Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, August 27, 1996

It shouldn't surprise us that
drugs are so prevalent

The Star-Bulletin's Aug. 19 editorial announcing the increased drug use by public school students is no surprise to those of us studying drug policy, nor to the students surveyed. Equally unsurprising is the statement of the Rev. Darrow Aiona, who suggested that "parents are to blame for the growing drug problem." After all, somebody has to be the scapegoat.

Could it be that our misguided drug policies and prevention programs, which are largely based on myth, distortion and false information, are part of the blame?

Could it be that our youth have seen through the hypocrisy of our messages ("alcohol is cool, tobacco acceptable, but all drugs are evil"), and have concluded that adults really have nothing sensible to tell them?

Your editorial exhortation for all "parents, school officials and law-enforcement personnel" to "strengthen their resolve" will not likely turn things around. The problem is not a lack of resolve - it is the absence of truth and sensible drug policies.

Donald M. Topping

Abercrombie's all wet about
Clean Water bill

President Clinton had no trouble signing the U.S. Clean Water bill into law last month. Unfortunately, our own congressional representative, Neil Abercrombie, chose to play partisan politics and grandstand over so-called Republican "pork" in the legislation, rather than to join the overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill.

For Abercrombie to decry "pork-barrel politics" as the precluding point for his nay vote is the height of hypocrisy. Let us not forget that Abercrombie was voted by the National Taxpayer's Union as one of the top "pork" spenders in Congress.

Clean and safe drinking water for all should flow free from political interference. Abercrombie missed a golden opportunity by choosing to politicize the clean water legislation rather than by doing the right thing and voting on behalf of the public's interest.

Mark Gerum

Inconsiderate behavior
may have led to tragedy

I sympathize with the Randall and Carol Kim and Terry Nakasone families. It was a tragedy that should not have happened.

As people wonder why it happened, though, let me suggest a factor: The houses in that area are very close together, without any buffering walls or plants. When your lifestyle, no matter how innocent, creates a disturbance to your neighbor, do you have the right to impose that lifestyle on others?

Michael Lau apparently did not ask for too much from life. He led a quiet, law-abiding, respectful existence that did not adversely impact anyone. I guess he expected the same consideration from his neighbors. When his peace was disturbed by noise, he must have felt violated in his own "castle."

What Lau did was wrong but when his complaints fell on deaf ears, he must have felt it was time to take matters into his own hands. Are we all not entitled to our own lifestyles within our own homes?

Vernon Wong

Epilepsy group seeks office
for volunteers

The Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii (EFH) recently closed its office doors, but not its operation, due in part to losing a key contract with the state Department of Labor. This contract was no longer available because of state budget cutbacks, not because of an inability to meet the contract as suggested by a July 4 Star-Bulletin article.

The EFH's board of directors has decided to rebuild the foundation as an all-volunteer organization.

We are currently working with the Department of Health as well as Aloha United Way to obtain funding to support the cost of providing services. With additional fund-raising, we intend to reopen an office from which volunteers can provide services.

Currently, we are looking for donated office space, where we can have a phone and somewhere to store brochures and other materials.

We will continue to help those with epilepsy and their families through education and support.

Our phone number is still 951-7705; our postal address is P.O. Box 61033, Honolulu, HI 96839.

Tracy Trevorrow
Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii

Want to write a letter to the editor? Let all Star-Bulletin readers know what you think. Please keep your letter to about 200 words. You can send it by e-mail to letters@starbulletin.com or you can fill in the online form for a faster response. Or print it and mail it to: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802. Or fax it to: 523-8509. Always be sure to include your daytime phone number.

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