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Thursday, April 19, 2001

Skateboarders put parking lot to good use

It is in everyone's best interest to get a skate park in Hawaii Kai up and rolling. I was sad to hear voices of disapproval over the skaters' current use of the park-and-ride lot near Costco (Star-Bulletin, April 16).

Why are people so hard on these kids? I remember when that parking lot was built years ago and how amused we were at the "kiss and drop-off" sign. It seemed rarely used by carpoolers then, so we took our boards and skated it. We were the first ones to skate there back in the '80s, and the skaters today still seem to make more use of it than anyone else, along with the weekend corn sellers.

Maybe we should convert the park-and-ride into a skate park and farmer's market? We could save a lot of money by putting up a couple of banks, rails and a half-pipe right there.

At any rate, I hope the current debate over the other two locations is resolved with the skater's well-being in mind. Sometimes those skaters grow up to be state representatives.

Rep. William Stonebraker
(R, Kalama Valley, Hawaii Kai, Portlock)

HPOWER supports the bottle bill

This is in response to Paul Smith's April 16 Commentary column regarding the bottle bill and its impact on HPOWER.

HPOWER supports the bottle bill. Recycling won't hurt HPOWER's operation or efficiency.

I agree that HPOWER can burn the plastic bottles which would be recycled as a result of the bottle bill. There are other aspects of this recycling issue, however, which need to be understood. The small amount of plastics that will come out of the waste stream as a result of this effort will make essentially no difference to HPOWER. We won't even see the effect on the bottom line.

However, our community will see the effect when we reduce the litter spread along our roads and throughout the community. This will be very positive.

We as a community need to do everything practical to increase our recycling of all materials, and I encourage everyone to participate in this effort.

We will still have more waste than we can handle at HPOWER. Every little bit we can remove from the waste stream by recycling helps everyone. At this time we have at least several hundred tons of waste here in excess of what we can handle at HPOWER. We need to keep this material out of the landfill. Every ton we recycle allows us to effectively keep this from filling our precious landfill.

Colin M. Jones
Energy Recovery Administrator

What were lawmakers celebrating?

I was mesmerized watching Olelo as the Legislature conducted a ceremony last week honoring all our past legislators and what they had accomplished for our state. On hand were the three Oshiros, Paul, Marcus and the patriarch, Bob, all beaming in acknowledgement of their great works.

Not present were former lawmakers Danny Kihano, Henry Peters, Milton Holt, Marshall Ige and many other distinguished but charged, indicted or incarcerated Democratic dignitaries. As they patted each other on the back for the fine state of the state they have left use with, the teachers were out pounding the pavement trying to get a much-needed pay raise.

With all the work yet to come for the Legislature to adjourn in May, a ceremony dedicated to telling each other what a great job they have done seemed so out of place. Yet, isn't that how we got here in the first place?

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach


"It's the worst-case scenario for an officer."
Boisse Correa,
Assistant Honolulu police chief, on Tuesday's shootout on H-2 between police and passengers in a stolen van that resulted in the death of one passenger and the wounding of two police officers.

"I'm just trying to land my skinny butt a spot on this roster."
Dwight Carter,
Former University of Hawaii football player who recently signed with the Rhein Fire of NFL-Europe.

"He was a leader in the executive branch, at the Legislature, on the battlefield and in the boardroom."
Sen. Daniel Inouye,
On the death of Sakae Takahashi. As an attorney and territorial lawmaker, he was an early leader in post-war Hawaii, and the man who persuaded Inouye to enter politics.

Teachers should hold out for demands

For the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the educators of Hawaii, I would quote from columnist Maureen Dowd (and they already know this from past experience):

"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for."

Richard Bacher

Many UH students supported strike

I notice that Star-Bulletin has a predilection for quoting University of Hawaii students who claimed to support the faculty's fight for fair wages, but at the same time made negative comments about the faculty's union during the strike.

For example, Mamo Kim contends that, "We support the faculty but education is our first priority." This demonstrates a remarkable misconception of the origins of the strike, which many UH students, like myself who walked on the picket lines in support of UH's professors, don't share.

When the Graduate Sociology Students' Association a month ago voted to support the faculty strike, we did so because we understood that if the faculty lost we were likely, in our department, to lose a number of young, outstanding and irreplaceable faculty if they did not secure a competitive wage. Extend that to every department in the university and there is the connection between the quality of students' education and this strike.

In the future, I hope the Star- Bulletin will present a more balanced picture of student opinion at UH.

Stephen Philion
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Sociology
University of Hawaii

People forget purpose of holidays

Maybe no one should celebrate any holidays with days off since hardly anyone appreciates the reason for the holidays in the first place.

Like a death in a family, a major holiday should be a time of quiet remembrance for those who have fallen for the sake of humanity.

A holiday of celebration should be a time to rejoice in the spoils of success and victory with festivities and even a day off.

But to mark the death of Jesus, or even Martin Luther King Jr., by having a 50 percent off sale on all women's underwear seems a bit bizarre to me.

Craig Watanabe

Memories preserved with Mahaulepu

It is heart-warming to hear that after all these years, Mahaulepu is finally safe from development.

As a child growing up on the south shore of Kauai, Mahaulepu was my home away from home. It's where I learned to fish and dive, as well as being the site of my first camping trip.

I want to thank the Kauai County Council, as well as David Chang, a longtime family friend, for their efforts.

Robert W. Ford
Granite City, Ill.

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