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Crop-dusting planes could pose danger to area



Published: Tue, September 25, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Crop-dusting planes could pose danger to area

EDITOR:

The Saturday following the cowardly attack on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Western Pennsylvania, we were driving west on I-76 at Bailey Road at about 10:30 a.m.

There was a twin-engine propeller plane flying south very low perhaps 100 yards high. Going another mile we saw another single-engine propeller plane going south at the same height, and in another mile there was a third plane, single engine, flying south at the same low altitude.

We were concerned because of the terrorist acts of Sept. 11 in New York. We called the FBI and the three numbers listed in the phone book for the Air Force at the Youngstown Airport, but there was no answer. We called 911 to tell them of our experience but they had no further suggestions beyond what we had tried

I told them I would call them with whatever I found -- if anything. We began calling again with similar results and again called 911 reaching a Portage County deputy sheriff who told us that he had a message that said they were dropping bait from the air to prevent the spread of rabies. I asked how many planes they were using and was told that it was not on the message.

How does a concerned citizen, and there are many of us, contact the correct people? Why was this bait being dropped on a day so close to the day of the tragedy. The method these people used to distribute the treated bait was perceived as a potential threat by us. The public was not given sufficient notice and personally, I was not aware of any statement being given or any notice being posted to allay the public anxiety at this vulnerable time. It was a poorly timed drop. Common sense and better planning would have been better.

We employ people to hold the public's interest paramount and for them to provide security. Isn't this public service? Protecting the safety of all is of utmost importance at this time. This is the job of the government agencies created for this purpose and of the citizens of the United States. This is a small Northeast Ohio community with a large GM manufacturing plant. The potential for terrorism exists here as throughout our country. We all need to be vigilant with clear-cut lines of communication and information from our government during these times so that we as citizens can make good common sense decisions in the circumstances where we can be helpful.

Also, maybe a color-coded index on the front of the phone book might be helpful in locating emergency numbers more quickly.

JOHN E. SAKAS Jr.

Newton Falls

If U.S. becomes hateful, terrorists will have won

EDITOR:

In the editorial of Wednesday, Sept. 19, you suggested that & quot;An immediate surgical strike in Afghanistan would certainly win the approval of the American people who want to see the blood of terrorists spilled. & quot; I was appalled that you would make such an irresponsible and inflammatory statement.

I am saddened and horrified by last week's events, but I also deeply regret the blood that will be spilled -- friends, innocents, and foes alike -- in our effort to bring the perpetrators to justice and to end the threat of terrorism. If hate breeds hate, if violence breeds a lust for violence, the terrorists will have won even if they never commit another atrocity. It is necessary to take action; it is wrong to approach those actions with bloodthirsty cries.

I'm also astounded by the naivete of your claim that aerial strikes against suspected terrorist hideouts in the mountains are likely to spill any terrorist blood. The reports that I've read indicate the terrorists will not be such easy targets. Such strikes aren't likely to be anything more than noisy & quot;saber rattling. & quot;

America's credibility is at stake, and that's why it is important that our leaders proceed with a coolness and caution that will earn us the respect of our allies and all peoples everywhere.

When President Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf of Pakistan addressed his nation recently, he gave them advice that all of us would do well to follow. In these very terrible times let us be guided by wisdom rather than emotion.

CAROL McCOY

Poland




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