Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

to the Editor

Write a Letter to the Editor

Tuesday, October 24, 2000


DLNR is not protecting birds from fireworks

In 1999, EnviroWatch Inc. requested that the Kailua Chamber of Commerce not explode fireworks from Popoi'a Island (Flat Island) Bird Sanctuary on the Fourth of July, because of past knowledge of damaged nests and dead birds on the shore on July 5.

It appears, from articles appearing since late September in both daily papers, that the issue has been confused by fund-raising businesses and by those at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), which is entrusted with protecting wildlife and enforcing federal and state laws.

Don't forget whose job it is to protect the birds that nest on this island. What about the mandate that these birds deserve protection under the Migratory Bird Act? This act was knowingly violated by the agency entrusted to enforce it on Popoi'a Island.

The "permitting agency" is DLNR. Dave Smith, a DLNR wildlife biologist, made the following statements regarding the fireworks on the island:

Bullet That he has issued the permit to the Kailua Chamber of Commerce for the last 10 years.

Bullet Because he was born and raised in Kailua, he understands how popular the event is and has allowed the display.

Bullet That he flags every single burrow and marks important nesting sites the day before.

Bullet That he also met the fireworks crew out on the island and briefed them prior to the event.

Bullet This year after the fireworks, he found a crushed nest, destroyed eggs and a bird buried alive.

Bullet In explaining these casualties, Smith said the number of birds on the island has increased and "it is really hard to find the space to operate out there without harming birds. The nesting area has expanded and the density on the island has gone up."

These statements by Smith indicate a clear violation of the law and pose the following questions:

1) What does zero tolerance for "any kind of harm or harassment to wildlife" mean when the head of the permitting agency is aiding and abetting in the violations?

2) Did Smith issue a citation to the Kailua Chamber of Commerce or its contractor for crushing nests and destroyed eggs?

3) Who issues a citation to Smith for aiding and abetting these crimes?

Sadly enough, not once have we heard anything from any business, the Chamber of Commerce or DLNR about giving back to the island or restoring it after using and abusing it for 25 years; $15,000 for 11 minutes -- $1,363.36 per minute -- seems a high price to pay for all who are breaking the law.

Jim Andrews
Vice President, EnviroWatch Inc



"I'm very glad to be here
in your beautiful city."

Madeleine Albright
Responding to the welcome of North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il, moving the two nations closer and paving the way
for a possible visit by President Clinton


"For years it was at an impasse.
They said, 'Yes, yes, yes, maybe, possibly,
no, there haven't been enough
people killed yet.'"

Tom Fujita
One of those blessing the new traffic light
at Jack Lane on the Pali. Since 1994, five pedestrians
have been killed and more than 200 have been
injured trying to cross the highway.

Advisory committee should be changed

As a University of Hawaii faculty member, I am embarrassed that it was left to the UH Manoa Graduate Student Organization to raise concerns about the composition of the advisory committee to choose a new UH president.

I find it disappointing that Board of Regents Chairwoman Lily Yao, who made the selections, determined that, other than a state representative, only chairmen or CEOs could represent the community-at-large.

Undoubtedly, the four male business executives add talent to the advisory committee. But by no stretch of the imagination are they representative of the diverse communities that make up Hawaii.

This state has an incredible wealth of talent. For instance, the inclusion of someone from a non-profit group such as the Waikiki Health Center would have added a very different perspective to the committee.

I urge the Yao and the board to reconsider the choices for the committee. The public should help by submitting names of candidates who would be outstanding community representatives.

John Casken

Slom is responsive, caring senator

Your Oct. 12 article on the state Senate contest in Hawaii Kai between Republican incumbent Sam Slom and Democratic challenger Marsha Joyner was sloppy journalism. It implied that Slom was out of touch with his constituents.

If ever a public officeholder is in touch with his constituents, as well as everyone else in this state who wants to talk to him, it is Slom. He answers every call and listens carefully.

He didn't want to vote for the confirmation of Attorney General Margery Bronster, but he did so out of respect for his constituents. He was honest and straightforward about it.

If Slom is out of touch, please tell us who is in touch. What other public official would know that his constituent base had shifted because of departures and arrivals? Not Ben Cayetano. Not Jeremy Harris. Not Norman Mizuguchi.

Richard O. Rowland

Hawaiian groups should be in one spot

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' possible purchase of the old downtown post office building is a very good idea. Having served on the Hawaiian Homes Commission, we looked at this building and others as a home site for Hawaiian organizations like OHA, Alu Like, etc. The desire was to put all Hawaiian affairs in one building, with all rent money going toward one place. This would have been a sound investment.

OHA has spent millions of dollars in rent over the past 20 years. Its trustees should seriously consider the purchase of this building and the opportunity to keep the affairs of Hawaiians in one location.

Mel Kalahiki
Waimea, Hawaii

Military needs more pay, appreciation

Defense Secretary William Cohen: March back to the Pentagon, pick up Sen. Dan Inouye and Rep. Neil Abercrombie, and urge Congress to vote a livable wage for our active military personnel before we have a revolt.

Over 50 percent of our military in Hawaii draw some sort of welfare benefits. They still can't maintain a lifestyle above poverty.

That's only the beginning of the hardships that military personnel endure. Try to survive and not get injured in a so-called peace-keeping mission. If you're successful, 50 years later, the government will pin a medal on your blanket or place flowers on your grave.

T.J. Stockinger

Write a
Letter to the Editor

Want to write a letter to the editor?
Let all Star-Bulletin readers know what you think.
Please keep your letter to about 200 words.
You can send it by e-mail to
or you can fill in the online form for a faster response.
Or print it and mail it to: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 3080,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96802. Or fax it to: 523-8509.
Always be sure to include your daytime phone number.

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin