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Thursday, August 24, 2000


Let Russian people deal with Putin

What happened to the Russian submarine Kursk -- the lives lost, the anguish of the families of the crew and the loss of trust in a government -- makes this tragedy one of historic importance. As a submarine veteran, I can identify keenly with the crew of the Kursk.

Therefore, may I address those who are too quick to condemn the Russian navy and government for "not doing more, more quickly" and for not calling at once for other nations to help.

Would any country have acted differently? Did the U.S. first call for help when the Squalus was lost or when the Scorpion went down? I don't know. But I do know that our government moved immediately and unilaterally to find and rescue those submarines.

Each of these tragedies was ours and we did what we could to rescue the men and their ships. The nation grieved. We used our Treasury to develop more technically efficient methods to help in the event of future disasters, as we should have -- and as the Russian government probably will now.

The personal behavior of the Russian president on hearing news of the tragedy is another matter. If true, the behavior can be neither condoned nor excused. But, then again, Vladimir Putin is Russia's president and he is a Russian problem. Leave him to be dealt with by the Russian people.

Stephen T. Murin

U.S. concern over sub crisis was comforting

Your coverage of sailors dying in the sunken Russian submarine illustrates how far we've evolved in the new millennium.

Had that sub sunk 20 years ago, the Soviets would have sealed up tighter than drums. The reaction of the American press and public would have reflected the mindset of the time: "Damn those godless commies. Serves 'em right!"

Instead, the new millennium has the people of the United States anguishing over the Russian sailors as if they were our own. Russian photos and facts flowed freely.

The millennium radiates a new energy of humanity united after the agony of two world wars and 40 years of the Cold War. Hopefully, the submarine disaster will convince Congress that the "missile shield" is a gazillion-dollar boondoggle meant to keep alive old-war industrialists gasping for air in the new world of peace.

Howard C. Wiig



"If you listen to the radio or watch MTV, you'll hear all about 'pimps' and 'hos' and 'getting that bitch to make money.' It's glamorizing pimping, prostitution, selling your body."
Kelly Hill
On one of the challenges facing her Honolulu-based organization, which helps women and girls escape prostitution

"We're not dying, we're just retiring. Give us a break."
Joe Tanaka
Shaking off the public farewells and well-wishes from Senate colleagues, as Tanaka and Senate President Norman Mizuguchi won't be seeking re-election and will be leaving the state Legislature

SHOPO's decision was based on fairness

I would like to correct your Aug. 18 article and Aug. 21 editorial on the recent poll taken by the Oahu chapter of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) to decide our endorsement for Honolulu mayor.

You quoted "an anonymous board member" that the union leadership decided not to endorse anyone to avoid endorsing Mufi Hannemann. Your source also said that an emergency meeting was called on Aug. 18 and that not all board members were notified.

In fact, there was never any intention to deprive anyone of the SHOPO endorsement. Our decision was based on procedure and fairness. Also, the state board meeting that occurred on Aug. 17 was scheduled at the July 21 state board meeting in Kona

Written notice was given as a reminder to each board member two weeks before the meeting. Therefore, your anonymous source is either a demented idiot or a figment of your reporter's imagination.

Alexander Garcia
SHOPO Oahu Chapter Chairman

Symbol of rainbow was a gift from God

UH sports logo Regarding the emotional controversy over the University of Hawaii rainbow logo, change is difficult to take. I will still root for UH and its new logo, even though I am a transplanted Hawaiian living on the mainland.

For the record, according to the Bible (Gen. 9:11-17), the rainbow was first created by God after the universal flood (deluge) that occurred during Noah's time as a promise that he would not destroy the world with another great flood. So no one should have a monopoly on the rainbow insignia.

Charles Yoshida
Fresno, Calif.

Cayetano should finish rest of Foley's term

As I understand it, pardons are usually granted to convicts who have served their sentence, been paroled, established themselves once again as citizens of our community, then asked for a pardon.

Tom Foley, the lawyer who killed a man with his car and then was pardoned by Governor Cayetano, had not served his time, nor had he been paroled.

This is a new twist on the U.S. jurisprudence system -- letting the victims (those who survived, anyway) and the governor decide whether a convicted killer should serve time and, if so, for how long. Something smells!

Maybe Cayetano should serve the remainder of Foley's term until he can show that he is fit to once again assume a position in our community.

Keith Haugen

Column distorted issue to serve pro-gay agenda

It's astonishing that David Shapiro, in his Aug. 12 Volcanic Ash column, is still promoting the lie that the issue before the Department of Education is the idea that homosexual children should be protected. All children, including homosexual children, should be protected from harassment. Why do such misstatements continue?

As far as I'm concerned, the reason Shapiro continues to use misrepresentation and deception is that, if the public clearly understood the issue, it would make the politically incorrect decision.

Kathy Martin

Harris does good job in running Honolulu

My wife and I have just completed our fifth trip to Hawaii to visit our son. We spent most of our time in Waikiki and on Oahu, and couldn't help but notice the improvements made. This time we had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Harris at the reopening of Kuhio Beach Park. We found him to be a gracious, classy gentleman.

Honolulu residents are fortunate to have him leading the city. He has done much to add to the cleanliness and beauty of your islands. We'll be back.

Michael and Judith Bub
Tamarac, Fla.

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