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Price of Paradise

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Isles could use casinos as economic stimulus

In response to Arvid T. Youngquist's letter to the editor (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 26) regarding my "Price of Paradise" article on gambling, my quotes from the National Gambling Impact Study Commission's final report are accurate. Unfortunately, people on both sides of this issue take quotes out of context from the report to bolster their arguments. In fact, the NGISC made only nine specific recommendations, two of which I quoted.

Mr. Youngquist also misses my point about people traveling to Hawaii. I don't believe they will come here just to gamble; they can do that elsewhere. But they will come if we create new attractions, like a world-class aquarium or Hawaiian theme park, or fund new industries, like a medical research center. Such attractions or businesses, which could generate thousands of new jobs, can be a required part of any legislation that grants casino licenses.

Gambling by itself won't restore the economy, which is why I oppose a lottery. But a limited number of casinos allowed here (possibly as few as one) can be used as tools to create economic stimulation far beyond the casino door, as explained in my article.

Jim Boersema


Put rowdy football fans in their place

I am requesting that the University of Hawaii athletic department and the Aloha Stadium Authority block off the whole orange section on the visitors' side to be used by those fans who do not have small children or older parents, and do not want to enjoy a game without having to tolerate spilled beer, fights and obscene gestures.

Make the rest of the stadium a fun, clean, family-oriented place that the football community can enjoy, and let the rowdy ones enjoy their game with each other, not to mention with the opposing team.

Calvin Kaneshiro
Pearl City

Both sides wrong in stadium fracas

I was in the south end zone for the University of Hawaii Warriors football game Saturday night and was embarrassed by the actions of the fans who threw things at the University of Cincinnati team. Though we were upset at the actions on the field, that is no excuse for the behavior shown by the fans.

Did you who threw things realize that you stooped to a lower level than where you accused the Cincinnati players of being? You also endangered kids, pregnant women and disabled people sitting near you. Those of you who are friends of those who threw things need to make them realize how stupid their actions were and make them apologize.

Having said all that, I also fault the game officials, both coaches and the players responsible for not defusing the tensions that were built up earlier. The officials should have seen the tensions growing and could have called both coaches together to defuse the tensions on their teams. Both sides are dead wrong in any fight.

Congratulations to those who did try to stop the melee. Let us hope that an incident like this never occurs again. The melee left a bad taste when we should have been celebrating a great win and performances by the Warriors.

Ken Kuwahara

Group seeks peaceful solutions in Israel

I want to thank the Star-Bulletin for sharing Elizabeth Sullivan's article "Jerusalem's children: Innocents amid conflict" in the Nov. 23 "Keeping Faith" section.

While I might have a different perspective on some of the causes of the conflict, it is horrible to see innocent people on both sides being killed due to the violence -- and, as the article states, especially children.

At Friends of Sabeel here in Hawaii, we are committed to resolving the issues of justice and fairness in nonviolent ways. The head of the Sabeel Center for Liberation Theology in Jerusalem, Rev. Naim Ateek (who spoke here in March), wrote an article for the recent Sabeel newsletter on "What is theologically and morally wrong with suicide bombings?"

We wholeheartedly agree with Sullivan when she states, "The promise of Jerusalem is to be a home for all its peoples. For the young who yearn most for peaceful times, that remains the best hope for the future."

May we all continually pray for true justice and peace for all people in that holy city.

Rev. Vaughn F. Beckman
Friends of Sabeel in Hawai'i

Teach children about self-control, not sex

The lesson of history is, contrary to Dr. Robert Bidwell's letter ("Sex-ed brochure gives teens needed info," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 25), that the more society can help school-age children avoid or downplay sexual awareness and experimentation, the better able it is to educate them effectively. Kohala Middle School does its students a disservice by distributing the brochure; instead, it should encourage students to improve their self-control and defer sexual matters until adulthood.

The types of research to which Bidwell's letter refers lack scientific validation. Moreover, pushing sex education makes it easier for predators to sexually molest children. What is taught in sex education also violates the moral and religious beliefs of many parents, and thus breaches the separation between church and state and demonstrates intolerance of religious values.

There is a desperate need to help our children improve their academic performance. There should be no place for programs that interfere with this goal.

Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Brigham Young University




Price of Paradise
The Price of Paradise appears each week in the Sunday Insight section. The mission of POP is to contribute lively and informed dialog about public issues, particularly those having to do with our pocketbooks. Reader responses appear later in the week. If you have thoughts to share about today's POP articles, please send them, with your name and daytime phone number, to, or write to Price of Paradise, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana, Honolulu, HI 96813.
John Flanagan
Contributing Editor

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.

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