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Wednesday, July 8, 1998

Probes of Clinton, KS/BE may be unproductive

I have been struggling to understand this long, ongoing investigation of President Clinton. There is something just distasteful about it. I feel somewhat obliged to read newspaper accounts about whatever new bit of evidence is uncovered, but I don't enjoy it.

I feel the same way about the ongoing Bishop Estate investigation by the state attorney general. I know that there is a lot of unpleasantness in the world, and awareness of it is necessary or things could get a whole lot worse. I am willing to do that. But after lengthy consideration, is there anything there?

Anson Holley
Kapaa, Kauai
(Via the Internet)

Charges against Lingle are a smokescreen

Here we go again. Instead of focusing on the more pressing issues of the economy and education, the die-hard Democrats have chosen to inundate the public with "warm and fuzzies," "Maui is not as green as depicted" and this smokescreen of "Linda Lingle's friendship with Mrs. Hoaliku Drake, the mother of Bishop Estate trustee Henry Peters."

Linda's critics contend that, if she is elected, she will not see the attorney general's investigation through. I must remind those die-hards that:

bullet Walter Heen, Democratic Party chairman, was one of a group of concerned people who requested the probe into improprieties of the administration of the charitable trust.

bullet Gov. Benjamin Cayetano ordered the probe. While serving as a state senator, he had a stormy relationship with then Senate president and current Bishop Estate chairman Dickie Wong.

bullet The probe is primarily focused on trustee Lokelani Lindsey. Heen has to support House Speaker Joseph Souki in his re-election bid. Yet Lindsey and Souki are friends.

bullet Peters, Wong and Lindsey are all staunch Democrats.

If these strange bedfellows continue to view one another with a high degree of suspicion, why should the public trust any of them?

Robert P. Webb

Bishop Estate Archive

CPS is not doing enough to protect abused children

With the recent stories in the news concerning Child Protective Services and the countless times it has failed to protect the children, I have come to loathe the sight of Susan Chandler and her poor excuses. Why are children not protected as adults are?

If one person hits another, it is assault and the guilty person is arrested and charges are brought on them. But children are intimidated by their abusers and often do not tell. When they do tell, they are put through the system, questioned (another intimidating situation), possibly photographed and MAYBE removed from the abusers temporarily. Then, within days, they are returned to those same people whom they fear reproach for telling.

I just had a baby. He is almost three months old and is the happiest part of my life. I know the feeling when he cries and nothing I do quiets him. It is frustrating. But I hold him and remember that it is not his fault.

I realize not everyone is able to be so reasonable at those moments. But I cannot imagine how anyone could hurt his or her own children intentionally. This is the reason I am so angry.

Who will protect these little ones? When will their safety and happiness surpass the unity of the unhappy and dysfunctional families they were unfortunate enough to be born into?

Keani Kapuwai
(Via the Internet)

Hawaii events will prove chess experts aren't nerds

The June 29 Bizzaro cartoon is funny. The gangly guy with glasses leaves the classroom where a half dozen other kids sit playing chess, and he says, "See ya, guys, gotta run -- I've got a date tonight." The caption reads: "3 seconds before Jerry is unanimously banned from the chess club for life."

Like most stereotypes, though, it's not true. We've been running international chess events in Honolulu for five years and the Waikiki nightclub operators have come to know our players only too well.

This year, the U.S. Masters, at the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel from July 21-29, will host 80 of the world's strongest players, with rounds from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. every night. Plenty of time for clubbing until dawn breaks. After all, grandmasters don't get up until noon.

Then there are the 450 participants in the U.S. Open at the Kona Surf Resort in Kailua-Kona, from Aug. 1-9. The world's strongest female chess player, Judith Polgar, is not only a beautiful 21-year-old, but she is the overwhelming tournament favorite, even over current U.S. Champion Joel Benjamin.

The public has the chance this summer to see that the stereotypes don't fit!

Larry Reifurth
Hawaii Chess Federation
(Via the Internet)

Japan certainly is safer because of anti-gun stance

Gordon Kitsuwa's June 26 letter was pretty hilarious. True, Japanese history is often marred with violence, but to assume that strict gun-control laws in that country are ineffective is preposterous.

Japanese society is still one of the very safest, with the lowest crime rate in the industrialized world. Granted, the people there are also the most taxed physically and emotionally, with one of the highest suicide rates, but that is common among Asian societies.

Japanese enjoy the "thrill" of firing a gun; that is undeniable, but so do Americans and the rest of the world. A gun is a symbol of power. The Japanese are like everyone else: human beings.

Japan's death rate by firearms hovers around 1,000-2,000 annually, compared to Los Angeles' 5,000 deaths alone. I am not a mathematician but that symbolizes a safer environment, where regulations, though a bit contrived, are working.

Reid Seino
(Via the Internet)

Marcos was terrible compared to Nixon

Jose Lazo's comments in his June 30 letter on giving Marcos a presidential burial were not appropriate. He justified his argument by comparing the disgraced Philippine dictator to President Nixon by saying, "to some Americans, (Nixon) was a disgrace because of the Watergate scandal."

Nixon did not use strong-arm tactics to enforce political and financial support. He did not order the torturing of thousands of citizens because they disagreed with him. Nixon did not have billions of dollars in his bank accounts that could not be justified. And neither was he a suspect in masterminding the brutal killing of a political rival.

Marcos was a tyrant who stole food from the mouths of starving children. Just visit the Philippines and observe the mass poverty in the streets. All this was done while hiding behind the mask of democracy. How anyone can care for such a man is beyond me.

Robert Ing

Doctors don't dress up for court appearances

I couldn't agree more with Beth Cutting's June 30 letter about the medical doctor going to court with Daniel Kihano, all dressed up in his lab coat and stethoscope (Star-Bulletin, June 17). I, too, wondered what prompted this doctor to "dress up" for court, and why he didn't just show up with a coat and tie, as most doctors do when they are called as "expert witnesses."

I work in a doctor's office so I know most doctors prefer aloha shirts over lab coats when they are out of the office or hospital. Using this doctor as a "prop" was far too obvious. Thank goodness it didn't fool the judge or jury!

Carol Yates

Wildlife group's program hurts island environment

Your June 29 article promoting the National Wildlife Federation's backyard habitats program illustrates clearly why environmental education models that work fine on the mainland should not be exported to Hawaii.

Bill Sager's coastal property may be effective in attracting native animals, and his certification efforts are laudable. But Jahnys Moody's manipulations in Manoa Valley, using mangoes to attract birds, are actually counterproductive to the cause of protecting ecosystems.

Growing hala pepe plants should be encouraged. However, the creatures that Moody attracts -- skinks, geckos, toads, tortoises and monarch butterflies -- are alien and harmful to Hawaii's native ecosystems.

The birds likely attending her mango trough are problem exotics, some ranging locally from low-land backyards to more pristine wet forests on the high ridges, where they compete aggressively with our rarer native birds.

These federal programs mean well, as do their subscribers. But they are designed for continents, not for islands.

Gary Ray

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