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Thursday, October 21, 1999


Dock strike will be fault of the unions!

Have you ever asked yourself how Hawaii ever got in such a mess, with the hands of unions around the throats of taxpayers and consumers in this state?

Now it's the longshoremen's union threatening to shut down the docks of Hawaii because their pay isn't on "par" with the mainland. Well, Mr. Union Boss, wouldn't we all love to have that!

Does anyone realize how much longshoremen make operating the big rigs unloading containers on the docks? They make as much as doctors and airline pilots, twice as much as nurses, three times as much as our legislators.

It's time we stopped blaming the shipping companies for the high cost of goods in Hawaii, and instead take a good look at what the unions are doing to us.

Art Todd

Labor unions have unrealistic demands

Without labor unions, most people might still be working too much for too little.

Nevertheless, local unionized dockworkers' compensation should NOT be based on what their contemporaries earn in a more prosperous state like California. With average incomes over $90,000 annually, local longshoremen are already wealthy compared to most people in Hawaii.

But there may be a way to meet union demands without making the rest of us pay higher prices when we shop, and without repealing the federal Jones Act (which limits competition among shipping companies serving Hawaii, ostensibly guaranteeing reliable service).

If shipping companies make as much money as I think they do, then raises for employees should come out of existing profits rather than from Hawaii's consumers.

Tom Brandt

Dockworkers should be happy they have jobs

Where is the aloha, or just common sense? Hawaii dockworkers want to be paid like their West Coast counterparts. Well, in order to enjoy the boom times on the West Coast, they should move there like other Hawaii residents who decided they could no longer struggle to make ends meet during this economic crisis.

All union members should be counting their blessings that they have jobs with good pay and benefits, and don't have to work two or three jobs, or struggle to keep their businesses from collapsing.

Due to the threat of the strike, stores are already without toilet paper and other items, which certainly will result in an increase in prices to consumers.

Hawaii state government should take immediate legal action, handling this just as Reagan did with the air traffic controllers who went on strike.

I love so much about living in Hawaii, but perhaps this is yet another message to me (and probably many others) that the "price of paradise" is not worth dealing with any longer. Aloha dies a final death with this potential strike.

Helen Carroll



"While I may not be a candidate for the presidency in 2000, I'm a long way from twilight."

Elizabeth Dole
GOP candidate for president
Dropping out of the Republican presidential race, citing a lack of money

"They're all married in Japan. They do not obtain licenses here."

John Henry Felix
Honolulu City Councilman
Who will appeal a citation to stop him from holding commercial "symbolic wedding ceremonies" at $300 per couple in his Aina Haina home

"It's all about Indy envy."

Forrest Bond
Los Angeles racing expert
Explaining that CART, competitive with the Indy Racing Team, was desperate for a marquee race when it scheduled the recently canceled Super Prix

Nobody should believe Philip Morris' PR spiel

What could the geniuses at Philip Morris be thinking? After decades of denying the overwhelming evidence linking tobacco use and lung cancer (in addition to its effects on other bodily functions), do they expect us to believe that it is now a model citizen based on a public relations campaign to clean up its image?

To the contrary, millions of Americans who have died after using products made by Philip Morris and other tobacco companies have left a far more telling monument to the deceit pervading this industry. They are running scared, worried that the FDA will be granted the authority to regulate their products.

No matter how much cheese, cereal and coffee it sells, Philip Morris is still the nation's No. 1 tobacco company. It must not be allowed to offset its destructive practices by its transparent attempt to build a "mom and apple pie" image.

Linda A. Gee
Vice President, Board of Directors
American Lung Association of Hawaii

Use prisoners to improve record of OIP

Why can't Honolulu Correctional Industries partner with the Office of Information Practices to train prisoners to post public documents on the Internet? This would rehabilitate them while teaching them current technologies and facilitating the public's access to public documents without having to waste state staff time digging through files and copying them and possibly duplicating that effort over and over again.

HCI already has access to hundreds of computers via the Computers for Schools program. Why not get use of those computers while they are testing them before they go to the schools? This would also help expand the hiring base for high-tech companies the state is trying to attract and help the prison population dwindle to the point where there would be plenty of beds available.

Could it be that this would kill the argument for building new prisons and close down the avenue for kickbacks from the prison building corporations?

The Office of Information Practices could oversee the pool of documents and the web site so there would be no need to set up yet another government agency. This could have a positive effect in light of Honolulu Correctional Industries' recidivism rate of 25 percent and the general prison population rate of 65 percent.

Ray O'Leary
via the Internet

Judge Kay's ruling is welcome

Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years I'm glad to hear that the Star-Bulletin has been given a reprieve. Since finding your web site, I have felt as if I were back home again. I appreciate the opportunity to keep abreast of goings-on in Hawaii by reading your online edition.

I was one of those who left a long time ago to go to school, then ended up living away from the islands, although I've always been somewhat homesick. Finding your web site was like finding an oasis! It will really be a loss if you have to close down.

Clayton Ching, M.D.
Los Angeles
Via the Internet

Shutdown announcement
Text of injunction halting shutdown
Text of refusal to lift injunction


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