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Wednesday, June 23, 1999


Shinseki appointment shows U.S. at its best

It is always gratifying to hear people of different heritages rising to unimaginable heights in their career. America has many flaws and injustices, but always rises above its mistakes.

Four-star Gen. Eric Shinseki is the newly appointed chief of staff of the U.S. Army. But it took another person to break the barrier of becoming the first American of Japanese ancestry to be the group's first brigadier general.

It was in the 1970s. Francis Takemoto, brigadier general (now retired), became the State of Hawaii's adjutant general. He was a member of McKinley High School's Hall of Fame (graduates who make their mark in the community), a former high school principal and teacher, and a University of Hawaii graduate.

There were others breaking into the ranks as major generals and lieutenant generals as well.

Japanese Americans from Hawaii have proven themselves many times over.

Michael P. Augusta



"I was a kid who left Hawaii to go to the military academy. I am humbled to stand here today as the 34th chief of staff."

Gen. Eric Shinseki
Grandson of Japanese immigrants to Kauai
As he was formally honored in Washington, D.C., as U.S. Army chief of staff

"In the grand American tradition, if you don't like what they (the media) are printing, you print your own."

Gerald Kato
UH associate professor of journalism
On the first 28-page issue of the semi-annual 'Imi Loa magazine, a glossy state publication which accepts ads and uses taxpayer money to highlight accomplishments of the Cayetano administration

Three overreacted about property taxes

It's sure tough trying to sort things out down at City Hall. But finally those who tried to politicize the property tax debate were shown to be wrong.

The responsible City council members -- Jon Yoshimura, Rene Mansho, Andy Mirikitani, Duke Bainum, John DeSoto and Steve Holmes -- were shouted down for a week by the other three members who were predicting property taxes would go up so much that we'd have to sell and move to the mainland.

In the end, it was much ado about nothing.

We got a budget that had no new taxes, and no golf, garbage or bus fare increases. We also got property tax rates that will have little effect on most of us. Those who will have higher property taxes will pay around $100 more annually. And it's tax deductible.

K. Olivera

Government shouldn't subsidize bad habit

Why is money I pay in taxes going to support a new slaughterhouse in Campbell Industrial Park?

I remember the day I ate my last cheeseburger about 10 years ago. That was the day I finally decided to make good on a longstanding wish to no longer participate in the grisly process of exploiting sensitive living beings and violently transforming them into meat to satisfy our taste for their flesh.

I've never looked back. But the state subsidy of the slaughterhouse makes me a part of that process again.

I suspect that many of us, if we were really aware of the gruesome conditions in a slaughterhouse, would have a hard time eating meat. But, of course, we protect ourselves from the truth. We also ignore the fact that meat is implicated in many health problems such as atherosclerosis, cancer, kidney disorders, salmonellosis, osteoporosis and trichinosis.

Why build another slaughterhouse when there are so many healthy alternatives to meat available today?

R. Elton Johnson III
Via the Internet

Judges are letting trustees slip away

Auwe to Judge Michael Town. Judges should dispense justice, not technicalities. Rule on the merits of evidence, don't let alleged criminals get away with their trespasses because of the incompetence of attorneys.

I hope the attorney general re-indicts Richard Wong and associates before the rest of the Bishop Estate trustees get off scot-free.

Arnold E. Widder

No excuse for bombing Chinese embassy

I disagree with the Star-Bulletin's June 18 editorial about the three U.S. missiles hitting the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and killing three people.

To say the attack was a mistake is an insult to human intelligence. The U.S. claims that its spy satellites can read the headline of a newspaper from the sky, yet it can't even identify a Chinese flag?

Since this was either murder or negligent homicide, those responsible must be identified and punished. We should show China sincere remorse, not offer a plain apology.

Finally, ask yourself this: If someone went to your house and killed your sons and daughters, would the culprit be able to get away with it by saying, "Sorry! I just got an old map and went to the wrong house."

Ma Chun

Bronster should run for elective office

Attorney General Margery Bronster was let go, not for what she didn't do (as some liberal state senators would like us to believe), but because she brought a breath of clean, fresh air into a cesspool of corruption and cronyism.

She fought to bring justice into a system that had none. Though they got rid of her, Bronster's fight is still being carried out. Hopefully, her replacement will stick to the same principles.

If Bronster were to run for office, any office, I would probably cast my first vote in Hawaii ever for a Democrat. She is a rarity -- a lawyer with common sense. I honestly thought they had become extinct, much like the unicorn.

Bruce Tetreault

Sacred Falls mustn't be tourist attraction

On Mother's Day, the Hawaiian spirits showed their rage for all the disrespect they have been receiving. The tragic rockslide at Sacred Falls Park had a major impact on the lives of the people who gathered there, as well as on their families and friends.

The disrespect that brought these spirits to such anger was the overuse of this sacred place. The spirits have shown us that this place should NOT be a public park that everyone can use.

This park should never be reopened for tourism reasons but only for Hawaiian people to practice their culture. This is one occurrence that could lead to many more if we, the people of Hawaii, don't pay attention to the message that these spirits have sent us.

Blanche Vivas
Via the Internet


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