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Wednesday, May 23, 2001



Others got jail time for errors like Mansho's

No matter what you call it, the money that Honolulu City Councilwoman Rene Mansho "used" boils down to theft. Police officers and other public employees have been jailed and fired for lesser offenses.

Judges have used these very same offenders as "examples" in the sentencing process. Why are politicians seemingly exempt from this same kind of example, charging and sen- tencing?

Pete Munoz
Director
Citizens for Justice-Maui County

Gill led the charge against subcontracting

I would like to thank Eric Gill, Orlando Soriano and Hernando Tan of Local 5 for leading the charge against subcontracting at our hotels. The union coalition got a 10-month ban on this practice in the new contract. This has been an issue for years, but Eric and his team were the ones who put this scourge in the spotlight and woke up the masses. Now everybody has made it their No. 1 concern.

I was at the anti-subcontracting rally in June 2000 when 500-plus people showed up to voice their disapproval. It cracks me up when I see Eric's opponents now trotting around as if they are the true champions of this cause. They were the ones who brought subcontracting in and didn't even bother to show up at the rally. Some of them even made fun of it.

I guess when an election is coming around, you try your best to fool people. Some of us won't fall for it. Keep fighting hard against subcontracting Eric, Orlando and Hernando.

Daniel Kerwin


[Quotables]

"Tomorrow morning the world will wake up with news and pictures of our state."

Tom Moffatt,
Hawaii concert promoter, talking about the publicity that Monday night's premiere of the movie "Pearl Harbor" aboard the aircraft carrier USS Stennis will generate for the state of Hawaii.


"Four movies, and in not one of them do I get a credit, although I do get the checks."

Mark Pinkosh,
Hawaii actor and founder of Starving Artists Theatre Co., describing his experience making films after spending four years in Los Angeles. Pinkosh stars in "Don't Forget Me," an original play tonight through Sunday at Mark's Garage.


Movie stirs feelings of injustice

The release of the latest movie on the sinking of much of our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor got me to thinking about the sinking of the Ehime Maru. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a deliberate act of war while the sinking of the Ehime Maru was an accident.

Yet every level of American government from the president on down has profusely apologized to the Japanese people for the loss of nine lives and one boat. Japan has never apologized for the attack on Pearl Harbor, which cost thousands of American lives. Isn't it about time the Japanese government did the right thing and apologized to us?

Don Whiting
Kalaheo, Kauai

Will U.S. dominate Cuba once again?

President Bush declared his intention to provide U.S. support to Cuban dissidents who are trying to overthrow Fidel Castro's government. ("Bush backs efforts to undermine Castro," Star-Bulletin, May 19). He referred to these people as "the voices of liberty" and said they are "promoting democracy" in Cuba. He stated that "our goal is...freedom in Cuba."

I'm wondering exactly what kind of freedom and democracy Bush has in mind for Cuba. I suppose he means the kind it had before Castro took power in 1959, back in the days when the United States controlled virtually everything in Cuba: sugar, tobacco, banks, coffee, fruit, the mines, the most fertile land, hotels, trains, oil, casinos and telephones.

At the time of the Cuban revolution, corruption was rampant; the majority of adults were unemployed or underemployed; two-thirds of the children had no primary school to attend; health care for the majority was virtually nonexistent; 85 percent of the population were so poor that they lived in shacks without electricity, running water or sewerage; almost half the population was illiterate; and thousands of opponents of the Batista dic- tatorship were jailed, tortured and/or killed.

Since the revolution, living conditions have improved dramatically for the vast majority of Cubans, and that is in spite of a U.S. trade embargo that has caused terrible shortages of food, medicines and other necessities of life for the past 40 years.

Does Bush really want freedom and democracy in Cuba, or does he want the U.S. government and corporations to be able to control Cuba as it did in the good old days?

Joanne Heisel

Tax idea sounds more, much more, than fair

My thanks to letter writer Ted Pizzino who on May 7 complained about Congress passing a complicated increase in the deductions allowed for IRAs and 401K plans. He asked why legislators couldn't have passed a much simpler law to "just exempt investment income from taxation."

I agree. If Congress passes this tax simplification law it will allow those of us smart enough to invest for a living to be completely subsidized by those ignorant boobs who are still working for a living.

R.A.I. Weigel
Aiea

Verizon phone buyers get safety tips

The May 14 Star-Bulletin editorial "Law should limit use of cell phones in cars," raises valid concerns about talking on a wireless phone while driving.

I encourage every wireless phone user to make a personal commitment to being a responsible driver. Verizon Wireless communicates safe driving tips to its customers through our "Drive responsibly. Call with Care" campaign. The tips include: When behind the wheel, safe driving is always your first responsibility; dial your phone when your car is not in motion; and always use hands-free when driving and talking.

Our brochure featuring the complete list of responsible driving tips is available to Hawaii residents at Verizon Wireless retail stores and at any Satellite City Hall.

One of our highest priorities is to enhance the availability, affordability and awareness of hands-free technologies. While hands-free talking will not guarantee that everyone will drive responsibly, we feel our customers' attentiveness can be improved by using headsets, earpieces and voice-activated systems. We have mandated that our vendors manufacture phones that are hands-free capable by 2002 or risk losing our business.

It is really up to each one driving to practice the safe use of wireless phones.

Tony Simpson
President
Verizon Wireless Hawaii Region

Rules don't seem to apply to Bush

It didn't take long for the Bush administration to clarify its position concerning political fundraising on government property.

After a campaign that condemned ex-veep Al Gore's use of official phones to raise money, Gore's successor, Vice President Dick Cheney, has now opened up the vice president's residence to wine and dine Big Oil execs who helped put him in office. These are the same old deep-pocket friends who are now shaping Bush's drill-and-burn energy policy.

The GOP message seems to be, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Ken Armstrong






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