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Saturday, February 13, 1999

Fireworks

Heated debate about fireworks

Take our online fireworks poll

Complete ban would cause friction among residents

This is for the people who are complaining about fireworks because they create a smoke-filled cloud that's hard to drive around in. Hey, you should be driving slow on New Year's Eve anyway.

Get real. It's only one night in 365 nights that the majority of people get to have some real fun with their families. Fireworks help make New Year's Eve a celebration that's fun and entertaining.

If you take this away, you take away the good feeling of the holiday. And if you start taking away too many things, people are not going to be friendly to each other. Then Hawaii will slowly die.

Reid Asamura
Mililani
(Via the Internet)

Big public displays should be the only ones allowed

My friends and I gathered around Aloha Tower about an hour before the fireworks were to begin on New Year's Eve. Sadly, we were disappointed. The display was slow except at the very end. I was also stupid enough to wonder about the blanket of fog that night -- when it was actually smoke from the fireworks all around the island. The smoke certainly made driving more dangerous.

Why don't we ban all kind of fireworks and have the state create a decent and exciting display for us to watch during the festive season?

Sydney, Australia, is a good example. There, people make it a ritual, a family event. They come early to stake out a good spot with their drink coolers, beach chairs and so on.

Andre Nurman
(Via the Internet)

Forget Manoa mist; valley was covered with smoke!

We live in Manoa and dread each New Year's Eve. We lock ourselves tightly in the house and still have difficulty breathing. This past year, there was so much smoke that one couldn't see the valley floor. We kid you not.

James A. and Marcia Ann Deutch

Lighting of firecrackers is highlight of holiday

Seven years away from home has made me realize just what a unique place Hawaii is. The celebration of New Year's Eve in the islands is unlike any I've experienced on the mainland.

In Arkansas, it is the parents who do the celebrating while the children stay at home with the babysitter. There are no private fireworks to be seen or heard.

My childhood memories of Hawaii's special night are of children popping firecrackers. At midnight, as everyone looked on, Grandpa would light the longest roll of firecrackers the kids had ever seen. I will always remember the anticipation of the countdown and the thrill of the finality.

What a shame that some people don't realize how special this celebration is to the islands. It is one of many traditions that make Hawaii so unique. Looking back, I see all the things I took for granted. Even though the face of the islands have changed, the traditions should not.

Kim Perry
Jacksonville, Ark.
(Via the Internet)

Fireworks lovers should stand up for their rights

It is only once a year that many people in Hawaii enjoy fireworks, as the Fourth of July isn't celebrated as much as New Year's Eve. It is a tradition here. Are we going to let them take it away ?

I've enjoyed fireworks safely from when I was a kid. Why shouldn't my kids be able to enjoy them, too?

Please, everybody who enjoys fireworks, stand up and be heard. If not, our right to enjoy them will be taken away!

Stuart Saito
(Via the Internet)

Next year's celebration may be too dangerous

Are we really ready for the year 2000 celebration? It won't just be to ring in the new year, but to celebrate the new millennium. A double whammy.

If a few innocent victims die and massive fire damage is the price we have to pay to continue this tradition next year, that's too much for me. The multimillion-dollar lawsuits that would follow will be too much for the state as well.

Robert Taylor
(Via the Internet)

A lawsuit could be filed if ban isn't immediate

Relative to the issue of instituting a fireworks ban, but only after the year 2000, one of the reasons given for this delay is to allow businesses to sell their remaining inventory. It sounds like poor management if all this inventory is stuck on the shelves. That's the problem of the businesses.

If the state allows one more year of fireworks -- even though there is strong evidence from last year's celebration that we could expect many more cases of personal injury and property damage due to fires resulting from fireworks -- someone could sue the state.

Hawaii can't afford this.

William Gomban Jr.
Waipahu
(Via the Internet)

Take our online fireworks poll




QUOTABLE

Tapa

Bullet "Driver education starts in kindergarten and before, when they start riding with parents in cars and observing them."
-- Leon James, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, on "road rage."

Bullet "We are all crying. We are all mourning this child. Because of him we're going to fight together to save all our children... His blood should be a sacrifice for us all."
-- Kadiadou Diallo, whose 22-year-old son, Amadou Diallo, was killed in a hail of gunfire by New York police.

Bullet "As a mom, especially with a daughter close in age to Monica, I would hope some other mom would do for my daughter what I did for Monica, despite the fact that it looks horrible, that it looks like betrayal."
-- Linda Tripp, referring to Monica Lewinsky.


Citizens deserve assurance that their votes counted

While it doesn't come as any surprise that the state is no better at counting votes than it is at counting money, I am deeply disturbed at the nonchalant attitude of some bureaucrats willing to accept less than a full handcount of all ballots.

My family, like countless others, pays tens of thousands of dollars to the state (in taxes) between visits to the polls. Don't we have the right to expect that our votes really counted and that, if counted again, the answer would be the same? And if the real winner is not the speed-counted winner, doesn't that real winner deserve the job?

Paul Dery
Kailua
(Via the Internet)

Hand recount would jeopardize secrecy

It is interesting that some of our politicians are still talking about recounting the votes by hand. Common sense should dictate the sensible thing to do is to make ES&S pay for its own mistake.

As a voter assistance official during the election, I can attest that most people want the integrity of their secret ballot preserved. Now is not the time to "make a point" that will cost taxpayers thousands.

Matthew Lum
(Via the Internet)

Carlisle shouldn't have testified against Graulty

I am disappointed that Peter Carlisle objected to Insurance Commissioner Rey Graulty's nomination as Circuit Court judge. I agree with the city prosecutor that political connections and correctness should not be the primary reasons for selecting nominees to the bench.

However, I disagree when Carlisle states that only experience, ability and merit count, notwithstanding that Graulty has all these qualities.

What should really count is integrity, and that is what Graulty has, as everyone who has worked with him or known him personally is aware. The other critical element that should be considered is the desire to serve the public without regard to financial remuneration. Graulty's public service record testifies to this.

Perhaps if Carlisle insisted on these two qualities in all judicial nominees, he would get the judges he yearns for.

Florian Flores
Waipahu
(Via the Internet)

Legislative drug-testing is a psychedelic idea

Three thoughts on Rep. Mark Moses' idea to test lawmakers for drugs, since they are "role models":

Bullet No need to test them. The fact that this bill exists is plenty evidence that someone is high.

Bullet Their problem is addiction to political office and special-interest money, not drugs.

Bullet If a child needs a role model, and his or her parents aren't it, we're all screwed.

Patrick DeBusca
Waipahu
(Via the Internet)

Mililani parents have options for middle school

Many parents of Mililani seventh graders seem to be unaware or confused about the eight-grade options for their children.

Although registration for eighth grade in the multi-track Mililani Middle School has been widely promoted, parents also have the option of continuing their child at Wheeler Intermediate for eighth grade. For many families, the traditional calendar and academic options at Wheeler Intermediate may be their best choice.

The state Board of Education has classified this choice as an "administrative option" (not a "geographical exception"), which means that the option is guaranteed for all Mililani families requesting it.

The state has also promised to bus Mililani students to and from Wheeler every day.

Mililani families can register at Wheeler Intermediate only after having first filled out a request for "administrative option." I am told that doing this will effectively nullify any prior registration at Mililani Middle School (although re-enrollment at MMS will always remain an option at any time).

"Administration option" requests for the 1999-2000 school year must be filed before April 16.

James A. Tweedie
Mililani

Will hemp plants hurt Hawaii's environment?

I agree that hemp is an excellent agricultural crop that should be utilized (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 6). But I am concerned about its impact on Hawaii's ecosystem.

While in the Midwest, I noticed the plant could be found like towering trees in the natural environment. If the plant were to be introduced in a non-seasonal place like Hawaii, would it become invasive?

In states such as Nebraska, the locals refer to it as "ditch weed" because it grows everywhere, regardless of the harsh seasonal changes. Yes, Hawaii is in fragile economic shape and hemp could be a great alternative to sugar. But could it be detrimental to our environment?

It would be a shame to risk our fragile ecosystem for economic commodity.

Stacy Davis
(Via the Internet)

Book can help explain medicinal marijuana

I must respectfully disagree with Sandra Lacar's Jan. 30 View Point about the medicinal use of marijuana. I have personally treated terminally ill patients who found smoking marijuana to be helpful in relieving their suffering while in various stages of diseases. It is difficult for me to understand how anyone would want to deny them that comfort.

Furthermore, the sources Lacar cites to support her position are incomplete and misleading. Those who wish to know the whole truth about the safety and effectiveness of smoked marijuana can obtain "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Summary of the Scientific Evidence" by Lynn Zimmer and John P. Morgan. It is available in every public library, courtesy of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii.

Jeff Crawford
Kailua
(Via the Internet)

Medical synthetic marijuana is expensive and unreliable

I applaud Sandra Lacar's (View Point, Jan. 30) desire to protect our youth from drugs. However, her opposition to medical marijuana is misguided. Allowing medical marijuana will not encourage teen drug use. Teen marijuana use actually dropped in California after passage of the medical marijuana bill.

Perhaps the images of withered AIDS and cancer patients smoking pot helped undermine the cool rebel image that draws many teens to marijuana.

Lacar also suggests that patients use only federally approved synthetic marijuana. Unfortunately, synthetic marijuana often does not work and is extremely expensive. Moreover, many patients report that it is far too intoxicating!

Her concern that the American Medical Association does not endorse medical marijuana is understandable but misguided. Historically, the AMA has avoided politically charged issues. What is amazing, however, is the number of other reputable medical organizations that do support medical marijuana. These include prominent medical journals, public health organizations and several state associations of physicians, pharmacists and nurses.

We can allow seriously ill patients access to necessary medicine without putting our youth at risk. I urge Lacar to reconsider her position.

Kenji Klein
(Via the Internet)

Domestic partnership, marriage are different

Those opposed to marriage rights are either very stupid or very devious. Letter after letter, these people try to link marriage with domestic partnership. They are not the same thing and never will be.

Marriage brings with it roughly 1,300 rights and benefits when state and federal laws are taken into account. At best, a domestic partnership plan in Hawaii would provide about 300 rights, and not one of them is transferable to another state.

The quest for equal rights will continue until every citizen in America has full access to equal rights.

Nguyen Van Chien
(Via the Internet)

Hawaii will never have a 'business' reputation

Regarding your Jan. 30 editorial on Hawaii's so-far mixed results to market itself as a center for conferences and conventions, the very attributes that have made the state a world-class tourist destination work against it as a conference site: its exotic atmosphere, remote location and reputation as a place to go for fun in the sun.

Many trade associations (I work for one in Washington) are concerned about appearances. Right or wrong, Hawaii is seen as an expensive "overseas" venue with too many distractions.

Marc Beauchamp
Falls Church, Va.
(Via the Internet)





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