Thursday, February 25, 1999
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Fireworks poll results
Columnist's lambasting was childish at bestI was disgusted by David Shapiro's Feb. 20 column. Whatever legitimate points he made concerning the apparent conflict of interest on the part of Honolulu Weekly publisher Laurie Carlson in the matter of the Bishop Estate trustees were utterly negated by the manner in which he made them.
Calling a competing publication "the Weakly" and referring to its lead reporter as "a trained attack monkey" is not an argument. It is not even invective. It is name-calling on the level of fifth graders at recess.
I am no defender of the Honolulu Weekly. I find it laughably politically correct and only occasionally does it veer into what could be called investigative reporting.
However, if the Weekly chooses to categorize Shapiro as an "overweight, draft-dodging prig with a suspiciously close attachment to his Shar-pei" in its next issue, Shapiro will only be getting the response he deserves.
Hawaiians shouldn't get special treatment at UHIt is a noble gesture to grant tuition waivers for native Hawaiians at the University of Hawaii. But I cannot agree with the resolution.
First, funding for the pursuit of higher education should rest solely on those individuals desiring it. I have witnessed my daughter's tuition quadruple in the last two years at UH, but have paid it simply because it is in her best interest and no one else's.
Second, with the economy in the shape it is, where is this additional $7.2 million for one year supposed to come from? If the resolution is passed, can I expect my daughter's tuition to be further raised to offset this cost?
I had to sit back in amazement at the remark made by the head of the Hawaiian Studies program, who stated, "Hawaiians want education but money is the major hurdle that keeps them from receiving degrees."
Well, doesn't that observation apply to everyone?
Recount is unnecessary, a big waste of moneyI don't see how a vote recount will restore voter confidence. The process involved optical scanners, which are known to make mistakes. The ones at supermarkets make mistakes, too. The more votes you recount, the more mistakes you will find. It's an inherent part of the original procedure.
So far, the mistakes that have been found would not affect the outcome of the election. Recounting more votes will confirm this finding at best, and may discover deeper problems.
But even if errors big enough to change the outcome were discovered, that information would be useless since a recount wasn't called for within 20 days of the election.
The way to give people confidence in their government is to enact and administer programs they want. When you have enough guts to do that, you'll also have enough guts to tell people that this recount is a waste of money that is desperately needed elsewhere.
"Fireworks and gambling are similar. They're just about a 50-50 split on both issues in the community."
-- State Senate Judiciary Co-Chairman Avery Chumbley.
"Japan is faced with a very serious crisis. But the gap between the feelings on the street and the statistics of the Japanese government is very considerable."
-- Yukio Matsuyama, a professor at Kyoritsu Women's University, on consumer spending in Japan.
"There is zero chance that the Kosovar Albanians will sign onto this deal if the U.S. does not participate in its implementation."
-- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on a peace plan for Kosovo.
"I may try to forget, but what I did is all so horrible. Inside, we can't forget. What I did won't go away. Ever."
-- Hakudo Nagatomi, a Japanese war criminal, apologizing for his World War II atrocities.
Local race was among the best in the worldAs a competitor in the Great Aloha Run, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this race went off. In the past, I was cut off by military runners who left the start ahead of other runners and who clogged up the roadway. Some runners are forced off the road by the press truck swerving left and right to find driving room ahead of the pack.
This year, it was clear running all the way. The aid stations were well organized. Runner control at the finish was the best I've ever experienced.
Having run some of the biggest road races in America, I found this year's Great Aloha Run comparable to the best. I'm looking forward to adding this race to my schedule again next year.
Mackey Feary didn't deserve harsh sentenceAmerica has double standards when it comes to sentencing of violators: One law is for the rich and influential like the president of the United States, and one law is for the downtrodden and unfortunate like Mackey Feary, the excellent Hawaiian musician. How sad that judges can be so inhumane.
Mackey only hurt himself and needed help. He deserved rehabilitation of a drug habit and not a prison sentence. Yet there are paroled convicted murderers roaming our streets, having served less time than the 10 years to which Feary was sentenced.
The criminal justice system is unfair and biased and needs to be set right. Otherwise, more tragedies will occur.
Paul D. Lemke
Mahalo to all who helped after assaultI want to express my heartfelt thanks to the many people who provided aid and assistance following the Feb. 17 attack on my wife, Harriet. As you know, she suffered head injuries during a late afternoon robbery at her place of business, where she is president and owner of Hawaii Malls Inc.
I'm extremely grateful for the quick response by the emergency medical team, the medical staff at The Queen's Medical Center and the Honolulu Police Department. I especially want to thank the police at the Kalihi substation, who were extremely responsive during this ordeal.
I also want to thank friends, supporters and the many well-wishers who called to express their concerns. My family and I are overwhelmed at the outpouring of care and compassion.
Punishment in Jasper should fit the crimeThe sentencing phase of the trial of the bigot who brutally murdered James Byrd in Jasper, Texas, is under way.
I have a suggestion. The requirement is simplicity itself: All that is needed is a sturdy pick-up truck, a few lengths of chain and about three miles of gravel road.
Charles N. Pinson
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