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Wednesday, February 23, 2000


Fireworks violators should lose their homes, cars

Now that a total ban on fireworks is history, perhaps increasing the penalties for violators should be pursued. It seems ridiculous that it is illegal to use aerial fireworks yet it is legal to possess them.

The courts should confiscate the homes or automobiles of violators if they are found to be guilty. That's what these people, who have no regard for the law and respect for the general population, deserve.

Russell Oshiro

Dana Ireland Trial

Guilty verdicts mean justice for Dana Ireland

I am not one to give much support to our judges and politicians, but this time I want to make an exception concerning the Dana Ireland case in Hilo.

It took eight long years and much hard work but, finally, our court system came through with shining colors.

Von Dent

Dana Ireland Archive

Public workers are not overcompensated

Your Feb. 10 editorial, "Public employee benefits excessive," was another unfair stab at state and county employees who are constantly scapegoated to cover the errors and mismanagement of top government officials.

First, you publish the distorted Feb. 8 front-page article, "Unions blast worker reforms," which mainly parroted the governor's exaggerations and one-sided comparisons. Then you proceed to editorialize from these misrepresentations. This is both poor journalism and lousy politics.

I challenge your editorial writers to present the whole picture -- the wage comparisons with West Coast states (in addition to paid leave comparisons) and also the differences in the cost of living between Hawaii and these states.

If you did this, you could only conclude that public employees in Hawaii are greatly undercompensated. This would remain true even if you included the medical and the retirement benefits, which are now on the chopping block as well.

The fact that Cayetano also wants to repeal the constitutional provision that lifted public employees out of serfdom and gave them union bargaining rights is also detestable, and is designed to undermine wages and benefits and allow whole-scale privatization and deunionization.

John Witeck



"In the beginning, we used
(speakers) like myself who came close
to being destroyed by drugs, overcame
them and are successes.
The focus now is on people who
have never used drugs."

Mike Young
On the group of Hawaii professional surfers
that has spoken to more than 56,000
youngsters in the past five years


"The fear is 'can I really
jump off this bridge
and fly.'"

Carolyn "Susie" Lua
Trying to get more welfare recipients in her Haleiwa
community to be self-sufficient and not be afraid
of getting back into the work force

Military wants action from school board

Suggestions to place a non-voting military member on the state Board of Education is like missing the forest because trees are in the way. Military leaders aren't seeking appeasement but action. These quiet inquiries by quality-of life-officials are the lull before the storm.

There are two major negatives to a military assignment in Hawaii from a family standpoint: poor housing and bad schools. The housing problem was attacked by ferocious military housing construction at Schofield Barracks, Pearl Harbor and the former NAS Barbers Point. As for schools, there have already been two studies performed on the feasibility of Department of Defense charter schools in Hawaii.

Last year, HB 304 tried to turn over the schools to the Department of Defense to save money. These are the signals being sent to military officials that Hawaii is serious about education.

Keep playing games with these people and the choice will be made for us. Next school year will find every on-base school a DOD-chartered one, a third of your teachers working for the federal government at mainland salaries plus cost-of-living allowances (goodbye Hawaii State Teachers Association), and the student impact aid GONE.

Al Coleman

'Baywatch' is much needed dose of home

Being so far from Hawaii has been hard for me. I am a college student who hasn't been able to come home since December. Yet I've managed to tough it out, because I know every Saturday there will be an hour I can see Hawaii on "Baywatch."

Whenever people find out I'm from the islands, they always ask me about the show. That's how I know that the promotional time from the series is very valuable.

I hope that the state and producers can save "Baywatch," because it is important to our tourism industry. Plus, it helps homesick college kids like me stick it out on the mainland.

Celva Boon
Olympia, Wash.

HTA should be funding 'Baywatch'

The Legislature shouldn't even have to worry about supplying $2.5 million to save "Baywatch Hawaii." A huge sum has already been assigned to tourism promotion.

If it's such a good "investment," why isn't the Hawaii Tourism Authority jumping at the chance to pick up the tab for the series and any other such "opportunity" that comes along? If HTA paid for "Baywatch," "Pacific Blue" and the Pro Bowl, its officials would still have $51.3 million of its $60 million tribute to parcel out among themselves and their friends.

Is the HTA being too greedy or is the state Legislature too eager to throw money around?

David Mielke

Show's backers should ante up themselves

Al and April Masini and Greg Bonann, the executive producer of "Baywatch," want Hawaii's taxpayers to ante up $2.5 million or they will pull the show. I have a great idea. Since it's their jobs and profits that will be saved, let them and the cast members pony up the $2.5 million themselves, in proportion to their salaries and respective pieces of the action.

The nerve. Can you imagine asking your fellow citizens for a bailout because you've busted your personal budget and can't make the rent or car payment? Or threatening to close your small business and leave unless you receive a government subsidy?

Or should we just stand by and watch our brainless lawmakers give them the money? The cheek of those boobs!

Larry Eshleman

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