to the Editor

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Monday, June 4, 2001

Transit department plans ruin star-gazing

Marilyn Kali of the Department of Transportation intends to light up the remainder of the H-2, wiping out more night skies. Cut-off fixtures will not be used because she states wrongly that they do not reduce light pollution. If the thought of your telescope becoming a little more useless bothers you, please e-mail or call her office expressing support for using cut-off fixtures. If you're tired of your tax dollars being spent as energy costs to turn the clouds orange, let her know that, too.

Gilbert Mills

Hate crimes occur frequently in isles

Regarding your May 31 editorial, "Law already allows harsh punishment for 'hate crimes:'" You obviously have no idea when you say hate crimes are not a frequent occurrence. The only reason they have not been listed as such is because when such things have been reported, there has been no law and no one to track such cases. I know of many times these things have happened on the islands. You are wrong to say they are not a frequent occurrence.

Earle Core
Pahoa, Hawaii

Hate statutes ensure punishment fits crime

In response to your May 31 editorial claiming that Hawaii's laws already allow for harsh punishment for hate crimes, let me pose a scenario that is likely.

Let's say that four young adults of Pacific Island descent are sent to a military base in North Carolina for boot camp. They decide to head off to the beach one day and on their way back to base late that evening they stop for gasoline. A jeep load of redneck teen-agers drive by and spot these different-looking people and decide to careen through the gas station to throw empty glass bottles at the aliens, yelling for the "slant eyes" to go back where they belong.

The victims call the local police, whose response is nothing more than that they should get on back to base. Little harm was done, in spite of a gash over one man's eye and the shattering of a car window, according to the sheriff's deputy. Besides, in his opinion they were asking for it by just being out where they didn't belong.

It happens. Not only in North Carolina, but in many small towns and large urban centers, and even on Kauai. The purpose of a hate crime statute is less about heightening the punishment as it is to make certain that there is an investigation, arrest, prosecution and punishment to fit the crime.

Just because Hawaii has laws that cover crime does not mean that the response from law enforcement and society (who make up the juries) is appropriate.

Michael E. Armentrout
Washington, D.C.


"I would say he has some new resolve."

Robert Nigh,
Attorney for Timothy McVeigh, on the Oklahoma City bomber's mental outlook as his lawyers prepare to argue for a stay of his scheduled June 11 execution. The lawyers say they need more time to review thousands of documents the FBI failed to turn over during McVeigh's 1997 trial.

"Of all possible facilities that could go here, the happiest is a church."

John Merriman,
Waikele resident, who testified in favor of limits on parking and hours of operation for a sanctuary and day-care facility proposed by Grace Bible Church. Merriman's home is 70 feet away from one building in the church's plan.

Why object to golf cart and not to caddy?

Why do the PGA and many of its members take such a macho stance against the use of a golf cart by Casey Martin? They keep insisting, hypocritically, that "physical stamina is an integral part of the game."

If physical stamina is a vital part of golf, why does the PGA, which insists golfers not receive any outside assistance or advice, make an exception by allowing professionals to use caddies?

The help and quality of a caddy is a tremendous variable in golf, enough to be worth about a 10 percent share of a golfer's winnings.

If golf is a game of physical stamina, let the pros carry their own bags. Then we'll see the size of bags shrink and golfers do without many items that used to give them aid and comfort. Yes, let's make professional golf the mano-a-mano game the pros insist it is. Let's see how the pros fare when they have to lug their own bags and rely on their own knowledge of yardage, rules and the reading of greens.

The PGA and all pros should openly welcome Casey Martin and his cart and openly acknowledge their own reliance on outside help -- the caddy, a crutch that most amateurs do without.

Richard Y. Will

Why should GOP court gay members?

The gay group, Log Cabin Republicans, seems to be becoming a powerful voice within the Republican Party. Just a few weeks ago, Jeffrey Mead, director of the Hawaii chapter, spoke at the Republican Convention and party chairwoman Linda Lingle made statements of how the Republican Party was going to be more inclusive by reaching out to gays.

I am convinced that the only reason that homosexuals have formed this group is to further their political goal of the social acceptance and normalization of this behavior. It looks like they are trying to exploit the Republican Party and take it from its traditional family-oriented foundations.

For example, we don't see other groups in Hawaii banning together to form factions of the party. We don't see groups such as the Pizza Lovers Republicans, Filipino Republicans, or Buddhist Republicans. Therefore, I don't think there is a need for the Republican Party to bend over backwards in supporting the gay cause.

Mike Hinchey

Government can't stop underage drinking

In response to his daughter's second underage drinking incident, President Bush told the press that "this is a family matter." I wonder if his right-wing supporters will back this position. Do conservatives, who support smaller government, think that big government can control underage drinking? History shows that it cannot.

When Prohibition was started in the early part of the last century it was called the "noble experiment." As with most government programs, the results were opposite of what was intended. Crime increased, police were killed alongside innocent bystanders, courts were corrupted, alcohol consumption actually increased, and gangsters like Al Capone were treated like modern-day Robin Hoods.

Unfortunately, our nation still expects good results when this "noble experiment" is applied to young adults. Adults who are able to vote, eligible to be drafted and pay taxes are still attacked by the state and local governments for underage drinking. President Bush stopped drinking without the "help" of police and the courts. Most adults, young and old, drink responsibly without government interference. It is time to stop attacking people who do no harm to anyone else.

Gerard Murphy, R.N.

Poor show from state that gave us 442nd

Regarding the Star-Bulletin's May 30 story on Hawaii having the worst rate in the United States on draft registration: What a sad change from the culture that produced the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. It reflects the same isolationist mentality that led to the tragedy at Pearl Harbor. The young eventually will bear the seeds of their slothful indifference.

Dwain Hanson
San Francisco

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