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Saturday, January 15, 2000

Don't let Felix hold wedding ceremonies

Honolulu City Councilman John Henry Felix wants a zoning variance for the commercial chapel at his residence. The area doesn't need more commercial chapels. Many churches already conduct weddings there.

If the variance is granted, all residential zones won't be safe from these businesses. Neighborhoods will be the target of bars, porno stores, malls and commercial chapels. Unsavory elements will move in and change our lifestyle due to increased traffic and cash flow. Crime will rise and we will no longer be safe.

Nuuanu Valley is one of the many places where desperate entrepreneurs want to establish businesses. If the zoning variance is granted, other communities will be targeted. We must save our neighborhoods for the people who live there, not the entrepreneurs who will sacrifice the surroundings for profit.

Edith Ing
Via the Internet

Advantages abound for prison in Hawaii

Continued consideration of building a prison on the mainland to house Hawaii prisoners is shortsighted.

This approach may seem convenient within a narrow framework of punishment for the crime, but there is more to the criminal justice system than the cost of prison construction or the per diem expense to house an inmate.

If there is any reasonable possibility of rehabilitation during incarceration, this is best accomplished with a prison in Hawaii. This facilitates visits by an inmate's family and friends, as well as continued contact with the community and local customs.

Upon release, a prisoner's re-entry into society has a greater likelihood of success.

An out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach will not work. Hawaii has the space for a prison. Build it here.

Randy Harris

Traveling pre-school should be reinstituted

Your Jan. 7 story on restored early education and outreach at Kamehameha Schools was reassuring. It sounds as if the new leaders have focused on the essentials. One concern: no mention of the traveling pre-school, one of the most on-target programs.

Love of reading is best instilled at home during the early stages of development. The traveling pre-school focused on this and worked to get adult caregivers hooked into active use of free public libraries.

Here's how the program worked: Buses picked up young children accompanied by a family caregiver. The program at my library was about two hours long, divided into two parts.

Trained teachers were good role models as they interacted with the children and read to them. The presence of kin provided the necessary reassurance for the youngsters. Librarians also provided part of the program.

The second part involved free time at the library, where attractive books at the right level were on display. Once the attraction between the kid and book was established, the inclination to borrow the book increased 500 percent.

In the meantime, the adults socialized and many got library cards so they could borrow the books for their keiki. A good time was had by all. Let's do it again.

Sylvia Mitchell
Branch Manager
Liliha Public Library

Fluoride needs to be in drinking water

Congratulations to both Governor Cayetano and the Star-Bulletin (Editorial, Dec. 23) on their support of water fluoridation. Until moving to the islands two years ago, I had no cavities. Since that time, I have developed three. It seems safe to attribute the decline in my dental health to the lack of fluoride in our drinking water.

As for those who complain of nebulous health risks tied to fluoridation: Didn't we resolve this issue 30 years ago? Fluoridation is not a Communist plot. As the rest of the nation has learned, it's an easy way to promote dental health for our families.

John McIntyre
Via the Internet

Espero: I resigned from GOP five years ago

I am honored and proud to accept Governor Cayetano's nomination to serve out the term of state Rep. Paul Oshiro, who recently resigned. I pledge to faithfully carry out my duties in representing the people of my district.

There is a fundamental reason why I am now a Democrat. After having spent some time as a member of the GOP, I found the principles of the Democratic Party to be more compatible with my upbringing and beliefs. I also believe Democrats are far better equipped to lead Hawaii into the new millennium.

That is why I officially resigned from the Republican Party in 1994. I don't know why the GOP continues to carry me on its mailing list, because that information is at least five years out of date.

If this is any indication of its record-keeping efficiency, my decision to resign from the party came none too soon.

Rep. WIllie Espero
D-41st House District

Would Dr. King support sovereignty?

Martin Luther King's birthday coincides with the 107th anniversary of the Hawaiian kingdom's overthrow. Would Dr. King have supported our modern-day sovereignty activists?

He and other African Americans struggled mightily to achieve equal voting rights, property rights and desegregation. Meanwhile, the Hawaiian sovereignty movement is working hard to take away those same rights from the 80 percent of Hawaii's population who lack the proper racial heritage.

Most sovereignty activists claim that only kanaka maoli (Hawaiian) have the right to vote on whether to establish a sovereign entity; only they have the right to vote and own property inside the resulting Kanakaland.

Yet the kingdom of Hawaii never restricted voting rights to Hawaiians alone. In 1893, it was a multi-racial nation where every ethnic group was a minority, just as now.

Power held solely because of race is exactly what Dr. King fought against. He would be horrified by what is happening in Hawaii.

Ken Conklin
Via the Internet

Els was gracious in loss to Woods

What an exciting finish to the Mercedes golf championship. There couldn't have been a more gracious second-place finisher than Ernie Els. He is such a gentleman that he always removed his cap before shaking hands with anyone, including his own caddy.

Just one of the many traits of a class act.

R. Horita



"Making music is more than just
a matter of hitting the right notes. Sometimes
it's a lesson in life, too. Eventually you realize
that despite the huge expenditure of time and
effort, the moment may arrive when you
know that your cherished dream just
isn't going to come true."

Shari Saunders
On the theme of the show, which starts
this week at Hawaii Theatre


"We didn't play with much
emotion, but we had fun."

Mike Wilton
On the team's lopsided win in its opener
against Loyola of Chicago


Foes of fireworks have warped priorities

In 1998 and 1999, there was one fireworks-related death in Hawaii. In the same two-year period, 20 people died in gun-related incidents.

We have to get our priorities straight. Think about banning guns before outlawing fireworks.

David Chong
Via the Internet

Public needs protection from ignorant behavior

As a new resident of these islands, I have become very discouraged about the people and their politics. How can any politician, like state Rep. Nestor Garcia -- who lost a family member needlessly because of the obsolete fireworks custom -- remain opposed to a ban on fireworks?

Banning them cannot be compared to prohibition. It's not the same thing. It is more like banning toxic waste dumping or smoking in a school. Our society needs to enact laws to protect the innocent from the ignorant behavior of others.

Larry Fisher
Hilo, Hawaii
Via the Internet

Toughen up; stop crying about one night of noise

Before you anti-fireworks activists open your traps again, take this into consideration -- a top 10 list of activities more dangerous than playing with fireworks:

1) Crossing the Pali Highway while not in a crosswalk.

2) Crossing the Pali while in a crosswalk.

3) Driving.

4) Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (all those sulfur fumes have gotta be bad).

5) Inhaling vog 365 days of the year, as those poor but tough residents of West Hawaii do.

6) Golfing the Ala Wai on a crowded day (what day isn't?).

7) Pit bulls and rottweilers.

8) Pig hunting.

9) Driving around at night with pork in your car, especially over the Pali.

10) Having a state Constitution that still allows residents to own handguns.

It's only one night a year! Ever hear of survival of the fittest? Come on people, toughen up!

Neil Kanemoto
Via the Internet

Limitations on fireworks just won't work

Makamae DeLima's ideas (Letters, Jan. 10) regarding fireworks -- on limiting their purchasing period and heavily taxing them -- have merit but are not foolproof:

Bullet What would prevent someone from keeping fireworks past the "legal" period and using them any time? People are already disregarding the window in which they legally can be set off.

Bullet What difference would taxing them have on people who use fireworks to create homemade pipe bombs found in schools and other public areas?

Bullet How can you justify the continued abuse and cruelty to citizens with respiratory problems or pets and other animals?

Bullet How would these limits prevent injuries or property damage?

It's obvious that enough people do not appreciate this "tradition" enough and that we need to change with the times. There's one thing I do agree with in DeLima's letter: Put fireworks on the next ballot -- winner take all, majority rules.

Spike Nishi
Via the Internet

Revelers are mocking police, lawmakers

The situation with fireworks is quite out of hand.

Although fireworks are legally permissible during designated holidays, those who burn fireworks can't even do so within the framework of the law.

By the number of aerials used, one wouldn't know there was a ban on them on Oahu. Explosions can be heard at all hours of the day and night, long before and after permissible times.

To worsen the situation, there aren't any teeth in the laws. The police seem powerless as the rockets go off. In essence, our lawmakers, police department and the law itself are all mocked with each violation.

Laws that can't be enforced are worthless. The Legislature needs to get serious.

Mark Marziale
Via the Internet

Asthma sufferers enjoy fireworks, too

I have asthma. I carry my medication, follow doctor's orders and enjoy the New Year's Eve firecrackers.

Relax and be safe. It's only once a year!

Teri Pang
Via the Internet


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