to the Editor

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Wednesday, March 31, 1999


Why must union workers take wage cuts?

There seems to be the attitude in this state among the powers-that-be that the working stiff should carry the ball for the fat cats. First, tax credits are offered to hotel owners to renovate hotels. Who do you think is left to make up the shortfall in tax collections?

Now the Teamsters are being castigated for sticking to their previously negotiated wages in the state's efforts to get "Baywatch" to film in Hawaii. Whether one thinks truck drivers are paid too much, too little or just right is irrelevant. The wages are an agreement negotiated between the Teamsters and the industry.

It appears that this boon to the travel industry and the economy is being lost for the want of around $120,000. Why should the Teamsters, and for that matter the actors and other union members, be expected to give up a third of their rightful income, and be expected to subsidize the producers of the show?

John Coleman
Via the Internet

Teamsters chief blew it for Hawaii

Leo Reed's arrogance in the "Baywatch" negotiations has affected a lot more people than just the 17 drivers he represents; it has an impact on the thousands of residents who depend on tourism for their daily income. In addition to killing this once-in-a-decade opportunity, word of his irresponsible position and pretentiousness will fly through the entertainment industry, negating possible productions for years to come.

It is an ethical crime that one individual can cost a community so much money.Just last week, the HVCB released a report concluding that Hawaii's worldwide exposure during the Miss Universe Pageant was "an unqualified success on all levels." Imagine that kind of exposure for the islands every week.

Reed's argument that he "must maintain (national) wage and benefit standards" for his members is hopelessly unrealistic. I am a member of the AFL-CIO and my income isn't comparable with what my counterparts earn on the mainland.If it were, my company would be out of business.

Finally, Mr. Reed is wrong on one other issue.I live in Laie and I don't love him.In fact, I resent him.

Michael Ehlert
Via the Internet

Conservatives have promoted equal rights

I couldn't agree more with Allicyn Hikida Tasaka of the Commission on the Status of Women when she is quoted in the March 25 Star-Bulletin as saying that "our youth no longer have a clue about the struggle for equal rights and civil rights." I submit that she has no clue herself.

What does Tasaka mean when she says a conservative wave of thinking has set back the civil-rights movement of the 1960s? Conservative thinking -- like that of the courageous Ward Connerly, who engineered the end of state-sanctioned discrimination in California and Washington -- has done more for equal and civil rights than all of the feminists put together.

Victimology specialists like Tasaka have very little to teach our youth other than more of the same old empty political correctness.

Richard Garver
Via the Internet

United States is a world bully

The United States of America has become a world bully. The president and secretary of state are war criminals. I am embarrassed.

Hank Whittington
Via the Internet

"I think (the administration) is
just finding ways to balance
the budget."

Donna Mercado Kim
Honolulu city Councilwoman
Questioning Mayor Harris' plan to double
motor vehicle registration fees

"Some guy has hit me an
I'm being dragged by a train!
Oh, please help!"

Amber Scott
19-year-old from Anderson, Ind.
Whose car was rear-ended into the side of a moving freight train
and then dragged for three miles as Scott used her
cellular phone to call for help

There's nothing funny about 'Kill Haole Day'

I read with disgust and dismay the comments of Rep. Jim Rath (R-Kona) concerning "Kill Haole Day." He said that in certain schools it is a "long-standing tradition." Is he admitting that the state school system tolerates hate and racism? Or is it, in the words of Schools Superintendent Paul LeMahieu, a "joke"?

Well, I'm not laughing. Racism and hatred should never be a tradition and they are most certainly never funny. Let's substitute the words "nigger," "fag," "Jap" or "girls" in "Kill Haole Day" and see if anyone laughs. Or is it only funny when it is white people who are the ones getting killed?

All of this merely illustrates the very thin veneer of "tolerance" being practiced in our school system and our island society.

Starling Thomas Meahl
Via the Internet

School athletic group needs to be reorganized

It's time to wake up, parents of athletes! We need to speak up for our children. The Hawaii High School Athletic Association needs reorganization.

At its most recent open meeting, invited speaker Jill Nunokawa was treated rudely by the HHSAA board. These good "old boys" and the one "young boy" are determining our daughters' athletic opportunities. The "young boy," executive director Keith Amemiya, did not even acknowledge the invitation extended to Nunokawa to address the board.

Amemiya stated that the HHSAA is fully complying with Title IX. This is an outright lie. We need to disband this board and reorganize it under the Department of Education. We need to start afresh, with women on the board. We need board members who are educated about equal rights for all.

Most of all, we need to open the books of the HHSAA and make it accountable to those who fund this board -- the schools and the public. I am embarrassed and disgusted that our student athletes are represented by this group.

Diane Wong

Military recognizes danger of fireworks

For those who believe that fireworks aren't dangerous, doesn't it seem strange that every military department specifically forbids these items in munitions storage areas?

As a munitions expert who has seen people killed and maimed by items that weren't supposed to detonate, it amazes me that we are willing to put our children's lives in jeopardy for such a short-lived thrill.

Cultural symbolism? Bull.

Victor Moss
Master Sergeant
U.S. Air Force
Hickam AFB, Hawaii


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