Meagan Magrath-Smith: Holyoke is more than crime, panhandlers

  • Holyoke City Hall, as seen from the Holyoke District Court plaza on Sept. 9, 2020. Part of the granite sculpture "Holyoke Standing Stones", by William P. Reimann and Daughter, 1995, is in lower foreground.

Published: 9/23/2020 11:34:08 AM

Two comments in the Sept. 15 paper got to me: the first in a letter where the writer described Holyoke as “a city with the highest crime rate in the state and panhandlers on all the street corners,” and then Dusty Christensen’s article on an explosive found in a house on Pleasant Street, in which he thought it appropriate to include a quote from a young man who felt “something new like this happens every day out here.”

I don’t know what kind of exciting life this man is living, but speaking as someone who lives only a few short blocks from the Pleasant Street area where the explosive was found, I cannot disagree more. I have never heard of an explosive being found in a nearby house. Stuff like this does not happen “every day.” We do not have panhandlers on every street corner.

My city is not defined by panhandlers, crime and explosives. These two comments in the paper present a vision of my city that is as ignorant as it is tone deaf.

Meagan Magrath-Smith



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