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Thursday, October 19, 2000


Legislature isn't obliged to fund pay raises

State House and Senate leaders are blowing smoke when they say they are obligated to fund union pay raises just because the court backs up a negotiated amount.

The state law governing this matter is very explicit in stating that, pursuant to collective bargaining (which covers all public employees), any negotiated pay increases are subject to the Legislature providing funding for the increases.

Thus, when our elected representatives find that our public piggy bank has higher priorities (like education) or when we're in dire straits, they must be responsible to all of us and "just say no."

The union cronies and the legislators eating out of their laps would love to tell you different, but they are lying or are too lazy. Read the law. Stand up and be counted, legislators.

Keola Childs

Being homosexual is not abnormal

I am compelled to respond to Jeff Goodman's Oct. 6 letter. His statement that homosexuality is not normal is contradicted by more than 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Social Workers -- together representing more than 477,000 health and mental-health professionals -- have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus there is no need for a cure.

In addition, Warren J. Gadpaille, M.D., writes in the "Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry" that "homosexual activity occurs under some circumstances in probably all known human cultures and all mammalian species for which it has been studied."

Peter Dunn Aurello

DOE needs to be financially accountable

We have two unusual institutions in Hawaii, both without counterparts on the mainland and for good reason. The first is our single, statewide school board; the second is our single, statewide school district called the Department of Education or DOE.

School board member Karen Knudsen's comments regarding the DOE's inability to track its own $1 billion budget is another example of what's wrong with Hawaii. She told the press, "People go nuts trying to figure out where our money is being spent. I think it's being legitimately spent, but we just don't know where or how." We can be grateful Michael Kahapea didn't work for the DOE.

On the mainland, local school board members understand that financial oversight is one of their primary responsibilities while, in Hawaii, the DOE's inability to follow the money is old news. Our state auditor previously reported the same findings two years ago.

Equally troubling is that public education is the state's No. 1 budget expense. Meanwhile, there are 35 students in our son's high school algebra class.

Knudsen's husband, Greg, is director of communication for the DOE. Did somebody say conflict of interest? He is also the Democratic candidate for the 15th House District.

Given the sad state of public education, after decades of control by this failed bureaucracy, asking Hawaii Kai's parents and grandparents to vote for Greg Knudsen is a bit like asking the chickens to vote for Colonel Sanders.

Michael Parry



"America will not rest until we find you
and the long arm of justice reaches out,
however long, however far, and
makes you pay for this crime."

William Cohen
Delivering a warning to terrorists suspected
in the attack on the destroyer USS Cole, that
killed 17 American sailors


"Everyone is aware of the threat,
but it's not anything we haven't trained for...
It's an incredible rush. That's part of the fun
-- part of the excitement."

Capt. John Traettino
On the Hawaii air unit's deployment
next month to patrol the skies over Iraq

Shortening yellow lights could save lives

Zooming through a yellow traffic light is something that we all do. I suspect we can easily save quite a few lives (just one life is enough) if we simply shorten the duration of our yellow traffic lights. Doing so will train drivers to refrain from shooting through intersections when the yellow light shines.

I'm sure there are studies available from other parts of the country where short yellow lights are the norm. We could implement the change in a handful of intersections, then study the impact on driver behavior.

It's such a simple and easy way to try to improve traffic safety. It only needs someone in authority to try it. Who is this person? The media should find out.

I'm writing this and am alive today after an incident over 23 years ago at the intersection of Beretania and Piikoi. Thank God I was in the far right lane on Beretania while moving forward when the light turned green.

Another driver on my left, moving mauka on Piikoi, zoomed through the intersection trying to beat the yellow light and crashed into several of us. The recent fatality at Pali Highway and School Street involving Clyde S. Arakawa and Dana Ambrose is likely a similar incident.

Alan T. Matsuda

Trust of public has been violated by HPD

Regarding the preferential treatment by Honolulu police of fellow officer Clyde Arakawa after he was involved in the traffic death of Dana Ambrose: The police department must think the citizens of Honolulu are stupid. People who have the right to carry a gun must be held to the highest standards of conduct. Why is this so hard to understand?

If being a cop is so hard, then quit. Go be a clerk somewhere. The people's trust has been violated.

Steve Tayama

Let kids drink bottled water with fluoride

Both Governor Cayetano and Bruce Anderson, state director of health, are dumbing down the people of Hawaii by telling us and not asking us (true, they had a House hearing, but it was a sham hearing) that we need fluoridation. They have sold out to the special interests selling fluoride.

The big question remains: Why "wholesale" the whole state for the keiki coming on-board now? If the governor and his health director want this so bad, then have them bottle fluoridated water and have the parents with keiki buy this water.

But don't wholesale the whole state water system with this chemical poison. Make no mistake, our water is pure and sacred.

Leave the water alone.

H.K. Terri

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