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Friday, December 31, 1999

Tapa


Fireworks fans are out of control

The problem of illegal fireworks has gotten worse every year.

For days now, Neanderthals have been illegally shooting off aerial fireworks and window-rattling homemade bombs that endanger their neighbors, shatter our sleep and terrorize our pets.

Laws are made to control the irresponsible people in any community. That's why we have speed limits and a law against drunk driving. And, that's why -- finally! -- we have to outlaw fireworks altogether.

The crazies will scream in protest, of course, but they've brought it on themselves.

Jim Loomis
Kailua
Via the internet

Staying home, wishing for smoke-free birthday

I was hoping that the Legislators would have passed a law to ban fireworks. Well, I am very worried about how the end of this year is going to turn out for the ones who, like me, suffer from asthma and bronchitis.

I used to love the fireworks celebration every year when I was a youngster. But since experiencing asthma and bronchitis at the age of 21, I find it harder to enjoy the fireworks.

Some of my neighbors do not know how hard it is for people like me to breathe. I would have liked to celebrate my 35th birthday on Friday with all my friends and family. However, since we all know how smoky some areas of Oahu will be this year, I must stay at home, locked inside my house, unable to enjoy the new year and wondering if there is such a thing called a smoke-free birthday.

I wish that people would pop fireworks only on the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve and not like our neighbors, who have been popping fireworks since November.

Ann Teruya
Waipahu
Via the Internet

Blasts make politicians duck for cover

Where is it written that I, or anyone else, must give up my, or our, collective rights just for a number of foolish people to waste money, create noise, pollute the air and the streams with fireworks?

As a taxpayer I find it unconscionable that the elected officials deem it more important to allow an inconsiderate minority to continually harass the majority.

Fireworks of all types, including illegal aerials, have been going off in my neighborhood since just before Thanksgiving. Where is the "cultural tradition" in that?

Recent polls have shown that a majority want some kind of controls on fireworks, yet our cowardly politicians do nothing.

Last session the Legislature had the opportunity to do something for the majority of the citizens of this state. What did they do? Nothing -- except decide not to return two of the governor's appointees to their respective offices. Rather than concentrate on the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, they bickered about nothing and accomplished nothing.

Any damage to any person or property during this New Year's will be the direct result of the legislators who saw fit to shirk their constitutional duty to protect their constitutents.

Jim Fromm
Via the internet

Time to bring an end to senseless noise

A recent Star-Bulletin poll indicates a majority favors and Governor Cayetano has called for a statewide ban on consumer fireworks. Community organizations have testified at our Legislature, but the sensible bill was held over in conference committee at the urging of fireworks importers and sellers.

Our state constitution declares a right to a healthy environment for citizens, and we depend on elected officials to respond and correct the stunning deteriorations caused by explosions from well before Christmas to weeks after New Year's Day, which cause painful noise, respiratory illness, and loss by fire and injury to many residents.

People seeking tranquility in their homes and public areas are denied this right outside the four hours at New Year's by scofflaws. If smoke and noise don't bother you, ask yourself whether a ban will better protect children from fireworks bombs carried by delinquents to schools.

Steven Lee Montgomery
Conservation Council for Hawaii
Via the internet


Quotables

Tapa

"We have always been advocates
for a total ban. Without a total ban,
we're always going to have
these problems."

Boisse Correa
HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT CHIEF
On using fireworks -- both legal and illegal -- in Hawaii

Tapa

"We always sold a lot of hash balls,
tempura and sushi. And everybody
came there for the saimin. The only
thing I didn't like was that I would
go home smelling like tsukemono
(pickled cabbage) every
time I worked."

Cheryl Sumida
33-YEAR-OLD TEACHER FROM KAPAHULU
Reminiscing about her waitressing days at Sekiya's
restaurant while she was going
to high school


Condo is inconsiderate to Nuuanu neighbors

Ever since I moved into the neighborhood seven years ago, I've noticed how the people who live at Nuuanu Park Place, as well as workers at the high-rise complex, constantly abuse the area.

They throw garbage, diapers and paint into the nearby stream. The most recent nuisance is construction being done at the condo, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's terribly loud, even after shutting all of the windows and doors in our house.

Why wasn't the high-rise more considerate? It should have sent us notices of the starting and finishing times of the construction.

Lauren Kepaa

Big Isle police chief should resign, be sued

I am outraged that Big Island Police Chief Wayne Carvalho did not turn in his resignation immediately following the verdict in the police cheating lawsuit.

As a victim of violent crime, I can attest that the Big Island police department is in need of a complete and thorough reorganization and prioritization of its methods and procedures. Carvalho is responsible for the department's failure to investigate the murder of my son, Joshua Curry, in 1994, and for the subsequent maltreatment of our family.

Hawaii taxpayers should not be required to pay a cent in legal fees for Carvalho or any damages to the plaintiffs. Paying for the defense and reparations of those who violated our trust in public service is adding insult to injury.

Furthermore, the County of Hawaii should be initiating a lawsuit to sue Carvalho and others for damages on behalf of its citizens, in addition to initiating a criminal investigation.

Terri Scott
Hilo, Hawaii



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