Letters to the editor

Author: Readers

Editor’s note: Letters appearing in the spring 2016 print issue are marked by a double ##.

But the band reunions …

##I question the facts in “Ringing Out the Songs” that the Glee Club “made history among student organizations” when 500 of its alumni returned to campus to celebrate the group’s centenary. The Notre Dame Band has been holding reunions since 1980, about every four or five years. On several of those occasions, especially the past few, more than 1,000 band members, including its 380 current members, have marched on the field for the pregame, halftime and postgame activities.

Vince LaBarbera ’63
Fort Wayne, Indiana

##The Glee Club reunion was certainly a grand event but not the largest reunion of a student organization in school history. I have attended every band reunion since we first honored longtime director Robert O’Brien, and it is my understanding that it is limited so we have only 1,000 people on the field, including current band members.

Bob Hoodecheck ’53
Winona, Minnesota

Smarter farming

##The article, “Planting produce, growing jobs,” touches on many directions that Jan Pilarski’s initiative can pursue. The aquaponics system of growing produce is far superior to conventional farming because it eliminates the need for toxic pesticides and herbicides, and prevents excess fertilizer ending up in important water supplies. The roots of this system come from the Israeli initiative of drip irrigation. Water is an extremely scarce commodity in that region. They are able to produce far more crop yield with a fraction of the water used in our traditional flood irrigation.

I urge the Mendoza College of Business to produce a business plan using all the University’s financial and scientific disciplines to build a large-scale company that constructs or rehabs multistory buildings within urban centers that produce all that the community would need in fruits and vegetables. The initiative would save valuable land as the population continues to grow, and the water savings is critical to stabilizing an eroding supply of potable water.

James A. Kieffer ’70
Nashua, New Hampshire

Our neighborhood

##Every so often when reading your magazine I find myself wondering if it’s really worth the bother. Then an encounter with something like “They’re Neighbors of Mine” reminds me that it is.

Tom Walsh ’83
Rockford, Illinois

The winter issue was once again a superb production. They all are, but they don’t all inspire me to write. The articles and theme about helping our neighbors are so valuable, like the story about the marathon runner who tried to abscond with a bicycle and the woman remarking that she was afraid to offer help. I know that you do not see the magazine’s role as being our conscience, but the articles have that affect. They touch home.

Jonathan Tocks ’69
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania