Tuesday, January 4, 2000
Questions to ponder after smoke clearedQuestions needing answers and resolution, not study or procrastination, by the law and policy-makers in Hawaii:
How many people will be maimed, blinded or killed by fireworks?When will legislators and policy-makers realize the majority of voters want them to follow Lee Iacocca's sage advice on this and many other important issues: "Either lead or follow or get out of the way!"
How many homes will be destroyed or damaged by fireworks?
How many pets will be displaced from their owners and subsequently destroyed by fireworks?
How many of the 200,000+ Hawaii citizens having respiratory disease will suffer from fireworks?
How much will it cost Hawaii's taxpayers for police, fire and emergency services attributable to fireworks?
Via the Internet
Accepting fireworks as culture is lunacyI'm really not into the fireworks thing, but understand that is probably because I'm from the mainland and don't appreciate local traditions. Well, that's OK. Let's all practice acceptance of our differences and learn to love and respect the cultures around us.
When I was a kid, there was a tradition of driving our cars around at 100 mph on not-too crowded freeways, even though we lived in New York and sometimes the highways did get a little busy.
Most years nobody got killed and the kids thought it was great fun watching the occasional crash. Around midnight you were also permitted to sleep with your neighbor's wife. Sometimes your neighbor would get really angry, but in the end, as long as everything quieted down by New Year's Day, everybody got over it.
In Indiana I heard some counties actually permit taking three shots at the person who has been the most aggravating to you over the last year. Maybe that's why Indianians have a reputation for being so friendly.
All in all...lucky we live Hawaii, yeah? All we do is blow up a bunch of stuff. Guess that's why we're the Aloha State.
Via the Internet
A ban doesn't work when activity is popularWhat does it mean to "ban" something? Usually, it's when a small segment of society attempts to prohibit an activity they don't like, but which almost everybody else enjoys. And if you doubt that nearly everybody in Honolulu enjoys burning fireworks, where do you think all that noise came from Friday night?
History shows that prohibitionist laws -- like the one that failed to curtail liquor consumption -- don't work. They merely create a society of scofflaws and lead to a lucrative black market.
The spectacular show of aerials throughout this state should dispel any doubt that a huge black market for illegal fireworks already exists.
It would make my job as a doctor easier and benefit community health if there were an effective "ban" on unproven alternative medicine, or a law requiring that people take their pills or get their flu shots. But, with all due respect to the fire chief, police chief and others, I would NEVER advocate such laws attempting to restrict free behavior.
No matter how frustrated I sometimes feel about others doing things I know may be harmful to them, that's clearly what they want to do.
Christopher M. Marsh, M.D.
"It's been interesting going to international meets. I went to the World Championships in October in England and people didn't know what I was. I look sort of Asian with a tan. Being Hawaiian has been a source of pride for me."Amy Tong
Hawaii resident and member of the U.S. Olympic judo team
Bound for the Sydney Games this summer
"Women are in denial. The most important decision is deciding nobody else will take responsibility for you. You must take responsibility for yourself."Laura Crites
Executive Director, Hawaii Women's Business Center
On the need for women to invest and plan for retirement
Trask is wrong about criticism of InouyeFor 18-plus years, until 1995, I served on the staff of Sen. Dan Akaka. Proudly displayed in my office today is a photo of the November 1993 "apology resolution" signing ceremony, taken in the Oval Office of the White House.
Present are President Clinton, Vice President Gore, the state delegation and the four congressional staffers invited to share that historic moment. I was one of them.
When I say Sen. Dan Inouye's advocacy of the "apology resolution" was fervid, that his support was constant, that his role in its enactment was critical -- and that Mililani Trask's statements to the contrary are patently spurious -- I am not expressing an opinion.
I am conveying facts that only a scant few can present with the full authority of having been intimately involved on a daily basis in securing passage of this legislation.
From the resolution's introduction and floor approval in the Senate to the frustrating battle to get it to the House floor before adjournment, I was there. From its reintroduction in 1993 through its enactment into law, I was there.
Dan Inouye is right. Mililani Trask is wrong.
Officials responded well to bomb scareGood work by airport officials during the recent bomb scare at the Honolulu Airport terminal. It's a new and not-so-friendly world out there, and the authorities in charge did the right thing. The dog did OK, too.
Via the Internet
St. Louis School needs new batch of trusteesI hope the St. Louis trustees enjoyed their holidays in good conscience. For them to say that the firing of Mario Pariante as president of the school was NOT related to the football program is like Bill Clinton saying, "I did not have sex with that woman."
To dismiss Father Mario just before Thanksgiving and Christmas shows the true character of the trustees -- not that of a practicing Christian, in my opinion.
While some of the trustees may have attended St. Louis, they have lost sight of their responsibilities to the school's students and parents. Maybe it's time for a new group of trustees to be selected, those who are true to the school's Marianist philosophy.
It's not too late to correct this grave injustice.
Edith P.S. Won
Hawaii Revised Statutes
Write aWant to write a letter to the editor? Let all Star-Bulletin readers know what you think. Please keep your letter to about 200 words. You can send it by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can fill in the online form for a faster response. Or print it and mail it to: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802. Or fax it to: 523-8509. Always be sure to include your daytime phone number.
Letter to the Editor