Believe the Hype
I don’t usually write letters to magazines, but I had to make an exception after I read the review for Chinese Laundry in your last issue (“Dirty Laundry,” July). I regularly dine out in the city and heard whispers about Chinese Laundry for over a year before it opened. I was delighted when I first ate there, and it surpassed all the hype.
It’s a shame that in a city filled with outstanding restaurants, one that takes chances is punished rather than praised. When the reviewer called the vibe “soft core porn meets your local Chinese,” I knew the rest of the review was going to be equally misguided. I encourage anyone who is looking for a relaxed, yet upscale restaurant to
visit this breath of fresh air in the city.
TJ Curran

Beating the System
The article about child advocate Jametta Alston’s legal crusade to correct the ills of DCYF (“The Advocate,” June) was a fairly thorough report.
I left DCYF seven years ago, after thirty years of working in and around the child welfare system. Like today, caseloads were astronomically high. Burnout was a common experience.
What’s missing wasn’t money. It was the low priority grownups put on childhood happiness. Who doesn’t feel bad about unfortunate kids, especially from a safe distance? Yet curing that sadness is impossible when the unwieldy bureaucracy delivering the cure always gets in its own way. Bureaucracies can make sharpening a pencil a monumental task.
I’ve learned, looking back on it all, that though all of my coworkers, the judges,  lawyers, foster parents, teachers, psychotherapists and administrators made their share of mistakes, every last one of them deserved sincere praise for trying to help these lost children in an America that puts far more emphasis on political power plays and corporate takeovers than it puts on loving a child.
Randall Saunders
DCYF Retiree

Doc Talk

I am writing in regard to your definition of family doctors in the June “Top Docs” feature. In my two years as a family doctor, I have done much more than “treat both children and adults and refer patients to specialists.” 
I take care of pregnant women and their babies, then help those babies have a healthy childhood and their parents and grandparents age gracefully. I try to help people live well, and in doing so, hope to help prevent the many preventable diseases we face as a society today. I listen as my patients deal with the difficulties that life brings them and have fought for specialists to see patients who have no insurance. I ensure that recommendations from specialists are followed and understood, and I coordinate the care that is often fragmented by visits to multiple physicians.
Family doctors are advocates for patients, families and communities. Including some of these points in your definition would reflect the true value of family physicians.
Jordan White
Brown Family Medicine Residency Program