HALLOWEEN is almost here, and it is sad to say that some of our residents intend to turn off their porch lights and cower in backrooms, hoping that kids won’t knock.

Some of these Scrooges will offer politically pure excuses for their nasty Halloween trick: that kids eat too much sugar, that it rots their teeth, that it makes them fat, that Halloween encourages greed, and that it has become a commercial holiday that the grocery chains make profit on, yada, yada, yada.

The result of such cheapskate rationalizations is another dark porch, another missing tooth on the urban smile.

In Seattle, a city in which the percentage of children is infamously low, this tightwadism is a civic rash. Certain blocks have become Halloween deserts, where an enterprising trick-or-treater practically needs a dowsing rod to locate some Reese’s Pieces.

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Give the kids a break. Before they know it, they will be paying rent, taxes and utility bills, and commuting to work wearing costumes not half as inventive as the ones they’ll don Thursday evening.

You should see these costumes, and the smiling faces of the kids in them. You can make them smile. It’s fun. All it takes is a bag of good candy, a pumpkin and a porch light that stays lit.