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Thursday, November 4, 1999


Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Attorney Portnoy didn't deserve criticism

For the sake of full disclosure, let me say at the outset that attorney Jeff Portnoy is a friend of mine and that for many years I was a reporter for the Honolulu Advertiser.

Dave Shapiro's Oct. 23 Volcanic Ash column was, to borrow a phrase from the author, "misleading, ungracious and self-serving." Shapiro fulminates against Portnoy's comments at a recent Honolulu Community-Media Council meeting.

As reported in your Oct. 20 issue, Portnoy said: "The one media outlet that has done more for opening up government, for fighting closed government, for spending money to attack institutional bureaucracy and secrecy, has been the Advertiser."

I was at the meeting, and Portnoy did indeed say those words. His comments came at the tail end of listening to ad hominem attacks on the Advertiser and its editors by the co-authors of the "Broken Trust" essay and members of the audience.

Comments to the effect that 1) if there is to be only one newspaper in Hawaii, it better not be the Advertiser and that 2) the "Broken Trust" essay would NOT have been published had the Advertiser been the only newspaper in town, reflected the depth of emotions felt by those angered by the scheduled closing of the Star-Bulletin.

Portnoy's response to this bashing was intended to remind those present that the Advertiser has done a lot for this community on issues such as open government and open records and access to the courts. He was trying to add some perspective to what was shaping up to be a feeding frenzy against the Advertiser.

Portnoy's comments were clearly NOT intended to attack the Star-Bulletin or to deprecate past and present efforts of the Star-Bulletin on First Amendment issues.

Gerald Kato
Via the Internet

Paper's shutdown on hold



"We have a second-class mentality in Hawaii that we have to wipe out. The university must be the state's dream and hope."

Donald Kim
Who has donated $1 million to the UH College of Engineering

"There are a lot of people out there who are angry or stressed out because of their jobs. It was only a matter of time."

Dr. Shepard Ginandes
On Tuesday's workplace shooting that resulted in seven deaths at Xerox's Nimitz Highway engineering building

"Why did he have to shoot all of them? Now I'm thinking I better be nice to all the people I work with, because you just never know."

Roxanne Sivalop
Commenting on Byran K. Uyesugi, alleged gunman in the Xerox shootings

Hawaii voters made gay marriage a dead issue

Your Oct. 23 "100 Who Made A Difference" story highlighting attorney Dan Foley indicated that the homosexual "marriage" issue is "still being debated in the state Legislature and the Hawaii Supreme Court."

Actually, there should be no debate at all. Last November, nearly 70 percent of Hawaii's people resoundingly voted in favor of traditional marriage between one man and one woman only.

The silence of the court is baffling, since the constitutional amendment removed the matter from the court's jurisdiction. Further, legislators are duty-bound to respond to the clear mandate of their constituents by affirming the ballot's traditional marriage initiative.

Janice Pechauer
Past President
Save Traditional Marriage '98

Cancelation of race isn't indictment of economy

We're all disappointed that the Hawaiian Super Prix people weren't able to pull off the "richest motor race ever" in these Hawaiian islands. Unfortunately, the diligent efforts of the event organizers were not enough to overcome a late start and potential sponsors who had already spent their budgets for the year.

Yet there's much to be optimistic about. Since 1995, the number of high-tech companies in Hawaii has more than doubled. Auto dealers are experiencing record sales, real estate numbers continue to rise, and even the economists who supported Linda Lingle say the economy is coming back.

Grant Peters

Hawaii Kai needs a public swimming pool

As someone born and raised in Makiki, I was very happy to read that the area would be getting a new swimming pool. I understand this will be the first pool built by the city in over 20 years.

Yet I find it sadly ironic that this is occurring at the same time the mayor is ramming the Natatorium renovation project down the throats of taxpayers.

The real reason I'm writing, though, is to share how incredulous I am that there is no public swimming pool in the Hawaii Kai district, where I now reside. Contrary to what some people might believe, we are not all rich people in Portlock with our own swimming pools.

While the new pool in Makiki is about 30 years too late for me to enjoy, it's not too late for my own young children.

So please, Mayor Harris, consider: What makes more sense? One large salt-water pool with questionable plumbing or five or six new swimming pools all over the island?

Matt Nakamura

Bob Oshiro deserved praise for selflessness

Thank you to Richard Borreca. His Oct. 20 column was correct. Bob Oshiro believed in Hawaii and the people. He loved Hawaii so much he devoted his life to the election of Governors Burns, Ariyoshi and Waihee. He put his heart and soul into the pursuit of what he believed in.

He contacted an acute illness by going island to island attending coffee hours. He was seriously ill and incapacitated for months. Yet, he strived on.

The grass-roots volunteers loved him. They worshipped the ground he walked on. They would do anything Bob asked for.

That is how Hawaii's governors were elected -- thanks to Bob Oshiro's dedication and his workers.

Patsy Swaile


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