The record may have been set straight on the plans for the Curtis Manor Retirement Home in Dalton but it is debatable that the record actually needed straightening. The rumor-mongering says more about Dalton than it does about the developers who are converting the former retirement home into senior housing.

An informational meeting was held last Thursday to address concerns about the use of the facility that were expressed largely in buzzwords. Evidently there were concerns that it would be used as a drug rehabilitation center, which implies that those centers are inherently evil. They are not and there are drug problems everywhere, even in small Berkshire towns.

Some residents were worried that the apartments would be subsidized, prompting the response that they would be market-priced and would, in the words of project engineer James M. Scalise II, "exclude the population" some residents seemed worried about (Eagle, August 17). What population is it that some residents are concerned about coming to town? Poor whites? Blacks? Hispanics? As for subsidized or low-income housing, Dalton has too little, as does most of the county.

Berkshire County has changed and is changing in ways both good and bad. It's unfortunate that there are serious drug problems, problems that are not restricted to Pittsfield. It's fortunate that there is increasing ethnic diversity, and that diversity should not be restricted to Pittsfield either.


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Dalton and other small communities should embrace those positive changes, while dealing realistically with the worst. There is no sealing the borders.