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BALLOON LAUNCHES HARM ENVIRONMENT

For many years, people stopped releasing balloons into the atmosphere because they understood the environmental damage of litter and the deaths of wildlife that result from such massive launchings.

I was troubled a couple of times recently to see that people have taken up this environmentally incorrect activity again. Although the intentions of these releases may be honorable, their end result is pollution and the death of innocent wildlife.

On Nov. 2, there is a planned balloon launch during the long-standing rivalry between two local high schools. A concern I expressed to one student Senate advisor, besides the obvious violation of property and the death of innocent animals, was the hazard of teenagers inhaling helium from the balloons. I have worked with teenagers for 29 years and expect some students will come to the game under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The temptation to breathe in helium to get a higher voice may result in injury or death.

To anyone who sees us as citizens of one planet, I ask that balloon launches again cease. There are many ways to pay our respects for the fallen heroes without jeopardizing innocent wildlife. I have offered to buy doves or rent homing pigeons, which I believe is a more appropriate way to pay homage to our fallen heroes, because of their closer association to the symbol of peace.

Again, please stop these senseless attacks on the environment and innocent wildlife. While they may look nice on the way up, they will pollute land and water and can kill innocent animals.

PAUL ELMORE

Lancaster

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