Halloween out of business?

Reminder: Parents have the important responsibility of making sure that treats are safe.

October 30, 2001

IT WOULDN'T be fair to call him the Grinch who stole Halloween, but Howard County Police Chief Wayne Livesay is unnecessarily taking the fun out of it.

Chief Livesay has persuaded the Ellicott City Merchants Association to abandon its custom of passing out treats to costumed youngsters who parade down Main Street. (The Mall in Columbia will continue the tradition, in spite of the police department's appeal.)

The chief is concerned that pranksters will operate in high gear and that his department will be overwhelmed with reports of white powder along with the usual goodies. He's not alone. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is among officials across the country who want parents to keep their kids at home.

The concern is understandable; the response isn't. Halloween always brings its share of pranksters and mischief, the playful along with the criminal. That's why adult supervision is so important.

It's always been the parents' job to screen candy and toss suspicious stuff. It's still their job.

Telling business owners not to hand out treats won't make Halloween safer. You can bet that children will find scarier places if they strike out on Main Street.

A better way to keep Halloween safe is to remind parents of their crucial role in checking the goods.

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