Letters to the Editor

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Friday, November 26, 2004

Bill 53 is a costly folly courtesy of Gabbard

Among the legacies of the failed congressional campaign of Mike Gabbard is a very real possibility of hundreds of condominium owners becoming homeless. Former City Councilman Gabbard, in an attempt to appease activist Hawaiian groups and gain contributions from the large landowners, submitted Bill 53 that would repeal the law that gives condominium homeowners the same rights as single-family homeowners, to obtain the fee-simple land ownership of their homes.

Repealing this law would take away the bargaining power condo owners now have and will force them to either pay thousands more in negotiated fee conversions or to walk away from their homes without compensation when the lease is up, giving the landowner a huge profit at their expense.

There was no controversy from this law; it was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and was upheld. What created the situation that would cost people their life savings is one man's ambition to become a U.S. representative at any cost. Fortunately, Gabbard lost his race, but many will pay the price of his folly.

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach

Brunch on the Beach is a sure winner

My husband and I live in Hawaii Kai, but usually come to the Waikiki area on Sundays to run, relax, dine and shop. Last Sunday we enjoyed ourselves even more than usual by participating in Brunch on the Beach.

Not only was the food delicious and affordable, but the entertainment was great as well. Best of all was the feeling of aloha and ohana that emanated from the stage, filled the outdoor dining area and spilled out onto the sidewalks. I can think of no better way to show off the new and improved Waikiki. We had a ball and so, it seems, did everyone else. What a lovely day it was!

One can only hope that the new mayor and his staff will continue to embrace this fabulous event.

Alex and Carma Rodriguez

Tam is the one who should be dumped

For thinking with their okoles instead of the brains God gave them, Rod Tam and anyone else on the City Council who corroborates making Koko Head Crater a dumpsite will be voted out of office come next election (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 24).

Where is the intelligence and common sense? I say let Mayor Harris or even City Councilman Charles Djou make the final decision since they seem to be the only ones who think, analyze and plan before making hard decisions.

As a matter of fact, Djou seems to be one of the very few on the Council who has the capability to operate with a sound mind. Run for the mayor or governor's Office, Mr. Djou -- you have many votes already tallied in the ballots of many minds.

Bob Ruiz

Pele doesn't want our trash, either

The city had better think twice before using Koko Crater as a dump site. Our dear Madam Pele would not like that. Suppose her ire becomes so great that she unleashes the fury of her lava and millions of tons of our trash are blown sky high.

What a sight! A mushroom cloud of garbage.

Warner King

Why not dump more into the pool?

Koko Crater? Why not the Natatorium? We've already dumped millions of dollars there!

Rico Leffanta

Strong leadership can reduce crime

If Cynthia Oi ("Sliding to lawlessness a little bit at a time," Under the Sun, Nov. 17) had lived in New York City, or Zoo York City as we used to call it, in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, she would have seen it when the animals ran the zoo, and the zoo keepers (cops) had to run for cover because the powers that be (mayors and legislature) wouldn't back up the men in blue. Seven of my friends were on the force; three of them worked out of the precinct known as "Fort Apache," where, as they used to tell me, every night was like a "Gunfight at the OK Corral." My wife and my daughter-in-law both got car-jacked in the '80s; and they were lucky that they weren't killed, as both of these guys had guns.

Then Rudy Giuliani became mayor. He started cracking down on the little things, such as the squeegee guys who would wipe your car windshield when you were stopped for a red light and demand money -- some would curse or spit at you if you didn't comply.

Giuliani also started the special police unit that went after the drug dealers. This was what got the guns off the street and made the city safe again.

I was home recently and I was amazed that I could walk around Brooklyn and Manhattan without any fear, even at night. It just goes to show you what leadership can do. There's a lesson to be learned from this; and it's that you can't appease criminals or, for that matter, terrorists.

Fred Cavaiuolo


University scientists shouldn't perform classified research

Editor's note: Last week the University of Hawaii Board of Regents gave initial approval for the administration to negotiate the terms of doing classified research for the Pentagon and Navy.

What's wrong with doing classified research at UH?

» Classified research interferes with the mission, programs and operations of our university.

» Classified research restricts the free flow of information and the unfettered exchange of ideas that are essential to the generation of new knowledge and the dissemination of research findings.

» Classified research creates a privileged class of individuals who have access to information and resources that are not available to students, faculty and other members of our community who do not have security clearances.

» Classified research promotes a climate of secrecy, which is antithetical to the values and ideals of a public institution committed to openness, transparency and full accountability.

» Classified research does not permit the degree of scrutiny, review and disclosure of scientific protocol and the protection of human subjects used in experiments potentially affecting the health and safety of employees, students and the general public.

» Classified research does not meet the traditional standards of peer review, which is essential to maintaining academic quality and integrity.

» Classified research obstructs the normal review process for tenure, promotion and advancement within the institution.

» Classified research limits the potential for students to share and exchange information, to integrate research into their coursework, class papers, theses and dissertations, and to publish their work in peer- reviewed journals.

» Classified research involves a host of administrative and operational practicalities involving not just the faculty and researchers but also the students, secretaries, custodial staff, maintenance workers, campus security and others coming into contact with the affected facilities, equipment and personnel.

» Classified research does not support our strategic imperatives to "honor the indigenous people and to promote social justice for Native Hawaiians," nor is it consistent with our efforts to develop into a "Hawaiian place of learning, open to world culture, informed by principles of sustainability and respect for indigenous knowledges and practices." (Manoa Strategic Plan, p. 8).

» Classified research needs to be fully assessed in terms of its costs and benefits as well as its longer-term impact on our university.

Karl Kim
Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Hawaii-Manoa



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