State is misguided in its plan to close Freedom HouseI am...

LETTERS

December 27, 1998

State is misguided in its plan to close Freedom House

I am writing in regard to the article "Closing of home for mentally ill criticized" (Dec. 1), which reports on the state's plan to close Freedom House, the home for persons with mental illness on the grounds of Springfield State Hospital.

Maryland should shift its housing priorities for those with serious mental illness from "deinstitutionalizing" people who have roofs over their heads in structured environments to finding housing and services for mentally ill people.

The Maryland system of care has been a failure for the mentally ill who are homeless and in jails. Talk of the "least restrictive environment" sounds very hollow and false when so many people are sleeping on the streets and are in jails because there is no other place for them.

Janet Edelman

Columbia

One resident's ode to dirt-bike damage

Fields of wheat blowing in the wind, corn as high as an elephant's eye, fields as green as a sea of emeralds in the sun. Corn turned golden in the autumn haze. Livestock grazing in the fields all day. What a beautiful sight to see.

A farm and nature rolled into one, to bask and thrive within the sun.

And so I came and built, to see a place for me and my family to And then I hear dirt bikes across from me, through corn and wheat they fly by me and tear up all that I came to see, and cut down fences in their path.

They drive by nights and leave their empty cans for me to see, or maybe if the night is just right they will knock a mailbox out of sight.

Or steal my farmers' corn you see; it does not matter, it is not me.

It's not my corn, my field, my fence, my livestock scattered far and wide because someone does not keep their kids inside.

I'm so sorry for my dear farmer friend. I came here to stay, but I did not mean to drive you away.

Ed Wheatley

Gamber

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