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Monday, March 13, 2000


Girls deserve equity in sports

In your Scripps Howard News Service story by Victoria Brittain and Larry Elliott in your March 4 Insight section, the authors asked why 90 million school-age girls are not actually attending classes in poor countries like Nepal. One answer, they say, is insufficient interest in change.

Distressingly, Hawaii has its own education inequities. Sports participation clearly keeps kids in school and promotes fitness, self-reliance and self-esteem, not to mention access to college scholarships. But boys' sports are still vastly out-funded and out-staffed.

Hawaii's girls deserve, and federal law requires, equal opportunities in education and school sports. It's time to get interested in change.

Nancye Bethurem
Hawaii Women Lawyers

Church teens on fast tasted success

Our sincerest thanks to the Star-Bulletin and especially reporter Mary Adamski for the Feb. 25 front-page article, "Teens fight famine by tasting hunger."

After 30 hours of fasting, to raise money for starving children around the world, we made it. Everyone not only survived the experience of going without food, but was personally enriched.

The teens of Christ United Methodist Church banded together, and the community gave them outstanding support. This was just one more example of the aloha spirit being extended to affect the world.

The Rev. Gordon Marchant
Christ United Methodist Church



"I did all that? Who would have thought this little Filipino kid from West Kauai could do something like that?"

Larry Ramos
Singer for the classic singing group, The Association
Reflecting on a storied musical career that took him from Kauai to New York to Hollywood and, finally, to a quiet family life in Idaho

"My client did what he was told by his boss to do."

Keith Kaneshiro
Attorney for Jonn Serikawa, former employee of City Councilman Andy Mirikitani
After Serikawa testified before the grand jury in an investigation involving the Honolulu City Council representative. U.S. attorneys are spearheading the probe into whether Mirikitani gave two of his aides bonuses, and then demanded a portion of the money back.

State workers are being treated like scapegoats

What have public employees done to Rep. Ed Case that makes him so determined to impose his will on other representatives about civil service reform? Why does he want to treat government workers as scapegoats?

If Case dislikes public employees so much, then he dislikes Hawaii and its citizens. Public employees are not the cause of Hawaii's financial woes, and punishing them isn't the solution.

I ask Representative Case to join other legislators in setting the example, and showing that Hawaii stands for aloha, kokua, ohana, compassion and friendship.

Milton Imada

Legislature must change to be better

In order to have a cost-effective, efficient and responsive Legislature, the following are needed:

Bullet An unicameral Legislature with full-time senators and representatives. The current bicameral set-up is unsatisfactory. Unicameral would eliminate conferences between the House and Senate to iron out differences. It would affix responsibility and end fingerpointing between the two bodies. Moreover, it would save taxpayer money by cutting the number of legislators and their staffers, and save the retirement system a bundle, too.
Bullet Term limits. It is very difficult to defeat "bad" incumbents, who have the advantage of money, I.O.U.s and established influence. Term limits would automatically remove such undesirables.
Bullet Campaign reform. We need public financing of candidates, which would eliminate their need to cater to special interests. Look at the influence of the Bishop Estate on lawmakers who had dealings with the estate. They sided with the estate until the public became incensed; only then did they back down.

Legislators should put the above and other changes on the ballot, so we can vote on them.

How Tim Chang

Consolidated didn't deserve bad review

As someone who has gone to the movies on a regular basis since 1946, I have to differ with Douglas Olivares' negative comments about Consolidated Theatres in his March 4 letter.

Granted, I do agree with him about Consolidated's rates and warmed-over popcorn -- but it was not Signature that made Consolidated switch to offering fresh popcorn in every theater, it was Wallace Theatres. As for scratched prints, the only one I've ever seen in a Consolidated movie house was the recent showing of "Lawrence of Arabia" in 70mm at the now defunct Cinerama.

In defense of Consolidated, it operated large, elegant theaters in almost every town on Oahu and on the neighbor islands when it had little competition except from Royal.

The Consolidated ushers wore beautiful uniforms.

The screens were large and, with the introduction of widescreen CinemaScope in 1953, many theaters featured awesome four-track magnetic stereophonic sound systems, fresh popcorn and spotless bathrooms.

The original Waikiki Theatre, before it was remodeled, was a real class act, especially its 10:15 "first view" shows every Friday night in the 1940s and early '50s. Late last year, Consolidated also introduced IMAX films in 3-D to Hawaii.

I could go on but I've made my point. Thank you for serving me well these past 54 years, Consolidated.

Claude Ayakawa

Study of fluoridated water is needed

As a member of the statewide Dental Strategy Task Force, and as a Big Island emergency room doctor for 28 years, I have cared for patients with complications from severe dental disease.

I have stated in letters and testimony to our Legislature that I believe fluoride prevents dental disease. However, I have also stated that we should not fluoridate our water at this time, if ever.

This decision should be based on scientific study. I still maintain that, in medicine, doubts about the safety of any treatment should preclude its use.

The issue is not what I, as a health professional, or what our elected officials personally believe; it's the right of Americans to accept or reject treatment.

Since there are readily available alternatives to providing fluoride, if desired, and since there appear to be serious safety concerns, this legislation should be held while ongoing evalution of the world's experience with fluoridated water is accomplished.

Fred C. Holschuh, M.D.
Honokaa, Hawaii

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