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For years I have looked to Washington City Paper to spotlight issues that the mainstream press won’t touch and to treat them accurately and fairly. How wrong I was when I read “Bottled Fury” (3/14).
It doesn’t matter to most folks in the North Lincoln Park community whether Trants has been in the neighborhood for 45 years or longer, or whether Trants posts an anti-loitering sign, or whether the owners did not comprehend their agreement not to sell singles. The facts are, the store serves as a magnet for drug pushers, the owners broke their agreement with the community, and that people get shot in the Trants parking lot
(I knew one).
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What matters most is that Paul Belden’s article succeeded in trashing Karen Currie and Stewart Harris, two of our community’s most valued leaders. They worked, first, to get Trants to agree to stop selling singles, and, only after Trants reneged, tried with many of us to close it. It’s downright absurd for Belden to have taken seriously the claim that Harris and Currie want “to redo the neighborhood in their own image.” Like most folks, black and white, they want a safe community.
The bottom line is your reporter got it wrong: Instead of focusing on the overriding issue of public safety, he savaged Currie and Harris. Worst of all, he fell into the trap of substituting class and racial distinctions for public safety.