Letters to the Editor
Friday, October 31, 1997

Mighty Mo must rest
near her slain sister

It is difficult to imagine anything that could be more appropriate or historically significant than the plan to moor the USS Missouri (BB 63) near her slain sister battleship, the USS Arizona.

For 50 years, the USS Missouri flew the flag of freedom and symbolized the sea power necessary to preserve peace. The Missouri is deserving of a final resting place among her brethren at Pearl Harbor, to be viewed and remembered by Americans as yet unborn.

Jim Pitton
Executive Director
Honolulu Council Navy League

Rich helped the rich
on economic task force

Our paradise hasn't been lost, it's been sold. As I read the list of experts, geniuses and august personages on the Economic Revitalization Task Force (Farce?), I couldn't help wondering what the recommendations might have been if the group had been composed of working poor and common people.

Oh sure, they'd probably want more welfare, wouldn't they? Just like the wealthy members of the task force want more welfare. They want their tax obligations and those of their corporations to be subsidized by public monies.

Is anyone really surprised that a council of the wealthy has come up with a plan to benefit the wealthy? If the task force had been made up of dogs, we would be told that the way out of our economic slump is to provide kibble to Hawaiian dogs at public expense.

Allan Izen
(Via the Internet)

Full text of the Governor's
Economic Task Force recommendations.

Neil should pack his trunk
after funding elephant aid

I am somewhat disturbed by your Oct. 22 article indicating U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's support of $5 million in funding to save the Asian elephant.

It's my understanding that government's task is to accomplish that which we, as individuals, cannot do (i.e. build highways). I am offended when my right to determine which charity or cause my very hard-earned money will support is seized by a legislator to buy access and re-election.

Most people have the capacity to be charitable when given the opportunity; unfortunately, it has become too easy for Abercrombie to spend other people's money -- thereby taking from us the satisfaction of giving.

It is time to elect responsible representation.

Denise Nederhouser

Cayetano, Harris
are two-faced about water

What's going on? Our two most prominent political execs are engaged in grossly contradictory activities.

Mayor Harris has advocated the diversion of Waiahole water to Central Oahu, allegedly to maintain green belts of diversified ag to both increase Hawaii's food self-sufficiency and to boost ag exports.

But then, with no sensitivity to the meaning of taro and poi in Hawaiian culture, he suggests importing poi from China to meet local demand.

Then there's Governor Cayetano. The Commission on Water Resources Management, appointed by the governor and including two of his own cabinet members, has issued a preliminary Waiahole decision, which in its wording puts some flesh on the bones of water as a public trust in Hawaii.

This decision provides for the possibility of most of the Waiahole ditch water going to Leeward Oahu. The governor's response has been to sabotage the legally mandated semi-independence and attempted objectivity of the water commission by stating that more water must go Leeward.

Furthermore, he sent his attorney general to criticize the commission for giving meaning to the concept of public trust and has allowed her to fire Assistant AG Bill Tam, the respected legal adviser to the commission.

Shame on both Cayetano and Harris. Their own political opportunism undermines any semblance of credibility.

George M. Hudes

U.S. shouldn't criticize China
for its inhumanity

Before we judge the inhumane practices of nations such as China, we should reflect on our country's own inhumane practices.

In our brief history, the United States has affected peaceful cultures throughout the world: the Americas (American Indian nations, etc.), Africa, Asia (China, i.e. 1841, after the Treaty of Nanking), Southeast Asian countries (Vietnam, Burma, Philippines, etc.) and cultures throughout the Pacific Basin (Hawaii, Samoa, Microne-sia, etc.).

Reasons for "affecting" other countries: slavery, cheap labor, land, resources and strategic military position.

Furthermore, one of the harshest realities within our own country is our inhumanity toward each other: violent crimes in the home (children, spouses, the elderly), at school and on the streets.

We should accept the responsibility and consequences for our inhumane actions toward others, and end the inhumane practices within our own borders before criticizing the practices of other nations.

Marleen Chong

So many questions taint
Carl Richie's punishment

State officials clearly have the right to do nothing about the continued incarceration of Carl Richie after almost two years, as a result of the unprecedented Kauai "lap-dancing" charges. However, the community leaders and others who have petitioned for his release pending appeal continue to view this as a prima facie example of a criminal justice system gone wrong.

Although his appeal was recently filed by his new attorney, Daphne Barbee, she has never met or spoken with Richie except by telephone. There is no evidence that convicted murderer Raita Fukusaku or any other Texas inmate was transferred while between attorneys, with only a notice of appeal on file. The appellate process could take another 2-3 years.

It is also highly debatable that Richie "wasn't convicted because there was lap dancing," as some officials feel, but because of "an offer to sell sexual services for money." Testimony regarding private sessions was backed by no audiotaped evidence that such sessions would include anything beyond lap dancing, if and when they occurred. What could be heard was Richie stating that his company did not offer prostitution.

Until all questions are answered regarding Richie's original targetting, selective prosecution and harsh 10-year sentence for racketeering, as well as promotion of prostitution, a large and diverse segment of the community will feel compelled to urge his release.

To remain silent as convicted murderers, child molesters and other violent predators receive comparatively lenient treatment not only burdens our pocketbooks as taxpayers supporting our prisons, but our hearts, as citizens who believe in equal justice for all.

Linda Tseu, Faye Kennedy,
Naomi "Sister" Correa, Andre Tatibouet,
Rev. Grady Warren, Amy Agbayani

Editor's note: This letter was signed by 20 other individuals.

Criminals just laugh
at gun control attempts

In response to the Star-Bulletin Oct. 21 story, "There's no stopping the flow of guns," written by a Houston Chronicle writer: The entire article boasts about drug dealers, a gang leader, and other criminals who have easy access to guns.

The writer dances around the fact that these guns were acquired illegally, not through legitimate dealers which many proposed laws will affect, and absolutely will not change the situation on the street.

Criminals have no respect for the law. Furthermore, federal and state legislation already in existence would severely punish criminals (convicted felons) for possession of firearms or ammunition if the laws were only enforced. People commit crimes, not guns.

If a person is convicted of a violent crime using a gun, the court must punish that individual by incarceration. Prison must be an unpleasant experience to be an effective deterrent. Yet the actual time spent in prison is commonly far less than the original sentencing due to slack parole boards who let criminals out early.

Gun control is not the answer to society's problems. People must be accountable for their actions, plain and simple.

Victor Limacher
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Bishop Estate Archive

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