to the Editor

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Thursday, June 7, 2001

Slain man needed someone he trusted

I don't know Dunstan Long or his family, but I think the police should have let his mother try to talk him into surrendering or to let his friend bring him out of the house as he had asked.

It seems he needed help. He was young and afraid and he knew he was wrong so that scared him even more. He needed someone that he trusted. If I were his mother or friend I would have liked to have been there to talk to him. Long wanted to come out peacefully. It's too late now.

Stella Calio

Police overreacted in shooting

What a misleading headline in the Star-Bulletin: "Police kill gunman at party" (June 4) on an article about the shooting of Dustan Long.

I believe a little more thought could have been used to be more accurate, like one of the following:

>> "Police use tank and helicopter to shoot man at his own home"

>> "Distraught man forces a police 'suicide' "

>> "Police fail to arrest party crashers"

>> "Unstable man goaded into hail of gunfire"

It does seem that the police wigged out here by using a helicopter and armored vehicle.

The tragedy is that stray shots can easily penetrate the thin walls of many Hawaii homes and could have lead to further tragedy.

Once again, police across the country shoot mentally unstable people instead of figuring out a way to medicate them. My belief is that, having already recently pleaded to a criminal offense, Long was determined by police to have waived his right to due process.

Having nursed hundreds of criminals through pleas and sentencing, this just seems to me that this situation got out of control.

Steve Raynor
Former Hawaii resident


"It's not as simple as walking in and sweeping and closing the door behind."

Gary Gill,
Deputy director of the state Department of Health, on delays in cleaning up potentially toxic liquid metal that spilled at a Halawa public housing complex.

"It's not the effective rain farmers like, but anything helps. They would rather have this type of rain than no rain at all."

Kevin Kodama,
On Tuesday's downpour.

Harris is just another spendthrift

Now that Mayor Jeremy Harris as decided to run for governor, he has become Hawaii's biggest spendthrift by pushing through a record city budget.

The new budget is too large and will stick the residents of Honolulu with a bill that comes due after Harris is gone.

Harris' original charm was his independence and keen eye for efficient government. Today, he has become just like all the other politicians in Hawaii, favoring bloated government spending and adopting a pass-the-buck mentality with taxpayer money.

I hope the voters of Hawaii see through his ballooned budget plan and understand what it really is -- a gubernatorial election document, paid for by the taxpayers of Honolulu.

Shame on you Jeremy. You were doing so well for so long up until you decided to run for governor.

Claudia Nakashiro

Ill-mannered parents spoil program

Some parents need to be informed about good manners.

I attended an elementary school May Day program, held June 1 because teachers had been on strike earlier. Teachers and children spent a lot of time to make this event special.

However, many parents were not able to see because other parents had planted themselves right in the front, some with cameras, and would not sit down, either ignoring requests or getting quite nasty when asked.

This boorish behavior is not compatible with a school setting, or with society in general. School administrators need to take firmer control when these spoilers are on campus.

Barbara James

Endangered Species Act strives for balance

Thomas Sowell's column in your May 24 issue railed against "green bigots" whose activities, he believes, led to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) causing stagnation in economically important industries and indicators like house building. But his inflammatory rhetoric offers no vision on how to insure survival of the natural world along with spiritual, physical, cultural and economic being, even though many professions now recognize that the two go hand in hand.

We forget that culture developed as a tool to enhance human survival in harsh environments. In this regard, the ESA is a balancing tool that prevents human culture from exterminating what is natural at the risk of exterminating ourselves in the process. The ESA is dependent on good science and has served well in Hawaii where it has stopped species on the brink from going extinct.

More than 350 listed species, one-third of the total, exist in Hawaii on less than 1 percent of the U.S. land mass. The question, of course, is whether tourists would view Hawaii less favorably if they knew that economic development could change the island paradise they envision, or that the plants and wildlife they commonly see are not native to Hawaii.

In Hawaii, the Endangered Species Act has created jobs and infrastructure for developing science and management techniques to enable removing species from the endangered list. This has fostered a deeper knowledge of our natural heritage and expanded opportunities associated with eco- tourism.

The ESA enables us to recognize and understand the role and extent of alien invasive species and disease microorganisms in causing the decline of our native plants and animals. More important, it has stopped the loss of endangered native species that serve useful functions in maintaining that which makes Hawaii beautiful.

William Mokahi Steiner
U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Hawaii State Endangered Species Recovery Committee

Constituents have lost trust in Mansho


The meaning of the word far exceeds the one syllable it takes to pronounce it and the five letters it takes to spell it.

I trusted Honolulu City Councilwoman Rene Mansho enough to vote for her, twice. I trusted her enough to encourage my friends to vote for her, twice.

I trusted her when she voted against rapid transit on Oahu. She was on the Council. Surely she saw the big picture and knew better that I did.

I trusted her when she endorsed other candidates for various offices, and I voted accordingly.

But then something happened that made me distrust her. She lied.

She said she wasn't getting a special deal from the electric car company. She was.

She said she didn't misuse her staff. She did.

She said she didn't misuse campaign contributions. She did.

She said we shouldn't remove her from office because she only has a short time before her term of office is up. She's wrong.

Our district deserves better.

If you have the opportunity to do so, please, sign the petitions. Let's send a message.

Jim Fromm

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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