to the Editor

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Saturday, May 26, 2001

Best thing to do with the zoo is close it

Honolulu City Councilman John DeSoto is supporting a study on the feasibility of moving and enlarging the Honolulu Zoo. Any study should include phasing the zoo out; closing it forever.

The reported steady decline in zoo visitors is a crystal-clear message that people are changing their view of zoos and are more aware of an inherent problem -- that displaying caged animals is a morally corrupt business with little to offer in the way of educational value. Not much can be learned by looking at animals in an artificial environment. And gawking at utterly bored or captivity-induced neurotic animals is a sad reflection on us.

Zoos are nothing more than antiquated holdovers from the 19th century; animal abuse disguised as cheap amusement. It's time to show compassion for all living creatures, not just dogs and cats, and an excellent start would be to phase out the zoo for the benefit of both human and non-human animals alike. A larger prison is still a prison.

Jim Brown

Everyone in isles can be 'racially profiled'

Regarding the Star-Bulletin's May 23 editorial, "Congress gets serious about racial profiling:" I guess this means that a police officer with five or 10 years on the job who has a wealth of experience to draw from and knows a suspicious situation when he sees one will be unable to draw upon that knowledge to stop a crime if he sees a minority about to do something unlawful.

I guess a minority would be a white person in Hawaii. Or is someone a minority just because they aren't white, even though they may outnumber whites? So, it seems the police will be prohibited from questioning anyone because we'll all be minorities. Has Congress really thought this through?

Frank Morgan
Victoria, B.C.
(Former resident of Hawaii)


"I'm shaking. I feel wonderful. I feel tremendous. It's been a long time coming."
Donald Johnson,
Oregon resident and former Schofield soldier, on meeting his son Shay after 43 years. Johnson was transferred by the Army when Shay was an infant and never reunited with Shay's mother. Now a Navy chief petty officer, Shay was raised in Haleiwa by his grandmother and aunt.

"That's 200 people who avoided having their heads opened up."
Dr. Maurice Nicholson,
Medical director, Gamma Knife Center of the Pacific at St. Francis Medical Center, on the number of patients who have avoided open-skull brain surgery since the center obtained the "gamma knife," a radiosurgical device that treats brain tumors with precisely focused radioactive cobalt 60.

'Go-4's' had to go to prevent injuries

Regarding Bryan Langley's May 24 letter on Police Chief Lee Donahue's decision to pull the Go-4s out of service:

I'm sure he didn't intend to imply that safe working conditions and officer safety should be compromised or disregarded. He must realize that if the three-wheelers are unsafe, the county could be held liable.

The chief's decision to determine whether the vehicle is safe to operate should be commended, rather than to wait for an officer to be more seriously injured or killed.

It is not an officer's duty to risk his safety unnecessarily.

Jerry Coloma
Hilo, Hawaii

Chainlink fence ruins wonderful view

I recently visited the scenic lookout just north of Hilo that showcased what used to be one of the grandest vistas in all of Hawaii with views from Puna, across Hilo Bay and north towards the Hamakua Coast.

But I was appalled to find that the view was completely blocked by a 5-foot chainlink fence surrounding the entire lookout.

I find it incomprehensible that even the most narrow-minded, unimaginative state or county bureaucrat could believe this fence would improve the experience of visiting this scenic spot.

If safety and liability were the overriding concerns, couldn't something less intrusive and more aesthetically compatible have been constructed? The frustrating thing is that the taxpayers had to pay for this.

R. Alder

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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