Air travel and safety - varied views

Your editorial "Taking fear out of flying" (Nov. 19), regarding the airline security bill, recently passed by the House and Senate, was, in my opinion, misdirected. It would be easier, faster, and just as safe to use the current security personnel and add strong federal oversight, than it will be to recruit, train, and screen 28,000 new federal employees.

As far as having confidence in the new personnel because they are labeled federal employees, you have to look only as far as the immigration personnel now at the airports in order to form an accurate opinion as to their prospective efficiency and effectiveness. These employees will be much harder to discharge and will eventually be like flies to flypaper to get rid of. The federal government has proven conclusively that there is no job it can do better and at a lower cost than private industry.

T. A. Horst Jr.

Mobile, Ala.

Yesterday my stepdaughter's 20-something boyfriend flew in from South Africa with a stop in San Francisco before finally getting off in Modesto, Calif. Later at the dinner table, he showed me a jackknife with an eight-inch blade that he had brought with him. I was amazed. I asked him how he got a knife that size on board. Didn't they check him? They did, but found nothing. He got off in San Francisco with no problem. Same in Modesto. The knife was on his person, in his trouser pocket. The incompetence of our airport security continues to shock me.

James Leonard-Amodeo

Sonora, Calif.

It seems that Americans are afraid to fly, but still they cannot avoid an airborne vacation when it's needed. They can't drive or take a train from L.A. or San Francisco to Georgia or Houston over a four-day weekend.

I, myself, have just found the best airline rate ever for a trip from Cabo San Lucas to Houston. Considering the increase in airport security, ending up on a hijacked plane these days is, for me, a 1-in-100,000 chance. Things really seem to have improved in airline security.

Pablo Bauche

Baja, Mexico

Fans say goodbye to the Twins

"In Minnesota, Twins' endgame plays like Lear" (Nov. 26) finally brought some sanity to this crazy baseball world of ridiculous salaries, inequities between teams, and commercialized teams who put out a hand to the public to finance their buildings. I grew up a Boston Red Sox fan. Baseball was the only professional sport I loved to watch. Now, baseball is a turnoff. Jim Klobuchar has eloquently and succinctly expressed my feelings.

Raffi V. Aroian

La Jolla, Calif.

Born in Minneapolis the same year the Twins played their first year in Minnesota 40 years ago, I am sad to see them go. Gone are the days of attending games with my dad, my Cub Scout pack, and later my high school friends.

Carl Pohlad and the Minneapolis "city fathers" of the past 20 years are to blame for the loss of the Twins. They helped produce the Hubert H. Humphrey Memorial back in the '80s. That stadium, its poor design, lack of parking, and unfortunate location have hampered the potential of all pro sports in the area.

In this time of taxpayer subsidization of multimillion-dollar salaries for mediocre ball players, I applaud the level-headedness of my former state's citizens. Why should they be coerced by a few wealthy club owners to fork over their hard-earned cash to fund a stadium they won't even be able to afford to attend themselves once it's built? It's time to stop the charade and create real competition among ball clubs.

Charles Cole

Austin, Texas

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