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Friday, September 19, 2003

Temper 'ice storm' with more than talk

The "Ice Storm" series was excellent (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 7-14). The more people educated about this scourge on the people of Hawaii, the better our chances of ridding our islands of ice.

I am a juvenile probation officer and I work on the front lines with our youth addicted to ice. Lack of appropriate treatment and resources is our problem at this time. These addicted children are doomed, as our state ignored this problem for years.

I hope the state's drug summit is more than just a meeting of minds and that the powers that be will implement what we need, and not just talk story. The ice problem is a people problem that needs to be solved by the very people who run for political office stating that they are "for the people." Well, let's see if that campaign rhetoric was just shibai.

Melissa Moniz
Hilo, Hawaii

Front page displays irony of jailing addicts

I was struck with a certain sense of irony to see the Star-Bulletin's front-page photo on Sept. 15 headlined "No taxation without representation," a fundamental principle upon which our Founding Fathers established America.

I hope the delegates to this week's drug summit keep in mind that when dealing with an epidemic, health issues should take precedence over legal matters, and that locking up every ice user doesn't cure the underlying problem -- it merely compounds it. An arrest record makes finding a job, raising a family and continuing an education virtually impossible. There may be "no hope in dope," but what else is there for an ex-con? Continuing crime. Thank god we don't throw our cigarette addicts in jail.

So why the irony? A felon, who has no vote, is taxed every day without representation. Is this what we want for our sons and daughters?

Steven Spencer

It's not up to us to prove Bush wrong

John Colwell (Letters, Sept. 14) says it is the responsibility of "Under the Sun" columnist Cynthia Oi (and the rest of us) to prove that Saddam Hussein was not responsible for 9/11. This is the preposterous position of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearle, who have wanted to finish off Hussein since the first Gulf War. The fact is that al-Qaida are religious fundamentalists who detest the secular dictator Saddam and were not working with him.

It is the responsibility of those in the Bush administration to prove their charges. It is not our responsibility to prove negatives to their propaganda.

Nancy Bey Little

Taking risks is better than moderation

Watch out, C. Ikehara, the "moderation" you espouse is virtuous only if it is a result of being so well informed on an issue that taking the middle road permits transformation of the issue (Gathering Place, Sept. 14). Only then is a well-thought-out and moderate response possible. Lurking on the sidelines are those who will make "moderation" a buzzword for taking no stand at all or righteously protesting a dangerous cause. They are the NIMBY-ites, the power dealers and the deliberately ignorant who back away from anything that disturbs lifelong contemplation of their own navels.

Human progress, invention, scientific discovery and creativity have seldom been the province of essayists, playwrights or philosophers. Lifting mankind from the ignorance of anarchy to democratic contemplation has been and always will be the irrational, immoderate words and actions of risk takers.

Their apparent rational decision-making covers a multitude of sins that the rest of us will suffer for unless we take action. Fortunately, in the United States, our legal space to take action anonymously is the voting booth.

Next year, 2004, will be good year to use it. Rise up, navel gazers.

Marjorie J. Scott

Windward side needs more police officers

A man rushed into a crowded coffee shop in Kailua one afternoon last week, stood in the middle of the shop and screamed at the employees and customers. When an employee called 911, he was told that no police officers were available at the Kailua police station two blocks away. After about 10 minutes, a shopping-center security guard showed up, but the man loudly cursed and berated him, and nothing was done.

The employee called 911 again. After about 15 minutes, the trouble-causing man left. About five minutes later, two police officers arrived. When I asked them what had taken them so long, they said they had to come all the way from Waimanalo.

Had this been a shooting or terrorist incident, it could have had tragic consequences. As it is, it is unacceptable that patrons and employees had to put up with the man's outrageous behavior while the security guard did nothing and it took police some 20 minutes to arrive.

This is not to blame the police. More officers should be assigned to the Windward area. Residents need to make their voices heard at Honolulu Hale -- we need increased police presence! Residents can call or e-mail the city or their City Council members to complain.

Jim Corcoran

Is this the man you want to lead the U.S.?

If you want a president who flies to California when a terrorist act occurs, vote for Bush.

If you want a president who owns 1,600 acres and takes month-long vacations, vote for Bush.

If you want a president who has more than 3 million U.S. citizens unemployed, vote for Bush.

If you want a president who spends money on wars and raises the poverty level and the deficit while lowering the quality of education, vote for Bush.

If this is really the kind of president you want, vote for George Bush.

Jane Anderson Harvill
Honaunau, Hawaii

What about concern for poor Hawaiians?

Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy is well and good for those who can pass the entrance exam. But wasn't Princess Pauahi concerned about all Hawaiians, especially those in dire economic straits?

When the trustees vote themselves astronomical salaries, what signal does that send to other Hawaiians? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

If we continue to call Hawaii the Aloha State, we should be concerned with all families below the poverty line, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.

And when I see Kamehameha Schools advertise itself as a "Protestant Christian school," it sounds like Catholic-bashing to me.

Besides, affirmative action in matters of race and religion has no place in the Land of Aloha.

Joe Shorba


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