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Blaming Senior Citizens

May 15, 1988

In his column of May 8, Dick Turpin cited Robert Morris, the executive president of the San Diego Building Industry Assn., as saying that teen-agers and seniors are the real "culprits" responsible for traffic congestion. According to Webster's, the word culprit means "one accused of a crime," or "one guilty of a crime." I, for one, resent the use of the word.

Should senior citizens be condemned to starvation because they cannot carry their groceries home from the market? Would taking a cab reduce the number of cars on the streets? Should senior citizens sit at home in a rocking chair when they could be warding off arthritis and heart disease by swimming in the neighborhood YMCA pool?

Or should I, as a senior citizen, say to my friends, "Let's vote for all slow-growth measures. Let's vote against funding new highways and sewers on the ground that developers will only clog them up as soon as they are in place"? I could recommend such a strategy, but I won't--because extreme statements never solve problems; they merely show the speaker's prejudices.

MARGARET W. ROMANI

Los Angeles

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