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Friday, March 10, 2000


Why DOH failed to convince residents

I wish the problem of the juvenile sex-offender facility in Pearl City were as simple as it was made out to be in your Feb. 26 editorial. Since you reiterated many of the arguments made by Anita Swanson and Bruce Anderson of the Department of Health (DOH) during the public meeting in Pearl City, let me explain why they failed to convince residents that their children would be safe.

Swanson and Anderson said that those to be housed at the facility usually molested girls in their own families, so the community had nothing to worry about. Yet the important point is that these young men preyed on little girls too young to defend themselves.

To support its case, the DOH brought in a highly paid consultant from Utah. He basically stated that there were 10 facilities in Utah for juvenile sex-offenders and that all were functioning well.

We have since discovered that those in Sandy and West Valley, both just south of Salt Lake City, have had problems. The citizens there are outraged because of escapes and poor management, and are also upset because the facilities are close to schools.

Lastly, neither Swanson nor Anderson could guarantee that escapes wouldn't occur, possibly endangering some of my high school students or even younger children in the elementary school behind us.

They failed to mention that, as of July 1, the guard shack at the entrance to Waimano Training School will be moved down to the hale at the corner of Waimano Home Road and Hookieki, thus inviting escape through Pearl City High School and Momilani Elementary.

This is a formula for disaster. Is it any wonder the people of Pearl City are outraged?

Rick Mahony
Pearl City High School


Bold leadership can make guns safe

HB 1952, relating to handguns, died in committee on the same day a 6-year-old boy used a handgun to kill his classmate, Kayla Rolland, on the mainland. These tragedies will continue until we enact legislation to mandate handgun safety manufacturing standards.

In other words, we need "smart guns," which are personalized and can be operated only by the authorized users.

The "John Lotts" (author of "More Guns, Less Crime") of the world claim that if more people are armed, society would be safer. Tell that to Kayla's parents or to other families who have lost children, spouses and other loved ones to firearm violence.

HB 1952 was a small step to make guns safer. Weapons would be personalized to be used ONLY by the registered owner. A child, neighbor or thief might pick up the handgun, but it wouldn't operate. The weapons industry was to be given five years to implement personalized gun technology, using methods that already exist or developing new safety alternatives.

The automotive industry claimed safety measures were "too costly," "too restrictive" and "impossible to implement." But thanks to Ralph Nader and some congressional leaders, mandates for vehicle safety were passed. Automotive costs didn't escalate, technology was developed, and we all drive safer.

We need the same leadership today in our Legislature to require handgun manufacturers to get smart and be responsible. Eight of us in the House co-sponsored this bill; next year, let's increase that to the majority.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R)
49th District


Hawaii pays highest gas tax in the country

Jerome Manis should stand corrected when he says that Hawaii is not the highest gas tax state in the nation (Letters, March 4).

True, as a state rate, it perhaps isn't the highest; but when combined with state and local levies on the sale of fuel used on the road, Hawaii certainly is the highest in the United States -- with 16 cents at the state level and 16.5 cents on Oahu for a total of 32.5 cents per gallon.

Let's not forget that Hawaii is also one of the few states, if not the only state, that imposes "sales" tax as the general excise tax on the sale of fuel. So add to that about 4 cents if the cost of fuel before taxes is about a dollar a gallon, and the total state tab is about 37 cents including the hidden environmental response tax.

Hawaii regained its first place lead after Connecticut reduced its temporary tax hike on fuel last year. Thus, when Hawaii's taxes on fuel are combined with the federal tax on fuels for highway use, the total tops 55 cents per gallon of gas.

Lucky we live Hawaii, where we have the pleasure of paying the highest tax rate on fuel in the country.

Lowell Kalapa
Tax Foundation of Hawaii

Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Don't disappear after being discovered

I spent 10 years in the islands and have just discovered your online newspaper. It is a breath of fresh air for this individual. I sure hope you guys don't fold.

Doug Pierce
Santee, Calif.

Too much news for one daily to cover

I will be very sorry if your newspaper is allowed to close down. I know that the economy is bad but there is no shortage of news, and one newspaper will not be enough to cover everything. Hawaii is home to people from all over the world, so coverage of not only local but also national and international news is important.

I am now retired and look forward to your daily crossword puzzles. I especially enjoy the Crossword of the Pacific by Charlotte Wong. Her wit makes learning Hawaiiana fun.

Please relay my thanks to her and I hope she continues to put out her crosswords.

Ernest Morimoto
Via the Internet

Bulletin closing archive


McCain deserves admiration as war vet

Thank you so much for running the Economist article, "Exorcising ghosts," about the candidacy of John McCain (March 4, Insight section). I have much admiration for those like McCain who served in Vietnam.

My sons didn't have to serve, because of their age. Yet I have always wondered what I might have done had they been eligible, since I believe so wholeheartedly in my country yet, like many others, hated our involvement in Vietnam.

Shirley Hasenyager


Bush ignores pleas of his own constituents

Who does George W. Bush represent in office -- the people or those who fund his campaign?

I have learned from relatives in Texas that the Alcoa aluminum company plans to strip-mine 15,000 acres of farm and ranch land near Austin for low-grade lignite coal to fuel a smelting plant. It pollutes so badly it can operate only because of special loopholes in Texas air pollution laws.

Worse yet, the company proposes to devastate hundreds of square miles by removing the groundwater from beneath the lands and homes surrounding the mine, to sell at a huge profit.

Hundreds of Texans have written letters imploring Governor Bush to direct state agencies to stop these outrages, and heavy media coverage has denounced the project. Republicans and Democrats alike, dismayed by the governor's lack of interest, wonder if it is because Alcoa's law firm contributed heavily to Bush's presidential campaign.

While the candidate is campaigning, I urge him not to ignore the grave needs of his constituents.

Martha M. Lanzas



"I hope and pray they get this
thing fixed quick. I can handle it
for now, but if it goes on for months,
they're going to have
people breaking up."

Ted Nakamura

On the travails of North Shore residents and
businesses due to the Waimea Bay rock slide that
has resulted in the closure of
Kamehameha Highway


"Nothing will sit on my desk
for more than 24 hours, unless
I have a problem with it."

Earl Anzai

Promising quick action on opinions and winning
the nod of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
which approved his nomination

Compassionate radio twosome will be missed

It's a shame we lost a radio morning show duo like Kid Leo and Jimmy the Geek on KXME-FM, for whatever reasons they had to leave. We need more radio personalities like them because they were young at heart and made their listeners aware of issues.

For example, when the Columbine tragedy happened, they not only asked listeners to voice their opinions but also to contribute money to their schools. That was very thoughtful, considering other radio personalities only talked about it.

I hope Kid Leo and Jimmy the Geek end up back on the air. They know the true meaning of aloha.

N. Fernandez

Don't fiddle with historic street names

Valerie M. Kane's March 2 letter uses selective rewriting of history when it comes to arguing whether the street names at Barbers Point should be changed to Hawaiian names.

Those who want the names changes want to return to a time when there was no written history at all. There may have been a small fishing village in the Barbers Point area, but there weren't any streets.

Barbers Point was named by King Kamehameha after Capt. Henry Barber ran his ship aground there in 1796. That name managed to survive for more than 200 years, until 1996, when members of the local Hawaiian community decided Kalaeloa was more appropriate.

One culture's rush to rewrite history and appease modern-day political correctness should not be tolerated.

Joan Gumm
Ewa Beach

OHA logo

All races should support Hawaiians

I wish to extend to native Hawaiians my sadness and deep concern at this time. What pain they must be suffering over the Rice vs. Cayetano decision and its possible ramifications.

I hope this results in a unity of minds and hearts, not only among Hawaiians, but among all of us who love and appreciate their great traditional heritage, and how they have embraced us with such aloha in our incredible island home.

They do not have to pursue this sovereignty path alone. Many of us who are not Hawaiians are ready to stand beside them, as they work to assure their land, sea and cultural rights. We can provide an indomitable force for sovereignty by working together.

We have heard enough from the Rice camp. Let them know this travesty of justice is an insult to our host peoples. We must stand in support of their quest for U.S. government-proclaimed sovereignty status, and not let another tragic "overthrow" happen in Hawaii again.

Marilyn Welte

If you don't appreciate citizenship, renounce it

Regarding John Luuwai's March 3 letter to the editor claiming that "Hawaii is not and will never be America," I challenge him to back up his belief by going before a federal judge and renouncing his U.S. citizenship.

How about it, John?

Jeffrey Herman

Bullet U.S. Public Law 103-150
Bullet OHA Ceded Lands Ruling
Bullet Rice vs. Cayetano
Bullet U.S. Supreme Court strikes down OHA elections
Bullet Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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