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I left Salt Lake City Feb. 11, 1951. You could say I went to war ( Korean War) and never came back. I visited Salt Lake City on Aug. 22, and I was astonished to see how the city has grown. However, I was also astonished and saddened to see a panhandler on almost every corner and crosswalk. There was even a panhandler at the north entrance to Temple Square. The number of weird-looking people in downtown matches those in Times Square in New York City or Venice Beach, Calif.

Also, I was shocked to see all the derelict and abandoned residential homes in the near downtown Salt Lake City. Surely you have zoning laws that could correct this blight. Even the area around the This Is the Place Monument looks like it has gone back to nature; the weeds are higher than an elephant's eye.

There are many excellent improvements in Salt Lake City, like the City Creek project, but the panhandlers and the derelict properties make me very sad to say that this was my home so many years ago.

Robert L. Larsen

Williamsburg, Va.

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