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Friday, January 22, 1999


Natatorium project should redo its bidding process

The controversy surrounding the Natatorium convinces me that the proposed restoration project should be rebid. Knowing only a percentage of the backstage comings and goings, it smells a little fishy.

No job of this magnitude is bid in only a few weeks, especially when the plans were as poorly presented and prepared as these were, on a CD format. Unfortunately, they were not done with Computer-Aided Design. They were nearly unintelligible on the computer screen.

There were only two companies able to submit bids by the bid date. Every consumer knows to receive at least three bids from qualified contractors when doing even a small-scale improvement to a home.

Typically, for a job this size, you might see over a dozen competing contractors. This project is estimated to cost at least $11 million!

Brent Cullinan
(Via the Internet)

Traffic light could have saved great woman's life

Laie residents have been campaigning fervently for years to have a traffic light installed at the intersection of Kam Highway and Anemoku Street. This morning, a beautiful mother of four, who was on her way to catch TheBus was killed in the crosswalk. She now lies under a blanket in the rain, while the police investigate.

What it will take to get a simple light installed to help us cross the most dangerous stretch of highway in the U.S.? Can anyone help us? Does anyone listen?

It would break your heart to see this woman's husband -- weeping, hovering nearby, unable to do anything for his wife as she lays there where she landed, 150 feet or so from where she was struck. He can't even cradle her in his arms. Her shoes are still in the road. We have taken her children home, and will now make dinner and the funeral arrangements.

Whatever committees or officials have stymied action on this traffic light are just as responsible as the driver.

Rebecca Everett
(Via the Internet)

Witnesses are important in president's Senate trial

Hawaii's great gift, Sen. Daniel Inouye, is about to let down his constituents and our honorable president. Inouye will vote against allowing witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Clinton.

Yet bringing witnesses to the floor of the Senate would once and for all settle this horrid test of our country. It would allow Clinton to finally clear his name.

We need to hear straight from Monica Lewinsky that she and the president did not have sex.

Straight from Betty Currie that the president did not encourage her to lie. Straight from Kathleen Wiley that the president did not fondle her and did not, through his subordinates, attempt to alter or influence her testimony.

This is just the opportunity Clinton has been looking forward to. We must do it for our virtuous and noble president, for the American people and for the children. We must call on Inouye and all of our Democratic friends in the Senate to vote "yes" on allowing witnesses to be heard by the Senate jury.

Robert Gallagher
(Via the Internet)

Columnist reveals racism in defense of Clinton

If you bleeding hearts of the fourth estate want to know why your readership and credibility with the public slip significally year after year, you need only look at the garbage you printed in the Jan. 14 column, "Asian Persuasion."

Giving space to Emil Guillermo's outrageously racist and hate-filled drivel is an insult to your readers. Would you give as much space to the views of other equally dishonest and bigoted voices who may not happen to be as liberal or as extreme left wing as this repugnant "writer"?

I seriously doubt it.

Instead of defending his boy Clinton, Guillermo follows the Democratic party line of attacking the prosecutors and now the jurors. Because the immoral and disgusting actions of Clinton are indefensible, Guillermo tries to muddy the water by blatantly playing the race card.

Why is the race or gender of our senators relevant to their duties under our Constitution?

Guillermo points out that the people have decided on Clinton twice already, but he conveniently ignores that the same people also decided whom their representatives in Congress would be.

His despicable race-baiting is a sorry attempt to talk about anything except what his criminal president did.

Richard Garver
(Via the Internet)

Do we really want an impeached president?

Bill Clinton's only defense is the foolish legal argument that his offenses are not "impeachable."

Obviously, they are impeachable, because it is already a done deal -- the House already has impeached him.

Do we want an impeached president leading this country?

James M. Lee

Perks show why Council loves the visitor industry

A few years ago, a prominent member of the Honolulu City Council saw nothing wrong in receiving a special hotel room rate that put businessman/senior citizen/kamaaina discounts combined to shame.

Even today, the City Council chairman sees nothing wrong with receiving a substantial donation of party food from hotels for the Council's inauguration.

No wonder many projects and proposals favoring hotel interests are done deals and fait accompli before the public gets wind of them. The voice of the concerned citizen cannot penetrate the Waikiki hotel room door behind which Council members can eat and sleep manuahi.

Richard Y. Will

Hawaii can't rely forever on mainland prisons

Your Jan. 9 article, "State push for new prison may stall," unfairly misrepresents the continued housing of Hawaii inmates in mainland prisons.

During a recent briefing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, I did say, in response to a direct question, that there is no prohibition against sending more inmates to the mainland.

However, I also advised the committee that mainland prisons must be viewed as a temporary solution only. We must build a prison in Hawaii as soon as possible.

There are several reasons for this:

bullet Many states are imposing restrictions on the kind of inmates that can enter from out of state. Some states are even considering absolute prohibitions on out-of-state inmates. Still other states are requiring private operators to give their state first preference. We cannot rely on other states because they may not take our inmates.

bullet Although we have favorable prices now, we cannot predict what the costs will be after the year 2001, when the current contracts expire. We don't even know if these contracts will be extended. What if another state is willing to pay a higher price and we're kicked out? We will be up the proverbial creek without a paddle -- with no place to put our 1,200 inmates.

bullet We still have a responsibility for the care of our inmates. While our mainland experience has been a positive one and has helped us immensely with Hawaii's prison overcrowding problem, we cannot manage incidents and crises via telephone.

We cannot ensure program quality through quarterly inspections. Long distance management is not how we should be conducting important state business.

Ted Sakai
State Department of Public Safety

Doonesbury cartoonist shouldn't promote smoking

Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau is back to giving support to the tobacco industry by drawing a man with a cigarette hanging from his mouth.

Does Trudeau not understand the tremendous effect his comic has in encouraging children to try smoking?

Is he oblivious to the fact that 3,000 teen-agers take up smoking every day, and that all coverage given to the tobacco industry is a free ad?

Smoking is not the cool thing to do. I thought Trudeau had given up that sad side of his otherwise great satirical wit.

Fred Van Dyke

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