to the Editor

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Monday, May 27, 2002

Mayor knew about commission corruption

Police Chief Lee Donahue is right in stating that Mayor Jeremy Harris has given us a "knee-jerk" reaction to the problems plaguing the Liquor Commission.

In 1988-89 I worked on a 13-month investigation of the Liquor Commission staff. We documented repeated incidents of money laundering, extortion, racketeering and bribery by liquor inspectors and their supervisors. Mayor Jeremy Harris, who was then city managing director, was fully briefed on the investigation. So why has it taken 12 years for the mayor to decide to shove these problems over to the police department?

The Liquor Commission situation requires a thorough revamping of the liquor laws and a mayor who will correct corruption as soon as it is uncovered.

Linda L. Smith
City Director of Finance

Harris has experience to be governor

Richard Borreca's May 19 column suggests Mayor Jeremy Harris has kept a low profile even though a court ruling says he doesn't have to resign to resume his campaign for governor. Borreca asks, "Where's Jeremy?"

Harris came to my Hawaii Pacific University business communications class in 1992. I grabbed his pocket reminder and showed it to my students. I remember that he was to meet a Japanese delegation, among many other meetings. Harris is everywhere. What's more, he's been everywhere since the ConCon decades back.

As a thrice-elected delegate to the state Democratic convention, I fully support Harris's campaign and Mazie Hirono's, too.

Richard Thompson

It's not selfish to worry about economy

Yale student Lee Hiromoto writes that Forbes magazine has done Hawaii wrong in its recent article on the state's economy, saying that its author "passes judgment on our state based solely on spreadsheets of statistics" (Star-Bulletin, May 23).

Then Hiromoto derides people as concerned about our economy as Forbes is as greedy people "for whom monetary economic wealth and economic efficiency are the great ends in life, the ultimate goals beyond all others."

Hiromoto implies that people who understand how crucial economic health is to our well-being are necessarily materialistic and shallow.

Let me say, as a fellow college student, that what's really shallow is when people my age assume it's profound and "idealistic" to have utter contempt for those who actually care about maintaining our standard of living.

Hiromoto asserts, "The best measure of our state's success are the smiles on the exuberant faces of children frolicking in the waves at Kailua Beach or the many happy families roaming through Pearlridge Shopping Center."

But when our unemployment level rises even further, we'll likely see much fewer of these smiles Hiromoto speaks of.

Forbes isn't critical of us Hawaii residents; just our overbearing state government. And evading reality won't solve our dilemma.

Stuart K. Hayashi

Political sign-waving should be banned

Late Saturday afternoon as I drove down Pensacola Street, I was distracted by a line of political sign wavers that stretched the length of Pensacola between King Street and Kapiolani Boulevard. Within seconds, I forced myself to concentrate on my driving safety and not the sign-wavers. Sign-waving along our streets should be banned! And the bottom line is, if my vote for a person who will effect my life for the next four years is decided by someone waving a sign, I don't have a high enough IQ to qualify to vote!

Roger A. Hutchings

Family can do little about pet's attacker

This is a warning to all unsuspecting pet owners in Foster Village about a vicious dog. On Friday evening our small Maltese dog, Charmer, was brutally attacked and killed while on a walk near our home by a large dog that broke away from the owners.

Poor Charmer never had a chance as the dog pounced with no warning and viciously crushed his teeth around Charmer's fragile 8-pound frame. It was the most horrible experience of my life, watching our beloved family pet bleed to death before my eyes.

Sadly, according to the Hawaiian Humane Society investigator, this happens all too often, yet there is very little they can do against the offending owners of such menacing animals unless we choose to sue for damages. Our family is heartbroken; so please let this be a warning in the hope that it doesn't happen again in our formerly tranquil neighborhood.

Kathy Dunn and family
Foster Village

Gov's Vegas snafu is familiar to many

Regarding the story about our governor being asked for his passport in a Las Vegas hotel (Star-Bulletin, May 22): I had a similar experience. A few years ago I had to see a doctor at the New England Medical Center after suffering knee pain. I showed the clerk my Hawaii driver's license and HMSA card. She was confused so she asked her supervisor if I should be registered as "foreigner." I stood there dumbfounded while my wife couldn't stop laughing!

William Burke

UH players are champs on and off the court

When I heard that the University of Hawaii men's volleyball team was being honored with a parade through downtown Honolulu, I delayed my flight home to Kona. I stood ready at Murphy's Bar downtown with my new volleyball and pen in hand.

As the Warriors arrived on the trolley, they were greeted with the cheers of nearly 300 fans.

I made my way from one Warrior to the next in hopes of obtaining all their autographs. As I waited my turn, I saw how the Warriors were reacting to the overwhelming attention. Two of the players made great impressions on this fan.

The first teammate was grinning from ear to ear as he signed T-shirts, volleyballs and photographs. It was obvious that he was on Cloud 9 with all the attention. I heard someone ask him how he felt. He humbly replied, "This is crazy, all we did was win some volleyball games and now they're treating us like kings."

Son, you and your teammates did much more than "win a few volleyball games." You and the rest of the Warriors brought joy and pride to hundreds of thousands of fans throughout the state and the rest of the nation. You've filled our lives with hours of wholesome entertainment when much of the news is filled with violence and terror.

The second teammate was quickly signing autographs as several dozen people pressed in around him. A young physically challenged woman patiently waited her turn for an autograph. He signed her paper and was about to go on to his next autograph when the young lady proudly announced that she attended Kaimuki High School. Our Warrior stopped everything he was doing and turned his attention to this precious fan. He bent down, embraced her with a hug and exchanged a few words with her about her school. It was quite obvious to me as I stood at his side, that he had made it an extra special autograph session for this young lady.

As she walked away, he turned to sign my volleyball. I told him that he truly is a good man. While he might not be the tallest member on the team, when he bent down to embrace that young lady, he stood head-and-shoulders above everyone else on that street.

Our national champions deserve to be treated like the kings they truly are.

Bradley Main
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Hands-free phones make driving safer

Regarding the May 17 Star-Bulletin editorial on restricting the use of cell-phones while driving:

I also think that using a hand-held cellular phone should be illegal while driving. In my country, Japan, it became illegal to use hand-held cellular phones while driving about one or two years ago. However, hands-free phones are acceptable. I'm a driver who uses a cellular phone, so I can understand the risk because if you use a hand-held cellular phone, you must drive with only one hand. It's dangerous, right? A hands-free phone is safer than a hand-held phone.

I suggest Honolulu should ban the use of hand-held cellular phones while driving as soon as possible, but allow hands-free phones and using phones to make an emergency calls. If the law isn't there, accidents caused by using hand-held cellular phones will increase.

Nozomi Yoshimura

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

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