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Friday, June 22, 2001

Macy's should retain Liberty House name

Regarding the sale of Liberty House to Macy's (Federated Department Stores, Inc.): The inevitable has happened.

However, to us kamaainas, the spirit of Liberty House is in its name as well as its longtime service to the island community.

I would hope the name "Macy's Liberty House" would be used so that we will not feel we are losing another Hawaii landmark identity. Instead, we'd be gaining a Macy's, and making the connection to New York's famous department store while retaining an island tradition.

This would also make it less costly to convert the Liberty House imprint -- with Macy's above the Liberty House name. I could live with that!

Suzanne Teller


"When I hear people complaining about things, I always tell them you can't complain without trying to do something about it."

Iris Gonzales,
Kahuku High School biology teacher and surf coach, on why she will attempt Monday to paddleboard, bike and run the 134-mile perimeter of Oahu. She devised the endurance test to raise funds for a biotechnology class she wants to teach next fall at the school.

"They can't even take care of what they are dealing with right now, so it becomes a concern."

John DeSoto,
Honolulu City Councilman, on whether the feuding Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees are capable of organizing a business plan to buy and manage the 1,875-acre Waimea Valley.

Military deserves support of residents

Regarding the opposition to military use of Makua Valley:

I have watched the military operation in Hawaii for 33 years. In the event of any major disaster, they have immediately come to the aid of the citizens of Hawaii. They have done this through military channels, but also as individual soldiers, sailors and Marines.

However, when they need help to insure their competence in order to defend our country, certain people of Hawaii do everything in their power to oppose them.

I am a strong conservationist, but I believe our protection comes first. These islands wouldn't be free if we had lost World War II. To paraphrase the "Star Spangled Banner," "This is the land of the free because it is the home of the brave."

Ruth DeRieux

O'Donnell made courageous decision

In forfeiting Damien Memorial High School's football games to St. Louis, Brother Gregory O'Donnell made one of those difficult choices that administrators, parents, employers or teachers have to make now and then -- one that may not meet with the approval of others.

These decisions are not up for discussion. A parent, for example, does not discuss with a son or daughter the time to be home from a dance. It is the parent's right to set these rules and the son's or daughter's responsibility to obey. The same type of decision-making occurs in every other arena of life. The students at Damien are learning an important lesson in life.

Brother O'Donnell's decision shows that the students and the education program are more important than the game of football, the team or the athletic department. It was the correct decision, and it was a courageous decision. The trustees, administration, parents, students and alumnae should stand united in support of Brother O'Donnell in this decision.

Jason Wong
Damien Alumnus

Toll road rings up bill for you every time

I am a California resident responding to Guy C. Monahan's "Use toll fee for cars to enter express lanes" (Letters, June 15).

Guy, it now costs us inland- area toll road users $12 to drive from Riverside to Newport Beach round trip to save about 20 to 30 minutes (maybe if there are no accidents).

The problem is that once you start toll roads everyone becomes greedy, and someone has to finance the construction.

We Californians are jealous that you have HOV lanes with the moving divider. It was the smartest thing you spent your hard-earned money on. I wish our politicians had used this idea. We wouldn't be being held hostage for 30 years building new roads out of the Inland Empire.

Toll roads only benefit the greedy politician, not you and me -- the hard-working people who have to pay the toll. Keep HOV alive.

Sarah Green
Grand Terrace, Calif.

Sex spreads AIDS, not personal biases

Eduardo Hernandez misses the point in his letter to the editor (June 9). It seems as if he is in denial about the realities of AIDS and that he believes the AIDS epidemic would go away if people were less homophobic.

The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that gay and bisexual males account for more HIV infections than any other group in the country. The numbers also show that 60 percent of new infections occur among men.

This should be frightening to the gay community and society as a whole. Many in the gay community have become complacent about the risk of spreading the disease because of drug treatments that have increased the lifespan of those with HIV.

It is not ignorance and intolerance that spreads HIV. In Hawaii and on the mainland, it is primarily men having sex with men that spreads AIDS.

Jeff Goodman

Pit bull breed should be banned

The pit bull attack on the Big Island resulted in the horrible deaths of both human and dog. Humans selected and bred these dogs for hunting. They were not meant to be pets. They must be banned, along with fireworks which also kill and maim people.

Lois Raynor

Education is best way to reduce drug use

I'm delighted to read that even a small increase in spending on substance abuse recovery and prevention has had a positive effect on lowering the consumption of drugs by Hawaii's school children (Star-Bulletin, June 19). This is proof that monies spent in these areas are much more effective than those spent on arrest, interdiction and incarceration.

The most important lesson we can learn is from the success in the reduction of alcohol and tobacco use. While there has been no effort to interdict patches of illegally grown tobacco and no money spent on the arrest and incarceration of tobacco dealers, tobacco use has plummeted nationwide during the last 10 years.

How could this have happened? Why has the use of these legal drugs dropped so significantly while the use of illegal drugs remains relatively steady or, in the case of potentially very harmful drugs like ecstasy and ice, skyrocketed? The answer is both simple and obvious: education.

According to a study by the Rand Institute, every dollar spent on education and prevention is 15 times more effective at reducing the societal costs of drug abuse than increased law enforcement efforts. If we really want to rescue this country from the blight of drug abuse, we need to stop exacerbating what is essentially a curable medical problem with criminal penalties. Our children's futures are at stake.

Quinn C. Hoyer
Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii

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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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