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Monday, January 18, 1999


Thinking behind ban doesn't make sense

Regarding the idea of banning the public use of fireworks, all I have to say is here we go again. It appears to me that, just by the sheer number of legal fireworks sold this past New Year's, the people of Hawaii have already spoken on this issue.

Besides, let's take a look at the rationale for this ban:

1) Fireworks can cause fires.

2) Fireworks can cause injuries.

3) Fireworks are a health hazard.

If you want to follow the same rationale, why not ban the use of automobiles and smoking, since they both can cause injuries and deaths? Why not ban alcohol or the young and elderly from driving?

Why should we mess with a tradition that has been going on in Hawaii for two centuries? Haven't we learned from our attempts to ban pyrotechnics in the past? All we will see is a black market developing once again and people purchasing illegal fireworks.

James Aiu
(Via the Internet)

Better to light firecrackers than shoot guns in the air

Hawaii's allowing fireworks for a few hours on New Year's Eve is a good idea. People like to celebrate New Year's Eve worldwide with a bang. If not with fireworks, with what?

Fireworks are banned the year round in Arizona and it isn't easy to obtain them. But guns are everywhere.

On New Year's Eve, my neighborhood sounded like a war zone, including the firing of automatic weapons. In another part of Phoenix, again this year, there was a fatality. A bullet fired into the air returns to the ground at about the same speed as it leaves the gun's barrel.

How do you want your bang made, with a firecracker or a gun? My suggestion is that you look to control fireworks more, not eliminate them. Gun powder makes even better bombs.

William Hurd
Phoenix, Ariz.
(Via the Internet)

Let lawmakers know fireworks are tradition

As related in a Jan. 6 article, the governor is asking for a ban on fireworks. I have enjoyed this New Year's Eve tradition for more than 70 years. It is a family-gathering occasion, and safety precautions are mandatory (a garden hose is always handy).

The same article mentions that driving was hazardous on New Year's Eve because "smoke blanketed the road." Whenever we accept any New Year's "open house" invitation, we leave for home early enough to avoid the full blast of firecracker smoke, or stay at our host's home until the smoke clears and driving conditions become safer.

Throughout my life, I have seen too many of our traditions, customs and pleasures lost through some kind of legislation. So listen up! Those of you who want to keep our traditional celebration of New Year's Eve with fireworks, don't let critics shame you into silence. Speak out now! Let your legislators know that you do not want any kind of ban on fireworks.

Robert L.J. Rapoza Sr.

Igniting firecrackers is a religious calling

Kudos to B-Rock on 97.5 FM radio for his suggestion of starting a "Church of the Gunpowder" to deal with the fireworks issue. It is a hilarious idea to start a religious organization to get through the loopholes of a ban that would allow the lighting of firecrackers for cultural or religious purposes.

Through the establishment of this new "religious organization," we can continue a longtime statewide tradition. Now, doesn't a ban on fireworks seem utterly ridiculous?

Hey, B-Rock, where do I sign up?

Carol Fukumoto
(Via the Internet)

Public schools are truly a democracy at work

When Lokelani Lindsey worked for the state Department of Education for decades, before being appointed a Bishop Estate trustee, she and others of her ilk were kept in line by a system that is essentially democratic.

This is what was and is lacking at Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, whose teachers have recently seen the light by voting themselves a union. Kudos to our public school system.

Z. Amerigo Zolo

Don't take Clinton's word on Y2K and Social Security

On Dec. 28, the Associated Press reported Clinton as saying Social Security will not be affected by the Y2K bug. People, keep in mind that the standard terminology is "the system is Y2K compliant." Note that Clinton said, "The Social Security system is now 100 percent compliant with our standards and safeguards for the year 2000."

Is the system "compliant" or just "compliant with our standards and safeguards?"

Furthermore, Clinton said "the system has been tested and validated by a panel of independent experts." Is this panel similar to our Governor's Economic Revitalization Task Force that recommended a large general excise tax increase to "save" the economy?

Has Clinton always told the truth in the past? Is it possible that he is "parsing" the truth with Social Security?

Jay Bauckham

Punish secretary of state for dereliction of duty

The blatant arrogance displayed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in her denial attitude on embassy security in Kenya and Tanzania, which directly resulted in 12 American diplomats and over 200 Africans being murdered, rises to the level of high crimes. Let her punishment be fitting.

Martin Halsey Grubb
Pearl City

Columnist's conjecture on Sheriff is presumptuous

Paul Arnett's Jan. 1 column, "Things would be different if Stan were still with us," is filled with speculation. He is trying to whip up negative controversy over UH Athletic Director Hugh Yoshida's job performance.

How does Arnett know that:

bullet "Sheriff would have convinced UH President Ken Mortimer that a bigger WAC wouldn't be a better one"?

bullet Mortimer could have persuaded the other WAC school presidents to veto the proposed league expansion?

bullet Sheriff would not have eventually fired Coach Bob Wagner? After all, the football program under Wagner, at the time of his firing, was clearly in deep, deep trouble.

Criticism of any public official should be based on facts and thoughtful analysis rather than sudden "enlightenment."

H. Uyehara

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