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Tuesday, October 17, 2000


Former lineman admitted vulnerability

In his Oct. 7 letter, former utility company employee Jerry M. Nutt provided more good reasons to oppose the Kamoku-Pukele 138-kw transmission lines.

In addition to describing the harsh conditions associated with the repair of overhead lines, he also exposed Hawaiian Electric Co.'s systemwide vulnerabilities associated with shipping power over to the Windward side and then bringing it back over the Koolaus to Waikiki, Kapahulu, Kaimuki, Manoa and other parts of Honolulu.

Wouldn't an underground line -- protected from bad weather, trees and vandalism -- provide more reliability? Shouldn't residents and businesses expect more than 30-year-old ideas?

Corinne W.L. Ching

Football players get away with a lot

The suspension of Moanalua High School varsity football players for stealing from junior varsity players' lockers is a sad reality of high school athletics. Football rules at most public schools.

I attended a local public school, played sports, was sports editor for the school paper and saw everything from all perspectives. There were pep rallies every week for the football team despite its losing streak. Football players skipped class but were left alone by the school administration.

Football is the only sport that pumps money into athletic departments. Everything is centered around football. Did anybody care if the volleyball team was tops in the division for the third straight year, or if the cross-country and air riflery teams won their divisions? No.

My locker was broken into three times since my sport shared lockers with the football team. I wasn't the only victim. But who wanted to speak out and get branded as troublemakers by the football coaches, players and administration?

High school athletics play a vital role in students' lives, allowing them to make friends and improve confidence. However, incidents like those at Moanalua go unreported, because football rules.

Why should the junior varsity players pay to get back items they own? Ridiculous. It's like having your car stolen and paying the thief to return it.

Sean Lau



"I don't agree with it (the swimsuit competition). I would like to see it out."
Angela Perez Baraquio
On how, despite winning the swimsuit competition in the national pageant, she would like to see it dropped from the contest

"My womb hurts. I want to hug her little body. I want to see her little toes, and those little dimpled fingers and freckled cheeks."
Susan Ambrose
During a memorial service for her daughter at Sunset Beach

Recycling should be a high priority

How disappointing that the city doesn't believe recycling bins are needed at Ala Moana Center (Kokua Line, Sept. 30).

A city spokesperson claimed that the aluminum is captured at the city's HPOWER facility. What he failed to mention is that this "captured" aluminum is much less valuable than presorted aluminum, because it has been contaminated by being mixed in with other trash.

Presorted aluminum sells for about 55 cents a pound on the global market vs. 20 cents for the aluminum that comes out of the power plant. That's a lot of money going up in smoke.

Just as important is the message that is being conveyed. Hawaii needs to be at the forefront of the recycling movement, not the tail end of it.

Encouraging people to take personal responsibility for their garbage is at the heart of a true environmentally sound policy. Steps like placing recycling bins in public places and instituting a return deposit bottle bill law would go a long way toward conveying a true commitment to preserving the natural beauty of this island state.

Ellen Dumonceau

Governor should clarify stance on labor pacts

The governor was quoted as saying: "You can't bind future legislatures to collective bargaining that you put up today...You can award a four-year contract that looks back, but you cannot award one that is prospective, that looks forward."

At face value, Governor Cayetano seems to be saying that the state can never commit to a multi-year labor contract. Given that retroactive raises are, by definition, paid for after they are earned, unless a lump sum is granted, a literal interpretation of the statement negates the possibility of a pay raise (or any change in any other cost-related contract provision) for any state employee.

Does the governor really mean he will never approve labor contracts spanning beyond a legislative session?

John Haig

Democrats distort the meaning of words

Lewis Carroll would love the language of politics. First, we have Democrats all fawning over "working families." They refer, of course, to union and government workers, both Democratic constituencies; nonunion workers, small businessmen and independent contractors are not included.

Then we have politicians who tout "investing" the tax surplus in more and bigger government programs. What they mean, of course, is confiscating more of our money to subsidize bureaucratic growth. That's called spending.

"Investing" implies creation of wealth, and the first lesson of Economics 101 is that government does not create wealth -- it consumes wealth. The private sector creates wealth. Returning excess taxes to the private sector, deemed by some politicians to be "spending" the surplus, actually is investment.

Then we have "targeted tax cuts" -- returning money not to those who pay the taxes but to those who need the money. We used to call that welfare or, in the extreme, socialism. The liberal media ignore the limited definition of "working families," although those omitted probably pay more taxes than those included.

We must not allow the terms of political engagement to be distorted and redefined by the Mad Hatters of the world.

Robert R. Kessler

The wrong men are running for president

Try wait. Let's ask for a do-over on the presidential primaries. The better guys are running for vice president instead of president.

Amazing how civil, thoughtful, insightful and understandable the VP hopefuls were in their debate. I was able to maintain interest and actually stayed awake.

Robert "Rabbett" Abbett

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