Companies that serve food for the airlines now need...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 22, 2001

Companies that serve food for the airlines now need federal help

While travel-related and other businesses in Maryland and throughout the nation are under pressure in the wake of Sept. 11's attacks, those of us in the airline food service industry are surely among those hit the hardest ("Howard feels pain of slow economy," Oct. 8).

We are wholly dependent on airline travel. And although passenger levels are increasing, airlines have announced plans to reduce or eliminate in-flight meal and beverage service, even on long flights.

This offers a bleak picture for passengers and an even bleaker one for companies such as ours and for our employees. Already, my company has had to furlough 30 percent of its U.S. workforce, including more than 50 employees at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Our industry is the safe, secure source of food and beverages for airline passengers. We provide 40,000 jobs; some 75 percent of our employees are union members.

But, like most in our industry, LSG Sky Chefs was not included in the airline relief package. We are appealing to Congress for assistance in stabilizing our business.

With this help and continued in-flight meal and beverage service, we will continue to be around -- rebuilding jobs and helping provide secure and comfortable airline travel.

Tom Fernandez

Elkridge

The writer is general manager of LSG Sky Chefs at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

A joint-use airport isn't what's best for Aberdeen

As a resident of Harford County, I recognize the importance of a viable army base to our local community ("Proving ground has new urgency," Oct. 15).

And, as Maj. Gen. John C. Doesburg pointed out, the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) has a long, productive history. We need to be sure it has an equally productive future. It is gratifying to hear that so many additional funds are coming in that he is "losing track" of them.

I would like to recommend to him an easy way to eliminate some of those funds. Call James T. Harkins at the Harford County executive's office and tell him that the proposed joint use of Phillips Airfield at APG is no longer under consideration.

The thought of creating a new airport in light of recent events is abhorrent. It's presence at Aberdeen Proving Ground would create a serious security risk.

The presence of a nuclear facility, mustard gas and unexploded munitions around the facility should not be taken lightly. Opening this airport to general aviation can have no positive effect on APG.

Mark D. Sinclair

Aberdeen

The writer is a member of Citizens for Plane Answers, a group that opposes the joint use of Phillips Airfield.

The American people are the government

My message to Malik Imran, the Pakistani who loves the American people but hates the government of America, is as follows: We the people of the United States are the government. Hate the government and you hate us ("Anti-U.S. protesters are difficult to peg," Oct. 15).

And if you insist on calling Osama bin Laden a hero, I don't want your love or your respect. Anyone who worships a madman who finances and orders the deaths of 6,000 innocent men, women and children is no better than he is.

We are the nation that is always there for any other that is in trouble. When disasters strike, it is the United States that is always ready to send food, money, volunteers or whatever is required to help.

If you can't respect a country that does not discriminate based on race, color or religion in its charity around the world, you are part of the world's problem.

Carl Bice

Bel Air

Liberty doesn't need torture as a defense

The Sun's article "Torture likely tool in anti-terror fight" (Oct. 10) detailed the torture of Abdul Hakim Murad by Philippine thugs the article dignified (wrongly) by the term "intelligence officers."

Liberty does not need defense by psychotic bullies who enjoy putting out lighted cigarettes on helpless captives. This kind of obscene vileness does not safeguard freedom.

Indeed, a free society that resorts to, or tolerates, torture will cease to be free -- because its government will sooner or later use torture to terrorize anyone of whom it disapproves -- all in the name of anti-terrorism.

Posey Wickman

Ellicott City

Drop Mike Lane's cartoon along with the food

Mike Lane's Oct. 8 "U.S. Food/Smart Bombs" editorial cartoon is brilliant.

We should drop the cartoon over Afghanistan and Pakistan in leaflet form.

Joe Fiorenza

Dundalk

Defoliate the poppy crop to limit bin Laden's assets

Considering Osama bin Laden's ability to hide his assets and our government's apparent inability to capture them, why don't we cut off a good portion of them at the source?

I refer to the huge poppy crop in Afghanistan. Defoliation was a much-touted weapon in the Vietnam debacle. Its use in this situation would make more sense.

Not only would it deprive the Taliban regime and bin Laden of a cash crop to fund funding their activities, it would greatly lessen the supply of heroin to the Western world.

Peter Stewart

Towson

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