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Friday, February 5, 1999


UH mouse cloning project isn't in funding jeopardy

I wish to clarify information in what was an otherwise good Jan. 30 article, "UH mice cloning in jeopardy for lack of funds."

The venture capital industry in Hawaii is quite active. It is receiving its own start-up funding but has not yet been able to respond to the mid-level and mezzanine financing now required by the two companies referred to in the article, ProBio Inc. and American Tropical Plants/Integrated Coffee Technologies Inc.

These companies are now approaching pre-IPO status. Their needs would quickly exhaust local venture capital funds, thereby inhibiting the support of many other start-ups.

What is needed is a network of local "angel" investors prepared to invest in more mature companies, pre-major financings.

The mouse cloning and other related projects are not in jeopardy. The point is that our head office will have to be located in either New York or in California if it is to be the sole or major source of future funding.

We do not intend to close down the funding of Professor Yanagimachi's laboratory, or not to support the proposed Yanagimachi Institute of Reproductive Biologies presently being proposed and planned.

However, if ProBio's headquarters has to follow its funders, further proposed developments in Hawaii of industries based in the animal biotechnology industry and research will be greatly curtailed, if not severely crippled.

The major problem is that most local sources of finance do not have any interest or comprehension of intellectual property (IP) as collateral.

Although these institutions buy IP in the form of software and pay huge prices for it, they have not yet comprehended that knowledge and information -- particularly in the form of patents or patent applications -- have immense value and earning capacity.

Until there is a healthy interest in reviewing this position, a major engine for economic and job development in Hawaii will remain stalled.

Laith Reynolds
CEO, ProBio America Inc.



Hawaii should become world's fireworks capital

Honolulu is a great place to be during New Year's Eve. I can remember really bad nights in Waikiki, before firecrackers were restricted, when you needed breathing aids because of the smoke.

Why make a big deal about it now? Next New Year's Eve will be the biggest we have celebrated in our lifetimes but now, the governor, politicians and your newspaper are all asking for a fireworks ban.

So one house burns down -- big deal! Let's use our brains here, folks, and get with the program! Honolulu should be known as a Mardi Gras on New Year's Eve worldwide, so we can begin to attract people to visit rather than scare them away with petty laws and an anti-business environment.

By the way, I did not light any fireworks and do not own or have an interest in a fireworks store and/or manufacturing operation. I just want our diverse society to enjoy and celebrate the biggest day of the year! It's that simple.

Gary Hibbard
(Via the Internet)

Our air isn't as clean as fireworks haters think

People who are so insistent on banning fireworks confuse me. It seems their main concern this past year was that it created an overwhelmingly unhealthy atmosphere.

I can empathize. But don't they realize that on the other 364 days they are in a not-so-idealistic environment?

They are exposed to pollutants all the time: from cars, buses, industry. I can only imagine what would happen if a person lit up a cigar next to them. Rapture?

What confuses me the most, though, is how some of these people comment on how nice the aerials are.

Kela Kalaiwaa

Take our online fireworks poll


Election shenanigans are insult to voters

The citizens of Hawaii should be outraged that the past election was a sham. It was apparently corrupted by a voting system that failed miserably. The last numbers I saw indicate that, of 35 voting machines tested so far, seven had problems. That's a 20 percent failure rate!

With over 300 voting machines to account for, how many thousands of voters were disenfranchised in the election? Will incorrect vote counts be overturned and actual winners installed in office?

My hat is off to Senator Hanabusa and the media for exposing this scandal. We must move quickly to restore integrity to the election process. Dwayne Yoshina and Elections Systems & Software must be held accountable. An investigation should be commenced immediately, a statewide recount ordered (at the expense of ES&S), and the truly elected put into office. Anything less is an affront.

Kerry A. Krenzke
(Via the Internet)

Higher user fees hurts the little guy the most

The city task force charged with the task of raising revenues looks a lot like the Governor's Economic Revitalization Task Force a round-up of the usual influence peddlers and appointees. Since none of them represent the public, they have found ways to shift the cost of government to the ordinary person.

What is ignored is examining government itself for waste and inefficiency. We must also insist that the city collect money owed to us by Harbor Court and others, and to manage our tax money to avoid fraud and waste, such as at Ewa Villages. Poor management must not be covered up by increasing taxes.

What we need now is tax cuts to stimulate the economy by putting more money into everyone's pocket.

Brian Durham
(Via the Internet)



bullet "It sounded like a report from someone with an ax to grind."

-- James Popharm of UCLA on Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey's report on the quality of education at Kamehameha Schools.

bullet "Japan is already in its worst recession in 50 years and now it's very vulnerable to Y2K. That's a bad combination."

-- Economist Edward Yardeni on Japan's lack of preparation for the millennium.

bullet "The time to stop this conflict in Kosovo is now, before it spreads and when it can be contained at an acceptable cost."

-- President Clinton on whether to send U.S. troops to enforce any peace settlement reached in Kosovo.

bullet "If you can imagine how 15th-century explorers felt when they discovered the Americas, then it is something like that."

-- Durham University, England, astrophysics professor Carlos Frenk on a new map of the cosmos.

Inouye and Democrats show poor leadership

By poorly defending our impeached president via a recycling of the losing "defend our Constitution" argument, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye leaves open his lack of moral principle. Meet a father of political extremism, for he and his political party continually promote ideals such as same-sex marriage, partial-birth abortion and physician-assisted suicide.

Our youth and our elderly deserve a more positive direction, one which cannot be found in our entire Democratic congressional delegation.

Harry J. Friel
(Via the Internet)

White House was defiled by Clinton's lewd acts

The White House has been referred to as "the people's house." If this president's liaisons had occurred in the family living quarters, traditionally thought to be off limits to outsiders and prying eyes, the current mindset would be accurate: "Hey, it's private. Leave him alone."

But this president chose the Oval Office and nearby areas to rendezvous. That means he was in my house, your house, our house. That means it is not a private matter but one that smears the entire country.

If someone entered your home and performed a lewd or sexual act, you'd throw him out, right? Same thing. Clinton has defiled the people's house and should not be allowed to remain.

Jim Fromm
(Via the Internet)

The religious right? Stop using that label

Your Jan. 13 article, "Diverse groups unite against death," upset me. It referred to one group opposing doctor-assisted death as "the religious right." What the hell is that? Why don't we ever see terms like "the radical homosexual left" or "the left-wing ACLU?" And, during the election, why weren't the handful of ministers who favored legalizing homosexual "marriage" branded as the "religious left?"

Are we to assume that the vast majority of Hawaii residents are the "religious right" because they supported the same side as the so-called religious-right organizations on the same-sex marriage issue? That is absurd.

I challenge the media to discard the use of loaded terms that have no real meaning, and simply add fuel to the fire in the cultural wars being fought in our community.

P.M. Casady

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