Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, October 7, 1997

Natatorium restoration
is what veterans expect

The Oct. 2 letters by John Zapotocky and Suzanne Teller against the full restoration of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium do not reflect the sentiments of Hawaii's major veterans organizations nor the plans to restore and maintain the memorial.

Recently scores of veterans turned out at the City Council to support full restoration of the arch, the wall and especially the unique, historic salt-water pool.

A great deal of thought was put into the Natatorium's purpose when it was designed by world-famous architect Louis Hobart and built over 70 years ago. Hawaii's veterans were very much a part of the decision to construct the large salt-water pool to make this a living memorial. It is a vital part of their legacy.

To their credit, Mayor Harris and the City Council have elected to restore this monument and renew the compact with those veterans. It will include the pool they wanted, and -- thanks to improved design and engineering -- the Nat will be a safe, healthy place for swimmers.

J.D. Nielsen
Board Member
Friends of the Natatorium

Lots of garbage feeds
Waikiki rat population

I am surprised that, in all the coverage about the rats in the famous banyan tree at Kuhio Beach, that no mention seems to have been made of the inadequate garbage pick-up in Waikiki.

I entertained mainland visitors during a recent three-day holiday weekend. We visited Kuhio Beach on Sunday and Monday of that weekend.

It certainly appeared that there had been no garbage pickup for the entire three days. There were piles of trash overflowing in every trash can in the area.

What a travesty for beautiful Waikiki, the engine that drives Hawaii's economy. But what a steady source of food for Waikiki's rat population!

Gary L. Smith

Airline should improve
its transport of animals

Your Oct. 1 story about Hawaiian Airlines being charged with federal violations of animal mistreatment didn't surprise me considering the ridiculous TV commercial it ran about a month ago. The commercial featured a rabbit and implied that good luck could be had from a rabbit's foot.

The thought of maiming any animal for a part of its body is repugnant. Whoever came up with the idea for that ad must also consider amusing the skinning of fur-bearing animals for their coats or the sawing of ivory tusks from elephants.

Travel for animals is inherently stressful and frightening. The cramped quarters and roaring plane engines can wreak havoc on timid creatures. To add to their misery by failing to provide food or water or even adequate space to turn around in, as the charges have alleged, is downright cruel.

Forget the clever contests and promotional gimmicks. If Hawaiian Air wants to keep its customers, and perhaps avoid the penalties associated with federal charges, it must immediately and publicly implement new rules for safe and humane animal transport.

Cinde Fisher

UH athletic facilities
should be rechristened

In case you weren't listening, Jim Leahey has been telling all that Na Wahine volleyball is being played in "The Stanley" (in honor of former UH Athletic Director Stan Sheriff).

Additionally, there are a number of rooms, gyms, etc., connected to the arena that could be named to honor some of the great arena coaches, sports stars and others important to UH sports such as Riley, Trevor, Dave, Angelica and Jim Leahey.

It is my contention that the excitement generated by Jim's broadcasts of volleyball and basketball games was primarily responsible for persuading thousands of fans to leave TV sets and become part of the happenings at "The Stanley."

The "A" gym should be named to honor Jim and be called "The Kimo."

Art Freedman

President is unfairly
criticized about Bosnia

I have been following the present situation involving U.S. troops in Bosnia in recent weeks with great interest. The president continually falls under unfair congressional and media scrutiny because he appears indecisive.

I was there. I watched children walk to school for the first time in three years. I saw roadside merchants replace machine-gun bunkers as democracy started to bloom.

Standing over a mass grave site, I gained a sense of pride knowing it would never happen again -- not on our watch.

The president's policy is changing because the situation is tough, not because he is indecisive. Political pressure is mounting simply because the U.S. armed forces are doing such a good job that they have taken the news completely out of the operation.

To date, not a single U.S. fatality has occurred from hostile fire.

Ultimately, our armed forces have set the conditions for success and we should stay the course. President Clinton realizes this and we should support him, along with our forward-deployed troops.

Capt. Rob Rooker
Former member
Operation Joint Endeavor
Camp McGovern
Brcko, Bosnia

Child abuse happens
due to lack of hope

Our vocal "experts" on child abuse seem to have missed the most obvious reason: In nature, parents -- from tiny antelope ground squirrels to rhinos and humans -- kill their offspring when they sense limited food or opportunities prevent their children from living a reasonable life.

Human laws have never taken precedence over natural law.

If we want to reduce child abuse, parents must be convinced that their children are not destined to share a 12x8 studio apartment with 12 other people working part-time jobs without benefits. Parents must be convinced that there is room, food and opportunities for their children at home without them having to move to the mainland.

It is easy to condemn a mother for murdering her children. It's difficult to understand the act was motivated by natural instinct to protect the children from a miserable life.

The scourge of child abuse must be seen for what it is -- an exploding lack of faith in government and business leaders.

Rico Leffanta

Bishop Estate Archive

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