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Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Tapa


Journal editorial was filled with errors

The picture painted by the May 22 Wall Street Journal editorial, "Hawaii's gray politics" -- depicting our Aloha State's political landscape -- could not have been more off base and ill-informed. With so many blatant errors of fact, I'll quickly point out just two:

Bullet The editorial claimed that the IRS forced the Bishop Estate trustees to resign last year, when it was Hawaii Attorney General Margery Bronster who sued for the removal of the trustees in state court.

Bullet With respect to state Sen. Sam Slom, the complaint lodged against him was for improperly using his state -- not personal --stationery and state facilities, and was raised by Common Cause Hawaii, not by state government.

We all know that editorials are supposed to represent opinion. But, in this case, I must ask: What is the underlying motivation of these comments by the Wall Street Journal? I was shocked by the obviously one-sided political tone of its editorial.

Furthermore, does its remark about a "bamboo republic" have anything to do with the fact that Hawaii's population has a high percentage of Asian Americans?

I am alarmed that a journal I once considered the country's premier business publication would act so irresponsibly and promote fiction-based and obviously biased opinions on its pages.

Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono

Federal government killed suffering patient

The June 16 wire service story on the death of Peter McWilliams neglected to mention that he died in his bathroom -- choking on his own vomit. This piece of information is crucial in light of the other facts mentioned in the article.

McWilliams was a medical marijuana patient who suffered severe nausea because of chemotherapy treatment for his AIDS and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Marijuana alleviated the nausea, but Mc-Williams could not use the drug because the federal government refused to recognize California law. Instead, it arrested and tried this seriously ill man as a drug kingpin.

At times like these, I am ashamed of my own government. The feds killed Peter McWilliams by denying him the right to control his nausea through the use of marijuana.

Kenji Klein

Patients deserve right to smoke marijuana

Your editorials calling Hawaii's new medical marijuana law a mistake are evidence of your paper's paternalistic attitude. It indicates a failure to understand the desire of Hawaii's citizens to take a new look at our society's rigid, unrelenting attitude toward a "controlled" substance that may have benefit to certain people.

By saying that there is no medical evidence of marijuana's positive effects, you fail to note that it is the federal government that has resisted attempts by qualified medical researchers to conduct such research.

By pointing out that it is still illegal under federal law, you fail to recognize that several states have also passed similar medical marijuana laws.

The most rigid anti-medical marijuana proponents always seem to be law-enforcement agencies but, then again, their world is always colored in black and white. Editorial writers should not be as rigid and hard-nosed.

Eric Terashima
Hilo


Quotables

Tapa

"We did a photo shoot and they
painted me in gold. I looked like a statue.
They put it all over my body, my face,
my hair. It came off but I
really had to scrub."

Brian Viloria
19-YEAR-OLD U.S. OLYMPIC BOXER FROM WAIPAHU
On his "golden boy"gilding for a photo shoot
by Sports Illustrated magazine

Tapa

"My generation (of)
Japanese is no show off.
They don't talk about it."

Joe Kuroda
FORMER STATE SENATOR AND
RETIRED ARMY RESERVE COLONEL
On the wartime heroics of Japanese Americans
who fought in World War II, 22 of whom were
to be awarded the Medal of Honor
today by President Clinton


Federal impact aid needs better allocation

Your June 16 article on federal impact aid cast a favorable light on what in reality is another example of the improper management and distribution of government funds.

The federal government gives Hawaii a set dollar amount for each federally connected student, such as a military dependent, educated in our statewide system. The distribution of these funds is determined by the state and Department of Education.

Your article reported that Hawaii will receive $31.4 million and listed some of the services and expenditures that will be covered by the impact aid. But what I don't understand is why a large portion of this money is not directed to the schools that actually educate military dependents.

Every school should get a set dollar amount for each military student enrolled, even if it is only one or two students, and should be given the power to determine how it will be spent.

Schools such as Kalaheo, Radford, Leilehua and numerous intermediate and elementary schools with a significant percentage of military students could definitely use the funds.

Please don't misunderstand, I am not against any of the programs and services that will receive funds. I just believe that a large portion of the impact-aid money should be used for what it is intended: to compensate the schools directly involved in the education of federal dependents.

A. Takeshita
Kalaheo High School

Hawaii must become more bike-friendly

I am a recent transplant from Anchorage, Alaska, a state that has decent weather only four months of the year. But it has one of the best biking trail networks in the nation. You can literally travel anywhere via a bike trail.

Two years ago, I gave up driving a car in Hawaii for the purpose of helping to save the environment. Plus, I wanted the substantial financial savings of making no car or insurance payments, and the great exercise of bicycling and walking. I bought an awesome 15-speed bicycle at a local department store for $89.

The point of this letter? We live in paradise and yet riding a bicycle is not encouraged. When I am biking along, inevitably police officers will stop me and say, "No bikes on the sidewalks."

Well, what about them? They ride their bikes on the sidewalks. What a double standard.

Please, Hawaii, take a lesson from Alaska.

Jim Rosen

Don't stoop to show your road rage

Since the city administration is conducting a public awareness campaign to reduce road rage, I hope that we'll remember the following paraphrased words of Kahlil Gibran from his book, "The Prophet."

"Can the smoke burden the wind? Can a firefly disturb the stars? Can a nightingale offend the stillness of the night? Think your spirit is a still pool that can be troubled with a staff or sounding line?"

In other words, take the high road and maintain your sense of dignity and self-respect.

Carlino Giampolo



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