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The Possible Closure of State’s Joplin Youth Center in County

“Hopping mad” under-describes my reaction to the possible closing of the Joplin Youth Center reported in your article (April 23). Before Gov. George Deukmejian and Supervisor Tom Riley continue to press for this unwarranted action, they should read a Los Angeles Times article (March 31) on the role Saddleback Kiwanis Club plays in helping to turn the Joplin boys around.

Riley is quoted as saying: “I don’t see how we could come up with the money . . . now.” This is nonsense! Riley implies that he has other priorities. One can easily agree that a need exists to cut government spending. One can further agree that there are legitimate concerns about society and its will to get a handle on crime, delinquency and drug abuse before the fabric which holds it together comes apart.

But solutions require priorities where they count most, where government funds have a reasonable chance to turn children and youth into productive and law-abiding citizens.

NORMAN WILLIAM FREESTONE

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Laguna Hills


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