Editorial: The real scare isn’t the white powder

Posted 2/8/20

One could not watch the scene outside the Bristol Town Common last week and come away with any conclusion other than this — what an extraordinary waste of time, resources and energy.

This in …

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Editorial: The real scare isn’t the white powder

Posted

One could not watch the scene outside the Bristol Town Common last week and come away with any conclusion other than this — what an extraordinary waste of time, resources and energy.

This in no way diminishes the efforts of first-responders, who displayed their high standard of professionalism and training over the course of the five-hour ordeal. Thankfully, in the end, they determined that the school administration building was not contaminated by Anthrax. Whether it was baby powder, flour or something else, they won’t say, but it was not a real threat.

However, the consumption of time for firefighters, police officers, special hazards teams and volunteers; the disruption to lives; the momentary fear for those involved … this was a massive event with significant impact.

If detectives are able to find out who did this, and why, they should bring all available measures to bear on that person. Quite simply, society could not function if scares like this were commonplace. Businesses would close, the economy would suffer.

This is one area where zero-tolerance is the only policy.

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.