This is a rather scattershot letter responding to a variety of articles on starkly unrelated matters in recent issues of The Rivertowns Enterprise, but here goes.

First, in response to the article in the Jan. 22 issue about the new ownership of Carvel in Ardsley, I’m very happy to learn that the store has reopened. Co-owner Lucy Gratzon is quoted as noting that Carvel has occupied that same site for more than 40 years. I can attest that it’s at least 60 years, because I and a friend were taken there in 1958 by my friend’s mother — a treat I always remember. I find it heartening when such businesses keep going and going.

Second, also in the Jan. 22 issue, I loved the article “Expert touts meadowscaping over lawns.” Though no gardener myself, I find overly manicured lawns and shrubs boring and enjoy seeing more meadow-like properties in our “neat and tidy” neighborhoods. It’s great to learn that such landscaping is also good for attracting birds and butterflies and the like.

Finally, I have to comment on the controversy in the Hastings schools about Sherman Alexie’s book “The Absolutely True Diary or a Part-Time Indian,” reported in the Jan. 15 issue. I strongly second (or third) the view of the Friends of the Hastings Public Library that halting teaching of the book sends a “troubling message” and that of another letter to the editor, which quoted James Baldwin as saying, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed unless it is faced.” As it happens, I have a personal fondness for the book, which my non-reading son devoured in a day when he was in middle school. But more important, at a time when political polarization is spiraling out of control, I think it is sadly misguided to hide from some of the ugly truths about our history instead of bringing them into the light for discussion. I fear that, in trying to protect students from things that upset them, well-meaning educators are depriving our youth of the tools they will need more urgently than ever to handle the daunting challenges we all face as a society and country.

Tamsin Willard


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