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Monday, July 20, 1998

Cayetano was right to veto school bills

Governor Cayetano's veto of three education-related bills did not diminish innovation or accountability in our public schools:

bullet A BOE policy currently allows schools within schools to be established through school/community-based management. The vetoed bill addressed a problem at a single school. Legislation is not needed for that level of problem solving.

bullet The vetoed budgeting bill would have placed an additional workload burden on each school and other state agencies. The BOE is already exploring an improved budget accounting system. Again, no law is needed.

bullet The bill for an educational accountability panel within the office of the state auditor was vetoed because it would have created another bureaucratic entity, expanding government and further confusing lines of accountability. New schools Superintendent Paul LeMahieu has expertise in this field, and deserves the opportunity to direct the improvements.

Governor Cayetano has rightly recognized that these matters are policy responsibilities of the BOE.

Karen Knudsen
Board of Education

Anti-drug campaign is a waste of money

Doesn't it just make you weep? Last year, the cure-all for youth problems was the Philadelphia Volunteer Summit. The new flavor is the anti-drug media blitz -- $195 million per year, projected over five years. Wow!

The real problem, however, isn't drugs. It's the need for the drugs in the first place. Parents come in all shapes, sizes and shades. Some don't have any idea where their children are, because they don't even know where they are. Some are too busy working to make money and have things. Some are immigrants who have difficulty even talking to their kids.

Clearly, there are parents who are incompetent to be parents. To plead for them to become responsible is to spit in the wind. Who helps the children of these parents? And who helps parents develop competency?

You can fill newspapers and airwaves with advertising until the Second Coming, and it won't help. By the way, $195 million can buy some serious programs.

Sidney M. Rosen
Chief Executive Officer
Adult Friends for Youth

Kalihi is proud to be good place to do business

Our association appreciates the comment, "Being in Kalihi is so cool," made by Republican Party representatives in a July 14 Political File column. Businesses in Kalihi feel the same way.

This year, our KBA theme is "Kalihi Happens!" We are not trying to gloss over the economic hardships that all businesses face, but are trying to emphasize that Kalihi is a good place to do business, and that the businesses in Kalihi contribute a significant amount to our state economy. We need our voices heard.

Gregory Sitar
Kalihi Business Association

Rude behavior is leading to shortage of referees

Pat Bigold's July 7 column brought out various reasons for having the girls and boys basketball seasons played at the same time. However, one point was not addressed: The potential shortage of qualified officials for such a large number of games.

Basketball, as with most sports, is having difficulty recruiting and retaining young, quality officials. This is the result of actions by a small minority of coaches and parents, especially at youth levels, who continue to harass, berate, threaten and sometimes assault game officials.

Many referees/umpires enjoy officiating but feel these types of experiences are just not worth the hassle. Someday, games may not be played at all because no one will want to officiate and subject themselves to such negative and unsportsmanlike conduct.

Brian Yamasaki

Liu brings experience to Republican ticket

Which lieutenant governor candidate should you choose to join Linda Lingle? There's only one person running with the right experience for the job: Mike Liu.

In the 1978 Con Con, Liu voted for initiative, referendum and recall, budget reforms and school improvements. As minority leader in the House, he teamed with Fred Hemmings to lead the opposition against bloated Waihee budgets and programs -- the same ones that later bankrupted the state.

In 1990, when USDA bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., were mired in problems, President Bush called on Liu to rewrite the rules and get that agency working again. He got the job done, and returned to Hawaii to accept a vice president's position with a Fortune 500 company, Bank of America.

His integrity and courage are a matter of public record. That's why Mike Liu is my choice for lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket.

Marvin Fong
Senior Vice President
Market City Shopping Center

State leaders deserve security protection

Regarding J. Dolder's July 16 letter complaining about our lieutenant governor's security following her while she jogs: Give us citizens of Hawaii a break, already. I jog with our athletic Mazie and am proud that this woman takes time out in the morning to sort out her day with aerobic activity.

Would Dolder prefer our chief executives to be without bodyguards? Those gentlemen who follow Hirono are risking their lives to secure our state government, whether it is led by Republicans or Democrats.

As we all know, there are disturbed people out there who are apolitical.

Michael E. Powers

Death rate by firearms is very low in Japan

Regarding Reid Seino's July 8 letter, I think he must have misunderstood the number of deaths by firearms in Japan or there was a typographical error. His letter said, "Japan's death rate by firearms hovers around 1,000-2,000 annually."

However, the number of deaths by firearms in Japan last year was 22.

Tatsuya Kato
Consul, Consulate General of Japan

Cartoon on Roy Rogers was in very poor taste

Regarding the July 14 editorial cartoon on the late Roy Rogers by Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Constitution: Luckovich is a sick puppy who needs help. The Atlanta Constitution and Star-Bulletin should review their standards that allowed this crass, humorless trash to be published.

R.W. Molyneux Jr.

Don't make a big deal about decline in spending

Why is it that, every time our local media report about a decline in per-day spending by the Japanese visitor, it is presented as "bad news?" True, the numbers are probably correct, but why all the doom and gloom?

If per-day spending in dollars is declining due to a sliding yen and a sick Japanese economy, there is absolutely nothing we can do about that. Why do we continue to bemoan our dependence on a currency that is so foreign to us in the first place?

Frankly speaking, we blew it. The lack of market diversification in our visitor base exposed the islands to this risk. So let's not blame the Japanese for spending fewer dollars per day, because they are actually spending more of their hard-earned money, in yen, per day than before and are receiving less back.

As this trend continues, will this mean more doom and gloom? Give us a break! Look at the bright side and smell the plumerias. Believe it or not, Waikiki is slowly recovering!

Bob Iinuma

Dow Corning is trying to shirk responsibility

On July 8, in Bay City, Mich., Dow Corning agreed to a $3.2-billion bankruptcy plan. Its actions fall short, considering the pain and suffering most of us have endured and will continue to endure until we die from silicone-related disease.

In September 1998, we are expected to vote for and sign a non-negotiable settlement plan. No figures of compensation will be provided. The amount of each claim will be filled in at a later date at the sole discretion of Dow Corning.

Isn't it time we all support the women, men and children affected by silicone-related disease?

Bea Shishido
The Human Coalition

Mainland right-wingers won't be voting in election

Kiyoshi Matsuda's July 4 letter shows his deep opposition to the upcoming vote on the amendment to limit marriage to couples of the opposite sex. He rails against "religious fundamentalists from the mainland" imposing "their moralism on Hawaii residents."

Maybe he doesn't realize it, but "mainland fundamentalists" are not the ones who will be doing the voting.

This sounds like a desperate attempt to prevent the majority from getting its hands on this issue and doing what needs to be done.

Jon Matsuo

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