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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

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For the week of November 7 - 13, 2001

  Editorials

Make air travel safe now


Last week, Congress put the nationís travel industry on the hook for the costs of the World Trade Center bombing.

In a 286-139 vote, the House refused to allow the federal government to take control of airport security operations. It defied the U.S. Senate, which had voted unanimously in favor of federalizing airport security.

The rapidly mounting costs for businesses and working people spiked Saturday night when a male passenger at Chicagoís OíHare Airport nearly made it onto a flight to Omaha carrying seven knives, a stun gun and a small can labeled "tear gas/pepper spray" in a plastic bag.

Only a lucky random check stopped the man from making it onto the plane.

The news fractured already shaky traveler confidence.

Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson and Butch Otter voted with the House Republican majority to oppose federalization. They favored leaving airport security in the hands of the private companies that were on watch on Sept. 11.

Their devotion to free-market ideologies and general disdain for government clouded their vision ó to say the least.

Tourism is Idahoís third largest industry, generating more than $1.7 billion a year in sales. Itís the Sun Valley areaís lifeblood.

If Simpson and Otter prevail, it could mean an economic blood bath.

They need to connect the dots: Security means travel, travel means business, business means tax support for what is an enormously expensive war against terrorism.

Air travel needs to be made safe now, not some time in the murky future.

 


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.