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Friday, November 17, 2000


Too many cars are choking Oahu streets

So Honolulu City Council Transportation Chairman Duke Bainum thinks the $1 billion bus rapid-transit project will reduce the traffic coming in from Kapolei or Mililani (Star-Bulletin Nov. 13). I don't think so. As long as new high-rises are added in downtown Honolulu, traffic will just get worse.

Each new building is full of desks. Behind each desk sits a person. Downstairs in the parking lot is that person's car. The parking places are always full, which means that these cars are added to the traffic each day. It's unavoidable.

Highway traffic jams are a product of poor urban planning. Transit systems increase productivity by enabling more lower-income workers to get to the city center, but won't reduce traffic because those high-rise parking spaces will always be filled.

Before spending our money, the Council should consider the true impact of a bus rapid-transit on traffic. It could be making things more than $1 billion worse.

Larry Geller

Local Republicans can't promise tax cuts

Hawaii's newly elected Republican legislators are indicating that they will push for tax cuts as a top priority. Isn't this like putting the cart before the horse? The federal government has a surplus but Hawaii isn't in the same enviable position.

We should first work on improving our economy by encouraging and promoting new businesses, and by giving aid and incentives for expanding current businesses. Find ways to lure megabucks corporate magnates like Steve Case of America Online to invest in Hawaii.

Maybe then we can look into tax cuts. When surplus funds become available, our first priority should be on improving public schools.

Toshio Chinen



"The 1980s were a wild and crazy time. There was a lot of musical freedom and all the bands added to the legacy of the Wave."
Sonya Mendez
Reminiscing about her former band, Sonya & Revolucion, when it played the the popular Wave Waikiki club, celebrating its 20th anniversary

"See my eyes? Not angry. Just sad."
Joe Maneja
On the shutdown of Amfac's two sugar operations on Kauai

Maui hotel workers deserve better treatment

In the mid-1990s, hotel workers represented by the ILWU gave up thousands of dollars in wage give-backs to help the visitor industry through tough times.

When the recession hit, the hotels had already signed contracts promising big raises. So when business went bad, workers agreed to give up raises for a few years.

Today, business is booming. Some of the hotels remember the help they got from their workers and are sharing the wealth. But some others want to repay our support with a slap in the face.

I have worked at Royal Lahaina for 38 years. I remember when we gave up our wage increases to help the hotel. We thought it was the right thing to do.

Now we should get our fair share of the pie. Instead, Royal Lahaina seems to want to make millionaire owner Ed Hogan even richer, at our expense.

The hotels always talk about wanting aloha spirit from their workers. But if aloha spirit means anything, it means sharing the wealth in good times and bad.

Beatrice Shibao
Lahaina, Maui

Two key countries must sign land mine ban

The U.S. and Vietnam should immediately sign the l997 land mine treaty. We are donating mine clearance equipment, but still neither of the countries has joined the 139 that have ratified this ban on the use of this indiscriminate weapon.

Juel Gustafson

Teacher shortage is political fiction

I've been wondering why the Hawaii State Teachers Association is running ads about how teachers in the islands are the lowest paid and have the worst contract in the nation. Now I realize the ads are to get sympathy for the union because it is failing at contract negotiations.

As a math teacher who gets excellent results from students, I have no sympathy for the union or for the Department of Education at a time when the daily papers are running stories about the shortage of teachers in Hawaii.

I taught math in an Oahu high school for the 1997-98 school year. I have a unique style. My students liked me, and the ones who came to class and did the work showed real progress.

Yet the administration was anything but supportive. The union wouldn't represent me. I finished out my one-year contract and was not asked to return.

I thought that I would get calls with teaching offers from other schools, but I didn't. When I contacted the DOE "teacher recruitment" department, I was told that my file had been removed from the system because I didn't complete an update sheet.

I had to reapply as if the DOE had never heard of me. After that, I got a call from a school on Oahu and one on Kauai, but didn't get picked up.

When I didn't get any calls this year, I once again contacted the people at the recruitment department. They told me that my file had, once again, been removed from the system last December. They claimed that they did not receive the update sheet from me, but I know better. I had been very careful to return the form.

The word "recruitment" is an active word. One would think that, with this tremendous shortage of teachers in Hawaii, the recruitment department could pick up the phone and make a local call to a teacher like me. I have the same phone number that I had in 1997.

But no, my file was thrown in the wastebasket again.

I believe this supposed shortage of teachers is just an excuse for the failure of our education system. The union and the DOE act like bedroom pals, carefully protecting each other's interests. The ones left out in the hall are the teachers and, even worse, the kids.

I love to teach math. I want to teach math. What kind of system has an ocean of red tape between needy students and willing teachers?

Malou Mallison

Age of consent must be raised from 14

Where can you go in America and see young children gyrate like exotic strippers? Where can an adult go in America and have sex with a 14-year-old and not be prosecuted?

Only in Hawaii. Here, you can watch young children perform provocatively like adult strippers in the name of culture. Hawaii should not let her most valuable assets, her children, be exploited in the name of culture and money.

Common sense says that adults should not have sex with 14-year-olds. Yet the welfare rolls of this state show this only too well. There are young unwed mothers as young as 10; there are over 3,000 unwed mothers ages 14-18.

Parents, educators, politicians and Hawaiian sovereignty groups should unite and give Hawaii's children a chance to mature into successful adults. The age of consent, 14, must be raised. Children should dance the hula like children, not be exotic strippers.

Ted West

Delivery of highway lights is taking too long

I've been following the subject of the Pali transformers and wondering why there is no mention of any attempts to expedite delivery.

I drive home from work on Pali Highway most nights at 1 a.m. and it's pretty scary when you come out of the tunnel, Kailua-bound. There have been temporary lights set up to provide some visibility, but shouldn't the situation warrant some type of escalation?

The last response from the Department of Transportation stated two months shipping time is normal. Normal? Shouldn't measures be taken since the wrong equipment was delivered?

Jim Winquist

Death of Liliuokalani was forgotten

On Nov. 11, the people of Hawaii honored Veterans Day, celebrated the University of Hawaii Warriors' second football victory of the season, welcomed home Miss America and were still awaiting the identity of the next president of the United States.

Forgotten in the process was the honoring of Queen Liliuokalani. It was on this day that she passed away while awaiting justice to be served. Auwe.

George Kahumoku Flores


So many to thank for saving Star-Bulletin

Star-Bulletin closing Kudos to Star-Bulletin staffers who, despite uncertainty and instability, stuck around the newsroom to cover the stories meaningful to readers like myself. On the flip side, kudos to readers who continue to buy the Star-Bulletin despite concern over the paper's future.

Kudos also to David Black, who so loved Hawaii that he gave it a priceless gift: a competing editorial voice that will continue to influence, educate and improve the lives of islanders.

And we can't forget to thank Save our Star-Bulletin (SOS), whose tenacity has prevented Gannett and Liberty Newspapers from robbing our island of its greatest watchdog, and Judge Kurren for his interest in preserving the afternoon paper.

Oh, yes. Kudos to state officials who sparked the initiative to keep Oahu a two-newspaper town, even though they wholeheartedly disagree with the paper's editorial comments.

Despite the greatness of the Star-Bulletin, I look forward to 1) reading an improved Star-Bulletin, 2) seeing your paper compete for morning and Sunday readership, 3) visiting a more fully developed Web site at and 4) the Star-Bulletin becoming, once again, the state's most subscribed to, purchased and read newspaper. I expect your slogan to go from "We Make Waves" to "We Make Tsunamis!"

Warren A. Kaneshiro

I am so glad that the Star-Bulletin will still be with us. Your Internet version is my daily link to the wonderful state of Hawaii. It is the birthplace of my grandfather, Bert Lightfoot, and my mother, Barbara Lightfoot Ott.

Whenever I go through family albums, I always enjoy reading copies of the Star-Bulletin that were saved over the years, telling us about the events of the day. It is very important that a large city have more than one newspaper.

I know David Black will do right by your employees, as they serve us all so well. I wish the paper's new management and owner a long and happy press run.

Pamela Tempel
Sacramento, Calif.

Bulletin closing archive

Election chaos,
dueling egos

The arrogance of the Bush people should give us the shudders. They claim victory and discuss transition teams while their candidate is behind in the national popular vote. There have been voting irregularities in Florida where Bush has a lead in the hundreds with thousands of votes uncounted.

The Bush-Cheney ticket is unconstitutional on its face since both men are residents of Texas.

Richard Miles

I am a citizen of the United States. I served my country and I pay taxes. Since Al Gore talks about "the will of the people," I am one whom he talks about.

But he is not representing my will. It is time for him to admit defeat and let George W. Bush do what he was elected to do.

Gore is trying to run the electoral process into the ground and is only making himself and the Democratic Party look like a bad choice for future elections.

Please, PLEASE, Mr. Gore, step aside graciously and without contempt for the will of the people, as you so freely state.

Richard J. Moran

The Star-Bulletin deserves compliments for its choice of front-page articles on Monday. In the center it featured an example of the best our country has to offer in Miss America, Angela Baraquio of Hawaii. On the left-hand side were the whiners of the hour, our presidential candidates.

As young as she is, Baraquio has a better sense of herself than the other two. Given a few more years of experience, she will be a far better candidate for the responsibility of high office.

She is grateful, while the other two clearly feel entitled. She has a clear sense that she has much to contribute to a larger whole; the other two seem to feel they ARE the larger whole.

True leaders are not always the obvious ones but are those who understand who they are. My congratulations to Baraquio's mother and father. They raised a fine family.

Grant Merritt

The allegations of irregular ballots and frustration about the voting process in Florida all hinge on one thing -- that the individuals working the polls were completely unwilling or unable to assist those who wanted to participate in the voting process.

This is the complete opposite of my personal experience in Hawaii. All poll workers I've had the pleasure of working with were focused on a successful voting process. They have a sense of civic responsibility and should be commended for this.

It's incredulous not to expect the same dedication in Florida. Nevertheless, one thing has always held true: Once a voter chooses to place his or her ballot in the ballot box, nobody gets a second chance to vote until the next scheduled election.

Paul Mossman

Can we allow the leader of the free world to be decided by Third-World balloting? One person only can extricate us from this crisis. We must dispatch Hawaii elections officer Dwayne Yoshina to Florida, now!

George I. Nakamura

Before voting last week, I jokingly asked a poll worker if I could give my favorite Disney character a write-in vote for president. As I left the voting hall, the fellow asked me, "Well, do you think Mickey Mouse will win?"

"Yep," I opined, under one name or another, he surely would. Little did I know...

J. William Pelzer

In this time of upheaval, the two people who want to run our country are making it worse. No one has mentioned that this is turning into another Civil War.

Walk down the street and ask people who they believe should be president and you get different answers every time. The two candidates are turning people against each other at a time when our country is in every terrorist's eye.

Regina Cox

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