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Thursday, June 17, 1999


Adults ignore needs of teen skaters

Has anybody learned anything from the Columbine tragedy yet? Apparently not, at least not in Mililani. Teen-agers are being discriminated against by a handful of self-centered, narrow-minded residents who are trying to derail a planned hockey rink using lame excuses like traffic congestion, noise and vandalism, short notice, and on and on.

None of those complaints are substantiated or unequivocal.

Selfishness dictates that these few opponents object to anything that doesn't benefit them, even though it is of utmost importance to the area's teen-agers.

For years, Mililani teens, with the help of some open-minded adults, have been fighting to build a rink for bladers and skaters so they don't have to do it unsafely on the street. Now that their goal is almost in sight, some jerks are trying to shoot it down.

People looking for answers to teen-age violence need look no further. Sports are the best way to vent teen-agers' energy, not plotting destruction and revenge. By the way, skaters have already been freely labeled as outcasts. Does it ring a bell?

Paul Zennon
Via the Internet

Public needs break from hike in taxes, fees

I am beginning to really appreciate the arguments that Council members Mufi Hannemann, John Henry Felix and Donna Kim have been putting forth relative to the city budget.

They are in sync with public sentiment: that the city should reduce spending rather than raise property taxes and other fees.

This "revenue-neutral" explanation of the Harris administration is just a smokescreen to confuse us as to what it is really doing -- raising our taxes!

I used to think the bickering at City Hall was just political in nature. It is now clear that these three Council members are fighting for me and other distressed residents and businesses.

Hiroko Hamada

Mayor, governor engage in fiscal sleight-of-hand

The fiscal tug-of-war between the governor and the mayor is silly. Doesn't the governor realize that every dollar the mayor has to suck out of the people is one less dollar that he can suck out of them?

Of course, Mayor Harris looks pretty bad when one day he's short a few million bucks, then, when some of the Titanic's deck chairs are reorganized, well, whatta ya know, here's some extra cash.

And, when balancing the budget depends on future sales of city property (such as the Kukui Plaza condos), then you know that the city hasn't the foggiest idea of what good financial planning is.

But the governor isn't innocent, either: In running for re-election he claimed to have turned around a massive budget shortfall into a reasonably healthy surplus.

Of course it was another shell game, but did the people bite? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

It's time we got rid of all of them. With politicians like these, Kosovo looks like a pretty good place to live. At least Slobodon & Co. are pretty honest about why they don't want you to live there.

James Ko
Via the Internet

Is this a case of greedy robbing the blind?

In your June 4 issue, there was an article about the city and blind vendors settling a lawsuit in which the vendors would receive at least $50,000 and the lawyers, Levin and Shirley, $150,000 -- or three times as much.

How silly of me. I thought that the purpose of the lawsuit was to benefit the blind vendors.

Walter Young


"Seven years ago,
we needed to put America
back to work -- and we did.
Now we must build on that
foundation. We must make
family life work
in America."

Vice President Al Gore
Announcing his candidacy for president

"I cannot hop, skip and
jump across that highway.
Senior citizens are
slow like turtles."

Miriam Tollefsen
Suggesting that pedestrian overpasses be built
over Pali Highway to prevent
further fatalities

Agbayani is a hit on the field and with fans

I've been a big fan of Benny Agbayani since he played for the minor league team in Norfolk, Va.

At the beginning of the season I drew a picture of him and took it out to a baseball game. The game was rained out, but since I had been waiting for more than 30 minutes in the rain, he was gracious enough to invite me into the locker room, where he and two other players signed the pictures.

Benny and a couple of other players took interest in my art, asking me questions such as how long it took to draw the pictures. They liked the pictures so much they had me make copies for them. That was the best day of my life.

If you want to know why fans in New York have made Agbayani into a cult hero, you should ask the Norfolk Tides fans he shared his wedding with or the fans he signed autographs for relentlessly before and after games. The fact is that Benny Agbayani is a excellent ballplayer and a great person.

Jonathan Gordon
Virginia Beach, Va.
Via the Internet

Ireland stories gave family new information

Dana Ireland The Star-Bulletin deserves the Nobel prize for last week's series on Dana Ireland. I had not heard all of the information that was included in the stories. Dana's parents, John and Louise, have been under a "gag order," which they have honored, so even family members were not privy to this.

I was so moved by the content that tears came for the first time in more than five years. Special thanks to writer Cynthia Oi for her caring.

I hope and pray that there will be no more delays in bringing all of this to closure.

Dolores Ireland Dooley
Steubenville, Ohio
Via the Internet

Condemning Chinese espionage isn't racist

I recommend that you cancel Emil Guillermo's column, "Asian Persuasion." He is obviously a racist, and frankly I am tried of being labeled a bigot just because I am not of Asian ancestry.

Guillermo's June 3 column, concerning the Cox report on Chinese espionage and illegal political contributions was a travesty.

First, he states that "many (Asians) lost jobs and promotions" after public hearings of the Huang affair. How does he back up this absurd statement with facts?

Then he says "no matter what China steals, the U.S. is still so far in front it doesn't matter." The implication is that if you're Asian, it is OK to commit espionage. If you criticize it, you are a bigot.

R.D. Greenamyer
Via the Internet


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