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Friday, January 9, 2004





Filipino-American vets deserve justice, too

As a former president of the United Filipino Council of Hawaii, I am disappointed at what appears to be a failure of Hawaii's senior congressional representatives to resolve the problem confronted by several thousand Filipino-American soldiers who fought under Gen. Douglas MacArthur during World War II.

I am appalled that after all these years they continue to lobby without success for official recognition of their service and full veterans benefits.

I cannot help but wonder why their pleas have fallen on deaf ears while injustices regarding battlefield citations were loudly voiced and reverberated through the halls of Congress. Many citations were readily upgraded by Congress in response to such cries of unjust claims.

I would like the reader to pause and ponder the question of whether things would have been the same for those who were subjected to such injustices if they had served in the Pacific rather than Europe.

Patrick Esclito
Lanai

Registry is a deterrent to future sex crimes

We are writing to express disappointment in the Star-Bulletin's position on the resurrection of Hawaii's sex offender registry. The Star-Bulletin does not understand the function of and need for the registry, as demonstrated by the Dec. 22 editorial, "Allow sex offenders to shed scarlet letter."

The registry is a valuable tool that enables the community to locate sexual offenders near homes, schools or local playgrounds. The registry requires the disclosure of the category of sexual assault committed. This serves both to educate the public as to the nature of the crime and to protect the offender from false accusations.

The possibility of being labeled a sex offender and of public access to personal information is frightening and a strong deterrent for someone to not grab your daughter's buttocks as she walks through Waikiki or touch your son inappropriately under the guise of being "just friends" or have sexual encounters with your sister when she's had too much to drink.

The registry does not seek to "strip convicted sex offenders of (their) rights ... and subject them to a lifetime of humiliation." The intent is to protect the community.

Please reconsider your position on Hawaii's sex offender registry.

Corey Adler Leslie Hall
Honolulu

Victims deserve rights, not sex offenders

I was surprised by your support of the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that coddles convicted sex offenders while ignoring the rights of victims and potential victims.

Studies conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that convicted rapists were 10.5 times more likely than those with no such record to be arrested on violent sex assault charges. They also found that people who served prison time for sex assault were 7.5 times more likely than those imprisoned for other crimes to be arrested for new assaults.

Lest you think the Megan Kanka and Dru Sjodin cases are isolated, consider the 2002 case of a 30-year-old Massachusetts woman stabbed to death by a convicted rapist in a fast-food restroom. Or how about the January 2003 case in Washington state where a convicted sex offender murdered a woman he met in a bar before police could track him down for failing to report his address?

Time and time again, sex offenders are being released from prison only to commit additional rapes and murders. If we can't keep them in prison where they belong, we sure as heck want to know where they live.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about the rights of victims and future victims than I am about some convicted sex offender's right to "shed his scarlet letter."

Jerry Inouye
Kapolei

Football geeks should try playing, not picking

I believe there should be a Geek Bowl honoring all the computer geniuses and geeks, who in most cases have never played football and in some cases don't even know what one looks like and who are trying to pick the National Champions of College Football.

As an alumnus of the University of Southern California, I know who is No. 1, and I don't need some geek to try to change my mind. So maybe next year the Geek Bowl will feature all who sit at their computers all day long!

Jim Delmonte
Honolulu

Houston's taunting led to fracas at bowl game

Seems like there is an organized effort to slam Coach June Jones and the University of Hawaii football team for the fight at the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Day.

I was sitting one row behind the Houston fans section. Most of them were well-mannered, and we even made friends with some of them. But there were Houston fans who turned around and taunted UH fans while Houston was winning. When Houston started losing and Hawaii fans started cheering, these Houston fans were giving the finger to Hawaii fans. I also saw Houston players giving the finger to UH fans.

The fact is that Houston and Conference USA hate losing to the WAC. I've never seen the winning team start a fight, and I clearly saw Houston players start the fight and several who kept it going just when you thought it was under control. To those saying that Hawaii players should have just walked away, let's punch out one of your family members and see how long you stand around and watch!

Craig Watase
Honolulu

Blame the mayor for those big potholes

The recent heavy rains didn't create all the potholes (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 6). The potholes were already there; the rains just made them bigger and deeper. Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris has neglected our city roads since he was first elected in 1994. Last year the Surface Transportation Policy Project cited Hawaii with the worst-maintained roads in the nation.

Neither were the recent rains the sole cause of all the sewage spills. Again, Harris has failed to maintain the city sewer system. According to City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, the city now faces more than $1 billion in required sewer repair and maintenance on existing infrastructure. But there's no money left in the sewer fund because the Harris administration raided it for other projects.

Harris' term will expire at the end of this year. What will his legacy be? A city with a crumbling, Third World infrastructure?

John Pritchett
Honolulu


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art

[ BRAINSTORM! ]


What should the city do with
the elegant old sewage pump station?

It's empty and fading, and now it's taking a beating from all the construction going on around it. The O.G. Traphagen-designed sewage pump station on Ala Moana Boulevard, more than a century old, is a monument to the glory days of municipal architecture, when city fathers took such pride in their community that even a humble sewage station became a landmark structure. Millions of tourists drive by it every year, and it's an embarrassing reminder of how poorly Honolulu treats its historic landmarks. Over the years, dozens of uses and excuses and blue-sky speculations have been suggested for the striking structure. Now we're asking you, Mr. and Mrs. Kimo Q. Publique, what should the city do with the elegant old pump building?


Send your ideas and solutions by Jan. 15 to:

brainstorm@starbulletin.com

Or mail them to:
Brainstorm!
c/o Nancy Christenson
Star-Bulletin
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Fax:
Brainstorm!
c/o Nancy Christenson
529-4750


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How to write us

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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813




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