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Saturday, April 3, 1999

Raising GET will hurt small businesses

We can appreciate Sen. Bob Nakata's humanitarian concerns, because there are needs that are not being met in the community. But Nakata is wrong to think that another 1-2 percent increase in the general excise tax will not hurt anyone.

We have already been cutting a percent or two here and there, and we just cannot cut anymore. We are not large corporations. We try to make do with what we have, defer whenever we can, and have held on for eight years.

Senator Nakata, the backbone of our state is small business. Please "get real" and understand that there is no more money in the cookie jar. Come up with a workable solution to deal with the economy -- and one of them isn't increasing taxes.

Susan Dole

Why the secrecy at Yoshina's hearing?

Unfortunately, there aren't many politicians like Sens. Colleen Hanabusa and Cal Kawamoto who publicly spoke out about our chief elections officer, Dwayne Yoshina. I myself, from the very beginning of this controversial subject, felt that Yoshina should be relieved of his duties.

What transpired at his hearing should be made public.

Mason T. Takeshita

Local leaders deserve more attention

I wish I could say that I was surprised by your fawning review of David Heenan's book on leadership (Star-Bulletin, March 24). The story never changes: If someone with the correct mainland background says the obvious, we are expected to see it as profound.

Your attention would be better focused on our home-grown leaders, people like Robert Pfeiffer of A&B and Walter Dods of First Hawaiian, who teach leadership by example.

They prove the point that those who can, do. This leaves those who can't to write about it.

Karen Takahashi



"It's not just Hawaii cows that the industry is milking. It's Hawaii consumers."

Steve Lane
Manoa resident
On how local residents pay the highest prices in the nation for milk

"It's nothing more than a flying petri dish. They worry about clean air but not dirty Kleenex."

Terry Trippler
Minneapolis airline consultant
Disgusted by the trend of U.S. airlines, in an effort to boost on-time performance, not cleaning their aircraft as well as they should

Troops need support of all Americans

The last medal I received for my active duty career was a NATO medal with a "Former Yugoslavia" clasp. While I can't discuss exactly what I was doing during Operation Sharp Guard in 1993, I can say that I was the officer in charge of a NATO/U.N. advisory detachment.

As a sign of respect for the men and women risking their lives in the Balkan Peninsula, and particularly to honor the three men now being held prisoner there, I will wear my NATO medal regularly until the action ends.

This is not a sign of support for the NATO action. The intervention in the civil war in Kosovo is a mistake, just as intervention in Vietnam's civil war was a mistake.

However, we must not abandon our brave women and men who are supporting the orders of their commander-in-chief. Our troops need our unconditional moral support.

Ken Armstrong

Toxic wastes border elementary school

It's laudable that Hickam has been recognized as the best air force installation in the universe. Yet Hickam Elementary sits parallel to a smelly toxic waste site on Pearl Harbor -- its neighbor base which is also an industrial backwater by almost anyone's standards.

The military spouses and kids who certified that Radford High is a place in dire need of capital improvements should try similar investigative techniques at Hickam Elementary and its oily toxic neighbor about 50 feet away on Pearl Harbor.

But I suspect the Navy and Air Force will rein them in through their military sponsors and smooth-talking admirals, generals and assorted aides. They have already done a high-five job of keeping Hickam and its public elementary school officials, the Department of Education, and teacher and other worker unions, in line. Ditto for Senator Inouye.

Military kids and their parents don't vote and therefore they don't count. If anyone doubts this, try placing a toxic site next to Manoa Elementary and see what happens.

R.A. Caratozzolo

What's so surprising about Hickam incident?

Only days after the announcement that Hickam won an award as the best air force base in the nation, its officials were apologizing for using the name "Hawaiian Sovereignty Group" as the terrorists to be fought in a mock war.

The most unusual thing about this is that we are hearing about it at all. This is definitely not the first time that a branch of the military has used kanaka maoli as the enemy for training scenarios.

What happens to a soldier's mind after days of practice using modern weapons of destruction against our native people? How does he or she feel about Hawaiians when the games are over? And what does this say about the military's attitude toward our islands and people?

Nancy Aleck

Teachers have nerve complaining about job

Your March 19 article, "Teachers: We're ignored, oppressed," listed teacher gripes such as large class size, poor physical working environment, dissatisfaction with the HSTA, etc.

Hey! Didn't they just get a 17 percent pay raise despite Hawaii students having some of the lowest test scores in the nation? In the private sector, raises are given for exemplary job performance, not the opposite.

The pay hike was to compensate them for poor working conditions, and now they're complaining again? They even want to eliminate the extra seven working days a year which were agreed upon as a condition for their exorbitant raise.

What nerve! I wish I could work nine months a year and get paid for 12.

So, to all of you overpaid, malcontent teachers: If you spent half the time and energy on teaching as you do on complaining, maybe our kids could read.

Roy Westlake

Uninsured motorists shouldn't drive

I wholeheartedly agree that granting additional amnesty to uninsured drivers is irresponsible.

As a claims professional, I have seen the financial stress suffered by people who have been involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. By having to go through your own policy to pay for the damage, your premiums increase.

In essence, the person is doubly victimized: first in the accident, then through the insurance process.

Everyone needs to be reminded that driving is a privilege, not a right. If you can't afford insurance, then you need to take public transportation.

It is the same concept with everything in life. If you can't afford to eat in a restaurant, cook dinner at home.If you can't afford the minimum insurance limits, catch the bus!

Celise Nakakura
Via the Internet

Good riddance to 'Baywatch,' mate

I'm a resident of Avalon, the village in Sydney, Australia that didn't want "Baywatch." We didn't want "Baywatch" for many sound reasons including parking problems, interference with beach usage by locals and the infrastructure of a rather fragile environment that we love.

I've been reading the Star-Bulletin on your web page and want to thank you for keeping us up to date on the "Baywatch" story. It's been a constant source of amusement for many people here.

Among other things, what amazes us is; if "Baywatch" is a show watched by around 1 billion people on the planet in 140+ countries, why does it need to have concessions from the union worker's pay packets?

Why does it need huge handouts to the tune of millions of dollars, as it asked for from the Australian government?

"Baywatch Downunder," the episode shot in Sydney last year, was shown in Australia last Saturday evening. The show was a riot of bad scripting, poor continuity, screamingly illogical plot-lines and incredibly obvious brand-name marketing.

This show is of such poor quality and yet so many bow down before it. What gives? It's a mystery to us, but no loss.

Lynda Hill
Avalon Beach
Sydney, Australia
Via the Internet

School of Public Health is a necessity today

Nationwide, there is a growing recognition that in the future improvements in our personal and family health status will depend on the application of basic public health measures such as lifestyle changes, environmental protection and the uniform availability of basic health services to all people.

To provide both the grassroots and scientific leadership for this movement, new schools of public health continue to be established across the nation including one at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Given this widespread appreciation of the value of these academic centers, it is difficult to comprehend how the University of Hawaii can permit its School of Public Health, once a jewel in its academic crown, to come to its present state of affairs.

It would be difficult to establish and even more difficult to believe but it has been suggested that a program of benign neglect coupled with a budget process of "death by a thousand small cuts" has placed the school in grave jeopardy of loss of accreditation.

Surely good reason, if not concern for the health of the public, must prevail in this case.

Jerrold M. Michael
Emeritus Professor of Public Health
University of Hawaii
Adjunct Professor of Health Services George Washington University

School serves all of Asia-Pacific region

I am an alumnus of the School of Public Health (MPH, 1990), University of Hawaii.

I was recently informed that the school may be closed due to economic constraints. I would like to ask the UH president to reconsider and give the school a chance and support to fully function as a center for education and research in the field of public health not only in Hawaii but also in the Asia-Pacific region.

I wonder why public health receives lower priority at the time when health is a more and more important part of our lives. Health is a very complex issue. No single discipline can comprehensively deal with health problems.

The interdisciplinary approach employed by the programs at the UH School of Public Health is imperative to improve the health of the people in Hawaii. Closing it will result in the deterioration in people's health in the long run. It also means that the people in the Asia-Pacific region will lose the training and research center for public health.

If a public university gives up the responsibility of developing personnel and a body of knowledge for health of the public, who else does it?

I sincerely hope that UH will not close the School of Public Health.

Tsutomu Kitajima
Kyorin University
School of Health Sciences
Tokyo, Japan
Via the Internet

Editor's note: Similar letters were submitted by the following alumni of the UH School of Public Health: Jeff B. Benjamin, April Bogard, Chin Sik Chung, Vince Costello, Judy Delkes-kamp, Sonja Evensen, Penny A. Hatcher, Joan S. Jacobs, Robert C. Jarvis, Yoshiko Kaku, Bridget Kaumeheiwa, Dr. Lindsay Jack Kirkham, Luana L. Lamkin, Teri G. Lindgren, Rhonda A. Liu, Jamaal Martin, Carol Murry, Dr. Peter M. Nakamura, Ron Paik, Carol Paul-Watanabe, Garry Pitts, Sachiko Taketa, Shun-Wen Tsai, Shannon Turner and Milly Tanabe.


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