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Monday, January 4, 1999

Tapa


Time to implement pay-at-the-pump idea

Too many people are cruising the roadways without insurance, which hurts the people who do pay exorbitant insurance rates. With the economy of Hawaii being in a rather pathetic state, in addition to being high cost in nature, paying at the pump is a great way to help individuals.

It is definitely time for the people of Hawaii to support such a measure. It is important as well as an honest way to run a state system.

People, call your local representatives and tell them that "paying at the pump" is a logical and legitimate way of running a capitalist economy.

Dean Nagasako
Pahala, Hawaii

Fisherman's lament: Longliners raped ocean

I was a commercial fisherman who relied on the ocean for income. I started fishing in 1986 when there was an abundant supply of fish. All of this changed when Governor Waihee invited longliners from around the world to fish in Hawaii. Since then, fishing has not been the same. Longliners are raping Hawaii's oceans.

In 1986, commercial fishermen like me could leave the pier, go 10 miles out to sea, and catch enough fish to make a decent living.

In 1987, longliners began fishing in Hawaii. Over 100 boats came, ranging from 30-70 feet in length. They lay out in the ocean 15 miles of line with over 10,000 baited hooks.

Local commercial fishermen catch the same type of fish, but usually run two to five fishing lines. How can a local fisherman compete with the volume of longliner equipment?

When fish caught by local fishermen are brought to the auction block, they must compete with the longliners' mass supply of fish and price.

Local fishermen, realizing their future was in jeopardy, decided to hold meetings with the state to ban longliners. The state applied a limit of 160 longliner vessels that could fish out of Hawaii and established a set distance, 50-100 miles, where they could fish.

But the damage had been done. Local fishermen must now travel greater distances and place their smaller vessels in greater danger to find fish.

My last year of commercial fishing was in 1991. I sold my boat and found a low-paying job, which paid more than my last year of fishing. I wasn't the only one. Other local commercial fishermen began selling their boats because they were unable to make enough money to cover their expenses and support their families.

I am now back in school and starting a new trade. But this is not out of choice. In the future, the state should put more effort into research before having anyone come to our state and take our natural resources. Gone is my dream job of being self employed and enjoying what I was doing: fishing.

Joel Daniels

Lawsuits over photographs in yearbook are ridiculous

With respect to the lawsuits over "yearbook discrimination," I fail to see how a "scary" picture is harrassment or injures a student in any way. If this is true, then we had better not have any photos of Hitler in a history book, because that would be injurious and discriminatory to Jewish children.

Don't ever show pictures of obese people, because this would be mentally abusive to overweight students. Don't print pictures of American Indians, because some people's ancestors may have been slaughtered in a massacre years ago.

Simply printing a picture of an incident or person is NOT harrassment; it is a form of free speech and a part of showing U.S. history. Had the Ku Klux Klan actually harassed someone or burned a cross in front of a house or physically injured someone, then this should result in a lawsuit.

Let's draw the line between real injury and "Let's jump on the bandwagon and get rich quick, because this is a hot issue." Grow up and stop being so sensitive to imagined hurts. This is against no one's civil rights.

Toni Davis
Kaneohe
(Via the Internet)

President should have gotten rid of Saddam

In response to Shereen El-Kadi's Dec. 29 letter, because of a former weak-kneed president who did not finish the job, Saddam lives. If Saddam is not a problem to peaceful people (askthe Kurds in the north), why the invasion of Kuwait and the slaughter of its people? Why the bombings of aircraft, embassies, the World Trade Center, etc., by "peaceful" Muslims?

I, for one, am tired of hearing that trite lament. At the risk of being labeled racist, I say El-Kadi should go back to "peace-loving" Iraq. The door opens both ways.

Don Dean
(Via the Internet)

City government is doing a terrible job

When are the voters and taxpayers of Oahu going to say enough is enough? Now the mayor is considering disallowing homeowner's exemptions for a certain group of people. This smacks of age/class discrimination.

Why do taxpayers have to foot the bill for the incompetence of our elected officials? It is not me or any of my neighbors responsible for the sorry fiscal state the City and County of Honolulu is in. It has been created through the combined mismanagement of the Mayor's Office and City Council.

Along with the political croynism, corruption and just plain stupidity, we find ourselves facing a $130 million shortfall. Hmmm, isn't this the same figure that, during the past campaign, the governor said was the amount of the state surplus?

Instead of taxing us to the point that there is no viable tax base, the powers-that-be should take a look at their own house and stop wasting our money on far-fetched dreams and projects that they perceive will guarantee their political longevity.

Jim Fromm
(Via the Internet)

Hawaii gas users are paying way too much

Regarding the gasoline prices in Hawaii: I work in Washington, D.C., and live in the northern Virginia suburbs. I pay 80.9 cents for a gallon of gas. It's cheaper in a few places and more expensive in some others.

As an ex-resident of Hawaii, I find it hard to understand why gas is twice the price of gas in Washington.

Sid Kersey
Great Falls, Va.
(Via the Internet)





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