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Thursday, January 14, 1999


Raise trash collection fees? Residents can't afford it

Having just finished your Jan. 7 article, "City budget panel urges garbage fee," I felt the need to scream out to the citizens of Honolulu, "Watch out, they're reaching for our wallets and pocketbooks again!"

Let's examine the composition of this blue-ribbon panel. Are any of the members of this elite group in the $40,000-$80,000 income bracket?Has anyone had the foresight or intelligence to understand that, if this city is facing such a tremendous financial shortfall, that the very citizens they are again preparing to financially rape are facing problems?

If the mayor believes that city coffers are bordering on empty, he should get out on the street and talk to those citizens attempting to stay afloat. Foreclosures and personal bankruptcies are at an all-time high; there is a major exodus of not only our brightest young people but older citizens literally forced to flee in order to survive.

Let's face it: the $130 million shortfall is due to a lack of vision and common sense. And again, rather than cut expenses, they want to reach into the pockets of the working middle class. Enough is enough!

John L. Shupe
(Via the Internet)

Fireworks madness was plentiful in Waikiki

I must be getting old, but this New Year's Eve the fireworks free-for-all seemed to be the worst ever. In Waikiki, one could hardly breathe. I thought my birds might die from the noxious fumes.

Firecrackers were even being thrown from buildings with no regard for the people below. It was out of control. Please stop this madness.

Brad White
(Via the Internet)

Tourists like excitement of fireworks as well

I live in Maryland and travel several thousand miles to Hawaii to enjoy the fireworks on New Year's Eve. Fireworks are a great tradition and the injury statistics, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, are at an all-time low.

If fireworks were to be banned on New Year's, there would be more drunk-driving incidents as well as more use of bootleg fireworks. People will always find a way to celebrate.

Fireworks are enjoyed by many cultures and, if used properly, bring great pleasure to individuals. Please protect our rights and allow us to participate in another event that makes Hawaii so special.

Larry Lessin
Germantown, Md.
(Via the Internet)

Gambling would turn isles into another Atlantic City

Regarding Dalton Tanonaka's Jan. 8 column on gambling as a cure to Hawaii's economic woes: Oh, please! Just paddle over to Atlantic City and see how much its grand experiment benefited the local area.

Does Hawaii want to become another New Jersey? Once you open the door to the gaming community, it will be impossible to shut it again, no matter how much you may want to. Too much money would have been invested to allow that to happen.

And the idea of limiting access to gambling in Hawaii only to out-of-state visitors: What do you do with houseguests? Drop them at the door and go home until they call to be picked up?

Susan von Suskil
West Chester, Pa.
Former Hawaii resident
(Via the Internet)

More Jesse Venturas are needed in politics

There seems to be too much hype and too little serious discussion about the recent inauguration of Minnesota's Gov. Jesse Ventura. It is absolutely remarkable -- no longer is Minnesota bound to the two-party system. Instead, voters were bold enough to choose a third-party candidate.

Most notable was Ventura's support from young people. Those of us who are under 30 years of age have grown up with too many lies, scandals and policy failures. We are disenchanted with politics as usual. We are ready for a change.

Young people put Ventura into office and will continue to elect other independent candidates who earn our trust and uphold the integrity that most career politicians seem to lack. We beg our parents and grandparents to recognize that there are problems in America's political system which neither Democrats nor Republicans can solve. We can no longer accept the disgraces caused by the two parties in control of 49 states.

If our nation is to move forward, we must have the courage to vote our conscience and demand better leadership.

Nikki Love
Chairperson, National College
Reform Party
Aina Haina
(Via the Internet)

Enough complaining about special Hawaiian election

My compliments to those who paved the way to the upcoming election of delegates to the Hawaiian convention. Their countless hours of research and work on behalf of kanaka maoli are deserving of public praise.

Those who have credentials a mile long, and who are now or were paragons of days gone by, appear to know little of uniting Hawaiians, nor do they have the right to be publicly obtusive of other kanaka maoli pursuing the same vision. Gone are the days when the hand can tell the foot that it is not important to the body, because it is not a hand. If the body is to be whole all parts must acknowledge their noble origin, preserve their identity and labor in harmony.

If you are a kumu, state official or public figure, be honest with your constituents and serve them well. While the efforts of Ha Hawaii are a concern, lead, follow or get out of the way!

Henry Tripp
(Via the Internet)

San Francisco blackout brings lesson for Honolulu

I was surprised to hear about the power outage in San Francisco for almost half a day on Dec. 8.

The power went out as the morning began. Business workers had to meet on the sidewalks. People planning to catch the underground train to work were affected. Others were stuck in elevators; tourists were rejected from cable cars. It took almost half a day for electricians to fix this chaos.

Whatever happened to manpower? It seems as if the world is controlled by one thing: computers. What will they do the next time this happens?

Does business in Hawaii have a back-up plan? Every building should have one. Every building should have a back-up generator, which should take over when the electricity goes out.

Kalani Heffernan

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