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I'd like to commend Mr. Mendes on the highly relevant, insightful and darkly funny Bayshore Mall articles ("Bayshore Mall before ... and after Wal-Mart," June 21). I have spent equal amounts of time as a Borders wage slave and explorer out at Devil's Playground, a homeless jungle and graffiti haven behind the mall. I think your point is valid that the mall is a reflection, or a microcosm, of community for better or worse. Blatant meth zombies becoming even more obvious in their fiendish quests to me represent greater socioeconomic issues that have been apparent in the 11 years I've enjoyed in this unique place.

I've lived in nearly every social class in the county, from college kid to homeless, and now a master's candidate. My work with homeless youth has shown me a whole other side of the mall; a place of (often squashed) hope for a coveted first job.

Rumor has it, Devil's Playground, nefarious home of our town's only "legal walls" may soon be razed to make room for family friendly bike paths. However you feel about this, I encourage you to keep up the good work documenting the unique history of the community and economic microcosm that is Bayshore and its environs.

Lou Corazon, Eureka



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