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Sunday, September 28, 2003




Violent fans took over Vegas football stadium

I was at the Sept. 19 football game between the University of Hawaii and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and unless they do something about security and alcohol sales at that stadium, I will never attend a function there again ("Warrior's kin claims cop beating in Vegas," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 24).

They set up seating in such a way that the UH fans were mixed in with UNLV fans. Alcohol stations served hard liquor and there was no limit on the number of beers you could purchase. Fights broke out throughout the stadium and police/security were attending to one fight while another broke out elsewhere.

I insisted that we leave before a fight broke out in our section (with eight minutes left in the game). As we were leaving, I saw one man punched in the head so hard that he fell to the ground bleeding and lost consciousness. Finally, a police officer and paramedics arrived and the officer grabbed a man who had not assaulted the victim. Some of the fans just pointed at him and said he did it. I have to believe that Warrior Chad Owens' stepfather James Voss had the same thing happen to him. Thank goodness someone videotaped the whole incident.

Sam Boyd Stadium authorities need to re-evaluate their security and alcohol sales during games, as both were contributing factors.

Janet Ah Mook Sang
Mililani

Hawaii is the perfect incubator for 'ice' use

Edgy Lee's documentary on "Ice" use in Hawaii (shown on 11 television stations Sept. 24) dramatically showed us the effects of ice use, but neither the documentary nor the discussions that followed it (KHON, KFVE) gave us much insight into why Hawaii leads the nation in ice use. We get some answers by considering the question of how to create an ice epidemic.

>> First, create a culture in which people, especially young people, are bored and have low expectations about the future.

>> Second, create a culture that makes it OK to look for cheap and transitory thrills.

>> Third, get people to believe that marijuana, crack, coke and heroin are equally evil, but encourage the use of alcohol. Since users know that marijuana is not dangerous and that the abuse of alcohol is, users will learn to distrust people who tell them otherwise.

>> Fourth, stamp out marijuana production (especially pertinent in Hawaii). This produces scarcity and drives up the street costs of marijuana.

>> Fifth, let the market provide a low-cost, powerful alternative to marijuana. That this is a horrible alternative is obscured by item No. 3 above.

>> Sixth, let peer pressure and the market do the rest.

Peter T. Manicas
Honolulu

City should review trash pick-up policy

Now that city officials are poised to implement a pilot curbside recycling program in Mililani, they should also use the time to fine tune aspects of present waste management practices that do not pass the "common sense" test and are patently unfair.

For example, with respect to bulky item pickup, residents from Aliamanu to Hawaii Kai are afforded once-a-month regular pickup service, while residents from Aiea through Central Oahu and all of the Leeward Coast and the Windward districts have to make an appointment for pickup, which, in many instances, takes well over a month for a city crew to do this task.

Could this be one of the factors why much of the illegal dumping is taking place outside of the urban core?

In the interest of fairness, the city administration should correct this environmental injustice so that all taxpayers of Honolulu can enjoy the same services regardless of where they reside.

Mufi Hannemann
Pearl City

Beauty is in the eye of the neighborhood

It's almost humorous. We in Kaneohe and Kahaluu have been whining about the lack of beautification along Kahekili Highway, while the folks in Hawaii Kai are whining because they don't want beautification on Lunalilo Home Road.

Go figure.

Richard Vermeesch
Kaneohe

Build in Kapolei, not Central Oahu

The recent ruling against Castle & Cooke's attempt to thwart the environmental process to build 8,000 new homes in Central Oahu was good for the people living on the west end of our island. Currently, 1,500 acres of ag land have already been rezoned for development and 13,000 new homes have already been approved. Castle & Cooke's Koa Ridge project is not only unsound but is also unnecessary.

The purpose of an Environmental Impact Statement is to let taxpayers and government officials know the damage that will be inflicted on their communities before it happens. Castle & Cooke in its rush to rezone prime ag land to build at Koa Ridge hoped to take the money and run, leaving the negative impact on water, traffic, schools, quality of life and finite resources for someone else to manage.

Kapolei was planned as a second city and can better manage new development. Castle & Cooke's statement that new homes are needed flies in the face of declining population in that area. We do not need new development, we need to better manage the resources we have. Diversified agriculture is our fastest-growing industry and rezoning prime ag land is harmful to our economy.

Kathy Harter
Honolulu

Hokulia developer tried to ignore law

I applaud Judge Ronald Ibarra's ruling stopping Lyle Anderson and his luxury-home project ("Judge halts Big Island's Hokulia development," Star-Bulletin, Sept.10). The developers were arrogant to think they could get around our regulatory rules and processes. They desecrated hundreds of burial and ancient cultural sites and broke environmental- and cultural-protection laws.

Shame on Peter Young, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, for breaking agreements and giving the developer permission to build on the sacred burial Puu Ohau.

Shame on Governor Lingle, who after getting her photo op at the big Hawaiian march, undermined Ibarra's ruling and attacked the zoning. She showed her true colors by supporting rich developers over Hawaiians and the environment.

Kiyoshi Matsuda
Honolulu

Tolerant people favor traditional marriage

Regarding the Aug. 17 letter "Let Gabbard crusade on his own time": I find it difficult to understand why Pat Meyers characterizes those who oppose same-sex marriage as being "ambassadors of hate." Seventy percent of our kamaaina voted against same-sex marriage in 1998, and we are some of the most tolerant and loving people in the world.

The people of Hawaii didn't vote to preserve traditional marriage because we don't like gays and lesbians, but because we wanted to protect this sacred institution for our children and generations to come. City Councilman Mike Gabbard and the people of Hawaii are motivated out of real aloha and should be commended for their courage.

Joseph Awo
Honolulu

Raising bus fares discourages riders

On Wednesday, I watched the City Council state that TheBus was a core service in Honolulu. Then I watched it stiff the public by raising bus fares. I watched Council members congratulate themselves for doing such a fine job. Then I watched them hurt thousands financially, and probably fail to raise the projected revenue because former bus riders will go elsewhere.

Many people who opt to ride TheBus will likely stay with their newfound means of transportation forced on them by the strike. For instance, we've used bus passes for years, but a month of driving shows that we actually saved money by using the car! Increased fares will encourage us to drive, not ride.

However, thousands of residents who have no other means of transportation will be hurt in the pocketbook. The Council's decision may even force some parents to choose between food for their families or fares to get to their jobs.

The mayor is offering the first week of bus riding for free. Why not take the rest of October and offer a $1 fare/$25 bus pass for regular riders and a 50-cent fare/$10 bus pass for students and seniors? I'll bet bus ridership would climb as fares become affordable for those who need it the most, and attractive to those who can opt for other transportation.

Kerry A. Krenzke
Honolulu

McCubbin should go with first instinct

Your Sept. 6 editorial suggesting that Hamilton McCubbin do as he had planned four months ago when he left Kamehameha Schools, and retire to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, was a reasonable and objective view.

The job of University of Hawaii chancellor, for which McCubbin has applied, is different from running a small school as dean and a private school interested in providing a good education for Hawaiians. It's not a job for someone who is looking forward to spending quality family time.

The University Women's Center was courageous in bringing up the impropriety of hiring as vice chancellor a person who has been accused of sexual harassment when part of that position is to receive grievances dealing with sexual harassment. Even if McCubbin's record is clean, as he insists, the university should not be put in the position of defending him. There can never be a clear-cut decision in any sexual harassment case in the future if there is rumor or gossip surrounding any of the participants.

Isabella A. Abbott
Honolulu

Well-run Iraq will keep Saddam at bay

I voted for President Bush because he said he reads his Bible. The Bible allows for mistakes, but we must confess and repent. We can't let pride trip us up. It's turning out we were wrong about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. A lot of us have a gut feeling that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was involved with the 9/11 attack, but is that enough to pass judgment and seek his death?

What Iraqi people need right now is a good government. We could facilitate local elections for judges and let the judges set up police departments. Elected delegates could bang out a constitution that suits their unique social and economic needs like our founding fathers did.

A good government is the best deterrent against Saddam coming back to power, and it's the fastest way to bring our soldiers home.

David Burton
Honolulu

Leaders should put America first

What is going on in Iraq? More important, what is going on in Washington? Do the American people realize that the $87 billion President Bush wants for Iraq is more than double what we pay for the education of American children?

Shouldn't our tax dollars take care of the United States first?

What have President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld gotten our nation into? Now they are saying our troops will be there at least 10 more years? Is this our generation's Vietnam?

It may be too late. We have already committed to the Iraqi people and, once again, our government seems to have abandoned our interests for the sake of war. And we all know that war equals big bucks in Washington and probably re-election.

Let's not hurt ourselves for the sake of a few cowboys' wild ambitions. There is still a nation here that needs to be run right. Let us worry about that first, not last. Let us put our tax money into improving our lives, not accepting whatever is left over.

Steven Phillips
Waipahu

Top coaches earn big bucks everywhere

While John L. Werrill is certainly entitled to his negative opinion about June Jones' salary ("Jones lucky he's not a coach in England", Letters, Sept. 3), he should not cite inaccurate facts to support it. The president makes $400,000 annually, roughly half of Jones' new contract (and, to paraphrase Babe Ruth, June may wind up having a better year than W!).

Also, several of the managers in England's Premier Football (soccer) league have annual salaries of $1.2 million. Premiership teams play 38 league games per season; however, virtually all do play additional matches in cup or European competitions.

Robert B. Marrone
Honolulu

Baby-boomers prosper at expense of the young

Overall the baby-boomers are doing well in this recession ("Work force graying," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 15). More of them are working now, while the younger generations have lost jobs. The boomers are getting disproportionately more raises and tax cuts, and many of them plan to postpone retirement.

The baby-boomers are consolidating and accumulating economic power, hoarding money and jobs as future generations lose footing in the economy.

As the baby-boomers retire, income tax receipts will decrease, putting more strain on the young to pay for the increasing deficits. Jobs moving overseas will further weaken the tax base and hurt young workers. There won't be federal Social Security left when future generations retire.

The baby-boomers are focused on their own self-interests and not on the natural rollover of wealth to a future robust economy. Their selfishness and prosperity during this recession can be seen as a character-defining moment.

The younger generations will be expected to choose careers that serve the baby-boomers. Can they expect to have their quality of life supported after they have prospered at the expense of future generations? This generational inequality is a seed for revolution.

Ed Lambert
Mililani

Kids outside Manoa help Kuleana project

Your Sept.18 editorial, "Isle students take lead in protecting the environment," calling attention to the Kuleana Project, was greatly appreciated by the countless volunteers who are making this grass roots social experiment possible.

It's important to note that many of the 150 students who assisted at the kickoff storm-drain stenciling and door-to-door distribution campaign came from outside the Manoa subwatershed area. They represented Boy Scout Troops 1, 33, 42 and 142, along with service clubs at Kalani High, Iolani, Punahou and Sacred Hearts schools.

Meanwhile, starting this month, 900 students from the Educational Laboratory at the University of Hawaii-Manoa; Hokulani, Manoa and Noelani elementary schools; St. Francis, Iolani and Punahou schools; Maryknoll Grade and High School; Mid-Pacific Institute; Stevenson Intermediate and Roosevelt High School will be surveying householders to develop a baseline measure of current practices with regard to non-point source pollution and water conservation.

Together with these students and their teachers, Malama o Manoa, with support from the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, has embarked on a person-to-person, child-teaching-adult approach. Final surveys will compare against baseline results to show whether we can successfully encourage personal responsibility, kuleana, which acknowledges the interconnectedness of us all.

The students now are in the process of recruiting households to survey and some are having difficulty. We invite your readers in the Manoa subwatershed area to call 988-5671 or e-mail me at nakano@aloha.net if they are willing to participate.

Helen T. Nakano
Kuleana Project Coordinator
Honolulu

City store employees kind to disabled child

Recently my son and I visited the Honolulu City Store at Ala Moanna Center. My 10-year-old son, Lokahi, was recovering from surgery and wanted to visit the "bus store." He is medically fragile and has multiple severe disabilities. Lokahi enjoys riding the bus when we come to Honolulu since there are no city buses on Maui where we reside. Consequently, Lokahi enjoys wearing the bus T-shirts from the Honolulu City Store.

The employees at the Honolulu City Store are always so pleasant and friendly. However, employee Kalei Rogers is outstanding. She was very compassionate to my family. She talked to Lokahi and helped us shop for items for him. Then she purchased a bus keychain and visor for him with her own money. Her sense of kindness and generosity touched my heart.

Lokahi enjoys playing with his key chain and visor from Aunty Kalei. The next day, I went back to the store to thank her. She wasn't working but her supervisor, Gary, was also very kind-spirited when I spoke with him. The employees in this small store reflect the aloha that Hawaii is all about. Their compassion and kindness toward my son, who cannot speak, brings much happiness into his challenging life.

Whenever we visit Ala Moana Center, the Honolulu City Store is on our agenda. May God continue to bless Aunty Kalei and all the wonderful employees of this unique store filled with aloha.

Kenneth L. Bissen Jr.
Wailuku, Maui

Child's poem reflects pain of 9/11

I know it's a little late, but I wanted to share with your readers a poem about 9/11 written by my 7-year-old grandson Joshua Higashi at Moanalua Elementary School. His teacher, Ms. Wong, and the administration were so impressed that Joshua was asked to read his poem on Sept. 11 in front of more than 700 teachers and students.

On Sept. 11, 2001 the twin towers in New York came tumbling down.
Osama Bin Laden was the guilty one who caused the buildings to become undone.
Two planes caused many people to die. To this day I ask myself why?
I can still remember that day freshly in my mind. I ask myself, why can't everyone be kind; why can't people get along? If this could happen, many loved ones wouldn't be gone.
Maybe adults need to listen to a child like me in order for them to realize how important it is to love, not hate. Adults can still learn because it's never too late.
September 11 will always be a sad day no matter what people will do or say.

Vel Okuma
Honolulu

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