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Wednesday, June 7, 2000


Coups show isles aren't immune to ethnic unrest

Ethnic strife in Fiji and the Solomon Islands reminds us that small Pacific islands are not immune to the terrors of the Middle East, Rwanda and Bosnia. Fiji for the Fijians! Indians go home! Make a constitution guaranteeing power for ethnic Fijians!

One racial or ethnic group claims political supremacy based on superior religion or culture, spiritual connection with the land, or being the first settlers there. Various races and cultures contributed capital investment, expertise and sweat equity for generations as full partners. They built a multiethnic democracy, which gets trashed by one group claiming racial supremacy.

As we listen to the demands of the Hawaiian sovereignty activists, let's remember how fortunate we are to live in the strong and stable democracy of the United States. It is wrong for any one group to demand automatic supremacy. It is wrong for politicians or newspapers to say that only one group's opinions count, giving them power by default.

Democracy is hard work. Use it or lose it! The sovereignty issue should be part of our election-year discussion. Sovereignty is not for kanaka maoli alone to decide.

Ken Conklin

Akaka must do more to lower gas prices

I recently received a letter from Daniel Akaka. The U.S. senator implied that he was attempting to get gas prices back to normal by supporting the increase of oil production. Yet, even if things do get back to normal, Hawaii will continue to be ripped off by the oil companies. Can't he see that?

Since receiving his letter, the price I have been asked to pay for premium gas has gone up from $2.25 to $2.29 per gallon. We don't wish to continue to be treated the same as before. We want to see parity with mainland prices.

Senator Akaka, take off you coat, roll up your sleeves and jump into the middle of it! You are on our side, aren't you?

Robert G. Devine
Ocean View, Hawaii

Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Employee-owners could deliver a better paper

I'm encouraged by your June 3 article on interest by the Star-Bulletin's employees to control their own fates with a possible purchase of the paper. I hope that they succeed, because a paper that owes nothing to corporate interests can truly deliver unfiltered news that the public can use.

Assuming the employee buyout is successful, here's some unsolicited advice:

Bullet Continue publishing an afternoon edition. Who wants to read yesterday's news?

Bullet Contemplate coming out with a morning edition as well, if that's what your readers want.

Bullet Don't allow the Advertiser to have a monopoly on Sunday.

Bullet Expand your online edition, perhaps with a pay-only section allowing full access.

Bullet Go to an easier-to-read tabloid format, which will help differentiate the Star-Bulletin from the rest.

James Ko

Bulletin closing archive



"It was so difficult
for women in those days.
There weren't any swimming
pools deep enough for
women to dive in."

Aileen Riggin Soule
On being inducted into the
New York Metropolitan
Swimming Hall of Fame


"Anybody who does not think
this will be a political issue is,
on every level, wrong. I'm afraid
UH will not end up with
the kind of person
it will need."

J.N. Musto
On the daunting search
for a new UH president

Politicians will give themselves raises

Thankfully, the economy seems to be headed in the right direction. Since our politicians will be taking all the credit, my guess is we will see them vote themselves a pay raise in the near future. They also will be able to expand the role of government, reversing the trend of the last few years.

Our leaders will raise our taxes, and we will obediently hand over more of our money to the state. Happy days are here again.

Mark Middleton

Raising driving age would save lives

The deaths and injuries that occurred on Kauai this past weekend could have been averted.

There are two ways to eliminate these deaths. The first is to take the kids out of the car. The second is to take the car away from the kids.

Raising the driving age to 21 will give young adults something to look forward to. It will save parents the major financial grief of not having to buy a new car.

At 21, the young adult will probably desire a different car and will appreciate it more when he/she has to pay for it. This will also bring the family closer together since parents will still have to drive their kids.

At 16 most kids are not mature enough to know when to back off from a dangerous situation. To them, death is something that happens to someone else.

In order to save them from themselves, the laws concerning the driving age must be raised to 21. Perhaps a mental-health test is also in order. After all, if it's good enough for gun owners, it should be good enough for car drivers. If these changes save just one life, yours, isn't it worth it?

Vernon Okamura

Many residents must leave to reach potential

I'm not surprised by Sen. Dan Inouye's comments about local students leaving the islands to attend mainland colleges (Star-Bulletin, May 31). Unlike him, some of us have no choice but to leave Hawaii in order to maximize our potential.

I wonder if Inouye and his colleagues can imagine for a single minute in their affluent lives just how many high school graduates come from families that don't even have the luxury of attending the University of Hawaii.

For those of us with few financial resources -- but who have lots of persistence, patience and sacrifice -- the opportunities on the mainland are limited only by our minds, whereas the opportunities in the islands are dictated by our connections or lack thereof.

Lana Robbins
New Port Richey, Fla.

Bullet Expatriates' Corner

Uyesugi's excuses aren't acceptable

At Byran Uyesugi's murder trial, an expensive forensic psychiatrist testified that Uyesugi realized he had done wrong but failed to comprehend the enormity. What a revelation! Any stupid criminal could use that defense.

Nothing insane here -- just an emotionally out-of-control spoiled brat who thinks he can shoot his problems away. For that, Uyesugi should die in prison.

Martin Halsey Grubb
Pearl City

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