EDITORíS DESK: Smoke that got in our eyes
As the smoke wafted into the sky around noon April 8, the office phone started ringing.
Some people wanted to know what was burning. Being told that it was a controlled burn by the City Fire Department, intended to destroy a donated Midland house that had been the site of a test methamphetamine "cook" by health and law officials earlier that week, did not necessarily ease such people's concerns. One caller logically asked if smoke from the fire was sending meth toxins all over the neighborhood. After asking a fire lieutenant at the scene that question - his answer: that there's no danger; the stuff burns away before leaving the house - I got back in time to take another call. This one complained that if this were the Broadmoor, the Fire Department wouldn't have dared burn a house in a residential neighborhood like that, sending acrid smoke all over the place and possibly harming the sick, the old and the young.
Again, a perfectly logical point. But let's look at it another way. The manufacturing of methamphetamines is becoming a big-time problem. Desperate fools who can't find natural "highs" are turning to this insanely addictive drug right and left. And any thug with an Internet-provided recipe/shopping list can make meth, caring zilch about who they hurt and what house they poison. Battalion Fire Chief Rick Martinez says we're in a "war" with this stuff.
That makes it like terrorism, with our neighborhoods on the front lines. Maybe a little smoke in our eyes is worth it if it helps us, even in small ways, figure out how to win.