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Strip-club raids show HPD's poor priorities

Thanks to Raising Cane columnist Rob Perez for exposing the wrong priorities of the Honolulu Police Department ("Strip-bar raids raise eyebrows," Star-Bulletin, May 19).

While we all know the police are too slow to respond to cases of domestic violence, armed robberies and vandalizing, we now also know that that's because the HPD is too busy going after consenting adults touching each other at strip bars.

For publicly defending this wrong set of priorities, Sgt. Gary Sunada must resign. He might be more comfortable working as a police officer in Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

If the mayoral candidates want my vote, they'd better speak up about this.

Pablo Wegesend

Where do we sign up for strip-bar duty?

The article on strip bar raids should be great for Honolulu Police Department recruiting. I know I'll be down there first thing in the morning for nudie-bar duty. Then I can dump all my naughty videos -- oops, they probably have a naughty-video police corps, too.

We add more police officers to protect us, and what do we get? Tough duty watching bumps and grinds. Can your reporters find out how many hundreds of thousands of dollars the police department is wasting on this nonsense while our schools are in dire need of money?

It could get even worse: If the Republicans get control of our state Legislature next year, then we'll have to have all the bare-busted statues covered, in keeping with the John Ashcroft-Taliban mentality.

Ed Corl

Nuke treaty is a start, but let's take it further

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty reducing deployed nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia is welcome, but much more needs to be done if we are to put the Cold War behind us. The reductions must be irreversible and the warheads removed from deployment must be dismantled, not just put in storage. More resources are needed to safeguard warheads -- especially in Russia -- until the fissionable material can be rendered unusable for weapons.

Equally important is ending the design and testing of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the recent Defense Department Nuclear Posture Review suggests new uses for and development of nuclear weapons. These suggestions must be rejected if the U.S. is to honor the treaty.

A detailed approach to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons was examined in a 1997 study by the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. This study proposed progressive constraints as nuclear arsenals are reduced to a few hundred weapons. The transition to comprehensive nuclear disarmament could build upon these constraints.

The report concludes that the potential benefits are so great that "increased attention is now warranted to studying and fostering the conditions that would have to be met to make prohibition desirable and feasible."

We should devote more resources to international efforts to eliminate nuclear arsenals rather than continuing to maintain destructive capabilities that threaten all of us.

Michael Jones
Physics Department
University of Hawaii

Tow-zone signs should have phone numbers

Just recently, my friend visiting from the mainland parked his car on Ala Wai Boulevard to go to Waikiki beach. He didn't notice the signs which posted the "no parking" hours for that street. After a few hours on the beach, he approached the spot where he thought he had parked his car, but it was nowhere to be found. He realized what had happened and tried to find out where his car was towed.

What made him very upset was the absence of a phone number on the sign and information about where cars are towed. He was stuck on Ala Wai Boulevard not knowing where his car had been towed or whom to call to get it back. What makes me upset is the fact that the city is generating a lot of revenue from traffic violations, but they can't afford to post a telephone number on the sign for people to call so they can get their cars back.

Elbert Doles

Bill provides needed break in drug costs

Congratulations to our Legislature for passing HB1950 and HB2834. If these bills are signed by Governor Cayetano, they will provide a significant reduction in prescription drug costs for approximately 200,000 uninsured residents of our state. This is really good news for many people.

HB1950 will allow individuals who are at or below 300 percent of the poverty line to purchase prescription drugs at the same rate that the state medicaid program pays for these drugs. This will amount to an average 25-30 percent reduction in drug costs.

HB2834 allows our state to enter into rebate contracts with drug manufacturers. These contracts should produce a 25-35 percent reduction for all uninsured individuals, regardless of income.

Rep. Roy Takumi (Pearl City, Waipahu) deserves considerable credit for his leadership in moving these important bills to passage.

Bruce McCullough

Let's get rid of GE tax, try sales tax instead

Hawaii is the only state that has the 4 percent gross excise tax. This tax is paid whether your business makes or loses money. Why not have a sales tax like the rest of the United States? That way, everyone pays -- including our visitors.

If a sales tax were put in place, it would be much more manageable and make more sense.

William Prideaux

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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