to the Editor

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Friday, December 6, 2002

Long Council service deserves notice

Wednesday was the last City Council meeting for five long-serving members: Duke Bainum, John De Soto, John Henry Felix, Steve Holmes and Jon Yoshimura. I have not been pleased with all of their votes, but today I want to applaud and thank them for the good decisions that they have made. Some good legislation that comes to mind are the anti-smoking bill, energy- and water-conservation measures and land acquisitions for open space and public parks. These will benefit our economy, our environment, our health and our quality of life for generations to come.

Councilman Steve Holmes deserves special thanks for proving in three elections that a candidate can be elected with maximum donations of $250 -- from individuals only, no businesses or special-interest money. He worked full-time for part-time pay, introduced many of the good bills, and devoted many of his weekends during the past 12 years to public-service projects.

To all departing City Council members, a big mahalo and good wishes.

Ursula Retherford

We should encourage cruise-ship traffic

Honolulu International Airport is increasingly threatened by missile attack from the sea. A terrorist with a shoulder-held missile launcher could pick off large passenger planes on the reef runway like sitting ducks, or shoot at planes taking off and landing.

If the commercial air routes are severed, we have no other public transportation from the mainland. A surface human lifeline by ship is required to create an alternative mode of passenger travel from the mainland.

The threat is here. The cruise lines can be invited. The market is there. Only the willingness of our congressional delegation and Governor Lingle is needed to increase our security and that of visitors.

E. Alvey Wright

Drug group promotes dangerous policies

Your editorial on Marsha Rosenbaum of the Drug Policy Alliance betrays a lack of information as to what is going on today in the field of substance abuse prevention ("Teens need better advice about drug use than 'Just Say No,'" Star-Bulletin, Nov. 28).

There is a large and growing body of social science research on what works and what does not in prevention. The prevention field advanced years ago from the scare tactics and "just say no" approaches that Rosenbaum denounces. A variety of research-based prevention programs is available to schools and communities that seek to shield youth from the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

The Drug Policy Alliance is selling a pro-drug-legalization political agenda. It advocates "harm reduction," an approach that assumes that people will always use drugs so we should educate them to use drugs safely. How one uses crystal methamphetamine or crack cocaine safely, it does not say. The DPA talks about "justice" and "compassion," but it is peddling dangerous policies. The Department of Education should have better things to do than provide it with a forum.

Ray Gagner

Vote out those who disagreed with Bush

Being a hard-core Republican, I am really excited to see Linda Lingle ascend the throne of Hawaii. I can see trust in our government and fairness in every segment of our society.

What I have been worried about during the past decades is the conduct of our representatives in Washington, D.C. Imagine -- all of them voted against the resolution submitted to the United Nations to disarm Saddam Hussein, and again voted against the Homeland Security bill, which protects the lives of Americans. The people of Hawaii should join me to vote these representatives out of office.

Bernardo Pascua Benigno

Trustees' removal had far-reaching impact

I was surprised to see that the Dec. 1 issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin did not include in Gov. Ben Cayetano's 10 major accomplishments the removal of five Bishop Estate trustees.

Their removal caused quite a stir in our community: political, education, and ethnic, especially among Hawaiians. The repercussions included the ouster of state Attorney General Margery Bronster and, in turn, the defeat of some politicians who opposed her confirmation. We also saw a major change in the estate, its morale and atmosphere, its philosophy and its administration.

How Tim Chang

Obnoxious 'hog' riders destroy Waikiki peace

I currently reside in an apartment on Nahua Street near Ala Wai boulevard in Waikiki. Last Sunday the noise from hundreds of motorcycles roaring down Ala Wai was intolerable.

Two Sundays ago, services at the Kawaiahao Church were repeatedly interrupted by gangs of motorcycles speeding down King Street. These bikers couldn't care less who they offend, or when or where.

Motorcyclists on their unmuffled "hogs" -- some with up to 1200 cc/90 hp engines -- are allowed to blast around with no noise control. If the city of Honolulu has a noise ordinance, the police should enforce it. If not, the City Council should pass one. The situation is ridiculous and obnoxious.

Lawrence Grinter

Don't be in such a hurry for change

President Bush has been making calls left and right in a blur and has taken the nation with him on a roller-coaster ride. I think our nation can learn a valuable lesson from this. Every now and then people want things faster: fast cars, fast computers, fast food, faster changes!

People vote in elections because they want things done now. But we shouldn't expect things to be done in a snap. When things are rushed, errors are overlooked and that leads to greater problems.

Politics takes time, that's how it has always been. Yet people blame politicians when changes aren't made quickly, and they change their opinions about politicians even quicker. I think people need to be more forgiving to politicians. After all, if people really wanted to see changes, they'd actually make an effort themselves. So if you're not out there on the streets, then I think your gripes aren't worth listening to.

Thomas Yokota

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