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Wednesday, December 15, 1999


Contrition may have been a better option

Sometimes you live to regret the things you say. Sometimes other people don't live to regret the things you say.

As the only community representative ever appointed to the state Aviation Nuisance and Sound Abatement Committee, I felt it was my responsibility to try getting the newly assigned Federal Aviation Administration's Hawaii flight safety officer to enforce the minimum height requirements that air tour operators habitually violated.

He had an unending list of reasons that he could not do this. Eventually, I tried to point out to him that -- by not doing the job taxpayers are paying him for -- he would have blood on his hands when a hot-dogging pilot slammed into the ground.

He responded with an analogy: "Is it the Highway Patrol's responsibility every time there's an accident on the Interstate?"

That's when I got really stupid and told him the truth: Yes, it certainly is the officer's responsibility if he were sitting in Denny's sipping coffee while people were running in off the street yelling about reckless hooligans flagrantly violating traffic laws right outside the door.

He resented my words and the conversation came to a hasty conclusion. We were never able to speak amicably again and he stopped responding to my letters. And now 10 people are dead (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 27, "Crash probe begins").

I want to apologize to the families of the victims of the Big Island Air tragedy. If I had been a little more contrite and less honest, maybe I could have done more. Could we now, at long last, get the federal safety regulations and state aviation laws enforced?

John Carse
Pahoa, Hawaii

A telegram on judge's fishing decision

The impact of Judge David Ezra's decision to ban Hawaii fishing boats from the northern fishing groups, to protect endangered turtles, can be condensed into a relatively short old-fashioned telegram.

SITUATION: Hawaii's fishing industry and fish consumers being held hostage by federal court to leverage national marine fisheries service to finish environmental impact statement. STOP

IMPACT: One half of longline fleet down! STOP Hawaii's suffering economy takes $18 million hit! STOP Fish prices go up! STOP Other boats take place of displaced Hawaii boats -- endangered turtles still being caught! STOP

CONCLUSION: This is no way to protect turtles. STOP Hawaii fishing industry and consumers being unduly punished. STOP NMFS (real culprit) escapes punishment. STOP Conservation measures in international waters must be developed through international agreements via established United Nations guidelines. STOP Send help quick. STOP

Bill Mossman

Mass murderers have whole slew of excuses

We are throwing fuel on the mass murder fire as our national house burns to the ground. We ignore that we have developed a politically correct popular culture that feeds the darkest impulses of the disturbed mind.

This is what the potential mass murderer has learned from American popular culture during the last few decades:

Bullet Never accept responsibility for any wrongdoing. It is always someone else's fault, especially those who try to hold you accountable.

Bullet You are always the victim no matter whom you hurt ("I was abused as a child," "I have an addiction," etc.).

Bullet There will be no consequences for wrongdoing or, at worst, maybe probation.

Bullet Morality is relative so there is nothing that is absolutely wrong. Any act can be justified, even murder.

Bullet Your feelings -- especially self-esteem -- are more important than morality or truth.

Bullet If it feels good, do it (even if it hurts someone else).

These ideas increase the percentage of violent people in our population and, therefore, the number of potential mass murderers in our country. We make them.

Leighton Loo



"My heart sank as
I listened to my neighbor and
her son scream in terror."

Jean Seeley

On the killing of a neighbor's dog by two large
hunting dogs after they had killed her own pet


"Queen's removal of RNs
from the bedside is a
patent mistake."

Nancy McGuckin

On a strike notice by registered
nurses at Queen's Medical Center

Can civilized dialogue be held on pidgin?

The English vs. pidgin debate seems short on voices of reason and common sense. The public dialogue rages on between proponents of both extremes.

The argument that pidgin is NOT a language is an argument born of Western arrogance at its highest level of conceit. Webster acknowledges pidgin by defining language as "the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a large group of people."

Local people acknowledge it as a language through its widespread application. Pidgin is often spoken as the language of choice between two persons (both of whom may be perfectly good English speakers) simply because it is a way to express themselves.

To argue that pidgin is somehow a cultural disease that is leading to the intellectual demise of its practitioners is naive.

Having said all of the above, it is undeniable that English literacy is a must in today's society, even in Hawaii. Any pidgin-speaking local who does not take the time to become bilingual and attempt to achieve some level of fluency in spoken and written English is in for a life of missed opportunities.

So, can the pro-English fanatics bring themselves to advocate literacy without trashing pidgin and its speakers? And can the pro-pidgin fanatics stop being so defensive and help advocate bilingualism?

Both are valid forms of communication; one need not be at the expense of the other.

Peter Apo

Teachers shouldn't stoop to using pidgin

Pidgin may be OK if you stay in the islands, but you cannot make it on the mainland with pidgin.

Teachers should teach standard English. I don't think Hawaii students are learning standard English now.

If we know standard English, 'tis mo betta.

Tavita Twigg
Havelock, N.C.
Via the Internet

Why not have a vote on sovereignty?

In your Dec. 8 editorial on Hawaiian sovereignty, you dismiss out-of-hand the idea of a native Hawaiian plebiscite and restoration of a sovereign Hawaiian nation. You wrote, "To begin with, there is no evidence that the Hawaiian community favors such a step."

A plebiscite is meant to determine the will of the people. If, as you imply, sovereignty isn't what the majority wants, why not have the vote and lay the issue to rest?

You also wrote this: "As for Hawaii being a non-self-governing territory, such a contention cannot be taken seriously."

The United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations has taken this issue very seriously. In 1998, the working group recommended that Hawaii be returned to the list of non-self-governing territories.

Stu Dawrs
Via the Internet


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