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Tuesday, December 12, 2000


Dimpled chads shouldn't count

Diane Chang's Dec. 4 column had University of Hawaii researcher Lee Altenberg trying to explain why dimpled chads should count as a vote. Yet I saw on TV that instructions were given to voters that they had to completely punch through the ballot and check the reverse for hanging chads.

Dimpled chads may indicate that the voter had intended to vote -- but since when do we count intentions? I intended to call my friend this morning but got a wrong number instead. Can I therefore tell my friend that I called him this morning but he didn't answer?

We should all learn to follow instructions because failure to do so may result in unintended consequences.

Warren K. Fukushima
Pearl City

Someone must pay to maintain public parks

I found Richard Rowland's Dec. 8 letter criticizing Timothy Johns' Dec. 2 View Point column to be iarrogant and ignorant. Isn't Rowland aware that increased patronage of private businesses means increased profits, which also provide the funds to hire increased staff to see to customer needs?

Meanwhile, state parks in Hawaii are, for the most part, free to the public. The budget and staffing of the Department of Land and Natural Resources are limited, as in all state agencies.

Having worked as a park ranger in Florida some years ago, I can tell you that the public, as a whole, is very messy and destructive of public facilities. Cleaning and maintaining parks is labor intensive and a never-ending process.

Increased patronage increases the work required exponentially. Indeed, most state and federal parks on the mainland charge significant entrance fees. This helps offset but does not begin to cover the cost of park operation and maintenance.

The bottom line, in business terms, is that no one is going to clean toilets, pick up rubbish and repair facilities for free. Even the tools and building materials are not free. If the public wants well-maintained parks, it will have to pay for the staff and equipment to do the job.

Gary F. Anderson

Analogy teaches lesson about being careful

The balloting controversy in Palm Beach reminds me of a similar situation that I found myself in several years ago. I wanted to get a Baby Ruth bar at a candy vending machine. Unfortunately, the Milky Way button was right opposite the Baby Ruth button, and I mistakenly pushed it.

You can imagine my consternation when I received the Milky Way when I was in need of a Baby Ruth. I considered a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vending machine for placing the Milky Way button so close to the Baby Ruth button, but I've never been fond of lawyers.

I finally realized that it was through my own ignorance and carelessness that I received the wrong candy bar. Since then, I have learned my lesson and had a long string of successes in pressing the right button and receiving the Baby Ruth.

I have also come to realize that this experience has been a good check on my intelligence. For, in order to be an educated and responsible candy-bar procurer, there should be an initial test of one's ability to press the right button in the first place.

Mike Marlin



"It's pretty much a guy thing."

Gisela Cooper

On one of the retailer's most popular gift items
this Christmas, especially among military personnel:
shark teeth ranging in price from $40 to $400


"She said she will make repairs
in the apartment and maybe
get a better car."

Constantine Selenivich

On what her client will do with the $40,000
she earned for breaking the women's record in the
Honolulu Marathon this weekend. She earned
in one morning far more than what the average
Russian worker makes in an entire year.

Teachers must be persuaded to stay put

In response to Donald Allen's Nov. 29 letter, I have the following comments regarding teacher salaries.

I have paid taxes to support the public schools in this state for 13 years. I am not a teacher nor are any of my family members, so I am writing purely as a taxpayer, with no children in the public school system.

I have, however, had the opportunity to work with some Hawaii teachers through my former employment and my classes at Hawaii Pacific University. I have found them to be very dedicated. They spend a significant amount of their own money to purchase classroom supplies and, in some instances, are surrogate parents to students.

Yes, we do need maintenance, books and supplies for our schools. I am unclear how the money for this is being spent but I certainly know it is not lining the pockets of Hawaii's teachers. They remain underpaid. If this continues, few individuals will go into the profession.

All of the books in the world will be meaningless if there is no one to teach the content of those books.

Caroline Tollefson

Give Harry Kim chance to be great mayor

Regarding your Dec. 5 article on the swearing-in and opening speech of newly inducted Big Island Mayor Harry Kim: Was this a report on the new direction the county will be taking under its popular leader, or the first salvo in a Star-Bulletin war against the Kim administration's emphasis on community-based, rather than foreign-based, development?

I've heard of short honeymoons, but rather than discussing specifics of how Kim is already bringing his community together by promising a bottom-up, more democratic and transparent planning process, you chose to quote opponents of the mayor's plans and beliefs. Some were organizing to block the confirmation of his new planning director, Chris Yuen, even before the maile was draped on the newly elected leadership.

Former Mayor Dante Carpenter -- the memory of whom is weighted by his being swept out of office by true-unknown Bernard Akana, because Carpenter's own vision and values were so out of sync with voters -- was quoted as being concerned that the new grass-roots-leaning administration may not be "conducive to economic development."

As an Oahuan who envies the significantly higher democratic spirit of Hawaii County, I advise my friends there to relax and give Harry Kim a chance. Your newspaper may just come to understand, as Big Islanders already do, that community development was what was needed all along.

R. Weigel

Mansho should be applauded for efforts

Elected and appointed government officials must find ways to promote our lagging business climate in Hawaii Despite some bank analysts stating that the economy appears to be on the upswing, many businesses are suffering or are on the verge of bankruptcy, especially retailers and those in tourist-related industries.

It's sad to see such well-known restaurants as Columbia Inn closing and the likes of Liberty House and Shirokiya in distress. These economic analysts must be looking only at the gains made in the public sector and within government unions.

One City Council member aggressively attempting to promote tourism and business is Rene Mansho, who is trying to welcome the cruise ships to Hawaii. Her efforts should be applauded.

Toshio Chinen
Pearl City

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