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Saturday, July 24, 1999

Fewer Japanese tourists might be good news

Glad to see that Japanese tourists are bypassing Hawaii (Star-Bulletin, June 29, "Tourism slump continues"). Maybe now U.S. and Canadian visitors will have some room to move around without being intimidated by Japanese blocking the sidewalks in impenetrable lines.

Then, maybe Hawaii prices will be forced down, which means we can get decent accommodations in Waikiki hotels without wrecking our budgets. Hallelujah!

O.F. Somerlock Jr.
Baltimore, Md.
Via the Internet

Returning the salute of John Kennedy Jr.

Last weekend, America lost one of its treasures, one of its children. Every American knew of his father, mother and sister, and the family. Some loved them, some did not. But we all watched him grow up.

We saw his family experience tragedy after tragedy, and wondered why. We looked at him and asked ourselves, "What will he be and what will he do with his life?"

This young man had so much, yet who seemed unaffected. He portrayed an air of quiet assurance and gentleness unique in today's loud, boisterous world.

Now, the watch is over. He is gone, all too suddenly and coldly. But not the memories. America returns his salute.

John Hoff
Lawai, Kauai

Sex enterprises destroy neighborhoods

With all the coverage about illegal activity in Honolulu strip clubs, one phrase keeps coming to our minds: quality of life. Don't we -- the residents of Waikiki, McCully, Ala Moana and Moiliili -- have just as much right to a neighborhood without crime, vandalism, fighting, illegal underage drinking, drug use and prostitution as the residents of Kahala or Hawaii Kai? Of course we do.

It's a fact that strip clubs, nude-dancing places, X-rated peep shows and the rest of the sex industry create neighborhoods with all these problems. We know because we live there.

Why should lining the pockets of the sex cartel through their exploitation of women be more important than our right to a safe community?

We applaud Councilman Andy Mirikitani and the City Council for their efforts to protect our neighborhoods. We hope they continue.

Wes and Ellen Sugai

AARP lobbyist deserves accolades, not firing

I am appalled and angered by the action taken by the AARP in removing Ruth Ellen Lindenberg from her Hawaii legislative committee seat, after she wrote a Star-Bulletin column expressing her personal views on assisted death. Since she didn't write the article in an official capacity, it was entirely unfair to dismiss her.

Lindenberg has devoted nine years to AARP as a volunteer advocating its policies. She even won a Volunteer of the Year award. She deserves accolades, not termination.

Phyllis Eiger
San Rafael, Calif.


"By the time we finished school,
we weren't afraid of anything.
Today, nurses... are smart
but they don't have the
practical experience."

Harriet Alves Miranda
Reminiscing on the 50th anniversary of her graduation from the
St. Francis Hospital school of nursing


"I was thinking to myself that
she was such a beautiful person."

Mark Evans
Describing his last thoughts of her before the Hawaii visitor
was found raped and murdered on the Big Island in 1991


Judges are not necessarily qualified

I don't know if Alan Kwan knows what a democratic form of government means (Letters, July 20), but it does NOT mean that any agency of government should be above the good and welfare of the people.

I have no idea where Kwan gets the idea that "judges are trained and experienced" to do the job of an adjudicator. Most of them are political hacks whose primary experience has come from ambulance chasing.

If Kwan truly believes what he has written, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell him that connects San Francisco and Marin counties in California.

Robert E. Lansing

Founding fathers would cry about separation

In Charles Levendosky's July 9 article, "Wall of separation must stand," he is against "funding religious schools with tax dollars." However, I don't believe school vouchers violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

What Congress is now contemplating merely grants less fortunate families the same choice of education for their children that well-to-do families now enjoy. The state has, in no way, endorsed anyone's religion by paying for that education. Instead, the parents of the child have made that choice.

Levendosky also makes the claim that our founders were well aware "they were creating a secular state. There is no mention of God or a Supreme Being in the Constitution or in the Bill of Rights." True, but has he considered the Declaration of Independence, signed 13 years earlier? I count at least four clear references to God therein. I am no constitutional scholar, but I believe that the latter document, the Constitution, would be intended to clarify the former, not replace it.

Our founding fathers were men of faith, and were leading a new country where we all understood and accepted a biblical definition of right and wrong, if indeed not all followed that path. If they were alive today, surely they would be aghast at the attack our commonly held values are under. Is that a tear I see on Mount Rushmore?

Dean Schmucker
Wailuku, Maui
Via the Internet

Bicyclists should stay in their own lane

Approximately five years ago, the state reconstructed the Kalanianaole Highway, adding more lanes for motorists and a bike lane in each direction.

One would think that bike riders would take advantage of their new lane because it provides a greater degree of safety. However, many are being irresponsible and are not staying within the bike lane.

In fact, many bicyclists are now riding two or three abreast, with at least one biker crossing into the lane for cars. This not only endangers them, but angers motorists.

If bicyclists remain in their own lane, the streets will be safer.

Erin Geary

Stanchions make Kailua bike lane safer

We want to thank Cheryl Soon, director of the city Department of Transportation Services for authorizing the installation of the Safetyflex stanchions on the bike lane on Kailua Road. The area affected was probably the most dangerous stretch of bike lane in the state, as motorists consistently used it as an "on the right" passing lane.

We witnessed many near misses of auto/pedestrian collisions in this area. The chances are great that the city's action will have saved a number of lives when it comes to the bike-riding and walking public, who use the bike lane everyday.

Doug and Jody Heydon
Via the Internet


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