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Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Tapa


Driver got off too easy in second hit-and-run

It's legal to own a gun in Hawaii. You must be qualified to obtain the firearm, get a license and register your gun.

It's legal to own a car in Hawaii. Again, you must qualify, obtain a license and register your car.

If you accidentally run over and kill two people with your car, like Brandon Tamashiro, you get 30 days in jail and 500 hours of community service.

If you accidentally shoot and kill two people with your gun, you get many years in prison. Go figure the imbalance of justice.

John S. Pritchett

Consider declared tips in minimum wage

When we talk about the minimum wage, what minimum wage are we talking about? There are two minimum wages in Hawaii, one with gratuities and the other without.

There's the employee who works at a fast-food establishment, say, McDonald's, who is not allowed to accept tips, and the employee who works at a restaurant or bar and who may bring home an extra $25-$200 for a six-hour shift. They are in completely different wage brackets.

Employees who receive tips must declare this money and pay taxes on it. Therefore, declared tips must be included with the minimum wage.

Without putting declared tips in the formula for minimum wage, many small independent restaurants and night clubs will fail.

Jack Law
President Pacific Bar Associates Ltd.
(Hula's Bar & Lei Stand, Wave Waikiki)

U.N. should examine killing of Karen fighters

I protest the wanton killing of the Karen freedom fighters, who were merely seeking medical help in Thailand for their wounded men.

This will have repercussions. The U.N. Human Rights Commission should look into this tragedy.

Hung Peng Lee

Governor must make recycling a priority

I feel strongly about the need to implement residential recycling of cans, bottles and paper in Hawaii. The cost to implement such a program surely justifies the end result: saving precious limited resources as well as keeping our state clean.

It is ironic that I came to Hawaii with the stereotypical expectation of finding paradise only to learn we are not returning to Mother Nature what she has so graciously provided us with. It is embarrassing that half of all the trash left on the side of the road is recyclable and reusable.

It is Governor Cayetano's last chance to really make a difference. Imagine the impact it would have on the people who discover his love for our land. Above all, let's forget all the nonsense and bureaucracy. It is his duty to serve the people and their needs.

This is the year 2000 but Hawaii is 20 years behind the times as far as recycling is concerned.

Nick Tenney


Quotables

Tapa

"I'd always written these completely
different sounding songs. (In Seattle)
people were getting it; but in Hawaii,
it was this weird thing."

John Oszajca
WAIMANALO-BORN-AND-RAISED
ROCK MUSICIAN AND FIANCE OF
LISA MARIE PRESLEY
Reflecting in his autobiography on his
musical tastes and why he left the
islands for the mainland

Tapa

"It's a simple life. You don't have the
hassle, the restrictions and stuff. The people in
Honolulu, they wish they had this."

Charles Rosa
RANCHER WHO LIVES NEAR
VOLCANO ON THE BIG ISLAND
Who doesn't mind the cold winter weather
and highland temperatures
that can dip to 40 degrees


No harm in banning partial-birth abortion

In denying a hearing on the partial-birth abortion bill, Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland said that doctors have told her that these late-term abortions are not performed in Hawaii. The truth is that hospitals do not report details on abortions, such as the stage of pregnancy, only their numbers.

Therefore, it is unknown how many doctors maneuver a live baby into a feet-first position, deliver all of the baby except for the head, and force scissors into the base of the baby's skull to suction out the brain, causing the head to collapse. A dead baby is the result. This procedure is called a partial-birth abortion. Thirty states have banned it and the American Medical Association agrees that it is not good medicine.

So here's the question for Sen. Chun Oakland: "If this procedure is not done in Hawaii, what is the harm of passing a bill that prevents it in the future?"

Janice Pechauer

Plague stories were chilling

Many thanks to feature writer Burl Burlingame for alerting us to the fact that bubonic plague has surfaced in mainland cities, and that Hawaii is not quite "sanitized" against a resurgence of the disease ("Plague on our shores", Star-Bulletin, Jan. 24, 25, 31 and Feb. 1).

With these stories the Today section really performed the newspaper's traditional role of serving the public .

Until the series appeared, there was a vague impression that the black plague belonged to the Dark Ages, done away with by modern advances in our time. Burlingame's vivid and detailed description of how the disease attacks the human body in a most deadly manner was scary. It's the kind of significant story that mature readers look for and take seriously.

Jovita Rodas Zimmerman

Detractors of state naps, snacks are arrogant

Now that the media have had their good laugh at SB 2511, the bill relating to naps for state employees, and SB 2532, the bill providing refreshments for state employees, I would like to make a very important point.

Residents who sincerely wanted to help our state employees become more productive and help improve their morale asked me to introduce these two bills. They chose to utilize their democratic rights and participate in the legislative process.

These residents have now told me that they have become utterly disillusioned after having their ideas ridiculed by the media and others. They have gone so far as to tell me that they no longer intend to vote during upcoming elections.

It's no wonder Hawaii lags so far behind the rest of the nation in developing its economy, educational and government systems. When individuals come to our government with legitimate and innovative ideas, they are met with disparaging remarks.

Have we become so arrogant in this state that we are unwilling to accept any new ideas with at least an open mind?

Sen. Rod Tam
D-13th District



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