to the Editor

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Wednesday, June 9, 1999


Welfare rules too harsh for island state

On July 1, welfare recipients who are not in compliance with federal guidelines will lose their cash benefits. These guidelines, laid out two years ago, require that recipients must be working, in a job training program or performing four hours of volunteer work (daily) to continue receiving payments.

Where are the jobs, even minimum pay positions, for these people? There are not enough jobs to go around. To compound this situation, thousands of recent high school and college graduates are also competing for whatever meager jobs are available.

Hawaii is unique; we are an island state. On the mainland you can move to the next state and find something to do, but here you're stuck. People who need their cash payments for rent will be put out on the streets, parks and beaches.

The federal government should rescind these mandates for Hawaii, because of our unique and isolated situation. Our congressional representatives should seek positive relief in this area.

Jennifer Lee
Pearl City
Via the Internet

Summer air fares have gone sky-high

I have just made some comparisons of round-trip air fares from Honolulu to various mainland cities, as published two weeks ago and again today, on June 6.

Two examples: Honolulu-New York on May 23: $518; on June 6, $1,080. More than double. Honolulu-Atlanta: jumps from $512 to $932, again almost double. Why?

I know that all airlines agreed on a general increase of about 4 percent within the past week, but I see no other reason that would cause a great jump in the cost per seat mile.

Even though I had planned a trip, I will not pay what I consider an unfair and inflated cost. I will just stay home and continue to enjoy my life in Hawaii.

William G. Burlingame Sr.
Via the Internet



"All that's needed is a write-in campaign. He (Duke Kahanamoku) deserves it. He should have been honored with this long, long ago."

Don Gallagher
Washington, D.C. member of the Surfrider Foundation
On how Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii's legendary father of surfing, should be honored by having his face commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp

"I know so many people who are gone now. I go through my Rolodex from three years ago, and a full third of them are out of business. It is just at a critical point."

John B. Harmon III
Owner of a Kalihi graphics company
On how small businesses are hurting in Hawaii and can't withstand any more tax increases

Compensation should go to all Hawaiians

Bob Beach suggested in his May 13 letter to the editor that only 100 percent Hawaiians should receive any type of compensation. He reasoned that if compensation was extended to anyone not 100 percent Hawaiian, we were then trying to correct a "grievance" between a great-grandfather and great-grandmother.

This logic is erroneous because:

Bullet Since any of the 100 percent Hawaiians today were all born after the overthrow, to compensate only 100 percent Hawaiians is still correcting a grievance between great-grandparents.
Bullet Members of Native American tribes who receive "compensation" are not limited to those who have 100 percent Indian blood.
Bullet His logic ignores such persons as Princess Kaiulani Cleghorn, a half-Hawaiian who would have been the next monarch if not for the overthrow.

Damon Senaha
San Diego, Calif.
Via the Internet

Craft fairs should not be banned

As a patron of craft fairs for more than 15 years throughout the Pacific Northwest and in Hawaii, I have been especially happy about the fairs at Kapiolani Park. They are delightful and should not be banned.

Handmade crafts by local artisans are unique and reflect the beauty of our local culture. The products promote pride in our heritage, creativity in our people and grass-roots appreciation of the arts.

Where else could I buy hand-painted Christmas ornaments, custom-crocheted rugs, a stained-glass hibiscus night light, a mailbox air-brushed with palm trees, or a personalized plaque for my house?

There is a camaraderie among crafters. All are independent entrepreneurs who have chosen to make a living using their talents and doing something they enjoy. Most could undoubtedly earn more on an employee's hourly salary. Fees of $50 to $200 are paid to participate in craft fairs. Profits can be slim.

Craft fairs represent small business ventures in the purest form. They are made up of local artisans and are geared for local community members. We should support and promote craft fairs as an investment in our local heritage.

As a taxpayer, I can think of no better use of our public parks.

Wini Farrell
Via the Internet

Cartoon unfairly charges bigotry

Here we go again, playing the race card to defend Democrats. Corky's outrageous May 27 "yellow peril" cartoon in the Star-Bulletin implies that anyone concerned about lax security and high-tech sales to China, possibly greased by campaign contributions to Clinton/Gore, must be an anti-Asian bigot.

Never mind that China's "great leap forward" could enable it to blackmail its neighbors, face down a more timid United States and pose a nuclear threat to American cities. China has already threatened Los Angeles if we interfere in Taiwan.

Just imagine the puzzled and angry reaction to Corky's cartoon if it were published in Japan, South Korea, India or especially Taiwan.

Carol White
Via the Internet

'Fighting for peace' is still fighting

Peace is a very black and white issue -- either we have peace or we have war. There is no such thing as "fighting for peace." Once we use violence, we give away our peace.

If we are to change from a "culture of war" to a "culture of peace," it must start with each and every one of us. We must have the determination to keep peace by never taking up violence.

We are willing to send soldiers to die in wars. Why not be willing to die for peace?

Jim Risser
Via the Internet


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