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Saturday, March 18, 2000

CARTOON TO THE EDITOR's fourth anniversary

Numbers Hawaii newspaper agency doesn't want you to see

Let's look at some numbers that readers weren't told about last Saturday in Gerry Keir's Insight article on the national decline of newspaper readers.

In the last certified audit of each newspaper's circulation, the Advertiser's total was 106,254. The Star-Bulletin's total was 68,270, a difference of 37,984. But it is much more meaningful that in home-delivered circulation on Oahu -- papers paid for by subscription -- the Advertiser's circulation was 55,862 and the Star-Bulletin's circulation was 53,540, a difference of only 2,322.

It is the home-delivery figures on which major businesses, in Hawaii and elsewhere, base their purchases of advertising.

And there are other interesting figures from the same audit. For instance, the report shows that in each situation in which the Hawaii Newspaper Agency put Advertisers on news stands in Waikiki, in hotels and on military bases -- as well as home deliveries on the neighbor islands -- the HNA offered startlingly few Star-Bulletins.

For instance, in Waikiki there were 429 Advertisers but only 229 Star-Bulletins placed in news stands; in hotels and on military bases there were 3,708 Advertisers but only FIVE Star-Bulletins. And there were 4,568 Advertisers home-delivered on the neighbor islands and only 868 Star-Bulletins.

Plainly the audit shows that HNA, which handles circulation for both papers and is owned by Gannett (owner of the Advertiser), has encouraged the decline of Star-Bulletin circulation.

And it is worth mentioning that not all the papers that the HNA sells to the Department of Education for classroom use are morning Advertisers. The audit shows that there is ONE Star-Bulletin sold each day to the DOE.

This is undoubtedly a gimmick that allows the HNA to pronounce that both the Advertiser and Star-Bulletin are provided for its Newspaper in the Classroom program.

Phil Mayer
Editor's note: Phil Mayer is a retired Star-Bulletin reporter.

Bulletin closing archive

Gas stations efficient at raising prices

Gasoline prices on the Big Island, normally substantially higher than on Oahu, are rocketing ever higher on an almost daily basis.

And how you figgah this: On the same day that radio news reported an increase of 3 cents per gallon in cost to Honolulu retailers, the price of gas at all four stations in Kamuela (Chevron, Shell, Tesoro and an independent) went up by that exact amount.

Since then, prices have risen in lockstep. Today, by an amazing coincidence, all four Kamuela stations are selling gas at $1.959 a gallon. Is this profiteering or what?

I guess if they don't have a meeting to coordinate this, it's not called price-fixing. Seems they don't need a meeting at all since, when one raises prices, the rest immediately follow suit.

Theresa Beerman
Kamuela, Hawaii



"The real issue is about enrollment, access and getting kids in school. Education is the most powerful tool to combat poverty."

Nainoa Thompson
University of Hawaii regent
One of nine regents voting down a hike in UH tuition

"This is the ultimate, a networking dream. You'll meet people you just couldn't get to any other way."

Ken Erdman
Chairman of PacRim Marketing Group and author of "Network Your Way to Success"
Elated that Oahu is playing host to the Pacific Basin Economic Council's annual international meeting, which is drawing the largest, most diverse and most influential group of corporate executives to the the islands

Hip replacement stories were informative

I enjoyed Helen Altonn's March 9 articles on hip replacements. I just had a hip replacement myself, and am 49 years old. While my doctors at Kaiser discouraged the surgery, and wanted me to wait as long as I could since I was so young, the surgery was a great success.

I do, however, take exception to the statement in one story that younger patients with uncemented hip replacements are unable to walk for 6-8 weeks. I am comfortably walking with a cane and have been doing so since four weeks after my surgery.

LeRoy Brown

Why not just ban baseball bats as well?

With another vicious baseball bat attack in Waianae last week, this should clearly pave the way for a total ban on these obviously dangerous and deadly terrorist weapons. At the very least a 14-day cooling off period should be instituted, so an FBI background check on the potential bat buyer can be conducted.

I know this ban will adversely affect Hawaii's Little League teams and local softball leagues. (And I feel their pain.) Yet, all politics aside, if even one life can be spared, isn't it a small sacrifice? We must protect our children.

Mark Genovese
Haiku, Maui

Response to rock slide has been too slow

The recent landslide on the North Shore, coinciding with a high wave event, is causing major problems for the residents and visitors on the North Shore. Could you imagine what a hurricane or tsunami would do to this island?

I question the way things are done in this state. The response has been slow and basically inefficient. The governor should have called on the military or National Guard to build a temporary bridge faster.

I would hate to be here in a category three hurricane, with downed trees and power lines and washed-out roads. Oahu would be helpless.

The state needs to get its act together before something really bad happens.

Luke Meyers
Ewa Beach

UH football team's schedule is too easy

So what if the University of Texas Longhorns backed out of a football game against the University of Hawaii? At least they can say they've been here before. That's more than the Rainbows can say.

For once, I'd like to read the truth about UH football: that UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida has shied away from scheduling teams who want to play on a one-on-one schedule. Notice, for example, that UH hasn't played at Notre Dame and Michigan, while both teams have been here twice.

"Thanks" to Yoshida, UH will never crack the Top 10 because of its weak power rating. Coach June Jones said Texas was scared to play UH, but who's really scared? At least Texas plays highly ranked teams on the road, which is more than UH can say.

Roger Sharp

Just say 'yes' to election campaign deduction

There's something very simple that every taxpayer can do to help candidates for public office avoid the influence of special interests. When filling out your tax form, make sure to check "yes" in response to "Do you want $2 to go to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund?"

This fund is the source of public campaign money, including current matching funds programs and possible future Clean Elections programs. Candidates drawing money from this fund have less need to accept large donations from wealthy special interests groups.

Saying "yes" to contributing $2 doesn't affect your tax bill; it just designates two of your tax dollars to go into the fund. This is a rare opportunity to directly determine how our money gets spent.

The question appears right above the space for your signature on this year's N-11 form. There is a similar check-off near the top of the federal 1040 form.

Will Best
Executive Director
Hawaii Elections Project

Don't revoke licensing for social workers

Psychiatrists, psychologists and advanced practice nurses are licensed in this state, yet the Legislature is considering revoking the licensure of social workers.

Are we to assume that all social workers are ethical, competent, educated and trained, and that these other professionals are not? Should Hawaii social workers be exempted from national standards, because they are "better" than social workers in the other 49 states?

Social workers help people, but they also have the potential of harming clients, physically and/or emotionally. If the state does not require social workers in Hawaii to be licensed, anyone could hang out a shingle and practice.

Plumbers and stylists are licensed. Isn't our physical and emotional health more important than a leaky pipe or a bad haircut?

Amy Willbrand

Headline about burned wife was appalling

The award for tasteless headline of the year or maybe even the entire millennium should go to the one in your March 14 issue: "Man poured gas on wife and 'lit her up,' police say."

It feels obscene just to type it. Puns and witty little phrases are just that -- obscene -- when attached to human tragedies and cruelties.

John C. Roberts

Modern-day movies are too trashy

There is no outstanding picture for 1999 in my opinion, and I have seen them all.

As an alternative, I'd like to see the Academy give a special Oscar for best picture of the last century.

Recently, and for the third time, I walked out of a movie because of foul language. What bothers me most is that these films are the teachers of today's youth, yet they are full of trashy talk, lifestyles and sex, and all to make a buck!

The good old days were better in that they catered to morality and family values.

Jim Delmonte


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