Enquirer Herald

Letters - January 1, 2009

A great loss

The world has lost a great dramatist with the death of Harold Pinter.

I was fortunate in having acted in two of his plays Off Broadway: "The Room" and "A Slight Ache," featuring New York's premium actress, Frances Sternhagen. They were directed by Word Baker (The Fantasticks) and presented at first at The Writers Stage, then moved to the historic Provincetown Playhouse just off of Washington Square.

Pinter was a soft spoken, highly intelligent individual in all things except politics. He was a radical leftist and highly active, but did not write political plays. He had the enormous talent of being able to obtain the strongest audience reaction from a single word or a pregnant pause. His writings are unique and his humor the driest I have encountered. Pinter was knighted and fine actor in his own right and in his latter years he appeared in cameos in several films.

Every young, would be actor, should study Pinter's works, especially the plays rather than the movies although some of the movie actors have him down pat.

Working with Pinter, Baker and Sternhagen are highlights of the acting phase of my life.

Charles Blackwell


My New Year's resolution

New Year's Day is here, and it is the time of year when many people are thinking about their New Year's resolutions. Like many people, I'm thinking about dropping some pounds -- of carbon, that is. I have consciously done many things to reduce my carbon footprint over the years, but I can always do more. I plan on reducing the amount I contribute to greenhouse gas pollution I produce in 2009 by planting more fruit trees in my yard and extending my organic vegetable gardens. Anything I save on the transportation of produce will be a help. I will also be saving on the production of fertilizers and pesticides. I plan to be more conscientious about purchasing as many local food products as possible. I also am going to try my very best to buy no new clothing. I resolve to take the extra time to go to Goodwill and consignment shops to find the items I need. I dry many of my clothes on racks in my house, but I plan to install an outdoor clothes line to save using a dryer. I will spread the word to others about things they can do without putting them on guilt trips.

Global warming is a threat to our economy and our environment.

While it is important for individuals to take personal steps to reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas pollution, individual actions alone are not enough. We need strong government policies to fight global warming and transition us to a clean-energy economy. We can help save our climate and our economy at the same time by investing in clean, renewable energy, that does not replace food crops, and increasing our energy efficiency.

I've made my resolution to help stop global warming. Congress, it is your turn now.

Ann Shahid