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Monday, May 29, 2000


Oahu strikes out in broadcasting baseball

What's going on out there in radioland?

Fifty years ago, the people of Oahu could listen to nifty re-creations of Major League baseball games by Les Keiter, Frank Valenti, Carlos Rivas or Joe Rose. Then once the Giants moved west in 1958, we could hear every game, home and on the road, from the ballparks. Today, nada.

But hold on, Oahu baseball nuts can always move to the Big Island, where Hilo radio offers frequent Giants and Dodgers games, with a few others thrown in like the Padres or ESPN's Game of the Day. Three cheers to Big Island radio. Raspberries to Oahu radio.

Lyle Nelson

Mayor, governor have warped thinking

Something is muddling the minds of our mayor and governor. Why else would they be espousing wild, woolly and weird ideas?

Bullet The mayor brags with pride that he has not raised city property taxes. Instead, Jeremy Harris has raised "fees" (a less objectionable name for taxes), which tends to shift the tax burden on those less able to pay.
Instead of raising revenues the proper and usual way, Harris borrowed heavily and even froze property taxes one year, causing those who lost property value to pay more taxes than they should, while not increasing the rates of those whose property values had increased.

Bullet Governor Cayetano says union rights and benefits are excessive, and wants to dismantle labor gains that have taken his party decades to achieve. Cayetano blames these perceived excesses on the unions rather than government's inability to negotiate effectively and to persuasively present its case to an arbitrator.

The governor also wants to replace the unions' right to binding arbitration with the outmoded and hurtful right to strike, putting the entire community in jeopardy.

Something must be causing this cerebral meltdown. Is someone feeding the mayor and governor tainted tofu or a hard line of corporate catechism?

Richard Y. Will



"I'm the only Manoa in all of New Mexico."

Manoa Alcantara Jojola
What the Hawaii-born young man of Fiipino and Isleta Pueblo Indian heritage once told a teacher while he was growing up on the mainland. The 18-year-old private school student was supposed to have graduated this month, and has been commemorated with a monument on the campus of the Albuquerque Academy.

"I still believe in my ability. I hadn't fought in a year, but I didn't feel rusty."
Jesus Salud
After knocking down Boyke Sillehu in the third round to remain unbeaten in 35 professional boxing matches in Hawaii

Why is nobody helping homeless woman?

For several months, a woman has been living on the sidewalk across the street from the IHS men's emergency homeless shelter in Iwilei (across from Kmart). She has accumulated more than 67 bagfuls of "stuff."

It is especially disconcerting to me that she is so close to IHS, yet so far from assistance.

This woman is known to mental health service providers. She is visited regularly by outreach workers. She has been visited a few times by a psychiatrist.

But it has been explained to me that, since this woman refuses assistance, she needs to be in "imminent danger" to herself or others before the court will order her to the state hospital.

To me, a female who sleeps on the sidewalk across the street from a men's shelter and who has already been attacked is in "imminent danger." I would welcome a response from a court judge to explain this policy.

Lynn Maunakea
Executive Director
Institute for Human Services

Supply of affordable housing is threatened

Thousands of men, women and children in Hawaii are homeless. For tens of thousands more, rent consumes all or most of a limited budget; such families chronically face the possibility of eviction and homelessness.

Public housing, for which households pay an affordable rent based on income, offers one of the few hopes for such people. But with 6,000 households on the waiting list, applicants for public housing wait up to five years for a unit to become available.

Policies that increasingly target public housing rents to households in a higher income range may prolong that wait indefinitely.

Mayor Wright Homes is one example of the pending loss of units for households with incomes under $17,000, whom public housing has historically benefited (Star-Bulletin, May 16). If the state's plans go forward, it will rebuild the project and offer a portion of the units at flat rents that are two to three times current average rents. By a conservative calculation, this would result in the loss of 60 units from the existing stock of homes affordable at the lowest income level.

The Housing and Community Development Corp. of Hawaii, the state housing authority, is also in the early stages of applying for a grant to reconstruct Kuhio Park Terrace. If plans call for demolition of the towers, a large number of units could be lost.

Meanwhile, renovation of Kalihi Valley Homes may entail the loss of about 100 units for those with extremely low incomes. Each plan eats away at the already limited supply of housing available for those with the the fewest options.

While revitalization of Mayor Wright and other public housing projects seem to promise attractive benefits, they break an important promise: that society will provide homes for people with low incomes. Where will these families and individuals go as the stock of affordable homes dwindles?

Kathleen Hasegawa
Executive Director
Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance

Amendment would protect right to gamble

Proponents of legalized gambling in Hawaii should go after an amendment to the Constitution.

The alcohol industry has the 21st Amendment. Gun owners have the Second Amendment. Gays and lesbians are trying to squeeze themselves into the 14th or 15th amendments.

So, gambling enthusiasts, go get yourself an amendment, too! Then we can stop using unelected liberal activist judges who create rights and pull entitlements out of thin air.

Bruce Wong

Elian can have more fun in United States

What a terrible thought -- sending Elian back to Cuba. Poor kid! He will never have the chance to stay in this country and learn to shoot other kids, take drugs or have sex while in his teens.

Yeah, that Castro. He's terrible, forcing Cuba's children to behave like kids. No fun there.

G. Migita

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