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Saturday, October 20, 2001

ACLU not to blame, Mayor Harris is

No one should blame the American Civil Liberties Union for the attorney fees the city has to pay because the group challenged the city's rules for public gatherings during the Asian Development Bank conference (Letters, Oct. 17).

Remember it was the ACLU that stood up for all of our rights and won, and so deserves to be paid for a job well done.

If anyone is looking for someone to blame, please remember it was Mayor Jeremy Harris and company that led the battle to trample on constitutional rights. I hope everyone remembers that come election day.

Michael J. Golojuch Jr.

For quick relief, show tourists the money

Does anybody but politicians really believe that borrowing an extra $1 billion or even $250 million over the $500 million already budgeted for state construction will really help our devastated economy?

Sure, it will make developers and construction happy. It will fulfill porkbarrel "wish" lists, and it will enhance campaign contributions and out-of-office retirement funds. But what's it going to do in the next six months? Construction is already $500 million good for next year. What needs fixing now is tourism.

Our economy is driven and survives solely on a strong tourism market. We need tourists on the beach, in hotels, in our stores and restaurants. So instead of brick and mortar, how about enticing them by giving every visitor who stays in a hotel more than four days $250 or $500 in vouchers (like food stamps) to be used like money and redeemable to the state only by business with a state general excise tax license?

If the Hawaii Visitors Bureau and others can get tax dollars by saying "every dollar spent promoting Hawaii brings more in visitor spending" then surely, the state Legislature will really get its money's worth by going directly to the visitor's pocketbook. It would be national news.

One to two million tourists (where there are none) in the next six months will have the greatest and most immediate impact on not only our economy but on the lives of real people.

If we can continually invest in new buildings or our children's education where returns are so far off, we should definitely be able to invest in today -- especially if it means the survival of our local businesses, our jobs, our health and happiness.

Charles F. Fasi

Students vulnerable to dengue, mosquitoes

Hawaii's public school students are at risk from dengue fever. The infection is carried by mosquitoes that bite during the day when students are in school. Most people don't realize that screens aren't generally provided for our classrooms. Ask any teacher.

Unless the state acts quickly before winter rains begin, we can expect infected mosquitoes in our classrooms.

Many will feel the state is not protecting our students. This would be a good way to provide extra jobs and install those screens as soon as possible.

Peggy Haring


"People are frightened, but they also need to know we've been working on this for several years and that we're ready."

Salvatore S. Lanzilotti

Honolulu Emergency Services director, who said city officials have been working since 1997 on emergency preparedness as part of a federally funded program to help local governments deal with terrorist attacks.

"I think the publicity has done more damage than the disease."

William H. Chang

Hana, Maui, businessman, on the approximate 75 percent drop in revenues suffered by Hana merchants since the dengue fever outbreak.

Newspaper coverage on dengue overblown

I noted the banner headlines in the Star-Bulletin proclaiming the dengue fever outbreak on Oahu.

Could you report on the dengue with less drama, please? Our state needs to take care of this outbreak and the limit its spread. We also need to be mindful of the effect that overblown news coverage could have on our visitor industry. Thank you.

Elizabeth Martinez

Catchment tanks are a problem for dengue

The state Department of Health cautions everyone to clear their yards of containers with standing water because of the outbreak of dengue fever.

What do the thousands of people on the Big Island do who have standing containers of from 5,000 to 20,000 gallons of water in catchment tanks? This is their only source of water for drinking, cooking, bathing, agriculture, fire fighting.

Wouldn't it be nice if Governor Cayetano would include water source development on the Big Island as part of his billion-dollar construction plans? This would be a very productive and would go far to improve the quality of life in these communities.

Beverly Byouk

Driving in Ewa is a constant nightmare

After reading the article on the Ewa Neighborhood Board's decision to call for a moratorium on home building (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 18), I am elated.

The article states that road construction is done during the night, but it is not. Every day one or both sides of Fort Weaver Road are closed due to one kind of construction or another. Travel to Waipahu takes more than 20 minutes at 11 a.m. If you live in old Ewa Beach as I do, it can take forever to get out or into the area.

Fort Weaver Road is being resurfaced, not widened. All the work for the past half-year or so has been to resurface. Only one small section from Ewa East has been widened to give a housing development access.

It's a travesty that the residents of Ewa Beach are sacrificed so Haseko Homes Inc. and Gentry Homes Ltd. can build more homes and create more traffic. Maybe the developers can take some of the money they have to build homes and build the roads needed.

I thought that the infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.) were to be built before the new construction. It was done backwards here. New construction was built almost up to Fort Weaver Road and additional construction was added behind and on either side of the new developments, thus making widening Fort Weaver very difficult. Hence resurfacing of an already well-surfaced road, twice in the last seven or eight years.

Ken Rossi

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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