to the Editor

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Friday, October 29, 1999


Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Uncaring greed permeates newspaper's closing

Phil Mayer's Oct. 1 article, "I Accuse," leaves no stone unturned. Since Mayer's knowledge of the local news media is filled with a level of integrity that can hardly be questioned, his accusations regarding the Star-Bulletin's ties with the Gannett operation are highly plausible.

Your current owner's plan is to vacate a traditional responsibility. He had never before mentioned that the Star-Bulletin is or has been in financial straits. So he doesn't even bother to take the usual and visual step of selling it? He's just closing up shop and walking away? C'mon!

What we assumed was a standard of civil and journalistic ethics is suddenly no longer apparent. These people are so unfeeling as to tell Star-Bulletin employees that their investors can make more money somewhere else. And then they have the gall to say that the Advertiser will put some Star-Bulletin employees on the morning paper's payroll!

Greed is really here, isn't it?

Ray Thiele

So many features will be missed

NUTS! Here are a few reasons why I'm NOT looking forward to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin closing down:

Bullet The Dilbert comic strip. What will do without the sarcasm? Will the local computer industry die from Dilbert-withdrawal?

Bullet Lots of people keep up with local Hawaii news via the Internet, and I was hoping that I could do the same once I entered college.

Bullet "Rant and Rave." I liked it and it was interesting. Why? Because I'm a teen, and you don't normally see teen columns in a daily newspaper.

Bullet The "What Dat" column. Learn things you never knew!

While I love the Honolulu Advertiser, I'm not looking forward to a publishing company having a TOTAL newspaper monopoly. It was bad enough before; this is worse.

Sechyi Laiu
Via the Internet

Why was there no hint of paper's demise?

A newspaper's purpose is to bring the news to its readers as quickly as possible. Yet, the demise of the Star-Bulletin was the best kept secret of the year.

Everyone, including the governor, was shocked. It makes one wonder why the two newspapers and their staffs, working side by side in the same building, never gave any hint that the Star-Bulletin's ownership was ready to call it quits.

The afternoon paper's dwindling circulation and financial problems due to the poor economy should have been publicized, to allow the man on the street to fully comprehend the serious ramifications of such problems.

The surprise announcement makes one wonder if Gannett knew all along, when it bought the Advertiser, that the Star-Bulletin was doomed.

All this talk about how many more pages will be added to the Advertiser when it becomes the only paper in town does little to satisfy the more important need of having two newspapers that can independently offer a choice of viewpoints to readers.

The public was shortchanged for not being informed sooner, nor being given any alternative or opportunity to keep the Star-Bulletin going as a competitive enterprise.

Teruo Hasegawa

News-consumption habits must change

The Star-Bulletin has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and your closing will leave a void like the passing of a family member.

For our friends on the mainland, your online edition has been the sole source of daily Hawaii news. I guess those of us who read the paper in the evening will just have to be satisfied with consuming day-old news or swallowing our daily dose of TV newscasts.

Kensey S. Inouye
Via the Internet

New generation of journalists will suffer

The folding of the Star-Bulletin will cause high school journalism students in Hawaii to lose valuable resources who helped to give them direction on becoming better writers and thinkers.

Students who work on school publications look forward to attending teaching workshops in Honolulu. Students on our campus ask, "Is Diane Chang having a session?" They enjoy her classes on editorial writing, and have become avid fans of her column.

Thanks to your staffers for sharing their journalistic knowledge with us. It is our hope that their names will surface again in other publications.

Blanche Sugimoto
Kapaa High School Publication Adviser
Journalism Education Association
Hawaii director
Kapaa, Kauai

Star-Bulletin closing Oct. 30, 1999
Kay issues preliminary injunction
Text of preliminary injunction
Text of refusal to lift injunction



"There are families that,
10 years later, still
go to pieces."

Leila Elia

Who lost her 14-year-old son, Jared, a decade ago
in a Molokai airplane crash that killed 20 people,
the worst interisland air disaster in the state's history


"I feel wronged
when I am depicted as a
possible saboteur."

Yoshie Tanabe

Complaining that a movie shown at the memorial describes
the "threat" of local saboteurs among Hawaii's large Japanese
population before and during World War II has led to the
National Park Service agreeing to
edit the movie


"How many acres do you
require for a golf course and how
many do you use for a
Little League field?"

Bob Kawamoto

Objecting to City Council Budget Chairwoman
Rene Mansho's idea to charge fees to amateur sports
organizations or anyone using city facilities,
since municipal golf fees may also go up

Mayor Harris has bad timing for projects

You've got to hand it to Mayor Harris. He sure knows how to time things.

Recently, the Waikiki resort area welcomed the American Dental Association convention. Hotels worked tirelessly to put on their best face possible for this hygienic crowd.

So, five days before the beginning of Waikiki's largest event in 10 years, the mayor ordered all of the surfboards removed from their Kuhio Beach lockers, fenced off a large part of the beach, and started demolishing lava walls, pavilions and landscaping.

The mayor also demolished the bandstand in Kapiolani Park, where some of the musically oriented dentists and their families might have enjoyed a Sunday afternoon concert by the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Don't worry though. The mayor is building a $3 million replacement. Unfortunately, the replacement looks like a merry-go-round, a structural design that the musical world abandoned 60 years ago for nonamplified concert venues.

R. Rodman

Give Pakistan general time to clean up

Your Oct. 14 editorial, insisting that Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf restore democracy in Pakistan immediately, misses the mark. The same corrupt politicians, whether Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto, will return to power. Then human values deteriorate further.

Why are Pakistanis happy with this military takeover? Isn't that "democracy" at work?

As a former Pakistani citizen, I wholeheartedly welcome the change. Pakistan's best period, I believe, was the first term of dictator Gen. Ayub Khan in the early 1960s. But then his government turned corrupt.

Learning from that, Musharraf should have two or three years to clean up the mess. Then elections should be held, with international observers welcome. Meanwhile, aid should continue, and politicians tried for corruption. The guilty should be disqualified from holding elective office and receive appropriate prison terms.

Saleem Ahmed
Via the Internet

Human rights message was misintepreted

Thanks for the Oct. 4 article on Joe Hicks, the human rights activist who will speak at the Governor's Volunteerism Conference next spring. But I'm afraid you misunderstood his message.

When Hicks says we should put aside interest group politics, I don't think he means the interests and unique cultural perspective of minorities should be disregarded. Instead, Hicks calls us to work to advance the public good, not simply to advance our self-interests.

The political arena today is a place where people and groups fight for their individual interests, and politicians function like referees dividing up the spoils. Hicks would say it is time for a new model of civic participation, where we are all accountable to one another and are responsible for considering our own needs in the context of what is good for all.

Under this view, getting rid of "identity politics" will not result in homogenization or triumph of majority interests by default. The most powerful and influential --especially the most powerful and influential -- must also recognize and work for the needs of others. That is what the volunteerism is all about.

Peggy Jenkins Leong
Via the Internet

OIP needs support, not scathing rebuke

David Shapiro's Oct. 9 Volcanic Ash column, "Let the OIP rest in peace," was so damaging to the state Office of Information Practices and so wrong. Had Shapiro checked with OIP Director Moya Gray about why an editor had received a letter from OIP so long after he had put his question to the agency, he would have received an explanation that would have made it clear that the OIP, as it is currently operating, was not at fault.

The OIP serves a vital function in protecting and balancing two important interests: the right to privacy and the right of the public in a democratic society to have access to governmental information. Without that office, the only way to pry information out of secretive government, or to protect one's privacy against improper governmental disclosure, will be to bring an expensive and lengthy lawsuit.

The OIP serves other important purposes as well. The example with which we are personally most familiar is the OIP director's carefully shepherding a group of health-care professionals with sharply opposing interests --health plans, physicians, health consumer advocates, and members of the department of health and other governmental agencies -- through more than a year of lengthy and difficult meetings, which finally culminated in the drafting and passage of Act 87 of 1999, which protects the privacy of health-care information for all Hawaii citizens.

Shapiro should have asked for more support for various innovative ways of providing more adequate funding for OIP, so that it can carry on its functions more efficiently.

Arleen Jouxson-Meyers
Richard Miller
Hawaii Coalition for Health
Via the Internet

Inspirational story shows that teachers care

It was enjoyable to read your Oct. 1 story on Lani Ramos-Harrington of Campbell High School, a teacher who seems to be giving her all to her students.

At a time when education should be at the forefront, and politicians are cutting the budget, here is a teacher giving herself (literally) to her students. And these students aren't exactly main stream, which makes it all the more special.

I hope there are other people who read your story and contributed money to help her. I did!

Robin Harrington
Via the Internet


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