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Friday, September 5, 2003




TheBus drivers need a new perspective

Perspective is everything. I suggest a swap.

We in Israel will send our courageous, on-time bus drivers, who risk their lives as part of the job, to Hawaii, and you in Hawaii can send your ungrateful, late bus drivers, who do nothing but complain, to Israel.

I think our drivers need a break, and your drivers need some perspective.

Athena Elizabeth DeRasmo
University of Haifa
Haifa, Israel
University of Hawaii Class of 1999

Why so much focus on drivers' salaries?

In my bus travels recently I talked with two drivers, each of whom told me the strike is not about pay but about benefits. One told me "We would be fine with salary as it is," that it is the benefits that if removed from the table cause the problem.

Just wondering how we came to the point where raises are the chief issue as bus drivers themselves have told me it is not, and I know that they earn in the top 10 percent of bus drivers nationwide.

I understand we public school teachers make less in Hawaii than most other teachers in the nation. Then of course, there are the firefighters and the policemen, the "needed" as another letter writer put it.

How has the focus shifted to pay when the drivers themselves have told me it is not the top priority for them?

Nandarani Evans
Public school teacher
Honolulu

Don't let drivers take money from services

Although law prohibits the city (both the mayor and City Council members) from participating in the bus-strike negotiations, the Council has managed to interject itself into the debate as a pivotal force during the negotiations.

It is agreed that they have to respond to constituent concerns regarding the reduction of services. At the same time, they have signalled their willingness to find money. Although this money is earmarked for restoration of previously reduced services, they have opened the door to further demands for funding. This may have sent an unintended message to the drivers that money can be found for their demands as well.

In hindsight, perhaps it would have been better to let the strike play itself out before undertaking the restoration of services.

Bill Nelson
Haleiwa

A little more aloha will unstick traffic jam

OK, I understand that there is a bus strike that puts more cars on the road, but we need more cops out there enforcing traffic rules.

I live in military housing in the Salt Lake area and work downtown. I take Nimitz Highway and Dillingham Boulevard to get to work. When traveling on Nimitz, Diamond Head bound, signs clearly state which lanes are for "H-1 East," Dillingham" and "Waikiki." I patiently wait in the Dillingham lane for 30 minutes. There are many knuckleheads out there who will block cars on the H-1 East onramp just to get to the Dillingham exit.

It's frustrating to see the people who cut in front of you, who were not waiting like everyone else. I have called 911 (yes, I did tell them it was not an emergency) and the dispatcher told me they have cameras and they are watching.

A lot of people feel like I do, and they refuse to let these guys cut in, so they end up blocking the lane for the people who want to travel on H-1 East.

Where's the aloha?

Nancy Curtis
Salt Lake

Fresh water's future lies in reverse osmosis

The water situation needs solutions that initially augment then gradually replace aquifer water. The City and County of Honolulu set up HPOWER to convert waste to energy nearly three decades ago. It was built with a third boiler position that was never used. Additionally, we have an ongoing waste problem with extreme difficulties in identifying new landfill sites. By setting up the third boiler position to burn more waste, the resultant energy, either steam or electricity, can be used to produce potable water.

HPOWER has existing brackish-water wells that can be the unlimited source for the reverse osmosis or low-pressure distillation system, out of which would come millions of gallons for public use. Over time, HECO, Kalaeloa Partners and/or AES could add enough generator power to take that need completely away from HPOWER, leaving HPOWER to be a dedicated water-production facility. This is an existing asset with personnel in state capable of delivering these services. Surely research toward this solution could be done quickly and affordably.

Nick Dizon
Aiea

Whatever you call 'em, they're still the 'Bows

Regarding the article "Some still can't get over the Rainbows" (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 5): I can't stand it any more. University of Hawaii football coach June Jones doesn't think changing the school colors and name is a big deal. I think it is.

I graduated as a Rainbow and continue to root for the Rainbows. I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I know most local folks don't say too much publicly about things they don't agree with, but I do know they care deeply. There is no better cheer than "Let's Go 'Bows" or the eerily haunting "RAINBOWS" going through the stadium when our team is about to win.

I just had to voice my dissent. I still go to the games and root for the team, I just don't root for Warriors. The best-looking uniform in the country was the green top, white pants with the rainbow stripes down the side. Even the green pants and white tops (road uniforms) were good looking. Talk about the need for a sense of place and something to identify the university; that does it for me.

Tom McKinley
Honolulu

Judge's ruling hurts all Hawaiian applicants

In Article 13 of her last will and testament, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop made provisions to begin a formal educational establishment that gave preference to "Hawaiians of pure or part aboriginal blood." The word "preference" can be interpreted two ways. The first, and my favorite, is that Princess Pauahi wanted Kamehameha Schools established for the exclusive benefit of Hawaiians. The second interpretation is that all Hawaiians should receive benefit of an education from Kamehameha Schools before people of non-Hawaiian ancestry.

Thousands of qualified Hawaiians of "pure or part aboriginal blood" have not received the benefit of an education from Kamehameha Schools. I don't begrudge Brayden Mohica-Cummings an education at Kamehameha Schools. However, until every pure or part-Hawaiian child has received one, non-Hawaiian children should not be given preference.

Judge Ezra said that "the harm that will befall this boy far outweighs any harm to Kamehameha Schools." Fair enough. But Ezra should look beyond the doorstep of Kamehameha Schools and focus on the potential harm his decision will cause every Hawaiian child who applies for admission to Kamehameha Schools.

Patricia Miyashiro
Kailua

GOP isn't making international calls

No matter how many times the rumor that the Republican Party has decided to use a phone bank in India to make fund-raising calls is disproved, someone repeats it ("Dial 'M' for money to re-elect Bush," Letters, Aug. 30). This rumor was refuted in February by Kevin Sheridan, spokesman for the RNC. He denied the allegation by saying the story was flat-out wrong and that the RNC had no affiliation with the company reporting the story.

Denny McPhee's letter to the editor sounds a wee bit partisan.

Sandra Anderson
Hilo, Hawaii

California voters are killing their state

California's Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante advocates state regulation of gas prices ("Gasoline price cap will have its moment," Editorial, Sept. 1). California's self-inflicted wounds are attributable to Disney-saturated voters who have invested power in a government that has hammered the state economy with one irresponsible, "Tinker Bell" measure after another.

Maybe Lincoln was wrong. Maybe George Bush should open treaty negotiations with Mexican President Vicente Fox in hopes the latter might be willing to reclaim what some already call "Mexifornia." Besides easing the border problem, just think of all the environmental whackos and Hollywood celebrity trash America could unload with this single divestiture of dead weight.

If Californians are hell bent on turning their state into a Third World economy, why not cut 'em loose? The disastrous consequences of California's war against supply (and against suppliers of essential goods and services) are instructive for those who have not forgotten the fundamental link between capitalism and the survival of a free people.

Even if Lincoln was wrong, Darwin was right.

Thomas E. Stuart
Kapaau, Hawaii

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