Letters to the Editor

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Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Non-Hawaiians should study elsewhere

In response to the story "Kamehameha loses ruling": I think it is unfortunate to those of Hawaiian descent to have Kamehameha Schools ordered to change their admittance policy, which has been lawful since Princess Bishop's will was implemented.

Kamehameha Schools has stood as one of the last advantages left to people of Hawaiian descent, and it bothers me so that the mainland courts aren't sympathetic toward this bastion of Hawaiian pride and tradition.

I hope that families of non-Hawaiian descent will look towards other prestigious private education facilities for their children and let tradition preside over Kamehameha Schools' attempts to preserve the island's Hawaiiana.

Justin Bagnall

Bush goes too easy on mercury polluters

Mercury pollution is so pervasive that many Americans cannot safely eat fish caught in local waters. Hawaii has a statewide warning for mercury in marine fish. Mercury is especially dangerous to children and developing fetuses, causing learning disabilities and other serious problems.

But rather than crack down on the largest U.S. source of mercury emissions -- power plants -- the Bush administration recently issued rules that give polluters a pass for years to come, delaying even modest reductions until 2018.

We can -- and should -- do better. We applaud Sen. Daniel Akaka for supporting a joint resolution, led by Senators Patrick Leahy and Susan Collins, to reject the administration's mercury rules and send EPA back to the drawing board to write a rule that complies with the law and protects public health.

We call on Sen. Daniel Inouye to support this critical effort.

Jonathan Mendoza
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Washington, D.C.

More power makes scooters safer

I read the July 31 article on modified mo-peds with interest as I rode a mo-ped while in college and always fantasized about modifying it as, yes, it was just too slow. It's not just about speeding, either; on my underpowered mo-ped I couldn't keep up with ordinary traffic. Cars would crowd me on the street as they passed or became impatient because I was in fact a rolling roadblock.

Explain to me again how speed limiters are for my safety. The law that limits a mo-ped to 30 or 35 mph was obviously written by a group of know-nothing and (probably) sanctimonious lawmakers. I challenge any lawmaker to try riding a mo-ped up the slight hill that is Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki. Steeper inclines like Wilhelmina Rise become simply impossible obstacles to an underpowered mo-ped. They would quickly find out that a little extra speed, a bit more horsepower, is in fact a good thing.

Of course, the more short-sighted of lawmakers would likely claim loosening the laws, rules and regulations that govern mo-peds will only lead to more speeding, out-of-control mo-peds. Hello? As your article indicates, this is already happening. As my ear drums indicate, from the insane, screaming mosquito-like buzzing generated by their unmuffled exhausts, this is already happening. So, aside from endangering underpowered mo-ped riders, what good have these restrictions achieved?

James Ko

Since when does GOP care about poverty?

I had my laugh of the day reading syndicated columnist Jay Ambrose's tirade about the Democrats' anti-poverty warriors (Star-Bulletin, July 20).

How incongruous for Republicans to write about Social Security, Medicare and poverty. The Republicans opposed Social Security at its inception as they opposed every program that helped working people such as: the 40-hour week, Workers Compensation Unemployment Insurance, minimum pay, FDIC, SEC, and Medicare.

George W. Bush wants to change Social Security from an entitlement program to an investment program. He thinks the stock market only goes up. Too bad he can't consult Herbert Hoover and Ronald Reagan.

During Bill Clinton's administration, everyone who wanted to work had a job. All we have from Bush is half-trillion-dollar deficits year after year after year.

Alfonso L. Lareo

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