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Monday, July 12, 1999

Tapa


Poignant memories about Barbers Point

The closing of Barbers Point Naval Air Station brought back memories. I was stationed there from November 1949 to March 1952. I had just turned 20 when I arrived to join Patrol Squadron 28, the first squadron to fly patrols in the Korean War.

Our commanding officer was Charles Stamps Minter. I saw him two years ago at a squadron reunion in Las Vegas and he was in good health, retired from the Navy as a vice admiral (I was a radioman in his crew).

On our return from Korea in October 1951, my girlfriend flew over from Bakersfield, Calif. We were married in the Catholic chapel at Barbers Point and remained married until her recent death.

The thought of Barbers Point being closed brings sadness. But I'm sure it will be like the phoenix, and that good will rise from the ashes.

Jerry Clements
Fresno, Calif.
Via the Internet


Quotables

Tapa

"Some people don't like his personality. Well, you know, Earl and I have the same problem. But that's not the key factor on which a confirmation should turn."

Ben Cayetano
Governor of Hawaii
On the appointment of Earl Anzai as the state's interim attorney general


"Before long, the president will formally introduce the gesture as a peace symbol of the millenium, which will help to lead the nation out of the road-rage epidemic."

Thomas Amshay
A sports and marketing consultant in Ohio
On his idea that Hawaii's shaka sign should be promoted as a gesture of good will for the nation's drivers, starting with professional racers using it when they accidentally cut each other off


Musicians should serenade in the streets

I recently read a Japanese newspaper article touting the charm of Hawaii's music -- not from the steel string guitar days or the pseudo-Hawaiian music put out by mainland music companies that don't know a ukulele from a hole in the ground -- but from the duo Hapa and our local-girl favorites, Na Leo, which recently broke into the American Top 50.

In the article the author mentioned the soothing and natural sounds of Hawaii's music. It was then that I thought of all those tourists from around the world who have never heard a note of contemporary Hawaiian music from our unique islands.

How sad that they'll think they know local music just because they've heard the canned stuff in some of our hotel lobbies. Wouldn't it be great if the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, local Waikiki businesses and government coughed up the funding and hired some of our talented local musicians to perform along the Waikiki boulevards in the early evening hours?

Not only would the musicians get valuable exposure, but Waikiki would take on a different personna. Instead of a Las Vegas look-alike, it would recapture some of the romance and exotic lure that it once had.

Kevin Saito
Via the Internet

Think before ignoring rules of the road

There are some rising problems on our roadways that we must become more aware of:

1) Why do people who smoke cigarettes insist on throwing their butts and ashes out the window rather than using the ashtrays in their vehicles?
2) Do people in big fancy cars feel their importance on the road is more than the rest of us?
3) Why don't people use the crosswalk that has been provided for their safety? I watched two gentlemen cross illegally, while only 30 feet from a crosswalk. They didn't even wait for a break in traffic. Off they went, oblivious to the potential multi-car pile-up that could have resulted.

It comes down to one word: Think! Think about your actions and possible repercussions.

Conred Maddox Jr.
Via the Internet

Hawaii suffers under one-party system

As someone who grew up in Hawaii, I was -- not surprisingly -- a Democrat. Only when I went to college on the mainland did I realize what I was missing: two-party competition.

The mantra of the Democratic Party had been so ingrained in me that I actually believed it was the only way to solve our state's social and economic ills. I always thought that the people of Hawaii were truly free.

But how can we be free when we have so little control over our own lives? By putting power back in the hands of the people, Hawaii truly will be better off.

Unlike the Democratic Party, I trust people to do what is right for their own situations. I have faith that once Hawaii extricates itself from the grasp of the Democratic Party everyone will realize that they can think for themselves.

Nicole Schiereck
Washington, D.C.
Via the Internet

Natatorium history is long and complicated

In his July 3 View Point column, John Titchen misstates history regarding the Natatorium. Among the distortions is the power that he mistakenly ascribes to me as a former Republican state senator by asserting that, in 1973, I blocked the demolition of the Natatorium. The facts:

The Natatorium Preservation Committee -- led by Ann Bur-leigh, a group of World War II vets and active swimmers -- retained me as their counsel (later joined by a Democratic attorney, Robert Dodge) to take legal action to stop a grandiose multimillion-dollar scheme to tear down the Natatorium and its memorial, build numerous concrete groins and import millions of tons of sand to the location. This plan had the backing of then- Mayor Frank "Tear Down Queen's Surf" Fasi, then transit director Adm. E. Alvey "Multi-Modal Systems" Wright, former Governor Burns and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with its proven record of denuding East Coast beaches of sand all the way from Maine to Florida.

Despite extensive testimony from University of Hawaii Professor Franz Gerritsen, a distinguished visiting oceanographer who predicted the loss of sand and other negative impacts that would ensue from the so-called "beach restoration" plan, U.S. District Judge Martin Pence (for procedural reasons) declined to issue the injunction that the committee and I had sought under the National Environmental Protection Act.

We then took our cause "across the street," filing suit in our state courts where we alleged violation of a statute that required the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to submit issues involving destruction of state property like the Natatorium to the Legislature for its acceptance or rejection.

Although the Circuit Court initially declined to issue an injunction, on appeal the state Supreme Court -- in a majority opinion rendered by the late Justice Kazuhisa Abe -- reversed and upheld the statutory legislative consent requirement.

The issues surrounding the Natatorium restoration are confusing enough to the average citizen without a smokescreen as to facts and law by its opponents. The record speaks for itself; we sought and succeeded only in enforcing the law.

Fred Rohlfing
Kula, Maui
Via the Internet

Tapa

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