Thursday, August 22, 1996

USS Missouri boosters
victorious in quest

THE effort to bring the USS Missouri to a permanent berth in Pearl Harbor was no small task. The Navy was concerned about security requirements associated with turning the Missouri into a floating museum, but private boosters of the project prevailed. They hope the battleship will be here and ready for visitors by Oct. 1, 1998.

The Navy earlier this year said it was willing to allow the Missouri to be moored at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor for only a year, not the five years proposed by the USS Missouri Memorial Association. It stipulated further that visitors would have to reach it by boat, not by the Ford Island causeway being constructed. The plans now call for visitors to reach the Missouri at its temporary site via the causeway, due for completion in May 1998. Once it is moored at the permanent site, shuttle boats would be required to bring visitors aboard.

A permanent site will be prepared along Ford Island adjacent to the USS Arizona. The memorial association, which raised $7.5 million to cover the cost of towing the Missouri to Hawaii from Bremerton, Wash., hopes to raise up to $25 million to prepare the permanent site.

The National Park Service objected to the Missouri being moored near the Arizona Memorial, which the Park Service operates, but the proximity makes sense. While the Arizona symbolizes the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the end of World War II is symbolized by the Missouri, where the Japanese surrender ceremony was conducted in 1945.

Secretary of the Navy John Dalton announced the Navy's about face from its earlier position, but congressional approval is needed. Congress should not hesitate in approving the permanent mooring of "Mighty Mo" alongside the Arizona.

Who's in charge?

PRESIDENT Clinton has urged Boris Yeltsin to use restraint and to seek a peaceful resolution of Russia's conflict in Chechnya. The question, though, is whether Clinton's appeal was aimed at the man in charge. Ailing from heart problems, Yeltsin has not been seen in public since his resounding victory in the presidential election on July 3. Meanwhile, the struggle for power in Chechnya has escalated.

Both Yeltsin and security chief Alexander Lebed are believed to favor a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Chechnya. It is up to Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin to step in and coordinate government policy in the absence of a forceful presence by Boris Yeltsin.

Regulating tobacco

REGULATION of America's drug of choice, nicotine, finally is likely to fall under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration. President Clinton proposed that FDA rules govern tobacco products about a year ago, and now the FDA recommendation that tobacco be regulated as a drug is headed for the Oval Office. White House officials say the president plans on signing an order.

Clearly, regulation of the industry is warranted along with continued efforts to discourage young people to acquire what is universally accepted outside the industry as a fatal addiction.

Published by Liberty Newspapers Limited Partnership

Rupert E. Phillips, CEO

John M. Flanagan, Editor & Publisher

David Shapiro, Managing Editor

Diane Yukihiro Chang, Senior Editor & Editorial Page Editor

Frank Bridgewater & Michael Rovner, Assistant Managing Editors

A.A. Smyser, Contributing Editor

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