Paul Ruffins’ piece “Battered Neighborhood Syndrome” (5/31) contained so much hyperbole that I thought I was reading a Hearst publication from the early part of this century. Of course, I’ve come to expect that from you.

I’ve lived in Brookland about 15 years. I first met Red when moving into an apartment in Turkey Thicket in 1981. Yes he was “present,” but not intimidating. I wouldn’t call what he was doing “terrorizing” or even harassment. I’ve met him many times since, and my dog, too, barks at him. So do I on occasion. I find him annoying, but I don’t run in fear from him. I know I am not alone.

I believe all the stories cited by Ruffins were true, but that is really only part of the story. This is not a neighborhood quaking in terror. Yes, it is tragic that someone so obviously calling out for help and with such obvious mental illness remains untreated in a society that values sports stadiums higher than human lives.

I think Washington City Paper has done a favor to all of us in Brookland who want to keep this neighborhood as richly diverse and wonderful as it is. We won’t be experiencing a yuppy onslaught anytime soon.

Brookland

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