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Monday, November 29, 2004




Citizens can witness landfill hearing on TV

Few issues have stirred the public ire as the upcoming decision on where to put the next Oahu landfill.

The public will have an opportunity to witness this historic decision on Oceanic Cable, channel 54. Beginning at 2 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Wednesday, "Inside Honolulu Hale" will televise gavel-to-gavel coverage of the discussion and vote on this important and potentially divisive issue.

Only through direct involvement can a valid assessment of criticism or praise of Council members is warranted.

Cyril Akashi
Council Telecasting Director

Ousting leaseholders may solve landfill fix

As incredible as it may seem, there appears to be an ironic analogy between the current effort by Honolulu City Council members Mike Gabbard, Ann Kobayashi, Rod Tam, Romy Cachola, Nestor Garcia and Donovan Dela Cruz to displace people from their homes under Bill 53, and the recent cavalier selections of future sites for the placement of a landfill.

Perhaps, they're using one issue to disguise the other, or maybe the two issues are merely synonymous, as far as they are concerned. Why not just dump the garbage in the homes of all of the evicted leasehold condo/co-op homeowners? There should be plenty of room available once the total confiscation and theft of their homes is accomplished.

William H. Cooper
Honolulu

Elephants need better zoo habitat

We recently vacationed on your beautiful island and had a wonderful experience. And then we visited your Honolulu Zoo and witnessed some of the most inhumane treatment of animals we have ever seen.

Our deep concern is the horrible elephant facility. It is entirely too small and devoid of anything remotely related to a satisfactory existence by these two beautiful creatures. One elephant was continuously pacing back and forth in the enclosure, which allows a maximum path of 60-70 feet of lateral movement, and he would then rock side to side in a demonstration of great emotional distress. The other one just stood head to wall, motionless in a seemingly depressed state.

The enclosure is a disaster. Who could have possibly conceived such an existence for these beasts with no apparent consideration of their natural instincts and habitat? They need a facility to reflect a similar life as they would have experienced in the wild, something more like the giraffe compound. If your zoo society and citizens cannot be more sensitive to all the creatures it claims to benefit and the well-being and quality of life they deserve cannot or will not be provided, then close the zoo and get out of the business.

Henry and Kay Gobe
Columbia, Mo.

School admission rule lawsuit is frivolous

It's hard to believe that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would consider the case challenging Kamehameha Schools' admission policy. The suit against it should be dismissed. It is unconscionable for lawyer Eric Grant to bring this frivolous suit for the few who have an anti-Hawaiian agenda.

Because of political correctness and racial sensitivity, this case is made to seem a racial discrimination issue; it is not. It is ridiculous to site the case of blacks being barred from white schools, because it is not similar to Kamehameha Schools. It is not discrimination because it does not exclude the very race that is trying to get enrolled. Grant should name the race that is being discriminated against, and he would be hard-pressed to find a race not enrolled at Kamehameha. At this very moment there is a non-Hawaiian enrolled at this school. He is there not out of hatred, but of love.

It is also misleading to call it preference. It would be better understood if it was called a requirement of a private institution. Consider St. Andrew's Priory that requires all girls and St. Louis for boys only. Take a private school for kindergarten that requires only 5-year-olds, a church that requires baptism, or a private millionaires' club.

All these are not discrimination but a prerequisite to enroll privately. What is unconstitutional is for Hawaiian bashers to file a frivolous suit for their veiled agenda.

Ken Chang
Kaneohe

In-town BRT would hurt transit industry

We must take issue with your Nov. 17 editorial.

If, as you infer, the in-town Bus Rapid Transit system would have helped with our horrendous traffic congestion, the transportation industry would have been the first to champion it. To many, congestion is an annoyance; to the transportation industry it is a very real cost that can put its members out of business.

Our members recognized the in-town BRT as possibly the dumbest idea the city has ever had. It is a fundamental rule that you do not take lanes away from general traffic when the traffic congestion is already bad. That is why we opposed the in-town BRT, why the last three state directors of transportation, Democrat and Republican alike, have opposed it, and why University of Hawaii civil engineering Professor Panos Prevedouros opposed it.

To characterize such professional judgment as "political bickering" and "selfish obstruction" only reflects poorly on the analytical abilities of your editorial staff.

Cliff Slater
Alliance for Traffic Improvement

Bird flu is incentive to go meatless

World Health Organization experts are now warning that Avian influenza, also known as "bird flu," is the most likely candidate to cause the world's next pandemic, with the possibility of as many as 7 million deaths. Health officials fear bird flu could combine with a human flu virus, creating a new form that could spread rapidly throughout the world.

Concentrated confinement and severe overcrowding of birds and other animals that are raised for food, leads to contaminated air, build-up of feces, immune-system breakdown and disease.

Sadly, such diseases will likely spread, mutate and jump species barriers as long as factory farming practices remain legal. The result will be continued suffering by animals and humans alike. Maybe it's time to go vegetarian?

Laurelee Blanchard
Haiku

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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.

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