deaths represent 0.0011 percent of the 9,000 total.  The actual percentage is one hundred times greater, namely 0.11 percent.

Likely this was just a typo while working with all those pesky zeros and decimal points, but it does point out how important it is to be careful even when working with small numbers.

Bob McAuliffe
Chestnut Hill

‘Coping’ article lacked perspective

I found the Feb. 2 article, “Coping with separation anxiety while your child is at camp” to be lacking perspective.

Many parents send their children to camp while they go to work. Even so, there can be anxieties about sending a child to camp.  In new places, or even familiar ones that change for them as they get older, we have questions: Will they like it? Did we make the right choice? How is it meshing with our family summer schedule?

By not acknowledging the connection between working parents and camps, the article failed to recognize that anxiety over camp is something that all parents can experience no matter what they are doing during the camp day.

I, along with many adults today, had childhood summers that included no camps and lots of playing around the neighborhood with friends.  When I did go to camp, it was camp in the woods, not typicalsummer camps my daughter attends now.  All that free summer time was important in our childhood development.

The importance of choosing a camp that values free play and promotes child decision making and social skills development should not be underestimated.The author mentions “required” camps for school curriculums.  I’m curious to know the author’s meaning of “required.”  Required to pass a grade or to keep up in school the following year?  To get ahead, do well on exams, for college applications? I’d like to read an article that addresses perspectives behind parents’ and childrens’ camp choices.

Though it’s a challenging part of parenting, letting go in a healthy way is important for our children.  The article made suggestions for what parents can do to feel better about separation anxiety, but didn’t expound on why they should.

The article proposes some good ideas for coping with separation while children are at camp, like enrolling in a class, learning a hobby, reading.  Helping others is often an excellent cure for feeling down that is not mentioned.  I’m not sure about shopping.

If I had a day or week to myself, my first priority would be a household project like cleaning out my closets, basement, maybe redecorating a room.  Parents should be encouraged to balance their “free” time between productive work and time to recharge.

A backlog of household projects does not appear to be a concern for the article’s author.  For parents who don’t have a backlog, maybe they could spend the time helping a friend who does.

Carrie Lohrmann
Chestnut Hill