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Thursday, February 4, 1999

Tapa


State's reef fish need government protection

Had people proposed that they be allowed to cut down 70 percent of our remaining native forests -- or capture and sell 70 percent of the remaining birds in these forests -- this community would scream. Yet not a sound emerges while our Legislature passes a law allowing someone to capture and sell 70 percent of our reef fish.

Further depletion and destruction of our environment is leading us deeper into the gloom we now face. Exchanging our assets, our natural beauty and our unique environment for cash in order to create an "economy" is taking us further down the road to despair. It must stop.

I hope the "silent majority" will find a voice and tell our "leaders" to cease with the notion of restoring our well-being by slacking the restraints on exploitation. The most important product of our state is its beauty. People come here to partake of this beauty, and will not come here to see the remnants of what was once our Hawaii.

Kelly Greenwell
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

It's payback time for governor's supporters

It is obvious that Governor Caye-tano's tax package, submitted to the Legislature, includes his payback package for support in his recent campaign for re-election.

One of the largest tax reductions proposed is a cut of 50 percent for corporate income and franchise taxes. Citing 1998's tax cuts for small businesses of 15 percent. Cayetano says the 50 percent break for big businesses will send a message that Hawaii is "ready to do business."

Would anyone care to speculate as to who the beneficiaries of such a corporate/franchise tax cut might be, since the vast majority of business activity is by small businesses that pay taxes at the individual level?

The corporations receiving the $27 million annual tax break would be the big banks, big construction companies (including the governor's golfing buddy and frequent recipient of state non-bid contracts Bert Kobayashi), Mrs. Cayetano's United Laundry Services, campaign contributor L&L Drive Inn, and local law and architectural firms.

How will this tax cut be funded? By applying a value added tax to your vehicle when you register it and by charging 4 percent to car sales between individuals.

Pam Smith
Ewa Beach

Donors came forward during blood shortage

Several weeks ago, the state's blood supply was at critical levels. We issued a call for help and the community responded with an outpouring of generosity that was truly inspiring.

Thousands of people took time out of their busy schedules to roll up their sleeves in support of the community blood donor program.

On behalf of the patients of Hawaii, who are the true beneficiaries of our endeavors, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to the many blood donors throughout the islands for their unselfish dedication.

Julia Frohlich, M.D.
President,
Blood Bank of Hawaii


QUOTABLE

Tapa

bullet "This verdict sends a clear message it's illegal to deprive fathers of their rights."

--Sara Mandelbaum of the American Civil Liberties Union on the award of $375,000 by a Baltimore, Md., jury to Kevin Knussman, who claimed he was denied parental leave because he's a man.

bullet "This is what the United States is all about, the people's right to vote, and having this particular process free from any kind of irregularities is very important."

-- Senate President Norman Mizuguchi on vote-counting problems that may have effected results in the 1998 elections.

bullet "As president I have to strengthen my resolve. I have to protect our children, especially the girls."

-- Philippine President Joseph Estrada, saying he would turn down any appeal from Pope John Paul II to stop the execution of a child rapist, the nation's first execution in 23 years.


Fireworks have potential to cause much harm

I believe in a total ban of fireworks, except those that are approved for public displays. A straw vote on this subject was taken by 120 members of the Wahiawa Senior Citizens Rainbow Club on Jan. 25. More than 90 percent favored a ban.

Would you still favor the use of fireworks if your house burned down or if one of your children or grandchildren had been seriously injured by fireworks? Think about it!

Edwin S. Imamura
Wahiawa

The ILWU has sterling reputation among unions

Check your facts! You did a disservice to readers and union members when you ran the Jan. 14 New York Times article by Steven Greenhouse. The writer incorrectly identified the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), along with three other unions, as "what were long considered the four most corrupt unions." People sometimes mistake the East Coast International Longshore Association (ILA) with the West Coast ILWU.

On the contrary, the ILWU has long been known as one of the cleanest unions in the country. This is because democratic safeguards, spelled out in the ILWU's constitution, are a central part of ILWU rank-and-file unionism.

ILWU members know exactly where their dues money is going -- they approve the budget at convention, make the financial rules, set the wages of officers, and elect trustees who review the union's finances. If officers are found guilty of wrong-doing, they can be disciplined or removed from office through a trial procedure.

Greenhouse's story is really about how unions themselves are successfully fighting corruption through internal, democratic safeguards which enable a union to remove dishonest officers. In some of these cases, the unions are working with government to make sure everything is in order.

Mel Chang
Member, ILWU

Senators make up mind before hearing evidence

After reading the quotes attributed to our esteemed senators, I feel disgusted and sickened. How dare they make their decisions on President Clinton's impeachment before all the evidence is presented to the U.S. Senate? Is this any way to set an example for the common citizen?

The next time I am called for jury duty, I will just send back a letter saying the person charged is guilty and I have no need to hear all the evidence for or against the person. After all, my senators said this was OK to do.

J.P. Jinnette
Kapolei

Of course partisanship will reign in trial

Since the two political parties have different goals in the Senate trial, of course there will be partisanship. The Democrats want to defend the president no matter what he's done; the Republicans want to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law upon which our judiciary stands.

Only an irresponsible, reckless man would find himself impeached for perjury. Only one who doesn't love America would allow the rule of law to be undermined. But love of country is not a strong point with Clinton, whose contempt for our military is well known.

Janice Judd





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