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Tuesday, August 17, 1999


Minimum-wage hike won't hurt economy

Your Aug. 4 editorial quickly denounced Governor Cayetano's proposal to raise the state minimum wage. Dire predictions of job loss and negative impacts on the economy are common reactions of those opposed to raising the minimum wage. But studies of what has actually happened paint a very different picture.

The federal minimum wage was raised in 1996 and 1997, and the impact on jobs was statistically insignificant. Furthermore, 1997 saw the start-up of a record number of small businesses.

Since it is your position that a hike in the minimum wage is not the way to help families forced off of public assistance, I hope this means your paper is willing to make a commitment in some other way. The Star-Bulletin should call the state Department of Human Services right away to become a welfare-to-work employer.

Nancy Aleck
Via the Internet

Gay Scout's ouster must traumatize others

Imagine the psychological damage that will be suffered by so many Boy Scouts who happen to be homosexual. Can you imagine the thoughts they might have now after hearing how an honor scout was singled out and ejected just because he was gay?

Alter Nathan Bader
Lihue, Kauai
Via the Internet



"He called it shoe restoration. He loved working with leather. "

Jeanette "J.J." Johnson
Who took over her late father's longtime shoe-shine business at Restaurant Row in Kakaako

"Hell, no! I've done my job."

Whitney Anderson
State Senator
Asked if he feels threatened by the Windward coalition for Better Government formed by Windward residents upset with their lawmakers -- Anderson and Sen. Marshall Ige -- for voting against Attorney General Margery Bronster's confirmation

U.S. should support Taiwan, rebuff China

On July 31 I had the pleasure of making some welcoming remarks at the World Federation of Taiwanese Association 1999 Conference at the Hawaiian Regent hotel. The newspapers before and after the conference were full of stories on whether Taiwan had or would declare independence, and threats by the People's Republic of China.

Let's compare Taiwan and the PRC. Taiwan has an elected government, a free market economy, free speech, a free press, freedom of religion and the freedom to have children. The PRC has no national elections, a government-planned economy and a government-controlled press. It outlaws religions, suppresses demonstrations with military force, limits the number of children one can have, spies on the U.S., uses slave labor, harvests human organs from prisoners and makes illegal contributions to Democrats.

World peace can be achieved only through the spread of freedom, which means elections and a free market economy. Taiwan is a democracy; the PRC is not.

We should not sell the soul of America and abandon our principles just to trade with the PRC. The freedom loving people of Taiwan deserve our support.

Rep. Mark Moses (R)
42nd District
Via the Internet

Military should offer more incentives

Instead of a military draft to increase recruiting numbers for the armed forces, how about something like better pay and benefits, 401Ks, retention plans and spouse career training?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that young people are not entering the armed forces because the private sector is offering better pay and perks.

Maggie Palmer
Via the Internet

School schedule conflicts hurt kids

Thank you for your July 22 article on the conflicts inherent in Hawaii's public school scheduling. As a parent, I have always enjoyed the summer break to spend time traveling and seeing distant family with my children. This is limited now that each school in Mililani has a different schedule.

It is also nearly impossible for my children to attend extra-curricular programs due to the schedules of the Mililani schools. For example, Girl Scouts and other great organizations have programs that continue into August or start during August. My children cannot participate.

Also, the opportunity for summer school has been eliminated if I take my children on any trip longer than a week. This did not used to be the case.

How ironic that in the same edition of the paper, special funding is being sought to reduce suicide among public school children. Young people with close family ties and a sense of accomplishment in sports or the arts are at lower risk for depression and suicide, and do much better in school; yet family ties and extra-curricular activities are jeopardized by current school schedules.

School leaders should look at the bigger picture when seeking to help Hawaii's children.

Jeanine Tweedie
Via the Internet

Right to bear arms is increasingly indefensible

C.T. Marshall's Aug. 6 letter insults our intelligence as well as his own. Of course guns don't go off by themselves! But they are the most deadly weapons, by far, available to those bent on killing. We had yet another tragic example in Los Angeles on Aug. 10.

Those who continue to defend the proliferation of guns in our society are as sick as the increasing numbers of killers using guns. To equate these outrageous crimes with jaywalking and spelling errors is mindless to the extreme. There is no "right to murder."

Nancy Bey Little

Lone woman must be wary on elevator

Without detracting from the sensitive message conveyed by Frank, the Honolulu attorney, quoted in Diane Chang's Aug. 6 column, I'd like to suggest that the woman committed an error when she got on the elevator with him.

Actually, Frank could have helped by selecting his floor first. Failing that, the woman should have deferred in making her selection until AFTER the man had selected his floor. Then, at least if they got off on the same floor, she knows it is mere coincidence, not some sinister design.

Another school of thought would have the woman walk away from the elevator, rather than getting on it alone, at night, with a man she doesn't know. Or she might have asked a security guard to accompany her to her car.

One characteristic of women who have thwarted assaults is that they screamed and ran. Make a scene, raise a fuss. Then run for it.

Greg Shannon
Via the Internet


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