to the Editor

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Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Gambling would add to isle corruption

That Liquor Commission members are on the take has been a problem as long as there has been a commission ("8 indicted in probe of city liquor panel," Star-Bulletin, May 24). Now add to that a gambling commission, if we had legalized gambling.

The gambling industry has a lot more money to spread around like manure. Some people say, "We won't have additional crime with gambling. We will have regulators for the laws that regulate it." What I want to know is, Who regulates the regulators?

Grace Furukawa

Police should not be liquor investigators

Let's see if I have this straight. Recently, a large number of liquor inspectors were removed from their jobs because of indictments on federal charges of extortion and racketeering.

Regarding the rather sudden shortage of inspectors, Managing Director Ben Lee apparently sees little problem, for he says, "We expect every owner of liquor establishments to self-monitor themselves, especially over the next week or so" (Star-Bulletin, May 25).

Regarding future operation of the Liquor Commission, the mayor wants liquor enforcement and inspection turned over to the Honolulu Police Department.

This is the police department referred to in the story by Rob Perez ("Raising Cane," Star-Bulletin, May 19), which raised provocative questions about the methods plainclothes policemen use when they visit strip bars and act like regular customers, often returning to the club a second or third time to "gather more evidence" in their effort to determine whether prostitution is taking place.

These stories, taken together, present a disturbing picture.

Darrell Schuetz

Why did isle soldier have to wait so long?

Regarding the article "Soldier receives belated tribute" (Star-Bulletin, May 27), Pfc. John Rupert Rowe, the first soldier from Hawaii to die in combat in World War I, has finally received recognition, more than 80 years after his death. I cannot help wondering, Why now?

Soldiers from Hawaii have played a great role in wars and gone through many dangerous battles. Soldiers are supposed to get recognition right after their deaths. I want to know why it took so many years to give recognition to Rowe.

Sayo Yamauchi

Dems should not point fingers for Sept. 11

Sept. 11, as we all know, was a tragic event that many people still can't believe. Yes, I believe it could've been avoided if the necessary precautions were taken, but to start a blame game is wrong.

It seems a little fishy that the Democrats feel a need to blame our Republican president. I can't help but wonder if it's just a campaign tactic. It's like they think blaming Republicans will make people want more Democrats in office.

No one is to blame. Who knew Osama's men had guts? It's a tragic mistake, a big lapse in judgment not to take Osama's threats seriously, but to blame the president!

Our leaders, whether Democrat or Republican, should try setting a better example for the nation. What they do influences what we do. No one, no Muslim, no Republican, and no Arab except Osama and his gang, deserves any blame.

Just remember the tragedy and try to keep the aloha alive.

Lisa Kehmeier

Christmas bowl game or family dysfunction?

Watch the University of Hawaii Warriors in a Christmas bowl game or spend time with the family? Last Christmas, Uncle comes over half stewed, and Aunty is constantly putting him down, so we can understand why he reaches for his flask and takes another sip, again and again.

Their kids are running wild, clamoring to eat as they have arrived with full diapers and empty tummies. My wife is ticked because I did not put the stuffing in the bird before it went into the oven. The oven was off for hours, and I could still feel the heat.

So let's see if I have this right ... The question is, Do I stay downstairs with the family putting on my best smile, trying to maintain a sense of sanity, or wander upstairs to my bedroom and watch the Warriors in a televised bowl game with a nationally ranked football team?

Well, sports fans, it looks like another tough call. See the game and watch the penalties stack up. After the game you could be assessed not just one, but two cold shoulders. Or possibly the entire body will seem chilled, and you'll end up sleeping over at Uncle's.

Smoky Guerrero

Seat-belt laws should apply to everyone

If the lawmakers are so concerned about everyone's safety, why have they allowed people to ride in the backs of pickup trucks unrestrained? In an ABC News story, General Motors Safety Communications spokesman Terry Rhadigan said, "Riding in the bed of a pickup truck is unacceptable, regardless of age."

Although seat belts in truck beds could save lives, the truck beds are designed to carry cargo, not humans.

Why haven't the newspapers covered this subject? Maybe our lawmakers should be held accountable for any deaths from riding in pickups that have already happened here in Hawaii.

If the law requires everyone in cars to belt up, why should other vehicles get away with this?

Eugene Simbra
Pearl City

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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