From the pictures, the house on Maple Street looks respectable enough.
But because someone apparently decided to run a methamphetamine lab in it -- the two people charged haven't been found guilty -- there's a question of whether the house is even habitable now.
Certainly the landlord is facing thousands of dollars to deal with the problem, in whatever way the inspectors and other authorities deem necessary. And the house's other tenant -- in a bitterly ironic twist, the landlord's own daughter -- has lost her home for the time being, is finding out how many of her possessions she may be able to keep and is doubtless wondering how many times she came close to losing her life to what police say was going on one floor below.
Meth-making, though cheap and easy once you can buy or steal the necessary chemicals, is incredibly dangerous. Flammable materials, mixed with flames -- put it under the control of a person who may have already turned into human wreckage by the drug's physiological effects, and it's a firebomb waiting to go off.
There were signs neighbors apparently chose to not acknowlege, until someone, for whatever motive, gave police a tip, and calamity was prevented.
The house's landlord is finding out what level of responsibility he has for what was going on in his rental, and we should all consider the fine line we walk. Certainly no one likes the landlord entering one's home at will; there is some measure of privacy we all hold dear. And the great majority of us prefer to mind our own business -- and have other people mind theirs --and it generally works well.
We know -- this sounds way too much like the "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about" that is so odious when it's used to justify the latest governmental peek under our covers.
But the freedom to swing your arms ends where your neighbor's nose begins, and vice versa. And that's where our business becomes each other's business.