In response to Laura Smith's letter about the "Nightmare on Main Street," I would like toose a few questions, suggestions and thoughts.
First, do any of the schools offer any Halloween activities, or is it now considered politically incorrect because it might offend people?
I remember growing up in Payson and attending, and later on, volunteering at, school-sponsored Halloween carnivals. My mother actually started the Payson PTA and the carnival function in the late 1970s. The event was held in the old rock building of Julia Randall Elementary (pretty spooky), and later in the junior high gym. It was a worthy cause that raised money for the PTA and got many students, parents and teachers involved.
Second, the challenge of providing youth activities year-round is nothing new. I doubt that most caring people would deny kids programs that would "get them off the streets" as is the saying, but all too often these things take time and funding that those so-called caring people aren't willing to give. It's also hard to get kids interested in alternative forms of recreation when things like music and art programs are getting cut in the schools.
Ask yourself, Ms. Smith and readers, if you are willing to put your money and time where your mouth is. Instead of complaining and criticizing, meet with some of today's youth and brainstorm some ideas of what you can do to make Payson a better environment for kids. Then see if you can turn those ideas into realities. It isn'ts easy as you think.
Lastly, I don't believe that the majority of children in Payson are turning to drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, more of the negative stories are reported than the positive. Try to find the positive stories out there and you won't be disappointed.
Wendy Pederson, Vancouver, Wash.