to the Editor

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Friday, May 21, 1999


Honolulu Council should cut budget

When the revenues of any business are down, you look to see where you can cut expenses. It only makes sense that government should do the same.

City Council members Mufi Hannemann and John Henry Felix were on the right track in trying to downsize our city budget. Next year is likely to be worse and we should be tightening our belts now. Mayor Harris' promise of $38 million each year to communities is well intended, but poorly timed.

New Budget Chairwoman Rene Mansho gives taxpayers little confidence when she is quoted as saying that she doesn't know how she will shape the budget.

It makes me wonder just how prepared the Council's new leadership, under Jon Yoshimura, is for this challenge.

N. Quinabo
Via the Internet

Senator Hanabusa is way out of line

Sen. Colleen Hanabusa has no right to demand an apology from the Democratic Party for not agreeing with her and her colleagues in the Bronster episode. If Hanabusa and the other senators did not know what the citizens of the state wanted, why should Democrats like me consult with her and the others before condemning them? Democracy and proper representation work both ways.

Also, Governor Cayetano is a credit to the party. Hanabusa should not be attacking him.

R. Chang

Don't rejoice yet over narrowing pay gap

Since bad news fills so much newspaper space, readers might have been pleased to see some presumably good news in Betsy Hart's May 11 column, "Younger women don't experience pay gap." However, her commentary distorts history and blames victims.

Yes, the wage gap for women has narrowed from 59 cents in the late 1970s to 73 cents in the late '90s. But large-scale structural unemployment -- permanent loss of highly paid jobs in manufacturing and white-collar sectors through off-shore sourcing, subcontracting and automation (jobs formerly disproportionately occupied by men) -- has largely been responsible for narrowing the pay gap.

Yes, there is less blatant discrimination today, but it did not decline spontaneously; social and political movements brought that about.

The complex realities of women and work stand in sharp contrast to Hart's simplistic complaint that young women are clinging to a victim mentality and fraudulently crying discrimination.

In the absence of paid family leave; real opportunities for support for single-parent, dual-earner and dual-career couples/families; and authentic self-improvement opportunities and jobs for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients, we've still got a long way to go!

Joyce N. Chinen
University of Hawaii-West Oahu

Hatred of Caucasians is encouraged

There's been a lot of talk lately about racism in Hawaii. Scores of letters to the editor, articles and public pronouncements claim that we must have "zero tolerance for racism." Sure.

For decades, many teachers and school administrators have turned an indifferent eye to reports of racial and gender abuse in our public schools. The victims were told that they should transfer to another campus if they felt unwanted.

Some teachers (even in a well-known private school) and parents go even beyond just tolerating racism. They actually foment this disease. They tell their kids that the "haole" stole the land, destroyed the culture, put their people in prison, gave us poor health and forced them on welfare. Children are taught to hate.

The best example of this was the comment by a UH ethnic studies professor, Davianna McGregor, who said, "Attitudes toward whites will be negatively colored until past injustices are atoned."

I say to McGregor and others who make excuses for the ill treatment of people in Hawaii: Baloney! How do they explain the abuse of Filipino and African-American students in our schools? What about the recent lawsuit filed against Kamehameha Schools by an African-American teacher for being abused by students and faculty?

Until the likes of McGregor stop making excuses for the abuse of other races, real aloha in Hawaii will remain a myth.

Art Todd

Niihau Ranch is definitely not closed

In reading your May 14 article on Niihau, I noted a serious factual error. It is a result of sloppy wording in statements, on my part, made to your reporter during casual conversation with him.

Because Niihau Ranch has drastically reduced its operations to an extremely low level, I carelessly referred to the ranch as being essentially "closed." However, the ranch is not actually closed. It is still very much in business, although at a vastly reduced level.

All existing Navy contracts are still being performed, livestock shipments (despite dead market prices) are being sent out and other vital work continues to be done.

If my momentary careless wording caused any alarm or confusion to anyone (especially the Navy officers involved with Niihau Ranch contracts), I heartily apologize.

Keith Robinson
Makaweli, Kauai

Paramedics are not just ambulance drivers

We don't say police officers are police car drivers. We don't say firefighters are fire truck drivers or attendants.

So please, especially newspaper and TV reporters, don't call us ambulance drivers or ambulance attendants. We are Honolulu EMS paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

EMS paramedics and EMTs don't just drive people to the hospital. We provide emergency medical treatment, risking our lives and saving lives every day.

C. Sukekane
Mobile Intensive Care Technician


"When I play the
Waikiki Shell and sing about
the westside, everybody from
that side (of the island) is yelling
and everybody from Waimanalo
side is booing. I hope everybody
can just come together as one.
I feel like music can do that."

Baba B
On his second album, "Windward Side," which
salutes famous musicians of the area

"My boys aren't afraid
to go to trial. We want to
clear this case."

Linda Schweitzer
After her sons were reindicted in the 1991
Big Island murder of Dana Ireland

Integrated students didn't kill out of anger

During the 1950s and '60s, when blacks were forced to attend white schools (not the other way around) due to forced integration, they were met with hostility. Yet I can't recall a single incident back then in which a black kid returned to school with shotguns and pistols, and took out half the student body.

If any one had reason to commit such a horrendous act, those African-American kids did, but they didn't. That says volumes.

Archie McCoy

Metal detectors are not the answer

Metal detectors will not prevent these school shootings. They'll just ensure the guard at the detector is the first victim (remember the Capitol shootings?).

As for those blaming gun-control laws for these massacres and advocating arming teachers: Yeah, right. I can picture teachers drawing their 9mms and having a shootout with people armed with shotguns and assault weapons. Even SWAT teams don't want to do that!

Jeffrey Shockey

Seek to understand why kids are 'different'

Just the other day near a high school campus, I saw a clique of similarly dressed but "different" kids. One wore a black trench coat. Another had white and black face make-up, orange hair and a long black dress. A third was wearing fishnet stockings, black boots and a Marilyn Manson T-shirt.

When such students show creativity in unusual ways, they do not mix well with their fellow classmates. They often feel lonely, alienated and depressed. Desperate for any kind of attention, they seek to belong but in the wrong ways.

They start teasing other kids because of their racial backgrounds, interests and abilities. As their anger increases, their sensitivity and love decrease. Something blows up inside them, and they feel like suicide is the only answer. They decide to take innocent kids with them.

How tragic that many students die because of the hatred and violence of others. We need to recognize those who stand out and take the time to find out how they feel, and why they are dangerously different.

Tiffany Lovell

Unarmed citizens are sitting ducks for deranged

Government policies declaring schools to be gun-free have backfired. Our teachers and kids are sitting ducks for any deranged person intent on attack.

Some blame guns, but guns aren't the problem. The percentage of the population that owns guns has remained constant for over 100 years.

What has changed is the weakening of religious and family values, and the exposure that children have to the "entertainment" industry, including depictions of violence and suggestions that violence can solve problems and may even be heroic.

Studies have shown that violent crime decreases where there are fewer restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons, because criminals prefer to attack the defenseless.

Bottom line: Shootings at schools and abortion clinics will come to a screeching halt when those places are protected by armed citizens.

Brian Baron

ACLU, not NRA, is to blame for shootings

Pointing a finger at the National Rifle Association for the school shootings of students is not right. The blame lies solely with the ACLU, an organization that protects the rights of criminals and ignores the cries of victims.

Courts are backlogged and frivolous lawsuits are being won more often than not. If any school staff were to question students about their dress, attitude or strange mannerisms, the ACLU stepped in and sued the faculty.

This is the most feared organization in America, whose only goal is to sue, sue, sue. We should rid this country of the ACLU.

Bruce Tetreault

Don't blame guns for public tragedies

For those who still believe that guns were the problem in the Columbine tragedy, consider that guns have been available for over 200 years. It is only recently, within the past 20 or 30 years, that murderous and suicidal rampages have become a fact of life.

What has changed that has allowed this bloody phenomenon to appear? Perhaps the dismissal of individual and group morality, and the adoption of the liberal permissiveness introduced in the 1960s.

Leave my guns alone and go look in the mirror!

Bruce Wong


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