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Saturday, September 23, 2000

Ways to bring bus
strike to an end

Recent articles about the pending bus strike listed several plans that government officials intend to use. I have some suggestions that bus riders can use, too. It won't help them get to work, but it will be effective in making their voices heard:

1) Call the union at 847-6633 with your complaint. Insist on speaking with top union officials. Don't let them take a message or pass you off to their press officer, who spouts off the usual rhetoric. If enough people call, their phone system will be tied up and unusable.

2) Fax the union at 842-4575 with complaints. Then its fax machine will be tied up too.

3) Visit its Web site at

4) Email complaints to the president of the union at:

5) Follow up with a written letter of complaint. Be prepared for a response that accuses you of being ignorant and anti-union. The address is Hawaii Teamsters Union Local 996, 1817 Hart Street, Honolulu, HI 96819.

6) Take a cab to and from work. Get a receipt, make a copy and demand reimbursement from the union.

Just follow the above steps each and every day of the bus strike, and give the union something else to think about.

Debbie Stelmach

False citizenship accusation backfired

My wife, Kazuko, was one of the 500-plus people on Oahu who received a notice from the Honolulu City Clerk's Office stating that she was ineligible to vote unless she could show proof of her citizenship.

My wife has been a U.S. citizen since 1982 and has voted in every election since. Thus, the threatening notice was shocking and very upsetting to her.

Why, after all these years, did the City Clerk's Office decide to vigorously crack down on illegal voters? Without checking the accuracy of their list, they outright accused my wife and many others who were eligible to vote of NOT being U.S. citizens, causing them unnecessary humiliation and stress.

Because of the city clerk and Honolulu City Council Chairman Jon Yoshimura, my wife no longer feels that she is a true American citizen. She has decided never to vote again and neither will I.

Edwin Chan

Pearl needs qualified workers -- local or not

I found Ben Toyama's comments regarding bias in hiring practices at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard to be very disturbing (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 20).

Since the shipyard is a military facility, we must strive for what is best for our military operations -- namely, having the widest available range of qualified candidates for jobs. If we can't find qualified applicants here, we must look elsewhere.

I was born and raised in Hawaii and have served in the military since 1985. Mr. Toyama, "whatever it takes to get the job done" is what we strive for in the military. But while we are defending our country, we still give you the right to freedom of speech to express your views.

John Heffernan

Dolphin Institute does fine work

As a recent mainland transplant from Oahu, I find the criticism of the Dolphin Institute by film producers Richard and Lauren Donner to be typical of the armchair bleeding-heart faction that exists on the West Coast (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 13).

The Dolphin Institute has made enormous contributions to the preservation of dolphins in the wild. The institute's sensitivity to this issue has saved thousands of dolphins from needless extermination.

Perhaps the film industry -- or, more specifically, the Donners -- should take as much time doing homework as in providing lip service to the media, and making such irresponsible accusations.

Charles J. Cultrera
Portland, Ore.

Community college teaching pay is low

I applaud your Sept. 20 editorial pointing out how far behind University of Hawaii faculty salaries are compared to the mainland.

Left out of the equation, however, were the salaries of the Hawaii Community College faculty. We teach almost 50 percent of the total student body who attend the UH system and, like our Manoa colleagues, we've always been way behind our mainland counterparts.

We are currently experiencing problems that border on severe with respect to recruiting and/or keeping scores of highly qualified professionals. We badly need these people on our diverse campuses to provide Hawaii a cadre of well-trained workers and transfer-level students to our four-year sister colleges and university.

Salaries and benefits for community college faculty, staff and administrators are at least 15-20 percent behind our mainland counterparts. Unfortunately, given the current state of unproductive contract negotiations, the integrity of our state university system is not acknowledged by the governor.

Vincent Linares
Kula, Maui

Honolulu Zoo is an excellent specimen

Like Martin Halsey Grubb (Letters, Aug. 10), I was at the Honolulu Zoo on July 20 for a Family Day sponsored by Mayor Harris. But, unlike Grubb, I enjoyed an exceptional time.

There were no dirty ponds and certainly no sickly looking animals.

Obviously, Grubb is unaware of normal animal behavior. Whether in the wild or captivity, it is typical for many species to spend most of the day resting or sleeping. Except for chimpanzees and small primates who have a naturally high level of activity, most other animals are happy with a quiet, shady spot to snooze.

On several occasions, I have taken out-of-town visitors to the zoo and all of them have, without exception, found the animals to be beautiful, healthy-looking and fascinating.

As for any polluted ponds, nonsense. Our trade winds blow foliage into the water, but that doesn't mean that the water is dirty. Many of these ponds are drained daily and all of them are cared for regularly.

Francine Champoux


There are many ways to improve traffic flow

Here are my suggestions to improve the University of Hawaii game-day parking situation:

Bullet Cone off "passes only" lanes as early in the traffic pattern as possible, and clearly mark them as soon as lots are filled. Cars without reserved parking passes should be warned off, as they would only clog the entrance to the stadium.

Bullet Turn off the traffic lights and place traffic cops at all intersections close to the stadium. They could keep traffic flowing better in all directions.

Bullet Consider a lottery system for parking at Aloha Stadium. That way, only those with parking passes would attempt to enter and others would have to carpool, catch the bus or find alternate parking.

Bullet Have a planning meeting ahead of time for all stadium officials and police who'll be there that day. If this is already happening, then I submit the meetings weren't very effective based on the results.

Wayne Tsuda
Pearl City

People need direction to find game parking

The reported excuses given by Les Keiter of the stadium authority and Marilyn Kali of the state Department of Transportation prove they have no idea how to handle a large crowd at Aloha Stadium.

All stadium-bound traffic must be controlled from the airport turnoffs, and cars need to be redirected when the stadium parking lots are filled. Don't just let motorists drive around in hopes of finding parking.

More buses are needed, at more pick-up locations and at a more reasonable rate.

Les Young



"In 2004, I will be 27,
and they say the prime age for
volleyball players is 25 to 28.
You never know..."

Veronica Lima
On the possibility of competing in
four years at the next Olympics,
set for Greece


"They should pay them the
money and get it over with. They just
spent all that money in Waikiki;
they can afford it. It's going
to mess up my life."

Doc Kaneakua
Fretting over a possible strike by bus drivers
belonging to Teamsters Local 996. Union
leaders say the issue is pay and deny the
threat is political in nature.

Government isn't trying to keep police officers here

It's disheartening that Honolulu's police officers are forced to choose between a rewarding salary in the Northwest and an undersized paycheck in Hawaii (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 21).

Our city government offers little reward for them to stay. Rather, it's the community that gives them the incentives.

An increased salary needn't be equal to or greater than other police departments, but should at least be competitive to allow our officers to stay in the islands and provide for their families.

Brad Kam

More research should have been done on radio system

Concerning the Honolulu Police Department's problems with its newly installed Ericsson radio system (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 21): If city planners had done an Internet search of the Usenet radio newsgroups, it would have discovered cities across the nation have been plagued with troubles with their Ericsson-installed communication systems.

I can recall an article on trouble-plagued Ericsson radios back in the early 1990s. A particular city dumped its Ericsson system in favor of its antiquated but still reliable equipment. Once that article appeared, an explosion of similar testimonials began to come forth.

Let's not forget that Ericsson turned the system over to the city knowing it wasn't Y2K-compliant. Then it had the gall to bill the city to make it compliant. It's scary to think that the lives of our brave police officers depend upon such a company.

Jeffrey Herman

Kanahele had a rare understanding of culture

Visionary is a word easily assigned these days. George Kanahele was the genuine article (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 16). He was patient in teaching Hawaiian values yet insistent we learn not by shaming or accusing, but by revealing and leading.

With an air of delighted wonderment at the depth and reach of the Hawaiian past and what it could instruct us about ourselves and our future, he reached out to us. His friend, Jim Dator, said it best in a eulogy of respectful sadness: "His combination of courage, foresight, intelligence, gentleness and persistence is rare these days and probably will become rarer still."

George Kanahele left us a legacy of renewed understanding of Hawaiian culture. It is up to us to honor it.

Neil Abercrombie
Member of Congress

Aloha to owner of Hasegawa General Store

Please express my deepest admiration for the late Toshimasa Hasegawa, whose store I frequented every time I took visitors to Maui (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 20).

They all thought his store was wonderful and so did I.

I lived on Oahu from 1986-89 as a military wife. I worked as a travel agent and visited Maui on numerous occasions with and without mainland visitors. The Hasegawa General Store was a welcome hostess station at the end of the road to Hana.

While Hasegawa will be missed, his spirit will live on through his family, who will carry on his memory.

Linda Comer
Chapel Hill, N.C.

OHA logo

Hawaiian term should be used for natives

In light of the ill words exchanged between Governor Cayetano and Haunani Trask regarding who is truly "Hawaiian," I suggest that we who are Hawaiians use the term "na kanaka maoli" instead of Hawaiian.

Na kanaka maoli refers to a specific people, those with bloodlines to the pre-contact inhabitants of these islands. If we wish to be successful in our fight for sovereignty, we should have clearly defined lines of who is or is not na kanaka maoli.

As a final note, I am in favor of 1) us managing the finances for our people and 2) sovereignty -- a nation within a nation, an independent governing body over native peoples, whatever you want to call it.

I am NOT in favor of representatives of any sovereignty group speaking on behalf of na kanaka maoli, or city, state or federal officials having a public war of words based on personal feelings.

This is an emotional issue. But to achieve the goal, we must use diplomacy instead of taking personal potshots at each other.

Christine Makahilahila

Non-Hawaiians should have a say in OHA

Who should or should not vote in the upcoming Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections cannot be simplified along racial lines.

This is one haole who will be voting for OHA trustees. Why? Because I raised three part-Hawaiian children myself, so I had to sit back and watch with frustration as their educational needs were ignored because of all the power struggles.

So, you see, there are some of us who are non-Hawaiian who really do care.

Rita Place
Kamuela, Hawaii

Office of Hawaiian Affairs
State Office of Elections

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