Friday, July 14, 2000
Contractors installed traffic light quicklyAt the intersection of Moaniani Street and Ka Uka Boulevard in Waipio Gentry, traffic lights have been installed in anticipation of the opening of the newest Costco store on the island.
The reason I bring this up is these lights, a total of seven poles and at least a dozen three-light outlets went up in a matter of weeks -- not years or several months.
May I suggest that city and state agencies consult the contractors who accomplished this feat in such a short period of time? Could this be a prime example of privatization working better than the system we now have?
Here's final solution to air rage problemRegarding the story "Flight crews sound air rage alarm," (Star-Bulletin, July 7):
I have a solution to the "air rage" problem: Equip all planes with parachutes. During the announcements at the start of a flight, the attendant would state that any passenger causing serious problems in the air will be outfitted with a parachute and ejected from the plane.
Bus drivers have the authority to order unruly or disruptive passengers off the bus. Why not give flight crews the same right with air travelers?
"The play shows how we're all so easily fooled by the media, caught up in what the culture deems important."Sheila Sealy
"AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN" STAR
Theme of the Manoa Valley Theatre play
"They are feeling something's being put over (on) them."Kekuni Blaisdell
On the opposition of Hawaiians to federal legislation dealing with sovereignty
"I'm scared."Cung Nguyen
WHO WORKS ON THE 70-FOOT LONGLINER, KING FISHER
On the fate of the state's longline fishing industry after a federal court ruling that places strict limits on fishermen
Rainbow is best symbol for UH sports logoBill Kwon's July 8 column on the new University of Hawaii sports logo was right on. I am devastated that the logo probably won't have a rainbow in it.
That nickname is unique, and appropos for Hawaii. Must we conform to mainland strategists?
Actually, Kwon expressed my feelings perfectly: Surely, we can integrate the Rainbow nickname -- or picture of the same -- into any new logo.
Athletic Director Hugh Yoshida had better wake up.
Lingle didn't instigate party's pro-choice standMelvin Partido is wrong when he says that Hawaii Republican Party Chairwoman Linda Lingle changed the GOP's stand on abortion (Letters, July 8). Obviously, Partido was not at the Republican convention in May, nor is he familiar with how our platform was drafted and approved.
I helped craft that platform, so I know that Lingle's participation was minimal during the drafting process. The portion of the platform dealing with the abortion issue did not materially change this year from that of two years ago. Furthermore, Lingle did not write, nor did she have more than one vote, in ratifying this plank.
The Republican Party of Hawaii has a pro-choice platform because an overwhelming majority of Republicans present at the May convention ratified it. We have always reflected the views of the membership majority, not selected individuals.
I applaud Partido's choice to get involved in the ouster of U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie. That is what we all should be focusing on.
Pam Lee Smith
Media council clarifies Zimmerman issueIn her July 5 letter, gubernatorial press secretary Kathleen Racuya-Markrich errs when she states that "the Honolulu Community-Media Council complaint against (Pacific Business News) was about accountability."
The complaint, as Racuya-Markrich should know, was submitted to the council by Jackie Kido, director of communications for Governor Cayetano. The council accepted the complaint after requiring that Kido first attempt to resolve her complaint directly with PBN, and after determining that her complaint met the council's clearly stated grievance standards.
Acceptance of a complaint by us simply means that the council will pursue further mediation and, if necessary, conduct a hearing.
Another point: In a July 6 letter, Lucy Jokiel refers to a talk given by attorney Jeff Portnoy to the Society of Professional Journalists. According to Jokiel, Portnoy (a council member) "indicated that the Honolulu Community-Media Council was not willing to support (Malia) Zimmerman." To my knowledge, however, the council neither took any action nor expressed any opinion that it did not support Zimmerman.
Honolulu Community-Media Council
Reporter isn't getting deserved supportCongratulations on your June 30 editorial, "Retaliating against Cayetano's critics." While it's rare to see the kind of courage it took for Malia Zimmerman to take on Goliath by reporting on the workings of state government, it's rarer for a newspaper in this community to have the guts to say out loud what price she paid for her actions.
One of the most disturbing parts of this controversy has been the lack of support for Zimmerman, who has demonstrated what happens to anyone attempting to stand up to the status quo.
Having known and worked with her for years, I was aware of the threats on her life for the stories she passionately believed should be written. She was offered sweet government jobs to get her out of journalism. Both the threats and attempted bribes failed to silence her.
It's too bad my former employer, Pacific Business News, failed to appreciate all that Zimmerman has to offer. Obviously, PBN was behind her initially when it allowed her to write the kinds of stories that bucked the Cayetano administration.
It was those articles that supposedly "lacked objectivity and reflected a personal bias," according to the governor's press secretary, Kathleen Racuya-Markrich, in her July 5 letter.
This claim was the basis of the governor's complaint against Zimmerman and is precisely the kind of kill-the-messenger mentality that must be fought.
Architects aren't aware of ADA requirementsThe situation with the new Kapiolani Bandstand possibly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not wheelchair-accessible is the University of Hawaii women's softball field all over again (Star-Bulletin, July 7).
When are able-bodied architects going to get it right? How many disabled architects are working on these projects? I'm sure the answer is few to none.
Mayor Kusaka works hard on off-island tripsThe implication in your June 27 article that Kauai Mayor Maryanne Kusaka travels too much is unwarranted. Tourism is very valuable to the county's economy and we are fortunate that the mayor takes seriously the task of tourism marketing and promotion.
Her attendance at various travel industry forums on the mainland and abroad is invaluable. Her presence increases Kauai's level of exposure among competing destinations.
Contrary to some people's belief, these trips are often arduous, requiring long journeys followed by a full business schedule.
It is to the mayor's credit that she makes herself available to address the needs of our visitor industry. There's no question her presence on the road contributes significantly to the success Kauai enjoys today.
Jeff B. Tarpey
Chairman, Kauai Visitors Bureau
Trust fund established for baby of beating victimAs the mother of Daniel Scott Lucas, I thank Diane Chang for telling the tragic story of his being assaulted in Hawaii, and how the head injuries he suffered gradually led to his death years later (Changing Hawaii, July 7).
Dan's death has been profoundly painful for all our family, but especially so for his widow and daughter. Dan had been married only a year and a half, and was just beginning his own business when he died.
He had neither a financial cushion nor life insurance for his wife, who was two months pregnant. His widow had to sell their recently purchased home, move back with her mother, resign from her job, and prepare alone for the birth of their first child.
Dan's widow and child (now six months old) continue under financial hardship. If anyone wishes to assist them, we have established an educational trust fund for the baby.
Checks may be made out to Baby Lucas and mailed to P.O. Box 1475, La Mesa, CA 91944.
Susan Lucas Carrigan
Parents must teach their children toleranceOur family is heartbroken and will never recover from the loss of my son, Dan Lucas.
There is no doubt Dan's death was a result of the senseless, hateful attack committed by two men on Maui. He was never the same person after that traumatic head injury. Sadly, it's widely known that these types of hate crimes are not uncommon in the islands.
As a high school educator of 37 years, I can only hope that Dan's tragic death will serve as a lesson for educators, law enforcement and, most of all, parents. They must teach their children that hate and violence can only lead to tragedy.
Son doesn't share dad's penchant for true givingIn response to the July 10 article on Robert Kiyosaki's book, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," his father Ralph must be turning in his grave. The younger Kiyosaki has obviously not gotten over the "I," which his father professed as "we."
Many owe a great deal to Ralph Kiyosaki's rich contributions to education and his genius in the teaching profession. Many -- including myself -- have profited by his richness in giving.
Although poor, he gave, perhaps not in wealth but by being humble and sharing his vast knowledge. Being rich in giving wealth is secondary to giving of one's self in all other areas.
Charles E. Higa
Maritime Museum is well worth a visitWhen I mentioned to some friends my recent visit to the Maritime Museum at Pier 7, I discovered that they did not realize the place is a real museum. For the benefit of others who may also be confused, it is indeed a museum and a delightful one, too.
It's open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee is nominal and, once inside, the visitor may spend an hour or an entire day among the various exhibits. There's a gift shop as well, with many nautical-minded items not available elsewhere.
I heartily recommend it.
Debate over fixing staggered terms
It's better to wait until reapportionmentSome people are wondering why leadership at the state Legislature is resisting a special session to amend our state Constitution. What is puzzling is the demand to amend the Constitution in special session, instead of during the next two regular sessions.
It is important to note that one of the regular sessions will be held after the development of a reapportionment plan in 2001. The plan will surely have some impact on how the issue is addressed by the Legislature.
The constitutional provision should certainly be addressed, but not at a special session where full and considered discussion is limited.
This issue of how to re-establish the staggered terms after a reapportionment is highly complex. Few understand its complexity.
Regular sessions of the Legislature allow for the submission of various methods of addressing the issue, as well as full public hearings by both the House and Senate with further review by conference committees.
The public will have substantially greater opportunities to participate in and to influence the development of the amendment to the Constitution. The placement of a staggered term amendment on the 2002 ballot is appropriate.
I know that candidates should know beforehand whether they are running for a two-year or a four-year term in the 2002 general election. But that uncertainty, like the uncertainty of winning, both of which become certain thereafter, is a small price to pay for the privilege and opportunity to run for elective office. After all, how well a person serves after winning is what counts, not how long.
President of the Senate
Challengers and incumbents should be treated equallySenator Mizuguchi's proposal to postpone, until the 2001 legislative session and the 2002 elections, what should be a simple housekeeping task is an unnecessary complication.
The system for establishing staggered terms is not the issue. If the Legislature feels that this warrants reconsideration, it has the next 10 years to do so. The only issue now is ensuring fairness in contests between incumbents and challengers.
A successful candidate, be it the incumbent or a challenger, should be entitled to the same term of office.
The legislation to propose an amendment to the Constitution, while "of significant importance," should be considered purely housekeeping, and would not require as much time and thought as Mizuguchi suggests.
The Senate president's suggestion that we need to wait to see the 2001 Reapportionment Commission's plan for changing district lines before addressing this problem has nothing to do with this problem.
The commission's task has no bearing on our proposed amendment. The unfairness of different terms for challengers and incumbents cannot be altered by the commission.
Unless Mizuguchi and House Speaker Calvin Say resolve this problem immediately, we go into the 2002 elections faced with extra problems:
1) The difficulty of running for an office with an undetermined term.All this -- added to the anticipated intense campaigning for the 2002 gubernatorial contest, all 25 Senate seats, all nine Honolulu City Council races, plus the other regularly scheduled contests -- will only add to voter confusion.
2) Explaining this situation to voters throughout the campaign season.
3) Increased voter confusion and distrust.
Executive Director, Common Cause/Hawaii
President, Hawaii Clean Elections
Legislative Chairwoman League of Women Voters
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