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Linden Row Story Brings Back Memories

Soon after my wife and I married in 1953, we became the first residential tenants of Linden Row ("A Storied Address," Cover Story, June 7). We were honored to be invited by Miss Mary Wingfield Scott and her partner, Miss Virginia Withers — all dolled-up in cocktail dresses — to a reception for the carpenters and other workers and their wives after all their work was done.

When our daughter was born, Miss Scott called her "Miss Linden Row." And when our daughter, sleeping only in diapers during the humid summer in a room without screens, had bites all over her body, Miss Scott assured us that mosquitoes didn't come north of Canal Street.

The tenants were not all Bohemian or necessarily creative. The Red Cross woman who lived above us on the third floor at 106 cavorted around in the nude occasionally, assuming erroneously — if she cared at all — that someone coming up the front stairs couldn't see her. She also was having late-night visits from a prominent doctor who was a state employee. He departed by the back stairs to avoid our neighbor's "auntie" who also came visiting late on occasion.

Miss Scott was adamant that no fires be built in the fireplaces and told her real estate agent, Hatcher Crenshaw, that he should so inform a tenant, an Episcopal priest, that unless he ceased such activity, he'd be ousted.

"But, Miss Scott," Crenshaw protested, "he is the assistant rector of St. Paul's."

"I don't care if he's Jesus Christ," she said. "He can't build a fire in Linden Row."

I was happy to be there because for much of the time I was night police reporter for The Times-Dispatch. When the police dispatcher called me about a major crime in the wee small hours of the morning, I could sprint two-and-a-half blocks to the paper, get in the police reporter's car and be on the scene before my counterpart at The News Leader, the afternoon paper.

Earle Dunford

Neighborhood Will Suffer If Nightclub Moves In

I read with great interest the story regarding the potential use of the old Julian's property ("Gay Club Slated for Julian's?" Street Talk, May 31). Then the letter to the editor regarding our councilman doing his job ("In Gay Club Issue, Pantele Should Butt Out," June 7).

The Grace Street/Broad Street corridor between Belvidere and Boulevard has presented some very interesting situations over the last 20 years we have lived on West Grace, right behind the old Julian's.

In our neighborhood we have had murders, drug dealing, street prostitution, abandoned vehicles used in crimes and other crimes too numerous to list.

The development on Broad Street is forcing the residents to reconsider their options. In the past year we fought the addition of the night club Z2. We fought enough that the ABC Board required them to hire an off-duty police officer. That still has not stopped the defecating and urination in our yards, alleys and street. In fact there was an arrest and conviction in an indecent exposure and lewd act case, right in the parking lot.

Calls for service have been up. Nuisance crimes and incidents are on the rise and parking is still a nightmare.

What price does a historic residential area have to pay? I suspect West Grace Street will go to a Permit Parking District. That will be the only way the residents can be assured of finding a parking space. We cannot park on Broad. That area is restricted after 11 p.m. because of cruising.

Crime, parking and alcohol — what a terrible mix.

Ken Martin

Rehab Centers Are Brothers in Arms The thrust of "Healers Duel" (News & Features, May 24) was that The Healing Place and Rubicon are in a battle to compete for state and local support.

Support for The Healing Place does not have to come from the same governmental sources that go to support Rubicon. We offer similar but different programs. We provide complimentary services to different segments of the population suffering from addictions. Both offer drug and alcohol rehabilitation. While Rubicon serves both men and women, and women with children — many of whom are not homeless — and is capable of serving those with serious mental illness, The Healing Place is focused exclusively on homeless men without serious mental illness.

Trying to compare the effectiveness of one program over the other is not valid given the different client base of each agency. To view the success of one agency as an indication of the failure of the other would also be misleading.

Funding for Rubicon comes primarily through governmental sources and some client fees for services. The Healing Place charges no fees to the client in an effort to minimize barriers to entry, and funding comes from private donors, corporations and foundations. It would be counterproductive and short-sighted to fund one program at the expense of the other. Both The Healing Place and Rubicon are needed, and both are saving taxpayer dollars by reducing the future medical and social costs of untreated substance abuse.

Drug addiction and alcoholism have been cited by some analysts as a greater threat to our national security than terrorism. We are battling a problem that destroys lives, damages families and children, and makes our streets a battleground for teenagers with guns. It is a complex problem, and no single agency could possibly provide all of the solutions. The Healing Place and Rubicon are brothers-in-arms in a battle to save lives and strengthen our community. It is a battle that we cannot afford to lose.

Michael P. Christin
Executive director,
The Healing Place
Clarence Jackson
Executive director,

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