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October 2, 2011

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Parent shares pain in recalling Pan Am’s past Pan Am. I hate those five letters (“Pan Am’’ drama lifts off in a cloud of nostalgia,’’ by Matthew Gilbert, g, Sept. 21).

Our daughter, Patricia Coyle, a Boston College junior returning home from a semester abroad, was killed Dec. 21, 1988, in the Lockerbie, Scotland, terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103. Pan Am was found guilty of willful misconduct in a court case brought against the airline by families of the victims. The airline violated numerous FAA regulations which may have discovered the bomb. The bomb was packed in an unaccompanied bag (no passenger) and entered the Pan Am baggage loading system through another airline. Regulations required that no unaccompanied baggage be accepted without physical inspection of the bag.

Qaddafi laughed at us then and is laughing at us now - but we hope not for long.

Maybe everything on [the TV show] “Pan Am,’’ which is brightly lighted and happy, will end in disaster in a Scottish farm field near a small stone church.

MATTHEW COYLE

Wallingford, Conn.

From the art galleries I read with dismay Sebastian Smee’s reference to the “anemic commercial gallery scene’’ in Boston (“Call it the ICA effect. At the Museum of Fine Arts, and across the region, contemporary art is in bloom,’’ Boston Sunday Globe, Sept. 18).

His comment was discussed at a meeting of members of the Boston Art Dealers Association (BADA), and it is our opinion that, to borrow from Mark Twain, reports of our anemia are exaggerated. He reports hearsay but implies that this is his opinion as well. This is discouraging to those of us in the trenches who see the Boston gallery scene as vital. In fact, it is the commercial galleries that have carried the torch for contemporary art in Boston long before many of our institutions decided to embrace it as important.

Since its establishment in 1989, BADA has been an advocate for contemporary art. Through coordinated efforts such as panel discussions, gallery talks, a comprehensive art map (next edition to include over 75 venues!), and other activities, BADA has worked to keep contemporary art accessible to the public. In addition, BADA founded and continues to operate the Stephen D. Paine Scholarship, in memory of a much-beloved patron of the arts. To date we have awarded more than $110,000 in scholarships to undergraduate art students in Boston, with directors and curators of major museums as jurors.

We believe that everybody benefits - curators, collectors, dealers, artists and, yes, critics - from a healthy art community based on mutual respect and cooperation.

JOANNA FINK

President,

Boston Art Dealers Association

Letters for publication should include the writer’s name, address, and daytime phone for verification. Short letters are preferred; all letters are subject to editing. Send to arts@globe.com or Letters, Living/Arts, The Boston Globe, PO Box 55819, Boston MA 02205-5819.