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Sat., Sep. 5
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Ship Yard tragedy should have been avoided


While hearing about the recent tragedy at the Navy Ship Yard, it brought back memories.

I don’t want to use the adage “back in the good old days.” But I was an employee of General Telephone Company, now Verizon.

In 1967, I was transferred to the McDonnell-Douglas Space Center in Huntington Beach, Calif., to act as a liaison between the two companies. I dealt with many military and government agencies.

Prior to this assignment, I was checked by the FBI. They spoke to neighbors, relatives, etc.

I was then finger-printed and received a badge with my picture. Each day, a security guard checked my purse, lunch, and I was not allowed to bring wrapped packages of any kind, even though they knew me.

I had an office with several employees, and we were all put through this procedure daily. If we took a trip to any foreign country, with suspicious ties on the FBI list, we had to report it.

For the 17 years that I worked there until my retirement, I was finger-printed and checked out yearly. Then I was declassified.

When I read that all these people had been given secret clerances, such as mine, by outside vendors, I was more than appalled. My heart goes out to all these families who lost their love ones. This, certainly with proper procedure, might have been avoided.

JoAnn Massey

Alexandria Bay

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