Letters to the Editor

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Friday, July 22, 2005

If mom isn't to blame for 'ice' death, who is?

Who advocates for baby Treyson? The beautiful precious two-day-old baby who never had a chance because the person who was supposed to care the most didn't ("Groups urge court to overturn baby's 'ice' death ruling," Star-Bulletin, July 6). I'm sure he's resting peacefully now that his mom has finally attempted to clean up her act.

I hope our Supreme Court speaks loud and clear for the innocent babies who can't. There needs to be an understanding; all moms need to be put on notice that when they choose to remain pregnant they are criminally liable based on their conduct during their pregnancy and for the outcome of their pregnancy. Who else is responsible? How many more babies will die or suffer lifelong disabilities because we chose to coddle and excuse the behavior of addicts?

Where was Child Protective Services when the hospital surrendered baby with meth in its system to an addict? Who holds them accountable? What did they think was going to happen to Treyson? Where's the safety net?

Pauline Arellano

Superferry will help keep islands united

Although I am normally a fan of the Sierra Club, I was relieved when Maui Circuit Court Judge Joseph Cardoza dismissed its lawsuit seeking to block the Superferry. In our post-9/11 world, a ferry connecting the islands is not just a cute frill, but may someday soon become an absolute lifeline representing perhaps the only vehicle which would enable our islands to function as an integrated whole.

As the recent bombings in London clearly demonstrated, it is naive to think that the terrorists are finished with their efforts to sabotage the developed world's transportation systems. Meanwhile, our own nation's aviation system remains vulnerable and Hawaii as the most "airplane dependent" of all the 50 states could quickly be crippled should the aviation grid go down.

The Superferry is not just a cutesy form of alternate transportation; it is an absolute necessity if we are to keep our state integrated the way we must.

Back in the "good old days," it was easy and fun to circle a destination on an interisland airline coupon and jet off to visit friends, colleagues and relatives on the neighbor islands. Nowadays, with vastly reduced and hugely more expensive flights and a two- to three-hour wait while we wade through the obligatory security screenings, the ease, economy and enjoyability factor of interisland travel has gone down the drain. It is now almost easier to hop a flight to Vegas for the weekend than it is to go to Maui.

The result of all this is to create a major disconnection between Oahu and other islands. We need the Superferry not just as a handy means of alternate transportation, but as perhaps the key lifeline in the event of aviation snafus or slowdowns and to keep the close, personal, spiritual, business and psychological ties between our various islands intact.

Without that single "Aloha State Ohana" closeness and accessibility, we might as well be separate island states.

Bradley A. Coates

Drafting teachers would solve problems

If it is true, as some people say, that we as a society spend more on cigarettes and alcohol than we do on education, it shows how our priorities have been misplaced. If it is true, as some people say, that our teachers just don't care about the kids, it is because our educational system has become a bureaucracy, serving itself instead of the kids.

I recommend that we put the same effort into educating our children that we do into going to war. We should draft our teachers. They would then be mostly all 19 or 20 years old. They would go to teacher school for six weeks, teach for two years and then get out. They would live in a dorm and get rousted out early every morning for physical training. They would be run ragged and horribly underpaid. They would do their best to do their job out of a sense of duty and a love for the kids. They would sincerely look forward to getting out of the educational service as soon as possible. A few highly motivated individuals would stay in the department as career educators, training each new class of draftees and managing the department.

I believe that a department of education so constituted would serve and teach our children in an enthusiastic way that no self-serving bureaucracy could ever match. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any career politician will ever advocate such a plan. To make it happen, we, the people, must demand it.

Roy F. "Sky" Wyttenbach Jr.

Chinese should feel no animosity on Kauai

I'm sure both sides have legitimate arguments to defend their respective positions in this highly charged investigation ("Kauai police, council duke it out in lawsuits," Star-Bulletin, July 10).

It appears the final solution rests in the hands of the courts. However, the ridiculous comment made by Police Commission Chairman Michael Ching regarding prejudice against Chinese people living on Kauai is totally irresponsible. It is highly insulting and offensive to the vast majority of Kauai citizens who have never felt any animosity toward people of Chinese ancestry. Name calling and false accusations will not resolve this conflict.

Steve Chang

Democrats are ready for Governor Kim

The recent statement by Big Island Mayor Harry Kim that he is seriously considering a run for governor is good news indeed! His further statement that he would run as a Democrat is even better. Mayor Kim resigned from the Republican Party some time ago and he has since considered himself an Independent. Moreover, his background and political philosophy have always been in tune with the Democratic Party.

He grew up in Keaau of hard-working and poor immigrant parents. His roots were always of blue-collar Democratic values and beliefs, where hard work and caring for people were very important. As a candidate for Big Island mayor, he never took more than $100 per person for his campaign fund. He is untouched by any hint of corruption or scandal, and he became a true folk hero during his tenure as Civil Defense administrator.

Kim is a popular island mayor who governs by common sense and is known to be a people's mayor who solves problems rather than avoiding them, as we see so often here on Maui.

In the last election he took 63 percent of the vote for his second term, which is a demonstration of his grass-roots popularity. Democrats are enthusiastic about his candidacy and are ready to help him as soon as he announces his candidacy.

Ry Barbin

Waikiki improvements were money well spent

On our last visit to Oahu in April, we were impressed by the improvements to the streetscape of the Waikiki area. Using the Ohana Waikiki Surf as a base on three occasions (good service, great location ) I have a few pictures of the area, the most notable difference being between 1995-2005. In 1995, Kuhio Avenue was a concrete jungle with a few palm trees in contrast to the Waikiki foreshore area. Today, with all the (expensive) improvements and additional trees and gardens, the whole Waikiki area is a credit to the people of Oahu.

On our last visit we heard many complaints about the expenditure for the project with things such as $400 vandal-proof garbage bins, etc., but it was money well spent as it supports one of the main industries of the Hawaiian islands -- tourism. Many people in our area ask us about Waikiki and the Hawaiian islands, and we recommend they go and have a look, as it is still the gem of the Pacific with something for everyone.

Ian and Alice McGufficke
Cooma, New South Wales

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