Catamaran crew was safety conscious
I was very sorry to hear of the accident on the Na Hoku II catamaran ("Teen dies after mast on boat breaks off," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 2
), and our hearts go out to the young boy and the passengers and crew.
During the last 10 years, my wife and I have sailed with them at least 30 times. I recently retired from working with the Air Force as a safety specialist. We have always gone on the Na Hoku II because after observing and talking with the crew, we felt that they were very professional and safety minded regarding their boat operation, and they were always alert to the passengers' safety and welfare. We have enjoyed our sails with them and we would like the crew and passengers to know we are sorry to hear of this tragic accident.
Bob and Sally Malinoski
City not disclosing entire cost of rail
Having followed the coverage provided by the media regarding the rapid transit systems for Honolulu, including "direct" reporting, coverage of public hearings, letters to the editor and editorial comment, I cannot avoid a feeling that there is much slanting of facts, withholding of information, obfuscation, distortion and other means to sway public opinion and that of the members of the City Council in favor of the rail system. Two things in particular that will have significant impact on the cost that have received scant attention are the construction costs of the stations and the operation and maintenance costs of the system.
I cannot help but compare the process with the means by which the Bush administration sold the invasion of Iraq.
Louis H. Trigg
Leeward residents need rail's benefits
I'm in support of rail because I want to enjoy my life more. I live in Ewa and I love it ... my neighborhood is nice, I have a nice place, it's close to several beaches and I was able to purchase more house for the money. However, I detest the traffic that I sit in as both a driver and a bus rider. After work, sleep and traffic time, I have approximately two to three hours of personal time in my day.
I see the construction that is happening in Ewa and Kapolei and I'm reading the news. The construction out here is not slowing down and it will keep on because, like it or not, there's a demand for it. It's frustrating because the construction continues while we still debate a solution to the traffic.
Rail is the best solution because it's taking people out of automobiles and buses and into a system that won't be affected by the congestion on the freeway. Also, studies say that rail is going to reduce transit times, and I'm willing to pay for that reduction. The traffic out here is only going to get worse and we need to act now to relieve it.
I enjoy living in Hawaii, but my one complaint is the traffic. Won't we make the right decision and support a system that will raise the quality of life?
Mahalo to supporters of Hawaii AIDS unit
Ever since the news that our Hawaii AIDS Clinical Trials Unit would be de-funded, the outpouring of support from the community, our congressional delegation, local political leaders, AIDS support organizations, the university, the Department of Health, our fellow medical colleagues and the media has been overwhelming. The letters e-mails, and phone calls to our congressional leaders and to the National Institute of Health have made those who can make the difference aware of our urgent situation here in Hawaii.
The news media have afforded us much-needed publicity and have helped to remind the community that there are still individuals suffering from HIV. We are humbled by this attention and support, and honored to be a part of this wonderful ohana in Hawaii. While we await the outcome of our appeal and investigate other means of financial support, we remain resolute in our research efforts and committed to provide state-of-the-art care for our HIV patients.
On behalf of the Hawaii AIDS Clinical Research Program, I extend my deepest gratitude and aloha to everyone for their support and encouragement.
Cecilia M. Shikuma, M.D.
Director, Hawaii AIDS Clinical Research Program
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawaii-Manoa
UH would make money with its own stadium
After attending last week's football game against Oregon State, I again realized how much money the University of Hawaii athletic department is losing for not having its own stadium. It is hard to believe that the athletic department doesn't get a dime from the parking revenues, food concessions and advertising revenues from signage. It's about time the athletic department built its own stadium somewhere near the upcoming West Oahu campus.
The revenue from UH home games at their own stadium not only would support the annual budget of the athletic department but as most Division 1 football programs (i.e., Notre Dame), it also would support academic scholarships at the university.
Sean K. Spencer
Teachers and students should be drug tested
Recreational use of drugs by teachers (public and private) is inexcusable ("Teachers' arrests outrage parents," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 6
). I believe we all agree with that statement. But we have only two recent instances of reported drug use by public school teachers; one apparently confirmed and the most recent still only an allegation. Yet there are screams for drug testing of teachers.
Many readers are unaware of the number of students who use recreational drugs and the number of students who deal drugs -- and, at times, on campus. They are not aware because of the special privacy protection afforded juveniles by the authorities and the courts. This use and dealing is known to many but I note that in this case the screams are not to test (even randomly) the children.
Do we want to combat drug use or, like the weather, just talk about it, but do nothing? Perhaps a solution would be pre-employment drug testing of all potential teachers (not an uncommon practice in private industry for new employees); conduct random drug testing, in a fair and equitable manner, of teachers after they are hired; implement random, fair and equitable drug testing of students (with the same current rules of privacy applied); and, if we are serious about reducing or eliminating recreational drug use, require parents to be tested if their children test positive.
How about it? Are we serious or not?
Bernard G. Judson
Lawmakers should discuss tort reform
Congratulations to the enlightened Democratic legislative leadership. Hopefully, special-interest groups will be denied control of important pressing issues. A good start was replacing Sylvia Luke as chairwoman of the committee in charge of tort reform. This should lead to some meaningful dialogue on tort reform issues, rather than the topic being controlled by one person.
I hope this also will slow down the migration of our medical providers to the more medical- and legal-friendly mainland locations.
William F. McKenzie
If we warn tourists, they won't come here
Anthony Messina's "Student Union" column suggesting that we warn tourists of the dangers in Waikiki has got to be one of the silliest suggestions I have ever heard (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 7
I just returned to Hawaii after living on the mainland for more than 20 years. Most recently, I lived and worked in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Does Anthony know how much prostitution, drug use and pollutants await tourists to the nation's capital? What about New York City? Or the favorite destination of many here -- Las Vegas? If we were to warn tourists of the dangers lurking at all these highly popular tourist destinations, no one would travel!
Cecilia A. Karels