Restaurants should embrace smoking ban
In every community where smoking has been banned in restaurants and restaurants with bars, patronage has increased, not declined. In New York, when a smoking ban was proposed, most bar and restaurant owners feared that the banning of smoking would lead to a decrease in business. Many of these fears were spread by tobacco distributors who marketed products in restaurants through vending machines and counter sales.
In fact, the ban on smoking resulted in an increase in business for most food service establishments. For example, the famous Ben Benson's Steakhouse in Manhattan, a restaurant at the time known for its smokey ambience, actually doubled its business after the smoking ban.
What few ever seem to take into account is the vast number of people who stay away from such establishments because of smoking; people who have had too many meals ruined by nearby smoking or smoke spreading from the smoking section; people with respiratory conditions and allergies.
I applaud the new smoking ban, and I'm certain that food service establishments and bars will enjoy an increase in business, as has been demonstrated other communities.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
State transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa walked past the Pali Highway landslide just outside the tunnels' Kailua-bound entrance on Nov. 1. The landslide closed off the highway.
Road spokesman came through in crisis
I nominate state transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa as the top state civil engineer for the year. See his report of the rain damage at the Kaneohe Tunnel entrance in the Nov. 2 Star Bulletin
. Also kudos to Star-Bulletin photographer Craig Kojima as he captured the intense emotion of a rain-soaked hero.
Rail will be great--for the building industry
When is an increase in traffic congestion not an increase in traffic congestion? When you call it rail.
Enough. The mayor's own planners have indicated that there would be a significant increase in cars on the road by the year 2030. They also stated that even with rail, there still will be a significant increase in the number of cars on the road, because rail would only decrease it by a few percentage points.
So, instead of really trying to relieve traffic congestion, the mayor keeps pitching to us the same old marketing mantra that rail will somehow help commuters on this island.
The voting public is getting quite tired of politicians always speaking euphemistically about tough political decisions. Please, just start calling the rail project what it is: the largest public civil construction project in Hawaii's history.
A project like this will be a boon to the construction industry, which also will be great for Hawaii's economy. And a lot of taxpayers would support this endeavor, if only our politicians would stop insulting our intelligence with their happy-go-lucky projections about rail ridership and the relief of traffic congestion on this island.
Execute Saddam, kill Western society
Executing Saddam Hussein will only accelerate the fall of the American empire and further fuel the fire of hatred toward western imperialism. Remember; all religions boast of their martyrs.
A wise kahuna from Nuuanu once said, "There is no death, only transition."
Rolling Stones gather no fans in Hawaii
I'm sure that the many Hawaii fans of the Rolling Stones (including me) are extremely disappointed with the cancellation of their Nov. 22 Aloha Stadium show. While the reason cited was Mick Jagger's sore throat, the Stones also cancelled two concerts in Spain in August because of Mick's laryngitis.
If the band knew Mick had some health problems, why didn't they allow him more time to rest between shows to continue on the tour? To add insult to injury, they continued to run their own ads as well as tour sponsor Radio Shack TV ads hyping the concert.
While they played great concerts here in 1973 and 1998, this debacle will leave many fans feeling that the Rolling Stones have lost their aloha for Hawaii.
Males, too, are victims of domestic violence
Regarding the Men's March against Domestic Violence in Honolulu Oct. 7, male victims are still kept hidden. Many studies show that 45 percent of domestic violence is committed by abusive women who hide behind sexist stereotyping and use ambush and weapons to commit domestic abuse against men and boys, yet there remains no outreach. Male victims are actively oppressed by "victims' advocacy groups" that promote sexist stereotypes to keep male victims quiet.
Mainstream media frequently promote violence against men and boys, by women, as normal, acceptable and comedic, yet these situations wouldn't be tolerated if the gender roles were reversed. American women receive billions in federal and state dollars while American males as young as 12 are refused assistance from domestic violence centers. We live in an era where elected officials turn a blind eye to the plight of men and boys to promote women's issues as a priority.
Why is it acceptable for victims' advocacy groups and elected officials to help only female victims, leaving male victims of the same crime lost and forgotten? Sexist gender stereotypes shouldn't be used to justify throwing billions of dollars in resources toward only one group of victims while ignoring the other.
There should be better way to fight coral
I don't have any formal eduction in this area. I'm just a fisherman and I enjoy going to the beach. When I read Saturday's article about how the state is trying to get rid of the snowflake coral
, I couldn't stop shaking my head. Wrapping plastic film around coral pilings, hot water guns? They have to be kidding.
Even if they were able to kill every single coral in the harbor, what would prevent it from coming back? It's already in the waters around Kauai, and they said that this coral spreads from tiny fragments. My doctor friend said that it's like removing a tumor, but not giving the patient chemo or radiation after. It's going to come back.
Then what happens to the plastic? They always tell us not to throw plastic in the ocean because the sea creatures are going to choke on it. Some of the plastic is going to break off from the pilings before they remove it, guarantee. How many sea turtles and other animals are going to choke on this?
The state already wasted $100,000 of our tax money on this stupid idea. Don't waste any more. These marine biologists might have degrees, but they don't have any common sense.
Evangelist brought down by self-denial
Another scandal is out in America. One of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country -- Ted Haggard, a man who has fought for the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage -- has been accused by a male escort of paying for sex and buying meth. Haggard has admitted to some of the indiscretions, saying that a part of his life was "repulsive and dark."
As I saw the pastor quiver under the camera lens, first denying everything and then later fessing up to some of the accusations, I noticed his skin blotch and his eyes strain. I couldn't help but watch his poor wife next to him, her neck red with splotches and surely horrified -- deeply afraid that the accusations were true. When Haggard admitted to buying meth, she seemed to look at him as though it was the first she'd heard about it. How awful, to have such a damning set of accusations leveled against someone you've loved and trusted and raised children with, all in front of a national audience. I feel for her. I feel for both of them.
This is precisely why we cannot continue to repress gays and lesbians in our society and deny the reality of homosexuality. The resulting lies, hiding and hypocrisy are all so destructive -- and unnecessarily so. Haggard has carried around a hellish self-hatred for a long time -- so acute that he has pushed for the anti-gay marriage amendment, probably in an act of denial and overcompensation.
Instead of living an honest life, he has kneeled under the weight of his self-abhorrence to spread more hatred into society through his inflammatory condemnation of homosexuality. Yes, misery loves company. The revulsion he's had of himself has taken on a life of his own -- he has become possessed by it -- and now it has come back to bite him.
My heart goes out to him. My compassion goes out to his wife and family. This is the perfect example that authenticity and respect for ALL people is the only course we should be taking.