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Thursday, March 11, 1999


Bishop Museum's woes threaten environment

The administrators of Bishop Museum have made drastic cuts resulting in the unemployment of over 20 staffers, the closure of collections and the cessation of all loans and inqueries. May I tell your readers a little about the effects from a natural history point of view, and how important it is to the state?

Hawaii depends on Bishop Museum; much of our natural heritage is stored there. Although the public usually only sees the displays, there are not only thousands of specimens of Hawaiian insects, birds, fish, etc., but specimens from all over the Pacific housed in the museum.

Its researchers do more than look at dead animals and plants. They are experts in identifying species. More and more alien species are moving into Hawaii and choking out our native species. This kills all that is unique about Hawaii.

Alien plants and animals also destroy our watersheds. It is essential that we are able to quickly identify threatening alien species and attempt to eradicate them before they destroy our natural systems.

Bishop Museum is not funded by Bishop Estate. And now the museum is not funded by the state in any way. With increased tourism, the impact on our environment grows.

Our only museum is dying and, with it, our cultural and natural history is dying, too.

Mandy L. Heddle
Graduate Student
Department of Zoology
University of Hawaii-Manoa
(Via the Internet)

Attack on rare monk seal deserved more punishment

It is sad when an endangered and federally protected Hawaiian monk seal can be a victim of an unprovoked attack, and the assailant pays little more than a traffic fine.

Why do we have a maximum fine of only $1,000 for this crime? Why was this man not given the maximum penalty?

The video is so clear: This man intentionally harassed this seal. The Hawaiian monk seal is the only endemic sea mammal in our entire island chain. And let us not breeze over the word endemic. It means that this lovely seal is found ONLY here.

This scary incident should ignite more dedication and activism from those of us who are concerned about Maui's fragile environment. Clearly, we are in no position to be tripling the number of boats that can dock at Maalaea, not until we can be assured that wrongdoers will be punished for acts against nature.

Mckenna Hallett
Kihei, Maui
(Via the Internet)

Feary had many chances to end destructive behavior

It's very sad when people have the need to take their own lives. But it's even more disheartening when lawyers take hold of family members and convince them that they should sue the state and whomever.

The judge did the only thing that he could do in the situation. Feary had been given chances before but never followed through. He did not show the courts that he was sincere in his efforts to kick this horrible addiction.

As far as Feary having depression, the drugs brought that on. No one forced the drugs on him. He was responsible for his choices.

Unfortunately, everyone thinks that government owes everyone something. And the lawyers are right there at the families' most grievous time. Very sad.

Adrienne L. Wilson-Yamasaki
(Via the Internet)

Criticism of Feary has no justification

George Peabody's March 5 letter was upsetting. I don't recall anyone claiming that Mackey Feary was a hero. People loved Feary because he was a talented musician whose music touched the lives of generations in Hawaii. People felt a bond to him because they could relate to his music.

I also don't recall Feary being charged with spouse abuse. He was sentenced to 10 years for drugs and criminal property damage, not domestic violence. And as for the supposition that Feary's family did not try to help him with his drug problem, how does anyone outside the family know that? Perhaps they did all they could, but couldn't compete with the power of drugs.

It's also harsh to say that this lawsuit is about money. The lawsuit is about the state not watching over a prisoner who had suicidal tendencies. I'm sure Feary's family would give all the money in the world to have him back.

Barbara Kee
Ewa Beach
(Via the Internet)



Bullet "We are finishing this fiscal year with a carry-over balance of $180 million; next fiscal year it will go down to $64 million because of the tax cuts beginning to kick in. The surplus I talked about is there, it is just that the expenses are as well."
-- Governor Cayetano, on why government budget cuts must still be made despite a surplus.

Bullet "Just because the vote (doesn't) go our way, you think we're going to take our ball and go home?"
-- Dwight Toyama, executive secretary of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, which voted unsuccessfully against a state football tournament.

Bullet "If I run, this will be why: I believe our people are looking for leaders who will call America to her better nature. Yes, we've been let down, and by people we should have been able to look up to."
-- Elizabeth Dole, potential Republican candidate for president.

Taxpayers did not pay for televised meeting

One clarification on your Kauai correspondent's Feb. 26 report on Mayor Maryanne Kusaka's televised meeting with Kealia developer Michele Hughes. The last sentence implied that county taxpayers paid for Hoike, Kauai's public access station, to "air" the program.

Nobody pays anything to public access stations to put a program before the public. All "airing" is free, and all citizens are encouraged to produce and submit their own shows on any topic.

Charles E. Roessler
Executive Director
Hoike: Kauai Community TV
Lihue, Kauai
(Via the Internet)

U.S. should just buy missile from North Korea

The Hawaiian congressional delegation should request a $1 billion emergency appropriation to buy the Taepodon 2 missile system from North Korea. Japan would concur.

This is the liquid-fuel, long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching Hawaii with a chemical, biological or nuclear warhead. Then, after the purchase, the missile would be destroyed for all the world to see.

E. Alvey Wright

Keep public informed about Latchum case

The media's pursuit of those responsible for the Dana Ireland murder has kept this case alive; otherwise, the Big Island police would have let it die a long time ago as an unsolved murder.

But why have the media stopped writing about the John Latchum murder case after Wendy Latchum left Hawaii? Will the suspects get off easy? Will the punishment fit the crime?

Unless the media cover this murder, those responsible will get off light and the public will not know.

Ronald Edmiston
(Via the Internet)


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