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All liquor buyers must produce IDs at 7-Eleven


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POSTED: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Question: My husband, once in a while, goes to 7-Eleven to buy a six-pack of beer. When he was in line recently, the checkout girl asked him for his ID, which he had left in the car. My husband is 80 years old, with bold white hair. He had to rush to the car to get his ID because people were waiting behind him. He could have gotten hurt rushing to get his ID. Can you check whether there really is this most laughable and stupid policy?

Answer: It's been the policy of 7-Eleven since November 2007 to ask anyone purchasing liquor to show identification, confirmed Blake Yokotake, manager of human resources for 7-Eleven Hawaii.

Previously, the company's policy was to ask for identification if the purchaser appeared to be 30 years old or younger.

The decision was made to require anyone and everyone purchasing liquor to show an ID — no exceptions — “;to take the discretionary judgment away from the employees,”; Yokotake said.

He noted that it's difficult sometimes for employees to determine someone's age, putting them in “;a bad position”; and possibly leading to confrontations.

“;Selling to minors also was an issue for us,”; he said.

Yokotake acknowledged it might sound “;ridiculous”; to card an older person, but “;the reason why we don't make exceptions is because the person standing behind that older gentleman may be about 40 or 50 years old and he would say, 'How come you didn't ask him, but you ask me?' So we had to be consistent and ask everybody.”;

Yokotake apologized and said he understands that this might cause some inconvenience.

“;But we hope the community and people who are of age understand what we're trying to accomplish.”;

He also said it took customers some time to adjust to the policy but that “;it's working fine now.”;

Tale of 2 Fences

It turns out the fencing asked about in “;Kokua Line”; last week (”;Kokua Line,”; April 15) was erected by the Waikiki Aquarium and not the city Department of Parks and Recreation.

Parks Director Lester Chang had thought the question referred to his department's work to repair the grassy area between the aquarium and Kapiolani Beach Center.

But a couple of readers pointed out the fence in question was put up by the aquarium.

That fence, “;entirely on aquarium property,”; currently surrounds a holding area for a major electrical project, said Director Andrew Rossiter.

It serves as a secure area for the contractors to store equipment and will be taken down once the project is completed, he said.

But once that happens, the aquarium is looking at replacing it with another fence so that there can be a secure play area for children who visit the facility, Rossiter said.

The once-open area has long been owned by the aquarium and maintained by its staff.

“;There appears to be a misconception on the part of some in the community that we're making a land grab,”; he said, “;but to be absolutely frank, people should be saying 'thank you for letting us use your facility'”; at no charge in the past.

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Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).