Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, January 28, 1997

It’s time to pass ban
on restaurant smoking

Some years ago restaurants were simply places to go to enjoy eating. Although the dangers of smoking were not exactly well known (or acknowledged), adults nevertheless avoided smoking their cigars, pipes and cigarettes where other people and especially children were eating. It wasn't that it was against the law, it just wasn't considered proper!

Besides, many restaurants also had a separate bar or lounge. These were the appropriate areas for smoking.

Today, the majority of people dining in restaurants along with nonsmoking staff and workers are at serious risk from exposure to others' smoking. These people are also "smoking" whether they like it or not!

State law does not provide satisfactory protection for customers and employees in restaurants and other workplaces. However, our City Council now has the opportunity to rectify this situation by approving Bill 75. I strongly support the passage of this ordinance.

John James

Hazy claims cleared up
about dangers of smoking

I wish to respond to a Jan. 22 letter, "Second-hand smoke hasn't yet been proved harmful." That letter cited the Congressional Research Service, which noted in 1995 that the EPA made false claims regarding the hazards of second-hand smoke.

In scientific and medical circles, it is the preponderance of evidence that is accepted by the people in that field. Anyone with any doubts about the hazards of environmental tobacco smoke should go to a medical library. Do a search of the current medical literature on second-hand smoke, especially as it relates to otitis media (in children), sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma, just to mention a few conditions.

Regarding the economic impact of smoke-free restaurants, there have been at least nine studies - in places ranging from New York to Texas to Colorado to California - that showed whether smoking was permitted or not had no impact on the restaurant business.

This included one study that compared areas adjoining smoke-free districts. In other words, being smoke-free did not negatively affect the eating business.

Dr. Walter Young

New convention center
is crumbling from faulty data

Your Jan. 21 editorial, "Coming conventions," left something to be desired as far as accuracy and credibility. Please consider:

The Hawaii Convention Center is not "rising like a monolith." It is a large state-of-the-art building in a restricted space.

Only two of all the conventions currently booked at the center could be considered "massive," the largest being 30,000 attendees. The average attendance for all the others is around 5,000. Historically, the vast majority of conventions attract anywhere from 3,000-8,000 delegates.

Major conventions are booked three to five years in advance. The larger the convention, the more advance planning is needed to secure the required accommodations and meeting facilities.

With the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau responsible for long-range bookings (18 months or longer) and the HCC responsible for short-range bookings (up to 18 months), it stands to reason that every booking opportunity will be explored.

Between now and July '98, every effort will be made to bring in out-of-state conventions. Once the center opens, I would guess that any open dates in the short term would be filled by local shows that could not be accommodated at the Blaisdell Center.

Hilary G. Kelly
Travel Promotions Hawaii

Uniforms are wearing well
at Lahaina middle school

I was very glad to see the positive reaction and results from the decision to have uniforms at Lahaina Intermediate School. Students were able to choose from blue cotton T-shirts and polo shirts, and fashionable black surf, khaki and blue-cotton shorts.

Uniforms remove much of the peer pressure to fit in that is often felt during the intermediate years. They enable kids who don't have enough money to buy the "in" clothes, to feel more comfortable and self-confident.

They help create a feeling of unity around the school. Uniforms can help reduce gang-related problems as well, because they can't wear the baggy pants or "colors" as in the past.

I applaud Lahaina Intermediate for taking a stand. Hopefully, it will inspire more schools to follow.

Jennifer Wimmer
11th Grade, Lahainaluna High
Lahaina, Maui

Evita would have loved
the show at the Capitol

Well, Jan. 21 has gone by, and yet another endless hearing about same-gender marriage has been held by our own Torquemada, Terrance Tom. It concluded with the obvious results.

The only courageous person was Ed Case, who I'm sure will be purged by the Inquisitors. To quote from Evita: "Oh what a circus, oh what a show!"

George Vye

Same-sex archive

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