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Friday, January 15, 1999


Psychics' predictions were wasted space

We weren't surprised that the "psychics" and astrologers in your Jan. 5 article made the type of vague generalizations and predictions of the obvious that characterize their profession. Some of these were that Governor Cayetano will be busy, Hawaii will have a lot of rain and there will be trouble in the Middle East. What, no message from the spirits that McDonald's will sell hamburgers?

As for more specific prognostications, like an earthquake of magnitude 6.7-7.0 in Hilo in May, we trust that you will feature prominent stories each time these events fail to occur. If these self-proclaimed seers had any real ability, they could make millions in the stock market and would not have to survive by taking money from a gullible public.

We live in a technologically based society. Yet how can voters, policy-makers or courts make informed decisions (on subjects like global warming or the effectiveness of alternative medicine) when practically no one has an appreciation for the methods of science? The deluge of pseudoscientific and paranormal nonsense promoted in the media serves only to make the problem worse.

Running such a story further erodes the public's scientific literacy, greatly reduces your paper's credibility and provides free advertising to con artists. If it's entertainment you're after, let Frank DeLima write a column.

David Blewett
Karl Hibbitts
John Hinrichs
Anders Meibom
Eric Pilger
Lisa Van Keulen

(Via the Internet)

Maybe everyone was confused by same-sex amendment

How can Toshio Chinen (Letters, Dec. 14) believe that 30 percent of voters were confused when reading the ballot, making them vote "no" on the same-sex amendment without also believing that the 70 percent that voted "yes" were also confused?

Did they read the ballot thinking that it asked if they approved of same-sex marriage and voted "yes" ? This leaves me wondering if Hawaii actually meant to legalize IT after all.

Sandy Farmer-Wiley
Kihei, Maui
(Via the Internet)

Cayetano understands, appreciates small business

As the owner of an automobile repair facility, I can tell you that Governor Cayetano knows small business, understands small business and supports small business.

As the president of the Hawaii Repair & Gas Dealers Association, I've seen Cayetano in action standing up for small business. If it weren't for him, these big conglomerates would go entirely un-checked.

As a member of the Small Business Economic Revival Task Force, I'm part of a coalition which represents more than 40 trade associations whose common interest is reducing the cost of doing business in Hawaii.

I'm no political crony and neither are my colleagues. We know that small business has specific problems that differ from those of big business, and so does the governor. That's why he's asked us to dedicate ourselves to creating a better business climate for the small entrepreneur.

Beverly Harkin

No insult was intended toward candidate or voters

I was dismayed by the Jan. 7 letter to the editor asserting that I had insulted the writer specifically and the Waianae community in general through a statement concerning the contested election in state House District 44. This is not the case.

In response to a request from the Attorney General's Office, my office reviewed the statistical methodology of an expert report on the election. In one of several observations made in my statement, I pointed out the methodology assumed that factors influencing voting in the district were the same as factors outside the district; if this assumption was invalid, then the statistical results would be thrown into question. I suggested that the validity of the assumption be verified.

This is a general point of statistical methodology. I would have made the same observation had the analysis been performed for any other district -- whether Haleiwa, Aiea, Kahala or Hawaii Kai.

Disrespect or insult was neither intended nor implied. I hope this letter clarifies the point made in my statement and relieves those who might have taken offense.

Pearl Imada Iboshi
Economic Research Administrator
Department of Business, Economic
Development and Tourism

Concept of forfeiture is being badly abused

Steven Alm, U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaii, says the forfeiture law is valuable (View Point, Jan. 8). I say, not.

Just ask landlords -- residential or commercial -- if they know exactly what their tenants are doing at this very moment. Every one of them will say, no, we do not pry into their private lives, even though landlords don't want drugs on their premises.

The undercover officers observed the tenants for several months doing 60 transactions. These officers knew drugs were being dealt over and over again, but did nothing to stop them. Officers allowed them to continue for months without interruption.

If Alm is concerned about families, society, pain, misery, etc., then bust them when they commit one deal, not 60 deals and for months on end. If the merchants in Chinatown say drug-dealing is their single biggest problem, it must be blatant and obvious. Law enforcement must be blind -- or at least blinded by the sight of valuable buildings and real estate.

Ken Chang

Towing of parked cars at surf meet lacked aloha

During the Eddie Aikau surf meet at Waimea Bay on New Year's Day, the police ticketed and towed as many cars as possible from the shoulder of Kamehameha Highway. Had the police left alone those cars parked clearly off the highway (there is a white line on the side to mark what's on and what's off the road), and ticketed or asked drivers to move only those cars parked over the line on the highway, there would not have been the incredible traffic slowdown that occurred.

People who respect The Eddie enough to rise at dawn and find parking should not be forced to move their cars if they are not blocking traffic. The police should have instead directed traffic, which is their primary job, and kept the tow trucks out of the area. As it was, all those trying to drive north or south were delayed while 22-foot-long tow trucks blocked the entire two lanes to tow cars parked completely off the road.

This was the third time The Eddie was run in full during the lifetime of the contest. It seems poor timing for the law on the North Shore to forget about aloha. Only the thieves robbing cars in Haleiwa were glad the police were at Waimea.

Mike Hand
(Via the Internet)

'The people' haven't always had good judgment

When I look at the opinion polls, I realize that this curmudgeon has outlived his standards and culture. Just who are "the people," and why aren't they always right?

"The people" once re-elected Mussolini with 99 percent of the vote. In the late 1930s, "the people" of Germany and Russia gave Hitler and Stalin approval ratings higher than Clinton has ever had.

After the rape of Nanking and the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Tojo received approval that has lasted until the present. "The people" of Japan are building a monument to Tojo and six others who were hanged as war criminals at the end of World War II.

Please don't lump me in with "the people."

Ray W. Lauchis
Kawaiahae, Hawaii

It's U.S. that wields weapons of destruction

Much is made by western media of Iraq's supposed "weapons of mass destruction." Yet, weren't the 500 cruise missiles launched against Iraq on the nights of last Dec. 16-19 weapons of destruction, and infinitely more devastating than whatever weaponry Iraq may have?

Definitions suffer immeasurably when wielded by U.S. policymakers. They are hopelessly corrupted by the maddening influx of unbridled capital bled from the exploited forces of labor at home as well as in the Third World.

J.J. Kaufmann

High gas prices show gouging is going on

With no more need for election-winning "promises," it seems the urgency of investigating our high fuel prices has gone away. We, the fuel buyers of hawaii, are being had.

Supply and demand with dropping crude oil prices works like this: Where there are competitors, the equation for sales drops the price. In Austin, Texas, a contractor I am working with tells me the pump price on regular unleaded is 79 cents per gallon!

Doesn't a dollar per gallon over that sound like gouging? Isn't it nice that so many people here have such short memories?

Lee Matteson
Mt. View, Hawaii
(Via the Internet)

Inmates certainly have right to speak Hawaiian in prison

The ban of the use of the Hawaiian language in Hawaii prisons is another move by the political machine against kanaka maoli. The Hawaii Constitution names Hawaiian as the official language of the state. It is so official that it can and has been used in the courts.

Many other rights of kanaka maoli inmates are violated every day. I speak from experience -- not the experence of an inmate but of a former correctional officer in Hawaii. They even violate the rights of correctional officers who attempt to share the knowledge of kanaka maoli history with inmates.

Sharon Pomroy
Sacramento, Calif.
(Via the Internet)

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