to the Editor

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Saturday, May 11, 2002

Christmas bowl game won't fill the stadium

Christmas Day, the chosen day for the Hawaii Bowl, is a terrible time to have a football game, especially in Hawaii, where family and friends are so important. I'm a big football and Rainbow -- aka Warrior -- fan, but I would never go on Christmas Day, not even to the Super Bowl.

Isn't there a better time for a bowl game here in aloha land? I would hope so. I know the idea is to get the mainland audience -- but with empty stands that not even clever camera work can hide? Bad idea all the way around.

The attendance numbers cited in previous Christmas bowl games those are inflated because so many seats are given away to high school bands and others -- also a bad idea, taking kids from their families on Christmas Day. The bowl game will fail once again.

Ernie Reese

Boy Scouts exercise their free expression

Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto caved in to the whims and wishes of scouting for all and separation of church and state by banning the Boy Scouts from soliciting members during school hours and from reciting the Scout oath because of its reference to God.

The BSA does not allow openly gay individuals in leadership roles. While I do not support a blanket policy, the BSA does have a right to determine its own membership and to set up its own criteria for doing so. The Supreme Court determined that the First Amendment and the right of freedom of association prevails, and nothing else.

Supporting the BSA policy does not make you an "anti-gay bigot." The BSA has always focused on a program of inculcating a moral and religious creed among boys. It is a private organization that expresses the views of its members. It should be free to express those views through its membership.

Local parents should have the ultimate authority as to who nurtures their children -- not special interests, supporters of censorship or gay liberationists. Hamamoto's decision clearly accentuates the need to localize our public schools and the authority to govern them.

Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Log Cabin Republicans of Hawaii

U.S. senators' stalling creates court crisis

I am outraged at the partisan games that Senate President Tom Daschle and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, have been playing with President Bush's judicial nominees. They have created a crisis in the federal courts by leaving these important positions vacant indefinitely.

Bush has nominated more than 100 men and women of distinction and accomplishment. They are solidly within the mainstream of American legal opinion and all of the pending nominees thus far have received either a "well qualified" or "qualified" rating from the American Bar Association.

Judges help ensure that the innocent remain free and the guilty are punished. Judges make decisions that help safeguard the stability of the marketplace and address the grievances of those who have been wronged.

Because of the number of vacancies in our nation's courts, Americans are being forced to wait for justice, and the burden on sitting federal judges is growing heavier.

I expect more than partisan politics from our leaders. Daschle and Leahy need to end their stonewalling and confirm the president's judicial nominees.

Dirk Maurins

Helmet law needed for cyclists' safety

John Flanagan's May 9 column, "Motorcycle helmets again escape legislative action" (Star-Bulletin, May 9), is right on the kinipopo. This is another example of some of the screwiest situations that seem to exist in the islands.

Having taken care of many brain-injured patients, many from motorcycle accidents, as a resident physician when I was in neurosurgery for a couple of years, I can attest to the pathetic results of not attempting prevention by wearing a helmet.

Indeed, what was further confirmation was having some of my patients with broken bones or spines (later when I switched to orthopedics) tell me that they would have died or had brain damage for sure if they had not worn their helmets.

It is sad that apparently the taxes associated with this and those idiots who want to risk their lives continue to prevent a meaningful law from being enacted.

Clayton Ching, M.D.
Los Angeles

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