JULY 11, 1945
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Last night I went down to the Hudson River State Hospital to speak to a group of conscientious objectors who, like so many others, are working in the state hospitals for the insane during the summer. This group belongs to the Mennonite church.
The superintendent of the hospital told me that they had undoubtedly raised the standards for the care of the patients, and that they had been of tremendous help in disclosing certain practices which existed there and about which he never before could get any real evidence. He said if they could stay longer they would probably improve the standards even more.
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Though it is beginning to be a little less difficult to find people for the work which has to be done, it is true we have never given enough thought to finding the right type of people for positions in these institutions. The salaries are very low and it is hard to compete with outside opportunities. Probably every employee in an institution for the insane should have some special training, either after he is employed or before; but we often employ people with no training and no background, simply because no one else is available at the salary offered.
This kind of work for the conscientious objectors is, of course, much better than many of the occupations which they have been given to do in the public service camps. Many of them are preparing to travel for their churches after the war and undertake relief work in different parts of the world, and what training they get in hospitals here will be of value in the future.
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Have you heard about the Toledo, Ohio plan for rebuilding their city? During the past two and a half years, they have spent $250,000 on an exact scale model for "Toledo Tomorrow." The plan is to have an airport virtually in the heart of the city, with underground train approaches and "congestion proof" highways; a single terminal for all bus, plane and train traffic, and a new port and harbors. They hope to separate their business and residential districts so that the city will have the park-like appearance of certain parts of Paris and other cities which have been planned for beautiful effects. Residential sections would be developed with their own stores, churches and recreational facilities. They would do away with the old frame buildings and the congested areas which now exist, and the money scheduled for post-war purposes would be spent on a real plan, carefully thought through.
The scale model, which every citizen can look at when he wants to know what the future city of Toledo is going to resemble, will help to make all the people understand the plan. This kind of fore-may prove valuable to other cities in the country whose leaders realize that they must make some changes if their people are going to live well in the future.