Americans should have freedom to work and live wherever they please
A recent letter writer denounced a state representative's effort to eliminate residency requirements for public employees.
Since love of God and country has been our theme as of late, I would like to remind this writer that America is supposedly held together by a vision of a society based on two fundamental beliefs.
The first is that all men, created equal in the eyes of God with certain inalienable rights, are free, with certain moral objections, to pursue the longings of their heart.
The second belief is that the sole purpose of government is to protect these rights. I believe this state representative is doing just that.
We do not promulgate true freedom and democracy when we fence out reason and prohibit qualified people from running for office or place restrictions on where they can live.
KIM R. KOTHEIMER
Not enough being done to offer shelter to Americans in case of terror attacks
It is true, the terrorists have perpetrated an attack within the continental United States. And yes, we in the Mahoning Valley could be the target of a terrorist attack. That could be said of any location within the continental United States today.
What is the likelihood that we will become a target is what needs to be addressed.
For years, experts have been predicting that there would be major terrorist incidents perpetrated within the continental United States.
However, if one were to speak of nuclear, biological and or chemical terrorism (NBC terror), he or she would be perceived as having three heads. Historically, a number of government committees and commissions have addressed the subject of NBC and weapons of mass destruction terror.
For example, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment issued two reports in 1993 that addressed this subject. The Clinton administration instituted the Gilmore Commission whose sole purpose is to address WMD terror. There have been two reports issued by the Gilmore Commission, and a third will be released next month. The media gave little if any coverage to the commission's findings.
I agree with Mr. Kimmins' statement that all Ohio residents should plan for a terrorist attack. I agree with Mr. Duzzny that the threat will not end just because the Taliban is pushed out of Afghanistan.
Mr. Duzzny recommends that local residents prepare for an attack or other disaster such as a winter storm by setting aside food, water, and other supplies to survive for at least 72 hours. Great idea.
I have just one question. Why has there not been any discussion of shelters in place. Or better still. Are there any shelters that can be used by the public in case of a biological or chemical release?
Shelters are a thing of the past. History has proven that shelters were not a necessity. That is why FEMA recommended that the shelter concept be abandoned. Was that such a good idea?
All we need do is look to Israel and their civil defense. Shelters both public and in the home are an important factor in their Homeland Defense. I ask Mr. Duzzny: Where are the shelters? How can the public obtain plans for shelters in place for their homes. Where are the public shelters that act as a countermeasure for NBC Terror?
MICHAEL E. DENNY
X The writer is United States Federal Protective Service retiree. The U.S. Federal Protective Service is the law enforcement branch of the General Services Administration.
Voters mistaken in not passing police levies
In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, there has been a major reunification of this country. People helping people, people appreciate emergency services, and a renewed sense of patriotism. Then why don't people pass police levies?
They protect us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And even now, when people believe we need more security in our country, why would they vote down the levies?
In the Mahoning Valley, three specific departments have this problem.
In Bazetta, they laid off many officers before putting a levy on the November ballot. They feared that if the levy failed, the police department would have to be disbanded, leaving the community with no protection. The levy failed.
In western Mahoning County, there is Milton Township, and on the other side of the lake there is Craig Beach. Milton Township has very old equipment, but the officers make do. Across the lake, the community of Craig Beach had a tax levy fail several years ago downsizing their existing police department to one officer.
Another levy was on the ballot again in November. Both failed.
Why is this? People now, more than ever see a need for more personnel and better equipped emergency services. Is that whole extra $2 a pay check really worth sacrificing the safety of you and your family?
Public safety personnel deserve their recognition
The mean-spirited and insulting tone of a recent letter suggesting that police and firefighters do not deserve full honors at their funerals is an insult to those who protect all of us every day -- for their entire working life in many cases, not just four or eight years.
They indeed "put on the uniform of our country" every day and risk their lives as a career choice. I admire also the military men and women and do not wish to make a direct comparison, since many of my own family members were members of the armed forces.
However, I am guessing that this writer is from the Vietnam era, where many still harbor feelings of injustices. Many Americans still feel that this was a conflict without purpose, creating a less than heroic stature to the draftees of that era.
Whatever the writer has experienced in no way justifies the antagonism he has demonstrated with his notion that somehow the military men and women are an elite, above the people serving us every day under every conceivable circumstance.
I certainly do not think any police officer or fireman expects that they should be treated differently, as the writer states. We honor them when they die in service because they are unique and dedicated people who most definitely deserve recognition.
To further imply that police and firefighters have not earned the privilege is just wrong, especially in our recent attacks.
CAROL JEAN HIRT