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Saturday, February 24, 2001

Deporting chef won't do community any good

Regarding Chai Chaowasaree and his immigration problems: I've known Chai since I handled his ad account in 1989 while at This Week magazine.

He is a rare breed -- creating jobs, succeeding and thriving in the restaurant business, which is no small accomplishment. He's done lots of charitable work, and lives and breathes the aloha spirit as if he were born here.

Chai is a giving, honorable person who will be sorely missed if he is deported over technicalities. The value of people and their deeds should be considered in cases like this, and his value as a productive member of our ohana far outweighs any "benefits" that may be realized by deporting him.

I ask Governor Cayetano to exert some influence on Chai's behalf with the INS and hope that our congressional delegation will do the same.

Robert "Rabbett" Abbett

Compromise is needed in deportation case

I have never met Chai Chaowasaree nor have I eaten at his restaurants. How sad, though, that he is being jailed at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. Why can't he be released under the supervision of someone who can stand up for him?

There is so much that this man has done for Hawaii and can continue to do while this mess is being cleared up.

Louella Cazimero-Bactad
Pearl Harbor



"They said I have a contract with my constituents because they elected me last November. I should be bound to honor my contract, or they'd be disappointed. "

Nobu Yonamine
Saying supporters have persuaded him not to resign after this legislative session after he was arrested for the second time for driving under the influence of alcohol

"It's quite a feeling to see a whale. Oh, what a blessed day."

Susan Golden
Among the 900 people around the state who will be joining in today's annual count of whales in Hawaiian waters

Government shouldn't act like parents

I agree that fluoridation is a great asset to the health of our children's teeth. But I have not seen any discussion of the following questions:

Bullet Does anyone have knowledge as to whether the chemicals used in fluoridation have any adverse effect on galvanized, copper or PVC pipes, or any pewter plumbing fixtures or washers?

Bullet What about the effect of fluoridated water on solar heating equipment?

Bullet Isn't it the responsibility of parents to take advantage of any dental health-care options readily available, such as toothpastes or oral rinses?

My three children were raised with no appreciable dental problems, as we took our responsibilities seriously enough to ensure a proper dental health program, utilizing the available products along with programmed dental visits to the professionals. We should not pass the buck of our responsibilities to government, but should carry our load.

Walter Soh

Hawaiian Wireless was left out of comparison

Thank you for Monday's article, "Calling all cell plans." Your reporter did a great job of covering the frustrations that consumers face when selecting local cellular phone service.

How disappointing, however, that Econ One Research's survey did not include Hawaiian Wireless. Even though we are viewed as a business service provider, it would surprise many that consumers can and do take advantage of our outstanding service and rate plans.

Your article also contained some misleading information. You list VoiceStream's 600-minute plan as the lowest at $39.99 per month. This plan was launched in the fourth quarter 2000.

Hawaiian Wireless launched its 600-minute plan in October 1999. It continues to be one of our most popular plans at $37.95 and includes unlimited usage on weekends.

Joseph Donaldson
Sales Manager
Hawaiian Wireless

Gambling is proven way to help economy

The demise of "Baywatch Hawaii" has dealt another blow to our fragile economy.

After receiving uncounted millions in state tax and fee concessions, this alternative industry hope has now met the same fate as so many other touted business proposals.

The state's 20-year record of failed business ideas should serve as a reminder that the majority of these alternative ideas are little more than gleams in their proponents' eyes with little or no staying power.

Instead of continuing to support these meritless proposals, why not legalize gambling? It has a proven record as an income generator.

With revenue from this source in hand, those controversial teacher and government workers pay raises, as well as required improvements to our education system and medical benefits for our elderly, could easily be met. How else can the state fund these huge expenditures?

While opponents of legalized gambling and other dreamers wait for that financial rainbow, it has yet to appear. In the meantime, thousands of our young and smartest citizens are deserting the islands for greener pastures, Las Vegas included.

Don't we owe these bright young people a helping hand to remain in Hawaii? Contrary to the dire predictions of anti-gambling advocates, none of the 48 states that permit this activity has experienced the apocalyptic crime wave so loudly voiced by these activists.

J. Lam

'Baywatch' investment was well worth it

Was Hawaii's $3 million investment in "Baywatch Hawaii" worth it? Let's see:

Bullet A total of 52 hours of U.S. television exposure annually, advertising value worth $25 million.
Bullet Direct spending by production staff, cast, etc., equalling $20 million.
Bullet Total number of local people employed, more than 150.

On top of that, there was public relations/media exposure, advertising equivalent value in international exposure, and visitors who chose to come to Hawaii as a direct result of seeing "Baywatch Hawaii." The full value of these has not yet been determined.

I regret that the show has been cancelled. The financial contribution it made to our visitor and entertainment industries will be difficult to replace.

Rep. Jerry Chang
Chairman, Committee on Tourism and Culture
State House of Representatives

Governor is destroying quality of university

It is unbelievable that the governor would try to systematically destroy the most valuable institution of the state: its university. What he wants to accomplish with his uninformed and arrogant talk and actions is beyond logical reasoning.

Any other governor would be proud to have a university like ours and would actively support it. It should be up to the Legislature and the citizens of this state to end this sad state of affairs.

Klaus Wyrtki

Professor Emeritus
University of Hawaii

Japan seems intent on whipping up controversy

Recent statements made by political leaders of the Japanese government on the tragic sinking of the Ehime Maru appear to be aimed at turning the people of Japan against the United States, and to bring more pressure on us to reduce our military presence in Japan, rather than assisting in the determination of what caused the accident.

President Bush has made an apology to the Japanese people and to the families of those lost. A Court of Inquiry has been convened to determine the cause of this incident and to determine whether it was due to mechanical or human failure.

The presence of civilians aboard has absolutely no bearing on this accident. Inviting civilians aboard has been ongoing for many years. If the Japanese Navy does not wish to do this, that is its business. It should not tell us how to run our Navy.

Demanding that we raise the Ehime Maru from 2,000 feet shows an unfortunate lack of understanding of the difficulties surrounding this task and the strong probability of failure. We have deep-sea probes now in operation that will provide information helpful in bringing this to a conclusion.

Demands to recover the remains of those lost seem unrealistic and out-of-step with events of the past. Remains of both Americans and Japanese within the hulls of ships throughout the Pacific are peaceful where they are.

It is sincerely hoped people will tone down their rhetoric and devote their efforts more constructively by working with the Court of Inquiry.

Francis Heath

Civilians on Greeneville got excitement, all right

With respect to the Greeneville debacle, civilians do not belong in a military-tasking environment.

Most of what goes on in such an environment are routine procedures and status checks. If you're responsible, "on duty" in such an environment, you want to keep it boring. That's your job. It is against the background of this routine that danger flags can best be discerned and dealt with before they escalate into something truly nasty.

Human beings do not handle this kind of boredom automatically, and certainly not without training. So if you have a bunch of civilians standing around on your watch, how do you keep them amused and out of your hair?

Perhaps you schedule a potentially dangerous drill at a less than optimum time and place, just to give them something to witness and perhaps to participate in. Not a good idea.

Mike Keolomakapuu Pettingill

Heads must roll for poor military decisions

Hawaii made world news with two tragic military accidents.

The first involved the USS Greeneville sinking of a Japanese fishing boat, resulting in the loss of nine Japanese nationals.

The second involved two Army Black Hawk helicopters crashing during a torrential rainfall, killing six soldiers.

Since both accidents were due to poor leadership decisions, the world wants to know why and who was responsible for these unnecessary peace-time deaths.

Is the Navy running its own Disneyland rides? Do pilots let passengers fly planes? Why are civilians allowed on submarines in the first place? Why couldn't this surfacing operation have been done much farther out to sea?

The two Black Hawk helicopters crashed during the height of a rare downpour that gave Oahu almost three inches of rain in a very short period of time, so why wasn't this operation suspended during the storm? Why risk lives and equipment in zero visibility?

Give us answers!

Joe Watanabe

Shutdown of Napster won't end free music on Web

Now that the courts have ruled against Napster, where will the millions of Napster users go? Well, there is, and gnutella, just to name a few.

The shutdown of Napster may make precedent in many future court rulings; however, there are many programs such as gnutella that can't be shut down since there is no central system to target.

For some, this court ruling may mean an end to their free music. For most, it just means packing your bags and moving on to one of the many other houses down the street.

Tyler Tamashiro

Topless statue deserves to be on display

As a frequent visitor to Hawaii, I find the turmoil over the statue to be placed at Campbell High School both amusing and disturbing. As one student pointed out, it's much to do about very little.

The missionaries are long gone, but their Victorian attitudes obviously hang on. Breasts are a part of life and they are certainly appropriate on this statue, as well as the way they are presented.

Let's suggest that Campbell's principal join the 21st century, rather than staying in 19th, and let this beautiful statue grace the high school.

Bruce Sutherland
Sacramento, Calif.

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