to the Editor

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Monday, June 11, 2001

Pacific island veterans get their due

"Hawaii veterans remember fallen comrades" was superbly reported by Treena Shapiro (Star-Bulletin, May 28).

The "roll call of honor" was especially memorable because our Hawaiians have long proved their willingness to die for freedom, and now have finally been recognized as warriors, too.

This event resulted from the vision of the leaders of the Pacific American Foundation, in cooperation with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Their list of 3,900 names of men and women who served their country has been compiled within the last two years. I am sure there are many more individuals still unaccounted for, and it would behoove our Pacific islanders to step up and be counted.

While members of various combat teams were present, it was disappointing that the leaders of the state of Hawaii did not find the time in their schedules to be present for the roll call at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.

It was a memorable day for me as a Hawaiian to honor those who lost their lives and to pay tribute to those veterans who still walk among us.

Heather K. Minton
Seattle, Wash.

Honest citizens carry concealed firearms

We read and hear repeatedly how Hawaii's citizens, particularly women, are brutally and sometimes fatally attacked. Some are physically maimed forever, and all are permanently traumatized and fearful.

Law-abiding citizens who have been severely attacked, beaten and maimed, or threatened with death, cannot get a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Hawaii.

The merchant who has been repeatedly robbed, even shot, or the jewelry salesman, or the woman who must travel the roads at night alone cannot either.

State law provides for such permits, but they are never allowed by our police departments. A recent report in a mainland journal showed only two such permits had been issued -- one to the governor and one to the sister of the Honolulu police chief.

In 1991, Florida took a radical approach to crime and allowed "right to carry." A citizen with a clean record can take a formal course in laws, firearms and marksmanship and then have the right to carry a concealed firearm or have one in a car.

There were cries from the anti-gun foes that there would be blood in the streets, a return to the Old West mentality. Such was the farthest from the truth. Those who choose to arm themselves have become an exemplary group. The violent crime rate went down quite significantly and other states quickly took notice.

Violent crime falls and then continues to fall in the 32 states that have such laws. America's honest armed citizens now number in the hundreds of thousands.

Very few lose their permits -- they honor the right to have it. Many such laws have had to mandate that the police could not deny a permit to a legitimate applicant. I hope our citizens will pursue it with their legislators.

Dr. B. Ka'imiloa Chrisman
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, Hawaii Chapter


"This body rolls over and plays dead to the unilateral actions of the governor."

Fred Hemmings,
Republican state senator, on the adjourning of the Legislature's special session without considering whether to overturn Gov. Ben Cayetano's veto of a bill regarding education programs for motorcycle operators.

"It'll cost thousands of dollars, and we're not able to take on the ACLU, which is a powerful organization. We're just a nonprofit organization, and we have a shoestring budget."

Michael Tongg,
President of the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association, acceding to demands by the American Civil Liberties Union that transsexuals be allowed to compete in women's paddling contests without submitting to DNA tests to determine their sex.

Police have more modern methods

I was very surprised to read that Rick Fried, the attorney for the family of Tamra Tye, was quoted in your May 23 issue as saying the driver "Yoon also could not count backward from 30 and flunked other tests given to drivers suspected of being intoxicated."

The standardized field sobriety test that the Honolulu police use does not include the caveman-era test of counting backwards from 30. A police officer administering these tests to someone suspected of being under the influence of alcohol has the subject do the horizontal-gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn and the one-leg-stand tests.

I also would think that, having also been retained by the family of Dana Ambrose, Fried would have a pretty good knowledge of impaired driving cases and what they are comprised of. Honolulu police officers are among the best-trained and hardest-working officers in the country and are under constant scrutiny.

Blatant accusations like this one don't need to be said to place more stress on the surviving family as well.

Kevin Kobayashi

City leaders improve island life

The people who criticize our city leadership for a strong capital improvements program are incredibly short-sighted.

Our overall city debt is reasonably low and investments in our communities will pay off in a better quality of life for all of us.

Would the critics delay repairs to our decaying sewer system until we have more cave-ins? Or refuse to move city corporation yards, obstructing the renovation of Kakaako? Or do nothing to protect the slopes of Mount Olomana and Waimea Valley for our children?

I, for one. am grateful that Mayor Harris and the City Council have the vision to believe in our future and the courage to invest in it.

Chris Parsons

Bush gives improper thanks to justices

While browsing the U.S. Senate calendar recently, I was shocked to discover two very disturbing nominations for federal service: Janet Rehnquist has been nominated by President Bush to the post of inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. The president also has nominated Eugene Scalia to be solicitor for the Department of Labor.

These names are no coincidence. Janet Rehnquist is the daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Eugene Scalia is the son of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

What makes it even more alarming is that -- if this is indeed a quid pro quo to conservative members of the Supreme Court -- these are only same-surname nominees. Are there others?

Naturally, quid pro quo in Washington is about as surprising as a McDonald's in a strip mall. But if this is actually a case of quid pro quo with the Supreme Court -- and the same Supremes who ushered Bush into office-- that would be highly disturbing.

Ken Armstrong

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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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