Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

April 15, 2013

Mall loitering, disruptions should be addressed

This is written in response to the April 4 reader commentary, “Planter issue highlights city’s identity crisis.”

First, allow me say it is rare and refreshing to read something as well written and articulate as the letter submitted by Seth Moessinger. However, just because it was stated with eloquence, does not make it any less wrong.

Loitering is a problem and it does deter business, not just in Cumberland, but everywhere.

So attempts to curtail such activities are in an effort to improve commerce, and therefore, improve the local economy. It has no relevance to infringing on a “specific” economically disadvantaged group.

In fact, I believe there is compelling evidence to suggest the downtown mall and its merchants cater to local residents.

What Ed Mullaney and the Downtown Development Commission have accomplished for the area has been nothing short of miraculous.

When families come to shop the mall, they do not want to be exposed to a large group of people hanging out around the planters engaging in such things as smoking, cursing, and being overall disruptive.

The word gentrification (Yes, I had to look it up.), is used only to cast a negative connotation to the fact that the area has underwent some much needed renovations.

I do believe there is such a thing as gentrification, but I don’t see where Cumberland’s economic improvements have forced people out of their homes … just possibly the planter space they want to occupy.

If gentrification had actually taken place, I doubt this would even be a discussion. The issue would have resolved itself.

In the March 5 article, “Downtown irons out planter debate,” Mullaney makes the perfect point when he says to “poll the business owners” because that is exactly what needs to be done.

Without them, there is no economic development in downtown Cumberland.

No further methodology need be applied. It is not the responsibility of the small businesses of Cumberland to determine the cause of such unpleasant interactions, just to prevent them from deterring potential customers.

The writer’s speculations as to why business is slow in Cumberland only expose the fact that we can all agree it’s slower than it could be.

This proposed solution is an affordable and logical first step in addressing that.

If the planter walls get built, the loitering (that is, ALL loitering, not the “specific” groups), goes away, and businesses still struggle, then maybe the authors suggestions can be weighed as at “next phase” of the process.

However, the concept of allowing people to use their food stamps at a farmers market seems ludicrous to me.

Overall, the mall is not a public park; it is a place for people to shop and have a good time. The group of people being defended is not banned from those premises, everyone is welcome to go shop, eat, and drink on the mall ... just not to loiter (which is neither absurd nor illegal).

What I see as really wrong with having to take such measures, is that the very group of people being defended by Mr. Moessinger either don’t realize, or just don’t care about the effects they have on deterring revenue into their hometown.

It’s both wrong and sad that these matters need to be addressed, but not for the reasons highlighted in his letter.

 Todd Arbogast

Rawlings

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Support the March for Babies May 3 at Canal Place

    At the March of Dimes, we promise to work tirelessly toward the day when all babies are born healthy.
    The March of Dimes has worked for more than 75 years to help babies get a healthy start in life.

    April 20, 2014

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo