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    July 21, 2008


    David Moisan

    We are seeing this debate in Salem. It's writ small but no less bitter. We have been trying to replace our senior center for 20 years.

    A year ago, our mayor proposed a site in the Point, our poorest neighborhood, at the site of the closed St. Joseph's Church. It was to be a combined youth and senior center.

    That was not well received, sadly for the reasons that you would most expect; seniors wouldn't mix with "those people" let alone youths.

    Now there are three "finalized" sites: One of them is in a busy area with traffic and an MBTA route.

    The other two sites are near Salem Willows, a beautiful part of Salem that is isolated from any public transit and impractical for pedestrians.

    Unsurprisingly, the two sites near the Willows are favored by the most vocal seniors. One senior has put it thus, "we can have our own special place!"

    I'm alarmed at the prospect of having city money go towards a segregated place such as this. Worse yet, most younger people won't get involved with the process and the older generation constantly complains about "the kids of today only thinking for *today*!

    Being old is something almost all of us will have experience with sooner or later.

    I'm not liking what it'll be like for me in such a segregated place, all too soon.

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