Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

I was glad to see that the fires on Topp Ave. were part of Fire Department training exercises, and not, as I had speculated, set by disgruntled evictees. I am, however, very curious, and concerned, about those previous tenants, who seem to have been cleared out very quickly and fairly recently.

Those apartments, by all appearances, were in the "affordable housing" category. Where have those people gone? Are they being accommodated within the city of Verona?

Or have they been banished to housing farther afield? What sort of advance notice did they get? Were they compensated for the fact that they were displaced for the - probably substantial - financial benefit of their landlords?

When I see an area like the Topp Ave. neighborhood destroyed like that, it puts me in mind of the "urban renewal" process of the mid-20th century. That's when communities of renters, mostly low-income and people of color, were destroyed in the interests of building bigger highways and upscale housing and/or high-density, often high-rise low-income apartments.

Are we in Verona kicking our working families and individuals out of 4- and 8-unit buildings surrounded by grassy yards, to be replaced by much higher density, higher rent multi-unit developments with just a patch of greenery here and there?

Is Topp Ave. the urban renewal of Verona?

Rose Bohmann


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