July 06, 2002

Why put drug rehab facility in residential neighborhood?

To the editor:

I read with deep concern the article in The Herald-Mail (Sunday, June 16) titled "W House seeks expansion." I am not concerned that W House is planning to expand; I am concerned about the choice of location.

As a resident of the historic district on Broadway, I find it difficult to understand why a residential substance-abuse program would be slated for opening in this area. Why has the city not informed residents previously of this possibility? My husband and I have not received any notices that would alert us to having a rehab center in the neighborhood.

As a minister and clinical mental health and pastoral counselor, I am familiar with and have done substance- abuse counseling. Rehabilitation of abusers can be successful, but usually it is the hard-core substance abusers that need a residential treatment facility.


Treatment does fail, and Christiana Trenton, executive director of W House, indicates that those who use drugs would be subsequently removed. Is the neighborhood willing to take the risks? I doubt it. A residential neighborhood with many children is not an appropriate place for a rehabilitation facility. Additional objections are stated below:

  • The site of the former Ted's Rent-It Center is on one of Hagerstown's busiest streets, Locust Street. If W House will have up to six or eight children living in the facility with their mothers, why would a busy street location be chosen as a front yard?

  • The corner of Locust and Broadway, where the former Ted's Rent-It Center is located, is a school bus stop where children would be waiting for buses and departing from buses.

  • There is no adequate yard space for children's play. Will the children and their mothers "hang out" on the cement parking pad in front of the center?

  • This rehabilitation center would be located directly across the street from a Faith, Hope and Charity Childcare Academy and a corner house with four children.

  • Within one block of this proposed rehab center is a "drug hot zone" at the corner of Broadway and Mulberry, which is notorious for drug distribution. A quick walk down Broadway or through the alley across from the facility would put residents of the center into a "temptation zone" where drugs could be easily accessed.

  • Those being rehabilitated from alcohol often turn to smoking or increase smoking to deal with the abstinence of the drug. Will we be seeing numerous adults congregating in the cement parking space smoking? What kind of an influence is this for the numerous children in the neighborhood?

  • Eighteen proposed residents and children would increase the traffic and tax the parking on Locust and Broadway. Parking is already at a premium and a major issue for residents, as the old stately Victorians have been divided into rental units on most of Broadway.

  • Why would a drug rehabilitation center be considered in a historic district?

  • A site adjoining a hospital or medical facility with a yard and adequate parking would be a better location for a rehabilitation center.

While I have great compassion for the cause of the W House and the women and children it seeks to serve, I strongly feel that another location would be much more appropriate. Our house has already been targeted six times for vandalism on Broadway, and our Neighborhood First group already has numerous other concerns and issues without all the challenges a rehabilitation center could engender.

Judith McLean


Congrats to Callas contractors

To the editor:

Congratulations to Callas Contractors of Washington County for receiving the very first construction contract on the University of Maryland Campus. Because Callas Contractors is a Washington County company, it will provide jobs and economic opportunities to local people.

Callas Contractors is an outstanding company and I am very pleased that my efforts in Annapolis, on behalf of obtaining a University of Maryland Campus in Washington County, will result in jobs and economic opportunity for Washington Countians.

Senator Donald F. Munson

District 2


A sad song

To the editor:

I am an American living in on Prince Edward Island in Canada. I lived in Funkstown and worked for the State of Maryland. I think it is awful about this story regarding the allegiance to our flag.

If this passes, then they should take any word regarding God out of every song that has been written - making it illegal use God's name when singing a song. Mention the name of God and see if these people like that.

Just think- a country that can't sing a song with the name of God in it!

Robert V. Moats Jr.



More credit due these people

To the editor:

Thank you for highlighting our recent Girl Scout Earn A Badge event (The Daily Mail, June 20).

The article mentioned that the girls were taught how to embroider by Sandra Busey, who is the education chair of the Hagerstown chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America, Inc.

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