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Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Too bad taxpayers paid ACLU's bill

It's great that the ACLU was instrumental in making the city get rid of the prohibitive ordinances for public gatherings such as the Asian Development Bank demonstrations in May.

It's not so great that beleaguered taxpayers ended up with the $87,000 bill for services of attorneys.

If the money ends up paying ACLU's other expenses, it seems a little unfair to taxpayers who may be less supportive of the organization's future court battles.

Tom Peters

Let Legislature live in the danger zone

As an established lawyer here in Honolulu who thinks we already have too many lawyers in Hawaii, I cannot say that I disagree with Michael Sakalauskas (Letters, Oct. 13), who suggested that instead of building a new medical school in the tsunami zone in Kewalo basin, an ultra high-capacity law school would be more appropriate.

I would submit, however, that it would be far more appropriate to put the state Legislature in that tsunami area.

Earle A. Partington

Bacteria product eliminates mosquitoes

Here's a way to get mosquitoes to bug off.

I used to get four or five mosquito bites every time I went outside. Now that dengue fever has surfaced in the islands, allow me to recommend a product that has almost eradicated mosquitoes from my yard. It is called Mosquito Dunks and is available at 1-800-227-8664 from Summit Chemical Co. in Maryland.

Here is how it works: You place a quarter of one of the doughnut-shaped dunks in a five-gallon bucket half full of water and get rid of all other breeding areas. Mosquitoes lay their larvae there, but the larvae never hatch because they are attacked by a bacteria in the product.

I have been using this method for two years and it really works. Perhaps the state should consider using it as part of the control program. Six dunks cost about $12.

P.S. I have no connection with the company at all.

Jan Becket


"The situation is getting out of hand, and we need to apply some common sense."

Bruce Anderson

Director of the state Department of Health, on the increase in reports here of suspicious packages or substances following the incidents of anthrax-tainted mail in Florida and New York.

"I think I'm getting better each week. Jim gives me a little laundry list of things to improve each week."

Dick Tomey

Former University of Hawaii football coach, on his new role as the analyst on KFVE-TV's Hawaii football broadcasts and the advice he gets from veteran sportscaster Jim Leahey.

Rules worsen Hawaii nursing shortage

Even with the nursing shortage being so severe, I notice that, in most cases, the requirement in Hawaii to obtain employment is a four-year nursing degree. Nurses with associate degrees (two years) are just as capable as four-year nurses and actually get more clinical experience in school while four-year degree nurses get more book learning.

We all take the same state boards, whether we have two-year, three-year, or four-year degrees. Many pool nurses are used to fill in when there are shortages. Many of these nurses are associate-degree nurses and bachelor of science-degree nurses. If it's OK for them to work in the hospitals through temporary agencies, then why not on staff at much cheaper rates to the hospital?

Lori Allen
Denver, Colo.

War crimes must not be repeated

Recent events remind us that we should be ever mindful of basic human rights. After all, human rights is what Americans pride themselves on. However, in the 1940s, in the face of wartime hysteria, any notion of basic human rights was quickly discarded for the sake of political expedience. Our government purposefully participated in atrocious acts, which not only violated human rights, but, were outright war crimes against law-abiding citizens. This is not in reference to the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, incarcerated for no other reason than because of the way they looked.

The U.S. government, in conjunction with a number of Latin American countries, abducted law-abiding citizens at gun point, and incarcerated more than 2,200 Japanese Latin Americans. Their "crime" was that their ancestors were from Japan. They were branded as "prisoners of war" and brought to the United States where they were imprisoned behind barbed wires and gun towers.

Why were they brought to the United States? Incredibly, they were to be used as trade bait for American prisoners of war held by Japan. Almost half were pawned off as war-hostages. After the war most of the remainder were shipped off to war-torn Japan because the Latin American countries refused to allow American "prisoners" back into their homes. A few were able to obtain sponsors and stay in the United States, but were stripped of all rights because the immigration service branded them illegal aliens.

This is the short version of a tragic travesty of justice by our military. This was a major violation of constitutional and international human rights, with hardly an acknowledgement by our own government. The U.S. government does not want to admit to war crimes. As citizens, we should be ever vigilant against any repeat of this sordid chapter in our history.

Robert Y. Watada

Japan's stimulus plan didn't work

If Governor Cayetano's $1 billion construction spending proposal is intended to perk up Hawaii's economy, for the sake of Hawaii's taxpayers, let's hope that he is right.

His idea is not new. Japan has been trying it since 1990 with stimulus packages totaling more than $1 trillion and they still can't rally its stagnant economy. All that spending has produced nothing but staggering debt.

What Japan needs to do is to promote supply-side economics. Give workers incentives to be more productive. Cut taxes on capital gains and corporations.

Rijo Hori

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