Tailgate abstinence will
be hard to enforce


The Aloha Stadium Authority is to decide Aug. 25 whether to ban alcohol from concessions and at tailgate parties.

TOO much of the action at University of Hawaii football games has been off the field. Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona and David McClain, UH's interim president, rightly blame it on alcohol consumption by fans and call for the Aloha Stadium Authority to ban beer concessions and the drinking of alcohol at tailgate parties. The question is whether the parking lot abstinence can be enforced.

Problems like those experienced at the stadium and the surrounding parking lot are occurring nationwide. The University of Southern California joined other Pac-10 Conference teams recently to end alcohol sales at home games. However, much of the drinking at games tops off hours of drinking at tailgate parties prior to the game.

The results can be disastrous. A New Jersey jury in January ordered a concessionaire to pay $135 million to a girl and her mother who were injured in a car crash involving a driver who had become drunk at a New York Giants game, where he was sold six beers during halftime. A murder trial began in North Carolina this week of a man accused in the shooting death of two men who defense attorneys maintained were drunk and aggressive at an N.C. State tailgating party.

Michigan State University adopted an alcohol ban at its stadium in February but already has begun making exceptions, allowing it at most tailgating spots.

Colorado State University banned beer sales at its Hughes Stadium last year but will resume sales this season. "The limited beer consumption at Hughes Stadium is not the fundamental issue," explained CSU President Larry Penley.

Instead, the university will focus on the parking lot, requiring drinkers to obtain wrist bands at booths to show they are 21. Conjecture already has begun about whether enforcers will taste sodas and fruit juices of bandless tailgaters to determine whether their drinks were spiked.


Don’t mix up Hiroshima
with terrorism, A-power


Today marks the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, followed by the bombing of Nagasaki.

TENS of thousands of people gathered yesterday at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park to remember the 60th anniversary of the bombing of that city. While the debate continues over how to interpret the bombing and that of Nagasaki three days later, the attendance of some survivors of Sept. 11, 2001, suggested a comparison that is highly offensive.

The devastation caused by the bombings of Japan was horrible and is worthy of somber reflection. The morality of dropping the bombs remains open to debate. Defenders contend to this day that they saved more lives than they took by forcing Japan's surrender. By no stretch of the imagination can any such justification be made about al-Qaida's terrorist attacks on America.

Japanese people understandably remain worrisome about the atom, but that concern also can be taken to extremes. A campaign is being waged against the planned replacement of the Tokyo Bay-based USS Kitty Hawk, a diesel-powered carrier, with a nuclear-powered vessel when it is decommissioned in 2008.

The campaign occurs in the context of wariness about the U.S. military and about any nuclear activity. Japan's worst nuclear accident took the lives of five workers at a power plant last year, and officials involved have been accused of lying and hiding a video of the accident.

Masahiko Goto, the campaign's leader, says safety is the issue. "You have the added stress of being at sea," he maintains, "and, while land-based plants are fairly static, the output of the carrier's reactors is adjusted to meet the ship's needs, creating more wear and tear."

Those concerns are unfounded. No accident has occurred in the 5,500 reactor years of experience since the first of the Navy's current 80 nuclear-powered ships was launched 50 years ago. Any concern about a nuclear carrier moored at a country with 54 nuclear reactors supplying one-third of its electrical power is misplaced.

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