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Thursday, September 11, 2003




Teen 'ice' statistics don't count drop-outs

Your suggestion that high school student usage of "ice" is diminishing (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 8) can be misleading. I have worked in a program for court-adjudicated at-risk and incarcerated youth ages 14-18 for the past 3 1/2 years, and I have noticed little or no lessening of ice or any other kind of drug usage among my clients. What I have noticed is that if youths have identified drug problems in the 9th- or 10th-grade years, they usually are out of school by the 11th- or 12th-grade years, and those who are still in school are raising hell with everyone. Thus they don't appear on later statistics.

Additionally, many youths self-medicate with ice and other drugs to escape the harsh realities of incest, rape, abuse, homelessness, poverty and neglect. The paucity of true treatment and rehabilitation programs for Hawaii's youth is shameful, and the programs that do exist are overwhelmed, understaffed and incompletely funded. Talk to those of us in the field sometime.

Ishmael W. Stagner II
Kaneohe

Some soccer players need competitive edge

Boy, am I in big trouble, especially since I am a former Hawaii Youth Soccer Association coach and board member. My remark in the "First Sunday" article (Insight, Star-Bulletin, Sept. 7) should have read "then there is HYSA, a higher level of play, as opposed to AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization), which is more recreational. The player is not guaranteed to play in every game. The players have to prove they are ready. It is like being in high school, but the kids realize that."

My apologies to any of my HYSA friends I may have offended.

Jack Sullivan
Kaneohe

Boy Scouts risks alienating members

I am saddened to learn that the Boy Scouts of America has decided to maintain its stand against gays in scouting and has forced the Philadelphia council to reinstate its ban on gay scouts. The Boy Scout national leadership is alienating many of its members by taking this divisive stance. Many churches and organizations that sponsor Boy Scout troops support gay membership. This position could imply a lack of religious diversity in the national leadership.

Sounds like it's time for a shake-up at the top.

Keith Webster
Parent, Troop 117
Aloha Council

Many who ride bikes don't follow road rules

Regarding "Zipper lane for bikes would speed things up" (Letters, Sept. 4): Not to bash all bicyclists, but quite a few of those who use bicycles already seem to be zipping around cars. Red lights, stop signs and safe passing distance mean nothing to some bicyclists. Cars are supposed to maintain a 3-foot distance when passing bicyclists, right? Does that mean a bicyclist cannot pass within 3 feet of a car idling in traffic? I guess not, since some bicyclists feel it's perfectly all right to pass between cars and along curbs.

It's no wonder bicyclists seem to get to work as fast as motorists. Heck, if I could run every red light and turn every one-way street into "my way," I could get to work real fast in my car. One advantage for bicyclists with this bus strike is now they don't have to compete with city buses. By law bicyclists must ride on the right side of the road -- gee, same side as the buses!

The day the city gets serious about setting up real bike paths is the day bicyclists get serious about traffic laws. If I were a city planner in my car and a bicyclist cut me off or ran a red light while I patiently waited, do you think I'd be a bit biased when it came to listening to bicycling advocates wanting their own space on our public roadways?

Craig Watanabe
Honolulu

Outdoor Circle saved jacaranda trees

The Schuller Homes development off Mamalahoa Highway at the entrance to Waimea town has been building for some months now, but it came as a shock to the neighbors when bulldozers showed up to make the left turn lanes necessary for the development. Neighbors called the Waimea Outdoor Circle to ask for help.

A letter was quickly sent to Mayor Kim asking that an arborist be present when the trees were trimmed and reminding him of their beauty. The mayor called a meeting of all concerned and it was agreed that a certified arborist would do the pruning, leaving a 15-foot canopy and paving to be 18 feet from the trunks.

Marva AhLoy, who owns many of the trees, shared the history of that majestic stand. She said they were planted around the turn of the last century by a group of Parker Ranch employees' wives who planted many of the older trees in town.

WOC wishes to thank Parker Ranch, the developer of Schuller Homes, Mayor Kim and the butchered trees. We now have appropriately pruned trees and the necessary road-widening. Waimea Outdoor Circle is committed to helping keep Waimea clean, green and beautiful.

Arlene Block
President
Waimea Outdoor Circle

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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