to the Editor

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Friday, September 27, 2002

Election 2002
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Apathy keeps good people out of BOE

A hardworking, dedicated man who really understands the needs of Hawaii's public education system lost his bid for the Board of Education, largely I believe because of public apathy.

James Kuroiwa Jr. was running for the Windward seat, which was voted on statewide, but he lost to more recognizable names. From speaking with people and seeing the high number of blank ballots, I have come to the conclusion that, although everyone agrees that education should be one of the highest priorities of our state, the BOE elections are given relatively little media coverage and most people vote purely on name recognition - or not at all.

I wish more people took the time to read through their election guides provided by our two dailies to get to know the candidates in every category, not just the "popular" ones, and do even further research with follow-up calls, checking out Web sites and attendance at candidate forums. It is important to know about the people you are putting in powerful positions, people who will have an impact on our children, our future.

I urge you to watch the BOE's performance during the next few years, and when the next election comes, be more aware of whom to get rid of and what someone new can bring to the BOE - other than a familiar name.

Mona Wood

Listen and learn about each candidate

The fast and furious pace of the general election campaign rhetoric is causing me untold vertigo. I can see Linda Lingle's aggressive insistence for a series of debate and forums, but one has to remember her reluctance to engage in same during the primary with either John Carroll, Mazie Hirono, Ed Case or Andy Anderson.

Well, things change. After spending in excess of $3 million, Linda has found herself 3,284 votes shy of even Ed Case, and Mazie exceeded Ed Case by 2,603 votes.

Lingle did not have a Frank Fasi to excite the GOP voters in the primary, so the Democratic gubernatorial race generated 185,951 votes vs. 78,868 votes for the Republicans.

The early October debate and forum held by nonpartisan groups should be widely watched. Neither gubernatorial candidate can afford to spread herself too thin in trying to reach every special-interest group. The bipartisan or nonpartisan groups like the AARP or the League of Women Voters are the venues to watch.

As for me, I will be watching each candidate for her positions on mental-health and equal-insurance coverage. Prioritizing jobs and education will be meaningless without the good mental health to enjoy them. It is common sense to promote a healthy working environment and care for our keikis and seniors.

So let's ignore the sound bites and pay attention to what each candidate has to say about issues of importance to each and every one of us. Voters, it's our turn now. You decide!

Arvid T. Youngquist

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Persecuting gays isn't a Christian value

I read your Newswatch article "Carroll emphasizes his Christian values" (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 19), in which then-Republican gubernatorial candidate John Carroll said he is opposed to same-sex partnerships. I believe in Christ, and I am also gay. How can people feel so proud to be against same-sex partnerships? I see this as just bashing my dreams.

It was not easy for me, discovering I was gay. Then I came out to Hawaii, where people disliked me for what I was, rather than who I was. My belief in God and Christ helped me through this. Once I acknowledged that I was created gay by God for a special reason I saw all the blessings upon me. I was born gay. This is a simple, yet profound truth that makes all those who discriminate against homosexuals no different from the white supremacists, Taliban or the Muslims who still persecute gays in Malaysia and other areas of the world.

Put yourself in the other's shoes - they may be your doctor's, nurse's, mailman's or your children's.

Steven Leong

Will more lawsuits eliminate all dangers?

The state didn't give enough warning to tourists at the falls ("State cited for Sacred Falls," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 25). What would be adequate warning to people standing next to a cliff? Yes, the state could have hired people to warn tourists that they may get hit in the head by falling rocks if they stand next to a cliff. The state could do the same at every beach, park and highway where there is a risk of death.

The state also could hire people to tell tourists about the dangers of tidal waves, hurricanes, fires, murder, rape and robbery here in Hawaii. The state could hire more lawyers, too. This could help end the unemployment problem.

Heck, if enough lawsuits are won here, maybe that would end all accidental deaths and injuries in Hawaii.

Steve Tayama

State should pursue ChevronTexaco case

Your editorial "State probe justified in Chevron case" (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 24) is totally justified. Go get 'em! If Chevron- Texaco is guilty of tax evasion, who says it'll be too hard to bring it down?

The oil companies think they can charge anything they want for gasoline, because it's not against the law. Well, evading $563 million in Hawaii state taxes is against the law. The state should go after them and let the world know we're doing it.

Robert G. Devine
Ocean View, Hawaii

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