LETTER: 'The Bottom' Is Not Suitable Location for Day Care Center


Day Care Center to open at “The Bottom”

If you have ever driven on Rt. 225 towards Indian Head on a Sunday afternoon then you are familiar with what is locally known as “The Bottom.” It is easy to spot at the bottom of the hill with cars, trucks and motorcycles in every available space and hundreds of people walking around as though at the local park. On the weekends, most faces are that of strangers who have taken advantage of great weather and the well-kept Charles County roads for a Sunday afternoon drive.

During the week, this tavern, which has been in existence for more years than I have been on this earth, is the heart of the African American Western community. It is where you go to find out who has fresh fish, greens, homemade pickles, seasoning meat. It is where you go when you have a honey-do-list but no honey to take care of odd jobs, when you need a painter, plumber, HVAC guy or maybe just a little advice on why your garden didn’t produce. It is where you hear about who isn’t doing so well and may need a helping hand or who has passed away.

In contrast, the Bottom is also a bar, filled with all the things that attach themselves to an establishment of its nature. For some it is an eyesore, for others a familiar place that holds memories of yesteryear's introduced to them by fathers and grandfathers that are no longer with us.

Today there is a sign posted on a building that has not been in use for many years advertising a new day care center that will be opening about 200 feet from the bar’s front door. There is no argument that we are all products of our environment and that what we are exposed to in our developmental years play an important role in our perceptions, values and views. I do not know anyone regardless of their economic or social status, when given a choice who would want their children exposed to such an environment.

Has this daycare been approved and licensed for those who do not have a choice and are receiving childcare assistance at the state or county level? I would like all parties involved in this process to ask themselves one simple question; would you send your children or grandchildren to a daycare center next to a very active bar? I do not need to know and understand health department, zoning, business or county government regulations in order to decide if this action is of a positive nature and will assume based on the trust of my local government that it is legal. With that assumption in mind even if you could open such a place from a legal standpoint why would you? This action is a slap in the face to our community and clearly shows the need for understanding and communication between those in power and those perceived as powerless.

Wanda Fenwick-Orgias
Indian Head, Md.

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