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Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Tapa


Immigrant vendors are disillusioned by state

I turned down my continuation as a flea market vendor after the state took over the Aloha Swap Meet's operations from a private owner. Business has been going downhill ever since.

Many of the flea market's tenants came to Hawaii from other countries that don't practice the same free enterprise system. They gambled a large amount of their savings to invest in their new dreams.

But now they are questioning what's happening. They see their new government taking over a business that was taken away from a private company. It seems that as soon as a business has become productive and successful, the government takes over to reap the profits. Why, after 20 years of success and paying the state millions of dollars in rent, is this company getting punished?

Meanwhile, for the vendors, the dream balloon has popped. It is hoped that, someday and somehow, the truth will be made known and the citizens of Hawaii will learn that they have been railroaded.

May Chen
Kaneohe

Hawaiians have enjoyed public support

Some Hawaiian leaders claim that they are being racially discriminated against. Yet a reasonable man could get the impression that some of these statements are inconsistent with reality.

Case in point: Hawaii Democrats dominated the state Constitutional Convention of 1978 as delegates. They created the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the voters ratified it. Yet Hawaiians still claim that little has been done for them. How can that be?

Mike G.H. Chun
(Former Hawaii resident)
Seattle

Observatories' revenue benefits Hawaiians

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs sometimes uses revenues from ceded lands for political reasons that seem to be defeating its charter to get money and use it to benefit Hawaiians.

An example is the $50,000 it recently set aside for attorneys to fight expansion of the Mauna Kea observatories. These observatories, besides putting Hawaii in the forefront of scientific exploration in a manner similar to the voyages of Hokule'a, bring revenues to the state at a time when the general economy is sagging. Twenty percent of those revenues would go to OHA for the betterment of Hawaiians.

Who gains from holding back this kind of economic benefit? OHA claims environmental studies are needed, as if environmental studies for all the existing telescopes and state developmental requirements aren't enough. OHA also claims the top of Mauna Kea is a sacred place (as seems to be every other place that activists want to control). Actually, it was used by early Hawaiians mainly as a source of particularly good rock for the making of adzes and tools of war and has no sites of worship that have been identified.

Had Kamehameha the Great known about potential revenues from observatories, he would have put them where they wanted to be, to bring the most good for him and his people. Maybe then he wouldn't have had to chop down and sell to China all of the sandalwood trees on Mauna Kea.

Thurston Twigg-Smith


Quotables

Tapa

"To see it in person, to read the
names of those who died, to stand where
so many perished for their country
profoundly touched me...
(It) was a reminder of what my role here
is and what this movie
should mean."

Ben Affleck
STAR OF THE MOVIE "PEARL HARBOR,"
WHICH BEGAN SHOOTING
TODAY ON OAHU

On his visit to the USS Arizona Memorial
and viewing the names of the dead
carved on the wall of the memorial

Tapa

"If we were making a dangerous
product, obviously I would not want
to be any part of it."

Paul Uyehara
WHOSE FAMILY OWNS THE ALOHA TOFU FACTORY

Questioning the findings of a Hawaii research paper
in the current Journal of the American College of Nutrition
linking the consumption of tofu with faster
aging and brain impairment


Public safety is important tourist draw

I have twice visited Hawaii and look forward to returning to your beautiful islands in 2001. One of the main attractions for me -- beside the people, aloha, beauty, climate, ocean, balmy air, flowers and fun -- is the security I feel when there.

A friend of mine was visiting in March and he told me about the sexual assaults that had been taking place on Oahu. Therefore, I was very happy to read in your March 23 online edition that police had the alleged rapist in custody.

There are many beautiful places to visit, but not all of them have the feeling of security and peace that you have in Hawaii. Please keep up the good work and you will certainly keep me as an annual visitor.

M. Provencher
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Bills would close loopholes in gun laws

Guns. They kill, injure, ruin lives and futures. Even with all of the devastating effects that guns have on our society, it seems as if there's nothing to prevent the tragic events they cause.

In our social studies class, we have been collecting local news stories dealing with gun-related incidences and we are shocked by the large number of articles we have accumulated.

Hawaii has some of the strictest gun-related laws in the nation and, as a result, we have one of the lowest death rates per capita. So what? What good are these current laws if they don't protect innocent citizens? There are several bills in the Legislature that will close the loopholes in the existing laws. If fewer people own guns, then the number of gun-related incidences will decrease.

We ask the people of Hawaii to call your legislators and express your concerns on this matter.

Chelsea Kawamoto
Kailua High School

Hawaiian artifacts belong to everyone

Most of the commentary on the Hawaiian artifacts missing from Bishop Museum seems to be based on the premise that Hawaiians have an exclusive right to those objects.

But those artifacts are history, and history belongs to everyone. When those artifacts were stolen, they were stolen from the world.

When the stolen artifacts were hidden, a part of history was destroyed. The only way to restore that bit of history is to recover the artifacts, intact.

James R. Olson Jr.

A haiku on what happened at Waimea

A bypass road wipeout
On April 1, two thousand,
God's April Fool's joke.

Sechyi Laiu
Waipahu



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