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Thursday, July 27, 2000


State was enforcing law by taking down crosses

Your July 21 editorial calling for the restoration of the crosses at Sacred Falls Park ignores laws prohibiting memorials and personal property on state land. Any property left unattended for more than 24 hours, regardless of whether it is being maintained, is not allowed.

Following the flawed logic of your editorial, anyone could erect a sign on public property as long as it was maintained. Such displays could be personal memorials but could also include ideological and political messages.

Either the Star-Bulletin is advocating special rights for religious speech, which is in violation of the First Amendment, or it is calling for a repeal of all laws regarding signage on public property. I doubt whether the people of Hawaii want to see their public parks, beaches and roadsides littered with signs.

I have great compassion for the Sacred Falls victims, survivors and rescuers. Perhaps they can work with the state to erect a bench or picnic area, or plant trees to commemorate the tragedy.

Holly Huber

Plans may be set to reopen Sacred Falls

What purpose did the eight memorial crosses at Sacred Falls serve? Why were they allowed to be displayed for a year on public land? These seem to be the questions that Mitchell Kahle was asking (Letters, July 25).

Here's what I think: The crosses served both as a memorial and as warning not to visit that death trap. State officials knew that people had died there before; they knew or should have known that more would die there again. But they didn't care.

Your government certainly doesn't want visitors seeing eight white crosses at the entrance to a big tourist attraction, so Kahle's complaint was just the excuse the state needed. This is just one step toward reopening the site.

No more deaths at Sacred Falls! Close it forever!

Katie Johnson
Mother of rockslide victim Sara johnson
Winnetka, Calif.



"It's always difficult to unseat an incumbent. Vacant seats help us a lot."
Linda Lingle
On how vacant seats and more GOP candidates may help bolster the party's chances of winning in November

"You see the same stark differences across the board. My advice to consumers: Don't settle for what the biggest banks are paying."
Greg McBride
On how banks in Hawaii pay the nation's lowest interest rates on CDs

Fixing police radios must get priority

The technical problems with the Honolulu Police Department's radio communications system should be taken care of as soon as possible even though it will take millions of additional taxpayer dollars to get it working right. Among other things, costly repeater-stations in suspected blackout areas will have to be installed.

In 1997, Governor Cayetano refused to release $5.3 million to the City & County of Honolulu to help fund this new radio communications system. The Legislature had previously approved the city's request for financial assistance on this project.

This is just another reason why Cayetano's endorsement of Jeremy Harris in his bid for re-election as mayor is like the proverbial "kiss of death."

Steven T.K. Burke
Retiree, Honolulu Police Department
Pearl City

Schools get less respect than military bases

Why is it the minute they find asbestos in the floor tiles at Schofield, they move the soldiers out of danger quickly (Star-Bulletin, July 17), yet I teach in one of many schools on Oahu that have old, cracked asbestos floor tiles, but no one comes to help the children or teachers.

Just another slap in the face to public education.

Mary Agor

Delay privacy law's implementation

Confusion surrounding the newly enacted Patient Privacy Law was aptly outlined in your July 22 editorial. However, my suggestion regarding a special session is for the Legislature to delay the effective date of the law. I agree that to do anything else during a special session, such as fixing the law, would be too complicated to accomplish in such a short time frame.

The point of extending the effective date of the law is to give affected industries and parties the opportunity to identify problems with the law and to develop solutions.

Rightly or wrongly, many of those problems have surfaced only since the July effective date as parties attempt to comply with the law.

Clearly, lawmakers in the next full legislative session should fix the law so that the purpose of this law can be met without unreasonable and costly confusion and delays to consumers, health-care providers, insurance companies and employers.

Mazie K. Hirono
Lieutenant Governor

'Progress' will transform once tranquil place

I was born and raised in the Haleiwa-Waialua community. I saw this beautiful part of the island change from the 1960s through the '90s. I left Hawaii in 1983 and remained in California due to the high cost of living and poor job market in the islands.

But I never thought I'd read an article about Pua'ena Point like the one on the front page of your July 24 edition.

As a kid, I remember diving there, looking for sand crabs and running around the air strip. People would dump their opala at Pua'ena Point. Still, it was serene and a nice place to take a stroll, with cool breezes and lots of shade from the tall pine trees.

What will "progress," landowners and the bureaucracy of government do to it now?

Steven A. "Pio" Tauvela Yagyagan
San Diego

Hearing dates affecting Hawaiians changed

Thank you for printing Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Rowena Akana's View Point column, "Hawaiians must be protected," in last Saturday's Insight section.

We have recently discovered that the dates for the statewide hearings she referred to in her article have been changed. The new dates of the hearings are Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

Carina Tagupa
Aide to Rowena Akana
Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee

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