www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-teens-letter-20120506,0,1893708.story

baltimoresun.com

What are kids to do for fun?

8:00 AM EDT, May 6, 2012

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When I was a child growing up in Boston, I remember there was always some place for us to play basketball, baseball and football or to run. The Boy's Club or YMCA was always open, and many of us would go there after school and do our homework, watch TV, play pool or ping pong, swim, play basketball, etc. There where also recreational centers that where open every day, and a lot of kids, practically lived in these places. A fat or obese boy or girl was not something you would see very much of back then.

Now everywhere you look there is some poor overweight child struggling with his or her weight. When I lived in Boston, Washington and Alexandria, Va., there where always places to go and work out. Since moving to Baltimore County, I've discovered that you better know how to play tennis because all of the basketball courts are dismantled. The rims are not the only thing missing, but also the backboards.

I hear that Baltimore's City Hall is shutting down recreational centers in the city, and the pools are always on the chopping block every year now. It's truly amazing to me how MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blakeand the great thinkers she surrounds herself with can always find the money to invest in automobile races, juvenile jails, surveillance cameras or $500,000 to renovate some offices at school headquarters while others wrestle with each other to find money to fix the dilapidated school buildings.

This is criminal. What are the children supposed to do all summer long? What about the children whose parents can't afford to spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars for summer camps and getaways? What are the children supposed to do with no outdoor activity or indoor activity? Its a recipe for disaster.

The city is broke and the most plentiful and expendable assets are the children of the inner city. I guess they are more easily replaced than rescued. That is criminal.

Thomas J. Muhammad, Pikesville