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to the Editor

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Saturday, November 25, 2000

Get uninsured off the road and onto bus

Rather than spending billions of dollars to build a mass transit system that will garner less than 25 percent ridership, why don't we consider stricter enforcement of the law by getting uninsured drivers off the road? I believe the figure is 15-20 percent of Honolulu drivers are uninsured. Why am I paying premiums when they are not?

If we could get these unsafe, irresponsible people off the road through stricter legislation, impounding and confiscation, we could reduce traffic by 15-20 percent. Before we even consider building a multibillion-dollar mass transit system that no one will use, get the potential users out of their vehicles and onto TheBus.

Bruce Wong

TheBus needs more seating

I'd ride TheBus more if additional seating were available. To stand in a moving vehicle because they are no seats seems ludicrous and even against the law.

To those who say they have a glorious experience riding TheBus, that's subjective. Yes, you can read the newspaper when seated, but it's very hard to do while hanging on for dear life every time the bus comes to a halt. It's not my vision of a commute.

Craig Watanabe

Beach-widening project was detrimental

I may be wrong, but there sure appears to be less sand beach today than when the Kuhio Beach Park project was initiated.

There are more and larger concession sites, concrete facilities, meandering promenades and ornamental devices such as artificial pools and waterfalls, stone walls and plots of grass and flowers. Some of these cover what was once sand beach.

The bottom line of the Kuhio Beach Park project: The public suffered a net loss of beach in exchange for a Kalakaua Avenue lane and $15 million plus interest for this "beach-widening."

Richard Y. Will

Catalogs discriminate against isle residents

Since I have moved to the Big Island, I have done a great deal of merchandise ordering from various mainland catalogs.

It has been a major thorn in my side how many of them act as though residents of Hawaii live outside the United States. I have actually had some of them argue, "Yes, of course it costs more to mail items to Hawaii. You are overseas."

To begin with, most of the catalogs charge a fixed cost for mailing or delivery, based on the price of the items you order. This seems sort of dumb, as some expensive things may be small and some cheaper ones larger.

But what is really incredible are the companies that just arbitrarily charge some token amount if you live in Hawaii, Alaska or Guam. Most of them probably know it's a rip-off, but they've gotten away with it for so long. This, of course, is added income for them.

Boycott the catalog companies that do this. It seems they think we are stupid enough to pay.

Dale Pratt
Kurtistown, Hawaii

Land mines serve their purpose in war

Juel Gustafson's Nov. 17 letter to the editor in support of the 1997 land mine treaty may not be the right way to go.

During the Vietnam war, I was glad for the land mines. A lack of them would have made it easier for the enemy to overrun my compound. After 20 months in Vietnam, I survived to return to Hawaii and attend the University of Hawaii under the GI Bill.

War is hell! GIs in the trenches deserve as much protection as civilians after the land conflict. So don't ban land mines, just keep civilians away from the area until after the clean-up.

Land mines have a purpose. I don't care what the other 139 countries think of them -- when I'm in the trenches, it's between me and the enemy.

Clarence Kamaka

Don't give homophobes access to letters column

The Star-Bulletin has been inexcusably reckless and irresponsible in blindly publishing scores of hate-filled, bigoted and homophobic letters to the editor in recent months.

The fact that 70 percent of Hawaii's voters voted to deny gays and lesbians the fundamental right to marry does not excuse your complicity -- perhaps unintentional -- in spreading and legitimizing the majority's bigoted views.

In 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that separate schools for African-American children were inherently unequal (Brown vs. Board of Education), that decision was wildly unpopular. Now, I ask you, does that excuse those newspapers that printed letters to the editor from racists who supported segregated schools? Of course not.

Just because the majority is prejudiced doesn't excuse the press when it publishes and legitimizes the majority's prejudiced views. The press has an enormous influence on public opinion, and with that influence comes an equally enormous duty to use it responsibly.

When young people see these hate-filled letters with the Star-Bulletin's implicit stamp of approval, they are, in effect, being told it's perfectly acceptable to express bigoted views not just in private, but in public as well.

Jonathan R. Peterson

Special treatment for Arakawa never stops

How in the world was Clyde S. Arakawa allowed to leave Hawaii during the ongoing investigation involving his alleged DUI accident, which resulted in the death of Dana Ambrose?

Is this yet more preferential treatment for the former police officer?

Linda Liddell
Kaunakakai, Molokai

Officers must show more respect for law

A lot of police officers think they are above the law. Some think they ARE the law.

Once, I was driving on Kamehameha Highway when, suddenly, a police car passed us. It was swerving in and out of lanes and ran a red light. As I continued down the road, I saw the same police car in the McDonald's drive-through.

I know there are good police officers as well as bad ones. But they should all have more respect for the law so we can have more respect for them.

Thomas Hergenrader



"I'm glad I'm the captain.
I'm ready to be that leader both vocally
and by example."

Kylie Galloway
On her unanimous selection as
Wahine team captain


"It takes the pressure off
this game for us. We can go in
relaxed and have fun."

Barry Alvarez
On the Badgers' guaranteed appearance
in a bowl game, which means not having to
impress anybody but themselves in tonight's
match-up against the UH Warriors
at Aloha Stadium

Governor hasn't earned
'education governor' title

In his Wednesday column, Richard Borreca claims that Governor Cayetano truly wishes to be the "education governor." If new construction and flashy computers were all that entailed, perhaps he could be given a high grade.

But there is more to education than bricks, silicon and mortar. Schools and universities are merely empty buildings without the heart, mind and soul that drive them: students and faculty.

Right now, faculty in both our university and public school systems have found themselves falling to the nation's bottom in faculty salaries, when adjusted for Hawaii's high cost of living. Your Sept. 18 story about faculty flight from the University of Hawaii at Manoa is what happens when faculty are undervalued. People leave.

Such flight may provide short-term benefits to the budgetary bottom line, but long-term harm to the community. Hawaii's people will be denied the educational credentials to move our state into the new economy. Wealth is lost from Hawaii if corporations see us as not only anti-business but undereducated.

Desirable, high-paying jobs will go elsewhere. Considerable amounts of research funding could leave the state; UH faculty attract $180 million in grants and contracts every year.

From the standpoint of management, our governor, UH regents and Board of Education members need to decide whether we desire an excellent public educational system. If so, we all need to work diligently towards that goal to help pay the bill.

UH-Manoa faculty are more than happy to pitch in and bring grants, contracts, and our teaching and research expertise, to Hawaii and share these with our fellow citizens. In return we ask Governor Cayetano to sit down and settle our UHPA contract on mutually agreeable terms so we can put our undiluted energy where it belongs -- into teaching, research and service to the community.

Khalil J. Spencer
Member, University of Hawaii
Professional Assembly Board


GOP should fight battle all the way to House

In his Nov. 22 letter, Christopher Hatico wrote that all Florida residents should vote again and that the GOP was "shamefully arrogant" and "deceitful."

Of course Al Gore gained some additional votes in recounts, because they were in counties which are heavily Democratic; their election boards are also controlled by the Democratic Party.

As far as the governor of Florida being Bush's brother, so what? Each county has its own election board, and the secretary of state was within her legal right to declare that the final vote count would be certified in accordance with state statutes.

The actions of Florida's Supreme Court were so obviously politically motivated that the integrity of the judicial system has been put in jeopardy. It intervened even before being petitioned to do so, and its treatment of lawyers representing Bush was shameful and biased.

Furthermore, it went beyond its area of adjudication and usurped both the legislative and executive branches by formulating new "laws" and "procedures," grounds enough for appeal to the federal judicial process.

I hope the Bush campaign will continue to challenge the Democratic Party's actions to the limit, even to the extent of having the U.S. House of Representatives make the final decision.

Lloyd Kim

Florida recount is like a sidewalk con game

There's only one word for this political mess in Florida: obscene.

It's like watching a con man doing three-card monte on a street corner. You can clearly see his greedy intentions and his sleight of hand is far from masterful. You know you're being cheated, but the truly remarkable thing is that no one is stepping forward to stop him from stealing your money.

On the contrary, the cop on the beat has sanctioned his sleazy behavior. It begs the question, "Are we simply too numb after eight years of Clinton/Gore to even care about this kind of political obscenity?"

C.T. Marshall

Partisanship must be set aside for good of U.S.

As voters -- whether Democrats, Republicans, Independents or whatever -- we should all share a commitment to the most essential ideal in democracy: every vote counts.

Put aside modern-day politics, go back to our roots and take the responsible steps necessary to ensure that our next president is, in fact, the person who America elected.

This election is not over until every vote is counted in a fair and deliberate way.

Leslie Segundo

Corky should make fun of both candidates

With reference to Corky's cartoon of Governor Bush in your Nov. 9 edition, I have been waiting for Corky's follow-up cartoon of Vice President Gore. Nothing yet. Hope that he's drawing no pay until he draws the other side of the story.

W.C. Dozier

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