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Monday, April 19, 1999


It's my job to do right by Hawaii Teamsters

I don't apologize for getting the best results for Hawaii Teamsters hired to drive for "Baywatch." My loyalty is to them -- period!

If the critics and crybabies in Hawaii want to blame me for the state's economic woes, so be it. I may be wrong, but I always thought that Hawaii's politicians, throughout the years, created this dilemma.

Governor Cayetano did the right thing by getting "Baywatch" to film in Hawaii. It will enhance the promotion of the islands. But the show will only put a tiny Band-aid on a huge economic sore.

Although I hope that things will change for the better, your state's economic predicament will continue for a long time.

Maybe, instead of whining, the people of Hawaii should look for jobs elsewhere.

More than 100,000 of us have left our beloved home to seek employment on the mainland. We left for better opportunities and security. I left Hawaii flat broke to drive a truck. I had a college degree, but that didn't matter.

Do you think we like living on the mainland? I hate it! Almost every day I think about skin diving off Hauula, Laie and Kahuku.

Many of my friends and family members died while I've been away. My mother is 82 years old. I miss her and it hurts. Yet the sacrifice is worth it because someday we will be back together.

Leo Tautua Tanoai Reed Sr.
Director Teamsters Local 399
Hollywood, Calif.

Hawaii spends too little on public schools

An April 8 letter by Ronald Edmiston asked, "Where do school maintenance funds go?"

Since Hawaii ranks at the bottom of all 50 states in the level of funding for public schools, the response has to be, "What funds?"

Jerome G. Manis


Fireworks are key part of holiday celebration

The fireworks ban that Governor Cayetano has proposed will demolish Hawaii's special culture. For years, Hawaii has been celebrating New Year's Eve by popping fireworks and kicking back with friends and family. It is probably the most anticipated holiday, next to Christmas.

People have to understand that Hawaii has strong morals and customs, and the celebration of the New Year is, by far, the most important. For crying out loud, it is only one day out of 365!

For those who insist that fireworks are too smoky and noisy, close the windows! Why should we break tradition because someone complains, "Ow, my ears hurt!"

Marissa Christine Robello

"God forgave me for
destroying families. I'll never go
back to selling drugs."

Roy Yamamoto
After he escaped a 20- to 40-year prison sentence by
telling a judge about how God
changed his life

"I don't want to pick a fight
with the executive."

Norman Mizuguchi
Refusing to respond to Governor Cayetano's criticism
that the state Senate is not "capable of
providing good leadership"

Teens shouldn't be driving late at night

I support HB167, HD3, SD2, which would require all drivers younger than 18 to have notes from their parents if they are driving in the wee hours of the morning. It would also raise from 15 to 16 the age to obtain a driver's license, and from 14-1/2 to 15-1/2 the age to get a learner's permit. It would require mandatory driving class and on-the-road education.

Lives have been lost due to driving accidents by teens. Some were because of drunken driving; some died while drag-racing.

The curfew would cut down on the number of teens out late at night, and the number of crimes committed by them. If a teen must be out after midnight for whatever reason, there should be no problem getting a note from a parent.

Nerine Villagomez
Grade 9,
Mililani High Mililani

Students ought to be 18 before getting licenses

There shouldn't be curfews for young drivers. Rather, the age to get a driver's license should be raised from 15 to 18.

The age of 15 is too young to be handling a car. At this time in a teen's life, he or she is going through changes and problems. To give cars to young people would be a deadly situation.

I had to wait until I was 18 before getting my license. By waiting, I turned out to be a more responsible driver.

Melissa Cordeiro

It's better to build smaller county prisons

Once a prison is in place, the easiest, most economic way to address future demand for prison space is simply to expand it. The Big Island does not wish to become the Prison Island!

To place such a burden on one county is unfair. That is why I disagree with the idea of building a 2,236-bed medium security facility in Hawaii County. Whether you choose to view this as an economic boost or a social burden, this idea needs to be customized to fulfill the needs of the entire state.

If the governor is a man of wisdom, he should support a smaller 500-bed prison in each county. Each would provide incarceration as well as much-needed drug rehabilitation facilities.

This would lessen the negative impact of such an enormous facility on one place, alleviate the cost to taxpayers for transporting inmates to other islands for their hearings and would give each island construction jobs.

Michelle Bauer
Mt. View, Hawaii

Why buy high-priced island milk at all?

Thanks for the April 2 front-page look at how people in Hawaii are paying too much for milk. But will anything happen as a result of your good reporting? I doubt it.

Mainland friends who read the story tell us that, in some places, they pay as little as $1.79 a gallon -- far below even the wonderfully low prices your survey showed for such states as Wisconsin, New York, Iowa, Maine and Pennsylvania ($2.11-$2.23 a gallon).

They also point out that, unlike Hawaii, where cows can graze all year round on nice green grass, many mainland dairies have to buy feed for their cattle nine months of the year, and they can still sell their milk for about a third of what we pay.

They wonder why we buy milk at all.

Keith Haugen
Via the Internet


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