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Saturday, December 9, 2000

Mainlanders must research local market

Regarding your Nov. 9 article, "Seattle firm to build major data center in Kapolei," we welcome more high-tech development for Hawaii, since it is difficult to nurture a new industry without the infrastructure.

While competition for a co-location facility will bring more consumer choice to companies committed to do business in Hawaii, Craig Goldenberger chose an incorrect example of what a co-location facility can take credit for.

Some view Hawaii as being an infant in this new economy, but there are technological features that we deployed early on. Local peering is one such feature, and LavaNet was one of the original ISPs which supported, in 1995, the birth of the Hawaii Internet Exchange or HIX.

It was established to address the financial and performance issues caused by traffic having to return to the mainland to be delivered to a local server. No commercial co-location facility was needed to ensure email destined for another local site remain local.

Furthermore, having a commercial co-location facility does not ensure that email from LavaNet remains local as it is delivered to Verizon Hawaii, either.

It is important to distinguish the infrastructure from services. If we were to nurture Hawaii's high-tech sector, the infrastructure providers must research and understand the needs of the local market in conjunction with the service sector.

Yuka Nagashima
President, LavaNet

Blame game never ends in debate over schools

Letters on the topic of raises for public school teachers in your Dec. 2 edition reflect a disturbing and unproductive trend regarding educational issues. It is call the blame game.

The teachers unions blame the government, while government and the community blame the teachers and their unions. One side says it's unpaid and unappreciated; the other says education is the most important issue but there are no funds to support it.

The cycle never ends. So who loses? The students caught in the middle of all this finger-pointing.

Until everyone rises above the blame game, nothing will change. If everyone cares so much about educations, they should ask themselves, "How have I contributed to the problem and how can I help resolve it?"

Alan Shoho
San Antonio, Texas



"We understand the governor's concern about the money, but he has a crisis in public education and that's the crisis we are trying to deal with."
Joan Husted
In response to Governor Cayetano's adamant view that the state can't afford significant pay increases for teachers, which could result in a statewide strike in the spring

"I am running for her life."
Ed Litteral
On how thoughts of his six-year-old daughter, who has leukemia, will spur him on in tomorrow's 26.2-mile run. He is a member of a team of volunteers raising money to find a cure for the disease.

Money for aquarium wouldn't pay teachers

Darlene Pang's Dec. 4 letter reflects a common misconception. She confuses long-term borrowing for capital improvements such as the aquarium with current funding for operating costs such as teacher salaries.

Just as Pang may take out a mortgage to buy a home, the state issues bonds to finance buildings and other needed capital improvements. These bonds are paid back over a 20-year period.

The administration is proposing to issue bonds for the aquarium and the University of Hawaii Medical School. Once finished, the med school will provide some 1,200 well-paying jobs, and the aquarium will provide a major attraction for our visitor industry.

Teacher salaries are operating expenses paid for with current tax receipts.

The administration has offered teachers pay raises it believes the state can afford. However, the unions are seeking raises that would require cutbacks in services for the disadvantaged, elderly, our children and our natural environment. Clearly, we must support education but we also need to invest in our future.

Neal Miyahira
Director of Finance
State Department of Budget and Finance

Government mustn't mandate fluoridation

It was a pleasure to read Blaine Fergerstrom's thoughtful, common-sense Oct. 14 My Turn column opposing fluoridation of Hawaii's public water supply.

He's right that we must accept personal responsibility for our own dental health, rather than rely on a failed Big Brother program. Brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups are essential preventive practices for which there is no substitute. The incidence of caries is about the same with or without fluoridation.

Fluoride is a protoplasmic poison that kills bacteria by direct contact.

Unlike pharmaceutical grade fluoride prescribed by some doctors and dentists, the industrial grade use in public water supplies contains other toxins as well. Today, we have fluoride exposure from various sources that did not exist when fluoridation began. So fluoridation can push many past the level claimed to be safe. Those at special risk of fluoride poisoning are children, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.

Artificial fluoridation was long ago discontinued or refused by other countries. Only 2 percent of Europeans now drink fluoridated water. Japan has refused to adopt it. Defluoridation plants operate in India and parts of Italy, where dangerously high levels of fluoride occur naturally.

Thelma Martindale

Cemetery will preserve lush greenery

I am 25 years old, and was born and raised in Hawaii Kai. I attended the neighborhood board meeting during which its members voted 9-2 in support of a planned cemetery.

Opponents voiced their concern over flooding and an increase in traffic, but it was clear the underlying issue was the placement of a cemetery in their backyards.

I have hiked in the valley many times and would rather see a lush cemetery than 200-300 houses cluttering the serenity of the area.

It is unreasonable to think the valley will never be developed. With so much other housing going up in Hawaii Kai, a cemetery would be a refreshing addition.

Anyone who has ever driven by Diamond Head Cemetery knows how a cemetery can have a beautiful effect on a community. I believe the same result will be achieved in Hawaii Kai.

Colin Ah Yat

Public concern over cemetery was ignored

Those attending the Nov. 28 Hawaii Kai Board meeting were overwhelmingly opposed to a cemetery development in Kamilonui Valley, mainly because this is a flood zone. However, the neighborhood board voted 9-2 to move on with the project.

It was clear from the start of the meeting that the board decision was pre-arranged and neglectful of the will of the people. The next morning, the president of the neighborhood board was on TV, telling a different story than what really happened at the meeting.

Now I find out from three City Council members that the neighborhood board vote weighs heavily on their decision on whether to support the project. But since the meeting wasn't televised, as it has been for many years, the general public will not know what happened that night. Only one side of the story was heard.

Bernadette Gruzinsky

Drumming routine was highlight of UH football

Initially, I was disappointed when the University of Hawaii band stopped playing the theme to "Hawaii 5-0" when the football team ran on the field. I was associated with that show for 12 years, so it had extra meaning for me.

But the Polynesian drum routine that brought out the Warriors this past season was terrific. It's original, stirring and when the team becomes a national powerhouse (and it will!), I hope the drummers will remain a part of it. I only wish they had stayed around for the entire game.

Dick Kindelon

State should provide more sports travel funds

Mahalo to businessman Clint Bidwell, who donated $30,000 to the Molokai High athletic department for travel expenses the remainder of this school year (Star-Bulletin, Dec.1).

Lanai feels a special bond to Molokai since we share many of the same problems on a daily basis. We both enjoy a friendly athletic rivalry between high schools.

I question the state, though, for allowing this situation to get this bad. The Molokai donation is just a Band-aid effort because the problem is still there.

Maui County is made up of four islands with three of them having public schools. To travel is a monumental task, not to mention very expensive.

The children of Lanai and Molokai are constantly holding fundraisers just to go off-island for either academic or athletic competitions. A recent invitational basketball tournament held in Lahaina, only seven miles from Lanai, cost the girls team over $800 in travel expenses alone.

On Lanai, we estimate that this community of approximately 3,000 people donates over $200,000 per year toward all types of fundraisers. This number does not include the donations made by businesses on the island.

Our elected and appointed government officials should look at a map and realize that we can't just jump in a car and drive to Wailuku, Lanai City or Kaunakakai. Funding Maui County's schools travel requirements should be budgeted as to need, not by some preconceived formula.

John Ornellas
Lanai City, Lanai

Waianae needs to improve its passing game

Congratulations to the Kahuku Red Raiders for winning the state football championship. I was elated to finally see another team win the title.

As a graduate of Waianae High, I had hoped that our football team could bring home the state title because of its perfect record throughout the regular season. My question to the Waianae coaching staff is why don't they throw the ball more. It gets so predictable when it concentrates on its running game.

Kahuku had a very balanced team this year with its running and passing attack. Maybe if Waianae gets into the championship game again, the scores could be a little more decent.

Ron Mesiona

Kahuku win was celebrated on mainland, too

I've lived in North Carolina pretty much the majority of my adult life, but I still keep track of Kahuku football. I knew that this past Friday night was the state championship game, so on Saturday I called my sister in Whitmore Village to find out the results (she keeps me supplied with Kahuku T-shirts and caps).

How exciting to learn that they had beaten St. Louis! I've been telling all my in-laws and friends at work all about it.

We had nine inches of snow on Sunday so I wasn't able to get to my computer at work to find out all the details of the game until Tuesday. The articles in your online edition almost brought me to tears again. I would have loved to have seen Kahuku's choir director, Elizabeth Krammer, get her Mohawk hair cut.

Please let those terrific students at Kahuku and the supporting community know how proud I am of them. Their victory has touched the heart of all Kahuku alumni -- even those of us over 4,500 miles away.

It was a terrific 52nd birthday present for me.

Fred Van Winkle
Kahuku High School, Class of 1967
North Carolina

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