×

People’s column

Penalize poor city properties

Editor, OBSERVER:

I feel the city of Dunkirk needs to crack down on slum homeowners who live in their homes and don’t take care of them.

You can walk and drive through the city, and you can see with your own two eyes where you see some houses have broken sidewalks, houses that need to be painted and owners who don’t keep their yard clean.

These are a few examples the city needs to take a look at. You can’t blame the landlords for everything. It is not fair to them.

The Mayor and the City Council have to take time to realize the owners are down-grading the neighborhood throughout the city who don’t take care of them.

It also decreases the value of their home and the owner who lives in them.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some homeowners who do take care of their homes.

MARY HAYES,

Dunkirk

Many deserve second chance

Editor, OBSERVER:

“The Hound of Heaven” is a poem by Francis Thompson (1859-1907). He’s a man in search of answers. Throughout his early existence there is a discomfort, an unease of mind and soul. Our poet was raised with many opportunities that could give him a lifestyle through family and friends to have a prosperous future. But he had an uncompromising, rebellious nature that warred against good sense and traveled down a road and a way of life wasted and abused by drugs.

Unsurprisingly he ended up in rags, sleeping in the alleys and streets, hooked on laudanum (a morphine-alcohol mix); eventually ended up wallowing in troubled waters, living among fellow beggars and prostitutes. If he existed in our time, he would have been thought of by the more judgmental as a veritable loser, someone to talk about over the back fence. But, thankfully he was not fully bereft of friends and family.

He was found out, deemed worth salvaging, and convinced to go into a Franciscan Priory where he resided for two years. There he was weaned off the addictions. While sheltered in this early form of a faith-based rehab he wrote his epic work, “The Hound of Heaven.” The hound is a metaphor for God as the Hound searching for His wayward children — asking them to return back to His family — or suffer the anguish and loneliness of the dispossessed. Our poet summed it up in the following lines. “Naught shelters thee (says God as the Hound) who will not shelter Me, all that you have fancied as lost I have stored away for you at home. Rise, take my hand and come!”

Now divinely enlightened and inspired, Francis Thompson turned his life around and his reformation became an example for others to follow.

RALPH BURKE,

Dunkirk

COMMENTS