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Saturday, October 30, 1999

Dock workers' jobs are closed off to most

So union leader Eusebio Lapenia says, "Don't blame workers who belong to an industry that pays well." I wouldn't blame them if they worked in an industry open to all. Nepotism and an old boy's network means that a job applicant truly has to know someone on the inside to get a lucrative job as a dock worker.

I don't resent people being paid high wages if they have a difficult or dangerous job. But I do resent being held hostage by the unions.

Unions were necessary before we had effective labor laws, and I salute their achievements from earlier in the century. Now that workers are protected by federal, state and local laws, the union's time is past. The entrenched unions add another layer of bureaucracy and expense that we don't need and can't afford.

Catharine Honeyman
Midway Island
Via the Internet

Governor has double standard for ethics

Taxpayers have a right to know that public contracts are awarded to the most qualified provider at the best possible price. After all, it's our tax dollars being spent. Nepotism, cronyism and political favoritism have no place in the process.

Thus, as the Kazu Hayashida situation unfolds, it's pathetic that Governor Cayetano's response is that the state ethics laws need to be changed.

Is the governor implying the laws are too tough and his appointees can't measure up to the high standards the public deserves? What does that say about his administration?

Perhaps the governor subscribes to some new rule of thumb that "ignorance of the law is no excuse, except for high-level government officials." How's that for a frightening concept!

Governor, your credibility is deteriorating. Would you indulge average citizens who ignore or misinterpret laws to their advantage? Somehow, I doubt it

Kerry A. Krenzke
Via the Internet


Quotables

Tapa

"My final wishes are that your buds always blossom, your trees grow straight and tall, the slugs and the bulbuls never find where you live."

Lois Taylor
Star-Bulletin Gardening columnist
Who has written her last column for the newspaper, where she has worked since 1961 -- first as a society columnist, then as a feature section writer


"This is one of the most physically gifted teams we've faced. they have a lot of team speed on both sides of the football.We need to come ready to play or it could be a long night."

June Jones
University of Hawaii head football coach
On the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University, who play the Rainbows tonight at Aloha Stadium


Y2K fireworks smoke forces some into hiding

I am one of the unfortunate ones with allergies and pulmonary problems. I have lived in Hawaii for 33 years. I admit when I was younger I thought fireworks were great fun. After 33 years (66 major exposures to maximum fireworks) my health will not tolerate this amount of pollution any longer. (Lung damage is accumulative, you know).

Last New Year's Eve I closed all the windows, turned my Honeywell air purifier on full bore and hoped for the best. It took two weeks and multiple visits to two doctors, stronger medications and a lot of discomfort to become functional again.

I have no idea what I will do on New Year's Eve. I wanted to schedule a trip to the mainland just to find clear air but was informed that Y2K travel is already out of the question and a bad idea. I did manage, with great difficulty, to find a hotel on Oahu that will be relatively smoke free. I could not get a one-night reservation so I took two nights at double the cost. All other hotels I contacted wanted five-night reservations if they had vacancies.

The ideal is to have private fireworks banned completely, not only for my health, but also for the better health of everyone in Hawaii.

Ben E. King
Kailua

Pidgin should not be tolerated in classroom

I agree that Hawaii kids are scoring low on the SATs because of pidgin English. If kids speak pidgin instead of proper English, they won't have a chance to exercise their English-speaking skills and to expand their vocabulary, which is essential to score high on the SATs.

Pidgin is fine when talking casually with friends but should not be allowed in the classrooms. Teachers really need to emphasize the importance of the ability to speak proper English.

Denise Nakamura
Mililani High School



SAT Scores Database


Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Entire community victimized by closure

Regarding the proposed closure of the Star-Bulletin by Liberty Newspapers and Gannett: There are so many things to be upset about -- monster media conglomerates near the top of the list -- but what really sickens and saddens me is more personal. It is the prospect of losing the voices (in columns, features and hard news) and the images (graphic, photographic and, of course, cartooning) that individuals generate each day.

It is through their eyes, drawing often on years of experience here in Hawaii, that I have experienced so much of my community. And I respect them (even when, occasionally, they drive me nuts) as writers and artists. Hawaii needs them, and I need them. And when our community is invaded by powers that are willing to snuff them out, we are the victims too.

Elisa W. Johnston

Neighbor isle delivery would have been nice

Every day, along with reading the Washington Post and the New York Times, I read the Star-Bulletin. If I could have subscribed here, and had home delivery near Kalapana, I gladly would have.

I live in an area with extremely poor radio reception, and no television or cable. The local Hilo newspaper is, frankly, terrible. I do have C-band satellite service, but that provides no local or state news at all.

You were my connection to the state and local community. When I found your web site, I was thrilled. Now it will be gone.

In any event, thanks one and all, for the quality of the newspaper, and for a fine product that really made a difference in my daily life. It surely improved some of the worst aspects of local abuse and corruption.

Kirk Sheppard
Pahoa, Hawaii
Via the Internet

Greed should not be victor in battle

We were both brought up in Hawaii and wanted to let you know that we will miss the Star-Bulletin. We have been away from Hawaii since we were in our 20s and were so happy to discover your web version because it gave us a way to stay in touch with what was happening in Hawaii.

We find ourselves checking it at least once a day. It brings a touch of aloha and local life we wouldn't otherwise have.

We both read the Star-Bulletin when we were in intermediate and high school in Hawaii, and remember visiting the newspaper offices every year in elementary school. We will miss you and hope that corporate greed will not silence you.

Kim and Mark Sugino
New York City
Via the Internet



Shutdown announcement
Kay issues preliminary injunction
Text of injunction halting shutdown
Text of refusal to lift injunction
Emergency stay denied

Tapa

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Ka Leo O Hawaii





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