October 14, 2001 - Alarms false, but anxiety real in OC
by Peter Larsen, Joel Zlotnik and Aldrin Brown
The Orange County RegisterThe anthrax jitters spread through California on Saturday as sightings of suspicious powdery substances prompted people to sound alarms out of fear of the deadly disease.
Investigators found no proof of anthrax in any of the cases by late Saturday, and nearly all seemed to be harmless materials--vitamins and cosmetics among them.
Throughout the day, calls came in and emergency crews went out: to post offices in Huntington Beach and Tustin, to a restaurant at Disney's California Adventure theme park and to the Macy's at the Laguna Hills Mall.
One seemed to be an intentional threat: A Huntington Beach clothing store was called Saturday night and told it had been exposed to anthrax.
A United Airlines flight was delayed for three hours in San Jose after passengers reported a man spilling a white substance from an envelope while the jet was en route from Chicago. Other reports surfaced Saturday in Santa Rosa and Riverside County.
Though preliminary tests found nothing harmful in the powders in question, there was damage done as fear spread in the places people live, work and play....