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Thursday, May 22, 2003

Smoking ban won't lead to rise in welfare

This is in response to Drew Kosora's May 10 letter to the editor, "Big Isle smoking ban will kill businesses." I am a nonsmoker, and I go to the military clubs almost every weekend. They used to allow smoking inside the clubs, but it was banned as of this year. There has been no drop-off in patronage to these clubs. The smokers have to go outside to smoke, but they don't seem to mind.

I can't really see how anyone would stop going somewhere they like just because they can't smoke inside the building. And it is ridiculous to say that a smoking ban will cause more unemployment or more people to go on welfare.

Harold Roberts


Criminals don't use 'assault weapons'

The problem with the "assault weapons" ban extension is that the original ban was based on lies ("Extend, strengthen assault-weapons ban," Star-Bulletin, May 18). Fully automatic weapons are the only guns that qualify as assault weapons, but gun control advocates re-named firearms that "look dangerous" as "assault weapons" to better scare the public. The weapons banned in 1994 work like any other semi-automatic guns, and fully automatic guns are both highly regulated and virtually unused in crimes.

The banned guns also are almost universally shunned by criminals, who actually prefer stolen handguns because "assault weapons" are too hard to conceal. Not surprisingly, the 1994 ban has had little or no effect on crime. What does lower crime is the presence of armed citizens, whereas bans invariably cause crime to rise. England has banned expanding classes of firearms over the years while experiencing huge increases in both the rate and severity of crime.

Why renew or expand laws that don't work? The cynics among us might point out that countries planning to eliminate parts of their populations invariably ban guns first, for obvious reasons. What are gun control advocates really planning when they tell us that they want to ban guns to make us "safe"?

Brian Isaacson


What does Boeing want with Hawaiian?

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Faris' ruling against Hawaiian Airlines in favor of one of its creditors creates questions (Star-Bulletin, May 17). Boeing Capital's arrogance in demanding a trustee to oversee operation of Hawaiian has won.

A trustee in a bankruptcy petition can and does serve the needs of the creditors. Will the threat against Hawaiian now satisfy the traveling public, the people of Hawaii or the 3,000 employees at Hawaiian Air?

I wonder what the motive behind Boeing Capital is. Could the company be seeking control of Hawaiian?

People and businesses are searching for rainbows at the end of their financial struggles. Airlines are no different. We all have struggles and must be allowed to recoup and proceed.

The airline has said "We are proud to be Hawaiian" and emphasizes our aloha to the people it serves. There certainly seems to be no aloha at Boeing or in the court of Judge Faris.

Lawrence Barr

Litterers should be banned from beaches

I propose a law that if you are caught littering on our beaches, you lose your beach privileges for a year. If you throw your butts in the sand, you're off the beach for 12 months. If you leave your beer cans, no more playing in the waves for 52 weeks. If you can't put your Big Mac wrapper in the trash can, you don't surf for 365 days.

Too draconian? Then don't litter.

Chuck Cohen

What is behind ouster of St. Louis principal?

Rob Perez' March 23 "Raising Cane" column regarding Burton Tomita, the St. Louis High School principal whose contract apparently is not being renewed, was enlightening. My family and I feel a great sadness that Tomita's teaching career has come to an end at an age that most people are looking forward to retirement in a couple of years. My grandson is a graduate of St. Louis High School and we have witnessed and attended many school activities, including football and baseball tournaments, band concerts, Christmas concerts and bazaars. If anyone truly believes in and shows support for the students, it is Tomita, for he is present at many, if not all, school activities.

It's true that there are two sides to every story, so are we not entitled to hear the whole story? Is it time for St. Louis to air out its closet?

Doris Hamada

McCubbin could help keiki with severance

The sum of $400,000 is a heck of a golden parachute for Hamilton McCubbin with his abrupt departure from Kamehameha Schools. However, by happy coincidence, $400,000 could also finance something much more valuable than a soft landing for him -- namely, the construction of a heck of a golden airplane for a lot of Hawaiian children who otherwise will never have a chance at the fine education they can receive from Kamehameha Schools.

I know quite a few of those deserving children and their hard-working parents. After years of trying, they're still waiting for a welcome letter from the Kamehameha admissions office. Perhaps McCubbin would consider establishing a $400,000 endowment in his family's name to ensure that a few of those children have the same opportunity he had to learn and grow and serve their communities.

Imua Kamehameha. Aloha, Dr. McCubbin.

Chris Anderson


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