Sunday, September 8, 2002
Fern Hayes remembered
Who wants to send their kids to war?All those in favor of attacking Iraq, please send your sons and daughters to the front line immediately. I'll bet there won't be a Bush or Cheney relative within 1,000 miles of Iraq if (or should I say, when) we attack.
How many more Iraqi children must die?Our leaders are determined to take on Saddam Hussein again. Based on "intelligence" (remember how effective that was on Sept. 11), people like Dick Cheney will go to any length to prove that Iraq presents a danger to America. Congress is demanding to be consulted, but there is no will to wage peace; a war mentality holds firm sway in America today. A war-authorizing resolution is already under way. War with Iraq "is no longer a whether; it's when."
A reported one million Iraqi children have died in the aftermath of the Gulf War, largely from the sanctions' resulting in malnutrition and disease. How many more Iraqi children will be sacrificed to satisfy our blood lust for the man we once counted as a valuable ally; the man who took us at our word when we effectively acquiesced in his quest to forge a logical and natural boundary for his nation; and the man who now is being demonized as Hitler reborn? How many children?
Robert H. Stiver
Countries other than Iraq pose threat, tooWhy are we preparing to fight a war against Iraq when it is only a small part of the threat from weapons of mass destruction? Pakistan, India and Israel -- not to mention the United States and Russia -- already have nuclear weapons. A dozen other countries are Iraq's equal or superior in biological weapons.
Yes, Americans dislike Saddam Hussein. But terrorists could as easily steal or buy weapons of mass destruction from disintegrating Russian arsenals, or even from our own stockpiles. Striking Iraq will not deny terrorists weapons of mass destruction. Attacking Iraq will swell the ranks of potential suicide terrorists.
Starting a war with Iraq is simple. The consequences are not.
Tacky signs don't belong at stadiumWhat's with those ugly field signs at the University of Hawaii football games? They actually make the place look cheap. It gives Aloha Stadium the look of a Little League ballpark rather than the home field of a major NCAA college football team.
Not only are they an eyesore to the fans and clutter the view of the field, but they appear to be rather dangerous for the players.
A phone call placed to Aloha Stadium resulted in discovering that the Stadium Authority has nothing to do with these signs. They are apparently the brainchild of Coach June Jones and his friends at Leigh Steinburgh & Associates. The object apparently was to raise more revenue for themselves.
No other Division I, or for that matter Division II or III college football programs have lowered their standards to such a degree. When viewing and enjoying college football on television, you never see such clutter on the sidelines or in the end zones.
C'mon, UH, let's get it right and do away with these signs. You'll make a lot of people happy and proud.
Please stop calling it nine-elevenIn media and private references, one doesn't hear 12/25 as a reference for Christmas, or Dec. 7 called 12/7. Nor is 7/4 used for the Fourth of July.
Do I alone cringe when the one-second sound byte "9/11" is used in reports or discussions of the Sept. 11 tragedy?
As the anniversary of that day approaches, can we replace the trendy, flip, numerical buzz-byte with the respectful full phrasing this past year of anguish and soul searching suggests that day deserves?
Hotel workers could have it much worseLocal 5 and its members have a pretty good offer on the table, which they shouldn't pass up and decide to strike instead -- especially in today's job market and Hawaii's struggling economy. Other workers on the mainland do not have it as good as workers here, in terms of working conditions and wages. For example, a well-known Kentucky liquor distillery told its employees they can't go to the bathroom unless they plan ahead. Only one spontaneous bathroom break is allowed per eight-hour shift; three other "approved in advance" bathroom breaks are allowed.
This could cause a collision, if you know that I mean, with Mother Nature. Some employees say they are wearing protective undergarments, which are not at all conducive to attending happy hour after work.
Many companies in the United States don't give raises higher than 4 percent. Now is the time to agree on a contract and move ahead.
Arsenio Ramirez Pelayo
Police brutal in subduing prisonerRecently I was with several co-workers in the parking lot of a mini-mart in Kaneohe when a Honolulu Police Department patrol car pulled into the lot followed by an officer in a black coupe with a rooftop blue light.
The back door of the first car burst open and a shirtless, handcuffed young man fell to the pavement. As he bellowed for help, one officer slammed him into the rear fender of the car. A second officer placed him in a chokehold, then forced his knee into the middle of the captive's back with such pressure that his eyes bulged.
Four back-up vehicles arrived; now there were six officers. One officer clamped leg shackles on the docile transportee, who was now bleeding. Five of the vehicles swept out of the parking lot. The black coupe pulled over us and the driver asked, "Any questions?"
I said that I felt the force used was excessive. The officer said the prisoner had broken the back window of the patrol car and that he was being arrested for attempted kidnapping. His explanation did not address the issue of excessive force.
Shame on HPD and particularly the Kaneohe officers present for behaving in such a brutal and unprofessional manner. This is no way to garner public support for what is always a difficult job.
Kanno got funding for Kapolei LibraryIn her Aug. 23 letter, Mary Martinez said that state Sen. Brian Kanno is responsible for the library with no books at Kapolei.
I need to set the record straight. Kanno was successful in getting the Senate to fully fund the Kapolei Library this past legislative session. The Senate approved a total of $2.7 million for books, equipment and staff. The House position going into conference was zero funding for Kapolei Library.
Senator Kanno has worked well with the Friends of the Library-Kapolei. To disregard the facts is a disservice to him and the entire Kapolei community.
Friends of the Library-Kapolei
Voters have a chance to make a differenceIt occurs to me that Hawaii might have been better served if both King John (Waihee) and Uncle Ben (Cayetano) had both been "potted plants" for the past 16 years.
I'm just another taxpayer who will be voting one more time for the future of our children.
Who knows, if other common folks actually registered and voted, and sent their message via our still-free press, what our future might hold?
Rex E. Herren
Dems left West Oahu campus site vacantCharles R. "Dick" Beamer chastised Linda Lingle for not promising to build the University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus in his Aug. 31 letter. Some memories are painfully short. It was just weeks before the 1998 election that Gov. Ben Cayetano had erected a huge sign on H-1 near Makakilo. The sign, which is still there today, says "future site of the UH-West Oahu Campus, Benjamin J. Cayetano, Governor." Four years later, the sign is all that has been constructed of the Leeward campus.
If Mr. Beamer wants more empty promises to spend money on a Leeward campus when the buildings at both the Manoa and Hilo campuses are falling apart from lack of funding, then he should continue to support the Democratic Party candidate for governor. The rest of the people on the Leeward Coast, who have seen nothing but a sign for four years, will not be fooled again by false campaign promises that are not followed up with action.
Candidates should pass civics testBeauticians, cosmetologists, barbers, architects, physicians, contractors, lawyers, insurance and securities workers, real estate salespersons, and many others, including the majority of civil servants, need to pass an exam before they can pursue their occupations. It's time that candidates for political office pass exams in order to hold elected office.
It could be a simple test covering the history of the state of Hawaii, the United States and the state and federal Constitutions; the administrative procedures of the state Legislature, including how a bill is enacted; basic finance and economics.
The exam would assure voters that the candidate can read, understand English and has the necessary knowledge to help govern us.
Does Lingle support Bush's policies?Thanks to the Star-Bulletin for printing commentaries by Molly Ivins on Sept. 3, and Marc R. Masferrer and Marianne Means on Sept 4. It is indeed frightening to consider the idea of losing any of our freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. The president and vice president appear to lack common sense, a knowledge of history and integrity in their decisions concerning civil liberties.
Closer to home, I have not seen any comments from Linda Lingle, the Republican candidate for governor, concerning her position supporting or disagreeing with Bush's and Chaney's policies.
Voters deserve to know where she stands because if she is elected the policies she supports will affect the people of Hawaii, our environment, our ocean and what most of us hold dear to our hearts.
Yard signs remind us to do civic dutyYesterday Lloyd Nekoba, who is Audrey Case's brother-in-law, showed up at my Kailua home with two "Case for governor" campaign signs for my front yard. Gee, I said, I wish they were at least as big as the Linda Lingle signs up the street!
I like the idea of posting signs for candidates. We have quite a variety of signs on Awakea Road. It's a good feeling to know that people on this street take their civic responsibility seriously.
A few weeks ago I sent a contribution to Ed Case's campaign because I am really impressed with this haole local boy who was born and raised in Hilo. He now lives in Honolulu and has served four terms in the state House of Representatives. Believe me, his experience in the Legislature will be extremely valuable to him as governor. The Legislature and the governor need each other. I recognized this when I worked as a legislative staffer for several sessions.
Pearl Richardson Nishimura
Case faces Hawaii's problems honestlyThe approaching gubernatorial election shall mark a major point in our state's history. Not since the emergence of Jack Burns has there been such a great possibility for our people.
I speak of candidate Ed Case, an honorable -- not opportunistic -- man of action who remains accessible to the people. As a state representative, Case seeks genuine input from the people of his district for the benefit of his legislative successor in his 2002 Legislative Report and Request for Guidance.
Moreover, he offers to meet with anybody in his district on any terms. He also gives out all his phone numbers: legislative office, work office and even his home number. This is in stark contrast to Republican candidate Linda Lingle's absence from gubernatorial candidate forums.
Case -- most honestly of all the candidates -- realizes the imperative need to balance the state budget. If the next governor were to give all government union workers all the money they want without drastically cutting services someone must eventually pay a bloated bill. Our society must either cut costs or raise taxes. Case understands the danger of deficit spending.
As for his legislative errors, Case admits he made a mistake when he addressed the Hawaiian entitlements issue without consulting these people. I assert that was an honorable sin of omission (of consulting Hawaiians for their opinions). I think Ed's heart was, and is, in the right place.
Stuart N. Taba
Education lottery isn't right for HawaiiDemocratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Anderson's "pineapple lottery" plan to raise money for public schools is flawed, given the experience of other states. Floridians were sold on a lottery more than 10 years ago to supplement their budget for public schools. All the money went to the schools, but over the years most it ended up funding programs that were originally paid out of state or county tax funds. So lottery money goes in one pocket and the politicians cleverly pick money out of another pocket, resulting in no significant increase in money for education.
This is a clever long-term ploy by politicians that will hurt those who cannot afford it. Hawaii's low-income residents will be spending the most on the lottery, hoping to make it big. Those addicted to gambling will have an easier opportunity to hurt their ohana.
An astute businessman, Anderson should know there are no free lunches in this world.
James R. Ballinger
Education shouldn't rely on gamblingAndy Anderson would do the voters a big favor by looking carefully at how states that have lotteries really fund their educational needs. Yes, lotteries raise a lot of money (in the first year or two) and yes, states allocate lottery money for education. The hitch is that the schools' budgets don't expand; the lottery money is substituted for what used to be in the regular budget.
Anderson's plan would give our school kids the option to stop by the convenience store to use their lunch money for lottery tickets. How fitting -- they can pay for their own education!
If Andy read the research reports on lotteries he would discover that every dollar spent on a lottery ticket is money not spent in local businesses. He would also learn that after the initial flush, lottery receipts drop drastically. By then the state is hooked on the lottery income and searches frantically for more sales outlets, introduces slot machines and lobbies to have restrictions and regulations eased.
Voting to have a lottery opens the door to every kind of gambling being legalized. None of the 47 states with gambling has just one form. Is this the future Hawaii wants?
Judy A. Rantala
President, Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling
Campaign season full of same old promisesHere we go again, that time of the year -- election year. Campaign smears, campaign promises and name-calling. Same-o-same-o.
Listening to the candidates for lieutenant governor sounds as though they are running for governor instead. Everyone knows that the lieutenant governor has no power. This position is only an alternate in case the governor is ill or off the islands. So what are all the promises the candidates are making to help education, cut taxes, and so forth?
The president, governor and mayor cannot do the things they promise without the approval of Congress, the Legislature or the City Council. They can bring up a bill to cut taxes, appropriate funds for education or whatever, but we all know it will end up with the problem "where is the money?" and instead they will pass a bill to increase taxes. That is why I do not attend any of these political functions to hear lip service.
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Good citizens, those who give of themselves for the betterment of our society and who never ask for recognition, often go unheralded, unnoticed, but never forgotten.
Fern Hayes generously
gave her aloha to all
Fern Hayes was one of those good citizens who set an example despite considerable adversity, and her death went unreported. She died Aug. 24 at age 87 in a Santa Rosa, Calif., hospital, where she was taken after her final cruise on the Crystal Harmony. She knew she was dying of cancer and she chose to go out in style, with one last cruise -- her eighth on her favorite luxury liner.
Hayes was a highly successful businesswoman who had managed a radio station, published a newspaper and served in management in a number of other companies over the years.
But it is for her life on the North Shore that she will be remembered, for her never-ending generosity for her fellow human beings, neighbors and strangers, and visitors from all over the world during the past 30 years. She'll be remembered for how she demonstrated the aloha spirit every day of her life.
North Shore neighbors will not forget how she gave her time to work as a warden for the Civil Defense, or to patrol the Waimea Bay parking area as part of the Honolulu Police Department Neighborhood Watch program, or how she called on shut-in senior citizens to read to them and help them enjoy life. Members of many charitable organizations already miss her.
There are Alzheimer's care givers who will probably never know that it was through Fern's generosity that their lives, and the quality of life of their loved ones stricken with that terrible disease, are better. She left most of her considerable estate in a trust for a local chapter of an Alzheimer's organization.
She'll be missed at the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Mission, the Kahuku Hospital where she served on the board, the Outdoor Circle, the state Legislature where she volunteered, and many other organizations where she donated her time and talent, even after her eyesight failed and she could not drive.
Countless visitors whose lives she saved by warning them of dangerous surf conditions at Shark's Cove, across from her Pupukea home, are enjoying longer lives because of her. Think of all the friends she has made by inviting them in for a meal, often cooking a full meal and setting the table in style for people she had never met before.
Hayes was honored as a Senior Volunteer of the Year by the City & County of Honolulu when she was in her 80s. In the words of the song written for her in 1973, Fern and her home were truly "delightful to visitors; they will be at peace when they come."
Hayes was not your average citizen because she always put the welfare of others ahead of her own. She shared. She gave, and gave, and gave, right to the end.
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