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Monday, December 20, 1999

Tapa


State must investigate murder of son

Ever since the World Trade Organization was formed five years ago, and the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented, opening the floodgates to free trade, the drug trade has escalated. So has the violence associated with it.

It was at the time of the implementation of NAFTA that the hundreds of murder victims near Juarez, Mexico, currently referred to as "the disappeared," were killed, in association with the drug trade.

At the same time, my own son, Joshua Curry, became one of "the disappeared" here in Hawaii. What happened to my son? Why have the police and the state of Hawaii refused to conduct a thorough and proper investigation of his murder and disappearance? Do they somehow feel justified in condoning human rights abuses and violations in this case?

The families of the missing murder victims who were killed near Juarez will now at last have the remains of their loved ones returned to them, and at least some of their many questions answered.

I, too, want my son's remains to be found, and his murder and disappearance to be investigated by a competent authority.

Terri Scott
Hawaii Representative/Survivor
National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children Inc.
Hilo, Hawaii

St. Louis has produced excellent graduates

It is bewildering to note the recent attacks on St. Louis, a school I have long considered to be one of the best private schools in Hawaii. Comments I have read on this page seem to indicate that St. Louis is fielding a great team in football at the expense of the learning process. This is not true, nor has it ever been.

Our son, a St. Louis graduate, went on to Seattle University and then Notre Dame, where he garnered his doctorate in inorganic chemistry. Since 1975, he has been a science professor at Santa Monica College in L.A.; presently, he is head of the science department.

I am sure other similar examples could be brought to light.

My bewilderment comes from the misleading drivel I have seen published, including the claim that football Coach Cal Lee has more power over the policies of the school than the president/ priest just removed.

I have never met Cal Lee, but I have confidence that he is a just and upright man. So why is he being castigated from all directions? Jealousy? How can we arrive at any other conclusion?

Merle H. Arnold Jr.
Kailua


Quotables

Tapa

"That's two strikes already. They don't need a third strike."

Henry Peters
Former Bishop Estate Trustee
On a state judge dismissing a theft charge against Peters for the second time, although again allowing the state attorney general's office to seek new indictments


"It has to do with hospitals looking at costs and not people. The nurses are finally drawing a line in the sand."

Marian Marsh
Director, Hawaii Nurses Association
On the nurse-patient ratio and other contract issues concerning nurses at hospitals


Nonviolent offenders should be pardoned

The question of whether to build a new prison in North America or Hawaii is the wrong question. The right question is, "How can we build a safer and healthier Hawaii?"

We must address the root causes of crime. One is substance abuse/ drug addiction, which must be treated as a disease through a broad range of community-based (not prison-based) treatment programs in community healing/wellness centers on all islands. This is where money should be spent, not on building more prisons.

Prison cells should be reserved for hardened offenders. With 4,000 existing prison beds, Hawaii has more than enough room to confine these violent offenders, especially if nonviolent offenders were released into community programs where their needs could be addressed.

Also important is the establishment of a "restorative justice" process, drawing on the Hawaiian tradition of ho'oponopono -- to repair the damage and heal the wounds of crime rather than continuing to focus on retribution.

As we approach the new millennium, it would be most fitting for Governor Cayetano to consider granting amnesty to prisoners who are not a danger to the community. This would be an act of good will and compassion in the Biblical tradition of a jubilee year.

It would also serve to help reduce prison overcrowding.

Categories for amnesty might include prisoners with less than one year remaining on their sentences, women inmates with two years or less and who have dependent children, and all prisoners with community/work release status.

Jim Albertini
President, Center for Non-Violent Education and Action Inc.
Kurtistown, Hawaii

What do paper, Council have in common?

The recent travails of the Star-Bulletin and the City Council raise an important point about our democracy.

Having both the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser in Hawaii are important, because we need fresh and different perspectives on the issues, particularly controversial ones that affect our future. The cessation of the Star-Bulletin would silence a strong voice in our community, lessen the diversity of opinion and eliminate a vital counterpoint.

Likewise, our government can serve only if there is healthy debate on our future, if opposing opinions are allowed to be heard, and if a system of checks and balances -- the essence of our democracy -- is embraced.

That's why I admire City Council members Mufi Hannemann and Donna Kim. They're not afraid to ask the tough questions, particularly when it comes to matters involving our tax money.

The remaining members of our Council seem to have abdicated their positions as lawmakers and are giving the mayor carte blanche. Perhaps these unquestioning "representatives of the people" should resign their offices, and at least save the taxpayers the cost of their salaries.

Marcellino Miguel
Waipahu

Trask is part of broken Democratic machine

I and many other AJA veterans served honorably and patriotically in the U.S. military. So I resent very much recent comments by Mililani Trask, who is disparaging Sen. Dan Inouye.

Making "funny" remarks about a veteran who is disabled due to military duty is not a laughing matter. Bringing up the yellow color of AJA veterans is disheartening and frustrating, because it reopens wounds of discrimination and hatred. We've endured this previously and overcame it so many years ago.

Because AJA veterans respect Inouye and believe in his caring efforts to legislate good, fair laws, he doesn't have to respond to Trask's sick diatribes. She does not speak for our Hawaiian brothers. She is a part of the "changed" Democratic Party that has lost the grand leadership of Governors Burns and Ariyoshi, Sen. Spark Matsunaga, and oldtimers like Senators Inouye and Akaka.

Examine our failing economy, poor school performance, the Bishop Estate scandal, the Bronster outrage. These and many other events convinced me to leave the embrace of the "old" Democratic Party and join the "other" party.

We must no longer entrust legislative powers to this Democratic machine, but must create a balanced, two-party Legislature that will give and take, and thus formulate good laws for our future lives and our children's welfare.

Roy M. Iwamoto

Tapa

Legislature Directory
Hawaii Revised Statutes





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