Special Reports

The community looks bad

It is encouraging to see residents, students and the university discussing the problems that drinking is causing in the State College community.

Having lived in this college town in the vicinity of Pugh and Allen streets for a long time, I have enjoyed its ambiance but have witnessed severe negative change in the past five years.

When Pugh Street was my home during graduate school and my early teaching years, students and working families shared their neighborhoods respectfully. Our numbers were balanced and our lives intertwined in decency.

Fast forward to 2009, when my husband and I have a condo on South Allen Street. As I walk these same neighborhoods, I am apt to see pizza boxes stuffed in landscaping, broken bottle-lined sidewalks and burned couches. I read about people urinating in homeowners' yards; I hear screaming for the sake of screaming. I sense a feeling of entitlement to do these things (under night cover and under the influence) because State College is a college town.

I have experienced State College as a civilized college town and I see the distress it is under at the present. Much of today's picture is detrimental to the community as a whole.

On closing, I want to mention an encouraging sight I saw this past weekend: Two young men were making the rounds between Pugh and Allen streets picking up debris. I hope this is a sign of our future as a community.

Mary Alice Lindquist State College