Sunday, August 26, 2007

First impressions, lasting impressions?

A letter to the editor in Friday’s Daily News is stirring debate in the city about the state of youth drunkenness in the downtown core and in particular problems along the Fraser street area.

A pair of out of town visitors from Prince George was so disturbed by the vision of a group of drunken youth who were hanging around the local Planet Youth building on Fraser Street that they chose to pen a letter to the editor. While there is probably no shortage of similar happenings in their hometown of Prince George, the display that they were faced with in our town seems to have made a lasting impact.

The letter seems to pin the bulk of the blame on the situation on Planet Youth itself, which is perhaps a little unfair. It's a location that is trying to provide local youth with alternative activities that would see youth avoid the temptations of drugs and alcohol. Though judging by the impression from the Prince George couple, they seem to be losing that battle.

The real blame probably should reside with those that are providing our young people with the alcohol and/or drugs, as well as with their parents or guardians who clearly aren’t aware (or perhaps don't care) as to what their children are up to in the late hours of the day in our city.

For the sake of future visitors perhaps a more vigilant patrol of the Fraser street area by local police might assist in the esthetics's (if only to move the trouble makers along), but most likely won't solve the underlying problem that seems to exist.

The letter only serves to reinforce the impression around town this summer that local youth seem to be engaging in more and more troublesome activities as the summer month’s wane. Frequently reports are heard of far too many young people wandering the downtown area or waterfront in an intoxicated state.

The twin topics of youth drunkenness and an ongoing vandalism problem has become one of the hot issues on the local bulletin board, hackingthemainframe.

There clearly is a need for some kind of action in what is becoming a growing social problem in the city; it shouldn't take an out of town visitor to alert us to a problem that has been widely known for a while now.

Letter to the Editor
The Daily News
Friday, August 24, 2007

To the Editor,

I was visiting your beautiful city and we went out for a drive one night.

The street that the mural is being painted on was full of kids, many of whom were drunk.

They were gathered near a place called Planet Youth.

Who is managing this place?

The activity on the street and outside the teen centre seemed to be downright violent.

There are many misconceptions about Native youth (I know, I am part Native) and my home town of Prince George has worked very hard to dispel these misconceptions.

It seems to me the manager of Planet Youth chooses to do nothing for the youth and lets them run rampant.

There is so much more that could be done.

It is an embarrassment.

Yours Truly,
Marilyn Korai,
Prince George

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