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Sunday, July 15, 2001



Duckworth turned museum around

Burl Burlingame's July 8 Scratchpad was right about Donald Duckworth. The retired Bishop Museum director possessed bravery, courage, humility and held to Harry S. Truman's motto: "The Buck Stops Here." All characteristics of a good Hawaiian and a good American.

I don't know how he did it. Before Duckworth, I avoided the museum because it was dull, dark and dismal. Sine he and the staff make it colorful and bright, I have enjoyed visiting the Bishop many times in the last 17 years.

It takes an intelligent person to recognize a job well done and a conscientious person to write about it. I appreciated Burlingame's editorial note and have become a Star-Bulletin subscriber.

H. Lorrin Lau, M.D.

It's dangerous being an emergency worker

This is an open letter to motorists on Oahu. I am a firefighter with Honolulu Fire Department. The Legislature should have included emergency scenes in the new law that increases speeding-violation fines within school and construction zones.

On June 5, we were operating at the scene of an overturned- vehicle accident on H-2 freeway, southbound, before the Waianae/H-1 turn off. It was 8 p.m., dark and rainy, on a downhill stretch of roadway.

None of these factors were enough to curb motorist haste. We had located three police cars about 1/8 mile before the accident, along with a long string of flares. Following was an HFD fire engine and more flares. Followed by two ambulances and yes, more flares. All vehicles had their lights and strobes on.

Despite all our efforts to warn motorists and protect emergency workers at the scene, vehicles were still speeding past the site. In fact we had two separate instances, when vehicles with wheels locked up careened over our flares and into our marked-off work area.

Emergency workers found themselves literally running for their lives in both instances. We had to work much slower than we normally do, having to constantly look over our shoulder, prepared to leap at the slightest screech.

We knew that this was a dangerous line of work when we signed up. However there is no reason to lose anyone, including motorists, when all it takes is just slowing down. Please don't let HPD officer Danny Padayao's death be for naught.

Albert Fernandez

Car parts don't kill people

I am writing this in regards to Hawaii's Reconstruction Law for autos. I believe that "recon" should be done away with.

I have no problem with cops giving out speeding tickets. I do, however have a problem when people are being ticketed simply for modifying their cars. Why should it be illegal to put new rims, a spoiler, exhaust, lights,a body kit, etc. on my car? Shouldn't people have the right to do as they see fit to their own car?

If a modified car is deemed safe to drive thru safety checks, what is the purpose of having recon? Laws are designed to serve and protect the people, but modifying a car does not endanger anyone.

Speeding is dangerous. Drunk driving is dangerous. John Doe driving around in a car with the latest tricked-out parts is not.

Ernest Lam

Hawaii Revised Statutes

Weight of justice denied is heavy

My son, Joshua Curry was murdered the same week as was Vernon Souza Jr. in 1994 (Newswatch, June 23). We know this based on witness testimony. Our son's remains have not yet been recovered.

It has been seven years. Seven long years of waiting, waiting for justice, waiting for answers and waiting for the truth to be told about what happened to our son.

Justice delayed is justice denied. The burden of injustice that we carry is great. This burden was placed on us in addition to the burden of losing our son to murder.

The effects of these burdens weigh heavy on our lives everyday, in every way.

How much longer will we wait?

Terri Scott

Boaters unfairly blamed for water bill

When it comes to conjuring up factoids based on raw statistics, our Department of Land and Natural Resources and Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation bureaucrats are no slouches, especially when trying to sell something to the Land Board.

At the Land Board hearings on June 22, Jim Schoocraft, acting head of DOBOR, said an increase of nearly 500 percent was necessary to cover the cost of water used by trailer boaters at boat ramps throughout the state. He then singled out Waianae Small Boat Harbor. Last year's water bill at the Waianae launch ramp, he intoned with pontifical gravity to a Land Board wide-eyed and all ears, was something in excess of (gasp and pause for dramatic effect) $17,000! What Schoocraft failed to tell those good people, however, was that all the water used by the Waianae Boat Harbor, flows through a single meter!

DOBOR couldn't possibly know how much water the trailer boaters used opposed to all the other and far greater consumption activities in the harbor -- such as restroom use, grounds keeping, fish cleaning, boat provisioning, facility maintenance and housekeeping, and daily dockside wash-downs by commercial operators and other boats at berth.

DOBOR misled the Land Board by portraying trailer boaters as using all the water billed to the Waianae Harbor.

Legislative Auditor Marion Higa described DLNR and DOBOR's stewardship of the state's boating program as "mismanagement" and "neglect."

To this we can now add Disraeli's "damned lies."

Bruce M. Middleton

Mayor's vision is costly in dollars and scenery

Mayor Harris' key buzzword is "vision," a keyword picked up from the mainland corporate scene, a scene considered obscene by Hawaiians whose view was once quite naturally scenic.

However, in reality the result of having visions can be rather costly and uncomfortable, as one finds out the hard way when paying taxes.

But the foregoing alludes to minor renovations compared to the grand remodeling visions of Mayor Harris such as, in particular, the Hanauma Bay Preservation Project now under construction.

Unless the people wake up soon before more damage is done, the Hawaii envisioned by the mayor will be paradise forever lost.

David Arthur Walters


[QUOTABLES]

"A flea problem you can beat, but when they attack a woman and her dog without provocation, that's a problem."
Laurie Martin,
Resident of Varsity Apartments in Moiliili, on the problem of feral cat colonies. Martin witnessed at attack by several stray cats on a woman and her dog this week as they were walking to Star Market.


"I was thinking, it's Friday the 13th and it's not a good day."
Steven Aiu,
Honolulu Fire Department helicopter pilot, who lost one skid and made a precarious landing after an attempted rescue yesterday.


Hawaiians have lost enough already

Regarding Patrick Barrett's law suit: So the judge denied his claim! I say GOOD!!! Haven't the Hawaiian people had enough taken away? Now here comes another one of my kind, (haole) wanting more. Where will it end? I say leave the Hawaiian people alone. We took most of their land, their customs, their monarchy, refused them their Hawaiian names and that was not enough?

I say if you want to live in Hawaii, then you must remember that they were here first and bend to the Hawaiian way! My children, all grown now, were born and raised in Hawaii according to the Hawaiian way, which is pono. I have gotten compliments all their lives on how gracious they were and well-behaved. I say leave the Hawaiians what land and help they are entitled to. It is NOT discrimination!

Loretta Allen
Denver, Colo.

State isn't paying enough for Ka Iwi

As a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, I am very concerned about the state's purchase of the Ka Iwi coastal land from the schools. Everyone who is a beneficiary of Kamehameha Schools should be concerned about this action, and so should every private land owner.

How can the schools' current trustees or the legal staff and land division office justify selling land that is said to be worth $80 million (OK, let's be conservative and say $40 million) for $12 million? Can someone please explain how this sale benefits this perpetual trust?

If the state felt it was necessary to take the land for conservation purposes, it doesn't mean that the state can steal it! Let's face it, if the average home owner in Hawaii wanted $375,000 for a house and the state gave only $100,000 (with no right for you to challenge the price), wouldn't you feel cheated?

This bargain sale is setting a bad precedent; you can count on it happening again because the state doesn't distinguish between big landowners and small landowners.

If the state must take land, it should always pay a fair price, whether it belongs to Kamehameha Schools, or Mr. Smith, or Mr. Lau, or Mrs. Souza, or the Norimitsu family.

Pohai Grambusch Ryan
Kamehameha Schools
Class of 1980

Remove AT&T's illegal Mililani antennas

We are outraged at the City's Planning and Permitting Department's and City Planning Commission's blunders in handling the AT&T's cellular phone antennas that were installed illegally in the Mililani Mauka residential area.

First, the City Planning and Permitting Department blundered by giving AT&T permission to erect these antennas despite the lack of a special-use permit and at least four violations to the Land Use Ordnance.

Now, the Planning Commission failed to take prompt action to deny AT&T a special-use permit despite strong objections by the Mililani Mauka Community based on the illegality of the construction and high-impacting health risks to the Community.

After a 30-day ruling deferral, the Commission granted AT&T a 60-day deferral. It then cancelled a meeting on us, failed to rule again on June 27, and now due to a procedural screw-up, is canceling another hearing on us. The next scheduled hearing, on August 22, will constitute a 6-month delay.

Meanwhile, AT&T's high-powered antennas continue to zap our children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 6-month delay equates to over 15 million seconds more of continuous RF radiation zapping.

For the sake of our children, we want the Planning Commission to promptly deny AT&T's special-use permit request, order immediate removal of illegal antennas and order the City Planning and Permitting Department to immediately begin regulatory monitoring of its RF radiation emission standard.

These are the only humane things to do to correct a grave and health-irreversible wrong to our children.

Ed Uchida
Mililani

Peace camp gives kids tools to cope

Our thanks to Kelliann Shimote for her informative article (Star-Bulletin, July 11) on Children's Peace Camp, a project of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.

Two points are worth expanding upon:

1) This camp is a collaborative project between public and private schools, and we thank Principal Rodney Moriwaki of Blanche Pope Elementary for the use of his school facilities.

2) The camp is an outgrowth of the association's interest in improving school safety by teaching young children how to communicate and settle problems peacefully.

In order to have the safest schools in the nation, schools free of teasing and bullying, Hawaii's youngsters can and must be taught mediation/dispute resolution skills and respect for self and others.

Ruth D. Tschumy
Project Coordinator
Hawaii Association of Independent Schools

Micronesians deserve better treatment

As the superintendent of United Methodist churches in the Micronesian Islands as well as the state of Hawaii, I wish to state my concern for the needs of the people of Micronesia, especially those who live in Hawaii because of the special compact agreement with the United States.

I firmly believe that those who are islanders in the Pacific need to be solidarity with one another to insure that all are treated with dignity and that the rights of all are respected. The Micronesian persons who are now residing in Hawaii need to be guaranteed the same rights to food, shelter and adequate health care that all other residents are entitled to.

The United States used the islands of these people for dangerous experiments with long-lasting consequences. This is the least we can do for our Pacific sisters and brothers.

Barbara Grace Ripple
Superintendent, Hawaii District
United Methodist Church

Story was unfair to imaginative ballet

Scott Vogel's June 29 article on Honolulu Dance Theatre's "Puss in Boots" production criticizes an old fairy tale and launches into a totally irrelevant proselytism.

He then manages to describe something fresh and imaginative as trite. The article reveals nothing substantive about the production.

David Hill
Kaneohe

Family values doesn't mean 'anti-gay'

Eduardo Hernandez tries to convince us in his July 7 letter to the editor that those who attended the ATMV prayer vigil for traditional marriage are the bad guys and those that attended the gay parade are the good guys.

He goes on to suggest that the gay movement is somehow a momentous historical event that is reminiscent of the discovery of new technologies. I find it ridiculous for him to suggest that homosexuality is something new and innovative.

I fail to see how my opinion of homosexual behavior makes me a champion of fear. I do not fear or hate homosexuals.

However, I do have genuine concern for their health and happiness. I also know that their lifestyle is destructive and dangerous and should not be trumpeted as a great achievement of mankind.

Hernandez might be surprised to know that I am a woman, an ethnic minority and someone who truly celebrates the diversity of our society.

Kay Gleason

Skateboarding keeps kids out of trouble

Many young people who skate feel that skateboarding has become outlawed and a crime. For some, skating has resulted in being arrested. For many it has become a way out from drugs and violence.

It is also our way of staying healthy and in shape.

What do the police and anybody who kicks us out expect us to do then? Maybe we should go drop some acid, or rob a liquor store. That might give us a rush.

It is unfair that so many young people skate, but there aren't enough skate parks for all of us. Many of us have to travel quite a long way just to get to one.

Please stop stereotyping us. When we are kicked out it just makes us more angry with society than we already are. I thought we were supposed to be the future.

Robby White
Kaneohe



Advise on consent Bill

Cayetano ignored the public will

Governor Cayetano responded angrily to becoming the first governor since statehood to have a veto overridden. Accusing the Legislature of caving in to "political pressure," Cayetano said state House and Senate members failed to address the needs of the public.

What the governor fails to understand is that it is exactly that public -- some 70 percent or more of us by some counts -- who feel the legislation is needed.

According to Cayetano, the new law will unfairly penalize 19-year-olds who have sex with 14-year-olds. Any 19-year-old boy or girl who is taking advantage of someone five years younger certainly deserves prosecution under the new law. A young man or woman -- old enough to vote, drive and serve in the military -- is not a social, emotional, or sexual peer of a middle-school student.

If there are flaws in the new law, those flaws can be addressed in the future. For now, it is far more important that our children are protected.

Ken Armstrong

Lawmakers caved in to public pressure

Our politicians, more desperate to keep their jobs than to do what's right, have crumpled under the weight of public hysteria and overridden the governor's veto of the flawed age of consent bill.

With their vote overriding the governor, they have created a new class of criminals because they're upset that teenagers are daring to ignore the arbitrary rules of sexual morality that they themselves ignored when they were that age.

It is sad that they have forgotten one of the basic rules of representative government, for which I paraphrase Edmund Burke: An elected representative owes the people not just his industry but his common sense, and he betrays them if he sacrifices it to their opinion.

We have been betrayed.

Andrew Thomas

This mom is grateful to legislators

Mahalo to all our legislators who took a stand to override the governor's veto of the age of consent bill.

As a mother of a young daughter, I was horrified to learn it was legal in Hawaii for grown adults to have sex with 14-year-old children. Our kids deserve the protection the Legislature gave them. The lawmakers deserve credit.

Daria Hayward
Ewa Beach

Legislators made the right decision

Hawaii's legislators deserve a huge mahalo for standing firm in their decision to see the age of legal consensual sex raised from 14 to 16 in Hawaii.

This action is so encouraging to us. Our legislators have recognized that we need to protect our youth from adults who would exploit them sexually.

To those of us in the trenches dealing with pregnancy care and counseling, this affirmative action helps keep us on the path as we stand in the gap for our youth.

Josette Solis
Executive Director
Aloha Pregnancy Care & Counseling Centers

Most misunderstand governor's objection

While the politically correct view may be that no adults should have sex with adolescents, unfortunately this is not the case.

The bill that the governor vetoed wouldn't curb this. It may make some ignorant young men sexual offenders. It also would convict many true sexual offenders who would have been convicted without this law. The emotional rally "adults having sex with minors" is nothing more than a political smokescreen.

Charles W. Santiago Jr.
Wahiawa

Women's commission stand is bogus

Phooey on the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women and Deanne Y. Ohta's argument that the bill raising the age limit from 14 to 16 could make a number of young adolescent males into Class-A sex offenders.

Why not hold that over the heads of young males who'll do or say anything to get sex from a young girl, including spiking her soda with some drug?

Mary Barnes






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