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Halloween is fast approaching and it falls on a Friday this year, making it possible for trick-or-treaters to stay out longer.

I cannot go into a detailed dissertation about why this practice should be abolished, or at least reformed, but I will bring to light one very frighteningaspect.

It's not the sick people who poison the goodies or lace them with glass shards and razor blades. It's the practice of dropping off carload after carload of youngsters in the more affluent neighborhoods and leaving them there for hours so that they can trick or treat.

This really becomes a problem when, after 8 or 9 p.m., the older ones -- ages 15 to 20 who are between 5 and 6 feet tall and weigh nearly 200 pounds -- keep coming to the door.

What is a person to do? Don't answer the door and offer a treat?

Then what's the trick going to be? Broken glass, destroyed gardens, obscenities or worse?

This has become a serious problem and a real threat, especially to older people.

Why can't we have a visible police presence? There should be a curfew, both time-wise and age-wise. There should be no free roaming of the streets after 6 or 7 p.m.

I would be more than happy to donate to any group that would organize Halloween parties for young children in the community centers or church halls.


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