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Saturday, March 6, 1999

Roosters are noisy, detrimental to sleep

Your March 1 front-page article, "Cockfighting and cruelty," prompted me to write. First of all, I don't know why people keep roosters as pets. They are so noisy and not very good-looking.

I live in Waianae and wish we could have the same laws as people living in Honolulu. It would be great if we weren't considered a rural area, but unfortunately we are.

In our neighborhood, you can hear roosters all over the place. One of our neighbors has four of them, and one particular rooster crows between 3 and 4 in the morning. I've been writing on my calendar which mornings this obnoxious rooster crows, and I hope that the Humane Society can help me.

I thought the law only allows a person to have two roosters. Perhaps Humane Society officers could come to my neighborhood and witness what I'm talking about. The sun isn't out in the early morning hours, so why is this rooster making me lose precious sleep?

Ron Mesiona

Cockfighting is inhumane and should remain illegal

The Star-Bulletin's March 1 article about cockfighting quoted local breeders of fighting cocks as saying "a testing facility would attract game-bird fanciers from all over the world and help in marketing the birds."

What was left unsaid was that "marketing the birds" means selling them to countries where cockfighting is legal, where blades will be attached to the birds' legs. Then the birds will fight to the death -- all to satisfy the needs of people who engage in blood sports for entertainment.

Cockfighting is illegal in 47 states (including Hawaii) and in Washington, D.C. because civilized people abhor it. A survey of Oahu residents conducted by Ward Research revealed that 82 percent think cockfighting should be illegal, and 92 percent think it constitutes cruelty to animals.

Our economy may need help, but we should never be so desperate as to legalize a blood sport.

Pamela Burns
Hawaiian Humane Society

Why is mayor railroading Natatorium renovation?

The opinion polls are in! Hawaii citizens have spoken out against the restoration of the dysfunctional and disintegrated Waikiki Natatorium.

This political boondoggle is worse than a bad dream. Mayor Harris and some members of the City Council are trying to shove this project through in record time, ignoring the reasonable pleas of local citizens and beach lovers.

Yes, of course we all want a beautifully designed World War I memorial arch, and the names of our fallen heroes preserved in bronze or stone. Our protests are against the reconstruction of an eyesore of a swimming pool.

Please, Mr. Mayor and all Council members, hear this heart-felt plea. Reconsider before it is too late! Return this small strip of Diamond Head to its natural form.

Chonita Larsen

Convention center should be sold to highest bidder

I cannot believe taxpayers have assumed a $21-million annual debt for the Hawaii Convention Center.

The Legislature ought to be figuring out how to cut our losses and get rid of it, rather than who should be running it. Selling it to a private company would be the only chance to get the center operating in the black.

We exist in a free market economy, not a field of dreams. This never should have been built if it couldn't pay for itself and/or turn a profit.

As if it isn't bad enough that we "built it (hoping) they will come," someone is only now identifying the need to formulate a specific purpose for the center to ensure that its goals are achieved and that state interests are protected.

I just hope someone remembers the interests of us poor taxpayers, who are really funding the thing.

Cynthia V. Powell
(Via the Internet)



Bullet "The termites run the school."
-- Barbara Collins, the mother of a student at Radford High School, which parents say has slum-like conditions in its buildings, such as walls in danger of collapsing, wasp nests and improperly stored chemicals.

Bullet "The last time I saw him, his attitude was surprisingly upbeat. He said, 'Don't worry, I'm at peace with myself.' Now I look back and realize he was telling me he was prepared to die."
-- William Harrison, attorney for musician Mackey Feary, who hanged himself with a bedsheet in prison.

Bullet "Hula is Hawaii's national dance and should be recognized in your state statutes."
-- Michiko Maile Honma of the Japan Hula Association, who urged in written testimony to the Legislature that hula be declared the official state dance of Hawaii.

Newspaper shows bias against labor, unions

Based on the way your newspaper distorts the representation of labor in Hawaii politics, and your distaste for worker empowerment and union representation, I suggest you change your banner to read: "Against Labor, Anti-Union."

William King
(Via the Internet)

Here's fair way to assess city fee for trash pickup

The city is planning to charge a special fee to the majority of single-family homes that have city trash service. This is seen as both a populist issue (by keeping property taxes lower) and a fairness issue (since many condo owners pay for private trash pick-up).

Many other jurisdictions also charge for trash pick-up. But, in most mainland communities, trash pickup is usually contracted to private haulers on the basis of low bid. Since Honolulu already has the workers, trucks and maintenance facilities, private cartage does not seem to be an option, at least for single-family homes.

The Council could choose to assess the cost of trash pickup solely to single-family homes by adjusting the single-family home property tax rate accordingly. Since most single-family home owners are in the 28 percent federal tax bracket, a higher tax of about $115 per year would reap about $42 in annual federal and state tax savings.

The cost for condo trash pickup, which would no longer be included in the composite property tax rate, could then be charged as a fee to those condo associations that found the city service more cost-effective than private pickup.

J. Roger Morton
(Via the Internet)

Welfare recipients should do community service

I work at a grocery store. Every day, I watch as people misuse the welfare system. I always feel very disappointed when people on welfare can afford to purchase cigarettes and alcohol with the cash they have and yet cannot pay for food with this money.

I do feel sympathy for those who truly need the food stamps, but why should my tax dollars support destructive habits?

Also, I feel that people who collect benefits should be required to do voluntary public work -- get out there and clean up the community or volunteer to read to young children. Maybe they could visit elderly people and shut-ins, or tutor students with difficulties. This could instill a work ethic.

If you stay home and collect benefits, you should volunteer for a program to build the community.

Coreen Sentell
(Via the Internet)

Maybe Christian Coalition spread lies about Lingle

Didn't it bother your editorial writers that Republican National Committee co-Chairwoman Pat Harrison accused island Democrats of rank anti-Semitism, while offering as proof nothing more than unsubstantiated third-hand hearsay that her chief of staff, Michael Levy, picked up from local Republicans while visiting Hawaii last August?

Apparently not, judging by your March 2 editorial. "Who else but the Democrats," you ask, would be spreading tales about Lingle abolishing Christmas?

Did you ever consider those Republicans in the Christian Coalition, who were supporting Frank Fasi over Lingle in the GOP primary, which was about the same time that Levy said he was in the islands?

Of course there's no evidence of that other than "rumors," but as long as the Star-Bulletin is trafficking in speculation...

Donald Koelper

League of Women Voters should not do recount

The decision to allow participation by the League of Women Voters in preparing the 1998 general election ballot recount is most unfortunate.

The rationale for recounting the ballots is to restore a perceived lack of confidence in Hawaii's election process. The League, however, has an obvious conflict of interest with regard to the outcome of the Constitutional Convention ballot issue. Prior to the election, it abandoned its traditional impartiality with regard to candidates and ballot issues in favor of a public anti-Con Con campaign.

Previously, the League was best known for providing assistance and information regarding the election process, helping people to register and encouraging them to vote. When it renounced that role, and began directing people how to vote, it also renounced its reputation as an impartial arbiter of unquestioned integrity.

I am not suggesting, nor do I believe, that members of the League would attempt to manipulate the ballots to change the election outcome. However, it would be highly inappropriate for this organization to participate in the recount in any capacity.

Ed Michelman

Medical marijuana will teach compassion

There has been much media attention recently, both in Hawaii and nationwide, to efforts by numerous organizations and individuals to legalize the compassionate use of marijuana for those who are ill. Such use would ease the suffering of patients experiencing the painful effects of diseases such as AIDs, multiple sclerosis and cancer.

One of the concerns raised during such a discussion is that, if such an effort were realized, it would send a "mixed message" to young people that the government and others in authority condone marijuana use.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In supporting humane policies which address the health and welfare needs of our sickest community members, we are sending a message to our children that we have compassion for those of our neighbors who are suffering most and need our help.

To do anything less is not only immoral, but says that we do not care for those in our community who are suffering, even though we have the means to do so.

Nancy Kern

City shortfall signals inept mayor, administration

Jeremy Harris' $130-million shortfall plan is another mayoral bleating, signifying the inept bungling so rampant of his administration. Why should the already overburdened taxpayer continue to pay for his gross fiscal negligence and his choice of buffoonish money managers, who vainly attempt to spin the truth about a myriad of scandalous deals?

Martin Halsey Grubb
Pearl City

Office helps businesses with environmental laws

Your Feb. 22 Extra Inc. special report described resources, support and advice for businesses getting started or seeking to survive. It neglected to mention, however, the Department of Health's (DOH) Compliance Assistance Office (CAO).

Established in July 1998, CAO recognizes the importance of fostering compliance with environmental laws without overwhelming business with regulations. It provides a convenient access for businesses with the DOH -- connecting questions with answers from agency specialists, investigating and resolving disputes between small business and the DOH, and working on behalf of business to reform regulations that don't work.

Rather than duplicating or replacing existing support and assistance programs within the DOH, CAO seeks to ensure that these mechanisms work as they should. If existing mechanisms don't work, CAO tries to fix it.

CAO can be contacted at 586-4528 or via e-mail at

Anthony Ching
Environmental Ombudsman
Compliance Assistance Office
State Department of Health

Hawaiians deserve to attend UH for free

Congratulations to University of Hawaii Regent Wayne Panoke. His efforts on behalf of HB 704 on tuition waivers for Hawaiians are most appreciated in the Hawaiian community.

It's interesting to note that most of the foreign students at UH receive a tuition waiver. The cost to the university for immigrant waivers is in excess of $4 million.

The fact that UH occupies ceded lands is the very reason it should support any free tuition for Hawaiians. Would the state rather have Hawaiians charge rent to UH?

Eric Poohina
(Via the Internet)

Hawaiians shouldn't get special treatment at UH

With all due respect to the native Hawaiians and the cause that they stand for, I am angered to hear that the UH might give Hawaiians free tuition.

I was born in Hawaii and call these beautiful islands home. But I need to work two jobs to get by and pay my tuition to Leeward Community College, with hopes of transferring to UH in due time.

I don't get a free ride, and it's not fair that a certain segment of our population does because of an incident that happened 100 years ago.

John Hyytianinen
(Via the Internet)

Wearing a bicycle helmet should be a 'no-brainer'

I'm a defensive rider but, a few weeks ago, a gap between the pavement and the curb near Kuhio Beach flipped me. I got away with a cracked rib, a badly bruised hip and a couple of scrapes -- including one on my helmet. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I could easily have been a statistic.

When you ride a bike, always wear a helmet. If the cars don't get you, eventually the roads will. We need safe bikeways but, in the meantime, a good helmet is a necessity for anyone who wants to pedal.

Don Child
(Via the Internet)

Let's help another child in memory of Reubyne

I shudder to think of what society has done to little Reubyne Buentipo Jr. We hear so much about the Child Protective Services failing him, his mother beating him, the judge's error, the fault of the jurors, the prosecutor, the Legislature, etc., when, in essence, "total society" failed Reubyne.

The jurors can go round and round and blame Judge Lim. However, I commend him for standing up for what he believes to be right. He only followed what was written in black and white.

We can continue to point the blame at everyone else and get nowhere, or we can direct our energy toward positive improvement within the system. While it cannot help Reubyne, we can help some other child.

Gayle Nakama
(Via the Internet)

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