Pubdate: Mon, 04 Apr 2005
Source: Sentinel And Enterprise, The (MA)
Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc. and Mid-States Newspapers, Inc.
Author: William Bowes


To the editor: I am a native of Fitchburg, and I sat and laughed at the 
comments made by Rep. Emile Goguen in a March 23 news story. Let's blame 
the current drug problem in Fitchburg on a bunch of long-haired kids in the 
early '70s. Yeah, right. And the Moon was in the 7th House, while Jupiter 
aligned with Mars, too. To blame a single generation -- and a small 
subgroup of that crowd -- for today's problems is ridiculous. Might as well 
blame the Royal Cafe for alcoholism, too. While we're at it, lets mention 
Fitchburg Paper turning the Nashua River into a multicolored swamp for 40 

Fitchburg was once a city where a guy could literally walk in off the 
street and find a job --   maybe even later that day on the 3-11 shift. 
There were jobs and a working-class mentality ruled the day; families were 
raised, bills were paid, schools were well kept and funded.

All that's gone. The government allowed a bunch of corporate bookkeepers to 
sell out the foundation of our mill towns -- the mill towns are now in 
Central America and Asia.

Today there are no jobs, absentee landlords desperate for rent take anyone 
with a handful of cash, the police budget is cut to bare essentials, the 
city's major tax base is long gone, and the city is slowly becoming a 
ghetto. Like Holyoke, Haverhill, Lawrence, Springfield, Athol.

But don't blame   my generation, Emile. Look behind the scenes at who 
really supplied and profited from all the drugs that flooded the country in 
the '60s and '70s -- certainly wasn't a bunch of stoned 15-year-olds at the 
Upper Commons. Just remember, Emile, we're all in our 40s and 50s now, and 
we vote.

William Bowes

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