Teen rises in support of renewal proposal

A young voice in an old neighborhood in Baltimore County

September 05, 2001|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

A sixteen-year-old resident is expressing her support for a revitalization plan in eastern Baltimore County.

Rachel Wright is one of a few people who have written to the county government about the facelift planned for her hometown.

The ambitious proposal could transform a major portion of the area with new housing, parks and a tourist destination at the headwaters of the Middle River. A significant part of the proposed east-side project is the demolition of hundreds of dilapidated, low-income housing apartments that were havens for drug dealing and other crimes.

Wright attended a recent community meeting on the issue and came away thinking that "a lot of these older people are just thinking about themselves. They are afraid of change. ... "

Robert Kemmery, principal of Eastern Technical High School, which Wright attends, said she is articulate, an honor student and is not afraid about taking a position on something about which she feels strongly.

Wright, who lives with her parents, two sisters and brother in Hawthorne, a community in Middle River, said she appreciates the history of the area, its blue-collar reputation with a strong work ethic. But that's the past.

She said she hopes residents will look to the future of the area and also support renewal.

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