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Wednesday, April 9, 2003

We can't let fear guide foreign policy

The April 5 letter to the editor by Joseph Gedan reflects a popular misconception. We should avoid this war so as not to provoke terrorists? Gosh, didn't 9/11 precede this war?

I believe it was our passivity in the face of a decade of attacks that encouraged further terrorism. Fretting over "world opinion" is suicidal. We need to do what's right. World opinion will follow. Churchill said, "Peace is for the strong."

John Corboy

Stop mistreatment of pets in quarantine

I was recently at a rally at the Animal Quarantine Station. My heart broke to hear of animals that entered quarantine healthy only to have died or had their lives shortened by abuse or illness at the hands of our state.

I cried for a woman with diabetes. Her three dogs, including one that notifies her when she needs medication, are in quarantine. This "lifesaver" pet, not a certified service dog, must remain quarantined. One person paid employees under the table to prevent spreading of pesticides around his animals' cages. Others told of dogs' personalities changing and physical problems they believe are caused by the pesticide.

Quarantine is a depressing place. I felt the dark energy, the sadness and pain. If you object to changing our quarantine system, I beg you to study the rabies vaccination statistics. Today we can fly from the mainland to the United Kingdom and back with a "pet passport" (eligible pets have rabies vaccinations, blood tests and microchips). But we cannot fly between the mainland and the Aloha State without "jailing" our pets.

Spending 30-120 days exposed to the elements, sleeping in the same confined quarters where you eat, defecate and urinate, is cruel, inhumane punishment. Yet our innocent, vaccinated animal companions are imprisoned in quarantine, guilty only of being in Hawaii. Help eliminate unnecessary incarceration of qualified pets.

Audrey Hutton

Try affirmative action in president's name

Quotas vs. no quotas. Racial discrimination vs. diversity. It's time to get rid of college affirmative action, political skirmishes and accompanying racial tension. There is a better way.

Take all the underrepresented minority persons, change their names to George Bush II and creatively adjust their application forms to declare, "Race: Rich, politically influential blue-blood. Family connections: Child of alumni capable of donating $1 million a year plus a building upon graduation."

With these nonbiased credentials, mediocre SAT test scores of 1,200 and lackluster grades, colleges across the nation will jump to accept these students. Without talent or intelligence as a barrier, these students could succeed by becoming businessmen, oil tycoons, governors and even presidents.

David Kobayashi

Takamine's decision unfair to Hawaiians

Nearly 200 Hawaiians went to the state Capitol and pleaded, in oral and written testimony, late into the evening last Wednesday on behalf of legislation that originally sought no more than clarification of OHA's funding formula. Year-to-year funding uncertainty has not only shortchanged OHA beneficiaries, but also made it difficult to plan and implement programs. Many who testified, including elders and youths, were upset when an unexpected amendment proposed to reduce OHA's revenues to a fraction by basing them on raw, unimproved land.

Although the bill states, "The legislature accepts the responsibility and is committed to enact legislation that most effectively and responsibly meets the state's constitutional obligation to give the Hawaiian people the right to benefit from the ceded lands trust," House Finance Chairman Dwight Takamine killed it.

Senate Bill 1151 had survived two Senate and two House committee hearings, representing countless hours of effort by OHA and members of the Hawaiian community. Moreover, Taka-mine's decision was made over the objections of many of his Finance Committee members.

The Democratic House leadership's unfairness to Hawaiians continues.

Mahealani Kamauu
Executive director
Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.

Parents should be responsible for kids

With reference to the bomb threat made against Kaiser High School by three minors in February, I feel that in addition to whatever punishment is meted out to them, the parents of all three should be charged with the cost of the extra police hours spent searching for the bomb, any expenses made by Kaiser High School in connection with the threat, and any other expenses the city and county may have had in regard to this matter.

If parents of minors were held financially responsible for their children's acts, it might help defray the cost to the community and help them make their children better citizens.

Barbara Tilley

Iraq's roads look better than Hawaii's

Seeing tanks on the bombed roads in Iraq caused me to wonder what the state has done with the additional 5 cents per gallon we have been charged in gas tax since 1995.

The Iraqi roads looked to be in better condition than some sections of H-1 and H-2. Shame on our legislators for raiding every special fund in sight to spend on their favorite pork-barrel projects while our schools and infrastructure crumble.

During the next election cycle, let your voice be heard and throw out all of these bums.

Ronald Torngren

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