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Thursday, September 5, 2002

Is there a cheaper way to breed elephants?

I'm reading your Sept. 2 editorial about the zoo's elephants. It gets funnier every day. So the elephants need a larger playpen and $7 million will not be enough; we need another $4 or $5 million. By the time it's completed, with the city's penchant for cost overruns, it'll be up to $20 million.

Is it worth it, just so we can live up to our verbal contract to start a family? We should be able to buy a baby pachyderm for less than that. And how about the rent-a-bull elephant when mating time comes around? And there's no such thing as a guaranteed offspring, is there?

Has artificial insemination ever been tried with elephants?

Leonard K. Chun


Every bit helps with food-bank donations

According to the article "Grant aids food bank in time of rising need" (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 1), the demand for the food bank's service in Hawaii is increasing, partly because of Sept. 11. Even before Sept. 11, the 1999 Health Department survey shows approximately 240,000 people in Hawaii are suffering from lack of food.

I was surprised that such a great number of people even in the small islands are suffering from poverty. Even though they are willing to work to earn money, there are not enough jobs for them. In addition, it is not so hard for young people to earn money for themselves, but it is difficult for elderly people, and also it is not easy for householders to earn enough to support their families.

Therefore, it is a great thing that the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation donated $35,000 to the Hawaii Foodbank. Unlike the A&B Foundation, ordinary people cannot donate such a big money, but they may donate small money, and grocery stores and restaurants may support the food bank by contributing food. Many people don't know how to donate, so the Hawaii Food Bank or the state should announce more information about it.

Rika Iwama

Government fails tourist industry

Regarding the story, "Bad numbers cloud Hawaii's economic health" (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 31):

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism spends $1.2 million on research to figure out how many visitors are too many to harm our precious environment. The results are not due before the end of 2003. That research team now puts up a Web page and a public forum to get "We The People's" input on what to do. Would the Chrysler Corp. ask us our advice on how to develop a new vehicle?

At the same time, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau spends $1.5 million on a research to study how to get more visitors to Hawaii. The Hawaii Tourism Authority hires a new chairman for $240,00 a year who, by his own admission, has no experience in tourism and travel. The newest HTA marketing specialist, also by his own admission, has no experience in tourism. That guy now is asking the industry for help! He even publicly admits that he is unable to develop any supportive strategies within one year.

Seiji Naya, DBEDT director, puts a sunny spin on gloomy visitor numbers. That same man wrote a ranting, rambling and defensive response to Forbes magazine's critical assessment of Hawaii's economy. In short, Forbes is wrong; Naya is right.

Hawaii will have to hunker down for continued hard times with leadership like this. I feel insulted. It's time for a new beginning.

Dieter Thate

Prayer fight not about church and state

Now it is the Fireman's Prayer they are after ("Groups protest prayer printed in HFD guide," Star-Bulletin, Aug. 30). This is not about church and state or exclusiveness. In fact, those words do not even appear in the Constitution nor do they accurately reflect the original intent of our founding fathers. The agenda of the "separation of church and state" activists is predicated on distorted interpretations by past courts.

This particular issue is a direct slap in the face to every fireman and policeman who died on Sept. 11 and who died in the centuries prior saving the lives of others. This is another instance of the will of the minority being forced upon the majority. The men who are behind it say they are only enforcing the will of our founding fathers. Listen to this founding father: "The fundamental principle of our Constitution enjoins that the will of the majority shall prevail." That comes from George Washington.

In the wake of 9/11, attacking our public servants who risk their lives day in and day out is an act of inhumanity, uncaring and downright despicable. I pray to God that the firemen of this community fight this cowardly act, that this community demonstrates total and unfailing support for the Honolulu Fire Department and the courts use common sense to get this country back on track.

James Roller

Prosecutors: Follow the political money

Sen. Daniel Inouye says that the arrest and prosecution of several of this state's Democratic politicians is politically motivated (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 25). His comment is a transparent attempt to bully prosecutors. I urge prosecutors to follow the evidence and the money -- wherever they lead.

David T. Johnson
Associate professor of sociology

University of Hawaii-Manoa

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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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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