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Saturday, September 25, 1999

New management at flea market overdue

The decision to change management of the Aloha Flea Market is long overdue. Why should the state continue to let millions of dollars in revenues slip through its fingers in these tough economic times? We must look at new ways to make money.

Edwin Hayashi and the rest of the stadium authority board should be commended for their decision. If former operator Ed Medeiros feels that he should have the contract, he should have bid on it like everyone else.

Since Medeiros is a business man, he should realize that competition is good. This is not some punishment for backing the "wrong" candidate. It's just good business, so let the bidding begin!

James Wataru Jr.
Via the Internet

Guns should be as easy to own as cars

A Sept. 4 letter by Sheldon C. Crane stated that guns should be treated just like cars, and blamed gun owners and the NRA for not allowing that sort of legislation to be passed. But I am a life member of the NRA and wholeheartedly agree with the idea!

I stand behind licensing guns as we license cars, 100 percent. Anyone of legal age can buy a car. A driver's license is good in any state, and even recognized by some other counties. There are no restrictions on cars -- you can buy a little "Saturday Night Special" Civic or an "Assault" Ferrari, with no problems at all. You can even get "high capacity" gas tanks.

So, if we followed the "license guns like cars" model, anyone could buy a gun and, with the passing of a proper test, carry a gun in any state. This is most definitely not the case now.

The bottom line, though, is simple: Driving a car is a privilege; owning a gun is a right.

Alex Wakal
Via the Internet

Fasi insults war dead and their families

Frank Fasi's published comments about the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium are inaccurate and troubling. First the memorial honors nearly 10,000 men and women from Hawaii who served and 101 who died during World War I.

The decision to honor them by building our nation's first living memorial was not made by Mayor Harris. It was made by the citizens of Hawaii in 1921 through the Territorial Legislature when it appropriated money for a design competition and construction of the memorial.

The completed complex was transferred to the City and County by executive order 50 years ago. It is on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Most troubling is Fasi's assertion that too few died to justify this memorial. Obviously, that was not the conclusion of Hawaii's citizens seven decades ago. They best understood the impact of that war on their families and communities. They made the decision to build the Natatorium so that "the Great War" and the role of thousands of Hawaii's citizens would never be forgotten.

Everyone agrees that the memorial is an eyesore in its current condition. The memorial's status as an historic site makes demolition nearly impossible, and a state study showed that demolishing the existing structures to create a new beach would cost about as much as full restoration.

Fasi should know that the mayor and City Council have made it clear that the city cannot spend more than the $11.3 million in capital improvement money appropriated for the project, and that future operation and maintenance costs are to be borne by a non-profit operator.

Fasi's words help us understand why he failed to maintain the Natatorium as mayor.

Thomas Rienzi
C. Bruce Smith
Bill Daves

Oahu Veterans Council

Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Hawaii will lose a friend when newspaper folds

Losing the Star-Bulletin is like losing a very dear friend. You have been a welcome guest in my home for almost 40 years.

Like a good friend, a newspaper accompanies me on trips near and far, and cheers my lonely hours. It passes on the latest gossip and informs me of the actions, for better or worse, of my public leaders. It stimulates, encourages and moves me to take action on behalf of my community.

In Honolulu, the loss of this much needed separate editorial voice is a tragedy. In this one-party town, soon to be reduced to one political point of view, the loss of the Bulletin puts Honolulu in the class with other one-newspaper cities such as the Moscow of old and the Beijing of today.

James V. Hall
Via the Internet

Loss of will leave huge void

Say it ain't so. My favorite site on the World Wide Web will be gone with your demise. Hopefully, a new phoenix will arise from the ashes and continue to provide Internet service for Hawaii and the world.

R. Carter
Via the Internet




"My (high school) coach told me
I would never be a Division I player.
That kind of drives me every day."

Heather Bown

Benched as a senior at Esperanza High in
Orange County, Calif., before coming to UH and
hitting the ball harder than any other Wahine
volleyball player, according to
Coach Dave Shoji


"It's cool. I hope it rains."

Melina Ryan

Who prayed for precipitation when Bobby Broyles,
Trinity's principal, spent a night on the school's
roof after students met a fund-raising goal

Residents can reduce need for power plant

I'm against the new Kauai Electric fossil fuel power plant.

Why? For three personal reasons: First, breathing is the most important thing I do. Second, petro-laced air is bad for my health. Third, I came here from Los Angeles.

If the plant goes through, let's protest. We can diminish our use of fossil fuels. How?

Bullet Keep fewer lights turned on.

Bullet Take a bag to the grocery store and stop taking plastic (made by petrochemicals).

Bullet Drive less by doing errands one day a week.

Bullet And much, much more!

Make a list of "Fossil Fuel Reducing Activities" that you can live by.

Do your part to create cleaner air. How sweet it is!

Tina Pedersen
Hanalei, Kauai

So much for gas company's promises

When ARCO entered the Hawaii market a short while ago, it announced that its arrival represented the end of high gas prices in Hawaii.

As I drive through various sections of the island, however, I see a spread of gas prices ranging from lows of $1.35 a gallon in the gas war section of Nanakuli to $1.39 in most other areas, with an occasional high of $1.41.

The basic median price of regular gas in Hawaii right now is $1.39. Lo and behold, ARCO prices are right in the middle in all areas.

Nowhere do I see evidence of the ARCO bravado of low prices. As a matter of fact, the station at ARCO headquarters at Nuuanu and School displays a $1.41 price on the pump! It's another illustration of mainland misinterpretation of Hawaii's economy and false predictions of wonderful solutions.

W.W. Robinson
Via the Internet

What Price Paradise?

PR damage control made for great deals

Mahalo for your Sept.1-2 series on prices in Hawaii. Thanks especially:

Bullet For cluing consumers in as to who is perhaps taking advantage of us because we live in Hawaii. If some retailers can provide goods and services to us at little or no paradise premium, why can't others?

Bullet Because when I went shopping at Safeway Beretania on Sept. 2, I found practically the whole store on sale. I'm convinced it was a public relations response to your series. I found canned tuna fish for 25 cents; sour cream at three for the price of one; chips -- buy one get one free. And more.

T. Anderson
Via the Internet

Consumers have too much aloha spirit

Your article cited exactly why I favor more mainland national chains moving into Hawaii. We, the transplants from elsewhere, are fully aware of the unfair price gouging going on in the islands. As a personal protest, I avoid as many of these businesses as possible.

Grant you, I would love to support local businesses -- but not at 30-40 percent higher prices, and when all they are doing is overcharging under the excuse of shipping costs or whatever. What saddens me most, though, is that most local residents seem to accept this as normal. I guess it's our aloha spirit, huh? Go figure.

Reuben Banks
Via the Internet

Consumer prices in Hawaii are frightening

I was born and raised in Hawaii, where most of my family still is. Five years ago, I married and moved to Texas. I am currently going through a divorce and had thought of coming home. However, "What Price Paradise?" scared me something terrible.

Yes, I miss home and all the local food and fun that I don't have here in Texas. But the beautiful beaches and the other things Hawaii has to offer wouldn't make it worthwhile.

In the town where I live, we pay $1.14 for a gallon of regular gas and it has gotten as low as 89 cents a gallon. A gallon of milk is $2.19, and in Hawaii it's, what, about $6?

This world is hard enough to live in. Why make it even tougher if you don't have to?

Laurie Digges
New Braunfels, Texas
Via the Internet

Military isn't helping curtail high cost of living

Rob Perez's Sept. 1-2 articles, and Diane Chang's Sept. 3 column commenting on them, got me thinking about the largest single employer (not industry) in the state, which is to blame, at least in part, for the high price of paradise.

The military sets minimum prices in exchanges and commissaries based upon not what it can purchase its products for, but at an average just below what the local market will bear.

Thus, in Hawaii, it is required by law to gouge military members based upon the local price of broccoli at Safeway, Pizza Hut's veggie pizza and gas at Tesoro. As an added factor, all of us have to pay higher taxes to support military members and the federal civil servants getting a high cost of living allowance.

Meanwhile, our congressional delegates are keeping the commissary and exchange rates high, which raise our taxes and give local retailers a disincentive to keep prices reasonable. They know that one of their largest competitors, the federal government, has its prices tied by law to theirs.

Carl L. Jacobs
Via the Internet

What Price Paradise?


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