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Thursday, August 5, 1999


Ige has insulted incarcerated AJAs

State Sen. Marshall Ige sank to a new low when he compared his self-induced plight to the illegal incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

His attempt to characterize the state's prosecution of him for campaign law violations to the unconstitutional persecution of more than 110,000 Japanese, solely on the basis of their race, is a grave insult to all of them.

How dare he try to relate himself to these people! They suffered wholesale deprivation of their constitutional rights. As a Japanese American himself, he should be ashamed of exploiting their suffering for his personal advantage.

While we must assume Ige is innocent until proven guilty, we can certainly declare beyond any reasonable doubt that he is guilty of shameful conduct -- dragging the misfortunes of our ancestors into the debate over his misconduct and voting against Attorney General Margery Bronster despite his obvious conflict of interest.

Francis M. Nakamoto

Politicians trivialized campaign abuses

Sen. Marshall Ige's comparison of the politically disenfranchised AJAs during World War II with his current criminal proceedings is nonsensical shibai. Furthermore, his vote against the reconfirmation of Attorney General Margery Bronster was hardly the act of a disenfranchised party.

Hawaii's campaign spending laws were written by its politicians. It's no accident that violations of these laws are only considered misdemeanors.

Eric Weyenberg

Bishop Estate Archive

Medicare legislation would lower drug prices

Richard and Bette Barry are badly misinformed about efforts to lower the costs of prescription drugs for senior citizens (Letters, August 2).

First, they have confused HR 664, the Prescription Drug Fairness for Seniors Act of 1999, with President Clinton's plan to include drug benefits as part of the Medicare program.

Both proposals will lower the outrageous prices senior citizens are now being charged for prescription drugs. A pricing survey conducted at my request earlier this year found that Hawaii seniors pay a mark-up averaging 123 percent over the prices paid by favored customers (hospitals HMOs and government agencies) for the five most commonly prescribed drugs for older Americans.

HR 664 requires drug companies that sell to the federal government to give the same favored customer discount to senior citizens. In effect, this measure extends the federal government's volume buying power to older Americans.

The Part D Medicare prescription drug benefit is a separate proposal. An annual premium of $528 will cover 50 percent of prescription costs up to $5,000.

Participation will be optional, not mandatory. Those who already have coverage for prescription drugs will be free to retain their own insurance without paying Part D premiums.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D)


"Tell them the truth,
you f ------- liar!

Frank Pauline Jr.

Yelling at his cousin, Demetrio Gonsalves Jr.,
who was testifying at his trial


"We would not have approved
them if we felt something in their
history posed a risk
to the children.."

Amy Tsark

After Bruce McShane of Ewa Beach, who was convicted of
sexually abusing a child in 1957, was arrested for allegedly
sexually assaulting his 14-year-old foster daughter

Costs to correct softball field keep going up

I have just one question after reading your July 30 article on the rising cost to "fix" the University of Hawaii Wahine softball field: Are the taxpayers and the "deep pockets" of state government getting screwed again?

If simple arithmetic is used, the $612,507 project repair cost minus $28,000 for an outfield drainage charge minus the $326,000 architect insurance bond equals $258,507 that we get to pay.

Granted, there are some design charges that taxpayers should cough up -- but over a quarter million dollars?

Yikes! Did we get fleeced or what?

Timothy E. Fern

Dana Ireland

Irelands have suffered for nine years

I am so ashamed of our justice system in Hawaii. How dare the evidence be maligned to the point that the Ireland family must endure a trial to see if someone can be held accountable for the senseless torture and murder of their beloved Dana.

It is a calamity of the legal system to make innocent victims relive their horror a full nine years after the crime has happened!

I wish peace for the members of the Ireland family and hope that they soon will be able to have closure on this part of their lives. May real justice soon be served.

Betsy Mason
Via the Internet

Athletic groups don't care about girl athletes

The Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association had their big meetings in June.

We waited, hopeful that they would do the right thing for girl athletes at public schools.

We had been testifying at the state Legislature for help in getting Title IX compliance at the high school level.

These things would cost the state nothing but would benefit female student athletes in Hawaii. It would absolutely increase their opportunities for college scholarships.

Why are the student athletic associations -- made up mainly of male members -- so unwilling to change a few things that would benefit so many young women?

Diane Wong

Drug addicts are harming neighborhoods

I disagree with Cynthia Verschuur Powell's July 30 letter that consideration be given for drug decriminalization.

I live in the middle of a drug neighborhood in Wahiawa but, even before moving here some five years ago, I had no illusions that drug use is a victimless crime and that people should be free to use them if they make a personal decision to so choose.

We've had three separate murders in our block and a half these last 3-1/2 years. Now an acquaintance of mine is missing and rumored to be another statistic. Some of these folks are plain evil and the only time they care about any rehabilitation is when the handcuffs are being locked on their wrists.

Kevin Gagan
Via the Internet


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