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Tuesday, January 12, 1999

Tapa


Tax cut would come at a convenient time

The state administration wants to distinguish itself as the only one to "give" us the "highest personal income tax cut ever." Never mind that no one can quite figure out where the money will come from to cover the shortfall four years from now.

Not coincidentally, Governor Cayetano will be leaving office just about then. But it isn't really a new trick, is it? He learned it from the guys who ordered the koa benches, then stuck us with the bill. Democrats -- same old, same old.

Maureen B. Ko

Bicyclists are sidewalk hazard

When I take a leisurely stroll, I have to be very careful these days. I share the sidewalks with bicycle riders and if I forget to stay on the immediate right side of the walkway, I almost get hit.

In Makiki, where I live, there are folks who need to travel by bike and who think that during normal working hours there aren't many people walking. But I am, and so are other folks.

Maybe the city should make more bike lanes or widen the sidewalks for walkers and bikers. Then maybe there will be more bicyclists and walkers, and a place of safety for us all.

Gabrielle L. Makuakane

Trustees have hurt Kamehameha students

The actions of the Bishop Estate trustees are disappointing. They aren't helping the students of Kamehameha or the school.

Each trustee was selected to run the school according to Bernice Pauahi's will, and not to interfere with the school and the students. But as soon as the current trustees were chosen, the school name got altered from Kamehameha School to Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate.

Then the trustees tried to gain more power and, in doing so, got caught up with the money. This is a wrong example for the young and industrious students of Kamehameha.

If the trustees know what is right, they will resign until the matter has been resolved.

Everett Lacro
Hilo, Hawaii

What is this 'religion' that burns firecrackers?

What a religious experience New Year's Eve is! At least that's what I must assume. After all, we are told repeatedly that igniting fireworks has important religious significance.

This must mean that there are quite a number of devout individuals where I live. Because long after the "legal" period was past, many of them were out there setting off firecrackers and even tossing them into the Ala Wai Canal -- at 2 a.m., 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Jan. 1; at 2:30 a.m., 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Jan. 2; at 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 3; and at midnight on Jan. 4.

Year after year, we are subjected to the rampant use of fireworks and, any way you look at it, whether they're used legally or illegally, they're a health and safety hazard. Ban them!

Leslie A. Hayashi

Terrorists are more of a threat with fireworks

Here's a provocative and sobering thought regarding fireworks: What is to stop international terrorists, doomsday cultists or "sickies" from getting into the act here on the Fourth of July or at the millennium, New Year's Eve?

With no control on the local scene, we now must consider the possibility of greater danger from outside, or we are all imperiled.

Will our legislators bury their heads in the sand now that the governor and police and fire departments have asked for a total ban? How about allowing common sense to prevail?

Suzanne Teller

Referendum should decide whether to ban fireworks

There is a democratic way to decide whether to ban fireworks, but, unfortunately, those who drew up our state Constitution did not feel that the "common" person had enough intelligence to make these decisions and did not permit referendum.

Rather, it permits only the elite or anointed to make those decisions. We call these special people "legislators."

With the upcoming legislative session, perhaps there will be those with enough courage to allow ordinary people the luxury of referendum. If so, controversial items like banning fireworks can be decided by voters.

For legislators, this would take the heat off of them (which they would like), but give some power to the people (which legislators would dislike). It would then be up to those in favor of banning fireworks to convince the majority that such a ban would be in their best interests. This is better than having such a ban, if enacted by the Legislature, forced upon all of us.

Walter Young

Popping of fireworks is fond island tradition

I am a 29-year-old male who was born and raised in Hawaii. As far as I can remember, there has been the popping of firecrackers on New Year's Eve. Now the governor wants to take away this tradition, which is wrong.

While I empathize with those who have respiratory problems, and I am one of those people, it is a once-a-year thing. I can't see the people of Hawaii giving up the tradition. If it does happen, the black market will make a killing on selling fireworks.

There should be a compromise. Maybe there should be bans in certain areas of Oahu. But, in the open-air country, fireworks should still be allowed. Let's keep our traditions.

Troy U.K. Adams
Waianae
(Via the Internet)

Keiki deserve better than toys at Christmas

Your Jan. 2 article, "Goodwill gets out of hand at holidays," got me thinking of a question I had been asking all Christmas season: How many toys does a homeless or needy child need?

It seems every organization was asking for donations of toys, yet no one explained to whom or how many toys were distributed.

At the risk of sounding like a Grinch, I believe these children would be better served by a home, clothing and education, so they can better their circumstance.

Edna Chiurco





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