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Reader's Write

The Other Lives of Salaried Workers

Regarding the column "Dilemma for Parents: Neglect Your Child or Neglect Your Job" (April 24): As former white-collar workers, we have always been puzzled by the corporate philosophy that automatically requires anyone in a salaried position to work more than 40 hours a week.

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It's time that business is seen as the major threat to American families and community cohesiveness. Without labor unions and under the threat of "downsizing," workers are forced to sacrifice more and more time at the altar of global competitiveness - hours that could have been spent with spouse, children, neighbors, never to be recovered.

Lest we forget what is most important in life, remember that no headstone has ever been engraved, "I wish I had spent more time at the office."

Rick and Suzanne Soule

Vista, Calif.

The less conservative South

In the article "Conservative South Clashes With Open Homosexuality" (April 30), the author mentions that the Charlotte, N.C., county commissioner "has been besieged with thank-you notes from constituents cheering his vote to stop funding groups that expose the public to homosexuality."

But before the 5-to-4 vote, the commission heard from hundreds of people opposed to slashing funds, including almost every prominent civic and business leader in the city. A Charlotte Observer poll indicated that 80 percent of the public wanted arts funding to remain in place. And over 300 people switched from Democrat to Independent in order to vote out the theocratic commission members in the coming Republican primary.

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The majority of the people of Charlotte are open to homosexuality and support taxpayer-funded arts that deal with the issue. The conservatives may be in power now, but people are livid that their elected representatives blatantly ignored their wishes and voted their narrow, theocratic, bigoted views into law.

Dorne Pentes

Charlotte, N.C.

Lexington and Concord revisited

Regarding the opinion-page essay "Men and Women We Must Remember" (April 18): William Emerson was pastor of the church in Concord, not Lexington. He watched the skirmish at the North Bridge from the nearby manse. The pastor at Christ Church in Lexington was the Rev. Jonas Clarke, who apparently had a good deal to do with John Parker and his men still being on the green when the regulars showed up.

The essay would have been strengthened had the author raised the name of Prince Estabrook and others. Estabrook was a middle-aged slave of African provenance who was out on the green that morning as an armed minuteman with his neighbors. When the dust settled, he marched off with the survivors to harass the regulars, who were retreating from Concord. The Lexington men then went to the siege of Boston, "Bunker" Hill, and the rest of the War for American Independence.

Bob Hunt

Birmingham, Ala.

In his essay on the historic heroics at Lexington on April 19, 1775, the author provides interesting details about what he calls "the day this nation was conceived." Fateful as it was, the clash at Lexington (and at Concord the same day) should be viewed as only one scene in the three-act opening round of the American Revolution.

Pushed back to Boston and into a siege they could not break, the British proceeded to win a Pyrrhic victory at what we call "the battle of Bunker Hill," but nine months later were driven from New England by General Washington's checkmate maneuver at Dorchester Heights. The first shots fired at Lexington only opened the Massachusetts saga, whose parts are almost never viewed in their closely related entirety.

David J. Steinberg

Alexandria, Va.

Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed (200 words maximum) to

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