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Thursday, June 28, 2001

Harris mismanages public, private funds

It should not take a policy analyst from New York University's school of law to tell us that Harris' acceptance of campaign contributions totaling nearly $750,000 reeks (Star-Bulletin, June 24).

City managing director, Ben Lee, must be inhaling a powerful substance if he thinks he can convince the public that all of these contractors, family members and employees contributed this money to Harris' campaign because "they like the mayor and they like what he is doing."

How does he explain the Michael Kahapea fraud case and how Harris was responsible for allowing him to steal public money? It is time that Harris be held accountable for the behavior of his appointees and his mismanagement and careless spending of our money in the name of good government.

Akoni Shannon

Every traffic light is green in Hawaii

I found the June 25 Editor's Scratchpad on speeding drivers very interesting. I'm originally from Oahu now living in Hilo. Similar situations happen here as elsewhere in the country on a daily basis.

The problem I find is that police officers themselves run red lights. Drivers should stop on the first sign of a yellow light, not red. The yellow light was first instituted to get drivers to slow down so a complete stop could be made on red.

To cut pedestrian accidents is to crack down on drivers who run red lights.

Bob Akamine
Hilo, Hawaii


"We just didn't want these big humongous buses dumping hoards of people all over. Everybody will jump and crawl all over the mountain."

Adrienne King,
Spokeswoman for Ka Iwi Action Council, supporting elimination of bus parking spaces at the proposed Ka Iwi shoreline park in East Oahu.

"I know one thing. We're not going to go quietly into the night."

Sen. Zell Miller,
Georgia Democrat on a report that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld favors cutting the Air Forces' fleet of B-1 bombers by one-third. Some of the bombers that would be mothballed are based at Robins Air Force Base in Miller's home state.

Story gave psychic unwarranted credibility

Why does a psychic get prominent billing in your story on Charlotte Moriarty, while being permitted anonymity (Star-Bulletin, June 23)? The public, family and police department are being involved in accusations of murder, based on nothing but the supposed "sight" of an anonymous person who claims to have magical powers.

Multiple homicide is serious stuff, and simply labeling the story "Psychic 'sees' death of woman" gives these outlandish claims far more credibility than they deserve. "Family seeks truth about disappearance" or "Missing woman's family consults psychic" might have been better choices.

Kevin Bjorke

Two-tiered division makes sense

The OIA and the ILH should set aside their differences for the sake of fair competition. Combining the two leagues to form more parity in divisions makes more sense. It's just not right watching football players from smaller schools get beaten up every year. What does that prove?

Putting powerhouse schools like St. Louis, Kahuku, Waianae, Kamehameha, Farrington, Punahou, Kailua and others into one division would be great for competition. Damien, PAC Five and Iolani would be divided into the other divisions depending on their win-loss record.

In addition, there would be more opportunities for athletes in both leagues to play against their neighborhood friends, adding to the excitement. With Kahuku winning the state championship last year, it proves that the OIA can be competitive with ILH.

As a former coach in the OIA and the ILH, there would be lot more parity and it would definitely be safer and more fun to see the schools of the same caliber play against each other. The Damien situation is not new to the OIA. The Red and White Divisions were made because of this similar situation. I am sure it can be done if the OIA and the ILH can settle their differences. Hey, it's time for a change and the people want to see it. Let the boys play.

Glen Gillia

Learning Hawaiian has limited value

Proficiency in the Hawaiian language is great and has merit for the study of Hawaiian history and culture, but not for the economic well-being of the future of today's children.

It may indeed be beneficial for students to enhance their vocabulary and English grammar, however, students who have aspirations for professional careers through advanced education here or on the mainland should concentrate their efforts in acquiring proficiency in languages other than Hawaiian; i.e. French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese or Japanese.

Most universities will have a prerequisite for one or two foreign languages, depending on the student's course major for undergraduate and certainly for graduate degrees.

Toshio Chinen

Justice Thomas has his own bully pulpit

Rob Perez seems to have a misguided view of the role of the ACLU's mission ("Raising Cane," June 24).

Every Monday from October through June, Justice Clarence Thomas' opinions on all of the controversial issues of the day are reported by all the news agencies in the nation. He does not need a speaking or "debate" invitation from the Hawaii chapter of the ACLU to defend his First Amendment right to freedom of expression!

Perez goes on to have a little chuckle at the idea that the ACLU, while not inviting Justice Thomas to its debate, does defend those protesting the symbol of the cross, who attempt to raise satanist or homosexual symbols.

It is precisely these relatively powerless people, tired of pharisees trying to force their "values" on the rest of us, who need the ACLU to protect their freedom of expression.

Patrick Daley

Menor will make good lieutenant governor

I was pleased to read in your newspaper that Sen. Ron Menor will be seeking the lieutenant governor's seat in 2002 (Star-Bulletin, June 4).

I have known and been represented by Menor for the past 20 years. He was always just a phone call away.

If the people of Hawaii want someone who stands by his word, I urge them to cast their vote for Sen. Ron Menor in 2002. He will make a difference for the state as he already has for Mililani.

Geraldine Koenig

Governor is right about consent issue

"What if it were your daughter?"

This potent phrase has been invoked by every politician in Hawaii over the past week in a faulty attempt to persuade the public that Governor Cayetano is the dastardly patron saint of pedophiles. This argument is an emotional plea as opposed to a rationale for raising the age of consent from 14 to 16.

Lacking any substantial justification for their draconian measure, legislators have resorted to demagoguery to ensure the good favor of the voters come next year.

I stand with the governor on this issue, and I would ask those who support raising the age of consent to consider the ramifications before leaping on the emotional bandwagon with the same fervor as our vote-hungry politicians.

Creating a new group of criminals would only exacerbate Hawaii's severe dearth of prison space and sending good people to prison would only create stoic criminals who have been hardened by the harsh years in jail, turning citizens engaged in a consensual relationship into true lawbreakers.

The law also represents government intrusion into the personal lives of Hawaii's young people. People in love will surmount all opposition, including unjust and impractical laws; love knows not the artificial barriers of race, gender, or age. The legislators, eager to find an issue that will be a guaranteed hit with the people, have beat the drums of pedophilia and rape in their illogical attempt to crush love and strip away our right to privacy.

I ask the people of Hawaii to join with me in standing resolutely with the governor in his shining moment of sagacity.

Lee Hiromoto

Legislators should override veto

Our illustrious governor must think the people of Hawaii are sheep, willing to follow whatever he says and vetoes.

His (and the state prosecutor's) rationale for vetoing the age of consent bill is absolutely absurd. "Everybody is already doing it," and "why make felons out of the sexual partners of 14- and 15-years-olds if the sexual activity is already going on," is their loosely based argument.

If that is the case, why legislate against any illegal activity, because someone is going to be doing it? And that just puts an added burden on the prosecutor's office.

Obviously, the first responsibility rests with the parents of adolescents to teach them abstinence, not safe sex. Morality does still have a place in our homes, even though the entertainment industry couldn't care less about the lack of morality it pushes on our children faster than a parent can keep track.

But the government, whether local, state or federal, has to back this up with legislation. The state legislators did their part by voting unanimously to raise the age of consent. Praises to each and every one of them.

Now I hope they earn our praises again, by overriding this morally wrong and indecent veto by the governor of the state with the lowest age of consent in the 50 United States of America.

James Roller

All laws are unfair to those who break them

Governor Cayetano has given us a new standard for judging a law's value. If one ignorant person gets tripped up in the five-year age exemption for sexual activity with a male or female minor, that merits vetoing a law. An examination of other laws is now in order.

We know that some women lie about their husbands beating them up. We need to repeal our spousal abuse laws to prevent innocent husbands from going to jail.

We know that some women have been killed by safe, legal abortions and others have been coerced into abortions by boyfriends, husbands, or parents. Perhaps the governor would take the lead in pressing for informed consent and parental notice laws. He might even lead a national campaign to require abortion clinics to adhere to the same public health standards that other free-standing clinics must.

Thanks to Governor Cayetano's lead, we can eliminate unfair laws before we are all caught in Catch-22 situations.

Carol White

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