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Monday, February 15, 1999

Tapa


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We had chance to improve government -- but didn't

Your Feb. 1 front-page story said that Hawaii got a C-minus for government management and that only one state, Alabama, did worse with a D.

It went on to say that Hawaii is in worse financial shape than any other state and that the labor unions, some of which supported Cayetano, continue to get in the way of better management.

In the last election, we had a chance to change the leadership of this state and almost did. A potential opportunity was lost.

Who knows if this status quo will continue, but it likely will -- unless drastic personnel changes are made.

G. Woo

Likelike Elementary is still a great school

I would like to acknowledge an excellent school in the Palama area -- Likelike Elementary. I had the privilege of attending that school from 1941-47. My homeroom teachers, throughout the six years I was there, made extra efforts to bring alive the subjects they taught.

Besides the regular curriculum, some teachers had a forte in other areas. One teacher taught us Hawaiian music in such a way that it was a joy to participate in the annual May Day program.

Another taught us sports, not only the rules but the extras such as teamwork, giving extra effort and helping each other. We all could sense that those teachers cared for us and wanted to instill a pride in our school and its programs.

During those World War II years, most of us were poor in material wealth but rich in the goodness of our caring teachers, parents and close-knit communities. I know that this caring attitude still exists in that same school in Palama. Keep up the good work, Likelike!

Roy E. Shigemura

Inouye, Akaka sold out to save proven criminal

Auwe, Hawaii! What a sad day when Senators Inouye and Akaka, who once showed physical courage in defense of our country, both fail in political courage at such an historic time. Rather than uphold the integrity of our Constitution, and defend the rule of law, they have chosen to support a proven (not alleged) liar, perjurer and obstructor of justice.

Their failure is not only sad, it is frightening. By taking this partisan position, Inouye and Akaka chose to retain as commander-in-chief a corrupt individual who has no respect for the military and who has supreme authority over Hawaii's sons and daughters in uniform.

We may want to ask the good senators about that during the next election campaign.

Robert R. Kessler


QUOTABLE

Tapa

Bullet "A story with no heroes, no morals, no lessons, just self-obsessed individuals in a fight for survival, a vast landscape painting of life as it truly is in Washington at the turn of the millennium, a Guernica of overfed egos."

-- The Financial Times of London's description of the just-concluded impeachment trial of President Clinton.

Bullet "She was damaging the very people that she was obligated to protect and serve."

-- Bishop Estate trustee Oswald Stender's description of fellow trustee Lokelani Lindsey and her effect on the Kamehameha Schools.

Bullet "What message do we send to the public, who has a perception that in our state anything involving the government, the overriding consideration is who you know rather than what you know?"

-- Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai, on state insurance commissioner and soon-to-be Circuit Judge Rey Graulty.


Looks like Y2K madness has infected Falwell

Jerry Falwell says that the Teletubby character, Tinky Winky, is gay and supports this premise with the following nonsensical assertions: The character is purple, it has a male voice but carries a purse, and it has a triangle on its head, all supposedly indicative of homosexuality.

Are we really approaching the year 2000?

Jeremiah Hogan

Anonymous giving would reform campaign finance

I don't understand why we tolerate all this campaign finance nonsense. Nationally, as well as locally, this conspicuous "purchasing" of public policy is embarrassing.

Even more of a joke is the dance we do around mending all of this. It is so simple but we make it complex, so as not to move into integrity.

A campaign finance "clearinghouse" would do the trick handily -- a computerized system of vouchers, run by an independent agency, allowing Americans to support and contribute as they wish, according to law, to the candidates and/or parties of their choosing.

But the giving must be anonymous! Recipients' accounts would be credited but they cannot know who the donors are. Therefore, there is no obligation or influence peddling.

Only then will public representatives refocus upon the needs of their constituents as a whole, and vote on projects and laws based on merit.

James Marcus
Waimanalo

Fireworks

Hypocrisy is rampant in fireworks controversy

Once a year, for only four hours, people on Oahu get to enjoy themselves with fireworks.

Opponents of fireworks forget about the other 364.5 days that they breathe millions of tons of hydrocarbons from automobiles, aircraft, diesel tour buses, power plants and volcanic haze. Thousands of Hawaii residents die from lung cancer and other long-term respiratory ailments, even when excluding the harm of tobacco smoke.

This is another example of human ignorance when it comes to putting social issues into perspective. Fireworks are an easy target, because they lack a political or economic reason for people to prostitute their health, like we've already done with known existing polluters.

Opponents of fireworks, be aware of your hypocrisy, especially if you smoke and/or drive cars.

Bruce Wong

Aerial fireworks are already banned in state

The plan to totally ban fireworks is a no-brainer, since most of the fireworks that people are complaining about are already banned.

Aerial fireworks are already illegal. Only firecrackers, sparklers and the like are legal.

Arnold T. Abe

Why not just ban holidays instead of fireworks

To permit certain groups or individuals to use fireworks and aerial displays at such places as hotel conventions and the recent opening of the U.S. Missouri, but to deny other groups or individuals their rights of expression and their pursuit of happiness, is unconstitutional.

Neither a convention nor the Missouri opening was cultural or religious. Therefore, the issue of the use of fireworks and aerial displays should be settled in the courts.

Furthermore, if we are going to eliminate the use of fireworks and aerial displays on the two holidays that have been culturally and traditionally connected with the use of fireworks, the Legislature should consider banning and eliminating these two holidays.

Richard Lee

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