Letters to the Editor

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Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Paper should know size of Cheney crowd

The Associated Press article in Monday's Star-Bulletin was exceedingly far off the mark with regard to the attendance at Vice President Cheney's speech on Sunday night. As a graduate student in politics, I was interested to see how the Bush administration's Hawaii support would be manifested at the convention center. My estimation of the crowd at its height was around 1,000 people.

I was surprised to read in your paper the next morning, that local GOP officials estimated the crowd at 9,000. Why is it important that readers know the actual size of the crowd? As a major news conduit, you should be aware of the answer.

Maris Abelson

Sports radio broadcast its goofy priorities

KKEA sports radio cuts away from the final game of the World Series to carry a run-of-the-mill University of Hawaii Wahine volleyball match against an inferior opponent. It makes you wonder what could happen if KKEA's programmers were employed elsewhere in town:

» KHON suspends its presidential election-night coverage to broadcast a Makiki neighborhood board meeting.

» KGMB switches from the Super Bowl for a Pop Warner showdown between Mililani and Kahuku.

» KHNL pre-empts the Olympics to go "live" for a 5K race around Kapiolani Park.

Decision-makers at KKEA and the UH Athletics Department, people who are into sports so much they've made careers out of it, couldn't see that the World Series trumps a mid-season volleyball match.

Let's hope their next contract has an escape clause.

Doug Carlson

Animal cruelty clearly defined in Hawaii

The monkeys on display at the Blue Tropix on Kapiolani Boulevard have become a focal point for people in the community who care about animals. They also have been the focus of an investigation by the Hawaiian Humane Society. We have completed our investigation and have referred the case to the prosecutor's office.

The humane society's position on animals as entertainment is quite clear. We believe that wild animals should not be used in entertainment such as circuses, shows and exhibits. We are opposed to the exploitation of animals when their welfare is not a priority.

While our position is clear, what may not be clear is how the law defines cruelty, and the society's role in investigations.

Hawaii's animal cruelty laws prohibit harming animals intentionally, knowingly or recklessly. Hawaii state law on animal cruelty is posted at www.hawaiianhumane.org

Deputized by the Honolulu Police Department, our investigators rise to the challenge of separating emotions from the hard facts, and determining what's ideal vs. what's illegal. They cannot confiscate animals without proof of abuse, neglect or cruelty as defined by the law. They collect evidence, build cases and testify in court. They also serve as community educators, helping people become better caretakers for animals.

Protecting our community's animals is a challenging endeavor. Everyone can play a role by helping to pass stronger laws to protect animals.

Pamela Burns
President and CEO
Hawaiian Humane Society

Judge was correct to dismiss church case

In response to your editorial "Unhappy churchgoers should shop around" (Oct. 29), it should be made clear that state Circuit Judge Bert Ayabe was properly following the mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court in dismissing the case. Our nation's highest court has ruled that the 1st and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution prohibit government (administrative, judicial and legislative) from reviewing the dismissal of any member of a hierarchical church such as The Way of Salvation Church.

Case law also provides that the attorney general does not have the authority to oversee nonprofit "churches" as compared to other nonprofit entities, especially when the attorney general attempts to change the church leadership as he attempted to do in this instance.

Ronald Y. Amemiya
Attorney, The Way of Salvation Church



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